Tag Archives: Yoel Marcus

Ovadia & Nehemia: Two Ends of the Same Shmekel (Doss vs. Chiloni, Part II)

In Doss vs. Chiloni: Two Sides of the Same Shekel, written during a slight down period (with Tel Aviv especially), I expressed my despair at the ultra-Orthodox/secular polarisation of Israeli society and my longing for the mutual tolerance and respect – relative, at least – which I had known in the Jewish community in the UK.

While I snapped out of that downer some time ago, and am once again certain that I much prefer being a Jew here than anywhere else, I am again feeling the deep, often ugly, religious and even racial chasms within (the purely Jewish constituency of) this country.

Firstly, there has been the shocking – at least to idealists, like me, who believed (or wanted to) that they were living in a modern democratic Jewish state – case of charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Ashkenazim (Jews of European origin) segregating their daughters from charedi Sephardi/Mizrachi (of North African/Middle Eastern descent) girls, at a school in the West Bank town of Immanuel.

Pouring oil on the flames, when this appalling racism was (quite naturally and predictably) challenged in the High Court, the supposed spiritual leader (and former Chief Rabbi) of Israel’s Sephardim, Ovadia Yosef (right), castigated – of all people – the Sephardic petitioner, proclaiming that anyone who “raises his hand against the Torah of Moses” by petitioning the chiloni (secular) High Court “has no place in the World to Come.”

I have made no secret of my contempt for the shenanigans of Israel’s charedim and the disregard with which they treat this, their country: see The Good, the Sad and the Ugly. Moreover, it never fails to amaze me how irresponsible – many would add “malevolent” and “dangerous” – characters such as Rabbi Ovadia succeed in becoming leaders of their own households, never mind entire communities. In 2000, for example, the firebrand ‘Ayatollah’ described the Holocaust as God’s retribution against the reincarnated souls of Jewish sinners (The Independent). Nice.

Then, on June 13, Israel’s Haaretz daily published an op-ed about certain, ostensibly nefarious, activities in the Ramat Aviv suburb of north Tel Aviv:

“At night they lurk among the trees and on benches for the teens, offering refreshments and sweet talk . . . taking in a youngster and destroying a family . . . Where are the police and the municipality as strangers badger children among the trees at night . . . with their butter-wouldn’t-melt smiles?”

Such language, from the keyboard of veteran journalist Nehemia Shtrasler, immediately summoned up images of Mein Kampf:

“. . . the black-haired Jewish youth lurks in wait for the unsuspecting girl whom he defiles with his blood . . .”

I would often recite this passage to an old school friend – newly religious, incidentally – who, with similar intent, would prowl the streets of Woodside Park for Scandinavian and Eastern European au pair girls with defences (and, often, soon knickers) down.

But what has actually been going on in the leafy suburbs of north Tel Aviv? Packet-of-sweets-and-cheeky-smile predators? Surely not?!

No. Far worse . . . frummers!

Shtrasler (right) was expressing his disdain for the activities of Chabad Lubavitch hassidim, the presence of Chabad House, and the opening of the organisation’s kindergartens, in the secular heartland of Israel.

How dare they!

And, with sentiments and language as rational as the British fascist’s “they come here, they take our jobs,” Shtrasler documents Chabad’s “organized plan to take control of the neighborhood”. Horror of all horrors, they have even opened a yeshiva (institute of religious learning) – “staffed by ‘messengers’ who are prepared to sacrifice their souls for their Rebbe” (language of Fundamentalist Islam purely coincidental?) – and encourage locals to “keep the Sabbath and follow mitzvot [Commandments]”.

How dare they!!

Experiencing a sudden bout of intellectual and journalistic schizophrenia, Shtrasler then sees fit to quote the late, great Rabbi Elazar Shach: “Chabad is the cult closest to Judaism.” Talk about picking sources to suit one’s story!

Now, admittedly, I do not spend too much time in their company – the last time they tried to get me to put on tefillin (phylacteries), outside a Jerusalem supermarket, I told them I wasn’t Jewish (disgraceful, I know) – but when was the last time anyone heard a Chabadnik tell a child that “their mothers and fathers are sinners”? Or that “people who don’t honor Shabbat are doomed to hell”?

“The sight was elevating,” Shtrasler – now himself sounding like a Chabadnik – describes the 800-strong anti-Chabad demonstration “to protect their homes” and “their values”.

What . . . Tzfonim (north Tel Avivians) with values?!

And, on reaching the very bottom of his extremely deep barrel, Shtrasler notes how Chabadniks “have no problem flouting the law” and that “they build without permits.”

Unlike other Israelis you mean, Mr. Shtrasler?!

Of course, Shtrasler fails to mention any of the fine works for which Chabad is so renowned, not least the warm and generous hospitality it extends to all travelling Jews and Israelis in every far-flung corner of the world. But heimishe (homely) Friday night dinners are, no doubt, of little importance to a man who would probably sell his own mother if he was concerned about fellow leftie ‘intellectuals’ thinking her too Jewish.

The Biblical Nehemia (and this is as close to a Devar Torah as you are ever going to get from me) is believed by some to have been a eunuch. And seeing as “no one whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:1), can Shtrasler’s bitter anti-religiousness perhaps be interpreted as some bizarre, misplaced sense of identification with his namesake?

Anyway, what arrogance! Only, this time, chiloni. But, make no mistake, it is no less hateful than the bigotry of the Immanuel charedim (whom Shtrasler must surely despise even more than the far more worldly ones of Chabad . . . or perhaps not, because at least the former leave him alone).

Indeed, replace “Chabadnik” with “Jew” and “Shtrasler” with “Streicher”, and such poisonous rhetoric (full article) would not have been out of place in Der Stürmer.

At the end of another polemic, in this Monday’s Haaretz, Yoel Marcus – demonstrating that Shtrasler’s language was no one-off – summed up the racial unrest amongst Immanuel’s charedim by referring to a Heinrich Heine poem:

“. . . if the rabbi and the priest could both move back a little; both of them stink.”

To my mind, however, arrogant chilonim such as Shtrasler and Marcus are as much a part of the stench as the charedim whom they so decry.

So much for the “Jewish state”.

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Mission Nonsensical: Goldstone’s F*cked Findings

The talking point in Israel (and indeed the “Jewish world”), this past week, has been whether Judge Richard Goldstone – the head of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza War, whose report accuses Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity – is an example of yet another Jew too willing to sell out to our many enemies . . . or has merely been doing his job.

Judge Richard GoldstoneFrom what I have read about the man (photographed right), I am not convinced that he is a Pinter, a Sayle, a Kaufman, or one of their repugnant ilk. But as a Jew who, apparently, “is a Zionist and loves Israel”, it may have been more judicious for the Judge not to have accepted the mandate (however good for his CV) in the first place, especially since he knew (or ought to have known) that Israel would not cooperate with an investigation commissioned by a totally one-sided resolution (Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, had already declined it, describing the UN Human Rights Council as “guided not by human rights, but by politics”). And, following his “shock as a Jew” to be offered it, Goldstone may have felt that he had to go out of his way to prove his objectivity. And “go out of his way” he did.

By most accounts, Judge Goldstone is a man of impeccable conviction. But the South African would also appear to be one of startling naivety. In an op-ed in last Thursday’s New York Times, he wrote:

“I am unaware of any case where a Hamas fighter was punished for deliberately shooting a rocket into a civilian area in Israel — on the contrary, Hamas leaders repeatedly praise such acts.”

Well, boker tov (good morning), Judge Goldstone! (And didn’t you forget “orchestrate”?)

But I am not interested in the man. Neither am I interested in his fact-finding mission – to investigate Israel’s alleged violations of the laws of war, international human rights and humanitarian law during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead – nor, even, its ostensibly damning conclusions. And why? Because the mission’s very premise was not only entirely wrong, but utterly nonsensical . . . making an irrelevance of its findings.

Hamas, the despotic ruler of Gaza, is an Islamofascist organisation with the raison d’être of destroying Israel. Eight and a half years (and counting) of unprovoked rocket attacks against Israel’s southern communities, together with Hamas’s cowardly combat tactics – from amongst densely populated civilian areas, and inside mosques, schools and hospitals – make a mockery of “laws of war”, and even of “human rights” as they are commonly understood.

Whilst not as developed, such laws existed long before the Second World War. But did the Allies take them into account prior to, during, or even following, their carpet-bombing of Hamburg and Dresden, in which they killed tens of thousands of ‘innocent’ German civilians? Did they heck! Their top priority, and quite properly, was to bring as swift an end as possible to a war against – and started by – an uncompromising Fascist aggressor, with minimum casualties to their own soldiers. And did the British fight the “Argies” with kid gloves in the Falklands? And are they and the Americans doing so in Afghanistan or Iraq?

Whilst the IDF goes further than any army the world over not only to act, but to be seen to act, humanely – it knows, after all, that it is being judged by a unique standard (see the next paragraph) – “laws of war” and “human rights” will inevitably sometimes be contravened when defending one’s country against a murderous aggressor that respects neither (even the “rights” of its own people). And ordinary Gazans are responsible for their rulers – if they choose to continue living under, and by, the sword, they must be prepared to die by it.

The UN Human Rights Council has condemned Israel fifteen times in less than two years . . . but no other country even once. Not Russia. Not China. Not North Korea. Not Burma. Not Sri Lanka. Not Zimbabwe. Not the Congo. Not Equatorial Guinea. Not Somalia. Not Sudan. Not Libya. Not Saudi Arabia. Not Syria. Not Iran. Israel was fully justified in not cooperating with an organisation which never treats it fairly, and with an investigation which it knew was just out to get it. What’s next from the UN? A fact-finding mission to investigate whether Mossad agents respect the laws of international espionage and agent rights before delivering enemies to their 72 virgins?

Israel is not perfect. It has made misjudgements and mistakes, and, yes, maybe even violated laws. Israel would not, however, exist today if – in its permanent state of war with godless enemies who wait to pounce on its every weakness – it had given more weight to legal tomes than to military necessity. And that war – with Hamas, Hizbollah, and other Islamofascists hellbent on its destruction – is one of light against darkness, good against evil, civilisation against barbarism. It is that “comic strip” simple. And it is a war in which the entire western world will soon be embroiled, not just in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan . . . but in its very own backyard. That the schmocks at the UN can be so myopic . . .

When push comes to shove – and it always does here (as a result of its size, the first war Israel loses will be its last) – we do not have to justify, or apologise for, our right to live. Not to anyone. Never again.

So, f*ck the UN. F*ck its fact-finding missions. And f*ck its reports. (Click here for my fuller treatise on the subject.)

More deserving of contempt than Judge Goldstone, this week, was Ha’aretz ‘journalist’ Yoel Marcus, who wrote the following in last weekend’s op-ed:

“[many countries] accuse us of strengthening extremist Islam and committing war crimes. And all we need now is to stick our noses into Iranian affairs by bombing its nuclear facilities . . . We must not even dream of a move like that at a time when America is coordinating international pressure on Tehran.”

“Stick our noses into Iranian affairs”?!

Mr. Marcus, perhaps you consider Israel’s air strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor to have been an unwarranted “nose stuck” into Saddam’s “affairs”? And, by similar logic, that Israel was correct to wait for Egyptian and Syrian “affairs” to develop unhindered in 1973?

And “coordinating international pressure on Tehran”?

Yes, that should do it, Mr. Marcus – a resolution of condemnation from the United Nations. And, if that doesn’t work, the UN could perhaps issue a further one . . . but, this time, “in the strongest terms”. Ahmadinejad clearly wouldn’t mess with that.

The Persian dwarf showed his true colours again, on Wednesday, in his speech to the UN General Assembly (full text):

“The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a "Praise be Allah . . . I'm gettin' there!"deceitful, complex and furtive manner. It is deeply disastrous to witness that some presidential or premiere nominees in some big countries have to visit these people, take part in their gatherings, swear their allegiance and commitment to their interests in order to attain financial or media support. This means that the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people.”

Ring any bells, Mr. Marcus? And, as Ha’aretz would appear to have cut back on its library resources, here is a compilation of other statements by Ahmadinejad denying the Holocaust and alluding to, calling for, or directly threatening, Israel’s destruction. And guess what . . . we discover today that Iran now has a second nuclear facility.

Where does Ha’aretz find these pillocks? Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, Nehemia Shtrasler, Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff . . . they have all received dishonourable mention on melchett mike. And now there’s a new f*ckwit on the block.

And, talking of “blocks”, if you tend to suffer from the writer’s variety, Mr. Marcus, I can highly recommend starting a blog . . . then you won’t have to write bollocks when you have nothing useful to say.