Thursday, May 31, 2007

El Pais is a Bit Mixed Up

I was interviewed today for the El Pais, a major Spanish daily (last week it was the Basler Zeitung and tomorrow, the Christian Science Monitor).

So, I checked it out.

Here are its "facts" about Israel box:-

> Capital: Tel Aviv

> Gobierno: República

> Fiesta nacional: 14 de Mayo. Día de la Independencia (1948)

> Jefe de Estado: Moshe Katsav (Presidente)

> Jefe de Gobierno: Ehud Olmert (Primer Ministro)

> Población: 6.116.533 (2003)

> Idioma oficial: Hebreo

> Religión mayoritaria: Judios (81,85%)

> Moneda: Nuevo sheqel

> Superficie: 21.946 km²

Hey, even my university Spanish tells me that our capital is Jerusalem.

The funny thing today was that we went up to the Temple Mount and before getting to the police security point, I explained to him that I, as a Jew, have no identity thereby on the Temple Mount. It's not just that I can't pray or read from Psalms. It's that I am a "tourist", a non-identity. As a Jew, I am a "provocation" to the Muslims.

He found that hard to believe.

So, we get there and the policeman tells him "no notebook" and "no interviewing". The reporter wants to know why and he is told, "it's a provocation".

I smiled.

Then he tells the photographer she can only take one camera up because with two, she is no longer a tourist. Two cameras are, (you guessed), a "provocation".

The Israelis Went In and Got Him Out

"Khaled Shawish, an officer in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Force 17 presidential guards, was captured by undercover Israeli police forces following scores of shooting attacks he is suspected of carrying out. Shawish, who doubles as the Ramallah chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, previously boasted of involvement in a West Bank shooting attack in December 2000 that killed Israeli ultranationalist leader Benjamin Kahane and Kahane's wife, Talya...The sources said at the time of his arrest, Shawish was having intercourse in the back seat of his jeep with a Palestinian woman, whose identity is being withheld by WND. The woman was not his wife. The Brigades, founded by Arafat, largely considers the late PLO leader's resting place to be a sacred site."


Irredentist Now, Are We?

Alex Safian points out, over at CAMERA, that the Economist is biased.

This week's issue is devoted to the 40 years since 1967.

Among its 'charms':-

The only use of the word "irredentist" is in regard to Israeli settlements -- called "colonization."

Although portions of the articles focus on the 1967 war, much attention is devoted to railing against settlements built afterwards in the West Bank and Gaza. They are cast as the central, overriding problem -- as opposed to Arab aggression, intolerance and imperial aims. The author claims: "Hamas is to the Palestinians what the settlers are to Israel: it believes that the land was consecrated to Muslims by God, and is not negotiable." Hamas, needless to say, is a terrorist group -- officially designated so by the U.S. and the E.U. for its mass killings of innocent people. The comparison to Israeli settlers who have been the target of Hamas's lethal assaults and who have never, of course, blown up buses, cafes and religious events, is outrageous. (The magazine doesn't always equate settlers to Hamas; while certain settlers are labeled "more fanatical than ever" -- no Hamas member of any stripe is called fanatical.)

Young settlers are just as militant as their parents were a generation ago, setting up small West Bank outposts and resisting their dismantlement in fierce, well-publicised mass protests. Israel's pull-out of the settlements in Gaza in 2005, which seemed at the time to have broken the settlers' spirit, now appears to have left them more united and emboldened. And the interface between ultra-Orthodoxy and religious Zionism has spawned a new breed of young settlers known as hardal (a Hebrew acronym that also means “mustard”), who are more fanatical than ever.

Just Who Is 'Scurillous'?

This following op-ed was termed scurrilous by Fran Unsworth, a BBC editor.

A Reporter's Fate

Dozens of hostages were released in Gaza over the weekend, in the wake of a truce called between the warring factions of Hamas and Fatah. The BBC's Alan Johnston, now in his 11th week of captivity, was not among them...

January 2005...There had been a sharp decline in Israeli-Palestinian violence, thanks mainly to Israeli counterterrorism measures and the security fence. A Benetton outlet had opened in Ramallah, signaling better times ahead.

In Gaza things were different, however, and Mr. Johnston was prescient in reporting on the potential for internecine strife: "This internal conflict between police and the militants cannot happen," one of his stories quotes a Palestinian police chief as saying. "It is forbidden. We are a single nation."

When Mr. Johnston was kidnapped...he became at least the 23rd Western journalist to have been held hostage in Gaza. In most cases the kidnappings rarely lasted more than a day. Yet in August FOXNews's Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were held for two weeks, physically abused and forced to convert to Islam. Plainly matters were getting progressively worse for foreigners. So why did the BBC keep Mr. Johnston in place?

...Yet the BBC also seemed to operate in the Palestinian Authority with a sense of political impunity. Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti described Mr. Johnston as someone who "has done a lot for our cause"--not the sort of endorsement one imagines the BBC welcoming from an equivalent figure on the Israeli side. Other BBC correspondents were notorious for making their politics known to their viewers: Barbara Plett confessed to breaking into tears when Arafat was airlifted to a Parisian hospital in October 2004; Orla Guerin treated Israel's capture of a living, wired teenage suicide bomber that March as nothing more than a PR stunt--"a picture that Israel wants the world to see."

Though doubtlessly sincere, these views also conferred institutional advantages for the BBC in terms of access and protection, one reason why the broadcaster might have felt relatively comfortable posting Mr. Johnston in a place no other news agency dared to go.

...The British government is reportedly in talks with a radical Islamist cleric in their custody, Abu Qatada, whose release the Army of Islam has demanded for Mr. Johnston's freedom. What the British will do, and what effect that might have, remains to be seen.

For now, one can only pray for Mr. Johnston's safe release. Later, the BBC might ask itself whether its own failures of prudence and judgment put its reporter's life in jeopardy. The BBC's Paul Adams has said of his colleague that it was "his job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament." For that act of solidarity one hopes a terrible price will not be paid.

But Guess Who Kills Her

Oscar-winner Helen Mirren is being lined up to star in a film set in the Gaza Strip, as a woman whose journalist daughter falls in love with a Palestinian and is killed, the company making the film said Thursday.

And read this:-

The academy award-winning actress will star as a Jewish woman whose daughter, a journalist, is having a relationship with a Palestinian and is shot dead.

So, who kills her?

A Pal. or someone in the IDF?

A "settler"? Nah.

Adding to My "Militant" Collection

Found this photo above in the NYTimes.

Here's the caption:

An Islamic militant posed this week in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Ain al Hilwe. Jihadist influence is growing there and in Gaza.

and here's another pic and caption:

A man inspects the damage at the American International School in Gaza after Palestinian militants set off explosives there in April.

Defining Ha'Aretz

Ha’aretz is considered to be the Guardian of Israel, being a paper of the grievance-culture and intellectually pretentious left. Actually it’s worse, since ithe way it loses no opportunity to vilify and libel its own country leaves the Guardian looking like the Jingoists’ Gazette.

Found here.

Moshe Ya'alon's Remarks

The cornerstone of Israeli policy since the end of the war did not advocate annexation of territories nor a return to 1967 borders.

This perception, along with failed political conduct to date, has ultimately led to significant erosion in the achievements of the Six Day War and has vastly detracted from the Israeli position, while also adversely affecting the Zionist narrative and its achievements.

Israelis who sought to reach final-status agreement with the Palestinians through "land for peace" obscured the difference between resolving the conflict with Egypt via Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those same elements went even further by obscuring the Palestinian demand for all of the Land of Israel rather then territories occupied in 1967 only, and ignored the persistent Palestinian refusal - which has been in place since the birth of Zionism - to partition the nation.

These elements vastly contributed to the erosion of Israel's positions upon recognizing the Palestinian peoples' right for self determination without insisting on mutual Palestinian recognition for the Jewish people and an independent Jewish State.

The self assurance that came in wake of the Six Day War created a sense of being "strong enough to take risks" - which is reminiscent of the time of the Oslo Accords. This self confidence led to the loss of the attitude associated with a society facing constant struggle.

Those striving to return to 1967 borders, from within Israel and abroad, are taking advantage of the Six Day War triumph to argue that the problem lies in the "occupation" and that Israeli relinquishment of these territories will bring the longed-for peace.

Yet the botched terror attack on December 31, 1964 reminds us that Palestinian terror began prior to the takeover of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Since then, additional proof accumulated over time attests to the Palestinian leadership's refusal to end the conflict based on such a solution.

Moreover, recent statements by leaders of the Israeli Arab community expressed their refusal to recognize the State of Israel's right to exist as an independent Jewish State.

Events of the past years, the Palestinian failure to adhere to agreements and obligations within the Oslo framework, the launching of a terror war in September 2000, and the situation in Gaza following disengagement - could have served as opportunities to "reveal the true face" of the Palestinian leadership and its intentions to undermine the irrelevant concept of a "two state solution" within the ancient Land of Israel's western borders.

Grounding the "two-state solution" discourse to a halt among the Israeli public and in the international arena is a prerequisite for encouraging a new direction of thought with regards to the conflict and possible ways of resolving it.


And After This Is All Over, We'll Still Be Here

International release, May 30, 2007

5-10 June 2007, 6 days of protests to mark 40 years of occupation

A wave of protest events, marking 40 years of occupation, is expected in the early part of June

Main protest march and rally: Tel Aviv, June 9, 18:00 coinciding with world-wide protests at dozens of locations

June 5, 2007, will be the fortieth anniversary of the malignant Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights. The present suffering and bloodshed at Gaza and Sderot are a direct outcome of the policy of occupation, settlement and killing. Only the end of that policy and the signing of a just peace could put an end to violence and to the continuing injustice against the Palestinian People.

"40 Occupation" is a convergence of peace activists and groups (including Gush Shalom, Anarchists Against the Wall, Women's Peace Coalition, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Yesh Gvul, Indymedia,Ta'ayush, Zochrot, Hadash and others) which jointly organize protest actions marking forty years of occupation. In order to bring about a concrete change in the situation and the end of the occupation, there is needed a tactic of wide opposition. Therefore, the model of convergence was chosen which was used with great success in other struggles, for example the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organization meeting. Convergence implies public organising around a common goal, relying on coordinated but autonomous and decentralized activity.

For six days, June 5 to 10 - corresponding to the days of the 1967 War - a wide spectrum of events will take place, including exhibitions, demonstrations, theatre plays, academic conferences etc., in order to place a the occupation and the millions suffering under its yoke on the public agenda. June 9 and 10 had been declared as International Days of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation, and we will hold The main march and rally on Saturday, June 9.

Demonstrations and events in early June

June 1 from 10:00 am at the Port of Tel Aviv - "Until She Opens her Eyes", an event organized by the Human Rights groups, including presentations, testimonies, artistic performances, theatrical performances, a panel discussion by writers, exhibition of photos. Ronit Piso 054-4750614, Maskit Mendel 054-7700477.

June 2 - an Israeli-Palestinian car convoy, organized by the Geneva Initiative, leaving the Redding Parking Lot in north Tel-Aviv at 10:30 am. In Jerusalem, the Israeli and the Palestinian convoys will join up and together round the Old City and wind up at The Mount of Olives, where a joint rally will take place with Knesset Members, Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and artists. Contact 03-6938728.

June 2 to 8 - Every evening at 21:00 a panel discussion on Forty Years of Occupation will be broadcast on the "Mikan" Channel on the cable and satellite TV, as well as here.

On the morning of June 5, the Peace Now Movement will hold a demonstration in Hebron, with the call "Stop the Settlements!" Conatact: Yariv Oppenheimer 0544-200060

June 5 "The Desert Generation" - An exhibition by Israeli and Palestinian painters at Beit HaAmanim (Artists' House), Jerusalem. David Tartakover, Sliman Mansur, Larry Avramson, David Reeb 0546-531469 03-6819653.

June 5 - Day of Protest by the Student Coalition at Tel-Aviv University, including an exhibition, placing of placards, artistic performances. Michal 054-487061

June 5 - "Critical Mass - bicycle and roller skates convoy through the streets of out Tel Aviv", painting the city with messages of Freedom and Equality. Meeting point at 16:00 on the Tel-Aviv Cinemateque Plaza.

June 5 - testimonies from the Occupied Territories, a photo exhibition and presentation of documentary films at the the Tel-Aviv Cinemateque, organized by Machsom Watch, Bereaved Families' Forum, Fighters for Peace, PCATI, Yesh Din, IPCRI. A checkpoint, similar to those erected by the army in the Territories, will be erected on the plaza and all visitors will have to pass through it.

June 5 - A mass Israeli-Palestinian event on the football field of Anata, north-east of Jerusalem. Buses from Jerusalem at 16:30. Suliman Al Hatib 054-4315043.

June 5 to 7 - International academic conference on "Forty after Sixty Seven" at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Tel-Aviv University. Minerva Center for Human Rights 02-5881156.

June 7 - "Act of State 1967-2007" - a historical photo exhibition on the Occupation. Opening at 21:00 at the gallery of Minshar Art School, 18 David Hachami St, Tel Aviv. 03-6887090

June 7 - Israeli-Palestinian demonstration near the Wall separating Bak'ah Al Sharkiya in the West Bank from Bak'ah Al Gharbiya in Israel. Suliman Al Hatib 054-4315043.

June 8 - Protest vigils by Women in Black in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa at 13:00-14:00. In Jerusalem, throughout the preceding week a daily protest vigil will be held at the Paris Square. Contact 054-7515797.

June 8 to 9 - Festival of Peace and Music, Israeli and Palestinian artists and groups, films and more. At Tantur, on the border of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Gershon Baskin 052-2381715, Aviv Alhasid 052-3689612.

June 9 - Mass demonstration in Tel Aviv, marking 40 Years to the Occupation - march and rally initiated by the Israeli peace movements and parties.
For details Adi Dagan 052-3575526, Adam Keller 050-6709603

June 9 has been declared the International Day of Protest Against the Israeli Occupation. Demonstrations will take place at dozens of cities around the world. For details about worldwide activism on June 9

June 9 - Israeli-Palestinian demonstration in the morning hours, outside the Old City Walls. Michael Warshawsky 052-4733453.

June 11 - The Old City of Jerusalem: Opening event for a campaign to rebuild destroyed houses, by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The event takes place on the fortieth anniversary of the destruction of the Old City's Mugrabi Quarter, with its 350 houses, and is dedicated to the memory of Haja Rasmiya Tabaki, crushed under the ruins of her destroyed home. Shai 050-6986964.
For details Adi Dagan 052-3575526, Adam Keller 050-6709603

Gee, you'd think someone would be protesting terror-targetting-civilians

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Hareidi Blaming Zionism

see this article, Amalek's Accomplices' Blaming Zionism for the Holocaust: Anti-Zionist Ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel during the 1980s

If Israel Hits "Militants", Is it...What?

Reading this:-

Israel to Keep Hitting Gaza Militants

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel resolved Wednesday to keep striking Gaza Strip rocket squads firing at Israeli border towns and insisted it wasn't negotiating a truce with radical groups. The supreme leader of the Hamas militant group, which has been behind the latest surge in rocket attacks, vowed that attacks on Israel would continue, too.

I wondered, if Israel is hitting radical, militant, rocket squads firing off Kassams at civilian population centers(terrorists between you and me), what is Israel, then?

To Sderot for Shabbat

The Yesha Council, Sderot Municipality, the Sderot Hesder yeshiva and other institutions are sponsoring a solidarity - "Raise the Flag" - Shabbat in Sderot.

A Great Resource

Nativ in English.

Israel Isn't Japan

A Japanese Cabinet minister committed suicide yesterday, hours before he was due to be questioned over a series of political scandals, throwing the Government of Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister, into turmoil.

Toshikatsu Matsuoka, 62, the Minister for Agriculture, was found hanged from a door in his apartment, Japanese media reported. He had used a dog lead, and a suicide note was said to have been found.

He was taken to hospital but doctors were unable to resuscitate him. A police post-mortem examination confirmed that he died after he had hanged himself.

Mr Matsuoka had been due to appear before a parliamentary committee to explain allegations that he had claimed more than 28 million yen (£120,000) in utility expenses at his parliamentary office, despite all parliamentary office bills being paid for.


Police Fear

Police had initially feared that stopping the burials would spark riots and other violence by Muslims. Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco admitted to the court he had iniitially refused to escort city inspectors to hang up notices prohibiting use of the site after Muslims continued to build mausoleums, fearing the reaction by Islamic worshippers.


I fear for Israel as a result of this guy's fear.

From this story:-

High Court Bans New Muslim Burial Site Next to Temple Mount

The High Court of Justice has upheld a decision by Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to ban Muslim burials on the grounds immediately southeast of the Temple Mount.

The area, which borders the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, is believed to contain important archaeological artifacts from the First Temple era and is designated as part of a national park. It is an extremely sensitive area in that the Temple Mount is considered Judaism's holiest site and the third holiest place in Islam.

A petition was filed in court by the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount when it was discovered that Muslims were using the site as a burial ground.

“Muslim burial on the site, which was never a cemetery in the past, could end any possibility of excavating the area in the future, as has been done at the foot of the southern wall and the bottom part of the Western Wall” explained archaeologist Gabriel Barkai in the petition to block the burials.

An Islamic burial ground does exist outside the walls of the Temple Mount compound, at its southeast foot, but apparently Muslims had begun to extend their cemetery into the area defined as a national park.

Police had initially feared that stopping the burials would spark riots and other violence by Muslims. Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franco admitted to the court he had iniitially refused to escort city inspectors to hang up notices prohibiting use of the site after Muslims continued to build mausoleums, fearing the reaction by Islamic worshippers.

The Arab Jerusalem Myth

Fabricating an emotion


What is commonly called the Oriental imagination has long been recognized. It is only in our day, however, that it has played a striking part in shaping world events. The amplifying effects of modern communications media - Internet, 24-hour cable news - and the willing involvement of powerful world interests have presented the Oriental imagination with unprecedented influence.

The use of lies in our time as a primary weapon of state policy by the two most powerful totalitarian states the world has known - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union - did, moreover, set an example. It also introduced techniques whose application sharpened the Oriental imagination into a highly effective political weapon.

Al-Ghazzali, the great 11th-century Muslim theologian, wrote: "Know that a lie is not haram [wrong] in itself, but only because the evil conclusions to which it leads the hearer, making him believe something that is not really the case… If a lie is the only way of obtaining a good result, it is permissible.… We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results."

Thus the most startling item in the Arabs' propaganda is their usurpation of the Jewish patrimony of Jerusalem. Arab political propaganda claims that Jerusalem is an "Arab city," has been an Arab city for many centuries, and is a holy city in Islam. There is only one small grain of truth in this claim, which on the whole is as false as the quite common description of Palestine as "a land holy to three faiths."

IT IS POSSIBLE to call Palestine a land holy to two faiths: to Christianity as well as to Judaism. It was certainly never holy to Islam. Muhammed no doubt turns in his grave at the ignorant suggestion that Islam has a "holy land," or a holy site of any degree other than Arabia. Palestine has no significance in the Muslim religion. It never existed as a country under Arab or any of the other Muslim administrations.

Jerusalem does contain a site regarded as holy to Islam (and this too was borrowed from Judaism), but the city as such has no significance in Islam. While Jerusalem is the centerpiece of the Jewish tradition, and dominates the narrative of Christianity, Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Muslim Koran.

The known facts are fascinatingly simple. Muhammad, in establishing Islam in Arabia more than six centuries into the Christian era, hoped that both Jews and Christians would adopt the new religion. He called on them to accept him as the successor of both Moses and Jesus, whose original authority and sanctity he respected. To emphasize an affinity and religious continuity between the two older religions and Islam, he at first ordered that when praying, the Muslim should adopt the Jew's custom of turning his face to Jerusalem (at that time still under Christian rule). When, however, there was no response by Christians or Jews to his claim or to his appeal, he rescinded the order 18 months later. Muslims at prayer have ever since turned their faces to Mecca.

IT WAS presumably the recognition by Muhammad of the sanctity of the Holy City of Judaism that gave birth to the Muslim tradition, conveniently borrowed by his successors, that the Temple area was the site of his ascent to the seventh heaven. The Koran itself relates that Muhammad in a single night was transported to heaven by Burak, a horse with wings, a woman's face, and a peacock's tail. He was first taken to what the Koran called the "uttermost mosque" - il masjad al aksa.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the story, and there was, of course, no mosque in Jerusalem. After Muhammad's death, the tradition - which did not pass unchallenged by an opposing school of thought - laid it down that the "uttermost mosque" meant the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

On this legend rests the Muslim claim to the Jewish Temple Mount as a Muslim holy place. The Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque were subsequently built on the Mount. This, called Haram-a-Sharif, became the third holiest place in Islam (after Mecca and Medina).

It is not known that Muhammad in fact ever set foot in Jerusalem. Here begins and ends the religious significance of Jerusalem to Islam. It is fascinating to reflect what the Christian reaction would be if the Muslim theologians had chosen to declare the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as the station for Muhammad's ascent, then renamed it Burak, and claimed the site as Muslim property.

British historian Christopher Sykes has put it pithily: "To the Muslims it is not Jerusalem, but a certain site in Jerusalem which is venerated... the majestic Dome of the Rock. To a Muslim there is a profound difference between Jerusalem and Mecca and Medina. The latter are holy places containing holy sites. Apart from the hallowed rock, Jerusalem has no major Islamic significance."

NOR WERE the Muslims overly impressed with Jerusalem's importance when they ruled in Palestine. When, on the fall of the city to the Crusaders in 1099, a Muslim delegation arrived in Baghdad, then the capital of the empire, to seek aid against the invading Christians, the Baghdadis shed tears and expressed sympathy, but offered and took no action to help in the recovery of Jerusalem. The city never played any part in the Arabs' political life.

While, in turn, Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo glittered with the luster of an imperial capital, Jerusalem stagnated as a remote provincial townlet. It never served even as a provincial capital, not even a subprovincial capital (an honor reserved for Ramle). No less significantly, it was never a Muslim cultural center. No great school of Islamic lore was established, nor any religious message proclaimed there.

To the Muslims, Jerusalem, though the site of a Holy Place, was a backwater.

IT IS not irrelevant to recall that Jordan, after its illegal occupation, never even suggested that here was a great opportunity to give expression to the alleged Muslim passion for Jerusalem by establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. No less telling is the fact that throughout the 19 years of Jordan's Muslim control of Jerusalem not a single one of the globe-trotting Saudi princes ever set foot in Jerusalem.

Nor did the Arabs attach any importance to living in Jerusalem. Even when the Muslims ruled, for long periods the majority of the population was Christian. After the middle of the 19th century, soon after modern Jewish reconstruction began, the Jews attained a majority, which they have never relinquished.

Successive Arab attacks, encouraged or permitted by the British, from 1920 onward, gradually squeezed the majority of the Jews out of the Old City and into the new. In 1948, when their ammunition ran out, the final remnant and the handful of defenders surrendered to the Jordanians. That was when the city was divided.

THE ARABS' slight and superficial relationship to the city has only recently been expanded into a claim of an uncompromising, even exclusive, ownership. Just as they originally borrowed the sanctity of the Jewish holy place, they have now, in our generation, tried to simulate something of the unique and mystic passion of the Jewish people for their ancient and incomparable Holy City.

In the war of 1948, Abdallah's Arab League, under British guidance, captured the eastern part of Jerusalem, including the Old City. The one significant change in the subsequent 19 years of Jordanian rule was the attempt to obliterate the Jewish presence and the signs of Jewish identity. All the synagogues were destroyed.

In the ruins of the most famous of them - the hurva - an enterprising Arab citizen put together a small stable for his ass or his goat. The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City, was torn up, some of its tombstones being used for paving and some for lavatory seats in Jordanian army camps.

The Arabs avoided hurting any Christian susceptibilities and, as a result, the many Christian witnesses in the Old City kept silent about acts of desecration and destruction perpetrated against Jewish sites. Then, suddenly for the first time in history, the Arabs discovered and revealed to the world the vehement, passionate, almost desperate accents of a deep-rooted, long-standing and undying attachment to Jerusalem.

THIS FABRICATION of an emotion which can, after all, so easily and manifestly be exposed, has - because of the very intensity of its presentation - made a significant impression throughout the world.

But it may be helpful in demonstrating a national characteristic of the Arabs, which has assumed central importance in the confrontation between the Jewish and Arab peoples: the admitted capacity of the Arabs to manufacture facts, to deceive themselves into accepting them, and to work themselves up into a public passion over what is in fact a nonexistent emotion.

"What a people believes," writes modern Arab historian Philip Hitti about the Arabs, "even if untrue, has the same influence over the lives as if it were true."

For it is a well-known part of the character of Arab fantasy that the inventor of a story comes to believe it himself.

A charming little tale from Arab folklore tells of a man whose afternoon nap was disturbed by the noise of children playing in the courtyard below. He went out to the balcony and called, "Children, how foolish you are! While you are playing here, they are giving away figs in the marketplace."

The children rushed off to collect their figs, and the man, pleased with his invention, went back to his couch. But just as he was about to drop off, a troublesome thought aroused him: "Here I am, lying around, when there are free figs to be had in the marketplace!"

Monday, May 28, 2007

Irish-Catholic Hareidi Convert Comedian

A great interview here.

And with whom is it?

With Yisrael Campbell who has a show, "It's Not In Heaven".

Yisrael Campbell, orthodox Jewish convert and stand-up comedian, speaks to Owen Bennett-Jones. Our guest this week made a choice which changed the course of his life fundamentally. Christopher Campbell was a teenage alcoholic and drug addict whose Irish-American Catholic background meant little to him.

Searching for a way to make sense of life, he stumbled upon a copy of a novel - Exodus - which changed everything. Something about the Jewish experience related in the book touched him deeply, and he began a long process towards conversion, and, ultimately, the status he now enjoys - a strictly orthodox Jew, a naturalised Israeli, with a new name - Yisrael.

A stand up comedian by profession, he draws on his experiences to bring a rare insight into a religious, emotional and political journey which has been far from easy.

Forty Years - Plus

The "plus" in the title above should be pronounced as it is in Hebrew slang, rhyming something like 'duce' or even 'Seuess" (like in Dr.), whereby it which means "and more".

That's because of this excerpt from a great article I just read about the aunt of a very good friend of mine:-

Milkina-Levy is now a member of the Public Committee on the 40th Anniversary of the Soviet-Jewish Struggle for Freedom, organizing a series of events to mark the 40th anniversary of Soviet-Jewish efforts to immigrate to Israel. For Alla Milkina-Levy's story is not only a personal one: it is the story of an era. It is not by chance that the committee - which will initiate events throughout the year - was established in the year marking the 40th anniversary of the war that was the formative event for the open struggle of Soviet Jewry. No one has any doubt that this was one of the positive and uncontroversial results of the Six-Day War.

There's an error of chonology. There are many anniversaries to be celebrated but the effort in the form of a major protest movement to extricate Russian Jews out of the Soviet really should be marked from May 1, 1964 when, on that day in New York, some 1000 or so Jewish students marched for Soviet Jewry in the framework of the first mass demonstration led by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry (and yes, I was there, marching around and around the Manhattan sidewalk) led by Yaakov Birnbaum.

I'm Troubled

I readthis:-

Israeli officials also said Sunday that they were troubled by a shooting ambush of policemen Saturday night near the separation barrier in East Jerusalem by two Palestinians who were Israeli citizens.

and you know what troubled me?

That there are persons who are Israel citizens and yet refer to thremselves as Palestinians.

To my mind, you can't be both.

There are Arab citizens of Israel but no "Palestinians".

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Book Search

A priceless collection of antique manuscripts and books that has been missing since Nazi troops looted it from the synagogue in Rome may be languishing in an abandoned Soviet military archive.

After leads from Italy to Germany, Poland, France, Ukraine and the US, researchers have secured an agreement with Russia to help to find the 7,000-volume library, which that dates back to the 16th century.

There is good reason to believe that the collection could be in a warehouse or other undocumented location, Dario Tedeschi, a lawyer who has been leading efforts on behalf of the Italian Government, said. Yesterday he described the decades-long hunt as “trying to unravel a historical mystery”.

This week Enrico Letta, an Italian undersecretary, signed an agreement with Ekaterina Genieva, director of the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow, to pursue the Soviet trail in an effort to bring the collection home. Ms Genieva, an expert in tracing documents, was responsible for the return of the Vienna Jewish community’s collection. The research is being funded by Unicredit Private Banking with a donation of €30,000 (£20,400).

The collection, known as the Library of the Jewish Communities, includes illuminated manuscripts, books and Torahs and Bibles printed in the 16th and 17th century. There are works of philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, as well as religious works. A 1324 copy of a treatise on medicine by the Arabic scholar and philosopher Avicenna was one of the library’s gems.

Two collections were housed in the synagogue complex in Rome’s ancient ghetto. One group of books was taken in October 1943, around the time that more than 1,000 Jews were rounded up to be sent to Nazi camps such as Auschwitz. The other was taken that December.

And Now Comes "Six Days War Revisionism"

Like this opening?

Nowhere has revisionist history played a more crucial role in the political and moral consciousness of a nation than in Israel. The state came into being in 1948, and, almost immediately, its prehistory––the origins of Zionist ideology, the behavior of the British during the Mandate period, and, critically, the relationship with the Other, the Palestinian Arabs—became matter for schoolbooks, journalism, military indoctrination, scholarship, and public rhetoric. The founding generation that had come to Palestine and then fought what it called its war of independence against Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and other hostile neighbors was now in charge of its own story. To the victor goes the narrative. As in any fledgling state, that narrative tended to be set down in the most glorious terms—history as if written by a Hebrew-speaking Parson Weems. For a while, it was as if even the most basic facts could be wished out of existence. An entire group could be made invisible. “There was no such thing as Palestinians,” Golda Meir said in 1969.

It was not until the nineteen-eighties, after the opening of various state archives and the coming of age of a generation more disillusioned and less beholden to the old myths than the founders, that Israeli scholars began to confront some inconvenient facts.

It gets "better". It was Israel's fault:-

Michael Oren, who spent more time studying the Arab memoirs and available literature than Segev, places greater emphasis in his book on Nasser’s malevolent intentions, arguing that a full-scale invasion plan, Operation Dawn, was cancelled only at the last moment. He quotes this from Salah al-Hadidi, the chief justice in the trials that Egypt convened for officers held accountable for the defeat: “I can state that Egypt’s political leadership called Israel to war. It clearly provoked Israel and forced it into a confrontation.” Segev is less sympathetic toward Israel’s decision to attack first. While Eshkol was withstanding the pressure from his generals, Segev writes, he emerged as a “statesman with nerves of steel.” But, unlike Ben-Gurion, he did not have the stature to resist. “His weakness ate away at him,” Segev concludes. “He wanted to be remembered as a patriot, and at this point the public equated patriotism with war.”

The Israeli leadership ultimately justified a preëmptive attack as the only way to end an unbearable threat and, if war must come, to prevent huge casualties. Eshkol, who had for weeks resisted the pleas and imprecations of his generals and ministers, now asked, “Must we allow ourselves to be worn down and killed bit by bit, if not destroyed in a future all-out war, as promised by Nasser? Must we wait for Hannah Arendt to write articles about our failure to resist?”

But what really bothers Remnick is:-

Forty years later, a quarter of a million Israelis live in a hundred and twenty officially recognized settlements; an additional hundred and eighty thousand live in annexed areas of East Jerusalem, and sixteen thousand in the Golan. In the years before Israel was established, settlers argued that the more land they bought or seized, the greater their security. The settlers of “Greater Israel” and their supporters, who regarded the old borders as “Auschwitz frontiers,” refused to see the peril in their policy. The worst consequence of occupation, of course, has been the terrible privations, physical isolation, and psychological disfigurement that it has imposed upon the Palestinians. For the Israelis, occupation has been, as Gorenberg describes, a grave security hazard and source of moral corrosion.

Strange Coincidence But...

There's a new book out, an anthology of Uri Tzvi Greenberg's poems. 610 pages.

Here's the cover:-

Maybe it's just me but what does the letter 'tzadi' (צ) remind you of?

David Tartkower is the cover designer. And who is he?

Well, he happens to be one the more outstanding radical left-wing graphic artists in Israel.

He has established a reputation for a series of politically provocative self-produced posters, some at the time of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year). His compositions are driven more by content or themes than by high aesthetics.

Or this:-

What is your greatest professional achievement? The design of the logo for the Israeli peace movement "Peace Now," in 1978. Since then, it has become an icon.

Do you have a favorite cause you like to work on? In the '80s I began to initiate, design and produce personal posters dealing with my society and its politics. I relate mainly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its effect on Israeli society.


Do you have a favorite cause you like to work on? In the '80s I began to initiate, design and produce personal posters dealing with my society and its politics. I relate mainly to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its effect on Israeli society.

Now, I know that people will say that this font was used by Uriz Tzvi himself, in 'Aima G'dola v'Yareiach' (An Awful Fear and the Moon). Possibly. However, that was in the early 1920s. To reuse it now, after the Holocaust, is playing fast with people's memories and impressions. I doubt if Uri Tzvi would now use that font. Of all the fonts that Uri Tzvi used, Tartkower purposefully slected this because to him it suggested a swastika.

This is subliminal propaganda.



Okay, I've scanned the original logo that Uri Tzvi created for his 1925 book,
אימה גדולה וירח,
and here it is:-

You'll notice that all the letters are equal in size. The 'tzadi' is not emphasized and therefore, is less noticeable.

The way Tartkower has redone it is to draw your attention to it especially as it sits right smack in the middle. You can't miss it and moreso, he's turned it slightly to the left drawing you to make the swastika comparison.

Look again -

Left, in this case, is evil.

40 Years Later

What 40 years can do.

Shiloh in Palestine...


Shiloh band presents sixth scholarship to Elkhart grad

The Palestine Herald

PALESTINE — Members of the local band Shiloh were pleased to present the sixth Jack Mace Musical Scholarship to Elkhart High School graduate Brittany Laza during a short ceremony Thursday at Palestine’s Reagan Park....Shiloh, a local country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll band formed in 1994, performs at many benefits, rodeos and festivals throughout East Texas.

HH 118


(Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Soccer Dad. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanities.')

New Israeli Sticker

Politicians and Diapers Need To Be Changed Occasionally

And For the Same Reason

How I Would Have Written It

Here's Steve Erlanger's copy from today's NYTimes (although to be fair, there is always an editor or two on ndown the line before his original copy gets published):-

Israeli security forces shot and killed two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire at them on Saturday night in Sheik Said, the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood, near the separation barrier that Israel is building. Israeli police and ambulance services said two Israeli officers were wounded, one seriously. A Palestinian bystander was also seriously wounded and later died.

and here's how I would have written it:-

Two Palestinian gunmen who opened fire on Israeli security personnel were killed in the returned defensive fire. The terrorist incident occured on Saturday night in Jerusalem's Sheik Said neighborhood, populated by Arabs near the prevention barrier Israel is being forced to build. Israeli police and ambulance services said two Israeli officers were wounded, one seriously. A Palestinian bystander was also seriously wounded and later died.

Israeli Makes Good in U.S. Making Money Off of Dogs (Their Owners)

Intelligence Officer?

The Dogged Approach

Q: Although you’re a former intelligence officer with the Israeli Army, your new book, “The Loved Dog,” which has zipped to the top of best-seller lists, advocates a nonmilitary, totally indulgent approach to dog training.

A. Why do you say indulgent? Indulgence sounds a little bit L.A., and I am not about painting your dog’s toenails pink. I am more about connecting with your dog and respecting your dog.

Yet you recommend letting your dog beat you occasionally at a game of tug-of-war, which seems like coddling to me.

You have to give the dog the feeling of victory every once in a while. How much interest would you have in meeting me for tennis on Sunday mornings if I beat you every time?

Your positive-reinforcement methods include what you call “making a party” when the dog does something right.

How do you make a party, exactly? You clap your hands and you have a big smile and you say, in a happy singsong voice, “sit” or “come.” You make the dog feel special.

Your approach seems a little mothering-meets-Vegas, not least because you recommend that dogs occasionally be showered with “a jackpot of treats,” meaning four or five cookies simultaneously.

Exactly. People give treats all the time, and then they gradually stop giving the treat. The way to do it is the Las Vegas way. B. F. Skinner, the behavioral psychologist, realized that random rewards give a more reliable and consistent response.

All this strikes me as a pointed critique of Cesar Millan, the TV-show dog behaviorist who prides himself on his leader-of-the-pack virility and toughness.

He wants a dog to be a “calm submissive.” I do not. I do not want anybody in a relationship with me to be submissive.

For all your differences, you and Cesar are emblematic of America’s glamorization of pets. You each live in Los Angeles, run day care centers for dogs and boast of having helped train Oprah’s dogs.

To say that we are both her trainers — that’s not really true. It’s really only me. As far as I know, he worked with Sophie, the cocker spaniel, twice. I train her three golden retrievers — Luke, Layla and Gracie. Oprah is a very good mom. She loves to “make a party” for her dogs; when they come to her, she shows her joy.

Why do we need personal trainers for dogs when you can socialize a dog in an obedience class?

When you go to a class, you become the nagging force when your dog has nine other dogs to play with. To teach manners to a dog, and have him be part of the family — that should be done at the home. But puppy socialization should be done in a group.

How much do you charge for a session?

$300 an hour.

About the same as an Upper East Side psychiatrist.

But with a psychiatrist you go on and on; with me it rarely exceeds five lessons. When you think about it, it’s not expensive.

Why all this high-priced attention, when dogs have traditionally developed first-rate personalities by running around farms with kids, as in “Lassie”?

Lassie was at least five different dogs. She was portrayed as just living on the ranch and running around, but that dog was trained very professionally.

I read somewhere that modern dog training began during World War I, when German shepherds were enlisted to carry messages and were expected to follow orders.

Exactly. The dog is a four-legged soldier, and he walks on your left side because on your right side you have your weapon. But why do we even need a dog to heel? I don’t say “heel” to my dogs.

You’re referring to the two rescue dogs with whom you live, Clyde and Duke, both of whom are mutts.

They’re my family. They’re my sons.

I hope they don’t play video games.

No, they’re still fixated on their tennis balls.

This was today's ridiculous post.

If You Can Believe That...

Well, let's hope this is true:-

Most U.S. Muslims Hold Moderate Political Views, Survey Finds

Many Muslims achieve financial, educational success in United States

Muslims living in the United States tend to be happy with their lives and moderate in their political views, according to a new, independent survey.

American Muslims largely are assimilated into society, and income and education levels among Muslims mirror those of the general U.S. population, according to a nationwide poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, an independent, nonpartisan opinion research group funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. About half the Muslims in the United States have attended college or university, the poll showed, which is comparable to the figure for all Americans.

“What emerges [from the survey] is the great success of the Muslim American population in its socioeconomic assimilation,” said Amaney Jamal, assistant professor of politics at Princeton University, in published reports. Jamal was a senior adviser on the Pew survey.

Humanitarian Relocation

Well, seems like an old idea, one that had been adopted by the British Labour Party back in 1944 to deal with Arabs of Palestine (*) and have them moved to Iraq, is now being touted as "humanitarian" and intended to ease the plight of the Kurds in Kirkuk who had been displaced by Arabs:-

Iraq Prepares to Resettle Arabs Sent to Kirkuk by Hussein Edict

The Iraqi government will soon begin relocating Arabs who were moved to Kirkuk under an edict by Saddam Hussein to force Kurds out of the disputed northern city, officials said Saturday.

...Iraq's cabinet on Thursday endorsed a committee's recent recommendation to compensate eligible Arabs who voluntarily leave the city, said Sadiq al-Rikabi, a political adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Those who choose to move will receive about $15,000 and a plot of land in their home town. Officials will soon accept applications to determine eligibility, he said.

"This can, in a humanitarian framework, fix the mistakes of the previous regime," said Razgar Ali, a Kurd and the leader of Kirkuk's city council.

...Under Hussein, tens of thousands of Kurds were forcibly removed from Kirkuk and replaced by Arabs -- mostly Shiites from southern Iraq -- as the president sought to solidify his power in the city.

After Hussein was ousted in 2003, thousands of Kurds flooded back to the city but found their homes occupied by Arabs. The influx has strengthened Kurdish influence in the city and aggravated ethnic tensions.

For more info on transfer vis-a-vis Arabs who moved into the Land of Israel, taking advantage of the fact that the Jews had lost political and military power over the centuries so as to steal our land, see here.



In April 1944 the executive of Britain's Labour party published its platform for a postwar settlement. It included full-throated endorsement of the transfer of the Arabs out of Palestine and, indeed, the expansion of the mandatory borders to facilitate the absorption of large waves of Jewish immigrants. The relevant paragraph was formulated by Hugh Dalton, the chancellor of the exchequer.

Earlier, in January 1943, an under-secretary of state at the Colonial Office, the Duke of Devonshire, proposed that Britain set up an independent Arab state in Libya and that, in exchange, the Arabs acquiesce in the establishment of a Jewish state "in Palestine". He added: "The Arab population in Palestine might be dealt with by an offer of assistance to migrate to Libya for those families who find conditions in Palestine unendurable."

But also see this.

(Kippah tip: IJM)

Get Ready for "Anti-Occupation Week"

For a list of the protests, click here.

How a Political Scientist Scares

The following excerpt I found in an interview conducted with Prof. Ian Lustick on March 4, 2002. the book I wrote, Unsettled States, I tried to solve this question of whether the point of no return had been passed. I feel that I did by looking at it not in terms of one point of no return -- either it's impossible or it's possible -- but to two thresholds. If you want to keep all the territories in Israel, you have to make the issue of what to do with them disappear, and to establish what is called the hegemony of the idea of the greater Land of Israel. That's impossible for reasons that we've already discussed. Israel can't go past that threshold. But in order to get out, you have to risk a civil war in Israel, you have to risk the fact that groups, including the settlers and the right-wing parties, feel so strongly opposed to withdrawal that they will attack the government, they will try to assassinate the leadership. They will try to engineer disobedience in the army and the public at large. They will resist violently.

Now, while an attempt was made to engineer disobedience over the disengagement protests, an act the left-wing has been much more successful at and much more active in with ads in Haaretz, poems by Aharon Shabtai, and plays amd songs, etc., Lustick, someone I know well and who knows Israel well, methinks that Lustick either was taken in by Kach people or, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, sought this agenda because it fitted his outlook on the right-wing.

Just in case you dobn't know what I am referring to, there were no assassinations nor real violence on any meaningful scale.

Was this a scare tactic?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Reading This, I Kvell

It's news like this that makes me kvell (*) :-

Gov. Eliot Spitzer and a majority of state lawmakers are backing a bill requiring H.I.V. testing of suspects indicted on rape charges. Nevertheless, its chances of passage are unclear, as the legislation is the subject of contentious debate in the Assembly.

“This year, it seems to be on course to at least get to the floor and it could very well succeed there, based on the number of sponsors on the bill,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol, a Brooklyn Democrat who opposes the bill and is chairman of the Codes Committee, which must clear it.

A spokesman for the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, said on Thursday that Mr. Silver was not available for comment because of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.


You don't know what kvell means?


Friday, May 25, 2007

The Truth

After Mazuz's decision and judging from precedents in his rulings, it will not be hard to guess what the High Court will decide. This judicial establishment is intent on forcing Israel to gradually part with its definition as a Jewish state and become a state of all its citizens. The instruction to allocate the Jewish people's lands to the very nation competing with it for this country's ownership and sovereignty is part of the general moral degeneration to which we have succumbed in recent years.


Read it all. Israel Harel's op-ed.

Israel's Pollard Guillt

Excerpted from Yossi Melman's piece:-

Surrendering its honor

Any self-respecting country would have summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry and demanded that he clarify his harsh statement that the fact that Jonathan Pollard, an American citizen sentenced to life for spying for Israel, has not been executed should be seen as an act of clemency.

But Israel is a country that has long ago stopped respecting its own sovereignty, given up its independence of thought and subordinated its will to that of Washington. Israel refuses to respond to Syria's offer of negotiations for fear of incurring the wrath of the American administration...

...The Israeli government does not just have a moral responsibility for the fate of its agent. It also contributed significantly to the fact that he's rotting in prison. It began with the hasty decision of Elyakim Rubinstein - then the political attache at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and now a Supreme Court justice - to remove Pollard from the embassy grounds, where he was seeking asylum. He could have been brought in, as the Americans held Soviet citizens in their embassy in Moscow when they sought political asylum...Even after Pollard was handed over in such a shameful way and arrested, Israel could still have helped get him a lighter sentence - for instance, by setting it as a condition for Israeli participation in the investigation. Israel unconditionally provided the United States with the thousands of documents it received from him, thereby helping to incriminate him, without receiving anything in exchange. Even later, Israeli leaders and heads of the intelligence community did not really go out of their way to lobby the American government institutions and intelligence agencies for a pardon for Pollard.

The only one who almost achieved this was Benjamin Netanyahu, during his tenure as prime minister...

...But Pollard is the only one to whom the Americans are so hostile.

...Nonetheless, it's difficult to accept or understand the American lust for revenge when it comes to Pollard. There's something irrational about it. Jones' remarks were rude and bereft of diplomatic tact, reflecting this American pathology that aspires to keep Pollard from ever being pardoned. Even though Jones has apologized, he deserves to be denounced. By essentially ignoring his comments, Israel is adding insult to the injury it has already done Pollard.

Looking for News of Lebanon?

You know, the country which bombs the hell out of Pal. refugee neighborhoods, like Nahr Al-Bared, with impunity and American and European support?

Go here, or here or here.

And there's a whole list at a blog (the right-hand side) which has been dormant, here.

And to round it off, The Daily Star newspaper.

Shiloh - in Ontario, Canada!

Council looks at Shiloh dump options

Local News - A site inspection and review of historical documentation by Site Investigation Services will allow Cramahe Township to look at options for the resolution of the Shiloh landfill issue.

Residents whose properties surround the private landfill site closed in 1979, want restrictions on development taken off their land. Some would like materials in the landfill removed.

Stephen Ash spoke for the consulting company at the May 15 meeting of Cramahe council. He outlined the goals his company had in the investigation.

It was to see if the holding provision which limited development could be removed, based on investigation and documentation.

If that was not possible, he was to outline what additional studies must be done and information required to reduce the area covered by the holding provision.

On the whole, his results were positive.

Groundwater samples taken in 1989 from nearby Biddy Creek showed no impairment of the water entering the creek. The Ministry of the Environment report of those tests suggested that future impact of the landfill on the creek was unlikely.

Police Discrimination

An op-ed by my friend, Eitan Zeliger:-

Settlers treated differently
Police patient with student protestors, overly violent when it comes to settlers

In recent days our police officers have been busy dispersing two groups of rioters: On the one hand, fans of soccer team Betar Jerusalem, who were rioting while celebrating the winning of the national championship, and on the other hand, hundreds of university students, who in an attempt to encourage their comrades and the prime minister to take an interest in their struggle, initiated deliberate and planned clashes with police officers.

When it comes to Betar fans, there is broad public agreement that police actions in maintaining law and order, even by using force, are justified. Yet what is true for the fans apparently is improper when it comes to the students' struggle.

Student leaders, backed by the media, are wailing after every rioting session: "The police officers beat me up - they dragged me - these cops are so violent." They also make sure to photograph the work of the police, and of course do it in a manner detached from the chronological events.

As a rule, the Israeli public and justice system display a double standard when it comes to rioting demonstrators: When the "orange" settlers and their supporters, for ideological reasons and in an attempt to prevent the destruction of thousands of homes, blocked roadways ahead of the disengagement – they were treated as if they were undermining the rule of law. The police and prosecutor's office viewed them as criminals, and some of them were even convicted and jailed.

Yet when the students, who are fighting for 500 dollars, block major streets in the large cities and disrupt daily lives just because they want money, the police talk to them, journalists encourage them, and the Israeli public hopes they succeed.

Police inquiry needed

As opposed to less popular demonstrations, in the student protest I have yet to see a parade of Knesset members facing the microphones with a concerned facial expression, warning against anarchy, and calling on the legal system to jail student leaders because otherwise Israeli democracy would collapse.

The opposite is true: Those law abiding Knesset members are actually pointing the finger at the police and charge them with resorting to exaggerated violence. Some MKs even recommended that the police conduct be investigated.

A police inquiry may indeed be in order, yet the police itself should be investigated for not undertaking more drastic measures. It must provide answers, for example, for questions such as how 200 students managed to block Jerusalem's Jaffa Street for two hours while police officers under the direction of District Commander Ilan Franco failed to remove them from there.

I would like to make it clear that my words are not meant to weaken the resolve of student leaders. The opposite is true: As a former student leader myself in the 1998 struggle, I hope they succeed. I also believe that violating the law during this struggle is a legitimate way to achieve their goals. However, they must know and take into account that anyone who violates the law knowingly deserves punishment.

The Israeli law enforcement system must hold long debates in order to formulate procedures against ideological offenders and utilize them in an equal manner. Such procedures, which would be publicized, may also deter rioters, while guiding police officers regarding what can and cannot be done in the face of rioters in Bil'in, Jerusalem's soccer stadium, Samaria hills and also at university campuses.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

He's Such an Exotic Jew

PAUL Wolfowitz has really had a bad couple of weeks. He not only lost his job, he lost his girlfriend, too.

Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, was pushed out as president of the World Bank over a controversial pay and promotion package he arranged for his brunette girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza.

Sources say Riza, a brilliant feminist [and a "Tunisian divorcée"] with a promising diplomatic career, was upset by all the publicity and the implication that she was getting ahead with the help of a powerful man.

After Wolfowitz joined the World Bank, Ali Riza was first transferred to a joint World Bank/U.S. Agency for International Development multinational investment project, and then to work on the bank's South American interests.

...Meanwhile, a World Bank source told us Ali Riza may be returning to the bank's main Washington offices after Wolfowitz officially steps down. Wolfowitz remains legally separated from Clare Selgin, an expert on Indonesian anthropology [and blonde].

Weblogs - The Influential Citizen News Source

Another academic treatment of what we do here:-

Globalization and the internet have created a space for news and political discourse that overrides geography and increases opportunities for non-mainstream, citizen-based news sources. Drawing a distinction between emerging citizen and professional media, this study examines one rapidly expanding and increasingly influential citizen news source — weblogs. We analyzed the linking patterns, the online network led to by six of the most popular news and political weblogs to study their relationship to other weblogs and the traditional professional news media in the USA and internationally. Findings suggest a more complementary relationship between weblogs and traditional journalism and less echo-chamber political insularity than typically assumed. The blogosphere relies heavily on professional news reports and half of its linked-to sites can be considered non-partisan.


Mapping the blogosphere
Professional and citizen-based media in the global news arena

Stephen D. Reese
University of Texas at Austin, USA,
Lou Rutigliano
University of Texas at Austin, USA,
Kideuk Hyun
University of Texas at Austin, USA,
Jaekwan Jeong
University of Texas at Austin, USA,

Journalism, Vol. 8, No. 3, 235-261 (2007)

And He Teaches at the Hebrew Univ. Poli. Sci. Dept.

From an interview:-

For the past six years or so, Yaron Ezrahi, a respected political theorist at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, disengaged somewhat from politics...[he] proudly describes himself as a Zionist, meaning he supports a democratic Jewish state in Israel...He also is willing to give up Arab East Jerusalem to Palestinians in exchange for peace.

Lately, Ezrahi and other members of Israel’s left have become increasingly vocal [how much more vocal can they be?] about their political views and their frustration with the government’s policies. Appearing recently in a debate on Israeli television, Ezrahi called the occupation — now in its 40th year — “a classic colonial enterprise” that uses an “apartheid system” of economic and political discrimination to separate Israeli Jews and Palestinians in the territory. He readily defends a book by former President Jimmy Carter, whose title —“Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” — provoked American Jewish critics to vilify the 39th president as an anti-Semite.

“If Carter were to give a lecture in Jerusalem and he were to say this is apartheid in the West Bank, I would say, yes, I support you. This is exactly the case,” Ezrahi said in an interview.

Bears Repeating - What "Occupation"?

Outtake from Melanie Phillips:

[there's] a particular false assumption which I put down to an ignorance which is widespread. It is an ignorance about the history of Israel, and in particular the land known as the West Bank. People assume Israel itself was an artificial creation resulting from Holocaust guilt, when a load of European Jews were transplanted into a land owned for millennia by Palestinian Arabs. That itself is false. Israel was the nation state of the Jews centuries before the Arabs took it by force, and an unbroken Jewish presence remained in Jerusalem and other cities, some of which, indeed, had a Jewish majority.

And even if people don’t make this false assumption about Israel itself, they certainly believe...that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is illegal and illegitimate because Israel has no claim to that land which it has, in [an]...incendiary word, ‘stolen’ from the Palestinians whose land it rightfully was. The animus against Israel’s occupation of this territory after the 1967 war is therefore not really about the behaviour or attitudes of the settlers or the Israeli military. It is based on the perception of gross injustice – of a land that has been stolen from its rightful owners. It is not surprising therefore that people with perfectly decent instincts are enraged by the continued ‘occupation’ of the West Bank. But they have been led to believe something that is not true.

For a start, Israel’s occupation of this territory is perfectly legal and legitimate as an act of self defence, after a war of aggression against it in 1967, against an enemy that refused to abandon its aggression. But at a deeper level still, the idea that Israel had no locus in this territory until 1967 is simply false. This West Bank land was never owned by the Palestinians. It was part of the post-Ottoman Empire Mandate administered by Britain until Israel’s creation in 1948. Following the war of extermination waged by the Arabs against the fledgling Israel at its creation, Judea and Samaria – as they then were – were illegally occupied by Jordan, and became ‘the West Bank’ as a result.

Furthermore, and even more significant, Judea and Samaria were part of Mandatory Palestine, within which Britain was enjoined to re-establish a Jewish national home. That’s right – the ‘West Bank’ was part of the territory to which the Jews had such a strong historical claim that Britain and the League of Nations decided they should be restored to it. It might learn that Hebron, for example, is actually one of the four most sacred Jewish cities. Jews lived there continuously for some 38 centuries — Abraham settled there some 1800 years before Christ – until they were driven out by an Arab pogrom. In 1929, Palestinian Arabs committed a massacre in Hebron in which more than 60 Jews were murdered. Babies were beheaded, rabbis were castrated and there were incidents of rape, torture and mutilation with hands and fingers torn off apparently to rob the bodies of jewellery. The atrocity was so severe that the surviving Jews were evacuated, although some later returned and lived there until the Arab riots in 1936 finally ethnically cleansed this sacred place of its Jews.

To be told that Hebron is a place where Jews have no claim is therefore nauseating beyond belief. The fact is that Hebron and many other places to which the Jews could lay rightful claim were either renounced by the Zionist leadership, which was always prepared to compromise and give up territorial claims in order to get a small piece of the Jews’ inheritance restored to them, or were lost in battle. Before anyone gets the wrong idea (again), let me reiterate that I do not advocate Israel’s retention of the whole of Judea and Samaria. I have always thought it was not in Israel’s interests to retain it. But it is very important that the world should realise that Israel has a legitimate claim to it, and yet it has been and still is prepared to give up territory to which it has a right, if the outcome is that Israel can finally be allowed to exist in peace. It is very important that people come to understand that – whatever legitimate criticisms may be levelled at aspects of Israel’s behaviour – its core claim is one of justice, and the way this has been misrepresented is profoundly unjust. Indeed, it is monstrous.

And see here and also here and also Howard Grief's article and his monograph as well as the relevant documents.

Jewish-Christian Dialogue

While googling around for the name Shiloh, I came across a Christian site that discussed the events of Shiloh and I sent out this message:-

As I live in Shiloh, the original Shiloh in Israel, I am happy to see you discussing spiritual concepts related to the site of the Tabernacle.

And I received a reply:-

It's amazing how deep the Scriptures are with all these references and types foreshadowing Christ.

To which I answered:-

or another

Which elicited this reaction:-

None can compare to Christ

So, I wrote back:-

well, if you mean that as a generic term or as a translation for Messiah, I'm in agreement.

And then Troy insisted:-

No it is not a generic term. Jesus is a real person and God as proven.

The moment had come. I had to be blunt:-

As I am Jewish, I respect your religious beliefs but they are not mine.
As Hannah already prayed here at Shiloh, "There is none holy as the LORD, for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our God." I Samuel 2:2.

That didn't sit too well with Troy who responded:-

Then you are going to hell. The LORD in 1 Sam. 2.2 therefore, effectively is not the one you worship, for you reject Him who is your sacrifice to atone for your sins (Is. 53). God gave Himself for you, and you reject this mercy through His only begotten Son-the suffering servant!

I attempted to be moderate:-

I really thought we were having a decent theological conversation. Please, don't threaten me with hell. After all that has been done in the name of a nice Jewish boy from Judea to the Jewish people over the past two millenia, I don't think any Christian today has any right to threaten a Jew with hell.
You need not reply.

It didn't help:-

I am not threatening you with hell but imparting to you the fact of the Scriptures what is going to happen to you. If you are a Jew or from any other nation that calls Jesus a liar, you are going to hell. That is why I am convinced you're going to hell. I am just being honest with you by the evidence God has provided. You don't have to reply. Just give your life to Christ to be saved. There is no other way to the Father except through Christ. My prayers go out to you.

I stopped the "dialogue" at that point.

A Visit to the Temple Mount

The Arutz 7 film clip of the visit of 28 Rabbis in the Temple Mount.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Terrorist "Celebration"

I am right now helping out Geulah Cohen who has been contacted by a researcher dealing with the circumstances of her arrest in February 1946 in the mdist of an underground radio broadcast.

I wanted to inform him about her book, now called "Voice of Valor" but originally back in 1966 as "Woman of Violence". Googling around, I found this:-

Dr. Charles Smith (*) of the University of Arizona followed with an analysis of trends in the occupied territories. Dr. Smith stated that nearly all national movements seeking independence have been accused of terrorism. This is clear in the depiction of nationalist resistance by English or French colonial regimes after World War II, but it is also manifested in Jewish celebration of Zionist resistance to the British after World War II. He referred to the 1966 book by Geula Cohen titled Woman of Violence: Memoirs of a Young Terrorist, 1943-1948, a memoir which celebrated terrorism specifically as justified violence for the sake of freedom.

David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister of Israel, wrote a laudatory preface calling the book “a proud memorial to the daring fighters who offered their lives for the cause of Jewish redemption. Citing further examples, he explained that Cohen was a member of the LEHI terrorist group, one of whose leaders was Yitzhak Shamir and she served in the Knesset as a Likud member for years. Her son, Tsahi Hanegbi, currently in the Knesset, recently voted against Sharon’s disengagement plan as violating the Likud platform calling for retention of all land settled by Israelis. Therefore, Dr. Smith argued, terrorism and redemption through violence are not solely Islamic ideals and those who hold such views can achieve high political office.

One person's freredom fighter is another's terrorist, true. But as for "celebration", Smith is way off base. Or maybe he should ask some of those Virginians of 200+ years ago who revolted against the British in a military, oops, terrorist fashion, how they celebrated.

Dr. Charles D. Smith is a specialist in modern Middle East history at the University of Arizona, Department of Near Eastern Studies. He has an undergraduate degree from Williams College, an M.A. from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. He has been a visiting professor at a number of academic institutions and has lectured at various military institutes including the Marine War College. He has received numerous fellowships in the US, Middle East, and Europe, including the Fulbright Scholarship. He is long-time member of the Board of Directors of the American Research Center in Egypt. Dr. Smith is the author of Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt and Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict along with numerous articles and reviews.

Mars Bars

Mars Bar kosher again

Animal products will not be used in Mars Bars, the British confectionary manufacturer MasterFoods stated on Sunday. The company surprised consumers three weeks ago when it announced that its previously vegetarian chocolate bars would include animal rennet starting May. The products’ new ingredient outraged vegetarians and Jewish consumers worldwide.

Forty parliament members joined the international protest against MasterFoods’ decision, and vegetarian organizations bombarded the company’s management with 6,000 angry emails last week.

Due to the extreme dissatisfaction expressed by these consumers, the company reversed its decision to include animal rennet in the popular chocolate bars.

“The consumer is our boss,” explained Fiona Dawson, managing director of Masterfoods, “After it became clear that the consumers were not happy with the new taste, we quickly realized we had made a mistake, and for that, we are sorry.”

Democracy at work.

I'm Echoed

Just a few hours ago, I posted comments of mine comparing the treatment of what is happening in Lebanon and to what is happening in Gaza, regarding the response to violence.

Lo and behold, Melanie Phillips thinks alike:-

A refugee camp under heavy bombardment; civilians being killed along with the terrorists who are hunkered down among them; military authorities talking of having terrorists ‘hermetically sealed’ and that they will be removed one way or another because they pose a threat to the country which simply cannot be tolerated; ambulances prevented from reaching the injured and even being fired upon. Can you imagine the reaction if Israel were to be doing this?

But just look at the British media. Where are the virulent denunciations of the Lebanese government? Where are the editorials condemning it for dangerous over-reaction? Where are the columnists screaming war crimes? Where are the politicians and the bishops condemning the Lebanese for a disproportionate response and demanding a cease-fire now? Funny, that — I seem to have missed them.

That was a great echo.

Lecture on the "Cubit" Issue as Relates to the Temple Mount


(Kippah tip: HaMikdash)

Who Wants to Keep Up with Jones?

Ambassador makes an ass of himself.

Israel Radio reported Tuesday that U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones has apologized for remarks on convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, and said that he had been misinterpreted.

Jones told a university conference earlier in the day that the United States had been lenient with Pollard as it did not execute him for spying for Israel.

The ambassador also expressed remorse for the distress the Pollard family and friends have underwent since his arrest, according to the radio.

The Foreign Ministry's deputy director general for North American affairs, Yoram Ben Zeev, phoned Jones to learn, firsthand, what he had said.

Ben Zeev reiterated that Israel had made mistakes but that Pollard should be released for "humanitarian reasons," a Foreign Ministry official said.

Following Jones' remarks, Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai on Monday asked the United States to explain the comments.

"I know many spies whose sentences were cut or who were even released," Yishai said. "Pollard is undergoing physical and emotional hardship, and I am sure that this comment does not reflect the administration's policy."

Jones had said Monday that Pollard is unlikely ever to be released. Speaking at a Bar-Ilan University conference on U.S.-Israel relations, the ambassador said that "It came out in the trial very clearly, Jonathan Pollard took money for what he did, he sold out his country."

Jones went further and said that "the fact that he wasn't executed is the mercy that Jonathan Pollard will receive."

An Israeli political official said Israel would continue to work for Pollard's release.

Ambassador Jones, he was not convicted of treason, did not commit treason but we suspect that's what Weinberger whispered in the judge's ear.

More here.

Jewish Settlement

In Alaska.

New book out, #2 on NYT Bestseller List

THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION, by Michael Chabon. (HarperCollins, $26.95.) A detective investigates the murder of a neighbor in a Jewish settlement in Alaska.

My aunt and uncle sent me it and I'll let you know how it reads.

Shiloh Home Must Move

Shiloh, Illinois, that is.

SHILOH, Ill. (AP) - A two-story brick farm house in the Metro East with outbuildings dating to the 1860s has a selling price of just a dollar, but there's a catch -- they buyer has to move it.

The old house near Shiloh is surrounded by new housing or land meant for more homes or businesses. Tamar Development is trying to save it, but without a buyer it will be torn down.

Anne Haaker of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says the buyer has to agree to move the house to a new site and renovate it there.

The "Jewish State"

One man was killed in an earlier Israeli air strike on what the Jewish state called a rocket manufacturing facility and Palestinians described as a stonemason's shop.

Reuters doesn't have any contacts with the IDF Spokeperson's Office or the PM's office or the Defense Ministry.

Nope, it's just the whole Jewish State. All of us.

More "This Isn't Israel"

TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Lebanese troops blasted a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire again Monday, seeking to destroy a militant group with al-Qaida ties. The barrage smashed buildings and sent plumes of black smoke towering over the crowded camp on the Mediterranean.

Gee, why can't we do that?



State Department Backs Lebanese Action Against Extremists
Spokesman says Fatah al-Islam group is dedicated to violence

By Stephen Kaufman
USINFO Staff Writer

Washington -- Lebanon’s Security Forces “rightfully” are taking action against a violent extremist group that has been operating out of a Palestinian refugee camp in Tripoli, Lebanon, the State Department said, adding that the group, Fatah al-Islam, is “dedicated to the use of violence.”

Department spokesman Sean McCormack said May 21 that the Lebanese Security Forces “are working in a legitimate manner to provide a secure stable environment for the Lebanese people in the wake of provocations and attacks.”

Just one question, exactly which group in Gaza (Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad) is not "dedicated to violence"?

Are You A Kohen? Do You Know One?

Although the descendents of Aharon, the brother of Moses, have spread throughout the world over the past 3,300 years, the members of this extended family are being invited to participate in the first “family reunion” held since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E.

Participants from across the world will join tribe members for a stimulating and educational experience at the first-ever international gathering of Kohanim and the tribe of Levi, July 15-19, 2007 in Jerusalem. These dates coincide with the biblically noted date of Aharon the High Priest’s death, the first d day of the Hebrew month of Av.

Here's the site.

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Possible Location of the Temple

From Rabbi Zalman Menachem Koren's new book on the Temple:-

Brazenly Balanced BBC

Tonight's report:-

An Israeli woman has died of her wounds shortly after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit her car in the border town of Sderot, medics say. The woman was the first Israeli killed in a rocket attack since November.

The attack came after Israel carried out an air strike on a refugee camp in northern Gaza. The Islamic Jihad militant group said four members died.

Israeli air strikes have killed more than 30 people in the past week, several of them civilians.

Note -

a) she died after Israel's air strike (which came after repeated rocket attacks. but who is counting?

b) she died, not killed. Just happened.

c) Israel killed over 30 people. People? or Terrorists or at least "militants"? At least not "civilians".

Pal. Civilians Killed in Shelling... Arabs:-

At least eight civilians were killed and 20 wounded on Monday in Lebanese army shelling of a Palestinian refugee camp during fighting with Islamist militants, Palestinian sources inside the camp said.


NAHR AL-BARED, Lebanon (Reuters) - Lebanese tanks shelled Islamist militants in a Palestinian refugee camp on Monday and at least eight civilians were killed, raising the death toll in two days of fighting to 65, security sources said.

For the Record

A senior Hamas figure in Gaza was quoted Monday as urging Palestinian factions to "continue to fight the Jews until the last of them is gone from Palestine."

In an interview with Hamas Television quoted on Israel Radio, Nizar Riyan, a leading member of the Islamic group's political wing, said:

"It is a definite decision within the organization that Israel will be removed from the map, to be replaced by a Palestinian state."

Previously, Nizar was quoted thus:-

Israel aborted planned air attacks on the homes of two militants Sunday after hundreds of Palestinians formed a human shield around the buildings in the Gaza Strip. "This is a great stance by our people," said Nizar Ryan, a spokesman from the Islamicmilitant group Hamas, which won control of the Palestinian government in parliamentary elections this year. "Women and men will break the power of F16 planes."

Let's Just Say, 'No Mourning Here'

Renowned sociologist Professor Baruch Kimmerling of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem died Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 67.

Kimmerling was one of the first to apply post-colonial theories to the Zionist movement, and also involved himself in the study of hegemony within Israeli society.

Despite his lack of training as an historian, Kimmerling was identified with "the new historians," although he actually preceded them by a good number of years.