Beyond the Cusp

June 12, 2019

Roller Coaster Pre-Election Ride Begins

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
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Where to start, why not with the good, the bad and the beautiful. The good is easy but also will prove difficult to mediate. The good comes from the United Right’s current number two, Bezalel Smotrich, who has spoken the truth which the vast majority of the religious right pray for at services every day, that Israel live and keep the Torah and its commandments throughout the land. This does not mean what the media paints it to mean, as it does not demand anything from anyone who is not Jewish. They are only requested to follow the Noahic Code with seven laws. The Jews, on the other hand, have a mere six-hundred-thirteen laws in Torah. Somewhere over one-third of these refer to the service of the Cohanim and the Levites and their duties and expectations serving in the Temple. We do not currently have a Temple nor has any government Minister really pursued such a venture in the Knesset, thus it is not on the drawing boards, not in the planning stage and likely nowhere on the horizon. This means that these laws will have to await the people of Israel demanding the Temple be built, something prayed for every morning, afternoon and evening but not expected any time too soon. The rest of the laws are largely basic decency, common sense and the dietary laws of Kashrut. The majority of grocery stores sell only kosher food and are certified to have taken out the appropriate tithes and everything meets the high standards of the law. Restaurants are a separate issue but there are sufficient kosher restaurants even including some fast food establishments. What may amaze many people is that it may be likely, unless your favorite lunch location is not kosher, that the vast majority of people, Jews and non-Jews alike, probably lead lives that, outside of prayers they may ignore saying, are close to or within the demands of Torah. So, when Bezalel Smotrich spoke of his desire for Israel to become a nation whose laws and people kept to the Torah, he was speaking of a desire held by many and not transgressed by more than most might believe. He could just as easily spoken of the desire for the coming of the Mashiach, and we bet that would have drawn just as much scorn from any in the left-wing media, unfortunately that is the majority of the media. Their scare mongering will dredge up more hatred and mistrust between the people which is their intent. But speaking of such desire for Israel to become a Torah observant society is a very nice though and natural desire for the religious Zionist as well as other observant groups such as the Haredi. Nobody would even think twice had a Haredi leader made the same statement as that is acceptable from them as their voters mostly do not include the secular community. The entire flap over this was due to the attempt by the media to frighten the secular community, specifically the secular Zionists, into fearing the religious right parties over an event which was far more innocent than portrayed. Hopefully, the media feeding frenzy will be seen for what it was, an attempt at voter manipulation. It is really sad that the media here in Israel resorts to such tactics, but they will do whatever it takes to try and push the voting public into electing a left-leaning government.

 

BTC Israeli Election Banner

 

The bad is an internal desire which was expressed largely within the Blue White Party but which did receive some mention by the media. This was a request, perhaps a demand, for Yair Lapid to lay low and quiet over his otherwise normal denunciation of the Haredi community. Are some of the views expressed by Yair Lapid accurate and in need of a solution? The answer is of course some of these complaints necessary, but his solutions would actually be detrimental to the desires he expresses. The Haredi community are people, believe it or not, people just like all other people. As a normal community, they will adapt to changing needs and other factors at their own speed. On the other hand, if such a community believes they are being pressured, pushed and manipulated to change, they will resist such change just because people resent being pushed into change. What Yair Lapid is ignoring is simply because his vision is clouded by his personal apparent dislike for the Haredi community and their favored treatment due them legally under laws and appropriations made by the Knesset. Part of their favored treatment comes due to their guaranteed number of Ministerial positions they receive in every election from a devoted and unified community. The thing is some Haredi are already voting outside their dedicated voting bloc. This makes them what are called king makers as their bloc is necessary to reach the sixty-one mandates to form a coalition whether that coalition is left-wing or right-wing. Due to their crucial voting bloc, the Haredi will receive an identical set of concessions from either side, over the tantrum which would likely be thrown (in private) by Yair Lapid. The demand that his Blue White Party run with part of their platform for the forcing of the Haredi to allow more of their youth to be drafted for IDF service and their being coerced into joining the workforce in larger numbers would be a guarantee to never have the Haredi join them in a coalition. Their insistence that Yair Lapid tone down his Haredi rants is a purely political measure as they know that if they would ever be chosen to form a coalition, they would absolutely be required to include the Haredi parties.

 

Ayelet Shaked

Ayelet Shaked

 

The beautiful is easy as former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (pictured above) has made a semi-official announcement that she will be running for a position in the Knesset in the coming September elections. This semi-announcement about her return left out one important item; she forgot to mention exactly which party she intended to make her run with and what position she wished to take in their list. There have been those claiming she will be part of the Likud Party and others have called for her to replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the United Right Party list. Which one is the most likely? Well, I have doubts that she will replace Rafi Peretz at the top of the list with the United Right and Bibi Netanyahu has stated that he is not considering inviting Ayelet Shaked into the fold with Likud. So, where does this leave Ms. Shaked now as the leader of one list is not expecting to be replaced and the head of the other party simply is not interested in having her join the party. Perhaps we can find a small hint from her statements at the small ceremony given when she left the Justice Ministry. One of her comments was that she expects to return to the Justice Ministry. The interesting thing about her desire to return to the Justice Ministry does not require that she head any party’s list. She was not the leader of Jewish Home when she received the Justice Minister posting. She was number two behind Naftali Bennett. She was the number two behind Naftali Bennett on the list for the New Right Party which she and Naftali Bennett founded right before the last elections where that party did not quite pass threshold to make it into the Knesset. When Bibi Netanyahu was unable to reach an amicable agreement with Avigdor Lieberman who was making the same demands which he had pressed leading to the call for new elections in the first place, that situation is most likely not going to change with Avigdor Lieberman which means that should Bibi Netanyahu be tapped again, he will be relying on the right-wing, religious and, of course, religious Zionist parties. The good news for these elections is that such is very probably what will happen as long as the Haredi Parties also join the government coalition, something which is largely expected. So, the situation with Ayelet Shaked will depend on which party’s list she lands within. We can probably safely bet that she will not be placed atop of either Likud or United Right. There is still the possibility that she will remain with Naftali Bennett if the New Right is reformed for another attempt to pass the threshold this time around.

 

We can provide some free advice for Naftali Bennett, if he reforms the New Right, he should place Ayelet Shaked in the number one slot and take the second slot himself which would be more probable to put them over the threshold. There is one item which is the biggest guarantor of failure in politics such as in other professions, that is an overly inflated ego believing that they are the answer that the people are craving and if only you present yourself then they will flock to your banner. When you are Bibi Netanyahu and have been Prime Minister for the past decade and lead the strongest party, or at worst the second leading party, and may become the longest serving Prime Minister by the time of the coming elections, then you can have such an ego. No, we are not claiming that Bibi has an over-inflated ego. This is about all the actual excitement we have seen over the coming elections in Israel. More over the weeks to come and perhaps things will heat up. We can tell that the Blue White Party is confident that they should receive the nod from President Reuven Rivlin to form the next coalition. They are confident that with the Haredi Parties they will be able to form a coalition. There may be some questions as to this confidence. The Labor Party is in a tailspin and hoping primary elections for what they hope, and as Avi Gabay has decided that he will resign from leading the party and dropped from the primary list, will be a new leader as the latest polls showed that the Labor Party, the party which led Israeli politics for decades until 1979 when they lost the coalition making position, was not polling sufficient to pass threshold. Labor has also sought to join another party as a joint list, either Blue White, Meretz or another left-wing party but they have not had any takers as of yet. As the elections grow closer, they will have a better chance for this alternative. But with the left polling lower and lower, there may be doubts about the optimism of the Blue White Party. We will try and find more fun things concerning the September 17th elections in future articles.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 23, 2018

The Hole in the Whole Society

 

Friedrich Nietzsche gave us the terms, causes, cures and repairs required when dealing with Nihilism. Nietzsche’s thoughts on nihilism, the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning, were important in the effect that they had on Martin Heidegger, philosopher and Nazi-backer extraordinaire. Heidegger took the idea of nothing, of emptiness, of the null set and produced the framework upon which postmodernism was built. Postmodernism took the nothing from Nietzsche and applied it to every concept and made everything irrelevant, worthless and simply nothing. The followers of postmodernism believe that G0d is dead or never had existed. This takes the postulation that the universe came out of nothing and thus everything within the universe is nothing. The premise behind postmodernist is that there exist no definite terms, boundaries, or absolute truths. Simply put, everything is relative and open to each individual’s personal definition and no definition is wrong because to claim there is a wrong definition would be to define what something was not. There is no reality other than what you personally believe reality to be but your reality exists no further than your existence. If you do not like your definition which describes your reality, you are free to redefine your reality and there are no limits to how many times you may redefine your reality as it is your reality and does not have any effect on everyone else’s definition of reality. Postmodernism, by its own definitions, removes any basis for religions because religions are all based on certain absolutes, defined morals, specific laws and other items which are defined specifically and as nothing can be absolute and definitions are all relative and must remain undefined, religion has lost its basis. Politics likewise has no real existence nor does nationalism or any other form of organization because any organization would have, by definition, rules which postmodernism portends that there can be no absolutes, no definitions and no rules. Postmodernism has one very dangerous and destructive conclusion, namely, life has no intrinsic value and is thus worthless making whatever one does of no real value, as there can be no real value.

 

This lack of meaning and lack of any intrinsic value of life and the emptiness of society with no rules and nothing such as right and wrong as we define such terms for ourselves has become the basis for what teachers teach in the public schools and throughout most colleges. They tell children that everything is of no worth and value is a figment of each individual’s mind and these values extend no further than their own thoughts. Then they take all of this a step further and teach that laws have no actual meaning and each of us can make up our own laws by which to live under. The laws of our societies are simple contrivances invented to control us and other than control, they are valueless. There is no morality about the societal laws because we each define our own morality and it does not require that it be restrained by the laws. What they leave out of these lessons is that breaking the societal laws has consequences, breaking the moral codes has consequences, breaking the traditions has consequences. The main consequence is that if your definitions, which they are taught are just as righteous and valid as anyone else’s and they need not care about what the rest of the world thinks, vary too broadly from what the majority accept, you will become an outcast with few if any friends and will very soon find your life empty and without other human sharing or contact. When a person with slightly deviant tendencies develops their own set of rules defining their social beliefs and structures and it is also deviant such that the person becomes ostracized, this is a recipe for a destructive personality to develop. These individuals are amongst the most likely to become a mass shooter, including a school shooter. These individuals who end up outside of the norms of the societal norms and has been counseled that there is nothing wrong with their deciding to be outside of the norms in no way makes them wrong and they should not face any real consequence for their beliefs.

 

Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger

Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger

 

The problem is there are consequences for having such deviations from norms and telling such a person that they do not need to adjust to attempt to return within societal norms, sets them up for some very rough and hurtful rejection by their peers. Even in postmodernist thought, we know that rejection has effects and they are real. We know that rejection, if left untreated has some very nasty results. Consistently telling a person that the rejection is not their fault nor really the result of their different value system and wayward actions, but it is actually the problem of the rest of their peer group because they are being judgmental, something which is inherently wrong, about the only thing which is defined as wrong. So, the person being rejected will begin to blame their peers for their rejection because their wayward actions and differing beliefs have been validated by the counselors and teachers because of their belief in the absoluteness of their postmodern beliefs. Then, when the rejected person acts on their blaming their peers for acting scornfully against them and decides to punish them for their rejection and wrong and hurtful actions, when the counselors and teachers are asked about the shooter who also usually commits suicide, they claim they saw no reason as he was a quiet and well behaved, there is no such thing as wrongful behavior to these counselors and teachers, and they saw no real problem or any signals that such violence was imminent. They might note that the individual spent a greater amount of time alone off to the side but there was nothing wrong with this situation, despite this was not being a voluntary isolation but caused by peer rejection as this youth did not fit in nor did they act in a way which was acceptable as normal by their peers.

 

What does this tell us about these mass shooters? Well, it tells us that they are a direct product of our postmodern standard which is being foisted on the society by in large by the education systems throughout our society. Postmodernism has even crept into some of our religious institutions who have taken up the popular beliefs of our no rules societies and rejected their own teachings in their texts such as the New Testament, Old Testament, Torah, teaching of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Taoism, Shinto and virtually every religion. This has led to the more Orthodox and traditional institutions central to these religions finding themselves in a war with the more liberated branches of their religions who through postmodernism have decided that the rules need be changed, loosened, liberated and even simply lost. Postmodernism has brought on problems which were probably never anticipated by those who originally took the teachings of Friedrich Nietzsche and applied the expanding of his concepts by Martin Heidegger and the other postmodernist philosophers. Teaching the youth that there are no absolutes have proven dangerous despite many refusing to blame the consequences found on their philosophy. Postmodernism, the way it has been used in many classrooms and universities has led to replacement of religion and traditional societal standards which had served Judeo-Christian and Far Eastern societies for centuries if not millennia with free wheeling variable rules subject to whatever feels good or seems appropriate at the time. These concepts have had consequences which are, more often than not, covered over and explained away often simply because those best qualified to see these results are also those most sold on the validity of postmodernism. They believe that postmodernism is a proven system under which a society will operate with maximum freedoms for every individual as long as each individual takes personal responsibility. This is where the system has not functioned, as the students do not have stressed that they take personal responsibility for their actions, instead they are stressed that each person can develop their own rules and structures in life but not that they need to structure them with some regard for the norms of the societal norms of their group. This is something that most adults understand, as they must cooperate in order to keep their employment, live in their neighborhoods, live with their groups, clubs and other organizations and groupings. Youths have not developed these structures nor do they understand the complications of social interaction and when they hit puberty, they face the strains that their changing physiology places on them and without definite rules and social structures, they can easily develop psychological problems with unfortunate deadly results. What is the repair for this is likely beyond our pay grade. Our only advice is that vulnerable youth require rules, standards of behavior, consistent expectations and structure in their lives upon which they can build purposeful and meaningful lives. Teachers, parents and counselors need to work together as a team to provide these and these requirements leave little room for such an advanced and adult philosophy as postmodernism. But what do we know?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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