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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Times’

Netanyahu Touts Economic Achievements in Face Global Crisis

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

At the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touted his government’s economic accomplishments and the strength of the Israeli economy relative to the global economy.

“The world is still in a continuing economic crisis, the worst to strike the global economy in 80 years, Netanyahu said. “We are obliged to tighten our belt in order to maintain the Israeli economy.”

Nevertheless, Netanyahu said the government has taken action to increase social welfare programs including making education free starting at age three, which just took affect and providing free dental care for children up to age 12.

The Prime Minister said that extending free education to children to the age of three would save the average household NIS 800 ($200) a month.

He also pointed to the reforms in cellar phone market forcing cell phone companies to share their infrastructure, which has allowed several new companies to emerge offering unlimited cell phone plans at NIS 100 ($25) per month or less.

Netanyahu said these moves were “the most social thing” to do, referencing the attacks made on the government by social justice protestors and Labor party leader Shelly Yachamovitch.

In addition, Netanyahu cited the most recent unemployment report putting the unemployment rate for July at 6.5%, which Netanyahu said was “lower than the unemployment rate in the US, Europe and almost every other developed state.”

Netanyahu also addressed Iran’s nuclear program, reiterating his position that diplomacy has failed because the world has not set clear red lines.

The IAEA “report confirms what we have been saying for some time,” Netanyahu said. “While the international sanctions are indeed making things difficult for the Iranian economy, they are not delaying the progress of the Iranian nuclear project.”

According to the report, Iran doubled the number of centrifuges in its nuclear facility near Qom, which is buried deep in a mountain and considered immune to Israeli attack.

Although not all these centrifuges are operational, according to The New York Times, the facility has three-fourths the amount of centrifuges it would need to be completely operational.

The Times also reported that the agency found evidence of an extensive clean up  at another cite where IAEA inspectors believe explosives tests may have been conducted.

Rabbi in Germany Hospitalized After Brutal Attack

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

A 53-year old Jewish Rabbi walking with his daughter south of Berlin was attacked by four youths, possibly Arabs.

According to reports, one of the youths asked the Rabbi if he was Jewish. After answering in the affirmative, the youths blocked his exit, attacked him, and threatened to kill his daughter.

The Rabbi was hospitalized with head injuries.

In an unrelated story, Times of Israel is reporting that Germany has filed charges against Rabbi Itzhak Ehrenberg who publicly vowed on German TV to continue to perform Jewish circumcisions.

Inside Dope: The Times’s Bias Confirmed

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

We were hardly surprised by the final column of New York Times departing public editor (as the Times refers to its in-house ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane, in which he acknowledged the paper harbors a liberal bias on public issues.

And this was not the first time a departing public editor leveled the charge against the Times; Daniel Okrent said much the same thing back in 2004.

What made Mr. Brisbane’s belated admission especially relevant is that we are in the midst of a presidential campaign and once again there is a perception that major media, with the Times in the lead, are in the tank for Mr. Obama.

Here is part of what Mr. Brisbane wrote:

I…noted two years ago that I had taken up the public editor duties believing “there is no conspiracy” and that The Times’s output was too vast and complex to be dictated by any Wizard of Oz-like individual or cabal. I still believe that, but also see that the hive on Eighth Avenue is powerfully shaped by culture of like minds – a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within.When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism – for lack of a better term – that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

Though we’re not sure about Mr. Brisbane’s claim that the “lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance” (and even he will only say they “usually succeed in doing so”), his observation that certain stories “seem almost to erupt” in the newspaper is spot on.

Indeed, just a few months ago (“The Times Gang Tackles Romney,” May 25) we explored how over a period of four days the Times “unleashed an astounding four articles and an editorial slamming any discussion by Romney supporters of Mr. Obama’s two decade-long attendance at a church led by a virulent anti-white, anti-American minister on the grounds that such discussion raised the race and religion cards.”

We also noted that in contrast to its hands-off approach to Mr. Obama’s religious history, the paper had “no inhibitions about delving into the subject” of Mitt Romney’s Mormonism; “in fact,” we pointed out, the Times “ran a lengthy front page story headlined ‘Romney’s Faith, Silent but Deep’ ” at the very time it was castigating anyone with the temerity to suggest Mr. Obama’s faith was worthy of examination.

Frankly, we don’t know how this was missed by what Mr. Brisbane terms the Times’s “lead editors and reporters.” Anyway, we welcome his sort of mea culpa on behalf of his now ex-employer.

As the Pendulum Swings – Ever Rightward

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/as-pendulum-swings-ever-rightward.html

I am beginning to wonder whether Modern Orthodoxy (MO) is already a thing of the past. At least in Israel. Although MO schools in America are not exactly the same thing as Dati Leumi (DL) or Religious Zionist (RZ) schools in Israel, they are in many ways similar.

DL schools generally reflect a more modern outlook similar to MO schools in the US. Mamlachti Dati government supported religious schools are part of the overall educational system in Israel with the same educational standards as their secular schools.

Graduates tend to do army service – some going into Hesder programs; then they go into the work force; and blend quite seamlessly into the culture while remaining religious.  By the same token MO Jews in America tend to be religious Zionists as well – many of whom end up making Aliyah.

According to an article in the Times of Israel, RZ schools are about to adopt Tznius standards that mimic those of the most right wing Charedi schools in Israel. From the article:

According to a Maariv report on Monday, six-year-old girls must wear shirts that cover their elbows “even when raising their hands” and skirts that cover their knees “even when sitting.” The little girls must also wear long and loose pants during physical education classes. Girls with long hair must tie it back, while their fathers’ haircuts must abide by the “spirit of the school.” Boys and girls, who are ordinarily learn in gender-segregated classes starting in elementary school, are reportedly now required to remain segregated during recess and after school. Parents applying to have their children enroll in several religious Zionist schools in Israel have reportedly been asked to fill out questionnaires concerning their personal level of religious observance, the level of religious observance in the home, and the presence of a television or Internet connection in the home.

The article goes on to say that this phenomenon is only reflective of a minority of RZ schools. I would add that this is certainly not the case in any Modern Orthodox schools in the US. I don’t think that even most Charedi schools – at least moderate ones – require this standard. Yet. But as has been the case for decades now the move to the right continues unabated.

Why is this happening? I’m not exactly sure. But let us examine the facts as I understand them.

There is a group of Religious Zionist Jews in Israel called Chardalim. These are RZs who retain the overall ideals of Religious Zionism. Which primarily means supporting the State, serving in the army, and settling the land. Otherwise they have adopted most if not all of the strictures of Charedim. Hence the name Chardalim. Which combines the word Charedi with the letters ‘D’ and ‘L’ – the initials of Dati Leumi. Coincidently the word Chardal (singular form of the word Chardalim) means mustard seed, which has nothing to do with their Hashkafos as far as I can tell.

Chardalim feel they must chase down all the Chumros of the right. I tend to believe that the Chardal influence is behind these new rules.  I also expect this trend to continue and to spread. Before you know it, “Chardalism” will become the defining mode of Religious Zionism. Modern Orthdodxy as we know it will become obsolete in Israel.

Religious Zionist parents who do not want to adopt these strictures will be marginalized – ultimately not having any place to send their children for a religious education! I know that is not the case now. But the way things seem to be going – who knows?!

One might argue that becoming “more religious” is a good thing. Why complain about a movement trying to adopt stricter standards of observance?

Fact is there is of course nothing wrong with raising standards of religious observance. As long as it is voluntary. But when schools start making new demands along those lines, they completely ignore individual choice. Being Machmir should be an individual choice and not forced upon anyone. These strictrures have nothing to do with basic Halacha. They have to do with image.

I can’t prove it, but I can’t help believing that much of this “move to the right” is being done for that reason. Serious RZs are tired of being looked down upon by the right (i.e. Charedim) for not being Frum enough. That Charedim look down on DL is a fact. I think it’s because there are many DLs that are comparable to what I have called MO-Lite. Meaning their observance is more peer and lifestyle directed than it is religion directed.

What Might Civilized People be Thinking When Sociopaths Like Tamimi Bask in Adulation?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

http://thisongoingwar.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/21-aug-12-what-might-civilized-people.html

After receiving some offline comments on the Tamimi speech we publicized yesterday, we have a few further thoughts to share. The urge to do this is triggered by a sense that something deeply disturbing is going on; it’s being ignored or willfully not noticed by people who ought to be noticing.

When a politician or public figure on our side of the fence makes an ignorant or dumb or smart or incisive statement, particularly when it’s about the Arabs (you know the examples), his/her comments are greeted with near-instant analysis and frequently with condemnation from a global array of press and politicians. The Arab media focus obsessively on such things. Outside the Arab/Islamic world, we frequently see European, American, Australian and other critics drawing wide inferences about how those specific Israeli views are going to bring on the next Black Plague or an increase in pogroms in France. The claim, at minimum, is that irreparable harm is going to be caused to the souls and DNA of innocent Israeli children, to world peace and so on.

To illustrate: when a posse of Israeli delinquents (it happens to be a very current issue here) beat up an Arab youth in a street fight, the New York Times says the event has led to “a stark national conversation about racism, violence, and how Israeli society could have come to this point” That’s an actual quote: check it out. We think the Times‘ journalist’s conclusion is overwrought nonsense, but that’s not the point. Israel is not, never has been and should never be, immune to criticism, or even object to it, and mostly doesn’t.

Now think for a moment about how Ahlam Tamimi and her hundreds of published interviews and speeches are treated by global public opinion. Pay attention in particular to how Arabs view her, since they are her principal audience.

No one – certainly not the woman herself – denies the fact that she planned and carried out a premeditated killing on a large and vicious scale, which was the whole point of doing it. The law convicted her on the basis that she’s a murderer; she says (more or less) that she did it for the freedom and honour of her nation. The fact that she planned to kill and succeeded mightily has never been in dispute. She does not miss an opportunity to say that it was children, and specifically Jewish children, and even more specifically orthodox Jewish children like ours, who were the target. She regrets that she did not kill more – it’s there in yesterday’s video and in numerous other speeches and earlier videos recorded in her Jordanian freedom.

She appears on television and in front of adoring crowds (ask us if you want to view the video files) and expresses the vilest kind of racist hatred of Jews, Israelis and Zionists. She has done this many times since she unjustly got her freedom in October and her message is hugely amplified by the social media. She is a star on YouTube, a hero on Facebook. She is globally broadcast via satellite television into every corner of the Arabic-speaking world. It’s arguable that she has the largest footprint of any ordinary murderer (ignoring “celebrities” like Hitler, Mao, Stalin et al) in human history. If that seems like an overstatement then we urge you to concede that she is in the major leagues. The fact that most people don’t know this is largely because most people don’t speak Arabic.

She smiles warmly when she says she killed those Jews, and her god wanted her to do it. She points to how she has subsequently been rewarded with freedom, fame, a wedding that received live television coverage. The adoring crowds applaud and ululate. The encouragement (and probably the will) to emulate her actions is clear.

How many Arabic speakers are there in the world? A quick query on the web turns up these numbers: “280 million native speakers, and an extra 250 million non-native speakers” [source]. How many Arabic newspapers? Many.

Here’s our point: We have searched and have not yet found a blog, article, published speech or op-ed in her language, Arabic, which criticizes the woman or her views. So far, not one. If our readers can point us to exceptions, please do.

Ryan Meets Adelson, Discusses a Certain Mid-Eastern Country

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Just four days after being tapped by presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as his running mate, Paul Ryan met with Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to Republican causes in an effort to defeat President Obama.

Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, met Tuesday with Adelson and other major Republican donors at the casino magnate’s Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.

The New York Times reported that the private meeting was geared in part at assessing the foreign policy views of Ryan, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, who is better known for his tough proposals to slash government spending.

Romney named Ryan as his vice presidential choice on Saturday in what was seen in part as a bid to consolidate grass-roots conservative support for the ticket. The Romney campaign says it picked up $3.5 million within 24 hours after Romney named Ryan on Saturday.

Adelson, perhaps the biggest single American donor to pro-Israel causes, has pledged up to $100 million to defeat Obama. The billionaire has already contributed more money to defeat Obama than anyone, according to the Times: more than $50 million, including $10 million to a pro-Romney super PAC and $10 million to Crossroads GPS, which is running millions of dollars worth of ads against the president.

That’s out of an estimate total worth of just under $25 billion.

Obama, Not Israel, ‘Outrageously Cynical’

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/08/obama-not-israel-outrageously-cynical/

I’ve been asked why I bother writing about anything in the NY Times. Don’t I know that they are predictably biased against Israel? Haven’t I seen David Gerstman’s analyses of Times op-eds (which last month came out 5 anti-Israel to 1 pro-Israel)?

Well, yes. But the Times is important because its positions are so closely correlated with those of the Obama Administration. At least on foreign affairs, the Times is Obama’s Pravda.

Right now the administration is being very, very careful about saying what it thinks about Israel, not wanting to upset the electoral applecart. But the Times isn’t afraid to let it all hang out, as it did in today’s editorial on Israel and Iran:

Israeli leaders are again talking about possible military action against Iran. This is, at best, mischievous and, at worst, irresponsible, especially when diplomacy has time to run.

Let’s see: recent intelligence reports are said to put Iran closer to the bomb than ever. Diplomacy has been ongoing with Iran for a decade, and Iran has made steady progress towards nuclear weapons. Sanctions — which “have not set back the Iranian program by one iota,” according to PM Netanyahu — are best compared to Swiss cheese, with 20 nations, including all of Iran’s major trading partners, having received waivers, and rogue financial institutions facilitating their violation.

Time, and therefore continued diplomacy, is on Iran’s side. Considering that the attainment of nuclear weapons is seen as a top-priority national goal, and understanding that  unhappiness on the part of the Iranian middle class isn’t likely to deter a regime that is prepared to shoot down demonstrators (as it did in 2009), the Times’ contention that diplomacy and sanctions may yet stop Iran is what’s “irresponsible.”

Let’s not leave out estimates, well known to Israeli leaders, that Israel would suffer greatly from the consequences of attacking Iran — both casualties and major economic damage. They would not contemplate such action unless they believed that the alternative was far worse.

The editorial continues:

It is impossible to know what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning or why he has ignored American entreaties to give diplomacy a reasonable chance. There is, however, persistent speculation in Israel that Mr. Netanyahu wants to attack in the coming weeks in the belief that President Obama will be forced to support the decision because of his political needs in his re-election campaign. Such a move would be outrageously cynical.

Boy, do they have it backwards. Clearly the White House is applying maximum pressure (more than mere ‘entreaties’) to prevent Israel from doing anything upsetting before the election, regardless of Israel’s security imperatives. This is what is “outrageously cynical!” Unfortunately, Israel feels that it must strike in self-preservation before the hostile Obama has free rein to act on his demonstrated anti-Israel beliefs.

The editorial continues with some remarkably weak arguments against Israeli action. I won’t bother to quote any more; you can read it yourself. The important thing to keep in mind is that Israel would not undertake this, with all the possible negative consequences and dangers, foreseen and unforeseen, unless its leaders felt that there was no other alternative consistent with the continued survival of the Jewish state.

The Obama Administration has made the judgment that the danger to Israel is more than offset by the danger to the President’s reelection.

And its Pravda chimes in.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obama-not-israel-outrageously-cynical/2012/08/15/

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