Monday, August 31, 2015

American Jews say ‘no’ to Israel, ‘yes’ to Iran

When my son was in high school, one of his teachers had a classroom mantra: life is about choice. Your choices determine your future. Think about that future. Don’t make bad choices.

It’s the same with voting: how you vote determines your future. When you make bad voter choices, you don‘t get pleasant results.

Think about your future. Don’t support the wrong cause.

In America, Jews are making choices about their religion. They’re making choices about Israel. They’re making bad choices.

They turn against their G-d. They turn against G-d’s Treasured Israel.

For example, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey (“A Portrait of Jewish Americans”), 32 per cent of America’s Jews under age 31 say they have ‘no religion’. Presumably, this means they deny the existence of a Jewish G-d, deny the Divinity of the Jewish Torah and do not believe that the existence of Israel is in any way connected to or dependent upon the G-d of Israel. In fact, 28 per cent of all American Jews say they don’t believe in G-d at all (ibid)—and 34 per cent say that believing in Jesus as messiah is compatible with being Jewish (ibid).

The American Jewish demographic arc moves decidedly away from Judaism. Before 1970, only 17 per cent of Jewish marriages had a non-Jewish spouse (ibid). By 2013, nearly six of ten new Jewish marriages had a non-Jewish spouse (ibid).

For American Jews, being raised Orthodox has offered little protection against this movement away from Judaism: nearly half of respondents who said they had been raised in an Orthodox home said they were no longer Orthodox (ibid).

This movement away from Judaism may have something to do with a parallel movement away from Israel. 31 per cent of American Jews do not feel any attachment to Israel. Another 39 per cent feel only ‘somewhat’ attached (Jon Basil Utley, “American Jews Reject the Israel Lobby—and Support the Iran Deal”, The American Conservative, August 26, 2015).

Put another way, when it comes to Israel, most American Jews don’t seem to care much about Israel (ibid). This may be one reason American Jews support the Iran deal: they don’t connect to Israel. They prefer their American President’s view of Israel to the view held by the Jewish leader of Israel.

The once powerful lobby called AIPAC (American Israel Political Affairs Committee) loses its influence (ibid). It wants America to reject the Iran deal. It wants American Jews to lobby for that rejection. But it may no longer speak to the majority of American Jews who have already turned away from Israel (ibid).

This American Jewish “anti-Israelism” pushes Israel out of the American Jewish psyche (“Jewish Americans turning their backs on Israel”, Redress Information and Analysis, October 3, 2013). In a gentile America, that push means that Israel becomes an unwanted orphan.

In a gentile America, if America’s Jews refuse to support the Jewish state, who will?

The Iran agreement is dangerous (“Iranian deal means danger for Israel today, tomorrow New York or London”, IranPressNews, July 14, 2015). It threatens everyone (Rafael Barak, “The Iran deal just made the world a more dangerous place”, ipolitics, July 17, 2015).

Nevertheless, American Jews won’t speak out. They won’t denounce the jihadi Iran.

It’s not as if opposing this deal is controversial. It isn’t. Most Americans don’t support it (Charles Krauthammer, “Why Americans are turning against the Iran deal,” The National Post, August 8, 2015). Americans reject it by a 2-to-1 margin (Eliza Collins, “Poll: Americans don’t support Iran deal”, Politico, August 3, 2015).

American Jews won’t reject it. Instead, they reject Israel’s concerns. They ignore Iran’s sabre-rattling against Israel (Erick Stakelbeck, “Yes, Secretary Kerry: Iran Does Want to Destroy Israel”, erickstakelbeckblog, August 27, 2015). America’s Jews choose Iran over Israel, Obama over Netanyahu, Kerry over the Jewish state.

That’s a bad choice (“L.A. Jewish Journal Poll: U.S. Jews Support Nuclear Deal By Wide Margin”, National Jewish Democratic Council, July 23, 2015). The Obama deal will release billions in frozen assets to Iran, to use for terror (Tova Dvorin, “Obama Admits: Iran Being Given Billions for Terror Funds”, Arutz Sheva, July 24, 2015). Iran has already announced that aiding those who work to destroy Israel will remain one of its “principle” policies (Adam Kredo, “Iran Renews Support For Hamas Terrorists”, Washington Free Beacon”, August 27, 2015).

It doesn’t matter. American Jews clearly don’t care that Iran stands at the front line in the war against Israel (ibid). What matters to them is, if US President Obama asks Americans to drink an anti-Israel ‘kool-aide’, they--America’s Jews--want to be the first to drink.

They turn against Israel. They reject their ancestral homeland. They’d rather embrace an idealized trust of Iran even as that Iran calls for the destruction of Israel (Ehud Yaari, “How Iran plans to destroy Israel”, The American Interest, August 1, 2015).

Our choices determine our future. America’s Jews make bad choices. What future are they building?














Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Israel cries out. You must return

There’s a man named, Rabbi Mendel Kessin. He gave a shiur (lecture) last month during the nine days, just before Tisha B’Av, 5775. I’m going to share some of that lecture with you.

You may not agree with what you’ll read here. You may feel there are errors. The errors are mine, not Rabbi Kessin’s. I don’t quote to you everything he said in the way he said it.

There’s a gemara (excerpt from the Talmud) in (the Tractate) B’rachot (page 3a) that tells us that, three times a day, HaShem our G-d ‘roars like a lion’—in agitation and anguish. HaShem our G-d agonizes over the destruction of His Holy Temple, the destruction of His Holy City Jerusalem, and the exile of his people, the Jews. He cries out, ‘woe to the children’.

 His anguish is doubled. He suffers first because He had to destroy His Holy House and His Holy City. He suffers because He had to exile His beloved children. His children had sinned. They had defiled themselves. They had defiled what was Pure.

But Hashem suffers also because he wants to pull his people out of the ongoing defilement called, exile. He suffers because His beloved people don’t want to move.

HaShem our G-d wants us to return to Him. He wants that return because, in one way or another, our Redemption is linked to that return. He suffers because we refuse Him.

He loves us. He’s created three tools to help us return. First, he created Mitzvot, actions of Torah observance. Second, he gave us t’shuva—repentance and spiritual return. Then third, he gave us another tool, in case we should fail to use the first two tools.

He gave us suffering.

That suffering takes many forms: exile, financial bankruptcy, job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, etc. Our suffering causes unbearable pain. That pain motivates us to turn to HaShem.

Our suffering creates two results. First, it returns us to G-d. But it also returns G-d to us.

That’s the whole point of history. Through our sins, G-d removed His Presence from us. Now, because we suffer, we call out to Him. That calling out brings Him back into the world.

This process is a tikun. It’s a healing. It’s a correction. It’s a path of healing He gives to us so we can link to Redemption.

Why does suffering bring HaShem back into the world? We don’t know for certain. But we can guess: it’s the G-dly counterpoint that nullifies Man’s war against G-d.

Since Adam and Eve, Man’s wanted to be Boss. That’s what the forbidden ‘fruit’ was all about in the Garden of Eden: eat this ‘fruit’, the seducer said, and you’ll become like G-d.

That’s what Man wants. He wants to be Boss.

Either unconsciously or consciously, Man bridles against authority. He wants to be G-d himself. Either that, or he wants to kill G-d (heaven forbid) or dismiss G–d.

Suffering teaches us that Man isn’t the Boss. He isn’t in charge. He’s got no authority. In fact, he’s helpless.

There are two roads to Redemption. The first is the preferred road—through Mitzvot (observance) and t’shuva (repentance). The second road is the painful road—through suffering, particularly the suffering, humiliation and defilement of exile.

HaShem is in agony three times a day because Man—through his free will—has forced HaShem to use suffering to bring us back to Him.

Suffering works. We don’t want that pain. But it refines us. It prompts us to turn to HaShem.

The humiliation humbles us. We don’t want to be humiliated. But it happens—and it teaches us that our own power is useless. It helps us to return us to HaShem.

The defilement of exile purifies us. We hate exile. We hate the defilement. But it reminds us that purification will come only through Redemption. It motivates us to return to HaShem in order to hasten that purification.

Today, Israel suffers. She has been isolated, demonized and criminalized. Many of her own people spit on her.

She is humiliated by both gentile and Jew. She is discredited, disgraced and dishonored.

She cries out, woe to me. The sins of my people overwhelm me with grief. The defilement of my enemies smears me with a guilt that is both false and threatening.

She cries out, ‘woe to my children’. What will become of us?

You must help. You have the power to help. You can help by returning spiritually to your religion and physically to your homeland.

Return now. Return to the Land that is HaShem’s Promise. Call out to your Father for Israel’s safety.

Return: you must return. You must come home. You must return now.

Will you?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Obama’s Iran sales pitch: nonsense, lies and Israel

US President Hussein Obama is on the campaign trail. He’s trying to sell his Iran nuclear deal. He wants you to support it. He wants you to pressure your Congressman to support it. He’s campaigning hard.
He isn’t doing too well. The more he talks, the worse his poll numbers get (John Hayword, “Approval for Obama’s Iran Deal Craters in the Polls”, brietbart, August 3, 2015).
He lies (John Linder, “More Distortions and Lies from Obama on Iran Deal”, The Blaze, August 6, 2015). It seems that almost every time his opens his mouth, someone catches him telling another lie (David Limbaugh, “Obama, Not His Opponents, Is Falsely Advertising His Iran Deal”, HumanEvents, August 7, 2015).
He looks desperate. He’s being accused of resorting to anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric to get you to support him (Joel Pollack, “Blue State Blues: Barack Obama’s Antisemitic Rant on the Iran Deal”, breitbart, July 31, 2015; and, editorial, “Crossing a Line to Sell a Deal”, The Tablet, August 7, 2015). He’s questioning the loyalty of New York (Democratic) Senator Charles Schumer for announcing he’s against the deal (Tablet, above). He’s suggested that Schumer has been inappropriately influenced by a ‘foreign power’ (ibid).
In a speech on the Iran deal, he suggested there were only two types of people who oppose his deal – Republican partisans and Israel-firsters (Caroline Glick, “Column One: Obama’s enemies list”, Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2015). He suggested that only partisan zealots and disloyal US Zionists could oppose the deal (ibid).
This is nonsense. A Quinnipiac University poll dated August 3, 2015 suggested that is wasn’t just Republicans and ‘disloyal US Zionists’ who opposed the deal. Most Americans opposed it.
The poll clearly showed that American voters opposed the Iran deal by more than a 2-1 margin, 57 per cent to 28 per cent (Press Release, “August 3, 2015 - American Voters Oppose Iran Deal 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds”, Quinnipiac University, August 3, 2015). Are they disloyal, too?
Support for the deal among Democrat voters wasn’t exactly setting any records. Only 52 per cent of Democrats polled said they supported the Iran deal (ibid)—and you should note that the poll had a 2.4 per cent margin of error (ibid).
That meant that Obama’s Democrat support was razor-thin. It also meant that lots of Democrats opposed the deal.
In fact, Americans of every political and religious stripe don’t support the Obama Iran deal. His deal is so bad it’s got less support than President Jimmy Carter had for the ill-starred SALT II arms control agreement in the fall of 1979, just before he withdrew it from consideration by the Senate (James Robbins, “99 Problems With Obama's Iran Math”, US News and World Reports, August 4, 2015).
Does he lie when he says the only Americans who oppose his deal are Republicans and traitorous Israel-lovers? Yes, he lies.
In that same speech, he said the US Congressional vote on his deal was, essentially, a vote for war (disapprove the deal) or peace (approve the deal) (“Rejecting Iran nuclear deal is a vote for war, Obama says”, bbcnews, August 5, 2015). He argued to a group of Jewish leaders that a Congressional rejection of the deal would mean Iran would increase its support for terrorism, increase its support for its regional proxies, and motivate Hezbollah to fire rockets into Tel-Aviv (Ari Lieberman, “Obama's Veiled Threat against Israel”, frontpagemag, August 7, 2015).
This is war-scare nonsense. What will bring Iran to increase its support of terror and (and provoke Hezbollah to fire rockets at Tel Aviv) will be the acceptance of the Iran deal, not its rejection. That Congressional acceptance will release up to 150 billion US dollars of frozen Iranian assets (frontpagemag, ibid). Billions of that windfall will go to support increased terror.  US acceptance of the deal will “instantly transform Iran from a chief state-sponsor of terror to a state sponsor of terror on a cocktail of steroids and testosterone” (ibid).
Does Obama lie when he claims that this deal will bring peace? Yes, he lies.
For some, this deal is completely anti-Israel. It doesn’t de-fang Iran’s nuclear ambitions (against Israel); it empowers those genocidal ambitions (Joseph Farah, “Yes, I'll say it: Obama is anti-Semitic”, wnd, March 29, 2015). It facilitates and funds Iran’s planned genocide against the Jewish state (Ben Shapiro, “Evil in America”, The Patriotic Post, July 29, 2015). It betrays Israel (Michael Oren, “How Obama Abandoned Israel”, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2015).
This deal wasn’t a diplomatic fluke that forgot to protect Israel. It appears to be the culminating event in Obama’s purposeful drive to harm Israel (ibid).
Obama’s message about Israel is clear. Israel, he says, is the only country in the world that won't accept this deal (Barak Ravid, “Obama: Every Country in the World Except Israel Supports the Iran Deal”, Haaretz, August 5, 2015). Israel is sticking its foreign nose into our private business (Jane Young, “Selling the Iran deal hits new lows in nasty...”, pundit, August 9, 2015).  Israel is trying to manipulate us (ibid). Israel wants us to go to war against Iran (David Horovitz “No, we don’t want war. And yes, there was a better deal”, Times of Israel, July 16, 2015).
Does Obama lie when he says he’s Israel best friend ever? (“Obama says he’s the best friend Israel ever had in the White House…”, xbradtc, January 30, 2015)? Yes, he lies.
If you’re still in exile, get out. Yes, Israel’s ‘no easy walk in the park’ right now. But exile isn’t better. It’s worse—and getting worse still.
You’ve got to make a decision: come home and struggle with your fellow Jews beside you; or, stay where you are and risk losing everything you value.
Come home—now.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Moshe Ya’alon’s innovation: the Jewish ‘troubles’

The phrase, ‘’the troubles’, is a euphemism. It refers to the thirty year (1968-1998) conflict between Northern Ireland and England that killed perhaps 3,600 and wounded and maimed perhaps another 50,000 (“The troubles”, bbchistory, no date). That conflict was about the constitutional status of Northern Ireland: did it belong to England--or to the Republic of Ireland (ibid)?

Some say that conflict wasn’t about religion. They say it was territorial (ibid).

But the truth was, it did involve religion. The overwhelmingly Protestant majority of Northern Ireland wanted to remain as part of England. But Northern Ireland’s predominantly Catholic minority wanted to become part of the Republic of Ireland (ibid).

The conflict was marked by the escalation of violence from both sides and repressive British measures. These measures included what’s called ‘administrative detention’--arrest without charge coupled with imprisonment without trial.

The more repressive the British measures became, the greater became the resistance against Britain. The repression often drove the undecided into resistance (“Soldier’s stories”, Northern Ireland Conflict, thehistorychannel, no date).

The British had used administrative detention before—in the pre-state Jewish Palestine. It had the same effect: it drove many Jews to join the rebellion against British rule.

On Sunday, August 2, 2015, Israel’s Security Cabinet authorized  ‘administrative detention’ against Jews (Itamar Eichner, Tova Tzimuky, “Security Cabinet authorizes new measures against Jewish terrorists”, YNETnews, August 3, 2015). Jews could now be arrested without charge and be held without trial for a period of six months—a period which could then be renewed repeatedly by the Defense Minister (“Ya’alon okays administrative detention for Jewish terror suspects”, Times of Israel, August 2, 2015).

The first Jew in Israel to be arrested and incarcerated under ‘administrative detention’ is an 18 year-old boy. His name is Mordechai Meir. He was arrested August 4, 2015, less than two days after the Security Cabinet’s authorization.

Mordechai Meir was arrested because Ya’alon was reacting to a July 31, 2015 arson attack in an Arab village, during which an infant Arab had been killed. Ya’alon was outraged by the attack (Yaacov Lappin, “Ya'alon: We will not allow Jewish terrorists to harm Palestinians”, Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2015).

Ya’alon didn’t wait for an investigation. He jumped very, very quickly to the conclusion that this attack had been done by ‘Jewish terrorists’ (Jack Khoury, Chaim Levinson, Gili Cohen, “Palestinian Infant Burned to Death in West Bank Arson Attack; IDF Blames 'Jewish Terror' “, Haaretz, July 31, 2015).

Why did he jump so quickly to that conclusion? He wanted government permission for administrative detention. He’d wanted it for at least 16 months (Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson, “Israeli Defense Minister Supports Holding Extreme Rightists in Administration Detention”, Haaretz, April 13, 2014).  

That arson attack was just what he needed. He used it to convince his superiors. He got his ‘administrative detention’.

That’s how Mordechai Meir got arrested. He wasn’t arrested for the arson attack. His arrest had nothing to do with it. He was arrested for other activities he is suspected to have committed “in recent times” (“Following International Outcry, Israel Applies Administrative Detention To Jewish Extremism For First Time”, mintpress, August 5, 2015). 

This is a first for Israel. It means that the Jewish Israeli government, for perhaps the first time in Israel’s history, has done exactly what drove many Jews to revolt some 70-75 years ago against the British: it permitted the arrest and detention of Jews without due process.

The arrest and incarceration of 18 year-old Mordechai Meir challenges Israel. Democracy is founded partially upon the idea of due process for its citizens. Israel is a democracy. But administrative detention denies citizens that due process.

His arrest also has the potential to divide Jews. There is already a growing tension in Israel between Religious-Right-Zionists and those who are non-religious-Left and non-religious Center-Left (Etgar Keret, “Strangers in Their Own Country”, Tablet, December 23, 2014) . The arrest and detention of Religious-Right-Zionist activists could enflame this tension (“Anti-Semitism in Israel”, ahavat-israel, no date).    

Is Israel destined to repeat Ireland’s ‘troubles’ over a land dispute? Do we face a Jewish version of religious clashes similar to the Irish ‘Troubles’?

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon pushes Israel in that direction. He forces Israel into an Irish-like dilemma: is Judea-Samaria part of Israel, to be possessed, settled and defended by Jews; or, does it belong to Arabs, such that we should remove Jews from it and return it to its ‘rightful owners’?

When the Jewish Ya’alon arrests and incarcerates Jews without due process over Judea-Samaria, he brings a unique innovation to Israel. He introduces into the Arab-Israel conflict a Jew versus Jew conflict.

That doesn’t help Israel. That invites ‘the Troubles’ into Israel.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Moshe Ya’alon: a can of gas, a fire and a plan

As a Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon is responsible for defending his country against external threats. But as Israel’s Defense Minister, he’s got another job. He’s the governor of Judea-Samaria.

But he’s not just a ‘governor’. He’s a military governor.

He’s got that job because Judea-Samaria isn’t like the rest of Israel. It’s not governed by civilians the way a US county or state are governed. It’s governed by the military.  

Judea-Samaria is part of Biblical Israel. It’s an integral part of the Jewish homeland. According to an International Agreement reached in 1920 at San Remo, Italy, Judea-Samaria and all of today’s Jordan was to be given over to Jews to reconstitute their Biblical national homeland. But by 1922, when the San Remo Agreement was to be ratified by the League of Nations, the British convinced the League of Nations that 78 per cent of the land set aside at San Remo for this reconstituted Biblical homeland should be given instead to Arabs. Judea-Samaria ‘disappeared' with that 78 per cent.

Judea-Samaria returned to the Jews in 1967. Israel re-assumed control of Judea-Samaria after successfully defending itself against an all-out Arab attack to destroy Israel.

Funny thing about Judea-Samaria: if the Arabs hadn’t attacked Israel in 1967, Judea-Samaria wouldn’t now be in Israeli hands. Some say this is one of the miracles G-d has used to bring Israel back to the Jews.

Since 1967, Israel’s governments haven’t thought about G-d. Instead, they’ve been afraid to annex Judea-Samaria into Israel.

Actually, they’re conflicted. On the one hand, they won’t give up Judea-Samaria. They’ve kept it. But then, they’re too afraid of world opinion to make that decision permanent.

Because of this ambivalence, Israel’s governments have chosen to do nothing about the legal status of Judea-Samaria. On one level, this is why the military still governs Judea-Samaria: until Israel‘s civilian leadership decides what to do with it, the military is stuck with it.  

This is where Moshe Ya’alon comes in. He’s the top man in Israel’s military. Since Judea-Samaria is under military control, he becomes its governor. That’s why he rules with military law, not civilian law. That’s also why he can use ‘administrative detention’ to arrest and intern anyone without being required to file formal charges or allow a proper trial. Military law allows for it.

Originally, administrative detention was used exclusively to deal with a hostile Arab population caught in Judea-Samaria after Israel had won it back in the 1967 War. It was necessary for the defense of Israel because Arabs living there were still at war against Israel’s existence.

That war hasn’t ended. Unfortunately, Israel’s military isn’t allowed to win that war. Therefore, the only thing the military governor (Ya’alon) can do is try to manage that war. These days, that means keeping both Jews and Arabs intimidated enough to stay away from each other until Israel’s civilian leadership decides whether to keep it or give it away.

That’s a losing proposition for the military. Wars aren’t ‘manageable’. They’re won--or lost.

Judea-Samaria is no exception: those Jews who want Judea-Samaria to become part of our Biblical homeland hate the military governor (Ya’alon) for pointing guns at them, knocking down homes and arresting them. Arabs who demand that Judea-Samaria be 100 per cent Arab also hate him--for pointing guns at them, knocking down homes and arresting them.

What’s he supposed to do? Religious Zionists blame him for  Jewish Jew-hate because he’s the guy holding a gun at them. But he’s military. That’s his job, given the war-status of Judea-Samaria.

(Some people reject this idea that Judea-Samaria has a ‘war’ status. I say, they’re wrong).

Moshe Ya’alon has a problem. He’s like a man who’s been hired to hold a can of gasoline over a fire. His job is to keep that can intact. It’s a dirty, dangerous job.

As long as the fire at his feet is low, he’s fine. As soon as that fire leaps, he’s in trouble.

If this is a proper metaphor for what’s happening in Judea-Samaria, we can certainly feel sorry for him. His can of gas could explode at any moment.

But then, Moshe Ya’alon is a smart man. Would a smart man just stand there holding a can of gasoline over a fire waiting for it to explode? Of course not. He’d try to do something to help himself. He’d try to control--or manage--that fire.

Moshe Ya’alon has a reputation. He doesn’t look to solve the Arab-Israel conflict. He looks to manage it (Noam Sheizaf, “Defense Minister Ya'alon: I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict”, +972, October 24, 2014). He does that because he believes that managing the fire is easier than trying to put it out.

He has only two ways to manage the Judea-Samaria fire: stomp down hard on the Arabs in Judea-Samaria; or, alternatively, stomp down hard on the Jews there.

For years, Arabs have complained Ya’alon stomps on them. The gentile world sides with the Arab. This causes grief for Israel.

Now, Ya’alon has a new plan to manage that fire. He’ll stomp on Jews.

Ya’alon fools himself if he believes that stomping on Jews in Judea-Samaria will be good for Israel. He’d be better off believing the Biblical Promise to his forefathers that Israel belongs to Jews, not Arabs. He’d be far better off acting on that belief.

Is he smart enough to see that?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ya’alon’s ‘administrative detention’ can destroy Israel

In what is the perhaps the greatest attack on Israel’s democracy, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has requested—and has received--the right to expand his use of an undemocratic (and potentially illegal) bureaucratic device called, administrative detention.  

Administration detention is a tool. It’s non-judicial. That means it’s outside the law. It isn’t constrained by a nation’s justice system. It allows one person to control a population with the stroke of a pen.  

A large number of countries around the world use administrative detention to combat terrorism and control illegal immigration (Dua' Nakhala and Pekka Hakala, “Israel’s Policy of Administrative Detention”, Directorate-General for External Policies of the Union, Policy Department, The European Parliament, May 10, 2012, p.4). But it’s also used to protect a ruling regime (ibid).

It’s a dictatorial device that simplifies population control. For example, unlike legal imprisonment, which is the result of a legal process which justifies that imprisonment, administrative detention requires no justification. In fact, it’s normally not even connected to a crime. It’s a pre-emptive measure. It’s not based on law. It’s based on one man’s presumption that a suspect is likely to commit a crime (ibid).

That’s not democracy. That’s thought-control. With administrative detention, you can be arrested because of what someone thinks you think.

That’s a very slippery slope for a democracy. It’s a practice fraught with danger because there’s no legal protection for the arrestee.

A democracy is built upon law. It’s built upon legal rights. Ya’alon now needs no law. With administrative detention, he’s above the law.  

Administrative detention is criticised by human rights organisations because it’s a blatant breach of civil and political rights (Whitney-Ann Mulhauser, “A State of Emergency: Israel’s Use of Administrative Detention to Indefinitely Detain Palestinians”, The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, hrbrief. org, February 6, 2014). As explicitly proclaimed in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to a fair trial is a fundamental right in all countries that respect the rule of law (ibid). The majority of countries in the world are parties to that Universal Declaration of Human Rights — including Israel (ibid).

Nevertheless, according to Amnesty International, “Israel has used administrative detention orders to punish Arabs for their political views and affiliations, which have, in the past, included members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Palestinian Parliament, journalists, students, prisoners of conscience, and human rights defenders “ (ibid). Israel now extends this violation to Jews.

Already, one Jewish 18 year-old, Mordechai Mayer, has been arrested under an administrative detention order (Ben Hartman, Lahav Harkov, Yaakov Lappin, “American Parents of Jewish terror suspect decry arrest as 'undemocratic'”, Jerusalem Post, August 5, 2015).  This arrest comes as a result of a fatal fire-bombing of an Arab house in an Arab village. Israel’s civil authorities and police have said that ‘Jewish terror’ committed this attack--even though several clues found at the fire suggest that Jews may not have committed it (Ari Yashar, “Arab Media Reports IDF Confiscated Duma Arson Footage”, Arutz Sheva, August 4, 2015). But even as this Jewish youth was arrested, Israeli police actively sought the public’s help for information about the attack--an action that suggested Mayer’s arrest may have had no basis in fact or evidence (Ben Hartmen, “In rare move, police ask for public to help them find suspects in Duma attack”, Jerusalem Post, August 4, 2015).

What’s become increasingly clear to many in Israel is that Moshe Ya’alon has decided to attack certain young religious Jews who live in the Judea-Samaria outback. He claims this fire-bomb attack was committed by these youth. But he presents no proof. He claims these youth belong to an unnamed and unidentified ‘violent extremist Jewish organization’ (ibid). But he shows no proof. He calls these youth ‘Jewish terrorists’ (Yaacov Lappin, “Ya'alon: We will not allow Jewish terrorists to harm Palestinians”, Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2015). But he reveals no proof.

Although few of these youth have been convicted of attacks against Arabs, Ya’alon, the military administrator of Judea-Samaria, appears to have declared open war against them. He’s called them ‘terrorists’ (ibid). He’s called them responsible for ‘price tag’ attacks against Arabs (Tovah Lazaroff, Yaakov Lappin, Lahav Harkov, Khaled Abu Toameh, “Israel approves use of harsher measures against 'Jewish terrorists'”, Jerusalem Post, August 2, 2015). He’s labelled them as belonging to ‘unlawful associations’ (ibid). He’s created such a passionate case against them, the Prime Minister has given him a green light to use ‘all necessary steps’ to stop them (ibid).

In other words, because he’s found no evidence against these youth, Ya’alon’s gotten the State to give him the right to arrest them anyway—because he believes they’re guilty. He’ll hold whomever he wishes—without charges--for a period of six months. Then, he’ll have the right to extend that incarceration.  

But by using this right to detain individuals indefinitely without charge or trial, Ya’alon undermines Israel’s democracy. He undermines the right to a prompt, free, and fair trial that’s been enshrined for decades in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (Whitney-Ann Mulhauser, ibid). His administrative detention may help him ‘take those youth off the hills’. But it exposes those youth to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment (ill-treatment) as outlined in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and the ICCPR” (ibid). It also exposes Israel to ever more accusations of Human Rights abuses.

Ya’alon doesn’t solve a problem with his administrative detention. He exacerbates a problem. He opens a flood-gate of Human Rights accusations against Israel—by Jews.

Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, calls itself a democracy. But Moshe Ya’alon abuses its citizens with perhaps the most anti-democratic behaviour possible: rule by the whim of a single military ruler. He trashes the democracy he cherishes.

He harms Israel. Remember, the treatment of Arab prisoners in Israel’s prisons, especially those held through administrative detention, is part of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) legal complaint against Israel at the International Criminal Court (Allison Deger, “Exclusive: Palestine seeks to charge Israel with ‘apartheid’ and war crimes at The Hague”,, June 25, 2015). Aiming a totalitarian reach over a specific group of religious Jewish youth isn’t going to help Israel survive. It will help to destroy Israel.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Israel today: Muslim attitudes towards Jews

Israel is surrounded by hate. If you live outside Israel—or if you live in a bubble called, Tel Aviv—you may not see how great that hate is. You may not be able to appreciate how pervasive and how vicious that hate is.

If you want to understand that hate, here’s a look at one Muslim cleric’s effort to teach Islamic lessons to children. He teaches children’s classes at the Islamic mosque on the Temple Mount.

The cleric’s name is Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi. He’s been arrested by Israeli police for filming videos which show him preaching that:

-Jews use the blood of non-Jewish children to make Passover matzah bread, and this caused Europeans to expel the Jews and led to the Holocaust

-Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks

-Jews slaughter their own relatives as sacrifices to Satan, as part of their activities in the Freemasons

-Jews “symbolize the Devil,” hate the nations of the world and cause them “great damage”

-The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is an authentic Jewish book outlining the Jews’ plan to conquer and rule the entire world

-Jews in Israel will be annihilated by Muslims, according to Allah's decree

-Jews own half the world’s wealth and control the World Bank

-Jews pay doctors to create diseases in order to increase profits for the pharmaceutical industry, which is 95% Jewish-owned (Itamar Marcus, “Antisemitic teacher of Islam arrested after PMW supplies recordings to police”, Palestinian Media Watch, August 3, 2015).

Some of these anti-Semitic accusations hark back to the Middle Ages. They have been used by Jew-haters to incite mobs to kill Jews. These accusations are false, libellous and almost always used with murderous intent.

Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi is not an isolated Jew-hater in a sea of religious peace. The entire Muslim Palestinian Authority (PA) is a factory of Jew-hate. Its media regularly calls for religious war against Israel, Jerusalem or Jews. It regularly incites against all three.

Here are some media headlines from July, 2015. They are unrelenting in their hatred for Jews:

- Secretary-General of the PA’s Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem calls on Palestinians to carry out Ribat [a form of religious war] "in order to thwart the settlers’ plots to invade" the Al-Aqsa Mosque (Source: Wattan TV (Palestinian private channel), July 21, 2015, from PMW).

- PA Mufti calls on Islamic world to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from “continuing attacks” and “desecration,” warns of “impending religious war (Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, July 13, 2015, from PMW).  These supposed  ‘attacks’ are actually Jews ascending to the Temple Mount to visit the Mount; a 1994 Treaty with Jordan committed both Parties (Israel and Jordan) to commit to freedom of access and freedom of worship for all monotheistic religions at Jerusalem holy sites, including the Temple Mount; the Arab-Muslim position has nonetheless been that any Jew on the Temple Mount is a religious ‘desecration’ and an ‘invasion’. When Jews call for the Treaty to be honoured, to allow Jews the freedom to worship on the Temple Mount, PA authorities and clerics immediately condemn these calls as “the escalating Israeli calls to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque [compound ] and hold Talmudic ceremonies (i.e., Jewish prayers) in its pure courtyards” (ibid).

- PA minister of Religious Affairs calls on Muslims to carry out Ribat [a form of religious war] to free Al-Aqsa Mosque and “protect Jerusalem from Judaization” (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 6, 2015, from PMW). 

- Fatah cartoon claims Israel is “Judaizing” Jerusalem, covering a bloodied Islamic Jerusalem with a Torah scroll (Source: Webpage of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, July 13, 2015, from PMW). 

- PA Minister of Religious Affairs: Israel is carrying out “evil plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple” (Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 8, 2015, from PMW). 

- PA daily glorifies terrorist murderers as “Martyrs”, claims terrorist who tried to murder Rabbi Yehuda Glick was “assassinated” by Israel (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 7, 2015, from PMW). 

- Fatah official: Israel is “feverishly” attempting to “Judaize and take over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy places of Islam and Christianity” (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 25, 2015, from PMW). 

- PA Mufti and PA Minister: Israel trying to “invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and “take it over” (Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, July 21, 2015, from PMW). 

- Abbas advisor Al-Habbash “likes” Facebook post: “Jews are behind all that is happening from Iraq to Egypt”  (Source: Facebook page of Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Abbas’ advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Supreme Shari’ah Judge, July 1, 2015, from PMW). 

- PA TV song states Jaffa, Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and more are Palestinian (Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 27, 2015, from PMW). This and other songs, poems and TV programs all aim to deliver the message that all of Israel is Arab—every city, every inch.

- PA TV rebroadcasts song: Tiberias, Acre, Haifa, and Jaffa are in "my country Palestine" (Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 9, 2015, from PMW). 

- Islamic teacher to children at summer camp: Dead Ribat Martyrs get seventy virgins, ordinary Martyrs get only two (Source: Al-Msjed Al-Aqsa YouTube channel, July 26, 2015, from PMW). 

- Murderer of 15 honored as "Martyr... an example of giving, resolve and heroism" by PA officials (Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, July 16, 2015, from PMW).

- PA daily glorifies terrorist who killed 5 in synagogue as “Martyr” (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 15, 2015), from PMW). 

- Islamic Council: “The only ones entitled to the [Al-Aqsa] mosque, its courtyards, corridors, and every part of it [i.e., the Temple Mount], are the Muslims” (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 24, 2015, from PMW). 

- PA Mufti and Islamic council: Israel plans to Judaize Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque (Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 24, 2015, from PMW).

These headlines are repetitious. They repeat their message so that a reader can’t help but remember it: the Jews are a danger to Islam, Muslims and what Arabs claim is theirs.

By contrast, Israel has nothing like this message about Arabs in its mainstream media. The Israeli government does nothing like this towards Muslims. There’s nothing like it in Israel’s marketplace. There’s nothing like it in Israel’s schools.

But in the PA, it’s everywhere. You simply cannot imagine the hate that surrounds Israel.

Does that frighten you? Don’t be frightened. This is Israel. Israel is not like other places. It’s a place of miracles—and fire.

Israel may be surrounded by hate, but it’s also surrounded by a spiritual fire. That fire protects—and consumes.

One aspect of that fire is embedded in the Biblical warning, those who curse Israel will be cursed. Another aspect of that fire is the Biblical warning, those who would destroy Israel will themselves be destroyed.

The G-d of Israel has a Story for you. It’s the Story of the Final Jewish Redemption. If you want to find out what part this hate and fire play in that Story, stay tuned.

You won’t be disappointed. You’ll be stunned.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Again--Jewish Israeli politicians demonize Jews

On Friday, July 31, 2015, fire in an Arab village near Ramallah killed an Arab baby and wounded four Arabs (Tova Dvorin, “Politicians Shocked at 'Jewish Terror': 'We Are at War'”, Arutz Sheva, July 31, 2015). The circumstances of the fire might suggest that Jews didn’t commit this attack (Hillel Fendel, “'Settler' Pays Troubling Condolence Visit to Arab Village”, Arutz Sheva, August 3, 2015). In addition, someone had scribbled Hebrew grafitti on a wall near or at the site of the fire—and one of the graffiti appeared to have Arabic calligraphic elements (ibid).

Nevertheless, before any investigation could be completed, politicians across Israel instantly condemned the attack as ‘Jewish terror’.  No one waited for evidence.

For example, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said, "The fire and the murder of the Palestinian toddler is an act of terrorism…We will not allow terrorists to take the lives of Palestinians" (ibid).

When was the last time Ya’alon declared, ‘we will not allow terrorists to take the lives of Jews’?  Can you remember?

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid issued a fiery declaration. He said, "Whoever burns a Palestinian baby has declared war on Israel. Whoever attacks with a knife our youths at the Gay Pride [parade] has declared war on Israel…Whoever burns churches has declared war on Israel. Anyone who threatens to attack the Supreme Court with a D9 [bulldozer] has declared war on Israel…”

No one had actually threatened to attack the Supreme Court with a bulldozer. But a Member of Israel’s Knesset did recently say that a controversial High Court ruling to bulldoze several Jewish homes in a Samarian community suggests that bulldozers should be used a second time--to knock down the Supreme Court’s own building. Lapid called that a ‘war against Israel’.

These and other politicians were incensed at what they termed this ‘Jewish terror’. This ‘terrorism’, they said, had to be stamped out immediately.

They’ve rarely—if ever--spoken this way about Arab terror attacks against Jews. They’ve never railed this way against the Arab war to destroy Israel.

Zionist Union chairman and Opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog even called for security forces to “redouble and investigate the attack with all of its resources, including a wave of arrests and interrogations until the perpetrators are brought to justice" (ibid).

Arabs in a car fired shots at Jews travelling in their own car (Ari Yashar, “Arabs Conduct Drive-by Shooting in Apparent 'Revenge'”, Arutz Sheva, July 31, 2015). Less than an hour after that, Israel news reported that Arabs in Jerusalem’s Old City had thrown rocks and bottles at police, injuring one policeman (“Old City, Jerusalem: Arabs Attack Security Forces”, Arutz Sheva, July 31, 2015).

After these Arab attacks against Jews, no politicians in Israel declared, ‘whoever throws rocks at Jews declares war against Israel…whoever shoots at Jews declares war on Israel, etc. No politician called these Arab attackers terrorists. No politician in Israel demanded that security forces ‘redouble’ their efforts to catch the Arab perpetrators of these attacks. No politician in Israel dared to call for Israeli police to use ‘a wave of arrests and interrogations until the perpetrators are brought to justice’.

No Israeli politician would dare speak of Arab terror with such words. No one would dare call for mass arrests and/or interrogations of Arabs.

These Jewish leaders reserved such special words only for the Jews of Israel.

This is how politicians and police work in Israel: typically, when Arabs attack Jews, police and politicians are silent. They speak in neutral terms about of ‘an assault’ or ‘a stabbing’. Rarely will they speak of ‘Arab terror’.

 But when the rare Jewish attack unfolds against Arabs, you’d think the world had just ended. The horror and revulsion expressed by politicians, government Ministers, police and the media is beyond one’s imagination. The impression such rage gives seems to be, how dare Jews attack Arabs!

The impression they give is that Israel belongs to Arabs. The impression they give is that these Arab ‘owners’ of Israel must be defended at all costs against the fiendish Jew.

In Israel, Jews who attack Arabs almost always act alone. There is no organized, repeated incitement against Arabs. There are no calls to kill Arabs.

By contrast, Arabs who attack Jews are almost always incited to act by Arab politicians, clergy, media, social media, Arab-language school-books and after-school programs, including summer ‘camps’. Arabs attack Jews because the entire Palestinian Authority enterprise marinates in a swamp of vicious and unrelenting Jew-hate.

Israeli politicians rarely speak of this Jew-hate. The Israeli media rarely rails against it. They cry only when Arabs are harmed.

When it comes to the rare Jewish assault against Arabs, they don’t speak of ‘attacks’. They shout, 'Jewish terror'. They demonize Jews. They criminalize Jews even before evidence has been collected and processed.

They imitate the Jew-hating gentile world with great skill. They become better Jew-haters than the real Jew-haters.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Today was the worse day ever

A reader sent this to me. You may have seen it. It’s from The writer is reported to be an 11th grader, Chanie Gorkin. It’s a poem titled, “Worst Day Ever?” The posting on appears to have no date.

The writing seems stilted—but after you’ve read it, you’ll understand why. Take a look. It’s very short. But it speaks for itself.


Today was the absolute worse day ever

And don’t try to convince me that

There’s something good in every day

Because, when you take a closer look,

This world is a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in a while

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart


True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree that

The reality


My attitude

It’s all beyond my control

And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day


Now re-read—from bottom to top.