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:

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