Caroline Glick: The liberating responsibility of atonement
The Jewish people and the Jewish state face extraordinary challenges today. Luckily, we can handle all of them. But to do so, we need to be capable of judging ourselves fairly.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year because it is the day that the Torah sets aside for us to reckon with ourselves. We are commanded to give an accounting – before our fellow men and before God – for our actions in the previous year. We must make amends to both for our misdeeds. And since none of us is perfect, every one of us has things to atone for.
Yom Kippur’s power stems from a basic assumption that forms its core. That assumption is that we are all moral agents. We all have to make an accounting.
This basic assumption is the most liberating notion ever created. Moral agency is what makes us free. It doesn’t matter how wretched or rich our external circumstances, the fact that the Torah enjoins all of us to take responsibility for our behavior means that as far as God is concerned, we are not slaves and never will be slaves.
The converse is also true.
We are only free for as long as we are capable of accounting for our actions. This means that preserving our ability to properly judge ourselves is the key to preserving our liberty.
This is true not only for the Jewish people as individuals. It is true as well for the Jewish state, Israel.
JPost Editorial: Decision time
On Sunday, just hours after an east Jerusalem Palestinian shot and killed two Israelis in the capital, politicians hit the airwaves.
Some called to punish residents of Silwan, the east Jerusalem neighborhood where the terrorist came from. Others called to immediately authorize the construction of homes in Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Agriculture Minister and Bayit Yehudi member Uri Ariel said: “Massive building and removing from the heart of our enemies the idea that we will ever move from a united Jerusalem... will minimize the potential for attacks in Jerusalem.”
Bayit Yehudi MK Mordechai Yogev said: “Every attack requires a Zionist response of authorizing new building plans in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.”
This has happened before.
After the brutal murder of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on the government to build in the settlements. A few days later, the government approved the publication of a tender to build 42 additional homes in Kiryat Arba.
Security forces on high alert in Jerusalem as Jewish Israelis mark Yom Kippur
The IDF was set to place the West Bank and Gaza border crossings under a general closure on Tuesday evening at the start of Yom Kippur. The closure was scheduled to be lifted on Wednesday night.
Humanitarian, medical and other urgent journeys will be permitted, the army said.
One day after a deadly Jerusalem terrorist attack jarred the nation, police on Monday said extensive security measures for Yom Kippur, beginning Tuesday night, have been implemented throughout the capital, with “nothing being left to chance.”
In anticipation of thousands of visitors from around the world visiting the Western Wall beginning Monday evening, Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said nearly 4,000 officers will be on hand to closely monitor all activity.
“Overall general security assessments have been made across Israel, with an emphasis on all public areas such as synagogues, central bus and train stations and the Old City,” he said Monday afternoon. “At the same time, during the festivals themselves, we’re having more than 3,500 officers in Jerusalem to carry out security measures, with an emphasis on the Old City, where we’re expecting thousands of people to arrive to go to the Western Wall on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
According to Rosenfeld, a wide range of elite units will be based in Jerusalem, including Border Police, counterterrorism units, special patrol units and undercover units.
“If necessary, they will give an immediate response to any type of incident,” he said, “and these security measures are standard measures taking place despite the terrorist attack that took place over the last 24 hours.”
“The level of security across the country and in Jerusalem is relatively high, and this will continue for as long as necessary throughout the festival period, including Succot, which will last for over two weeks from today,” Rosenfeld said.
PA: 'Palestinian Arabs the original inhabitants of Israel'
The Palestinian Authority National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science attacked the satirical video released by the Foreign Ministry, "Rachel, Jacob, and the Land of Israel," which conveys the message that the Jews are the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel.
The PA Commission released a statement in response, saying that the video was distorting facts and rewriting history. "It is a fabricated history that has no relation to art and no connection to the drama and deep-rooted history of the Palestinian and Arab-Islamic identity."
Amin al-Sudani, the head of the commission, said that "This hysterical and imaginary film was prepared and published as part of the overall war against our people by the occupation after they took control of our country, killing and exiling its inhabitants since the Nakba in 1948."
Al-Sudani called on the international community, especially UNESCO, to convene immediately to intervene and stop Israel's "crimes against the history, heritage, and identity of the Palestinians."
The Arabs first swept into the Land of Israel as part of the Muslim Caliphate's conquest of large parts of Africa and Asia in the 7th century. The Muslim hordes, hailing from the Arabian peninsula, conquered Jerusalem in 637 C.E. and allowed the Jews, who had been there from Biblical times except for periods of expulsion and massacre by various conquerors, to practice their religion.
UNESCO to vote on resolutions ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount
UNESCO is slated to vote twice this month on Palestinian initiated resolutions that ignore Jewish ties to its most holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem.
The first of these votes will be taken on Thursday or Friday of this week by the 58-member Executive Board of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris.
In advance of that vote, Israel’s Mission to UNESCO in Paris, has given board members and international diplomats a brochure detailing the deep historical connections Judaism has to those sites, which are also holy to Christianity and Islam.
“These facts and evidences will leave no doubt, and without undermining other connection of other religions to the holy places in Jerusalem, of the deepest and longest Jewish presence in Jerusalem since ancient times,” Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen wrote.
“Every attempt to distort the history and harm the above mentioned relations of the Jewish people and Jerusalem, is an attempt to rewrite the history in a dangerous, unfair and one-sided manner,” he said.
AFP Adds Key Info on Jewish Visits to Temple Mount: It's Their Their Holy Site
Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, Agence France Presse has added key information to an article today with a grossly misleading reference to
increased Jewish visitors to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem for the holidays of Rosh Hashanah, which was last week, and Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday evening. ("Israel arrests dozens of Palestinians after shooting rampage," Oct. 10, 6:59 AM GMT).
By using only the Islamic name referring to a mosque and omitting the fact that the Temple Mount compound is Judaism's holiest site, readers of the original AFP article would have had absolutely no way of understanding why Jews are visiting the "Al-Aqsa mosque compound." Obviously, the fact that the same compound is Judaism's most sacred site is critical to readers' understanding of the reason for the Jewish visitors.
Shortly after CAMERA contacted editors, the influential wire service published an updated story which noted that the site is holy for Jews ("Israel probes deadly shooting rampage ahead of holiday," 11:11 AM GMT). The added information in the improved article is: "The site is holy to both Muslims and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount."
David Collier: Antisemitic hate festival in Lichfield Cathedral
I have just spent a weekend at Lichfield cathedral for a conference “on the Israel/Palestine Conflict and the prospect of peace”. And what a weekend it was! A naïve Dean, antisemitism, conspiracy theories, global control, blood sucking Jews, child kidnappers, Arabs in 100ad. and of course, Jesus the Palestinian.
Encouragingly, with one eye on the event in the cathedral, the Bishop of Lichfield Michael Ipgrave also delivered a statement on antisemitism. This an extract:
“To me there seems no question that denying the right of Israel to exist, failing to take seriously the claim of its citizens to security and recognition, viewing the complex situation in the Holy Land as an unparalleled example of injustice when it is fact surrounded by egregious instances of oppression and unsettlement, adopting a one-sided view which fails to recognise the legitimate interests and real anxieties of all sides – all these can be manifestations of, or excuses for, real antisemitism.”
If this is what he truly lichfield speakersbelieves, he will be absolutely horrified to hear what was relayed inside the walls of his cathedral.
I had little doubt I was walking into a hate-festival. One of the ‘secrets’ of such an event is that the range of speakers is always skewed. People such as Ilan Pappe see sharing a stage with Zionists as ‘normalisation’. Jewish self determination, the right of a ‘Jewish home’, these are positions too ‘dirty’ for anti-Israel activists to accommodate. Therefore if Pappe is present, you know their views have been ideologically protected by the structure of the event itself. The building has been cleansed of all support for the Jewish national movement.
If Jewish Israelis are present, they must be those that come bearing 1000 apologies for ‘Israeli crimes’. Thus reinforcing the imagery of Israel the oppressor
'Antisemitic' German teacher posed as a Jew to push anti-Israel agenda
A teacher in the German state of Lower Saxony who advocates a complete boycott of Israel posed as a Jew in order to sign a petition calling for all Palestinian refugees to be returned to the Jewish state.
The petition, titled “Jews for Palestinian Right of Return,” was located online by The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night. The 2013 anti-Israel document also said that “the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial.”
Speaking from Jerusalem, Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, told the Post on Monday that the fact that the teacher, Christoph Glanz, posed as a Jew “shows he is fanatically dedicated to promoting his antisemitic agenda.”
Zuroff continued by saying “it is absolutely insidious” that Glanz falsified his identity to advance “hatred of Israel.”The teacher is currently under investigation by Lower Saxony school authorities for alleged antisemitism and violations of the civil service requirement of political neutrality.
Multiple Post press queries to Glanz at the school, IGS Flötenteich in the northern city of Oldenburg, as well as to his email addresses, were not returned.
Medieval Spain was no interfaith golden age
The Maliki school of jurisprudence prevalent in Spain was conservative and intolerant: the much-vaunted age of Ummayad "tolerance" was characterised by persecution, beheadings and crucifixion. In true colonialist style, the Muslim conquerors did their best to erase local place names and languages. They ruthlessly destroyed churches and built mosques on top of them.
Naturally, Fernández-Morera echoes Gouguenheim's theory that Byzantine monks were already translating Greek texts into Latin. It was "baseless" to say that Islam preserved classical knowledge and passed it on to Europe. In fact Islam slowed down the exchange of science, art and poetry. Many of the so-called Muslim luminaries of the Golden Age turn out to be of non-Muslim or non-Arab ancestry, if not themselves Christians and Jews.
More controversially, Fernández-Morera contends that the pre-Islamic Visigoths have received an unfairly bad rap: they had already laid medieval Spain's rich cultural foundations. The Visigothic anti-Jewish restrictions, designed to lead to the disappearance of Judaism, were often worse than the dhimmi regime's, causing Jews to side with the Muslim conquerors, but Fernández-Morera claims that the Visigothic anti-Jewish rules were often ignored.
If it were not for the Reconquista, Spain would have become a "ham and drink-free" zone. Western civilisation would have stopped at the Pyrenees. It took several centuries for Christian Spain to achieve its own literary Golden Age.
But this was also the age of the Spanish Inquisition, and so many of the glorious literary figures cited by the author are conversos from Judaism, or have Jewish ancestry, that Fernández-Morera's concluding paragraphs are a whitewash. The Spanish Christian Golden Age seems only to have replaced one cruel and intolerant system by one even worse -- at least as far as Spain's Jews were concerned.
Debunking Robert Pape using his own data
Robert Pape is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago as well as the founder and director of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST), which has created an open database of every suicide terrorist attack since 1982. On the basis of that data, Pape has written two books: "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism"(2005) and "Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It" (2010). The main conclusion of both books is that best explanation for suicide terrorism is not Islamic fundamentalism, but rather foreign occupation.
According to Robert Pape over 95% of all suicide attacks are driven by a strategic logic to compel foreign occupiers to withdraw their forces. That was the case back when he wrote the his first book "Dying to Win" (DtW), which looked at all suicide attacks between 1982 and 2003; it was the case when he wrote his second book "Cutting the Fuse" (CtF), which dealt with the suicide attacks from 2004 to 2009; and it remains the case today. As late as the end of march this year, Robert Pape gave a lecture where he still claimed that 95% of all suicide terrorist attacks are caused by "military interventions".
While Pape's theory has evolved somewhat since his first book, a few key elements remain constant. First of all, foreign occupation has remained his main "risk factor" for suicide terrorism throughout all his research. Pape's definition of what constitutes a foreign occupation, however, has changed significantly—from the slightly dubious to the utterly absurd—over the course of his two books and subsequent lectures.
Secondly, during all of Pape research, the influence of Islamic fundamentalism is consistently downplayed if not flat-out dismissed. While Pape does not disregard religion completely—he claims it still serves a purpose for recruitment, and that a religions differences between the occupied and occupier can increase the likelihood that suicide terrorism will occur as part of a resistance towards occupation—he absolutely dismisses the idea there should be anything inherent in Islam, that is more conducive to suicide terrorism, as opposed to any other religion.
The apparent overrepresentation of Muslim suicide bombers, should, according to Pape, be seen as a result of the foreign occupations that we in the west have forced upon the Muslim world in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. And the data he has collected apparently confirms this interpretation..
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Mark Regev On The Antisemitism Of The Left And British Labor
Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev recently wrote this Guardian piece about antisemitism disguised as anti-Zionism and how infects too much of the Left, including the British Labor party.
Here he speaks to the UK’s Channel 4 about it, doing an admirable job in the face of a rather hostile interviewer (what’s new?)
Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev on anti-Semitism on the left
Daphne Anson: Antisemitism: A Lady Muzzled
No, not this lady, our old buddy the Baroness. Here's one of her latest rants on social media, where she seems increasingly niggled by the fact that some dastardly Zionists are taking issue with her jaundiced views:
People like Hanoch here, countering lies and encountering Israel-haters like ex-BBC Middle East correspondent Tim Llewellyn along the way:
My header refers to a lady of very different views.
For if there is one thing more than another which strikes me as symbolic of the despicable attitude of this past weekend's Hatefest at Lichfield Cathedral as described in David Collier's absolutely stunning account of an event replete with "antisemitism, conspiracy theories, global control, blood sucking Jews, child kidnappers, ... and of course, Jesus the Palestinian....," it was the attempt to silence a lady by the name of Mandy Blumenthal.
Head of UC Berkeley Jewish Student Union Says Antisemitic Incidents Not Treated as Seriously as Attacks on Other Minorities
Attacks against members of the Jewish community at the University of California, Berkeley are not treated with the same gravity as those against other minority groups, the head of the school’s Jewish Student Union (JSU) told the independent student-run newspaper The Daily Californian on Sunday.
JSU President Josh Woznica said that the latter “get identified and the administrations send out something and there are no questions asked… [but] a hate crime is a hate crime, and when the administration makes a statement about one thing, it should be the same statement as another thing.”
UC Berkeley, Woznica said, “has its fair share of antisemitic incidents.” However, the challenge of identifying Jew-hatred on campus is becoming increasingly muddled because many of the attacks are “masked in the form of anti-Zionism and anti-Israel activity.”
Woznica’s comments followed a recent UC Berkeley controversy surrounding “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” an anti-Israel course which, as The Algemeiner reported, was suspended and later reinstated.
Distraught U of Michigan Student: Anti-Israel Demonstration on Rosh Hashanah Reflects Wider Exclusionary Attitude Towards Jews on Campus
A recent anti-Israel demonstration at the University of Michigan that was allowed to take place during the high holiday of Rosh Hashanah — when most Jews would be off campus — is reflective of a wider exclusionary attitude on campus, a Jewish student wrote on Thursday.
In an op-ed in the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily, Gabrielle Roth said, “We are told we don’t know how it feels to be ostracized and oppressed, and thus can’t participate in conversations revolving around diversity and inclusion.” However, she wrote, “One group’s pain and oppression shouldn’t be measured against another group’s pain and oppression — this is useless and hurtful.”
Roth expressed outrage over the “apartheid wall” and mock Israeli checkpoints erected on campus during the Jewish New Year, which she first learned about while she was at synagogue last Tuesday. She said she was “surprised to hear, between prayers, whispering’s from my peers: ‘There’s an anti-Israel wall in the middle of the Diag.'”
“To have [such a] display on a day when Israel’s advocates can’t adequately respond is conniving and corrosive to the dialogue many students who are passionate about the conflict have worked so hard to establish,” she wrote, adding that this is but one of many instances in which she felt “excluded from the larger narrative on this campus because of my Jewish identity.”
The Australian’s Khalik spins women’s flotilla report
On October 7, 2016, The Australian featured a report by Jennine Khalik about the recent interception of a boat of anti-Israel activists attempting to reach Gaza –“Israel picks up boat captained by Tasmanian out to break Gaza blockade”.
While the printed edition of the paper contained a shorter and straight report on the events, the longer online version was highly problematic. It lacks context and is rife with inaccuracies and omissions. We will examine those, but first the question must be asked why Khalik was assigned the story in the first place. Surely the editors of The Australian, a publication that is usually nuanced and balanced on matters relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would have thought to assign this story to a journalist who hadn’t previously declared the following on the ABC’s Q and A program:
“I am of Palestinian descent. My parents, grandparents and great grandparents were refugees. The state of Israel was established on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and displacement of three-quarters of Palestinians in 1948. Palestinians since have been subjected to apartheid, a military occupation and the continued confiscation and dispossession of their land and resources. How can we confront the popular pro-Israel narrative that it is a democracy?”
On to the issues with the story then:
Israel’s navy has intercepted a boat captained by a Tasmanian woman attempting to break the blockade on Gaza.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza, with 13 women on board including Hobart local and professional sailor Madeleine Habib, was intercepted in international waters this morning once they entered what Israel deems a “military exclusion zone” 100 nautical miles within the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Khalik omits here that the United Nations Palmer Report, the result of an investigation into the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident in which nine Turkish militants were killed while trying to attack Israeli forces who boarded their ship as it was attempting to reach Gaza, found that Israel has every right to enforce its military blockade of Gaza in international waters. The omission of this piece of context falsely paints Israel as an aggressive and rogue state with no regard to international norms.
Australian stock exchange to Israeli tech firms: Come list Down Under
While the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has been easing regulations to encourage Israeli tech companies to issue shares locally and the Nasdaq is expecting IPOs from Israel to pick up, interest in Israeli companies has also arrived from an unexpected source. The Australian stock exchange has come knocking in an effort to drum up interest and convince companies to offer equity on its far-off shores.
“We are not competing with Nasdaq for listings,” Max Cunningham, the general manager of listings at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) said in an interview when he visited Israel two weeks ago. Companies that list on the Nasdaq generally have “off the charts growth,” are big global businesses, and probably have a large presence in the US.
“I don’t think that is who we are competing with,” he said over a sandwiches-and-salad lunch at a Tel Aviv hotel overlooking the beach. “But I think those who don’t go to Nasdaq, but want to list for a variety of reasons, may want to look at Australia. We just have one main market, the same level of disclosure for all companies, and we have some great companies that are doing very well. Australia is the biggest funds management market in Asia — it has more funds under management than anyone else in Asia — and the third biggest in the world.”
Five Israeli companies have listed shares on the Australian stock exchange since January 2015, including satellite communications company Sky and Space Global and data storage company Weebit Nano Ltd., bringing to six the total number of Israeli or Israel-related companies that trade their shares on the exchange, according to data provided by the Australian Stock Exchange.
Israeli bodyguard to keep Kim Kardashian safe
After serving as in the elite Duvdevan Unit, Aaron Cohen is reportedly gearing up for a much more glamorous mission: protecting reality star Kim Kardashian, who is still recovering from her robbery in Paris; Cohen says, 'She's lucky to be alive.'
Reality star and pop culture icon Kim Kardashian is not taking any more chances: days after being robbed at gunpoint while in her Paris hotel room, she has reportedly decided to hire Aaron Cohen, an Israeli security guard who served as a highly trained fighter in the IDF.
Cohen is an Israeli-American who was born in Canada. After moving to Los Angeles with his family with his family at age two, he made Aliyah when he was 17, living in kibbutzim Ma'ayan Tzvi and HaZore'a. A year later, he was drafted into the IDF as a lone soldier, where he served as a Mista'arav (undercover soldier pretending to be Arab) in the elite Duvdevan Unit.
After he finished his army service, Cohen returned to the US and started a security company catering to celebrities. His company has worked with some of the biggest names in showbiz, from singer Katy Perry to actor Brad Pitt and even the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kardashian, it was reported, has now joined his client list.
IsraellyCool: WATCH: Sharon Stone Praises Israel During Shimon Peres Tribute
During a heartfelt tribute to her friend Shimon Peres at a LA memorial ceremony, Hollywood actress Sharon Stone had some very nice things to say about Israel.
Israeli Teens Mobilize to Help Holocaust Survivor Whose Home Was Ransacked by Burglars
A group of young Israelis in the northern city of Acre rallied to the aid of a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor whose home was recently burgled while he was on vacation, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Monday.
Late last week, Limor Ozen — the head of a community center in Acre — received a phone call from Michael, who had just returned from a Rosh Hashanah trip to France and found his apartment ransacked.
The robbers had removed all the food from Michael’s refrigerator and freezer and the rotting remnants had attracted worms and produced a “terrible odor,” Limor said.
In a Facebook post, Limor wrote that she and her husband “could never have imagined that scum could carry out such cruel destruction.”
Limor told nrg that the scale of the damage to the apartment prompted her to decide to help out immediately. Via Whatsapp, she was able to get 17 teens from the city to come and assist Michael clean up his home.
A Yom Kippur guide for the perplexed
Yom Kippur is a day of hope and optimism, in addition to being a solemn day of soul-searching. Yom Kippur provides unique awareness of one's own character and track record, as well as the opportunity to upgrade relationships with relatives, friends, associates and the community at large.
Judaism's holiest day focuses on forgiveness and highlights humility, fallibility, soul-searching, faith, compassion, thoughtfulness, being considerate, accepting responsibility and magnanimity.
The first human being, Adam, was created on the first day of Tishrei, the first month of the Jewish calendar. Human beings are afforded an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually each year on Yom Kippur, the 10th day of Tishrei -- an Akkadian word for forgiveness and genesis.
Yom Kippur culminates 10 days of genuine, heart-driven atonement, which begin on Rosh Hashanah. Ten has special significance in Judaism: God's abbreviation is the 10th Hebrew letter yod; there are 10 attributes of God -- divine perfection -- that were highlighted during the creation; the Ten Commandments; the Ten Plagues; there are 10 reasons for blowing the shofar; one is commanded to extend a 10% gift to God (tithe); Ten Martyrs (Jewish leaders) were tortured and murdered by the Roman Empire; there were 10 generations between Adam and Noah and between Noah and Abraham; a 10-person quorum (minyan) is required for a collective Jewish prayer, etc.
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