News on the Latest Jewish Kidnappees

Thursday, April 7, 2016, 15:15 The wife of one of the detainees said that no-one has any information about her husband’s status: “Based on the [ISA] torture a few months ago there is concern that the ISA is using all sorts of horrific methods also now. I have no information about what is happening with my husband – not about what he has been accused of and not about where he is.”

Dozens of the detainees’ relatives and friends protested opposite the residence of the head of the ISA, Yoram Cohen, in Jerusalem on Wednesday, April 6. The protesters called on the head of the ISA to allow the detainees to meet with an attorney and demanded that the ISA refrain from torturing the detainees held in the ISA facilities.

Several months ago a number of Jewish youths were detained and served with orders prohibiting them from meeting with an attorney. Then also a gag order was placed on publicizing details of the investigation. After the youths were interrogated in ISA facilities, without meeting with an attorney, it was revealed that during their interrogations, unusual means including torture, were used on them. Some of the youths were released after it turned out that they had no connection to the incident for which they were interrogated.

See also Administrative detainee to be released, not involved with incident attributed to him and Two Kfar Duma case detainees to be released.

Excerpts from Honenu, here.

11 Good Reasons for Jews to Avoid the IDF

Top 11 Pieces of Advice for IDF Lone Soldiers

ערב שבת קודש פר׳ תזריע/החודש תשע״ו

Don’t shoot anyone who is attacking you, because you might get arrested.

Don’t refuse orders, which violate the Torah. You might arrested.

Don’t pass on any information to organizations which protect Jewish women from Arab men. You might get arrested.

Don’t protest weddings between Jews and non-Jews. You might get arrested.

Don’t call any government official a nasty name. You might get arrested.
(Just ask Nadia Matar of Women In Green.)

Don’t talk about freedom of speech, if you radically disagree with the State of Israel’s policies. You might not get arrested. But, you’ll definitely be demonized.

Don’t talk about freedom of religious expression. Only non-Jews and Jewish distorters of Torah are allowed to do that. If you’re a religious Jew, then you’re out of luck!

Speaking of which, don’t refuse to listen to lectures from the Messianic Jew Christian Missionary. You might get thrown out of officer candidates school.

Don’t grow a beard without permission. Various bad things may happen to you.

Don’t hitchhike in uniform or post selfies on the Internet in uniform. You might get kidnapped.
(This one is actually pretty good advice.)

Don’t worry too much about getting kidnapped, though. After a few years of torture, in exchange for your release, the State of Israel will finally negotiate the release of a bunch of convicted terrorists, who will go out and perpetrate more acts of terrorism.

From Esser Agaroth, here.

State of Israel Bad, Israeli Jews Good

Israeli Civility

by JA Mag | in Israel

By Irv Cantor

Inconsiderate behavior, illogical rules and regulations, bureaucracy. How often do you hear American olim complaining about these aspects of Israeli society?

Truthfully, however, American olim would adjust much more easily to Israeli society if they would accept the cultural differences. It is also important to realize that cultural norms evolve; even if it takes time, there is no question that Israeli society is undergoing change—change that Americans would consider “for the better.”

What are some of the cultural differences that American olim have difficulty with? Let’s look first at the salesperson-customer relationship. In America, you hear the refrain “the customer is always right,” and generally businesses adhere to this principle. In Israel, however, the seller is the expert, the one who lets you know what you want. On the up side, the Israeli seller is often looking out for you, protecting you from purchasing an inferior product, and offering you the best deal for your money.

Consider this real-life example. I decided to end my cable TV service and use an antenna to get the various channels. Friends showed me their antennas, which cost about 150 shekels. I went to an electronics store and asked what was available in that price range. The salesman asked, “Where in Jerusalem do you live?” Surprised by his question, I gave him my address. He took out a sheet of paper, drew a rough map of my neighborhood and asked me to indicate the exact location of my building. I complied. He then told me that all I needed was a small thin wire antenna for 30 shekels. Doubtful, I asked if he was sure. He reached for a box with an image of a large plastic bird-shaped antenna. He said, “This is 150 shekels. It’s ugly! If the wire antenna does not work, come back and I will sell this one to you.” I bought the wire antenna.

It worked beautifully.

American olim complain about the seeming rudeness they encounter, but perhaps the best word to help a newoleh understand the supposed insensitivity found among some Israelis is “family.” Think about arguments that erupt in the typical family: voices shouting, hands flying about for emphasis, faces turning away from each other and then toward each other again . . . and then a pause and silence. Sometimes there may be a resolution, other times not. Either way, the family goes on as a family, and those who so passionately disagreed a few minutes earlier are helping and supporting each other minutes later. So it is in Israel. Directness and honesty are valued. Grudges are not held for long.

A friend of mine who made aliyah recently from the States stood in line in a supermarket. A man cut the line directly in front of him. My friend didn’t say anything, but thought “only in Israel.” When the woman in front of the line cutter had to pay for her groceries, she realized she was five shekels short. As she tried to decide which item to leave out, a hand appeared in front of her with a five-shekel coin.

It was the line cutter.

And yet, despite their reputation, Israelis are changing. Israelis are becoming more customer-service oriented, more considerate and more thoughtful. Most likely, this change is the result of several factors. The Israeli government has created new training programs for government workers focusing on attitude and customer service. Additionally, Israelis travel much more extensively nowadays and are exposed to different cultures. Recently, I sat in a Jerusalem municipal office, waiting to pay my city taxes. To note my turn, as in most offices, I had to take a petek, ticket, with a number on it. My ticket was labeled 187. A digital sign on the wall indicated the number of the person currently being served. It displayed number 165. I waited. When my number was called, I approached the clerk. She said, “I’m sorry, but the other side of the room is for paying taxes. Wait there. Keep your petek.” Frustrated, I walked around to the other large waiting room, sat down and glanced at the digital sign on the wall. It displayed number 15. Grumbling in disbelief, I thought, here goes my whole day. I watched the numbers go from 15 to 16, to 17 and then—to the consternation of everyone around me—to 187. As I thankfully took my turn, the sign reverted back to 18.

Americans value civility and the suppression of true feelings. Israelis prize truth and directness. To an Israeli, civility is often perceived as dishonesty or deception. Politeness can sometimes conceal or misrepresent true feelings. Israelis also place great value on being an am echad.

Israeli drivers are known to lean on their horns much of the time. But you will also see an Israeli driver lean out of his window, yell at the incompetence of other drivers and then suddenly pull over to the shoulder to help a driver with a mechanical problem.

Somehow, the small traces of insensitivity observed sometimes are overshadowed by the much larger and deeper demonstrations of caring and concern. In Israel, we are all each other’s mother, father, brother or sister. Israeli civility is not superficial courtesy. Israeli civility means we are part of a special people who care about each and every individual.

Dr. Irv Cantor happily retired to Jerusalem from New Jersey in 2012, after a dual career in psychology and pharmaceutical research.

This article was featured in Jewish Action Spring 2015.

From OU.org, here.

The Abuse Awareness Revolution

We’ve come a long way – It is now commonplace to criticize rabbis for failure to deal with abuse

Not too long ago – only about three years – when I was contemplating publishing my books on child abuse, I was advised by rabbis, friends and family that it was suicidal. There were two major reasons given. 1) “We don’t talk about abuse.” Stores told me they would not sell any book that had the word abuse in its title or used the word “sex” in it. Someone who had initially offered support for the book, withdrew it when he saw that I actually explicitly discussed sexual abuse in the book. 2) “You can’t criticize rabbis for failure to deal with the issue.” Or rather I was told I can’t make the claim that rabbis were not following halacha – it was viewed as an oxymoron. Obviously rabbis follow halacha because that is what rabbis do – at least Chareidi rabbis.
In fact I was told that I was going to be put into cherem and that nobody would sell the book or buy it. Rav Sternbuch, however, was insistent that the issue of child abuse needed to be dealt with and he urged the publication of the book.
Fast forward to the present. In the past week I have had the following encounters. 1) After kayaking on the Jordan River – someone gave me a seat on the overcrowded bus returning us to the parking lot. In the ensuring conversation, I discovered that he had a kollel for Choshen Mishpat. I mentioned that I was dealing with child abuse and C.M. 388. He responded that the rabbis either didn’t know halacha or were grossly misapplying it in regards to abusers. Furthermore he had quit a good teaching job at a yeshiva because of his disgust with the school’s failure to deal properly with child abuse. Thus after a few minutes of first meeting another Chareidi Jew we were openly discussing the problem of abuse and the failure of rabbis to follow the halacha. 2) I had a long talk with a relative who is a solid talmid chachom learning in Kollel. He is a very strict about lashon harah, respecting rabbinical authority and is strongly against Internet, smart phones and believes in Daas Torah and only reads the Yated. Yet he readily acknowledged that he personally knew cases of abuse that were mishandled by rabbonim and is fully aware of the cowardice of poskim in  dealing with the issue of mesira and calling the police. He also expressed surprise that I thought that any rabbi would apologize for making a serious mistake. 3) Today I met a very well known Yerushalmi posek and rav that I haven’t seen for years. He remembered who I was and asked me what I was working on. When I responded, “Child abuse” – he readily expressed strong approval. When I told him my biggest problem was that the rabbonim don’t follow the halacha – this well known exemplar of the rabbinic establishment’s immediate response was , “I can tell you some really good stories about that.” There was no hesitation, no defensiveness. It was simply an obvious fact – such as the sun rises in the morning or objects fall when dropped.