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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Menachem Begin’

President Ruby Got More Applause than PM Bibi at Begin Event‏

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Last night I attended the big festive celebration of ten years of Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum. Security was tight, almost like at a foreign airport, because both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Ruby Rivlin were to be there. And yes, they were and yes they spoke.

Officially the evening was a tribute to the late Menachem Begin, a Betari who had led the “Irgun” aka “Etzel” in the war of liberation against the British. After that he was leader of the opposition here in Israel until he shocked the Leftist establishment with his Likud victory in 1977. He then served as Prime Minister and shocked the State of Israel and the world by offering Egypt the Sinai in exchange for “peace.” That’s when he lost me as a supporter.

As part of the deal he included the destruction of all of the Jewish communities in the Sinai. Some were “reconstituted” afterwards in Gush Katif, then later destroyed by Ariel Sharon’s Disengagement Plan. My husband works in the Begin Center, which is why I frequently attend its events.

Many people, yes, those who attend events in the Begin Center feel the way I do, but we still highly respect a lot of what Begin did over his long active public life and feel more for Likud members/politicians like Ruby Rivlin than we do for any other high ranking Israelis.

There was much celebrating and applause last night for our President Ruby. Even though the Likud has been in power most of the past thirty-eight years, his election victory was the very first time that a Likudnik, an unabashed Betar Jerusalem supporter and ideological Betari, has been Israel’s President.

In the forty-four 44 years since our aliyah, I have seen so many changes in Israeli society. Not that long ago, you wouldn’t see an identifiable religious person in the Israeli media. Then it began becoming more common to see the man in a discreet kippah. Now we see women, like the evening MC who covers her hair, wears sleeves and high necklines.

There has been lots of progress in Israeli society integrating religious and Right in various roles. The last holdout, and the most difficult, seems to be in academics. That’s why there has been so much protest against the Ariel University.

The success and popularity of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum is an important step for Israeli society.

Shindler’s Listless Op-Ed in the NYT

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

In his NYTimes op-ed, “Bibi’s Big PR Stunt“, Colin Shindler writes as if he’s become unmoored from comprehending what Benyamin Netanyahu actually said.

Some examples:

a.   It seems that Mr. Netanyahu wishes to define the country as the nation-state solely of the Jews. 

b.   Israel’s first right-wing prime minister, Menachem Begin, did not make the 1979 Camp David agreement with Egypt conditional on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. 

c.   The suggestion that Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state emerged clearly after the Israeli army’s offensive in Gaza, Operation Cast Lead.

d.   It seems that the idea only became a matter of apparent Zionist conviction with the formation of Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition with far-right parties in 2009. 

e.   For many of the early Zionists, a “Jewish state” meant a state with a Jewish majority in which the Jews could exercise national self-determination. It did not mean an exclusive state of only Jews. Nor did it suggest an implicit “transfer” of its Arab inhabitants. Even Vladimir Jabotinsky, the revered forefather of the Israeli right and a close associate of Mr. Netanyahu’s father, remarked in January 1938 that “it must be hateful for any Jew to think that the rebirth of a Jewish state should ever be linked with such an odious suggestion as the removal of its non-Jewish citizens.”

f.   In the context of the unresolved situation on the West Bank, it purports to elevate Jewishness over democratic norms.

Now, let’s do the simple thing first.  Review what Mr. Netanyahu said on May 4, 2014.

“The State of Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. Our basic laws give full expression to the democratic side of the state. We do this by providing full equal rights to every citizen in Israel…

…On the other hand, that the State of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People is not sufficiently expressed in our basic laws, and this is what the draft basic law is meant to provide. It will define the national right of the Jewish People over the State of Israel, without infringing on the individual rights of any Israeli citizen in the State of Israel…It will anchor in a basic law the status of the national symbols – flag, anthem, language and other aspects of our national experience. These aspects are under a constant and increasing assault from abroad and at home.

But the foundation of the existence of the State of Israel stems from its being the national home of the Jewish People and from the Jewish People’s deep links to the Land of Israel. Of course, there are those who do not want the State of Israel to be defined [so]…They want a Palestinian nation-state to be established alongside us and that Israel should gradually become a binational, Arab-Jewish state inside shrunken borders…

The State of Israel provides full equal rights, individual rights, to all its citizens, but it is the nation-state of one people only – the Jewish People – and of no other people. And therefore, in order to bolster the status of the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish People, I intend to submit a basic law that will anchor this status [and that]…the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state are preserved.

…during the previous government’s term, proposed a draft law on this issue, I announced immediately that I would support it…

If anyone can claim, even in the pages of the New York Times which gets its “facts” about Israel wrong on too many occasions, that what Prof. Shindler (whom I know personally) asserted and what Netanyahu said are similar, I guess there is something wrong with their reading glasses.

Begin’s Palestinian ‘Genie;’ It All Started With ‘Autonomy’

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Way back when, almost thirty-eight years ago, when Israel’s great electoral “Mahapach,” electoral upheaval of 1977 happened and Menachem Begin’s Likud was elected to power the very first time after twenty-nine years of Labor rule, absolutely nobody expected davka him to make revolutionary policy decisions that would facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian State in the very heart of the Historic Biblical Jewish Land of Israel. Sorry for that very long opening sentence…

Yes, the supposedly Right, pro-Jewish rights in the Land of Israel Menachem Begin’s revolutionary “give the Arabs autonomy” policy opened the door to the security and diplomatic Hell that the State of Israel now suffers.

Until Begin began his policy of withdrawing from Land liberated in the 1967 Six Days War, today’s scenario was totally unthinkable.

While Menachem Begin had been in the Opposition, the Leftist Labor leadership never dared proposing withdrawing from any of the Land and certainly not destroying Jewish communities. But just over a decade after Israel’s totally miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Days War, Begin not only handed Egypt’s Sadat the Sinai on a silver platter, he turned thousands of Israelis into refugees, giving away their homes, communities, businesses and farms.

I’ll never forget the bombastic statements he made afterwards claiming that this decision will preserve Israeli rights to the rest of the Land of Israel and his promises that the new communities established in places like Gush Katif were guaranteed as permanent and Israeli. But we all know what happened since then. Begin’s successors in the Likud, Arik Sharon and Ehud Olmert came up with Disengagement and destroyed those very “replacement” communities in Gush Katif.

Even worse, the pressure on Israel to withdraw from Judea, Samaria and neighborhoods in Jerusalem have only gotten stronger.

Evil Genie Another part of Begin’s revolutionary policy, giving the Arabs “autonomy” has already turned them into a de facto and in many cases now a de jure country called Palestine.

That Palestine “genie” has grown and can’t be controlled. It will take a very brave and strong Israel to destroy it. Unfortunately, I don’t see any Israeli politicians with the guts to do it.

Visit Shiloh Musings.  / Batya Medad

New Jerusalem Entrance Highway to Be Named for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

Monday, October 14th, 2013

A new highway planned for the entrance to Jerusalem and to bring motorists through the Har Nof neighborhood will be named after Rabbi Ovadia Yosef whose home was located there.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Highway 16, to be named in memory of the rabbi, will connect with the entrance to Begin Highway near Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital.

“Road 16 will symbolically link two great men: Menachem Begin and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef through the two main entrances to the city,” he said.

Democrats Invite Spewer of anti-Israel Lies to Lunch in S. Dakota

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Alison Weir is an infamous Israel hater.  She started an organization called, “If Americans Knew,” which claims to provide critical information which – if only Americans knew it – would mean the end of poor little America being manipulated by the evil Israelis into supporting the “ZioNazi” Jewish State.

It is through this organization that the Democrats in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have invited her to break bread with them next week.

Weir seeks to help good Americans “act in accordance with morality, justice and the best interests of the nation, and of the world.”  But, her website explains, until Americans know Alison’s Truth, “they may do the precise opposite.”

The site then goes on to explain the evils Americans are driven to – via their extorted billions of dollars sent to Israel – and…that’s it.  The sole focus of Weir’s campaign is to spread the WeirTruth about Israel.  There is no other evil in this world, it is only the Jewish State that is responsible for destroying the soul of America.

The kind of information that Weir offers to her gullible audience is built on visions of Israeli ethnic cleansing and brutality towards Arabs.

Perhaps her most noxious published assertions is that the Israeli Defense Forces harvest body organs from Arab Palestinians. In her article, Weir relies primarily on a discredited article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Weir took the Swedish article as a springboard and did several fantasy backflips and curlicues before landing:

testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years.

Worse yet, some of the information reported in the article suggests that in some instances Palestinians may have been captured with this macabre purpose in mind.

The families of the alleged victims in the Swedish paper disavowed the gruesome claims made in the article, and medical experts unanimously explained that the claims and the descriptions of the “organ theft” in the article were medically impossible. And, not to belabor the point, but Donald Boström, the author of the Aftonbladet article, admitted he never verified any of the claims.

Perhaps it should be unnecessary to provide more reasons why people should question any legitimate political party breaking bread  with someone like Weir, but there are so many more examples.

For one, Weir was a stalwart defender of Helen Thomas throughout the scandal of Thomas expressing, publicly, her rank anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  As with so many haters of Israel, the first and last shriek when called on offensive and false statements about Israel is to belittle the label “anti-Semite” and try to tar the critics with knee-jerk hysteria.

For another, Weir distorted and misrepresented the Mavi Marmara flotilla pirates’ May, 2010 attack on IDF soldiers in the infamous as one in which “Israeli commandos killed at least nine unarmed volunteers attempting to take humanitarian supplies to Gaza,” ignoring entirely the immediately preceding brutal assaults on the unarmed Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship which was violating international law.

FORMER POLITICIAN JAMES ABOUREZK, AND THE COUNCIL FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST

So who is bringing Weir to the fair state of South Dakota?  It appears to be none other than former South Dakota senator and congressman James Abourezk.  This Lebanese Christian former politician is one of the co-founders of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  He is also the vice-chairman of the Council for the National Interest, another organization, like Weir’s  If Americans Knew, whose sole focus is to rupture the American-Israel relationship.  Both seek to accomplish that goal by insinuating that Israel (or, more accurately, the Israel Lobby) holds the U.S. in a financial stranglehold and it is in America’s “national interest” to cut free of Israel’s rapacious tentacles.

As one of CNI’s board members and authors, Abourezk has written extensively, and always unflatteringly, about the “Israel Lobby.” Perhaps the article in which he most brazenly reveals himself is one he wrote for CNI less than two years ago, “Palling Around with Terrorists.”

In that article, Abourezk brags about “hanging out with Khaled Mishaal,” the head of the terrorist Hamas organization, and alludes to his relationship with Yasir Arafat.

Facebook Neglects ‘Community Standards’ for Anti-Semitic Page

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Facebook is the world’s largest social media website, one with hundreds of millions of users in well over a hundred countries. Despite its size, however, Facebook is not an entirely public forum on which “anything goes.” Rather, it is a worldwide gathering place where certain forms of speech and certain kinds of images are not allowed.

On its community standards page, the site lists a variety of types of speech that are not allowed, including threats of violence, pornography, and spam. Among those prohibited is “hate speech,” about which the policy is as follows:

“Hate Speech: Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.” [Emphasis added.]

This has nothing to do with censorship (which is a government activity, and cannot be engaged in by a private individual or organization), but with maintaining a civil space for the exchange of ideas. Granted, that isn’t always the case, but that’s why Facebook makes provision for hate speech to be reported. One can disagree with the policy, but it is clear what sorts of speech are being curtailed.

I was recently pointed in the direction of a Facebook page entitled The Untold History, run by a group out of Sweden that calls itself the European Knights Project, a partner of the Institute for Historical Review. On its masthead, it proclaims in all-caps that it is a “HISTORICAL SITE NON-POLITICAL,” but this is a sham. It is, in fact, a Holocaust denial site that not only presents bogus and falsified history, but also traffics in the vilest sort of anti-Semitism.

Presented primarily in the form of graphics with messages, Photoshopped pictures, and cartoons, the page offers all of the anti-Semitic greatest hits: Jews control America and want to control the world; the Holocaust never happened; Jews exploit the Holocaust myth for money; the Allies did far worse to the Germans, Japanese, and Japanese-Americans than the Nazis did to the Jews; Hitler was a great guy who was just standing up for Christian civilization; Communism is a Jewish tool; Israel is the source of all evil in the world; 9/11 was a Mossad job; etc. In one graphic, a “quote” fabricated by the American evangelist Texe Marrs is put in the mouth of Menachem Begin:

“Our race is the ‘Master Race.’ We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects…. other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”

Once I had examined “The Untold History” for myself, I reported it to Facebook, and expected it to be quickly removed. Instead, I received this response from administrators:

“Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on hate speech.”

Flabbergasted by this response, I began contacting my Facebook friends, and urging them to report “The Untold History” for violating site standards. Dozens have done so, and all have received the same response. For some reason that is impossible to fathom, the administrators of Facebook seem completely incapable of recognizing anti-Semitism when it is staring them in the face, or see how it constitutes a violation of terms of use that ban hate speech.

In an effort to put pressure on Facebook to act, I have set up a page called Protest “The Untold History” and Other Anti-Semitic Pages. Oddly enough, this page seems to have a problem with disappearing posts. But you can still “like” it to send a message. I have also contacted the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Anti-Defamation League to look into Facebook’s non-disapproval of hate speech directed at Jews. As the word gets out, hopefully the company will do some serious self-examination, and ask itself why it has such a difficult time seeing what is obvious to all but the most bigoted observer.

This article was written for JNS by David Fischler, an Evangelical Presbyterian pastor and writer who blogs religious and moral issues.

Political Expediency…or Adjusting to Reality?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

As Israelis settle in under a new government led once again by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they might do well to ask themselves this question: Other than having served as Israeli prime ministers after beginning their political careers as mainstays of the political right, what do Menachem Begin, Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert have in common?

It is safe to say that none of them, before attaining power, would have supported the policies each pursued while in office. Before their premierships all four held clearly hawkish diplomatic, national security and territorial views; once elected, however, their tilt to the center and even to the center-left on these same issues was just as clear.

Labor prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak often matched their pre-prime ministerial rhetoric with their performances in office. The “principled” hawks were expected to do likewise – namely to practice what they had preached.

But did they?

Let’s examine some of their words before assuming office and their actions after they attained it.

Begin’s words: “The partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized…. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever” (November 30, 1947, the day after the UN vote for the partition of Palestine.)

Begin’s actions: Responding to Anwar Sadat and Jimmy Carter’s insistence that a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict include a Palestinian right to self-governance, Begin agreed to Palestinian “self-rule” or “autonomy” in Judea and Samaria. This arguably meant that Begin compromised on his view that “Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And forever.”

Netanyahu’s words: “This [the 2008 Israel-Hamas cease-fire] is not a relaxation, it’s an Israeli agreement to the rearming of Hamas. What are we getting for this?” (Netanyahu at the time was opposition leader.)

Netanyahu’s actions: If history is any guide, Netanyahu must surely know that the aftermath of the recent cessation of fighting between Hamas and Israel – a halt that he, as prime minister, approved – will likely resemble the 2008 truce he opposed: a lull until the next round of fighting initiated by a rearmed Hamas.

By acting so inconsistently on the same terrorist threat just four years apart, Netanyahu, it appears, put personal political needs ahead of the national interest in 2008 and again now – both, ironically, just prior to Knesset elections. In 2008 it behooved him to sound hawkish; in 2012 it suited him to be more flexible.

Shouldn’t a noted terrorism expert know better?

Sharon’s words: “Everybody has to…grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours” (Sharon, foreign minister at the time, was addressing a meeting of the Tzomet Party on November 15, 1998).

Sharon’s actions: Sharon went from being one of Israel’s most vocal advocates of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and a champion of its presence in Gaza during prior ministerial positions to, as prime minister, unilaterally withdrawing fully from Gaza and from four settlements in the northern West Bank (without the benefit of any peace overtures from the Palestinians).

His clear about-face gave the Palestinians the chance to elect Hamas – sworn to Israel’s destruction – to power in Gaza, enabling it to regularly batter southern Israel with deadly rockets. Sharon’s prowess on the battlefield is, to many, overshadowed by what is perhaps the most blatant political, military and security flip-flop in Israel’s history.

Olmert’s words: “The formula for the parameters of a unilateral solution are: to maximize the number of Jews; to minimize the number of Palestinians; not to withdraw to the 1967 border; and not to divide Jerusalem” (Olmert was serving double duty as minister of Industry, Trade and Labor and minister of Communications when he spoke to David Landau of Haaretz on November 13, 2003).

Olmert’s actions: Only four years after expressing those decidedly hard-line sentiments, Prime Minister Olmert made this generous offer to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.S.-hosted Annapolis Conference in Maryland: Israeli relinquishment of parts of East Jerusalem, with Jerusalem’s Old City – and its religious sites – administered by an international group.

So much for Olmert’s 2003 pledge – before he became Israel’s prime minister – to “not…withdraw to the 1967 border and not to divide Jerusalem.”

* * *

Should Israelis understand and accept the political reality that politicians often must retreat from pronouncements made during their days in the loyal opposition in order to govern responsibly once they’ve attained power? Or should those politicians be called out for their patronizing pre-power rhetoric?

Do Israelis believe it’s OK for political aspirants to say whatever they feel is necessary to gain power? Or should practicing what one preaches always be the political rule?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/political-expediencyor-adjusting-to-reality/2013/04/24/

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