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December 2, 2016 / 2 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Watch’

Shhh! Watch Out For Those ‘Ordinary People’

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

The day after the election of America’s 45th president, I flew to the UK to speak at one of the thousands of Shabbat events that took place on November 12.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews all over the world united in the celebration of a special Shabbat. The atmosphere in the shul where I spoke was typical of the rest. To use the Hebrew phrase, there was ahavah, shalom, v’reius – love, peace, and friendship.

Unfortunately, there was a shortage of precisely those qualities back in post-election America. Demonstrations erupted all over the country. The losers were not happy. But it was not just that they were not happy; they were literally in shock and experiencing all manner of psychological crises.

Before I flew out I’d heard WNYC’s Brian Lehrer tell his station’s left-wing New York listeners that in the wake of the Trump victory, the entire morning would be devoted to taking phone calls from people who were distressed about “what to tell their kids” and how to explain “fascism” [sic] to them.

A surreal and frankly silly pronouncement to be sure – but not in the least bit surreal and silly to Lehrer and his fan base. To them it was very real.

And about those “largely peaceful” demonstrations:

The same news media that failed to understand the mistake they made in running openly partisan and sometimes truth-stretching campaigns against Trump now continued manipulating the news just as they had before. This was despite the damning verdict on their bias delivered by tens of millions of Americans.

The anti-Trump demonstrators said they were protesting because they feared waves of racism, misogyny, and fascism were about to overtake the United States – although they saw not even the slightest irony in the fact they were on the streets challenging the American democratic system of government, which, if you ask me, seems like a rather fascist-like thing to do, as was the violence many of them perpetrated.

Mrs. Clinton’s media chums portrayed the demonstrators sympathetically. I heard one report claiming that the chants being heard across America were “Trump Has To Go” and “He’s Not My President,” when in fact the chants often employed different words – words I would not write and The Jewish Press would not publish.

“How did this happen?” wondered an anguished liberal establishment. “How could it be?” asked bewildered Democratic Party officials and voters.

I was almost certain I knew the answer they would come up with and I was not too far off the mark.

After the Brexit vote in the UK, similar bafflement erupted throughout the UK’s political establishment. The media had been mostly against leaving the EU. Dire consequences were predicted if it would come to pass, including financial collapse and a country more susceptible to terrorism.

The people simply didn’t believe the media hype and voted to leave. Naturally, those afflicted with political narcissism were baffled. Someone actually wrote on my Facebook page:


I know I’ll be criticized for arrogance, but I have to be honest.

If these early results are borne out, and the Leave Campaign wins, it will be held up as a prime example of two things:

1) “Ordinary people” are [expletive] idiots and should never be trusted with important decisions.

2) Britain is so preoccupied with blaming “the other” it can’t see what is in its clear self-interest. Scapegoating is alive and well and lives here in the UK.


To which I responded:


I am the author of ten books. I voted Leave. My son is about to start his Ph.D. in Oxford. He voted Leave. Another of my sons is an architectural technologist. He voted Leave. Yet another founded a company which designs software for market “Futures” prediction. He voted leave. I have friends who are professors and bankers who want Britain to Leave the EU.

This unacceptable word, democracy (unless ordinary folk vote your way), is roughly predicated on one person, one vote. The “Person” is by definition usually “ordinary” including of course most of the people on the other side who voted Remain.

Personally I have found ordinary people quite reliable, from juries to elections.


The losers in the U.S. presidential election have come up with an intriguing variation of this condemnation of the downright dangerousness of “Ordinary People.”

It is based on a very real challenge to the First Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.

Increasingly, the losing side has identified the real culprits responsible for Hillary’s defeat. It was not, of course, anything she did wrong. It was the FBI (previously adored for dismissing her e-mail scandal) and…Facebook! Let me repeat that in case your eyebrows traveled so far up your forehead they have embedded themselves in your hairline: Facebook.

Political experts were apparently not aware that Facebook allowed people to create…pro-Donald Trump pages!

The BBC (not a Trump fan) ran a piece titled “Donald Trump’s Hidden Army.” It said:


Donald Trump’s spectacular victory in the U.S. presidential election on 8 November took many by surprise.

Polls seemed to significantly underestimate his support and few pundits gave him a chance.

But many Trump voters, it turned out, were hiding in plain sight – on Facebook.

Thousands of home-grown Trump support pages populate the social networking site. They are a mix of closed and open groups. Most have a few hundred members. But many have thousands. And a few, like American Patriots for Donald J. Trump, have hundreds of thousands of followers.


Do you hear that, America? Forget about alleged Russian interference in the presidential election and James Comey (the louse) turning on poor Hillary –the real culprits were ordinary people who actually talked to each other on Facebook and other such venues.

These ordinary people are no longer listening to what we in the media tell them to do. Our highly paid TV anchors, with Hollywood looks and fabulous dental work, no longer persuade them. They are actually speaking directly to each other without us! (Gasp, shriek, choke.)

And now there are serious intellectuals arguing that Mark Zuckerberg and his company have to be brought to heel. Such demands hide themselves under concern about the “fake news stories” that are claimed to abound on Facebook. Anyone making this argument must assume that ordinary people are so naive as not to notice that the mainstream media, both left and right, sometimes also circulate highly dubious and even false news stories.

Mark Twain, perhaps America’s greatest man of letters, is alleged to have once quipped, “If voting made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

In the wake of the most bitter and fractious American election in living memory, and despite the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, it may be worth tweaking that phrase to read: “If speaking to each other on social media made any difference…they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Keep an eye on those who in the wake of the election of America’s surprise 45th president are arguing for precisely that – and who will now try their best to make sure that ordinary people speaking to each other on social media won’t be tolerated.

Rabbi YY Rubinstein

Watch Complete Movie ‘You Never Know’ on Shlomo Carlebach’s 22nd Yahrzeit [video]

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

On the occasion of Reb Shlomo Carlebach’s 22nd yahrzeit (he died on Heshvan 16, 5755, October 20, 1994) we invite you to enjoy “Li’olam Aincha Yode’ah” (You Never Know), a 2008 documentary film by Boaz Shahak.


There are two questions you can ask another human being: “What are you?” and “Who are you?”

If you ask “What are you” – you destroy the world. If you ask “Who are you?” you build the world…” (Shlomo Carlebach).

In 1966, at a festival in Berkley, between Pete Seeger and “Jefferson Airplane,” a young Rabbi came on stage with a guitar and began to sing. Shlomo Carlebach was a brilliant young Torah scholar who had been sent by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to bring Torah to the hippies of San Francisco. But when his love for them transgressed the boundaries of halacha (Jewish Law), he was shunned by the Orthodox establishment.

Carlebach once said in a radio interview that he composed no less than 4,000 original melodies. 22 years ago he passed away, penniless; today his music fills concert halls and in almost every Jewish community there is a community of his followers.

Video of the Day

Shiloh Musings: Time for Me to Just Wait and Watch American Presidential Elections

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

With just over a week to American Election Day, I think it’s time for me to just find a comfortable seat to observe the fireworks. This is possibly the most bitter election campaign ever. Even when in 1964 Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon B. Johnson, two very different candidates, it was nothing like this. OK, in 1964, nominees were still chosen by politicians and party “machines,” not by primaries. So, Goldwater didn’t have the super long build up of primaries campaigning that Donald Trump has had.

And if you don’t know, Goldwater was totally trashed by LBJ. I was in my teens, and I still remember one of, or the main, campaign slogans you heard from the Goldwater camp:

“In your heart you know he’s right.”

Now over fifty years later, decades after Ronald Reagan did the unthinkable and got elected by the “silent majority,” I see Donald Trump as another step in the rising confidence of the Right.

America has changed a lot in these last fifty-two years.

Hillary Clinton was also a teenager when Goldwater ran against Johnson. I wonder if she had her plans to run for President hatched by then. Or was she more inspired by the aim to correct George McGovern’s highly competent wife, Eleanor, who seemed to make peace with her role as hostess during the 1972 Elections, rather than using her talents for higher office. And just in case you don’t know, Richard Nixon defeated George McGovern.

And about the upcoming American Elections, there’s no unity in the polls. It seems that the various companies or NGOs that poll people about their voting plans each ask different segments of the American public whom they plan to vote for, because there are enormous discrepancies. Also,  there has been a rise in Trump’s numbers and a drop in Hillary’s.

I watch BBC TV News, and they are now trying to prepare people for a surprise. There’s no consistency in poll results, so they have just been showing the range of numbers.

Considering that Hillary’s supporters find Trump despicable, and Trump’s supporters consider Hillary a criminal, whoever wins will have an awfully hard time governing and making Americans feel like one country.

And it’s not just a matter of how the two disparate groups of supporter feel. I don’t remember ever hearing such foul and nasty remarks by presidential nominees about opponents ever before. This does not bode well for the United States of America!

Batya Medad

Watch B’Tselem Spokeswoman Refusing to Call Hamas a Terrorist Organization [video]

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, interviewed B’Tselem Spokesperson Sarit Michaeli on Monday on J-TV, a new YouTube channel “providing weekly content on Current Affairs, Jewish Wisdom, Movers & Shakers and Jewish Food.” As the conversation progressed, the host pushed Michaeli on the fact that her group devotes much more attention to the Israeli side, while most Arab violations of human rights are given a pass. Michaeli didn’t argue the facts, noting that B’Tselem does condemn major human rights violations by the Arabs in both Gaza and the PA, but that, being an Israeli organization, it is more dedicated to teaching Israelis about wrongs committed by their own government.

At some point, Mendoza asked her if B’Tselem has condemned Hamas as a terrorist organization and Michaeli said that when Hamas attacks Israeli civilians it certainly commits acts of terrorism. Yes, the host insisted, but are they a terrorist organization? Maybe a part-time terrorist organization? No matter how many times he tried, the B’Tselem spokeswoman would not go on the record condemning Hamas as a terrorist group. Instead she accused Mendoza of joining Israeli extremists who wish to associate B’Tselem with anti-Israeli politics. The more he pushed, the more she stuck to repeating that mantra.

Sarit Michaeli's injured leg / Screenshot

Sarit Michaeli’s injured leg / Screenshot

Sarit Michaeli was injured by a Border Guard rubber bullet during a riot in which she participated in Nabi Saleh, back in 2013. She actually filmed her own bleeding leg as she was lying on the ground. Being a British person, host Mendoza did not have the DNA to conclude Monday’s encounter with a rubber bullet to the guest’s leg, even if she weren’t calling in on Skype, so he just hung up on her.

David Israel

The Donald Trump video every Jew Must watch

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

David Israel

Watch: Mr. Netanyahu, We Are Treated as Sub-Humans on Temple Mount [video]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Thank you for all the work you do, Mr. Prime Minister. Please protect us from the Waqf-imposed Islamic law, implemented by Israeli police on Temple Mount.

Yishai Fleisher

UN Watch Helps Release Turkish Human Rights Lawyer from Prison

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

UN Watch, a Geneva based non-governmental human rights group, welcomed Turkey’s release Monday of human rights advocate and journalist Orhan Kemal Cengiz after four days of detention. The group but urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon and human rights commissioner Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to condemn the government of President Recep Teyyip Erodgan for imposing a travel ban on Cengiz.

Cengiz was kept in the Anti-Terror Bureau (TEM) on Vatan Street for four days. He said that he didn’t face any ill-treatment except for being handcuffed from behind, but he saw people whose eyes were swollen shut in the packed custodial prison.

Cengiz thank you tweet

“We call on the UN Human Rights Council to exercise its duty and immediately convene an urgent session into the alarming deterioration of the rule of law in Turkey, and to create a commission of inquiry to investigate both the attempted coup and the government’s illegal purge of tens of thousands of Turkish citizens from their jobs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Cengiz and his wife Sibel Hurtas, also a journalist, were detained Thursday at Istanbul airport on their way to attend a conference in London. Hurtas was released on the same day she had been arrested, but Cengiz was detained until Monday.

Cengiz had visited the UN Human Rights Council in February, hosted by the Geneva Summit for Human Rights, a coalition of 25 human rights groups led by UN Watch, and testified about abuses in Turkey.

Since his arrest, UN Watch was campaigning for Cengiz’s release.

“By arresting a prominent journalist, lawyer and human rights defender, the Turkish government has seriously compromised its claim to be defending democracy and the rule of law,” Neuer said.

“We urge Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner Zeid to condemn the illegal ban on Mr. Cengiz’s travel, which among other things would prevent him from visiting the United Nations to provide the world body with vital new information and analysis on the desperate situation of human rights in Turkey,” Neuer noted.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-watch-helps-release-turkish-human-rights-lawyer-from-prison/2016/07/26/

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