Saturday, 28 February 2009

Israel Matzav: WaPo op-ed rips Obama over Freeman#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: WaPo op-ed rips Obama over Freeman#links#links#links

HONOR KILLINGS THE SAME AS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ?

What’s Behind The Enormous Denial That Beheadings Are Related To Islam?



These People Claim That Honor Killings Are The Same As Domestic Violence

Hard on the heels of the Buffalo beheading, the mainstream and feminist media hosted many Islamic clerics, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian religious writers, as well as liberal, secular feminists, all of whom insisted that honor killings are no different than domestic violence; that both are crimes; and that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam just as domestic violence has nothing to do with religion.

Even so, everyone also said that an anti-Muslim bias (or “Muslim baiting”), controlled the perception of honor killings in general, and saw honor killings even when they did not exist–for example, in the case of the Buffalo beheading.

Pace, Soheila Vahdati in Womens eNews and Aziz Poonawalla in Beliefnet: No one is arguing that an honor killing is not a crime or even that it is the greatest of crimes. On the contrary. However, an honor killing may certainly deserve a much harsher sentence than a domestically violent beating; in certain cases, where torture or premeditation is involved, an honor killing/femicide might deserve a harsher sentence than a spontaneous, unpremeditated murder which did not involve any torture.

There is also this: In many cases of domestic violence/femicides, drugs and alcohol are often involved. Such murderers often kill themselves at the scene of the crime. In honor killings, this is rarely the case. These are potentially important differences that will be overlooked if we rush to claim that honor killings are the same as domestic violence or as domestic violence/femicide.

In order to prosecute an honor killing, we would first have to recognize it as a different kind of femicide. Perhaps it is more like the ritual murders perpetuated by serial killers, or berserk killers, mainly against strangers, not close kin, in which bodily mutilation, including beheadings play a part. Or, perhaps an honor killing, which may be preceded by years of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, is more like the highly ritualized killings of “disobedient” or enemy Muslims–by other Muslims.

Recently, Bill O’Reilly had a segment about honor killings in which he interviewed Dr. Dawn Pearlmutter, an expert in ritual murder. She confirmed much of what I have written before, namely, that beheading is rampant in the Islamic world; that it is accepted as a practice by moderate as well as radical Muslims; that jihadic beheadings are videotaped; that there is a thin line between the public beheadings and the more domestic varieties. Dr. Pearlmutter said that beheadings are highly symbolic, are always about “restoring honor” or “purity” to the beheader. Depending on which interpretation of the Qu’ran is followed, a beheading may also prevent the beheaded Muslim from entering Paradise.

According to my colleague, the psycho-analyst and Arabist, Dr. Nancy H. Kobrin:

“There is a communicative circuit of beheadings: The serial killer in the West who beheads prostitutes is no longer visible in our consciousness. There was a bizarre fascination with the jihadic videos that showed the beheadings of Daniel Pearl and Nicholas Berg; it appealed to perverse sado-masochistic emotions. Now, the beheading of Aasiaya Z. Hassan has had an almost opposite effect. Most people are rushing to insist that how she was killed is somehow not important. It is being minimized, and de-contextualized.”

I’ll say. No one has tried to do this more expertly than Aloysious Mowe in the pages of Newsweek/Washington Post.

Father Mowe, (he is a Jesuit priest), begins his article by giving us five random examples of other beheadings as if to say that what happened to Aasiya Z. Hassan in Buffalo is common, not unusual to America, and that it has nothing to with Islam. In fact, he thinks it may be related to being Chinese! Thus, although beheading was abolished in China in 1905, Mowe claims that the communists have revived the custom for capital crimes. If so, this information cannot be easily found on most websites.

But Mowe is comparing apples and oranges, peaches and pears, melons and grapes.
When last I looked, the Chinese were not threatening to behead non-Chinese people, not even foreign capitalists, not even foreign communists. The communist Chinese are not kidnapping non-Chinese people and videotaping their beheadings. Muslim terrorists and Muslim national leaders are doing precisely that.

Further, honor killings, by definition, are mainly male on female crimes and are mainly of a female family member or intimate. Mowe’s examples, which are meant to be definitive, or to overwhelm, are really quite superficial
.
Three of Mowe’s initial five examples involve men killing and beheading male strangers. Only two involve men killing women and female children whom they either lived with or whom they barely knew. In 2001, Harrell Johnson killed and beheaded his four year old stepdaughter. Upon closer inspection it turns out that this heartless killer, Harrell Johnson, was high on alcohol and the hallucinogenic drug PCP when he killed, then beheaded, his four year old stepdaughter, Erica Michelle Marie Green. He decapitated her with hedge clippers, and then, with her own mothers’ after-the-fact help, scattered her remains, not because his “honor” had been involved but because he wished to evade being caught. His tactic worked for four years. He was not found until 2005.


Mowe’s second murder which involved a femicide and beheading, took place in 2009, at Virginia Tech University. Haiyang Zhu, a Chinese graduate student first befriended, then beheaded another Chinese graduate student, Xin Yang, when she refused to sleep with him. They did not know each other well.


Although in both these cases, men killed and beheaded women in North America, they are not honor killings. In these two cases, beheading is not related to any known cultural or religious practice. In one of these two murders, there was a craven, criminal desire to avoid being apprehended.


The other three murders on Mowe’s lists are by men of men who were either outright strangers or who were certainly not domestic intimates. Mowe’s third killing was a horrific “thrill killing” in Canton, Ohio, by 18 year old Jean Pierre Orlewicz. The victim, a 26 year old man, who may have been classified as a sex offender, apparently owed Orlewicz a sum of money. Mowe’s fourth killing involved William Perry, a North Canton, Ohio, man who killed his neighbor after an unsuccessful robbery, and who then “tried to hide the crime by mutilating the victim’s body.” (Is this a copycat beheading? I ask because it took place in the same geographical area as the third killing.) Mowe’s fifth murder took place in 2008, on a Greyhound bus in Canada. The killer, a recent Chinese immigrant, Vince Weiguang Li, who had been released from a psychiatric unit where he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, suddenly stabbed, then beheaded a male stranger, Tim McClean.


By definition, these other heinous, bizarre murders are not honor killings. I do not think they can all be classified in one way. Drugs, alcohol, and mental illness seem to have played a role in some, but not all of these murders. Although there was media coverage of these crimes, the world does not “know” about these murders. They are not on our emotional radar. And why? Because they do not reverberate in sync with the jihadic era in which we collectively find ourselves. Such beheadings are atrocious crimes, perhaps evidence of great personal pathology. They are not part of a visible political-religious onslaught as the one which is currently pandemic both in the Islamic world and in the West, as Islamic customs penetrate our world.


Mowe himself is from Malaysia. I mention this because, like other racially marginalized groups in the West, Mowe may be overly sensitive to white, western racism. Aasiya’s beheading in Buffalo provides him with an opportunity to air his own–and the grievances of other non-white races. While understandable, Mowe is viewing an Islamic beheading in New York State through the prism of white western racism which for him, trumps sexism and blinds him to it.


Mowe is using/abusing Aasiya’s beheading in order to divert attention away from its Islamic component. In so doing, he fails to differentiate an honor killing, which is perpetrated by one’s own family; from an Islamic al-Qaeda beheading on behalf of jihad; from Islamic state sponsored beheadings, such as those that take place in Saudi Arabia; and from the beheadings of “disobedient” or infidel young girls and women that are taking place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.


Above all, although he directs readers to a rather grisly website which features photos of beheadings, the photos are not captioned. It is unclear when and where such photos were taken. Most of the beheading “art” photos seem dated, old-fashioned; some are of paintings such as that of the Biblical Judith holding the head of Holofernes. Does Mowe (or this site) mean to suggest that beheading is a Jewish custom as well? It is not. But the Jews who lived in ancient Israel or Judea/the Holy Land, encountered many barbaric practices which still exist among Muslims today. Such practices include beheading, stoning, mutilation, the public display of a severed head and a mutilated body, the desecration of a corpse and its display, etc.


Why would Mowe have such an interest in beheading as “art?” Why would he wish to minimize the fact that beheadings are a signature and Qu’ranically based method of Islamic murder? Might the fact that he is a Jesuit priest who specializes in Islam and who currently teaches at Georgetown University play any role here at all?


I am only raising these questions because at this moment in history, most infidels who are involved in “interfaith” work, (Mowe is a Jesuit expert in Islam), tend to function as dhimmis, third class citizens, in relation to their Muslim benefactors who fund conferences and research. Georgetown alone was recently the recipient of a twenty million dollar Saudi grant for a Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. According to Georgetown University:


“In December 2005, the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CMCU) received a $20 million dollar gift from HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, an internationally renowned businessman and global investor, to support and expand the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The Center was renamed the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). This endowed fund is the second largest single gift in Georgetown University history.”


I have no idea if Mowe is in any way related to this Center; whether he has participated in any of their conferences or talked to or worked with any of the Center’s members.


Mowe does say that China and Chinese people might be heavily involved in beheadings. Mowe’s heart is in Asia. Therefore, I find it shocking that he has utterly failed to mention the most recent and prominent beheadings in Indonesia which were of three young Christian schoolgirls whom Islamists killed, decapitated, and placed their heads in plastic bags and left them near their church.


Finally, Mowe suggests that even domestic violence is not really a widespread problem among Muslims because a) other religions are also patriarchal; b) other Catholics have expressed misogynist thoughts to him; c) “the lives of millions of Muslim couples are not marked by domestic violence and do not end in murder.”


Dear Brother Mowe: Have you ever walked in the shoes of any Muslim woman? Do you have any idea what price, in terms of obedience and submission they may have had to pay in order to remain alive? Do you know anything about the domestic violence that goes unreported and unprosecuted in general and, one must assume, among Muslim couples too?


I wonder if the extraordinary rush to proclaim the beheading of Aasiya Z. Hassan as having nothing to do with an honor killing or with Islam might be due to one other factor. Dr. Nancy H. Kobrin suggests that:


“The Muslim who engages in an honor killing clearly reveals that he has not integrated into the West. We know that there are immigrant Muslim communities in Europe who have not integrated, they exist as ‘parallel’ communities. We also know that, according to the study released by The Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion in the UK, that there is an overlay with where you find terrorist behavior.”


In other words: Wherever there are parallel Islamic communities you will probably find terrorists breeding plots against the West–look for them wherever women are being harshly treated, rendered subordinate, in a fundamentalist kind of way.


Parallel communities, parallel mentalities. The Muslim communities in Europe no longer pretend to be part of Europe. It is overwhelmingly clear that they are “parallel” communities. The much smaller Muslim population in America also exists in parallel communities in certain sections of certain cities in the America. But their many spokespeople pretend that Dallas, Dearborn, Jersey City, St. Paul-Minneapolis and areas in California are really, truly, Americanized populations.
Many Muslim and ex-Muslim individuals are truly assimilated westerners; many have fled Islamist ways and have taken shelter with and assumed sophisticated, transnational, urban identities. And yet: When an apparently Islamic barbarity, like the beheading of a wife, takes place in America, there is an immediate fear that America, like Europe, might also be harboring “parallel communities.”


Hence there is a rush to deny that this might be so.


I understand. Americans do not want to behave in “racist” ways, nor do they want to “profile” anyone, especially a Muslim, especially because so many Muslims have been funding terrorism against America, Israel, and Europe. We are better than that. We believe that a person must be considered innocent until proven guilty; that each person must be judged on a case-by-case basis and never judged in terms of their cultural, political, or religious beliefs. To our credit, we believe in the right to a fair trial.


This approach is indeed commendable, but perhaps dangerous, in times of war, and when terrorists are plotting to destroy us.


NEWSFLASH: Daniel Pipes has called my attention to a piece by Asra Nomani which covers the history of domestic violence in the Hassan marriage. You may read it HERE and at The Daily Beast HERE


This history details various incidents of domestic violence both towards Aasiya and towards all four children and includes the approximate dates when Assiya obtained Orders of Protection. This information is, of course, very relevant. As I’ve written many times before, the Hassan femicide is probably a “hybrid” femicide. It has some features of Pakistani-style domestic violence towards a wife, (including her need to ask her husband for permission to do the simplest things in western terms), but coupled with an Islamic/Pakistani method of murder: Beheading.
Nomani, a religious Muslim feminist, whose work I generally admire, has joined the very long line of people who are insisting, as per above, that domestic violence has nothing to do with Islam; that the Hassan femicide is not an honor killing; that honor killings also have nothing to do with Islam; nor do beheadings.She is not even suggesting that an honor killing or a beheading is a very extreme form of domestic violence.


It seems that the stakes are perceived to be very high, namely, that the Hassan case has the power, symbolically, to influence America’s views about Islam; that view, whether Islam is more like the Judeo-Christian legacy or not; whether Muslims practice peace because they are following the Qu’ran–or whether the opposite is true. What view Americans will come to hold might influence many public policies, including, eventually, that of immigration.

Israel Matzav: Good news: Obama administration withdraws from Durban II#links#links

Israel Matzav: Good news: Obama administration withdraws from Durban II#links#links

POKER AND MANAGEMENT



The single best pundit of Israeli politics is, of course, Nahum Barnea of Yediot Acharonot. However, most of what he writes doesn't get put onto the Web, since his employers want people to buy their dead tree version, and even the articles that do find their way online more often than not don't get translated to English.


Yossie Verter of Haaretz, however, is pretty good, and he's easy to find online in English since Haaretz has a different business model (an inferior one but that's not my subject). Yesterday Verter tried to explain what's going on in the negotiations towards forming a government. No one really knows, of course, but Verter's description rings true. The essence of it is that Bibi and Tzipi are playing poker. She wants a power-sharing government with a rotating prime minstership, Bibi the first two years, then she for the next two years. Bibi wants a government with Kadima, but intends to bring along some of his natural (or not-so-natural) allies; and he extremely definitely decidedly completely determinately isn't in favor of a rotating prime minstership. Their sticking point is a declaration of acceptance of partition and the two-state solution: Tzipi demands such a declaration, Bibi refuses. Their reasons are that Tzipi expects that such a declaration will frighten off Bibi's more lunatic allies, such as Ichud Leumi, the far-right settler party which has four MKs; once they're gone Bibi will have lost his block, and he'll have to offer her the parity she wants. His position is the mirror image of hers, with the addition that he really doesn't want that far-right coalition, but he expects that in a week or two parts of her own party will begin clamoring for government posts because otherwise they'll revert to being mere mortal MKs, heaven forbid.


On the face of it, this is all pure spin, maneuvering and poker. After all, with the possible exception of Ehud Olmert, there is no individual in the entire state of Israel who knows better than Tzipi Livni that peace with the Palestinians is not in the cards for the time being. She and Olmert, after all, have spent much of the past 18 months or so dealing directly with the top two Fatah Palestinian leaders, the so-called moderates, Abu Mazen (Olmert) and Abu Ala (Livni). They talked and talked and talked, and no-one stopped them from reaching agreements, proclaiming peace, signing agreements, celebrating at the White House and getting Nobel Peace Prizes. I didn't stop them, and neither did you. The reason it didn't happen was that the distance between the positions of these moderate Israelis and moderate Palestinians are, at present, unbridegeable, and have to do with the Right of Return but also all sorts of other matters - and also, one might add, with the total inability of the Palestinian side to deliver, what with Hamas being actively hostile to the whole idea.


So why are Tzipi and Bibi fighting over such a demonstrably non-issue? I can think of three explanations. The first is that one or both of them are idiots. This could be the case, of course, one should never over-estimate one's political leaders, and history is chock full of political and military leaders who in hindsight at least must have been fools.


The second explanation is that one of them is bluffing, or perhaps even both, but no-one knows which of them (or both). In this scenario, one of them will blink, but not yet. The time for blinking will be during the last of the six weeks Bibi legally has to form a government. At that point, either he'll decide her version is better than the best he's managed to cobble together, or she'll decide what he originally offered is better than sitting in the opposition. Whichever of them blinks will, of course, have a rational explanation along the lines of "I've changed my mind for the Greater Good, Call of Duty" and so on.


The third explanation is actually serious, and has to do with opposing appraisals of reality. The fact that both know no agreement can be reached with the Palestinians doesn't mean they agree with the implications. Bibi looks at the situation and figures it isn't time to clash with his natural allies nor with his (very old and idealistic) father, nor with his own preferences, and will say that since the Palestinians don't want peace on terms any electable Israeli can offer, screw them and let's do what is most convenient. Tzipi, on the other hand, says that in spite of there indeed not being any Palestinian with whom to make peace, it's important that we preserve the impression that we're willing to walk the extra mile only there's no peace at the end of it. This position assumes the Obama administration will put pressure on both sides as the Bosh administration didn't, and prefers to go along with the American demands so that even the Americans understand who's being reasonable and who isn't. This is called "intelligently managing the conflict", and I'm reasonably convinced Livni's tactic for doing so is better than Netanyahu's. But maybe that's just me.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

BOYCOTTING DURBAN 2



In the name of fairness: not long ago I posted an article criticizing the Obama administration for participating in the preparations for the Durban 2 hatefest. Yesterday the State Department announced that having tested the waters they'd decided not to plunge in, essentially continuing the policy formulated by the Bush administration of boycotting the conference. A number of European countries are mulling the same - after all, it's the Obama Americans who are boycotting the conference, not the Bush ones.


All in all, the process seems reasonable. The new folks inherited a rather unusual position - America doesn't often boycott things - so they went to check what it was all about. Having learned first hand, they understood the inherited position was correct, and they affirmed it. Can't do better than that, it seems to me.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

Israel Matzav: Grad rocket hits Ashkelon school#links#links

Israel Matzav: Grad rocket hits Ashkelon school#links#links

Israel Matzav: Hamas clenches its fist (again) and Israel's 'Right' extends its hand#links#links

Israel Matzav: Hamas clenches its fist (again) and Israel's 'Right' extends its hand#links#links

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: TERUMAH: WHO'S THEM?

Sefer Chabibi Deepest Torah: TERUMAH: WHO'S THEM?

Friday, 27 February 2009

Israel Matzav: This may yet come back to haunt Israel#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: This may yet come back to haunt Israel#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Chas Freeman in the Corner#links#links

Israel Matzav: Chas Freeman in the Corner#links#links

Israel Matzav: Livni says no#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Livni says no#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Ruh-Roh: Bibi's 'narrow coalition' may be in trouble#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Ruh-Roh: Bibi's 'narrow coalition' may be in trouble#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Interview with Richard Hellman of the Christian Lobby for Israel#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Interview with Richard Hellman of the Christian Lobby for Israel#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Shame on the Central Conference of American 'rabbis'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Shame on the Central Conference of American 'rabbis'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Systematic anti-Semitism in Venezuela#links#links

Israel Matzav: Systematic anti-Semitism in Venezuela#links#links

Israel Matzav: The more things change, the more they stay the same#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: The more things change, the more they stay the same#links#links#links

EARLY PROTO-PROTO-HOBBSIANISM




Now and again the Gemara wanders off from its mostly legal discussions into legends, myths and stories. Aggadeta is the word for these excursions. Many talmudists rather dislike these detours for not being legalistic or practical; me, since I'm more of a historical mindset than a legalistic one, I think these sections are great fun. They give all sorts of fascinating insights into how life was lived, how it's still lived, and how it out to be lived.


Everyone's heard the story of the man who had two wives, one young the other elderly, and how the young one weeded out his gray hairs while the elderly one weeded out the black hairs, until he was "bald from both sides" (keraiach mekan u-mikan). I don't know where the story originated, but you can find it in the Gemara, where it was recorded at least 1,600 years ago, at Bava Kamma 60b. But I mention that one for the anecdote.

More interesting, further down the same page, is the story told by Rav Huna about a case where King David, warring with the Philistines, could only get at them by burning the fields in which they were hiding. He sent a question to the Sanhedrin (the high court in Jerusalem) asking if it is permissible to destroy property of non-combatants to save oneself. The Sanhedrin responded that as a general rule, one may not do so, but for the king it is permissible, because the King must forge a path for his army so as to face his enemies.


More than a millennium before Hobbes.


This thread began, and is explained, here.


taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

LITANY OF HORRORS



One of the frustrations of standing up to the liars about Israel is when they churn out statistics and facts (often, "statistics and facts") about how uniquely bad Israel is, and you absolutely know they're spouting nonsense, but you don't have counter facts at your fingertips, nor are you brazen enough simply to invent them (a tactic that actually does work, since your interlocutors generally don't know much about the world, but I'd advise against it none-the-less). So, since one of the points of this blog is to strengthen the resolve of our side, the following link is offered as a service to our public.


It's an article from the Economist about the eagerness of many combatants in many wars to aim specifically at women and children. It isn't pleasant reading. On the contrary: I wouldn't recommend it all, if it weren't for the insight it gives about how wars are often waged in the early 21st century. And note that the article isn't about local cases of loss of control. It's about calculated tactics, some of them even strategies, purposefully articulated and generally cold-blooded in their execution. If international human rights organizations have any right to exist, it is to stop these evil practices. Since they are mostly powerless to do so, it's legitimate to cast doubt.


Israel isn't doing any of this; as a matter of fact, in some 90 years of warfare, Israel has never done any of this.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

Parshas Terumah: The Shabbos Table

Parshas Terumah: The Shabbos Table

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ABOUT "HONOUR KILLING"

The Danger To the Prosecution of Calling an “Honor Killing” an Honor Killing.



On February 17, 2009, a reporter quoted the Buffalo DA as saying that Muzzamil Hassan, in custody for the Buffalo beheading of his wife, is “a pretty vicious and remorseless bastard.”

On February 18, 2009, the Buffalo DA kept the media away from Muzzamil Hassan’s hearing. Wise move.

Once upon a time, a Muslim woman, bright with hope, lived in the heartland of America. She wanted to lead her own life. She refused to marry her first cousin. She chose to attend college and she planned to become an elementary school teacher. She dared to drive her own car. Two of her cousins stalked her, warned her, threatened her, accused her of “turning her back on her own culture.”

Which culture? The culture of an American Ohio or the culture of the Muslim Middle East?

Nine years ago, on January 8, 1999, in Cleveland, Ohio, after attending mosque services with her parents, Methel Dayem was murdered in what prosecutors termed an “honor killing.” Methel and her family were Palestinians, allegedly from the West Bank.

Not all honor killings look exactly alike. Sometimes, the killers are not the woman’s own father and brothers but her cousins–or her husband. Methel’s sister told the police that two of her cousins, Musa Saleh and Yezen Dayem, had been following Methel to school and to work. She was shot four times and died choking on her own blood. No money was taken nor was she sexually assaulted. The police arrested these two cousins.

The prosecution may not have understood that an honor killing is a family affair, an inside job. Sometimes, in Europe, the youngest (or the oldest) male family member may be designated to pull the trigger in the belief that a juvenile will receive a light sentence or that a grandfather will not mind sitting in jail for the sake of his family’s “honor.” Certainly, even in Cleveland, no family member would ever testify against another family member.

In the West, honor murderers do not always admit guilt, nor do they confess. They will say: “She is dead” as both Buffalo’s “Mo” Hassan said of his decapitated wife or as Sandeela Kanwal’s father said of the daughter he had just murdered. Or, they might say that the murder itself was an act of self-defense, that the girl’s dishonoring of her family was an aggressive act against which the family had to defend itself. This, in effect, is what Palestina Isa’s parents said after they murdered her in St Louis, Missouri in 1989.

In the Methel Dayem case, the judge threw out an aggravated murder charge against one cousin, Musa Saleh, who still remained in jail because of pending burglary and witness intimidation charges. Perhaps the Cleveland prosecution had hoped that one cousin would turn on the other and provide an eyewitness account of the murder. Perhaps the prosecutors did not fully understand what they were up against. Thus, they granted Musa Saleh immunity on the pending charges in the mistaken hope that he would testify against Yezen Dayem.

When they were originally charged, prosecutor Carmen Marino had said: “What these two did was shoot a woman in the back of the head. They believe that their religious beliefs supersede our law.” His comments led many of the thirty–yes thirty! — Arab Americans in the courtroom to simultaneously “clear their throats in an effort to try to drown him out.” Sam Quasem, an Arab American activist, said: “The Muslim religion does not preach to kill a woman. If that’s not racism, I don’t know what is.”

Thus, leaders of the Ohio Muslim and Arab communities denounced the prosecutors’ “honor killing” theory as a “cultural slur based on an outmoded medieval custom.” In my opinion, they engaged in what is known as taqiyya, (dissimulation, disinformation), which is recommended Islamic practice when engaged in battle with the infidel. Once the prosecution described Methel’s death as an “honor killing,” the entire Muslim community organized in protest. They gave interviews to the media, they packed the courtroom. They and the defense lawyers insisted that the very concept of an “honor killing” was an “insult” to the Islamic faith.

The ruse (or tactic) worked. The fact that potential jurors had heard the phrase “honor killing” was deemed “prejudicial,” “inflammatory,” and “anti-Arab” to the defendant, Yezen Dayem, whose lawyer promptly requested and received a non-jury bench trial.

Circumstantial evidence pointed to Musah Saleh and Yezen Dayem’s guilt: A video showed Dayem’s car near the murder site; cell phone records revealed that whoever used his phone placed a call within minutes from a location not far from the murder site; the entire cultural context strongly suggests an honor killing. However, detectives found a pair of ski gloves covered with gunshot residue in the victim’s car. Who placed it there, when, or why, remains unknown.

Nevertheless, because the DNA evidence retrieved from the gloves did not match the DNA of either of Methel’s cousins, the second and presiding judge, Thomas Pokorny, found that this constituted “reasonable doubt.” He therefore acquitted and freed Yezen Dayem. However, according to Amanda Garrett of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Methel Dayem’s mother, sister, and aunt were “devastated” by the verdict. Methel’s sister, Nebal Ali, shouted ‘You will not get away from Allah. Allah will punish you.’” Afterwards, both she and Methel’s mother ‘rushed’ at Yezen Dayem’s family…shouting ‘Murderer’ and a string of vulgarities.”

In my view, the Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian community’s immediate mobilization on behalf of the two accused killers was a mobilization which did not view the victim as an Arab, a Muslim, and a Palestinian. Had Methel been killed by Christian Americans or by Jewish Israelis the same community might have characterized the murder as a “racist” crime, as “Islamophobic,” even “genocidal.” But because Muslim men were the perpetrators, it did not matter that they had allegedly committed a Muslim-on-Muslim femicide.

Indeed, all honor killings are Muslim-on-Muslim (or sikh on sikh crimes) crimes and, most often, male on female crimes. (Sometimes Muslims or sikhs also murder a man for having married the “wrong” woman). Therefore, the activist Arab Muslim community in Cleveland viewed and defended the alleged murderers as the true “victims” and completely forgot that Methel Dayem was also an Arab Muslim whose life had been cut fearfully short and for precisely the reasons that honor killings occur.

Attention feminists: Methel was a woman. In Arab, Muslim culture, women do not matter as much as men do. Yes, this is even more pronounced in the Arab and Muslim world than in the very America whom you (and I, in the past), have all loved to criticize for its misogynist ways.

I hope that all future prosecutors who may handle honor killing cases take into account the aggressively organized nature of Muslims in America. Based on their strategy in the Methel Dayem case, we see that an unproven or difficult-to-prove allegation about an honor killing/femicide may lead to the kind of activism which, when coupled with how western law is practiced, might led to the dismissal of a presumably “tainted” jury and to a bench trial.

The Cleveland defense lawyers claimed that the jury was already “tainted” merely because they’d heard the phrase “honor killing.”

Sometimes, when a prosecutor tells certain truths (that an honor killing has been committed), people may be more outraged by the allegation than by the possibility of the dark deed itself.

I hope that this article finds its way upstate and right into the hands of the Buffalo DA’s office, who are prosecuting the case of Muzzamil Hassan.

By the way, what happens in Cleveland does not stay in Cleveland. Years later, when I was doing interviews about my book The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom, which is about how Islamic gender apartheid has penetrated the West, a reporter wanted very much to interview me about this. She was told she had to stay away from such material, that the newspaper had had enough trouble when they had covered the Methel Dayem case.

Israel Matzav: Words and deeds, extended hands and clenched fists#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Words and deeds, extended hands and clenched fists#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama notifies Congress: Freeman's in#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama notifies Congress: Freeman's in#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Good terrorists' threaten 'armed struggle' if they don't get what they want#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Good terrorists' threaten 'armed struggle' if they don't get what they want#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Pipe bomb thrown at Caracas Jewish Community Center#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Pipe bomb thrown at Caracas Jewish Community Center#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: How Israel will take out the S-300?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: How Israel will take out the S-300?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Send them a message#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Send them a message#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Iran - Israel endgame approaching?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Iran - Israel endgame approaching?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater?#links#links

Letters From War

Thursday, 26 February 2009

PEER WHO TEXTED IN CAR JAILED FOR 12 WEEKS


Peer Who Texted In Car Jailed For 12 Weeks



Lord Ahmed has been jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving after sending and receiving text messages from his car on a motorway.


Lord Ahmed arrives at court for a previous hearing


The 51-year-old peer pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on the M1 near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, on Christmas Day last year.

His Jaguar later hit an Audi which had stopped in the fast lane of the motorway in an incident which killed Slovakian Martyn Gombar.

But the judge at Sheffield Crown Court made it clear the text messaging had finished before the accident happened and was not connected to the fatal incident.

Mr Justice Wilkie said the exchange of messages with a journalist amounted to a conversation, which took place as the peer was travelling at around 60mph over a 17.8-mile stretch of the southbound carriageway.

The accident in which 28-year-old Mr Gombar died happened close to junction 35 of the motorway.

He had crashed his Audi minutes earlier and is thought to have been trying to retrieve his mobile phone from the vehicle when it was hit.

Subsequent tests showed he had been drinking and crashed his car into the central reservation, spinning it round.

As Lord Ahmed approached the Audi, it was facing the wrong way, straddling the two outermost lanes in total darkness.


But the judge said the peer's text message conversation ended 1.86 miles, or two minutes, before the collision.

He told Lord Ahmed: "It is of the greatest importance that people realise what a serious offence dangerous driving of this type is."

He concluded: "I have come to the conclusion that by reason of the prolonged, deliberate, repeated and highly dangerous driving for which you have pleaded guilty, only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified."

After jailing him, the judge also imposed a one-year driving ban and ordered the peer to pay £500 prosecution costs.

Lord Ahmed, who lives in Rotherham, has undertaken a number of high-profile roles for the Government.

These include negotiating with the president of Sudan to help secure the release of Liverpool teacher Gillian Gibbons.

He will serve half of his 12-week sentence.

Palestinian girl: Hamas responsible for war

DEATH TOLL COMPARISONS

In Stealth Conflicts, just click in here: http://stealthconflicts.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/death-toll-comparisons/

PAUL BERMAN'S MUST READ INTERVIEW



Michael Slackman has a troubling piece in today's New York Times. He's been wandering around Cairo, talking to regular Cairenes (nothing intrinsically wrong with that), trying to understand what the Obama Administration must do if they are really listening to the Arabs and wish to mend bridges to them. His answer, in a nutshell, is to abandon the American perspective on terrorism. According to the Arabs, terrorism is the word used by the Americans for what Arabs do, even though the real terrorists are the Americans themselves, and much worse than them, the Israelis.


I have no doubt this is indeed what most Arabs feel - nay: fervently and devoutly believe. They also believe Jews murder non-Jewish children for their blood, for example. The antisemitism the Arab world is drenched in these days can only be compared to the worst version of the Nazi form of it in its severity. It makes the antisemitism of the Guardian look like a mild case of benign and harmless distaste. I'm not saying this for the hyperbole. The Arab world really and truly is awash in Nazi-like hatred of the Jews; a fact Michael Slackman is totally unaware of (or he's aware and willfully disregarding, or he's aware and uncaring - so let's assume he's merely an ignoramus). So his article is totally lacking in context, lacking in history, but most peculiarly, it's also lacking in moral fiber. His thesis is "Hey, these people think we're hypocrites, so we're going to have to bend over backwards to prove to them we're not, including changing how we see the world and behave in it, otherwise they won't like us!"


Craven, silly, and of course dangerous. For the Americans, I mean.


Contrast his thoughtlessness to the long interview Michelle Sieff has just published with Paul Berman. (I was directed to it by Jefferey Goldberg's valuable blog). Berman is one of the last representatives of a politically Left worldview that was admirable, humane, and the sort of intellectual home a fellow could feel proud to be in. Alas, it's a dying breed. Anything he writes is always valuable; this interview is by far the most important thing anyone has formulated on the Israeli-Hamas war, on contemporary antisemitism, and on where we are. It's absolutely excellent. Long, but mandatory reading. It starts out excellent, then gets better. Here's a section from the middle:


Oh, as Irving Howe said, "There is no heart so warm that it doesn't have a cold spot for the Jews." We like to think of hatred of the Jews as a low, base sentiment that is entertained by nasty, ignorant people, wallowing in their own hatefulness. But normally it's not like that. Hatred for the Jews has generally taken the form of a lofty sentiment, instead of a lowly one - a noble feeling embraced by people who believe they stand for the highest and most admirable of moral views.


Unlike journalism, this one is by someone deeply immersed in historical context.


taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

"MA'ASER KESAFIM" FOR CAT FOOD



Posted by Mordechai Friedfertig


Q: My neighborhood (in Israel) has so many cats. They recently changed the garbage cans and the cats cannot open them. They are literally starving. It is permissible for me to buy them food with "ma'aser" money?A: The huge amount of cats in Israel is a known problem. They are also a great benefit since – in their merit – there are hardly any mice and snakes. At the same time, we need to solve this problem and reduce their population by spreading chemicals in their food which will prevent reproduction. But "ma'aser" money is for the poor: first for poor Jews, then for non-Jews and only then for animals. Mercy for animals is certainly important but we must first be merciful to people. The proper order of concern is first people and then the cats.
taken from : Torat HaRav Aviner (http://www.ravaviner.com/)

VISITING NAZI DEATH CAMPS FORBIDDEN



Posted by Mordechai Friedfertig


NOTE: This has been Rav Aviner's stated position for years.See Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah vol. 3 #44 and Am Ve-Artzo vol. 2 #55


Rabbi Aviner in the News:Visiting Nazi Death Camps Forbidden
By Kobi Nahshoni – from 1 Adar 5769 –


Educational school trips to the Nazi death camps in Poland have become common among most Jewish sectors in Israel, but prominent Zionist Rabbi Shlomo Aviner recently claimed that they are in fact forbidden for halachic reasons, and urged schools to cancel them.


Answering a reader's question on the subject in the religious "Ma'ayaney Hayeshua" journal, Aviner stated that trips to Poland were "not good" due to the halachic ban on leaving Eretz Israel, and because they "provide livelihood to murderers."

In a conversation with Ynet, [Rav] Aviner explained: "As is well known, leaving Israel is permitted only for the sake of mitzvah, while visiting the death camps is not defined as a mitzvah by the Halacha. There are important figures and great rabbis who have not visited there.

"Clearly what happened in the Holocaust must be remembered, but this can be done using films, books, the Yad Vashem museum and there are even the testimonies of survivors who are still alive," he stated.


And what about the emotional experience?


"I once told educators that in any case the impression vanishes after six months, like any other emotional experience with a short shelf life. They smiled and said that it actually fades away after three weeks.


"[Rav] Aviner also said that the trips have not been proven to have an "educational value." "For some this experience is very difficult and they come back utterly distraught," he added.


'Why should Nazi collaborators benefit?'
Another argument against visiting the camps, according to the rabbi, was the fact that the Polish people "collaborated with the Nazis" and were now making a living off of these visits. "I'm not busy holding a grudge against the Poles, but we shouldn't provide livelihood to people who allowed death camps to be built on their land and who are now making a profit out of it.


"They are not my friends and I don't want to support them."


According to [Rav] Aviner, it was not accidental that the Nazis chose to erect the extermination camps in Poland. "They knew that the people would do nothing. One person was enough to blow up the railroad tracks. Why wasn't this done? Because they all said, 'good,' smiled and waited for what needed to be done to be done by the Nazis.


"Many Jews who escaped from the camps were later murdered outside by the Polish resistance. When the Jews came back to the city their housees were inhabited and they faced a pogrom. To this day trials are being held against Poles who stole houses," he concluded.
taken from : Torat HaRav Aviner (http://www.ravaviner.com/)

PORTUGAL HAS A PINOCCHIO TOO....


This country has its own Pinocchio, known as "Pinocrates", he also is a P.M. but this one isn't in the mood to resign. Never mind, elections are coming.
The translation :
"I'm going to create 150.000 jobs"
DO YOU STILL BELIEVE ?
This image was taken from an outdoor panel of the youth organization of one of the oposition's parties - the social democrat party (P.S.D.)
He's a big liar, believe me !!!

Israel Matzav: Surprise! Hamas smuggling anti-aircraft missiles, Grad rockets plastic explosives during de facto 'ceasefire'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Surprise! Hamas smuggling anti-aircraft missiles, Grad rockets plastic explosives during de facto 'ceasefire'#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama's newest Israel basher#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama's newest Israel basher#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'You got it, you got it, you got it, you got it....'#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'You got it, you got it, you got it, you got it....'#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'There is no choice'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'There is no choice'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Reformed' UN 'Human Rights Council' praises Saudi human rights record#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'Reformed' UN 'Human Rights Council' praises Saudi human rights record#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Photo of the day#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Photo of the day#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Knife-wielding cowboy arrested in Emek Yizrael#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Knife-wielding cowboy arrested in Emek Yizrael#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: What did he plan to do with them?#links#links

Israel Matzav: What did he plan to do with them?#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'The peace process has died'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: 'The peace process has died'#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: The IAF already knows how to get there#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: The IAF already knows how to get there#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: How you pay for Hamas' lobbyists#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: How you pay for Hamas' lobbyists#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kids say the darndest things#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kids say the darndest things#links#links

UNIVERSAL TORAH: TERUMAH

UNIVERSAL TORAH: TERUMAH


By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum


Torah Reading: TERUMAH Exodus 25:1-27:19Haftara I Kings 5:26-6:13.


ABOVE SHALL BE BELOW, BELOW ABOVE


From this week's parshah of TERUMAH onwards until the end of the book of Exodus -- five parshahs -- the central theme is the Sanctuary built by the Children of Israel in the Wilderness. The Sanctuary is the prototype of the Holy Temple destined to stand eternally in Yerushalayim.

This week's parshah explains the design of the Sanctuary and its vessels, while next week's parshah of TETZAVEH explains the garments that were to be worn by those who were to minister in that Sanctuary -- Aaron and his sons. TETZAVEH also explains the sacrificial rituals that were to inaugurate the Sanctuary and its priests.


After TETZAVEH comes KI TISA, which continues the explanation of the form of the Sanctuary vessels and the sacrifices. When this explanation is complete, KI TISA goes on to narrate the sin of the Golden Calf and how Moses secured atonement for the people through the 13 Attributes of Mercy.


Then come the last two parshahs of Exodus, VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which explain how Bezalel and the other craftsmen actually constructed the Sanctuary and made the priestly clothes. VAYAKHEL and PEKUDAY repeat practically word for word some of the corresponding passages in TERUMAH and TETZAVEH. PEKUDEY then concludes the book of Exodus with the account of the inauguration of the Sanctuary and the priests on the New Moon of the first Nissan after the Exodus. This was exactly one year to the day since Moses received the first commandments while still in Egypt: the law of the New Moon and the Pesach sacrifice, prototype of Temple sacrifice.


At the close of TETZAVEH and Exodus, we read how G-d's Cloud of Glory dwelled constantly over the Sanctuary. Leviticus opens immediately with the Voice of G-d emanating to Moses from between the mouths of the Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, giving him the detailed laws of the Temple sacrifices.


From this overview of the remaining five parshahs of Exodus, we see that the subject of the Sanctuary -- central to the Torah and to the whole world -- is introduced in "sandwich" form. TERUMAH and TETZAVEH explain the intended form of the Sanctuary and priestly garments BEFORE they were executed, when they were in the "mind" and will of G-d. In the middle of the "sandwich" is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf and it's atonement through the 13 Attributes of Mercy. Then on the other side of the "sandwich" come VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY, which tell how the Sanctuary IDEA was brought from POTENTIAL TO ACTUAL through the thirty-nine labors of the craftsmen who made it.


At the very center of this "sandwich" structure is the account of the sin of the Golden Calf -- which changed everything for the Children of Israel. In the heady days of the Exodus and the Giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel were elevated to the greatest heights. Then suddenly, forty days after hearing the Voice of G-d at Sinai, in one single orgy they sank to the lowest depths of degradation. From then on they had to learn the terrible pain of retribution, suffering and contrition. This was a loss of innocence parallel to the eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.


But God had already prepared the remedy before the illness. Indeed, we might even say that the illness was sent with the very purpose of revealing the great power of the remedy. The remedy for sin is repentance, which saves man from himself and brings him back to the One G-d, bringing him atonement -- AT-ONE-MENT. The penitential "system" of the Torah is contained within the Sanctuary and its sacrificial rituals, which are a teaching to mankind about how man draws close (KaRoV) to G-d through his KORBAN ("sacrifice") -- literally, his "coming close". As the way of repentance for having elevated wealth to the status of a god, man is commanded to take gold, silver, copper and the richest fabrics in order to glorify and magnify the One True G-d. Man is taught how to configure the materials of this world so that instead of separating him from G-d through idolatrous uses and configurations, they will serve to draw him ever closer, until G-d Himself "dwells" with man.


TERUMAH and TETZAVEH present us the Sanctuary and sacrificial IDEA before we have even learned about sin. The lesson of the Golden Calf in KI TISA is harsh. But it is sweetened, because immediately after Moses secured atonement for Israel through the 13 Attributes of Mercy, the very next day he assembled the people and told them to bring gifts of materials and to get busy making the ACTUAL sanctuary, as told in VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY. Thus the bitterness of sin in KI TISA is "sandwiched" between the sweetness of TERUMAH & TETZAVEH (the Teshuvah IDEA in all its innocent purity) and VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY (the ACTUALIZATION of Teshuvah in the Sanctuary in this world.) [This "sandwich" is reminiscent of how in Temple times, Hillel would eat his Pesach sacrifice with the bitter herbs in a "sandwich" with his Matza.]


The Torah never wastes a word or a single letter. It is therefore a great wonder that many of the passages about the Sanctuary, its vessels and the priestly garments that we read this week and next in TERUMAH and TEZTAVEH are, as mentioned, repeated almost word for word in VAYAKHEL and PEKUDEY. The "mirroring" of the explanation of the IDEA in the account of its ACTUALIZATION comes to communicate something that is at the very core of the Temple-Sanctuary idea. The Temple or Sanctuary are a "replica" and "mirror" of the Heavenly Sanctuary, which is in the "mind" or will of G-d. They are a "replica" in which the materials of this world -- metals, wood, fabrics, etc. -- are used to bring a "reflection" of heaven into the minds and consciousness of ordinary people.


In this way, what is "above" -- "in heaven" -- actually dwells and exists in material form in this world "below". And through this, "below" becomes "above". "And they will take for Me an offering. And they will make Me a Sanctuary, and I will dwell WITHIN THEM" (Ex. 25 vv. 2, 8).


* * *


JACOB'S CEDARS


"And you shall make THE boards for the Sanctuary from the wood of cedar trees STANDING upright" (Ex. 26:15). On this, Rashi comments: "It should have simply said, 'you shall make boards' in the same way as was said of everything else. What are 'THE boards'? These were boards from those that were STANDING ready for this. Jacob our father planted cedars in Egypt and before he died, he instructed his sons to take them up with them when they left Egypt, and he said that the Holy One was going to command them to build a Sanctuary in the wilderness" (Rashi ad loc.)


In the Midrash which Rashi here brings about the wood of the standing boards or beams of the Sanctuary -- the "bones" that enable the entire structure to stand up -- he underlines the conceptual connection between the Sanctuary idea and Jacob.


As discussed in UNIVERSAL TORAH commentaries on the parshahs in Genesis dealing with Jacob, it was he who made synthesis, order and structure out of the opposing polar tendencies of the two fathers and teachers in whose tents he sat -- Abraham (CHESSED, kindness and expansiveness) and Isaac (GEVURAH, power and restraint).


Jacob was the house-builder who built the House of Israel. And Jacob was a genius house-builder precisely because he understood domestic life perfectly. In his first appearance in the Torah (at the beginning of TOLDOS, Gen. 25:29) he is cooking lentil soup -- using the round lentils as a hint to his father Isaac (who was in mourning for the loss of Abraham, see Rashi) that life and death go in cycles. Jacob's grip on the heel of Esau indicates that Jacob possessed the power to take the simple things of this world (ASIYAH, Esau) and transform them into communicators of G-dliness.


Thus the components of the Sanctuary-Temple are the same as those of a home. It exists within a defined space, a court-yard, where curtains of modesty separate between what is outside (profane) and what is inside (holy).


The Sanctuary contains different areas. Its very heart is the hearth, the "kitchen". This is where the food is prepared (slaughter of animals) and cooked (on the "oven", the Altar). Within the "domestic quarters" of the House itself, there is a secluded, intimate living area with a lamp (the Menorah) and a table (the Show-bread Table), and a pleasant aroma (from the Incense Altar). Most secluded and intimate of all is the "bedroom", to which no-one except the most trusted has access. This is the Holy of Holies, where the "faithful of His house" may come "face to face" with the King in the height of prophecy.


The Sanctuary and Temple are replete with messages to us about how we must try to build our private homes and structure the lives we lead in them in ways that "reflect" G-dliness and enable G-d to dwell with us here in this world. This is how we lift up and elevate this world.


* * *


TERUMAH - LIFTING UP


The sin of the Golden Calf pulled the Children of Israel down to the depths of degradation. But the remedy existed already from before: TERUMAH -- the elevation of mundane objects and materials, gold, silver, wood, fabrics -- through the service of G-d in "homely" ways.


The great beauty of the way of repentance that G-d has provided is that it enables man to repent with honor. Despite having sinned, man is invited to become a contributor. He is asked to give a TERUMAH -- to take the gold and silver that he has, the very thing with which sinned, and "contribute" and "elevate" it so that now it too has its proper place in what becomes a Sanctuary. Then the proper order is restored, and everything sings out the glory of G-d.


One of the ways we "contribute" is through the words of our daily prayers and blessings. For in essence, the Sanctuary is a House of Prayer. So too our homes should be filled with our blessings and thanks for all the good things of life that we enjoy and with our prayers for all of our needs.


King David (who prepared the way for the Temple) instituted that One Hundred Blessings should be recited daily (Rambam, Laws of Prayer 7:14). These hundred blessings (made up of the morning blessings, the thrice repeated Shmonah Esray, the blessings before and after two daily meals, etc.) correspond to the hundred ADNEY KESEF, "sockets of silver" (Ex. 26:19; Shaarey Orah). These ADNEY KESEF were the solid bases in which the "standing" boards that made up the Sanctuary walls were planted. These "sockets" of solid silver are what kept the boards upright. This silver came from the 100 KIKAR of silver contributed by the Children of Israel in response to the command with which our parshah of TERUMAH begins: "Let them take an offering.and silver" (Ex. 25:3 and Rashi ad loc.; Ex. 38:26-7).


KESEF, "silver", is related to the word for "longing" -- as in KISUFin. Thus 100 ADNEY KESEF alludes to the hundred times we bless the name of G-d (A-D-N-Y), our Lord, with longing and yearning for His holiness to dwell with us! This small "contribution" on our part is what keeps the entire Sanctuary standing!


MESHENICHNAS ADAR, MARBIN BESIMCHAH!!! "When Adar arrives, we maximize SIMCHAH!!!"


Shabbat Shalom UMevorach


Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum


--

AZAMRA INSTITUTE
PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel
Website: www.azamra.org


Change address / Leave mailing list: http://ymlp67.com/u.php?YMLPID=gbmbwegsguqeuguby

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

UNRWA STAFF SELLING GOODS TO PRIVATE SECTOR


UNRWA staff selling goods to private sector


More good news on UNRWA from Maan News:


UNRWA employees were involved in bringing truckloads of goods into the Gaza Strip under title of the agency and selling them to the private sector Hamas.”


The cooperation of UNRWA with Hamas seems to be fruitfuller than ever.


taken from : Shimshon 9 (http://www.shimshon9.com/unrwa-staff-selling-goods-to-private-sector/)

IRAN HOLDS ENOUGH URANIUM FOR BOMB


Iran holds enough uranium for bomb


By Daniel Dombey in Washington

Published: February 19 2009 21:18 Last updated: February 20 2009 00:51


Iran has built up a stockpile of enough enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb, United Nations officials acknowledged on Thursday.


In a development that comes as the Obama administration is drawing up its policy on negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme, UN officials said Iran had produced more nuclear material than previously thought.


They said Iran had accumulated more than one tonne of low enriched uranium hexafluoride at a facility in Natanz.


If such a quantity were further enriched it could produce more than 20kg of fissile material – enough for a bomb.


“It appears that Iran has walked right up to the threshold of having enough low enriched uranium to provide enough raw material for a single bomb,” said Peter Zimmerman, a former chief scientist of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency


The new figures come in a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, released on Thursday. This revealed that Iran’s production of low enriched uranium had previously been underestimated.


When the agency carried out an annual stocktaking of Natanz in mid-November Iran had produced 839kg of low enriched uranium hexafluoride – more than 200kg more than previously thought. Tehran produced an additional 171kg by the end of January.


“It’s sure certain that if they didn’t have it [enough] when the IAEA took these measurements, they will have it in a matter of weeks,” Mr Zimmerman said.


Iran’s success in reaching such a “breakout capacity” – a stage that would allow it to produce enough fissile material for a bomb in a matter of months – crosses a “red line” that for years Israel has said it would not accept.


UN officials emphasise that to produce fissile material Iran would have to reconfigure its Natanz plant to produce high enriched uranium rather than low enriched uranium – a highly visible step that would take months – or to shift its stockpile to a clandestine site.


No such sites have been proved to exist, although for decades Iran concealed evidence of its nuclear programme.


A senior UN official added that countries usually waited until they had an enriched uranium stockpile sufficient for several bombs before proceeding to develop fissile material. He conceded that Iran now had enough enriched uranium for one bomb.


“Do they have enough low enriched uranium to produce a significant quantity [enough high enriched uranium for a bomb]?” he said. “In theory this is possible, [although] with the present configuration at Natanz it isn’t.”

David Albright, the head of the Institute for Science and International Security, said: “If Iran did decide to build nuclear weapons, it’s entering an era in which it could do so quickly.”


Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

AN ISRAELI AT THE GUARDIAN



The Guardian allows Uri Dromi - a former IDF spokesman - to present Israel's version of the use of various weapons in Gaza. By this stage of the story, this is no longer enough to exonerate the Guardian from the accusation of fomenting antisemitism and being antisemitic in their editorial line and ethos, though as I've said in the past, the Guardian is indeed better than the worst Jew haters in the Arab world: they live in a democracy and still go through the motions of allowing multiple voices.


The readers of CiF, however, have no such compunctions. If you want to plumb the cesspool of Western Jew hatred, the comments at Comment is Free is a fine place to start.


taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

ALISON DE FORGES



This obituary for Alison Des Forges shows what a real human rights activist does, in the parts of the world that really need them.


taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

BINIAM MOHAMED, LITMUS TEST



Binyam Mohamed is an Ethiopian fellow with a strange story. When in his teens he apparently entered the UK and requested asylum, was turned down, and stayed anyway. At some point he converted to Islam, and later on went to Pakistan and Afghanistan to see - if you wish to believe it - if the Taleban had managed in setting up a proper Islamic state. While there he engaged in something or other, perhaps joining an aid organization, perhaps recruiting in al-Qaida and being trained in ferociousness. It depends which version you choose to believe in, and I certainly can't say, not having been there at the time. By and by he was arrested boarding a plane to the UK with a false passport; this seems the last moment in the story all versions agree upon. He probably disappeared into a Moroccan interrogation center, where he says he was tortured - a credible tale in itself, given what is known about Moroccan police procedures: the last thing you'd want is to be treated to them. A year or two later he reached Guantanamo. So far as I can make out, the authorities there didn't have enough credible evidence to indict him, but nor could they set him free unless someone was willing to take him. Recently the British authorities have accepted him, and this week he was flown to London and set free, though he must come to a local police station regularly until the British authorities decide what to do with him.


All in all a pretty sorry tale for all involved. I suppose, if you were so inclined, you could see his lawyers as glorious champions of human rights, but I'm not inclined to. They're the people who invented for him words he never said, such as:


And I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years...
I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured. Thank you.


Touching, isn't it. Eloquent, too. Christian-style noble, second-cheek-for-slapping sentiments, suffering so that humankind be redeemed. Almost exactly what you'd expect coming from a fellow with his story.


Anyway. The London Times has been following the story, and trying, it seems, to be factual. David Aaronovitch is less convinced, and suggests the treatment of Mr Mohamed is hard to condone, but not without losing his ability to recognize the reality it's part of; a reality in which even worse things are happening.


And then you have the Guardian. They offered Mr Mohamed to write an article about his thoughts, and his lawyers duly did so for him, as cited above. The whole issue has nothing to do with Israel or the Jews, so one might cite the cluelessness or the malice of the Guardian in this case as proof their general outlook is sick, but not antisemitic. It seems to me, however, as if the topics are connected, and together go part of the way towards creating a Weltanschauung, a totality of understanding the world which is broader than a mere ideology. In this Weltanschauung, the Islamists, their fellow travelers and anyone involved with them are thoughtful misunderstood and wronged souls; the power brokers in the West who confront them, meanwhile, are inexplicably evil, cruel, and generally reprehensible.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ATTCKS HONEST REPORTING

British Medical Journal Attacks HonestReporting
One of the most prominent weapons deployed by Israel's detractors is to accuse pro-Israel organizations and their supporters of being part of a shadowy and highly effective "Israel lobby". The charge of shutting down all criticism of Israel and destroying freedom of speech is usually deployed, however, precisely to delegitimize organizations such as HonestReporting and curtail their own right to respond to anti-Israel bias.
Needless to say, if an "Israel lobby" was so influential over the media, there would be no need for HonestReporting to exist. Yet as the Jerusalem Post reports:
The editors of the 'BMJ' (British Medical Journal)'s widely read print and Internet editions have declared that they will "ignore" all "orchestrated e-mail campaigns" related to politics, and have just published an article strongly criticizing the "pro-Israel lobby" for using this weapon in the form of "pornographic," "abusive" and "obscene" attacks - many by people "who have never read the original articles" they comment on.
In its latest edition, the BMJ devotes some five articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) reviewing the "perils of criticizing Israel" and a substantial amount of print is concentrated on attacking HonestReporting itself.
Chief amongst these is Karl Sabbagh's analysis of hundreds of e-mails sent to the BMJ in response to an article published way back in 2004. According to Sabbagh, "It seems likely that most of the hostile emails resulted from a request from HonestReporting, a website operated from the United States and Israel." Citing HonestReporting and holding it responsible for a number of abusive e-mails, he states:
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with organising an effective lobby group, but lobbying for Israel seems to be in a different category from, say, lobbies against fluoridation and MMR vaccine. The ultimate goal of some of the groups that lobby for Israel or against Palestine is apparently the suppression of views they disagree with.
We certainly concede that abusive e-mails are absolutely unacceptable from both a moral standpoint and because such responses to the media are entirely counterproductive. We would remind our subscribers to always write courteously and from an informed perspective. (Click here to see letter writing tips.)
HonestReporting is not trying to block people from expressing themselves. It only holds people accountable for their statements. This is how democratic discourse is advanced. In addition, HonestReporting is promoting, not stifling, debate by getting the public involved in the issue. Those who accuse the organization of stifling debate are actually the ones seeking to suppress the voices of our readers – the people who express themselves through emails to editors.
Indeed, the writer summarily dismisses the legitimacy or relevance of the hundreds of e-mails received by the BMJ from HonestReporting subscribers. It is easier to dismiss such people as deranged or part of an organized conspiracy than to actually deal with the content of their complaints, which the BMJ fails to do. HonestReporting stands by its original critique of Derek Summerfield's 2004 article that compared the IDF's acts to those of the 9/11 terrorists.
Also writing on this topic in the BMJ, Jonathan Freedland even states that "Derek Summerfield's mistake was to open his piece with a clear error, one that inevitably made his essay appear tendentious." So why shouldn't HonestReporting and our subscribers hold Summerfield and the BMJ accountable for such an error?
Is the BMJ's shot across our bows in preparation for upcoming articles that may be critical of Israel? Is this a pre-emptive strike meant to discredit us and our subscribers in order to make it harder to respond to the BMJ in the future? While we are not asking you to play into the BMJ's hands by responding to its latest articles, HonestReporting will certainly not be silenced if we feel that any future BMJ (or any other publication's) material deserves a response from you, our subscribers.
RESPONDING TO AMNESTY - RESOURCES
Powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are able to push their agendas aided by the "halo effect", whereby, because of their humanitarian focus, they are insulated from scrutiny and are regarded as above reproach by the media. Amnesty International, as detailed by NGO Monitor, is one such NGO and has released a report, picked up by many media outlets, accusing Israel of committing "war crimes" in Gaza and calling on the US to suspend arms sales to Israel.
A Jerusalem Post editorial sums up the issue:
Yesterday, Amnesty International, the world's premier "human rights" brand, called for the destruction of Israel. We’re overdramatizing? Were AI to get its way, the UN Security Council would impose a comprehensive arms embargo on the world's only Jewish state - but not on any of the 22 member states of the Arab League, or on Iran. Over time, Israel would find it impossible to defend itself against conventional or WMD threats stemming from hostile states or Palestinian and Islamist terror organizations....
Either to simulate evenhandedness, or perhaps because it really is blinded by moral relativism, AI perfunctorily called for a weapons embargo against Hamas. It thus appears incapable of distinguishing between Israel and Hamas, between victim and aggressor - between an albeit imperfect Western nation which values tolerance, representative government, rule of law and respect for minority rights, and a medieval-oriented Islamist movement which mobilizes Palestinian masses to hate, teaches its young to glorify suicide bombers, and inculcates a political culture wallowing in self-inflicted victimization.
Criticism of AI's report also came from the Anti-Defamation League, while Uri Dromi puts the IDF's actions in Gaza into context on The Guardian's Comment is Free site.
Please use the resources outlined above to respond to Amnesty's flawed report and the publicity that it has generated in the media.
HonestReporting. com

Israel Matzav: Freeman's Bin Laden connection#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Freeman's Bin Laden connection#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Holocaust-denying Bishop scuffles with Argentine television reporter#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Holocaust-denying Bishop scuffles with Argentine television reporter#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama morphing into Chavez?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama morphing into Chavez?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: He was a prince#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: He was a prince#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Britain is too pro-Israel?#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Britain is too pro-Israel?#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Survivors of Jerusalem terror attack, families of Beirut terror victims seek to collect from Iranian relics#links#links

Israel Matzav: Survivors of Jerusalem terror attack, families of Beirut terror victims seek to collect from Iranian relics#links#links

Israel Matzav: Freeman officially nominated#links#links

Israel Matzav: Freeman officially nominated#links#links

Israel Matzav: It's 1938 again#links#links

Israel Matzav: It's 1938 again#links#links

Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie's congressman wants to 'reassess' aid to Israel#links#links

Israel Matzav: Rachel Corrie's congressman wants to 'reassess' aid to Israel#links#links

Israel Matzav: Special lady pledges $900 million for Gaza Hamas#links#links

Israel Matzav: Special lady pledges $900 million for <strike>Gaza</strike> <i>Hamas</i>#links#links

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinian' double standard#links#links

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinian' double standard#links#links

Israel Matzav: NY Times: Anything to promote the anti-Israel agenda#links#links

Israel Matzav: NY Times: Anything to promote the anti-Israel agenda#links#links

Israel Matzav: Amnesty calls for arms embargo against Israel#links#links

Israel Matzav: Amnesty calls for arms embargo against Israel#links#links

Israel Matzav: Yizkerem - Music video in memory of the eight boys murdered at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on Rosh Chodesh Adar - March 6, 2008#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Yizkerem - Music video in memory of the eight boys murdered at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva on Rosh Chodesh Adar - March 6, 2008#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Hopenchange? Iranians to rebuild city destroyed by Iranian-armed militias#links#links

Israel Matzav: Hopenchange? Iranians to rebuild city destroyed by Iranian-armed militias#links#links

Israel Matzav: Proof: Obama administration doesn't understand Iran#links#links

Israel Matzav: Proof: Obama administration doesn't understand Iran#links#links

Israel Matzav: Realism or failure?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Realism or failure?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Jimmy Carter's second term#links#links

Israel Matzav: Jimmy Carter's second term#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama administration's attendance in Geneva making things worse#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama administration's attendance in Geneva making things worse#links#links

BOYCOTTING ISRAEL, AND NOT



The Forward has a story about a co-op in Brooklyn with 15,000 members, one of whom has proposed a boycott on Israeli products - it's a greengrocer's co-op. If you read the whole article you'll see the boycott will never happen:


Michael Barrish, a 48-year-old Web developer who was shopping on February 17, said the ban is absurd. He believes it would be shouted down by Jews who support Israel, and laughed at by those who find a ban of this nature preposterous. But, Barrish said, “I like being a member of a place in which you can propose what you believe.”


Meanwhile, as part of my other, professional, life, today I came across the interesting tidbit of information that the British Library (not a British library: THE British Library) not long ago migrated its many systems into a single one, the Israeli-made Aleph system. (You can see the marketing propaganda here, if you insist). This means that each and every time one of the Guardian types uses their national library for whatever purpose, including online, they're benefiting from... oy, I don't even want to complete the sentence.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

DURBAN 2



You might want to mark the date of the upcoming international hate fest: the so-called Durban 2 conference, scheduled for April 20th in Geneva. April 20th, as some people know, was Hitler's birthday, a national holiday in Nazi Germany, and a high-alert day for West German police forces after the war. The symbolism is apt.


According to this rather technical article, the Obama Administration has broken with the Bush Administration's admirable stand of having nothing to do with the event. The Obama people are participating in the preparations, and aren't even trying very hard to head off the damage.


I'm not an international diplomacy wonk, so I can't vouch for the details of the description, but it sounds pretty bad to me. Not that the conference will be all that important, mind you: the antisemites will celebrate, the others will avert their eyes, and the world will continue as before.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)

JUDENSTAATREIN



Irwin Cotler, one of the more knowledgeable experts on human rights anywhere, has published a long but worthy article about the new form of antisemitism: denial of the Jew's right to have a nation state. The term Judenstaatrein seems to have been coined by Per Ahlmark, a former Swedish Deputy Prime Minister.


I'd have preferred the article to have been published in the NYT to the Jerusalem Post, which has a smaller and less influential readership, and also tends to hide articles after a few days, but I wasn't asked.


Cotler's article follows a meeting of the Interparliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA), a new organization which just had its first meeting in London. So far as I can tell from the Guardian search engine, they had one single article on the conference (did I mention it was in London, and was addressed by Gordon Brown?); it's an article by one Antony Lerman, and on its own offers a legitimate tone of caution of getting carried away when discussing antisemitism. Had his been one of three viewpoints, say, it wold have been fine. But it wasn't.


And then there are the responses of readers, the article having been posted at the Comment is Free (CiF) section of the Guardian's website. My favorite response (before I gave up) was this one:


I'm gonna be real careful today and not get anyone too angry with me. But couldn't some aspects of anti-semitism be caused by the part of the torah that says the Jews are gods chosen people, therefore making everyone else second class citizens? Doesn't racism breed racism ?
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/)
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