Archive for August, 2009

Why Israel is bad for jews pt. 4

24, August, 2009

Stephen Lendman writes in al-Ahram: ‘Rabbi Dov Lior, chairman of the Jewish Rabbinic Council: “There is no such thing as enemy civilians in war time. The law of our Torah is to have mercy on our soldiers and to save them… A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail.” Rabbi David Batsri called Arabs “a blight, a devil, a disaster… donkeys, and we have to ask ourselves why God didn’t create them to walk on all fours. Well, the answer is that they are needed to build and clean.” Extremist zealots want them for no other purpose in Jewish society.
In 2007, Israel’s former chief rabbi, Mordechai Elyahu, called for the Israeli army to mass murder Palestinians. In fanatical language he said: “If they don’t stop after we kill 100, then we must kill 1,000. And if they don’t stop after 1,000, then we must kill 10,000. If they still don’t stop we must kill 100,000. Even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop.”
In March 2009, Safed’s chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu called for “state-sponsored revenge” to restore “Israel’s deterrence… It’s time to call the child by its name: revenge, revenge, revenge. We mustn’t forget. We have to take horrible revenge for the terrorist attack at Mercaz Harav yeshiva,” referring to an earlier incident in which eight students died. “I am not talking about individual people in particular. I’m talking about the state. (It) has to pain them where they scream ‘Enough,’ to the point where they fall flat on their face and scream ‘help!'”
In June 2009, US Hasidic Rabbi Manis Friedman voiced a similar sentiment in calling on Israel to kill Palestinian “men, women and children”. “I don’t believe in Western morality, ie don’t kill civilians or children, don’t destroy holy sites, don’t fight during the holiday seasons, don’t bomb cemeteries, and don’t shoot until they shoot first because it is immoral. The only way to fight a moral war is the Jewish way: destroy their holy sites. Kill men, women and children (and cattle).”
Views like these aren’t exceptions. Though a minority, they proliferate throughout Israeli society, and are common enough to incite violence against Palestinians, even when they rightfully defend themselves as international law allows. (…) The earlier influence of fundamentalist Rabbi Abraham Kook (1865-1935), or Kuk, was significant. He preached Jewish supremacy and said: “The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews — all of them in all different levels — is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle.” His teachings helped create the settler movement, and his son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, founded the extremist Gush Emunim (GE) under the slogan: “The Land of Israel, for the people of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel.” Like the elder Kook, GE sees state power as a way forward to a new messianic era. It believes that God created the world for Jews. Others are lesser beings. Greater Israel belongs to Jews alone, and holy wars are acceptable to attain it.
Kook was Israel’s first chief rabbi. In his honour, and to continue his teachings, the extremist Merkaz Harav (the Rabbi’s Centre) was founded in 1924 as a yeshiva or fundamentalist religious college. It teaches that, “non-Jews living under Jewish law in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) must either be enslaved as water carriers and wood hewers, or banished, or exterminated.”

Back home…

21, August, 2009
After a few busy weeks work-honeymoon-reunion-holiday in Belgium, I made it back to this country, which has managed to not have a government yet in the time Belgium got five of them together. Meanwhile, Irael is upping the threats of another war, which is being taken seriously by nobody but the most paranod (on the grounds that barking dogs don’t bite, and on the grounds that it will mean the virtual end of ‘Israel’).
Some titbits that did happen and characterise this of this wonderful country full of contradictions in a superb way: ‘On a nice Sunday afternoon, one Mercedes ML350, a big black SUV, is heading towards Faqra. On board are two couples planning to have lunch in a restaurant in the area. The car has black dimmed glass all over– remember that this type of glass has been ruled illegal on civilian vehicles. Passenger #1: “Cool ride dude.” Sami (a Typical Lebanese): “Thanks man. It’s my dad’s you know, but all of the extras are the handy work of yours truly.” Passenger #1: “What extras?”And on it roared.For no more than $100, Sami had managed to buy himself the most outrageous, and illegal, of gadgets. He had in his car a police siren device complete with a public address system and a sound amplifier. Is there a need to mention that such a device should belong exclusively to Internal Security police cars? Sami pushed the siren button which instantly started to wail in the most atrocious of ways. He held the microphone to his lips and mimicked the line usually repeated by internal security forces (ISF) when “someone important” is blessing the commoners with his presence among them on the streets. “Silver Toyota move to the right!” And the poor woman driving the Toyota actually moved to the right side of the street. The incident had a surrealist quality: Typical Lebanese– Sami had actually perfected the aggressive tone of ISF officers who always sound like caffeine addicts deprived of their daily dose of the drug. He was maniacally speeding down the sloping hills of Rayfoun, pushing the siren on and on again (the image of a laughing Joker from Batman movies comes to mind), and cars around were obediently moving away from this important-looking death machine.’
Ben Gilbert, in Executive Magazine, writes a comprehensive article on the state of prostitution, which strangely enough turns out to be legal in this country, albeit in typical Lebanese fashion: ‘Siranossian calls the super nightclubs
a “fantastic” solution to the problem of prostitution, because it allows the government to regulate and oversee the industry, somewhat akin to the way escort services operate in the US or Europe. Charbel verifies this, noting that
police usually stop in three or four times a week. “They’re checking to see if the woman is in the club, and hasn’t
gone out with a customer,” he said. Even then, it appears that circumventing the law is relatively easy. Policecorruption in Lebanon is nothing new, and several people acquainted with the industry said that in the past, law enforcement has often looked the other way if enough money is offered. “The law was permitting us,” he said. “When the police come, we’d pay a lot of money, and they’d forget everything for one week, two weeks,” he said.’
(pdf of the article via Qifa Nabki, here).

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