Settler Rabbi: Celebrating Murder of Palestinians ‘Great Mitzvah’
You may remember during the 1991 Iraq war that Saddam launched several SCUDs which hit Tel Aviv and killed an Israeli. There was dancing on the rooftops in the West Bank. Israelis were aghast and used that for years as an indignant proof of the brutishness of the Palestinian national movement. Now picture this, Palestinian militants murder four Jewish settlers from the most extremist of all settler groups. In the ensuing days, the IDF hunts down those it alleges to have planned and executed the attack and mows them down, in at least one instance killing a sleeping man in his bed. No proof ever offered. None needed. No trial, of course because this is justice-IDF style.
The result: a Simchat Torah style settler celebration of cold-blooded murder replete with dancing, joy, smiles, abundant feasting, etc. The poster begins with a verse from Psalms 58:10 expressing joy in vengeance:
The righteous man will be joyful when he sees they are avenged,
The soles of his feet washed in the blood of evil [doer].
Is this ghoulishness Judaism? Is my religion one that bathes in the blood of its enemies? God forbid. It reminds me more of Nosferatu or Lady Macbeth bathing in the blood of her enemies.
An article in the settler publication, S’rugim, notes that Rabbi Ben Tzion Mutzafi declares that it is “permissible to celebrate the death of terrorists.” Not Israeli terrorists of course. Only the bestial non-Jewish kind. He adds: “On the contrary it is a great mitzvah” because a Biblical verse says that “there is joy in the destruction of evildoers.”
The poster concludes by calling on all of the Jewish people to arise to the Temple Mount, which carries with it the implicit call to rebuild the Holy Temple and destroy the Muslim holy places there: a tacit call for holy war against Islam.
Seven Knesset members are listed as endorsing and attending this bacchanalia of blood even including a member of Kadima, Yulia Berkovitch.
If Palestinians were brutes for dancing over the death of an Israeli then the settlers are equally beastly for their antics. Apparently, these faux Jews have forgotten the Midrash in which God silences His angels when they celebrate at the drowning of Pharoah’s army in the Red Sea:
My creatures are drowning in the sea and you rejoice?”
Yariv Oppenheimer also points to this wonderful verse from Proverbs 24:17:
בנפול אוייבך אל תשמח (“Do not rejoice when your enemies fall.”)
To these disgusting excuses for Jews, Palestinians are not human. Which of course justifies any Palestinian militant who sees Jews as less than human.
A bruch on all of ’em, I say. H/t Ofer Neiman.
97 thoughts on “Settler Rabbi: Celebrating Murder of Palestinians ‘Great Mitzvah’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“Out, Dam’d spot. Out, I say”
Of course, it isn’t that easy. The trick here is not to get blood on your hands in the first place. But that, in the context of the Israeli/Arab conflict, may be expecting just too much of the situation.
Or is it?
Whatever is required to treat a mentality that would rejoice in the death of another, that medication had better be pretty strong stuff. Otherwise, the condition feeds upon itself and matters can only get worse.
‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ as the saying has it.
As far as I know, the rabbi’s surname is Mutsafi (Musaafi if you want to remain closer to the original Arabic pronunciation).
Otherwise, the whole thing is totally disgusting.
Thanks for that correction. It’s hard to transliterate names into English when you haven’t heard them pronounced.
The problem here is not settlers or otherwise but rather fundermentalism. Rabbi Muntsafi is not actually a settler himself, but represents a type of fundermentalist Judaism that will not only take the Bible as “Gospel” (sorry, couldn’t resist it), but aslo any statement from the Talmud that suits their politcal creed is irrefutable and infallable.
Any religious Jew who comes to oppose them has to be erudite enough in Talmud exegisis to know the opposing opinions stated, and to be carismatic enough to have a following. The are quite a lot of the former, but far too little of the latter (like the late Yishayahu Leibovitz).
This fundamentalism, of course, existed and damaged all the major monotheistic religions throghout history and still does so today.
The Inquisition, Crusades, the Muslim conquests, King David’s conquests, Al-Quaida, Hamas, anti-abortion, homophobia, all join fundamentalist clergy like the above in bringing the world to the brink of war, and often into war.
This is the world’s biggest threat today, our job is to put forward an alternative that doesn’t itself become fundamentalist in its search for truth and justice as happenned in the Russian revolution and in Iran today.
Yes, human beings are an imperfect species the world over. But, there are times when it is only by making use of our imperfections that we can move someway towards the ultimate objective, that of perfection itself.
In reference to the Middle East, to achieve better results than those now in prospect, a more sustainable, less ephemeral policy regarding the Arab/Israeli conflict needs to be adopted. It really is poor practice, has been so for 60+ years, to allow the contenders in this matter to dictate the terms of a peace settlement. They are conditioned by the situation to disregard any process that does not promote their agendas and this is why peace has always proved so elusive.
I think we are expecting far too much when we invite politicians from both sides to get together for talk of peace; there exists no basic framework to allow for much more than a feeble probing of each other’s intentions, intentions that change almost constantly with the season and the next political set of circumstances. And, as for the religious elements in this story, let’s not go there just yet. There are enough pressing problems to deal with as it is.
First and foremost, the region needs to be much more politically stable before any substantive improvements can be made to it.
What, therefore, is the price of stability?
Maybe not as much as you might think.
Perhaps, a more fundamental approach might be exactly what is needed. It could be that all these problems stem from us not being fundamental enough.
Now wouldn’t that turn out to be quite a surprise.
I wonder how Shmuel managed to find a common denominator between the radical Jewish nutcases and the supposed ‘Iranian threat’.
That’s an easy one Dir Yassin!
In Iran there are executions for adultury, and immodesty is heavily punished. Raped women are tried for immorality, generally women are degraded and forced to cover all but their eyes. Abortion is illegal, homosexuality is a capital crime. Those who peacefully demonstrate against the elected (or not) government are persecuted at best or summarily murdered. Writers who oppose the Islamic regime have a death warrant signed against them (Rashdi)’ etc. All in the name of fundamental Islam.
But Dir Yassin is right on one point, the common denominator is a bit weak, because in Israel Rabbi Muntsafi and co. are still a nutcase fundamentalist minority (thank god!) whereas the fundamentalists in Iran are sadly the Government (no thanks to god here!)
Arijay: Unfortunately there is another verse from the Bible:
“באבוד רשעים רינה” – the fight against fundamentalism is to distinguish between opposing and apparently contradictory dicta, and not hang on to the most “convenient” one that suits one’s purpose. This verse incidently was used by Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef to celebrate a future death of Shulamit Aloni and Yossi Sarid (both still alive and kicking)
Women in Iran cover their heads, they are not required to cover their faces. They make up half the workforce and are heavily enrolled in universities.
I don’t know what that has to do with this odious rabbi and his blood lust.
Maybe the fact that they are forced to cover their heads?
Iran is clearly a model of enlightenment and feminism.
Too bad there are no gays in iran – I’m sure they would treated in a way that would make california gays jealous.
How ridiculous. With all the other human rights issues in Iran, you’re making note of women having to cover their heads.
What is this Israeli obsession with Iran, and what does it have to do with this disgusting Rabbi?
I wasn’t really wondering how you jumped from Jewish extremism to Iran. That was kind of a rhetorical question.
I know the Zionist Hasbara too well: the more we talk about something else the less we talk about Israel’s misdeeds.
That was in fact what I was trying to express in my ‘I wonder …’.
I think all misdeeds and extremism should be addressed irrespective of whether it be Israel, Jewish, Zionist, Iranian, Islam, Catholic or Palestinian.
You talk about “Zionist Hasbara” as if there were some monolithic organisation by that name that plans its strategy together. As one who is not at all ashamed to be an ardent Zionist but hates all extremism such as yours or such as the above Jewish extremists I can swear to you by all that is dear to me and to you that there is no such thing but rather it is an invention imagined by the extreme left and extreme right as an excuse to condemn any Israeli policy, good or bad. The use of such a monolithic generalization insults my intelligence and that of fellow Zionists who believe in human rights also for the Palestinian people.
Using this general term is not dissimilar to the invention of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Attack me for what I say, not for what you imagine I belong to, as you have no idea who I am or to what I belong to.
I do agree that all misdeeds should be addressed equally but as this blog is dedicated to the Israeli-Arab conflict and/or co-existence, and this particular file is about Jewish extremism, I think we could take a break from Iran-bashing.
“As one who is not at all ashamed to be an ardent Zionist but hates all extremism SUCH AS YOURS …”.
Please, tell me, what is my kind of extremism ?? What do you base that statement on ?? My pen-name ?
So your “Attack me for what I say, not for what you imagine I belong to as you have no idea who I am ot to what I belong” is rather based on your proper bias. I never imagine anything about anyone but stick strictly to what I read under their pen.
Your “using this general term is not dissimilar to the intention of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion” alongside with your “Jews are well aware of their shortcomings and are not ashamed to shout them out in public . . . I sometimes wish other people could also see their own wrongs as clearly as we do ours, but we don’t hear them su much, they prefer to see only ours” (on the file: Not since Rome ruled have they destroyed Sukkah) speak for itself: signs of paranoia and ethnocentric navel-gazing.
By the way, by comparing my ‘Zionist Hasbara’ with ‘the Protocols od the Elders of Zion’, you really are banalizing antisemitism, except of course if you consider all critisism of Israel as antisemitism.
“Muslim conquests…join fundamentalist clergy like the above…”
The Muslim conquests had nothing whatsoever to do with fundamentalism, or even with religion. They were economic and political, not religious, so much so that for quite some time the Muslims discouraged conversions among the population of the conquered lands.
Conversions were discouraged because it was preferable for the rulers to collect the jizya (dhimmi) tax. More profitable than having out-and-out converts.
How can you say that “Muslim conquests have nothing to do with religion”? The Qur’an is full of discussion of wars Muhammed fought. The “Four rightly-guided Califphs” conquerered a huge empire and they are viewed as the best period in Muslim history.
What part of your anatomy did you pull THAT out of? Wait – I know.
As usual, you have exactly zero clue what you are yapping about, and are making stuff up as you go along. Try learning something real about Islamic history before you make a fool of yourself by pontificating on it in front of people who do know something about it.
As to your second paragraph, you yourself explained why Muslim conquests had nothing to do with religion. Think about it.
Let’s take a look at the venue:
The Great Synagogue of Jerusalem. This is where power-broker and former Chief Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef (of foul-mouthed, racist fame) maintains a congregation. Prime Ministers and the power elite of the country worship here. It is the showcase synaogogue for outsiders. The building is an annex to the Israeli Chief Rabbinate.
This event is shocking because it did not take place in the usual location, in the heart of Israeli-occupied Hebron or some other flashpoint of Israeli extremism, but in an extablishment institution in the capital.
Stokling this further, the dais was graced by the Chief Rabbi of Israel’s major port city and capital of the North, She’er Yeshuv Hacohen.
Anotehr disturbing aspect of this event is the poster’s call for a mass invasion of Jews into the Haram el-Sharif Temple Mount.
When Arik Sharon took a small party on to the Temple Mount, the Second Intifadah broke out. Were Jews in Israel to answer this call en masse, the consequences would be catastrophic to relations between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, and, most likely, world Jewry and all Muslims.
Why is the alphabet soup of Jewish organizations: ADL, OU, CCAR, URJ, AJC etc etc. not speaking out on our behalf?
Thanks for noting those important elements I’d missed in the poster. Those points add even greater consternation to my reaction to this mess.
This is extremely disgusting, and a severe violation of the midrash (נְפֹל אוֹיִבְיךָ אַל תִּשְׂמָח וּבִכָּשְׁלוֹ אַל יָגֵל לִבֶּךָ” (משלי כד יז)
“at the fall of your enemy, don’t rejoice and your heart shell not be happy”
Please see my reply above to Dir Yassin
Translation of the verse “when the wicked perish there is joy”
Thanks for that. Yariv Oppenheimer also quoted the same verse on my Facebook page. I added it to the post.
you are taking things out of context and relevance.
רשע wicked, as a very precise definition and that is the enemy of G-d. even the midrash distinguish between the obligation we have to rejoice when the enemy of G-d is destroyed and when our own enemy is destroyed.
with relevance to Iran, even Mordechay stated referring to haman “at the fall of your enemy, don’t rejoice and your heart shell not be happy”
however Israelite celebrated the fallen of G-d’s enemy.
i guess what the midrash is trying to tell us is not to take things out of proportion, when the enemy is my own enemy we shell not rejoice etc. when the enemy is G-d enemy (committed crimes against humanity) we are obligated to rejoice.
not the same, not of the same magnitude.
Richard, you write: “If Palestinians were brutes for dancing over the death of an Israeli then the settlers are equally beastly for their antics.”
I am not sure what you mean by starting off with an “if” but there is no reason for judging Palestinians “brutes” for celebrating the death of an Israeli. An Israeli, like it or not, is a member of a nation-state that has been oppressing and murdering them for decades and it takes some chutzpah to call them “brutes” and stand in judgment of them for celebrating the death of the enemy broadly conceived. This doesn’t mean celebrating the deaths of Israeli civilians is dandy. It’s just a call for treading more gingerly in thinking about Palestinian reactions to those deaths. Palestinians are englobed by the violent world we create around them. It seems premature to take their measure by their perfectly predictable–in fact, predicted, because Israeli violence is intended to precipitate Palestinian reprisals–violence or their reaction to others’ violence against their persecutors. It seems a little derelict to treat them like animals and then complain when a small subset of them don’t act like paragons of morality.
“Is this ghoulishness Judaism? Is my religion one that bathes in the blood of its enemies?”
Finding a few verses here and there about being nice to non-jews doesn’t erase the fact that the supremacy of the jewish people and the vileness of everyone else is a central theme of judaism.
I don’t know much about Judaïsm (and I keep saying I really should start learning Hebrew) but I do know Hillel the Elder and his “That which you don’t want done to yourself, don’t do to others”, and to me, everything is in that one phrase. The rest is just commentary.
And every religion has the seeds of intolerance and supremacism, and I don’t think Judaïsm is worse than other religion in that matter.
You sound like Israel Shahak that I do respect on his standpoint concerning the discrimination of the Palestinians in the State of Israel, but I’ve had big discussions with people who want to convince me that he IS a ‘self-hating Jew’. Do you know his book on Jewish religion, and in case you do, what do you think ?
I havn’t actually heard of israel shahak’s book, so I couldn’t say.
It’s funny you should mention hillel – that ruling is often understood to refer only to other jews.
The origin of hillel’s saying is apperantly a verse in leviticus – “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself”. “Kinsfolk” is translated from “בני עמך” – clearly meaning other jews. It’s reasonable to assume that neigbhor (רעך) refers to the same.
It’s true that christianity and islam show the same kind of religious intolerance, but not ethnic intolerance. There is a big difference between “convert or die” and “die as suits our needs”.
I thought every Israeli knew the highly controversial book on “Jewish Religion, Jewish History” by Shahak. It made scandal:
I imagine it wasn’t that big a scandal to be remembered for more than 15 years. Just a book.
Anyway I’m much too young to have heard about it when it was published.
I doubt anyone could publish that today and show his face in israel…
That’s all sophistry. The truth of the matter is that I know of no Jew who sees Hillel’s dictum as referring only to Jews. While what you say may be held by settlers or other Haredi types, they are a small minority of all Jews.
A “big difference?” Really? This is getting more & more offensive to me. You’re veering into comment violation territory the longer you talk about this using the terms you’re using.
I’m sure you don’t know any such jews. Your’e american, and diaspora jewery is largely reform. This is not true of israel. As much as you would like to belittle the impact of these “settlers or other Haredi types” in israel, they are not a small minority. Beyond their numbers, which are respectable, they are the leaders of jewish faith in israel. It’s the words of people like ovadiah that count.
So I can definitely say I heard that interpretation of hillel more than a few times.
I don’t see why I should even need to point this out. Doesn’t the very existance of the occupation prove to you what kind of judaism is practiced in israel? And judging by the support israel gets from the diaspora, I don’t think this is a israel-specific point of view.
What vile, disgusting falsehood. You’re confusing settlers and some traditional sources with all of Judaism, the same error that Pam Geller & Daniel Pipes make about Islam.
Unlike geller, I know what I’m criticizing. I’ve been learning bible since I was 8. I teach it these days.
Childern in israel (and I guess all jewish children) are raised to believe that god chose them as his “am sgula” – better than all other nations.
I am always schocked that intellegent people can’t see how intrinsically racist this is.
Really, do you learn it in English? Do you learn Rashi? Abarbanel? Do you learn Ramban? Rabeinu B’chaye.. What about the Maharal?
Chances are , you don’t even know who those Rabbis are..
Also, Why is racism always a bad thing?
If you actually learned Torah the way it should be learned..you would know that ALL nations were offered the Torah and ONLY the Jews accepted!! This is why jews are “Am segula”.
Tell me, how much mishna and Talmud do you know?
I have been learning Torah since age 5.
Please show me how muslims/christians aren’t racist?
Did you know that there are extremists in every group? Ever heard of the KKK??? Do they reflect all catholics or christians, no?
Not sure who this Rabbi is … or if he has been quoted properly..
But , have you watched all those Imams cursing Israel? That is so racist..
I learn it in hebrew. Not talmud, but actuall bible (public education system in israel), though i know a little bit from the former.
Giving a faux reason why jews are better doesn’t excuse racism – it enforces it.
The KKK are a racist group, not a christian one (although they are christian). There are extrimists, but those faiths themselves aren’t racist (hatful yes, but not racist).
As for “Also, Why is racism always a bad thing?”
I think this blog doesn’t allow the kind of answer this question deserves.
Christianity & I’d venture to say Islam as well exhibit tendencies that are racist. Almost all religions do (including Judaism). But in no religions that I know does racism predominate as a guiding principle accepted as normative.
The Public school system in Israel.. That is where you learnt Torah??
The fact that you think that Judaism is going down shows that you need an education.
You have to learn Torah with commentaries and the like in order to properly understand. Translating is not going to do it. Every single syllable in the Torah is put in for a reason.
Did you know that Jews don’t hate non jews?
I bet you didnt’ know that there is a law that you can’t be happy that your enemy falls???
You don’t even know about the views of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of your fellow Orthodox pro-settler Jews who do indeed hate Muslims.
“The fact that you think that Judaism is going down shows that you need an education.”
Don’t patronize me, and don’t make an idiot out of yourself while doing so.
If you are refering to my comment about judaism dying out, compare judaism in america today to judaism 400 years ago in europe.
“I bet you didnt’ know that there is a law that you can’t be happy that your enemy falls???”
I did know, even before it was thoroughly discussed in this thread.
“Did you know that Jews don’t hate non jews?”
I think i already rather illustraded here that many do, and judaism demands atleast contempt.
If you want to argue with my claims, do so. Don’t attack me or my education.
Ok, I shouldn’t have attacked your education. I am sorry. However, you seem to be talking as you know it all.
However, I am not sure where you are judging American Judaism by. Did you ever see the Lakewood Yeshiva, The Mirrer yeshiva in NY, and many many many others.
If you are in Israel, you would know about all the yeshivas who are very strong in their keeping of Judaism.
Jews show contempt for ideals/behaviors, not actual people.
How do you explain the Noachide laws?
How do you explain the racism that Americans exhibited by firing Jews who refused to work on the Sabbath in the early 1900’s?
How do you explain that Palestinians are given the death penalty for selling land to Jews? If you say treason, why not prison?that’s verrrrry racist!
It’s ALWAYS a big mistake for any commenter here to doubt the knowledge of tradition of other commenters. I don’t know Duck’s specific knowledge or background, but I’d venture to say that your dead wrong about him & that he knows those commentators like the back of hand.
Showing how utterly divorced the hard right Orthodox are from any notion of western reality. Welcome to the strange hall of mirrors that is right wing Orthodoxy.
Pls show me how Jews like you aren’t racist.
Ok, here is the first proof that Judaism isn’t racist..
Turn to this weeks Torah portion , which is Vayeira. Abraham welcomes 3 Bedoiun travelers into his home for food and drink. He had no idea that they were angels at first.
Second, Abraham marries Hagar .
This is just the beginning of Torah.. There is more..
and FYI.. I for one have no issue with Palestinians as long as they don’t try to hurt/kill me or other jews.
You have no issue w the Palestinians yet you said all Muslims hate Jews or something to that effect. You might want to reconsider yr claim that you aren’t racist.
“If you are in Israel, you would know about all the yeshivas who are very strong in their keeping of Judaism.”
Yes, judaism is very strong in places like brooklyn or israel, where jews show contempt to goys. It’s weak where jews learn to respect other people.
“How do you explain the racism that Americans exhibited by firing Jews who refused to work on the Sabbath in the early 1900′s?”
Magic. It must be, since I already proved the only way anyone could ever be racist was by being jewish.
“Abraham welcomes 3 Bedoiun”
I thought abraham was the father of all arabs… Anyway, welcoming strangers proves nothing. Rather, if the father of all jews refused to welcome anyone who wasn’t jewish IN A WORLD WITH ONLY ONE JEW that might be a little racist…
“Second, Abraham marries Hagar”
Yes, that story is just full with kindheartedness…
“I don’t know Duck’s specific knowledge or background, but I’d venture to say that your dead wrong about him & that he knows those commentators like the back of hand.”
Not nearly, but I’m always happy to make a good impression.
I wasn’t claiming to know everything, just enough to confidant about my point.
I’m glad you are able to interpret for yr students a more nuanced understanding of this Biblical concept.
What makes you think I am “hard right”? Because I quote the Torah? I am neither right nor left. I believe in equal human rights for all and that those who cause harm/kill others don’t belong part of society.
And , If you really sit and analyze with many orthodox jews, you will get that they do not have any issue with palestinians per say, but their actions of bombings etc.
What’s so funny is that those who claim that they are advocating for human rights for the Palestinians always just sit and attack Israel and always leave out that the Arab leadership is just sitting and letting their people be lame ducks in the refugee camps. They had oppurtunities to make a state a few times, but would rather let them sit there so that they can demonize israel.
If I were a Palestinian I would be real mad at the Arab leadership for making me sit in camps and not do a darn thing to get me a least some part of a state, or at least give me some normal life in THEIR country.
And will you get that Palestinians have no issue w. Israelis except for their actions of bombing, assassination, land theft, Occupation, Nakba & a few other minor issues?
No, no heaven forbid, you’re not a racist. Simply the most enlightened Orthodox Jew on the planet!
But you’re not now, are you? What you really meant to say is that if all Palestinians thought like you, an Orthodox right wing racist Jew, then they’d believe the following nonsense…
“They had oppurtunities to make a state a few times, but would rather let them sit there so that they can demonize israel.”
Do you really think arab leadership allows the suffering of millions of arabs for decades just so they can have fun demonizing israel???
It’s amazing that people can be so self-centered…
Just like when the right claimed those kids in silowan WANTED to get run over to embaress the driver…
Please explain why not one of the Arab countries took in the Palestinians and gave them homes? Please explain what they were doing in 1947 and 1949-1967 well before there were any settlements.
Please explain why they told them to leave the area so that they can wipe out the Jews. They have equal share in the blame for the refugee issue. I even had this discussion with a Palestinian Brit who was interested in a balanced discussion.
And yes, the Arab leadership can be quite evil. Ever see the Hamas Charter?
This is pure Hasbarist nonsense & I’d urge no one to take the bait.
Ita, here’s the deal. This isn’t a debating society, nor a forum that entertains grandstanding or point scoring. So if your goal is to prove something about Palestinians then you’re in the wrong place. I assure you that there are 100 readers & commenters here who know buckets more about any issue related to this subject that you’d care to comment on. So pls. don’t show yr ignorance & don’t show your propagandist agenda. If you persist you’ll be violating the comment rules which I urge you to read now.
Mazel tov, you met one of the “good” Muslims.” There are one or two you know. As for the rest…
Comments must be “on topic.” This one is so far off topic you’ve taken a spaceship to a far planet. Read the comment rules & follow them carefully.
I am just curious,
Are you disgusted by Palestinians dancing at the deaths of Americans in 9/11?
And again a few weeks ago at the death of 4 israeli settlers, including a pregant woman
There are extremists on all ends of the spectrum whether it be jewish or non Jewish. But please don’t paint all as racist.
But clearly you’re only concerned about the Palestinian extremists as you haven’t said a word of criticism against JEwish extremists. You’ve noted they exist, but that is all.
No , actually. I am a young mother of 3 (who works full time)who doesn’t have the time always to sit and write term papers.
This thread actually gave me food for thought.
However, on face value the incidents by the extremist settlers are upsetting and disgusting. Yet, as someone who majored in journalism, I find most articles lacking in the basic journalistic skills like 1. balanced views 2. no biases 3. evidence aside from what people have said.
I find fault in all journalism these days as none of the articles are written with journalistic integrity but with agenda behind it.
One thing I do find puzzling on this blog is that most emphasis is on the crimes of the Israeli gov’t, IDF, but there is not much mention of the crimes against the israelis. I looked through the archives and the shooting of settler civilians was not mentioned at all. If I missed it, please post the link.
I have much more to say at a different time. As I do find what is being said here interesting and enlightening.
Being orthodox does not mean racist , even if they do have some things in the Torah that could be seen as racist in nature.
You did miss it. But it’s not my job to pore over my blog archive & find posts that you can find yrself. I write the blog. You read it. And if you want to read something in particular you search for it. Then if you can’t find it & still want it you can ask. But I’m not yr servant.
I never said being Orthodox means being racist. IN fact, I strongly urge you to read The Magnes Zionist written by my good Orthodox friend, Jerry Haber. You may not agree w. his political views. But he’s a Torah true Jew & a real mensch. But I do think that many Orthodox (& secular) Jews ARE racist.
Ok, forgive me. I missed your little snippet on the four settlers. Yet , what gnaws me is that you somehow condone the killing because they are settlers.
Killing is only warranted if the actual people are trying to kill you at the moment themselves. These people were driving by.
You are right that jews are somewhat racist, but they are no way more racist than any other nation. You are for sure racist against Israel and the IDF. If there is a crime commited by them you report it. To you, all actions done by Palestinians are justified because of the occupation and because some settlers might steal land from them. No mention of Palestinian land theft, is there?
The fact of the matter is that most of your sources on this site are slanted and biased against Israel. You quote the New York times which has been proven as biased. Just google the New york times photo of Tuvia Grossman.
The majority of this site is based on what people have said and not hard evidence.
Although, you are not any different than any other journalist these days from Haaretz right down to the Chareidi newspaper of Hamodia.
I wait for the day when a journalist is objective.
I never condoned the killing. Read again precisely the words I wrote. Never condoned it for a minute. However, it is patently true that these settlers & all the Hebron settlers are among the most hateful, violent & homicidal of all settlers in Israel. That explains why Palestinians would want to kill them. It doesn’t justify or condone it. But you must concede that hate doesn’t spring forth fr. nothing. On both sides it is there for a reason. And the Israelis have given Palestinians far more reason to hate them than the other way around. Before you answer, look up the records of how many Israeli civilians and Palestinian civilians have been killed in terror attacks. Then explain to me the wide gap (approx. 10 times more Palestinian civilians killed than Israeli).
I am sorry to say that you must remove the “somewhat.” Some Israeli Jews are out & out violent, homicidal racists–the foreign minister for one. I am not saying that all Israeli Jews are or that all Jews are. But the recent Yediot poll shows that blatantly racist notions prevail among wide swaths of Israeli Jewish society.
This is a blatant violation of my comment rules. Read them before commenting again. If you call me racist again in a way that is totally unfounded you will be moderated. Reporting a crime by Israelis is not racist. If I said Israelis were monsters, Nazis, sucked Palestinian blodd, loved money, etc. Those would be racist, anti-Semitic views which I don’t hold. So before you accuse anyone of racism go look up the meaning of the word & use it properly. My comment rules make explicit that in order to use the term you have to point to a specific racist claim. Your claims aren’t racist.
This too is a false claim. Standards here may be diff. than what you’re used to. You can’t use hyperbole or any non-factual claims, which this is.
What are you smokin’? This is so ludicrous I have to say you’re working very hard on comment moderation.
Proven by whom? Arutz 7? Debka? CAMERA? W/o even knowing what they are I know that you are using sources to confirm yr prejudices that would never be allowed as credible here were you to quote them. So don’t try to sneak in such notions under the table. I deal in facts. What you are writing are right wing opinions, not facts.
Duck, what are you talking about ?
Jewish supremacy ? in the bible ? just for the record, one of the most important figures in Jewish heritage is King-David, a decedent of converts.
the bible (if you are a believer) is full with very specific instruction about how are the jews should treat non jews, supremacy isn’t even an option.
if you are referring to the chosen people, that deals with the relationship of one and his G-d and not one and his fellow Jew and non Jews. jews who are relating as their base of their so called “supremacy” are giving Judaism a very bad name.
The whole idea of a chosen people is racist.
If you want specific examples, the bible and it’s interpetations are full of them. From killing the amalek, through “you shall rule many nations and they shall not rule you” to rambams “if a goy falls into a well leave him to die”.
If you want to blame these nutjobs for being unjewish, go for idol worship. In the bloodshed part they are practically saints.
Congratulations, you’ve found 3 offensive references in all of the tradition. And you know what? I’ll even concede there may be 100 more or 200. But for every example you can find I can find 10 that totally contradict these notions.
You make the mistake that all absolutists make. You take a decisive, intolerant position on something that requires nuance to be understood fully & accurately. Anyone can find such offensive notions in every religious tradition. It doesn’t make the entire tradition what you claim it to be.
“Anyone can find such offensive notions in every religious tradition”
Yes. And no such tradition should be given any tolerance, but rather decisively rejected.
Ofcourse, it’s possible to pick and choose some parts of the tradition that seem more agreeable. What’s the point though, I wonder, of practicing a tradition while ignoring it’s purpose – to uphold our obligations as the chosen people.
To be truthful, there are many aspect of Biblical tradition which are supremacist (the extermination of various enemy tribes for one) & deeply offensive. But they aren’t the whole of the Bible, let alone Jewish tradition, which was why I took offence to Duck’s comment.
You know it’s funny. Your rules say that you shouldn’t attack others, yet I get called an orthodox racist right wing jew . Somehow that’s okay.
You are too busy attacking ME to realize that I am just trying to examine facts. Interesting, how just trying to go through the Torah (never knew that the Torah was propaganda).
I am actually more more middle of the road than you think. I acknowledge that there have been Palestinians who have been wronged by the Israelis, yet if you are going to be balanced, you must acknowledge that there is racism on their end as well.
What I see here is that somehow all of you decide that the Torah is racist, while other ways of life are just not. That in itself is racist.
I read the news to examine the facts and don’t just take all the news in the newspapers at face value because I know that there is always some kind of slant out there. I believe in innocent til proven guilty. I believe in evidence being shown properly, not to some slant to prove one is the villain, while the other is some saint.
I spend a lot of time reading all the articles I can get my hand on regarding this issue from Haaretz to Israelnationalnews. Reading them all is the only way to get a balanced view.
I have no prejudices against anybody as long as they don’t want to harm/kill me. I highly doubt that you would have the Iranian president over to your dinner table. Yet, if a Palestinian were peaceful and respectful to my lifestyle, I would not have an issue with it. They would just have to respect that I can’t allow them to touch my wine or my meat. Yet, I would be sensitive enough to serve grape juice so as not to cause a problem.
As long as someone doesn’t act to the effect of harming others and acts with respect to others, they are fine in my book.
I thought this was what this site was all about. Trying to fix things, not just to attack one side of things.
Not quite. The rules say not to use gratuitous insults or ad hominem attacks none of which I did. You are racist & I used your own words to prove. The fact that you are so completely enmeshed in your own cocoon that you don’t understand that yr attitudes toward Muslims & Palestinians are racist is sad. But you are racist. Not an aggressive, malignant racist. But racist nevertheless.
You’re not “examining facts,” you’re stating opinions on subjects like Palestinians, Arabs & Islam about which you don’t know a thing. Yes, you’ve read a few articles fr. sources hostile to ea. of these groups & gleaned a few facts used to bolster yr prejudices. But those aren’t facts, they’re cherry picked factoids.
I never said that all of the Torah is racist & you should be more discerning in who’s saying what here. There are racist, deeply disturbing elements in the Torah, while there are tolerant, inclusive elements as well. I acknowledge that. But I don’t sugar coat the bad stuff either. And you shouldn’t.
You don’t really believe the Palestinians are “innocent till proven guilty.” You believe that essentially they are guilty. You also cannot concede that there are settler religious leaders who are racist, even evil.
You will never get a balanced view fr. Arutz 7 & Israel National News.
You simply don’t understand that Palestinians cannot be respectful of a lifestyle that embraces settling their land. That is as noxious to them as Ahmedinejad is to you.
Duck, the idea of the Chosen people isn’t racist due to the fact the according to the midrash the Jews were the last to offer that choice.
the story of the chosen people emphasis on the choices we are making as free people.
of course the bible and the rambam are referring to how one should act in time of war, but they also distinguish between times of war and other times.
the problem is that the nutjobs as you call them referring only to the way one should behave in time of war, and excluding all the rest.
i don’t beleive that i defend the bible or the torah view, i am a complete secular jew, i eat traif (and enjoy it) and didn’t even had a bar-mitzvah
Actually, I believe that these rulings by rambam refer to times of peace – while in times of war a jew should kill the goy, in times of peace he should just let him die rather then help him.
That midrash does not excuse the notion of the chosen people. It’s a central concept of judaism and a source of jewish contempt towards other people for centuries.
“the difference between a jew and a goy is greater than the difference between a man and an animal”.
Muslims believe they are the “chosen people”. They believe that everyone who is not Muslim is going to burn in hell. Many Christians also believe they are the “chosen people” because they think non-Christians will rot in hell.
And you have this from what Islamic source? Really, the idea of you portraying Islam on its behalf would be laughable if it weren’t so patently offensive. I’ve let the Muslim readers here go to town on you for yr presumption. Tell me: would you be happy with Ahmedinejad or Bin Laden characterizing Judaism on our behalf? I didn’t think so. Unfortunately, there’s not much diff. fr. the poison you just spilled and what they would say about Judaism. And both of you know equally little about the subject you’re pontificating on.
YOu certainly might’ve been able to get away w. the statement that SOME Muslims believe this just as some Christians & Jews believe it about their respective religions. I might add that many Orthodox Jews believe their fellow Jews would rot in Hell if Jews believed in one.
There are also quite a few Christians in the US who believe anyone who hasn’t accepted Jesus Christ as their savior will go to hell. Your point is?
“Muslims believe they are the “chosen people”. They believe that everyone who is not Muslim is going to burn in hell.”
Whoever wrote this seems to have Muslims confused with Catholics and certain Protestants.
“Would you be happy with Ahmedinejad . . . characterizing Judaism on our behalf ? Unfortunately, there’s not much diff; from the poison you just spilled and what [he] would say about Judaism”
I’m not a fan of A. and I strongly dislike the regime he’s representing, but as a devout Muslim I don’t think he ever said anything hegative about Judaism.
I heard his speech from Beirut this week (it’s on PressTV, translated in Arabic and English, if someone is interested), and though he had a lot of critics concerning Zionism and capitalism (the translation of his speech was strongly biased in the media – that’s in fact why I wanted to hear it by myself), he didn’t say anything about Jews or Judaism.
Bin Laden, I don’t know . . .
Another lie. The Jewish tradition I and millions of my fellow Jews uphold does not feel contempt for non-Jews. Do some Jews feel this way? Sure. Do all Jews or even a majority of Jews? Not on yr life.
It is jewish contempt and racism that has allowed the religion to survive. If jews had not secluded themselves from their surroundings, always seeing the goys as “tmeiim”, jewish faith would have died out centuries ago.
Ever since jews in the western world stopped hating their neighbors, judaism has been dying out.
Ever since the Englightenment Jews like you (& non Jews as well) have been predicting that Judaism is dying out or will die out. And guess what? It doesn’t. What a surprise. And for the next few centuries there will be many others like you predicting Judaism’s demise. But somehow it will continue to exist as it has done for millienia. Maybe even predictions like yrs. help our religion to endure as Mark Twain noted.
Can you please quote a source so we can look this up? page, chapter, verse please.
I would like to know what is being spoken about because you could be taking it out of context.
The concept of the chosen people isn’t about free choice. It is about a people who have a special relationship with god — just read your bible. It’s all there.
Any group or individual that lives with a belief in specialness is psychologically suspect in my eyes. A belief in specialness is a symptom of either trauma or personality disorder or both. I have always worried about this belief in specialness that having been brought up Jewish, I was told about a great deal. Nothing to do with free choice, I’m afraid…
Midrash, shmidrash. You’re all a bunch of friggin nuts with your bible interpretations. Each of you twists verses to your own needs and arguments. There are so many contradictions in the Hebrew bible, that I only use it as an example of how stupid believers can be. Hasn’t anyone got the sense to define his/her own sense of morals without relying on the bible?
I thought reading Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values” would be a waste of time. But after reading all of the above, Harris really makes sense – it’s all in the neurons. It’s surely not to be found in religion.
Well guys, I guess we could go on arguing the pros and cons of the whole affair for forever and a day. In fact, it seems to me that’s just about all we have been doing up till now.
Just who is it that has the better claim to what? Which side is more deserving of our support, our sympathy? What accommodation should be made to facilitate the rights and aspirations of Palestinians; vouchsafe the security of those of the Jewish persuasion?
Ok, it’s a tricky one; not something to be decided overnight nor within the span of the next few days. But, if we are going to proceed much as we have done in times gone by, then the danger is that no decision will ever be reached, the problem continues apace, becomes more insistent and whatever the future holds for both societies, it can only get worse, not better.
Here may be a case for us all simply to take the bull by the horns and deal with the matter in a forthright and timely manner.
At least, we would then be seen to be doing something. Otherwise, the alternative is to sit back and watch helplessly while the situation deteriorates that much further. And let’s not kid ourselves; that can easily happen; if not today, then tomorrow, the day after or next week.
Unless some way is found to permanently hold the line between these two communities, we might just as well be pissing into the wind for all the good it will do.
[comment deleted for violating comment rules]
You really cut loose on this one, Richard.
FIrst of all, your headline is totally misleading. The poster does NOT call for the “murder of Palestinians”, it says one should celebrate the “liquidation of terrorists”. Even you must admit that this is not the same thing.
Secondly, you point out that 4 Jews killed by these terrorists were “extremist settlers”. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE? Are you claiming “they had it coming” because their political beliefs don’t correspond with yours?
Your quotation of the “progressive” midrash is incomplete. Yes it says that the angels should not rejoice, but you left out the part that says the Children of Israel CAN rejoice, since they were victims of Pharoah, and they did so in the Song of Moses at the Red Sea in the book of Exodus, which celebrates the destruction of Pharoah’s host in the sea.
But, if this is not your Judaism or your view of how enemies be treated, why haven’t you protested the ceremonies held celebrating VE Day and VJ Day which marks the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II. So it is not just us “primitive Jews” who enjoy seeing enemies defeated, but so do Americans, Europeans, Arabs and just about everyone else.
You can’t seem to get anything right can you? I didn’t say the poster called for murder. I said it “celebrated murder,” which it did. I don’t know how well you know English, but the word chisul can mean either assassination or liquidation. Both words in English are part of the family of acts connoted by the word “murder.”
The words are there on the page. If you misinterpret them, that’s your problem, not mine.
I’m afraid it’s you who’s not rendering a complete version of the tradition. Here is an interesting e mail sent to me by my favorite progressive Orthodox Jewish blogger, Jerry Haber. Chew on this:
Clearly, your settler friends are not emulating God’s values or practice, but rather their baser instincts.
When the Egyptians were drowning at sea, God said:
“The work of my hands is being drowned in the sea, and you want to sing songs?”
I think that it is even more concerning that, except for the 8 radical rabbis, there are also 7 Knesset members, 4 of them from the Likud party (the governing party).
the concept of heaven and hell comes from Judaism.
“The concept of heaven and hell comes from Judaism”
Come on, stop your ethnocentrism. Lots of people around the world – without neither any knowledge of nor any connection with Judaism – have concepts of heaven and hell in their cosmogony. Hundreds of ethnic groups in the Americas had very developed ideas of these ‘places’ long before the White Man set foot on the continent, the Tupi-Guaranis and the Guayaki being among the best known.
And without knowing anything about these concepts in Judaism, I’m pretty sure they were based on some pagan beliefs. Nothing comes out of nowhere, everything is based on prior knowledge.
I’m sure it doesn’t originate in Judaism as many religions have similar beliefs. Contemporary Jews & theologians do not believe in heaven & hell.
Don’t know what you mean by “contemporary Jews”. If by this you meand Reform-Reconstructionist-Conservative Jews, you may be right, but traditional (Orthodox) Judaism certainly believes in after-life and ultimate reward and punishment. There are millions of Jews today who DO accept these things (see the hit Israeli movie “Ushpizin” for an example of a living belief in direct, divine interaction with man and reward and punishment, at least in this world). English editions of both Maimonides and Nachmanides essays on “the world to come” are available and these talk about what you might call “heaven and hell”, so contemporary Jews certainly are interested in these things.
SOME Orthodox Jews do, some don’t. But no other Jews do, which makes for a pretty small minority of Jews believing in this. “Millions” is a vast overstatement. BTW, Ushpizin is a ficitonal film in case you hadn’t noticed. The fact that such a film is made conveying a belief in the afterlife by the characters is not a sociological proof that such belief is widely held by Jews around the world.
No Jew that I know spends very much time studying Rambam’s or Nachmanides’ views on the afterlife. And most Jews that I don’t know don’t do this either except perhaps in their study of historical traditional attitudes on such subjects.
Within the belief systems of Jews, Christians, Muslims and other religions, there lies the assumption that God (name your own here) has chosen each of them to be first among many, the standard-bearers of the light, the keepers of the one true faith and all that goes with it.
Given the twists and turns, the accommodations that so many creeds have had to make over time, it seems most unlikely that God now sees any of them as especially pre-eminent in these matters.
The common ethos of most, if not all religious following, combines a love of God with a concern for the well-being of one’s fellowman/woman. In the Christian tradition, this is the ‘whole of the Law, and the Prophets.’
Why is it then that such a proposal, widely accepted by the majority of humanity, seems so demonstrably undersubscribed in a part of the world deemed sacred to three of its oldest religions?
Maybe it’s not a lack of love that is the problem here. It may be that the region itself is now too small to accommodate the many adherents of these faiths and, since no determining force has so far emerged to remedy the situation, the dispute continues; the rights and wrongs of it having proved too difficult for any final resolution.
Perhaps a new type of love is what’s needed; a tough love that has no favourites, no exceptions to the rule, no purpose other than to find a way out of this conflicting morass of interfaith rivalry.
http://yorketowers.blogspot.com – this can be one way out. If there are any others, then one must ask where have they been languishing for the past sixty years?
You skated by the gross error you made which I pointed out. Now, you are the one with a BHL from JTS. That means you know Hebrew, right? Most of the people looking at this blog do not know Hebrew. Thus, knowingly making a false translation will ruin your credibility.
The poster says “celebrate the liquidation of Arab terrorists”. It does NOT say “celebrate the killing of Arabs” which imply Arabs killed wrongfully, or indiscriminately which is what your headline implies. The only reason you would make such a false translation is to carry out a political aim of attempting to get your audience to get a certain, wrong impression of what “settler Rabbis” are like.
Terrorists killled in security operations ARE not “murdered” any more than the Japanese and German soldiers killed in World War. You know that.
First, you didn’t point out ANY error, gross or not. So I didn’t skate over anything. I never said the settlers advocated killing anyone. They don’t need to. The IDF does it for them. But they “celebrated” murdering people. Chisul is murder. Liquidation is murder. Assassination is murder. Murder. Murder. Murder. It’s all murder. And I’m certain it connotes murder in Hebrew as well. It is not a mistranslation. And if you persist in this claim you’ll move fr. being moderated to having yr privileges further restricted.
You are merely peddling pro settler propaganda & it’s tiring me exceedingly.
@ Dir Yassin
ok i will rephrase it for you.
the concept of heaven and hell in both Christianity and Islam comes from Judaism.
as for pagans costumes many were adopted by Judaism, for instance the month of june is called in herbrew Tamuz, tamuz was a Babylonian god.
No. The concept of heaven and hell does not come from Judaism. Judaism in fact does not have a clear idea of what happens after death and where people ‘go’. These concepts have nothing to do with Judaism. Judaism didn’t invent everything, you know…
These statements are incorrect. It is true that the TANACH does not talk a lot about it, but afterlife is certainly discussed in the Talmud and Rabbinic literature. It is absolute false to say “these concepts have nothing to do with Judaism”.
Here is an Israeli “contemorary” take on an old time religion.
News at Cannel 10. 17 October 2010
Thanks for this article and I do agree with you. But I am surprised that you are surprised by this attitude. Most Jewish festivals are about vengeance and this is why I stopped celebrating them years ago. Hannukah is about a blood bath and re-taking the temple from the Greek garrison that guarded it. Passover is filled with vengeance and rejoicing in the deaths of all the eldest sons of Eygypt. And what about Purrim, which I used to adore as a child — Killing all of Haman’s sons and eating Ozney Haman (Haman’s ‘ears’) as part of the traditional celebration? It’s high time that Jewish religion examined its values and what it really believes. This Rabbi is not doing anything particularly new or unusual given the values that I grew up on and unwittingly celebrated. As Jews we have always rejoiced in the destruction of our ‘enemies’ and how we were ‘saved from their evil plots to destroy us’ by the hand of god, and celebrated it. This Rabbi is simply defining the Palestinians as the current enemy. That’s all. The rest is already there. Mainstream Judaism has always had questionable values. Perhaps this kind of attitude will make people reconsider and reexamine those values. I was sad to leave those festivals behind but when I understood what they really stood for, I could no longer celebrate them.
You know what. I don’t believe for a minute that what this Rabbi said was taken down properly. There is a jewish saying that goes” Do not be happy when your enemy falls”.
Oh, and if anybody wants to know what Judaism is like. Don’t read some book by someone who has no real knowledge of Torah and jewish life.
I dare ANY of you to pick up a Mishnah Avot which talks about proper behaviors..etc etc. or any jewish book of Law. But.. it must be gone over with a jewish rabbi as many things can get lost in an english translation.
IF you all cared to know what really goes on , you would do so.
Are you all giving each other history lessons here, or what? Is this Hasbara Review Class, preparing for the big exam?
No, it’s people trying to examine the idea if Judaism is racist and the validity of the article presented above.