( Can you tell the resemblance? I can !!)
Yeshiva Granted 45 Days Before Demolition
Neither have other parts of the town of Yitzhar, or of many other towns in Judea and Samaria. In fact, this has long been the model of construction throughout Israel. Gush Etzion Regional Council Chief Sha'ul Goldstein said last year, "We did a study of 200 towns in Israel, and we found that every single one of them was first built, and only years later received final approval. Every single one!" He said the study included even towns built in the 1980s.
"To accuse us of building illegally," Goldstein said, "when a host of government offices helped us, and when this is how the entire State of Israel was built, is simply to lie and deceive."
In any event, this has not stopped the Defense Ministry from instructing the Civil Administration from threatening to demolish the Yitzhar yeshiva. Currently nearly 100 students study there, in both the Dorshei Yechudcha high school-age yeshiva and Od Yosef Chai itself.
"The Civil Administration granted us a 45-day extension this week," yeshiva director Elyasaf Posen told Israel National News, "and we plan to use this period to gather all the documentation showing how many government offices were involved in the construction of the yeshiva, as well as to pressure government officials – especially Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu to pressure Ehud Barak."
"This was a totally political decision by Barak," Posen said, "because he knows that the only thing is missing is his own signature – as it is in many other parts of Yitzhar – and Barak himself was the prime minister when it was started. He admitted this himself at a Knesset committee meeting; we have the minutes. In addition, the Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister's office were involved in organizing the construction of the yeshiva – and this is what is so absurd about the entire situation."%ad%
Sword Must Be Removed, Not Shelved
Posen said that the yeshiva plans to use this struggle for a winning cause: "We will not suffice with a promise that they will not raze the building. We have a sword hanging over us, and it won't be enough for them to say they're placing it on a hook, where someone else could easily come along and use it against us. We insist that the final approval be issued, once and for all."
A public campaign against the demolition has been initiated, with the public called upon to phone (011-972-2-670-5532), fax (011-972-2-563-2580), or email (email@example.com) Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Rabbi Pesach Lerner, head of the National Council of Young Israel in New York, who is spearheading the drive, has written, "The idea that Jews would destroy yeshiva/synagogue buildings under any circumstances is reprehensible. If a European country threatened to destroy a synagogue under the pretext of a building code violation, Jews from all walks of life – Orthodox and non-Orthodox – would demand that the order be cancelled. The protests against such an inconceivable act would be loud and numerous."
'Beinish Has Turned Court Into Demolition Contractor'
"In the future, when Supreme Court judges representing the Jewish people will be installed, we will set up a commission of inquiry to investigate how the court became the victim of a gang of radicals representing some two percent of the population, which has set as its goal the undermining of Jewish power in the Land of Israel," he added.
'Why Doesnt Beinisch Care About Illegal Arab Building?'
Regavim deals with tracking the hostile takeover of national lands.
Group: Arabs Build at Will in Judea and Samaria
As 443 Opens to PA, MKs Call to Restrict Supreme Court
IDF spokespeople said Thursday that the army has worked for months to ensure that all passengers will remain safe despite the changes. The IDF has added stations to the road at which vehicles will be checked, they said.
Members of Knesset heard about the IDF preparations earlier this week and expressed concern that the measures described would be insufficient. The MKs called to postpone the opening of 443 to PA traffic, but the opening took place as scheduled despite their disapproval.
MKs Call to Change Basic Law
The 443 affair has heightened concern over the judicial system's involvement in security affairs. A group of MKs have now come together in an attempt to change the law to restrict the Supreme Court's involvement in matters of national defense.
A proposal signed by several MKs from the coalition and opposition, among them Yariv Levin, Yaakov Katz, Avraham Michaeli, Nissim Zeev, and Danny Danon, would change the Basic Law: The Judiciary to state that the Supreme Court does not have the final say on “security matters directly relating to the preservation of human life.”
The Basic Laws relate to the structure of Israeli government and the protection of human rights, and were originally intended as the basis of a future constitution. Basic laws are rarely changed, although most can be altered via a simple majority vote.
Bereaved Father's Protest
Shmuel Landau of Givat Zev has been active in protesting the plan to allow PA vehicles on 443. Landau lost his son Ronen, 17, in a terrorist attack along the highway in 2001. The attack occurred as he was driving Ronen home from Jerusalem.
"Nine years ago my son was murdered in a shooting attack precisely because Palestinians were allowed to travel freely on this highway,” Landau told Arutz Sheva. “I decided to protest the opening of the highway [to PA traffic] because it upset me that the Supreme Court did not understand that only after the highway was closed did attacks stop, and I'm afraid for the children, I'm afraid that the terrorists will show us what they are capable of.”
Despite his concerns, Landau will continue to travel on Route 443. “I live in Givat Zev, this is the only route I have,” he said.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that reason and religion are mortal foes. Reason deals a death blow to religion; religion is clearly irrationality on stilts.
If only religion didn’t exist, reason would rule the world and there would be no more wars, tyrannies or murderous hatreds. It follows therefore that religious people are either stupid or unbalanced and are inimical to progress, modernity and happiness.
Well, this universal truth isn’t true at all. In fact, reason is underpinned by religion — at least the Biblical variety. Without Genesis there would have been no Western science, no equality and human rights and no liberal belief in progress.
I see I’ve already caused you to throw your Spectator round the room. What about the Enlightenment, you cry. That’s what gave rise to Western science and the opening of the Western mind, precisely because it ushered in an age of reason that knocked religious obscurantism out of the park.
Ah yes, the open Western mind. But if you look around you — with a mind that is truly open — you will see much evidence that the Western mind is currently snapping tightly shut. Indeed, the paradox is that some of our most noisy advocates of reason say a lot of things which are demonstrably absurd.
Take those scientists who promote not science but scientism — the belief that science can deal with every aspect of existence. The scorn and vituperation they heap upon religious believers is fathomless. And yet their materialism leads them to say things which are just… well, nutty.
For example, Professor Richard Dawkins told me he was ‘not necessarily averse’ to the idea that life on earth had been created by a governing intelligence — provided that such an intelligence had arrived from another planet. How can it be that our pre-eminent apostle of reason appears to find little green men more plausible as an explanation for the origin of life than God?
The answer is that in certain areas science has overreached itself by trying to play God, and as a result has turned into an ideology.
Contrary to popular myth, Western science was not created by Enlightenment secularism. It grew out of the revolutionary claim in the Bible that the universe was the product of a rational Creator, who endowed man with reason so that he could ask questions about the natural world.
With the rise of secularism, the striking thing is that people didn’t lose the drive to believe. They stopped having religious faith — but that drive was diverted instead into the creation of a wide variety of secular religions, otherwise known as ideologies. But these are the true enemies of truth and reason.
Just look at environmentalism. This defines the modern ‘progressive’ — and yet it is fundamentally irrational, illiberal and pre-modern.
Based on a spiritual belief in the innate, organic harmony of the universe, it grew out of pagan and animistic ideas which not only defied reason but, in elevating emotion and subjectivity as well as downgrading mankind, were to feed directly into such regressive thinking as eugenics and fascism.
Indeed, all the ideologies so prevalent today in ‘progressive’ circles — scientism, environmentalism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism, moral and cultural relativism, egalitarianism, multiculturalism — are deeply reactionary, illiberal and coercive.
This is because ideology, by wrenching evidence to fit a prior idea, is inimical to reason and sacrifices truth to power. That’s why environmentalism’s most famous offspring, man-made global warming theory, is totalitarian gobbledegook. There is no evidence to support it, plenty of evidence against it and even more evidence that much of the ‘science’ on which it is based is fraudulent.
But like other ideologies, it appears immune to challenge, however compelling the case against it. And that’s because these are not propositions to be debated in a rational way, but rather self-evident truths which have the infallibility of religious dogma — and which are equipped with secular inquisitions against heretics.
They represent not a point of view but virtue itself. All opposition must therefore be stamped out. So reason is replaced by bullying, intimidation and the suppression of debate.
Thus scientists sceptical of man-made global warming are subjected to funding famine, character assassination or professional ostracism. Or Christians asserting the need for a child to be brought up by a mother and father find themselves forced off adoption panels and vilified as ‘homophobic’ bigots.
In Manichean fashion, the left divides the world into rival camps of good and evil. Anyone who is not on the left is ‘the right’ and thus beyond the moral pale. But much that is demonised in this way as ‘right-wing’ is simply an attempt to uphold truth, reality and liberty against the distortions, fabrications and bullying of ideology.
What’s really odd is this. Just like the persecution of medieval heretics, these secular inquisitions are driven at root by fear — the terror that a challenge to the Received Truth might actually succeed.
Scientific triumphalists may realise that what they are saying about the origin of the universe is ludicrous. Yet they persist because of their fear of the alternative explanation — God.
As the Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin has candidly explained, such scientists ‘take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs’ because they ‘cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door’.
So what is it about the possibility of even a Divine toenail over the threshold that terrifies these men of reason into becoming so irrational? Or to put it another way, if they are going to believe in ten impossible things before breakfast, then why not believe in the one impossible thing which happens to have an infrastructure of critical thought, thousands of years of history and their own civilisation attached to it?
It can’t be that religion has committed terrible atrocities, because atheism has committed terrible atrocities too. Maybe it’s the fear that Biblical morality fetters the freedom to be footloose and fancy-free. After all, if genes are selfish why should they alone have all the fun?
Maybe it’s a projection on to religion of all the bad stuff in human nature. For if the Biblical God is the cause of intolerance and war, tyranny and genocide, then humanity gets a free pass.
But since Biblical religion actually underpinned reason and morality, the decline of religion means the erosion of truth and conscience. If religious totalitarianism was rule by the Church and political totalitarianism was rule by the ‘general will’, this is cultural totalitarianism, or rule by the subjective individual.
In Britain, the effects are plain to see. Everything is upside down: the transgressive becomes the norm while the normal is discriminatory; victims become aggressors while aggressors are indulged; education leaves children in a state of noble savagery; broken families are promoted as lifestyle choice.
And a brutal utilitarianism means elderly or coma victims are starved and dehydrated to death, with anyone who dares to mention the sanctity of human life dismissed as a Bible-bashing nut-job.
Once the pre-eminent nation of reason and free debate, tolerance and civility, Britain is now the global leader of the rout of rationality and the retreat to a pre-modern war of all against all, facilitated by secular ‘human rights’. Britain — first into the Enlightenment, and now first out.
Melanie Phillips’s new book, The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth and Power is published by Encounter, New York.
I didn't see anything from u on this?
Israeli Journalist Arlene Kushner is asking for help from the American Jewish Community…
May 20, 2010
"Raising Our Voices Again"
We need your help here, from those inside of Israel especially, but those
outside as well. I have been focusing on political events that in the main
involve Israel in interactions with the international community, such as the
"proximity talks" (which I address below.)
But now I raise an issue of a different kind, which cannot pass unnoticed.
Arutz Sheva described the situation:
"The IDF's Civilian Administration issued a demolition order [May 9] against the
spacious building that houses Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva at Yitzhar, in Samaria. MK
Aryeh Eldad (National Union), in an unprecedented statement, warned that
bloodshed would ensue.
"Local residents believe that authorities are purposely punishing the yeshiva
because of a confrontation with the IDF that took place on Independence Day, and
also because security forces hold the yeshiva's students responsible for various
attacks against Arabs in recent months and years."
Note of clarification: Yeshiva head Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira was held by
authorities this winter with regard to the arson attack on the Kafr Yassuf
mosque. Reports the JPost: "A Jerusalem District Court judge forced the police
to release Shapira for lack of evidence."
As to Independence Day, Yitzhar residents say that IDF troops began harassing
visitors who wanted to tour the area and prevented them from entering the
springs near the settlement. When the soldiers tried to hold back one of the
residents, other settlers became agitated. The residents say that one of the
soldiers stationed in the area fired a warning shot into the air. When he
refused to give his name, the residents demanded that he remain in the area
until he agreed to do so.
The IDF says that residents attacked soldiers with stones, lightly hurting
According to the Arutz Sheva report: "'...the authorities are making special
efforts to hurt the yeshiva in an unfair and vindictive way,' a yeshiva
spokesman said... 'It should be noted that the building is an ornate permanent
structure, with an area of 1,300 square meters, which was built with the aid of
the Ministry of Housing and was approved by the various authorities to serve as
an educational institution.'
"The destruction order, the residents said, cited an 11 year old work-stoppage
order – one that they had never heard of until now. The building took years to
build and cost over $1 million.
"MK Eldad reacted to the news...by declaring that 'the Defense Minister and his
yes-man, the Head of the Civilian Administration, declared war on the Jewish
communities in Judea and Samaria when they issued a demolition order against the
Yitzhar Yeshiva that was established 11 years ago.'"
Further clarifications from the JPost :
The IDF administration in Judea and Samaria claimed that the construction was
done outside the zoning area for this type of building. The Yitzhar treasurer,
Itamar Posner, however, maintains "that the building was within an appropriately
zoned area of the settlement...
"...he noted that the ministries of Construction and Housing as well as
Transportation had invested heavily in the project. They would not have done so
if it was illegal, he reasoned.
"Posner added no one at the yeshiva has any record of a demolition order from
1999. Nor had they heard anything about it in past years.
"...The yeshiva...posted a response [on its website] that said, in part, that
the legal status of the yeshiva was stronger than many other structures in Judea
I've been writing about Barak's positions vis-a-vis the "proximity talks," and
his failure to protect Jewish interests, with, instead, an eagerness to run to
Well, here he is, our muscle-flexing minister, showing one and all that he's
really tough with the people on the right, and thereby courting approval from
the left and, need I add, the international community. Obama and Abbas would be
so pleased with him.
This cannot be permitted to proceed.
I am asking you to write to Prime Minister Netanyahu (not Barak himself). The
demand is that Netanyahu stop Barak. We need a huge outpouring of protest. As
always, numbers count.
Make your message short, and to the point, please. If you are writing from
outside of Israel, please note that the world is watching and if Barak succeeds
he will do Israel considerable harm among the very people who are Israel's
biggest supporters. This has impact.
If you are inside of Israel, please get as many other Israeli citizens as
possible to write.
Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)
E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il and also firstname.lastname@example.org (underscore after pm)
use both addresses
If you do e-mail, for the first address, above, put: "Attention: Cabinet
Secretary, Zvi Hauser."
For the second address, above, put "No Demolition at Yitzhar," "Don't destroy
the Yeshiva," "Stop Barak now," or something similar. Short and to the point.
You are right, Zerach. This is very important information, thank you for bringing it to my attention and the attention of our readers.