West trapped in Persian Bazaar

A Western Tourist Hasn’t a Chance in a Persian Bazaar

To get what you want in a Persian bazaar you have to play by the rules. If you don’t even know they exist, you are going to be roundly cheated.

From Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Nov. 27, 2014, Arutz Sheva

The West played the role of the dumb tourist as it shopped in the Iranian bazaar.

There are two kinds of markets in the world today: the Western store and the Eastern bazaar. In the West, stores have fixed prices for merchandise, with the cost visible on each item by law. Everyone pays the same amount for his purchases, whether he really wants what is for sale or can manage perfectly well without it.  Westerners are used to this kind of shopping, which is why many of them spend a good deal of time and effort to find the stores with the best prices. The price is objective and based on the merchandise, not on the personality of the seller or the identity of the buyer. You will not find someone arguing about a price in a store in the United States and anyone who dares to do so is regarded like a creature from Mars, a barbarian from another culture.

In contrast, in the Middle East, bazaar culture is the rule and the relationship between buyer and seller is based on totally different cultural norms. The price varies from minute to minute depending on various factors: how badly the seller needs the money he can get from the sale; how much the buyer wants the merchandise; whether the seller is afraid the buyer will leave him and look for another seller; how many other traders are offering the same item. When the seller needs cash and the buyer can live without the merchandise, when there are other traders with similar items and the buyer can get to them easily  – the price goes down. If the seller is not in need of the money, the buyer really wants the merchandise and especially if he says he is willing to pay anything for it, and if there are no others selling the same thing or it is hard to get to them – the price will be high. This is where market forces play a central role in determining the price of merchandise.

In the Middle Eastern bazaar culture there is another, very important factor, the personal one. The buyer and seller want to see one another, touch one another, talk to each other and feel each other. The interpersonal contact,  smile,  handshake, words of welcome, questions and answers, familiarity, body language, all are part of the negotiations on the price. A deal is not just an economic act, it is an event, almost like a wedding. Factors involved here have nothing to do with economics: if the seller is someone the buyer is not willing to talk to because he is, for example, a Jew, Christian, Shiite, Sunni, Kurd, Persian, Turk or member of any group the buyer does not like, he will not buy from him even if the item is practically free of charge.

Someone from the West – let’s say a tourist, for our purposes  – who enters a Middle Eastern bazaar, gets high from the odors, confused by the scenes, dizzy from the colors, excited by the music, disgusted by the crowding, and then buys whatever he sees because the prices are low, only to discover that night, at his hotel , that he overpaid, the paint is peeling off and the merchandise is falling apart or rotten. Besides, some of it is made in China and can be bought on the internet for half of what he paid.

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Punish terrorism reward coexistence

Responding to Darkness with Light

Parallel to adopting this effective policy of deterrence, we the Jewish majority of Israel should at the same time begin reinforcing and supporting those very non-Jewish members of Israeli society who don’t rejoice when Jewish blood is spilled.


Ron Jager, November 23, 2014


The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer. Prior to retiring in 2005, served as the Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psycho education programs to communities in the North and South of Israel. Today Ron is a strategic advisor at the Office of the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria To contact: medconf@netvision.net.il

In recent years, as the volume of hatred and discriminatory policies of many nations including nations that are considered allies, has reached a level that presents a strategic threat on the State of Israel, and as the Palestinian Arabs continue to preach incitement against Israel and Jew hatred relentlessly day and night, in their kindergartens as well as in their High Schools and local Universities, can we continue forward as we have in the past or should Israel embark on an entirely new pathway to ensuring her future existence ?

Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue sits at the bottom of a steep hill in the Har Nof neighborhood of West Jerusalem. The residents of this neighborhood are ultra-Orthodox Jews, many of them English- or Spanish-speaking immigrants; this synagogue is miles away from the Green Line, and miles away from the boundary between west and east Jerusalem where many previous terror attacks have occurred over the years. Last Tuesday morning, two Palestinian Arab terrorists opened fire inside the synagogue at 7 a.m., while worshippers were in the midst of their morning prayers. After spraying the sanctuary with live fire, they attacked the wounded with butcher knives and axes. When the attack was over seven minutes later, five worshipers were dead, including a Druze policeman who sacrificed his life to save the remaining Jews in the synagogue. Workers from Zaka, a religious organization that collects the bodies of the dead, described it as one of the “most difficult” scenes they had ever witnessed. “This will force us all to wake up.”

The image from the scene of Tuesday’s synagogue attack in Jerusalem takes us back to the most difficult situations in the history of the Jewish people, to the pogroms, to the riots, to the Holocaust: Jews massacred in their prayer shawls, in the middle of a prayer; holy books drenched in blood; a desecrated synagogue.

Also last week, in the Arab city of Tayibe, located just outside of the greater Tel-Aviv area, a Jewish citizen visiting friends there was almost lynched by local Israeli Arabs. On the one hand, a group of young Arab men, native citizens of Israel, did not hesitate to perpetrate such a barbaric incident in broad daylight in the heart of their city. On the other hand, the person who saved the wounded Jewish man was another Arab resident of the same city. This Arab resident, who acted courageously, is not afraid to appear in public and take pride in his action, and according to reports none of his Arab neighbors have condemned him.

As Israel’s leaders decide on an effective response to contain the Palestinian Arab violence and terror that has erupted in recent months with Jerusalem being in the epicenter, its seems that just under our noses, a whole coalition of non-Jewish minorities have risen to the hour and have placed their destiny in partnership with the State of Israel. Israeli Druze, Circassian Muslims, Bedouin Arabs, and Israeli Arab Muslims are all minority groups within the Israeli Arab community that number in the hundreds of thousands. Druze citizens are prominent in the Israel Defense Forces, and a considerable number of Israeli Druze soldiers have fallen in Israel’s wars. These non-Jewish minorities serve not only in the Israel Defense Forces, but in the Israeli Police Force, are Firefighters; those that don’t serve in active service opt for National Service for a period of one to two years. Just this past month 2 Druze officers were killed in action protecting the residents of Jerusalem.

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Muslims celebrate Jewish slaughter

Murdered, Because They Were Jews

by Tarek Fatah
The Toronto Sun
November 18, 2014



A cartoon posted on the Facebook page of Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri shows the attackers, dressed as orthodox Jews, exclaiming “Where are they?”

Four rabbis in an act of worship, in their house of God, slaughtered in the name of Allah.

And if the savagery of the act was not enough of a shock, one response from a Muslim on Twitter was equally gruesome.

Responding to my tweet about the Jerusalem slaughter, he welcomed the mass murder by writing a single word, “Bravo”.

Elsewhere on social media, Palestinians in Gaza circulated cartoons using the image of the meat cleaver and knife used in the attacks, to mock the Jews.

As a Muslim who has spoken all my life for the rights of the Palestinians to a state of their own, I was left holding my head in despair and shame.

Just an hour earlier, I had read news of my co-religionists killing four Christians in random acts of revenge in the Kenyan city of Mombasa.

What have we become, I asked myself?

The irony is the Jews murdered were from a sect that poses no threat to Muslims or Palestinians.

They are against the very idea of Jews ascending the Temple Mount to pray, an issue that has become a bone of contention in recent weeks between Jerusalem’s Muslims and Jews.

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Bible is also diet book

Mediterranean Diet Accelerates Weight Loss: Prevents Cancer and Heart Disease

Reprinted from Celebrity Health and Fitness, November 17, 2014


mediterranean diet weight loss Mediterranean Diet Accelerates Weight Loss: Prevents Cancer and Heart Disease

The Mediterranean diet promotes natural weight loss and protects against heart disease and cancer, doctors wrote in Postgraduate Medical Journal (PMJ).

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy fats such as olive oil and avocados, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. The diet is based on the traditional eating plans of Italian, Greek, Spanish, and other Mediterranean cultures.

A recent five-year study by the University of Navarra in Spain found the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent, Examiner reported.

“We were surprised because of the great magnitude [of the link between the diet and heart-disease prevention],” said Miguel Martínez-Gonzalez, who led the study. “This is a very important step in confirming a truly causal relationship between the [Mediterranean-style diet] and cardiovascular protection.”

The study examined 8,000 men and women in their 60s and 70s and found that individuals on the Mediterranean diet had dramatically less buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries compared with those followed a low-fat diet.

Previous studies also showed that people who followed a Mediterranean diet also had fewer degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes and dementia and lived longer than those who followed other eating plans.

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Temple Mount is Holy and dangerous

The Dangers of the Temple Mount

By Adam Chandler, The Atlantic, November 15, 2014

On Friday, protests and clashes between Israelis and Palestinians continued throughout Israel and the West Bank. From northern Israel to northern Jerusalem to Hebron, there were reports of protesters and police throwing rocks and stun grenades, respectively.

Surprisingly or perhaps miraculously, one place where there wasn’t violence on Friday was the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The central point of focus in the recent unrest in Israel and the West Bank, the Temple Mount, the same location as the al-Aqsa Mosque, is Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third-holiest site.

Late last month, Yehuda Glick, a rabbi advocating for Jews to be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount (which is forbidden by the Israeli Supreme Court) was shot several times in an assassination attempt by a Palestinian man. After the assailant was killed in a later confrontation with Israeli forces, violent clashes ensued and, in light of the violence, Israeli security forces decided to fully close the Temple Mount for the first time in over a decade.

As things tend to do in the Levant, the situation got bad in a hurry. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the closure “a declaration of war,” riots, knife and car attacks followed, and the killing of a Palestinian man in a northern Israel town by police brought more riots and clashes.

On Friday, for the first time in weeks, the Temple Mount was opened to Muslim worshippers of all ages, including younger Palestinians, who are frequently barred from attending Friday prayers when tensions in Jerusalem are high.

Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai once wrote, “What does Jerusalem need? It doesn’t need a mayor, it needs a ringmaster.” In his poem “In Jerusalem,” Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish adds:

I was walking down a slope and thinking to myself: How
do the narrators disagree over what light said about a stone?
Is it from a dimly lit stone that wars flare up?

The Old City of Jerusalem is that fortunate one-third of a square mile in the world where holy sites of the three major monotheistic religions are intimately contained. In its four quarters are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Via Dolorosa, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount, upon which sit the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine and one of the Middle East’s most recognizable buildings.

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Jerusalem not important to Muslims

Why and When was the Myth of al-Aqsa Created?



How did Jerusalem become so important to Muslims?

From Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2014

The importance of Jerusalem for Jews and Christians is beyond dispute, since the connection of this city to Judaism and Christianity is part of universal concepts about history and theology. However, when it comes to modern politics, we hear over and over that Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims demand that Jerusalem become the capital of the future Palestinian state, owing to its holiness to Islam. The question is how and when this city became holy to Muslims.

After Palestine was occupied by the Muslims, its capital was Ramle, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them.
When the Prophet Muhammad established Islam, he introduced a minimum of innovations. He employed the hallowed personages, historic legends and sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity, and even paganism, by Islamizing them. Thus, according to Islam, Abraham was the first Muslim and Jesus and St. John (the sons of Miriam, sister of Moses and Aaron) were prophets and guardians of the second heaven. Many Biblical legends (“asatir al-awwalin”), which were familiar to the pagan Arabs before the dawn of Islam, underwent an Islamic conversion, and the Koran as well as the Hadith (the Islamic oral tradition), are replete with them.

Islamization was practiced on places as well as persons: Mecca and the holy stone – al-Ka’bah – were holy sites of the pre-Islamic pagan Arabs. The Umayyad Mosque in Damascus and the Great Mosque of Istanbul were erected on the sites of Christian-Byzantine churches – two of the better known examples of how Islam treats sanctuaries of other faiths.

Jerusalem, too, underwent the process of Islamization: at first Muhammad attempted to convince the Jews near Medina to join his young community, and, by way of persuasion, established the direction of prayer (kiblah) to be to the north, towards Jerusalem, in keeping with Jewish practice; but after he failed in this attempt he turned against the Jews, killed many of them, and directed the kiblah southward, towards Mecca.

Muhammad’s abandonment of Jerusalem explains the fact that this city is not mentioned even once in the Koran. After Palestine was occupied by the Muslims, its capital was Ramle, 30 miles to the west of Jerusalem, signifying that Jerusalem meant nothing to them.

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Muhammad’s death. In 682 CE, ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. ‘Abd al-Malik, the Umayyad Calif, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem which was then under his control. In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (17,1 = sura 17, verse 1) which states (trans. by Majid Fakhri):

“Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs, He is indeed the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.”

The meaning ascribed to this verse (see the commentary in al-Jallalayn) is that “the furthest mosque” (al-masgid al-aqsa) is in Jerusalem and that Muhammad was conveyed there one night (although at that time the journey took three days by camel), on the back of al-Buraq, a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, the tail of a peacock, and hoofs reaching to the horizon. He tethered the horse to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount and from there ascended to the seventh heaven together with the angel Gabriel. On his way he met the prophets of other religions who are the guardians of the Seven Heavens: Adam, Jesus, St. John, Joseph, Idris (=Seth?), Aaron, Moses and Abraham who accompanied him on his way to Allah and who accepted him as their master.

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Time for Arabs and Jews to cooperate for peace

Time for all Israelis to take responsibility

President Reuven Rivlin calls for Jews and Arabs to denounce violence, seek new avenues for respectful dialogue.

Reuven Rivlin, President of the State of Israel, November 10, 2014

Reprinted from YNet News

Never before has a call for responsibility between all Israelis been more relevant or more important than in these painful and trying days. In these moments, we who live here, Jews and Arabs, look at each other with suspicion tempered by fury.

We have all the right reasons to entrench ourselves in our self-righteous ways, to stick to loathing, to allow fear and hatred to dictate the direction of our relationship.

But now, more than ever, we must ask ourselves – honestly – if this is the future we have in mind for our children. And if, alternatively, we are willing to accept that our destinies are intertwined forever, we must now make that fate our goal.

Preisdent Reuven Rivlin at ceremony for Kafr Qasim massacre (Photo: AP)
Preisdent Reuven Rivlin at ceremony for Kafr Qasim massacre (Photo: AP)

As a society, the most pressing task we face is the creation of a new space for dialogue, a space that would allow Israeli citizens to talk to one another but – mainly – to listen to one another. In these times we must learn anew how to talk, how to converse, how to dissent without rejection, how to argue, even if we do not agree.

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Palestinian Arabs will not benefit from terror

The Palestinians will lose Jerusalem too

Ron Jager, November 9, 2014


The writer, a 25-year veteran of the I.D.F., served as a field mental health officer. Prior to retiring in 2005, served as the Commander of the Central Psychiatric Military Clinic for Reserve Soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty, he provides consultancy services to NGO’s implementing Psycho trauma and Psycho education programs to communities in the North and South of Israel. Today, Ron is a strategic advisor to the Office of the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria to contact: medconf@netvision.net.il

Historical legend based on the “Napoleon and Tisha B’Av Myth,” tells the story that Napoleon visited a synagogue in Russia on Tisha B’Av. Noticing the lamentations and expressions of mourning of the Jews, Napoleon asked his advisors; what’s up with the Jews? Why are they weeping in public? It was explained to Napoleon that they are mourning for the destruction of their Temple. Napoleon asked when this Temple was destroyed. Informed that it was 1700 years earlier, Napoleon said that if indeed this people are mourning their Temple after 1700 years, such a people so attached to their history, will indeed be restored to their land and their Temple rebuilt.

What Napoleon understood at a glance about the Jewish nation, the Palestinian Arabs will never be willing or able to comprehend. For the past three quarters of a century since the Peel Commission which recommended the partition of the land between the Jews and the Arabs, they the Arabs have consistently rejected any possibility of compromise or willingness to live alongside a nascent Jewish state. At the conclusion of Israel’s War of Independence instigated by a coordinated and massive four front attack on Israel, the Arabs lost the Negev and the Galilee regions. The 1967 Six Day War also instigated by a coordinated Arab declaration of war ended with the Arabs losing all of Judea and Samaria, the Ramat HaGolon, and East Jerusalem. The 1st and 2nd Intifada instigated by Arafat and the Palestinian Authority after the Oslo Agreement concluded with Israel regaining control of most of the land given over to Palestinian Arab sovereignty. During the past months Jerusalem has been at the center of a renewed Palestinian Arab terror campaign against Jews, by stone throwing, Molotov cocktails, stabbings, and recently a series of hit and run terror attacks on pedestrians. Learning nothing from their own historical experience, and repeating the same destructive expression of hatred and rejection of anything Jewish, they the Palestinian Arabs will lose all Arab rights to Jerusalem similar to their losing control of lands designated for their them in the past.

Despite the horrors of radical Islam, it is Israel exclusively that lives under the microscope with the events in Jerusalem being scrutinized by the nations of the world. Russia invades Crimea, Nigeria enslaves, China oppresses, Pakistan rapes, Iraq slaughters, North Korea starves, Iran nuclearizes, Syria massacres, Afghanistan tortures. Sudan annihilates. ISIS beheads, and yet Israel remains the sole pariah state, put under the microscope by the morally bankrupt world. What the nations of the world fail to note is that it the Palestinian Arab Authority and the rival Hamas terror organization are actively supporting a 3rd terror campaign starting in Jerusalem, for this same reason thousands of missiles rained down on Israeli cities this past summer even though it created more destruction for Palestinian Arabs in Gaza. Their goal is keep the Palestinian Arabs focused on “resistance”—a synonym for endless war that won’t be solved by Israeli territorial concessions or even greater sensitivity for Muslim desire to deny Jewish rights in Jerusalem. The point about the current violence in Jerusalem is that nothing we Israelis are doing—whether if Jews move into parts of Jerusalem where Arabs want no part of us or even by walking around the Temple Mount; we have not altered by one iota or subverted the current status quo between Jew and Arabs, it simply does not matter to them and it will never sink in.

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