✡ Shabbat Shalom ✡ שבת שלום
Have a wonderful Shabbat, everyone!
There Is No Israeli Siege On Gaza
The numbers speak for themselves - 1.7 Million tons of merchandise were imported into Gaza via the Israeli border in the last 2 years.
Israel allows in all the food and medicine that Gaza wants. Everything can go in, except for weapons and items that can be used to make weapons.
Same goes for the ability of people to cross the border for medical needs and for business. 10% of the people who crossed the border were internationals - journalists & aid workers.
Given Hamas’ creation of terror tunnels used by it to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel against civilians, it is clear that there has to be control over what goes into the Gaza strip, so as to make sure that it is not used for Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure.
With neighbors like Hamas, would you give up control over your border?
Saudi Foreign Minister speaks in favor of normalizing ties with the Jewish state, and condemns Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood for harming the Palestinians.
Who would’ve thought?
Opposed to free speech. Opposed to freedom of religion. Opposed to women’s rights. Opposed to peace. Hamas = ISIS.
Both terrorist organizations are radical terrorist groups sworn to brutally murder and destroy entire races and religions of people.
Guard Your Gates! - Parshat Shoftim .
Rabbi Benny’s weekly Torah thought… keeping it short, meaningful and contemporary.
This weeks parsha says:
כי תבא אל הארץ אשר ה’ אלהיך נתן לך וירשתה וישבתה בה ואמרת אשימה עלי מלך ככל הגוים אשר סביבתי. שום תשים עליך מלך אשר יבחר ה’ אלהיך בו מקרב אחיך תשים עליך מלך לא תוכל לתת עליך איש נכרי אשר לא אחיך הוא.
When you come to the land that the Lord you G-d gives you, and you possess it and dwell in it, and you say, “I will set a king over myself, like all the nations that surround me”. You shall surely set over yourself a king, whom the Lord your G-d shall choose; from among your brethren you shall set a king over yourself; you may not place over yourself a foreign man, who is not your brother.
Our sages tell us that based on this verse, it is a mitzvah to appoint a king. Therefore, there is much debate among contemporary halachic authorities as to the statues of the State of Israel and its government. Is it allowed to be democratic? Can there be members of the Knesset who aren’t religious or even Jewish?
The Netziv writes that, “The Sanhedrin has a positive commandment to appoint a king…It is certainly a mitzvah, but the Sanhedrin is not commanded to appoint a king until the nation says they want this kind of leadership.” According to this, a democratically elected government is a legitimate substitute for a monarchy.
There are, however, other problems. The Sifrei states, “Whom the Lord you G-d shall chose through a prophet…but not from chutz laaretz.” Unfortunately, we don’t have prophets today, and what is the meaning of, “not from chutz laaretz”? How do we work these issues out?
Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin deals with these issues in his commentary. “When the prophecy ceases and the question of kingship arises, choose a king who fulfills the following criteria: He must be a jew who lives in Israel and isn’t estranged from heaven (not secular).”
In other words, when you return to the land, appoint someone who is G-d fearing and religious. Many Jews cite the fact that irreligious Jews run the State of Israel as a reason not to live there. This is a cop out. If these people were seriously concerned, they would davka move to Israel to help the situation. We might even have a religious Prime Minister. So next time there are elections in Israel, we must consider the fact that we’re passing up an opportunity to make an impact.
On Facebook Melanie Phillips has this to say:
It is hard to exaggerate the stupidity of the UK Jewish Board of Deputies in what it has just done. It has signed a joint statement with the Muslim Council of Britain condemning antisemitism andIslamophobia and urging that the Middle East conflict should not prevent good community relations in Britain. Apart from the false equivalence between antisemitism and Islamophobia, which equates a metaphysical global derangement – the cause of centuries of pogroms and genocide against the Jews – with a spurious thought-crime invented to silence legitimate criticism of Islam, these were unexceptionable pieties.
The editor of the Jewish Chronicle, the official voice of British Jewry, Stephen Pollard,writes the following too:
On one level, it is entirely admirable that the Board of Deputies (the representative body of British Jews) and the Muslim Council of Britain have agreed a joint statement, released today. They condemn Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. And they urge followers of their respective faiths not to import the battles of the Middle East into Britain.
As the statement puts it: “In spite of the situation in the Middle East, we must continue to work hard for good community relations in the UK. We must not import conflict. We must export peace instead.”
No one but a bigot or fanatic could object to that.
OK, well I’m going to be a bigot or fanatic then because I’m convinced that, as is believed by Muslims, a number of times in his life did Muhammad engage in dialog with infidels to buy himself time to grow strong enough to attack them. But that’s somewhat of a side issue in our world today where “multi-faith dialogue” is seen as the ultimate answer to all the world’s problems.
As well as being admirable in many ways, the statement also reveals just how naive – not to say incompetent – some of Anglo Jewry’s leaders really are. Because there is a sentence in the statement that is so downright bizarre that it beggars belief any serious communal leader could ever have imagined it would survive a moment’s scrutiny.
Here’s the passage:
The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses. The targeting of civilians is completely unacceptable and against our religious traditions.”
Had they left it at the first sentence then the sentiments would have been echoed across the two faiths. The death of civilians, Israeli or Palestinian – or indeed of any nationality, anywhere – is certainly a tragedy.
But it’s the next sentence which is so utterly inept – to put it kindly.
Stephen then points out that he called the Muslim Council of Britain to ask what they meant and, yes, they confirmed they believe the second sentence of that JOINT statement indicates that the Israeli Defence Forces were “targeting of civilians” and that “is completely unacceptable”.
Except of course the IDF does not TARGET CIVILIANS! So the Jewish Board of Deputies has signed a statement condemning the IDF for something it categorically does not do. To wit, it even is more careful about not targeting civilians than any other army.
But, and this is why I object to the whole enterprise of trying to find common ground here, not just with the fact that the Muslim Council of Britain represents some groups that are as close to Hamas as it’s legal to be in the UK. Melanie Phillips goes into some detail on the past crimes of the MCB in her Facebook post and remember, these are the same kinds of people who objected to the cancelling of a venue for the Jewish film festival with a kind of craven “don’t punish London’s Jews” where the unwritten extra is “Israeli crimes”.
It’s about the word “civilians”. I do not think this word means, for the MCB, what it means for the Jews.
Hamas and other Arab and Islamic terrorists have a long and distinguished history of regarding all Israelis as illegitimate colonial settlers in all of Israel and as such none are civilians.
Every single Israeli is a valid target for Islamic terror in their eyes just as every Muslim killed (even by Islamic terrorists) is a martyr or shahid.
So yes I’m a bigot or a fanatic because I believe even the first statement will be read by very many of the people the MCB represents as not including myself and my children living in Tel Aviv today.:
The death of every civilian is a tragedy, and every effort should be taken to minimise such losses.
It should never have been signed by Jews without defining civilians to include ALL Jews including those living in Efrat or Oranit or Ariel or any other large Israeli town in the heartland of the Jewish state. Because if they’re not civilians and I’m not a civilian, what’s the point of this statement?
Jews lose when these idiots sit down at the table with evil people like the Muslim Council of Britain.
And I have a direct question to Stephen Pollard: how about calling the MCB again and asking what definition of civilian they had in mind. Are residents of Jerusalem (all of it) civilians? Are residents of Haifa civilians? Are residents of Gush Etzion civilians? What about residents of Herzliyah who happen to be waiting for a lift while standing in the hills of Judea or Samaria?