Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The "Other" Palestinians

By Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Nearly 3,500 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since 2011. But because these Palestinians were killed by Arabs, and not Israelis, this fact is not news in the mainstream media or of interest to "human rights" forums.
  • How many Western journalists have cared to inquire about the thirsty Palestinians of Yarmouk refugee camp, in Syria? Does anyone know that this camp has been without water supply for more than 720 days, and without electricity for the past three years? In June 2002, 112,000 Palestinians lived in Yarmouk. By the end of 2014, the population was down to less than 20,000.
  • Nor is the alarm bell struck concerning the more than 12,000 Palestinians languishing in Syrian prisons, including 765 children and 543 women. According to Palestinian sources, some 503 Palestinian prisoners have died under torture in recent years, and some female prisoners have been raped by interrogators and guards.
  • When Western journalists lavish time on Palestinians delayed at Israeli checkpoints, and ignore bombs dropped by the Syrian military on residential areas, one might start to wonder they are really about.
Part of Yarmouk refugee camp, near Damascus, after being damaged by fighting. (Image source: RT video screenshot)
It seems as though the international community has forgotten that Palestinians can be found far beyond the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These "other" Palestinians live in Arab countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, and their many serious grievances are evidently of no interest to the international community. It is only Palestinians residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that garner international attention. Why? Because it is precisely these individuals that the international community wield as a weapon against Israel.

HaRav Nachman Kahana on Parashat Re’eh 5776: Jewish “States” vs. The Jewish State

Parashat Re’eh 5776
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Intellectual Dilemmas

A group of youngsters were playing hide-and-seek. A little girl was hiding in a bush and crying. When asked why she was crying, she replied “no one is looking for me.”

In the challenges we face as HaShem’s chosen people, the Creator conceals Himself and we have to search Him out. Most people live their lives not searching for the Omnipotent. However, there are those who long to understand the ways of HaShem despite the impossibility of the mission; for HaShem’s thoughts are above and beyond the understanding of man.

Consider playing a multilevel interconnected chess game composed of 5 chessboards one above the other, all by heart.

One of the great intellectual dilemmas facing the “healthy” religious segment of Am Yisrael is the phenomena of seemingly important rabbis in the galut who would rejoice at the dissolution of Medinat Yisrael. Even to the extent that they praise and visit Iran, which is inching up to achieving weapons of mass destruction to use against the Jewish State.

These rabbis and scholars adamantly refuse to recognize that the Jewish nation of post-1948 will never again revert to the situation of pre-1948 Jewry. The way HaShem related to His chosen people during the 2000 year galut has taken a turn from seemingly “hester panim” – concealment or avoidance, to “gilui panim” – total involvement in the rapprochement with His people, Am Yisrael.

But these spiritual leaders and their innocent, guileless adherents refuse to see what is so clearly written in the heavens.

I would like to relate to this phenomenon.

Jewish “States” vs. The Jewish State

I received a video of hundreds of children and their counsellors at summer camps, hurling eggs at a car meant to represent the convoy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while chanting extreme anti-Israel slogans.

As we know, this scene is repeated every year at the summer camps sponsored by Hamas in Azza and in the P.A. in the liberated areas of Shomron and Yehuda.

However, this particular video was sent by Yeshiva World News showing the children at two summer camps affiliated with the Satmar leaders R. Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and his brother R. Aharon Teitelbaum of Kiryas Yoel, who divided their father’s dynasty after his death!

In our world there is only one Jewish state, regarding which the Torah (Devarim 11,12) says:

ארץ אשר ה’ אלהיך דרש אתה תמיד עיני ה’ אלהיך בה מרשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה
It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

However, there are many “states” of Jews dispersed around the world.

A “state” of Jews has its inclusive laws and mores which determine who will be accepted as a citizen and who will be rejected. A “state” of Jews is identifiable by its absolute conformity in all the important features of life: food, language, dialect, dress, marriage within the group, conformist education, absolute dictatorial leadership and elitist self-image.

The Satmar adherents have two “states” of Jews in New York; one in Williamsburg and the other Kiryas Yoel. Not to be outclassed, the Lithuanian school of thought has a major state of Jews in Lakewood, New Jersey. And there are other “states” of Jews dispersed around the United States and Europe. Despite the competitive differences between these “states” of Jews, there is one dominant common feature: they are all united in their opposition to the Jewish State.

The Jewish State is different than “states” of Jews in every way.  Firstly, it exists on the ancient soil of our God given homeland – Eretz Yisrael. It is glaringly diverse, with people from over 100 lands speaking different languages, preferring different varieties of food, dress, values, speech, marriage without the closed group, and diversity in education. It is called Medinat Yisrael. And it is the challenge of the Medina to synchronize these “tribes” into one united nation dedicated to the advancement of Am Yisrael.

Although the goals and the challenges of the Jewish State are far different than those of the various “states” of Jews, each fulfills an important role in shaping the future redemption of our people.

Medinat Yisrael, the Jewish State, has to coalesce in finding the common bond that exists among the six and a half million Jews who have come here to carry on Jewish history which was so dreadfully and abruptly severed 2000 years ago with the Temple’s destruction and the exile.

The Medina is in need of positive forces of love and optimism for our future. Forces that join together in defense of the land and toil to strengthen our security, as well as our economic and political independence.

The Medina is not in need of negative, critical and undermining elements which would weaken the fabric of our society.

The Midrash relates that when 80% of the Jews in Egypt refused to leave with Moshe and died during the plague of darkness, Moshe asked HaShem why it was necessary to take all these people away? HaShem replied that he left 2 individuals out of the 80% alive so that Moshe would understand the justification for that extreme move. They were the infamous Datan and Aviram. Moshe then understood what HaShem had done for the future of Am Yisrael. These two men spilled Moshe’s blood; what would a million like them do?

The various “states” of Jews as described above fulfill an important role as distillation elements for the future of Am Yisrael. They attract and draw away from the Medina the haters of the Jewish State. The Medina is not in need of people who would sit by the sidelines and criticize, curse and undermine what we are doing here.

These foreign “states” of Jews in the galut serve to distill and remove the impurities from our land, whose presence would hamper and impede the re-establishment of the God-led nation, with the Bet Hamikdash at its forefront.

The citizens of these “states” of Jews have found their peace in the golden lands of the exile, so that Hashem and the healthy segment of our nation can proceed to build the infrastructure of the Third Jewish Commonwealth.

With all my heart I wish these “states” well. Let them prosper and add more and more electronic stores etc., and be happy with their spiritual leaders, but not here in the rejuvenation of the Jewish nation.

In any event, they should know in the back of their minds that when the hatchet is poised above their heads, the Medina will be here to save them.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Biometric Passports: A Question of Liberty

By Moshe Feiglin

The picture above was taken last week. Israeli citizens returning home after a tiring flight are allotted one passport check counter as they enter the country. (Visitors to Israel are allotted five).

“Register for a biometric passport,” explain the airport workers.

In other words, either let us mark you like animals and store your personal information in a database that will necessarily leak or we will keep you in line until you despair.

The biometric issue is really part of the much larger issue of liberty. Liberty is like the air that we breathe. When it first becomes polluted, you don’t feel anything. When it is completely polluted, you simply die and nobody really cares. (In truth, more people die in Israel of pollution than from accidents or wars).

Our unspoken agreement with the State is that we deposit a bit of our liberty into its hands and receive security in exchange. A state will always be interested in convincing its citizens to surrender more and more of their liberty. Security will always – always – be the excuse.

The State of Israel was established on deep socialist foundations. It does not have the values that balance its gravitation toward dictatorship. Liberty in Israel is slowly but surely evaporating.

True, our pictures already exist in government databases. We have been photographed for our army service and in the US, we are photographed every time we enter the country (they don’t dare photograph their citizens). But I have no choice in the army and I can choose not to visit the US.

Here in Israel, it is different. My country has decided to do what it pleases with my identity. But it is my picture – not yours. Many readers may think that there is no reason to make an issue of this. But this is precisely the stage at which we can still fight the air pollution.

If the State will offer you a small and fashionable bracelet that tracks your buying habits in exchange for a 20% discount on every purchase – will you go for it?

Most probably, you will.

And if they offer you a subcutaneous chip (yes, like dogs) in exchange for a 40% discount? Or an invisible electronic mark on your forehead for 60% off?

Or a blue number on your arm for 100%?

The Zehut party will work long and hard to immediately nullify the biometric database (for which there is no real need) and replace it with smart IDs, which contain only basic information and cannot be forged.

Europe: The Substitution of a Population (or; Kiss Europe Goodbye)

By Giulio Meotti

  • In one generation, Europe will be unrecognizable.
  • Eastern Europe now has "the largest population loss in modern history", while Germany overtook Japan by having the world's lowest birth rate.
  • Europe, as it is aging, no longer renews its generations, and instead welcomes massive numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are going to replace the native Europeans, and who are bringing cultures with radically different values about sex, science, political power, culture, economy and the relation between God and man.
Out with the old, in with the new... Europe, as it is aging, no longer renews its generations, and instead welcomes massive numbers of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, who are going to replace the native Europeans, and who are bringing cultures with radically different values about sex, science, political power, culture, economy and the relation between God and man.
Deaths that exceed births might sound like science fiction, but they are now Europe's reality. It just happened. During 2015, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while 5.2 million persons died, meaning that the EU for the first time in modern history recorded a negative natural change in its population. The numbers come from Eurostat (the statistical office of the European Union), which since 1961 has been counting Europe's population. It is official.
There is, however, another surprising number: the European population increased overall from 508.3 million to 510.1 million. Have you guessed why? The immigrant population increased, by about two million in one year, while the native European population was shrinking. It is the substitution of a population. Europe has lost the will to maintain or grow its population. The situation is as demographically as seismic as during the Great Plague of the 14th Century.

Nietzsche: Why the Left is Allied with Islam

By Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Before exposing the alliance between the Left and Islam, which is evident among left-wing academics in America, ponder Nietzsche’s exposé of the nexus of socialism and individualism. Here are his penetrating remarks:

Socialism is merely a means of agitation employed by individualism: it grasps that to attain anything, one must organize to a collective action, to a “power.” But what it desires is not a social order as the goal of the individual but a social order as a means of making possible many [mediocre] individuals. This is the instinct of socialists about which they frequently deceive themselves … The preaching of altruistic morality in the service of individualism: one of the most common lies of the nineteenth century. [The Will to Power (New York: Random House, 1967), pp. 411-412, W. Kaufmann, trans.

Socialism finds a natural ally among Muslims, the religion of the ant-heap, a religion that worships death. The Muslim exaltation of death signifies the denial and end of all creativity which, for Nietzsche, is not only the quintessence of man, but is manifested especially in the Jewish people.

In his Dawn of Day — the title resonates with the dawn of Israel’s rebirth — Nietzsche speaks of “The People of Israel” in these words:

In Europe they have gone through a school of eighteen centuries, such as no other nation can boast of, and the experience of this terrible time of probation have benefited the community much less than the individual. In consequence whereof the resourcefulness in soul and intellect of our modern Jews is extraordinary. In times of extremity they, least of all the inhabitants of Europe, try to escape any great dilemma by recourse to drink or to suicide, which less gifted people are so apt to fly to. Each Jew finds in the history of his fathers and grandfathers a voluminous record of instances of the greatest coolness and perseverance in terrible positions, of the most artful and clever fencing with misfortune and chance; their bravery under the cloak of wretched submissiveness, their heroism in the spernere se sperni [despising their despisers] surpass the virtues of all the saints.

Nietzsche concludes his encomium:

Where shall this accumulated wealth of great impressions, which forms the Jewish history in every Jewish family, this wealth of passions, virtues, resolutions, resignations, struggles, victories of all sorts—where shall it find an outlet, if not in great intellectual people and accomplishments? On the day when the Jews will be able to show as their handiwork such jewels and golden vessels as the European nations of shorter and less thorough experience neither can nor could produce, when Israel will have turned its eternal vengeance into an eternal blessing of Europe: then once more that seventh day will appear, when the God of the Jews may rejoice in Himself, His creation, and His chosen people – and all of us will rejoice with Him.

Ponder the last sentence. What does this tell us of a philosopher who, in addition to being a reputed atheist and anti-Semite, could conclude an encomium of the Jews with an affirmation of their God? Was Nietzsche’s atheism an inversion of a profound but disappointed love?

Today, Nietzsche’s atheism has metamorphosed into something utterly superficial and cheap. This atheism has no future; it is merely symptomatic of the end of an era.

A new age is dawning, which is why Nietzsche entitled his encomium as the Dawn of Day. This “diagnosis” – allow me to speculate – is comparable to what the Sages of the Talmud call the “footsteps of the Moshiach.” The Redemption will come gradually, like the rising of the sun, and even though a cloud my obscure the sun’s light for a while, its rise will continue since the sun’s rising is the manifestation of a law of history as inevitable as a law of nature.

In contrast, socialism generates what Nietzsche famously calls the “last man,” man devoid of lofty aspirations, of any sensitivity to what is noble. Envious hatred of what is noble is precisely what underlies the rampant hatred of Jews and of Israel. That miniscule Israel should stand alone against ISLAMDOM infuriates countless non-Jews.

That Israel should smash the Hamas rocket launchers and the tunnels rats of Gaza enrages Jew-haters everywhere, especially those who worship the ant-heap and love death.

The love of death, or necrophelia, enthralls Islamists animated by Sura 9:111 of the Qur’an, which “exalts the Muslim who slays and is slain for Allah.” Hatred of Jews drives Muslims to a frenzy that surpasses the tirades of Hitler. Both Muslims and Nazis, i.e., National Socialists, hate Jews for their outstanding creative individuality in all fields of human endeavor.

Socialism and Islamism are two of a kind: both hate human excellence which can only be manifested in the creativity of the individual. LIFE, that’s what creativity is all about; and that’s what Jews exalt, whereas Muslims exalt death.

No contest: GOP is the pro-Israel party

Bipartisan support for the Jewish state is a fallacy: Republicans embrace Israel as an ally, Democrats do not

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference at the Verizon Center, on Monday, March 21, 2016, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON (JTA) — For years, the leaders of America’s most established Jewish organizations – AIPAC chief among them — have assured their members that when it came to Israel, there wasn’t much difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. Even suggesting that control of the White House or Congress might matter to the US-Israel relationship was taboo, often decried as “anti-Israel” if not “anti-Semitic.”
The 2016 platform debates and conventions have shattered this outlandish insistence that in our hyperpartisan era, Israel policy somehow managed to remain neutral territory. It is now indisputable that the parties have radically different views of Israel.
To the extent that any bipartisanship persists, it is only among the least pro-Israel Republicans and the most pro-Israel Democrats. According to their “less than comprehensively anti-Israel” view, Israelis and Arabs are more or less equally culpable, Israel must risk its national security and the lives of its citizens, and an independent, Judenrein Arab state in the historic Jewish heartland is an imperative.
Though the politicians on both sides of the aisle backing this vision may see themselves as pragmatic, moderate centrists looking out for Israel’s interests, what they actually advocate is rejecting Israel’s status as a favored ally, ignoring history and law, and capitulating to Arab intransigence and inhumanity.
Moreover, the bases of both parties reject this view. The Republican base sees no moral equivalence between Israelis building a pluralistic, liberal democracy of which all decent people should be proud and the Palestinian Authority presiding over a genocidal, suicidal death cult. Members of the Democratic base, as we saw during their convention, reiterate the slanders of Jimmy Carter, Bernie Sanders and Cornel West, while some burned an Israeli flag in symbolic solidarity with the death cult whose own flags were proudly waved on the convention floor.
West spoke for much of the Democratic base — and 43 percent of the platform committee — when he framed his antipathy for Israel as “a moral issue” and called for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements” and for “rebuild[ing] Gaza, which the UN warns could be uninhabitable by 2020.” Hillary Clinton’s politically savvy advisers, understanding that anti-Israel agitation would play poorly in the general election (overall, Americans still side with Israel over the Palestinians, 62 percent to 15 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll) preferred boilerplate language similar to the DNC’s 2012 platform: “Israelis deserve security, recognition, and a normal life free from terror and incitement. Palestinians should be free to govern themselves in their own viable state, in peace and dignity.” In short, a statement of moral equivalence.
The Republicans had reluctantly accepted comparable boilerplate language in 2012, tempering far stronger pro-Israel sentiment among the base to accommodate AIPAC’s insistence that such moral equivalence reflected the American Jewish consensus. In 2016, however, the GOP resisted such pressure. The party’s base rallied behind a more definitively pro-Israel approach that embraces the moral superiority of Israel’s position and Israel’s unconditional sovereignty.
It is this platform language — to which we proudly contributed — that Democrats and their enablers in establishment American Jewish groups have intentionally and repeatedly mischaracterized as standing “to the right of Netanyahu” in its “rejection of a two-state solution.” No one actually reading the words of the 2016 GOP platform plank on Israel could possibly reach these conclusions.
The Republican platform’s actual language recognizes Israel as a fellow liberal democracy and a strategic ally; restates an existing American law declaring an indivisible Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; upholds our ally’s right to defend itself against military threats, terror attacks and other forms of warfare; labels as false the widely accepted canard that Israel is an “occupier,” and recognizes the anti-Semitism behind a Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement that has targeted Jewish interests far from Israel.
It closes with a longing for “comprehensive and lasting peace” negotiated among the residents of the Middle East and opposes outside pressure designed to impose any specific proposal.\
That’s the sum and substance of what today’s Democrats consider extremism: acknowledging the rights of Jews in the Land of Israel, embracing a fellow liberal democracy and strategic ally, supporting its efforts to defend itself and encouraging it to negotiate with its neighbors.
Nothing in the new GOP platform “rejects” or creates even the slightest impediment to a “two-state solution.” It simply refocuses American interests correctly — in support of our ally Israel’s sovereignty and security — rather than in pursuit of “self-determination” for a Palestinian Authority, the PLO’s legal and moral successor, that continues to incite and support terror and that has explicitly abandoned even the pretext of a “peace process.”
The chasm between the parties is clear. Today’s Democrats are split among those who see moral equivalence between Israel and the P.A. and those who see Israel as a rogue apartheid state committing repeated war crimes against Palestinian victims. To the Republicans, Israel is a close and valued ally under unprecedented attack, worthy of the same commitment and support we extend to our closest allies. These views of Israel and the policy consequences that flow from them are very, very different.
A bipartisan consensus that actually supports Israel remains a worthy ideal. As the 2016 conventions showed, it is very far from what we have today. Americans who care about Israel face a clear choice. There is no use pretending otherwise.
Jeff Ballabon is chairman of the Iron Dome Alliance and a senior fellow at the Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy. Bruce Abramson is vice president for policy of the Iron Dome Alliance and a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

Why Bibi is rejoicing as Obama's term nears end

By Ben Caspit, AL MONITOR

The most recent chapter in a series of meetings that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been holding with journalists and other media representatives in Israel took place Aug. 23. His audience consisted of ultra-Orthodox journalists, representatives of a vibrant press that serves more than a million people. The briefing lasted 5½ hours, with a “cigar break” in the middle. Netanyahu may have the most challenging job in the world, but he acted as if he had all the time in the world.

The prime minister has held a number of meetings like this one over the past few weeks, with journalists from Israeli public radio, Army Radio, the editorial boards of Haaretz and Channel 2 and right-wing and independent-leaning journalists. There may be more to come. He has held dozens of hours of these “briefings,” in which he delivers a spiel to his audience, and it has been more amazing than ever.

Netanyahu has served as prime minister for more than 11 years, including seven consecutive years (2009-2016). At the small press gatherings, he has exhibited self-assurance, arrogance, joie de vivre, fluency on the issues and a fighting spirit. He is full of himself. He rants, he raves. He displays faint glimmers of a sense of humor, including of the self-deprecating kind, and a considerable talent for mimicking others.

There is no obvious answer as to why Netanyahu is investing so much time and energy in these background briefings instead of just giving an occasional interview to the Israeli media, which would itself be an unusual occurrence. Perhaps there are two reasons: The first is simply that he enjoys it. The second is that he is laying the foundation for his legacy and his own narrative on his time in office. He is already convinced of how great he is. Now he is trying to convince everyone else.

Netanyahu speaks freely in these talks, the content of which is not supposed to be published, but is nonetheless constantly leaked. On Aug. 23, he was frequently asked about his relationship with US President Barack Obama, the relationship between Israel and the United States and the US security aid package, the details of which have already been hammered out in Washington. Speaking to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, one person present at the event gave this account of what Netanyahu said:

“We must not forget that President Obama told me at our very first meeting that the United States demands that Israel stop building everywhere in Judea and Samaria. I asked him about the Ramot neighborhood in Jerusalem, about Gilo and about settlements and regions that will obviously remain part of Israel even after a permanent agreement is reached. He refused to hear about it. So when we talk about whether or not there was any chemistry between us, we mustn’t forget how the relationship between us began, and what I had to deal with from the very first minute.”

What Netanyahu actually explained to his audience was that Obama “marked” him from the very beginning, claiming that the prime minister was most to blame for the difficult relationship between the two men, which never took off.

Netanyahu was asked if he is worried about the possibility that Obama will take advantage of the period between the election and his leaving the White House to launch a new diplomatic initiative to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. “Happy is the man who is always afraid,” said Netanyahu, referencing the Book of Proverbs (28:14), but he didn’t elucidate. He then treated his audience to his mode of operation with regard to the United States: “Unlike China, for example,” Netanyahu said, “where the leader determines the agenda and everyone follows accordingly, the system that sets the American agenda is much more complicated. The president is not a one-man show. There is public opinion to contend with, there is Congress, and there is the media. Anyone who thinks that when dealing with America you only have to work with the president is wrong. You have to face the entire system.”

Netanyahu went on to present the journalists with Gallup poll results showing a steady rise in Israel’s standing and an increase in public support for Israel among the American public. “While it is true that we have a problem on the campuses, overall support for Israel in the US has never been higher, and that is what really matters,” he asserted decisively. “Israel is popular in the United States, and I’m popular in the United States too. If only I would be received in Tel Aviv the way I’m received in New York and Washington, and I’m not just talking about the Jews either.”

According to Netanyahu, the agreement on US security aid to Israel, soon to be signed, will be a good one. He said that Israel had received $3.1 billion a year until now and asked for that to be increased to $4.5 billion a year over the next decade. “We sealed the deal midway,” he said, “and in my opinion, that is more than reasonable.”

Here Netanyahu was manipulating his audience. What he failed to mention was that in addition to the $3.1 billion that Israel receives annually, it regularly asked for and received an additional aid bonus of $350 million to $600 million a year, to fund the Iron Dome anti-missile system. He also didn’t tell them that according to the terms of the new agreement, Israel will not be allowed to request additional aid, and the possibility of spending up to one-quarter of the funding in Israel itself will gradually be reduced to nothing by the end of the decade. Both of these changes to the aid agreement constitute serious losses for Israel. They reduce the purchasing power of the aid money and are likely to cause serious damage to Israel’s defense industries.

Netanyahu also omitted that had he abandoned his desperate struggle against the nuclear agreement with Iran right after it was signed, the Americans might have significantly upgraded the aid package. As revealed by Al-Monitor, that Netanyahu consistently refused to begin negotiations on aid until after the vote in Congress approving the Iran deal caused Israel enormous damage, estimated at more than $10 billion by Israeli security sources.

Netanyahu boasted to his audience about the relationships he has developed with various actors in the Middle East, including with leaders of countries that do not have official diplomatic relations with Israel. He then went on to hint about a remarkable turnabout on the diplomatic front. According to him, in terms of public relations, Israel’s standing and relationships in the Middle East and the Gulf are better than they are in Western Europe.

“I post frequently on YouTube and Facebook,” Netanyahu said proudly. “In this day and age, we are able to skip over the traditional media and regimes and to reach the people directly. My video clips have 40 million views outside Israel. That is an enormous, unprecedented number. The world wants to hear us. That is a fact. We safeguard the Middle East and protect Europe and America by our very presence here. I hope that I will soon be able to break up the automatic majority opposing Israel in the United Nations. The situation will only get better.”

That is Netanyahu, late summer, 2016. He is self-assured and optimistic, ready for a fight and glad to finally be done with Obama. If there is one thing he would rather not talk about, it’s Obama’s potential successors.

Soros’ “Islamophobia” Plot Against “The Right” Revealed

By Matthew Vadum, (

Radical left-wing billionaire George Soros developed a strategy five years ago to publicly disparage, delegitimize, and marginalize conservatives like David Horowitz who go to great pains to warn Americans about the threat posed by political Islam and the ongoing Islamization of the U.S.

It is part of the Left’s push to create an alternate reality in which world temperatures claimed to be rising at an imperceptibly slow rate pose more of a threat to mankind than militants flying commercial jetliners into skyscrapers.
Soros is a foreign-born atheist who as a 14-year-old collaborated with the Nazis in occupied Hungary, describing that time as “probably the happiest year of my life” and “a very positive experience.” He has described himself as “some kind of god, the creator of everything,” and has said his “goal” was “to become the conscience of the world.”
He is an enabler of Islam which has been expanding by conquest and deception for 1,400 years. To put things in Islamic terms, Soros’s proposed mass importation of Muslims would expand the ummah, or community of Muslims, by means of what Muslims call hijrah, or jihad through emigration, from the Islamic world, the Dar al-Islam (house of peace), to the Dar al-Harb (house of war).
Soros’s affinity for Islam makes perfect sense. Nazi sympathizers and Islamists have much in common. It is fair to say that Islamic terrorists are the last of Adolf Hitler’s World War Two coalition partners that have yet to be vanquished.
The Islamic world aligned with the Third Reich, and this alliance “has largely been whitewashed from the pages of history,” Pamela Geller reminds us:
Many Muslims fought on the German side during World War II. The Wehrmacht had six legions with a Muslim majority and the SS had three Muslim divisions, a brigade and a Waffenbrigade. Each Muslim unit got a mullah as an adviser. In November 1944, an SS mullah school was established in Dresden, founded by Himmler.
The end goal for Soros, long the preeminent funder of the Left, is to weaken America by making the country safe for Islam, a fascistic, religion-like ideology founded by Muhammad in the seventh century after the birth of Christ. Soros urges the dissolution of borders and demands that the U.S. accept unlimited immigration, including from regions that produce people who hate America and its values and founding principles.
A constellation of well-heeled funders are part of a long-term campaign aimed at making the tenets of Islam acceptable in American society and glossing over the problems associated with importing terrorism-prone Muslims. The 86-year-old Soros, whose estimated net worth is now at a record $24.9 billion, is by far the wealthiest of these funders.
Secret internal documents from Soros’s primary philanthropic vehicle, Open Society Foundations (OSF), were hacked by DCLeaks and published on the group’s website last weekend.
One memorandum dated Jan. 12, 2011, bears the subject line “U.S. Models for Combating Xenophobia and Intolerance.” It is included in the document bundle labeled “Extreme Polarization and Breakdown in Civic Discourse.”
The memo identifies a plan that calls upon the Center for American Progress (CAP), founded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, to combat a phantom the Left calls “Islamophobia.” This neologism is wielded as a cudgel against those who dislike Islam and those who are merely skeptical of it. Leftists are determined to stamp out criticism of Islam, and they have an army of nonprofit organizations, foundations, academics, media outlets, and name-calling activists to help them.
The 57-member state Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is onboard with attacking Islamophobia. It wants to outlaw all criticism of Islam in every country on planet Earth. Such criticism is not only blasphemous but also defamatory, according to Islamic thinking.
The memo states:
We need a clearer understanding of what by all indications is a well-orchestrated and well financed system by which right-wing think tanks, pundits, and politicians are able to introduce false narratives and flawed research into the media cycle and use their misinformation to manipulate public opinion and thwart progressive counterterrorism policies.
It describes the “Examining Anti-Muslim Bigotry Project” espoused by the Center for American Progress. The project would:
(1) study anti-Muslim bigotry in the public discourse and respond on a rapid response basis throughout the 10-month grant period using CAP’s state of the art communications platform; (2) conduct investigative research on the Islamophobia movement and issue a major report on its findings in the first quarter of 2011; and (3) convene in the first quarter of 2011 two dozen experts, including representatives of progressive organizations and the Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian-American (AMEMSA) community, to formulate strategies for combating anti-Muslim xenophobia.
It also indicates that CAP “will research and track the activities of the most prominent drivers of Islamophobia,” including “David Horowitz’s Freedom Center,” Stop Islamization of America led by Pamela Geller, Foundation for Defense of Democracies led by Cliff May, and Liz Cheney’s group Keep America Safe. CAP will also examine “the role played by right-wing media, the Tea Party movement, prominent politicians, pundits, and conservative donors in spreading anti-Muslim hysteria.”
CAP took Soros’s money and did his bidding. Even today CAP is working hard to convince Americans that this make-believe mental illness of Islamophobia is a threat to American democracy and pluralism. CAP claims a $57 million network “is fueling Islamophobia in the United States.” The group created a sophisticated, flashy website ( that identifies leading alleged Islamophobes. The site draws upon “Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America,” a 2011 CAP report, and “Fear, Inc. 2.0: The Islamophobia Network’s Efforts to Manufacture Hate in America,” a CAP report from 2015.
CAP warns that there is “a small, tightly networked group of misinformation experts guiding an effort that reaches millions of Americans through effective advocates, media partners, and grassroots organizing.” These people, particularly a handful of key individuals and their organizations, spread “hate and misinformation.”
The Podesta-founded Center’s top six targets for vilification are: David Horowitz, founder and CEO of the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC); Robert Spencer, co-founder of Stop Islamization of America, director of the DHFC-affiliated Jihad Watch, and vice president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative; Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP); Steven Emerson, founder and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT); Daniel Pipes, founder and president of the Middle East Forum (MEF); and David Yerushalmi, founder of the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), and general counsel for CSP and Stop Islamization of America.
The site also directs fire at author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born ex-Muslim who is a fierce critic of Islam.
Although political correctness dictates that Hirsi Ali’s opinions should be given greater weight because she is female, black, an immigrant, and a victim of violence (female genital mutilation), she is too important a target to ignore. The CAP-created website notes disapprovingly that she calls Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” and says we will lose the fight against terrorism “unless we realize that it’s not just with extremist elements within Islam, but the ideology of Islam itself.”
The website tries to discredit its targets by stating or implying, often without offering any proof, that they are “radical right-wing,” ignorant, misinformed, paranoid, or bigoted. It smears CSP’s Gaffney, for example, claiming he “makes unsubstantiated claims,” and publishes commissioned papers whose authors knowingly arrive at “exaggerated and incorrect conclusions.”
The site claims Robert Spencer “is the primary driver in promoting the myth that peaceful Islam is nonexistent and that violent extremism is inherent within traditional Islam.” It quotes Spencer saying Islam “is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers.”
The site attacks David Horowitz, approvingly quoting the Southern Poverty Law Center which has dubbed him “the godfather of the anti-Muslim movement.” The site also pillories Horowitz for saying that “virtually every major Muslim organization in America is an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, the fountainhead of Islamic terror,” and for amplifying the voices of “fellow anti-Muslim bigots and their schemes of conspiracies and threats.”
And it claims the DHFC, which publishes FrontPage, “promoted the myth that Muslim extremists infiltrated an array of political organizations on both the left and the right.”
Soros’s “U.S. Models for Combating Xenophobia and Intolerance” memo is both an important leftist document and a window into the thinking of Soros operatives. It shows their preference for far-left talking points over the dispassionate analysis of facts. It also ought to disabuse any readers of the notion that OSF, formerly known as the Open Society Institute, is bursting with good people with good intentions. Many of these people viscerally hate those who disagree with them, viewing them not merely as ignorant or misguided, but as evil.
The memo is also a character assassination roadmap that enlists the assistance of disreputable left-wing groups including Media Matters for America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Addressed to OSF president (now president emeritus) Aryeh Neier, the memo is from OSF staffers Ann Beeson, Nancy Chang, and Raquiba LaBrie – all lawyers and veteran social justice warriors – plotting to smear those who dare to tell the truth about Islam. It lays out a plan “to counter xenophobia and intolerance in the U.S.”
ACLU alumna Beeson replaced current Democracy Alliance president Gara LaMarche in 2007 as U.S. Programs director at OSF. She now runs of the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, Texas. Chang managed OSF’s National Security and Human Rights Campaign but it wasn’t clear at time of writing if she still worked at OSF. She was previously senior litigation attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, a virulently anti-American public interest law firm. Harvard-trained LaBrie is director of philanthropy at L+M Development Partners in New York City and a board member of the Urban Justice Center.
The 2011 strategy memo is a template for a well-funded smear campaign against critics of Islam, associating them with the shooting that January of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). The attack “provides a grim backdrop to U.S. Programs’ consideration of rising xenophobia and intolerance.” The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, turned out to be a paranoid left-winger.
The memo sets the stage by repeating the long ago debunked Daily Kos-originated smear that Sarah Palin, “the most visible Tea Party leader,” somehow caused the mass shooting in which Giffords was severely wounded because she supposedly contributed to the “extreme and violent rhetoric [that] pervades our political discourse.”
It regurgitates the leftist article of faith that “prejudice against Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and other minorities is growing in a climate of fear, anger, and economic uncertainty.” It blames “anti-Muslim bigotry” for opposition to the construction of an “Islamic community center” at Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. It claims that “[c]able television channels, talk radio and political blogs pander to people’s fears and privilege expression of extreme views.”
America is a fetid hellhole of racial and religious hatred, the memo continues.
There is “growing intolerance and fragmentation in U.S. society” and it is important to examine the “full range of actions from rhetoric to harassment to violence perpetrated by government officials and private individuals, or embodied in laws or policies.” More money “should be devoted to uncovering the connections between individual actors, hate groups and extremist ideologies.”
The memo authors recommend that Open Society Foundations contribute $200,000 of the project’s $225,000 budget. It states that as of that point in time OSF had given a total of $6,759,991 to CAP. However, IRS filings show that if OSF grants and grants from Soros’s other philanthropy, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, are combined, the total amount given to CAP rises to $10,541,376.
The OSF grant to CAP does not appear in philanthropy databases. Three separate $200,000 grants – two in 2011 and one in 2013 – to CAP for an “anti-Muslim bigotry” project do appear but they come from the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Another OSF memo from April 26, 2010 (“Strategic Opportunities Fund – May 3, 2010 Docket Recommendation”) urges funding for the absurdly named Free Exchange on Campus Coalition which it states was created three and a half years earlier “to counter vigorous assaults on freedom of expression.”
OSF acknowledges it approved a $150,000 grant for FECC in 2009 and planned to give an additional $110,500 to its apparent fiscal sponsor, the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation. “Because FECC does not have its own 501c3 status, the coalition members decided to house the staff coordinator position at the American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation,” the planning document states.
FECC was founded after an OSF-hosted meeting in 2006 “following which leading faculty, student and civil liberties organizations launched Free Exchange on Campus Coalition (FECC) as a joint effort to counter conservative activists and their allies’ ideological assault on higher education.”
At that time “assaults on free exchange on campuses … included public relations efforts to undermine popular support for the academy, on-campus student campaigns, and efforts to pass state and federal legislation, based upon the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s ‘Academic Bill of Rights’ (ABOR) proposal, to place restrictions on higher education.”
FECC began to organize students and faculty in key states to roll out a public communications strategy” and “played a major role in organizing students and faculty to oppose proposals to restrict the free exchange of ideas in Pennsylvania, Montana, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa, Arizona, Georgia and Texas.”
In fact the Academic Bill of Rights was drafted to protect students from abusive, indoctrination-oriented professors with the goal of returning the academy to traditional principles of open inquiry and true academic freedom that puts students and teachers on an equal footing.
Horowitz is also mentioned in an article from the OSF document dump called “9/11 at 10: Lessons Learned from Anti-Muslim Haters,” by Faiz Shakir, at the time vice president of CAP. According to his LinkedIn profile he left CAP in June 2012 to become “New Media Director & Senior Adviser” to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and In March 2013 he became “Senior Adviser” to “U.S. Senate Majority [sic] Leader Harry Reid[.]” (The article is one of several in a PDF file called “tab-7-usp-board-articles-oct-2011[.]”)
Shakir describes Horowitz as one of “a host of grassroots organizers and activists” who disseminates the work of “anti-Muslim experts.” After that, “[m]edia voices on the right—Fox News, National Review, and hate radio hosts like Michael Savage—then amplify the Islamophobic rhetoric. Ultimately, right-wing political actors like Newt Gingrich and Rep. Allen West (R-FL) help mainstream the ugly prejudice.”
Shakir adds:
The lesson is simple: We need to isolate the Islamophobia network. That means demanding the media not give a platform to this small cadre of voices. That also means demanding that politicians divorce themselves from the network’s propaganda. It’s possible.
Shakir’s right. It is possible to smear and intimidate people who want to speak the truth.
The Left, surfing on a tidal wave of Soros money, does it every day.
Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, “Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Success is a Gift of G-d

A Torah Thought for Parashat Ekev               
By Michael Fuah

"Because G-d, your G-d is bringing you to a good Land. And you shall eat and you shall be satiated and you shall bless G-d, your G-d for the good Land that He has given you." (From this week's Torah portion, Ekev, Deuteronomy 8:7, 10)                                         

Sometimes we are so involved in man-made troubles that we forget to give thanks for all the wondrous good that G-d gives us. Just over 70 years ago, we were at the receiving end of the prophecy that opens this week's Prophets reading: "And Zion said G-d has abandoned me and my Master has forgotten me," and now we have merited "And He will love you and He will bless you and He will make you many and bless the fruits of your womb and the fruits of your earth, your grain and the juice of your grapes and your oil." (Deuteronomy 7: 13).                                                                   

Gratitude does not come naturally; we must work on acquiring it. On the contrary, when all is going well, one often forgets the feelings of lack and dependence that he feels in times of trouble. In truth though, all is a gift from G-d, and we must thank Him for every detail throughout the day.                                                          

The good that we have been promised is not a given. The feeling that we are on a direct route to the Final Redemption often dangerously dovetails with the plague of "My strength and the power of my hand brought me this success," causing us to forget our responsibility to nurture the process in which we are living. G-d directs us to build a kingdom of priests and a holy nation that calls out in the Name of G-d and is a moral beacon for the world. Nowhere in the Torah does He call upon us to establish a normal state that will find its place among the nations. The reason that Israel - strong and prosperous - is losing the legitimacy for its existence hinges on this understanding.                                                

It is up to us: "And if you will listen to My voice - "No man will stand in your path, G-d, your G-d will put fear and trepidation of you on the entire Land upon which you will step."     
                                                                                                                                                                                 Shabbat Shalom.

Israel’s Economic Growth and Global Economic Integration

By Ambassador (ret) Yoram Ettinger

1. China’s telecommunications conglomerate, Xinwei, is acquiring Israel’s satellite operator, SpaceCom, for $285MN. In 2015, Chinese companies invested about $500MN in Israeli companies. Israel’s trade balance with China is $11BN (10% of Israel’s overall trade balance), doubling the trade balance in 2010, far from the $50MN in 1990. Chinese companies are pushing deeper and further into Israel than ever before, and Israeli companies and government officials are returning the embrace. China is increasingly targeting Israeli general technology, agro-technology and irrigation with private and government money. In 2015, China’s Bright Food bought control of Israel’s Tnuva for $2BN, and in 2011 China’s National Chemical Corp. acquired Israel’s Adama, a pesticides and crop protection company, for $2.4BN.Taiwan’s General Mobile Corporation acquired MassiveImpact, an Israeli Ad Technology company, for tens of millions of dollars.

2. Car manufacturing giant, Ford, which is determined to develop a driverless car by 2021, just made its first acquisition of an Israeli company, SAIPS, a computer vision and machine learning company. Israel’s NLT was acquired by the San Diego-basedSeaSpine for $54MN in milestone payments.

3. The Minnesota and Ireland-based Medtronic, the world-largest standalone medical technology company, acquired an additional 3.4% of Israel’s Mazor Robotics for $20MN, expanding its ownership to 7.27% of Mazor. Israel’s Insightec concluded a joint venture agreement with Germany’s Siemens, following a similar agreement withGE.

4. The $3.3BN raised by Israeli startups, since January, 2016 may break the $4.4BN annual record set during 2015. Intel invested in three Israeli startups, expanding its Israeli investment portfolio to 80 startups with $345MN invested since 1997.

5. In 2016, the three leading global credit rating companies reaffirmed their confidence in the long-term viability of Israel’s economy. Standard & Poor sustained an A+ rating with stable outlook, Fitch upgraded Israel’s credit rating outlook to “positive,” while retaining its A rating, and Moody’s sustained an A1 rating with stable outlook.

6. Israel’s government debt/GDP ratio - the Achilles’ heel of most countries – has been reduced from 100% in 2002 to 63.9% in 2016, compared with the Euro Bloc’s 90.7% and the OECD’s 94%.

7. Israel’s unemployment rate has declined to 4.8%, compared to the OECD average of 6.3% and the Euro Bloc’s 10.1%.

8. Israel’s IDE is second on Fortune Magazine’s Change the World List of companies, which have had a positive social/business/innovation impact. IDE builds and operates major desalination plants in Israel and 40 additional countries, such as the USA, China, Mexico, etc. In Carlsbad, Southern California, IDE operates the largest desalination plant ($1BN) in the Western hemisphere, transforming seawater into potable water, providing 8% of San Diego county’s water, at a cost of less than half-a-cent per gallon of drinking water, which amounts to an additional monthly cost of only $5 per homeowner.

9. According to the Huffington Post: “The emergence of Israel as a small, but significant, player on the world stage is one of the remarkable developments at the end of the post-Cold War era… with a flourishing economy of $300BN and nearly $40,000 GDP per capita…. Its military was rated by the Institute for the Study of War as ‘pilot to pilot and airframe to airframe, the best air force in the world….’ Israel’s extensive work on air defense with the USA, makes it a serious military power…. Its intelligence capabilities are formidable…. With over 250 foreign companies creating research facilities in Israel, its strong high-tech capability has been rated by the University of Lausanne as one of the top five world powers in this key area…. Apple has invested over a billion dollars in creating a hardware development center with 800 employees…. Three of the world’s most powerful countries have invited Israeli companies to work with them in high tech [the USA, Russia and China]…. Israel is also developing a strong relationship with India: $5BN in trade, which could multiply to $15BN if the two sides decide to create a free trade zone. Israel is the second largest exporter of arms to India, preceded only by Russia….

August 1929: When Hevron Became Arab Occupied Territory

See also: State Department blasts Hevron construction

President Obama, Europe and much of the world claim that the Holy Land city of Hevron (Hebron) is occupied territory and they are correct (but not the way they think). Hevron is a Jewish city occupied by the Arabs.
Hevron’s occupation began on a Friday evening in August 87 years ago when a group of Arab terrorists massacred the Jews of the city while the British who ruled over the Holy Land knew what was happening but didn’t lift a finger to prevent the carnage
Hevron was the first piece of land ever purchased by the Jews in Israel. Approximately 38 centuries ago Avraham (Abraham) our forefather purchased a cave in Hevron to bury his beloved wife Sarah. Eventually Abraham’s son Isaac and his wife Rebekah, Jacob and one of his wives Leah, and Esau’s head were also buried in the cave. The Jews had owned the land in the city from that sale of the cave to Abraham until 1929 and they were the majority of the population most of that time.
Davar newspaper of August 20, 1929 reported:
Incitement of feeling against the Jews goes on, particularly round Jerusalem and Hevron. Rumors are being spread by unknown persons that on Saturday last the Jews cursed the Moslem religion and that it is the duty of Moslems to take revenge.
Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim, head of the Sephardic Jewish community, and Rabbi Frank, head of the Ashkenazic community, turned to the Arab Governor of Hevron, Abdullah Kardos. The Governor calmed us and said:
`There is no fear of anything happening. The British Government knows what it has to do. In the place where two soldiers are needed, it sends six.” And he added: “I tell you in confidence that they have many soldiers in the streets, in civilian clothes; these soldiers circulate among the crowds, and in the hour of need they will fulfill their duty.’‘
But that promise was never backed up with action.
“At about half past two on Friday (August 23) we saw a young Arab arrive by motorcycle from Jerusalem. He alarmed the Arab inhabitants of Hevron, saying that the blood of thousands of Moslems in Jerusalem was being shed like water. He called to the Arabs to avenge this blood. The unrest among the Arabs of Hevron was very strong, particularly after the motor cars began to arrive from Jerusalem with news of disturbances.”
On Friday night August 23rd, Rabbi Ya’acov Slonim’s son invited any fearful Jews to stay in his house. The Rabbi was highly regarded in the community, and he had a gun. Many Jews took him up on this offer, and most of those Jews were murdered in his home.
On Saturday morning, before the slaughter began, the Rabbis again appealed to the Governor for help. Again they received the same astounding assurances. Bewildered, the Jews turned to Mr. Cafferata, the British officer in charge of the Police. From him, too, they received assurances of safety.
As early as 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, Arabs began to gather en masse. They came in mobs, armed with clubs, knives and axes. While the women and children threw stones, the men ransacked Jewish houses and destroyed Jewish property. With only a single police officer in Hevron, the Arabs entered Jewish courtyards with no opposition.
Rabbi Slonim, who had tried to shelter the Jewish population, was approached by the rioters and offered a deal. If all the Ashkenazi yeshiva students were given over to the Arabs, the rioters would spare the lives of the Sephardi community. Rabbi Slonim refused to turn over the students and was killed on the spot. In the end, 12 Sephardi Jews and 55 Ashkenazi Jews were murdered.
On hearing screams in a room I went up a sort of tunnel passage and saw an Arab in the act of cutting off a child’s head with a sword. He had already hit him and was having another cut, but on seeing me he tried to aim the stroke at me, but missed; he was practically on the muzzle of my rifle. I shot him low in the groin. Behind him was a Jewish woman smothered in blood with a man I recognized as a[n Arab] police constable named Issa Sherif from Jaffa in mufti. He was standing over the woman with a dagger in his hand. He saw me and bolted into a room close by and tried to shut me out-shouting in Arabic, “Your Honor, I am a policeman.” … I got into the room and shot him.” (Bernard Wasserstein,
The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and the Arab-Jewish Conflict 1917-1929, Oxford England, Basil Blackwell, 1991)
Now let me tell you about the massacre. Right after eight o’clock in the morning we heard screams. Arabs had begun breaking into Jewish homes. The screams pierced the heart of the heavens. We didn’t know what to do. Our house had two floors. We were downstairs and a doctor lived on the second floor. We figured that we would be safe in the doctor’s apartment, but how could we get up there? The stairs were on the outside of the building, but it wasn’t safe to go out. So we chopped through the ceiling and that way we climbed up to the doctor’s house. Well, after being there only a little while, we realized that we were still in danger because by that time the Arabs had almost reached our house. They were going from door to door, slaughtering everyone who was inside. The screams and the moans were terrible. People were crying Help! Help! But what could we do? There were thirty?three of us. Soon, soon, all of us would be lost. .Letter of a Survivor
When the massacre finally ended, the surviving Jews resettled in Jerusalem. Some Jewish families tried to move back to Hebron, but were removed by the British authorities in 1936 at the start of the Arab revolt. In 1948, the War of Independence granted Israel statehood, but further cut the Jews off from Hebron, a city that was captured by King Abdullah’s Arab Legion and ultimately annexed to Jordan.
When Jews finally gained control of the city in 1967, a small number of massacre survivors again tried to reclaim their old houses. Then defense minister Moshe Dayan told the survivors that if they returned, they would be arrested, and that they should be patient while the government worked out a solution to get their houses back. Dayan never got around to it–I guess he was too busy giving away Jewish rights to the Temple Mount.
The Memorial of the Jews of Hevron, as submitted to the High Commissioner of Palestine closes with these tragic words:
In the name of sixty-five slaughtered, fifty-eight wounded, and many orphans and widows; in the name of the remnants of the plundered and tortured we accuse:
The [British Mandatory] Government, which did not fulfill its duty and provide protection for its peaceful and defenceless charges.
The Governor, Abdullah Kardos, and the Commander, Cafferata, who deprived us of the means of appealing for help and defence, betrayed us with empty promises and gave the murderers and robbers their opportunity.
The police, which did not fulfill its duty, and behaved with contemptible baseness.
The emissaries of the Mufti and the Moslem Council, in particular the Sheikh Talib Narka and his colleagues, those mentioned above, as well as those who have not been mentioned, who proclaimed the massacre and permitted murder and rape.
Also the inhabitants of Hevron (with the exception of some families) who did not rise up to help their brothers and neighbors in accordance with the commandments of the Koran…
On that Sabbath in 1929 the first Jewish city became occupied territory. More than that the Jews of Israel and worldwide learned that they cannot rely on anyone else for protection. Something that was learned again as the Obama administration and the Democratic Party sold out the Jewish people to Iran.
Some 87 years later that memorial still rings true. Arab terrorists are still attacking innocent Jews in Israel. The United Nation’s and the Obama administration simply watch and most of the time blame Israel. Until recently there was stabbing victims bleeding in the streets of Israel, and just like 1929 Hevron, just like 1939 Germany, the world sits back and watches it happen.
People ask me “why can’t Israel do what the US Asks?” The answer is they can’t because in the end, Israel can never fully trust any other nation even a strong friend such as America. Israel must protect herself as she deems appropriate because when push comes to shove history has taught the Jews just like 87 years ago in Hevron, just like Obama taught the Jews this past summer with the P5+1 deal…no one else will.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mount Sinai and the Golden Calf

By HaRav Mordechai Greenberg
Rosh HaYeshiva, Kerem B'Yavneh

In this week's parsha, Moshe warns Bnei Yisrael (Devarim 9:4-7):

Do not say ... "Because of my righteousness did Hashem bring me to possess this Land" ... Not because of your righteousness and the uprightedness of your heart are you coming to possess their Land, but because of the wickedness of these nations does Hashem, your G-d, drive them away from before you, and in order to establish the word that Hashem swore to your forefathers ... You should know that not because of your righteousness ... for you are a stiff-necked people. Remember, do not forget, that you provoked Hashem, your G-d, in the Wilderness.

Why was it necessary for Moshe to degrade Israel, and to reemphasize that their inheritance of the Land is not in their merit, and that they are a stiff-necked people that sinned? After all, the generation of the desert all died, so why mention the sins of the fathers to the sons?

In truth, these verses encapsulate the basic tenet of the choice of Israel and of their eternity. Maharal, in Netzach Yisrael, addresses the Ramban's question: Why does the Torah emphasize the righteousness of Noach, that he was a righteous person and that he found favor in the eyes of G-d, whereas regarding Avraham its says: "Go for yourself from your land ... And I will make you a great nation," while nothing is mentioned of his merits?

The Maharal explains based on the Mishna in Avot, that love which is dependent on something, when the reason is gone – so, too, is the love. The Torah intentionally concealed Avraham's righteousness, so that we should not mistakenly think that the covenant was formed with him because of his many merits. This would lead to the conclusion that if, in one of the generations, the descendents would not remain in their righteousness, the covenant is annulled. Therefore the Torah presented the issue in this manner, that the covenant is not dependent and conditional on Israel's righteousness.

Even when they sin, and even with such grave sins as idolatry, they are not rejected, even though they obviously are punished for this. As the Maharal writes, mitzvot and sins "add or detract closeness [to G-d]. However, the very [issue of] closeness is not dependent of the actions of Israel." Chazal say: "Either way they are called sons." The prophet Yechezkel says (20:22-23): "As for what enters your minds – it shall not be! As for what you say: 'We will be like the nations, like the families of the lands, to worship wood and stone,' as I live – the word of the L-rd, Hashem/Elokim – I swear that I will rule over you with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath."

Therefore Moshe emphasizes that Israel does not inherit the land in their merit, because even without merits they would inherit it, in order to fulfill the Divine masterplan as He swore to the forefathers. The proof is that you are a stiff-necked people and sinners, and even so, you are coming to the Land.

The reason for this unconditional choice can be understood from the Gemara Sanhedrin (34a), which addresses the contradiction between two verses. One pasuk says, "You, who cling (deveikim) to Hashem, your G-d" (Devarim 4:4), whereas another verse states: "Israel became attached (vayitzamed) to Baal Pe'or." (Bamidbar 25:3) The Gemara teaches that there is a difference between the words "clinging" and "becoming attached." "Cling" is an absolute bond, which is the relationship between Israel and G-d. On the other hand, Israel "becomes attached" to idolatry, like a bracelet (tzamid) on a woman's hand. In other words, with G-d – they are connected actually, in nature, inherently. However, when they sin with idolatry, this is something casual and external. Therefore, the sin of idolatry, which is casual, cannot abolish the clinging to G-d, which is natural.

With this, we can understand a fascinating passage of Chazal in this week's Haftorah (Brachot 32b):

"Zion said, 'Hashem has forsaken me; my L-rd has forgotten me.'" (Yeshaya 49:14) ...Knesset Yisrael said before G-d: Master of the Universe, "A man who marries a second wife remembers the actions of his first wife, whereas you have forsaken me and forgotten me."G-d said to her: My daughter, I created twelve constellations in the Heaven ... and they all were created only for you, and you say, "You have forsaken me and forgotten me?!" "Can a woman forget her baby (ulah), or not feel compassion (me'rachem) for the child of her womb?" G-d said, "Will I ever forget the olot (burnt-offerings), the rams and first-born (peter-rechem) that you offered before Me in the Wilderness?She said before Him: Master of the Universe, since you do not forget anything, perhaps you will not forget the act of the [golden] calf?He said to her: Even these (eleh) may forget. (I.e., "These are your gods, Israel.")She said before Him: Since there is forgetting before Your Throne, perhaps you will forget the act of Sinai?He said to her: "But I (anochi) will not forget you." (I.e., "I (anochi) am Hashem, your G-d.")This is what R. Eliezer said: What is written, "Even these (eleh) may forget" – this is the act of the [golden] calf; "But I (anochi) will not forget you" – this is the act of Sinai.

This is difficult to comprehend; is there unfair preference here? Why is the golden calf forgotten, but not the act of Sinai? Based on what we said, the issue is clear. Something intrinsic is not forgotten; only something casual and external is forgotten. The sin of idolatry in Israel is not something intrinsic, and is not clinging, and therefore it is forgotten easily and not remembered. Not so, ma'amad Har Sinai, since the Torah is the soul of Israel, and an eternal life that He planted amongst us. Israel cannot exist without the Torah, and therefore – "I (anochi) will not forget you."