Friday, May 22, 2015 

"Chained women" in Australia

The Daily Life has an article about presumably Haredi women stuck in marriages where the husband refuses to write up a get.
Hundreds of Jewish women stare down at a rabbi in a school hall. The Victorian chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia has called a meeting tonight to discuss agunot, "chained women". These are the women whose husbands refuse to hand over a religious divorce certificate, a gett. Without a gett, the woman are forbidden to remarry under Jewish law.

"You have the absolute responsibility to answer her question now!" one woman screams at the rabbi. An excited "oooh" rolls through the crowd. The question the woman wants answered: Why won't rabbis change the laws around divorce?

These women cry they can't remarry without a gett. But they can. An agunah (singular for agunot) can remarry any man she wants under Australian law. So why do Australian Jewish women, many secular, feel chained by this one ancient law?
I'm not sure they answered that clearly here, but one thing is certain: those who refuse are making complete fools of themselves.

Also, one woman said the following:
What would God have done had she remarried under civil law?

"I don't think God would do anything," Rosemary admits. "But I would feel very bad in myself. We were brought up fairly religious and I keep everything as best I can."
Oh for crying out loud! If God wouldn't condemn her for getting a civil divorce, then why feel guilty? It would not be going against Judaism at all, just against customs of a specific movement, as I'm guessing is the case here.
Rabbi Avrohom Jacks is the black-bearded rabbi under siege at the agunah meeting. He is an associate judge at the Melbourne beth din, the rabbinical court that oversees divorces and conversions.

At his dining table, I pitch an explanation for the law: an obstacle so that couples think again before deciding to split. Rabbi Jacks shakes his head. We need not seek a rational reason.

"If my three-year-old wants to play with a shiny knife," the rabbi says, "when I take the knife away from her, she thinks I'm a monster. Basically I have to tell her, 'Look, you're only three years old. Your maturity and understanding is far inferior to my adult understanding.' We look at God's rules in the same way."

He says God told Moses the gett law around 3000 years ago. The consequence of betraying God carries on through the generations. "This is the most tragic thing," Rabbi Jacks says solemnly. If a woman without a gett has a child with another man, that child is branded a mamzer.

"Is that a bastard or something?" I ask.

"Yeah," Rabbi Jacks concedes. This cruel label has real-world repercussions. A mamzer is prohibited from marrying anyone, except another mamzer. "It's a stigma that's passed on forever," the rabbi declares.
Well if he doesn't approve, why does he presumably fail to tell people they can abandon such crap? I get the feeling he's distorting what God told Moses, and worst, that he's putting words in God's mouth, which is basically violating the Commandment stating Thou Shalt Not Use God's Name In Vain. At the end, they say:
I ask Doreen Beckwith why she and Colin chased Victor for a decade, trying to secure a gett or death certificate. "Why not get married in a liberal synagogue, on day one? Did you think God would be angry with -"

"No, it's nothing to do with God!" she interrupts. "It is your principles and how you look at these things, how you feel about future generations. No, no, it's nothing to do with God. Nothing at all!"
Good grief, this one comes off sounding like an atheist! She sounds more like somebody who imprisons herself in a shoddy custom because she doesn't have the courage to fight for better standards. If that's how she's going to go, then she's practically doing God a disfavor. A major disappointment we have here. Additionally embarrassing is how the people cited in this article are basically declaring democratic laws invalid, illegal and illegitimate, all because the custom they go by is inexplicably more vital. All they've done is make themselves look stupid.

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CAIR agent loses in Sacramento election

Thank goodness a CAIR rep lost in an election for public office:
[1]Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), and a former member of the California Democratic Party’s executive board, has been defeated in his first run for public office [2]. An anonymous flier stirred some controversy during the race, but key background on Elkarra failed to emerge.

In late 2006, California Senator Barbara Boxer gave Basim Elkarra a certificate of appreciation “in recognition of his efforts to protect civil liberties and to build bridges among diverse communities in California.” The senator quickly revoked the award, explaining that her California office had not vetted CAIR sufficiently. In “Senators for Terror,” [3] Joe Kauffman charted CAIR’s connections to Islamic extremism, and cited evidence that, “Elkarra himself is a radical, apart from his connection to CAIR.” Elkarra had defended Lodi, California, imam Shabbir Ahmed, [4] who urged Pakistanis to wage jihad against Americans. Another local imam, Mohammed Adil Khan, was building a madrassa to recruit children for violent acts against the United States. Elkarra described Khan, who was later deported, as “a pioneer in interfaith work.”

In 2007, Basim Elkarra refused to condemn Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups. He has also suggested that “Islamophobes” be prosecuted like Holocaust deniers. In April of 2000, as a member of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) at UC Berkeley, Elkarra moderated an event featuring Hamas operative Mohammad Salah, labeled a terrorist by President Clinton. Even so, Elkarra had his defenders in northern California.

“I know Elkarra,” wrote Ginger Rutland, then associate editor of the Sacramento Bee. “I don’t believe he supports terrorism.” [5] Rutland described Elkarra as a “personable young University of California, Berkeley, graduate” who had “assumed the helm of the local CAIR chapter at a perilous time for Muslims in this country.” Senator Boxer “must understand what her casual withdrawal of a casually awarded tribute means to a Muslim American at this moment in American history. Shame on her.” But Boxer defended her actions [6].

“I’m just doing what I think is right,” the California Senator told reporters. Elkarra charged that Boxer had “succumbed to pressure from those who would marginalize American Muslims using smears and guilt by association.” He also claimed he received death threats after the award’s withdrawal but the FBI told Boxer’s staff that the threat was “not credible” and Elkarra maintained a high profile with CAIR. In 2010 the Muslim organization gave a $250 campaign contribution to Ami Bera, a local Democrat running for Congress against Dan Lungren. When local Republicans questioned whether the money came from a terrorist, Bera duly returned the contribution [7] to Basim Elkarra because of questions about CAIR’s affiliations.
And thank goodness Boxer withdrew the award she initially gave to Elkarra too. The reporter who tried to attack her for that is the one who should be ashamed.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 

Once again, a Haredi news source censors women's images, this time government ministers

The Haredi news companies are still intent on drawing attention away from more pressing issues, as this time, when the government was sworn in, they blotted out the faces of 3 lady officials:
Another group of women in powerful positions, another haredi Orthodox paper erasing them. Here we go again.

After each new Israeli government is sworn in, its ministers pose for a group photo with the president. This year’s photo, taken yesterday, features Israel’s three women ministers in the middle row — Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Senior Citizens, Minorities and Gender Equality Minister Gila Gamliel.

Regev, Shaked and Gamliel are all smiling. But if you saw the photo on haredi news site B’hadrei Haredim, you wouldn’t know that. Their faces are all blurred out.
Their names weren't even mentioned in one report. Here's more about the latest case on the UK Telegraph. It's regrettable that these Haredi sites/papers are only making themselves look foolish as usual, and committing gneivat daat, which translates as deceit.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

Illinois legislature passes bill to counter anti-Israeli boycotts

The state legislature of Illinois approved a bill aimed at cutting down on BDS:
Illinois lawmakers have passed a bill that would compel the state’s public-employee pension funds to unload investments in companies that participate in boycotts against Israel.

The measure unanimously passed the Illinois House of Representatives on Monday. The Illinois Senate approved it by a vote of 49-0 in April. Sponsors say they seek to counter efforts by an international pro-Palestinian campaign, known as the BDS movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) to isolate the Jewish state.
There's more about this at the Wash. Post too. The state senators did the right thing. No sensible person should associate themselves with the BDS movement.

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Saudi Arabia looks to hire more executioners

The House of Saud is stepping up one of their worst specialties - beheadings:
On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Civil Service listed on its website eight new job openings for the position of executioner. The job responsibilities will likely include beheadings and amputations–two of the most prominent punishments for violations, including drug smuggling, arms dealing, murder, and rape.

According to The New York Times, pay was not listed, and there are few prerequisites for the job, which might be a laborious task when considering the Saudi Kingdom has already committed 85 executions this year; that number is just three shy of the 88 individuals who were beheaded in 2014 alone. Their only requirement for the role of headsmen? “Carrying out the death sentence according to Islamic Shariah after it is ordered by a legal ruling.”

The Times notes that in Qassim Province, a swordsman could fetch more than $1,000 per head for an execution. The individual beheaded Sunday was executed for a nonviolent drug offense; 38 of the executions so far have been drug-related. Beheadings are reportedly considered the most efficient way to deter crimes in Saudi Arabia, notes the Times. According to the International Business Times, Saudi Arabia consistently ranks in the top five among world nations that put people to death. It ranked third in 2014, after China and Iran.
Truly sick. But would they really punish rapists? I think the chances they'll enact serious steps against rapists is inaccurate, because in regimes like Saudi Arabia, it's the victims who're victimized further. So I don't get why they put in that part about rapists being decapitated, since the notion rapists are punished under sharia is pretty exaggerated.

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Monday, May 18, 2015 

Jerusalem Day celebrated with new memorial hall at Ammunition Hill

This past day was a celebration of the reunification:
After 30 years of neglect, the Ammunition Hill Memorial Site revealed a new Memorial Hall, the first part of its multi-million dollar makeover on Sunday, Jerusalem Day, the celebration over the reunification of the city in the 1967 Six Day War.

Ammunition Hill was the site of a battle waged by the Paratroopers’ Brigade during the war. The outpost’s bunkers and trenches, which made the battle so difficult to win, still criss-cross the hill and have long served as a destination for school children and tourists, learning about the battle over Jerusalem.

The site, viewed by many as symbolic of the city’s reunification, remained in need of renovation for more than 30 years and was almost closed down due to lack of funds.

It was then classified as a “national heritage site,” which paved the way for plans to preserve and renovate the site.
That's good.

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New memos reveal Obama administration lied about Benghazi

The Right Scoop reports that there's some new memos telling what was really known about the horror in Benghazi:
According to another memo dated September 16, 2012, just FIVE DAYS after the attack on the ‘consulate’ in Benghazi, the Obama administration via the DNI concluded that the terrorist attack had been planned at least 10 days before the attack occurred and that it wasn’t a coincidence that it happened on the anniversary of 9/11. If you recall, the Obama administration was lying about it, saying it was a demonstration against a film about the Prophet Muhammad that got out of control. They were saying this on the very same day this DNI memo went out to different agencies including the National Security Council and the State Department.
Now, the real picture has been uncovered, and it's simply awful.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015 

Charlie Hebdo's staff goes hypocritical, suspending writer criticial of Islam

Was this bound to happen? Probably inevitable, but here's a case that's now caused outrage (Hat tip: Jihad Watch):
Satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has been accused of hypocrisy after it suspended a journalist who has received death threats for her articles attacking Islamic extremism.

Zineb El Rhazoui, 33, was called to a preliminary dismissal hearing to remind her of her ‘obligations’ towards the French weekly following ‘numerous incidents’.

The French-Moroccan columnist accused her employers of trying to ‘punish her’ for speaking out about the direction of the magazine four months after the jihadist attack which left 12 dead.

‘I am shocked and appalled that a management that has received so much support after the January attacks could show so little support for one of its employees, who is under pressure like everyone in the team and has faced threats,’ she told Le Monde.

‘My husband lost his job and had to leave Morocco because the jihadists revealed his workplace. I am under threat and having to live with friends or in a hotel and the management is thinking of firing me. Bravo Charlie.’

The move has prompted outrage on social media with thousands calling the decision ‘absurd’ and bewildering’.

Mrs El Rhazoui and her husband, Moroccan writer Jaouad Benaïssi, received death threats on Twitter from people claiming to be from Islamic State in February.

Photoshopped images of the couple dressed as ISIS prisoners about to be executed emerged on social media along with a map showing the places the journalist often visited.
Is this how to treat somebody who's been threatened with death? Absolutely not, and if the editors really don't want people to think they've turned full-fledged cowards now, they'll cease all acts of negativity against the woman immediately. They could end up losing audience if they go the dhimmi route for real.

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Saturday, May 16, 2015 

Boston jihadist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev gets the death sentence

The verdict is in for the savage who murdered and maimed people at Boston's marathon: he gets the poison syringe:
BOSTON— Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a former college student who along with his brother planted twin bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, was sentenced to death Friday for his role in the 2013 attacks that killed three people

The jury deliberated for more than 14 hours before reaching its decision.

Standing at the defense counsel’s table between his lawyers, Mr. Tsarnaev showed no emotion as the decision was read. Onlookers in the courtroom included the parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim.

The grim-faced defense team left the courthouse in silence and declined to answer questions. Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said the trial showed that “we are not intimidated by acts of terror or radical ideals.”
Tsarnaev fully deserves what he'll hopefully get. He should get worse than poison - a shotgun blast that disintegrates his head at close range would be an even better way to get rid of him.

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Friday, May 15, 2015 

Stabbing attack thwarted in Silwan neighborhood

Another terrorist attack that was stopped:
The Shin Bet and Jerusalem Police prevented a stabbing attack on a Jewish security guard in east Jerusalem, according to a statement by the security agency on Thursday.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said that earlier this month they and the Jerusalem Police arrested three suspects – Muhammad Nasser Ahmed Abassi, 21, Murad Muhammad Uda Kustiro, 23, and a minor – on suspicion of plotting an attack on security guards stationed outside of Beit Ovadia, a Jewish building in the mainly Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan.

The Shin Bet said Abassi confessed to having the minor carry out surveillance on the house ahead of a planned shooting attack. Abassi later decided that a stabbing attack had more potential to work, so he acquired a knife and axe and stashed them at his house and his grandfather’s house, the Shin Bet said.

He also admitted to making pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails which were used against Israeli police during recent rioting in east Jerusalem.

According to the Shin Bet, Abassi is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, while the other two are not linked to any group.
It doesn't make much difference whether they're part of a terrorist cell or not. The problem is that the criminals worship the Koran.

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Harry Maryles adds insult to injury

I once thought Chicago-based rabbi Harry Maryles was a pretty good blogger on many pressing issues. There were some points on which I disagreed with him, but overall, he did seem to be on the mark with many topics.

Unfortunately, he's now thrown away much of what I would like to appreciate about him for the sake of attacking Pamela Geller (and by extension, Robert Spencer), by accusing her of being an inciter, and otherwise letting jihadists off the hook:
I don’t know whether Pamela Geller is a fool or just plain evil. But one thing she is for sure is wrong. And I am outraged by her tactics.
But you're not outraged at the twosome who tried to murder people at the convention, Maryles?
There are few rational people in the world that justify what these 2 terrorists tried to do. Including the vast majority of Muslims. They were unquestioningly evil - despite the fact that they believed they were defending the honor of Islam. But does that make what Pamela Geller did OK? Not in my view.
Uh oh. Here's where he goes soft as mud on Muslims as a whole, and ignores what's said about how there may be moderate Muslims, but no moderate Islam. It gets worse:
The attack was precipitated by Ms. Geller and friends by basically spitting in the face of Islam and calling it free speech. She may have that right. Free speech is protected in this country no matter how hateful it is. Unless it can cause harm to the public. Like yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater when there is no actual fire. The question is, was that the case here? Was what Ms. Geller did here comparable to that?
Gee, what about all the times when Islamofascists did worse than spit, by murdering Jews in the name of the Koran? Maryles misses the point by galaxies - Geller and company were trying to send a message that they will not let Islamic violence silence or intimidate free people. They were also running the contest as a special form of support for those murdered in the name of jihad, like Charlie Hebdo's contributors. And instead of appreciating the idea they had in mind, all he can do is say just what the left would want to hear? Maryles is one of the dumbest people I've ever known.
The event she and others hosted was a contest to see who would create the best caricature of the Islam’s founder, Muhammad. Drawing images of Muhammad is at the very least frowned upon if not outright forbidden by Islamic law. And if it is done in any kind for disrespectful way, it is a cause of great outrage.

Which will inspire a few of the Jihadists among them to try and murder those who do . By now that is no secret. That’s what precipitated the massacre at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last January in France. Over the years they had published a series of embarrassing caricatures of Muhammad. And they were not the first to experience terror as the result of insulting Islam’s founder.
Excuse me? Here's where a flaw turns up: EVERY way Muhammed were to be drawn is considered disrespectful to Muslims. In the mind of an Islamofascist, drawing Muhammed at all is haram (taboo). The most telling sign Maryles is badly informed (and uses the wrong booleans - "for" instead of "of"). And he doesn't make it any better when he dismisses Charlie Hebdo's caricatures as mere embarrassments.
What possible motive could she have had in holding a competition like this? Protecting free speech? Free speech was doing just fine before she started disparaging other religions. By holding this competition she is perceived even by decent Muslims to be spitting in their face! It is pure folly to do that, not only because you are daring extremists to massacre you, your fellow organizers and participants... but because it is reprehensible to publicly disparage the icons of other religions. It spreads hate and generates retaliation from Jihadists all too eager exact revenge. Which is what happened at Charlie Hebdo in France. And was attempted in Garland, Texas.
Oh really, is it? You have cases of gays and lesbians suing Christian businesses for daring to object to their lifestyle and mentality, while otherwise ignoring Muslim businesses for the same. And, you have CAIR suing writers for exposing their own evil deeds. What else doesn't Maryles understand in his poor education? What he's doing is just what evil misogynists who believe women are to blame for sexual assault because of how they dress or look. In fact, one of the commenters asked:
Here's a similar question:

Suppose signs were posted in a predominantly muslim neighborhood in America that warned that any woman wearing shorts or a tank-top would be subject to beating. Suppose that women have been beaten and murdered when they ignored the signs. Would not the proper response to that be to keep organizing marches through the town with women wearing shorts? Until it became clear that it was safe for them to do it even when alone? Would you consider it wrong to organize that march?

Set aside the issue of whether Geller is self-serving, unlikable or unintelligent, and tell me whether you would call the 'women in shorts' marches evil, despicable, and reprehensible, or whether the marches would be exactly what's needed.
Yes, I want to know what this two-face would say if women were to protest a horrific murder/rape with a special march through a Muslim neighborhood. Maryles is the same man who allegedly finds Haredi extremism reprehensible, but his comments about Geller's contest put that in doubt.

Clifford May had a much better argument than Maryles, and said:
There can be no exceptions to protect the sensibilities of those perceived as "marginalized, ‎embattled, and victimized," nor to mollify Islamic State terrorists -- who have issued a ‎communiqué threatening to "slaughter" Geller -- and such characters as Anjem Choudary, ‎the British Muslim activist who on television last week asserted that by now everyone should ‎understand that drawing Muhammad "carries the death penalty in Islam." His further ‎implication: Islamic law now applies to everyone everywhere. Obey or die.‎
Is that what Maryles wants people to think he favors? For now, I've concluded that most of his arguments on extremism in the Haredi world are unconvincing, and most of his tone way too soft.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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