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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘protest’

Israeli Injured by Arab Terrorists Wakes From Coma

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Aharon Zlotkin, the 53 year old man hit in the head by Arab terrorists two days ago at the Doar Junction, has come out of his coma.

He’s also managed to slightly move his hands and feet. His condition is still listed as serious.

Protesting the ‘Evil Decree’? Why Not a Counter Rally?

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

I don’t know who is behind this rally. But it is quite clear that those who are sponsoring it do not have any warm or fuzzy feelings for the State of Israel. Yet on this day… when literally millions of Jews in Israel are celebrating the birth of their modern State, it has been announced via Matzav that a rally will take place this coming Sunday in New York City to say Tehillim about the ‘terrible’ gezeirah (decree) being enacted by the Israeli government. From Matzav:

Matzav.com has learned that feverish )arrangements are being made for an atzeres tefillah to be held this coming Sunday, April 21, on New York City in light of the gezeiros being enacted by the government in Israel, specifically the implementation of a draft that would remove bochurim from their yeshivos and place them in the Israel Defense Forces. With the threat of the mandatory draft hanging over the yeshivos in Eretz Yisroel, and the budget cuts that have slashed funding to mekomos haTorah, the Olam Hatorah in the Holy Land is facing daunting weeks and months ahead

“The gathering will not be a protest against the Israeli government,” an event organizer told Matzav.com, “but rather purely a tefillah gathering, for thousands of Yidden to beseech Hashem for mercy at this most trying time. It will not be a political event.”

A kol koreh signed by leading rabbonim and roshei yeshiva encouraging attendance at the atzeres tefillah is currently being compiled and will be released as early as later today.

The gathering, to be held in downtown Manhattan, will feature the recital of Tehillim, divrei hisorerus, and kabbolas ohl Malchus Shomayim. The exact time of the event has not been released, though it is expected to be some time in the early afternoon.

I have to marvel at the way this is being characterized by the organizers. They say it will not be a protest against the Israeli government while practically in the same breath they speak about gezierot ( …as in ‘evil’ gezeirot. In their circles when one uses that term, they do not mean it as a compliment.)

Although I have expressed disappointment and opposition to the way this is being handled by rabbinic leaders in Israel and even here, I understand their angst. And their desire to be spared this ordeal. Their emphasis on prayer to God to relieve them of this ‘burden’ is therefore understandable too.

Even though I understand it, I do not support it. Far from it. In my view doing this in the middle of Manhattan in broad daylight is still a loud and terrible statement to be making to the world. The world will not understand that they are not protesting Israel no matter how they parse it in statements like the above announcement in Matzav. They can say all day long that they are not protesting Israel. The fact that they will be out there in the middle of Manhattan talking about “gezeirot” says otherwise.

Had they done so indoors in private setting it would be one thing. People can pray for whatever they want in private. Doing so in public does not add to their prayers. It instead speaks to their opposition to the State – protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. Actions like this speak louder than any explanation. And how will news of this feel to those IDF soldiers who risk their lives daily?

I don’t know who the signatories to this kol korei will be. But I would urge prominent rabbanim of any stripe not to sign it. I doubt that God will see any greater value of this prayer rally being done in public over being done in private. The only value it will have is to bring publicity to them. In my view very negative publicity.

Can it really be the case that rabbinic leaders think God will listen better to them if they do so in public? And how will it be seen by the New York City public that will be forced to be inconvenienced by the almost certain traffic jams this rally will cause? Is unnecessarily inconveniencing the public – and making them angry at us – the way to God’s “heart”?

If the streets are going to be blocked off for this prayer rally anyway, I would love to see a counter rally in close proximity held by members of mizrachi where there will also be Kabbolas Ol Malchus Shamyim. But the Divrei Hisorerus and Tehilim will be said for the safety of IDF soldiers instead.

There should be nothing negative said against the other rally. There should be no bashing of the other side at all. Just a pro Israel rally for the troops and a lot of flag waving… Israeli flags, of course.

This would speak volumes to our brothers and sisters in arms across the ocean risking their lives daily to fight our enemies while protecting our country. Wouldn’t it be nice if some of those attending the other rally would come over and join? That would be a Kiddush HaShem in my view. Frankly I think God might better appreciate those prayers than the other ones.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Residents of Efrat Protest Stone Throwing (Video)

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

On Wednesday evening, residents of Efrat left the safety of their town’s borders to hold a peaceful protest along the main road leading to their northern entrance, which is also near the entrance to a nearby Arab village.

The Efrat residents were protesting the recent wave of Arab stone throwing, fire bombs, and burning tires that have left residents of Efrat injured and their cars damaged. Many of the attacks took place at the protest’s exact location.

The protest was organized by Women in Green leader, Nadia Matar, who demanded that the new Defense Minister take a stronger position against the Arab terrorists, and provide more protection on a daily basis.

Numerous soldiers were on site to protect the protesters, and in the video below, one can see some damage to one of their jeeps from Arab attacks. The protesters thanked the army for the job they are doing, despite being held back by the political echelons.

Numerous police were also at the protest site, but they were more busy photographing and filming the citizens of Efrat who were demanding protection.

You Are a Soldier: What Do You Do?

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Most ordinary Americans are sympathetic to Israel. This is actually surprising, when you consider what the media pushes at them, day after day. For example, this morning my local Fresno Bee newspaper contained part of an article from the NY Times headlined “Palestinians Erupt in anger at Israel,” which began like this:

JERUSALEM — Days before Secretary of State John Kerry’s return to the region, anger and defiance continued to flare across the West Bank on Thursday as Palestinians buried two teenagers killed by Israeli soldiers during protests triggered by the death of a prisoner with cancer while in Israeli custody. …

Clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian youths hurling stones and firebombs erupted there and in other West Bank locations for the third straight day, as Palestinian leaders accused Israel of escalating tensions in order to thwart Washington’s efforts.

“It seems that Israel wants to spark chaos in the Palestinian territories,” President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority told leaders of his Fatah faction at a meeting in Ramallah. “Israel on every occasion is using lethal force against peaceful young protesters, and peaceful demonstrations are being suppressed with the power of weapons. This is not acceptable at all.”

Although firebombs are mentioned, the Times article does not mention that the two “youths” (aged 17 and 18) who were killed were shot while throwing them at soldiers until the 17th paragraph. The excerpt in the Fresno Bee only included the first 8, so local readers did not get the benefit of even this:

The Israeli military said that the youths were hurling firebombs at an army post late Wednesday, and that soldiers responded with live fire; it is investigating the episode.

Here is another account of the incident, from Arutz Sheva, a right-wing Israeli source:

IDF soldiers opened fire on Wednesday night at two terrorists who approached an IDF position near the community of Einav in northern Samaria.

As the two terrorists approached the soldiers, they hurled a firebomb at them. The soldiers returned fire, killing one terrorist and wounding the other.

Personally, I prefer the second version. But even the first is better than the description of the “peaceful young protesters” presented by Mahmoud Abbas, which is all that Fresno Bee readers saw.

Now, a few words about the death of the prisoner, Maysara Abu Hamdiya, in Israeli custody. The Arabs claim that he died because Israel withheld medical care, and even provided a photograph of the poor man handcuffed to a hospital bed. Of course the photograph actually was taken last year of an insurgent in a Syrian hospital, but as you know, truth is all relative anyway.

Abu Hamidya had throat cancer. A prison service spokesperson said that

[He] had been treated since his diagnosis in February and that prison authorities applied to a parole board for his early release after he was found to be terminally ill. He died before the process could be completed…

Did he get good enough medical care? Who knows, but Arabs die in Palestinian Authority custody all the time and there are no riots or media coverage.

So why was Maysara Abu Hamidiya imprisoned in the first place?

In 2002, this retired general in the P.A. “security” forces was arrested for dispatching a suicide bomber to the Café Caffit in the Emek Refaim neighborhood of  Jerusalem. The bomber was incompetent and walked in with disconnected wires dangling from his bomb. A waiter saw him and pushed him outside; his bomb did not go off. In 2004 there was another unsuccessful attempt at the same location.

Abu Hamidiya worked for both Fatah and Hamas, and was heavily involved in providing weapons, financing of terrorism and bombmaking, in addition to his role in the failed attack.

Muslimah Misogyny: ‘Muslim Women Against Femen’

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I recently reported deep concern for a young Tunisian Muslima who had disappeared after she posted topless photos of herself to protest the sharia oppression and subjugation she suffered as a Muslim girl. One controversial image showed the young Muslimah, Amina Tyler, smoking a cigarette, baring her breasts, with the Arabic written across her chest: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour.”

A Muslim cleric in moderate Tunisia called for her stoning death.  Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis quoted preacher Almi Adel, who heads the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, saying: “The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves be stoned to death. ”Her act could bring about an epidemic. It could be contagious and give ideas to other women. It is therefore necessary to isolate [the incident]. I wish her to be healed.”

There were rumors that her family had her locked up in an asylum. Such is the life of millions of Muslim girls that want to be free in Islamic society.

Thankfully, Amina’s story went viral and gained international attention. One of the more outrageous reactions was from the Ukraine-based feminist group, Femen, who staged a Topless Jihad Day, to stand in solidarity with Amina. It’s not what I would do but I loved the moxie and in-your-face action to call worldwide attention to misogyny under Muslim rule. These feminist activists  held “International Topless Jihad Day” in major European cities including Berlin, Kiev and Paris. They painted their bodies with slogans such as, “bare breasts against Islamism,” and they protested outside of mosques in various cities.

“We’re free, we’re naked, it’s our right, it’s our body, it’s our rules, and nobody can use religion, and some other holy things, to abuse women, to oppress them,” Femen member Alexandra Shevchenko said while demonstrating outside a Berlin mosque in freezing temperatures.

Finally, a well publicized response to the crushing subjugation of women under the sharia. But what happened next was ……. unforgivable. Reminiscent of the Muslim women who hold down their daughters for FGM (clitordectony), a group of Muslim women came out against the Amina Tyler supporters. “Muslim Women Against Femen” was formed to show that Femen “does not speak for all members of their community.”

The members of Muslim Women Against Femen encouraged other self defeating supporters to participate in Muslimah Pride Day. They are posting pictures of themselves on social media (see below) declaring that they are not oppressed. Well, bully for them. Are they really that selfish? Self absorbed? Inhuman?

If they are not oppressed then this campaign has nothing to do with them.

Millions of women under Muslim rule are oppressed like Amina Tyler and suffer unspeakable brutality under the honor violence code of Islam. What about them? How can these Muslimahs turn their back on their sisters?

“Muslim Women Against Femen” may very well choose to wear the niqab or burka or hijab but that is their choice. They can wear purple hair for all we care. But what about the millions of Muslimah who are forced to wear it? What about the millions of Muslimahs forced into marriage, beaten or honor killed?

The utter disregard of these Muslimahs for the fate of their sisters in other lands is either a depraved lack of humanity or a strange Stockholm syndrome. The mission statement of these supremacists is; “Muslim women who want to expose FEMEN for the Islamophobes/Imperialists that they are. We are making our voices heard and reclaiming our agency!”

This exclusive self-reference, typically encountered among adolescents, accounts for the scorched earth policy of Islamic supremacists. These Muslim women have no interest in the fate of Muslimahs victimized by the sharia because what happens to those unfortunate Muslimahs has no impact on the daily life or goals of Islamic imperialists.

Why are these Muslim women fighting those who wish to help Muslim women?  FEMEN were not demanding Muslimahs remove their cloth coffins or head pieces.  They were tyring to help the oppressed.

Here’s the thing – this whole “Muslim Women Against Femen” is based on a false premise. Nobody is stopping these girls/women from wearing  head and body coverings. But what about women who don’t have the liberty to choose. That’s the point.

Palestinians Impose Severe Restrictions on Foreign Media

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

It’s official: the Palestinian Authority does not want foreign journalists to work in territories under its control unless they receive permission in advance from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.

The decision was taken earlier this week by the Palestinian Ministry of Information and the Palestinian Journalist’s Syndicate — a body controlled by Fatah-affiliated journalists.

Foreign journalists who ignore the latest restriction face arrest by Palestinian Authority security forces, said Jihad Qawassmeh, member of the Palestinian Journalist’s’ Syndicate.

Qawassmeh warned that any Palestinian journalist who helps international media representatives enter the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories without permission would face punitive measures.

“The Palestinian security forces are entitled to arrest any person who enters the State of Palestine without permission,” Qawassmeh added.

The new decision is directed primarily against Israeli journalists who cover Palestinian affairs. Recently, many Palestinian journalists complained that it was unacceptable that their Israeli colleagues were being allowed to operate freely in Palestinian territories while they did not have permission to enter Israel. They also complained that the Israeli Government Press Office was refusing to issue them press credentials.

The Palestinian journalists demanded that the Palestinian Authority impose restrictions on the work of both Israeli and international reporters.

The Palestinian journalists’ claim that they are not free to work in Israel and are being deprived of Israeli press cards stands in contrast to their calls for boycotting Israel.

The Palestinian Journalist’s Syndicate has long been opposed to “normalization” with Israel, and bans its members from holding meetings with Israeli colleagues. Some Palestinian journalists who defied the ban were recently expelled from the syndicate.

So while the Palestinian journalists are promoting a boycott of Israel, they are also demanding that the Israeli government issue them with press cards so they can enter Israel.

Besides reflecting hypocrisy on the part of these Palestinian journalists, the latest restriction serves as a reminder that the Palestinian Authority is not much different from most Arab dictatorships.

Under these dictatorships, foreign journalists need to obtain permission from the relevant authorities to enter the country to cover a story. In many cases, the authorities assign a “minder” to guide or escort the journalists to make sure that they see and hear only what the dictators want.

The Palestinian Authority, which has often displayed a large degree of intolerance toward journalists who refuse to serve as a mouthpiece for its leaders, wants to work only with sympathetic reporters.

The timing of the ban is no coincidence. It came in the aftermath of U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Ramallah and Bethlehem, where Palestinian protesters set fire to and trampled on his pictures. The protests seriously embarrassed the Palestinian Authority, especially because they underscored the large gap between its leaders and the street.

While the Palestinian Authority continues to talk about making peace with Israel, many Palestinians are opposed to the idea; they argue that the leadership in Ramallah does not have a mandate to make any concessions to Israel.

These objections appeared in addition to some protests also directed against Mahmoud Abbas and his policies, especially against his declared opposition to an armed struggle against Israel and an alliance with the U.S. and the West.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leaders went out of their way to show Obama that they are in full control and that they enjoy the backing of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians. But television footage and news reports of the anti-Obama demonstrations threatened to spoil their effort to persuade Obama.

Particularly disturbing is that representatives of the international media have not protested against the Palestinian Authority’s threat to restrict the journalists’ work and even arrest them. One can only imagine the response of the international media had the Israeli authorities issued a similar ban or threat.

It also remains to be seen whether human rights organizations and groups that claim to defend freedom of press will react.

Once the ban goes into effect, officials of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information will find themselves serving as censors and editors of all news items concerning the Palestinians. Unless, of course, foreign journalists raise their voices and insist on their right to write their own stories from Ramallah.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Obama’s Call for Protest in Israel

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

President Obama’s visit to Israel, and particularly his speech to 500 university students, was a winner at many levels including one he probably had not even considered. In how many countries can the President of the United States call forth the passions of the local people and have confidence that he is calling forth the “better angels”? He did it in Israel.

The President touched on deeply felt emotions for Israelis, worked hard at erasing the faux pas of relating Israel’s national origins to the Holocaust, twice declined to call Israeli settlements “illegal” while standing next to P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas, and he praised Israeli technology, ingenuity, democracy and culture. Remarking on the upheaval in the Arab world he said, “So much of what people in the region are seeking is happening here [Israel].”

Yes, that is something he should have said in Cairo or Ramallah. And yes, he called for a “two state solution” that has little chance of success. And yes, yes, he made false analogies between Palestinians and Israelis. And yes, yes, yes, he called Abbas, whose single elected term expired in 2009 and who has been increasingly repressive and willing to incite against Israel and the U.S., a “partner.” And no, Israel cannot “reverse an undertow of isolation,” that is generated by other people in other lands who do not accept that, at the end of any “peace process,” Israel will still exist.

But okay. Those are things that should have been and were expected from President Obama. It was also expected that he would encourage his youthful, carefully selected, leftish college student audience to push the rightish government of Israel to do what he could not convince Prime Minister Netanyahu to do. He directly asked the audience to pressure its government.

In full campaign mode, Mr. Obama told them:

Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see. (People can) overcome a legacy of mistrust that they inherited from their parents… Your voices must be louder than the extremists who would drown them out. Your hopes must light the way forward.

That is a call to protest, to political insurrection. The interesting part is that he assumed igniting a political firestorm in Israel would have a positive effect.

Unspoken — maybe because the President had not expressly thought it — was that if young Israelis “do it,” if they “create the change they want to see,” what they create will be a force for good. He assumed without saying it that the voices they would raise would be voices for peace. He assumed without saying it that Israeli hopes are hopes for peace. And he is right, although it should be said that hopes for peace reside all along the Israeli political spectrum. Those of the right want peace no less than those of the left; they just have different levels of skepticism.

But what if it is not peace in the hearts of the people, but something malign?

Mr. Obama referenced his Cairo speech to the Israelis:

Four years ago, I stood in Cairo in front of an audience of young people. Politically, religiously, they must seem a world away. But the things they want — they’re not so different from you. The ability to make their own decisions; to get an education and a good job; to worship God in their own way; to get married and have a family. The same is true of the young Palestinians that I met in Ramallah this morning, and of young Palestinians who yearn for a better life in Gaza. That is where peace begins — not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of people.

Certainly the beginning of the Arab uprising in Tunis and in Tahrir Square was focused on jobs and justice (although not on “peace” with Israel or anyone else). But the result was not the flowering of education, work and peaceful relations. It was the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, violence and the collapse of the Egyptian economy. And clearly many of the Brotherhood’s supporters are young Egyptians. Intolerance for Egypt’s Coptic citizens and the increasing violence in several cities attest to the dangers of calling for changes in or of government. Without wanting a return to the repression of the old government, it is safe to say that the revolution did not bring forth a better one.

The German Women Who Stood Up to the Nazis

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of a remarkable public protest by ordinary German women against the Nazi regime.

From February 27 to March 6, 1943, a group of unorganized German women went into the streets of downtown Berlin, within a few city blocks of the most feared centers of Nazi power, to protest for the release of their Jewish husbands, who had just been arrested by the Gestapo. Daily giving voice to their collective demand – “give us our husbands back” – first softly, then with increasing urgency, they succeeded in achieving their goal.

For these German women, the brutal Nazi state had lost all legitimacy. Like very few others, they were willing to express this publicly, on the streets, for all to see. For decades, their story was largely absent from histories of Nazi Germany. Their story challenges the comforting, generally accepted narrative that opposition was honorable but always futile. This year’s anniversary is an opportunity to focus deserved attention on these women’s brave action – and its implications for resistance more broadly.

On February 27, 1943, as part of the Nazi plan to remove the last remaining Jews from German soil, the Gestapo arrested some 2,000 Berlin Jews who had not yet been deported because they were married to non-Jews. In response, hundreds of women – wives of those arrested – pushed their way onto the street in front of Rosenstrasse 2-4, an office of the Jewish community where these arrested Jews were being held, and began to protest.

SS men as well as policemen guarded the single entrance. Over the course of the following week the Gestapo repeatedly threatened to shoot the protesters in the street, causing them to scatter briefly before resuming their collective cry of “give us our husbands back.”

Decades later, I interviewed one of these women, Elsa Holzer, who remembered arriving on the street in search of her husband. “I thought,” she said, “I would be alone there the first time I went to the Rosenstrasse…. I didn’t necessarily think it would do any good, but I had to go see what was going on…. If you had to calculate whether you would do any good by protesting, you wouldn’t have gone. But we wanted to show that we weren’t willing to let them [our husbands] go. I went to Rosenstrasse every day, before work. And there was always a flood of people there. It wasn’t organized, or instigated. Everyone was simply there. Exactly like me. That’s what is so wonderful about it.”

During the same week of this protest, some 7,000 of the last Jews in Berlin were sent to Auschwitz. On Rosenstrasse, however, the regime hesitated; almost all of those held there were released on March 6. Even intermarried Jews who had also been sent to Auschwitz and put in work camps were returned to Germany.

Surprising as it might seem, these events on closer examination fit with the treacherous strategies of the Nazi regime for domestic control. The Rosenstrasse protest occurred as many Germans were tempted to doubt Hitler’s leadership following Germany’s debacle in the Battle of Stalingrad. As he elaborated in Mein Kampf, Hitler believed that popular support comprised the primary pillar of his authority among the German “racial” people, and his dictatorship throughout strove to maintain this basis of his power. To end this protest, the regime released the intermarried Jews, furthering, for that moment, Hitler’s goal of quelling any appearance of dissention.

The murderous Nazi regime also appeased other public protests. On October 11, 1943, on Adolf Hitler Square in the city of Witten, some three hundred women protested against the official decision to withhold their food ration cards until they evacuated their homes as part of Nazi policy to protect civilians from bombing raids. The following day Germans in Lünen, Hamm and Bochum also protested on the streets for the same reason.

In response, Hitler ordered all regional authorities not to withhold ration cards as a method of forcing civilians to evacuate their homes. This was followed by further orders by Nazi officials to refrain from “coercive measures” against evacuees who had returned. In his cold calculations, Hitler chose not to draw further attention to public protest, judging it the best way to protect his authority – and the appearance, promoted by his propaganda machine, that all Germans stood united behind him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-german-women-who-stood-up-to-the-nazis/2013/03/13/

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