Friday, October 31, 2014

Lech Lecha: G-d’s blessings and curses


On November 1, 2014, Jews around the world will read the Torah Portion called, Lech Lecha (B’Reisheet, 12:1-17:27). In that Portion, HaShem, the G-d of Israel, speaks to our forefather Abram (at this point in the Torah cycle (12:1-3), Abram has not yet become ‘Abraham). HaShem tells Abram, “I will bless those who bless you, and he who curses you, I will curse” (B’reisheet, 12:3, The Living Torah, trans. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, 1981).

This is a powerful declaration. It’s stunning. It’s bold—very bold. It puts HaShem on the ‘hot seat’: it’ll be easy to tell if those blessings and curses occur.

Check it out. How have nations treated the Jew? How have they fared?

Throughout history, did powerful nations treat the Jews as if they came from a blessed source, from whom they, the nations, could receive blessings for themselves—or did they treat Jews as if they were evil?

Ask the Greeks, Romans and Nazis. The Greeks and Romans ultimately saw Jews as evil (Peter Schafer. Judeophobia: Attitudes toward the Jews in the Ancient World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 206). The Nazis cursed Jews from the very beginning (seeing someone as evil, and cursing them, come from the same ideological womb).

You’ll notice that these juggernauts no longer exist. They became cursed. They lost their supremacy.

They learned what the G-d of Israel meant when He said, ‘and he who curses you, I will curse.’

In the blessing noted above, HaShem told Abram, “I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you great” (The Living Torah, 12:2).

Look at modern Israel. It’s the most advanced nation in the Middle East. It is one of the most advanced nations in the world. It has become a ‘great nation’.

Our Heritage teaches that the ‘blessings’ our G-d bestowed upon Israel—and through Israel, upon the nations—includes ‘good fortune’ (Tractate Pesachim, 117b, note 32, The Shottenstein Edition). This has certainly been the case with the one nation that has helped Jews the most over the last 250 years—America. One can argue that America has been very good to Jews—and to Israel. One can also argue that, over that same 250 years, America has been blessed. It has become the most prosperous nation in the world.

Now, look at 2014. How are Jews doing? How do nations treat Jews and Israel? How are these nations doing?

We see more curses than blessings. For example, look at the Arabs. They curse both Israel and the Jews.

 How’re they doing? What’s it like to live in the Arab world? Look at Syria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, et al. Is life there marked by freedom and prosperity for all? Do you think life in the Arab world looks to you like a blessing—or a curse?

Certainly, if you’re a woman, a Jew, a gay, a political liberal or Christian you don’t want to live in the Arab world. If you move there, your life won’t be a blessing.

The G-d of Israel said it best: he who curses you I will curse.

Look at the West. How do they treat Jews and Israel? In this past summer’s 50-day Gaza-Israel war, we found out. Across Europe, attacks against Jews sky-rocketed. Anti-Semitic attacks jumped 300 -500 per cent.

In England, dozens of Members of the House of Commons denounced Israel. They called Israel a brutal oppressor. They wanted the Jewish state to be criminalized.  They cursed Israel.

In America, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel grows, mostly on college campuses (“BDS is vehicle to destroy Israel, says new study”, thejc.com, March 21, 2014). Jewish college students across America fear to reveal their Jewish identity (“Students for Justice in Palestine Promotes Hatred on College Campuses”, Times of Israel, June 27, 2014). Jews are beaten, intimidated and spat upon. Israel is demonized.

Throughout the West, Israel is painted as the world’s greatest national evil. Israel is cursed.

This week, Israel’s Economic Minister Naftali Bennet went to England. He was asked to reply to those in England who call Israel ‘apartheid’ (“Bennett to Sky News: Don't Sit in London and Call Us Apartheid”, Arutz Sheva, October 31, 2014). He said it was a blatant lie.

Also this week—this time in America--a story appeared. It quoted “a senior Obama administration official” defaming Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the most shocking manner, calling him ‘a chickensh**t’ (“The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here”, The Atlantic, October 28, 2014).  

Do England and the US begin to curse Israel? Does the West join the Arab world to curse Israel?

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. Do you think His promised blessings and curses will play a part in that Story?

Stay tuned. The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.

 

Jordan threatens Israel with a weapon called, hypocrisy



Hypocrisy is getting a lot of play these days.


First, Arabs initiated violent aggression against Jews in Jerusalem (“Abbas Calls to Stop Jews Visiting Temple Mount Using 'All Means'”, Arutz Sheva, October 18, 2014; and “Hamas Official Declares Intifada in Jerusalem”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2014). Then, when the violence against Jews escalated, Arabs blamed Israel for that aggression (“Abbas to Obama: Stop 'Israeli Escalation' in Jerusalem”, Arutz Sheva, October 27, 2014).


Meanwhile, the US demanded a ‘speedy’ Israeli investigation into the death of a teenage Arab-American boy killed by Israeli police while engaging in violence against Jews (“Riots resume in Jerusalem after Palestinian teen killed in West Bank”, Times of Israel, October 24, 2014). But when an Israeli-American Religious Zionist Rabbi who promotes freedom of religion for Jews on the Temple Mount was shot by an Arab assailant, the US demanded nothing of the Palestinian Authority (PA) which, after the shooting, had called for a ‘Day of Rage’ against Jews (“Abbas's Fatah Calls for 'Day of Rage' Terrorism”, Arutz Sheva, October 30, 2014).


Now, hypocrisy gets a shot of adrenalin from Jordan. Jordan has just declared that is might terminate a 1994 Treaty with Israel because Israel had temporarily closed the Temple Mount to both Jews and Muslims after the Religious Zionist Rabbi (above) was shot and Arabs called for that ‘Day of Rage’ after prayers (Muslims flock to the Temple Mount to pray there). A spokesperson for the King of Jordan said the peace treaty is "under threat" if Israel continues "breaching" the status of the Temple Mount (“Jordan Threatens to Revoke Peace Treaty Over Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, October 31, 2014).


Jordan says it’s worried that the ‘status quo’ for the Mount will change. The ‘status quo’ completely bans Jewish worship on the Mount. A Jew who attempts to pray there will be immediately arrested. The ‘status quo’ also places harsh restrictions on Jewish access to the Mount. By contrast, Arabs are restricted by Israeli police only when there is a viable threat of violence by Arabs on the Mount.


The Religious Zionist Rabbi who was shot (above), Yehuda Glick, heads an organization that works to establish freedom of worship and freedom of access for Jews on the Temple Mount. He had just given a speech at a conference called, ‘Israel returns to the Temple Mount’, when he was gunned down (he continues to be listed in critical-but-stable condition).


Muslims are in an uproar. They want Jews banned from the Temple Mount. They don’t want people like Rabbi Glick talking about getting more Jews onto the Mount.


That’s why Jordan threatens to cancel its Treaty. It wants to pressure Israel to keep those Jews off the Mount.


It’s a hypocritical ploy. That 1994 Treaty protects Jews wishing to pray at the Temple Mount. The Treaty doesn’t give Jordan (or Israel) the right to ban Jews.


If anything, Jordan breaches that Treaty every time it demands that Israeli police remove Jews from the Mount. It violates that Treaty every time Jewish worship is denied.


If you want to understand the Jordanian hypocrisy, here is Article 9 of that Treaty in its entirety; the bold-face type is my emphasis:


Article 9. Places of Historical and Religious Significance and Interfaith Relations


1. Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.


2. In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.


3. The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.


 


The treaty is clear: each Party (Israel and Jordan) agrees to provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.  Israel does that for Muslims (except during periods of Arab violence). Jordan tries to ban Jews every day it can.


Jordan violates the Treaty.


Also, each Party (Israel and Jordan) agrees to promote the freedom of religious worship for the three monotheistic religions. Israel does that. Jordan refuses to do it.


Now, when an Israeli Jew (Rabbi Glick) works to enforce that Treaty (by seeking more access to Jews on the Mount), not only does he get shot in an assassination attempt against his life, Jordan threatens to revoke the Treaty.


That’s hypocrisy: Jordan says one thing (it agrees to promote freedom of worship for all, including Jews), then does the opposite (it tries its best to deny that freedom to Jews).


What’s Israel going to do about that? Ban Jews from the Temple Mount?






Thursday, October 30, 2014

When the Arab cries, the world cries. Why?


This morning (October 30, 2014), Walla! News ran two stories that speak volumes about Israel. In one headline (“UN official: Israel must hear the cries of the world”, October 29, 2014), we learned that Israel must accept peace in Jerusalem so that members of all faiths can have access to holy places there. The inference was that Israel currently blocks free access and freedom of worship to non-Jews.

This comment was made at a special UN meeting called by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has cried that Israel was guilty of ‘aggression’ in Jerusalem. The PA wanted the UN to stop that ‘aggression’.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Proser, told the gathering that, “The Palestinian leadership is responsible for the current crisis in Jerusalem. Palestinian militants threw stones and petrol bombs”, and when Israeli police tried to stop the violence, the PA ran to the Security Council. He said, “the hypocrisy here is clear”.

The PA’s representative to the UN explained the PA’s position: “Jerusalem remains the key to peace. East Jerusalem is the heart of Palestine” (ibid). Jerusalem, he claimed, has always been Arab and Muslim (ibid).

His remarks suggested that Arabs fight in Jerusalem in order to get back what is theirs. If Israel won’t give us Jerusalem, he suggested, we will fight for it. This is what will happen if the UN won’t help us against Israel.

The PA calls East Jerusalem the ‘heart of Palestine’. It wants Israel to cede that real estate. But the Arabs overlook a singular fact: that same East Jerusalem is also home to the 2,800+ year-old Jewish Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site on earth.

That’s a problem because the Jewish Temple Mount was first built for Jews by Jews some 1,400+ years before Islam. The Jews were there before Islam.

The Arab doesn’t care about such fact. The Temple Mount is the heart of Jerusalem. He wants that heart.

The Arab claims that the Temple Mount is Islam’s third holiest site. It’s irrelevant to him that the Temple Mount is the Jews’ ‘first’ holiest site.

The second headline put an exclamation point on what this Arab demand for Jerusalem means for Israel. Last night (October 29, 2014), pro-Israel leaders and politicians gathered in Jerusalem for an event titled, ‘Israel returns to the Temple Mount’. One of the speakers at that event was Rabbi Yehuda Glick. Rabbi Glick heads an organization that fights to secure freedom of access and freedom of worship for Jews on the Temple Mount. These freedoms had been promised to Jews in a 1994 peace Treaty between Israel and Jordan. But Jordan, which ‘administers’ the Temple Mount, has worked to deny those freedoms to Jews. Jews can’t go to the Mount any time they want. They’re often banned for days at a time.

Jews discovered on the Temple Mount moving their lips without sound, bowing, praying or opening a prayer-book are immediately arrested. By contrast, Arabs walk, run, play and pray on the Mount as often they wish, any time they wish.

Rabbi Glick works to change that. That’s why he was at that conference. After his speech, while he stood outside the conference center, a man walked up to him and asked, “are you Yehuda Glick?” Rabbi Glick replied, “yes.”

The man then shot Rabbi Glick three or four times (early reports differ) at point-blank range (“Security forces kill man suspected in shooting”, Walla! News, October 29, 2014). The man escaped on motorcycle.

Hours later, Israeli police and security approached the man’s house. He began shooting at them. They killed him (ibid).

The New York Times correctly called this as “an apparent assassination attempt” (“Activist in Israel Is Wounded in Shooting”, New York Times, October 29, 2014). Eighteen hours after the shooting, we continue to pray for his recovery.

Less than 20 hours after the shooting, Fatah, the political Party that rules the PA, called the suspect killed by Israeli police a ‘heroic martyr’ (“Abbas's Fatah Calls for 'Day of Rage' Terrorism”, Arutz Sheva, October 30, 2014). Fatah called for a Day of Rage against the Jews after prayers tomorrow at the Temple Mount, Friday, October 31, 2014 (“Aqsa reopened to Palestinian worshipers ahead of 'Day of Rage'”, PLO news service, October 30, 2014). It declared that it considers Jews who visit the Temple Mount “a desecration” that is “a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations" (Arutz Sheva, ibid).

As of 8 pm Israel time, October 30, 2014, no one at the UN has objected to these anti-Jewish incitements. But the US has urged Israel to make sure Muslims can go to prayer tomorrow on the Temple Mount (“US Urges Israel to Open Temple Mount to Muslims”, Arutz Sheva, October 30, 2014). Jews are banned.
The US statement didn't mention a concern for Jews having access to the Mount.

These headlines tell an Israel story: Arabs riot in Jerusalem. A Jew who works for freedom of religion on the Temple Mount is shot. Arab leaders incite for more attacks against Jews while Arabs cry Jerusalem is theirs.

The world cries, ‘Jerusalem is theirs’. The UN cries, ‘you must listen to the cries of the world—and yield to the Arab’.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. Do you think UN hypocrisy, US indifference  and Arab hate will play a role in that Story?

Stay tuned. The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The news about Arab truth--and Arab fiction


After the 50-day Gaza-Israel war that ended on August 26, 2014, the nations of the world did two things. First, they promised to ‘investigate’ Israel for ‘war crimes’; and, second, they promised to help Gaza rebuild.

Both promises have, at least for now, been shelved.

The call to investigate Israel got a lot of press. Then it fell off the table. Will it come back? You’ll have to wait.

You’ll also have to wait to see Gaza get any help. Of course, at first, lots of nations promised Gaza billions. Then they promised hundreds of millions. Now, more than two months since that war ended, Gaza still has nothing.

Tens of thousands are still displaced. In the parts of Gaza Israel attacked, food is difficult to find. Water and electricity are in short supply. There’s no sign of rebuilding anywhere. Virtually nothing has been done—nothing.

The nations of the world had wrung their hands for Gaza. They made big promises. But life in Gaza remains shattered, perhaps even hopeless (“Hating Hamas: Life in post-war Gaza”, The Week, October 26, 2014).

As a result, Hamas today seems widely loathed in Gaza (The Week, ibid)—for good reason. Hamas doesn’t help anyone.

Because of Hamas propaganda, Gazans had believed they’d win this war. Now, they know better.

Life didn’t get better, as Hamas had promised (ibid). It got a lot worse.  

There’s a growing feeling in Gaza that Hamas’ strategy of daily rocket-fire into Israel’s civilian population wasn’t such a smart idea (ibid). Surrounded by incredible destruction, Gazan resentment against Hamas seems to be building (ibid).

Part of this resentment comes from the truce Hamas signed with Israel on August 26, 2014. That truce gave Hamas the same terms that an Egyptian truce had offered some 42 days before—when the Gazan death toll was closer to 20, not the final 2,100 (ibid).

Gazans remember that. The war against Israel had been ‘sold’ to them as a good war. But the war brought them only destruction—and a civil war.

Gazans felt the brunt of Israel’s response to Hamas attacks. They also saw fighting between ‘Palestinian’ factions (ibid). There was open war between Hamas, Fatah and other anti-Israel groups struggling for supremacy. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, were killed.

During and after the war, Hamas officials roamed the streets shooting (and arresting) Fatah members, then claiming those they killed to be civilian casualties of Israel’s ‘aggression’. That violence did nothing to make life easier for Gazans. It made life more brutal.

This undeclared civil war did nothing to help Gazans. It just added misery to shattered lives.

But if Hamas is indeed ‘widely loathed’ (ibid), Arab propaganda gives Hamas a boost (ibid): a rosy public opinion poll shows increasing support for Hamas and an increasing call for war against Israel ((“Forget the ‘peace process,’ Palestinians need reform”, Washington Post, October 28, 2014). This new poll in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority territories shows that 57 percent of those polled claimed that Hamas was victorious. 53% claimed the recent war aided the interests of the ‘Palestinian’ people (ibid). Finally, support for military action against Israel rose from 31.5 per cent before the 50-day war to 42.7 per cent in the new survey (ibid).

For this Washington Post essay, the poll demonstrates how decades of anti-Semitic propaganda have distorted the ‘Palestinian’ world-view (ibid). Thanks to a ceaseless propaganda barrage and a censorship of outside news, ‘Palestinians’ continue to deny fact (Hamas’s defeat) in order to promote fiction (together, we will destroy Israel).  

The Post writer blames the West for this state of affairs. The West doesn’t demand that ‘Palestinians’ build a civil society. It doesn’t demand reforms. It doesn’t demand a free press (ibid). Instead, it enables the Arab fiction that the only reason there’s no peace is because Israel prevents it (ibid).

This Post essay says, don’t believe it. You can’t build a peace-oriented society on a fiction of war and hate. Peace can only be built on fact, and the fact is, when you look at the repression used by both Hamas and Fatah, and consider the impact of their propaganda on their own people, you realize that peace with Israel is virtually impossible (ibid). Arab leaders have never given their people the chance to consider peace. All Arabs get is a diet of war.

Israel isn’t the problem. Arab propaganda is (ibid).

The war that was built on a fiction of hate didn’t bring the Arab peace. It brought devastation.

Everyone ignores that reality. They ignore the truth. They prefer a fiction of war and hate.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the unfolding Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. Do you think the fictions of Arab propaganda will play a role in that Story?

Stay tuned. The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Has the Biblical war against Jerusalem begun?


As you probably know by now, Arab aggression in Jerusalem has escalated dramatically. Attacks against Jews have escalated from ‘a daily problem’ into a form of urban warfare.

For example, in May-June, 2014, before this summer’s 50-day Gaza-Israel war broke out, Arab rioting created some 200 incidents of violence per month. That’s a serious number of incidents, especially in a nation’s capital city. But Israeli authorities chose to down-play that seriousness. According to several sources, Israeli police intervention at the scenes of these attacks was often non-existent. Arab rage festered—and grew stronger--behind a violent curtain of obscurity.

But then, when that 50-day war began, Arab anti-Jew violence jumped—to an average of 5,000 incidents per month (“Mayor Reveals Jerusalem Went from 200 to 5,000 Monthly Attacks”, Arutz Sheva, October 27, 2014). Suddenly, Jews faced a series uprising. The violence wasn’t obscure any longer. Arab rage exploded.

Fortunately—at least, for the moment--most of this Arab violence has been confined to neighbourhoods that are heavily Arab. That means, primarily, East Jerusalem.

East Jerusalem is notable for three reasons.

First, much of Jerusalem’s 310,000+ Arabs live clustered in East Jerusalem.  About half of these Arabs live in neighbourhoods that are 95+ per cent Arab. Meanwhile, there are perhaps 175,000 Jews living in predominately Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem. These Jewish clusters often border Arab clusters. Some of Jerusalem’s Arabs and Jews live in the ancient ‘Old City’ portion of East Jerusalem. Included in the totals above are perhaps 37,000 ‘Old City’ Arab residents and perhaps 3,900 Jewish residents. Most of the Arabs in the ‘Old City’ live in the Arab Quarter; most of the Jews of the ‘Old City’ live in the Jewish Quarter.

The Arab population of East Jerusalem has increased between 40 -50 per cent in the last twelve years. Some say that’s a deliberate increase. Certainly, it’s consistent with the Arabs’ political goals for Jerusalem. They want to claim the Jewish capital as their own. A growing Arab demographic doesn’t hurt that claim.

Second, East Jerusalem is the part of Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority (PA) claims it must have as part of any ‘peace’ agreement with Israel. It claims that Jerusalem must be the capital of its new ‘Palestine’.

Third, East Jerusalem is where Judaism’s holiest place on earth—the Temple Mount—is located. The Temple Mount is a flashpoint for Arab violence.  

Arabs want all of East Jerusalem not just for its capital (they’ve already got an operating seat of government in Ramallah, some 21 kilometres (app 13 miles) north of Jerusalem). They want East Jerusalem because that’s where the Temple Mount is located.

If they get the Temple Mount, they’ll make it Jew-free (“Abbas Calls to Stop Jews Visiting Temple Mount Using ‘All Means’”, Arutz Sheva, October 18, 2014). If they do that, they’ll claim Islamic supremacy; Islam will have conquered Judaism.

The Arabs can smell success in Jerusalem. Their riots demonstrate their power: by now it’s clear that Jews don’t control Arab East Jerusalem.

5,000 attacks against Jews every month (above) are changing Israel. Jews are confused. They’re afraid. Arabs are feasting on that fear and confusion.  

The longer Israeli officials remain confused about what to do, the closer Arab violence gets to spilling over into Jewish sections of Jerusalem. If that happens, this ‘unnamed Intifada’ will change. It’ll no longer be about ‘resisting Israeli aggression’ (“Riots break out across East Jerusalem”, Times of Israel, October 25, 2014). It’ll be about taking over.

Right now, Arab leaders incite to escalate the violence, then accuse Israel of ‘escalating violence’ in Jerusalem. They call for more violent aggression against Jews in Jerusalem, then rush to the UN to accuse Israel of ‘aggression’ in Jerusalem.

The nations of the world sit up when they hear those accusations. They take the Arab seriously. They are disgusted with the Jews. They are almost ready to act against Israel.

If one more Arab dies in these riots, the call may sound to ‘destroy Israel for peace’.  Many will answer that call.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. That Story is the unfolding of the Final Jewish Redemption. Arab attacks in Jerusalem are part of that Story. International support for those attacks is part of that Story.

Read your Tanach. Study the commentaries. It’s all there.

Stay tuned. The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.

 

‘Sacralized’ Jew-Hate?


Here’s a news flash: there might be something new under the sun. It isn’t Jew-hate. Jew-hate is old. It’s old-fashioned. It’s out of style.

What’s new is ‘sacralized’ Jew-hate. That’s Jew-hate that’s become part of a religion’s theology.

Of course, this might not be as new as you think. Some Christians may have already ‘sacralised’ Jew-hate. They blame Jews for killing the Christian god. Such blame means that anti-Semitism (Jew-hate) has become intertwined into Christianity’s basic theology.

But ‘sacralization’ isn’t about Christianity. Christianity is old-fashioned. This Jew-hate is about something new. It’s about Islam.

‘Sacralization’ means to imbue an idea with a religious significance. It suggests that an idea has been incorporated into religious theology, to make that idea part of religious teaching.

The word has recently shown up in an essay about Islamic Jew-hate (“Sunni Islam’s “Vatican”: Jews Responsible For Jihad Terrorism”, Family Security Matters, October 3, 2014).  This essay argues that Islamic Jew-hate is real and pervasive—and has a religious source. That source isn’t maverick clerics in Pakistan or Bethlehem. The source is Al Azhar University, in Cairo, Egypt.

Al Azhar appears to be a main Islamic teaching center. Its mission (and the mission of its related Mosque) is to spread Islamic religion and culture. It’s considered to be “the de facto Vatican of Sunni Islam” (ibid).

According to the essay’s author (Andrew G. Bostom), the leader of Al Azhar University has great power. He has a major educational pulpit from which to spread his brand of Islam.

Bostom characterized the brand of Islam that comes from this University as an “unreformed, unrepentant jihad bellicosity and infidel hatred” (ibid). Bostom claims it promotes a “sacralized Islamic animosity” that is directed, unsurprisingly, against Jews (ibid).

To call Islamic Jew-hate ‘sacralized’ might be a stretch. Bostom’s essay isn’t complete. He doesn’t define ‘sacralization’. He doesn’t demonstrate how it’s different from the good old-fashioned of Jew-hate found in some Christian doctrine. He doesn’t validate how it manifests itself within Islam outside the Al Azhar University.

Still, it’s an interesting characterization. It suggests that, at some level, Jew-hate has been rationalized into Islam. It suggests that a conscious process of religious institutionalization places Jew-hate at the center of modern Islamic practice.

Is he correct?

Bostom argues that he is correct. He says that Islam's canon--the Koran, the hadith and the sira--are redolent with Islamic Jew-hate (ibid). Jew-hate is, in other words, already part of Islam’s basic religious texts (since some deny this, the question is, who’s right about Islam’s basic texts? Bostom believes he is).

Bostom argues that Jew-hate references from these texts have been catalogued by the late Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who served as the Grand Imam of Sunni Islam's Vatican, Al Azhar University, for 14 years, from 1996, till his death in March, 2010.  Tantawi's "academic" magnum opus, a 700 page treatise entitled, "Jews in the Koran and the Traditions", includes this catalogue of Jew-hate. Bostom then says that Tantawi concludes his magnum opus on the Jews by sanctioning harsh discrimination (what he calls bigoted, even violent behaviour) towards Jews (ibid).

Tantawi's successor, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the current Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, picks up this anti-Jew thread where Tantawi left off. In an interview which aired on Channel 1, Egyptian TV, October 25, 2013, Al-Tayeb discussed how the Koran has inspired Muslim hatred of Jews since the advent of Islam (ibid). Bostom quotes Al-Tayeb as having said,

“A verse in the Koran [5:82] explains the Muslims' relations with the Jews...This is an historical perspective, which has not changed to this day. See how we suffer today from global Zionism and Judaism...Since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago, we have been suffering from Jewish and Zionist interference in Muslim affairs".

If the Koran is quoted this way in order to demonize or attack  Jews and Zionism, do we conclude that modern Islam (our only concern here) ‘sacralizes’ Jew-hate? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter what we call the demonization of Jews, Judaism and Zionism. Whatever we call it—church-sanctioned or sacralized--all of it should be repulsive.

It isn’t. No one in Islam seems to care enough to speak out against such discriminatory language. No one in the West cares enough, either.

What people in the West do care about these days, however, is that Bostom dares to criticize Islam. Instead of addressing his criticism, they will call him an ‘Islamophobe’. They will demand he be censured. Then they will ignore his criticism.

The G-d of Israel has a Story He wants to you see. That Story is the unfolding of the Final Redemption of the Jewish people.

Will ‘sacralized’ Islamic Jew-hate and Western acceptance of such hate play a role in fulfilling Biblical Jewish prophecy? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, read your Tanach. Watch your Evening News.

The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Arab propaganda: where every word about Israel is a lie


The Arab propaganda war against Israel is not just a criminal enterprise. It isn’t just a political or ideological version of a consumer ad campaign. It isn’t just Jew-hate.

It’s a combination of all three. It’s an organized, scripted, planned program.

It controls the definition of terms used to describe the Arab-Israel war. It uses those definitions to demonize, isolate and criminalize Israel.

Arab propaganda is designed for a world immersed in media and internet. It manufactures Jew-baiting messages for international and national audiences. It uses its manufactured language and images to prepare the world to accept total war against Israel and its Jews. It packages news. It produces TV images. It shapes words and pictures to create a narrative of Arab innocence being brutalized by the oppressive, criminal Jew—who must be stopped at any cost.

Take a look at how Arab propaganda handled a recent terror attack in Jerusalem. Last week, a three-month old Jewish infant and a 22-year old woman were murdered.

Israel’s press reported the incident as a terror attack (“Baby killed as car rams crowd in Jerusalem terror attack”, Times of Israel, October 22, 2014). An Arab had driven his car up onto a Light Rail waiting platform. He then accelerated at high speed (for the narrow space he was in) down the length of the platform, killing the infant and injuring eight. The 22-year old woman died four days later. The Arab driver was himself killed as he jumped from his car and tried to run away.

Hamas ran the story differently. It didn’t see a terrorist using his car to kill Jews. It saw, “Palestinian driver dies of Israeli gunshot injuries”, Palestinian Information Center, October 23, 2014). It suggested that an innocent ‘youth’ had been killed by Jews (“Renewed violence in J'lem after killing of Palestinian youth at rail station”, ibid, October 23, 2014).

Hamas used this incident to incite for more violence against Jews (“Hamas, Islamic Jihad salute Jerusalem terror attack, threaten new 'Palestinian intifada' in capital”, Jerusalem Post, October 23, 2014). One Hamas official, Mahmoud Zahar, described the call for more violence with the words,  "Escalating the resistance in the city is the solution to Israeli aggression" (“Hamas Official Declares Intifada in Jerusalem”, Arutz Sheva, October 25, 2014).

Remember that word, ‘escalating’. Hamas used it to call for more Arab violence against Jews. You’ll see in a moment how Arab propaganda used the same word to demonize Israel, not Arab violence.  

Look at how Hamas used the phrase, ‘Israeli aggression’. Hamas calls attacks against Jews ‘resisting Israeli aggression’.

When you live in Israel, you come to understand what ‘Israeli aggression’ is: it’s the physical presence of Jews on land claimed by Muslims as theirs.

To the Arab, the very existence of Jews in Israel is an ‘aggression’ against Islam. Therefore, the Muslim must ‘resist’ that ‘aggression’ (presence).

In the case of this terror attack, ‘Israeli aggression’ took on a more sinister meaning. It meant that Jews had killed a Muslim Jew-killer.

To the Muslim, a Jew has no right to do that. The Jew is on ‘Muslim’ land. Killing a Muslim Jew-killer is an intolerable ‘aggression’.

Hence, the riots and the violence.

Manufactured language creates a moral high ground for the Arab cause. That ‘cause’ is to destroy Israel. The moral high ground is to purify ‘Palestine’--to remove all Jews from Israel so that the land remaining can be renamed, ‘Palestine’.

The world loves Arab propaganda. It presents such a clear message. To borrow a phrase that captures the ultra-modern nature of Arab propaganda, it’s ‘hybrid warfare’ (“Seeking For The Ukrainian Left,” Ari Rusila’s BalkanBlog, October 1, 2014). It’s a carefully crafted ‘theatre of mediawar with constant disinformation’ (ibid) flowing from multiple sources.

Hamas is one of those sources. Mahmoud Abbas is another. Remember how Hamas described its call for more violence against Jews as a call for ‘escalation’? Well, Palestinian Authority leader Abbas has reportedly sent an ‘urgent’ message to US President Obama about ‘the escalation of violence in Jerusalem’. He wants the US to intervene, to stop that escalation.  

But he’s not talking about the escalation Hamas had called for. He’s talking about Israel.

Abbas wants the US to end Israel’s actions aimed at defending itself against Arab violence. He wants the US to end ‘Israeli escalation’ (“Abbas to Obama: Stop 'Israeli Escalation' in Jerusalem”, Arutz Sheva, October 27, 2014).

Hamas accuses Israel of ‘aggression’ when it is itself guilty of aggression. Abbas accuses Israel of ‘escalating violence’ when it is the Arab who escalates violence.

Virtually every word about Israel is a lie.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. Do you think Arab lies about Israel will play a role in that Story?

Stay tuned. The G-d of Israel won’t disappoint you.