Friday, April 24, 2015 

Former Haredis sue over bad education system

Some ex-Haredis are suing over the poor job the state did in overseeing education in the Haredi school systems:
They were already in their 20s the first time they ever heard about dinosaurs or even tried their hands at maths and English.

Now a group of young Israelis who left the closed world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism are demanding answers from the state which funded their strictly religious education in Jewish seminaries, known as yeshivas.

Despite years of studying, all they were exposed to was religious texts and their interpretation, leaving them clueless about the basics of the national curriculum.

[...] In the yeshiva world, he says, everything is designed “to ensure that no doubt, however small, can sneak in” that could challenge blind faith.

Yet nagging doubts did crop up for this young seminarian — and they never went away.

“It happened that one Saturday night after the end of Shabbat I simply couldn’t bring myself to go back to the yeshiva — and I never did understand why,” he told AFP.

Although leaving the ultra-Orthodox world was hard, there was worse to come as Fink struggled to integrate into the secular — and elitist — university system with extremely limited skills.

In maths, he had the ability of a 10-year-old, his English went no further than the alphabet and he had absolutely no idea about history, geography or science.

What helped him was getting involved with a group called “Out for Change,” which counts around 300 members — all of them former ultra-Orthodox.

Formed with the express aim of taking legal action against the state, the organisation also runs courses for people who want to integrate into modern society.

But its members are mainly engaged in a lawsuit seeking damages from the state, which provides 75 percent of the funds for ultra-Orthodox education without demanding any supervision over what its 400,000 students learn.

“What did we study in the yeshiva? The Torah and its commentaries and that’s about all,” Fink said, referring to the first five books of the Bible.

Ultra-Orthodox girls have their own single-sex schools, and do learn lay subjects such as maths, history, sciences and languages, but not to a sufficiently high level to qualify for universities — coeducational institutions which contravene the ultra-Orthodox requirement for female modesty.

Keeping young women out of such an environment is a deliberate policy of the pious, say those who have left.
It's dismaying news, made only worse when you consider that the state never gave any oversight to these yeshivas. I wish them well with their lawsuit, and hope they can get some changes made for the better.

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Once again, Obama refuses to use term "Armenian genocide"

For the 100th memorial to the year when the Ottoman Turkish jihadists slaughtered 1.5 Armenians during WW1, Obama has once again refused to use honest wording, all because he doesn't want to alienate the phony allies the Turks make:
President Obama will again avoid describing the 1915 massacre of Armenians as "genocide," drawing more criticism from those who note he pledged to do so during his 2008 campaign.

Turkey, a key NATO ally, objects to use of the term genocide.

"President Obama's surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace — it is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust," said Ken Hachikian, chairman of Armenian National Committee of America.

[...] Hachikian said the White House appears to be outsourcing policy to Turkey.

"With the world's attention drawn this April 24th to worldwide Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations, President Obama will, tragically, use the moral standing of our nation not to defend the truth, but rather to enforce of a foreign power's gag-rule," he said.
That's just it. He's kowtowed yet again to a country that's plunging into the darkness of Islam, and a country that's likely to become as bad as Iran in the future.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 

120 soldiers honored on Independence Day

For Independence Day, 120 soldiers were honored by president Reuven Rivlin:
120 outstanding soldiers were honored on Thursday at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem at an event marking the 67th anniversary of the creation of the state.

For the first time as chief of staff, Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot saluted the men and women in uniform, when each stepped forward to receive a citation plus a scholarship for higher education.

"Today we celebrate all voices of society," President Reuven Rivlin said to a cheering crowd. "We are celebrating our freedom to honor all voices together – regardless of our differences."

The annual Independence Day ceremony is the first for the president, who shook hands with each of the recipients.
More at the link.

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Haredi extremists call Haredi soldier "nazi" on Holocaust Memorial Day

This happened in Beit Shemesh, where there's already these kind of moonbats running amok:
An ultra-Orthodox soldier was threatened and called a Nazi by Haredi men Thursday in Beit Shemesh near Jerusalem, Army Radio reported on Friday.

Army Radio obtained footage documenting the attack, which occurred on Israel’s Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, or Yom Hashoah.

The footage shows a group of several ultra-Orthodox men confronting the soldier on the street. The targeted soldier serves in the Netzach Yehuda program, which facilitates the integration of Haredi troops into the IDF’s ranks.

“These actions of a radical fringe within the Haredi public cannot be tolerated,” Yonatan Barensky, a reserves colonel who used to command the Netzach Yehuda program, told Army Radio after the incident.

Barensky said “strong action” was needed against the perpetrators. He did not say whether a police complaint had been filed.
In many cases like this, police complaints may not be filed because the victims are afraid it'll make things worse. One of the commentors said:
How dare these ungrateful pieces of dung, to criticize the men and women of the IDF, the very force that protects them and that even allow them the Right of Free Speech? The fact is they should be shining their boots and thanking them for the protection that they provide to allow them to worship as they please. No wonder there is anti-Semitism around the World when Jews disrespect Jews.
That's a pretty interesting way of putting it. Another said:
This is a sad thing. I remember growing up and seeing our young men coming home from Vietnam and hippies spitting on them and calling them baby killers. The true message of the hippies was not love and peace but divisiveness and socialism and progressivism(communism)- not to forget drug abuse! The soldiers follow the orders of the government that the people elect. People always need to support their military, they are out there putting their lives on the line.
Sometimes even Haredis can succumb to drug abuse, I'm sure, and what's clear is that Haredis like the ones seen attacking the soldier long embraced socialism. Another's said:
I am beyond livid. If we have their pictures they must be arrested and given serious prison time. Preferably in cells with people that share their thoughts like Hamas. Something must be done. Enough of this crap.
Some of them do indeed belong in a cell with Hamas. Here's another comment:
My 2 sons did not leave their lives in U.S. behind to join the IDF and defend these religious radicals; they cut off their own children who dare follow their ideals to defend much danger as the Palestinian radicals.
And one more:
We shouldn't pretend that it's the majority of Charedim who do this kind of thing; neither should we ignore that the Charedi leadership do not condemn it.
And the worst part of all is how this took place on Holocaust Memorial Day, which I'm sure the thuggish cultists don't teach much about. That's a problem coming when no proper oversight is taken on their education system.

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Paris jihadist discovered and arrested after injuring himself

A jihadist who was planning to attack a church reading defeated himself through injury, and was arrested by police:
An Islamist extremist was arrested in France on Wednesday charged with murdering a fitness instructor and planning to carry out a terror attack on at least one Paris church later the same day.

The 24-year-old French-Algerian’s plans were exposed purely by chance on Sunday morning after he called an ambulance over a bullet injury to his leg.

The man, named by French press as Sid Ahmed Ghlam, said he had been involved in “a settling of scores”. But when police traced the blood back to his car, they found a large arsenal of loaded guns detailed plans to attack a Sunday morning congregation.
What a pure piece of filth. He should be put in complete isolation now.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015 

Enemies of Israel will not break our spirit

Here's a prime ministerial statement for War Memorial Day:
Grief over fallen soldiers can’t prevent the government from sending its troops off to war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he warned Israel’s enemies that the IDF stands ready to defend the country.

“If we have no choice, we must be ready to charge into battle in order to defend ourselves and our land,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday morning at Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.

“When I need to decide whether or not to send soldiers into battle, I think of each soldier and their family as if they were my son, my family,” Netanyahu said.

He spoke at a Remembrance Day Ceremony to honor the 23,320 soldiers and civilians who have been killed since the state was created in 1948.

“Anyone who has experienced the torments of bereavement and the terror of war, the dead and injured, the amputation of limbs, does not seek out war,” Netanyahu said.

He spoke as the threat to Israel grows both from Iran and the flow of Russian made weapons to the region. Israel is also concerned by the possibly of renewed violence along its southern and northern borders.

“The continuum of threats to the existence of Israel requires a continuum of fights and our resilience in this fight depends on our determination, our strength, our unity,” Netanyahu said.

“Our enemies need to know that they will not break us, that despite the pain we will continue to defend our country, that we are staying right here,” Netanyahu said.

Israel’s strength and the unity of its Jewish, Druze, Muslim, Beduin, Christian and Circassian citizens, is what will help the state meet the security challenges it faces in the coming years, Netanyahu said.

“We are one family. … We are partners through bad times and good, in grief and in joy,” he said.

Netanyahu referenced the transition Israel would go later that night when Remembrance Day ended and festivities marking Independence Day began.

“Tonight, as the lights of the Independence torches shine forth, when the lights of the Independence torches shine on this mountain, we will feel profound gratitude for our loved ones, the heroes of the people, Israel's fallen soldiers,” Netanyahu said.
On the Iranian issues, we're going to have to work very hard to deal with what's now becoming worse than communist Russia.

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Haredis who cause a ruckus over women with Torah scroll at Western Wall are not blameless

The Women of the Wall may have been pulling a provocation by getting a Torah scroll passed over to the women's section of the Western Wall, but that's still no excuse for any violence the Haredi worshipers might've caused:
Members of the radical Women of the Wall group created a provocation at the Western Wall Monday, when they brought a Torah scroll into the women's section of the Kotel Plaza, read from it and held it high, in contravention of custom.

The provocation caused men to cross over from the men's section into the women's section in order to try and retrieve the Torah scroll. Police intervened in the ensuing scuffle.
I wonder why INN doesn't identify the perpetrators? Something tells me non-Haredis would just implore them to put the scroll back in the men's section.

As for provocation? Sure, but what's atrocious is that the Haredis fell for it. For the thousandth time, they really do want to draw the attention they'd be better off without.
Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich said Monday that the Women of the Wall group “has made another tear in the delicate fabric of the Kotel.”

"The Torah scroll was handed over the partition in a way that demeaned it, he said. “This is a provocative act whose sole purpose is to 'set the Kotel on fire' – and indeed they succeeded in arousing the anger of the worshipers. It was only thanks to the hard work of the police and Kotel attendants that blood was not actually spilled.”
Once more, this muddled man vehemently refuses to condemn anyone, Haredi or otherwise, who'd commit violence over otherwise petty issues. Nor does he advise them to just ignore it and get the scroll back later. And to let God have the last word in passing judgement upon them. But no, they just have to play "moralist". One of the commentors said:
So just to get this clear- the people who actually threatened the violence are blameless? We don't expect anything more of them, is that it? I had no idea Rabinovich had such a low opinion of charedim.
Neither did I. That's why sooner or later, Rabinovitch must be held accountable.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Parents of abu Khder don't want him recognized as an Israeli terror victim

The parents of the Arab teenager who was murdered by some crazy Haredi yeshiva students last year don't want him recognized as an Israeli terror victim:
The family of Mohammed Abu Khder, the Arab youth who was cruelly murdered and burned by Jews last summer in a nationalist revenge attack, is reportedly angry that his name has been added to the list of terror victims recognized by the National Insurance Institute (NII), and that it appears at the Har Herzl memorial for terror victims.

"We do not want Mohammed added to this list,” unnamed family members reportedly told NRG. “We do not see ourselves as Israelis, but as Palestinians. We do not want recognition from the state of Israel or the National Insurance money. We want the three defendants who burned Mohammed to receive the proper punishment. The most serious punishment – only that will calm us down.”

[...] Terror victims' group Almagor is also angry at the news and demands that his name be removed from the memorial plaque at Har Hezrl and from the NII website. Almagor said that Abu Khder was not murdered as part of the struggle for Israel's existence but as a result of "the insanity of criminals."

"A random killing carried out by people whose sanity is in doubt cannot be compared to organized actions by states and enemy countries,” said Almagor.
So the parents of the boy are using the tragedy as an excuse for anti-Israelism. Very low, and very sad. The state did them a favor, and how do they thank? By declaring themselves denizens, and doing a further disservice to his memory.

Update: the boy's name was removed from the memorial.

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Monday, April 20, 2015 

Israel's president won't meet with awful Jimmy Carter

Reuven Rivlin's doing the right thing by not meeting with one of the worst former US presidents:
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has refused to meet former US President Jimmy Carter in an upcoming visit to Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Gaza due to his anti-Israeli views, Channel 10 reports Monday.

A senior diplomatic source told the news agency that Carter, who has a long history of antagonism towards Israel, is "permanently damaging" to Israel and that Israel's leaders should refrain from meeting with him, on principle. Rivlin's advisors have said the same.

In May 2014, the former President supported the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) unilateral push to join international organizations in breach of the ongoing peace talks with Israel and the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The year before, he called on the European Union (EU) to label products coming from "illegal Israeli settlements" - despite the fact that Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria is legal under international law.

In 2006, Carter wrote a book entitled "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." His claims in the book, which he continued to espouse even after factual errors were revealed, led the reporting accuracy group CAMERA to say that the ex-president “clearly has an Israel, and even a Jewish problem.”
Even in his old age, Carter's been very active in anti-Israel activities, and that's very bad. Of course no sane politician should spend time around him.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015 

Republicans supposedly won, but in reality, caved to Obama

Ben Shapiro says the GOP, despite most of what's been said so far, has not actually ensured Obama cannot make faustian pacts with Iran:
On Wednesday, Republicans declared victory over President Obama after passing a bipartisan bill designed to stifle Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. There’s only one problem: the bill doesn’t stop Obama in any way. In fact, it does the opposite, by granting congressional Democrats an easy excuse for voting to allow Obama to end the sanctions against Iran without political consequence.

[...] There were three major options to stop Obama. Republicans pursued none of them. Instead, the bill merely states that Obama cannot remove sanctions until after submitting the text of an Iran deal to Congress; Congress then has 30 days to review the deal; Congress must then vote with a veto-proof majority to prevent Obama from ending the sanctions. The onus is now on Republicans to come up with 67 votes to stop Obama, rather than Obama to come up with 67 votes to have a treaty ratified; Republicans would need 67 votes for new sanctions, rather than pressuring Democrats to put in place conditional sanctions prior to the Obama full-scale public relations blitz; Republicans will not be able to cite Iranian terrorism as a reason to sink the deal, given that they removed precisely that language from the bill.
If this is correct, then the GOP has proven itself a major disappointment, when they had a chance to make people proud of them. They would do well to revise their demands, otherwise, they only deserve condemnation for stupefying weakness.

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Spring Valley yeshiva caused outrage with blackface doll on Purim

A yeshiva's students caused a needless row with the NAACP by hanging up a blackface doll last Purim, and passing that off as Haman:
A Purim display by yeshiva students turned into a lesson in cultural sensitivity after it was interpreted as the depiction of a lynching by members of this diverse village's African-American community.

The controversy was touched off by a Facebook video posted last month showing a black-faced doll dressed in colorful clothing hung out a window at Yeshiva Degel Hatorah on Maple Avenue.

The doll, which was displayed during Purim, was meant to depict the hanging of Haman. According to the biblical Book of Esther, Haman was an advisor to the king in ancient Persia who plotted to kill the Jewish people. His defeat is commemorated during Purim.
This is peculiar. As far as I know, Haman, like many of the Persians, was of Aryan background, and white. So why did these students, who may be Haredi, want to make it look like a "golliwog" doll? The doll was removed soon after the discovery, but it's a shame they had to draw the ire of an otherwise unreliable source like the NAACP.

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Iran introduces its own variation on Russian-made missiles

Iran's just revealed their new arsenal for warmongering:
The Iranian army displayed on Saturday a self-developed version of the advanced Russian S-300 missile system during a military parade south of the Tehran, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Tehran decided to design its own version of the S-300 missile, the Bavar 373, following a postponement by Russia of the sale of the anti-aircraft weaponry to Iran five years ago. Earlier this week, Russia announced it would finally lift the ban and deliver S-300 systems to Iran, in a move that would give the Islamic Republic’s military a strong deterrent against any air attack. [...]

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has furiously protested the planned Russian supply and phoned President Vladimir Putin to try to persuade him to reconsider, but was rebuffed. Israel fears the S-300s would complicate any military intervention as a last resort to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive. It also fears Iran could supply the missile defense systems to Syria or Hezbollah, diluting Israel’s air supremacy over the region.
And Russia's making it worse by providing them with more of their own foul missiles. This is very grave.

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Friday, April 17, 2015 

Court upholds anti-boycott law

The supreme court's upheld some of a law that can help deal with anti-Israeli boycotts:
Five fingers.

With a simple wave of a hand, the High Court of Justice on Wednesday propped up a law with one of the most powerful weapons yet produced to fight boycotts against Israel (at least from within the country) while also narrowly rejecting exempting boycotters who target only the West Bank or “post-1967 Israel” from the law.

The implications of the ruling for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign and counter-campaign globally could be massive.

What’s it all about? The law at stake empowered the finance minister to fine or remove tax breaks from Israeli NGOs that called for boycotts of parts of Israel, as well as empowering individuals to sue those NGOs for civil damages they claimed were caused by such boycotts.

The court did strike a provision that would have allowed punitive damages against those NGOs, somewhat reducing the biggest threat they faced for calling for boycotts, but leaving the overall threat in place.

The five fingers and the hand signify the five justices who voted 5-4 to view boycotts targeted only at the West Bank settlements as no different under the law than boycotts of all of Israel or “post-1948 Israel.”
All traitors who operate to delegitmize Israel would do us all a service by leaving the country, since they clearly don't want to live here. This is a very good law to send a message that if anti-Israelists keep up their badness, they should pay for it out of their own pocket and not abuse our tax shekels.

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Newsweek's not entirely clear about Orthodoxy

Newsweek wrote about Orthodox's Judaism's problems with men holding the cards in "gets" the Hebraic word for divorces:
In Orthodox Judaism, only husbands can give gets, and while most do, those who refuse wield enormous power over their wives. Even with a civil divorce decree in hand, a woman is not divorced in the Orthodox Jewish world until her husband gives her a get. Until then, she is an agunah, a “chained” woman. If she falls in love and decides to remarry without the get, she would be considered an adulteress, and her children from that union would be shunned.
As a matter of fact, even women can hold the cards in divorces, but because of certain loopholes, that's why it's more common for husbands. So that's one part where they're definitely misleading. Another is how it's mostly among Haredis where the problem runs deep today, and not necessarily Orthodox in itself.

There's also a query raised here about why remain in Orthodox Judaism if it's not helping:
Those outside Orthodox Judaism often wonder why agunot don’t simply leave their community and move on. “People say, ‘Why doesn’t she just forget this backwards patriarchal system? She has her civil divorce!’” says Stern. “Our response to that is, what fundamentally underlies get refusal is power and control. Get refusal is a form of domestic abuse.

“Asking her to give up her religion is asking her to accept her abuse and have it extend through all aspects of her life and her sense of self,” Stern continues. “It’s pointing the finger in the direction of the victim rather than the aggressor.”
With all due respect, if they don't modify the rules, then why must they be surprised anyone would quit? Sure, Orthodox Judaism has been victimized, but by modern nutcases who won't do what authorities in ancient times did - find alternate ways to arrange a divorce. The way they're handling it now, that's what amounts to extending through all aspects of a woman's life.

But don't expect Newsweek to ever discuss seriously how Islam is where husbands really hold all the cards. The sad problem here is that, while the topic in discussion above is valid, Newsweek just chose it as an easy one, never trying the hard ones.

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A book about Operation Nemesis

The Armenian Mirror-Spectator reviewed Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide, by Eric Bogosian, which is going to press on April 24, the official date of the memorial.

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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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