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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Zimbabwe’

Holding Up Ancient ‘Jerusalem’ Papyrus, Netanyahu Condemns UNESCO’s ‘Scandalous’ Resolution

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Speaking Wednesday at the dedication of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at IDC Herzliya, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu connected the announcement of a rare, First Temple era Hebrew language papyrus that mentions the name Jerusalem, with the second UNESCO resolution this month that contradicted the Jewish history of the eternal city as well as the fact that two Jewish temples had stood on the compound now taken up by the Al Aqsa mosque.

As we reported earlier, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Carmel Shama Hacohen, was recalled to Jerusalem “for consultations.”

The following are the PM’s comments at the Wednesday event.

“Today, the UNESCO Heritage Committee passed a decision which caused disappointment among the Palestinians and several Arab countries. It was supposed to be passed unanimously, by consensus, because the UNESCO Secretary General said that if it was not passed unanimously, then the decision would not be implemented. I would like to thank the leaders of Tanzania and Croatia for demanding a vote. I spoke with them and I very much appreciate their willingness to take a stand there. Because it reached a vote, it will not be implemented, because it was not unanimous.

“Eleven out of the 21 countries that are members of the Heritage Committee, as they call it, did not support the vote. For Israel, this is a significant result because one year ago, with a membership that was much more comfortable for us, we received a result that was not as good. Countries such as Germany, Japan, India and Colombia left and all kinds of other countries, which are familiar to you entered: Lebanon, more Arab countries, Angola, Zimbabwe, etc., etc., and with a membership that was not as good we came out with a better result. This advances what I have been telling you, and what I told the UN, is happening, that Israel’s bilateral relations will also – in the end – be reflected in international forums even though this will take time. It takes time and a little help from above. I said that it would take ten years, in my mind less than ten years, to break the automatic majority in UN institutions, especially of the bloc of African countries, 54 countries. The decisive majority will go from opposing Israel to supporting Israel. This process is happening and it is also expressed in today’s vote. The change that is taking place is finding expression here. I would like to thank the personnel at the Foreign Ministry, the National Security Council and our UNESCO embassy, who assisted me in my talks with the various leaders.

“Of course, we are trying to change the reality but, even so, the fact that even if this decision will not be implemented, it was raised at UNESCO. This absurdity that we, pay attention, Israel in the Middle East, that it is we who are violating the rights of the various religions, that it is we who are not safeguarding the holy places. Is it possible to conceive of anything more absurd? We are not safeguarding? We are the only ones who are scrupulously, carefully and zealously safeguarding. Who would do so if not us? We all know that is happening here in the Middle East as radical Islam blows up mosques, blows up churches, blows up historic sites, slaughters Yazidis, slaughters Muslims who do not agree with them, slaughters Christians, slaughters whoever it can. Who is deserving of condemnation? Certainly not Israel. Israel deserves all possible praise on this issue, as a beacon of light and progress, tolerance and rights.

“It is UNESCO that deserves condemnation not only for its present blindness but for its past blindness as well. That scandalous decision, the scandal that they decided upon two weeks ago, to the effect that the Jewish People have no connection to the Temple Mount, or to Jerusalem at all, is contradicted by the Bible and the entire historical record. Did you know that Titus was a Zionist propagandist? On the Arch they are carrying, 2,000 years ago, after they destroyed the Temple, it was not a mosque. Islam had not yet been founded; that would take several hundred good years. They are carrying the seven-branched menorah, that you know. And the member states of UNESCO also know it.

“But this distortion, that plasters over the whole notion of historical truth, of history in general, this distortion was covered over by another historical find that was made public today by the Israel Antiquities Authority. This was a document or receipt that was sent over 2,700 years ago from Na’arah [see Joshua 16:7], near Jerusalem, and it says in ancient Hebrew, and this is the critical word, but you can see it in Hebrew, ‘[me-a]mat. ha-melekh. me-Na’artah. nevelim. yi’in. Yerushalima’. ‘From the king’s maidservant, from Na’arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem‘. Here is a letter from the past to UNESCO. It is written Yerushalima. It explains – in Hebrew – our connection to Jerusalem and the centrality of Jerusalem. A servant of the king, certainly a King of Judah. It is from over 2,700 years ago – Jerusalem. In neither Arabic, Aramaic, Greek nor Latin – in Hebrew.

“And indeed this absurdity in the theater of the absurd continues, even if with reduced force. Therefore, I have decided to summon home for consultations our Ambassador to UNESCO and we will decide what to do, what our future steps will be vis-à-vis this organization. But it must be understood that in the end, and it will take time, this absurdity that hurts not only historical truth and present truth, but also – in my view – hurts the UN itself, this absurdity will end as Israel’s strength grows and expands.”

David Israel

Israeli Government in Cantankerous Rancor over New Broadcasting Authority

Monday, August 1st, 2016

The Likud party has been attacking its coalition partner Habayit Hayehudi party over the memorable debate in Sunday’s cabinet meeting of the establishment of a new Israeli Broadcasting Corporation. The official announcement from Likud called Ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked the “favorites of the left and of [Yediot Aharonot owner] Noni Moses” who support the indefatigable efforts to harm the prime minister and the Likud rule. It was in response for Bennett’s and Shaked’s decision to abstain during the vote to postpone the date when the new corporation starts broadcasting.

One of the most celebrated quotes from Sunday’s debate, all of which reached unusually shrill tones, was from Likud Minister Miri Regev who reportedly cried out: “What’s the point in having a corporation if we don’t control it? The minister should be in control, or what, we’ll give money and then they’ll broadcast whatever they want?”

As the minister in charge of culture (and sport), Regev exhibited a particularly narrow understanding of freedom of the press and possibly of the entire concept of what a public corporation is. One of the fundamental principles of such corporations, outside Zimbabwe and, recently, Moscow, is that the ministers are strictly in charge of budgeting and monitoring public satisfaction of the corporation, but they are absolutely prohibited from dictating and controlling anything.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan couldn’t help himself and made fun of the vociferous yet thin-skinned Regev. He told her, “Yes, live with it. There’s no law saying the public broadcasting authority will do what Miri Regev tells it to do.” The two Likud ministers continued to yell at each other (they both ranked in the top slots in the last Likud primaries), until Prime Minister Netanyahu had to shut them up.

Ayelet Shaked on Monday shot back at the Likud’s attack press release, saying that Likud should stop whining, and, anyway, they have their own daily newspaper (tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s pro-Bibi Yisrael Hayom).

Shaked was the second female politician in Israel yesterday who told a fellow lawmaker to stop whining. The other was Shelly Yachimovich, who said she’d had it up to here with her party chairman, Isaac Herzog’s whining about an insult she shot at him last May. She called him Bibi’s lap dog. He threatened to expel her.

But the media’s focus on Sunday centered on that cabinet meeting where Regev let the world know what’s her take on democratic institutions. And just to show you that you don’t have to know democracy to thrive in one, Miri Regev’s culture ministry on Sunday received control over the entire government advertising budget, which comes to about $80 million. That’s everything the Netanyahu government spends on ads, foreign and domestic, despite the fact that the bulk of those ads have nothing to do with the culture ministry.

Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel (Likud) told Army Radio on Monday that Regev’s statements were borderline fascistic and that she had warned Netanyahu none of those statements should be allowed to stick to the Likud party.

Incidentally, the reason the Netanyahu government has been attempting to establish a new broadcasting authority was because the current authority is considered inefficient and infested with leftists. But having been under the coalition gun for several years now, the IBA has gone a long way to become more efficient and to sprinkle all its high-ratings hours with rightwingers. So the Kol Israel one hears today is more balanced politically than what it was only a year ago.

Which is the reason Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) announced Sunday that he was going to advance a new bill to dismantle the new public broadcasting corporation in favor of the one Israel has had since the British mandate (1948).

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon summarized that unhappy cabinet debate in an interview with Army Radio, where he said, “This entire government has to go on vacation. They must urgently go on summer holiday, before the entire government would end up in hospital.”

JNi.Media

UNESCO to Question Jewish Ties to Western Wall in Arab-Sponsored Draft Resolution

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

United Nations Watch, a Geneva-based watchdog organization, expressed concern today that UNESCO may fuel anti-Jewish incitement and violence, and the increasing PA Arabs’ denial of Jewish religious and cultural rights, by adopting an Arab-sponsored draft resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and Temple Mount.

The Jordanian-Palestinian draft text on the Old City of Jerusalem was submitted to the 21-member World Heritage Committee, which meets over the next 10 days in Istanbul for its 40th annual session.

“This inflammatory resolution risks encouraging the past year’s wave of Arab stabbing and shooting attacks in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel, which began with false claims that Israel was planning to damage holy Muslim shrines,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.

Under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger,” incitement in September by Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad sparked a wave of terror attacks across Israel which began on the Temple Mount and eastern Jerusalem. At least 40 have been killed and more than  500 wounded. The Arab attacks include 155 stabbings, 96 shootings, 45 car ramming attacks, and one bus bombing.

The draft now before UNESCO includes the following problematic language:

  • The draft refers ten times to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, exclusively using the Islamic term for Temple Mount, without any mention that it is the holiest site in Judaism. This is part of a larger campaign at the UN, and particularly in UNESCO, to Islamize sites historically belonging to other faiths.
  • This year’s proposed draft is even more extreme than the resolution adopted in 2015. The new version three times uses the Islamic term Buraq Plaza while placing the parallel name “Western Wall Plaza” in scare quotes, implying skepticism or disbelief concerning what is the most hallowed site for Jewish worshippers over two millennia, due to the ancient wall’s connection to the Holy Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 CE. Last year’s resolution also sought to diminish the Jewish connection by putting the name Western Wall in parentheses after the Islamic term, yet the new use of quotation marks intensifies the denialism that was famously promoted by Yasser Arafat’s negotiator at Camp David, and which continues in Palestinian Authority statements.
  • Israel, which is referred to throughout as “the Occupying Power” in Jerusalem, is called to restore “the historic Status Quo,” with the new word “historic”—a change from last year’s text—implying a reversal of any changes since 1967.
  • Jerusalem’s light rail, which is used daily by thousands of Arab residents among others, is accused of having a “damaging effect” on the “visual integrity” and “authentic character” of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem—even though the track passes through an existing highway and only facilitates transportation for visitors of all faiths.

The 21 members on the UNESCO world heritage committee are: Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. Good luck to all of us.

Jewish Press Staff

The Rotten fruits of Boycotts: Meet Zimbabwe, Formerly Rhodesia

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

An AFP report says that “after paying public workers’ salaries last week, the balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s government public account stood at just $217,” according to the country’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers,” Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, essentially telling them that each one of them was richer than Zimbabwe.

“The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

Zimbabwe’s economy hit rock bottom back in 2000, as a result of President Robert Mugabe seizing of white-owned farms. If there was any confidence on the part of world investors at that juncture, the “liberation” of those farms caused it to evaporate completely. Production was paralyzed, displaced owners started suing for their reparations, and tourism all but stopped.

The country has not recovered. After 13 years of a hyper-inflation of 231 million percent (nothing compares to it in human history) and a collapsing infrastructure — the best one can say is that things are staying as bad as they have been – but no longer getting any worse, either.

That means the country is paralyzed, no one in government knows if they’re getting their next paycheck, utilities, like electricity, are erratic, nothing’s working.

Elections are coming up, but the government is saying it doesn’t have the money to pay for it.

As you may recall, Zimbabwe reached its independence from its white colonialists in 1980, after 26 years of increasing sanctions and boycotts against what used to be known as Rhodesia. It took enormous world effort, and a lot of earnest volunteer work to bring Rhodesia down to its knees. And as the white colonialists were first deprived of their claim to govern, and eventually of their claim to anything at all – Zimbabwe was going into its tailspin.

Robert Mugabe, who won the presidency by a landslide in 1980, still rules, and the country is vying for some nice Europeans—they’ll take Chinese, too—to please come and take over again, through renewed investments.

It’s a lesson of what happens to the folks that nice Europeans and Americans try to save by boycotting the goods made by “their oppressors.” I don’t know of a more surefire way of turning those oppressed totally wretched.

Yori Yanover

Israel Calls ‘Absurd’ UN Equating It with Venezuela, Egypt, Zimbabwe

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Israel’s Foreign Ministry criticized as “absurd” the country’s inclusion on a list of countries that restricts the activities of human rights and advocacy groups.

Monday’s response came after the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights placed Israel on a list that includes Egypt, Belarus, Venezuela, Algeria, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Israel is the only democratic country to appear on the list.

Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner, said in a statement that the listing was due to the potential bill in the Knesset that would restrict the funding by foreign governments of nonprofit organizations. The bill was approved by a ministerial committee but never reached the full Knesset for a vote.

“In Israel, the recently adopted Foreign Funding Law could have a major impact on human rights organizations, subjecting them to rigorous reporting requirements, forcing them to declare foreign financial support in all public communications, and threatening heavy penalties for non-compliance,” Pillay said in a statement issued late last week.

JTA

Thanksgiving In Zimbabwe

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Seldom do I use the term “life transforming” because very few things in life are. Change is something that requires diligence, effort and even monotonous repetition. It doesn’t come cheaply.
 
But what I did this past Thanksgiving forever changed my perception of the world. As a volunteer with my good friend Glen Megill’s organization, Rock of Africa, a Christian relief effort, I traveled to Zimbabwe, one of the poorest countries on earth to one of its poorest villages.
 
Joining me was my daughter Chana; my friend, the writer and radio host Dennis Prager; Dennis’s son Aaron; Glen Megill; and several Christian volunteers. We staged an outreach program preparing a Thanksgiving feast for 500 villagers. Most important, we gave them seed that can produce shima, the corn-flower mixture that is the staple diet for most of Africa and which, for $25 a year, can literally keep a family alive. The feast consisted of ten slaughtered goats and giant pots of cooked cabbage and shima.
 
It would be difficult to convey the appreciation of the villagers for one good, hot, meaty meal. The people we met were gentle, beautiful – and utterly poor. The village consisted of nothing but mud huts, the chief’s homestead included. These people have next virtually nothing. They live in tiny pen-sized huts; one we visited housed a hospitable but infirm man in his late eighties who lives with and takes care of his twelve-year-old-grandson whose parents died of AIDS.
 
Of the hundreds who came to our feast only a few were young mothers and fathers. We saw scores of young children strapped to their grandmothers’ backs in the African way. So many on this continent have already been lost to AIDS – an entire generation wiped out by a killer disease.
 
Despite these serious challenges, the people smile and exhibit unbelievable warmth. Are they happier than we in the West? I cannot say. I have never believed in the ennobling quality of poverty and I will not glamorize a life with so little. But what is undeniable is that they seemed far more satisfied, more grateful, and more content.
 
We in the West who are fortunate to be able to translate so much of our potential into something professionally and personally fulfilling are frequently plagued by an insatiable material hunger, making it challenging for us to ever find the inner peace these villagers seemed to possess.
 
As we Rock of Africa volunteers cooked and served the food, I noticed that among the villagers there was not a single finicky eater. They ate every part of the goat served them – the stomach, the intestines, the vertebrae. Food was not a luxury. It was survival itself.
 
The men and women sat apart. When the women, my daughter included, served them, they curtsied, as women do by tradition before men. If a woman does not curtsy, the man will not accept the food.
 
Most memorable were the children, who were wondrous in every way. Gorgeous, extremely polite, and exceptionally well behaved. They exhibited none of wildness common among Western kids. Hundreds of them sat in perfect rows on the floor, grateful to have a warm, hot meal. They too sang and danced for us and we danced with them.
 
The most moving part of the day was when we distributed the corn seed for the families. The chief called out the names and as they came forward for the seed they were glowing. Many of them kissed the bags as they collected them.
 
It should be mandatory to take Western kids to Africa for at least one humanitarian mission. It would help wean them from the corrosive materialism that has overtaken us and it would lead them to appreciate their blessings and share more of it with others.
 
All this was made possible because of two angels. The first is Glen Megill, the American businessman who created Rock of Africa and is one of the most righteous men I know.
 
The second is a young woman whose courage and heroism left me incredulous. Her name is Regina Jones. She’s thirty years old and from Detroit. She moved to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, four years ago after a teen life where she owned more than two hundred pairs of shoes.
 
She now lives on her own and runs the organization. She saves orphaned street children from dying of AIDS. She teaches villagers how to become self-sustaining. For our feast she went at midnight to a neighboring village, negotiated the price of the goats, rented a trailer in the morning and picked them up so the villagers could eat meat. I personally watched her lovingly lecture a man with a white beard to help out his wife more with their tiny farm.
 

No, she is not a household name and she will never be as famous as Britney Spears. But to me she was a small reminder that the suffocating selfishness of Western material culture can indeed be transcended.

 

 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the founder of This World: The Values Network and the author most recently of “The Blessing of Enough.” Donations to Rock of Africa can be made via the organization’s website, www.rockofafrica.org.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/thanksgiving-in-zimbabwe/2009/12/02/

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