Beyond the Cusp

March 16, 2016

Should the Haredi be an Israeli Priesthood?

 

There are a number of schools of thought on whether or not the Haredi should be permitted to study Torah and allow that to be their contribution generally to Israeli society. Some are demanding that the Haredi face mandatory enlistment into the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) exactly the same as the rest of Jewish youths. Some are in favor of just young men while permitting the women not need to be enlisted with some claiming they be encouraged or made to serve in alternate public service. Then there are those who desire to allow the entirety of Haredi population simply lead pious lives dedicated to learning Torah with the referencing the numerous Haredi who spend as much as twelve hours every day except Sabbath either in services or learning Torah. Some less observant Israelis have pointed out the appearance of Haredi young men apparently strolling parks or in other non-study activities as proof that such a deferment for Torah study has been abused by some Haredi with which they broad brush the entirety of Haredi. There are few who desire to force the true and studious Torah scholars to not be permitted their honest scholarly pursuits as thus too is an important service whether all understand or even believe such dedication actually serve the State. Any serious answer to this situation, this challenge to the leadership of both the State of Israel and the Haredi society must find a reasonable and sensible solution which also takes into account some obvious demographic realities of the situation.

 

The one problem is that the Haredi community is a growing sector which would eventually reach a critical percentage where they would exceed the ability of the nation to support their complete absence from the societal productive engines. Simply stated, at some point in the not far distant future the Haredi community will be required to become productive if only to offset any costs their entire segment of society places on the State. The claim that the Haredi cover their own costs may be accurate to a point but at some point just producing sufficient food and clothing would exceed the potential of the state to produce and/or import even if the Haredi pay for their consumption as should they become over half, if not merely a lesser percentage, the production of the remainder of the population could not produce sufficient without employing the entirety of the remainder at a pace to support twice their population. At some point the Haredi will be made to make a judgement of which of their population show a particular promise or special talent lending them capable of receiving support to dedicate themselves to Torah study and such deferment should also be provided for any Israeli judged and desiring such dedication. There should be similar requirements as exist for professors at universities and colleges or teaching at Yeshivas. Also the Yeshivas should also be teaching at the least a basic education in addition to Torah study and perhaps a Torah curriculum for the public schools could be taught by religious scholars not just at Yeshivas. Such dispensations could and should be pursued with a plan to utilize those best suited in Torah scholarship to pursue such ends while it will soon be imperative for parts of the Haredi community to join the workforce and also serve in the IDF in special units which would allow for their observant lifestyle and restrictions not be challenged either intentionally, as has been the appearance in some instances, or through misunderstanding. These units will also likely require that a percentage, if not majority, of the officers and command chain be Haredi such that the sensitivities of these units will be better accommodated and understood by their commanders. If Israel is going to be serious about incorporating the Haredi into the society as a whole and especially into the IDF then some accommodations will be required and some give and take will be necessary on both sides. This will even include some arrangements with employers which will benefit all religious Jews and give some additional freedom to secular Jews and Israelis who are not particularly or even slightly Jewish. These accommodations will necessarily include scheduling such that the Sabbath is a say free of work with the obvious exception should rotation require a Haredi combat or mission necessary unit be scheduled for a rotation which counters Sabbath as defense of the nation is an exception recognized under Torah and universally.

 

 

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time for Morning Prayers in the Field During Training

Haredi Soldiers Taking Time
for Morning Prayers in the
Field During Training

 

The accommodations in the workplace would be no different than the accommodations granted Islamic religious members of the workplace who require prayer five times each day with the times set fairly rigidly. There should also be a liberalized attire universally applied for any group which had certain requirements for their appearance and attire. As stated, such accommodations should be universal and inclusive such that every group is comfortable and not unnecessarily required to break with traditional attire whenever possible. Needless to point out, should the required attire of a workplace stand counter to one’s religious requirements they should not seek employ in such locations such as nightclubs, clothing stores with secular progressive clothing requirements, and any place equally obvious which would be stated up front such that those who objected to the requirements would know not to seek employment in such places. There has to be certain rights both respecting the employer as well as the employees. An upscale and modern liberal clothing store would not be a place where Haredi or Islamic attire would be an accepted uniform, of sorts, attire which would necessarily show off such attire as part of being a salesperson. Some things should be obvious even to the most casual of observers, and the law should recognize the right of an employer to have appropriate attire and acceptance of the cliental and activities. A disco might not be an acceptable place for a strictly religious person of many faiths to choose work and such a place could have expectations which would exclude such employees in the first place. Such things should be obvious, period.

 

Military uniforms and other specific requirements for position are also understandable. An elite force which is designed to deploy places where the requirement might include wearing of a gas mask that people with full beards would have difficulties with such a mask and thus might not desire such an assignment or must be willing to remove their facial hair. As far as working in close proximity with women offending some stridently observant individuals, there should be accommodations and allowances whenever and wherever imaginable with a very liberal interpretation if such is possible. The scheduling women singing before a Haredi unit should never even cross the minds of commanders and if such were to be scheduled, then those wishing to excuse themselves should be granted alternate assignments and not just necessarily set free of any work related requirements. They might perhaps be assigned other duties such as cleaning communal areas or guard duty or other duty as seen fit in place of the setting they find objectionable. There is always something that requires doing in a military setting or they could be assigned policing the area of the performance after its completion. Such assignments would be at the discretion of the commanders of each unit.

 

The Haredi community should be granted generous liberties to define who amongst their community show and should be granted liberal special rights classifying them as a Torah sage or an astute and capable educator capable of inspiring students in the ways of Torah and the Written and Oral Laws. Whether or not a quota or percentile of the Haredi population will be permitted special observance privileges to spend their lives studying Torah or teaching Torah and the commandments and traditions in an inspiring fashion will largely depend on the responsible response and classification of their population between dedicated Torah scholars and teachers and those who will serve in the IDF or social services will, in the best possible of worlds, be left to the Haredi for as long as they perform these functions responsibly. Such a compromise needs to be reached such that both the Haredi and the general population are served through a mutual agreement and not through actual legislation, laws, court cases and general animosity. The reality is both the general Israeli public and especially the Haredi are majority Jewish populations and it would be nice to believe they could reach some accord which satisfies both communities. One can only hope that such an agreement is possible and can be attained with minimal if any acrimony as we are both majority Jewish, right?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 26, 2014

Why Palestinian Israeli Conflict Appears Open-Ended

The recent flaring of violence between the terror groups of Gaza, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others, with the seemingly weekly ceasefires almost all of which broken within hours by rockets flying over the Gaza border onto Israeli farms, towns and cities usually to minimal damage is just the latest flare-up in the series of Arab attempts to prevent or destroy the Jewish state which dates back to before the beginning of the last century. The exception recently was the tragic death of Daniel Tregerman, an innocent four year old who had as one of his idols the Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. Then there was a set of somewhat baffling events in which the Israeli Shin Bet security agency along with an assist from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) where their actions over the previous few days in arresting over ninety Palestinians and uncovering and confiscating a large cache of weapons, explosives, grenades and other tools of war all while uncovering a coup plot by Hamas to topple Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority through a series of terror attacks and performing the actual coup during the ensuing confusion similarly to the coup by Hamas in Gaza over five days of June 2007. People were surprised and even shocked when the different anti-Bashir Assad groups began fighting each other almost more regularly than they did the Syrian military. This should not have been such a surprise as the same differences defined the rift between the nationalist Palestinian Authority and the religious jihadist Hamas and allied groups such as Islamic Jihad. The difference is simply their motivational driving force, secular nationalism which can have religious overtones but religious purity is not demanded or a high priority while the jihadist places adherence to Islam as paramount and as the central driving force it inevitably drives those who lead these jihadist groups to take their Islamic adherence to such extremes that they have earned a special label of Islamist extremists. The jihadist becomes such a purist adherent to Islam that they classify the nationalists as heretics, disbelievers or apostates; all of which are to be punished by the sword. This is the driving force behind Hamas needing to destroy and replace the Palestinian Authority; it is all a matter or religious purity versus the unbelievers or those whose belief does not meet the jihadist standards.

 

Fatah was the originating organization which bridged Mahmoud Abbas, Yasser Arafat and the rest of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists into recognized, by the United States and Europe, acceptable peace partners for Israel to now be able to find some common ground. This provided the basis for the two state solution and the heart of its theories being the canard of land for peace. After this transformation Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas were no longer defined as terrorists and instead became men who represented the epitome of peace and compromise, or at least that has been the mantra repeated religiously by Western national leaders and the concept shoved down Israeli throats requiring ever more force as time has removed the layers of lies which have clouded the entirety of the Palestinian-Israel peace process, something which has as its origins the Arab-Israeli conflict which was simply rebranded to make Israel no longer the victim of the larger Arab world into the oppressor and occupier against the helpless Palestinian people. The war is still between the Arab world and Israel but the name was changed to dupe willing Western leaders from supporters of Israel, a position which was growing more difficult as Israel proved capable of defending herself, to mediators who could be fair and even-handed or even Palestinian sympathizers with growing animosity towards Israel. This devious plan worked to perfection and the fruits can be viewed around the Western world where anti-Semitism had grown right along with anti-Zionism and anti-Israel hatreds with the same old canards and blood libels being reinvented and given a twenty-first century face and told and accepted around the world. The most repeated accusations revolve around that Jews control the world’s governments making them do their bidding, control the media, control the banks, and steal the blood or organs of non-Jews to give to Jews or to use in the making of Matzos. In numerous Arab and Muslim nations the slanderous hoax perpetrated by the Czars in a publication they had authored and printed called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” which purports to detail the plan whereby the Jews, all 0. 2% of the globe’s population, will take complete control over the world is only outsold by the Quran and Mein Kampf, which says even more about the Arab world and its preoccupation with eradicating the World’s Jewry.

 

The root source of the problem can be traced to the positions taken by the separate Palestinian groups. Islamic Jihad and Hamas have near identical views and definitions of their goals in fighting Israel and the Jews. Both groups believe in liberating Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea which means destroying all of Israel. The place where these two groups have a degree of difference is when it comes to what to do after destroying Israel and murdering the Jews of Israel. Hamas believes that immediately after murdering all the Jews of Israel they must proceed to murder the remaining Jews worldwide, while Islamic Jihad places that task as a future event to be completed as part of making Islam the sole religion in the world. The Palestinian Authority also believes that all of Israel is occupied Palestine and that Palestine stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea but they believe that initially the Jews could be permitted to live as long as they were under Muslim rule, paid the Jiyza tax and accepted their Dhimmi status and acted sufficiently cowed and subservient. All of the Palestinian leadership aims for a one state solution all the while some will agree to support a two state solution. This is their use of taqiyya which permits a Muslim to lie to an infidel for the cause of advancing Islam, thus agreeing they want a two state solution. Their acceptance of the two state solution is simply a way station on their way to their way to their preferred one state solution and the complete destruction of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, the group which falsely claims to adhere to the general ideas of the two state solution aim to maximize their gains before accepting the final borders and settlement. As they will forever believe they can force more concessions out of the Israelis, especially with the assistance by the anti-Israel Western NGOs and governments. They see such things as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as proof that they have the support to push Israel to the cusp of economic ruin with the extensive assistance of the West’s useful idiots and their invaluable assistance. Add a hostile set of politicians who speak loud and proud of their hatred and denunciations of Israel from around the world, Mr. George Galloway who recently declared, “We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone. We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”

 

Despite the fact that the Palestinian and Arab representatives will not cease their animosities and violence against Israel, Israelis and Jews particularly; the real reason this conflicts appears destined to remain into the foreseeable future revolves around much of the current Israeli leadership. There is a sizeable segment of the Israeli leadership who willingly believe the platitudes and lies which Mahmoud and others speak in English to the Western mainstream media and who ignore the loud, brash and hateful rhetoric spoken by these very same Palestinian leaders when they speak in Arabic, their native language. It is an apparently virulent condition which has infected the reporting and agendas of many Western nations and national leaders. Despite glaringly contradictory evidence and actions any casual observer would be able to perceive, these useful idiots demand that the two state solution has not been given sufficient effort, sufficient time, sufficient investments, sufficient candy canes and chocolate bunnies. These fools remain blind and tear into an uncontrollable rage whenever anybody dares speak against their beloved negotiations to find the magic sacrifice that Israel must finally make that will seal the deal on that ever elusive two state solution. Their overriding obsession drives them to castigate other Israelis as being those who have destroyed the atmosphere and poisoned the wells which are necessary to nurture the environment such that the perfect two state solution can be grown and tended lovingly bring a period of Messianic tranquility and harmony where the lamb will lie with the lion and their Kalashnikov AK-47s will be ground into fine dinnerware, and their mortars into knitting hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

 

Even these delusional peace-blinded fools are not the final resting place for the blame or for not ending this perpetual cycle of violence, a cycle that at this immediate juncture is the closest it has ever been to being solvable. The most frustrating and simultaneously infuriating item about all of this is that the three people who could bring all these impasses and frustration to a close if only they would open their eyes and see. There are a select few who are calling for the necessary first step to reaching the solution even if their visions may fall a little short of a complete solution, they perceive the new path and at least desire to take a bold new approach. Those at the very top, the ones most essential to break with the past are the one’s listening and fearing the most blinded in their midst while demeaning and attempting to silence the ones who bear the message and the path to peace, real and palpable long term peace. The main culprit, as most have probably ascertained, is Prime Minister Netanyahu who is backed in this misadventure by Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon. Both of these politicians have the inbuilt fear which will eventually cower even the strongest of politicians while blunting and softening their initial rough edges, those pronouncements which are often only existant within the young or inexperienced in the political arena, making them docile and fearful of again going boldly beyond the lines drawn by the not so loyal opposition. Additionally is the IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz who commands an IDF which has displayed the greatest unity and spirited enthusiasm to complete their mission and surpass expectations with a willingness to answer any challenge with what is known in military circles as ‘can do’ yet his main driving idea is to end the current mission Defensive Edge before it becomes once again necessary to reenter Gaza and face the potential additional losses such an eventuality would entail. Saving his men’s lives and health have to be one of a commander’s highest concerns and it should be a driving consideration in their every decision, but it also must not become such an obsession that it paralyzes their ability to apply force when appropriate out of a desire to avoid further casualties. The protection of the IDF weighs on each of these Israeli leaders but is hopefully not acting as a paralyzing element; there exist too many other such forces which need no additional help.

 

The final puzzle piece, which makes the inability of the very top of the chain of command to act even more unbelievable, is the unity of the people of Israel. There is a unity beyond that anyone has witnessed since decades ago. The Israelis are fully behind their leadership doing whatever it might take to bring peace and security to the south of Israel and the ever widening areas which have come under the striking range of the Hamas rockets. They have witnessed miracles which have shown even the biggest skeptics that G0d is on their side and with their efforts. The three misses by the Iron Dome battery protecting Tel Aviv had its crew, especially the commanding officer, beside themselves with concern as the rocket’s trajectory according to all the data provided by their equipment placed it delivering its deadly explosive warhead on central Tel Aviv where it could have killed thousands of innocent Israelis, Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Druze and others. Perhaps the description given by that unit commander best tells of their shock and awe experience. His report, anonymous, as to reveal his name might endanger him or his family, stated, “A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel’s equivalent of the Pentagon) or a central Tel Aviv railway station. Hundreds could have died. We fired the first [interceptor]. It missed. Second [interceptor]. It missed. This is very rare. I was in shock. At this point we had just four seconds until the missile lands. We had already notified emergency services to converge on the target location and had warned of a mass-casualty incident. Suddenly, Iron Dome (which calculates wind speeds, among other things) shows a major wind coming from the east, a strong wind that…sends the missile into the sea. We were all stunned. I stood up and shouted, ‘There is a God!’ I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.” What more can be said except finish the job and do that which is right and would benefit the people of Gaza as much as the people of southern Israel, both of which are living under the threat of Hamas violence, the Israelis to rockets, the Gazan people to random murders for the sake of retaining control over the people by violent oppression. Free Gaza and Israel from the brutalities and terrorism of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and those others who would act to continue to persecute both of these peoples.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 19, 2013

Obama Desires Testing Surrender to Iran

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President Obama has responded to new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s laying of bait when it was reported in the German news source, Spiegel Online, Iran is “prepared to decommission the Fordo enrichment plant and allow international inspectors to monitor the removal of the centrifuges.” President Rouhani expects that in return for decommissioning the heavily fortified Fordo facility that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, the United Nations and all others would rescind there sanctions. There is no mention by Iran that they plan on closing any of their other enrichment plants such as the one in Qom and a suspected recently opened new location which has been tentatively identified. With no guarantees that Iran would be willing to let a schedule for the dismantling of the rest of its nuclear sites including all of their enrichment sites, their plutonium producing reactor, their ballistic missile research, and their high explosive and trigger mechanism test areas setting all sanctions aside would completely free the Iranians to continue their steady movement towards nuclear weapons and their delivery systems without paying any price. There should be no difficulty in totally rejecting such an offer out of hand without having to think very hard.

But President Obama is a deep thinker who must mull over every decision and offer well beyond the point of distraction. Often there must be those advisors who feel like yelling, “What is so difficult about this?” when waiting for the Ditherer in Chief to make decisions after being briefed.  During an interview with Spanish-language network Telemundo on Tuesday, Obama said. “There is an opportunity here for diplomacy, and I hope the Iranians take advantage of it. There are indications that Rouhani, the new president, is somebody who is looking to open dialogue with the West and with the United States, in a way that we haven’t seen in the past. And so we should test it.” If the President by “test it” means measure the level and consider actions commensurate with the depth of the Iranian commitment, then perhaps he is working with a full understanding and not simply seeking a path for complete surrender rescinding all of the United States sanctions relieving all pressure from the Iranian economy and allowing any ability to force change to evaporate in that instant. The level of President Obama’s shallowness has been well defined, especially in foreign affairs, so we only need to measure the intent and honesty of Iranian President Rouhani to predict what to expect.

The recent news coverage of the election of President Hassan Rouhani has showered him with praises and the gentle mantle of peacemaker and the standard of reasonableness by which one could measure all others against. The depth of slavish praises has been worthy of that heaped by preteen young girls on their teen idols it has been so blindingly one-sided. The only fly in the ointment has been the warnings coming from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and numerous other leaders of the ruling coalition in Israel. So, which side is right? Could it be possible that the Israelis know something that the rest of the Western media and political leadership don’t know making Israel right and the rest of the world is making a dangerous mistake? That hardly would seem likely simply because it is preposterous to believe that the entire Western World and all of their intelligence agencies and thousands upon thousands of experts and advisors could all be misjudging the new President in Iran and only little Israel can tell that the emperor is wearing no shimmering cloak of reasonableness and virtue.

So, what can we divine from the past actions, positions and other information about the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani? The very first item that must be considered is exactly how he became the President of Iran. Presumably he won in an election which actually is just a pretense used to mask the dictatorial nature of the clerical rulers over Iran. It is a given that Rouhani was the personally approved candidate above all others as decided by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Rouhani was among the names which were brought to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei after the Assembly of Experts had reviewed the candidates who were seeking to be included on the ballot and removed any undesirables, questionable or other disqualifications leaving a core group of candidates considered loyal to the clerical leadership and considered acceptable to build whatever foreign and domestic story the clerical leadership had planned going forward. Best guess is that after President Ahmadinejad the clerical leadership was seeking a candidate who would be well spoken with a calming demeanor with no history of fanaticism or obvious ties to the<a href=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/islam-ithna-ashari.htm> Twelvers</a> and one who was extremely familiar with the mannerisms and negotiation style of the Western World. This definition is almost the exact resume of Hassan Rouhani who was a former Iranian nuclear negotiator, is well educated and well-spoken with a past that is above reproach. As wonderful as that description is, it does not mean that Rouhani is to be trusted in any negotiations as those who had met with him tell of a hard negotiator who is persuasive and manipulative often concealing his intents behind his polished, carefully chosen words. Rouhani thus was the hand-picked candidate by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and therefore the winner of the elections. Any belief that Iranian elections were not a ruse used to give a democratic shield behind which to camouflage a dictatorship was demolished by the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2009, thus it is understood that the person who wins such elections was actually the person anointed by the Supreme Leader.

The truth of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is he has been hand-picked to lead a deception by which Iran will make largely symbolic gestures expecting to reap huge rewards in return simply because they appear to be cooperating and President Obama is ripe for the fleecing as he is in dire need of success, real or false. This fits perfectly with the ploy by President Rouhani with his offering to decommission one of his uranium enrichment facilities and having all or most of the financially crippling sanctions removed from Iran, especially the sanctions against their exporting oil which is the Iranian most crucial trade item, the one their entire economy revolves around. Depending on the amount of success achieved by this deception the Iranian leadership will devise the next steps in their crafted path to attain nuclear weapons capability while managing to retain sufficient economic freedom from sanctions to relieve what has become a crushing situation under the ratcheted economic sanctions. It has only been the most recent sanctions that put the Iranian economy over the edge thus they do not need to attain sweeping relief from the sanctions; they just require the end of certain critical sanctions of which the sanctions on oil head the list. As President Rouhani was a previous nuclear head negotiator for the Iranians he is also very familiar and quickly brought up to date on the progress of the Iranian nuclear program and exactly what is still necessary to complete their quest in a timely manner. This past experience will serve him well as he will be able to make offers outside of the P5+1 talks, which include the five major veto holding powers of the Security Council plus Germany, thus allowing for a coordinated two-pronged assault to find and take advantage of any weaknesses or easily beguiled people such as President Obama and move rapidly with the minimal discomfort to their goal of nuclear weapons power. The description by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu of equating President Hassan Rouhani with a wolf in sheep’s clothing as very accurate. He is also likely a slick fast-talker who can be glib, gracious, and disarming by a quick wit and the brushing aside of concerns or disagreements. He will likely be magnanimous if it serves his designs and hard as granite when needing to stand firm. He will have the piercing of a diamond tipped drill and the precision of a verbal surgeon as he will pick apart and cut out his needs with great skill and deftness. President Hassan Rouhani should not be underestimated and his words rarely taken at face value. One should always look for the hidden meanings and on the lookout for misdirection and baited traps which will result in allowing Rouhani the advantage he needs to gain trust or what may at the time appear to be a minor point, never take anything merely as an honest offer as there will always be a hidden meaning or path to back away after gaining the desired prize he sought. Never be at comfort in his presence and read carefully and listen well to his words and the tones and inflections he used to mask and enforce those words. To put it simply, do not trust, verify, and always suspect the worst or the biggest of deceits.

Beyond the Cusp

Addendum: After testing the will of President Obama and finding him to be beyond anxious in his desire to appear to make progress, Iranian new President Rouhani walked back the offer to decommission the Fordo Nuclear Uranium Enrichment Processing Plant. President Rouhani went even further negating that Iran was even interested in the pursuit of nuclear weapons while reclaiming the Iranian right to conduct nuclear research.

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