Archive for March 19th, 2010
The UN Says Israel is Responsible for the Excessive Beating of Women in Gaza…By Their Husbands, Fathers and BrothersWritten by Marty Roberts on March 19, 2010 – 2:42 pm -
Leave it to the good-old UN, the “Useless United Nations”, to blame Israel for everything that is wrong in the universe. Probably Israel is the major cause of global warming, not to mention global cooling. And then there is the AIDS epidemic, and, of course Swine Flu. And the bird flu, of course…and don’t forget about the genocide in Darfur and rising oil prices, plus, the damage to Arab economies by falling oil prices. And the famine induced by the Israeli occupation is starving millions annually in Africa, while Jewish control of the world banking system has obviously caused the world economic crisis. I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it to the geniuses at the UN themselves to mention anything I’ve forgotten.
The interesting thing when it comes to domestic violence is, if Israeli policies in Gaza are causing the elevated woman-beating there, how do you explain the SAME statistics in Egypt and the REST of the Muslim world? I guess the UN will figure it out…as long as Israel gets condemned in the end…
Gaza Men Beat Women; UN Blames Israel
Violence against women has long been common in Gaza: a Palestinian Women’s Information and Media Center study found that between half and three-quarters of Gaza women are subjected to physical violence from male relatives.
Reprinted from INN Maayana Miskin
A recent report created by IRIN, which provides “humanitarian analysis” in coordination with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, quotes Gaza women in putting the blame for the high rates of violence on Israel. “Widespread unemployment was one of the biggest contributors to household stress, and in turn male violence against women,” the article said in the name of a Gaza women’s center worker. The worker accused Israel of causing high unemployment with an “economic blockade.”
IRIN also quotes the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which last week drafted a resolution expressing concern over “the grave situation of Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory… resulting from the severe impact of the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation and all its manifestations.”
Blame the occupation
The draft resolution blamed Israel for gender inequality in Muslim society, saying, “The Israeli occupation remains the major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance, and integration in the development of their society.” It also called on Israel to “facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children,” a reference to the Arab demand that descendants of Arabs who fled Israel during the War of Independence be allowed to “return” to Israel.
The IRIN article bears a picture not of violence within Gaza society, but rather, of a Gaza woman mourning her son who died in an Israeli counterterrorist operation.
While IRIN and the Gaza activists it quoted sought to blame Israel for the violence against Gaza women, stating that rates of violence are “certainly higher” in Gaza than elsewhere, the violence reported in Gaza is not dissimilar to that in surrounding Muslim countries.
In Egypt, an estimated 33 percent of women are beaten by their husbands, and an even higher number report being beaten by their fathers or brothers. Studies show that approximately 40 percent of married Turkish women are beaten by their husbands. The frequency of domestic violence is similarly high in Lebanon and Jordan.
Tags: beating, gaza, israel, un, women
Posted in Middle East, Palestinians, United Nations | No Comments »
This is a fascinating Jewish perspective. It is clear that Torah Judaism places vegetarianism on a high moral and spiritual plane. Allowing us to eat meat was a concession on the Creator’s part to our baser, less spiritual instincts (which He, of course, created us with…but created us with them in order to be able to reward us for conquering and mastering these lower instincts!) But it is clear to the great Rabbis amongst us that we have not as yet reached anything CLOSE to the spiritual levels of perfection that would enable us to pursue vegetarianism with proper and pure motivation. Rabbi Lior suggests that we work on the more basic flaws in our human personality BEFORE attempting to tackle the higher, more sophisticated challenges. Only then will we have the pure motivation necessary to truly partake of these spiritual delights.
In other words, considering the rather dismal state of our animal-selves when it comes to how we treat each other…we might want to consider improving upon those attributes…act nicer to other human beings…before we consider expending SO much effort towards the animals, by refraining from eating them…(NOT in any way condoning cruelty or unkindness to animals, which the Torah expressly forbids, just not attempting to self-righteously and arrogantly proclaiming our vegetarianism for animal-altru-istic motives)
Rabbi Lior: Vegetarianism not right for our times
‘Only when world ascends spiritually and we have mercy on people will we be able to be vegetarians,’ says prominent Religious Zionism leader. ‘Vegetarianism out of compassion is a mistake’
Reprinted from YNet News Kobi Nahshoni
Whoever avoids eating meat or has chosen a vegetarian lifestyle for the sake of having mercy on animals is wrong, according to Rabbi Dov Lior, a prominent Religious Zionism halachic authority.
“We still are not compassionate towards people in our times, so having mercy on animals is irrelevant,” explained the rabbi. “Only when the world ascends spiritually and we have mercy on people will we be able to be vegetarians.”
Lior is serving as Kiryat Arba’s rabbi and is considered a prominent leader in the National Haredi movement.
Rabbi Lior addressed the issue in a scholarly article published on Saturday in the “Gilui Da’at” pamphlets distributed at synagogues. “There is no objecting to making sacrifices (in the Temple) on claims of cruelty to animals,” opened the author in reference to a central topic in the weekly Torah portion.
According to him, “When the Torah allowed the slaughter of animals for human consumption, it thus permitted slaughter for higher needs (for mitzvot).”
Regarding the Torah’s permission to kill animals in order to eat them, the rabbi wrote that Jews can “raise up the mundane.”
“When a person from Israel eats, if he does so for a holy purpose, he sanctifies the material, something that does not exist among the nations of the world, for whom eating has no connection to holiness,” Rabbi Lior explained.
As an example, the rabbi mentioned the Hasidic custom of tasting the rabbi’s leftovers after he “discovers sparks (of wisdom) within the food.”
Rabbi Kook’s philosophy
Rabbi Lior believes that “the time has yet to come” for vegetarianism out of compassion for animals: “I remember when the Russians sent a dog to space there was an outcry about cruelty to animals. I wonder: How is it that when ships sink in Haifa we do not hear these cries? HaRav Kook said about this that when the world ascends spiritually – we will be vegetarians.”
The non-profit organization Anonymous for Animal Rights said in response, “The short and impressive book by Rabbi Kook, ‘A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace,’ is available for reading on the internet, and we are certain that whoever reads it not out of a clear interest of continuing to eat meat at any price will find a difference spirit presented than the one in Rabbi Lior’s statements.”
According to Anonymous, Rabbi Kook even took the discussion beyond killing animals for their meat and addressed harm caused to animals used for milk and wool. The organization claimed that if Rabbi Kook “were to see the situation today in which 300 million animals are put to death after lives of constant suffering in Israel every year, he would not think it appropriate to take part in this.”
Israel’s Green Movement said that “Rabbi Lior’s response shows ignorance of the subject. Eating meat damages humans first and foremost and their ability to exist on the face of the earth. The environmental effect of the livestock economy is enormous and one of the major factors in the eradication of human’s life support systems. Raising animals for food is one of the factors with the largest effect on global warming, deforestation, soil erosion, and contaminated water sources.”
Tags: Jewish Law, Judaism, rabbi dov lior, rabbi kook, vegetarianism
Posted in Jewish Law, Judaism, Religion, Torah and Bible | 2 Comments »
It’s official…Great news for the Israeli economy…Five more years of Stanley Fischer heading the Bank of Israel
Fischer to serve 2nd term as Bank of Israel governor
‘There is no disagreement in the whole world that he does an excellent work,’ prime minister says in press conference announcing his support of central bank head. ‘Now he just has to say yes’
Reprinted from YNet News Zvi Lavi
Stanley Fischer will likely serve as the Bank of Israel’s governor for another five years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday in a press conference at the Knesset that he will recommend that Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz appoint Fischer for another term as governor.
As expected, Fischer agreed to the offer after the new Bank of Israel law was passed Tuesday in the Knesset. Fischer is slated to receive the letter of appointment from President Shimon Peres soon.
Fischer’s current term as governor is slated to end on April 30. He will be instated to his second term on May 1.
“This is a man on whom there is no disagreement in the whole world that he does excellent work,” said the prime minister, noting that the Fischer’s recommendation for another term was mutually made between him and the finance minister. “Now all that’s left is for you to say yes,” Netanyahu addressed Fischer, who was sitting next to him on the stage.
“I thank you for the recommendation, and I will continue to fill my position in accordance with the challenges presented by the new Bank of Israel law,” responded Fischer.
“When Netanyahu offered me the position, I couldn’t have imagined what happened in the first run. But it was a challenging period, the height of which was the financial crisis, which we handled well and also came out of.”
Hints dropped recently by the governor to the effect that he would not agree to serve another five years without a new Bank of Israel law spurred the cabinet to submit the bill for the Knesset’s approval before leaving for Passover recess.
The new law, which replaces the 56-year-old Bank of Israel Act, cements the Bank’s independence and instates a regular monetary committee to decide on interest rates and makes provisions regarding Bank employees’ salaries, thus comparing them to other public sector employees.
There was some uncertainty in recent months whether Fischer would continue on for another term, and not just because of the Bank of Israel law. Fischer’s wife and family were pressuring him not to act another term, but the governor insisted that he would remain in the position of the Bank of Israel law were passed so that he could oversee putting the new structure of the bank into action, as detailed in the law.
In the past, Fischer implied that the decision to serve another term would be easier if it were shortened to a period of two years. However, doubts regarding the length of Fischer’s term were also dissipated when he accepted the appointment as he assured in his speech that he would serve the full five year term.
About two years ago, Fischer threatened to resign over the crisis between the Bank of Israel and the Finance Ministry around the signing of a new salary agreement. Prolonged and exhaustive negotiations ensued between the two bodies regarding whether the Finance Ministry would continue its oversight over Bank of Israel salaries. Then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stepped in and convinced Fischer to withdraw his resignation threat.
‘Fischer among best in world’
Knesset Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni praised Fischer’s decision to stay on for another term. Gafni said, “The governor is a professional of the first degree and a leader in the entire world.”
“Stanley Fischer is a real asset to the State of Israel. The Israeli economy owes him a lot for its stability throughout the global financial crisis over the past year. There is no doubt that his staying on for another term will contribute significantly to the Israeli economy and its standing in the world,” said Gafni.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak also welcomed Fischer’s acceptance of another term as bank governor.
“Stanley Fischer is considered one of the most outstanding and professional governors that the Israeli economy has known since the establishment of the state. Governor Fischer successfully handled the financial crisis in a manner that deserves respect. He was among those who helped the Israeli economy get through it strong and secure,” said Barak.
Tags: bank of Israel, economy, israel, stanley fischer
Posted in American Jews, Finance, Israeli Economy, Life in Israel | No Comments »