“For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”

Israeli Teens Gripped by Virulent Racism

Book Details Spread of Anti-Arab Hatred in Schools



By Or Kashti


(Haaretz)  (VIA)— “For me, personally, Arabs are something I can’t look at and can’t stand,” a 10th-grade girl from a high school in the central part of the country says in abominable Hebrew. “I am tremendously racist. I come from a racist home. If I get the chance in the army to shoot one of them, I won’t think twice. I’m ready to kill someone with my hands, and it’s an Arab. In my education I learned that … their education is to be terrorists, and there is no belief in them. I live in an area of Arabs, and every day I see these Ishmaelites, who pass by the [bus] station and whistle. I wish them death.”

The student’s comments appear in a chapter devoted to ethnicity and racism among youth from a forthcoming book, “Scenes from School Life” (in Hebrew) by Idan Yaron and Yoram Harpaz. The book is based on anthropological observations made by Dr. Yaron, a sociologist, over the course of three years in a six-year, secular high school in the Israeli heartland – “the most average school we could find,” says Harpaz, a professor of education.

The book is nothing short of a page-turner, especially now, following the overt displays of racism and hatred of the Other that have been revealed in the country in the past month or so. Maybe “revealed” isn’t the right word, as it suggests surprise at the intensity of the phenomenon. But Yaron’s descriptions of what he saw at the school show that such hatred is a basic everyday element among youth, and a key component of their identity. Yaron portrays the hatred without rose-colored glasses or any attempt to present it as a sign of social “unity.” What he observed is unfiltered hatred. One conclusion that arises from the text is how little the education system is able – or wants – to deal with the racism problem.

Not all educators are indifferent or ineffective. There are, of course, teachers and others in the realm of education who adopt a different approach, who dare to try and take on the system. But they are a minority. The system’s internal logic operates differently.

Much of the chapter on racism revolves around the Bible lessons in a ninth-grade class, whose theme was revenge. “The class starts, and the students’ suggestions of examples of revenge are written on the blackboard,” the teacher told Yaron. A student named Yoav “insists that revenge is an important emotion. He utilizes the material being studied to hammer home his semi-covert message: All the Arabs should be killed. The class goes into an uproar. Five students agree with Yoav and say openly: The Arabs should be killed.”

One student relates that he heard in the synagogue on Shabbat that “Aravim zeh erev rav” [“Arabs are a rabble,” in a play on words], and also Amalek, and there is a commandment to kill them all,” a reference to the prototypical biblical enemy of the Children of Israel. Another student says he would take revenge on anyone who murdered his family, but would not kill them all.

“Some of the other students are outraged by this [softer stance],” the teacher reported. “The student then makes it clear that he has no love for Arabs and that he is not a leftist.”

Another student, Michal, says she is shocked by what she is hearing. She believes that the desire for revenge will only foment a cycle of blood; not all Arabs are bad, she adds, and certainly they don’t all deserve to die. “People who decree the fate of others so easily are not worthy of life,” she says.

Yoav himself claims to have heard Michal say: “Too bad you weren’t killed in a terrorist attack.”

“The students all start shouting,” the teacher says, according to Yaron. “Some are personally insulted, others are up in arms, and Michal finds herself alone and absorbing all the fire – ‘Arab lover,’ ‘leftist.’ I try to calm things down. The class is too distraught to move on to the biblical story. The bell rings. I let them out and suggest that they be more tolerant of one another.”

In the corridor during the break, the teacher notices that a crowd has gathered from all the ninth-grade classes. They have formed a human chain and are taunting Michal: “Fie, fie, fie, the Arabs will die.” The teacher: “I contemplated for five seconds whether to respond or keep going down the corridor. Finally I dispersed the gathering and insisted that Michal accompany me to the teachers’ room. She was in a state of shock, reeling under the insult, with tears to come instantly.”

Six students are suspended for two days. The teacher reports on his conversation with Michal: “She continues to be laconic. This is what always happens, she says. The opinions are racist, and her only regret is speaking out. I just want to hug her and say I’m sorry I put her through this trauma. I envy her courage to say aloud things that I sometimes am incapable of saying.”

Leftists as ‘Israel-haters’

In his research, Yaron spoke with Michal and Yoav, with other students in the class and with the homeroom teacher and the principal. The multiplicity of versions of the goings-on that emerge suggest a deep conflict and a lack of trust between the educators and the pupils. Each world functions separately, with the adults exercising little if any influence on the youngsters. It’s hard to believe that the suspension, or the punishment inflicted on some of the students – for example, to prepare a presentation for the ninth-grade classes on the subject of racism – changed anyone’s opinion.

The same goes for the principal’s unequivocal declaration that, “There will be no racist comments in our school.” Even the essay Michal was asked to write on the subject was soon forgotten. “The intention was to launch an educational program, but in the meantime it was postponed,” the homeroom teacher admits.

A year later, however, the incident itself was still remembered in the school. The same student who told Yaron that she won’t think twice if she gets the opportunity “to shoot one of them” when she serves in the army, also said, “As soon as I heard about the quarrel with that leftist girl [Michal], I was ready to throw a brick at her head and kill her. In my opinion, all the leftists are Israel-haters. I personally find it very painful. Those people have no place in our country – both the Arabs and the leftists.”

Anyone who imagines this as a local, passing outburst is wrong. As was the case with the girl from the ORT network vocational school who alleged earlier this year that her teacher had expressed “left-wing views” in the classroom – in this case too a student related that he cursed and shouted at a teacher who “justified the Arabs.” The students say that workshops to combat racism, which are run by an outside organization, leave little impression. “Racism is part of our life, no matter how much people say it’s bad,” a student said.

In the concluding discussion in just one such workshop, the moderator asked the students how they thought racism might eradicated. “Thin out the Arabs,” was the immediate reply. “I want you to leave here with the knowledge that the phenomenon exists, for you to be self-critical, and then maybe you will prevent it,” the moderator said. To which one student shot back, “If we’re not racist, that makes us leftists.”

The moderator, in a tone of despair: “I’d like it if you took at least something small from this workshop.” A student responds to the challenge: “That everyone should live the way he wants, that if he thinks he’s racist, let him think what he wants, and that’s all.”

As an adjunct of racism and hatred, ethnic identities – Mizrahi (Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries) and Ashkenazi – are also flourishing. Yoav believes that there is “discrimination between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim. We were severely punished for the incident [with Michal], but if it were the other way around, that wouldn’t have happened.” Yoav later told Yaron that he found the common saying, “What’s this, an [open-air] market?” offensive, because his whole family works in the local produce market.

“Our business has existed since the state was established,” he said. “I am proud of my father, who is a man of the market. What are they trying to say, that my father isn’t cultured? When people say something about ‘Arabs,’ it’s considered a generalization, but when they say ‘market,’ that’s alright. When people say ‘market,’ they are actually talking about Mizrahim. We need to change the prejudices about the market and about the Mizrahim. People say I am a racist, but it’s just the opposite.”

“There is no discussion about the topic of racism in the school and there probably will not be,” the principal admits. “We are not prepared for the deep, long-term process that’s necessary. Even though I am constantly aware of the problem, it is far from being dealt with. It stems in the first place from the home, the community and the society, and it’s hard for us to cope with it. You have to remember that another reason it’s hard to deal with the problem is that it also exists among the teachers. Issues such as ‘human dignity’ or ‘humanism’ are in any case considered left-wing, and anyone who addresses them is considered tainted.”

Threat of noise

Prof. Yoram Harpaz is a senior lecturer at Beit Berl Teachers College and the editor of Hed Hahinuch, a major educational journal. Recalling the recent promise of Education Minister Shay Piron that classes in the first two weeks of the coming school year will be devoted to “emotional and social aspects of the summer’s events,” including “manifestations of racism and incitement,” Harpaz observes that schools in their present format “are incapable of dealing with the racist personality and identity.”

He adds: “The schools are not geared for this. They can only impart basic knowledge and skills, hold examinations on them and grade the students. In fact, they have a hard time doing even that. In classes of 40 students, with a strict curriculum and exams that have to be held, it is impossible to engage in values-based education.”

Yaron, a senior lecturer in sociology at Ashkelon Academic College, emphasizes how important teachers and the principal (and the education system in general) feel it is to stick to the curriculum and the lessons schedule – two islands of quiet amid a risk-laden reality.

“Doing this makes it possible for the teachers not to enter a dynamic sphere, which obligates openness and is liable to open a Pandora’s box, too,” he notes. “The greatest threat to the teacher is that there will be noise – that someone will complain, that an argument will break out, etc. That danger looms especially large in subjects that interest young people, such as sexuality, ethnicity, violence and racism. Teachers lack the tools to cope with these issues, so they are outsourced, which only emasculates educational personnel even more.”

The demand for quiet in the schools is not only an instrumental matter, deriving from the difficulty of keeping order in the classroom. There is also an ideological aspect involved. In general, there is a whole series of subjects that are not recommended for discussion in schools, such as the Nakba (or “catastrophe,” the term used by Palestinians to denote the establishment of the State of Israel), human rights and the morality of Israeli army operations. This was one of the reasons for the warnings issued by Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev during the fighting in the Gaza Strip about “extreme and offensive remarks.”

Harpaz: “In Israel, the most political country there is, political education has not been developed as a discipline in which high-school students are taught how to think critically about political attitudes, or the fact that those attitudes are always dependent on a particular viewpoint and on vested interests.”

What, then, can be done? According to Harpaz, the solution will not be found in discussions between the homeroom teacher and the students. Nor is a condemnation, however late, by the education minister sufficient. A more radical change is needed.

“Values and outlooks are acquired in a lengthy process of identification with ‘significant others,’ such as teachers,” Harpaz explains. “This means that every aspect of the schools – patterns of teaching, evaluation methods, curricula, the physical structure and the cultural climate – has to change in the direction of becoming far more dialogical and democratic.”

And he has one more recommendation: not to flee from political and moral dilemmas, or from possible criticism. “Our leaders are so fearful of criticism, but they don’t understand that critical education is what generates close ties and caring. We get angry at those we love.”



Life could be so simple if you are stupid!


“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.


Johansson: Anti-Semitism behind criticism of SodaStream endorsement

American Jewish actress came under fire for promotion of Israeli company with factory in West Bank settlement.


American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson believes anti-Semitism is to blame for much of the fire she drew earlier this year over her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

Johansson resigned from her position as ambassador for Oxfam in January, after the organization contested the actress’ promotion of SodaStream due to the company’s West Bank factory. She said at the time that she was stepping down from the role because of a “fundamental difference of opinion.”



Her decision to disconnect from Oxfam won her praise from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wrote in a Facebook post: “I would like to express my support for actress Scarlett Johansson, who took a brave stand against immoral hypocrites.” She also received support from the World Jewish Congress.

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at its plant in the Ma’aleh Adumim insdutrial zone. It says the factory offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but Israel’s settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.



This happened in December, but it could have been yesterday as well …


The incident took place in December 2011 on a gender-segregated bus in Jerusalem. Moshe Fuchs, 44, asked a woman paying the driver at the front of the bus to go to the back. Matalon, sitting in the front, told him women could sit wherever they wanted to. The defendant said to her, “Who asked you, prostitute, go to the back. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s a disgrace.”


Beauty Queen Who Refused To Go to Back of Israeli Bus

Man Called IDF Soldier ‘Prostitute’ on Jerusalem Bus


By Nir Hasson


(Haaretz) — An ultra-Orthodox resident of Beit Shemesh was convicted of sexual harassment yesterday for calling a female Israel Defense Forces soldier a “prostitute” after she refused to move to the back of a bus.

The soldier, Doron Matalon, who has since started a modeling career, won second place in Tuesday night’s televised “Miss Israel” beauty pageant.

The incident took place in December 2011 on a gender-segregated bus in Jerusalem. Moshe Fuchs, 44, asked a woman paying the driver at the front of the bus to go to the back. Matalon, sitting in the front, told him women could sit wherever they wanted to. The defendant said to her, “Who asked you, prostitute, go to the back. You’re standing among yeshiva students and it’s a disgrace.”

At that point other ultra-Orthodox men joined Fuchs and yelled at her “prostitute” and “shikse” (gentile woman), Matalon said.

At that point she “felt threatened and a huge commotion began. I yelled out for the conductor to come quick, and two male conductors rushed in. They pushed him away from me and said: ‘Why are you shouting, she’s a soldier,’ but he continued to be abusive.”

Fuchs asked the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to acquit him because the incident was “trivial.” Magistrate Hagit Kalmanovitch rejected this argument and said the defendant’s misconduct was grievous.

She wrote in her verdict that he had embarrassed the soldier in public “without an apology and without expressing regret.” The incident was also grave “because the defendant acted as part of a social practice of excluding women on segregated lines in particular and in public in general,” said the judge.

From HaAretz Via


AntiZionism (1)
Despite the 30 Billion a year that the US taxpayers send to Israel, Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today’s world leaders, and to be a wholehearted supporter of his government’s policy.
Neither seem aware of the Canadian Government’s policy …
On the eve of Harper’s visit to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa issued an updated policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although many on the right believe the Harper government to be a full-fledged supporter of Israeli policy on the Palestinian issue, the policy paper states that Canada believes the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.

Harper tells Knesset: Anti-Zionism is the new face of anti-Semitism

Stephen Harper is first Canadian PM to address the Knesset; ‘Canada won’t tolerate delegitimization of Israel’.

By Barak Ravid
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset. Photo by AFP

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday became the first leader of his country to address the Knesset, telling parliamentarians that Canada supported Israel’s right to statehood and would not tolerate efforts to delegitimize it within the international community.

Speaking in both French and English, Canada’s national languages, Harper opened his address by telling members of Knesset that “Canada and Israel are friends in a natural way.”

“To truly understand the ties between Canada and Israel one must go beyond the institutions and look at the ties between peoples,” Harper said. “Jews have been present in Canada for more than 250 years… 350,000 Canadians share with you their heritage. They are immensely proud of what was accomplished here.”

“Canada supports Israel fundamentally because it is right to do so,” he added. “We stand up for a free and democratic Jewish state.”

But, Harper said, Canada also supports the creation of a Palestinian state. “Just as we support Israel we support peace for the Palestinians,” Harper said, later adding: “I believe that a Palestinian state will come when the people will realize that peace is the way.”

Canada will not accept the delegitimization of Israel, Harper declared. “Canada finds it horrible that there are those in the international community who challenge Israel’s legitimate right to exist,” he said. “That with one solitary Jewish state among many others, it is all too easy to isolate Israel.”

The Canadian prime minister also told MKs that he believed expression of anti-Zionism to be on par with anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitism still exists in its traditional form based on ignorance in some of the dark corners of the world,” he said. “In the Western world it takes on a more sophisticated form. With some intellectualized arguments on some campuses.This is the new face of anti-Semitism.”

Harper also turned his attention to the issue of Iran, which dominated headlines on Monday after the Islamic Republic began halting uranium enrichment and prompted the U.S. to suspend some its sanctions. “Canada’s sanctions against Iran will stay in place,” Harper vowed.

While Harper’s speech was welcomed by most parliamentarians, he was heckled by two Arab lawmakers: MK Ahmad Tibi screamed “settlements,” and MK Talab Abu Arar then shouted and stormed out of the hall. After the outburst, Harper received a standing ovation from other parliamentarians.

A royal welcome

Harper arrived in Israel for his first visit on Sunday night, greeted with a royal welcome by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu considers Harper his best, perhaps only, friend among today’s world leaders, and to be a wholehearted supporter of his government’s policy.

In introducing Harper to the Knesset, Netanyahu told his Canadian counterpart: “The people of Israel appreciate your steadfast support and sincere friendship. Welcome to Israel, dear friend.”

“There are those in the international community know the true facts, but you have the bravery to stick to the truth and to say the truth,” Netanyahu added. “Canada under your leadership is a moral compass and a lighthouse of honesty in the age of hypocrisy we live in.”

Throwing in some Canadian humor, Netanyahu told Harper: “There are streets in Toronto that are longer than the distance between Jerusalem and Ramallah,” referring to Yonge Street, which feeds into the TransCanada Highway. “This is why security is crucial.”

Netanyahu also praised Canada for standing with Israel against those who would delegitimize it, for backing it in the war on terror and against anti-Semitism, and for supporting a real peace with has “at its roots the Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish national state.”

Changing subject to Iran, Netanyahu said, “The international community must take the Iranian nuclear train off the tracks in a permanent agreement… it is about time the international community stop legitimizing Iran while it is still calling for the destruction of Israel,” he said.

During a press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah earlier on Monday, Harper dodged a question about the Israeli settlements. “I will not single out Israel on this trip,” he said. “Our position on this is known.”

This is Harper’s first visit since his election in 2006, and he is the first Canadian prime minister to ever address the Knesset. He will also receive an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University.

On the eve of Harper’s visit to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Ottawa issued an updated policy paper on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Although many on the right believe the Harper government to be a full-fledged supporter of Israeli policy on the Palestinian issue, the policy paper states that Canada believes the settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace.

The policy statement, published on January 13, six days before Harper’s arrival in Jerusalem, points out that Canada does not recognize permanent Israeli control over territories conquered in 1967 and says the settlements constitute a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. “Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements also constitute a serious obstacle to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace,” it reads.

The policy paper reveals that the Canadian government also does not support Israeli policy on Jerusalem, for Netanyahu’s demand for recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, nor Netanyahu’s position that not a single Palestinian refugee will return to Israel.

Canada’s stated support, however, for Israel touches on several issues – security arrangements, Israel’s right to self-defense, and opposition to anti-Israel discrimination at the UN.

The policy statement says that Canada recognizes Israel’s right to ensure its security: “Israel has a right under international law to take the necessary measures, in accordance with human rights and international humanitarian law, to protect the security of its citizens from attacks by terrorist groups.”

Written FOR


3,500 American Jews!

Has Abe Foxman lost confidence in American Jews?

Ali Abunimah 
Abraham Foxman, the national director of the pro-Israel group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), has angrily rejected the mildly critical views of Israel revealed in a major survey of 3,500 American Jews conducted by the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that about half (48 percent) of American Jews “do not think the current Israeli government is making a sincere effort to bring about a peace settlement and three-quarters say the same about the current Palestinian leadership.”

Only 38 percent thought Israeli peace efforts were sincere.

Almost half (44 percent) agreed that “the continued building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank hurts Israel’s security.”

But those holding those views are either “uninformed, unengaged, or wrong,” officials of major American Jewish organizations told the Jewish Daily Forward.

Foxman was particularly dismissive of the apparent disconnect between organizations like his, which function as apologists for the Israeli government, and even the mild dissent revealed in the survey.“You know who the Jewish establishment represents? Those who care,” Foxman told theForward. “This is a poll of everybody. Some care, some don’t care.”

“I think it’s interesting, we need to be aware,” Foxman said. “But I’m not going to follow this.”

Foxman’s reaction is reminiscent of Bertholt Brecht’s ironic poem “The Solution,” written after the 1953 uprising in East Berlin:

After the uprising of June 17th
The Secretary of the Authors’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Which said that the people
Had forfeited the government’s confidence
And could only win it back
By redoubled labour. Wouldn’t it
Be simpler in that case if the government
Dissolved the people and
Elected another?

In other words, it is not the leadership of Jewish communal organizations that is out of step, but Jewish communities, who need to get back behind Foxman’s Israel-right-or-wrong approach.

Generation gap

Overall the Pew survey found fairly high levels of “attachment” to Israel among American Jews, but these varied with the highest levels reported among those who were more religious.

Age differences are particularly significant given that many major pro-Israel groups see the future of US support for Israel depending on their ability to attract young Jews toward their positions.

The Pew survey says:

Older Jews are more likely than younger Jews to see caring about Israel as an essential part of what being Jewish means to them. More than half of Jews 65 and older say caring about Israel is essential for their Jewish identity (53 percent), as do 47 percent of Jews aged 50-64. By comparison, 38 percent of Jews in their thirties and forties and 32 percent of Jewish adults under age 30 say caring about Israel is central to what being Jewish means to them. It is hard to know whether these age differences suggest that US Jews’ attachment to Israel will weaken over time. If younger Jews retain their lower levels of attachment to Israel, then overall attachment to Israel may weaken with time. Alternatively, if Jews become more attached to Israel as they get older, then attachment to Israel overall could hold steady or even grow in strength.

It is the fear that younger Jews will not gain an attachment to Israel as they age that has driven efforts like Taglit-Birthright which provides free trips for younger North American Jews.

Taglit-Birthright has been criticized for promoting an “exclusivist” and “settler-colonial” ideology among the constituency it targets.

It is also concern over younger American Jews’ lack of identification with Israel that animates the Israel lobby group J Street.

J Street tries to put a younger and cooler spin on traditional anti-Palestinian messagingwhich includes opposition to the right of return for Palestinian refugees as well as viewing the births of Palestinian babies as a “demographic threat” to Israel.



Written FOR


Yet another ruling from the dark ages regarding lost property …..




The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.


Rabbi: No need to return lost smartphone
Halachic ruling issued by Rabbi Karelitz says because advanced cellular phone is ‘not kosher,’ there is no obligation to give it back to its owner*An innovative halachic ruling issued recently states that there is no need to return a lost “non-kosher” phone to its owner.

The ruling was given following an incident which took place in a bakery in the central city of Bnei Brak, when a saleswoman refused to return a smartphone to its owner. The case sparked a halachic debate on social networks on whether the saleswoman had violated the “thou shalt not steal” commandment.

The new halachic ruling, issued by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, states that banned cellular phone are not considered a property which, if lost, must be returned to its owner according to the Torah.

Meanwhile, a new court on communication affairs was established in the ultra-Orthodox sector at the initiative of Refael Meir, the brother of haredi journalist Yedidia Meir. The court will headed by five leading rabbis, who will issue rulings on the use of cellular phones and the Internet.

The decision to set up the new institution was made during a meeting held at the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the leaders of the haredi Ashkenazi public.

The court will also run a PR campaign against haredi websites which rabbis have ordered their followers to boycott. Some of these websites have been taken down as a result of the boycott calls, yet many other websites have been launched recently.



Passenger was ‘simply following his rabbi’s orders’ ….
Picture that stirred a row (photo from New York Daily News)
Surely the saga of the ‘man in the bag’ can become a children’s story. It is funny, it is ridiculous and needless to say quite entertaining.
Even funnier is that its roots appear to come from the Neanderthal sector of the Rabbinical Order of Idiots …
Rabbi Brook, who heads a haredi yeshiva which is home to newly religious Jews, says that the passenger is a unique personality he has known for more than two decades, and that the halachic move was misunderstood by the critics, who he refers to as “primitives”.
Here’s a report from Ynet dealing with the incident …
Man in bag: I was following rabbi’s orders

Haredi passenger photographed wrapped in large plastic bag during flight tells Ynet about his long Air Force service before becoming religious. His rabbi criticizes public reaction to photo, says people should ‘treat Judaism with a minimum of respect’

Itzchak Tessler


The ultra-Orthodox man who was photographed wrapped in a large plastic bag during a flight told Ynet on Sunday that he was “simply following my rabbi’s orders.”

The picture caught the attention of international media, as initially it was thought that he was distancing himself from women in accordance with strict rules of gender segregation in public.

The New York Daily News later explained that the man was aKohen, a descendant of the Jewish priests who presided over the Temple, and as the aircraft flew over a cemetery he covered himself in a plastic bag so he could remain pure. Under Jewish law, Kohanim are banned from going near cemeteries.

The Kohen, formerly a secular Jew who embraced Orthodox Judaism and asked to remain anonymous, told Ynet of his long service in the Israel Defense Forces, where he held sensitive posts. In 1983, as a show of appreciation, the Air Force commander gave him the “opportunity to study in a yeshiva at the expense of the Air Force, which paid my salary for the two and a half years I studied in the yeshiva.”

After his studies, he returned to the army for 10 more years – “an unprecedented move in the Air Force,” he says.

The photo was the subject of public criticism and was shared and condemned on social networks.

Rabbi Yosef Brook, head of the Netivot Olam Yeshiva and the passenger’s rabbi, criticized the media coverage of the photo and the public reaction to it, saying: “I am convinced that none of those who reacted is at (the Kohen’s) personal or intellectual level.”

Rabbi: Critics are primitives

Rabbi Brook, who heads a haredi yeshiva which is home to newly religious Jews, says that the passenger is a unique personality he has known for more than two decades, and that the halachic move was misunderstood by the critics, who he refers to as “primitives”.

“I have known him for 25 years now. He is a retired lieutenant colonel who served in senior and classified positions in the Israel Air Force,” the rabbi told Ynet.

“Before Passover he flew to Israel, and because of a change in the flight he found out that he would be flying over a cemetery. He consulted a rabbi, who ruled that although the plane was a closed place, there was impurity over the cemetery and in order to deal with it – he must reach a situation of a ‘container with a lid fastened on it.'”

According to Rabbi Brook, what the public may have seen as an attempt to “bypass” Halacha using tricks – is Halacha itself, and so he “advises people to consider how they would feel if their values made others give them degrading and puzzling looks.

“Once again, the familiar scenario repeats itself: Any issue related to Jewish Halacha turns into a festival of defamation. Anything related to cultural heritage, which is not understood, leads to a mocking and slandering attitude. The rule says that the more you know less, the more you shout, and this is what happened in this case too.

“If a person from the Zulu tribe would see me talking into a telephone, he would think I had gone mad, because he can’t understand how sound waves can travel hundreds and thousands of kilometers. He has no understanding of electromagnetic radiation either, because he can’t see it with his eyes.

“The same way, there is also a spiritual system of impurity and purity, and we don’t have the ability or tools to identify its activity. So I say to the the critics, if you have no knowledge about the issue, do us a favor – leave us alone and treat us kindly and politely.

“Just like people understand Muslims who take their shoes off before entering a mosque and don’t ridicule them, just like they understand that Christians remove their head cover while entering church – treat Judaism with a minimum of respect.”

The Kohen who “starred” in the picture told Ynet that he had studied with the Belz Hasidic movement, “considered a human and moderate Hasidic dynasty, where I studied Torah and faith and was close to the rabbi.

“I also studied at the Netivot Olam Yeshiva, which is an organized institution where respectable people study. Four other combat pilots studied with me there. At the time, as a newly religious person, I even had the honor of being an associate of Rabbi Shach (a leading Lithuanian rabbi and the founder of the Degel Hatorah political party).”


 Greta Berlin of Free Gaza said her tweet was only supposed to be posted to her private Facebook account. Well it wasn’t! It wound up on Twitter as well.
The woman in question has a history of speaking out before she thinks it out, but this time she went way too far. At a time when the pro Palestinian movements need the support of all sections of the population (including Jews), the last thing we needed were the evil thoughts of Greta Berlin.
All that is accomplished by her ignorant outbursts is that the enemy collects ‘ammo’ to fight the movement as can be seen in the report below. Best that the responsible collective leadership of the Free Gaza Movement remove Ms. Berlin from whatever posts she might hold.
Evil witch (Greta Berlin) that planned Gaza flotilla caught out on Twitter.
Gaza flotilla sponsor blames Jews for Holocaust on Twitter
Petros Karadjias/The Associated Press files

Petros Karadjias/The Associated Press files
Greta Berlin of Free Gaza said her tweet was only supposed to be posted to her private Facebook account.

The Free Gaza Movement, a U.S.-based activist group known for provisioning ships to run the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza, was hit with charges of anti-Semitism on Wednesday after posting a tweet claiming that Jews were responsible for the Holocaust.

“Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews,” read a Tweet posted Sunday to @freegazaorg, the official Twitter feed of the group, which includes Canadian author Naomi Klein and Bishop Desmond Tutu on its board of advisors.

An embedded link led to a video of a speech by known conspiracy theorist Eustace Mullins claiming that the word Nazi is an amalgam of the words “National socialism” and “Zionist.”

“[Hitler] allied with the Zionist Party, and the mission of the Nazis was to force the anti-Zionist Jews to accept Zionism — and this is what the concentration camps were about,” said Mr. Mullins, who died of a stroke in 2010.

I shared it without watching it. I am sorry that I just sent it forward without looking at it. It won’t happen again

Although the tweet was eventually deleted, it was picked up on Monday by Avi Mayer, head of social media with the Jewish Agency for Israel. In a Wednesday blog post, Mr. Mayer posted a screenshot of the post along with a link to the video, which he claimed revealed Free Gaza as “the lowest anti-Semites.”

Within hours, the American founder of the movement, Greta Berlin, tweeted that she had intended only to publish the link to her private Facebook account, but it was accidentally redirected to the Free Gaza Twitter feed.

“I shared it without watching it. I am sorry that I just sent it forward without looking at it. It won’t happen again,” read a tweet from the Free Gaza Movement account, posted Wednesday afternoon.





Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.

All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.


The Palestine Romney doesn’t know

By Zahi Khouri

I am a proud American. I am a hardworking businessman and job creator. I am a faithful Christian.

And I am Palestinian.

Much as my multiple identities might drive Mitt Romney to head scratching, it is he who needs a lesson in, to borrow his recent words, “culture and a few other things.”

Were he to spend a day with me in the Holy Land, I could take him to the Jerusalem neighborhood where my family home has stood for five centuries. I could show him the orange trees in Jaffa that my family helped introduce to the world in the 1930s.

That’s right: Jaffa oranges are a Palestinian, not Israeli, trademark. Yet like so many “cultural” markers claimed by the self-professed Jewish state, even the fruit trees my people have tended for centuries have been expropriated.

Romney might be duped into thinking that oranges, falafel and hummus — staples of Palestinian cuisine for generations — are Israeli products. But how dare he claim that a state built at the expense of another people’s history and accomplishments is guided by “the hand of providence”?

Israel did not make the desert bloom. Instead, thanks to a deal struck with the British viceroys of Mandate Palestine, it made away with a land, a set of institutions and, indeed, a culture that was not its own.

It did so at the expense of my people. Like more than three-quarters of Palestine’s population, my family was forced to leave this land after Israel’s creation in 1948. Even though we had to abandon our successful businesses and centuries-old homes, however, we did not become the “uncultured” victims that Romney’s caricature suggests.

Most of us went to other Arab countries, where Palestinians became known for our business acumen and management know-how, and helped to build nascent private and public sectors. Ask our fellow Arabs in Lebanon, Jordan or elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region and they will tell you: Palestinian culture, with its premium on education and hard work, has been a force for hope, development and prosperity.

Despite their circumstances, Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal occupation share the same culture and proudly claim the same remarkable achievements. I, for one, returned to Palestine in 1993 to launch the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the West Bank. It was granted a Best Country Bottling Operation award in May by Coca-Cola, a testament to my colleagues’ ingenuity and determination. But these traits alone cannot overcome the stifling effects of Israel’s occupation.

If Romney got one thing right, it’s that Israelis far outdo Palestinians in net wealth. In fact, his estimates of the disparity were too conservative: Israel’s per capita gross domestic product is roughly $32,000 to the Palestinians’ $1,500.

Remarkably, that $1,500 figure is roughly half of what Palestinians claimed in 1993, when the Oslo accords were signed. In other words, the U.S.-sponsored peace process has made us poorer.

How is that possible?

Palestinians have no say in our economic development. Every resource — water, land, soil, minerals, airspace, humans — is controlled and commandeered by Israel, which then deigns to sell us back a small portion.

In the West Bank, for example, Israeli settlers consume on average 4.3 times the amount of water as Palestinians. In the Jordan Valley alone, some 9,000 settlers in Israeli agricultural settlements use one-quarter the amount of water consumed by the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, about 2.5 million people.

Palestinians have no control over our borders. This means we cannot import or export without being subject to discriminatory measures by our occupier. It also means that, without Israeli permission, we cannot hire experts to enhance our employees’ skills or send employees for overseas training.

Worse, we are restricted within the territories ostensibly under our “control.” At any given time, there are more than 500 Israeli checkpoints, roadblocks and other barriers to movement within the occupied West Bank — an area smaller than Delaware — hindering Palestinians and their goods from moving between their own towns and cities and the outside world.

Palestinian development of all kinds is severely hindered by the Israeli occupation. Yet Palestinians have not given up. Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the Arab world. Our youth continue to graduate from our universities, opening businesses and gaining skills. Our private sector innovates and grows.

All of this is happening on the 22 percent of historic Palestine that is the West Bank and Gaza. If Romney had any historical perspective, he would dispose of his racist judgments about Palestinian culture and instead imagine our potential without Israel’s imposed hindrances.



Written FOR


Given Palestine is part and parcel of an Arab culture that was the cradle of civilization, is home to the oldest cities in the world, and provided humanity with significant contributions towards the development of many “modern” sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and astronomy, one can only assume Romney sees no value in any of these – or is entirely ignorant of them. Instead, he views Israel as the “miracle,” a 64-year-old country that was built on the ruins and ashes of the indigenous Palestinians, many of whom refuse to submit to a continuing campaign of slow – and sometimes not so slow – removal from the land.

Romney exposed his ignorance in the land of the prophets

Sam Bahour 

 Mitt Romney made history on Monday. In a single speech from Jerusalem, he proved beyond a reasonable doubt that to qualify to be a U.S. presidential candidate one needs precious little understanding of history, economics, or reality. Romney has just enough to be dangerous. 


With no sense of the impediments Palestinians labor under, Romney compared Israel’s economic success to that of its Palestinian neighbors and claimed the discrepancy was due to “cultural” differences and the “hand of providence.” Such blatantly racist and bigoted references to the conflicting parties are only occasionally rivaled by Israel’s most right-wing politicians.

Given Palestine is part and parcel of an Arab culture that was the cradle of civilization, is home to the oldest cities in the world, and provided humanity with significant contributions towards the development of many “modern” sciences, such as physics, chemistry, medicine, mathematics and astronomy, one can only assume Romney sees no value in any of these – or is entirely ignorant of them. Instead, he views Israel as the “miracle,” a 64-year-old country that was built on the ruins and ashes of the indigenous Palestinians, many of whom refuse to submit to a continuing campaign of slow – and sometimes not so slow – removal from the land.

The likely GOP presidential nominee also overlooked the fact that the Arab world was home to the world’s three great monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity, and Judaism – long before any modern state of Israel was even conceived.

As if these racist remarks were not enough, Romney uttered the magic conceptual ingredient, God. He said that he is “overwhelmingly impressed with the hand of providence (and how Israelis) are able to build and accomplish things that could only be done by a species created in the image of God.” This perverted reference seems to indicate that others, like Palestinians or even his own people, Americans, are of a lesser “species,” unable to match Israeli accomplishments.

Romney also praised Israel’s economic accomplishments while bashing the Palestinians’. The presidential candidate totally ignored the principal reason for the huge discrepancy between the Israeli and Palestinian economies: Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory and total micromanagement of that economy. I suspect Bain Capital would not have succeeded had the Israeli government restrained its every effort. Furthermore, Israel’s economy is subsidized with over $3 billion in U.S. military aid every year. That military aid helps repress Palestinians.

Over the years, not only has Israel prohibited the emergence of a new Palestinian economy – it has structurally and systematically made certain that even the buds of such a productive economy would never see the light of day. Anyone who scratches the surface of all the political spin can see for themselves what the World Bank now repeats: that Israel’s “apparatus of control” has “become more sophisticated and effective in its ability to interfere in and affect every aspect of Palestinian life, including job opportunities, work, and earnings … (turning) the West Bank into a fragmented set of social and economic islands or enclaves cut off from one another.” Besieged Gaza is in far worse shape than the West Bank. The International Monetary Fund and the European Union are making similar points.

Given that so many respected international organizations and analysts see reality for what it is, the question is what is being done about it. For Romney the answer to the Palestinians is crystal clear: Give up. After all, in his view Palestinians are “culturally” defective and God is on the other side.

As an American, before even speaking as a Palestinian, Romney scares me – seriously scares me. President Obama may have failed the Middle East in his first term as he picked up the pieces of eight years of damage caused by George W. Bush’s administration, but Romney has exposed his extraordinary American ignorance in the land of the prophets.


Written FOR*




Top 10 Most Distasteful Things About Romney Trip to Israel

By Juan Cole



he trip of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to Israel is in bad taste for lots of reasons.


  1. He is holding a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. It is distasteful for an American political candidate to hold a high profile fundraiser abroad, implying a commitment to a foreign country as a means of reaching out to American interest groups (in Romney’s case, Christian Zionists among the evangelicals and the minority of American Jews who would be willing to vote Republican).


  2. It is distasteful that Romney has broken his pledge of transparency and declared the fundraiser off limits to the US press.


  3. It is distasteful that Romney won’t explain why he has abruptly gone back on his word, and closed the Jerusalem event to the press.


  4. There is a convention in US politics that you don’t criticize the sitting president, even if you are an opposition politician, while on foreign soil. Romney clearly intends to slam President Obama while in Israel.


  5. It is distasteful that Romney is clearly holding the event in some large part to please casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who first bankrolled Newt Gingrich and now is talking about giving $100 million to elect Romney. Adelson is a huge supporter of far rightwing Likud Party Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and published a free newspaper in Israel to support all things Bibi all the time. Adelson isunder investigation for allegedly bribing Chinese officials in Macau in reference to his casino empire there. Since Adelson is potentially an agent of Chinese influence and is a partisan of one of Israel’s most rightwing parties, Romney’s indebtedness to him is disturbing.


  6. It is distasteful to have Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu interfering in an American domestic election by openly favoring Romney over Obama.


  7. It is distasteful that Romney is promising his donors in Jerusalem a war on Iran. When George W. Bush promised his pro-Israel supporters a war on Iraq, it cost the US at least $3 trillion, got hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, destabilized the Gulf for some time, cost over 4,000 American soldiers’ lives, and damaged American power, credibility and the economy. As Nancy Reagan said of drugs, so US politicians must say to constant Israeli entreaties that the United States of America continually fight new wars in the Middle East on their behalf: “Just say no.” Instead, Romney is playing war enabler, and that abroad!


  8. It is distasteful that Romney will not meet with Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestine Authority, who actually was elected by Palestinians, but only with an appointed and toothless ‘prime minister’ known for cooperation with Israel’s Likud.


  9. It is distasteful the Romney will not commit to a two-state solution within 1967 borders or demand Israel cease illegal squatting on and unilateral annexation of Palestinian land. If he is going to this Middle East hot spot, why doesn’t he visit a Palestinian refugee camp so as to understand the nub of the dispute, instead of hobnobbing with the uber-rich in Jerusalem.


  10. It is distasteful that he is holding the fundraiser in the King David Hotel, which was famously blown up by the Zionist terrorist organization Irgun in 1946, in a strike that killed 91 persons and wounded dozens, many of them innocent civilians. Irgun leader Menachem Begin (later a leader of the ruling Likud Party) hit the hotel because there were British security offices there, which were tracking violent organizations like his own, during the British Mandate period of Palestine. He maintained that he called ahead to warn of the bombing, but that is just propganda to take the edge off the deed – who in 1946 would have taken such a call seriously? When current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other Likud leaders attended a commemoration of the bombing, the British Foreign Office sent over a sharp note of protest. I guess Romney is not finished with insulting London.


Written FOR



Or … at the back of the bus, on the other side of the street …. only in ‘The Only Democracy in the Middle East ;)
Elsewhere, there are no limits…..
A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.

Leading Israeli religious Zionist rabbi: A woman’s place is in the home

Leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would ‘harm the quality of life of the nation.’

By Chaim Levinson
Rabbi Zvi Tau
Rabbi Zvi Tau Photo by Michael Yaacovson

A leading nationalist-Zionist rabbi has written a treatise claiming that home is a women’s place, and “not the domain of social activity,” thus reflecting further radicalization among religious Zionists.

Rabbi Zvi Tau, president of Har Hamor Yeshiva and a leader of the more extreme orthodox trend among the national-Zionist public, wrote the treatise for internal use. The leaflet promotes the opinion that too much education for women would “harm the quality of life of the nation.”

Austria-born Tau was for many years a student of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, and one of the heads of the Merkaz Harav, religious-Zionism’s most prestigious yeshiva. In 1997 he turned his back on the yeshiva and created the Har Hamor yeshiva, but is still considered one of the leading rabbis of the movement and a notable supporter of the concept of nationalism, which considers the state of Israel holy and opposes refusal to follow orders in the IDF.

Tau publicly supported former President Moshe Katzav, who was imprisoned for rape, and called on him, at the time, to refuse to resign.

Two months ago Tau wrote, for internal use, a treatise called “who created me as he willed,” a quote from the prayer said by women every morning dealing with the proper place of women according to the Torah. Tau’s position is radical, often more than orthodox concepts.

Tau writes that men and women have different roles. Indeed,it seems that the woman is discriminated against but it isn’t so, he writes. Women, according to Tau, have more emotional power, while men are more cerebral. This division is needed because of the world’s limitations, since it is unable to contain full realization of both emotion and mind. Women, due to nature’s needs, were not meant to occupy themselves with “the depths of science and morals,” but rather with carrying, giving birth to, feeding and raising children. Rabbi Tau claims that this is woman’s “natural vocation, and God created within her the necessary talents and an inner orientation for these issues,” which negate the possibility of “commiting oneself to the depths of science.”

Tau adds that the worldwide trend of allowing women equal education, and striving for equality, can only guarantee short-term profits. In the long run this trend “will harm the quality of life of the nation and society, since the true female character will not be realized and will be missed by the world. Society and the nation should rather be built on perfecting the special attributes imprinted in women.”

Tau continues to explain that children born to couples including women who devote themselves to their career will be “weak and flaccid.”

So what can women do? Rabbi Tau answers: “Home is the natural habitat for women to express their special tendency … not the domain of social activity. At home, without the bustle … is where a woman can fully live her life.”



Racism and ignorance know no nationality
By Nima Shirazi
Iranian government officials often make bigoted, ignorant statements – but so do many in Israel and the US

Ehud Barak reportedly described the Shia concept of taqiyya as giving leaders ‘permission to lie’ [GALLO/GETTY]
In late June, when Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi spouted anti-Semitic comments at a Tehran forum marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, his offensive rhetoric was rightfully ridiculed and condemned. Rahimi declared his belief that the Talmud, the central holy scripture of Judaism, “teaches [Jews] how to destroy non-Jews so as to protect an embryo in the womb of a Jewish mother”, and also to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews”. Jews, according to Rahimi, “think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them”.

Midway through his speech, Rahimi decided to distinguish between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade”.

“While the Zionists utilise the narcotics to devastate other societies,” Rahimi stated, “they safeguard their own society against such drugs” – noting incorrectly that “you cannot find a single addict among the Zionists. They do not exist”.

Commentary such as this should be called out for what it is: racist, ignorant, and appalling. Yet, Rahimi’s tirade was also disingenuously elevated to the level of an Iranian government official statement, and used as “proof” that the Iranian government was not merely vehemently anti-Zionist, but venomously anti-Semitic.

So if the bigoted comments of government officials are evidence of a country’s inherent backwardness and barbarism, one must wonder what all those who were so offended by Rahimi’s comments about the holy scripture and belief system of the Jewish people have to say about the comments and actions on July 17 of Israeli Knesset Minister and Meir Kahane devotee Michael Ben Ari.

‘The King’s Torah’

After all Knesset members received a new edition of the New Testament, gifts from of a Christian Israeli publisher, Ben Ari (who is also leading thestaggeringly racist pogroms against Africans living in Israel) reacted bytearing the Bible to shreds and throwing it in the trash, making sure to have the episode photographed. He then proudly sent the pictures to the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv .

Ben Ari was quoted as declaring: “This abominable book [the New Testament] brought about the murder of millions of Jews in the Inquisition and autos-da-fé.” He added: “This is a provocation by church missionaries and there is no doubt that this book and those who sent it belong in the garbage can of history.”

The Jewish Daily Forward, in its report on the incident, appropriately asked: “Does one dare imagine what the reaction would be from Jews if a non-Jewish Knesset member, or perhaps a politician in another country, publicly destroyed and disposed of a volume of Talmud?”

For all the condemnations of Rahimi’s statement regarding Jewish doctrine, it seems that no one has attempted to trace the comment back to its possible (and, I stress, possible) origin in the much publicised writings of Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, an Israeli settler who lives in the illegal West Bank colony of Yitzhar near Nablus, whose ultra-fundamentalist Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva has received a massive amount of funding from the Israeli government.

In November 2009, Shapira published The King’s Torah, which – according to Ha’aretz – “describes how it is possible to kill non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law)”. Ma’ariv reported that “the book contains no fewer than 230 pages on the laws concerning the killing of non-Jews, a kind of guide for anyone who ponders the question of if and when it is permissible to take the life of a non-Jew” and states that, as non-Jews are “uncompassionate by nature”, attacks against them curb “evil inclination”.

Shapira’s book lists hundreds of sources from the Bible and religious law, as well as quotes from Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, one of the fathers of religious Zionism, and Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli, a dean of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, the stronghold of national-religious Zionism located in Jerusalem.

According to Shapira and his co-author Rabbi Yossi Elitzur: “In any situation in which a non-Jew’s presence endangers Jewish lives, the non-Jew may be killed even if he is a righteous Gentile and not at all guilty for the situation that has been created … When a non-Jew assists a murderer of Jews and causes the death of one, he may be killed, and in any case where a non-Jew’s presence causes danger to Jews, the non-Jew may be killed…”

Even innocent civilians and children are determined to be legitimate targets for murder. “One must consider killing even babies,” the book says, “because of the future danger that will be caused if they are allowed to grow up to be as wicked as their parents.”

Recently, an investigation into allegations of racism, bigotry and calls to violence found within The King’s Torah was officially closed.

Islamophobia has also reached high levels within the US government.

Asleep to the danger

In October 2009, US congressmen Sue Myrick (Republican-North Carolina), Paul Broun (Republican-Georgia), John Shadegg (Republican-Arizona) and Trent Franks (Republican-Arizona) issued a call for a federal investigation into the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for placing interns in the Committees on the Judiciary, Intelligence and Homeland Security. The call was triggered by a book named Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamise America, by Dave Gaubatz, an anti-Islamic activist who posed as an intern for CAIR in an attempt to prove that the group is trying to infiltrate Congress.

Myrick also wrote the forward to Gaubatz’s book, in which she avers that radical Muslim terror agents live among us and are “carrying out their subversive plan”. She continues: “America is asleep to the danger that confronts us. Since the 1960s there has been a concerted effort on the part of radical Islamists to infiltrate our major institutions.”

Myrick writes of “their secret plot to take over the United States from within”, establish “an impressive infrastructure of support”, and “to infiltrate all areas of our society” in order to replace the constitution with “Sharia law”. She urges government officials “to stop hiding behind political correctness and keep the American people informed” about “the threat to our sovereignty and our way of life”, concluding: “We Americans must wake up before it is too late!”

When asked about potential “domestic security threats” back in 2003, Myrick replied: “Look at who runs all the convenience stores across the country.”

In 2011 in Yorba Linda, California, an US-Muslim group held a fundraising event for relief work in the US, attended by local families and their young children. Outside, an appalling anti-Muslim protest raged. Among the speakers addressing the crowd were California Congressmen Ed Royce and Gary Miller and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly.

Pauly described the Muslim charity event as “pure, unadulterated evil” and after boasting that her son was serving in the Marine Corps, said: “As a matter of fact, I know quite a few Marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

Royce told the rabid, hateful crowd: “I’m gonna say this too, a big part of the problem that we face today, is that our children have been taught in schools that every idea is right, that no one should criticise others’ positions no matter how odious, and what do they call that? They call that ‘multiculturalism’. And it has paralysed too many of our fellow citizens to make the critical judgment we need to make to prosper as a society.” One need only think about where Anders Breivik’s views on “multiculturalism” led him to see how dangerous this sort of talk actually is.

Miller, who said he was there to support the protest and hand out American flags, told those gathered: “I am proud of you, I’m proud of what you’re doing, I’m proud of this country and what we believe in, and let’s not let people who disagree with us destroy it.”

Net of suspicion


Inside Story Americas – The US military’s ‘anti-Islam classes’


The country Miller is so proud of is the one in which Peter King holds congressional hearings encouraging racial profiling, inciting Islamophobia, and promoting vicious stereotypes of an already targeted, terrorised, and tormented minority community. It’s the nation that reacts to theperceived threat of Muslim-American terrorism “by casting a wide net of suspicion over entire communities based solely on their religious beliefs, race, or national origin” and conductssecret, illegal surveillance of those communities.

It’s where the “future leaders” of the most powerful and aggressive military on the planet have been taught “that a ‘total war’ against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from Islamic terrorists” and that “using the lessons of ‘Hiroshima’ to wipe out whole cities at once” and “targeting the ‘civilian population wherever necessary'” may be required. It’s a country whose secretary of defence hand-delivered to the former president a daily report of critical, classified military intelligencewith cover sheets featuring Biblical quotes to emphasise the Crusades-like effort of US soldiers in the Middle East.

Iranian Vice-President Rahimi’s comments about the Talmud are unacceptable. So are Ben Ari and Shapira’s interpretations of both the Torah and New Testament. The same goes for Binyamin Netanyahu’s incessant repetition that the Iranian government is inherently “irrational” due to its faith, and Ehud Barak’s misunderstanding of the Shia concept of taqiyya, which he erroneously described to CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour in an April interview as “a kind of permission, from heaven, to the leader to lie [and] mislead partners as long as it’s needed in order to reach the objective, the political objectives of the movement, the group or the tribe or the clan or the nation”.

So next time the media overreacts to something blurted out by some Iranian official, let’s make sure to remember that Iranians certainly have no monopoly on ignorance. There’s plenty to go around.

Written at the request of AlJazeera …… Our Blogging Community has officially gone Global.


 What would the thousands of Christian Zionists attending CUFI say if they saw an Israeli Knesset member destroying the Bible and dumping it in the trash?

Israeli lawmaker tears up “abominable” New Testament, throws it in trash

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

Israeli Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari tears up the bible before dumping it in the trash.

A member of the Israeli parliament has torn up a copy of the New Testament and thrown it in the trash.

An edition of the Bible had been distributed to all members of the Knesset by Victor Kalish, the head of a Christian publishing society.

According to Israel’s NRG news website, Kalish sent the book along with a letter explaining that it was a new edition with thousands of references, “that sheds light on the [Old Testament] Scriptures and helps to understand them and also shows the close connection between the Scriptures and the New Testament and how many of their prophecies are fulfilled in the New Testament.”

New Testament belongs in “garbage can of history”

Ben-Ari, however termed the book a “provocation,” tore it up and threw it in the trash, an act that was apparently caught on camera.

“This abominable book [the New Testament] brought about the murder of millions of Jews in the Inquisition and autos da fé,” Ben-Ari was quoted as saying, “This is a provocation by church missionaries and there is no doubt that this book and those who sent it belong in the garbage can of history.”

Ben-Ari is also notorious for his role in inciting hatred against Africans, declaring at a rally against African migrants in Tel Aviv last year that, “We have come to expunge the darkness.”

Tzipi Hovotely, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing party, sent a request to the speaker of the Knesset urging him to ban the distribution of “missionary” materials, NRG reported.

Destruction of bible comes as Christian Zionists meet in Washington

Ben-Ari’s destruction of, and insults toward the Bible, come as Christians United for Israel(CUFI) – what claims to be the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States – meets for its annual conference in Washington.

Alice Bach attended the conference and heard the opening speech by its founder Pastor John Hagee who claims, in order to justify his support for Israel, that the bible is “a Zionist text.”

What would the thousands of Christian Zionists attending CUFI say if they saw an Israeli Knesset member destroying the Bible and dumping it in the trash?

Written FOR


We have become his worst nightmare ;)
Alan Dershowitz has a dream, one that is probably shared by many of his ilk, but one that is as much divorced from reality as he is himself.
Alan Dershowitz believes that radicals can be defeated.
In a day where we finally see the 99% rising up against the1% on an international scale, including with positions condemning Israel’s occupation and ethnic cleansing. We see the International BDS Movement growing by leaps and bounds… not to mention the growing number of demonstrations and walkouts that follow every spokesman for zionism on every US Campus (including himself). All of the above include scores of non zionist Jews as well…
The reality is that there are many open-minded people, even in Europe and on university campuses. ….. Exactly why his thougts are nothing more than a dream.
This is what the Dersh claims…

Radicals can be defeated

 Alan Dershowitz shares his insights on best approach to use against anti-Israel extremists
I was gratified to read the article by Kasim Hafeez, (see article HERE) a former anti-Semite who had become a Zionist. I was particularly gratified to learn that my book, The Case for Israel, played a role in his conversion from irrational hatred to support based on his own observations of the reality of Israel.

Hafeez’s article came at a time when I was becoming skeptical of my own ability, and that of others who try to make the civil liberties case for Israel, to influence public opinion. The hatred for Israel in parts of Europe and on many university campuses has become so irrational that no evidence, regardless of how indisputable and powerful it may be, seems to be able to change closed minds hardened by years of unremitting falsehoods. These falsehoods take on an aura of undeserved credibility, particularly when espoused by people who identify themselves as Jewish or Israeli (or even formerly Jewish or formally Israeli.)

But whenever I get discouraged, I recall an incident several years ago at the University of California at Irvine, which is a hotbed of anti-Israel hate speech. This is the very same campus where radical Islamic students tried to prevent Israel’s moderate ambassador, Professor Michael Oren, from speaking.

Use extremism against radicals 

About a year before that incident, I spoke to a full audience of students that included some of the same radicals that tried to shut Oren down. About 100 of them sat to my right. Another 100 or so students, wearing pro-Israel shirts and kipot, sat to my left. Several hundred additional students were in the middle – both literally and ideologically. I know that because I asked for a show of hands before I began my remarks.

I first asked for students to raise their hands if they generally support Israel. All the students to my left and several in the middle raised their hands. I then asked how many students supported the Palestinian side. All the students to my right and several in the middle raised their hands. I then posed the following question to the pro-Israel group: “How many of you would support a Palestinian state living in peace and without terrorism next to Israel?” Every single pro-Israel hand immediately went up. I then asked how many on the pro-Palestine side would accept a Jewish state within the 1967 borders, with no settlements on territory claimed by the Palestinians. There was some mumbling and brief conversation among the people to my right, but not a single hand was raised.

The debate was essentially over, as everyone in the middle now recognized that this was not a conflict between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups, but rather, a conflict between those who would accept a two-state solution and those who would reject any Jewish state anywhere in the Middle East. The pro-Israel view had prevailed because I was able to use the extremism of the anti-Israel group to demonstrate the ugly truth about Israel’s enemies to the large group of students in the middle with open minds.

I have now used this heuristic repeatedly on college campuses, and with considerable success. The lesson, I believe, is not to try to persuade irrational anti-Israel extremists, but rather, to use their extremism – which often includes anti-American and anti-Western extremism – against them and in favor of a reasonable and centrist pro-Israel position.


The power of truth 

The reality is that there are many open-minded people, even in Europe and on university campuses. Their voices are often drowned out by the much more vocal anti-Israel extremists. I saw this last year when I was invited to Norway by a Christian Zionist group. The group offered me, as a speaker, to the law faculties of Norway’s three major universities. All three universities refused to invite me to speak, even though my appearance would cost them nothing. One of them said I would be invited, but only if I did not speak about Israel.


When students at the universities heard of the faculties’ refusal to invite me, the students themselves asked me to appear. I spoke to packed houses at all three universities, and was told afterwards that I had changed the minds of many students who had never before heard the centrist kind of liberal case for Israel.

I will not give up despite, perhaps because of, the increasingly vocal hatred directed against Israel. It is imperative to continue toappeal to the open minds of rational people who want to hear all sides of this complex and nuanced issue. In the end, I have confidence that the power of truth will overcome the lies of anti-Israel extremists. If we believe in the marketplace of ideas, we must persist in our efforts. The conversion of Kasim Hafeez from an irrational anti-Semite to a thoughtful Zionist should encourage us to keep telling the truth.
Source of above dribble



The above toon is a reminder of the last campaign against women by certain sections of the ultra orthodox community in Israel. Now,less than a week after International Women’s Day, anti-womanhood has taken on a new dimension in Jerusalem. Women will have their working hours cut back at certain eateries to satisfy the whims of the same section of that community.
Un’f’n’believable but true … read about it in THIS HaAretz report;

Jerusalem eatery cuts back on female help to meet kashrut restraints

Haredi-owned restaurant to stop employing waitresses on nights when yeshiva boys patronize it; owner blames jealous competitors for kashrut supervisors’ strictness.


A Haredi-owned Jerusalem restaurant will be restricting the working hours of waitresses in order to receive the strict mehadrin kashrut certificate.

The veteran eatery, Heimische Essen, in Rehavia, will cease employing waitresses on Thursday nights, a favorite time for yeshiva boys to patronize the eatery.

Waitresses at the restaurant, which serves Eastern European specialties to a variety of people, are modestly dressed, although some of them are not Orthodox.

According to the owner, Haim Safrin, zealots, “who are jealous of the place’s success,” pressured the kashrut supervisors of the strict Agudat Israel high religious court, known as the Badatz, to stop waitresses from working on Thursday nights.

The Badatz is a private body which grants kashrut certificates and supervision over and above that provided by the Chief Rabbinate. The demand for waitress-free Thursday nights is unusual, but it is not unusual for bodies granting kashrut certificates, including the state-run Chief Rabbinate, to withdraw or threaten to withdraw a certificate for reasons that have nothing directly to do with food, such as the religious or spiritual affiliation of the owners or event halls that hold weddings for gay couples.

Be Free Israel, a group that advocates religious freedom and pluralism, called for a boycott of the restaurant, and says it plans to demonstrate in front of it tomorrow night.

Safrin, who says he has many non-religious and non-Jewish patrons, says the Badatz’s instruction is not the end of the matter and he wants to find a compromise. “At most, we can move shifts,” he said.

Safrin says the people who complained are mainly Hassidic young men who want to be served by a man. Safrin said that the Badatz’s initial demand was harsher, “but I explained to them that more than 60 percent of my patrons are women, and everyone had to be served. My area is also modern Haredi, not extreme.”

Safrin said the Badatz responded that he was right, but wanted to “give it a few weeks to check it out.” He said that although he had received the instruction three weeks ago, waitresses continued to work on Thursday nights.

He said the boycott Be Free Israel has declared is not based on the facts. “My right as the restaurant’s owner is to do anything I want.”

He also said he had insisted on continuing to employ waitresses, and on the continued employment of the eatery’s only Arab waiter. “Sometimes Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir come in,” Safrin said, referring to two extreme-right wing figures. “They say ‘get rid of the Arab, why do you emply Arabs.’ I told them I wouldn’t get rid of the Arab and that’s what will be with the waitresses.”

This story is by:

  • Yair Ettinger


Timely messages for the Easter Season ;)
It is becoming a common occurrence in Israel to hear about Jews burning churches, spitting on Christian clerics, burning Christian Bibles and intimidating and harassing other Jews who believe in Jesus. Unfortunately this is almost unheard of from the Western media. If it was not for the internet this would be unknown to millions of people around the world.
Here I am presenting one example of the rampant discrimination and xenophobia against Christians that exists in the “Jewish state”. Please feel free to copy and post this video in other sites.
The following is what the Israeli Ambassador to the US said just a week ago…. (is he dreaming?)

Israel is only Mideast state safe for Christians, envoy to U.S. says

In Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Oren compares what he calls the current repression of Christians in the Muslim world to the expulsion of Jews from Arab states.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is safe for Christians, Israel’s ambassador to the United States Michael Oren wrote in an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal on Friday, comparing what he said was the suppression of Christian communities in Arab states to the twentieth-century expulsion of Jews from these nations.

In his article, Oren cited the continuing violence against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the burning of Iraqi churches, a Saudi ban on Christian worship and the desecration of the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank as instances indicating a threat to Christianity in the Muslim world, adding that conversion “to Christianity is a capital offense in Iran, where last month Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death.”

The Israeli official went on to compare what he called a sweeping action against Christian communities in the Arab world to the expulsion of 800,000 “from Arab countries, mostly following the Six-Day War.”

Ultimately, Oren concludes, the only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangered, but are actually flourishing, is in Israel.

“Since Israel’s founding in 1948, its Christian communities (including Russian and Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Armenians and Protestants) have expanded more than 1,000%,” he added.

Oren concluded the article, in which he cites the exodus of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank and Gaza over increased pressure by Islamist groups such as Hamas, by syaing that the “extinction of the Middle East’s Christian communities is an injustice of historic magnitude.”

“Yet Israel provides an example of how this trend can not only be prevented but reversed. With the respect and appreciation that they receive in the Jewish state, the Christians of Muslim countries could not only survive but thrive,” Oren wrote.



And let’s not forget these attitudes…



Perhaps this Oren guy should take a daytrip to the illegal settlements  (including Jerusalem) to see the reality he seems ignorant of.


And they call the wind Maria…
Yesterday, statements made by a prominent spokesman for the ultra orthodox community in Israel, were the subject of the following article which appeared on Ynet’s Site;

‘Anti-Semitic media incites against Haredim’

MK Yisrael Eichler accuses media of using Nazi tactics to turn public against ultra-Orthodox sector

The full report can be read HERE*

Eichler failed to mention the recent incidents involving women which were reported in the media, but some are recalled in this post…

That was yesterday…..

Today the following reports appeared;
HMO holds men-only blood drive
An ad published this week by Maccabi Health Services called on members of all health maintenance organizations in the city of Ashdod to take part in a blood donation initiative – but only if they are men.
Full report HERE
Beitar Illit store offers men-only counter

Rami Levy supermarket introduces separate cash counters for men, women in haredi city. ‘I’m surprised they still haven’t opened separate stores for each sex,’ local resident says

Full report HERE*

Not mentioned in the complaint were reported incidents ordering women to sit at the back of the bus, spitting on women not dressed ‘modestly, refusing to walk on the same side of the street with women, but you know about those incidents from previous posts…. how convenient it was to leave them out, perhaps there is shame involved?

Yes, perhaps nazi tactics were used to turn the public against Haredim, but also perhaps they deserve it!




This despite the venomous attacks by newts and other such creatures …
There are many books and references available to document each point.
20 punti/points
Prepared by Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed.  Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened. 


2- This is also where civilization began including development of the first alphabet (by Phoenician Canaanites) and the first laws.  It was where we first developed sciences like astronomy, engineering, and mathematics


3- The original inhabitants of the Western part of the Fertile Crescent were called Canaanites and the original language was called Aramaic which Jesus spoke (he was born in the country called then Palestine and thus he was Palestinian)


4- The old Aramaic language gave rise to derived languages including Syriac, Arabic, and Hebrew and this language group is called Semetic languages


5- Arabic alphabet evolved in Southern Canaan (today’s Jordan and Palestine) while the Latin alphabet evolved in Northern Canaan (Phoenicia, present day Lebanon and Syria). The Alphabet used in Europe today came from our part of the world.


6- The people of Southern Canaan including Palestine endured many invasions of armies with nearly 15 times that local people were ruled by kings or emperors (Persian, Roman, Umayyad, Abbasid, Israelite etc). 


7- Local religious ideas evolved over the ages from Cananitic Pagan ideas to monotheistic ideas to Christianity (first century), Rabbinical Judaism (3rd century), Islam (7th Century).,


8- Palestine was always multi-cultural, multi-religious society despite attempts to homogenize it in certain periods (e.g. the Crusaders killed and exiled Jews, Muslims, and Christians of other sects).


9- Jews of today, like Christians and Muslims of today come from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  They are thus genetically (biologically) heterogeneous.


10- Before the wave of European Jewish immigration, Palestinians were of various religions: about 85% Muslim, 10% Christian, 5% Jewish and others. For hundreds of years Palestinians of various religions lived in relative harmony.


11- Zionism is a political idea that spread among a minority of European Jews who adapted to the European notions of ethnocentric nationalism and thus claims Jews of today should gather in Palestine and create a Jewish state because of discrimination in Europe.  Socialist Jews and other Jews believed in fighting for equal rights.  Zionists thought that anti-Jewish feelings in Europe serves their interests and thus even collaborated with racists.  There was a transfer agreement between the third Reich and the Zionist movement. Zionists also lobbied Western governments not to take in European Jewish refugees so that they all go to Palestine.


12- Zionism started in the mid 19th century with formation of the “Jewish Colonization Association” and became an international movement in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress.  To achieve its goals, its leaders advocated transferring the native non-Jewish Palestinians.


13- The United States and other Western countries under influence of a Zionist lobby pushed for the creation of a “Jewish state” of Israel in Palestine despite the wishes of the native people. 


14- Between 1947-1949, 530 Palestinian villages and towns were completely destroyed and their people made refugees.  This process of forcing Palestinians out of their land continued in other forms since the founding of Israel in May 1948.  Today 70% of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people.


15- Current day Israel has a set of discriminatory laws that fit the descriptions given in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Every month, the Israeli Knesset takes on more such racist laws.


16- In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank (including the old city of Jerusalem) and Gaza strip.  Together these two areas are 22% of historic Palestine.  Israel began immediately to build Jewish colonial settlements in these Palestinian lands. Contrary to International law, there are now over 200 settlements on our lands housing over 0.5 million Jewish colonial settlers.


17- Israel has built walls around the remaining Palestinian enclaves (ghettos, people warehouses, cantons, reservations) and isolated them from each other and from the rest of Palestine.  These walls separate Palestinians from their lands, from other Palestinians, from schools, from hospitals etc.  As an example, the Bethlehem district houses 180,000 natives, some 50,000 of us living there are refugees from 1948 period.  All of us are restricted now to develop and live on only 13% of the original Bethlehem district size. 87% of the district is now under control of Israeli settlements, military bases, closed military zones etc.  The Bethlehem people are isolated behind a wall and even Jerusalem (6 km away) is off-limits to us.


18- Colonialism involves violence.  Over 80 massacres were committed against native Palestinians.  Over 60,000 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers. This is ten times more than the number of Israeli civilians (most colonial settlers) killed by Palestinians.  Palestinians resisted colonialism over the past 130 years mostly by using non-violent popular resistance something not widely discussed in the Western countries because of attempts to vilify the victims. 


19- Palestinians and other Arab countries in conflict with Zionism have been “unreasonably reasonable” as one diplomat described it.  We accept all elements of International law` and all UN (United Nations) resolutions on the issue.  Israel by contrast, violated over 60 UN Security Council resolutions and over 200 UN General Assembly Resolutions.  Without the USA using its veto power to shield Israel from International law at the UN SC, the number would have been doubled.


20- We Palestinians demand and are struggling for our right to return and to self-determination.  We call for a democratic pluralistic state for people of all religions in our historic homeland of Palestine.  We call for equality and justice.  People in Europe and around the world can support us by using education, by coming to visit us, and by Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS).  This is a collective human struggle similar to what happened in challenging apartheid in South Africa. 


There are many books and references available to document each point.


A best seller in the 70’s was a book entitled  ‘The Greening of America’. It was a bible of sorts for the flower children of the 60’s.
The descriptions in the book regarding personal freedoms and egalitarianism is exactly what is not happening in Jerusalem today.
These days we are not seeing a greening of Jerusalem, but rather we are watching it turn black, more-so with each passing day.  I am not speaking of any particular racial group ‘taking over’ but rather of the ultra orthodox (Haredi) elements that have been making headline news and literally have been taking over the city in recent months. I am watching it happen in my own neighbourhood, which until recently was a bastion of tolerance.
Israel was founded as a secular state much to the dissatisfaction of many ultra orthodox sects. This has finally manifested itself decades later with their total contempt for anything secular as well as anyone that practices the Faith in a more modern or moderate way.
The attitudes and treatment of women is reminiscent  of the same attitudes that were seen in Poland 300 years ago…
Even worse than that is when they attack a seven-year old child for ‘dressing immodestly’…
This from people whose dress and ‘minds’ are  from an era in the past…
In order for the present right-wing government to stay in power, it is forced to include Parties representing these views in an arena they call a coalition government. No move can be made without approval of these enlightened (sic) ministers.
Their attitudes have been tolerated by the powers that be as they are the reinforcement of the racist agenda that the state was built on. Recent proclamations by leading rabbis throughout the country forbidding selling or renting property to non Jews (Arabs), having non Jews (Arabs) work for Jewish owned companies, etc.,etc. Attitudes and proclamations that at times get criticised by government authorities, but are never dealt with as a whole. It appears that many of these rabbis have a cult type following, yet nothing is done about it.
At least not until elements (illegal settlers for the most part) in the ultra sects physically attack IDF soldiers or storm army bases …
Then, something might be done to control these unruly mobs of self-proclaimed terrorists. The monster was created, now it must be controlled. Perhaps then we can witness the greening of Jerusalem and the rest of Israel.


Fifty six years later…. On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks refused to obey bus driver James F. Blake‘s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. (From) … It happened in Jerusalem today …

Israeli woman refuses ultra-Orthodox dictate to move to back of bus

When the passenger refused to move to the designated back seats, even when police arrived, the bus continued on its way, despite her refusal.

A woman passenger on a public bus from Ashdod to Jerusalem Friday was told by an ultra-Orthodox male passenger to move to the back of the bus. The man held the door of the bus open and would not allow it to move for approximately 30 minutes.

When other passengers began to complain about the delay, the driver called the police. The policeman who arrived on the scene spoke with the man and then also asked the woman, Tanya Rosenblit, to move to the back of the bus. When she refused, the man who had been holding the door alighted and the bus continued on its way.

Rosenblit, who said she was dressed modestly, was traveling on Egged bus 451 to get to work in Jerusalem. She said a Haredi man, who boarded two stops after she did, refused to allow the driver to close the door after he saw Rosenblit. Rosenblit said the man called her a derogatory word for a non-Jewish woman, and told the driver it was his right to have her sit in the back and that he had paid to be able to do so.

At that point, Rosenblit said other passengers called on the driver to intervene because they were late. Some wanted to get off the bus and have their money refunded. At that point, Rosenblit said, the driver called the police.

The policeman who arrived on the scene took the man aside for “a pleasant conversation,” Rosenblit said, after which the policeman asked her if she would move to the back of the bus.

After Rosenblit refused, the man who had held the door got off and Rosenblit continued on her way. “The reason I am posting this story is not to declare that Orthodox Jews as pure evil … I want to point out that this is a social and educational problem,” Rosenblit wrote on her Facebook page.

Egged spokesman Ron Ratner condemned the incident, but said such incidents were increasing and that Egged’s directives clearly prohibit the driver from “permitting or creating any separation on the bus unless it is voluntary,” and instructing to call the police in such cases. Ratner advised Rosenblit to submit a complaint to Egged’s ombudsman so the incident could be scrutinized more closely.

Related Report

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