Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

David Singer: Gantz Trojan Horse threatens Israel as the Jewish National Home

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

 He writes:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid a high price for the National Unity Government being forged with Benny Gantz – by agreeing to Gantz becoming Israel’s Prime Minister in 18 months’ time without going to an election.

Netanyahu had run out of time to explore other options – having had that decision foisted on him by two extraordinary High Court of Justice cases ordering the Knesset Speaker – Yuli Edelstein – to convene the Knesset contrary to the Knesset’s own rules and procedures. Compliance by Edelstein would have unleashed a train of events that would have caused havoc and instability at a time when unity was sorely needed. Edelstein resigned.

It is indeed a miracle that Netanyahu and Gantz rescued Israel from this rapidly escalating political and constitutional crisis at the same time as Israel is coping with the ravages of Covid-19.

Gantz’s courage in dumping his partners in Blue and White – Yair Lapid and Moshe Ya’alon – when any hope of averting the crisis seemed lost and just as the doors of the Knesset were shortly to open – was praised by the Right but condemned by Lapid and Ya’alon in bitter and derogatory terms.

Gantz’s new found ally – Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman – was left high and dry – ruing his stupidity at having missed three opportunities in the last 12 months to be in Government with Netanyahu – making demands he absolutely refused to compromise on during negotiations with Netanyahu.

Lieberman was relegated to the Opposition benches with his six colleagues – a kingmaker no more.

Forgiven was the havoc caused when Gantz started to flirt with Joint List – the bloc comprising 15 members from the four Arab political parties – who endorsed Gantz to form the next Government – persuading Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to regrettably give Gantz first try to do so.

Joint List’s objectives include dismantling Israel as the Jewish National Home.

Joint List Chairman Ahmad Tibi had openly articulated this goal to Rivlin in September 2019:
“Some people think we are the backyard of the State of Israel, we are not a backyard, we are not present absentees, we are not guests, we are the owners of this land. Not residents of this country, we did not immigrate here, we were born here, we are a native population, and this native population sent us to make a change.”
Gantz’s decision to embrace Joint List accorded with his first public statement after forming the Resilience Party in December 2018. Druze demonstrators protesting the 2016 Nation-State Law defining Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and ending Arabic as an official language of Israel – were told by Gantz:
“We have a blood alliance, but just as importantly, we have a life alliance. We need to make sure that we build this partnership and this alliance together, as it should be. I will do all in my power to work to amend the legislation, so it will give expression to this bond, the deep bond that cannot be severed—not just in battle, but also in life; not just in difficulties, but also in good times. We’ll do this together.”
Gantz is perfectly entitled to propound the idea that Israel should become the state of all its citizens – no longer the Jewish National Home reconstituted by the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

But to do so as Prime Minister – without receiving any electoral mandate to pursue that highly-controversial policy – is another thing.

The Gantz Trojan Horse is knocking at the Prime Minister’s door – and Netanyahu has let him in.

Author’s note: The cartooncommissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentatorswhose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Full Frontal: Sacrilegious Jew-Hatred of the Medieval Sort

The 15th century case of Simon of Trent was one of those periodical ritual murder accusations that wrought terror on Jewish communities and stain the history of the Catholic Church. Supposedly kidnapped and ritually sacrificed by Jews (confessions were obtained under torture), the alleged child martyr became the focus of a cult, and was eventually beatified, but never canonised.

In 1965 Pope Paul VI removed Simon of Trent from the roll of the Roman church's martyrology.

But how persistent is the discredited cult of "St Simon of Trent", with all the abtisemirism that cult historically entailed, can be seen in the painting by Giovanni Gasparro and the reaction of its admirers in social media.

A skim of the artist's Facebook page testifies to the antisemitic scum who have gathered to praise the painting and attack, often in the most virulent terms, mock and bait anyobe, especially anyone perceived to be Jewish, who expresses dismay at the painting.

Since Simon of Trent was never canonised, and since he was removed ftom their church's martyrology on papal authority, the adulation got Simon, and the artist's depiction of him, from the keyboards of the apparent Catholics among the commenters is surely sacrilegious.

Below are sample comments screenshot by me as I trawled the artist's Facebook page last night.  They are a mere fraction of the thousands upon thousands  of comments made, but they give an idea of the vile  attitudes that exist in some quarters towards Jews, and which, 75 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, are not ashamed to be expressed in public.

Note, although not prevalent in my sample, that haters of Israel who want to see that little country wiped off the map are also represented, and there is the inevitable sprinkling of Muslims and of "Christians" who for some unfathomable reason prefer the presence in Europe of Islam to that of the Jews. Ignorance, both of Judaism and Jewish history, is a widespread characteristic: I even noticed some apparent Teutonic types taunting a Jew with a Germanic surname for appropriating such a name from their culture: the dolts are apparently unaware of how surnames came to be imposed upon Jews!





Saturday, 28 March 2020

Iranian Dissident:"We Might as Well Die an Honorable Death"

Here's a brave man.

To quote the translator and uploader,
Iranian political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi said in a video he uploaded to his Instagram on March 24, 2020 that Iran's main enemy is the coronavirus, and he sharply criticized the way the Iranian regime, which he said is unworthy and irresponsible, has been handling the pandemic. Saying that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is becoming increasingly delusional, Tabarzadi criticized Khamenei's recent statements [here thet are below! D.A.] --

-- that the coronavirus outbreak is part of a joint conspiracy by humans and demons against Iran and that any attempt by the U.S. to give aid to Iran is actually an attempt to spy on it...
Tabarzadi further said that President Hassan Rouhani is even more irresponsible than Khamenei, and he criticized Iran's refusal to accept international aid despite shortages, as well as Iran's recent deportation of a team of doctors from Doctors Without Borders. 
Tabarzadi warned that if Rouhani and Iran's senior officials do not stop their obstinacy, the Iranian people will destroy the presidential palace and bring it down on the heads of these officials. 
Calling on his compatriots to be ready for when the word goes out, he threatened:
"We will track down their address and go there... If we are meant to die in our homes, we might as well die an honorable death."

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

David Singer: Netanyahu and Lieberman Must Rescue Israel from Self-imploding

Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

Israel is in serious danger of self-imploding as a political, legal, and constitutional crisis of epic proportions is set to erupt.

It can be averted if Israel’s Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – and head of Yisrael Beiteinu – Avigdor Lieberman – resolve the issue of the ultra-orthodox doing military service – raised by Lieberman 12 months ago.

The looming crisis has been created following the Speaker of the Knesset –Yuri Edelstein – rejecting the advisory opinion of the High Court of Justice that he declare his position as speaker open when the Knesset resumes on 25 March.

In his official response to the High Court – Edelstein stated:
“I won’t agree to ultimatums. I can’t agree because that would make the Knesset’s agenda determined by the High Court and not by the Speaker of the Knesset, who is assigned this role.”
Edelstein’s refusal to commit to any set date comes amidst the uncertainty caused by the ongoing political negotiations to form a government.

The High Court – unmoved by Edelstein’s submission – ordered Edelstein to convene the Knesset by 25 March and hold a vote that could see him replaced.The High Court did not say what actions it would take if Edelstein attempted to ignore the ruling.

Front and centre in this crisis has been the attempt by:
•33 Blue and White members,
•7  Labor-Meretz-Geshermembers
•7 Yisrael Beiteinu members and
•15 Joint List Arab bloc members
to advance legislation barring a Knesset member facing criminal charges from forming a government – effectively disqualifying Netanyahu.

This bloc of 62 members make strange bedfellows:
 •Joint List does not recogniseIsrael as the Jewish National Home
•Blue & White leaders Gantz, Lapid and Ya’alon have personal grievances against Netanyahu going back years
•Lieberman has a fractured relationship with Netanyahu, has refused to sit next to Joint List Knesset members and favoured transfer of Israeli Arabs into a new Palestinian state.
Lieberman had made non-negotiable demands for entering into Government with Netanyahu after the February 2019 indecisive election – which if accepted – would have seen no need for the two elections that followed and this current crisis.

The principal issue was Netanyahu’srefusal to accept a bill drafted by Lieberman calling for ultra-orthodox Jews to do military service. Netanyahu was captive to the ultra-orthodox Jews in his then coalitionwho threatened to bolt if he wavered.

Lieberman would not budge.

A second election followed in September 2019 -when an expected increased turnout by the religious parties to oppose Lieberman’s bill never eventuated. The religious parties’ votes only increased by 91650 whilst Lieberman’s party vote increased by 137,684.

Lieberman again would not yield in his demands –emboldened by his increased vote exceeding that of the religious parties.Israel held its third electionthis month. The religious parties areon far weaker ground this timeas they are locked in to a single negotiating bloc now containing 58 members.

Lieberman is also in a weaker position – having lost 46,789 votes and one seat whilst Netanyahu gained 238,882 votes and 4 seats.

Cutting a deal between Netanyahu and Leiberman remains the only option to prevent Israel entering into a period of complete political and constitutional upheaval once the Knesset sitting commences.

Lieberman and Netanyahu’s shared dream could be the circuit breaker:

Both want to see Jewish sovereignty immediately restored in Judea and Samaria after 3000 years – in tandem with President Trump – whilst Blue & White do not.

Neither can allow their personal antipathy towards each other to miss this golden opportunity.

Netanyahu and Lieberman mustdo a deal before the Knesset sits. They cannot afford to fail.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Contagion & Ketubah

Philadelphia Inquirer, 7 Oct 1918
One from the historic annals, a reported Russian Jewish custom to ward off contagion.

The following article (I have no precise date for it) appeared in the American Hebrew during the deadly "Spanish Flu" pandemic of 1918-20, which the present COVID-19 pandemic calls to mind.

The "Spanish Flu" pandemic killed about 10 million people around the world (some sources say 20 million and others 50 million).

The article appeared first in the Public Ledger, a Philadelphia paper.

The ceremony described perhaps fascinated and repelled the non-Jewish and German Jewish readers of that paper in equal measure.

But it was in a good cause.

Antiseptic Matrimony.

An Old Russian Custom Revived.

The war has demonstrated that the age of arms is by no means over. Almost daily observers of the trifles in life, the little kinks and crotchets of human beings, are led to the conclusion that the age of superstition is by no means a thing of the past.

At the Jewish Cemetery near Cobb's Creek,  in Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia "Public Ledger," a couple were married at the first line of graves in order to ward off the ravages of the influenza epidemic. 

More than twelve hundred Russian Jews, in silence and awe, watched the ceremony, and when it was finished the orthodox among the spectators filed solemnly past the couple, and made them presents of money in sums ranging from ten cents to a hundred dollars, until more than a thousand dollars had been given. 
The last monetary offering made, the bride and bridegroom walked to  the green sward further from the graves, where a wedding feast was quickly spread from the two truck loads of food which others of the faithful had provided. 

This marriage in a cemetery, with the idea of  warding, off the ravages of an epidemic, is a revival of a custom which has prevailed for hundreds of years among the Jews in the heart of Russia.

The participants in the ceremony say that when Russia was swept by cholera several centuries ago, Jews died by the hundreds. Panic seized them, and a council of elders and rabbis was called. They decided that the. attention of God would be called to the affliction of their fellows if the most humble man and woman among them should join in marriage in the presence of the dead.

So they searched for a young man and a. woman who were unknown to each other and were without wealth, who were willing to marry, to save their fellows from the cholera scourge. 

When they had been found each was asked if they were wllling to become sanctified by marriage in the presenco of the dead. The young people agreed and the ceremony was performed. Money was contributed to give them the necessary start in life.

And, according to the tradition, the ravages of tho cholera subsided within three days.

Many times since then the custom has been repeated in Russia, the last time some fifteen years ago. 

When the recent epidemic influenza began to take its toll of Russian Jews in Philadelphia by the score; some of the elders, now residents, of the city, but who had witnessed the reported staying of the cholera in Russia fifty years ago, by the marriage. in the graveyard, determined to invoke the efficacy of the custom to save the lives of their remaining fellows.

Foolhardy Men of Faith

Mind boggling.

Men (and in the bottom example women) of faith demonstrate their disregard for commonsense regarding the Coronavirus.

Ayatollah Khameini.

Charedim at a wedding near Jerusalem.

Cretins in Italy:

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Coronavirus, Sweden, Open Borders, & Creepy Stories

Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist explains.

Full story here

On the virus and the media see here

Daniel Pipes here