Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gay Pride?

Chicago, 11/26/11:

Living in suburban America doesn't allow one more than a glimpse into the sex-crazed debacle that has become modern Western civilization. On every street corner there are provocative posters for the newest clothing brands. Every mall features at least one store with access to pornography. No wonder homosexuality has undergone a paradigm shift--from adhorent to tolerable in the West. I'm returning to Israel in less than a month. I'm sure to find a mixture of left wing intellectuals, teenage punksters and junkies, and to top it off, gay rights activists.

Having spent the past four years delving into the mysteries of Jewish oral and written tradition, I've acquired a new perspetive on the meaning of life. It's simply the most precious commodity we can ever hope to acquire. When I hear or witness people wasting their time and/or money, it makes me wonder what's driving them to act so irresponsibly. I believe that one's ability to have kids comes from G-d and like time and money is not to be wasted. What right then do gays have to waste this ability? This questioned may be answered once we've discovered whether homosexuality is a natural phenomenon: if one is born gay. I believe it's not. The Torah and most Rabbis agree with me.

But besides the arguments for or against homosexuality, there's a more wide-spread issue of Gay Pride parades invading the religious sanctity of the Land of Israel. I believe that every and village in Israel is holy so Tel-Aviv also falls into this category. Do gays hold their rallies as a sign of pride or do they do so simply to spite Israel's religious communities? The answer is simple. Thousands of gays and lesbians live in Israel. Many of them serve in the army. Most hold jobs. Yes, they feel oppressed and ignored but why should it be any other way? Just because you've served your country and lead a productive life doesn't mean you should be allowed to get in the way of others doing the same. The reason gays march in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem is oppression. Of the straight community. Especially religious Muslims and Jews.

I just finished re-reading the article I published a few years ago. In it, I stated that the most despicable aspect of the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem was the Rabbis' position. Having spent four years in the Diaspora, I'm forced to disagree. I still maintain that cooperating with Arabs is wrong no matter what. I don't think we should side with Arabs even if it means eradicating Gay Pride parades. But I can understand why there would be those amongst us willing to take this painful step.

Kahane's "Why Be Jewish" talks about "Berny" chasing "Bridgette." The Rabbi asks why so many Jewish men are attracted to Gentile women. The book is a classic and a must-read for those of contemplating marrying outside of the Tribe. When it comes to gays, the questions is "Why is Berny chasing Ben?" This is a question that must be addressed from the Halachic standpoint. Gays must have an alternative to their behavior. If they are provided an alternative, there will be less Gay Pride. There will be less provocation on their part. The bottom line is that Gay Pride parades must be stopped. Not by violence but by petitions to the Supreme Court and the Knesset.

Tel Aviv, 4/2/07: Two days ago I watched a lengthy documentary on the cancelled Gay- Pride parade in Jerusalem.

The documentary, which aired on channel 8, devoted itself to demonstrating a wide range of opinions, both adamantly homophobic ones, and those of gay-rights supporters and members of the Israel’s gay-lesbian community themselves.

I watched as an American Orthodox Rabbi pulled out all the stops to prevent the march from taking place. I watched as a young gay man who had been stabbed by a member of the Haredi community told his side of the story. I watched an elderly Israeli woman calling on all members of the Israeli religious community to sign a petition against the march.

The actions and decision-making of the American rabbi were what appalled and angered me most. He asked Palestinian imams for their community’s support in stopping the march. His reasoning for this: “The Muslim community is most likely to take violent steps in stopping the march.” In a face-to-face sit-down, the man, referring Jerusalem as Al-Quds, the Arabic name for the Israeli capital, called on all faiths to unite in suppressing the homosexual enemy.

Later, when war with Lebanon broke out, he gave an interview suggesting the war had been a result of preparations for the parade. When asked for his position regarding the stabbing of a gay man in 2005, he came up with a version unparalleled in creativity. This was no Rabin assassination conspiracy theory. There were far more intangibles and loose holes. This man tried proving the Haredi “gentleman” had somehow taken hold of the knife one of the protestors was wielding and used it in self-defense.

Other anti-gay activists were less provocative. What all of them shared in common was hatred, hatred of the other; hatred of those who had “sinned.”

The young man who had been attacked by the Haredi nut was neither the biggest intellectual, nor did he come across as especially peaceful and reconciliatory, but then again, why would one expect him to reconcile to having been stabbed because of his lifestyle!? He rattled off large volumes of anti-religious rhetoric, blaming the entire religious community for his sufferings, and vowing to fight “them” on their terms.

Two things struck me about this documentary: the gay community’s eagerness to march in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem in particular for reasons related more to trying to provoke Israel’s religious community than to their comfort level with being who they are, and certain Jews’ willingness to cooperate with the enemy, an enemy far more dangerous than the gay community to stop the march.

I wonder whether the religious Jews involved in actions focused on mutual concerns coordinated with Jerusalem’s Arab leadership realize the price for sitting there, hugging and shaking hands with either terrorists or those who incite terror and are responsible for the death and mutilation of numbers of Jews. I wonder how far they’re willing to go to stop a gay-pride parade. Are they willing to threaten? Malign? Murder? Does Judaism give a go-ahead to murdering homosexuals who want to march in Jerusalem?

I’m no supporter of gay-pride. As I stated above, I don’t care one bit for these “gay pride” parades: their taking pride in their sexual orientation. But I’m also a staunch supporter of freedom of speech.

In the end, the war ended all hopes for a parade in Jerusalem—at least this year. Instead, members of the gay community met in what I supposed to be Teddy Stadium to voice their grievances. They hope to return to Jerusalem and hold a gay-pride parade there one day. And as much as I oppose this kind of activity, I would hate for it to be disrupted by violence. The question for me is not whether we oppose a gay-pride parade in the Holy City but how we go about doing this.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Outlook on Kach in its Present State

While a follower of the teachings of R' Meir Kahane (H"YD), I've never been drawn to the crowd mentality and the things the Rabbi's followers preach.

Rav Kahane preached Jewish pride and self determination as prescribed by the Torah. He wanted Jewish in the Diaspora to feel an inextricable connection to the Land of Israel and be able to fend for themselves. He supported Soviet Jewry and our efforts to flee the USSR. His positions were iron-clad. He resisted the impulse to move away from Torah doctrine even when his life was in jeopardy.

The Rabbi did not preach murdering Arabs. His movement has been condemned by the international community and while the Gentiles also condemn most pro-Israel causes they have reason to condemn Kach in its present state. R' Kahane's followers were never under his control. Many of these people joined Kach for the long reasons. Many were frustrated by the Israeli government. In Kach, they found an outlet for their anger. Many had relatives or friends murdered by Arabs.

These are good Jews. The problem with them is that they're hurting the Jewish People's struggle for a Greater Israel. They openly call on others to harm Arabs. I don't know if there have actually been any attempts to do this, but based on the way the Shin Bet has pursued these activists, there have been and this is extremely unfortunate. It's not the Jewish way.

This brings me to the point I've wanted to make for some time now. The call "Death to the Arabs; Kahane was right!" doesn't make sense. Kahane didn't call on his followers to murder Arabs. In fact, while wanting them to leave Israel, he respected them and their national aspirations.

This piece is many years late in coming. By now, Kach is completely irrelevant. The Rabbi's followers have withdrawn to the periphery. They are limited in scope and resources. The movement is stagnant. And illegal. Why? Maybe the Rabbi went too far towards the end of his life, but I think the real reason is that those who claim to follow his teachings are serving their own purposes. In the meantime, those who follow Torah Judaism and hope to create a truly Jewish Israel can be found in the Likud (especially Manhigut Yehudit), the NU and Ha'tikva.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Close Friend's 1st Blog Post Reposted

Article by Max Stesel
With the Jewish holiday season over, it is time to turn our focus to the tragic and troubling reality that has been swelling within the Jewish nation over decades and has come to a boiling point over the past week.
The State of Israel, for most of the Jewish people has been the greatest gift our nation has merited in the past two millennia. After being butchered, and persecuted across Europe, Near East and North Africa, the Jewish people were finally given opportunity to defend themselves from their murderous enemies, and institutions that are supposed to provide for safety and security for millions of Jews living in their ancestral lands.
Over the past twenty years Israeli leadership (from across its political spectrum) had continually gambled with lives and security of its citizens in pursuit of elusive peace, while their enemies had spread terror and destruction in their consistent pursuit of victory and elimination of the Jewish state, which they never stopped seeing as foreign cancer in their midst. As result of consistent security compromise and softness Israel today have missiles that occasionally fly in from Gaza, more missiles that are pointed at them by non-state players from Lebanon and is surrounded by terrorist safe havens on their eastern and eastern flanks within 10-20 miles drive or less from most major Israeli cities.

Israel's commitment to to safety and security of its citizens hit the new low over the past Sukkot, as dozens of Arab murderers were sent to freedom as result of Shalit deal. I lack proper insight to judge weather it is right to release over 1,000 terrorists including dozens of convicted murders for one imprisoned Jewish soldier. That is not the point. The point is no terrorist who either killed Jews or planned killing Jews should be alive much longer after being convicted for the crime. Israel's lack of death penalty for terrorists is a crime against its citizens.
It is incredibly sad to see that 60 years after finding the state of Israel the blood of Jews is almost as cheap as it was in any period of Jewish exile. It is even sadder to see Israelis continually elect governments that fail to provide for their basic safety (it is not normal to have major cities under missile bombardment and it was not Israeli reality for most of its history).
With this essay and perhaps future entries I call the Jews of the world to action. Weather we make the lofty choice of living in our ancestral land, we can no longer stay silent regarding the foolishness and disregard for human life taking place there.
As Jews we are proud that we sanctify life. To sanctify life does not only mean only releasing 1,000 terrorists for one captive soldier. It also means executing terrorists with blood on their hands (after due process, if possible) so that they won't continue murder or inspire other criminals and to make it clear that Jewish blood is not cheaper. Since early 90s we have watched our brothers and sisters being brought as sacrifices on the altars of liberalism and diplomatic initiative. 
It is time to scream out to our brothers in Israel. It is time to protest the actions of Israeli government (in constructive manner). Stop being the Country of Fools! You are not in the heart of Europe! Your liberal institutions (read Supreme Court at their forefront) and irresponsible political dreamers had already exacted a high price in lives and suffering. Enough is enough.

Below is the list of monsters which any country which truly sanctifies human life would have send to the next world long time ago instead of being forced to let go to freedom.

· Aad Abu Sharah (19 life sentences), Majdi Amro (19 life sentences) and Fadi Muhammad al-Jabaa[44] (18 life sentences) - responsible for the attack on bus No. 37 in Haifa in 2002.

· Abdel Aziz Salha - participant in the 2000 Ramallah lynching who was iconically photographed displaying his blood-stained hands to the Palestinian mob after having beaten an Israeli soldier to death.[44]

· Abdel Hadi Ghneim - the surviving perpetrator of the Tel Aviv Jerusalem bus 405 suicide attack in which Ghneim seized the steering wheel of a crowded Egged commuter bus line No. 405 and managed to pull the bus into a ravine in the area of Qiryat Ye'arim. 16 civilians were killed in the attack.[45]

· Abed Amro - took part in the execution of the Café Hillel bombing (2003).[46]

· Ahmed Mustafa al-Najar - led a militant squad that killed 3 Israelis in shootings attacks.[44]

· Amana Mouna - lured over the internet the 16-year-old Israeli high school student Ofir Rahum, pretending to be a young American tourist, managed to drive him to a remote area in the outskirts of Ramallah where three Palestinian gunmen showed up and shot Rahum at close range.[47]

· Amar Sarhan - killed three Israelis with a knife in 1990.[46]

· Bassam Abu Sneina and Riyad Asila – murdered the yeshiva student Chaim Kerman.[48]

· Fahad Schludi - took part in the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli soldier Yaron Chen.[48]

· Farouk Aramin - murdered 15-year-old Israeli schoolgirl Helena Rapp in 1992.[49]

· Husam Badran - the former head of Hamas' military wing in the West Bank, who orchestrated the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing (2001), Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing (2001) and in the Passover massacre (2002).[48]

· Ibrahim Shamasneh - took part in the murder of the boys Ronen Kramni and Lior Tuboul, the taxi driver Rafi Doron and the soldier Yehushua Friedberg.

· Idris Rajabi - carried out attacks in which 22 Israelis died.[46]

· Jihad Yaghmur - took part in the murder of Nachshon Waxman. Originally sentenced to life imprisonment.[45]

· Mohammed Aton, Moussa Akawi and Majed Abu Katish - militants that murdered the Israeli policeman Nissim Toledano in 1992.[50]

· Muhammad Douglas - took part in the execution of the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem (2001).[48]

· Muhammad Jose - responsible for the murder of the three Dickstein family members and the Israeli soldier Eliezer Lebowitz.[46]

· Muhammad Karem - directly involved in the planning and execution of a bus attack in Haifa in which 15 Israelis were killed.[46]

· Mohammed Youssef al-Sharatha - head of the militant squad that kidnapped and murdered the Israeli soldiers Ilan Saadon and Avi Sasportas during the first intifada. Originally sentenced to three consecutive life sentences.[45]

· Mohamed (Nihad) Zakout - Tel Aviv construction worker who stabbed three Israelis, murdering two, on the holiday of Purim, March 21, 1989.[51][52]

· Nasser Yataima - convicted of planning the Passover massacre (2002) in which 30 civilians were killed and 140 were wounded.[44]

· Tamimi Ahlam - Assisted in the execution of the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing (2001).[44][47]

· Tariq Hassin - carried out the shooting attack on Highway 6 in June 2003, in which the 7-year-old girl Noam Leibowitz was killed.[48]

· Walid Anajas - took part in the execution of the Café Moment bombing (2002), the Hebrew University bombing (2002) and the Rishon LeZion bombing (2002). Originally sentenced to 26 consecutive life sentences.[44]

· Yehiye al-Sinwar - took part in the kidnapping and murder of Nachshon Wachsman. Founder of the Hamas security apparatus in Gaza. His brother organized of the abduction of Gilad Shalit in 2006. Originally sentenced to four life sentences.[45]
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