Category Archives: Israel
Luke 21 KJV
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Alaa Mukahhal, the “Dreamer” who has been praised on the floor of the Senate by Dick Durbin (D-IL) as an activist “in the finest American tradition,” wrote a short and obscene assessment of Israel and its supporters on her Facebook page that was “Liked” by a former congressional staffer named Lindsay Schubiner, also a Dream activist.
Fuck Israel. Fuck Zionists and all the Zionist apologists. Fuck them all.
The comment was Liked by Schubiner, a Dream activist who is the former senior policy adviser for Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Michigan) and a sometime blogger on immigration issues for the Huffington Post.
From WZ: http://weaselzippers.us/
In order to understand things in the Middle East, it is necessary to look back in time . . . a VERY long way back in time. I once pointed out to a group of Arabs, “Your people are still fighting the Crusades.” Yes, of course, they all agreed. “In America, people don’t even know what the Crusades ARE!”
Let us study the three key pieces to the puzzle that is the Middle East;
Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
Egypt is the most populous of the Arab countries, and the most cosmopolitan. Egypt has had extensive interaction with the West since before the days of the Roman Empire. Cleopatra was actually the last of the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled over Egypt for 275 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC. Egypt was the bread basket of the Roman Empire.
Cairo, Soliman Pasha Square, circa 1941
Modern Egyptians are well aware of their heritage, and they regard the oil-rich Gulf Arabs a bunch of hick hayseeds. The fact that these provincials are sitting on top of a giant underground puddle of oil just adds to the Egyptians ire.
Iraq is the seat of the ancient Arab Caliphate. The city of Baghdad was a center of learning during the Islamic Golden Age, 8th to 9th centuries. Back when London was still a swamp, Arab intellectuals in Baghdad were developing the sciences of astronomy, mathematics and the foundations of modern medicine.
The first operation using anaesthetic was performed by an Arab. While our ancestors were burning libraries during the mass-hysteria that was the Dark Ages, it was the Arabs who preserved the writings of Aristotle, Thucydides, Homer, Virgil, Ovid, and countless others.
Syria is the traditional center of the Arab culture; the essence of Syrian society is a complex geometric Arabesque pattern of interwoven of sects and tribes and philosophies and arts and cults. Syria is strategically located between Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq.
Damascus, circa 1511
Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, situated across ancient trade routes and roads that radiate out from it like the spokes of a wagon wheel. The Apostle Paul had his vision on the road to Damascus. Jesus was crucified at the base of a hill in Jerusalem – Golgotha, which means The Skull – at a crossroads on the Damascus Road, directly across the street from what is now Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate.
The Modern Era
During World War I, the successful campaign to topple the Ottoman Turks involved Field Marshall Allenby’s push up through the Holy Land to take Damascus. Once he held Damascus, he owned the Middle East and all the oil in it.
Following the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, the English and the French carved up the Middle East. The English got Iraq and all its oil, while the French established the Mandate of Syria. Following the Roman tradition of ‘Divide and Conquer’ the French showed favor to the minority Alawite tribe in their colonial administration and the armed forces.
French Foreign Legion soldiers at their outpost at Homs, Syria, 1940
The Alawites were able to hold on to this unbalanced power. Since Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970, Alawite Assad family has dominated the government. During the Islamic uprising in Syria in the ’70s and ’80s, this establishment came under tremendous pressure. The conflict continues today as a function of the Syrian civil war.
In the 1950s a charismatic leader emerged in Egypt; Gamal Abdul Nasser. He threw out the decadent King Farouk, and began an effort to modernize Arab society. Nasser’s vision included a united Arab nation, a United States of Arabs, as it were. What he accomplished was the United Arab Republic (UAR; Arabic: الجمهورية العربية المتحدة al-Ǧumhūriyyah al-ʿArabiyyah al-Muttaḥidah) a short-lived political union between Egypt and Syria that began in 1958 and existed until 1961, when Syria seceded from the union. Egypt continued to be known officially as the “United Arab Republic” until 1971. The UAR flag was horizontal red, white, and black bands with two stars to represent the two parts.
This continues to be the flag of Syria. In 1963, Iraq adopted a flag that was similar but with three stars, representing the hope that Iraq would join the UAR.
The three countries collaborated in strategic planning against Israel resulting in the Six Day War, a decisive victory for Israel due to Israel’s pre-emptive strikes against Egypt and Syria. As previously discussed, the Arabs view Israel as the modern incarnation of the old Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and Crusader holdings Antioch and Tripoli – Western footholds in their lands. They eventually crushed the Crusaders and ran them into the sea, and it is their intent to do the same thing to the modern State of Israel.
The Post-Modern Era
Israeli Paratroopers on the Temple Mount during the Liberation of Jerusalem, June 1967
This epoch of the Middle East is punctuated by the Six Day War of Israel versus the forces of Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. Decisive win: Israel. Subsequent campaigns of this conflict include the ’73 Yom Kippur War – another decisive Israeli win – the First Gulf War that featured the liberation of Kuwait and limited excursion into Iraq; a brief but deadly adventure in Somalia; numerous terrorist atrocities in Israel, terrorist operations against our forces in Lebanon ’83, Saudi Arabia ’96 and USS Cole October in Yemen ’00.
When we toppled Saddam Hussein in ’03 what many feared has come to be; Saddam’s secular Ba’athist regime in Iraq was a stabilizing factor in a powder keg neighborhood. Hindsight is twenty-twenty; it seems Saddam played a shell game with the West regarding the weapons of mass destruction issue. It was critical to his hold on power that his enemies – notably the Iranians – believed he had chemical weapons. At one point he did; we know this because he used them on the Kurds, but by the time we showed up they were for the most part gone.
Where did Saddam’s chemical weapons go? It’s not easy to dispose of chemical weapons and there certainly is no evidence of a disposal program in Iraq. The obvious answer is to look to Syria; Iraq’s Ba’athist co-regime.
What if Al-Qaeda set off the chemical weapons on their own people? Think about it. Why would Basher Assad gas his own people? What’s in it for him? On the other hand, al Qaeda nerve gasses their own people to create exactly what is happening; the U.S. ends up mobilizing against Assad, in other words on the same side as “the rebels”.
Think about it. Last summer the Syrian rebels overran and controlled a government base that had chemical weapons. Leon Panetta admitted that chemical weapons may have fallen into the hands of rebel forces i.e. Al-Qaeda.
“If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as Al-Qaeda.” Journalist Robert Fisk
This penultimate statement summarizes the current dilemma; Assad is a pig and a bloodsoaked dictator thug, but the rebels that oppose him are co-opted by Islamic Fundamentalist terrorists of the worst kind: al Qaeda. If we are to make missile strikes against Assad, we will essentially be siding with al Qaeda – politics makes strange bedfellows but this is beyond ridiculous.
In the quickening march to madness for military action in Syria, have we heard anything about a possible objective, or perhaps a mission statement? And has anybody at the highest levels given any consideration whatsoever to the international lineup out there? On the one hand we have the United States AND . . . nobody else. No Brits, no French, no Germans, no Spaniards, no Italians, no Canadians, no Australians, no “Coalition of the Willing” . . . nobody.
On the other hand, Assad has the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians and Hezbollah on his side. He has at least 200 Scuds – which we must assume are chemical-tipped – and he has stated that if he is attacked by the United States he will launch them on Israel. The Iranians have their missile forces and they are willing to follow suit. The Israelis will not wait for this to happen – they will take preemptive action.
To me this sounds like a Major League shitstorm waiting to happen. We are already stretched to the breaking point, in debt up to our eyeballs, and there is nothing to be gained – certainly no threat to our national security – by engaging in a totally pointless, unnecessary military adventure. Assad knows we cannot take him out without “boots on the ground”, and nobody believes Obama is willing to go that far.
Choose your battles – that’s Sun Tzu 101, People . . .
#FAIL! Israel Supporting Obama’s War SNAFU In Syria-Trusting In Obama Over God.
Israel puts Pharoah, Obama over HaShem? Has Israel gone INSANE?
Imagine David putting all of his trust in Goliath. Or, Moses paying homage to the hard-hearted Pharoah.. Israel was quoted on Sunday as saying “Obama is horrifying Israeli’s”…. Yeah, aint that the truth….? You keep putting your trust in this stupid, ugly, asinine, oppressive jerk & dictator of USSA-you should be horrified. Obama supports Islamic extremists who will turn on you.. NOT very bright. What stereo-type to say we all have brains! Brains do not mean we are logical.. Meanwhile Americans here at home hate this rat bastard who spies on us, forces Commie heath care on us, forces diversity in our towns, gives illegal-alien murderers- amnesty. Enables black on white racism, is a JEW HATER, encourages the worst in the Islamic world, pays out 2 billion USD to Muslim terrorists and YOU’RE HORRIFIED?
So, our Rabbi Meir Kahane was right:
“I understand the A-rabs and the A-rabs understand me, but nobody understand the Jews”
UH YEAH. I will tell you, if you don’t back off from this drek, OBAMA…any support that people had for you, in their hearts- will disintegrate. Sorry, but, rightly so.. And, don’t scream “Jew haters” if they do turn, it will have been deserved.. I will always stand with right-minded, right wing, Jewish-Christians, Ultra Orthodox, God-fearing Jews, who trust in HaShem over man (no matter where they dwell; Israel, USA, UK, EU, etc) but I certainly think your government is justifying the anti-semitic claims it faces on a daily basis at this point in time.
This is Obama, Israel:
REPENT AND TURN TO GOD, ISRAEL. YOU SHOULD BE REBUKING THIS EVIL CREEP ALONG WITH GOD-FEARING CHRISTIANS AND JEWS IN USSA. YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY IN THIS. WE DO NOT WANT THIS WAR. NOBODY DOES.
TESHUVAH, Hebrew: תשובה, literally “return”
-David Ben Moshe & AsheDina Bat Saul
From The Mad Jewess: http://themadjewess.com/
“150 dead as Egypt appears on the verge of Civil War. Among the dead, three journalists. Christian leaders report targetting of churches. No one can predict where the Arab world’s largest and most important nation will be a month from now, let alone in a year. But one thing remains certain — the Muslim Brotherhood remains the most dangerous, anti-Semitic organization anywere in the world today. It must be called out for its anti-Semitism, its hatred of Coptic Christians, and its treatment of women.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the few legitimate Jewish organizations in the United States fighting for freedom and equality for all and speaking out against Islamic antisemitism, the gravest threat the Jewish people face. The ADL stands with Muslim Brotherhood groups like CAIR, and many Jewish groups in America have also lost their way. We see time and time again quisling Jewish groups shilling for annihilationists and providing cover to Islamic Jew-haters. Kudos to Marvin Heir and Abraham Cooper.
Recognize Muslim Brotherhood for the hate group it is
By Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Published at The Hill’s Congress Blog
From his historic Cairo Speech President Obama sought to empower moderate Muslims, including the ‘moderate’ Muslim Brotherhood. The election of Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamad Morsi was hailed as a slam-dunk for democracy and earned Washington’s backing.
But a year later, 22 million Egyptians saw things differently, returning to Tahrir Square and prompting the military to give Morsi and company the boot.
Secretary of State Kerry is to be commended for declaring that the Egyptian military was “restoring democracy” by deposing Morsi. Now the U.S. should drop its flawed Muslim Brotherhood policy. Never a force for moderation, it should be recognized for what it is: An enemy of freedom and tolerance– a hate group with a long enemies list.
There should be no more grants and no more White House visits for bigots.
Let’s rejoin the original Tahrir Square campaigners and never again confuse the Brotherhood’s successful leveraging of democratic process with their contempt for democratic values espoused by their Supreme Spiritual Leader Mustapha Mashour in 1981:
“Democracy contradicts and wages war on Islam. Whoever calls for democracy means they are raising banner’s contradicting God’s plan and fighting Islam.”
The world may have acquiesced to President Morsi’s escalating authoritarianism— but Egyptians did not. Morsi reneged on appointing a Christian woman as vice president, blocked a constitutional amendment limiting presidential power, and precipitated a walkout from Egypt’s Constituent Assembly by barring the Supreme Court from “interfering” while authorizing himself to take any measures “to protect the revolution.”
While in power, the Brotherhood proved clueless about running an economy, yet retained boundless hate for its enemies. It’s 80- year vendetta against Jews inside and outside the Holy Land ranges from its WWII alliance with Hitler to creating genocidal Hamas.
Contrary to what you hear from the media, Gaza is not an “open-air prison.” Everyday, Gazans are shopping in sparkling new malls, buying food in supermarkets and specialty stores, enjoying beautiful beaches, water parks, hotels and 5-star restaurants. Gaza even boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool.
See all of the pictures to prove the luxury life in Gaza at Bare Naked Islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
The German word for these Jews, who support Kerry’s efforts to strong-arm Israel into releasing Jew-killing terrorists and accepting Auschwitz borders while asking nothing of the Palestinians, is Judenrat – the Jews who fed the Hitler crocodile, hoping they would be eaten last.
Algemeiner In an effort to secure support for his newly launched “peace process,” Secretary of State John Kerry met last Thursday evening with a selected group of American Jewish leaders. Like Rabbi Stephen Wise before them, who tacitly consented to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s determination to do nothing to rescue European Jews from the Holocaust, they comprised a roster of Court Jews.
Among the organization officials who were invited to display their deference to the Obama administration “peace process” were representatives of the American Jewish Committee, J Street, AIPAC, B’nai Brith, Hadassah, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and representatives of the Conservative and Orthodox movements.
Predictably, Kerry vigorously urged his hand-picked group to “endorse and support” the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that he has been so driven to revive. Israel, he warned, faces the threat of diplomatic isolation if it does not reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. And, echoing President Obama during his own recent visit to Jerusalem, he warned that Israel faced a looming demographic threat to its Jewish majority without the birth of a Palestinian state.
Both assertions, however, are misguided. Too many nations, in Europe and the Middle East especially, are invested in their hallucinations of Jewish venality for a peace treaty with the Palestinians to dilute their Judeophobia. The evil Israelis, like the malevolent Jews for millennia before Israel existed, are too deeply embedded in Muslim and Christian culture for erasure by wishful thinking.
As for the demographic “threat” to Israel if “peace” with the Palestinians is not quickly reached, it doesn’t exist. The “demographers of doom” (as Yoram Ettinger aptly and alliteratively identifies settlement critics), Kerry and Obama among them, are wrong.
West of the Jordan River, where under international law dating to 1922 Jews have enjoyed the right of “close settlement,” nearly two-thirds of the population is Jewish. The percentage of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank claimed by the Palestinian Authority as its homeland) is not far below the percentage of Israeli Arab citizens. And Jewish birth rates are rising while Palestinians are having fewer children.
Conspicuously missing from the meeting with Kerry were representatives of vigorously pro-Israel organizations, including the Zionist Organization of America and Aish HaTorah. But among those in attendance was Martin Indyk, the newly designated Special Envoy for Middle East Peace who will guide the negotiations as the Obama administration’s representative.
Indyk, despite an impressive diplomatic record that includes service as the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs and United States ambassador to Israel, is hardly neutral in his own organizational affiliation. He served on the board of directors of the New Israel Fund, which strongly opposes “the occupation and the settlement enterprise.”
It has always been excruciating for American Jews and their organizational leaders to be caught in the cross hairs of divided loyalty. So it was for Rabbi Wise during the Holocaust; so it also was after the war for American Jewish Committee President Joseph Proskauer, whose apprehension lest his American patriotism be questioned led him to vigorously oppose the creation of a Jewish state. So, most conspicuously, it has long been for members of the Sulzberger family, as The New York Times hasconsistently demonstrated in its biased coverage – in news, editorial and opinion columns – of Israel.
Headlines every day – even in the Times – reveal the ominous dangers looming on Israel’s borders, and not far beyond them. Syria and Egypt are disintegrating into intra-tribal warfare; Iraq is already there; and Iran’s imminent nuclear capabilities present more than a remote threat. With Al-Qaeda fighters infiltrating nearby crumbling Arab nations, it would be suicidal for Israel to permit a Palestinian state to join Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon along its pre-1967 “Auschwitz” borders.
Secretary Kerry is, of course, free to indulge his Nobel Peace Prize fantasies at Israel’s expense. But given Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent decision to release Palestinian murderers from multiple life-term prison sentences to appease Mahmoud Abbas (and, surely, Kerry), and the likelihood that he will, when squeezed, freeze settlement construction, these next nine months of surrender negotiations are likely to be pregnant with the possibility of the birth of a monster at Israel’s doorstep.
From Bare naked Islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
Egyptian liberals allied with the Muslim Brotherhood to overthrow Mubarak and challenge the military. In those heady Tahrir Square days, they ridiculed the idea that the Muslim Brotherhood was part of the protests and that Mubarak’s overthrow would benefit it.
Now those same liberals have teamed up with the military to take down a Muslim Brotherhood government that they told us would never come to power. But don’t be surprised if a year from now, after the military develops too crushing a grip on power, they don’t run back to the Muslim Brotherhood and Tahrir Square repeats itself a third time with the banners and fireworks and chants about the will of the people.
And when it does happen, neither the liberals nor the Muslim Brotherhood will ever remember the time when they were deadly enemies. Instead they will pretend it never happened, the way that Egyptian liberals once pretended that the Muslim Brotherhood wasn’t part of the protests.
Middle Eastern politics is reality-selective, it’s conspiratorial and it’s based around shaky alliances between mortal enemies that are constantly falling apart.
The chaos in Egypt would have been entirely predictable by imagining Lebanese-style democracy transplanted to Egypt. And that is roughly what happened. And it’s why everything you hear coming out of Egypt is meaningless. Egyptian politics is completely cynical and completely unaware of its own cynicism. Everyone manufactures their own propaganda and conspiracy theories.
It’s why you shouldn’t believe anything you hear. The messages from the region are as worthless as the cheerful prognostications about waves of reform from Western media men who know little of the Middle East beyond its waiters and airports. Not only does no one there mean what they say, but they don’t even know that they don’t mean it.
The same liberals holding up signs denouncing Obama for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and cheering the military will be back in Tahrir Square a year from now denouncing Obama for supporting the military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s not that they’re consistently inconsistent, it’s that there are no standards.
Middle Eastern politics is about doing whatever is necessary to achieve short term victories. That’s why the Muslim Brotherhood has done so well; it’s one of the few factions to practice long term thinking. Everyone else just thinks as far as winning the next battle, getting to power and then letting the unambiguous genius of their vision and the adoration of the people carry them to their destiny.
And then it all falls apart. Again.
2. It’s Not Democracy, It’s Permanent Chaos
Democracy in the Middle East is just another means of political change. It’s not any different than mob action, a coup or an invasion. It’s just a way that one government replaces another.
Beyond all the obvious critiques of exporting democracy, the voting booth depends on a sense of law and order. It carries very little weight in lawless societies. In Egypt, mass protests really are as legitimate a means of political change as the ballot box. Probably better. It’s harder to rig rallies of millions of people than it is to fake millions of votes.
The New York Times and Washington Post scribblers insisted on pretending that the Arab Spring was moving somewhere. But the only place it was moving was to Islamist rule. And Islamist rule is not immune from the same petty squabbling, corruption and factionalism that plagues every other setup.
Structural change of the kind that they envision just isn’t coming. It’s not part of the system.
The Arab Spring represented political chaos in a lawless society, not social change or cultural enlightenment. Pundits and columnists fell to scribbling nonsense about the transformation of the region because they didn’t understand that simple fact. They made the same mistake that Americans have been making with democracy promotion all along. Culture and society don’t follow political systems. It’s the other way around. Politics grows out of a culture and a society. Even tyranny. Or perhaps, especially tyranny.
Whoever runs Egypt will still leave it a corrupt place where family connections matter more than merit, where the poor struggle to get by, where everyone resents everyone else, where political alliances fall apart in the blink of an eye and everyone waits around for a tyrant to take matters into his hands and usher in some stability.
No matter who wins, that’s where democracy leads.
3. Everyone Will Always Hate America
The one thing that everyone in Egypt can agree on is that they hate America. And this time around they almost have a valid reason.
Obama did help overthrow the Mubarak government which paved the way for the current mess. But both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian liberals wanted him to do it. They were happy to have him tamper with their politics to remove Mubarak. Now the Egyptian liberals blame him for aiding Morsi, but they were the ones who opened the door.
If they had insisted that Egyptian politics should be an internal matter and rejected external calls for political change, they might have a leg to stand on. Instead they, like every faction, demand that America overthrow a leader whom they hate and then blame America for interfering in their politics.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which has been the beneficiary of unprecedented American support, is also denouncing America, even though the White House and the State Department are furiously working to rush through new elections and free Brotherhood detainees.
The reason why the Muslim Brotherhood is doing this is telling.
The Muslim Brotherhood hates America. Period. Not for anything we’ve done. This hatred is widely shared in Egypt. It will always be widely shared in Egypt. Denouncing America is one of the safest political positions to take. It’s the Egyptian equivalent of motherhood and apple pie.
The Egyptian liberals and the Muslim Brotherhood, the two factions most likely to benefit from the fall of Mubarak, hated us all along. They hated us before we helped them overthrow Mubarak. They hate us now. They will go on hating us, whether we oppose them or help them, give them money or bomb them.
Hating us is the default setting. The Muslim Brotherhood hates us and blames us for everything even though we brought them to power. And it also hates us because hating us is politically popular in Egypt. It’s so popular that it can sometimes be hard to tell whether a political faction really hates us or just pretends to hate us to become popular. But it’s usually safe to assume that both are true.
4. Fanatics and Democracy Don’t Mix
One of the fondest myths of democracy promotion is that bringing terrorists into the political process moderates them. It doesn’t.
John Kerry headed out on yet another peace process mission is a reminder of the futility of such thinking.
Fanatics don’t compromise because their goals require purity. They feint compromise only long enough to get to power. And then they turn on their former allies.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s goals were obvious from its motto. “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
Nothing about that provides any room for compromise. It’s an unambiguous list of cold standards. It doesn’t conclude with political change. Instead like most fanatical creeds, its great ambition is to demonstrate its commitment to total ideological purity through the death of the fanatic.
The political process did not moderate the Nazis or the Communists. There was even less hope that it would moderate the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization whose spokesmen have a talent for pitching its message to Western audiences, but which is utterly committed to the absolute tyranny of its objectives.
5. The Muslim World Has No New Ideas
The Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that so many Western diplomats and journalists invested their hopes in, has a lot of modern polish, but underneath is the same old message that Mohammed came roaring out of the desert to deliver.
Despite the social media and memes, the Arab Spring unrest was part of a familiar cycle that begins when empires, whether it’s Rome or Great Britain, withdraw from the area leaving the local fanatics, intellectuals and military men to begin squabbling over how to put their perfect society into place.
There’s no progress being made. All the new things that were injected into the process come from outside and are used to serve ancient goals. The election machine and the social media account are new tools being used to settle old scores.
And the outcome of the struggle is a reversion to the old familiar patterns of a broken society. A society with no healthy old ideas and no new ideas is doomed to reenact the same drama on new stages.
Think of a film adaptation of Shakespeare shot in 3D with avant garde sets and lots of experimental theater trimmings. Underneath all the modern trimmings is still the same old script. And that’s true of the power struggles in Egypt and throughout the Muslim world. There may be skyscrapers, nuclear plants, social media feeds and a thousand other modern elements in the mix, but they are all the set design for an old script and for all the old wars.
Western experts became very excited by the innovative staging and forgot to read the script. If they had, they might have realized that it’s the same old dialogue shoehorned into a new production.
The three options are still military rule, strongman or theocracy. There is no fourth option. The Arab Spring tilted the rule of strongmen and soldiers toward theocracy. That outcome was as modern as the Caliphate. Now the military has once again stepped in. Eventually there will be a strongman. Or a theocracy. Or a junta. And they will go on overthrowing each other
Everything else is only window dressing or a disguise for where the power actually goes.
Where there are no healthy ideas there can be no positive outcomes. Democracy, contrary to its enthusiastic proponents, is not a new idea. Nor are constitutional guarantees of human rights. Those are processes by which a society implements healthy ideas about sharing power or the rights of others.
Expecting societies that lack such healthy ideas to use those processes wisely is as senseless as giving a small child a power drill to play with.
The Muslim world cannot use processes from more advanced societies until it accepts the social and moral premises behind them. Elections are only a process. Their outcome, both short term and long term, depends on the society. Laws are also a process. They can either be the implementation of deeply felt beliefs or just words on paper.
The Arab Spring pretended that introducing new processes into societies that lack new ideas would fill the cultural gaps and humanize them. That plan predictably failed. Reforms don’t begin with processes. They begin with moral and intellectual struggles. Only once a consensus has formed, can the process be introduced to implement that consensus.
Without new ideas, new processes are doomed to fall into the old cycles and patterns. That is how the Arab Spring became the Islamist Winter and the Army Summer.
ISRAELI PM Netanyahu bitch slaps Arab MK who tells Knesset: “Jews are the enemy of peace” and “We were here before you and we’ll be here after you”
Well, what do you expect? That’s what you get for allowing Arabs a voice in the Israeli government.
Algemeiner A meeting at Israel’s Knesset Wednesday turned raucous after Arab Israeli MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) made the comments during a debate on a referendum bill aimed to ensure Israelis will have a right to vote on any final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority. Zahalka said that the bill was irrelevant because it referred to “occupied territory, and as such, what applies is international law; the referendum should apply to the nations of the world.”
The comment was jeered at by MKs in the Knesset, to which Zahalka responded: “You’re an enemy of peace. We were here before you, and we’ll be here after you.”
From Bare Naked islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
AYAAN HIRSI ALI ON 2-STATE DELUSION: “REACHING A 2-STATE SOLUTION IS TO BETRAY GOD, THE KORAN, THE HADITH AND ISLAM.”
The hatred of the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland is a religious mandate in Islam. The existence of a tiny Jewish state is deeply offensive to devout Muslims. Under Islam, it must be destroyed.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a visiting fellow at AEI. Hirsi Ali, an outspoken defender of women’s rights in Islamic societies, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. She escaped an arranged marriage by immigrating to the Netherlands in 1992 and served as a member of the Dutch parliament from 2003 to 2006. In parliament, she worked on furthering the integration of non-Western immigrants into Dutch society and defending the rights of women in Dutch Muslim society. In 2004, together with director Theo van Gogh, she made Submission, a film about the oppression of women in conservative Islamic cultures. The airing of the film on Dutch television resulted in the assassination of Mr. van Gogh by an Islamic extremist. At AEI, Ms. Hirsi Ali researches the relationship between the West and Islam, women’s rights in Islam, violence against women propagated by religious and cultural arguments, and Islam in Europe.
‘Even if you give up all the land, it won’t solve the problems in the Mideast’ Israel Hayom, June 28, 2013 (thanks to Andrew Bostom)
An interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel” • “From the perspective of the Arab leaders, reaching a two-state solution is to betray God. If you want peace and not merely a process, you must make peace with the people. The negotiators themselves are of no importance.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of “Infidel”|
Photo credit: Dudi Vaaknin
There is something dignified in the quiet, determined manner of Ayaan Hirsi Ali as she rises from the audience and walks towards the podium to deliver her lecture. Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s intricate history starts in Somalia, where she was born to a Muslim family. At the age of five she underwent female genital mutilation. By her teens she was a devout Muslim. In her early twenties, upon learning of plans for an undesirable arranged marriage, she made her way to Holland, where she applied for asylum. Hirsi Ali studied at Leiden University and began publishing critical articles about Islam, the condition of the Muslim woman, and so forth.
She wrote the script for the Dutch movie “Submission” for director Theo van Gogh, who was subsequently murdered by a Muslim assassin. Hirsi Ali joined the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and in 2003 was elected to the Dutch parliament. A few years later she moved to the United States, where she became a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute. She published some books; notably, an autobiography titled “Infidel” that became an international bestseller. Already in 2005, Time magazine named Hirsi Ali among the 100 most influential people in the world. The internet abounds with information about her, with articles and videos of her lectures.
She is doubly courageous: in her stand against Islam, leading to threats on her life, and vis a vis the Western liberal elite, which disapproves of criticism of multiculturalism and the blindness afflicting Western society in grasping the strategic threat to its existence as a free society.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was visiting Israel for the recent Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
Israel Hayom: In your lectures you made numerous references to the situation in the Middle East. You claim that people in the West do not understand that what is taking place in the Middle East is not a dialogue.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: More than one issue is at stake here. Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian context, the main problem is that you may speak of a peace process, but what you get is a process, not peace. And why is this process so prolonged? Because for the Israelis this issue is a territorial problem. For the Palestinian negotiators, on the other hand, it is not a territorial problem but a religious and ethnic one, It is not only about Palestinians but about all Arabs. Most of all, it is a religious problem.
From the perspective of the Arab leaders, reaching a two-state solution is to betray God, the Koran, the hadith and the tradition of Islam.
Israel Hayom: Even though they are portrayed as secular?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The presumption that the Palestinian negotiators are secular is not supported by facts. Were they secular, there would already be a settled territorial agreement of some kind. But there is no agreement as of today, because on one side it has become religious jihad of all or nothing, while on the other side it is still a territorial issue. Of course I know that there are Israelis who also perceive this as a religious problem; but their numbers pale in comparison to the Muslim side. Reaching a settlement that brings about two states is a religious betrayal — not only for the leadership but for most Muslims today. The West does not understand this.
Israel Hayom: Why? After the many years you have lived in the West, how can you explain this?
The conception of religion in the West in the 20th and 21st century differs from that of Middle Eastern Muslims. The West successfully separated religion and politics, but even in places in the West where there is no distinct separation, still the concept of God and religion, even in the 13th or 15th century, differs to the current reality in the Middle East.
Islam is an Orthopraxy, Islam has a goal. So if you are a true Muslim, you must fight for that goal. You can achieve a temporary peace or truce, but it is not ultimate, not everlasting. It is not just about the territory. Because the territory does not belong to the people; it belongs to God. So for a Palestinian leader — even if he is secular, even an atheist — to leave the negotiating room with the announcement of a two-state solution would mean that he would be killed the minute he walks out.
Israel Hayom: Many wise people come here advising us Israelis to act rationally. Do you think this dispute has anything to do with rationalism?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Europeans and Americans — and I do not refer merely to the leadership, but to people in general — when they have a problem, they think there must be some kind of compromise on the table. What they cannot accept is that one party would say “the only rational outcome is our complete victory.” If you put aside the Israeli-Palestinian situation, you see components of this culture in the events in Syria, in Lebanon. You’ve seen it with Mubarak. There is a winner and there is a loser. But there cannot be two winners.
Israel Hayom: So the proposal of compromise stems from naivety?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: You can give it any label you like. I have listened to someone like Tony Blair, I was in two or three conferences where he spoke, and he is not naïve anymore, he is not the same man he was ten years ago in regards to this conflict. More and more leaders see that this conflict is not going to be resolved Western-style, namely that all conflicts are resolvable and no-one leaves the table empty-handed.
In a culture dictated by honor and shame – in addition to the religious issue – defeat of any kind, accepting a compromise, is to leave the room empty-handed. Compromise is loss in this culture. It is very hard to explain this to contemporary Westerners.
Israel Hayom: Many liberals around the world, who support the compromise solution, also tend to blame Israel.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Many liberals perceive Israel to be one of their kind; another liberal, white, rational state, etc. Therefore they expect you to approach matters the way they would. But then they approach the subject in the context of the U.S. or Europe, or some other Western system, where there is rule of law, arbiters, an ability to go to court in case of disagreement. There is a district court, a court of appeals, a supreme court, and once the judges have spoken their decision is final. You lose face, but you have to accept defeat.
What these liberals do not understand is that we are speaking of a fundamentally different context, where such a judicial infrastructure does not exist, and those who aspire for it are a persecuted minority.
And yet I am optimistic, after the Arab Spring. I see people, albeit few in number and very disorganized, but who do want that infrastructure where religion is put aside and where compromise becomes central. They just don’t know how to go about it. They lack the resources and the institutions to make that happen. But it is possible.
Israel Hayom: Your views are not prevalent within the liberal media or liberal intellectual elite. Have you encountered difficulties in delivering such ideas?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Among Western liberal elites there are those who have actual experience and those who have not. Those who have actual experience with any aspect of Islamic culture or religion, who have really given it their all to achieve some kind of compromise, come out — after years of endless abortive attempts — with a completely different perspective. Them I do not need to persuade.
I mentioned earlier Tony Blair, the most-renowned liberal to change his perspective. He once believed that the ability to always find a compromise for whoever was in the negotiations room was an art. He no longer thinks this way. As we are dealing with a wholly different phenomenon, we need voices like his to educate liberal Westerners on why this is different.
I think that whoever acts on the presumption that we are all the same and that we are able to solve this — is uninterested, indifferent, and inexperienced.
Israel Hayom: There is also a certain measure of idealism…
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Idealism is a good thing. But when idealism encounters reality, you must not try to manipulate it to fit your utopia. You have to take in the reality. 93,000 people have died in Syria because the fighting forces could not, cannot, and will not compromise. This toll is higher than all the fatalities on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict!
So, to go on and on about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in my view is to take a tranquilizer or smoke pot. You do it just to feel better. You cannot face reality, so you just keep on harping about something that can make you feel better. One can also mention the number of people who died in Libya because Kaddafi and the opposition would not find the way to the negotiating table. This phenomenon is repeated throughout the region, not only today but throughout history. Reaching compromise is to lose face.
Israel Hayom: So do you think that talk about negotiations brought up by the Arab counterparts is a game, with no real intentions behind it? We know that right after the Oslo accords, Arafat spoke in a mosque in South Africa, comparing the Oslo accords to the hudaiba treaty by Muhammad with his enemies. In Israel, there were those who accepted this, as they said that Arafat had to resort to speaking two different languages, one for his people and one for us.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I hear this argument constantly, also in relation to the Turkey’s Erdogan and in regards to the Saudis. Do you know what is wrong with this argument? If you want peace and not merely a process, you must make peace with the people. The negotiators themselves are of no importance. They are a few individuals who may tomorrow be out of power or dead. You have to have peace with the people you are in conflict with, and as long as they do not want to hear a different tune, you will not have peace. Until the people at large are ready for that compromise, there is no compromise.
This is true of the domestic politics of any nation or the external politics with foreign nations, for whom the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is seen symbolically as the biggest icon of all foreign affairs relations with the Arab Islamic world.
There has to be a change of attitude and a change in attitude within the culture and of culture, and I hope that we can see this.
I believe that true emancipation cannot exist without the freedom of the individual, without the individual’s space and voice. The fact that individualism is not given a chance in the Arab Muslim world is related to belonging and the collective. If you want to belong and be part of the collective you have to be a winner. If you are not, then you are a source of shame.
So you have to ask yourself why the Syrian regime and its likes are incapable of putting an end to the bloodshed after killing ten, or 1,000, or 10,000 people. Why not? It is not caused by Israel, the Americans or any outsiders; it is part of the culture. And for the culture to grow out of such phenomena, change has to come from within.
Israel Hayom: If so, do negotiations have any meaning when we talk about peace while the Palestinian Authority use anti-Israeli school books, which do not even mention Israel by name in their geographical maps?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Not now. Not as long as a majority of the people do not want peace. An Arab leader who genuinely wants peace has to convince the Arab people first, must get their endorsement and then go and get peace. That is why the first thing that needs to be worked out is not so much the relationship with Israel but changing the culture, Islamic and Arab. This process does not depend on you, though you can help it, facilitate it, be a catalyst; but it does not depend on you, on America or the rest of the world.
Israel Hayom: In reference to Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” theory, is there any sense that Europe is awakening to the threat it faces? We have a feeling that Israel is a scapegoat of sorts for the rest of the world. Do you not think that Europe is overcome by a quiet conquest of the Muslims there?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Yes, but it is no longer quiet, ever since 9/11 and the terrorist plots. Because the countries of Europe and the U.S. are democracies, their citizens enjoy freedom of speech. The more we listen, the more discernible is the extreme cultural divergence between the civilizations, as Huntington claims. One must first face it before blaming Israel or scapegoating others, otherwise things will not change. And the Europeans are waking up to this.
I visited Israel for the first time in 1998 or 1999, and saw people in uniform with guns in buses, in the market, on the streets. My European friend who came with me found this so strange. You would never find this in Holland. Now all airports in Europe and the U.S. have security men, all wielding machine guns, just like I saw in Israel at the time. After the Boston marathon bombings, I think that on the Fourth of July this year there will be more security than spectators.
So, as these liberal Western democracies are beginning to face the same challenges as Israel, or at least a tiny fraction of them — you see attitudes changing.
Israel Hayom: Do you perceive attitudes changing towards Israel? An understanding of Israel?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Well, some people get hardened. I do not understand Stephen Hawking’s refusal to come to Israel. There is a boycott on Israel by the intellectuals. Yet, the people in Boston are the most liberal in the United States, maybe short of San Francisco, and they were really quite happy with people in uniform patrolling the streets, which compromises their civil liberties. But people would rather face reality than lose limbs.
Israel Hayom: What would you like to say to the readers of Israel Hayom?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Exactly what I say in my lectures. You have to be a realist and acknowledge that Israel is not the problem, though neither is it the solution. I also speak of the signs of hope, of [Muslim] women who aspire to improve their lives, of homosexuals, of religious minorities. If anyone in Israel, including ordinary people, wants to be an activist, they need to forge relationships with those individuals in the Middle East who have developed something closer to what the Israelis want.
Israel Hayom: And you think that it will be a huge mistake to give away territory before a cultural change occurs?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: I will just say that Israel is not the problem nor is it the solution. Even if you give up all the land, it will not solve any of the problems in the Middle East. It will not obliterate despotism, it will not liberate women, it will not help religious minorities. It won’t bring peace to anyone. Even if Israel does not give up an inch of land — the result will be the same.
If you want a process, continue the way you are. If you want real, lasting peace, then things have to change first within the Arab Muslim individual, family, school, streets, education, and politics. It is not an Israeli problem.
You must learn to take advantage of opportunities. Due to technology, things can develop quickly. Look at the Iranians; what took the Iranians thirty years could take the Egyptians five or ten.
Israel Hayom: To become secular?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: No, just for the majority of the people to stand up to Shariah. This is what I want to say about Muslims in general: Muslims want Shariah until they have it…
For cultural change to transpire we need one hundred years and more to pass.
You can pick any number you want. I am speaking of a lengthy, bloody period. But it is going to change.
From Atlas Shrugs: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/
Shavou’ot (Pentecost) Guide for the Perplexed
Yoram EttingerBased on Jewish Sages, May 13, 2013
1. Shavou’ot (Pentecost) was, originally, an agricultural holiday, celebrating the first harvest/fruit by bringing offerings (Bikkurim-ביכורים)to the Temple in Jerusalem. Following the destruction of the second Temple and the resulting exile in 70 AD – which raised the need to entrench Torah awarenessin order to avoid spiritual and physical oblivion – Shavou’ot became a historical/religious holiday of the Torah. The Torah played a key role in shaping the US Constitution and the American culture, as well as the foundations of Western democracies.
Shavou’ot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related crops and flowers, demonstrating the 3,500 year old connection between the Land of Israel (pursued by Abraham),the Torah of Israel (transmitted by Moses) and the People of Israel (united by David). Shavou’ot is the holiday of humility, as befits the Torah values, Moses (“the humblest of all human beings), the humble Sinai desert and Mt. Sinai, a modest, non-towering mountain. Abraham, David and Moses are role models of humility and their Hebrew acronym (Adam – אדמ) means “human-being.” Humility constitutes a prerequisite for studying the Torah, for constructive human relationships and a prerequisite to effective leadership.
Shavou’ot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement (the Torah), in preparation for the return to the Homeland.
2. The holiday has 7 names: The fiftieth (חמישים), Harvest (קציר), Giving of the Torah (מתן תורה), Shavou’ot (שבועות), Offerings (ביכורים), Rally (עצרת) and Assembly (הקהל). The Hebrew acronym of the seven names is “The Constitution of the Seven” – חקת שבעה.
Shavou’ot reflects the centrality of “seven” in Shavou’ot and Judaism. The Hebrew root of Shavou’ot (שבועות) is the word/number Seven (שבע – Sheva), whichis also the root of “vow” (שבועה – Shvoua’), “satiation” (שובע – Sova) and “week” (שבוע – Shavoua’). Shavou’ot is celebrated 7 weeks following Passover. God employed 7 earthly attributes to create the universe (in addition to the 3 divine attributes). The Sabbath is the 7th day of the Creation in a 7 day week. The first Hebrew verse in Genesis consists of 7 words. The 7 beneficiaries of the Sabbath are: you, your son and daughter, your male and female servants, your livestock and the stranger. God created 7 universes – the 7th hosts the pure souls, hence “Seventh Heaven.” There are 7 compartments of hell. There are 7 basic human traits, which individuals are supposed to resurrect/adopt in preparation for Shavou’ot. 7 key Jewish/universal leaders - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aharon, Joseph and David – are commemorated as distinguished guests (Ushpizin in Hebrew) during the Tabernacle holiday, representing the 7 qualities of the Torah. 7 generations passed from Abraham to Moses. There are 7 species of the Land of Israel (barley, wheat, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive and date/honey. In Hebrew, number 7 represents multiplication (שבעתיים–Shiva’tayim. Grooms and Brides are blessed 7 times. There are 7 major Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Tabernacles, Chanukah, Purim, Passover and Shavou’ot); 7 directions (north, south, west, east, up, down, one’s inside); 7 continents and 7 oceans and major seas in the globe; 7 world wonders; 7 notes in a musical scale; 7 days of mourning over the deceased; 7 congregants read the Torah on each Sabbath; 7 Jewish Prophetesses (Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Chana, Abigail, Choulda and Esther); 7 gates to the Temple in Jerusalem; 7 branches in the Temple’s Menorah; and 7 Noah Commandments. Moses’ birth and death day was on the 7th day of Adar. Jethro had 7 names and 7 daughters. Joshua encircled Jericho 7 times before the wall tumbled-down. Passover and Sukkot (Tabernacles) last for 7 days each. The Yom Kippur prayers are concluded by reciting “God is the King” 7 times. Each Plague lasted for 7 days. Jubilee follows seven 7-year cycles. According to Judaism, slaves are liberated, and the soil is not-cultivated, in the 7th year. Pentecost is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Easter.
3. Shavou’ot is celebrated 50 days following Passover, the holiday of liberty. The Jubilee – the cornerstone of liberty and the source of the inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10) – is celebrated every 50 years. Judaism highlights the constant challenge facing human beings: the choice between the 50 gates of wisdom (the Torah) and the corresponding 50 gates of impurity (Biblical Egypt). The 50th gate of wisdom is the gate of deliverance. The USA is composed of 50 states.
4. Shavou’ot sheds light on the unique covenant between the Jewish State and the USA: Judeo-Christian Values. These values impacted the world view of the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Separation of Powers, Checks & Balances, the abolitionist movement, etc. John Locke wanted the 613 Laws of Moses to become the legal foundation of the new society established in America. Lincoln’s famous 1863 quote paraphrased a statement made by the 14th century British philosopher and translator of the Bible, John Wycliffe: “The Bible is a book of the people, by the people, for the people.”
5. Shavou’ot is the second of the 3 Jewish Pilgrimages (Sukkot -Tabernacles, Passover and Shavou’ot – Pentecost), celebrated on the 6th day of the 3rd Jewish month, Sivan. It highlights Jewish Unity, compared by King Solomon to “a three folds cord, which is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The Torah – the first of the 3 parts of the Jewish Bible – was granted to the Jewish People (which consists of 3 components: Priests, Levites and Israel), by Moses (the youngest of 3 children, brother of Aharon and Miriam), a successor to the 3 Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and to Seth, the 3rd son of Adam and Eve. The Torah was forged in 3 manners: Fire (commitment to principles), Water (lucidity and purity) and Desert (humility and faith-driven defiance of odds). The Torahis one of the 3 pillars of healthy human relationships, along with labor and gratitude/charity. The Torah is one of the 3 pillars of Judaism, along with the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.
6. Shavou’ot highlights the eternity of the Jewish People. Thus, the first and the last Hebrew letters of Shavou’ot (שבועות) constitute the Hebrew name of the third – and righteous – son of Adam & Eve, Seth (שת). The Hebrew meaning of Seth – שת – is “to institute” and “to bestow upon” (Matan-מתן in Hebrew). The Hebrew word for the bestowing of the Torah at Mt. Sinai is Matan Torah (מתן תורה).
7. Shavou’ot (שבועות) is a derivative of the Hebrew word “Shvoua’” (שבועה) – vow, referring to the exchange of vows between God and the Jewish People. The origin of Shavou’ot occurred 26 generations following Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word for Jehovah (יהוה) equals 26 in Gimatriya (assignment of numerical values to Hebrew letters). There are 26 Hebrew letters in the names of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs: Abraham (אברהם), Yitzhak (יצחק), Yaakov (יעקב) Sarah (שרה), Rivka (רבקה), Rachel (רחל) and Leah (לאה).
8. Shavou’ot highlights the Scroll of Ruth, who lived 3 generations before King David, son of Jesse, grandson of Ovad, the son of Ruth. The Scroll of Ruth is the first of the five Biblical scrolls, which are studied during five holidays: Ruth (Shavou’ot), Song of Songs (Passover), Ecclesiastes (Sukkot), Book of Lamentations (Ninth of Av), Esther (Purim). Ruth – a Moabite Princess and a role model of loyalty (“Your people are my people and your God is my God”) and gratitude – stuck by her mother-in-law, Naomi, who lost her husband, Elimelech (President of the Tribe of Judah) and two sons. Naomi went through family, economic and social calamities, similar to those experienced by Job: both lost their close-ones and financial assets; both complained to God; both preserved confidence in God and reconstructed their families; both were role-model of faith-driven tenacity. Naomi’s suffering constituted a punishment for emigrating from the Land of Israel upon difficult times. Leaders do not desert their people when the going gets rough! Ruth’s Legacy: Respect thy mother in-law (!), be driven by conviction over convenience be cognizant of the central role played by women from Sarah, through Ruth, until today. The total sum of the Hebrew letters of Ruth (רות) – in Gimatriya – is 606, the number of laws granted at Mt. Sinai, which together with the 7 laws of Noah form the 613 Laws of Moses. According to the scroll, “Ruth [the daughter-in-law] was better than 7 sons.”
The Scroll of Ruth highlights the Judean Desert and Bethlehem as the Cradle of the House of David and Jewish history – not “occupied territory.”
9. Shavou’ot is the day of birth/death of King David (as well as the day that Moses was saved by Pharaoh’s daughter), the great-grandson of Ruth, who united the Jewish People, elevating them to a most powerful position. The David-Torah linkage demonstrates that physical and spiritual leadership are mutually-inclusive, as long as governments are driven by values. According to Deuteronomy (17: 18-20), the king must write his own Torah scroll, in order to refine his character, gain knowledge and absorb leadership qualities, mostly humility. In contrast with King Saul, King David assumed responsibility and accountability for his sins. He didn’t just talk the talk; he walked the walk! 150 candles are lit at King David’s tomb on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem, consistent with the 150 chapters of Psalms mostly attributed to David. Number 150 is the numerical value of Nest (קן), the warm environment of the Torah. David’s personal history (from shepherd to king) – and Jewish history – provides a lesson for individuals and nations: Despair is not an option and every problem is an opportunity in disguise (from slavery in Egypt to the sublime deliverance at Mt. Sinai and then in the Land of Israel).
10. The two portions of the Torah, which are recited/studied around Shavou’ot, are נשא and בהעלותך, which mean – in Hebrew – spiritual enhancement and elevation. נשא is the longest portion of the Torah (176 verses), highlighting the inauguration of the ancient tabernacle and altar. בהעלותך highlights the Menorah (Candelabrum) of the ancient tabernacle, which had seven branches, similar to the seven weeks between Passover and Shavou’ot.
11. Dairy dishes consumed during Shavou’ot, commemorate divine providence. According to the Kabbalah (Jewish mystical school of thoughts), milk represents divine quality. Babies – a divine creation – are breast fed by mothers. Dairy dishes commemorate the most common (humble) food – of shepherds like King David – during the 40 years in the desert, on the way to the Land of Milk and Honey, the Land of Israel. Unlike wine, milk is poured into simple glasses. The total sum of milk (חלב) is 40 in Gimatriya, which is equal to the 40 days and nights spent by Moses on Mt. Sinai and the 40 years spent by the Jewish People in the Desert. 40 is also the value of the first Hebrew letter (מ) of key Exodus-Terms: Moses (משה), Miriam (מרים), Manna (מן), Egypt (מצרים), Desert (מדבר), Menorah (מנורה), Tabernacle (משכן), Mitzvah-Commandment (מצווה), etc. 40 generations passed from Moses – who delivered the “Written Torah” – to Rabbi Ashi and Rabbi Rabina, who concluded the editing of the Talmud, the “Oral Torah.” The first and the last letters in the Talmud is the Hebrew “מ”, which equals 40 in Gimatriya.
From The Ettinger Report: http://www.theettingerreport.com/Jewish-Holidays/Shavou’ot-(Pentecost)-Guide-for-the-Perplexed-(2).aspx
From Atlas Shrugs
Found at Theo Spark
From 1389 Blog
By: Daniel Greenfield
The sun sets above the hills. The siren cries out and on the busy highways that wend among the hills, the traffic stops, the people stop, and a moment of silence comes to a noisy country. Flags fly at half mast, the torch of remembrance is lit, memorial candles are held in shaking hands and the country’s own version of the Flanders Field poppy, the Red Everlasting daisy, dubbed Blood of the Maccabees, adorns lapels. And so begins the Yom Hazikaron, Heroes Remembrance Day, the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror– Israel’s Memorial Day.
What is a memorial day in a country that has always known war and where remembrance means adding the toll of one year’s dead and wounded to the scales of history. A country where war never ends, where the sirens may pause but never stop, where each generation grows up knowing that they will have to fight or flee. To stand watch or run away. It is not so much the past that is remembered on this day, but the present and the future. The stillness, a breath in the warm air, before setting out to climb the slopes of tomorrow.
Who can count the dust of Jacob. And yet each memorial day we count the dust. The dust that is a fraction of those who have fallen defending the land for thousands of years. Flesh wears out, blood falls to the earth where the red daisies grow, and bone turns to dust. The dust blows across the graves of soldiers and prophets, the tombs of priests hidden behind brush, the caverns where forefathers rest in sacred silence, laid to rest by their sons, who were laid to rest by their own sons, generations burying the past, standing guard over it, being driven away and returning each time.
On Memorial Day, the hands of memory are dipped in the dust raising it to the blue sky. A prayer, a whisper, a dream of peace. And the wind blows the candles out. War follows. And once again blood flows into the dust. A young lieutenant shading his eyes against the sun. An old man resting with his family on the beach. Children climbing into bed in a village beneath the hills. And more bodies are laid to rest in the dust. Until dust they become.
In this land, the Maker of Stars and Dust vowed to Abraham that his children would be as many as the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. In their darkest days, they would be as the dust. But there is mercy in the numberless count of the dust. Mercy in not being able to make a full count of the fallen. In remaining ignorant of that full measure of woe. Modern technologies permit us terrible estimates. Databanks store the names of millions, village by village and city by city. Terrible digital cemeteries of ghosts. But there is no counting the dust. And when we walk the length and breadth of the land, as the Maker told Abraham to do, it the dust that supports our feet, we stand upon the shoulders of giants. We walk in the dust of our ancestors.
Some new countries are built to escape from the past, but there is no escaping it in these ancient hills. IDF soldiers patrol over ground once contested by empires, tread over spearheads and the wheels of chariots buried deep in the earth. The Assyrians and the Babylonians came through here in all their glory. Greek and Roman soldiers and mercenaries pitted themselves against the handful of Judeans who came out of the Babylonian exile. The Ottoman and the Arab raged here, and Crusader battering rams and British Enfield rifles still echo in the quiet hills.
Here in the silence of remembrance the present is always the past and the sky hangs like a thin veil fluttering against the future. The believers cast their prayers out of their mouths against the veil. The soldiers cast their lives and their hearts. And still the future flutters on above, like the sky near enough to touch, but out of reach. Beneath it, the sky-blue flag, the stripe of the believer’s shawls adorned with the interlocked star of the House of David.
Can these bones live, the Lord asks Ezekiel. And generations, after each slaughter, they come again, the descendants of the dead to reclaim the hills of their ancestors. Rising like the red flowers out of the soil. Like the bones out of the earth. They come up as slaves out of Egypt and out of the captivity of empires, their tongues as numberless as the earth. Here they come again to set up kingdoms and nations. And there in shadows on the dust, a handful of men fight off a legion; swords, spears and rifles in hand they face down impossible odds. They fight and die, but they go on.
The calendar itself is a memorial. Israel’s Memorial Day, Independence Day and Lag BaOmer; the commemoration of the original Yom Yerushalayim, the brief liberation of Jerusalem from the Romans, still covertly remembered in bonfires and bows shot into the air, all in a season that begins with Passover, the exodus that set over a million people off on a forty-year journey to return to the homeland of their forefathers.
The battles today are new, but they are also very old. The weapons are new, but the struggle is the same. Who will remain and who will be swept away. Some 3,000 years ago, Judge Jephthah and the King of Ammon were exchanging messages not too different from those being passed around as diplomatic communiques today. The King of Ammon demanding land for peace and the Judge laying out the Israeli case for the land in a message that the enemy would hardly trouble to read before going to war.
Take a stray path in these hills and you may find a grinning terrorist with a knife, or the young David pitting his slingshot against a lion or bear. This way the Maccabees rush ahead at the armies of a slave empire and this way a helicopter passes low overhead on the way to Gaza. Like Dali’s melting clocks, time is a fluid thing here. And what you remember; you shall find.
The soldier is not so sacred as he once was. The journalist and the judge have taken his place. The actors sneer from their theaters. The politicians gobble their free food and babble of peace. Musicians sing shrilly of flowers in gun barrels and doves everywhere. But the soldier still stands where he must. The borders have shrunk. The old victories have been exchanged for diplomatic defeats. From the old strongholds come missiles and rockets. And children hide in bomb shelters waiting for the worst to pass. This is the doing of the journalist and the judge, the politician and the actor, the lions of literature who send autographed copies of their books to imprisoned terrorists and the grandchildren of great men who hire themselves on in service to the enemy.
The man who serves is still sacred, but the temple of duty is desecrated more and more each year. Leftist academics dismiss the heroes of the past as myths or murderers. Their wives dress in black and harass soldiers at checkpoints, their children wrap their faces in Keffiyas and throw stones at them. Draft dodging, once a black mark of shame, has become a mark of pride among the left. Some boast about how easy it is, others enlist only to then refuse to serve. They call themselves Refusniks , accepting the Soviet view of Israel as an illegitimate warmongering state, but laying claim to the name of the Zionists who fought to escape the Soviet Union.
Some are only afraid, but some are filled with hate. They have looked into a twisted mirror and drunk of the poisoned wine. They have found their Inner Cain and go now to slay their brothers with words.
How shall I curse whom G-d has not cursed, asks Balaam. But the King of Moab is determined to have his curses anyway. And today it is to the UN that they come for curses. The Arab lands boil with blood, but resolution after resolution follows damning Israel. China squats on the mountains of Tibet, Russian government thugs throw dissidents out of windows and Saudi firefighters push girls back into a burning building. And still the resolutions come like curses.
In a land built on memory, it is possible not to remember, but it is impossible to entirely forget. A war of memories comes. A war for the dust. Is this a day of remembrance or a day of shame. Were those men who fought and died for Judea and Samaria, for the Golan and Jerusalem, for every square inch of land when the armies of Arab dictators came to push them into the sea, heroes or villains. Were Nasser, Hussein, Saddam, Arafat, Gaddafi, Assad and the House of Saud the real heroes all along. The tiny minority of 360 million pitted against the overwhelming majority of 6 million.
Yet though men may forget, the dust remembers. And the men return to it. For some four thousand years they have done it. And they shall do it again. For He who has made men of the dust and made worlds of the dust of stars does not forget. As the stars turn in whirling galaxies and the dust flies across the land, so the people return to the land. And though they forget, they remember again. For the dust is the memory of ages and the children shall always return to the dust of their ancestors.
In the cities, towns and villages– the dead are remembered. Those who died with weapons in their hands and those who just died. Men, women and children. Drops of blood cast to the dust, reborn as flowers on lapels. Reborn as memory.
All go to one place, said King Solomon, all that lives is of the dust, and all returns to the dust. There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works. And so memorial day precedes the day of independence. That we rejoice in that which those who sleep in the dust have died to protect. The skyscrapers and the orchards, the sheep ranches and the highways, the schools and the synagogues. For they who drained the swamps and built the roads, who held guard over the air and built the cities, may not have lived to see their works. But we rejoice in their works for them. And a new generation rises to watch over their dust and tend the works that they have built. Until the day when He that counts the dust of Jacob shall count them all, and the land shall stir, and in the words of Daniel, they that sleep in dust shall arise, and then rejoice with us.
I expect, however, that Israel will be celebrating many more anniversaries of its independence. If Israel was to perish from a nuclear or bio-chemical attack, the whole world would need another miracle.
“Her April 14 appearance at Great Neck Synagogue was canceled amid liberal protests, but anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller got the last laugh: The next morning, two other area synagogues invited her to speak the same day as the canceled speech.” — Shul Axes Pamela Geller, and 2 Others Invite Her, Jewish Daily Forward
Note the “anti-Islam” smear. They always have to get that in, even when admitting defeat.
Overwhelming. What a day. I must dash to New Jersey to speak at Temple Beth-El in Edison, but I had to share with Atlas readers and freedom lovers the triumph that you all had a hand in making happen.
The Chabad event in Great Neck was a great victory! Hundreds came out to hear my talk and to stand for free speech. The rooms at the Chabad House were all jammed, with people standing in the aisles. It was an overflow crows: another 400 to 500 people watched the event on a jumbotron set up outside in an outdoor theater that had been set up for this event.
Luminaries in attend included Robert Spencer, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Charles Jacobs, Dov Hikind, David Wood, Ashraf Ramelah of Voice of the Copts, Helen Freedman of AFSI, and many others. Introducing me was David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center, the indefatigable pro-freedom lawyer who has represented me in my free speech cases around the country.
It was divine: defiant, happy, confident freedom warriors standing up the face of Islamic supremacist and Leftist intimidation, and refusing to bow down. It was one for the ages.
As German officers and Weimar civilians bear witness, after Buchenwald’s liberation, to atrocities committed at the camp, a dummy in striped prisoner garb hangs from a gallows — a gruesome demonstration of one of the many public ways that inmates were murdered at the camp.
Story to Remember:
In the 1920s and 1930s Germany was the most advanced society on Earth in terms of science, technology, philosophy and the arts; every single German Jew who went to the concentration camps was a full citizen of that country – many of whom served their country honorably in the First World War – all of whom arrived in those death camps by obediantly complying with the laws of their land.
When the Government says “We are hear to help you,” – NEVER trust!
The Israeli monument in front of the Headquarters building at Dachau Concentration Camp says:
- STORMBRINGER SENDS
Israel’s Rise: Dream Realized, or Prophecy Fulfilled?
Almost precisely a year ago, Egypt announced that it would cut the amount of natural gas it would sell to Israel.
And little more than a week ago, production began at the Tamar offshore natural gas field. And just two days ago, a German newspaper reported that the estimated capacity of the Tamar field has been raised, by a full trillion cubic feet.
Natural gas fields, of course, do not develop overnight; the process takes literally millions of years. Is it not interesting, then, that these fields (Tamar and another, Leviathan), having lain hidden beneath Israel’s territorial waters through 2,000 years of occupation by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, and Englishmen, were to be discovered by and exploited only after the Jews’ return, and precisely at the moment Israel needed them?
I am not a religious man. But I am not a great believer in coincidence, either. Which got me thinking of the Torah — specifically, Genesis, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2:
Now the LORD said unto Abram: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto the land that I will show thee.
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing.
So God says that He will make of the Jews a great nation. But He doesn’t say when.
Could the time be now?
The major obstacle to the “two-state solution” which so enthralls Western liberals is not land, but the Arabs’ refusal to recognize the Jewish People as a people and Israel as the state of the Jewish People. But another obstacle, less remarked upon, is Israelis’ growing realization that the conventional wisdom — that a greater Palestinian Arab birthrate would eventually cause Arabs to outnumber the Jewish population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan — is wrong. And as the fear of a Palestinian demographic landslide vanishes, the motivation for Israel to accept a Palestinian state vanishes with it.
In fact, most of the Arab states and Iran are experiencing a drastic decline in their national birth rates at the same time as the Jewish population continues to benefit not from a decline, but from a 17-year “robust surge” in her birth rate — one which shows no signs of slowing. How dramatic is Israel’s rise?
Read it all at American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/israels_rise_dream_realized_or_prophecy_fulfilled.html
Maybe in this cowed and cowardly age, the denouement was inevitable: on Wednesday night, the Great Neck Synagogue on Long Island canceled a speech by Pamela Geller that had been scheduled for Sunday. This was after Islamic supremacists, led by one Habeeb Ahmed of the Nassau County Human Rights Commission, and Leftists mounted a large-scale campaign of defamation of Geller in the media and intimidation of synagogue officials through private channels. It is bad enough that it was done. It is even worse that it succeeded.
This ugly little affair in Great Neck closely parallels my own recent experience. I had been scheduled to speak on March 16 at a Catholic Men’s Conference in Worcester, Massachusetts, but after a Leftist reporter at the Boston Globe and a local Muslim leader who is an open supporter of a convicted jihad terrorist raised a controversy, Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester cancelled my appearance. He also subsequently ignored my repeated requests for a meeting to clear my name, as well as a petition that garnered over 3,000 signatures, asking that he reinstate my talk.
In his only public statement on the matter, McManus spoke of “concern” that “Mr. Spencer’s talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.” In other words, to discuss the Muslim persecution of Christians might offend the Muslims here who profess to oppose that persecution. The bishop did not explain why they would be offended by an honest discussion of something they claim to oppose.
Great Neck Synagogue officials were not as craven as McManus, who added that an honest discussion by me of the real atrocities committed by Muslims in the name of Islam around the world might “generate suspicion and even fear of people who practice piously the religion of Islam” – thereby repeating the Islamic supremacist smear that my work for the defense of Constitutional freedoms somehow endangers innocent people.
By contrast, the synagogue leaders acknowledged none of the intense barrage of lies great and small about Pamela Geller that had been sent their way since the controversy was ginned up. Rather, they ascribed the cancellation to the determination that it would be “irresponsible to jeopardize the safety of those who call Great Neck Synagogue home, especially our children, even at the risk of diverting attention from a potentially important voice in the ongoing debate.”
Nonetheless, the outcome is the same: the precedent is reinforced that smear campaigns work, and that all the foes of freedom have to do in order to shut down any voices opposed to them is mount a campaign simultaneously vilifying and demonizing their targeted speaker and showing the host the price he will have to pay for featuring the target. As Saul Alinsky said, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it.” His thuggish children and heirs are doing just that: picking off the defenders of freedom one by one, isolating, demonizing and marginalizing them, and making people who stage and host speakers afraid to invite them, for fear of the firestorm that is certain to ensue.
Their capitulations, however, only make more such firestorms inevitable. And so while it is understandable that no one wants to face them, and no one wants a media frenzy around what was supposed to be a quiet event, the more people cave in to them, the worse it is going to be for everyone else. For the enemies of free speech and the enablers of jihad terror aren’t just targeting Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer: they’re going after anyone and everyone who dares to utter a truthful word about the global jihad and Islamic supremacism. No one is spared, and no one will be spared – not even those who repeat politically correct niceties about how the Religion of Peace has been hijacked. The crocodile will eat them as well, even if it eats them last.
If host organizations and institutions in the United States realized what was at stake, they would be inundating Pamela Geller with speaking invitations right now. And when the Leftists and Islamic supremacists began their smear and intimidation campaigns, they would show themselves resolute, determined, and immovable.
But this is not an age of iron. It’s an age of jelly. And so the order of the day will be more intimidation, more threats, and more defamation directed against anyone who speaks out against the jihad and Islamic supremacism, and anyone who dares to host that speaker. Until finally, there is no one left to speak out, no one at all.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam, is now available.
From Atlas Shrugs: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/
Operation Language Cleanup – By Diana West
From the desk of Diana West on Tue, 2013-04-09 13:05
The AP Stylebook has opened a new chapter on the non-”offensive” Engllsh-language lexicon to parse the war on the world waged by Islam. The wire service bible (can I say that?) has decreed that “Islamist” is out as a “a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals.”…
“If the past decade teaches anything, I think it is that there is great shame in understanding Islam — for non-Muslims. Westerners do seem to find it shameful to admit that Islam, according to its main and mainstream (not “extremist”) teachings, is really that bad — that totalitarian, that supremacist, that misogynistic, that expansionist, that barbaric. Embarassment for Islam’s followers seems to overwhelm the Westerner’s mental circuits when imagining that millions of people in the 21st century not only submit to Islam’s law, but expect — demand — that the rest of us to submit to it as well.
Thus, we invent or, better, gratefully accept a way out for everyone. It is the “Islamists” who are the problem — not those who merely believe in and follow the teachings of Islam. What, doctrinally, is the difference? Why is that our problem?”
Read the entire article at Brussels Journal: http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/5052
Bart Jones of Newsday, the largest-circulation newspaper on Long Island, covered the Sharia putsch against my talk at the Great Neck Synagogue on Sunday. Now mind you, this is an article essentially about me. The story, much to my chagrin, is about me — much as it shouldn’t be, it should be about the message — but it is about me. Because that’s what the enemy does. News consumers, pay attention: the entire article is comprised of every uber-left dhimmi Jew “authority figure” who has a nasty word to say about moi. And just for knowing, shame on these rabbis who rush to crucify me and yet stay silent about the virulent anti-Jewish rhetoric that is spewed forth in so many mosques and Islamic centers — and in the quran and hadith.
I’d like to know how these “rabbis” reconcile the silence of their Islamic partners concerning the vicious anti-semitism in the Quran and hadith. Do these rabbis sanction Islamic anti-semitism? How do they avoid that 800 lb. gorilla in the room? What do these “rabbis” talk about with these sharia enforcers?
How dare these rabbis criticize another synagogue. Who are these people? You never see this in the Muslim community. Reform rabbis like Rabbi Michael White and Rabbi Jerome Davidson bring shame upon our people. Rabbi Michael White calls my work hateful and says that I hold virulently anti-Muslim views. Has White read my books or columns — can he cite one example of this lashon hora? He says that “hate speech has no place in synagogues.” I agree — which is why White and Davidson should resign. Their hate speech and smears are not befitting the title of rabbi.
Bart Jones runs every smear and fails to mention that the ringleader of this uproar, Habeeb Ahmed, used his Human Rights Commission public office to strongarm the synagogue to cancel the event. He is currently under investigation for “misuse of title.” Bart Jones didn’t think that newsworthy, but lies and libel against me — that’s news. Did Bart Jones run one quote from any Geller supporters? Not one.
This article is one slam after the other. That’s journalism? Running the smears and lies with no investigation of the charges? No evidence? No need! The objective is to kill the target.
I urge every rational and freedom-loving individual to come to the Great Neck Synagogue and stand against the oppressors, censors, and sharia enforcers who protest my work as a human rights activist.
The article is behind a paywall — so I scanned it for you.
Blogger involved in ‘Ground Zero mosque’ controversy to speak in Great Neck
Newsday, April 8, 2013 8:39 PM
Photo credit: AP Photo David Karp | Blogger Pamela Geller, speaks at a conference she organized entitled; “Stop Islamization of America,” in New York. (Sept. 11, 2012)
The woman who helped lead the fight in 2010 to keep a mosque and Islamic center from being built near Ground Zero is scheduled to speak at a synagogue in Great Neck this weekend — generating a firestorm of criticism among Muslim, Jewish and Christian groups.
Blogger and author Pamela Geller is scheduled to speak Sunday at the Great Neck Synagogue on the “Imposition of Sharia in America,”…
From Atlas Shrugs: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/
In shocking violation of his spiritual obligations as a cleric, Reform “Rabbi” Michael White defames and slanders my work and me. He has obviously never read my work — my columns or my books. He falsely accuses me of hate speech and has the chutzpah to invoke Jewish teachings. Rabbi Michael White sounds as if he studied his funky brand of Judaism at Hamas university. First and foremost, Rabbi, no loshon hora. And do not libel fellow Jews. You, Rabbi, are supposed to be the example, the teacher.
White calls posting the daily news stories that I post here at Atlas concerning the Islamic persecution and slaughter of Christians and other non-Muslims across the world “hate speech”? He says nothing of what is happening in these news stories. He is struck dumb by the vicious Islamic anti-semitism in the quran and hadith. But his tongue is flapping condemnations of me. Where is Rabbi White’s outrage over the most brutal and radical ideology on the face of the earth?
You’d think Michael White would be upset about the genocidal rhetoric coming from Hamas and Iran, and in general about the real threat to the Jews from Islamic jihadis — the threat about which I am trying to raise awareness. Instead, he smears me for fighting against Islamic Jew-hatred.
He should be driven from his shul by the town elders. He is a disgrace to the rabbinate. Ultimately, he will answer to a higher authority.
CBS wants to know: What do you think of the synagogue’s choice to let Geller speak? Leave your comments here…
CBS News, April 19, 2013GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Pamela Geller calls herself a human rights activist, but her critics call her a hatemonger.
And as CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Geller will be taking center stage at a Long Island synagogue this weekend speaking about Islam, and there’s been a firestorm of opposition.
“What is the controversy?” Geller said. “You know, a Jewish girl going to speak at a synagogue.”
But there is plenty of controversy. Geller has been called everything from a fanatical bigot to a fearless dynamo, and being called upon to speak at Great Neck Synagogue has ignited even more strong reactions.
Geller has gained notoriety for her anti-Islam messages, notably including several series of ads that have appeared in the New York City subway and Metro North transit systems.
One round of ads read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” Another features the twin towers of the World Trade Center burning on Sept. 11, 2001, and a quote attributed to the Quran saying: “Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.”
Geller was also the force against the Ground Zero mosque, which she called a “victory mosque” marking the site of the 9/11 attacks.
Geller’s most recent group, “Stop Islamization of America,” has been dubbed a hate group by both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The Anti-Defamation League accused the group of “consistently vilifying the Islamic faith.” The SPLC called Geller “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead,” and claimed she has “mingled comfortably with European racists and fascists, spoken favorably of South African racists, defended Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic and denied the existence of Serbian concentration camps.”
But she has presented herself as a victim of censorship.
“Whatever your position is, this is free speech, and this is a war on free speech, and the few that speak to these issues are demonized, marginalized, and rendered radioactive,” Geller said.
Now, Geller has been invited by the men’s club at Great Neck Synagogue to speak Sunday. Critics defended her right to free speech, but said inviting her to a house of worship provides a platform for hate.
“We teach that you stand up to hate speech, and what she writes and what she says is absolutely hate speech,” said Rabbi Michael White of the Temple Sinai of Roslyn.
In a chorus of interfaith opposition, Islamic leaders have called on the synagogue to reconsider their invitation.
“She calls Muslims savages. She uses the Quran as a door stopper,” said Dr. Faroque Kahan of the Islamic Center of Long Island. “Her language is very abrasive and she claims Muslims are out to take control of the whole country.”
The synagogue issued a statement: “We believe that it is important to hear what she has to say and we are confident that intelligent and fair minded individuals will consider her views in reaching their own conclusions…. We reject the categorizing of any religious majority based on the actions of a minority. …. We do, though, believe that it is appropriate to speak about the actions of that minority.”
And around Great Neck, there was a great divide over the issue.
“Freedom of speech is something that we should never give up,” one person said.
“This kind of debate doesn’t belong in a holy place,” another said.
Geller will be joined inside the synagogue by the father of a U.S. Marine corporal killed in Afghanistan last year. Outside, demonstrations are expected on both sides.
The subject of Geller’s speech at the synagogue will be Sharia, the religious and moral code of Islam.
From Atlas Shrugs: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/
I wanted to write a post this week defending the legitimacy of the Zionist project but I quickly realised that with this conflict, most of the arguments have already been made.
Just as some people are right-handed and some left, everybody seems to have an inbuilt bias on the Middle East dispute.
People with no interest in politics whatsoever nevertheless reserve a space in their hearts for either the Jews or the Arabs of the near-east, rarely both. They may have never met a Jew or an Arab in their lives, but they still fight for ‘their’ side with all the determination of a brother coming to the aid of a brother.
If you think about it, this is actually quite strange. It certainly isn’t the case with other conflicts. When the Sinhalese and the Tamils fight each other in Sri Lanka, a majority of people require an explanation as to who the Sinhalese and Tamils are before the reasons behind the conflict themselves are elucidated. Some might even need an index finger on a map to show them where Sri Lanka is.
Why is Israel and Palestine different? One reason could be religion.
I grew up in a religious household and remember going to Sunday-school each week where I read the Bible with the teachers. The word ‘Israel’ was familiar to me long before I knew anything political, as were Jews, Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese Cedar trees and the concept of the promised land. When I become politically aware and learned about Zionism, I already had a basic grasp of the actors and religious stakes involved.
Most Westerners (or at least Christian Westerners) therefore are bound to see the conflict as an interesting one. The same I imagine is true of Muslims, who are taught from an early age about Mohammads alleged journey to Jerusalem as well as more explicitly about the politics of Palestine.
Another reason of course is race. The Jews are a subject of unending fascination for Europeans, who can’t quite fathom whether to adore or despise them. In America too, the Jewish people are both liked and disliked but rarely ignored.
Anything involving Jews therefore tends to attract scrutiny.
Reflecting this interest, the Middle East conflict has inspired passionate and important political books on both sides of the debate. On the Pro-Israel side there are volumes like “The Case for Israel”, “From Time Immemorial”, and “Shackled Warrior”. On the anti-Israel side, there is “Beyond Chutzpah”, “Fateful Triangle” and “The Gun and the Olive Branch”.
Some of these books have become classics of political writing and their authors are looked to as intellectual sages not just on the Middle East but World Politics more broadly.
But for me, the strongest political argument for Israel arises naturally from an examination of the realities on the ground.
Israel as a country can easily deceive people. It looks so Western and sophisticated, so calm and cosmopolitan that it’s scarcely believable to think that in a coastal strip just to its south, there is a nightmare territory of illiteracy, genital mutilation, veiling and stoning to death.
Just a mile from beachfront Israeli coffee shops, in which young Jewish women and young Jewish men drink Cappuccino and chat about sport, literature and fashion, there are other women, forbidden to leave the crumbling houses of men they were forced to marry as children, and whose children dance on the unpaved streets outside praising suicide bombing.
These are not, as if often claimed, ’two different cultures’. These are two different stages of cultural development. One is in the 21st century, and the other in the 13th.
In Israeli cafes, a heated argument might break out over which marks the greater artistic leap forward, “The Bends” or “OK Computer” (the answer incidentally is the latter). In a Gaza shack, a brawl might ensue over whether music (of any kind) should be punishable by fine or amputation.
It pays to remind oneself every so often just how weird this contrast is. Imagine Denmark sharing a border with Afghanistan. Switzerland with Pakistan. Tokyo with Darfur.
And yet – knowing all this – how does the West, so comfortable in its own version of the 21st century, react?
It gathers both sides together and shouts ”Make a deal!…”, and then reacts with feigned surprise when nothing comes of it.
I suppose this isn’t strictly-speaking ’betrayal’. Israel is not in Europe. It’s more a simple kind of hypocrisy, as well as a motivated failure to comprehend an obvious truth; that the age of mutilation, dogma, and suicide bombing cannot be reconciled with the world of fashion, irony and relaxed society. They are not equal and – more importantly – they are not equally valuable. This simple, cartoonish contrast may prove to be the strongest argument for Israel, even after all the academic head-scratching and moral grandstanding has fallen away.
If you wish to defend the West from Islamisation, and modernity from barbarism, you must be a supporter of the Jewish State and defend what it represents. It is a border of the civilised world and an armed front against its darkest enemies. The Jews are a talented, humane and indispensable race and their state should reflect this in security, prosperity and size.
These are the vital arguments. So if you’re asked again to choose between modernity and barbarism, or whatever else you might wish to call the same choice, ‘Civilization or madness’, ‘Israel or Palestine’…. don’t think too deeply about it. Despite the weighty books, complicated theorems and wars of interpretation, honesty alone should lead you to the century you belong in.
From Defend The Modern World: http://defendthemodernworld.wordpress.com/
Since Egypt we have become slaves again, lived under the rule of iron-fisted tyrants and forgotten what the very idea of freedom means. And that will likely happen again and again until the age ends. What is this freedom that we gained with the fall of a Pharaoh and the last sight of his pyramids and armies?
Freedom like slavery, is as much a state of mind as a state of being. It is possible to be legally free, yet to have no freedom of action whatsoever. And it is possible to be legally a slave and yet to be free in defiance of those restrictions. External coercion alone does not make a man free or slave, it is the degradation of mind that makes a man a slave.
What is a slave? A slave is complicit in his own oppression. His slavery has become his natural state and he looks to his master, not to free him, but to command him. Had the Jews of Egypt merely been restrained by physical coercion, it would have been enough to directly and immediately smash the power of the Egyptian state. But their slavery was mental. They moaned not at the fact of slavery, but at the extremity of it. When their taskmasters complained to Pharaoh, it was not of slavery, but of not being given the straw with which to build the bricks.
The worst slavery is of the most insidious kind. It leaves the slave able to think and act, but not as a free man. It leaves him with cunning, but not courage. He is able to use force, but only to bring other slaves into line. And most hideously, this state of affairs seems moral and natural to him. This is his freedom.
The true slave has come to love big brother, to worship at the foot of the system that oppresses him. It is this twisted love that must be torn out of him. It is this idolatry of the whip before which he kneels, this panting to know who his superior and who his inferiors are, this love of a vast order that allows him to be lost in its wonders, to gaze in awe at the empire of tomorrow which builds its own tombs today, that must be broken. These are his gods and he must kill them within himself to be free.
The Exodus is not the story of the emergence of free men who were enslaved, but the slow painful process by which slaves became a nation of free men, a long troubled journey which has not yet ended. That is why we celebrate Passover, not as an event of the past, but as of a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.
Having escaped from Pharaoh, they built a glittering calf, and having left the desert behind, they sought out a king. Every idol and tyrant was another token of slavery, a desire to put one’s ear up against the doorpost and become slaves for life. The idols have changed, but their meaning has not. There is still the pursuit of the master, the master of international law, of a global state, the gods of the superstate who rule over the present and the future and dispose of the lives of men.
There are far too many synagogues that worship the Democratic Party, rather than G-d, that bow to the ghost of FDR, the glittering echoes of Harry, Adlai and John, and the great golden statue of Hope and Change squatting obscenely over it all. And in Jerusalem far too many eyes look longingly to Washington and to Brussels, to the cities on the hill which offer order, truth and peace.
It is easy to slip into this kind of slavery. The pyramids are grand, the slogans are clever and the future seems assured. It is only when the dusty messenger comes along to whisper that “He has remembered”. that those who have not forgotten gather and some among those who have forgotten, remember that they are slaves.
In Egypt the system of the state had to be smashed, but not simply smashed, but discredited. It could not be a mere contest of power, but of reason. The war between slavery and freedom could not end until the system of slavery had become ridiculous, until Pharaoh appeared a buffoon and his power no more than organized madness. And yet even so for a generation liberated from slavery, this majestic system, the only one they had ever known, remained their template, and in times of crisis, their immediate instinct was to retreat back to the only civilization they had known.
The slavery of the present is a more subtle thing. It grips the mind more tightly than the body. It still remembers that men enslave themselves best. It knows also that true power comes from making all complicit in its crimes so that they are also complicit in their own degradation. The system only asks that each man enslave himself and kill his own children. And once he has done that, he will only feel it right to demand that everyone else do likewise.
This is the slavery of the system. It requires few whips and many words. It nudges men to be their own taskmasters and to reach out their hands to the new Pharaoh in the hope that he will save them. It is this slavery which is so pervasive, which Passover wakes us from, if it has not already been perverted into the Passover of the system, into civil rights seders and eco-matzas, if has not become yet another tribute to the Pharaoh of Hope and Change.
“Once we were slaves,” the ancient words call on us to remember that we have been freed. That it is no longer Pharaoh who enslaves us, but we who enslave ourselves. “Now we are free men.” But what is freedom really? Is it the freedom of the system or the freedom of the self? The system proclaims that they are one and the same. And that is the great lie which ends in death.
Like the slaves of ancient Egypt, we are shaken, dragged out of our everyday routine and commanded to be free. But how do you command men and women to be free? You can lead them through the habits of free men and women who think of themselves as kings and queens, who drink wine while reclining, who sing loudly in defiance of all oppressors, who boldly proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem” while the Pharaoh of Hope and Change bares his teeth at Jews living in Jerusalem.
You can unroll the scroll of history and show them how they were taken out, but all this routine is useless unless they understand and are sensible that they are free. Free not in their habits, but in their minds. Ritual is the gateway to a state of mind. A ritual of freedom only succeeds when it invokes a state of mental freedom. Otherwise it is a rite, a practice, a habit whose codes may help some future generation unlock its meaning, but which means little today.
Passover is the beginning and the end. It is the start of the journey and the end of it and we are always in the middle, on the long road out of Egypt, discovering that there are more chains in our minds than we realized a year earlier or a hundred or a thousand years ago. Each step we take toward freedom also reminds us of how far we still have to go.
It is the ritual that reminds us that we are still on the journey, that though we have been lulled by the routine of the system, the trap of the present that like the soothing warmth of an ice storm or the peaceful feeling of a drowning swimmer, embraces us in the forgetfulness of the dying moment, concealing from us the truth that the journey is not over. The desert still lies before us.
This journey is the human journey. It is the recreation of what mankind lost when it defied G-d, when it turned with weapons on each other, when it built towers, created systems and tried to climb to heaven on the backs of slaves and pyramids. It is a transformative road that requires us to not only endure, but to learn.
Surrounded by willing slaves who preach the creed of slavery, we must speak for freedom. Though few seem to remember the journey or the chains, it is our duty to remind ourselves. The message of Passover fully begins only when the holiday ends and its habits carry over into our daily lives. Once we were slaves, now we are free.
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Revelation 17: 13-14
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
By Alan Caruba
# ‘Challenging moment with great risks’…
# Obama ‘not bluffing’ over military threat…
# Netanyahu: ‘Red line’…
# TOP GENERAL: Nuclear Iran will trigger arms race in Middle East…
# Kissinger: Nuke crisis close…
# NKOREA: NO MORE CEASEFIRE…
# Russia conducts largest nuclear drill in 20 years…
These Republicans in Congress Make Me Sick. No Convictions, No Principles, No Integrity, No Stand Against Sheer Incompetence and Open Hatred for Israel
The Senate approved Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Defense secretary Tuesday, ending a contentious battle that exposed deep divisions over the president’s Pentagon pick.
After Republicans blocked the nomination earlier this month, they ultimately allowed for an up-or-down vote on Tuesday. The margin was historically close, with 58 senators supporting him and 41 opposing in the end.
Though Hagel is himself a former Republican senator, the resistance to his nomination showed an unusual level of distrust among many senators toward the man chosen to lead the Defense Department – at a time when the country is trying to wind down the Afghanistan war, while assessing emerging threats from Iran, Syria and elsewhere in the turbulent Middle East and North Africa.
Republicans had earlier held up the nomination largely over demands for more information from the Obama administration on the Sept. 11 Libya attacks.
But they also raised serious and recurring concerns about Hagel’s record of past statements and votes on everything from Israel to Iran to nuclear weapons.
Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican, clashed with his onetime friend over his opposition to President George W. Bush’s decision to send an extra 30,000 troops to Iraq in 2007 at a point when the war seemed in danger of being lost. Hagel, who voted to authorize military force in Iraq, later opposed the conflict, comparing it to Vietnam and arguing that it shifted the focus from Afghanistan.
McCain called Hagel unqualified for the Pentagon job even though he once described him as fit for a Cabinet post.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asked what the delaying tactics had done for “my Republican colleagues.”
“Twelve days later, nothing. Nothing has changed,” the Democrat said on the Senate floor. “Sen. Hagel’s exemplary record of service to his country remains untarnished.”
Reid blamed partisanship over Obama’s second-term national security team for the delay. Both Reid and Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat, warned that it was imperative to act just days before automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the Pentagon.
Hagel will succeed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and join Obama’s retooled national security team. Hagel’s nomination bitterly split the Senate, with Republicans turning on their former party colleague and Democrats standing by Obama’s nominee.
Republicans also challenged Hagel about a May 2012 study that he co-authored for the advocacy group Global Zero, which called for an 80 percent reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons and the eventual elimination of all the world’s nuclear arms.
The group argued that with the Cold War over, the United States can reduce its total nuclear arsenal to 900 without sacrificing security. Currently, the U.S. and Russia have about 5,000 warheads each, either deployed or in reserve. Both countries are on track to reduce their deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 by 2018, the number set in the New START treaty that the Senate ratified in December 2010.
In an echo of the 2012 presidential campaign, Hagel faced an onslaught of criticism by well-funded, Republican-leaning outside groups that labeled the former senator “anti-Israel” and pressured senators to oppose the nomination. The groups ran television and print ads criticizing Hagel.
Opponents were particularly incensed by Hagel’s use of the term “Jewish lobby” to refer to pro-Israel groups. He apologized, saying he should have used another term and should not have said those groups have intimidated members of the Senate into favoring actions contrary to U.S. interests.
The nominee spent weeks reaching out to members of the Senate, meeting individually with lawmakers to address their concerns and seeking to reassure them about his policies.
Hagel’s halting and inconsistent performance during some eight hours of testimony at this confirmation hearing last month undercut his cause, but it wasn’t a fatal blow.
There was no erosion in Democratic support for the president’s choice and Hagel already had the backing of three Republicans – Sens. Thad Cochran, Mike Johanns and Richard Shelby. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., also switched to support Hagel in the final vote.
From The Daley Gator: http://thedaleygator.wordpress.com/
Students at Britain’s prestigious Oxford University are set to hold a controversial vote this week as the Students Union (OUSU) stands to make its final decision on whether to boycott Israeli companies and products.
The vote, which is scheduled for Wednesday, follows a tumultuous week, brought about by anti-Israeli MP George Galloway’s hurried and highly criticized exit of a debate on Israel, after discovering that his opponent was an Israeli citizen.
“I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” Galloway said, to gasps of shock and mutters of “racism.”
According to The Guardian, the boycott motion calls on Oxford students to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement “in protest of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its hindrance of attempts to create a Palestinian state.”
From Weasel Zippers: http://weaselzippers.us/
Purim Guide for the Perplexed 2013
Yoram Ettinger Based on Jewish sages, February 22, 2013
1. “Purimfest 1946” were the last words of Julius Streicher, the Nazi propaganda chief, as he approached the hanging gallows (Newsweek magazine, October 28, 1946, page 46). On October 16, 1946 (Jewish year 5707), ten convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged in Nuremberg. An 11th Nazi criminal, Hermann Goering, committed suicide in his cell. Julius Streicher’s library documented much interest in Purim and its relevance to enemies of the Jewish people.
According to the Scroll of Esther, King Ahasuerus allowed the Jews to defend themselves and hang Haman and his ten sons. The Talmud (Megillah 16a) claims that Haman had an 11th child, a daughter, who committed suicide following her father’s demise.
In the aftermath of the hanging of Haman and his sons, Queen Esther asked King Ahasuerus: “If it shall please His Majesty, allow the Jews who are in [the capital city] Shushan to act also tomorrow as they did today (in literary Hebrew, “tomorrow” refers sometimes to a distant future), and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows (Esther 9:13).” Why would she request the hanging of Haman’s already hung sons? Esther’s request was interpreted as a reference to a future event which would require a similar hanging. The original Hebrew text of the Scroll of Esther – which documents the hanging of Haman’s sons – features one very large letter, ו (which equals 6 – the 6th millennium), and three very small letters, ת, ש, ז (which equal 707), referring to the year 5707 during the 6th millennium – 1946/7 in the general calendar.
2. Purim’s historical background according to Prof. Israel Eldad:
*Xerxes the Great – King Ahasuerus, known for his grand and long banquets – succeeded Darius the Great. He ruled the Persian Empire (from India to Ethiopia) during 465-486BC, 150 years before the rise of Alexander the Great, who defeated the Persian Empire.
*Greece was Persia’s key opponent in its expansion towards the Mediterranean and Europe, hence the alliance between Persia and Carthage, a rival of Greece.
*Greece supported Egypt’s revolt against Persian rule, which was subdued by Persia with the help of the Jewish warriors of Yeb (in Egypt) and Carthage, which had a significant Jewish-Hebrew connection (the names of Carthage’s heroes, Hannibal and Barca, derived from the Hebrew names, Hananyah and Barak).
*Xerxes was defeated by Greece at the battle of Salamis (480 BC), but challenged Greece again in 470BC.
*According to a Greek translation of the Scroll of Esther, Haman (the Agagi) was Macedonian by orientation or by birth. Agagi could refer to Agag, the Amalekite King (who intended to annihilate the Jews) or to the Greek Aegean Islands. Haman aspired to annihilate the Jews of Persia and opposed improved relations between Xerxes and the Jews of Yeb. He led the pro-Greek and anti-Carthage faction in Persia, while Mordechai was a chief advocate for the pro-Carthage orientation.
3. Purim is celebrated on the 14th/15th days of the Jewish month of Adar. Adar (אדר) is the root of the Hebrew adjective Adir ( – (אדירglorious, awesome, exalted, magnificent. It is, also, a derivative of the Akkadian word Adura (heroism). Jewish tradition (Babylonian Talmud) highlights Adar as a month of happiness, singing and dancing. The zodiac of Adar is Pisces (fish), which is a symbol of demographic multiplication. Hence, Adar is the only Jewish month, which doubles itself during the 7 leap years, in each 19 year cycle. Purim is celebrated on the 14th (in non-walled towns) and (in Jerusalem) on the 15th day of Adar, commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish People from the jaws of a holocaust in Persia. It also commemorates the 161 BC victory of Judah the Maccabee over Nikanor, the Assyrian commander. Moses ¬ who delivered the Jewish People from a holocaust in Egypt and whose burial site is unknown – was born, and died (1273 BC), on the 7th day of Adar, which is Israel’s Memorial Day for soldiers, whose burial site is unknown. The events of Purim occurred following the destruction of the 1st Temple by Nebuchadnezzar (586 BCE) and the exile from Zion, during the leadership of Ezra who returned to Jerusalem, and the inauguration of the Second Temple (3rd of Adar, 515 BCE) by Ezra and Nehemiah. Nebuchadnezzar died in Adar 561 BC (Jeremiah 52:31). Albert Einstein published the Theory of General Relativity in Adar 1916.
4. Purim’s Hebrew root is fate/destiny (פור), as well as “lottery” (commemorating Haman’s lottery which determined the designated day for the planned annihilation of the Jewish People), “to frustrate,” “to annul” (להפר), “to crumble” and “to shutter” (לפורר), reflecting the demise of Haman.
5. Purim commemorates a Clash of Civilizations between Mordechai the Jew and Haman the Iranian-Amalekite. It constitutes an early edition of the war between right VS wrong, liberty VS tyranny, justice VS evil, truth VS lies, as were/are Adam/Eve VS the snake, Abel VS Cain, Abraham VS Sodom and Gomorrah, Jacob VS Esau (grandfather of Amalek), Maccabees VS Assyrians, Allies VS Nazis, Western democracies VS Communist Bloc and Western democracies VS Islamic rogue and terrorist regimes.
6. Purim is the holiday of contradictions as well as tenacity-driven-optimism:
Annihilation replaced by deliverance; Esther’s concealment of her Jewish identity replaced by the disclosure of her national/religious identity; Haman’s intended genocide of the Jews replaced by his own demise; Haman replaced by Mordechai as the chief advisor to the king; national and personal pessimism replaced by optimism. A Purim lesson: Life is complex, full of contradictions, ups and downs and difficult dilemmas, worthy of principled-determination. Threats and hurdles are challenges and opportunities in disguise. The bigger the mission is, the bigger the adversity.
7. Mordechai, the hero of Purim and one of Ezra’s deputies, was a role model of principle-driven optimism in defiance of colossal odds, in the face of a super power and in defiance of the Jewish establishment. He fought Jewish assimilation and urged Jews to sustain their roots and return to their Homeland. He was endowed with the bravery of faith-driven individuals, such as Nachshon – who was the first to walk into the Red Sea before it parted. Mordechai was a politically-incorrect, out-of-the-box thinking statesman anda retired military leader, who utilized a “disproportionate pre-emptive offensive” instead of appeasement and defense. The first three Hebrew letters of Mordechai (מרדכי) spell the Hebrew word “rebellion” (מרד), which is consistent with the motto/legacy of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin: “Rebellion against Tyrants is Obedience to G-D.” Mordechai did not bow to Haman, the second most powerful person in the Persian Empire. He was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the only son of Jacob who did not bow to Esau. The name Mordechai is also a derivative of Mordouch,¬ the chief Babylonian god.
Mordechai was a descendant of King Saul, who defied a clear commandment (to eradicate the Amalekites). He spared the life of Agag, the Amalekite king, thus precipitating further calamities upon the Jewish People. Consequently, Saul lost his royal position and life. Mordechai learned from Saul’s error. He destroyed Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite and Haman’s entire power base, thus sparing the Jewish People a major disaster.
In Gimatriya, “Cursed Haman” (ארור המן) equals 502, which is identical to “Blessed Mordechai” .(ברוך מרדכי)
8. Queen Esther, the heroine of Purim’s Scroll of Esther (the 24th and concluding book of the Bible) was Mordechai’s niece. Esther demonstrates the centrality of women in Judaism, shaping the future of the Jewish People, as did Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel. Leah, Miriam, Batyah, Deborah, Hannah, Yael, etc. Sarah was the first Jewish woman, and Esther was the last Jewish woman mentioned in the Bible. Sarah lived 127 years and Esther ruled over 127 countries. The name Esther (אסתר) is a derivative of the Hebrew word הסתר , “to conceal” – reflective of her initial concealment of her Jewish identity, while the Hebrew word for “scroll,” מגילה, derives from מגלה – “to reveal.” God is concealed in the scroll of Esther, which is the only biblical book which does not mention God. The Purim custom of wearing costumes highlights the transition from the concealment to revelation of identity.
The name Esther (pronounced Ester in Hebrew) derives also from Ishtar ¬ a Mesopotamian goddess, Astarte, “star” ¬ a Phoenician goddess. In fact, the one day pre-Purim Fast of Esther (commemorating the three day fast declared by Esther in order to expedite deliverance), was cherished by the Maranos in Spain, who performed Judaism in a clandestine manner. While God’s name is hidden/absent in Esther’s Scroll, Michael Bernstein suggests that there are 182 references to “King,” corresponding to 26 (the numerical value of God) times 7 (days of creation). Esther’s second name was Hadassah, whose root is Hadass (myrtle tree in Hebrew) ¬ whose leaves are shaped like an eye.
The name Esther is identified with the planet Venus (hence, Esther’s other Hebrew name ¬Noga, just like my oldest granddaughter ¬ a shining divine light, which is Venus in Hebrew). In Gimatriya, Esther (אסתר) and Noga (נגה) equal 661 and 58 respectively, and the sum of 6+6+1 and 5+8 is 13 (the number of God’s virtues). In “small Gimatriya” both Esther (1+6+4+2) and Noga (5+3+5) equal 13, which is also the total sum of “one” in Hebrew (אחד) ¬ which represents the oneness of God, monotheism, as well as the total sum of love in Hebrew (אהבה).
9. The Persian King appointed Mordechai to be his top advisor, overruling Haman’s intent to prevent the resettling of Jews in Zion, the reconstruction of the Temple and the restoration of the wall around Jerusalem. He foiled Haman’s plan to exterminate the Jews. The king prospered as a result of his change of heart and escaped assassination. That was the case with Pharaoh, who escaped national collapse and starvation and rose in global prominence, once he appointed Joseph to be his deputy.
10. Purim’s four commandments:
*Reading/studying the Scroll of Esther within the family, highlighting the centrality of family, education, memory and youth as the foundation of a solid future.
*Gifts to relatives, friends and strangers emphasize the importance of family, community and collective responsibility.
*Charity (at least the value of a meal) reflects compassion and communal responsibility. According to Maimonides, “there is no greater or more glorious joy than bringing joy to the poor.” Purim is celebrated when Jews study the portion of the Torah, תרומה, which highlights giving and contributing to the other person as a means to enhance solidarity and reduce egotism.
*Celebration and Happiness sustain optimism and faith – the backbone of individuals and nations.
11. Lethal enemy destroyed and lethal threat commemorated. The pre-Purim Sabbath is called “Memorial Sabbath” (שבת זכור), commemorating the war of extermination launched by the Amalekites against the Jewish Nation, since the Exodus from Egypt. A Purim lesson: Be wary of enemies, posing as partners of peace, concealing a strategic goal of extermination.
From The Ettinger Report: http://www.theettingerreport.com/Jewish-Holidays/Purim-Guide-for-the-Perplexed-2013.aspx