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Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
After being flooded with complaints regarding my recent blog about paintball modesty patrols, INN has asked me to clean up my act. And they are right. Things have gotten out of hand.
So, as long as I continue at INN, the following rules will be in effect:
The blogs and the talkbacks will be edited to exclude: foul language, the use of symbols to hint at foul language (b%bies), name calling, all forms of lashon hara, all anti-Torah rantings, all anti-aliyah rhetoric, all missionary references, all distasteful jokes and offensive metaphors.
What am I going to write about?
Early this morning when I got in my car to drive to the mikvah, two police cars drove into my path blocking my way. Policemen rushed out of their cruisers and dragged me out of my car, confiscating the paintball rifles and paint in the trunk of my 1994 Masda. I was driven handcuffed to the Jerusalem Police Headquarters in the Russian Compound, fingerprinted, and dragged off to the nearby court building, where I was brought before a judge, to have my detention extended until the end of the police investigation.
The judge glanced through my file, read what looked like a few email print-outs, and examined the paintball equipment that had been taken from my car.
“Attempted assault and battery,” he said. “That’s a pretty severe charge, especially for someone who looks like a rabbi. Do you really believe that spraying women with paint will influence them to dress more modestly?”
“I never intended to spray any woman with paint,” I answered.
“Oh?” the judge responded. “Is that so? I suppose this blog that you wrote wasn’t really written by you, and these letters of complaint are speaking about someone else?”
“I wrote the blog, yes,” I admitted. “In order to metaphoricaly highlight the gravity of the situation where the holy women of Israel parade about the streets of Jerusalem in immodest attire – but I never intended to spray women with paint.”
“And just where were you headed this morning with paintball rifles and paint in the trunk of your car?” the judge wanted to know.
“To the hilltops of Yesha,” I answered, having had time to prepare my defense on the way to the jail.
“To the hilltops of Yesha?” the judge asked.
“Yes, sir, your honor, sir.”
“And what were you intending to do there?” he asked.
“I was going to spray-paint the settlers,” I answered.
“Spray-paint the settlers?”
“Why were you going to do that?”
“After watching President Obama’s speech on TV, I realized he was right. The settlers are obstacles to peace. I wanted to spray them with yellow paint to make it easier for the police to identify them so they can all be arrested.”
“Hmmm,” the judge muttered. “That’s a brilliant idea!”
Angrily, he smashed his gavel loudly on the counter before him. “Why did you detain this man?!” he yelled at the arresting officers. “How wonderful it would be if all of our citizens were like him!”
Motioning me with his finger, he summoned me closer.
“You know the Europeans give large amounts of money to Peace Now to make things unpleasant for the settlers,” he confided in a whisper. “Why don’t you approach them with your scheme. They might give you the money to buy a helicopter so you can spray-paint entire settlements from the air.”
“That’s an excellent idea, your honor,” I told him.
“Give Mr. Fishman back his rifles and let him go!” the judge ordered. “And I rule that the State compensate him with a full day’s wages for the waste of time you’ve cause him.”
Once again, he banged down his gavel. “Next case!” he called.
By the time I got to the mikvah, it was 12 o’clock and the water was freezing. Kaparat avanot!
In light of the complaint letter that INN received regarding Tzvi Fishman's paintball blog of June 1, 2009, entitled "Jerusalem Splat Team in Action," demanding that disciplinary measures be taken against Fishman, INN has removed the blog Fishman posted this morning. Update to follow.
Here's an email sent to the management of INN demanding that I be electronically handcuffed. What do you say?
"Friends of mine introduced me to Arutz-7 about two years ago. I was initially heartened by the nationalistic stance taken by the site and by the news reporting of events usually left out by the mainstream Israeli press. After a while I became faintly disillusioned by certain lapses in journalistic professionalism displayed by your columnists and bloggers. I let a lot of it go because I concentrated on the good side of your reporting and so neglected the bad side. No one was perfect, I rationalized. However, events of late have caused me to bring my dissatisfaction to your attention.
"I wish to lodge a complaint against blogger Tzvi Fishman and his overwrought columns.
"Especially unpleasant was the blog of June 1, 2009 entitled "Jerusalem Splat Team in Action". In it he advocates travelling the streets of Jerusalem with a paint splatter gun and shooting women who he deems to be improperly dressed. This he hopes will lead to his incarceration and somehow encourage the Knesset to pass a dress-code law that will fine and eventually imprison improperly dressed women.
"As disappointed as I am in Mr. Fishman, as I have on occasion defended him in the talkbacks as merely trying to use humour in order to encourage aliyah (immigration to Israel), I am more disappointed in the editorial board that oversees the blogs. Did no one think to question Mr. Fishman's language and tone in this blog before allowing it to be printed? Does he have the ability to have his blogs printed without being vetted by an editor first? I submit to the management and the editors of Arutz-7, that if you thought his blog was merely satirical, then your ethics need examination. None of Fishman's thoughts in this blog or in others of similar vein (involving attacks on certain groups of his fellow Jews) correspond with any of the Judaism that I was taught. Every rabbi I have ever spoken to or read has said that holiness and sanctity obtained through force or threat is a false piety. How can one measure the sincerity of anyone's observance if it is obtained through coercion or threat? True, many of the world's dictators have achieved order in their societies through the use of intimidation and force, but it is bought at a fearful price. Our people have always prided themselves that we would not resort to such measures to "rein in our flock". It appears that Fishman has other ideas. In the discipline of logic, Fishman is using an argumentum ad baculum (roughly an appeal to force) to sell his ideas, in essence, dress properly or face violence and imprisonment. This goes against every precept I know. Our people believe in the rule of law. Fishman has no authority to carry out his actions. He is not a rabbi (by his own admission) and the Knesset has not empowered him or anyone else to impose a dress-code nor to enforce it. He is therefore a vigilante and in violation of the law. We Jews have never worshipped power obtained that way, for in that way lies thuggery and anarchy. Why has no else seen this?
"If Fishman can slip his blogs through without examination by an editor, that speaks poorly for the level of journalistic professionalism practiced at the station. If on the other hand an editor saw nothing wrong with his blog, then that speaks very gravely of the ethics and level of tolerance practiced by the station management.
"I truly hope that Fishman is kidding. I hope even more that no addle-brained individual takes it into his head to harass women after being "inspired" by Fishman's example. If that were to happen, he could be held liable, but I am getting ahead of myself. Did it ever occur to any of you how Fishman's ramblings look to the outside world that can easily access his blogs on any computer? Our enemies could copy this blog and use it against us to ridicule religious Jews and to undermine our cause in Yesha. We have enemies both within and without. From within we have self-hating and left-wing Jews who just "pray" (pardon the pun) for a "frummie" to make an outrageous statement like Fishman's so they can exploit it. From without we have anti-Semitic Gentiles who would love to denigrate us to their benighted followers by using such musings as their example.
"I say enough is enough. Tzvi Fishman is a disturbed individual who obviously does harm to our cause, and apparently no one at the station management level can see it. To that end I make the following requests:
"1) Mr. Fishman's blogging privileges (and voice presence) should be suspended temporarily pending a hearing on his beliefs and commitment to journalistic professionalism. Once he has given assurance not to write material that incites hatred of his fellow Jews (those that he disagrees with) and is willing to submit blogs to an impartial editor for vetting, he can resume blogging. If he is unwilling to change his ways, he should be suspended permanently.
"2) The editorial board of Arutz-7 should issue a statement distancing itself from Fishman's more outrageous pronouncements, indicating that the opinions that he states are his alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the station as a whole.
"3) I want a statement of the editorial board's opinion of Fishman's philosophies and their view of the statements he made in "Jerusalem Splat Team in Action" sent to my e-mail address so that I may examine them. I am re-assessing my level of support to the station in light of such carelessness and I would like to hear you tell me of your drive to improve professionalism and to keep divisiveness to a minimum.
"If you fail to address me or fail to make any gesture towards solving this dilemma, I will take it that you approve of Fishman's philosophies and cruel humour and I will react accordingly.
"With that being said, I have no problem with ethical and social issues being addressed from an orthodox Jewish perspective, provided such issues are discussed in a calm, rational and intelligent manner with no brickbats being thrown at any who may hold different views.
"Jewish people are too few in number in Israel and indeed in the world for us to hive ourselves off in different groups and then snipe at one another. The Fishmans of this world seek to divide us further and cause us to fight amongst ourselves, just what our enemies would love to see. Such Jews as Fishman must be stopped so that our psychic wounds can heal and we can try to find common ground once again. As Edmund Burke once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing ".
"I do not intend to be one of those good men who do nothing. Our women deserve better than Fishman. I await your reply."
In the photo below, Hussein Obama, (then U.S. Senator) is dressed as a Somali Elder by Sheikh Mahmed Hassan during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya, near the borders with Somalia and Ethiopia. Hussein Obama’s Islamic sympathies go back to his schooling in a Jakarta “madrassa.” Both his father and stepfather are Muslim, and Sarah Hussein Obama of Kenya, Obama’s step-grandmother, is a lifelong Muslim.
Notwithstanding that Hussein Obama couldn’t care less, just to remind people of the facts, here’s a crash course on the Arab Israeli conflict that is circulating on the net:
1. Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years..
4.. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when
the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem , they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem .
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left (many in fear of retaliation by their own brethren, the Arabs,) without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. The ones who stayed were afforded the same peace, civility, and citizenship rights as everyone else.
10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel , a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel .
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel .
18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
But what does Hussein Obama care? All he wants is the Arab world’s money, oil, and the praises of Allah. The only thing in his way are the Jews.