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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘UPDATE’

A 2016 Bully Update

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. – Amber Todd

 

It’s been a long time since I wrote about bullying. That doesn’t mean that I have stopped thinking about it or working with victims and bullies in my office. In fact, when I wrote my children’s book My Friend, the Bully over five years ago, I feared that bullying was a growing problem in our schools. That fear has proven to be true over the past five years the statistics on bullying have grown increasingly alarming.

In an annual survey conducted by anti-bullying group “Ditch the Label” in 2015, incorporating more than 70 schools and almost 5,000 students, the following findings were reported:

50% of young people have bullied another person.

69% of young people have witnessed somebody else being bullied.

43% of young people have been bullied.

Appearance is cited as the number one reason for bullying, with 51% saying they were bullied because of how they look.

26% said their weight was targeted, 21% body shape, 18% clothing, 14% facial features, 9% glasses and 8% hair color.

23% females with red hair cited their hair color as the bullying aggressor.

74% of those who have been bullied, have, at some point been physically attacked.

As a result of bullying, 29% self harmed, 27% skipped class, 14% developed an eating disorder and 12% ran away from home.

45% did not report bullying. 32% of which felt it would not be taken seriously, 32% were too embarrassed and 26% were scared of it getting worse.

 

That’s a whole lot of numbers, but what does it all mean? That almost half of all children have been bullied, and more than half have seen someone being bullied. This is worrying information as evidence proves that bullying negatively affects the victim, bully and bystanders. In fact, if we study the data, we can see that while the immediate pain lies with the victim, they are often treated and rehabilitated.

On the other hand, the long-term damage most often lies with the bullies and the bystanders. In fact, those who act as bullies seem to maintain these characteristics into adulthood (if not properly intervened), negatively influencing their ability to develop mature adult relationships.

What can we, as a community, do to fight and prevent bullying? There are several important steps we can take, and thankfully, many yeshivos are beginning to implement these essential changes.

            Zero tolerance. The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence recommends a school-wide approach to eliminating bullies. This includes a zero tolerance for rule breaking. Therefore we need to form clear rules and norms. When students understand that rule breaking will result in punishment, they will hesitate before bullying. In time, those rules will become an ingrained part of the school culture.

            Supervision during recess and lunchtime. We all know that recess is supposed to be a break for children. And it’s also often a break for teachers, as it should be. However, in order to let children feel safe, we need to create safe environments. The only way to let students know that we do not tolerate bullying is by supervising free time in a genuine and organized manner. This means that our schools need to include recess supervision in teachers’ schedules, and teachers need to be present and aware throughout. Of course, not all bullying occurs during recess, but research shows that it occurs most when children are unsupervised.

Rifka Schonfeld

Update on Wounded from Road 60 Attack

Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Chava Rachel Mark, the wife of Miki Mark who was murdered in a Jihadi drive-by attack on their car near Otniel on Friday, continues to be in serious condition.

She is being treated at Hadassah hospital and is unconscious and on a respirator, but she is stable. She suffered bullet wounds to the upper body from the attack.

Their daughter, Tehilla (14), is conscious and stable following surgery.

Their son Pedaya was lightly wounded in the attack.

CORRECTION: The eulogies and funeral for Miki Mark will begin at 11 AM on Sunday Morning at the Otniel Yeshiva.

Jewish Press News Briefs

The absurdity continues: 41% of Palestinians in Palestinian Territory are “Refugees” from Palestine (update)

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Today is World Refugee Day, and as they do every year, the fake Palestinian “refugees” are pretending to be real refugees.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released figures for the occasion. Out of all residents in the West Bank and Gaza, 41.6% are considered “refugees.”

No one blinks at such absurdity.

pal graph

If they are Palestinian and live in what the UN and their leaders call the State of Palestine, where exactly are they refugees from?

Moreover, the PCBS says that some 40% of all “refugees” live in Jordan.But the vast majority of them are full Jordanian citizens. So why are they considered “refugees”?

This is all before the question of why, alone among all “refugee” populations, Palestinians are the only ones whose refugee status is automatically renewed every generation.

There is no way under UNRWA’s definition for Palestinians to lose their refugee status. Even if a peace plan would suddenly appear and the Palestinian leaders agree to stop  insisting on the fake “right to return”, UNRWA would have no means to take them off the roles.

The “refugee” status is permanently bestowed upon all Palestinians until they somehow all cram back into their alleged ancestral homes, in the same villages. Because if you say that they can move to a neighboring village in Israel and no longer be considered refugees, then why can they not live as citizens of “Palestine” in Nablus as non-refugees?

The refugee issue is a thinly veiled attempt to destroy the Jewish state. It has nothing to do with real refugeehood and calling Palestinians refugees is an insult to the millions of real refugees who are truly suffering today. And UNRWA is fighting to get as much of the world’s refugee relief budget as it can, causing real refugees to be even worse off.

Happy World Refugee Day.

UPDATE: The PLO Negotiations Affairs Department tweeted this:

download (2)I responded:

Only if you assume a bizarre definition of “refugee”

 

They the blocked me.

Elder of Ziyon

Medical Update on Soldier Wounded in Ramming Attack

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The soldier who was wounded in Tuesday’s ramming/terror attack near Dolev continues to be in serious condition.

He is being treated at Sheba hospital in Tel Hashomer. He is still unconscious and on a respirator. His life is still in danger.

Prayers can be said for Matan ben Sara.

Jewish Press News Briefs

“Culture” Wars – Update

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Pruzansky’s blog}

Only in the mind of the modern feminist can an orthodox Rabbi advocate for pre-marital sexual abstinence and be deemed a rape apologist. Such was the peculiar response in some precincts to my “A Novel Idea”

Arguing over statistics and studies is a futile exercise, as the studies conflict, methodologies differ and even definitions are often imprecise. For those intellectually capable of an open mind, I urge you to read the esteemed social scientist Heather Mac Donald’s cover story in the Weekly Standard (November 2, 2015) subtitled “The Phony Campus Rape Crisis,” which will function as a devastating rebuttal to the criticism that has been directed here, and written in a much stronger manner than was my essay although our objectives were different.

To mention but two “statistics”: one blogger presumed that 23% of my congregants have “likely personally experienced sexual assault.” But “sexual assault,” as some studies, including that of the Justice Department, define it, includes even an unwanted peck on the cheek, an execrable practice still seen in some liberal Orthodox precincts but hardly synonymous with rape except to a certain subset of fanatical activists. Or, “95%” of college rapes go unreported to the police, but they are, apparently, reported to researchers. 95%? And perhaps it is 395%, or 45%? Perhaps some of these assaults are more akin to the circumstances I explored in my essay (as have others, see George F. Will’s column on a related subject).

To those who persist in citing the “1 in 5 women on campus raped” canard, I refer you to this new Prager University video released this week (as if to come to my rescue!) that debunks this datum. If nothing else, all of the above should allow for a calmer discussion of this matter.

What did I write in my essay, whose every word I stand by? Here’s a synopsis. The reality is that rape is an abominable crime that is an unimaginable nightmare and deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To be falsely accused of rape is also an abominable crime that is an unimaginable nightmare for which the lying complainant deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Both are life-altering events and in both cases the victims deserve our fullest support and the victimizers our unmitigated opprobrium. Obviously, instances of rape exceed false claims of rape, and as I noted, “even one is too many.”

That is the black (the former scenario) and the white (the latter scenario) of the matter. But the professional feminists see only the black. There is no white, no other side, the woman is always right, the man is always wrong. In that echo chamber, I am certain, that makes sense. In a world where truth, justice, decency and fairness matter, that contention is risible.

But I addressed both those scenarios only in passing. My focus was on the “gray” area, the “he said/she said” scenario, where the events are fueled by what I termed the culture of promiscuity and entitlement on campus, where the couple had a relationship and often a long term physical relationship, and where “feelings” – especially post facto feelings – matter more than legality or fairness. These are cases where the woman sometimes does not feel like a “victim” for weeks or months after the encounter (usually coincident with a breakup or a conversation with a feminist adviser who convinces her that she was assaulted without consent). These are cases in which there are no witnesses, no evidence, and no corroboration. They exist. They are troubling no matter who is right and who is wrong. But the feminist activists see no “gray.” The man is always guilty. Always.

Indeed, the “hookup culture” on campus has created a sense of male entitlement concomitant with some females’ pursuit of unlimited pleasure. It is in that culture that, invariably, women – who, as I noted, have a greater emotional investment in physical intimacy than do men – will over time feel used, abused, scorned and empty. And it is in that culture that, I submit, the problematic area of “he said/she said” is more likely to arise. It is for that scenario that I suggested a return to traditional moral practices, such that are already mandatory for Jews but would even benefit non-Jews. The bloggers who mock that suggestion are playing into the hands of lecherous young men and, ironically, endangering more women both physically and psychologically.

It was in this gray area that I urged a return to the virtues with which religious Jews are quite familiar – no affectionate physical contact between men and women outside the context of marriage. That won’t stop the “black” cases of rape (forcible assault) nor the “white” cases (false accusations), for the most part. But it would stop much of the “gray,” in which consent is unclear or ambiguously given, because the assumption would be, since males are an aggressive breed, that the male assaulted the virtue of the female.

But for the professional feminists, there never is a “gray” area. Men are always predators, women are always saints, and rabbis, always, deserve special calumny if they don’t toe a particular line.

What is most troubling, and quite typical of this genre, is the sheer inability of the feminist activists to tolerate another viewpoint. “On this, there can be no debate! There is only one opinion!” Feminist orthodoxy brooks no dissent (as opposed to Jewish Orthodoxy, whose every tenet, they feel, is negotiable). So their goal is to ensure that only one side of an issue is ever heard. They do this by denouncing any opposition as immoral, shrieking that any dissenter is evil, and trying to intimidate that dissenter into silence, penance and universal obloquy. This is what passes for discourse – forget civil discourse, just discourse – in that pathetic echo chamber of the young and coddled. How sad.

Typically, as they see it, for expressing views with which they disagree, I should be fired from the rabbinate, kicked out of any rabbinic organization to which I belong, tossed from any institution in which I am active, and, for Heaven’s sake, even thrown out of AAA (to which I just renewed my membership, and so will not go down without a fight).

What is even sadder is that, to these activists, men are irredeemable brutes, end of story. My objective, on the other hand, is to preserve the honor of both men and women. Their eager embrace of the “hookup culture” – as long as there is consent – exacerbates the problem, cheapens the nobility of women and undermines the sanctity of marriage. Their contempt for women, and not just women’s virtues, is breathtaking.

The Talmud (bottom of Sanhedrin 21a) teaches us that after Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, King David’s Sanhedrin decreed that an unmarried man and woman should not be secluded together (the prohibition of yichud). That was good advice then as it is now. It doesn’t mean that they “blamed” Tamar; rather that prudence and common sense dictate not putting oneself in a situation of potential danger. No one ever “deserves” to be raped, as some hideously perverted my words. But do not walk into a field clearly labeled “Danger: Mines!” Even if the ones who planted the mines would be guilty of causing injury, surely the minefield pedestrian also bears some responsibility for his fate. The mature person takes responsibility for his own actions, a fundamental Jewish principle that I explored in my last book, “The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility.”

Further irony: these critics are antagonized because they call me a “leader” who should not say these things that upset them; yet, when I try to take the lead on this particular issue – elevating the moral level on campus so that no one, but especially our young people, is ensnared in that morass – they protest. It sounds like they want “leaders” whom they control and who just follow the script that they write. But those are not “leaders” but followers with a fancy title.

Heeding our moral laws can only benefit men, women, marriages, families and society itself. That was and is my point. The fruitless debate over statistics aside, I would hope that even the professional feminists can subscribe to that.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky

Infiltrator Killed in Moshav Sdei Avraham (Near Gaza Strip)

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Moshav Sdei Avraham (near Gaza Strip)-  Police report that at around 5:30 AM Monday, there was a break-in into the home of the Shalom family.

The intruder stabbed a woman in the house and then ran away.

The IDF declared an official terror infiltration into the town, and began searching for the suspect within the town and surrounding area.

Within a half-hour, IDF forces found the infiltrator, and shot and killed him on the spot.

Police report that it appears that the infiltrator was a Bedouin. and they are investigating whether he was  thief or a terrorist.

UPDATE 9:30 AM IDF now suspects it was a terror attack and are checking if the intruder came from Gaza.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

B’tselem Protects Terrorists

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

From the latest B’tselem attempt to protect terrorists:-

Additionally, the media – including those belonging directly to the parties to the conflict – are not legitimate military targets, even if they are used to disseminate propaganda.

I think that a terror group’s units – including its communications  networks – are very much a legitimate target for how else would they be able to direct their terror campaign, and that includes general programming because it is used to recruit and mobilize.

But B’tselem claims.

International law seems to claim otherwise:

Journalists are not protected against deliberate attacks if and for as long as they take a direct part in hostilities

and as to what the law refers to

the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (AP I) deals specifically with journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict

“Professional” means not a terrorist.

As clarified:

As civilians, journalists and their crew must under no circumstances be the object of a direct attack. Parties to an armed conflict have the obligation to take all feasible precautions to ensure that attacks are only directed at military objectives.

Al-Aqsa TV and others are not civilians and are not professional journalists.

Here:

Ramallah- 21 November 2012: Israeli occupation forces committed a new crime against the Palestinian journalists when they killed Al-Aqsa TV cameramen Mahmoud Al-Komi (30 years) and Hossam Salameh (30) years at about six o’clock in this evening, after their car was targeted In Gaza City, by a Missile fired from an Israeli warplane, which led to their deaths immediately.

MADA lawyer Karem Nashwan said that Salamah and Al-Komi were travelling in Al-Aqsa TV car, with press sign, but the occupation forces targeted it. The crime took place in Alnaser (Victory) Street near alshifa Tower near Alshifa Hospital, and it seems they had intended to go to cover the martyrs and the wounded in the hospital, where occupation forces have escalated from its bombardment of the Gaza frantically through the last few hours, where about twenty martyrs fell. Al-Komi and Salamah were married and each of them has four children.

And by the way:

the French government instructed its broadcasting authority to take Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV off the air. The satellite channel was broadcast on Eutelsat, a French satellite company headquartered in Paris. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that the instruction was given when France received a warning from the European Commission that the channel repeatedly violated European laws by showing programs which incited hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality, mostly against Israel and Judaism (AFP, June 7).

and

On March 18, 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against two Hamas-linked organizations in Gaza – Al-Aqsa TV and the Islamic National Bank (INB).  The actions, taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224, freeze any assets that Al-Aqsa TV or INB hold under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them.  The targets of the sanctions include terrorists and terrorist organizations, among others. The Treasury Department stated that Al-Aqsa TV is financed and controlled by Hamas, serving as a primary Hamas media outlet that airs programs “designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”

P.S.  I am beginning to wonder in whose service is B’tselem?

UPDATE: Have been alerted, from NGO-Monitor:

B’Tselem writes that its

…investigation indicates that several Al-Quds TV employees were present in their offices in Shawwa-Husari Building at the time of the attack, as they were under the assumption that the Israeli military would not bomb it.

They report that after the attack on the Shawwa- Husari Building, they removed some of their equipment from their building’s top floors, out of concern that the Israeli army would strike that building as well, because of the location of Al-Aqsa TV’s offices on its 15th floor.

In other words, B’tselem fail to mention the presence of the Islamic Jihad fighters in the Al Sharouk tower.

Visit My Right Word.

Yisrael Medad

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