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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Waqf Representatives Harassing Jews on the Temple Mount (Video)

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

A group of 25 Jews went up to visit the Temple Mount on Sunday morning, only to find themselves harassed by Waqf officials, and rushed off the Jewish holy site by police, scared that the Arabs might become violent.

In the video, the scared policeman is asking the Jewish visitors to not get the Arabs too worked up – as if.

Video taken by Yehuda Glick

Arab Students Launch Anti-Israel Photo Exhibit at Hebrew U.

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Watan, a Palestinian student group at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, launched a new exhibit featuring photos whose captions are hostile to Israel, referring to Jerusalem as a “sewer of the Israeli settlements” and to Israeli soldiers as “the occupation army” and “the hunters of liberty.”

In the “Pictures From Across Palestine” exhibit, which was approved by the university, one image of the Negev Desert is captioned in Hebrew as “Mother Earth” and in Arabic as “Mother Palestine,” according to the Yisrael HaYom newspaper.

In response, Hebrew University said, “We allow all student activity as long as it is not illegal. However, the Watan student group did not submit the captions for approval. Therefore, we have removed them from the exhibit. Opinions expressed by student groups obviously do not reflect our position.”

Matan Peleg, director of the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu, called on Hebrew University “to re-examine its authorization of the exhibit and issue a statement that it will not tolerate violence or incitement of any kind.”.”

Protest of Half a Million Haredim to Shut Down Jerusalem on Sunday

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Approximately half a million Haredim are expected to turn out for a massive “million-man” rally in Jerusalem early Sunday afternoon to protest the pending legislation to jail Haredim who refuse to report for duty in the IDF.

Highway 1, the major highway from Tel Aviv to the capital, will be closed at the entrance to the city from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as Yafo (Jaffa) Road and other main arteries.

The Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut national labor union has issued a call to employers to release all workers from work by 12:30 p.m., with a full day’s pay, so they can head for home before mammoth traffic congestion. At least 1,700 buses are expected to bring Haredim to Jerusalem form all parts of the country for the protest, according to Daniel Bonfiel, director of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut.

That works out to more than 120,000 Haredi protesters, not including those from Jerusalem. However, Bonfiel predicted that 600,000 Haredim will attend the demonstration

The number of people who are defined as “Haredi” in the entire country varies from a bit less than half a million to 900,000.

The weather forecast favors the Haredim, with temperatures expected to be higher than usual for this time and no rain in sight.

Given this winter’s drought, one of the worst in recent memory, the Haredi community is wasting a wonderful opportunity to use their physical and spiritual powers to pray for rain.

But why waste prayers for rain that would help Zionist farmers, and anyway, who needs the water from the Kinneret since it may not be Kosher for Passovers, so who cares? The Haredi demonstrators will most probably leave the chore for praying for rain to the less Orthodox Jews and carry on with their protest.

Sunday’s black-hat rally is only the first shot in the Haredi war – and that is the correct word – against the Knesset in general and specifically Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh {arty who paraded through the last general elections on a platform that included getting rid of the rite of exempting Haredi youth from serving in the IDF so they can stay in yeshiva. That includes a large number who are listed as yeshiva students but spend most of their day at home, working for money “under the table” so they don’t have to pay taxes, or catching up on the latest Internet YouTube videos.

A vast number really do learn in yeshivas, supporting their rabbis’ claims that their devoting time to learning Torah is Israel’s real defense.

Let’s leave that issue aside for the reader and God to decide.

Lapid has either climbed up a very safe political leader or has crawled out on the longest limb on the highest tree he could find. There is not way he can retreat, and the Haredi rabbis refuse to compromise. For them, the IDF is treif. There is no middle ground.

Lapid has the support of a large majority of Israelis, who for years have suffered from the Haredi stranglehold on almost every government coalition, the budget and even the future of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

For decades, money for yeshiva has been their platform, which explains why the Sephardi Haredi party backed the Oslo Accords lest the government coalition fall.

Two year ago, Lapid’s success and that of the Jewish Home changed everything. The only way that the Haredi parties will be needed in a government is if the coalition breaks up over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talk follies, and that is unlikely, much to the dismay of Kerry and his boss.

That leaves the Haredim and Lapid to fight it out.

Reform and Conservative Jews Upset over Plans for Robinson’s Arch

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Reform and Conservative Jewish groups are upset with a reported draft agreement that would  put the City of David Foundation in charge of the Western Wall’s Robinson’s Arch area, where they can pray in a women’s minyan with a Torah scroll.

The tentative agreement calls for the government to transfer control of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park and Davidson Center to the City of David Foundation, Haaretz reported. The foundation runs the extremely popular City of David tourist site in Jerusalem’s Old City and works to settle Jews in the Silwan neighborhood, across the road from the entrance to the Western Wall Plaza.

Avoid conflict at the widely-visited area of the Western Wall.

Israeli Conservative movement CEO Yizhar Hess told JTA that the draft agreement concerning the Davidson Center caught non-Orthodox groups by surprise.

“We were negotiating the final details of how it would be managed,” Hess said. “It was never mentioned that the City of David Foundation would be the one to actually run the place.”

Hess said that the Reform and Conservative do not take a stance on the foundation’s political leanings, which they claim are decidedly rightwing, but explained that if implemented, the draft agreement would depart from a compromise on the Western Wall outlined by Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky last year. Sharansky’s outline proposed creating a pluralist council to manage the site.

Arabs Riot on Temple Mount ahead of Feiglin’s Debate on Jewish Prayer

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin may have single-handedly ditched  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework on Tuesday by brining to the Knesset floor a debate on the prohibition against  Jews praying on the Temple Mount.

In advance of the historic debate, the first time the issue ever has been discussed on the floor of the legislature, Arabs rioted and threw rocks at police, who dispersed them with stun grenades and tear gas and arrested three rioters. The violence forced the closure of the Temple Mount to Jews and tourists. Score one for the Muslims.

In Jordan, opposition leaders called on the monarchy to tear up the peace treaty with Israel.

The Temple Mount is the most untalked about core issue in the so-called negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The “status of Jerusalem” is a known basic issue, but there is simply nothing for negotiators on both sides to talk about when it comes to the Temple Mount.

It evokes more emotions than all other issues combined. The Oslo War, popularly called the Second Intifada, erupted after Ariel Sharon ascended the Temple Mount in his campaign for Prime Minister  in 2000. The violence was due to happen in any event given the refusal of Yasser Arafat to accept then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s offer for almost all of Judea and Samaria and most of the areas of Jerusalem that had been occupied by Jordan between 1949 and the Six-Day War in 1967.

Arab riots on the Temple Mount have become more regular as the “peace process” comes closer to another death, following the death of the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap, among other snake oil remedies..

The more Muslim clerics and Arab leaders claim that the Jewish Holy Temple never existed and that the Jews have no connection with the site, the more they are arming  themselves with hate and lies that spell “war.”

All it takes is MK Feiglin to set them off, and if Tuesday’s debate is his only accomplishment  in the current Knesset session, it will be far greater than almost all combined  acts of his 119 colleagues

Israel conveniently washed its hands of responsibility for the Temple Mount after the 1967 war and gave Jordan the right to be custodian through the Islamic Waqf.

Buoyed by the Chief Rabbinate prohibition of Jews praying or even ascending the Temple Mount because of several issues relating to Jewish law on the ruins of the Holy Temple, the Arab world tightened its enforcement against Jews trying to do so.

Many national religious rabbis allow Jews to walk on certain parts of the Temple Mount, and MK Feiglin has been doing so for years. He was barred from the Temple the past year until earlier this month, when he resumed his monthly habit of immersing in the Mikveh and visiting the holy site.

Prayers, of course are forbidden, lest Allah be upset over hearing the Shema Yisrael prayer. No prayer books are allowed, and police remove anyone who starts moving his lips. The Supreme Court has questioned the discrimination but has not issued any direct order that allows Jews to pray at the site.

Feiglin brought the issue to the Knesset after having easily secured the required signatures of 30 Knesset Members to debate the issue.

Tuesday’s discussion, was a debate and nothing more and nothing less, but it was more than enough for the Arab to press the riot button.

Arab MKs in boycotted the discussion, which may have been their best strategy since anything they say makes them look even dumber than they are.

The Arab paranoia of Jews ascending the Temple Mount stems from the same attitude that prompted Jordan to ban Jews from all holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria until the War in 1967.

Court to Rule If Jerusalem’s ’Cinema City’ Can Violate the Sabbath

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Jerusalem’s $75 million, 19-theatre Cinema City opened on Tuesday, but the Supreme Court will decide next month if it can operate on the Sabbath, in violation of both Jewish law and the “status quo” that maintains an equilibrium and unstable peace between observant and non-observant Jews in the capital.

Multi-screen theatres are common in Israel, but not in Jerusalem. The new eight-floor complex, located across the street from the same court building that will decide its fate on the Sabbath, includes 50 cafes and shops and is expected to see up to 15 million visitors in its first year of operation.

The last thing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat needs is another reason for riots from the Haredi community, which already has enough fuel for a city-wide blaze of anger over the idea of a military draft for all Jews, including yeshiva students. The argument over the compulsory draft for all conveniently does not focus on Arabs. That is another story by itself but illustrates how Israeli politicians manage to ride the rails of populism.

Mayor Barkat has taken the safe road on the issue of Shabbat. During last year’s mayoral election race, he said the complex should remain closed on the Day of Rest. He now emphasizes that the decision is up to the court. Given the financial income to the city by thousands of tourists spending money on movies and restaurants on the Sabbath, Barkat’s heart might be in the wallet and not in the Torah.

The municipality has stated that the agreement between Cinema City’s developers and the Finance Ministry stipulated that the movie complex will not operate on the Sabbath since it is located on government property.

City Council member Merav Cohen insists that Barkat can change the terms of the agreement if he wants to and that it is not dependent on the Finance Ministry.

Deputy Mayor Yossi Deutsch claims that most of the city council opposes a Shabbat opening for the theatre complex. Whether or not a majority really wants it closed because of religious reasons or out of respect for the Orthodox community, they certainly would prefer Jerusalem get attention from other areas instead of Haredi riots.

The fact is that when the Jerusalem City Council decided four years ago that Cinema City would be closed on the Sabbath, only three members at the meeting objected.

National religious Rabbi Yaakov Medan of Gush Etzion has written that the cinema complex should be open for secular Israelis, with restrictions against restaurants and other commercial establishments being open. He said that Jerusalem needs secular residents, who should not feel they have to live elsewhere to avoid restrictions due to the Sabbath.

The argument is an old one. Is it religious coercion to close down movie theatres on Shabbat? Is it secular coercion to allow them to open? Does it ruin the religious character of the city, if not Israel, by allowing them to operate?

Those are interesting social, theological and philosophical questions, but the more immediate question might be if the court will take into consideration the physical safety of citizens if it allows Cinema City to open its doors and if riots follow.

Everything in Israel comes down to politics. The Haredim correctly feel they are being marginalized, although the change is long overdue. The government has cut funds for yeshivas, it wants Haredi youth to serve in the army just like everyone else – except secular draft dodgers about whom no one seems to write.

The Haredi establishment has managed to hold on to the Chief Rabbinate, but its powers are being undermined with a belated reform of kosher supervision that is aimed at  eliminating corruption and making sure that “kosher” really is ”kosher” and not just a stamp on a certificate in return for money in the pocket.

Arabs Again Attack Police on Temple Mount

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Feb. 25, 2014 – In the latest Arab desecration on the Temple Mount, the Jewish people’s holiest site, Arab youths, some wearing masks, attacked police with firecrackers and stones. Arab violence on the Temple Mount has occurred several times this month.

Two policemen were injured in this latest attack.

Police used stun grenades and other riot dispersal weapons on the Arab rioters. Three Arabs were arrested.

Police use pepper spray on Arab rioters on the Temple Mount - Feb. 7, 2014.

Police use pepper spray on Arab rioters on the Temple Mount during a Feb. 7, 2014 riot.

The riots began when police opened the Rambam gate, which do to the lack of application of full Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, is the only gate that Jews are allowed to sometimes enter.

Later today, the Knesset is set to discuss the Israeli loss of sovereignty on the Temple Mount.

Rabbis Remain Silent as ‘Price Tag’ Vandalism Worsens

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

“Price tag” vandals struck the small Arab neighborhood of Sharafat between Gilo and the Malcha Mall and Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem Tuesday night, slashed tires of approximately 30 cars and scribbled graffiti on walls.

They sprayed slogans of “No co-existence” and “Arabs=thieves” in the neighborhood.

Yediot Acharonot reported that a security camera showed three masked men carrying backpacks and entering the area around 3 a.m.

Sharafat residents were enraged at the vandalism, which prevented many of them from leaving driving to work because of slashed tires.

Police are investigating, but they have not been able to win a conviction and barely an indictment in hundreds of previous incidents.

The term “price tag’ refers to Jews who take out their anger against Arab terror and more frequently against government anti-nationalist policies by attacking Arab property.

When the fad of crime started, nationalist leaders and rabbis blamed it on undercover agents working for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and trying to incite hatred of Jews living on outposts in Judea and Samaria.

Many of the attacks have been carried out at churches and monasteries, and when it became overwhelmingly clear that nationalists were involved, their leaders often dismissed the vandals as a tiny minority whose actions may be illegal but pale in comparison with Arab terror.

Be that as it may, on what Talmudic passage do the rabbis base their dismissal of indiscriminate violence as minor pranks and remain silent?

One leading nationalist rabbi, a peaceful Torah scholar who never would encourage violence, told The Jewish Press several months ago he doesn’t believe that Jewish settlers would do such a thing. Sure, there may be a few hotheads, but all of the reports are false or the incidents are instigated by the Shin Bet, in his view.

Last month, several leading national religious rabbis circulated a petition condemning the price tag attacks, but that was the beginning and end of the “campaign” against violence.

But the petition left open huge room for understanding the frustration of attackers.

“There is a wonderful community of thousands of Jews in Judea and Samaria who are loyal to the State of Israel,” the petition said. “This community is often subject to attack by Arab thieves, vandals, and terrorists.

“We truly empathize with the plight of this community. However, we ask the youth and young adults not to allow them to become sucked into acts of revenge and criminal activities as a result,” the petition said.

“The so-called ‘price tag’ attacks are against Jewish law and ethics. They are illegal and cause a desecration of G-d’s Name. Beyond this, the attacks damage the standing of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and stain the names of a large number of law-abiding people.”

“We ask?” That is the best the rabbis can do? “Oh, poor victimized hothead, please be a bit nice because your acts in the name of God may give us a bad image.”

The kind of soft-glove language in the petition is not the way to communicate with young wild idiots who understand nothing but force.

The petition that states that rabbis “empathize” with attackers and sympathize with their being victims is a cop-out of responsibility.

Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, unarguably one of the most passive and political compromising national religious rabbis, has been one of the few leaders to label the Jewish vandals for what they are. “Whoever does something like this cannot be included in a minyan or called to the Torah,” he stated.

That is the language these criminals understand.

But no group of rabbis in any of the regional councils of Judea and Samaria has taken the initiative to corner the price tag vandals and threatened them with ex-communication.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbis-remain-silent-as-price-tag-vandalism-worsens/2014/02/19/

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