Mr. Happy Good News

 

The Future of Israel and of The Jewish Diaspora May Be Tied To Hebrew (Daled Amos)

May 29, 2018 http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-future-of-israel-and-of-jewish.html

On January 31, 1961, Yaacov Herzog – the Israeli ambassador to Canada at the time – debated the historian Arnold Toynbee at the B’nai B’rith Hillel House in Montreal. He was responding to a lecture Toynbee gave just a few days earlier at McGill University, where Toynbee questioned the right of the Jewish People to even have a state. In his writings, Toynbee characterized the Jews as a “fossil” civilization.

Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau told a story that characterized one aspect of Herzog’s rebuttal of Toynbee’s claim that Jews are not a nation.

Let’s summarize the first part of the story:

An Olympic aircraft lands at Athens airport – and one of the passengers is Socrates.

Since ancient Greek is not the same as modern Greek, a translator is needed.
Socrates wants to see the Acropolis – but it is in ruins.
So is the Temple of Zeus.
No Neptune, Mars, Aphrodite, or Helen. Only Christianity.
There are no longer countries under Greek rule.
The only thing modern Greece has in common with the Greece of Aristotle or Plato is geography.

Meanwhile, an Alitalia flight stops at an airport near Rome – and Julius Caesar gets off the plane.

Latin and Italian are different, so a translator is needed.
Caesar wants to go to the Temple of Jupiter.
They offer instead to take him to the Vatican.
The current Pope is from Argentina, before that from Germany and before that from Poland. Not Italian
No Jupiter. No Colosseum either.
And no Roman Empire.

Here is the rest of the story in full:

At Ben Gurion airport, a customs officer welcomes an elderly man with a white beard: “Shalom Aleichem!”
The man answers, “Aleichem Shalom. My name is Moshe.”
“Really? I’m also Moshe! I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia.”
“And I was born in Egypt.”
“Did you visit Israel before?”
“Unfortunately never.”
“So it’s not your homeland.”
“This is my homeland. I personally know of the Divine promise. Are you Jewish?”
“Of course I’m Jewish. Ani Mosheke m’Gruzia.”
“I’d like to sightsee, but I didn’t take along Tefillin. Do you perhaps know where I can get tefillin?”
“Tefillin? I’ll give you mine.”
“You have tefillin?”
“Of course I have tefillin. I davened Shacharis an hour ago.”
“You also have a tallis with tzitzis?”
“Of course!”
“Do you have a quiet place for me to pray?”
“Sure! We have shuls here in the terminal. Sefard and Ashkenaz.”
“And what Nusach is your Torah scroll?”
“Nusach???!!! We all have the same Torah, each word carefully transcribed back to Moshe Rabenu!”

Same religion. Same language. Same homeland. Same commandments. Same faith. If this is not a nation, what is? [emphasis added]

About that language, Hebrew.
Hebrew has been reestablished as our language, just as Israel itself has been reestablished as our land.

And like the land and the people, Hebrew is also special.

In 2007 on the 150th birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehudah, David Hazony wrote about one aspect of the uniqueness of Hebrew, about how compact it is (the word “is” does not even exist in Hebrew). Hebrew also you to say in just a few words what can require sentences to say in English. The long history of Hebrew as the language of the Prophets is an unending source of idioms and ideas.

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda working on his dictionary. Public domain

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda working on his dictionary. Public domain

Hazony describes how Hebrew has grown from a restricted language, comparable to Latin. It was used in the synagogue, to understand texts and in conversation only when Jews from different countries needed to bridge the language gap.

Yet today the State of Israel thrives on that same ancient — and not so ancient — tongue.

Caroline Glick is best known for her writing and opinions on matters of politics and foreign policy. But Glick sings the praises of the Hebrew language as well:

The density of meaning in Hebrew is a writer’s dream. Nearly anyone can imbue a seemingly simple sentence with multiple, generally complementary meanings simply by choosing a specific verb, verb form, noun or adjective. These double, triple and even quadruple meanings of one word are a source of unbounded joy for a writer. To take just one example, the Hebrew word “shevet” means returning and it also means sitting. And it is also a homonym for club – as in billy club – and for tribe.

In 2005, the IDF named the operation expelling the Israeli residents of Gaza and Northern Samaria “Shevet Achim,” or returning or sitting with brothers. But it also sounded like it was making a distinction between tribesmen and brothers. And it also sounded like “clubbing brothers.”

As this one example demonstrates, one joyful consequence of the unique density of the Hebrew language is that satirical irony comes easily to even the most dour and unpoetic writers.

And discussing Hebrew, of course, brings Glick back too to talking about Israel:

But the experience of speaking in Hebrew and of living in Hebrew is incomplete when it is not experienced in Israel. It is one thing to pray in a synagogue in Hebrew or even to speak regular Hebrew outside of Israel. The former is a spiritual duty and a communal experience. The latter is a social or educational experience. But speaking Hebrew in Israel is a complete experience. Hebrew localizes Jewishness, Judaism and Jews. It anchors us to the Land of Israel. Taken together, the Hebrew language and the Land of Israel stabilize a tradition and make the Jewish people whole.

When it comes to Israel, Hebrew is unifying as well.
Not just among Jews.
It may be one of the avenues of breaking barriers between Jews and Arabs in Israel as well:

Hebrew is alive and well. At least in the Arab and Druze communities. For students from those sectors, the Hebrew language has become the new business administration – a social and professional catapult to get ahead and succeed in life. The sticklers add Hebrew literature, too. It’s a triumph of practicality over ideology. The traditional attitude that language is part of national identity and that to study Hebrew is to cross the line, has given way to the quiet conquest of the Hebrew Language Department – at the University of Haifa by Arabs from the north and at Ben-Gurion University by Bedouin from the south. The graduates are almost always assured of a teaching job, which brings with it a livelihood, honor and prestige, relatively speaking. Hebrew is obligatory in every Arab and Bedouin elementary and high school, and good teachers are in high demand.

But ironically, if Hebrew can be a tool for the unity of Jews and Arabs in Israel, it may also illustrate the disunity among Jews in Israel and those in the Diaspora.

Hillel Halkin wrote 10 years ago that historically Hebrew was the “Jewish lingua franca” until modern times: “a Jew with a reading knowledge of Hebrew—and only such a Jew—had access to the thought and creativity of Jews everywhere.”

The change came towards the end of the 19th century. In 1896, Ahad Ha’am started publishing his review Hashiloah, he did it in Hebrew.

Ahad Ha'am (Asher Ginsberg). Public domain

Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginsberg). Public domain

He considered it the natural language of the Jews – in any other language, the periodical would be understood by Jews in some countries, but not in others.

Ahad Ha’am’s confidence, however, was misplaced. By the time Hashiloah was founded, Hebrew as an international language was steeply on the decline, and the journal folded after several years—the very years, it so happened, in which the spoken Hebrew revival was taking root in Palestine. As for American Jewry, by the time Ahad Ha’am died in 1927 it had its own literary review, the Menorah Journal, which would have embodied Ahad Ha’am’s editorial vision almost entirely were it not for the fact that it was in English. Most of its readers could not read Hebrew at all. They were the first of the new audience of American Jews for whose benefit the great Hebrew-English translation enterprise of the last 50 years has taken place.

Here, then, is a great historical irony. As long as Hebrew was the first language of no educated Jew in the world, it was the second language of every educated Jew; now that it has become the mother tongue of millions of Jews in the state of Israel, it has largely ceased to be studied by Jews elsewhere. It has in effect been demoted to a Judeo-Israeli, a new Jewish regional speech. In both relative and absolute numbers, far more Israeli and Palestinian Arabs now have a working command of it than do American Jews. [emphasis added]

If an Eldad the Danite were to turn up today, Hebrew would not get him very far. It is in English that Jewish travelers speak to Jews in foreign countries; in English that Jewish scientists in Russia e-mail to their Jewish colleagues in France and Jewish professionals in Argentina write to Jewish counterparts in Great Britain; and in English that our contemporary Eldads—peoples in remote regions making claims to ancient Israelite roots—enter into contact with the world’s Jews.

Rabbi Lau’s story would have gone differently if Moshe had gotten off the plane in the US instead of in Israel.

At the same time that Hebrew has become the spoken language of Jews (and Arabs) in Israel, it has become a foreign language among Jews outside of Israel, in a way that it was not before.

Many do not speak it.
Do not understand it.
And some may not even recognize it.

Also writing 10 years ago in The Forward, Philologos writes about the possibility that the slow adoption of Hebrew by the Arabs could lead, in a generation or two, to the integration of Arabs within Israel.

But the bigger question remains.
What will the Jewish community outside of Israel, in the US and elsewhere, look like in 2 generations?

Original Comments:

steelraptor from Saturn

I know a lot of Israeli Jews who rank ben-Yehuda as a genius on a par with Einstein. At first I thought they were being ridiculous, but now I know what they mean. Of course the father of the new Hebrew was a different kind of genius, and you can’t compare the 2. But in terms of Yehuda’s impact, the necessity of what he did, its cultural ramifications, he is on a par with Einstein re cultural genius and its applicability to Jews. Although of course it doesn’t make sense to compare.

Toynbee was a typical Jew hating Brit intellectual.

JH Miasku

For those looking to brush up their Hebrew over morning coffee, I’d like to advertise the Hebrew Duolingo exercises (and the associated Memrise vocabulary review). In my opinion, this is the best the internet has to offer in these sorts of things, and the Hebrew course is the best one of the Duolingo language courses, mostly due to the work of unpaid volunteers.

https://www.duolingo.com/co…
https://www.memrise.com/cou…

If you’re starting out with Duolingo, make sure to read the technical notes about how to optimize your keyboard.
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Esther Piekarski

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‘Reform: Destruction unfolding in our times’

In weekly class, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem says Reform movement is worse than Holocaust deniers.
Mordechai Sones, 05/09/17 http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/235085

Jerusalem Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar today (Tuesday) slammed the Reform movement following the Supreme Court petition they submitted to revive what is known as the Western Wall deal. The deal would expand the existing mixed gender prayer area at the site, join the entrances to the traditional and mixed prayer areas and create a committee for administering the Wall which would include non-observant Jews.

“I learned that there was a hearing regarding the Western Wall, the petition of the ‘accursed villains’ who are perpetrating every transgression in the world against the Torah … they marry gentiles with Jews, they have neither Yom Kippur nor Shabbat, but they want prayer … One shouldn’t think for a minute that they want to pray. What they are after is to desecrate the sacred,” he said in his weekly shiur Torah class), as quoted by the haredi news website Kikar Hashabbat.

“[This continued] until G-d intervened and canceled the previous bad plan; but the Reform movement sat idly by. The court took over the matter and warned them to implement the plan and if not, the court would rule. It was foreseeable and predictable. We said publicly that this silence reveals a prior agreement.”

He explained that the Reform movement is worse than Holocaust denial in his eyes for denying even more of Jewish history. “They are trying to blind the public and say that ‘the haredi extremists invented it (halakha)’. It’s exactly like Holocaust denial. They scream, ‘Why in Iran are there Holocaust deniers?’ They deny more than the Holocaust … They deny the Temple, all the Mishnaic sources and all the Talmudic tractates that speak of the men’s sections and the women’s sections. Is that something anyone doubts? Did we invent this ourselves?

“It is a destruction that is being created in our time; destruction, real destruction, but just as we didn’t give up after the destruction itself for almost 2,000 years, we have not given up because of them, nor are we afraid of them.”

He also criticized the Supreme Court. “It’s always seeking equal rights. Equality is a good thing, but equal rights can be taken to extremes … We see where it leads; even in security matters many countries are destroyed in the name of holy equality. But what does equality have to do with this? Is the Western Wall an object that belongs to us? It has no owner, not the government, not the court, and not the rabbi of the Western Wall. It is holy to God.”

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Will black be the answer to US Jews’ diaspora blues?

9 December 2018 Melanie Phillips  http://www.melaniephillips.com/black-answer-us-jews-diaspora-blues/

In a recent speaking tour in the US, I kept coming across Jews who were consumed by anxiety that so many of their young people were turning against Israel.

I had encountered such anxiety on previous trips, but this time it was worse than ever before.

Their children, they said, were being hoodwinked by bigoted hostility to Israel — wildly ridiculous lies and libels that they were choosing to believe because these formed the default anti-Zionist narrative on campus.

What was to be done to reverse this, the parents repeatedly asked.

I told them something that many didn’t want to hear but which I believe to be an inconvenient truth. Young American Jews are turning against Israel principally because they are disconnecting from Judaism.

And the reason for that is their parents are generally disconnecting from Judaism, largely because of the impact of the progressive denominations to which some three quarters of American Jews subscribe and which are telling them that liberal universalist values are authentic Jewish values.

But they are not. They are, in fact, inimical to Judaism. The community’s secular religion of tikkun olam, or supposedly Jewish social justice, is a fraud.

As Jonathan Neumann puts it in his excellent book To Heal the World?, American Jews have been led to believe that “the purpose of the Jews in the world is to campaign for higher taxes, sexual permissiveness, reduced military spending, illegal immigration, opposition to fracking, the banishment of religion from the public square and every other liberal cause under the sun — all in the name of God”.

It’s not Jewish, just, or even very social, constituting a mish-mash of Marxism, moral relativism and paganism.

So three-quarters of American Jews have contracted a kind of religious auto-immune disease, which has caused them to junk the stuff that will protect their spiritual health while eagerly embracing the stuff that will destroy it.

They really, really didn’t want to hear that. Nor, I suspect, dear readers, do many of you.

So you may like to look away now. Because there’s worse.

I asked a rabbi what could be done to pull American Jews back from the edge of the cultural precipice on which they are teetering. His answer was startling — and brutal. “Just give me Yavneh”, he said.

This was a reference to Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai who, as the Romans prepared to destroy Jerusalem in 70 CE, chose not to try to save the city and the Temple but instead asked the Roman general merely to give him the Yavneh yeshivah and its sages.

The request was granted. Yavneh duly became the spiritual centre of the Jewish people and ensured its survival.

The point was that ben Zakkai realised the behaviour of the Jews in Jerusalem — led by zealots who had destroyed their food supplies in the belief that God would save them from the Roman advance — was dooming the entire Jewish people to destruction.

What the rabbi in America meant was that he had given up on the wider American Jewish community. No longer would he even attempt to persuade them they were on the path of communal self-destruction. They would never listen or change.

Within a fairly short time, given the accelerating rate of intermarriage and assimilation, that part of the community would have effectively disintegrated. But spiritually, ethically, Jewishly, it was already lost.

In dramatic contrast, the much smaller Orthodox community was growing by leaps and bounds. So all efforts, he said, needed to go into supporting and financing that Orthodox world, because that’s where the Jewish diaspora future lay.

Take, for example, the great yeshivah in Lakewood, New Jersey. Founded in 1943 with 13 students, it now has an astonishing 6,700 students and has transformed the entire town, formerly known only for chicken farming.

Some 70 per cent of Lakewood’s residents are now Orthodox Jews. In the last 18 years its population has more than doubled, making it the fastest growing and seventh largest town in New Jersey.

So, said the rabbi, the American Jewish community wasn’t doomed at all. It would just be smaller and look very different. It would be a remnant. But like Yavneh, the quality of that remnant would be all that would matter.

I told you it was brutal. But value judgements aside, it’s hard to fault his logic.

So will black be the answer to America’s diaspora blues?

Jewish Chronicle
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Birthright Drops Reform Program, Claims Kids Prefer Orthodox Tours

By JNi.Media 9 Kislev 5778 – November 27, 2017 http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/chabad-2/birthright-drops-reform-program-claims-kids-prefer-orthodox-tours/2017/11/27/

The Reform movement is no longer certified as a trip provider for Birthright, according to a Judy Maltz report in Haaretz Sunday (How Orthodox Groups Are Taking Over Birthright, and Using It to Target Young U.S. Jews). Not on religious or political grounds, God forbid, but because they have been unable to deliver the goods – in this case, fresh eyed Jewish American kids eager for their free summer trips to Israel.

Mind you, we are not talking about a few hundred college kids staying on a kibbutz. Birthright may be the most successful Diaspora Jewish youths project since the Hashomer HaTzair educational farms in pre-war Poland. According to Birthright CEO Gidi Mark, his program brought 48,000 Jewish kids ages 18 to 26 to Israel in 2017, making the group’s overall total since its inception to more than half a million Diaspora Jews who have experienced Israel at the age when such direct and powerful adventures leave the deepest marks.

But not through the Reform movement, apparently.

“We worked very hard with them to increase the numbers,” Gidi Mark told Maltz, “but unfortunately they could not meet our minimum and, from now on, they will have to send [their] participants through other trip organizers.”

Maltz offers even more earth shattering figures about the resounding advantage of observant program providers over their Reform counterparts in igniting excitement in the heart of young US Jews:

The overwhelming majority of Birthright kids are not Orthodox Jews – only an estimated 5% observe halacha at home – but Orthodox trip providers for the program account for almost 25% of the overall enrollment. But wait, there’s more: while the Reform movement has been unable to recruit its own kids, to the point of being dumped from the project – a full third of the kids who take the Birthright trips come from Reform homes.

“You need to ask the participants who go with the other trip providers why they prefer them, and you need to ask the Reform movement – and the Conservative movement, which was also a trip provider until about 10 years ago – why they are not attracting enough participants,” the Birthright CEO told an astonished Maltz.

Maltz largely blames two factors for Birthright’s sway to the right: the program’s big donors who used to be pluralist Jews have been replaced by decidedly rightwing philanthropists; and Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Ministry is investing $66 million in an initiative to boost the religious identity of US Jewish college students – supporting distinctly unabashed Orthodox groups such as Chabad and Aish Hatorah.

Reform cleric Rick Jacobs, leader of the Union for Reform Judaism, the culture hero in the war to capture advantageous real estate in front of the Wailing Wall, also wails that “millions of Israeli tax dollars are being spent now on strengthening ultra-Orthodox institutions on campuses that bring Birthright travelers to Israel.”

And if that travesty is not enough, Jacobs adds, “When Birthright participants return from their trips with these providers, there are lots of efforts made to get them to explore a more traditional way of Judaism – and that is something that should not be ignored.”

Maltz quotes a Reform cleric who used to work on campus for Hillel, who complained: “The Orthodox organizations are extremely good at relationship-building with the students. They also have lots of money. When I used to have to scrape and borrow to make things happen at our campus Hillel house, it was often dumbfounding to me how easily Chabad could pull things off.”

Yoav Schaefer, who was raised in Santa Barbara, California, made Aliya in 2006, enlisted as a Lone Soldiers in the IDF, and today lives in Jerusalem and serves as an intern for MK Einat Wilf (Labor), speaks frequently in Israel and North America about Israel, Zionism and his experience in the IDF, and attributes the rising power of Orthodox groups in recruiting Jewish college kids for Birthright to “the increasingly complicated relationship of the progressive Jewish movements – especially the Reform and Conservative – to Israel.” This while the Orthodox movements “remain steadfast in their support for Israel and the policies of the current Israeli government.”

And so, according to Schaefer, a poster boy for the Jewish American left’s past relationship with the Jewish State, the growing ambivalence of the Reform and Conservative establishment in America about Israel is reflected in their growing inability to appeal to their youth to go spend a fun ten days on the shores of the Mediterranean.

It also stands to reason that kids from Reform and Conservative homes who are still excited about Israel would not even consider going there using the services of movements that are at war with the Jewish State’s government. It just wouldn’t occur to them.

Maltz concluded her report with a statement from Birthright, saying, “Since inception, Birthright Israel has welcomed participants from all denominational backgrounds and our goal is to reach as many eligible young adults as possible. Our operation is based on allowing trip organizers to handle recruiting, offering a wide array of trip options encouraging applicants to select trips based on their preference. We trust our participants to choose the trip and trip organizer that best suits their needs.”

All of which suggests the problem is not with Birthright or, if we may speculate, Orthodox groups that support Birthright.
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Birthright co-founder: Don’t criticize Israel on our nickel

Birthright Israel co-founder Charles Bronfman says young Jews are free to criticize Israel, but not while enjoying a free trip.
JTA and Arutz Sheva Staff, 09/08/18 http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/250258

Birthright Israel co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Charles Bronfman said on Wednesday that young Jews are free to criticize Israel, but not while enjoying a free trip, JTA reported.

“If people want to call Israel names and say bad things about the country, they certainly have the right to free speech. But they don’t have the right to do it on our nickel,” he was quoted as having told Haaretz in an interview.

His comments came after at least two groups of American Jews visiting Israel on the 10-day trip left the tour to join leftists groups on visits to Palestinian Arabs. The walk-offs reportedly were encouraged by the leftist American-Jewish group IfNotNow.

The young Jews who walked off the trip and some others who remain on them are critical of what they say is Birthright’s failure to deal with Israel’s alleged “occupation” of Judea and Samaria. Some have complained that maps handed out to participants do not draw a proper distinction between Israel and Judea and Samaria.

Bronfman said in his interview with Haaretz that participants on Birthright can extend their trip and join any kind of group they want or travel on their own to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

“If they want to go to the West Bank or Gaza, they are certainly free to go,” he was quoted as having told Haaretz.

“What is not fair is making a big tzimmes while the trip is on. Frankly, I just don’t think that is fair to their fellow participants,” added Bronfman.

He noted that the Birthright experience includes four hours devoted to discussing the situation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as impartially as possible.

“I don’t see the issue not being addressed,” he said.

Before one of the walk-offs from the trip, far-left anti-Israel activists from the IfNotNow organization attempted to recruit Birthright participants departing from New York’s Kennedy Airport.

Birthright-Taglit aims to connect young Jews to the state of Israel and their Jewish identity through a free ten-day tour of the country.
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The Real Reason They Walked Off: I Know Because I Was One of Them

By  Lex – August 24, 2018 http://www.israellycool.com/2018/08/24/the-real-reason-they-walked-off-i-know-because-i-was-one-of-them/

Many people have cited many different ideas as to why young Jews are turning away from Israel, epitomized by the proliferation of groups like #IfNotNow (INN) and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP).

Most have blamed the drastic shift in Jewish teachings, the “watering down” of the Jewish identity to one thing: Tikkun Olam (repair the world), most notably in reform congregations, which are increasingly distancing themselves from Israel and supporting groups like JStreet, with leader Rick Jacobs sitting on the board. A recent blog post in the Times of Israel placed all the blame on that, but I think it’s only part of the story.

If the watering down of Jewish practice, increased intermarriage, and the emphasis on Tikkun Olam were entirely to blame, then we would have seen this transformation happen as early as the late 1960’s. But indeed, in the 1960s and 70s, Zionism was considered cool, even a bona fide social justice movement. Volunteering on a kibbutz was considered the epitome of living the socialist dream and strongly encouraged. Even though the UN turned on Israel, most notably with the “Zionism is Racism” resolution in 1975, anti-Zionism was still relegated to the margins, especially among young Jews. Yet the “Judaism is Tikkun Olam” belief was all the rage during the hippie years.

The explosion of anti-Zionist Jewish groups didn’t happen for another 40 years.

Indeed, it is a fairly recent phenomenon of the late 2010s. The year I graduated from Columbia, in 2016, was the first year JVP was in operation. INN wasn’t even on the radar until after I graduated.

The oft-mentioned dilution of the Jewish identity indeed set the stage for this radical transformation of young Jewry, but I think the explanation is far simpler than that. The watering down of Judaism in a desperate attempt to keep it relevant for the younger generations as synagogue attendance plummeted was the substrate. However, in order for the reaction to happen, which changed the entire “substance” of young Jewry, we needed a catalyst. So, what was it?

1. Following the Trends

The truth is, in recent years, anti-Zionism has become a zeitgeist of the late 2010s, a fashion trend, kind of like how #BlackLivesMatter was a trend of the early 2010s. Indeed, I think the Palestinians piggybacking on BLM was the smartest thing they did and, in my opinion, was a huge catalyst for this massive shift in the younger generation.

But to truly understand this paradigm shift, you have to understand the psychology behind it. Teens and young adults want to fit in and be considered cool. anti-Zionism has recently trickled down into the mainstream through the likes of major mid- to late-2010s influencers like Zayn Malik and the Hadid sisters. Magazines like Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Elle, among others, are publishing anti-Israel articles written by Palestinian-American women, because those magazines set and follow the trends, and anti-Zionism is a trend.

2. The Only Way of Tikkun Olam

Among a subset of the more erudite individuals, the “eager beavers”, so to speak, SJW is “in.” They’ve taken over student governments and most of the “student role model” positions. So ambitious students with their eyes on these positions, or those virtue-signalled into wanting to bring about “change” to “make the world better” by their peers and professors, look up to these students. Jewish students, who are raised on the Tikkun Olam doctrine as being what Judaism is all about, gravitate towards the those who claim they are doing just that.

3. Fitting In

Since they want to fit, and SJW is their trend, they have to tow the party line. anti-Zionism is a huge part of the party line among SJWs, who see Jews not a historically oppressed, but as rich, powerful, and white (more than 80% of American Jews are Ashkenazi) as per the Jewish American stereotype. That stereotype, projected onto Israeli Jews, in concert with cries from “Palestinian civil society” decrying their “occupation” “colonialism” and “oppression,” creates an image of the Big Bad Rich White Jew tormenting innocent People of Color. This phenomenon was exacerbated when supporters of the Palestinian cause did the most brilliant thing they could have ever done: they jumped on the intersectionality bandwagon, citing their guru, Edward Said. Since then, being anti-Zionist has been seen as equally mandatory as supporting gay marriage, as much a part of the package they must accept to fit in. And so they, like I did as a college student, desperately looked up anti-Zionist arguments in hopes that one would stick. And since these arguments have gotten much more clever, sophisticated, and professor-approved as time went on, especially as more intersectional groups take on the cause, it’s harder to stay away.

4. Because Everybody’s Doing It

The “apartheid wall” at Columbia had a dozen organizations on it last year – including the black, Latino, Native American, Arab, and Asian students organizations, the queer alliance, feminist groups fighting sexual assault, the student workers union, environmental groups fighting against climate change and the keystone pipeline, and so many more popular student clubs – it’s safe to say that students will feel that not supporting the Palestinian cause means not standing with marginalized groups, or means being racist, or not caring about the environment, or not into helping the underdog, in other words – heartless. And nobody wants to be heartless. When I was a student at Columbia, the list of endorsements was less than half that. One of the major strategies of anti-Israel groups is to make it appear as if their cause is far more popular than it is – to give the illusion that “everybody’s doing it, so why not you?”

5. And Now They’re Stuck…

If you want to fit in with the SJW crowd, who paint themselves as the only people who care about making a difference, the only people with ambition and heart, you have to accept the entire package, otherwise you can’t possibly be accepted as a real SJW. You can never accept the more powerful group in a conflict. You must support the group with more melanin no matter what. It sounds dumb at face value because it is – but these SJWs have thousands of pages of readings from famous philosophers and theorists to back up their views, taught and supported by their professors whom they assume are the knowledge Gods. And since the SJW profs speak up and the non-SJW profs don’t, you have an imbalance of what these students are exposed to. So once these students are stuck in the SJW vortex it’s hard to get out, they would have to both restart their social lives from scratch, be labeled a bad person, and even put their grades at risk! Nobody wants that, so they don’t even bother to LOOK at alternative views. This is why so many of them are in favor of censorship – they are petrified that if they are ever exposed to these views that are contrary to the views of their group, that their intellectual honesty and integrity (which they are actually taught in college) might force them to see a more nuanced view – or even change their views entirely – and lead them to lose all their friends and even identity. And they’d rather not go there. They’d rather stick their fingers in the ears, sing la la la, and pretend opposing views don’t even exist. Because if they existed, they would have to consider them.

6. Being “Powerful” Has a Price of Admission

Just as whites have to denounce colonialism excessively in order to gain admission to the clique, if you’re Jewish, you have to work extra hard to prove you’re anti-Zionist to gain their approval. One of the things you can do is walk off a birthright trip or be active in JVP/SJP to avoid accusations of dual loyalty. So these kids did it for adoration and admiration, for the approval of the SJW clique, whom they know they have to work extra hard to prove their anti-Zionist identity to because of their Jewish background. I once asked a leader of an SJW organization why she thinks Jews are considered powerful despite centuries of oppression. She said, “look around you, look at the names on the buildings at this university, look at Israel brutally oppressing Palestinians, you have your answer.”

To sum it all up, anti-Zionism is a new trend, and these young Jews are part of a larger “clique” whose price of admission is being anti Israel, among several other beliefs. All they need to do is hold onto these beliefs and presto – they have a warm and loving group of friends for life! These kids are constantly trying to gain mega brownie points and hero status among their clique so they do things like #INN. Once they are in, they can’t get out without losing their entire social life, and as Jews they have to work extra hard to “prove themselves.” So for many young Jews, the pressure is on.

Jerusalem Cats Comments: So if you don’t have a Jewish Education and a Jewish Tradition growing up in a Jewish household celebrating the Shabbat and ALL the Jewish Holidays (not just a quick Passover Seder), how do you know what being Jewish is? No wonder these kids will gravitate to anything but real Judaism. They were raised as Jews-In-Name-Only without the true meaning of what being Jewish is. Judaism is not “Just the Holocaust”, getting Drunk on Purim and a quick Passover Seder. You have a rich 3400 year history to learn and enjoy.

sheeple, Think!

sheeple, Think!

sheeple

shee·ple
noun informal derogatory
plural noun: sheeple
people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led.
“by the time the sheeple wake up and try to change things, it will be too late”

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If not now, then when?

Over the past two decades, the major disputes among and within American Jewish groups have revolved around two main issues.

By Caroline B. Glick
June 7, 2018 22:41  https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/If-not-now-then-when-559456
In the past month, the leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements in America have taken steps that change the basic contours of their movements.

These steps portend disaster for them and for their members.

Over the past two decades, the major disputes among and within American Jewish groups have revolved around two main issues. First, they faced the challenge of skyrocketing intermarriage and assimilation rates among non-Orthodox Jews and the concomitant dwindling of membership rates in non-Orthodox religious institutions.

Second, major American Jewish groups have had to deal with the challenge of Jewish anti-Israel groups. Some of them, like Jewish Voice for Peace, exist to serve as fig leaves for antisemites. Some, like J Street, were formed to legitimize anti-Zionism among American Jews and push mainstream Jewish groups away from their traditional support for Israel.

Over the past few weeks, the leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements have chosen to deal with these challenges by delivering their flagship institutions – and through them, their movements – into the hands of Jewish antisemites. That is, they have placed their movements on the fast track to self-destruction.

On May 14, Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles held its annual graduation ceremony. HUC, with its campuses throughout the US and Jerusalem, is the flagship institution of the Reform movement. HUC ordains Reform rabbis, cantors and professionals. Its curriculum and priorities determine the direction of the entire movement.

This year, HUC’s leadership conferred an honorary degree on novelist Michael Chabon and asked him to deliver the annual commencement address.

HUC’s decision to honor Chabon was shocking in and of itself. Chabon is an outspoken hater of Israel and Israeli Jews. His books Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation, and The Yiddish Policeman’s Union are, each in their way, major assaults on Israel’s very right to exist, not to mention on the inherent morality of its existence.

So by inviting Chabon to speak, HUC wasn’t merely inviting a “controversial” speaker – it was inviting a speaker who openly hates Israel.

Side Note: How My Graduation Was Ambushedhttp://jewishjournal.com/opinion/234346/my-graduation-was-ambushed/

An Israeli woman named Morin Zaray, who was celebrating her completion of an MBA in nonprofit management, appears to have been the only one who demonstratively objected to Chabon’s speech:

As I heard Chabon’s simplified takedown of my country, the room began to spin. I turned back to look at my brother, who served in a combat unit in the Israel Defense Forces. He looked sick to his stomach. I got up from my seat and approached my family. . . . I felt ashamed for being part of this gathering, ashamed that many in the audience were just nodding at this reductionist view of a multilayered and complicated country. . . . Standing outside, I was nearly brought to tears as I heard the crowd of Jews give Chabon a thunderous applause.

At the commencement, while he laced his address with Israel hatred – and a particularly vicious abhorrence for Jews who live beyond the 1949 armistice lines – Chabon did not focus his remarks on the Jewish state.

Most of his speech was a diatribe against Judaism. Chabon began his speech with an assault on endogamous marriages. When a Jew marries a Jew, he explained, they create “a ghetto of two.”

The Jewish marriage ceremony is hateful because “it draws a circle around the married couple, inscribes them – and any eventual children who come along – within a figurative wall of tradition, custom, shared history, and a common inheritance of chromosomes and culture.”

In contrast, intermarriage “is the source of all human greatness.”

Judaism is hateful in Chabon’s views because it is all about drawing lines, distinctions and boundaries. And he thinks boundaries and lines – up to and including the separation of the heavens from the earth – are evil.

Chabon took his audience on his journey from Jew to anti-Jew and explained that it would be no tragedy at all if Judaism would disappear altogether.

In his words, “On the day that the last Jewish couple dies, after watching their children marry Hindus, Lutherans, atheists, Sunnis, Buddhists, the fault for that extinction will lie squarely with Judaism itself – and not because Judaism failed to enforce its teachings against intermarriage but because it was necessary… to have such teachings in the first place. Any religion that relies on compulsory endogamy to survive has, in my view, ceased to make the case for its continued validity in the everyday lives of human beings.”

The pinnacle of Chabon’s anti-Jewish screed to newly ordained Reform rabbis revolved around his revulsion at the Passover Seder. Insisting that the whole story of the Children of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt and subsequent liberation was a lie (“It seems pretty clear that we just made the whole damn thing up”), he explains that God is immoral because he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, “ensuring the slaughter of thousands of innocent Egyptian boys.”

And of course, Israel is the evil, modern equivalent of Pharaoh’s Egypt.

Chabon then exhorted the new Reform religious leaders that their job is to transform Judaism into Chabon’s image. They must essentially completely reject its teachings. They must reject Israel. They must transform Judaism into something indistinguishable from the radical leftist mélange that inhabits Chabon’s hometown of Berkeley, California.

When a few Jewish writers condemned the HUC for inviting Chabon, the college’s interim president Rabbi David Ellenson and the dean of its Los Angeles campus Joshua Holo published an article where they did more than just defend having provided an antisemite with their most prestigious platform in the name of open discourse and diversity – they defended Chabon’s positions.

In their words, “Chabon… articulated deeply Jewish and Zionist commitments (not merely abstract or literary in nature, but specifically religious, communal and even tribal).”

If there was ever a better articulation of “white is black and black is white,” it’s hard to think of one.

Chabon articulated a deep desire to destroy Judaism and Zionism and replace them both with anti-Judaism and anti-Zionism, in the name of destroying the tribe, community and religion through intermarriage.

By defending Chabon’s message, and pretending it was the opposite of what it was, Ellenson and Holo adopted it as HUC’s message.

Chabon’s message is now the position of the Reform Movement.

This brings us to the Conservative movement.

Last week, the radical group IfNotNow held a workshop in Boston for young activists who will work this summer as counselors at Jewish summer camps affiliated with Reform and Conservative Judaism. Several of the participants will work as counselors at the Conservative movement’s Camp Ramah.

Camp Ramah, whose eight-week session costs nearly $10,000 per camper, is one of the most important institutions in the Conservative movement. With nine camps throughout the United States, 9,000 campers a year and some 200,000 alumni, Camp Ramah has played an outsized role in engendering and maintaining Jewish identity, Zionism and communal attachment and commitment among young American Jews.

Aside from sports, drama and other standard summer- camp fare, campers at Ramah have daily Hebrew classes and Torah classes. The camps are kosher and keep Shabbat. Israel and Zionism have always played central roles as well in Ramah’s daily routine.

According to the JTA write-up, IfNotNow’s workshop was the brainchild of a Camp Ramah alumna. Its goal is to bring the group’s ideology into Camp Ramah.

IfNotNow met with Ramah Director Rabbi Mitch Cohen in March. Several workshop participants have been hired by Ramah.

The very fact that IfNotNow members have been hired by Ramah means that the camp – and through it, the Conservative movement – has embraced Israel hatred, and indeed, hatred of Judaism, as a legitimate position.

IfNotNow is a spin-off of J Street. It was formed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Its members organized violent protests outside the offices of major Jewish groups in New York and Boston demanding that they end their support for Israel and support Hamas terrorists.

IfNotNow members said kaddish for Hamas terrorists.

The group has placed the cessation of US support for Israel among its top goals.

After Protective Edge, the group expanded its writ from disseminating hatred for the world’s biggest Jewish community to more generic hatred of all things Jewish.

In 2016, for instance, IfNotNow began presiding over Passover “Seders.”

In an extraordinary expression of contempt for the Jewish religion, the group’s “Seders” are a reification of Chabon’s antisemitic aspirations. Israelites are replaced with the Palestinians. Pharaoh is Israel.

In 2016, the group stepped into the national spotlight when one of its founders, Simone Zimmerman, was appointed to serve as Democratic primary candidate Senator Bernie Sanders’ coordinator for Jewish outreach.

Zimmerman’s appointment was short-lived. Within two days, senior Jewish officials decried her appointment, once her Facebook posts filled with vitriol and hatred for Israel and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (and Hillary Clinton) were exposed in the press.

Over the past few months, stories have trickled out about IfNotNow’s plan to bring its hatred for Israel and Judaism into the mainstream. And now, the Conservative movement has opened its front door to IfNotNow’s anti-Jewish Jewish professionals.

It is hard to overstate how disastrous are HUC’s adoption of Chabon’s antisemitism, and the Conservative movement’s welcome mat for IfNotNow. Once you allow antisemites to take root in your movement, you lose the ability to exist.

You cannot justify your right to exist because the antisemites to whom you just opened your doors are proof that you don’t mean it; they exist to destroy you, and you just accepted them as legitimate, even desired members.

When the leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements embraced Chabon’s anti-Judaism and IfNotNow’s anti-Judaism, they announced that they have not merely chosen – in the face of their existential crisis of assimilation and attrition – to self-destruct.

They have chosen to do as much damage as possible to the rest of the Jewish world as they walk themselves into extinction, secure in the warm embrace of their antisemitic ideologues.

There is one silver lining to this terrible development.

Whereas the leadership of these massive movements of non-Orthodox American Jews may have decided to embrace antisemitism and antisemites, a significant portion of their membership have no interest in joining them. Now that the Reform and Conservative movements have embraced antisemitic voices and ideals, these committed Jews are increasingly recognizing that they have no place in the movements they have belonged to all of their lives.

They are and will, in ever increasing numbers, continue to look for a new way to express and live Jewish lives.

In an interview with Makor Rishon last week, Deputy Minister Michael Oren presented a proposal to bring ten thousand non-Orthodox American Jews to Israel on aliya every year. Oren recommends that Israel provide financial and other incentives to young non-Orthodox Jews to come to Israel. Aliya, he explains, is the surest way to prevent intermarriage and assimilation. “Someone who makes aliya settles here, marries and starts a family, [and] will most likely have Jewish kids.”

Oren noted that the Reform and Conservative movements “set a goal to preserve the Jewish people, number- wise and value-wise, in light of the challenge of the modern world,” a goal they are failing to meet.

Now that these movements have abandoned this goal in favor of the morass of “miscegenation” and a reinvention of Judaism as the anti-Judaism Chabon upholds and IfNotNow embraces, it is Israel’s duty to take it on.

There are a number of explanations for the Reform and Conservative movements’ decision to destroy themselves by embracing antisemitic Jews and their messages of hatred. But understanding their decision is not the most pressing challenge that Israel and the non-Orthodox Jews of America, who do not accept this decision, face. The most urgent order of business is to minimize the damage they can cause Israel and maximize the number of American Jews who will not go down with them.

www.CarolineGlick.com
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Michael Chabon’s Sacred and Profane Cliché Machine

By Elli Fischer | June 13, 2018 https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/3239/michael-chabons-sacred-and-profane-cliche-machine/
Michael Chabon’s Sacred and Profane Cliché Machine


In the institution’s most controversial graduation ceremony since the infamous “Trefa Banquet” in 1883, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Chabon took the podium at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles and exhorted his audience to “knock down the walls.” This meant, first and foremost, Israeli security checkpoints and barriers, but by the end of the talk, Chabon had extended his demolition to-do list for these future rabbis and Jewish communal professionals to seemingly all rituals and expressions of Jewish difference, and perhaps—he wasn’t quite sure—Judaism itself.

No doubt, HUC expected an edgy talk from Chabon. After all, he and his wife, fellow novelist Ayelet Waldman, recently teamed up with the far-left Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence to lead a group of writers to the West Bank, then published a book of their essays, many of which can be fairly described as gullible anti-Israel agitprop. In the inevitable damage-control statement afterward, Interim President David Ellenson and Dean Joshua Holo described the institution as an “energetic, fearless marketplace of ideas,” but they clearly weren’t quite expecting this. Nor is a commencement ceremony really the time for energetic debate. Indeed, an Israeli woman named Morin Zaray, who was celebrating her completion of an MBA in nonprofit management, appears to have been the only one who demonstratively objected to Chabon’s speech:

As I heard Chabon’s simplified takedown of my country, the room began to spin. I turned back to look at my brother, who served in a combat unit in the Israel Defense Forces. He looked sick to his stomach. I got up from my seat and approached my family. . . . I felt ashamed for being part of this gathering, ashamed that many in the audience were just nodding at this reductionist view of a multilayered and complicated country. . . .  Standing outside, I was nearly brought to tears as I heard the crowd of Jews give Chabon a thunderous applause.

Watching or reading the address as published in Tablet Magazine makes it clear that his argument was not only political. Chabon took special aim at Jewish divisions and distinctions—between the sacred and the profane, the clean and unclean, and especially between Jew and Gentile. “An endogamous marriage,” he said, “is a ghetto of two,” so he no longer hopes that his children will marry Jews. Nor does he any longer find value in the many Jewish practices he mentioned from the Passover Seder to community eruvin.

As Sylvia Barack Fishman, Steven M. Cohen, and Jack Wertheimer wrote, it is tempting to ignore this all as “performance art of a personal psychodrama in a public setting,” but “Chabon’s ideas have cachet, especially in culturally and political progressive bubbles,” and these ideas undermine the viability of American Jewish life. Fishman, Cohen, and Wertheimer focused on Chabon’s indifference to, if not promotion of, intermarriage, particularly to this audience. As they noted, “only one-fifth of recently marrying Jews raised in Reform families married other Jews,” and “only 8% of the grandchildren of the intermarried are being raised in the Jewish religion.

 

The problem with Chabon’s ideas is more than demographic. His discomfort with Israel’s security barriers and Jewish marriage are really specific applications of a desire to erase anything that distinguishes one group from another:

I abhor homogeneity and insularity, exclusion and segregation, the redlining of neighborhoods, the erection of border walls and separation barriers. I am for mongrels and hybrids and creoles, for syncretism and confluence, for jazz and Afrobeat and Thai surf music, for integrated neighborhoods and open borders and the preposterous history of Barack Obama. I am for the hodgepodge cuisines of seaports and crossroads, for sampling and mashups, pastiche and collage. I am for ambiguity, ambivalence, fluidity, muddle, complexity, diversity, creative balagan.

This is the theme that binds Chabon’s entire address, and he riffs on it in virtually every paragraph. Interweaving his own Jewish journey with historical musings, he reaches the conclusion that Judaism has survived because of its willingness to erase “old lines and boundaries” and reinvent itself, its “opening our minds to the ideas, and our ears to the music, and our mouths to the languages, and our bellies to the kitchen-wisdom of the people living on the other side of whatever boundary line we chose, in our collective wisdom, to ignore.” Or, as Chabon’s character Archy Stallings says in Telegraph Avenue, “Creole . . . means you stop drawing those lines. It means Africa and Europe cooked up in the same skillet.”

In his commencement speech this exilic hybridity is where it’s at, though Chabon doesn’t worry much about what being “cooked up in the same skillet” meant historically for Jews (or Creoles). When he describes sitting at the Seder table thinking about how Judaism has changed and how it must change again, he thinks of  “when the great Temple rose in Jerusalem, when it was destroyed and our history became a history of exile,” but our return to the land goes unmentioned. In The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Chabon’s character Meyer Landsman says:

I don’t care what supposedly got promised to some sandal-wearing idiot whose claim to fame is that he was ready to cut his own son’s throat for the sake of a hare-brained idea. . . . My homeland is in my hat. It’s in my ex-wife’s tote bag.

As the late literary critic D. G. Myers wrote, “in this view Zionism represents a betrayal of Jewish history and exile is the proper Jewish condition.” Chabon’s problem with the State of Israel goes well beyond his critique of certain state policies and settler communities. Any particular nation (but especially the Jews), any particular religion (but especially Judaism), anything that makes us uniquely us is an enduring source of shame. Chabon would rather be part of, and rather his children marry into, “the tribe that sees nations and borders as antiquated canards.”

 

A mishnah in Bava Batra describes two neighbors, a beekeeper and mustard farmer, who must keep the bees and plants away from one another. Honey mustard is a great flavor, but if you turn the bees loose on the mustard plant you ruin both, because they have to develop independently with their own integrity. Chabon forgets that “mashups, pastiche and collage” require difference. Hybridity is not merely about the amount of common genetic material of sexual partners. Homogeneity and heterogeneity are not literally about genetic haplotypes but are metaphors for considering sameness and difference.

Consequently, Chabon’s paean to mongrels and hybrids does not make note of something to which the Jewish tradition, with all its attention to differences, devotes a veritable library: There are different kinds of mixtures. The core of the rabbinic curriculum is all about ascertaining which ingredients retain their identities in mixtures—by imparting flavor, by stabilizing the whole, or because of their intrinsic significance—and which are batel, null, deemed to no longer exist.

This body of learning pertains first and foremost to milk and meat and pots and pans, but it is predicated on underlying ideas about individual and group identity: How does a small minority retain its identity when mixed with an overwhelming majority? How do different ingredients absorb and impart flavor to the whole? When does a mixture cease to be the sum of its ingredients and become a new entity?

Chabon expresses discomfort with “monocultural places” with “one language, one religion,” but the application of these words to Judaism is simply astonishing. Virtually every Jewish community in history has developed its own dialect. There are five Judeo-Arabic dialects alone. There is a dizzying variety of Jewish culture and multiform expressions of Jewish religiosity. Chabon, however, has no access to this amazing, diversity because he speaks no Jewish language. One is reminded of Edelshtein’s complaint about American Jewish writers in Cynthia Ozick’s classic story “Envy; or Yiddish in America”:

You have to KNOW SOMETHING! At least the difference between a rav and a rebbeh! . . . Their Yiddish! One word here, one word there. Shikseh on one page, putz on the other, and that’s the whole vocabulary!

Chabon writes “I ply my craft in English, that most magnificent of creoles,” as if speaking English, with all its layers and loan words, makes one multilingual all by itself. Perhaps sensing this, he adds: “my personal house of language is haunted by the dybbuk of Yiddish.” Alas, it is a small dybbuk (the one Edelshtein noticed) and not very frightening—or knowledgeable.

Consequently, even as Chabon celebrates even the most superficial cross-cultural fusion, the Judaism he describes is suburban, third-generation American Judaism, a monolingual, monocultural, monochromatic (but not necessarily monotheistic) sliver of the totality of Jewish experience.

 

Chabon singles out the Shabbat eruv for ridicule three times in his speech. For him, an eruv is just another boundary, another way for Jews to mark who is in and who is out. But the word literally means “mixture” or “combination.” The legal theory behind it is that many different private and semiprivate domains can be combined into a single household so that one can carry things from one to another on Shabbat. Creating an eruv involves negotiation with all those, including non-Jews and nonobservant Jews, who share that space. The “walls” of the eruv are, in fact, generally not walls at all. They are comprised only of posts and wires, on the premise that two posts with a lintel form a doorway. The eruv circumscribes a community with walls that are entirely doors.

Shouldn’t this be exactly what Chabon wants? Doesn’t an eruv demonstrate that a Jewish enclave can be open and permeable in either direction? The very idea of a wall made of doors undermines Chabon’s dichotomies. It reflects a different sort of boundary-making, one that is inclusive and open to mixing and merging and combining. Alas, “You have to KNOW SOMETHING!” Instead, all Chabon sees, all he wants to see, is that the eruv divides the inside from the outside and is therefore abhorrent; living in an eruv and living in Hebron—it’s all the same. No need to make distinctions.

Hebron, a small and heavily fortified Jewish community with a violent history, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, exemplifies for Chabon, all that is wrong with particularist Judaism. This, for him, is the reductio ad absurdum of Judaism’s “giant interlocking system of distinctions and divisions,”—between Jew and non-Jew, man and woman, kosher and treif, pure and impure. In fact, though he doesn’t mention it, it was in Hebron that the “sandal-wearing idiot” Abraham was commanded to mark his particularism—his particular mission, his particular covenant with God—on his body.

In one very important respect, though, Chabon makes an important point that some of his critics fail to acknowledge. He writes: “Any religion that relies on compulsory endogamy to survive has, in my view, ceased to make the case for its continued validity in the everyday lives of human beings.” He is absolutely right. Ideally, Jewish marriages should arise out of the love between two people who speak a common Jewish language, celebrate and mourn according to the same calendrical rhythm, and participate in a shared culture. Judaism survives thanks to the depth, beauty, and complexity of its traditions, not because of hysterical demands for in-marriage between indifferent Jews. Once Judaism has been watered down and thinned out, policing the boundaries of the community can only go so far.

The challenge facing American Judaism is not Chabon’s challenge, to choose openness and hybridity over closed religious borders, but it isn’t really choosing distinctiveness over assimilation either. The challenge is closer to Edelshtein’s: We must choose knowledge over ignorance. The result will be a creative, confident Judaism that is not afraid of encountering and absorbing from other cultures and is willing to influence them in turn—a robust Jewish community surrounded by walls that are doors.

 


Read this article online at: https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/3239/michael-chabons-sacred-and-profane-cliche-machine/
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Urgent advice to my fellow Jews (Vic Rosenthal)

November 16, 2017 Elder of Ziyon Vic Rosenthal’s Weekly Column http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2017/11/urgent-advice-to-my-fellow-jews-vic.html
Right now, today, is a critical point in Jewish history. Maybe you don’t think so, because it’s easy to be distracted by the small stuff. But we need to step back and look at the forest instead of the trees.

Israel, a Jewish state reborn after almost two millennia, is facing a real threat to its survival – perhaps as great or greater than at any time since 1948. The threat is from Iran, which a) has taken control of Lebanon and built a massive rocket and missile installation aimed at our critical infrastructure, b) has achieved strategic dominance of critical territory in Iraq and Syria, will soon have its own troops and proxy militias on our Syrian border as well (with the acquiescence of the US and Russia), and c) either already has or could presently have nuclear weapons.

Iran’s enmity to Israel is a result of religious dogma, and of Iran’s determination to dominate the Mideast and become a world superpower by defeating the US. In the past few years it has moved steadily toward its strategic goals, which include eliminating the Jewish state that it sees as both an outpost of the US and the major obstacle to its local ambitions.

Some day historians will ask why an American president, Barack Obama, did so much to help one of America’s most dangerous enemies – and also to hurt the Jewish people. But that’s not my subject today.

At the same time that the Iranian threat grows, there is a pandemic of Jew-hatred spreading throughout the world. Europe at times seems to have regressed to pre-WWII conditions or worse, with Jews caught between re-empowered right-wing Jew-baiting, fierce Islamic hatred, and left-wing “intersectional” antisemitism. Similar phenomena exist in the US, although less severe so far – except possibly on university campuses.

But while some European Jews are starting to worry about their future, in America and in Israel – where they absolutely should know better – they are acting irrationally, busying themselves with trivia or even doing exactly the opposite of what’s needed to ensure their survival and that of the Jewish state and people.

To European Jews – and here I include the UK – I have a simple message: get out. The natives don’t like you (they never did, as Herzl noticed), and Islamification is proceeding apace. It can’t get better, only worse. I would like to see you make aliyah, but I understand the economic realities, and also the risk from the coming Mideast war. This is a decision you will have to make yourselves.

The US and Canada together have about half the world’s Jews, 90% of these are non-Orthodox, and the majority of them don’t have a clue about Jewish history or the Jewish state and the conflicts and issues surrounding it. They are geographically far from the Middle East, and can’t read Jewish texts or anything else in Hebrew. For most of them, their Judaism has become attenuated and even replaced by a form of liberal humanism that makes them blind to the dangers they face and drives them away from the Jewish state. For these Jews I have several messages, depending on which of several groups they fall into.

To the supporters of J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, the New Israel Fund, and so on: if you still have positive feelings about the Jewish people, please believe me that you are not doing it any favors, and find some other cause – helping the homeless in your own country is a good one – that will allow you to feel good about yourself without hurting your people.

To those who think that it is their duty to make Israel a better place by activism on behalf of Jewish pluralism, improving the treatment of our Arab citizens, protecting the rights of illegal immigrants or Palestinians, or even promoting the (impossible) “two-state solution:” please understand that you know less than nothing about these issues; and the fact that your parents were Jewish does not give you the right to intervene in our affairs. If you want to change things here, then make aliyah, vote, and send your kids to the army. Otherwise leave us alone.

To those that think that they are making things better by engaging in interfaith dialogue with Muslims, fighting “Islamophobia,” and favoring increased immigration from Muslim countries, you are being used. Don’t complain when the US and Canada have the same problems as Europe….
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U.S. Jews and Israel’s Right to Be Heard

What’s so threatening about mainstream Israeli opinion?

The growing divide between Israeli and American Jews was a major topic of conversation at this week’s annual meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America. It was also the topic of a lengthy feature in Haaretz, which largely blamed the Israeli government. Inter alia, it quoted former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro as saying, in reference to that majority of American Jews who identify as non-Orthodox and politically liberal, “There is an idea that has some currency in certain circles around the Israeli government that says, ‘You know what, we can write off that segment of American Jewry because in a couple of generations their children or grandchildren will assimilate.’”

I agree that the idea of writing off this segment of American Jewry has some currency in Israel. But in most cases, it’s due less to fantasies about liberal Jews disappearing than to a belief that Israel will have to do without them whether it wants to or not, because liberal Jews can no longer be depended on for even the most minimal level of support. And by that, I don’t mean support for any specific Israeli policy, but for something far more basic: Israel’s right to be heard, by both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences.

Nothing better illustrates this than recent decisions by two campus Hillels to bar mainstream Israeli speakers from addressing Jewish students. At Princeton, it was Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and at Stanford, it was a group of Israeli Arab veterans of the Israel Defense Forces. I can understand Hillel refusing to host speakers from the radical fringes. But how are Jewish students supposed to learn anything about Israel if campus Hillels won’t even let them hear from representatives of two of the country’s most mainstream institutions – its elected government and its army?

Both Hillels later termed their decisions a “mistake” – most likely under pressure from Hillel International, whose CEO, Eric Fingerhut, was the lead author on Princeton Hillel’s apology. But that doesn’t change the fact that at two leading universities on opposite sides of the country, the Hillel directors, both non-Orthodox rabbis, initially thought canceling the speeches in response to progressive students’ objections was a reasonable decision. Princeton’s Julie Roth thought it completely reasonable to deny her students the chance to hear an official Israeli government representative try to explain the government’s policies. And Stanford’s Jessica Kirschner – backed, incredibly, by the university’s “pro-Israel” association – thought it completely reasonable to deny her students the chance to hear from non-Jewish Israelis who don’t agree that Israel is an apartheid state.

American Jewish rabbis and lay leaders obviously have the right to disagree with Israeli policies. But how is any relationship possible if one side won’t even allow the other to be heard? Gagging and boycotts Israel can get from its enemies; it doesn’t need American Jews for that. So if Israel can’t even rely on them to enable interested students to be exposed to mainstream Israeli views, what exactly are they contributing to the Israel-Diaspora relationship? And why, under these circumstances, should Israel have any interest in accommodating their concerns about, say, prayer arrangements at the Western Wall?

Moreover, consider who did step in to allow the Princeton and Stanford speeches to take place as planned – the Orthodox Chabad movement, which, on both campuses, volunteered to host the speakers on very short notice. If Orthodox groups are the only ones in America these days even willing to provide a venue for Israelis who deviate from progressive orthodoxy, why wouldn’t Israel give greater weight to Orthodox views than non-Orthodox ones?

Nor is this problem limited to college campuses. The most salient example – one worth revisiting precisely because both sides consider it a turning point in the relationship – was the dispute over the Iranian nuclear deal.

Given the almost wall-to-wall Israeli consensus that the deal was dangerous (despite deep disagreements over how best to oppose it), many Israelis felt no less betrayed by American Jewish support for the deal than many American Jews felt when Israel reneged on the Western Wall compromise two years later. As former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren told Haaretz, “We went to American Jews and told them that the Iran deal endangers 6 million Jews in Israel, and that it’s not an American political issue, but rather, a matter of Jewish existence, and I don’t need to tell you what happened.” Indeed, absent that sense of betrayal, I suspect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might have been more willing to rebuff ultra-Orthodox pressure over the Western Wall.

But policy disagreements I can accept, even on issues of existential importance. What I found far more troubling was liberal American Jews’ reaction to Netanyahu’s efforts to lobby against the deal, which Haaretz reporter Judy Maltz accurately described as follows: “Considering that 70 percent of American Jews had voted for Barack Obama, Netanyahu’s efforts to lead a revolt against him were seen by many in the Jewish community as unconscionable.” Indeed, many prominent American Jews vociferously objected to Netanyahu’s speech to Congress against the deal, using terms like “humiliated” and “angered” to describe their feelings. Yet somehow, I haven’t heard a word from them against European leaders’ efforts today to lobby Congress to defy President Trump and preserve the deal.

In short, many liberal American Jews didn’t just oppose the Israeli government’s policy, they even objected to the government’s efforts to publicly advocate for its chosen policy. Effectively, they declared that Israel had no right to make its views heard in America if doing so discomfited them.

Many liberal Jews remain staunch supporters of Israel. Yet the ranks of the Roths and Kirschners seem to be growing every year. And though Israel and Diaspora Jewry can survive disagreements about policy, if liberal American Jews aren’t even willing to hear what Israeli Jews think, and provide a platform for others to hear it, the relationship will be over. I continue to think that would be tragedy. But you cannot have a relationship with people who don’t even acknowledge your right to speak – even if those people are your family.
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Tzippy and the Iceberg

11/10/2017 http://carolineglick.com/tzippy-and-the-iceberg/

Princeton University Hillel’s last minute decision on Monday to cancel Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipy Hotovely’s scheduled address was the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.

The iceberg itself was revealed the next day on Capitol Hill. On Tuesday the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2016. The bill is intended to facilitate the fight against antisemitism on campuses by requiring university authorities to refer to the State Department’s definition of antisemitism when they consider whether harassing acts were “motivated by antisemitic intent.”

Nine witnesses appeared before the committee. Five supported the legislation. Four opposed it.

The State Department’s 2010 definition of antisemitism was formulated to fight what is referred to as “the new antisemitism.” Unlike the antisemitism of the first half of the 20th century which was directed against Jews as individuals, antisemitism today is increasingly expressed as hatred of Jews for their support for Israel – the collective Jew.

The State Department’s definition of Jew-hatred includes the delegitimization of Israel’s right to exist, demonization of the State of Israel, including by likening it to Nazi Germany, and the use of double standards to judge Israel’s actions. It also defines as an expression of Jew-hatred the allegation that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to their countries of citizenship.

US Jewish organizations have repeatedly asked university officials to use the State Department’s definition of antisemitism as a basis for judging allegations of antisemitic attacks and harassment against Jewish students. Most universities have refused.

Passing the bill into law is urgent. As ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt noted in his congressional testimony, attacks against American Jewish students rose 59% in the first nine months of 2017 in comparison to the same period in 2016.

Despite the increase in antisemitism, four witnesses on Tuesday – all Jewish – insisted the bill is unnecessary. Two of the bill’s opponents are Jewish studies professors.

Pamela Nadell, director of the Jewish Studies Program at American University and the president of the Jewish Studies Association, argued that while there are acts of antisemitic harassment on campuses, these acts have not “created a climate of fear that impinges upon Jewish students’ ability to learn and experience college life to the fullest.”

Barry Trachtenberg, holder of the Presidential Chair of Jewish History at Wake Forest University, took things a few steps farther. Trachtenberg not only disputed that there is a problem with antisemitism on college campuses. He rejected the State Department’s definition of antisemitism.

Trachtenberg said that it is legitimate to compare Israel to Nazi Germany. He said that it is legitimate to reject Israel’s right to exist. And he claimed erroneously that a central tenet of Zionism is that Jews are more loyal to Israel than they are to their countries of citizenship.

The two other witnesses who opposed the law, Kenneth Stern from the Rosenberg Foundation and Suzanne Nossel, executive director of the non-Jewish PEN America Center, both couched their opposition to the civil rights bill as support for freedom of speech.

Stern, Trachtenberg and Nadell cited a Stanford study of campus antisemitism to support their claim that antisemitism on campuses is not significant enough to warrant the proposed legislation.

The study, published in September by a team led by Prof. Ari Kelman, an associate professor of education and Jewish studies at Stanford, concludes that US Jewish students do not feel threatened by antisemitism on their campuses. The study also claimed that insofar as discussions of Israel are concerned, Jewish students are equally offended by Israel advocates and Palestinian supporters. In the study’s words, “They are turned off by the tone of that debate on both sides.”

As Kelman admitted and Nadell acknowledged, Kelman’s study has no scientific value whatsoever.

Its data are based on a statistically insignificant, deliberately non-representative sample of non-affiliated Jews on five California campuses. That Nadell, Trachtenberg and Stern all used a worthless study to justify their opposition to the antisemitism bill indicates they deliberately distorted the nature of the problem of antisemitism on campuses to block passage of the bill.

Kelman’s and Trachtenberg’s work to belittle the bigotry plaguing Jewish students on campuses is in line with their political activism. Kelman is a member of the Academic Council for Open Hillel.

Open Hillel is a pressure group that demands that Hillel permit activities supportive of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement to be carried out under its aegis.

Trachtenberg signed a petition advocating an academic boycott against the Hebrew University. He has signed petitions vilifying Israel organized by the antisemitic Jewish Voices for Peace BDS group.

As the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director Rabbi Abraham Cooper, who testified in favor of the bill, said having Trachtenberg testify is “like inviting people from the Flat Earth Society to a hearing about NASA.”

This brings us back to Princeton and Rabbi Julie Roth, the Hillel director who disinvited Hotovely.

Like Kelman and Trachtenberg, Roth also has a public record. As Yisrael Medad reported in The Times of Israel, Roth is a member of the New Israel Fund, which supports BDS.

Her husband, Rabbi Justus Baird, is an active member of J Street and Rabbis Without Borders. The couple has donated to the BDS group T’ruah.

As David Bedein reported at Arutz 7, Roth has a record of canceling pro-Israel events. In 2009 she canceled a talk by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim Israel advocate.

In an open apology to Hotovely published on Wednesday in The Jerusalem Post, Hillel International’s President Eric Fingerhut and Roth insisted that her treatment was “an isolated incident.”

But a similar incident occurred just weeks ago at Stanford Hillel.

Stanford’s Hillel canceled a scheduled event with Reservists on Duty, an Israeli anti-BDS group that brings IDF reservists to US campuses. Last month’s event was supposed to feature non-Jewish IDF reservists, who came to Stanford to share their military experiences.

Like Hotovely’s speech at Princeton, the Reservists on Duty event at Stanford was held at Chabad House after Hillel boycotted it at the last minute.

Fingerhut and Roth pointed to Hotovely’s speeches at New York University and Columbia University this week as proof that they are not discriminating against her. Yet according to a senior Foreign Ministry source, ministry staffers had to fight to get those events scheduled. And once they were scheduled, Hillel refused to widely publicize Hotovely’s speeches.

Only 10 students were invited to attend her lecture at Columbia. And only 40 students attended her unpublicized event at NYU.

Hillel’s desire to make light of its discrimination against center-right Israelis is eminently sensible.

The vast majority of American Jews support Israel. It wouldn’t do for pro-BDS Hillel directors to parade their hostility to the Jewish state in public.

It makes much more sense to simply block pro-Israel speakers from appearing on campuses.

Likewise, Jewish radicals who oppose civil rights protections for Jewish students beset by antisemites who express their Jew-hatred as anti-Zionism are reasonable to pretend that they are simply freedom of speech champions.

After all, professors like Trachtenberg who call for the boycott of Israeli universities while claiming that Zionists are inherently disloyal to their countries of citizenship wouldn’t want to be accused of trucking in antisemitism.

The fact that Hillel directors like Roth and radical professors like Trachtenberg, Kelman and Nadell do not reflect the views of the wider Jewish community or even of the Jewish students on their campuses does not mean that they do not pose a grave threat both the American Jewish community and to Israel.

These radical Jews who have attained positions of power in the Jewish community harm the American Jewish community and Israel is significant ways.

First, by pretending that it is legitimate to block senior Israeli officials from addressing students, they block US Jewish students from basic knowledge about Israel and the views of the majority of Israelis who democratically elect their representatives.

Second, by permitting the slander of the likes of Hotovely and Reservists on Duty, these campus Jewish leaders and professors cultivate ignorance among Jewish students while emptying the term pro-Israel of all meaning. In in their zeal to promote anti-Zionist libels and activism, they empower ignorant students to blithely and falsely slander Hotovely and other senior officials as “racists.” By extension, they libel the entire nation of Israel whose citizens democratically elected their Knesset representatives and government.

If these actions continue, a significant diminishment in levels of support for Israel among American Jews can be expected in the years to come.

Most perniciously, in pursuit of their agenda, these radical Jewish leaders and academics seek to deny adequate civil rights protections for American Jews. By claiming that the most significant form of antisemitism on college campuses – antisemitism rooted in hatred of Israel and its supporters – is not antisemitism, and by lobbying to prevent the Antisemitism Awareness Act from being passed into law, they are working to undermine the civil rights protections of American Jewry.

As these events unfold, these radical forces in the community are also seeding their ranks in leadership positions in the community.

For instance, in September, backed by deep-pocketed donors, BDS activist David Myers was appointed head of the Center for Jewish History in New York.

Myers is a member of several BDS groups including Jewish Voices for Peace, J Street, the New Israel Fund, and If Not Now. Kelman and other anti-Zionist Jewish academics applauded his appointment.

Myers’ animosity toward Israel is reflected in his scholarship. Justifying anti-Zionism is a major focus of his work. He has authored sympathetic articles about the anti-Zionist Satmar Hassidic sect.

When considering how to stem the growing power of anti-Israel and antisemitism-enabling Jews in the American Jewish community, it is worth considering the response to Myers’s appointment.

When the Center for Jewish History announced his hiring, a small coalition of pro-Israel activists organized protests against it. True, the demonstrations failed to cancel his appointment. But the instinct that informed them was correct.

Israel advocates – supported by the Israeli government – should oppose the hiring and advocate the firing of anti-Israel activists in major Jewish groups. For instance, following her discriminatory treatment of Hotovely, Israel should demand that Hillel International fire Roth and replace her with a pro-Israel Jewish professional.

So, too, Trachtenberg and professors like him who truck in antisemitic propaganda masquerading as academic research should not be given a free pass.

Pro-Israel activists should file complaints with his university for his advocacy of antisemitic positions is sworn congressional testimony.

The abuse Hotovely endured this week was a symptom of a much larger problem. A small but powerful minority of American Jews seeks to silence Israeli voices, as part of a larger movement to deny civil rights protections to pro-Israel American Jews. To defeat these efforts both the symptom and the disease must be fought relentlessly.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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Hillel At Princeton: On the Roof?

The 19th Knesset swearing in ceremony at the Knesset Plenom in Jerusalem. In the picture, MK of Halikud Beiteinu Party, Tzipi Hotovely (center).

The 19th Knesset swearing in ceremony at the Knesset Plenum in Jerusalem. MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud)Photo Credit: GPO

Most of us have heard, or should have, of the adventures of Hillel the Elder on a roof on a snowy night.  As recorded in Yoma 35b

Hillel the Elder every day he used to work and earn one tropaic, half of which he would give to the watchman at the house of study; the other half he used on food for himself and the members of his household. One day he was unable to earn anything, so the watchman at the house of study did not let him in. He then climbed [to the roof] and hung on, sitting over the opening of the skylight, so that he could hear the words of the living God from the mouths of Shemaiah and Avtalion. It is said that the was a Sabbath eve in the winter solstice, and snow came down on him from heaven. When the dawn rose, Shemaiah said to Avtalion, “Brother Avtalion, every day this house is bright with light, but today it is dark. Is the day cloudy?” When they looked up, they saw the figure of a man in the skylight. They climbed to the roof and found Hillel, covered with three cubits of snow. They removed the snow from him, bathed and anointed him, and, as they seated him in front of an open fire, they said, “This man deserves to have the Sabbath profaned on his behalf.”…

Hillel of Princeton seems to be stuck up on a roof.

The bare facts about the Hotovely-Princeton Hillel Affair are known.

Protests from a dovish Jewish campus group, the Alliance of Jewish Progressives (AJP) caused the Hillel of Princeton University to cancel a scheduled talk by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely that was to take place this past Monday evening at the last moment. Chabad picked up the talk.

The protest went public in a letter published in the campus daily. Afterwards, AJP claimed they were only upset that proper procedures for inviting guests to events of the Center for Jewish Living were not followed through on,but were quite forthright that

We firmly reject the CJL’s choice to host a racist speaker like Hotovely while it continues to quiet progressive voices.

While Deputy Minister Michael Oren demanded a boycott, I tweeted him

No, more should come until the Hillel staff there is removed

At the campus newspaper article I commented that its content is what someone has called an “Reality inversion alert” –

You write:
“Hotovely’s alarming vision for the future of the region is coupled with a complete rejection of Palestinian history and connection to key sites such as the Haram al-Sharif [Temple Mount].”But it is the Muslims, from the Mufti to Arafat to Abbas who reject any Jewish claim to or identity with Mount Moriah, the First and Second Temples, the attempt to build a Third Temple in 363 CE or anything Jewish about Jerusalem. Have the signees ever studied anything about Jewish history…Do they possess knowledge or slogans? Outlook or out-of-touch? This is all so embarrassing for we Jews who, of whatever political stripe, at least actually know something of what we speak and write.

added that

throwing around a charge of “racism” really gets one no where when, on the record, the most racist element in the conflict are Arabs who wish to deny a ethnic national community any political, civil and human rights the international community recognized and guaranteed consistently since 1917

A late-burner was the AJP post-event claim that they were misunderstood:

MK Hotovely clearly misunderstands the intricacies of the Princeton Jewish community and the aims of our protest. Our Hillel’s response to the concerns of progressive Jewish students does not constitute a “liberal dictatorship.” Rather, the events of the past two days show the CJL’s commitment to more equitable standards of inclusivity and diversity.

But they weren’t. They clearly sought to shut her down,

“We firmly reject the CJL’s choice to host a racist speaker like Hotovely…”

and succeeded, while claiming all they wanted was for the rules for inviting speakers, the “Israel policy”, by applied equally.

Be that as it may, what raised eyebrows even more was AJP’s claim that a Jewish Agency shaliah was somehow involved. They published

On the evening of Nov. 5, in an email to students and members of the community who planned to attend an address by Tzipi Hotovely, a member of Israel’s Knesset, Rabbi Julie Roth, the executive director of the Center for Jewish Life, and the CJL Israel Fellow, Lior Sharir, announced they would be postponing Hotovely’s visit to the CJL pending further review by the Israel Advisory Committee.

Yigal Palmor left a comment at my Facebook post, writing:

We’ve checked and I can confirm that any suggestion that the Shaliach was behind the cancellation is *untrue*. Hillel have published an apology and it clearly shows this had nothing to do with the shaliach…the Shaliach had nothing to do with the cancellation.

I should trust him as he is, after all, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at The Jewish Agency for Israel. I did ask him if he would call out AJP as liars. I am still waiting.

What is even more intriguing than an Israeli-funded shaliah quashing a government minister’s right to free speech is the role of Rabbi Roth. Could she not have simply picked up a phone and within 5-10 minutes received a confirmation that Ms. Hotovely’s right to appear at Hillel is approved? Did she really think Hotovely is a racist and her arrival should be stymied by rules?

Rabbi Roth is active in the New Israel Fund.

She’s #163 on this petition and #1868 on this one. She has full free speech. Even progressive free speech. And she has unique insight into other radical groups as her husband is Rabbi Justus Baird who has written:

The Torah was received in the diaspora. Most of Jewish history was lived out in the diaspora. Diaspora Judaism deserves a foundational, equal place in the self-identity of the Jewish people, right alongside the Jewish state.

That is, I should stress, a legitimate opinion. It is also radical and skewed, but that’s my opinion. The Diaspora, I think, does not deserve, in Judaism, equality to Israel.

He’s with Rabbis Without Borders. They, at least, hold to the principle that a Rabbi should “strive[s] to be aware of the partial truth in a view with which we deeply disagree”. He is on the Rabbis & Cantors Board of J Street. He identifies with T’ruah and he and his wife have donated a sum of between $1,00-$2,499 to the group.

T’ruah promotes positions – and I don’t know if one would term them mainstream, radical, progressive or extreme – that include that they

advocate for an end to the military occupation of the West Bank and an end to the continued expansion of the settlements that extend this occupation, that infringe on the human rights of Palestinians, and that compromise the safety and security of Israelis…We urge all members of the North American Jewish community to engage in debate and disagreement for the sake of greater truth, justice, and peace.

That sounds to me a little like…Tzipi Hotovely and her predicament which someone termed an example of moral panic by left-wingers.

And at T’ruah they

are concerned about efforts to shut out a growing segment of our community based on their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Despite our disagreements with this movement, we believe that the Jewish community is strengthened by vigorous debate on issues that are vital to the well-being of Israel and the worldwide Jewish community.

That sounds very much like support for AJP.

He was a supporter of Linda Sarsour as published here at TOI:

“Anyone who has worked closely with Linda knows that she has a deep love for and appreciation for Judaism and Jews,” he said. “Linda and I don’t agree on everything about Israel, Palestine or about other issues, and that is OK with me. I fully support CUNY giving a pubic platform to Linda Sarsour, and I think its graduates have a lot to learn from her voice.”

Hillel has apologized. But I still cannot figure out Rabbi Roth’s role in all this. Was she too busy?

Why didn’t she convene the committee to obtain approval prior to the protest? Why couldn’t she do that in a quick round of phone calls after the AJP protest? She is signed on the ‘apology’ that notes Hotovely’s appearance cancellation was done

because it had not been reviewed by the Center for Jewish Life’s Israel Advisory Committee, which is designed to review and facilitate a broad range of Israel programming throughout the year…This was not a good enough reason to postpone the event… we should have engaged a broader range of students in this program from the beginning…

I am sorry but that sounds very weak and less plausible each time I read it. Was there any doubt in Roth’s mind that Hotovely should be a welcome guest? Or does she think providing her a platform, perhaps, should be debated? Did she really think she was a racist and that AJP had the power over her to stop the event? Does she agree with her husband that the Diaspora is at a level of offsetting Israel?

Why hasn’t AJP been called out on suggesting Sharir was not involved? Did they lie or what? Why haven’t we heard of an investigation or a review of what occurred? Will Rabbi Roth be censured or found innocent of any possible wrongdoing?

Until Next Year in Jerusalem?

(with thanks to AB)

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Tzipi Hotovely with American now Israeli IDF Lone Soldiers formerly from America celebrating Thanksgiving

Tzipi Hotovely – ציפי חוטובלי November 24 at 3:52pm ·

לפני שבת אני רוצה לשתף אתכם ברגע אחד משמח שהיה לי אתמול בתוך כל הסערה.

קיבלתי הודעה שאמרה:

“ציפי שלום. אני וחבריי חיילים בודדים מארה”ב. רצינו לשתף אותך עכשיו בארוחת חג ההודיה שלנו בקיבוץ מגן כדי שתראי כ-50 אמריקאים צעירים שמשרתים/שירתו שירות מלא בצה”ל.”

אור בעלי הצטרף אלי ונסענו אליהם. פגשנו קבוצה נפלאה של חיילים וחיילות משוחררים שעשו עלייה. דיברנו בפתיחות על איך שהם רואים את הדברים שאמרתי, ומה לדעתם צריך לעשות כדי לתת להם תחושה של בית. הם גיבורים גדולים. אני מצדיעה להם.

בסוף שבוע שבו נושא יהדות התפוצות וישראל הפך רלוונטי מתמיד ביקשתי מהם להיות שגרירים שלנו ביצירת הגשר החשוב בין ישראל ליהדות ארה”ב.

שבת שלום.

Anatomy of a smear

It would be edifying if Israelis truly understood what is happening in American Jewish life and paid less attention to the instigators of insincere indignation, such as those who smeared Hotovely. Netanyahu should have supported her.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, 26/11/17 07:19 http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/21318

As if on order, no sooner had I written “Life with a Smear” when we were presented with a real life example of a smear – a deliberate and conscious attempt to manipulate and distort the words of a public figure in order to shame her, force an apology, get her fired and ruin her life and career – all for the purpose of gaining some petty, partisan, political advantage.

The other day, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely purported to “disrespect” and “outrage” “all of American Jewry” (these are actual quotes from her critics) by articulating basic truths of which all American Jews are aware. Asked why there is a disconnect these days between much of American Jewry and Israel on diplomatic issues, and how such matters as the “Kotel” controversy have angered such a large part of American Jewry, she answered that Israel is the homeland of all Jews, “of all streams,” and every Jew should come live here and thereby influence Israeli society. But, she added, most American Jews are “not understanding the complexities of the region,” as they are –and here are the phrases that allegedly ticked off the self-appointed leaders of branches of American Jewry that are in such a steep decline – “people that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, going to Iraq. Most of them have quite comfortable lives. They don’t know how it feels to be attacked by rockets.”

If we parse her words fairly and objectively, it is clear that her sentiments are true and indisputable. Most American Jews do not have children serving as soldiers, Marines, in Afghanistan or Iraq. That is obvious, and I would speculate that most American Jews don’t even know someone who serves in the American military or served in Iraq or Afghanistan. (I do – a young former congregant was a Marine who fought during some of the harshest combat in Fallujah, Iraq, and I was proud to officiate at his wedding at which he wore his full dress uniform, replete with sword, and of course a good number of chaplains.) But most don’t, and that is true today of most Americans.

This is not because American Jews are selfish, uncaring, unpatriotic or disloyal. In truth, we are underrepresented in the American military according to our percentage of the population, but that has to do mostly with the underrepresentation of particular socio-economic brackets in the American military and the underrepresentation in the military of sections of the country where most Jews live. The higher socio-economic bracket to which one belongs and the more liberal the area of the country in which one lives, we find the lower the rate of participation in the military. This is true for Jews and non-Jews. We can quibble whether this should be so but not whether it is so. It is, and so it has been since the United States abolished the draft 45 years ago. (Parenthetically, only 25 % of the current members of Congress have served in the military, compared to close to 80% of the congressmen in the 1970’s.)

What Tzipi Hotovely said is absolutely true.

But this is how a smear works: Rick Jacobs, the leader of Reform Judaism who has become an open foe of a strong, proud, traditional Israel, castigated her for being “ignorant and ill-informed,” because, as he said, “my father served with distinction” in the American army. Indeed – we honor his father’s service! – but she did not say that Jews have never served in the American military (“never send” is not the same as “never sent,” and even that phrase was clarified), but rather that most Jews “don’t” serve in the American military. Note the verbal legerdemain – pretending her remarks were a blanket statement about the past rather than a comment on the present. That is rank dishonesty, and he should be ashamed of himself for engaging in it.

The point is not whether his father served or even whether he served (I assume he didn’t; he and I both came of age after the United States switched to an all-voluntary military). When there was a draft, Jews were drafted and served like any other citizen; American Jews fought in World War II in a greater proportion than our share of the population. I’ve walked the grounds of the American military cemetery at Normandy. The Stars of David that mark the graves of the dead American-Jewish soldiers stand out, if only because the thousands of crosses are arranged so neatly. But they are there, in almost every row. She was speaking about current events, how most American Jews today are detached from a military life, and how that surely taints their views on Israel where fighting in the military in an existential conflict that will not end is part of life and the expectation of almost every teenager. And she is correct – so correct that I would be curious to learn how many of her critics, or her critics’ children, have fought in the American military.<

Here’s another shameful smear: the accusation that she was disrespecting all those young American Jews who go to Israel and enlist in the IDF. Again – smear. Distortion. Misrepresentation. Lie. And this is how it works – did she mention lone soldiers? Did she mention the IDF? Of course not. Look at both her words and the context. In our community, many dozens of youngsters over the years have enlisted in the IDF, and we are proud of all them. But have any of them fought in Afghanistan or Iraq? Not to my knowledge…   So this is a blatant effort to willfully distort her words. She made no reference to the IDF – so how can she be accused of disrespecting those who fight in the IDF? But this is how the smear game works – more verbal sleight-of-hand – denouncing someone for what was said and is true by attributing to them things that were not said and are false.

There are two real problems at play here, and Minister Hotovely is responsible for neither of them. The officialdom of the heterodox movements is uncomfortable, even resentful, of a successful woman who is proudly Jewish, proudly religious, proudly traditional, proudly Israeli and proudly right-wing.  She undermines several of their persistent narratives about Orthodoxy and traditional life in Israel. Seeing the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel wearing a shaitel must gall them. Too bad – for them.

And the bigger problem is this: with the heterodox movements in a free fall, both in terms of raw numbers as well as influence in American politics because of the persistent liberal bias, they need an enemy to energize their base. They need to periodically – these days, it’s every few weeks – find a scapegoat, an accusation, an insult or a cause to get their people riled up. It can be the Haredim to whom they attribute all sorts of mischief and ill-will. It can be the Kotel, where suddenly – literally, suddenly, after many decades – the status quo of exclusively traditional prayer bothers them. It is as if they woke up one day and realized – or contrived – that the status quo must bother them. It can be the non-acceptance of their conversions, their rabbis, or their modes of worship in one form or another. It can be the growth of the settlements or a forceful response to Arab terror or Gazan rockets. But it is always something.

That is why even an apology from Tzipi Hotovely, which she proffered because that is the way the smear game is played (and shame on the Prime Minister for not standing behind her), will not suffice for the complainants. They want her and her kind out! It is not her but what she stands for that irritates them. She is a constant reminder of what they too could have – with their children and grandchildren – if only they would return to the honest study of Torah and the true observance of mitzvot. That is why they seem to be perpetually aggrieved and always cross about something going on in Israel.

When many Israelis speak of “American Jewry,” they conjure to themselves a benign image of Jews who proudly love and support Israel, feel a deep emotional bond, and constitute a solid bloc of the type of encouragement and cooperation that one can expect from family. Would that it were so – but those days are long gone, sadly. Most American Jews today are unaffiliated – they do not identify as Orthodox, Reform or Conservative. They don’t feel that bond with Israel that their parents and certainly their grandparents did, most by far have never even visited Israel, and the ranks of American Jewry (including the heterodox movements) have been decimated by intermarriage that has obviously sapped their identification with Jews and the Jewish State. And the heterodox movements are permeated with Western ideas and values that occasionally conflate with Jewish ideas and values, but not always, and they can by and large no longer tell the difference.< The cause of Israel struggles today on college campuses because too many young Jews are cut off from their Jewish identity. The more the Jew is disengaged from Judaism, Torah, mitzvot and Jewish values, the more he or she will be disengaged from Israel. It is a tragic but accurate formula – that is why Minister Hotovely was banned by a “Jewish” group from speaking at Princeton – but there is little that Israel can do to reverse that trend. Identification and support for Israel will result from an enhanced sense of Jewish identity but those young Jews who are estranged from Israel have already embedded another identity and set of values and priorities. That is what has to be reversed and at this the heterodox movements are ill-equipped as they have long fostered an alienation from Torah.

That is why they force themselves to be outraged, manufacture slights and insults, and are avid players of the “Gotcha Game,” in which they monitor every single word of their targets in order to find the one word that they can wrench from context, cast in the most negative light or otherwise twist and falsify – all so that they can show relevance to their dwindling flock and their fellow travelers in the secular media. This is the smear game in action.

It would be edifying if Israelis truly understood what is happening in American Jewish life, paid less attention to the instigators of insincere indignation, and more attention to those Jews whose Jewish children and grandchildren will be building Torah, supporting Israel, making aliya and preserving the future of the Jewish people. And, of course, it would be an absolute delight if all Jews – of every stripe and background – did the same, and in so doing brought the era of redemption closer.

Rabbi Pruzansky is spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun of Teaneck, New Jersey, and the East Coast Regional Vice-President and Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the Coalition for Jewish Values

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Happy Birthday CIA: 7 Truly Terrible Things The Agency Has Done In 70 Years

by Tyler Durden Sep 19, 2017 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-19/happy-birthday-cia-7-truly-terrible-things-agency-has-done-70-years

Authored by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

On Monday, President Trump tweeted birthday wishes to the Air Force and the CIA. Both became official organizations 70 years ago on September 18, 1947, with the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947.

 

After spending years as a wartime intelligence agency called the Office of Strategic Services, the agency was solidified as a key player in the federal government’s operations with then-President Harry Truman’s authorization.

In the seventy years since, the CIA has committed a wide variety of misdeeds, crimes, coups, and violence. Here are seven of the worst programs they’ve carried out (that are known to the public):

1.Toppling governments around the world

The CIA is best known for its first coup, Operation Ajax, in 1953, in which it ousted the democratically elected leader of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, reinstating the autocratic Shah, who favored western oil interests. That operation, which the CIA now admits to waging with British intelligence, ultimately resulted in the 1979 revolution and subsequent U.S. hostage crisis. Relations between the U.S. and Iran remain strained to this day, aptly described by the CIA-coined term “blowback.”

But the CIA has had a hand in toppling a number of other democratically elected governments, from Guatemala (1954) and the Congo (1960) to the Dominican Republic (1961), South Vietnam (1963), Brazil (1964), and Chile (1973). The CIA has aimed to install leaders who appease American interests, often empowering oppressive, violent dictators. This is only a partial list of countries where the CIA covertly attempted to exploit and manipulate sovereign nations’ governments.

2. Operation Paperclip

In one of the more bizarre CIA plots, the agency and other government departments employed Nazi scientists both within and outside the United States to gain an advantage over the Soviets. As summarized by NPR:

The aim [of Operation Paperclip] was to find and preserve German weapons, including biological and chemical agents, but American scientific intelligence officers quickly realized the weapons themselves were not enough.

They decided the United States needed to bring the Nazi scientists themselves to the U.S. Thus began a mission to recruit top Nazi doctors, physicists and chemists — including Wernher von Braun, who went on to design the rockets that took man to the moon.

They kept this plot secret, though they admitted to it upon the release of Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists To America by Annie Jacobsen. In a book review, the CIA wrote that “Henry Wallace, former vice president and secretary of commerce, believed the scientists’ ideas could launch new civilian industries and produce jobs.” 

They praised the book’s historical accuracy, noting “that the Launch Operations Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, was headed by Kurt Debus, an ardent Nazi.” They acknowledged that “General Reinhard Gehlen, former head of Nazi intelligence operations against the Soviets, was hired by the US Army and later by the CIA to operate 600 ex-Nazi agents in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany.”

Remarkably, they noted that Jacobsen “understandably questions the morality of the decision to hire Nazi SS scientists,” but praise her for pointing out that it was done to fight Soviets. They also made sure to add that the Soviets hired Nazis, too, apparently justifying their own questionable actions by citing their most loathed enemy.

3. Operation CHAOS

The FBI is widely known for its COINTELPRO schemes to undermine communist movements in the 1950s and anti-war, civil rights, and black power movements in the 1960s, but the CIA has not been implicated nearly as deeply because, technically, the CIA cannot legally engage in domestic spying. But that was of little concern to President Lyndon B. Johnson as opposition to the Vietnam war grew. According to former New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tim Weiner, as documented in his extensive CIA historyLegacy of Ashes, Johnson instructed then-CIA Director Richard Helms to break the law:

In October 1967, a handful of CIA analysts joined in the first big Washington march against the war. The president regarded protesters as enemies of the state. He was convinced that the peace movement was controlled and financed by Moscow and Beijing. He wanted proof. He ordered Richard Helms to produce it.

Helms reminded the president that the CIA was barred from spying on Americans. He says Johnson told him: ‘I’m quite aware of that. What I want for you is to pursue this matter, and to do what is necessary to track down the foreign communists who are behind this intolerable interference in our domestic affairs…’

Helms obeyed. Weiner wrote:

In a blatant violation of his powers under the law, the director of central intelligence became a part-time secret police chief. The CIA undertook a domestic surveillance operation, code-named Chaos. It went on for almost seven years… Eleven CIA officers grew long hair, learned the jargon of the New Left, and went off to infiltrate peace groups in the United States and Europe.”

According to Weiner, “the agency compiled a computer index of 300,000 names of American people and organizations, and extensive files on 7,200 citizens. It began working in secret with police departments all over America.” Because they could not draw a “clear distinction” between the new far left and mainstream opposition to the war, the CIA spied on every major peace organization in the country. President Johnson also wanted them to prove a connection between foreign communists and the black power movement. “The agency tried its best,” Weiner noted, ultimately noting that “the CIA never found a shred of evidence that linked the leaders of the American left or the black-power movement to foreign governments.

4. Infiltrating the media

Over the years, the CIA has successfully gained influence in the news media, as well as popular media like film and television. Its influence over the news began almost immediately after the agency was formed. As Weiner explained, CIA Director Allen Dulles established firm ties with newspapers:

Dulles kept in close touch with the men who ran the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the nation’s leading weekly magazines. He could pick up the phone and edit a breaking story, make sure an irritating foreign correspondent was yanked from the field, or hire the services of men such as Time’s Berlin bureau chief and Newsweek’s man in Tokyo.”

He continued:

It was second nature for Dulles to plant stories in the press. American newsrooms were dominated by veterans of the government’s wartime propaganda branch, the Office of War Information…The men who responded to the CIA’s call included Henry Luce and his editors at Time, Life, and Fortune; popular magazines such as Parade, the Saturday Review, and Reader’s Digest; and the most powerful executives at CBS News. Dulles built a public-relations and propaganda machine that came to include more than fifty news organizations, a dozen publishing houses, and personal pledges of support from men such as Axel Springer, West Germany’s most powerful press baron.”

The CIA’s influence had not waned by 1977 when journalist Carl Bernstein reported on publications with CIA agents in their employ, as well as “more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty?five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.”

The CIA has also successfully advised on and influenced numerous television shows, such as Homeland and 24 and films like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, which push narratives that ultimately favor the agency. According to Tricia Jenkins, author of The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film & Televisiona concerted agency effort began in the 1990s to counteract negative public perceptions of the CIA, but their influence reaches back decades. In the 1950s, filmmakers produced films for the CIA, including the 1954 film adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Researchers Tom Secker and Matthew Alford, whose work has been published in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, say their recent Freedom of Information Act requests have shown that the CIA — along with the military — have influenced over 1,800 films and television shows, many of which have nothing to do with CIA or military themes.

5. Drug-induced Mind control

In the 1950s, the CIA began experimenting with drugs to determine whether they might be useful in extracting information. As Smithsonian Magazine has noted of the MKUltra project:

The project, which continued for more than a decade, was originally intended to make sure the United States government kept up with presumed Soviet advances in mind-control technology. It ballooned in scope and its ultimate result, among other things, was illegal drug testing on thousands of Americans.”

Further:

The intent of the project was to study ‘the use of biological and chemical materials in altering human behavior,’ according to the official testimony of CIA director Stansfield Turner in 1977. The project was conducted in extreme secrecy, Turner said, because of ethical and legal questions surrounding the program and the negative public response that the CIA anticipated if MKUltra should become public.

Under MKUltra, the CIA gave itself the authority to research how drugs could:’ ‘promote the intoxicating effects of alcohol;’ ‘render the induction of hypnosis easier;’ ‘enhance the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture and coercion;’ produce amnesia, shock and confusion; and much more. Many of these questions were investigated using unwitting test subjects, like drug-addicted prisoners, marginalized sex workers and terminal cancer patients– ‘people who could not fight back,’ in the words of Sidney Gottlieb, the chemist who introduced LSD to the CIA.

Further, as Weiner noted:

Under its auspices, seven prisoners at a federal penitentiary in Kentucky were kept high on LSD for seventy-seven consecutive days. When the CIA slipped the same drug to an army civilian employee, Frank Olson, he leaped out of the window of a New York Hotel.”

Weiner added that senior CIA officers destroyed “almost all of the records” of the programs, but that while the “evidence that remains is fragmentary…it strongly suggests that use of secret prisons for the forcible drug-induced questioning of suspect agents went on throughout the 1950s.

Years later, the CIA would be accused of distributing crack-cocaine into poor black communities, though this is currently less substantiated and supported mostly by accounts of those who claim to have been involved.

6. Brutal torture tactics

More recently, the CIA was exposed for sponsoring abusive, disturbing terror tactics against detainees at prisons housing terror suspects. An extensive 2014 Senate report documented agents committing sexual abuse, forcing detainees to stand on broken legs, waterboarding them so severely it sometimes led to convulsions, and imposing forced rectal feeding, to name a few examples. Ultimately, the agency had very little actionable intelligence to show for their torture tactics but lied to suggest they did, according to the torture report. Their torture tactics led the International Criminal Court to suggest the CIA, along with the U.S. armed forces, could be guilty of war crimes for their abuses.

7. Arming radicals

The CIA has a long habit of arming radical, extremist groups that view the United States as enemies. In 1979, the CIA set out to support Afghan rebels in their bid to defeat the Soviet occupation of the Middle Eastern country. As Weiner wrote, in 1979, “Prompted by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter signed a covert-action order for the CIA to provide the Afghan rebels with medical aid, money, and propaganda.

As Weiner detailed later in his book:

The Pakistani intelligence chiefs who doled out the CIA’s guns and money favored the Afghan factions who proved themselves most capable in battle. Those factions also happened to be the most committed Islamists. No one dreamed that the holy warriors could ever turn their jihad against the United States.”

Though some speculate the CIA directly armed Osama bin Laden, that is yet to be fully proven or admitted. What is clear is that western media revered him as a valuable fighter against the Soviets, that he arrived to fight in Afghanistan in1980, and that al-Qaeda emerged from the mujahideen, who were beneficiaries of the CIA’s program. Stanford University has noted that Bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, a prominent Palestinian cleric, “established Al Qaeda from the fighters, financial resources, and training and recruiting structures left over from the anti-Soviet war.” Much of those “structures” were provided by the agency. Intentionally or not, the CIA helped fuel the rise of the terror group.

Weiner noted that as the CIA failed in other countries like Libya, by the late 1980s “Only the mujahideen, the Afghan holy warriors, were drawing blood and scenting victory. The CIA’s Afghan operation was now a $700-million-dollar-a-year-program” and represented 80% of the overseas budget of the clandestine services. “The CIA’s briefing books never answered the question of what would happen when a militant Islamic army defeated the godless invaders of Afghanistan,” though Tom Twetten, “the number two man in the clandestine service in the summer of 1988,” was tasked with figuring out what would happen with the Afghan rebels. “We don’t have any plan,” he concluded.

Apparently failing to learn their lesson, the CIA adopted nearly the exact same policy in Syria decades later, arming what they called “moderate rebels” against the Assad regime. Those groups ultimately aligned with al-Qaeda groups. One CIA-backed faction made headlines last year for beheading a child (though President Trump cut off the CIA program in June, the military continues to align with “moderate” groups).

*  *  *

Unsurprisingly, this list is far from complete. The CIA has engaged in a wide variety of extrajudicial practice, and there are likely countless transgressions we have yet to learn about.

As Donald Trump cheers the birthday of an agency he himself once criticized, it should be abundantly clear that the nation’s covert spy agency deserves scrutiny and skepticism — not celebration.
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The Future Of The Third World

by Tyler Durden Aug 20, 2017 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-20/future-third-world
Authored by Jayant Bhandari via Acting-Man.com,

Decolonization

The British Empire was the largest in history. At the end of World War II Britain had to start pulling out from its colonies. A major part of the reason was, ironically, the economic prosperity that had come through industrialization, massive improvements in transportation, and the advent of telecommunications, ethnic and religious respect, freedom of speech, and other liberties offered by the empire.

The colors represent the colonies of various nations in 1945, and the colonial borders of that time – click to enlarge.

After the departure of the British — as well as the French, German, Belgians, and other European colonizers — most of the newly “independent” countries suffered rapid decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, massive social strife, and a fall in standards of living. An age of anti-liberalism and tyranny descended on these former colonies. They rightly became known as third-world countries.

An armchair economist would have assumed that the economies of these former colonies, still very backward and at a very low base compared to Europe, would grow at a faster rate. Quite to the contrary, as time went on, their growth rates stayed lower than those of the West.

Socialism and the rise of dictators were typically blamed for this — at least among those on the political Right. This is not incorrect, but it is a merely proximate cause. Clarity might have been reached if people had contemplated the reason why Marxism and socialism grew like weeds in the newly independent countries.

 

Was There a Paradigm Shift in the 1980s?

According to conventional wisdom, the situation changed after the fall of the socialist ringleader, the USSR, in the late 1980s. Ex-colonized countries started to liberalize their economies and widely accepted democracy, leading to peace, the spread of education and equality, the establishment of liberal, independent institutions. Massive economic growth ensued and was sustained over the past three decades. The “third world” was soon renamed “emerging markets.”

Alas, this is a faulty narrative. Economic growth did pick up in these poor countries, and the rate of growth did markedly exceed that of the West, but the conventional narrative confuses correlation with causality. It tries to fit events to ideological preferences, which assume that we are all the same, that if Europeans could progress, so should everyone else, and that all that matters are correct incentives and appropriate institutions.

 

The beginning and end of the Soviet communist era in newspaper headlines. The overthrow of Kerensky’s interim government was the start of Bolshevik rule. To be precise, the Bolsheviks took over shortly thereafter, when they disbanded the constituent assembly in in early 1918 and subsequently gradually did the same to all non-Bolshevik Soviets that had been elected. A little more than seven decades later, the last Soviet Bolshevik leader resigned. It is worth noting that by splitting the Russian Federation from the Ukraine and Belorussia, Yeltsin effectively removed Gorbachev from power – the latter was suddenly president of a country that no longer existed and chairman of a party that was declared illegal in Russia. [PT] – click to enlarge.

 

The claimed liberalization in the “emerging markets” after the collapse of the USSR did not really happen. Progress was always one step forward and two steps back. In some ways, government regulations and repression of businesses in the “emerging markets” have actually gotten much worse. Financed by increased taxes, governments have grown by leaps and bounds — not for the benefit of society but for that of the ruling class — and are now addicted to their own growth.

The ultimate underpinnings of the so-called emerging markets haven’t changed. Their rapid economic progress during the past three decades — a one-off event — happened for reasons completely different from those assumed by most economists. The question is: once the effect of the one-off event has worn off, will emerging markets revert to the stagnation, institutional degradation, and tyranny that they had leaped into soon after the European colonizers left?

 

The One-Off Event: What Actually Changed in the 1980s

In the “emerging markets” (except for China) synchronized favorable economic changes were an anomaly. They resulted in large part from the new, extremely cheap telephony that came into existence (a result of massive cabling of the planet implemented in the 1980s) and the subsequent advent of the new technology of the internet. The internet enabled instantaneous transfer of technology from the West and as a consequence, unprecedented economic growth in “emerging markets.”

Meanwhile, a real cultural, political, and economic renaissance started in China. It was an event so momentous that it changed the economic structure not just of China, but of the whole world. Because China is seen as a communist dictatorship, it fails to be fully appreciated and respected by intellectuals who are obsessed with the institution of democracy.

But now that the low-hanging fruit from the emergence of the internet and of China (which continues to progress) have been plucked, the “emerging markets” (except, again, for China) are regressing to their normal state: decay in their institutions, stagnant economies, and social strife. They should still be called the “third world.”

There are those who hold China in contempt for copying Western technology, but they don’t understand that if copying were so easy, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia would have done the same. They were, after all, prepared for progress by their colonial history.

European colonizers brought in the rule of law and significantly reduced the tribal warfare that was a matter of daily routine in many of the colonies — in the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Britain and other European nations set up institutional structures that allowed for the accumulation of intellectual and financial capital. Western-style education and democracy were initiated. But this was helpful in a very marginal way.

 

What is Wrong with the Third World

For those who have not traveled and immersed themselves in formerly colonized countries, it is hard to understand that although there was piping for water and sewage in Roman days, it still isn’t available for a very large segment of the world’s population. The wheel has existed for more than 5,000 years, but a very large number of people continue to carry water in pots on their heads.

 

Lead piping supplying water to homes already existed in Roman days, 2000 years ago.

 

The Ljubljana Marshes Wheel, which is more than 5,000 years old

 

 

Carrying pot of water, Maralwadi, Karnataka, India, Asia

There are easily a billion or more people today, who have no concept of either the pipe or the wheel, even if they went to school. It is not the absence of technology or money that is stopping these people from starting to use some basic forms of technology. It is something else.

 

 

Sir Winston Churchill, the war-time Prime Minister of Britain, talking about the future of Palestine said:

“I do not admit… that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race… has come in and taken their place.”

 

Cigar-puffing British war-time PM Winston Churchill was as politically incorrect as they come. If he were alive today, he would probably be labeled the newest Hitler by the press and spend 90% of his time apologizing. Perhaps we shouldn’t mention this, but there are many Churchill monuments dotted across Europe and one can be found in Washington DC as well (alert readers will notice that a decidedly non-triggered Washington Post fondly remembered Churchill as an “elder statesman” a mere 10 months ago; rest assured that won’t stop the social justice warrior brigade if they decide to airbrush him out of history). Just to make this clear, your editor is not exactly the biggest fan of the man who traded away half of Europe to Stalin because he felt he could “trust the Soviet communist government” and who was clearly a tad too enamored of war, a characteristic Robert Kaplan described in his strident, amoral pro-war screed Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos as follows: “Churchill’s unapologetic warmongering arose not from a preference for war, but from a breast-beating Victorian sense of imperial destiny…” Neither the breast-beating nor the sense of imperial destiny are really our thing, but we tip our hat to the man’s utter lack of political correctness and his associated willingness to offend all and sundry with a nigh Trumpian alacrity and determination. [PT]

 

On Islam, he said:

“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist…”

Talking about India he famously said:

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

A remark often attributed to Churchill, although this remains unverified, has certainly stood the test of time so far:

“If independence is granted to India, power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. A day will come when even air and water will be taxed in India.”

Europeans of that time clearly knew that there was something fundamentally different between the West and the rest, and that the colonies would not survive without the pillars and the cement European management provided.

With the rise of political correctness this wisdom was erased from our common understanding – but it is something that may well return to haunt us in the near future, as the third world fails to fulfill expectations, while people who immigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia and the US from there fail to assimilate.

 

The Missing Underpinnings: Reason And All That Depends On It

Until now, the hope among people in the World Bank, the IMF, and other armchair intellectuals was that once the correct incentives were in place and institutions were organized, these structures imposed from on high would put the third world on a path to perpetual growth. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The cart has been put in front of the horse. It is institutions that emerge from the underlying culture, not the other way around. And cultural change is a process taking millennia, perhaps even longer. As soon as Europeans quit their colonies, the institutional structures they left started to crumble.

Alas, it takes a Ph.D. from an Ivy League college and a quarter of a million dollar salary at the World Bank or the IMF to not understand what the key issue with development economics and institutional failures is: the missing ingredient in the third world was and is the concept of objective, impartial reason – the basis of laws and institutions that protect individual rights.

This concept of reason took 2,500 years to develop and get infused into the culture, memes, and genes of Europeans — a difficult process that, even in Europe, was never fully completed. European institutions were at their root products of this concept.

 

A justly famous quote by Thomas Paine (a prolific writer with a side job as a founding father and revolutionary). Paine was deeply suspicious of self-anointed authorities, both of the secular and clerical variety, who in turn regarded him as dangerous. His writings inter alia provoked a so-called “pamphlet war” in Britain (it would be best if all wars were conducted via pamphlets). [PT]

 

Despite massive efforts by missionaries, religious and secular, and of institutions imposed on poor countries, reason failed to get transmitted. Whatever marginal improvement was achieved over 200 to 300 years of colonization is therefore slowly but surely undone.

Without reason, subsidiary concepts such as equality before the law, compassion and empathy won’t operate. Irrational societies simply cannot maintain institutions representing the rule of law and fairness. The consequence is that they cannot evolve or even maintain institutions the European colonizers left behind.

Any institutions imposed on them — schools, armies, elections, national executives, banking and taxation systems — must mutate to cater to the underlying irrationality and tribalism of the third world.

 

Western Institutions Have Mutated

Education has become a dogma in “emerging markets”, not a tool; it floats non-assimilated in the minds of people lacking objective reason. Instead of leading to creativity and critical thinking, it is used for propaganda by demagogues.

Without impartial reason, democracy is a mere tribal, geographical concept, steeped in arrogance. All popular and “educated” rhetoric to the contrary, I can think of no country in the non-western world that did well after it adopted “democracy.”

The spread of nationalism (which to a rational mind is about the commonality of values) has created crises by unifying people along tribal lines. The most visible example is provided by events in the Middle East, but the basic problem is the same in every South Asian and African country and in most of South America.

India, the geographical entity I grew up in, was rapidly collectivized under the flag and the national anthem. It has the potential to become the Middle East on steroids, once Hindutava (Hindu nationalism) has become deeply rooted in society.

 

Assessing the Current Predicament

In Burma, a whiff of democracy does not seem to have inhibited a genocide perpetrated by Buddhists against the Muslim Rohingya. Thailand (which was not colonized in a strictly political sense) has gone silent, but its crisis continues.

Turkey and Malaysia, among the better of these backward societies, have embarked on a path of rapid regression to their medieval pasts. South Africa, which not too long ago was considered a first-world country, got rid of apartheid only to end up with something even worse.

The same happened with Venezuela, which was among the richer countries of the world in the not-too-distant past. It is ready to implode, a fate that may befall Brazil as well one day. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and East Timor are widely acknowledged to be in a mess, and are getting worse by the day.

Indonesia took a breather for a few years and is now once again in the thrall of fanaticism. India is the biggest democracy, so its problems are actively ignored by the Western press, but they won’t be for long, as India continues to evolve toward a police state.

Botswana was seen as one of the countries with the fastest and longest-lasting economic growth. What was ignored was the fact that this rather large country has a very small population, which benefited hugely from diamonds and other natural resources. The top political layer of Botswana is still a leftover from the British. The local culture continues to corrode what was left by them, and there are clear signs that Botswana is past its peak.

 

Part of the central business district in Gaborone, Botswana. Long time readers may recall an article we posted about 2.5 years ago: “Botswana – Getting it Right in Africa”. We are not sure if much has changed since then, but it is worth recalling that Botswana started out as the third-poorest country in Africa when it became independent in 1966 and is today one the richest. The very small population (by African standards) combined with the large income the country obtains from diamond mining no doubt played a role in this, but being rich in natural resources means very little per se. Botswana never fell for Marxism. When the country gained independence, its political leadership adopted democracy and free markets and never looked back. Botswana is a very homogenous society in terms of religious and tribal affiliations, which differentiates the country from most other former colonial territories in Africa. From our personal – admittedly by now a bit dated – experience, we can state that Botswana is the only African country in which one is unlikely to encounter any corruption – not even the lowliest government minion will ask for bribes as far as we could tell (in many African countries, officials begin demanding bribes the moment one wants to cross the border). Considering all that, we are slightly more hopeful about Botswana, but it is not an island. Deteriorating conditions in neighboring countries may well prove contagious at some point. [PT]

Papua New Guinea was another country that was doing reasonably well before the Australians left. It is now rapidly regressing to its tribal, irrational, and extremely violent norms, where for all practical purposes rape is not even considered a crime.

 

Conclusion: A Vain Hope

The world may recognize most of the above, but it sees these countries’ problems as isolated events that can be corrected by further impositions of Western institutions, under the guidance of the UN or some such international (and therefore “non-colonialist”) organization.

Amusingly, our intellectual climate — a product of political correctness — is such that the third world is nowadays seen as the backbone of humanity’s future economic growth. Unfortunately, so-called emerging markets are probably headed for a chaotic future. The likeliest prospect is that these countries will continue to cater to irrational forces, particularly tribalism, and that they will consequently cease to exist, disintegrating into much smaller entities.

As the tide of economic growth goes out with the final phase of plucking the free gift of internet technology nearing its end, their problems will resurface rapidly – precisely when the last of those who were trained under the colonial system are sent to the “dustbin of history”.
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95% of status quo scientists FAIL this simple SCIENCE QUIZ… (take it yourself and see why)

Saturday, March 25, 2017 by:

 

(Natural News) As an independent scientist and lab science director of a globally accredited analytical laboratory (CWClabs.com), I’ve come to discover that most “status quo” scientists are woefully ignorant about real science.

Most of what gets paraded around as “science” in our society is nothing more than corporate propaganda pretending to be science. This is where all the “fake science” lies come from that tell us glyphosate is harmless, GMOs don’t cause cancer, fluoride is wonderful to ingest and mercury in vaccines is safe to inject into children.

But as I’ve interacted with university laboratories, science paper authors and scientific “thinkers” across the realm of science, I’ve come to realize something truly astonishing: Most status quo scientists are clueless about reality. What they think they know is mostly pseudoknowledge that’s been pushed onto them by medical schools or industry propaganda (Big Biotech, Big Pharma, Big Ag, the cancer industry, etc.). They absolutely do not want anyone waking people up to legitimate, independent science that might question the false narratives of the status quo. (My own efforts to educate the public about real science are so successful that the biotech industry maintains a full-time “negative P.R.” firm whose entire mission is to discredit me personally by spreading obviously fictional accusations. That’s how desperate they are to silence independent scientists who are educating the public.)

But don’t take my word for what I’ve said above. You need to see for yourself how incredibly ignorant many status quo scientists really are.

95% of status quo scientists FAIL this simple science quiz

To demonstrate the astonishing ignorance of status quo scientists and doctors, I’ve created a science quiz, found below, that 95% of status quo scientists FAIL for the simple reason that they are dogmatists more than they are legitimate scientists.

For example, nearly all scientists ridiculously believe that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant. This has been taught to every scientist with such repetitive insistence that nearly all scientists now take the concept as a matter of faith. (Note the word “faith,” not “fact.”) Even scientists reading this will initially think I’m wrong and that they are right, because the false idea that “the speed of light is a constant” has been hammered into their brains from the very first day of academic science training.

Yet it turns out that the speed of light isn’t a constant at all. Not even in a vacuum. And to make sure nobody uncovers the truth about the variance in the speed of light, the NIST literally defines the speed of light using circular logic which references the speed of light itself as a factor in determining the speed of light (see the full mathematical explanation below). As a result, when NIST says the speed of light is a constant, it is the mathematical equivalent of saying X = X, which of course is always true, no matter what the value of X. Yet, in the real universe, the speed of light isn’t a constant as you’ll see below. (Right there, nearly 95% of status quo scientists fail the quiz.)

Any scientist who says the speed of light is always a constant in a vacuum is scientifically ignorant and has been living under a massive cover-up perpetrated by the status quo scientific community (read below for more details) which pretends that c is a constant. But that’s nothing more than fake science.

Check out the quiz for yourself. If you know any science friends or colleagues, give them this quiz and see if they get even a single answer correct. I’ve given this quiz to many scientists, and not a single person has answered every science question correctly. Most scientists fail every question here. Every single one.

What does that tell you about the sad state of the “scientific” establishment in society today? It tells you that much of what its members believe is pseudoscience.

The SCIENCE QUIZ that 95% of status quo scientists FAIL

Here’s the five-question quiz. Answers are below.

#1) TRUE or FALSE: In a vacuum, the speed of light is a constant.

#2) TRUE or FALSE: In mammals, the lungs produce enormous quantities of blood platelets.

#3) TRUE or FALSE: At over 400 ppm, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are now the highest they’ve ever been on our planet.

#4) TRUE or FALSE: Mercury is extremely toxic in the environment but totally safe when injected into children via vaccines.

#5) TRUE OR FALSE: Type-2 diabetes can be reversed and cured.

Answers are given below, with detailed scientific citations, charts and additional links for exploration. Most of the links you’ll find here are links to science publications recognized by mainstream science such as Science Daily and Science Alert.

Also, watch my new documentary here which explains how independent, grassroots scientists (like myself) are now taking back “science” from the corrupt, corporate poisoners who have infested the scientific status quo with twisted falsehoods and deliberate disinformation to suppress human knowledge:

 

 

ANSWERS to the science quiz that 95% of status quo scientists FAIL

#1) TRUE or FALSE: In a vacuum, the speed of light is a constant.

Correct answer: FALSE

The speed is not a constant. Even in a vacuum, it varies in two important ways.

First, the speed of light varies based on the structure of the light. As explained in an article on ScienceNews.org — a well-known publication of mainstream science — entitled Speed of light not so constant after all, “Researchers led by optical physicist Miles Padgett at the University of Glasgow demonstrated the effect by racing photons that were identical except for their structure. The structured light consistently arrived a tad late.”

The article, which cites the peer-reviewed science paper at this link, goes on to state:

“It’s very impressive work,” says Robert Boyd, an optical physicist at the University of Rochester in New York. “It’s the sort of thing that’s so obvious, you wonder why you didn’t think of it first.”

They call it “obvious” now, you see, yet nearly the entire status quo scientific community still believes in the falsehood that the speed of light is a constant.

The very definition of the speed of light is a circular logic science hoax

Even the ScienceNews.org article openly admits the definition of c (the speed of light) is a science hoax, saying, ” While measuring c was once considered an important experimental problem, it is now simply specified to be 299,792,458 meters per second, as the meter itself is defined in terms of light’s vacuum speed.”

Hold the presses! Do you grasp what Science Alert just admitted? They’re saying that the very definition of the speed of light is a hoax because it’s defined in terms of the time it takes light to propagate across one meter of space. Yet the meter is, itself, defined as how far light travels in a certain amount of time, which is itself derived from the speed of light.

Thus, the speed of light is quite literally defined as a circular logic science hoax… the equivalent of a dictionary’s entry for the word “tadpole” saying literally, “See tadpole.”

In essence, the scientific community has engaged in a massive conspiracy to conceal variations in the speed of light by defining the speed of light as a self-referenced term, in total violation of scientific rationality and honesty. Because of this arbitrary definition of the speed of light, any variations in the actual speed of light will be hidden from all scientists, by definition.

Pioneering science thinker Rupert Sheldrake explains the obfuscation in more detail in his must-read book, Science Set Free which challenges many assumptions of the dishonest scientific establishment and points to a possible cyclical variation in the speed of light:

Not surprisingly, early measurements of the speed of light varied considerably, but by 1927, the measured values had converged to 299,796 kilometers per second. At the time, the leading authority on the subject concluded, “The present value of c is entirely satisfactory and can be considered more or less permanently established.” However, all around the world from about 1928 to 1945, the speed of light dropped by about 20 kilometers per second. The “best” values found by leading investigators were in impressively close agreement with each other. Some scientists suggested that the data pointed to cyclic variations in the velocity of light.

In the late 1940s the speed of light went up again by about 20 kilometers per second and a new consensus developed around the higher value. In 1972, the embarrassing possibility of variations in c was eliminated when the speed of light was fixed by definition. In addition, in 1983 the unit of distance, the meter, was redefined in terms of light. Therefore if any further changes in the speed of light happen, we will be blind to them because the length of the meter will change with the speed of light. (The meter is now defined as the length of the path traveled by light in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.) The second is also defined in terms of light: it is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of vibration of the light given off by cesium 133 atoms in a particular state of excitation (technically defined as the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state).

#2) TRUE or FALSE: In mammals, the lungs produce enormous quantities of blood platelets (yes, the LUNGS)

Correct answer: TRUE

Nearly all status quo scientists fail this question because they’ve been taught that blood is solely produce in bone marrow, while the lungs are solely engaged in respiration, they believe.

It turns out that’s wildly false, even according to mainstream science publications such as Nature. It turns out that in mice, the lungs produce more blood platelets than bone marrow — an idea that nearly all present-day doctors and scientists will immediately condemn as “fake news” until they are properly educated about biological reality.

Here’s an article in ScienceAlert.com — a well-respected mainstream science publication — that spells it out, entitled An Unexpected New Lung Function Has Been Found – They Make Blood:

In experiments involving mice, the team found that they produce more than 10 million platelets (tiny blood cells) per hour, equating to the majority of platelets in the animals’ circulation. This goes against the decades-long assumption that bone marrow produces all of our blood components.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco also discovered a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells that makes this happen inside the lung tissue – cells that were incorrectly assumed to mainly reside in bone marrow.

Gee, do you mean to tell me that doctors and scientists didn’t already know everything? Do you mean to tell me that after hundreds of years of medical science, somehow nobody noticed that more blood cells are manufactured in the lungs than in bone marrow?

Say it ain’t so… that doctors don’t know everything and might still have something to learn about anatomy, physiology and biology!

Just in case you don’t believe Science Alert, Science Daily also covers the story at this link:

Using video microscopy in the living mouse lung, UC San Francisco scientists have revealed that the lungs play a previously unrecognized role in blood production. As reported online March 22, 2017 in Nature, the researchers found that the lungs produced more than half of the platelets — blood components required for the clotting that stanches bleeding — in the mouse circulation. In another surprise finding, the scientists also identified a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells capable of restoring blood production when the stem cells of the bone marrow, previously thought to be the principal site of blood production, are depleted.

#3) TRUE or FALSE: At over 400 ppm, carbon dioxide levels are now the highest they’ve ever been on our planet

Correct answer: FALSE

This question trips up the younger “scientists” — if you can even call them that — nearly all of whom have been wildly indoctrinated by the climate change science hoax into thinking that 400 ppm of CO2 is a global emergency that will spell doom for humankind.

The entire climate change narrative is just pseudoscience being pushed onto gullible scientists who believe anything if it’s stated to them by an apparent “authority.” Most status quo scientists, it turns out, are obedient conformists who have long lost any real ability to think for themselves. So they go along with the most absurdly false ideas like believing that CO is a “pollutant” when, in reality, it’s the molecule of life for food-producing plants, rain forests and even greenhouse plant production. Plants across the planet are, in reality, starving for CO2. Without CO2, we would all die and the global food web would immediately collapse.

The following charts show you something that most climate change proponents have simply never seen: The true history of CO2 level variation and global temperature variation throughout Earth’s known history.

This first chart reveals how atmospheric CO2 was at nearly 7000 ppm in the Cambrian period, over 4000 ppb during the Devonian period, over 2500 ppm during the Jurassic period and has plummeted to nearly its lowest point in Earth’s history today, at around 400 ppm.

At the same time, Earth’s average global temperature has gone through several cycles, varying roughly from 12 C to 22 C, and it currently stands at nearly its lowest average point in Earth’s history. (You can find dozens of different charts depicting the same data, by the way. This isn’t some secret archive of temperature and CO2 data.)

 

Yet when climate change alarmists show us charts that claim to show a catastrophic rise in CO2 levels, they zoom in to the scale of just a few centuries, wildly exaggerating a short-term rise to make it look like a catastrophic level of CO2 that’s never been witnessed before. Look at this chart, for example, from GSU.edu:

 

Source: GSU.edu

Notice anything fishy about the chart? While the age of planet Earth is billions of years, this chart only shows you 260 years of CO2 data. It also cuts off the entire Y axis of the chart below 270 ppm. That’s sheer intellectual dishonesty, because anyone can take any snippet of Earth’s temperature data and zoom in to create whatever visual effect they want. Using all the same data, I could show you a chart depicting a catastrophic global cooling emergency that looks just as visually convincing. It all comes down to which part of the data set you’re zooming in on.

When climate charts are artificially zoomed in to show you just the window of time they want you to see — without the greater context of the history of CO2 — that’s not science. It’s pseudoscience, which is exactly what “climate change” is based on.

Now, to demonstrate the kind of truly delusional thinking currently exercised by climate change “scientists” — if you can even call them that — I’m including a mind-blowing chart by John Englander, a “sea level rise risk” expert consultant.

This chart, which also shows the history of CO2 levels throughout hundreds of millions of years of Earth’s history, disagrees slightly from the chart shown above, but it also shows the same general trend of very high CO2 in Earth’s past — 5000 ppm over 500 million years ago — plummeting to the lowest point on the chart, which is the 400 ppm of CO2 we have in the atmosphere today.

Now, in an amazing leap of delusional pseudoscience, Englander draws a completely arbitrary vertical burst of rising CO2 from the present point, accompanied by a provocative question, “Near Future Extinction?”

The intellectual dishonesty demonstrated here is not merely astonishing, but widely shared across the delusional “climate change” pseudoscience community, which has more in common with the Flat Earth Society than legitimate science. Englander’s painful attempt at making a point is that CO2 peaks have been temporally associated with mass extinction events, yet he points to quite literally the LOWEST point on the entire chart — the present CO2 level of 400 ppm — and magically cites that point as somehow being a “peak” that might lead to mass extinction. The total absence of logic and reason in this magical “extinction leap” is just staggering, yet it’s also quite indicative of the delusional thinking that’s commonplace among climate change pseudoscientists:

 

Source: http://www.johnenglander.net

But wait, there’s more!

Even if you focus the timeline to more recent millennia, it turns out that global temperature variation has experienced a roller coaster ride of peaks and valleys long before the combustion engine ever came along.

This temperature variation chart, created by climatologist Cliff Harris and meteorologist Randy Mann, shows temperature variations from roughly 2500 B.C. to present day. In this chart, you can see that the average global temperature was far warmer in 1100 B.C. than it is today. It also shows that the 1600s saw a very cold period — a “Little Ice Age” — which was temporally correlated with 90 large volcanic eruptions.

The conclusion from the chart is that “whenever solar radiation has DECREASED and volcanic activity has INCREASED, global temperatures suddenly plummet…”

 

When you’re looking at average global temperatures, by the way, it helps to have a wider view of Earth’s temperature history, so here’s a chart showing the Greenland Ice Core temperature data over the last 10,000 years:

 

Source: JoanneNova.com.au

As you can see from this “big picture” point of view, Greenland’s present average temperature is on the low side of this 10,000-year trend, which saw far higher temperatures just 3300 years ago. But dishonest climate change scare mongers zoom into this chart to show just the short-term rise on the lower right-hand corner of this chart. If you zoom in enough, you can make it look like Earth is undergoing a temperature apocalypse. But in reality, we’re actually still on the low side of the temperature scale.

Now, according to the pseudoscience of the climate change cultists, rising CO2 causes rising average global temperatures. This is an assumed matter of faith across the entire climate change narrative, it turns out. Because when you actually look at Earth’s history in terms of CO2 levels vs. temperature, there is virtually no meaningful causation correlation:

 

The conclusion from all this? First off, at just barely over 400 ppm, the current CO2 level in Earth’s atmosphere is, without question, close to the lowest it’s ever been in the history of the planet. There is no debate on this point, as even the climatologists have to admit that CO2 levels have been wildly higher in the past. Yet most “scientists” today ridiculously believe that CO2 has risen to alarming, historically high levels that are about to doom the planet. You hear this in the climate doom and gloom in the New York Times, Washington Post and other pseudoscience propaganda publishers.

Nearly everything that modern-day “scientists” are taught about climate change is factually false and lacking the full context of historical data which encompass CO2 and temperature trends throughout Earth’s history. The fact that both CO2 and average global temperatures were both much, much higher millions of years before modern civilization even existed is obvious proof that CO2 and temperature are driven by far more powerful forces than humankind alone. This is irrefutable unless someone abandons logic entirely.

#4) TRUE or FALSE: Mercury is extremely toxic in the environment but totally safe when injected into children via vaccines.

Correct answer: FALSE.

Again, nearly all status quo scientists fail this answer because they’ve been ridiculously told that methylmercury — usually the kind found in the environment — is extremely toxic, while ethylmercury — the form used in vaccines — is somehow inert and completely safe.

In truth, all forms of mercury are toxic to human biology, including organic, inorganic, elemental and mercury compounds. To believe that certain forms of mercury are harmless when injected into the human body is to exercise a kind of mercury denialism that, again, smacks of Flat Earth Syndrome.

If you know anything about mercury — and I know quite a lot about detecting mercury via ICP-MS instrumentation in the lab — you know that its electron orbital structure makes it extremely reactive to certain biological molecules. Although considered a “heavy metal,” its unique atomic structure and chemical properties allow it to easily replace or even displace nutritional elements in the body (such as zinc) while permeating tissues and crossing the blood-brain barrier where mercury damages neurological tissue.

One of the key CDC “researchers” who conducted so-called “scientific” research to prove that Thimerosal (the mercury preservative) is safe in vaccines is an international fugitive from justice named Poul Thorsen, who worked as part of the “vaccine deep state” that’s steeped in quack science and financial fraud. Working closely with the CDC and Emory University, Thorsen fabricated science studies, then eventually fled the country with millions of dollars in government research money. He remains at large to this day, and his studies are still widely cited by pro-vaccine mercury zealots who claim this international criminal can be trusted when it comes to his mercury science.

See the full web of CDC vaccine fraud in this PDF infographic from Natural News.

As further evidence of the mercury vaccine fraud that’s endemic to the scientific status quo, a science paper published in BioMed Research International found that over 165 scientific studies have found Thimerosal (mercury) to be harmful to human biology.

That same study also found “evidence of malfeasance” (i.e. science fraud) in the studies that claimed Thimerosal was safe to inject into children.

Robert F. Kennedy’s World Mercury Project “Thimerosal Myths Debunked” page gives a more detailed history of mercury in vaccines, including the little-known fact that mercury was NOT removed from all vaccines in the United States as it falsely claimed by so-called “doctors” who seem to know nothing about what’s really in vaccines. (Vaccines also contain human fetal cell lines and even African Green Monkey kidney cells, as is openly admitted by the CDC itself.)

In my ISO-accredited laboratory, which is audited every year for international accreditation, I have personally tested flu shots and found them to contain over 50,000 ppb of mercury, which is consistent with the known dose of 25 mcg of mercury administered at 0.5 mL per dose.

The EPA’s limit of mercury in public drinking water is 2 ppb, meaning that flu shots are injecting children (and pregnant women) with 25,000 times higher mercury concentrations than the legal limit of mercury in water set by the EPA. Even mercury in tuna fish — which has environmentalists extremely alarmed — is typically just 250 ppb.

#5) TRUE OR FALSE: Type-2 diabetes can be reversed and cured

Correct answer: TRUE

For decades, holistic health pioneers such as Dr. Gabriel Cousens have been reversing type-2 diabetes through diet alone. (He promotes a vegan diet based on a lot of juicing.)

Natural News has helped teach hundreds of thousands of type-2 diabetes sufferers how to reverse diabetes over the last 15 years, with countless testimonials sent to us by former disease sufferers who are now 100% cured and no longer need any insulin or medication whatsoever.

I even reversed by own borderline diabetes over two decades ago through simple changes in food and exercise.

Yet, to this very day, most doctors and “scientists” — if you can even call them that, again — insist that type-2 diabetes can’t be reversed and can only be “treated” with — guess what? — expensive patented medications that enrich the profits of Big Pharma.

Now, nearly two decades after pioneering holistic health doctors began teaching people how to reverse type-2 diabetes with a very high success rate, mainstream science now admits type-2 diabetes can be reversed.

Once again following in the footsteps of holistic nutrition pioneers like Natural News, Science Daily now covers the results of a peer-reviewed clinical trial originally published in The Endocrine Society.

Entitled, “Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes,” the article reveals how “Intervention induced several months of remission in up to 40 percent of clinical trial participant.”

Note carefully that, in accordance with the delusional myth of the medical status, Science Daily dares only describe the reversal of diabetes as a “remission” — that’s code for “any cure that medicine can’t explain.” But because type-2 diabetes is not an infection, a superbug, a parasite or a genetic mutation disorder, its entire definition rests on the identification of metabolic symptoms. When those symptoms are gone, the diagnosis is also gone. No symptoms means no diabetes, by definition, as the “disease” is simply a medical label assigned to an observable set of symptoms (such as cellular resistance to insulin, which can be readily reversed through exercise and nutrition).

So here we have another case where mainstream science is once again about 15 years behind the pioneering holistic health doctors who have been reversing type-2 diabetes for decades… often with a far higher success rate than the 40% cited in this science article. The reversals achieved through holistic health interventions are also permanent reversals of type-2 diabetes, not temporary “remissions.”

I have personally witnessed type-2 diabetes being 100% reversed in just four days at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona. Literally in just four days on the Dr. Cousens protocol, individuals who were told they were insulin dependent for life were able to get completely off all insulin forever. No medication needed ever again. This was all accomplished with nothing more than food, nutrition, meditation, simple walking exercise and strategic calorie restriction. Astonishingly, most doctors are still completely ignorant of all this, remaining nutritionally illiterate and hopelessly incompetent when it comes to helping patients overcome type-2 diabetes.

Why isn’t this diabetes cure celebrated by the entire medical community? For all the obvious reasons, of course: Treating diabetes is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and all the corporations that profit from disease have no financial incentive to lose customers by teaching people how to cure their own disease without expensive chemical medications.

Vitamin C can also treat cancer stem cells

In addition to most scientists and doctors having no clue that type-2 diabetes can be reversed and cured using simple nutritional interventions, they also have no clue whatsoever that Vitamin C has been scientifically found to halt the growth of cancer stem cells, even working 1000% better than a common cancer drug.

Similar nutritional ignorance is found among doctors and scientists when it comes to the cancer reversal potential of vitamin D, or the anti-cancer effects of selenium, or even the ability of silica-rich mineral water to eliminate aluminum from the body and protect the brain from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The weaker the “science,” the more aggressively people are attacked for questioning it

The primary assertion of today’s arrogant “scientists” is rooted in absurdity: It is the assertion that science alone has a unique and divine monopoly over facts, truth and knowledge. Under the cover of that delusion, the label of “science” is deployed to demand immunity against all questioning or skepticism, asserting that anything backed by “science” is beyond reproach.

A few centuries ago, the same assertion was demanded by the Catholic Church, which insisted that its beliefs were unassailable and rooted in divine truth (a truth, by the way, which only the High Priests could access, must like the high priests of scientism today). Anyone who questioned the Church was slandered and labeled a heretic. Yet today, “science” has taken over the role of the Church, demanding the same faith-based obedience to its twisted dogma while simultaneously discrediting and destroying anyone who dare question a single assumption of the “Church of Science.”

Just like the high priests of the Church, today’s arrogant status quo scientists claim that only they can access, interpret or gauge scientific truth, insisting that non-scientists have no right to even engage in discussions of science (or questioning science, an even more dire sin). Their ridiculous claim that “science is self-correcting” ignores the simple truth that any self-correcting system must embrace critical questions that challenge the current dogma… and modern science honors no such process, instead insisting that its truth is absolute and therefore can never be questioned. (Just try asking a vaccine pusher why they think injecting children with mercury is somehow okay, and you’ll get an earful of raving mad dogma in response.)

In effect, “Science” has become what the Church used to be: A self-reinforcing cabal of cultist dogmas parading around as absolute truth. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to be found in science — I use science myself in my environmental laboratory projects such as alerting to the world to high levels of lead in rice protein — but the use of the “science” label as a weapon to stifle dissent, silence skeptics and demand absolute obedience to conformist dogma is, at its core, no different from the intellectual tyranny of the once-dominant Catholic Church which absurdly claimed a monopoly on truth.

As this science quiz easily shows, even those who consider themselves to be informed adherents to science are often shockingly ignorant of reality. Their ideas on physics, medicine, chemistry and even cosmology can only be considered rudimentary at best — or even desperately conformist and therefore contradictory to the very tenants of legitimate science. The gaps in human knowledge over the recognized sciences are far larger than the areas filled in with conclusive knowledge. The total sum of human knowledge possessed today by the sciences is inconsequential compared to that which has yet to be learned, and in many ways, modern “scientists” are behaving in self-deluded patterns of thought that can be more accurately described as “scientific mysticism,” where mystical truths are “believed” as a matter of faith, then labeled “science” in an attempt to lend them credibility.

When modern scientists insist they already know everything there is to know about a given topic — we hear this in the “science is settled” fallacy — you know it isn’t really science at all.

The Health Ranger threatens the entire scientific establishment with a grassroots, people-based scientific REVOLUTION

As final proof of the dogma behind the scientific status quo today, bear in mind that I alone am routinely named the “most anti-science person on the internet” (by the negative P.R. firms hired by biotech companies to discredit grassroots scientists) and yet I engage in way-beyond-PhD-level science on a daily basis, developing new methods for mass spec analyses of food, dietary supplements and environmental samples for heavy metals, nutritive elements, pesticides, phytochemicals and more. My laboratory is internationally accredited far beyond the accreditation of most university labs, and I have singlehandedly analyzed and published a paper on the heavy metals analysis of over 600 municipal water samples from across the United States. Read my science paper in the Natural Science Journal at this link, which describes the ICP-MS analysis of these water samples.

I also pioneered a breakthrough LC/MS-TOF method for the quantitative analysis of cannabinoids with about about 1,000 times greater precision than the UV-DAD method currently used across the cannabis industry. You can read my CBD analysis method description at this link from CWC Labs, my privately owned independent laboratory.

By the way, just today I achieved a breakthrough in liquid handling automation systems which transforms about two months of calibration work into a 60-second test to almost instantly derive the liquid coefficient for extremely precise remote arm pippetting (with accuracy typically within +/- one microliter). I’ve recorded a podcast on that breakthrough and will be sharing that soon. It might even be turned into another published science paper to teach other scientists across the country how to more efficiently run liquid handling automation robot systems.

Stay informed on all my science innovations, published science papers, science breakthroughs and censored science documentaries at Natural News.

Recommended reading: Get the book Science Set Free by Rupert Sheldrake. It will forever wake you up to the truth about the fictions parading around as status quo “science” in our corporate-controlled world.
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As for the risks living in Israel with Hamas, Fatah (PA) and the other crazies;

To quote General George S. Patton

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. “

 “You (the Arabs) have a choice , The peace of prosperity or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours”

The Israel-Palestinian Peace Process Has Been a Massive Charade

So long as Palestinian rejectionism runs rampant, debates about one-, two-, and three-state solutions are for naught.

Daniel Pipes April 10 2017
About the author
Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum.


Daniel Polisar of Shalem College in Jerusalem shook the debate over Palestinian-Israeli relations in November 2015 with his essay, “What Do Palestinians Want?” In it, having studied 330 polls to “understand the perspective of everyday Palestinians” toward Israel, Israelis, Jews, and the utility of violence against them, he found that Palestinian attackers are “venerated” by their society—with all that that implies.He’s done it again with “Do Palestinians Want a Two-State Solution?” This time, he pored over some 400 opinion polls of Palestinian views to find consistency among seemingly contradictory evidence on the topic of ways to resolve the conflict with Israel. From this confusing bulk, Polisar convincingly establishes that Palestinians collectively hold three related views of Israel: it has no historical or moral claim to exist, it is inherently rapacious and expansionist, and it is doomed to extinction. In combination, these attitudes explain and justify the widespread Palestinian demand for a state from “the river to the sea,” the grand Palestine of their maps that erases Israel.

With this analysis, Polisar has elegantly dissected the phenomenon that I call Palestinian rejectionism. That’s the policy first implemented by the monstrous mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, in 1921 and consistently followed over the next near-century. Rejectionism demands that Palestinians (and beyond them, Arabs and Muslims) repudiate every aspect of Zionism: deny Jewish ties to the land of Israel, fight Jewish ownership of that land, refuse to recognize Jewish political power, refuse to trade with Zionists, murder Zionists where possible, and ally with any foreign power, including Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, to eradicate Zionism.

The continuities are striking. All major Palestinian leaders—Amin al-Husseini, Ahmad al-Shukeiri, Yasir Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and Yahya Sinwar (the new leader of Hamas in Gaza)—have made eliminating the Zionist presence their only goal. Yes, for tactical reasons, they occasionally compromised, most notably in the Oslo Accords of 1993, but then they reversed these exceptions as soon as possible.

In other words, the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” that began in 1989 has been a massive charade. As Israelis earnestly debated making “painful concessions,” their Palestinian counterparts issued promises they had had no intention of fulfilling, something Arafat had the gall publicly to signal to his constituency even as he signed the Oslo Accords, and many times subsequently.

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April 7, 2017
by Steven Stotsky
Quantifying the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’s Importance to Middle East Turmoil

More Lonely, Fewer ‘Friends’, Less Sex – Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation?

More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis…

The Atlantic’s Jean Twenge asks the most crucial question of our age“have smartphones destroyed a generation?”

Unlike the teens of my generation, who might have spent an evening tying up the family landline with gossip, [teens today] talk on Snapchat, the smartphone app that allows users to send pictures and videos that quickly disappear. They make sure to keep up their Snapstreaks, which show how many days in a row they have Snapchatted with each other. Sometimes they save screenshots of particularly ridiculous pictures of friends. “It’s good blackmail,” Athena said. (Because she’s a minor, I’m not using her real name.) She told me she’d spent most of the summer hanging out alone in her room with her phone. That’s just the way her generation is, she said. “We didn’t have a choice to know any life without iPads or iPhones. I think we like our phones more than we like actual people.”

I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a generation appear gradually, and along a continuum. Beliefs and behaviors that were already rising simply continue to do so. Millennials, for instance, are a highly individualistic generation, but individualism had been increasing since the Baby Boomers turned on, tuned in, and dropped out. I had grown accustomed to line graphs of trends that looked like modest hills and valleys. Then I began studying Athena’s generation.

Around 2012, I noticed abrupt shifts in teen behaviors and emotional states. The gentle slopes of the line graphs became steep mountains and sheer cliffs, and many of the distinctive characteristics of the Millennial generation began to disappear. In all my analyses of generational data – some reaching back to the 1930s – I had never seen anything like it.

What happened in 2012 to cause such dramatic shifts in behavior? It was after the Great Recession, which officially lasted from 2007 to 2009 and had a starker effect on Millennials trying to find a place in a sputtering economy. But it was exactly the moment when the proportion of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50 percent.

The more I pored over yearly surveys of teen attitudes and behaviors, and the more I talked with young people like Athena, the clearer it became that theirs is a generation shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media. I call them iGen. Born between 1995 and 2012, members of this generation are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet.

More comfortable in their bedrooms than in a car or at a party, today’s teens are physically safer than teens have ever been. They’re markedly less likely to get into a car accident and, having less of a taste for alcohol than their predecessors, are less susceptible to drinking’s attendant ills.

Psychologically, however, they are more vulnerable than Millennials were: Rates of teen depression and suicide have skyrocketed since 2011. It’s not an exaggeration to describe iGen as being on the brink of the worst mental-health crisis in decades. Much of this deterioration can be traced to their phones.

There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives – and making them seriously unhappy.

You might expect that teens spend so much time in these new spaces because it makes them happy, but most data suggest that it does not. The Monitoring the Future survey, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and designed to be nationally representative, has asked 12th-graders more than 1,000 questions every year since 1975 and queried eighth- and 10th-graders since 1991. The survey asks teens how happy they are and also how much of their leisure time they spend on various activities, including nonscreen activities such as in-person social interaction and exercise, and, in recent years, screen activities such as using social media, texting, and browsing the web. The results could not be clearer: Teens who spend more time than average on screen activities are more likely to be unhappy, and those who spend more time than average on nonscreen activities are more likely to be happy.

There’s not a single exception. All screen activities are linked to less happiness, and all nonscreen activities are linked to more happiness. Eighth-graders who spend 10 or more hours a week on social media are 56 percent more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to social media.

The allure of independence, so powerful to previous generations, holds less sway over today’s teens, who are less likely to leave the house without their parents. The shift is stunning: 12th-graders in 2015 were going out less often than eighth-graders did as recently as 2009.

Today’s teens are also less likely to date. The initial stage of courtship, which Gen Xers called “liking” (as in “Ooh, he likes you!”), kids now call “talking”—an ironic choice for a generation that prefers texting to actual conversation. After two teens have “talked” for a while, they might start dating. But only about 56 percent of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates; for Boomers and Gen Xers, the number was about 85 percent.

The decline in dating tracks with a decline in sexual activity. The drop is the sharpest for ninth-graders, among whom the number of sexually active teens has been cut by almost 40 percent since 1991.

Even driving, a symbol of adolescent freedom inscribed in American popular culture, has lost its appeal for today’s teens. Nearly all Boomer high-school students had their driver’s license by the spring of their senior year; more than one in four teens today still lack one at the end of high school. For some, Mom and Dad are such good chauffeurs that there’s no urgent need to drive. “My parents drove me everywhere and never complained, so I always had rides,” a 21-year-old student in San Diego told me. “I didn’t get my license until my mom told me I had to because she could not keep driving me to school.”

The number of eighth-graders who work for pay has been cut in half. These declines accelerated during the Great Recession, but teen employment has not bounced back, even though job availability has.

At the generational level, when teens spend more time on smartphones and less time on in-person social interactions, loneliness is more common.

So is depression. Once again, the effect of screen activities is unmistakable: The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression.

Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35 percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide, such as making a suicide plan. Since 2007, the homicide rate among teens has declined, but the suicide rate has increased. In 2011, for the first time in 24 years, the teen suicide rate was higher than the teen homicide rate.

This trend has been especially steep among girls. Forty-eight percent more girls said they often felt left out in 2015 than in 2010, compared with 27 percent more boys. Girls use social media more often, giving them additional opportunities to feel excluded and lonely when they see their friends or classmates getting together without them. Social media levy a psychic tax on the teen doing the posting as well, as she anxiously awaits the affirmation of comments and likes.

The correlations between depression and smartphone use are strong enough to suggest that more parents should be telling their kids to put down their phone. As the technology writer Nick Bilton has reported, it’s a policy some Silicon Valley executives follow. Even Steve Jobs limited his kids’ use of the devices he brought into the world.

If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey, it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen. Of course, these analyses don’t unequivocally prove that screen time causes unhappiness; it’s possible that unhappy teens spend more time online. But recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness. One study asked college students with a Facebook page to complete short surveys on their phone over the course of two weeks. They’d get a text message with a link five times a day, and report on their mood and how much they’d used Facebook. The more they’d used Facebook, the unhappier they felt, but feeling unhappy did not subsequently lead to more Facebook use.

I realize that restricting technology might be an unrealistic demand to impose on a generation of kids so accustomed to being wired at all times. Prying the phone out of our kids’ hands will be difficult, even more so than the quixotic efforts of my parents’ generation to get their kids to turn off MTV and get some fresh air. But more seems to be at stake in urging teens to use their phone responsibly, and there are benefits to be gained even if all we instill in our children is the importance of moderation. Significant effects on both mental health and sleep time appear after two or more hours a day on electronic devices. The average teen spends about two and a half hours a day on electronic devices. Some mild boundary-setting could keep kids from falling into harmful habits.
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The Finger of  Hashem

Metaphor for Middle East history: Palestinian rioters roll burning tires at Israelis, set own factory on fire

Posted by Monday, February 26, 2018 https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/02/metaphor-for-middle-east-history-palestinian-rioters-roll-burning-tires-at-israelis-set-own-factory-on-fire/

“one flaming tire had other plans and changed direction, rolling directly into a nearby plastics factory”

We probably shouldn’t laugh about this, because there’s some innocent Palestinian plastics factory owner who no longer has a business.

But then again, there’s something about this story that serves as a somewhat humorous metaphor for the Middle East dispute.

Via The Times of Israel, Palestinians Accidentally Burn Down Own Factory:

Palestinian protesters in the West Bank inadvertently burned down a local factory this week while confronting IDF soldiers near the West Bank city of Nablus.

According to Hadashot news, protesters in the Nablus-area village of Beita on Sunday were clashing with IDF soldiers, and rolled burning tires in their direction.

But one flaming tire had other plans and changed direction, rolling directly into a nearby plastics factory.

The building went up in flames and the factory was completely destroyed.

The report said Israeli firefighters arrived at the scene to help Palestinian Authority responders put out the fire.

This appears to be an image of the fire:

The Qusra Now Facebook page has several photos of the fire, which they blame on the Israelis:

 

The Mossad (parody account) is giving its agents the day off after this feat:

Is it possible that the Israelis somehow took control of the tire and made it turn in a different direction?

Well, if they can use lizards, sharks, birds and other assorted animals for spying, how easy would it be to use their famous mind control techniques on a tire?

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Here is what Hatzalah volunteers in Sderot were doing last night while rockets rained down

Zev Stub 09 August 2018 https://www.janglo.net/index.php?option=com_adsmanager&page=display&catid=99&tid=450950#.W2w1NO0yGFI.facebook

Last night, United Hatzalah volunteers, like many of the residents of Sderot and the other towns in the Gaza periphery, were up all night due to a constant barrage of rocket fire from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The rocket fire was meant to kill them, their children and their families. 15 people were injured and dozens more suffered from emotional or psychological shock and distress.

Two of the volunteers who served the communities in and around Gaza in their time of need last night wrote their thoughts on the events that transpired.

United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Yaakov Bar Yochai in Sderot wrote:

It’s just after 7:30 p.m. and I am getting ready to go to a social event at the home of a good friend of mine from work. He lives in the nearby city of Netivot. That is when I hear the first siren wail. The red alert siren sounds and I don’t have time to make it to a protective shelter when a massive explosion erupts from somewhere behind me. It is very clear that the rocket fired from Gaza has hit something in the city and that it exploded very close to my house. I contact United Hatzalah’s National Dispatch and Command Center in Jerusalem and try to gather information about where exactly the rocket exploded. From what they tell me, the rocket exploded the next street down from my home.

I rush over on my ambucycle, and just seconds later I arrive at a scene of total chaos. I see a man bleeding from cuts that he sustained in his arm when pieces of shrapnel from the rocket struck him. When I finish treating him, I see that a number of people are suffering from emotional shock and I begin treating and stabilizing them. From there I am dispatched by the Command Center to another location in the next neighborhood where another rocket exploded after striking a direct hit in the courtyard of a house. I treat more people suffering from shock.

More sirens begin to sound, and I realize that it will likely be a very long night. I jump from location to location, wherever the rockets fall, treating the people who suffered physical and emotional injuries and comforting others who are suffering from stress reactions. I, together with my team of volunteers in the city, spend the entire night treating people. My friend heard what was happening in the city, and understood that I wouldn’t be coming. He tried calling but I was to busy to answer. I sent him a message letting him know that I was okay and that I will speak with him later in the week, but for now, there was work to do.

The night carries on. The rockets continue to fall. The Iron Dome intercepts some, but not nearly enough. Rockets fall, people get hurt, and I rush to the scene to help them. This was the pattern of my night, just like it was a few weeks ago, the last time Hamas decided to fire rockets at us for a day straight, and just like it has been, on and off for the past 12 years.

The clock turns over and suddenly it is 4:10 a.m. on Thursday morning. Where did the time go? I walk into my house in order to sleep for a bit before I have to get up to pray in the morning and then go to work. I don’t even make it to the bedroom, rather I collapse on my sofa.

But our enemies have different plans. Another siren sounds and another rocket falls. They don’t want us to sleep and they don’t want us to work. They want to eradicate us entirely. But I, together with my fellow first responders at United Hatzalah, will do everything we can to make sure that the people who live here are safe and receive the treatment they need when they need it.”

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[To the “Naysayers” who say: “We must do what the Goyim(Nations) want or they will embargo us!”.  Just look at what we went through already, we prospered and grew.]

Remembering the hard times predating the startup nation

Exhibit at a Tel Aviv museum presents the period of rationing and restrictions of Israel’s first decade through rare photos, films, texts, documents.

By Rachel Neiman August 13, 2018, 7:00 am https://www.israel21c.org/remembering-the-hard-times-predating-the-startup-nation/

Under austerity, Israelis stood in line for hours to purchase basic products with ration coupons. Photo credit: GPO

Under austerity, Israelis stood in line for hours to purchase basic products with ration coupons. Photo credit: GPO

This year’s celebrations of the State of Israel’s 70th anniversary have focused justifiably on the startup nation’s great successes. Little has been written about the hardscrabble early years, the post-War of Independence austerity regime of the 1950s, when the newly established nation had no credit line and was on the verge of bankruptcy.

A new exhibition, “The Zionist Side of the Coin,” at the Discount Group’s HerzLilienblum Private Museum in Tel Aviv, examines the economic challenges faced from 1949 to 1959, when newborn Israel enforced a tzena (Hebrew for “austerity”).

Those years of rationing and other economic measures are presented through rare photographs and films, texts and documents.

Sponsored by the Discount Bank Group, the museum covers the Israeli banking sector and Tel Aviv nostalgia, and is fittingly located adjacent to the street where black-market money-changers once plied their trade.

 

“The Zionist Side of the Coin” exhibit presents examples of the locally manufactured goods produced under the aegis of the Ministry of Rationing and Supply. Photo: courtesy

“The Zionist Side of the Coin” exhibit presents examples of the locally manufactured goods produced under the aegis of the Ministry of Rationing and Supply. Photo: courtesy

What were the circumstances that gave rise to such measures? In a paper published by The Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal entitled, “Unexceptional for Once: Austerity and Food Rationing in Israel, 1939–1959,” researcher Guy Seidman describes the economic situation of the young state of Israel as “under exceptional pressure and near financial collapse.”

“As the grueling War of Independence came to its slow end by July 1949, with separate armistice agreements signed with most Arab nations, the country’s recovery was further slowed by an enormous influx of immigrants. It was widely understood that the government would have to declare an economic emergency situation in the country.”

“Given the time pressures and the familiarity with the British austerity scheme enforced before Israel’s establishment, the government chose to continue the use of the mandatory emergency legislation of 1939.”

Under the British Mandate, Seidman points out, “the mandatory legal regulatory scheme put in place in Palestine was part of the food control scheme also put into effect throughout the entire British empire.”

In early 1949, the government established a Ministry of Rationing and Supply, in charge of rationing food, clothing and all essential provisions, and going after black marketeers.

A food controller posted at the market to settle small complaints on the spot. Photo: GPO

A food controller posted at the market to settle small complaints on the spot. Photo: GPO

Life under austerity was not easy. The Ministry of Rationing and Supply created a “basket” of basic products, such as sugar, oil, bread and margarine, which could be purchased only in authorized stores.

Coupon books allocated the type and amount of food and clothes to be consumed. People stood in line for hours to obtain goods — if they were available.

According to local historian David Sela, curator of the wonderful Nostalgia Israel website, the austerity regime “turned every neighborhood grocery store into a government agency because every citizen had to register at the store, after which every family received a ration coupon book.”

People tried to stay on the grocer’s good side; one argument could mean getting a half-loaf of bread instead of a whole one.

In a television interview given during the 2011 butter shortage, Sela told stories about the truly hard times.

“The allocation per person was 1,600 calories per day only. There was a strict directive. They brought in an international expert whose guidelines were: decide how the amount a person could consume each day without starving to death. And the allocation was a half loaf of bread per person, per day, 60 grams of corn, of rice, of legumes, but only 0.75 grams of meat per month.”

An entire industry of ersatz products was developed: chicory tablets replaced coffee, soup cubes instead of chicken soup, powdered eggs and milk instead of the real thing. According to Sela, “There wasn’t any fruit so they manufactured a compote that was reminiscent of the taste of fruit. A factory was set up precisely for this purpose.”

The ministry also determined import volume, the supply of raw materials and goods to trade and industry, and managed agricultural and industrial production and export. The goal was to strengthen local production and export, reduce and perhaps even prevent the state’s dependence on foreign imports, and reduce its dependence on foreign currency.

 

In 1949, the government established a Ministry of Rationing and Supply. Photo credit: The Israel Internet Association via PikiWiki

In 1949, the government established a Ministry of Rationing and Supply. Photo credit: The Israel Internet Association via PikiWiki

This led the ministry to expand the basket of basic products to include utilitarian furniture, clothing and footwear – all of which could be purchased if one had enough coupons.

To combat profiteering, the Ministry of Rationing and Supply implemented strict enforcement measures, a system of inspectors and special courts, a propaganda campaign, and assistance from the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet) to search vehicles and confiscate illegally procured goods.

Sela: “A black market developed in which you could buy things under the table. Whoever had a cousin or a relative living on a kibbutz was set for life. ‘Children of the cream’ — those were the kibbutzniks. The expression came into being because if you were a kibbutznik then you had access to cream.”

 

Golda Meir with children in Israel, 1950. Photo by Teddy Brenner

Golda Meir with children in Israel, 1950. Photo by Teddy Brenner

Throughout the austerity period, unemployment was high and inflation grew. On the positive, side, austerity enabled the state to preserve an adequate standard of living while at the same time integrate and resettle more than 700,000 Jewish refugees from Europe and the Arab world.

Seidman: “Gradually, as the economic situation improved and the emergency scheme’s failings began to outweigh its benefits, public pressure brought about the dissolution of the austerity regime. The Rationing and [Supply] Ministry was disbanded in late 1950, and the responsibility for rationing was transferred to other government ministries. From 1952 on [when the reparations agreement with Germany was signed], the austerity regime was gradually rolled back. By 1959 the Israeli government decided to formally end the austerity regime entirely.”

 

Items displayed in “The Zionist Side of the Coin” exhibit at the HerzLilienblum Museum in Tel Aviv. Photo: courtesy

Items displayed in “The Zionist Side of the Coin” exhibit at the HerzLilienblum Museum in Tel Aviv. Photo: courtesy

The HerzLilienblum Museum exhibit stresses the amazing nation-building efforts conducted during those years: loans were secured for infrastructure development (electric and other power stations, roadwork, communications systems, etc.), and the foundations of social legislation were laid (laws governing national insurance, work hours, maternity leave and more).

Another part of the exhibit is devoted to the creation of Israel’s currency. In February 1948, the British cut off the Israeli pound from the pound sterling market – a move that could have created monetary uncertainty. In a brave move — given that Israel’s independence had not yet been declared — the monetary infrastructure for the future state was created, and the Anglo-Palestine Bank (later renamed Bank Leumi) issued the new Israeli pound (also called “lira”).

There are also examples of the locally manufactured goods produced under the aegis of the Ministry of Rationing and Supply: school notebooks, “Flit” mosquito sprayers, washboards, and the ubiquitous Wonder Pot, which served as an all-purpose stovetop oven for all new immigrants.

Their nostalgic charm aside, the poverty of these items reinforces the exhibit’s message about the social and economic phenomenon that, only 70 years on, is a thriving, modern state of Israel.

Discount Group – HerzLilienblum Private Museum is located at the corner of Herzl and Lilienblum streets in Tel Aviv. Visits by appointment. For information, click here.

 

[Remeber this is Anti-Semitism]

Beyond Charlottesville from Canary Mission on Vimeo.

Why Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism

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The revolution that’s about to transform blood testing

Forget labs and microscopes: 3 Israeli startups aim to disrupt the field of blood testing using advanced technologies that give on-the-spot results.

By Abigail Klein Leichman August 13, 2018, 7:00 am https://www.israel21c.org/the-revolution-thats-about-to-transform-blood-testing/

 

Photo by Aleksandra Gigowska/Shutterstock.com

The way blood-cell counts and diagnostic blood tests are done hasn’t changed in years: Your blood gets drawn into one vial for each type of test and sent to a lab, where technicians prepare slides from each samples and examine them under a microscope. Results arrive in hours or days – and then only if you’re in a place with the necessary infrastructure.

Here ISRAEL21c takes a look at three Israeli startups aiming to revolutionize and democratize how blood tests are done.

RevDx by Engineering for All (EfA)

 

EfA Technologies won The Pears Challenge eHealth Venture competition in March 2018. Photo: courtesy

Engineering for All (EfA) is developing a handheld programmable device that performs automated blood analysis and diagnostics at the point of care.

RevDx (Revolution Diagnostics) is meant for anyplace without reliable access to a lab, electricity or Internet connection, says founder Yoel Ezra, former chief commander of an IDF technological unit.

The digital platform — combining opto-mechanics, electrochemistry and bioengineering technologies — will initially be programmed to do a blood count and diagnose malaria, two major identified needs. Future applications could support additional blood and urine analyses.

 

“My vision is that in a few years our product will be an essential tool in every healthcare worker’s bag for home visits, emergencies, point-of-care, remote locations and more,” Ezra tells ISRAEL21c.

The prototype RevDx handheld blood-test lab. Photo courtesy of EfA

A Pears Challenge 2017 Fellow, EfA was part of an Israeli startup delegation to India in September 2017 and won first prize in the eHealth Venture competition in March this year.

The startup also won first prize at the TechForGood Scaling SocialTech competition (November 2017) and at the digital health startup contest staged by Ernst Young and IBM in January. EfA also presented at Global Startup Talent@Taipei 2018 in June.

“We have received inquiries from countries such as Dubai, India, Ivory Coast, Portugal, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nigeria,” says Ezra, who is talking to potential buyers and investors in both developed and developing countries. “There obviously is interest and a real need for high-quality, affordable, accessible lab tests.”

Based in Caesarea, EfA was cofounded in 2016 with Eli Mor and received a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority. Its medical adviser is Dr. Ami Neuberger, an infectious disease specialist at Haifa’s Rambam Health Care Campus. Ezra expects RevDx to be on the market in about two years.

“We are looking for funding to continue development of the prototype,” says Ezra. “Then we will do a field pilot project followed by clinical studies.”

When users reach a critical mass, EfA plans to offer real-time mapping of diseases to support epidemiological surveillance, outbreak control, pharmaceutical research and more.

For more information, click here.

Sonorapy

Sonorapy is developing a technology to replace standard diagnostic blood tests with a noninvasive soundwave diagnostic tool to detect pathogens (viruses or bacteria) from a single blood sample.

“Our product is a one-of-a-kind sensor that sends very high-frequency soundwaves into an organism and listens to the acoustic sounds resonating back. Each pathogen is known to have a unique sound signature but there was never a machine capable of reading them,” explains cofounder Noemie Alliel.

A unique algorithm will identify the pathogen using a massive database of harmonic resonance peaks for each disease. In seconds, easy-to-read test results will be available at the point of care.

Sonorapy’s device theoretically could even scan the patient’s body rather than a blood sample, making the diagnostic process 100 percent noninvasive.

 

Sonorapy’s device identifies pathogens by analyzing soundwaves. Photo: courtesy

The concept came from two aerospace engineers at Northrop Grumman in California, who met Alliel in flight school. She’s based in Tel Aviv while they’re in Los Angeles.

Following advice from experts, mentors and potential investors, Alliel and cofounder Robert Del Rio have decided to start by targeting the biodefense and epidemiology sectors.

“Infectious diseases are spreading more rapidly than ever before, and the Western world is concerned,” says Alliel.

“Troops on the field could be exposed to biological agents and it’s hard to diagnose there just based on symptoms. Current technologies compromise specificity, speed or cost. The Holy Grail is a solution that offers all three, and that’s what we are working on. This will disrupt the industry when it hits the market.”

Sonorapy was one of six Israeli startups handpicked by the US State Department and White House for the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in California. It also took part in the BioStars accelerator run by Panacea Innovation in Oxford.

The founders still have a lot of R&D to do before making a proof of concept and raising money. They’re speeding up the process through partnerships with Israeli, British and American academic institutions. Alliel estimates the POC could be ready within six months after Sonorapy receives funding.

“Our goal is to get the same or better accuracy than if you send the blood samples to a lab,” she says.

For more information, click here.

Sight Diagnostics

Sight Diagnostics of Tel Aviv recently launched OLO, an AI-based blood diagnostics device that does lab-quality complete blood count (CBC) tests from finger prick samples at the point of care.

The OurCrowd portfolio company completed a 250-person clinical trial at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, leading to CE certification for OLO in the European Union.

CBC is the most common medical blood diagnostics test but it’s typically performed at a central lab instead of at the POC (doctor’s office or clinic), and results aren’t immediate.

Sight’s patented process for “digitizing” the blood sample into a set of specifically colored microscope images begins with placing the sample on a pocket-sized test cartridge and inserting it into the system. OLO then applies proprietary machine-vision algorithms to these images to analyze 19 CBC parameters. Results are delivered in just 10 minutes.

“The technology to provide full-spectrum analysis with only a finger prick of blood is seen by many as a holy grail in this space, and it’s no secret that others have tried,” said CEO Yossi Pollak, who cofounded Sight Diagnostics in 2010.

“After implementing our malaria-detection technology in India and several African countries and exceeding expectations in multiple clinical trials, we were encouraged to explore our technology’s ability to enter the $50 billion market of CBC testing.”

Sight has started US clinical trials to study OLO’s clinical performance and obtain FDA approval, with sites at Boston Children’s Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

“Previous blood analyzers aimed at in-office testing have involved clinical compromises and are difficult to operate or maintain,” said Dr. Carlo Brugnara, director of the hematology lab at Boston Children’s Hospital and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. “OLO has the potential to deliver on the promise of accurate, comprehensive blood testing at the doctor’s office, even with a finger prick sample.”

For more information, click here.

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The New Social Media: Alternatives To Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, And Other Big Tech Platforms

by Tyler Durden Tue, 10/23/2018 – 18:05 https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-23/new-social-media-alternatives-facebook-youtube-twitter-and-other-big-tech-platforms

Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

Lately, I’ve written a lot about the alternative media purge and how Big Tech social media platforms are attempting to control the narrative, the elections, and public perception through censorship and financial blacklisting. Lots of people are ready to leave websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for less-censored pastures. But what are the social media alternatives that are currently available?

Here are some social media alternatives to check out.

Before we get into the alternatives, please understand that all of them will start small. None of them will be able to take on Big Tech without a lot of help and support. We’ve gotten used to free social media because the companies with whom we’ve dealt have virtually raped us, reading our so-called “private” messages, and pillaging our date to sell to the highest bidders. So really, it isn’t that free after all.

You probably won’t find your parents, your best friend from kindergarten, and your Aunt Suzie on these platforms – not yet, anyway. But what you WILL be able to do is speak without fear of censorship. You’ll be able to find your favorite alternative media sources there and find answers that simply aren’t supported by the mainstream.

The only way to change this dystopian atmosphere is to actually make changes ourselves. Go where the freedom is!

MeWe

MeWe calls themselves The Next-Gen Social Network. They raised $4.8 million and launched back in 2016 to take on Facebook and Twitter. They’re about 6 million members strong so far and Mark Weinstein, the founder, plans for it to be 500 million by 2022.

“In the future, MeWe will also revolutionize social media with decentralization, which will render Facebook’s spying and tracking data model completely obsolete,” Weinstein added, a comment that suggests he is indeed trying to replace Facebook. “Awareness around the world has never been higher regarding news feed manipulation and privacy infractions. Government regulations will never truly interfere with Facebook’s data collection model, evidenced in both California’s new 2020 privacy rules and Europe’s GDPR. But the free market can — and MeWe is here giving people great communication technology in a true multi-feature platform, with none of Facebook’s BS.” (source)

Go here to get a MeWe account.

Gab.ai

Gab.ai is a platform that is similar to Twitter. You have 300 characters with which to make your point. It has been called the Alt-Right’s social media alternative and although Gab itself doesn’t censor its users, Microsoft has threatened to take them down due to “hate speech.” A lot of folks who got banned, shadowbanned, or censored by Twitter are there.

Gab founder Andrew Torba feels that they aren’t being portrayed honestly in the media.

We survived a relentless and coordinated smear campaign by the dishonest mainstream media without any outside funding from advertisers or venture capitalists. Our community will continue to thrive and grow thanks to individuals from around the world who believe in putting people and free speech above politically correct corporate agendas.

Gab has always and will always be powered by you, The People. Gab is not just a social network, it’s a social movement. (source)

With any social network, what you see in your feed will depend on who your friends are and who you follow.

You can join Gab here.

Real.Video (Brighteon)

Real.Video was started by Mike Adams of Natural News in response to mass deplatforming on YouTube.

This is the YouTube alternative to give voices and free speech to those who are being systematically targeted and censored by YouTube, Facebook, Google, and Twitter for essentially being a pro-Liberty person, standing up for America, standing up for the Bill of Rights or just basic human rights for that matter. (source)

Adams would know about censorship firsthand, since last year, Google delisted his site, Natural News, from its search engine results.

Real.Video is in the process of changing its name to Brighteon.com and hosts numerous videos that were banned by Twitter. It’s still in the developmental stages, so there’s an occasional glitch but thus far it has been a relatively smooth user experience.

Check out Real.Video/Brighteon here.

Mastodon

Another budding network is Mastodon, which has the tagline “Giving social media back to you.” It’s a free, open-source network, which means that developers can contribute to it because its design is publicly accessible.

Ultimately Mastodon is a decentralized alternative to all the commercial social network platforms, which means that no single company owns it or can monopolize your communication. (source)

I found it confusing to use (maybe you need to be more techy?) and was put off by the fact that I needed to log in via Twitter. Perhaps this is just so you can connect with the same people. It’s always worthwhile to look at your options. Mastodon was started by Eugen Rochko, who was fed up with the changes that Twitter was making that closely resembled the Facebook algorithms.

Last year, after Twitter began moving away from a purely chronological feed, Rochko began building the back end for what would become Mastodon. Instead of building a unified service, Rochko envisioned something more like email, or RSS: a distributed system that lets you send public messages to anyone who follows you on the service. Anyone can create a server and host their own instance of Mastodon, and Mastodon works in the background to connect them. (source)

Here’s a beginner’s guide to using Mastodon, and here’s where you can join.

If you can figure this out, maybe you can explain it to me?

Diaspora

Diaspora is a social network built on three cornerstones: decentralization, freedom, and privacy. To join Diaspora, you have to choose a “pod” which is a group of potentially like-minded people. Each pod is independently hosted which should lessen the likelihood of corporate censorship.

You can follow hashtags that interest you, and you can categorize people by how you know them (family, friends, work, etc.) Then you can control who sees the different things that you post.

Diaspora is decentralized which means no one person owns it. This means that it doesn’t have any form of advertisement and corporate interference. It also does not collect any of your data. When you create your account, you are responsible for your own data and retain the ownership of your personal data.

Unlike Facebook, Diaspora allows you to use whatever identity you want, so pseudonyms and nicknames are fine to display as your profile. (source)

Go here to find yourself a pod on Diaspora.

Or you can join an old-fashioned forum.

I know that personally, I’m not too jazzed about the learning curve of some of these new options and prefer the more familiar layouts of Real.Video (Brighteon), MeWe, and Gab. But honestly, people on social media can just be so horrible that Selco Begovic and I started an old-fashioned forum that is a throw-back to the 90s/early 2000s. I like forums because they’re familiar, comfortable, and they draw likeminded people together.

While there are tens of thousands of forums out there, if you are interested in freedom, self-reliance, and survival, I hope you’ll join ours. For privacy reasons, we ask you NOT to use your real name anywhere on the registration form. All we need is a real email address to send you password updates, etc.

Go here to join The Survival & Self-Reliance Forum with Selco and Daisy.

There are social media options.

Humans are social creatures. No matter how introverted we might be, we all seek connections with others. These days a lot of those connections are online. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find like-minded people. I personally have friends from around the world who I met online that I never would have crossed paths with otherwise.

Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter have taken advantage of our desire to do this. They “hooked” people then they manipulated what the users would see with algorithms. They collected every word you ever typed on social media and made assessments about you so they could sell that information to advertisers. They made a fortune off of every person who ever used their services, and deep down in the fine print, people gave them permission to do so.

Now they’re trying to control the narrative by removing people who dissent against things like war, police brutality, and corrupt politicians.

If you’re looking for an alternative social media outlet, check out some of the options above. They won’t be able to take on Big Tech without us.

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