Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yes, Media Bias Is Dangerous

Graphics are for illustrative purposes only.

Recent resources:

Matti Friedman's expose from Tablet Magazine.

(developed from this site if, however. in reverse)

Disproportionate US Reaction


"The U.S. Coast Guard fired a warning shot at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf Tuesday after the Iranian vessel pointed a machine gun at a Coast Guard boat, according to the Navy."

But they just aimed.  They didn't shoot?  So disproportionate.


The Monomoy was operating on "a routine maritime security operation" 

What U.S. coast is there in that area of the world?  To quote a friend:

Whose coast are they guarding?


Middle East Lesson From History

From this article:

In December 1971...then home secretary, Reginald Maudling, announced that the British government had managed to ensure that an “acceptable level of violence” had been achieved...The current conflagration across the Middle East brings to mind Maudling’s words once more. It seems that the wider the flames spread, the less the west seems exercised by the details.

The one exception to this is the Israel-Palestine conflict, for which there has historically been a lower threshold of tolerance for “acceptable levels of violence” than elsewhere in the Middle East. This is a phenomenon for which many explanations have been offered. Some point out that there is a double standard when it comes to criticism of Israel, especially when compared with the acts of brutal authoritarian regimes such as that in Syria...

Others have said that Israel occupies a special place in the western psyche because it has the support of the most powerful western states and because, as a democracy, it should be held to a higher standard of behaviour—hence the greater emphasis on the question of “proportionality” in the present Gaza war...

Yet there is perhaps a third explanation for the despair that has greeted the latest gut-wrenching violence in Gaza. It is that, of all the conflicts engulfing the Middle East, the one in Israel-Palestine is seen as having a solution that is both conceivable and possible to envisage for those on the outside looking in...

One fallacy that has been exposed in recent years is that the Israel-Palestine conflict was the main source of the Middle East’s wrongs and a “root cause” of international terrorism, rather than just another of its many interconnected micro-conflicts...

and this

The greatest driver of violence in the Middle East is not a revanchist challenge to existing borders but an internal combustion of some of its most important states.

The failure of the modern Arab state is not, first and foremost, a product of the inherent artificiality of the borders left by the imperialist powers a century earlier; Jordan, perhaps the most artificial state of all, is one of the few that has managed to muddle through. The pattern is clearest in Syria and Iraq. In both cases, the rot started at the centre....

In recent days, as I read the Palestine files in the National Archives for 1945-51, when the British cabinet debated how to retire from the region at the end of the Second World War, something else became apparent—that some of the deepest thinking about these questions came in inverse proportion to the will or capacity to see solutions through. In his correspondence with Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1947-48 the then foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, said that the best the British could hope for was that their withdrawal from the region could “induce a sense of realism among Jews and Arabs”, and thereby create the conditions for peace. Attlee was unconvinced.

Oh.  The article is entitled:

History's Lesson for the Middle East: When Superpowers Leave, Stability Doesn't Follow


Ceasefire Heat

Is the ceasefire good?

Our victory; real victory?  (see this in Hebrew; or maybe Hamas humiliation?)

Well, all the analysis is post-facto from the original intentions.

The problems were at the outset, and remain so now:

how come we weren't sufficiently prepared for the terror assault tunnels?  do we have an answer?

what about the mass exodus from the Gaza Strip envelop area?

how can we, with a blockade that will be lessened, even if infinitesimally, prevent further and more sophisticated rearming?

since the experience has been similar, at least twice before, that Hamas only strengthens its capabilities, do we have smart commando operations planned?

As for Abbas over Hamas, besides the rhyme, still bad news.  Qatar & Turkey still heavily invested.  US-front needs huge shoring up.


Start Counting

As this chart displays

despite hostilities and subsequent agreements, ceasefires and other halts, the rocket fire has always continued over the past 14 years from Gaza.

Can you answer these questions:

a) when will Hamas begin firing anew?

b) how many rockets/mortars will it fire until Israel resumes active defense?

c) how long until a major Israeli counter-terror operation?

d) and how many projectiles will be launched until the next ceasefire?

and last, but not least,

e) will Binyamin Netanyahu still be Prime Minister when (c) happens?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Abbas Is Not Good News

Isn't it good that the PA's Mahmoud Abbas took charge of the ceasefire?

Well, not if he speaks like this:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday announced a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.  The ceasefire came into effect at 7:00pm Cairo time (1600 GMT).
Abbas, in a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, added that the negotiating parties will return to Cairo at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss further points in the truce.
...Despite the truce, Abbas said that the question of future violence remains.  "What next?" he asked. "Will there be another attack on Gaza?"

Mr. Abbas, if Hamas doesn't launch rockets, dig terror tunnels, attempt to smuggle in advanced weapons, there'll be no attack on Gaza.

Jewish Somersaulting

What does this picture remind me of?


The Vila Gaon (GR"A) was personally opposed to Hasidism, because he believed them to be heretics. Why did he see them in this way? Because they presented a new and innovative form of religious practice. In particular the new forms of prayer (such as somersaulting


The Matti Friedman Very Short Version

A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters

The very short version:

the central tropes of the international media’s Israel story ... one which is a narrative construct that is largely fiction.

How Important Is the Israel Story?

Staffing is the best measure

The volume of press coverage

News organizations believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.

what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel.

no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government.

Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate.  they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.

Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported.

The Hamas emplacements [in Gaza] were not important in themselves, and were therefore ignored. What was important was the Israeli decision to attack them.

Any veteran of the press corps here knows the intimidation is real

Do not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli.Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians…They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both.

The fact that Israelis quite recently elected moderate governments that sought reconciliation with the Palestinians, and which were undermined by the Palestinians, is considered unimportant and rarely mentioned. These are a matter of policy.the narrative was that the Palestinians were moderate and the Israelis recalcitrant and increasingly extreme.

Many of the people deciding what you will read and see from here view their role not as explanatory but as political.

The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s—the quest for a “two-state solution.” … the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” …described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab…

The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party.

reporters generally cannot see the Israel story in relation to anything else [happening in the Muslim Middle East]

they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies…Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.

Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality. They may convince themselves that all of this is the Jews’ problem, and indeed the Jews’ fault. But journalists engage in these fantasies at the cost of their credibility and that of their profession. And, as Orwell would tell us, the world entertains fantasies at its peril.


After cooling off at the pool, I thought to add these points that are missing, if only from the professional side:

the overwhelming amount of journos today are ignorant of Mideast history; are products of liberal/prog educational frameworks; have no second language and surely not Hebrew.

They are so into a minus, they have almost no chance at being positive.

Have You One Good Reason for Israel's Blockade of Gaza?


Tehran will "accelerate" arming Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over Iran, which was shot down, a military commander said on Monday.
"We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response," said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of aerial forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on their official website

Enough for me.

Gaza Truth Stranger Than Fiction

Remember this poster of mine?

Is truth stranger than fiction?

Dozens injured as Israeli jets hit Italian tower 

The Italian tower complex and a UN-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees is the latest targets of the Israeli attacks.

Go know.

At the Expense of YESHA Communities

I just blogged about headlines and stories that employ the terms "settlement", "bank" and even "west", at the expense of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Now, a few days later, we have another winner, at The New Yorker:

Confusing at times.


The Double Standard Measure of Western Diplomats

In my opinion, my blog posts are supposed to be not overly-long comments on world affairs, etc.

After a decade of blogging, it's wearisome to repeat all the necessary background to my views and outlook.  If stymied or perplexed, just click back a few posts and catch up.

With that intro, consider this in an Ha-Ha-Haaretz report:

Palestinian security officials recently questioned two employees at a nonprofit organization headed by former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in what some regard as an effort to exert political pressure on Fayyad after his organization launched a campaign to help needy Gazans.
Western diplomats who were informed of the incident said the questioning appears to have been carried out with the knowledge and consent of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.“There’s no doubt that this process was initiated by orders from above,” said a Western diplomat. “Such things don’t happen just like that.”

They have Fayyad's back, or, they desperately feel a need to protect those NGOs which serve as the funnel for money to undermine Israel.

But more relevant for me is this line:

“There’s no doubt that this process was initiated by orders from above...Such things don’t happen just like that.”


So, when I complain about evil content in educational materials in the schools of the Palestinian Authority, or the incitement on the Pal. Authority media, or the glorification process of the Pal. society be memorializing terrorists at road junctions and town squares, or the rabid anti-Semitism spouted by Pal. Authority immams, or anti-Jewish riots at the Temple Mount, not to mention what goes on in Hamas-dominated Gaza, I can assume that those "above" initiated all that, are aware of that and are, to be sure, responsible for it all.

After all,  

. “Such things don’t happen just like that.”

Joke Material for Elon Gold

Elon Gold and family underwent a "hate incident" in LA last Shabbat evening on the background of the operation in Gaza.  The children were introduced, perhaps too early, to the reality that it's not what a Jews does but what he represents that draws hatred and the use of violence.  Years ago, it was what I "did", supposedly, to Christ that got me into trouble and now, it is what Elan "did" to Gaza Arabs.

It includes this excellent section on the media:

I can write a fifty page piece about where all the hatred comes from. There are too many fingers to point at. The media, (I’m talking to you CNN, NY Times, etc.), who instead of reporting on every single rocket fired into Israel, chooses to focus on every civilian casualty of this war, instigated and perpetuated by Hamas. Constantly providing the numbers of the dead, instead of the number, eleven, which is the number of cease fires Hamas broke, thereby causing all of this death and destruction. Repeatedly displaying images of dead civilians without any of the context that many of the deaths are terrorists and that any real civilian casualties were victims of Hamas’s double war crimes of firing rockets at innocent civilians while using their innocent civilians as human shields. Or that a number of casualties include civilians who were killed by errant Hamas rockets.
This is what fuels the fire and allows for people to think they now have the right to wish death upon my children.

He finishes his piece so:

I can go on and on about how all of the pro-Palestinian rallies have signs that say "Death to Jews" and praising Hitler, and why Jews everywhere are now targets of hate crimes, hate incidents, vandalism and murder. I could ... but I have jokes to write. Because I’m trying to make the world a better place with laughter. Sadly, we now live in a world full of people that love to hate, more than they love to laugh.

So, Elon, here's a thought:

Growing up in New York in the 1950s, the "good old days", we were cursed, yelled out, threatened and occasionally beaten (and we gave back) just because we were Jews.  The Irish and Italian toughs in Queens where I lived didn't need what Israel was doing, or not doing, to hate and act on that hate. 
It came from another place, and we'll leave it at that.

But, Elon, if you want to turn this experience of mine into a joke, something like:

But reflecting on my experience, I guess things have changed.  In the past, the anti-Semites didn't need to use Israel as an excuse to curse and beat Jews. Maybe that means something for the good?

go, right ahead.

But don't stop being who you are.

Monday, August 25, 2014

And Now, It's Reverted to A Garbage Dump

There are several versions of the recounting of how the Western Wall area became a garbage dump and how it was saved.

As recorded, " The women of  the new Roman city built over the ruins of Jerusalem were instructed, by Roman law, to take their garbage to the dump daily".

Sultan Selim is one hero.

In fact, many Jewish sites were turned into garbage dumps.

And now, it's happening again.

On the Temple Mount.

First, it was right next to the raised plafrom, to the east (above).

But now, they've move it a bit to the north:

Garbage is garbage.

It doesn't belong there.

If this is the way the Waqf 'administers' the iste, they should not be the direct administrative agent.

Mr. Netanyahu?  Mr. Bennett?


Another Assorted GraphicZionism Collection

P.S.  The competition:


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Liberal Shame

In the NYTimes recently, Antony Lerman, a former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and author of “The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist”, is afforded much space to make an argument for "liberal Zionism". He is so liberal that he writes at the beginning:

The decision of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to launch a military campaign against Hamas in Gaza

as if Netanyahu woke up one fine morning and decided.  No rockets or terror mentioned.  Poof! Israel launches a military campaign.

But his warped thinking whic negates any possible input he might think he can contribute is best exemplified but his final paragraphs:

The dissenting left doesn’t have all the answers, but it has the principles upon which solutions must be based. Both liberal Zionism and the left accept the established historical record: Jews forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes to make way for the establishment of a Jewish state. But the liberals have concluded that it was an acceptable price others had to pay for the state. The left accepts that an egregious injustice was done. The indivisibility of human, civil and political rights has to take precedence over the dictates of religion and political ideology, in order not to deny either Palestinians or Jews the right to national self-determination. The result, otherwise, will be perpetual conflict.

In the repressive one-state reality of today’s Israel, which Mr. Netanyahu clearly wishes to make permanent, we need a joint Israeli-Palestinian movement to attain those rights and the full equality they imply. Only such a movement can lay the groundwork for the necessary compromises that will allow the two peoples’ national cultures to flourish.

This aspiration is incompatible with liberal Zionism, and some liberal Zionists appear close to this conclusion, too. As Mr. Freedland put it, liberal Zionists “will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist.”

They should know that Israel is not Judaism. Jewish history did not culminate in the creation of the state of Israel.

Regrettably, there is a dearth of Jewish leaders telling Diaspora Jews these truths. The liberal Zionist intelligentsia should embrace this challenge, acknowledge the demise of their brand and use their formidable explanatory skills to build support for a movement to achieve equal rights and self-determination for all in Israel-Palestine.

Sorry but no patience to note all the ridiculous and unproven assertions above which are unsupported by the historical record as well as the fraudulent argumentation Lerman employs to misrepresent reality.

Such a liberal shame.

P.S.    Good for David Bernstein.


Can Stonehenge Help With Gaza's Tunnels?

Taking a cue from a dear friend after she read a story I sent her, I wonder if this project can assist with Israel's problem with the Hamas terror tunnels.

The details:

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, is a four-year collaboration between a British team and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria that has produced the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, totaling more than four square miles...gathered by geophysicists and others wielding magnetometers and ground-penetrating radars that scan the ground to detect structures and objects several yards below the surface...led them to the first GPS-guided magnetometer systems. A magnetometer has sensors that allow a geophysicist to see evidence of historic building, and even ancient ditch-digging, beneath the soil by mapping variations in the earth’s magnetic field. The GPS-guided versions were able to pinpoint some of those discoveries to within one centimeter. The Gaffneys believed that Stonehenge scholarship needed a massive magnetometer- and radar-led survey of the whole site.

And perhaps we're already on the way.

True, the main difficulty Israel has experienced is that the tunnels are much deeper.  Recently, we were informed:

The Israel Defense Forces in the near future will deploy a tunnel detection system on the border of the Gaza Strip, as part of an operational experiment to examine whether a technological solution could discover the digging of tunnels. According to the military, 300 million shekels ($86.5 million) were spent on research and development in the field of tunnel detection since 2007, but so far without any results. Some 700 different projects were examined and thousands of experiments have been carried out, a senior official disclosed on Monday. Two systems failed in operational experiments conducted on the Gaza border eight years ago. The systems will be now redeployed, after improvements and upgrades have been introduced...Among proposed tunnel-detection technologies is the use of vehicle-mounted, ground-penetrating radar. However ,this solution can only detect tunnels to a depth of 10 meters and the last tunnels discovered during the Gaza operation that reached Israeli territory were as much as 25 feet below ground.  Another proposed system takes advantage of the earth’s gravitational field to detect underground voids at great depth. The most advanced method involves geo-seismic methods and buried sensors, which is the system to be used in the current trial.

All we have to do is wait.

And choose a name.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sophisticated Hamas (UPDATED)

"We do not target civilians, and we try most of the time to aim at military targets and Israeli bases," Meshaal said. "But we admit that we have a problem. We do not have sophisticated weapons. We do not have the weapons available to our enemy … so aiming is difficult. We do promise you, though, that we will try in the future and we will warn people … We have given warnings to Israeli civilians. We promise that if we get more precise weapons, we will only target military targets."

If you wanted to know why Israel continues a blockade and demands in negotiations that supervision be applied to all imports into the Gaza Strip, the answer is above.

Those were the words of Khaled Meshal.

If there is a negotiated arrenagement leading to peace, why would Hamas require more sophisticated, more precise weapons?

And there was this, too:

Meshaal acknowledged for the first time that Hamas members — but not the group's political leadership — were behind the slaying of three Israeli settlers on the West Bank in June. But he defended the murders as a legitimate action against Israeli "illegal" occupation.
"We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance," he said. "But we understand people are frustrated under the occupation and the oppression, and they take all kinds of action."
When asked directly whether Hamas members carried out the abduction of the Israeli teens, Meshaal said: "We learned about these confessions from the Israeli investigation … Hamas political leadership was not aware of all these details. We learned about it later on …
"Our view is that soldiers and settlers on the West Bank are aggressors, and they are illegally living in this occupied and stolen land. And the right to resist is the right of Palestinians."

And do not forget that all of Israel is an "illegal settlement" and all Israelis are "settlers".


Ilan Pappe
Q: It was reported that Israel launched its military incursion into the Gaza Strip after Hamas allegedly kidnapped and killed three young Israeli settlers. So far, more than 2,000 Palestinians have been slaughtered in the month-long conflict. Do you consider this mass killing in such a broad extent, and the obliteration of the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip a logical, proportionate and justifiable response to the kidnapping of three Israeli citizens, while there isn’t still reliable evidence showing that the abduction was done by Hamas?
A: No, of course not and the destruction of Gaza is not really a retaliation to the abduction and killing of the three settlers. The incident was a pretext for implementing a policy that was formulated long time ago towards the Gaza Strip; a geopolitical area of Palestine for which Israel has no clear policy. It manages, at least in its own eyes, quite successfully, the rest – 98 percent – of Palestine. It imposes harsh restrictions on the Palestinian minority inside Israel and colonial rule in the West Bank. These policies were also tried in the Gaza Strip but it was a risk to have settlers there and it was too full of refugees for to be seriously considered part of Israel. So it was ‘ghettoized’ with the hope that it would be domiciled in such a way. But Gaza resists and the only way Israel deems possible to react to this, is to use all its military might to crash that rebellion.


I hope they don't kill the translator as Hamas has released "an explanatory clarify inaccurate and incomplete media and press interpretations:-

Hamas clarifies press remarks by Mishaal on three settlers killed last June; Hamas knew who killed them only through Israeli investigations

...what happened to them as a natural and legitimate act against the illegitimate Israeli occupation.

...“We did not have prior knowledge of this act which was done by a group of Hamas members, but we do know that any distressed people living under occupation and oppression could do anything to defend themselves,” the Hamas Movement explained.

“The soldiers and settlers in the West Bank are considered ‘assailants’ and live illegally on usurped and occupied Palestinian land, so the Palestinians have the right to resist them,” the Movement reiterated some of what Mishaal said in the interview.


Friday, August 22, 2014

West. Bank. Settlement.




No.  Not in our neighborhood.


This week, Mr West’s work was in the spotlight again when DoJ inked a record $16.65bn settlement with Bank of America. 


So, We Have No Option

Could't agree more:-

“Either we win or die,”

We have no option, then.

Al-Qassam spokesperson, Abu Obaida, vowed, in a televised speech broadcast Wednesday evening

“We inform you, Israelis, that you’ve lost the battle. Once again you proved that you are a herd of losers. After 45 days of fighting have elapsed…all that you’ve been able to do is to kill our women and children.”

“Abu Khaled (Deif) has dragged you to shelters exactly like a herd of scared rats. We will go on until we purify our land, our entire land, from the colonizers’ desecrating grips.”

...“We ask the Palestinian delegation to immediately withdraw from Cairo and to never return...“Israeli colonizers and the entire world have to recognize the true essence of our people’s demands...they insist on punishing us and cracking down on us whenever they wish and as much as they wish to. From now on no such things shall ever be tolerated.”

“Either we win or die,” they pledged.

There was also this there:

Al-Qassam Brigades warned Israeli settlers, living on the periphery of Gaza Strip, to stay away from their homes, calling on those who are forced to stay to keep to their shelters.

Those "settlers" are not those of us living beyond the Green Line.  Just so that you know: all Zionist residents are, in Hamas lingo, "settlers".


Recent GraphicZionism


A Parable on Zionism

“I should have thought,” said the officer as he visualized the search before him, “I should have thought that a pack of British boys—you’re all British, aren’t you?—would have been able to put up a better show than that—I mean—”

“It was like that at first,” said Ralph, “before things—”

He stopped.

“We were together then—”

The officer nodded helpfully.


We're Being Portrayed


Source Cartoonist Naser Jafari


So, Disengagement is a Negative

Not not only Israel.

The United States (thanks to JD:-

The State Department has asked the Pentagon for more troops to provide security to U.S. facilities in Iraq.  There are some 850 U.S. troops in Iraq at the moment, including a detachment of 50 Marines from Bahrain bolstering security for the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.  Other troops are embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish forces as advisors, and are providing intelligence support and ground liaison for air strikes.The new request is reportedly for some 300 troops to beef up security for the embassy and for a U.S. facility at the international airport in Baghdad.

In early 1973, a major argument for America to adopt a policy of "strategic disengagement" was made.  The idea has been repeated by Stephen Walt now:

No, I don't mean isolationism: What I mean is taking seriously the idea of strategic disengagement and putting the whole region further down on America's list of foreign policy priorities. Instead of constantly cajoling these states to do what we think is best -- and mostly getting ignored or rebuked by them -- maybe we should let them sort out these problems themselves for awhile.

Not only Israel:
...the policy I'm suggesting would mean the United States would stop its futile efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 


 the United States would also end its military and economic aid to Egypt

 Yet, the opposition is strong:

[D]isengagement is misguided and dangerous,

and here, too:

The Obama administration must recognize that the policy of disengagement both in Iraq and Syria, has failed terribly, and that the rise of a terrorist state in the Levant poses a direct threat to US security and will necessitate American action sooner or later.

Last night, I caught the end of  Ali Khedery on BBC's Hardtalk and he was asked about disengagement.  He said blunt out that disengagement would completely devastate the Middle East although he did not mention israel.  Maybe that's because he's
a former adviser to a string of American ambassadors in Baghdad. and resides in Dubai.

Where was he in 2004?


She's Teaching Us Post-Zionism

I used 'teaching' since Ariana Melamed's family name means 'teacher' in Hebrew (and by extension, in Yiddish, pronounced with the emphasis on the 'la').  I used to read her in Maariv but, I guess, when that newspaper changed owners, Yedioth Ahronot picked her up (which says a lot about that daily).

What does she teach that is post-Zionist?

In the past, in a discussion over the behavior of IDF soldiers charged with preventing illegal entry of Eriteans, she called the soldeirs Judeo-Nazis.

In her latest translated op-ed, she writes:

Hamas is not a terror organization, but a state in the makingOp-ed: Whether we like it or not, Hamas is slowly but surely establishing itself with a disciplined army of paid soldiers, an education system saturated with incitement, and state institutions. And it has an unequivocal ideology that refuses to go away, just like the Jewish settlement of 1947.
The post-Zionism is not in her wrong description, or insufficiently intellectuyally honest description.  It's in the "just like" phrase.  That's the hint.

Post-Zionists seek to downdump Zionism, Jewish nationalism, Jewish moral and ethical principles so that they can say and write 'we're no better than the worst out there' and then follow it up with 'and therefore, those out there are just as good as we are'.  That tautology is intended at one at the same time to deny Jewish uniqueness and to award extremely evil forms of human naction a veneer of respect by linking it, wrongly, to we Jews.

In no way is Hamas, in its ideology and practice, "just like the Jewish settlement of 1947" (and the Hebrew term, yishuv, is not "settlement" but rather "community", another trick).  And it is not that she is blind to the reality:-
we failed to understand the deep despair that is the very basis of Islamic fundamentalism, or the ideology that sanctifies a bloody dream over human life, the willingness to suffer lengthy periods of shortage and a hard siege for faith, and the choice of the promised future in paradise over the future you could build with your own two hands in this world.
but she simply wants to see another reality so that Israel should yield and surrender to it enemies:-
Hamas is not a terror organization. It is a well-disciplined army of paid soldiers. It's an education system saturated with incitement. It is hospitals and police, creches and manufacturing, tunnels and parks, prisons and government. It has a military wing and a political wing and they're incredibly coordinated. No targeted assassination so far has been able to put a dent in Hamas' determination or in its ability to hurt us as it sees fit. Whether we like it or not, it is a state coming into being, or at least a part of one, 
What she ignores is what this portends:
it has an unequivocal ideology that refuses to go away
She assumes that it indeed will go away if we give in, and negotiate with Hamas, reconize it and ignore that it wants, desires and acts toward the goal of we Jews going away.

Terror or not, it is an organization that wants to kill Jews.

And Melamed's post-Zionism won't help.  Iindeed, it is not at all helpful and, in truth, will harm us .


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Can We Tolerate a Tollerton?

In something called The Conversation*, Dr. David Tollerton writes against Eli Weisel.

Tollerton lectures in "Jewish Studies and Contemporary Biblical Cultures and his two main research interests are (i) religious responses to the Holocaust and (ii) uses of the Bible in relation to modern identities, conflicts and concepts of blasphemy".

Here is his lead in to his article:

From debates concerning the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to the 1967 Six Day War’s titular reference to the days of creation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has often been made to resonate with biblical images and language.

"Titular reference"?

The war lasted ... six days, no?  Is that a joke on his part?  Should they have called it the "War of the Three Week Waiting Period"?  

As for "debates concerning the Temple Mount", actually the role of Mount Moriah and Jewish national renaissance can be traced back, in the modern period, to Rabbis Kalischer, Akiba Eiger, the Chatam Sofer in the early 19th century in connection with the revival of sacrificial service and then in the 1920s involving Rabbis Kook and Hirschhorn concerning permitting entrance into the Temple Mount.  Tollerton is not exactly scholarly in this instance.

But to his central point:

to frame the debate in terms of biblical descriptions of child sacrifice is unhelpful. In one passage, Wiesel creates a three-way comparison between Hamas, the child-sacrificing Moloch-worshippers of the Hebrew Bible, and the mass-murder of Jewish children during the Holocaust.

Tollerton does not mention the 160 children sacrificed in tunneling the "smuggling tunnels" and I do not have up-to-date figures on the "terror tunnels" but they should be in the dozens (and we won't mention the Gazan Arabs killed by Hamas rockets falling short or exploding on launch as, perhaps, Tollerton would refer to them as "sacrifices").  In writing so, he misrepresents Weisel's advert.  Without this relevant framework, Tollerton is quite unfair to argue with Weisel, especially in an organ whose readers, I am presuming, are primed to be anti-Israel and this only adds fuel.

Tollerton is buzzed by the Bible.  It's his right.  He can deconstruct as much as he wants and others can deconstruct his destruction (no misspelling).  But not to misuse the good book and its imagery as well as its basic moral message for mankind, including Muslims.

Tollerton, in the past, has written about blasphemy using the

interesting interface between [the Monty Python film] Life of Brian and historical scholarship on the period, consideration of such debates in late Second Temple Judaism also highlights in more general terms how unstable concepts of blasphemy can be during times of social upheaval. 

This present script of his does injustice to his academic thesis as well as to the reality of Hamas. Or, perhaps, his academic thesis, as applied to current political events is colored by his ... political outlook?

Even if he dismisses the applicability of a Biblical paraphrasing to describe what is happening in Gaza, Hamas surely is engaged in child sacrifice, the ritual sacrifice of Jewish children.  And I think the Nazis acted similarly.

And for this, shame on Tollerton and, how a university tolerates Tollerton is beyond me.



The Conversation is "an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.  Our team of professional editors work with university, CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public...Our aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues...We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise...Since our launch in March 2011, we’ve grown to become one of Australia’s largest independent news and commentary sites. Around 35% of our readers are from outside Australia."


I received this comment which I decide belongs inside the post:

His central premise in any case goes unargued.  He presents it here:

“Rather than seeing Hamas fighters as human beings driven by varying mixtures of rage, desperation and extremist ideology, they become players in an ongoing battle between good and evil that is epic in scope and primordial in origin.” 
And that’s bad why?  Tollerton doesn’t say.  He merely avers that Wiesel’s approach for drawing analogies and framing moral lessons “provides little insight into messy realities.”  A complete dodge.
How about this: Hamas fighters, as morally responsible human beings, should give up rage, desperation, and extremism and get a job.  Argue against that, Tollerton.


Not children but it is sacrificial in a sense.  In other socieites, they could have been called "activists promoting peace and coexistence through anti-terror activity".