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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘television’

Two TV Stations in US Broadcast Hamas and Hezbollah Incitement

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Two television stations, one in New Jersey and one in California, are broadcasting programs from the outlawed Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations, encouraging American children to grow up into suicide bombers.

The New York-based Lawfare Project said the NileSat IPTV in New Jersey and ArabTV4ALL in California are transmitting broadcast from the Al Aqsa television network, which is linked with Hamas, and from the Al Manar satellite network, a mouthpiece for Hezbollah.

The Blaze website obtained a memo from the Lawfare Project, which said that the AdvancedTV Network currently supplies over 600 Arabic channels from Nilesat and Arabsat directly via the Internet, and that resellers such as NileSat IPTV and ArabTV4All pick up the material.

“By subscribing to NileSat IPTV, the subscriber receives an IPTV box, which can be hooked up to a television set without a satellite dish anywhere in the United States,” the memo note, author Charles Johnson wrote on the Blaze.

“A customer simply calls NileSat IPTV and orders a box, which is then delivered to his or her house. The channels are then broadcast using this box and an internet connection.”

Lawfare project director Brooke Goldstein said, “We contacted NileSatIPTV way back and they confirmed they air the Hezbollah and Hamas channels,” which broadcast hate programs that could be considered illegal assistance to terrorism.

“It’s unthinkable, especially in light of the Boston terror attacks, that our government continues to allow Hamas and Hezbollah, two designated foreign terrorist organizations, to openly and illegally broadcast their stations within our borders, stations aimed at radicalizing and recruiting Muslim youth towards violence, a most egregious form of child abuse,” she added.

Israel is familiar with Hezbollah and Hamas propaganda and incitement to terror, much of which also is aired by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. To see one of the videos of indoctrinating children, click here, and also here for a recent report on Fatah’s lauding suicide bombers.

Television programs, especially those geared for little children, broadcast a heavy dose of  anti-Semitic programs. Many of them use popular cartoon figures with blatant “kill the Jews” messages.

It is one thing for American to dismiss the incitement in Israel as part of the Muslim radical agenda to rid the world of Israel, but the question remains if the Obama administration, in an effort to be politically correct, will gloss over the importing into the United States programs that teach children to blow up people.

David Reaboi, Vice President for the Center for Security Policy, told the Blaze, “While the Obama administration, talking heads in the mainstream media and Islamist pressure groups all assure us we have no problem with domestic so-called ‘radicalization’ in the American Muslim community, it’s clear that this openly jihadist and genocidal programming has some kind of audience in this country.”

“The major obstacle to peace in the Middle East has always been a Palestinian culture of blood-lust; that it’s being broadcast inside America is frightening – and gives lie to talking points from Islamist pressure groups and their allies. Looking at the audience for these channels, it’s impossible to conclude that we do not have a domestic Islamist radicalization problem.”

Goldstein said the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech does not apply to the two television stations.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has been very clear; there is no First Amendment right whatsoever to provide material support to designated terrorist organizations,” she explains. “If this administration is serious about tackling homegrown radicalization, it must at the very least immediately prosecute those who act so brazenly and openly in violation of the law.”

Goldstein says the Lawfare Project has been in contact with New Jersey authorities about criminal enforcement, which have been slow about enforcement.

Neither NileSatIPTV, nor ArabTV4ALL could be reached for comment.

Sounds Israeli: Lina Makhoul Sings ‘Hallelujah’

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

In this week’s edition of “Sounds Israeli” we’re featuring a nineteen year-old named Lina Makhoul who won Israel’s version of “The Voice” recently after delivering the following inspired rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic, Hallelujah.

The victory for Makhoul, an Israeli Arab from Acre, will guarantee her a record contract and a scholarship to attend music school.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Lie to your TV

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel sent out a camera crew to ask the man on the street what he or she thought about the new pope.

Of course, there is no new pope, he hasn’t been elected yet, or appointed, whatever is the proper term for the 15 guys in red yarmulkes blowing white smoke out of the Sistine Chapel. But, as it turns out, the man on the street had no trouble whatsoever coming up with well thought out answers regarding the new pope.

Which makes me wonder if why we even bother to report on stuff, when folks can make up their own news just as skillfully as any reporter. They’ve watched so much television and so much news on television, it doesn’t really matter, one bit of news is indistinguishable from another.



Last week, The UN Human Rights Council exonerated Israel and the IDF in many cases in which it was previously alleged that the IDF committed war crimes during the operation.

Our friend Aryeh Savir at the Tazpit News Agency sent us this quote from the report:

“Palestinian armed groups continuously violated international humanitarian law, by launching indiscriminate attacks on Israel and by attacking civilians, thereby disregarding the principle of distinction. The armed groups failed to take all feasible precautions in attacks, in particular by launching rockets from populated areas, which put the population at grave risk. Furthermore, several Palestinians were killed by rockets launched by the armed groups that fell short and landed in the Gaza Strip.”

Now ask anyone in the world who killed those civilians.

So, your TV lies to you, you lie to your TV. It’s a status quo kind of thing, a modus vivendi, a perfect harmony. Everything your media tell you is a lie, everything you know is wrong—but you don’t get upset over it, you just carry on, producing lies of your own.

Remember the kids in the Hans Christian Andersen story who cried: “The emperor has no clothes”? Well, welcome to our new, well furbished, planetary nudist colony. Ain’t none of us got clothes.

Finally, to stretch Marshall McLuhan’s by now ancient statement, “The medium is the message” – na ugh, not any more. From now on, in our lovely colony, there is no message, only a mic shoved in someone’s face, in anticipation of a knowing answer about nothing.

The Mishnah (Sotah 9:15) noted that “The face of the generation is like the face of a dog.”

What I wouldn’t give for a good looking beagle right about now…

How the World Sees Men in Black

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Last Friday night, the TV series Blue Bloods had a Hasidic themed episode. A segment of that episode that was filmed in Boro Park by an onlooker was uploaded to YouTube.

Now that I’ve seen the actual episode, (…it can be viewed online) I can comment on it. The storyline involved the death of a Hasidic Rebbe in what looked like Williamsburg. He knew he was dying and had to choose which one of his two sons would inherit his Hasidic dynasty (shades of Satmar.)

The rest of the plot involved the highly unlikely circumstance where one of the two brothers was murdered… a brother that had an affair with a non Jewish woman. (Although it is not unheard of that a Jewish religious leader has ended up committing adultery even on a biblical level). As police dramas go it ended up as a who done it… where in the end we find out who the perpetrator was.

But the storyline and plot are not the issue of this post. What is at issue for me is how Jews and Judaism are portrayed in Hollywood. There have been many such portrayals in the past. Most of them inaccurate… often making us look like people of great faith but nonetheless fools that reject the far better ways of a modern and enlightened society. Thus living archaic and unnecessarily primitive lives. Especially Hasidim. The portrayal of the rabbi as a doddering old fool in Fiddler on the Roof comes to mind.

But in recent portrayals the image has been improving and is much more accurate. That was the case here. Leaving out the ridiculous storyline – I could not really find fault with the behavior as depicted on the screen. Which was not all that flattering.

The Hasidic Rebbe was portrayed with great reverence and sensitivity. But the depiction of some of his Hasidim reflected the reality of how many of them relate to non Jews. Especially the police. It is to the credit of the writers that the lead characters in the show did not end up hating Jews… and realized that every society has its problems as well as people with bad attitudes.

As an aside it is also interesting to note that Hollywood now realizes that Hasidim are not representative of all observant Jewry. They are just one segment of us. That too is an improvement over the past where religious Jews did not get broken down into varying different types. The religious Jew as Hollywood saw him was a kind of conglomeration of all religious Jews rolled into one. Modern Orthodox Jews were not on Hollywood’s radar until relatively recently. Thank you Joe Lieberman, Michael Mukasey, and Jack Lew.

Which brings me to an article in the Jerusalem Post by Rabbi Shumley Boteach. I do not always agree with him on the issues. In fact sometimes I find him to be an outrageous self promoter. Other times I find him just plain embarrassing. But at the same time I find that he often he makes a lot of sense. In most of this article, that was the case.

His point was one that I make quite often here: That as a people we have been falling far short of the Torah’s mandate to be an Or LaGoyim – a light unto the nations.

Rabbi Boteach considers catastrophic the notion that Jews are no more moral than anyone else. I think that the depiction of Hasidim on that show demonstrates this point. They are made to look and act like anyone else. With the same prejudices and lack of ethics. The only difference between them and the rest of society being their clothing, long beards, and claims of piety. It isn’t that hard to understand why that is the case. But rather than paraphrasing let me quote what he said… words that I have said many times myself in various different contexts:

Simply put, if learning and honoring God’s will doesn’t make us better people, then most will choose to discard Judaism as an empty relic of a superstitious past. PICTURES OF five handcuffed New Jersey rabbis had already rocked the American Jewish establishment when the even more gory news of a double murder in a gay Tel Aviv community center gave Orthodoxy an even greater challenge.

Orthodox Judaism has reached a moment of truth. Many people no longer believe that Jewish learning and observance make you a better person. They no longer believe there is any correlation between keeping Shabbat and keeping honest, between wearing tzitzit and avoiding adultery, or between lighting Shabbat candles and seeing the light of God’s grace in every human being. And we Orthodox have no one but ourselves to blame. We are often “religious” without being spiritual, prayerful without being humble and ritually precise without displaying the same punctiliousness in business… Orthodoxy without morality and basic humanity is a religion without God. It is cold, harsh, an abomination.

This is so true. Nonetheless it is a truth too often ignored by far too many people who call themselves religious. I happen to believe, as does Shmuley, that most religious Jews are ethical and moral. That we do have our heads screwed on straight. That we do act in ways that reflect in ourselves the image of God. But there are too great a number of religious Jews who do not. And as I have always said, the fault is in how we educate our children. There is simply way too much emphasis on the minutia of Halacha and not enough emphasis on ethical and moral behavior. It is ethical and moral behavior that makes us a light unto the nations. Not wearing our Tztzis out. Or having a long beard. I don’t think I can say it any better than Shmuley does:

Our children must be taught not only the rituals that will make them good Jews, but the underlying values that will make them good people. Children in yeshiva should learn not only the correct blessing before eating an apple, but that the purpose of all such blessings is to instill gratitude. That when a boy with tzitzit and a yarmulke passes a soldier in uniform, he should thank him for protecting him and allowing them both to live openly with their faith. When our sons don yarmulkes, let us remind them that it’s not only a symbol of identity but a reminder of constant supervision. God is watching us at all times, even when the FBI is not – especially when the FBI is not. To that I say – Amen!

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Is it True that ‘No One Really Frum Has a TV’?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

I’m not going to comment on the substance of Rabbi Daniel Schneierson’s post on YWN, entitled, “Is Chemistry Important?” People can make their own judgments about the importance of chemistry between a dating couple. On that topic, I will just say that a lot of what he says has merit – but I reject the idea that chemistry is not important.

What troubled me about his essay is the following offhand comment which he puts into parentheses: Nowadays no one really frum has a TV…

With this comment he has just wiped out of Orthodoxy most of observant Jewry including many Haredim. (I don’t know him personally but if he is not Haredi – he sure sounds like it in this post.)

I am not going to debate the value of TV. I’ve discussed that issue many times. Suffice it to say that many of the criticisms of the right are true. But just like the internet, there is both good and bad in TV. And just like the internet, it ought not be banned or treated like hilul Shabbos to own one as Rabbi Schneierson does.

The problems with TV do not begin and end with Haredim. Nor even with Jews. There are many people who feel that TV is nothing more than a vast wasteland. And that one could spend their time much more productively without one. You don’t have to be a Haredi Jew to know that. Nor is it lost on decent people of all religions that there is way too much immorality on TV. I’m not going to argue any of that because it’s true.

But to make a blanket statement that nobody frum has a TV anymore (especially in a sort of humorous good natured tongue in cheek sort of way) proves just how isolated the fellow is… and how isolated he wants his community to be.Not because not owning a TV makes you isolated. But because identifying those who own one as not being frum. It is no secret that in his circles – not interacting with non frum Jews is an ideal they pursue. That’s why they try to isolate themselves from the rest of the world as much as possible. And it is why they reject some children from their schools. Children from homes that have a TV or the internet. They do not want to be ‘tainted’ by the ‘goyishe’ values children from those homes bring to the school.

This attitude is so arrogant and narrow minded that it boggles the mind that one can even make a statement like that let alone believe it… and by mentioning it in passing, he insinuates that we all already know that… he is just reminding us of it.

This man is a Rebbe (Shoel U’Meishiv) in a yeshiva. And he is teaching his students to think of any Jew with a TV as not frum. And he teaches it in the most insidious way – in a semi humorous post as a foregone conclusion, without any qualification.

This is the”my way or the highway” attitude of so many Haredim. And the mechanchim they produce make it very dangerous one. He is teaching intolerance whether he realizes it or not. Owning a TV makes one not frum and therefore a purposeful sinner. One must not intermingle with purposeful sinners because they will influence you to sin.

I know he means well. He thinks by insinuating that frum people don’t own TVs it will reinforce the idea of just how bad owning a TV is. He believes that owning a TV is so dangerous to your Frumkeit that he subliminally teaches you to consider TV owners as not observant. After all the definition of being Frum has historically been whether one keeps Shabbos. According to Rabbi Daniel Schneierson the new definition of being frum is not owning a TV. He subconsciously implants in the mind of those over which he has influence that owning a TV is like hilul Shabbos.

The fact that there are entire communities of Jews that own TVs and that there are not insignificant numbers of moderate Haredim among them – doesn’t phase him. He probably writes them off as not frum too.

Bar Refaeli’s Vulgar Super Bowl Ad

Monday, February 11th, 2013

I don’t want to come across as a prude and less so do I want to judge. So how do I say this delicately?

For those of us who always hoped that Israel would stand for just a little bit more than some of the values of the rest of the world, GoDaddy.com’s Super Bowl ad with Bar Refaeli was a disappointment.

For many decades in the United States we have fought a rearguard action to sustain the dignity of women, especially in how they are portrayed in the media and in advertising. I dedicated an entire book to this theme entitled, Hating Women. In it I demonstrated the gradual evolution of, say, the female recording industry which had once focused primarily, as it should, on a woman’s voice and musical talent, but later came to focus, with artists like Madonna and Britney Spears, on salaciousness and sex.

This battle has been mostly lost. It is now a given that a woman who does not show a lot of leg and a lot more cleavage will probably never reach the highest echelons of musical stardom, although the careers of superstars like Adele, who does not flaunt her body and Susan Boyle, who does not fit the stereotype, still gives us some hope. Surely, Beyoncé’s amazing performance at the Super Bowl demonstrates that seductiveness is essential to female musical entertainment. One cannot separate her sexiness from the high-energy rendition which impressed millions. To attempt to criticize that would now be seen as retrograde and primitive.

And yet our culture still believes there are things that cross a line. The classic example is another Super Bowl incident, this time in 2004, when Janet Jackson had her famous wardrobe malfunction with Justin Timberlake. Showing a breast on TV was something that deeply upset most Americans because their children were watching.

Fast forward now to the GoDaddy.com commercial with Bar Refaeli. GoDaddy has been the worst offender in the exploitation and degradation of women via Super Bowl advertisements for a number of years now. Many of their ads straddle the line of soft porn which they then invite you to see a lot more of if you go online. What the connection between a woman’s body and online storage might be is something that many of us might will find mystifying.

But the Bar Refaeli commercial transcended even that. Here was a woman having  a tongue-to-tongue kiss with a man on a program that is watched by millions of children. I know my children were watching and I felt uncomfortable. It was my seven-year-old’s birthday. He was watching the Super Bowl with my four-year-old and with our other children. Every year they wait for our family’s Super Bowl party. Was this what they had to see? It’s a football game, for heaven’s sake. If you watch the uncensored version, which was available on the Internet, it’s much worse. They might say it’s just a kiss. But if it were just that GoDaddy would not have wasted millions of dollars airing it. It was meant to shock, and it achieved its intent.

Why did it have to be Israel’s supermodel in the ad?

I get it. We are all susceptible to the vagaries of celebrity, and at times we may allow ourselves to be compromised in its pursuit. This is especially true, I can imagine, when something like this probably involves a very large payday as well. That’s why I say I don’t want to judge. But surely, one’s image can also benefit from wholesomeness. As one of the world’s most beautiful women – with the exception of my wife (now can I buy that case of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, honey?) – Refaeli could have won over tens of millions of viewers, especially Moms, who would have equated her image with feminine dignity and self-esteem.

To be sure, Bar Refaeli was controversial long before the GoDaddy ad because she did not serve in the Israeli Defense Forces. Fair enough. There are many religious Jewish girls who don’t serve in the IDF either. But they do enlist in national service. Refaeli’s explanation, however, was something that, as a father of a young woman who is currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces for two years, I found equally disappointing. She is quoted as saying, “I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is, celebrities have other needs.”

Oscar Who?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

I noticed on the internet that the Oscar Awards ceremony is coming up in another few weeks in L.A., and my heart did not jump a bit. I felt no excitement whatever. Not even a small palpitation, or a droplet of sweat on my palm. I couldn’t care in the least. I have no idea what movies have been nominated, or what actors, and I couldn’t care less.

That’s the incredible power of t’shuva, of repentance, of giving up the lie of foreign cultures and returning to our roots. Every cell in my body has changed since becoming religious and moving to Israel. A spiritual overhaul of prayer, Torah study, tears of atonement, and thousands of dunks in the mikvah, has transformed me into a different person, with totally different thoughts, dreams, and aspirations than I had when I was trying to be an American success story in L.A., trying to be as rich, and handsome, and famous, and gentile as all of the Hollywood stars who will flock to the Oscars to be seen on television by the millions.

Thank God, thank God, thank God. Halleluyah that I left Hollywood for Israel. “He has raised me out of the dunghill to sit me with the princes of His people.”

My friends, if you want to save your souls, don’t watch the Oscars. If you want to be a holy Jew, you have to work on it. You can’t have the best of both worlds, as the Modern Orthodox like to believe. Holiness and impurity don’t go together. All of those actresses may look lovely in their sparkling, low-cut gowns, but do you really want to frizzle your brain? When you pollute your eyes with things you shouldn’t see, the soul which is housed in your brain gets polluted as well. When that happens, your spiritual radar gets covered with mud, and, for example, the Land of Israel, becomes just a nice place to visit, like a Disneyland for Jews, and you think you can be just as serious a Jew in Beverly Hills, or Monsey, as you can be in Jerusalem or Hevron.

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and forbidden images, whether we want to face up to it or not, pollute a Jew’s soul with a terrible impurity.

In his book, “Kuntres HaAvodah,” Rebbe Sholom Dov Ber of Lubavitch, one of the early great rabbis of the Chabad Hassidic movement, writes the following:

“Everyone who is concerned about his soul, not to pollute it, God forbid, should guard over his eyes. And if this is difficult for him, he should endeavor to restrain himself with all of his strength and might. He must take to heart that this matter is instrumental to the well-being of his soul. If he does not guard himself in this matter, then all of his Divine service is accounted as nothing, and all of his achievements are as naught, and his service of God will fall lower and lower….

“Behold, there are people who are far from actually committing evil deeds, God forbid, but their hearts pull them to look and stare at women. They gaze with a seemingly cold detachment, and they do not feel any immediate excitement when they look, but the reason for their being attracted is because they experience an inner pleasure…. This gazing, even with seeming detachment, creates an impression and a great stain on the soul, which will not go away without arousing some actual evil in its wake, God forbid….

“Thus, it is every man’s duty to control himself and to guard over the things he sees. In so doing, he will save himself from evil, and his service of God will find favor. He will bring salvation to his soul, and he will rise higher and higher.” (“Kuntres HaAvodah,” Ch. 2. For an English translation and commentary, see the book, “Love Like Fire and Water,” Moznaim Publishing Corp)

The Nation of Israel is called upon to be a holy Nation. Just as we have to be careful what we eat, we have to be careful what we see. A Jew who prides himself on enjoying the best of both worlds is fooling himself. He may have a good time at the movies, but in doing so, he darkens the light of his soul, whether he feels it or not. So take it from someone who’s been there. When Oscar night arrives, don’t bother to watch. Do your brain a favor and study Torah instead.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/oscar-who/2013/02/06/

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