Thursday, January 22, 2009

The earth is flat - Why Israel is the victim and not the root of all evil

I recently met a wonderful gentleman from the UK and he told me how he tried to explain to his 11 year old son why Israel has a right to defend itself. The media is unfortunately not great at getting to the truth, and often, subjective and biased reporting, may obscure the truth. People see so many conflicting images and news stories that it leaves them either accepting the media brainwash or being utterly confused and not knowing what to believe. An article, that originally appeared in the South African Sunday Times, June 17, 2007 by Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Rabbi Warren Goldstein, was recently posted online at at the following URL: The Chief Rabbi makes some enlightening comments that reveal how wrong the anti-Israel press is, and how the general public can be misled into momumental errors in judgement. Here my synopsis of his article, with my own additions and comments:-

We find that people in ancient times, and even in recent times, believed theories that were later proved false. Take for example the theory that the earth is flat, or that washing hands in a hospital is unproffessional, or that the earth is the center of the universe. People supported a theory or mistaken view - even though it was totally wrong. It is almost impossible to challenge or change a prevailing view. It can take many years or even decades to change peoples mistaken ideas. In the middle ages who dared to claim that the earth was round?

Today we hear the mantra that "Israel has illegal occupation of Palestinian land" and Israel "denies Palestinian nationalist aspiration"

1. What if all that is wrong? What if the Jewish State that is considered to be the root of all evil in the Middle East were instead the victim?

South Africa's Apartheid history is used against Israel. In South Africa the conflict was caused by a white racist Apartheid regime. The ANC was always ready to talk peace, but the regime refused to talk and so the conflict could not be resolved, and the ANC was forced into an armed struggle.

2. What if the real Apartheid of the Middle East is the one directed against the Jews? The Israeli government has always been ready to talk peace but was forced into an armed defensive struggle. The anti-Semitic Arab world has never been prepared to talk peace. When finally white South Africans were ready to talk peace the long-standing conflict was resolved quickly. Israel has not found genuine negotiating partners. It's struggle continues, and peace remains a distant dream.

Nearly 4000 years ago the forefathers of the Jewish People, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived in the land of Israel, which God had promised to them and to their descendants forever. That promise was confirmed at Mount Sinai, and was delivered upon by God through Joshua, after the death of Moses, more than 3 300 years ago when the Jewish People entered the land after being liberated from Egyptian slavery and oppression. About 3000 years ago King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of the Promised Land. The Jewish people lived in the Land of Israel for 850 years until their expulsion by invading Babylonians. They returned in large numbers seventy years afterwards and remained for many centuries until their eviction by the Roman Empire. Despite unremitting anti-Semitism and persecution some Jewish communities managed to remain in Israel during the long interval between the Roman dispersion and the events leading to the re-establishment of the Jewish State in 1948. Those communities outside Israel always strived to return to their homeland.

3. What if the Israeli people are an ancient people with a connection to their native, historical and covenantal land? What if the real colonialism is Arab expansionism, which contests a Jewish state on even 1/520th of the area of Arab lands? No wonder the Arabs are so keen to try and twist history and try to claim that the Jewish Temple never existed.

In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, declared the British Mandate of Palestine to be a National Homeland for the Jewish People, recognising 4000 years of Jewish connection to the land, and the injustice of the destruction of ancient Israel by the Romans and the forced removal of the Jewish people. In 1922 the British took 76% of the land designated for a Jewish state in Palestine and allocated it instead to the Arabs, creating east of the Jordan River a new country then called Transjordan, and later, to be known as Jordan, which to this day has a Palestinian majority. In 1947 the United Nations voted to establish two states - one Arab, and one Jewish - west of the Jordan river on the remaining 24% of the original portion of land allocated for a Jewish State by the international community. In spite of this reduction to their original portion the Jews accepted the offer, which was then rejected by the Arabs.

4. Destroying Jews - What if the dispute has never been about Palestinian statehood at all but really about the destruction of the Jews and the only Jewish State on earth?

This was the beginning of a long history of Arab rejectionism. And so, in 1948 the newly reborn State of Israel was invaded by Arab armies from Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and the Arab Legion, all of which made it quite clear that they intended to destroy the tiny Jewish state its at rebirth and to massacre its citizens, many of whom were Holocaust survivors. From 1948 to 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were in Arab hands and there was no "occupation" of these territories. If the cause for the Arab-Israeli conflict is the "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza then why did the conflict rage throughout these years unabated, with continued Arab refusal to recognise Israel and to make peace with its Jewish neighbour?

5. Why was it that in mid-1967 just before the 6 Day War, and before the West Bank and Gaza fell into Jewish hands that Arab leaders called for the destruction of Israel? What "occupation" was at issue? Why did Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad order his soldiers to attack Jewish civilian targets to "pave the Arab roads with the skulls of Jews"?

For the19 years that Jordan controlled the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip, the Arab world had the opportunity of establishing another Palestinian State in those territories, and chose not to. Why not? If the conflict is about Palestinian Statehood, then why was there no talk whatever of a Palestinian State for all those 19 years? After the Six-Day War, Israel tried to enter into negotiations with the Arab world about the political future of the West Bank and Gaza. The Khartoum Conference's response from all the Arab States on 1 September 1967 was in the form of the infamous 3 No's -- "No Peace, No Negotiation, No Recognition". And so,

6. Why, in the year 2000, at Camp David, did Yassar Arafat reject, without making a counter-offer at all, Israel's proposal to give over 95% of the West Bank and Gaza as well as land compensation for the remaining 5%?

His rejection is consistent with Arab rejectionism of any Jewish presence at all. If the Arab-Israeli conflict is about a Palestinian State then there has always been an obvious solution of two states living in peace side by side. The conflict is more fundamental and is really about Arab rejection of the very presence and existence of a Jewish State, and probably any Jews at all, in the heart of the Middle East (and probably world-wide). The charter of Hamas calls for the murder of all Jews world-wide. Rockets from Gaza continue to target Israeli civilians even after Israel evacuation. And threats of genocide and a second holocaust, together with denial of the first, emanate from Iran. And the Arab world is awash with the most rabid and pernicious anti-Semitism.

7. What if the war directed against the State of Israel is really the global war of fundamentalist tyranny against freedom and democracy?

The world is siding against the only beacon of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, thereby endangering us all, because the fate of Jews is often a sign portending the future? Hitler came after the Jews first, and then he attacked the world. Suicide bombings began in Jerusalem and then migrated to New York, Bali, Madrid, London and Nairobi.

8. What if all of those who believe, with the best of intentions, that they are defending a vulnerable victim, are actually being complicit in one of the worst injustices in the history of human civilization. They have sided with the forces of death and destruction, of fear and prejudice. They believe the lies and distortions of the truth, and like the propaganda of the Nazi regime, they portray the victim as the cause of the worlds troubles.

We need extreme clarity to understand and survive these tumultuous times. The world is making the tragic mistake of Neville Chambelain and those in history who tried to avoid the unpleasantness of the truth to live in a dreamworld. Unfortunately the dream turned into a nightmare! It's reaching a point where the only effective stategy will be to pray for divine assistance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Killing civilians in Gaza - War Crime? Not so fast...

An interesting video and Al-Jezeera caught off guard. It seems that Al Jazeera interviewed the 'wrong' expert - or should we rather say the 'right' expert - finally someone who explains why the Israeli operation in Gaza is legitimate, and Hamas is the evil party... Take a look at "Life in Israel" for Rafi's interesting post and the video interview:-

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another reason to keep kosher and wash your hands

The Rabbis taught that that all the Mitzvot (commandments, good deeds) mentioned in the Torah (Bible) are to be kept no matter whether we understand the reasons or not. G-d does not always disclose a reason and if he commanded it, that is reason enough to keep it.
Some people ignored this sagely advice and claim the reason why the Jews are commanded not to eat pork is because pigs were reared in unsanitary conditions. They go on further to state that all kosher food is 'healthy'. The danger of this statement is that it lead these so called people to claim that eating pork today is fine because they are reared in a clean and healthy environment. This may cause people to dismantle all the laws of kashrus, stating that today's environment is different. As if G-d only gave the Torah to people 2000 years ago and not eternally!!!
We G-d fearing Jews know better!!! G-d gave the Torah eternally and we do not eat pork no matter how safe and hygienic the conditions. It is for this reason that the sages of old did not give reasons for some of their special rulings; they knew human nature - once you give reason 'x', someone else will reason 'y' to undo the ruling.

It is obvious however, that if G-d told us not to eat pork there would certainly be many benefits from keeping this commandment. With this introduction, we can now safely describe a very healthy benefit to avoiding pork. As stated, even without this reason we would keep the eternal laws of the Torah.

In an article on ABC News Medical Unit on Nov 24th 2008 entitled "It's Not a Tumor, It's a Brain Worm" Lauren Cox describes how doctors were surprised to find a worm living inside a woman's brain! Rosemary Alvarez of Phoenix thought she had a brain tumor. On the operating table her doctor discovered something even more unsightly - a parasitic worm eating her brain. Alvarez, 37, was referred to the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix with balance problems, difficulty swallowing and numbness in her left arm. An MRI scan revealed a growth in her brain stem that looked like a brain tumor. Dr. Peter Nakaji, a neurosurgeon at the Barrow Neurological Institute found a parasite living in her brain, a tapeworm called Taenia solium. When Alvarez awoke, she heard the good news that she was tumor-free and she would make a full recovery. She also heard the how the worm got there in the first place. Nakaji surmised someone, had served her food that was tainted with the feces of a person infected with the pork tapeworm parasite. Once ingested, the eggs are able to pass from the stomach into the bloodstream and lodge in various parts of the body, including the muscle, the brain or under the skin. Even one person infected with a parasite, who also has bad hand washing habits, can infect many others with eggs. Not every worm needs to be surgically removed. Those whose location is not an immediate threat to the patients health can be treated with medications that cause the worms to die. But when the cysts are in problematic locations, as was the case for Alvarez, an operation is necessary. Fortunately, the long-term prognosis for most patients is positive. Nakaji rarely sees cases so severe that people require surgery. Nakaji said he only removed six or seven worms in neurosurgery this year. "But lodging in the brain stem is bad luck," he said. Nakaji said other parts of the brain have more "room" or tissue to expand around a growing cyst. However the brain stem, which is crucial to life, is only the width of a finger or two. "She could have recovered," said Nakaji. "But if the compression lasted for long enough, she could have been left permanently disabled or dead." Check out this amazing story in this video:-

The 'Karachi Kids'

There are over 600 Islamic American children who are living and studying in radical Islamic schools (madrassas) in Pakistan. In these madrassas, the children learn about radical Islam, and by the time they come out they are fully fledged radicals. The children learn a radicalized version of the Koran. The religion taught is called Deobandism. This is the same religion as the Taliban. The children don't learn any math, science, English, history or any other subjects. They only learn the Koran. They essentially learn to live for death. and all the pleasures of life, they are taught, come in the afterlife.The US government is so concerned that joined by a number of members of Congress, Rep. Michael McCaul has introduced legislation demanding for a full accounting of American children in radical Islamic madrassas in Pakistan. The Pakistani madrassas have been called an `incubator for Jihad’ by Jihad Watch and Eric Ellis of the Bulletin/Newsweek.

After personally experiencing the horrific violence of the terrorist bombings in downtown London on July 7, 2005 by Muslim extremists, Imran Raza, a Pakistani-American filmmaker, decided to explore why four British-born young men would carry out such an attack on their own citizens. Imran discovered the suicide bombers had attended radical Islamic madrassas in Pakistan.Two months later in September 2005, he made his way into a Pakistani madrassas to examine the root of this radical terrorist ideology. While filming there he discovered something unexpected - two American brothers from Atlanta, Georgia. Imran returned 18 months later in March 2007, for a 6 month stay in the dangerous City of Karachi, to find not only the Khan brothers, but surprisingly up to 80 American boys in the same madrassa. Are the alumni of these madrassas the future terrorists, like those who carried out the July 7 carnage? Are these madrassas part of a broader strategy to attack America in the future? These questions were too significant to go unanswered.Here is the trailer to the 'Karachi Kids', a documentary film produced by Imran from that experience. Raza hopes to embark on a speaking tour of the United States, Europe and the Middle East and bring his message of peaceful coexistence to millions of Muslims throughout the world through music and the spoken word. The most frightening aspect of the video is the change in the boys over a three year period. Take a look for yourself:-

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