Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Tears for Tisha B'Av

Yisrael Medad writes an Op-Ed for the L.A. Times about how Obama's policies are the cause for even more tears to be shed this Tisha B'Av.
An apocryphal story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte entering a darkened synagogue and observing weeping Jews, sitting on low stools. Asking what misfortune had occurred to cause such behavior, he was informed that it was the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.

On that day, as Napoleon learned, Jews commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the fall of the Fortress of Betar. The day, marked with a 25-hour fast and a public reading of the book of Lamentations, signifies not only the loss of Judaism's singular holy site but the end of independent political sovereignty and the eventual expulsion, a second time, into exile.

On hearing that story, Napoleon exclaimed: "A people that cries these past 2,000 years for their land and temple will surely be rewarded."

Today, the 9th of Av, there are many new threats to Jerusalem, including the recent diplomatic dissing of Israel by the U.S. Fortunately, the words of President Obama and other U.S. officials have served to reinforce a consensus among Israelis that Jerusalem must remain exclusively under Israeli control and that even communities of Jews living outside the former Green Line, the armistice line drawn after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, must remain a part of Israel. (read the rest here)
And don't forget to vote on the same link/page -- babies born to US citizens in Jerusalem should have their US issued birth certificates state "Jerusalem, ISRAEL" and not simply "Jerusalem."


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tisha B'Av - HomeGame

As we approach the 9th of Av, and the mourning of many catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people over the millennia, we will be posting through Friday on this theme.

To start, the following film entitled "HomeGame" is available for (free) online viewing through the end of Tisha B'Av. (Its a 67 minute movie, so plan your time accordingly)

I highly recommend the film -- its about teenagers from Gush Katif during the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.

It took 19 years for the refugees of Gush Etzion to return and rebuild their homes destroyed in 1948. We hope that already next year, Gush Katif will be in the process of being rebuilt.

The film starts off with a "trailer" and then continues a few seconds later automatically to the film.








Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mofaz Waits On Line at US Border Control


On his way into the United States this past Friday, previous IDF Commander-in-Chief and Defense Minister, and current opposition Member of Knesset, Shaul Mofaz waits on line for 50 minutes at NYC Kennedy Airport's border control.

And he had to wait line with everyone else...along with submitting to digital fingerprinting.

He reportedly received negative comments from people passing by about his role in the Expulsion of Jews during the Disengagement 4 years ago and was taunted about what a success the Disengagement has become with the Hamas terror state created as a result.

I'm curious why he had to stand on line with everyone else, and wasn't granted any diplomatic privledges of at least bypassing the line.

You can be sure he flew Business Class.

The photo comes from Yisrael Bardugo.

Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Minor Victory

I know some(one) would like me to give my analysis of yesterday’s Moetzet Yesha Rally, but I was deep in the West Bank last night doing something else, so I’ll have to leave that to Jameel to write.

It was just over a month ago that Obama appointed Special Envoy to Mandatory Palestine George Mitchell announced at a State Department Press conference that Obama would be announcing His comprehensive Peace Plan in July.

And based on statements coming out of the White House and State Department, His vision certainly isn’t going to be a good one for Israel.

But during this past month the Obama administration faced setbacks as His vision hit the roadblocks of reality (sort of like His Health Care plan hitting fiscal reality).

Unfortunately, the major setbacks didn’t really come from Israel. They didn’t really come from Netanyahu.

True, Bibi showed he was a more experienced politician than Obama. Bibi showed he won’t bend too quickly.

But Bibi also showed that the 900 pound US gorilla does have the strength to move him around.

So far Bibi’s holding his ground and trying to keep the status quo and agreements reached with previous US administrations. But Israel didn’t vote Right to keep the status quo, we want positive actions on the ground.

Of course it doesn’t help when His administration is willing to Lie about previous agreements and understandings, in order to change the rules of the game.

It’s not as if there are any friends in the White House anymore.

Bibi's got a tough job (and hopefully a strong Likud making sure he holds his (our) ground).

And I will admit, the Arab States certainly have it easy.

They’ve got a US President completely sympathetic to their worldview and their version of the global (and regional) historical narrative. He’s not really making demands on them, or threatening them (not event the backhanded threats being heard so often against Israel).

So it’s easy for them to say no and take an even more uncompromising stance.

And that’s actually why the reports are leaking out that His Peace Plan has been delayed.

Obama was (unsurprisingly) unable to find any Arab states willing to compromise on their positions (which ultimately involve the end of Israel).

So they forced him to delay His announcement (talk about shooting yourself in the foot).

Now talk has it that Obama is pushing to get Syria heavily involved, and we all know what Syria’s price is (and what we will actually get in return – bupkiss).

Certainly from Obama’s viewpoint, there is no difference between Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem liberated in 1967, than there is the Golan Heights– and He’s already made it clear where he stands on the first three.

The delayed announcement is a minor victory, but it originated from Arab intransigence, not Israeli strength.




Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Monday, July 27, 2009

JEWS AND NON-JEWS....

Guestpost by ATBOTH
[http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/]


Rabbosai, good news for a change! Normally, political activism in the SF Bay Area, in so far as it involves Jews and concerns Israel, revolves around the hysterical members of the Proud To Be Ashamed To Be Jewish Contingent and their urge to make nice for the rather too ignorant instinctive supporters of underdogs.

We all know that the Arabs are underdogs, don't we? Poor little puppies!

Or at least, we've been told that so many times by so many honest and sincere individuals, who want nothing more than a peaceloving world in which bunny rabbits and butterflies can lead artistic and fulfilling lives, that we know the tropes.



THE BERKELEY DAILY PLANET

One of the newspapers that hammers home the "Arab: GOOD - Jew: Bad" message is the Berkeley Daily Planet. Which is the same newspaper that gleefully publishes Joseph Anderson's racist screeds against Jews, policemen, and other 'white imperialists'.

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2004-02-24/article/18346?headline=Last-Words-On-Lecture-Controversy&status=301

http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2009-04-02/article/32613?headline=The-Karmic-Justice-of-Lovelle-Mixon-s-Act

While the Berkeley Daily Planet may assert that it is a valid source of both news and opinion (debatable, for several reasons), there is little doubt that both it and its various pet-opinionists slant towards a point of view that is 'charmingly' old-fashioned, and nestled deep within the political traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth century in Europe (and Detroit).


Specifically, the urge to BLAME THE JEWS for everything.


In it's current incarnation, it is best expressed by the phrase: "being anti-Israel is not anti-Semitic".
Surely you've heard that phrase before? And what did you think it really meant? Given the general nature of the person who screamed it during an angry hate-filled confrontation?

[For further background on the old-fashioned tropes that the Berkeley Daily Planet insists on white-washing and reformulating, go here: http://www.bluetruth.net/2009/03/berkeley-daily-planet-superman.html and especially here: http://www.dpwatchdog.com/ ]



PETITION

There is now a site where you may counter the crusade waged by the Berkeley Daily Planet and it's obsessed owner/editor against anything and everything Jewish (except for the 'house-Jews', who obediently parrot the party line).

If you've ever found yourself nauseated after hearing "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", then this site is for you:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet.html


QUOTE:


WE ARE JEWS AND NON-JEWS…

We abhor the deliberate and willful publication of anti-Semitic and other hateful rhetoric and screeds by the Berkeley Daily Planet.

We stand with the free speech rights of those who would criticize the Berkeley Daily Planet for its obsessive and one-sided campaign against the State of Israel.

We join these people in insisting that the publisher and editor of the Daily Planet display integrity and responsibility to ensure that their pages are devoid of irresponsible misstatements of facts whose sole malicious intent is to besmirch Jews at large, the State of Israel, and individual citizens who decry the Daily Planet’s practices.

Contributions gratefully accepted. Please send to checks made out to IACEB and post to Israel Action Committee of the East Bay, POB 9354, Berkeley, CA 94709

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet.html


Go ahead - sign the petition.
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/fight-anti-semitic-rhetoric-at-the-berkeley-daily-planet/signatures.html


Of course, if you yourself have ever used the sentences "I'm not anti-Semitic, many of my friends are Jewish", "hating Israel is not anti-Semitism", or even "I'm a Jew and these people are sincere and not racist at all", you probably won't agree.
In that case, you may be reading the wrong blog. Not that there's anything wrong with that.


[Cross-posted from my own blog. Yes, I'll admit to being an opportunist for a good cause. Please also note that odd behaviour in the SF Bay Area is not unusual - see here: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2008/04/another-example-of-bay-area-jews-being.html or check any post that has the clickable link "Berkeley Cossacks"]


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Tel Aviv Nightclub Targets IDF Soldiers

The popular "Rogatka" (slingshot) nightclub in Tel Aviv is refusing entry to IDF soldiers in uniform.
IDF Uniforms are associated with oppression and genocide, and the IDF's violence is the reason for all violence in Israel, explained the club's workers.

The ground rules of the club are clear: Naturalism, Pluralism, and no IDF uniforms -- anyone can visit the club on Yitzchak Sadeh street in Tel-Aviv, with any clothing style, except for IDF uniforms.

Two IDF combat soldiers who visited the club last week were forbidden entry. They were told they could switch to civilian clothes and come in, but it was forbidden to wear uniforms inside.

"It's nothing personal, but ideological. Your uniforms symbolize genocide and violence." they were told by club employees and guests.

One of the soldiers took off his IDF issued shirt, but his Unit's t-shirt didn't pass muster either...and they were told to leave.

IDF radio sent a solider from an elite unit to validate the claims. As soon as he sat down at the bar, employees came over to him and demanded that he leave.

"Your shirt symbolizes sh&^ and disgust," he was told, "and as soon as I see your shirt, it hurts me. So before I hurt you, I'm asking you to leave."

The elite combat solider replied, "I kill myself to protect you and you're throwing me out?"

Their response: "They pay you half of what you deserve. You aren't killing yourself. They are taking advantage of you, and you're a slave to the army...now leave." (source, translated from IDF radio via rotter)
I feel bad for the people in Tel Aviv that have to put with up with this leftist garbage on a daily basis...and even worse for the IDF soldiers who wanted to visit the nightclub.

The faster the nightclub owners leave Israel, the better for everyone. Go somewhere peaceful, like Gaza.


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

An Illegal Outpost Story

An Illegal Outpost Story
By JoeSettler, Jameel, and the Zionist Enterprise.

The Settlers faced a fateful decision.

The law prevented them from buying and acquiring land in Eretz Yisrael. Jewish growth in strategic and historic areas was coming to a standstill, if not an end. Arab violence made the roads, towns and fields dangerous. What the Jews didn’t physically claim, the Arabs would subsequently move in and claim for themselves.

And worst of all, fellow Jews were snitching on the Settlers to the authorities.

The entire settlement enterprise was in danger of destruction.

Ideas were raised on how to fight these immoral laws and dangers to the Settlement enterprise.

But there was dissent. “Dina d’Malchuta Dina (The Law of the land) -- It's forbidden to go against the law of the government," some said, not understanding that this Jewish law never applies when the government’s law goes against Jewish Law – or according to many if not most opinions, that this doesn't apply in Eretz Yisrael at all.

“But there are Arabs who will claim the empty, untouched and uncultivated land as their own,” said others, ignoring that the Arabs could bring no proof or claim– not even a tax receipt going back 50 years. Their hollow words, were their only "proof of ownership", though they never owned the land at all.

“But the government won’t even recognize our right to purchase the land, or our deeds to the land,” said others, “much less our right to build on it. We shouldn’t do this. We'll lose what little legitimacy we have left.”

And among the Settlers there was concern that those who raised their voice in dissent, while claiming to not be in league with the enemy would actually run to report the Settlers' actions at first opportunity – as some had done in the past.

So a plan was devised.

“Illegal outposts” would be built throughout the land. It would be done quietly and at night. At morning’s light the Arabs would find strategic hilltops taken. The government would be confronted with facts on the ground.

The Settlement enterprise of Eretz Yisrael would be saved.

So it was decided to build these “illegal Settlements” in utter secrecy with the element of surprise...

The year of the above story took place in 1936, the government was Britain, and the results were that over 50 "illegal settlements", Tower and Stockade (“Homa u’Migdal”) settlements as they were called then, were established practically overnight (over a period of 3 years) in the Galilee, Beit Shean, and the Jordan Valley.

Many of these illegal settlements still exist today, 73 years later: Kibbutz Nir David, Kibbutz Negba, Hanita, Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi, Sha’ar Hagolan, Kibbutz Hafetz Haim, Kibbuz Ma’aleh Hahamisha, Kibbutz Ein Gev, Sde Eliyahu, and many others.

No one calls for their destruction anymore.

No one questions their legality anymore.

No one questions how important they were to the Yishuv.

But even then, as today, the move to inhabit and rule in the land of Israel was attacked and subverted by foreign governments, Arab violence, and Jews who would betray their own.


As US President Obama's proxy, George Mitchell arrives in Israel to turn the thumbscrews on the Israeli government to halt all Jewish Settlement building -- 11 new outposts will be built in the Land of Israel today and tomorrow.

Join the Settlement Enterprise -- for the sake of Israel's Future.




Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Haveil Havalim #227 is Live

It is Jack again and I am pleased to let you know that Haveil Havalim, the Jblogosphere's weekly blog carnival is live.

Go check it out.


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Selective Application of the Law

MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), Marzel, Itamar Ben-Gvir and company marched today in the Negev (inside the "Green Line") to highlight the selective application of the law in the State of Israel.

MK Ben-Ari said,
"We are here to direct the spotlights of Israel at one of our worst failures in recent years. Instead of taking care of this major land theft and rampant law-breaking, the authorities prefer to hide their head in the sand and ignore what's going on.

Beinish is busy trying to destroy Roi Klein’s house as well as homes in Haresha that were lawfully built and that Defense Minister Ehud Barak refuses to approve!

Here in the Negev there are thousands of illegal outposts and a complete takeover of land, and no one says a word. We want the lights of the law to shine here as well."

Ben-Gvir made the following announcement on the bus traveling to Rahat:

“We are going to Rahat as a tracking team to check the illegal construction in Rahat. Unfortunately, the rule of law in Rahat is in danger. We feel the severity of the ongoing illegal Bedouin construction in the south, and we are coming to tell them that they are not in charge....

Our message is that there must be one law for all.

The government, [Chief Justice] Dorit Beinisch, and the leftists all want to enforce the law in Hevron and Migron – and they are welcome to do so, but we demand that it also be enforced in Rahat, and in Umm el-Fahm, and in all the illegal Bedouin outposts in the Negev – no matter what the Islamic Movement says or does.

We want to see if Dorit Beinisch will come out in her pajamas to issue orders against the Bedouin, or does she do so only against the Jews in Hevron and elsewhere.”


I would say that when a law is selectively enforced, especially with clear political motivations against a particular sector (such as settlers)...



Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

PA Denies Bankruptcy Reports

News reports all the way from China...
RAMALLAH, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian financial expert and former minister of planning ruled out Thursday that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) would face an imminent fiscal collapse and a real bankruptcy.

Samir Abdallah told Xinhua on telephone from Ramallah that "this matter (PNA's financial collapse) will never happen."

He revealed that the PNA depends on its own financial resources "that cover 50 percent of its financial needs." He added that there are pledges of so many donors to develop and improve the PNA budget.

However, he admitted that "This doesn't mean the fiscal situation of the PNA is good, but it is difficult."

The PNA, which has been passing through a real financial crisis over the past few months, denied on Thursday earlier Israeli reports saying that the PNA is facing a serious fiscal collapse and a real bankruptcy.

Maybe they need President Obama's nationalized health plan as well?


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

To protest or not to protest

Tomorrow (Monday evening) there will be a big protest in Jerusalem, timed with the arrival of the latest bunch of Obama Boys here to rip the Land of Israel away from us.

This protest is organized by Moetzet Yesha, and to be blunt, the feeling of many settlers is there are better things we can do with our time than go and yell "Rah, Rah, Rah" at a Moetzet Yesha event.

For instance, there will be an independent "protest" happening at the same time, where a few dozen new outposts will be built at the same time all throughout Yehuda and Shomron - and perhaps a strengthening of existing one.



That for instance is certainly more interesting, and probably annoys the various powers-that-be even more (and might be more likely to make the news).

There's also talk that Bibi asked Moetzet Yesha to organize this protest as a show of strength and dissent. That's good, except that Bibi's government is busy tearing down new settlements, so who exactly wants to help him - in a way that doesn't help us.

If someone were to say that this protest was going to get a little "disorganized" and rowdy (and not because of Israeli policemen are beating up Jewish protesters), that might bring a lot more of people who want to display their anger and disgust at the Obama led government and His anti-Israel policies.


Meanwhile, I don't know if I'll go to it.

But I do plan to go to the Women in Green's Walk around the Walls (of the Old City). I go almost every year, and that is always a meaningful way of spending Tisha B'Av evening.

(My friends and I used to sit by one of the side entrance to the Temple Mount for Eichah, but the police have since made it impossible, so we stopped doing that a few years ago.)

Will you be going to the Moetzet Yesha protest?




Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance.

Moshe Feiglin makes an interesting case for the privatization of the land (done intelligently).

He addresses the mixed feelings I had that the current land structure is too strongly based on socialism.

Trust Moshe to always see things from a different angle.


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Chardalism: We want separate buses too

As if the Ultra Orthodox "Medhadrin" separate seating buses aren't enough, R' Shlomo Aviner from the "Chardal, Chareidi Leumi" Ultra-Orthodox Nationalist camp has come out with his own position on the bus segregation.

On R' Aviner's video blog, he states:
"It's a personal issue, and of course a mehadrin [segregated] bus in which there are only men or only women is more modest. Especially when there are immodestly dressed women on the bus. Therefore, it is better to have separated buses for men and women. Sometimes the bus is full of standing passengers pressed one against the other, and sometimes, they even sit on one another, but that's not so bad."
He then cites the Talmud from Bava Batra (57b) that if a person is walking along the riverbank and comes across women who are doing laundry washing in the river (and have sleeves rolled up/or dresses/pants rolled up to keep them from getting wet, thereby they are less modestly dressed), what should the person do? The Talmud answers, if there is another way around, he should take it, and avoid the women washing laundry in the river. If there is no other way around, he can walk past the women, but not look at them. (For more on the Talmudic discussion, see here)

R' Aviner ends off by saying the bus is the same thing. You should try to have separate buses for men and women, and if its not an option, to take the mixed bus, but not to look at people...the same as walking in the street.

Mixed Weddings, NO
Mixed Seating on Buses, YET?
(hat-tip for graphic: Shearim)

Personally, I find the comparison between buses and the riverbank distressing, and that its an unhealthy direction for national religious Zionism to take. R' Aviner is moving far away from "Modern Orthodoxy" in Israel (though there really isn't such a thing) -- and I'm sure the Chardal movement will use this as yet another excuse to label the Religious National camp as neo-reform...for not trying to establish segregated bus lines.

R' Mordechai Eliyahu came out against mixed seating at weddings as well -- saying that mixed seating will lead to mixed dancing:

R' Eliyahu stressed that listening to a woman deliver a speech, if she did so while using hand gestures, was also forbidden: "It's very serious. One should watch out for these things."

Men and women sitting together at weddings was also banned, according to the rabbi, let alone dancing together. "Today at weddings everything is allowed – to dance, to look… a man dances with a woman he doesn't know… men swap women. This is a very serious thing!"

"Rabbis, repent!" urged Eliyahu. "Admit: Say, 'we were wrong. We won't allow mixed dancing, mixed weddings, mixed sitting'." He said that more liberal poskim (rabbis that issue halachic rulings) were favored by women, "Because a woman wants to be looked at. But men don't like them, because men know this is wrong." (ynetnews)

R' Harry Maryles quotes very differing opinions when it comes to mixed seating at weddings:
Several years ago a transcription of a Shiur by Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet was circulated on the Internet. Rabbi Rakeffet is a renowned author and Rosh Kollel (or at least a respected Rebbe) at the Yeshiva University Kollel in Jerusalem. This Shiur spoke to my very deeply held belief that the current move to the right is harmful to Klal Yisroel. No where is this more evident than in the area of mixed seating at weddings. It is becoming increasingly rare to find a mixed seating event and separate seating has even found its way into some weddings in the MO community. In my own children’s weddings, two of my children had a separate seating and two of them had mixed seating. I basically left it up to them as to what kind of affair to have. As an aside I would point out that at the two mixed affairs, I asked my Rebbe, Rav Aaron, if he wanted to sit mixed with his wife or separate (I had a few tables reserved for Charedi Rabbanim who I knew wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting with their wives) . Rav Aaron chose to sit with his wife and his son R. Eliyahu and his wife, and other friends and their wives.

Mixed seating is not only permissible, but in my view it is a good way to spend an evening with your wife and friends and it is a good way for young people to meet for Shiddach purposes. Rabbi Rakeffet spoke to this issue and he did not mince words. I think it is a valuable lesson for all of us to see what he said and how he said it. It is interesting to note anger and condemnation, by Rabbi Rakeffet of the Yuhara that is so much a part of the Torah world today. This is the longest post I have written thus far. It is more than double the usual length. It contains the main body of Rabbi Rakeffet’s Shiur. Only tangential material was deleted. It is long but well worth the read. So sit back, relax, and enjoy. (Read the rest here)
Seems like the Chardal camp is moving farther and farther away from normative Religious Zionism. Not the best of tidings for the 9 days of Av.

Additional Source: Kikar


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Slated for Destruction

I know most people think that the "outposts" slated for destruction by the Defense Minister who refuses to give his final (and political) signature on the permissions that all other relevant authorities have signed off on are simply a bunch of old caravans or temporary wooden structures.

They don't realize that many "outposts" are approved (and preplanned) extensions of existing towns.

This is the house of Tamar (a Nurse), Mudi (an IDF combat officer) and Shaked Bibi.



It is on State owned land 50 meters from the town of Elazar in Gush Etzion- not on any land owned by Arabs (and most "outposts" are not on any land owned by Arabs).

It received all the appropriate signatures and approvals by all the relevant government authorities.

The only one it lacks is the political signature of the Defense Minister - because this is clearly a dangerous house.

It is slated for destruction.

For information on how you can help call Hana 052-811-9073




Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Arab Wedding Reaches the Settlements

If you're anywhere in Judea and Samaria these past few night, you probably haven't been able to sleep with all the explosions going on outside.

Yup. It's wedding time in Arabia, and that means fireworks and gunfire.

One family in the Northern Jerusalem community of Kochav Yaakov found themselves to be unwitting participants in a nearby Arab wedding.

The caliber was apparently 9mm, and the shooter never heard of gravity.

Usually it's just the participants of the Arab weddings that get shot and killed by the local merrymakers.

This time the bullet landed in the kitchen of a home in Kochav Yaakov (in Binyamin) ... on the kitchen table.

Imagine the surprise there.

Luckily no one was hurt.

Party on.


Tisha B'Av evening Wednesday, July 29 - join the Women in Green as they March around the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. But first the reading of Eichah will take place in front of the US Consulate on Agron Street at 8:00pm.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Rabbi Refuses to Bless Traffic Offender

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of Israel's most noted Ultra Orthodox Rabbis was approached by a yeshiva student involved in a traffic violation for a blessing, and the Rabbi refused.

Following is the transcript of the discussion between the 2, (originally in Hebrew, here)

Student: Honored Rabbi, I have a trial next week and they want to imprison me. Would the Rabbi please bless me to save me from this?

R' Kanievsky: What is the trial about?

Student: I was caught driving without a license after I crashed into a wall

R' Kanievsky: So you're actually a murderer! Actually, they should put you in jail. That would be very good.

Student (yelling): Why? G-d forbid, I didn't kill anyone, and I didn't even hurt anyone. I just had a small car accident between myself and a wall.

R' Kanievsky: But you were driving without a driver's license, were you not?

Student: Yes

R' Kanievsky: So are you called a real killer. You could have had an accident involving people.

Student: But I know how to drive well. Besides this could hurt [my chances] for a shidduch and yeshiva [study]

R' Kanievsky: There is no such thing as "know" [how to drive]. Without a license you don't know how to drive. Regarding shidduchim, its smart not to want you, you're dangerous.

Student: I really regret [my actions]. I just want the Rabbi to give me a blessing to save me in the trial.

R' Kanievsky: What do you regret? If you get a car tomorrow, you won't drive it? You will! Its best for you to sit in jail and study, "do not murder."

Student: Would the Rabbi bless me if I promise to be more careful starting today?

R' Kanievsky: I cannot bless you. May G-d help that you be sentenced [by the court] with whatever is best for you.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Ode to the Moon Landing


Photos, courtesy of NASA.


...And this morning's solar eclipse.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Dan Meridor Questions US (Obama) Credibility

I completely missed all this earlier until it started causing the US State Department spokesman a lot of trouble.

Dan Meridor (of all people!) said that the US must honor its agreements with Israel regarding settlements, and just because a new US administration came in, doesn’t mean that suddenly all former agreements are null and void.

"It was agreed that the Israelis can go on building within certain parameters. That's what happened, and no word was said against it in six years."

Basically Meridor was saying that Obama’s new policy destroys US credibility.

This is Dan Meridor speaking!

Meanwhile Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that “Israel acts and will act in line with its national interests, our rights in Jerusalem, including its development cannot be challenged”.

Them there are fighting words.

And they certainly caused the US State Department Spokesman some consternation.

And when continued to be pressed about all these statements, and then asked, “Would U.S. be ready to exert some financial pressures on Israel to convince the government to stop settlements?”

The US State Department spokesman did not say that the US would not put financial or other pressure on Israel (which would have been a normal response under most other US administrations), but instead replied that it is “premature to talk about that” – which implies that it is something the US is considering.

UPDATE (7/23/2009):

IDF and Defence Ministry held an emergency meeting today regarding the State Department remarks. They are examining the possibility of US sanctions on Israel and discussing alternatives.

Among the alternatives discussed is actually competing on the international market in areas that the US has restricted Israeli activities to prevent competition with US companies.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bill Gates Promoted to Director of WZO 's Herzel Museum


Click the link to see for yourselves.

hat-tip, CG.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Jordan in the news...again

Wihout a doubt, the Muqata's favorite Middle East reporter, Khaled Abu Toameh has the scoop for the Jerusalem Post:
Jordanian authorities have started revoking the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan to avoid a situation in which they would be "resettled" permanently in the kingdom, Jordanian and Palestinian officials revealed on Monday.

The new measure has increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians, who make up around 70 percent of the kingdom's population.

The tensions reached their peak over the weekend when tens of thousands of fans of Jordan's Al-Faisali soccer team chanted slogans condemning Palestinians as traitors and collaborators with Israel. Al-Faisali was playing the rival Wihdat soccer team, made up of Jordanian-Palestinians, in the Jordanian town of Zarqa.
Arab countries have always used the Palestinians as pawns in their rhetoric against Israel. While many live in squalor in "camps" in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan -- Israel even tried to create seriously better conditions for them in the camps in Gaza back in the early 1970s. Of course, the world condemned Israel at the time for trying to force a solution of "the Palestinian Refugee problem" in a way that didn't give Palestinians a State...

Jordan wants to pressure Israel, and the best way of "guaranteeing" a Palestinian State is to revoke the citizenship of the Palestinians living in Jordan -- and throwing the whole mess at Israel. Nice.

Khaled Abu Toameh really deserves his own post, because of the fascinatingly unique reporter and person that he is. Then again, I really don't want him killed by anything I may post here...

I actually started an article about him a few weeks back entitled, "The Palestinian Noah"...maybe I'll work on it later.

Meanwhile, I wrote 2 weeks ago about how Jordan refused entry to religious Jews from Israel, despite the peace treaty Israel signed with Jordan. Yesterday, Jordan evicted 6 Breslover Hassidim from Israel who wanted to pray the the tomb of Aharon the Biblical High Priest...in Petra, Jordan. (source in Hebrew)


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Buy a new truck...get an AK47

A USA Truck dealership is boosting sales by offering a free AK-47 assault rifle with the purchase of a new truck.

In the PA controlled areas, you can get an AK47 for free without needing to buy a new truck....just join PA President Abu Mazen's Freedom Fighting Fatah force. Israel's government passes the weapons on to the PA, which distribute them to their forces.
The Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility on Thursday for the shooting attack carried out in the morning near the settlement of Ofra [JR: on July 9th, 2009]. Gunmen fired at an Israeli car traveling in the area, no injuries were reported.

"The shooting was in response to Israeli attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip," the group said in a statement. (Ali Waked) (YNET)



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Refreshing Secular Viewpoints

Nachum Barnea on "Hareidim, an easy target"

Barnea hits the nail on the head -- similar to my post from yesterday.
It’s easy, too easy, to slam the haredim. They are the classic candidates for xenophobia. Even liberal Israelis, who are outraged by patronizing remarks made by a judge to a young Ethiopian woman, by the expulsion of emigrants, or by the abuse of Palestinians, hate haredim with a clear conscience. It’s commensurate with the bon-ton.
However, he goes after Hadassah hospital -- (while I believe more of the onus is on Jerusalem's Social Welfare department and the Police)
The “starving mother” affair is a clear example. The first incisive questions about her should have been directed to the hospital: Why did so much time pass before suspicions emerged that the problem has to do with the mother and not with the child? What sort of needless and damaging treatments did he undergo? What did the hospital’s social work department do about the case? Was there an effort to handle this grave matter in cooperation with the community?

A hospitalized child is under the responsibility of the hospital, rather than his mother. Before we turn her into a monster, perhaps we should look at what the hospital did with the responsibility given to it.

Hadassah’s hospitals make a living from the haredim. They have extensive experience in treating them. Many problems, including mental problems, were solved there over the years in a discrete manner, through dialogue with the rabbis. Even a radical haredim-hater won’t believe that a haredi rabbi would want to see the death of a haredi child.
He ends off with a surprisingly conciliatory message.
The only thing I’m suggesting is that the champions of secular righteousness wipe the drool off their face. We used to have a party, Shinui, which was feeding off the hatred of the haredim. This party disappeared as if it was never there. The haredim, on the other hand, were there before and will stick around.
Kudos.

Yael Mishali, another secular writer writes about the joy of large families -- even going against the policy of Kolech, the staunchly feminist religious women's organization.
The evil winds of secular, anti-motherhood terror are blowing in our sector. "Taliban mom" and the "starving mother" are just twigs in a fire that has been burning for a while. During the recent Kolech conference, several sessions were dedicated to family planning. The unequivocal demand of the organization's members is to spread the word of limiting birth. "It's possible," they say, "It falls in line with Halacha! Even male rabbis understand it now!"

And they don't only talk about numbers, bust also about the age factor. Why should young women give birth before they graduate from university? And before they integrate into the job market? And before they complete a second degree, without which they're not worth much? And how can they expect a meaningful, fulfilling career in between pregnancies and births?

This goes against everything I believe on this issue. I'm not shamed to say that in my view, the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our children is a big family. Very big. Plenty of brothers and sisters who will grow up to be the anchor and home of each and every one of them. And us.
Natural Expansion. Attempts to stop bad mouthing/generalizing the Chareidim.

How worthy for entering the month of Av.

May we continue to see expressions of tolerance among ourselves.

Kudos to Nachum Barnea and Yael Mishali -- may we see more articles like this, among our whole spectrum.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Monday, July 20, 2009

"Abused" Child Update

Stop it already!


This past shabbat, many people asked me about my posting concerning the Ultra Orthodox riots in Jerusalem this past week -- resulting from the alleged "deliberate starvation" of a 3 year old child by his mother.

Many asked me - "Why defend them" -- many commented, "Their riots are a Chilul Hashem" and "the mother should be locked up."

So, I would like to clarify a few points.

1. My oldest teenage son couldn't stop ranking on the Chareidi behaviour and riots. My wife replied to him very clearly: "Don't generalize." I wasn't defending the riots -- my only point was perhaps their was more to meets the eye in the mother's actions.

2. As you can see from the pashkevil/posters alongside this post, Hadassah hospital is clearly indicted by the Chareid community as having plotted this entire episode (including all sorts of really awful condemnations).

3. A friend of mine from Hadassah hospital stated unequivocally that there hospital's medical allegations of the child's treatment are true.

4. Last night, there are reports that the hospital's director and senior medical staff met leaders of the Jerusalm Chareidi community to stop the accusations against them and the hospital -- for the sake of the hospital, and also for the sake of the Chareidi community -- they will lose just as much if they start to boycott the hospital.

5. In addition to the vandalism and rioting, one of the most disturbing aspects of this story is the behavior of the Jerusalem Police and Jerusalem's Welfare/Social services department. This entire story could have had a different ending had an investigation into the mother's health been conducted prior to the media circus that the "mother intentionally starved her son". While this could have been done tactfully, someone decided that a show of force would be the best way of handling the story.

When you force any community that already feels threatened -- and push their back against the wall, the reaction is usually violent. Yet that's how Israel's police loves to handle things --Amona, outpost evictions, Gush Katif, and now this story as well.

The police takes pride in violent, physical, and hyped up circumstances -- as a means of warped public relations, showing that "they are the boss."

This isn't a new concept. Previous Labor (and then Kadima) Member of Knesset Chaim Ramon was asked on Ted Koppel's nightline show about the passive civil disobedience protesters in 1995 -- who opposed the Oslo process. Ramon unashamedly faced Koppel and said, "we will crush them."

"Crush them" -- what a lovely way of dealing with those you disagree with.

And turning this story into a media circus, publicly accusing an obviously sick woman of intentional criminal behavior, without even obtaining the court ordered psychiatric evaluation of the mother prior to her arrest -- snowballed into the mess we now have.

Jerusalem...and Israel have enough problems as is -- a tiny bit of "sechel" is needed, especially now.

The riots need to stop. The mother needs psychiatic evaluation. The police and social workers need to get a clue about PR.

Update: There have been 2 cases today of Chareidim who refused ambulance medical transport to Hadassah hospital, and insisted on going to Shaarey Tzedek instead.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

"And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity"

Ever see one of those Blue and White JNF Tzedaka boxes when you were growing up, perhaps in your grandmother's house?

Ever put a few pennies in there to help Israel acquire the land for the Jewish people?

If so, you may have been ripped off.

Over the decades, the JNF has purchased miles and miles of the land in Israel for the Jewish people.

In the past few years a few controversies popped up when JNF land was going to be swapped or sold, or when it was discovered that Arabs are squatting on it and claiming it for themselves, and don't get me started on the Dheisheh refugee camp in Beith Lechem - yup, Jewish purchased property by the JNF.

But the latest controversy is probably the biggest of them all.

The concept of land ownership in Israel is a little different than the rest of the world. Most land is owned by the State (i.e. the People) and is leased out in 49 year leases. A modern version of the Jubilee laws. The lease is automatically renewed at the end of the period.

Most land is not privately owned.

I, JoeSettler, have mixed feelings about this concept (too much socialism, and not enough Judaism perhaps), but Jameel says he supports it strongly.

Netanyahu is trying to pass a bill right now, that would allow the state to sell off JNF land, in perpetuity, to private land owners. Land that was bought by our grandparents with every penny they put into the pushke.

5% of JNF land is going to be privatized today with the passage of this bill, and perhaps this is a first step to privatizing all JNF land.

Today, Hamas was given $21 million dollars from an Egyptian sheik to begin acquiring land in Jerusalem. The PA continues to do so with money they get from around the world.

Certainly one of the last safeguards against losing ownership of the real estate of the Land of Israel was the lease concept.

Will the land your grandparents bought yesterday, that the government is forcing the JNF to privatize today, be in the hands of Hamas and the PA tomorrow?

The Netanyahu government is rushing to push this through.

But is it really one of their better and more thought out ideas?


Young men, spend a year learning Torah in Israel, with up to $10,000 in scholarships, grants and loans - at Yeshivat Hamivtar.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

The Boycott Escalates

The UK has struck again.

First it was academics, then military arms, now it's water.

Unison Scotland, the second largest union in Great Britain, has called on people to boycott Eden Springs UK, the British subsidiary of the Mei Eden Israeli bottled-water company.

On July 8th, the union published a notice in which it noted that Mei Eden's wells were located on the Golan Heights, which, it claims, are "occupied territories", according to the United Nations. Therefore, according to the union, a Hague treaty makes it illegal for Israel to distribute the water.

Of course, the water distributed in Scotland and other European countries is from local springs, and not from Israel.

So which UK company should we call for a boycott of next in exchange?

How about British Airways?

Jameel adds: See the 102 idiots supporting this boycott on facebook's "I Don't Drink Eden Springs" activist group.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Haveil Havalim #226

The latest edition of Haveil Havalim, the Jewish/Israeli Blog Carnival is now live.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Michael Oren hold his ground

As reported on A7.

The United States demanded that Israel cease construction in the Sheikh Jarakh neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. The construction site is several yards from the National Police Headquarters.

Israel’s Ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, was invited during the weekend to the U.S. State Department and was asked to clarify the purpose of the project. A senior political official said that Israel’s right to build in eastern Jerusalem isn’t in doubt and isn’t open for discussion. According to the official, the developer received all necessary permits from the planning committee and the government doesn’t plan to intervene.


Also, the Israeli government will now start using the term "Normal Life" instead of "Natural Growth" when describing Jewish towns created over the 1949 armistice line.

Which is of course exactly what we have here.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Arab problem with Shai Dromi

Bedouin leadership are planning protests and legal escalations against the acquittal of Negev farmer Shai Dromi.

Over the years, Dromi’s farm suffered a series of robberies and attacks, apparently originating from nearby Bedouin encampments and the Palestinian Authority.

His sheep have been stolen. His house burned down. His tractors stolen. His horses stolen. His dogs killed.

You name it. It’s been taken.

And unfortunately not much effective assistance from the local police – who are afraid or unable to confront the Bedouin or “Palestinian” thieves.

Only once did he recover his flock of sheep, only to have them stolen again 3 weeks later.

Two years ago, upon hearing strange sounds coming from his guard dogs, he awoke, and began searching his perimeter.

He found his fence cut, his lock broken, his dogs poisoned, and 4 men with fence cutters and metal bars standing over him on his property.

He shot and killed one of them, and wounded another.

It took two years, but he was finally acquitted and a law was created that permitted the use of deadly force in cases like his.

But the thief he killed was a Bedouin. And now the Bedouin’s are protesting the “racist” decision that “cheapens the value of human life” particularly members of the Bedouin community. They plan to fight the court’s decision.

Hmmm.


Other reactions from the Arab sector include:

"This is a mark of Cain on Israel's legal system's forehead," MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) said.

"The life of an Arab, even when shot in the back, is not equal before the law. Dromi's hands are dripping with the Negev fatality's blood. Even judges have prejudices," Tibi said in a statement.

MK Taleb A-Sanaa (UAL-Ta'al) said that "the court succumbed to the racist atmosphere and acquitted a murderer, thus giving a green light to a trigger-happy reality."

"Today's ruling will be forever lamented," A-Sanaa continued, "and I have no doubt that if the shooter were an Arab, the outcome would have been different."


As an aside, robberies of Jewish farms in the Negev dropped after the shooting.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hareidi Riots in Jerusalem

For the past 48 hours (and scheduled for 8 PM this evening as well) there has been mass rioting in Jerusalem over the arrest of a Chareidi/Ultra Orthodox woman from the Mea Shearim neighborhood, that police and welfare officials claim has been neglecting to feed her child.

See pictures from last night's rioting here.

Hadassah Hospital staff has officially stated as well:

Also Thursday, the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital rejected the haredi community's claims that the three-year-old child whose mother is suspected of starving him has cancer and had been undergoing chemotherapy.

"The child has not been diagnosed as a cancer patient and has not been receiving medications from the chemotherapy family," said Dr. Yair Birenboim, the hospital's deputy director-general.

According to Birnboim, the hospital's medical staff believes the child is suffering from malnutrition. "He is receiving an enriched diet, and I assume that once he recovers physically all the symptoms he has will pass. Within a few weeks, maybe even two or three months, he will be able to return to his family. We believe we saved his life." (YNET)

The Chareidi Community in Jerusalem feels they are wrongfully under attack, and that the woman did nothing wrong, let alone intentionally or otherwise, starve her child.

Israel has been rather brutal towards the woman and community in general:

Mother suspected of starving toddler son

Herzog: Child was saved from death

Is this brutal media treatment? Maybe not.

I guess the normal reaction should be revulsion; try to save the child, keep him as far away from the mother as possible, imprison the mother...(or send her for psychiatric observation...clinical testing -- maybe she has postpartum depression?)

Yet the Chareidi community overall supports the mother and family, which is why there has been mass rioting around Jerusalem (rather violent and messy as well). Are they living in a dream world, denying reality? Perhaps the police and welfare workers are wrong...and the child was sick (as the family claims)...

The following just appeared on the "Chareidim" website -- documentation that the child was diagnosed with a serious, terminal illness, which would result in...loss of weight (exactly the way the child appears now).

In summary, it appears the child suffered the past year from [disease removed from publication due to privacy] and appears to be towards the end [of a terminal illness]. The results of the long illness are drastic weight reduction and sever malnutrition"

Maybe the family's claims were right all along, and this really was a terrible case of anti-Chareidi propaganda?

Time will tell - I assume by Sunday, this case will be much clearer -- and the streets of Jerusalem will probably be one big nasty mess.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

Search the Muqata

Loading...

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails