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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘resistance’

Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews: A Fascinating Study in Repentance, Resistance and Overcoming Anti-Semitism

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

An extremely Illuminating incident in US history concerning anti-Semitism occurred during the Civil War meriting examination by anyone interested in understanding the roots and productive response to anti-Semitism. This incident pivoted upon the relationship that General Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War General and also the 18 th US president established with the Jews. It involves a special order issued by Grant which has become designated General Orders No. ll which entailed an outrageous expulsion of Jews from their homes in certain southern areas. Subsequently, however, Grant paradoxically developed an incredibly positive relationship with Jews inviting the question as to how these may be reconciled.

This order was issued under Grant’s name in response to the black market in cotton during the Civil War and explicitly forbade Jews from engaging in any market of such cotton. During the Civil War the Union

permitted trade of cotton between North and South under certain licensed arrangements. In many instances Union officers were bribed by alleged unlicensed traders which Grant found a distraction affecting his military campaign. Jews were involved in these business transactions along with others, however, Grant issued General Orders No. ll which shockingly singled out Jews as a class. It required the eviction of all of Jews in the affected areas

Most central in response was the action taken by Cesar Kaskel, Jewish immigrant from

Prussia who was a resident of Paducah, Kentucky and a prominent Union supporting citizen. Kaskel lived within the area affected by the order and included with residents mandated to leave. Kaskel’s response was most revealing by appealing directly to president of the United States Abraham Lincoln rather than any intermediary. Lincoln’s response was to immediately nullify the order in strong language. In support of this appeal Jewish fraternal organizations such as B’nai Brith geared its lobbying activities against Grants order.

It is significant that Grant’s issuance of the order had its roots in a personal episode involving a business relationship of his father Jessie Grant. Prior to the issuance of General Orders Number ll Grant was visited by his father with two Jewish business partners Henry and Simon Mack. The latter sought to obtain a license to sell cotton for a 25% share in profits. It is reported that Grant who had a troubled relationship with his father became enraged and may have taken out his animosity on Jews. Upon examining Grant’s relationship with the Jews subsequently during his presidential administration we could not encounter a more stark contrast. His appointment of Jews to significant positions of the time and use of his influence in quelling anti-Semitic activities abroad are unprecedented. When Grant decided to run for the presidency it was expected that an anti-Grant voting preference of Jews regarding General would cost him the election because of its closeness. Grant, however, in responding to a letter from B’nai Brith concerning the General order encouraged their leader Adolph Moses to maintain that that he made reparation.

Grant’s General Order and the ultimate transformation of Grant raises two issues, namely, whether Grant was truly repentant and secondly determining what lessons the response to the General Order hold for us today . Regarding the latter we may firstly note that there was no hesitation by Jews in its response. Further Kaskel and others addressed Lincoln without tapping intermediaries since they knew they had a friend in him so they focused upon his attention. Further that friendship was something that was developed by certain Jews especially Abraham Jonas who was a critical influence in securing Lincoln’s nomination. This is something that Jews would do well to recall in today’s times namely

involvement in affairs of the society in which they live and friendships with those who are ethical while capable of exerting some influence.

The issue over whether Grant was truly repentant about General Orders will ultimately remain speculative but the weight of evidence would be in in its favor. He indeed was highly pragmatically oriented and the possibility his actions were a combination of such considerations and moral ones remains real, however, the impact of the latter appears predominant. His position on a number of other issues such as the impeachment of Johnson also confirms a moral dimension in his character. Grant’s overall vote returns translated into a victory and here Jewish support was also strengthened by then Republican values being more consistent with Jewish values. This included former slave rights, women’s rights and separation of church and state.

Following Grant’s election were a series of administrative appointments far exceeding any other of that time. The first appointment was that of Simon Wolf an impoverished immigrant who worked his way towards becoming an influential lawyer in governmental circles. Grant appointed him Recorder of Deeds immediately after he assumed the presidency. Most importantly within that position Grant provided him more personal access to his attention than anyone outside his cabinet. Moreover Grant’s first choice for the cabinet post of Secretary of the Treasury was Joseph Seligman a prominent Jewish banker who declined the position at the insistence of his brothers wanting him to remain within the family business. Grant amazingly appointed 50 Jews to various positions. Further his action with regard to Russian policies against Jews is another confirmation of his actions sympathetic to Jews when B’nai Brith at that time was protesting the action. In 1869 a Tsarist edict in the wake of the Crimean war Russia’s borders were greatly extended and required that tens of thousands of Jews be evicted. B’nai Brith then under the leadership of Simon Wolf drew up a document opposing this catastrophe. Grant responded despite the risk of upsetting favorable relations with Russia (arising of the Alaskan purchase) with the bold move of contacting Russia stating he would take “ pleasure in being the medium to revoke the ukase” These actions received wide publicity leading the Russians to finally revoke the expulsion order.

This resulted in a wide publicized acclaim and promoted an exceedingly positive image of Grant as a force in achieving equal rights for people around the world. Additionally this was reinforced even further by Grants reaction to mistreatment of Jews in Romania. News of atrocities committed against Jews in Romania reached the press in the late 1860’s. Grant responded by the appointment of a Jew Benjamin Franklin Peixotto to the consulship in Bucharest. Peixotto then approached Grant and implored him to support the rights of the Romanian Jews. Grant then in an introductory letter to Peixoto confirmed this mission in words that Peixotto himself could have spoken. This was given extensive press coverage and ultimately served as a precedent for America standing up for human rights violations throughout the world and persists to this very day.

Grant re-election in 1872 disclosed the extent to which he won over the Jews in the contest against Horace Greeley. In Greeley’s resounding defeat even southern democratic Jews supported Grant.

Significantly the character of Balaam within the Torah provides an illuminating comparison with Grant’s conduct. Balaam at one point turns towards a universal God and the righteous path of the Israelites in blessing them. However he ultimately backslided and travelled a path designed for their annihilation upon returning to his people. In contrast Grant acted from a perspective consistent with supporting Jewish survival. Moreover he remained in contact with the Jews immersing himself in the Jewish community.

When we look at repentance from a Jewish perspective we may see how Grant fits the pattern required. The notion of Teshuvah according to the rabbis contains several stages. The first is recognition and remorse of the sin. This is followed by action showing an inclination to reverse behavior. All of these stages are exhibited in Grant’s behavior described.

Grant ultimately demonstrated his close ties to the Jewish community through a journey he made to Jerusalem shortly before his death. He simultaneously reinforced his ties to the Jewish community while ` in opposition proving successful and known as the Chickering Hall meeting. When Grant died not long after the mourning response at his funeral by Jews was immense. He passed away on Sabbath Nahamu the Sabbath of Consolation.

The transformation from the Grant of General Order No. 11 to the Grant as protector of the Jews was staggering. But it was a transformation resulting from Grant’s own choosing. As Rabbi Nachman Breslow poignantly expressed it “If you are not going to be any better tomorrow than you are today, then what need have you for tomorrow?” Grant’s vision and actions of a better tomorrow fulfilled this need as well as offering one of inspiring measure to which humans are capable of spiritual growth.

Howard Zik

Jewish Press Guide for Drivers Faced with Arab Rock-Throwers

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

What do you do when you are driving on an Israeli road and a rock hits your car?

It has become a common event. Rock-throwing began in the first intifada in the late 1980s throughout Gaza, Judea and Samaria.

Israel now is becoming energy self-sufficient. It always has been and always will be rock self-sufficient, especially in Judea and Samaria, where Arabs have plenty of free ammunition.

Rock-throwing periodically returns to popularity, and it has become one of the favorite pastimes of Arab youth who have been educated for a generation by the Palestinian Authority to hate Jews, Israel and Zionism.

The most popular highways for terrorists to pledge their allegiance to the “resistance” and throw rocks and firebombs are on the well-traveled roads connecting Kfar Saba to central Samaria and northern Samaria with the southern Hebron Hills via, Ofra, Beit El, Gush Etzion, Hebron-Kiryat-Arba and Susiya to the south.

I have been stoned, pardon the expression, several times. Thank God, no one has been injured, even when a rock once crashed the side window of our two-week-old car, leaving a young woman, who was to be married two weeks later, with glass all over her.

Here are a few pointers for novices from my own personal experience, but first of all, no one should stop driving on the highways because of the fear of being attacked. That simply is surrendering to the enemy.

The aim of the rock-throwing terrorists is multi-fold:

— Kill the driver or passenger with a direct hit or cause the drive to lose control of his vehicle and kill everyone in the car;

–Scare the Jews off the roads and then scare them into the sea.

Here are several tips for drivers. They will not guarantee that you won’t be hit or hurt, but they might lessen the chance.

Try to stay between two vehicles with Palestinian Authority license plates. When there is one in front of you and one in back of you, your car is a more difficult target for rock-throwers to identify and hit.

Of course, keep your doors locked and windows up in case they decide to carjack you, or open your door and attack you while you’re stopped at a light or when the car in front blocks you. However, be careful you don;t get trapped between two Palestinian Authority “resistance” drivers who suddenly realize they can trap you.

Keep an eye out for rocks on the road. That is a sure sign that the terrorists are waiting for you.

Drive like a jerk.

When I pass through hot spots like Beit Omar, south of Kiryat Arba, I suddenly speed, then I slow down, and then I speed again. It confuses the rock-thrower who gauges the speed of the car.

Furthermore, it usually is an Arab and not a Jew who drives like an idiot, so the rock-thrower probably will figure you are one of them.

It is true that is harder to hit a fast-moving target, but if a rock hits a car that is speeding, the impact could be lethal. However, if there are no Arab cars behind and in front of you, speeding is the best option. By speeding, I mean like a race-car driver.

What do you do if you get hit by a rock?

The first, last and only thing to do is to start exercising your right foot. Firmly place it on the gas pedal and press it through the floor. It helps the blood circulation in the foot and also gets you out of Dodge as fast as possible.

What happens if you are met with a barricade of rocks?

That happened to me in the first Intifada in Hebron. You can be an idiot and get out of your car and tear apart the barricade, making you a sitting duck for a sniper or setting yourself up to be blown up when you touch an explosive device.

Simply stay in your car, hit the gas pedal and drive through or around the barricade. If your tires get punctured, just keep driving. The government will pay the bill.

Others recommend, a very sharp and fast reserve out of there.


Do NOT shoot. That is not a typo. Do NOT shoot, unless you want to go to jail

Shooting at a rock-throwing terrorist is a disproportionate response that is going to get you a lot of bad publicity in the United Nations as well as a prison term, unless you can prove that your life was on the line. That is pretty hard to do after the rock has been thrown and all you have to do to get out of danger is to speed away. Don’t play Lone Ranger because Tonto is not around to help you.

There are rare instances when a gun can save your life, but there have been too many instances of cowboys pulling the trigger before putting the brain in gear.

One example: Several years, ago, one young man approached a checkpoint and heard a shot. He pulled out his gun and was promptly shot by alert guards. The man is lucky to be alive today.

Don’t be afraid. Consider driving in Judea and Samaria as an experience.

And don’t forget to say the traveler’s prayer before driving,. It is not insurance, but it can’t hurt.

Happy motoring.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Palestinian Top Terror Music Video of the Week: A Satirical Commentary

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Hamas does it again with its Top Hits of All Time, and this week it’s a smashing music video from that Top Terror organization heating up all the beating hearts in Gaza.

The group’s Islamic Block at Al Quds University has just produced a special quick flick showing all the fans out there exactly how to murder Jews. It’s a musical enactment of the murder of two praying Jews, wearing their prayer shawls.

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The first praying man up is clearly no match for the heroic Hamas fighting men of radical Islam, with one who approaches with stealth and vigor, swiftly stabbing him to death over and over before slinking away and vanishing.

Our second contender is seen absorbed in his prayers, standing tall – but again, no match for the overwhelming forces of the fearless fighters of Hamas, who dance over to the praying Jew in a special choreographed movement, surrounding him completely and emptying their assault rifle clips into his body. He falls to the floor, his lifeblood leaving his body after the masked heroes of Hamas “open fire, [and] have no mercy.”

Overcome with gratitude to Allah for having merited the honor to murder two Jews, the entire terror squad – oops, I mean, Resistance Battalion – drops to its knees and bows their heads reverently in prayer.

It’s a top-of-the-charts video, folks. “Islamic Block (Hamas) of Al-Quds University”

(Translation courtesy of the Palestinian Media Watch organization) and you can catch it on Facebook (Jan. 12, 2015) on the page of the Islamic Block (Hamas.)


Load your machine gun and advance, son of proud Jerusalem

Gird yourself with flames and capture the soldiers

Open fire, have no mercy, shoot the Zionists!

Advance with your men, O keffiyeh-masked one!

The land of the Night Journey [Jerusalem] is our [first] direction of prayer

Its liberation is our goal

Palestinian, lead the attack and raise our flag.”

Ed. Note: PMW has documented that the Palestinian Authority led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the entity’s leading Fatah faction, also led by Abbas, have publicly glorified the murderers who recently slaughtered four rabbis – three U.S.-Israel dual citizens and one UK-Israel dual citizen – in a Jerusalem synagogue. Hamas is a partner with Fatah in the PA unity government. An advisor to Abbas himself posted on his own Facebook page “pictures from the scene of the heroic operation,” showing the bloodied, badly mutilated dead bodies of the Jewish martyrs. Decades-long incitement through carefully cultivated media campaigns such as these have created the monsters who are no longer able to even envision a world in which peace is a possibility, let alone a need.

Rachel Levy

‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media [video]

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The “resisters of occupation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem” are spreading on Arab social media a frightening video demonstrating tactics on how to stab a Jew to death quickly and efficiently.

The 1-minute and 13-second video, as seen below, shows the “teacher” calmly walking up to a “victim,” stabbing him, and walking away.

One of the tactics appears to imitate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) method of beheading.

The guide to killing Jews teaches that after stabbing the victim, the knife should be twisted to maximize wounds and cause death.

The Palestinian Authority and anti-Israel Arabs in Jerusalem do not need terrorist cells when “resisters” use social media to reach hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Jerusalem as well as in Judea, Gaza and Samaria, with a single simple post.

Israel needs to find the source of whoever posted this video and arrest him or them.

All of Israel is paying a heavy price, the price of life, for a decade of conducting “negotiations” with the Palestinian Authority while it has incited an entire generation to hate Jews and then murder them.

Until the Palestinian Authority halts all incitement, and until Mahmoud Abbas starts condemning terrorists in Arabic as well as in English, and until the Obama administration understands that Israel means what it says, the government needs to stop all contact with Ramallah.

Arab stabbing attacks on Jews have increased significantly this year, and every Israeli is a potential victim when “resisters” educate every Arab to be a murderer.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

PA Minister’s Riot Death Calculated ‘Martyrdom’ ?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Palestinian Authority “Minister of Settlements” Ziad Abu Ein’s death during riots near Ramallah on Wednesday was a godsend for the PA “resistance.”

It re-triggered a firestorm of Arab riots all around Israel, just as the violence was starting to slow down. It also provided PA chairman Abu Mazen (as Mahmoud Abbas is known among Arabs) with the excuse he needed to disengage from Israel and order an end to PA security cooperation with the Jewish State. He has also managed to keep all that American-provided military hardware and weaponry in the bargain, while looking like the underdog, too — and this after U.S. Army professionals have done him the favor of also having trained his paramilitary force for years.

This leaves the 79 year old Arab leader sitting pretty for his closeup when PA TV has to focus on his track record for Judea and Samaria Arabs in the street.

But it also makes one wonder: was, perhaps, Abu Ein’s sudden death a true “martyrdom”  for the so-called “cause” of Arab “resistance” ? A calculated risk intended to push Ziad Abu Ein’s medical vulnerability to the max and hope for a crisis to exploit before global media cameras?

Abu Ein, age 55, collapsed Wednesday and died while voluntarily participating in a riot that quickly morphed into clashes with Israeli soldiers at the village of Turmus Ayya, near the PA capital of Ramallah in Samaria.

The Arabs were rioting after a protest march that followed an alleged stoning of an Arab village by Jewish residents living in the Samaria community of Adei Ad – a reported retaliation for ongoing thefts perpetrated against their community, including a horse allegedly stolen on Tuesday.

The PA leadership claims Abu Ein suffered a heart attack after inhaling tear gas, having already been beaten by IDF soldiers with their rifles and butted by their helmets. Abu Mazen called his death an “intolerable barbaric act.” But…

Let’s go to the videotape.  See if you can find bruises or blood.  And what’s that stuff being sprayed on to the minister’s wrist by a fellow Arab?

Abu Ein can be seen sitting down, clearly short of breath and suffering chest pain but with no signs of physical violence on his person. He is known to have a medical history of hypertension – high blood pressure (HBP).

According to the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, HPB is a very serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure and other health problems. Over time, it can damage the body in many ways, and the condition is dangerous because “it often has no symptoms.”

Blood pressure rises when one is excited, nervous or active, and the numbers rise with age. The risk grows as the numbers rise. Reducing risk for related health problems, according to NHLBI and NIH, involves “following a healthy lifestyle, keeping a healthy weight, having ongoing medical care and following your treatment plan.”

It is doubtful that participating in violent riots and clashes with soldiers would be included in that list.

But Abu Ein was a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council and a former Palestinian Authority ‘Minister’ for Prisoners (those sentenced in Israel.)  Having himself been a convicted terrorist with blood on his hands – one who was freed after serving only three years of his prison term by Israel in a “good will gesture” to the PA – Abu Ein had the right experience for the job.

He personally planted the explosives that murdered two Jewish teenagers in Tiberias in 1979 — yet he was swapped together with Jibril Rajoub  and more than a thousand others in exchange for three Israeli hostages.

The International Criminal Court’s acceptance Tuesday of the PA as an official observer in the Court brought the PA a step closer to full acceptance as a member of the ICC, which would give the entity jurisdiction as a sovereign nation to investigate and be investigated for commission of war crimes.

Rachel Levy

Barghouti, PA’s Most Popular Leader, Calls for ‘Armed Resistance’

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Convicted and jailed-for-life terrorist Marwan Barghouti published a letter from his prison cell Tuesday to urge Arabs to join an “armed resistance.”

“Choosing global and armed resistance” was being “faithful to Arafat’s legacy, to his ideas, and his principles for which tens of thousands died as martyrs,” he stated.

His letter of incitement on Tuesday was meant to commemorate Yasser Arafat on the 10 anniversary of his death and included an accusation that his “assassination” was the result of “an official Israeli-American decision.”

Barghouti repeatedly has been at the top of Palestinian Authority popularity polls. He is serving five life terms for his involvement in suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks that killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis.

He often has been mentioned to be ןincluded in some of Israel’s infamous deals to free terrorists in return for a lone soldier or corpses of victims of Palestinian Authority terrorism.

Israel’s left-wing establishment media almost succeeded at least twice in campaigns to place Barghouti on the list of terrorists to be freed, but sanity prevailed among Cabinet ministers.

Ma’an reported, “Barghouti has said he never supported attacks on civilians inside Israel and in recent years has thrown his support behind peaceful resistance.”

That is par for the course for the Palestinian Authority”s voluminous rewritten history.

It seems that is no longer politically correct in the Palestinian Authority, which has been supported by most Western leader, most notably President Barack Obama and with the notable exception of Canada, to claim that Israel must expel nearly 600,000 Jews from half of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria and turn over all of their property to the Palestinian Authority.

And don’t forget the tip. With the expulsion demand said and done, a new demand from the Arab world is that Israel must pay damages for having stepping foot over the Green Line.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

French City Facing Legal Action over Marwan Barghouti Street

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

A watchdog on anti-Semitism vowed legal action against a French municipality that named a street after Palestinian Authority terrorist Marwan Barghouti, serving five sentences of life in prison for involvement in attacks that killed dozens of Israelis.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, on Wednesday prepared to ask an administrative court to void the move by Valenton, near Paris, BNVCA founder Sammy Ghozlan told JTA. BNVCA also will complain to police of incitement to commit a crime, he added.

“This celebration of a murderer is unacceptable,” Ghozlan said of the dedication in Venton last month of a street honoring Barghouti, who was sentenced by an Israeli court in 2004 to multiple life sentences for planning dozens of deadly terrorist attacks.

During the Sept. 15 inauguration of Marwan Barghouti Alley, Valenton Mayor Françoise Baud called Barghouti “the face of the unwavering resistance of the Palestinian people against the occupation, the crimes, the destruction, the apartheid and the colonization perpetrated by the Israeli government.”

During the same ceremony, Baud, a member of the French Communist Party, also inaugurated a square honoring Nelson Mandela, a former president of South Africa and an anti-apartheid activist.

“Referring to both men in the same breath is no distinction for Barghouti but a diminution of Mandela’s personality,” Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, told JTA.

Ghozlan added that in light of the increase in anti-Semitic violence in France over Israel’s actions, “this is a signal that encourages more attacks on Jews.”

Barghouti was made an honorary citizen of Valenton five years ago. The municipality intends to sign a twinning agreement with the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank, Baud said in her speech.




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