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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘zionism’

Why Vote for Torah?

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

In the current climate, it is almost impossible to enter an Orthodox synagogue in America that has not undertaken security measures on behalf of the institution. Time, money, and efforts of all types are expended. Members are passionately recruited to protect and ensure the physical welfare and safety of congregants and members.

Yet, even as Orthodox Jews throughout the nation firmly adhere to the mantra, “If you see something, say something,” they have, until recently, been blind to, and silent about, a different type of threat. Th is is a spiritual threat from within that is arguably as insidious and challenging to Orthodox Jewish survival as any physical threat.

In October 2015, the 37th World Zionist Congress (WZC), the “parliament” of the Jewish people, will convene in Israel. At that time, the slate of leaders and policy stewards of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) that the Jewish people had voted for before April 30th, will assume their mantle of leadership. The WZO and its constituent and affiliate organizations are empowered to distribute more than one billion dollars to support programs throughout Israel and the Diaspora.

Vying for dominance in this election, are movements within our nation which seek to undermine and subvert Orthodox Judaism. These groups are using the WZC election to facilitate that attack.

These other streams are attempting to first hijack and usurp the financial resources that fuel Orthodox educational programs and materials. They are seeking to subvert the funding of the Hesder yeshivot, the subsidization and financing of services to Orthodox communities in Israel, and the grants and funding of Orthodox Shlichim and emissaries that are so effective in so many schools and institutions throughout America.

With an agenda far beyond merely derailing Orthodoxy financially, these streams also seek to undermine the ideals, convictions and beliefs that are the life-blood of Torah-committed Jews and which these programs both sustain and perpetuate.

The unabashedly stated goals of these other streams are diametrically opposed to fundamental Orthodox religious values, which include Religious Zionist outreach, Torah inspired education, the sanctity of a united Yerushalayim, intra-marriage, and advancing Aliyah. They decry the idea of hallachically performed conversions and the preservation of Shabbat in Israel. Undermining all of this and more are the stated positions and goals of the other streams.

Shockingly, many of their positions are not only anathema to those who are Torah-motivated, but create an existential danger to the Jewish State itself.

How so?

Some of the pronouncements of these streams include the advocacy of the nascent and growing BDS movement – “Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions.” They view support of BDS as necessary “tough love” – as they view other criticisms of Israel, the support and validation of intermarriage, and the undermining of Yehuda and Shomron.

It is imperative that Orthodox supporters of Israel recognize the current challenge. This is no mere theoretical point. It is not just another academic debate between theologians or a mere battle over funding.

It is an existential threat to Orthodoxy.

It is a threat driven by a blind selfi sh refusal to admit that, following the Pew Reports highlighting of Orthodox Judaism’s viability and vitality, it appears that adherence to a Torah way of life holds the key to Jewish survival.

In contrast to the war being waged against them, the Orthodox community is not seeking to dominate nor aggressively confront any other stream nor to be proselytizing. It is simply striving to preserve its own priorities and fundamental Orthodox religious beliefs. Th e Orthodox community is attempting to make clear, through successful presentation in the WZC election, that it is the presumptive voice of the Jewish people on the world stage.

Israel Independence in the Druze Community and Why Israel Is Organic in Its Land

Friday, April 24th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined in-studio by Ata Farhat, chairman of the Druze Zionist Council, to talk about his community’s celebration of Israeli independence. Though of a different religion and culture, the Druze fight in Israel’s wars and consider themselves an integral part of the Israeli nation-state. Find out why.

Then, Yishai rants about the beauty of Israeli independence. He says that while Israel’s enemies paint the Jewish state as foreign to the Middle East landscape, the truth is that there is nothing more organic — more holistic — than the Jewish people being back in Judea.

Finally, for his “Spiritual Cafe” segment, Yishai is joined by Rabbi Mike Feuer to discuss issues of Jewish statehood. Is there such a thing as “good” post-Zionism, for example? Rabbi Feuer sees Zionism as a holy re-entry vehicle into Jewish statehood. But is normalcy all Israel yearns for, or is there a grander vision?

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Zionism in Animation

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

A retelling of the history of Zionism was launched on Wednesday with an animated video chronicling the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in its historic homeland through Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

The project, called ‘Zionism in Animation’, aims to tell the story of Zionism in a series of 100 short animated clips, and is the brainchild of Shlomo Blass, head of Rogatka, a short film-making studio which has released some of the most viral political and hasbara videos in recent years.

“We hope to tell the story of the return of the Jewish people to their homeland in an attention-grabbing way, and inform and educate Jews around the world, especially young audiences,” said Blass. “By doing so we hope to strengthen their sense of belonging to the Jewish people and to the land of Israel.”

“Sadly, many Jews, don’t know enough about one of the most miraculous chapters in world history: the return of the Jewish people to their homeland. We believe that knowing our history is fundamental to strengthening our sense of solidarity and commitment to our people and land.”

The first video ‘How Israel Was Born’ was released to coincide with Israel’s 67th Independence Day and is meant to inform Israelis and people around the world about the story of Israel’s founding. A few years ago, a survey of Israeli students found that 60% of respondents did not know the name of Israel’s first prime minister.

“The digital revolution has dramatically impacted the way most people, especially Millennials, consume content,” Blass continued. “Research shows that we increasingly read less and watch more, and that the most effective way of educating and engaging people is through short-form rich content. This revolution has created a need for relevant materials in the field of Jewish and Zionist education.”

The first video was released in partnership with the Israel Video Network and has already received widespread attention and praise from Jewish and Israel advocacy groups and organizations.

The video is the first of three videos that Rogatka is hoping to make through the Jewcer crowdfunding platform, which he hopes will raise enough to make the next two videos. After that, Blass is inviting organizations and individuals to fund videos of their choice on any Zionism-related issue.

Mourning the Sacrifices: A Mother of Two Fallen Soldiers, and a Former IDF Surgeon-General

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts a speech delivered by Miriam Peretz, the mother of two fallen IDF soldiers, Uriel and Eliraz, during a “Friends of the IDF” dinner. In her address, she talks about her sacrifice, which she believes is necessary in the fight for the Jewish State.

Then, Yishai reads a story he wrote, called “Zikaron” (remembrance), one passage of which is as follows: “In that one moment, I though of gratitude: I am so thankful to you, fallen paratrooper, fallen Jew, fallen brother.”

Finally, Yishai is joined in-studio by former MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad, former surgeon-general of the IDF and head of plastic surgery at Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem. He says that if the state of Israel is the thesis of Zionism, then the Holocaust is the antithesis, and the days of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust and the fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism is the synthesis.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

The Lack of Jewish Rage, Zionism in Animation, and the Rationale Behind Belief in God

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

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Yishai takes the occasion of Israel’s Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism — and last week’s Holocaust Remembrance Day — to express his view of Jewish victimhood. He says that while we commemorate Jewish and Israeli victims, the ideology of Jew-hatred is alive and well. He also asks: “If the enemy has a free hand and no fear, can we really say ‘Never Again’? He takes issue with the lack of Jewish society’s “right to rage” when our people are murdered and our country deligitimized.

Then, Yishai is joined by Shlomo Blass, the director of Rogatka, a studio that creates short, pro-Israel videos. Among the founders of Caroline Glick’s satirical Latma series, that poked fun at the Left, he is now launching a new project: “Zionism in Animation” — 100 short videos on different aspects of Zionism, including important historical moments and figures.

Finally, Yishai is treated to a cameo appearance by VOI’s Pinchas Orban, who talks about the rationality behind belief in God.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

President Rivlin’s Independence Day Message Thanks Jews in the Diaspora

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin’s Yom Ha’Atzmaut message to Jews in the Diaspora thanked them for contribution to the Jewish state but did not even whisper a hint that they should make Aliyah and come home.

Israel and Jews around the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day Wednesday night and Thursday, one day before the usual date of the 5th of Iyar in order to avoid desecration of the eve of the Sabbath and celebrating through Friday evening.

This also is President Rivlin’s first year in office, and he did not even tiptoe the issue of Aliyah. He simply ignored it.

Suggesting Jews in the Diaspora to move to Israel usually is an itchy subject. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu angered some French leaders and especially the French government last year when he flatly stated after a terrorist attack on Jews at a kosher deli in Paris, “The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home.”

David Ben-Gurion, when he was Prime Minister in 1961, hit a brick wall in Baltimore when he told rags-to-riches millionaire Jacob Blaustein he expected several thousand American Jews to move to Israel every month.

Blaustein told Ben-Gurion, “American is our home.”

President Rivlin played it safe and patted American Jews on the back without ruffling any feathers.

He told them in the video that can be seen below:

Israel will forever be indebted to our friends and supporters abroad. Those who have contributed and continue to contribute to charities and foundations, those who have volunteered in the Israel Defense Forces even at times of war, those who stand up for Israel in the media – you are all part of the Israeli family, and should take joy and pride in Israel’s independence celebrations….

Together, we can work to ensure that Israel fulfills its promise of a Jewish and democratic country, with equality and freedoms for all its citizens.

I wish you all Chag Atzmaut Samayach and may we all enjoy a successful and prosperous Israel.

Americans, especially Jews, love to hear about “equality and freedom” in Israel. It makes them feel proud to be Jewish Americans – and not American Jews – so the non-Jewish community can huff and puff that the United States of America is the model for Israel.

America, the country where church is church and state is state and never the twain shall meet.

America, the melting pot.

America, where the assimilation rate among Jews is 70 percent.

If the Obama administration has not convinced American Jews to move to Israel, maybe Hillary Clinton can succeed.

Barak Invests $1 Million in Firm Linked to Military-Industrial Complex [video]

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News
by Ilan Shavit

The start-up Reporty Homeland Security Ltd has taken a $1 million investment from Israeli former prime minister, former defense minister, and former IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak.

Reporty is developing a platform to transmit real-time emergency reports. The company says the investment is designed to accelerate the development, recruitment and continued distribution in 911-type agencies worldwide.

Founded in 2014, the company is well-connected within Israel’s military industrial complex and the politicians that receive their flowers via FTD: there’s CEO Amir Elihai, a former special forces officer, as was Barak. He has worked 10 years in security organizations and has extensive experience in venture capital in Israel; and Pinchas Bukhris, former defense ministry director general and former commander of the IDF cyber unit 8200, now a director at Reporty. Ehud Barak said in a Reporty press release statement: “Reporty provides an answer to the essential need of every citizen – a sense of security, based on immediate and easy access to emergency services, including municipalities, hospitals, airports, Police, Fire and Rescue, etc. “Reporty will provide a platform for control and reporting, including large masses while protecting the privacy of each citizen.” Each year emergency services in Israel and around the world receive hundreds of millions of calls, goes Reporty’s raison d’etre. The average conversation time is from two and three and a half minutes, during which the operator must quickly assess credibility of the report, the event’s location, and what resources are available for use. Despite the long time spent delineating the relevant information for decision-making, various organizations still report that between 20 and 30 percent of their calls turn out to be false alarms. Another critical aspect is the speed of detecting the location of the caller. In the US alone, about 10,000 people die annually due to authorities’ failure to identify the locations of reported emergencies.

Report aims to change the scene when it comes to communication between the reporting caller and the various authorities, by streamlining the process of reporting and receiving, saving on expenses, and, more importantly, saving lives. The new application works through a broadcast video in real time, which, with the click of a button, transmits two-way video and audio to the appropriate emergency center, including accurate data about the location and the report’s degree of credibility.

This article was written by Ilan Shavit

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/barak-invests-1-million-in-firm-linked-to-military-industrial-complex-video/2015/04/14/

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