Monday, March 14, 2016

Hypocrisy over Gaza

Hypocrisy over Gaza

Why the Jews Are Indigenous to Israel

Why the Jews Are Indigenous to Israel

Response to “Jews are NOT indigenous”

Response to “Jews are NOT indigenous”
By Hila Hershkoviz
In response to an article by Donny Fuchs in The Jewish Press, titled “Jews are NOT indigenous,” attacking those of us advocating the Jewish people’s indigenous status in the Land of Israel I say:
Jews are indeed indigenous to the Land of Israel. Eretz Yisrael is the place where our people, culture, language, and deep spiritual worldview developed. It’s the cradle of Hebrew civilization. Although I’ve also noticed a recent increase in professional Israel advocates employing an indigenous argument as a tactic for promoting Jewish rights and justifying Israel’s existence (sadly without internalizing what it really means to be indigenous), Jewish indigeneity wasn’t recently invented by these people. For thousands of years, Jews have self-identified as indigenous, referring to Israel as “admat avoteinu” — “the land of our forefathers,” and even non-observant Jews were willing to die fighting the British in order to liberate what they viewed as their ancestral homeland from foreign occupation.
“The Canaanites”
As for the biblical historiographic claim regarding the “Canaanites” (who no longer exist as a self-identified people), it should first be noted that the Ramban explains the journey of Avraham’s family to the Land of Canaan as a return to their own homeland. According to the Ramban, Ur Kasdim had been a foreign country that the family had previously migrated to. And on the verse Fuchs cites at the top of his article — “Avram passed through the land… the Canaanites were then in the land” (Genesis 12:6-7), Rashi states that when Avraham arrived, the Canaanites had been trying to conquer the country, but God desired to give the land to Avraham, in accordance with Noah’s division in which the Land of Israel fell to Avraham’s ancestor Shem and his descendants (our Sages, in both talmudic and midrashic literature, unanimously identify Malkitzedek — the king of Jerusalem in Avraham’s generation — with Shem).
In their attempt to explain the word “אז” (“then” or “at that time”), other commentators, such as Ibn Ezra, also mention that the Canaanites were only in the land at the time when Avraham arrived, but not previously. The fact that our Sages and teachers are even discussing these issues reveals that the concept of indigineity isn’t foreign to our authentic culture or identity. And when Yosef later tells Pharaoh that he had been “stolen from the Land of the Hebrews,” it’s clear that Canaan had been known by this name in ancient Egypt.
Moreover, even if the author’s claim were to be correct, Jews would still easily be considered indigenous. A few days after Fuchs published his article, the Jerusalem Post published the discovery of a 2,500-year-old seal from First Temple period with the Hebrew name “Elihana bat Ga’el.” The fact that this land holds the cultural and traditional genesis of our entire civilization is more than enough to be considered indigenous, irrespective of any previous Canaanites (although a country can have more than one indigenous population). The fact that when young Jews run around the Judean mountains, they relate to the earth under their feet as the same ancient ground walked by their ancestors and ancient national heroes is all that is needed.
“Racist and messianic”
The author claims that the notion of indigeneity is based “racist, blood-based theories”. Of course, there is nothing racist about qualifying as indigenous. In fact, according to the UN’s definition, one must not even be linked by ancestry in order to be considered indigenous. Therefore, “converts” (an English mistranslation for those who naturalize into our people) are also indigenous by definition, as they join the Tribes of Israel and therefore become part of our collective story.
While Fuchs dismisses the United Nations definition as being foreign to our own culture and rightfully claims that the “Balfour Declarations and U.N. votes are of zero worth for the Torah Jew,” he oddly fails to recognize that it is our own culture that very much recognizes ancestry, lineages, tribalism, communal hierarchy and many other notions foreign to Western democracies, but very much in alignment with indigenous peoples. Do we not attempt to preserve the lineages of the Kohanim (and who does Fuchs think they are descendants of if not the Levite sub-tribe that lived here long ago)? Does Ezra not speak of “the holy seed” of Israel that must be preserved? Ezra’s concept wasn’t race-based (a concept foreign at that time), but a spiritual concept embedded in reality, like all Torah ideals, and in this case through tribal lineages and ancestry.
As for the claim that “some of these indigenous rights activists have alliances and friendships with missionary groups and prominent messianic personalities” — I can’t speak for all Jews who identify as indigenous, but the LAVI movement with which I am associated not only opposes any cooperation or alliances with Christian groups, but also views missionary activity as a form of cultural colonization that we as an indigenous people must resist.
“Divine right only”
In the author’s opinion, the only claim to be advocated is our God-given right to the land. This may be a legitimate outlook, yet I fail to see how Divine inheritance negates our qualification as indigenous. While we do not require an indigenous claim to justify our Divine inheritance, we certainly do classify as such. And the same God who granted us this land also authored history in such a way to provide us with an indigenous claim to it. And I for one believe that we are obligated to use all tools available in advancing our Divine mission. In fact, assuming Fuchs agrees that Israel’s Divine mission requires us to maintain political independence in our land, I’d like to ask if he thinks we better serve our God by putting forward biblical arguments only few can appreciate (most notably the Christian Zionists he fears) or by asserting indigenous rights that communicate our story in a language the outside world can understand?
I also find it interesting that the author does not seem to be as troubled by countless other non-Divine-inheritance-based advocacy claims, such as by those who claim we have a right to be here, “because we need security/because Europe hates us/because we’re technologically developed/because Tel-Aviv has gay parades.” One must question why then does the author only choose to attack those of us who proudly state that we actually belong here, that our people are deeply rooted here, that this is our ancestral homeland and that this is the only country our people have ever called home?
The fear of advocating Jewish indigeneity
Although the article was titled “Jews are NOT indigenous,” a possibly more appropriate title might have been “My FEAR of advocating Jewish indigeneity.” The author’s real concern, which by the very nature of semi-conscious fears — was presented only as a sideline issue to the “stupid” notion that Jews are indigenous, is that identifying as indigenous would open a “dangerous” Pandora’s box.
Of course, Jewish activists haven’t recently opened any box. Some of us have simply stopped ignoring the issue that has been at the center of this conflict for years. As Fuchs seems to acknowledge, Palestinians have been claiming indigeneity for decades. In fact, indigeneity is the base on which all other Palestinian claims are built upon. Palestinian indigeneity isn’t something that might be suddenly acknowledged if Jews advocate our own indigenous status; it is something that almost everyone outside of the pro-Israel choir already take for granted, while our roots here are being denied (and easily so, as we have failed to speak of them for so long). All claims against Jews and Israel are based on the notion that Jews are foreign colonialists with no real historical or cultural connection to this land. Israel advocacy professionals have for years been avoiding the indigenous issue, in hopes that Bar Rafaeli and Tel Aviv beaches would be enough to make our national case.
And so instead of continuing to ignore the issues underpinning the conflict, we have taken the stage and decided to speak up and assert the fact that Eretz Yisrael is first and foremost the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, irrespective of security issues, not as a tactic against Palestinian claims but as an historic truth central to the story of our people.
You might claim indigeneity to be “un-Jewish” Mr. Fuchs but nothing feels more natural for me than to declare myself a Jew indigenous to the Land of Israel.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Don't just treat the symptoms

Don't just treat the symptoms

71% of Israelis are not satisfied with the government's response to the current terror wave. Something can be done.

By Dr. Jacob L. Freedman

The wave of terror sweeping Israel must be stopped.  The past few months have seen well over a thousand incidents of Arab terrorism resulting in the deaths of dozens of individuals with hundreds of others injured.  Tragically, very little has been done to end this atrocious violence.

Various officials have made headlines with strong words and rhetoric.  On December 14th 2015, an Arab resident of Jerusalem drove his car into a bus stop, wounding fourteen people including a toddler whose leg required amputation.  In response, the Israeli government defiantly decided to spend approximately two million shekels to place protective barriers at 300 bus stations around the capital,

When a rash of shootings, stabbings, and car attacks on the highways of the Gush Etzion region resulted in enough casualties—including the death of American Yeshivah Student Ezra Yechiel Schwartz—that it could no longer be ignored, security officials instituted a bold plan of action.  To protect entire towns of terrified citizens, it was suggested that the most frequently targeted roads be closed for cars that did not posses Israeli license plates.  But unfortunately even this measure was quickly undone due to a wave of counter protests.

While many plans have been executed in response to individual terror attacks, the root cause has yet to be addressed.  In considering this I am reminded of a fundamental rule learned during my training as a physician: don't just treat the symptoms, treat the underlying disease.  For example, every parent knows that Tylenol will bring a fever down overnight and stop a screaming infant, but only a visit to the pediatrician in the morning will get the antibiotics necessary to treat an ear infection.

As a psychiatrist working with patients on a "dual-diagnosis unit,” many of my patients are dealing with substance abuse issues in addition to primary mental illnesses.  Some developed chemical addiction and subsequently found themselves with a variety of anxiety-provoking and depressing financial, social, and legal problems.  Others developed substance abuse problems while self-medicating a preexisting depression or anxiety disorder.  For the first group of folks, the key is to complete a medical detoxification and then to help them pick up the pieces to begin a new sober life.  Treating the second group is significantly more complex.  If their underlying mental illness remains uncontrolled, a patient’s risk of relapse remains profound no matter how many times they are able to get clean.

This is how I've come to view the fundamental problem with the Israeli government's response to Arab violence.  Israel is constantly relapsing on terrorism and these past few months are just another episode in a history that spans decades.  But rather than attempt to treat the underlying cause of terrorism, Israel is further addicted to anemic responses aimed at providing a momentary calm until the next disaster.  As Harvard University professor Dr. Kenneth Levin so aptly described in his 2005 book—The Oslo Syndrome: Delusions of a People Under Siege—many have become traumatized into the delusional belief that there isn't any effective long-term solution to Arab terror.

Fortunately this isn't the case.  In identifying the root causes of Arab terror, a radically different approach can be taken.  Certainly this requires significant courage, but it is not unreasonable or impractical.  Consider the following examples:

The Palestinian Authority continues to both fund and incite terror including such unconscionable acts as financially supporting the families of suicide bombers.  Instead of shaking hands with its leader Mahmoud Abbas at the recent Paris Summit on Climate Change, Prime Minister Netanyahu could order the IDF to raze his compound and have him charged for his crimes against humanity.

Whereas families of Arab terrorists can still receive state benefits including welfare, housing subsidies, and tuition vouchers, concrete measures to deport family members of Arab terrorists—especially those who praise the acts of these monsters—should be enforced immediately.

But most importantly, efforts must be made to strengthen Jewish Identity.  Unless we are resolute in our belief that we are here for a purpose, we will end up being somewhere else without a purpose.  Promoting Jewish education and expanding Jewish settlement—most importantly doing it together with all of Am Yisrael for the sake of Jewish unity—are the only ways to treat the underlying condition that continues to threaten the Jewish people.

Jacob L. Freedman, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist practicing in Boston, Massachusetts, and a former student of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem. In addition to his work as a clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Freedman has worked as a healthcare and a risk-management consultant. He can be most easily reached at:

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In the beginning, there was an Arab with a knife. 100 years of excuses

In the beginning, there was an Arab with a knife. 100 years of excuses

A trip down the bloodsoaked timeline of Arab violence against Jews. A must read.

By David Collier

During the height of the second Intifada, the media and politicians in general were adamant, only total desperation could cause one human being to walk onto a bus full of innocent civilians and blow himself up. This twisted logic unashamedly blames the victims for the act of violence that kills them and removes personal responsibility from the terrorist. It is also a logic that only applies in Israel, as we find the same media and the same politicians have no trouble identifying the true cause of the brutal violence when it hits closer to home.

On April 30th 2003, at about 00:45, 22-year-old Asif Muhammad Hanif entered Mike’s Place, a live music tourist pub on the Tel Aviv beachfront. Asif, from London and his friend, Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, had been born, grew up and were educated in the UK. Their entire itinerary had been planned using the latest Lonely Planet Guide book and they had spent the evening with a hundred other tourists at the Hayarkon Hostel, just up the road. Upon entering the pub, Asif detonated his bomb, killing 3 and injuring 50, with the damage restricted by the brave actions of Avi Tabib, the security guard. One of the fatalities was 29-year-old French born Dominique Haas, a personal friend of mine. It would be difficult to argue that Asif and Omar were any more desperate than you or I. Young, British and university educated, they had their whole lives before them, but simply believed there was more to gain from murdering Jews in Tel Aviv instead.

It is now October 2015 and Jews are again being murdered on the streets of Israel. Today, we are being told the reason Arabs are murdering innocent Jews is because the ‘status quo’ on the Temple Mount is being threatened. It is a false rumour that has been used before, but let us embark on an historical exercise and follow this logic to its obvious conclusion.

This from Gaza in October 2015. For those that haven’t watched it, the call for stabbing, the knife, the religious references is highly disturbing viewing.

Rafah Cleric Calls upon 'Palestinians' to Stab Jews

But logic works a certain way, and in the given argument if we remove the said cause, the effect should just disappear. So let us step back a year.

It is 2014. The status quo on the Temple Mount is not being threatened. This is an attack by a 16-year-old terrorist who began stabbing Jewish customers at the Rami Levy supermarket in Mishor Adumim. *This video contains disturbing images*.

Palestinian Terror Attack at Rami Levy supermarket

You can read more about it here. The reason given by western media and politicians alike for the violence of late 2014, was that the conflict in Gaza earlier in the year had created a feeling of desperation and a need for revenge. If that is the case, let us go further back.

It is October 2000, the conflicts against Hamas run Gaza are still a decade away, but the 2nd Intifada is upon us, Israelis are about to be murdered on the streets of Netanya, Afula, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, anywhere in fact that they can be reached. Two Israelis, Vadim Nurzhitz and Yossi Avrahami having accidently entered Ramallah, were ‘arrested’ by PA policemen and taken to the local Police Station. There they were ‘beaten, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disembowelled’ by a mob of Palestinians.

Aziz Salha, terrorist

Aziz Salha, one of the ‘lynchers’

The picture is of Aziz Salha, one of the ‘lynchers’, waving his blood-stained hands from the police station window. Salha was later arrested by Israel and sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. The general consensus amongst politicians and the western media was that this outbreak of brutal violence was the result of Ariel Sharon provoking the Palestinians by stepping foot on Temple Mount. If that is the case, let us go further back.

It is September 1999 and Ariel Sharon’s foot has not yet been placed on Temple Mount. Haifa couple Sharon Steinmetz and Yehiel Finfeter went hiking in the Megiddo region when they were stabbed and murdered by an Israeli Arab, Abdullah Salah Aghbariya. ‘Aghbariya reportedly first attacked Finfeter, 25, with a knife and stabbed him several times in front of his girlfriend, before hitting her with a rock and stabbing her to death. Although the terrorist suggested he had murdered these two ‘because they were Jewish’, the media and politicians of the time were having none of it. They suggested that the late 1999 tension was caused not by the self declared hatred of Jews of the terrorist, but by the friction and stagnation of the peace process. If that is the case, let us go further back.

It is late 1993 and the stagnation of the peace process is yet to be seen on the distant horizon. ‘Hope’ is now the keyword as Israelis and Palestinians embark on a mission of mutual recognition that results in the beginning of the Oslo peace process. Within weeks, on 24/9/1993, Yigal Vaknin became the first of many victims of this process, as he was stabbed to death in an orchard near the trailer home where he lived. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Yigal Vaknin

The violence over the coming years, some of the most brutal seen inside Israel since 1948 was explained away as a ‘side effect’ of the peace process itself. Over 250 Israelis died in the years immediately following the Oslo accord, sacrificed for a peace that never came. Western media and politicians explained away these terrorist actions as the desperate measures of extremists intent on stopping the process. If that is the case, let us go further back.

It is 21st March 1989 and the Oslo Peace Process is not yet even a seed in Yossi Beilin’s mind. The first Intifada has hit its peak and Muhammad Zakut, an Arab construction worker in Tel Aviv began randomly stabbing Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv on the Jewish holiday of Purim. Zakut stabbed three Israelis with a commando knife as he shouted “God is great.” One of the victims, Kurt Moshe Schallinger, 73, was killed as he left his car on a Tel Aviv street full of children in costume.

Zakut received a life sentence, but like Aziz Salha from the Ramallah lynching, Zakut was released as part of the Gilad Shalit exchange. Around 160 Israelis were murdered during the first Intifada, with western press and politicians blaming frustration at the ‘occupation’ and the building of settlements for the outbreak of violence. So if that is the case let us go further back.

It is 1966. The entire West Bank and Gaza are in Arab hands and there is no ‘occupation’. Not a single settlement exists.  The situation has been the same for 17 years and because most of the attacks against the Jews in Israel began beyond the border, the terrorists were armed with guns or explosives rather than knives. There were massacres on buses, attacks on trains, archaeologists, cross border shootings and numerous sniper attacks. The knife still made its appearance with an attack against the odd shepherd, kidnap rape and murder of women and various random attacks where specific details have been lost through time. Between 1949 and 1967, when Israel was in existence completely behind the ‘Green Line’, hundreds of Jewish people were murdered in Israel.

1964 Arab Summit

1964 Arab Summit, creation of PLO

Rather than take the available option and declare a Palestinian State, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) was formed in Cairo in 1964 with the intention of destroying Israel. Through all this violence, western media and the politicians placed the blame on the tensions in the region caused by the status of the refugees created during the War of Independence that followed the birth of the State of Israel. If that is the case, let us go further back.

It is December 2nd 1947. There are no refugees, no occupation and Israel does not yet even exist. The Arabs of the area have not yet even labelled themselves as Palestinians. It is 3 days after the United Nations voted in favour of Partition, pushing a two state solution that the Arabs totally rejected. The Arabs begin a riot in Jerusalem, with 8 Jews reported as being killed. The New York Times pointed out that it was the knife that was the weapon of choice.

The killings had begun even earlier with an ambush against buses near Kfar Syrkin on November 30th, and the following months were to see escalating violence as civil war erupted throughout the British Mandate of Palestine. Arabs began to leave the region within weeks, with 100,000 having fled by March. In January irregular Arab armies entered the arena to wipe the Jews out and the neighbouring Arab nations declared openly Israel would never be born. It is impossible to calculate precise Jewish losses over each period in a conflict that was to turn from civil to regional war, but in total over 6000 Jews were to be killed in the following 18 months. Proportionally more than the UK lost in the entire 7 years of WW2. According to western politicians and media of the time, this, all because of the ‘understandable’ Arab reaction to resolution 181 and partition. If this is the case, let us go further back.

It is April 19–20, 1936. There is no partition, no Israel, no settlements, no occupation and no refugees. Even the original suggestions of partition first raised by the Peel commission are still some time away. But ‘The Bloody Day in Jaffa’ is upon us and the first day of the ‘Great Arab Uprising’. By the end of the first week, 17 Jews had been murdered.

Jaffa, Palestine: The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936

Jaffa, Palestine: The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936

The revolt was to last 3 years and led to an almost absolute curb on Jewish immigration into British Palestine. The British, and the media placed the blame for the murders and the violence of the revolt on Arab opposition to growing Jewish immigration that was caused by Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. If this is the case, let us go further back.

It is 19th August 1929. There is no partition, no Israel, no settlements, no occupation and no refugees. Adolf Hitler is out of jail, but yet to receive major popular support at an election. Zionist immigration is still on the slow dripping 4th Aliyah rather than fast flowing 5th Aliyah. A young Sephardic Jew named Abraham Mizrachi was stabbed to death by an Arab near Mea Shearim.

The following Friday, August 23rd, a violent Arab demonstration took place at the Western Wall and that afternoon a massacre of Jews in Jerusalem began (17 Jews murdered). The violence spread across British Palestine and in the coming days, Hevron (65+ massacred and tortured) and Safed (18+ massacred) saw the worst of the incidents.

Newspaper report on Hebron Massacre 1929

Newspaper report on Hevron Massacre 1929

The massacres and killings were to lead to the Shaw Commission analysing the cause of tension. It found Arab leaders had created and spread propaganda calculated to incite the trouble. They spread rumours of a Jewish takeover of Temple Mount (sound familiar). The commission believed that the underlying cause was Jewish immigration and the threat that local Arabs felt a Jewish presence in Palestine brought. This is no different than if today, wild mobs streamed into towns in Europe or the US that have large immigrant populations with the intent to carry out bloody massacres against innocent civilians. But for the British, world politicians and the media this was excuse enough for Jews to be killed.  So if this is the case, let us go even further back.

It is 1920. There is no partition, no Israel, no settlements, no occupation, little immigration and no refugees. Even the Mandate has not yet officially begun. San Remo, the conference that was to decide the fate of the Middle East has not yet occurred. We are now back in Jerusalem at the time of the Neba Musa festival. A time that was to see riots that had Arabs murdering Jews in yet another ‘excusable’ massacre in Jerusalem. The knives were out again.

Nabi Musa April 1920 Jerusalem

Nabi Musa April 1920 Jerusalem

5 Jews were murdered and 216 were injured. The Palin Commission of Inquiry (don’t the British love making up excuses for violence against Jews) found that Arab disappointment at the non-fulfilment of the promises of independence was the primary cause. So if this is the case, let us go even further back.

It is 1910. We have left British Palestine, because it does not yet exist. There has been no promise of independence to the Arabs, there is no Balfour declaration, no Mandate, no partition, no Israel, no settlements, no occupation and no refugees. Ariel Sharon’s foot has not even been born. We are in Shiraz to witness a massacre of Jews in 1910 that was sparked by a blood libel (also 1892 & 1897). Twelve were killed, another fifteen were stabbed or hit with bludgeons or bullets and many more were injured.

We can then travel back even further before the very beginning of the Zionist movement, to the Damascus affair and the blood libel of 1840. And we find contemporary ‘mob attacks on Jewish communities throughout the Middle East’. We also find Jews were being murdered throughout the 19th century, just for being Jews, in Aleppo (1850, 1875), in Damascus (1840, 1848, 1890), in Beirut (1862, 1874), in Dayr al-Qamar (1847), in Jaffa (1876), in Jerusalem (1847, 1870 and 1895), in Cairo (1844, 1890), in Mansura (1877), in Alexandria (1870, 1882), and in Damanhur (1871, 1873, 1877, 1891). Each and every one before the first Zionist congress took place in 1897.

Before the partition, before Israel, before the settlements, before the ‘occupation’, before the refugees, before Sharon walked onto Temple Mount, before the ‘wall’, before immigration, before Balfour and before even Zionism itself.

In the beginning there was an Arab with a knife and he murdered a Jew, simply because he was a Jew.

It is an absurd logic that attempts to blame Zionism for creating violence against Jews when modern Zionism *only came about* because of relentless violence against Jews; both in Europe and in the Middle East. You cannot place the cart before the horse. Enough with the excuses.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rectifying Europe

Rectifying Europe

Europeans sinned in the past through colonialism and anti-Semitism, and sin today in their attitude towards Israel.

By Rabbi Eliezer Melamed


We heard about the vicious attacks perpetrated by Muslim terrorists in Paris with great sadness. However, we cannot say we were surprised - for years, we knew that this would be the result of misguided policies of France and most European countries (as I will cite from an article I wrote fifteen years ago). Nevertheless, the fulfillment of the first part of the predictions is horrifying.

The truth must be said – the Europeans are not blameless. For generations they ruled many nations by force, including Arabs and Muslims, exploiting their labor and their country's natural resources to increase their wealth and esteem. Today, immigrants from those very countries are coming and exploiting them and their countries, justifying it by saying they are simply returning to themselves what was stolen from them in the past.

Mention must be made of the terrible suffering we, the Jews, endured in Europe. At times, we were treated decently by different rulers and ordinary people in the various countries. But it is difficult to count all the pogroms, expulsions, rapes and robberies we went through in Europe, culminating in the worst of all - the Holocaust, in which six million of our brothers and sisters were murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators from other European countries.

True, we insisted on keeping our faith, and it's not always pleasant to live with a people of different faith and culture. However, our contribution to the economic, scientific and cultural development of Europe was undeniably far greater than the effort needed to practice tolerance as a result of our living amongst the Europeans. Instead of gratitude, we got pogroms, expulsions and the Holocaust.

Even today, instead of understanding the terrible war in which we find ourselves facing the Arabs surrounding us, who literally wish to destroy us, they accuse us of violating the Arabs rights, killing them, and other false accusations. Perhaps it is important for them to believe the Arab accusations in order to justify their own actions, thinking to themselves that after all, they're not the only ones who kill – when given the chance, the Jews also murder as many foreigners as possible.

Some Europeans may even have no need for self-justification – they simply hate Jews and Israel, and that's reason enough. And then again, maybe all of a sudden they decided to repent and stand up for human rights, and just happened to fall on the wrong people.

Either way, Europe's actions in the past and their present official position denying the State of Israel the right to defend its security and ancestral lands of Judea and Samaria, is leading to a situation in which they lack the courage and moral justification to fight the Muslim position threatening their safety and existence.

To whom are these observations directed?

These observations are directed first and foremost to us, the Jews, for it is our duty to understand what is going on around us, as it is written: "Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ... When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel" (Deuteronomy 32:7-8).

Ideally, the lesson is meant to educate the nations of the world, but when they fail to understand and stumble, their problems arrive at our doorstep. Secular Israeli leftists stumble willingly, in the mistaken belief that it's the proper and ethical approach; politicians stumble out of a sense of helplessness facing global public opinion.

These observations are also are directed at the Europeans, because since the end of World War II the prevalent attitude among moral European's is that the time has come to conduct a deep self-examination about the damage caused to the victims of European colonialism, nationalism, and religion. Therefore, there is room for appealing to the Europeans to direct their thoughts honestly.

Champions of morality and ethics in Europe believed superficially that the more they bolstered human rights, the more ethical and better the world would become, and discrimination between people on the basis of sex, race and religion would vanish. The more they secured the rights of the individual, regardless of who or where they may be, the wars between nations and religions would decrease. However, by forsaking all other values of morality, and the moral obligation of each individual, they were mistaken and caused severe injustices, and this is reflected in the serious crisis they are now facing.

The reason for this is that there are no rights without obligations. And when people are given rights without obligations, the natural evil inclination which has a propensity to exploit, lie, steal, rape and murder is nurtured within them. And when society's weak are supported financially regardless of who they are, this encourages them to demand rights they do not deserve, and when they don't receive them – it encourages them to attack and sabotage in order to achieve by force what was not given to them amiably.

Therefore, there is a need for profound integration of the values ​​of the conservative right-wing movements who are more connected to the values ​​of the Bible, which, in addition to the value of human dignity, emphasizes the morality ​​of justice, and demands an individual take responsibility for his own actions.

Israel's War is the Yardstick of Global Evil

In this context, I found it appropriate to return and quote from an article I wrote on the 10th of Adar 5763 (2003), the main points having been written for an article in the 'Makor Rishon' newspaper at the end of Elul 5761 (2001), a few days before the attack on the Twin Towers in New York.

"The more we erred in the false belief that the Oslo Accords would lead to peace, a reduction in terrorist attacks and the war against Israel, the more evil our Arab enemies became. They wasted and stole from the billions of dollars given them by various countries through awful corruption. The money they did not steal, they invested primarily in arms and ammunition to kill, injure, demolish and destroy. There is no criminal or terror organization that is not connected to them, and learns from their experience. It is no coincidence that the mentor of Bin Laden is a Palestinian (at the time, all the terrorist organizations that were created in recent years had not yet been founded).

"The only thing that the terrorists understood from the Oslo process is that terrorism pays. The more lies and evil actions the terrorists commit – the more consideration they are given, similar to the way Western countries relate to the Palestinian Authority.

"After the head of the largest terrorist gang in the world at the time, Yasser Arafat, gained international status and was even guaranteed a state, international terrorism raised its head. Even entire countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, Libya and Sudan, permit themselves to support terrorism (today, support for terrorism has expanded and encompasses most of the Muslim population in every country, as evidenced wherever they are permitted to hold free elections)...

"As long as the Palestinian Authority is not punished, the world will be exposed to increasing dangers. Every country in the world will be forced to invest the best of its manpower and money in the daily struggle against terrorism. If the terrorists are not stopped today, all public facilities in every country of the world will have to be constantly guarded to prevent people from getting blown up, to make sure the terrorists don't poison the water systems, to stop them from scattering epidemic-spreading bacteria, and to ensure they don't lay their hands on advanced technology that could endanger the entire world. States will have to constantly increase their police forces, but nevertheless, terror will continue to strike, both in rich and poor countries. Every third person will have to be a policeman, in order to protect homes and citizens. At every street corner, people's bags and clothing will have to be checked, lest they be carrying bombs on their bodies or various poisonous materials...

"As a result, instead of the prophecy 'out of Zion shall go forth Torah and the word of God from Jerusalem' being fulfilled – out of Palestine will come terror, death and bereavement. All this will happen to them because Western leaders failed to differentiate between the righteous and the wicked in Israel's conflict with the Palestinians."

This is essentially what I wrote, as noted, 15 years ago.

The Problem in Europe

The various experts and analysts mistakenly think that the problem is terrorism, and therefore, increased security will solve the problem. Others are ready to admit that the problem is broader, involving the struggle with radical Islam, and that by waging war against their senior leader's terror will be eliminated.

In truth, however, we are talking about a clash of civilizations. For example, the various experts were astonished to find out that before executing the massacre in Paris, one of the terrorists managed a bar selling alcohol and drugs, goods forbidden by Islam. But had they understood that this is a conflict with a religious background, they would have realized that although young Muslims frequently enjoy the promiscuity, alcohol and drugs of European nightclubs, they accuse the Europeans for entrapping them. Consequently, they see eye to eye with the preacher at the mosque that the European's evil is so vast and dreadful, that it is even able to trap Muslim youth in its net and cannot be overcome, but must be destroyed because it is diabolical.

This is how the overwhelming majority of Muslims view Europe as morally disintegrating, and all the talk about human rights are seen in their eyes as capitulation to the evil inclination, permissiveness, promiscuity, and the uprooting of family values. The Muslims may benefit from the social welfare system and freedom in European countries, but in their hearts they believe that it is a culture of Sodom and Gomorrah, and therefore, it is permissible, and even desirable, to attack it. This is a justification for them to open crime centers in their neighborhoods.

If the people of Europe do not realize the full extent of contending with Islam, terrorism and crime will continue to increase until they reach a situation of guerrilla warfare in the streets. This is liable to end in the downfall of the European countries, or in a dreadful eruption of bloodshed by the side of the Europeans taking out their anger against the Muslims.

The Tikun

The beginning of the solution is the return to the values ​​of the Bible, including support for the State of Israel which is at the forefront in the war against Islam. As a result the European nations will be able to advance a moral, ideological position speaking in the name of justice. An ideology based on the right of the peoples of Europe over their own countries, on their right to express their identity and their religious values ​​in public, and their right to protect their identity from immigrants wanting to change it. Then it will be possible to start thinking about ways of dealing with the growing Muslim threat.

Apparently, only Europe's right-wing movements understand the full scope of the problem. Next week, I will attempt to further analyze our relationship with the extreme right in Europe.

This article appears in the 'Besheva' newspaper, and was translated from Hebrew. Other interesting articles by Rabbi Melamed can be found at:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The world is at war

The world is at war

The world has finally seen the light - or is it the darkness? It is going to have to reassess some of its sacred cows if it wants to survive.

By Dr. Mordechai Kedar

The world is at war. And that's old news. Immediately after 9/11, over 14 years ago, former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy said that WWIII had begun. The only thing that has changed over the past few days is that the rest of the world is also beginning to realize that it is at war.

The Western world, the immutable objective of World Jihad, has awakened to find itself standing on a firing range where its heart serves as the target and its culture is the bulls-eye.

Tragically, the bell tolls in the form of mass murder and the sight of blood flowing like water Last Friday's attack in Paris was not just the wanton murder of innocents, it was also an attack against the symbols of Western culture: theater, concerts, restaurants, stadiums. In the proclamation claiming responsibility for the atrocity, Islamic State announced that it did not merely attack the capital of France, it attacked the capital of prostitution and adultery and the "standard bearer of the Crusades."

Islamic extremists are at war with the most iconic symbol of Western culture, liberty – and primarily, with the liberation of women.

The attack against the Russian plane on its way from Sharm a Sheikh is part of that war. Russia is fighting the Jihadists in Syria, making its citizens a legitimate target in Jihad eyes. It doesn't matter that these were innocent tourists who only wanted to relax on the Sinai Desert's pristine beaches. And if the crash harms the economy and causes tourism to slump is Sisi's Egypt, that is all to the good. He is, after all, an enemy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Add to that the cultural by product: those tourists, mostly female, come to the Sinai beaches, drink alcohol, possibly take drugs, and lie on the sand minimally clothed, all of which infuriates Islamic fundamentalists.

The war is not limited to firearms and bombs. More and more people are beginning to discern the gaps allowing the enemy to breach the walls of the West's encampment. The mass migration from Islamic lands, starting in the seventies, is well entrenched in Europe but has not integrated into European culture, has not adopted its mores and has, instead, carefully held on to its original culture, nurtured in neighborhoods where the host country's culture is not welcome.

As a result of last weekend's attacks, French President Francois Hollande announced that France will change its laws to allow the government to cancel the citizenship of suspected terrorists. Now they wake up? Where were they three years ago, in 2012, when Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two sons Arieh and Gabriel and the little Miriam Monsonego were murdered in Toulouse by a murderer who arrived from the Jihadi fields of the Middle East? Where was the French government after the murders at Hyper Cacher and Charlie Hebdo this past January? What steps were taken when Ilan Halimi was barbarically murdered in Paris in 2006? All these terrorist murders were perpetrated by Muslims who could have had their citizenship revoked. France is shutting the barn door now that the horse has bolted.

If it wants to survive, Europe must go beyond mere legal measures and constitutionality and begin examining three of the principles that are the mainstays of its culture: human rights, political correctness and multiculturalism.

The concept of "human rights" is a broad term that took over much of Europe's public, media and legal discourse as a result of WWII, the Holocaust and Europe's colonialist crimes. This all-embracing concept has left no room for its counterpart, "human obligations', and is interpreted to mean that every human being has basic rights whether or not he fulfills his basic obligations and duties. That is the reason Europe granted the entire world's unemployed the right to reach its shores.

An exaggerated concept of human rights also provided the justification for not having children. As a result, the demographic statistics for Europe are disastrous, making it necessary for a constant stream of foreign workers to arrive to work in factories, transportation, services, groceries and laundromats. Except that these workers, unlike immigrants in the past, live in cultural enclaves and do not budge from the lifestyles of their countries of origin.

This brings us to the next Achilles' heel, multiculturalism. Many Europeans believe that a country can manage to contain a number of cultures. In the case of Islamic immigrant culture, that means allowing polygamy, dependence on welfare systems, family violence, vandalism, violence against people who are not Muslims, unorganized labor and the acceptance of Sharia courts whose verdicts are often at odds with the host country's laws.

The real meaning of multiculturalism in this case is the takeover by a violent society of the non-violent host culture in the public, economic and political domain, a situation that cannot go on for long. Law enforcement officers fear entering the violent neighborhoods that harbor this culture, one that lives on the social, economic and political periphery of the host country. Marginal people who feel neglected and ostracized are a short distance from terror.

The third problem Europe will have to find a way to deal with is political correctness that shuts the mouths of anyone pointing to the problem by labeling them racists, extremists and rabble rousers, then placing them in the docks to be castigated by the media, academia, politicians and the public. Political correctness paralyzes any efforts against those who are destroying the foundations of society – it has reached the point where, in Sweden, it is forbidden to connect the rising harassment and rape of women to Muslim immigrants, even though the vast majority of the incidents really are perpetrated by Muslim immigrants - who believe that the wives of infidels are their property.

The battle is not confined and cannot be confined to those who fired, blew up and murdered hundreds of French and Russian citizens over the past month. The war is being waged on a much larger battlefield, with a comprehensive ideological framework that justifies violence against the nations of Europe and their culture.  The nations of Europe must take back the ability to defend themselves instead of allowing democracy to be used as a tool in the hands of those who are against democratic values, especially that of liberty.

Israel is part of the campaign

Israel talked for quite a while about declaring the "Northern Branch" of the Islamic Movement, headed by Sheikh Raed Salah,  illegal. This branch currently enjoys all the protection and freedoms which a democratic society provides its citizens, but does not believe in democracy in the slightest. It subscribes only to the Islamic values as set down by the Muslim Brotherhood's philosophers. It does believe in liberty, but only for Muslims, and not including religious liberty or the freedom to leave the Islamic faith. It does believe in equality, but only between Muslims, while Jews, Christians and infidels must live under Islamic protection with limited rights. It does believe in monotheism, but other monotheistic religions such as Christianity and Judaism, are deemed invalid, while Islam is the only true faith.

The Islamic Movement believes that Jews form religious communities which are part of the various nations in which they live and therefore are not a nation deserving of its own state. They believe that the Land of Israel, in its entirety, is holy to Islam and only to Islam, so that there is no justification for the State of Israel's very existence – in their eyes, it is the state of a non-existent nation with an invalid religion, whose territory is slated to become part of a Muslim country.

The branch headed by Raed Salah was founded in 1996. Since then, he has been inciting Israeli Arab citizens against the state, its government and its army, and is especially virulent about Israeli control over the El Aksa Mosque, the site of Judaism's Holy Temples.  He views Jewish control on the Temple Mount as an indication of Judaism's return to life, posing a theological threat to Islam and so the Movement works feverishly to undermine Jewish hold on Jerusalem.

The Northern Branch

Both the Northern and Southern Branch believe in the same ideology, but the Southern Branch plays the Israeli political game, sits in the Knesset and acts as though it accepts the existence of a Jewish State. It is less violent and therefore less popular among Israeli Arabs.

Now that Israel has decided to declare the organization illegal, it is crucial to oversee the effectiveness of that measure on two fronts;

a. Have the movement's activists stopped their anti-Israel activities or have they gone underground and moved to less legal and more violent attacks?

b. How will this move affect the rest of Israel's Arab citizens? Will they side with the movement and its goals or will they – in time – turn their backs on it.

This is a war, a war against Islamic fanatics, and in war as in war. The West and Israel do not have the option of losing.

Written in Hebrew for Arutz Sheva, translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed and Judaism editor.