Tuesday, July 10, 2012

547 Rachel Corrie was killed because "I remember the Holocaust"

Rachel Corrie was killed because "I remember the Holocaust"

(1) Lieberman and settlers want to build a new colonial settlement in my
(2) Romney visits "Culturally Superior" Israel but ignores Occupation & Wall
(3) Israel's rabbinic aristocracy
(4) Anne Frank cf Rachel Corrie
(5) Rachel Corrie: Obama's silence on the murder of a US citizen
(6) Rachel Corrie was killed because "I remember the Holocaust"
(7) "Holocaust-obsessed" a new insult
(8) Sydney Orthodox Jews try to force north-shore Council to grant an
eruv, or religious zone
(9) Sabbath restrictions don't apply in an eruv or "enclosure"
(10) Eruv: Opening an umbrella is like erecting a tent, and falls under
the category of construction
(11) Jews must not mix with Gentiles, lest they be contaminated
(12) Alison Weir: US taxpayers pay more of Israeli defense budget than
Israeli taxpayers

(1) Lieberman and settlers want to build a new colonial settlement in my

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22:51:44 +0200 From: Mazin Qumsiyeh

Oil, Zionism and more

Mazin Qumsiyeh


Recent discoveries show that the Eastern Mediterranean area has huge
energy fields which together with water resources could provide the
impetus for new conflicts/wars. The initial estimates is that the area
in the sea facing Palestine (present day Israel and the Gaza Strip),
Lebanon, and Syria holds 1.7 billion barrels of oil, 5 billion barrels
of natural gas liquids, and an astounding 122 trillion cubic feet of
recoverable natural gas. Already Israel uses nearly 10 times more of our
water per capita than we the native Palestinians use. Already Israel
controls most of the lucrative tourism industry in Palestine and most of
our agricultural lands and other resources. Already Israel has very many
millionaires and a few billionaires while 25% of Israeli Children live
in poverty (and nearly half the Palestinian Children in Gaza and the
West Bank). I guess there are those chosen and those who are even more

Meanwhile, there were large demonstrations demanding the Palestinian
dueling authorities (in Ramallah and Gaza) stop political arrests. And
while our people are busy with local municipal elections, the Zionists
intensify their assault on common decency. Avigdor Lieberman and over
100 settlers came to my town of Beit Sahour Thursday wanting to build a
new colonial settlement in the area of Ush Ghrab to be called Shdema. So
now the local committee is re-emerging to try to deal with this new
challenge. And today (Saturday) Israeli authorities discovered a fairly
sophisticated unmanned drone that apparently was hovering in the Neqeb
(Negev) area and shot it down. That shook the Israeli public and showed
that all the sophisticated military gear in the world will not protect
you from such efforts. The world is changing and only justice to the
native Palestinians can bring security and peace here.

In this week's compilation of links below: evaluation of Zionism versus
Judaism, BDS as key to just peace, Russell Tribunal on Palestine,
Lutherans look at Israeli military, 5 broken cameras, why I dislike
Israel, and why Oslo must go.

(2) Romney visits "Culturally Superior" Israel but ignores Occupation & Wall


Friday, August 3rd, 2012 | Posted by James M. Wall

Romney Visits Culturally "Superior"Israel; Totally Ignores the Occupation

It is a scary thought that our next president could be Mitt Romney, who
traveled to Israel and ignored the obscene wall Israel has built to
guarantee that the Palestinian people will have none of the freedoms he
claims to espouse.

by James M. Wall

Mitt Romney traveled to Jerusalem earlier this week. He was not there on
a fact-finding mission. He was raising money for his presidential campaign.

He was also cultivating American voters who live in Israel, while
stroking his pro-Israel voters back home with pictures like this one
(right) of the candidate praying at the Western Wall.

The only attention the Palestinians received came in a back-handed slap
delivered by Romney when he spoke to a luncheon sponsored by his wealthy
U.S. backer, casino owner Sheldon Adelson.

Romney told 40 wealthy donors at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel that
Israel has a far superior GDP per capita than "the areas managed by the
Palestinian Authority”.

Displaying a total ignorance of the prison-like occupation under which
the Palestinian people must struggle, Romney explained that the
”dramatically stark difference in economic vitality"was due to Israel’s
superior culture.

Grossly misstating the 2009 GDF figures available on the United Nations
website, Romney said:

As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel
which is about $21,000 dollars [actually $27,060], and compare that with
the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian
Authority, which is more like $10,000 [actually $1,367] per capita, you
notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality.”

Romney did not cross over into what he called ”the areas managed by the
Palestinian Authority”.

He did not see for himself the so-called "security wall”.

Instead like the average American tourist traveling under Israeli guides
all he appeared to know about the region came from books he or his staff
had read.

That reading prompted Romney to say that "some economic histories have
theorized that ‘culture makes all the difference.’”

Zooming in on the financial backers he spoke to at the King David Hotel,
Romney added:

And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the
accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of
at least culture and a few other things [including] an innovative
business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult
circumstances and the "hand of providence."He said similar disparity
exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States. ...

From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2012 12:28:38 -0400
Subject: US electoral fight pits two Israeli Americans + Millionaire rabbis

[Billionaire Saban, funds the think-tank at the Brookings Institution,
which maintains a revolving door arrangement with the State Dept./White
House for Israel’s agents in the two places. Adelson, supporting Romney,
makes his billions from casinos in Las Vegas and Macau.Both these
die-hard supporters of Israel are not only against any freedom for the
Palestinians, but also for war with anyone deemed to challenge Israel’s
supremacy in the Middle East or oppose Israel’s oppression of the

(3) Israel's rabbinic aristocracy


Israel's richest rabbis become savvy businessmen
Associated Press

One summer night, on the outskirts of a sleepy desert town, a who's who
of Israel's elite gathered for an annual feast to honor a rabbi whose
gaze is said to pierce the soul.
He's Rabbi Yaacov Israel Ifargan. But he is better known as, simply, the

Over the past few decades, he and dozens of other rabbis have carefully
positioned themselves at the fulcrum of Israeli power and influence.
They have attracted throngs of adherents most notably some of the
country's top business moguls, who pay top shekel for an audience with
their rabbi to solicit blessings and discuss business matters.

Family franchise

These magnates have helped fuel the rise of a rabbinic aristocracy whose
members have channeled the donations they receive into
multi-million-dollar empires.

After gaining experience dishing out advice to Israeli tycoons, the
rabbis have become shrewd businessmen themselves, managing hefty
investments in stocks and real estate at home and abroad with much of
their earnings allegedly kept far from the watchful eyes of Israeli tax

Their chief critic calls then swindlers and frauds, and some fellow
rabbis are critical of their practices.
The Israeli edition of Forbes magazine published a first-of-its-kind
ranking last month of Israel's 13 richest rabbis. In the number one spot
was 36-year-old Rabbi Pinchas from Beersheba, a blue-collar southern
desert city, whose wealth is estimated at $335 million. The X-ray rabbi
placed sixth, with an estimated net worth of $23 million.

"Every single shekel brings about true peace," announced the X-ray
rabbi's half-brother, Rabbi Hayim Amram Ifargan, from the dais at the
recent gathering, in a gentle nudge to the crowd of VIPs to continue
their support.
He, too, is a part of the Ifargan family franchise. His spiritual
adherents call him "The MRI." In the women's section behind a laced
divider sat "The Arbitrator" or "The CT," Ifargan's millionaire sister
Bruria Zvuluni, a go-to spiritual counselor who claims to have mediated
feuds between Israeli crime kingpins. Though she is not a rabbi, she
made it to the bottom of Forbes' list.

Cozying up at Ifargan's long table were lawmakers, one of Israel's top
lawyers, and two of Israel's wealthiest businessmen: Menahem Gurevitch,
chairman of a leading Israeli insurance company, and billionaire Nochi
Dankner, head of Israel's largest holding company and a close confidant
of Ifargan for the last 14 years. The Israeli army's chief rabbi and a
top police commander were there, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
sent his blessings in a recorded video message.

Rabbis who make fortunes for themselves and encourage others to make
money with their blessings draw the wrath of some fellow Jewish clerics.

Blessings for cash

"It's disappointing when religion descends to this," said Rabbi Donniel
Hartman, president of the Shalom Hartman institute, a modern Orthodox
Jewish learning center in Jerusalem. "It's not some channel of divine
power for personal wealth accumulation. That's small religion."

Most rabbis in Israel are not raking in millions. They are instead
salaried government employees, assigned by Israel's official rabbinate
to perform religious rites for the Jewish public such as marriages and
burials, or to enforce Jewish dietary laws in restaurants and hotels.

They are nowhere near the level of the high-flying spiritual gurus like
the X-ray.

Such gurus set up public office hours in their homes to receive Israelis
on all rungs of the social ladder, as long as they come with cash. In
exchange, adherents receive amulets and little pieces of paper
containing the rabbi's personalized blessing. The most successful rabbis
have founded charitable institutions and small religious seminaries,
which act as conduits for the incoming cash flow.

Menachem Friedman, an expert on Orthodox Judaism and professor emeritus
at Bar Ilan University, says religious Jewish businessmen since the 19th
century have solicited rabbis' blessings for cash to ensure their
success though today the sums have reached unprecedented amounts.

"If the market is dangerous and shaky, the millionaires who benefit from
that market have less confidence. They need these rabbis to give them
that security," Friedman said. ...

"These rabbis are charlatans, swindlers and cheaters. They have no real
knowledge. And people eat it up," said reporter Bar-Moha, who heads Tel
Aviv's journalists' association.

An Israeli tax official, speaking anonymously because of the issue's
sensitivity, said in the past two years tax authorities have approached
some 20 religious figures, requesting earnings reports. Some rabbis have
been investigated for tax fraud. No convictions are known, but some have
reportedly reached settlements with Israeli tax authorities.

Reached for comment, advisers of some of the rabbis profiled by Forbes
either would not comment on the income estimates, or said they were
wrong but would not provide other figures. A spokesman for Rabbi Ifargan
said his charitable institutions and received donations are above board.

At the end of the feast, adherents followed Rabbi Ifargan up a hill to
pray at the hulking stone pyramid that houses his father's grave.
Ifargan emerged from the tomb surrounded by paparazzi, bodyguards and a
host of followers shouting out requests for the rabbi to pray for their
health and for their children to find a good match.

When an Associated Press reporter asked the rabbi the secret to his
success, Ifargan stopped. The 46-year-old rabbi with a pointed jet-black
beard and brimmed hat fixed his gaze for a few moments, cocked his head
up toward the heavens and shrugged.

Then his bodyguards whisked him into a black Mercedes-Benz, and they
sped off.

(4) Anne Frank cf Rachel Corrie


A legacy of two martyrs

by Jennifer Loewenstein on September 1, 2012 23

[...] I remember reading Anne Frank’s Diary when I was twelve, utterly
absorbed in the world of this creative and eloquent child despite the
fact that she and her family were caught and deported to concentration
camps where everyone but Anne’s father, Otto, ultimately perished. She
nevertheless remains a beacon of hope and perseverance to victims
everywhere who have suffered persecution. ...

On August 28th, 2012 in Israel, Judge Oded Gershon issued the verdict in
the civil trial of Rachel Corrie. Unsurprisingly, however, the Israeli
State and Military Machine exonerated itself from all responsibility for
Rachel’s killing. I expected this. In the nine years since she was
crushed to death by a D-9 armored Caterpillar bulldozer that was out
doing routine – illegal and unconscionable – work destroying the
landscape and the lives of tens of thousands of people from Rafah, Gaza,
Rachel Corrie is still virtually unknown to the vast majority of the
educated US public. Unlike Anne Frank, whose life has been immortalized
by the circumstances of her death, Rachel’s name, life, and death have
been virtually blacked out of US official history like the news out of
Palestine generally. Both remain unknown, obscured, or distorted by
deliberate disinformation. ...

(5) Rachel Corrie: Obama's silence on the murder of a US citizen

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 12:43:52 +0300 From: Mazin Qumsiyeh
Subject: [HumanRights] Rachel Corrie

blogged at http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2012/08/rachel-corrie.html

It is hard to believe that we lost Rachel Corrie in March 2003. Our
pain makes it feel like only yesterday especially now that a
consistently biased lying Israeli judge justified exonerating her
killers by vilifying the International Solidarity Movement (see links
below). As a Palestinian who happens to also hold a US passport and most
importantly as a human being, I found the silence of the Obama
administration on the murder of a US citizen particularly revealing.
Such occasions make us cry but also because we start to remember others:
the first three that came to my mind were Vittorio Arrigoni, Bassem and
Jawaher Aburahma, then to be followed by a flood of faces and names.
When will this injustice end and the murders stop?

As for hundreds of years, colossal injustices must be and are answered
by people. Not just in the case of Rachel but the tens of thousands of
civilians murdered since the beginning of the Zionist invasion of
Palestine. In a short while we commemorate the massacres of Sabra and
Shatila where over 1300 Palestinian refugees and Lebanese were brutally
murdered by mercenaries of the Israeli state in 1982 (see
http://qumsiyeh.org/sabraandshatila/ ). In the subsequent 30 years,
with US direct and indirect support, the killing spree continues and the
ethnic cleansing continues. 7 million of us are now refugees or
displaced people. In the middle of this darkness always come bright
lights like Rachel and thousands of others.

Rachel lived her ideals and taught us to live based on these ideals.
In our last fleeting thought before we die, we never consider that we
should have worked for more money or more power but we do think that the
good that we do in life must have meant something. Rachel reminded us
of this. Rachel's good deeds and memory will live long after her
killers and the Israeli judge die in obscurity. Her memory will live
long after apartheid ends in Palestine and we have return and freedom.
In that future, Muslims, Christians, Jews and others will join hands and
hearts to remember this young girl and all the other martyrs along the
way to equality and justice. Our job is to work harder to make sure the
inevitable future arrives sooner.

(6) Rachel Corrie was killed because "I remember the Holocaust"

From: "Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics Earth Sciences)"
<sadanand@mail.ccsu.edu> Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012

Rachel Corrie verdict exposes Israeli military mindset

By Chris McGreal

28 August 2012, The Guardian


Reporters covering Israel are routinely confronted with the question:
why not call Hamas a terrorist organisation? It's a fair point. How else
to describe blowing up families on buses but terrorism?

But the difficulty lies in what then to call the Israeli army when it,
too, at particular times and places, has used indiscriminate killing and
terror as a means of breaking Palestinian civilians. One of those places
was Rafah, in the southern tip of the Gaza strip, where Rachel Corrie
was crushed by a military bulldozer nine years ago as she tried to stop
the Israeli army going about its routine destruction of Palestinian homes.

An Israeli judge on Tuesday perpetuated the fiction that Corrie's death
was a terrible accident and upheld the results of the military's own
investigation, widely regarded as such a whitewash that even the US
ambassador to Israel described it as neither thorough nor credible.
Corrie's parents may have failed in their attempt to see some justice
for their daughter, but in their struggle they forced a court case that
established that her death was not arbitrary but one of a pattern of
killings as the Israeli army pursued a daily routine of attacks intended
to terrorise the Palestinian population of southern Gaza into submission.

The case laid bare the state of the collective Israeli military mind,
which cast the definition of enemies so widely that children walking
down the street were legitimate targets if they crossed a red line that
was invisible to everyone but the soldiers looking at it on their maps.
The military gave itself a blanket protection by declaring southern Gaza
a war zone, even though it was heavily populated by ordinary
Palestinians, and set rules of engagement so broad that just about
anyone was a target.

With that went virtual impunity for Israeli troops no matter who they
killed or in what circumstances – an impunity reinforced by Tuesday's
verdict in Haifa.

The Israeli military commander in southern Gaza at the time was Colonel
Pinhas "Pinky" Zuaretz. A few weeks after Corrie's death, I (as the
Guardian's correspondent in Israel) spoke to him about how it was that
so many children were shot by Israeli soldiers at times when there was
no combat. His explanation was chilling.

At that point, three years into the second intifada, more than 400
children had been killed by the Israeli army. Nearly half were in Rafah
and neighbouring Khan Yunis. One in four were under the age of 12.

I focussed on the deaths of six children in a 10-week period, all in
circumstances far from combat. The dead included a 12-year-old girl,
Haneen Abu Sitta, killed in Rafah as she walked home from school near a
security fence around one of the fortified Jewish settlements in Gaza at
the time. The army made up an explanation by falsely claiming Haneen was
killed during a gun battle between Israeli forces and Palestinians.

Zuaretz conceded to me that there was no battle and that the girl was
shot by a soldier who had no business opening fire. It was the same with
the killings of some of the other children. The colonel was fleetingly

"Every name of a child here, it makes me feel bad because it's the fault
of my soldiers. I need to learn and see the mistakes of my troops," he
said. But Zuaretz was not going to do anything about it; and by the end
of the interview, he was casting the killings as an unfortunate part of
the struggle for Israel's very survival.

"I remember the Holocaust. We have a choice, to fight the terrorists or
to face being consumed by the flames again," he said.

In court, Zuaretz said the whole of southern Gaza was a combat zone and
anyone who entered parts of it had made themselves a target. But those
parts included houses where Palestinians built walls within walls in
their homes to protect themselves from Israeli bullets.

In that context, covering up the truth about the killings of innocents,
including Corrie, became an important part of the survival strategy
because of the damage the truth could do to the military's standing, not
only in the rest of the world but also among Israelis.

The death of Khalil al-Mughrabi two years before Corrie died was
telling. The 11-year-old boy was playing football when he was shot dead
in Rafah by an Israeli soldier. The respected Israeli human rights
organisations, B'Tselem, wrote to the army demanding an investigation.
Several months later, the judge advocate general's office wrote back
saying that Khalil was killed by soldiers who had acted with "restraint
and control" to disperse a riot in the area.

But the judge advocate general's office made the mistake of attaching a
copy of its own confidential investigation, which came to a very
different conclusion: that the riot had been much earlier in the day and
the soldiers who shot the child should not have opened fire. In the
report, the chief military prosecutor, Colonel Einat Ron, then spelled
out alternative false scenarios that should be offered to B'Tselem. The
official account was a lie and the army knew it.

The message to ordinary soldiers was clear: you have a free hand because
the military will protect you to protect itself. It is that immunity
from accountability that was the road to Corrie's death.

She wasn't the only foreign victim at about that time. In the following
months, Israeli soldiers shot dead James Miller, a British television
documentary journalist, and Tom Hurndall, a British photographer and
pro-Palestinian activist. In November 2002, an Israeli sniper had killed
a British United Nations worker, Iain Hook, in Jenin in the West Bank.

British inquests returned verdicts of unlawful killings in all three
deaths, but Israel rejected calls for the soldiers who killed Miller and
Hook to be held to account. The Israeli military initially whitewashed
Hurndall's killing but after an outcry led by his parents, and British
government pressure, the sniper who shot him was sentenced to eight
years in prison for manslaughter.

That sentence apparently did nothing to erode a military mindset that
sees only enemies.

Three years after Corrie's death, an Israeli army officer who emptied
the magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl,
Iman al-Hams, and then said he would have done the same even if she had
been three years old was cleared by a military court.

Iman was shot and wounded after crossing the invisible red line around
an Israeli military base in Rafah, but she was never any closer than 100
yards. The officer then left the base in order to "confirm the kill" by
pumping the wounded girl full of bullets. An Israeli military
investigation concluded he had acted properly.

Tuesday's court verdict in Haifa will have done nothing to end that
climate of impunity. Nor anything that would have us believe that
Israel's repeated proclamation that it has the "most moral army in the
world" is any more true than its explanation of so many Palestinian deaths.

(7) "Holocaust-obsessed" a new insult


Are Jews Who Fear Iran Obsessed With the Holocaust?

By Jeffrey Goldberg 2012-08-27T22:30:44Z

Bringing up the subject of the Holocaust at a dinner party can be a
downer. Genocide is an unpleasant and apparently insoluble problem, and,
when Jews raise it, they run the risk of seeming parochial, even

Sophisticated, cosmopolitan people don’t want to be thought of as
"Holocaust-obsessed,"and applying the lessons of the Holocaust to
current events -- particularly those that have to do with the special
concerns of Jews, and not Kurds or Tutsis or Tibetans -- is sometimes
understood as a form of distasteful special-pleading.
"Holocaust-obsessed"is, in fact, a new insult, one meant to sting and to
bully into silence.

One person who is undeterred by the accusation is the writer Ron
Rosenbaum, who has just published the most important essay I’ve read
this year. Rosenbaum, the author of "Explaining Hitler,"writes in Slate
that "Holocaust-obsessed,"a term that shows up with disquieting
frequency in mainstream discussions of Jews and Israel, is meant to
marginalize those who believe that vanquishing genocide is the most
urgent issue facing humanity, and that the Holocaust holds specific
lessons about the way in which Jews should understand hateful rhetoric
directed against them. ...

For Jews, the issue Rosenbaum raises is more immediately concrete: Is it
a sign of "Holocaust obsession"to be preoccupied by the violent rhetoric
directed by the leaders of the Iranian regime against the 6 million Jews
of Israel? ...

(8) Sydney Orthodox Jews try to force north-shore Council to grant an
eruv, or religious zone

From: "Fredrick Toben" <toben@toben.biz>
Subject: FW: Don't blame the Jews, blame those that bend to Jewish pressure!
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 21:06:23 +0930


Claims of racism over Sydney councillor's eruv comments

The World Today, ABC Radio, Sydney

Emily Bourke reported this story on Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:25:00

Listen to MP3 of this story (minutes)



ELEANOR HALL: A dispute on Sydney's north shore over plans to build a
virtual fence or eruv for Orthodox Jews, has turned ugly with claims of
anti-Semitism being levelled at a local councillor.

The local council rejected the proposal last year, and has spent tens of
thousands dollars defending its decision against legal appeals being
brought by Jewish non-profit groups.

Now a local councillor has been accused of anti-Semitism after she made
a sarcastic remark about Jewish non-profits groups.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: It's not the first time claims of anti-Semitism have
cropped up on Sydney's north shore.

For more than five years the St Ives community has been divided over a
plan to create a local eruv, or religious zone, for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The plan involves hanging a thin wire between a series of dark green
poles and existing telegraph poles but it's angered some locals who say
the eruv would spoil the leafy streetscape of their suburb and scuttle
the push to have poles and cables put underground.

But others say the opposition amounts to outright bigotry.

The Ku-ring-gai Council rejected the proposal but it's spent around
$170,000 defending its decision against court appeals.

But during a council meeting early this week, councillor Tony Hall
questioned the wisdom of spending so much money fighting non-profit groups.

That question prompted a sarcastic remark about Jewish non-profit groups
from a fellow councillor Elise Keays.

The World Today has obtained a recording of part of that council meeting.

MALE COUNCILLOR: If you look at the pages, it's been broken up into
$15,000 lots… Eleven of them. That adds up to $174,359. Against a
non-profit organisation, a community group.

ELISE KEAYS: Jewish, non-profit? Come on.


FEMALE: Councillors please.

ELISE KEAYS: Please, come on.

EMILY BOURKE: The comment has sparked a furious response from the Vic
Alhadeff from the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.

VIC ALHADEFF: There was a perfectly legitimate discussion at Ku-ring-gai
Council about this development application and that's part of the
everyday business of council, it was an appropriate discussion.

What was entirely inappropriate was for one of the councillors to make a
comment which endorsed a racist, negative stereotype. Those comments
have no place in a council chamber, they have no place in a harmonious
society in which all of us want to live.

EMILY BOURKE: The councillor has reportedly said that she was commenting
more about the deep pockets of religious organisations. Isn't that fair

VIC ALHADEFF: It is entirely not fair comment. In an ideal world nobody
should be making racist comments. What has happened here is that there
has been a DA for an eruv which is there's been in an eruv in Bondi for
over 10 years, they exist all over the world.

Essentially there is a symbolic area which enables young mothers to get
out with their babies, elderly people to push a stroller or a walking
stick et cetera. What is very unfortunate is that the tone of this
debate has descended whereas some interest groups have allowed
misinformation, have pushed information into the public discourse, and
the sort of tone which we heard at Ku-ring-gai Council has countered
what should be a straight forward debate over a DA.

EMILY BOURKE: Is it possible though for members of the community to
challenge, question, or even oppose an eruv without it being seen as
bigoted or anti-Semitic?

VIC ALHADEFF: One-hundred per cent and I absolutely defend that right.
We have a democracy and in a democracy the umpire's verdict is what
stands. So we have a judge, we have a judicial system, and that is what
makes us a very fierce and fantastic democracy and it is entirely
possible and people should challenge that, that's what democratic debate
is all about.

What we have seen enter this debate, and this DA over some time now, is
a tone which is unsavoury, where the sorts of remarks we heard the other
night where a racist stereotype is used against, in this case the Jewish
people, but it could be against anybody.

So to oppose DAs - that's life. People put DAs in, they get opposed,
they're accept it and we all move on. But what has been very unfortunate
and not the Australian way is for racist stereotypes to enter the debate
and to create a fear campaign and a fear atmosphere, an atmosphere of
mistrust. That is unacceptable.

EMILY BOURKE: A final ruling on the eruv is still to be handed down by
the Land and Environment Court.

ELEANOR HALL: Emily Bourke with that report. And Councillor Elise Keays
says she's devastated and deeply distressed that such a simple comment
has prompted claims of racism.

(9) Sabbath restrictions don't apply in an eruv or "enclosure"


Land and Environment Court decision on St Ives eruv


16 MAR 12 @ 03:24PM

Northern Eruv Inc's David Guth with eruv supporters Megan Rosettenstein
and her child Nadav and Talya Bass with her child Ashira last August
before Ku-ring-gai Council met to vote on the eruv

WILL there ever be an eruv in St Ives?

After last week’s Land and Environment Court judgment it looks unlikely.

A group of Orthodox Jews known as Northern Eruv Inc are behind the
long-standing plan to create an eruv - a symbolic religious boundary -
with poles and wires in St Ives.

Their latest hope was that the Land and Environment Court would approve
the project after Ku-ring-gai Council rejected it last year.

But in her judgment on Friday, Commissioner Sue Morris found the court
did not have jurisdiction to permit some of the necessary works on
public roads applied for under the Roads Act.

These works included replacing a street pole on Lynbara Ave and
attaching conduit and wiring to existing poles.

Commissioner Morris said :"As I have found the jurisdiction of the court
does not extend to replacement of the pole….the attachment of conduit to
574 poles and additional wiring ... that aspect of the Roads Act
application is refused."

The court did grant approval for 17 poles and wiring at nine private
homes in St Ives but Ku-ring-gai Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the eruv
cannot be constructed because it would have missing links.

"For an eruv to be acceptable under Jewish law, it must be
self-contained and form a continuous boundary,’’ she said.

Cr Anderson said the majority of St Ives residents had objected to the
proposal, with many believing it would create "visual clutter".

"While the decision will be disappointing to many people in
Ku-ring-gai’s Jewish community, we needed to take into account the wider
public interest,’’ she said.

Northern Eruv chair David Guth said the court decision was "complex and
unusual’’ and both parties have to agree on some of the conditions by
next week.

"In these circumstances, it is not appropriate at this time to make any
further comment,’’ he said.

What is an eruv?
* Orthodox Jews believe they cannot carry or push children in prams
outside the home on the Sabbath unless they are in an eruv or "enclosure"
* The proposed St Ives eruv would have a 20km boundary comprised of
poles attached by thin wire, mostly existing infrastructure such as
telegraph poles and Foxtel cabling.
* To fill in the gaps, additional poles, 6m in height, 80mm in diameter
and dark-green in colour, would need to be installed - 17 on private
land and 1 on public land. It would also require additional wiring in
places where street poles do not link up. Plastic conduit would need to
be attached to 574 poles.

(10) Eruv: Opening an umbrella is like erecting a tent, and falls under
the category of construction


An eruv is a ritual enclosure that traditionally observant Jewish
communities construct in their neighborhoods as a way to permit the
transference of objects from one domain type to another, such as
carrying an object from indoors (a private domain) to a public street (a
public domain) on Shabbat, which they would otherwise understand to be
prohibited by Jewish law (Halakha).

The eruv permits traditionally observant Jews to, among other things,
carry keys, tissues, medicines, or babies with them, and to use
strollers and canes. The presence or absence of an eruv thus especially
affects the lives of people with limited mobility and those responsible
for taking care of babies and young children. ...

[edit]Activities prohibited even within an eruv

Though a valid eruv enables people to carry or move most items outdoors
on Shabbat, all other Shabbat restrictions still apply. These
prohibitions include:

Handling objects that are muktzah, whether indoors or outdoors.

Opening an umbrella, which is analogous to erecting a tent, and falls
under the category of construction.[4] Since umbrellas may not be
opened, they are muktzah and may not be handled. ...

In Israel, almost every Jewish community is enclosed by an eruv. Outside
Israel, there are over 150 community eruvin, as well as thousands of
private ones enclosing only a few homes, or linking a synagogue to one
or more nearby homes. Most major cities in North America have at least
one, often surrounding only the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods rather
than the entire city. Outside North America, there are eruvin in
Antwerp, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Gibraltar
and Strasbourg.[citation needed]


This section requires expansion. (March 2011)

The installation of eruvin has been a matter of contention in many
neighbourhoods around the world, with notable examples such as the
London Borough of Barnet; Outremont, Quebec; Tenafly, New Jersey, and
Westhampton Beach, New York.

This page was last modified on 30 August 2012 at 05:57.

(11) Jews must not mix with Gentiles, lest they be contaminated

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2012 22:51:44 +0200 From: Mazin Qumsiyeh


A Basic History of Zionism And Its Relation to Judaism

By Hanna Braun

04/10/06 "ICH" -- -- I would like to start with a quotation by Amira
Hass, a very courageous Israeli journalist who lives in Ramallah. She
writes for the most respected though by no means left-wing daily
"Ha'aretz" (Il Ard in Arabic, one of many examples of the great
similarity of the Arabic and Hebrew languages; both derived from an
ancient form of Aramaic). Although threatened several times with
sacking, as well as with numerous death threats, she carries on.

Hass ends one of her recent articles with this question: is transfer an
inseparable part of the founding ideology of the state of Israel, or a
twisted mutation, which should not be allowed to rise up against its

Whereas the increasing number of refuseniks and Israeli peace activists
believes the latter (and I respect their sentiments), I, like Hass, do
not share them; my belief is that the state of Israel was bound to end
up with what we have today.

In order to understand the circumstances that led to the birth of
Zionism I shall sketch an outline of the history of Judaism and the Jews.

Even in biblical times there was a great deal of ethnic and even
religious mixing in ancient Judea and Israel, which never constituted an
entirely ethnic/religious entity. A cursory reading of the Old Testament
reveals that practically all the biblical prophets were perpetually
railing against this mixing, particularly in religious terms and
intermarriage. Moreover, even during that time, there were Jewish
communities established in Arab lands, in Persia, as well as in East and
North Africa. With the destruction of the Temple and the final fall of
their autonomous Roman colony of Judea in 70 AD, the important families
such as the High priests (Cohanim/Cohens), priests (Levyim/Levys),
members of the Sanhedrin, the Judaic internal court that handed Jesus
over to the Roman authority, and others, felt insecure. There had been a
number of revolts and uprisings against their hegemony and their
collaboration with Rome, Jesus being one non-violent example, and so
they decided to leave when the Romans pulled out. Most of the indigenous
subsistence farmers, craftsmen and small-time traders stayed put and
continued their lives as before. Some of these inhabitants were early
Christians and form the ancestors of many of today's Palestinian
Christians, others remained vaguely Jewish. Modern research shows that
when Islam arrived in the area in 638 AD many of these Jews converted
and that their descendants form a considerable part of today's
Palestinians. Numerous surnames, such as Moussa, Dini, Mansoor and
Canaan inter alias are even nowadays shared by Arab Jews, Muslims and
Christians. (Incidentally, people with the surnames Da Souza and Sassoon
were originally from the Jewish community in Suza, the ancient capital
of Persia). Those who left with the Romans later dispersed to other
parts of Europe and even central Asia, where there were some trading
outposts. A considerable part of European Jews, however, consisted of
Khazars, inhabitants of an important kingdom in the early middle ages,
roughly between the Caspian and the Black Seas. One of their Khans or
kings converted to Judaism around 740 AD and made Judaism the state
religion. In the 9th century Khazaria finally fell to the Viking hordes
and its inhabitants dispersed throughout much of Europe. Thus the idea
of a "return" of European Jews to their roots is something of an absurd

The various Jewish communities in Asia (including what is termed the
Middle East) and North Africa were on the whole well integrated into
their respective societies and apart from some isolated incidents did
not experience the persecutions that later became so prevalent in
Europe. In Palestine, for instance, Muslims repeatedly protected their
Jewish neighbours from marauding crusaders; in one instance at least,
Jews fought alongside Muslims to try and prevent crusaders from landing
at Haifa's port, and Salah ad-Din Al-Ayoubi (Saladin), after
re-conquering Jerusalem, invited the Jews back into the city.

The Jews in Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula flourished and
experienced a renaissance mirroring that of the great Islamic
civilisation and culture at the time. As Christianity spread from the
north of Spain, Jews were again protected by Muslim rulers until the
fall of Granada-the last Moorish kingdom to pass into Christian
hands-when both Jews and Muslims were expelled at the end of the 15th
century (Jews in 1492 and Muslims some 10 years later). Most of the Jews
from the Iberian Peninsula settled in North Africa and the lands under
Ottoman rule, including Palestine, and continued their peaceful
co-existence with Muslims in those countries. It is interesting to note
that some of these displaced Jews who had settled in Safad (Palestine)
wrote laments about their expulsion from their "promised Land”, which
for them had been Spain.

The bulk of Portuguese "converted" Jews (these were forced conversions
and such Jews from Spain and Portugal were called Marranos, i.e. swine,
by the Christian Authorities, who suspected them of still practicing
their old religion in secret) settled in Amsterdam in the Netherlands,
presumably because they had long established trading connectionsto that
city. They reverted to their original religion and in 1655 were invited
hence to Britain by Oliver Cromwell. Many of them were glad to resettle
since at the time the Netherlands had just freed itself from the Spanish
yoke in 1648 and the shadow of the dreaded inquisition was still
uncomfortably close.

The fate of Jewry in European countries, mainly in Eastern Europe, was
very different: persecutions, killings and burnings were widespread and
Jews were forced to live in closed ghettos, particularly in the Russian
Empire, where they were confined to the "Pale"of Jewish settlement, an
area which consisted of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Byelarus or
White Russia. Anyone who wished to move outside these borders needed
special permission, although there were large communities in the western
and south-eastern part of what had been Poland, but became part of
Prussia and Austria respectively By the mid-19th century some of the
more progressive Jewish communities had established themselves in the
big cities of St. Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev.

In central and western Europe religious tolerance, followed by the
granting of full citizens' rights and emancipation came relatively
early, in the wake of general liberalisation. However, Russian rulers
remained opposed to any liberalisation, including religious tolerance
and emancipation, and as late as 1881, Tsar Alexander the third
initiated a series of particularly vicious pogroms to divert unrest
amongst the population, at a time when Britain, for instance, boasted a
Jewish prime minister.

Total segregation was not always imposed from outside, however, but was
frequently enforced from within by highly authoritarian rabbis who
exercised absolute power over their congregations, often including the
right to life and the imposition of the death penalty (via
denunciation). Thus it was a major decision for anyone to leave these
congregations and to look for a broader education (known as
"enlightenment"). In Eastern Europe "enlightenment" was a relatively
late phenomenon and it found expression initially in the early-19th
century, in a revival of Hebrew language and literature and in the
modern idea of Jews seeing themselves as a people.

This distinction between a people and a religion was of course anathema
to Orthodox Jews, who still today regard Hebrew as a sacred language to
be used solely for prayers and religious studies and the Jewish people
and religion as indivisible. The concept of the Jews as people closely
mirrored the relatively new European idea of a homogeneous nation state.
An exception to this was the socialist "Bund" organisation whose members
rejected nationalism and later Zionism.

Some of these early proto-Zionists, calling themselves "Hovevei Zion"
(Lovers of Zion), started the first settlements in Palestine in the
1840's with the help of Jewish philanthropists such as the Rothschilds
and the Montefiores who themselves were not Zionists, and a larger
number of immigrants followed after the Russian pogroms of 1881-82.
These settlers distinguished themselves by their deliberate segregation
from the indigenous population and their contempt for local customs and
traditions. This naturally aroused suspicion and hostility in the
locals. (There were long established religious Greek and German
colonies, mostly in the midst of Palestinian towns, to which the locals
showed no objection). This exclusivity was largely based on a sense of
superiority common to Europeans of the time, who believed they were the
only advanced and truly civilised society and in true colonial fashion
looked down on "natives" or ignored them altogether.

However, beyond that there was also a particular sense of superiority of
Jews towards all non-Jews. This belief in innate Jewish superiority had
a long tradition in rabbinical religious Jewish thinking, central to
which was the notion of the Jews as God's chosen people. Moshe Ben
Maimon (Maimonides) had been an exponent of this theory and quite often
thinkers with a more humanist outlook, e.g. Spinoza, were
excommunicated. The accepted thinking in religious communities was that
Jews must on no account mix in any way with gentiles for fear of being
contaminated and corrupted by them. This notion was so deeply ingrained
that it quite possibly still affected, albeit subconsciously, those Jews
who had left the townships and had become educated and enlightened. Thus
the early settlers from Eastern Europe transferred the "Stettl"
(townlet) mentality of segregation to Palestine, with the added belief
in the nobility of manual labour and in particular soil cultivation. In
this they had been influenced by Tolstoy and his writings.

The "father" of political Zionism, Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), came from
a totally different perspective. Dr. Herzl was a Viennese, emancipated,
secular journalist and author who was sent by his editor to Paris in
1894 to cover the Dreyfuss affair. Dreyfuss had been a captain in the
French Army who was falsely accused and convicted of treason, although
he was acquitted and completely cleared some years later. The case
brought to light the remainder of a strong streak of anti-Semitism
prevalent in the upper echelons of the French Army and in the French
press, with profound repercussions in emancipated Jewish circles. Herzl
himself despaired of the whole idea of emancipation and integration and
felt that the only solution to anti-Semitism lay in a Jewish Homeland.
To that end he approached various diplomats and notables, including the
Ottoman Sultan, but mainly European rulers, the great colonial powers of
the time, and was rewarded for his effort by being offered Argentina or
Uganda by the British as possible Jewish Homelands.

Herzl would have been quite happy with either of these countries, but
when the first Zionist Congress was convened in Basle in 1897 (it was to
have been in Augsburg but had to be transferred at the last moment
because of local rabbinical protests), he came up against Eastern
European Jewry, by far the greatest majority of participants, who,
although broadly emancipated and "enlightened" (orthodox Jews at that
time completely rejected any Jewish political movement and did not
attend the congress), would not accept any homeland other than the land
of Zion. Not only had some of them already settled in Palestine, there
were strong remnants of the religious/sentimental notion of a pilgrimage
and possibly burial in the Holy Land. The last toast in the Passover
ceremony is "Next year in Jerusalem" although this was a
religious/sentimental rather than a national aspiration, and it was
common amongst the orthodox communities to purchase a handful of soil
purporting to come from the Holy Land to be placed under the deceased's

Herzl was quick to realise that unless he accepted the "Land of Zion",
i.e. Palestinian option, he would have hardly any adherents. Even so
this solution was only definitely accepted after his death, during the
5th Zionist Congress. Thus the Zionist movement started with a small
section of mainly eastern European Jews who saw the solution to
anti-Semitism in what they termed as a return to their "roots" and in a
renewal of a Jewish people in the land of their ancestors. Herzl wrote
his book "Der Judenstaat" (The State of the Jews) in which he wrote,
inter alias, that the Jews and their state will constitute "a rampart of
Europe against Asia, of civilisation against barbarism", and again
regarding the local population, "We shall endeavour to encourage the
poverty-stricken population to cross the border by securing work for it
in the countries it passes through, while denying it work in our own
country. The process of expropriation and displacement must be carried
out prudently and discreetly. Let (the landowners) sell us their land at
exorbitant prices. We shall sell nothing back to them."

Some early Zionists, such as Max Nordau, a French Zionist who visited
Palestine, were horrified; Nordau burst out in front of Herzl: "But we
are committing a grave injustice!" Some years later, in 1913, a
prominent Zionist thinker and writer, Ahad Ha'am (one of the people),
wrote: "What are our brothers doing? They were slaves in the land of
their exile. Suddenly they found themselves faced with boundless freedom
... and they behave in a hostile and cruel manner towards the Arabs,
trampling on their rights without the least justification ... even
bragging about this behaviour."

But these early Zionists' dismay at the injustices to, and total lack of
recognition of, the indigenous population was silenced and indeed edited
out of Jewish history and other books, as was some of Herzl's writing.
The widely perceived Zionist truism of "a land without people for a
people without land" prevailed and within a matter of a few years the
immigrants were perceived as "sons of the land" (Bnei Ha'aretz or Ibna
El-Ard) whereas the inhabitants were seen as the aliens.

The Arab population of Palestine was well aware of the Zionist danger;
as early as 1896 a math teacher in Jerusalem wrote in the newspaper
"Philisteen": "I have no problems with Jews; it's the Zionists that I am
most concerned about." In 1916, after there had been an agreement with
the British Government that after the fall of the Ottoman Empire
Palestine, Lebanon and Syria (the fertile triangle) would gain
independence, leaders of the Arab communities called upon every Arab
Muslim, Christian and Jew to rise against the Ottomans. Many did so.

Following renewed efforts and lobbying after Herzl's death, the Balfour
Declaration in 1917-shortly after Palestine was conquered by
Britain-that granted Zionists a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, set the
official seal of approval on their aspirations. Protests and
representations by local Arab leaders were brushed aside. Lord Balfour
wrote in 1919: "In Palestine, we do not even propose to consult the
inhabitants of the country and (Zionism's) immediate needs and hopes for
the future are much more important than the desires and prejudices of
the 700,000 Arabs who presently inhabit Palestine". This idea was
closely mirrored by an early Zionist, Israel Zangwill, who wrote in
1920: "There should be an Arab exodus based on race distribution…..a
trek like that of the Boers from Capetown”.

Settlements grew slowly for a long time, but the systematic occupying
village lands that had not been officially documented since the
respective inhabitants had known for centuries what acreage belonged to
each family, as well as the frequent buying up of lands from absentee
landlords, which left tenant farmers homeless, contributed to the first
Palestinian uprising in 1921-22 and other outbursts of hostilities,
including a massacre of some 65 Jews in Hebron in 1929, after orthodox
Jews from Eastern Europe had founded a "Yeshiva" (a religious study
centre) in the town and had aroused the suspicions and hostility of the
indigenous population who prior to this had lived in peace and harmony
for hundreds of years with their non European Jewish neighbours. (A
small number of the original, non- European community, still lived in
Hebron until recently and repeatedly petitioned successive Israeli
governments to evict the new rightwing religious settlers who cause
endless trouble to the Palestinian population).

Another contributing factor to growing Arab hostility was the policy of
neither employing Arabs nor buying their produce. This was termed
"Hebrew work for Hebrew workers". Zeev Jabotinsky the revisionist
rightwing Zionist, wrote in 1939:”We Jews, thank God, have nothing to do
with the East….the Islamic soul must be broomed out of Eretz
Yisrael"(One wonders how this sounded to the many Arab and Eastern Jews
in Palestine and elsewhere). The slogan of Hebrew work for Hebrew
workers was very much in force when I came to Palestine in 1937. It was,
however, not entirely and strictly enforced and there were various
examples of co-operation and good neighbourly relations. This was
particularly evident in Haifa, where our next-door neighbours were Arabs
and where large sections of the downtown area were mixed. This lasted
until the "liberation" of Haifa, when the most of the Arab population of
the city were expelled and only a small, run down area (Wadi Nisnas)
remained in what became effectively a ghetto. There were other such
examples in Jerusalem and other places.

For many years Zionism remained a minority movement of mainly Eastern
European Jews, excluding the whole religious establishment and most
central and western European Jews. My family's views on Zionism were
fairly typical of western European Jews who regarded this ideology as a
help line to those Jews, mainly eastern European ones, who had trouble
making ends meet). Last but not least, Zionism was quite meaningless to
non-European communities, who unbeknown to Herzl and his contemporaries,
form the majority of us. These communities were ignored by early
Zionists and indeed the latter had little interest in their aspirations
till the establishment of the state of Israel and after the
"independence" war of 1948-49. After this the new state unleashed a
massive propaganda campaign to induce the Sephardi (of Spanish origin)
and Oriental Jews to "ascend" to the land of their ancestors, mainly to
for demographic reasons- in 1948 only about one third of the population
and about 10% of the land were Jews or in Jewish hands-but also as
cannon fodder. The same happened in the 1980s with the Jews of Ethiopia.
However, upon arrival these non-European newcomers were treated very
much as inferior second- class citizens. They were sprayed with DDT at
their point of entry and within less than a fortnight the men were
drafted into the army, while their families were usually accommodated in
inferior reception camps or abandoned Arab houses. This European
dominance is still prevalent in modern Israel where for example the
national anthem even nowadays speaks about Jewish longing for the East
towards Zion, whereas for many of the non-European communities Palestine
lies to the West. Sadly, this has led to some groups of Sephardi and
Oriental Jews becoming extreme right-wing chauvinists, so as to "prove"
their credentials.

Immigration ("Aliyah" = "ascent" in Zionist parlance) took off in
seriously large numbers with the rise of Hitler, who initially declared
himself quite sympathetic to Zionism, as had other right-wing
anti-Semites before him. New Jewish settlements mushroomed by leaps and
bounds, leading to a bitter and prolonged Palestinian uprising from 1936
till 1939, when it was crushed by the British mandatory powers. But it
was not until the end of WW2 that the demographic issue came openly to
the fore. Numerous delegates from the Jewish
"Hagana"("Defence"underground movement) in Palestine arrived at the
displaced refugee centres in Europe in order to prevent survivors from
immigrating to any countries other than Palestine, occasionally by
force. Illegal ships packed with survivors tried repeatedly to land in
Palestine. On at least one occasion the occupants of the ship "Exodus”,
setting out from Germany, after being prevented from landing by the
British authorities, were offered asylum by France and Denmark, but the
then leader of the Jewish Yishuv (settlement), David Ben Gurion, forbade
this solution, deliberately forcing the hapless survivors to land back
in Germany, purely for propaganda porposes. Ben Gurion also stated
repeatedly that had there been a possibility prior to WWII to save one
million Jewish children by sending them to Britain or only half that
number by sending them to Britain, he would have always opted for the

With the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 Zionism started to
win the hearts and minds of the majority of Jewish society. After the
six day war in 1967 the vast majority of Euro/American Jews became
fervent supporters of the Israeli state and since that time we have
witnessed an increasing and deliberate confluence of Judaism and
Zionism, to the extent that today it is widely regarded as treason and
self- hate for a Jew to criticise the state, let alone Zionism. In my
view, this development was almost inevitable given the preconception of
an exclusive Jewish state. If it is not a religious state, i.e. a
theocracy, what is a Jewish state and what purpose does it serve? It is
certainly not an ethnic entity; one only has to walk through Israeli
streets to realize that we are as diverse as the countries we have
originated from. As for the argument that Israel provides a bolthole, a
safe haven from anti-Semitic attacks, this is hardly sustainable because
firstly, Israel today is extremely powerful with huge stockpiles of
nuclear weapons and secondly, at present it is probably the most unsafe
country for Jews to reside in. Moreover, the claim that nothing like the
holocaust should ever happen again is true, but only insofar as it
applies to the whole world. We are not seeking "homogenous"ethnic states
all over the world to rid us of the threat of genocide, and Israel is no
exception to this. In a post-colonial world the notion of a homogenous
nation state based on demography is completely unacceptable and
ridiculous. How then, can Israel and the majority of its citizens
justify their claim and indeed be convinced that theirs is a modern,
democratic society? (I shall demonstrate later that Israel was never a
democracy to its Arab citizens and is no longer a democracy to its own
people.) The last resort, when all logical justifications fail, is that
God has promised the land to his people, namely us. (This rather begs
the question of where it leaves a non-believing Jew). I have found over
the years, and particularly in the last 30 or so years, that the numbers
of young people wearing the skullcap and generally observing at least
some of the religious laws has increased dramatically and I believe this
is no coincidence.

The religious establishment has gone along with the general flow and
has, indeed, profited from it. Since the late 50's there has also been a
notable and frightening change in the orthodox community, which led to
the establishment in 1974 of the "Gush Emunim" (the block of the
faithful), initiated by Rabbi Tsvi Yehuda Kook the younger in the USA.
This is the fundamentalist movement which believes in accepting the
state of Israel and striving to make it entirely and exclusively Jewish
in all areas that the Torah mentioned as God's promise to his people.
(They do not appear to have noticed that nowhere in the Old Testament
does God say that the Jews will take the land from its inhabitants).
Gush Emunim also form the backbone of continuing and expanding
settlements inside the Occupied Territories. Prior to this time orthodox
Jewry played no important role in politics except in pressurising
successive governments to introduce more Jewish religious regulations
into state law. The ultra-orthodox group "Neturei Karta" has never
recognised the state of Israel and is exempt from army service.
Although Gush Emunim is small in numbers, they wield disproportionate
influence and power since successive Israeli governments covertly (and
nowadays overtly) endorsed their aspirations. Their followers have been
allocated special army units so as to enable them to observe Jewish
religious laws and rituals in every detail (although even in the regular
army only Kosher food is served and the Sabbath is observed as far as
possible). These units have a reputation as dedicated crack-troops. What
is less well known but silently condoned is their refusal to give
medical aid or even drive wounded persons to hospital on the Sabbath
unless they are Jews. But in my view this is an extremely shortsighted
and dangerous road, leading in the end to a fundamentalist theocracy
much like that of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The fundamentalists'
belief is that the Messianic age is already upon us and that any
obstacles to a total elimination of any non-Jews in the promised land,
i.e. the whole of what was Palestine including the Holy Mount, is God's
punishment for sinful Jews, namely all those who are westernised and
secular. This fully exonerates, and indeed sanctifies, a man like Baruch
Goldstein who murdered 29 Palestinians praying in the Ibrahimi mosque,
as well as the assassination of PM. Yitzhak Rabin. Like the Hamas
movement, which was initially encouraged by Israel's secret services,
this is another genie that, having been let out of the bottle, can no
longer be controlled.

This version of a Jewish theocracy is not accepted by secular Israelis
who form the bulk of the population but most of whom still cling to
their belief that Israel is a modern democracy. It was never a democracy
to its Arab population, starting from birth, when Israeli nationals
receive Jewish, Arab or Druze nationality rather than Israeli one, and
continuing with the Histadrut’s (the most powerful trade union)
continued policy of promoting the rights of Hebrew workers and Hebrew
culture. Arab citizens cannot serve in the army, which in turn deprives
them of further/higher education grants and other help available to
those who have completed their three years compulsory service. The
budget for Arab-Israeli towns and villages is approximately one third of
that of their Jewish counterparts. Land is still continuously
expropriated from Arab and Beduin villages and settlements, while
according to recent statistics by Human Rights Watch some 250,000
persons, descendants of those who managed to hide or flee to nearby
hills when the Israeli army destroyed their villages in 1948, can never
reclaim their lands even though their former village have been razed to
the ground and are uninhabited and despite many of them still holding
the title deeds. Moreover, no Israeli land can be sold to Arabs.

Only a month ago the government tried to oust Arab MKs from the Knesset
(parliament) when they expressed support for their fellow Palestinians
in the Occupied Territories. Fortunately on this occasion the High Court
overturned this ruling.

Democratic rights of Jewish Israelis are also increasingly being eroded.
The number of "refuseniks”, young people refusing to enlist in the
Israeli Army, is growing despite the personal cost to themselves. Israel
refuses to recognise conscientious objectors and imprisons them
repeatedly, so that some of them have now served a prison sentences for
a total of almost two years. In addition they forfeit the various
benefits that veterans receive such as grants for higher
education/apprenticeships, help with employment and housing. Academics
are nowadays far from secure in their academic freedom: one of them,
Ilan Pappe of Haifa University, was about to be expelled and only an
international protest forced the University’s authority to suspend the
expulsion. Likewise, a MA student at the same university who wrote his
dissertation on yet another massacre he unearthed (in Al-Tanturah), was
initially awarded a distinction for his paper; however, a year later his
degree was withdrawn altogether and he was expelled from Haifa University.

The Israeli Peace Bloc (Gush Shalom) has likewise come under fire. Some
months ago they wrote an open letter to all officers serving in the
Occupied Territories which warned them that by ordering their troops to
execute actions in breach of the Geneva Convention of human rights they
could be liable to be brought before the international court of Human
Rights at a later date. PM Sharon was incensed and claimed that the
activists were betraying Israel "to our enemies"(sic). He wanted them
tried for treason but at the time there was no Israeli law to try them
under. This was speedily amended by a sweeping new law, now in place,
which makes the provision of any information of whatever kind that might
harm Israeli security a treasonable crime.

It seems a bitter irony that a movement that initially saw itself as
progressive, liberal and secular should find itself in an alliance with,
and held to ransom by, the most reactionary forces, but in my view this
was inevitable from its inception although the founders, and most of us
(including people like myself, growing up in Palestine in the thirties)
did not foresee this and certainly would not have wished it.

Nowadays the deliberate blurring of the distinction between Zionism and
Judaism, which includes a rewriting of ancient as well as modern
history, is exploited to stifle any criticism of Israel's policies and
actions, however extreme and inhuman they may be. This, incidentally
also plays directly into anti-Semitic prejudices by equating Israeli
arrogance, brutality and complete denial of basic human rights to
non-Jews with general Jewish characteristics.

Growing up in Israel makes it quite difficult to see all the historical
falsifications and myths that underpin Zionist ideology except for
academics, and some of them have indeed researched and publicised the
truth, often at great cost to themselves.

Zionism has now assumed the all-embracing mantle of righteousness; it
claims to represent and to speak for all Jews and has adopted the slogan
of "my country right or wrong," with the West tolerating Israel's
continuous breaches of human rights that it would not tolerate if
perpetrated by any other country. Few Western states and not many Jews
dare take a stand against Israel, particularly as many of the former
still feel a sense of unease and guilt about the holocaust which
Zionists Jews inside and outside Israel have exploited in what to me
seems an almost obscene manner.

In the USA, the Jewish Zionist lobby is still strong enough to keep
successive governments on board. Moreover, the USA regards Israel as an
important strategic ally in its fight against Middle Eastern "rogue"
states that have supplanted the Soviet Union as the great satanic enemy
of the free world. The latest phenomenon is that of American Christian
Fundamentalists who advocate the return of all Jews to their God-given
land. I fear that unless and until Israel is judged by the same criteria
as other modern states, this is unlikely to change. It is the duty of
everyone, and particularly of Jews with a conscience and a sense of
justice to speak out against the falsifications of history by the
Zionist lobby, and the dangerous misconceptions it has led the West to
It is also high time to build a boycott campaign similar to the
anti-apartheid one against Israel. (Called for by Nelson Mandela and
Archbishop Tutu among others).

Hanna Braun, London, September 2001 (updated February 2006).

Hanna Braun is a retired lecturer, living in London. She is a former
Israeli, having emigrated to Palestine as a child in 1937 to escape Nazi
Germany -- her grandmother later died in the Terezin ghetto. She was in
the Haganah in 1948 but left Israel in 1958 for Britain, after having
become disillusioned with the Israeli government.


Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Prof. Israel Shahak (died 2nd July 2001)
Fundamental Judaism in Israel, Prof. Israel Shahak
A History of the Jews, Ancient and Modern, Ilan Halevi
Western Scholarship and the History of Palestine, Rev. Dr. Michael Prior
Arab Nationalism and the Palestinians 1850-1939; Abdelaziz A. Ayyad
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict; Dr. Norman Finkelstein
The Making of the Arab-Israeli Conflict; Prof. Ilan Pappe
Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood; Idith Zertal
The Myths of Zionism; John Rose

(12) Alison Weir: US taxpayers pay more of Israeli defense budget than
Israeli taxpayers

Michael <RePorterNoteBook@gmail.com> 23 September 2012 03:38


Monday, September 17th, 2012 | Posted by Alison Weir

US taxpayers paid more to Israeli defense budget than Israelis

The Israeli army’s chief of staff states that in the past three years,
"US taxpayers have contributed more to the Israeli defense budget than
Israeli taxpayers,"according to a report in the Jerusalem Post, a
prominent Israeli newspaper.

by Alison Weir

According to the report, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi made the
statement during a speech on September 11th. In it he emphasized: "We
must preserve ties with the United States. I believe this is a security

According to the newspaper the speech was at the Calcalist Conference,
which appears to be an annual event in Tel Aviv sponsored by the
Calcalist newspaper, an Israeli Hebrew-only daily financial newspaper.
It is is part of the group that publishes Yedioth Ahronoth, the largest
circulation newspaper in Israel.

American taxpayers give Israel over $3 billion per year (over $8 million
per day), more than to any other nation, despite the fact that Israel is
smaller than New Jersey and is in the top 30 richest countries in the world.

Per capita, Israelis receive $10,000 more U.S. tax money than average.

Some of the other top recipients of US tax money, Egypt and Jordan, were
provided this assistance in return for diplomatic recognition of the
Israeli state.

According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel is given this
money in a lump sum at the beginning of the fiscal year. Americans then
pay interest on money they have given to Israel, while Israel makes
interest on it.

In recent years Israel has reported a lower unemployment rate than the
US and a better account balance.

Ashkenazi’s statements are extremely significant, since this is the
first time that an Israeli leader has pointed out that American
taxpayers pay more to Israel’s defense budget than do Israelis.

If the costs of the Iraq war, which was largely pushed by Israel
partisans in the Bush administration, were added into the equation, the
American tax money on behalf of Israel would quite likely dwarf the
amount paid by Israeli taxpayers.

Some top economists predict that the cost of the Iraq war will be $3

Israel has a population of about 7 million people.

Today, Israel partisans are similarly pushing attacks on Iran.

Israel has frequently been accused of using American funds in violation
of U.S. arms control laws. ...

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