Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Jewish Settlers for Sanders, Go Bernie Go!


I’ve heard “some people” talk about starting a “Jewish Settlers for Bernie” or “Settlers for Sanders” group in Israel. All those Jewish American citizens living in Judea and Samaria and elsewhere in Israel (according to the Palestinians, all Jews in Israel are settlers), who want to see America’s first Jewish president, might have their chance.

Bernie’s early showing has been strong. Bernie finished in just about a dead heat with Mayor Pete Buttigieg at the Iowa caucuses. And won hands down in New Hampshire. Many commentators say, his campaign, is by far, the most fired-up.

The “Settlers for Sanders” people also figure, they can drive the 2 or 3 liberal Jewish Democrat Party activists in Israel crazy (American Jews abroad can vote in American elections), by infiltrating the Democrat campaign in Israel.

I heard their slogan is “Bernie in 2020, AOC in 2024.”

Just think of the “Qveling,” in liberal Jewish America, 12 years of “Jewish” rule. Don’t forget Sanders’ protege Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez has said, she’s “descended” from Sephardic Jews. Not only a “white” Jewish president, but then maybe a female, “Jewess of color” president.

They’ve discussed, so I hear, why Bernie would be sooo good for the Jews in America and Israel.

1. Since its well know he’s staunchly pro-Palestinian, against the “occupation,” and promises to be tough on Israel, it would finally put to rest the anti-Semitic, “Dual Loyalty” accusation, that Jews are more loyal to Israel than America.

America (or is that Palestine) first!

2. What a great example to the “Kinderlach” in America, the first Jew-woke response. Any little Jewish girl or boy (have to be politically correct when discussing Bernie and AOC, girls first), can grow up to be president.

Smash that glass-ceiling!

3. Bernie brings back, (after the dog-eat-dog Trump years – Is that how the Chinese got the Coronavirus?), those age old (or is that old age, he’ll be 79) Jewish values of social justice. He’s made them mainstream. He’s verbally, like a bomb throwing masked anarchist, cloaked in black garb from some dark 1920s newsreel. Maybe all those masked Anti-Fa “activists” are just the neighborhood “Boychiks,” bored, with nothing to do?

Jewish Social Justice Warrior to the rescue!

4. After Bernie ruins the American economy with his socialist agenda, the “Kinderlach” factor will evaporate and far right anti-Semitism will rise even higher, blaming “Bernie the Jew.” Jews, even left-liberal Jews will flee from being impoverished by Bernie’s taxes, or Jew-hatred, to Israel. The “Great Wave of American Aliyah” will finally appear. As former liberal Jews, now refugees, turn to Jewish nationalism (the second Jew-woke response), they’ll probably settle en masse, in the West-Bank, (now renamed the “Left-Bank”), the only place they can afford. This will strengthen the Jewish demographic grip on the Land of Israel and weaken the Palestinian’s hold on it.

And now, the really big reason “Settlers for Sanders” supports Bernie:

5. By being the most pro-Palestinian president in American history (and really pushing on Israel), promising the Palestinians the moon; when they REJECT even his offer, of a Palestinian State without preconditions, no demilitarization, no democracy (heck I think he plans to blow up Americas…), because he didn’t promise to help them, destroy Israel; every “Jew for Palestine,” every Jewish Conspiracy BDS-er (or is that BS-er?), in the world, will finally see the TRUTH, the unmasked Jew-hating Palestinians don’t want “Peace,” they want Israel EXTINCT!

Bernie, who in the past eschewed his Jewish identity, has made it an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. At a recent CNN town hall for Democratic presidential candidates broadcast before the New Hampshire primaries, he was asked by someone about his Jewish identity.

“It impacts me very profoundly,” he said. “When I try to think about the views that I came to hold there are two factors. One I grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money…and the second one is being Jewish.”

Sanders described as a child seeing “big picture books of World War II,” and said “tears would roll down my cheeks,” when he saw what happened to Jews.

He recalled seeing Holocaust survivors in his Brooklyn neighborhood, with tattooed numbers on their arms. Bernie continued, “At a very early age, even before my political thoughts were developed, I was aware of the horrible things that human beings can do to other people in the name of racism or white nationalism, or in this case Nazism.”

Seems he's missed the PalestiNazis.

Go Bernie Go, bring us that “Yiddishe Nachas.”

America deserves an uppity-old-Jewish Disruptor! It would be payback for “White Man’s Burden,” and “Manifest Destiny.”


Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Tu BiShvat: Israel’s Green Day and The Hydroponics Revolution


Tu BiShvat (the 15th of Shevat – this year Feb. 10th) is the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Its the date used for calculating the beginning of the agricultural cycle, for the purpose of biblical tithes, and has become Israel’s own Green Day in modern times.

I see green shoots sprouting up, no, not a hint of an upturn in the global economy, but the growth of an environmentally safe, sustainable, organic, Shmittah-friendly hydroponic agricultural revolution taking place in Israel.

Why Hydroponics?

Hydroponic plant cultivation is widely considered more sustainable, than regular farming, it uses up to 90% less water.

Fed with a nutrient rich solution, hydroponic plants require less energy to break down food. This allows the plant to grow faster and to produce more foliage or fruit. A hydroponic plant has fewer problems with bug infestation, fungus and disease. Grown under the same conditions, a hydroponic plant can grow up to 30-50% faster than a soil plant.

Even with decelerating population growth, its estimated that by 2050, there will be about 9-10 billion people on planet Earth, an increase of as much as 25%. Experts estimate that global agricultural production will have to increase by about 60-70%, from the current levels, in order to feed everyone on the planet.

Commercial farming certainly has increased food production, but with it, comes harmful environmental consequences, and it uses disproportionate amounts of land and water. The use of earth’s natural resources is outpacing the planet’s ability to renew them.

More people in the world today, may have access to food that looks nice, and lasts longer than in the past, but many are unknowingly consuming chemical pesticides embedded within the plants’ cells. Toxic gasses and dust, produced in industrial farming facilities, pose significant health concerns to farm workers and the ecosystem. The research is clear, commercially produced food is less healthy and not sustainable long-term.

The goals, to reduce the use of chemical pesticides, save water, reduce food waste, produce more food locally, and raise awareness of healthier growing practices, demands involving more people in the process of food production and with higher levels of awareness.

We must transition to a more sustainable agriculture. We need an Israeli Green Revolution.

For Israel’s Green Day, I thought it would be nice to take a look at a few of Israel’s agricultural Green Tech revolutionaries, in recent years.

Started in 2009, LivinGreen was established to promote the field of Hydroponics and Aquaponics in Israel and globally. LivinGreen manufactures and markets all their own equipment. In 2015, they established the first commercial urban farm in Israel, on the roof of the Dizengoff shopping center in Tel Aviv.

The “Green in the City” project, started by the Dizengoff Center and LivinGreen, produces lettuce, basil, parsley, spinach, kale, bok choy and more. The fresh produce is then sold to restaurants, shops and private customers in the area. You can visit the farm, as part of an educational tour or course, and learn about urban agriculture, hydroponics and how to apply these growing methods at home.

Then there’s Flux, started in Israel 2014, (R & D is still in Israel), and now based in New York City. They developed what they call a GrowBot, called Eddy. Eddy, built with military-level sensors and image-processing technology, it employs artificial intelligence concepts from the Israeli army, in order to understand the needs of plants. Eddy sits in the growing reservoir, and users can stay updated on their crops’ progress via a mobile app. Data is uploaded to the cloud and the system chooses the correct protocol based on what you’re growing, the hydroponic system you’re using, and your location.

The system is both a diagnostic and an environment controller. When Eddy, floating in the water, senses that something needs adjusting, such as plant food, pH balance, lighting or water temperature, the grower receives a pop-up alert on his or her mobile phone or tablet.

Flux users are able to share ideas and photos with one another, if they choose to, but they’ll constantly be sharing sensor data passively, through the device. Most of the sharing happens automatically, like with Waze (a transportation app). Thus amassing data and creating community.

But by far the most ambitious and potentially revolutionary project isn’t commercial, but educational.

StartUpRoots, started by Robin Katz in 2014, is an Israeli NGO that runs hydroponic farming projects in Israeli schools, a Yeshiva, and a Jewish day school in America.

Their goal is to plant the seeds, of environmental awareness, sustainability, proper nutrition, the entrepreneurial spirit and financial independence, into Israeli youth. They have introduced curricula into schools that teach, a holistic approach to food production, health awareness and is rooted in Jewish tradition.

In the Talmud we find, Rabbi Abba said: You have no greater sign of the revealed redemption, than when produce will grow in abundance in Eretz Yisrael, it indicates that the Messiah will be coming soon. (Sanhedrin 98A).

As is says, “But you, mountains of Israel, you shall give your branches, and yield your fruit to My people of Israel, for they will soon be coming” (Ezekiel 36:8).

We have seen this come true in our time, with the return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland, and the blossoming of agriculture in Israel. Yet Israel faces the same issues as in other parts of the world, poverty, pesticide use and related health problems, land and water scarcity, and waste disposal.

Robin believes that a school can be a meaningful agent of social change and recognizes the great potential of students to make important contributions. StartUpRoots addresses these Israeli and global problems, and empowers students to become part of a Jewish Green Solution.

StartUpRoots’ curricula, cultivates curiosity and problem solving through experiential learning. These educational experiences are complemented with tangible results, like growing fresh vegetables, for the school cafeteria, or for students to bring home. Students also develop important life skills as they explore hydroponic farming in the context of Judaism, science, nutrition, entrepreneurship and photojournalism curricula.

Robin says that they are constantly developing new systems, both to optimize food production and to promote constant innovation and experimentation in their students. Since StartUpRoots began, they have been able to increase production from 24 plants per meter to more than 124 plants per meter. By increasing output, they are able run projects in the most unlikely of spaces.

StartUpRoots provides an educational platform, to inspire and equip students, to become better educated consumers. It prepares them to tackle the global food crisis. By giving students and teachers the tools to continue developing better answers, they are growing the next generation of Green Tech entrepreneurs, for a better future.

To learn more about the StartUpRoots program and how to bring it to a school near you; to support their mission to teach environmental awareness, advance food justice, entrepreneurship, and to bring the words of the prophets to life, visit their website at: www.startuproots.org.il

Happy Tu BiShvat, Israel’s Green Day!
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Only The Likud Can… Sell-Out


“Rok HaLikud Y’Chol – Only the Likud can…” a campaign song and slogan that’s seeped into the Israeli body politic for years, like a taste-less, odor-less, toxic pathogen.

“Only the Likud can…” give away the Sinai.

“Only the Likud can…” go to Madrid (the seed of the Oslo tragedy).

“Only the Likud can…” divide Hebron, and give 80% away.

“Only the Likud can…” kick Jews out of Gush Katif.

The Trump-Netanyahu partition plan of Judea and Samaria, only the Likud can… Sell-Out!

Netanyahu has accepted the legitimacy of a future Palestinian State.

This from the party, whose revisionist roots sang, “Shtei Gadot La’Yarden,” (The Jordan has Two Banks), “Two Banks has the Jordan – This is ours and, that is, as well.” A poem written by the founder of Revisionist Zionism, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in 1929.

Many Likudniks, revisionists, sons and daughters of the “fighting family,” were secular nationalists, and have fallen by the wayside, starting with Begin, including Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Dan Meridor, Tzipi Livni, Tzachi HaNegbi, and now the latest casualty Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Likud has always been branded a “right-wing” party in American and international media, and at home in Israel. Its convenient for the left, to see it that way. It makes them and their policies, seem less extreme and Likud more extreme.

But, I’ve pointed out for years, that’s simply not true. First of all, the right-left description is too simplistic, to truly understand the nuances of Israeli politics.

Don’t forget the Haredi parties, where do they go? Aryeh Deri of Shas, has already announced he supports the partition plan.

Israel in fact, has a political center and Likud is part of that.

This isn’t mere semantics, because to understand fully the range of political views and nuances in Israel, one needs to have the language to describe it.

Itamar Ben Gvir recently said, those who support the “peace plan” on the “right,” highlight the difference, between the practical and ideological right. He pointed out that Otzma Yehudit is an ideological group, and they reject the plan totally. Shaked and Bennett have also rejected a Palestinian State.

I prefer calling Likud centrist, since this is the common lingo. There are real right-wing parties, and individuals in Israel. Come election day, all those who love Eretz Yisrael should vote for them.

All this discussion of “peace plans” and partitions, reminds me of Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) 1967, a time just before the Six-Day-War.

Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook spoke at Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav during the celebrations. The joy in the yeshiva was visible. He spoke of a November evening, nineteen years earlier. The nations were debating the fate of Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel). People were glued to their radios. Then, the announcement came, the United Nations had just voted to partition Mandatory Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Spontaneous joy swept the country. People rushed out to dance in the streets. Jerusalem was rejoicing.

His voice full of pain and anguish, Rav Tzvi Yehuda continued, “I couldn’t leave the house. I sat alone, distressed. I tried to understand what had just happened. I wasn’t able to connect to their joy. The words of HaShem (the God of Israel) had just come true, “V’Et Artzi Chilku” (They Divided My Land – Yoel 4:2). Try as I might, with all my soul and spirit and will, I couldn’t bring myself to go out.”

He rhetorically asked, “How could it be that I didn’t go out and rejoice?”

He thundered again, “They Divided My Land!!!”

Then full of love for HaShem and his Torah, he cried out, “Where is our Hebron? Have we forgotten her? And where is our Shechem? (Arabs call it Nablus). And Jericho? Have we forgotten them? All of Ever HaYarden (the East Bank of the Jordan) is ours too! Every Arba Amot (four cubits) of HaShem’s Land.”

He then shouted out in visible pain, “Is it in our hands [our right] to give away, even a millimeter of land?” And he powerfully answered, “God Forbid!!!”

Everyone in the yeshiva was shocked, they couldn’t believe what they had just heard. Everyone was there to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, yet Rav Tzvi Yehuda wanted everyone to understand at what cost it came. He wanted to emphasize the value of every part and parcel of Eretz Yisrael. He wanted them to feel the loss personally.

He repeated, “And so, I couldn’t go out to the street, I couldn’t in this situation, when I was so utterly wounded, when I was so cut to pieces, They Divided My Land!!!”

“They divided the Land of HaShem,” he explained, “for political considerations!!!” (L’Nitivot Yisrael – Mizmor Yud Tet and Sichot HaRav Tzvi Yehuda – Medinat Yisrael).

Rav Tzvi Yehuda gives us Emunah-Colored Glasses, on how to view this current partition plan, that Netanyahu and so many, have already accepted so joyfully.

PS: Has anyone noticed that the Coronavirus hit America at about the same time, as the ten plagues have been read recently in the weekly Torah readings, and as the announcement that Trump’s partition plan, was going to be unveiled the following week?
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko
 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Bo: Leave My Land Alone


So Benny Netanyahu and Benny Gantz (its all about the Benjamins), went to Pharaoh Trump and demanded in the name of God, leave My Land alone… Or, did they?

God has a sense of humor. He’s throwing this at Israel, at a time when Jews around the world have been reading in the weekly Torah portions, about Moshe and Aaron going to Pharaoh, demanding Pharaoh release the Jews to serve Him. Of course as everybody knows, Pharaoh refuses.

Last week the plagues started, this week, more of the same. Pharaoh continues to dig into his position, till the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn. Completely broken, Pharaoh finally blinks and caves in.

Has Trump caved in with his “peace plan?” Did Netanyahu tell Trump, “we’re going to worship the God of Israel, in ALL of Eretz Yisrael, the Land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, exclusively?”

Moshe told the elders of Israel, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb…” When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door frame and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.”

Moshe continued, “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this service. When your children ask you, ‘What does this service mean to you?’ tell them, ‘It is the Korban Pesach (Passover offering) to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Children of Israel in Egypt and spared our homes, when he struck down the Egyptians,’” (Exodus 12:21-27).

Pharaoh, all his officials, and all the Egyptians got up during the night, because there was a great outcry throughout Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. During the night, Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aaron [ran through the streets terrified, looking for them – Ramban] and said, “Get up! Leave my people, you and the Children of Israel. Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your sheep and cattle, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.” The Egyptians strongly urged the Jews to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” (Exodus 12:30-33).

American elections are coming, the impeachment trial knocks on the door, Trump’s campaign will get into full swing soon. He want’s to put his Middle East Real Estate Project in order, get it out of the way, and maybe get that blessing too…

But will he?

While Israel has waited 70 years for peace, the Jews in Egypt, waited 210 years, to get out of slavery and leave Egypt. Yet, instead of fleeing right away, Moshe (a known extremist and true Jewish leader, who killed an Egyptian earlier), tells Pharaoh, “What are we thieves, that we should leave at night? We will leave when we’re good and ready, with heads held high, in broad daylight, in full view of all Egypt,” (Mekhilta).

That’s a Kiddush HaShem, the world sees, the God of Israel’s Power and Majesty to free His people.

In the morning, Moshe instructed the Jews to ask the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold, and for clothing. God made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for… (Exodus 12:35-36).

Pity Netanyahu and Gantz weren’t “tough” like Moshe and Aaron, telling Trump, lay off our land, and watch us apply sovereignty to all of it, in front of the eyes of the whole world. And, you’re going to recognize it. There’s no such thing as “Palestinians,” and there will never be a “Palestinian State.”

Maybe they would have been granted, all they demanded from Trump, like in Egypt? God just gave Netanyahu and Gantz, their chance at eternal greatness, and they blew it.

Instead, the peace deal that’s been announced, is a historic tragedy for the Jewish people, and a Chillul HaShem (slap in the face to the God of Israel, who gave it back to us in 1967).

How could any Jewish leader agree to compromise on God’s Land?

Meanwhile, some Temple Mount activists, working for freedom of Jewish worship and prayer on the Temple Mount, welcomed Trump’s plan. Officially called, “Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People,” the plan calls for Jerusalem’s holy sites, to “remain open and available for peaceful worshippers and tourists of all faiths.”

Instead of recognizing the Jewish people’s exclusive rights to the Temple Mount, it keeps the status quo.

The plan says, “People of every faith should be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, in a manner that is fully respectful to their religion, taking into account the times of each religion’s prayers and holidays, as well as other religious factors.”

Some Temple Mount activists claim that “the prayers of the Jews on the Temple Mount are now officially recognized by the United States,” and this recognition “advances the People of Israel in a major step toward fulfilling Jewish destiny at the site of the Temple.”

The activists plan to test this clause, by making an official request soon, to “allow every Jew to offer the Passover sacrifice on the Temple Mount, the most important commandment in the Torah,” this Pesach (Passover).

So, we will soon see the limits of the “peace plan,” who has gained “rights” and who has lost out...

For those religious Jews, who might object, really, there’s no good reason not to bring the Korban Pesach in our time. The Rambam (Maimonides), ruled that a Jew is obligated to offer the Passover sacrifice even when the Temple has not yet been built, even in ritual impurity, and even by today’s Kohanim (priests). Most of the halachic (Jewish Law) issues have been solved in the last couple hundred years, at least since the time of the Chatam Sofer, and particularly in our generation. Halacha is not the barrier. Go check it out. Also, see my article, “Getting Ready For Korban Pesach This Year.”

Although at first it was floated that sovereignty would be applied to the Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria by next week, now Kushner and others are saying to hold off until after the next elections. And what excuse will be made after that?

At this point, all that’s occurred, is that the United States has officially recognized Palestinian national aspirations for an independent state, and Netanyahu as head of the State of Israel, has praised that. He glowingly told a Fox interviewer, “It gives the Palestinians national dignity.” Whose Prime Minister is he?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “It’s the first time the Israelis have ever conceded to a map, that actually lays down real outlines of what this will look like and what this means, and it provides a clear pathway for a Palestinian state.”

A far cry from Moshe and Aaron and true Jewish leadership...
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

75 Years After Auschwitz And Not Much Learned


They come, they cry, they pay homage, and they leave. And where do they go back to? To places where anti-Semitism is growing by leaps and bounds. Where Jews are endangered once again.

They, are the over 50 world leaders, including Putin and Pence, coming to Israel, for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum. The event, entitled “Remembering the Holocaust: Fighting Antisemitism,” at Yad Vashem. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Neither they, nor most Jews have learned much in those 75 years.

This event at Yad Vashem, comes after some hundred parliamentarians from across Europe gathered at Auschwitz this week, and were urged by the Brussels based European Jewish Association, and the Action and Protection League of Europe, to toughen anti-Semitism laws in their countries.

They need to be urged?

They participated in a two-day program. Day one, they took part in a symposium in Krakow, and a gala dinner.

Of course, what’s a commemoration of genocide against the Jews, without a party?

The meetings and dinner speeches, addressed the need for increased Holocaust education in Europe, a strengthened commitment to passing national legislation to fight hatred towards Jews, and outlaw the sale of Nazi memorabilia. Followed by a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and memorial service, on day two.

Thanks to the internet and modern social media, Judeopathy is more globally pervasive today than in the 1930s.

One only needs to mention attacks on Jews in recent years in Pittsburgh, Poway, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Monsey, Toronto, Paris, Prague, London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Uman, and on, and on, and on…


Do I make my point?


For example, the number of attacks on Jews and anti-Semitic vandalism, reported to the police in France, surged 74% in 2018.

There’s also been a meteoric rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the United States in recent years. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 58% increase in such incidents, between 2016 and 2017, many of them in schools or on college campuses.

And, in November 2019, the FBI released data, that showed that Jews and Jewish institutions, were the overwhelming majority of targets, of religion-based hate crimes in 2018, as they have been every year since 1991, in America.

The stigma of the Holocaust is over. Anti-Semites openly voice their views. Judeopaths are free to roam wild. Jews and Israel are no more cut any slack. The killing season has started again. Little has been done to curb it. So, politicians worldwide, will do what they do so well, pay lip service.

In this World of Illusion and falsehood, selfies rule supreme. Mourning some dead Jews, spouting some trite lines, laying a wreath at Yad Vashem, and making sure the media sees you virtue signaling the right thing, is what counts.

A wise rabbi once said, “I’d rather be a live Jew that everybody hates, than a dead Jew that everybody mourns over.”

World leaders will “do the right thing,” and then go back home. Attacks on Jews will continue to grow, and politicians will continue to condemn them, and then do little, to nothing, to stop it.

Jews should work with friendly non-Jewish allies and the authorities in various countries, BUT, Jews shouldn’t put all their trust in them, to protect them. If we learned nothing from the 1930s and 1940s, at least Jews should have learned the importance of active self-defense, as permitted to the full extent of the law wherever they reside.

So, what about the Jews? What have they learned in 75 years?

Well let’s look at America for example. In America they’ve learned to build Holocaust museums, memorials, and to promote educational programs in schools, to raise awareness about the Holocaust and the evils of anti-Semitism.

Is it working? It doesn’t seem so, since anti-Semitic attacks are up up up.

Who hasn’t read about the Holocaust memorial or synagogue defaced...

Who hasn’t read about the Jewish child in school, abused by his or her peers, AFTER a Holocaust lecture or movie was shown. Swastikas appear on lockers, or in bathroom walls, etc. It happens, sorry to say, quite frequently.

What about promoting Jewish self-defense awareness? With so many attacks on Jews, in synagogue, at Jewish centers, kosher groceries, or just walking down the street, it seems reasonable. Jews should be arming themselves to the full extent of the law.

Its well known that a shooting or stabbing attack is shortened, and casualties minimized, with the introduction of a second weapon. Israel has seen that often, not just police or soldiers, but also armed Jewish civilians have stopped Arab shooters, stabbers, and attempted car rammings.

But, guess what, in America, Jews are proportionately more vocal and active in promoting gun-control than the general population.

Lest you say that’s only liberal and more secular Jews (who are a clear majority of Jews in America); only days after the Monsey attack on Hasidim last Hanukkah, members of the same community that was attacked, spoke out against taking up weapons.

A writer and activist from Monsey, Shimon Rolnitzky wrote:

“And we must be wary of those who say that guns are the answer. From the time that Haredi children are very small, we learn to despise weapons...They educated us to be pacifists and talked to us about how nice it will be when the Messiah comes, when “nation shall not lift the sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4).

“The great majority of Haredi Jews do not want to take up weapons. Jews who come to the Hanukkah lighting of their Rebbe, like those who had to struggle against a murderer with a big machete on Saturday night, are generally the type of people not to kill a fly. I still remember when I brought home a toy gun for Purim and my mother took it, saying that “Jews don’t have a use for guns.”

It seems that even after the Holocaust, and with increasingly violent attacks in America, Jews still haven’t learned the lesson of active self-defense.

Yet, Hanukkah celebrates the military victory of the Jews against the Seleucid Greeks.

And, Purim celebrates salvation from a genocidal decree. Not only did the king hang Haman and his ten sons, but the Jews killed 75,800 “Nazi Party” members also… (Esther chapter 9).

I’m sorry to say that these Hasidim, don’t seem to have learned the lesson of Hanukkah or Purim either.

As that Rabbi said, referring to the need for Jewish self-defense, “I’d rather be a live Jew that everybody hates, than a dead Jew that everybody mourns over.”

That’s the most important lesson to learn from Auschwitz, and what about Aliyah too!
 
Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Shemot: D’Nile Isn’t Just A River In Egypt


In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Shemot, we move from the Book of Genesis, to the Book of Exodus; from stories about the founding family of the Jewish people, to the “Am Bnei Yisrael,” the nation of Israel in Galut, exile. And, who calls the Jews a nation first? The Pharaoh of Egypt, himself (Exodus 1:9).

Let’s review the basic story. Pharaoh becomes paranoid that the Jews might become a fifth column against them, in case an enemy nation invades Egypt. He decides to recruit them for “Egyptian national service,” read slavery, to better control them, maybe even stop their population growth. Since that doesn’t work, he carries out an infanticide (ordering baby boys drowned), to decimate the Jewish male population.

Yocheved, Moshe’s mother, after giving birth, puts baby Moses, in a basket amongst the reeds by the Nile river, hoping to save him. He’s found by Pharaoh's daughter, brought home, raised in the palace, yet surreptitiously nursed by his mother, and grows up knowing he’s a Hebrew.

When he gets older, Pharaoh appoints him chamberlain over the palace. One day he goes out to check out the situation of the Hebrew slaves, and sees an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Jew. He kills the Egyptian, and buries him in the sand. The next day he sees two Jews fighting (Dathan and Abiran), and when he tries to intervene, one of them asks him, if he’s planning on killing him like he killed the Egyptian? Realizing that the murder is well known, Moshe gets scared, and when he finds out that Pharaoh heard about the killing, Moshe decides to flee Egypt.

Moshe goes to Midian, and rests by a well. Jethro’s daughters come to the well to water their father’s sheep, are harassed by other shepherds and saved by Moshe. They go home and tell Jethro that an “Egyptian” man helped them. Moshe lives with them, and later he marries one of Jethro’s daughters, Zipporah (Exodus, chapters 1 and 2).

Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook was known to remind people, about a teaching of the Rebbe of Ostravtza (Ostrowiec), R. Meir Yechiel HaLevi Halstock. The Rebbe taught, when people meet and ask each other where they’re from, a Jew should always reply, “I come from Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.”

Rav Tzvi Yehudah explained that there’s a midrash (Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:5), that criticizes Moshe in comparison to Joseph. Joseph identified with Eretz Yisrael. He told the people in prison, “I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews” (Genesis 40:15). Therefore he merited to be buried in Israel. Moshe, by contrast, didn’t acknowledge his homeland in the incident with Jethro’s daughters, when they told Jethro, “an Egyptian saved us,” Moshe remained silent. Therefore Moshe didn’t merit to be buried in Eretz Yisrael.

The Rebbe of Ostravtza asked, why the midrash finds fault with Moshe for not saying he was from Eretz Yisrael? After all, Moshe was born in, and grew up in Egypt, the exile (much like many Jews around the world today). The Rebbe answered, that because of God’s promise to give the Land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants, the Jewish people, Moshe belongs to the Land, he is inextricably connected to it. And so are all Jews today.

Rav Tzvi Yehudah explained that because of the long exile, Jews have become accustomed to think that life in Galut, exile, is normal. They think of themselves as Americans, Russians, French, Brazilian, etc. and forget that Eretz Yisrael is their natural, healthy, Divinely-intended place to live.

One only needs to mention attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh, Poway, Brooklyn, Jersey City, Monsey, Toronto, Paris, Prague, London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Uman, and on, and on, and on…

Do I make my point?


In November 2019, the FBI released data that showed that Jews and Jewish institutions, were the overwhelming target of religion-based hate crimes in 2018, as they have been every year since 1991, in America.

With rising anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism worldwide in the last several years, increasingly violent and deadly attacks on Jews have occurred, including in that most “safe of places,” “it couldn’t happen here,” “the Goldene Medina,” America.

Its not just the neo-Nazis and far-right who are increasingly attacking Jews in America, but also their “friends” on the left, including too far gone BDS, pro-Palestine Jews themselves. Blacks, Muslims, and everyday non-Jews are also getting into the act.

When are the Jews going to become Jew-Woke?

D’Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.

The parsha continues with Moshe getting his revelation at the burning bush. God sends him back to Egypt, to tell the Hebrews that the redemption is coming soon. Met by his brother Aaron on the way, they return to Egypt and tell the Jewish elders the good news, “And the people believed. And they heard that God had remembered the Children of Israel, was concerned about them, and had seen their affliction...” (Exodus chapters 3 and 4).

Moshe and Aaron then go, as commanded by God, to Pharaoh, and tell him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’”

Pharaoh answers them, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”

Pharaoh denies that there is any power greater than himself. Pharaoh claimed to be a god himself. Not yet grasping what’s really taking place, he begins his fatal plunge into total denial of the new reality about to unfold before his eyes, that will lead to the destruction of his country.

D’Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt.

He lashes back at them, “Moshe and Aaron, why are you bothering the people from their labor? Get back to your work!” Pharaoh then orders that straw be withheld from the Hebrew brick makers. He tells the Egyptian taskmasters to let them go and gather straw for themselves, but that they must keep to the quota, or else.

The Jewish foreman are then beaten for not keeping to the quota of bricks produced, and they complain to Pharaoh, about the lack of straw. He replies, “Lazy, that’s what you are, lazy! That’s why you keep saying, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to the Lord.’ Now get to work. You won’t be given any straw, but you must produce your full quota of bricks.”

They leave Pharaoh and find Moshe and Aaron waiting to meet them, they curse Moshe and Aaron saying, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”

So quickly has the joy of promised redemption, turned to bitterness and disgust with Moshe and Aaron.

Similarly, the joy of Israeli independence in 1948, and the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967, has evaporated for many Jews in the exile, to be replaced by anger toward Israel, and the so-called “occupation.”

Moshe himself then returns to God and asks, “Why Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Is this why You sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he’s done evil to this people, and You have not rescued Your People at all.”

The vision of redemption is fading quickly, even for the reluctant messenger, Moshe. God then answers him, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, because of My Strong Hand he will let them go; because of My Mighty Hand he will drive them out of his country” (Exodus chapter 5 and 6:1).

First came bitter slavery, then the hope of redemption, then like the birth pangs of labor before the baby is born, even greater suffering. After such great stress, the Jewish people in Egypt focus exclusively on their suffering and it’s “causes,” Moshe and Aaron; rather than the end goal, Redemption, Freedom, leaving the Egyptian Exile and return home to Eretz Yisrael.

Just like the denial of the Jews in Egypt during the Redemptive Process, so too, many Jews worldwide, since 1948, have denied the Redemption taking place in our days, with the rise of the State of Israel, and the freedom to come back to the homeland.

As Rav Tzvi Yehudah said, Jews became accustomed to think that life in Galut, exile, is normal, even with the increasing anti-Semitism, brutality and murder taking place there. They’re in denial that Eretz Yisrael is their natural, healthy, Divinely-intended place to live.

D’Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt!


Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2020/5780 Pasko

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Vayera: Mother Sarah Was The First Kahanist!


This past week’s Torah reading, Vayera, coincided with the 29th remembrance of the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. The former member of Knesset, leader of the later outlawed Kach party, and founder of the Jewish Defense League in America (JDL), Rabbi Kahane fought to protect Jews from anti-Semitism in America, increase Jewish identity and national pride, and to free Soviet Jewry.

But he was probably best known for advocating the transfer of Arabs out of Israel, to a new life somewhere else, to put an end to the Arab-Jewish conflict in Israel.

But was he the first to advocate expelling enemies attacking Jews?

In fact, in this past Torah reading, Vayera, we find Sarah, telling Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son [Ishmael – father of the Arabs], for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” Sarah had seen Ishmael constantly picking on little Isaac, (Genesis 21:9-10).

The Torah continues, “The matter greatly distressed Abraham regarding his son [Ishmael]. But God said to him, ‘Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.’” But they can not live together in the same land. So Abraham listened to God and expelled him and his mother, (Genesis 21:11-14).

There you go, right from the start of the Jewish people, the solution to attacks on Jews, is to expel the perpetrators. Mother Sarah in her woman’s wisdom, sees the future, that the Arabs and the Jews can’t live together, and God backs up her demand on Abraham, to expel Ishmael.

Later, God codifies it in the Torah, “You shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you...You shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” And then warns, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides; they shall trouble you in the land where you are settling,” (Numbers 33:52-53, 55).

Even the nations understood this, in the 20th century, several internationally sanctioned population transfers were implemented, to separate warring peoples.

Most notably, the Greco-Turkish agreed mutual expulsion in the 1920’s, of about 1.6 million people, and the Pakistani-Indian exchange, after British decolonization in 1947, where 10-12 million people were displaced.

Then there was the forced expulsion of about 12-14 million ethnic Germans (between 1944-50), from central and eastern Europe, to create more homogeneous states, after the war.

So, as Rabbi Kahane documented in his book, “They Must Go” (1981), population transfers and forced expulsions had been being used, long before his proposal to transfer the Arabs out of Israel. In fact, his plan was quite merciful, by international standards, since he proposed offering money to the Arabs to leave.

Even some Arab leaders had previously suggested transfer as a solution to the conflict.

For example, in 1939, Mojli Amin, a member of the Arab Defense Committee for Palestine put forward a proposal for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine. This proposal was published in Damascus and distributed among Arab leaders. Amin proposed that all of Palestine be given to the Jews.

“Furthermore, I hereby propose that all the Arabs of Palestine will leave and be divided up among the neighboring Arab countries. In exchange for this, all the Jews living in Arab countries will leave and come to Palestine,” Amin stated.

Amin proposed that this exchange of populations, should be carried out in the same way as the Greco-Turkish population exchange, and that special committees should be established to deal with the liquidation of Jewish and Arab property. He realized that at first there would be great difficulties, but he hoped they would be finally solved. (Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial, (New York, 1984), p.25, and Proposal, 21 May 1939, [CZA S25/5630]).

Later, in 1946, Britain awarded Transjordan (what had been 75% of the Palestine Mandate) independence, and Abdullah ibn Hussein became its King. His Prime Minister was an Arab jurist named Ibrahim Pasha Hashem.

In July 1946, Alexander Kirkbride, from the British Legation in Amman, reported on his meeting with King Abdullah and the Prime Minister. Various ideas for the future of the Palestine were discussed and Kirkbride wrote that Abdullah was, “for partition and he feels that the other Arab leaders may acquiesce in that solution although they may not approve of it openly.”

In Kirkbride’s meeting with Ibrahim Pasha, Pasha proposed a population transfer, to avoid future conflict in Palestine. Kirkbride reported that, “He [Pasha] went on to say that, in his opinion, the only just and permanent solution lay in absolute partition with an exchange of populations; to leave Jews in an Arab State or Arabs in a Jewish State would lead inevitably to further trouble between the two peoples. Ibrahim Pasha admitted that he would not be able to express this idea in public for fear of being called a traitor.”

About a month later, a telegram sent from Amman to the British Foreign Office stated, “King Abdullah and Prime Minister of Transjordan both consider that partition followed by an exchange of populations is the only practical solution to the Palestine problem. They do not feel able to express this view publicly because having regard to the possibility of the Arab area of Palestine being joined to Transjordan they would be regarded as prejudiced.”

We can see from this, that King Abdullah had now joined his Prime Minister in favoring population transfer. (Kirkbride to Wikeley, 29 July 1946, p.1-2,[PRO FO 816/85], and Telegram, Prodrome to Foreign Office, 23 August 1946, [PRO FO 816/85 C208213]).

For an excellent review of the subject, check out, “A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine 1895 – 1947,” by Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons (2004 – it can be found at chaimsimons.net).

An expression in the midrash and early Torah commentators, is “Ma’aseh Avot Siman l’Banim,” the deeds of the fathers are signs/guides to their children. Mother Sarah was teaching her children, us, the Jewish people, an important lesson.

When will we learn it?


Ariel Natan Pasko, an independent analyst and consultant, has a Master's Degree specializing in International Relations, Political Economy & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites and in newspapers. His latest articles can also be read on his archive: The Think Tank by Ariel Natan Pasko.
(c) 2019/5780 Pasko