Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scenes of Ethnic Cleansing

Ethnic cleansing of Jews, that is.

By Arabs.

Out of Jerusalem's Old City Jewish Quarter where Jews had lived for about 600 years or so continuously and off-and-on for 1800 years.


The current Jewish Quarter, which today looks almost brand new and usually sparkling clean, dates to roughly 1400. The oldest synagogues — the Elijah the Prophet and Yohanan Ben Zakkai — are roughly 400 years-old...Originally the Great Synagogue, the Hurva was built in the 16th century, but was destroyed by the Ottomans. The synagogue was rebuilt in the 1850's, but was damaged in the 1948 war and then destroyed after the Jordanians took control of the Old City...Nearby is the Ramban Synagogue, named for Rabbi Moshe Ben-Nahman — the Ramban — who helped rejuvenate the Jewish community in Jerusalem in 1267, after it had been wiped out by the Crusaders.

Just off the plaza is the Cardo, which was a Byzantine road, roughly the equivalent of an eight-lane highway, that ran through the heart of the city...The Jewish Quarter of today is located on the remains of the upper city from the Herodian period (37 B.C.E-70 C.E.).

It was conquered and occupied by Arabs in May 1948 and the Jewish residents expelled.

And these two are the grandparents of a resident of Beth El:


One Cassette of One Israeli Soldier is Worth...?

How much is one Israeli soldier worth?

This story gives you an idea:

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Osama Muzini confirmed the deal, which he said was struck after German mediators asked for information on Schalit's health and Hamas responded that ''nothing is free.''

''Twenty prisoners will be released in exchange for the Zionist enemy's learning about his life through a cassette that shows him and reassures the enemy that he is still alive,'' Muzini said.

…Hamas, meanwhile, wants to end an Israeli and Egyptian economic blockade of Gaza that has caused widespread shortages of many basic items. These shortages have prevented Hamas from repairing the massive damage caused in Gaza by an Israeli military offensive last winter.

…The closure has led to a bustling smuggling business along Gaza's border with Egypt. On Wednesday, two smugglers were killed and four were injured when a tunnel under the border collapsed. A paramedic said the men were working in a tunnel in an area struck by the Israeli military the night before.

The Israeli army confirmed it targeted three tunnels in response to rocket and mortar fire from Gaza in the previous two days. Israel says the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.

More than 120 people have died in tunnel collapses since 2007.

So, one cassette of one Israeli soldier is worth:

- years of economic blockade

- almost 150 dead tunnels diggers/workers/smuggler

- 20 prisoners

How stupid is Hamas?

I'm Laughing at a Liberal Critique of Obama

On issue after issue, he has shown a strong reluctance to challenge established thinking and to confront powerful interests. Just the opposite. Retreat from positions boldly declared has become the hallmark of his administration. At times, the retreat follows brief skirmishes. At other times, it is preemptive -- prompted by skirmishes in the president's own mind. This is the singular Obama style evident on major domestic issues. The process begins with a firm statement of the problem, a clarion call for action, and a pledge to force change. Then, there is the period of eerie calm -- no plan is unveiled, no strategy executed beyond entreaties that the protagonists act in the reasonable manner the president has outlined. Obama makes brief public appearances punctuated by further proclamations of the imperative to act, still without any specifics or sustained effort. Whatever comes out of this muddle is declared historic and promising...There is no virtue in this approach. It is classic avoidance behavior. Vintage Obama, as we have come to recognize it. He is a man of personal audacity, but little courage; one of that rare breed who say everything with strong conviction, but whose conviction is only genuine at the moment he speaks.

Michael Brenner

Tom Friedman Errs

I received this from a friend, LBD:

Early this morning I noticed that Thomas Friedman had posted a column (2 am EDT) on the dangerous anti-Obama mood in the U.S., comparing it to the mood he felt in Israel prior to the Rabin assassination. He went on to say that a “Jewish settler thought he had a license to kill Rabin.”

No comments had been posted at that point. I sent in the first comment...a “point of order”saying that Yigal Amir was not a settler but a resident of Israel within in the 1949 armistice lines. A few hours later I saw that it was the first comment; this evening I saw it was missing. Why? Because they changed the column online.

It now reads:

…And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin — he must have heard, “God will be on your side” — and so he did...

I went there and found some additional bothersome dribble from Friedman:

I remember the ugly mood in Israel then — a mood in which extreme right-wing settlers and politicians were doing all they could to delegitimize Rabin, who was committed to trading land for peace as part of the Oslo accords. They questioned his authority. They accused him of treason. They created pictures depicting him as a Nazi SS officer, and they shouted death threats at rallies. His political opponents winked at it all.


How many?

Did the media 'centralize' the issue by repeating some ugly scenes representing several dozens to several hundreds out out tens of thousands so that it seemd it was a general opinion?

Were not the most vicious phenomena, like that Nazi officer montage, the work of three people, one of whom was a GSS agent acting as a provocateur?

And this:

And in so doing they created a poisonous political environment that was interpreted by one right-wing Jewish nationalist as a license to kill Rabin

The simple fact is that Yigal Amir had decided to act very early on, before the "poisonous political environment".


According to the indictment, Yigal Amir decided after the September 1993 signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington, D.C., to kill Rabin in order to prevent the implementation of Israel's accord with the Palestinians. He turned to his brother Hagai and to Adani, who agreed to join the conspiracy, according to the prosecutors.

The charge sheet said the three initially considered blowing up Rabin's car, firing an anti-tank rocket into his apartment or putting nitroglycerin into his apartment's plumbing. Yigal Amir tried to approach Rabin twice before with a handgun before succeeding at the Nov. 4 peace rally

and here:

The two-year plot to kill Rabin

Sunday, 12 November 1995

A GROUP of religious Jews guided by militant rabbis hatched their plot to kill Yitzhak Rabin two years ago, immediately after he signed the agreement to withdraw from the West Bank,

If you read the NYTimes, you are not necessarily reading news.

"Son of a Whore" - A Policeman's Vocabulary

Here's a video and here's the story:

Last Sunday, a policeman accompanied his wounded companion to the MDA site for medical treatment after getting hit by an object on the Temple Mount.

One Jew was snapping shots and the female medic told him to stop. Another Jew told the first to continue shooting.

The accompanying policeman then punched the photographer

and shouted "Son of a whore, it's because of you that he was injured." (which you can hear quite clearly in the video: ben-zonah)

Gee, weren't there violent Arabs up there on the Temple Mount?


On A Tel Aviv rooftop, a mixture of Biblical Hebrew and Modern-Day Reality:

Top one:

Take You Son, Your Only Son, The one that you Love,
and drop him off at the Judo Club at the Community Center


Remove Your Shoes From Off Your Feet,
I Just Washed Here
Remember the Sabbath Day -
We're Invited to My Mother

Succot Tourism at Shiloh and The Binyamin Region

Tourism and Fun Happenings at Shiloh and throughout Binyamin during Succot:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Remember That Cairo Speech?

In Cairo, it seemed that President Obama publicly accepted the Palestinian narrative about the origin, and hence also the doubtful legitimacy, of Israel. Although hereferred to an “unbreakable bond” between Israel and America, Obama said that the “aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied,” and he specifically identified that history with the Holocaust. Obama said that denying the Holocaust was “deeply wrong.”

What he completely left out of his remarks was a much more fundamental connection between the Jews and Israel: a history of thousands of years of Jewish life, culture and statehood in the land now called Israel and also in what is now often identified as “Palestine” or “Palestinian territories.” Jews lived in Israel for centuries before there were any Palestinians to speak of. Jews were in Jerusalem a thousand years before the Christian Era. Arabs did not arrive in Jerusalem until the seventh century, some 1,600 years later. The holy city of Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times in the Hebrew Bible but not even once in the Quran. In modern times, a Jewish majority in Jerusalem preceded the founding of Israel by about eighty years. Though subjugated and diminished, Jews continued to live in their ancestral land from the time of King David to the time of Prime Minister Netanyahu. Jews who immigrated in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to what is today’s Israel did so when the area was ruled by Turkey and by Great Britain, not by anyone called Palestinians. Jews settled and cultivated the land not by conquest, not by fire and sword, but by the prosaic and lawful acts of purchase, and they have certainly made the land flourish.

By reducing the Jewish connection with the land of Israel to the singular tragedy of the Holocaust, Obama implicitly accepted Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s view that whatever the Nazis did to the Jews of Europe (if anything) was being somehow compensated for by the seizure of Palestinian lands and the displacement of Palestinian people by “colonialist” Jews from Europe.

Obama’s descriptions of the Palestinians’ alleged suffering at the hands of Israelis were highly unbalanced, inflammatory echoes of Arab propaganda — certainly not examples of “telling it like it is.” The president spoke of “more than sixty years [... of] the pain of dislocation,” and said that “many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands.”

Reflections on Obama’s Cairo Speech
and Beyond by Alexander J. Groth
Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs III : 3 (2009)

Amy, Try A Rabbi

Amy Winehouse, nominally Jewish, has healer:

Peter Hippolyte [from] St Lucia...And now the booze and drugs junkie is flying him over to England to help keep her demons at bay.

Peter has described how he put an end to her wild ways in the Caribbean and even stopped her boozing. 'I have healing hands and I talk to her and explain things to her,' he told Heat magazine.

'She's a wonderful girl and she believes in me. I am coming back to England to help her.'

He said: 'We hug each other, we kiss each other and I put my hands on her shoulder.

'I tell her not to worry and we sing to each other. When I come to the UK, I will use my hands to help heal her and use my psychological healing to organise her mind.

'We will say prayers together and she will drink bush tea with antioxidants.'

And I thought she was even game enough to try a shofar.

Bring On The Intervention They Say

I sat in the Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Jerusalem today for 90 minutes. I attended a workshop sponsored by the Truman Center of the Hebrew University and the Ford Foundation on "US Policy Toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict".

In the chair was Prof. Tamar Liebes and we saw and heard, via video call from Washington, Dr. David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

He basically said that the US Administration does not consider our conflict a priority any more.

Prof. Khalil Shikaki tried to prove that the parties, Israelis and local Arabs, davka desire US intervention along with Prof. Yaakov Shamir.

Dr. Samih al-Abd, a former PA minister and member of the PA negotiating team, decried the "occupation". Prof. Yaakov Bar-Siman-Tov announced that obviously there is no ripeness for intervention.

Of course, I didn't get a chance to pose a question but it would have gone like this:

"did you ask the participants if they had parameters to the US intervention, a frame beyond which they would reject intervention and if you had considered that too much intervention could spoil the whole project?"

Two pictures to prove I was there:

Close-up of Prof. Shikaki:

I Guess Doesn't Have A Demographic Problem

We're so good, we don't need a list.

A poll of 15,000 women found that Germans are considered "too smelly".

English lovers came second because they are so lazy, while men from Sweden were branded "too quick to finish" and came third.

The poll, carried out by global research site, asked women from 20 countries to rate nations on their ability in bed and give reasons for their answers.


1. Germany (too smelly)

2. England (too lazy)

3. Sweden (too quick)

4. Holland (too dominating)

5. America (too rough)

6. Greece (too lovey-dovey)

7. Wales (too selfish)

8. Scotland (too loud)

9. Turkey (too sweaty)

10. Russia (too hairy)


1. Spain

2. Brazil

3. Italy

4. France

5. Ireland

6. South Africa

7. Australia

8. New Zealand

9. Denmark

10. Canada

I'm Safe, Thank God

Israeli moderately hurt in West Bank shooting

An Israeli driver was moderately wounded on Tuesday evening when Palestinians opened fire on his car near the central West Bank settlement of Shiloh, between Ramallah and Nablus.

According to initial reports, the Israeli was driving outside the outpost of Shvut Rachel at the time of the attack. He was immediately evacuated by heliocopter to hospital with arm wounds.

The driver was identified as a settler from the area en route from Shvut Rachel to Kida, an outpost that connects Shiloh to the Jordan Valley.

According to the report, the man drove through to Kida before summoning emergency help.

"I can confirm it was a terrorist attack," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

The Israel Defense Forces has cordoned off the area.



Goldstone to Guinea Campaign Opens

Help send Goldstone to Guinea.



At least 157 people were killed when Guinean troops opened fire on opposition protesters on Monday, a human rights group says.

But the country's interior ministry has told the BBC that a total of 57 people have died in the protests.

Human rights groups say they have had reports of soldiers bayoneting people and women being stripped and raped in the streets during the protest.

Junta head Capt Moussa Dadis Camara denied knowledge of sexual assaults.

But he admitted that some of his security forces had lost control.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France was suspending military ties with Guinea after the "savage and bloody" crackdown on opposition protesters, French news agency AFP reported...soldiers moved in to quell the rally using tear gas and baton charges and firing live ammunition into the crowds.

Last Night of Selichot at Kotel

2 AM early Sunday morning, erev Yom Kippur at the Kotel

(Kippah tip: RH)


Bye-By NYTimes

A good friend sent me his letter to the Public Editor of the New York Times:

Dear Public Editor,

After 40 years as a dedicated NYT reader, I have today regretfully cancelled my subscription.

I have long been disturbed by the clear (in my view at least) editorial and reporting bias against Israel, in the news reports and certainly in the editorial/opinion pages. The last straw was the shocking lack of coverage this past Friday and Saturday of President Netanyahu’s courageous speech before the UN on Thursday. We are forced to suffer the hypocrisy of the U.N., an institution which gives prime coverage to leaders who are criminals, thugs and genocidal killers, while it focuses its most vicious attacks on Israel, a democratic country fighting for its life. Netanyahu’s speech, in which he challenges those who sat silently listening to the holocaust denying President of Iran, with: “Have you no shame!” was a powerful moment for all those who value freedom. Many other papers featured this speech prominently, with powerful pictures, on their front page.

Your coverage of Netanyahu was buried on page. 6, reduced to one small paragraph. Your on-line paper carried a Reuters report in greater detail, but you obviously did not see the need to give any coverage in print. You have lost any sense of credibility, in my mind. You offered extensive, wonderful coverage of Obama’s attempts for global cooperation, which may in fact lead nowhere. Yet, you failed to seriously cover perhaps the most critical challenge of our time: standing up to a homicidal, genocidal, anti-Semitic, racist regime that has shown no compunction in murdering, raping and torturing its own people!

Have you, the NYT, no shame!

Pictures From The Lelov Bet Midrash and the Rebbe's Funeral Service


(Hebrew captions)

On Levlov.

So, Who Is 'Full of Lies'?

Al-Jazeera reports:

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu’s speech was "full of lies".

He pointed out that, although Netanyahu spoke about "the moral bankruptcy and dangers of denying the Holocaust", it was in fact Israel that "committed the biggest massacre of the century" when it launched its attack on Gaza that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians in December and January of this year.


Does Hamas lie?


Last May, four months later into the century, we read this:

Sri Lankan army accused of massacring 20,000 Tamil civilians in final assault More than 20,000 civilians were killed in the final government onslaught on the Tamil Tigers according to confidential United Nations estimates, it has been reported.

1400 (almost two-thirds of whom were terrorists) vs. 20,000?

You do the math.


And on the day I learn that Bill Safire died.



Lord Mandelson accused "extreme right-wing" figures on the Internet for spreading rumours about Mr Brown's health, adding it was "absolutely ridiculous" to suggest the PM had a problem with pill use, and blamed politically motivated bloggers for raising the possibility.

"We have seen out there on the Internet, the blogosphere, all these extreme right-wing people trying to put these smears and rumours about, all completely groundless," he said.

...He suggested that the PM's often tired appearance might be an advantage compared to Conservative leader David Cameron, who he dismissed as a "flibbertigibbet" on Sunday night.

Goodness, even Shakespeare used it:

Flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young female. In modern use, it is used as a slang term, especially in Yorkshire, for a gossipy or overly talkative person. Its origin is in a meaningless representation of chattering.

This word also has a historical use as a name for a fiend, devil or sprite. In Shakespeare's King Lear...

But what exactly were those pills to do?

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Not Sure This Is Funny

(Shtreimel tip: RH)

No, They Weren't Looking for an Easter Egg

Okay, can you guess what they are doing? And are they men and women doing what they are doing?

No, not Easter Egg rolling.
Praying. Last Friday.
Opposite the White House:

The Washington Post seems to imply it was a mixed crowd:-

...long rows of men in robes and white knit caps and women in head coverings prostrated themselves to God, gave praise and listened to sermons as part of the congregational prayer that occurs about noon Fridays.
Who knows?

(Kippah tip: AtlasShrugs)

So, Jimmy Carter Is A...

(Kippah tip: ML)

And don't forget this.

A Yankees Insight

Three hundred bottles of Champagne on the wall, 300 bottles of...

The preparation for the celebration started with the Yankees ahead in the eighth. Grounds crew members taped plastic sheets over the lockers to protect players’ laptop computers and other personal items from the Champagne that was about to flow.

Once the Yankees reached the clubhouse, they grabbed bottles of Champagne and sprayed a lot more than they consumed. While stars like Derek Jeter and Rivera celebrated in a subdued manner, unheralded players like Sergio Mitre and Edwar Ramirez treated the bottles like garden hoses. The Yankees emptied 300 bottles in about 20 minutes.

“We just got whatever this time,” the clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza said of the choice of Champagne. “We’ll get better quality as we go along.”


In Honor of the Late William Safire

I had been in communication with Mr. Safire on language issues I have raised here.

In his August 5, 2001 column, "On Language", Safire wrote: "Words have connotations. In the disputed territory known as the West Bank, an Israeli village is called a settlement, implying fresh intrusion; a small Palestinian town, even one recently settled, is called a village, implying permanence." And I noted that his use of "disputed" rather than "occupied," or for that matter, "liberated," in another example of the importance of the terminology one uses.

and there was this posting of mine on January 15, 2006:

More on Terminology

No sooner than I finished posting the last bit of my thinking, I find this at William Safire's column:-

In wartime, words are weapons; we have seen how Israelis and Palestinians are highly sensitive to connotations in their conflict. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon preferred to refer to land in dispute west of the Jordan River by biblical names: Judea and Samaria, evoking Hebrew origins; Israeli diplomats long tried "administered territories." Palestinians call it the West Bank and have won that terminological battle.

On another word-war front, the construction within the West Bank to protect Israelis from rocket attacks and penetration by suicide bombers is called "the wall" by Palestinians intending to evoke memories of the cold war's hated Berlin Wall. Israelis counter by calling it "the fence," a less onerous and more familiar description of a line of separation, recalling to Americans the Robert Frost poetic line "Good fences make good neighbors." (In fact, it is both fence and wall, depending on the place.) After perusal of thesauri, the Bush administration adopted the undeniably accurate word barrier, which has been accepted as neutral by much of the news media and stirs no objection by Israel.


Too bad the NYTimes' own obit didn't mention his forceful defense of Israel in his columns.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Religious Tolerance and Coexistence? Naw

Ynet reports:
Eighteen policemen and 17 Muslim worshippers were lightly injured in riots which erupted Sunday morning at the Temple Mount holy site in Jerusalem. The police officers were wounded by stones hurled by rioters and were evacuated to the Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals in the capital. Eleven people were arrested on suspicion of hurling stones.

The incident began when a group of tourists entered the Temple Mount compound accompanied by a police force. At a certain stage, some 150 worshippers started gathering around them and calling out towards them. Fifteen worshippers were injured by stones and two were lightly hurt by the stun grenades and were evacuated to the al-Maqasid Hospital in east Jerusalem. Adult worshippers attempted to calm things down, while the group of tourists was removed from the site.
And who gets punished?
Following the riots, the police prevented worshippers from entering the compound.
Were those Muslim - or Jewish - "worshippers?

JTA reports:
Following the incident, the Temple Mount was closed to Jewish visitors, though not to Palestinians
But wait! The BBC reports:

Palestinian sources said about 15 people from the Temple Mount Guardians group managed to enter the compound and performed acts of worship in contravention of agreements putting the compound under Muslim control.

At first, Israeli police confirmed this, but later issued a clarification saying the group was in fact made up of non-Jewish French tourists...Other accounts say the tourists were mistaken for members of a large group of religious and right-wing Jews which had gathered at one gate of the compound to press for entry.

I guess the Muslims were expected the Temple Mount Faithful and jumped at the first group they saw. Is that premeditated religious-inspired violence? (see UPDATE below)

And to illustrate the ridiculousness of it, here's an official PA statement from WAFA:
Presidency Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rdeina said Sundaythat East Jerusalem and the its Holy Shrines constitute a red line. In a statement, Abu Rdeina condemned the extremist Jewish aggression in al Aqsa Mosque, where 19 citizens were wounded.

He considered this escalation aims at undermining the efforts to revive the peace process in the Middle East, mainly following the tripartite meeting in New York.

Abu Rdeina holds Israel responsible for the crime against Holy Shrines, calling upon the international community to pressurize Israel to refrain from such acts which would undermine the peace process.

And here's WAFA's report on the incident itself and notice its careful wording:
Sixteen citizens were wounded in clashes between the Israeli Police and Palestinian protesters early Sunday at the The Magharbi Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

According to our correspondent in Jerusalem, the Occupation Authorities closed all the gates of the holy Aqsa Mosque before the Israeli police and soldiers attacked the crowds of the citizens, who gathered in the Mosque for praying .

At dawn,extremist Jewish groups declared their intention to attack the Aqsa Mosque on the occasion of the 'Day of Atonement' Jewish Yom Kippur. The soldiers fired tear gas, and rubber bullets at the crowds, arresting many of the citizens.

The First Aid Arab Union Society said, the Israeli soldiers were shooting on the heads and the chests of the protesters, as what the injured who were received at almaqased hospital in East Jerusalem described ...

Despite the clashes, Jewish extremist continued to pray at the Western Wall – Holy for both Muslims and Jews - in the lead-up to the holiday of Yom Kippur.

You did notice this, right:-
Despite the clashes, Jewish extremist continued to pray at the Western Wall – Holy for both Muslims and Jews
All of a sudden (well, not really, but I'm guesssing you weren't aware), the Western Wall is now a shared Jewish-Muslim holy site. Not only is it that we Jews can't pray above but now the Muslims are annexing (is that legal?) our holy site below.

I wonder: if we offer them shared time and space at the Kotel, will they permit us shared space in time on the Temple Mount?

Hey, I was just asking rhetorically.

But now they are taking it a step further.

Ramallah – Ma'an – Palestinian officials say they expect the current Israeli government to take the region into a period of renewed confrontation, especially in light of Sunday’s violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In conversations with Ma’an, officials recalled that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also prime minister in 1996 when Israel’s construction of the Western Wall tunnels sparked an uprising that claimed the lives of 70 Palestinians and 17 Israeli soldiers.

...Fundamentally, Palestinian leaders believe that with Netanyahu and his Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, they are facing two politicians who believe they can benefit from renewed violence and security chaos, especially when Israel is facing a kind of international isolation, over ongoing expansion of West Bank settlements.

Palestinian officials told Ma’an that Netanyahu would support a policy of confrontation between Israel and the Palestinians in order to implement his political agenda even if it means bloodshed on both sides.

These officials as well as political analysts believe that Netanyahu-Barak government plans to drag the Palestinians into a military confrontation in order to avoid and avoid commitments to prior political agreements, namely the Road Map peace plan.

Meanwhile, other Palestinian officials believe that Sunday’s events at the Al-Aqsa Mosque were an Israeli attempt to test whether the Palestinians would be ready for a confrontation with Israel in defense of Jerusalem as a Muslim holy site. Israel’s percieved attempts to inflame sensitive religious issues are seen as dangerous, containing the potential to drag the whole region to a new cycle of violence and bloodshed.
All I can say is that if Israeli officials do not reach a solution to the Temple Mount - it will always pop up no matter if the Pals. themselves are guilty of fomenting the violence and initiating a political crises in order to embarrass Israel.



Haaretz has this:

According to legislator Hathem Abdel Kader and other Palestinian sources, the clash erupted in the early morning when Palestinians inside the complex - sacred to both Islam and Judaism - saw a group of 15 religious Jews trying to enter.

The Jews never managed to get into the complex, because several hundred Palestinians, who were on alert for such a possibility, began a loud protest.

Here It Is: - Another Haveil Havalim

Benji has edited it.


How 'Human Rights' Came To Quash 'National Rights'

Melanie Phillips writes this about the whole issue of human rights but should have gone one step further: was western civilisation which produced the concept of human rights in the first place -- the sacredness of human life, the equality of all people, the seminal importance of freedom, law and justice – and declared these to be universal principles. That’s why ‘human rights’ lawyers protest that their doctrine cannot possibly constitute an attack on western civilisation, because it is rooted in that civilisation’s own foundational principles.

The crucial point, however, is that these were not universal principles but – very different, this – culturally particular principles to be applied universally. They derived from a particular set of religious ethics which gave rise to western civilisation -- principles promoted through Christianity but deriving from the Hebrew Bible. Without that Biblical moral underpinning, there can be no basis for freedom or equality or respect for life.

But modern ‘human rights’ culture effectively set out to sever those principles from their Biblical core. Arising from the contemporary cult of individuality which repudiates all external authority as unjustified constraints on self-actualisation, ‘human rights’ culture claimed that these ‘rights’ were indeed universal – principles that transcended all cultures and therefore laid claim to superseding them. It took the principle of ‘universality’ and radically dislocated it from the unique Biblical tradition from which such ethics had sprung. ‘Human rights’ thus became free-floating axioms, deriving from no higher authority than the vagaries of judicial assumptions, prejudices and whims.

In wrapping itself in the mantle of universality, ‘human rights’ culture became an explicit attack on the very notion of the particular. Religious tradition therefore was directly in its sights – particularly Christianity and the Hebrew Bible upon which it drew, even though these were the foundation of those rights.

And the above reasoning applies just as well to the national rights of the Jewish people, like all other peoples, to their national homeland where they can develop their national character, culture, lifestyle.

Phillips gets close here:

Small wonder that Israel is such a target for so many ‘human rights’ practitioners. Israel is not only a nation (crime number one) but a nation whose existence is rooted in a religion (crime number two), a religion moreover which underpins the oppressive, imperialist, reactionary west (crime number three). Even though the Israeli judiciary is a temple to human rights, Israel is guilty of the original sin of particularity three times over.

That is why those Jewish 'human rights' lawyers who are supporters of Israel – and often passionately so – like to pretend that Israel’s undoubtedly stellar human rights record embodies principles which are ‘universal’ and have nothing to do with the religion of Judaism, upon whose more observant practitioners they tend to look with unalloyed horror and disdain.

What Was That That Jimmy Said About Obama?

What was it that he said?

Ah, yes, here it is:

Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that Representative Joe Wilson’s outburst last week during President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress was an act “based on racism” and rooted in fears of a black president.

“I think it’s based on racism,” Mr. Carter said at a town-hall-style meeting at his presidential center in Atlanta. “There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president.”

Well, I guess that leaves us with this:

I wonder if the Indians Native Americans have anything to say -

The Wrong Writing on the Wrong "Wall"

There are some crazy Jews and Jewesses out there:

I don't think even Leonard Cohen would have used her (thlast three lines are the Priestly Blessing text).

Amy Winehouse, Your Shofar is Missing

Did she have a problem, on the "High" Holiday?

Remember What I Wrote About Michael Oren?

I know Michael well and I am in awe of his academic accomplishments and book writing. However, as things go in Israel, we have a difference of outlook.

If you recall this post of mine, you won't be surprised to have me point this out from his NYTimes profile:

...Mr. Oren is putting his intellect and persuasive powers into the service of a right-wing Israeli government that does not see eye to eye with the White House. Judging from Mr. Oren’s writing and lectures, it is not clear he is completely eye to eye with his new bosses either.

He is on the record as supporting Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza, a decision that led Mr. Netanyahu to leave the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005. He has also said Israel must withdraw from its settlements in the West Bank, to save itself as a Jewish state.

“I am the last of the standing unilateralists,” Mr. Oren declared in a lecture in March at Georgetown University, where he was a visiting professor in Jewish studies until being named ambassador...Today, Mr. Oren is reluctant to discuss his views on settlements or to criticize Mr. Obama’s policies. But he insists, “I couldn’t serve in this government if I didn’t feel that the government’s positions closely, closely dovetail with what I’ve been feeling for a long, long time.”

Well, that was past. And the current?

He has lost no time cultivating Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, and David Axelrod, a senior adviser, both of whom are Jewish and have a keen interest in Middle East policy.

“The fact that Israel is having trouble with liberal America means we need to have someone who understands liberal America,” said Yossi Klein Halevi, a longtime friend and journalist who worked with Mr. Oren at the Shalem Center, a center-right research institute in Jerusalem.

Understand the liberals? Fine.

But not to compromise with them or to knuckle under.

The Obamamobile

(Kippah tip: DHg)

A Sotomayor First

Justice Sonia Sotomayor throwing out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

Photo credit: Jared Wickerham

On Muslim Intolerance and Israel's Wrong-headed Policy on the Temple Mount

Extracts/selections from David Kirshenbaum's Intolerance on the Temple Mount:

...Visiting the Temple Mount is a schizophrenic experience. When standing there, it is impossible not to be awestruck by the magnitude of where you are and the enormity of the colossal events that took place there. It is on the Temple Mount that both the First and Second Temple stood for nearly 1,000 years...Throughout history, whenever and wherever Jews were engaged in prayer, they faced Jerusalem. And when in Jerusalem, they pray in the direction of the Temple Mount...imagine your family tree and to consider when the last time anybody in the family line had been on the Temple Mount...

But now...I was forbidden to pray. Simply moving my lips in whispered prayer could be grounds for removal. Why? Because I am a Jew. And only a Muslim can pray on the holiest site in Judaism. A Jew may not.

...[in 1967] defense minister Moshe Dayan decided to allow the Muslim religious council, the Wakf, to retain administrative authority over the Temple Mount. Thus, a truly bizarre and unacceptable situation developed.

Israel has scrupulously upheld Muslim worship at the Aksa Mosque...But in glaring contrast, Israel has, for the past 43 years, failed to challenge the Muslim ban on Jewish worship on the Temple Mount...the pattern of Islamic religious imperialism, exemplified by the Wakf's contemptible conduct on the Temple Mount, must not be ignored.

The problem is not simply that the Arabs have attempted to take as their own every site in Israel holy to Judaism, whether it be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem or Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. But in doing so, they have consistently attempted to obliterate the historic Jewish connection and claim to each of those sites.

In...Bethlehem, a concerted policy by the Palestinian Authority to Islamicize the city and terrorize the Christian population resulted in a reduction in the percentage of Christians living there from 60 percent to less than 15% today.

We pay a terrible price when we close our eyes to the trampling of human rights and religious freedom out of fear of enraging the Muslim world. The Temple Mount is a huge area. It is the length of nearly five football fields north to south, and nearly three football fields east to west. It is certainly large enough to accommodate the ancient call of the prophet Isaiah recited in fervent prayer by Jews on Yom Kippur: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations."

The sooner we take action to help bring this about, the better.

Leonard Cohen Reciting The Priestly Blessing

After making some good music and a slightly foolish political statement - Leonard, I too work with the heart with love for my people and my land - at 8:00 he pronounces the Biblical text of the Priestly Blessing:

Obama Impotency Quotient Follow-up

In a follow-up to my Obama Impotency Quotient post, I was pointed to this Washington Times editorial:

Israel is looking like the new leader of the Free World. The previous leader, the United States, resigned this role last week at the United Nations to take the position of global community organizer. This was made plain by President Obama in his speech, titled "Responsibility for Our Common Future,"...

Mr. Obama's address was the predictable mix of criticism of the past policies of the United States, self-praise for correcting said policies and vague calls to united action on matters of collective interest. It sought to ingratiate rather than offend. But Mr. Netanyahu chastised the United Nations for its "systematic assault on the truth." He spoke truths that Mr. Obama would never whisper regarding the regime in Iran, which is "fueled by an extreme fundamentalism" and an "unforgiving creed." Mr. Netanyahu rebuked those members who countenanced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's diatribe before the same world body, rightly calling it a "disgrace."

Mr. Netanyahu repeatedly paid tribute to the blessings of liberty and "the allure of freedom."...Mr. Obama, meanwhile, touted the imperative of responding to global climate change and mentioned as an afterthought that democracy should not be an afterthought.

Israel stands out because it understands the central challenge faced by the civilized world and by its willingness to take action. Israel is readying to stem the tide of barbarism and stand up to the threat of a nuclear Iran. In return, it asks only for moral support. "If Israel is again asked to take more risk for peace," Mr. Netanyahu said, "we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow." He challenged the countries of the world with a clear-cut test: "Will you stand with Israel? Or will you stand with the terrorists?"

Mr. Obama said in closing that "we call on all nations to join us in building the future that our people deserve." But people only deserve what they have earned. Mr. Netanyahu called on the civilized world to "confront this peril, secure our future, and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come." Sometimes the future doesn't come without a fight.

(Kippah tip: BT)

From Behind The Mechitza, Sort Of

A clip of the celebration of the Blessing of the New Moon of the month of Ellul at 770 Eastern parkway, aka Chabad Headquarters, filmed from the women's balcony, with an emphasis on the more meshichistic Chabadniks (listen to the words of the song the cameralady is singing):

Did You Know That...

...Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik’s great-uncle Oskar was a senior member of a Baltic puppet government during the Nazi occupation and was accused of collaboration in crimes against humanity?

I Wonder What Would Have Popped Out of That Cake

This is not going to happen to me:

Kate Perry Wipes Out On Stage - Watch more Funny Videos

And ladies, this is not the cake I was expecting in case you were thinking about it:

Court papers say that during the summer, Zazi and three unidentified associates bought "unusually large quantities" of hydrogen peroxide and acetone — a flammable solvent found in nail-polish remover — from Denver-area beauty supply stores. The products had names such as Ion Sensitive Scalp Developer and Ms. K Liquid 40 Volume.

Zazi also searched the Web site of a Queens home-improvement store for another ingredient needed to make a compound called TATP (triacetone triperoxide), the explosives used by shoe bomber Richard Reid and the terrorists who carried out the London bombings that killed more than 50 people, according to court papers.

Zazi intensified his bomb-making experiments this month, cooking up substances in a Colorado hotel suite he rented on Sept. 6-7 before driving 1,600 miles to New York over the course of about two days. He became aware that law enforcement was onto him when he was stopped entering the city on Sept. 10, causing the plot to unravel.

Neff said Zazi "was in the throes of making a bomb and attempting to perfect his formulation" and seeking information on how to use flour to make the explosive suitable for transporting.

Is Obama A Diplomatic Impotent? UPDATED

Item One:

For Immediate Release September 25, 2009


President Obama and Prime Minister Brown held a meeting this morning on the margins of the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh...They agreed that Iran's nuclear activity was unacceptable, that the international community expected answers on October 1 and was also united in calling upon Iran to live up to its international responsibilities...

Item Two:

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 26, 2009

This week, I joined leaders from around the world at the United Nations and the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. Today, I can report on what we achieved...

...In New York, we advanced the cause of peace and security...We also took unprecedented steps to secure loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to seek a world without them...The United States is meeting our responsibilities by pursuing an agreement with Russia to reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. And just as we meet our responsibilities, so must other nations, including Iran and North Korea.

...This week, we joined with the United Kingdom and France in presenting evidence that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility to enrich uranium. This is a serious challenge to the global nonproliferation regime, and continues a disturbing pattern of Iranian evasion. That is why international negotiations with Iran scheduled for October 1st now take on added urgency.

My offer of a serious, meaningful dialogue to resolve this issue remains open. But Iran must now cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and take action to demonstrate its peaceful intentions.

On this, the international community is more united than ever before. Yesterday, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our European allies in condemning Iran’s program. In our meetings and public statements, President Medvedev of Russia and I agreed that Iran must pursue a new course or face consequences. All of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, have made it clear that Iran must fulfill its responsibilities.

Iran’s leaders must now choose – they can live up to their responsibilities and achieve integration with the community of nations. Or they will face increased pressure and isolation, and deny opportunity to their own people.

Item Three:

Iran's Nuclear Program

James Acton, associate in the nonproliferation program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was online Friday, Sept. 25 at Noon ET to discuss Iran's disclosure of a second uranium processing facility. Acton specializes in nonproliferation and disarmament. A physicist by training, Acton's research focuses on the interface of technical and political issues, with special attention to the civilian nuclear industry, IAEA safeguards, and practical solutions to strengthening the nonproliferation regime.


Frederick, Md.: Why did only three of the G-20 leaders make today's statement? Do we have a sense of where the other world leaders are on this subject?...

James Acton: ...They are playing a wait and see game at the moment.


Boston: So does the discovery of this second enrichment facility finally convince Russia and China that Iran's peaceful assurances can not be taken at face value? Will they finally support us on further economic sanctions after the December deadline? Even if Iran allows inspectors into both known sites, how can other countries ever be sure there isn't some other weaponization activity going on elsewhere in the country?

James Acton: I suspect that Medvedev's comment yesterday--that sanctions are required under "special" circumstances--was a reference to this facility and may indicate a willingness to sanction Iran further if talks break down. We'll have to see where China is on this...


Detroit, Mich.: It has been clear for several years from news reports (often not in American papers) that Iran is developing a nuclear bomb despite its statements to the contrary. We keep saying that this is intolerable, threaten sanctions, and Iran keeps on developing. Apparently, Israel is being told by the U.S. to avoid military action, despite the fact that the leader of Iran has multiple times talked about the illegitimacy of Israel and the need for it to no longer exist. There are times in history when negotiations cannot work and military action is needed. Isn't this a time? What gives us the right to tell Israel to avoid military action when its actual existence is threatened by Iran?

James Acton: I agree 100% the Iran case is deeply worrying. I agree that it wants the ability to build a nuclear weapon at short notice, if not a weapon itself.

However, I disagree that the military option is a solution. The problem with the military option is that if Iran develops a nuclear weapon after being attacked (very likely) we are in a much worse position.

Israel says publicly that strong multilateral sanctions are the best solution--and it is right.

But I want to emphasize again that the ball is in the Iranian court. If Iran cooperates fully and proactively with the IAEA and abides the Security Council resolutions, a good outcome is still possible.


Princeton, N.J.: Is there a shred of evidence that Iran has, can now or will soon be able to enrich uranium to the 90+% required for weapons?

James Acton: There is no essential difference between the technology required to enrich to 5% and 90%. Once Iran has mastered the technology to produce low enriched uranium, it can reconfigure the equipment to produce HEU relatively simply. There is some technical debate among experts about how long it would take to do so--but none that it is possible.

So, your opinion about Obama on the Iran issue is, what?


Impotency Quotient Update

Iran is helping to detect uranium deposits inVenezuela and initial evaluations suggest reserves are significant, President Hugo Chavez's government said Friday.

Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said Iran has been assisting Venezuela with geophysical survey flights and geochemical analysis of the deposits, and that evaluations "indicate the existence of uranium in western parts of the country and in Santa Elena de Uairen," in southeastern Bolivar state.

"We could have important reserves of uranium," Sanz told reporters upon arrival on Venezuela's Margarita Island for a weekend Africa-South America summit. He added that efforts to certify the reserves could begin within the next three years.

The announcement came as revelations that Iran has secretly been building a uranium-enrichment plant provoke concerns among countries including the U.S., Russia, France, Britain, Germany and China.

Succot and Shiloh

“Shiloh Shel Kedem” Succot Fair

on Tuesday and Wednesday of Hol Hamoed, October 6-7 from 10:00-17:00

At the site of Tel Shiloh there will be a biblical street with ancient craft workshops, guided tours with street performances, horseback riding, food stands with Succot, and a café/gift shop on location.

This year the Fair will also encompass the Eastern side of the Shiloh region with Safari tours to get acquainted with the area, jeep tours, Rangers, tastings at the Meshek Ahiya Olive Oil Press and the ShilohWinery, guided bike tours will be leaving from the community of Kida.

Each visiting vehicle will receive a detailed map of all the options available.

Entry is NIS100 per family and NIS25 per person.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Again, Here Come the Arab "Canaanites"

I glanced at this story Arabs and Israelis tell clashing tales of the land and found this gem:

...Israeli and Palestinian hikers are taking to the hills in the footsteps of their ancestors...In northern Israel's Ramot Menashe Park, guide Innon Kahalany recently led a group..Kahalany said..."People don't like a history lesson, I try to make it easy," he said. (he's from Zochrot)

Some 45 miles south, in the West Bank, Palestinian guide Saleh Jawad led a dozen hikers up a grass knoll to the ruins of the ancient village of Khirbet Kfar Ana, now used as grazing lands...The conversation quickly fell to tracing a Palestinian connection to the land from biblical times.

"This is exactly what this struggle is about," said Jawad. "It's the feeling that I'm walking on the land of my ancestors."

Many Palestinians assert they are the descendants of the biblical Canaanites, who inhabited the Holy Land before the Hebrews conquered it. "We never left the land and they can see that," said George Rishmawi, a hiker who leads a walking group of Palestinian eco-tourists.

...Jawad's three-year-old group was established by environmentalists, including Raja Shehadeh, who wrote a book about the diminishing trails of the West Bank.
[see here]

Rishmawi has created the Palestine Trail — part of a larger regional project called the Abraham Path, a planned 1,200-kilometer (750-mile) route that would follow the route of the patriarch revered by both Jews and Muslims from Turkey, where he reputedly first heard the call to God, to his burial place in the West Bank city of Hebron...

This recalled to me the "velvet" hills of another related story, here.

But it all relates to a two-part piece I did, "One Canaanite Eyes" (part I here and part II here).

This is absurd history however, anti-Zionists will buy into anything, no matter how weird and unsubstantiated, to drive their animosity. Just as their dislike of Israel and Jewish nationalism is illogical, so too do they believe in illogical 'evidence'.

Ladies - Going to Hear Nomi?

Did you know that Nomi Teplow is coming to Jerusalem, in concert?


It'll be a Simchat Beit HaShoeva for Women Only!

October 4th, 2009
El HaLev Center – 2 Poalei Tzedek, Talpiot, Jerusalem - Up On the Roof
The show will feature songs from Nomi's new CD "Like A Rushing Spring" and after the show -- A pull-out-the-stops dance!

Special Guests – Two Rising Stars:
1. Avital Macales - a leading member of the "Raise Your Spirits" Theatre Company and star of the movie "Sandcastles."
2. Miryam Sidikman - young pop singer and one of the stars of the recent Israeli production of "Rent".

Nomi's daughters, Ilana and Hadas Teplow will join her in a moving 3-part rendition of Steve Dropkin's "Oseh Shalom".

Tickets: 50 NIS Pre-Sale, 55 NIS students, Bnot Sherut etc. and 65 NIS others at the door.
Tickets are avaible at El HaLev from 9:00 – 21:00 Sunday – Thursday.
Additional Ticket Sellers:
Eve Solomon - Old City and Mercaz Jerusalem
050-6613321, 02-6282496
Hemla Solomon - Nachlaot
Rivka Matitya - Har Choma
Avigail Solomon - all over JM
Miryam Sidikman – Efrat
Avital Macales - Rechovot, Efrat
Susan Wolf – Alon Shvut
Alona Cole – Efrat, Jerusalem
Batya Macales, Karnei Shomron

That was not a paid advertisement.

An Historical Survey on Sheikh Arslan

What one picture can tell you.

Recognize anybody in this photograph?

That's right, the third person from the right is the Mufti, Haj Amin El-Husseini, the political, religious leader of the Arab community in the Palestine Mandate.

But to his left, that is, the second person from the right of the photograph is Shakib Arslan.


Well, in modern Islamic political history, he is a seminal figure.

As this set of volumes records, there was a progression of pan-Islamic organisations, movements and activists in the Arab states in the early 20th century and the Islamic institutions they sought to create wished to regularize all aspects of both religious and secular life. For our particular interest, there was a special focus on Mandate Palestine from 1931 on in the form of a Pan-Islamic Arab Revolutionary Movement and that was led by the Emir Shekib Arslan.

He was instrumental in pushing a World Islamic Conference in Mecca that first convened in 1926 in Saudi Arabia. The Conference met eventually in 1931 in Jerusalem. Here is a chronological outline as regards "Palestine" from the books:

2.4 Activists and groups in the Maghreb states, Europe, Egypt, Palestine, 1926-1931
2.5 Pan-Arabism and Pan-Islamism, 1931: the Pan-Islamic Revolutionary Movement
2.6 Lobbying by Saukat Ali, the Indian activist, and his plans for a major conference of Muslims in Jerusalem in 1931: response and criticisms from the Muslim community including Emir Shekib Arslan, King Fuad, King Ibn Saud, and the press, British government concerns, areas to be addressed
2.7 The General Muslim Congress in Jerusalem, 1931: proceedings, resolutions
2.8 Aftermath of the congress: meetings of rival groups, evaluations, plans for future conferences, 1931-1933
3.9 Palestine issue: joint Arab policy arising from meetings of representatives in Cairo, 1939
3.10 Moslem Brotherhood (Ikhwan el Muslimin) and other activities in Egypt, 1942-1944
3.11 Review of Arab Nationalist Movement in 1943
3.12 Post-war focus on Palestine, 1946
3.13 Organisations, including youth movements, 1945-1947
3.14 Developments in 1948, increasing dissent, leading up to the dissolution of the Ikhwan el Muslimin

David Ben-Gurion met with him in Geneva, as he testified before the Commission of Inquiry (see bottom of page 5 to top of page 6):

There was a plan drawn up and we agreed that we of the Jewish Agency would make the agreement for the Jewish people, and it was agreed that an Arab Congress should be called, and this plan should be brought before them for approval. Emir Shekib Arslan said he could not agree to that. First of all he did not believe that England would allow the Jews to become more numerous in Palestine. Then why should he? There could be an agreement only on the basis, if we undertook to remain a permanent minority in Palestine. I said "No". Ihsan Bey el Jabri took another view, but Arslan is an older man, and Jabri did not contradict him, but it was understood that it was a private conversation and that nothing should be published. Three months later I was sorry to see that in a paper called La Nation Arabe this discussion was published, and not only published, but it was distorted.

Q. Did you give us the date of that?

A. It was September 23rd, 1934, in Geneva.

Arslan steered the Arabs to Mussolini and worse. A photostat of a letter from Emir Shekib Arslan to the Mufti, concerning the spreading of pro-Italian propaganda, appeared in the Palestine press in 1935 and by 1936 Radio Bari was blaring anti-British broadcasts at the Arabs. (See here, too: "Les radios de l'Axe faisaient preuve d'une sollicitude particulière pour leurs auditeurs de langue arabe. Toutes ces activités avaient préparé les esprits et la moisson /leva pendant la guerre. En ce qui concerne la Palestine, on sait maintenant que les troubles de 1936-39 avaient été fomentés et financés par l'Axe. Le Mufti de Jérusalem était en contact avec Mussolini depuis des années, par l'intermédiaire de son agent à Genève, l'Emir Shekib Arslan.")

In his classic work, Our Decline: Its Causes and Remedies, among other topics, he notes

...the example of how 400 million Muslims could not match the contributions of around twenty million Jews for Palestine. He gives a rough breakdown of how much Muslims contributed to the Palestine Fund at that time, and shows his frustration that one-tenth of the world’s Muslim population were found to have contributed not even a qarsh per head.
As someone has written:
...the Syro-Lebanese Emir Shakib Arslan (1870-1945) [asked] in 1930: " why Arabs are legging behind while others have progressed?" The answer rejected two opposite attitudes: a blind fidelity to the Ancients (Salafs) and the servile imitation (taqlid) of the West. The representatives of this ethos were clerics, scribers and statesmen. Their methods oscillate between Ijtihad and Jihad, which have the same lexical root (J.H.D.) that means, "making an effort". In fact, they were agnostic, even according to some sources secretly heretics, engaged into relations with senior officers of the colonial powers. Caught between Ijtihad and Jihad, this type survived. The second fundamentalism chooses the Jihad, a founding precedent for Al-Qaida’s world terror.

The fundamentalism of the second type is commonly called radical Islam. The wave called sahwa islamiya (Islamic awakening) is rather recent. In fact, its origins go back to the thirties with the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (1927) and the Jamaat-i-islami in Pakistan (1941), common matrix to all radicalism.

Radical Islam was born in the thirties in an Egypt, politically liberal, parliamentary monarchy with a constitution (people often forget that), dominated by Saad Zaghlul’s Wafd party, and intellectually modernist. Then an obscure instructor, Hassen al-Banna (1906-1949), founded, a year after Saad Zaghlul death (1926), the populist movement Muslim Brotherhood, no body thought at the moment would be a "school case": the brotherhood is at the same time a religious gathering, a political party, an underground armed branch and Islamic international. Its program remains the same: "God is our goal, his message our model, the holy Qoran, our constitution, Jihad, our way, and martyrdom our hope". At he same time, in India, and before the creation of Pakistan, the Indo-Pakistani Mawdudi (1903-1973), founded Jamaat-i-islami (1941), copying the Brotherhood movement, with a peculiar fact which consequences are still visible in Pakistan: infiltration of Islamic groups by intelligence services. Mawdudi’s writings were translated from Urdu into Arabic by his follower Ali Nadawi, himself author of a best seller. He opposes Arslan’s question "what the West has lost with the decline of the Islamic world?" He traveled to the Middle East in 1951 and met with Qutb (1906-1965), the second spiritual guide of the Brotherhood after the assassination of its first leader al-Banna (1949). Now, the link between marginal Asian and radical Islam with the Middle Eastern, where initial fundamentalism has failed, is sealed for long.

The social forces in favor of this revolutionary Islam, for the majority, are what is commonly accepted as "Ph.D. + beard", young men, living in the periphery of towns, covering large areas to be considered as alternative leaders to authoritarian and corrupted regimes.

The question asked by the radical Islam is different from the one asked by shakib Arslan, on behalf of the Awakening: why Islam is a stranger on its own territory?

Much is not known of the issues and themes I've touched on here but at least, if you have reached this far, I hope you know more that what you knew previously - and wish to know more.

A La Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas began his UN GA speech thus:

Mr. President, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, the suffering of the Palestinian people as a result of Israel’s colonial occupation is crystal clear to the world.

Since the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including east Jerusalem in 1967, Israel continues with its settlement policy on all Palestinian land, especially in holy Jerusalem, where that policy is currently being accelerated and escalated through various means including the seizure of the homes of Palestinian inhabitants in the city and the imposition of restrictions and even preventing Palestinians from building and sometimes from repairing their homes, while new settlement neighborhoods are being established. And Jerusalem is becoming completely isolated from its surroundings because of the illegal settlements and the apartheid wall.

We now face a unique situation. If international law stipulates the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, how can we, then, deal with the current situation where Israeli settlement policy will undermine the goal of establishing a geographically contiguous Palestinian state and implementation of the will of the international consensus that has been expressed in the various resolutions and principles, including the roadmap, which we all agreed upon and which is based on the principle of land for peace and ending the occupation that began in 1967.

Sounds wonderful, if you are an Arab, an anti-Zionist, a far left-wing radical who has not only no understanding of but also no sympathy for Jewish national feelings, if you have little or no knowledge of history or if you simply are ignorant but sob-stories always work well on you.

Words and terms like

"suffering", "Palestinian people", "Israel’s colonial occupation", "occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including east Jerusalem in 1967", settlement policy", "Palestinian land", "holy Jerusalem", "seizure of the homes", "illegal settlements", "apartheid wall", "international law", "inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force", "a geographically contiguous Palestinian state"

and so on perhaps excite you, move you, agitate you or perhaps make you angry.

But it's a put on. Propaganda in part, perversion of the facts in part, insidious inversion of what actually was agreed upon and what the history of the conflict was.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Were Those Coins Used For Tips?

Tips? Coins?


Joseph was with a butler and baker, no?

Here, in Genesis 40:

1 And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker offended their lord the king of Egypt. 2 And Pharaoh was wroth against his two officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. 3 And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. 4 And the captain of the guard charged Joseph to be with them, and he ministered unto them; and they continued a season in ward.



And the connection you're asking?

Here it comes -

'Al-Ahram' Reports: Coins from Era of Biblical Joseph Found in Egypt

According to a report in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, by Wajih Al-Saqqar, archeologists have discovered ancient Egyptian coins bearing the name and image of the Biblical Joseph.

Following are excerpts from the article: [1]

"Koranic Verses Indicate Clearly That Coins Were Used in Egypt in the Time of Joseph"

"In an unprecedented find, a group of Egyptian researchers and archeologists has discovered a cache of coins from the time of the Pharaohs...Some of the coins are from the time when Joseph lived in Egypt, and bear his name and portrait.

"There used to be a misconception that trade [in Ancient Egypt] was conducted through barter, and that Egyptian wheat, for example, was traded for other goods. But surprisingly, Koranic verses indicate clearly that coins were used in Egypt in the time of Joseph.

"Research team head Dr. Sa'id Muhammad Thabet said that during his archeological research on the Prophet Joseph, he had discovered in the vaults of the [Egyptian] Antiquities Authority and of the National Museum many charms from various eras before and after the period of Joseph, including one that bore his effigy as the minister of the treasury in the Egyptian pharaoh's court…

"Dr. Sa'id Thabet added that he had examined the sarcophagi of many pharaohs in search of coins used as charms or ornaments, and that he had indeed found such ancient Egyptian coins. This [find] prompted researchers to seek and find Koranic verses that speak of coins used in ancient Egypt, [such as]: 'And they sold him [i.e. Joseph] for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him. [Koran 12:20].' [Also,] Qarun [2] says about his money: 'This has been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I have [Koran 28: 78].'"

"According to Dr. Thabet, his studies are based on publications about the Third Dynasty, one of which states that the Egyptian coin of the time was called a deben and was worth one-fourth of a gram of gold...

..."The archeological finding is also based on the fact that the inscribed face bore the name of Egypt, a date, and a value, while the engraved face bore the name and image of one of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs or gods, or else a symbol connected with these. Another telling fact is that the coins come in different sizes and are made of different materials, including ivory, precious stones, copper, silver, gold, etc."

..."One Coin... [Had] an Image of a Cow Symbolizing Pharaoh's Dream about the Seven Fat Cows and Seven Lean Cows"

"The researcher identified coins from many different periods, including coins that bore special markings identifying them as being from the era of Joseph. Among these, there was one coin that had an inscription on it, and an image of a cow symbolizing Pharaoh's dream about the seven fat cows and seven lean cows, and the seven green stalks of grain and seven dry stalks of grain. It was found that the inscriptions of this early period were usually simple, since writing was still in its early stages, and consequently there was difficulty in deciphering the writing on these coins. But the research team [managed to] translate [the writing on the coin] by comparing it to the earliest known hieroglyphic texts…

"Joseph's name appears twice on this coin, written in hieroglyphs: once the original name, Joseph, and once his Egyptian name, Saba Sabani [??? Genesis 41: 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On] , which was given to him by Pharaoh when he became treasurer. There is also an image of Joseph, who was part of the Egyptian administration at the time...

[1] Al-Ahram (Egypt), September 22, 2009.

[2] This is the Koranic name of Biblical Korah.

Now, I have my doubts about this but if the Egyptians are going with it, heck, I don't mind.