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May 5, 2016

we do not live in a modern-day Nazi Germany

Yom Hashoah seems to be an appropriate day for this.

No matter what I think any specific politician, or politician wannabe, in Israel or the United States, or sector of society, it bothers me a lot when people throw around the words Holocaust, Nazi and Hitler and compare people or groups to them.

We in Israel are not living in Nazi Germany, even if some people in Israel are racist, and even if some people want to expel Palestinians. We are not perpetrating a Holocaust against Palestinians, nor are we about to. Donald Trump is not the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, even if he might be somewhat racist and narcissistic. The Israeli police are not Nazis, and neither are Israeli soldiers, even if they, at times, take a heavy-handed approach to quelling disturbances, and even if they include police and soldiers within their ranks who suffer from racism or nationalism and/or too much zeal at using their weapons.

To the General who expressed concern about trends he identifies in Israel that remind him of Nazi Germany - no they don't. No matter what trend you are picking up on, nothing happening in Israel is reminiscent of anything I have read or watched about Nazi Germany.

To the anti-Trump people, whether they are supporters of Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump is not the reincarnation of Hitler and is not a neo-Nazi, even if he is somewhat flawed and perhaps somewhat racist. Donald Trump will also not turn the United States of America into a modern-day version of Nazi Germany.

To the many Israelis from various sides of the spectrum who call police and IDF soldiers Nazis - no they are not. The IDF and Israel Police are nothing like the SS or the Gestapo.

Yes, there are problems. Yes, we need to try to lessen the level of racism. Yes we need to be a kinder and more accepting and magnanimous society. Yes, some people are racists - some more, some less. No - it has nothing to do with, and is not similar in any way, to Nazi Germany.

Stop making these comparisons. Please. It trivializes the Holocaust when you turn every Tom, Dick, and Harry into the next leader of the next Nazi society. It trivializes the Holocaust when every time you don't like the way a policeman looks at you you think of him and call him a Nazi officer. It trivializes the Holocaust every time you call a group of people and their graffiti reminiscent of the Holocaust and/or Nazi Germany. I hear comparison, in one form or another, to the Nazi-era way too frequently nowadays.

Please put these comparisons to rest.




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different sirens for different people

I was on a bus at 10am when the siren went off this morning to commemorate Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day. The bus driver stopped the bus and the few passengers on the bus, including myself, all stood in ceremony for the duration of the siren. The driver did not - I think he was an Arab driver, if that makes a difference, and he was fidgeting with his money machine and sorting his coins, and some people outside the bus stopped to stand still while others did not.

I heard a cute story this morning as retold from Rav Yaakov Galinsky. The story goes that he, Rav Galinsky, was walking in public when the siren went off. He continued walking despite the siren, and somebody who saw him started to scream at him.

Rav Galinsky stopped him and said "I am not religious".

To the confused expression on his interlocutor's face, Rav Galinsky explained.. when you are driving on Friday afternoon and hear the siren, surely you stop your car and run to shul, right? The man said he does not, as he is not religious.

Rav Galinsky went on explaining, so, you are not religious for that siren, and I am not religious for this siren. Each person and his own religion.





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Facing Evil: An account of Holocaust Perpetrator Adolf Eichmann's Trial (video)







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The amazing story of the founding of the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra (video)




AFIPO intro video from Stephen Eckelberry on Vimeo.




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Ohad Hamu teaches Hebron Palestinians Hebrew (video)







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Synagogues of Indiana, Part 7- Richmond Bloomington Terre Haute (video)






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New Sefirah Music! - M'ein Olam Habah - Jewish a cappella group Shir Soul feat. The Weinreb Brothers (video)






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May 4, 2016

Facebook Status of the Day



I am not sure why asking about putting a Jew on the money makes him "entitled", but his second point is definitely good..




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Proposed Law: Term Limits

The issue of introducing term limits into the Israeli government system is back on the table.

A law proposal has been submitted for the upcoming session of Knesset. The proposal, submitted by the Opposition but including support from some coalition members, including some from the Likud, would limit the Prime Minister's ability to stay in that position for two term.

Obviously it does not have a reasonable chance of passing, but ya never know.

Supposedly, senior Likudniks have been talking about this as a possibility, and MK Oren Hazzan has even come out publicly in favor.
source: Ynet

Personally I think some sort of term limits is important. However it has to be constructed in a way that will work. In Israel's political system, the term limits cannot be just defined as "two terms". Governments rarely last their full term. If two terms is the limit, one prime minister could last 9 or so years, and the next could hit his limit after two years. Either the entire system needs to be changed or the term limits law would have to include a quantification by number of years in office.

As well, I am against any law that is designed to affect a specific person. This law seems to be targeting Netanyahu himself, so I am against it. I think there should be term limits, but if they pass this law, Netanyahu should be grandfathered in to allow him to continue, and maybe just limit him to two more "terms".

I do think Netanyahu should step down in the near future and leave politics. Not because I don't like him, but because I do not think it is healthy for any democracy to be ruled by one person for so long. Despite the fact that I think Netanyahu should no longer be Prime Minister of Israel, I am not in favor of removing him by introducing a law to get rid of him.





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The Egyptian version of the birther movement

Did a foreign Pharoah give Egypt a bad name?

That's what the director of the Antiquities Authority of Egypt is claiming.

Dr. Mustafa Waziri is claiming that the king named {haroah in the Bible was a ruler over parts of Egypt, but he himself was not actually Egyptian. Rather, according to Waziri, Pharoah was from a nomadic tribe known as Hyksos. The Hyksos tribe meandered into Egypt at some point and even ruled the country for a few hundred years.

Waziri further claims, against accepted knowledge in the archaeological community, that the word "Pharoah" is NOT the generic title of the king of Egypt. Rather, Waziri claims, Pharoah was the name of this specific ruler. Waziri says the claim of Phaorah being the title of King of Egypt is an urban legend started by the Jews with intent to lay false blame on the Egyptian people for their enslavement.

Waziri points to the Koran as proof for his claims. He points to the fact that the title Pharoah is never used in the Koran in reference to the ruler of Egypt. As well, Moshe talks to Pharoah and addresses him as "Pharoah" and not as "Honorable Pharoah" as would be necessary if that were the kings title.
Source: Walla News

This Waziri fellow must be Egypt's version of Donald Trump, and must head the Egyptian version of the "birther" movement. Next thing we know he will run for the position of President (or King) of Egypt..







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Man sues God, case dismissed

A man filed a lawsuit against God in the Haifa courts. He was suing God for harassing him. He says he filed complaints against God with the police many times and in the past 3 years God has been acting much worse with him. He complained to the police many times and the police recommended he file for a restraining order against God.

The judge, an Arab judge named Ahsan Canaan, dismissed the case and suggested that the help this man needs is not the help of the court but of other professionals.

you can't make this stuff up.

I wonder if the judge was pressured by the defendant to throw out the case..






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Trump Israel shouldn't 'pause' West Bank settlements (video)

it might be time to stop being so belligerent against Donald Trump, at least from an Israel perspective, and accept the fact that he will be the nominee and we need to remain on his good side, even if "just in case" he wins, and especially recognizing that he always has been a friend to Israel and we want him to remain one.






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Synagogues of Chicago and Indiana (video)








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2,000 year-old seed brought back to life (video)








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Kel Maleh Rachamim-Shlomo Katz & Naftali Kalfa (video)

tonight begins Holocaust Memorial Day

(sefira music alert)





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Ari Goldwag - Me'ein - Shabbos A Cappella (Music Video )

nice





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