Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Biblical rebellion, the news industry and Hamas

The Torah portion Jews around the world will read this week (on Shabbat, June 24, 2017) is called, Korach (Bamidbar, 16:1-18:32). It tells the story of a rebellious leader who accuses Moshe, the G-d-appointed leader of the Jewish people, of a variety of offenses. According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888), this is a rebellion against Moshe's leadership (Hirsch commentary on the Torah, translated by Isaac Levy, Judaica Press, 1966, Bamidbar, p. 270). As a result, Korach-the-rebel, along with 250 men who have joined him, perish: the earth opens and swallows them.  

Here, now, is a fake news story about that rebellion-and-punishment. With so much fake (anti-Israel) news these days, it seems appropriate to offer fake news of a different kind.

This fakery comes from a site called, PreOccupied Territory. This is a fake news story about Korach, Hamas tunnels and, of course, fake accusations against Israel. It's print date is June 20, 2017. It suggests what a news report might look like if a miracle such as this would occur today. Here's an excerpt:

Earth Opens To Swallow Korah, Revealing Hamas Tunnel Network

“The earth opening up and swallowing might violate international law,” asserted Ken ben-Roth of Arab Rights Watch.

Wilderness of Zin, June 20 – The rebellion of a tribal chieftain among the Israelites resulted in the ground devouring him, his sons, and other ringleaders of the insurrection this morning, briefly exposing the subterranean network of passages used by the Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip.

Korach, son of Yitzhar, of the tribe of Levi, challenged the legitimacy of Moses’s leadership and the authority of the laws he transmitted, and rebuffed the latter’s efforts to reach an amicable conciliation. The Almighty then caused the Earth to open and swallow the men, their families, and their possessions. As fire consumed the other 250 rebels, the Israelites observing the miraculous event reported that they could see the Hamas tunnels while the Earth was open.
“I saw steel-reinforced concrete passages with ventilation systems and pumps to combat flooding,” attested a man from the tribe of Benjamin. “They’ve really invested in those tunnels. You could drive a car through some of them – and who knows how many weapons you could smuggle through a space like that. Hamas must make a mint on import duties through those things”...
Some observers took a dim view of the phenomenon. “The earth opening up and swallowing might violate international law,” asserted Ken ben-Roth of Arab Rights Watch. “It needlessly endangered the lives of civilians inside the tunnels, and threatened the livelihoods of the Palestinians who depend on those tunnels for vital civilian goods such as grenade launchers, Fajr-5 missiles, mortar rounds, and, uh, penicillin.”
“But certainly the flames consuming the 250 casualties raises serious humanitarian concerns,” he continued. “There are allegations that the fire resulted from the deployment of white phosphorus, the use of which is restricted.” He declined to specify what international statute bars the use of the substance, or what credible source made the allegations.
Ben-Roth added that the prior use of incense in the ritual to demonstrate which leader could lay legitimate claim to the high priesthood might constitute a war crime, as it runs afoul of laws banning chemical weapons.
If the rebellion of Korach were to occur today, you might indeed see such nonsense from the world's mainstream media. Of course, a story like this--about a Biblical figure and Hamas--would never be written because Hamas isn't, like the Jews, more than 3,300 years old. Hamas isn't 100 years old. It isn't even 80 years old.

Nevertheless, The Guardian--or the BBC--might ignore the rebelliousness of Korach in this Biblical story and simply run a headline like, "G-d kills Jewish leader after incense incident". You'd also surely see the obligatory anti-Israel angle--perhaps an accusation that Israel is such a criminal oppressor it even murders its own leaders. 
But those headlines would be wrong. Man--or the Guardian or the BBC--doesn't set moral standards for G-d. G-d sets the standards for man. 
Besides, Israel is no rogue nation. It's the nation of miracles. 

For example, water is rare in this desert region. Nations bordering Israel are slowly turning into desert in a process called, desertification. This process, however, doesn't affect Israel. In Israel, water is abundant.
Then there's Israel's economy. It's strong. It's vibrant. But the economies of Israel's neighbors range from borderline-weak to non-existent. 
Israel is a free country where Jews and non-Jews have equal rights. Israel's neighbors are run by despots. Not even Arabs have equal rights in those places.
Yes, Israel is a land of miracle. But these miracles are surrounded by hate, not admiration. Jew-hate denies Israel its miracles. It denies Israel it's right to exist. For every miracle you see in Israel, Jew-hate proclaims that miracle to be just another way to oppress innocent 'Palestinians'.
This story of Korach may be a story of rebellion and punishment. But it's also a story of miracle. Our G-d protects what and who He treasures.
Jew-hate is not a story of G-dly miracles. It's a story of the rejection of G-d. But then, that story, too, will become a story of miracles. Those miracles will make the Jewish people great. 
Stay tuned.

PS. If you don't believe this, read your Tanach. It's all there.

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