Sunday, April 20, 2014

The UN's Serry Calls for Respect of Religious Freedom

Can you believe this story?

Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, joined the procession of Jews ascending to the Temple Mount, along with other diplomats, and criticized the Israeli police actions in Jerusalem and closure of roads leading to the Holy Site.

"The procession was stopped at the fourth security checkpoint prior to the entry on to the grounds of the former First and Second Temples,” he said in a statement. “Despite earlier assurances to the Jewish community in Jerusalem, from all across Israel as well as visiting Jews from abroad, such as Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, of unhindered access on the occasion of Passover celebrations, the Israeli police refused to allow such entry claiming they had orders to that effect. A precarious standoff ensued ending in an angry crowd pushing their way through."

He called on all parties "to respect the right of religious freedom, granting access to holy sites for worshipers of all faiths and refraining from provocations not least during the religious holidays."

Of course not.

Here's the original story:-

Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, joined the Easter procession along with other diplomats and criticized the Israeli police actions in Jerusalem and closure of roads leading to the Church of Holy Sepulcher.

"The procession was stopped on the fourth security checkpoint prior to the entry on the church grounds,” he said in a statement. “Despite earlier assurances to the Palestinian Christian community in Jerusalem of unhindered access to the Holy Sepulcher Church on the occasion of Easter celebrations, the Israeli police refused to allow such entry claiming they had orders to that effect. A precarious standoff ensued ending in an angry crowd pushing their way through."

He called on all parties "to respect the right of religious freedom, granting access to holy sites for worshipers of all faiths and refraining from provocations not least during the religious holidays."

What was I thinking?


One Hot Egyptian Woman

Her name is Firnas Hafzi.  Her beat is women and fashion.  Usually.

She wrote the "The Jews Can Rejoice In Their Holidays Only If They Eat Matza Laced With The Blood Of Non-Jews" article.  Here it is in Arabic.

She previously wrote one on the Shabbat.  It contains this explanation of Halachic observance:

The handcuffed rites of Jews on Saturday...forced them to isolation from the others in the area and made them a closed sectarian group. But the Jews skip prohibitions through authorization through license which takes the form of getting around the law by a fatwa issued by any of the scholars of the Jews. For example, some of the Jews put food on Saturday after a half-mile from their home, and thus this place becomes their home, and they then have to walk half a mile further. The Israeli armed forces hired Arabs to do the job. Since a Jew could not demand of a non-Jew to do the job directly, he must allude to it, for example, they need to light a fire to keep warm they'll say: «It's cold here». There are other forms of dispensation practiced by Jews in Israel and beyond.

It also opined by one of the rabbis that he doesn't mind if monkeys or dogs are trained to turn off the lights (on Saturday) and of doing other household tasks, if you were not such animals from the family property , in this case considered to be part of the family! ! They should rest with the rest of the members of the family.

Really hot stuff.


No Matter How Hard You Stare

If you go here, you can observe some nice-looking young Arabs.  Even enticing:-

And even if you stare hard enough, you won't see Israel.


Islamophobia or Going the Route of Rationality

Culture, or Climate, of Fear is a term used to indicate that an innocent culture or religion or approach-to-life is evil or at least threatening and that this term is ultimately employed to incite fear amongst the public, usually to achieve a political goal to quash or eliminate or restrict this culture. This is done by exaggerating the potential danger and more often than not, portrays the fears in an irrational manner.

Muslims face what is called Islamophobia which is presented so:

Latent and manifest Islamophobia: An inception of ideas
Has the Islamophobia industry used fear to lull our intellect to sleep and implant racist ideas about Muslims?

Over at Berkeley's Center for Race & Gender's Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, we are informed that

The term "Islamophobia" was first introduced as a concept in a 1991 Runnymede Trust Report and defined as "unfounded hostility towards Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims." The term...incorporate[s] the following beliefs:
Islam is monolithic and cannot adapt to new realities
Islam does not share common values with other major faiths
Islam as a religion is inferior to the West.  It is archaic, barbaric, and irrational.
Islam is a religion of violence and supports terrorism.
Islam is a violent political ideology.

And the Project's working definition is so:

Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure.  It is directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat...Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.

I am nonplussed because if a threat is "real", the fear is justified, although, of course, not all measures of response can be employed.  In a new book, we learn that

 "Terrorism is not the product of radicalpolitics but a symptom of political impotence." The antidote therefore seems self-evident: "A strong, active and confident Muslim community enjoying its civic rights to the full." Yet policy on both sides of the Atlantic has ended by criminalising Muslim opinion, silencing speech and increasing social division. These results may make political violence more, not less, likely.
which, of course, excuses "excesses".  All can be explained away by disingenuously minimalizing threats.

Note this, for example:

which is a graphic of those who believe that Muslims should be the new "Almoravids" (‘the body of men committed to the fight of establishing true Islam’ who preached "true Islam" and the waging of Jihad against infidels), that a revelation of the Caliphate in Jerusalem is imminent and that the army of Mohammed is coming. These are usually dismissed. Lyn Julius notes that there is a

politicization of the study of Islam and its treatment of non-Muslims. Young minds are being brainwashed by a sanitized version of history 

But it gets worse.

Dr. Charles Small, who I heard two years ago at a seminar in Jerusalem, most recently pointed out

...the tactics of incitement and dehumanization are once again on the world stage without meaningful protest by the international community. Overt calls by the Iranian Regime, and other radical Islamists to annihilate the Jewish state; references to Israel as a cancer and the Jewish people as “dogs”, “bacteria”, “pigs”, “apes” have been met with collective indifference. Where is the leadership against this outrage? Once again, the world, and much of our human rights gatekeepers in academia, are silent. 

It can be difficult confronting the challenge of those who seek to defend the most outrageous of ideologies by hurling charges of "Islamophobia" at one. Yossi Klein Halevi failed when he co-wrote an apology for Brandeis University's rescinding of recognition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in publishing that the honorary degree was wrong because Ali 

crossed the line from critic of Islamist extremism to demonizer of Islam itself, repeatedly labeling the faith of more than a billion believers as an enemy against whom war must be waged.

Of course, in Halevi's criticism of Israel rightist forces, there is no such phobia. Phyllis Chesler reacts to Halevi by asking

Who gets to decide who is a “renegade” and who is a “dissident”?  

and continues:

Ayaan HIrsi Ali is an important ally in the battle against Islamism–just as important as are religious Muslims such as Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. Most of all, Western concepts of freedom of speech and academic freedom should protect, not banish truth-tellers who stand for women’s rights in fundamentalist cultures. Halevi and Antepli go further and almost–but not quite–view the Jew-hatred in the Muslim world as morally equivalent to the kind of alleged insult to Islam represented by one woman. One woman. Who offers us reasoned argument and personal experience.

Yes, there are isolated extremists.  This new campaign has a goal of "frightening" and "threatening" rebuilt Zion.  But they do not remain isolated for long.  Yes, there are Islamic terrorists and yes, there is an extreme Islam and yes, Islam is extreme.

That is not Islamophobia.

There must be a counter-thrust.  Here, in a small and limited way, is an example when William Shawcross, the UK Charity Commission, stated in an interview this week:

“The problem of Islamist extremism and charities . . . is not the most widespread problem we face in terms of abuse of charities, but is potentially the most deadly. And it is, alas, growing.”
...Last month, he wrote to the prime minister requesting laws to strengthen the regulator’s powers. “It is ludicrous that people with convictions for terrorist offences are not automatically disqualified from serving as charity trustees,” he said.

We need to take back the stage of ideas, the rules of debate, the route of logic and rationality.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dartmouth U. Pres. Against Extreme Campus Behavior

Dartmouth president calls for 

end to ‘extreme behavior’ 

that mars image of elite college

and thought to myself: he's coming out against the BDS movement, the pro-Islamic hysteria and the anti-Zionism rampant on campuses.

I was wrong.

Here's the story:

Dartmouth College’s president lamented Wednesday that the Ivy League school’s promising future “is being hijacked by extreme behavior,” including sex assaults, parties with “racist and sexist undertones,” and a campus culture in which “dangerous drinking has become the rule and not the exception.” Philip J. Hanlon, a Dartmouth alumnus who took office in June, said such problems were taking a toll on the image of the 245-year-old college in Hanover, N.H. Applications to Dartmouth fell 14 percent this year, the sharpest drop in two decades, and the federal government has launched an investigation of issues related to sexual harassment and sexual violence there. Philip J. Hanlon says that the school’s promise “is being hijacked by extreme behavior.” Gallery The biggest commencement speakers of 2013: President Obama, Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama and Stephen Colbert mixed tough love in their upbeat speeches and advice to this year’s grads. Here’s where they spoke — and what they said. Click here to subscribe. “The actions I have detailed are antithetical to everything that we stand for and hope for our students to be,” Hanlon said...

Well, each to his own.

My Anti-David Newman Letter

In response to David Newman:-

Rights of others 
Sir, – David Newman’s fulsome and magnanimous praise for Rabbis for Human Rights (“Rabbis for human rights celebrate Passover,” Borderline Views, April 14) notes that this group attends to the situation of human rights even of the enemies of the State of Israel, for which we should be thankful.

Would that these rabbis concerned themselves also with the human rights of almost 400,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria, and the additional 210,000 Jews living in Jerusalem’s post-1967 neighborhoods as well. But they do not. In fact, on too many occasions they work against them, so these rabbis are active on behalf not of human rights, but of the political rights solely of Arabs in those areas.

They might, as Newman phrases it, be “lending dignity to the universal messages” of Judaism, but they are not at all concerned with the Jewish rights of Jews.



Friday, April 18, 2014

In (Oiy!) Praise of Self-Restraint

In A distinguished police, Dan Margalit writes about the police behavior during this Passover week.

They closed the Temple Mount to all non-Muslims because they allowed fanatic, violent and extremist Muslim forces to infiltrate the Mount, hole up in Al-Aqsa and collect lethal stones,

(updated new one:

and those didn't come from the police)

waving Hamas, etc. flags and banners

(you notice the souvenir police shield?)

and another now updated:

and when the violence started, could barely contain it and didn't stop it.  And in response, instead of telling the Waqf officials that the Mount was off limits for a week due to the violence and instead of charging those few arrested according to the Law for the Protection of the Holy Places, they closed the Temple Mount to entry off all non-Muslims.

The logic of the Israel Police, the Minister and the Prime Minister.

What does Margalit think about all this?


Violent clashes at the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area go back to the early days of the conflict. The Holy Basin set the region ablaze on multiple occasions, even before the Arabic word intifada (popular uprising) became a household name in Israel...And this week rocks were hurled on visitors, for the umpteenth time. This will undoubtedly happen again.

This place...represents the heart of the conflict...The Muslims on the mountain have never missed an opportunity to instigate violence. The police, however, refused to be provoked this week, despite the barrage of rocks they sustained. They stood there, without being drawn in. This is what I call extreme self-discipline. Such restraint and forbearance is almost unbearable for a human being...The police made a wise decision by holding fire...The police's conduct serves Israel well. Israel wants the world to see it can accommodate all faiths in the area and wants to make sure things remain in control...The security forces at the Temple Mount should be awarded a citation, each and every one of them. As Pirkei Avot says, a hero is someone who knows how to hold back. I can't think of a better manifestation of that adage.

There is no need for lethal response.

As I noted, an ounce of prevention would have halted all this.

A close-down would be punishment enough. 

The police, to prevent Jews from entering, claim they have 'intelligence' that indicates provocations and danger but it seems they had nothing, because they were looking at the Jews, not the Muslims. They blind-sided themselves.  They were worried what King Abdallah II would say, not what Israel's laws read.

They yielded to violence.

That is something not to be very proud about.

Self-restraint can be self-destructive.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shiloh. Dispute. Conspiracy. Surrender. Arrest.


Not at Shiloh, Mateh Binyamin.


And the Shiloh is a dog:-

After Mark Dixon and his ex-wife, Carol Johnson, terminated their marriage in late 2009, they got into a custody dispute over Shiloh, an Australian shepherd.

On Dec. 2 of that year, Dixon was pulled over by three plainclothes Pinal County sheriff's deputies with semiautomatic weapons, according to the incident report and court records.  Dixon alleges he was ordered to surrender the dog or face immediate arrest, so he acquiesced. A civil complaint he filed in federal court against a group of Pinal County deputies and Dixon's ex-wife says he argued that the disagreement with his wife was a civil matter and that deputies "did knowingly and willingly criminally extort property" by threatening arrest if he did not give up the dog. His lawsuit accused Pinal County officials of conspiracy.

In a court motion, Dixon asserted that his ex-wife, who then worked for a credit union, had assisted Pinal County Superior Court Judge William J. "Bill" O'Neil in obtaining a $300,000 loan prior to the canine-custody dispute.

Dixon, who represented himself during most of the case, speculated that O'Neil, who was not named as a defendant, returned the favor by influencing deputies to seize the dog.

Deputies denied any conspiracy, court records show, and O'Neil also denied any impropriety in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Defense attorneys successfully argued that the lawsuit, which sought $5 million in damages, was legally flawed and failed to show proof...


BBC Headline Comes Up Short

BBC presumes you know who gets "killed" in the territories:

And while the lead-in sentence manages to include the word "Israeli":

A meeting between Palestinian and Israeli peace negotiators has been postponed in the wake of a killing of an Israeli in the West Bank.

Somehow, they couldn't find room for that word in the headline: 

Or perhaps they were hoping you'd think the IDF was running wild.  Or those "hilltop youth".


Received this from a friend:

It's taken them three days and numerous versions of that same article to even get to that:

and a P.S.

just noticed this at the bottom:

Also on Wednesday, clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at a holy site in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).
Reports say the violence broke out after the site was opened to visitors in the morning. The protesters began throwing stones, and the police officers responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets. The AFP news agency reported that dozens of protesters were hurt.
Clashes, dear BBC, do not just "erupt".  They start when, as in this case, Muslims throw stones and worse in order to prevent visitors, Jews, from entering the compound.


And now a P.P.S.:-

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli riot police entered one of Jerusalem's most revered and politically sensitive religious compounds on Wednesday to disperse rock-throwing Palestinians opposed to any Jewish attempts to pray there. The confrontation erupted after Israeli police tried to escort some 20 visitors onto the plaza revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's walled Old City. Palestinian youths, who a Reuters photographer said had gathered inside al Aqsa mosque, ran outside and threw rocks at the group. Israeli police in riot gear pushed onto the plaza and used stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators, but did not enter al Aqsa itself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Haaretz Goes A-Stormin'

Haaretz adopts Islamic sematics:

Police storm Temple Mount to disperse Palestinian riot
Palestinians say 25 people hurt in clash with police, including one seriously; Israeli officer lightly hurt.
By Nir Hasson | Apr. 16, 2014 | 12:31 PM


Deeply Troubling

For the record:

The Secretary-General of the United Nations in his message to the Meeting stressed that the UN remained committed to a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine resulting in the two-State solution...Increasing incidents at Temple Mount/Haram Al Sharif were deeply troubling, as they could be perceived as serious acts of incitement in the wider region.

If anything is troubling, it's the UN.


Does He Look Like A Nazi To You?

Found here:

Max Blumenthal.

A German Nazi:-


Bending the Truth at the NYTimes

A good friend pointed out that the New York Times had a headline for a story by David Herszenhorn, who is based in Moscow, no one can remember being applied to the Palestinian authority, that Russia "bends the truth".

Has that newspaper even once used this or a similar a phrase in connection with the Palestinian Authority? 

When Christians Almost Killed A Jew

I published a Hebrew article on the killing of a Jew during Pesach 1947 for accidentally entering the Temple Mount compound. 

For balance:

Later, Finn reported how he intervened in yet another incident roused up by fanatical pilgrims around that time. This happened when a Jew, newly arrived from Europe, had not yet had time to learn the rules and did not know that laying foot in a certain part of the Old City was tantamount to a death sentence.
Without warning, he was attacked and almost killed by a crowd of fanatical Christian pilgrims after he crossed the far side of the open square in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This site was strictly out of bounds to Jews although not, of course, to Moslems. Having no consul of his own, the Jew appealed for justice to the British Consulate.
“I appealed to the Pasha,” Finn writes. “The Greek ecclesiastics pleaded before him that the passage was not a public thoroughfare but part of the Sanctuary of Christianity, and only used for transit on sufferance. They even dared to send me word that they were in possession of an ancient Firman which fixed the Deyeh, or blood-fine, to be paid by them if, in beating a Jew in that vicinity for trespass, they happened to kill him, at the sum of ten paras, about one halfpenny English.”
After an inquiry was sent to Constantinople to ascertain whether this claim was true, word came back that no such document existed.
“Thus that mischievous untruth was silenced,” Finn concluded. “But the incident shows the disposition of the high convent authorities towards the Jews. It may be that they themselves believed there was such a Firman: if so, what degree of pity of liberality could one expect from the multitude of brutal pilgrims? The Pasha said that he knew of no such Firman as that referred to, but that Greeks, Latins and Armenians, all believed that a Jew might be killed with impunity under such circumstances.”


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shiloh - Jam'a A-Sattin


See here and also here.


A Century Ago, So Much More To See

This is a photograph of the NW corner of the Temple Mount's raised platform:

See the natural rock outcroppings.


Arab "Settlements"?

Yes, there were:-

In the Desert Margins the Settlement Process in an Ancient South and East Arabia.Mouton Michel and Schiettecatte JeremieAnno di Edizione: 2014Edizione: L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDERCollane:Arabia Antica, 9

Ancient Arabia has promptly been pictured as a vast empty desert. Yet, for the last 40 years, by digging out of the sand buried cities, archaeological researches deeply renewed this image. From the second half of the 1st millennium BC to the eve of Islam in East Arabia, and as early as the 8th century BC in South Arabia, the settlement process evolved into urban societies. This study aims at reviewing this process in South and East Arabia, highlighting the environmental constraints, the geographical disparities and the responses of the human communities to ensure their subsistence and to provide for their needs...In East Arabia, the settlement pattern followed a different model which emerged in the last centuries BC along the routes crossing the empty spaces of the steppe, in a nomadic environment. Each community spread over no more than one, two or three settlements. These settlements never grew very large and the region was not urbanised to the same degree as in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. Permanent settlements were places for exchanges and meetings, for craft productions, for worship, where the political elites resided, where the wealth from long-distance trading was gathered, and where surplus from the regional economy was held. Each town was isolated, like an island in an empty space.


Dayan On Peace

Janurary 31, 1977  --- before joining the 1st Begin government coalition:


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Madonna's Brother

Dear Anthony Ciccone, I read this statement of yours here:

And then he announced: “Until my mother passed away, we celebrated Passover every year.”
Passover? “Right. I know it’s strange, but my mom insisted on it,” he said. “She felt comfortable with Judaism, so we learned about the Ten Commandments and all the Jewish customs. Our Passover wasn’t kosher but it impressed me very much. I have no doubt that Madonna was affected by it and that it related to her Kabbalah studies. Both of us have a lot of respect for your country; you fight against endless enemies that want to crush you, and you don’t give up because you’ve got balls and a heart. I hope that one day I can visit the vineyards in Israel. The women, too.”

We've got heart.

We men also have those gonad things.  And even without them, our women fulfill the role of being our towers of strength.

And as for this:

I hope that one day I can visit the vineyards in Israel

on behalf of Shiloh and environs, I extend to you an invite that once you do get here, our vineyards are for visiting.  And I'll personally arrange for some imbibing.


Brandeis U. vs. Louis Brandeis

On the background of a craven shameful decision to exclude Ayaan Hirsi Ali (her statement) from receiving recognition for her human rights work on behalf of Muslim women, here is a formation of the true Brandeis outlook:

According to Brandeis Zionism was not inconsistent with American patriotism. Multiple loyalties were only objectionable if they are inconsistent in their core values.  According to Brandeis every Irishman who supported home rule of Ireland was a better American for doing so as was every Jew who supported a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  The reason there was no inconsistency between loyalty to America and Jewry was because “brotherhood of man” was a key American ideal as it is and was for two and a half thousand years for the Jewish people. The brotherhood of man was a concept which Brandeis placed at the heart of the American Republic.

Since, according to Brandeis, this was a key value of the Jewish people, Jews were well suited immigrants for America. Brandeis also believed that Jews shared the American goal of social justice.  Since Zionism was the ultimate expression of Jews of these values, Jewish nationalism was no threat to the American nation. Because of these shared core values loyalty to America demanded that each Jew become a Zionist as the ennobling effect of striving for Zionism would benefit the best in each Jew.  Hence Brandeis turned his previous position against hyphenated-Americanism and against national identification on its head. 

Brandeis U. cannot follow through on that conceptualization anymore.