Thursday, September 30, 2010

Censorship? By Lefties? Old Story

Remember the collection, "The Seventh Day"?

A behind-the-scene story:-

Much less known is that while transcribing the tapes of the interviews, someone proposed they interview the religious youth who were combat veterans...an editorial team from "The Seventh Day," Amram and Giora Mozenson from Na'an, went to a meeting with a group of the students from the yeshiva. The interview went on for five hours. When the interviewers returned with their transcripts, Oz and Shapira were horrified.

Fifteen years later, in a meeting at the West Bank settlement of Ofra, Oz told the settlers what he felt when he read the transcripts...

..."It was a shocking encounter. The "Seventh Day" people went with the hope of finding allies against the sentiment that was sweeping the country after the military victory, the nationalistic drunkenness and the general worshiping, the orgies of victory. They came back from their meeting downcast and mourning. Not only because of the euphoria they found in the yeshiva, the ecstasy of the Western Wall, Anatot, Shiloh and Beit El, and the talk of victories and miracles and salvation and the days of the messiah - all foreign tongues to us."

But what "really hurt," said Oz, "was the utter apathy toward our moral crisis. There was enormous self-doubt after the victory, about our values, our ideals, our conscience, our worldview. All that prevented us from ignoring the significance of having become a nation occupying another ... the Six-Day War was a war between armies, not peoples. The people of Israel went into it with a national agreement, that it was going to defend its very existence. Nothing more than that ... that agreement was trod underfoot the day after the war, and the country filled with different tunes and new appetites and shofar blasting, and that was a shock to us, a source of suffering and moral dilemmas.

"And not only were the Merkaz Harav people speaking a different language, not one of them understood what pained us, what our moral problem was. Their utter indifference appeared to us to be thick, glib, vain and patronizing, physical, drunk with power, overflowing with messianic rhetoric that was ethno-centric, apocalyptic, and in one word, inhuman, and not Jewish. To them, the Arab people under our control were not even there, as if they were never born."

Six Merkaz Harav students, all in their twenties, gathered at Yohanan Fried's house in Jerusalem, in August 1967. Four of them, Fried, Issar Kolanski, Yitzhak Ben-Shahar, and Dov Begun, fought in the Jerusalem Brigade in the West Bank. Naftali Bar-Ilan and Yoel Bin-Nun were in the Paratroopers Brigade, which broke into the Old City and conquered it.

Fried, the first to speak, talked about a sermon delivered their yeshiva head, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, on the Independence Day that preceded the war. The rabbi said that he did not dance on the first independence day of the State of Israel. "he could not be happy because he felt was missing Hebron, Nablus, Jericho," Fried said, adding, "the emotional experience of the magic of Jerusalem and the magic of the Greater Land of Israel were the feeling of a person who felt he had lost limbs. My life was not emotionally complete."

Bin-Nun spoke of his feelings and his "anticipation of great things" during the waiting period before the war. He quoted Rabbi Kook senior, writing on the eve of World War One, "... burning sentences about the greatest of all wars, and how the greater the war, the more one should expect even greater things to follow it."

Begun: "Before the war I had the feeling that everything had to be mental, rational, orderly. After the war I don't know ... I wonder ... I feel that something is happening, something big is approaching. I don't depend on rationalism any more. I'm going ... with all of Israel, toward something, I don't know what, but I believe it's a good thing."

Fried: "There are three things we have witnessed, and speak about them as something either we or our parents lived through: the Holocaust, the establishment of the State of Israel, and the war we're talking about now. These three things were a clear sign that the Blessed One gave us two opportunities for every action in the direction of a great future. One is simple, intellectual, rational, perhaps in the hands of man. Maybe it's too brutal a sentence but the Holocaust was like some huge broom that accelerated the immigration to the Land, as if the Blessed One said to us, `Enough, children ... you played at what you want ... now I'll move you by force."

Kolanski: "We had the feeling of total lack of direction. Not only we weren't trained to be strong and victors ... we weren't trained to be a little bit taller."

Mozenson: "You mean that you didn't have the ability to grasp great things? Is that what you mean?"

Kolanski: "Right. We were embarrassed because none of us were used to grasping great things ... all the worshiping I do in my daily life, which occupies the center of my life, became in a certain way just a shadow of all the feeling I would have if the Temple were to exist and all of the Land of Israel were in our hands."

And now. let us reread what Benjamin Netanyahu said in a 1996 interiew:-

...This is not a foreign land for us. It is not Denmark or Holland. It is not a matter of coincidence that we are here. For thousands of years, Jews struggled to return to Israel. For thousands of years, they shed oceans of blood and tears because of their desire to return. Now we see a generation emerging in Israel who, with a wave of their hand, seek to break this bond. I see the Algerian analogy as a grave symptom of a profound loss of identity. It is difficult to believe. When I walk among the hills of Beit El or Judea, or in the environs of Jerusalem, am I treading on foreign soil?

Judea and Samaria are not Algeria. This is a misleading analogy. In historical terms, our entire existence here is inextricably linked to these parts of the country. In geographic and security terms, there is no sea separating us from these regions. They are not some overseas colony, some far-flung settlement in Cyprus or southern Turkey. They are here. This is why both in national and strategic terms, the comparison is absurd. However, it does reveal the heart of the problem. The fact is that we cannot simply pack up and leave this place. Where would we go? When will we see the end of the demand to retreat? At what point will the land stop being foreign?

If the supposed foreignness of these areas is the product of the obvious and well-known fact that a large Arab population lives in Judea and Samaria, then what about the Galilee and much of the Negev? There, too, there is a large Arab population. The idea that we are strangers in those parts of the country which are settled mainly by Arabs inevitably leads to a gradual return to the partition agreement, and from there to an abandonment of our basic right to any part of the country. Those who dream of closing ourselves off in a gilded seaside fortress, in some kind of luxury suburb on the Tel Aviv shore, are dreaming an impossible dream. This dream is reminiscent of the illusions prevalent among the Christians in Lebanon, who gave up most of the country to others in the hope that they would be left with something. In the end, they were left with nothing.

...Q: In your book A Place Among the Nations, there is a rather emotional section in which you recall yourself as a soldier stopping by Shiloh and Betar during an army training hike and feeling a sense of return, on behalf of all the generations. You quote Moshe Dayan: "We have returned to the mountain, to the cradle of our nation, to the inheritance of our ancestors ... we have returned to Hebron and Nablus, to Bethlehem and Anatot." Is it possible that the irony of history will mean that despite this, you will be the one to lead us to cut ourselves off once and for all from these places, from Hebron, Nablus, Bethlehem and Anatot?
A: We are not cutting ourselves off from Hebron. We are redeploying there. What I have been working hard to achieve over the past few weeks is precisely to ensure that we protect the lives of the Jews in Hebron and maintain our holy sites in the city.

Nevertheless, the arrangement in Hebron is extremely difficult for me since I have a deep bond to these places. They speak to me. Every stone, every terrace, every tree and every hill raises memories, connects me to a very real historical experience of which I feel an inseparable part. I cannot understand why we tend to have great respect for the Arabs' bond to the land, which is relatively recent, while at the same time disparaging our own bond to the land, which goes back thousands of years.

...Hebron...is the oldest settlement in Jewish history. This is where our matriarchs and patriarchs are buried.

This is why I feel such a great burden of responsibility and am doing everything I can to secure our historical assets, without jeopardizing all the other aspects and national interests that it is my responsibility as prime minister to protect.

- - -

How About We Wait to See How This Works Out

How about we wait to see how this works out before we fool around with the Temple Mount and something called the "Holy Basin":-

For 150 years, Hindus and Muslims both claimed a site that is sacred to their religions, which triggered some of the worst rioting in India's history. On Thursday, a court came up with a compromise: Split it.

Both sides said they would appeal...

In advance of the ruling, the government sent hundreds of thousands of police into the streets, arrested more than 10,000 people to keep them from inciting violence, and pushed another 100,000 to sign affidavits saying they would not cause trouble.

The dispute over the religious site in the city of Ayodhya, 350 miles (550 kilometers) east of New Delhi, has been one of the country's most contentious issues. Hindus argued that the Babri Mosque erected there by Muslims in 1528 stood on the site of the birthplace of the Hindu god Rama, and they filed suit in 1950.

In 1992, while the legal case lingered, tens of thousands of Hindu extremists ripped apart the mosque with spades, crowbars and their bare hands as security forces watched. A small tented shrine to Rama now stands on the site. The demolition sparked nationwide riots that killed 2,000 people...


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Ten Years After The Temple Mount Ascent

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Future prime minister Ariel Sharon was told by his spokesman Ra’anan Gissin that visiting the Temple Mount could be used by Palestinians as an excuse for violence, Gissin said Tuesday on the 10th anniversary of Sharon’s controversial visit.

Palestinians began throwing rocks immediately after Sharon left the compound. The Palestinians called the uprising that began the “Al-Aksa intifada,” even though an IDF sergeant critically wounded in a bomb attack the day before Sharon’s visit is considered the first victim of the wave of violence, and Palestinian officials have admitted that then- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had planned the intifada months before.

...“I told him the situation was tense in the West Bank and that [Palestinian general Tawfik] Tirawi’s people were planning to do something on the Temple Mount, whether the trigger would be Sharon or something else. Sharon knew he was playing into their hands, but he went in a clear-headed manner to prove that he wouldn’t compromise on Jerusalem and that Israel would stand up for its rights.”

The initiator of the wave of violence, Marwan Barghouti, later told the Al-Hayat newspaper that he had decided that Sharon’s visit would be the most appropriate moment for the outbreak of the intifada.

“The night prior to Sharon’s visit, I participated in a panel on a local television station and I seized the opportunity to call on the public to go to the Aksa Mosque in the morning, for it was not possible that Sharon would reach al-Haram al- Sharif [the Temple Mount area] just so, and walk away peacefully,” Barghouti said.

“I finished and went to al-Aksa in the morning. We tried to create clashes without success because of the differences of opinion that emerged with others in the Aksa compound at the time,” he continued.

“After Sharon left, I stayed for two hours with other people and discussed the manner of response and how it was possible to react in all the cities and not just Jerusalem.”

...The Likud leader ascended the mountain with his son Gilad and MKs Moshe Arens, Reuven Rivlin, and Yehoshua Matza. Sharon, who owns an apartment in Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter, later used keeping the capital united as a key issue in his campaign against then-prime minister Ehud Barak.

...Asked whether Sharon ever regretted ascending the Mount, Gissin said, “No, he said it was the right time to tell the Palestinians that Jerusalem was not for sale.”


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Yet Another Poster

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Islamic Fashion Goes Haute Coutre

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A Muslim woman employed by Disney has agreed to wear a beret over her hijab while at work.

Noor Abdallah, 22, was locked in a face off with Disneyland after her employers objected to her religious head scarf.

She works as a vacation planner at a Disneyland Resort Esplanade ticket booth in Anaheim, California. She refused to take another job away from the public, the Council on American-Islamic relations said yesterday.

So the park and Abdallah reached a compromise. Now she wears a blue scarf...

Catch that "face off" flip?

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Another Apartheid Post

Elder of Ziyon has come up with another poster on Arab apartheid:


Can we get these to go viral?

Take A Look at Those Figures

Haaretz is horrified:

Thirteen percent of all combat company commanders on active service in the IDF come from settlements, army weekly Bamahane reported Tuesday, a five-fold over-representation based on their proportion in the general population of Israel.

The company commanders living in settlements communities and serving in the infantry arm of the military also outnumber company commanders living in kibbutzim and moshavim. The record-holder among settlements for numbers of commanders is Eli, in Samaria, where the first pre-military religious academy was established.

Commanders from the settlements communities are heavily represented in the Golani brigades, where 20 percent of company commanders live over the Green Line; only 11 percent come from kibbutzim and moshavim. The ratio is more balanced in the Nahal brigade, where 22 percent of company commanders come from moshavim, 15 percent from kibbutzim, and 19 percent from the settlements communities...Bamahane also reported that while 60 percent of company commanders come from cities, only three of them hail from Tel Aviv...


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Left Over From US Convoys in Iraq




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On Apartheid

A Possible Solution to Gaza?


Reminds me of a Dry Bones cartoon from many years ago when Yaaqov suggested the same thing - lop Gaza off.

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Let's Stretch Ed Milliband's Sinews Why Don't We

The new Labour Party leader, brother of the former leader, son of a Marxist, grandson of someone buried close to Karl Marx, whose mother is pro-Pal., partner of Justine Thornton (who is/was a senior environmental lawyer working for E.On and is pregnant),
Ed Milliband, speaks on Israel:

"As Israel ends the moratorium on settlement building, I will always defend the right of Israel to exist in peace and security. But Israel must accept and recognize in its actions the Palestinian right to statehood.

"That is why the attack on the Gaza Flotilla was so wrong. And that is why the Gaza blockade must be lifted and we must strain every sinew to work to make that happen," he said.

Look at that sinew!



Another yielding "friend of...Israel". Oiy.







Jonathan Hoffman's take.



- - -

Words of Wisdom Re: Dumb J Street

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It seems as if J Street, the liberal, ostensibly pro-Israel group, has lost the game it set out to play. I'm not referring here to its decision to take money from George Soros (which calls into question its pro-Israel bona fides, given Soros's barely-masked hostility to Zionism), and then lie about it (to The Atlantic, among others) or to its mysterious funding source in Hong Kong. I'll come back to that later. It has lost because it has failed to convince President Obama, and Congress, and most of organized American Jewry, to pressure Israel to unilaterally cease settlement activity on the West Bank, in advance of peace negotations.


Jeffrey Goldberg

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quotation of the Day

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(translated)

We'd much rather slap around the Willow Branches than kick women.



Source



To the uninitiated -

a group, HaSikrikim, acting as a modesty squad, tried to separate the sexes in the Geula neighborhood during the week of Succot when there are lots of festive events, termed Simchat Beit HaShoevah.

Tomorrow morning, Hoshana Rabba, we will be symbolically slapping five willow branches 9in Yiddish, klopping areivos)* to recall a Temple practice.

The story:

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled against separation between men and women on the sidewalks of Jerusalem's haredi Mea Shearim neighborhood. The court also disallowed the positioning of "modesty guards" from the neighborhood committee to enforce the separation.

In addition, the court ruled, women will be allowed to hold a protest march in the neighborhood on Wednesday in protest of the discrimination between men and women. The Jerusalem Police was ordered to allow and guard the procession. The court was asked to address the issue after extremists in the area tried to illegally enforce separation between men and women during Sukkot.

About a fortnight ago, the Eda Haredit faction proposed blocking Mea Shearim's Mordechai Street to women to prevent men from being near them, but following protest from women's organizations and police demands, the leaders of the community said the road would not be blocked to women. On Monday, two City Council members petitioned the High Court on the issue. Their representative, Attorney Aviad Hacohen, said that despite assurances from the Eda Haredit, screens to separate men from women had been set up and "guards" positioned to enforce the separation.

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

*

The World As a "Settlement"?

This book


sounds interesting:-

James Howard Kunstler has recently attained even greater prominence in the global conversation about energy and the environment. In the sequel to his novel, World Made by Hand, Kunstler expands on his vision of a post-oil society with a new novel about an America in which the electricity has flickered off, the Internet is a distant memory, and the government is little more than a rumor. In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, travel is horse-drawn and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside, preying on the weak. And a sinister cult threatens to shatter Union Grove’s fragile stability.

In a book that is both shocking yet eerily convincing, Kunstler seamlessly weaves hot-button issues such as the decline of oil and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost, and love found.

Hebron?

- - -

It's Coming

From Schlomo Lewis' sermon:

Ehr Kumt

...A few years ago I visited Lithuania on a Jewish genealogical tour. It was a stunning journey and a very personal, spiritual pilgrimage. When we visited Kovno we davened Maariv at the only remaining shul in the city. Before the war there were thirty-seven shuls for 38,000 Jews. Now only one, a shrinking, gray congregation. We made minyon for the handful of aged worshipers in the Choral Synagogue, a once majestic, jewel in Kovno. After my return home I visited Cherry Hill for Shabbos. At the oneg an elderly family friend, Joe Magun, came over to me.

“Shalom,” he said. “Your abba told me you just came back from Lithuania.” “Yes,” I replied. “It was quite a powerful experience.” “Did you visit the Choral Synagogue in Kovno? The one with the big arch in the courtyard?” “Yes, I did. In fact, we helped them make minyon.” His eyes opened wide in joy at our shared memory. For a moment he gazed into the distance and then, he returned. “Shalom, I grew up only a few feet away from the arch. The Choral Synagogue was where I davened as a child.”

He paused for a moment and once again was lost in the past. His smile faded. Pain filled his wrinkled face. “I remember one Shabbos in 1938 when Vladimir Jabotinsky came to the shul” (Jabotinsky was Menachim Begin’s mentor – he was a fiery orator, an unflinching Zionist radical, whose politics were to the far right.) Joe continued “When Jabotinsky came, he delivered the drash on Shabbos morning and I can still hear his words burning in my ears. He climbed up to the shtender, stared at us from the bima, glared at us with eyes full of fire and cried out. ‘EHR KUMT. YIDN FARLAWST AYER SHTETL – He’s coming. Jews abandon your city.’”

We thought we were safe in Lithuania from the Nazis, from Hitler. We had lived there, thrived for a thousand years but Jabotinsky was right -- his warning prophetic. We got out but most did not.”


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The Terror Is Still Here

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Read this report.


- - -

Richard, Not Robert, Cohen on Jewish Communities and Obama

In an op-ed:

Given the highly emotional nature of the settlement issue, it made no sense for the administration - actually, President Obama himself - to promote an absolute moratorium on construction as the prerequisite for peace talks...We will see if the end of the moratorium means the end of peace talks. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has not yet ended negotiations. He's going to confer with his fellow Arab leaders. Obama ought to also confer with someone who knows the region.

Trouble is, many experts have told him that his emphasis on settlements was the wrong way to go...

From the start, the President has taken a hard line against settlements, refusing to distinguish between an apartment in Jerusalem and a hilltop encampment in the West Bank. He seems not to understand their importance to some Jews. Certain right-wing Israelis have reacted with the same lack of empathy. One settlement leader, Gershon Mesika, called Obama by his middle name, Hussein - a juvenile attempt at insult. [yes, but it is his name. maybe the President should change it?]

The Obama approach to the Israeli-Palestinian problem has been counterproductive. Either the Palestinians have to back down from their insistence that all settlements be frozen in place or Netanyahu has to back down from his pledge that any moratorium would be temporary. Either Abbas or Netanyahu has to lose credibility, and neither man can afford to.

Obama, too, has to husband his credibility. He foolishly demanded something Israel could not yet give. It was bad diplomacy, recalling neither Metternich nor Kissinger but the Ol' Perfessor and his question about the inept Mets. The answer, so far, is no.


Read more.


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One Picture and How Many Words?


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pictured through a video viewfinder as she speaks during a news conference in Amman September 16, 2010

A Map Gets In The Way

Look where HDS Greenway goes:

Now the pressure is all on Abbas not to walk and Netanyahu can seem the paragon of sweet reason, saying let us keep talking to reach a true and lasting peace. It will be said, if the talks fail, that it was, after all the Palestinians who walked out — nothing to do with the Israelis. If Abbas does not walk, Netanyahu wins big time as he can say to the Americans: See, a settlement freeze was never necessary.

Game, set, and maybe match to Netanyahu who has skillfully outmaneuvered both the United States and the hapless Palestinians.

Abbas knows that if settlement activity keeps on, and the talks drag out, there will be no chance of a contiguous and free Palestine left. It is as if two housewives were arguing about who should have a cake while all the while one of them has possession and is eating it.

The arc of Israel’s fatal appetite for the occupied territories has proceeded in fits and starts. Back in the days of the British Mandate, Jews fighting for a Jewish homeland were split. The so-called “revisionist” wing of Zionism wanted a Greater Israel. A 1948 Life Magazine cover story on the conflict showed a map in “Irgun’s secret headquarters, ” displaying “Irgun’s ambitions — Palestine and Transjordan untied into a Jewish state” — meaning they would have what is now Jordan too. The Irgun would later morph into today’s ruling Likud Party
This dream was not realized, when David Ben Gurion, representing the majority of Zionist opinion, settled for only part of Palestine and none of Transjordan.

Here is that map, created in Poland in 1937 or so:


The slogan, "Rak Kach", Only Thus, was translated from the Polish "Tako Tak", probably by Avraham Stern.

Has he ever seen the maps of the Palestine Authority?


And if that isn't enough, he adds:

Gaza was never really the historic “Land of Israel,” but the West Bank is.
.
That is really a historical perversion.

-   -   -

The New Not-The-TIME-Magazine-Cover




Credit

'Go Figure It Out' - Polls of Israeli Opinion

In the new monthly poll of the Peace Index - September, 2010 directed by Prof. Ephraim Yaar and Prof. Tamar Hermann was this question:

Does the absence of peace or, alternatively, the signing of a peace agreement influence Arab-Jewish relations within Israel?

The answer was that:

In both publics – Jewish and Arab – identical rates (54%) were found for those who believe that as long as there is no peace, there is no possibility of greater understanding and interaction between Jews
and Arabs in Israel. A majority of the exact same size, however, says a peace agreement in itself will not foster relations of trust and good-neighborliness between Jews and Arabs: more than half of both the Jews and the Arabs hold the pessimistic opinion that even if a peace agreement is signed, no dramatic improvement will occur in the relations between these two publics in Israel.

Do you grasp the inherent contradiction is the above?

That's Israel.

P.S.

Another finding:

...how do the Arabs view the identity of the Jews? Eighty-one percent of them think that the Jews feel themselves to a very large or moderately large extent to be Jews, 77% that they feel Israeli, and 64% as Zionists. These rates are considerably lower than the Jewish public’s own responses on these identity issues: 95% report that they feel to a very large or moderately large extent that they are Israelis, 94% – as Jews, and 80% as Zionists. Israeli Arabs, then, appear to underestimate these three identities among Jews, especially regarding the Israeli and Zionist identities, though they are not wrong in seeing Zionism as taking only third place in the ranking.


- - -

Get Ready for the Bicycle Path

Unbelievable:


A bicycle path from the Khan along Derech Bet Lehem's old railway line.

It'll take seven months to complete.

If the Light Railway is any example, we have a long wait.

Poster Battle

Walking along Emeq Refaim this morning, I noticed protest posters complaining about the "invasion" of the public sidewalk by private businesses, i.e., restaurants and cafes, to set up their Succot so that customers can have their cake and succah, too.


And then I notice that someone had added a political statement on another poster, that the "Peace Succah" in Sheikh Jarrah had been dismantled by the police.

And someone (I wonder who?), had added: "What 'peace'"?



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Not All Refugees Need Be Terrorists


That's Irma Nezirovic, a Bosnian Muslim. A former refugee, her family attained middle-class status but she decided to become a prostitute and is now embroiled in the David Beckham scandal.

Is there a lesson in this story for those who call themselves "Palestinian refugees"?

Or is it another Muslim vs. Jew tale?

-   -   -

Interviewed for a Dutch Newspaper


"Colony"?
"Slag"?

Seems that's: 

settlers in Shiloh go directly into battle


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Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Even A Minyan (The Required Quorum)

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A group of Jewish activists set sail for Gaza on Sunday in an effort to defy an Israeli sea blockade...Nine activists from Israel, Britain, Germany and the United States left the port here in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus with a small quantity of aid aboard their catamaran, Irene, which sailed under a British flag...The group said they were taking a symbolic load of medicine, a water-purifying kit and other humanitarian aid.

Its oldest member is an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, Reuven Moskovitz. “Israel doesn’t have moral borders,” Mr. Moskovitz said. “I’m going because I am a survivor. When I was in a ghetto and almost died, I hoped there would be human beings who would show compassion and help.”

Rami Elhanan, an Israeli peace activist whose 14-year-old daughter, Smadar, was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber in 1997, said: “I want to raise my voice against evil and draw attention to 1.5 million people under siege. This is inhuman.”
I know Rami.  His wife is the notorious Nurit Peled-Elhanan.  He's a wonderful man, fair and friendly.  Politics is another matter.  So is his wife.

I am not even going to attempt understanding Moskovitz.


-   -   -

Oren's Words of Widsom

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Mr. [Michael] Oren [, Israel's Ambassador in Washington] expressed frustration that the Palestinians had waited until nine months into the freeze to start talking.

“It’s like a football team that runs the clock down to the last second, and then demands overtime,” he said.



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Sunday, September 26, 2010

What The...?


This was found on the wall just before the entrance to the now-defunct Jewish Quarter of Seville.


Photo credit: Irina Tsukerman

Even Little Construction Starts Count?

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- - -

Cloud Fog Over Shiloh

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Never fails to amaze me:


Photo credit: YMedad


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It Can Get Hot in Jerusalem

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- - -

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Torah Is Life

There is a story behind this picture other than it being snapped at the Ceremony of a Dedication of a New Torah Scroll at the Noam Yonatan Synagogue at the Ramat Shmuel neighborhood here in Shiloh:

Photo credit: Miriam-Feyga Bunimovich

Holding the Sefer Torah is Moshe Siton.  Standing to his left is Avraham Yerushalmi.

Moshe's son, Avraham Yosef, was killed while attempting to flee an Arab terrorist on May 28, 2002 who had infiltrated the Itamar community and entered the basketball court where he gunned Avraham down, shooting him repeatedly in the back.

Avraham's son, Shmuel Efraim, was the victim of a suicide bomber at the French Hill junction while waiting to catch a lift.

Shmuel Yerushalmi studied at the same yeshiva high school in Itamar, where his good friend, Avrham Siton, was killed. Shmuel, who was unharmed in the attack, delivered a eulogy at the grave of Avi Siton.



-   -   -

Obama's Bam on Israel at the UN

Caught by Barry Rubin:-

Certainly, Obama makes a very strong statement supporting Israel's existence, promising U.S. support for it, and decrying terrorism against Israeli civilians, though with no hint of who might be doing such things.

There is one line, though, I cannot let pass without analysis:

"Make no mistake: the courage of a man like President Abbas--who stands up for his people in front of the world--is far greater than those who fire rockets at innocent women and children."

What does that courage consist of? Making compromises with Israel? Fighting Hamas? Ending incitement and telling his people that they should accept Israel's existence? Offering to resettle Palestinian refugees in Palestine or recognizing Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for Israel recognizing Palestine as an Arab state?

No. Merely that after, resisting for almost two years, he is holding direct talks with Israel while threatening to walk out at the first opportunity. By the way, Yasir Arafat negotiated directly with Israel for eight years.


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Looking Down At Shiloh


See from a plane flying from Tel Aviv to Amman.


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Avishai & "Greater Israel Types"

From Bernard Avishai's piece:

The big a stumbling block, however, is the town of Ariel. Unlike the various settlements scattered across what Greater Israel types like to call "Samaria," this is a town of about 15,000 people, and Israeli leaders have simply not prepared the Israeli public for its evacuation.

He is so-o-o delicate.


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Gideon Levy Against Orgasms

In a feeble attempt to be self-righteous:

“The occupation is the best excuse for many worldwide terror organisations. It’s not always genuine but they use it. Why do you let them use it? Why give them this fury? Why not you solve it once and for all when the, when the solution is so simple?”

For progress, “the right-wing American Jews who become orgiastic whenever Israel kills and destroys” would have to be exposed as “Israel’s enemies”, condemning the country they supposedly love to eternal war.

Check this.

My Comment Over At NYTimes

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#53.

Here.

J Street: "Who, Me?"

I tried to give you all a heads-up within embargo limistation but now that it broke, some of the stories:

1. Soros revealed as funder of liberal Jewish-American lobby
by Eli Lake

(but there's a typos there: "One of the world's wealthiest philanthropists, Mr. Soros gave initially gave money to support Eastern European dissidents..."

Jeremy Double-Speak:

Mr. Ben Ami said his group had no qualms about getting money from Mr. Soros. "I am very, very proud that our movement and what we are trying to do is aligned with the values and principles of George Soros and we are proud to have his support," he said. Mr. Ben Ami said Mr. Soros "made the public decision not to support us once we launched. Once we got started, he provided us with some money."

2. J Street Exposed
by Michael Goldfarb

3. Money from Hong Kong
by Ben Smith


P.S.

when Soros stepped to the podium Wednesday to address those issues at a conference of the Jewish Funders Network, audience members were listening carefully.
Many were surprised by what they heard.

When asked about anti-Semitism in Europe, Soros, who is Jewish, said European anti-Semitism is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States. "There is a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe. The policies of the Bush administration and the Sharon administration contribute to that," Soros said. "It's not specifically anti-Semitism, but it does manifest itself in anti-Semitism as well. I'm critical of those policies."

"If we change that direction, then anti-Semitism also will diminish," he said. "I can't see how one could confront it directly." That is a point made by Israel's most vociferous critics, whom some Jewish activists charge with using anti-Zionism as a guise for anti-Semitism. The billionaire financier said he, too, bears some responsibility for the new anti-Semitism, citing last month's speech by Malaysia's outgoing prime minister, Mahathir Mohammad, who said, "Jews rule the world by proxy."

"I'm also very concerned about my own role because the new anti-Semitism holds that the Jews rule the world," said Soros, whose projects and funding have influenced governments and promoted various political causes around the world.

"As an unintended consequence of my actions," he said, "I also contribute to that image."...

... "Let's understand things clearly: Anti-Semitism is not caused by Jews; it's caused by anti-Semites," said Elan Steinberg, senior advisor at the World Jewish Congress...Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Soros' comments "absolutely obscene." "He buys into the stereotype," Foxman said. "It's a simplistic, counterproductive, biased and bigoted perception of what's out there. It's blaming the victim for all of Israel's and the Jewish people's ills."


Resources:

Jerusalem Post: Arabs, Muslims Among J Street Donors by Hilary Leila Krieger


Showdown on J Street by Lenny Ben David

Oren and the Neturei Karta of J Street by Jonathan Mark, The Jewish Week

J Street Exposed by P. David Hornik

Exposing the J Street Fraud: Why Is a "Pro-Israel" Lobby Closely Cooperating with an Iranian Regime Front Group? by Barry Rubin

Why Does J Street Attract the Friends of Saudi Arabia? by Lenny Ben-David

Peeling Off J Street's Invisibility Cloak by Lenny Ben-David

J Street: A Shameful Address by Shmuley Boteach

J Street, Protecting the Quarterback by Lenny Ben-David

J Street's Dangerous Detour to the White House by Lenny Ben-David

Commentary: J Street's Polling by Noah Pollak

American Thinker: "The Misrepresentation of J Street" by Matthew M. Hausman

The Saudis Take a Stroll on J Street by Lenny Ben-David

J Street Fails Its Fans by Lenny Ben-David

Going Left on J Street by Lenny Ben-David

http://jaystreetcontributors.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 24, 2010

Enjoy - "If I Forget Jerusalem..."

.




That was Ben Snof

- - -

Bibi - Don't Tell Only Them, Tell Obama!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a warm welcome to the thousands of Feast pilgrims from nearly 100 countries who have ascended to Jerusalem for the week-long festivities.

“Year after year you come from over a hundred countries to march through the streets of Jerusalem; and in doing so, you remind the people of Israel that we are not alone. You remind us that there are people across the world who recognize that in returning to Zion, the Jewish people have returned home,” said Netanyahu in a video greeting.

“This land is our homeland. It’s the same land where the Jewish patriarchs prayed, where our prophets preached, and where our kings ruled. It’s the same land from which 2000 years ago spanned forth a message of universal peace and love that would spread across the world,” he added...There are those who still deny the history of the Jewish people in this land. There are those who still refuse to recognize that Israel is the Jewish State – the nation state of the Jewish people. What these people refuse to say, you declare with pride. You declare it with pride, without hesitation, without reservation. You celebrate the right of the Jewish people to be sovereign in its homeland, to ingather its exiles, and to rebuild Jerusalem.

[VIEW Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks]


P.S.

Prime Minister Netanyahu maintains a healthy lifestyle, including his diet. He works out several times a week, including 40-minute walks and lifting weights. He recently underwent a stress test and received very good results. He is in excellent physical shape. Except for a recommendation to lose several kilograms, there are no comments of any kind on the Prime Minister's health.




- - -

The Sorrows Over Soros - Stay Tuned

Remember this story?

...an essay published this week by one of their party's leading financiers...called for the Democratic Party to "liberate" itself from the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.

The article, by George Soros, published in the New York Review of Books, asserts that America should pressure Israel to negotiate with the Hamas-led unity government in the Palestinian territories regardless of whether Hamas recognizes the right of the Jewish state to exist. Mr. Soros goes on to say that one reason America has not embraced this policy is because of the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

An excerpt:

…But I must speak out in favor of the critical process that is at the heart of our open society. I believe that a much-needed self-examination of American policy in the Middle East has started in this country; but it can’t make much headway as long as AIPAC retains powerful influence in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Some leaders of the Democratic Party have promised to bring about a change of direction but they cannot deliver on that promise until they are able to resist the dictates of AIPAC. Palestine is a place of critical importance where positive change is still possible. Iraq is largely beyond our control; but if we succeeded in settling the Palestinian problem we would be in a much better position to engage in negotiations with Iran and extricate ourselves from Iraq. The need for a peace settlement in Palestine is greater than ever. Both for the sake of Israel and the United States, it is highly desirable that the Saudi peace initiative should succeed; but AIPAC stands in the way. It continues to oppose dealing with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.

Well, there's more coming.
Stay tuned.

- - -

Psssst! Wanna Read Something About Sex and...Islam?

Here it is, curtesy of MEMRI:

Egyptian Cleric Sa'd Arafat: Islam Permits Wife Beating Only When She Refuses to Have Sex with Her Husband

Interviewer: "...90% of British women do not want to marry a weak man, who sits down and cries the moment there is a problem. They say: No, such a man looks more like a woman. We want a manly man. [...] "Wife beating is a serious accusation [leveled against Islam]. Let us examine this matter bit by bit."
Sa'd Arafat: "Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings."

Interviewer: "Honored them with beatings? How is this possible?!"
Sa'd Arafat: "The prophet Muhammad said: 'Don't beat her in the face, and do not make her ugly.'    See how she is honored. If the husband beats his wife, he must not beat her in the face. Even when he beats her, he must not curse her. This is incredible! He beats her in order to discipline her.
"In addition, there must not be more than ten beatings, and he must not break her bones, injure her, break her teeth, or poke her in the eye. There is a beating etiquette. If he beats to discipline her, he must not raise his hand high. He must beat her from chest level. All these things honor the woman.

...Interviewer: "With what should be beat her? With his bare hand? With a rod?"
Sa'd Arafat: "If he beats her, the beatings should not be hard, so that they do not leave a mark...beatings are allowed only as a last resort. [...]
"The honoring of the wife in Islam is also evident in the fact that the punishment of beating is permissible in one case only: when she refuses to sleep with him."
Interviewer: "When she refuses to sleep with him?"
Sa'd Arafat: "Yes, because where else could the husband go? He wants her, but she refuses. He should begin with admonishment and threats..."
Interviewer: "Allow me to repeat this. A man cannot beat his wife..."
Interviewer: "...over food or drink. Beatings are permitted only in this case, which the husband cannot do without." [...]

On second thought, is that a sex & violence story?


- - -

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Ten-Percent; Not Seven-Percent

You heard of the 10% assertion?

Like this:

The 10% myth for the number of homosexuals is connected to the Kinsey study and an individual, Bruce Voeller. Laumann,et al. in a footnote, on page 289, in their book, The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States, links the two together. In a 1990 claim made by Bruce Voeller, who was in the late 1970s chair of the National Gay Task Force, takes credit for the origination of the 10% myth. Voeller writes in his article “Some Uses and Abuses of the Kinsey Scale” how he came up with the 10% number. This article is found in the book, Homosexuality/Heterosexuality Concepts of Sexual Orientation. The use of this myth beginning in the late 1970s by the modern gays rights movement’s campaign was to convince politicians and the public that “We [gays and lesbians] Are Everywhere.”...The 10% myth is widely used in older books and articles published advocating for homosexuality. Kirk and Madsen in their book published in 1989, After the Ball How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of the Gay’s in the 90s, wrote about this 10% figure...Others say that up to 10% are homosexual. “According to estimates, at least 1 in 10 teenagers struggles with issues regarding sexual orientation.” (Garofalo, Wolf, Kessel, Palfrey, and DuRant, “The Association Between Health Risk Behaviors and Sexual Orientation Among a School-based Sample of Adolescents,” p. 899-890)...

Well, we now have this:

UK's homosexual population size revealed: Just 1.5% of Britons say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual

Just one in 100 people in the UK say they are gay or lesbian, the first ever survey of British sexual identity has revealed. A further one in every 200 people are bisexual, according to the data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). More than 480,000 consider themselves to be gay or lesbian and a further 245,000 say they are bisexual.

The data revealed men were twice as likely as women to describe themselves as gay or lesbian while London was revealed to have the highest numbers polled and Northern Ireland the lowest. The figures fall short of previous estimates which have put the gay population at between 6 and 7 per cent (picture posed by models)

The information collected as part of the new Integrated Household Survey (IHS) means that nearly three-quarters of a million UK adults say they are gay, lesbian or bisexual. The IHS is the largest social survey ever produced by the ONS and contains information provided by nearly 450,000 people - the biggest pool of UK social data after the Census.

The research showed that 95 per cent said they were heterosexual, 1 per cent gay or lesbian, 0.5 per cent bisexual and 0.5 per cent other. Nearly 4 per cent of those asked refused to answer, said they did not know or described themselves as 'other'.

The figures are well short of previous estimates used by the government and gay rights charity Stonewall which have put the gay population at between 6 and 7 per cent - which works out at 3.6 million people.

- - -

His Name is Yarden

You know the oldest principle of journalism - whatever you write, spell my name correctly?

Well, Adi's family name is Yarden. (And "Shilo" should be spelled "Shiloh")

Hopes and fears as settlement freeze due to expire

Adi Erdan got a permit to build a house in the Shiloh settlement just before restrictions came into effect. Standing on the cement foundations of what he anticipates will soon be his new home, Adi Erdan feels a rush of excitement. His landlord has long wanted him to leave the property nearby where he currently lives with his six children. He has been waiting to begin work since November.

"Most of all I have hope. This Sunday we start to build the house," he declares. "It will take only four months."

Mr Erdan lives in Shiloh, a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, half-way between Ramallah and Nablus.

He got his construction permit from the Israeli defence ministry a day before the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, imposed a 10-month partial moratorium on new residential buildings. In the first week of the freeze he laid down the base of his house but decided not to provoke the authorities by going further.

Like many in Shiloh, he is frustrated at mounting pressure on Israel, particularly from the United States and the Quartet of Middle East peace-makers to halt new settlement activity..."I think that instead of being a person who builds his house I am like a toy. Also my children are like toys in a game of others that I don't understand," Mr Erdan says.

Further down the hill there is already the sound of power drills and hammers, as contractors put window frames into one of 18 new settler houses. Construction here began before the freeze was introduced and so was allowed to continue.

The building of a synagogue and school in Shiloh also went ahead as the temporary curb did not apply to public buildings the Israeli government deemed "necessary for normal life".

And the other side:

For Palestinians living close to the settlements, any signs of further growth are a sensitive issue.

Abdul Rahman lives in Lubban al-Sharqiya, to the west of Shiloh and another settlement, Eli.

"They want to give us small, small areas everywhere - with settlements between them and they control the main street," he complains. "For what do they need these settlements? I think just to let us feel angry."

He insists that ultimately any freeze is meaningless as nothing short of a full withdrawal by Israel to its 1967 borders will allow a viable Palestinian state and produce peace.

"We have accepted the United Nations' position. What Israel occupied from 1967 it has to draw back from," he says. "The Israeli government, they have to choose between land and peace. They cannot get both. I want to see peace and these settlements empty."

Speculation is rife about what will happen next. Mr Netanyahu has resisted any new official extension of restrictions on settlement building that could shake his right-wing governing coalition. Yet many believe he may be working on a compromise to try to keep the Palestinians at the negotiating table.

Whatever announcements are made, in Shiloh and Lubban al-Sharqiya they will be listening carefully.


Other reports:

Guardian in Elazar.

Harvard Crimson in Alon Shvut.

ABC in Efrat.

Bloomberg in Neriah.


- - -

Clinton's Jail

.

Following up on this:


Bill Clinton excerpt:

"I said, ‘Natan, what is the deal [about not supporting the peace deal],'" Clinton recalled. "He said, ‘I can't vote for this, I'm Russian...I come from one of the biggest countries in the world to one of the smallest. You want me to cut it in half. No, thank you.'"

Clinton responded, "Don't give me this, you came here from a jail cell. It's a lot bigger than your jail cell."


And here's EG's comment:

As we know, the Gaza Strip too is bigger than a jail cell, although many enemies of Israel call it an open air jail. Can we ask Bill C to adjudicate this matter??

And J responded:

Unbelievable. I assume Jews should be happy they are no longer being put in ovens.

BTW, OG has pointed out:

Starting on page 187 of "The Case for Democracy", the story is that Sharansky resigned on the eve of Barak’s visit to Camp David...Half of the book is about why Sharansky was opposed to the assumptions of the entire Oslo process. He said “I refuse to ignore the Palestinian Authority’s violations of human rights because I remain convinced that a neighbor who tramples on the rights of its own people will eventually threaten the security of my people.”

And this:

Sharansky says that the rejection of the Oslo process that required the United States and Israel to prop up dictators is dead and should be replaced by a bottom approach to peace:

"I have always believed that the only reliable path to peace begins with a bottom-up approach in rebuilding Palestinian civil society, in which Palestinians rebuild their educational system to teach their students to be good citizens rather than suicide bombers; in which Palestinians rebuild their economy through a commitment to initiative and personal freedom; rebuild their security apparatus to secure peace rather than preparing for war; and build proper and healthy civic institutions."

And this:

When Sharansky led his Yisrael B’Aliya faction out of the government prior to Camp David, the New York Times, the chief cheerleader for the Oslo process, was furious. Deborah Sontag devoted an entire article to exploring the paradox of the former human rights activist turned hardline nationalist. She found many eager to comment negatively on Sharansky as a pandering politician, but in all of Israel there was only one obscure chareidi columnist for the Jerusalem Post with a good word to say for him.

In fact, the alleged paradox did not exist. Sharansky continued to be guided by the insight of the moral mentor of the Soviet dissident movement, nuclear physicist Andre Sakharov: a country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of others.

From the beginning, Sharansky was a critic of the Oslo process. Shimon Peres openly declared that Oslo was based on a ``leap of faith" that the inventor of modern terrorism would become a partner for peace – a messianic delusion that Peres is unable to shake until this very day. From that original leap of faith followed the second great failing of Oslo: the insistent refusal to focus on Palestinian compliance. The messianic belief in the peace process precluded attention to any unpleasant facts that would have revealed how ill-founded was the Oslo faith.

Thirdly, Sharansky bemoaned the lack of national consensus on the Israeli side. Oslo’s proponents were content to push through the most dramatic agreements in Israel’s history with a narrow one-vote advantage in the Knesset, even if that one vote had to be purchased with the promises of a Mitsubishi to obscure MKs on the other side of the aisle.

Sharansky’s most trenchant criticism of Oslo was a direct outgrowth of his experiences as a Soviet dissident. He understood, as no one else did at the time, the direct connection between Palestinian democracy and any hope of peace. The Oslo architects believed that Arafat would become their deputy to stop Palestinian terrorism. From their point of view, then, the stronger Arafat became the better. Yitzchak Rabin savored the idea of Arafat dealing with terrorists unconstrained by ``a Supreme Court, Betselem, and all kinds of bleeding heart liberals."

In article after article over nearly a decade, Sharansky argued that this approach would not, could not, work. Peace would never be achieved with a totalitarian Palestinian regime. Only a Palestinian democracy could make an enduring peace.
- - -

Coming?

.






And you sure you can't come?




- - -

If Lost, Ask The Way

A group of hikers were in the area of the Charasha [חרשה] community [*] (no, not this "settlement"). This one named in the Bible, Ezra 2:59: "And these were they that went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsa...", in the Talmonin district. It's just east of Talmon on this map and right in the middle in this one.

Everyone, almost is looking at a map:


But, it seems the map needs a human touch, especially as no one wants to go where they need not, so some locals are asked:


And help is on the way:


Didn't anyone hear about a construction freeze in Yesha? -



[*] (on Charasha in Hebrew)


(Kippah tip: Ella)

Headline Pompousness

Illegal Israeli Murderer Settler


That's the Al-Jazeera description of a security guard who had opened fire after his car was blocked and stoned by dozens of Palestinians.

And it's a mouthful.

By the way:

The security guard told police that he was driving through the town alone and stopped at a gas station, despite the guidelines which forbade him from stopping in the local stations. The guard added that he feared that he would be abducted after several Palestinians blocked his car.


And here is a Peace Now excuse for the rioting:

The settlers' guard, which is funded by the government of Israel, passed earlier this morning in the street with his Jeep. Like in many cases, there was some kind of friction between him and Palestinian residents. Sometimes the friction is due to some settler provocation, and sometimes it is due to the Palestinians. In any case this could vary from mutual yellings, cursings, to even hittings or stone throwing. I don't know what it was this time. The guard claims he was attacked, the neighbors claim it was a provocation of the guard. One thing is clear: the guard was armed, he used his gun (about 10 times) and Sarhan was killed.


And see how only left-wing bloggers (who don't observe the Holiday) appear at The Lede.

- - -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bill Clinton, Social Anthropologist

Here he is:

Russian immigrants to Israel have emerged as a central obstacle to achieving a Middle East peace deal, according to former President Bill Clinton..."An increasing number of the young people in the IDF are the children of Russians and settlers, the hardest-core people against a division of the land. This presents a staggering problem," Clinton said. "It's a different Israel. 16 percent of Israelis speak Russian." [funny. in 1930, 30% of Jewish residents of the Mandate spoke Russian and perhaps 40% spoke Polish. I think 60% spoke Yiddish. SO?]

...Clinton then ranked the Israeli sub-national groups in order of his perception of their willingness to accept a peace deal. The "most pro-peace Jewish Israelis" are the Sabras...Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Europe and have been in Israel for one or more generations are the next most supportive of a peace deal...The "swing voters" are what Clinton called the "Moroccans": North African Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1970s. He described them as right-of-center citizens who nevertheless want normal, stable lives.

...Regarding the settlers, Clinton said that their numbers had grown so much since 2000 that their longstanding opposition to giving up their homes in exchange for peace might be more entrenched and therefore a bigger challenge than before.

"In 2000, you could get 97 percent of the settlers on 3 percent of the land. Today, you have to give almost 6 percent of the land to get 80 percent of the settlers," said Clinton. "There were 7,000 settlers in Gaza and it took 55,000 Israeli forces people to move. Somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 settlers will have to be moved out of the West Bank."...


Some people think they are so smart.


- - -

The Pal. Economy

An introspective, brilliant actually.

A peek:-

...there is also another reason why Palestinians find their economy lagging behind others.

I am not referring to the continuous corruption or the disappearing millions of foreign aid or the on-going funding of incitement against Israel - all resulting in the abuse of the generosity of Western taxpayers.

It is the internal lawlessness of Palestinian society, often exploited by a ruthless leadership, that appears to cause desperate harm to the average Palestinian’s financial status. Last week, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights issued a damning press release of on the subject of repression. For example: -


Michael Horesh,
Accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business

Here.


- - -

Credibility

Joel Greenberg, who is very anti-Jewish presence beyond the Green Line, of Jerusalem Post, Chicago Tribune and NYTimes infame [that my new word instead of infamy], is now at the Washington Post.

Here is the first few paragraphs of his today's report:

IN NUR SHAMS REFUGEE CAMP, WEST BANK

Moving quietly through the alleys of this ramshackle neighborhood, the Israeli soldiers forced their way into Iyad Abu Shilbaya's home in the early morning hours under cover of darkness.

A Hamas operative who had been detained repeatedly by the Palestinian Authority and imprisoned for two years by Israel, Abu Shilbaya was one of more than a dozen people whose homes were raided during a sweep of arrests in the Nur Shams camp outside the town of Tulkarm on Friday.

But Abu Shilbaya was not arrested. In an encounter in his bedroom, the details of which remain murky, he was fatally shot at close range, prompting vows of revenge by Hamas and condemnation from the Palestinian Authority, which said the killing "undermines the credibility" of recently renewed negotiations with Israel.


You got that, right?

Here:

the killing "undermines the credibility" of recently renewed negotiations with Israel


Excuse me, Joel, but Hamas is a terror group which doesn't negotiate and in fact, is trying to get Abbas out of the talks whether by killing Jews or undermining the Palestinian Authority. They are not at all interested in negotiations, no matter what happens.

So, what is this BS about "credibility"? They have none to begin with.

Why are you, indirectly, lending them credibility?

This is journalism?

You mention some of this later but it could have been worked into that paragraph so as to be relevant information


P.S.

This, "Cherry soldiers", is silly.

We have a unit called Duvdevan, which translates as "cherry", but to write as you did completely misleads the reader. At least it should have been "soldiers of the 'Cherry' unit" or simply the "elite Duvdevan (Cherry) unit".


- - -

Yesha Is in The News

.


Foreign Policy.

Time Magazine.

JTA.

A nasty by Yossi Sarid.

New York Times.

Wall Street Journal.


In the meantime...


- - -

There Is Construction and There Is Construction

The government has, at present, a temporary moratorium on building construction in place.

In the meantime, agriculture has increased as well as road construction.

When you turn off Highway 60 to enter Shiloh now, you'll see orange road signs warning you to be cautious:

And as you come to the main security entrance to Shiloh and the other communities (Shvut Rachel, Ahiyah, Adei-Ad, Yishuv HaDa'at, Keida, Alei-Ayin, HaBayit Ha'Adom and Esh-Kodesh), you can see this sign:


And the sign reads: "The National Company for Roads and the Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety, operating Netivei Yisrael, are construction an upgrading of the Shiloh-Shvut Rachel approach road; Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister and Yisrael Katz, Transport Minister, - Israel On The Move. Completion Date: February 2011":-




Knowing Israel, I wouldn't be on February.


- - -

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shiloh's Press Coverage

Shiloh figures in two recent press stories:

1. The JTA:

...The settlement tours constitute a packed day. They begin early in the morning, end at sunset, and include stops and conversations at a range of settlements -- large and more urban ones like Ariel, and smaller ones like Kida [Keida], which have sweeping views of the desert unfolding into Jordan. They end with a return to the Israeli side of the Green Line -- the pre-1967 border between Israel and Jordan that demarcates the West Bank.

In the past, when settlers gave tours of Judea and Samaria -- the biblical name for the West Bank -- the focus was on security and the role of their homes as strategic buffers because they sit on the mountain range overlooking the Mediterranean coastal strip to the west and Jordan to the east.

Now a "softer,” more human-interest spotlight has been purposefully chosen, one in which visitors can do a wine tasting at the winery in Psagot, part of a new multimillion-dollar visitors' center for the Binyamin region that is set to open over the Sukkot holiday.

...At the edge of the settlement of Eli, home to 700 families, a woman named Eliana Passentin, 36, stands in her backyard overlooking an expanse of sloping terraced hillsides and speaks of her passion for living alongside the history of the Bible.

Explaining the view, she points out an Arab village whose name in mentioned in the Bible for producing especially fine wine. She also points to the ancient site of Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was once housed, providing the central site for Israelite worship for 400 years.

..."The dining room windows look out onto Shiloh," she said, "and from the living room we can see the site of Judah Macabee's first and then final battle.”


2. The New York Times:

...The scenery was breathtaking even from 8,000 feet, with rolling terraced hills on one side, and the beige landscape of the Jordan Valley on the other.

Between the sprawling Palestinian towns and villages, the settlements, which are considered by much of the world to be a violation of international law, stood out distinctively, neat rows of red-roofed houses often built in concentric circles embracing the hilltops.

Several settlements, like Shiloh and Beit El, were named after biblical landmarks. Many have expanded onto nearby hills, with rows or small knots of mobile homes making up new outposts that are illegal by Israeli standards. Some 300,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank, about 11 percent of the population there, according to Peace Now...


- - -

Mobilized Media

From an interview of Hilary Clinton by Maher Shalabi of Palestine TV or How To Propagandize in One Easy Lesson with my comments italicized in brackets:

QUESTION: Since we talked about final issues, I – in the last month, I visited all [all? - YM] the refugee camps outside Palestine, mainly Lebanon. I found hopeless people, desperate people, people who have no jobs, lots of diseases [what type of diseases? - YM]. What your message to those people --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Right.

QUESTION: -- and if they can have a better future?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly hope so, because I know how difficult conditions are. And I have visited myself and seen that over the past 20 years. But the best way for a resolution of not only the concerns of the Palestinians, but the concerns of Israelis, is to reach an agreement. Israel wants to have security. It wants to be a democratic, secure Jewish state living side by side with an independent, sovereign, viable Palestine [again, "Palestine" doesn't need to be democratic. YM].

And we know that there’s a long history of conflict that has to be overcome, but I think it can happen, and that holds the real promise of the kind of life that you would want for your children or I want for mine. But it can’t be arrived at unless there is an agreement, and I hope that everyone supports this process, because we’re facing very difficult circumstances.

I mean, I’m not telling you anything – you’ve got Hamas largely sponsored now by Iran. Life for people in Gaza is very difficult. You’ve got Israel being shelled and mortared from Gaza, which makes it very difficult for Israelis. There’s a lot of good work being done in the West Bank – institution-building, economic progress. I want to see security for Israel, and I want to see both the West Bank and Gaza as the home of Palestinian people who are charting their own future. So we’ll do everything we can to make that happen. [that was actually very good, Hilary. YM]

QUESTION: I mean, when you talk about Jewish state --

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: -- don’t you think you’re imposing the outcome of the negotiation and many times, you’re saying, “We want to impose the outcome”? [the 'outcome'? Maher, we are a Jewish state from the very beginning. - YM]

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, that, to me, is a fact, that if you go back and look at the original UN documents [and the League of Nations. - YM], and even if you look at some of the PLO documents over the last many years, everyone recognizes that Israel is a homeland for Jewish people. Palestinians have the right to work toward a homeland for themselves. And I don’t think that takes anything away from either side in saying that.

QUESTION: Today, coming to do this interview, we’ve been through lots of (inaudible) – I mean, from checkpoints to checkpoints, even security here treat us in a different way. But I met an old man in the checkpoint who, for him, says, “Peace for me is to go out of Jenin, from Jenin, to pray in Jerusalem, to go to Hebron, have a lunch, and come back to Jenin without seeing an Israeli soldier, without seeing a settlement [oh, so now they don't even want to see a Jew in their territory? can you imagine if I said 'I don't want to see an Aran in Tel Aviv? - YM], without seeing – without anybody stunning me.”

Is this the peace you bring in to the Palestinian – you want for the Palestinian, to convince the Palestinian?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, I think that’s an excellent description – to be able to live a normal life [sorry, madam, what he described is not normal. - YM], to be able to live in peace among yourselves and your neighbors, to be unafraid of terrorism within the Palestinian state [are you trying to intimate that there is a Jewish 'terror' comparable to an Arab terror? - YM] or for Israelis to fear it within Israel. So you can do exactly that – you can take your children to visit their grandparents without fear that something terrible will happen to you, you can go to work 10 kilometers from your home without worrying about being stopped every one kilometer. It’s that sense of normalcy. I’ve talked to both President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad about that, and there have been changes which have really meant a lot to the people of the – of Palestine, and I want to see that for everybody.

And I want to see it for the people in Gaza. I feel terrible for the oppression and the treatment that they are receiving [is that Jewish hor Hamas "oppression"? - YM]. I want them to feel – I was in Gaza about 12 years ago – and I would like Gaza to have the same economic opportunities as we now see in the West Bank. In order to get that, there has to be an agreement. And I think, as listening to both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas, that vision of a normal life is what both leaders want for their people.



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The Spittle of Bibi, Rabbi Bibi, That Is

Up at the JPost.

Here.

But as the links aren't there embedded, here it is:


Despite the destruction of the Temple in the Great Revolt against Rome and the loss of political sovereignty as a result of the Bar Kochba Revolt, our sages insisted that Jerusalem and foremost, the Temple Mount, be treated with respect and awe as behooves a sacred location as well as, of course, the Land of Israel.

The Mishnah in the minor tractate Kelim, 1:6-9 gradates holiness in ten degrees. The Land of Israel is holier than any other land; then Jerusalem; The Temple Mount more; the Court of Israelites is still more holy and finally, the Holy of Holies. And that sanctity continued in various forms of observance or actionseven for those who considered the loss of effective political and religious control to signify a lessening of strictures that continue to this day as in the decision of Israel's Chief Rabbinate to prohibit entrance into the sacred precinct. The Conservative Movement's reasoned position in an official responsum, by the way, is pro-entrance. Many modern Orthodox do enter.

The Rambam, in his compendium of Jewish law, the Mishneh Torah, Laws of The Temple, 6:16 explains his logic :


"Why do I say that the original consecration sanctified the Temple and Jerusalem for eternity, while in regard to the consecration of the remainder of Eretz Yisrael, in the context of the Sabbatical year, tithes, and other similar [agricultural] laws, [the original consecration] did not sanctify it for eternity? Because the sanctity of the Temple and Jerusalem stems from the Shechinah, and the Shechinah can never be nullified. Therefore, [Leviticus 26:31] states: "I will lay waste to your Sanctuaries." The Sages declared: "Even though they have been devastated, their sanctity remains."


Nevertheless, he does permit entrance in certain circumstances:


7:15 - The Temple Mount is holier than [the city of Jerusalem]...[However,] a corpse may be brought into the Temple Mount and one has contracted ritual impurity from a corpse may definitely enter there.

7:21 - When builders [are required] to enter the Temple building to construct or repair it, or to remove an impure object, it is a mitzvah for the [craftsmen] who enter to be priests who do not possess any disqualifying physical deformities. If no [capable craftsmen meeting those criteria] can be found, priests with disqualifying deformities should enter. If none are found, Levites should enter. If none are found, Israelites should enter. It is a mitzvah for [those who enter] to be ritually pure. If no [capable craftsman] who are ritually pure can be found, impure [craftsmen] may enter.



The Talmud outlines in detail proper behavior customs when one is within the sacred portions of the Temple Mount and they are one should not enter with his staff in hand, shoes on his feet, his feet dusty and dirty, his wallet in his pocket as well as using the area for a short-cut nor can he spit there. The Rambam adds more details.

The question for today is - as we approach the Pilgrimage Festival of Succot when it was incumbent on all male Jews to be seen inside the Temple courtyards and women, too, especially at the time of Hakheil - are we exhibiting normative Jewish behavior? And not only in a personal sphere, as individuals, but collectively, as a nation.



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Will the current round of peace talks touch on Jerusalem issues? Is Israel's government solid on a non-yielding stance? Do the ministers fully realize that any reference to a "Holy Basin" is an euphemism for ripping from Jewish control our most sacred religious, cultural and historical treasures, those sites that literally give life to Zionism and the idea of a Jewish state?

At the root of Israel's negotiating position must be proper understanding of what Jerusalem with the Temple Mount at its national and spiritual center, represents. Ever since 1967, our enemies, Arabs and their supporters, saw a lack of willingness to extend the rule of law to the Temple Mount. Jews can visit - but only as 'tourists'.

Any overt display of Jewishness such as reading from a prayerbook, Psalms or from the book of Kinnot on Tisha B'Av, for example, is prohibited. Waqf guards will get overly excited and call for the police to arrest or remove the offenders. Prayer is absolutely forbidden with lips moving being particularly suspect.

Ever since the International Commission appointed by the British Mandatory regime declared the Western Wall alleyway as part of the Haram in 1930, with no counter-protest except for the heroes who blew the shofar when it was 'illegal' between then and 1947, all assume, it appears, that Israel has no rights and worse, claims no primary rights that would override Muslim claims despite the fact that Islam regards the courtyard as its but third most import holy site.

In constructing two underground mosques since the Oslo Accords were adopted, the Muslims not only attempted to destroy archaeological artifacts from the First Temple period and later periods but almost succeeded on having sections of the Southern Wall crumble. And, as we all recently observed, when Muslims pray on the Temple Mount, their posteriors turn to the sacred stone. Which brings us back to the parameters of respect with which I began this blog post.


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"R. Bibi said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: If one spits in these times [i.e., even when the Temple structures are no long extant] on the Temple mount, it is as if he spat into the pupil of His eye".

Our current Prime Minister, nicknamed Bibi, is not a Rabbi (however, a grandson of one, Rabbi Natan Milikowsly) but nevertheless is well-steeped in Jewish sources with considerable consciousness of Jewish values and rights. It would behoove him not to cast spittle, in a metaphoric sense, in the direction of the Land of Israel, Jerusalem and above all, the Temple Mount. A freeze extension, a yielding of territory and a lessening of our Jewish historical connection to our homeland which even the nations of the world recognized in decisions of international law validity that acknowledged and guaranteed or rights of residency therein is not only wrong but quite counter-productive.

Not only is it unbecoming and uncouth but it is damaging. We do not go to elections to enable prime ministers to betray the trust we as individuals and as a people confer to them. That trust is sacred, as sacred as the Temple Mount and Jerusalem in our national heritage, whether we are religiously observant or secular nationalists. It is the same and must be preserved and protected.

No spit should be spat as that would be simply soiling ourselves. That is not the Jewish way.

P.S.

And since the news is that

Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Nabil Shaath has announced that the PA will never accept Israel as a Jewish state...Shaath said that recognizing Israel as Jewish state would undermine the PA's demand for the “right of
return,” which would grant Israeli citizenship to the millions of descendants of
Arab who fled Israel during its War of Independence...

Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu could decide to announce a new moratorium.

Not one that would extend a freeze on construction in Yesha communities but rather one which would be a moratorium on these theatrically staged and useless "peace" negotiations.
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