Tevet 16, 5775
Tevet 14, 5775
We have learned that democracy was the most modern form of government. We have been taught this over and over again. Of course I have to admit, that democracy is somewhat appealing, but too many confuse democracy with good governance. Looking at democracies, we see excessive lobbyism which is just another word for corruption. Modern Western democracies have turned into blend of corruptocracies and corporatocrcies. To deal with this, the ancient Greek had the institution of Ostracism. Arab countries like Qatar or Saudi Arabia are investing billions to influence the policy makers in Western countries. I won’t ask further questions on the situation in Western countries and the state of democracy there. I am just trying to leer at a different form of government, which is about the same age, but not implemented – Judaism and the Temple.
Tevet 11, 5775
Imagine “extremely ideal” left-wing and right-wing candidates running for election in Israel. Imagine, they campaign for doing the somewhat extreme and finally get really elected with a broad majority? I will push these two candidates to the edge to see what would happen.
Our two candidates will represent totally diametric positions. During campaign
- the right-wing candidate promises to annex the Yesha and next time Hamas fires only a single missile, he would not rest until Hamas is destroyed.
- the left-wing candidate promises instead, he would make peace with the Palestinians. He would give away the Yesha, give away the eastern part of Yerushalayim and he would open the borders to Gaza and reach out for peace with Hamas …..
In my first scenario the right wing candidate would get a broad majority and he would be able to establish the next Israeli government.
Already before the government is established, Western diplomats would visit him to tell him, what they think about his vision of annexing the Yesha. They are drawing a bleak picture of political and economic isolation. They promise tough sanctions and while the new PM is establishing his government, former western allies put crucial military supplies on hold. Vital parts for Iron Dome, David’s sling, the fleet of Jet-fighters and resupply for artillery shells and bombs no longer would be shipped due to administrative and logistical problems. Of course the Western allies promise to solve these problems asap, but they also ask for patience and understanding because they really hit a bottleneck.
In Western countries left-wing and Arab protesters hit the street and demand far reaching sanctions against Israel and a few parliaments in Europe are already discussing sanctions against Israel in the event, Israel really would push forward.
In the meantime Abbas and Haniyeh would lean back. They don’t need to fire a single missile and they don’t need to call for a “day of rage”.
At the same time Israel’s left would hit the streets in Tel Aviv to protest against the government. They would receive tons of solidarity addresses from western leftist groups and western protesters would travel to Tel Aviv to join the protests.
The housing minister now announces the construction of 5000 new units in Area E1 between Yerushalayim and Ma’ale Adumim. This leads to a major outcry in the western world and while practically everybody misses his announcement for the construction of another 5000 units for Arabs near Jericho the Arab League addresses the UN security council with a draft resolution that condemns Israel’s recent actions and clearly calls Israel an apartheid state. Next the new housing minister orders the demolition of illegally built Arab houses in Area B and C. At the same time Gen. Gadi Eizenkot visits the UK for talks about military strategies in the ME and co-operation between the two nations armed forces. During his stay in the UK the police arrests him because a Muslim citizen of the UK pressed charges against him on crimes against humanity. Eizenkot sits in Jail for a few days until he finally is released and leaves the UK. Of course the government of the United Kingdom apologizes for the inconveniences but doesn’t miss to explain that the United Kingdom was a state under the rule of law and the government (only) stepped in because it didn’t find it opportune to keep Eizenkot under custody and to start investigations.
The new Israeli PM finally gets the message and backpedals on his promise of annexation. The new government from then on will be busy to contain the already incurred damage.
After a few weeks of major western diplomatic initiatives, he would sit together with Abbas or another terrorist and Israel, in an “act of good will, would release another 500 terrorists, many of which with blood on their hands. With a first batch, Marwan Barghouti would be released, too.
Wow, that was pretty ugly, wasn’t it?
Let’s see, if our “extremely ideal” left-wing PM would do better?
Already before taking office, the new PM would be lauded by western countries, once he established his new government, he first would cut the defence budget, starts new constructions in the Negev and halts all constructions in the Yesha. He meets with Abu Mazen and both are visibly happy about their talks. Both sides establish delegations to negotiate the the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. The world applauds!
In the meantime a few missiles and mortar shells land in the south of Israel. But the government blames this on lone wolves and hopes, that the Hamas leadership will restore order quickly. As an act of good will, the blockade against Gaza is eased and an uncontrolled stream of goods flows into Gaza. Also Gazans will be able to cross into Israel more easily and even take a job. After a few days Hamas executes five Arabs in the Gaza for collaborating with the enemy (they tried to find a job in Israel) This is sobering, but Western media don’t report the incidents.
The Israeli government starts to cut funds for the settlements in the West Bank and makes the life for Jews in the area increasingly hard. In the same turn the government encourages these people to move to the Negev. But the government forgot, that there is no work in the Negev. Still the government has the problem of growing unemployment in the south and it’s only becoming a little better by the beginning constructions of new Negev-settlements.
As the conditions in the West-Bank turn to the worse, protesters from the settlements hit the streets of Yerushalayim. They protest against the massive budget cuts for education and health care in the region and Western media report about right-wing religious extremists protesting against peace with the Palestinians.
Western foreign ministers, prime ministers and presidents start to visit the new PM to show how the world appreciates a “peaceful” Israel, while a few more missiles from Gaza land in the Negev. One hits a construction site for a new Negev-settlement, kills two Arab workers and severely injures four more.
The negotiations for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank are progressing and the Israeli government is hurrying ahead to make the Yesha Judenrein. In the meantime, countless stabbing attacks in the east of Jerusalem make life for Jews harder there.
Terror doesn’t stop.
Meanwhile Marwan Barghouti reached to the top of the Palestinian authority. Again, there were no elections, but this is not so unusual in modern Arab democracies. The world lauds Barghouti as a declared man of peace. Western media let us know that the new moderate leader represents a gleam of hope for the Palestinian people.
I am sorry, it just nauseates me…….
I forgot to tell about the continued firing of missiles and mortar shells from Gaza to the south, but the Israeli government keeps calm. Even after the first casualties in Sderot the government stays firm on its path to peace.
After about two years the Jewish population in the West Bank begins to dwindle. Hundreds of families move to the Negev, but there they meet joblessness, poverty and social decline. Western media explain us, that the right-wing religious extremists who moved here from their illegal settlements, just don’t work.
As the new Palestinian state gets shape there still is no trace of a peace treaty. What we see is an increasingly Judenrein West Bank, increasing terror and no peace.
Marwan Barghouti officially declares the independence of the State of Palestine and applies admission as an ordinary member state to the UN.
Barghouti no longer needs more negotiations with Israel. His process of state building accelerates even without cooperation. Next he establishes the Palestinian armed forces and of course diplomatic relations with the Arab states, but he doesn’t establish diplomatic ties with Israel.
Just like we’ve seen it in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal, other – less “moderate” – groups also establish more and more in the West Bank and they follow a more extreme agenda than the “moderate” Barghouti. While Barghouti tries to intensify the ties with Jordan, these groups intensively work towards their armed struggle against the Zionist entity. The number of missile attacks, bomb attacks in public places in Israel and abductions, are increasing.
The leftist government now closes the borders towards this Palestinian state and establishes new checkpoints. Western diplomats decry this as not very helpful and the Western press describes this as a backslide into the dark Zionist apartheid politics that they had believed to have been overcome.
In the meantime the Jewish population in the West Bank dwindled to less than the half of what it was before while the number of jobless in the Israelis south is skyrocketing.
The Palestinian state is established, there is no peace, the blame game is going on, the leftist government did not deliver on social and economic fields.
The trouble is, that a right-wing government will not perform as right-wingers wish. They would be more moderate, even though the leftists still would brand them as extreme. In contrast, the left can do all damage it finds appropriate and the international community would even help to do more damage.
It is not clear, if a left wing PM really would act on the core issues of “making peace”, but to me it is clear, that there will be no peace, because it takes two and the Arab leaders don’t want to make peace with Israel as a Jewish state. They can imagine a state of Israel under the rule of Muslim Arabs after their demand to assimilate millions of stateless Arabs by Israel would be met. They just want as much land as they can get peacefully. They won’t change their agenda and they won’t change their charters. The Jews in Israel will remain to be their enemy #1 and they will not stop to fight us.
Just like the leftists so easily call someone right-wing just because the person is not a leftists, I prefer to distinguish between right and wrong rather than right and left.
Tevet 10, 5775
When baking the bread, I need to follow the Mitzwa of separating the Challah. I separate a little peace of the dough and give it to Hashem. Not so easy when you don’t have open fire in your household. I am using a little hobo oven to get over this.
A hobo oven is a little primitive construction to contain open fire. You may use it for camping, but I am also using it to burn the Challah. There are numerous ways to build such a little oven. You may google the term, here is my instruction. I am starting with two metal cans of the same diameter.
It is important, that you use cans, that are stackable. Technically this is, that the upper rim of a can needs to be a bit wider and the lower rim needs to be al bit smaller, so that the bottom of the upper can fits into the upper rim of the lower can.
The bigger can will be the upper part of the oven – the burning chamber – and the small one will be the bottom that keeps the heat from the ground and also supports the flow of air into the burning chamber.
The crucial thing will be to support the flow of air. So we’ll need to put a few holes into the cans. I will drill the holes, but before I start drilling I will center ever hole, so that the drill bit can’t slip. To insert the center-holes, I use a small hardened steel nail.
The drilling bit, then stays on the place I intended for the individual hole.
And that’s it pretty much. After all the holes are drilled you can put the two parts upon each other and set the oven on fire:
One may argue, that separating the Challah was not so important, but my heart always told me, that this is not true.
It is important.
Before I started writing this text I visited the home-page of Chabad and searched for Challah. There I found a teaching from Rabbi Leibel Schapiro where he explains in detail, why exactly the separation of Challah is so important for Jews.
Tevet 9, 5775
– to be revised –
I have been thinking a lot, what distinguishes us from a sponge or a worm. It doesn’t start with the ability to distinguish between good an evil. It’s the presence of conscience and consciousness. I am trying to draw a line – and forgive me – I am starting with an auxiliary assumption. Maybe at the end we will see clearer.Continue reading →
– This article is unfinished –
During the centuries indigenous Arab Jews often enough had hard times. Of course there were Muslim rulers who ruled with sense of proportion and an idea of good governance, but often enough Jews were victims of arbitrary justice, arbitrary taxes and tolls, peonage, rape, torture and mass killings. The suffering of the Yazidi, under the terror regime of the IS, gives an idea how Muslim Arabs treat Kafir. We are talking about mass killings, slavery and mass rape. We are talking about the total denial of human rights. As history and presence show: Arab Muslims can be the worst nihilists. Nitzsche’s “God is dead” has become folklore even before the philosopher coined the term.
Tevet 8, 5775
In February 2012 Prof. Ruth Lapidoth gave a lesson at the Herzliya Security conference and I took the chance to ask the Jerusalem Center for Public affairs, if I can place a link in my blog (yaels-comments). As I am not closing yaels-comments, I find it appropriate to publish the link again.Continue reading →
Tevet 8, 5775
Short after WWII Gustav Radbruch published a ground breaking essay:
Translation into English: Yael Schlichting
Statutory Lawlessness and Supra-Statutory Law
Süddeutsche Juristenzeitung 1946, S. 105-108
Positivism with its creed »Law is Law« indeed has made the German booth of Jurists defenceless against laws with arbitrary and criminal content. Though positivism is not able at all to justify the validity of laws out of its own power. It believes, a laws justification was already proofed since it had the power to establish itself. But maybe an obligation can be instituted on such power, but never an intrinsic ought and validity. In fact these two only can be established on the intrinsic value of the law. Of course every positive law carries a value regardless of its content: Still such a law is better than no law, since it creates stability of law.
But stability of law is not the only and not the essential value to be materialized by a law. Besides stability of law two other values come into effect: Practicality and Justice. In their hierarchy of these values, we are to assign practicality of law to common welfare at the lowest position. By no means everything that is considered »to the advantage of the peoples«, but after all only what is lawful, establishes stability of law and strives for justice, will be to the advantage of the peoples. Stability of law, which every positive law posses due to its positivity takes a peculiar middle position between practicality and justice: On the one hand it is demanded by the common welfare, on the other hand also from the cause of justice.
The stability and reliability of law, that it is not today and here the one and tomorrow another interpretation and application, also is a requirement of justice. In case of conflict between stability of law and justice, between a substantially disputable, but positive law and a just but not written law, in truth lies a an inner conflict of justice, a conflict between alleged and true justice. This conflict is brilliantly depicted by the gospel, when it commands: »Be subordinated to the authorities« and contrariwise commands, »to obey to G-d before humans«.
The conflict between justice and stability of law ought to be resolved by prioritizing a positive, through statute and power secured law, even if it is unjust and impractical unless the contradiction of this positive law to justice reaches an unbearable extent, that such law has to give way to justice, as it is a distinguished »incorrect law«. It is impossible to draw a clearer line between the cases of statutory lawlessness and despite incorrect content still ‘applicable law’; though by all its severity a different demarcation shall be taken: where justice is not even intended, where equality, which represents the core of justice intentionally has been denied when the it has been set, in such case, a law not only is »incorrect law«, it lacks every quality of law. For there is no other way to define law, also positive law, but as an order or statute which is intended to serve justice by its sense.
Measured at this criteria, whole batches of National Socialist law never gained the honour to be applicable law. The most outstanding property of Hitlers personality, the trait, he also affixed onto the whole National Socialistic law, was his total deprivation of any sense for truth and justice: Because he lacked every sense for truth, he had the ability to give the accent of truth to anything rhetorically effective without shame and scruple. Because his total deprivation of any sense for justice he had the ability to unscrupulously sign even the most blatant arbitrariness into law. At the beginning of his rule there is that telegram of sympathy addressed to the Potempa-murderers, at the end, the atrocious dishonouring of the martyrs of July 20th 1944. Already on the occasion of the Potempa-Rule, Alfred Rosenbert in »Völkischen Beobachter« furnished the theory, that human does not equal human and murder does not equal murder; The murder of the pacifist Jaurès lawfully has been rated differently, in France than the attempted murder to the nationalist Clemenceau; a perpetrator who failed in dedication for his country, impossibly can subjected to the same punishment as another whose motives (according to National Socialistic anticipation) acted against the peoples.
Therewith it was pronounced from the first, that National Socialistic »law« was intended to abscond from the constituting requirements of Justice and equal treatment of equals. Consequently insofar it generally lacks quality of law, not even incorrect law, but no law at all. In particular this is effective for those regulations, in which the National Socialistic party which, in contradiction to the particulate character of every political party, claimed totality of state for itself. Furthermore the quality of law is absent in all laws which treat humans as subhuman beings and deny human rights. Also without quality of law, are those threats of punishments which are made irrespectively of the severity of a crime, only guided by the desideratum to deter crimes of most different severity with the same threat of punishment, mostly with capital punishment. All these are only examples of statutory lawlessness.
It must not be misconceived – particularly after the experiences of that twelve years – what terrible dangers to stability of law can be brought about through the concept of »statutory lawlessness«, the denial of quality of law of positive laws. We must hope, that such lawlessness, remains a unique confusion and confusion of the German peoples, but for all possible cases we have to be prepared against the return of such a lawless state, by on principle overcoming positivism, which is disabling all defence against abuse of National Socialistic legislation.
My trouble with this otherwise good writing text is that Radbruch accepts an otherwise defective law for the sake of stability of law. Justice – one of the core values upon which we have built our societies for many millennia – is by far not so important for him, and generations of modern lawyers and law scholars, than stability of law and practicality. If you watch today’s lawmakers, judges and lawyers doing their work, you can’t avoid the impression, that they are doing their law-business for the sake of law-business and not for the good the whole society. Conclusiveness is pursued at any price inside the court rooms even though everybody knows if things go wrong. There are enough cases, where a judge should run out of the court room crying out loud, “NO! I can’t do this!” when they see, that lie and wickedness revailing.
But laws are dead things. Laws do not care, if they are abused. Laws have no dignity. But lawmakers? Do lawmakers have dignity? I look at Germany again and I see a parliaments and governments passing one bad law after the other and waiting for the constitutional court to cancel these laws one by one. Until this happens, statutory lawlessness prevails and even worse. Only a few days ago, in Germany the constitutional court cancelled the legacy tax in its current form for giving unfair privileges to the rich (those who own a company – even those who own really big companies) Already in advance Germany’s finance minister promised, that he basically will keep these privileges for the rich intact. Of course he will reform the law and he promised to be quick, but he will do this in a way, that on the one side he meets the courts demands to the letter and on the other the problem of legacy tax in Germany injustice will prevail.
Tevet 8, 5775
“point bleak” (sorry no typo) – Playing the scenario of a Palestinian State in the Westbank that would be at war with usContinue reading →
Tevet 7, 5775
Whenever we see our society being confronted with chronic infections they react with archaic behavioural patterns: Rejection This gave leprosy its German name »Aussatz« ( [de] Aussetzen – [en] exposure ). Highly contagious infections are handled on the basis of national infection protection acts like the Infektionsschutzgesetz IFG in Germany. Lighter infections are handled by society itself. Infected people are met with relentlessness.Continue reading →