Monday, December 31, 2007

More From the Archives

After COUNTERPOINT closed down, of which I was, with Rachel Katsman, editor between 1983-1988, the next publication I was involved with was The Yesha Report.

I went and dug up for you the first issue:-

page 1

page 2

and take note of how I described YESHA:

Who Is Confusing Who?

But the Palestinian security commander in Hebron, Samih al-Sayfi, told the Palestinian news agency Maan that the motive behind the attack had been strictly criminal and suggested that the attackers might have been trying to steal the Israelis’ weapons. He said that the militant organizations had claimed responsibility to curry favor with the Palestinian public and to confuse the local security forces.

Devious fellow, ain't he?

IDF "Problems"

Excerpts from Steve Erlanger's piece on the IDF:-

...But in another challenge for the army, a large proportion of those volunteering for combat units — 30 percent to 40 percent — come from the “national religious” sector, Zionists who tend to wear knitted skullcaps and are frequently settlers. In the past, many fighters volunteered from Israel’s kibbutzim, or collective farms. But now, large numbers are “the new pioneers,” the children of settlers.

They are eager to fight Israel’s enemies. But as Israel contemplates new peace talks with the Palestinians — and an eventual withdrawal from large sectors of the occupied West Bank — the government and army worry that many of those soldiers, and officers, may refuse orders to dismantle settlements.

Col. Aharon Haliva, 40, is the commander of this school, which is almost as old as the state. A former brigade commander in the occupied West Bank, Colonel Haliva is blunt. “The army reflects the society, with all its strengths and problems,” he said. “After the second Lebanon war, people want to be able to believe in their army, which is themselves.”

He said he worried for a time that young people might refuse to become officers after the failures against Hezbollah in Lebanon. “It’s much easier to win battles when you understand why you’re there, and what you’re expected to do,” Colonel Haliva said in a tart comment on that war. “We all want to be part of a strong organization.”

By the time the candidates get here, “they know how to fight,” he said. “I’m not worried about how they use their weapons. I’m concerned with implanting the right values.”

But this school, like the society, is struggling with the great internal challenge of how, if ordered, to remove thousands of Israeli settlers from the West Bank — many more than the 9,000 torn with such national agony from Gaza.

The army draws many of its best combat soldiers and officers from the “national religious.” Here, they make up about 10 percent of the staff officers, 15 percent of the combat support officers and up to 40 percent of the combat officers, the colonel said. “You don’t find them in Tel Aviv, but all over the hills of Judea and Samaria,” he said, using the biblical names for the West Bank. “They are the pioneers of today.”

When there is a pullout from the West Bank, “a lot won’t serve in a disengagement, I’m sure of it,” Colonel Haliva said. “Just as some kids on the left don’t want to serve in the territories.”

He wants his officers “to have more questions than answers.” But it is his job and that of his staff to explain “the importance of what they’re doing, and the reasons they’re being ordered to do it,” he said. “After Gaza, we thought that maybe some of these kids would refuse to become officers, but it’s not true.”

...Mr. Harvith sees himself as a leader. “In two months I’ll command 20 soldiers, and from them there will be maybe two officers, and that’s another 40 soldiers, and another 40 families. We have a big effect on the society.”

First commanders matter, he said. “The way I hold my weapon — it’s the way my first commander held it.”

He is also religious, he said. Would he have pulled people out of Gaza?

“That’s a good question,” he said, then paused. “For me, it’s not just a religious question but a moral question. I do what I’m told,” he said, pausing again. “Except in moral cases, that’s the point.”

Asked where he would seek advice, he said he would first talk to his father, and then to “previous commanders I admired.”

Would he talk to his rabbi? “Maybe my father would,” he said. “You need the right proportion of asking questions and obeying.”

The national religious are estimated to make up some 15 percent of Israel’s population, and they have growing influence in the officer corps. Yael Paz-Melamed, a leftist columnist for the daily newspaper Maariv, warned that the army was becoming “increasingly political and right wing.”

The “hesder yeshivas,” which combine military service and Torah study for some of the most religious candidates, also raise concerns. The hesder yeshivas now turn out 1,200 recruits a year, Colonel Sela said, a 40 percent increase in five years. “We’re not happy with that,” he said. “It’s too much. We want about 900.”

Arab "Humor"

Okay, I admit. I found this op-ed by Jonathan Power funny.

Sharon’s most successful campaign trick was to walk with a muscular entourage across the courtyard of Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock, the sacred Islamic territory from where Muhammad ascended to heaven for a night, and claim this as Jewish territory for ever because down below are the remains of the temple that the Romans destroyed...he showed both his irresponsibility and his total contempt for 1300 years of continuous Muslim presence.

How would Christians have felt if he had strutted across the Piazza in front of St. Peter’s and made a speech that slighted Christian claims to that piece of earth? How would the Jews have felt if the Palestinians had suspended political banners from the Dome at the top of the hill down over the sacred Wailing Wall below? Is there no sense of consistency or basic justice in the Israeli body politic?...aren’t the Jews as a rather small religious group the ones who have the most to lose if religious tolerance is undermined?

...The Jewish notion that they can have this land and no one else can is so wildly anachronistic by any Western standards or historical experience that it is amazing that in 1917 it got the time of day...why should Israel get a free pass today? If the Jews want to believe that Temple Mount (on which the Dome of the Rock is built) is “the focal point of creation” and that in the center of the hill lies the “foundation stone” of the world and that here “Adam came into being” they may be allowed to believe it.

But that the arbiters of the United Nations, including the US, Russia and Europe could go along with this myth at the expense of traditional Palestinian centuries-old occupancy rights is almost impossible to digest.

From Safire's Annual Office Pool Quiz

10. The two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli dispute appears when:
(a) a free election or civil strife in the West Bank and Gaza brings a unified, neighborly government to the Palestinians
(b) an Ehud Barak-Benjamin Netanyahu rematch results in a majoritarian, rightist coalition victory
(c) the Jerusalem division issue is resolved by expanding the official city limits to embrace two capitals

...My picks: 10 (all);

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thirty Year Anniversary Coming Up

Shiloh was founded in two stages in 1978.

On the 1st of the Hebrew month of Shvat, the first families arrived and two weeks later, on Tu B'shvat, the official founding ceremony took place.

Here's a scene from the first days -

And here's another -

And here's a snapshot, taken by Asher Korlich, at the founding ceremony:-

That's Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook at the microphone. To his left at the dias (on the picture's right) is Dr. Israel Eldad and to his right is Rav Eliezer Waldman, Rav Dov Lior, Rav Moshe Levinger. Just to the left of Rav Tzvi Yehuda's hat at the center is Gershon Salomon.

Best Post of the Week - Says Pamela

Atlas Shrugs classifies my post on David Landau "Best Post of the Week".

Now, that is an honor.

The Rights of Revenants

On the rights of 'settlers'
Shmuel Katz

US Ambassador Richard Jones was recently reported to have asked Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch about the legal status of the "settlements."

This is indeed a subject which has long been neglected - or simply ignored. The answer to the question is a simple one, but in view of the obfuscation which has for years gathered around it, it is essential to examine its roots. They lie comfortably in the text of the Mandate for Palestine which was conferred on Britain in 1922 by the League of Nations.

The Mandate's objective was to facilitate the "reconstitution" of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. It was intended to serve as the legal instrument for implementing Britain's 1917 Balfour Declaration. The essential obligations of the mandatory were to facilitate the immigration of Jews and encourage their "close settlement" on the land, including state and waste lands. (In accordance with the Balfour Declaration, "the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities" were to be protected.)

The vision of the Balfour Declaration was encapsulated a couple of years later by cabinet minister Winston Churchill, who wrote that "a Jewish state will arise in our day on the banks of the Jordan."

At that time, too, the League of Nations conferred on Britain a Mandate for Mesopotamia (Iraq); and Mandates for Syria and Lebanon were conferred on France, presaging the establishment of sovereign Arab states. Thus did the Allied nations complete the sharing out of the territories they had captured from the Turks in the Great War of 1914-1918.

ADDED UP, these Arab states-to-be accounted for some 99 percent of the total conquered area. In its capture during the war it may be said the Arabs themselves played practically no part. The so-called Arab Revolt against the Turks, heavily financed by Britain and brilliantly portrayed by T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), did not in fact take place at all. Eighty percent of the Arabs who fought in the war did so on the side of the Turks. The Jewish people not only fielded a Jewish fighting legion in Palestine, but also a most effective intelligence service in Palestine and Syria.

Nevertheless, when peace came Arab voices were raised against the British undertaking to the Jews. Balfour admonished them. He pointed out that it was the British who had established an independent sovereignty in Hejaz (the Mandates came two years later), and he added:

"I hope they will remember that it is we who desire in Mesopotamia to prepare the way for the future of a self-governing Arab state and I hope that, understanding all that, they will not grudge that small notch being given to the people who for all these hundreds of years have been separated from it."

Yet - in 1922 at the last moment, the British inserted a clause (Number 25) excluding the provision of the Jewish National Home from the area east of the Jordan River. Zionist protest went unheeded; and so the almost-empty eastern Palestine, renamed Transjordan, ultimately became the Kingdom of Jordan, adding another state to the tremendous Arab domain. The fact that it was a Palestinian state could not be erased, nor that the majority of its inhabitants have come from western Palestine. Thus was executed the first partition of the Land of Israel.

THE STATUS of Jewish settlement in what remained of Palestine remained unaffected. But as the years went by, the steady British retreat from their obligations, particularly by severe limitations on Jewish immigration, finally led to the White Paper of 1939. Apart from new land laws, it projected that Jewish immigration would be allowed at 15,000 souls a year for five years and then completely frozen. There would be no Jewish National Home. There would be an Arab majority, and some form of British overlordship to protect Jewish minority interests.

The White Paper, fiercely attacked in Parliament, was passed - by a reduced majority. But any change in British policy in Mandatory Palestine was subject to the approval of the League of Nations. The League, it was true, had for some years already been seen as an effete body, but its constitutional authority had remained intact. For monitoring the progress of the various mandates it maintained a kind of watchdog commission, and considered any proposed changes in the terms of the Mandate only if approved by the Mandate Commission. When in 1939 the British government submitted the White Paper to the commission, it refused its approval on the grounds that it did not conform to the terms of the Mandate.

Angry British Foreign Office senior officials exchanged notes and discussed among themselves the desperate policy of proposing a change in the Mandate itself. But they were stymied. It was too late - nearly the end of August 1939, and on the first of September World War II broke out. The Council of the League of Nations never met again. With it died the White Paper. The Mandate remained the defining document for governing Palestine.

THE BRITISH government, frustrated, did not relent. It launched a bitter campaign, using diplomatic channels in Europe to prevent Jews escaping and employing the Royal Navy to intercept boats carrying Jewish refugees from Europe and prevent their reaching the Jewish National Home. Indeed, when Churchill was prime minister he wrote in an internal instruction that "the White Paper stands."

The Mandate, however, with its injunction to assist Jewish settlement, remained intact and after World War II was "inherited" by the United Nations. It was a period of considerable unrest which, despite much repressive effort, the British could not subdue. Under the pressure of a highly effective Jewish underground fighting force (and consequent reactive political pressure at home) the Labor government finally returned the Mandate to the UN (in the spring of 1947).

The UN, in a dramatic special session, in effect accepted Britain's resignation and later that year decided to recommend the partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs. (Not Palestinians. Nobody had heard of such a separate entity.) The Arab states rejected that offer. Thus Palestine, with the rights of Jewish settlement, remained undivided as the Jewish state between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

The Arab refusal was not a whim. The idea of a non-Arab state (and specifically a hated Jewish state) "in the heart of the Arab world" was anathema to them. It was reflected by a claim of possession of the whole country. Immediately after the UN session, the League of Arab States decided to go to war to destroy the Jewish state at birth.

In the meantime a preliminary campaign of terror was launched against the Jewish community. Then on May 14, 1948, the day the British left, five well-armed Arab states - Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq - invaded the country. The losses Israel sustained in that war of nine months exceeded, in proportion of population, the losses sustained by Britain and America in World War I. The invasion success was limited not only by the inordinate valor of the youth of Israel, but in time by the supply of much-needed arms by Czechoslovakia (with Soviet permission) and France.

HOWEVER, Jordan succeeded in holding on to the eastern highlands (primarily Judea and Samaria) and then even presumptuously announced their annexation. Egypt captured the Gaza "Strip." It is not irrelevant to mention that in the next 19 years of Jordanian and Egyptian occupation, neither Jordan nor Egypt proposed, nor did the Palestinian Arabs demand from Jordan and Egypt, the establishment of a Palestinian state. To the contrary, Palestinian Arab terror continued to operate as before against Israel.

Then in 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan again attacked Israel, again with the repeated announcement that the objective was its "annihilation." Israel turned the tables and won the war. Soon after that victory, Israel offered the Arabs to hand them all the territory it had regained, in return for peace. At a conference in Khartoum the unanimous Arab reply was: No negotiations. No peace. No recognition.

So once again Jewish settlement rights had been endangered, and once again had been saved by Arab intransigence.

It was shortly afterward that the movement of Jewish settlers was launched. It is noteworthy that the last defining document that underwrites the legality was the Geneva Convention of 1949. It dealt with occupied territories. Its second clause, stating its scope, makes it clear that it does not apply to the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria - because Jordan was not a sovereign possessor but an illegal invader, and similarly was Egypt an illegal invader of Gaza. Israel liberated both areas, restoring them to the territory of the Palestine Mandate of 1922.

From the point of view of international law these settlers are as legal as any resident of Manhattan or of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Just Rolling Along with the Money

Notice the Middle East angle on this story:-

Super-rich make marque on Rolls Royce

The Rolls-Royce may have been the epitome of luxurious motoring for more than 100 years, but for a new breed of super-rich oligarchs and Middle-Eastern royalty, it seems a standard version of the world's most famous car is no longer enough

Demanding extra-high roofs to accommodate tall hats and elongated floors to make room for prostrate servants, those with more money than taste have beaten a path to the door of Mutec near Stuttgart in Germany, the only company formally licensed by the British manufacturer to tinker with its classic designs.

"Our clients are mostly royal households, governments, successful businessmen and, frankly, people who have acquired a lot of money very quickly," said Ian Grayson, the sales manager of Mutec.

Clients are willing to pay up to €1 million - about £735,000 - for such modifications as an extra 3½ft of plush-carpeted floorspace and rear-facing seats in a Phantom model, to make space for their staff. "A royal customer from the Middle East came to us as their tradition did not allow for their servants to sit at the same height as them, so they have to lie on the floor while tending to their masters," said Mr Grayson.

"They were concerned about the comfort of the servants, so wanted us to create extra floorspace in the back."

...Commissions have included fitting a footbath so that an owner could prepare for prayer in the mosque, while a Russian billionaire wanted a longer footwell to accommodate his girlfriend's 44in legs.

The company is also licensed to fit armour plating, bulletproof glass and oxygen supplies in case of poison gas attacks.

A Parable of Israel

A Bit, No, A Lot Too Far

There is a popular blogger of a "girlie" nature out there who thinks it is cute to criticize Jews by referring to fashion.

But I think he's going too far with this post:

Here are some pictures of Lohan and Little Lohan wearing Jewish outfits of the day like they were Jewish, but the reality is that the Jewish outfit of the day isn’t only for Jewish people anymore and has slowly and secretly worked its way into the mainstream

It’s come to a point where you can’t tell a Jewish Outfit of the day apart from non-Jewish outfit of the day and they seem to be everywhere you look. It’s like Nazi Germany all over again, only instead of gas chambering people because they became too powerful, we’ll have to gas chamber leggings and over-sized shirts and stupid boots to put an end to the takeover,

For the record, I think that’s a bad idea, because unlike Jews, Jewish outfits bring good to the world and don’t hoard all their money in hypo-alergenic mattress after ripping non-Jews off, but instead is the closest thing a girl can be to being pantless and shows off her legs, ass and even mound, whether 13 or 35 and that’s a Jewish Christmas miracle that lasts all year.

And most of the comments confirm the antisemitic nature he is boring into.

Anyone want to alert our prestigious American and Canadian Jewish defense organizations?

Arabs Support MachsomWatch

You've read my criticism of MachsomWatch at this blog (here and here and here, too) before.

Here are some Arabs who have expressed support, no doubt:

Chemicals used in making explosives caught at West Bank checkpoint

...a truck was caught at one of the crossing points in the West Bank carrying approximately 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate intended for use by militants in the Gaza Strip, the IDF announced in a statement Saturday. Potassium nitrate is a banned substance in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank due to its use by militants for the manufacturing of explosives and Qassam rockets.

"The terror organizations disguised the Potassium Nitrate in sugar bags that were marked as being part of the humanitarian aid provided by the European Union," the IDF said. "This is another example of how the terror organizations exploit the humanitarian aid that is delivered to the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip with Israel's approval."

A Decade Ago

This picture appeared in Yedioth Ahronot daily newspaper on January 2, 1998.

It shows the methods of Israel's gentle policemen in dealing with demonstrators, in this case, students near the Knesset:

And in case you missed the irony of my "gentle" remark, here's a close-up:

By the way, that's a strangle hold. Very effective way to cut off air supply to a person and in a situation like this, a possible break of the larynx is also a possibility.

He's Back

Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and vowed to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

...Bin Laden's comments offered an unusually direct attack on Israel, stepping up al-Qaida's attempts to use the Israeli-Arab conflict to rally supporters. Israel has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory, though terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

"We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea," he said, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."
"We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have," bin Laden said.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

BBC Headline Madness

Jewish youth are ambushed by Arab terrorists. The two are killed, murdered. In the gunfight, they managed to shoot back.

The BBC headline to all this?

West Bank clash leaves three dead
And the opening lead-in sentence is even more nefarious:
Two Israeli off-duty soldiers and a Palestinian have died in a
shootout near the West Bank town of Hebron, Israeli officials have said.

And then this:

The two soldiers, Ahikam Amihai, 20, and David Rubin, 21, were hiking in the hills near Hebron, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire from a jeep, Israel Army radio reported.

The pair were mistakenly described in previous reports as Jewish settlers.

But they had actually lived in Kiryat Arba so I guess that makes them revenants.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Hope This Is True

The federal agency overseeing Russia's military exports on Friday denied reports that the country is planning to deliver a powerful new anti-aircraft missile system to Iran.

Iran's defense minister had said earlier this week that Russia was preparing to equip Iran with the S-300 missile system, which would dramatically increase the country's ability to repel an attack.

But Russia's Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service denied the claim in a brief statement.

"The question of deliveries of S-300 systems to Iran, which has now arisen in the mass media, is not currently taking place, is not being considered and is not being discussed at this time with the Iranian side," said the agency, known by its Russian initials, FSVTS.


I'd hate for Israel to have to go to war with Russia, too.

Raw Sex Middle East Peace Talk Gets Rawer

Rawer, is that a word?

Anyway, check out Yid With A Lid's post.

This might yet make a brilliant year-end finish for the Jewish Blogosphere.

Condi Just Sent Me Her Reaction

With all this rape talk and mention of wet dream fantasy, (here and here and also here) Condi has just reacted:

But I can't figure out whther she's happy, bothered or just indifferent.

Raw Sex Talk for Middle East Peace

NOTE: This blog post is for mature adults only.
You have been warned.

Thanks to David Landau's suggestion to Condi Rice, we now have some new additions to the political lexicon of Middle East Peace:

(with thanks to Maariv)

we start with:

intervention - gentle pressure to remove Israel from its security belt and historical homeland.

rape - vigorous pressure to do same.

and continue:

afterglow - The good feeling experienced after being massaged by the US Ambassador in that you have been invited to attend an exclusive gathering at his home to meet and discuss political matters with the long-legged Secretary of State.

analingus - praising the afore-mentioned Secretary of State.

dysfunction - when a person of left-leaning, radical, progressive ideology suggests how peace can be achieved.

exhibitionism - bragging to the media that you've had a wet-dream fantasy about the afore-mentioned Sectretary of State.

menage a trois - when David Landau will next invite his paper's owner, Amos Schocken who suggested cancelling HaTikvah as Israel national anthem, to meet with afore-mentioned, et. al.

missionary position - how David Landau sits in his editor's chair.

sexually transmitted disease - reading Haaretz.

venereal disease - reading Haaretz's editorials.

Any more suggestions will be welcomed.

A Post of Mine Over at MailJewish

Without recourse to theology, but from my own political ideological orientation, I strongly criticise the way the Tachanun has reinforced the most negative of Jewish national characterisitcs which, I presume, only strengthened what I call "The League of the Trembling Israelites" and perhaps led to the sorrowful meekness of Jews, for the most part, especially during the Holocaust. I am referring to the phrase: "nechshavnu latevach yuval" which although having roots in Tanach (Yehsayhu 53:7; Tehilim 44:23; Yirmiyahu 12:3), is an original composition using the words of Tanach but in a new fashion.

And, while theologically, one could state that it doesn't mean that we Jews actually are as sheep being led to the slaughter but only that the Goyim presume we are, (and recall the spies saying "v'nehi b'einenu kachagavim"), any pyschologist would say that if we repeat that phrase twice weekly for 30 years of the life of a Jewish male, we would probably adopt that imagery and presume that we truly are as sheep and act that way in expectation.

That is quite depressing.


MailJewish Archives

MailJewish Home Page

Didn't Make It Into the JPost Magazine

My letter, that is.

In the discussion touching on the say of Jews from abroad initiated by Calev Ben-David ("Did I forget thee, O Jerusalem?", Dec. 6), Ben-David's opinion is that Ehud Olmert "is correct. The simple truth is that Diaspora Jews don't and won't have much actual say" in deciding "the future fate of Jerusalem, and so much else here". I find that an odd conclusion in that Ben-David recently left a prestigious position harnessing Diaspora Jewry to struggle on Israel's behalf in the field of Hasbara at the Israel Project.

Can it be that Mr. Ben-David thinks it proper to involve Diaspora Jews to fight Israel's media wars and to struggle for public opinion, or as the TIP site states: "to educat[e] the press and the public about Israel", but the relationship ends there and that it is one-way only? Is it not possible that some of the college students fostering TIP programs could be in danger on certain campuses but that there is no liability, moral or otherwise, that the state of Israel is obligated to these activists?

These activists, perhaps convinced by then Mayor of Jerusalem Olmert's words that the city is united were out there getting Israe's message to the public but now, must stay out of the campaign because current Prime Minister Olmert's words have been reversed? I find that nonsensical, illogical and a dangerous suggestion by Ben-David. The ramifications of his message is that when he was in charge of a joint Diaspora Jewry-Israel effort, the situation was acceptable but when a different set of conditions arises, Diaspora Jewry is told we don't want your help, your invovlement nor, perhaps, your money. That is unethical, to say the least.

So, Jewish Women Give Birth at Checkpoints

A female IDF paramedic served as a midwife earlier in the week when a resident of Elon Moreh began to give birth on the way to a hospital. The baby, his mother’s sixth, was born in an IDF ambulance in Tapuach Junction.

The mother, Tzvia Tzafri, credited the paramedic, Reut Aharoni, for remaining calm while “everything happened at once.” Aharoni credited Tzafri for the calm birth, saying, “The birthing woman was as experienced as I was, so there was no pressure.” Aharoni will be a guest of honor at the new baby’s brit milah (ritual circumcision) next week.


Kissing Kissinger Good-bye

"What happened in the King David lobby suggests that our brilliant American secretary of state - forty-fourth in line since Thomas Jefferson - behaved in a neurotic fashion. One minute he was glorying in the world's spotlight at his press conference, and the next, when he saw me, was hurtled back into Jewish memories he'd spent a lifetime trying to suppress. He certainly recognized me. You noted how he bridled at my mention of his name, Heinz. He utterly despised me for that. So yes, I have to conclude the man is disturbed. Tell the prime minister he should be most wary in dealing with our secretary of state. Tell him that deep inside him is an insecure and paranoid Jew."

Read more.

Uri Tzvi Greenberg Writes to Me

I was introduced to the poetry of Uri Tzvi Greenberg at YU by Nissan Teman and Reuven Genn in 1964. In 1967, during my year in Israel at the Machon L'Madrichim, I made contact with Uri Tzvi and we began an intermittant correspondence.

Toby Press is preparing an anthology of his poetry in the English translation as I learned from speaking to Aliza Tur-Malka, his widow whom I met at the Yair Stern Conference. (Here's a good site with bio info and some poetry in English and another translated poem here.) Here is the Hebrew-language site of the Uri Tzvi Greenberg House of which I am an executive board member.

So, I figured I might as well post the correspondence as that way, they won't get lost.

a) A letter from Shvat (February) 1967

b) A poem I commented on from December 12, 1971

c) And Uri Tzvi's response to my comment (translation to come later)

d) Another letter from February 1970 of Uri Tzvi reacting to a comment of mine on his poetry

e) A letter to me from May 1969 relating to his upcoming visit to New York

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Another Bethlehem Story

Israel usually gets bashed about this time of year with all the anti-Israel journalists re-crucifying Jesus replaced by Pals.

Anyway, here's another Bethlehem story:-

Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can touch off vicious feuds.

On Thursday, dozens of priests and cleaners were scrubbing the church ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in early January. Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for Christmas celebrations.

But the clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians.

President Bush is Coming: Remember Nixon?

Remember Nixon's 1958 trip to Venezuela?


A reminder:-

Over the rigid shoulders of a line of Venezuelan soldiers at Maiquetía Airport, streams of spittle arced through humid sunlight, splattered on the neatly pressed grey suit of the Vice President of the U.S. and on the red wool suit of his wife. But worse was in store: less than an hour later Dick and Pat Nixon brushed close to injury and possibly death in violence-torn streets of Caracas, last stop on their eight-nation visit to South America.

The mood of the airport crowd was set an hour before the Nixons' silver-and-white Air Force DC-6B touched down. A pack of 200 students, skillfully whipped up by older men, hoisted bed sheets painted with the slogans of international Communism, blew rubber Bronx-cheer whistles and shouted, "Get out, Nixon!" When the good-will guests walked smiling down the plane's steps, The Star-Spangled Banner and a 21-gun salute were drowned in an ugly howl of hatred.

A Shower of Glass. The spitting began as the Nixons walked along the troop-lined red carpet toward their limousines. The band made a futile attempt to quiet the crowd by playing the Venezuelan national anthem; Pat Nixon shamed a hooting, teen-aged girl into silence by reaching over the guards' bayonets to take her hand. As the Nixons got into separate cars for the ten-mile superhighway trip up the coastal range to the capital, demonstrators tried to blind the drivers by draping banners over the windshields. Only when the mob was left behind did the Nixons take out handkerchiefs to wipe the saliva from their faces and clothes.

In the thick traffic of the working-class suburb of Catia, the caravan slowed to a crawl, then halted. Several hundred rioters came running. They ripped the U.S. and Venezuelan flags from Nixon's car, pounded the doors with clubs, pipes, brass artillery-shell cases. Grapefruit-sized stones smashed against the safety glass until slivers began flying through the inside of the car. A shower of glass struck Nixon, one piece lodging in his temple near his right eye (it was easily removed).

Outside, the handful of escort police hung back. Brutally manhandled by vengeful mobs after the overthrow of Dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez last January, they seemed afraid to tackle bloodthirsty civilians again. One U.S. Secret Service man threw himself across the back window of Nixon's car to protect it from stones and clubs. Others pulled at a stubborn student lying under the car's front wheels. The howling mob tried to overturn the car.

After twelve minutes' bitter combat, the limousine bucked ahead, bound for the tomb of Simón Bolívar, where Nixon was scheduled to lay a wreath. A block from the tomb the car suddenly veered off into a side street. Glancing through a shattered side window, Nixon could see a mob of 3,000 rioters, mostly high school students, waiting for him. (Days later, policemen found 400 Molotov cocktails cached in the basement of a nearby house.) The limousine sped off to the safety of the U.S. embassy residence.

An emergency phone call to Washington told President Eisenhower of the Nixons' plight. Deeply concerned, the President ordered a military rescue operation (see NATIONAL AFFAIRS). But before the troops were on the way, Venezuela's five-man junta had ringed the residence with 400 soldiers. Mobs were still roaming the streets, and the Nixons were virtual prisoners in the residence.

Welcome, President Bush, to Israel.

Would a Rape Crisis Center Be Relevant?

Following this, we have this:-

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is pleased to announce the 2008 small grants competition funded by the State Department’s U.S. Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). We are looking for innovative, small projects that promote reform and develop civil society. NGOs and private sector organizations working within the minority and/or marginalized communities in Israel are invited to submit proposals that focus on advancing one or more of the four MEPI pillars in those communities:
Political Reform / Economic Reform / Education Reform / Women's Empowerment


The project must be completed within 12-month period.
Grant requests must be in the $10,000-$25,000 range.
The budget should give priority to program-related activities or materials rather than salaries and administrative costs. Food and refreshments (including alcoholic beverages), entertainment, office rental and utilities, and construction costs cannot be funded.
Proposals related more to conflict resolution, coexistence and reconciliation, while extremely worthwhile, cannot be submitted in response to this solicitation.
The project proposal must be concretely focused on advancing reform in one of the four MEPI pillars above.
In accordance with U.S. law, all signed grants will include a clause prohibiting transactions with organizations that support or are involved in terrorist activity.


Another "Wall"

First, there was the security wall.

Then, the apartheid wall.

And now:

Palestinians see the building of Har Homa as the last rampart in a wall of settlements encircling Arab East Jerusalem

A Letter the IHT Didn't Publish

Eric Alterman assaults American Jewry's presumed neocon agenda ("Their spokesmen are bad for the Jews", Dec. 22-23), but glides over a significant statistical connundrum. He should have asked why is it that if 80% of those in the poll he quotes believe Muslim states wish to destroy Israel and that over 60% think peace is a distant achievement, why do almost 50% desire the establishment of a Palestinian state. Would not that entity join the rest in the Arab world in seeking Israel's destruction and further distance peace? Could it be that being a professor of English doesn't help in reading the numbers?

But this letter did get published:-

Islam and its 'moderates'

American Jewish opinion

Eric Alterman's opinion column, "Their spokesmen are bad for the Jews" (Views, Dec. 22) is bad for objectivity. He uses results from our annual survey to assert that American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal, as he is, and then lambasts several major groups, including the American Jewish Committee, for opposing the prevailing views of their brethren. In doing so, he ignores three things.

First, no one can accuse American Jewry of having a shortage of organizations. "Two Jews, three synagogues," the quip goes. There are agencies reflecting every point of view along the political spectrum. Alterman's frustration is that those reflecting his stance have not achieved the success he believes they deserve. If so, the answer lies within, not outside, as he suggests.

Second, as an ideologue, he makes the same mistake as his mirror images on the right. He refuses to recognize the nuance of those in the center, including the American Jewish Committee. In effect, he declares, either you're with us or against us. But the American Jewish Committee defies such wrong-headed characterization. An agency that opposes waterboarding, supports a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, defends church-state separation, and is in the front ranks on civil rights and social justice issues can hardly be classified as right wing.

Finally, Alterman glosses over the survey data that does not bolster his case. In reality, American Jews are schizophrenic on Arab-Israeli issues. Many would be prepared to see Israel make painful compromises for peace, yet, at the same time, have little confidence in most Arab leaders and their long-term intentions regarding the Jewish state. It's precisely that kind of anguished nuance that is missing from his analysis.

David A. Harris, Executive director, American Jewish Committee, New York

And these, too:-

Jewish public opinion

I agree with Eric Alterman that the major American Jewish political organizations have misrepresented Jewish opinion for their own hawkish, neo-conservative agenda. ("Their spokesmen are bad for the Jews," Views, Dec. 22)

As an American Jew myself, I am particularly dismayed that these political organizations, in addition to the religious institutions representing Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism, have consistently supported almost every Israeli policy in the name of "unity." This Jewish support, together with U.S. acquiescence, has allowed Israel's harsh occupation of Palestinian life (with its vast illegal settlements, its home demolitions, its targeted assassinations and its economic strangulation) to continue unabated.

As Alterman suggests, this shameful record of support for Israel's unethical policies is in sharp contrast to the liberal humanistic values of the majority of American Jews.

Jacob Bender, New York

Eric Alterman himself engages in the very distortion and demonization which he so decries in his blanket condemnation and mischaracterization of major American Jewish organizations and their policy agendas.

Contrary to Alterman's assertions, the American Jewish Committee, for example, advocates public policies that are closely aligned with the political and moral convictions of the overwhelming majority of American Jews and that reflect Jewish humanistic values.

These include: a strict separation of religion and state, energy conservation and sustainable environmental practices, strong public schools and increased funding for education, support for same-sex unions, affirmative action, opposition to capital punishment, and robust funding to combat poverty and increase access to healthcare, early childhood care, and after-school programming.

Just as most individual Jewish Americans are faithful to the values of liberal humanism so are the majority of Jewish organizations who, contrary to Alterman's tendentious article, faithfully represent the values of American Jews.

Noam Schimmel, Jerusalem

It is heartening to know that the majority of American Jews do not agree with the Israeli lobby right-wingers who pretend to speak in the name of Jews everywhere. It is unfortunate, though, that those same liberal-thinking Jews in the majority do nothing to refute such organizations as AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and others of their ilk, who have so much influence over the institutions of the U.S. government.

I agree with Alterman that it is the apathy of most Jews, and the American public in general, that allows such well-funded organizations, though in the minority, to control the debate.

Eugene Schulman, Geneva

And Alterman gets in the last word:-


In response to my opinion article, "Their spokesmen are bad for the Jews," (Views, Dec. 22), David Harris of the American Jewish Committee casts many aspersions, calling me an "ideologue" and comparing me to my (nameless) "mirror images on the right."

What he fails to do, however, is to dispute a single fact I presented in my column.

Nothing in my article suggests that "you are with us or against us," as Harris falsely claims. His primary argument appears to be over the fact that I included his organization among those who have "historically associated itself with the hawkish side of the debate." But here, again, Harris fails to cite a single instance in which his organization has associated itself with the dovish side of the foreign policy debate, save the AJC's rhetorical support for a "two-state solution," a position shared by both George W. Bush and the late Ariel Sharon, and hence, not so dovish.

What Harris also fails to mention - and I don't blame him - are the decades in which the AJC underwrote Commentary, a magazine filled with extremely vicious and vituperative attacks on anyone - particularly Jews - who deviated even slightly from the hard-line neoconservative agenda. Indeed, Commentary rightly considers itself to be the birthplace of neoconservatism itself, something that would have been impossible without the AJC's loyal support.

Alas, Harris's protestations notwithstanding, these decades underwriting the hard-right wing among American Jews speaks rather more powerfully than a single letter to the editor.

Eric Alterman, New York

David Landau Supports "Rape"

Haaretz's editor it seems has taken a bad fall out of his editor's chair.

...comments made by David Landau, editor of the Israeli daily, Haaretz, to Condoleezza Rice about Israel needing to be “raped” by the U.S. to achieve a Mideast settlement caused quite a stir among the 20 or so attendees at a confidential briefing with the secretary of state on a recent visit to Israel.

The incident, which took place Sept. 10 at the private residence of America’s ambassador to Israel, Richard Jones, has not been fully reported until now. What is contested is not the raw language Landau used but the context of his impassioned comments.

...Landau, who was seated next to Rice, was said to have referred to Israel as a “failed state” politically, one in need of a U.S.-imposed settlement. He was said to have implored Rice to intervene, asserting that the Israeli government wanted “to be raped” and that it would be like a “wet dream” for him to see this happen.

When contacted this week, Landau said the description was “inaccurate” and “a perversion of what I said.” He said his views had been delivered with “much more sophistication.” But he added: “I did say that in general, Israel wants to be raped — I did use that word — by the U.S., and I myself have long felt Israel needed more vigorous U.S. intervention in the affairs of the Middle East.”

(Kippah tip: Isi Liebler)

Anybody out there wishing to "rape" Landau?

P.S. Steve Plaut wrote:

You think this has anything to do with the fact that the Hebrew U's anthropology department has just declared rape to be an act of anti-racism and kindness, whereas Refusal to Rape is an act of racism?

The Medad Fraction Principle

The hard fact is that British Mandate Palestine never was, and is not today, big enough to accommodate both a Jewish and an Arab state. The “two-state” solution never could succeed and never will.

Yup, Hillel Halkin gets that right. Just like I wrote, that like in mathematics, sometimes, to divide a number, you need to enlarge it first. The "Medad Fraction Principle".

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Maybe This is an Option for Israel

The English lead:-

Bad teachers 'have to be axed to save weak schools'

Incompetent teachers should be sacked to revive failing comprehensives, headmasters were told yesterday.

The drastic move was among a number of hardline measures recommended in a report drawn up by educational leaders.

They also said disruptive pupils should face immediate action to help staff restore discipline.

The report was produced by Robert Hill, who was an adviser to Tony Blair, in conjunction with the Association of School and College Leaders.

Drawing on Government research and guidance, the study said that top-performing schools can help to transform standards by taking over weak comprehensives.

The study said that staff from the lead school should "saturate" the weaker school and enforce changes in the first days of a takeover.

"The lead school will conduct a short analysis and confront the partner school with the realities of the situation and the underlying problems that have been ducked," the report said.

"They will identify staff who are in effect hardened blockers of progress and deal with them.

"In some cases individuals in the underperforming school will recognise that the increased expectations and pace are too much for them and leave without the need for formal procedures.

"But others may have to be persuaded or required to go - though the number of 'casualties' in terms of staff (and students) is often relatively small."

The researchers described the takeover process as "wiping the memory of the partner school and reprogramming it".

New Book

The Jews do not treat their genuine heroes kindly. They are more likely to give their adulation to those who take them into the abyss, a Yitzhak Rabin, an Ariel Sharon. And so it is of some comfort that the saga of Aaron and Sarah Aaronsohn, a great man and his remarkable sister, has finally been given the writer it deserves.



What to learn more?

Go here to read Rael Jean Isaac's book review of Shmuel Katz's The Aaronsohn Saga.

A DeLUX Letter

Sent to the UK Telegraph that I received:


I am delighted to read of the increase in tourists to Bethlehem (Dec 26th), but have to point out a descrepancy in the remarks of its Mayor, Victor Batarseh. He said, 'this city is open to everyone,' knowing that Jews are the exception, even pilgrims crossing from Israel must use Christian or Muslim taxi drivers.

The Latin Patriarch, Michel Sabbah, head of the Catholic Church, in his sermon, thinly diguises his anti-Israel feelings, which were recently compounded when he suggested that by being a Jewish State (endorsed by the UN in 1948) other religions were discriminated against. With the graves of Jewish legends like Joshua and Caleb recently vandalised in the Palestinian controlled Samaria, it seems there never will be 'room at the inn' for a Jew in Palestinian territory.

Brian Lux, 49,Abbey Rd, LLandudno

Some Art

Painted by Esther-Chaya

Robust Condi Busted

An excerpt from:

Our World: Lies and deceits
by Caroline Glick

“...Since the Annapolis conference, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has repeatedly invoked the false Arab view that the physical presence of Israelis beyond the 1949 armistice lines is the source of the Arab-Israeli conflict rather than the Arab world's expressed refusal to accept Israel's existence and Palestinian society's expressed resolve to destroy Israel.Rice's open and repeated assaults against Israel's plans to build housing in Jewish neighborhoods in its capital city of Jerusalem and her studied silence on the issue of Arab and Palestinian Authority sponsorship of terrorism against Israel make her internalization of the bigoted and false Arab narrative clear.

Indeed, in an interview with the BBC last week, Rice placed the blame for the seven-year suspension of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians not on the Palestinian Authority which directed and sponsored the terror war against Israel which has claimed more than a thousand Israeli victims, but rather on the Israeli government for its support of the presence of Jews in disputed lands. As she put it, "On the Middle East peace process, I don't think in 2001, with the intifada having just been launched and frankly, Ariel Sharon, the father of the settlement movement, having just been elected prime minister of Israel, that there was much prospect for a final-status negotiation."

IT COULD be argued that in adopting her overtly anti-Israel and bigoted view of the Arab world's conflict with Israel that Rice is the victim of disinformation and general ignorance. This view might have some credibility were it not for the fact that the administration itself is actively ignoring evidence which shows its view of the Palestinians and other Arab states to be false.

For instance, in upholding PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas as a man of peace, the administration ignores an overwhelming body of evidence showing his own security forces' involvement in terrorism and his government's rejection of Israel. Rice ignores the fact that Fatah security forces murdered Ido Zoldan last month while she supports the arming and training of those same forces. So too, while she insists that Israel must not build in its capital city and must plan to expel some 250,000 Israelis from their towns in Judea and Samaria, she has been silent on the fact that Fatah's 43rd anniversary posters depict the map of Israel covered by a Palestinian keffiyeh, a rifle, and a portrait of Yasser Arafat…”

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Centenary Conference for Avraham Stern - Yair

Avraham Stern - Yair was the founder of the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (FFI, or Lechi in Hebrew) and the Hebrew University conducted a conference dealing with him as a graduate of the university, MA in Classical Languages and Hebrew Literature, 1934.

The pictures:

Part of the crowd

Two cousins: Yair Stern, son of Avraham Stern - Yair and Amira Stern, daughter of David Stern, Avraham Stern's brother

Geula Cohen talking on Yair's poetry

The sons of the Lechi commanders: (l - r) Yair Stern, Yair Shamir, Aryeh Eldad, Elisha Yellin-Mor

It's Okay as Long as You're Compromising

From the below, I imagine Yoffie, a Reform Rabbi, thinks it's okay for Diaspora Jewry to interfere in Israel's affairs, as long as Israel compromises, surrenders, yields up Jewish territory and security:

“The Jewish community in the US cannot at this moment make things difficult for Israel and it mustn't tell the Israeli government not to compromise on the issue of Jerusalem,” Rabbi Eric Yoffie said in an interview with Haaretz on Saturday, 22 December 2007.

“If there will be a concession at the end of the day, Israel will receive a tremendous benefit in return,” Yoffie surmised calling the timing of the vote “a wrong message whose goal isn't [to show] concern for Jerusalem but to demonstrate dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Olmert.”


Rabbi did I say?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gee, This is Done Regularly in Israel

Media slanted bias, that is.

Conservative officials who served in the Reagan administration are upset by the left-wing slant of the new movie about the covert action program that helped Afghan guerrillas defeat the Soviet army during the 1980s. "Charlie Wilson's War,"...The Reagan-era officials said the movie promotes the left-wing myth that the CIA-led operation funded Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda and ultimately produced the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Bin Laden, the officials said, never got CIA funding or weapons, and was not directly involved in Islamist extremist activities until years after the Afghan operation ended after the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989.

That anti-American aspect of the film, namely that the Afghan operation ultimately caused the September 11 attacks, reportedly was altered after protests from Mr. Wilson and his former fiancee, Joanne Herring...

...The officials blamed the anti-Reagan slant of the film on the movie's screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin, the Hollywood liberal who regularly attacked conservatives on his television drama "The West Wing," also known as "The Left Wing" because of its liberal bias.


Can You Find Israel?

Fatah is planning to mark its 43rd anniversary this year with a new poster that presents all of Israel as Palestine. A Fatah 43rd anniversary poster depicts a map of Israel that is entirely draped with a Palestinian keffiyeh next to a rifle signifying armed struggle. Designed specifically for the occasion by Abdel Mun'em Ibrahim, the poster features a map of Israel that is entirely draped with a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf.


(Kippah tip: AtlasShrugs)

So That's the Reason for a Bar-Mitzvah

I am told that the Barna Group, a prominent Christian demographic polling organization, concluded from its surveys that in essence what you believe by the time you are thirteen is what you will die believing.


Sometimes, You Can't Win

In the best selections in “Psychogeography,” Self comes to see himself and the people he meets in new ways. He finds Rio de Janeiro a rainy, scuzzy city, even more “terrifying” than São Paulo, which he imagines is full of former SS members. So he holes up in a cafe and reads the only decent book in English he can find in a local shop: William L. Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Encountering a couple of “good-time girls,” he falls into conversation and discovers that they give everyone they meet a nickname. Do they have a nickname for him? Self asks. Gesturing at the swastika on the cover of the Shirer, one of them says, “We call you Hitler.”


Brandon Walker's "Chinese Food on Christmas"

Will the Pope Poop the Patriarch?

Sr. Ruth Lautt, OP, National Director of Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East is dismayed by Latin Patriarch's statement.

She points out that "Jews, like any other people, defined in terms of a shared ethnicity, language, history, culture and/or religion, have the right to constitute an autonomous, sovereign political community. We have been very concerned about recent attacks on the legitimacy of a Jewish state. It is dismaying to see Patriarch Sabbah jump on this bandwagon and take the position that a Jewish state is somehow inherently discriminatory."

...Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton, the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College asks, "We must be careful to distinguish between the Jewish people and the Jewish religion.  Presumably His Beatitude supports the creation of a state for the Palestinian people.  Why would he deny this same fundamental right to the Jewish people? " asks

Fr. James Loughran, S.A., Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute adds   "When the modern Jewish state was created in 1948 there was a recognition that Jews were entitled to a homeland.  To now attack that Jewish homeland as per se 'discriminatory'  seems itself motivated by discriminatory intent.  Especially in light of the fact that Israel is known to respect freedom of all religions."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rachel Ehrenfeld Lost

She lost her appeal.

Read here.

(Kippah tip: AtlasShrugs)

By Jove!

Chabad is having problems with their synagogue in Litchfield, Conneticutt.

They sought permission to renovate a 135-year-old historical Victorian home. The Star of David they wished to put up passed the Historic District Commission but the panel found a proposed addition to the home and several other architectural changes too much to bear and rejected the application.

And who defends the town's resticitve decision?

A Jew.

A Mr. Goldberg.

A Mr. Zeus Goldberg.

Here, read:-

...But the proposed installation of double doors on the front of the 2,656-square-foot house and a clock tower on its roof was deemed out of touch with the historical character of the building, and the “massive” proposed addition to its rear was said to destroy its residential nature.

...One longtime resident, Zeus Goldberg, 70, who is Jewish, said the commission’s rejection “wasn’t based on anti-Semitism. It’s based on the town trying to maintain its character. That’s why they don’t allow a McDonald’s there.”

Jove is a variation of Zeus, in case you missed it.

Almost Passing for Pasachoff

Jay Pasachoff of Williamstown, Mass. (possibly of the Department of Astronomy at
Williams College*) has a Letter to the Editor in today's NYTimes:

Military responses aren’t working to stop the bombs falling on Israel’s border towns near Gaza (“Israel’s Dilemma in Response to Rockets,” news article, Dec. 19), so why not try reason?

Each time Israel responds militarily, it should also broadcast and leaflet a statement that explains that peace would be met by peace; that if the rockets and other attacks stop, so would Israeli incursions; and that Gazans have been misled by their leaders to think that they would benefit by demonizing Israel.

I am sure he meant well but actually military responses do work and have just recently causing Hamas to seek a semi-cease-fire. I don't, though, that an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, refuses to recognize it, kills Jews for fun and thinks of we Jews as monkey and pygmies (**) is interestd in peace or that I would like to make peace at all with such a group. As for the rest of the Pals., I think they share much of Hamas ideology but that it is only a matter of degree. Reason, Professor, has nothing to do with the hatred of the Pals.

I have a better idea, one I expressed two years ago to the then head of the British Foreign Office Muddle East (sorry, Middle East) Peace Research Group.

I said that the next peace "treaty" between Israel and the PA must include an operative clause, backed and guaranteed by the international community. This clause would stipulate that for every violation, by either side, of the terms of the treaty, a piece of territory, say one square kilometer or whatever, would be moved to the other party. Something concrete like land needs to be at stake, I told him, saying that actually, my proposal fit in with the Land for Peace concept.

He laughed and commented that at the rate the Qassams are coming over, the Gazans will have no where to stand within a year.

I laughed and said, you probably are right.

I think that any other proposals or approaches are a bit starry-eyed.



It even reaches the U.K.:

...the Academy used text books by the Saudi government’s Ministry of Education which taught religious hate.

"The schoolbooks presently in use describe Jews as 'monkeys' (or apes) and Christians as 'pigs'," he says in the documents. Students are asked to "mention some repugnant characteristics of Jews", and Year 1 pupils are asked to "give examples of worthless religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, idol worship and others", he adds.

and this at Palestinian Media Watch In-depth Reports:-

“The battle with the Jews will surely come… the decisive Muslim victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about in more than one Hadith and the Day of Resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [the Muslims] over the descendents of the monkeys and pigs [the Jews] and with their annihilation.”


The courageous over the infidels, make war for Allah and are not afraid… This is the depiction of the Army of Allah that will come at Allah’s decree, from here or from there, to liberate these lands from the defilement of the Jews, for Allah was angry with them in his book and called them once ‘monkeys’, once ‘swine’, and once ‘donkeys’.”

Quiz - What is This?


Aaron Amir

Ba'et bashak ushlay pachzar
Be'afsay-chak savsu, makdo:
au az chilcain haya nimzar
umtay-aran kairdu.

"Gura bnee, min hapitonmai
'chod-shino, chil-ziparno!
mayof-girgir tanoos, za'on
maychetesh bim'gono!"

Vehu shalaf saypho hachaz:
nad, cheepace et pechik-tzarav
--veko amad betzel zamzam,
tapoos beheerhoorav.

Odo omed shefa hagoot
vehapiton, einav dolkot
veesh'vesh beya'ar hamanood,
ho'e'ah venakot!

Bim'chi chazooz - habas! habas!
-ticktaich hasayif benim
harnatal et rosh pigro
hazedve'el beito tzahar

"Af ketalto, et hapiton?
achabkecha, yaldi hatzach!
ho yom-tzilha! yabah! yabah!
bechedvato patzach.

Ba'et bashak ushlay pachzar
Be'afsay-chak savsu, makdo:
au az chilcain haya nimzar
umtay-aran kairdu.

Go here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The UK Demographic Situation

Reflected in names:-

For the last 13 years Jack has been the most popular boys' name in the land. But in multicultural Britain children named after the Muslim prophet Mohammed come a close second.

In a reflection of the increasing influence of Islam, figures released yesterday showed the most popular spelling of the name - Mohammed - had climbed five places to 17th in the annual list of top baby names. However, when the seven other spellings of the name are taken into account, the total comes to 6,347 babies, making it the second most popular name of the year - up from 5,936 last year.

Although Jack topped the list with 6,772 babies, that figure fell 156 on last year, meaning if the trends were repeated next year, Mohammed and its variant spellings would be the most popular choice in England and Wales.

The other spellings are Muhammad, Mohammad, Muhammed, Mohamed, Mohamad, Muhamed and Mohammod.

The last national census in 2001 put the UK Muslim population at 1.6million, but this will have grown substantially in the past five years.

Hamas Wins Twice in Jerusalem

The first is this item

Israel Gov't, Police Stand by as Hamas Broadcasts from Temple Mt

More Olmert-Fatah-Hamas collusion: Hamas has been given exclusive radio broadcast rights from the Temple Mount this week - while Jews mourning the First Temple siege are banned from the site...An ISDN line regularly broadcasts, over PA radio, the Islamic prayer services from the Temple Mount. This week, however, it granted the license to do so to Hamas - complete with Hamas Radio commercials, station identifications, and incitement against Jews.

The second is this matter:

Gideon Schmerling, Jerusalem Municipality Spokesman, announced that the Old City Walls of Jerusalem will be illuminated in green to raise awareness to green and environmental issues. The illumination will be kept on for the visit of President Bush in Jerusalem...To create the illumination on the walls, green filters will be placed on the decorative lightning of the old city walls...Mayor Lupolianski marked that he is proud that Jerusalem will be the one to deliver the message of saving our environment. Greenpeace welcomed the initiative by the Jerusalem municipality.

In case my readers do not know, green is the color of Hamas.


Watch Out, Jewesses (and Enemy Terrorists)

One review:-

Sony Pictures has released the movie trailer for their upcoming Adam Sandler comedy You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.

Directed by Dennis Dugan (Big Daddy, Happy Gilmore), Zohan’s screenplay was a collaboration between three comedy greats: Judd Apatow (40-Year-Old-Virgin, Knocked Up), Robert Smigel (SNL) and Adam Sandler. The film stars Sandler as an Israel Intelligence Agent who fakes his death so he can anonymously move to New York and become a hair stylist. Sounds like a promising SNL sketch, but a full length feature film?


Wedding Notice or Family Business Advert?

I love the NYTimes' wedding section.

Rabbis and priests, churches and synagogues, Orthodox and Reform, it's all there including same-sex marriages. The 'times' as reflected in the Times.

Check this one:-

Dr. Sandra Nicole Gelbard and Tony Yair Uzan were married on Saturday evening at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Rabbi David Berkman officiated.

Dr. Gelbard-Uzan, 35, is an internist in private practice in New York; she specializes in cholesterol management, weight loss and preventive medicine. She is also a clinical instructor of medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, and was among the physicians who treated Brooke Astor. She graduated from Brandeis and received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

She is the daughter of Joyce Gelbard and Bernard Gelbard of New City, N.Y. Her father, a pharmacist, is the president of the Prescription Center, a pharmacy in Tallman, N.Y. Her mother, a registered nurse, is a substitute school nurse in the Clarkstown, N.Y., school district.

Mr. Uzan, 39, is a managing consultant in Manhattan with the global business services division of I.B.M.; he manages teams that help restructure companies and improve their business strategy. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and has an M.B.A. from Northwestern.

He is a son of Margalit Uzan and Henri Uzan of Los Angeles. His parents renovate and then sell houses in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and oversee rental properties in Las Vegas. His father was a chef at Chasen’s restaurant in Beverly Hills, and until 1990 owned Shep’s Deli in Los Angeles.

His father, her mother, her father, his mother, their business, their business.

And This is a Professional Reporter?

Officials in the Israeli prime minister’s office reacted coolly on Wednesday to an indirect approach by the Hamas leader in Gaza offering talks on a truce.

The offer was relayed through an Israeli reporter, Sleman al-Shafhe, of Channel 2 television. On a news broadcast on Tuesday night, Mr. Shafhe said Ismail Haniya, the leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, had called him earlier in the day to convey a message to the Israelis.

According to Mr. Shafhe, Mr. Haniya said he had the ability to stop the rocket fire directed at Israel from Gaza, on condition that Israel stopped the killing of Palestinians there and lifted the blockade of Gaza.

...Mr. Haniya’s conversation with Mr. Shafhe was not recorded, but a Hamas government spokesman in Gaza, Taher Nunu, confirmed that Mr. Haniya had spoken about a truce.


Rainbow Over Shiloh

On my way to the bus to work at 6:40AM:-

that's Karyut, our Arab neighborhood village to the north in the distance


I had never heard of this Christian stream previously: Pre-Trib.

Here's what I learned:

In 1991 Dr. Tim LaHaye became concerned about a perceived swaying from the pretribulational doctrine. In 1992 Dr. LaHaye released his book on the rapture: No Fear of the Storm from Multnomah Press. It was re-released in 1998 as Rapture Under Attack. In the process of preparing the first edition of his rapture book, Dr. LaHaye was impressed with the gatherings of the Albury Park and Powerscourt Conference in Britain during the late 1820s and early 1830s where leaders gathered to discuss issues relating to Bible prophecy. Dr. LaHaye contacted Dr. Thomas Ice and discussed the possibility of calling a similar meeting...

...the newly formed Pre-Trib Research Center (PTRC)...was conceived by Dr. LaHaye for the purpose of encouraging the research, teaching, propagation, and defense of the pretribulational rapture and related Bible prophecy doctrines...The Pre-Trib Research Center has over 200 members in association with its efforts. Most of the top prophecy scholars, authors, and popularizes are members of the Center and Study Group. The association of these prophecy experts, which have been facilitated by the Pre-Trib organization, has contributed to the inspiration of dozens of books, articles, conferences, and events that express and defend the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy and the pre-trib rapture.

...PTRC wants to impact Pastors and individual Christians with the central role and importance that Bible prophecy, especially the any-moment possibility of the rapture, should play in the life of the church. Dr. LaHaye and PTRC stresses three practical implications that flow from the rapture teaching. The first implication of pretribulationism is that it leads to godly living in an unholy age.

What does this mean? This:-

PTRC Doctrinal Statement

We believe that the sixty-six, canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, alone and in their entirety, comprise the God-inspired Scriptures which, therefore, are inerrant in their autographs.

We believe the Bible should be interpreted normally, as with any other piece of sane literature, by a consistently literal hermeneutic which recognizes the clear usage of speech figures.

We believe that Christ will literally rapture His church prior to the 70th week of Daniel, followed by His glorious, premillennial arrival on the earth at least seven years later to set up His 1,000 year kingdom rule from Jerusalem over the earth.

We believe that God's plan for history demands a consistent distinction between national Israel and the church which includes an ongoing plan for national, ethnic Israel that culminates in Christ's millennial kingdom.

I am no expert but that last phrase, a consistent distinction between national Israel and the church which includes an ongoing plan for national, ethnic Israel, means that these are the best possible Christian friends of Zionism that we can have [see here, for example, as well as here]. Of course, I am not sure there will be that seven-year hiatus or the 1000 year Kingdom. And the concept of rapture is equal to that of gilgul neshamot, i.e., the transmigration of souls, by me. But I don't eat pork either so I am more than willing to wait.

If that is so, well, then I am glad I was featured at their recent conclave, their recent Annual Pre-Trib Study Group Conference during December at Dallas, Texas. There were around 500 people there including many Christian broadcasters, authors, publishers, college and seminary professors, lecturers, preachers, pastors and a number of non-ministry types.

Here are two comments I received:

Thanks for the part you played in this year's conference. You were a "hit".


By the way, my interview with you made a great impact on those at the conference as well. It is dramatic to have you men from Israel on the radio and in these conferences. Thank you so very much.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Twenty-six Years Ago Article

This was published in Sh'ma, 11/225, January 8, 1982, edited by Eugene B. Borowitz:-

How nothing has changed.

Sabbah Botches It

It seems that news agencies are reporting that Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch rejects Israel's Jewish identity and according to Reuters:

Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch criticised Israel on Wednesday for insisting Palestinians recognise it as a Jewish state and said God made the Holy Land for Muslims and Christians too. Michel Sabbah, the Holy Land's Roman Catholic leader, said in his annual Christmas message that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had unleashed "forces of evil" across the Middle East and it was up to Israel to make a relaunched peace process work.

...Sabbah said he was concerned about Israeli demands, rebuffed by the Palestinians, that Israel be recognised as a Jewish state because that would discriminate against Muslims and Christians. "God made this land for all three of us, so a suitable state is one who can adapt itself to the vocation of this land," said Sabbah, who was born in Nazareth, a town where Christians believe Jesus was raised and which is now part of Israel. If it's Jewish, it's not Muslim or Christian...If there's a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against," Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah told reporters at the annual press conference he holds in Jerusalem before the Christian holiday...Sabbah said Israel should abandon its Jewish character in favor of a political, normal state for Christians, Muslims and Jews. "This land cannot be exclusive for anyone," he said. [And see this news report, as well]

Well, this is a bit of a problem. Instead of lashing out at the persons or the culture or the political framework which is killing Christians, raping their women, torching their churches and causing them to exit their homes - the Palestine Authority, if my intention was not clear (see here and here and better, here) - Sabbah not only ignores the harsh reality he is seen to be covering up but also illustrates a quite vicious theological interpretation which I am the many non-Jewish readers of this blog do not share.

First of all, as any theologian knows, there is a difference between the "Land" as intrinsically being geographically sacred, whether to Judaism, Christianity or Islam, and as to what degree, and the "State" which is but a political framework. Whereas Christianity may separate the two (""Render unto Cesar the things that are Caesar; and to God, the things that are God’s" - Mark 12:17), we Jews do not. But that intrinsic character does not mean absolute exclusion.

Christians and Muslims have not be ghettoized in Israel as Jews were in Europe and the Arab Middle East. Pogroms and Farhud were the lot of the Jews but not of Arabs here. [further reading]

But secondly, the Bible assure mankind that there will be an era of redemption. Here's Isaiah, Chapter 2:

2 It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many peoples shall go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.

Can Sabbah presume to stand in the way of Biblical prophecy? Is he negating the scriptual word? There will be nations and peoples and no one is forced to become Jewish. But the ultimate message there is that G-d, as the Divine presence and motivating force, will be recognized by all. And that is why the Jews need to be sovereign in the Land of Israel. Not to exclude but to permit all the nations and beliefs to benefit from the spiritual, moral and cultural advantages that the Jews have highlighted throughout their history.

Of course, if the land is Jewish it is not Christian or Muslim. Jesus knew that when he came, as a worshipper, to the Temple. The Islamic Haddith sought to identify Muhammed with Jerusalem although the Quran and the historical record attest otherwise. But I don't seek to extend Jewishness to Mecca where no non-Muslim can be in nor to Rome from where Sabbah's authority stems.

Isaiah speaks not of war but of peace. Would that other religious leaders learn that simple message that we Jews know.