Monday, August 13, 2007

The Truth: The General's Visit

While this post could be about many of the issues discussed regularly on this blog, it will only focus on one particular issue: The Truth of the General's Visit.

Please give me a minute to explain.

There were a few big stories today in Israel;

Israeli security guards kill a terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem. Apparently, the terrorist was an Israeli Arab from the Galil -- and the Israeli Arab population ran to his defense, and said he was "murdered" by Israeli security guards. Fortunately for the guards, Israeli Police cameras in the Old City captured the entire thing on film, which proves beyond a doubt that the terrorist acted with intent, and the 2 guards who killed him deserve (and are receiving commendations). The head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch Sheikh Raad Salah - soon to be indicted for incitement against the State – even declared the terrorist to be a shahid when speaking at the funeral.

There was an awful car accident on Shabbat, when a truck driver (with over 190 traffic violations and convictions) smashed up a car on the Jerusalem/Tel-Aviv highway, killing a father, 5 year old daughter, and seriously wounding the mother.

Those are real big stories.

Yet I'm going to write about another news story which made headlines in every single newspaper today; Hebrew and English. It concerned the family simcha this past Shabbat of Major-General Elazar Stern.

JPost: Stern receives bashing at family simcha
When Stern exited the synagogue after the prayer service, a number of residents approached and began shouting at him, calling him "traitor" and "trash" and accusing him of destroying hesder yeshivot. Some of the residents spat on him.
YNET: Settlers slam IDF general
Coward, chicken, traitor – those were some of the words hurled at Major-General Elazar Stern during a ceremony in honor of his daughter’s wedding in the Elazar settlement in Gush Etzion Saturday.

Residents gathered around the settlement’s synagogue and blamed Stern for turning Gush Katif’s residents homeless.

One of the settlers, Menachem, told Ynet, “All day Saturday it seemed as if Major-General Stern was stressed, and acting like he was being persecuted. He felt uncomfortable, and after what he did in the disengagement, I think that is warranted.”

According to him, Stern’s wife pushed people away from the synagogue and yelled, “Go away, crazies. Leave us alone.” Eventually, the Stern family left the synagogue.
The same story appears almost identically in Hebrew as well on: NRG, YNET, Arutz Sheva, YeshaNews, Makor Rishon, and others.

The reason I chose to write about this item, is that an insignificant, private visit by General Stern to a settlement in honor of his daughter's Sheva Brachot was turned into a media event of massive proportions, when in fact...nothing really happened.

The reason I know this, is that I happened to be in the same shul this past Shabbat.

General Stern sat a few rows in front of me...and I witnessed none of the animosity, cursing, persecution, traitor-calling, bashing or slamming that "took place." Not in shul, not out of shul -- only in the imagination of a "setttler" named Menachem, who no one has been able to find.

What did happen is that on Friday evening after the mazal tov announcements were made in shul (including one to Stern for his daughter's wedding), is that the announcer congratulated those from the yishuv who refused orders to evict Jews from Hevron this past week. The announcement apparently directed at Stern, and not at those who refused orders, didn't appear to phase him, let alone "bash" or "slam" him.

In fact, I saw most of those in the shul go over to him afterwards and wish him a mazal tov.

OK, I admit it. When it came time to throw candies after each "mazal tov" aliya, (and there were at least 3 other smachot in shul), I personally threw a candy at the General (from behind, so he would have no idea it was me...the last thing this blog's anonymity needs is for an IDF general to investigate it). I also threw candies at about 10 other people.

The "big" incident then took place on motzei shabbat -- a woman arrived out of nowhere and started yelling at Stern over his involvement in the Hitnatkut. The incident was over in less than a minute...and if I had a shekel every time there was a yelling match in Israel I could have retired 10 years ago.

What bothers me in all this reporting, is how an episode was blown out of proportion on all newsites; left, right, religious and secular. How does a 1 minute yelling match turn into a national story on the level of all the serious news stories going on today?

The talkbacks on YNET and others tell the whole story; starting with this explosive story, the comments snowballed into a screaming match of epic proportions:

"Disengage the settlers from the country"
"Violent Fanatics that even G-d abhors"
"Gush Katif Refugee=A settler paid lots of money to relocate"
"National Religious Education is all about hate"
"From day to day the national religious make everyone hate them even more."

Whatever point the newspapers or "Menachem" (who "leaked" this sensationalist story to the press) were trying to make, it's been far marginalized by the snowball of hate in it's wake.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Anonymous said...

I bet someone is going to print this out and give it to Stern.

They should remember to say it was written by Jameel - the Mamlachti sympathiser!

You're going to get mentioned on Revava now!

And to think everyone attacked me for my post on Rabbi Bina and Yair Naveh.

That's it, you just lost your right-wing credentials.

Anonymous said...

"The announcement apparently directed at Stern, and not at those who refused orders, didn't appear to phase him, let alone "bash" or "slam" him.

He did slap and shake his head, as in, "Oy, this again."

YMedad said...

So, we revenants are our own worse enemies? BTW, Hillel Weiss has apologized.

YMedad said...

Weiss' apology here, in Hebrew

Anonymous said...

He should've been asked to leave the shul. It's the same people who "davened" for Sharon's refua sheleima... Can anyone explain to me what's the difference between stern and a kapo in slow motion? And if you're going to speak about all his zchuyot (which he has I'm sure), well, everyone has zchuyot (afilu reshaim b'yisroel mleim mitzvot k'rimon), even mosrim can have zchuyot, but it doesn't take away from their being a moser! When are we going to wake up, after the next holocoust?

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

I'm rereading the biography of the Zaddik, Reb Arye Levin.

Required reading people, and trust me, I'm NOT a Leftist.

Rav Leff says, "Hate the rishus, not the rasha."

Our time is better spent fighting the injustices and not the people perpetrating them.

PsychoToddler said...

Since when has the truth ever gotten in the way of a juicy story?

Jack Steiner said...

At least you were smart enough not to throw a frozen waffle at him. He would have figured that one out for sure.

stillruleall said...

OFF TOPIC: you wrote earlier that you are going to vote for Feiglin tomorrow. Here's my two cents. If Bibi becomes head of the Likud, there is a good chance the Likud will become the next ruling party. Yes, there is a chance that we will be electing another Sharon, but it is a very slim chance. If Feiglin is head of the Likud, the party will become marginalized as another religious party, and the Left will stay in power through the next election. Don't you think it's better to have a right wing (however shaky and near centrist it may be) government with Bibi, then another run of the Left in power and the Likud in the opposition?

tafka PP said...

Was it hard candy?

YMedad said...

But Jameel, you didn't ask the right question

Lurker said...

stillruleall: Don't you think it's better to have a right wing (however shaky and near centrist it may be) government with Bibi, then another run of the Left in power and the Likud in the opposition?

No, it's not better. Because Bibi is not right wing, or centrist. He is leftist -- further to the left than Olmert and Barak, in fact. That's why he blatantly espouses left-wing positions.

Don't believe me? Take a look at these news items from the past few weeks:

Bibi calls for deployment of the Palestinian "Badr Brigade" terrorist organization in the West Bank:
Netanyahu: Deploy Badr Brigade in West Bank
June 21, 2007

Bibi expresses his support for the Saudi Plan:
Egyptian FM: Bibi not opposed to Arab initiative
July 28, 2007

Eldad Asks Netanyahu to Explain his Policy
July 28, 2007
Note: To date, Netanyahu has declined to provide any such clarification.

Bibi attacks Daniel Friedmann for trying to limit the powers of the Supreme Court:
PM may pacify justice system feud
Aug. 01, 2007
In a harshly worded letter addressed to the justice minister and published on Wednesday, Beinisch alleged that since Friedmann was appointed justice minister in February, he has embarked on a systematic campaign to weaken the Supreme Court.
Netanyahu, meanwhile, said that while he backs legal reform, he believes it should be carried out "carefully".
"There should have been a 'legal' Camp David to discuss reforms in a respectful way. I always treated the court carefully and respectfully", said Netanyahu.

Bibi intensifies his attacks on Friedmann, and criticizes Ehud Barak for calling Fatah a terrorist organization:
Netanyahu: Weiss remarks "incitement"
Aug. 12, 2007
In the interview, Netanyahu also leveled criticism at Defense Minister Ehud Barak for his comments that there is no difference between Hamas and Fatah and that there is no partner among the Palestinians.
Netanyahu also criticized Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, saying the latter was acting aggressively in his bid for reforms in the Supreme Court.

Seriously, is any more evidence necessary to establish that Bibi is positioning himself to the left of Olmert and Barak?

How long are we going to continue blindly supporting politicians with leftist agendas (e.g., Sharon, Olmert, Netanyahu) simply because they apply the term "right-wing" to themselves?

When Bibi becomes Prime Minister and carries out the very policies that he's openly advocating right now, nobody should say that we didn't know.

Anonymous said...

great post.
You are still properly credentialed.

Anonymous said...

The media needs to be extinqushed, they love to start fires and keep them going.

Daniel said...

"Disengage the settlers from the country"
"Violent Fanatics that even G-d abhors"
"Gush Katif Refugee=A settler paid lots of money to relocate"
"National Religious Education is all about hate"
"From day to day the national religious make everyone hate them even more."

If this was the attitude of a fringe, I might have made aliyah 20 years ago. However this is the prevailing dib culture, perpetuated by the schools, media and ARMY. The dibs from early on used the military like Balaam to encourage sex and break the religious connection of those who were vulnerable.( truth be told I would have beeen one of those).
The country is still dominated by pais cutting altalena murdering visa denying, deHaan murdering kapos with no Jewish identity-OK they have an "Israeli" identity-what a culture.
Lets face it , the majority of American and Israeli Jews are the functional equivalent of Spanish Jews that stayed and became good catholics in 1492- that is not talked about much - but only some were tzadikkim and left. The better 6 million died!

Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

Jameel: good post. Very informative and from the standpoint of someone who was actually at the "crime" scene. Good scoop!

...and now I know why you "were throwing candies at

Michael said...

Thanks for posting this; news stories are always more interesting when presented by an eye-witness.

Just another reason to take the papers with a healthy (Detroit snow removal grade) dose of salt...

Anonymous said...

I'm sickened by the comments of some yid and y'he.

Whatever you might think of the man's policies and beliefs, he was doing what he believed was in the best long term interests of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

A Kappo?


You're why people think the settlers are psychopaths.

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