Thursday, May 2, 2019

Preventing The Next Holocaust

Holocaust Remembrance Day is about remembering and honoring the victims of the Holocaust. It's also about reminding us to make every effort to prevent such a thing from happening again.

But herein lies a potential danger. Everyone is so used to the notion of "Never Again" that they are hyper-vigilant to prevent another Nazi Holocaust. Not only Jews, but even non-Jews and even many enemies of Israel are care against things that were precursors to the Nazi Holocaust - racial profiling, antisemitic cartoons, and so on.

But who says that a Nazi-type Holocaust is the only type of Holocaust to worry about?

There are all kinds of existential threats to the Jewish People. We can be pretty confident that there won't be another Nazi-type Holocaust, with racial profiling and ghettos and concentration camps. But there's other ways in which major tragedies can occur.

In a seminal essay published in the Jerusalem Post several years ago, "This Holocaust Will Be Different," historian Benny Morris lays out a terrifyingly plausible scenario in which Iran destroys Israel with a nuclear weapon. He also explains why even if they don't use such a weapon, merely possessing one would be enough to cause Israel to crumble away.

But it's not only Iran that threatens Israel. Egypt and Jordan are not exactly good friends. Hezbollah poses a serious threat. If the Palestinians ever get a state, that could inflict much more damage on Israel than Gaza.

Now Israel has a very powerful army. But, contrary to what many armchair generals on social media seem to think, Israel really does have to take into account, to a certain degree, what its Western allies are saying. It relies on these allies for all kinds of vital political, economic and military cooperation. And such alliances are looking extremely precarious.

Consider this. Israel buys hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of arms from the UK. If Corbyn becomes prime minister - a once unthinkable scenario which is now looking extremely likely - those contracts will probably end, as will all political and security cooperation.

I find it sadly laughable that many Jews think that the threat posed by Corbyn is that they will be subject to antisemitic harassment. Growing up in Manchester, I suffered from that all the time! I would constantly have random people in the street spitting on me, hitting me, cursing me, yelling "Hitler should have gassed you all." It was awful, but it wasn't an existential threat. The real danger of Corbyn is not that he empowers antisemitism towards Jews in England, it's that he is utterly hostile to the State of Israel. And England as a whole has a serious problem here - it is absolutely normative belief in England that Israel is a brutal regime which commits atrocities upon the innocent Palestinians. It's not England's antisemitism to British Jews that we need to worry about, it's their hostility to Israel.

Nor can the United States be completely relied upon. Many Jews are drunk on Trump's warmth to Israel, apparently unaware that he's not going to be President forever, that (possibly due to Trump and/or various Jews) the Democrats have a level of hostility towards Israel never seen before, and that in general the next generation of people in the US is far less sympathetic to Israel's security situation. AIPAC always hosted all the Democratic candidates - this year, not a single one came.

Every one of us has to work hard at building up support for Israel. We need to explain to people why there is a blockade on Gaza, and why Israel had to resort to live fire at the so-called border "protests." We need to explain how most of the Palestinian's problems are of their own making, and why there are no easy solutions that maintain safety for Israel's citizens. We need people to understand (as Corbyn fails to do) why Western countries are generally the good guys and Russian, Iran and North Korea are the bad guys. We need people to understand why democracies are superior to dictatorships, why free societies are infinitely better than fear societies. We do need to tackle antisemitism also, but it's more important to show people how their attitude to Israel - whether or not it is related to antisemitism - is morally wrong.

The Nazi Holocaust will not happen again. But we still need to fight to make sure that no other type of Holocaust happens, either.

94 comments:

  1. Everyone is so used to the notion of "Never Again" that they are hyper-vigilant to prevent another Nazi Holocaust. Not only Jews, but even non-Jews and even many enemies of Israel are care against things that were precursors to the Nazi Holocaust - racial profiling, antisemitic cartoons, and so on.

    Syria, Darfur, the Uyghers, and the Rohingya beg to disagree. Sadly, the era of America intervening to stop genocides ended when George W. Bush left office, while the era of Europe intervening ended long, long before that.

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    1. Sadly, the era of America intervening to stop genocides ended when George W. Bush left office

      Mental. Let's send Americans to die to give democracy to Muslims terrorists in Burma, China, and Syria. We can call it the War On and/or For Terror. When the DSM VI comes out, it sure better include Neoconnery as some kind of syndrome.

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    2. Wow. Making Donald Trump proud, I see. I'm normally happy to debate anybody on the subject, but not when your opening statement is replete with insult and devoid of substance. Go away and don't come back until you've learned the basic manners that I was taught in kindergarten.

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    3. LOL. You're going to have to get used to it. Everyone hates neocons. Everyone on the Right, everyone on the Left and everyone in between. And there's a simple reason: because you are stuck up prigs who are wrong about everything all the time. Everything you touch falls apart with disastrous results for the entire globe, and yet you somehow think you have the right to lecture everyone else about morality.

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    4. I will gladly debate you on the merits and history of neoconservatism. But first, go away and don't come back until you've learned the basic manners that I was taught in kindergarten.

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    5. Gavriel M: You claimed that Palestinian IQs were lower on average than Israeli IQs. You have adduced not the slightest evidence for this claim. That makes you the stuck up prig who is wrong.

      You are the ideologue who empowered Iran by attacking Iraq because of a Bush family feud with the Husseins. The fool who empowered Hamas in Gaza by denying supplies to the PLO. The dilettantes who will never actually use the power of the IDF against Hezbollah or Iranian nuclear weapons.

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    6. I guess FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and Obama were also "neocons".

      @Yerushalmi: Obama got the US involved in Libya and Syria and even demanded "regime change" in Syria.

      @Gavriel M: There is a difference between military intervention to establish a "democracy" and doing all we call (not all militarily) to stop mass murder.

      Yerushalmi's general contention is correct. "Never again" should be replaced with "It keeps happening, but thank God, not to us, as of yet".

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    7. Those were not serious interventions by any stretch of the imagination. And his demand - not to mention the infamous "red line" - rings hollow seeing as Assad's reign outlasts Obama's.

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    8. @Hominid

      There's this amazing thing called Google where you can look stuff up. Average Palestinian IQ 85. Average Israeli IQ (including Arabs) 95. The Palestinian results are not very reliable for various obvious reasons, but they fit well with neighbouring countries like Egypt (81), Jordan (84) and Lebanon (82), so if anything it looks like an overestimate.

      Now, at the outer bounds of plausibility, you could claim that this is because of nutrition or because Palestinian mummies don't read enough to their babies or whatever the latest one is, but you can't argue with the reality.

      @David Ohsie

      One can discuss the relative merits of earlier US presidents and their foreign policies, but none of them were cracked in the head to the extent that they would suggest going to war with China because they finally had enough of endless Muslim provocation, or support non-existent moderate rebels in Syria, let alone cite Libya (Libya!) as a example of how the west can intervene to make stuff better. I mean what I say: neoconservatism/liberal interventionism at this point is functionally indistinguishable from an end times cult, it's a matter for medical intervention, not debate.

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    9. @GM: The point being all American presidents have the American military under them and are tempted to use it in various ways (and do). Labeling them neocon (and then to cover them all, expanding that to neoliberal) doesn't add anything to the conversation. To top it off, Russia did and does the same thing with their military. Are they neocon or neoliberal?

      More importantly, under consistent non-interventionism, FDR should not have maneuvered the US into WW2, Truman should not have pre-emptively recognized Israel, Nixon should not have shipped arms over in 1973, and the the US should cut off military aid to Israel and Egypt and leave them to their own devices, among other changes.

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    10. @David Ohsie

      What I labelled neoconservatism was the following statement Syria, Darfur, the Uyghers, and the Rohingya beg to disagree. Sadly, the era of America intervening to stop genocides ended when George W. Bush left office,

      I could come up with other labels, in fact I already did, but it's getting gratuitous at this point.

      Russia did and does the same thing with their military. Are they neocon or neoliberal?

      Russia does many appalling things, most notably propping up left-wing regimes in South America, but everything it does it related to protecting or promoting Russian economic or political interests. Nothing neocons do is related to promoting American interests or can be plausibly presented as such to anyone except looney toons.

      More importantly, under consistent non-interventionism,
      Which I obviously don't advocate since I'm not some Lolbertarian. There are lots of good things you do in foreign policy, like deposing Allende or buying Alaska. However, in the clown house that is the permanent American government, all sensible activities are ruled out a priori as racist or fascist or whatever, so non-interventionism is the only way to restrain the ever more lunatic juggernaught. Trump is halfheartedly trying to organise a hostile takeover of the American government and he gets some good stuff done at the margins, but he doesn't have what it takes and 5 years from now America will be back to its usual nuthousery.

      and the the US should cut off military aid to Israel and Egypt and leave them to their own devices, among other changes.

      Why should Egypt get military aid? Actually, why should Egypt even exist? It's a rubbish country that was founded because the brain trust thought it was a super cool idea to destroy the British Empire and turn it over to paramilitary gangs. Someone should put an end to the farce and just conquer it.

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    11. "Russia does many appalling things, most notably propping up left-wing regimes in South America, but everything it does it related to protecting or promoting Russian economic or political interests." Afghanistan? Chechnya?

      Why should Egypt get military aid?

      I have no idea why you are asking this question. First you go all "realpolitik" and then when the US does it by bribing and supporting a repressive, but pro-Israel regime to keep Egypt from going to the Muslim Brotherhood, you get all confused. (Unless you have realized that it is hardly in purely US interests to be pro-Israel, but it doesn't sound like it).

      You still have no principled reason why the FDR should have maneuvered us into WWII on your reasoning. Germany and Japan would have traded with us too and there was no real prospect for an invasion.

      By your reasoning, the US should dump Israel as well.

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    12. Gavriel M: If you are a baby boomer, then, let my Mum, it may have escaped your attention that not everything on The Google is true. There are people on The Google who earnestly believe Jews are shape shifting lizards. This is what is now called Fake News. It works by reaffirming your existing prejudices.

      But you know there is no credible evidence that Palestinian IQs are lower. That's why you refuse to give your sources beyond wavy gestures at The Google. You are not even a committed racist, in my estimation - you are simply intellectually dishonest.

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    13. @Hominid

      Here.t Leave me alone now. In addition to the limited direct evidence, we have, as I said, corroboration from better tested neighboring Arab groups, and low Palestinian achievement in IQ correlated fields such as Mathematics, Physics, having a functional economy etc.

      @David Ohsie
      Afghanistan?
      It is not my intention to defend Soviet foreign policy in the 1980s, though it goes without saying that the Soviet Union in the 1980s was less insane than Western Democracies today.

      Chechnya

      In the 1990s Russia suffered a wave of Chechen terrorism far worse than anything we have seen in Israel. Then Putin pulled out a can of whipass and - hey presto- no more terrorism. This is a model for how all countries should deal with Muslim belligerence. The Bush-Obama strategy is an inverse model of how to deal with Muslim belligerence.

      I have no idea why you are asking this question. First you go all "realpolitik" and then when the US does it by bribing and supporting a repressive, but pro-Israel regime to keep Egypt from going to the Muslim Brotherhood,

      First. Why bribe them? Do you bribe retarded derelicts not to harm you? Just tell them what to do. Secondly, the regime is not 'pro-Israel'. Thirdly, your example isn't even pertinent because Neocons are so senile that they want Egypt to have elections so the Muslim Brotherhood can rule it.

      You still have no principled reason why the FDR should have maneuvered us into WWII on your reasoning. Germany and Japan would have traded with us too and there was no real prospect for an invasion.

      What principled reason do I need? FDR wanted to team up with the Soviet Union to conquer the world so that the New Deal regime could become a global ruling class and American Liberalism could become the hegemonic world religion. He did it and it worked, more or less. Good for him.

      By your reasoning, the US should dump Israel as well.

      If Americans like Israel they should support it, if they don't they shouldn't. It's no more irrational to help out people you like than it is economically irrational to buy expensive chocolates.

      The problem with dealing with troo conservatives is that you are so far from sanity that when someone shows it to you, you can't eve recongise it and instead try to assimilate it into one or another variety of liberal insanity (like lolbertarian noninterventionism).

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    14. Oy, Gavriel.

      As it turns out that you do know how to use The Google, you'll know that an IQ of 83 is borderline intellectual disability in an adult. And you'll know that 85 it's a perfectly average score in a child aged 6 to 11.5. Which was the study you cited. (I'm certainly not critcising you for the 2 point difference between the cited study and your comment - the precision was reasonable to the context)

      So when you posted (http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2019/02/natan-great-and-implications-for.html?showComment=1550051214994#c3020259835275814483)


      "LOL. Palestinians have an average IQ of 83 and as such are incapable of what we would consider a minimal level of functioning in a technological society and market economy under any conceivable circumstances"

      I guess you were right. Palestinian children aged 6 to 11.5 do need normal parental support and guidance to function. But that wasn't really the point you were trying to make, was it?

      I do hope you will stop spreading racist fake news you know perfectly well is not true. My Mum could be reading.

      I sincerely commend you for engaging.

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    15. @David Ohsie
      Afghanistan?
      It is not my intention to defend Soviet foreign policy in the 1980s, though it goes without saying that the Soviet Union in the 1980s was less insane than Western Democracies today.

      So the Soviet Union was not sufficiently ruthless to crush the Muslim contingent? Interesting, if kooky, theory.

      If Americans like Israel they should support it, if they don't they shouldn't. It's no more irrational to help out people you like than it is economically irrational to buy expensive chocolates.

      You just contradicted everything you wrote about not getting involved in foreign entanglements not in the US interest. Now you say that anything goes as long as it is approved by a democratic government.

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    16. @hominid

      You are completely wrong. IQ scores are normed by age. That means someone who has a measured IQ of 94 at age 8 and undergoes normal development is expected to have an IQ of 94 when he becomes 18, 28 etc. (Now this does not always happen because intelligence during early childhood is much more affected by environment, rising to about 80% hereditary by adulthood. Hence it does happen that a 10 year old with an IQ of 90 becomes a 20 year old with an iq of 100. Equally, though the opposite happens just as frequently.)

      Secondly, 70 and below is considered retarded. 85 is just a bit dull. Contrary to your assumptions, there are dozens of countries with an average iq of 85 or below. There are a few eith an average IQ below 70 and unsurprisingly they are massively dysfunctional.

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    17. First, while standardised IQ scores are adjusted for age groups, the raw IQ scores you quoted weren't. That's not surprising because the study dealt with creating a baseline the to measure changes in intelligence with increasing age.

      And when I say 'borderline' intellectual impairment please take the time to read what I say before effectively affirming it.

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    18. @Hominid.

      No, you're completely wrong. Raw scores are out of however many marks there are on the test. You don't get a raw score on a Guassian distribution and then norm it again to the age. That's not how it works at all. No one would ever publish a paper on the IQ of a group of children normed as if they were adults.

      (Now, once again, one study, especially of children, is not all that solid a basis, but when compared with data from neighbouring arab countries, from israeli arabs and from Palestinian achievement in g loaded fields, 85 appears to be, if anything, a slight overestimate).

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  2. AIPAC always hosted all the Democratic candidates - this year, not a single one came.

    This is not true. AIPAC only invites candidates in a presidential year, and this isn't one. The idea of candidates boycotting AIPAC was put forward by MoveOn.org, who claimed victory on the basis of preventing something that wasn't happening anyway, and right-wingers eager to paint mainstream Democrats as anti-Semitic/anti-Israel took that and ran with it.

    Now certainly there are anti-Semitic/anti-Israel candidates who would gladly boycott AIPAC. But we won't find out which ones until next year.

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    1. You are correct. In addition, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and Klobuchar actually went to the conference, as did the foreign policy adviser for Elizabeth Warren.

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    2. And another point: Traditionally, AIPAC invites only members of Congress to come, so that would rule out Buttigieg and host of others.

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  3. Never say never. That's first of all. Second, as much as we must not do anything that promotes anti-Semitism, it isn't something that can be "tackled". Hashem put it there for a reason. It keeps us separate, which the Torah promotes. Also, Hashem uses it as a punishment to disloyal Jews at many points in history. The point is that while we should never antagonize them, it's best to focus on our service of Hashem during our short stay in this world.

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    1. It must be comforting to have a simplistic world view (Hashem uses it as a punishment to disloyal Jews). Since today is Holocaust Memorial Day, shall we assume that there were 6 million disloyal Jews (including infants and children) who had to be punished? Don't bother trying to answer with pseudo mystical gobbledegook.
      Here is more mystical gobbledegook. Maybe God (The Name) wants innocent sacrifices to appease Him not to destroy the world in a fit of anger.

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    2. Wow, I see everybody is in a charitable, constructive-conversation mood today.

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    3. @Yehudah

      "Hashem put it there for a reason. It (anti-semitism) keeps us separate, which the Torah promotes"

      This is absurd on many levels.
      #1 The Torah promotes that we influence the rest of the world positively; while there are a few examples in chumash, this is a recurring message throughout Nach (do you believe in reading Nach?). Saying a blanket statement that "the Torah promotes us to be separate" is just plain ignorant of Torah.
      #2 If Hashem tells us to be separate, then we should be big boys and girls by going ahead and being separate. To say that we now need Hashem to "put it there" to keep us separate is all part of that hashkafa that we are immature children that cannot do anything on our own. This is a childish view of Judaism and I would be embarrassed to espouse that view.

      "Hashem uses it as a punishment to disloyal Jews at many points in history"

      Who do you think you are that you have a claim on explaining God's motives? Where are you getting this nonsense from; did you steal it from a Rebbi's vort or something?
      A much more rational, thought-out, and Torah-supportive explanation is that Hashem has removed His supervision over us, and we become prey to hating nations around us.

      "while we should never antagonize them, it's best to focus on our service of Hashem during our short stay in this world"
      Again displaying ignorance of the Jewish nation's role of uplifting the world, thereby creating an isolated and immature religion that strays far away from the original goals it was created for in the first place. No wonder there's so much anti-semitism!
      Hashem didn't choose us just so that we could serve Him? What a chutzpah to even insinuate that! What does that say about God!?
      Hashem chose us to bear the torch in correcting the flawed and broken state of civilization. Indeed, Torah and mitzvos are the avenue to get us there, but to somehow imply that all we need to do is focus on our own avodas Hashem is, again, selfish and childish.

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    4. The Torah and Nach explicitly teach ad nauseum that at times of mass national apostacy, the entire Jewish people are punished, including children (including babies!) at the hands of foreign peoples. There is absolutely nothing mystical about it. If you don't believe these conditions were met in the century and a half prior to the Holocaust, either you don't know much about modern history or you don't believe in the Torah. (Often it's both.)

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    5. I don't know if you are Orthodox or not, but your words indicate that you either are not, or are but have serious issues with fundamental Judaic beliefs.

      No, I do not know all the reasons for G-d's ways but I do know that He wants me to obey his Word. He states in the Torah very clearly that if we forsake His commands He will punish us.

      So it stands to reason that if a great calamity is visited on the Jewish nation, then it may relate to what He foretold and warned about. And guess what? Millions of Jews prior to the war rebelled against Judaism in mass. In Germany for example most Jews were reformed to the point that they didn't keep the Torah laws and intermarriage was rampant. Same story for other Western European countries.

      But guess what? The world has seen punishment before. Have you read about the Mabul - the great deluge in the times of Noah? Men, women, children, and animals were destroyed. It isn't like the world hasn't seen war and suffering before Hitler.

      Bottom line, whether you like it or not, it's G-d's world, and He can do whatever he likes. You can kick and scream and yell that it isn't fair, what good will it help?

      But logically, you may as well obey G-d and not risk suffering in this world or the next, even if you can not manage to justify His anger (which, by the way, isn't always very hard. Tanach is full of it).

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    6. Gavriel M: Ethics of the Fathers 4: 15

      "Rabbi Yannai would say: We have no comprehension of the tranquility of the wicked, nor of the suffering of the righteous."

      According to your reasoning, Israel (where most of the public do not observe the Torah) deserves a nuclear bomb.

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    7. @Yehudah

      "No, I do not know all the reasons for G-d's ways but I do know that He wants me to obey his Word. He states in the Torah very clearly that if we forsake His commands He will punish us. "

      Start with the book of Yeshayahu and Zecharyah , and educate yourself in your own religion that keeping the Torah is not the only thing that brings on God's wrath. You cannot say something about "fundamental beliefs" when you're zeroing in on only one of them. (There's a nice vort for you: "Emet" contains the first, middle, and last letters because if you want to understand "truth" you cannot focus on one core principle while negating the others)
      And nowhere did I say that "God doesn't punish us for not keeping His Torah". Of course He does. What I meant was that God could punish us for many reasons, and for you to say you know His exact reasoning is ludicrous.

      "The world has seen punishment before. Have you read about the Mabul - the great deluge in the times of Noah?"
      Were they decimated because they didn't keep the Torah? Isn't that proof enough that God punishes us for reasons outside of keeping Torah!?

      "In Germany for example most Jews were reformed to the point that they didn't keep the Torah laws and intermarriage was rampant. "
      You can play the card any way you want it. You don't need half a brain to realize that you can twist and contort the story in any way to suit your own biased reasoning. So here's another theory (God forbid would I ever have the chutzpah to suggest something like this): the holocaust came upon us because the frum Jews have failed time and time again in their approach towards the assimilated Jews, and even more so they are the reason that so many Jews go off the derech because they (the majority of the orthodox world) have a warped view of Judaism and pervert the true "fundamental beliefs" that they don't even realize they're ignoring.
      I wouldn't have the gall to actually believe that. But the point is you can't simply look back at the Jews in Germany prior to the holocaust and, poof, the answer is clear as day.


      You either failed to understand my point about "God putting antisemitism there to keep us separate" or you are ignoring it. You have also ignored the point that Jews are meant to uplift the world as opposed to sit back and focus on our own avodas Hashem.

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  4. We are in the situation where Holocaust apologism and minimisation are very much on the Da'ati Le'umi agenda, and this article is very much in keeping with it.

    Rabbi Giora Gedler believes that the the Holocause wasn't the real Holocaust. The real Holocaust was insufficiently Zionistic Jews. Really, Hitler's ideology that Jews were a threat to Germans was a mitigation to his strategy of killing them. Rabbi Eliezer Kashtiel, separately, endorses racism. Jews are genetically superior - look at their accomplishments.

    These are not nobodies. These are some of the most prestigious scholars of Rabbi Slifkin's facistic and racist world.

    It's not hard to see why. The lessons of the Holocaust - the untold depths, the sophistries and lies told to justify a majority persecuting a minority - are uncomfortable in the context of the Occupation.

    And let's move on to this article itself. There are no lessons from the Holocaust. The deja vu sensation that the rise of fascistic movements around the world should evoke is suppressed.

    Rabbi Slifkin is quite clear he is not a racist. Yes, he might endorse Rabbi Kashtiel's lie that the Arabs prefer to be occupied - a kind of benevolent slavery. But he is not a racist, because he does not explicitly state what Rabbi Kashtiel states - that this paternalistic justification of the occupation as being in the Arabs' own interests rests on an belief in *their* inability to rule themselves.

    And Rabbi Slifkin may be right. But my scepticism extends to Jews as well. Just looking at this steaming mess - the state of the state of Israel. A self serving "chicken shit" at the helm who will never use the expensive toys American purchased on the state's behalf to bomb Iran. 20% of the population don't work. The economy is controlled by 20 families. A prestigious "Rabbi" who publicly exculpates Hitler. I despair.

    A country which names Davidka square after an indiscriminate terror weapon, but castigates the equally deplorable use of Kasseems. What do you see that your own bloodline is redder than that of your neighbour?

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    1. With respect, this reply really makes very little sense.

      I had never heard of Giora Gedler or Eliezer Kashtiel (despite my proudly dati le'umi, religious Zionist hashkafah), so I googled them. Not only is this blog comment the first Google hit for "giora gedler", it is, in fact, the *only* one. How am I supposed to learn about this Rabbi Gedler's reportedly "facistic and racist" views, if he is so insignificant that he doesn't even come up on Google? In my book, a supposedly "prestigious scholar" who doesn't come up on a Google search in 2019 is the very definition of a "nobody".

      Regarding this Rabbi Kashtiel, if indeed he espouses the views the commenter mentions, such views should be condemned by all reasonable people (much as the the execrable "Torat Hamelech" has been condemned). But I have never seen Rabbi Slifkin to endorse any such views ("benevolent slavery"? What?). Can the commenter please cite a legitimate source for his assertions?

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    2. On to the utter silliness of trying to pose a false equivalency between the Davidka mortar and Palestinian Qassam (or "Kasseem", as the commenter misspells it) rockets:

      As any Zionist schoolchild could tell you, the chief value of the Davidka was that it made a loud noise. While I suppose in the most literal sense, such an instrument could be characterized as a "terror weapon" (insofar as loud noises are "terrifying"), it was apparently useful predominantly for scaring off and dispersing Arab fighters in a non-lethal fashion and for little else (is anyone aware of a single casualty actually attributable to a Davidka? On the other hand, Qassam rocket attacks killed 48 people--11 of them Palenstinian, incidentally--between 2004 and 2014 alone, according to Wikipedia.).

      Then there is the fact that he Davidka was a conventional weapon used in war (a defensive war, I might add), whereas Qassam rockets have been launched with the explicit intention of murdering civilian non-combatants in peacetime for ~20 years.

      Any idea how many "terrifying" Davidkas were deployed against the Arab aggressors during the course the War of Independence? Six. In contrast, it has been estimated that 20,000 Palestinian rockets were launched at Israeli civilians from 2001-2014 (again, from Wikipedia).

      I could go on, but I think by now any reasonable person will have gotten the point.

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    3. Whoops, apparently I didn't scroll down far enough, and essentially all the point I made about the Davidka were already made by another reasonable person, Yehuda P., below. Apologies for the redundancy; credit to him.

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    4. If you believe that lobbing explosives randomly at built up areas is wrong, it is wrong for everyone, and not just for the Arabs. Your sophistries about not intending to actually murder non combatants being a mitigation for lobbing said explosives is pithily dismissed in Talmudic terms "pesik reisha v'lo yamus?" What exactly do you think the people who fired Kaseems and Davidkas thought would happen at the other end?

      As for the numbers of Kasseems fired (a) the numbers of civillian dead aren't on your side (b) the immoral doesn't become moral because it was infrequent and (c) if you divide the number of Kaseems by the number of fatalities, I think you'll find that you may be arguing against yourself and (d) I'm not here to defend the use of Kaseems against civilians, which is clearly repugnant and wrong and (e) I could count to numerous other weapon systems deployed by Israel against civillians in the years after the Davidka. My point is that a terror weapon is a cultural icon in both Palestinian and Israeli societies

      You aren't clear whether the Davidka is a terror weapon or a conventional one. Let me be clear on your behalf. It was not capable of a militarily useful level of accuracy or for that matter range. It was aimed at civilian areas with full knowledge of the likelihood that it would affect civilians. It wasn't just a psychological weapon - it was a terror weapon.

      Take off the rose tinted glasses, engage your type 2 thinking and be objective.

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    5. Rabbi Slifkin advocates for indefinite occupation. His most recent espousal of this view was on 31 March 2019 when he stated

      "I'm also assuming that most people here realize, as most Israelis have come to realize, that the left-wing parties have shown themselves to have a woefully mistaken approach to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. There is no such thing as real peace with the Palestinians in any foreseeable future. And one can only look back and laugh bitterly at the numerous politicians and army officers who claimed that the Gaza disengagement would bring security, and that if any missiles would be launched, the IDF would flatten Gaza with full international support. The fact is that as terrible as the current situation with Judea and Samaria is, there are no significant alternatives at the moment that are any better."

      More egregiously on 12 February 2019 he stated

      'And so, I am not convinced that most Palestinians would prefer to live in a free society. Maybe yes, maybe not. But the crucial point is that as long as such a society does not exist, any so-called "peace plan" is a recipe for disaster. And meanwhile, our task is to explain that to the rest of the world, and to urge them to fight for Palestinian rights - to live in a free Palestinian society.'

      His insouciant attitude to denying Palestinians self determination for as long as Israel feels it is in their own interest is a) fanciful and unsustainable and b) bigoted.

      Delete
    6. His insouciant attitude to denying Palestinians self determination for as long as Israel feels it is in their own interest is a) fanciful and unsustainable and b) bigoted.

      You are essentially saying that he is bigoted for not wanting a(nother) hostile nation bordering Israel. That he's a bigot for not to die. You don't seem to be a rational person.

      Delete
    7. No Avi. That's not what I am saying. At risk of repeating my self I am saying that denying Palestinian nationhood to achieve security (a) doesn't work and (b) by denying rights to every single Palestinian on the grounds of their ethnicity, and regardless of whether they are or are not terrorists, is bigotry.

      Delete
    8. Hebron 2006-2007, First Sergeant
      … So there’s a school there. We’d often provoke riots there. We’d be on patrol, walking in the village, bored, so we’d trash shops, find a detonator, beat someone to a pulp, you know how it is. Search, mess it all up. Say we’d want a riot? We’d go up to the windows of a mosque, smash the panes, throw in a stun grenade, make a big boom, then we’d get a riot.
      And the locals were praying at the time?
      Yes, possibly. Everything goes. It’s best, in the middle of prayers. That annoys them the most. You know what it’s like. Soldiers are bored. They want action.

      Did you work with the Border Police?
      Yes, they’re the worst [immodest word deleted]. What we do is nothing in comparison to them. They didn’t give a damn, they go around breaking people’s knees just like that. I remember once some Arab was caught throwing stones, they put his leg up against the wall as he lay on the ground and, boom, someone just stepped on his knee. No mercy. I said: “Wow.” I could never believe the level of cruelty I saw there, how could they…
      We’d pass by on patrol, let’s say, and see them standing at the checkpoint, saying to someone: “Come here.” Boom boom, hit him, kick him, and it’s just a kid. “Go on, don’t talk.” “You’re talking? Get over here again.” Boom, boom. Start a stopwatch and make him run back and forth. He has 20 seconds to get me a soft drink.
      What, from the grocery?
      Yes. Beat him to a pulp.

      Gee wonder why some Palestinians don't like the Israelis.

      Delete
    9. It seems to me that not only Palestinians are being irrationally radicalised by the trauma of occupation.

      Delete
  5. u'teshuva tefila utzdaka maavirin et ro'a hagzeirah

    ReplyDelete
  6. You’re so well versed in the ways of Hashem? And all the Torah greats and regular honest people and otherwise who perished during the crusades, the inquisition, Chelmniki, Holocaust, intifada etc were just disloyal?

    Anti-Semitism is there because people choose to be Anti-Semitic and are accountable for their actions, in both the court of Man and God. They can make other choices. Whether the problem will ever go away is not a matter of the divine, it’s one that requires human commitment for its removal. The punchline to Jews facing Gestapo and SS guards with tefillin is that they too were gassed and killed. Avodas Hashem is necessary but not sufficient and exclusive focus is downright irresponsible to both one’s self and his community.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The mode of mass murder of Jews outside of Israel will be different but tragically it will recur.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Since the topic of this blog post is
    “Preventing The Next Holocaust”,
    these quick quotes are very relevant

    ===================================

    Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    The security of Israel is not assured.

    Israel is the only nation in the world
    whose very existence is threatened
    by enemies, external and internal,
    supported by a majority of the United Nations.

    It is the only nation in the world
    whose national movement, Zionism,
    has been declared a form of racism
    by the United Nations.

    It is the only nation in the
    world threatened by genocidal war,
    the purpose of which is not military
    victory alone, but extermination.


    The genocide of Israel’s Jewish
    population
    – a population roughly
    the size of the Polish Jewish population
    at the beginning of World War II –
    is not an unrealistic nightmare.

    Nothing today prevents it other
    than Israel’s military superiority
    over the combined Arab armies
    and terrorist organizations.

    If the Arab armies and terrorists were
    capable of defeating Israel, destroying
    its Jewish population, and “reclaiming”
    ALL of current Israel, there can be
    little doubt that they would try to do so.

    Indeed, if any Arab leader were militarily
    capable of destroying Israel, but refrained
    from doing so, he would be replaced
    by someone who would at least try.

    ...Although there are some moderate voices
    within the Palestinian and Arab movements,
    these voices are listened to only because
    Israel is too strong today to be defeated totally.

    SOURCE: Chutzpah by Alan M. Dershowitz
    (chapter 7, page 247) published in year 1991
    by Little Brown & Co ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374

    ===================================

    Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

    “Too few of Israel’s critics seem to
    understand the Jewish determination
    to avoid another Holocaust,
    this one in Israel.

    Too few understand why Israel cannot
    and should not trust its survival
    to nations that stood idly by while
    millions of innocent Jews were destroyed.

    Too many nations seem willing to have
    Israel take risks for an uncertain
    regional peace that they themselves
    are unwilling to take for
    a more important world peace.”

    SOURCE: Chutzpah
    by Alan M. Dershowitz (chapter 7, page 248)
    published in year 1991 by Little Brown & Co
    ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374

    ReplyDelete
  9. (continued from previous comments)

    ===================================
    Mr. Patrick Condell said:

    “It is often said, because it is true,
    that if the Arabs laid down their weapons,
    there would be peace; [but] if the Jews
    laid down their weapons, they would be
    massacred, because the Arabs
    (that’s the Muslims Arabs for all you
    hair-splitters out there) don’t want peace,
    they want the Jews DEAD.”

    SOURCE: Useful Idiots for Palestine
    a YouTube video by Mr. Pat Condell, 2011 November 4
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeGYAfh9A1k

    complete transcript of this YouTube video:
    http://shilohmusings.blogspot.com/2016/09/useful-idiots-for-palestine.html

    MICROBIOGRAPHY:
    Mr. Pat Condell is an atheist, who was born in Ireland
    around 1950 CE, and raised in England as a Roman Catholic,
    and educated in Church of England schools.
    He has no Jewish ancestors and no religious
    beliefs that might cause him to favor Jews.

    ===================================
    Professor Abraham H. Miller said:

    “AIPAC and other pro-Israel organizations exist,
    in part, to ensure that Israel maintains a competitive
    military and technological edge so that the
    Arabs don’t overrun it and commit the
    second Holocaust they repeatedly promise…”

    SOURCE:
    Progressive calls for Jews to support Rep. Ilhan Omar
    by Abraham H. Miller 2019 February 20
    www.jns.org/opinion/progressive-calls-for-jews-to-support-rep-ilhan-omar/

    MICROBIOGRAPHY: Abraham H. Miller
    is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science,
    University of Cincinnati, and a distinguished fellow with
    the news and public-policy group Haym Salomon Center.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You talk about "normative belief" in England - how do you know? Is there "normative belief" in America? There isn't even normative belief among the readers of this blog.

    And you speak as though you're the only one who knows Pres. Trump wont be around forever. That's just silly. Jews know they can never be secure, but that has to be balanced also with some understanding of history. The same dark fears expressed here were bgeing expressed during the oil embargo, then a generation later during the Terror waves. בכל דור ודור עומדים עלינו.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is truly ghetto mentality to suggest that the Democrats hate Israel because of Trump or "certain Jews" (whoever they are). The Democratic party's Jew hatred and sharper turn to the left on Israel was already flourishing under Obama. Academia and University student activism has helped to fuel this over a long period of time. And their purge of people like Wasserman Shultz out of power had nothing to do with Trump. That party has changed. If we let the fear of reaction by the left's extremists drive our decision making on talking about Israel, we will let the extremists control the conversation and the narrative entirely. And they are not backing down no matter what we say or do.

    The only valid point you made regarding America is that obviously Trump cannot be president forever, and so who knows what will happen if one of these new "faces" of the democratic party who are vicious Jew haters like the bartender from NY or the incestual immigrant of Minnesota take power. We can't control that, can we?

    The holocaust was a unique event in history. But the experience of your childhood that you describe is par for the course in the long Jewish history of dwelling in non-Jewish countries. The experience of shuls being attacked, getting harassed in the streets, murdered, made unsafe to walk around in kippas, terrorized, etc. - The current situation in many European countries, unfortunately that can happen where it currently isn't. Whether an internet subculture helps to create it or however else, it can always happen. There were always pogroms despite only being 1 holocaust.

    The term "Never Again" was bastardized. When Rabbi Kahane said it, and wrote about it, he meant never again should we go quietly. It never implied a holocaust could never happen again. The liberals took that phrase and used it as some kind of mass rallying cry divorced from its actual meaning. (and none of them are willing to do the things Kahane advocated as primary ways to NOT go quietly, such as arming ourselves). Kahane always warned a holocaust would eventually come to America and that Jews should make aliyah.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most Jews in America voted Democrat and believe in the principle that Palestinian lives matter out to matter as much to them as American Jews as Israeli lives.

      Delete
    2. Contrary to your belief, the increasingly hostile Democrat policies do not stem from a concern with, nor result in, preservation of lives on BOTH sides.

      Delete
    3. Get back to me with the victimhood mentality when the Palestinians also get the largest annual military aid package approved by a majority of Democrats.

      Delete
    4. @Hominid

      The Palestinians demonstrate, on a regular and recurring basis, that their desire for arms is to eradicate Israel. Israel gets a tremendous amount of aid, yet it has given up Gaza and the Palestinian population continues to grow year over year. It is quite clear, based on all available evidence, that Israelis and Palestinians have very different plans for the other.

      Delete
    5. Avi, the Palestinians? Are they one person? There are different Pals with different views. If you don't know that, then you are ignorant on the topic or just oversimplify in order to justify theft, murder, hatred, like any racist in history.

      Delete
    6. Hominid with another strawman argument. "largest annual military aid package approved by MAJORITY of DEMOCRATS"

      This whole topic of discussion is about the SHIFT that is occurring in the Democratic party.

      If you actually desire more military aid going to Israel's enemies and somehow think that makes the situation fair and just, so that more Jews will be killed than currently when these folks engage in battle with Israel, you are not even having the same discussion as the rest of us.

      Rabbi Slifkin, and others here, myself included, are lamenting the SHIFT in the Democrat party, a trend observed recently and which seems to be increasingly so, of more and more democrat politicians in congress no longer sharing that historical support of Israel or the desire to see Israel's military helped moreso than say, Hamas, or the PLO.

      So, which is it? Are you arguing that you'd rather see that shift occurring in the Democrat party because you think it's just? If so, you are simply an illustration of Slifkin's claim. Own your opinion.
      Or are you trying to deny that the shift is taking place?
      If you do deny it, you are simply ignoring the facts.

      Delete
  12. Assimilation and intermarriage will accomplish more than our worst enemies could have dreamt of. Maybe we should pay more attention to that because once our numbers in the West are small enough, there will be enough trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I said, Holocause minimisation. Does the mass murder of 6 million no longer resonate with you?

      Delete
    2. Dude, seriously, what are you talking about?

      Delete
    3. The ranking of an actual Holocaust below "assimilation and intermarriage." Yes, he didn't say "actual Holocaust". Yes, the context in a comment on a post actually named "Preventing the Next Holocaust" matters in deciphering meaning.

      Delete
  13. I agree with the general idea, although I wouldn't worry too much about Corbyn. Despite being a fellow British expat, I don't see that the UK has any kind of significant power when it comes to international relations. And if Corbyn gets in, they won't have any economy left either (not to mention his general incompotence). The likes of Bernie Sanders are far more of a worry (it's those Jews that always cause the problems).

    ReplyDelete
  14. "A country which names Davidka square after an indiscriminate terror weapon, but castigates the equally deplorable use of Kasseems. What do you see that your own bloodline is redder than that of your neighbour?"

    Several notable differences:
    1) The Davidka was used during wartime for defensive purposes, when Israel was under attack. Hamas fires Qassams indiscriminately with the intention of killing Israeli civilians, and provoke an Israeli response that will lead to international condemnation of Israel.
    2) The Davidka never killed anyone, it was mostly used for effect of making the enemy think that it's a much more formidable weapon. Qassams have caused Israeli deaths, as well as damage to property. If Israelis didn't have recourse to bomb shelters and Iron Dome batteries, the number of casualties would be far greater.
    3) As of 2019, I believe 19,000 Qassams and whatnot have been fired at Israel. There were only 6 Davidkas ever made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) The Davdidka was incapable of accuracy, and was used for psychological effect. That's per the plaque on Davidka square.

      2a) You have no way of knowing if anyone was killed by lobbing explosives indiscriminately into residential areas.

      2b) How many people have been killed by Kaseems?

      2c) I can tell you with confidence that many civilians were killed in the 1948 battle of Haifa by the use of indiscriminate mortars like the Davidka fired from the Carmel onto the port and Wadni Nisnas.

      3) And yet a terror weapon is a cultural source of pride at "ingenuity" for Israelis. I've been here before with you. You can draw any number of distinctions, and I can rebut by pointing out that the Israeli army have moved on to bigger and better weapoms, and we can get drawn into a completely tangential argument all night.

      I'm asking you to engage with empathy and insight into what the Davidka as a source of national pride tells us about the nation. Presumably this diabolical ingenuity was one of the "achievements" of which Rabbi Kashtiel was so proud. Well, the Palestinians are proud of the diabolical Kaseems. So why is our bloodline any redder than theirs?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, ok, and how many Jews were killed in the battle of Haifa? People get killed in battles and wars. That's how life works. No one forced the Arab armies to begin their offensive in 1948, that was their choice. Jews defended themselves and their rights (including right to life) with a war as any sane people would.

      Delete
    3. I'm not going to argue that there weren't multiple Arab attacks against civillians in 1947 to 1948. There were. It just so happens that the Battle of Haifa is a particularly poor example to choose to illustrate this point. The Arab forces appear to have been untrained and lightly armed, and really had very little to attack the Jews with. I'm not saying they wouldn't have attacked Jewish civillians if they could.

      I'm not arguing the battle of Haifa ought not to have been fought. Clearly it was a contested city of strategic importance, with a significant Jewish settlement. The Hagannah had every right to try to take it. What I do object to is the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons not employed against specific objectives in densely built up areas.

      Neither am I justifying the actions of Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Syria in 1948. But the Arab armies in 1948 went nowhere near Haifa and don't seem to have provided much support to the local Arabs.

      I am really arguing against the brand of exceptionalism in which Rabbi Kashtiel engages. There's no evidence that Jews are more - or less - moral than anyone else. With regards to Jewish ingenuity, the metric often quoted is the number of Nobel prizes, and I'm somewhat more open to persuasion.

      Delete
  15. Black Bear you have a simplistic worldview that must be a comfort to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. If your only defence against charges of indiscriminate and disproportionate use of live fire against Gazans is to accusethose horrified by the death of journalists, nurses and children of being armchair generals (a) you haven't really defended the issue, just deflected it as an ineffable question or (b) you just played at being an armchair general yourself.

    The honest truth is this. The IDF could have safety and humanely policed the Gazan border riots with 15,000 police and soldiers, or with a couple of hundred snipers plinking away at a throng like they were at an amusement arcade.

    The tactics used did not protect Israeli forces from Hamas. To the contrary, the snipers were horribly exposed to counter sniper and laser guided ATGM fire such as the Kornet, which has been proven in Lebanon and Syria to be an effective way of killing infantry.

    If Hamas had wanted a millitary confrontation with Israeli soldiers - as Islamic Jihad sniper who hit a Givati officer in the head demonstrated - then those snipers sat their shooting at violent demonstrators - were sitting ducks 300 meters from high rise buildings. But there was no sniper threat, just at worse - homemade explosives, bolt cutters and sticks. Live fire was used to defend a fence, not lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And defending the fence saved the lives of Israeli civilians. What do you think would happen if terrorists from Gaza managed to cross the fence? Do you not see what happens when Palestinians from the West Bank smuggle weapons into Israel? Don't be obtuse.

      Delete
    2. The fence could have been defended by adequately manning it. And the fence is not human. The civilians were 500 metres away from the rioters armed with DIY tools.

      Delete
    3. You really are obtuse. Do you think simply having more soldiers would have stopped people from rushing it? Soldiers are only useful if they're willing to defend something, and that means using weapons. And those "DIY tools" are perfectly capable of causing the same damage as professional weapons.

      Delete
    4. 1) You implicitly concede that the fence is not a human life. It is one of many potential barriers to save people on the border from the rioters. Your logic would authorise police to shoot reckless drivers in the head.

      2) I suggest police would be more suitable to policing a riot then soldiers. Operational soldiers are young men trained to close with and kill the enemy. They should not pose for PR, they should not interact with civilians to the extent possible, and they should not pussy foot with half measures when deployed. Rioters armed with DIY implements for cutting fences are not the appropriate domain of the army.

      3) Obtuse is an excellent word. You are being obtuse. The pictures we all saw were several thousand rioters spread over typically 500 meters of fence standing off against two sniper sections. It obviously creates dynamics in which fatal force becomes appreciably more likely, then, say 10,000 rioters facing 1,000 Mishtarat Gevul troopers with baton rounds and tear gas, with a trooper every 10 meters and not every 200. The Gaza border is 51km long. The simplistic staffing requirement to achieve this would therefore be 5,100 men. But the protest sites and times were not a secret, and adequate forces could have been concentrated at appropriate times.

      Delete
    5. @Hominid,

      I have read several of your comments here. Is there anything Israel could do, other than not existing, that you would approve of?

      Delete
    6. Actually the Israeli sniper shootings at protesters cost Jewish lives. The latest flare up is connected to it as have been numerous terrorist incidents. And the snipers weren't merely guarding the fence. How is shooting people 400 meters from a fence guarding a fence?

      Delete
    7. Avi: I literally explained how the border could be policed with due respect for the sanctity of human life. You didn't intellectually engage with what I wrote. You just felt hurt and attacked, and engaged your defensive emotions.

      I'm perfectly at ease with the concept of taking the fight to Hamas in the streets of Gaza. But that requires courage, and Netanyahu has none.

      I have considerable difficulty with the Dahiyah doctrine of avoiding confrontation with terrorists and resorting to damage to multi storey tower properties, not least because it doesn't achieve lasting calm. I have complete disgust for snipers as a form of crowd control even if the crowd is riotous.

      Delete
    8. Hominid: Your willful ignorance is embarrassing. Protecting the fence protects civilians. As I said, if terrorists managed to cross the fence, civilians would die. The fence itself is obviously not a living thing. These "rioters," as you so innocently describe them, are not simply rioting. They want to kill Israelis, and they would if given the chance. Regular rioters simply want to make noise, not kill people. Therefore, the police are not equipped to deal with these people; this isn't simple crowd control. From your last comment, you obviously understand "proportionate response" the same way mainstream media outlets do: in other words, any Israeli response is "disproportionate." For your information, a proportionate response is, legally, anything that stops the attacks. The spacing of the soldiers is irrelevant as long as it gets the job done. In other words, if they need to space soldiers out and make it more likely that terrorists die, that is proportionate and adequate. Your comment about how many soldiers are needed assumes that this is simple crowd control. If you actually paid attention to what is going on, you would see that your comment is truly obtuse, since I guess you like that word now.

      "Israel": See my comments. If someone is going to try crossing the fence in order to to kill people, then clearly you need to do something to stop them. If killing that person is necessary, then so be it.

      Delete
    9. There was no rioting at the Gaza fence. Mostly people standing around in a field. How can you riot in a field? And it's their field. A riot would be if Pals came to Tel Aviv and overturned cars. Zionists throw around words and assume nobody will ever check the facts.


      Delete
    10. They crossed the fence to take selfies for social media jumping up and down wearing Guy Fawkes masks and shouting 'Allahu Akbar' while waving bolt cutters. We know this because that is what several hundred Palestinians who crossed the woefully undermanned fence did. There's a whole load of unevidenced and likely wrong premises about if the Palestinians wanted to kill and if they went 500 metres beyond the fence without being interdicted to a Moshav. In the absence of evidence of a clear an threat to human life, sniper fire is sickening.

      Delete
    11. Homind, you are completely detached from reality if you think that there is no serious security risk in allowing people from Gaza to swarm across the border. Even in the milder climate of the West Bank, there are plenty of people who are perfectly happy to butcher people with knives. One such person did this to my sister's next-door neighbors, the Salomon family. I'm not claiming that all 50,000 rioters would have done this, but certainly some of them would have. There is absolutely clear evidence of a threat to human life.

      Delete
    12. Dear Rabbi Dr. here's what the Israelis should have done, dealt with people who tried to break through the fence. Maybe a fire hose would have done the trick. Instead they shot medics, children, and women who stood 400 meters from the fence. And the result, Jews have died from the blow back.

      Delete
    13. No, Rabbi Slifkin. I have empirical. evidence That is what Palestinians - and there were hundreds of them - actually did when they got to the other side of the fence. See for example Joe Truzman's Twitter for images (Joe is no friend of rioters).

      You quote the actions of a tiny minority of West Bank residents in a far more permissive security environment as proof of the collective murderous intentions and capabilities of Gazans. Rabbi Slifkin, you are being irrational and absurd. Collective guilt is bigotry.

      Perhaps some of the rioters would have killed civilians if they had an opportunity. They didn't have an opportunity, and that affected their agenda and aims. They knew they had 5 minutes at most. They burnt tents, vandalised equipment, and took Selfies. Not one Israeli soldier or civilian was hurt by any of the hundreds of Palestinians who crossed the fence.

      Delete
    14. Hominid, where is there evidence in that twitter feed that hundreds crossed the fence? and where is there evidence that the crossings happened before the idf shot scores of innocent people?

      Delete
  17. N8ZL

    I respectfully disagree with pretty much all your points:

    • While we are a light unto the nations, it does not mitigate the necessity of remaining aloof. The Torah states “Behold a nation that dwells alone”. In Psalms it states “And they mingled among the nations and learned their ways”. Also, when Jacob went down to Egypt, he wished to remain in Goshen separate from the Egyptians.

    What about the meaning of the words in Havdalah The one who differentiates between light and dark….? Being separate and being a light unto the nations are not contradictory ideas.

    • The thought that we do not need separation because we are big enough to manage on our own surely isn’t in line with Torah. Why are there laws of Yichud if we can manage on our own? And there are multiple laws of Kashrus that are specifically imposed for the purpose of maintaining proper boundaries between us and others.

    • You wonder where I got the idea that Hashem punishes disloyal Jews. It’s all over Tanach! In fact, it’s impossible to study Torah and not see it.

    You say that a better approach to punishment is that Hashem removes his supervision whereupon we become prey to the hating nations that surround us. Perhaps, but why does He remove His supervision? I don’t disagree that that is a plausible method, but we are discussing the reason for anti-Semitism not the method employed.

    • You maintain that we were not chosen just to serve Hashem, but to correct a flawed civilization. According to you being a light unto the nations is the superior reason. I disagree. We’re certainly a light unto the nations, but that is not the main reason found in Torah. It states that Hashem chose us because He loves us and to fulfill His vow to our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Sefer Bereshis it states that G-d loved Abraham for He knew that he would command his house after him to follow the ways of Hashem.

    Of-course being a light unto the nations is an important reason that Isaiah stresses but it isn’t the primary reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Yehudah

      My apologies. I did not see this response until now (after scrolling to the bottom) and I wrote a separate response above. I should have checked beforehand. You can answer that one too, but I think most of the main points are in this one.

      "While we are a light unto the nations, it does not mitigate the necessity of remaining aloof"
      I never stated otherwise. It's a healthy balance between the two; one of the many balances an authentic mature orthodox Jew is meant to live by. But your comment did not at all say that. You said word for word " The point is that while we should never antagonize them, it's best to focus on our service of Hashem during our short stay in this world."
      I'm sorry. What part of that expressed recognition that we are meant to uplift the non-Jewish world???

      "Why are there laws of Yichud if we can manage on our own? And there are multiple laws of Kashrus..."
      I am faling to see your reasoning here. Of course we create fences to avoid transgression. My point was concerning your statement that "God puts antisemitism there to keep us separate". Hello! Some seichel please!

      "You wonder where I got the idea that Hashem punishes disloyal Jews. It’s all over Tanach! In fact, it’s impossible to study Torah and not see it."
      Pardon me if my words weren't clear. Of course Hashem reprimands us when we don't keep His Torah. I was commenting on "Hashem puts antisemitism there as a way to punish disloyal Jews". That was the whole point of almost everything I commented on regarding your statement. Why do we need God to punish us and to put antisemitism into the world!?

      " I don’t disagree that that is a plausible method, but we are discussing the reason for anti-Semitism not the method employed. "
      It makes all the difference in the world. I hope you recognize that. "God removes His supervision over us" is entirely different than "God puts antisemitism there". Sorry to break it to you, but non-Jews are humans. I know, I know, crazy right? To actually think that non-Jews have minds of their own that aren't being controlled at every moment by God, who would have thought!?
      My point is that non-Jews aren't empty vessels that traverse the world waiting for God to imbue them with antisemitism to persecute us. There isn't a magic gaseous substance that the non-Jews inhale when we break God's Torah. Unless I misunderstood, it seems you have quite a distorted view of free choice or of the fact that non-Jews have brains.

      "You maintain that we were not chosen just to serve Hashem, but to correct a flawed civilization ... it states that G-d loved Abraham for He knew that he would command his house after him to follow the ways of Hashem."

      I believe the verse you are citing is Breishit 18:19. It's fascinating that you skip the verse just before it (18:18) that Avraham will be a blessing to all the nations of the world. Care to explain why you left that out?
      Furthermore, it doesn't only say "to follow in the ways of Hashem", it continues that it's in order to do "justice and righteousness". Someone who has their finger on the pulse of Tanach knows that "tzedek u'mishpat" is a pervading theme throughout Tanach (not only in Isaiah), which is distinct from Torah and Mitzvos.
      And isn't it peculiar that these verses are all revolving around God's impending decision regarding Sedom, a non-Jewish nation, which God needs to consult with Avraham first, and which Avraham pushes for their salvation over and over?
      Also, where did that verse say anything about "serving Hashem"???

      If you were referring to another pasuk, please do quote it specifically, as opposed to loosely. Come on now, is that any way to treat Hashem's Torah?

      Delete
  18. the only threat to the jewish people is sin by jews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fascinating point, Israel. And what do you call your new religion?

      Delete
    2. I don't think that Israel's point veers too far from Sefer Shmuel

      Delete
    3. @Fozziebear

      Care to expand?

      Delete
    4. @N8ZL
      EXPANSION, DEUTERONOMY 28
      15And it will be, if you do not obey the Lord, your God, to observe to fulfill all His commandments and statutes which I am commanding you this day, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.
      16You shall be cursed in the city, and you shall be cursed in the field.
      17Cursed will be your [food] basket and your kneading bowl.
      18Cursed will be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your soil, the fruit of your livestock, those born from your cattle and the flock of your sheep.
      19You shall be cursed when you come, and you shall be cursed when you depart.
      20The Lord will send the curse of shortages, confusion, and turmoil upon you, in every one of your endeavors which you undertake, until it destroys you and until you quickly vanish, because of your evil deeds in forsaking Me.
      21The Lord will make pestilence cleave to you, until it has exterminated you from upon the land, to which you are coming, to possess it.
      22The Lord will strike you with consumption, fever, illnesses with burning fevers, a disease which causes unquenchable thirst, with the sword, with blast, and with yellowing, and they will pursue you until you perish.
      23And your skies above you will be [like] copper, and the earth below you [like] iron.
      24The Lord will turn the rain of your land into powder and dust, raining down upon you from the heavens until you are destroyed.
      25The Lord will cause you to be broken before your enemy: you will come out against them in one direction, but you will flee from them in seven directions. And you will become a terrifying [example] to all the kingdoms on earth.
      26Your corpse will be food for all birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth, and no one will frighten them [away].
      (There’s more)

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    5. @matis

      Sorry but I'm not seeing sefer Shmuel anywhere in your comment. Please quote from there (it's in that part of Tanach called "neviim"), as that was I was asking about.

      Furthermore, where does it say anywhere in these pesukim from Devarim that "the ONLY threat" is sin?
      Also, the verses objectively say "all His commandments" which would imply that the curses of the tochachah would only come about if we stop keeping ALL the commandments. And If it's not really referring to ALL the commandments (which is likely the pshat), then which commandments is the verse referring to?
      Lastly, what is the percentage of the nation this refers to? Do these curses come about if one person does them? Is it 50%? Or perhaps 4 fifths is the cutoff?

      Looking forward!

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  19. Rabbi Slifkin wrote a long article in the Jewish Chronicle, asking for sympathy because his children live in fear. And of course, no child - Arab or Israeli should live in fear, and fully deserves my, and everyone's utmost sympathy.

    But no sympathy for you Rabbi Slifkin. You voted for this.

    Netanyahu's policy on Gaza has been the same for 4 years. Attack multi story structures, refuse to engage toe to toe with the terrorists, and pay them off in suitcases at the border so that they don't interfere with his priority for the coming days. The priority in this case appears to be grandstanding with Netta at the Eurovision.

    Rabbi Slifkin, you were warned this would happen on this very blog. Here is the link

    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2019/03/my-two-cents-on-israeli-elections.html?showComment=1554132818518#c5202175890188552204

    And now it dawns on you that "Evidently, Israel’s military actions so far have been insufficient." You voted for insufficiency and pistachio ice cream.

    I want to know, Rabbi Slifkin. Your son deserves to know. What about Netanyahu's prior conduct gave you reason to believe that another outcome for you and your son was possible?

    Did you think the terrorists wouldn't come back for more when Natanyahu has given them so much already? You mistook mowing the lawn for a strategy. You overestimated the Iron Dome, you under-estimated Hamas and new boys PIJ, and you over-estimated Netanyahu.

    And I suspect you were terrified by the prospect of a lasting peace with the PA. You ask 'when even the so-called “moderate” Palestinian Authority leadership refuses to acknowledge the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Land of Israel, and pays stipends to the families of terrorists, how on earth can anyone believe that it’s Israel at fault for the lack of peace?' and it's such a weak objection against the alternate reality your six year old is living in - a reality of intermittent and eternal war. The Palestinians have so many reasons not to engage with us - the bad faith growth of settlements, the racism, the Jewish terrorists.

    And yet every single day the reality is that the PA stands guard over Israel and protects Jewish lives.

    You don't have you to like the PA and they don't have to like you. You just have to work with them.

    Your six year old and tens of thousands of six year olds in Israel and Gaza are screaming at night, and will continue to scream at night, because you voted for the status quo of episodic screaming in the night.

    And you'll never have the guts to admit you voted for it, and you'll never apologise to him and the others whose blighted future you voted for.

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    Replies
    1. Huh? I don't understand what you are arguing for. A stronger response in Gaza?

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    2. The latest round of violence was started by the Israelis. They fired the first bullet and the first missile.

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    3. Yes! A decisive confrontation with terror in alliance with the PA, not eternal conflict management, endless occupation and and lawn mowing, suicases of cash at the border. It would be terrible for the 6 year olds for 2 weeks and then it would be better. We would loose 500-1,000 soldiers and around 200 civilians, but we would permanently smash Hamas. We should do to Gaza what Iraq did to Mosul.

      I am advocating Lapid's policy. It's not new. You haven't been paying attention. You mistook racially tinged posturing for actual tougheadednes.

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    4. I am advocating Lapid's policy.

      Lapid and Gantz should take a leaf from yor book, stop obfuscating and be explicit about their plan for sending 1,000 soldiers to die to boost Fatah. Israelis need to understand that as far as Israeli Deep State is concerned, the whole point of the IDF is to prop up the Oslo Apostacy Process first and to defend Jews last, if at all.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, the deep state that keeps undermining the PLO and keeps building settlements in violation of Oslo.

      Perpetual trauma and periodic shutdowns of entire cities is OK, but the whole country is held hostage to the interests of small numbers of individuals like Gilad Shalit. It actively dishonours the sacrifice and commitment and the oath of service sworn by chayalim when Netanyahu prevents the current generation from fighting a meaningful engagement. Soldiers don't devote the most productive 4 percent
      of their natural lifespan to endlessly load and unload armoured vehicles from transporters as posturing for the negotiators.

      You are quite calmly resigned to suck up 600 rockets in 24 hours, but working with the old bogeymen of the 80s - the Fatah who now save Jewish lives every day -is too much to ask.

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    6. @Israel, this conflict has been playing on a loop for a long time. Who fired first is like asking whether the chicken preceded the egg. And it doesn't really matter. I am quite clear that there is no excuse for rocket fire at civilians, or sniper fire at rioters.

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    7. @Hominid oh it matters because everyone who comes to this blog besides you thinks the Israelis were sitting around making care packages for Syrians when suddenly the Pals - all 6 million of them - starting firing hundreds of rockets just because they hate us for no reason. When really, Israel did the first killings, provoking the gentiles as usual.

      Delete

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Toiling in Torah

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