Beyond the Cusp

January 13, 2014

Synagogue Desecration Draws Little Outrage

Adjacent synagogues in Ezer, a town located between Ashdod and Ashkelon, were broken into and vandalized. The damages included ripping the doors off of the ark which held the Torah Scrolls, tearing of Torah Scrolls, leaving uncovered Torah Scrolls on the floor, damaging other holy books tossing them strewn about on the floor and treating other holy objects in a destructive manner. This desecration comes only a week after a similar desecration of a synagogue in Tel Aviv where Nazi graffiti had been painted on the walls and floors along with “Death” spray painted on the front wall of the building, and a crude drawing of a devil painted on the floor. Other such crimes have occurred within the last year including the desecration of King David’s Tomb during the recent massive snowstorm. Newly donated religious holy books were stamped with the fictitious name “Academy – King David.” In all of these instances the response, if there was even a response, was muted and no official denunciation by high government or religious figures was released to the public or the press.

 

This is exactly the opposite as the reaction to a recent desecration of a Mosque in Israel coming from Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as the both Chief Rabbis all of whom echoed the original charge that the unholy act was perpetrated by Jews as a means to victimize the Muslims residing in the town. The subsequent intensive police investigation into the Mosque desecration revealed that the vandalism was most likely carried out by the Muslim Arabs residing in the same town as the Mosque in order to cast blame on Jews and rouse additional hatred towards the Jewish residents in the neighboring areas. The investigation into the Mosque incident was a full-force effort with nothing spared under the supervision of highly placed officials while the synagogue vandalisms are often not given similar efforts nor do they involve as wide an interest by politicians and high officials. Is this really the image the Israeli authorities wish to convey that Jewish holy sites and items are not as protected or whose desecration is of less importance than are Mosques, Churches and other religious holy sites. One would hope that any such desecration would garner equal importance and investigation and if any should raise more alarm, it should be Jewish holy sites, which is not to claim that Jewish sites are more holy, just that presumably as Israel is the home of the Jews, it would only stand to reason.

 

The problem that is exhibited by not rising to the same level of pique and concern over the desecration against synagogues as officials demonstrate for those other than Jewish holy sites is that Jewish holy sites are less holy and of less value than those of other religions. It reflects that the Jewish leadership of the Jewish State of Israel care more for other religions than they care to give to their own. This has been further reflected in many recent comments from some of the Jewish leadership from within the government including the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Knesset. Recently Finance Minister Yair Lapid came out on Facebook calling for the Chief Rabbis to be dismissed from their jobs. His postings included, “It is insolent and a national scandal, and we will act to have them dismissed, both in the Knesset and in the government and even in the legal sphere if need be.” Further he wrote, “These civil servants who are employed by the State of Israel and receive a very lovely salary are sitting in their comfortable offices with their state-provided vehicles and announce that they do not agree that women should serve in the mud and cold as fighters, in aviation courses, in the Border Police.” Yair Lapid continued, “Does this mean that the female commander of the Eitam combat battalion should resign? And what about Orna Barbivai (the head of the IDF’s Manpower Division)? Or all the female teacher soldiers? And what about the female intelligence soldiers I met two weeks ago in the Northern Command, who prevent the infiltration of terrorists through the fence? Should they also not serve?” He summed his tirade stating, “David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef no longer deserve to serve as Chief Rabbis in Israel.” Like many secular Jews, Minister Lapid honestly believes that Rabbis are supposed to obey the decisions made by the political leadership above and over the teachings and commandments of Torah and related holy works. As a secular Jew, Lapid considers the machinations of men in pursuit of making the secular governmental laws of the land to be superior to Torah and traditions and that in any case of a conflict between the secular and the religious that the Rabbis must bend and satisfy the secular leadership over G0d and Torah and interpreting the commandments as written. He is like so many who hold that science and the presumed maturing of humankind has rendered Torah obsolete. Such a view is also indicative of those who have not studied Torah and the Jewish faith deeply and are unable to possess an appreciation for Torah and its wisdom. As such one would hope that as a secular Jew he would refrain from the pretense of judging the Halachic decisions using secular eyes.

 

Then there are comments made by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who was quoted claiming, “I want to take another approach, an approach that opens Israel to the rest of the world, cracking the glass ceiling and bringing more opportunities, and economic, scientific, and academic cooperation. I want to see a liberal, Zionist Israel, not a conservative, nationalistic one.” Where her comment did not specifically call for a secularly based Israel over a religiously based Israel, one can easily see in her words and from previous statements and actions that Minister Livni desires that Israel embrace secular pluralism over following Torah and Jewish traditions. Minister Livni has also revealed her disdain for traditionalists and the religious Zionists in Israel through what has been learned through leaks and other news which paint a picture of Livni’s willingness to sacrifice Jerusalem, the Old City, Temple Mount, and Mount of Olives and the Mount of Olives Cemetery along with all of Judea and Samaria and other disregards for the positions of the religious Zionists. Tzipi sees Israel as a “modern” secular pluralistic nation which is based upon scientific facts and those proven truths which are the basics of a secular humanist socialist philosophy that idolized the teachings of Darwin, Freud, and the progressive leaders of the Twentieth Century over the Torah, Talmud and three thousand years of Jewish teachings and history.

 

It is looking at the world through secular filters which disregard faith and in place relies upon scientific postulates and proven theories and the sciences of biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, and psychology and dismissing virtually anything predating the eighteenth century as irrelevant and simply erroneous as it does not pass the visions defined by the secular progressives of the past two millennia that leads to the total reliance on science and basically ignoring the depth of wisdom from the beginnings of recorded human history and their expressions at the wonderment of the human soul and the awe of the world and the mysteries hidden from mere human understandings and the commandments rising from sources beyond scientific definitions. That is not to advise that one ignore the entirety of scientific discovery but a call to supplement the science with a reverence that includes the teachings of Torah and related studies. Wisdom comes from more than the test-tube, calculator, protractor, compass and the provable. Much of what is most precious to a full understanding of the self almost demands that one include the understandings of human nature which, in opposition to modernist views, has not changed very much over the millennia since the beginning of recorded human history. There has even been a relatively new trend within the scientific circles which has found renewed importance and appreciation for faith, wisdom and the beliefs from the Bible and Torah. Perhaps it is through the tempering of both approaches which serves mankind best.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 22, 2013

Is the Fight for the Heart of the Republican Party Over?

Those of us old enough to remember back forty to fifty years might recall the period where the Democrat Party went through the final fight for its heart and soul between the old Blue Dog Democrats and the International Collectivist Socialists who eventually won out. The transition was started by President Lyndon B. Johnson and those who backed George McGovern for the nomination in 1972 closed the transition of the Democrat Party. It was these powers who brought forth such Democrat Presidential candidates as President Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and so forth right up to the current President, Barack Obama. The Democrat Party became a wholly owned subsidiary of the AFL-CIO affiliated Unions, the Teachers Unions, the community organizers, the NAACP, and at the controls pulling all the strings were the International Socialists also referred to as the Communists. There have been those Democrat candidates who were not solidly under the control of these puppet masters but they have been few and have had to allow much of the programs and legislation proposed by the Socialists in order to also be able to serve their own preferences.

 

The battle for the Democrats being settled, the fight over whether these same interests will be in control of the Republican Party has now been in progress for the past twenty years. The International Collectivist Socialists go by many other names as to use either their long title or the simple title of Communists would make their acceptance by the American public that much more difficult. This fight to convert the United States into imply another European styled socialist state has been ongoing since the early 1900s but was interrupted by the two World Wars which demanded that the United States be united in a patriotic fervor backing the troops in what were necessary fights to retain freedom and this fight was supported by the socialists as well as by patriots and virtually all of the politicians. The early politicians behind this slow takeover of the American political scene called themselves Progressives and touted the idea that the people should hold the power over all elected officials. This was not their end goal but they used this in order to pass under a populist demand, the Amendment XVII, which allowed for the direct election of United States Senators taking their selection away from the individual States. This simple Amendment to the Constitution completely removed the individual States from being represented in the Federal Government which had been one of the checks and balances that prevented the Federal government from steamrolling over the States. Before the passage of the Amendment XVII the Federal Government was checked by the States from imposing unfunded mandates upon the States leading to laying additional expenditures on the States for programs designed in Washington but dropped in the lap of the States to run and finance their implementation and enforcement. Since the passage this method of pushing programs onto the States has been one of the methods by which the Federal Government has introduced new programs and initiatives and paid the introductory period after which it falls to the States to continue the implementation and all that entailed. Eventually these programs and expenditures grew to the point that they helped make a slowdown in the economy turn into the Great Depression. This economic downturn while passing within a couple of years in Europe where the governments were gridlocked and failed to act allowing for a natural recovery, in the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried one program after another changing approaches every few months never giving any one approach time to actually accomplish the desired goals. Despite the claims that President Roosevelt’s programs finally led to the end of the Great Depression, the real solution was because the onset of World War II and the American entry into the war put an end to any attempts to spur the economy as the war footing production brought the economy back to full productive capacity out of necessity. Still, after the war the people had grown suspicious of anything tied to the Progressive agenda so the Progressives simply rebranded themselves as the Liberals. Recent history has tarnished the liberal brand to the point that Hillary Clinton actually claimed not to be a liberal but rather she was a classical turn of the century Progressive.

 

So, for simplicity let us use the preferred terminology and refer to the collectivists by the name they prefer, Progressives. The Republican Party has, for all intents and purposes, been hijacked by the Progressives who are almost exactly the same as the Progressive Democrats except they claim that their methods would be a better approach because they will utilize a market based system. The words sound great except there is no actual way to use a market based system as these programs all result in top down big government programs which eventually result in higher taxes and always exceed all expected costs and grow seemingly exponentially. If you listened to Jeb Bush give his ideal approach to addressing Obama Care recently he claimed that what the Republicans needed to do was sit back and allow for Obama Care to fall apart and prove impossible and then propose a Republican run version of government healthcare and extoll the benefits of the Republican plan which would be market based, whatever that means when you have a government run healthcare system. Senator John McCain expressed the desire for the Republicans to wait for Obama Care to fail and then the Republicans could adjust, amend and generally repair those items that did not function of Obama Care and then the Republicans could claim the credit for a functioning government run healthcare. Do either of those ideas sound like a Constitutional approach or does it simply sound like they want the Republicans to simply become Democrat Lite? The truth, and it is an unfortunate truth, is that the Republican hierarchy and leadership are almost as progressive and collectivist as are the Democrats and we are rapidly heading to a one and a half party system where in too many instances there would be virtually no difference between the Democrat and the Republican beyond their language, both would work towards the same big government solutions and the complete abandonment of the American Constitution. As the next weeks and months pass just watch how Republicans treat those such as Senator Cruz and the true Conservatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as the old line Republicans gathering to push the chosen 2016 Presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. While watching this also ask yourself what are the real differences between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush other than Jeb is somewhat less annoying to listen to. It may surprise you when you compare them issue to issue and find the difference is a matter of shade, not substance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 5, 2013

Why Doesn’t Israel Refute the Propaganda Against Her?

Filed under: AFP,Agency France Press,Al-Jazeera,al-Qaeda in Gaza,Amalekites,Anti-Israel,Anti-Semitism,Anti-Zionist,Arab League,Arab World,Arabs,B'tselem,BBC,Black September,Bloggers,Blood Libel,Bombing,Boycott,Catholic Institutions,Christians,Church,Condemning Israel,Consequences,Crimes Against Humanity,Crusades,Defend Israel,Defend Palestinians,Dhimmi,Divestment,Divided Jerusalem,Durban,Durban Conference,Durban II,Durban III,Economic Sanctions,Europe,European Governments,European Union,Extreme Leftist,Extreme Right,Facebook,Fatah,Fayyad,Flotilla,Forced Solution,Free Israel,General Assembly,Golan Heights,Government Controlled Media,Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hussani,Haaretz,Hamas,Hate,Hevron,Hezballah,History,Holy Sites,Human Rights,Inquisition,International Socialism,Internationalist,Intifada,Islam,Islam,Islamic Jihad,Islamists,Israel,Israeli Capital City,Israeli Media,Jerusalem,Jewish Heritage,Jewish Home,Jewish Leadership,Jewish State,Jewish Temple,Jihad,Judea,Judean Hills,Kidnapped Israeli,Leftist Propaganda,Mahmoud Abbas,Mainstream Media,Mavi Marmara,Media,Media Bias,Media Censorship,Middle East,Misreporting,Mosque,Muslim,Muslim Brotherhood,Muslim World,Muslims,Myth,Naqba,New Israel Fund,New Media,New York Times,NGO,Non Governmental Organization,Old City,Open Society Institute,Oppression,Palestinian,Palestinian Authority,Palestinian Liberation Organization,Palestinian Media,Palestinians for the Liberation of Palestine,Partition Plan,Peace Now,Peace Process,PFLP,PLO,Pogroms,Politics,Popular Resistance Committees,Post Modernist,Post-Zionist,PRC,Pre-Conditions,Progressives,Promised Land,Protestant,Realists,Recognize Israel,Refugee Camp,Refugees,Religious Institutions,Religious Jews,Response to Terrorism,Richard Falk,Rock Throwing,Rocket Attacks,Saeb Erekat,Samaria,Sanctions,Settlements,Social Networking,Society,Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,Suicide Bomber,swastikas,Taqiyya,Tel Aviv,Temple Mount,Terror,Twitter,UN Human Rights Council,UNESCO,UNHCR,United Nations,United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,United Nations Relief and Works Agency,United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories,United Nations’ World Conference Against Racism,UNRWA,Wageningen UR,Waqf,War of Independence,West Bank,Xenophobia and Related Intolerance,Zionism,Zionist — qwertster @ 3:02 AM
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I hear this question often and even more so when we report news which displays the truth that Israel treats the Arabs, including those from neighboring nations, the Palestinians and those Arabs living amongst them as citizens of Israel, with the same kindness, concern, care, and equality in all things to how they treat Israeli Jews. The most recent query came in a comment over our article  United States and Israel Charging in Opposite Directions Over Syria in which it was mentioned that Israel had given all of the necessary care including surgeries and anything else required to treat many dozens of Syrian refugees who had crossed the border including those cases where the injured person had initially been treated in Syria but as they were unable to provide the level of care necessary to save or treat their injuries so they were transferred to Israel often left with a note telling what had been performed and the diagnosis. The person’s comment was, “This is interesting. Thanks for it. I have no argument about it, but if the Israelis treat the Syrians in need of help so well, why do they treat their other neighbours, the Palestinians, so abysmally? Recently in my church, which is my city’s cathedral, there was even a photo exhibition depicting the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel, in particular the West Bank settlers. I regularly receive posts on Facebook about Palestinians shot by the IDF, children among them.” So, let us take this opportunity to reflect on an answer for this query.

 

The obvious part of the answer is basic and simple; it is the nature of the news and reporting. Would anybody consider it to be informative or good reporting if an article read stating, “Nothing happened untoward today in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. There were no stones thrown, insults hurled or even something said in haste which was later regretted. Everybody got prompt and equal service at the eateries and there were no problems on any of the bus routes, even the ones through the Haredi neighborhoods. People even were smiling at each other and many went the extra step to help anybody even if their problem was of the most mundane nature. The feeling was as if a permanent state of shalom, peace, had settled over everyone and everything making life close to perfect.” Such a report would never get past the editor let alone be passed on to the copy editor, who would have put such aside believing that somebody sent such a piece as a joke and it was not seriously intended to be published. Yet, it is the absence of such articles and the plethora of articles that meet the “If it bleeds, it leads” mantra news sources are famous for following. On the other hand you can rest assured that every rock hurled, every terror act, every rough handling of provocateurs of who there is a near constant train of them coming from Europe into Israel with the singular intent of menacing IDF and police until they either are arrested or get sufficient film to splice a juicy story that fits their agenda to load onto Facebook and You-Tube. Whenever there are rockets shot from Gaza or Lebanon it makes the news if and often only if the Israelis reply with a military strike and then the article almost always leads with Israeli Defense Forces launched a strike using warplanes striking in the heavily populated Gaza City killing two and injuring four including one child. The Israeli strike was in response for rockets landing within Israel. With this as the leading pair of sentences, which action sticks in your mind? My bet is so what if rockets landed in Israel, what was the big deal? Well, if it was your house that just exploded which while not a daily occurrence, does happen and the targets of most Israeli strikes are on weapons warehouses or rocket firing squads who often take children with them when launching their rockets to prevent Israeli striking them and they do this because it works. Israel has often withdrawn their strike because of innocents being used as human shields and the Israelis take great pains to cause as few innocent victims as possible. Israel even takes out most of the explosive charges in the munitions they use to target terrorists as they drive their vehicles, even to the point that there have been cases where the terrorist leader in the back seat was killed while the driver in the front seat received minimal injuries.

 

Of course the only news sources that ever bother to cover such trivialities are the nationalistic and Zionist news sources within Israel. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news sources from Israel which are readily accessible in the rest of the world are the leftist, anti-nationalists and post-Zionist far leftist sources which are just as critical and slanted against any actions Israel takes where either nationalist, Zionist, religious Jews or the settlers who live beyond the Green Line are concerned. These news sources also take the Palestinian side of every argument. These news outlets represent a minority of Israelis but make their profit on sales in Paris, London, Washington DC, New York and other liberal cities or anywhere they desire bashing anti-Israel news and especially Israeli news which they use to prove that anything they claim against Israel is repeated in these news sources and therefore must be true. Imagine you only read the New York Times and then had to judge whether Mitt Romney was a worthy Presidential candidate compared to President Obama. Despite the claims that the Palestinian Authority suffers from extreme poverty and lack of funds, they have more funding at their disposal than Israel. The Palestinian Authority receives million upon millions of aid money from the United Nations through UNRWA, from the European Union, the United States, every European government, numerous charities, a plethora of NGO’s, numerous foundations, and contributions from the oil rich countries of the Arabian Peninsula. On top of these funds there are the cash and weapons which are supplied to Hamas, Fatah, Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP, al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip and other lesser known terrorist groups which amounts to more millions in aid which is almost exclusively utilized for attacking Israel using terrorism and for the more established terror groups such as Fatah, Hamas and Hezballah in Lebanon have their own newspapers, radio and television stations and school and camp systems which indoctrinate the next generation of terrorists. Israel cannot match these efforts and the international financial support they enjoy and even the attempts Israel exerts are mostly ignored by many news outlets which add to the apparent silence of the Israeli side.

 

So, this is the vast majority of the news presented to the world but there is much more to the slanting against Israel and why Israel seems inept in answering the charges which come from all quarters. Another problem is that the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) which are solely dedicated to slandering, defaming, denouncing and out-and-out lying about Israel number in the hundreds and are backed by virtually every European government, the European Union, George Soros, the Arab League, the Arab nations, Oil Monies, Leftist foundations, and extreme leftist political entities and the hundreds of millions of Euros, Dollars, and virtually any other coinage such that they have more money than they could ever even imagine spending. The Israeli government does not have the funding to even begin to fight this fight especially since the Israeli government spends a higher percentage of their funds on aid to other nations who have suffered a disaster than any other nation with the possible exception of the United States. Two excellent examples of the true heart of the Israelis can be documented by telling of their actions in response to two of the most recent disasters, the Haiti earthquake and the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plants disaster all at one time. In the Haiti earthquake the Israelis had some of the initial responders and had erected a fully functioning hospital complete with delivery rooms, surgical suits, and virtually any specialty one could require even including psychological counseling before the United States had set up their initial field treatment centers and a week before the United States hospital ship was on scene. Another miracle was the number of trained search and rescue teams many with trained K-9 units which were also among the first and were praised by other teams as performing miracles. The Israelis also provided generators and adopted and completely rebuilt a Haitian school and orphanage in the year following the earthquake. One of the other miracle stories resulting from the aid Israel provided was the story of dancer George Exantus who after being rescued had his leg amputated. He was taken to Israel where he was fitted with state-of-the-art prosthetic leg and given rehab and returned to his dream life as a dancer.

 

The triple disaster in Japan when the nuclear complex had several nuclear reactors threatening to radiate large areas in northern Japan after they were swamped due to the tsunami which was caused by a severe earthquake, was a disaster virtually unequalled in history. The Israelis were again amongst the first responders in Japan. The Israelis brought with them an entire prefab medical clinic along with all the necessary equipment and staff as well as an electrical generator to power the facility. When after spending months treating people for a variety of injuries including radiation exposure, the Israelis returned to Israel leaving behind the entire clinic, generator and leaving it fully equipped for the Japanese to continue to provide aid for their people who had suffered a terrible disaster. Israel has been one of the first on the scene of numerous natural disasters but there is one last effort which deserves mention. To read numerous stories about this revolutionary program just search for “Israeli Save a Child’s Heart” and bring some tissues. The program is called SACH which stands for “Save a Child’s Heart” and has two main visions for service. The first is to treat any child needful of heart surgery in Israel even arranging transport through a third country for the Arab children from nations who have such relations with Israel that the child and parents would be put to death should Israel be stamped as a destination on their Visa or Passport. The Israelis have treated numerous Palestinian children with this program as well and invest most of their efforts and charity in places where the children with heart defects or disease would have little if any possibility for survival. They bring the child, parents and even entire families in appropriate situation and provide free care and follow-up treatments giving the child a chance for a normal life. This program also assists in setting up children’s cardiac care centers in hospitals in countries where no such care exists and train physicians in the procedures used in treating cardiac problems and disease in children. All of this is done as charity under the Jewish concept of being a light unto the nations and setting an example of how man can act when doing his best free from hate or judgementalism.

 

The final front that maligns Israel comes from a surprising source, other religious institutions and religious denominations. There are many sources of anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic sources which are of a religious nature. Some come from a front one would expect, Islamic Mosques and countries provide a fertile religiously originated source of efforts maligning Israel. What many find surprising is the extent to which Christian religious sources also malign Israel. The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center is a Christian liberation theology organization based in Jerusalem that supports extreme anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, and anti-Israel propaganda and markets their poisonous viewpoint around the world to any Christian church which will grant them an open ear. The Presbyterian Church USA has debated joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement numerous times and many of its member congregations have divested their investments from anything connected in any manner to Israel. The same can be said of at least one synod of numerous Protestant Churches in the United States and worldwide. There are some sects of Catholic organizations which also disparage Israel under the calling of supporting the Palestinian cause. On this front the Israeli government and the majority of Jews refuse to even engage as to do such would actually be against Judaism’s tenet of not interfering in other religions. Judaism’s idea of a perfect world would surprise most people. In such a world the Jewish people would live in their beloved Israel spanning from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea living under the covenant contained in Torah attempting to live an exemplary life while the rest of the world went on living and attending their business. There is no mention in Judaism commanding proselytizing others and are only advised to tell those who ask and only those who ask. True to that concept this would be a great place to end.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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