Category Archives: Political affairs

As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

Rabbi Arik Ascherman lets us know

As West Bank Settlers Try to Take More Palestinian Land

I am actually in a bit of pain. I have barely felt most of the blows I have received in recent days from settler youth sent by their elders to accompany cows and sheep on a rampage of theft in the fields of the Taibe junction we had planted with Bedouin shepherds. These are mere children trying to be tough. However, a week ago Tuesday one of them managed to hit me in the back with the stick he was brandishing. I am trying to avoid overuse of pain killers, except for the adrenalin every day when I return to keep the cows and sheep out of the fields.

In addition to the physical pain, there is the great sadness that adults are corrupting these children in this way. I have been oscillating between telling them that they are thieves, and we have nothing to talk about, and telling them that I pray they will find an uncorrupted corner of their souls that will inspire them to return to what God asks of them. Almost every day I ask them if they wish to act like the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, or like Amalek, summarizing the words of Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch I cited on my Times of Israel blog two weeks ago on the reading for the Shabbat before Purim, Deuteronomy 25: 17 – 19:

Don’t Forget:

Don’t forget a thing if the day will come when you will want to be like Amalek, and like Amalek you won’t want to remember your obligations or to know God, but will look for the opportunity in small or big matters to exploit your advantage to harm other human beings. Don’t forget this when the day will come, and you will want to rid yourself of your role and mission as the Jewish people that you accepted among humanity.

This week I have been suggesting to some of these troubled youth that we set up a “Reish Lakish club.” Reish Lakish was a thief who changed his ways and became a scholar frequently cited in the Talmud.

Last Thursday night, immediately after the reading of the Purim Megillah, we had an emergency meeting postponed from the previous night with a representative of the Taibe Municipality, a leading Palestinian activist, and legal counsel. As I will explain, the Book of Esther came to life for me.

For much of the past three years the struggle has primarily been that of Torat Tzedek and the Bedouin shepherds, with some support from the Municipality. Landowners have taken action when settlers tried to set up additional outposts on their lands. However, from the additional outpost Neriya Ben Pazi successfully set up on “State Land,” the settlers have taken their incursions, intimidation and theft of everything the shepherds plant for their flocks, to a new level. Our successes in 2019 to significantly cut down the level of theft were reversed in 2020 both because of this outpost, and because of incredibly heightened State support for settler aggression this past year. In 2020 settlers forced many Bedouin off the land, and now have begun to plow some of it themselves. Between fear of what the State can do to those who raise their heads, and tensions between the landowners and the Bedouin working and living on the lands, the landowners have been overly slow to take the steps necessary to save their lands.

Day after day, we have literally been holding them off. We stood guard as those shepherds who have not been totally intimidated planted. In areas where the fear was too great, we did the planting as well. We have been in constant conversation with the legal authorities, demanding that they do their job. Because last year’s losses have left family’s financially strapped, we helped secure financing for seed and tractors and contributed ourselves. Settlers have savagely responded by intensifying their attempts to ensure that their flocks eat everything that has been planted just as it is beginning to grow. They want the shepherds who dare to resist to believe that they will not benefit from even one stalk of the barley that was to feed their flocks from May through September. They call or “visit” the shepherds to warn them that they will pay a price for any connection with us. We call the security forces, who say they will do nothing until they see ownership papers, but have taken no action when owners have lodged complaints and even discouraged owners from doing so. They usually refuse to identify suspects, but last year froze a case by claiming that the perpetrators were not known. When there are enough of us, we can successfully keep the settler flocks out of the planted areas. I admit there have been days when I have broken the rules and been there alone, because I can’t bear to watch what happens otherwise. Expelling flocks alone is physically more challenging, and we are less likely to be attacked when the settlers know that we are filming them from several angles. I was alone when hit in the back on Tuesday.

Then, there have been the days I have just walked away and expelled flocks when the police have refused to do anything, and then had the audacity to order me not to do anything.

At the meeting, the lawyer explained the hard facts. With the settlers acting as if the land is theirs, and even plowing some of it, the next step will be to claim that it is theirs legally. They are already smirking and crowing that the Bedouin have fled, and won’t be coming back. On Friday, one of them scoffed at the idea that the ownership papers of “goyim” mean anything. At the meeting the Palestinian activist assured that many would support the Municipality and the owners and the Bedouin if they take the decisive legal and other steps that must now be taken.

For me the meeting was a Megillah moment. The most dramatic scene for me in Megillat Esther is the back and forth messages between Mordechai and Esther that transform her from a passive woman doing what she is told to a bold and brave leader:

Esther told Hathach to take back to Mordecai the following reply:

“All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any person, man or woman, enters the king’s presence in the inner court without having been summoned, there is but one law for him—that he be put to death. Only if the king extends the golden scepter to him may he live. Now I have not been summoned to visit the king for the last thirty days.”

When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther:

“Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”

Then Esther sent back this answer to Mordecai:

“Go, assemble all the Jews who live in Shushan, and fast in my behalf; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will observe the same fast. Then I shall go to the king, though it is contrary to the law; and if I am to perish, I shall perish!”

So Mordecai went about [the city] and did just as Esther had commanded him. (Esther 4: 10 -17)

Like Mordechai, I as a privileged Israeli Jew can paternalistically instruct Palestinians or Israelis in need of public housing, or whoever, what to do. Or, there can be a magic moment when the oppressed become empowered to be partners in fighting for their rights and dignity. We may have reached such a moment on Thursday – a moment in which we all realized that there is a reason why we are here. I use the word “partners.” Mordechai speaks of the salvation that can come from another quarter if Esther does not act. We spoke of all the aid that would come from other quarters if the villagers do act.

Ken Yehi Ratzon May it be the Will of God, Who is never mentioned in the Book of Esther, but was present. Together –– the privileged, the oppressed and God –– in partnership for a better world.

B’Vrakha (In Blessing),

Arik

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2020 Talking Points – Stuck with polemics, histrionics, and ad hominem denunciation

Continually the world turns around and time goes on. But it will not go on for ever with man being able to bring bad things to others.
There shall come a time that with a roar and fire, believers and non-believers still alive shall come to see the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The Great Tribulation will come bringing great sufferings, but it shall bring us our waiting to an end, making our hope coming into fulfilment, Jesus, the Prince of Peace and the great Reconciler of humanity with the Creator, coming back to judge the living and the dead, to allow the righteous to enter the gates of God’s Kingdom to live there forever without pain or sorrows.

*

The retired High School teacher and an ordained Christian minister in Ontario, Canada, Vincent finds that

No one who has lived through and is old enough to remember it will forget 2020 – the “Plague Year” of a century. We tend to forget that there have been many plague years in human history, and many far worse both in absolute numbers of victims and in proportion. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He was not without hope as we ended 2020 and began 2021 and writes:

Even in dark times like 2020, and there have been many much darker in many ways over the centuries, the Creator has not departed. He remains anchored among us through the presence of a living Redeemer, a presence shared far and wide wherever those who know Him bring His light. {2020-2021 and Hope}

He is also aware that we might be coming closer to the prophesised days of the end.

It may prove true that we are quite close to or even in the last, Last Days and on the verge of the Great Tribulation. I am aware that quite a few believe that we are now seeing such signs, and they may be right. My generation thought this back in 1973. People thought it in World War 1, and in WW2 called Hitler the Antichrist.

World.V.You

Like many I know, I have been paying less attention to the swirling morass of the news these days. Most of it is glum and discouraging anyway, and, here in the “Great White North”, summer is all too brief to waste on keeping up with the latest blasts in the present mockery of “discussion and dialogue” in uber-confused Western culture. Besides, between true news (??) and the boundless volume of the less reliable variety, it is often hard to draw a firm line in the midst of all the spin and vehement opinion masquerading as considered point of view.

Everyone has a point of view, of course. But the problem is that it is now uncommon to find any serious attempt to talk about an issue. Most of what passes for commentary consists of dismissing the writer-commentator’s submission as mere strong bias or even some sort of incipient “Communism”…

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Facts: Why they matter and how to check them

In the age that the majority of the younger generation does not want to spend time to read serious in-depth articles and only has an eye for eye-catching titles or just some short notices on social media and likes to do cherry-picking of short reviews of sayings without fact checking, our world needs to keep offering more details and research journalism as well profound scientific research.

As it has been always, mankind has to keep doing self-introspection as well as investigating all the information which comes unto him or her.

Living in the golden age of misinformation it is up to reasonable figures to put things right and to dare to speak up when it is going in the wrong direction.

In the United States of America too many allowed too often some people claiming that there were “alternative facts” and “fake news”. By not reacting against the false accusations the 45th President of the United States of America continually could spread certain ungrounded ideas and succeed his brainwashing. It was then only a little step to fulfil his “State Terrorism” and bring people to storm the symbol of democracy, the Capitol. The dignity and fate of American democracy will now largely depend on how politicians will deal in the next few days with that president’s call to go to the Capitol and claim their rights.

We can wonder how many noticed and were willing to react on the way Donald Trump showed no respect at all for ethics and human values, and how he disintegrated every rule of public and political decorum and conventional wisdom.
What happened on January 6th was the result of too many people having been silent and letting it happen.

The U.S.A. should now receive its Wake-up call and come to see what a similar act happened as in 1938. D. Trump managed to get his followers to break many glasses and to enter the house where Trump wants to be the boss or having all power. Here in Europe we only can hope more people in the States shall come to see that D. Trump is of the same calibre as the one who instigated the Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass, also called the November Pogrom(s) in Germany. It is a fact that the four years of Trump and his call to the people is just a prelude to worse things to come if we allow it to continue.

It is high time enough people will stand up and shall come to open the eyes of the many blinded people and making them receptive to facts they were previously ignorant but also many blindly dismissing them as “fake news.”

*

To remember

  • Many people = living in an alternative reality > everything that agrees with them = true, + anything that disagrees with them = biased, fake news or “just an opinion.”
  • fact checking = to boil down to, “from a source I like => true, +  if from a source I don’t like => false,” ==> extremely faulty & dangerous dichotomy.
  • all prone to cognitive traps & biases
  • Scepticism = skill to be practiced + requires training
  • fact = objective statement of reality > inherently apolitical
  • opinion = subjective perception of reality based on individual views, beliefs & preferences.
  • flawed thinking = pervades science denialism
  • veracity of a politician’s statements & reported actions matter > People are impacted by things politicians do & say
  • search & look for a broad range of sources
  • Many view fact checking as an exercise to find sources that agree with them, but = opposite of how it should work.
  • fact check = look for primary + well-respected secondary quality of source + verifiable information + agreement among sources
  • objective ways to evaluate whether or not a source is biased
  • look at evidence presented > verify & compare

+

Preceding

Shall the American again being put to the test

Yup

The Weight of History

He Becomes a Fool Through His Endless Desire

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

The one that exploded the great American story that lay beneath it

The Trump clan declares itself a Kennedy-like dynasty

So-called own sacred values under threat

U.S.A. Investment in a demagogue

Dear Mr. President

++

Additional reading

  1. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  2. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  4. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  5. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  6. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  7. The Hero of the greatest …. failures
  8. Hollowness of democracy
  9. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view
  10. 2020 in view #1 The 45th president of the U.S.A.
  11. 2020 in view #2 The 45th president of the U.S.A. not willing to go
  12. Stress-test for democracy #1 Storming of the Capitol in Washington
  13. Stress-test for democracy #2 A coup d’etat with bloodshed
  14. The death knell of an Empire
  15. 💬 Misquotation Pandemic and Disinformation Polemic: 🧠 Mind Pollution by Viral Falsity 

+++

Related articles

  1. It Was Hate
  2. Donald Trump’s Impeachment
  3. Big Tech pauses political issues after the Capitol uprising
  4. The 147 Republicans That Still Objected To The Election Results After The Capitol Attack
  5. Systemic Failure: Trump Was Right About the Deep State
  6. High school teachers, students learn from Capitol breach
  7. What is Malignant Narcissism?
  8. ‘Ruling Class’ Trump-Doubters Still Don’t Get It. And They’ll Pay A Price
  9. Ep 69: Coup The New Year
  10. Capitol, Legacy of Trumpism and China
  11. Ep 70: Crisis at the Capitol, Crisis in the Church
  12. So you want to impeach president Trump …. again
  13. How big tech companies reacted to the Capitol storm.
  14. Trying to make sense of it all
  15. Jake Angeli Brings to Light the Hatred of Whites Pervasive in America
  16. Don’t mistake an assumption for a fact
  17. Facts aren’t political (or religious)
  18. The fallacy fallacy: Reject the argument not the conclusion

The Logic of Science

We seem to be living in the golden age of misinformation, and while cognitive biases and motivated reasoning have always existed, they seem to have reached epidemic levels in recent years, with attacks on the very nature of facts coming from the highest offices in the land (the phrases “alternative facts” and “fake news” come to mind). Many people seem to be living in an alternative reality where everything that agrees with them is true, and anything that disagrees with them is biased, fake news or “just an opinion.” Indeed, I have frequently encountered an open disdain for facts and those who check them. For many people, fact checking seems to boil down to, “if it came from a source I like, then it is true, and if it came from a source I don’t like, then it is false,” but that is an extremely faulty and dangerous dichotomy. So…

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Extremist

 

Simon A Jackson - Writer

Freedom fighter, terrorist
Just a matter of perspective
Even if you use another name
They all link just the same
Insurgent is another term
Much like being a militant
All claim its for rights and fairness
But murder shouldn’t be permitted
If you kill then you are the cause
Another criminal outside the laws
Soldiers without a uniform
Little more than hell spawn
Cutting down who you “defend”
Just so you can lie again
After all you’re just extreme
And your victory is a dream
But never forget you won’t succeed
The majority will never aid your breed

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Le nationalisme est une autre forme d’extrémisme par écrivain Mouloud Benzadi

 

mbenzadi

“L’une des principales causes de division, de guerre et de violence dans le monde est le sentiment nationaliste.
Le nationalisme
est simplement une autre forme
d’extrémisme. “

Écrivain Mouloud Benzadi

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Catholic bioethicists form coalition to lobby against hard lockdowns

Catholic and pro-life groups have formed a coalition to lobby for the right of patients to have “reasonable” access to family and clergy during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Health Care Civil Rights Task Force bases its criticism of hard lockdowns on constitutional rights.

The right to religious freedom and the right to visitation intersect in health care when clergy visit patients to provide spiritual care. Denial of visitation from clergy is a violation of both the right to religious freedom and the right of visitation. To prohibit a patient from receiving spiritual healing from clergy and from receiving the sacraments of eternal life during their last moments on this earth is a cruelty completely unjustified by the pandemic and is symptomatic of the radical secularization of modern society.

In its manifesto, the Task Force cites the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religious exercise. The Attorney-General of the Trump Administration, William Barr, declared in April that: “even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers.”

Catholic discourse about medical ethics has a long history. Based on this experience, the Task Force says: “Morally we are called to use ordinary means and reasonable precautions to preserve our lives without ceasing to fulfill our daily responsibilities. It is vitally important to reiterate this almost self-evident point because a desire to reduce the risk of disease transmission to almost zero has led to fundamental rights being violated.”

The Task Force’s members include National Catholic Bioethics Center president Joseph Meaney, Bobby Schindler (the brother of Terri Schiavo), and officials at the Christ Medicus Foundation and Healthcare Advocacy Leadership Organization.

Michael Cook, editor of BioEdge

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CoViD-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all walks of life

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all walks of life, with millions contracting the virus and an ever-rising death toll that approaches a staggering daily loss of life on the scale of 9/11. One thing is for certain, the United States government has failed to not only adequately address the rapid spread of disease and death in the nation, but to provide a social safety net for all Americans.

With just one $1,200 check arriving for Americans in early April, unemployment assistance running out in weeks, small business loan aid being greatly exploited by the wealthy, and a greedy bailout to airlines, all signs point toward a prioritization of stock growth over human life. Both parties are guilty of this.

It is the fault of all political leaders that no such subsequent stimulus relief has been passed, no rental assistance, direct payments, loan forgiveness, reauthorization of unemployment benefits: nothing. While Democrats had passed a bill in the House months ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has refused to do anything but propose a hollow copy of the bill. Both parties are at fault for failing negotiations while hundreds of thousands have died, millions continue to be unemployed, and countless more teeter on the edge of financial insecurity.

Stimulus negotiations have begun again in the Senate with a bill backed by President-elect Joe Biden that would include a reauthorization of expanded unemployment payments up to $300 weekly, vaccine distribution funds, small business aid, and more, though it is still not currently drafted. Senator Bernie Sanders has recently announced his opposition to the effort, as the bill provides no direct payments and includes a “liability shield” for businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Senator Sanders makes an excellent point, and it is disappointing a half-hearted relief bill is progressing. But nearly 8 months into the pandemic, any relief is better than no relief.

> Read more: > Congress Needs to Pass a Substantive Economic Stimulus Package by Samuel Murray

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Dear Mr. President

Clearly after some months in his chair D. Trump proved already he was the first president to get so fast so much division in those many States of America which became more and more divided as time past.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

mr-presidentDear Mr. President,

You won! Congratulations. Now that you’ve installed yourself in the Oval Office and surrounded yourself with a cabinet that appears to be mined from the nightmares of the liberal left, a few things, if I may.

Please don’t speak of the MAJORITY. The fact is, the majority of Americans voted against you. Sure, you won the election, and there is plenty of back and forth over the system that allowed that victory, but at the end of the day, the MAJORITY of Americans don’t want you there. In fact, I’d say the MAJORITY of Americans loathe you, both personally and the policies you stand for. Of course, I have no proof of that, but if I had to guess, I’d say at least 1 to 1.5 million more Americans actively loathe you than don’t. I’ll get the National Parks Department on it right away for proof.

So, in…

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To My Fellow Americans, From One of You

It is getting time more Americans come to their senses that when there shall be more deaths there shall not be much left over to take care of recovering economy.
It’s high time that Americans start realising they had one of the worst presidents America ever had and who did so much damage not only to the country, but also to the people, that the recovery or the making of America Great Again will take years if not decades in case they do not switch gear soon enough.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Hey! 

You!

You of the red, white, and blue. Of the free and the brave. Of the purple mountain’s majesty.

Yes, you.

I’m just like you, born of Lady Liberty, weaned on a mother’s milk of revolution and independence, all tied up with a Fourth of July bow. I can’t run away from who and what I am, even if I wanted to.

And I don’t. 

Right now I may reside outside the confines of the Nifty Fifty, but I’m still one of you. American parts. American made. I still care—deeply—about what happens in yon Motherland. I yearn to see the rollout of USA: Full Potential…and I still believe it’s there, buried under all the rhetoric and White noise.

So what I’m about to say, know I say with love: Holy shitballs, America, you have got to get your act together.

There are a LOT of you I don’t agree with…

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Neutrality or silence vs Taking sides


””Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
~ Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel KBE (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor. He was the author of 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night,.”

 

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