Beyond the Cusp

September 17, 2014

The Future for World Jewry Dependent on Safe, Secure Israel

 

There is a very simple way to look at the future for the Jewish People which can be expressed in a very simple phraseology, “Know Israel to Know Jews; No Israel for No Jews.” Suggesting that the health and future of Jewish communities outside of Israel was threatened to the point of their ceasing to exist in the foreseeable future ten years ago, let alone making that observation to the criticism and relegation of suffering from idiocy in the mid-1960s, such statements were poorly received and brought ridicule and dismissals. Even making such statements now, despite the greater signs of existing and growing threats becoming evident and undeniable, one is opening themselves to accusations of outright paranoia, exaggeration of threats and denial of the obvious vibrancy and rejuvenation of Jewish communities, especially if such commentary is proffered in the United States. Once again, just as was prevalent in the 1920s-40s within European Jewish communities, those quoting evidence of the growing threats to Jewish existence is often met with the very same response, “It cannot happen here, we are accepted, assimilated and fully interwoven and accepted in the society. We are teachers, physicians, lawyers, judges, professors and we serve in the government and are accepted across all walks of life. No, you’re wrong, it cannot happen here.” Those sounding these warnings now realize the opposition and denials which were received by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, one of the early Zionists who attempted to get European Jews to make Aliyah to Israel warning of the coming storm in Europe before World War II as he faced the identical arguments and obstinacy and a refusal to see what he believed was plainly obvious. The protestations have started to lessen in their frequency and volume as across Europe the picture being painted is of threats to Jews which resemble those from a mere two generations back and well within the memories and knowledge base of the majority of Jews. This knowledge does not make acceptance any easier even for those of us who have carried the responsibility for sounding the alarm for decades through humiliating and biting rejections as we never found any joy in carrying a message nobody wished to hear and take no pleasure that some are finally starting to listen and a select few new voices have joined in sounding the alarms. Never the less, the alarm must be sounded so that any willing to listen can be provided a path to safety once they agree to act, and we can only pray that more will awaken to the growing threats and take the necessary steps to save themselves and pass their knowledge to others so more will be awakened.

 

Where those who desire to believe that there is no real danger in their location and are refusing to recognize any increasing anti-Semitism always claiming that such events happen elsewhere and their neighborhood is warm, comfortable and accepting posing no threat. They will always wave their hand when evidence is presented as if waving off any evidence and claiming that the threat is over there, not here, we are safe, but that is an argument which can only blind many until it becomes dangerously close to, or worse, actually too late. Blurring the evidence is the reality that the most evident and irrefutable evidence around the rest of the world almost always coincides with violence or even conflicts in the Middle East where Israel appears to present a more dangerous and threatening situation than their home location, as warfare always presents obvious dangers which are easily depicted in new articles and televised and internet coverage. Despite the recent conflict in Israel between Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist forces in Gaza where thousands of rockets were launched indiscriminately into Israel reaching distances placing three-quarters of Israel within the range of the strikes, the increased anti-Semitism which struck across the globe, particularly in Europe, was easily measurable with increases approaching four-hundred-percent in the worst places. There was one miracle within Israel which made presenting the increased anti-Semitism more evident as thanks to the Iron Dome anti-missile systems spread across Israel, the vast number of rockets which were launched were either correctly identifying strike sites as in open areas and intercepting ninety percent of the rest of the rockets which, in combination with the Israeli people heeding the rocket alarms and headed for safe rooms and shelters, which Israeli investment has made numerous and readily available, the number of casualties in Israel was greatly minimized. The lack of lists upon lists of Israeli casualties, the numbers and severity of the anti-Israel, and often anti-Semitic, protest and the actual assaults on Synagogues and Jews across Europe and in the United States were made extremely evident. The areas which got the greatest coverage for the increase in anti-Semitic violence were France, Belgium, and Britain, though Britain gained its notoriety for one particular event when Minister of Parliament George Galloway unilaterally declared the city of Bradford an “Israel-free zone” that rejects all Israeli goods, services, academics and tourists. Britain might owe Minister Galloway a level of gratitude as he stole any coverage which would have reported that Britain carried one of the greatest increases in levels of anti-Semitic acts reaching levels of four-hundred percent. The situation has reached such epidemic proportions in France that for the first time in decades France leads the rest of the nations of the world in numbers of Jews making Aliyah to Israel. This is an important development as France has the third largest population of Jews in the world only exceeded by Israel and the United States.

 

Where many Jews in the United States may discuss the atrocious realities faced by the Jews in France, the Ukraine, Sweden, and mostly throughout Europe, somehow their conversation rarely touches on the anti-Semitism in their own backyards. You will rarely hear any discussion of what is best known as the “Knockout Game” which has often been described as assaults consisting of a single punch attempt to knock down or worse to some unsuspecting person which usually targets a Caucasian by a perpetrator who belongs to a minority. The most rejected and ignored fact is that more often than not the victim was somebody who was wearing clothing or other identifying items showing their Jewishness. There was not much mention of an Orthodox Rabbi who was shot dead in the street in North Miami Beach on August 9, 2014, on his way to Shabbat morning services. Rabbi Joseph Raksin from Crown Heights, New York was visiting North Miami Beach. The North Miami Beach Police Department has thus far refused to label this as a hate crime claiming that it was more likely an attempted robbery gone wrong. This despite witness description telling that the two assailants simply walked up to the sixty-year-old Rabbi, shot him, and fled, one on a bicycle and one on foot while, police say they do not have a good description of the perpetrators. The really troubling additional piece of information is that casts doubt on the refusal to classify the murder of the Rabbi as a hate crime is a previous crime committed against the very Synagogue he was walking towards and was a mere two blocks from when he was murdered had been when it was defiled with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti. But why should the North Miami Beach Police be any more disturbed than the majority of the United States Jewish community. Apparently the psychological community studies of victims and their reactions to growing endangerment and hostilities by avoiding recognizing the growing problems and their ability to continue to live their lives completely oblivious to the increasing endangerment to their lives and their situation. This is being further put on display by the Jews of the United States and a frightening percentage of the Jewish communities across Europe. Fortunately, there is still time for the Jews of the world to awaken to the heavy threats hanging over their heads. The one item worth mentioning is that the continued health and existence of Israel may be dependent on the influx of the rest of the world Jewry making Aliyah as with the influx of Jews which could even more than double the Jewish population of Israel would also provide the numbers to fully populate and utilize all the lands within Israel including the areas often referred to as the periphery. The only thing to be said is, the sooner the better, for both the Jews facing an increasingly hateful and threatening world and for Israel who can only gain strength from the increase in population and abilities which the new Olim would bring with them adding to the areas of expertise which already exist within Israel. In many ways it is advantageous to both groups. The Jews would find their safety increased within Israel and Israel would gain a larger base of Jewish citizens and gain from their additional skills as well as numbers.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 12, 2014

The Death of Zionism in America

This coming week we will hold our Passover Seder and say the words as we have traditionally for near two thousand years, “Next year in Jerusalem.” How many of us even think for a moment that we really desire to hold our Seder next year in Israel, let alone make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Pesach? Have those words become simply a sign of our dedication to some quaint notion of a hope which only arises when we as Jews are facing duress and something we simply say when our lives are secure and comfortable? If that had become our truth, then we would serve G0d and the honesty He most certainly treasures to stop muttering these words which many of our mothers and fathers in generations before us spoke as an honest yearning and likely with a small tear in their eyes knowing that such was probably beyond their ability and that there was no Eretz Yisroel to return to anyhow.

 

But what are the excuses today? Are we really far too comfortable in our Diaspora lives or is it something far worse; is it because we no longer have the hunger and desire for returning to our ancestral home, the place the L0rd our G0d gave to us after visiting the Ten Plagues upon Egypt and giving us the Ten Commandments and Torah to guide our lives in the Land of Milk and Honey? Has the spark and inspiration that guided our forefathers’ lives through desperate times of persecution when even holding the Seder was forbidden and they held theirs in hushed tones for fear the neighbors might hear our retelling of the greatest story ever told finally lost its last glow. Now, when we throw open our doors and invite all who wish to join in our celebration of freedom no longer fearing for our very lives have we gotten so free from fear that we have lost all memories of how, as we will also say on this Seder night, that “Every generation there is one that will rise up against us.” Are we so content in our comfort that we refuse to heed that warning believing that it no longer holds any relevance in our enlightened time? Are we so haughty that we believe as did our fellow Jews did in Europe as they felt safe in their assimilated lives and many of whom were even warned of the coming evil by Ze’ev Jabotinsky in 1938 telling of waves of persecution and super-pogroms were imminently coming to Poland and eastern Europe and that for the sake of their safety and their lives the Jews should leave for Palestine as soon as possible. Are you telling yourself the same falsehoods which our forefathers have repeatedly said and believed even mere months before the coming tragedy which would threaten their very existence, “It cannot happen here as we are honored members of the society holding jobs as teachers, lawyers, physicians and are accepted amongst our non-Jewish friends.” If you are fortunate enough to have the diaries from your ancestors, please reread them and see what they uttered just before their world was turned upside-down.

 

This reminder of times past will not be heeded by any in America or elsewhere throughout the world as many Jews are not only assimilated but happily ensconced within the fabric of their exiled existence and attained a level of calm and apparent acceptance that they have lost any concern or desire to return to their home, Israel. They will point to the dangers they perceive threaten Israel and they are not completely without reason to point such out. At least in Israel the soldiers met on the streets, often carrying their weapons with them, are soldiers who are trained to defend Israel and her citizens within including, or actually especially, her Jewish citizenry. Passing one of these soldiers in Israel gives one a sense of belonging and a degree of safety that is difficult to describe. It is a feeling of belonging, of being home. In Israel there are no politicians calling for the banning of items of religious wear, including yarmulkes, nor are there people demanding the end of Shechita calling it a form of cruelty. Yes, such madness has not come to America and the United States is not Europe. The events and problems of anti-Semitism which is growing more prevalent across Europe is not such a problem here in our neighborhoods. These same words were likely spoken not that long ago in the Ukraine, Rabbis in the Ukraine have downplayed the evidence of a growing anti-Semitism there. Then there is the increasing awareness of anti-Semitism in France where the Jewish population increasingly is leaving France with many coming home to Israel. Should one actually take an in-depth measure of trends even in the United States they would see a troubling increase in acts victimizing Jews growing in frequency and severity such as the Knockout the Jew game which has spread to numerous major cities. Make next year the year you came home and hold your next Seder in Israel if not actually in Jerusalem. Listen and believe the words uttered for centuries at the conclusion of the Seder service, “Next year in Jerusalem.”

חג פסח שמח

בשנה הבאה בירושלים

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

November 21, 2013

Deadly Game Played on New York City Streets

The New York City Police Department, especially those stationed in mixed Jewish and minority neighborhoods, have their work cut out for them in their efforts to end a potentially deadly and most certainly repugnant “game” which was started in Crown Heights and may potentially spread to other neighborhoods if allowed to persist for any length of time. The “game” has been given the identifying name of “Get the Jew,” or “the Knockout Game,” according to a police spokesperson. The rules to this “game” are quite simple and simply repulsive and offensive to anybody with an ounce of decency. The object is to strike any identifiable Jew with one solid blow while passing them in the public walkways and knock the victim out cold or simply result in putting him on the pavement. The punch is always thrown when the perpetrator is with friends and the Jewish victim is a sole individual thus rendering the attacker sage from any reprisals due to numerical advantage. At least one known victim of this “game” was merely twelve years of age and there have been a small number of these instances caught on video security cameras and in some incidents fellow participants have taken video of the incident which is then posted to social networking sites on the Internet.

 

In an article Thomas Sowell wrote, “responsible authorities in New York seem to have been caught by surprise, even though this knockout game has been played for years by young black gangs in other cities and other states, against people besides Jews — the victims being either whites in general or people of Asian ancestry.” Writing in the New York Post, Sowell further pointed out that “attacks of this sort have been rampant in St. Louis. But they have also occurred in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and elsewhere. In Illinois, the game has often been called ‘polar-bear hunting’ by the young thugs, presumably because the targets are white.” A final mention in Thomas Sowell’s coverage of these events states, “Because Jews have been singled out in these attacks, are considering prosecuting these assaults as hate crimes.”

 

There is another side to this story that will never be reported in the mainstream news, and that is that these crimes have been all but ignored by the mainstream media. Even when such assaults have been given coverage by the mainstream media, the racial angle of these being black on whites, black on Jews or black on other minorities have been omitted by never mentioning the race of the perpetrators. If a similar game were to be perpetrated in such a wide and overt manner and the victims were blacks the mainstream media would be giving such attacks rail to post coverage with front page banners and clocks counting the number of incidents and the elapsed time since the first reported case. Somehow this not fitting the mainstream media’s preferred slant and political shading this news is left with minor coverage if getting any coverage whatsoever.

 

Perhaps some day in the far off future we will be blessed with a press which actually reports facts without any slant or filtering news by its potential political effects and simply allow each individual to interpret the facts as they see fit. The current mainstream media apparently feels that they need to report the news in such a manner as they also instruct their audience exactly what the reported news means and what they should take away from the story as well as what their thoughts on the subject as a whole should reflect. This slanting and coloring of the news is most evident in the reporting during campaign season leading up to elections and has become so blatant that it is bordering on embarrassing. The slant on the news is also blatantly obvious in much of the reporting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict where one of the main tools used by the liberal-leftist mainstream media is to report any offensive actions taken by the Palestinians whether it be Fatah, the majority member of the Palestinian Authority and also headed by Mahmoud Abbas, or be it Hamas in Gaza using passive terms such as rockets struck Israeli farmlands doing minimal damage while reporting on Israeli counter terrorist measures in more active and violent terms such as the Israelis bombed numerous buildings causing serious damage to the structures and potentially injuring numerous bystanders. The difference is the ineffectiveness of any attack upon Israel is minimized while also often not even mentioning who launched the attack or from where it originated while any reprisal by the Israelis identifies Israel and even will state an implication of possible injuries where none were reported. The other mainstream media way of reporting these instances in a slanted manner is they first mention the Israeli counter-terror operation first and include the name of Israel and their retaliation as an attack in the article title while mentioning the initial attack by the Palestinian terrorists later in the article and then finish the article restating their slant of the Israeli strike thus making it appear as if Israel was the aggressor and not the recipient of the initial strike and only after being struck did they make any retaliatory strike. The mainstream media also tends to not bother to report that the Israelis have often absorbed weeks of multiple attacks, especially rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza as there is an extensive record, and they only bother to make any news articles after the Israelis have responded with a counter-terror-strike and then intentionally write an article more damning of the Israeli measures and making excuses for the Palestinians who were the ones on the offensive. The leftist-liberal-progressive media actually sides with the Palestinian terrorists and appears through their reporting to believe that Israel has no right to take measures in defense of their civilians or their property. The most famous of these cases was the “murder” of a young Palestinian named Muhammad al-Dura by French Channel 2 who were taken to court over their editing and misreporting and then slandering a critic and lost after the court forced them to turn over the entirety of their tapes and the truth became known to the court. To this day the entirety of the film shot by French Channel 2 of the al-Dura incident has never been released allowing the public to view the unvarnished and unedited truth. Perhaps the mainstream media should come with a warning label stating that all of what you are about to see and hear has been altered to fit the political slant and preferences of the well-known media bias, precautions should be taken and nothing should be accepted as actual fact without further corroboration from outside the mainstream media. Like that could ever happen in this somewhat less than perfect world. For those who may wish to point out the bias of the commentary here at BTC, may we remind you that this site does editorializing commentary where the slant is both obvious and to be expected, we try to report new events accurately and also include what our opinion may be and most of our readers are fully aware of this fact.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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