Daily Archives: December 31, 2011

OBAMA SIGNS BILL THAT INCLUDES ADDED U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO ISRAEL

Haaretz

President Obama signed a bill Friday that includes a provision to expand U.S. military assistance to Israel. The bill, which was introduced in May and approved by Congress this week, would have the U.S. provide additional support to the annual $3 billion for ten years that the U.S. is already committed to under the Memorandum of Understanding.

Congressman Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, praised Obama’s decision to sign into law “the highest levels of funding for the joint US-Israel missile defense programs in our history.”

Despite a tough economic climate and expected U.S. budget cuts – including drastic cuts to the U.S. military budget – U.S. lawmakers will provide $236 million in fiscal 2012 for the Israeli development of three missile defense programs: “Arrow-2″, “David’s Sling”, and “Arrow-3″ medium-range interceptor. Some representatives described U.S. military support for Israel as an investment in “life-saving projects” and U.S. national security, since short- and medium-range missiles are becoming a widespread problem. The Israelis also view the funds as an investment in a common project, rather than financial aid.

Palestinian aid is on the budget, too, for the Obama Administration sees Palestinian funding crucial for stability and for Israel’s security. However, funding is conditional upon the Palestinians putting an end to pursuing unilateral recognition at the United Nations. Israeli diplomats stressed that Israel supports aid to the Palestinians, but thanked lawmakers for temporarily freezing them in order to exert pressure on the Palestinians to return to negotiations.

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ORTHODOX JUDAISM TREATS WOMEN LIKE FILTHY LITTLE THINGS

If a man and a woman are drowning in a river, first they’ll save the man, ‘who is obligated to perform more commandments,’ whereas a woman’s ‘wisdom is only in the spindle.’ In fact, ‘words of Torah should be burned rather than being given to women.’

By Yossi Sarid

Haaretz

If you would like to know the source from which your brothers derive their brazen behavior, go over to the study hall and open a page of Talmud. It’s true that the Torah has 70 faces, but the trend of these faces is clear: The source of the pollution is in halakha (Jewish law ) itself. What is happening in Beit Shemesh and its satellites is not “contrary to halakha,” it is mandated by halakha. And the rest will be told to the grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters.

Anyone ignoramus knows that the Torah’s “ways are ways of pleasantness,” that “the honor of a king’s daughter is within,” and that “proper behavior comes before the Torah,” but it’s worth knowing more. It’s worth knowing that a woman is unfit to be a judge, and is also unfit to give testimony. She is unfit for any public position with authority. “Thou shalt appoint a king over thee” – a king and not a queen.

A daughter, commanded the sages, must not be taught Torah, because “the mind of woman is not suited to be taught, but [only] to words of nonsense.” Women are light-minded and have little knowledge.

And if a man and a woman are drowning in a river, first they’ll save the man, “who is obligated to perform more commandments,” whereas a woman’s “wisdom is only in the spindle.” In fact, “words of Torah should be burned rather than being given to women.”

A man must say three blessings every day during morning prayers: He thanks God “that He didn’t make me a gentile, that He didn’t make me a woman, that He didn’t make me an ignoramus.” And it’s not proper to speak to a woman too much, since “all her conversation is nothing but words of adultery,” and whoever talks to her too much “causes evil to himself and will end up inheriting hell.” And let’s not even talk about the fate of someone “who looks even at a woman’s little finger.”

The extremists who spit at women, who call themselves Sikarikim, learned their lesson 101 times and learned it well: A husband would do well not to let his wife go outside, into the street, and should restrict her outings “to once or twice a month, as necessary, since a woman has no beauty except by sitting in the corner of her house.”

Because inside the house – very deep inside – her glorious honor awaits her: “Every woman washes her husband’s face and feet and pours him a cup and prepares his bed and stands and serves her husband. And any woman who refrains from doing any of these tasks that she is obligated to perform – is forced to do them.” Some recommend forcing her with a whip or by starvation “until she gives in.”

And needless to say, she is at her husband’s disposal whenever he is overcome by a desire “to satisfy his urges with her.” And if she continues to rebel, he always has the right “to divorce her without her consent.”

And there are many similar halakhot, only a few of which we have collected here. Nor have we cited everything in the name of the ones who said them, for lack of space. The readers are invited to find the references on Shabbat – and to browse around – on their own; this is a good opportunity for study. We will direct your attention to Tractate Shabbat, which does a good job of summing up halakha’s attitude toward women: “a sack full of excrement” with a bleeding hole.

Some people will seek to console themselves: It’s true that this is the halakha both m’doraita (from the Torah ) and m’drabanan (from the rabbis ), but that is not what is taught nowadays. But it suffices to listen to the sermon the sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef delivered five years ago, based on the well-known halakhic work “Kitzur Shulchan Aruch”: “A man must take care not to walk between two women or between two dogs or two pigs, and men should also not allow a woman or a dog or a pig to walk between them.”

Treating women as impure and filthy begins with halakha and continues with actions. As long as the religious and ultra-Orthodox parties – Shas, United Torah Judaism, Habayit Hayehudi and National Union, none of which have any women in the Knesset – are not disqualified, their nakedness will continue to sing out and the nakedness of the land will be revealed.

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RON PAUL: SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN ARE ‘ACTS OF WAR’

Ron Paul

Los Angeles Times

Defending himself against charges of isolationism, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul told voters in Iowa on Thursday that western sanctions against Iran are “acts of war” that are likely to lead to an actual war in the Middle East.

Paul, one of the leading contenders to win next week’s Iowa caucuses, said Iran would be justified in responding to the sanctions by blocking the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.  He compared the western sanctions to a hypothetical move by China to block the Gulf of Mexico, which Americans would consider an act of war.

He also said he would not respond militarily to keep the strait open—because he would not consider it an act of war against the U.S.  But if he were president, he would report to Congress on the issue, leaving it up to lawmakers to declare war if they wanted. 

“I think we’re looking for trouble because we put these horrendous sanctions on Iran,” Paul told a midday audience at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.  He said the Iranians are “planning to be bombed” and understandably would like to have a nuclear weapon, even though there is “no evidence whatsoever” that they have “enriched” uranium.

Apparently alluding to Israel and its nuclear-weapons arsenal, Paul said that “if I were an Iranian, I’d like to have a nuclear weapon, too, because you gain respect from them.”

To approving applause from a crowd of about 125, the Texas congressman said that “we always seem to have to have a country to bash,” linking the current saber-rattling against Iran to previous hawkish rhetoric that led to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

“If you want to quiet things down,” he said, referring to Iran, “don’t put sanctions on them” because it’s “just going to cause more trouble.”

He said an Iranian blockade would be the most likely response to tighter sanctions because Iran has “no weapons of mass destruction” and shutting down the strait is “the most” it could do.

“I think the solution” to current tensions with Iran “is to do a lot less a lot sooner and mind our own business and then we would not have this threat of another war,” he said to applause.

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