Sunday, August 20, 2017

NIF's Liel Does the Temple Mount

Over at Globes, excerpts from an interview with Rachel Liel, the outgoing New Israel Fund executive director in Israel:-

Isn't that the method of governments, to avoid being confronted by questions?

"Absolutely. We saw it only recently with the story of the Temple Mount and the metal detectors. Instead of answering questions they said 'they are inciting against us' and 'acting against us' and they always look for the scapegoat - and we at NIF are an excellent scapegoat. The Likud has been in power for so many years, yet it still feels as if it is a persecuted minority and a victim and doesn't give answers to people that ask sensible questions."

What questions?

Three Israeli Arabs, resident of Um Al-Fahm (and I won't ask of they attended NIF-sponsored programs), form a terror cell and murder two Israeli policemen, Druze, and the most logical thing to do is first, assure security. Jews go through metal detectors at the Western Wall and all over so why cannot Arabs?

As for the feeling of a persecuted minority? Minority, no but quite persecuted.


...I can say that there is an awakening in our camp. I feel that it is not only people on the left that are stirring and that is a source of hope for me. There is a feeling that people are fed up. More and more people feel that what is happening in Israel is not good with corruption, chauvinism and extremism, the messianic feeling about the Temple Mount, with ugly racism, and even the style - talk like that of Yair Netanyahu. 

If I tale the messianism out and frame the campaign strictly as one of free assembly, religious coexistence, rights, legal responsibility and all the other terms liberals champion, why does she still denigrate the struggle for the fulfillment of the law? 

The third:

...For sure the lessons from the murder of Rabin have not been learned. There are a lot of scenarios that might take place. Think of the Temple Mount. The dialogue is very violent, the incitement is clear, so don't be surprised. If they call [NIF supported] people planted infiltrators - then perhaps you have to eliminate a planted infiltrator. Pay attention to what you're saying. That's not the way to conduct an argument."

With the promotion of the NGO Law, NIF conducted a campaign against Ayelet Shaked headlined 'Minister of Hatred.' Wasn't that incitement, something you yourselves are against?

"I regret the Minister of Hatred. Today I wouldn't do such a thing.

Excuse me but who is employing violent dialogue and inciting?  The Arab Muslims, no? Sheikh Raad Salah, no? The Islamic Movement North, no?

Is this the new Israel they want?  Illogical, less Jewish and Zionist?

Thursday, August 17, 2017

How To Be Stupid vis-a-vis Trump

Whatever one's politics, can we get the facts and history correct.

Here's a Washington Post caricature:

1. Germany attacked. First.

2. The (eventual) Allied forces did nothing for six years and the US waited over two years to join the fight.  Under a Democratic administration. Under an anti-Semitic President who assisted the Holocaust happening.

3. And to be clear:

a) I oppose Nazis. 

b) I have beat up on Nazis. 

c) In America, there is a right to assemble and only a court can curtail that.   There was violence on both sides.  That is a fact, not a moral perception.

d) This is Judaism: "Rabbi Chanina, deputy to the kohanim, would say: Pray for the integrity of the government; for were it not for the fear of its authority, a man would swallow his neighbor alive."

e) Judging from here in Israel, there is more danger from Antifa than KKKooks and I think Jews on campus can attest. 

f) I am surprised people who have engaged me and stoop to using such naarischkeit comparisons and such a facile argument as " Yisrael Medad - Wait, what about those Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, didn't they use violence against Nazis? I think there's plenty of blame to place on both sides"

Or this:

Yisrael Medad You are a defender of nazis and an utter disgrace to our people.
No threat that Jewish people feel from those raised to hate us on college campuses or anywhere else should turn us into nazi sympathizers or Nazis.
Nothing Obama ever did was coming from anywhere than an honest effort to make the world a better place for all people. But yes, he was half-black. which I know caused people raised to be racist uncomfortable.
Although I have enjoyed our interactions and found your perspective interesting, for the sake of honoring the memory of my father who survived Hitler Germany and who taught me to fight nazism, I can not continue contact with you.

In fact, I feel dirty from having interacted with you at all, even if out of curiosity, for that is how disgusting and and repulsiveI find a Jew who sides with Nazis. G-d save you from your own evil heart.

g) Is Trump smart in his public spesking? No. Was he wrong, a bit. He was not comparing groups but their behavior.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rabbi Hirschensohn and the Temple Mount

Transplanted to New Jersey from Jerusalem, Rabbi Chaim Hirschensohn, an amazing figure who held that "There is nothing in biblical law and Halakha which contradicts in any way progress or common sense. The objective of my research is to show that Halakha does not pose any obstacle to the development of private life or the life of an entire nation", also dealt with the subject of the Temple Mount which he viewed as 

"a national and religious center"

Here is from David Ellenson's "Rabbi Haim Hirschensohn: An Orthodox Rabbi Responds to the Balfour Declaration":-

In his first two responsa in Malki Bakodesh, Hirschenson addressed the questions of kingship and temple sacrifices. He acknowledged that some might think that restored Jewish national sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael might demand the restoration of the kingship and the temple cult. However, Hirschensohn argued against these positions, asserting that nothing “in biblical law and in the Halakhah is opposed in any way to the progress of civilization or logic [s’vara].” This meant that the teachings Maimonides expressed in the Guide for the Perplexed, where he maintained that sacrifices were an outmoded form of worship, had to be followed. As he wrote, “To reinstitute these practices would make us the object of ridicule before all the nations of the world. Instead of being a light to the nations, they would think of us as an unenlightened people who walk in darkness.”44

At the same time, Hirschensohn was not completely sanguine about adopting this position. After all, “If, upon our being in the Land, we agree not to build the Temple nor to offer sacrifices, will we not transgress the positive commandment of building the Chosen House?”45 As an Orthodox rabbi, Hirschensohn could not abide violating the positive duty to rebuild the Temple and restore sacrificial worship without halakhic justification. From the Orthodox standpoint, obedience to the changing standards of civilization was insufficient without authority from the Halakhah.

Hirschensohn found this authority by constructing a rather straightforward halakhic argument. He noted that Jewish law demanded that there was no obligation to rebuild the Temple without the appointment of a king...Hirschenson wrote, “The commandment to appoint a King to rule over us,” even if the Jewish people desired to do so, is impossible of fulfillment at present...Hirschenson stated, “And now, [in an era like ours] when we do not have a prophet, it is forbidden to appoint a king to rule over us, and since we do not have a king, we are not able to build the Temple to offer sacrifices, for the selection of a king must precede the building of the Temple.”48
44. Malki Badoesh, 11.45. Ibid.48. Ibid., 56

But this does not do justice to his position.

He wrote to Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaCohen Kook but could not obtain agreement for his outlook and that opposing viewpoint

Rav Kook, OrotThe Third Temple, the place of Israel’s light, will not be built through victory, not by a call to defeat another, a call to overcome an adversary, but rather through its deserved majesty, in the spirit of beauty and holiness, with many nations searching for God at Mount Zion [referring to the Temple Mount, not the peak that is currently called Mount Zion], through their own internal recognition that this is the proper way to express the majesty, the majesty of the just and wise King. All the world will want to worship under His flag out of love and the exaltation of the soul. 

 is held until this day in the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva:

The responsum of Hirschensohn:


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

James Joyce and...Vladimir Jabotinsky

One of those fascinating footnotes to history.

I have previously noted (here; and here) that Jabotinsky's novel on Samson was the basis for the screenplay for the 1949 award-winning Hollywood film. And a new film.

And now, James Joyce had requested the book:

Why did he request it?

Was there correspondence between the two?

Did Joyce have a "Jewish" thing?

Did this part appeal to him?


Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Tweet Linda Sarsour

Here is Linda Sarsour's tweet from last night:

Sending love to my Jewish siblings. I know watching Charlottesville & the anti-semitism on display was horrifying. We r in this together.

And my counter-tweet:

And Palestinian anti-Semitism and that of American Imams?

On the anti-Semitism from official Palestinian Authority sources

Not to mention the father of "Palestinian nationalism", the Mufti.

On my Imam reference.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Another Opinion Poll

From Prof. Ephraim Yaar and Prof. Tamar Hermann's Peace Index:  July 2017 published: 02/08/2017 (Survey dates: 25/07/2017 - 27/07/2017)

The prime minister’s handling of the Temple Mount crisis: 

The survey findings show that a majority of the Jewish public (64%) does not see the prime minister as handling the current crisis on the Temple Mount judiciously. A segmentation of the Jewish interviewees’ responses by political camp revealed that even among those defining themselves as right-wing, most do not view the prime minister as managing the crisis judiciously, and that this view is even more pronounced in the center and on the left, though apparently for different reasons than among the right-wingers

Yes, of course.

The installation of the metal detectors at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque: 

At the same time, on the question of whether the prime minister acted properly in deciding to install the metal directors at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, even though according to media reports the IDF and the Shabak opposed the measure, the Jewish public is almost evenly split between those who think he acted properly (45%) and those who maintain the opposite (47%). In the Arab public a lopsided majority (82%) considers that Netanyahu did not act properly in deciding to install the metal detectors. 

Is the prime minister using the Temple Mount crisis to divert attention from the investigations? 

In the Jewish public the majority (57%) rejects the claim that the prime minister is not trying to alleviate the Temple Mount crisis because he wants to divert the public’s attention from the investigations of his associates in the different corruption affairs. In the Arab public a majority—not large (54%)—believes Netanyahu is indeed making use of the Temple Mount crisis to divert public attention from the investigations of his associates.


Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Tricky Mr. Ricca

Doing some research cruising, I found this:

You see what I underlined?

He's tricky in his language. What I term 'semantic antics'.  Oh, and the book.

How tricky?

His first segment:

the outer compound of the Herodian Temple (and, by the same token, of the Muslim Haram al-Sharif) which since early modern times has been a religious focus for Jews. 

There is no "outer compound" of the Temple Mount. There's an inside and an outside.

Muslims claimed ownership of the Western Wall courtyard back in 1929 and the British gave them "ownership" as per the International Committee's conclusions.

The 2013 Jordan-Palestinian Authority agreement sacralizes "environs" and "Waqf properties" outside the strict delineation of the compound:

Al Masjid Al Aqsa with its 144 dunums, which include the Qibli Mosque of Al Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground and the Waqf properties tied-up to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, to its environs...

Islamic expansionism of the first order.

His second foray:

Yet these changes, which seek to erase a centuries-old Arab past and replace it with a new, exclusively Jewish space adapted to the symbolism of a modern Jewish state,

is a bit more devious.

Aren't the Muslim claims to the Temple Mount reflective of what he sees above as negative?

Like this wording:-

Yet these changes, which seek to erase a centuries-old Jewish past and replace it with a new, exclusively Islamic space adapted to the symbolism of a modern Palestinian state,

What he criticises in Israel's actions and rhetoric is exactly what he would claim is proper and correct for Muslims. 

Mr. Ricca is quite tricky.