Monday, June 17, 2013
A gets an Answer
You ask me why the Middle East conflict has dragged on for so long and why it is so difficult to resolve.
Since you yourself are a history buff and deeply interested in the American Civil War, let me tell you a fast story. As you know, the American Civil War was decided at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, even though the final capitulation of the South came two years later at Appomattox. And the Battle of Gettysburg was decided in the dramatic Pickett's Charge. In that critical phase of the battle, three brigades of Virginians under General George E. Pickett attacked the Union lines, manned by about half their number of troops.
The results are well known. Pickett lost over half of his men, who were annihilated by Union artillery and rifles. It was the first and most important battlefield loss for the Confederacy's commander Robert E. Lee. His army had to withdraw to Virginia, and, from that point on until the surrender of the Confederacy, Lee's army was on the defensive. The South lost the war with Pickett's Charge.
Years later, when asked why his charge at Gettysburg had failed, General Pickett replied: "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it."
And so, A, to return to your question, just why has the Middle East conflict dragged on so long and why is it so hard to resolve?
I've always thought the Arabs had something to do with it.
A team of Israeli researchers at the Hebrew University just developed a method to erase memories in rats. (In Hebrew, story appears here http://www.haaretz.co.il/news/health/research/.premium-1.2047967) It uses optic energy to stimulate the brain. It is thought the method might have therapeutic value for humans who have experienced trauma.
I was curious though to know how they were so sure the rodents in question had actually had their memories erased.
Well I checked and it turns out that after having these bright lights shown onto their brain cells for an extended period, the mice all hopped up, formed a circle, and started chanting in unison "Peace Now, Peace Now."
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The Plan to Africanize Israel
1. The Plan to Africanize Israel
The main goal of the Israeli Far Left is to end Israel's existence as a Jewish state. It pursues this goal not only by means of demanding that Israel capitulate to the jihad. It also has been working nonstop to convert Israel into an impoverished country populated by huge masses of uneducated unskilled non-Jewish Africans.
For the Africans, Israel represents a place where they can do menial work and make wages many times in excess of what they get back home. The bulk of the Africans seeking higher wages, those misrepresented by the media as "refugees," are from Eritrea, with others coming from Sudan and elsewhere. These are not refugees at all. The Left wants them to be granted unlimited entry into Israel. The Left whines that these people suffer at home. But no other African countries allow unlimited entry into their territories for Eritreans or others and none regard Eritreans as "refugees." The secularist Left in Israel whines about how "Jewish mercy" and "Jewish historic experience" dictate that Jews take pity on the Eritreans. Just as long as no Eritreans are allowed to erect tents in their own yards.
But taking pity does not mean allowing unlimited entry into the country. Bleeding hearts so concerned about the "sufferings" of the Eritreans and Sudanese are welcome to collect funds in Israel and send them to Eritrea and Sudan to assist those "suffering" there. Practitioners of recreational compassion who insist the "refugees" from Eritrea need to be offered a home can send them all to the Gaza Strip, with its thriving malls and water parks in need of hard-working sanitation crews.
Now as it turns out, drowning Israel in Eritreans is not the ONLY tactic of the post-Zionist anti-survivalist Israeli Mau-Mau Left. They dream of converting Israel into a bi-national Rwanda. They are also trying to fill the country with non-Jewish Ethiopians.
As you know, Israel welcomed in all the Jews from Ethiopia and even any non-Jewish family members they might have. But the entire Jewish population of Ethiopia left there long ago. The bulk are settled in Israel where they are slowly being integrated and moving up the social ladder. Indeed they are doing so well that pretty much every non-Jewish Ethiopian in Ethiopia would like to move to Israel and join them in being exploited in Israeli labor markets. Thousands of Ethiopians are posing as Jews and asking for handouts in "camps" set up in Ethiopia, where they await transport to Israel and its milk and honey. And anyone raising any objections is denounced in kneejerk manner by the Left as "racist."
Ben Dror Yemini devoted his weekend column to this massive scam. In Hebrew, see http://www.nrg.co.il/app/index.php?do=blog&encr_id=f2b4c1b55be76d1e6d7b777256ea0370&id=4536 . The Ethiopian "refugees" now in tent camps in Ethiopia are not Jews at all nor are they crypto-Jews or ex-Jews coerced into living as Christians like morannos, insists Yemini. They are scam artists putting on a show to get into Israel. Some of the leaders of Ethiopian Jews in Israel have called upon Israel to REFUSE to allow those people into Israel, speaking openly about the scam. The main lobby group that has pressured Israel to allow them in calls itself NACOEJ, the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (http://www.nacoej.org/) . They raise funds for the tent cities of the pretenders. They teach the pretenders a few Hebrew songs or prayers they can recite whenever a TV camera shows up. Whether out of naiveté or something worse, they attempt to blackmail Israel into allowing the masses of Ethiopian non-Jews into the country by labeling anyone objecting to the idea as a "racist." Actually, recently even NACOEJ announced they were disbanding because there are no more bona fide Jews left in Ethiopia. Avi Granot, Israel's erstwhile ambassador to Ethiopia, confirms the applicants are non-Jewish pretenders. A recent Hebrew book "Zionism Upside Down" by one Ori Konforti, documents the deception and fraud. A handful of Eritreans have also pretended to be interested in converting to Judaism and are scrutinized closely by skeptical Rabbinic authorities.
The main lobbyist for opening up the floodgates for non-Jewish Ethiopians to enter Israel is one Avraham Nagossa, an Ethiopian who first came to Israel as a Christian missionary. He set up a new group in Ethiopia calling itself Hatikva (talk about gall!) to encourage Ethiopian non-Jews to demand entry into Israel. Each person he manages to get into Israel then files papers to allow every relative and friend of his to join him in "reuniting of families" in Israel.
And so along moves the Left's dream of seeing Israel converted into an impoverished post-Zionist non-Jewish tribal plantain plantation.
2. Eugene Kantorovich is one dang interesting academic! He is professor of constitutional law at Northwestern University (http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/EugeneKontorovich/ ). He is a blogger for the "Volokh Conspiracy." And he often writes about international law and Israel.
He recently lectured in Israel at Bar Ilan University on the subject of "settlers." (See http://www1.biu.ac.il/indexE.php?id=33&pt=20&pid=117&level=2&cPath=33&type=1&news=1913 ) The paper he presented documents the many cases of settlers and settlements being erected in "occupied territories" and about which there are no international criticism and no demands for their removal. The only "settlers" over which the world is upset are Jews who are living in their historic homeland, in lands taken by Israel in its defensive wars. He talked about the Russian settlers in Abkhazia in Georgia, and Russians in the Baltic countries. He talked about Indonesian settlers in Timor. He talked about Vietnamese settlers in Cambodia, and Turkish settlers in Cyprus and Syrian settlers in Lebanon. He talked about Moroccan settlers in Western Sahara. And in every case he showed how the world legitimized and recognized the presence of settlers as legitimate. He even described how the world agreed that the Moroccan settlers vote in the referendum in Western Sahara, with the predictable pro-Moroccan result. Jimmy Carter and the US State Department saw nothing amiss with that.
In NO other cases of settlers or settlers has the demand been raised that the settlers be removed or evicted. Only when it comes to Jews in their own homeland.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Ben Guiron University's Zippergate
Ben Gurion University's Zippergate
Posted By Steven Plaut On June 14, 2013
While most of Israeli academia is the occupied territories of the radical tenured Left, no other institution besides Ben Gurion University has essentially made leftist anti-Israel agitprop its raison d'etre. At Ben Gurion University the notorious Department of Politics continues to operate as the worst anti-Israel indoctrination center in the country. It is a department in which no pro-Israel or non-leftist opinion may be expressed. It routinely holds one-sided "academic conferences" in which only Marxist or leftist anti-Israel opinion may be voiced. After its misbehavior and atrociously low academic standards became the focus of a report by a special international panel of experts appointed by Israel's Council on Higher Education, Ben Gurion University carried out "reforms" in the department consisting of hiring even more anti-Israel leftists to teach there.
At Ben Gurion University animosity to Israel is a sufficient condition for a faculty member to be hired, and in some departments it is also a necessary condition. Pluralism and diversity at Ben Gurion University consist of having men and women, Arabs and Jews, Ashkenazim and Mizrachim and others all indoctrinate students in leftist ideology. In other words, pluralism of thought is widely suppressed on the campus. Academic standards are often trashed there when anti-Israel faculty are hired, and churning out Bash-Israel hate propaganda "counts" at BGU as scholastic achievement and academic excellence.
All of this is largely the doing of Ben Gurion University's current leftist president, Rivka Carmi, although previous presidents of BGU were just as bad. (Carmi's predecessor was Avishai Braverman, a Labor Party politician and the only "economist" in Israel who does not know that the minimum wage causes unemployment. Before him was Shlomo Gazit, another leftist activist, who favors international arming of the Hezb'Allah terrorists.)
While leftist anti-Zionism is the dominant campus theme at Ben Gurion University, not every member of the faculty toes the Carmi line. There are some faculty members, particularly in the sciences and engineering, who dare to oppose the agitprop and criticize Carmi's role in it.
One such fearless soul is Professor Israel David, who teaches Industrial Engineering at BGU. He is a longtime critic of Carmi and of the politicization and radical indoctrination that has dominated the BGU campus under her reign of error. In fact two years ago he issued a public call for Carmi's resignation and called upon the Minister of Education to appoint a receiver to manage the affairs of the failed university much like courts appoint receivers for bankrupt corporations. With all the casual chitchat about the importance of criticism and pluralism in academic life, Carmi decidedly does not like those who criticize her. And her dislike of Prof. David appears to be what was behind the newest outrage at Ben Gurion University.
The ignominy in question should be dubbed Zippergate.
Professor David one day received an email message out of the blue from one of President Rivka Carmi's underlings, saying that he was under investigation for "sexual harassment." He is a 58-year-old man who has spent his entire professional life teaching, lecturing, researching, and supervising students at all levels. His first reaction to the e-note was to presume that it was an April Fool's or Purim prank, but the dates did not fit. He then tried to jog his memory to see if there might be some disgruntled female student he had flunked who might have a personal grudge against him, one that could motivate such a fabrication. But none came to mind.
Israeli universities claim to take sexual harassment seriously, at least when non-leftist faculty are involved. Leftist faculty are another matter. It took years for the Hebrew University to take disciplinary action against the far-leftist professor of sociology Eyal Ben Ari after evidence was presented that he had been raping his own students. Ben Ari was also the supervisor of the notorious "MA thesis" claiming to prove that Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women because Jews are such racists.
Professor David asked to be told who had filed the "complaint" against him and what the basis for the complaint was. After giving him the runaround, he eventually discovered what was going on.
The plaintiff was not a student at all but a middle-aged divorced female departmental engineer in his school. She is Dorit Cikurel-Vazana and you can see her face here. Her Facebook page says she loves the music of Yanni. And the basis of her complaint to the authorities was that the good professor had entered her office after he had used the gent's and, Oh the Humanity, he had forgotten to zip up. In Hebrew slang this is referred to as a case where "the store is left open." It was decidedly NOT one of those incidents featured in those old episodes of "Friends" where "the mouse gets out of the house." There was simply a ranch gate left open south of the Rio Grande, and even then no stallion escaped the hacienda. There was no defenestration. It was a case of a breach in the castle defenses. One might even say a breach in the britches. A nexus agape. A forgotten zip code.
Now I am also a professor and I happen to believe that absentmindedness pretty much goes with our professional territory. Prof. David deals with complex mathematics and, when anyone does so, one may overlook the need for a positive first derivative with regard to trouser ligature. I have a great deal of sympathy for the difficulty in which Prof. David found himself. I myself tend to forget to "shut the store" at least once a week, especially in summer when no cool breezes invade to serve as a jog to my aging … er … memory. In addition, both Prof. David and I carry enough belly bulge to deny ourselves direct visual contact with any offending misfastening south of the border.
BGU's Prez Carmi ordered a commission of investigation more than a year after the "incident" took place. Prof. David insisted it was part of Carmi's campaign of harassment against faculty members who dare to criticize her. Carmi's team submitted its final report on the zipper atrocity on May 2, 2013, signed by Carmi herself. The report affirmed that the professor had exited the privy after overlooking the unsecured fissure. The report also concluded that there was no actual evidence that this was done as a form of sexual advance, but at the same time it skewered Prof. David for his unprofessional and unbecoming behavior regarding the garment covering his skewer. Carmi's statement in the report included a personal admonishment to Prof. David henceforth "to make sure he zips himself up." She also demanded that the professor send a formal letter of apology "for his misbehavior" to the Yanni fan who was offended by his zipper. It is not clear if he can still unzip data files on his campus computer from the Internet. Can you imagine how his hapless victim would have reacted to seeing Bill Clinton "unzipping my doodah, unzipping all way, my oh my what a wonderful day"? I mean, she might have zipped out to get herself a zip gun.
So the leftist Ben Gurion University president who refuses to take action against her own far-leftist faculty members when they issue calls for murder or when they align themselves with neo-nazis and call for Israel to be annihilated or when they cheer on terrorist atrocities against Jews has suddenly discovered her inner Amazon. She has launched a merciless campaign against zippers. She has decided to terminate zippers with extreme prejudice. She wants to go down in the history books as the renowned BGU crusading warrior of Zippergate in Zion.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Pinky Toes, and come join the ZDAQAMTDJTA!
1. Ah, leave it to Haaretz, our favorite Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, to ignore what everyone else in the world now knows and to pronounce that the murders that took place in the Tel Aviv gay bar 4 years ago were caused by "homophobia."
The great irony is that Haaretz is sticking to that line even AFTER it itself broke the leak it got from the police that the murders were payback carried out by members of the family of a victim who was a minor raped by a member of the Youth Bar "club": For details, see http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/tel-aviv-gay-youth-center-attackers-sought-revenge-over-rape-of-teen-police-reveal.premium-1.529071
Never mind the facts. Haaretz still runs an editorial TODAY insisting that the crime was caused by "homophobia." Moreover, it demands state reparations be paid to the club people injured in the shooting. Why state reparations rather than suing the perps? Because "homophobia" caused the attack. Here is Haaretz: "This crime cannot be divorced from homophobia in society, and exception should be taken to any attempt to dissociate the case from broader homophobic attitudes." No doubt Arab women murdered by their families in "honor killings" will soon be offered state reparations by the Israeli government on grounds that they are victims of Islamophobia.
You can refresh your memory of the shooting and its aftermath here: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/steven-plaut/the-killer-in-the-tel-aviv-gay-lounge-was/
Note the talkback that reads:
'As for the "Queers against Israeli Apartheid," the answer to them is in setting up a new activist organization: the ZDAQAMTDJTA! That stands for: Zionists for Denying Anti-Semitic Queers Access to Medicines and Treatments Developed by Jews for Treating AIDS.'
But the obsessional political correctness of Haaretz does not end there. Haaretz has now joined the "T" fetish bandwagon. The editorial adds: "There is also a need for a policy of equality when it comes to transgender individuals. The barriers erected by the health and interior ministries that make it more difficult for people to change their gender must be eliminated. And legislation compensating the victims of the Barnoar attack should be just a first step in the war against homophobia and the beginning of a proactive approach to providing full equality to the gay community."
So let's take a few steps backwards here. "Transgendered"?
First let me say that the adding of the "T" for "transgendered" was probably the stupidest tactical error the homosexual lobby could make. After largely winning the media battles in the West over "gay marriage" and "acknowledgement of normality" by much of the public, the LGB's then go berserk and add the "T" to things to make "LGBT." The media are also trying to bash the public over the head about the "T's" and preach about how "normal" THEY are but I doubt there is one person in a thousand even in the most liberal states in the US who regards the "T's" as anything other than mentally ill fruitcakes. Hollywood movies cheering on "T's" are all around but make no difference.
Second, all the rubbish about "men born in women's bodies" and vice versa does not change anything. We all know there is no such thing. If someone claimed he was a dolphin born inside a human body and demanded surgery to grant himself fins, he would be sent to the psych ward. A doctor who carried out "restorative surgery" or "species correcting surgery" to make that dude look like a dolphin would be locked up.
I have long held the opinion that any doctor carrying out "sex change surgery" should be arrested and jailed for mutilation and assault. A MD who cut off a person's pinky toe for no valid medical reason at all would be jailed, but the PC kooks are arguing that what is cut off and done in "sex change surgery" is legitimate and even a human right. (While at the same time insisting that circumcision be prohibited!)
And now they have Haaretz in their camp! Putting aside the more general debate over LGB, anyone adding the "T" to LGB should be automatically dismissed as an idiot who has nothing of value to say about anything at all. Or better yet, they should have their pinky toes surgically removed. Can an anti-Semitic organization of "transgendered" cheering on jihad be far away?
And by all means, come and join ZDAQAMTDJTA!
2. The Israeli Knesset is seriously debating a bill proposed by an animal rights nut in Yair Lapid's party to prohibit fattening up geese. The bill claims it is inhumane to do so, although it does not seem to have done much harm to Oprah Winfrey. In any case, the Knesset is also debating whether to proclaim the teenage graffiti vandals of "Price Tag" as terrorists.
But I wonder if the time has not come to proclaim Peace Now and Meretz as terrorist organizations.
Take the Meretz initiative regarding Jibril Raboub. We have had occasion to comment on this uber-terrorist in the past, including in a piece called "Mister Rajoub's Neighborhood": http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=16569 . ' Rajoub has a long track record of praising Hamas suicide bombers and other mass murderers, and ordered the torture of Palestinian journalists who criticized the PLO.'
But now Meretz and Peace Now have launched a campaign to beatify and prettify Rajoub and promote him as the missing Palestinian peace partner.
Here is the latest about Meretz' beloved peace partner:
Meretz's 'Peace Partner' Rajoub: All of Israel is 'Occupied'
PA official Jibril Rajoub, touted last week as a "man of peace" by Meretz, told an Arab station that all of Israel is "occupied Palestine."
Palestinian Authority official Jibril Rajoub, who was touted last week as a "man of peace" by the leftist Meretz party, is continuing his incitement against Israel.
The Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) research organization exposed on Sunday yet another controversial statement by Rajoub, who this time said during an interview, which aired last week on an Arab sports television channel, that all of Israel is "occupied Palestine".
Rajoub, who heads the PA's soccer federation, referred during the interview to an upcoming visit to Israel and the PA by the players of the FC Barcelona team. When asked by the interviewer whether the team will also visit the "occupied territories", Rajoub replied, "They are coming to occupied territories, since the whole of Palestine from the river to the sea, is occupied."
The interviewer then told Rajoub that she was referring to "Israeli-occupied lands" to which Rajoub replied, "Do you mean 1948?"
When the interviewer confirmed she indeed meant lands "occupied" in 1948, Rajoub replied, "There was a foolish Israeli attempt to do something (a sporting event) together. Of course they try to use Barcelona as a fig leaf to hide their crimes against Palestinian sports."
The latest remarks by Rajoub were exposed just three days after MK Zehava Galon, head of the extreme leftist Meretz party, blasted the Defense Ministry for preventing Rajoub's participation at her party's conference.
Rajoub had been scheduled to speak at the conference. Galon contacted Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and asked that Rajoub be given the appropriate permit to attend, but the request was denied.
"This is an attempt to silence a person, which harms one of the most prominent proponents of peace on the other side, and it is hard to shake the feeling that the security establishment makes political decisions and not professional ones," claimed Galon.
Yaalon explained Saturday evening that he had decided to block Rajoub's entry to Israel before the Meretz party invited him to its conference.
"I decided to prevent Jibril Rajoub from entering the state of Israel, because despite the fact that in the Israeli press, he sometimes appears like an almost likeable character – in actual fact, this is a person who has been inciting in a very serious manner against the state of Israel and its citizens lately; attacking the prime minister with harsh words that cannot be repeated; and acting to delegitimize Israel in sports institutions," said Yaalon.
"I cannot accept a situation in which a person spreads words of demonization and hatred against us, like the worst of inciters, and at the same time asks to enter the state of Israel as if nothing happened. You can't grasp the stick at both ends."
PMW has in the past exposed that Rajoub denounced Jews as "Satans" and "Zionist sons of bitches" before an audience. In another PMW video, he called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a "dog."
Most recently he praised the use of violence against Israel, asserting that if the PA had a nuclear weapon, it would not hesitate to use it against the Jewish state.
3. You probably saw that Shimon Peres just announced yet again that there is near-universal consensus in Israel in support of the so-called "two-state solution." See http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/168801#.Ubb52q8UHQw.
Peres had a tiny error. In reality, there is near-universal consensus in Israel AGAINST any "two-state solution." The only consensus in favor of it is that comprised by Peres and the heads of Meretz and the Communist Party.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
The REAL Hate Crime
1. I need to correct something related to the "Gay Bar Shootings" story from a few days ago.
Just to recapitulate, 4 years ago a man broke into the Tel Aviv "Youth Bar," a gay lounge, and shot the place up, murdering some people. Israel back then was awash with media accusations that it was all the fault of the Orthodox because they dared not approve of homosexuality. The press and the homosexual lobby dubbed it a hate crime against homosexuals, and claimed it proved how intolerant and bigoted Israelis are, especially the Orthodox. International anti-Semitic homosexual organizations were set up to support the jihad.
Then this past week the Israeli police arrested 4 people for involvement in the shootings, all gay members of the Youth Bar lounge. Meaning it was NOT an anti-homosexual hate crime. Indeed, the real hate crime here was the anti-Orthodox campaign of invective launched by the media and the homosexual lobby.
Meanwhile, there is still a gag order on about the details, but I posted my sense of what the media were hinting at, regarding what really happened in those shootings. I guessed that the murders were the consequences of unrequited love among some members of the lounge. It now appears that that is not quite correct and the true story is far worse from the point of view of anyone trying to promote tolerance for homosexuals.
The press is still playing peek-a-boo and is still being coy about the full story. But from reading all the reports by reporters who have the facts but are still not allowed to report them freely except by hint, it now appears that the shootings were triggered by the molestation of a minor by one of the homosexual activists in the lounge and then that minor's family or friends decided to avenge this molestation by shooting the place up. If this turns out to be the correct explanation, it will be amusing to watch the responses of the militant homosexual anti-Orthodox lobby trying to spin THIS one!
2. From Algemeiner - hope you find this interesting
June 7, 2013 10:45 am 0 comments
JNS.org – It is so very difficult, indeed utterly unbearable, to sit silently by while Jews, and now the general religious and secular communities, completely misuse and distort the term Tikkun Olam– certainly not intentionally or out of any malice, but rather out of ignorance in the pursuit of virtuous goals and principles which may be applicable to general society and civilization but which have tragically become a poor substitute for authentic religious observance.
This repair rhetoric has become an obsession, a catch-all credo. Everything today is Tikkun Olam. Enough with the Tikkun Olam. It is a senseless and meaningless misconception, its true meaning nothing like it is commonly used and purported to be.
It is not at all a centuries-old tradition, it is not a call to action, and it is not a commandment. And to be clear, Tikkun Olam does not even mean repairing the world in the sense of social justice. Nor in traditional sources is Tikkun Olam in any way even a direct human imperative or action, but rather one that is left in G-d's hands.
We cannot, and are not instructed to, save the world, or even to repair it. Judaism teaches no such thing. Rather, we are instructed to conduct ourselves properly, to observe the Mitzvos, the Commandments (which are not good deeds, but rather commandments, required imperatives), and in that way to contribute to society and civilization both by example and through practice and action.
For Jews those Mitzvos include not simply socially or politically correct precepts such as giving charity and engaging in political action, but also observance of the Sabbath, dietary restrictions (Kashrus), daily prayer, and other commandments which seem to have fallen out of favor and are ignored, if not openly denigrated and violated, in some segments of the community, as they substitute the false panacea of something they call Tikkun Olam for the authenticity of true Judaism, clinging desperately to Tikkun Olam to avoid their actual responsibilities as Jews to observe the Torah and the commandments.
The term and concept Tikkun Olam appears nowhere in the Torah itself, but first appears only in the Mishna and Talmud in the context of the courts and halakhic (legal) regulations involving disputes and legal rights.
Subsequently in Kabbalah the term was used to refer to the upper worlds or to the repair of the individual soul damaged by the sin of violating or neglecting Jewish law. Following that, the only mention of Tikkun Olam in prayer is in the Aleinu prayer recited at the conclusion of every service, but even in that context it means either that G-d, not man, will ultimately repair the world, or, as others interpret, it does not mean repair of the world at all but rather is a prayer for the uprooting of idolatry, the rebuilding of the Temple and establishing G-d's kingdom on earth, through the observance of the commandments and not through any separate social imperative.
Indeed, scholars from across the spectrum and diversity of the Jewish community have acknowledged and bemoan the misuse and distortion of the term Tikkun Olam by the community.
Thus Rabbi Jill Jacobs observed years ago (Zeek, July 2007) that, "In its current incarnation, Tikkun Olam can refer to anything from a direct service project such as working in a soup kitchen or shelter, to political action, to philanthropy. While once regarded as the property of the left, the term is now widely used by mainstream groups such as synagogues, camps, schools, and federations, as well as by more rightwing groups wishing to cast their own political agendas within the framework of Tikkun Olam."
After quoting Arnold Jacob Wolf ("Repairing Tikkun Olam," Judaism 50:4), who writes, "All this begins, I believe, with distorting tikkun olam. A teaching about compromise, sharpening, trimming and humanizing rabbinic law, a mystical doctrine about putting God's world back together again, this strange and half-understood notion becomes a huge umbrella under which our petty moral concerns and political panaceas can come in out of the rain," Jacobs points out that one of the key figures in the Kabbalistic school of thought which developed the concept of Tikkun Olam was the same person who codified Jewish law, since it is individual observance of halakha, Jewish law, which is the way to repair the world.
Professor Steven Plaut of Haifa University wrote about "The Rise of Tikun Olam Paganism" (The Jewish Press, January 23, 2003), calling it a "pseudo-religion," "social action fetishism" (The Jewish Press, November 19, 2008) and a "vulgar misuse and distortion by assimilationists." He concludes that Tikkun Olam is quite clearly "a theological notion and not a trendy socioeconomic or political one," observing that, "It would be an exaggeration, but only a small one, to say that nothing in Judaism directs us to the pursuit of social (as opposed to judicial) justice."
Most recently there was the publication earlier this year by Oxford University Press of the scholarly book Faith Finding Meaning: A Theology of Judaism by Rabbi Byron L. Sherwin, which also highlights the current fallacy (pages 33-35). Calling it "a blatant distortion of the meaning of the term," a "substitute faith" and a "shibboleth," he writes that "the current [promiscuous] usage of this term represents a category mistake, is a blatant example of conversion by redefinition, and constitutes a paradigmatic example of the reductionist fallacy" which is merely "liberation theology without the theology." He concludes, "Tikkun Olam means 'for the proper order of the Jewish community.' It is a long way from that definition to 'build a better world.'"
Please. Everyone. Enough with the Tikkun Olam. For Jews who truly do want to engage in Tikkun Olam, the only honest and authentic Jewish way to do that is to encourage observance of the Torah across the entire spectrum of the Jewish Community. That in fact is actually what our responsibility is, nothing more and nothing less, and the rest is up to G-d—if we do our part, so will G-d.
Grand Rabbi Y. A. Korff, the Zvhil-Mezbuz Rebbe of Boston, is Chaplain of The City of Boston and spiritual leader of the Zvhil-Mezbuz Beis Medrash in downtown Boston and Newton. This column first appeared in The Jewish Advocate of Boston.
Thursday, June 06, 2013
And the killer was …… (drumroll) ....
And the killer was …… NOT a religious rightwing hater of homosexuals.
By Steven Plaut
It is now almost exactly four years since the murderous attack on the homosexual recreational center in Tel Aviv. In August of 2009, a man with a gun entered the "Bar Ha-Noar" (the "Youth Bar"), a Tel Aviv gay lounge, murdered two and wounded others. Then he escaped. (See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8180069.stm )
The reaction of the media and the chattering classes at the time is of interest. The world media suddenly filled with self-righteous condemnations of Israel's supposed violent intolerance towards homosexuals. Never mind that the treatment of gays in Israel is at least a billion times better than in any Arab or Moslem country, and never mind the "gay pride" marches held in Israel all the time. Anti-Semitic homosexual groups operating under various names cropped up all over the world to denounce Israel and Zionism in general, and to back anti-Israel terrorism. Some leftist academics in Israel invented the nonsense word "pinkwashing" to refer to the fact that supporters of Israel like to mention the tolerance towards homosexuals in Israel as a point in Israel's favor. (see http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/TAU%20-%20Aeyal%20Gross%20-%20pinkwashing%20claims%20basis%20for%20NYT%20Israel-bashing.htm ) The militant anti-Israel homosexuals and their academic supporters, invariably far Left, insist that mentioning such tolerance is merely a conspiratorial cover-up to divert attention away from Israel's crimes against Arabs.
The Israeli local media at the time, along with just about any public figure having an opinion or a bully pulpit, presumed the attack on the bar/lounge was perpetrated by anti-homosexual religious right-wingers. Their entire set of evidence for this was that the targets were homosexual and it all took place in a gay center. Later Jack Teitel, the deranged ex-American who was jailed for acts of violence against Arabs, missionaries, and an anti-Israel leftist professor, tried to take "credit" for the attack, fueling the media feeding frenzy against the religious Right (see http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/world/middleeast/02israel.html?_r=0 ). All until the police proved he was grandstanding and had had nothing to do with the attack on the gay bar. It appears that all his violent attacks were actually against heterosexuals.
Back in 2009, there were hints in the small print of the back pages, and these were mentioned in these cyber-incitements I post, that it just might be that the attack was not a hate crime at all but rather the act of one of the gay people who frequented the Tel Aviv center and who had some sort of personal non-political grudge.
Yesterday the police in Israel arrested four people whom the police are convinced were involved in that attack, including the shooter himself. The police are being uncharacteristically boisterous about their certainty that they caught the correct perps. The media are still under a gag order about the details and the names.
Even with all the coyness, from remarks by the police it is now entirely clear that the attack on the Tel Aviv gay lounge 2009 was not a "hate crime" at all and was not carried out by anyone with an anti-gay political or religious agenda. In fact it was carried out by other homosexuals. (see http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/activist-in-israel-s-gay-community-arrested-over-deadly-2009-attack-on-tel-aviv-youth-center.premium-1.528090)
Without being too candid and clear (yet), the police are saying the perps had themselves been members or participants in the "bar" and had acted out of "personal revenge" motives. They are not openly saying what personal revenge means, allowing people to imagine unpaid loans or sales of defective merchandise as the motive. But if we cut to the chase, it is almost certain that the murderer was a jilted lover of someone in the club and went on a rampage.
Now no one thinks that heterosexuals are incapable of going on jealous rampages or committing multiple murders, and no one thinks that the massacres in Newton or Norway involved homosexuals, to name but two. But at the same time let us keep in mind the kneejerk reaction of the entire world media and of the radical homosexual organizations in particular in blaming anti-gay hatred, religion, and Zionism as responsible for the violence. It will be interesting to see how many of these homosexual organizations now step forward and apologize, or whether they prefer to maintain their posture as anti-Semitic cowardly pansies even after the truth has come out. The refusal of the gay militants and of the media in 2009 to consider jilted gay love as the possible motive behind the Tel Aviv attack may be the worst form of homophobia around these days.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Academic Fascism at the Bezalel Academy
1. Afterword on Superland: Disneyland and Six Flags parks have gays-only days. Is this apartheid? Is it anti-gay? How about anti-straight? Maybe anti-Moslem? By the way, some parks in the US have had Moslems Days as special days. How come THAT is not apartheid? Maybe because it is not a useful bludgeon to use against Jews?
2. For those who think it is an obscene exaggeration to speak about leftwing fascism in Israeli academia, consider the following and think again.
This story appears in a column by Uri Heitner, a Zionist columnist, in Israel Hayom, which is today actually Israel's daily with the highest circulation. (It sometimes is not "counted" because the paper is distributed free.)
Heitner tells the story of a hapless student applying to the architecture program at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. It is the only architecture program in Israel outside the Technion. Bezalel, which today sits on the Hebrew University's Mt. Scopus campus (and is building a different new campus in Central Jerusalem), has been in the news in the past for being a dungeon of far-leftist anti-Israel indoctrination. One faculty member at Bezalel issued calls for the murder of "settlers" (http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/other%20-%20Betzalel%20%E2%80%93%20Zvi%20Elhayani%20-%20Calls%20for%20Murder%20of%20Jews.htm ). Others are involved in anti-Israel agitprop (see http://www.isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Lee%20Kaplan%20-%20David%20Tartakover.htm ).
Bezalel operates joint programs with the Hebrew University and receives public funds from Israel's Council on Higher Education ( see http://www.bezalel.ac.il/en/about/landmarks/#.Ua9WmzEUHQw).
The new atrocity is described in Heitner's column. In Hebrew it can be read here: http://www.israelhayom.co.il/opinion/91989.
It seems that Bezalel now operates a North Korean style mechanism of thought police when people apply for admission to its architecture program, one that weeds out anyone who is not a far Leftist. The applicant is asked to state what the status if the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo is. Anyone who gives the factually correct answer that Gilo is a neighborhood of Jerusalem is disqualified! The only correct answer is that Gilo is occupied Palestine.
In another case, a young woman from the Galilee who was applying was interrogated about what she thought of "acceptance committees" in some small closed community villages in the Galilee. The Left is upset by these because they are designed to keep these hamlets Jewish and in some cases Orthodox. The Left is not upset that Jews who try to move into Arab towns in the Galilee are targeted by snipers and arsonists. When the lass in question said she understood why they are used, she was turned down for acceptance. Acceptance committees for Galilee hamlets are "racist" but acceptance committees that disqualify those who are not leftist from studying at Bezalel are artistic and progressive.
The new CEO of Bezalel, one Eva Illouz, was contacted by Heitner and asked about the above. She was a leftist professor of sociology at the Hebrew University before her current gig, and is an expert on the Oprah Winfrey show (really!). She completely justified the thought control. Thought police is the highest form of academic freedom in her opinion.
Want to vent? Write to
The Minister of Education
Rabbi Shai Piron
The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and colleges)
Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg
Chairman, Council on Higher Education
POB 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Dr Avital Stein
Director-General for the Council for Higher Education
Director-General for the Planning and Budgeting Committee
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Bezalel Arts College
Prof. Eva Illouz
Mount Scopus Campus
Mount Scopus P.O.Box 24046
Fax: 02- 5823094
Her personal email address is email@example.com
Friends Offices: The Friends Organizations
Ms. Amira Ben-Dor
Chairwoman of the Jerusalem Friends of Bezalel
Ms. Jennifer Roth
President of the Friends of Bezalel New York
Friends of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Inc.
501 Fifth Avenue, New York,
3. As you know, I am a bit of a redneck (as in bluegrass music and country-western) and so I adore Jeff Foxworthy, whom I have mimicked on occasion as the highest form of flattery. Well, I thought you would appreciate this:
A Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots
Attributed to Jeff Foxworthy:
If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If you have to get your parents' permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If, in the nation's largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is "cute," but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If the government's plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn't be found — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.
What a country!