Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Who would spit and curse at a second grader and call her a whore?

December 27, 2011

 

Who would spit and curse at a second grader and call her a whore? Haredim, that’s who. The Haredim are considered the extreme of orthodox Jews, although they reject the label: to them they are just “Jews,” everybody else is not. In the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, some Haredim spat and cursed at second grader Naama Margolese (pictured here with her mother), and called her a whore for dressing immodestly. Since the assault Naama.is afraid to walk to her religious school, even when her mother is with her, holding her hand.

“When I walk to school in the morning I used to get a tummy ache because I was so scared … that they were going to stand and start yelling and spitting. They were scary. They don’t want us to go to the school.”

But that’s okay, “Moshe,” a Haredi explained to Israeli TV:

“To spit on a girl who does not act according to the law of the Torah is okay. Even at a seven year old. There are rabbis who empower us to know how to walk in the street and how a woman should act.”

To the Haredim women and little girls are unclean, not to be touched or seen, except when they are covered up. Burqas would be fine. Women soldiers are an abomination, not to be heard. And Arabs? Even lower than women (more…)

Good out of tragedy? Turkey and Israel after the earthquake

October 25, 2011

“Earthquake diplomacy” is a term coined after two huge earthquakes struck first Turkey, then Greece in 1999. Putting aside years of mutual distrust, the Greek government immediately offered aid to Turkey when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck the major Turkish city of Izmit, with severe damage as far as Istanbul. Two weeks later a 5.9 earthquake struck in Athens, and the Turks quickly reciprocated. Ordinary Turks and Greeks rushed to donate blood and money to their stricken neighbors. Official relations between the two countries warmed considerably.

Now earthquake diplomacy may heal relations between former allies Turkey and Israel, seriously breached this May when Israeli forces attacked a Turkish ship attempting to run an Israeli blockade of Gaza, killing nine Turks in a botched attempt to take over the ship.

When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey last week, killing hundreds and destroying thousands of homes, Israeli President Peres was the first to offer aid to his counterpart, Turkish President Gul. (more…)

Is Israel becoming a racist state?

June 4, 2011

Americans—especially older Americans—like Israel because it’s like America: democracy, constitutional principles, independent, industrious, and tough people. But the trend on American campuses is to not like Israel so much because of the way they treat the Palestinians (and Syrians) in the territories they conquered in 1967. As Thomas Friedman told Fareed Zakaria last Sunday,

“Netanyahu…can get standing ovations in the U.S. Congress anytime [he wants], seven days a week, 24/7. How many standing ovations do you think he could get at the student government at the University of Missouri? At Stanford? At Harvard? At the University of Virginia? At the University of Texas? If you went to those student governments, they’re the future. They’re the future of voters. They’re the future people who will maintain the strategic relationship with Israel. And there, I can tell you, as anyone who goes to college campuses knows, that people don’t get Israel, what Israel is doing right now. They — some are alienated.”

The students are seeing the right-wing religious parties gaining more of a stranglehold over Israeli government policies, and seeing treatment of the conquered peoples getting worse. Fans of Israel have long defended her by saying (more…)

Israeli rabbis spew hate, Netanyahu and others condemn them

December 10, 2010

 

Religious or racial hatred is ugly and evil, wherever it pops its head. But it’s much uglier when it’s spread in the name of religion. This is from Agence France-Presse last Tuesday:

Fifty Israeli rabbis have signed an open letter warning Jews not to rent or sell property to non-Jews, saying those who do should be “ostracized,” a copy of the letter showed on Tuesday.

“In answer to the many questions, we say that it is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner,” says the letter, referring to the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible.

The text, which was signed mostly by state-employed rabbis, warns “he who sells or rents them a flat in an area where Jews live causes great harm to his neighbors.”

While the Israeli government is often in thrall to the extremist clergy who rant that God gave the entire ancient land of Israel (including what’s now Jordan) to the Jews, this was too much for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who harshly condemned the letter.

“How would we feel if we were told not to sell an apartment to Jews? We would protest, and we protest now when it is said of our neighbors. Such things cannot be said, not about Jews and not about Arabs. They cannot be said in any democratic country, and especially not in a Jewish and democratic one. The state of Israel rejects these sayings.”

Other prominent Israelis also condemned the letter, as did America’s Anti-Defamation League.

 

Israeli leaders condemn Jewish mosque-burners as “criminals” and “terrorists”

October 6, 2010

EthicsBob recently slammed Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his failure to denounce Israel’s former chief rabbi for calling for death to all Palestinians: his office merely issued a statement that the rabbi’s views “don’t represent” Netanyahu’s. But when Jewish settlers set fire to a West Bank mosque this week the Israeli Prime Minister quickly ordered Israeli security forces to “act firmly to quickly uncover the criminals and bring them to justice.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak went further, calling the perpetrators “terrorists in every sense of the word.”

It’s beyond my memory that any senior Israeli official publicly called violent religious settlers terrorists. Hooray for Barak; hooray even for Netanyahu.

Sadly there are people on both sides of the Jewish/Arab divide who use the incident to inflame. The UK-based Middle East Monitor headlined its coverage, “Israeli settlers burn yet another mosque in occupied Palestine.” It implied that the crime had the assent of the Israeli establishment, saying that “In the current climate of global Islamophobia these uncivilised and intolerant acts will evoke little or no condemnation or censure.”

Not true. Netanyahu and Barak are siding against the Israeli terrorists. That’s a good thing. There’s no excuse for failing to credit it.

We are tarred by what we put up with: “Death to all Palestinians”? Not my view, says Netanyahu

August 29, 2010

We honor politicians who denounce members of their party or of their administration who lie, cheat, steal, or defame. Those who defend such behavior—or are silent about it—are encouraging it and eventually own it as their own. Some try to have it both ways—gently stepping away from the crime without offending the criminal. Like Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reports today that Ovadia Yosef, formerly chief rabbi of Israel, called yesterday during his weekly Shabbat sermon, for death to all Palestinians. Rabbi Yosef, spiritual leader and a founder of Israel’s leading ultra-Orthodox Shas Party—part of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition with four ministers—described Palestinians as evil, bitter enemies of Israel:

“Abu Mazen [more commonly known as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] and all these evil people should perish from this world … God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”


Nothing new for Rabbi Yosef. Haaretz also quotes a 2001 speech in which he proclaimed,

“It is forbidden to be merciful to them. You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable.”

When asked for a comment yesterday, Netanyahu’s office fell despicably short of condemnation, issuing a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post, that Yosef’s comments:

“don’t represent the views of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu or the Israeli government. Israel entered into negotiations out of a desire to progress with the Palestinians toward an agreement that will end the conflict and ensure peace, security, and good neighborly relations between the two nations.”

Joe Lieberman’s “enemies” aren’t America’s

March 16, 2010

The flap intensifies over Israel’s announcement of
plans to build 1600 new homes in East Jerusalem. After strenuous objection from Joe Biden and the State Department , Prime Minister Netanyahu apologized for the timing of the announcement but not for the substance,  telling the Israeli Parliament that construction of Jewish housing in Jerusalem was not a matter for negotiation.

The New York Times quotes a senior administration official as saying, “What happened to the vice president in Israel was unprecedented. Where it goes from here depends on the Israelis.” But the Israelis seem intent on continuing to expand into East Jerusalem and more broadly into the West Bank.

The U.S. is in a difficult position, caught between the uncompromising Israeli ally on one side and  (more…)

Anti-Defamation equals “Don’t mess with Israel”

March 13, 2010

The Anti-Defamation League’s website says its purpose is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” Apparently this includes supporting any Israeli expansion—like the plan announced this week to build 1600 new houses in East Jerusalem—and opposing any criticism of Israel by the U.S. government.

Thus, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement yesterday (March 12):

We are shocked and stunned at the Administration’s tone and public dressing down of Israel on the issue of future building in Jerusalem.   We cannot remember an instance when such harsh language was directed at a friend and ally of the United States.  One can only wonder how far the U.S. is prepared to go (more…)


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