web analytics
July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘wall’

Shiloh Musings: There is NO Way to WALL OUT TERRORISM!!

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Admittedly, since I’m not home, I haven’t read or heard much news. Yesterday someone mentioned to me that my State of Israel had announced they would wall out the terrorists, try to block the Arab terror tunnels by creating some science fiction type of underground wall so the terrorists can’t tunnel into Israel.

Duh?!?

I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous. When the “greens” protest the damage to the Land, fauna and flora they will have a good  point.

In terms of sheer size land scope it seems totally impossible.

And it won’t stop terrorism at all. Again it’s like the cutting of the brooms in the animated movie Fantasia.

To stop the Arab terrorism we must get in their mindset and not act so wimpy, apologetic and technological. It’s like trying to combine bubbles with staplers, or making a “pile” of water, thinking it’s like trash or rubble. You can’t sweep water into a corner. Terror is a psychological mindset, a combination of sociopath, ideology, brainwashing.

It is terribly dangerous to project one’s own mentality onto the terrorists, thinking that the logic or goodness that would convince you to do something would influence a terrorist. The truth is that it just shows our weakness and makes them stronger and more confident.

A wall is just something to bypass. We must defeat the terrorists militarily, psychologically and politically. Nothing else will do it!!

Batya Medad

Police Arrest Women of the Wall Director for Torah Scroll Violation and Catch 22

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Police arrested Lesley Sachs, Executive Director of Women of the Wall, as she was exiting the Western Wall plaza with a Torah scroll Tuesday morning. Sachs was detained for “disturbing the public order,” although, according to the WOW’s own report, the prayer service of about 80 women at the Kotel was “relatively quiet and uneventful” on Rosh Chodesh Sivan. Apparently, Police accused Sachs of smuggling a Torah scroll into the women’s section.

According to the WOW email, the incriminating Torah scroll was lent to WOW executive board chair Anat Hoffman by Peter and Lawrence Michaels from Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, California, in memory of their parents, Ann and Rudy Michaels. Hoffman, who flew from Sacramento to Israel with the Torah scroll in her arms, related that on her journey she ran into her flight’s all-female team of pilots, Captain Wendi Shaffner and First Officer Katrina Mittelstadt, who were moved by the small Torah. The email did not specify what or where they were moved to.

“Though we believe that the Torah was handed down to women and men equally at Mt. Sinai, and though women and men both sacrificed their lives and loved ones for the reunification of Jerusalem, in 2016 Women of the Wall struggle for access to Torah scrolls at the Kotel,” the WOW statement lamented. Of course, these dear women could access as many Torah scrolls as they wished anywhere else, including at the Reform section of the Kotel a few yards away, but over at the Women’s section of the Kotel it was No Torah for you, ladies, which, apparently, defied the equality promised to women at Mt. Sinai. Not the one on Fifth Ave., the one in Sinai.

The email also accused Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the state-appointed administrator of the Kotel, of creating a “Catch 22” for women: “he prohibits entrance with private Torah scrolls and refuses women access to the 100 scrolls he holds at the Kotel for public use in the men’s section.” But that’s not a catch 22, which was described by Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel by the same title via the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch 22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanity—hoping to be found not sane enough to fly and thereby escape dangerous missions—demonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

Rabbi Rabinowitz simply doesn’t want women to read out loud from the Torah at the Kotel because he interprets this as a desecration of halakha. As the WOW email confirms, he has the right to interpret it this way because he is the state appointed official in charge of interpreting Kotel-related issues.

The real question, not asked by WOW, is how come Sachs was picked up at the end of the Rosh Chodesh prayer session in which she openly defied the law, and not while she smuggled it in, or while the women were reading from it?

In a final episode of Heller’s book, the Catch-22 rule is described to Yossarian, the main protagonist, by an old woman recounting an act of violence by soldiers: “Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can’t stop them from doing.”

Wow.

David Israel

Trump May Come to Israel in July to Visit the Southern Wall

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Donald Trump is planning to visit Israel before the Republican national convention in July, according to persistent reports, although his campaign is denying it. New York Magazine on Wednesday cited four sources who say Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, together with associates of Sheldon Adelson are working on the trip. Trump was planning to visit Israel before the start of the primaries and was hoping for Netanyahu’s endorsement, but then Bibi said he wasn’t planning to endorse anyone. Perhaps the fact that Adelson is involved this time around means that the Israeli PM will at least give the candidate the royal treatment he expects.

“This is a typical time frame when a general-election candidate has an opportunity to flex his foreign-policy muscles,” a Trump staffer told NY Mag.

Some Internet news sources have suggested that Trump may be coming to Israel not for the endorsements, and not to gain favor with the hard-line pro-Israel crowd—he’s got them already. Instead, Trump is going to see the wall. Not the Western Wall, but the 150 mile fence Israel has erected along its border with Egypt, which caused the number of illegal African migrant workers getting through to drop from thousands to single digits annually.

Jewish Insider quoted Trump’s recent book “Crippled America,” where he states, “Walls work. The Israelis spent $2 million per kilometer to build a wall – which has been hugely successful in stopping terrorists from getting into the country. Ironically, some of the same people who claim we shouldn’t build a wall cite the success of Israel’s wall. While obviously we don’t face the same level of terrorist threat as our closest Middle East ally, there is no question about the value of a wall in the fight against terrorism.”

The Negev security fence, which is supported by a heavy military detail, has also been remarkably effective at preventing the ISIS affiliates in the Sinai from infiltrating. Of course, Israel did not ask Egypt to pay for the wall, the way Trump promises to do with Mexico, and the US southern border is not 150 but 1,989 miles. Otherwise, though, Trump could gain points by pointing to the Israeli approach to sealing the border and smiling victoriously in the desert sun.

Of course, if liberal folks live up to their word and flee to Canada after a Trump win, Israel could be cashing in on its border fence technology from two countries.

David Israel

Before Jerusalem’s Reunification, Shmuel Matza Left Defiant Carvings On A Prison Wall

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

In late fall 1947, Shmuel Matza, then a 20-year-old member of the Etzel (also known as Irgun) Jewish underground paramilitary organization, was detained in the Kishle prison by the British on suspicion of possessing illegal arms.

“I decided to show the British that I was not afraid of them, that I would continue to be a member of Etzel even after my prison term, that I would continue to challenge them,” Matza recalls.

So one morning, Matza slipped his breakfast fork into his pocket just before the guards accompanied him back to his quarters – a tiny cell infested by rats and lice with only a mat of woven cloth on which to sleep. When the lights went out and everyone else was sleeping, including the police officers, Matza quietly removed that fork from his pocket.

Slowly and determinedly, he carved the following deep into the prison wall: his name; the emblem of the Irgun, a map of the historical land of Israel; and the Hebrew phrases for “only thus,” which suggested the Jewish people would use force to achieve freedom in their land, and “long live the Hebrew state.”

A few days later, Matza was transferred to the Latrun detention camp, from which he was released in April 1948, just ahead of Israel’s War of Independence. He fought for the state until the war ended in 1949. Then Matza went to law school, married, had children and grandchildren, and thought he had closed the previous chapter of his life.

Yet that chapter was unexpectedly reopened more than 50 years later, when archaeologists discovered Matza’s carvings – still bold, confident, and defiant – on an interior wall of the Kishle.

Archaeologists began excavating around the area of the Kishle after Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War, during which the Jewish state reunified Jerusalem following 19 years of Jordanian control over the city’s eastern portion. The capital’s reunification is celebrated by Israelis each year on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), which falls on June 5 this year.

In the aftermath of the 1967 war, then-Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek agreed to let the Israeli government develop Jerusalem’s Tower of David into a museum. But the Kishle, a 1,476-square-foot structure, was left untouched while archaeologists focused on the Tower. At the time, the Kishle, hidden behind a metal door and situated atop a winding spiral staircase next to the ancient ramparts of the Old City walls, was believed to have been built in the 19th century.

In 2000, Eilat Lieber – at the time the Tower’s director of education and now its general director and chief curator, was looking for a site within the museum’s grounds to host children’s programming. She remembered the Kishle from when she was a student at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in the 1980s.

“I had seen the plans for the museum and that the Kishle was part of the grounds,” Lieber tells JNS. “It was something that no one even remembered.”

Lieber launched a search for the key to unlock the Kishle, and found it in its rusty state on the key ring of the museum’s caretaker. The caretaker opened the door “and we saw this amazing space,” recalls Rose Ginosar, the Tower of David’s director of development and external relations.

The $1 million originally raised to produce the children’s center was instead funneled toward excavations in the Kishle. A team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists led by Amit Re’em took everything out by hand until they hit bedrock. Along the way, they discovered layers revealing 2,800 years of history – a far cry from the previous assumption that the Kishle was constructed in the 19th century.

Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman

The Photo On The Wall

Monday, April 18th, 2016

The 21st yahrzeit of my daughter Alisa Flatow, Hy”d, falls on 10 Nissan – April 18 this year. I’d like to share with readers of The Jewish Press some personal reflections on the events of 1995 and what has happened since.

 

I have a photo of Alisa on my office wall. Taken at a dinner with a friend and her parents from the U.S. who were visiting Jerusalem, it was one of the last photos of Alisa before her murder by Palestinian terrorists in April 1995.

Alisa’s face is radiant, her dimples are deep. Her thick hair is at her shoulders. A visitor to my office after looking at the pictures of my married children turned back to look at Alisa’s picture and asked, “Do you have anything more recent?” As the words escaped from her lips she threw her hand to her mouth, realizing what she had said.

“No,” I told her, “that’s it, she’s frozen in time, she’ll always be 20 and one day all of my grandchildren will be older than Alisa.”

While I thought our family life would come to a screeching halt after Alisa’s murder, I was wrong. In fact, the opposite happened: it accelerated – with bumps and false starts, certainly, but nonetheless going forward.

One morning shortly after shiva ended, I didn’t want to get out bed. As I contemplated pulling the cover over my head that morning I realized there was a nation where, at that time, more than 18,000 families had gone through the same thing we had –the loss of a child and sibling. Multiply that number by the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and, well, you get the picture.

As I wallowed in bed, I realized that those families who were affected by war and terror in Israel got up from shiva and began to get back to living. They did so by putting one foot in front of the other. They went back to work. They tended to their homes. They raised their families. Despite the suddenness and depth of their loss, they began again to build the work in progress we call Israel.

And so Rosalyn and I and our children – Gail, Francine, Ilana, and Etan – returned to the normal things the families I mentioned do. We started down the road to rebuilding. While all of us were under a magnifying lens because of what happened to Alisa, we didn’t let that attention get in the way. Gail returned to Israel to finish her gap year program in Jerusalem. Francine, Ilana, and Etan returned to their yeshivot.

* * * * *

Make no mistake. I began my mornings for the first year after Alisa’s murder with a good cry, usually when I came out of the shower. As I drove to work, I would sometimes have to pull off the highway because I couldn’t see through the tears. At the office, while in the middle of drafting a document, I’d cry again and find myself just staring at the computer monitor but not seeing anything.

I wondered how people on the outside saw us. I had a phone call one day from an attorney on the other side of a real estate transaction. He was bellyaching quite loudly about what he perceived as a delay in releasing money being held in escrow. I wanted to scream back and say “Don’t you realize there are more important things in life than your escrow?”

But it dawned on me that, to him, the escrow was the most important thing in his life right then and he’d have to find out for himself and in his own way that there was no need to get upset over the release of money.

We were told our family was very popular in Israel but a mystery at the same time. Not only because of Alisa’s murder – and the attention it received in Israeli newspapers – but also due to the fact that we donated her organs for transplant and, perhaps more important, we didn’t rant and rave against the Israeli government or the Oslo Accords.

Remember, the national religious parties were still up in arms over the Rabin-Arafat handshake on the White House lawn; were upset that Arafat was continuing to say one thing to the Western media and quite another to the Palestinian media; and were outraged that the Rabin government was using administrative detention to suppress right-wing protest. And here I was, a knit kippah-wearing American Jew who would not point the finger of blame at the Israeli government for Alisa’s murder.

I guess the reaction was noticed at high levels because I was invited to appear, remotely, with Prime Minister Rabin on a TV program that would be released a few weeks later on Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Speaking about Alisa at the AIPAC conference in May, Rabin said: “Today her heart beats in Jerusalem.” He then announced that he was coming to our home to pay a condolence call (something he didn’t do with the families of Israeli terror victims).

As a result of our embrace by Rabin, our home became a popular stopping point for Sunday visits by Israeli politicians who were in America. Sunday after Sunday, for many months, Israeli consulate officials with Knesset members in tow would arrive at our home. They’d express their regrets about Alisa’s murder and their thanks for opening their eyes to the mitzvah of organ donation. Photos taken, they were back in the van for the ride to who knew where next.

We began to be invited to events in the metropolitan New York area, too. The New York City Council presented us with a Proclamation lauding the donation of Alisa’s organs. And we found ourselves in attendance at Israel-related programs sponsored by New York City and State and Israel’s New York Consulate.

We traveled to Israel in September 1995. What would it feel like? That was the question we kept asking ourselves. Guests of Nishmat, where Alisa was a student at the time of her murder, we arrived to a hotel room full of flowers, including from Prime Minister Rabin, who regretted he couldn’t meet with us because he was leaving the country.

The Jerusalem Post interviewed us and ran a story about Alisa that included a nice photo of Rosalyn and me. It was the first one we had taken together since Alisa’s death. As we were getting our luggage after our return to New York, a woman came up to us and said, “It’s nice to see that Alisa had a mother, too.”

Our plans while in Israel included a meeting arranged by the Maariv newspaper with the surviving recipients of Alisa’s organs – something that had not yet been done in Israel or the United States. We met them, two middle-aged men and a woman, in our hotel’s lobby. Over a one-hour period they related how their lives had radically changed since the transplant. The heart recipient was able to attend his first grandson’s brit, the kidney recipient was off dialysis, and the lung recipient was able to leave her apartment for the first time in a year without the need for oxygen.

As a result of that meeting I understood for the first time the power of the mishnah that reminds us of the effect of saving a life.

Stephen M. Flatow

The Epidemic of Arab Terror and its Cure

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wikipedia describe it as:

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

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

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

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

Attack. Kill. Post. Watch. Repeat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Israel disrupted the environment.

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

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

We’re facing an epidemic of terror.

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

JoeSettler

Pope Prays for Protection from Suicide Bombers

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Pope Francis included a stop at the Suicide Bomber Protection Wall during today’s whirlwind tour of Bethlehem, presumably to pray for protection from Palestinian suicide terrorists. The Vatican did not release a statement about the stop, but sources close to the Holy See said the Pontiff was likely checking the last line of defense against Palestinian terrorists before entering Israeli-controlled Jerusalem.

Until this wall was put up, more than 1000 Israelis were murdered and countless more maimed and injured by citizens of the Palestinian Authority.

Under Palestinian Authority control, the number of Christians living in Bethlehem dwindled to under 15% of the population, from approximately 50% when it was under Israeli rule. Most Arab Christians fled to safer areas due to Muslim and Palestinian Authority threats, harassment and terror.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pope-prays-at-suicide-bomber-defense-wall/2014/05/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: