New York - Most Orthodox Jewish women avoid touching men except direct relatives. They don’t sit next to men on buses or even at weddings. They have separate swimming hours at indoor pools. But for an emergency birth, Orthodox Jewish women will usually turn to the all-male volunteer ambulance corps known as Hatzolah.
Now a group of women in one of the country’s largest Orthodox Jewish communities is proposing to join up with Hatzolah as emergency medical technicians to respond in cases of labor or gynecological emergencies.
The proposal for a women’s division has stirred up criticism within Orthodox Jewish circles, with one well-known blog editorializing that it amounts to a “new radical feminist agenda.” And when a prominent elected local official, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, spoke about it on his weekly radio show, he was criticized for even bringing the subject up.
Rachel Freier, a Hasidic attorney who is representing the women in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, said there is a need for emergency services that adhere to the community’s customs of modesty, calling for the sexes to avoid physical contact unless they are related.
“It has nothing to do with feminism,” Freier said. “It has to do with the dignity of women and their modesty.”
She is careful to avoid framing the proposal as a critique of Hatzolah, whose work she says they respect. Instead, she says it is a matter of reclaiming a “job that has been the role of women for thousands of years” — that of midwife. “We are so proud of Hatzolah,” she said. But, she added, “they can’t understand what a woman feels like when she is in labor.”
The volunteer ambulance corps was founded by Rabbi Herschel Weber in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the 1960s in response to a perceived delay in responding to emergency calls made by Jewish communities. Today Hatzolah, a Hebrew word that translates as “rescue” or “relief,” has dozens of affiliates around the world, each of them operating independently and often in close coordination with the community they serve. Policies, such as whether women can volunteer, are usually set locally by each affiliate.
It is unclear how many Hatzolah affiliates allow women to volunteer. But in Israel, for instance, United Hatzalah, which responds to more than 112,500 calls per year, has volunteers who are both male and female, as well as secular and Jewish, according to its website.
And the new division being proposed in Brooklyn by the women Freier represents — it would be known as the Ezras Nashim, Hebrew for “women’s section” — would be modeled after a program created more than a year ago in New Square, N.Y., a small, insular Orthodox Jewish community in New York City’s northern suburbs.
But a program for women, with women volunteers, in Borough Park would be far more ambitious in scope and size. Besides being one of the biggest Orthodox Jewish communities in the country, if not the world, the neighborhood had the city’s highest birth rate in 2009 with 26.7 per 1,000 people, according to the Department of Health. That is a lot of babies that need to be delivered.
20 years ago, the "Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" published a pamphlet to warn "White People" of a terrible threat:
American families are paying tribute to Jews every time they sit down at the table to eat and in many instances, polish their shoes, silver or wrap the leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Why? Because Jews have discovered a way to coerce business to pay taxes directly to Jewish organizations and pass the cost on to the consumer.
America's huge manufacturers of processed food products keep a tight lid on this subject so that no explanation is ever allowed to seep out to the public. They only run ads announcing which products are kosher in Jewish publications, and NEVER in the daily press or on TV. This subject is so sensitive that few daily newspapers dare to carry articles about this controversy. Growing numbers of non-Jews who become aware of the secret kosher tax object to being forced to pay it. This is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.
You can read the rest of this crap at nutbag hate site conspiratology.com (Google it, I'm not linking it here!) or read the ADL takedown.
A week ago, U.S. blogger Pamela Geller, who is not a member of the Ku Klux Klan, wrote the following at AmericanThinker.com:
Across this great country, on Thanksgiving tables nationwide, infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. Turkeys that are halal certified -- who wants that, especially on a day on which we are giving thanks to G-d for our freedom? I wouldn't knowingly buy a halal turkey -- would you? Halal turkey, slaughtered according to the rules of Islamic law, is just the opposite of what Thanksgiving represents: freedom and inclusiveness, neither of which are allowed for under that same Islamic law.
The article goes on to claim that Butterball, a producer of turkey products, secretly has its turkeys processed according to Islamic halal requirements, and then foists "turkey slaughtered to Allah!" upon unsuspecting American consumers. OH NOES!
Pamela's hate-crazed diatribe, which could have been entirely plagiarized from the KKK's ugly little pamphlet, caused a sensation among the bigoted and ignorant and generated huge guffaws and horse laughs from more normal people. Sadly, the former deluged the Butterball company with hysterical complaints due to misconceptions, outright lies, and fowl bigotry.
Halal processes are not significantly different from kosher processes. Eating a Halal turkey does not magically turn a person into a Muslim, any more than eating a Kosher turkey will make you into a Jew. Furthermore, just as food companies pay for kosher certification, the cost to consumers is so negligible as to be virtually non-existent. No rabbis are raking in millions from kosher supervision, nor is "each and every single solitary Butterball turkey sacrificed to Allah!"
"The Kosher Tax" was an ugly lie when told about Jews, it is just as vile and untruthful when applied to any other religious group.
A Pioneer family celebrates Thanksgiving in the 1850's
Brethren—The occasion for which we are assembled here this day, to offer our humble thanks to the Dispenser of all Good, for the manifold blessings we enjoy at His hand, is not peculiar to us as Israelites. The celebration of this day is enjoined by no specific religious precept, distinguished by no special rites and observances, commemorative of no Jewish national event. It is in obedience to the proclamation of the chief magistrate of this state, calling on all religious denominations to assemble at their respective places of worship and render thanks and praise to our Eternal Benefactor, that we have met here this day. The “Thanksgiving Day” is an, old, time-honoured institution of the Puritan fathers, observed as a sacred custom by their descendants throughout the Union;—it is a “day of thanks” for the American people.
And do we not form, my brethren, an integral part of this body-politic? Do we not enjoy the precious fruit of the tree of liberty, that has been planted in this soil by the fathers of this country—whose parentage by adoption we also claim,—that affords shelter to millions of happy human beings, irrespective of creed and nationality? Are we not affected in common with our fellow-citizens entertaining religious convictions different from ours, by every event promotive of, or detrimental to the prosperity of this country? If our borders are threatened by foreign foes, our lives and homes too are put in jeopardy; if the authority of the law is disregarded, our peace and security too are at stake; if the crops fail and gaunt famine stalks abroad; if disease and pestilence rage, we too are visited by the affection, we too are the sufferers. Hence it is our duty cheerfully to mingle our voices with the general chorus of praise that is this day ascending from all parts of the Union, to the Supreme Ruler of nations and events, who has bestowed on us his blessings in such a signal manner; hence it becomes us “to enter His gates with thanks, His courts with praise.”
<<541>>There was a time, my friends, when we were treated as aliens in the various countries that gave us birth; when every privilege and right inseparably connected with the dignity of man, were denied us; when we were excluded from every participation in public celebrations by the people in whose midst we lived. That time, for us at least, is happily past. The law of this country recognises no distinction in favour or to the detriment of any religious denomination. Free as the air of heaven is the mind of man, sacred as the word of the living God is his religious opinion, and no persecution or oppression must check the free exercise of the one, no imposed disqualifications hinder the free expression of the other. And thus “civil disabilities on religious pious grounds” is a term long since unknown in the statute book of any commonwealth of this country. We are Israelites, but we are at the same time American citizens, in the purest and fullest sense of the word; our fate is bound up with that of our common country; and whenever danger is impending, we are, and must be in the foremost ranks to ward it off; we pray for its prosperity, rejoice in its happy progress, and render thanks to the Almighty for the blessing He has vouchsafed to bestow on it.
BERGHOLZ, Ohio (AP) — Authorities raided the compound of a breakaway Amish group on Wednesday morning and arrested seven men on federal hate crime charges in hair-cutting attacks against Amish men and women.
Among those arrested were the group's leader, Sam Mullet, and three of his sons, said Mike Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.
Several members of the group carried out the attacks in September and October by forcefully cutting the beards and hair of Amish men and women, authorities have said. Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.
The attacks struck at the core of the Amish identity and tested their principles. They strongly believe that they must be forgiving in order for God to forgive them, which often means handing out their own punishment and not reporting crimes to law enforcement.
Mullet told The Associated Press in October that he didn't order the hair-cutting but didn't stop his sons and others from carrying it out. He said the goal of the hair-cutting was to send a message to Amish that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community.
"They changed the rulings of our church here, and they're trying to force their way down our throat, make us do like they want us to do, and we're not going to do that," Mullet said.
Seven men were in custody and expected to be arraigned Wednesday. They include Mullet; his sons Johnny, Lester and Daniel; Levi Miller; Eli Miller; and Emanuel Schrock. The charges carry a penalty of up 10 years in prison.
The men were sleeping when the FBI and local police showed up at their homes before dawn Wednesday, Sheriff Fred Abdalla said. Three men initially refused to come out of their rooms, but all seven were arrested without incident, he said.
Authorities were holding a news conference Wednesday afternoon to explain why they charged the men with hate crimes.
The attacks came amid long-simmering tension between Mullet's group, which he established in 1995, and Amish bishops. Arlene Miller, the wife of one victim, said several bishops hadn't condoned Mullet's decision to excommunicate several members who previously left his community, saying there was no spiritual justification for his action.
One of Mullet's daughters-in-law and a former brother-in-law told investigators that Mullet controls everything that happens within the community outside Bergholz and that he allowed others to beat members of the group who disobeyed him, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Wednesday.
Mullet punished some by making them sleep in a chicken coop for days and was sexually intimate with married women in the community so that he could "cleanse them of the devil," the two said in the affidavit.
Both said they left the community because they did not want to live under Mullet's control.
Remember the Zionist Mall is open 24/7, no waiting in line, and the prices are a fraction of what you would spend at some fancy shmancy souvenir shop in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv (not to mention saving the airfare)
Because dogs look better on a vodka ad than drunk humans.
New York, NY, November 22, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the company responsible for a series of billboards in New York promoting discounted Vodka with the message "Christmas Quality, Hanukkah Pricing" to remove the ad, which it said was "crude and offensive" and "reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes."
The sales pitch for Wódka vodka features the image of two dogs, one wearing a Santa hat, the other wearing a yarmulke with the message spelled out in large, capital letters.
"In a crude and offensive way of trying to make a point that their vodka is high quality and inexpensive, the billboards evoke a Jewish holiday to imply something that is cheap and of lesser value when compared to the higher value of a Christian holiday," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director. "Particularly with the long history of anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money, with the age-old notion that Jews are cheap, to use the Jewish holiday in dealing with issues of money is clearly insensitive and inappropriate."
The billboards for Wódka vodka, which have appeared in several locations in New York, including one at a well-traveled location along the West Side Highway, have generated a barrage of calls and complaints to ADL in recent days.
The League has expressed its concerns with the marketing company responsible for creating the campaign and is calling on the purveyors of Wódka "to consider a more appropriate message for the holidays."
It was supposed to be a special learning opportunity for the sixth graders at Public School 101 School in the Gardens in Forest Hills, Queens. A popular second-grade teacher was invited to their social studies class to give a lecture about Israel, as part of a unit on the Middle East.
But at home that evening, Elli Surico, 10, started talking about how great Israel is and asking why the Arabs wanted to kill the Jews, alarming her mother, Dana Milstein. It turns out that Elli and her family are both Arab and Jewish, of Moroccan descent, and Ms. Milstein found her daughter’s words deeply disturbing.
Sixth graders in New York City regularly study the Middle East, but it is up to individual schools to devise the details of the lessons. At the School in the Gardens, the teachers work together to shape what is taught, and the talk on Israel last Monday was just one of the lessons dedicated to countries in the region, said the principal, Valerie Capitulo-Saide.
But that explanation was not enough for Ms. Milstein, who read a fact sheet that Elli had brought home from the day, and found it inappropriately one-sided and inaccurate.
The fact sheet praises the Jewish religion, but not Islam, and says the land that was to become Israel was barren before Jewish settlers arrived there, not mentioning the settlements of Arabs. It says that the countries surrounding Israel “seek to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.”
“They do not want peace,” it says, not mentioning that there are peace treaties between Israel and two of the nations that border it.
The teacher who wrote it, Gary Gelber, is Jewish and also teaches the children about the Holocaust; he did not return a call and e-mail asking for comment.
“It isn’t a matter of perspective,” Ms. Milstein said. “These kids look to their teachers to give them truth, not opinions that are going to lead to hatred of other people.”
Now Ms. Milstein is testing the limits of what a parent can do when she finds something taught to her child offensive. She reported the matter to the principal, the Department of Education’s Office of Equal Opportunity, the news media and the Arab-American Association of New York, a nonprofit organization that speaks out against anti-Arab discrimination.
One of the largest international portals in North America is owned by one evil Troll.
DETROIT -- In this city of relics, one rises above the rest: the Ambassador Bridge, the sole route for almost all freight traffic traveling from here to Canada, and its two 386-foot tall towers. Open since 1929, the bridge is an iconic sight to Detroiters. But even icons have their flaws.
The Big Three automakers so critical to Michigan's economy say they are dangerously reliant on the narrow, 82-year-old bridge's continued good condition. An effort to build a replacement, called the New International Trade Crossing, failed a key vote in Michigan's state Senate last month. Lawmakers balked, even though the state's $550 million contribution required to bring in federal funding would have been paid for by the Canadian government.
A quarter of the United States' freight traffic with Canada crosses over the Ambassador Bridge. Were severe weather or structural deficiencies to close the bridge -- even just briefly -- the "just-in-time" inventory system that the automakers increasingly rely upon could be severely disrupted. Factories on both sides of the river could close within hours: Chrysler, for example, says that engines from Trenton, Mich., cross over for assembly in Canada every day.
"You have a significant bottleneck, the worst bottleneck in the North American freeway system," said Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who along with a fellow Republican, Gov. Rick Snyder, has aligned himself with labor and the Big Three in favor of a second bridge over the Detroit River.
Efforts to replace or complement the bridge, however, have hit a bottleneck of their own. In a fluke of history, the Ambassador is controlled by a single, privately owned company -- one that traces its lineage back to the original franchise created by Congress to build the bridge in the 1920s.
"I believe it's the only international border crossing that is privately owned," said Robert Puentes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program. (The Ambassador is the only major privately owned U.S. international crossing; the Fort Frances-International Falls Bridge is also privately owned.)
In 1921, Congress gave a private company backed by prominent Detroiters a franchise to build a bridge to Canada. The move followed years of schemes to build a tunnel or a bridge, spurred by complaints from private business that crossing the river by ferry, treacherous in winter, was denying them access to markets.
When the bridge-makers began their struggles, there was "no way to know if this is going to work," according to Robert Sedler, a law professor who consults for the company that owns the bridge.
"It's a daunting engineering feat to get a suspension bridge over the Detroit River between Detroit and Windsor," he added. "Also, can you make a financial go of it? Will there be enough traffic over the years to make a financial go of it? So the government of the United States, and the Government of Great Britain, which then had what we call the Dominion of Canada, said, 'let's make a deal.'"
The deal made was for the untested bridge to be built with private money. Shares in the bridge company eventually passed into the control of Manuel "Matty" Moroun, who was born two years before the bridge itself opened in 1929. For decades, in courts and in the halls of power, Moroun has fought a series of battles to keep his hold on the bridge's highly lucrative tolls. Detroit's river crossing options are frozen in time -- and, just as they were during the early 20th century, agricultural and manufacturing interests aren't happy about their current options. Moroun's company, the Detroit International Bridge Company, declined to comment for this article.
It's hard to believe that in this day and age a single individual can have absolute control over such a critical resource as a major international border crossing. This explains the hysterical ads that were run all over Michigan media, shrieking against the proposed new high-traffic bridge that would compete with the Troll.
This ad, which was broadcast over Michigan media ad nauseum, is the hysterical shrieking rant of one entitled Troll who can't stand any kind of competition. So much for "free market capitalism."
Well, some people would rather die than listen to Rebecca Black sing.
Israel Defense Forces soldiers should choose death before they remain at army events which include women's singing, a top settler religious leader said in an interview on Thursday.
The comment made by Elyakim Levanon, the rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh, came after earlier this week, 19 reserve major generals sent a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, imploring them not to allow harm to come to women's service in the army as a result of religious soldiers' demands.
The reserve officers indicated that their appeal comes in response to a series of recent events, including the boycotting of military ceremonies by religious cadets due to women singing.
The petitioners warned in their letter about harm caused to the motivation of women to serve in the army, as well as to what they termed damage to "the fundamental values of Israeli society."
However, in a radio interview on Thursday, Rabbi Levanon criticized a possible ruling that would forbid religious soldiers from leaving events over women's singing, saying that IDF soldier should choose death before complying with such an order.
"[The IDF] is bringing close the day in which rabbis will have to say to soldiers 'you have to leave those events even if there's a firing squad outside, and you'll be shot to death," Levanin said.
The Elon Moreh rabbi said he hoped that there will be "some wise people who will thwart this horrible move, and if not we'll have no other choice," adding that he would "recommend anyone who asked me against joining the army."
Women's singing has been but one example of rising tensions between IDF top brass and religious leaders, after last month, following orders from IDF rabbis, female soldiers were asked to leave the central event and had to celebrate in a separate area during the traditional dancing that marks the end of the Simhat Torah holiday.
Both sides should back down on this issue. Soldiers should be allowed to opt out of entertainment events, and women should enjoy the same opportunities that men have in the IDF (except the opportunity to be captured by Hamas). I don't understand how furthering someone's show business career is critical to national security.
JERUSALEM (AP) — A Jewish group in Jerusalem is using 21st-century technology to map every tombstone in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, a sprawling, politically sensitive necropolis of 150,000 graves stretching back three millennia.
The goal is to photograph every grave, map it digitally, record every name, and make the information available online. That is supposed to allow visitors to find their way in the cemetery, long a bewildering jumble of crumbling gravestones and rubble surrounded by Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Beset for many years by neglect, it is among the oldest cemeteries in continuous use in the world.
Around 40,000 graves have been mapped so far by the team, which began work in 2008. They expect to finish recording all of the intact gravestones — an estimated 100,000 in total — by the end of next year. The rest are either so old they are unrecognizable or lie underneath later layers of burial.
Mappers look at aerial photographs, consult handwritten burial records dating back to the mid-1800s, walk along the rows of graves and dig through piles of dislocated tombstones, noting names and dates.
"This place has been used for burial since there have been signs of life in Jerusalem," said Moti Shamis, a member of the mapping team. "The cemetery is a mirror of the city — in wartime, we see more graves. When new groups of Jews reach the city, the names on the graves change."
Like so much in Jerusalem, this project is linked to the city's fraught politics. The mappers are from an organization called Elad, affiliated with the settlement movement, which also works to move Jews into east Jerusalem in an attempt to prevent the city's division in any future peace deal.
Elad has made it its business to develop sites of Jewish importance in east Jerusalem, reinforcing the Israeli presence in the part of the city the Palestinians want as their capital.
Jews began burying their dead on the hill that later became known as the Mount of Olives about three millennia ago. It was a convenient site a short walk from the city walls. Over the centuries, burial here became linked to a prophecy in the Book of Zecharia according to which the Messiah would approach Jerusalem from the mount, splitting it in two. Those interred on the hill, this belief posited, would be the first to be resurrected.
The mount became, and remains, a sought-after place to be buried for Jews in Israel and abroad.
Maybe he's auditioning for a part in "The Producers"
LONDON – "We must take the accusations that Jews are trying to take over the world with utmost seriousness. Israel is the Nazi Germany of our time. In fact, Israel today is worse than Nazi Germany."
These harsh statements are not the beliefs of a German neo-Nazi, but rather of an Israeli living in London. The speaker is Gilad Atzmon, an Israeli jazz musician performing around the world, whose new book "The Wandering Who?" deals with world Jews and the State of Israel, and includes some very disturbing sayings.
Atzmon, 48, was born in Jerusalem and has been living in Britain since 1994. He is considered a gifted musician who performs in Europe's best jazz clubs, but also one of his homeland's most serious critics in Britain.
He has published quite a few books and articles blasting Israel in the past, but this time it seems he has crossed all red lines.
In his new book he states that he is "proud to be a self-hating Jew", and says that his "insights" are based on the writings of Jewish Austrian philosopher Otto Weininger, who he describes as "an anti-Semite who loathed almost anything that wasn't Aryan manhood."
Atzmon says he is a strong opponent of "Jewishness" and clarifies, "I despise the Jew in me."
"To be a Jew is a deep commitment that goes far beyond any legal or moral order," he explains in the book, a commitment which he says draws an increasing number of Jews into a dangerous, unethical and vague partnership.
Eventually, he writes, a nuclear war will erupt between Iran and Israel, which will lead to the killing of tens of millions of people. "Some brave people will say that Hitler was right after all."
His reference to Hitler is not accidental. Atzmon often compares the Holocaust to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Holocaust, he writes, is "an ancient religion as old as the Jews themselves", and "even if it is accepted as the new Anglo-American liberal-democratic religion – people should be allowed to be atheists."
The text also includes some of the most classic anti-Semitic accusations. Atzmon claims that American Jews are trying to control the world, blames them for the global financial crisis, and rules that high-ranking Jewish officials in the United States – like Rahm Emanuel and Paul Wolfowitz – "stayed abroad instead of moving to 'Zion' in order to serve the Zionist interest in the best way possible."
He even accuses American media of failing to "warn the American public of the danger from within."
Moreover, Atzmon even addresses the classic blood libel, claiming that children should be allowed to ask their school teachers "how do they know that the accusations that Jews used the blood of gentile children to back matzot are indeed empty or groundless accusations."
Babushka's opinion is that Atzmon is so over the top, such an outrageous parody, like a real-life version of Franz Liebkind or Roger Debris, that he can't possibly believe all the crap he spews. He loves the attention, and the more attention he gets, the more outrageous crap he will spew.
He obviously considers himself a failure as a musician, just as Hitler was a failed artist, so he wants to be successful at being an outrageous asshole.
What if a group of youthful Palestinian activists, fed up with Hamas and Fatah for leading the Palestinian Arabs over and over down bloody, self-defeating dead ends, were to emerge as a new political and social force—something like a Palestinian "Peace Now"? The Washington Post thinks it has found them.
Palestinians are once again experiencing the futility of the rejectionist strategy. Their effortless victories in UNESCO, with more predicted in the General Assembly, seem only to stoke their frustration. Their expectation of Security Council recognition for a Palestinian state is about to be dashed. Imagine the possibilities, then, in a Palestinian movement revolted by the old militarism, religious fanaticism, and bloodlust; exasperated with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas for placing a wreath on Yasir Arafat's grave—of all places—to mark the festival of Eid al-Adha; and challenging Abbas's decision to spend lavishly on violent Palestinian inmates released from Israeli prisons in the Gilad Shalit exchange. Imagine their compatriots in Gaza, though necessarily more cautious, offended by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh for telling Eid al-Adha worshippers that "sacrifices—not only [of] sheep"—are "a way in which we praise God." Couldn't a Palestinian "Peace Now" emerge from recognizing, finally, that neither depraved violence nor an automatic UN majority has brought the Palestinians what they want?
Sure enough, The Washington Post recently ran a feature about an avant-garde group of activists on the West Bank and Gaza—non-Islamist men and women in their 20's, born in the first intifada and teenagers during the second, who are disillusioned with both Fatah and Hamas and uninspired by symbolic victories at the UN. Post reporter Joel Greenberg, a veteran Israel-based advocacy journalist, came upon this "still-undefined, embryonic group of a few hundred." The paper's headline writers billed them as a "new political and social force." Has Greenberg found the future Palestinian leaders who are ready for painful concessions in order to achieve coexistence with the Jewish state?
As a narrative hook, Greenberg focuses on attractive 22-year-old university student Hurriyah Ziada, who is "active in protesting the Israeli occupation of the West Bank." Does this mean that Ziada wants to push Israel back to the 1949 armistice lines? No, she thinks this is "inadequate." What she wants is a single Muslim-majority country from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, its population swelled by the "return" of some 750,000 Palestinian refugees from the 1948 War plus millions of their descendants living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. And the six million Jews who are presently Israelis? Ziada would munificently grant the new minority "equal rights" in Greater Palestine.
Instead of rolling his eyes at this warmed-over rejectionism, Greenberg deems Ziada's vision of the disappearance of Israel a "human and civil rights" breakthrough, resembling the "American civil rights movement" and the "struggle to end apartheid in South Africa." Why would he attempt to sanitize the old Palestinian Arab agenda and present it as something progressive?
Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy knows a thing or two about the dangers lurking for Israel. In a recent lecture he claimed that the danger of ultra-Orthodox radicalization is greater than the Iranian threat.
Halevy’s words prompted protests, of course. Members of Shas and United Torah Judaism accused him of resorting to grave incitement. They are certain, or pretend to be certain, that the ultra-Orthodox improve the status of Jews before God, and that the more people study Torah, the greater the people of Israel’s security would be.
We should note time and again that the overwhelming majority of Orthodox rabbis in the Diaspora objected to Zionism because they believed the Jews should remain in the Diaspora until God shall salvage them. After the Holocaust, they claimed that it constituted a punishment for shunning our Torah.
Haredi leaders in Israel did not change this basic view, even if they do not voice it much: The salvation of the Jews is at the hands of God in the heavens and does not depend on the skill of our pilots in the skies.
This perception is increasingly being integrated into the views of the faithful belonging to religious Zionism. They believe that the more strictly they adhere to religious rules, the sooner the Messiah will come. The rabbis of the messianic camp encourage their students to serve in the army and turn it into God’s army. The resistance to female singing is one of many manifestations of messianic tendencies in the military.
I know little about the nuclear weapons in Iran’s possessions, the missiles available to it, its willingness to strike us and the means of defense and assault at our disposal. Yet I do know enough to assess the damages of ultra-Orthodox radicalization – it constitutes a substantive and imminent danger. Demography is rushing forward at a speed similar to that of the Iranian race to the bomb.
Soon, the Central Bureau of Statistics shall publish its figures, including a demographic forecast of sectarian distribution. I elicited some of the relevant figures (they are rounded to make them easier to digest.) They refer to people until the age of 19.
In 2034, according to the conservative forecast, there will be 1.4 million “Jews who are not haredim” in this age group. The ultra-Orthodox shall number roughly one million and the Arabs some 750,000.
According to a moderate forecast, the ratio between “Jews and others” and haredim and Arabs would be 1.7 million compared to 2 million. Based on the extreme scenario, the ratio will be 2.2 million “Jews and others” compared to 2.5 million haredim and Arabs.
Babushka agrees that the Haredi community has to step up to the plate and accept the responsibilities of citizenship, which includes military service in the IDF, higher secular education and entering the professional workplace. The fact is that many in the Haredi and Religious Zionist community already do so (refer to the horror, The Horror! of IDF officer candidates requesting to be excused from certain types of musical entertainments).
Until Mashiach arrives, the State of Israel is a secular state and must be run according to secular law. This means respecting the beliefs and practices of everyone else, allowing women to ride on public conveyances sitting wherever they please, leave Gay people alone, welcome everyone to your Sabbath table but do not attack anyone else's personal enjoyment of the Sabbath if to them it means a visit to the beach.
Today I paid my first, and last visit, to an IKEA super store. This store is EVIL. It is a furniture store, run on the business model of a supermarket, only worse, much, much worse.
I was expecting something like, oh I don't know, a Home Depot. A huge box store, but with everything laid out on a grid, so that even if you have to trudge miles and miles for a box of hex nuts, at least you can go directly to the hex nuts aisle and not have to pass through gardening supplies, light fixtures, and paint cans.
You can't do this at IKEA. Your shopping ordeal begins on the top floor, which is the "showroom." Showroom means you have to pass by everything, and I do mean everything, that is for sale at the store. It is like walking through a full size, real life catalog. You can not simply walk to the department for the item you want. I wanted a pair of bookcases, but they still made me pass through bedding and housewares and light fixtures. EVIL!
And when you are on the showroom floor, you have to note, not only the stock number of the item you want, but the Aisle and Bin number because (remember this!) you, you alone and not a stock person, such as they have in Home Depot, will have to fetch it from the next floor, which is the Warehouse floor.
IKEA is Evil!
I won't go into the horror of a small, disabled person wrestling with 50-lb bookcase kits, shoving them on to the shopping cart, then maneuvering the cart into the "15 items or less" line for self checkout, except to say that halfway through this ordeal I needed to stop to take a Vicodin for the pain of the exertion.
There are IKEA employees, but their primary function is to keep the crowd moving! If you ask "where are the bookcases" they smile and point to the signs hanging from the ceiling, but, YOU CAN'T DEVIATE FROM THE STORE LAYOUT. You must follow the carnival fun-house lab-rat maze from beginning to end.
In order to "enhance" your IKEA shopping experience, all the signs are in Swedish, and there is a snack bar that offers, for famished shoppers, carry-outs of Swedish Meatballs in Lingonberry Sauce. A scent machine blows Eau de Kärleksmums to make you think they are baking Swedish pastries on-site, but the closer you get, the strong and the faker is the packaged scent, the purpose is to get hungry and thirsty shoppers to snatch a snack at the checkout.
And in spite of the "Swedish" atmosphere, and the entire "IKEA shopping" experience which is like being trapped in the second and third layers of Hell, EVERYTHING YOU SEE IS CHEAP CRAP MADE IN FREAKING CHINA!
Coming home, I Googled IKEA IS EVIL and sure enough, I am not the only person who feels this way.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was met with open hostility as he addressed students at Yale last week. The Pulitzer Prize winning author delivered a talk entitled ‘how America fell behind’ where he discussed his new book on foreign policy, co-authored by Michael Mandelbaum.
During the talk, Rabbi Shmully Hecht of the Yale Eliezer society produced a large banner reading, “With friends like Chomsky, Soros, Mearsheimer and Thomas Friedman, does Israel need enemies?” Mr. Friedman responded curtly saying “that’s Stupid.” Shortly afterward the banner was reversed to display a second message to Mr. Friedman,”Jews don’t need solutions from your 11,000 square foot Ivory tower.”
Asked what promoted his protest, Rabbi Hecht told the Algemeiner that he has been angered by Friedman’s positions on Israel, saying, “The road to peace may look straight from Thomas Friedman’s very privileged worldview in his mansion on his huge estate, but for Israelis everywhere, especially Judea and Samaria, every decision is one that literally tilts the State and her citizens towards either life or death. In the real world, Jews don’t need ‘solutions,’ Jews need safety and security in their historic homeland and reborn refuge.”
Michael Knowles, a history student at Yale who attended the lecture said that the atmosphere in the room was “intense,” “the cameras in the room turned towards Rabbi Hecht and the sign. Many fans of Thomas Friedman were in the audience, and they applauded when Mr. Friedman dismissed the sign,” he said.
“The way that he dismissed Rabbi Hecht was surprising, I would be interested to see him respond to the issues” he concluded.
At the time of publication, Mr. Friedman could not be reached for comment.
Religious groups in the Netherlands have opposed a call from the Royal Dutch Medical Association (RDMA) for male circumcision to be discouraged.
Male circumcision is legal in the Netherlands but the body representing the country's doctors wants to end the practice.
The association is urging politicians to put it on the political agenda.
It is asking parents to think twice before having their sons circumcised because it regards the procedure as dangerous and unnecessary.
Yet others see it as the latest reflection of a political shift in a country that is increasingly pressuring religious groups to stop practising what they preach.
The figures vary but it is estimated that globally 30% of men are circumcised, with about 15,000 boys undergoing the procedure here in the Netherlands every year.
The RDMA are fighting against what is a deeply entrenched religious practice.
It is written in the Islamic text the Hadith that Muslim men should "cut the things that grow".
Ibrahim Wijbenga is a Muslim member of the Christian Democratic Appeal in the city of Eindhoven. He was circumcised as a child and, following the family tradition, he had his son circumcised too.
Ibrahim thinks claims that these discussions are medically motivated are nonsense and is campaigning to save the practice.
"It's not that we do something illegal or that we use a rusty knife. The boys in question are anaesthetised so they are looked after by the doctors.
"The motivation is plain Islamophobia. It's not a discussion about medical ethics, it's to make a lot of bad propaganda against Muslims and about our way of life and our religion," Mr Wijbenga said. "Basically, it's an effort to stop Muslims from entering Holland."
Jews, too, fear these anti-circumcision discussions are a serious threat to their faith.
"It's written in the Torah, in the Bible, that we should circumcise the child when the child is 8 days old. What God tells us to do, we must do," said Rabbi Jacobs, one of the Netherlands' most senior religious leaders.
He said that being advised not to circumcise babies would have a dramatic impact on the estimated 30,000 Jews living in the Netherlands. For him, it is worse than being told they cannot cultivate kosher meat.
'I can import (kosher meat) or choose to not eat it, but with circumcision I'm stuck. Even if I take my child to a different country to do it, once I come back the doctor will see that there has been a circumcision and put me in jail.
"If you interfere with this practice, it will totally end the Dutch Jewry in the Netherlands."
Even within the Jewish community, some - albeit a tiny minority - believe circumcision can leave a lasting psychological as well as a physical scar.
"He's grabbed, his legs are pulled apart, and they cut off part of his penis. Now what does it do to the boy's mind? I think it's wrong. I think boys or men have to decide for themselves."
Michael Schaap is speaking from experience. His Jewish parents had him circumcised as a baby.
"He's grabbed, his legs are pulled apart, and they cut off part of his penis. Now what does it do to the boy's mind? I think it's wrong. I think boys or men have to decide for themselves."
Michael Schaap is speaking from experience. His Jewish parents had him circumcised as a baby.
A baby's legs are pulled apart every time its diaper is changed! Does this idiot think that infants are psychologically damaged by diaper changing?
Nobody alive can remember something that happened to him when he was eight days old. Yes, an older child might be traumatized by dread and fear, but an infant has no sense of anticipation, just a discomfort which is relieved in moments.
Americans for Peace Now files amicus brief with U.S. Supreme Court to oppose listing Israel as home country of Jerusalem-born Americans; U.S. has never recognized any sovereignty over Jerusalem, be it Israel, Palestinian or Jordanian.
Americans for Peace Now, the U.S. partner of Israel’s leftist Peace Now organization, has filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in order to oppose listing “Israel” as home country in the passports of those born in Jerusalem.
Since Israel’s founding, the American government has not recognized any sovereignty over Jerusalem, be it Israel, Palestinian or Jordanian. As part of this policy, the U.S. embassy to Israel was established in Tel Aviv, despite a law passed in Congress, calling for the embassy to be moved to Jerusalem.
Furthermore, in passports of Jerusalem-born American citizens, the name of the city appears without any reference to a home country. On the other hand, passports of Tel Aviv-born citizens read “Tel Aviv, Israel”.
In 2002, Congress passed a law which states that any American citizen born in Jerusalem who makes a special request is able to request that “Israel” be written as their country of birth. Former President George W. Bush did not follow the law, stating that the law interferes with the president’s constitutional authority to “conduct the nation’s foreign affairs and to supervise the unitary executive branch.”
On the other hand, the law does not allow Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to list “Palestine” in their passports, despite regulations which allow Palestinians born in East Jerusalem before 1948 to list “Palestine”, with no reference to Jerusalem (Palestine was considered an official sovereign entity before the founding of the state of Israel).
Three months after the law passed, Menachem Zivotofsky was born in Jerusalem. His parents, both of whom are American citizens, requested his passport to list Israel as the country of birth. When the U.S. embassy refused, the family appealed to the U.S. Federal Court. A federal judge rejected the appeal, stating that the matter was a “political matter”.
The family refused to give up, and decided to appeal to the Supreme Court, which will decide next week on which authority is responsible for recognition of the sovereignty of foreign countries.