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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Festival of Freedom' my @ss

Festival of Freedom is the apt name which is given to Passover to commemorate our forefathers having been redeemed from slavery in Egypt.  And this freedom thing is not to be taken lightly.  Every morning we recite not one, but two related blessings:

Blessed are you... who did not make me a slave.

Blessed are you... who releases the bound.

Perhaps it is a result of our Biblical experience in captivity, or perhaps it's because we Jews spent a good portion of our history being individually and communally ransomed to satisfy the whims and greed of the nations... but it speaks volumes that "the Talmud (Bava Batra 8b) calls pidyon shvuyim (the redeeming of captives) a “mitzvah rabbah” (= great mitzvah) and says that captivity is worse than starvation and death". [source]

"Maimonides rules that he who ignores ransoming a captive is guilty of transgressing commandments such as “you shall not hearden your heart” (Deut. 15:7); “you shall not stand idly by the blood of your brother” (Lev. 19:16); and “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). (Maimonides, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 8:10 = Shulhan Arukh, Yoreh Deah 252:2). And one who delays in ransoming a captive, is considered like a murderer (Yoreh Deah 252:3)".   [source]

From this one is supposed to understand that freeing Jewish captives is meant to be a priority for Jews... for the simple reason that it is most certainly not a priority for the Goyim.

Case in point is the International Red Cross, which today went to the extraordinary lengths of demanding that Hamas release another 'sign of life' from Gilad Schalit as a goodwill gesture towards Israel before the Passover holiday.

Note that they didn't demand that Hamas release the hostage they seized in contravention of international law and the norms of civilized society.  They didn't even demand that a Red Cross representative or doctor be allowed to visit him! 

They haven't done this in the past, and have pointedly refused to do so now for the simple reason that they know there is no way of getting the Palestinians to agree to play by the same rules as the rest of the civilized world.

The Red Cross' refusal to demand Palestinian compliance with the Geneva Conventions and international law is tacit acknowledgment that Gilad Schalit is being held by an organization as far beyond the laws and norms of civilization as the Somali pirates and warlords. 

Yet they persist in demanding that Israel relate to the Palestinians as a legitimate proto-state... an adolescent Belgium or Denmark... a soon-to-be Spain on training wheels.  A UN body today even announced that the Palestinian "gov't functions are sufficient for [the the establishment of] a Palestinian state, but progress will be hard while "occupation" continues." 

See, according to them, Israel is the only thing standing in the way of a Palestinian Switzerland.

Careful readers may have experienced a moment of discomfort when I began substituting 'Palestinian' for 'Hamas' a few sentences ago.  Your sense of fair play was likely offended by my disengenuously painting all Palestinians with the Hamas brush.

Therefore I would ask the question; what are we to think when the UN and EU nod approvingly each time rumours of reunification talks between Fatah and Hamas surface.  I would also ask what we are to think of the speed and ease with which Hamas toppled Fatah in Gaza?

At the same time that we are being strong-armed into making long-term, permanent concessions to the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority, we are being asked to pretend that Hamas won't enter the picture by guile or force before the ink is even dry on any agreement.

Which brings us back to one of the few Jewish captives we are fairly sure is still alive; Gilad Schalit:

The Red Cross isn't going to demand that the Palestinians give him back. 

The UN, EU and USA aren't going to demand that the Palestinians give him back. 

All they will do is continue to make demands of Israel... telling us what we must do in order to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians.

What they fail to appreciate is that peace with the Palestinians will last for exactly as long as it take Hamas and Fatah to reunite... or for Hamas to topple Fatah in the west bank as easily as they did in Gaza.  But by then we will have already made irretrievable territorial concessions.   And Gilad will still be sitting in some dank dungeon, growing in value like a savings bond.

Call me crazy (many do), but I think that Israel should stop dressing up and playing polite diplomatic games to please the goyim, and once and for all start acting like Jews. 

It is time for Israel to put its foot down and say, NO!, we will not be a party to our own lynching.  We will not talk peace with an already criminal / terrorist-ridden entity that is days, if not hours, from being overthrown by an even more criminal / terrorist-ridden entity. 

If the rest of the world can't even bring itself to go through the charade of asking the Palestinians to abide by existing international agreements and laws, they shouldn't think for a moment that we are stupid enough to enter into any new agreements with them.

And most importantly, while one of our sons sits illegally in Palestinian captivity, we will not engage in any more diplomacy of any sort with those who have the power to free him.  This is the minimum responsibility of every Jew, and to sit down to celebrate the Festival of Freedom while engaged in diplomacy with those who would see a Jew remain indefinitely in captivity is unconscionable.

Posted by David Bogner on April 12, 2011 | Permalink

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"Call me crazy (many do), but I think that Israel should stop dressing up and playing polite diplomatic games to please the goyim, and once and for all start acting like Jews."

Unfortunately David, that is exactly what the Israeli Government is doing.

They are acting like the Jews my generation (Baby Boomers) vowed we would never be. We would not shuffle meekly into the concentration camps, we would not bow our heads, we would not take the manure.

But in Government, in Israel for G-d's sake, that is exactly what my generation has and is doing.

Over the past few weeks, I have started to think that my generation are in some way damaged and unfit to rule, as with very few exceptions, they have been at the very best, mediocre. But I look at the Obamas, Camerons, Cleggs, Sarkozies and ED Milibands and ask how much better they are.

To paraphrase "Spinal Tap", none more better.

Posted by: chairwoman | Apr 12, 2011 4:29:35 PM

I'm uncomfortable with the word "Palestinian" because there is no people, and to describe the Arabs who live in the Shomron as such gives credence to their imaginary claims. I'd prefer to see them described as "Arabs present in the Shomrom" or similar, or at the very least "Palestinian" Arabs (with the quotes) or "so-called "Palestinian" Arabs.

And it's correct that there's no way any international organization or body is going to take us seriously unless we (meaning Israel as well as Jews worldwide) begin taking ourselves seriously. I still cannot understand for the life of me why Israel continues to supply Gaza with electricity, supplies, etc. and allows Arabs convicted of terrorism-related crimes free access to relatives, education, etc.

Posted by: Ariella | Apr 12, 2011 4:31:25 PM

So far as I know, Hamas has not signed any international agreements whatever; and they are not eligible to do so. Hamas has announced that they are not obligated to follow international treaties and Laws of Warfare.

Israel has announced that its policy is to follow international rules and regs, but since there are no treaties in common with Hamas, it doesn't seem very binding.

The Geneva Conventions are international treaties, several of which Israel has signed. Neither of the Palestinian Arab groups have signed any of them.

Exception: There might be some agreements between Hamas and Iran. But these appear to be secret.

Posted by: Freddy | Apr 12, 2011 5:04:09 PM

what the world is still not understanding is the concept that if the arabs were to put the guns down today there would be peace tomorrow, if the israelis put down there guns today they would be in the sea tomorrow.

Posted by: dave | Apr 12, 2011 6:01:56 PM

Exactly! I keep wondering if our "leadership" has access to some secret knowledge that would make sense of their seeming spinelessness, but I think I'm hoping in vain. I think Bibi is making the mistake of assuming that if he "plays nice" on the diplomatic block, he'll get help defending us against the regional bully, Iran. History should tell him better. We're on our own. Unless we have oil (Libya) the world will crack its jaws yawning if the Arabs try to exterminate us (again).

Every Palestinian prisoner should go into solitary until Shalit is released. And if he's dead, they should all be executed.

Posted by: aliyah06 | Apr 13, 2011 12:02:40 AM

As an American Christian observer, I will say this: I see too many factions in Israeli/Jewish culture to present a single, commanding strategy in dealing with the terrorists. I see an elements in Israel who are strong conservatives to say "build our settlements", and "strike back when rockets are launched". However, I also see a progressive movement saying the settlements should be destroyed as part of the "peace process"...

Outside of Israel, I would wager the majority of Jews would be described as "liberals" and not conservatives.

Chairwoman said "they have been at the very best, mediocre. But I look at the Obamas... and ask how much better they are."

Just out of curiosity, which Israeli leaders would you describe as worse than Obama?? I have yet to see ANY redeeming qualities in Obama's policies in regard to Israel...

Posted by: ProphetJoe | Apr 13, 2011 12:02:44 AM

Amen v'amen.

Posted by: Elisson | Apr 13, 2011 4:40:02 AM

For some time I`ve had the feeling that some Israelis,especially the left, are more interested in besting the other side, and having power than acting in the country`s best interests. I would also refer you to Sarah Honig`s latest column.The Pal Arabs always reject compromise,because they can`t face their people with it,and think a better deal(Israel eliminated) is possible down the road if they wait long enough.

Posted by: ED | Apr 13, 2011 4:42:27 PM

"And this shall be the plague wherewith the L-rd will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth... And Judah also shall fight..." Zechariah 14:12,14

G-d is not asleep.

Posted by: Dina | Apr 13, 2011 7:54:24 PM

The UN seems inclined to create a new Arab terrorist state on Israel's borders (unclear if that will be Fatah-land in Yosh, or some product of a flimsy truce between Fatah and Hamas in Yesha), probably because it will not be on any of THEIR borders. Their expectations of such a state abiding by the conventions and constraints of civilized society, if they have them, are pipe dreams. If this comes to pass in September, and the worst case scenarios come to pass, it will constitute perhaps the greatest crime that could be committed by the UN against a member state.

You're right (as usual). I just wish there was something we could do other than stand here and watch it burn.

Posted by: Shimshonit | Apr 16, 2011 10:46:30 PM

The International Freedom Festival was created in 1959 and has been a popular event celebrating the friendship between the cities of Detroit and Windsor.The free festival paid tribute to some of the most beloved and prominent human rights performers, highlighting dance, music, storytelling

Posted by: Individual Voluntary Arrangement | Apr 20, 2011 7:59:29 AM

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