Friday, September 23, 2016

Who’s Afraid of Israel? A Torah Thought for Parshat Ki Tavo

By Moshe Feiglin

And all the nations of the world will see that the Name of G-d is called upon you and they will fear you.” (From this week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 23:10)

This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, is the key to forging Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. It is a thorough and detailed description of how to build a Jewish kingdom in the Land of Israel such that all the nations of the world will immediately understand that the King of this nation is the Master of the Universe Himself – and their hearts will automatically fill with awe and admiration.

“And it will be when you come to the Land that Hashem your G-d is giving you for an inheritance and you shall inherit it and settle in it. And you shall take from the first fruits of the earth that you shall bring from your Land that Hashem your G-d gives you and you shall place them in the basket and you shall go to the place that Hashem will choose for His Name to dwell there.” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2)

The King of Kings, the Master of the Universe, dwells in your midst – in the royal palace; the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. And you, before you harvest the fruits of your economic success and close yourself off in your own world, are commanded to first ascend in joy to the royal courtyard; its gates are open for you. There, in the courtyard of G-d’s house, you will thank your King, remember and appreciate Him and internalize the loving kindness that He has bestowed upon you. You will coronate Him again as King over you, your family, your community, your nation and the entire world.

Afterwards, your daily routine will be informed by the guidance that you received at the Temple, in accordance with the holistic Torah that emanates from the place chosen by G-d. The Temple is really the only place from which the Torah can emanate in its pure, complete, unified and relevant form.
If a Jew does not live in the Land in this holistic way, he really has not yet entered the Land. Deep in his heart, he believes that he is merely a guest. The other nations of the world can protect their interests beyond their borders, but Israel dares not do so. Not because we are physically weak, but because we do not feel that this is our home. We have not come to the place chosen by G-d. True, we are the legal inheritor, the sons of the queen. But we have hurriedly passed the responsibility on to the son of the handmaiden. Israel does not ascend to the courtyards of G-d, but to the courtyards of Uncle Sam.

There is only one way to change direction. The face of the nation is its leadership. Israel urgently needs G-d fearing leadership.

And all the nations of the world will see that G-d’s Name is called upon you and they will fear you.

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Islam Academic: Migrants Want Eurabia, Globalists Using Migrants to Destroy The West

By Virginia Hale, BREITBART

A highly regarded researcher and academic has warned that Muslims in Europe view migration as he start of the Islamisation of the continent. Prof. Abdessamad Belhaj also detailed how globalists are using Muslim migrants to turn Western countries into socially divided societies of easily-controlled consumers.

The scholar of Islam and social sciences warned that large numbers of migrants are “calamitous” for the European people, and that neoliberal elites see Islamic terrorism, and state bankruptcy and collapse as collateral damage in their pursuit of endless wealth.

In an interview with Hungary’s Institute for Migration Research, Professor Belhaj discussed what he calls the Islamic moral economy.

He summarised this economy as based around the belief that “if there is money, it is because of Islam, and if there is Islam it will bring money”.

The Moroccan academic, who works in countries across Europe, stated that Muslim migrants view “all property as ‘given’ and not ‘acquired’ by work”. Professor Belhaj revealed that Muslims, therefore, believe that by taking Europe’s land, Muslims will be granted wealth.

He contended: “In Islamic discourses, migration is seen as a beginning of the Islamisation of Europe, the rich land that will change the fate of Islam, from a religion of the poor to a religion of the rich.

“This is of course a paradox since the poor can only make Europe poorer. Furthermore, immigration is justified as victory to the community”, Professor Belhaj added, and labeled the Islamic moral economy “disastrous”.

The professor disclosed that “state law has no weight compared to the law of God”, for Muslims, and so they establish parallel societies in Europe.

This state of affairs is perfect for neoliberalism, Professor Belhaj argued, as Muslim zones in European states “disrupt social cohesion and peripheralise societies”.

Professor Belhaj said elites in Europe “encourage migration and accommodate Islam”, and described the harmony between Muslim migrants and neoliberalism as “structural, and not accidental”.

The academic commented: “Migration is useful for the neo-liberal model of the borderless, minimal, global society, but is calamitous for the European citizens as a whole.”

Professor Belhaj asserted that dignity, freedom of expression and the middle classes are “outdated” for neoliberalism. Neoliberals’ desire, he said, is for society to have “minimal cohesion”, no middle class, and a state which doles out a “minimal income that should be used for consumption”.

Belhaj, who has authored four books and had more than fifty studies published in international publications, cautioned that as a result of the globalist system, “sustained poverty … is going to be the fate of a considerable portion of people in the West”

The professor noted: “European citizens see every day how immigrants evolve in a parallel economy and who display ethics that do not meet European ethical standards and do not serve local interests.”

Calling European “panic” over the migrant wave “justified and legitimate”, Professor Belhaj said: “It is a moral panic of resistance to the neo-liberal order, and rejection of the peripheralisation of Europe”.

Ask the White House to define: What is “Palestinian Land”?

By David Bedein (Israel Behind The News)

President Obama delivered an address at the UN on September 20, 2016.
During that address. Obama asked Israel not to settle “Palestinian land”.
Today, we asked White House Press Spokespeople to define “Palestinian land”.
There are five possibilities.

1. Arab villages abandoned in 1948. 
Palestinians who live in 59 UNRWA facilities still lay to claim these villages as “Palestinian land”. The UNRWA school system , funded to a large part by the US, is based on promoting “right of return” to this ”Palestinian land”

2. Areas settled by Israel beyond the 1949 Rhodes Armistice Lines.
After the 1949 armistice, Israel settled its citizens in the Negev and Galilee, over US objections. The US has never removed these objections. Hence, the Bush letter of April 2004 to Arik Sharon invoked the 1949 lines as the basis for US government policy.

3. Areas purchased by Jews in Judea-Samaria/West Bank.
The US often claims: Jews have no human rights in areas acquired after 1967.

4. The Old City of Jerusalem.
The Old City is defined by the Arab world as “Palestinian land”. For that reason, no Jew was allowed entry into the Old City, 1949-1967 , despite US and UN assurances.

5. Neighborhoods built on no-man’s land in Jerusalem, post-1967.
The US often objects. The question remains: Do Ramot, Gilo,and Ramat Eshkol constitute “Palestinian land’ ?

We asked the White House to explain which definition applies.
We have asked this five-pronged question many times of the US government, with no response.
We do not expect to get a response today either.

Upholding the Torah

By Rabbi Mordechai Willig


"Cursed is the one who will not uphold the words of this Torah to perform them" (Devarim 27:26). They accepted the entire Torah upon themselves with a curse and with an oath (Rashi, ibid).

Ramban interprets this acceptance as follows: he acknowledges the mitzvos in his heart and they are true in his eyes. If he denies one of them, or if he thinks that even one of them is annulled ["b'taila le'olam"] at any future time, he is cursed. If, however, he sins because of lust, or omits amitzva because of laziness, he is not included in this curse. This is a curse [cherem] against rebels and deniers of the Torah and its eternity.

Ramban then quotes the Yerushalmi (Sotah 7:4) which explains that the one who "will not uphold" is one who learned, taught, observed and performed the Torah, but he was able to strengthen the observance of Torah [among others, hareshaim hamevaltin osah] and did not strengthen it, and he is included in the curse. Ramban concludes: This is close to our [first] explanation.

How are these two explanations (denying the eternity of Torah and one who did not capitalize on an opportunity to strengthen its observance) related? The Artscroll edition of the Ramban (fn. 43) connects them as follows: upholding does not refer to personal performance, but rather to affirming the obligatory nature of the Torah, either in belief (Ramban) or by enforcing it (Yerushalmi).

Perhaps there is a deeper connection between the two explanations. The Ramban excludes a lustful sinner from the curse, because such a sinner believes in the Torah and its eternity but does not control his desires. However, a person who does not sin, does control his desires (or has none), and performs mitzvos as a traditional Jew, but does not believe in the divinity or the eternity of the mitzvos, would presumably be considered by the Ramban to be a denier of the Torah and its eternity. Such a person, therefore, would be included in the curse.

The Yerushalmi goes a step further than the Ramban, as follows: one who believes passionately in the Torah wishes fervently that it be observed universally. If he has the ability to increase the number of Jews who observe the mitzvos but does not do so, his belief may lack certainty or passion. This is close to the Ramban's explanation, because both understand the curse to relate to one who lacks belief rather than one who lacks performance.


The Yerushalmi states that King Yoshiyahu ripped his garment [when the sefer Torah was discovered, Melachim II 22:11] and said "Alai l'hakim - It is upon me to uphold". Ramban explains that the king and the princes are able to uphold the Torah and to enforce its observance by those who presently ignore it [b'yad Hamevatlin Osah]. As such, if they do not do so, they are cursed. Yoshiyahu recognized this and ordered the destruction of all the idols throughout his kingdom (23:3-15), and an unprecedented observance of korban Pesach (23:21-25).

Enforcement of this type is, of course, impossible nowadays. Nonetheless, even as we lack power to forcibly spread Torah observance, we do not lack influence. This is the mandate to engage in kiruv, to bring the non-observant closer to Torah performance and belief.

Recently questions have been raised, even among some traditional Jews who observe mitzvos, about the eternity of the Torah. Others have questioned the morality or eternity of a Torah law which modern society regards as immoral or outdated. Some actually reject the concept of a divine, immutable Torah. These attitudes may be included in Ramban's understanding of "aror asher lo yakim", even if no laws that require or forbid specific actions are violated.

Here, too, we are powerless to enforce, but we are able, and therefore responsible, to influence others. We must unapologetically affirm our belief in the divinity, morality and immutability of Torah. If we cannot convince the deniers or doubters, we must at least strengthen the believers. As the Yerushalmi states, anyone who is able to strengthen the Torah and does not do so is one who "does not uphold" it. May each of us, like Yoshiyahu, recognize our responsibility and exclaim "Alai hakim - it is upon me to uphold."

The State of Israel should Observe Shabbat

By Zvulun Orlov

(Ed. note. Orlov is absolutely correct. This the right solution and religious observance would sky-rocket. Can you imagine what would happen with a "normal" weekend in Israel? All the poor working slobs kill themselves now for six days and only have one day (shabbat) for the kids, shopping, soccer games etc. Now you move the games to Sunday and treat Sunday like a weekend day? You'll be building new shuls in every neighborhood.  Feiglin has said this for years. Unfortunately, the last thing the powers that be/shadow government in Israel wants is more religious observance which is why this has been shot down before.  When real leadership takes over, this will be one of the first things on the agenda. Count on it.)

The issue of work performed on the Israel railroads on Shabbat has for the time being been removed from the public agenda, but Shabbat still bears the brunt of insult from the religious Zionists for their silence and for ignoring this issue, even though one of the main goals of religious Zionism is to establish the characteristics of the Jewish state. Railroad employees who work on Shabbat are only the tip of the iceberg among a broad breach of the Work and Rest Hours Law which has been going on unabated for years. About 40% of all the merchandise sales in this country are done on Shabbat, and tens of thousands of Jews are employed on the official day of rest. A broad segment of the population also comes to see mass sports and cultural events, which often involve desecration of the Shabbat.

Can we become reconciled to a shattering of the religious status-quo in the country with respect to Shabbat? Is it not our job to decrease the public desecration of the Shabbat in our land? Rabbi Rozen proposed in this column recently to utilize non-Jewish “gashashim” – Gentiles who will perform the labor on Shabbat. This halachic solution can replace only a small fraction of the number of people who currently have legal approval to work on Shabbat. There is no way that there will be enough non-Jews available to perform all the work in all the professions throughout the country.

Two Types of Law

About a decade ago, Rabbi Yisrael Rozen and I proposed an “out-of-the-box” solution as a way to decrease the mass desecration of Shabbat: To make a law establishing Sunday as a second weekly day of rest instead of Friday (as it now is). This could trigger a natural process in Israel similar to what has happened in much of the Western World. Shabbat will be set aside as a day of rest dedicated to the family, with no commerce and a great decrease in cultural and sporting events. These events will be moved to Sunday, so that Shabbat observers will also be able to participate fully.

Together we proposed two complementary laws to accomplish this purpose. One law would establish a new day of rest on Sunday. Work on Friday would stop at one o’clock, with the work hours on the rest of Friday to be distributed throughout the other days of the week, such that the total hours in the work week would not change. On Sunday there would be no limits on commercial activities, and all sports and cultural activities would also be moved to Sunday.

At the same time, with the initiative of Rabbi Rozen, we proposed another law (after consulting with prominent religious Zionist rabbis – such as Rabbi Sha’ar Yeshuv Cohen, who recently passed away, and Rabbis Yaacov Ariel, Tzefania Drori, Dov Lior, and Nachum Eliezer Rabinowitz). The new law would have formally established for the first time that “Shabbat is the national day of rest of the State of Israel.” It would completely forbid industry, commerce, work, and public services. As opposed to other previous proposals, this law would not contain any explicit exceptions which permit violations of Torah law. Rather, the law would ignore any other types of activity, so that it would not be necessary to make explicit compromises of the halacha.

The Power of the Religious Market

Establishing a second day of rest on Sunday would allow merchants and their customers to refrain from doing business on Shabbat, and these activities could then take place on Sunday, when the people have free time. The logic of these two interrelated proposals and the linkage between them is as follows: On one hand all commerce and industry will be closed on Shabbat, and many of the sports and cultural activities will be curtailed. On the other hand, on Sunday, which will remain open for these purposes, it can be assumed that the Shabbat-observing public, who make up about 30% of the population, will join the activities. Special projects, such as might be needed for maintenance of the train system, can be scheduled for Sunday.

These proposals should also help heal the rift between the religious and nonreligious sectors and set aside any disputes about Shabbat as a major point of contention among the people. This proposal about a Shabbat Law is based on the social agreement that was proposed by Prof. Ruth Gavison and Rabbi Yaacov Medan, but their agreement was based on mutual compromise. We must remember that all attempts to achieve “all or nothing” have failed in the past, and in fact the situation of Shabbat violations in the country is much closer to “nothing” than to anything else. These proposals are an attempt to save what can still be rescued.

Religious Zionism should do its utmost to use all legal means to rescue the national day of rest from oblivion. It is our task to do this!

Notes From The Haftorah: Darkness and Light

By Rabbi Oury Cherki
Machon Meir and Rabbi of Beit Yehuda Congregation, Jerusalem

The redemption of Yisrael has consequences not only for the nation of Yisrael, which returns to freedom and to its original identity, it is also important for all the nations of the world. And this is true not only in the political realm but also in the realm of theology. This is clear from this week’s Haftarah: “Rise up! Shine the light! (Note that this is a command.) For your light has come, and the glory of G-d shines on you.” [Yeshayahu 60:1]. Our return to our land is also the renewal of the spiritual influence of Yisrael on the world. This will lead to the removal of the influence which competes with Yisrael – Christianity, which bases its entire claim on the low status of our nation. When Theodore Herzl turned to the Pope for support in establishing a country for the Jews in Eretz Yisrael, the answer was: “You are asking for something that is opposed to everything I believe.”

The Talmud describes this spiritual tension:

“Rabbi Simlai explained a verse written by the prophet. ‘Woe to those who lust for the day of G-d, why do you consider it the day of G-d? For it is darkness and not light!’ [Amos 5:18]. This can be compared to a rooster and a bat that were waiting for dawn. The rooster says to the bat: I am waiting for light, because it is mine. But you, why do you want the light? And this is similar to what an apostate said to Rabbi Abahu: When will Mashiach come? He replied, He will come when you are all covered by darkness. The apostate asked, Are you trying to curse me? He said, there is a verse, a written text: ‘Behold, darkness will cover the earth and a fog will cover the nations, but G-d will shine over you and His glory will be seen through you!’ [Yeshayahu 60:2].” [Sanhedrin 98b; 99a].

Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook explains a similar idea. “As the world progresses and the spark of the sanctity of Yisrael appears in all its greatness, none of the outsiders will have any power to establish an institution that will overpower the light of Yisrael or to set up a mystical light which is called faith and will be able to exist outside of the reality of this nation, its glory, and the brilliance of its holiness.” [Orot, page 17].

This means that the greatest kindness that can be done for the other nations of the world is not to gloss over the great theological abyss that has opened up at their very feet as a result of the political awakening of the nation of Yisrael. Rather, it is necessary to reveal to them the Divine truth which has always existed within Yisrael. In this way they will be able to understand that what they wanted to receive from the Divine light through the Christian myth was in essence the light of the holy Shechina that exists in Yisrael. While this was mostly hidden during the exile it is clearly visible in the formation of the State of Israel.

And that is the great tidings that appear in the Haftarah: “And many nations will follow Your light, and kings will go after the shine of Your glow” [Yeshayahu 60:3]. Thus, the return to Zion obligates us not only to mend our own ways but also to spread the message of the word of G-d to the entire world. We must teach all of mankind to follow the path of G-d, in line with our daily request in the prayer of “Aleinu.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"An Aramean tries to destroy My Forefather"

By HaRav Mordechai Greenberg
Rosh HaYeshiva, Kerem B'Yavneh

"Arami oved avi" ("An Aramean tries to destroy my forefather"). (Devarim 26:5) Based on this verse, the authors of the Passover Haggadah formulated the text: "Go and learn what Lavan, the Aramean, wanted to do to Yaakov Avinu. Pharaoh decreed only against the males, whereas Lavan sought to uproot everything, as it says, 'Arami oved avi.'"

Why, of all the anti-Semites, did Chazal see fit to single out Lavan the Aramean? The Maharal, in his explanation of the Haggadah, addresses this (Gevurot Hashem, ch. 54):

In this passage, [Chazal] revealed very many things. Israel had adversaries, unlike other adversaries who came for some reason, but Israel had haters and enemies with no cause. The ones who opposed Israel most and without reason, were Lavan and Pharaoh ... The reason of Lavan was also without cause, because Yaakov did for him only great goodness, and [Lavan] chased after him ... Not so Esav who wanted to kill Yaakov - this was for a reason, because [Yaakov] took his birthright ... When you comprehend this, you will find the reason of hatred ... which is something very hidden.

Lavan is the classic example of anti-Semites throughout the ages, who hate Israel without reason.

Nonetheless, the question remains: Why do the nations of the world hate Israel for no reason?

The issue was already addressed at length (click here), and we will be brief here. "You are My witnesses, the word of Hashem, and I am G-d." (Yeshaya 43:12) Israel testify as to G-d's existence in the world. Chazal say: "When you are My witnesses, I am G-d, and when you are not My witnesses, it is as if I am not G-d." (Yalkut Shimoni) Knesset Yisrael "cloaks the Divinity that is revealed in the world at large." (Orot p. 149) Therefore, G-d is so bound with Am Yisrael, "That if the enemies cut off our name, "Your [trouble] is greater than ours,' for if we are not here, [it is as if He] is not here." (Ramban Shemot 29:46)

The war of nations of the world is focused on the war against G-d. However, it is not possible to fight Him, and therefore they fight against the one who represents him in the world. "Why do nations gather ... against Hashem and against his anointed." (Tehillim 2:1-2) The Rambam writes in Iggeret Teiman: "Because the Creator designated us with His mitzvot and His laws ... and our worth over others became apparent ... all the heathens were greatly jealous of us because of our religion ... and they want to fight against Hashem and to do battle with him, but He is G-d and who can fight against Him?" The Ramban similarly writes in Parshat Ha'azinu: "'We were killed on Your account all the day,' and therefore on account of their hatred of G-d they do all these evils to us. They are His opponents and enemies, and it is up to Him to take vengeance from them." This is what the Torah says, "'I shall return vengeance upon My enemies and upon those that hate Me shall I bring retribution.'" (Devarim 32:41)

"Idolatry recognized in Israel, in Judaism, its greatest enemy ... and great instinctive hatred to Israel arose from all the nations." (Orot Hatechiya ch. 2)

This is the intention of the Maharal when he writes that the hatred is for no reason, i.e., no apparent reason. The hatred is internal, subconscious, which is not understood externally, but simmers subconsciously.

Verification of this we experienced, unfortunately, in recent generations, in the words of Hitler, may Gd obliterate his name, the crazy German, who said about the Jews: "The Tablets of Mt. Sinai lost their value. Conscience is merely a Jewish innovation." "Fate sent me to be the great emancipator of mankind. I free people from the bonds of spirit, but the submitting tortures of false vision, called conscience and ethics." "There cannot be peace between these two forces." "See how we will succeed through the force of was alone to turn during a short time the concepts in the entire world, but this is just he beginning. The battle over control of the world is fought just between us; the war of the Germans against the Jews. Everything else is just a false mirage."

"For they take counsel together unanimously, they strike a covenant against you." (Tehillim 83:6)

War and its Significance

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

“When a great war takes place in the world, Messianic forces are involved... The larger the war in quality and quantity, the greater our anticipation of advances in the Messianic process” (Orot 3, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook). 

There is a connection between redemption and wars, as our sages said, “In the seventh year will come wars. In the eighth year, the son of David will come” (Megillah 17b). “The Master of wars... causes salvation to spring forth” (blessings preceding the morning Shema). The prophets are full of descriptions of the War of Gog and Magog -- that terrible war in which the enemies of Israel suffer resounding defeat in their attempt to conquer Jerusalem, and out of which G-d’s name shall be magnified and sanctified in the world. Indeed, when we recite the Kaddish, we open with, “Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name.” And when will His great name be magnified and sanctified? When the enemies of Israel suffer a resounding defeat. G-d’s glory will then be magnified and sanctified in the world, when Israel’s glory is magnified in the world. 

Today we are in a war which began before the State’s establishment, with the first Aliyot to Israel. The symbol of heroism of those days was Joseph Trumpeldor, who sacrificed his life for our hold on the Galilee. Our enemies today make use of the same ploys they used back then. When they were repulsed by Trumpeldor and his comrades, they tried treachery, approaching Trumpeldor with their hands outstretched as if in friendship. Yet once they had penetrated the fortified courtyard of Tel Hai, they murdered Trumpeldor and his comrades.

Now, as well, our enemies are attempting, by means of terror, to weaken and subjugate us, with the goal of driving us out of our land. When they see that they are not succeeding, they make use of the weapon of “peace,” with the aim of taking bites out of our land while planning for the next stage of the war. We can console ourselves and have faith that we will be victorious in battle. In order to be victorious, we need not just tanks and jets, but faith and spirit, as well as knowledge of what we are fighting for, and why. We have to realize that we are fighting in order to sanctify G-d’s name publicly.  

Israel’s hold on Eretz Yisrael and its capital Jerusalem brings light to the world, through G-d’s kingdom being revealed on earth, and through the divine bounty produced. As Isaiah said, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). 

Our enemies are attempting to extinguish the light, but the children of light shall defeat the children of darkness. 

Longing for complete salvation, 
Shabbat Shalom.

Where Does Black Lives Matter's Anti-Semitism Come From?

By Philip Carl Salzman

  • Black Lives Matter has been guided to anti-Semitism by the concept of "intersectionality, which argues that all oppressions are interlinked and cannot be solved alone. Thus, women can never be treated fairly if blacks face racial prejudice, and the disabled are not given sufficient support to be equal to the abled, and unless the Palestinians are liberated from the Israelis, and the Israelis are liberated from their lives and their home.
  • "Intersectionality" urges us to view the world as divided into a conspiracy of oppressors and an agony of oppressed, and reduces people to a number of categories, such as gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, capability, etc. Differences, such as sexism, racism, nationalism and ability -- as opposed to what we have in common -- are reinforced.
  • Supporters of "intersectionality" cheer terrorists when they murder Jews. To them, that is just "social justice" at work.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) has been guided to anti-Semitism by the concept of "intersectionality, which argues that all oppressions are interlinked and cannot be solved alone. BLM activists have visited Gaza and expressed a sympathetic attitude towards groups like Hamas, which calls for the genocide of Jews and engages in terrorism.
The recently published platform of Black Lives Matter (BLM) states that Israel is responsible for "the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people," and "Israel is an apartheid state ... that sanction[s] discrimination against the Palestinian people." These statements are anti-Semitic not only because they are false and modern versions of tradition anti-Semitic blood libel, but also because BLM selectively chooses the Jewish State out of all the states in the world to demonize. What has inspired BLM to engage in this counter-factual, anti-Semitic rant? BLM has been guided to anti-Semitism by the concept of "intersectionality."
"Intersectionality" is the idea that all oppressed peoples and categories of people share a position, and by virtue of that fact are potential allies in the struggle against their oppressors.

Palestinians: "The Mafia of Destruction"

By Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have turned medical care into a business that earns them hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. This corruption has enabled top officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to embezzle millions of shekels from the PA budget.
  • In 2013, the PA spent more than half a billion shekels covering medical bills of Palestinians who were referred to hospitals outside the Palestinian territories. However, no one seems to know exactly how the money was spent and whether all those who received the referrals were indeed in need of medical treatment. In one case, it appeared that 113 Palestinian patients had been admitted to Israeli hospitals at the cost of 3 million shekels, while there is no documentation of any of these cases. Even the identities of the patients remain unknown.
  • Hajer Harb, a courageous Palestinian journalist from the Gaza Strip, says she is now facing charges of "slander" for exposing the corruption. She has been repeatedly interrogated by Hamas. The PA regime, for its part, is not too happy with exposure about the scandal.
  • Gaza's hospitals would be rather better equipped if Hamas used its money to build medical centers instead of tunnels for smuggling weapons from Egypt to attack Israel.
A Palestinian man is transferred to an Israeli ambulance at the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, on his way to an Israeli hospital, July 29, 2014. (Image source: Israeli Foreign Ministry)
Question: How do Palestinian patients obtain permits to receive medical treatment in Israeli and other hospitals around the world? Answer: By paying bribes to senior Palestinian officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Those who cannot afford to pay the bribes are left to die in under-equipped and understaffed hospitals, especially in the Gaza Strip.
Yet, apparently some Palestinians are more equal than others: Palestinians whose lives are not in danger, but who pretend that they are. These include businessmen, merchants, university students and relatives of senior Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas officials, who receive permits to travel to Israel and other countries under the pretext of medical emergency.

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Ki Tavo: You shall reap what you sow

Parashat Ki Tavo 5776

You shall reap what you sow

Our parsha begins with the mitzva of “bikurim” – a landowner who grew any one of the seven species of flora which are indigenous to Eretz Yisrael: wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive or date, must bring a sampling of the first growth to the Bet Mikdash (holy temple in Jerusalem) starting after the holiday of Shavuot.

The landowner declares his recognition and thanks to HaShem for the bountiful blessings he received as an owner of land in Eretz Yisrael and presents the fruit to a Kohen who places it near the altar.

Then the landowner voices a short historical overview of Jewish history, ending with:
(ח) ויוצאנו ה’ ממצרים ביד חזקה ובזרע נטויה ובמרא גדל ובאתות ובמפתים:
(ט) ויבאנו אל המקום הזה ויתן לנו את הארץ הזאת ארץ זבת חלב ודבש:
(י) ועתה הנה הבאתי את ראשית פרי האדמה אשר נתתה לי ה’ והנחתו לפני ה’ אלהיך והשתחוית לפני ה’ אלהיך:
(יא) ושמחת בכל הטוב אשר נתן לך ה’ אלהיך ולביתך אתה והלוי והגר אשר בקרבך:

 8. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great awe and with signs and wonders.
9. And brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey;
10. and now I bring the first fruits of the soil that you, Lord, have given me.– Then place the basket before the Lord your God and bow down before him.
11. Then you and the Levites and the converts residing among you shall rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household.

It is interesting to note that the Bikurim declaration deals with material agricultural matters while ignoring the bigger implications of the Jewish nation and our great spiritual mission as HaShem’s chosen people. The reason is that at the time of HaShem’s revelation at Sinai, world history was not yet sufficiently developed for the Jewish nation to impact on humanity. The great empires of Persia, Greece and Rome were not yet born, nor had the major religions, which grew out of Judaism, appeared on the world stage.

With the blessings of HaShem and the sacrifices of dedicated, loyal Jews in Eretz Yisrael, the Bet Hamikdash will soon ascend above the mountains of Judea and our landholders will bring to it their first fruits. But their declarations will be a bit different than the text of our parasha.

One part of the declaration will be to point out and offer thanks to Hashem for the great material wealth that this land has given forth to those who dwell in it. Riches that will reach the quality and quantity of King Solomon’s legendary monarchy, in which the Talmud states that gold abounded like stones in the street.  Then the declaration will deal with the miraculous survival of a handful of Jews in a world that tried in every way to eradicate our existence.

The declaration’s crescendo will focus on the unbelievable, miraculous, unprecedented establishment of Medinat Yisrael and the return of the Jewish nation from the far flung corners of the galut. It will deal with the Medina’s destruction, demolition and devastation of the false gods of Islam and Christianity, each one claiming that it replaced the Jewish nation as God’s chosen people, with the proof being the never-ending exile of the Jews from the holy land. Our very return to Eretz Yisrael, regardless of the spiritual level of many here is a devastating rejection, rebuttal, denial, contradiction, repudiation and disavowal of all of their false claims.

The thundering words of the prophet Yishayahu will be realized, as brought down in the second chapter of Yeshayahu:

This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2. In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

3. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths”. The law will go out from Zion; the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

4. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

5. Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

However, not every Jew in the world will merit to share in the exhilaration of grandeur that will be part of our nation’s future.

If one does not toil to bring forth the spiritual and material richness of HaShem’s blessed land preferring to dedicate his energies to foreign lands and cultures, how can he expect to share in the rewards awaiting those Jews who sacrifice so much to sanctify Hashem’s name?

As we approach the Days of Awe, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we should all remember that no action or thought is forgotten before the Almighty. Although He is our merciful Father “Avienu”, He is also “Malkaynu” – our King who metes out justice based on “a measure for measure” – what you invest is what you receive in return.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5776/2016 Nachman Kahana

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Shimon Peres' Secret Weapon

By Moshe Feiglin, Chairman of Zehut

Regardless of what you think about Shimon Peres, the real question surrounding the public reaction to his stroke is: What makes an entire country go into hysterics over the health issues of a 93 year old senior who belongs to the minority political camp?

To understand this, we have to take a peek at extreme examples of inexplicable public outpourings of love for leaders.

When the former leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il passed on in 2011, the world watched in amazement as the masses reacted with a spontaneous outpouring of mourning. After all, their deceased leader had been a mass murderer. Was it all really just staged?

An estimated 500 Soviet Russian citizens froze to death, were trampled or choked as they attempted to enter the Hall of Columns, where Stalin’s body lay in state. Stalin had slaughtered tens of millions of his countrymen. Did somebody force the masses to stand out in the freezing cold?

Apparently, the mourning truly was spontaneous. The downtrodden public does not know any other reality. For the masses, when the dictator dies, their father and mother have abandoned them. The sun ceases to shine…

Israel’s Right has never managed to create an alternative to the peace industry and peace mentality symbolized by Shimon Peres. When Netanyahu hugged Arafat and to this very day talks about a two-state solution; when Bennett talks about Areas A, B and C (just like Beilin 20 years ago) – all that is left for Israelis is the language created by Peres. 

The terrible price that we have paid and are still paying for the distorted vision of the man is irrelevant. As long as this is the only vision in Israeli reality, all will be forgiven and all will be forgotten. He is the earth under our feet and the air that Israeli consciousness breathes.

Peres’ secret weapon is really…Israel’s Right.

“Who won the elections?” journalist Daniel Ben Simon asked Peres after he was defeated by Netanyahu in 1996.

“The Jews,” Peres answered. “The Jews defeated the Israelis”.

It soon became clear that Peres was mistaken. The Jews did win the elections. But when Netanyahu hurried to hug Arafat and endorsed Oslo in the name of the Right, the Israelis celebrated their greatest victory.

Zehut is the only political party in Israel that finally supplies the Jews’ answer to the Israelis.

Only those who have an alternative can win. And relate rationally to Shimon Peres.

Do YOU Stand for the National Anthem?

By Shmuel Sackett, 
International Director of Zehut

NFL star Colin Kaepernick made lots of headlines recently when he declared that he would not stand during the singing of the national anthem. His comments were very controversial and the airwaves lit up with comments, suggestions and non-stop chatter about his position. Even though he is the quarterback for San Francisco (backup quarterback, actually) his comments made the front page of New York newspapers and was the lead item on Fox News for many days. His words gained momentum when other NFL players, from different teams, agreed with his position and followed his lead. This intensified the debate and added fuel to the fire. Why am I writing about this issue, in a column dedicated to Israel? Simple. Because Colin Kaepernick has no idea that 90% of the Jews in America actually do the same thing!

While Jews have a lot to thank America for, when it comes to being a “nation”, it simply cannot be the USA.  Jews all over the world are connected and share a common bond. A Jew in Melbourne, Australia is the brother or sister of a Jew in Paris, France. This is true for Jews in Edgeware, England and Moscow, Russia as well. We are all connected and, in essence, one large family. We have one Father who gave us one Torah and who instructed us to live in one Land. To make things simpler, we are one Nation. Therefore, while we temporarily live in New York, Chicago or Johannesburg, we are not part of that nation. Yes, we are part of that society but a person cannot be a member of two nations. What all this means is that when it comes to singing the national anthem, you better know the one that applies to you!

Of course you should respect the country you live in and Jews always have. We have helped build almost every country of the world and made countless contributions to the economy, culture, education, science, military and even politics of the countries in which we lived. My own father, of blessed memory, fought for the USA in WWII – together with his brother (who received 2 purple-hearts!) and my mother’s two brothers. Another uncle of mine was a NY police officer for 25 years and a different uncle was a top judge in NY as well. Jews fought in the toughest battles and bled for the USA. We built factories and businesses, all over the world, and employed millions of people. Our contributions in literature, medical research and technology are second to none and we have always been happy to help… but one thing must be made perfectly clear: While we help the world, our nation is Israel. End of discussion.

And now comes my main point… and it’s painful to type these words. How many of us really understand what I just wrote, including our Rabbinic leaders? To prove my point I will ask a simple question. Does your Shul say the prayer for the State of Israel on Shabbat? Yes? Or no? I ask this because in reality, that prayer is your national anthem! I know you think that “Ha’Tikvah” is the national anthem, but it is not. Ha’Tikvah is a beautiful poem with an incredible melody and I get chills every time I hear it – Yes, I do!! But as Torah believing Jews, the real national anthem of our people… of our nation, is “Avinu She’ba’Shamayim”. Those words touch my deepest soul every time I hear them. Here are some highlights of that amazing prayer:

“Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace… Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness. Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem… Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your Name and to observe all the Mitzvot of Your Torah, and send us quickly Moshiach ben David…  Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.”

I want you to read that paragraph again. Read how we are begging Hashem to bless Israel and protect it. Understand how we pray for Hashem to guard our holy soldiers and grant them victory. Meditate on the words: “Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your Name and to observe all the mitzvot of Your Torah and send us quickly Moshiach”. Focus on how it ends with the Jewish Nation pleading with Hashem that the entire world recognize and affirm, that Hashem is G-d and King of the world. And 90% of Orthodox shuls in America don’t say this prayer??? And the ArtScroll siddur of 600+ pages refuses to print it? What exactly are they against???

I will say it again and again. This powerful and emotional prayer is our real national anthem. It summarizes who we are and what we are doing on this world. It embodies everything that is important in a Jew’s life; keeping mitzvot, observing the Torah, yearning for peace, settling and defending the land, coming to Jerusalem, waiting for Moshiach and declaring throughout the world that Hashem is king. That is the complete recipe for being a Jew… it leaves out nothing… and again I ask; Does your shul say this prayer???

If not, maybe the next time you see some NFL players sitting on the sideline during the “Star Spangled Banner” you can identify with what they are doing since, after all, you are probably doing the same thing.

Defending Ourselves to Death

Why, despite their good intentions, Israeli leaders are failing the country. 

By Caroline Glick    

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post. 

A week ago, Makor Rishon led its weekend paper with a startling headline: “Following a long period of desecration, a cemetery in the Sharon is being moved.”

Moshav Hagor is located in the center of the country.

Successive IDF chiefs of General Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Dan Halutz and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Gabi Ashkenazy hail from the farming community established in 1949 by veterans of the Palmach.

Along with their neighbors in Moshav Yarchiv, for the past decade, the farmers of Hagor have been subjected to the continuous desecration of their communal cemetery by their Muslim neighbors from Jaljulia, a Muslim town of ten thousand located between the two moshavim.

Adjacent to a school in Jaljulia, Hagor’s cemetery has been subjected to abuse of all kinds. Residents regularly find animal carcasses at the entrance to the cemetery. Garbage is routinely dumped on graves.

Human and other feces are frequently smeared across headstones.

One night, all the headstones on all the graves at the cemetery were broken.

Residents mourning their dead are harassed.

After a decade of constant abuse, Hagor’s residents despaired of ever restoring the security to their cemetery and decided to take matters into the own hands. With the halachic approval of then chief rabbi Shlomo Amar, they built an alternative cemetery in another area of their moshav. Families paid thousands of shekels to reinter their loved ones at the new site. Today the only bodies remaining in their original graves are the ones with no living relatives to pay to move them.

Several years ago, Moshav Yarchiv’s cemetery was rezoned to become a new neighborhood in Jaljulia.

An attempt by Yarchiv’s residents to fence off the cemetery failed.

The day after they installed the fence it was stolen.

The rabbinate has refused on halachic grounds to permit Yarchiv’s residents to exhume and reinter their dead. But even if they had rabbinic permission, they have nowhere else to bury them. Due to bureaucratic hurdles, Yarchiv hasn’t been able to find an alternative burial ground.

Jaljulya once had good relations with its Jewish neighbors. But over the past decade, the town has become a hotbed for Islamic radicalism. Residents built a new massive mosque in the town. Despite repeated complaints from their Jewish neighbors, the mosque’s loudspeakers, which face Hagor, deliberately blast the call to prayer in the middle of the night.

Last October, Nedal Salah of Jaljulia paraglided into Syria from the Golan Heights and joined Islamic State. Following Salah’s action, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) discovered a cell of six more town residents who had transferred their loyalties to Islamic State, which they intended to travel to Syria to join.

In the Makor Rishon report, Hagor’s farmers voiced their despair at the failure of the government and its agencies to protect them, their dead and their property from their Muslim neighbors.

“There is no law enforcement against criminals from Jaljulya,” one resident said angrily.

Former local council head David Cohen explained that protecting the cemetery would have required the moshav to place a guard on site 24 hours a day.

Hagor lacks the resources to take such action, or similar action to defend its fields.

And so Jaljulya’s residents continue to assault their Jewish neighbors and spread feces on their graves.

Sunday morning, residents of Efrat awoke to the news that a terrorist from a neighboring Palestinian enclave had infiltrated the community in the middle of the night. At around 6 a.m. the terrorist, Baha al-din Odeh, stabbed and moderately wounded an IDF officer.

Efrat, a suburban community of 10,000 residents, is the largest community in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem. Unlike Hagor, Efrat is guarded heavily by the municipality’s security department, financed by its residents.

Among other things, the community has deployed security cameras all along its perimeters.

The camera footage is monitored continuously.

When the terrorist approached the community just before 2 a.m. on Sunday, the security department detected him and immediately notified the IDF. The officer Odeh wounded Sunday morning was deployed to the community with his soldiers to locate him.

In a meeting Sunday night with community members, Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi and Judea Brigade Commander Col. Roman Gofman explained at length the concerted actions taken in the early morning hours to protect the community’s residents.

Gofman acknowledged though that no matter how hardened a community’s defenses may be, and how determined the IDF is to defend it, a motivated terrorist will figure out a way to get inside.

Last weekend, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome battery along the border with Syria for the first time.

The move followed repeated mortar fire into Israel from the Syrian Golan.

Until now, military and civilian authorities viewed mortar rounds falling on the Israeli side of the border as errant rounds. But after three mortar rounds fell into Israel in two days, those same authorities began worrying that Syrian government forces, fighting with their Hezbollah and Iranian bosses may have decided to begin deliberately bombing Israel. And so they deployed the Iron Dome battery.

To be sure, Israel faces different challenges in the Sharon around Jaljulya, in the Bethlehem-Hebron area around Gush Etzion and in the Golan Heights along the border with war-torn Syria. But Israel’s responses to all these threats share a common, destructive feature.

Israel’s strategies for defending its civilians in all three areas are overly reliant on defensive measures.

No one has the financial wherewithal to fortify cemeteries or agricultural fields – which are regularly torched – with armed guards.

But vandals from Jaljulya aren’t vandalizing cemeteries, burning fields and blasting their mosque loudspeakers because their Jewish neighbors don’t have guards everywhere. They are taking these aggressive actions because Israeli authorities are not making them stop.

It is the job of the government, the police and the courts to make clear that crime doesn’t pay. It is their failure to drive home this message consistently that empowers radicalized thugs from Jaljulya to spread feces on Jewish graves.

Likewise, the problem in Gush Etzion isn’t that area communities haven’t taken the necessary steps to protect their residents or that the IDF suffers from a manpower shortage. The problem is that Palestinians in Odeh’s middle-class community, which overlooks Efrat, and in surrounding villages feel free to plan terrorist attacks against their Jewish neighbors as they sit in their living rooms and watch genocidal broadcasts on Hezbollah, Hamas and Fatah TV.

As for the Golan Heights, sooner or later, Hezbollah and Syrian government forces, along with their Iranian overlords can be depended on to open a new front against Israel in the Golan Heights if they become convinced that Israel’s main countermove will be to permanently deploy a missile defense battery along the border. Missile defense batteries don’t scare enemies away. They merely challenge their ingenuity.

No one doubts that the government wants to defend Israel’s citizens – alive and deceased. But despite their good intentions, our leaders are failing us. Our political, military, police and bureaucratic leaders are failing us because our foes – at home and abroad – have come to believe that we aren’t willing to do what is necessary to defeat them.

Our leaders are failing us because they refuse to act on the sure knowledge that an over-reliance on defensive measures does not deter aggression. It invites aggression.

Like Lincoln for the Republicans, Jabotinsky has become the Likud's mascot

By Elliot Jager (Jerusalem Post)

IN THE summer of 2010, two years before his death at age 102, Benzion Netanyahu gingerly made his way to the gravesite of his mentor Ze’ev Jabotinsky on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl.

Netanyahu had served as Jabotinsky’s personal secretary in 1940, the same year he died on August 4 (29th of Tammuz) at Camp Betar in Hunter, New York. Standing alongside the elderly historian was his son, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the titular head of the Jabotinsky movement.

Jabotinsky was so vilified by Israel’s first premier, David Ben-Gurion, that he forbade bringing Jabotinsky’s remains to Israel.

Only in 1964, when Levi Eshkol took over the premiership, did Israel’s government grant permission for reburial.

The Zionist battle lines between the secular nationalism Jabotinsky embodied and the socialism personified by Ben-Gurion have largely been relegated to history.

Which isn’t to say that Jabotinsky’s legacy isn’t still reviled by old-line leftists.

For example, the octogenarian American polemicist Milton Viorst argues in his latest book “Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal” that Jabotinsky’s hawkish followers ‒ foremost being former premier Menachem Begin and Netanyahu – are to blame for the absence of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

On the whole, though, time has tempered attitudes toward Jabotinsky. His image appears on Israeli bank notes, and scores of streets across Israel — even in Tel Aviv, where mayors tend to be Laborites ‒ are named after him.

For the Likud today, Jabotinsky is what Abraham Lincoln is to the Republican Party: a mascot. Certainly, his picture hangs in the offices of the Likud Party in Tel Aviv (alongside Begin’s), but one would be hardpressed to find anything more than trace elements of his legacy in Netanyahu government policies or in the views of rank-and-file Likud members.

Still, as an ideological beacon Jabotinsky has fared better than former president Chaim Weizmann, whose General Zionists faded into Likud, a party that itself was cobbled together out of the mergers of various center-right factions.

Jabotinsky also has done no worse than Ben-Gurion, whose Mapai Workers Party was subsumed into an amalgamated Labor Party that ran under the Zionist Union label in 2015 ‒ and whose constituency is scarcely proletarian.

Jabotinsky was a multifaceted personality, both a cosmopolitan and a nationalist. Like America’s James Madison, his political philosophy stemmed from a particular conception of human nature: political systems need to take into account that people are basically self-interested. Jabotinsky was, in essence, a classical liberal which, in his day, meant that he championed civil liberties, the rule of law, economic freedom and representative ‒ as opposed to direct ‒ democracy.

Oddly enough, those who castigate the Right today often do so by invoking Jabotinsky’s name. Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, who migrated from a Labor upbringing, lamented (with Netanyahu in mind) that today’s Likud “is not the Likud movement I joined ‒ the Likud of Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin.”

At a special Knesset session on August 3 to mark the 76th anniversary of Jabotinsky’s death, both Netanyahu and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog invoked his legacy to trade charges over ideological bias in, and control over, the Israeli media.

“What would Jabotinsky think about your efforts to silence the media?” Herzog needled.

“The people will judge at the voting booth and decide with their remote control – that’s Jabotinsky’s view,” retorted Netanyahu.

Among active politicians, those who do more than pay lip-service to Jabotinsky’s legacy are a dwindling cohort. In fact, it is hard to think of any beyond President Reuven Rivlin and MK Benny Begin.

“When I was young, right-wing meant liberal, and liberal meant right-wing,” Rivlin tells The Jerusalem Report. Those who identify with Jabotinsky, he says, need to defend “human rights for every citizen.”

In contrast, today’s more religious and populist Right has been pursuing legislation that would hamstring Israel’s admittedly hyper-activist Supreme Court so as to bend it to popular will. On civil liberties too, the Right has no interest in limiting the power of the state-established ultra-Orthodox (and non-Zionist) rabbinate. Netanyahu, though personally not observant, has allowed Jerusalem’s Western Wall plaza to be administered as if it were an ultra-Orthodox shtiebel.

In his day, Jabotinsky rejected delegitimization of Reform Judaism. Naturally, deducing what Jabotinsky ‒ who died at age 59, eight years before the establishment of the state ‒ might have done in 2016 is a matter of pure conjecture.

Perforce, he was a product of his milieu.

Ze’ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky was born on October 18, 1880, in Odessa, Russia.

In “Jabotinsky: A Life,” Hillel Halkin, his most recent and most accessible biographer, describes the city as cosmopolitan, not obsessively religious, diverse and tolerant.

Toward the end of his book, Halkin imagines Jabotinsky being asked for advice on Israel’s current situation, and has him counseling, “Never take advice from a dead man.”

In “The Jabotinsky Story,” his first biographer Joseph Schechtman similarly emphasizes Odessa’s ethos as cosmopolitan and liberal, where “Jewish learning was scarce and the tenor of everyday life was devoid of any traditional color.” And Shmuel Katz, in his massive 1996 biography of Jabotinsky, “Lone Wolf,” also emphasizes that Odessa was “the least Russian of all the cities in the Empire of the Tsars” and left “a deep imprint” on Jabotinsky’s intellectual development.

Jabotinsky himself wrote that he had “no inner contact with Judaism,” and had not “breathed the atmosphere of Jewish cultural tradition” as a youth. Would he have felt at home in a national camp that leans not just politically, but theologically and often socially, to the right? Yisrael Medad, a Jabotinsky expert, former Betar leader, and a veteran religious settlement campaigner, tells The Report that too much is made of Jabotinsky’s secularism.

He points to the research of Eliezer Don-Yehiya of Bar-Ilan University, who has argued that Jabotinsky’s attitude toward Orthodoxy softened and, indeed, by 1935 his New Zionist Organization included a plank that welcomed the Torah’s role in the task of nation-building.

“There is more to Judaism than the laws of kashrut,” Jabotinsky said. In other words, he came to appreciate that religion was a key element in Jewish civilization. No true believer, he nevertheless saw value in rooting the ethics of a future Zionist polity in religion.

At his paramilitary Betar (Brit Trumpeldor) youth movement camps, the food was kosher and Shabbat was respected.

He wished for a “Jewish state that will be Jewish,” and wanted Judaism to inform education.

Halkin notes that in the late 1930s, Jabotinsky went to great lengths to create an alliance with the Orthodox Zionists. It didn’t happen, but it would have been an arrangement based on principles rather than ‒ as was the case with Ben-Gurion’s socialists ‒ on convenience, Halkin tells The Report.

At the same time, there is no hint, even in his later-in-life writings, that he would have been reconciled to a state in which halakha was binding.

Jabotinsky was immensely talented, a master of languages ‒ he spoke Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, Italian and German ‒ and personally a charismatic and spellbinding speaker. He studied law in Switzerland and Italy, but early on turned to journalism, becoming a correspondent for Russian dailies and often writing under the nom de plume “Altalena.” Like Theodor Herzl, Jabotinsky was adept at writing light or satirical prose known as feuilletons.

Throughout his Zionist life, Jabotinsky and his family were financially hardpressed.

There were times when his contributions to the New York-based Yiddish language Jewish Morning Journal provided his only reliable source of income.

If the Dreyfus Trial was Herzl’s defining moment, the devastating April 1903 Kishinev pogroms were the turning point in Jabotinsky’s public life.

He became a fierce advocate of Jewish self-defense. Fearing that the pogroms would come to Odessa, he joined a nascent Jewish self-defense group. That same year, he attended the Sixth Zionist Congress in Basel.

In 1906, he was among those Zionist theoreticians who advocated a synthesis of cultural Zionism, education in the Diaspora, political work and settlement in Eretz Israel.

The World Zionist Organization appointed Jabotinsky editor of several publications, and sent him in 1909 to set up shop in Constantinople.

His Hobbesian world view was already discernible in a 1910 essay entitled “A Man Is a Wolf to Man,” in which Jabotinsky wrote, “Do not believe anyone, be always on guard, carry your stick always with you ‒ this is the only way of surviving in this wolfish battle of all against all.”

At the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914, a reformist Russian newspaper made Jabotinsky its roving European correspondent.

Early on, he foresaw that the Ottoman Empire ‒ which controlled Palestine ‒ would be defeated by the Allies. And, like Weizmann (who was then his political comrade and friend), Jabotinsky wanted the Zionist movement to drop its officially neutral stance and side with Britain in World War I. Both men saw British imperialism as a force for good.

WITH WEIZMANN’S quiet support, he campaigned for the creation of a Jewish Legion within the British Army to fight for Palestine, seeing such a move as a way to hitch Zionist aspirations to those of a Britain that seemed poised to supplant Ottoman Turkey in the Middle East. The British consented to create only a Zion Mule Corps, which took part in the 1915-1916 Gallipoli campaign.

The Legion was belatedly approved in 1917, and in 1918, Jabotinsky and the Legionnaires entered Jerusalem with the British army. But he failed to persuade Britain to maintain the Jewish Legion after WWI as a Jewish fighting force in Palestine.

Few remember today, but in 1920, it was Jabotinsky who helped establish the Hagana in Jerusalem to defend against Arab rioters during Passover that year. For his troubles, the British ‒ already backtracking on their November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration pledge to facilitate a Jewish homeland in Palestine ‒ arrested Jabotinsky and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. A public outcry ensued, and he was granted an amnesty by British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel.

If there is one Jabotinsky position that today is widely embraced, it is that the Zionist-Arab conflict is a zero-sum game.

In his famous 1920 “Iron Wall” essay, recalls Halkin, Jabotinsky argued that the Arab world will never make its peace with a Jewish state until convinced by Jewish military strength and strategic superiority that such a state can never be prevented or removed by force of arms.

Jabotinsky served on the Zionist Executive from 1921 to 1923. Always the gadfly, he dissented from the official go-along get-along Zionist policy on Britain. Taking a page from Herzl, Jabotinsky demanded that the World Zionist Organization make explicit that Zionism’s final aim was the establishment of a Jewish state. When, in January 1923, the WZO refused, he quit the executive.

Weizmann’s empathy for Britain’s Palestine conundrum and his ensuing accommodationist Zionism ‒ Jabotinsky did not want the movement to reconcile itself to Britain’s 1922 excision of 77 percent of the Mandate’s Jewish homeland territory to create what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ‒ led Jabotinsky to break with Weizmann.

ON DOMESTIC issues, he rejected the notion that socialism and class struggle should animate the Zionist movement. For him, the individual and the interests of the nation as a whole were what mattered. The socialists denounced him as an enemy of the workers, as a militarist, and tarred him as a fascist.

In “The Making of Modern Zionism,” Shlomo Avineri, the doyen of Israeli political science, writes that “Jabotinsky’s alternative to the hegemony of the socialist movement then emerging in Palestine” wasn’t pure laissez-faire capitalism. Jabotinsky envisioned a Zionist society in which the polity would provide a social and economic safety net including health care.

If by “fascist” his political enemies meant Jabotinsky was intolerant of minority rights, favored dictatorial rule, used demagoguery or religious literalism to whip up the masses ‒ they were barking up the wrong tree.

Halkin tells The Report that Jabotinsky was a firm believer in minority rights, including the rights of non-Jews living among Jews.

“Of course, all this can be said to have been theoretical,” says Halkin. “In practice, he never had to take positions on minority rights in a sovereign Jewish state. But I believe that if he had lived in such a state, he would have fought for those rights, as unpopular in some nationalist circles as this might have made him.”

Halkin continues, “He had a very strong sense of justice and fairness. I don’t believe he would have kept it under wraps as a matter of political discretion. He never minded being unpopular half as much as he minded being untrue to himself.”

As for militarism, for Jabotinsky arms were a matter of survival and pride. He wrote, “For centuries, the nations of the world had been used to hearing that Jews were defeated here, and Jews were protected there ‒ you either defeated or protected us ‒ and it is difficult to decide what was more humiliating: the defeats or being protected. It is time to show the world a Jewish rifle with a Jewish bayonet.”

To give expression to his philosophy, Jabotinsky created the Revisionist Zionist Party on April 25, 1925, in Paris. He had already established Betar in Riga in 1923, and had designed its uniforms and composed its anthem himself.

In British Mandate Palestine, the Hagana evolved into Palestinian Jewry’s semiofficial defense arm masterminded by Ben-Gurion. Jabotinsky had been barred by British authorities from reentering Palestine ‒ following an overseas lecture tour ‒ in the wake of the murderous 1929 Arab riots.

As Arab violence grew more extreme, some Hagana leaders rejected the Zionist establishment’s policy of havlaga, or restraint.

Inspired by Jabotinsky’s militant ideas, they established the underground Irgun in 1931 as a breakaway. In practice, Jabotinsky had rather limited say over the Irgun even though, after 1939, he was touted as its supreme commander.

Meanwhile, though permanently in exile, Jabotinsky was astonishingly creative.

He wrote short stories, poems, songs, dictionaries, textbooks and plays, not to mention polemic essays. He translated Hebrew poetry into Russian, and translated Dante’s “Inferno” into Hebrew. In 1926, Jabotinsky released “Samson the Nazarite,” the first of several novels.

Come World War II, Jabotinsky demanded a Zionist alliance with Britain despite its policy of keeping the gates of Palestine locked to Jewish asylum seekers. It was precisely Britain’s locked-door policy that led Avraham Stern ‒ one month after Jabotinsky’s death in August 1940 ‒ to form the radical breakaway Freedom Fighters for Israel, more commonly known as the Stern Gang.

Jabotinsky’s position on the Arabs of Palestine was nuanced. He by no means rejected Arab civil rights. Indeed, he wanted to create a situation of absolute equal rights.

“If things fare badly for the Arabs of Palestine,” he wrote “then things will fare badly for the entire country. The political, economic and cultural welfare of the Arabs will thus always remain one of the main conditions for the well-being of the Land of Israel.”

In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission that there was “no question of ousting the Arabs. On the contrary, the idea is that Palestine on both sides of the Jordan could hold the Arabs, their progeny and many millions of Jews.” He went on, “What I do not deny is that, in that process, the Arabs of Palestine will necessarily become a minority in the country of Palestine.”

But that was in 1937, when there were 9.5 million Jews in Europe ‒ many of whom Jabotinsky fully expected would be prepared to move to Israel. But six million of those were murdered in the Nazi genocide.

Eight months after Hitler came to power in Germany, the Zionist socialist establishment rejected Jabotinsky’s call for an all-out economic boycott of Germany. In fact, on August 25, 1933, they launched the Haavara program for the transfer of Jewish property from Nazi Germany to Palestine.

In those prewar days, the Nazis wanted, foremost, to rid Germany of its Jews, and were willing to facilitate emigration to Palestine in a scheme that allowed the transfer of Jews and their capital, in the form of German export goods. The arrangement undermined the boycott of German goods, but it eased the arrival of some 60,000 German Jews to Palestine, and boosted Palestine’s economic development.

JABOTINSKY WORKED tirelessly to promote the mass evacuation of European Jewry to Palestine ‒ which he initially thought could happen over a 10-year period ‒ in conjunction with various European governments, particularly Poland.

Ultimately, Europe did not want to antagonize Britain, which, in response to Arab rage, had greatly restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine. And Hitler moved faster and more fiendishly than even Jabotinsky’s worst nightmare.

The schism between Jabotinsky and the socialists had become ever more visceral.

The socialists were convinced that Jabotinsky’s followers were responsible for the 1934 assassination in Tel Aviv of Haim Arlosoroff, head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency and a key player in the Haavara scheme. The rift was never to be bridged, even after Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky held a London summit in October 1934. The socialist movement simply rejected any rapprochement, thereby prompting Jabotinsky to pull out altogether from the World Zionist Organization.

Addressing a Warsaw audience in Yiddish on Tisha Be’av, August 7, 1938, Jabotinsky delivered an eerily prescient warning to Polish Jewry: “I continue to warn you incessantly that a catastrophe is coming closer… My heart bleeds that you, dear brothers and sisters, do not see the volcano which will soon begin to spit its all-consuming lava. I realize you do not see this because you are immersed in your daily worries. Today, however, I demand from you trust. You were convinced that my prognoses have proven to be right. If you think otherwise, then drive me out of your midst. However, if you do believe me, then listen to me in this 12th hour. In the name of God! Let any one of you save himself as long as there is still time. And of time, there is very little…”

Jabotinsky was spared having to witness the materialization of this apocalyptic prophecy. But neither did he live to see the day when the socialist Zionists accepted his line ‒ and explicitly demanded a Jewish state with a Jewish majority and unlimited immigration.

At Jabotinsky’s New York City funeral in August 1940, tens of thousands lined Second Avenue trying to catch a glimpse of the hearse carrying his remains. The broygez was momentarily set aside, and all Zionist factions were represented inside the chapel.

The odium between Jabotinsky’s followers and Ben-Gurion’s camp would get much, much, worse before it got better. But now, in every practical sense, it is over: history has granted each camp a degree of vindication.

But if Jabotinsky’s battle with the Left is finished, his place on the right has never been more uncertain. On the one hand, his legacy is alien to the demagogic, religiously indifferent, soccer hooligan set who have carved out a niche inside Likud. On the other hand, today’s mainstream Right is imbued by religious ‒ occasionally messianic ‒ fervor; it’s bolstered by the stunning success of the settlement enterprise, and inspired by a new pantheon of heroes – some of whom claim halakha supersedes the law of the land.

Yet, one right-wing insider with contacts among both religious and secular factions insists that the Orthodox Right wants and welcomes old-school secular nationalist support.

Even so, it is hard to shake the feeling that to the extent that today’s Right does pay homage to Jabotinsky, it is more out of courtesy than affinity.