Friday, July 3, 2009

"Spread of Arab population must be stopped"

Reads the headline in Haaretz. A statement by the Minister of Housing of the State of Israel. Quite matter of factly.

Housing Minister Ariel Atias on Thursday warned against the spread of Arab population into various parts of Israel, saying that preventing this phenomenon was no less than a national responsibility.

Astonishing, yet he goes on. About population mixing.

Atias went on to address the issue of the Galilee, saying that "if we go on like we have until now, we will lose the Galilee. Populations that should not mix are spreading there. I don't think that it is appropriate [for them] to live together."

It isn't just Arabs who would benefit from segregation, even Jews have needs for segregated housing

Atias argued that lands should be marketed to each sector separately, in order to create segregation, not just between Jews and Arabs but also between other sectors, such as ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews. "There is a severe housing crisis among the young ultra-Orthodox couples, and in the general population. I, as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, don't think that religious Jews should have to live in the same neighborhood as secular couples, so as to avoid unnecessary friction. And since some 5,000 to 6,000 religious couples get married every year, a problem arises because they require a certain kind of community life that goes along with their lifestyle."

it is a lifestyle choice to be Arabrein. Unfortunately, many of the ultra devout citizens are have low household incomes and unable to find afford housing in the upper -end enclaves. Many have large families, often one earner households, and they sacrifice advanced education for theological study (the men) and homemaking (the women). But they need a place to live according to their cusstoms.

In fairness, Netanyahu had to give a ministerial job to the leaders of the minor parties that joined the coalition. Most of the comments in the article are highly critical of this point of view, some are not.

In other news:

The Chief of Chaplains of the Israeli Defense Forces has some strong views.

Angry MKs demand top IDF rabbi ousted for comments on women

Angry lawmakers demanded on Thursday that Israel Defense Forces chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi dismiss the army's top rabbi over his stated belief that women should not perform military service.

"This is not the first outrageous comment by [IDF Chief] Rabbi [Avichai] Ronski," said Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz. "The chief rabbi crossed a red line in his statements and we mustn't allow this to pass. This is a chauvinistic and demeaning comment that encourages draft-dodging and I call on the chief of staff to remove the chief rabbi from his post. The IDF is deserving of a different chief rabbi."

Ronski told a conference two weeks ago that women ought not to serve in the IDF.

During the Assaault on Gaza, Ronski published guidance that might sound dissonant to our ears:

[There is] a biblical ban on surrendering a single millimeter of it [the Land of Israel] to gentiles, though all sorts of impure distortions and foolishness of autonomy, enclaves and other national weaknesses. We will not abandon it to the hands of another nation, not a finger, not a nail of it." This is an excerpt from a publication entitled "Daily Torah studies for the soldier and the commander in Operation Cast Lead," issued by the IDF rabbinate. The text is from "Books of Rabbi Shlomo Aviner," who heads the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

The following questions are posed in one publication: "Is it possible to compare today's Palestinians to the Philistines of the past? And if so, is it possible to apply lessons today from the military tactics of Samson and David?" Rabbi Aviner is again quoted as saying: "A comparison is possible because the Philistines of the past were not natives and had invaded from a foreign land ... They invaded the Land of Israel, a land that did not belong to them and claimed political ownership over our country ... Today the problem is the same. The Palestinians claim they deserve a state here, when in reality there was never a Palestinian or Arab state within the borders of our country. Moreover, most of them are new and came here close to the time of the War of Independence."

The IDF rabbinate, also quoting Rabbi Aviner, describes the appropriate code of conduct in the field: "When you show mercy to a cruel enemy, you are being cruel to pure and honest soldiers. This is terribly immoral.

IDF rabbinate publication during Gaza war: We will show no mercy on the cruel
On Women's issues:

There are two conferences in Jerusalem on the role of women in Orthodox Faith and practice:

"The spiritual makeup of the woman is not built to learn Gemara with all its complicated, theoretical discussions, she said. "Women are too practical-minded for that.

"Besides, that is not the women's role."

2 Orthodox women's conferences present decidedly different takes on feminism

Israel and Hamas are on the same side of an issue, is this a hopeful sign? Both object to Amnesty's fair and balanced report

HHamas: Amnesty report accusing us of war crimes is 'unfair'

Hamas on Thursday criticized a report issued by global human rights group Amnesty International, which accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes in Gaza. Hamas said in response that the report was "imbalanced and unfair"

Later Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office also rejected the report, issuing a statement saying that "the information presented as fact in the report is not true, and has no correlation to reality."


Source: Daily Kos

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