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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘leaders’

Conversations with Heroes – Can Israel Trust the Leaders of America and England? [audio]

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Major media news outlets report that U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the Presidential election race. Heather’s guest, Abe Katsman from Republicans Overseas Israel says this story is not the bombshell that the CIA or the media would have you believe. He also reasons that Hillary Clinton would be a far more preferable U.S. President for Russian interests had she won the election.

And how do you solve a problem like Steve Bannon? Is he really a dangerous alt-Right anti-Semite? Well, Katsman met and worked with Bannon before he became Trump’s controversial chief strategist and senior counselor. His take on Bannon will surprise you.

Katsman will also weigh in on this week’s CBS “60 Minutes” interview with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Is it a sure thing that Trump and Netanyahu will continue their friendly relationship? And after he takes office, will Trump visit Israel?

Later in the show, David Olesker from The Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training will discuss Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party in the U.K., who has come under increasing pressure to make amends with the Jewish community after a litany of shocking anti-Israel statements and actions.

For more information about Republicans Overseas: Israel, visit:
RepublicansOverseasIsrael.org

For more information about The Jerusalem Center for Communication and Advocacy Training, contact David Olesker via his website: jccat.org

Conversations with Heroes 14DEC2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Religious Leaders Call for Negotiation, not Legislation on Muezzin bill

Monday, December 5th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

MK Yehuda Glick called a bill proposal to limit loudspeakers “unnecessary” and said noise issues between neighboring communities in Israel should be solved via dialogue, not legislation, and said that the word “Shalom” is both one of Judaism’s names for God, and forms part of the word Yerushalayim, Hebrew for Jerusalem.

Speaking at a Knesset conference co-hosted with MK Zouheir Bahaloul (Zionist Camp), Glick said that at first glance the bill seems like a fair attempt to address a simple social issue, but upon closer inspection it provides a view into some of the deepest issues facing Israeli society.

“Muslims feel the bill is yet another Israeli attack on their community and an act of ‘war’ against Islam. Many Jews feel that Muslim opposition to the measure stems only from a desire on the part of many Muslims to show Israeli Jews that they are strong.

“In actual fact, when I speak to my Muslim friends, it is clear that there is good will on all sides to both preserve religious freedoms and to be considerate of all people in the pre-dawn hours. We can deal with the Muezzin issue without hurting or offending anyone,” Glick said.

Rabbi Yoel Bin-Nun, a resident of Alon Shvut and a founder of Ofra (as well as a frequent critic of the religious Zionist community) said the path to compromise on this issue will come when “all believers in one God [decide] to speak one language.

“If we start with prayer – we can go very far… There are harder issues, but one God is a joint language… we can find a way to be considerate, we can find answers if believers choose to speak a joint language of one God.

The bill, tabled by MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home), proposes to ban loudspeakers for early-morning calls to prayer. It was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation last Monday but has been met with severe criticism from Arab MKs, Arabs, and human rights organizations who say the bill is “racist.” Ultra-Orthodox politicians also opposed the bill because they were afraid it could be applied to sirens announcing the Sabbath, but they have since rescinded their opposition.

Residents of Lod, a mixed Jewish-Arab city, noted that no Muslim religious leaders from her city attended the session.

“We have tried and tried and tried to speak to Muslim leaders in Lod, but there is simply nobody to speak with,’ she said. “The sheikhs in Lod simply won’t listen, they aren’t willing to talk about it, they aren’t willing to come to any agreement. I am absolutely opposed to the current bill, but I also note that it is no surprise that the push for the law originated in Lod.

“We have come up against a solid wall [of intransigence],” added another resident of the city. “I’m opposed to this law, but the function of legislation is to address situations and individuals who aren’t prepared to compromise or even to recognize that there is a problem.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

President Rivlin Asking Jewish, Muslim Faith Leaders to Heal Muezzin Rift

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday morning hosted a meeting of Jewish and Muslim leaders in Israel, in an effort to resolve the debate surrounding the proposed bill prohibiting muezzin calls from 11 PM to 7 AM.

“In our lives together there are issues which are very close to the hearts of many of the residents of this country,” the president told his guests, noting that “Jerusalem has always brought together the various voices, the Jewish prayers with the Muezzin’s call to prayer along with the Church bells.”

“I am the son of a man who translated the Quran and observed the Jewish commandments, and I recognize the need to tread a fine line,” President Rivlin said. As such, he endeavored “to sit and speak with you in order to see if there is a way to tread this line even when there are conflicts. I thought that perhaps such a meeting could have an impact on the whole public, and that it would be a shame that a law should be born which touches on the issue of freedom of faith of a specific group among us. Perhaps the voices heard today can be used to pave the way.”

Rabbi Aryeh Stern, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, told the meeting: “I see the need for a joint call for dialogue, which should be issued by the highest Jewish and Muslim religious leadership in the country – and which in turn will possibly pull the rug from under the need for such a bill to be passed. I think it should be a joint call, which on the one hand will stop the legislation itself and on the hand will deal with the places where the volume of the muezzin is an issue.”

President of the Islamic Sharia Court Sheikh Abdel al-Hakim Samara stressed that “through an agreement and discussion we can reach solutions wherever the loudspeakers are a problem. Once the law goes through without us attempting to resolve the issue through dialogue, it causes us to feel that our freedoms are vulnerable. Solutions can be achieved even without the threat of the law looming over our heads. We all agree there is a need to lower the volume in problematic areas and we will act to ensure this, regardless of the law.”

Rabbi Yosef Yashar, Chief Rabbi of Acre, shared his experience of coexistence in his mixed city, saying, “I want to tell you the story of Acre – a city where Arabs and Jews live together as a fact. For years now we have been doing fieldwork in terms of dialogue. This way has proven itself. It is s not without problems, but we are talking.”

“Can I say that it is easy? It is not easy,” he continued. “Can I say that there is no hatred? There is hatred. But we’re talking. We are in contact. I do not make them Zionists or Jews and nor does the opposite happen. The dialogue has proven itself. We, too, have experienced acts of provocation in increasing the volume in defiance, but we have talked, we realized the problems and solved them. The problem can be overcome with dialogue and I invite everyone to come and see how it happens on the ground. Dialogue is stronger than legislation. We still have a lot of problems that revolve around coexistence but they will not be resolved with legislation.”

Sheikh Mohammed Ciooan, Head of the Imam’s organization which represents around 400 Imams, told the participants, “Human dignity should guide us. We’ll watch over each other. We are connected to each other, we have no other choice and I hope we can reach an agreement through talks, without such laws. We have already made a public request to lower the volume in all the communities involved. It will be difficult for us to accept and deal with such a law. We have one destiny and one future. We will continue to act to correct this, through our communities, we will bring engineers that will check everything and we will issue a call to all worshipers to work for consideration and decrease the volume anywhere that constitutes a problem.”

David Israel

French Jewish Leaders Condemn Presidential Candidate’s Anti-Semitic Comment

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

French Jewish leaders have criticized Francois Fillon, who will likely win Sunday’s second round of a Conservative party presidential primary, for his comment to Europe 1 radio that “in the past Jews did not respect all the rules of the French Republic,” EJP reported.

Fillon, a former Prime Minister under then President Nicolas Sarkozy, made the faux pas while describing the need to fight radical Islam.

“We must fight that fundamentalism, in the same way that in the past … we fought some forms of Catholic fundamentalism and we fought the drive by Jews to live in a community that did not respect all the rules of the French Republic,” Fillon said.

France’s Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia discussed the comment with Fillon, noting that Jews in the past were forced to live in isolation from society, but that was “in no way Jewish citizens’ choice, but the consequence of French society not accepting their peers at the time.”

Sacha Ghozlan, leader of the French Jewish students’ union UEJF, stateded that “those surprising comments raise questions about how Francois Fillon defines fundamentalism.”

“The UEJF wonders what period Francois Fillon is referring to when he says Jews refused to abide by the rules of the French republic, if he might not mean the time of Vichy (the war-time government that collaborated with the Nazi occupation) when Jews were forced to hide and wear a yellow star,” Ghozlan said in a statement.

Fillon, who faces former Foreign Minister Alain Sunday to become the candidate of the right and center for next year’s presidential election, eventually posted on his Facebook page that his comments had been misunderstood.

“I never meant to call into question the Jewish community’s attachment to our common values and to the respect of the rules of the Republic,” he promised.

David Israel

The Prime Responsibility Of A Nation’s Leaders

Friday, November 18th, 2016

As Donald Trump prepares for his presidency, Jews all over the world are hoping his Middle East policy will be favorable to Israel.

Of course we know and believe that the destinies of all governments are ultimately in the hands of God. Man was granted freedom of choice, but up to a point. Man cannot derail God’s Master Plan, culminating in the Messianic era.

And regardless of what Trump’s policy will be, the prime responsibility of Israeli leaders, now as always, is to protect the citizens of Israel.

We must therefore ask: Do the leaders of Israel offer adequate protection for the Jewish lives they are entrusted with? Is their policy direction leading toward greater or lesser security?

We read (Shemot 17:12) that when the Jewish people were attacked by the Amalekites shortly after their departure from Egypt and Moshe raised his hands in supplication to God for victory, his hands were “heavy.”

Rashi comments that “his hands became heavy because he had been lax in the mitzvah [of battling Israel’s foes] and had appointed another one [Yehoshua] in his stead.”

Since Moshe’s old age did not affect his physical strength, we know that wasn’t why his hands grew heavy. But why ascribe it to laziness? Perhaps it was because he postponed the battle to the following day, or because the people doubted God’s power when they asked (Shemot 17:6), “Is then God in our midst?”

We can assume that Moshe must have had good reason for appointing Yehoshua to fight this battle, since we know that on other occasions Moshe was ready and willing to lead Israel’s wars from the forefront, as he did, at age 120, in the battle against King Og (Bamidbar 21:34, Devarim 3:2).

So what could his good reason have been?

Moshe reasoned that there was a big difference between this battle against Amalek and the war against Og: the latter was miraculous, with God having stated openly that “you shall do unto him as you have done against Sichon; do not fear him.”

The same applied to the splitting of the Red Sea. In such clearly miraculous situations, Moshe believed that nothing could stand in the way of victory and that therefore the usual norms for warfare (strong young soldiers) were not necessary and even a 120-year-old man could lead the way.

At the time of the battle against Amalek, however, the Jews had displeased God, so Moshe reckoned that this particular fight had to conform to the usual norms of warfare – relying on young, strong warriors and refusing to rush into battle without adequate preparation (therefore Rashi can’t accept that Moshe was being faulted for postponing the battle by one day).

In Rashi’s final analysis, however, Moshe did not do what he should have: If the premise is that God had commanded this battle to take place (even though the verse states that Moshe, rather than God, commanded Yehoshua to fight Amalek), Moshe should have led the battle himself, offering a short prayer on the battlefield to secure God’s help, notwithstanding whatever the Jews may have been guilty of.

If God commands, one has to act with alacrity.

On the other hand, the premise might be that Moshe acted on his own based on the strength of simple reasoning: a Jewish leader does not stand idly by while his people are being attacked. That could explain why Moshe reasoned that a battle not commanded by God had to be fought according to normal conventions – conventions that don’t see old men on the battlefield.

But even then, Moshe erred: When the Jewish people have to be protected from their enemies, the battle against those enemies becomes in and of itself the greatest mitzvah and it is as if a Divine command had expressly been given to fight such a battle.

Along with proceeding according to the tactics of normal warfare, one is also assured of victory associated with fulfilling this great mitzvah (to wit: the Six-Day War). There is therefore a limit to the tactical “calculations” a leader directing this action must make. He has to lead by being there personally, both on the fighting end and the praying end. Thus, Rashi is correct: Moshe was at fault in not being involved personally – so, measure for measure, his hands grew lazy and heavy.

What are current Israeli leaders doing? They contemplate all manner of political maneuvering and security concessions and take counterproductive actions such as releasing hordes of convicted terrorists in exchange for…pies in the sky. Which of course invites and encourages further acts of terrorism.

We pray these leaders will finally realize they need to move in a totally different kind of direction. If only they’d emulate Moshe Rabbeinu so that they would err only to the extent that he did.

Rabbi Yeheskel Lebovic

Foreign Leaders Eulogize Peres – for the Wrong Reason

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehida}

As I write, the funeral for Shimon Peres is in progress at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

Numerous “world leaders” like Barack Obama, Prince Charles, Justin Trudeau, Francois Hollande, Bill Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon, Tony Blair, the EU’s Donald Tusk, and many other important and not-so-important personages are there. Even Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah movement demonized Peres as recently as yesterday, is present. Obama will be the last foreign speaker.

The main roads between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will be closed before and after the event. Many streets in Jerusalem are closed, and traffic on alternate routes is expected to be nightmarish. Hamas has declared today a “day of rage” in honor of “criminal” Peres. I can imagine that every policeman and security person in the country is on duty. Arab and Jewish “extremists” have been preventively detained. The funeral itself will be closed to the Israeli public for security reasons.

I am sure that this is what Peres wanted – enjoying adulation was a weakness of his – but personally, I find it distasteful, even offensive.

The funeral should have been held on the day that he died, as is customary in Judaism. Then it would have been impossible for most of these political celebrities to be here, and that would have been as it should be. The people of Israel who actually care for Peres would have come, the Israelis who know about his tireless work in the 1950s and 60s when he managed the relationship with France that got Israel military hardware that no one else would sell us, when he created the Israeli arms industry and spearheaded the development of Israel’s nuclear deterrent. There are even some that remember and appreciate Peres’ support for the settlement project in the 1970s.

The foreign guests don’t know much about Peres’ contributions to our security, and I suspect he wouldn’t be quite so popular with them if they did. What they admire about him was his leading role in the Oslo Accords, which several commentators have called “the greatest strategic mistake in Israel’s history,” and his continued support of the “peace process,” despite its profound and bloody failure. They are sorry to see him go because he could be used to support their objective of piecemeal dismemberment of the land of Israel.

Future historians will decide whether Peres’ early successes cancel his later disastrous failure. But there is no doubt of his sincerity. He did his almost superhuman best, sacrificing his personal life for his work. He dedicated himself to the state of Israel and the Jewish people. And there is no doubt that many of our guests would like to see that state disappear and that people finally leave the stage of history, which is why they laud Peres’ worst hour as his finest.

I wish they weren’t here, not the ones responsible for the millions that European nations give to subversive Israeli NGOs, or the one who freed Iran to develop nuclear weapons and gave them billions for terrorism. We don’t need to listen to another lecturing, self-serving Obama speech, or to Bill Clinton comparing Shimon Peres to John Lennon. We certainly don’t need more traffic and security headaches.

But all things pass. Later today, the politicians that are praising Peres for the wrong reasons will go home. Hotel guests that were kicked out of their rooms to accommodate their entourages will be able to return, and the traffic jams will finally thin out. Soon it will be Shabbat, and then the Jewish people will mourn their loss among themselves.

Vic Rosenthal

BULLETPROOF – What’s the Real Reason World Leaders are Coming to Peres’ Funeral? [audio]

Friday, September 30th, 2016

What’s the real reason why world leaders, and even Mahmood Abbas are attending Peres’ funeral? It may not be why you think. Ari gives his take on the matter.

BULLETPROOF 29Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

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