Sunday, May 31, 2009

HH #219 Over At Dov Bear

Here.

Pal. Moderation (Not Really)

Rami Khoury writes:

The emergence of Zionist-Jewish colonialism - otherwise euphemistically called "Israeli settlements" - as the litmus test of relations between Israel and the United States...[but where are those "settlements"? Elder of Ziyon has an example:



in case you have difficulty, that map is of all Israel, pre- and post-1967]

...The freezing of modern Zionist colonialism in occupied Arab lands is now a priority of American foreign policy. Three significant dimensions of this dynamic should be appreciated.

The first is the apparent change in US policy...

The second significant dimension of events these days is the battle of wills between the US and Israel on the issue of freezing settlements completely, and what this might mean for domestic politics in both countries...

The third and most important dimension in the medium and long term is about how the settlements issue fits into the wider demands of a comprehensive, negotiated peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. Freezing settlements is seen in Washington as critical to kick-starting an Arab-Israeli negotiating process; but any negotiations that hope to succeed will have to tackle the much more difficult issue of the status and rights of the Palestinian refugees. The danger is that so much political muscle and negotiating time will be expended on achieving a settlement freeze that prospects for getting the concessions needed on the refugees issue will lessen significantly.

...The emphasis on immediately freezing Israeli settlements is heartening, and it is reasonable to ask the Arabs to make a reciprocal gesture of equal magnitude on criminal activity from our side, such as clamping down hard on terrorism against civilians. If the US pursues a truly even-handed approach that recognizes that crimes by Israeli and Arabs must be condemned and stopped simultaneously, it will increase the likelihood that the rights of both sides can then be addressed in a more credible and fruitful manner.


As Barry Rubin notes:

It just shows how pushing on the settlements will not "moderate" the Palestinians. As I wrote in the article, they just go on to their next demand.

And The Logical Conclusion?

Funny that Israeli Ministers and senior officials are surprised.

Some officials expressed disappointment after Tuesday's round of meetings in London with George Mitchell, Obama's envoy to the Middle East. "We're disappointed," said one senior official. "All of the understandings reached during the [George W.] Bush administration are worth nothing."...

...Herzog spoke to Mitchell and his staff about understandings reached by former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon with the Bush administration on allowing continued building in the large West Bank settlement blocs. He asked that a similar agreement be reached with the Obama government...The Israeli delegates were stunned by the uncompromising U.S. stance, and by statements from Mitchell and his staff that agreements reached with the Bush administration were unacceptable. An Israeli official privy to the talks said that "the Americans took something that had been agreed on for many years and just stopped everything."

"What about the Tenet Report, which demanded that the Palestinians dismantle the terror infrastructure?" said the official, referring to former CIA director George Tenet. "It's unfair, and there is no reciprocity shown toward the Palestinians."


Well, lads, my logical conclusion is that the Road Map understandings do not necessarily hold nay longer, including a two-state solution. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander, no?

The Incredibly Shrinking Hillary

...Meanwhile, both Clintons are effectively muzzled and cannot criticize Obama even as he reverses President Clinton’s free market proclivities and budget balancing discipline. Hillary, the supposed friend of Israel, must sit by quietly and watch Iran get the bomb while trying all the while to stop Israel from preventing it.

Bill can’t even make money....Just as Lincoln buried his rivals Seward, Chase and Stanton in the Cabinet and then on the Supreme Court, and Wilson buried Bryan at the State Department, so Obama has hidden his predecessor and his rival in plain sight at the upper reaches of the government.

How long will Hillary subject herself to this discipline? Likely as long as Obama is popular. Should his ratings fade, she might move away from the president and could even consider a primary contest against him in 2012. But while he is on top of his game, she’ll stay loyal.

But she is shrinking by the day. Once Obama’s equal — and before that his superior — she now looks tiny compared to the president. She doesn’t look like a president in waiting; she’s more like a senior staff member hoping to rise in the bureaucracy. No longer at the head of a movement or the symbol of rising women all over the world, she has faded into the State Department woodwork.



Dick Morris

No 'Acute Malnutrition' In Gaza

Despite propaganda:

Gaza [is] suspended in a state of misery that defies easy categorization. It is, of course, crowded and poor, but it is better off than nearly all of Africa as well as parts of Asia. There is no acute malnutrition, and infant mortality rates compare with those in Egypt and Jordan, according to Mahmoud Daher of the World Health Organization here.


But there's also another problem: "unnatural growth":-

Some people say they have started to take a small capsule known as Tramal, the commercial name for an opiate-like painkiller that increases sexual desire and a sense of control. Hamas has recently warned of imprisonment for those who traffic in and take the drug.

Olive/Wine Press 1600 Years Old

A lot of history can be discovered at Shiloh:




Strawberries in My Garden

Maybe there is plant resurrection afterall:


They're back.

Diplomats Viewing The Future of the Middle East







Natural Growth - Primary School Expansion

Settling in:






Israel will not agree to U.S. demands to freeze all settlement activity in the West Bank, the AFP reported an official close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying. "I want to say in a crystal clear manner that the current Israeli government will not accept in any fashion that legal settlement activity in Judea and Samaria be frozen," Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said, using the Israeli term for the West Bank. "The government will defend the vital
interests of the state of Israel."

It was the first high-level reaction to President Obama's call Thursday during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel stop settlement activity, a key hurdle in Mideast peace talks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said last Sunday Israel will continue to build homes in existing West Bank settlements, but would not allow any new settlements to be created. "We will not build new settlements," he said, according to remarks released by his office. "But it is not fair not to provide a solution to natural growth."

Oh Boy, Obama

...there was a desire for Barack Obama to be a super-president. There was a hope - because the entire world would benefit - that he would deal with some of the world's major dangers with determination and wisdom...

...But what happened? Darfur can wait. Our outposts interest him more, as does removing the roadblocks. They are not pleasant, but what are they compared to the atrocities in vast parts of Africa and Asia? But they are more important than his other humanitarian concerns.

It's not merely a humanitarian problem. The outposts, according to the Americans' political beliefs, are obstacles to peace. Not the North Koreans' insult to America with its nuclear and missile experiments, or even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disdain for Obama's words of rapprochment. And also not the falling apart of nuclear Pakistan, with all that implies for Asia and the Middle East. Only the outposts.

It seems we are dealing with a president who makes fateful decisions without studying the material as he should, especially that of international relations. Obama started off on an ambitious ideological path, full of goodwill, but also had plenty of preconceived views. An idealistic president who tries to change the laws of nature in a situation soaked in evil plots, like those of Iran, North Korea and the Taliban, can have his head handed to him. And when it is an American president we are referring to, that head could be the head of the entire world.

This disproportionate American insistence on an utterly insignificant issue should worry peace-loving people throughout the world. In return for dismantling outposts - National Security Adviser James Jones reveals his knowledge and worldview - they will take care of Iran. After all, not more than 300 people live in all the outposts combined, some of them not even permanently. Anyone who equates them with Iran's nuclearization betrays an extreme lack of sense of proportion. How can one rely on him for matters that are a thousand times more serious?



Israel Harel

A Bit of Mandate History

Here is the Makor Rishon item, reporting on the fact that the Menachem Begin Heritage Center received a cloth banner that had been strung up on wires over Tel Aviv streets back in 1946.



The banner, made out of what appears to be sheet material, was taken by a British soldier and upon his death, his daughter bequeathed it to a Dr. Michael Bloch living in Germany who then passed it on to the Center.

The newspaper item shows the original picture taken actually by an Irgun activist and the banner today. That's me on the left and Rami Shtivi of the Archives on the right.

Oh My Gosh! Clinton's Hard Drive Missing

From his computer.

The US National Archives offered a cash reward of up to 50,000 dollars Friday for the recovery of a missing computer hard drive containing sensitive personnel data from the Clinton administration. Described by the archives as a "Western Digital MY BOOK external hard drive" with a 2-terabyte storage capacity, it contained copies of backup tapes from the White House dating back to president Bill Clinton's tenure in the 1990s.

The drive was discovered missing on March 24 from an archives processing room in College Park, Maryland.


And what were you thinking?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Antizionism Goes Legit

An Antizionist political party has been formed:



and its running in the European Union elections:

...the newly formed anti-Zionist party headed by French comedian Dieudonné, who has been convicted on charges of anti-Semitism. On Sunday, French Justice Minister Rachida Dati said that despite an attempt by some French politicians to oust Dieudonné’s party from the elections, the group would remain in the campaign. “For the moment, we don’t have any evidence capable of preventing Dieudonné from running,” she said on the French TV network Grand Jury RTL-Le Figaro-LCI.


and this

...the Anti-Zionist Party or PAS.

The news of their collaboration and electoral ambitions has caused oceans of ink to flow at all the websites, and has spurred some to call for a ban on the party. Others are opposed to such a ban since it would only help the cause of the PAS by granting it instant martyrdom. Ivan Rioufol, a journalist with Le Figaro, writing at his blog earlier this month speaks of the possibility of banning this new party from the elections:

Personally, I have always felt that a democratic debate was not improved by silencing scandalous opinions or realities. For this reason, I have always opposed the Gayssot Law that penalizes Holocaust denial. It seems to me that the best way to victimize Dieudonné and his friends, who are eager for victimization, would be to ban the public expression of their anti-Zionist obsessions. [...] You cannot smother out dangerous ideas. Rather, you fight back in public discussions and in the voting booth.


The PAS would have the remotest chance of succeeding were it not for the Muslim presence in France. The Muslim presence is now coming to the aid of those anti-Semitic elements that lie dormant waiting for their hour to come. The Muslim presence has brought together the Left and Islam and the anti-Semitic Right in a coalition fit for hell. Dieudonné and Soral, but especially Soral, hold hybrid positions on various issues, mixing socialism, tradition, nationalism, anti-EU-ism, multi-culturalism, etc... thus disseminating even more confusion, but at bottom, for these two men and their Muslim-led party, Israel (and by natural extension all Jews), are the cause of all the evil in the world. This is the "traditional" point of view held by the congenital anti-Semite.

Last March, Le Monde announced that Alain Soral had accepted Dieudonné's invitation to join him on the ballot:

Addressing him as "my dear Dieudonné", Soral, former member of the French Communist Party and one-time adviser to Jean-Marie Le Pen, affirmed that he heard loud and clear Dieudonné's "vibrant appeal for a union of all those who refuse to submit." And that he was in favor of "opposing Zionism and denouncing the ever more conspicuous and weighty interference by the French pro-Zionist lobby in the affairs of our country." […] Soral has added a few other points to his humorist friend's political road map: "The fight against the rise of commercial globalist totalitarianism which is what the European Union is in reality; the defense of French workers and their rights against the plan for the destruction of our industries, public services, and small businesses by globalized capitalism, hence by the European Union; the return of the State to all large economic sectors, or a well-reasoned protectionism"

NYT Displays Sympathy for Abu Mazen and Animosoity for Netanyahu

The New York Times has 'sympathy' for Mahmoud Abbas:

We have sympathy for Mr. Abbas, the moderate-but-weak leader of the Fatah party [who displayed] depressing passivity...in an interview with The Washington Post (*) before his White House meeting.

Mr. Abbas suggested that his only role in the American-led peace initiative is to wait — for Hamas to join in a unity government, for Mr. Netanyahu to act. He said he can’t ask Arab states to have anything to do with Israel, “until Israel agrees to freeze settlements and recognize the two-state solution,” the columnist Jackson Diehl quoted him as saying. “Until then, we can’t talk to anyone,” he said.

...He needs to do a lot more. He must keep improving those forces. He must redouble efforts to halt the constant spewing of hatred against Israel in schools, mosques and media. He must work harder to weed out corruption. Unless Mr. Abbas’s government does more to improve the lives of Palestinians it will surely lose again to Hamas in elections scheduled for January.



And Bibi?

The refusal of Israel’s new prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to commit to a two-state solution or halt settlement activity is feeding militancy and strengthening Mr. Abbas’s Hamas rivals.


Ah, it's alll our fault. What was the reason the Fatah was founded in 1964? Before "settlement activity", and "occupation"?


--------

(*)

Abbas insisted that his only role was to wait. He will wait for Hamas to capitulate to his demand that any Palestinian unity government recognize Israel and swear off violence. And he will wait for the Obama administration to force a recalcitrant Netanyahu to freeze Israeli settlement construction and publicly accept the two-state formula.

Until Israel meets his demands, the Palestinian president says, he will refuse to begin negotiations. He won't even agree to help Obama's envoy, George J. Mitchell, persuade Arab states to take small confidence-building measures. "We can't talk to the Arabs until Israel agrees to freeze settlements and recognize the two-state solution," he insisted in an interview. "Until then we can't talk to anyone."

For veterans of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Abbas's bargaining position will be bone-wearyingly familiar...Obama...has revived a long-dormant Palestinian fantasy: that the United States will simply force Israel to make critical concessions, whether or not its democratic government agrees, while Arabs passively watch and applaud...But Palestinians remain a long way from swallowing reality as well. Setting aside Hamas and its insistence that Israel must be liquidated...

In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank -- though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert "accepted the principle" of the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees -- something no previous Israeli prime minister had done -- and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert's peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton...Abbas turned it down. "The gaps were wide," he said...Abbas rejects the notion that he should make any comparable concession -- such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, which would imply renunciation of any large-scale resettlement of refugees.

Instead, he says, he will remain passive. "I will wait for Hamas to accept international commitments. I will wait for Israel to freeze settlements," he said. "Until then, in the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life." In the Obama administration, so far, it's easy being Palestinian.

And Who Mentions The Temple?

Who?

Mahan Esfahani (or am I mistaken and it is this Mahan Esfahani)from New College, Oxford who published this letter in the London Times Literary Supplement:


Persian tolerance

Sir, – Robert Hillenbrand’s review of the British Museum exhibition Shah ‘Abbas: The remaking of Iran (May 8) makes a rather misleading statement in discussing the plurality of faiths and peoples in Safavid Persia, alluding to a “tolerance hitherto rarely encountered in Iran [until the period of Shah ‘Abbas]”. In fact, it is generally acknowledged that religious diversity and tolerance were cornerstones of Persian history dating back to the Achaemenid period (559–330 BC).

This was thanks to the example set by the Emperor Cyrus the Great, who freed the Jews from the Babylonian captivity and issued a decree for the rebuilding of Bet HaMikdash, the “Holy Temple” of Jerusalem. The Seleucid period (312 BC–63 BC) following the conquests of Alexander saw a fascinating fusion between Hellenistic and Mazdaistic religious traditions, a plethora of “mystery religions”, and early philosophical trends that were later to influence Gnosticism. More closely to the currents of the Safavid dynasty, the Mongol Il-Khanate rulers (1256–1335 CE) were renowned for inviting artisans and craftsmen from all over Central Asia and the Islamic World, and sponsored a richly diverse urban culture that, as in Islamic Spain, was remarkable for the freedoms enjoyed by religious and ethnic communities.

That the Safavids (and the later dynasty of the Kadjars, who ruled Iran until 1925) were Turkic peoples speaking the IndoEuropean Persian language and practising a faith of Arab origins speaks to the tradition of tolerance and cosmopolitanism that existed in Persian statecraft and culture long before the advent of Islamic fundamentalism and, certainly, before the idea of “tolerance” became part of the common vocabulary of the West. The Safavids, in many ways, were the inheritors of this aspect of Persian civilization.


Maybe ancient history can help us get out of the current Iranian situation?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today's Quiz

Observe this picture:



Is he

- praying for rain?

- praying that his Jewish employer continue to win contracts for building construction in Jewish communities so he can support his large family?

- praying that the local Hamasniks leave him and his family alone?

- praying that the local Fatahniks leave him and his family alone?

- praying that Israel's GSS continue to allow him to work in Jewish communities by awarding him a security pass?

- praying that he get the American Green card he applied for to join his brother?

If Bill Doesn't, Why Should Israel?

This headline, as many others, reads:


No more settlements, Clinton tells Israel



Gee, if Bill doesn't pay her any heed, Israel need do so?

Sharansky on Libya's Fathi Eljahmi (And On Obama)

From the op-ed in today's Washington Post by human rights activist Natan Sharansky who spent nine years in the Soviet gulag and serves as chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Death of A Dissident

Fathi Eljahmi, the most prominent democratic dissident in Libya, died last Thursday. Eljahmi had endured seven years in unspeakable conditions in the Libyan prison system. His crime? He spoke out, unflinchingly, for freedom of speech and democratic reforms...

...His brother Mohamed, an American citizen, spent years calling attention to the case...At a 2007 conference of democratic dissidents in Prague, I saw how moved President George W. Bush was by hearing Eljahmi's brother tell his story. Bush promised to press the case with the Libyan government. Despite American efforts, though, Eljahmi remained in prison.

Why? Because dictatorial regimes are well practiced at telling the difference between real pressure and lip service.

...The free world has many reasons to approach dictatorial regimes with kid gloves. Sometimes we want their cooperation in addressing regional problems, sometimes we worry about disrupting the oil markets, sometimes we are anxious about global stability. Regarding Libya, from which the West has managed to extract a promise not to develop nuclear weapons and not to support terrorist organizations, there is concern about risking those things that have been gained.

As a result, and with the West's blessing, Libya has succeeded in becoming a global spokesman for brutal dictatorships like its own. We have stood by as Libya was elected to chair the U.N. Human Rights Commission and as it became a key organizer of the Durban II anti-racism conference in Geneva. In a few months, a Libyan will take up the presidency of the U.N. General Assembly...

...Of course it is important to engage peoples around the world in constructive dialogue. But a dialogue with a country's people is not the same as a dialogue with their regime...Today, the ball is in the court of the free world. Will its leaders make Libya pay a heavy price, making clear to Libyans and other oppressed peoples that brutality will not be tolerated and that freedom can one day be theirs? Or will the message match that of the Libyan regime to its people: that in their country, freedom has no future.

The coming days will tell us how the free world has chosen.


In between the lines, is Sharansky talking to Obama?

The Traget of Jews, Oops, Muslims Is World Domination

My, oh my.

...The evidence showed that HLF was part of a broad Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy in the United States called the Palestine Committee, which was to serve Hamas with "media, money and men." Those exhibits show the depth of Muslim Brotherhood activity here, which at its height included a think tank in Virginia, a propaganda arm in Texas and Chicago, and a political operation that continues to exert influence today.

It also led to the discovery of a Brotherhood memorandum from 1991 that describes the group's goal in America. It called for a "civilization-jihadist process" and a "grand jihad" that aimed at "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within … so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."


Source

On p. 18 of that memorandum, and on top of p. 19, funnily enough, I found this:

2- The priority that is approved by the Shura Council for the work of the Group in its current and former session which is "Settlement".
- - -
5- Presenting Islam as a civilization alternative
6- Supporting the establishment of the global Islamic State wherever it is].
"Settlement"? Isn't that something Muslims believe to be illegal?

Almost. On the next page, 19, it reads:

The Concept of Settlement:

This term was mentioned in the Group's "dictionary" and documents with various meanings in spite of the fact that everyone meant one thing with it. We believe that the understanding of the essence is the same and we will attempt here to give the word and its "meanings" a practical explanation with a practical Movement tone, and not a philosophical linguistic explanation, while stressing that this explanation of ours is not complete until our explanation of "the process" of settlement itself is understood which is mentioned in the following paragraph. We briefly say the following:

Settlement: "That Islam and its Movement become a part of the homeland it lives in".

Establishment: "That Islam turns into firmly-rooted organizations on whose bases civilization, structure and testimony are built".

Stability: "That Islam is stable in the land on which its people move".

Enablement: "That Islam is enabled within the souls, minds and the lives of the people of the country in which it moves".

Rooting: "That Islam is resident and not a passing thing, or rooted "entrenched" in the soil of the spot where it moves and not a strange plant to it".
So, there's a world conquest campaign of religious domination - and the Jews aren't involved. Too bad for those anti-semites.


(Kippah tip: Pam at AtlasShrugs)

David Cesarani on Roy Farran On CBC Radio

The life of Roy Farran

The life of Roy Farran was a celebrated one. He served with the British Special Air Service during World War Two and left the service, highly decorated. After the war, he went on to serve as Solicitor General for Alberta in the government of Peter Lougheed.

But last week on The Current, we heard another version of Roy Farran. In an investigation, he is being directly linked to the 1947 disappearance and death of Alexander Rubowitz.

We heard from many of you in our audience, but these reponses also prompted us to get in touch with David Cesarani. He has just completed a new book about this contentious piece of history. It's called, Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain's War Against Jewish Terrorism, 1945-1948. It was released this week. And David Cesarani was in Washington.


The broadcast from March 26th can be heard by clicking on the bar down at the bottom of the page.

It starts at 11:45 into the tape and ends at 24:20.

Set of Wall Posters

If this is the first time you're visiting one of my blog posts on the subject of "Wall Posters", allow me to explain.

Usually once a week or a fortnight, I make a foray into the neighborhoods of either Meah Shearim, Geula or Zicron Yaakov. I am usually looking at books, making a unique food purchase or taking a short cut.

On the walls and at offical municipal billboards, the issues that bestir the residents of these Ultra-Orthodox ("Hareidi") locations are there for all to see via the wall posters or, as they are called in Yiddish, "pashkevilin" (in the plural, and here) including you via the pictures I take and post here.

The latest batch:

1) A ban on purchasing the HaBahir edition of the Shulchan Arukh has been removed:
2) Anti-Internet, quoting Rav Sh. Wasner that all sorts of bad things happen and families have broken up:
3) Further clarification on the matter of Kohanim driving through a certain section of Tiberias which may contain a cemetery:
4) A reduced reproduction of many mourning notices for Rav Meir Brandsdorfer of the Eidah Hareidit:
5) The Old Beis Yaakov of Bet Shemesh is also mourning:
6) More Shabbat difficulties:
7) A real estate development project near the area is viewed as threatening to their moral and cultural way-of-life:

Linkage

Linkage is an old diplomatic term here in the Middle East.

There's one type of linkage such as this:

...the judgment that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians should command American attention.

And it isn’t just the specialists. They would be seconded by Jimmy Carter, who was recently asked: “Is the Israel-Palestine conflict still the key to peace in the whole region? Is the linkage policy right?” Carter’s answer: “I don’t think it’s about a linkage policy, but a linkage fact…. Without doubt, the path to peace in the Middle East goes through Jerusalem.” Likewise, Zbigniew Brzezinski: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the single most combustible and galvanizing issue in the Arab world.”


Let's call that the "big general" one. There is a bigger one, that of Kissinger.

And we have the "specific" one or ones. We'll ignore this one ("The Islamic Linkage between the Middle East and Southeast Asia") and others like it for the moment. But I will recall the "reassessment" period:

In foreign policy, the major development at the beginning of Rabin's term was the Sinai Interim Agreement between Israel and Egypt, signed on September 1, 1975. Both countries declared that the conflict between them and in the Middle East shall not be resolved by military force but by peaceful means [8]. This agreement followed Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy and a threatened ‘reassessment’ of the United States’ regional policy and its relations with Israel. Rabin notes it was,”an innocent-sounding term that heralded one of the worst periods in American-Israeli relations.”[9]
It was bad:

During Kissinger’s shuttle to Israel in early March 1975, a last minute reversal to consider further withdrawal, prompted a cable from Ford to Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, which included;

I wish to express my profound disappointment over Israel’s attitude in the course of the negotiations… Failure of the negotiation will have a far reaching impact on the region and on our relations. I have given instructions for a reassessment of United States policy in the region, including our relations with Israel, with the aim of ensuring that overall American interests… are protected. You will be notified of our decision[41]

On March 24, Ford received congressional leaders of both parties and informed them of the reassessment of the administration policies in the Middle East. There was only one way a “reassessment” could have a practical meaning: to cancel or suspend further aid to Israel. And this indeed was what happened. For six months between March and September 1975 the United States refused to conclude any new arms agreements with Israel.
It got worse:

Secretary of State James A. Baker III gave Israel a blunt public warning Monday that unless it stops building Jewish settlements in occupied territories, it will not get $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to help resettle hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

"The choice is Israel's," Baker said, appearing before Congress as Middle East peace talks resumed here and delivering what amounted to a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir's government.

"This administration is ready to support loan guarantees for absorption assistance to Israel of up to $2 billion a year for five years, provided though there is a halt or end to settlements activity," Baker told the House Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations. "From our standpoint, it's up to Israel. She can determine whether she wants to take action which would permit the strong support of both the legislative and executive branches for these loan guarantees or not."


And now, we have this news:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said he was prepared to eliminate his country's settlements in the West Bank in order to win U.S. support for his policies toward Iran's disputed nuclear activities, Agence France-Presse reported

Israel, the United States and some European nations suspect that Iran's nuclear program is geared toward nuclear-weapon development..."I identify the danger and that's why I am willing to take unpopular steps such as evacuating outposts. The Iranian threat is above everything," Netanyahu told Israeli political allies, according to the Yediot Aharonot. "There are things on which you have to compromise," he said (Yana Dlugy, Agence France-Presse/Google News, May 26).


And we continue and link with this:

Influential Saudi royal Prince Turki bin Faisal...previously Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington and the ex-head of its intelligence service...said he is unaware of any plan being proposed by Arab states to offer Israel additional diplomatic incentives beyond those already laid out in the existing Saudi-backed Arab Peace Initiative first put forward in 2002.

"Arabs have already given enough concessions," said Prince Turki, adding that the onus was now on Israel to create the environment for a lasting peace. This includes implementing measures like ending roadblocks into Palestinian territory, releasing political Palestinian prisoners and halting settlement expansion..."Expansion of settlements has to be stopped for any meaningful discussions to take place," he said. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem will go ahead despite opposition from the U.S. government.

Of course, the communities of revenant Jews resident in their national homeland in communities throughout the area is a constant, despite all the above.


And now North Korea is revving up the nuclear threat and that means:

The tremors of Monday's North Korean nuclear test have been felt all around the world, no more so in a country seemingly not directly affected by whether or not North Korea is a full-fledged nuclear power. In Israel, there is deep concern, an existential fear even - over the implications that Iran will be next in the nuclear line.


What links exist? Are they genuine? Are they truly inter-related?

He thinks not:

Dennis Ross, the U.S. Secretary of State's special adviser on Iran, says in a new book that the United States will not make progress toward peace in the Middle East with the Obama administration's new plan.

The book, written with David Makovsky and entitled "Myths, illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East," opposes the Obama administration's concept of linkage. Contrary to the position of the president and other advisers, Ross writes that efforts to advance dialogue with Iran should not be connected to the renewal of talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

...Because of Ross' position, his superiors at the State Department do not allow him to promote the book or be interviewed about it.

In the second chapter, entitled "Linkage: The Mother of All Myths," Ross writes: "Of all the policy myths that have kept us from making real progress in the Middle East, one stands out for its impact and longevity: the idea that if only the Palestinian conflict were solved, all other Middle East conflicts would melt away. This is the argument of 'linkage.'"


And there is also this new linkage:

The London-based Palestinian daily, Al-Quds Al-Arabi even said the Arab moderates governments were actively working on building an alliance with Israel to counter Iranian influence in the region.


So, what real link is there between the right of Jews to live in their homeland and the crazy states (*) of Iran and North Korea?

What could Israel possibly have with N. Korea's aspirations and irrational thinking?

And what link does Hilary think she can afford to lose in this latest performance of hers?


------------------

(*)

The notion of the "crazy state" is not new. It was coined some 30 years ago by the Israeli strategist Prof. Yehezkel Dror, in his book "Crazy States: A Counterconventional Strategic Problem."

Hillary the Hun?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State's Remarks at Press Availability With Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit, May 27, 2009


...MR. KELLY: Next question, Kirit (*) from ABC.

QUESTION: A question, Madame Secretary, about settlements. Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that he is going to freeze settlement expansion – new settlement expansion, excuse me – but he’s not made any commitment towards freezing existing settlement growth. Do you think that’s enough?...

...With respect to settlements, the President was very clear when Prime Minister Netanyahu was here. He wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions. We think it is in the best interests of the effort that we are engaged in that settlement expansion cease. That is our position. That is what we have communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis but to the Palestinians and others. And we intend to press that point.




UPDATE


Israel will continue to allow some construction in West Bank settlements despite US calls for a freeze on its work, a government spokesman says.

Mark Regev said the fate of the settlements should be decided in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

His remarks appear to be a rebuff to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said all such activity should cease.


----------------

(*)

That's Kirit Radia:

War Criminals Petition To Be Signed

To: UN Secretary General

Mr Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
United Nations, S-378
New York, NY 10017
Tel. 212-963-7162, Fax. 212-963-7055 Thursday, January 8, 2009 /EMYM


The Honorable Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon!

Subject: Hamas leadership to be brought to trial for War Crimes

Your Excellency! We, the Take-A-Pen international public advocacy organization, request decisive action regarding a severe case of war crimes.

In the recent years and in the present ongoing military conflict the Hamas terrorist organization ruling in Gaza has committed a large number of diverse war crimes, as defined by International Law.

The form of warfare the Hamas movement inflicted both on the Gaza population and on Israel has caused much suffering and heavy losses and damage both to Israel's civilian population and to the entire Gaza Strip. The Hamas regime has fired 6,300 rockets targeting Israeli civilians. In Gaza the Hamas stored rockets and other weaponry and ammunition primarily in residential areas; in houses, mosques, and schools. Thousands of rocket and mortar grenade attacks were launched from within these areas, obliging Israeli military response which inevitably led to great suffering of the population and damage to property.

According to International Law any source of fire on civilian targets is a legitimate target itself. If that source of fire was located among civilians it still remains a legitimate target; and if that vicinity invites fire in return, causing casualties among the local population, these casualties are the full and sole responsibility of the party placing them deliberately in harm's way. In this case Hamas is fully responsible both for the deliberately targeted Israeli civilian casualties and for the civilian casualties of its own population used by Hamas as a human shield.

Your Excellency, Mister Secretary General! We demand that the Hamas leadership be brought to international justice without delay, and tried for the following war crimes:

- Shooting rockets and grenades purposely on civilian targets in Israel.
- Shooting these rockets from within Palestinian civilian compounds such as schools or in close proximity of hospitals or residential buildings.
- Storing weapons and ammunition in schools, mosques, public offices and buildings and the sort.
- Regularly using their own civilians as human shield; particularly children, often forced to be in the most dangerous spots.
- During fighting with the Israeli forces the Hamas fighters, who wore uniforms at the beginning, changed to civilian clothing or IDF uniforms and continued to fight.
- Hamas fighters have routinely hid among civilians in hospitals
- To the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, Hamas did not provide the most elementary rights of war prisoners, such as information given to the other side and Red Cross visits, rights Israel grants even to convicted Hamas terrorists.
- Children and minors were routinely used by Hamas for military tasks, both battle and auxiliary. The Hamas regime has also educated, indoctrinated and trained children and minors to murderous hatred, to will and techniques to kill.
- The Hamas leadership embezzled aid money received for the peaceful needs of Gaza's population and used these extensive funds for war efforts; weaponry, military equipment and constructions, and an enormous military build-up.

A failure to prosecute the Hamas leadership in International Court would, no doubt, lead to their war crimes growingly become normative behavior, and to more of the same humanitarian catastrophes, to millions of victims of oppression and killings undefended by the UN.

Mr Secretary General, we would appreciate your considered reply, which, with your permission, we would publish, along with this letter. We shall follow your relevant activities with great honor, high expectations, and deep moral support.

Sincerely,



Sign here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And Where Are The "Oppressed Territories"?

Israel is accused of administrating "occupied territories" and of being a "colonialist" power.

I'm willing to agree to "disputed territories" and certainly not colonialist.

But "oppressed territories"?

Where are those?

Spain. That's where.

Eta, the Basque separatist group, has threatened to attack British tourists and second-home buyers in the French Basque Country for destroying the region’s culture and heritage.

In an interview with Gara, a newspaper sympathetic to the separatist cause, two masked members said thatuewere part of a wave of colonisation that was eradicating the traditional Basque way of life and language.

An Eta commander, using the alias Gaeuko, said: “If these things do not change, these oppressed territories will become leisure areas for the English, for Parisians and people from Bordeaux.”


Oh my. All that's missing is the term "illegal settlements".

P.S. Is there a "West Bank" in Spain?

A Wonderful Israel Security Forces Victory

Police evacuate 2 huts, tent in West Bank

Settlers rebuild outpost on Hill 18 several hours after evacuation.



Source

More On The 57-State Solution

Following up on my previous post on the suggestion that the Temple Mount administration by transferred to the 57-member Islamic States Council, we have an article by Zvi Bar'el in Haaretz on the subject, Arabs aren't thrilled by the idea of controlling the Temple Mount.

Some excerpts:

The announcement by Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), to the effect that the PA is willing to transfer the holy places in Jerusalem to Islamic sovereignty in exchange for genuine Israeli compromises, was ostensibly supposed to constitute a breakthrough.

But that same Islamic sovereignty does not particularly thrill the foreign ministers of the 57 countries that met at the end of the week in Damascus for the Islamic Conference Organization. The proposal did not even come up for discussion...

Not only can the proposal to transfer the Temple Mount to Islamic sovereignty not be defined legally - since what legal significance is there to the term "religious sovereignty" - it also angers some Fatah members, who say that "if the proposal really is valid, it overturns the vision of Yasser Arafat, who always adhered to the viewpoint that a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital and the Palestinian flag on Haram al Sharif [the Temple Mount], is not a state."...Technically, if the PA wants to surrender sovereignty over the Temple Mount in favor of Islamic representation, it will first have to go back to the Arab League in order for that body to make a decision.

...Hatem Abdel Kader, the new minister for Jerusalem affairs in Salam Fayyad's government, this week explained the Palestinian proposal in somewhat deeper detail, claiming that it does not refer to an international body that will assume responsibility for the Temple Mount, but rather an Islamic country.

But even this explanation is not sufficient. Which country will it be? Will it be an Islamic Arab country or a non-Arab country, like Iran, Turkey or perhaps Indonesia?...


57?

Hmmm.

The number 57 has mystical significance to the Heinz company, but it has never had much to do with reality. The slogan was invented by the company's founder, Henry J. Heinz, during a ride on the New York elevated in 1892. While he was reading the car cards on the ceiling, Heinz's eye alighted on the slogan "21 styles of shoes." To pedestrian minds such as our own, R.B., this probably doesn't sound like one of your killer advertising mottoes, but that's why we're not millionaire ketchup barons. Heinz could recognize genius when he saw it. Cogitating briefly, he conceived the immortal words "57 varieties," and immediately hopped off the the train and set about plastering the nation with the now-famous pickle-plus-number logo. The one problem with this scheme was that at the time the company was manufacturing more than 60 varieties. However, Heinz stuck with 57, for what his biographer describes as "occult reasons."


===============================

And excerpts from Max Singer's piece:

The simple truth can help bring peace

An often-overlooked piece of Palestinian behavior is key to the pursuit of peace. The Palestinians teach their people that no Jewish kingdom ever existed in the land they call Palestine, and that there was never a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Presumably some Palestinians know these teachings are false, but for most they are "facts" learned in school and taken for granted. These falsehoods are deliberately spread by the Palestinian leadership...This false story helps explain the Palestinian refusal to make peace, because so long as Palestinians think the Jews were never here before, they will see Jews as a foreign colonial implant with no moral claim or right to the land...When a powerful foreigner comes and takes your territory just because he wants it, you have no honorable way to yield your rights. Accepting such a foreign invasion would be a cowardly sacrifice of honor...

...THE UNITED STATES CAN make an important step toward peace by publicly assuring the Palestinians that there were indeed ancient Jewish kingdoms in the land, and a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount before the birth of Muhammad. There are plenty of Muslim sources that the US can use to teach these facts.

Denial of the Jews' ancient connection to the land is much more important than Holocaust denial. Israel's claim to the land has nothing to do with the Holocaust. The international decision that Palestine should be a Jewish homeland was made by the League of Nations a generation before the Holocaust. Jews claim the land based on their continuous emotional and religious attachment to it since ancient times - not as compensation for six million dead...

Odd Croquet Sport

Remember this scene from "Alice in Wonderland"?



That bird is a flamingo.

But that's the image that entered my mind when I read this:

A man who grabbed a live swan by the neck and used the bird as a club to beat up another man has been sentenced by a court in Munich, local media reported on Wednesday.

The swan survived the attack unhurt and flew off afterwards. The assailant, named only as Sebastian P., was drunk at the time and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Ladies Islamic Fashion

You may have seen photographs like the two below, usually in a humorous framework, regarding the more extreme Muslim custom of covering almost all of a woman's body, and not only her hair or her face in an act of modesty.




Well, here's one from the Ottoman Empire period in the Land of Israel around the First World War, 1900-1914:



At the least, they aren't dressed all in somber black.

So, Who Does Need a "Palestinian State"?

Daniel Greenfield doesn't think so.

He writes an article for the AFSI Outpost and here's an excerpt:

For 17 years, Israel, America and just about every interested party has tried to build a Palestinian state. They provided weapons and training to build a modern Palestinian police force. They sent advisers and fortunes in economic aid, thousands per Palestinian Arab. Billions in funds from the EU, America and various do-gooders were swallowed up to fund the lavish lifestyles of Arafat and his henchmen.

Year after year, the proposed Palestinian state has become a worse place. Given its own military, political, legal and economic system, "Palestine" has made the region more unstable than ever. Proposing that more of this will stabilize the region is akin to a man setting fire to one piece of furniture after another in his living room, and claiming that when the entire room is on fire, it will be a safe place to live.

So I ask again, who needs a Palestinian state? If the Palestinian Arabs really wanted a state (a second state) in Gaza, the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem, they could have had it before 1967, when those territories were in Arab hands. Instead the PLO back then called for no Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel. As Clinton discovered to his chagrin at the end of his term, Arafat did not want a state and was not interested in an Israeli offer that gave him 99 percent of what he said he wanted. Is it any surprise that Hamas today follows the same party line?

And really why would they want a Palestinian state? If a state was actually created, the UNRWA would have to close up shop. A Palestinian state could no longer rely on foreign donors to fund the hundred thousand or so armed gangsters who form its "government" and its only real form of employment. And the same Muslim states who pass along "charity" to help fund the "martyr operations" that are behind much of the local terrorism would turn elsewhere.

Instead for 17 years the same tired opera has been playing in the region's one theater. First the world's statesmen and diplomats descend on Israel, crying that the only hope for regional stability is a Palestinian state. Israeli diplomats arrive with a generous territorial offer, counterbalanced by a second clause that asks for an end to terrorism.. That second clause is immediately ignored by everyone in the room.

Next the Palestinian Authority diplomats arrive demanding twice as much land, no more border security preventing terrorists from entering Israel, half of Israel's capital, contiguous borders that would cut Israel in half, the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from territories claimed by them—and finally the return of the "refugees," which is code for unlimited immigration from their proposed Palestinian State into Israel.


Read the whole thing.

My Interview Broadcast on Kol Yisrael English Radio

The transcript of my English-language radio interview on Monday (to hear my voice, click here):

Newscaster: David Zeev asked a spokesman for the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Yisrael Medad, what the Yesha position is on the unauthorized outpost issue.

Yisrael Medad: Yesha of course is, in principal, in favor of unlimited Jewish residency throughout the territories that at the present moment are dispute, which we believe belong to the Jewish National Home. The best way would be through deliberations and negotiations, which we tried earlier last week with Defense Minister Barak, in terms of first of all, making sure that the so-called illegal communities, which actually are simply either not zoned or unauthorized, there's nothing illegal about Jews living in the Land of Israel, could be solved one way or the other. It might be, as we suggested last year that, for example, the community of Migron could be moved to a nearby area, which there'd be no legal problems what-so-ever. So I would guess, in terms of the more radical elements within the Yesha community, the council itself would be moderate, but we are not disputing the fact that there has to be an arrangement made where Jews can legally live in the Land of Israel without any problems.

David Zeev: Defense Minister Barak did dismantle one of the unauthorized outposts last week, and Prime Minister Netanyahu reportedly is giving his Defense Minister his backing. Is Yesha disappointed with these latest moves?

Yisrael Medad: We're not quite sure exactly what Mr. Netanyahu's thinking is. In the past, when he was first Prime Minister the first time around, because of a misunderstanding, I think between him and the nationalist camp, he lost his prime ministership. So I think he should be coordinated of course much more with the people who can give him better political backing, rather than Mr. Barack, who already has 5 times mentioned that he's willing to jump ship from the coalition agreements he made. If that's the support Mr. Netanyahu wants, there won''t be a long-term Likud government. But I think that in between the type of viewpoints that either Mr. Barack or myself, as representing the Yesha Council hold, there is a wide area where Mr. Netanyahu doesn't have to get excited or nervous about Jews living on Judea and Samaria...(cutoff, darn)


That was recorded while I was standing in the courtyard of Jama'at A-Satein near the Tel of Shiloh.

Will The 1929 Riots Repeat?

A post of mine at my IsraelNationalNews blog, "From the Hills of Efraim".

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Someone Got Me Mixed Up With Someone Else

Comment #13 here:

Perhaps an answer can be gleaned from a statement attributed to Yisrael Meidad (who, while not observant himself, was close to tradition and had contacts with thinkers from all sides of the religious spectrum).

He once said that he understood the positions of the students of Rav Kook … and he understood the positions of the Neturei Karta … but for the life of him, he could never understand the position of anyone in the middle of that religious spectrum...

Comment by Chardal — May 18, 2009 @ 1:39 pm


and

#27

#12 Chardal — Have to call you on an error. Yisrael Meidad (Winkleman) is alive and frum and living in Shiloh. You meant Yisrael Eldad (Scheib) z”l, some of whose writings just came out in a Hagada edited by Yehuda Etzion.

Comment by Yehoshua Friedman — May 19, 2009 @ 1:51 pm


and

# 32

>#12 Chardal — Have to call you on an error. Yisrael Meidad (Winkleman) is alive and frum and living in Shiloh. You meant Yisrael Eldad (Scheib) z”l, some of whose writings just came out in a Hagada edited by Yehuda Etzion.

You got me. I was thinking Eldad. Don’t know why I wrote Meidad.

Comment by Chardal — May 20, 2009 @ 4:35 am


I left a comment there:

# 88

Chardal, check out Bamidbar 11:

24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. 25 And the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy elders; and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 26 But there remained two men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad; and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were recorded, but had not gone out unto the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said: ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’

Comment by Yisrael Medad, Shiloh, Israel — May 26, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

First Hispanic Nominee - And Jewish Too

As Fark notes:

Many people calling Sonia Sotomayor first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. These people are wrong: The estimable Justice Benjamin Cardozo, nominated by Hoover in 1932, had that honor. Please make a note of it.


As sourced:

Some of Cardozo's ancestors were Portuguese Jews who immigrated to Britain's North American colonies in the 1740s and 1750s from Portugal via the Netherlands and England. The surname Cardozo (Cardoso) is of Portuguese origin.


And he was Jewish, too.

Yes, There Is Justice

Correcting a wrong:

A combat soldier from the Givati Brigade who confessed to looting during the IDF offensive in the Gaza Strip in January has returned the money he stole to the Palestinian man he stole from, with interest.

The soldier was charged last week and pleaded guilty to stealing a credit card from the home of a Palestinian, later using it to withdraw NIS 1,600 ($400).

..."I am writing you on my client's behalf, he expresses his regrets and sincere apologizes for withdrawing funds from your client's account. My client wants to right his wrongdoing and return the money," Roda wrote.

The soldier's trial has been scheduled for Wednesday. He will be charged with looting. The Palestinian has been barred from testifying as he is suspected of acts of terror. Police said various explosive devices were found in his home.

The Third Party

Haaretz:

The newly appointed minister for Jerusalem affairs in the Palestinian Authority cabinet, Hatem Abdel Khader, has released a statement noting that he favors transfering control of the Temple Mount to the 57-member Islamic Conference Organization in the framework of an Israel-PA peace agreement. Haaretz reported last week on the P.A.'s willingness to transfer control of the Temple Mount to the organization. "The most important thing is to end the Israeli occupation," Abdel Khader also said.


Fifty-seven Islamic countries?

One Israel?

No Jewish rights.

Naturally

Ynet:

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the High Court he has decided to refrain from issuing demolition orders for nine houses that have been built in the West Bank settlement of Ofra.

A petition filed by the left-wing organizations Yesh Din and B'tselem claims the homes were built on Palestinian land. Barak responded that the homes were built within the settlement and were therefore not expanding it.

On Democracy and Demonology

MK Arieh Eldad attended a discussion in the Knesset today - which was not an actual parliamentary activity but an outside conference convened to exchange ideas and thoughts on the theme "Alternatives to the Concept of "Two States" and sponsored by MK Tzipi Hotovely. I also attended although due to overcrowding I entered the room late.



These types of meetings have nothing to do with Israel or the Knesset in any official fashion.

Around 200 people attended the conference on Tuesday, including Knesset members and representatives of the Yesha council of West Bank settlements.

Organizer MK Hotovely stressed that the forum did not represent "an assembly of Likud rebels," but that it aimed to open channels of thinking on ways of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aside from the two-state plan.

Hotovely said the conference was intended to "strengthen the hand of the prime minister, returning from Washington after standing firm againstU.S. President Barack Obama."


Jordan doesn't quite understand that this is an expression of democratic exchange of ideas on the one hand and not an official representation of Israel's government. They would prefer some sort of "Elders of Zion" demonology.

And what happened that bothered Jordan?

As Haaretz reports:

Eldad told lawmakers during a Knesset plenum last week that Palestinians must be given Jordanian citizenship, claiming that Jordan is essentially the Palestinian state.

Jordan lodged a strongly-worded protest with Israel on Tuesday over the proposal. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh summoned the Israeli ambassador in Amman, Yaakov Rosen, and handed him a protest that "categorically rejects the ongoing discussion at the Israeli Knesset on a proposal by one of its members entitled 'two states for two peoples on the two banks of River Jordan'," a statement carried by the official Petra news agency said.


Actually, Jordan should have been more upset over the words of someone else who spoke there:

Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who participated in the conference on Tuesday, said past peace plans urging Israel to give up captured land to the Palestinians have failed.

"The Western way of thinking has proven irrelevant and dangerous to this region," the former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff said, adding that Israel should stop looking for an immediate solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.

"We have to disavow the commonly held perception that we should find an imminent solution," he added. "The Disengagement from Gaza in 2005 was the Palestinians' golden opportunity to show the world that the end of the occupation would lead to political and economic stability."

"Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza and the ongoing missile fire at Israel proves that the problem was not the occupation. For them, the entire land, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean, is occupied."

"[Late Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser] Arafat came very close to achieving independence, but he chose to launch a war against Israel in September 2000 instead," he said. "The issue wasn't the ability to give them independence, but their desire to get it."

"Instead of a state, Arafat chose to set up a terror regime," Ya'alon continued. "Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] is behaving the same way and exercises political weakness as a strategy."


And what do the Pals. say?

Ahmed Qureia (Abu Ala), who heads the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel:

"[Former U.S. secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice told me she understood our position about Ariel but that Ma'aleh Adumim was a different matter. I told her, and Livni, that those residents of Ma'aleh Adumim or Ariel who would rather stay in their homes could live under Palestinian rule and law, just like the Israeli Arabs who live among you. They could hold Palestinian and Israeli nationalities. If they want it - welcome. Israeli settlements in the heart of the territories would be a recipe for problems. Israel evacuated all the settlements in Yamit and in the Gaza Strip. All the prime ministers who negotiated with Syria, including Netanyahu, agreed to evacuate all the settlements from [the Golan] Heights. So why is it so difficult for you to evacuate the settlements in the West Bank?


Here are a few pictures:

MK Tzipi Hotovely with Adi Mintz -



MK Robert Ilatov -



Some of the attendees -

"And He Saves Us..."

Words from the Haggada of Pesach, music by Yonatan Razel:

והיא שעמדה לאבותינו ולנו שלא אחד בלבד עומד עלינו לכלותינו והקב"ה מצילנו מידם

This is what has stood by our fathers and us! For not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand!

Another "Natural" Issue That Hillary Has

Following up my "natural growth" post, I spotted Bill Clinton getting all natural with Fran Drescher in Vienna this weekend:


Found here

I wonder what settlement the Clintons have agreed upon.

Wedding At Mitzpeh Yericho

We attended the wedding of the daughter of Michel Gurfinkiel of Paris at the community of Mitzpeh Yericho, overlooking the Plains of Jericho, on Sunday evening.

Two pictures from the outlook:

that's Jericho down below in the center -


this is just south of Jericho stretching away to Jordan -



and a song from the wedding ceremony:

video



and one of the musicians:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Natural Growth

Natural, as in "natural growth", is defined thus:

Main Entry:

nat·u·ral
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French naturel, from Latin naturalis of nature, from natura nature
Date: 14th century

1: based on an inherent sense of right and wrong

2 a: being in accordance with or determined by nature b: having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature

3 a (1): begotten as distinguished from adopted ; also : legitimate (2): being a relation by actual consanguinity as distinguished from adoption b: illegitimate

4: having an essential relation with someone or something : following from the nature of the one in question

5: implanted or being as if implanted by nature : seemingly inborn


6: of or relating to nature as an object of study and research

7: having a specified character by nature


8 a: occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural b: formulated by human reason alone rather than revelation c: having a normal or usual character

9: possessing or exhibiting the higher qualities (as kindliness and affection) of human nature


10 a: growing without human care ; also : not cultivated b: existing in or produced by nature : not artificial c: relating to or being natural food

11 a: being in a state of nature without spiritual enlightenment : unregenerate b: living in or as if in a state of nature untouched by the influences of civilization and society

12 a: having a physical or real existence as contrasted with one that is spiritual, intellectual, or fictitious
b: of, relating to, or operating in the physical as opposed to the spiritual world

13 a: closely resembling an original : true to nature b: marked by easy simplicity and freedom from artificiality, affectation, or constraint c: having a form or appearance found in nature


And in an interview
of Abderrahim Foukara [???] of Al Jazeera with Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Secretary of State, Washington, DC, May 19, 2009, Mrs. Clinton was asked and replied:

...QUESTION: Madame Secretary, when President Obama yesterday talked about the issue of settlements and he said that he wanted the Israelis to freeze the building on the West Bank, does that mean that he wants the settlements, the existing settlements, to be rolled back to the 1967 border, specifically?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there are two pieces to that question. First, we want to see a stop to settlement construction, additions, natural growth – any kind of settlement activity. That is what the President has called for.

We also are going to be pushing for a two-state solution which, by its very name, implies borders that have to be agreed to. And we expect to see two states living side by side, a state for the Palestinians that will be sovereign and within which the Palestinians will have the authorities that come with being in charge of a state with respect to such activities as settlements. So it’s really a two-step effort here. We want to see a stop now, and then, as part of this intensive engagement that Senator Mitchell is leading for us, we want to move toward a two-state solution with borders for the Palestinians.


and at 1:54, you can see her and hear her say it:



Well, I think what comes naturally will be a bit overwhelming for the Secretary of State and the President.

"Alleged"

I found At Al Jazeera, here, that a report by the heads of the European missions in the Palestinian territories issued on May 5th stated that Israel is in the process of systematically eradicating the Arab presence from occupied Jerusalem.

The report said that

occupation authorities have begun building a synagogue near al-Aqsa Mosque, which has increased Palestinian fears of a long-term plan promoted by some settler groups to take over al-Haram al-Sharif (The Temple Mount).

It explained that the settlement activity being implemented around the Old City of Jerusalem is part of a plan by the occupation aimed at linking up the settlements built in East Jerusalem with those in the Old City.

Islamic Antiquities Theft and Falsification of History In a related development, the occupation authorities placed stones stolen from sites near the southern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque on display in the garden of the newly opened building of the Israeli Knesset. This is consistent with Zionist plans to turn Jerusalem into a Jewish city and obscure its landmarks, according to Palestinian institutions concerned with heritage and charitable endowments.

The most prominent of those relics is a large stone weighing five tons stolen from a site close to the south-east of al-Aqsa Mosque below the Marwani prayer hall. A sign near the stone identifies it as being from the Temple Mount, and the accompanying explanation says that the stone is from the era of the alleged Second Temple.


Well, the original report is here. The "alleged" appears in this excerpt:

The most prominent case is that of the Al-Kurd family in Sheikh Jarrah, that has been evicted on 9 November 2008 from its home, which it had been allocated by UNRWA in 1956, after the Israeli High Court issued an eviction order. Settlers, claiming property to the land on the basis of alleged pre-1948 ownership, took over the house immediately.


I guess that Al-Jazeera is a bit propagandistic, eh?

As for the worth of the whole report itself, Nadav Shragai took it apart:

The European Union Report on Jerusalem: Distortions and Omissions - 2 April 2009

* An imbalanced EU position paper on Jerusalem written in December 2008, and recently leaked to the media, completely ignores Israel's historical and legal rights to its capital. The EU attack refers primarily to the City of David, located just beyond Jerusalem's Old City walls, an area identified by archaeologists and historians as the location of King David's capital some 3,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations took place there during Ottoman rule, as well as under the ensuing British Mandatory rule, and they have continued under Israeli rule as well.

* About 20 years ago a wave of new, illegal construction by Palestinians began on the site, causing significant and sometimes irreversible damage to the antiquities there. The Jerusalem municipality intends to offer the delinquent residents generous compensation and alternative land in the city.

* Jerusalem has had a Jewish majority for the last 150 years - at least since 1864. Israel's position in Jerusalem under international law derives from the Palestine Mandate, where the League of Nations recognized "the historical tie between the Jewish people and Palestine," and called "for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine."

* The 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan did not fix the final boundaries between the parties, but only the lines of military separation at the close of the 1948 war. At the demand of the Arab side, the Armistice Agreement stipulated that it did not serve to predetermine the rights of any party in the final resolution of conflict. In other words, upon the outbreak of the Six-Day War, the 1967 lines enjoyed no diplomatic status.

* In 1967, Israel agreed to allow the Muslim Waqf to manage the Temple Mount area, with a view toward preventing inter-religious conflict at one of the world's most sensitive sites. This was a huge concession on Israel's part that has never been properly recognized. By doing so, Israel has underscored its intention to assure freedom of access to members of all faiths at all of the holy sites in Jerusalem.