Monday, May 16, 2011

The Telegraph's Adrian Blomfield is openly Anti-Israel

The Telegraph Online published an article this morning about the Arab riots on what the Arabs call Nakba Day (Day of catastrophe).

The article’s headline made it quite clear where the reporter’s bias lies:

"Israel attacks Palestinian border protests"

"Israel was accused of shooting dead at least 13 Palestinian refugees trying to breach its frontiers from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, after a Facebook campaign to storm the borders."

First of all some background:

Syria and Lebanon (under the control of Iran) ordered young men and teenagers to break through Israel’s national border fence and throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers.

To side track for a moment. I was amused at some of the comments I heard about Aish’s Yom Ha’atzmaut video song. Some people amazingly thought that it was a cameraman going round the Midrachov in the centre of Yerushalayim randomly filming passers by in a spontaneous manner. I explained to them that in fact the brilliance of the video was that it had been so well staged and choreographed so that the cameraman could make the video in one take.

However, it isn’t just the Israelis who possess these filming skills. Before the Nakba event, the Arab government organisers informed the International Press exactly what was going to happen,(staged just like a film set with timing and position plans), so that the cameramen could obtain the best shots and video footage of these “spontaneous demonstrations of rage”.

The Telegraph’s Jerusalem based reporter is one Adrian Blomfield. Despite his Jewish sounding name his articles are consistently hostile towards Israel

There is no attempt at balanced reporting and the Telegraph editorial seems to be quite happy with this. In fact I’d say that his reporting crosses a red line into anti-Israel propaganda.

Here is Adrian talking about how Britain’s reporting of the Arab/Israeli conflict is less biased (he means more pro-Arab) because “in Britain they aren’t under the thumb of the powerful American Israel Lobby”. Funny how he completely ignores the much larger Arab Lobby and in particular, Saudi influence in Britain and Europe.

His article in today's Telegraph clearly asserts that peaceful (so called) "Palestinian refugees" crossed the border to demonstrate in Israel and were met by lethal fire from Israel, killing at least 13.

He writes:

"But a Druze witnesses said the protesters were peaceful.

"The people came in a peaceful way, they had no weapons," said Taiseer Maray, who runs a medical charity that treated the wounded. "In a peaceful way they stated that they had waited for 60 years and wanted to go back to their homes. But the Israelis shot directly at the people, even though they posed no threat."

The problem is that Taiseer Maray is no objective bystander as Adrian wants to make out. He is in fact head of an organisation to return the Golan to Syrian rule. He is featured on Chamas and Fatach sites as an activist. However, for some reason, Adrian forgot to mention this.

Anyway, no matter, the BBC site does.

Rather than correctly describing him as head of a militant Anti-Israel movement, Adrian describes him as head of a “medical charity”. Now isn’t that nice? What could be more believable than a human rights medical charity? That is, unless it’s an Israeli organisation, in which case it will be accused of only treating the sick in order to steal their organs and sell them to the highest bidder. This Organ Trafficking accusation (blood libel) was made by amongst others, the “honourable” Baroness Jenny Tonge, who has a seat in the House of Lords.

Some ITN footage showing the "peaceful" demonstrations:

One more thing. You wouldn't know it from reading Adrian's article but there was a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv to mark this special day in the Arab (and British reporter's) calandar.

The Jerusalem Post reports today that

"Hundreds of people participated in the funeral of Aviv Morag, 29, who was killed Sunday in the truck rampage in Tel Aviv.

He was brought to rest at the Casesaria Cemetery.

A young truck driver from the Arab town of Kafr Kasim caused terrifying destruction in south Tel Aviv after ramming his truck into several vehicles on Rehov Bar-Lev, in what police suspect to be a “lonewolf terror attack” that killed Morag and injured 17 others"

Witnesses told reporters that he screamed "ala achbah" during his rampage through the street.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Blog: Reb Mordechai Reviews

A few people have commented to me that my blogs are too varied and that I should create separate blogs for each type of post. I thought about it and decided to create a new blog called “Reb Mordechai Reviews”.

I’ve exported all my review posts from here, be they about wine, HIFI or computers and imported them into my new blog. I’ve also added a new blog post about some great "must haves" Android apps.
Chag Samayach and happy birthday Medinat Yisrael!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Israel, Wave Your Flag video.

Here's a lovely video for Yom Ha'atzmaut from

Beautifully directed video and a really catchy song. However I do have one question.

Why did they decide to have such generic lyrics? It's a song about freedom which has no reference whatsoever to Israel or the Jewish people.

Answers on a postcard (or my comments box below).

*** UPDATE ****

Excuse my ignorance. I had no idea that this song was the official FIFA Football World Cup 2010 (held in South Africa) anthem which Aish borrowed and used in their video.

See here:

FIFA World Cup 2010 K'naan & David Bisbal - Waving Flag

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

YNET article on how the religious Jew "deals" with Yom HaShoah

Rav Yuval Sherlo is Rosh Yeshiva of Petach Tikva Hesder yeshiva. He appears regularly on the YNET Internet site, (the online site for Yediot Achronot national newspaper) where he declares his latest halachic opinions on some quite controversial subjects. The problem is, (and I’m sure that he is aware of this) that YNET’s secular reporters more than often misinterpret and twist his words in order to sensationalise and titillate their readers. Even if this weren’t the case, I question the use of a secular national newspaper as a medium to discuss halacha.

YNET’s latest piece on Rav Sherlo is entitled:

'Religion should deal with Shoah [The Holocaust] too!'

A loaded headline if ever I saw one. It's obvious implication is that Orthodox Jewry is not dealing with the Shoah!

I simply don’t know where to begin. The article is so full of distortions and missing so many facts that it is, intentionally or not, a slander against religious Jews.

One example is the answer YNET attributes to Rav Sherlo to this quite legitimate question:

"My question refers to the Counting of the Omer – why are there mourning customs in memory of Rabbi Akiva's students, when there were much graver incidents in Jewish history?!”

I have no idea how accurate YNET’s reporting of what Rav Sherlo said is but the quoted reply is simply pathetic. It sounds like something a secular Jew would write.

The simple answer to this question is that never in all of our history have the Jewish people been so close to destruction. With the death of Rabbi Akiva’s students, it looked as if Torah and mesora (tradition) would be lost. Without these, the Jewish people cannot survive. Only through a miracle, was Torah and the Jewish people saved from annihilation. The Shoah was indeed one of the greatest catastrophes that have occurred to the Jewish people but it is not the greatest. Yes, it’s true that a third of Jewry was murdered but the Jewish people survived. So what was the greatest tragedy that has befallen the Jewish people?

Well, some historical background is needed at this point. The Gedolei HaDor (religious leaders) in the 1940s/50s discussed the issue of the date for Yom HaShoah (or indeed if such a day was needed at all), very carefully. The Rabbanim were very much against observing a day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust specifically on the 27th Nissan as this is the day of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

The secular politicians specifically chose this day in order to commemorate the Jewish heroes who fought back against the Nazis. This served their interests which was to negate the image of the old diaspora weak pathetic Jew of old and to promote an image of “the new Jew”, the strong Jew who built the new modern State of Israel.

However the Rabbanim saw this political decision as shallow and opportunist and an insult to all those Jews who were murdered and did not have the opportunity to fight back. It looked as if the State of Israel only wished to remember and honour those who fought back and to ignore the rest. It was as if this new brave State was ashamed of them! They were effectively being labelled as cowards who went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter.

Instead the Rabbanim incorporated the memory of all the victims of the Holocaust into the fast of the 10th Tevet as well as the 9th Av as suitable days to remember the victims with tephila (prayers) and kinot (religious poems). This is how religious Jews "deal" with the subject!

Both these dates commemorate the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash (the Temple) which led to the terrible exile of the Jewish people. This single event marks the start of all the tragedies which the Jewish people have suffered because of the 2,000 year exile, including the Holocaust. Therefore these dates are the most suitable to commemorate the victims of the Shoah. That is, in its proper context of the whole of Jewish history.

Listen to Rav Zev Leff Shlit”a’s shiur on the subject here: