Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Jewish Roots of the American Constitution by Paul Eidelberg

Nov 15,2005

A. Historical Background

1. No nation has been more profoundly influenced by the "Old Testament" than America. Many of America's early statesmen and educators were schooled in Hebraic civilization. The second president of the United States, John Adams, a Harvard graduate, had this to say of the Jewish people:

The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation... They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews. They have given religion to three-quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily than any other Nation, ancient or modern.

2. The curriculum at Harvard, like those of other early American colleges and universities, was designed by learned men of "Old Testament" persuasion. Harvard president Mather (1685-1701) was an ardent Hebraist (as were his predecessors). His writings contain numerous quotations from the Talmud as well as from the works of Saadia Gaon, Rashi, Maimonides and other classic Jewish commentators.

3. Yale University president Ezra Stiles discoursed with visiting rabbis on the Mishna and Talmud. At his first public commencement at Yale (1781), Stiles delivered an oration on Hebrew literature written in Hebrew. Hebrew and the study of Hebraic laws and institutions were an integral part of Yale's as well as of Harvard's curriculum.

4. Much the same may be said of King's College (later Columbia University), William and Mary, Rutgers, Princeton, Dartmouth, and Brown University. Hebrew learning was then deemed a basic element of liberal education. Samuel Johnson, first president of King's College (1754-1763), expressed the intellectual attitude of his age when he referred to Hebrew as "essential to a gentleman's education."

5. This attitude was not merely academic. A year before the American Revolution, Harvard president Samuel Langdon, declared: “The civil polity of Israel is doubtless an excellent general model[of government]."

6. The Higher Law doctrine of the Declaration of Independence is rooted in the Torah, which proclaims “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” and appeals to the “Supreme Judge” and “Providence”—terms lacking in Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

7. During the colonial and constitution-making period, the Americans, especially the Puritans, adopted and adapted various Hebraic laws for their own governance. The legislation of New Haven, for example, was based on the premise that "the judicial laws of God, as they were delivered by Moses, and as they are not ceremonial, shall generally bind all offenders …” Thirty-eight of the seventy-nine statutes in the New Haven Code of 1665 derived their authority from the Hebrew Bible. The laws of Massachusetts were based on the same foundation.

8. The fifteen Capital Laws of New England included the "Seven Noahide Laws" of the Torah, or what may be termed the seven universal laws of morality.

9. Now, without minimizing the influence of such philosophers as Locke and Montesquieu on the framers of the American Constitution, America may rightly be deemed the first and only nation that was explicitly founded on the Seven Noahide Laws of the Torah. It should also be noted that the constitutions of eleven of the original thirteen states made provision for religious education. Some even had religious qualifications for office.

B. The Institutions Prescribed by the American Constitution

1. The House of Representatives represents 435 districts of the United States, where the people of each district elect one person to represent their views and interests. The idea of district elections is implicit in the Torah. We read in Deut. 1:13: “Select for yourselves men who are wise, understanding, and known to your tribes and I will appoint them as your leaders.”

a. Exodus 18:19 states: “seek out from among all the people men with leadership ability, God-fearing men--men of truth who hate injustice.” Similar qualifications are prescribed in the original constitutions Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

b. Each tribe was to select the best men to be their representatives. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch comments that “each tribe (shevet) is to choose out of its own midst men whose character can only be known by their lives [hence whose character] is known only to those who have associated with them.” This is the biblical source of residential requirements for Representatives and Senators in the United States. Also, what is here called a tribe was called a district (pelech) after the Second Temple.

c. Finally, it is a principle of Jewish law that “No legislation should be imposed on the public unless the majority can conform to it” (Avoda Zara 36a). This requires legislators to consider or consult the opinions of their constituents. Hence representative democracy can be assimilated to Judaism by adding that representatives must be “men who are wise and haters of bribes.” This would make for an aristocratic democracy, or a universal aristocracy—a kingdom of priests, of noblemen.

2. The Senate. The Senate represents the 50 states of the Federal Union; it therefore represents the Federal principle. But the idea of federalism goes back to the Torah and the twelve tribes. Each tribe had its own distinct identity, its own governor and its own judicial system.

3. The Presidency. Unlike Israel, which has a Plural Executive or Cabinet consisting of a prime minister and other ministers representing different political parties in the Knesset, the United States has a Unitary Executive, namely, the President. Of course the President has a Cabinet, but its members cannot hold any other office and they are wholly responsible to the President, not to any political party.

a. Now it so happens that a Unitary Executive is a Torah principle! Thus, when Moses told Joshua to consult the elders when he was about to lead the Jews across the Jordan, God countermanded Moses: there can only be one leader in a generation. And if you look at tractate Sanhedrin 8a, you will see that Jewish law opposes collective leadership. Nor is this all.

b. Just as a President of the United States must be a native-born American and not a naturalized citizen, so a king of Israel must be born of a Jewish mother and not a ger or convert.

4. The Supreme Court. Just as the American Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the American Constitution, so the Great Sanhedrin is the final interpreter of the Jewish Constitution, the Torah.

So we see that the original American Constitution was very much rooted in Torah Judaism.

C. Brief Comparison with Israel’s political and judicial institutions

1. The Knesset: MKs are not individually elected by the voters in constituency elections—hence there is no accountability. In fact, MKs can ignore public opinion with impunity, as 23 Likud MKs did when they voted for Disengagement, contrary to their pledge to the nation in the January 2003 election.

2. The Government: The cabinet is collection of rival party leaders competing for a larger slice of the national budget. This undermines national unity and national purpose. The average government last less than two years, which makes it impossible to pursue a consistent and long-range national strategy.

3. The Supreme Court: The Court is a self-appointed oligarchy. It refuses to enforce the Foundations of Law Act 1980 which would make Jewish law first among equals. Chief Justice Aaron Barak writes: “It should never be said that a particlar legal system has the primary claim to interpretive inspiration.” Imagine a US Supreme Court justice teaching Americans: “It should never be said that the American legal system has the primary claim to interpertive inspiration.”

Israel’s Supreme Court is the only court in the world that scorns the legal heritage of its own people. It has repeatedly handed down decisions that violate the basic beliefs and values of the Jewish people.

D. Conclusion: The political and judicial institutions of the so-called Jewish State are less Jewish than the political and judicial institutions now operating in the non-Jewish democratic world!

Netanyahu Warns Gaza Deal Endangers Israel

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

07:38 Nov 16, '05 / 14 Cheshvan 5766

( In an address before the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed the agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) regarding the Rafiah border crossing in Gaza and a travel link to PA areas.

Regarding reports of bus service from Rafiah to PA autonomous areas in Judea and Samaria, the former prime minister stated such a reality will pose a serious danger to the national security interests.

Citing an example, Netanyahu explained that Strella missiles could easily be transported from Gaza to an area near Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then used to down a commercial flight. He warned the travel link will serve as a conduit for the transport of weapons and ammunition, adding PA leaders may not be trusted at this stage.

Among the objections mentioned by Netanyahu was Israel�s permitting the construction of a port, which he explained would once again serve as a link for terrorists to the outside world, thereby facilitating terrorist operations."

Israel in Real Danger

From Debka:

US secretary Rice forced the accord through in a diplomatic blitz Tuesday Nov. 15

The protests came from the top levels of Israel’s armed forces, the Shin Beit and all other intelligence services and the police. Rarely before have so many expressions of alarm been rushed to the head of government by all of top security agencies.

By this extreme step -

1. Each of the branches submitted separate warnings to prime minister Ariel Sharon and defense minister Shaul Mofaz. They were alerted to the grave hazards in store when the crossings are reopened later this month and the rest of the accord goes into effect, shorn as they have been of appropriate security controls.

2. Each branch placed its reservations in writing to clearly record where responsibility lies for the worst possible contingencies.

DEBKAfile’s security sources report gloomy forecasts from all the leading officials responsible for Israeli national security and the war on terror. The accord signed Tuesday caught them in the middle of constructing a new security system designed to safeguard the country after Israeli troops were pulled out of the Gaza Strip. The new accord threatens to push this system aside. Israel is divested of the means of keeping terrorists from making free use of the crossings which reopen Nov. 25 and the Palestinian convoys driving from Gaza to the West Bank and back from Dec. 15.

There is no longer any barrier to Palestinian terrorists bringing shoulder-launched anti-air missiles any time to the point from which they can turn Israel’s international airport into a disaster zone and paralyze international air traffic to and from the country.

Our sources reveal that the prime minister’s office made sure the six-page accord left by Rice was not translated into Hebrew. Israeli television and radio audiences were therefore not exposed to its contents.

Israel is denied any veto power over the arrival of terrorists from Sinai to Gaza or from Gaza to the West Bank in both directions. A wanted terrorist can simply board a bus in Gaza and commute to Hebron or Ramallah without restraint. Israel officials may not stop and search it the vehicle, albeit on Israeli soil, let alone make an arrest. They can only gnash their teeth in frustration.

Equally freedom of control is promised the merchandise and container trucks. The

American and European inspectors at the Gaza-Israeli crossings will not allow the Israeli officers free rein to effectively search them for hazardous freights lest the 150-per-day quota be slowed. The Palestinians will thus be quite free to move as many terrorists and as much water material and explosives as they like between the Gaza and the West Bank.

Therefore, when Israeli security leaders saw with dread the collapse of their painfully wrought war on terror – a NATO military mission arrived in Israel as Rice left to study Israel’s tactics and techniques – circles close to Palestinian minister Mohammed Dahlan in Ramallah were crowing with delight. They praised Condoleezza Rice for helping them break down Israel’s regime of crossings and barriers. At last, they said, we can enjoy full freedom of movement.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

DEBKAfile - Rice Secures Rafah Package Stripped of Adequate Counter-Terror Safeguards

The White House ordered Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to stay over in Jerusalem until the deal for the Gaza Strip’s international crossings was in the bag. She was almost there – “an accord is within sight” – Monday, Nov. 14. But she delayed her departure to join President Bush in South Korea until it was settled down to the last detail at issue between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The breakthrough was announced after she met defense minister Shaul Mofaz Tuesday morning. It was achieved after Israel backed down from virtually all its demands for security safeguards against terrorist incursions.

DEBKAfile’s political sources analyze some of the agreement’s salient features.

The Rafah crossing from Gaza to Egypt will reopen on November 25 as a Palestinian-Egyptian facility with a European presence. Video images will be transferred to a control center at the Kerem Shalom crossing which is on Israeli soil. It will be manned by Israelis and Palestinians with a European presence.

Israel will not be entitled to demand that suspected terrorists be kept out or detained. The Palestinians will only be required to report on the arrivals of VIPs, diplomats and humanitarian cases – no one else. Mofaz lauded this as “another stage in Egypt’s involvement.” He made no reference to the failure of Egyptian border police’s failure to secure the Philadelphi border enclave against the massive smuggling of arms and terrorists since the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

As for the crossings from Gaza into Israel, Israel surrendered the prerogative to shut down them down to secure personnel against terror alerts, although these facilities are notoriously prime terrorist targets. Jerusalem has undertaken to first notify the US embassy in Tel Aviv and back up its “request” with specific information, thus parting with its intelligence secrets. It must then wait for permission from Washington – or its refusal - to the closure.

Effective preventive action may well be held up by this delay.

By surrendering this point, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon relinquished a key element of Israel’s sovereign right to self-defense and agreed to hamstring its own army’s freedom to combat terror. The presence of Palestinian customs inspectors at Kerem Shalom makes an additional inroad on Israeli sovereignty.

From Dec. 15 to January 15, “secured Palestinian convoys” will start rolling across southern Israel from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank. The Palestinians want their own forces to secure the trucks. All that has been settled is that the Americans and Europeans will determine the procedures for their passage through Israeli territory.

There is no sign of the Sharon government standing up to Washington’s demands on that point either, so it is more than likely that Palestinian “forces” will be let loose on a wide swathe of southern Israel to escort 150 trucks a day bound for Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin and Nablus.

The provisions for the Rafah crossing will also be applied to Gaza’s deep sea port construction of which begins without delay. Israel has therefore forfeited control and oversight over incoming goods and people to Gaza by sea as well as overland.

DEBKAfile - Rice Secures Rafah Package Stripped of Adequate Counter-Terror Safeguards

Column: The Lost Princess

Last week I was reading Rabbi Nachman’s story, “The Lost Princess” and I understood it in a way that I never did before and I write about it in the hope of giving honor to Rabbi Yisroel Ber Oddesser, whose yartzeit is on the 18th of Cheshvan and whose insights and teachings brought me to mine.

The story starts like this (the whole story can be found here

“The Rebbe spoke up and said, "While on my journey I told a story. Whoever heard it had a thought of repentance." (And this is the story):

There was once a king who had six sons and one daughter. This daughter was very precious to him and he loved her very much. He spent much time with her. One time, he was alone with her on a certain day and he became angry at her. He inadvertently said, "May the Evil One take you away!" At night she went to her room. In the morning, no one knew where she was. Her father was very upset, and he went here and there looking for her. The viceroy realized that the king was very upset. He stood up and asked that he be given a servant, a horse, and some money for expenses, and he went to search for her. He searched for her very much, for a very long time, until he found her. (Now he tells how he searched for her until he found her.)”

So what was my insight?

It starts with a question -- who is the Lost Princess?

Rabbi Yisroel Ber, in his book of letters, Ebay ha Nachal, gives small and passing hints, keys if you would, into seeing the stories as he understood them. The English translation of Ebay ha Nachal, Blossoms of Spring, can be found here:

I find a subtle hint through Rabbi Yisroel Ber’s choice and juxtaposition of the first two teachings of Rabbi Nachman’s discussed in Ebay ha Nachal. First, the relevant part of the first letter:

“On the Last Rosh Hashanah before his passing, Rabbi Nachman, of blessed memory, said the awesome teaching in Likutey Moharan II, 8, which says that one must seek and search very much for the holy and prophetic spirit of the True Tzaddik and Leader and that the main perfection of faith, which is the essence of Judaism, is through him specifically.”

Now, what could this have to do with the story?

Stated most simply, Rabbi Nachman is the Lost Princess – whose spirit must be searched out by all of us, we being represented by the viceroy.

Two questions on this come to mind. One has to do with the fact that one of the standard interpretations of the story is that the Lost Princess is the shechinah, or divine presence, and so there seems to be a contradiction here with that standard interpretation. The other is the question of gender, why would Rabbi Nachman represent himself, if he indeed was speaking of himself here, in the feminine?

The second source discussed in Ebay ha Nachal (in the Hebrew version) that I mentioned earlier answers these questions in a way that I find more than satisfactory.

That source is from Likutey Moharan I, 70. It speaks of the humility and humbleness of the True Tzaddik and how, since he makes himself as dust and ashes, he has the power to draw everyone towards him, as the earth has gravity that pulls everything towards it. This quality of the True Tzaddik is why he is called the Tzaddik Yesod HaOlam, or the Tzaddik that is the foundation of the world – the one with the power to draw to him that resembles the power of gravity. His humility also draws the Divine Presence, or the shechinah, down, as Moshe merited through is humility which exceeded all men. Rabbi Nachman also speaks there about how the word Mishcan, or the tabernacle, the place where the shechinah rests, is of the same root as the word Mishcon, which means a guarantee -- a Mishcanta being the Hebrew word for a mortgage. He teaches that we see from the root of the word Mishcan that Hashem promises us that he will be with us in every generation – even in the depths of the exile when there is no physical Mishcan or Beit HaMikdash – and that the shechinah is found by the True Tzaddik who makes himself as dust and ashes and draws the shechinah down.

Both questions on my interpretation are answered. First, there is no contradiction between the seeing the Lost Princess as the shechinah and as Rabbi Nachman because they are interrelated as explained. Secondly, the use of the feminine is not problematic because when he speaks of himself he is also speaking of the shechinah, as explained, and the shechinah is described as feminine.

Perhaps I should have prefaced all of this by saying that while we are told to search for meaning in the stories we are at the same time warned not to limit their meaning – which in their deepness and secrets are completely beyond us. Still, the insights of Rabbi Yisroel Ber are to be given special attention and respect and I hope that my attempt to interpret in his fashion does honor to him and to Rabbi Nachman.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Column: France and Geneva

According to Debka, al Qaeda is in Europe in very large numbers. This means that the escalation of violence in France is almost certain. Debka also reports that al Qaeda has a “massive” and growing presence in Sinai, and Gaza.

How significant is the presence of al Qaeda in Europe?

On February 20, 2004, Debka claimed that French intelligence statistics estimated that:

“al Qaeda had recruited in France between 35,000 and 45,000 fighters and was organizing them in military-style units. They meet regularly for training in the use of weapons and explosives, combat tactics and indoctrination and are controlled from local and district command centers under the organization’s national French command. In Germany, Al Qaeda’s numbers are estimated at 25,000 to 30,000 men.”

Debka sees evidence of the influence of al Qaeda in France over the last days in the following incident:

. “On Nov. 6, the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, UOIF, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims to seek “divine grace” by blindly attacking private and public property and urging meditation and calm. The following night, bands of marauding Muslim youths extended their areas of attack from outlying city districts to urban centers and started shooting at police officers.”

That the bands of Muslims are ignoring a fatwa by the UOIF, shows, according to Debka that there is another, more important, and far more dangerous player involved behind the scenes:

“The controlling hand, far from being legitimate Muslim authority, is beginning to emerge as the very organization that has for several years been recruiting young fighters in French Muslim ghettos to fight al Qaeda’s wars against the West in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and other sectors.”

According to the analysis at Debka, the leaders in Europe are out of touch with the reality of al Qaeda’s influence. Preferring to maintain that the riots are economic and social in nature they are ignoring what they fear most and are appealing to moderate Muslims while facing their own intifada:

“France’s leaders, like the British and Dutch, are clinging to the hope that sympathetic dialogue with moderate Muslims will calm the street, despite all the evidence that radical, activist Muslims do not heed established Islamic authorities.”

In a recent article titled “Jihad in Europe?” which appeared on, Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, asks the relevant question:

“As is becoming increasingly well known, Osama bin Laden and others all over the world want to unify the Islamic world under a restored caliphate, reestablish the rule of Islamic law, and extend the hegemony of that law, Sharia, to the rest of the world also. Does that play any role in the French riots?”

Spencer questions, almost to the point of rejection, the socio-economic spin that the media and Europe have put on the riots and brings a long list of evidence pointing to Jihad.

One of the more revealing pieces of evidence he brings is from a Muslim blogger:

“The cops are petrified of us, everything must burn, starting Monday, the operation ‘Midnight Sun’ starts, tell everyone else, rendezvous for Momo and Abdul in Zone 4 ... jihad Islamia Allah Akhbar.” Another added: “You don’t really think that we’re going to stop now? Are you stupid? It will continue, non-stop. We aren’t going to let up. The French won’t do anything and soon, we will be in the majority here.”

Anti-Semitic attacks and the hands off approach to Muslim businesses by the rioters also weigh against the socio-economic spin according to Spencer.

Ynet reported the following anti-Semitic incidents:

“Arsonists threw at least two Molotov cocktails at synagogues in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine and Garges, leaving worshippers unhurt and elsewhere, near the synagogue of Stains, about 40 rioters confronted police forces who were braced for an attack.”

Meanwhile, in what would appear to be a bizarre juxtaposition of events, Israel's inner cabinet voted on November 1st to request the European Union to monitor and secure the Egyptian-Gaza border. Sylvan Shalom, Israel's foreign minister, told Haaretz, "Our objective is for the Europeans to have enforcement capabilities in the field, and not just a symbolic presence".

Enforcement capabilities in the field? Count on Europe to keep out the hordes? Maybe later, as a reward, become a part of the EU by adopting the Geneva Accord? Give up everything to the 67’ borders and expel another 100,000 Jews from their homes? Give up half of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount? Extend the “right of return” for “Palestinians” to within the 67’ borders?

All of this and more is the price Israel would pay to be part of the EU via Geneva. Yet, unless something changes fast – and the intifada in France might be just the right catalyst – this is the “peace plan” that heaven forbid will be blindly and tyrannically forced upon the Jewish people by a handful of Europhile “leaders.”

Who is The Century Foundation?

And why do they support the Geneva Accord? Read this. It's pretty scary stuff:

Israel and the EU: A Path to Peace Printer-Friendly
Michael Shtender-Auerbach, The Century Foundation, 11/3/2005

Israel's inner cabinet voted on November 1st to request the European Union to monitor and secure the Egyptian-Gaza border. Sylvan Shalom, Israel's foreign minister, told Haaretz, "Our objective is for the Europeans to have enforcement capabilities in the field, and not just a symbolic presence".

That Israel would rely on the Europeans to help guarantee any dimension of a developing Israeli-Palestinian peace is a significant shift. It certainly presents a major foreign policy challenge for the EU, which has offered itself in many roles but not as an enforcer. But it also shows Israel's underlying desire for a stronger relationship with Europe.

The new reality is growing interest in the possibility for Israel to become a full member of the EU. Historical, cultural, and most importantly economic elements continue to bind Israel to Europe, and the EU relationship can be critical for the Israeli economy in coming decades. As a result, Europe now has an unprecedented opportunity to step up to the plate, restart the stalled "road map," which is set to expire in December, and act as a peace broker to clear the biggest obstacle to Israel's ascension into the Union-Israelis' unresolved conflict with Palestinians.

As far back as 1946, David Ben-Gurion imagined Israel as a part of the British Commonwealth, with a status similar to that of New Zealand and Australia. Politicians as diverse as Simon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Sylvan Shalom have all supported the idea of Israeli membership in the EU. Clearly, interest exists in Israel. But while both Spain and Italy have expressed interest, the process has never been taken seriously by the majority of European nations or their citizens.

This latest request of Israel for the EU to play a major role in Israel's security should come as a welcome recognition in Brussels. It hands this 25-nation confederacy an unprecedented opportunity to play a decisive role in brokering peace between Israel and Palestine. The Israeli leadership has demonstrated time and again that it fears a univocal European policy that could hold both sides' feet to the fire of reform. This fear is a potent symbol of the new power that can be wielded by Europe in the interests of international peace.

For Israel, EU membership would not only provide a strong security guarantee, but would afford them all of the economic advantages of the vast EU market. For the security establishment, it could possibly mean even opening the door to membership in NATO. The EU and Israel already have a formal Cooperation Agreement—ratified five years ago by the Knesset, Israel's parliament— and this relationship has influenced economic, political and cultural exchanges. As recently as last week, the Council of European Ministers voted in favor of allowing Israel to join the Euro-Mediterranean cumulation of origin zone, which will have enormous financial benefits for the Israeli textile industry.

The European consensus on what Israelis and Palestinians need to do for peace is well known. To gain entry into the EU, Israel would need to negotiate a peace agreement with the Palestinians largely consistent with Security Council resolution 242-almost certainly similar to the terms proposed in the Geneva Initiative—and to settle its border dispute with Syria in the Golan.

In addition, Israel will, like every other candidate member, have to comply with the majority of the Copenhagen criteria for the EU member candidates. The common legal basis exists: Israeli governing bodies, legal and economic systems are all modeled on the British system. As an EU member at peace with its neighbors, Israel would bolster Europe's status as a world leader and international power broker. This would also provide Israelis with the security and membership in a community of nations that accept and protect them and to give the Palestinians their best hope for statehood in the long battle for sovereignty.

Israel should do all it can to reach toward the stability and economic vitality promised by closer ties with Europe. The EU should seize this opportunity to step fully into its new role as a major power and use that influence to facilitate the long awaited final status resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Michael Shtender-Auerbach is a public affairs officer at The Century Foundation.

Israel and the EU: A Path to Peace

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Rivlin States Obvious -- Aharon Barak in Denial

"'The Israeli public feels the Israeli democracy's police and legal mechanisms are designed to serve their own political goals,' Rivlin continued.

'I don't know if the High Court will be able to win the confidence of those who don't have a stake in what the court has come to represent,' Rivlin concluded.

High Court President Aharon Barak maintained at the gathering that 'in the courthouses in Israel there are professional judges, who work without political influence, and before them everyone is equal.'

'Israeli legal judgement is apolitical. This is how we have been since the first day of the state, this is how we are now, and this, I am sure, is how we will be in the future as well,' Barak said.

'The struggle against terror has to be carried out within the boundaries of the law, not in violation of the law. Individual rights have to be guarded in times of fighting as in times of peace. This is a war carried out with human rights in mind.'"

Full Story:
Haaretz - Israel News:

Abdul Hadi Palazzi - Fiaccolata per Israele

Tonight, Abdul Hadi Palazzi tells, there will be a huge pro-Israel demonstation in front of the Iranian Embassy in Rome.

90 % of Italian politicians are joining, including - for the first time - most of the leftists. They accepted to demonstrate with Israeli flags and with panels saying "WE ARE ALL ZIONISTS!" Never happened before...

Abdul Hadi Palazzi - Fiaccolata per Israele

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Jihad Watch: Muslims in Paris riot for sixth night

Riots Plague Paris Suburbs for Sixth Night," from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:

PARIS — Unrest spread across troubled suburbs around Paris in a sixth night of violence Tuesday as police clashed with angry youths and scores of vehicles were torched in at least nine towns, local officials said.
Police in riot gear fired rubber bullets at advancing gangs of youths in Aulnay-sous-Bois — one of the worst-hit suburbs — where 15 cars were burned, said the prefecture that runs the Seine-Saint-Denis region. Youths lobbed Molotov cocktails at an annex to the town hall and threw stones at the firehouse. It was not immediately clear whether there were injuries from the clashes.

Four people were arrested for throwing stones at police in nearby Bondy where 14 cars were burned, the prefecture said. A fire engulfed a carpet store, but it was not immediately clear whether the blaze was linked to the suburban unrest.

Officials gave an initial count of 69 vehicles torched in nine suburbs across the Seine-Saint-Denis region that arcs Paris on the north and northeast.

The area, home mainly to families of immigrant origin, often from Muslim North Africa, is marked by soaring unemployment and delinquency. Anger and despair thrive in the tall cinder-block towers and long "bars" that typically make up housing projects in France.

No trouble was immediately reported in Clichy-sous-Bois, where rioting began Thursday following the accidental deaths of two teenagers hiding to escape police in a power substation.

Nota bene: when moderate Muslim leader Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Paris mosque, tried to restore calm, his car was pelted with stones and he had to rush away.

See comments here and full story:

Jihad Watch: Muslims in Paris riot for sixth night

John Fonte Discussed by Daniel Pipes Back in 2002

[Leftist] Globalthink's Perils
by Daniel Pipes
New York Post
September 24, 2002

In the debate over Iraq, the Democrats and most allied governments are demanding United Nations Security Council endorsement of a military campaign - or they are against it.

This is a strange position. The U.S. government, with an over two-century record of forwarding human rights and defeating tyrants, is to defer to the United Nations? The duly elected leaders of the United States should step aside and let assorted dictators make key decisions affecting American national security?

There is a reason for this strange idea, John Fonte of the Hudson Institute reveals in an eye-opening article in the current issue of Orbis magazine. In recent decades, the "progressivism" rejected by America's democratic institutions - the executive branch, Congress, the courts, state and local governments - has been gaining at the United Nations and other undemocratic international institutions. And many Western elites - even more so in Europe than here - have so internalized this change that they now see the United Nations & Co. as more legitimate on these issue.

This attempted end-run around American democracy, Fonte argues, represents a significant movement, which he dubs "transnational progressivism." I prefer the name "bureaucratic leftism," but whatever one calls it, Fonte establishes that, in the tradition of fascism and communism, this effort constitutes a significant "challenge to liberal democracy."

Fully to absorb its threat requires reading Fonte's article in full. In summary, unable to achieve their goals through the ballot box, law professors, political activists, foundation officers, NGO bureaucrats, corporation executives, and practicing politicians now seek to achieve those goals by denigrating the two central pillars of modern liberal democracy, the individual citizen and the nation-state.

Bureaucratic leftism diminishes the role of the individual in many ways:

* The group over the individual: A person's unique capabilities and outlook have less importance than his membership in the ascriptive groups (racial, ethnic or gender) into which he is born.

* Victim vs. Oppressor : The world divides into good and bad groups, with nonwhites, women, immigrants and homosexuals by their very nature in the former category.

* Fairness requires group proportionalism: "Victim" groups should be represented in all facets of life (executives, prisoners) proportionate to their percentage of the population.

* Democracy as power sharing by groups: Democracy ceases to mean majority rule and becomes a matter of dividing the spoils among those ascriptive groups.

* Victims' values rule: Institutions must shed the outlook of the "oppressor" culture and adopt that of the nonwhite, female, immigrant and homosexual victims.

* Out with national narratives and symbols: Traditional notions of history "privilege" the oppressors and must be discarded. In the American case, for example, the conventional emphasis on European settlers is jettisoned in favor of a multicultural "convergence" of three civilizations - Amerindian, West African and European.

Then bureaucratic leftism weakens the nation-state:

* Denigration of state sovereignty: States should cede their powers to higher bodies, such as the European Union or the United Nations. In this spirit, Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres has called for a de-emphasis on sovereignty in his region and argued for a Middle Eastern version of the European Union.

* Citizen of the world: Instead of giving ultimate allegiance (defined as who you would die for) to the state, a vague loyalty goes to some form of global membership.

* Immigrant rights prevail: Immigrants should be able to relocate freely, impose their cultures on and offer only ambiguous loyalty to their new countries of residence. Long-established peoples in a region should accept "multiculturalism" with a smile.

Although forwarded by progressives and garbed in post-modern lingo, Fonte shows that bureaucratic leftism represents a throwback to a pre-modern age in Europe when rulers were unelected. Today's bureaucrats effectively fill the role of yesteryear's kings.

Predictably, the left's newest project is having more success in Western countries other than the United States - Canada, France, Israel and New Zealand come to mind. Fonte implies that Americans will end up with the main burden of fending off this ugly system, just as it did fascism and communism - and is now doing with militant Islam.

Only by recognizing bureaucratic leftism for what it is can it be stopped before its malign ideas have a chance to do real damage.

[Leftist] Globalthink's Perils - article by Daniel Pipes

Paul Eidelberg - The Hidden Agenda of Ariel Sharon and Aharon Barak

In February of this year, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his cabinet, “Anyone who speaks or writes against the Disengagement Plan is guilty of incitement”—a criminal offense.
With this fascist decree, Sharon laid the foundation for the countless abuses of civil rights perpetrated by the police and the judiciary against those who protested against the forced expulsion of 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria.

Sharon’s arch collaborator in this immoral and unlawful expulsion was none other than Aharon Barak, President of the Supreme Court, otherwise known as the High Court of Justice. Their hidden agenda: to hasten the demise of Israel as a Jewish state.

Ponder the following: The Israel Center and Honenu Legal Defense Association has just issued a report entitled “Israeli Government Violations of Disengagement Opponents’ Civil Rights.” Passages of the report have been cited in The Jerusalem Post (November 1, 2005).

The authors of the report, Itzhak Barn, Yitzhak Klein and Shmuel Medad, contend that “Israel’s law enforcement authorities engaged in widespread and systematic abuses of the civil rights of opponents of disengagement and of due process in prosecuting those accused of violating the law.” They state that “the phenomenon documented in this report did not occur in a vacuum, were not the acts of rogue cops, rogue prosecutors or rogue judges, but were the consequence of Israel’s law enforcement and judicial systems.”

The authors charge that “official directives, judgments of the Supreme Court and public statements by the heads of the legal system” encouraged the view that “civil and due process rights of opponents of the government’s policy deserved short shrift, and to signal to the police that these rights might be violated with impunity.”

The report avows that Attorney General Menahem Mazuz and the courts were the prime culprits in violating the rights of the protesters. The authors claim that “The state prosecution service and the judiciary chose to see protest as a form of rebellion and authorized harsh measures against those taking part in it. Police were all but promised immunity from punishment for violation of the rights of disengagement’s opponents, and accordingly gave those rights little respect.”

The report charged, that “in the early rulings, the Supreme Court [headed by Aharon Barak] set the tone for the attitude of the lower courts throughout the disengagement process by referring to acts of protest as ‘ideological crimes.’” (This accords with Sharon’s statement to the cabinet cited above.)

The report also accused the courts of violating “the terms of the arrest law by improperly holding protesters in detention after their arrest.” “Pretrial detention was imposed not in a few or in exceptional cases, but massively and systematically”—surely to intimidate and deter the protesters.

The Post concludes, saying that the report cited case studies of different types of human rights violations “including extended detentions and police brutality toward minors, police brutality in other situations, false arrest and violations of prisoners’ rights and of due process, the allegedly unjustified involvement of the GSS [General Security Service] in fighting the protest movement and suppression of legal dissent.”

No one should be surprised by this report. Did not Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin candidly declare, in an interview with Ha'aretz (June 5, 2003), that Israel is ruled by a “gang of law”? Did he not indicate that Prime Minister Sharon and Supreme Court President Aharon Barak are the leaders of this gang?

Has not Mr. Sharon been called a “dictator” by various members of the Knesset? Has not the Supreme Court repeatedly handed down rulings that violate the abiding beliefs of the Jewish people? Is it not the case that these rulings are intended to transform the Jewish state into “a state of its citizens”—the agenda implied in the March 2003 coalition guidelines of the Sharon government?

As the present writer has elsewhere demonstrated, Sharon’s adoption of the Left’s territorial withdrawal plan, which was criticized by Israel’s highest military and intelligence officials, has no strategic and no diplomatic justification. That plan is ideologically motivated. This could have been discerned from the Barak court’s bald statement that protests against disengagement are “ideological crimes.”

Barak’s agenda is clear. He ruled that even though the expulsion of Jews from their homes violates Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom, their expulsion may be justified in cases of national security—as if IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen Moshe Ya’alon and a dozen other experts had not testified that the Sharon withdrawal plan would undermine Israel’s nation security. What animates Judge Barak?

Consciously or unconsciously, he must be aware that withdrawal from any part of the sacred Land of Israel—all of which is identified with the teachings of the prophets and sages—will gradually shrink the historical memory of the Jewish people.

Hence it is my contention that territorial withdrawal is intended to undermine Jewish national identity and thereby prevent the eventual political ascendancy of the prolific religious community—of Jews like those of Gush Katif.

Therefore, not the Arabs, not terrorism, but as indicated in the above report, the hidden agenda of Ariel Sharon and Aharon Barak is to emasculate Jews and erase Israel’s Jewish character! This is the overriding challenge confronting the Jewish people.

Prof. Eidelberg, special to, is a political scientist, author and lecturer; co-founder and president of The Foundation For Constitutional Democracy and is the President of the Yamin Israel movement. - The Hidden Agenda of Ariel Sharon and Aharon Barak



AFSI’s itinerary on this November mission includes visits to the refugees wherever they may be scattered. At this point it is still nebulous since the Sharon government, which conducted a brilliant military action against its own people, neglected to use that same efficiency and organizational skills to arrange for the aftermath of the expulsion – the basic humanitarian needs of the evacuees. They have not yet received the promised compensation, and indeed, are still compelled to pay the mortgages on their destroyed homes. Employment, homes, schools, synagogues, graveyards, yeshivot, farms, greenhouses, hothouses and more, have all been taken away from them.

At this writing, many of the communities are in the western Negev in tent cities or temporary caravans. Some of the refugees now being housed in hotels in Jerusalem may be moving to caravans in the Negev. Others may be in hotels in Ashkelon. Still others may be in existing Shomron or Gush Etzion communities. Our guides will lead us to meet with the people in their temporary homes, and we will learn from them about what actions we can take to hasten the day when the Sharon government will assume its responsibilities to its forcibly expelled citizens, as promised.

In addition to concentrating on the refugees, we will visit our friends in Judea and Samaria, explore Jewish east Jerusalem, visit the Temple Mount, go home to Mother Rachel, and spend the Shabbat in Hebron celebrating Chaye Sarah, the reading of the portion of the Bible where Abraham buys the burial plot for his wife, Sarah.

Our flexible itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, Nov. 20 – Depart Newark airport on El Al flight LY028 from Newark airport at 1: 30 PM. Everyone should plan on being at the airport by 11 AM when tickets will be distributed. Please pack your belongings in one bag, so that the two bag allowance will permit you to bring along warm clothing and toys for those we’ll be visiting.

Monday, Nov. 21 & Tuesday, Nov. 22 – We are scheduled to arrive in Israel at 7 AM., meet our guides and good friends, Dror Vanunu and Izzy Danziger, and depart immediately for the Negev to visit the refugee communities. We will stay over Monday and Tuesday nights at a hotel near BeerSheva. Udi Zinar, spokesman for Netzarim, will guide us on Tuesday. Evening events will include prominent speakers. The mountains of the Negev highlands reach high altitudes, creating a special kind of desert habitat of stark desert landscapes, canyons, hidden springs and oases. We hope to explore some of these beautiful natural attractions.

Wednesday– Nov.23 – Drive north east towards Sussya, where we hope to lunch with Dalia Har Sinai in her unique cave restaurant. Continue on through Maon, Carmel and visit the Gush Etzion area on our way to Jerusalem where we will check into the Kings Hotel. An important guest speaker will address us in the evening.

Thursday–Nov. 24 –Drive north for visits to threatened hilltop and Shomron communities. Visit Bet-El, Ofra, Shilo, Kfar Tapuach, and Yitzhar. Meet with the residents and hear their stories. In Shilo we will meet with Chaya and Moshe Belogorodsky and representatives of Honenu, the organization that provides legal services to soldiers and civilians arrested because they are “ideological criminals.”

Friday–Nov. 25 –Leave for Hebron, stopping in Bethlehem at Kever Rachel. Arrive in Kiryat Arba/Hebron early enough to participate in the distribution of toys with Alan Hirsch. We will be housed in Yeshivat Nir where Rav Waldman, recently expelled from Sanur, is Rosh Yeshiva. Inspirational Kabalat Shabbat Services at the Maarat HaMachpela will be followed by dinner at the Yeshiva.

Shabbat – Nov. 26 – Chaye Sarah services at Maarat HaMachpela with thousands of participants from all over Israel and the world. Tour of Hebron during the afternoon with our friend, David Wilder. All Shabbat meals at the Yeshiva. Return to Jerusalem and the Kings hotel at the conclusion of Shabbat. Evening free for shopping and personal plans.

Sunday, Nov. 27 – Full day in Jerusalem. Optional ascent to the Temple Mount in the early morning. Tour Jewish east Jerusalem and the Old City with Chaim Silberstein of Uvneh Yerushalayim and Dan Luria of Ateret Cohanim. Gala farewell dinner and departure for the airport at 8:30 PM for midnight flight to Newark, arriving early Monday morning, Nov. 28. Those wishing to arrive at JFK must notify us.

This is a very popular mission, unique in its travels to the disputed areas of Israel. As in the past, Rabbi Bruce Rudolph is overseeing the travel arrangements, and Helen Freedman is the tour coordinator. The cost of the trip is $2000 plus airport taxes of $77, and additional $100 costs for non-AFSI members, single occupancy, and other personal travel changess. (AFSI membership is only $50 per year, so there is a $50 saving for joining the organization.) Air, bus travel, guides, hotels, all breakfasts and dinners and most lunches are all included. Those wishing to make their own flight arrangements may do so. AFSI will charge $1000 for land only. It DOES NOT include tips for hotel chambermaids, waiters, bus drivers and guides. Please plan accordingly. We encourage those who wish to rent cell phones to do so in the U.S. Arutz Sheva, Amigo, and Travel Cell all supply phones at competitive prices. Those wishing travel insurance information should contact AFSI.

Full payment is due immediately. All reservations will close on Nov. 10. You may make your check out to AFSI or call in with your charge card information. Please consult the website for detailed reports and photos of previous Chizuk missions. Contact AFSI at 212-828-2424; We look forward to welcoming you to the AFSI traveling family.

Scheme to Give Up David's Tomb

This issue is starting to get a lot of attention in spite of efforts to keep it out of the public eye.

The Mt. Zion Situation - Vatican - Toledo, Jerusalem, etc.

Column: Railroad to Hell

Shimon Peres has a new project to help bring “peace’ to the Middle East following on the “success” of the “disengagement.” It’s a railroad from Gaza to the “West Bank” that would enable the “Palestinians” to transfer some of the huge cache of weapons they have gathered in Gaza to Judea and Samaria. It will also provide a route for terrorists to reach the heart of Israel.

Can you believe this? Is there no end to the insanity of this appeasement? Nothing ever deters Peres from pushing forward towards his goal of what appears to so many to simply be the destruction of Israel.

But how can it be that someone would want to destroy his own country? Could such a thing really be?

Sadly, the answer is that such a thing can certainly be and it is a phenomenon that is not solely found in Israel. Look at the European Union. Was national sovereignty of the member nations not, to a great extent, given up to the EC? And look no further than America and see how the far-left has embraced the Jihadists and hope for the downfall of America as David Horowitz has exposed and explained so well in his book, “Unholy Alliance – Radical Islam and the American Left.”

Lately, I have drawn from the writings of John Fonte of the Hudson Institute who sees the upcoming two decades defined as the struggle between the nation-state and transnational-progressivism, or the push for an expansion of what we have seen in Europe on a global scale.

So, if you want to understand what looks like complete insanity on the part of Israel’s leadership, or on the contrary, if you wish to have the blind faith some Americans place in Israel’s ‘leadership” put under a light that makes it understandable and open to scrutiny, then enter the mind of Shimon Peres and his New Middle East – a world where there is nothing to fear as huge funds are raised and great powers orchestrated to bring about a utopian dream which will be shared by both Jews and Arabs – turning the desert green and standing as a beacon of hope for the whole world to admire. All that is needed is true belief and the willingness to make concession after concession to Israel’s sworn enemies to keep the dream alive, the funds flowing and the nations involved.

How’s that for a railroad?

And where does the security of Jews rank in this utopia? Where do values of Jews rank in this utopia? Where do the rights of Jews to the Land of Israel and their own homes and lives rank in this utopian vision? Where does the idea of a safe haven for the Jews rank in this mind? I don’t know if they rank at all. What evidence have we seen that they do? We are in the post-Zionist era and Shimon Peres wants to cut Israel in half with a railroad that will bring missiles and suicide bombers brought from what is now the worlds greatest terrorist base in Gaza to within striking distance of the population center of Israel – not to mention the threat to those Jews living in Judea and Samaria whose already dangerous situation will turn hellish.

Is this a time for American Jews to sit quietly and trust Israel’s “democratically elected leadership” on faith that it is built on an idea of Jewish nationalism that the “leadership” has self admittedly “grown out of” or is it time take a good hard look and ask what am I supporting when I support them blindly – saying they know best? Do they know better than the people of Israel? Is it the place of American Jews to take the side of these leaders in the name of “democracy?” Who are these “leaders” that have forced an Israeli public that has rejected this “process” over and over again to live in the nightmare that is their dream and why should they be supported when the people are suffering and the people say NO! What is their crime that their “leadership” should betray them? Is Jewish nationalism so repugnant that it is not worthy of a place in this world?

The story of the railroad I found on Debka. There were some interesting points made there and it is worth reading. The first point is a debunking of the stated purpose of the road or railroad – that without it Gaza will be a Palestinian prison.

“The Gaza Strip is no prison without this link: wide open to the neighboring Sinai region and Egypt to the south. But the Palestinians, including the Palestinian Authority, have made no productive use of their unrestricted access. Aside from a few family visits, this opening is used for nothing but the accumulation of a mountain of war materiel and the passage of terrorists.”

The rest of the article warns of the dangers involved.