Friday, April 29, 2011

Iranian Website Displays Antisemitic Cartoons about the Holocaust

A video which was posted to YouTube on Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) depicts some disturbing anti-Semitic cartoons about the Holocaust which have been displayed on an Iranian website.
One of the cartoons shows a gas chamber into which Jews are depicted entering one by one. Above the chamber is a counter which counts the number of Jews who have entered the chamber, until it reaches six million – the number of Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. After the counter reaches the six million mark, the Jews who remain alive are seen cheering. %ad%
The clip then goes on to show a Jewish person as he approaches what appears to be an automated banking machine. He is shown to withdraw six million dollars from the machine, at which point it is revealed that the machine is in fact a “Holocaust Memorial.” The purpose of this cartoon is to criticize the world for its acceptance to pay restitution to the Jewish people over the Holocaust.
A third cartoon depicts Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as he ponders which mustache to wear, finally deciding on one that looks like a Star of David.
Also shown is one cartoon which depicts Europe as a cow, and the Holocaust as a means of milking money from the Europeans.
The cartoons are in line with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hateful view of Israel, the Jewish people, and the Holocaust. Ahmadinejad, who constantly calls to wipe Israel off the map, has many times publicly denied that the Holocaust occurred.
In one such speech, Ahmadinejad said the Holocaust was “exaggerated” as a pretext to “expand the domination of the victors, particularly the US and Britain, in the international arena.”  He also said that “the illegitimate Zionist regime is an outcome of the Holocaust,” stating that while many millions of people died during World War II, the Jews used the Holocaust as a way of massacring indigenous Arabs, evicting them, and establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.
On another occasion, Ahmadinejad, who slammed Israel for defending itself against terror attacks originating in Gaza, said that “the real Holocaust was in Palestine.”

The Jewish Conspiracy: A Strategic Weapon to Demonize Jews and Delegitimize Israel by Judge Hadassa Ben Itto

  • We democratic countries see the masses gathered in the public square and are very sympathetic to the outcry against dictatorships and to the fight for freedom. But I am concerned with the masses in the streets and with the outcome of a brainwashing process that has been going on for such a long time. Lies have been spread around the world as a strategic weapon.
  • In Cairo's Tahrir Square there were placards of Mubarak with a Star of David on his face. Lara Logan, an American journalist, was sexually molested in the middle of the square and was called a Jew, although she is not Jewish. She does not have to be Jewish. The word "Jew" has become an accepted insult in the public square.
  • The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - a proven lie and forgery - is being published around the world, with new editions in Arabic almost every year, and in Persian and Turkish. The Protocols was fabricated in France in the last decade of the nineteenth century, most of the text actually plagiarized from a French book published in 1865 by an opponent of Napoleon the Third.
  • In a pearl of literature written by a French lawyer, Maurice Joly, as an allegory, Machiavelli explains to Montesquieu what tools can be effectively used to take over, to dominate his country and the world. This is a detailed plan that describes in 25 dialogues, step by step, how to take over the police force, how to take over the legal system, how to plant bombs - meant to awaken the French people to what was happening in their country. Some 60 to 65 percent of The Protocols are verbatim passages from this book. Chapters were added later to make it the Jewish plan to dominate the world.
  • The Protocols is not just a libel; it is a political document describing a Jewish criminal conspiracy. The Protocols was first used by the Russian czars and then by the communists. Later, it became a central theme in Nazi propaganda, and then it was handed to the Muslim world.
  • There is no Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world but there is an anti-Jewish conspiracy. It starts with the Jews but it does not end with the Jews. The first airplane that was hijacked was an Israeli airplane, and now we line up in every airport for security checks, so the world should be concerned. The danger of contaminating the public discourse with lies is a danger to the whole world.
"Jew" Is an Insult in the Egyptian Public Square

We democratic countries see the masses gathered in the public square and are very sympathetic to the outcry against dictatorships and to the fight for freedom. But I am concerned with the masses in the streets and with the outcome of a brainwashing process that has been going on for such a long time. Lies have been spread around the world as a strategic weapon. Public opinion and public discourse have been polluted, and now the masses are standing up and trying to tell the leaders what to do.

If you paid careful attention to what happened in Cairo's Tahrir Square, you saw the placards of Mubarak with a Star of David on his face. Lara Logan, an American journalist, was sexually molested in the middle of the square and was called a Jew, although she is not Jewish. She does not have to be Jewish. The word "Jew" has become an accepted insult in the public square. A well-known preacher stood up and talked not about freedom but about the Jews, about what is going to happen to us when the masses take over. So we are rightfully worried.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion Leaves a Long and Lasting Imprint

The democratic societies in the world have sinned for years by ignoring this phenomenon. After being a judge for many years, I retired to researchThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion. After six years of research I wrote a book that has now appeared in ten languages, the most recent one in Arabic.

One of the anecdotes in my book is about a retired agent named Henri Rollin of the French Secret Service, who wrote books about European politics during the 1920s and the 1930s. He was well educated about Russia and, having been a secret agent, he had a lot of information that was not available to others. He had realized the importance of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - ­maintaining that everything that was happening in Europe, most importantly the infiltration of the Nazis into European politics, is influenced by The Protocols. He wrote an 800-page book entitled L'apocalypse de Notre Temps, all about how The Protocols had left its imprint on European politics.

The book was published in France on September 3, 1939, and you would think at the beginning of World War II the book would have been completely ignored. However, the Nazis did not ignore the book. When they conquered France they banned it, and so it vanished. Only in 1991 was Rollin's book republished by a small publisher in France. I see myself as following in Rollin's footsteps by following the history of The Protocols through the last decade and into the twenty-first century, and its impact on world politics.

Why is The Protocols - a proven lie and forgery - important today? Because it is being published around the world, with new editions in Arabic almost every year, and in Persian and Turkish. These publications are financed by government money and distributed not only in Arabic-speaking countries, but also to Muslim minorities around the world.

New editions are necessary because the introductions are updated every year. The introductions say if you do not believe that the Jews are really planning to take over the world, look at what is happening in your country and region. Everything that is happening is rooted in The Protocols, an implementation of the "Jewish Conspiracy." If there is a financial crisis, an Aids or a flu epidemic, a terrorist attack, an upheaval or a catastrophe, one can always point to a chapter or page in The Protocols because it is such a devious document that everything is there. There is a whole detailed plan of how to take over the world.

The Protocols is not only a forgery, it is plagiarism. It was actually written in France in the last decade of the nineteenth century. During the preparation for the Russian Revolution, Russian Bolshevik cells could not operate openly in Russia, so they were active elsewhere in Europe including France. A special envoy of the Russian Secret Police was sent to France to uncover the Bolshevik cells. The Russian Secret Service and the Black Hundreds, an ultra-nationalist movement in Russia whose slogan was "Beat the Jews and Save Russia," were trying to convince the Czar that the Jews were behind the Bolshevik Revolution. The Czar was already convinced, but they needed proof.

More than 100 years ago, a French woman by the name of Juliette Adam had a salon. In those days women still did not have the right to vote or be elected, but important and educated women who wanted to make a difference established salons. Adam was a very educated woman - an historian, newspaper owner and author - and she had a political salon where many anti-Semites gathered. There is much evidence that the preparations for the Dreyfus trial, which occurred more or less at the same time (in which a French Jewish army officer was wrongly convicted of treason and later exonerated), took place in her salon.

Juliette Adam's husband was the Chief of Police in Paris, who collaborated with the Russian envoy sent by the Secret Police, Piotr Rachkowsky, because the French did not like Bolshevik terrorists preparing bombs in small Paris hotels. Rachowsky, who was looking for ways to implicate Jews, was invited to Adam's salon, where someone told him of a book, which was banned in France but which the salon possessed, that could be turned into something against the Jews.

During the 1860s a French lawyer, Maurice Joly, wanted to arouse the French people against the terrible dictatorial regime of Napoleon the Third. In his biography he tells how he decided to write a book to describe to the French people the danger they were in. He decided to write an allegory, which was a dialogue between two people in the after-world: Machiavelli and Montesquieu. Machiavelli would represent the ideas and practices of Napoleon the Third and his terrible regime, while Montesquieu would represent the liberal ideas of the writer. He published it in Brussels because the French would not publish it, and he was arrested, tried, and went to prison. His book was banned.

This book is a pearl of literature. Machiavelli explains to Montesquieu why the people are dumb and why a dictator is necessary and what tools he can use to take over, to dominate his country and the world. There are chapters in this book dedicated to each subject - how to take over the police force, how to take over the legal system, how to do away with all the lawyers, how to raise havoc in the labor field, and how to plant bombs in strategic locations. It is a manual on how to dominate the world. The voice of Montesquieu becomes weaker while the voice of Machiavelli becomes stronger, and at the end Montesquieu says, "Oh God, what have you allowed?" He was telling the French people that this was what was happening in France.

Some 60 to 65 percent of The Protocols are verbatim passages from this book. Chapters were added to make it the Jewish plan to dominate the world. The Protocols was first published in Russia in 1905 by a religious fanatic in a monastery. From there it went around the world. After the revolution, officers of the White Army, who fled Russia, carried The Protocols with them to convince the world that what happened to the Romanov Dynasty in Russia would happen to them. The Jewish plan was to topple all the monarchs and governments in Europe. Between 1919 and 1921, The Protocols was published in every language in the world. Six editions were published in Germany in one year, blaming the Jews for World War I. The Protocols was never translated into Hebrew because we ignored it, thinking it was a bad joke.

The Bern Trial of 1934

There was a major trial in Bern, Switzerland, in 1934 after a new Nazi organization started using The Protocols, distributing copies at a public rally.The local Jews, who realized what was happening across the border in Germany, decided to take the Swiss Nazis to trial.

In the introduction to my English book, Lord Chief Justice of England Harry Wolfe wrote that the Bern trial is probably the most important trial ever because in this trial, live witnesses testified in court and described the origins of The Protocols and the use made of this document. They included the head of the opposition to the Czar, historians, politicians and former agents who escaped the revolution and decided to bear witness to this forgery. 

The Protocols is not just a libel, it is a political document describing a Jewish criminal conspiracy to dominate the world, and almost the first leader outside Russia who picked it up was Adolph Hitler. As a strategic step, the Nazis decided to use The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a central part of their ideology, as we know from correspondence between Hitler and Goebbels. A German historian describes in his book how Hitler used The Protocols on the way to the Final Solution, but he had already mentioned it in Mein Kampf. The Nazis were masters of the "Big Lie" and their tactics have been adopted by the Muslim world. The theory is that the bigger the lie, the better success of brainwashing the public.

The Germans established what they called Weltdienst, a center located in Erfurt that spread Nazi ideology and propaganda around the world. The head of Weltdienst was Ulrich Fleischhauer, and Nazi branches or organizations with different names started springing up in every country, fed on Nazi ideology and tactics. At the 1934 Bern trial, the Swiss judge ordered both sides to appoint experts. The Swiss Nazi defendants could not find an expert to testify that The Protocols were an authentic document, so Ulrich Fleischhauer, the head of Weltdienst, came to Switzerland to be the expert. When the judge asked him if he was an expert on The Protocols, he said that he was not, but that he was an expert on the Jews.

The Protocols in the U.S.

The Protocols was also published in the United States, where its biggest promoter was Henry Ford, who published 97 excerpts in his newspaper, theDearborn Independent. These terrible anti-Semitic articles were then collected in a book called The International Jew. Ford was sued in court by American Jews, and the trial went on for six years (1921-1927). In the end, Ford settled with the Jewish community. By the way, every trial againstThe Protocols before the Bern trial ended with a settlement, because the defendants could never prove the authenticity of The Protocols, but when the Nazis came into power they prohibited any settlement in a trial concerning the Protocols, deciding to use courtrooms as a forum to spread Nazi ideology.

In 1964, the United States Senate appointed a committee to study The Protocols. In a unanimous report nine senior senators called the Protocolsthe hoax of the century and a document endangering America.

Following in the footsteps of The Protocols one realizes that this fabricated document, first used by the Russian czars, was then used by the communists, later served as a central theme in Nazi propaganda, and then it was handed over to the Muslim world.

The Protocols in the Muslim World

The Protocols is a central issue in Arab and Muslim propaganda, even in what we call moderate countries, including countries that made peace with Israel. The Protocols is everywhere, in every Arabic book fair, more in Egypt, less in Jordan. It is in public discourse, in newspapers, and even in TV soap operas. It describes world history from beginning to end, including the French Revolution, as part of the Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world. Until the end of World War II, the problem was the Jews, but after the establishment of the State of Israel, the target has become Israel.

The Protocols are best sellers in all Muslim countries because this is what they have been told over and over again in their media and schoolbooks. When my book was translated into Arabic, the translator and publisher, both graduates of the Hebrew University, one a Christian Arab and the other a Muslim Arab, told me that until they read my book, they did not know that The Protocols is a forgery.

There is no Jewish conspiracy to dominate the world but there is an anti-Jewish conspiracy.  Using this book against the Jews for 100 years is part of a conspiracy and everybody who takes part in it is a conspirator against us. It starts with the Jews but it does not end with the Jews. The first airplane that was hijacked was an Israeli airplane, and now we line up in every airport for security checks, so the world should be concerned. The danger of contaminating the public discourse with lies is a danger to the whole world.
*    *     *

Judge Hadassa Ben Itto, author of The Lie That Wouldn't Die, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (2005), served for 31 years as a judge in all levels of the Israeli courts, including as an acting justice of the Supreme Court. She has also served as an official representative of the State of Israel in various international forums, including UNESCO and the United Nations General Assembly. She is currently the Honorary President of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. This Jerusalem Issue Brief is based on her presentation at the Institute for Contemporary Affairs of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on February 24, 2011.

HonestReporting: When Mideast Journalists are Forced to Keep the News to Themselves

When reporting in the closed societies of the broader Middle East, journalists are being vigilantly watched, harassed, and abused by authoritarian regimes, secret police, and media manipulators who work for terror proxies.

Their work and their safety are always at risk. Constantly intimidated and censored from reporting the truth, reporters languish in prisons or are murdered to silence a story and to remove a vital witness to important events.

On May 1 - 3, we mark World Press Freedom Day, an event that seeks to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments, specifically in the broader Middle East, the Arab world, and North Africa, of their duty to respect and protect the journalists, and not to target and intimidate the media.

Yeshua Ben Nun Yahrzeit Thousands of people visited Yeshua Ben Nun's Kaver on Thursday Night April 28 2011 to mark the Yahrzeit of his passing. He is buried in Heres, in Samaria, a village dating back to Biblical times which is now a Palestinian Authority-controlled town. Zchisoi Yugein Uleini

Briefing by Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon Regarding Shooting Near Joseph's Tomb

The joke that sums up the media's bias against Israel

An Israeli is on vacation and is visiting a zoo in the States when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage.
Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.
The Israeli runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch.
Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the Israeli brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.
A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says to the Israeli:  'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I've seen a man do in my whole life.'
The Israeli replies, 'Why, it was nothing, really.  The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right..'
The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page...  So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?'
The Israeli replies, "I serve in the Israeli army and I vote for the Likud."
The journalist leaves.
The following morning the Israeli buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:
That pretty much sums up the media's approach to Israel these days.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ahmadinejad and Hitler The Two Great Evils of History by: Rabbi YY Jacobson

Give Us Two
One of the intriguing things about the Ten Commandments (1) is that they were engraved on two separate tablets. Was G-d short of granite that He needed to use two tablets? Why could He not carve the commandments onto a single stone?
There is the stereotypical Jew-bashing joke about this. Before coming to the Jews, G-d approached all the nations and asked if they would like to accept the Torah. Each of them refused because of some commandment in the Bible to which they could not possibly adhere. When G-d presented the offer to the Jews, their sole question was: How much do you want for it?
To which G-d responded: “It’s for free.”
So the Jews replied: “Give us two.”
Yet the issue demands sincere reflection. Why indeed was there a need for two tablets?
Two Versions
The rabbis in the midrash proposed a novel answer. The Ten Commandments, they suggested, were engraved on two tablets, five on each stone,  so that they would be read in two directions -- from top to bottom, and from side to side (2).
The simplest way of reading the Ten Commandments is, of course, from top to bottom:
On the first stone:
1) I am the Lord your G-d who has taken you out of Egypt...
2) You shall have no other gods...
3) You shall not swear in G-d's name in vain...
4) Remember the Sabbath...
5) Honor your father and your mother...
And the five commandments engraved on the second tablet:
6) You shall not murder.
7) You shall not commit adultery.
8) You shall not steal.
9) You shall not bear false witness against your fellow.
10) You shall not covet your fellow’s house; you shall not covet your fellow’s wife … nor anything that belongs to your fellow.
This was the way of reading the Ten Commandments vertically. Yet due to the fact that the first five commandments were engraved on one stone and the second five on a separate stone, there was another way of reading the commandments -- horizontally instead of vertically, from commandment No. 1 directly to No. 6; from No. 2 to No. 7; 3 -- 8; 4 -- 9; 5 -- 10.
This version of the Ten Commandments would then read like this:
1) I am the Lord your G-d/You shall not murder. 2) You shall have no other gods/You shall not commit adultery; and so forth with the rest of the commandments.
Yet this explanation begs the question: Why is it necessary to read the Ten Commandments horizontally? What insight can we gain from this alternative reading of the commandments?
In this essay we will discuss the juxtaposition of the first and sixth commandments: "I am the Lord your G-d/You shall not murder." The significance of this “horizontal” reading from a historical, political and religious standpoint cannot be overstated. It embodies one of the most stunning aspects of Judaism. What is at stake in this juxtaposition is nothing less than the future of human civilization.
Two Historical Attempts
Two groups have made an attempt to divorce commandment no. 1 from commandment no. 6 -- to sever the idea of a Creator, who conceived the world for a moral purpose, from the imperative to honor the life of another human being. The first group was comprised of the philosophers of the Enlightenment during the 18th and 19th centuries, the second of religious leaders in many and diverse ages. The result for both was moral defeat.
The thinkers of the Enlightenment ushered in the Age of Reason and the modern secular era, founded on the belief that the great ideal of “You shall not murder” did not require the prerequisite of “I am the Lord Your G-d” in order to be sustained. Religion was not necessary to ensure moral behavior; reason alone, without G-d, would guide humanity into an age of liberty and to the achievement of moral greatness. The sixth commandment could operate successfully independent of the first.
While religion embodied the vision of man standing in a continuous relationship with G-d, the essence of the Enlightenment represented the vision of man without G-d. It was a vision already introduced during the first days of creation near the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, by the most sophisticated animal of the time, the serpent. “You shall be like G-d," it promised Eve (3). Man could, and ought to, replace G-d. Left to his own vices, the thinking went, the human being will achieve greatness.

But the Holocaust spelled the end of this grand faith in the promise of human progress based on human reason. In Auschwitz, the belief that modern man felt a natural empathy for others was ruined forever.
The gas chambers were not invented by a primitive, barbaric and illiterate people. To the contrary, this people excelled in sciences and the arts, but nevertheless sent 1.5 million children, and 4.5 million adults, to their deaths solely because they had Jewish blood flowing in their veins. SS guards would spend a day in Auschwitz, gassing as many as 12,000 human beings, and then return home in the evening to pet their dogs and laugh with their wives. As the smoke of children ascended from the crematoriums, these charming romantics would enjoy good wine, beautiful women and the moving music of Bach, Mozart and Wagner. They murdered millions of innocents in the name of a developed ethic, and they justified genocide on purely rational grounds.
In "Schindler’s List," there is a scene during the liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto where a little girl hiding in a piano is shot dead by an SS guard. As her little angelic body lay in a river of blood, another guard sits down to play the piano.
First SS guard: Was ist das? Ist das Bach?
Second SS guard: Nein. Mozart.
First SS guard: Mozart?
Second SS guard: Ja. And they both marvel at the exquisite music.
This was Nazi Germany at its best.
Elie Wiesel who gripped the world’s imagination with his book "Night," a personal testimony of life and death in Auschwitz, once asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who himself lost many members of his family in the Holocaust, how he could believe in G-d after Auschwitz. If G-d existed, Wiesel asked, posing the single greatest challenge to faith, how could He ignore 6 million of His children de-humanized and murdered in the cruelest of fashions?
The Rebbe shed a tear and then replied, “In whom do you expect me to believe after Auschwitz? In man?”
This must remain one of the lasting legacies of Auschwitz. If there is any faith at all left after the extermination of 6 million people, it must glean its vitality from something transcending the human rationale and its properties. If morality is left to be determined exclusively by the human mind, it can become a morality that justifies the guillotine, the gulag and the gas chamber. As Dostoevsky famously put it in "The Brothers Karamazov," “Where there is no G-d, all is permitted.”
The atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote: “I cannot see how to refute the arguments for the subjectivity of ethical values [resulting from atheism], but I find myself incapable of believing that all that is wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don’t like it.” Russell’s point is critical. Without G-d, we cannot objectively define any behavior as good or evil. As difficult as it is to entertain, no one can objectively claim that gassing a mother and her children is any more evil than killing a mouse. It is all a matter of taste and opinion. The validity and effectiveness of “You shall not murder” can be sustained only if it is predicated on the foundation of faith in a universal moral creator who gave humanity an absolute and unwavering definition of what constitutes good vs. evil.
Professor Abraham Joshua Heschel, who escaped Warsaw a few weeks before it was invaded and lost most of his family in the Nazi Holocaust, captured this sentiment succinctly: “If man is not more than human, then he is less then human.” Either we climb to a place beyond ourselves, or we are likely to fall to a place below ourselves.  When the vision of the sacred dies in the soul of a person, he or she is capable of becoming a servant of the devil.
Religious Evil
But this is far from the whole picture.
While the Enlightenment abandoned commandment no. 1 in favor of no. 6, various religions over the ages abandoned no. 6 in favor of no. 1. Theirs has been the atrocious belief that as long as you believe in the Lord, or in Allah, you can kill and maim whomever you brand an "infidel." Whether it is a business executive in New York, or a teen-ager eating a slice of pizza in Jerusalem, or a child on the first day of school in Beslan, or a commuter in Madrid, or a tourist in Bali, or a Chabad couple in Mumbai, if the person is not a member of your faith, G-d wants him or her to die. For the religious fundamentalist, "I am the Lord your    G-d" has nothing to do with "You shall not murder." 
This is the greatest perversion of faith. Faith that does not inculcate its followers with the sanctity of every single human life desecrates and erodes the very purpose of faith, which is to elevate the human person to a state beyond personal instinct and prejudice. If you delete “You shall not murder” from religion, you have detached yourself from “I am the Lord your G-d.” To believe in G-d means to honor the life of every person created in the image of G-d. What the juxtaposition of the two commandments is telling us is that you can’t believe in G-d and murder (3*).
Conversely, if you truly believe that taking the life of another human is wrong -- not just because you lack the means or motive to do so or are afraid of ending up in jail, but because you recognize the transcendent, inviolable value of life -- that's just another way of saying you believe in G-d. For what confers upon human life its radical grace, its transcendent sanctity and its absolute value if not the living presence of G-d imprinted on the face of the human person?
More than 3,300 years ago, Judaism, in the most ennobling attempt to create a society based on justice and peace, established its principle code in the sequence of the two commandments – “I am the Lord your G-d/You shall not murder.” A society without   G-d can become monstrous; a society that abandons the eternal and absolute commandment “You shall not murder” is equally evil. Both are capable of burning children alive during the day and then retiring to sleep with a clear conscience.
The Mountain
The Talmud captures this notion in a rather strange, but intriguing, fashion (4).
The Talmud cites a tradition that when Israel approached Sinai, G-d lifted up the mountain, held it over the people's heads and declared: “Either you accept the Torah, or be crushed beneath the mountain.” (The Talmud bases this tradition on the verse in Exodus, “And they stood beneath the mountain (5).”) 
This seems ludicrous. What worth is there to a relationship and a covenant accepted through coercion (6)?
The answer is profoundly simple. What G-d was telling the Jewish people is that the creation of societies that honor life and shun cruelty is dependent on education and on the value system inculcated within children of the society. The system of Torah, G-d was suggesting, was the guarantor for life and liberty. If you reject the morality of Torah, if you will lack the courage and conviction to teach the world that “I am the Lord your G-d” and that I have stated unequivocally “You shall not murder,” the result will be humanity crushed under a mountain of tyrants.
Sixty-five years since Auschwitz and after one decade of incessant Islamic terrorism, the mountain is hanging over our heads once again. Shall we embrace the path of divine-based morality? Shall we never forget that religion must always be defined by “You shall not murder (7)?”

1) Exodus chapter 20.
2) Mechilta to Exodus ibid.
3) Genesis 3:5.
3*) The Midrash (Mechiultah ibid.) in discussing the connection between the first and sixth commandments presents the following parable to explain the evil behind murder: “There was a king who entered a country and put up portraits of himself, and made statues of himself, and minted coins with his image. After a while, the people of the country overturned his portraits, broke his statues and invalidated his coins, thereby reducing the image of the king. “So, too, one who sheds blood reduces the image of the King, as it is written (Genesis 9:6): "One who spills a man's blood... for in the image of G-d He made man."
4) Talmud, Shabbas 88a.
5) Exodus 19:17.
6) This question is raised among many of the Talmudic commentators. Many answers have been offered. See Tosfos, Eitz Yosef, Pnei Yehoshua, Shabbos Shel Mi and BenYehoyada to Talmud Shabbos ibid. Midrash Tanchumah Noach section 3. Daas Zekeinim Mibbalei Hatosafos on Exodus 19:17. Maharal Tiferes Yisroel ch. 32, Gur Aryeh on Exodus ibid. and Or Chodash p. 45. Sources noted in Pardas Yosef to Exodus ibid. Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Pulnah in Ben Poras Yosef Parshas Vayeishev. Torah Or Megilas Esther p. 96c; 118c. 
7) This essay is based on a Yiddish letter by the Lubavitcher Rebbe written  to Dr. Elie Wiesel in 1965 (published in Likkutei Sichos vol. 33 pp.255-260) and on a 1962 public address by  the Rebbe (published in Likkutei Sichos vol. 3 pp. 887-895), and on other sources.

Facebook and the Third Intifada When a Gesture for Peace is an Invitation for War by: Rabbi YY Jacobson

Swept up by the momentum of the recent Facebook-powered revolutions in the Arab world, a newly formed, super-viral Palestinian group on Facebook openly advocates another Intifada (terror war) against the citizens of Israel.

The "Third Palestinian Intifada," calls for a million supporters to join forces in a violent uprising against Israel on May 15, 2011, or Nakba Day, the date on which Arabs mourn the establishment of Israel. Previous intifadas (1987 and 2000) resulted in the murders of thousands of innocent victims through suicide bombings, rocket attacks, roadside shootings and numerous acts of terror.

The facebook page, entitled Third Palestinian Intifada, has more than 350,000 fans. Facebook has refused to remove the page. Will a Jewish young man, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, actually assist the bloodshed of his own people?

Supporters of Israel are deeply worried. On Friday night, March 12, a young Israeli family in Itamar was butchered to death. Last Wednesday, a bombing in Jerusalem killed a woman and wounded dozens. Rocket attacks from Gaza are increasing by the day. Are these barbaric acts heralding 
the launch of a third Intifada?

Over the last two years Israel has acquiesced to the incessant demands of the Palestinian Authority and the Obama administration that it freeze construction of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, in order to promote peace. It also removed scores of roadblocks allowing Palestinians free entry into Israel cities and towns. The economy in the West Bank has been prospering. Why, then, the sudden fury against Israel?
The answer is painful. Without even a single exception, every time Israel ceded territory or made security compromises to its neighbors, that territory became an infrastructure of terror, from which Arabs were sent to murder innocent Israeli civilians.

In the summer of 2005, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza, which it obtained in the 1967 war. Not even on an inch of land remained under Israeli occupation. The then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon believed that with not a single Jew left in Gaza and with the Israeli occupation over, the Arabs living there would now be driven to create a functioning state, and security would increase for both sides.
Alas, the exact opposite occurred. Hamas swept into Gaza and turned it into a terrorist infrastructure, with a clear objective: to destroy Israel. The result was increased rocket attacks from unoccupied Gaza targeting Israeli civilians on a daily basis.
One decade earlier, the Oslo peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority persuaded Israel to cede territories in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank of Jordan), obtained from Jordan in the 1967 war, to the Palestinian Authority. What was the result? Those very territories have become bastions of terror from where young Arab men and women were sent to blow up and murder as many civilians as possible. Endless rivers of blood and tears began flowing in the buses, streets, café’s, and schools of Israel.
At Camp David, in 2000, Yasser Arafat was offered a Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, along with 100% of Gaza and 98% of the West Bank. Arafat's response was a terror campaign that claimed the lives of thousands of his own people, in addition to thousands of dead and maimed Jews.
For years Israel said to its Arab neighbors, "Let us live together." Their consistent reply was: “Rather than live together, we will die together.” In 1947, the UN in its famous partition plan, offered the Arabs a state alongside a Jewish one. Israel accepted the offer; the Arabs rejected it.

After the Six Day War, Israel offered the return of the territories in exchange for peace and the Arab league issued its three famous No’s: No to peace, no to negotiation, and no to recognition. Why did the Arabs not, for their own benefit, accept the path of coexistence?
The painful answer is that the Arab objective is not to establish the twenty-second Arab state, but to destroy the only Jewish state. Arab leaders have always craved a Palestinian state that, in their oft-repeated phrase, would "extend from the river to the sea," i.e., from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea—all of Israel. It is not about Arab desire for more land that drives the continuous strife; it is the feeling that if Israel exists, their existence is somehow worthless.
The Arab war against Israel is no more a territorial conflict than was Al Qaeda's strike against America, and it can no more be resolved by giving away territory than anti-Americanism could be appeased by yielding New Jersey to Osama bin Laden.
What has changed from 2005 to 2011 that should convince Israel that this time around it would be any different? Has the education curriculum in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza been altered to start teaching children about the importance of peace and co-existence? Have the Imams during their weekly sermons in the Mosques changed their jargon exclaiming that Israel is not the face of the devil? Have Arab communities stopped naming streets and quarters after suicide bombers who murdered Israeli civilians?
Sadly, nothing of this has occurred. No one in the international community even demands it as a prerequisite for peace negotiations. While Israeli schools teach that peace is our greatest ideal, in every single Arab school without exception Israel is portrayed as the enemy of G-d which must be obliterated. With these realities unaltered, giving away more territories, removing roadblocks, ceasing construction of Jewish homes, would bring more war not peace.
Two weeks ago, on March 13, the municipality in Ramallah, under the Palestinian Authority, named a new town square. It was named for the female leader of a 1978 bus hijacking in which 35 Israelis were murdered, including 13 children. Dalal al-Mughrabi, a member of the then-underground Fatah movement, led the hijacking of the bus on Israel's Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.
"We stand here in praise of our martyrs and in loyalty to all of the martyrs of the national movement," Fatah member Sabri Seidam said at the unveiling of a plaque showing Mughrabi cradling a rifle against a backdrop map of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The square was festooned with Palestinian flags.
The naming ceremony was conducted two days after five Israelis were stabbed to death in their home in Itamar, the victims including an infant and a four year old. What does this teach Palestinian youth about murdering Jewish babies?

For decades, the Palestinian Authority has demonized Israelis and Jews as enemies to be destroyed, vermin to be loathed, and infidels to be terrorized. Children who grow up under Palestinian rule are inundated on all sides — in school, in the mosques, on radio and TV, even in summer camps and popular music — with messages that glorify bloodshed, promote hatred, and lionize “martyrdom.’’

The toxic incitement that pervades Palestinian culture has been massively documented. What children are taught in Palestinian classrooms, Hillary Clinton said in 2007, is “to see martyrdom and armed struggle and the murder of innocent people as ideals to strive for…This propaganda is dangerous.’’

Last year Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the Netanyahu position at the time against freezing the construction "very unfortunate" and said he hoped the U.S. "will be able to convince the Israeli government to give peace a chance by halting settlement construction in east Jerusalem and elsewhere."
“Give peace a chance?” Israel has stretched out its neck time and time again in order to give peace a chance and it has received in return thousands of orphans.
If some day the Arabs are serious about creating a democratic Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem, co-existing peacefully with Israel, why are Jews not allowed to live and build homes there? What type of free democracy would it be if Jews would be banned from there? Arabs are allowed to live in all parts of Israel, but Jews are forbidden to live in parts of Palestine?
How can leaders of free democracies advocate the creation of a new Palestinian State which does not allow a single Jew to live in its midst? Why can’t Jews build homes in a free Palestinian State? Unless, of course, this Palestinian State has at its core agenda the extermination of Israel.
At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill quipped, “You can always rely on America to do the right thing, once it has exhausted the alternatives.” Israel, which has far fewer alternatives than the U.S., has long ago exhausted them all. How much more innocent blood needs to be spilled before we abandon the failed maps of the past? How many more children have to be blown up by suicide bombers before we pursue the only real course for peace? How many more throats have to be slashed in order to sober us up?

Their Eyes Were Dry

NCM Fathom and The Movie Machine present an Evening of Reflection and Song featuring the debut of the documentary Their Eyes Were Dry directed by Brandon Assanti, which tells the story of the 1974 terrorist attack in Ma'alot, Israel where children were taken hostage by three Palestinian terrorists. This moving documentary will touch viewers of all cultures and generations.

Join Us For This Monumental Occasion
In Select Movie Theaters Nationwide for a Special One Night Event
Monday, May 9, 2011 at 7pm Local

Tickets available at

Civil trial attorney Baruch C. Cohen meets Professor Abraham Bell of University of San Diego at CAMERA event at Young Israel of Los Angeles

CAMERA (Committee for Middle East Reporting in America): “International Law and Modern Warfare: Why Goldstone’s Acknowledgement of Error Does Not Go Far Enough” featuring Dr. Abraham Bell, International Law Scholar

Hamas wants to talk. They want peace.

Lets Play Pretend

Defending Israel from Media Bias; Lessons from Alan Dershowitz's The Case for Moral Clarity by civil trial attorney Baruch C. Cohen Pesach 2011, KMR Tours, Rancho Mirage, CA

1. Israel, Hamas and Moral Idiocy
2. Israel’s Policy is Perfectly ‘Proportionate’
3. The CNN Strategy
4. Hamas’s Dead Baby Strategy
5. Hamas’s War Crimes
6. Hamas Provoked Response
7. The Phony War Crimes Accusation Against Israel
8. Why a Cease Fire Will Not Fail
9. Will a Cease Fire Work?
10. Israel, Gaza and International Law
11. The Moral Blindness of Some “Religious Leaders”
12. For the International Criminal Court to Work, the Worst Must Come First
13. Judge a Nation by How it Responds to its Mistakes
14. What Should Israel Have Done?
15. How to Assure Repetition of Hamas Rocket Attacks
16. Hampshire Divests from Israel, So Contributors Should Divest from Hampshire
17. Bishop Tutu’s Call For A Gaza Investigation Will Encourage More Terrorism
18. Can the Whole World be Wrong About Israel
19. How moral equivalence erodes accurate reporting
20. Media show a reckless disregard for the truth about terror
21. Massacre of Fogel family in Itamar met by callous media indifference
22. LA Times: Settlements provoke baby killing & armchair barbarism
23. Stop apologizing for Israel; it’s time to take the offensive

Why Palestinians Want This Video Removed

Colored Squares

Shloime Gertner sings "Malkah"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Funeral of Breslover Chasid Killed At Kever Yosef Thousands of people on Sunday Chol Hamoed Pesach April 24 attended the funeral of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was shot dead earlier in the day by a Palestinian policeman at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

Helfgot & Yonatan Razel-V'hi Sheamda

Belz Rebbe by Bentching of the Trees Chodesh Nissan

Lone Soldiers Blessed and Hugged Before Pesach

"The Great Parade" (.com) 2011- 5771 (Parade Paradin) Promo

Birkat kohanim on pesach at the kotel

Cousins Meet for First Time at Yad VaShem


The advent of Yom HaShoah this coming week always engenders within me an inner turbulence and discomfort. It is not only the fact that the Holocaust destroyed six million innocent people simply because they were Jews – a third of our nation and co-religionists – though that alone causes me to have this great angst in my soul. Human beings are somehow built to withstand tragedy – even enormous indescribable tragedy - and continue with life. Rather, part of my discomfort is that I, and I think the Jewish people generally, have not found a truly meaningful way of commemorating this historic tragedy.

All of the Holocaust museums world wide and especially Yad Vashem here in Jerusalem are magnificent in their historic presentation of the awful facts of the Holocaust. But one never leaves the museums with a sense of comfort or even consolation let alone closure.

There is no museum that can speak to the soul of the Jew. It speaks to our senses, even to our intellect, to our hearts, but somehow never to our soul. And it is that emptiness deep within our soul that gnaws at us and leaves us unfulfilled no matter how magnificent the museum or meaningful the memorial ceremony may be.

There are numerous groups within the Jewish society that somehow do not participate in Holocaust memorial days or events. There are many reasons advanced for this seemingly insensitive behavior, none of which are satisfactory to my mind or soul. Yet I feel deep down in my being that the spiritual and soulful emptiness that somehow always  accompanies these commemorations reflects the absence of so many Jews.

I say this not in criticism of any of the commemorations. They have an impossible task and therefore one should almost expect them to fall short of the mark. But the intellectual acceptance of this fact still does little to quiet the turmoil in my soul.

I have always identified myself and our post-Holocaust generations with the great imagery of the scene described by the prophet Yechezkel. The prophet views a large valley covered by bleached scattered human bones. The Midrash teaches us that these were the remains of the tens of thousands of the tribe of Joseph who attempted to escape Egyptian bondage before the actual redemption from Egypt by Moses took place.

They had fallen victim to the ravages of the desert and the enmity of the pagan tribes that persecuted them. The prophet sees no hope for their revival. After all, by his time they have already been dead for millennia. And the prophet also senses that they have never properly been mourned and commemorated.

The Lord informs the prophet that these bones are symbolic of “the entire household of Israel.” The household of Israel is itself overwhelmed with its anonymous dead who have no graves or monuments to somehow mark the fact that they once lived on this earth. The prophet despairs of their revival or continuity.

But the Lord tells him to prophesy over the dry bones and restore them to their physical human form. Then the spirit of the Lord enters them and they come back life and arise on the valley floor as a mighty host.

The prophet does not tell us what the end of this story was. What happened to this mighty host of newly and miraculously revived Jews? The Talmud offers two different insights on this matter. One is that the revival was only a temporary phenomenon and that they all reverted immediately to being dry dead bones.

This opinion was contradicted by the sage Rabbi Yehuada ben Beteira. He rose in the study hall and stated: “God forbid that we should advance such a pessimistic opinion. Rather, they married, raised children and lived a full life thereafter. And I am a descendant of theirs and as a proof of the matter I hold in my hand the tefilin of my ancestors [that they themselves wore.]”

I feel that the only closure that can reach our soul regarding Jewish tragedy is the recognition of the continuity of generations and tradition that binds the Jewish people together. Our past, those that are gone and even those who are unknown to us whose ashes and bones litter the landscape of a cursed continent, live on through us - through our achievements and struggles on behalf of Torah and Israel.

We wear their tefilin, many of us literally, all of us figuratively. This realization regarding the tefilin will always speak to our souls and help us to truly commemorate the Holocaust and the resilience of the Jewish people in overcoming a tragedy of even such incalculable dimensions.

Soulfarm - Take Your Shoes Off

When you think of Moses approaching the Burning Bush, you can be forgiven if the first thing that pops into your mind is Charlton Heston and some fuzzy Technicolor special effects. After all, it's one of the most famous scenes from The Ten Commandments, which, to many people, is the Passover story.

After listening to the new song "Take Your Shoes Off," however, you might have a quite different image in your head: That of a country bluegrass hoedown.

"Take your shoes off, Moses, you're on holy ground!" sings Noah Solomon, the guitarist and singer for the band Soulfarm, on the single from their just-released album Holy Ground. Mandolin, slap bass, fiddle, and organ back him up, and the whole band sings the line back at us in a low, gravelly, gospel-inspired chorus.

The song tells the story of the moment when Moses was summoned to that bush--the first time he spoke directly to God. Instead of a quiet, hesitant meeting of a lowly shepherd and theRuler of the Universe, Soulfarm portrays the moment as an exuberant, joyful celebration. After all, if you met your Creator, wouldn't you want to show how grateful you were?

PMW: PA daily: "Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes"

An article in the official PA daily newspaper claims that Palestinian Christian youth perform a spring march in the streets that includes the chant: "Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes." (See PMW web sitefor examples of the Palestinian Authority referring to Jews as "apes and pigs.") He writes that these "meaningful messages" are in response to Israel's security measures in Jerusalem during the holiday of Passover:

"For many years the holy city [Jerusalem] has been deliberately closed to Palestinians, under security-related pretexts and for the Jewish festival of Passover."

The writer says that the Easter services in Jerusalem have lost their Palestinian flavor because of western Christian pilgrims:

"The festivities at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have begun to assume a western character, because of the massive presence of foreign Christian pilgrims and the limited presence of Palestinians."

But the writer insists that in Palestinian Authority cities, the festivities have retained their Palestinian flavor. He describes youth chanting that the Jewish holiday of Passover is the "Holiday of the Apes":

"The spring carnival has retained its [Palestinian] flavor in towns such as Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Ramallah... with the demonstrations of the Scouts, songs, dances, and popular Palestinian hymns about Christian-Islamic unity and internal Christian unity. These hymns carry meaningful messages, in response to the Israeli prohibition [to enter Jerusalem], as seen in the calls of the youth who lead the procession of light, waving swords and not caring if anyone accuses them of anti-Semitism: ... 'Our master, Jesus, the Messiah, the Messiah redeemed us, with his blood he bought us, and today we are joyous while the Jews are sad,' and, 'Jews, Jews! Your holiday is the Holiday of the Apes, while our holiday is the Holiday of the Messiah.'"
[PA TV (Fatah), April 11, 2011]