Middle East 2:12 AM 12/10/2013
Inside Israel 3:46 AM 12/10/2013
Middle East 6:43 AM 12/10/2013
Ask the Rabbi
News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem. He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981.
Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History. He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes. He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.
Well, now the US Presidential election campaign will maybe get really interesting.
Jesse Jackson has been interviewed, and as I noted at my personal blog, he has said some very interesting things.
"Obama is about change," Jackson told me in a wide-ranging conversation. "And the change that Obama promises is not limited to what we do in America itself. It is a change of the way America looks at the world and its place in it."
"Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel that he gave the whole thing a miss," Jackson says. "Barack will change that," because, as long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will "remain a source of danger to us all."
"Barack is determined to repair our relations with the world of Islam and Muslims," Jackson says. "Thanks to his background and ecumenical approach, he knows how Muslims feel while remaining committed to his own faith."
and, maybe the "best" of all:
The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end.
Jackson believes that, although "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.
Well, well. Maybe now those Jewish grandparents in Florida will tell Sarah Silverman to go stuff another election polling box?
With Yom Kippur somberness behind us, and a happy holiday ahead, let me be a bit humorous:
With profound apologies to Bette Davis
I do not know who placed a small explosive device near the entrance to the home of Hebrew University Professor Ze'ev Sternhell. It had to be small since the damage I have seen was negligible. And I do not know if he actually intended to assassinate Sternhell.(*)
As I previously blogged, the flyer left at the scene raises too many doubts as to its authorship to permit me, a rational and logical sort of person, to put two and two together to come up with a positive identification that the perpetrator of violence was a rightwing settler as the supporters of Sternhell and most of the liberal media would have us assume.
To be clear: I renounce illegal criminal violence that cannot be justified. I am not a supporter of assassination attempts nor of reckless rampaging. I do not encourage throwing of stones at security personnel nor at Arabs, unless, in the latter case, they are throwing stones at me (which has happened). I think nonviolent direct action tactics a better strategy of protest but that is not the subject of this pre-Yom Kippur blog post. And I await the oputcome of the police investigation and, if necessary, the court trial, before pronouncing anyone or any body guilty.
The Left in Israel, however, is on a crusade to besmirch, demonize, ostracize and denounce the public that loves the Land of Israel, that seeks to retain the portions of its ancestral homeland not yet under the full sovereignty of the state of Israel, that wants as much security as possible and that fails to understand the weakness of our army and police in the face of Qassam rockets from Gaza and rocks that belt border police in Ni'alin thrown by anrachists. It is a public that sees detention orders or home expulsion oprders being used against Yesha youth but not against radical progressives. And it is a public that is getting restless and seeks a change.
Some may be too exuberant and unschooled in the political processes of civic democracy. Their approach is to be improved so that the more positive elements are brought to use, so that not disdain for the symbols of the state nor despair of effecting a change in the face of such media bias and outright leftwing incitement are their fundamental motivational forces but a love of Zion, a love of one's fellow Jew and a love of the Jewish future are what guide.
However, since the onslaught is continuing, I though that my contribution the erev Yom Kippur would be to point out some facts that are not trumpeted in the press, facts of the sins of the Left in Zionist history. I do not wish to demean the Left but simply to point out their self-righteousness and ignorance. Below is a list, not fully comprehensive, of acts of violence perpetrated by the Left against their ideological oppopnents and even members of their own camps in the past century of Zionism.
The shooting in the back of Yosef Lishansky by members of HaShomer on October 9, 1917 near Metulla.
The assasination of Yaakov DeHaan by Hagana members, headed by Rachel Yana'it-Ben-Tzvi, on June 30, 1924 in Jerusalem.
The beating to death of Betari Eliyahu Shlomi (Daitsch) in Herzliya by HaPoel members on August 18, 1940.
The killings, by the Hagana, of presumed collaborators with the British including:
Baruch Weinshal in October 1939; Oskar Oppler in January 1940; Moshe Sabatni on May 3, 1940; Yitzhak Sharansky on May 12, 1940; Baruch Manfeld on June 25, 1940; Walther Strauss on July 3, 1940 and Moshe Marcus on August 25, 1940.
The beatings, kidnappings, torture and handing over to the British of hundreds of members of the Irgun and several of the Lechi during the 'Saison' period of October 1944-May 1945.
Union-based violence of Histadrut toughs directed at members of Betar in Mandate Palestine at Kfar Saba on April 8, 1930; at Herzliaya and Bnei Braq during May-June, 1932; at the Frumin Factory between October 1932-February 1933; and in Haifa on October 17, 1934 when an assembly of Revisionists was broken up by dozens of toughs who broke into the hall, broke windows and beat senseless several score youngsters and elderly who were present.
The premediated attack on parading Betar youth in Allenby Street, Tel Aviv, on the Seventh of Pessach, April 17, 1933 when rocks and bottles were tossed from rooftops led by one 'Red' Rosa Cohen which caused Berl Katznelson to resign his party positions.
The firing on unarmed Irgunists swimming in the water opposite Tel Aviv beach on June 22, 1948.
I do not know how my leftwing friends feel about all this history but I, I must admit, personally feel a lot better.
Have a very meaningful fast and may we soon merit to observe the High Priest in the Holy Temple, the Levites singing there and the Children of Israel worshipping God.
(*) Odd that a very similar event occured on the night of June 21-22, 1952 when the apartment of David Tzvi Pinkas, Minister of Transportation, was attacked with an explosive device. Two non-rightwingers were arrested coming out of the buidling but the case against them was not proven in the trial.
(The sources for the above list include books by Anita Shapiro, Betar history written by Chen Merchavya, "Political Assassinations by Jews" by Nachman Ben-Yehuda, the "Hagana in Haifa" and "Sefer HaHagana", among many others)
Here's the flyer left at the scene of the domestic terror attack at Prof. Sternhell's house:
My observations after reviewing it:
1. There is no ב"ה or בס"ד, usual heading of religious persons writing. Those abbreviations mean "with God's help". And the word מספיק - "enough" is odd. Youngsters would use די!
2. The signature "the Army of the Statist Liberators" is ridiculous. The whole concept of ממלכתי, i.e., supporting the state, is anathema to the radical nationalist right.
3. Why announce an award of 1.1 million NIS? 1.1??? Why an odd number? What was that, a typo?
4. The state of Israel is described as the "dream" (חלום) of the past 2000 years. Religious/nationalists would use the word "vision" (חזון).
5. In the list of weapons that Israel has handed over to the PA is included מכונות ירי (and why not יריה?) which is a fairly archaic term for machine guns which may indicate someone over 65. A youngster who has actually served in the army would use תת-מקלעים or straight out קלצ'ניקובים - Klatchnikovs.
6. The use of the Hebrew term for "Palestinians" is פלשתינאים which is not usual. Either פלסטינים or ערבים - Arabs would have been used.
7. The inclusion of amongst the "sins" of the state of Israel of abortion encouragement would indicate perhaps Hareidi groups, not nationalists.
8. The same for the inclusion of encouragement of "gay pride parades".
9. The use of מלכות יהודה - Kingdon of Judea, instead of the Kahanist demand for מדינת יהודה - State of Judea, also indicates to me Hareidi or GSS composition.
10. Sternhell isn't mentioned in the flyer and the addition of the 1.1 NIS reward for the murder of Peace Now leaders is in a different typeface, as if tacked on later to the original flyer.
Something is fishy.
This needs more study.
Isabel Kershner is the New York Times' correspondent in Israel, formerly of The Jerusalem Report and the wife of Hirsch Goodman. Isabel takes on the Yesha scene in an article today entitled, "The Radical Right Takes On Israel".
Takes on all of Israel?
It is, surely, the "radical right" that she describes, and to be safe, she uses these terms such as: "elements of Israel’s settler movement", "Hard-core right-wing settlers", "extremist bastion", "the religious, ideological wing of the settlement movement", "so-called hilltop youth" and "the more militant activist part".
Nevertheless, she does not provide any standard of judgment for the uninitiated reader. Is she talking about 10,000 persons, 1 million or 250 teenagers? Of course, one terrorist or fanatic is more than enough, as Yigal Amir proved. Still, my point is that she was not describing a known quality but was drawing a general picture, providing background. And while using terminology that shielded her from being accused of making sweeping generalizations, I think that in not informing the reader as to what is the true picture, she was tranferring impressions and not facts. In other words, her reporting was a bit biased I would suggest.
For example, in writing that there have
been bouts of settler violence for years, notably during the transfer of Gaza to the Palestinians in 2005
she is misleading because both in absolute numbers of incidents and in relative to the monstronsity of the acts done to the Gush Katif and Northern Samaria revenants, what actually happened was minor, although regrettable, and cannot be compared in violence to any similar event on that scale in other countries.
She also failed to let her readers know that the person responsible for the terror attack at Yitzhar, which she describes fairly, was the same person the army killed a week or so later as he tried to throw a molotov cocktail at soldiers. In other words, the residents of Yitzhar were facing a quite determined killer.
In another instance, she writes,
In Samaria, the biblical name for the northern West Bank, and in Binyamin, the central district around the Palestinian city of Ramallah, settlers recently ousted their more mainstream representatives in local council elections, voting in what they called “activist” mayors instead. These new mayors, like the Samaria council’s Gershon Mesika, reject what they see as the more compromising policies of the Yesha council...
First, Samaria was not only the Biblical name but it is the geographical name used until today. Secondly, the mayor, or head of the Binyamin Reginla Council, Avi Roeh, is not more activist than the former head, Pinchas Wallerstein, for sure. Thirdly, as for Gershon's activism, well, have you heard a Jew say 'eh'? And fourthly, as she does mention the friction with the Yesha Council, she couldn't speak with Dani Dayan, the Council's Chairman? (Note: I called her up, spoke with her and made that very suggestion.)
And one more example of troublesome writing. She relates to Rechalim
Rahelim, a Samarian community of 45 families founded in 1991, has been labeled an illegal outpost
but could have added "...founded in November 1991 in protest following an Arab terror attack on civilian buses which killed a mother of 7 children and the bus driver, a father of two".
I guess not all the facts fit.