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Archive for April 14th, 2008

Sweden: Muslim woman receives $4,000 in damages for having to remove face veil

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Wow it looks like the dhimmis have taken over the Swedish legal system as well as the foreign ministers.

Sweden: Muslim woman receives $4,000 in damages for having to remove face veil: ”

Cultural Capitulation Update: never mind the possibility of deception, and the concomitant ease of committing crimes, made possible by the face veil. Self-defense does not trump multiculturalism.

‘Muslim woman receives damages for headscarf slight,’ from The Local (thanks to Marked Manner):

A 20-year-old Malmö woman has been awarded damages after she was asked to leave a bus for wearing a veil.

The woman has received 25,000 kronor ($4,203) from public bus service operator Arriva after an agreement was reached with the Ombudsman against ethnic discrimination (DO), according to local newspaper Sydsvenskan.

The woman was instructed to leave the bus in the southern Swedish city when she refused to remove the niqab veil that she was wearing as part of her sartorial hijab headdress. The niqab covers the entire face except for eyes.

The bus driver had asked the woman to remove her niqab so that he could identify her, however the woman was using a buss pass that did not require identification.

‘The bus driver has not acted according to Arriva’s values. There is no doubt where the fault lies and this is most regrettable. We are happy to pay out the money to make up for it,’ said Jan Wildau at Arriva.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Barack Obama Is Friends With Superman

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Other post on Obama

Read this great look at Barack Obama from the Infidel Alliance. I think Barack will destroy the country of America permanently. We need to do everything in our powers to stop this jihadi loving American hating marxist from becoming our president.

Barack Obama Is Friends With Superman: “Epaminondas posted an important article yesterday, which he titled, ‘Why Is Barack Obama So Compfortable Around People Who So Despise America?’

That’s a good question.

Particularly interesting to me was Epa’s discussion of Obama’s friendship with William Ayres, the Weather Underground terrorist:

Obama enjoys a friendly relationship with Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, a pair of terrorists?

I want to be clear here: Not terrorist sympathizers. Terrorists.

Ayers … is an unapologetic terrorist with a savage past — one who beat the system he so reviles when, after his years of fugitivity, terrorism charges were dropped due to government surveillance violations.

He’s ‘guilty as sin,’ by his own concession, but ‘free as a bird.’

Ayers didn’t just carry a sign outside the Pentagon on May 19, 1972. He bombed it. As his memoir gleefully recalled, ‘Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.’

In a attack of synchronicity, the New York Times ran a piece on the release of William Ayres book Fugitive Days on September 11, 2001, in which Ayres was quoted as saying,

”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”

This is Barack Obama’s friend.

Epa pointed out yet another interesting New York Times piece on William Ayres. This one, published five days after 9/11, entitled ‘The Way We Live Now’ obviously referring to the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks.In this interview, he is actually being interviewed by a lady named Hope Reeves whose parents were also members of the Weather Underground.

Now, I want you to really think about the content of this interview. Ayres seems to be on the edge of some sort of paranoid breakdown. He calls from a pay phone because he doesn’t trust the government. Nowhere does he express any anger towards the people who attacked us. Instead, all his anger is saved for America.

Witness this, my friends, and remember, this is Barack Obama’s friend:


Q: You’re calling from a pay phone? You still pick up a receiver and think, ”My phone might be tapped”?

I think anybody in America who doesn’t think that is off his rocker. Is there such a thing as a Big Brother? Absolutely. I mean, our worst paranoid fantasies about what the government was capable of in the mid-60’s turned out to be mild by comparison to what it did.

But you’re living a normal life now, with a job and a family and a book to sell, while at least one former comrade, like Kathy Boudin, who was just denied parole, is still in prison. Does that mean you’ve come to place a certain trust in society?

I don’t trust it. You can’t live in a society like this in equilibrium and not sell your soul. This society is not a just and fair and decent place.

So you’re living troubled?

Oh, I’m troubled, troubled. We’re living in a country where the election was stolen, and we didn’t have a mass uprising. It’s incredible. We’re all asleep. The pundits all pat themselves on the back: ”God, what a great country. You know, we could have had a constitutional crisis, but instead, we let him steal the election. Isn’t that great. What a country.” It makes me want to puke.

So if things are as bad as ever, was it worth it, all the struggling?

Without a doubt. And the reason is that we really did play a role in destroying the old system of segregation and in destroying the conquest of Indochina by the Americans.

My parents were also Weathermen. Whenever they refer to their ”revolution,” I can’t help rolling my eyes. I mean, isn’t there something a little absurd about thinking you would overthrow the United States government?

It’s a funny word, and people use it for a million different reasons. Mainly, these days, to sell products — a ”revolutionary” deodorant. We used the word to mean that we should create a society more equal, more fair, more just, more loving than the society that we have. It was a huge kind of hope. And it does seem, looking back, naïve and absurd. But if we are guilty of a kind of grandiose innocence, what we should not fall into in reaction is a kind of arch cynicism.

Yes, my parents have often accused me of being in what you would call ”a deep American sleep.” Is there something wrong with my generation for not being obsessed with world injustice?

Well, I’m going to disagree with you. There are all kinds of signs now of a wonderful activism going on internationally — Seattle and Genoa, young people objecting to global capitalism getting to make all the decisions about everybody’s life without any consultation or any democratic process at all, let alone any sharing of the wealth. People are demanding that the world come to its senses about things like global warming and environmental degradation and the pollution of water and air. It’s not all quiet.

You were quoted as urging the young to ”kill all the rich people, break up their cars and apartments, bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s at.” Did you actually mean for people to do that?

Many things were said in a kind of a humor. They were excessive and extreme and a joke. They were taken literally mainly by the for-profit media to show how crazy we were.

Well, my mom took it seriously, as a directive from you.

She killed her parents?

No, but it took years to heal the wounds. She and the other foot soldiers, as she calls them, looked to you and the Weather Bureau for direction.

Well, if there’s a lesson, it’s to never surrender your own mind. People being betrayed by leaders — well, that’s the cautionary tale.

Yes, there it is, right from the camel’s mouth. It is a cautionary tale.

Barack Obama is close personal friends with this guy. As Epa noted:

It was at the Chicago home of Ayers and Dohrn that Obama, then an up-and-coming ‘community organizer,’ had his political coming out party in 1995. Not content with this rite of passage in Lefty World — where unrepentant terrorists are regarded as progressive luminaries, still working ‘only to educate’ — both Obamas tended to the relationship with the Ayers.

Barack Obama made a joint appearance with Bill Ayers in 1997 at a University of Chicago panel on the outrage of treating juvenile criminals as if they were, well, criminals. Obama apologists say, ‘So what? People appear with other people all the time.’ Nice try. This panel was orchestrated by none other than Michelle Obama, then an Associate Dean of Student Services. Ayers didn’t happen to be there — he was invited by the Obamas to educate students on the question before the house: ‘Should a Child Ever Be Called a ‘Super Predator?”

William Ayres is a very paranoid man. However, I don’t think he is a lunatic. I don’t think he is insane. And, that is even more frightening than if he were, in fact, suffering from some sort of delusions.

William Ayres is not suffering from delusions, and yet he still is able to believe the government is watching him at all times. He believes he is so important that five days after 9/11 (‘the way we live now’), the government had nothing better to do than to focus on William Ayres.

In fact, one has to wonder if, perhaps, the reason for his paranoid outburst in this interview was exactly because the Al Qaeda terrorists had stolen his stage at the exact time when his book Fugitive Days had just been released.

And, so he invented a paranoid fantasy whereby the government of the United States was once again focusing their attention on him.

In William Ayres mind, the world revolves around William Ayres. He is a kind of Superman, able to pull the entire planet into gravity of his own fantasies about himself. The most powerful nation on Earth must be quaking in fear of William Ayres five days after 9/11.

And, this is Barack Obama’s friend.

Barack Obama, who very well may be the next President of the United States of America.”

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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UN Agrees: Hamas Creating Gaza Fuel Crisis

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Wow the UN is doing something right for a change. It is too bad that it is over a minor thing like this. Hopefully this will be the start of the UN actually standing up against Hamas Hezbollah and other terrorist, but I am not holding my breath.

UN Agrees: Hamas Creating Gaza Fuel Crisis: “”

sraelNN.com) A United Nations official agreed Monday that Hamas is manufacturing a fuel crisis in Gaza by refusing to distribute one million liters of fuel that Israel has delivered to the area. The stored fuel would be sufficient for several days, the official said. Gas stations in Gaza have played their part in the crisis as well, with many refusing to sell fuel in protest of what they say is an insufficient supply.

One of the main points of fuel transfer into Gaza, the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, has been closed since last week following a fatal terrorist attack on Israeli civilians working in the area. Defense officials said Monday that the terminal is likely to remain closed for several days.

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What is a sufficient victory?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Read Caroline Glick’s latest great piece showing the problems of Olmert and the “peace” process.

What is a sufficient victory?: “

Speaking to IDF commanders in Judea and Samaria last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert exhorted the officers tasked with preventing Palestinians from attacking Israel while operating under civilian cover to have sympathy for them. Olmert said ‘Take all the Palestinians who have been stripped at the roadblocks just because of fear that there may be terrorists and terror operatives among them. Take all those who wait at roadblocks because of fear that a car bomb may drive through the same roadblock. This could be a boiling cauldron, liable to explode and cause horrible burns, and it could be something else, dependent only on your ability to act wisely and forcefully.’

Since Olmert knows that IDF soldiers are as courteous as possible to Palestinians at roadblocks, his statement will have two major consequences. First it will cause a loosening of regulations at roadblocks and so impair IDF counterterror capabilities. Second, by insultingly insinuating that IDF forces are cruel, Olmert demoralized his own soldiers and reduced their willingness to accomplish their mission by hinting that they cannot expect the government to back them.

Olmerts message is just the latest action his government has taken in recent weeks that undermine the IDFs ability to maintain its military success since 2002 in defeating Palestinian terrorists in Judea and Samaria and preventing them from reorganizing.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak governments decision to take down roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria; provide immunity from arrest to wanted terror fugitives; and permit the deployment of US-backed Fatah militias in Jenin all serve to directly undermine the IDFs remarkable achievements in defeating and preventing the reconstitution of the Palestinian terror war machine in Judea and Samaria since Operation Defensive Shield was carried out in 2002. Even more disturbingly, its reported willingness to cede the Jordan Valley to Fatah in the negotiations it is now conducting with Fatah leaders Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei indicate that the Olmert-Livni-Barak government is ready to transform Judea and Samaria into a base for global jihadist forces just as occurred when Israel surrendered Gazas border with Egypt in 2005.

That the government is squandering the IDFs hard-won achievements in Judea and Samaria is made clear in a paper on counterinsurgency warfare authored by Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror released this week by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Amidrors paper, ‘Winning Counterinsurgency War: The Israeli Experience,’ focuses on Israels military defeat of Palestinian terror forces in Judea and Samaria during and subsequent to Operation Defensive Shield.

AMIDROR IDENTIFIES six components of counterinsurgency warfare which he deems essential for effecting military victory over irregular forces. These components are: a political decision by the government to defeat terrorism; winning and maintaining control of the territory from which terrorists operate; acquiring relevant intelligence; isolating the terror enclaves from outside supporters; multidimensional cooperation between intelligence gatherers and fighting forces; and separating civilians from terrorists. Through its actions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak government it is undermining four of these components.

After identifying what he views as the essential components of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, Amidror identifies and defines three forms of military victory. First, there is ‘total victory’ which involves both a military defeat of insurgent or terror forces and the political reorganization of their societies from terror-supporting societies into terror-combating societies. Second, there is ‘temporary victory’ which involves a one-off military defeat of enemy forces which is not combined with any political transformation of their societies. Finally, Amidror considers what he refers to as ‘sufficient victory.’ As he defines it, a sufficient victory involves defeating an irreconcilable foe and then preventing him from rebuilding his capacity to wage war.

Like a temporary victory, a sufficient victory doesnt entail any political transformation of enemy society, and indeed it takes for granted that such a transformation is impossible to enact. But as opposed to a temporary victory, Amidror argues that the effect of a sufficient victory can be longstanding if the victorious side is willing and able to consistently prevent enemy forces from reconstituting themselves. That is, a sufficient victory requires a continuous rather than one-off campaign.

Amidrors definition of sufficient victory leads him to conclude that contrary to the approach of the Israeli and Western Left, there is a military option for victory in counterinsurgency wars devoid of political transformation. From an Israeli perspective, Amidrors vision of counterinsurgency warfare view is reasonable and understandable.

Israels options for transforming Palestinian society from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society are limited. Influenced by domestic, pan-Arab and pan-Islamic jihadist indoctrination; supported militarily, financially and politically by Arab states, Iran, terror groups and the West, the Palestinians have little reason to transform.
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MOREOVER, ISRAELs strategic and national interests in maintaining control over Judea and Samaria could render sustainable a military strategy with no withdrawal element. This is not the case in other battlefields such as the US counterinsurgency in Iraq.

To a degree, Amidrors view that sufficient victory is possible is echoed in recent statements by US military commanders in Iraq. In a dispatch from Iraq published last month in National Review, Richard Lowry reported, ‘For all the security gains over the last year, American commanders believe they have hit a plateau.’ Absent coherent, competent action by the Iraqi government to secure and maintain the loyalty of Iraqis to the Iraqi state, like the IDF in Judea and Samaria, all US forces in Iraq can do is keep violence down to sufferable levels.

Yet in contrast to Israels success in Judea and Samaria, the success of US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq is the consequence first and foremost of their politically-transformative guiding principles. As Lowry noted, the 80,000 Iraqi security volunteers who now openly collaborate with US forces in counter-terror operations, ‘represent more or less a direct transfer of forces from the enemys side to ours.’

In Israel, the basic assumption that guided both the decision by the Rabin-Peres government to embrace the PLO and form the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and the decisions by subsequent governments to leave the PA in place and maintain allegiance to the PLO as a negotiating partner was that like the Iraqi security volunteers, and like the South Lebanese Army which supported IDF operations in South Lebanon from 1985 through 2000, PLO and Fatah forces would act as transformative agents in Palestinian society moving it from a terror-supporting society to a terror-combating society.

This view, always controversial, has been proven wrong again and again. Just last week, the PLO ambassador to Lebanon Abbas Zaki restated the PLOs aim of destroying Israel in an interview with Lebanese television.

In Zakis words, ‘The PLO… has not changed its platform even one iota.’ That platform, to destroy Israel in stages, remains the objective of the PLO. He continued, ‘In light of the weakness of the Arab nation and the lack of values, and in light of the American control over the world, the PLO proceeds through phases, without changing its strategy. Let me tell you, when the ideology of Israel collapses, and we take, at least, Jerusalem, the Israeli ideology will collapse in its entirety, and we will begin to progress with our own ideology, Allah willing, and drive them out of all of Palestine.’

Israels willingness to maintain its support for the PLO in spite of the PLO and Fatahs obvious rejection of Israels right to exist and their continuous support and involvement in terror attacks against Israel exposes two flaws inherent in Amidrors view that it is possible to maintain a sufficient victory in counterinsurgency wars over the long term without inducing political transformation of enemy societies.

The first flaw is that it takes as a given that the will of the victorious armys government to maintain counterinsurgency operations will remain constant. The Olmert-Livni-Barak governments maintenance of the inherently adversarial Fatah terror group as a legitimate negotiating partner shows that this is not the case. The governments commitment to Fatah necessarily induces it to undermine IDF achievements in Judea and Samaria. Those achievements are inimical to the interests of Fatah and so, from the governments current perspective, they must be cancelled to please Fatah.

Since 2002, the IDFs military control over Judea and Samaria has not involved any serious efforts to transform Palestinian society on the grassroots level. It has not enhanced security for Palestinian civilians who are terrorized by terror operatives operating in their villages and towns. As Amidror notes, Israels actions to separate civilians from terrorists in Judea and Samaria are limited to crafting operations that minimize collateral damage. But while Israel does not target Palestinian civilians, it has done nothing to prevent them from being targeted by Palestinian terrorists. And so, it has given them no option to fight those terrorists. As a consequence although militarily the situation in Judea and Samaria has been transformed over the past six years, politically, the only change among Palestinians is that they have become more radicalized.

And here lies the second flaw in his analysis. To be successful, a counterinsurgency war must have a political component that reaches out to enemy populations. While it is true that Israel has limited capacity to change the way that Palestinians think about Israel and the form their society ought to take, Israel does have some capacity. For instance, Israel could launch a hearts and minds campaign among Israeli Arabs who are both politically and demographically linked to the Palestinians.

Such a campaign would be two-pronged. First it would involve a concentrated law and order campaign whose aim would be to reassert Israels sovereign authority in Israeli Arab areas. Second, it would secure law-abiding Israeli Arabs while delegitimizing the current anti-Israel, pro-terror leadership now in charge of Israeli Arab society and so cultivate the conditions necessary to replace that leadership with Israeli Arabs who embrace their identity as Israelis and oppose terrorism. The impact of such a campaign on the Palestinians in both Judea and Samaria would no doubt be dramatic.

Amidror makes the important point that there is no empirical data that proves the oft-repeated contention that terror-supporting societies are more willing to sacrifice for victory than terror-combating societies. As the Israeli public has shown since the Palestinians began their terror war in 2000, Israelis are just as willing, if not more willing, to make sacrifices for victory than the Palestinians. But for victory to be accomplished and secured, a military campaign needs to be complimented by a political campaign led by a political leadership that explains reality to its own public and is able to give terror-supporting societies another option.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

(Via Caroline Glick.)</

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Pirates Can Claim UK Asylum, Detaining Them May Breach Their Civil Rights

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

It looks like England is becoming even more of a dhimmi state.

Pirates Can Claim UK Asylum, Detaining Them May Breach Their Civil Rights: “

1

I kid you not…

THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.

The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.

In 2005 there were almost 40 attacks by pirates and 16 vessels were hijacked and held for ransom. Employing high-tech weaponry, they kill, steal and hold ships’ crews to ransom. This year alone pirates killed three people near the Philippines.

Last week French commandos seized a Somali pirate gang that had held a luxury yacht with 22 French citizens on board. The hijackers were paid off by the boat’s owner and then a French helicopter carrier dispatched 50 commandos to seize the hijackers and the ransom money on dry land.

Britain is part of a coalition force that patrols piracy stricken areas and the guidance has troubled navy officers who believe they should have more freedom to intervene.

The guidance was sharply criticised by Julian Brazier MP, the Conservative shipping spokesman, who said: ‘These people commit horrendous offences. The solution is not to turn a blind eye but to turn them over to the local authorities. The convention on human rights quite rightly doesn’t cover the high seas. It’s a pathetic indictment of what our legal system has come to.’

A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘There are issues about human rights and what might happen in these circumstances. The main thing is to ensure any incident is resolved peacefully.’

The guidance is the latest blow to the robust image of the navy. Last year 15 of its sailors were taken prisoner by the Iranians and publicly humiliated.

In the 19th century, British warships largely eradicated piracy when they policed the oceans. The death penalty for piracy on the high seas remained on the statute books until 1998. Modern piracy ranges from maritime mugging to stealing from merchant ships with the crew held at gunpoint.

(Times Online)

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of the Logan Act?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Jimmy Carter should be arrested now. He is a disgrace. He was the worst president ever and now he is causing more trouble since he started accepting millions from the Saudis.

Is Jimmy Carter in Violation of the Logan Act?: The Logan Act was enacted in 1799. It states in full:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

The origins of this law lie in the activities of Dr. George Logan, a Quaker pacifist doctor who tried to lessen tensions between the French Revolutionary government in Paris and the Federalists then leading the nascent American Republic, who tilted towards Britain. Logan traveled to France with an approving letter signed by Thomas Jefferson, and was accepted by the French government as a legitimate representative of the United States. Then-President John Adams condemned Logan for his rogue diplomacy, and decried the “temerity and impertinence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States.” One can only wonder what Adams would think of Jimmy Carter, who has brazenly announced his intention to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Damascus later this week.

Perhaps it is in light of the Logan Act that White House Press Secretary Dana Perino emphasized, “The president believes that if president Carter wants to go, that he is doing so in his own private capacity, as a private citizen, he is not representing the United States.” It is all well and good for the White House to distance itself from the behavior of Jimmy Carter, but there is a limit to how far any American government can go in condemning the actions of a former president. The station of ex-president carries a diplomatic heft, and no one has used it with more inelegance and opportunism than Jimmy Carter, whose sabotage of American foreign policy has not been limited to Republican presidents (see Bill Clinton and North Korea). By calling on the United States to include Hamas in peace talks, and by meeting with the leader of said terrorist group in the capital a of country with which the United States does not even maintain diplomatic relations, Carter undermines a crucial plank in America’s Middle East policy.

Last year, Robert F. Turner argued that Nancy Pelosi had violated the Logan Act when she traveled to Syria against the wishes of the State Department and met with President Basher Assad. He wrote at the time:

Ms. Pelosi’s trip was not authorized, and Syria is one of the world’s leading sponsors of international terrorism. It has almost certainly been involved in numerous attacks that have claimed the lives of American military personnel from Beirut to Baghdad.

The U.S. is in the midst of two wars authorized by Congress. For Ms. Pelosi to flout the Constitution in these circumstances is not only shortsighted; it may well be a felony, as the Logan Act has been part of our criminal law for more than two centuries. Perhaps it is time to enforce the law.

The circumstances surrounding Carter’s visit are no less egregious, in fact, Carter’s freelance diplomacy is arguably worse. Hamas, unlike Syria, is not a country — an entity with territorial integrity, recognized by the international community as the legitimate authority of a nation-state — but a terrorist group. I’m no lawyer, but it appears that a strong case can be made that Jimmy Carter has been in constant violation of a federal statute ever since he left the White House.

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What stranger should we love?

Posted by avideditor on April 14, 2008

Biblical proof that the Jews should drive the terrorist out of the land of Israel. There is no Palestine there is only jordan and Israel. Every jew should put tephilin on and pray that this will be so and all the non jews that support Israel should give to the ZOA or help in other ways drive the terrorist out of the land of Israel the land that G-d has given the jews.

What stranger should we love?: ”

There is one statement that drives me mad during almost every lecture. Invariably, someone stands up and says something along these lines, ‘I know a little about Judaism, but the one thing I know for sure is that we should love our neighbors and not oppress strangers. That’s the entire Torah.’ That’s what they were told by incompetent teachers and progressive rabbis. Love your neighbor and throw out the other 612 commandments and the heap of halacha. Don’t forget to baptize, too.

Exodus 23:9: And ger, [him] you shall not oppress – you, too, know the soul of ger, for you were gerim in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:31: And I will set your limits from Reed (‘Red’) Sea to Philistine (‘Mediterranean’) Sea, and from steppe (‘Sinai Desert’) to the river (Euphrates), for I will give in your hand the yeshvei [of] the land, and you shall displace them (gerashtamo) from yourself.

What is the difference between yeshvei and gerim, those who must be displaced and those who must not be oppressed? The root i-sh-v means, to stay, such as in settlement. Thus yeshvei are the natives. The natives must be cleansed out because their hostility is inherently implacable: they, even their remote generations will always remember that Jews took away their land. This is not an issue of land ownership, but of sovereignty: the country belonged to Canaanites or the Palestinian Arabs, but now the state is Jewish. Modern Jewish rulers believe that Arabs will ignore the insult in return for generous aid, but the Torah’s author was infinitely wiser: if Jews want to be sovereign on this land, they must cleanse it from yeshvei.

The Torah economizes suffering: yeshvei have to be evicted (Exodus 23:31), ravaged (Deut20:17), but not necessarily killed. After the Jews cleared a country for themselves and uprooted yeshvei, security issues become less pressing and Jews can take measured risks. Deuteronomy 20, therefore, speaks of the wars which the Jews start voluntarily rather than by the divine commandment to take Canaan. In such wars, the natives need not be uprooted if they agree to submit to Jewish rule. If they did not defend themselves against the advancing Jews, such natives are allowed to remain, performing ‘labor duty for you and shall work for you’ (Deut20:11). That law applies only to the towns far away from the Jewish population centers (Deut20:15).

The conquered people lack the high status of gerim, who are not to be abused. The labor duty in question was likely the border defense, or perhaps public works in Jewish towns. Other than labor conscription, the conquered populations remain free and enjoy all the property rights. Their major difference from gerim is that the conquered populations may continue their pagan worship, as they do not live in the Land of Israel proper and so do not pollute it by their idolatry.

Now back to gerim. The Torah, particularly the section of Laws (Exodus 23 is a part of it) is not laid down in chronological order. Exodus 23:9 applies to the situation later than 23:31. How do we know that? Exodus 23:10 speaks of Shmita, seventh-year rest for agricultural land. Settled agriculture was the last stage in Jewish conquest of Canaan, after the land was taken from its original inhabitants. So gerim appear after yeshvei are displaced.

Who are gerim? They are not natives, as the natives are exterminated or evicted already (yes, Jews are not nice). In the Biblical Hebrew, the cognate gur has an unquestionable sense of, to huddle together, to reside timidly. That sense is very far from the toneless Modern Hebrew, to live. Even in the most aggressive sense, Psalm 56:6-7: ‘… all their thoughts are against me for evil. They iaguru secretly (or, from north – the left side in ancient coordinates)…’ Likewise Psalm 140:3-4: ‘Who think evil things in their heart, every day iaguru conflicts. They sharpened their tongue like a serpent.’ The main theme about gerim is timidity, submissiveness.

In modern terms, gerim must absolutely accept Jewish sovereignty. In ancient Judea, gerim were not oppressed, but neither had they have political rights. It is in this sense that the Torah speaks about Jews: ‘… for you were gerim in the land of Egypt.’ Whether the Jews were slaves or ate meat from full pots, they lacked political rights in Egypt.

Rabbis traditionally understood gerim even stricter, as converts to Judaism. Such reading is semantically (though not etymologically) correct, as foreign religions were banned in Judea, and resident aliens had to practice Judaism. In particular, not even slaves or gerim were allowed to work on Sabbath, erect altars, worship idols, sacrifice to foreign deities, or eat blood; they adhered to the restrictions of Pesach and Yom Kippur. They submitted to the laws given to Jews on the Sinai, and acted like Jews in all practical matters except marriage.

The terms ger and i-sh-v converge in some situations, as when Abraham pleads with the tribe of Heth to allow him burying his wife who died in Kiryat Arba (in our days, the place of notorious Jewish settlement which ‘took the Arab land’). Genesis 23:4: ‘I am a ger and toshav with you.’ Abraham, a great legal mind, is precise here: he is a submissive resident (ger) now, but will settle (toshav) this land. So Abraham insists on buying a cave for the burial instead of accepting the offer of receiving it free. Israel abandoned that cave, Mearat a-Mahpela, to Arab jurisdiction.

Even toshav, a status higher than ger, relates inferiority. He is not allowed to partake of Pesach sacrifices (Exodus 12:45) unless he converts to Judaism and circumcises (12:48). He is just a bit higher than a slave (Leviticus 25:35, 40). His right to live in the Land of Israel is unquestioned, but his status is far below Jewish freeman.

There is not a single instance in the Bible where ger lacks the clear sense of submissiveness.

What, then, is the meaning of ‘oppress’? We can only marvel at our lawgiver who preceded every political theorist. The Torah differentiates between natural law and special rights. Oppression means depriving a person from what is inherently his: life and ownership. Political rights, the rights to change or influence Jewish character of the state – he doesn’t have them.

Jews were oppressed in Egypt where we were slaves (Exodus 3:9). Syrians oppressed us so that we needed a deliverer (2 Kings 13:4-5). To our lawgiver, oppression was tremendously more severe than mere absence of voting rights.

The parallel prohibition in Exodus 22:20 clarifies, ‘And ger, you shall not squeeze (toneh) or oppress him.’ The word toneh (i-n-h) has a root cell cognate i-n-k (to suck), testifying to the reading, to squeeze out. What can be squeezed out of a person? Surely not his political rights, but life and property.

The important sense of l-h-tz root for oppression is its communal character: in the word’s common usage, one polity oppresses another. When the oppression is between individuals, it is referred to as a-sh-k, such as, ‘You shall not trample upon (taashok) your neighbor’ (Leviticus 19:13).

Long before Christians adopted this commandment as their major tenet, Jews were told, ‘You shall love your fellow [man] just as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18). Not to the extent that you love yourself, but the way you do. Your love to fellow man should be in the likeness (cmo) of your love to yourself.

The common translation of r-y-h as ‘neighbor’ does not relate the word correctly. In Psalm 45:15, for example, the virgins in the king’s wife’s train are definitely not her neighbors. The translation friends also falls short, as Leviticus 19:13 won’t prohibit trampling upon one’s friend. The r-y-h sense has to do with following, going in the same direction. That sense makes for the double meaning of r-y-h: evil (to bend someone, to steer away) and friend (to bend together with someone, to have a common path unlike the others’).Thus, r-y-h is not an abstract neighbor, but someone sufficiently close that you ‘bend the rules’ together, deviate from the others’ road. For example, the Tower of Babel builders are described as r-y-h, fellows. Rather than neighbor, the proper translation of r-y-h is compatriot (with co- relating the sense of sticking together) or fellow.

The critical difference between us and Christians is who to consider a fellow man. Modern Christians unrealistically pronounce all people fellows, and surely fail to treat them as such. But their own parable of the Good Samaritan is instructive: even a despised Samaritan could be one’s fellow if the Samaritan helped him. Fellow is the one from whom help is expected. Such a definition surely excludes Canaanites and Palestinian Arabs from the commandment to love your fellow.

What is the love enjoined to our fellows? The context clarifies: ‘You shall not oppress your fellow’ (19:13), ‘You shall not hate your brother’ (19:17), and the 19:18: ‘You shall neither take revenge, nor restrain [yourself to take revenge later] at the children of your nation.’ This, by the way, refutes the claims that human vengeance is prohibited in Judaism, but is the power of God only. Revenge is prohibited only against fellow Jews, on the double presumption of their general goodwill and efficient law enforcement. In such a society, revenge on the personal level was superfluous. But taking revenge on the enemies of Jews (even their distant offspring) is not merely a right, but an often-reiterated obligation: ‘a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace’ (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

The commandment of love concludes a list which parallels the Decalogue, and is therefore comparable to the prohibition of jealousy (Exodus 20:13).

The prescribed love to one’s fellow is the absence of hatred, vengeance, oppression, and jealousy. While gerim must not be oppressed, fellows must also not be hated. The Torah distinguishes between several circles of people: the closer is the circle, the more rights are accorded to it. Extended family, a closer circle, enjoys still more rights: one must respect his parents. One’s own family, the closest circle, awards generous rights to wives. Later on, when Hebrew society became strong and gerim were fully integrated, the commandment of love was expanded onto them (Deuteronomy 10:19); converts became treated strictly on par with native Jews.

The Torah prescribes, ‘The ger who resides among you in your land shall be for you like a native, and you shall love him just as you love yourself’ (Leviticus 19:34). You cannot be more compassionate than that. But why the Torah, so short on words, reiterates, ‘in your land’? So that the ger absolutely recognizes the land as ours. And indeed the parallel Exodus 12:48: ‘And if a ger will reside with you, and will keep the Pesach to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised… he shall be like the native…’ In order to be like a Jew, ger must be like a Jew: he must circumcise, keep Jewish customs, and to all purposes become a Jew. Then, sure enough, we must love him just as we love any Jew, including ourselves.

To summarize: In ‘You shall not oppress gerim’ the Torah enjoins us against arbitrarily taking life or property of the submissive resident aliens who are loyal to Judaism. In ‘You shall love your fellow just as yourself’ the Torah enjoins positive attitude toward one’s compatriots, like-minded people only.

(Via avideditor’s shared items in Google Reader.)</

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