Part II: Questions upon questions
In part I we saw the origin of a two-tiered system of justice, one for the favored, the other for the disfavored. Over time, the distinction has spread from rioting students to society as a whole. Crime is surging as Soros-elected prosecutors implement policies of no-cash-bail and plea-bargaining felonies down to misdemeanors that allow felons, many with long criminal records, back on the street quickly, while most of their victims are decent, hard-working minorities who are trapped in the inner city. Rioters from the summer of 2020 are bailed out using money raised by our current Vice-President, then a Senator. Their felonies – arson, robbery, assault – are plead down to misdemeanors, or not even charged, and most get to walk without doing jail time. Even being a prominent person doesn’t help victims. The man who tried to stab New York Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was released within hours.
On the other hand, many of the January 6 rioters were placed in solitary confinement; even now, eighteen months later, some are still confined 23 hours a day in solitary without having been tried or convicted. When Dr. Simone Gold, founder of America’s Frontline Doctors, was unable to speak at the January 6 rally because all speeches were canceled, she unsuspectingly followed the crowd to the Capitol, where she was pushed into the Rotunda. She gave her speech and left at the request of the police. Weeks later a heavily armed FBI SWAT team broke down her front door, shackled her, and threw her in jail for two days, causing her to develop PTSD. The prosecution threatened to charge her with a felony carrying a 20-year sentence to pressure her into accepting a plea bargain to a misdemeanor trespass, whereupon the judge berated her from the bench and sentenced her to sixty days in federal prison. Has anyone ever been sentenced to jail time for a misdemeanor trespass? Other defendants have reported similar treatment. One man suffering from cancer was denied treatment until it reached stage 3, at which time a humane judge granted his appeal.
Let’s also not forget that the administration is proposing to roll back the previous administration’s reforms to Title IX, so that henceforth once again male college students accused of sexual improprieties will be presumed guilty and subjected to proceedings that violate due process. And parents attending school board meetings to protest critical race theory/gender identity curricula are labeled as “domestic terrorists” by the Justice Department and investigated by the FBI.
Another frightening development in our justice system is an effort to criminalize self-defense. The most spectacular example is the recent incident in which a New York bodega clerk, acting in self-defense when attacked, fatally stabbed the boyfriend of a woman he tried to stop from shoplifting, and was promptly charged with second degree murder and sent to the notoriously dangerous prison on Riker’s Island. Only a strong public outcry forced Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to drop the charges. DA Bragg, on the other hand, has given his prosecutors instructions to drop misdemeanor charges, reduce felonies to misdemeanors, and seek light sentences. As a consequence, about one-eighth of the prosecutors in Manhattan (and Brooklyn) have resigned.
Why do we bring up these incidences? Because the same standard of injustice is being applied to Israel. Despite going above and beyond even the US and the UK to limit civilian casualties, as verified by British Army Colonel Richard Kemp, Israel is always accused of atrocities when it defends itself, as in the recent Gaza war. Even when Hamas admitted that most of its casualties were fighters, the Leftist-dominated media characterized them as innocent civilians.
Why are Israelis, and by extension, all Jews, so maligned? The racist woke ideology classifies us as white, which carries with it the status of oppressor, while people of color (including Arabs) have victim status. Thus antisemitism is growing explosively, fanned by both Leftists and Islamists. The very existence and legitimacy of the State of Israel is under attack from the United Nations as well as from individual nations and organizations, which threatens the future of Israel as a refuge for Jews facing persecution anywhere in the world, as it has been since 1948. Ironically, the majority of Jewish Israelis are people of color originating from countries in North Africa or the Middle East that expelled them.
In fact, the Palestinian Arabs, aided greatly by the UN and the global Left, have created an alternate universe in which they are the indigenous people of the Middle East, and Jews fleeing Europe invaded and stole their land. Besides G-d’s promise that the Holy Land is ours, including a detailed description of its borders from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea [Bamidbar/Numbers 34:1-15] history and archaeology show a Jewish presence in Eretz Yisrael even after the Romans exiled us.
Regarding Arabs living in the Holy Land, consider Mark Twain’s description of the Holy Land when he visited in 1867 as recounted by Tuly Weisz: “Throughout Innocents Abroad, Twain explicitly states that the area was desolate and devoid of inhabitants…. Riding on horseback through the Jezreel Valley, Twain observed, ‘There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent – not for 30 miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride 10 miles, hereabouts, and not see 10 human beings.’
“Twain was not alone in his poor impression of the land of milk and honey. Historians and travelers alike made similarly dreary observations over the centuries.
“Six hundred years before Twain’s visit, another famous visitor … was struck by Jerusalem’s desolation. Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, known as Nachmanides (1194-1270), fled Christian Spain for the Land of Israel. After a long and perilous journey, Nachmanides arrived at the Port of Acre before traveling to Jerusalem in 1267, where he couldn’t even find nine other Jews to pray with. He wrote to his son, ‘Many are Israel’s forsaken places, and great is the desecration. The more sacred the place, the greater the devastation it has suffered. Jerusalem is the most desolate place of all.’
“Nevertheless…. commenting on a verse in Leviticus that describes the curses that will befall the land of Israel, Nachmanides wrote that the devastation ‘constitutes a good tiding, proclaiming that during all our exiles, our land will not accept our enemies… Since the time that we left it, [the land] has not accepted any nation or people, and they all try to settle it… This is a great proof and assurance to us.’
“The 13th-century scholar wrote that Israel will remain desolate until the Jewish People assume control. But when the people of Israel finally return to the land of Israel, the region will once again flourish thanks to Divine providence.” In fact, this is exactly what happened. It was only after Jews began settling in Israel in the latter half of the 19th century that “the desert bloomed.”
Nevertheless, most of the world is going along with the Big Lie. Remarkably, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated Jewish holy sites in Israel as Moslem holy sites, frequently using ludicrous justifications. Not only do Palestinians claim to be the real indigenous people, they deny that the Temple ever existed, yet Israel Mizrahi found a document, entitled “A brief guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem,” which was published in Jerusalem in 1929, the year of the Arab riots in Palestine and the Hebron Massacre. “Written from a Muslim perspective, it was published by the Supreme Moslem Council (with the notorious Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, at its helm), and it acknowledges and emphasizes the Jewish history of the Temple Mount.” The party line changed in 1964 when the Soviet Union, angry that Israel, although founded by Socialists, had allied itself with the West, colluded with the PLO to invent the Palestinian people. (Prior to 1948, Israeli Jews were referred to as Palestinians, and their newspaper was the Palestine Post, since renamed the Jerusalem Post.) The media have so effectively promoted this fiction that even a significant fraction of American Jews accept the big lie that Israel is an apartheid state.
Thus the UN Human Rights Council, whose membership includes many of the world’s most egregious human rights violators, has a standing agenda item [item 7] solely for bashing Israel, not China, not Iran, not Russia, not Venezuela, not Cuba. The Council has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than all the foregoing dictatorships combined. Moreover, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which runs the Palestinian refugee camps, is complicit with the PA and Hamas, producing virulently antisemitic textbooks for the children, hiding weapons in their facilities, and so on.
The United Nations is now displaying its wickedness by building a case, based on lies from both the Palestinians and from non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that Israel is an illegitimate state. It has appointed a panel of three jurists to investigate alleged Israeli human rights violations and report back regularly, with the obvious intent of referring Israel to the International Criminal Court. The extent of the judges’ hostility is clearly evidenced by one of them, Miloon Kothari, calling for Israel to be expelled from the United Nations for violating the human rights of both Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, and by the chair, Navi Pillay, rushing to his defense.
The truth of Israel’s legitimacy can be found in a video co-produced by Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights and Im Tirtzu. Briefly, the League of Nations’ Palestine mandate of July 1922 confirmed Israel’s right to possess the land in accordance with the Balfour Declaration of 1917 calling for establishing a Jewish National Home in Palestine, subsequently ratified by the San Remo international conference in April 1920. A two-state solution has already been implemented: in September 1922 Britain, as the Mandatory power, detached the 78 percent of the Palestine mandate east of the River Jordan, known as Transjordan, and gave it to the Hashemite emir Abdullah, later King Abdullah of Jordan, as a reward for Arab assistance fighting Turkey in World War I. The Arabs have no legal right to the remainder of Palestine west of the Jordan; the nations have no right to demand further partition; and numerous authorities, including the Lubavitcher Rebbe, hold that we have no right to give away any of it.
As bad as this situation is, it isn’t restricted to Israel. It is known that when one Jew does something wrong (or something that someone thinks is wrong), we’re all judged guilty. Consequently, supporters of the Palestinians regularly call for a global intifada: that is, killing Jews everywhere. This has been our history, both in Europe and in the Middle East, and now we’re the target of Leftists and of Islamists. In fact, the process has already started, as evidenced by the BDS Boston Mapping Project, which detailed the location of synagogues, Jewish institutions, and Jewish schools to be disrupted. It could be preparation for a new Kristallnacht. Fortunately, prominent Massachusetts politicians spoke out forcefully against the project, causing the national BDS movement to call a halt. That isn’t necessarily the end, however. There is support for BDS chapters around the nation to pursue similar projects. And antisemitism is growing ever stronger on campus, especially at the elite universities whose students will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Sadly, blocking evil is not equivalent to stopping it permanently. For example, in his paper “Antisemitism and Persecution, in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History”, Werner Bergmann recounts that although the Hamburg city assembly debated antisemitism in 1920; Jewish congregations and organizations spoke out against it; and members of the city assembly joined forces with the Jewish press and the Jewish community to fight it by bringing charges of incitement or reporting antisemitic incidents to the Hamburg senate, within a decade the tide turned:
“After antisemitism had ebbed somewhat in the mid-1920s, [wrote Dr. Bergmann] the Great Depression …. and the rise of National Socialism linked with it marked a turning point. In the radicalized struggle for political dominance Jews became a preferred target. After 1928 / 29 and particularly with their election successes beginning in 1930, the NSDAP [National Socialist/ Nazi Party] continued its anti-Jewish poster propaganda, violent attacks, threats, and boycotts. At schools for higher education and universities, National Socialist students harassed Jewish students. Like other German universities, the University of Hamburg was firmly under the influence of National Socialist state doctrine in the 1930s and 1940s. Extreme right-wing parties were able to win votes in Hamburg’s 1928 city assembly election. In 1930 the NSDAP managed to win a spectacular 19.2% of votes there despite a relatively small number of local party members. Thus Hamburg’s city assembly, too, became a platform for antisemitic polemics. Jewish congregations in Hamburg and surrounding areas now also felt the growing threat as vandalism of cemeteries, street terror, and even vandalism of synagogues occurred ever more frequently.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Appropriate for the Nine Days.
Although the foregoing is filled with doom and gloom, that doesn’t mean the ending will be bleak. First, revolutions have a way of consuming their own. The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution culminated in a bloodbath. Similarly, alliances such as the red-green (Leftist-Islamist) alliance of today are unstable; witness Hitler’s turning against Stalin after they had divided up Eastern Europe. More important, in a previous post [Signs of the Coming Redemption ] I presented some characteristics of the era immediately preceding the coming of Moshiach as delineated by HaRav Elchanon Wasserman zt”l Hy”d. Recently I happened to find another siman [sign] when I saw an article that Israel is due for a massive earthquake, which occurs about every 80-100 years. The last one, in 1927, caused 300-500 deaths and 700 injuries, at a time when the country was much more sparsely populated and less built up than it is now. Referring to Ezekiel 38, which details the war of Gog and Magog, there is a verse [38:19] that mentions a massive earthquake as part of the process.
While we await the Geulah [Redemption] we should, in my humble opinion, redirect our resources from anti-Zionist institutions such as PBS, NPR, much of the arts, and the great majority of secular colleges and universities, and from our “edifice complex” into providing solid Jewish education for our children and outreach to those not yet observant. As Dr. Yael Respler frequently concludes her weekly column in The Jewish Press, Hatzlacha! [Success!]