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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jew’

Fresh Complaint on Twitter Anti-Semitism Filed in France

Monday, April 15th, 2013

A French Jewish group which last month sued Twitter for hosting anti-Semitic content has lodged a fresh complaint against the company and accused it of lying.

The latest complaint by the Union of Jewish Students of France, or UEJF, was filed on April 12 with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office against Twitter President and Director Dick Costolo. UEJF and another group, J’ACCUSE, said in the complaint that Costolo was “responsible for racial defamation and publicly inciting to discrimination, hate or violence toward Jews.”

The complaint concerns tweets which appear on Twitter and which call for killing Jews and praising the Holocaust. UEJF last month sued Twitter for $50 million after Twitter failed to honor a ruling from January by a French judge who ordered the company to divulge within 14 days details of users who posted anti-Semitic statements. The ruling was on a lawsuit brought by UEJF against Twitter, an American California-based company.

France and other European countries have laws against hate speech that are considerably stricter than in the U.S., where the First Amendment to the Constitution is more lax on free speech.

In its ruling, the Paris court also ordered Twitter to set up a system for flagging and removing such messages, but UEJF said Twitter has not complied.

Additionally, UEJF accused Twitter of lying when it reportedly announced in October that it will remove similar tweets. The tweets are still available to any user who does not self-identify as being French, UEJF said.

Despite the tweets still being available, Le Nouvel Observateur reported in October that Twitter announced it had removed the tweets. It followed public outrage that erupted after the phrase #UnBonJuif (meaning “AGoodJew”) became the third most popular hashtag on French Twitter thanks to what Le Monde termed “a competition of anti-Semitic jokes” that evolved around it.

Twitter did not respond to JTA’s request for a comment on the latest Union of Jewish Students of France complaint.

Geneva Assailant of Jew ‘Too Mentally Ill’ to Stand Trial

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

A man who stabbed an Orthodox Jew in Geneva was found unfit to stand trial in Switzerland because of his clinical paranoia and “irrational fear of an international conspiracy.”

A court in Geneva earlier this month found that the 22-year-old man, who was not named, was too “mentally ill” to stand trial for stabbing and seriously wounding a 32-year-old French Jew in 2011, the Tribune de Genève daily reported.

The attack occurred in the parking lot of Geneva’s Natural History Museum while the victim, a citizen of France from Aix-les-Bains, was putting a baby carriage in the trunk of his car. His attacker stabbed him four times in view of the victim’s family. The victim arrived in the hospital in critical condition and spent several weeks there recovering.

The defendant, who grew up in Britain, was arrested a year after the attack in the Netherlands and extradited to Switzerland at the end of what the CICAD, a Swiss watchdog on anti-Semitism, termed “a long investigation by the police.”

The court declared the attacker unfit to stand trial based on a psychiatric evaluation that said he was a “paranoid schizophrenic suffering from visual hallucinations as well as hallucinated voices and fears of an international conspiracy.” He will be locked up in an institution for mentally ill people who pose a serious risk to their environment, the paper said.

Johanne Gurfinkel, the secretary general of a CICAD, told JTA the defendant belonged to far-right circles. “The perpetrator of this act may have suffered from mental problems, but he clearly attacked his victim out of anti-Semitic hatred,” Gurfinkel said.

Paris Thugs Threaten Jewish Teen with Merah-Style Murder

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Three men who accosted a French Jewish teenager in a suburban Paris subway said they would do to him “what Mohammed Merah did.”

According to a report on the incident by the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism, a non-governmental organization known locally by the French acronym BNVCA, the 17-year-old Kippa-clad male was threatened in the southern Paris suburb of Vitry-Sur-Seine on March 3 by three black men who asked him “why Israel was doing this to the Palestinians.”

The report said the men also told the teen, identified by the initials J.C., that Mohammed Merah, the 23-year-old Islamist who last year killed four Jews at a school in Toulouse, “was right to do what he did.” They added, “Now we’re going to do what Merah did. We will kill all of you Jews, one day we will kill a Jew.”

A witness corroborated the exchange to BNVCA, the watchdog group said. The presence of the witness may have prevented a physical attack on the teen, the organization added in a report on the incident.

Marching In Support Of The Murder Of Jews

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Northeastern University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), paralleling the moral incoherence of anti-Israel activists demonstrating elsewhere in American and European cities, sponsored a November 15 Boston rally in support of Gaza and, presumably, its genocidal thugocracy, Hamas.

The members of SJP who attended the demonstration, along with their fellow travelers of anti-Semites, Israel haters, and such psychologically mystifying groups as Jewish Voice for Peace, apparently were not sufficiently concerned when some 12,000 rockets and mortars were launched almost daily into southern Israeli towns from Gaza by Hamas over the past seven years, aimed at civilian targets for no other reason than the intended victims were Jews.

Once Hamas began to deploy more sophisticated, and lethal, Iranian-supplied Fajr-5 rockets, able to reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Israel finally retaliated, as it had in 2008-2009 during Operation Cast Lead, with targeted strikes against Hamas, the inevitable civilian casualties were immediately elevated by Israel’s worldwide critics to “crimes against humanity,” “genocide,” and “disproportionate” responses to what they evidently believe to a mere inconvenience for Israelis upon whom rockets and mortars have incessantly rained down.

What was particularly revealing, and chilling, about the Boston rally was the virulence of the chants and messages on the placards, much of it seeming to suggest that more sinister hatreds and feelings – over and above concern for the current military operations – were simmering below the surface. Several of the morally self-righteous protestors, for instance, shrieked out, to the accompaniment of drumbeats, “Long live Intifada,” a grotesque and murderous reference to the Second Intifada, during which Arab terrorists murdered some 1,000 Israelis and wounded more than 14,000 others.

That pro-Palestinian student activists, those who purport to be motivated by a desire to bring “justice” to the Middle East, could publicly call for the renewed slaughter of Jews in the name of Palestinian self-determination demonstrates quite clearly how ideologically debased the human rights movement has become. Students on U.S. campuses, who never have to face a physical threat more serious than getting jostled while waiting in line at Starbucks, are quick to downplay Israel’s very real existential threats and the necessity of the Jewish state to take counter measures to thwart terrorism. And quick to label the killing of Hamas terrorists by the IDF as “genocide,” these morally blind individuals see no contradiction in their calls for the renewed murder of Jews for their own sanctimonious cause.

Of course, the notion of murdering Jews to extirpate Israel is not a unique one, since words to that effect are regularly uttered by, among others, Iran’s raving president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who dreams of such apocalyptic final solutions. What is unique is the morally-defective logic that would enable otherwise sane people to justify a second Holocaust, the mass murder of Jews, on the basis of Israel having defended itself from years of rocket attacks and having killed murderous terrorists in the process.

Making the Middle East free of Jews is exactly what Hamas, the group of genocidal brutes cheered on by the Boston demonstrators, ardently longs for; in fact, Hamas’s charter expresses as one of its core tenets that Israel should be eliminated and that Jews should be murdered.

Another deadly chorus emanated from protestors during the rally: “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.” This is an oft repeated but disingenuous and false notion – that stateless terrorists have some recognized human right to murder civilians whose government has purportedly occupied their territory. That is clearly not any longer the case in Gaza, where every Jew was removed in 2005 and where there is a blockade in effect to prevent the influx of weapons, but clearly no occupation.

It may be comforting for Israel’s ideological foes to rationalize the murder of Jews by claiming some international right to do it with impunity and a sense of righteousness. But as legal experts have pointed out, the rally participants and their terror-appeasing apologists elsewhere are completely wrong about the legitimacy of murder as part of “resistance” to an occupying force.

Article IV of the Third Geneva Convention, the statute that defines combatants and legitimate targets in warfare, is very specific about who may kill and who may be killed, and it does not allow for the murder of either Israeli civilians or soldiers by Palestinian suicide bombers who wear no identifying military uniforms and do not follow the accepted rules of wars. Nor, certainly, does it recognize the legitimacy of launching more than 12,000 random rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza aimed at Israeli neighborhoods, a violation of the Geneva conventions that require “distinction” in the targeting of opponents and clearly a more salient example of “collective punishment” than, say, the Gaza blockade itself.

The Noose Around Israel’s Neck

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim.

There are three things you can do when you are about to be hanged. You can walk proudly, recite a glorious line or two to embed your martyrdom in historical memory, and then allow yourself to be hanged. Jews have an extensive body of experience with that brand of martyrdom.

Alternatively you can plead your case all the way to the gallows, arguing that a mistake has been made, that your case has been improperly reviewed, begging for someone to listen and do something. This way also ends in a hanging. But it’s the hanging of a slave without even a shred of dignity attached to it. A man that dies pleading with his murderers, and puts his fate in the honesty of the liars and hypocrites whose own crimes makes the worst of his look like virtues, is a craven fool.

Because there is really only one thing you can do when the noose is being placed around your neck. Resist. A noose works by tightening around your neck and cutting off your air or breaking your neck. If you resist the tightening of the noose, you may actually survive. On the other hand if you follow through all the procedures, if you allow your hands to be tied behind your back, and the noose to be fastened around your neck while trusting in the system to do right by you– your death is inevitable.

For seventeen years Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by the nose ring of international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets. Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.

That is because every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.

This is not a peace process, and it has never been one. It is a public lynching. It is the lynching of a country whose only real crime is that its existence offends the religious fanaticism and prejudices of a billion Muslims, who control much of the world’s oil, and whose followers are willing to riot and kill in the streets of nearly every major city in the world at the slightest offense.

The lynching began as a trial where the murderer wore a fine suit and his victim sat in an orange jumpsuit in the dock. Every day during the trial, the murderer would be allowed to leave the courtroom to kill again. And every afternoon he would return to the courtroom with bloody hands that the judge and jurors would pretend not to see. And if the victim dared to call attention to those bloody hands, he would be silenced and told that those murders too were his fault. Hadn’t he after all provoked the murderer into committing them?

Now the trial is coming to a close. The farce that the proceedings ever had anything to do with peace is unraveling. And we can thank Hamas and Obama for that. The endgame is all too clear. The undoing of that “mistake” which allowed the oldest and most persecuted minority in the Middle East to briefly reclaim their homeland from the tyranny of Muslim Caliphs and Sultans. To serve as a homeland for their persecuted brethren from the east and the west. From the south and the north. That mistake.

The Problem with Haredi Magazines

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Mishpacha and Ami Magazines are competitors. They both seek to serve the same populations. They are virtually identical in Hashkafa – which is decidedly Charedi. How Charedi are they? Well neither of them will show a picture of a woman no matter how Tzanua (modestly dressed) she is. Even if she were wearing a Burka. That’s pretty Charedi.

At the same time they both seek as broad-based an Orthodox readership as they can find. Thus they will feature very positive articles on both the Satmar Rebbe and Rav Hershel Shachter of Yeshiva University.

While I believe they are both absolutely wrong in excluding pictures of Tzanua women – I applaud them for their broad based approach to Orthodoxy. There are many informative articles and weekly columns by talented writers in both magazines. But all is not rosy. I often find things in these magazines which are truly maddening. This week both magazines had articles like that.

In what was an otherwise very positive story in Ami about how the Jewish community’s extraordinary efforts in alleviating the pain of those who have suffered – and are still suffering – the after effects of Superstorm Sandy, there was one little blurb that bothered me. It read as follows: “The Rosh Yeshiva gave us a Psak to help anyone who asked.”

On the surface that sounds wonderful. The Rosh Yeshiva is Rav Reuven Feinstein. He of course said the right thing. Now the Yeshiva students who were working so hard helping their fellow Jews could also help to alleviate the plight of non Jews suffering the same fate.

Really? They had to ask a Shaila? Did they think that if a non Jew desperate for some help – they should tell him, “No”? “Sorry, we can’t help you”? “We can only help Jews”?

That too is a Shaila? What kind of Chinuch do these young Jewish students get that causes them to hesitate in feeding a fellow human being in need? The implication is obvious. Had they not been able to ask a Shaila and a non Jew desperate for food – saw these boys handing ou t food and asked for some himself, they may very well have refused them until they asked a Shaila. Can there be a greater Chilul HaShem than that?

Now I don’t know if they didn’t “shoot first and ask questions later”. Maybe they did feed the needy non Jew and merely wondered if they were doing the right thing. But even that is ridiculous. A fellow human being needs food to survive – you give it to him. Did they think God would punish them for doing so?

There is something terribly wrong with Charedi Jewish education if it does not make obvious the absolute requirement to help your fellow man in these circumstances.

On a completely different subject – this week’s column in Mishpacha by Eitan Kobre really got me upset. In yet another in what seems to be a never ending assault on the President by right wing pundits, Mr. Kobre goes to town on how stupid the black community in Washington DC is for voting for the President.

I am going to stop short of calling Mr. Kobre a racist. I don’t think he is. After all in using economist Thomas Sowell – a black man – to bolster his opinion it is kind of hard to say that he is prejudiced against black people.

But still there does seem to be a subtle prejudice that is hard to prove. He is not castigating all black people. Just those who voted for the President. Which – if I recall correctly – was well over 90%. He attributes this to voting racial pride rather than voting for what’s good for you. As an example of that he points to the fact that Republicans advocate vouchers which – where they have been used – has benefited the black community immensely. I believe that many black people endorse vouchers. And yet they voted for a President that will never implement them and instead will continue funneling money into the black hole of the public school system.

But is it really so surprising that people will vote their racial or ethnic pride – choosing that over someone whose substantive positions have proven to be more beneficial to them? How many Jews vote for the Jewish candidate because he is Jewish? Are Jews stupid too? Besides – are vouchers the only thing to base one’s vote upon?

To be clear, I have no problem with Mr. Kobre’s arch conservative politics. Although I am more of a centrist than a political conservative, I tend to lean a bit more toward the conservative approach. So politically we are not that far apart.

But to bash the President as if he were some sort of socialist “Robin Hood” interested in taking from the rich via taxes and giving it away to the poor via an enormous increase in entitlement programs – is taking the criticism to a new low. Mr. Kobre may not have used those terms in his column. But that is clearly how he thinks of the President. (Not that he’s alone. As I said Thomas Sowell agrees with him. As do many conservative pundits. In fact Rush Limbaugh makes Mr. Kobre look liberal by comparison.)

I do not recall this kind of criticism made against any other Democratic President. Nor even against a democratic candidate for President. Is he the most left leaning President or Presidential candidate in recent history? You would think he was the second coming of Karl Marx if one looks at the sheer venom of some critics. While I wouldn’t go that far with Mr. Kobre’s criticism, there does seem to be an inordinate amount of dislike for the man that goes beyond politics.

Like I said, I do not accuse Mr. Kobre of being a racist. And yet he goes to extraordinary lengths to foment hatred of the man by the Jewish people. Why else did he once again make reference to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright?! What was his point here other than to somehow connect the President to Wright’s rabid anti Israel stance?

And all this in the face of the President’s unqualified support of Israel’s bombing raids in Gaza. I wonder how Reverend Wright characterized it?

Adding insult to injury – that Mr. Kobre wrote this article and that Mishpacha published it before there was a cease fire and while Hamas was still firing rockets at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem make it even more egregious. Especially since it was the Obama administration’s financial investment in the Iron Dome Defense system which prevented the kind of carnage that would surely have ensued had it not been there! If anything Mr. Kobre should be thanking the president profusely instead of calling black people stupid for voting for him.

Come on Eytan. You can do better than that!

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

The Purpose Of The Melachah

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

The link between the laws of Shabbat and the Mishkan not only defines the 39 Melachot but also determines the conditions for liability. One of these conditions is intent. The other is purpose.

The melachah must be performed for a similar purpose as the act performed in the Mishkan. Accordingly, one might, intentionally, perform the same act performed in the Mishkan and yet be exempt from biblical liability if it did not have a similar purpose.

For example, digging (a derivative of plowing), was performed in the Mishkan for the use of the hole itself, in which tent pegs were sunk. Therefore, one who digs for earth and has no use for the hole has not performed a melachah in the Torah sense of the term, a melachah de’oreita.

Similarly, extinguishing a fire, a primary or av melachah, was performed in the Mishkan to produce glowing embers needed to smelt metal. Therefore, one who turns off the light in order to sleep, or to save electricity, has not performed a melachah de’oreita. Such an act is known as a melachah she’eina tzericha l’gufa. Although biblically exempt from liability once performed, a melachah she’eina tzericha l’gufa is rabbinically prohibited, a melachah derabbanan and should not be performed in the first place.

What is the difference between a melachah de’oreita and melachah derabbanan if both are prohibited? The answer is that generally there is more room for leniency in melachot derabbanan. For example, melachot derabbanan may, mostly, be performed during twilight, bein hashmashot, on Erev Shabbat; they may, with certain restrictions, be performed by a Jew on Shabbat to alleviate substantial pain; they may, in certain situations, be performed by a Jew on Shabbat in order to avert a substantial financial loss; they may, in certain circumstances, be performed for a Jew on Shabbat by a non-Jew; and they are not themselves subject to protective legislation.

Because the melachah she’eina tzericha l’gufa is closest to a melachah de’oreita, in that it only lacks the element of common purpose and because there is a dispute with regard to its definition, the rabbis are less lenient with it than with other melachot derabbanan. Accordingly, it enjoys some but not all of the flexibility described. For example, a melachah she’eina tzericha l’gufa may not be performed bein hashmashot. Such a melachah may, however, for the most part be performed by a Jew on Shabbat for the sick, even the not dangerously sick; and in certain situations may be performed for a Jew on Shabbat by a non- Jew.

Based on these principles, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Braun, in his work Sha’arim Metzuyanim B’Halacha, writes that sparks ignited by plugging in or out of electricity is akin to a melachah she’eina tzericha l’gufa, in that it is a psik reishe delo neecha lei, which means an inevitable melachah arising from a permitted act that is of no use to its performer.

Accordingly, to avoid substantial financial loss one may ask a non-Jew to reconnect a well-stocked freezer that became disconnected from its electricity on Shabbat. Similarly, one may ask a non-Jew to turn off an appliance which, if left running all through Shabbat, would overheat and burn out.

Of Course I Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Somebody asked me if I am celebrating Thanksgiving? What a silly question! For a Jew, everyday is Thanksgiving! We thank God when we get up in the morning. We thank Him when we get dressed. We thank Him when we leave the lavatory. We thank Him when we eat. All day long a Jew is busy thanking God for all of the kindnesses which He bestows upon us every minute of our lives.

What about America’s Thanksgiving Day? Do I celebrate that? Of course I do!

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in America anymore.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile land pretending that it’s perfectly OK to be there.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile culture, speaking a gentile language, surrounded by gentile holidays, and gentile symbols, and gentile traditions.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to slice up our Land like a turkey.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that constantly pressures Israel to cut up Jerusalem as if it were a sweet potato.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in gentile country that pressures Israel not to eliminate a terrorist state bent on Israel’s destruction.

I give thanks to God that I don’t live in a gentile country which fosters mass assimilation.

I give thanks to God that my children grow up speaking Hebrew, and knowing who they are, without schizophrenic identities of belonging to an alien gentile nation.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that my children pledge allegiance to the Israel Defense Forces and not to the flag of a foreign government.

I give thanks To God that my children know that the forefather of their Nation was Avraham Avinu and not George Washington.

I give thanks to God that my children say that Jerusalem is their capital and not Washington D.C.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God knowing that my children and grandchildren will marry Jews.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in the Holy Land and not in the land of Disneyland.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that I live in Yerushalayim, ten minutes away from the Kotel.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God that everything in the supermarket is kosher and that I don’t have to strain my eyes and put on my reading glasses to find little OUs.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for having answered the prayers of the Jewish People for 2000 years to return us to Zion, and for giving us a Jewish airline to get here, and for rebuilding Jerusalem and Jewish cities and settlements all over Israel, and for giving us a Jewish army that can defend us against our enemies .

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for once again making Israel the Torah center of the world.

On Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks to God for letting me play an active part in the Redemption of our Nation just by raising my family here, sending my sons to the army, and doing whatever I can to help strengthen our Nation in our own Land.

Of course I celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Today, I am going to eat the biggest falafel I can!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/of-course-i-celebrate-thanksgiving/2012/11/22/

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