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Beware the post-Zionist hacking campaign

Anastassia Michaeli, a rightwing MK from Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu party, in a debate over the digitization of schoolbooks:

“I oppose this idea. Arabs could hack into the books and change history.”

(v. Yossi Gurvitz)

UPDATE: This was a second-hand quote (a few bloggers posted it on twitter, and I translated their tweets). Here is the full text. It’s actually worse than the phrase I brought here (translation by Y. Gurvitz):

Believe me, hi-tech companies will develop new applications in the future, special protocols [and] operating systems in order to activate these [digital] textbooks. I am an electronics engineer, and I wanted to be a programmer, as well. I know computers and software very well.

Let me tell you that in a short while, in ten years, we will not be able to oversee the textbooks in the computers [inarticulateness in the original; possibly she meant to say “computerized textbooks” – YG]. See what kinds of propaganda the Israeli Arabs know how to make. They will enter all of the protocols system of the textbooks. They will write the history of the State of Israel for us. Wake up.

I am sorry Gideon Sa’ar isn’t here, that Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar isn’t here. There will be many hackers who will install for us their own textbooks. You will forget the Torah, you will forget what [the Book of ] Psalms is. The children of Israel will study the history of Palestine. I beg you to take care before supporting this bill. I am sure it will pass, but I warn you that in a few years we will “eat” these mistakes, and furthermore, parents in these times will pay the price. Thank you very much.

Hebrew original here, page 168.

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    1. david

      any source for this except for YG?

      Reply to Comment
    2. directrob

      So funny and so sad…I see a great wall coming…

      Reply to Comment
    3. @david: this line was said during the Knesset debate, and several people twitted it. I am not sure it the quote is accurate, but in two weeks we would have the protocol on the Knesset’s site.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Mandy

      Aside from the fact that the current textbooks are one sided at best and a solid education implies providing all perspectives and teaching students to think critically, her concern is ridiculous. What is stopping Arab publishers from printing alternative and more accurate traditional paper texts now? And furthermore unless Israel censors specific internet sites as China does what is stopping students from researching on their own?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Deïr Yassin

      Anastassia Michaeli, an ethnic Russian who converted to Judaism as an adult, ‘returned to her ancestral homeland’ to give moral lessons to the native Arabs. Israel is a nutshell. Don’t know whether to cry or laugh.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Sylvia

      This is totally silly. She might know about electronics, but if she knew anything about the Arab-Musim conquests and occupation of indigenous civlizations she’d know that Arabs have manipulated history long before the computer era.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Sylvia

      Well, now it’s official. The Rambam (that’s Maimonides, Moshe Ibn Maimon, Moussa Ibn Maimoun) IS A MUSLIM. They had the conversion done through UNESCO in December 2010.

      Look at the last paragraph p.170 continuing p.171 of this UNESCO report in French.
      It says:
      Une fois Tolède reprise aux Maures par les croisés en 1085, les savants européens y affluèrent afin de traduire les anciens textes classiques du grec (que l’Europe avait oubliés) vers l’arabe et l’hébreu, puis le latin, rendant ce savoir accessible à l’Occident. Entre 1100 et 1350, durant la première partie du Moyen Âge européen (1100-1543), les noms de quelques savants européens apparaissaient dans la littérature scientifique à côté d’un grand nombre de savants musulmans, parmi lesquels Ibn Rushd (Averroès), Moussa ibn Maïmoun (Maïmonide), Tousi et Ibn Nafis.
      After the recovery of Toledo from the Moors by the Crusaders in 1085, European scholars flocked there to translate the ancient classical texts from the Greek (which Europe had forgotten) to Arabic and Hebrew and then Latin, making this knowledge accessible to the West. Between 110 and 1350, during the first part of the European Middle Ages (1100-1543), the names of some European scholars appeared in scientific literature next to a large number of Muslim scholars, including Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Moussa ibn Maimoun (Maimonides), Tousi and Ibn Nafis.

      Be sure to tweet that too.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Actually, Sylvia, there’s reason to believe Maimonides converted to Islam as a means to escape the persecution in Spain. He was nearly tried in Egypt for apostasy – re-converting back to Judaism when the danger passed – but was protected by the Mufti. His letter regarding Shmad urges people who are faced with the choice of converting to Islam or death to convert, and then re-convert. At any rate, he was certainly, if not a Muslim writer, an Arab one. Most of his texts were written in Arabic.

      Reply to Comment
    9. davidson

      The interesting thing is that she’s sounding like the Haredim who prohibit internet use because of its malign influences on, well, as they see it, everybody.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Sylvia

      Yossi, now you’re revealing your real problem. It’s Judaism, not Zionism you hate and you are conflating the two.
      The Rambam is a towering intellectual figure and a Spiritual leader and an eminent scholar for Sephardic Judaism. He spent his life compiling the Mishna and nearly lost it writing the Guide of the Perplexed precisely at the hand of intolerant and slanderous Ashkenazi Rabbis, and I see that the apple hasn’t fallen very far from the tree.
      Don’t mess with us.
      He fled Spain to escape MUSLIM persecution.
      To show you how little you know, in Egypt he was the sultan’s physician AND the overt, recognized, honored leader of the Jewish community including the Karaite community. That says it all.

      His letter you describe as concerning “shmad” as you say is well-known and is called “the Epistle to the Jews of Yemen” who at the time were faced with forced conversion TO ISLAM or death, and he says no such a thing, precisely the contrary. I urge you to read it.
      I happen to have the text so let me copy for you this little excerpt for your enjoyment (and your education):
      “It behooves the victim for the sake of his religion to escape and flee to the desert and wilderness, and not to consider separation from his family or loss of wealth. For they are a slight sacrifice and a paltry due to God…
      When a man finds it arduous to gain a living in his country he emigrates to another. All the more incumbent is it upon a Jew who is restricted in the practice of his religion to depart for another place. If he finds it impossible to leave that locality for the time being, he must not become careless and indulge with abandon in the desecration of the Sabbat and the dietary laws on the assumption that he is exempt from all religious obligations. It is the eternally inescapable duty of everyone belonging to the stock of Jacob to abide by the law.”
      Hardly a call to convert.
      And this:
      “God has hurled us in the midst of these people, the Arabs, who have persecuted us severely, and passed baneful and discrimainatory legislation against us. …
      Never did a nation molest, degrade, debase, and hate us as much as they. … Although we were dishonored by them beyond human endurance, and had to put up with their fabrications yet we behaved like him who is depicted by the inspired writer, “But I am as a deaf man, I hear not, and I am as a dumb man that opens not his mouth”…”
      Hardly the words of a Muslim…. or of an Arab for that matter.
      As to Maimonides being an “Arab”, let me inform you that contrary to popular belief, the “Arabs” have ruled only very briefly in Spain. At the time of Maimonides, the Almohads who were BERBERS were the masters of Spain and the Maghreb. That Maimonides never referred to himself as an Arab – but as “HaSefaradi”, is beside the point.

      Reply to Comment
    11. I beg to differ regarding Maimonides being a “towering intellectual figure”. This is the rabbi who wrote that if a Jew rapes a gentile girl aged three, the girl ought to be killed for enticing him. See here:
      אבל ישראל שבא על הגויה–בין קטנה בת שלוש שנים ויום אחד בין גדולה, בין פנויה בין אשת איש, ואפילו היה קטן בן תשע שנים ויום אחד–כיון שבא על הגויה בזדון, הרי זו נהרגת: מפני שבאת לישראל תקלה על ידיה, כבהמה.

      And, please, give me the benefit of the doubt that I know his persecution was at the hands of Muslims (for that point, I find it very starnge to see you saying his life was at risk from Ashkenazi rabbis. They induced the inquisition to burn his books, but that was after his death). He went to Morocco and from there to Egypt. As for Maimonides’ conversion and his use of Taqiyya, see here:


      Reply to Comment
    12. Sylvia

      1. Regardless of Maimonides merits or lack thereof, the fact that UNESCO has appropriated him officially for Islam (after they publicized their position that Jews have no connection to the Western Wall) supports Anastasia Mikhaeli ALLEGED fears and that’s the point of my intervention.
      2. Second, the fact that you bring me a text online that doesn’t make sense (considering that it is in total contradiction with a previous verse on the same page and the same topic) reminds me of one Israeli of Russian origins Jew-hater “translation” of the Talmud intended to degrade Judaism , which was widely distributed in the Internet some ten years ago – and that text too totally supports Anastasia Mikhaeli ALLEGED fears of “digital manipulation”.
      3. When you give me a text to read, please read it first. The ruling comes to contradict another’s Rabbi ruling –AFTER THE FACT – that Jews who read the shahada under duress cannot return to Judaism. This doesn’t mean that Rambam advocates “converting and reconverting”. There is no basis to that charge, and it contradicts the account Maimonides gives of his own journey to Egypt. According to that link you kindly provided – “There is simply no credible evidence that Maimonides converted, let alone that he was a “practicing Muslim.””.
      4. This is not to say, of course, that I am against digitalizing textbooks.

      Reply to Comment
    13. directrob

      Actually digital copies are easy to protect with digital signatures. The real problem is signed or not the enormous amount of incorrect data on the internet.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Sylvia, I’ll repeat my question: Why do you think we should honor a man who mandated that when a Jew rapes a gentile girl, the girl ought to be executed?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Sylvia

      “Sylvia, I’ll repeat my question: Why do you think we should honor a man who mandated that when a Jew rapes a gentile girl, the girl ought to be executed?”

      Your question is fallacious and you know it. Even without looking at the text everyone with a minimal education in Judaica knows that Maimonides could never have “mandated” anything like that. First because he was the father of Jewish rationalism – who by the way inspired the European Haskala – and the way you present it is irrational. Second because emphasis on INTENT is at the heart of his writing (as shown by nhis letter on conversion under duress) – and the victim of a rape cannot be accused of intent.

      So how about a little honesty on your part? Anyone reading your post will leave with the impression that it’s about the rape of a three year old gentile girl who should be executed for being raped. This is crazy.
      In fact, it is about punishment for anal intercourse when the one solliciting it is a woman, of any age between three years and one day to adult age, in this particular case non-Jewish women are not exempt.

      שבא על הגויה doesn’t mean that he rapes a non-Jewish women, it means that he has sex with her.
      How does she sollicit? מפני שבאת לישראל תקלה על ידיה, כבהמה
      “Because she came to the Jewish man walking on her hands, in the manner of a beast”

      You should read to the end of the paragraph. It applies both to men and women who have anal intercourse
      And he quotes Bamidbar for support:
      וכל אישה, יודעת איש למשכב זכר–הרוגו
      “any woman, who ‘knows’ a man in [the manner of] homosexual intercourse, you shall kill.”
      I think I made my point(s). One, that it is quite possible to manipulate texts. Two, that you have been dishonest.
      I resent having to explicate laws that have been irrelevant for thousands of years. But I felt that your duplicity had to be exposed.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Sylvia, can please refer me to any culture, anywhere, anytime, that considered three years and a day as the age of consent? If not, how is this not rape? Are you seriously suggesting that a three years old girl can “seduce” a man?

      You can speak about “rationalism” all you want. The text stands and is quite clear: An Israelite who has intercourse with a gentile woman, age three and one day is up, whether she was married or not, is considered to have been harmed by her, and she being considered to be a beast of burden, is therefore to be executed.

      You speak of intent. It is not the intent of the rape *victim* which matters; it is the intent of the walking Jewish penis. “Since he had intercourse with her willfully (or: maliciously), she is to be killed; since Israel has been wronged by her, [as if by] a beast”.

      I think any fair reading of the text will show which one of is the dishonest reader.

      Oh, BTW: Should you ask for them, I have plenty more where this came from.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Sylvia

      I refuse to be pushed to a corner from which I would appear to be defending an archaic law, which is a mere RESTATEMENT of oral laws from the generation of the desert and in context of the story of Pinhas and Zimri (you know Pinhas was killed and Zimri hailed as a hero for killing him). And to top it all off, from a site I know nothing about. It could be they meant thirteen years old and typed three for all I know.
      Maimonides was a JEWISH philosopher, theologian and scientist, which is the very reason he is being “co-opted”.
      If you were honest, you’d admit that Anastasia Mikhaeli has a point. Nekuda.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Sam Smith

      Yossi, you’re really being an awful debater here. The question isn’t whether Maimonides is rightfully considered a “towering intellectual figure”, but rather why UNESCO deemed it appropriate to refer to him as Muslim, when he was a *Torah* scholar and philosopher in *Jewish* history.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Right Wing Zionist

      @SAM SMITH
      I agree with you. The debate is about UNESCO’s dishonesty for calling Rambam a Muslim rather than Jewish.

      By the way, Rambam, in his time was also a world renown and talented physician.

      As far as his Torah scholarship is concerned, even if he may have said what his detractors attribute to him (which I don’t know because I am a secular Jew) even then, it is easy for us in the 21st century to be critical of such sentiments (if indeed he said them in the alleged context) but in his time, I don’t think those attitudes were unique. I know of people who constantly quote texts from the quran to prove that Muhamad was a pedophile. I am not one of those people nor do I approve of such quotes against Muslims Jews or Christians because our marality has changed since then. I bet Yossi is the first to jump up and down though if Muslim’s get bad mouthed in the same way as he chose to defame religious Jews in here.

      Reply to Comment
    20. I refuse to be pushed to a corner from which I would appear to be defending an archaic law

      And yet you keep doing precisely that. Why can’t you simply say that Maimonides is monstrous here? Why do you have to write bullshit like

      it is about punishment for anal intercourse when the one solliciting it is a woman, of any age between three years and one day to adult age, in this particular case non-Jewish women are not exempt.

      שבא על הגויה doesn’t mean that he rapes a non-Jewish women, it means that he has sex with her.
      How does she sollicit? מפני שבאת לישראל תקלה על ידיה, כבהמה

      Which you ought to know is bullshit – and not simply renounce it? Why do you defend the old pedophile supporter? How, after this, you have the gall to speak about me being “dishonest”?

      I further note that you no longer reject the idea that Maimonides was a forced convert to Islam.

      And, no. Michaeli doesn’t have a point. Your own comment proves it. When utter bullshit is written in an obscure document, it is exposed. To say that a hack of the MoE textbooks by hostile Palestinians will last more than 10 minutes, not to mention “you will forget the Torah”, is a tasteless joke.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Right Wing Zionist

      “Actually, Sylvia, there’s reason to believe Maimonides converted to Islam as a means to escape the persecution in Spain”(YOSSI GURVITZ)
      And that makes him Muslim? If someone is forced, on pain of death to convert to Islam, that’s a valid excuse for UNESCO to classify that person as a Muslim? I must say, I find such reasoning to be surprising.
      The following site offers a lot of information about RAMBAM:
      It is very clear that RAMBAM was Jewish, he wrote mostly about Jewish law and philosophy and he wrote In Judeo Arabic which is:
      “The Judeo-Arabic languages are a continuum of Arabic dialects spoken by Jews living or formerly living in the Arab world; the term also refers more or less to Classical Arabic written in the Hebrew script, particularly in the Middle Ages”

      Reply to Comment
    22. Borg

      Yossi-I am confused. On the one hand, you dont have a problem with the Rambam being honored by UNESCO as a Muslim. On the other hand, you do have a problem with him being honored as a Jew. Please explain

      Reply to Comment
    23. Mitchell Cohen

      YG, as one who grew up Orthodox I assume you, of all posters here, should know that the Rabbis in the Talmud often talk about the most extreme situations, not because they are likely to happen and certainly not because they condone them, but to illustrate a point. There is a tradition that Rivka Ameinu was a mere 3 years old when she married Yitzhak (although not all poskim are in agreement): http://www.vbm-torah.org/archive/salt-bereishit/06-10toledot.htm “In the beginning of Parashat Toledot we read that Yitzchak was forty years of age when he married Rivka. Rashi, in his commentary, writes that Yitzchak was thirty-seven years old at the time of the akeida, when God had instructed Avraham to slaughter Yitzchak upon an altar, and Yitzchak married three years later. Rivka, Rashi claims (based on the Midrash), was born at the time of the akeida, and was but three years old when she married Yitzchak. Chazal reached this conclusion on the basis of the verses following the akeida narrative, which tell that Avraham was informed of the birth of children and grandchildren to his brother, Nachor, including Rivka, the daughter of Nachor’s son Betuel. According to the Midrash’s reading, as Rashi here writes, Rivka was born at the time of the akeida, and she was thus but three years old when she married.” [end of quote] So, here we have an instance, according to Rashi (based on Midrash) of a woman voluntarily agreeing to marry (and, presumably everything that comes with marriage, I think you know what I mean). This is what the Rambam bases the age of 3 on. Also, like Sylvia pointed out, the text you provided does NOT say rape (אונס). So, what are the chances of a 3 year old woman (Jewess or not) seducing a man? Pretty much nil (Rivka Ameinu was an extraordinary case), but the verse you pulled up does NOT condone raping a three year old Gentile girl and then her being executed for it. Another example of a law that was never carried out, but is “only on the books” is that of the rebellious son:
      Is there really a death penalty for rebellious children? Even in Talmudic times, it was clear that the severe punishment for the “wayward and rebellious son” (Deut. 21:18-21) is only ‘on the books.’

      “There never was, nor will there ever be, a child who meets all of the legal qualifications of the ‘wayward and rebellious son.’ Why then was this law written? That you may study it and receive reward [for the Torah learning, despite its lack of practical application].” (Sanhedrin 71a) [end of quote]

      Yossi, I realize you have your motives to demonize Jewish holy texts, just like Israel Shahak did, but anyone who TRULY studies the texts understands the FULL context of what is being said and will not be fooled by a Dave Duke interpretation of selected (and, often mistranslated) quotes here and there.

      Reply to Comment
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