Tuesday, April 22, 2014 

Why would Mahmoud Abbas dismantle the PLO?

The PLO autocrat's been threatening to dismantle the PLO if he doesn't get his way in pseudo-negotiations. But seriously, why would he do that? Naftali Bennett's been giving him a well-deserved mocking:
Bayit Yehudi leader and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett played down Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas's threats that he would dissolve the Palestinian Authority if peace talks with Israel broke down, saying Tuesday that this was the seventh time that the Palestinian leader had made these threats.

"We hear again and again the recycling of the same threat , that if we don't advance (with the peace process) and if we don't give him everything that he wants he will Ov vey for us! dissolve the PA," Bennett said at The Ramle Conference.

"I suggest to Abu Mazen: If you're going to shoot, then shoot, don't talk. The state of Israel is stronger than Abu Mazen's threats," Bennett said.

[...] On Sunday, Bennett made similar statements about Abbas's dissolution threats.

“If he wants to go, we won’t stop him,” the minister said. “The Jewish people do not negotiate with a gun held against their temple.”
Yet why would Abbas dismantle the PLO and shove off? It's nothing more than a meaningless, comedic threat coming from a jihadist who has no intention of ceasing his evil ways till the day he dies. Still, if he really wants to heave-ho, Abbas can do just that and we won't miss him one bit.

Update: Jonathan Tobin says Abbas's bluff shouldn't scare Israel.

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Monday, April 21, 2014 

Woman activist dampens critique by not distinguishing between Haredi and other Orthodox Judaism

Nora Gold, an activist and fiction writer, wrote in Haaretz about Jewish women who seem to dislike their body parts, but undermined her whole argument by not making distinctions between two types of Orthodox:
Last month, an Orthodox woman in Beit Shemesh was physically assaulted by an Orthodox man, supposedly because of her lack of modesty. Many people, myself included, reacted with outrage to this latest example of modesty fanaticism, a trend that seems to be rapidly escalating in some Orthodox circles. It is important to remember, though, that this sort of incident is part of a larger phenomenon spanning many religions and cultures – one where women's bodies are used to contain hateful religious or ethnic ideology (in a way that men’s bodies are not) – and that ends up being profoundly damaging to the women and girls involved.
Here's where she fumbles, perhaps deliberately, because she must take the view that Orthodoxy in itself - not the warped vision embraced by various Haredi sects like Satmar - is somehow the cause of the problem. Why does she just say Orthodox but not ULTRA-Orthodox? I'm not saying non-Haredis are saints, but they usually take a more civilized path, and too bad Gold's not willing to ponder that.
One example of this phenomenon comes from some research I conducted with Canadian Jewish women, where I asked them which parts of their bodies they think of as “Jewish.” This question was part of a national study on Canadian Jewish women’s experiences of sexism and anti-Semitism, and in the initial focus groups, a surprising number of women said they had never experienced any anti-Semitism.

So, inspired by the seminal work of Rachel Josefowitz Siegel (the Jewish feminist psychotherapist who wrote the first book on clinical work with Jewish women), I asked them if there were any parts of their bodies they thought of as “Jewish,” and if there were, how did they feel about these body parts. Their answers amazed me. A few women said they liked the “Jewish” parts of their bodies, but most of the women responded very negatively. Noses, hips, thighs, and hair were the body parts most often mentioned as “Jewish,” and in the majority of cases, these were disliked, even hated, by the women. (For instance: “For years I hated my nose because it was so Jewish.”)

After I’d listened to dozens of such statements or stories, it became obvious to me was that these women had not only internalized the (non-Jewish) North American physical ideal for female beauty – thin, blonde, etc. – but they had also internalized this society’s anti-Semitism. Numerous women told me, honestly, that they’d never experienced anti-Semitism; yet they disliked, or even hated, those parts of their physical selves that they thought of as Jewish. They had unconsciously absorbed a form of hate – anti-Semitism, – and it now resided in their bodies.

Thinking now about the current obsession with modesty in Beit Shemesh and more generally in the Orthodox world, I can’t help wondering if something is currently happening there to some women and girls that parallels what I found in my research (just replace anti-Semitism with religious-based sexism). Debra Nussbaum Cohen refers in her blog to a game for young Orthodox girls called “The Modesty Game.” In this game, young girls are supplied with “cards in green (for good) and reddish pink (for bad) choices on any number of things children do, from eating ice pops in public to laughing out loud, from getting changed without thinking about modesty in the privacy of their own rooms to playing with friends in a crowded park.” To me, this game seems intentionally designed to make these girls extremely self-conscious about their bodies, and to cause them to feel alienated from, and shamed by, their physical selves. How many Orthodox girls, I wonder, have already learned, or are in the process of learning, to be ashamed of – or at least ambivalent about – their own bodies?

The modesty-obsessed context in which these girls now live is not one likely to facilitate healthy emotional and psychological development. As a former therapist, and as a researcher who conducted a longitudinal study on Jewish girls, I’ve observed first-hand how crucial it is for a girl to have a positive body image in order to develop a positive, healthy sense of herself overall. I’ve also seen time and again how fragile this process is, and how easily it can be derailed or disrupted by negative or inappropriate feedback about one’s body or sexuality. Unfortunately, this kind of negative feedback is endemic in those Orthodox communities that are saturated now with anxiety about covering, or even making invisible, the female body.

This year's Passover celebration is now coming to a close. At the Seder we discussed, reflected on, and sang about, slavery and freedom. From this Pesach to the next, let’s each of us do what we can to support Orthodox women and girls – both in Israel and the Diaspora – as they struggle to liberate themselves from the men who oppress them, and from the religious and communal structures that continue to empower these men.
While this is interesting stuff, it's sad Gold remained so weirdly incapable of clearly naming the Haredis as the exact source to blame for this petty tommyrot. The question is how many girls in Haredi society are learning to be ashamed of their God-given gifts? What their leaderships are doing by telling them to be ashamed of who they are is disrespectful to God, and psychologically damaging to boot. But if people like Gold suddenly cannot give a clear citation, then they're not solving the problem.

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Zivotovsky case reviewed anew

The suit filed by the couple who want their son's passport to have Israel listed on it has come to the Supreme Court again:
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to weigh the constitutionality of a law that was designed to allow American citizens born in Jerusalem - the historic holy city claimed by Israelis and Palestinians - to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.
Leave it to Reuters to run morally equivalent propaganda again. The sole reason it's important to the alleged palestinians is because it's important to Jews.
The case concerns a long-standing U.S. foreign policy that the president - and not Congress - has sole authority to state who controls Jerusalem. Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue, the U.S. State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, but no country name is included.

[...] In 2003, Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of U.S. citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born in Jerusalem in 2002, filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce the law. They would like their son's passport to say he was born in Israel.
How much longer is the State Department going to refuse to respect the request of anyone who wants their passport to state Israel on it and not bind themselves to petty biases?

Update: more at the Washington Post.

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2 girls from Bosnian Muslim family in Austria joined Syrian jihad

The UK Mail (via Winds of Jihad) wrote about two Austrian teens who joined the Syrian jihad:
Interpol is searching for two Austrian teenage girls who they believe were tricked into going to Syria to fight for Islamist rebels.

Samra Kesinovic, 16, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, vanished from their homes in Vienna on April 10.

But the first hint their parents received as to where the girls might have gone was a spate of social media posts claiming they had gone to fight a 'holy war'.

But the parents say that they don’t believe the messages are being written by the girls. Authorities suspect they have been tricked into leaving the country.

Samra and Sabina come from Bosnian refugee families who settled in Austria after the ethnic wars of the 1990s, and were born in the country.
If the parents are Muslims, they may not be telling the truth about what happened to their daughters. More than likely the parents tricked them into doing so.

More on the issue at Answering Muslims (via The Examiner).

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Political correctness prevails at memorial for Boston jihad victims

Pamela Geller describes how the higher echelons memorialized the tragedy in Boston a year ago:
The first-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon jihad bombing was marked by a notable and predictable absence. All the observances, commemorations and coverage studiously avoided mentioning why the attack happened in the first place: There was no mention of jihad. In all of the pomp, tribute, memorials and wall-to-wall coverage of this terrible anniversary, everyone from President Obama on down had a lot to say. A lot of nothing. A lot of meaningless rhetoric and feel-good nonsense.

Three people were murdered and more than 250 were wounded, many maimed for life
– and on the first anniversary, the New York Times ran sympathy propaganda commiserating not with the victims, but with the jihad filth Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. An article headlined, “Marathon Bombing Suspect Waits in Isolation,” began this way: “He cannot mingle, speak or pray with other prisoners. His only visitors are his legal team, a mental health consultant and his immediate family, who apparently have seen him only rarely.” This holy warrior should have been sentenced to death by a military tribunal.

This is moral inversion. Sick and depraved, the New York Times has sunk to an altogether new low. Is it any wonder that its circulation is in the tank and sinking fast? These creeps deserve to go out of business.

The restrictions on the movements of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are designated for those who pose the greatest threat to others. But the New York Times pooh-poohs that, because “there is little of substance to suggest that Mr. Tsarnaev, 20, and his brother Tamerlan were anything but isolated, homegrown terrorists.” So what? What difference does it make if they were waging jihad alone or with a group? They blew up the Boston Marathon, targeting thousands of families. They are part of the global jihad.

The New York Times has really gone over to the dark side. And it is not alone.
You can read more about the dhimmis at the link, but this is the new reality in the USA, and unless realists are willing to stand up, it's not going to improve.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 

Haredis in Safed make a fuss over a weekend pool

Again, the culture war rumbles, now in Safed, where Haredis want a country club pool closed on Shabbat:
On Friday evening in Safed, a group of about 80 ultra-Orthodox men and boys faced off against a similar number of secular men and women in a battle, perhaps the last, for the weekend character of the city.

The ultra-Orthodox were on one side of the eruv – a wire boundary that marks the area in which, according to Orthodox Judaism, Jews are permitted to carry items on the Sabbath – and the secular on the other, in an industrial zone at the edge of town. Suddenly, the Haredim began singing the Sabbath hymn "Lecha Dodi," written by Shlomo Alkabetz, who lived in Safed in the 16th century, and who is one of the city’s most salient symbols. The secular group joined in. Five policeman stood by with nothing to do.

The strange gathering was the latest incident so far in the struggle to keep the city’s country club open on the Sabbath. Traditional posters – pashkevilim – put up throughout the city called on the faithful to attend Friday’s protest. “We will not agree for the Sabbath to be desecrated any longer in the city of the Ari and Beit Yosef,” they read, referring respectively to Rabbi Isaac Lurie and a commentary by Rabbi Joseph Caro, both Safed luminaries of centuries past.

In response, a call was issued on Facebook by secular Safedites to stage a counter-rally.

The operator of the country club, Tzion Hallal, stood in the midst of the secular group and seemed determined to continue the fight to keep the facility open on the Sabbath. However, he told Haaretz beforehand that he would decide by the end of the month whether to fight, or to give in to the pressure to shutter it on weekends.

“If I decide to close, the last [secular] bastion in the city will fall,” he said.

The club, which was founded 30 years ago and is owned by the Safed municipality, has always been open on the weekend. Until about 18 months ago, Hallal said, it had about 100 ultra-Orthodox members and 300 secular or traditional members.

That was when members of Safed’s ultra-Orthodox community began to call for the closure of the facility on the Sabbath – and for its boycott until then. Things calmed down for a while after Hallal promised to close the club on Shabbat, according to representatives of the Haredi community. But they renewed their struggle when they saw he was not keeping his promise. “The Sabbath is our most precious thing and we won’t lend a hand to its public desecration,” an activist, who asked that his name not be used, told Haaretz.

According to Hallal, there are now only five ultra-Orthodox members left and ultra-Orthodox groups from the center of the country, who once came to use the pool, have started to stay away. “So far, I’ve insisted on keeping the place open on Shabbat, it’s a matter of principle for me.” However, Hallal says, the facility is hurting financially and things “might change soon.”

The Haredi activist explained that keeping the country club open on the Sabbath goes against the status quo in the city, because it is the only business open on the Sabbath. “We won’t agree for it to stay open. Keeping the Sabbath [laws] in the city is important to secular people too,” he said.

“The city’s rabbis decided that it is inconceivable for the Haredi public’s money to finance the activities of such a place. Everyone has the right to choose where they want to spend their free time and we don’t have to continue spending ours at the country club,” he said, denying that their actions reflected a culture war.

“I fear for the character of the city,” said Shalom Elbaz, one of the organizers of the secular counter-protest. Elbaz, 25, is native of Safed who defines himself as “keeping the commandments and holding a worldview of ‘live and let live.” If the country club closes on the Sabbath, Elbaz said, “the whole city can shut down; let it be closed up tight on the Sabbath.”

Elbaz said he expected Safed’s elected officials to instruct Hallal to continue operating the club on weekends.

There were no problems for more than 20 years with the club. What happened? This is a war over the last place operating on the Sabbath. If we give up here, we’ll become Bnei Brak,” Elbaz said, referring to the ultra-Orthodox city in the center of the country.

Viki Alkabetz, an opposition city councilwoman representing the Labor Party, is the only elected official who has so far taken a public stand on the dispute. “The Haredi community is making harsher and harsher demands…I’m not against this community, I want to live together in mutual respect,” she said.

The Safed Municipality said in a statement: “The issue of the country club has been blown out of proportion. The country club has been open on the Sabbath since it was founded. It will continue to operate with respect and understanding and in the interests of the general public as it has been in recent years. Maintaining the status quo in the city is the unified position of all of its leaders and we regret that extreme elements from outside Safed are trying to undermine relations between the secular/traditional and Haredi communities.”
It's a shame the Haredis are once more trying to cause a ruckus for nothing. If they don't want to use the pool, that's fine. At this point, I'm sure they've made more than enough people mad at them to feel more comfy not having them around. Swimming in a pool is far from being against what Shabbat is about, but the foolish Haredi clans calling for closure on Saturday don't get that. Let them leave, I say, and the other folks can continue to enjoy the pool as they see fit.

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Rev. Franklin Graham's words of wisdom

Via WCBM Radio, Rev. Graham makes clear we should be worried about sharia, and says what at least one Australian politician said: that those Muslims who seek to impose sharia upon the country should go elsewhere. Well said.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 

Shas takes separatist path

Following the appointment of their new, vulgar "spiritual leader", Shas is becoming more extreme:
Less than half a year since the passing of its spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas officially introduced on Thursday his successor, Rabbi Shalom Cohen.

The crowning ceremony, held in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak in central Israel, was attended by hundreds of Shas supporters. The speakers laid out a new and more militant path for the Shas movement.

Rabbi David Yosef, the son of the late spiritual leader, said: "Now, when the hatred for us is so strong, when respect for the Torah and those who study it have been trampled, we say we are not a part of them. The Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi minions -- there is no difference between them. The Holy One, blessed by He wants us to distance ourselves from them. We are separating from them."
Sigh. These are the same kind of people violating the Rambam's beliefs in making yourself useful by working hard in all trades, and they have the gall to say they're following God's wishes? Very sad indeed. All they're doing is enforcing the perception they have no interest in being part of the nation as a whole.

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NYPD disbands its Muslim surveillance unit

The NYPD's caved to political correctness:
The New York Police Department has disbanded a controversial surveillance unit that targeted and monitored Muslim communities after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, a police statement said.

The unit was set up in 2003 with assistance from the CIA but has been largely inactive since Police Commissioner William Bratton took over the department this January, and its detectives have been reassigned, a statement from the NYPD said on Tuesday. [...]

Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the program when he was campaigning for office last fall, and it was the target of lawsuits.
Most of which were by vindictive insularists unwilling to come to terms with their religion's MO. This is a sad day for believers in safety.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 

Common Core: a propaganda program that'll be disastrous for education

Laurie Roth wrote about how the proposed school curriculum called Common Core, if accepted, will be a terrible way of indoctrinating children into accepting Islam, among other horrific ideas.

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Anti-semitism rears its ugly head in Ukraine

It was bound to happen, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Some ugly fliers came up in the east:
U.S. officials Thursday denounced what one called a "grotesque" leaflet ordering Jews in one eastern Ukrainian city to register with a government office, but the Jewish community there dismissed it as a "provocation."

The fliers were handed out by masked men in front the main synagogue in Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters have declared a "People's Republic," Jewish leaders there said. The document warned the city's Jews to register and document their property or face deportation, according to a CNN translation of one of the leaflets.

Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" that a respected Jewish leader in Ukraine showed him a photograph of one of the leaflets. He called the document "chilling."
No matter how much manners the inhabitants of Ukraine have, this can't be overlooked. This is a country that's unfortunately had quite a few anti-semites and racists running amok at local soccer tournaments, and some of them probably blame Jews instead of Russia's bigwigs for the invasion into Crimea. That's what happens when the country fails to prove its ability to abolish the insanity from their education system.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014 

Sodastream shares surge

Reuters/Business Insider says the Israeli home soda brewmaker's market shares are building up 16 percent, and they've got some interesting investors:
U.S. shares of Sodastream rose as much as 12 percent to $42.25 on Wednesday after the website identified PepsiCo Inc, Dr Pepper Snapple Group or Starbucks Co as the potential investors in the Israel-based company.
I guess that means any initial hostility is now over, and they realize why it'd be better to respect Sodastream's legitimacy. That's good.

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Jews can finally get to live in the "Peace House" in Hebron

At long last, this Passover week, the Jews who had a legal right in buying the house moved in for the first time in 5 years:
Three Jewish families moved into the “Peace House” in Hebron Sunday after receiving approval from Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, five years after his predecessor in the Olmert government brutally expelled dozens of Jews from the building.

The entry of Jews, with the official backing of the Supreme Court, represents a turning point for the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria and against the Palestinian Authority-media-political-judicial torture chamber that has mangled normalcy to the point it cannot be identified..

A Jew, reportedly a religious American of Syrian descent whose ancestors escaped the Arab pogrom in Hebron in 1929, purchased the building seven years ago from Arabs for approximately $1 million.

The Arab seller, a Jordanian, had sold it through a third party and did not realize that the building eventually would end up in the hands of Jews. The Palestinian Authority, banking on Jordanian law, makes a sale of property to Jews punishable by death, one of their principles of being a “peace partner.”

The Peace House is a four-story building that housed 25 Jewish families and yeshiva students until the government ordered them out in 2008, less than year after the purchase, because the legality of the purchase was questioned and their presence was deemed as endangering security

The building is called the “Peace House,” but Israel’s center-left media have insisted on calling it the “The House of Contention,” past of their propaganda machine to show that anything that settlers do is harmful for peaceful relations with Arabs.
It's never jihadism that's the problem, it's only the victim who is. Now, that whole issue has been put to rest, and we must make clear that Jews will buy as they want in and around Hebron for residency.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 

UN official makes anti-Israel remark

Example gazillion of anti-semitism rampant in the UN staff:
NEW YORK – Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor sent a letter to Secretary- General Ban Ki-Moon recently asking for the removal of Rima Khalaf, following a purportedly anti-Semitic statement Khalaf made in a speech in late February.

Khalaf is the under-secretary-general and executive secretary for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. She has served in that role since September 2010. The speech in question was given on February 25, 2014, at the launch of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia report. It was titled “Arab Integration: A 21st Century Imperative.”

In her speech, Khalaf denounced Israeli presence in the West Bank, saying: “The most dangerous of these [Israeli] policies is Israel’s adamancy that it is a Jewish state, which violates the rights of both the Muslim and Christian indigenous populations and revives the concept of state ethnic and religious purity, which caused egregious human suffering during the 20th century.” Phrases such as this are usually diplomatic code in which officials speak to refer to the Holocaust.

“Foreign interference comes in various forms, such as violations of Arab rights and dignity,” Khalaf said, “but its worst manifestation is the Israeli occupation of ‘Palestine,’ the Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanese territories, in flagrant breach of international conventions and resolutions.”

Khalaf added that the report advocated for prohibiting trade with Israeli settlements, “following in the footsteps of European countries.”

Prosor wrote in response that “it is unacceptable that inflammatory anti-Israel messages continue to be produced under the banner of the United Nations and using UN resources.”

In addition, he said that “by demonizing Israel, Ms. Khalaf is advancing a personal agenda rather than furthering the cause of peace or advancing regional Arab development.
Unfortunately, that's par for the course at the UN. And there's no chance Ki-Moon will ever agree to do something about that disgusting woman who looks for excuses to keep assaulting Israel with blood libels.

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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 do not know if I'll ever be as good as him, but I do my best.
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