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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

Vengeance is Ours, Say These Israeli Jews

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the authors’ blogsite, This Ongoing War}

A year ago, a murderous Arab-on-Israeli terrorist attack in Jerusalem’s Old City took the lives of two young Jewish men:

The two died of their wounds shortly after being stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City by a Palestinian terrorist. Banita’s wife was in serious condition and their two-year-old baby was lightly wounded. She was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and was undergoing surgery. The toddler was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where he remained in stable condition. Lavi, a Jerusalem resident, leaves behind a wife and seven children. A rabbi at the Old City’s Ateret Cohanim yeshiva who lived nearby, he had rushed to the scene when he heard screaming in the street. [2 killed in Jerusalem attack named as Nehemia Lavi, Aharon Banita“, Times of Israel, October 3, 2015]

A year has gone by – twelve months filled with who-knows-what weighty challenges, unthinkable difficulties and corrosive, unfathomable, endless pain for the parents and families the two murdered Jews left behind.

In the conventional way of thinking about such matters, the minds of those irretrievably damaged family members are undoubtedly filled with thoughts of vengeance, of bloodshed and of evening the score.

That, at least, is how some ostensibly well-informed people view those of us who have been at the receiving end of Arab-on-Israeli savagery. As one prominent Jewish leader in the United States wrote publicly just a few weeks ago, in supporting a local fund-raising activity of Parents Circle Families Forum, a terror victim group about whose activities we have written critically several times, Israeli victims of Arab terror are entitled to

their natural right to revenge, after losing the most precious thing…

We wrote to that leader and told her that her comment was sharply at odds with what we have experienced:

We know many other Israelis who are bereaved through acts of hideous Arab-on-Israeli terror [and] don’t believe we have met even one of whom we could say they are pursuing “their natural right to revenge”

(Our correspondence with that prominent US Jewish community leader is the subject of an article we are preparing for publication now. That’s another reason it’s on our minds this morning.)

Is it possible to identify a pattern in the way Israeli victims – those who themselves survived acts of Arab-on-Israeli savagery and the families and loved ones of whose lives they were part – react?

We think there is and have plenty of anecdotes to back that up.

Here, from today’s Israel National News, is an instance that describes how an informal group of Israeli Jewish youngsters, living in Jerusalem’s Old City –

have dedicated a coffee kiosk for guards and security forces on duty in the location where, one year ago, an Arab terrorist murdered Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Benita. The dedication was held last night… Every week, the youths held birthday celebrations for Border Police, and would pass out coffee, cakes, and other snacks to the security forces stationed around the Old City. Recently, the youths decided to intensify the initiative, and raised 50,000 shekels to renovate a store, located right at the scene of last year’s murders, that would become a coffee kiosk for the benefit of security forces. Michael Benita, the father of murder victim Aharon, came to the dedication event for the coffee kiosk, and expressed his excitement at the initiative: “The efforts of the youth are not something to be taken for granted, the establishment of this corner is not to be taken for granted. I am happy that, in this fashion, they are memorializing Rabbi Nehemia and Aharon.” Hadar Katzover, one of the youths of the Old City who contributed to the effort, shared her impressions: “We worked very hard on this. This is our way of continuing [the legacy of] Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, and this is our way of dealing with what happened. Where they cut life short, we will add goodness!”. She invited “the entire public” to come to celebrations following the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah on Monday night at 9:00 PM on Hagai Street, adding: “Come and strengthen residents of the Old City.” The daughter of Rabbi Lavi cut the ceremonial initiation ribbon, while the brother of Aharon Benita fixed a mezuzah to the doorpost.[Where they cut life short, we will add goodness“, Israel National News, October 23, 2016]

Being really blunt about this, and speaking as parents of a child whose murder at the hands of Hamas terrorists led to the creation of a charity that does highly effective work, reading and writing about this Old City cafe and the acts of chesed on the part of those who created it makes us just about burst with pride and admiration.

Is this the only way to deal with life after everything is turned upside down by barbarism, bigotry and hatred?

No, there are certainly other ways. This way, for instance:

As the Jerusalem Post reports, the Palestinian Authority controlled by Mahmoud Abbas has just decided to honor Muhannad Halabi by naming a street after him. Halabi is the 19-year-old murderer of two Jews killed close to the Old City’s Lion’s Gate on October 3, 2015 in a stabbing and shooting “operation” that took the lives of Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and Aharon Benita and seriously injured Benita’s wife, Adele, and their two-year-old son. The assailant was shot dead by police at the scene. Palestinian Media Watch reported several days ago that the Palestinian Bar Association has already grotesquely bestowed an honorary law degree on the deceased stabber/shooter/attacker. Now the municipality of Surda/Abu Qash, in the suburbs of Ramallah, will name a street for him “to emphasize the national role played by Palestinian municipalities.” Can a society ever be rehabilitated from pathologies as deep and all-pervasive as theirs? [“28-Oct-15: The Pal Arab passion for knife attacks isn’t just for social media: they sincerely mean to kill“]

The barbarians (and those who stand with them) have their ways and their values. And we have ours.

 

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Judge Goes Easy on Stabber of Two Jews, Family Angry

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Jerusalem District Court Judge Rafi Carmel on Wednesday sentenced to nine years in prison a terrorist who a year and a half ago stabbed two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. The family of one of the victims is irate at the light sentence, according to a statement by legal aid society Honenu, even though the terrorist, John Kakish, was convicted of intentional aggravated assault, which is punishable by 20 years.

Judge Carmel said in his ruling that although the case is serious, with the common range for sentencing being between eight and 16 years, he chose to go easy on the defendant because he confessed his crime—which had been documented on CCTV—and claimed as his reason for the stabbing, besides his hatred for Jews, the fact that his sister is an alcoholic junkie. The defendant has a long criminal record, which includes assault.

The prosecution informed the victim’s family that it plans to appeal the light sentence. At the trial the prosecutor asked for 13 to 20 years. Should the terrorist be released for good behavior after serving two thirds of his sentence, combined with time served, he should be out in four and a half years.

Nahman Revivo, whose brother was wounded in the attack, said he felt denigrated by the court. “Our blood is permitted,” he said, adding that “these attacks happen time and again because the courts aren’t severe enough with these murderers. This was a case of attempted murder par excellence, the terrorist stabbed my brother in the back with a 12-inch knife. Thank God, he wasn’t murdered, but this doesn’t mean the punishment should be light.”

The stabbing took place a year and a half ago on Shavuot eve. The terrorist, armed with a long knife, lay in ambush waiting for Jews walking to the Western Wall plaza for holiday study and prayer. When a group of Jewish youths had passed by, he jumped them and managed to stab and wound two of them, one in the back. At the hospital they had to drain his chest. The other youth suffered a deep gash in his right shoulder and required multiple stitches.

Kakish was not charged with attempted murder despite the severity of the attack and the fact that his Facebook page was packed with incitements against Jews.

David Israel

Joe Lieberman Campaigning for Hillary with Florida Jews

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Former Senator and one time Democratic VP candidate Joe Lieberman is campaigning for Hillary Clinton in the Jewish community of South Florida, Jewish Insider reported. He spoke to Jewish residents at the Palm Beach Century Village and held a roundtable with rabbis and Jewish community leaders in Palm Beach. He also spoke at a synagogue in Broward County. According to JI, Jewish voters represent between 3% and 6% of the electorate in Florida.

Clinton is ahead by and average 3.8 points in Florida, according to RealClearPolitics.

David Israel

The Politically Foolish American Jews Get it Wrong – Again

Thursday, October 20th, 2016
I can’t believe that I’m finding myself passionately defending U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump and hoping (probably in vain) that he wins. I even decided to cast my vote, although I wavered back and forth about it so many times over the past several months. Trump has flaws, no doubt, but the vicious campaign against him is so disgusting that I can’t stand it, and the mainstream Jewish community is as stupid as ever.

I keep telling myself not to be so obsessed, it takes up too much time and energy, but something always happens that gets me to the core. This time, after Shabbat ended, when I saw all the hysteria about his comments regarding Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the “international bankers” – hysteria instigated by the likes of the agenda-driven ADL, spread by the left-wing media and swallowed by the gullible masses – I was so furious. He never mentioned the word “Jew.”

Instead, they should be worried about the Nazis of THIS generation, the Radical Islamists, and the fact that the White House has so many ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. They’re acting exactly as they did during WWII, when American Jews worshiped FDR, who was an anti-Semite, and ruined any efforts by groups like the Bergson Group, which tried to save Jews but were foiled by leading Reform Rabbi Stephen Wise and the mainstream Jewish organizations. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out sources like the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies (wymaninstitute.org).

Trump is definitely not an anti-Semite. It’s lucky he has Jewish grandchildren (unlike many of the mainstream Jews who no longer do), because if he didn’t, he could become an anti-Semite only because of all the unwarranted vicious attacks.

So many otherwise intelligent people fall for Michelle Obama’s eloquent denunciation of Trump while ignoring all of the equally repulsive information about the Clintons.

To those who worry about the likes of KKK supporting Trump, there are plenty of vicious anti-Semites on the Clinton side – modern-day anti-Semites – such as the actively anti-Israel Black Lives Matter movement and the violent anti-Semites across U.S. campuses.

I’m seriously worried about the future of America. If either of the main candidates has dictatorial tendencies, it has to be Hillary, who, for example, was involved in stealing so many votes from her Democratic competitor, Bernie Sanders. I’m no fan of Sanders, to say the least, but the American people have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. How amazing it is that there was no uproar when that scandal broke.

The Islamic threat today is probably the most threatening situation facing not only Jews, but Western civilization, since the 1940s. The American Jewish establishment – admittedly – failed back then. But it seems they haven’t learned their lesson.

Atara Beck

Boulder Prep School Students Expelled for Calls to Execute Jews [video]

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Five Boulder Prep High School students in Colorado were expelled over their Facebook hate group, where they were calling for the executions of Jews and Blacks, The Daily Camera reported last week. Local media report that Boulder police discovered the Neo-Nazi cell after one of the member had committed suicide “to show allegiance to the Nazi party.” Police is investigating reports of threats and harassment of a student at the high school by the group members.

The chat group was reported by a parent of one of the students. The group’s “second-in-command” told police, “the whole thing was ‘funny,'” assuring them he had no intention to actually do any of those things.

“It was a shock to the community,” Scott Levin of the regional Anti-Defamation League told CS in response to the revelations. “It isn’t as if there is any identifiable group [in Boulder] that is advocating this. There’s a lot of hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now, and that has just empowered some teenagers.”

An estimated 15 students participated in the “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat” on Facebook, according to a Boulder police report, which said members discussed “killing all Jews and N***s,” posted images of guns, and discussed “the final solution” and “white power,” and ways to “recruit more members” to complete their mission. The chat group’s “4th Reich” title is a reference to a successor to Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. In fact, the chat group’s leader identified himself as “The Fuhrer,” and members adopted Nazi military titles.

One entry went: “You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please,” according to the police report.

Lili Adeli, headmaster at Boulder Prep, told Daily Camera the school had addressed the suicide and the Facebook chat’s horrifying language. “We did a lot of work with the students to help ensure their safety and mental health and healing,” she said. “It can bring up their own thoughts of suicide and previous trauma.” This includes checking on students via the phone, including text messages outside of school hours. “We’ve continued to keep the lines of communication open,” she said.

Adeli also stressed that school staff have made it their top priority to educate students on inclusiveness and the importance of speaking out against “derogatory language.”

JNi.Media

The Most Interesting Jews of 5777

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

My list of 20 profound and provocative Jews to follow over the coming year, including Roni Alsheich. Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow. Prof. Ben Corn. Avi Dichter. Yuli Edelstein. Shimon Fogel. Prof. Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Yaakov Medan. Joseph Gitler. Gershon Hacohen. Prof. Efraim Inbar. Prof. Moshe Koppel. Cynthia Ozick. Eliezer Rosenfeld. Kurt Rothschild. Rabbi Dr. Lord Jonathan Sacks. Ayelet Shaked. Prof. Chaim Sukenik. And Rabbi Asher Weiss.

In recent weeks, several newspapers in Israel and North America (like The Jerusalem Post, Makor Rishon weekly and Tablet magazine) have published lists of the “most influential” or “most prominent” Jews.

The lists are mostly a hodge-podge of the wealthy, powerful, organizationally-positioned, and pop-culture famous; and this disappoints me. So I’ve decided to draw-up my own list of “most interesting” Jews for 5777.

“Interesting” in my book means profound, provocative and positive.

It’s useful to draw attention to people who are deeply reflective, substantive, and in the long-term achieving something intellectually significant for the Jewish People. And while I admire philanthropists; like movies; and am passionate about some sports, there is little need to make the extra effort to promote these people.

It’s also clear to me that most of the people drawing up the celebrity lists are insufficiently familiar with the religious Jewish communities of America and Israel; and they underestimate the increasing importance of religious Jews in the Jewish future. Thus some of the boldest and consequential figures in these communities are perennially under-represented. So I’ve weighted my list with religious public figures.

Therefore, without any ranking, I offer the following list of 20 interesting Jews to follow over the coming year.

* Roni Alsheich. New Commissioner of the Israel Police, and former deputy chief of the General Security Services (Shabak). He is out to police the badly-corrupted police, reforming its institutional culture by introducing modesty and honesty. Already he has shut down the incessant, outrageous, politicized leaking from police investigations.

* Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg. Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel, and former chief economist of Bank Hapoalim. One of the most sophisticated analysts of the Israeli economy, and an outstanding ambassador for Israel in global monetary and financial circles (in many languages).

* Rabbi Yuval Cherlow. Name me an issue on the public policy agenda, from bio-ethics to gender issues to morality in the army, and you’ll find the thoughtful voice of Rav Yuval from the hesder yeshiva in Raanana in the debate. An exemplar of connected, concerned, articulate Torah leadership in the modern world.

* Prof. Ben Corn. Oncologist and radiotherapy chief at Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, who co-founded Life’s Door-Gisha L’Chaim Tishkofet-Ma’agan, an NGO that has developed innovative approaches to facing illness and loss. Awarded by former President Peres with the Israeli Citation for Volunteerism.

* Avi Dichter. Now head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the former Shabak head and Minister of Internal Security sounds much wiser and deeper than most of his former Kadima or current Likud colleagues on Palestinian issues. Dichter is moving up.

* Yuli Edelstein. The Knesset speaker holds both a heroic past and bright political future. His diplomatic demeanor is married to solidly nationalistic ideological roots; a winning combination.

* Shimon Fogel. Long-time CEO of the Canadian Jewish community’s central advocacy organization (known as CIJA), he has pioneered new approaches in hasbara, from the “shared values” approach to the “buycott” to beat BDS. Respected on all sides of the parliamentary aisles, he is and should gain greater global prominence.

* Prof. Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Yaakov Medan. The Hebrew University jurist/ human rights leader and her yeshiva dean/Bible scholar colleague still believe that the “covenant” they crafted years ago for a new secular-religious status quo is resonant and relevant, and I think they’re right. Over the coming year, look for a resurgence of these two brave leaders and their bold proposals.

* Joseph Gitler. Founder of Leket Israel, the National Food Bank, which last year collected and delivered over 30 million pounds of fresh, healthy food for the needy. This means that 175,000 Israelis are fed weekly through 195 nonprofit Leket partners. The vivid face of smart Israeli philanthropy.

* Gershon Hacohen. The longest-serving general in the IDF (41 years) until his retirement last year, he is becoming one of the most provocative defense and diplomatic analysts in the public sphere. His approach is decidedly messianic, even Marxist; meaning that Israel should buckle-down for long-term struggle over the Land of Israel, while rejecting simplistic, unworkable and undesired binary proposals for dividing the land.

* Prof. Efraim Inbar. Founding director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, who over 25 years turned the center into a think-tank of international renown and real policy heft. While he is about to hand the post over to a colleague, watch for Inbar’s prominence in Jerusalem to grow.

* Prof. Moshe Koppel. Founder of the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem, which is leading efforts for constitutional and economic reforms with a conservative bent. This plucky math professor’s think tank is increasingly influential on legislation ranging from the “nation-state law” to marketing cartels.

* Cynthia Ozick. This 88 year old American Jewish novelist and literary critic is battle-ready and penetrating in her analyses, and a master of the most transcendent language. Her newest collection of essays deconstructs vanity, political correctness, and bottomless currents of anti-Semitism that run through contemporary literature.

* Eliezer Rosenfeld. Popular Chassidic band leader, who has parleyed his personal tragedy (two of his impressive sons were killed, one in a terrorist attack in 2015) into an inspirational speaking and singing career marked by determination and hopefulness. The epitome of optimism – no less so, and much more well-grounded, than the celebrated “optimism” of Shimon Peres.

* Kurt Rothschild. The 96-year old World Mizrachi chairman still shows up in his Jerusalem office every day to preside over a lifetime of philanthropic and community activities. Every institution in the Religious Zionist world, from the poorest to the most prominent, has benefitted from Kurt’s wise counsel and assistance. One of the sharpest, most indefatigable and loyal soldiers the Jewish People has had over the past century.

* Rabbi Dr. Lord Jonathan Sacks. The former British chief rabbi is the most unique expositor of Judaism of our times. He combines profound Torah insight with breathtaking knowledge of broad intellectual disciplines. Through his prolific literary output he continues to demonstrate how relevant religion is to the modern troubled age; and how spiritual and social cohesion can be synthesized with respect for liberty of conscience.

* Ayelet Shaked. The intrepid justice minister is emerging as one of our canniest politicians and genuine thought leaders. Read her lead essay in the first issue of the new policy and ideas Hebrew journal, Hashiloach.

* Prof. Chaim Sukenik. President of the Jerusalem College of Technology (which incorporates Machon Lev, Machon Tal and more). Among other projects, JCT is leading the integration of the Ultra-Orthodox in higher education, with grit and sensitivity. A herculean task!

* Rabbi Asher Weiss. Probably the only Ultra-Orthodox scholar and halachic decisor who is truly respected in the Lithuanian, Hassidic and Religious Zionist worlds simultaneously, in Israel and around the Jewish world. He is also unique in understanding the need for meaningful structural transformations in the Haredi world.

David Weinberg

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem; Time to Return the Favor

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

In October 2016, UNESCO condemned Israel regarding its activities on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem and excluded all references to Judaism’s ties to the site.  The resolution was put forward by a number of Muslim states, including: Algeria; Egypt; Lebanon; Morocco; Oman; Qatar; and Sudan.

The Qatari-run news outlet, Al Jazeera (AJ), continued to proudly distort history in its coverage of the story. Consider its following statements:

“Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the third-holiest site in Islam. It is located in East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed following its invasion in 1967 – in a move never recognised by the international community – as part of its subsequent military occupation of the West Bank.

Jewish settlers and Zionist organisations have called for complete Jewish control over the mosque compound.

Jewish groups refer to the site as the “Temple Mount” and their increased incursions into the mosque compound have continuously led to Palestinian protests across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military and armed settler incursions have resulted in Palestinian deaths and injuries in recent years in particular. Muslim access to the religious site has also been tremendously limited by the army.”

The AJ media outlet published this on its own. It was not quoting Hamas (which the Qatari government supports).  For a sense of reality, here is a sample redlined report from a balanced perspective:

“Al-Aqsa Mosque sits on the Temple Mount, which was built by the Jewish King Herod 2,000 years ago. The mosquecompound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism. It is located in the eastern half ofEast Jerusalem, which Israel annexed following its defensive war against an attack initiated by Jordaninvasion in 1967 – neither Jordan’s annexation of Jerusalem, nor Israel’s subsequent annexation were in a move never recognised by the international community – as part of Israel’sits subsequent administrative control military occupation of the West Bank. According to the Oslo II accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1995, and the Peace Agreement between Israel and Jordan signed in 1994, Israel handles all security matters on the Temple Mount/ A-Aqsa compound.

Non-Muslims have regular visiting hours on the Temple Mount, and some Jewish settlers and Zionist organisations have called for non-Jews to be able to pray at the site as they had done before Suleiman banned the practice roughly 500 years agocomplete Jewish control over the mosque compound.Those calls resulted in Palestinians organizing themselves against Jewish visitors.

In September 2015, Israel banned the “Mourabitoun,” the group of Muslim civilian guards who were regularly harassing Jewish visitors to the holy site.  That action further excited Muslims who feared that Israel sought to change the status quo, and sparked numerous Jewish groups refer to the site as the “Temple Mount” and their increased incursions into the mosque compound have continuously led to Palestinian protests across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

The fighting between the Israeli military and Palestinian Arabs armed settler incursions have resulted in hundreds ofPalestinian deaths and injuries in recent years in particular. Due to the increased fighting and tensions, both Jewish and Muslim access to the religious site has also become morebeen tremendously limited, including an Israeli ban of all members of the Knesset by the army.”

As seen above, Al Jazeera is part-and-parcel of the problem of incitement in the conflict. Qatar continues to be an active supporter of violence in the region.

It is well past time to boycott Al Jazeera and its social media site AJ+.  Further, Americans should demand that the United States remove its central military command in the Middle East out of Qatar (perhaps it can help stabilize Iraq by relocating it there).

Distorting history is just part of the problem.  Incitement must have consequences.


 

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Visitor Rights on the Temple Mount

Palestinians agree that Israel rules all of Jerusalem, but the World Treats the City as Divided

The Cancer in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Arguments over Jerusalem

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Paul Gherkin

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