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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

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.

Rabbi Meir Schuster, the ‘Man of the Wall,’ Dies at Age 71

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Rabbi Meir Schuster, known to thousands of lost Jews as the “Man of the Wall” who provided them with the spark to light up their lives with Torah, died in Jerusalem on Monday at the age of 71 and was buried on Har HaZeitim (Mount of Olives.)

Rabbi Schuster ran the Heritage House, a hostel for the proverbial lost and wandering Jew who, no matter how far away from Judaism, “did” the Western Wall (Kotel).

Rabbi Schuster, later with his assistant Jeff Seidel, gave food and lodging to thousands of young Jews, many of whom had no desire to know anything about Judaism. Many of them simply took up the offer for a free meal and bed with the idea of taking off the next day as if nothing exceptional had happened.

Many of them indeed forget about the rabbi and Heritage House, but many also never forgot and never have stopped thanking God for this man who in his quiet and unassuming way literally saved thousands of Jews from becoming lost forever.

On Rabbi Schuster’s website, people posted their personal stories, which were read to him during his recent treatment for cancer.

Following is the story of a man who is identified as “Reuven”:

I grew up with no knowledge about and no positive feelings for Judaism. In the autumn of 1981, after finishing college, I decided to travel through Europe.

Winter caught me moving further and further south, until I reached Greece. On a boat to Crete, I met some other fellow-travelers who told me that Israel was the place to go. Until then, it had honestly never entered my mind. I liked the thought of wintering on a kibbutz. After a couple of rainy months on the kibbutz, I decided to visit Jerusalem for a day or two.

I had barely entered Jaffa gate when I felt a soft tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw a tall, bearded man with a black hat and suit. What in the world did he want from me? “Are you Jewish?” he asked me.

I honestly didn’t know what to answer him. I had told the people at the kibbutz office that I wasn’t Jewish, but they saw right through me. Bored silly at the kibbutz, I had been reading “The Source” by Michener, and was actually, for the first time, getting interested in Israel and the Jewish people.

My hesitation was all he needed to hear. He asked me if I was hungry (what young traveler to Jerusalem on a cold, wet, winter day and a tight budget is not hungry?). For some strange reason I let him lead me to a nearby Yeshiva, which was my introduction to Judaism. It was, in all honesty, the first time in my life that I ever felt, and accepted being Jewish.

Now, 29 years later, living in Yerushalyim with a wife and many children, learning Torah and davening each day, I marvel at what R’ Schuster has been able to do. It was probably only R’ Schuster’s total, unadulterated sincerity and authenticity that disarmed me and convinced me to go with him.

I don’t think anyone else could have done it – I was that wary of ‘religious solicitors’. Had I sensed even a trace of self-interest, ‘charisma’ or ‘charm’ I would have bolted. He made himself into a shaliach for his Creator, and in his inimitable fashion, let nothing else get in the way.

Thank you R. Schuster.

That story has been duplicated hundreds of times over. Most rabbis who try to bring Jews back to Judaism are pushy. Many of them are nudgers and preachers. Rabbi Schuster was the opposite. He was gentle and never asked anything of anyone.

Kerry and Abbas to Meet in Paris on Wednesday

Monday, February 17th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will talk with Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on Wednesday in his non-stop diplomatic assault to break the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s stated refusals to agree to American ideas for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a new country within Israel’s current borders.

State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Kerry and Abbas “discuss the ongoing negotiations.”

Abbas has suggested a bit of backtracking lately. Concerning so-called “refugees,” he said last week  that “we do not seek either to flood Israel with millions (of refugees) or to change its social composition.”

He also  used a lot of doubletalk to say he does not wasn’t to “re-divide” Jerusalem but did not change his demands that the Palestinian Authority take over all parts of the capital that were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Abbas Tells Israeli Students He Wants Co-Ownership of Jerusalem

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday told 200 Israeli students who visited him in Ramallah that a peace treaty does not require dividing Jerusalem, but instead turning it into an open, borderless city.

“We don’t need to erect walls and barriers,” he said, proposing instead a Palestinian municipal authority in east Jerusalem and an Israeli one in the western part of the city.

“We will recognize the right of the Jews to pray at the Western Wall, and the right of the Christians to pray in the church, he said. But then he added, “We will never agree to dividing control over the Al Aksa mosque,” meaning Temple Mount.

In his familiar elastic treatment of history, Chairman Abbas lectured his guests: “Jerusalem used to be Palestinian, then the war happened and the cease-fire, and Jordan arrived and took responsibility over Jerusalem and the entire West Bank, in order to give it back eventually to its indigenous nation.”

Of course, Jerusalem was never “Palestinian” because there were no “Palestinians” on the Planet before they were invented around the time the Jordanian Kingdom was invented, 1921, give or take a year. And as to the supposed plans of Jordan to “eventually” hand over Jerusalem to anybody, the only thing missing there are any references to that effect in any document outside Mr. Abbas’s feverish mind.

Still, the chairman received some applause when he told the Jewish kids, “You’re telling us Jerusalem isn’t Palestinian, I tell you, if not to us, hand it over to Jordan.”

Abbas said the Palestinians have already made painful concessions by agreeing to the principle of land swaps as part of the two state solution.

When asked if he is ready to permit Jewish presence inside the future Palestinian state, like Palestinians who live within Israel, Abbas said there was no room for comparison: “The Palestinians had been in Israel since before the creation of the state. The settlers only arrived here in recent years. First give me the 1967 borders of the Palestinian state, and later we’ll discuss the rest of the details.”

Of course, the settlers did arrive on the land before the establishment of a Palestinian state, so it’s not clear whether Abbas was using physical time or spiritual time in his response.

Abbas accused the Israeli side of making up the demand for recognition as a Jewish state just to sabotage the negotiations. He noted that no one asked Egypt or Jordan to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a prerequisite for a treaty. He said Israel should approach the UN if it needs such confirmation, it’s not up to him.

Except that, when taken against 150 years of anti-Jewish Arab propaganda in which many gallons of ink were spilled to describe Israel as a cancer in the flesh of the great Arab nation, and is destined to be flushed into the sea, Israel is well within its rights to receive official confirmation that those sentiments no longer fuel its neighbor’s mainstream culture.

The meeting between the Israeli students and the chairman was organized by Labor MK Yehiel (Hilik) Bar, who chairs the Knesset Lobby for the Promotion of a Solution for the Israeli-Arab Conflict.

PA Demands Acceptance by Israel as a State without Peace Talks

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Palestinian Authority officials have stated that Israel is trying to “exert pressure” in peace talks by not agreeing to accept a document from Gaza with the letterhead of “State of Palestine.”

The document was a request from officials in Gaza to allow 190 residents to leave Gaza for medical care in Israel, including Arab hospitals in Judea and Samaria. Israeli military officials objected to the letterhead, and the patients were allowed to cross into Israel after “State of Palestine” was blurred out.

That would seem to the end of the matter, with an “all’s well that ends well” conclusion.

But the Palestinian Authority regime in Ramallah, along with its Hamas colleagues in Gaza, as usual tried to turn the issue against Israel, blaming it not only for blocking medical care but also for supposedly exploiting sick people for political purposes.

“This is a political decision from the Israelis to exert pressure in the negotiations,” a senior Palestinian official at the Gaza district coordination office told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

If that isn’t “calling the kettle black,” what is?

Besides all of the “core issues” on Jerusalem, so-called refugees and borders, the heart of the Palestinian Authority-Israeli dispute is PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s refusal to agree to a “State of Palestine” unless all arguments and issues are settled without any further demands.

The letter from Gaza was no more and no less than cynical exploitation of ailing men, women and children to “exert pressure in the negotiations,” to borrow the quote from the PA official.

Once Israel accepts a document from Hamas as being from the “State of Palestine,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can put it on a silver platter and present it to President Barack Obama. Once the “State of Palestine” is a fait accompli, the “core issues” fall like a house of dominoes because as head of an official state.”

Abbas can declare that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east and so it will be, at least on paper. He can divide Jerusalem, define Israel’s borders and go the United Nations to pass a resolution that UNRWA should send to Israel several million Arabs living under U.N. occupation foreign countries.

International wire services, of course, were not content to let their readers draw conclusions without biased information. Maher Abukhater is an “a Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah” and is The Los Angeles Times’ source for information for everything they know about Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

His “objectivity” can be understood by his former position as managing editor of Al-Fajr English weekly and The Palestine Times. There is not one former managing editor of any Israeli newspaper who reports for any major foreign news organization, or even a minor one. Let’s see The New York Times hire me to cover Israel.

Abukhater made sure that his readers in the United States know that “the PLO declared independence unilaterally in 1988 and was recognized as a ‘non-member observer state’ by the United Nations in 2012.”

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

The PLO declared itself an independent state, so that makes it one?

When Israel, declared by the United Nations as a full member and independent country, passes a law that  it is the sovereign authority over and in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, used by foreign armies to wage war in 1967, that is not acceptable.

Abukhater then hit his readers over the head with the hammer and wrote, “More than 130 countries today recognize Palestine’s existence as a state, but Israel refuses to do so.”

English-Speaking Ohr Samayach Yeshiva to Build in Eastern Jerusalem

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The Ohr Samayach yeshiva, widely known as a magnet for English speakers who want to come closer to Judaism, won approval from Jerusalem on Wednesday to build a 12-story yeshiva in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just), known to Arabs as Sheikh Jarrah.

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approved the plan by a narrow 4-3 vote, with the expected strong opposition from the left-wing Meretz members of the City Council. The Planning Department reportedly objected to the project because of its proximity to the city’s light rail line and to hotels as well as Muslim character of the predominantly Arab neighborhood.

The building will not displace any Arabs and will be built on an empty plot near Ohr Samayach’s existing yeshiva. Three of the floors will be underground.

The idea of Jews living in areas of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority claims is “theirs” because it was once occupied illegally by Jordan scratches the international community’s skin, but the notion of allowing a yeshiva to expand to teach Torah there undoubtedly will bare the true blood of anti-Semitism.

The world’s diplomatic offices are wallpapered with the 1947 Partition Plan as if that should be the basis for Israel’s future borders because that was the map, if the Arabs had not rejected it, that would have put Israel in the most defenseless position.

World ambassadors and the media establishment have a problem with Jews living there not because it is supposedly Arab land but rather because they cannot accept Jews acting as Jews and learning and teaching Torah.

The headlines on Thursday will speak of “fanatic Jews” planning to teach their radical views on Palestinian land.

Teaching Torah in Shimon HaTzaddik or Sheikh Jarrah, call it what you will, is a death threat to the Big Lie that the anti-Semitic world promotes.

That is why the Palestinian Authority and the entire Arab world are in a panic every time a Jew goes up on the Temple Mount and scream that the Jews have “stormed the Temple Mount” to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and build the Third Temple.

That is why Muslim clerics have to deny that the Holy Jewish Temple ever existed.

Jews? In Eastern Jerusalem? Maybe, but so long as they are good little Jews who are not fanatics who teach the foundations of Western civilization.

Jordan Valley Cloned Bananas and BDS

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Ginosar Agro team says they come from a deep understanding of the challenges banana growers are facing worldwide. You may not know this, but the Cavendish, that lovely, big, yellow banana you so love, is in grave danger. Tropical Race 4, a fungus which has already destroyed acres of crops across Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia, is threatening the plantations of Australia and South and Central America. In those areas, banana plantations are guarded by barbed wire fences and patrols.

The Ginosar elite-cultivars of disease-free banana plants are the result of decades of stringent professional selection from our mother plantations, located in northern Israel. The clones are globally recognized as a premium brand, due to the high quality of the plants and their superior performance in the field.

So, before you know it, those BDS folks are also going to have to go with just berries in their morning cereal…

And now a bonus image: a vendor at the Mahane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem who discovered a brand new use for his bananas.

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

Photo credit: Kobi Gideon / FLASH90

Hadassah Doctors Strike over Hospital Deficit Fallout

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Doctors at the Hadassah Medical Center launched a strike on Tuesday after talks between the Jerusalem hospital and the government over the institution’s $367 million deficit broke off.

The doctors are offering only urgent treatment on a Sabbath and holiday schedule. Teaching also has been halted.

The strike also is protesting that hospital staff members will receive only half of their salaries this month due to the deficit.

Some staff has been laid off, and more layoffs could be in the offing, according to reports. The state could seek a back-to-work order.

The state is planning to go to court to stop the deficit talks and assume control of running the hospital, and then impose its own plan on deficit reduction that the doctors fear could involve layoffs.

Spread out on two campuses, the Hadassah Medical Center is one of the largest hospitals in Israel and the only one specializing in head trauma.

A little more than a year ago, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, transferred $10 million to the hospital to help cover a then-$50 million deficit. The women’s group was hit hard by Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and had to pay $45 million in a “clawback” settlement to some victims of the scheme.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hadassah-doctors-strike-over-hospital-deficit-fallout/2014/02/05/

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