Friday, August 22, 2014

West. Bank. Settlement.




No.  Not in our neighborhood.


This week, Mr West’s work was in the spotlight again when DoJ inked a record $16.65bn settlement with Bank of America. 


So, We Have No Option

Could't agree more:-

“Either we win or die,”

We have no option, then.

Al-Qassam spokesperson, Abu Obaida, vowed, in a televised speech broadcast Wednesday evening

“We inform you, Israelis, that you’ve lost the battle. Once again you proved that you are a herd of losers. After 45 days of fighting have elapsed…all that you’ve been able to do is to kill our women and children.”

“Abu Khaled (Deif) has dragged you to shelters exactly like a herd of scared rats. We will go on until we purify our land, our entire land, from the colonizers’ desecrating grips.”

...“We ask the Palestinian delegation to immediately withdraw from Cairo and to never return...“Israeli colonizers and the entire world have to recognize the true essence of our people’s demands...they insist on punishing us and cracking down on us whenever they wish and as much as they wish to. From now on no such things shall ever be tolerated.”

“Either we win or die,” they pledged.

There was also this there:

Al-Qassam Brigades warned Israeli settlers, living on the periphery of Gaza Strip, to stay away from their homes, calling on those who are forced to stay to keep to their shelters.

Those "settlers" are not those of us living beyond the Green Line.  Just so that you know: all Zionist residents are, in Hamas lingo, "settlers".


Recent GraphicZionism


A Parable on Zionism

“I should have thought,” said the officer as he visualized the search before him, “I should have thought that a pack of British boys—you’re all British, aren’t you?—would have been able to put up a better show than that—I mean—”

“It was like that at first,” said Ralph, “before things—”

He stopped.

“We were together then—”

The officer nodded helpfully.


We're Being Portrayed


Source Cartoonist Naser Jafari


So, Disengagement is a Negative

Not not only Israel.

The United States (thanks to JD:-

The State Department has asked the Pentagon for more troops to provide security to U.S. facilities in Iraq.  There are some 850 U.S. troops in Iraq at the moment, including a detachment of 50 Marines from Bahrain bolstering security for the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.  Other troops are embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish forces as advisors, and are providing intelligence support and ground liaison for air strikes.The new request is reportedly for some 300 troops to beef up security for the embassy and for a U.S. facility at the international airport in Baghdad.

In early 1973, a major argument for America to adopt a policy of "strategic disengagement" was made.  The idea has been repeated by Stephen Walt now:

No, I don't mean isolationism: What I mean is taking seriously the idea of strategic disengagement and putting the whole region further down on America's list of foreign policy priorities. Instead of constantly cajoling these states to do what we think is best -- and mostly getting ignored or rebuked by them -- maybe we should let them sort out these problems themselves for awhile.

Not only Israel:
...the policy I'm suggesting would mean the United States would stop its futile efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 


 the United States would also end its military and economic aid to Egypt

 Yet, the opposition is strong:

[D]isengagement is misguided and dangerous,

and here, too:

The Obama administration must recognize that the policy of disengagement both in Iraq and Syria, has failed terribly, and that the rise of a terrorist state in the Levant poses a direct threat to US security and will necessitate American action sooner or later.

Last night, I caught the end of  Ali Khedery on BBC's Hardtalk and he was asked about disengagement.  He said blunt out that disengagement would completely devastate the Middle East although he did not mention israel.  Maybe that's because he's
a former adviser to a string of American ambassadors in Baghdad. and resides in Dubai.

Where was he in 2004?


She's Teaching Us Post-Zionism

I used 'teaching' since Ariana Melamed's family name means 'teacher' in Hebrew (and by extension, in Yiddish, pronounced with the emphasis on the 'la').  I used to read her in Maariv but, I guess, when that newspaper changed owners, Yedioth Ahronot picked her up (which says a lot about that daily).

What does she teach that is post-Zionist?

In the past, in a discussion over the behavior of IDF soldiers charged with preventing illegal entry of Eriteans, she called the soldeirs Judeo-Nazis.

In her latest translated op-ed, she writes:

Hamas is not a terror organization, but a state in the makingOp-ed: Whether we like it or not, Hamas is slowly but surely establishing itself with a disciplined army of paid soldiers, an education system saturated with incitement, and state institutions. And it has an unequivocal ideology that refuses to go away, just like the Jewish settlement of 1947.
The post-Zionism is not in her wrong description, or insufficiently intellectuyally honest description.  It's in the "just like" phrase.  That's the hint.

Post-Zionists seek to downdump Zionism, Jewish nationalism, Jewish moral and ethical principles so that they can say and write 'we're no better than the worst out there' and then follow it up with 'and therefore, those out there are just as good as we are'.  That tautology is intended at one at the same time to deny Jewish uniqueness and to award extremely evil forms of human naction a veneer of respect by linking it, wrongly, to we Jews.

In no way is Hamas, in its ideology and practice, "just like the Jewish settlement of 1947" (and the Hebrew term, yishuv, is not "settlement" but rather "community", another trick).  And it is not that she is blind to the reality:-
we failed to understand the deep despair that is the very basis of Islamic fundamentalism, or the ideology that sanctifies a bloody dream over human life, the willingness to suffer lengthy periods of shortage and a hard siege for faith, and the choice of the promised future in paradise over the future you could build with your own two hands in this world.
but she simply wants to see another reality so that Israel should yield and surrender to it enemies:-
Hamas is not a terror organization. It is a well-disciplined army of paid soldiers. It's an education system saturated with incitement. It is hospitals and police, creches and manufacturing, tunnels and parks, prisons and government. It has a military wing and a political wing and they're incredibly coordinated. No targeted assassination so far has been able to put a dent in Hamas' determination or in its ability to hurt us as it sees fit. Whether we like it or not, it is a state coming into being, or at least a part of one, 
What she ignores is what this portends:
it has an unequivocal ideology that refuses to go away
She assumes that it indeed will go away if we give in, and negotiate with Hamas, reconize it and ignore that it wants, desires and acts toward the goal of we Jews going away.

Terror or not, it is an organization that wants to kill Jews.

And Melamed's post-Zionism won't help.  Iindeed, it is not at all helpful and, in truth, will harm us .


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Can We Tolerate a Tollerton?

In something called The Conversation*, Dr. David Tollerton writes against Eli Weisel.

Tollerton lectures in "Jewish Studies and Contemporary Biblical Cultures and his two main research interests are (i) religious responses to the Holocaust and (ii) uses of the Bible in relation to modern identities, conflicts and concepts of blasphemy".

Here is his lead in to his article:

From debates concerning the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to the 1967 Six Day War’s titular reference to the days of creation, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has often been made to resonate with biblical images and language.

"Titular reference"?

The war lasted ... six days, no?  Is that a joke on his part?  Should they have called it the "War of the Three Week Waiting Period"?  

As for "debates concerning the Temple Mount", actually the role of Mount Moriah and Jewish national renaissance can be traced back, in the modern period, to Rabbis Kalischer, Akiba Eiger, the Chatam Sofer in the early 19th century in connection with the revival of sacrificial service and then in the 1920s involving Rabbis Kook and Hirschhorn concerning permitting entrance into the Temple Mount.  Tollerton is not exactly scholarly in this instance.

But to his central point:

to frame the debate in terms of biblical descriptions of child sacrifice is unhelpful. In one passage, Wiesel creates a three-way comparison between Hamas, the child-sacrificing Moloch-worshippers of the Hebrew Bible, and the mass-murder of Jewish children during the Holocaust.

Tollerton does not mention the 160 children sacrificed in tunneling the "smuggling tunnels" and I do not have up-to-date figures on the "terror tunnels" but they should be in the dozens (and we won't mention the Gazan Arabs killed by Hamas rockets falling short or exploding on launch as, perhaps, Tollerton would refer to them as "sacrifices").  In writing so, he misrepresents Weisel's advert.  Without this relevant framework, Tollerton is quite unfair to argue with Weisel, especially in an organ whose readers, I am presuming, are primed to be anti-Israel and this only adds fuel.

Tollerton is buzzed by the Bible.  It's his right.  He can deconstruct as much as he wants and others can deconstruct his destruction (no misspelling).  But not to misuse the good book and its imagery as well as its basic moral message for mankind, including Muslims.

Tollerton, in the past, has written about blasphemy using the

interesting interface between [the Monty Python film] Life of Brian and historical scholarship on the period, consideration of such debates in late Second Temple Judaism also highlights in more general terms how unstable concepts of blasphemy can be during times of social upheaval. 

This present script of his does injustice to his academic thesis as well as to the reality of Hamas. Or, perhaps, his academic thesis, as applied to current political events is colored by his ... political outlook?

Even if he dismisses the applicability of a Biblical paraphrasing to describe what is happening in Gaza, Hamas surely is engaged in child sacrifice, the ritual sacrifice of Jewish children.  And I think the Nazis acted similarly.

And for this, shame on Tollerton and, how a university tolerates Tollerton is beyond me.



The Conversation is "an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.  Our team of professional editors work with university, CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public...Our aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues...We only allow authors to write on a subject on which they have proven expertise...Since our launch in March 2011, we’ve grown to become one of Australia’s largest independent news and commentary sites. Around 35% of our readers are from outside Australia."


I received this comment which I decide belongs inside the post:

His central premise in any case goes unargued.  He presents it here:

“Rather than seeing Hamas fighters as human beings driven by varying mixtures of rage, desperation and extremist ideology, they become players in an ongoing battle between good and evil that is epic in scope and primordial in origin.” 
And that’s bad why?  Tollerton doesn’t say.  He merely avers that Wiesel’s approach for drawing analogies and framing moral lessons “provides little insight into messy realities.”  A complete dodge.
How about this: Hamas fighters, as morally responsible human beings, should give up rage, desperation, and extremism and get a job.  Argue against that, Tollerton.


Not children but it is sacrificial in a sense.  In other socieites, they could have been called "activists promoting peace and coexistence through anti-terror activity".


More Gideon Levy Snide Malevolence

Here's yet another irrational, illiogical and "in-your-face" Gideon Levy spiteful and malevolently snide formulation:

Think of a terrible scenario: Hamas, heaven forbid, kills Sara and Yair Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife and son. Another scenario, no less terrible: the targets are Revital and Nadav Gantz, the IDF chief of staff’s wife and son. What would Hamas have gotten out of such horrific murders? And how would Israel have reacted? Submitted to its demands? Would public opinion have moderated? Would Israel ever forgive?

And what would Hamas benefit if it succeeded, heaven forbid, to kill the prime minister or the chief of staff? Wouldn’t we have found substitutes? Would Israel have renounced its leadership? Bowed its head to its leaders’ assassins? Would Israel have hastened to build them a deep-water seaport and airport in Gaza?

Whoever decided to try to assassinate Mohammed Deif and succeeded in killing Vidad, his wife, and Ali, his son (an 8-month-old infant), didn’t think in those terms. Israelis are never willing to play the opposite-role game and consider what would have happened if we were in their place. It’s part of our dehumanization and demonization of the Palestinians. Murdering their leaders and commanders? Legitimate. Murdering ours? Monstrous horror. How can you even compare?

The point is not that Israel would react similarly to Hamas (and therefore, a la Levy, Hamas is justified in attcking Israeli civilians) but that Hamas is in no way justified a priori in engaging in terror.  Moreover, since it defines itself as group dedicated to eradicating Jews per se, his argumentation is disconnected from whatever morality he attempts to inject into the narrative.


Left-Wing Conspiracy Theory Officially Debunked

We can now put to rest the left-wing irrational conspiracy theory:

A senior Hamas official boasted during a conference in Istanbul on Wednesday that the group's military wing was behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in June.
A video captured during the conference shows Salach Al-Aruri, who is based in Turkey and is considered a primary figure within Hamas, saying that the Iz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades were responsible for the abduction of the three youths, Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16.
The kidnapping sparked an extensive Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank.
"It has been said that it is an Israeli conspiracy, and I say it isn't," Aruri states.
"The al-Qassam's mujahedeen were the ones to carry out [the abduction] in show of support for the prisoners' hunger strike," he adds, referring to Palestinian inmates held in Israel.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

If You Will It

Australians visiting the Temple Mount during World War II:

and the answer in 1967:


Temple Mount Early 20th Century Photos

From the Australian War memorial site:





and one from 1940


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jews Need Not Apply

Human rights, I was taught, are indivisable, apply to all and cannot be particularistic.

So, if you ask how do the Rabbis for Human Rights define


the answer is:

RHR’s Department of Palestinian Rights in the Occupied Territories, led by Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann, works to protect the rights of Palestinians and Bedouins in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

I checked again here.

Nothing about the rights of Jews as humans.

Jews need not apply for protection. 

Such Rabbis.


The Temple Mount and the Tallit


That appears to me a Jewish man accompanying MK Moshe Feiglin this past Sunday and he is wearing a tallit, the ritual prayer shawl.

Now, that is news.

P.S.  Normally, all outward symbols of Jewishness with religious significance, except a kippah, are prohibited from view or use including tefillin, siddurim, etc.

Muslims can play soccer, though:

P.P.S.  A video clip of the travails of Jews at the Temple Mount. ^

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vote Deprivation and Liberalism

How many times have you read or heard this claim or a variation on it?

A single state in all of historic Palestine, dominated by Jews but in which Palestinians are deprived of the vote, might be Zionist but it certainly would not be liberal. 

Is it true?  Is it damning of Zionism and Israel? 

Well, there are other examples of problems.

Like...the United States.

Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from the rights of citizens in each of the 50 U.S. states...As the U.S. capital, the District of Columbia is a special federal district, not a state, and therefore does not have voting representation in the Congress...In the United States House of Representatives, the District is represented by a delegate, who is not allowed to vote on the House floor but can vote on procedural matters and in congressional committees. D.C. residents have no representation in the United States Senate. As a result of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1961, the District is entitled to three electoral votes in the election of the President of the United States.

Yes, Washington, DC has a population of just over 600,000.   But we're discussing the principle. It's almost the same situation in Puerto Rico:

Voting rights of United States citizens in Puerto Rico, like the voting rights of other United States territories, differ from those of United States citizens...Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress, and are not entitled to electoral votes for President. The United States Constitution grants congressional voting representation to U.S. states, which Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are not...Puerto Rico is a territory under the sovereignty of the federal government, but is not part of any state. 

The island's population is 3,725,789 (2010 U.S. Census).

And if there is a form of autonomy?  And if Jordan is the political representative for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria?

The current Arab society in the administered territories is far from liberal.  Any connection with Israel, short-term or other, could only improve their orientation, as long as there is no violence.


Is Ebola Comparable to Terror in a Legal Sense?

I was just wondering, this act is legal according to international law, yes?

Kenya is closing its borders to travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries worst hit by the Ebola outbreak, the government has announced.  Kenya Airways also announced that it would suspend its flights to Freetown and Monrovia when the government travel ban on passengers comes into effect on Wednesday.

Several European carriers have already suspended services to the Sierra Leonean and Liberian capitals, where states of emergency have been declared to try to slow the spread of the disease.

Kenyan Health Minister James Macharia said the measure was also aimed at travellers who have passed through the affected countries.  "In the interest of public health the government has decided to temporarily suspend entry into Kenya of passengers travelling from or through the three West African countries affected by Ebola, namely Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia," he said.

And these measures -  Quarantine, Isolation and Interment - also seem to be legal.

Of course, there are those who, despite health threats, still demand open borders and do not accept the "disease argument".  Nevertheless, the principle seems to be:

Applied to transnational infectious disease threats, the fairness of the law as an ‘‘intermediate public good’’ must be measured by an effective delivery of radically reduced disease morbidity and mortality burdens across societies in a globalized world. These dividends are the fundamentals of global healthsecurity.

If health concerns are legitimate, if the exposure of a population to a potential danger is cause enough to prevent border crossing as well as a form of quarantine, then surely the threat from terror attacks that have a higher possibility of killing civilians is justification for what Israel deems necessary for public security vis a vis Gaza:-

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday any deal on Gaza's future had to meet Israel's security needs...Netanyahu, in public remarks to his cabinet, said Hamas should not underestimate Israel's resolve to battle on.

"Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings," he said.

"If Hamas thinks that through continued intermittent firing it will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken. For as long as quiet does not return, Hamas will continue to absorb very harsh strikes."
P.S.  Any attempt to imply, and thereby impugn me, that I am suggesting that Arabs of Gaza are either diseased or carries of a disease is purposely misreading this post.  I am comparing the cases of a state's right to defend itself through the facility of closed borders.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Press Conference of the Wicked Witches of the Waqf

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.

...Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.
...For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
...Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
...Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew...

---   Macbeth

You are cordially invited to an event sponsored by the Wicked Witches of the Waqf:-

to attend and cover a press conference organized by the Women of Al-Aqsa which will highlight the sending of a message to His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan regrding the prevention by Israel of women from entering the Aqsa...since the beginning of the present month at the Commodore Hotel - Jerusalem - at 11:00.
The conference program:
- Welcome and introduction: conference presenter, Juman Abu Arafa.
- View video report of the Israeli occupation practices against the women of the Haram A-Sharif.
- Read the text of the letter addressed and sent to His Majesty King Abdullah II read by Abu Khadija expensive.
- The women Jerusalem: Professor Hanadi Halawani.
- The word inside the Palestinian women [Israeli Muslims] - Fatima Female preacher Abu Hija.
- The word of the Aqsa children: the child Tallinn Abu Sabih.



and this is why they are wicked.  and this, too.

And, they claim we are the "terrorists" there.


No, It's Not The "Occupation"

In an article that contains some very good anti-Pal. positions, the writer makes this point:

The late Christopher Hitchens was right when he said this about Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories:

"In order for Israel to become part of the alliance against whatever we want to call it, religious barbarism, theocratic, possibly thermonuclear theocratic or nuclear theocratic aggression, it can't, it'll have to dispense with the occupation. It's as simple as that.  It can be, you can think of it as a kind of European style, Western style country if you want, but it can't govern other people against their will. It can't continue to steal their land in the way that it does every day.

"Occupation"?  That's all?

But his point 5 is 

Why are people asking for Israel to end the "occupation" in Gaza?

to which is responds:

Because they have short memories.
In 2005, Israel ended the occupation in Gaza. It pulled out every last Israeli soldier. It dismantled every last settlement. Many Israeli settlers who refused to leave were forcefully evicted from their homes, kicking and screaming.

So, maybe "occupation" is not connected with peace, or, to be more directed: Arab hostility to Israel and Zionism has nothing to do with "occupation".  Or, even better, for too many Arabs anything a Jew does anywhere in the Land of Israel in the process of returning Jews to their historic homeland, redeeming land, facilitating immigration, etc. is per se defined an "occupational activity" and is illegal, in their definition, which leads to terror.

He adds this historical observation:

Let's face it, the land belongs to both of them now. Israel was carved out of Palestine for Jews with help from the British in the late 1940s just like my own birthplace of Pakistan...

"Palestine" never really existed except as a concept.  The first time in history it had its own borders, in a sense, was in 1922, done so by the League of Nations. and at that time, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were part of the area to become an independent Jewish state and that, after Transjordan was separated from the territory and Jewish settlement was probinited therein.

Britain, actually, didn't "help" but mostly hindered.  The Mandatory officialdom withered down the borders (the 1937 Partition) and the administrative framework (the 1924 Legislative Council) and after the first Arab pogroms in 1920 and 1921, began restricting Jewish immigration.

The land belongs to those who live on it but the political sovereignty belongs only to one and since the Arabs never accepted compromise, and sought always to deny Jews any rights in the country, and they lost every campaign, violent or less so, including a war of aggression in 1967, Israel, by right, administers the territories, not through any illegal occupation.

No, it's not the "occupation"


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hamas: Purely Islamic & To Muslims Alone

For the record:

The Hamas Movement...expressed its deep concern over the Israeli moves that aim to divide the Aqsa Mosque temporally and spatially between Muslims and Jews, stressing that the Aqsa Mosque would always be purely Islamic and belong to Muslims alone.


A Bible Story and the New York Times

In "Gaza Conflict Is Just the Latest Round in a Long War", the NYTimes' Steven Eelanger suggests that

Israel’s real problem is the instability from the failure to negotiate a sovereign Palestinian state and finally fix its borders.

To be fair, he indicates that one of the main problems that exist is that

Unlike Fatah, Hamas claims the whole of the British mandate of Palestine as land granted by Allah, which cannot be ceded. In other words, Israel is illegitimate and its occupants should “go home.” The most any senior Hamas official ever offered was a “hudna,” a cease-fire, which the Prophet Muhammad offered enemies to restore his strength.

That's a really big problem. Problem?  That discounts not only peace but that even if there is a peace, there'll be no security:

Fatah controls the West Bank in coordination with Israel, which keeps Hamas suppressed. With no Israeli forces in the West Bank, Hamas might dominate there, too.

But he reserves his punchline for the Jews:

...the power of religiously motivated self-sacrifice...After all, it was in Gaza that Samson, calling on God, pulled down a temple on his Philistine enemies, making him an early kind of suicide bomber.

Well, if we are gong to use the Bible for reference and resource, let's do it properly.

Samson, like a modern-day liberal, believes in coexistence.  We read in Judges Chapter 14 that:

1 And Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said: 'I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore get her for me to wife.' 

But she betrays him in the matter of the riddle.  And then in the next chapter we read:

1 But it came to pass after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said: 'I will go in to my wife into the chamber.' But her father would not suffer him to go in. 2 And her father said: 'I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion; is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her.' 3 And Samson said unto them: 'This time shall I be quits with the Philistines, when I do them a mischief.'...6 Then the Philistines said: 'Who hath done this?' And they said: 'Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he hath taken his wife, and given her to his companion.' And the Philistines came up, and burnt her [Samson's wife] and her father with fire. 7 And Samson said unto them: 'If ye do after this manner, surely I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.' 

Samson confronts a perverted system of social justice. A father hands off his daughter in a form of prostitution.  The community practices violence in all its intra-communal relations.  There is also disproportionality: 3,000 men of Judah bind Samson and hand him over to the Philistines.  And then Samson kills 1000 Philistines and not one Israelite is killed!

One harlot and the two posts of the gates of Gaza later, he takes up with Delilah who also betrays him.  One haircut later and the Philistines capture him and they

put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison-house. 22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven. 

Constant betrayal, unwillingness to maintain the peace or fulfill obligations, taunting torture, violent behavior and more is what Samson confronts, not to mention the original subjugation of his people.

If there is a message in there, Erlanger could do much better than he did.