Friday, September 04, 2015

Yachad and Occupation, Of A Sort

I know many are upset at the term 'occupation' when discussing Israel and Zionism.

I am not.

After all, "...but words will never harm me."

I am occupied typing this blog post.

You are occupied now reading it.

You are occupying space in a room while reading this.

Your occupation could be educator, doctor, lawyer or pensioner.

And to the point.  Yachad is an anti-occupation British Jewish group.

Their address I note is

Phoenix Yard
65 Kings Cross Road

Not far from Sadler's Wells Theatre.

I checked out the premises (I can be so associatively curious).  And what did I find?

Rental fees are
costs & availability
Work station monthly licence fees from £280 per person per work station, including broadband. 


at 65 (VAT not applicable):
ground floor: All occupied.
first floor: All occupied.
second floor: All occupied.
at 69 (plus VAT):
ground floor: All occupied.
first floor: All occupied.
second floor: All occupied.

Yachad is surrounded by occupation.

Of course, it's all in the linguistics.

Who Is Oppressing 'Palestinians'?

I have been complaining why are there no "Palestinians" fleeing to Europe whereas Arabs from almost everywhere else are doing that.  Don't they want to improve their lot?

Of course, the real answer is that they really don't have it so bad here.  Why jeopardize the best that they can expect?  After all, if they had Arab rulers, they'd be oppressed with no human rights, with religious domination and bad economics.

Well, some pro-Pal. propagandists realize that and we read this:

Issa’s family are among the estimated 45,000 Palestinians who fled the bloodshed in Syria only to endure humiliating conditions in Lebanon’s 12 refugee camps, where unemployment rates skyrocket. For decades, Palestinians registered as refugees were banned from practicing dozens of skilled professions. Though those restrictions have been formally loosened in recent years, there are still severe limits on Palestinian refugee participation in Lebanon’s workforce.

Although the Lebanese government places these harsh measures on all Palestinian refugees in the country, those who came from Syria are particularly vulnerable. Making matters worse, UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, recently suspended a $100 rent stipend because of a chronic shortage of funds...Jund al-Sham — a Salafist group with Lebanese and Syrian fighters and which has ties to Islamist groups in Syria — attempted to kill a Fatah member two weeks ago...In July, for example, a prominent Fatah member, Talal al-Urduni, was killed...Fatah responded by accusing all Islamist factions in the camp, including Hamas, of complicity in the assassination, according to Jamal Khattab, leader of the Islamic Mujahadeen Movement, and other camp officials...

...“[Abu Muhammad] worked as an engineer in Syria and provided a good life for my family. There are no jobs for us here in Lebanon.”  With the persistent threat of more violence and an unemployment level that fluctuates between 70 and 80 percent, according to camp officials, many of Ein al-Hilweh’s residents have paid thousands of dollars to take boats across the Mediterranean with the hope of being granted asylum in Europe. Many die along the way.

This anti-Pal. behavior has been going on for decades.  But rarely does it surface and come to the forefront of the media.  If it does, it is still Israel's fault for supposedly causing the "refugee problem".

But it should.  And more often.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Situation Out of Control

Blissfully unawares, and I am not the only one ("I don’t know why The Brink hasn’t been more popular—or why none of my friends have watched it, or seem to know it exists"), I stumbled on to an article on a television series, "The Brink", a new half-hour dark comedy series that 

focuses on a geopolitical crisis and its effect on three disparate and desperate men: Walter Larson (played by Tim Robbins), the US Secretary of State; Alex Talbot (Jack Black), a lowly Foreign Service officer; and Zeke Tilson (Pablo Schreiber), an ace Navy fighter pilot. These three compromised souls must pull through the chaos around them to save the planet from World War Three. 

and found this:

The action shifts to Washington, D.C., where the secretary of state, Walter Larson (Tim Robbins), is summoned from the bed he is sharing with an Asian call girl and driven to the president’s Situation Room, where the Cabinet is informed that there has been a military coup in Pakistan. The legally elected Pakistani prime minister has been ousted and replaced by General Zaman, “our hand-picked guy until he turned radical.” In his first televised speech, Zaman seems more than a little mad; his rhetoric is alarming, even for a demagogue. He calls the US drone war a Zionist conspiracy that has saturated Pakistan with electromagnetic waves, ”a secret diabolical program to alter the reproductive biology of our girls and to emasculate our boys.” He vows to use long-range missiles to “remove the Zionist state,” a promise that elicits a phone call to the US president from the Israeli prime minister, who threatens to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Pakistan unless the United States does so first.

Another Israel link:

In yet another sequence Larson jets to Israel, where he throws around a few Yiddish words (trying to get past the guard barring him from entering the government offices, he raises the specter of a “meshugana international incident”) and tells the Israeli foreign minister that he is “mishpocha with every Jewish senator, Boxer, Schumer, Feinstein.” To which she replies, “It’s not the Jews who protect us. It’s Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi. It’s your right-wing neo-con super-Christians. And they don’t even like Jews. They just need us here to keep the lights on for their f*cking Messiah.”...Walter’s crucial conference with the Israeli prime minister takes place poolside and involves a bet on which of the minister’s grandsons will win a swimming race. The future of the world appears to depend on which kid comes in first, and Robbins flings his entire body and soul into cheering on the chubby grandson who always loses.

If that sounds a bit familiar, this did, too, from personal knowledge:

Alex Talbot (played by Jack Black) leaves the American embassy in Islamabad...and persuades an embassy driver, Rafiq Massoud (Aasif Mandvi), to take him to the bazaar, where he plans to buy some pot. (One of the things the show gets right is the extent to which our embassies and consulates abroad depend on the knowledge and forbearance of local employees.) 

It also applies to top media correspondents.  And this is in the same vein:

 “Look how insane these guys are! Can you believe they’re in positions of influence and power?”

If interested, plot summaries start here


The Blumenthals: Hillary's Hasbarists

Maxie, the son, fed Sidney, the father, who fed Hillary Clinton.

They are the true negative hasbarists, as reflected here:

An April 23, 2010, email from outside adviser Sidney Blumenthal appears to chastise her after unspecified remarks for “stepping all over your story by saying you are tired.” Next time, Blumenthal advised, “use the line of the black woman in the Montgomery bus boycott who walked to work: ‘My feet is tired, but my soul is rested.’”

...Clinton complained that a Washington Post editorial about a human rights speech she gave in December 2009 was “either deliberately obtuse or clueless” and ordered her staff to “respond and refute.” Within a half-hour, aides promised that they’d draft a response to show her and would promote other commentary, “most of which has been very favorable.”...
Team Clinton also courted favorite reporters, particularly Mark Landler, who at the time covered diplomacy for The New York Times and appears by name in more than dozen emails from the latest batch released.

So, we know who the real hasbarist is.


He Can't Hear You



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sixty-Thousand Americans & "Palestinian Hamlets"

The Jewish Press alerted me to this exchange and I thought to bring it to your attention in full.  The questioner is Said Erikat

Here is the video starting around 20:18.

QUESTION: -- Palestinian-Israeli issue? There was a study issued by Oxford University and published in Haaretz yesterday that there are 60,000 American Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Do you have any comment on that?

MR TONER: Sixty thousand?

QUESTION: Sixty thousand American Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

MR TONER: I don’t. I’m not aware of the study.

QUESTION: I know because you guys – your position is --

MR TONER: I just haven’t seen the study, frankly, so I don’t --

QUESTION: -- you oppose the settlements, you oppose – you consider them to be illegal and so on. But there you go – you have 60,000 Americans. Do you have any leverage with these American citizens?

MR TONER: Look, I mean, in terms of leverage – I mean, we through our embassy offer support for American citizens throughout the world. But what – we’re very clear on our policy on this issue, and I don’t know that we need to be any clearer.

QUESTION: Many elements among these settlers are extremists, they carry guns, they enforce their own sort of rules and regulations on roads and hamlets and so on – Palestinian hamlets. Do you have any kind of program, perhaps, to rehabilitate these settlers, bring them back somehow, as as opposed to the settlements?

MR TONER: No, I mean – and the other thing is we’ve also spoken about the uptick in violence, in extremist violence in Israel. And in fact, the government and the prime minister have also spoken about some of the recent attacks that we view as abhorrent. And we call on, frankly, all sides to stop this kind of violence.

In terms of programs, I’m not aware of what you’re – specific programs aimed at Israeli American settlers, no.

QUESTION: Since I – my last question on this issue.

MR TONER: Yeah, sure.

QUESTION: Should the United States or would the United States have some sort of a program – an incentive program – to sort of encourage settlers to perhaps dismantle these settlements?

MR TONER: I mean, that’s really a question for the Israeli Government to look at. I mean, we’ve been very clear on how we feel about settlements.

QUESTION: Not really because they maintain their U.S. citizenship.

MR TONER: Well, we believe that settlements hinder getting any kind of talks back up and running and peace process going. We want to see positive actions on all sides.

Of course, the question of Arab residents who engage in terror and are American citiznes never gets raised.

Love the "Palestinian hamlets".

I'd call them "settlements".

But note that he feels he must dominate the semantic discourse and people argue with me about my term "revenants".  If we use it consistently, there'll be no problem.


So Many Jewish Mothers

A recent book in French is out

From a review:

Catherine Cusset’s coming-of-age novel manages, as does real life, to be both heart-wrenching and humorous. Sex and love—of course—but also the importance of friends and enemies, of truth and lies, faith and failure are explored by a devout little Catholic Goody Two-Shoes as she evolves into an atheistic, two-timing adult.

Marie is a ten-year-old who just wants to please. She relishes the drama of the biblical stories her father reads to her at night. She is a star student, the teacher’s pet. And she truly believes that the more devout she is, the better the chances that her mismatched parents will stay together. None of which stops her from shoplifting with her best friend and accomplice Nathalie. Nor does it stop her from faking piety, telling the priest at her first confession not about her long string of thefts but only about once stealing a pencil. She is absolved, and the wrath of God does not, she realizes, descend on her.

By age fourteen, Marie, perhaps influenced by her atheist Jewish mother, has lost her faith in God and Catholicism. 


Jewish mother?

She's ... Jewish.

And she has a friend:

"Olga is the Russian, divorced, Jewish, redheaded mother of my friend Nathalie. She terrifies me. She never stops screaming and scolding her daughter, not because Nathalie doesn’t do her homework or get good grades, but because she doesn’t practice the piano every night. To Olga, nothing is more important – which to me, seems like a strange sense of priorities. When our parents discover we’ve been stealing things – another little girl tells on us – Nathalie and I are forbidden to go to each other’s house. Forbidden to be friends...Just before my First Communion, on my way to church for a general rehearsal, I happen to run into Olga and immediately tell her that the event is about to happen. She speaks to me with such friendliness that I’m stunned: “Come and see us when you finish at church on Saturday, so I can see you in your white robe.” I do just that. I ring the bell, anxiously. What if the dragon has forgotten she invited me? What if she’s shouting at her daughter again and asks me how I dare come to her house against all the rules? But she gives me a big hug, for the first time, kisses me, as sweet as a lamb, a smile on her face..."

So many Jews.

The author's mother is also Jewish.


Netanyahu's Wall Mesage

What is very remarkable in this picture (from this series) of  the GPO's Amos Ben-Gershon is not only the rare meeting of Arab MKs with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Take a look at the picture on the wall:

Look carefully:

The Temple Mount.

Thank you, PM Netanyahu.



Someone asked for a comparison:


Danny Seidemann got a bit carried away:


Monday, August 31, 2015

Improving A Demographic Instagram

You've seen this?

(Click to enlarge)

Well, don't forget the ethnic cleansing of Jews in Yesha 1920-1948.

Jews lived in Hebron, Nablus, Gaza. Jerusalem's Old City, Kfar Shiloach, Atarot, Neveh Yaakov, Bet HaAravah, Kfar Etzion, Ein Tzurim, Revadim, Masu'ot Yitzhak, and other locations from where they were expelled after undergoing a period of rioters and pogroms and terror for the 30 years of the British Mandate. Some families were residing there for centuries.

I do know that upwards of 17,000 Jews were considered refugees after 1948 for a few years and aided by UNRWA. How many were in those areas and had left earlier, after the 1920, 1921, 1929 and 1936-1939 riots, is a daunting accounting task.

In any case, between 1948 and 1967, the number of Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza was ... 0. Zero.

Oh. and by the way:

Statistics published in the Palestine Royal Commission Report (p. 279) indicate a remarkable phenomenon: Palestine, traditionally a country of Arab emigration, became after World War I a country of Arab immigration. In addition to recorded figures for 1920-36, the Report devotes a special section to illegal Arab immigration. While there are no precise totals on the extent of Arab immigration between the two World Wars, estimates vary between 60,000 and 100,000. The principal cause of the change of direction was Jewish development, which created new and attractive work opportunities and, in general, a standard of living previously unknown in the Middle East. Another major factor in the rapid growth of the Arab population was, of course, the rate of natural increase, among the highest in the world. This was accentuated by the steady reduction of the previously high infant mortality rate as a result of the improved health and sanitary conditions introduced by the Jews. Altogether, the non-Jewish element in Palestine's population (not including Bedouin) expanded between 1922 and 1929 alone by more than 75 per cent.


They Found A Podium?

I received this notice:

A unique stepped structure exposed on the street ascending from the Siloam Pool to the Temple Mount raises questions among researchers at the Israel Antiquities Authority
An intriguing find consisting of an impressive pyramid-shaped staircase constructed of large ashlar stones was uncovered in an archaeological excavation currently conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The excavation is located in the Jerusalem Walls National Park in the City of David, site of ancient Jerusalem...It was constructed sometime in the fourth decade of the first century CE, and was one of the largest construction projects undertaken in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. Dozens of whole pottery vessels, stone vessels and glassware were found at the foot of the pyramid-shaped staircase.

According to archaeologists Nahshon Szanton and Dr. Joe Uziel, who direct of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "The structure exposed is unique. To date such a structure has yet to be found along the stepped street in the numerous excavations that have taken place in Jerusalem and to the best of our knowledge outside of it. For this reason, its exact use remains enigmatic. The structure is built along the street in a place that is clearly visible from afar by passers-by making their way to the Temple. We believe the structure was a kind of monumental podium that attracted the public’s attention when walking on the city’s main street...

We know from rabbinic sources there were “stones” that were used for public purposes during the Second Temple period. For example, one source cites the “auction block” in connection with the street: “[a master] will not set up a market stand and put them (slaves) on the auction block” (Sifra, BeHar 6). In the Mishnah and Talmud the “Stone of Claims” is mentioned as a place that existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period

Coin from the period of the Great Revolt against the Romans, discovered in the destruction layer atop the street from the Second Temple period. 
Photos: Carla Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

On Thursday (3.9), at the City of David Studies of Ancient Jerusalem’s 16th Annual Conference that will be open to the public, Nahshon Szanton and Dr. Joe Uziel will present their findings


The Problem With the Media

I think I have found an excellent example of the problem with some media people.

Here is an extract from the script of the movie Showtime.

Rene Russo plays a television show host who wants to turn police work into a reality. She comes to her producer, Peter Jacobson, and throws the newspaper down before him to get him to see what she is talking about which is a policeman, Robert De Niro, who shot a video camera that was in his way:

Russo: I have the show to pull your network from the ratings toilet.

Jacobson: You can do public executions?

Russo: Meet Mitch Preston.

Jacobson: You know I don't read.

Russo: Look at the pictures.

He doesn't read?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Yachad, Together with 'Palestine'

You can read Yachad UK letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood and cringe.

Yachad is a spin-off combo replication of Peace Now, B'tselem and J Street.

At a Limmud session almost two years ago, I so upset Yachad's head, Hannah Weisfeld, at a presentation entitled "Apartheid Roads and Other Lies You're Told" that she participated with two others in a barracking maneuver (but got very upset the next day when I, alone, tried to put questions to her, claiming I was getting verbally violent towards her).

Be that as it may, their letter is really something of which that the League of Trembling Israelites would be proud.

Some of its content and my comments.

Dear Prime Minister Cameron, Foreign Secretary Hammond, and Middle East Minister Ellwood,

As British Jews who feel a profound and abiding connection to Israel, we are deeply troubled by the lack of progress [which is caused by who?] towards a negotiated political resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians. The situation in Israel and the West Bank is becoming tenser by the day for both Israelis and Palestinians [perhaps, but if Arabs wouldn't employ violence and terror, things wouldn't be that tense]. We agree with many senior Israeli security officials, former chiefs of staff of the IDF, former heads of the Shin Bet and Mossad, that the only way to ensure Israel’s long-term security is through the creation of a viable, independent Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel [the only thing that such a state would do is create yet another repressive Islamic regime that denies human rights to its own residents and will continue the anti-Zionist terror they started back in 1920].

We are increasingly concerned that Israel is moving further away [Israel isn't moving; the Pals are] from a resolution to the conflict. Without a resolution to the conflict, not only is Israel’s long term-security undermined, but also the democratic and Jewish values that we hold so dear, embodied within the State of Israel, become seriously eroded [they are not. Israel has made great strides in this area since the 1950s and its democratic fabric is vibrant and robust and an outstanding example]. This risks creating a chasm between Israel and Diaspora Jewish communities.

Whilst any long-term peace requires both parties to make concessions and negotiate, we believe Israel is in a position to take steps [no, it behooves the Pals., who initiated all the violence both in the 2000 intifada, and the Gaza operations, to initiate] that could have a positive impact on not just another round of negotiations, but make the possibility of an agreement more likely. We are worried that moves such as the recent announcement of approval for 300 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, and 500 new homes in East Jerusalem [so, they are anti-united Jerusalem], are a further step away from peace.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to visit London in early September. During your meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu, as our elected representatives, we urge you to share our concerns with Mr Netanyahu and to ask him to demonstrate the Israeli government’s commitment to a peaceful resolution to the conflict [which he has consistently done. placing the onus on him is not only unfair but invidious]. We believe it is essential that the Prime Minister of Israel understands that our concerns about Israel’s conduct are not motivated by attempts to delegitimise Israel, but by a sincere and genuine concern for Israel’s security and democratic values, and by a desire to see Israel as a respected member of the comity of nations [doesn't read that way].

Yours Sincerely,


Running Away to Shiloh

One is always amazed at the coincidence of events and names:

That's Shiloh, Illinois.  In the south-west portion of the state, close by St. Louis.
The story:

Shiloh resident Donna Meyers lived on the east side of New Orleans in 2005 when Katrina started to brew. Meyers’ husband, Kirkwood, a deep sea fisherman, was familiar with the way weather worked in the Gulf of Mexico. And he didn’t like what he saw...“But my husband was watching the water temperatures and the direction of the storm. He said that it wasn’t going to be good and we needed to get out of there.” Meyers and her kids, her mother, her mother-in-law and a menagerie of family pets piled into her sport utility vehicle and headed north.

Don't Feel Sorry for 'Youngsters'

The big story in Israel is the swarming attack on a lone Israeli soldier (why his buddies left him to deal with the situation by himself, I do not know. perhaps he was more motivated and got out too much in front).

But the little poor kid was throwing stones.  When I was growing up, a nightstick whack was expected for violent acts like that.

In any case, there's a new 17-year old story, one Ali Shukri Amin, Sudanese born.

What did he do?

He was

was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday for conspiring to assist the Islamic State (ISIL), which the US has declared a terror group. Among other allegations, Ali Shukri Amin was charged for assisting ISIL via blog and Twitter posts about encryption and Bitcoin...founded the @amreekiwitness Twitter handle a year ago, garnering more than 4,000 followers and tweeting more than 7,000 times. Last year, the authorities said, he tweeted on the now-defunct Twitter handle about how jihadists could use Bitcoin "to fund their efforts."

Don't feel sorry for youngsters.

P.S.  Like the Nebi Tzalah kid.


Friday, August 28, 2015

What's the Right of Eminent Domain?

This, for example, eminent domain:-

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - Crews began demolishing the first of hundreds of Ahwatukee Foothills homes in the path of the new South Mountain Freeway Thursday morning...near 24th Street and Pecos.  Most had no choice but to leave, but despite the arrival of bulldozers, a few homeowners say they still aren't moving.

For more than 20 years, the Arizona Department of Transportation has been acquiring the right of way for the South Mountain Freeway, including homes and businesses that could be in the way.
Some people who live in these neighborhoods have repeatedly tried to stop the project from going forward.  Nearly 200 vacant properties currently owned by the state will be cleared from the area in advance of freeway construction, which is scheduled to start next summer.


One Comes Across Shiloh in Strange Places

Like in England:

The Panacea Society are followers of a 19th-century 'prophetess', Joanna Southcott, who wrote more than 60 books of religious thoughts. She claimed to be pregnant with a messenger from God called Shiloh, and thousands of believers awaited the birth. Most melted away when it was announced that Shiloh had been taken up to Heaven immediately on being born. It was a phantom pregnancy. Before Southcott died, she said the secrets of eternal peace and contentment had been left in a sealed coffer until 21 bishops of the Church of England should open it, at which point Christ would return to earth and bring perpetual peace.  She still had some supporters, and after the first world war the Panacea Society enjoyed a resurgence.Believers moved to Bedford where they bought a number of houses in the town centre. (Frank Branston, Bedfordshire on Sunday, Bedford)...///...The Panacea Society in Bedford is a schism group formed in 1920, and is regarded with suspicion by `purist' Southcottians. Joanna died apparently in childbirth, but no child appeared. Disciples claimed that she had given birth to a spiritual child, named Shiloh; modern-day Southcottians believe Shiloh has returned and is occupying the body of Prince William. My book, Satan's Mistress, tells the story of this extraordinary woman. (Val Lewis, Shepperton, Surrey)...


Thursday, August 27, 2015

But What About The Jews There?

But do they maintain relations with the Jewish residents therein those "territories"?

British Consulate-General Jerusalem

Location: The Occupied Palestinian Territories
Part of: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We develop and maintain relations between the United Kingdom and the Palestinian Territories. We deal with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic questions of interest to the UK and the Palestinian Territories.

The consulate in Jerusalem and its office in Gaza provide consular assistance to British nationals in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza.

Like they do with these summer camp participants?

Has the C-G come to ask us if we really are the "Settlers [who] have cut olive trees near the village of Turmus'ayya"?

Has he visited Jewish women as he has done with Arab ones?

Has he inquired as to the state of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount while there?


Shiloh in Ancient Maps

From this great new site:





Between you and I, great cartography graphics and so much Jewish heritage in place names but I really think the geography could have been very much improved.