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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘status quo’

Jewish Women to Breastfeed in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian Authority Minister Warns

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Palestinian Authority minister of religious affairs warned on Sunday that rabbis had permitted Jewish women to breastfeed in the “Al-Aqsa Mosque” in Jerusalem, known better as the Temple Mount, Palestinian Authority media sources reported.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Youssef Ideiss issued his warning at the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Conference held in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan over the weekend.

The statement was met with a response on Monday evening by Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman to the Arab media. “PA Minister of Religious Affairs lies, says that Rabbis allow Jewish women to breastfeed on the Temple Mount,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “It’s a clear incitement to violence.”

Ideiss was apparently referencing an obscure recent ruling issued not by “rabbis” but by a single “rabbanit”. Rabbanit Idit Bartov, one of the first Israeli women ever ordained for the Orthodox rabbinate, permitted breastfeeding on the Temple Mount in a post on the Facebook page of a group called “Women for the Temple,” dated May 3.

“I am visiting [the Temple Mount] with my nursing baby. Is it permitted to breastfeed on the Temple Mount (of course with a nursing cover so that it will be totally hidden and modest)?” Bartov was asked.

“There is no prohibition of breastfeeding on the Temple Mount when you are covered,” she replied. “It’s a modest, natural act that doesn’t violate the sanctity of the site,” Bartov explained, though a disclaimer at the bottom says that the ruling was “general” and “one should consult privately for specific cases.”

In February, Ideiss criticized an Israeli plan to build an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall to be used by non-Orthodox Jews, claiming that the plan will “Judaize the holy site.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on television in September that the Temple Mount and other Jerusalem holy sites belong to the “Palestinians” and Jews “have no right to defile them with their filthy feet.”

Under the current status quo, Israeli Jews may visit sections of the Temple Mount in small groups but are forbidden from praying or worshipping on the site. Police regulations do not specify whether women may breastfeed on the Temple Mount.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jordan Cancels Temple Mount Cameras Project

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Foreign news sources are reporting that Jordan has decided to not continue with their project to place cameras on the Temple Mount.

The idea was launched after numerous Arab riots and acts of terrorism on the Temple Mount, following Islamic leaders’ incitement claims that Israel was “changing the status quo”. The so-called “status quo” forbids Jews from praying on their holiest site due to fear of Islamic violence.

Jordan said they were installing the cameras to watch the Jews.

Local Muslims were strongly opposed to the project, fearing the video feeds would actually be used to identify their terrorists and rioters on the Temple Mount.

Jordan said the goals of the cameras was through other means.

Jewish Press News Briefs

American Jew Arrested for Murmuring Prayers, 2nd Warned to Close Prayer App

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

An American Jewish man was arrested on the Temple Mount on Sunday morning after it was noticed that he was quietly murmuring a prayer, according to a TPS report. At this time it is unknown if the arrested man is an Israeli citizen or a tourist.

A second Jew was warned by the Israeli police that he would be arrested if he didn’t stop looking at the Siddur app on his cellphone. He was not arrested as he wasn’t yet praying at that point.

Prime Minister Netanyahu can relax, his status quo has been upheld.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Two Arrested for Temple Mount Prayers

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Two people were arrested by Israeli police on Monday morning for praying on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, according to TPS reports.

The first man arrested was a Rabbi from Beit Shemesh who said the “Aleinu L’Shabeach” prayer, one of the oldest prayers in Judaism.

He has since been released and a court hearing has been scheduled for him.

The second person arrested said a “Mishaberach l’Cholim” (Prayer for the sick).

He’s currently still in custody.

Both are being assisted by lawyers from Honeinu.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Christian Tourists Kicked off Temple Mount for Looking Like Jews

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

A group of Christian tourists were kicked off the Temple Mount on Thursday morning, according to TPS.

The group of Christian tourists were wearing skullcaps, which according to the Islamic Waqf, made them look like religious Jews.

Apparently to Muslims, all us infidels look alike.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has given the Islamic Waqf a free hand in deciding who can be kicked off the Temple Mount. While the Waqf’s list doesn’t include Arab children playing soccer, Arabs playing with toy guns, or Arabs waving Hamas and ISIS flags on the Temple Mount, it does include nursing Jewish mothers and religious looking Jews drinking water.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Nursing Jewish Mother Kicked Off Temple Mount

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Temple Institute, an Israeli organization dedicated to establishing the Third Temple, is one of the few Jewish groups dedicating themselves to finding a crack in the status quo on the Temple Mount, which forbids Jewish prayer there, and frequently blocks Jews from entering the compound.

Their most recent case in point: “Until now the ‘status quo’ imposed by the Netanyahu-Kerry-Abdullah triumvirate ‘only’ forbade Jewish prayer, Jewish tears, Jewish laughter, Jewish lip moving, Jewish body swaying, Jewish bowing, Jewish standing motionless, Jewish singing, Jewish blessings, Jewish eating and Jewish drinking,” goes their statement from Monday — “Now it also forbids a Jewish mother from nursing her crying Jewish infant.”

[Editor: Perhaps the baby said the bracha (blessing) out loud?]

The accompanying video shows Israeli police removing a Jewish mother who tried to nurse her baby—using a blanket for modesty—on the Temple mount. The police insisted that nursing babies was strictly off limits there. The scene quickly turned into street theater, with the cops accusing the woman and her friends of acting for the smartphone cameras, and the women accusing the cops of being heartless, deaf to the needs of a hungry baby.

“Shame on all you feckless politicians and self-important pundits, judges, rabbis, human rights activists and feminists, etc., who endorse and support the racist policy of ‘status quo’ on the Temple Mount!” goes the Temple Institute statement. “Are your rights to express your thoughts and opinions more sacred than the right of a Jew to pray on the Temple Mount? Or of a mother to nurse her hungry baby?”

One more open question remains: how would the Arab news websites, which usually describe Jewish visits on Temple Mount as “Settlers assault Al Aqsa with aid of police troops” describe this scene? And, of course, what would be the fate of a policeman who tried to remove an Arab mother and her baby from the same site?

JNi.Media

The Epidemic of Arab Terror and its Cure

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

When everyone began trying to understand the waves of Arab violence and terror hitting Israel, all sorts of explanations were proposed.

Personally, I’m sticking with simple bloodlust, as I’ve pointed out before.

Yes, there is the Islamic and Arab cultural baggage that fuels their fervor, but it’s always been bloodlust that sends them over the edge, moving from slogans to concrete actions.

But the other question is, what ignites this Sudden Jihad Syndrome, where repeatedly, a middle-class Arab from Jerusalem or other Israeli cities, wakes up and decides to stab a Jew or run him or her over?

I’m pointing out that the terrorists are middle-class Arabs for a reason.

The Arab scholar Bassam Tawil began looking into the family lives of these terrorists. He visited their homes and discovered that they didn’t live in poverty, they weren’t uneducated people, they weren’t jobless.

In Tawil’s words, they were “leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.” They were from normative, middle class Arab homes.

Most were educated, popular, good-looking, had jobs, and their families are stable and financially secure members of their communities.

So what drives a normal, middle-class Arab young man or woman to suddenly wake up, take a knife out of his mother’s kitchen and get in his car to go kill Jews?

Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” has been on my mind for a while now (I don’t have a copy in front of me, someone borrowed it and didn’t return it). Gladwell talks about “epidemics” and what makes them happen – what is the impetus that “jolts” a stable situation out of equilibrium – in our case, a low level of violence, to almost daily stabbings and vehicular attacks by a particular kind of person, who might otherwise sit next to you on the bus or light rail on the way to work, or serve you in the store or restaurant you frequent.

What triggered my memory is a story Gladwell tells in his book of a suicide epidemic that hit Micronesia, also known as the Werther effect. It is a spike and cluster of suicides in a community that follow a well-publicized suicide.

Wikipedia describe it as:

The Werther effect not only predicts an increase in suicide, but the majority of the suicides will take place in the same or a similar way as the one publicized. The more similar the person in the publicized suicide is to the people exposed to the information about it, the more likely the age group or demographic is to die by suicide. The increase generally happens only in areas where the suicide story was highly publicized. Upon learning of someone else’s suicide, many people decide that action is appropriate for them as well, especially if the publicized suicide was of someone in a similar situation as them.

There’s another similar epidemic, now called the Columbine effect, where the killers idealize the original massacre, try to duplicate it, and more so, try to improve upon it to reach it’s idealized form as they imagine it.

I can’t imagine a more fitting description for what we are facing in Israel.

An Arab runs some Jews over, gets out of the car and then tries to stab the Jews, the Arab terrorist is then shot and killed, or alternatively, an Arab takes his mother’s knife, walks around, stabs a Jew, the terrorist is then shot and killed. The story gets elaborated on, that the Jews planted the knife, or the breaks failed. The video/photo/story is then posted to Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

Attack. Kill. Post. Watch. Repeat.

One of the proposed solutions in communities where these suicide epidemics hit, is for the local media to stop reporting the incidents, and that helps end the epidemic. Of course, in the age of social media, that’s damn near impossible, so the situation just feeds on itself, until some other factor changes, and it peters out.

Gladwell discusses three possible areas of change: the Law of the Few, the Stickiness Factor, and the Power of Context.

The Law of the Few: These are the trend-setters that first start an idea and the social connectors who get the idea out to their wider group of friends and followers.

The Stickiness Factor: This is the slogan. A contagious message connected to the act that keeps the act in mind. It could be some minor tweak to a well-worn message that suddenly gives it impact and for some reason turns it into an earworm that won’t get out of your head.

The Power of Context: This is what you see around you. People act and react based on the physical and social environmental cues around them. Our current situation fits this formula (and the previous waves fit similar formulas).

The Arabs see cool, middle-class Arabs suddenly getting up and killing a Jew using one of two easy methods, the youth gets killed, it gets posted on the internet by key social media connectors, and then widely distributed and watched – the Law of the Few.

The Arabs link the attacks to a slogan – in this wave’s case, the Jews are changing the status quo (which every time Netanyahu says that he isn’t, but uses those words, he triggers them even more). A second message has also developed which is “the Jews planted the knife” – The Stickiness Factor.

And finally, the Arab community hears repeatedly from their imams and in their mosques, on social media and at home, how the Jews are executing innocent Arabs and planting knives near their bodies, and they must defend Al Aqsa which the Jews are destroying. The returned bodies get a hero’s funerals. Other terrorists get streets and schools named after them by the PA government, and their jailed terrorists get healthy salaries. Those are the constant environmental cues around them, telling them that Arabs must take action against the Jews, and it’s OK and even heroic to do so – the Power of Context.

These three rules defining what pushes an act over the tipping point, turning it into an epidemic, can perhaps also provide clues on how to end the epidemic.

The Law of the Few: We have four “guilty parties” in this case, the people videoing the events, the people posting the videos to the “right” groups and pages, the social media platforms and the newspapers. You can’t have newspapers not report the latest terrorist attack, but perhaps they could be less gruesome about their reporting. Similarly, the popular social media platforms and video sharing platforms could be told to block and remove the videos. But alternative social-sharing platforms will just pop-up or become popular, if the current ones start restricting usage.

One could go after the people making and posting the videos, but again, it’s a widespread phenomena.

So we may be stuck with limited ability to affect this rule, but it’s worth looking into, nonetheless.

The Stickiness Factor: The message is the message. Proving it false clearly doesn’t work, and in fact even antagonizes them more, perhaps due to the cognitive dissonance it evinces.

We may be stuck with no ability to change their message, and the best move is to not even discuss it, or try to react to it – Netanyahu should not have even talked about the status quo or the Temple Mount.

The Power of Context: The environment is something we actually can change and affect.

If no terrorist bodies are returned, they can’t hold public celebrations.

If imams are inciting hatred and publicly repeating the message then isolate and arrest them.

If the messages are being transferred through social media and video sharing platforms, then identify those audiences most likely to be affected and temporarily shut down access, ranging from WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube, to internet and cellular access in specific neighborhoods and phones until things calm down.

When Israel put up the temporary wall in Jeruslaem and threatened to revoke residency rights from the terrorists and their families, that changed the environment, and caused those who understood what that meant for their lives to influence and control those family members more susceptible to the terror meme.

Israel disrupted the environment.

Israel non-violently forced the families to change the conversation. They still hate Jews, and they aren’t any less scared of dying, but the conversation now also says there’s too high a price to pay for heroically acting on the terror, and the rest of the family would suffer unacceptably.

A comparable price tag can be found for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, which would similarly disrupt the conversational environment that provides positive context for the attacks.

We’re facing an epidemic of terror.

But now that we understand it, we have the tools to control it and keep it in check, if we’re prepared to use them.

JoeSettler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/the-epidemic-of-arab-terror-and-its-cure/2015/11/04/

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