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September 24, 2016 / 21 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Times’

A Troubling Debut at the NY Times

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the Camera website}

Incoming Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker filed the first story of his new tenure August 28. Given the complexity of issues relating to Israel and the fraught debates about coverage, readers might have anticipated a carefully balanced, factually nailed-down, serious piece by the new correspondent.

Instead, echoing a Haaretz story about a minor incident involving a female singer who was asked to leave the stage because she was wearing a revealing bikini top at a publicly-funded event, Baker’s debut piece veered from this trivial story to Israel “struggling with its identity and values.”

This struggle, he asserts, is rooted in increasingly influential “Orthodox Judaism” which he links in a lurch of logic to “culture minister, Miri Regev,” who is “seeking to deny state money for institutions that do not express loyalty to the state.”

Judaism, patriotism, identity and values would be large topics for a veteran on the scene and not surprisingly ring both shallow and muddled at the same time in this piece.

In any case, the intended message is clear: Israel is supposedly veering rightward – a bad thing in The Times worldview – and Baker is plugging in items to make the point.

More substantively problematic was the incomplete and deceptive framing of Minister Regev’s efforts related to taxpayer funding of cultural events. Readers might assume her actions as characterized by Baker compel Orwellian public expressions of fealty to the state.

But the “Loyalty in Culture” legislation seeks to remove public funding for extreme anti-Israel projects. It permits a retroactive reduction in the budget for “actions against the principles of the state.” Among these are cultural events that entail: “Denying the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; incitement to racism, violence, and terror; support for an armed struggle or terror act by a hostile country or terror organization against the State of Israel; marking Independence Day as a day of mourning; an act of vandalism or physical degradation that dishonors the country’s flag or state emblem.”

The Minister is calling for what she terms “freedom in funding” along with freedom of expression. She and those who support passage of the law believe Israel is free not to fund cultural events that promote terror, incite racism, denigrate Independence Day and so on.

Baker likewise cites Regev “proposing to vet the music played by the army’s radio station for its patriotism.”

Here again the facts of the proposal convey something different from The Times innuendo that a censorious government hand will control the popular radio station. Rather, the culture minister expressed the desire to “create cultural justice” at the state-funded radio station, by increasing its play of music by local artists. According to Haaretz, she suggested three options, including “adding a sister station” that would air “Israeli music only,” having the station increase the time devoted to Israeli artists and diversifying the playlist committee to reflect the demography of the country.

In a related story from January 2016, another Times piece cited criticism of Regev’s initiatives but, importantly, also provided a balancing counter-voice. Reporter Steve Erlanger wrote:

“… Mr. Leibler, The Jerusalem Post columnist, defended Ms. Regev and Mr. Bennett as trying to ‘restore a climate that nurtures love of Israel and promotes pride in Jewish heritage’ after years when ‘far-leftists, postmodernists and even post-Zionists took over the Education Ministry.’”

That’s a piece of information that readers deserve to have. Readers must hope that going forward they will get some sense of the full context – even if the reporter’s default viewpoint is to fault Israel.

 

Andrea Levin

Does the Times Want Middle East Peace?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Something very odd has been happening in the Middle East and, as Sunday’s editorial in the New York Times illustrates, it has a lot of liberals seriously depressed. What’s bothering them? It turns out their collective noses are out of joint about progress toward Middle East peace and the fact that the Palestinian campaign that seeks to avoid direct talks and isolate Israel is failing. If that wasn’t bad enough, a series of diplomatic breakthroughs are happening on the watch of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the man that the Times and the so-called “peace camp” has been busy slandering as an opponent of peace.

After several decades of unremitting hostility, some of the fiercest opponents of Israel are starting to view the Jewish state very differently. Covert ties with Saudi Arabia are now becoming more open. Egypt, whose cold peace with Israel remained frozen in open hostility since Anwar Sadat’s assassination, has a government that is no longer shy about treating Israel as an ally if not a friend. Jerusalem’s relations with much of the Third World, especially African nations, are also warming up.

Those who care about thawing tensions between Jews and Arabs should be applauding all of this. That’s especially true of those voices that spend so much time deploring Israel’s isolation and the idea that it is an armed camp that is locked in perpetual combat with the entire Muslim and Arab world. But the Times and others on the left are lukewarm about these positive developments for their own reasons.

The first is that Israel and its Arab neighbors have been drawn together in large part through their mutual antipathy for Obama administration policies, and most specifically about the Iran nuclear deal. The Times has been one of the principal cheerleaders of the pact, which its advocates incorrectly claim has ended the nuclear threat to Israel and the Arab states. But those nations that are targeted most directly by Iran—Israel and Saudi Arabia—understand that U.S. appeasement of Iran advances the latter’s drive for regional hegemony as well as merely postponing the moment when it will achieve nuclear capability. The coming together of other Middle East nations in reaction to this travesty is evidence that those most at risk consider Obama’s false promises and his desire for a general U.S. retreat from the region a clear and present danger to the region.

Just as important is the Palestinian dismay about the willingness of many in the Arab world to embrace Israel as an ally. The irony is that both the Saudis and Egyptians hope to use their new ties with Israel to jump-start peace talks and Israel has signaled its willingness to try again. But that is exactly the opposite of what the Palestinian Authority wants. PA leader Mahmoud Abbas is appalled about the idea of being pushed into negotiations with Israel again because it will force him to either refuse peace offers (as he did in 2008) or to blow up the talks (as he did in 2014) to avoid being cornered again. The PA prefers to stick to its strategy of refusing negotiations while asking the United Nations to recognize their independence without first requiring them to make peace with Israel. New talks with Israel mean that strategy, which allows the PA to keep refusing to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn, would be thwarted.

Ever since 1967, any hope of Arab reconciliation with Israel has been frustrated by Palestinian rejectionism. But that is a luxury that Cairo and Riyadh can no longer afford because of the nuclear deal and the rise of Islamist terror groups such as Hamas in Gaza, Iran’s Hezbollah auxiliaries in Lebanon as well as ISIS. Egypt rightly sees Hamas and ISIS as direct threats that must be faced. Moreover, Israel’s fears that a withdrawal from the West Bank would lead to a Hamas takeover there are viewed with more understanding in Cairo than they are at the Times.

Contrary to the Times assertion that neither Israel nor the Palestinians want peace, the Arab states understand that it is the latter that is unwilling to negotiate, let alone end the conflict for all time. As the Times notes, better relations between Israel and the Arab nations do not preclude a peace deal with the Palestinians. But those nations can’t wait for a sea change in Palestinian political culture that might permit them to finally say “yes” to peace to occur before they can cooperate with the Israelis to provide for their mutual security.

The outrage here is that when faced with a development that represents genuine progress toward ending the conflict, the Obama administration, its media cheerleaders and the rest of the left are nonplussed. They’re not only still stuck in an outdated concept about the centrality of the Palestinian problem but would prefer to see Netanyahu’s outreach fail rather than concede that they were wrong.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Kima Kima: Messianic Times

Friday, August 19th, 2016

This past Friday while visiting the Holy City of Jerusalem, I passed Damascus Gate on my way to the Kotel in the Jewish Quarter. Unfortunately, after the Arab prayer time on the Temple Mount, the sheer volume of people walking was a hindrance, and I could not continue on my way through the Muslim Quarter. To resume my journey, I entered by way of the Arab Market near Jaffa Gate as a shortcut, as well as to show a Jewish presence in the area.

While walking through the market filled with Arabs and tourists, I chanced upon a strange site out of the corner of my eye: A tiny shop filled with flags – and in that passing moment they seemed to be Israeli flags. I took a closer look; indeed, I had found a small Jewish-owned store. In order to show gratitude to the creator of the world, the owner had hung Israeli flags on all of the store’s walls. It clearly portrayed that the people of Israel have returned to its homeland.

I must say that my heart filled with happiness and faith in Hashem. The people of Israel returned to Zion, even in the most difficult of places. May Hashem see that we haven’t forgotten him and that we want to return and build all the marketplaces of Jerusalem, all the land of Israel, and of course our Holy Temple.

When I spoke with the righteous Jew who owned the store, he shared the lengthy and detailed purchasing process done by another righteous Jew, this one in America, to procure the location for my new friend. The storeowner said that G-d willing he will be opening this small shop in the near future (I had gone before the store was open to the public). Furthermore, the storeowner hopes to expand and to continue the settlement of the area.

When I asked him how he was doing with the challenges with his new neighbors – and with any other technical problems, he told me an answer that empowered me: Hashem has helped us until now, against all odds, he said. How could I doubt he will help us now?

Now I turn to you, my dear readers. If this story touched your hearts and you want to help in the process of the spiritual freeing of Jerusalem’s Old City, we’ll be happy to receive any donations that you can give to help that same Jew and others in the expansion of Jewish presence in that area, and in his aspirations to purchase more shops from Arabs in the marketplace; or you can simply tell your friends about this shop so they can come show support by visiting.

It should be G-d’s will that we’ll be fortunate enough to settle our land and quickly return to the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Gilad Schwartz

A Soldier’s Mother: The Marketplace of the Left: Times of Israel Censors a Soldier’s Mother

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Wow…cowards…OMG…WOW…

I posted a comment to the Times of Israel right now on an article attacking a blogger for explaining why he is no longer comfortable blogging at the Times of Israel…

Within about a minute, my comment was removed. Marketplace of Ideas? Yeah, not…

Anyone who wants to borrow my comment and post it…please do – I think everyone should copy and paste this…until they either allow freedom of speech or they change their slogan to “the marketplace of the left” and their name to the Times of Palestine.

The article attacking the blogger is here: Looking for a Fight in All the Wrong Places and attacks a fellow journalist for his outrage and his decision to leave the Times of Israel after writing well over 100 posts for them.

Against my better judgment, I’ll ask that you go to that article and consider posting my comment in your name. The Times of Israel is wrong, and so is the author of this article.

My comment (the one that was deleted…did I mention that they are cowards?) is here:

Actually, if you read the post made by the Times of Israel (referenced in my article: The Friggin Times of Israel) you’ll note that the complaint is even stronger than in the article you cite. It is interesting that in their coverage of the Tel Aviv terror attack, Tel Aviv as a noun (a city) was only referenced once; other times, as adjectives to explain which police force, which hospital, whatever. In the article on Hallel’s murder, the terror attack was referenced as a “stabbing attack” while the Tel Aviv attack wasn’t called a “shooting attack” but a “terror attack. And more – Hallel “died’ but the victims in the Tel Aviv attack were all “killed”…they didn’t die…they were killed (actually, to be honest, they were murdered).

And reference to Kiryat Arba as a settlement appears something like three or four times in that short article – it’s a settlement, a settlement, a settlement. Yeah we got that…given that Tel Aviv, where four people were murdered is only referenced once, isn’t it interesting that it was imperative to mention FOUR times, that Kiryat Arba is a settlement

As others have pointed out, using the term “West Bank” is clearly political and without question, the Times of Israel considers it “occupied” even if we were lucky enough this time to avoid that. But when used in relation to the bedroom in which Hallel was murdered, that is most definitely intentional and quite despicable and I commend “the author” for announcing publicly his disgust at yet another outrageous article attempting to blur lines and hide the truth.

I stopped writing for the Times of Israel several months ago after I was accused of “threatening” and “endangering” a writer/journalist/blogger simply by quoting the very outrageous words and clear incitement she used against an IDF soldier.

The fact is, I can name no less than five right-wing bloggers who have decided to give TOI a pass rather than put up with any more abuse.

How many different ways do you need it proven to you that the “West Bank” was definitely inserted in there to sway opinions? Hallel wasn’t murdere; she died. It wasn’t a terror attack; it was a “stabbing attack”. and, of course, it wasn’t just a bedroom where a child was brutally murdered…it was a “West Bank bedroom”. I’m a bit surprised, given that you live in the “West Bank” that you are not angered by this attempt, yet again, to separate this poor child from other Israelis.

I think criticizing someone’s post like this, attempting to censor someone’s opinion, is sadly typical of the Times of Israel. The original author has the right to his very correct opinion that feeds into the overall anti-Israel bias against Israel all over the world. When our own bloggers and journalists and media outlets can’t report and discuss such a horrible act using the correct words, what chance is there that others will get it right?

Hallel was murdered. In a terror attack. In her bedroom. Get it right; or don’t write it at all.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: The ‘Times of Israel’

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

In general, I have never found that four letter words are more effective than…let’s say five letter words or six or seven. It’s always been how you use them, what meaning you create with them and yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that the Times of Israel’s best recorded hits will go to those that use four letter words. It seems to be a measure of their journalistic talents…or perhaps a failure of it.

I met a friend in the supermarket today. We spoke of the tragedy in Kiryat Arba today. There are no good attacks, but there are sometimes particularly bad ones. It happened the day after you were in one place, the very day you planned to be there until something changed. You have a child the same age, or with the same name. Somehow, there are attacks that make us bleed more deeply, cry from the depths of pain.

This morning, I heard the first announcements. A terrorist jumped the fence into the Harsina neighborhood in Kiryat Arba and stabbed a girl – aged 16, they reported (she was only thirteen and a half…she’ll never get to be 16). “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” I said aloud in my empty car. I started to cry…I have to call Aliza.

Aliza is my youngest daughter. She is 16 years old. She studies in Kiryat Arba. I wasn’t worried about her. She was safe at home, in bed. My hands were already shaking as I pressed the numbers. By then, I knew the girls name, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena. Aliza told me she was at least a year younger and not in her grade; I told her she was badly wounded. “Her mother is asking people to pray for her. She doesn’t have a pulse,” Aliza told me when she called back after speaking to her friends.

“I’ll pray for her,” Aliza said, “and I’ll pray for you.” Through tears and a broken voice, I told her I was fine and she didn’t have to pray for me. I had to go to a meeting. I had to pull myself together enough to smile and pretend. “I want to pray for you,” she answered, assuring me that she was fine. She knows me, my beautiful daughter and her calm voice helped me in more ways that I could ever write.

After the meeting, I drove to do a quick shopping and there my friend told me about the obscene headlines in the Times of Israel. Why was I surprised by their f*****g apathy to a young Jewish child who was murdered in cold blood in her bedroom?

Ah, her bedroom. You see, according to the Times of Israel, it’s really important to tell you where that bedroom is because, naturally, you can calm down. It only happened in a West Bank bedroom.

And she died. Did you know that? Apparently writing that she was murdered took up too much space. Or worse, it might get you to feel the tragedy more. She died. And anyway, she was in a West Bank bedroom, so really, she probably deserved it, right David Horovitz? Right, Sarah Tuttle-Singer? Right, Miriam Hershlag?

In one stinking article, to make sure you really understand where this terror attack took place…no, I’m sorry, it wasn’t a terror attack, it was a “stabbing attack”, these are the words they use:

  • West Bank settlement home
  • into the settlement
  • her bedroom in the West Bank settlement

And, if that isn’t enough, the Times of Israel wants to add some perspective. There have been 34 Israelis murdered since October 1. And then, wait for it, lest they be thrown out of the left-wing media consortium, they rush to point out, that “Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed over that same time frame, the majority of them while carrying out terror attacks, according to Israeli authorities.”

Well, I’m happy the Israeli authorities took the time to point out that a [VAST] majority of those 200 Palestinian were terrorists. Of course, if there were some that were not terrorists, it is interesting that the Times of Israel doesn’t bother to explain the important detail that the vast majority of those few who were not involved in terror attacks were in close proximity to an attack, but never mind. Integrity and fact have little presence on the webpages of the Times of Israel.

You know, there are days that the anger chokes you. Well, to the Times of Israel Staff, congratulations. I can only pray and hope that Hallel’s parents are smart enough not to waste their time reading the Times of Israel.

Times of Israel? Israel? You know, now that I think about it, you really should consider changing your name. You have no right to use “Israel” – you do not represent this country; you do not speak for it. You don’t even report about it.

A child was murdered today. In her bedroom. In a place she should have been safe. She was murdered by a 17 year old Palestinian. The news was wrong. She wasn’t my daughter’s age, but the murderer was. This morning, Hallel was murdered once by Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah and then she was casually dismissed by the “Times of Israel Staff” who wanted to make sure that you know that had Hallel been in Tel Aviv, Afula, Beersheva, Beit Shemesh, Raanana, and all the other cities and places that were hit by terror in the last few months, they’d care a bit more.

But she was a settler, Hallel Yaffa, daughter of Rena, who will be buried in a few hours. It is rare that I feel physically sick from reading the Times of Israel. It happens often when I read BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, etc. And I bet the Times of “Israel” would just love that because in their self-centered world they probably dream of being that big. But really, a body without a soul is worthless and a media outlet without truth isn’t much better.

The friggin’ Times of Israel deserves all the four letter words it can think to use. And most should be used today, for the staff of the Times of Israel.

As for the real Israel, today we mourn a beautiful girl who was murdered – not because she was in Kiryat Arba, but because she was Jewish. Where her bedroom was is not relevant; that she was in her bedroom, a place where she should have been save, is what matters.

Today, a Jewish girl of only 13 years was brutally murdered in her bed, in her room, in her home. The nation of Israel and those who speak for us, those who report what is happening here, mourn for the loss of Hallel Yaffa and pray that her memory will be blessed.

{ The author’s opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press}

 

Paula Stern

A Tribute to Irving Yitzchak Moskowitz z”l

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

נפלה עטרת ראשינו

A crown has fallen from our heads….. these words were said when the great Chassidic leader Menachem Mendl from Vitebsk passed away in Tiveria in 1788. And i say these words today, with the passing to the next world, of Irving Moskowitz.

There are many Jews who know from where they came. They have history, heritage and roots, but they may not have a sense of the now – of the greatness of the hour for the Jewish People. Irving Moskowitz had both. He knew from where he came, and he knew where he was going.

His felt the energy of the returning and emerging Jewish People in her homeland and he felt as one with both the land, and her people.

Although referred to, by many as האיש של ירושלים – the man of Jerusalem, together with his loving and every so-caring wife Cherna, he was involved in Chevron, Beit El, Yesha in general, Gush Katif, Gush Etzion, educating politicians from the USA about Israel, and was even involved in ‘Operation Torah Shield’ at the outset of the Iraq war, bringing hundreds of students to Israel, to show the ultimate solidarity.

כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה – All Jews are guarantors for one another, this wasn’t just a nice concept for Irving. It was real and part of his makeup.

His unique blend of Jewish pride, emunah (faith), passion, drive, dedication, chessed and huge generosity, made him stand alone on the highest Jewish pedestal in both  Israel and abroad. He stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder, and heart to heart with  Am Yisrael at every step, in this unfolding redemption process.

From the time Irving Moskowitz walked the alleyways of the Old City with Mati Dan, nearly 40 years ago, till recently – when his soul-neshama departed to the Heavens, Irving Moskowitz had a “beautiful and pure love affair” with Jerusalem. With Jerusalem flowing thru his veins, Irving was part of the woven fabric of Jerusalem, feeling the pulse of the city, even from afar in both California and Florida. His body may have been generally in the exile, but his essence, his heart and his soul were all in Jerusalem.

Libi BaMizrach (My Heart is in the East) wasn’t just a phrase for Irving. His yearnings and dreams of Jewish life returning to Jerusalem were realized and actualized, by his own drive, committment and finances.

Beyond his own personal Jerusalem home in Yemin Moshe, Irving z”l and Cherna (May she live healthily till 120) really had many homes. Beyond his own 8 wonderful children, Irving z”l and Cherna had many many children.

Those homes and children were and are the families and students living in the heart of Jerusalem.

The hundreds of families of the Old City, the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach, Ir David, Maaleh HaZeitim, Shimon HaTzaddik, Kidmat Zion, Abu Tor, Beit Orot and the future families of Ganei Yitzchak, are all “his families and homes”.

Irving Moskowitz has redeemed and reclaimed Jerusalem for the Jewish People, and has thus ensured that a united Jerusalem stays in Jewish hands, for generations. He has been at the pioneering forefront of the unfolding realization of the redemption process and the Zionist dream in Jerusalem. A modest and humble man of peace, who believed that Jews had the natural, moral and historical right, to buy and live in any neighborhood of Jerusalem, especially in an area, from where they were evicted. He also believed, that the only way to achieve basic peace and coexistence, with our Arab neighbors, was for Jews and Arabs to live together, under Jewish and Israeli sovereignty.

He felt the pain of the Holocaust with members of his own greater family perishing in Nazi Europe, and he knew first-hand, the concept of Judenrein. (Free of Jews).

Irving Moskowitz was not going to allow that to happen in Jerusalem – where Jews should be barred or forbidden to buy and live in peace anywhere in Jerusalem.

‘Judenrein’ would not apply in united Jerusalem for Irving and Cherna Moskowitz.

So, he purchased and purchased more, he built Jewish neighborhoods, he added Jewish life to the Holy Basin and thus easily stepped into the enormous shoes of Rothschild and Montefiore.

From his first “cheque” helping to purchase or redeem Yeshivat Chayei Olam (today Yeshivat Bratslav Shuvu Banim), till the unfolding building project of the Shefer Hotel (Ganei Yitzchak) near Mt Scopus and the Shimon HaTzaddik neighbourhood, Irving z”l and Cherna have been involved in nearly every significant building project in the eastern sectors of Jerusalem. The Moskowitz name is associated with nearly everything, from buildings like Beit Wittenberg, Beit Volero-Dolgin and Beit Knesset Ohel Yitzchak in the Old City…..Yeshivot – Ateret Yerushalayim, Shuvu Banim, Beit Orot and the Mechina in Beit Zion…neighbourhoods like Kidmat Zion and the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach and the “jewel in the crown” neighborhood of Maaleh HaZeitim.

The world would say no to Maaleh HaZeitim. The Arab League, UN, EU and even pressure from both US and Israeli authorities, would all try to stop Moskowitz. (“Stop Moskowitz Now” was their official call).

But Hashem had His own road map, and Moskowitz together with Ateret Cohanim –  was Hashem’s partner.

Maaleh HaZeitim was built and today, over 100 Jewish families live on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.

On a very personal level, it is a tragic and sad day primarily for Cherna, their eight children, many grandchildren and the wider Moskowitz family.

But also on a national level, it is day of mixed emotions. On one hand, we mourn and are greatly saddened by Irving’s passing from this world. Ateret Cohanim has lost a true friend, and a unique partner. Jerusalem has lost its pillar and builder. Am Yisrael has lost a unique idealistic individual who is referred to as Boneh Yerushalayim.

But on the other hand, one can only be inspired, stand in pride and salute a giant, who has changed the face of Jerusalem and whose achievements for the Holy City, are second to none.

We also know, that Cherna (May she live to 120 years) and the Moskowitz family, who have totally supported Irving for all these years, will continue to walk proudly in Irving’s footsteps.

If the stones of Jerusalem could speak, they would say toda raba Dr. Moskowitz. They would speak of being dusty, dirty and lonely for 2000 years, until Irving z”l and Cherna came and walked the alleyways of Jerusalem.

If the stones of Jerusalem could speak, they would say – we mourn for the Master Builder and Craftsman of Jerusalem.

Yes – today, i mourn and cry for the “loss” of Irving, but I also wryly smile to the Heavens, for i’m in awe and admiration, of what Irving z”l achieved for Jerusalem, in his lifetime of 88 years, and i truly believe that G-d, is now welcoming “His Builder of United Jerusalem” with open arms, to help with the building “Jerusalem of the Heavens”, (Yerushalayim Shel Maalah).

Thank you Irving.

Chazak U’Baruch and long life Cherna.

 

In conclusion – it will be said to the mourning Moskowitz  family – throughout the Shiva “המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

May you be comforted by HaMakom along with the other mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.

The standard understanding is that HaMakom – G-d, who is in every place, will give you comfort. Or, as was told to me when my father z”l sadly passed away last year – the knowledge of his soul-neshama going to Gan Eden-HaMakom, that will give comfort.

I think that in Irving’s case – we all have a third meaning of this comfort. HaMakom- as referred to in the Torah – is also Jerusalem. And so – when we look around anywhere in Jerusalem, we will see Irving Moskowitz. The knowledge and sight of Irvings contributions and achievements in Jerusalem. His redeeming and building the eternal united city – that too will give all of us, and hopefully the Moskowitz Family a lot of comfort.

יהי זכרו ברוך

Daniel


LIBI BAMIZRACH was the phrase of Rav Yehuda HaLevi zt’l, regarding our yearnings for Jerusalem, from the exile, throughout the centuries.

Dr Irving Moskowitz’s heart was always facing “east” towards Jerusalem, and he too had yearnings and dreams.

But Irving was able to actualize those yearnings and dreams, for his body, soul and essence was in Jerusalem.

G-d had a partner in building Jerusalem in this world. Dr Irving Moskowitz was that blessed partner, who built the walls, homes, centres of Torah learning, communities and ‘palaces’ of Jerusalem.

Now G-d has a beautiful, graceful, humble, experienced and fully committed partner to build Yerushalayim Shel Maaleh. (Jerusalem of the Heavens)

Thank you Irving.

From the “stones” of Jerusalem, who wish to cry, mourn and also speak on this sad day.

Daniel Luria

An Odor Of Intolerance At The Times

Monday, June 13th, 2016

In February, The New York Times ran a feature highlighting successful efforts to integrate Muslim immigrants into Canadian society. The thinly-disguised editorial agenda of the piece was to rebuke those Americans who were then raising questions about calls from liberals for the acceptance of large numbers of Syrian refugees despite the government’s stated inability to adequately investigate how many were members of ISIS, as some who have moved to Europe have proved to be.

Leaving aside the politics, the piece was a bright and cheery rhapsody to the virtues of welcoming and accommodating a population whose customs might differ from those of some of their neighbors in Toronto. Among the most memorable images from the piece was its paean to a decision by the municipal pool in the Regent Park neighborhood to set up hours where it would be open only to women, which gave Muslims a chance to enjoy the facility without violating their concerns about modesty.

But flash forward a few months to a different venue closer to home, and it turns out that the Times doesn’t think that accommodating the needs of religious believers with their own ideas about men and women bathing together is such a hot idea.

Last week the Times published a scathing editorial titled “Everybody into the Pool” which blasted the decision of a New York City municipal pool on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn to set aside hours for women-only bathing. The practice, which locals say dates back to sometime in the 1990s, was initiated in order to allow Orthodox Jews, who make up a considerable percentage of those who live in the area, to enjoy the facility.

In a different place involving a different religious group, the Times clearly thought there was nothing wrong with such a practice, but when it comes to Jews in New York the newspaper of record in the city with the largest population in the world considered the accommodation for Orthodox women to represent “a strong odor of religious intrusion into a public space.”

As far as the Times is concerned, if Orthodox Jewish women want to swim without men looking at them, they can just build their own pool.

Let’s concede that if a government-owned institution were to adopt practices that excluded a particular faith or non-believers, that would be troubling. But that is not what happened on Bedford Avenue. Rather, it was a constitutionally protected practice to allow a reasonable accommodation to a not inconsiderable portion of the population. Just as public schools close on some religious holidays if enough students and teachers would be absent (a custom that now affords protections to Muslims in New York as well as to Jews and Christians), letting members of a community use a pool for a few hours a week they might otherwise not be able to enjoy is no hardship to anyone else. Nor does it constitute an illegal establishment of religion.

What then is the problem with the Metropolitan Recreation Center creating an opportunity for women to swim without men being around, especially since the Times doesn’t think segregating swimming in Toronto is so terrible?

The issue here seems to be the “odor” emanating from New York’s Jewish community. The women-only hours at the pool were restored via intervention from a Jewish member of the State Assembly after it had been halted when the city’s Commission Human Rights received an “anonymous complaint.” According to the Times, that intervention wasn’t in the best interests of the “diverse community” of Brooklyn. Which means that when it comes to accommodations for different faiths or communities, some forms of diversity are less equal than others.

The debate over how far the state may go to accommodate diversity, especially when it comes to faith, is increasingly controversial in our time. The rights of gay Americans are not only to be protected, they can also be allowed to supersede the religious freedom of other Americans, even to the point of compelling them to participate in ceremonies that violate their beliefs. In that case as well, diversity is in the eye of the beholder.

That’s an issue over which honest people may differ, but does the Times really expect us to take seriously their argument that men who want to swim during the few hours set aside for women only are having their rights violated?

It also cannot be overlooked that the Times’s choice of language in condemning the desire of Orthodox Jewish women to bathe without men was redolent of anti-Semitic smears. It is impossible to believe their editors would have allowed such a broadside against a different religious minority. Nor is it imaginable that they would have allowed a reference to odor when it came to Muslims or any other minority. Again, the contrast to their praise of accommodating Muslims at a Toronto pool cannot be ignored.

To speak of “the odor” of Jewish influence in New York was at best insensitive by the Times’s own standards of sensitivity when it comes to speaking about minorities. At worst, it was, as liberals like to say, a dog whistle for intolerance against a specific group.

Whatever one may think about where the line should be drawn when it comes to a public accommodation of a minority faith, the idea of “smelly Jews” is one that is a staple of anti-Semitic invective. In an era when, as the State Department has noted that “a rising tide of anti-Semitism” is spreading around the globe, it ill behooves The New York Times use that kind of language when virulently attacking one part of what they normally like to refer to as the rich mosaic of a diverse New York.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/an-odor-of-intolerance-at-the-times/2016/06/13/

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