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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘letter’

Golda Och Cancels Boy Scout troops over Exclusion of Gay Leaders

Friday, October 26th, 2012

A Conservative Jewish day school will not renew its Boy Scouts charter because of the organization’s policy excluding gay and lesbian adults as leaders.

The Golda Och Academy in West Orange, N.J., said in a letter to parents last week that the Scouts’ policy presents a “problematic image for many families.

“To exclude same-sex families from membership and adult volunteerism is in direct contradiction of school policies, which place high value on inclusion,” reads the Oct. 17 letter signed by head of school Joyce Raynor, the New Jersey Jewish News reported.

The Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on gays and lesbians over the summer.

There has several same-sex families at Golda Och, according to Raynor.

The day school’s scout and pack are now in search of another location in which to meet. Thirty of the school’s families have children in Boy Scout Troop 118, which started in 1995, and Cub Scout Pack 118 for younger boys.

Since 2001, the Reform movement has recommended that member congregations withdraw sponsorship of packs or troops over the issue, according to the Jewish News.

Morsi is No Secret Zionist!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

News item:

Muslim Brotherhood leader Ahmed al-Hamrawy resigned from the group and its Freedom and Justice Party to protest a letter introducing the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel.

The letter was addressed from President Mohamed Morsy to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Hamrawy, former secretary general of the Lawyers Syndicate in Alexandria, described the letter as “national and religious treason,” and added it a waste of the blood of the Egyptian and Palestinian “martyrs” from 1948 until the present day.

The article continues that there has been a great deal of criticism ofthe friendly tone of the letter, written to Israel’s President Shimon Peres. Some Egyptian Islamists even claimed that he didn’t write it, that it was a Zionist “fabrication.” But, interestingly, more radical Salafist elements understand that pretending to be friendly to enemies is a legitimate Muslim tactic:

Essam Zahran, former MP for the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, described the writing style of Morsi’s letter to Peres as similar to the letters sent by Prophet Mohamed to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius.

Zahran told Aswat Masriya, a political website, that what Morsy did “has its origin in Islam.”

He described the letter as “following the example of Prophet Mohamed, when he addressed the Byzantine leader, saying ‘from Mohamed the Prophet of Islam to Heraclius the Byzantine greatest,’ and the relations between Muslims and Byzantines then were very similar to our relationship with the Israelis now.”

“The way of writing the letter,” Zahran continued, “does not mean at all satisfaction of the presidency or the Islamic current with the Israeli policies toward our brothers in Palestine. We still see it as a usurper entity that has established their state on the ruins of another state.”

In Muslim tradition, the letter in question called on Heraclius to become a Muslim, and warned him that if he did not do so, “he would be guilty of misleading his subjects.” Apparently he he did not accept Islam, and his forces were defeated by the Arabs at the Battle of Yarmouk (Syria) in 636. The following year, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem.

But just in case you still think that Morsy is a secret Zionist, here is Morsy praying last week with cleric Fotouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour. At about 25 seconds into the video, you can see Morsy’s lips move in prayer as Mansour says “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters”:

Visit Fresnozionism.org.

A Friendly Letter – a Glimmer of Hope

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Just when you think you have everything pretty much figured out in the Middle East, someone throws you a curve. At least that’s what happened to me last week.

In what has to be the most surprising development thus far in the so called Arab Spring – Egypt’s new freely elected President, Mohammed Morsi, has sent a friendly letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres on the occasion of the exchange of ambassadors. How friendly? From the Times of Israel:

The letter began by calling Peres a “great and good friend,” and went on to express a desire for “maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries.” Morsi closed his letter, which largely followed standard diplomatic language for the exchange of ambassadors, by expressing “highest esteem and consideration

…In July, Peres’s office reported that it had received a friendly letter from Morsi in which the Egyptian leader expressed hopes for regional stability and “deep thanks” for Peres’s Ramadan good wishes. In that note, Morsi also said his country was committed to regional security and stability, including for the Israeli people.

This comes as quite a shock to me considering his political affiliation. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a fanatical Islamist group who considers the existence of Israel an abomination – and an affront to their fundamentalist beliefs. Their views match those of Hamas and Hezbollah. I don’t think there can be much dispute about that.

In fact when the letter was first made public, it was followed by denials from Brotherhood officials – pretty much claiming it to be a fabrication.

But it wasn’t.

This is a good sign. Despite the overt hatred of the Jewish State among most Islamists which comprise organizations like the Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah, it is clear that Egypt has no interest in hostilities between the two countries. Despite Mosri’s obviously deep religious beliefs, he seems to be a pragmatist interested in developing his country – making it a better place to live for his people. To that extent, he seems to have made the friendliest statement toward Israel I have ever heard from a Muslim leader – with the possible exception of Anwar Sadat.

Does this mean that Israel can put away their guns? Of course not. They need to maintain their military edge. I believe Morsi. Islamists say what they mean.They are not reticent about expressing their true feeling about us. That he did something that so obviously upsets his co-coreligionists means something in my view.

It isn’t that I think he now loves Israel unconditionally. Far from it. I do not doubt for a minute that if Mosri thought he could win a war with Israel militarily, he would not hesitate to attack. But as a pragmatist – the reason he wants to have friendly relations with Israel is he knows he can’t win a war with them. And it would be far too too costly in both Egyptian blood and treasure to try. Which is why it is important for Israel to maintain its military edge… and important for him to maintain a peace treaty.

This is good news. Can we trust him? I think so. He has not hesitated to state his own true feelings about Israel.

The recent violent protests at the American embassy there shows that there is still plenty of popular hostility there against the US – and most certainly Israel. Nonetheless, I think I can safely say that for now, Morsi is at least on the same page with Mubarak with respect to the Jewish state.

Hopefully the new regimes in other Arab countries will have the same approach – including in an eventual post Assad Syria. Perhaps that is too much to hope for, but at this point all hope is definitely not lost. If a member of the Muslim Brotherhood can say such good things to an Israel President perhaps there will be other fundamentalist leaders that will follow suit.

Perhaps we are finally seeing a new world order among Arabs who will focus their leaders on the welfare of their people instead of hatred of Israel. Is that too much to hope for? Maybe. But one can hope. That said the threat of terror from Israel’s terrorist neighbors is still very much alive and well. As far as the immediate big picture is concerned, not much has really changed.

How does this all this impact on my choice for President? I don’t know. I still have to think about who I will endorse in the upcoming election. At this point, I am going to wait for the final debate between the two candidates. It is supposed to focus on foreign policy. I will make my decision after that.

Nonetheless I am still very glad about to hear about this news. It gives me a glimmer of hope about the future. But only a glimmer.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

In Public Prayer Morsi Appeals to Allah to ‘Deal with the Jews’ (Video)

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Egypt’s Channel 1 broadcast a video of Egyptian Cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, Head of Religious Endowment of the Matrouh Governorate leading an Islamic prayer service attended by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, during which he asked Allah to kill all the Jews and all of their allies around the world.

Appearing earnest in prayer, Morsi sat cross-legged, eyes closed, open hands raised in front of him, listening and answering “amen” as Mansour led a large group of worshipers in the October 19 prayer.

Middle East media watchdog  Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the clip of Mansour’s speech:

“Oh Allah, absolve us of our sins, strengthen us, and grant us victory over the infidels.  Oh Allah, deal with the Jews and their supporters.  Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder.  Oh Allah, demonstrate your might and greatness upon them.  Show us your omnipotence, oh Lord.”

Morsi’s visit to Egypt’s northwest was his first since ascending to the presidency.  Following the prayer, Morsi delivered a speech about Egyptian unity.

Morsi has said he will maintain Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.  Morsi’s new ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to President Shimon Peres last week, sending along a note which raised a firestorm of controversy in Egypt, due to the perceived warmth of its tone.  Morsi’s office confirmed the authenticity of the letter following the insistence of the Muslim Brotherhood that the letter was a “Zionist fabrication”.

“Great and good friend,” Morsi wrote in his letter to Peres, “being desirous of maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries, I have selected Mr. Atef Mohamed Salem Sayed El Ahl to be our ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.” Morsi signed off in commonly-used diplomatic language with “highest esteem and consideration.”

In July, Morsi wrote his first letter to Peres saying “I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including [the] Israeli people,” and added “It was with deep thanks that I received your congratulations on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

Correction: Memri released an updated video with corrected translation. The new version says “Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder,” instead of “Destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder.”

Citing Betrayal of Trust, Jewish Groups Pull Out of Interfaith Dialogue

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The old adage about going to bed with dogs and waking up with fleas appears to have been proven true yet again, as JTA is reporting that Jewish groups have pulled out of an upcoming meeting with Protestant colleagues over a letter from Christian leaders to congressmen calling for a possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel.

“While we remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern, the letter represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach,” stated a letter sent by seven Jewish groups to their Christian counterparts in canceling their participation in the Oct. 22 -23 meeting in New York.

The event, an annual gathering, is known as the Christian-Jewish Roundtable and began in 2004 when the issue of Protestant groups divesting from their financial portfolios operations doing business with Israel rose to prominence. Prior to the Protestants’ letter to the lawmakers, participants had pledged to update one another on activities regarding Israel, such as the Palestinians’ statehood push in the United Nations and the upcoming Israeli elections.

According to JTA, the letter by the Jewish representatives was signed by the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The Anti-Defamation League had announced earlier this week that it would not attend the meeting.

So, the main reason for the association between Jewish faith officials and the Christian churches—which gave oodles of good press to those churches, seeing as the Jews are dialoguing with them—the excuse for all that, which was that this is the way to prevent them from boycotting Israel – that’s been a sham all along.

Sometimes it’s so much fun to be a self-righteous Orthodox Jew. I’m not advocating against intellectual or even spiritual exchanges with fellow monotheists, including Protestants – but a dialogue is something else entirely. A dialogue implies finding the kind of common ground that makes faiths merge. We won’t have any of that.

Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella group. told JTA that the Jewish groups quit their participation because “There’s been a betrayal of trust. … We have to discern if there’s a positive path forward.”

What’s the positive path? What do you need from Christian churches? What’s the desired result, a “Judeo-Christian” church?

Signers of the Protestants’ letter to Congress included the heads of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches USA and the United Church of Christ.

Saying they have “witnessed the pain and suffering” of both Israelis and Palestinians, they implored the lawmakers to launch “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of agreements with Washington for alleged illegal use of U.S.-sold weapons against Palestinians.

Such peace loving folks, spreading all that good in the world to help not just the poor Palestinian victims, but also to save the souls of their Jewish oppressors…

And guess what – Rachel Lerner, vice president of the J Street Educational Fund, wrote last Friday on the Daily Beast website that J Street shared the Christian leaders’ “concern that conditions in the region are deteriorating to the point where they `threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.’”

There you go. They’re all so concerned for us, we better go check our Uzis…

Lerner called for American Jews to put “at least as much energy and effort” into pushing for a two-state solution as they are putting into fighting such letters, of which she said there would be more.

Yes, another great idea that hasn’t lost its charm despite the rivers of blood it has spilled since we first tried it out in 1994. Why don’t we just pack our suitcases and go back to Poland – that might stop the boycotts.

Also—this was to be expected—a dozen Jewish clergy allied with Jewish Voice for Peace praised the Protestants’ leaders call. Many of the organization’s members have called for boycotts of Israel.

“It is altogether appropriate – and in fact essential – for Congress to ensure that Israel is not in violation of any U.S. laws or policies that regulate the use of U.S. supplied weapons,” said the statement signed by 10 rabbis, two rabbinical students and a cantor.

Quaker Group Divests From Companies Working in Israel

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

A Quaker group has removed a French and an American company from its financial portfolio due to what it calls the companies’ involvement with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

Friends Fiduciary Corporation will drop the French multinational corporation Veolia Environment and the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard from its portfolio following requests from Quakers concerned about the companies’ involvement in the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands.

FFC has investments of more than $250,000 in HP and more than $140,000 in Veolia, according to the We Divest Campaign. The money is part of an overall $200 million in assets and investments for more than 250 Quaker meetings, schools, organizations, trusts, and endowments around the country.

The Quaker group does not issue public announcements about such moves, but did send a letter confirming the information, Anna Baltzer, a spokesperson for the We Divest Campaign, told JTA.

“It’s not private; it’s public information and they’ve written a letter to the Friends Meeting in Ann Arbor Michigan that raised the issue,” she said. The Ann Arbor group did not return JTA’s call for this article.

However, Jeffrey W. Perkins, the FFC’s Executive Director, said in a press release issued by We Divest that HP provides information technology consulting services to the Israeli Navy and Veolia Environment is involved in “environmental and social concerns” with the Israeli military,

This decision comes a few months after the FFC dropped shares in Caterpillar Inc. because Caterpillar “would neither confirm nor deny the extent or type of modifications to equipment sold to the Israeli military,” according to the release.

Caroline Starkman Is Reunited with her Family

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin has just posted this letter on Facebook:

Dear Member,

We are gratified beyond measure to inform the community that Caroline Starkman has been found without serious injury. The family firmly believes that the prayers and support of the entire community have enabled them to reach this moment and they express their deepest gratitude.

In the immediate days to come, the family asks for privacy to enable them to chart the best course for Caroline. They will share developments with the community in the future.

Caroline’s family deeply thanks all of you once again for your support and tefillot.

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova!

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/caroline-starkman-is-reunited-with-her-family/2012/09/20/

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