Beyond the Cusp

April 24, 2018

Religious Zionism is Alive and Flourishing

 

Religious Zionism was claimed to be on its death bed according to Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz. His article is somewhat disingenuous as he makes it sound like he was born and still resides in Eretz Yisroel with his being younger man living in Efrat and having joined his brothers and sisters to create a human chain stretching from Jerusalem to Gaza. It is not until late in the article he mentions that he has left Eretz Yisroel and now is an Open Orthodox Rabbi living in the United States. His claims about the problems with the Religious Zionists in Eretz Yisroel are actually easily understood by any Olim who resided in the United States and because of their intense Zionism came to Eretz Yisroel to live. He has adapted to his new home and this has caused him to have clouded vision. Please allow us to explain using our experiences after having come here to our little nest in Eretz Yisroel. It is a story about having gone in the opposite direction from Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz.

 

The first confession we need to explain is that despite being Zionist, we had little connection to Judaism despite having been born into a Jewish home. This home went from Orthodox to Reform Judaism before we had reached Bar Mitzvah age. Our connection to Judaism was restarted due to a death in the family. Still, our return was to a Conservative Synagogue as that Synagogue’s Rabbi was a better fit from the Reform Synagogue. The odd thing is the Conservative Synagogue services were very similar to the Reform we knew in our teens. It was coming to Eretz Yisroel where we were actually introduced to Orthodox, a Traditional Sephardi Orthodox Synagogue. This Synagogue has a mix of every form of Judaism in the congregants from Ashkenazim to Sephardim to Jews from India and throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America with the main numbers from Romania. Needless to say, we found a flourishing and very colorful mix of Judaism and Jews and we are all friends and as a family. We still have much to learn about Judaism and Torah and the other major writings from the Rabbis over the ages. This experience has strengthened our Zionism and we have joined a political party which supports religious Zionism and every form of Zionism is practiced by the party members, again a mixture of every kind of Jew from every corner of the globe. For one of us it feels so much like home as their mother was an Iraqi Jew raised in Bombay, India and father was a British Jew from London, England with Ukrainian and Prussian ancestry. Yes, we have a rich mixture there as well.

 

May the Temple be Rebuilt Speedily in Our Days

May the Temple be Rebuilt Speedily in Our Days

 

Where our making Aliyah was due solely to Zionism, the religious part of our beliefs has truly begun since arriving in Eretz Yisroel. Can we yet claim to be Religious Zionists, well, probably not yet. Are we working in that direction, yes. But Rabbi Yanklowitz makes complaints with which we are very familiar. His complaints are purely leftist American centric complaints. His complaints center around the central tenets of the far left of the Democrat Party. This is to be expected from one who practices Open Orthodoxy which is actually another way of saying Reform Judaism, as their beliefs are very much similar. These Jews follow the socialist wealth redistribution and the minority rights over everybody else’s rights. They believe that borders are not real lines between nations and sacred as they want anybody crossing any border to have full rights in their new nation. This was exemplified by his problem with Israel’s desire to deport the illegal immigrants from Africa who only came to Israel for economic reasons. But as Israel is a wealthy nation, Rabbi Yanklowitz believes that anyone who arrives from a poor nation has an economic right to the better life in the wealthier country no matter the problems and threats to their presumed new nation they may pose. The only thing we would like to tell the good Rabbi is, if you desire the leftist utopia which you envision and likely find the United States currently lacking with President Trump, perhaps you would be best to live in a real socialist utopia like Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea.

 

But you probably are too attached to your wealthy life in the United States where you can criticize Israel of not being that socialist utopia you envision will ultimately save the world. We know the crime Israel has committed is choosing to move from its socialist roots to a capitalist economic model and make it work. Let us set your mind at rest on one subject, the people of Israel give more to the needy than can be measured as most of this assistance is given by one Israeli to another without any need for the government to enact welfare and other forced charity. The charity in Israel is beyond measure because there is no need for the government to take from one Israeli and give to another because the Israelis are perfectly capable of performing this deed on their own. Until you decide to leave your comfortable palaces in the United States, and we realize here in Israel our homes are necessarily smaller and we adapted, and return to Eretz Yisroel, then work to make the United States that perfect land as you have stated that the Diaspora should be the great place for the Jewish People. We disagree and we further promise not to tell the United States how to run their business and you can promise not to attempt to foist your politics upon us. And what we realize from your other writings is that you do not view the Temple as a positive thing while we see the building of the Third Temple as probably the greatest event we have yet to undertake. As our text translates in our morning prayers, “May it be the will before you, Hashem, our G0d and the G0d of our forefathers, that rebuilt shall the Holy Temple be speedily in our days.” We would like to thankyou for your impatience.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 2, 2018

Must Israel Be Permitted to Deport Migrants?

 

The Israeli government has announced its intentions to deport thirty-thousand migrants, as they entered Israel serendipitously. The Israeli government claims the migrants are illegally in the country and are not refugees and that it is perfectly safe to return them to their native country or to nations willing to take them if they prefer. These migrants never applied for anything other than employment. They never contacted the Israeli government seeking asylum nor did they ever file any complaint against their home country. Their only reason for choosing Israel was due to the standard of living. We can grant that they did not decide to stay in Egypt for a good reason, Egypt has a habit of executing migrants upon capture, well, unless they are heading for Israel. One can only wonder why the exceptions if not to flood Israel with migrants who do not share the culture or the Jewish faith in order to destroy the Jewish homeland. For all Israel knows, that may also be behind some, or even many, of the Migrants themselves. Virtually all of the migrants come from nations in Africa. The migrants come from Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and other sub-Saharan African nations. They are to be deported to Uganda and possibly Rwanda or African nation of their choice or anywhere on the globe. Israel has reached deals with certain African nations approved by the United Nations as being safe places for these migrants. The migrants in Israel have already been classified as not being true refugees or refugees who can safely be returned to their homelands, in the case of the Sudan, that includes South Sudan, and Eritrea has been removed from the list of dangerous nations. None of the migrants are facing any charges in the nations of origin but Israel still has offered to repatriate them to a different nation of their choice. The Israeli government has announced they will pay each migrant $3,500 (£2,600) as well as purchase their plane ticket back to Africa providing they voluntarily relocate within the next ninety days. Currently, Israel has 38,000 male African migrants who came to Israel looking for better jobs. In addition, there are close to 20,000 more male African migrants who, although they came for the same reason, are married and raising families, as such, are not being asked to leave.

 

We understand why most of the European NGO’s, nations, the European Union, United Nations and numerous leftists including a number of rabbinical human rights groups all are demanding that Israel give all of these migrants asylum. Despite none having applied for asylum, the world is doing so for them without even asking if these people actually fled for any reason other than financial considerations. Migrant workers are not a new phenomenon and have existed the world over and throughout time. People have drifted from one nation to the next nation seeking better employment and a better life for their families. Throughout history, the migrants often would follow the jobs and when one area dried up they would move on to the next. In more current times, such migrations mostly occurred within national boundaries. In the United States, workers moved from state to state following the jobs. As airconditioning made areas of the United States which had been intolerable in the summer more hospitable, there was a large migration from the north to the new industries in the south where businesses exploded. In many areas within the United States, there is what is known as migrant workers who cross into the United States over the Mexican border during harvest time and are known as agricultural workers. Entire industries have been built around migrant workers. This works very well across the United States, the European Union and other large areas where the populations have enough in common, such that the migrations would not alter the nations demographics. Where migrants cross international borders, they are often granted a work visa for a limited amount of time after which they are required to leave and return to their home nation. This is what is normal but not what many from the left or from those who wish to destroy the Jewish State are demanding here. These forces are demanding that Israel be forced to take in as many foreigners as can find the means to cross their borders, period. Their hope is to destroy the Jewish character of Israel; they want to end Israel once and for all. What the regular, normal and caring people of the world need to understand in order to assist Israel in her life and death struggle against these people and their efforts to destroy the only Jewish nations in Earth is Israel, especially due to being the home for one of the smaller minorities on the planet, must be permitted the same rights as every other nation to deport unwanted illegal entrants.

 

What many need realize is Israel is very much like Japan and other nations with historic peoples who remained separate from others. Japan has laws preventing non-Japanese from attaining citizenship, Mexico forbids people of foreign birth from owning land, Saudi Arabia refuses to permit non-Muslims from residing within their borders and numerous other nations have similar rules and all nations have rules as to who is permitted and by what means and procedures others may join their club, become new citizens. Israel also has such laws but the world is demanding that Israel ignore her own laws and instead adopt the rules they want them to use which if followed will destroy Israel as the homeland of the Jewish People. The people who support forcing Israel to adopt self-destructive policies and committing national suicide are the most pernicious form of anti-Semitism. The most disheartening of those amongst these groups are the ones claiming their efforts are a response to their Jewishness. These are most often far leftist secular Jews who believe they are performing tikkun olam, repairing the world. What is even more distressing are those calling themselves rabbi who take such views believing that if only Israel shows these migrants how wonderful and generous they are as Jews that the migrants will show gratitude and allow Israel to remain the Jewish homeland. The natives in the New World showed the newly arriving Europeans graciousness and welcomed them onto their continent and shared their food and taught them how to raise the new crops which were strange to the Europeans and we have seen how well that worked for the native populations of the Native American Nations of North, Central and South America. The native people of Australia, best known as the Aboriginal people, also believed that there was plenty of land and that they could share their large Island with the British and we all know how wonderful that turned out. At least some took the side of the Aboriginal people before they were completely exterminated, but much of their culture has been eradicated.

 

Five beautiful, glorious and holy Torah Scrolls which carry near infinite wisdom and are the foundation of all Judaism and their culture and civilization is built around the Torah and the teaching of Torah

Five beautiful, glorious and holy Torah Scrolls which carry near infinite wisdom and are the foundation of all Judaism and their culture and the Jewish civilization is built around the Torah and the teaching of Torah

 

The Jewish People have had a history of persecution and challenges seemingly beyond that of any other peoples on the planet yet are still a distinct and unique peoples. They are the only people to return to their native homelands from two distinct exiles (three if one counts Egypt) and they speak the only language to be brought back from being considered a dead language used only for prayer as is Latin is, but Hebrew is the only language to come back from near two thousand years as an extinct language. The dispersion from which the return to Eretz Yisroel is from the Roman times and was the Roman means of eradicating a peoples from the planet. The only other peoples to have received this treatment were the Carthaginians, a Greek tribe from the Mediterranean rim who are today lost somewhere in history. The Jews and their religion of Judaism were given the same treatment from Rome in 135 A.D. after the second successful revolt against Rome. The Carthaginians received this treatment for having fought Rome in the three Punic Wars. Apparently the two revolting where the Jews successfully expelled Rome all but cutting their land connection to Northern Africa angered Rome greatly and they did not need a third war before casting the Jews to the far corners of the empire and basically for the winds to drive from history. The Jews are a stubborn lot and since we had a secret by which we remained a people, the world is a very different place. The secret which permitted the Jews to survive the Roman dispersion is also their greatest gift to humankind, Torah. The Jews do not own the Holy Lands; they are its keepers and tenders who care for the land which belongs to Hashem. All lands belong to Hashem ultimately but the Promised Lands Hashem keeps unto himself and permits the Jews permission to tend it for Hashem. This is why the lands of Israel apparently only receive steady rainfall and the other necessities for growing crops and supporting life when the Jewish People are the ones residing and tending the lands. This is part of why no other peoples ever claimed the lands or placed their capital city within these lands. Often the area was considered cursed and having been forgotten by the gods of the pagans and even the Crusaders and Caliphate found that the lands did not produce. The lands could be used for trade purposes such as the port city of Akko or the city of Petra but the climate was still considered harsh. At one point an Islamist ruler from Damascus decided to try and use Jerusalem for the Hajj as another sect of Islam blocked their using Mecca, but before the summer had even ended he retreated back to Damascus and declared Damascus as the destination for their Hajj. There has been research which many discount, because accurate, year by year data was never collected, which has claimed that mineral deposits has proven that from the First Century through to the mid to late 1800’s the lands of Israel suffered severe desertification as the once bountiful rains stopped. Then, upon the returning of the Jews through the Zionist movement, the rains began to return until today Israel has become an agricultural miracle and rainfall had reached record levels since 1900 with especially heavy rainfall in 1948 and in 1967 which correlates with the establishment of the nation of Israel and the unification of Jerusalem. There is an old farmer’s tale of a Gaza farmer telling his grandson that when the Jews returned, so did the rainfall. The data appears to back such up. We can tell of times when we joined groups and prayed for rain and within an hour, the rains fell and continued for two, three or more days. Israel is the land of miracles and they appear to be related to the Jews, the Chosen of Hashem.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

January 30, 2018

Every Day More About Israel

 

Giulio Meotti in his recent article nailed one side of the problem with the reporting about Israel. He revealed the lack of balance and overgeneralization about some of the articles reported on by the world media and how everything which did not fit the Israel is a monster narrative despite being more indicative of the real Israel were ignored. His examples need to be mentioned by us as well but his article is worth reading itself. The world media, especially in Europe, North America and the rest of the information-starved world reported a breathtaking headline which read something like, ‘El Al Pilots Refuse to Fly Deported African Asylum Seekers’ or ‘El-Al Pilots to Boycott Repatriation of African Asylum Seekers.’ There are some seriously misleading parts in both of these headlines and the articles do little to clear up the misinformation. The headlines make it appear that the six-hundred and some El Al pilots held a meeting and overwhelmingly if not unanimously decided they would refuse any order to deport those that Israel is making arrangements to repatriate with their home nation or a guest nation willing to accept them. That never happened and any diligent research finds that the El Al pilots never met, voted or decided anything of the sort. The truth is that three El Al pilots decided upon their own volition to protest and come out openly refusing to pilot any such flight. Three pilots out of six-hundred-plus pilots would not even warrant a story if it were any other major carrier. But there is even more misinformation as Israel is not deporting asylum seekers but instead is deporting illegal infiltrators who came to Israel seeking jobs. They are not political or any other type of asylum candidates but are merely illegal infiltrators. Further they are being given a period of time to accept a monetary incentive to be relocated either to their native homeland or one of the nations willing to take them as legal immigrants. So the only words in the headlines not misrepresenting the facts are, well, none of them it appears.

 

Another story which is even more damning is the story of the letter presumably written by and signed by sixty-three Israeli high school students who are refusing to serve in the army of the occupation. The letter was not likely written by the students whom, it turns out, were paid to refuse IDF military service by an extreme leftist NGO and which is suspected of having written the letter. Headlines referred to the sixty-three students as ‘Over Sixty Students’ and ‘Dozens of Students’ and other open-ended descriptions. The titles also used politically charged words such as ‘occupation’ and ‘Oppression’ of Palestinians’ maximizing their presumed relevance. The articles repeated the open descriptions of the number with at least one referring obliquely to the actual number while leaving the final number open to change in the future. What was never mentioned was another letter from another groups of high school seniors responding with a counter-letter to that of the sixty-three students, this group numbering six-hundred-fifty. Also omitted was the fact that the IDF handles over seven-thousand new recruits into the ranks of the army. The sixty-three young men’s number pales when compared to the six-hundred-fifty who immediately responded within thirty-six hours of the initial articles in Israeli media, yes the leftist Israeli media is just as horrific if not worse, and completely eclipsed by the seven-thousand plus draftees enlisted yearly. But the sixty-three were what fit the narrative of even the Israeli youth are disenchanted with the awful treatment of the Palestinian Arabs. The first casualty is truth when reports are about Israel in large areas of the media of the West and the remainder of the world.

 

There has apparently been a story about rabbis who have advised Israelis to give hope to the refugees and to hide the illegal infiltrators in their homes and care for them so as to defeat their deportation. What might have been important to point out was the fact that these rabbis were not Israelis but actually leftist nonconforming rabbis in the United States. They are a subset of the rabbis who also are fighting President Trump deporting illegal immigrants in the United States though none has taken in illegal immigrants into their homes just as they are advising Israelis. So they are demanding actions they themselves are unwilling to perform, typical leftist actions, demanding of others that which they are unwilling to perform. The rabbi authoring the article calling for the taking the illegal infiltrators into their own homes by Israelis have also compared doing such as the same as was provided “as in the story of Anne Frank.” There are a few more equally shocking points included in this story from the article by Giulio Meotti.

 

So, let us move on further on this apparent sickness from which many of the leftist media suffer when it comes to reporting about Israel. One thing we have noted is that reality and truth are the first two casualties in these stories. Additionally, their slants are often so twisted and skewed that it becomes beyond impossible to follow any logic or good reason in the reporting. Often the slanting and language are used so as to disguise any merit which might be due Israel and her people unless her people are actively opposing their nation. This became evident the evening after Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a very receptive Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Vice President Pence in the coverage apparently was met with wild and rude behavior as Knesset Ministers screamed epithets and obscenities at him and he was received raucously. Many of the news clips showed the initial confrontation by Arab and leftist members of the Knesset who were quickly removed from the Knesset assembly and Vice President Pence then proceeded to give his speech without further disruption. The Vice President was well received and there were a number of standing ovations despite the running as if on a loop the initial disgraceful actions of a minority of the Knesset Ministers. The only thing which we did not see was reporting that ‘numbers of Knesset Ministers object to Vice President Pence and disrupt speech,’ which is a good thing as that would have been completely false. The protesters had their two and a half minutes as they were herded out of the plenum at the outset of Vice President Pence entering the Knesset. Their removal was so efficient that they did not even delay Vice President Pence speaking and he was able to give his speech in its entirety.

 

Another staple of reporting about Israel is the constant referencing as to how actions by Israeli officials will affect the prospects for peace. The same is seldom performed regarding Arabs and their actions and words. If there is any question about the peace process, it is always what effect it will have and what will Israel be required to do to repair any perceived damages even if they did not effect the changes in question. Probably the most glaring of recent examples has been the reaction to President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and starting the motions to move the embassy to Jerusalem. The immediate reaction was how it was going to make finding a peaceful settlement impossible as it removed the opportunity for the Palestinian Arabs to have their capital also be Jerusalem, albeit, Eastern Jerusalem. Never mind that anybody who read the speech by President Trump knows full well that he will be placing the new United States embassy in Western Jerusalem and eastern Jerusalem was left pretty much unchanged as long as the two parties, the Arabs and Israel, would so agree. As far as the so-called peace-process was concerned, absolutely nothing changed, only the perception of the world was altered. President Trump specifically stated as much towards the end of his speech where he pointed out that his administration was willing to accept anything the two sides willingly accepted. He specifically included any partitioning of Jerusalem within a future peace proposal. Still, much of the commentary we heard was how President Trump had destroyed any hope for a “two-State solution” and how this irreparably damaged Israel. The fact that Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat before him had both through action and word denied any willingness to accept a Jewish state at all under any borders and under any size was also ignored completely in the commentary of President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as having been the capital city of Israel for many thousands of years.

 

The media is consistent in their hounding the Israelis demanding they make yet more sacrifices for peace while never making such demands of the Arab side. Israel is always the one who is in the wrong while the Arabs seldom can do anything which hurts the chances for peace. When the Arabs break out in violence the media always is there to explain exactly what happened and how Israel committed some horrible offence to which the Arabs are reacting so completely and understandably normally. Never mind that nowhere are there other peoples who react similarly to the Palestinian Arabs or even the majority of Arabs residing in the area surrounding Israel. As we have noted previously, even when Israel reaches their limit and responds to Hamas firing hundreds of rockets per day over the border at Israeli towns and cities, the media coverage starts with the Israeli response and only towards the middle or end of the article is there any mention of the reason and provocation by Hamas. Even then, they do not note that it took weeks of ever-increasing rocket firing and surpassing often over five-hundred rockets per day before Israel responds. The coverage after this is even worse than the attempt to create a feeling that Israel fired first instead of responding to intolerable assaults on its people and property. They then start a comparison of numbers of fatalities and injuries without mentioning the amount of capital Israel invests in protecting their civilians including shelters throughout the country and the Iron Dome interceptor system which is capable of intercepting virtually any medium and even short range projectiles while Hamas places their rocket launchers amongst their population even surrounding them with children in attempts to maximize civilian casualties and use human shields when fighting the IDF. They have even used United Nations building as proximity for a mortar rocket launching tube as shown in the France-24 picture below. When Israel takes out these launchers, damage to the neighboring structures is inevitable, especially when one considers damages from secondary explosions of the armaments creating a larger sphere of destruction. For example, if Israel were to have struck this position and damaged the United Nations building less than thirty meters from the launcher, then the United Nations and the media would go into a frenzy about Israel striking United Nations property. Additionally, the fact that UNRWA schools have been utilized for rocket cache storage making them legitimate targets but in the aftermath of such a strike the world would only hear about how Israel targets UNWRA schools with no mention of Hamas storing weapons inside them.

 

Rocket Launcher Adjacent United Nations Building in Gaza

Rocket Launcher Adjacent United Nations Building in Gaza

 

The latest attack against Israel by NGO’s, the European Union, numerous European governments and Human Rights activists demand that any illegal migrant who enters Israel must be treated as a refugee and granted the right to make Israel home. The argument they make sounds awfully similar to Israel has a far better economy than the surrounding nations and virtually anywhere throughout Africa, thus these migrants would have a better life in Israel. Additionally, since Israel is not likely to execute these migrants simply for crossing their border illegally and is planning to deport them, they must be prevented from doing so as it would affect these unfortunate migrants negatively. We will talk on this much deeper in the near future. Basically, choose any action taken by normal nations, and when Israel attempts to do the same it becomes instant international scandal and the worst Human Rights violation in history which must be corrected by a host of busybodies. The media worldwide is urgently gathered, the world’s NGO’s go into overdrive, governments hold emergency sessions with the United Nations taking notice and all of this causes a hubbub all out of proportion; but this is Israel and despite its diminutive size, Israel is the most important problem the world cannot seem to solve.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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