Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Shocking News Report You Missed

I'm not sure why this didn't make the headlines. Perhaps because it's not actually surprising, even though it's shocking. But there are certainly people who are unaware of it.

Last month, Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana, and his appointed project manager for Meron, Major General (ret.) Zvika Tesler, traveled to Meron and were presented with a survey of the site. The survey revealed that "other than the stone structure within the gravesite itself, all of the structures were built without permits and in contradiction to the plan." 

Moreover, "since the Unit began its work at the site in the past six months, 45 dangerous and illegal structures have been removed."

I have met people who sincerely believe that the people who lost their lives at Meron did so because of police mismanagement at the time. I have met people who sincerely believe that the tragedy was just "one of those things" that inevitably happens occasionally at mass events.

No.

These tragic deaths happened because a large number of people were part of a society which doesn't care about government permits based on professional, science-based standards.

 

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54 comments:

  1. Interesting question. Yesterday I was at the kotel for Mincha. There’s a sign outside the closed in area saying that masks must be worn and there’s a employee with a vest that says corona staff. As we waited for mincha gedola time I noticed quite a number of people coming in without masks. The staff member sometimes motioned to them and sometimes not. Sometimes they put their hand in their pocket as if to put on a mask, other times they just ignored him and some actually put a mask on, a small number of them actually put it on their mouth or nose.

    I wondered what would’ve happened if the staff member had actually not let people until they put a mask on. How much can authorities make people do what they don’t want to do and how much will people do the right thing if confronted?

    I certainly agree this is a dangerous shortcoming in our society, I wish I knew how to address it.

    kt

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    Replies
    1. In the case of the Kotel, I think it depends on who is there and other factors.

      A few months ago on a pleasant evening I was there and the guy by the covered area was checking Tav Yarok and masks of everyone coming in. Many people chose to remind outside, in the mild weather.

      More recently, I was there on a wet cold night, and the guy at the entrance wasn't paying attention to who was coming and going, and no one was outside (even though there are large tents outside to protect from the rain).

      So it depends on how much of an effort the guy at the door makes, and how much of an inconvenience it is to not let people in, but if there is a will to enforce the rules, there should be a way to do it.

      Delete
    2. I'm not so sure that they're so strict about wearing masks now. In September 2020, I was standing alone in a bus stop with my mask on my chin, not covering my mouth or nose. Nonetheless, a police car stopped, two policemen got out, and gave me a ticket for 500 shekels! (I appealed it, and they canceled the fine.)

      Now (February 2022) whenever I ride a bus, there is a recording that plays every few minutes in Hebrew and Arabic, telling everyone to wear a mask. Despite this, not everyone is wearing a mask. No one is giving out fines. I think it's understood that many people have a Green Pass because they're inoculated, or have recovered from COVID recently.

      Delete
    3. We know what would have happened. They would have assaulted the staff. The entire charged world would support them and accuse the staff of being Nazis

      Delete
  2. I think you are missing the shocking failure of government to carry out basic oversight and enforcement of regulation.
    Of course it was politically unconfortable for Bibi to ask his hareidi partners to comply with regulations, but his government was responsible for this failure.

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    Replies
    1. Is this is a secret? Deri was on TV the night before boasting about how he'd been able to remove all oversight from the site for Lag B'Omer. Granted, he was talking about number limits due to corona issues, but it's all connected.

      Deri is off vacationing at a luxury hotel in Switzerland now, his conscience (so to speak) clear.

      Delete
    2. That's incredibly insulting to chareidim. They're not little children who can't be expected to know what's right without a parent's supervision.

      That the government may have been negligent doesn't take the responsibility away from the people who decided to ignore building codes.

      Delete
    3. G*3, I meant that "in addition to the failures that Rabbi Slifkin highlighted, there was ALSO a failure of governance"

      Delete
    4. Even when they follow guidelines construction is done poorly.

      Just look at Bet shemesh. We have retaining walls collapsing, uneven sidewalks etc. Lack of poor construction and management is to blame.

      But even when construction is done to code the results are still bad. Poor insulation, poor soundproofing, poor building materials to begin with. Just look at those cheap entrance doors that are always falling apart in buildings, schools, and shuls. 

      What irks me the most is that the gov allows contractors to use those awful sliding windows and doors that take thieves second to break in. Almost all breakins in Bet Shemesh are through those terrible windows and doors. 

      Unfortunately, it doesnt seem that there is any change in the near future. 

      Delete
    5. Who is worse those terrible "Palestinian" laborers or those cheap Jewish developers?

      Delete
    6. People who don't want breakins install armored doors and window bars. So it's been for centuries or millinea.

      Delete
  3. I believe 45 is just the start. There are dozens more at least they plan on demolishing.

    I've said it before, but I'll repeat it: When the news broke, there wasn't a single person in the State of Israel who was surprised. Shocked, horrified, crushed, mourning- yes, all those things. But surprised? None. I don't think it's cold to say that a lot of people probably said, "How terrible! But we all knew it was a matter of time..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People say the same thing about terrorist attacks

      Delete
    2. People say lots of things. Except some people are right, and some people are wrong.

      Delete
    3. Yes, unfortunately, both of these groups of people (who only have the best intentions and are definitely not motivated by hatred) are all too right.

      Delete
    4. Oh, right, I forgot you're a troll. My mistake.

      Delete
    5. You didn't forget anything, you just have no response so you resort to name-calling. That's ok, it's what you usually do, I'm not offended.

      Delete
    6. Do I have to spell it out for you? No one, after a terror attack, says, "I expected that." If they did, terror would lose much of its threat. By nature, it's random.

      Packing hundreds of thousands of very excited people into a very small space, on the other hand, isn't random.

      Your statement is a transparent wise-aleck attempt to defend "your side" by attacking terror victims (who you clearly perversely see as the "other side"), and is thus trollish and/or disgusting.

      Happy?

      Delete
    7. Not sure what you mean by "random" and "expected". When you found a country surrounded by millions of people who hate you because you kicked them off their land and made life miserable for them, terrorist attacks are not "random". They are totally expected. When you purposely live in settlements in close proximity to them, they are even more expected. This is regardless of how evil the terrorists are (which they are).

      On the other hand, tragedies like Meron don't happen every year. Whether in Meron itself, or in other venues where thousands pack into small spaces, with or without adherence to safety regulations. So yeah, Meron is about as "random" or "expected" as terrorist attacks.

      Delete
    8. Also, it's not me who sees this as "my side" and the "other side", it's the entire purpose of this blog to score points against "the other side". And your obsession as well. Remove the beam from your eye, and become a good person.

      Delete
    9. I don't hate the largest Jewish population in the world. You very much seem to. Rationalization, maybe, or maybe something worse. But you shouldn't put the words "beam from your eye" and "become a good person" in the same sentence there.

      Delete
    10. Oh, so you think you're ok because you only hate chareidim but not the secular majority? What a tzadik! But let me explain something. I don't hate anybody. Every instance of chillul Shabbos pains me deeply, but I recognize that it's not the individuals at fault, but the secularist culture. I hate the sin, not the sinner. I am certainly shocked, horrified, and crushed whenever there is a terrorist attack, whoever it affects, despite the sad fact that such things should have been easily foreseen.

      You, on the other hand, seem to enjoy it very much whenever something happens to the people you hate, as it provides you with rhetorical points on the various blogs. Hopefully, I am wrong, and you don't enjoy it at all, but are just exhibiting strange behaviors.

      Delete
  4. i had heard they would ned to raze the entire site to the ground except the Tziyun and start again from scratch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently that's underway. I suppose nothing being demolished is older than a few decades, anyway.

      Delete
  5. We just had seventeen people die in an apartment fire here in the Bronx, and a major contributing factor was that the doors to apartments did not automatically close as required by the building codes. I drove by the next day; the place looked like a bombed out shell and it is amazing that most residents survived. The area's then City Council Member, Ritchie Torres (who is now a member of the US Congress and a humongous supporter of Israel) had recognized the problem and had managed to get the City Council to enact legislation tightening up this very rule -- but it had not been enforced. Torres is now introducing legislation at the federal level to address that and other problems that contributed to the fire include the space heater that started the fire and the lack of sprinklers in the building.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The building did have sufficient heat, apparently, which raises other questions.

      Delete
    2. The problem is the heat in these old buildings is inconsistently distributed with the top floors getting very warm and the bottom floors cold. The fire started on the second floor, I believe.

      Delete
  6. If any of you pathetic haters actually looked into what happened, the police constructed all sorts of temporary structures that heavily constricted the flow of people, and also removed numerous security cameras all around the kill zone before Lag B'Omer. The videos that were released or shown by the media were also obviously edited, with several cuts. I wonder why they would do such a thing? You have zero discernment or curiosity, and don't.

    And don't bother asking me for sources. Do your own research. You would simply mock and disqualify whatever sources I relied on anyway, so what's the point of conveying that information to you?

    Whether or not the permanent structures were safe, a debatable claim, they did not contribute one iota to this disaster, which happened when the crowd size was a fraction of typical pre-Covid years.

    Is there nothing you will not grasp at in your hatred?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I heard the police even beamed special microwave signals into the crowd to disorient and cause the crush. Look it up!

      I mean, honestly, you think the police *deliberately* caused the deaths? You're sick.

      Delete
    2. Pathetic haters. Do your own research. Yeah, we got a Trump, Newsmax, Proud Boy fan here.

      Delete
    3. Nachum, you project too much and put words in my mouth.

      It is indisputable that a fraction of the typical number of pre-Covid attendees were present, that highly constrictive barriers were erected, security cameras were dismantled, and video footage that was aired was edited. You can't argue the facts, so you respond with argumentum ad idiotum (for the less intelligent among the audience, I made that one up).

      Anything else is speculation, which more intelligent people would notice I avoided, but you didn't.

      I think you are too short for this ride.

      Tellner, the same goes for you. Did I mention Trump, Newsmax, or Proud Boys? How could you possibly know what I think when I haven't said anything beyond the words above?

      Delete
    4. "But surprised? None. I don't think it's cold to say that a lot of people probably said, "How terrible! But we all knew it was a matter of time..."

      You're sick.

      Objectively, you are. Your contempt, hatred even, for Charedim sweats through every word you write.

      These tragic deaths happened because a large number of people were part of a society which doesn't care about government permits based on professional, science-based standards.

      The same goes for Slifkin, whose words drip with disdain, hatred even, and who erroneously and arrogantly conflates three different things about science and condemns the Charedim who understandably are skeptical of at least one of them.

      I didn't make up these terms, but they are eminently useful in responding.

      scientody: The scientific method.

      scientistry: The profession.

      scientage: The knowledge base.

      I also didn't make up this quote.

      Scientists are people and people respond to economic incentives. To claim that scientists are "trained", so they won't be tempted to put a thumb on the scale is absurd; accountants are trained to do math correctly too and that doesn't seem to stop a few of them from somehow failing to make the numbers add up right from time to time.

      We don't trust you or your echo chamber clique, and with significant justification, we don't trust most of whom pass for "credentialed scientists" these days. Even scientage has become seriously suspect. There is a massive and very real reproducibility crisis that infests more and more of what has been accepted science, and not just the squishy subjects that is beyond well-documented today. When you worship scientists because of your respect for the scientific method and the admiration of the body of scientific knowledge, you will fail to perceive any problems at all and condemn those that do, especially the Charedim.

      Delete
    5. Slifkin also conflate science with engineering. And Charedim with those who actually control the Meron complex, which may be composed of people who indeed dress and act like Charedim, but in the end are literally a few people with two much power who abuse it, and don't in any way represent anyone but themselves. But are useful to him as a bludgeon to bash Charedim.

      Delete
    6. Keep digging yourself deeper, Shimshon.

      Let's take a random point: You say cameras were taken down. Why would they do that? What are you implying?

      Delete
    7. Nachum, I read the book Perfidy in my youth, besides having read much since about Jewish and gentile abuses of state power. I am inoculated against naivete as you display, that the government of Israel differs qualitatively from all governments in history.

      Delete
    8. I read Perfidy in my youth as well. I am in fact willing to bet that I know it far better than you.

      I am also very, very suspicious of government power. I am also willing to bet that I am far more of an ideological libertarian than you are. But there's being suspicious of government and then there's being flat out conspiracy theory insane.

      I also notice you didn't answer my question. So I'll just assume that you are just looney enough to believe that the Israeli government had an actual plan to kill dozens of people at Meron for some mysterious reason, not to mention were competent enough (ha!) to pull it off and then cover it up.

      I'm afraid to ask you your opinion of 9/11.

      Delete
    9. Why are you so scared to give your sources? Is it because you know they are bogus? If you yourself know that your sources are faulty and biased why would you tell others to their research if you haven't done proper research yourself? 'Do your own research' is a line used so many times by conspiracy theorists and makes the person making the statement lose all credibility.

      Delete
    10. "I read the book Perfidy"
      Which is an admission of ignorance. Did you read anything else by or about Hecht? Who was Philip Gruenwald? Who was Fabian Herschkowitz? What did Sidney Zion, Norman Mailer & Hillel Kook say about Hecht's reliability? Are you aware that R' Weissmandl defended Kastner?

      Have you read The Abandonment of The Jews, The Politics of Rescue? A Race Against Death, Jews for Sale or Ben Gurion and The Holocaust? (And hell, did you even read The Seventh Million?) There's a fascinating filmed interview (from the 1970s) with Hillel Kook. Have you watched that?

      Delete
    11. " the police constructed all sorts of temporary structures that heavily constricted the flow of people"

      So? Is constricting flow of people a bad thing? Was any form of crowd control desirable? If so, how would such crowd control be implemented?

      Right now, I want you to go to google maps and download an image of Meron. Then, in your favorite illustration software, sketch out the structures, paths, gates and camera installations that can ensure the safety of 100,000 people. If 100,000 can not be accommodated at once, then provide a system of rationing attendance by scheduling, tickets or any means, excluding that which would involve favoritism, discrimination or burdensome financial costs. Then come up with clear instructions to be delivered to police and other crew on the ground to keep people safe in real time. Please consider various contingencies such as rescuing suddenly ill people, terror attacks, power outages, fires, brawls, riots and other unexpected adverse events. Do not leave out detailed plans for ongoing sanitation and security. Please provide redundant means of communication to allow for alternatives in cases of failure (e.g. if cell service goes down). Make sure there are enough toilets and be sure to provide access for the physically challenged. Your budget is $50,000. When you are done, be sure to you have your plan signed by all rebbes & rebbelach. Please have your plans ready no later than 90 days before Lag B'Omer 5782.


      "and also removed numerous security cameras all around the kill zone before Lag B'Omer."
      Have you confirmed this? Were the cameras working? Were they redundant? Were they replaced with 5G hydrophonic death rays?

      "The videos that were released or shown by the media were also obviously edited, with several cuts."
      More ignorance. The media always edits material.

      The fact is that you have little or no knowledge of crowd control, you don't know how crowd crushes form, or what the warning signs are.

      Delete
    12. Questioning the narrative does not mean I am obligated to do the absurd things you blab on and on about. Clearly you project and would like very much to have the power to do all that you spell out in excruciating detail.

      You have no idea what knowledge I have or do not have.

      Delete
  7. It's interesting that the simplest solution has not been implemented for an event with limited space and high demand, sell tickets. And it's not like Agudah doesn't do this for siyum hashas already, so ticketed religious events do exist. The proceeds can be used to modernize and upkeep the site as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think part of the planned solution is to sell tickets for a specific time slot, so instead of people partying their all night, a limited number of people can come, say Tehillim (or whatever), and then vacate the sight to make a bonfire elsewhere while the next group of people enter. That way they can limit the number of people at the sight at one time, while maximum number of people are given the opportunity to visit the site during lag B'Omer.

      Be interesting to see whether it is implemented (should be easy if the only access to the site is via charted buses, and once the site is full, a bus is only allowed in if a full bus leaves)

      Delete
    2. You don't need tickets, you take away incentives to stay. Nobody, or very few people, will stay and recite Tehillim for more than twenty minutes.
      Take away all entertainment, all food, and all shows from the area. One bonfire and that's it. Nothing to eat all around the tziyun. Only water to drink. Nothing even for sale. (I a not sure about the music. If it is just going around in a circle, people won't spend long there).

      Delete
    3. "I think part of the planned solution is to sell tickets for a specific time slot..."

      In theory, this would be a good idea. In practice you'd end up with:

      1) VIPs can bypass the ticketing scheme
      2) Bribery and protextia to become such a VIP
      3) The ticketing website will crash
      4) Counterfeit tickets
      5) Scalping
      6) Embezzlement of ticket proceeds
      7) Visitors will refuse to vacate once their allotted time expires- ("I can't leave now, my six year old is stuck waiting for the bathroom, I can't abandon him!")
      8) Long line at entry points...
      9) ..exacerbated by those in line who misplaced their tickets and now cause delays
      10) Gatecrashing of those without tickets...
      ..which in turn causes...
      11) ...Riots

      At last but probably least:
      12) A feminist group will form Woman Of Meron & demand equal access.

      Delete
  8. People don't realize how important engineers are until they ignore us and learn the hard way.

    ReplyDelete
  9. RNS just curious, why in the world would you live in a country where the government allows subgroups to take such irresponsible measures that cause the death of so many people?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the Land is holy despite its government.

      And the State is as well.

      Delete
  10. Way more news being generated by this fabricated letter.......
    https://vinnews.com/2022/01/31/powerful-chaim-walder-abuse-victim-speaks-out-in-open-letter-to-community-and-leaders/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did I miss something? Did any of these structures have any effect on the Lag Ba'omer 5781 incident? How is this relevant to the story?

    I have no problem with them being demolished, but it has nothing to do with the 45 deaths that occurred.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they demolished the death trap stairs/corridor it actually occurred in, for starters.

      Delete
    2. "Did I miss something?"
      Yes.
      " but it has nothing to do with the 45 deaths that occurred."
      It was caused by the same disregard for safety.

      Delete
    3. So a picture of Chassidim in Stamford Hill smoking cigarettes, or over-indulging on Tzviebel Kugel in Kerestir would be just as relevant over here.
      People are scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

      Delete
  12. I love Slifkin's posts bec. there so accurate and once he says them, you're like wow, how does nobody see what's right in front of us? Rabbi Dr. Slifkin, Can you please write a post about this past week's Yated Ne'eman Article which is so blatantly dishonest? The front cover has a huge title "Israeli Gov't wants to DRAFT THEM (THE CHAREIDIM) but anyone who knows anything about the law that was trying to be passed (and which was passed in its first reading) knows that the government is actually NOT TRYING TO DRAFT THEM! In fact, the government is trying to give chareidim an EXEMPTION FROM THE ARMY! What lies! :). It's hilarious how the right wing ultra orthodox will literally twist facts to support their own messed up agenda and false narratives! I Feel so bad for anyone part of that society, they are so misinformed and brainwashed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're half right. The law provides early exemption to get chareidim to work but also has a quota system requiring a certain number to enlist to prevent yeshivos losing government funding.

      Delete

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