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Showing posts from December, 2012

Happy New Year - 2013!

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"50 Ways To Stop A PA State"

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Moshe Burt's politically incorrect parody of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover".

Enjoy and share.

What Happened to the Iranian Threat?!

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The Iranian threat was top of the Middle East news for months - and this peaked with Binyamin Netanyahu's powerful speech, with the memorable cartoon bomb, at the UN in September.

It seemed that war against Iran was immediately on the horizon - the only question seemed to be whether Israel would attack alone, or together with the USA?

However, there's barely a mention of this imminent, existential threat to Israel in the past few months...

Has that threat disappeared or lessened - or are we all simply distracted by other issues?

Did Ahmadinejad throw in the towel and abandon his enormous investment his country has made in developing a nuclear bomb?

The US elections in November, and the re-shuffling of leadership, delayed any serious decision making about what the USA and, therefore, Israel, should be doing militarily or diplomatically.

And then Israeli elections presumably stymied any unilateral plans Israel may have had to nobble Iran...
not to mention the side-show of the Ga…

If You're From the UK, You Can Help!

Joining In The Festivities?

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This is an only-in-Israel moment.

A Chareidi (ultra-orthodox) family in Jerusalem, with their children dressed as Father Xmas (he who shall not be named).

Perhaps this is a mark of tolerance, mutual respect, a recognition that the Jewish people are, after all, a tiny minority, in a world of Xmas celebrators!

WRONG.

When I first came to Israel, one of the things that astounded me was the total absence of Christmas.

I was used to at least three months of incessant commercials and blah about the Christmas season.
I used to sing along with Christmas carols, settled down on the 25th to watch the Queen's speech, and then enjoy an old favourite movie on the TV.

In Israel, and certainly in religious neighborhoods, Christmas simply is absent.
As much as Purim may pass by unnoticed in Beijing, or Shavuot is absent in Tokyo.

So why is this chareidi family all decked out in Father Xmas gear?

My guess:

1. It's probably a Purim photo.
2. They have no idea that these costumes are of Father X…

Did Bennet Bungle?

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In a TV interview on YNet (view below), Naftali Bennet, head of the Bayit Hayudi Party, put the cat among the political pigeons with his comments on carrying out orders which are against one's conscience.

Bayit Hayhudi is estimated by the polls to be the third largest party in the upcoming elections.

According to politicians across the spectrum, Bennet gave his support during the interview for "refusal of orders".

This is a controversial topic in Israel from two perspectives:

1. Left wing soldiers who may refuse to serve in Yehuda & Shomron ("The West Bank"), particularly against Arabs.
2. Right wing soldiers who may refuse to carry out eviction orders of Jewish residents of Yehuda & Shomron.

Historically, the Left Wing refusers have been the most active, including the "shministim" (12th Graders") who have been active since 1970, notably claiming to represent thousands of teenagers who will not serve in the "occupied territories"…

Shame on YU

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A series of reports in the Forward have brought to light abusive practices allegedly perpetrated by two senior members of staff at the YU High School for Boys in Manhatten.

These practices allegedly were carried out by Rabbi George Finkelstein and Rabbi Macey Gordon, collectively between the 1970's until 1995.

The mode of operation for Finkelstein seems to have consisted of wrestling with teenage male students in a private location, while committing sexual acts upon them. According to the Forward, the newspaper has received around a dozen such complaints.

At least two reports against Rabbi Gordon allege that he inserted objects into their anus.

According to the Forward, numerous complaints were brought to the YU authorities over the years, including the highest levels of YU, yet these were not acted upon in any way - and certainly in no way which was transparent or accountable.

Apologists for YU are saying that these events happened 30 or 40 years ago, and "things were diffe…

Weberman et al: Death-Throes of a Cover-Up Culture?

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The culture of covering up child abuse is alive and well and right here in Beit Shemesh.

However, in the USA, UK, and Australia this culture has recently been dealt severe blows, which will hopefully speed up the process of ending these discredited "shittos" also here in Israel.
Rabbi Nechemia Weberman's conviction in the USA on 59 counts of sexual abuse against a minor, due to the astounding personal courage of an 18 year old female victim who came forward to testify against him, has received high-profile media coverage in the USA and internationally.

The winners in the Weberman case are the victim and her family, the child protection lobby in the Jewish community and the rule of Law.

The losers are Weberman, who will rot for many years in prison, the Satmar community who committed an outrageous chilul Hashem by very publicly throwing their support behind Weberman, and those in every community who opt to treat child abuse allegations as an "internal matter", i…

Is "Price Tag" Terrorism?

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Some groups of right wing activists have developed a policy called “Tag Mechir” (literally “price tag”) largely in response to the ineffective policies used by the right wing establishment to oppose the Gush Katif evacuation.
This Price Tag policy is aimed at the Government authorities, such as the army and police, and it includes attacking the property of third parties, such as Arab civilians and left wing activists.
It is used as a wild-card response to specific anti-settler acts implemented by the Israeli authorities.
So, for example, when an outpost (unauthorized Jewish village) is demolished by the Army/Police, just a few kids can exact a hassle factor "price" which ties up thousands of troops and police in preventing counter-actions, far beyond the geographic location of the outpost itself.  
The price taggers are typically teenagers, ideologically motivated and equipped with spray cans (to paint graffiti).
Most of the reported actions allegedly carried out by the pr…

Statehood – The Two Edged Sword

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Yes – of course the UN recognition of Palestine as a State is a major blow to Israel’s international standing, and potentially to our national security.


And, Yes, it makes Israel vulnerable to Palestine’s future efforts to attack Israel through the international court system.
Yes, it’s a further step towards a real Palestinian state, which would be an existential threat to the Jewish State.
And, Yes, its hard to see anything whatsoever positive in this diplomatic mess.
Except this.
Not only can Palestine now pursue Israel via the International Court in the Hague.
But Israel can now pursue Palestine in the International Court.
Next time the Palestinians launch attacks on Israel, the Israeli Government now has legal recourse against their Government.
So, for example, when Hamas next launches missiles into Israel against our civilian populations, then the Government of the State of Palestine in Ramallah can be held legally responsible and can be sued in the International Court in the H…