Calls to seal off ultra-Orthodox areas add to Israel’s virus tensions


Purposely ignorant, fundamentalist religions, continue to spread disease and death throughout the word.

Rules enforcement highlights problem of getting message across to minority community

Oliver Holmes and Quique Kierszenbaum in Jerusalem

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Bnei Brak.
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Bnei Brak, which Israel has now declared a restricted zone. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

It wasn’t a typical police operation. Two Israeli officers were to go undercover, although not posing as drug dealers or arms traffickers. For this particular assignment, they were to disguise themselves as ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Their mission on Friday was to bust an illegal gathering in a synagogue. People were praying together, a practice that is now against the law in the era of the coronavirus. Once the officers got inside to confirm the crowd, more units barged in and dispersed people.

Forces left the area, according to police, but: “An hour later, it was reported that people had returned again.” At that point, officers handed out fines amounting to nearly £4,000.

The operation in the county’s north was one small part of a sometimes fruitless nationwide effort to impose Covid-19 restrictions on a deeply religious and often cut-off community that has been slow, or even opposed, to change their way of life.

Israeli soldiers deliver food to residents in Bnei Brak.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Israeli soldiers deliver food to residents in Bnei Brak. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Officials fear the result has been an explosion of cases in neighbourhoods populated with the minority, which makes up more than 12% of Israel’s nine million citizens.

In the most extreme case, an entire city, Bnei Brak, has been surrounded with barricades. Israel’s cabinet declared the city a “restricted zone” last week, sending in 1,000 police officers who blocked residents from leaving except under special circumstances. The army has also be deployed to deliver food to the elderly.

One medical expert estimated up to 38% of Bnei Brak’s roughly 200,000 mostly ultra-Orthodox inhabitants could be infected, significantly higher than the national average.

Many Israeli ultra-Orthodox live in poor, often congested areas with large families where infections can spread rapidly. Some religious leaders have refused to order their people to stay inside long after the rest of the country was locking down.

When a population are told the Torah will protect them there is no motivation to comply with orders Jessica Apple, Haaretz

Chaim Kanievsky, an influential rabbi, had initially refused to close packed synagogues and religious seminaries, where hundreds of boys and men gather daily. “The Torah protects and saves,” the 92-year-old said. Only in late March did the rabbi relent, calling for lone prayer.

There have also been several anecdotal reports that ultra-Orthodox communities in other countries, including the UK, are suffering an above-average infection rate.

In Israel, the outbreaks have deepened entrenched grievances between secular and religious populations that have festered since the state’s founding.

Ultra-Orthodox Israelis, known in Hebrew as Haredim, or “God-fearers”, occupy a unique role, with laws allowing them to avoid military draft and live off stipends while they study religion, leading to secular resentment.

Jewish leaders fear ultra-Orthodox Jews have missed isolation message

Many abhor Israel’s interference in their traditions. Some are vehemently anti-Zionist, rejecting the country whose Jewish majority is mostly secular, which has frustrated government coronavirus efforts when public trust and obedience are vital.

Attempts by police to enforce quarantine restrictions in religious neighbourhoods of Jerusalem have led to sometimes violent standoffs. Paramedics have been hit with rocks.

“When a population that regards its religious leaders as infallible are told that the Torah will protect them and that the secular law enforcement agencies are Nazis and anti-Semites, there is no motivation to comply with orders,” wrote Jessica Apple in the progressive local Haaretz newspaper; her article also called for ultra-Orthodox jews to wear face masks.

Now the cabinet is discussing using the Bnei Brak lockdown as a model for other outbreaks, and local media have cited an unnamed health official as saying more ultra-Orthodox areas could also be sealed off.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish burial society workers with a coronavirus victim outside the Shamgar funeral house in Jerusalem.
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Ultra-Orthodox Jewish burial society workers with a coronavirus victim outside the Shamgar funeral house in Jerusalem. Photograph: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalemite who used to take part in anti-government demonstrations, said some rabbis took a “long time to internalise the severity of the situation … and they truly believe that studying Torah is more important than anything else.”

However, he said the government was also slow to communicate with more radical parts of the community, many of whom have no internet, television, radio, smartphones or even newspapers and usually get news from posters stuck to noticeboards.

Meshi-Zahav, who runs a volunteer emergency medicine group that has been helping coordinate the Covid-19 response, has written posters on the rules. Still, he added: “It is not our job, it should be the Ministry of Health’s responsibility.”

He said he was concerned about growing anger. “In normal times, there are discussions on this, but now the seculars are saying, ‘you are infecting us’. This is terrible, there is a lot of antisemitism around the world, and now the seculars are doing this?”

“There are things they say that are correct, but to accuse a whole community? To generalise? Some people are using the situation to attack the Haredim.”

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man kisses the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem’s Old City Marko Djurica/ File Photo

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Israeli rabbi: Coronavirus outbreak is divine punishment for gay pride parades


Meir Mazuz falsely claims Arab states spared, because they ‘don’t have this evil inclination’; modern Orthodox group blasts him for ‘inciting against the LGBT community’

By TOI staff

Ultra bigot Rabbi Meir Mazuz speaks at a press conference the 'Yachad' political party in Bnei Brak, March 27, 2019. (Yehuda Haim/Flash90)

An Orthodox Israeli rabbi has claimed the spread of the deadly coronavirus in Israel and around the world is divine retribution for gay pride parades.

The remarks by Rabbi Meir Mazuz, reported by the Israel Hayom daily on Sunday, drew condemnation from rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which urged him to apologize.

An influential Sephardic rabbi, Mazuz is the former spiritual leader of the defunct ultra-nationalist and homophobic Yachad party, and is head of the Kiseh Rahamim yeshiva in Bnei Brak.

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On Saturday night he gave a talk at the yeshiva, during which, according to the report, he said a pride parade is “a parade against nature, and when someone goes against nature, the one who created nature takes revenge on him.”

Mazuz said that countries all over the world are being called to account because of their gay pride events, “except for the Arab countries that don’t have this evil inclination.” That was why, he claimed — falsely suggesting there has only been one case of infection in the Arab world — they have not seen a spread of coronavirus.

The outbreak in Iran, one of the most serious in any country, he explained as being due to the wicked ways of Iranians and “their hatred of Israel.”

According to the newspaper, Mazuz had earlier claimed Israel would be protected from the coronavirus.

“It is regrettable that in times like these when the whole world comes together to eradicate coronavirus, Rabbi Mazuz finds it appropriate to blame the virus’s outbreak on the LGBTQ community. We harshly condemn his statements and urge him to apologize,” the ADL’s Israel branch said in a statement.

The modern Orthodox Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah group also condemned Mazuz’s remarks.

“Using this time of need to incite against the LGBT community is unacceptable. Trying to get people to return to religion cannot come at the price of harming others,” it said in a statement.

Israel has thus far had 39 cases of coronavirus, including 14 new cases announced on Sunday night, but no deaths.

Mazuz is no stranger to controversy or hateful rhetoric. In November 2015 he claimed gay pride parades and other forms of “sinful behavior” were the reason terrorists murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin on October 1, 2015.

At a memorial event for the Henkins, Mazuz said that their shooting death at the hands of Palestinian terrorists had been a form of divine retribution.

In 2016 Mazuz attributed the collapse of a Tel Aviv parking garage that killed six people and an explosion that destroyed the Amos-6 satellite to Shabbat desecration.

Israel has two major gay pride parades each year, one in Tel Aviv and another in the capital, Jerusalem, which is billed as promoting tolerance.

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Jewish Racist Rabbi | Goyyim Are Murderers And Thieves, Blacks Might Have Killed Jews Over Obama Loss


Satmar Rebbe: Goyyim Are Murderers And Thieves, Blacks Might Have Killed Jews Over Obama Loss

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum

“President Obama is from the Children of Ham [the biblical Noah’s Black  son], and in America there are many millions from the same race as  Obama. [Make no mistake, the] Children of Japheth [another son of the biblical Noah who was white; White Europeans, Caucasians] are not  any better than the Children of  Ham. Like all other goyyim, there are very many murders and thieves among them.”

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum

Originally published at 10:39 pm CST 12-5-2012. Updated 10:32 am CST 12-6-2012 to reflect this correction: “Like all other goyyim, there are very many murders and thieves among them.”

This is a three-and-a-half minute excerpt from Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum’s speech last night at the massive Satmar dinner in Williamsburg.Please click the gray bar to listen:

Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum 12-4-12

What follows is a free translation done by a hasid. I Put that free translation into standard American English (whenever possible) to make it more easily understandable:

The president [Obama] is from the Children of  Ham [the biblical Noah’s Black son], and in America there are many millions from the same race as him.
[Make no mistake, the] Children of Japheth [another son of the biblical Noah who was white; White Europeans, Caucasians] are not any better than the Children of Ham. Like all other goyyim, there are very many murders and thieves among them.

Jews are in exile here [in America]. We are spread out in between the goyyim to earn our livings.

We should think about what would happen if the results in the US elections would have been different and President Obama would have had a downfall and lost.

It would now be known to whole world that Jews campaigned [against Obama and] that caused Obama to lose.
What kind of hatred against Jews [would have come from that]?!?! It would have caused massive sinat Yisrael [hatred against the Jewish people], [hatred] against thousands of Jews living here in US! The results for thousands Jews in all 50 States would have been terrible!

Simply put, the head of the Zionist regime [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] made Jewish blood hefker [free, connoting “Jewish blood is cheap”] in America. [Through his open support for Mitt Romney is risked many Jewish lives].

The Jews have not forgotten the pogroms in Crown Heights when the blood of Ya’akov Rosenbaum, may God avenge his blood, was spilled [by Blacks]!
With so many goyyim [non-Jews], [what Netanyahu did] is a great danger [to Jews] that has no end!

The politics that the state’s [Israel’s] prime minister does with the leaders of the Nations of the World, and what he did in Gaza – the provoking of conflict! – is very terrible!

It is very surprising that his religious [coalition] partners agree with him. They practice shtika k’hoda’ah [silence is equivalent to agreement] and give him endorsement with full mouths…

Jewish Orthodox Cry Anti-Semitism Whilst Vilifying Other Religions


 “Any trial based on the assumption that Jews and goyim are equal is a total travesty of justice” — Prominent Jewish religious fanatic, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

 

Jewish Day School Textbook Challenged by Muslim Group for Vilifying Muslims

DateFriday, November 23, 2012

A Canadian Islamic organization is accusing a Toronto-area Jewish day school of using a textbook that vilifies Muslims.

In a Nov. 19 letter to Jewish groups, the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR-CAN, charges that a textbook used at the Joe Dwek Ohr HaEmet Sephardic School employs “inflammatory and hateful terms in describing Muslims.”

CAIR-CAN alleges that the book, “2000 Years of Jewish History,” describes Muslims as “rabid fanatics” with “savage beginnings.”

“The entire chapter devoted to Islam presents a pernicious and extreme portrayal of Muslims and the Islamic faith. The material further denigrates the Prophet Muhammad as a ‘rabid Jew-hater,’ and falsely portrays Islam as inherently anti-Semitic and devoted to hating Jews,” the group said in its letter to the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center For Holocaust Studies and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, or CIJA.

It said the text is used in grade 7 and 8 girls’ classes at the Orthodox Jewish day school and “leaves impressionable young Jewish readers with a sense of suspicion and even intolerance towards their fellow Canadians.”

The group wants the Centre for Jewish Education of UJA Federation of Greater Toronto to investigate.

No one from CIJA, the Wiesenthal Center or Ohr HaEmet responded to JTA’s requests for comment.

CAIR-CAN’s salvo comes on the heels of an investigation by Toronto-area police of a local Islamic school. Earlier this month, police cleared the school of hate crimes allegations following a complaint by Jewish groups. York Regional Police found that teaching materials at the East End Madrassah attacked Jews and “suggested intolerance,” but were not criminal.

Part of the madrassah’s curriculum encouraged boys to keep fit for jihad, compared Jews to Nazis, and referred to “Jewish plots and treacheries.”

The complaint “prompted change” at the madrassah, noted CAIR-CAN in its letter, adding that the group “welcomes that change.”

When police began their probe, the Toronto District School Board,  which rented space to the school, revoked its permit and the madrassah had to relocate.

JTA, 22 November 201

Kosher Mafia | Religious Jewish Extremists Dictating Diet, Limiting Choice


Indian Restaurant Drops State Kosher Supervision Over Rabbis’ Vegetable Demands
VegetablesAn Indian restaurant in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem is reportedly the latest in a long line of food businesses which have dropped kosher supervision after facing what they say are “impossible demands” made by the state Rabbinate’s kosher supervisors.

Vegetables

Ynet reports that an Indian restaurant in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem is reportedly the latest in a long line of food businesses which have dropped kosher supervision after facing what they say are “impossible demands” made by the haredi-controlled state Rabbinate’s kosher supervisors.

Ichikidana dropped its kosher certification after Shmuel Zamelman, Machane Yehuda’s new kashrut supervisor, reportedly began forcing restaurants in the market to buy their vegetables from specific stores.

Lehava Silman Herman, who owns Ichikidana, told Ynet that having a kashrut certificate just wasn’t worth the trouble.

“We are a vegan restaurant,” Silman Herman said, “so the kashrut is irrelevant, but we decided to cooperate with the Rabbinate because of religious Jews. After [Zamelman] arrived and decided that we must only buy in certain stores, I decided that I would not cooperate any longer.”

But the Rabbinate claims the change in the market’s long standing practice is actually no change at all.

“Every restaurant which receives a kosher certification must take leaves and vegetables [i.e., leafy vegetables and non-leafy vegetables] from a supervised place only. This has been a Rabbinate order for the past 30 years. The Rabbinate does not profit from this arrangement.”

There can be several kashrut issues with vegetables, primarily related to bug infestation and tithes.

The Corruption of US Politics By Jewish Right Wing Extremist Sheldon Adelson


Sheldon Adelson Obliterates Democracy at Home and Abroad

“My political leanings are far to the right….
Attila the Hun was too liberal for me.”
–Sheldon Adelson, 2010If you’ve been paying any attention to Election 2012, you have undoubtedly become familiar with Sheldon Adelson. The casino magnate and Republican Party benefactor – worth $20.5 billion according to Forbes magazine – is fully committed to defeating President Barack Obama, and to that end has pledged to spend as much as $100 million.

Beyond Adelson’s anti-Obama advocacy lies two greater causes; un-wavering support for right wing Israeli politicians and organizations; and, urging the US government to take more muscular action against Iran.

In addition to dumping boatloads of money into Republican Party war chests, Adelson has almost single-handedly destroyed what has historically been a pretty vigorous newspaper culture in Israel.

The Gingrich factorInterestingly enough, by dropping millions into the coffers of the failed candidacy of Newt Gingrich, Adelson kept the disgraced House Speaker viable long enough for two Israel-related factors to unfold: 1) Gingrich’s promotion of extreme pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian views, which moved all the other GOP candidates (except Ron Paul) to the right on Israel; and, 2) the inability of religious right and the Tea Party to settle on one candidate, handed the nomination to Mitt Romney, a longtime friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Adelson’s influence “has turned the Republican contest into a competition of extreme rhetoric, in which there is no room for compromise or diplomacy, and the only answer to any international problem is unmitigated toughness,” Gal Beckerman reported in The Jewish Daily Forward in January of this year. “No one wants to be outflanked by the right when it comes to foreign policy (no one, I should say, besides Ron Paul) and so Gingrich’s apparent parroting of Adelson’s hardline attitudes about Israel — and, I should add, Iran — means that the whole tone of the race is affected.”

Adelson out-AIPAC’s AIPAC

Beckerman pointed out that Adelson’s “positions [on Israel] are unambiguously right-wing and hawkish to the extreme. When it comes to the Palestinians, there is no one to be trusted.”

Beckerman noted that Adelson split with AIPAC (The American Israel Public Affairs Committee) because it “was not far enough to the right for him”: “After being a diehard supporter — funding a new building in Washington, D.C. — he split with the group in 2007 when it decided to support a congressional initiative, backed by the Israelis, to increase economic aid to the Palestinians. ‘I don’t continue to support organizations that help friends committing suicide just because they want to jump,’ he said at the time by way of explanation. He had the same reaction when Ehud Olmert, whom Adelson had once befriended, came to the conclusion that he had to pursue negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.”

Adelson told The Jewish Week last year that, “The two-state solution is a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.”

Adelson’s involvement with Israeli politics is nothing new. In 2007, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Adelson “has been organizing delegations [to Israel] of Republican congressmen and senators for the past 15 years. ‘They all come back Zionists,’ Adelson said.”

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are major funders of Birthright, a project that sends young Jews on free trips to Israel. Earlier this year, jta.org reported that over the course of Birthright’s 13-year history, the Adelsons had donated more than $140 million to the project.

The casino magnate has also been involved with overt Islamophobic endeavors. AlterNet’s Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel recently reported that Adelson had been distributing copies of the 2007 film Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West (2007) to Birthright participants. The film “demonizes all Muslims, and through explicit statements and rapid-fire images, makes clear the filmmaker’s view that there is a direct connection between Nazis and both Palestinians and Muslims,”

Adelson’s Israeli media grab

Adelson’s influence over Israeli politics has grown exponentially since 2007, when he founded a free daily newspaper, Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), that had “a strikingly pro-Netanyahu line that quickly became Israel’s most-read newspaper with nearly 40 per cent of the market,” The Globe and Mail recently pointed out.

In many ways, Israel Today closely resembles both the Reverend Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times, which since its’ founding has essentially functioned as a house organ for conservative politics while losing tens of millions of dollars, and the media properties of Rupert Murdoch.

Since its advent, Israel Today has been unabashedly pro Netanyahu. It gave him a “vital boost in the knife-edge 2009 election when he regained the premiership [and it] …. has helped counter the negative coverage that continues to plague his administration, The Globe and Mail reported. .

According to The Globe and Mail, “Critics say [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has effectively become part of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign at Adelson’s behest, creating a rift with Obama and damaging Israel’s ability to work with the United States to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“While Adelson’s newspaper is not the only right-leaning media organ, it is helped by its owner’s willingness to operate at a loss, a luxury not available to other Israeli media.”

The paper “costs Adelson more than $30-million a year, according to a former business partner, Shlomo Ben Zvi.”

In 2010, Adelson told a media conference that his “political leanings are far to the right.” He then added: “Attila the Hun was too liberal for me.”

Jewish Baby Penis Sucking Ritual Health Hazard | Herpes Transmission | Baby Deaths


Study Indicates That Herpes Frequently Sheds And Can Be Transmitted Even When Mohel Is Shows No Symptoms Of The Virus
Bris Milah Circumcision Metzitzah B'peh closeup

“At least 70% of the population shed HSV-1 asymptomatically at least once a month, and many individuals appear to shed HSV-1 more than six times a month. Shedding HSV-1 is present at many intraoral sites, for brief periods, at copy numbers sufficient to be transmitted, and even in seronegative individuals.”

Bris Milah Circumcision Metzitzah B'peh closeup
Metzitzah b’peh done in Israel, where it some Zionist Orthodox and Modern Orthodox mohels do the controversial oral sucking procedure, despite its risks to the baby.

Just in case your haredi rabbi says there is no evidence that herpes can be transmitted by metzitzah b’peh (MBP) – the direct oral-to-genital sucking done by many haredi mohels to the baby’s bleeding penis after removing its foreskin – even though babies have died and been maimed by herpes infections transmitted through MBP, or if he says that a mohel who has no outward signs of herpes can safely do MBP, you can cite this study, which shows both claims of your rabbi to be false:

Abstract: Asymptomatic Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) in the Oral Cavity
Howard E. Strassler, DMD

Jan. 27, 2009
Inside Dentistry

Miller CS, Danaher RT. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2008;105(1):43-50.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the rate of herpes simplex virus (HSV) shedding from the oral cavity, because recent studies suggest that shedding is more frequent than originally reported. Factors that could influence the rate and duration of shedding from the oral cavity were examined.

Methods: Existing epidemiologic data from 22 reports of HSV shedding from more than 3,500 individuals were analyzed with regard to demographics, frequency of sampling, and methodologic assays.

Results: HSV-1 was more likely to be detected than HSV-2 in the oral cavity of asymptomatic persons (7.5 odds ratio, 95% confidence interval 4.4–12.8; P < .0001). The rate of shedding was highly variable among individuals, ranging from none to 92% of the days tested, and occurred in seropositive and seronegative individuals. In cell culture studies, the rate of detection on a single day was 6.3%. Polymerase chain reaction studies provided a different picture. HSV-1 DNA was present in 97 of 180 patients (53.9%) at multiple visits, with a rate of daily detection of 33.3%. The mean duration of shedding was between 1 and 3 days, but more than 3 days in about 10% of the patients.

Conclusion: At least 70% of the population shed HSV-1 asymptomatically at least once a month, and many individuals appear to shed HSV-1 more than six times a month. Shedding HSV-1 is present at many intraoral sites, for brief periods, at copy numbers sufficient to be transmitted, and even in seronegative individuals. The dental implications of these findings are discussed.

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a significant human pathogen infecting most individuals early in life, predominantly at mucosal surfaces after exposure to infected secretions. It has been implicated in a range of diseases including labials and stomatitis, blinding keratitis, and, rarely, encephalitis. According to the data, more than 70% of adults have neutralizing antibodies and serve as reservoirs of the virus. The authors have done an excellent systematic review of the rate of shedding of HSV from the oral cavity. Asymptomatic shedding is generally defined as the presence of HSV in the absence of clinical lesions. Based on this review, the frequency of HSV shedding at virus numbers sufficient to be transmitted are significantly higher than most clinicians would suspect. These high frequencies of asymptomatic shedding suggest that HSV-1 is not as dormant during latency as previously believed. This translates to the fact that even without clinical lesions, the dentist, dental hygienist, and chairside assistant are at risk. This data emphasize the importance of being diligent in maintaining proper infection control procedures (eye protection, gloves, mask) when performing routine dental examinations and procedures. All efforts should be taken to minimize splashes and splatters of oral fluids even in the absence of HSV oral lesions. Also, medical conditions, eg, immunosuppression and traumatic oral surgical procedures, increase the likelihood of virus shedding in the oral cavity.

Howard E. Strassler, DMD
Professor and Director of Operative Dentistry
Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry
University of Maryland Dental School
Baltimore, Maryland

Baby Dies of Herpes in Ritual Circumcision By Orthodox Jews

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

Baby’s Death Renews Debate Over a Circumcision Ritual

How 11 New York City Babies Contracted Herpes Through Circumcision

http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/07/how-11-new-york-city-babies-contracted-herpes-through-circumcision/

Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection Following Jewish Ritual Circumcisions that Included Direct Orogenital Suction — New York City, 2000–2011

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6122a2.htm

NYC Puts at Least One Restriction on Mohels Sucking Freshly Circumcised Baby Penises

http://gawker.com/5947500/nyc-getting-closer-to-banning-adults-from-sucking-freshly-circumcised-baby-penises

Banned Herpes Mohel Still Circumcising Babies

http://gothamist.com/2012/03/14/authorities_investigating_herpes_mo.php

Circumcision’s Deadly Fault Line: Rationality vs. the Metzitzah B’Peh

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/10/circumcision-s-deadly-fault-line-rationality-vs-the-metzitzah-b-peh.html

 

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The Fear of the Rabbis | Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Oppression | Jewish Sexual Abuse Amongst Ultra-Orthodox


The Rabbis Are Right To Be Afraid
The Fear of the Rabbis | Jewish Ultra-Orthodox Oppression | Jewish Sexual Abuse Amongst Ultra-Orthodox

Post by Jay Michaelson
40,000 people at Citi Field? Can’t be for a Mets game—no, must be an ultra-Orthodox rally/teach-in/info session on the dangers of what you’re doing right now: browsing the Internet. And so it is: tonight, with overflow seating at the Arthur Ashe tennis center (yes, the event is sold out) and simulcast to schools in Borough Park.

I suspect most readers are, by now, chuckling to themselves—as, admittedly, I did myself. After all, the New York Times coverage of the event notes the sale of “kosher” smartphones that limit Internet use. This is funny stuff.

But on second thought, aren’t the ultra-Orthodox right? This is an insular community that has built real and virtual walls to shield itself from secular influences. Aren’t they correct to worry that if their adherents surf the Internet, the community will suffer?

I think they are. One reason I write for publications like this one is to make a difference, to share information that people may not ordinarily hear about, and offer some perspective on issues like this one. (Okay, maybe this is getting too meta-.) I hope that I’m not only preaching to the choir; I hope that there are people who read my work, feel challenged by it, and then think and rethink their positions.

And of course, no amount of ink-spilling can make as much difference as a Lady Gaga video or an episode of Glee. (In somewhat related news, Hong Kong evangelicals plastered the city-state with posters warning Christians to stay away from a planned Lady Gaga concert that would include “pornographic, homosexual and satanic elements.” Well, two out of three ain’t bad.) Or the YouTube videos of Hasidim who are glad to have left the fold. Or websites devoted to egalitarian, LGBT-inclusive, and open-minded Judaism. The rabbis are right to worry, are they not?

Maybe what’s ridiculous here is the irony: tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox men using technology, cramming into Citi Field, and learning why they should fear technology. Then again, no ultra-Orthodox authorities can really ban the Internet, and the Hasidim are not like the Amish, willing Luddites rejecting “modernity.” They’re rejecting certain aspects of modernity—cultural and moral ones, in particular.

Or maybe it’s just the futility of it all. Surely, as the proposed reality TV show “The Unchosen Ones” and Hella Winston’s similarly-titled book, Unchosen, show, ghetto walls are highly permeable these days. There’s something almost quaint about 40,000 middle-aged men thinking they can stop their teenagers from tweeting. Even if they can.

I think, though, the reason these stories strike a chord is that they remind New Yorkers like me that only a few miles from where I sit, people are living in a different century—and I don’t even mean the 20th. Here in Park Slope, there are more lesbians than coffee shops, and more coffee shops than trees. Yet a few blocks down in Crown Heights, or across the park in Flatbush, thousands of people have lifestyles and morals that wouldn’t pass the laugh test over here. They think we’re sinners, we think they’re throwbacks, and yet we ride the same subways, crowd the same streets.

Unfortunately, as secular and moderate Israelis have long known, the ultra-Orthodox minority is not content to keep its morality to itself. These people aren’t Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof: as soon as they gain enough political power, they use that power to change laws, segregate the sexes, fund their religious schools, and foist their vision onto the rest of us.

Moreover, as a handful of protesters have recognized, this anti-Internet rally is taking place in the shadow of an unprecedented probe into sexual abuse in the ultra-Orthodox community, which appears to be rampant. When ultra-Orthodox rabbis aren’t busy railing against the Internet, some of them are busy covering up hideous instances of abuse among their flock or intimidating witnesses. That’s certainly not Tevye either.

Maybe, then, we’re laughing because otherwise we might be terrified.

Hate Zealot Pamela Geller’s Fixation With Sandra Fluke’s Vagina


Pamela Geller‘s Fixation With Sandra Fluke’s Vagina

Pamela Geller: ‘I’ve Had It Up to Here With Sandra Fluke’s Vagina’
Crazy hater just keeps ranting
Thanks to:- Charles Johnson

After his repellent misogynistic comments about law student Sandra Fluke, almost all of Rush Limbaugh’s major advertisers have dropped his show like a hot potato.

In response, a weird hush has fallen over most of the right wing blogosphere; they seem to have realized that when 32 major advertisers bail out on Rush Limbaugh, it might not be very smart to keep trying to defend him.

But who ever accused anti-Muslim hate group leader Pamela Geller of being smart? She’s still in auto-hate mode, spitting venom at Sandra Fluke like a deranged street person.

Today, Geller triples down on her hate speech, calls Sandra Fluke a “fraud” and a “pig” and “an embarrassment to decent young women,” says she was “planted” by nefarious hidden forces (probably Obama himself), and then offers a freakishly bizarre analogy about Wal-Mart handbags vs. Hermes handbags to explain … something.

FRAUD FLUKE’S OBAMA-ENDORSED VAJ!!!!! – Atlas Shrugs

  

SKELETOR‘S TWIN – PAMELA GELLER

Update: I removed the photo that Atlas reader Leon Blue sent from daleygator via facebook — looks photoshopped.

I have had it up to here with Fluke’s vagina. Seriously. Clearly she’s a plant. I don’t have to exalt or honor women who debase and lower themselves to meat status. I will not honor this pig. I will not teach children to debase themselves. I will not teach children that this is “empowerment.”

I explain it to young girls this way. Go into any Wal-Mart or Target. There are hundreds of black handbags for sale in bins, hung on display walls, all cheap or moderately priced, and they can’t give them away.

Now go into Hermes. There is one black, gorgeous, impossible to get, crocodile Birkin bag. There are waiting lists for this bag. No one can get that bag. It costs a fortune and still everyone wants that bag.

Be that bag.

I despise the women’s movement. I despise what they have done to women (and men). Just look at Fluke. She is a full-fledged activist and an embarrasment to decent young women…

And worse, the President of the United States called her to congratulate her and tell her how proud he was of her. Who has done more harm to the status of American women then [sic] feminists? How they destroyed our standing, respect, and reverence we held not forty, fifty years ago.

Oh, and that photo she removed when she figured out it wasn’t actually a BOMBSHELL scoop, but a lame photoshop job? Here it is:

The Destruction of Israel


Make no mistake, Israel‘s existence is under threat
TheDrum By ABC’s Ben Knight

Updated September 24, 2011 12:17:39

Let’s imagine for a moment that at this time next year, by some
miracle, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas meet on the White House lawn to
sign the accord that will create the nation of Palestine. All disagreements are
forever resolved – from where the borders of the two countries will lie, to how
they will share Jerusalem as their capital.

Let’s also assume that all Muslim and Arab nations will keep their promise to
recognise Israel – and that the militants of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad
are consigned to the dustbin of history.

Israel is finally free to realise its full potential as a nation. Or, to put
it another way – Israel is finally free to let its own internal divisions and
hatreds tear it apart.

If you think Israelis and Palestinians don’t see eye to eye, the gulf between
secular Israelis and the ultra-orthodox religious is probably just as wide.

Go to Tel Aviv on a Saturday morning, and you’ll see one version of Israel –
secular, middle-class sun-worshippers, sitting in trendy beachside cafes,
munching on bacon and eggs, or hummus and salad.

Then, on the same Saturday morning, drive 40 minutes up the highway to
Jerusalem, where you’ll visit an entirely different country. Here, there are no
cars, and streets are closed off with police barriers – as ultra-orthodox Jews
in black overcoats and fur hats walk to the Western Wall to pray.

And no, the two groups don’t get along.

Secular Israelis work, pay taxes, and serve in the army. Ultra-orthodox, or
Haredi Jews, don’t.

Secular Israelis are prepared to die for their country in battle, but have to
travel outside it to get married in a civil ceremony.

Not surprisingly, it’s a pretty sore point. Especially as the demographic
balance is shifting fast.

Secular couples have, on average, around two children per couple. Haredi
couples have closer to eight or nine.

And it’s changing the very identity of Israel – away from the secular,
socialist civil society it was created as in 1948 – to something quite
different.

To see it in action, you only need to take a peek inside an Israeli
school.

Israeli’s government funds three streams of education; regular state schools,
ultra-orthodox religious schools, and Israeli Arab schools.

Back in 1960, only around 15 per cent of Israeli children were enrolled in
religious or Arab schools.

That figure is now around 50 per cent. In 30 years, it will be almost 80 per
cent. That is a frightening statistic for the nation of Israel.

Arab Israelis have long had lower education, and higher unemployment
levels.

But the real problem is in the religious stream.

In religious schools, children don’t learn mathematics, science, or English;
only the Bible. All day, every day. And Haredi men are expected to – and do –
continue that Bible study for the rest of their lives.

It’s all funded by the taxpayers. And the taxpayers are… secular
Israelis.

What does it mean? Well, if the figures are to be believed, in less than 30
years, Israel will have a population where the majority either can’t, or won’t
join the workforce – putting an increasing, and impossible burden on the secular
minority to pay the taxes and serve in the army.

This, in the ‘Startup Nation’ – the country that prides itself on its hi-tech
sector. Israel has the ideas, the inventors, and the entrepreneurs – but
already, it has to import workers from overseas, because there aren’t enough
educated Israelis in the job market.

It’s not sustainable. Israelis know about it, and sometimes talk about it,
but Israel’s government does nothing. It’s just too hard – especially as the
political power of the ultra-religious is growing. It’s almost impossible to
form a government in Israel today without them.

Opposition – and resentment – is growing. Middle-class, taxpaying, secular
Israelis are already so angry about the mere cost of living – and that their
children cannot afford to buy or rent a home – that they have taken to the
streets in huge numbers.

But it’s hard to see how any government – however brave – is going to be able
to turn the ship around without committing political suicide.

Now let’s imagine that in a year from now, Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud
Abbas have not reached a peace deal.

All of the current problems are still there; but Israel is even more
isolated, the Palestinians are even more frustrated, and sitting in the midst of
an ever more unstable and chaotic region.

This week’s UN assembly might have put Israel and Palestine back in the
headlines – but it won’t solve the conflict. And soon enough, it will all fade
from view again.

And all the while, behind the scenes, Israel’s
demographic time bomb is still ticking away.

Ben Knight
is the ABC’s Middle East correspondent.

Jewish Right Wing Crazy Looks to Partner With Terrorists To Fight Turkey


Israel Could Partner With Terrorists To Fight Turkey

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants to play hardball with Turkey because the Turkish military has cut ties with Israel after Turkish citizens were killed in the infamous flotilla raid (and no apology has been issued). The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur explains how the PKK is involved.

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/09/09/315924/israeli-foreign-minister-…

Israel Lurches Further Toward Right Wing Theocratic Gomorrah


Netanyahu’s Partners, Democracy’s Enemies
By CARLO STRENGER
Published: September 16, 2011

Tel Aviv

ISRAEL is at a fascinating, and frightening, crossroads. In the last two years the Knesset has proposed and passed laws that seriously endanger Israel’s identity as a liberal democracy.

It began with a law forbidding public commemoration of the Palestinian refugee crisis of 1948, known as the Nakba; it continued with the demand for all new Israeli citizens to swear a loyalty oath to a Jewish and democratic country, and recently culminated in a bill outlawing calls to boycott any Israeli group or product — including those from the occupied territories.

On the other hand, in the last two months, Israel’s democracy has come dramatically alive after a long period of hibernation. Protests for social justice have mobilized hundreds of thousands in demonstrations that have the support of 87 percent of the country, according to a Haaretz poll. These protests have become an exercise in direct democracy, forcing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move beyond party politics and listen directly to the grievances of Israel’s disenfranchised middle classes.

Existential fears have pushed Israelis to the right; only when it comes to social questions are they willing to listen to the largely liberal middle class. Who, then, represents the real Israel? Is Israel an open-minded, liberal country with a developed sense of justice, or is it an ethnocracy with theocratic leanings?

Mr. Netanyahu believes that he can avoid agreeing to a viable Palestinian state, in the face of fierce international criticism, because he is certain that America’s heartland, as opposed to its liberal elites, is tied to Israel on ideological and theological grounds. The ovations he received in Congress earlier this year only strengthened this belief. Convinced that Obama won’t win a second term, he simply wants to hang on until a Republican president is sworn in.

His foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has a very different worldview. Mr. Lieberman’s open disdain for European leaders and diplomats is not a failure of diplomacy; he is a shrewd man, who first and foremost seeks to cultivate an image of a strong leader for his right-wing constituency. He believes that the West’s hegemony has come to an end, and that the future lies with autocratic governments like those ruling Russia and China. Hence he believes that Israel has no reason to pander to the West’s values.

To him, liberal democracy represents weakness and he contends that Israel should evolve into a stronger state with less individual freedom. At the same time, he is completely secular: his constituency is primarily of Russian origin, and many of its members are not accepted as Jewish by Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical establishment.

The national-religious parties in the governing coalition, meanwhile, are based on the belief that the Jewish people have a God-given right to what they call the Greater Land of Israel. In the long run, they want Israel to be a theocracy based on biblical law. Their participation in the democratic game is based on the prediction that Israel’s demography will inevitably lead to an Orthodox Jewish majority, and that they simply need to make sure that Israel doesn’t give up the West Bank before they rule the country.

The ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and Yahadut Hatorah, also want Israel to become a theocracy in the long run. Until a decade ago, they did not necessarily claim that Israel should hold on to the occupied territories, but they realized that their electorate is right-leaning, and they need space for the rapidly expanding families of their constituency. They see liberal elites as their primary enemies.

The paradox, of course, is that Mr. Lieberman and the religious parties are on opposing ends of the spectrum in other ways. Mr. Lieberman wants a secular state; the religious parties want a theocracy. What unites them is that, for completely different reasons, they have no investment in the values of liberal democracy, which are one of the major stumbling blocks for Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. As Israeli liberals have repeated ad nauseam, such annexation will either lead to a binational state without a Jewish majority, or to an apartheid regime.

The coalition partners have found a modus vivendi primarily by uniting in their hatred for the institutions that uphold liberal democratic values: Israel’s Supreme Court, its largely liberal academic community and its human rights organizations.

Israel’s recent falling out with Turkey is just the latest example: Mr. Lieberman made it impossible for Mr. Netanyahu to apologize for the killing of nine people by Israeli commandos on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara last year by insisting that it would undermine Israel’s national pride. When Turkey retaliated with trade sanctions and threats of an increased naval presence in the Mediterranean, Mr. Lieberman called on Israel to support Kurdish militants. Mr. Lieberman keeps upping the ante for being a patriotic Israeli, pulling Mr. Netanyahu along with him.

The staying power of Israel’s governing coalition is primarily the result of the trauma Israelis sustained during the second Palestinian intifada and subsequent rocket attacks. Israelis have trouble trusting anybody but a hard-liner for fear that, once again, they will become targets of terror attacks.

Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition may seem incoherent in its core values, but it has created a potentially explosive mix that has brought considerable damage to Israel, pushing it into unprecedented isolation that is only likely to deepen if a sizable majority of the United Nations General Assembly recognizes Palestine as a state later this month. This would be especially challenging when relations are already strained with historic regional allies like Egypt and Turkey.

The irony is that Mr. Netanyahu himself is not opposed to liberal democracy. But the only way for him to prevent an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders is to hold his right-wing coalition together.

Mr. Lieberman has outflanked him and challenged his leadership of the Israeli right. Mr. Netanyahu needs to keep up with the right-wing Joneses and show that he is no less of a strong leader. The only common denominator of his major coalition partners is enmity to the core values of liberal democracy, and, for lack of choice, he has so far pandered to their wishes.

Carlo Strenger, a professor of psychology at Tel Aviv University, is a columnist for Haaretz and the author of “The Fear of Insignificance.”

Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/opinion/netanyahus-partners-democracys-enemies.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

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