Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Matisyahu's "Miracle" for Chanukah


Happy Chanukah from me, too.

P.S. Anyone have the lyrics?

Your Ultimate Shiksa Quiz

Who was born in New York City, the daughter of a speech teacher and educational/family therapist, and a venture capitalist. On her father's side, she is a descendant of a judge, of Endicott Peabody (the founder of the Groton School), William Ellery (a signer of the Declaration of Independence), and the Reverend John Lathrop. She is also the first cousin once removed of an actress, a niece of a writer, a sister of an actor and a and half-sister of jazz guitarist Mike Stern. Her father was Episcopalian and of English heritage. She graduated from Friends Seminary and attended Sarah Lawrence College. She transferred from Sarah Lawrence to the University of Southern California, graduating with a theater degree.

And, she is Jewish?

She is:-

She's Kyra Sedgwick, who, in a 1996 interview referred to herself as

"an all-American Jewish WASP actress"

Look What Those Jews Are Doing to Those Olive Trees (English)

And now, the English version of the clip, What the 'settlers' do to the olive trees in the west bank!!! that I had posted previously:-


Those Wet Jobs in Iran?

I sort of altered something I found out there:

In an event that had absolutely nothing to do with the Mossad, two Iranian nuclear scientists switch to particle physics

(Kippah tip: Fark)

Anat Kamm - Meet Julian Assange

Remember the name Anat Kamm?

The pilferer of government information, leaking classified Israel Defense Forces (IDF) documents?

Well, Anat, similar to another incident I found, meet Julian:

Federal authorities are investigating whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group's release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act, sources familiar with the inquiry said Monday...Former prosecutors cautioned that prosecutions involving leaked classified information are difficult because the Espionage Act is a 1917 statute that preceded Supreme Court cases that expanded First Amendment protections. The government also would have to persuade another country to turn over Assange, who is outside the United States.

But the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is rapidly unfolding, said charges could be filed under the act.

See, Anat, you got in trouble and no big deal.

And your human rights concern, Anat? Again, no big deal.


Two Takes a la Wikileaks

First, Obama and Iran:-

The lunatic who thinks he's Barack Obama

...the latest batch of leaks suggest that the main source of the delusion is sitting in the Oval Office.

From the first batch of headlines there is little in WikiLeaks' 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that a curious surfer would not have known from the Internet. We are shocked - shocked - to discover that the Arab Gulf states favor an invasion of Iran;...

...American career diplomats have been telling their masters in the Obama administration that every theater of American policy is in full-blown rout, forwarding to Washington the growing alarm of foreign leaders. In April 2008, for example, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the US Adel al-Jubeir told General David Petraeus that King Abdullah wanted the US "to cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake" and "recalled the king's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program".

...The initial reports suggest that the US State Department has massive evidence that Obama's approach - "engaging" Iran and coddling Pakistan - has failed catastrophically. The crisis in diplomatic relations heralded by the press headlines is not so much a diplomatic problem - America's friends and allies in Western and Central Asia have been shouting themselves hoarse for two years - but a crisis of American credibility.

Not one Muslim government official so much as mentioned the issues that have occupied the bulk of Washington's attention during the past year, for example, Israeli settlements. The Saudis, to be sure, would prefer the elimination of all Israeli settlements; for that matter, they would prefer the eventual elimination of the state of Israel. In one conversation with a senior White House official, Saudi King Abdullah stated categorically that Iran, not Palestine, was his main concern; while a solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict would be a great achievement, Iran would find other ways to cause trouble.

"Iran's goal is to cause problems," Abdullah added. "There is no doubt something unstable about them." There never has been a shred of evidence that an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help America contain Iran's nuclear threat. The deafening silence over this issue in the diplomatic cables is the strongest refutation of this premise to date.

How do we explain the gaping chasm between Obama's public stance and the facts reported by the diplomatic corps? The cables do not betray American secrets so much as American obliviousness. The simplest and most probable explanation is that the president is a man obsessed by his own vision of a multipolar world, in which America will shrink its standing to that of one power among many, and thus remove the provocation on which Obama blames the misbehavior of the Iranians, Pakistanis, the pro-terrorist wing of the Saudi royal family, and other enemies of the United States.It is wishful thinking that the Iranian problem can be managed without bringing ruin to the Persian pocket empire. In many respects, Iran resembles the Soviet Union just before the collapse of communism...

He also mentions the Kerry Scandal, my second issue:

While Israel was trying to conduct "peace talks" with an unwilling Palestinian Authority, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John "Why the Long Face?" Kerry was busily selling out the Jewish State. Instead of letting the sides negotiate their own solution, the Progressive Senator was telling Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, and that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem. He also conceded that the Temple Mount (he called it the Al-Aqsa Mosque) will have to remain under Palestinian control.

Any negotiation has its limits, added Senator Kerry, and we know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable. For the Israelis, the Senator continued, Israel's character as a Jewish state is not open for negotiation.

And this is elaborated here by Yid-With-A-Lid:

C O N F I D E N T I A L DOHA 000070


E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2020

Classified By: Ambassador Joseph E. LeBaron, for reasons 1.4 (b, d).


-- The Amir of Qatar urged the U.S. in his February 14 meeting with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to do everything in its power to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Amir said the best way to begin is by moving first on the Syrian track.

¶1. (C) Senator Joh Kerry (D-MA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreig [sic] Relations Committee(SFRC), joined by Ambassador,P/E Chief, and SFRC staff member Dr. Jonah Blank met February 14 with the Amir of Qatar, Hamad bn Khalifa Al Thani. The meeting took place at Waba Palace, the residence of the Amir...

...Chairman Kerry told the Amir he is convinced that we can see great progress in the coming year by moving swiftly from proximity talks, to direct talks between the parties and ending with final status discussions.

¶13. (C) To be successful, continued Senator Kerry, we must begin by agreeing at the outset the amount of land each side (Israelis and Palestinians) will obtain in the end and use that understanding to draw the borders. If both sides make good compromises, we can address the settlement issues in the context of giving something up so that the borders, when drawn, contain the agreed-upon amounts of land for both
sides. The Amir agreed with the Senator's assessment and complimented President Obama for being the first U.S. President to take on the Middle East conflict in the first year of his term.

¶14. (C) Continuing the presentation of his ideas on the parameters of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Senator Kerry noted that one of the biggest problems for Israel is the potential return of 5-6 million Palestinian refugees. The parties broached the return issue in
discussions at Taba and agreed that the right of Palestinian return would be subject to later negotiation, pointed out the Chairman. If we can proceed from that point on the right of return, the Senator believes there is an "artful way" to frame the negotiations on borders, land swaps, and Jerusalem as a shared capital.

¶15. (C) Any negotiation has its limits, added Senator Kerry, and we know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable. For the Israelis, the Senator continued, Israel's character as a Jewish state is not open for negotiation. The
non-militarization of an eventual Palestinian state and its borders can nonetheless be resolved through negotiation.

...¶19. (C) Senator Kerry asked the Amir if Hamas is under pressure given the circumstances in Gaza. The Amir answered by saying that Hamas needs Iranian support. He added that the biggest misconception in the region is that the Syrians, who host Hamas leaders in Damascus, go to Iran because they like the Iranians. This is wrong. Syria goes to those who will not shun them.

...¶42. (C) The Amir closed the meeting by offering that based on 30 years of experience with the Iranians, they will give you 100 words. Trust only one of the 100.

¶43. (U) CODEL Kerry has cleared this message.


Well, a bit of diplomatic subversion there, Senator.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Hillary's Wikileaks Joke


I can tell you that in my conversations, at least one of my counterparts said to me, “Well, don’t worry about it. You should see what we say about you.” (Laughter.) So I think that this is well understood in the diplomatic community as part of the give-and-take.



J Street: Imposing By Force

I've been alerted to this J Street letter that says, in essence, screw the talks, who needs negotiations:

We are urging the Administration to focus – with or without resuming direct negotiations and/or a 90-day extension of the moratorium – on delineating an agreed-upon border between the state of Israel and the state-to-be of Palestine, and on proposals for meeting the full range of Israeli security needs in the face of the threats it faces.

The United States should make clear now that the border will be based on the 1967 lines, creating a Palestinian state on the equivalent of 100 percent of the land beyond the 1967 Green Line with one-to-one land swaps. If the sides are unable to reach agreement, the United States should present a proposal to both sides that adheres to those parameters, asking for a yes-or-no decision.

Only a border can make clear where each side can legally build and where Israel will begin to withdraw. As border and security arrangements are implemented, negotiations can then continue on all other outstanding issues.

This is a moment of truth for the President and the parties.

It's time to step back from an approach that hasn't worked and only serves the interests of those who seek delay rather than a deal.

It's time for a bold new American strategy before it's too late.

Is J Street "pro-Israel"?

Nope, pro-Obama:-

We have stood shoulder to shoulder with President Obama as he has repeatedly pushed both sides toward negotiations. Our community taken hundreds of thousands of actions in support of the President's vision of Middle East peace and his active efforts to make it a reality from day one.

As my friends note:

J Street spent the past two years in unison with Obama making "settlements" the centerpiece of the conflict. Now J Street wants to move them off to the sidelines and focus on other things. It bears repeating over and over again that J Street is now contradicting everything it's said and done over the past two years. This is not a credible policy organization.


Actually, I think J Street is being consistent: Presto Palestine has always been their mantra. I was never quite sure whether J Street was the lobbyist for Obama or the other way around. Even if O goes south (in their eyes), J Street is committed to the creation of a Palestinian state as soon as possible - actually, much sooner than possible.


the J Streeters are nothing but hegomonic colonialists - imposing their geopolitical goals now by force!

Yes? No. (All You Need for the "Illegality" Claim)

It all seems so simple for Roula Khalaf who writes in a piece entitled "Trust in short supply at Middle East talks" at the Financial Times that

There was an astonishing report out of Jerusalem last week. Israel, it said, was growing increasingly frustrated with the US.

Israel unhappy? But had Washington not just offered the Jewish state a generous security package, including subsidised fighter jets, to buy a 90-day freeze on the expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land? And are the settlements not illegal under international law in any case and the moratorium a demand the Obama administration has been making for two years?

The answer to those questions is yes.

No, they are not illegal.

Jews living in their homeland, in territory originally allocated to them for their reconstituted Jewish national home, land to be used for "close settlement", in the area from which terror acts and from, which aggression was launched against them, cannot be considered illegal.

Some articles:

Howard Grief

Eugene Rostow.

Nicholas Rostow.

Talia Einhorn.

Michael Zevulon.

Dan Diker.

Victor Sharpe.

Anglo-American Convention aspect.

One summary.

CAMERA's summary.

Mitchel Bard's summary.

Eli Hertz (short version) and the long version.

David Phillips.

There's even a university syllabus.

State of Israel.

And a site.

And my two cents: one and two.

And there's more.

Adam Baker.


This Was a Settlement

The term for Jewish communities in post-1967 Judea and Samaria, at present and, formerly, in Gaza, is not "settlements". Use communities, cities, villages and towns.

And their residents are not "settlers" but revenants.

You want a settlement, here's one, as Eli Hertz has pointed out:

"[The United Nations General Assembly ]Resolution 181, in paragraph C, calls on the Security Council to:

"Determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution."

The ones who sought to alter by force the settlement envisioned in Resolution 181 were the Arabs who threatened bloodshed if the United Nations was to adopt the Resolution:

"The [British] Government of Palestine fear that strife in Palestine will be greatly intensified when the Mandate is terminated, and that the international status of the United Nations Commission will mean little or nothing to the Arabs in Palestine, to whom the killing of Jews now transcends all other considerations. Thus, the Commission will be faced with the problem of how to avert certain bloodshed on a very much wider scale than prevails at present. ... The Arabs have made it quite clear and have told the Palestine government that they do not propose to co-operate or to assist the Commission, and that, far from it, they propose to attack and impede its work in every possible way. We have no reason to suppose that they do not mean what they say." [italics by author]

Read the entire piece here.


Yes, It's A Mud Hut Structure Building Activity

At Jericho (well, close to), on Chanukah

They're calling it Botznukah (botz is Hebrew for mud) and it will take place on Monday next week, 5th day of Chanukah between 11:00 - 16:00 on the outskirts of Jericho.  Call the number if interested.


Bibi Seems To Be Doing It Again

Outtakes from the new Latma video:

If intrigued, the video:-


See All The "Settlements"

Found at Hagit Ofran's blog:-

You see all those dots inside the walled city of Jerusalem?

"Settlers' residences"?  In the Old City?  Where Jews have lived, almost continuously, since the destruction of the Temple and the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt except when foreign rulers, conquerors, occupiers have banned and prohibited Jews from dwelling there?  Where all Jews lived in Jerusalem untill the mid-1800s when Jews began moving out of the walled city?

Those are "settlements"?

So, this is what Peace Now has come to.

No loyalty to Jewish history, no dedication to Jewish rights, no consideration of human rights.

So, do we adopt my proposal - to refer to Arab residential locations in Israel as "Arab settlements"?


What's More Ridiculous: This Propaganda or That People Believe It?

This propaganda:-

The organization Defence for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI-PS) says that ill-treatment is common while detainees are being transported to prison. "All are subjected to verbal threats and insults," Rifat Kassis, director of DCI-PS's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said. "Some are beaten up, kicked, made to sit in an uncomfortable way. We have children who are handcuffed and blindfolded as well. All of these are methods of restraining children in a painful way."

During September, three children were reportedly given electric shocks by Israeli interrogators in the Jewish-only settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. One of the children was only 14 years of age. A recent investigation by DCI-PS and other anti-torture groups found that out of a sample of 100 children arrested by Israeli forces last year, 69 percent were beaten and kicked and 12 percent threatened with rape or another form of sexual assault.


Follow-up to the Frog and the Scorpion Story

For perhaps 30 years I have employed, in a retelling, the parable of the frog and the scorpion to explain our problem in the Middle East.

You know, the one that goes like this:

A frog was requested by a scorpion to ferry him across the Jordan River. But being wary, the frog asked the scorpion "How can I know that you will not sting me when we are halfway across?."

"Why should I sting you? If I do so, you'll sink and so will I. Am I crazy?" answered the scorpion.

The frog was convinced, put the scorpion on its back and set off. But when they were half-way across, the scorpion stung the frog.

Dying, and sinking, the frog turns to the scorpion and asks, "Why did you do that? Now we'll both perish. Was that logical?"

"Logic? In the Middle East?" replied the scorpion.

And sure enough, there have been people that have accused me of portraying Arabs as scorpions.

Well. I am now relieved.

Even ranting Gush Shalom activist Adam Keller uses the story.


Second Private Netanyahu

(First here)

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 001184


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/02/2019

¶4. (C) Turning to peace efforts, Netanyahu said the
President is bringing a fresh approach to regional peace
whereby the Arabs would enhance the Israeli-Palestinian
track. It will be especially important to get the Saudis on
board, he added. On the two-state solution, Netanyahu noted
that the President had stressed his support for two states.
He had told the President that Israelis did not want to rule
Palestinians. Netanyahu said he was prepared for
"arrangements" with the Palestinians that would entail some
limits on their sovereignty such as no Palestinian army, and
Israeli control over borders, airspace, and the
electromagnetic spectrum. Netanyahu asserted that seventy to
eighty percent of Israelis are ready to make concessions for
peace but they do not believe they have a Palestinian partner
since Hamas is in control of Gaza and Iran has a base on
Israel's border. How can there be peace without a new
situation in Gaza, he asked.

¶5. (C) Turning to settlements, Netanyahu noted that he had
told the President that both Israel and the Palestinians had
unfulfilled Roadmap commitments. Without elaborating, he
noted that there were written and oral understandings between
President Bush and Prime Ministers Sharon and Olmert on the
Roadmap. In Gaza, Israel dismantled twenty-seven settlements
but got six thousand rockets from Hamas in return...

...Settlements and Outposts

¶10. (C) Netanyahu said that illegal outposts were a legal
question and his government would enforce the law. The
outposts should be removed through dialogue with the GOI if
possible, but it should be done in any case. Regarding
settlements, Netanyahu said he wants to work with the U.S. on
the basis of the understandings reached with the Bush
Administration, i.e. that Israel will not build new
settlements or seize more land, but if families grow, they
will still have the right to build within existing settlement
boundaries. Now Israel is hearing that the U.S. wants no
construction at all. Israelis consider this position to be
unfair, he said. The question is whether the U.S. is seeking
a geographic or a demographic restriction on settlements.

¶11. (C) Netanyahu commented that Israel needs a common
understanding with the U.S. The U.S. position should be
"reasonable," since opposition to a total freeze cuts across
political parties in Israel. This is more of an issue with
the U.S. than with the Palestinians, Netanyahu asserted,
arguing that the PA will go along if there is an
understanding between Israel and the U.S. He noted that
Israeli officials were meeting with U.S. officials on this
issue, adding that there could be an understanding if the
U.S. wants one. Netanyahu commented that he understood there
should be no land seizures, but he could not tell settlers
not to have children. In response to a question about GOI
incentives to settlers, Netanyahu's adviser Ron Dermer said
the Olmert government had already removed them. Netanyahu
said this was an issue that Israel could discuss further with
the U.S.

¶13. (U) CODELS Ackerman and Casey did not have the
opportunity to clear this message.


The Private Netanyahu

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/14/2019 [sic! 2009]

Classified By: Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Reason 1.4 (b) (d)

¶1. (S) Summary. CODEL Kyl, accompanied by the Ambassador,
called on Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu April 6 in the
first official U.S. meeting with Netanyahu since he formed a

...On the Palestinians, Netanyahu reviewed his
intent to pursue a three-track approach with political,
economic, and security aspects. While noting that his
government is conducting a review of Israeli policy toward
the Palestinians, Netanyahu asserted that there is agreement
within the government and among 80% of Israelis that the
Palestinians should be able to rule themselves, but with
limits imposed by Israel's security requirements. Netanyahu
said the only difference between his position and that of
opposition leader Tzipi Livni is over the name of the goal,
i.e. the two-state solution. In response to comments by
Senator Sessions that the Palestinian Authority needs
functioning courts and jails as well as police, Netanyahu
agreed but said he had not yet focused much on Palestinian
governance issues. Netanyahu said he wants to show the
Palestinians the benefits of peace, but with the proviso that
if Iran goes nuclear, peace will fail. Predicting that his
government would pleasantly surprise many critics, Netanyahu
concluded that he hopes to come up with a common approach
with President Obama. End Summary.

¶2. (U) CODEL Kyl, consisting of Senator Jon Kyl (R, AZ);
Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL); Representative Jane Harman (D,
CA); Representative John Kline (R, MN); and Representative
Chris Carney (D, PA), called on Prime Minister Benyamin
Netanyahu April 6. The Ambassador, Congressional staff, and
Pol Couns (notetaker) participated in the meeting. Netanyahu
was joined by National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, Spokesman
Mark Regev, Policy Adviser Ron Dermer, former chairman of the
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Kadima MK
Tzachi Hanegbi (Senator's Kyl's counterpart in the
U.S.-Israel Joint Parliamentary Committee on National
Security), and the Israeli Embassy in Washington's
Congressional liaison officer. The meeting was the first
official U.S. face to face contact with Netanyahu since he
formed his government.

...Netanyahu's Approach to the Palestinians

¶6. (C) Senator Kyl asked the Prime Minister about his view of
the two-state solution. Netanyahu said he plans to engage
the Palestinian Authority quickly and will not tie political
talks with the Palestinians to developments with Iran.
Reviewing a now familiar formula, Netanyahu said he will
approach the Palestinians on parallel political, economic and
security tracks. Political talks would aim at achieving an
agreement within certain limits, the economic approach would
promote foreign and Arab investment and joint projects with
Israeli partners, while the security track would continue to
build up the PA's security forces. In order to do any of
this, Netanyahu noted, he will need a Palestinian partner.

¶7. (C) Representative Harman observed that the CODEL had
visited units of the PA's National Security Forces and the
Presidential Guard. PA Prime Minister Fayyad said he was
happy with the PA's security forces, and they want to take on
increased responsibility for security in Jericho and Jenin.
Netanyahu replied that Israel would be happy to let them do
more, but it is not clear what Hamas will do next. If Hamas
forces a confrontation, Israel will have to initiate further
military action in Gaza. Israel did not want to go back into
Gaza, but it will do what is necessary to protect its people.

¶8. (C) Netanyahu said his government is reviewing Israel's
policy toward the Palestinians. There is a consensus in the
government and among 80% of the Israeli public that the
Palestinians should be able to govern themselves. The only
limits on Palestinian sovereignty would be elements that
affect Israel's security. A Palestinian state must be
demilitarized, without control over its air space and
electro-magnetic field, and without the power to enter into
treaties or control its borders. Netanyahu concluded that he
and opposition leader Tzipi Livni "only disagree about the
name," i.e. the two-state solution.

¶9. (C) Senator Sessions noted that people everywhere want law
and order. Palestinians not only need to deal with
terrorism, they also need a functioning legal system. Moving
from a lawless system, the Palestinian Authority is showing
some pride, but police are not enough, they need courts and
jails that work. Economic development is impossible in a
lawless society. Netanyahu agreed this was a valid point and
uncharacteristically admitted that he had not focused much on
Palestinian governance. He added that international
assistance should provide funding for jails and courts. It
is possible to create crime-free zones and begin economic
development "in bubbles" which would then be expanded.
Senator Sessions noted that Lt. General Dayton is focused on
this issue. Representative Harman commented that "bubbles"
in the West Bank would not be enough, Palestinians need law
and order everywhere.

¶10. (C) Netanyahu said the "classic rhetoric" of the peace
process has been that if Israel withdraws, all will be well.
Now, however, if Israel withdrew from the West Bank, Hamas
would take over. Economic development would not be a
substitute for a political settlement, but it would change
the environment and show Palestinians the benefits of peace.
Israel has been trying to "build a roof without a foundation"
and it has not worked. Netanyahu said there was one proviso:
If Iran gets a nuke, peace efforts will fail.

¶11. (C) Netanyahu pointed to the example of Jordanian King
Hussein, whom he termed Israel's best Arab ally and a man
deeply committed to peace. Yet when Saddam Hussein took
Kuwait, King Hussein got on board with the Iraqis. In the
event of a nuclear Iran, "all the Arabs will become Qatar."
We should therefore move in parallel to work for peace with
the Palestinians while acting to stop Iran. Netanyahu said
he thought his government would pleasantly surprise many of
its critics. He concluded the meeting by saying that he
wants to coordinate Israel's positions with the U.S. and
hopes to come to a common position with President Obama.

TEL AVIV 00000936 003 OF 003

¶12. (U) CODEL Kyl has cleared this cable.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Walking Silent Kollel Learning Program

For 50 NIS a day, it seems you can be a Kollel Torah student on the Temple Mount but, I presume, you have to keep walking and keep silent as well as keep your lips shut.  Otherwise, you'll be thrown off.

That is a real Torah challenge.


Debate Or (or And) Money

Where would you not expect this ad to appear?

Petition to End House Demolitions Now!

To President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Special Envoy Mitchell:

We urge you to use the power of your offices to end the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Israeli Occupied Territories.

Until recently your administration had expressed strong opposition to Israeli settlement expansion [which includes Jerusalem]...Instead of backing down in the face of Israeli intransigence, we believe you need to do more.

Since 1967, the Israeli government has demolished over 24,000 Palestinian homes -- which families have built on their own land inside the Occupied Territories -- in order to:

* Make room for Israeli settlements, businesses or governmental offices;
* Create Israeli-only “by-pass” roads that allow Israeli settlers to drive to and from their new homes in the Territories while “by-passing” Palestinian towns and villages; and
* Build the Separation Wall deep into the West Bank, effectively annexing large settlement blocs situated on Palestinian land into the State of Israel.

...B'tselem, the Israeli Information Center in the Occupied Territories, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and other Israeli Human Rights groups note that Palestinians in East Jerusalem face the same reality. The Israeli Ministry of Defense acknowledged in 2005 that these home demolitions serve no security purpose and ended its policy of punitive demolitions at that time.

Israel’s house demolition policy is intimately linked to the expansion of Israeli settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This policy is illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention of 1907.

And when asked, the site owner replies:

I'll take ads from all sides of a political debate.

And then adds:

I'm not going to take sides when it's just over an ad. My readers can make their own evaluations.

Which is reasonable until you realize that in this matter, there are no two sides because that petition is not a debate but a propaganda screed with untruths weaved in, as well as a vicious message: pry loose Israel control from Jerusalem.

And the site is providing legitimacy to this stuff.

Do you think the site should reconsider?  Isn't the site essentially taking sides?


Some have intimated that I am not being fair to too many sites so here's a screen grab:


He Even Uses "Revenant"

Great essay.

But he employs the term "settlements".


(Kippah tip: BO)


Would You Like A Pal. State Looking Over Your Shoulder?

Think about it:-


If They Keep This Up, They'll Starve


Well, hummus is a staple for some people.

But for these students, they'll prefer the non-Israel product:

Students campaign for alternative hummus

The Princeton Committee on Palestine has sponsored a referendum in next week’s USG elections that asks Dining Services to sell an alternative to Sabra hummus in all its retail locations on campus.

The Strauss Group and PepsiCo each own 50 percent of Sabra Dipping Company.

In August, Philly Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a Philadelphia group that encourages activism against Israel, released an open letter calling for a boycott of Sabra for the same reason.

Both PCP and Philly BDS take issue with The Strauss Group’s support of the Israeli Golani Brigade. Members of the Brigade have been reprimanded by the Israeli military for inappropriate behavior.

The brigade has “a culture of aggression,” Yoel Bitran ’11, president of PCP, said in an e-mail.

...Bitran also created a “Boycott Sabra Hummus” event that had 129 people listed as attending as of Thursday evening.

In response, officers of Tigers for Israel created their own event on Facebook, titled “Save the Hummus!--Vote Against the Sabra Hummus Boycott.” It had 1,878 people listed as attending as of Thursday evening.

...The University has been stocking Sabra for the last four or five years based on “customer preferences” and “current industry needs,” Stu Orefice, director of Dining Services, said in an e-mail. “We have suggested the PCP set up a table at Frist with information and alternative products so that the community can taste different products and understand the cost differences,” Orefice added.

In regard to whether Dining Services would consider boycotting Sabra, Orefice said that it was “premature to speculate at this point.”

The hummus served in the dining halls and the Center for Jewish Life is prepared at the University. Olive’s Restaurant, located on Witherspoon Street, also sells containers of hummus, including at the U-Store.

I wonder what brand of pitta they use.

(Kippah tip: AG)

Let's Play A Different Game of Darts

This one:

The Biblical Struggle for The Near East

The Campaigns of King David is Rob Markham's multi-player simulation of the struggle for supremacy in the biblical area of Israel and its immediate neighbors during the reign of King David. Two to five players attempt to achieve their victory conditions (control of cities). The game is 7 turns, each with 5 separate sections.

Four of the sections play very quickly (Initiative Determination, Diplomacy, Drawing Phase Chits, and determining if victory conditions have been met. The fifth section, Phases, has 12 Actions. Each Action consists of one specific type, movement/combat, obtaining resources, obtaining food, army maintenance and building, etc. The 12 Actions are chosen randomly with the first six shown face up, allowing the players to know the order. The remaining six are displayed face down, providing some uncertainty as to the next Action to occur.

As there are 15 Action chits from which to choose, players never know exactly what will occur the second half of the Phase sections. Players must husband their resources and food to maintain their field armies, build and re-equip units, improve fortified cities, and wage battle.

Play is balanced, with each nation's victory conditions tailored to its historical situation. Game duration ranges from 3 hours for a two-player game up to 5-6 hours for a five-player game.


•1 Rulebook
•1 22" x 34" (8.7 cm x 13.4 cm) map
•500 5/8" (.25 cm) counters on three sheets
•Charts & Player's Aids
•Dice necessary to play the game

It's real. With a dart-board map.

From Achiyah To Ramat Shmuel Neighborhood in Shiloh

On Achiyah Hill, at the Yossi Shuker Outlook, viewing slightly north-west towards the Ramat Shmuel neighborhood in Shiloh:

and that's my house at the end of the arrow:


Cellphone for Seniors

Just received via RA:


The Engine That Could

Most of us remember the children's book, The Little Engine That Could.

And the phrase: "I think I can, I think I can".


Well, read this:

Israel is considering building a rail link to the West Bank settlements, according to the transport ministry...reports suggested $800,000 (£510,000) had been allocated for a feasibility study. The proposed rail line would link the town of Rosh Ha Ayin, east of Tel Aviv, with the Jewish settlement city of Ariel and also serve Barkan.  The idea was first mooted a few months ago by Israel Katz, the transport minister.


President Obama: "Yes, we can; yes, we can!"


On The Term "Palestine"


The term 'Palestine' is a widely-attested Western and Near Eastern conventional name for the region that includes contemporary Israel, the Israeli-occupied territories, part of Jordan, and some of both Lebanon and Syria. Its traditional area runs from Sidon on the coast, to Damascus inland, southwards to the Gulf of Aqaba, and then north-west to Raphia. The Sinai Desert is usually considered a separate geographical zone to the south.

'Palestine' is first attested in extant literature in the 5th cent. BC, when it appears in the Histories of Herodotus (Hist. 2: 104, etc.) as Palaistinê. It seems to have its origins in the root form p-l-s-t , denoting the land of the Philistines, though it has generally in Western usage referred to a much wider region than coastal Philistia, including the area that is known in Biblical, Rabbinic and Samaritan literature as the Land of Israel (Eretz-Yisra'el) or ancient Canaan. The term 'Palestine' has over many centuries retained its relevance as an apolitical geographical term regardless of the nation-states and administrative entities that have existed in this region. It has no political associations...


Maariv Keeps Up the Jonathan Pollard Pressure

New story in Maariv Weekend Magazine. An interview with Joh Luftus on how Pollard was the fall guy for Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen:

As I've been informed:

Aldrich Ames wrote the damage assessment for Joanthan's case and blamed Jonathan for all that he (Ames) was doing. In a letter Aldrich Ames wrote from his supermax prison in Colorado, he said he never understood why the US Government was trying to "screw" Jonathan so badly. What Jonathan did was so "minor," which is what Weinberger said at a later date as well. Robert Hanssen's spying deeds were also blamed on Jonathan....all before the Ames and Hanssen cases became known.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Territory Gets Returned


It happened in Suffolk, Virginia.

Suffolk has returned 100 acres in Lone Star Lakes Park to the Nansemond tribe, which plans to convert the prime riverfront property into an $8 million replica of a 17th century village [to] include a cultural center, hiking trails, gift shop and burial ground. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the tribe hopes the village, to be called Mattanock Town, will draw up to 50,000 paying visitors annually.

"We wanted this land back because it means so much to us," Nansemond chief Barry Bass told the newspaper. "But we want to give back to the city, too, and to share our history and culture with the public and with our own people. If that means being a tourist attraction, then that's what it will be."

He added that the tribe wants Mattanock Town to be a working village.

And I bet you there's a lot more land to be returned.

"Occupied" territory?


How Will Obama Respond?

If you had read this about Israel, wouldn't you expect the media and the bloggers to go wild over calls to excoriate that country?

Israel's parliamentary election is on Sunday, but already the principal result is known: a step away from political liberalization and genuine democracy. In the weeks before the vote, more than 1,000 political activists have been rounded up by security forces, and many have been abused. Opposition media commentators have been forced off the air, television channels closed and restrictions placed on text messaging. Meanwhile, the government has issued strident statements rejecting the Obama administration's calls for international observers and severely limited the access of domestic monitoring groups...

...That's why what will matter most is not the results of the vote but how President Obama responds to them. The president and his secretary of state have brought up democracy and human rights in private conversations with Israeli leaders but shied away from them in public. They have failed to make any connection between Mr. Netanyahu's domestic repression and the more than $1 billion in U.S. aid Israel receives every year, much of it directed to the military. They have not supported efforts in Congress to pass legislation or even nonbinding resolutions linking bilateral relations to political reform.

But, it isn't Israel which is the country involved.

It's Egypt.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rahm Emanuel - Travels and Travails of A Wandering Jew

Seems there are objections to Emanuel's candidacy:

...at least five local residents filed separate objections to the candidacy of Mr. Emanuel with elections officials here, and more objections were expected to trickle in to the city’s Board of Elections in the next few days.

Mr. Emanuel’s critics argue that in moving to Washington to work as chief of staff in the White House, he left Chicago – giving up, they say, a requirement that he have legal residency in this city for one year before mounting a run for mayor...Richard Prendergast, a lawyer who described himself as a volunteer with Mr. Emanuel’s campaign, said that the arguments offered in the filings were contrary to state statute and case law. In essence, he said, once a person establishes legal residency somewhere, they must actively abandon that home to be considered no longer a resident...Mr. Prendergast added that Mr. Emanuel consistently said he intended to come back.

One complicating factor: While he was away, Mr. Emanuel rented his home to a businessman who has, in recent days, launched his own unexpected campaign for mayor from Mr. Emanuel’s house. That has raised the prospect of testimony in the coming weeks, as these objections make their way through the system, about who really can say they reside in Mr. Emanuel’s house. Mr. Emanuel, meanwhile, is himself now living in a rental apartment.

See, Rahm, that 'coming home' feeling really is powerful.

How about Israel next?

Or maybe one of the new plots being developed here in Shiloh?


The NYTimes Just Loves...Yiddish?

I don't know if its subliminal galutism - love and justification of the Exile - but here it is:-

No Need to Kvetch, Yiddish Lives On in Catskills

Don't get me wrong. I love Yiddish. I love the Catskills (here and here).

It's just this this gushiness is so suspect.


KERHONKSON, N.Y. — ...For almost a week at a hotel here, organizers immerse the group, which calls itself KlezKamp, in Yiddish and the folkways of the Eastern Europeans who spoke that language until Hitler extinguished their communities. Classes are offered in Yiddish conversation, humor and literature; in klezmer — the sometimes plaintive, sometimes mischievous folk music that has experienced an astonishing comeback — and in the snaking, coiling, hand-clapping dances animated by those melodies....

Not only were the evening music and dance programs a tribute to vigorous life, but those who took part in the courses — more than 50 were offered, with six sessions apiece — also seemed to revel in the chance to reacquaint themselves with the unmatched expressions they had heard from their bubbes (grandmothers) and zaydes (grandfathers) and the dance steps they had not done since a cousin’s bar mitzvah long ago.

Words tossed about during the week included not just those like kvetch and kibitz, which have entered American idiom, but also fresher candidates like shreklekh (terrible or frightening), naches (prideful joy), farblondget (mixed up) and luftmensch (an impractical person with no apparent income).

Henry Sapoznik, a Ukrainian cantor’s son who helped found KlezKamp in 1984, calls it a “Yiddish Brigadoon,” a gathering, like the Scottish village in that 1947 musical, that comes to life once in a long while after a lengthy snooze. His co-founder, Adrienne Cooper, calls it “a flying shtetl.” But both say that over 25 years the thousands who have taken part have knitted together into a group that stays in touch year round...Mr. Sapoznik said. “But what we’re doing here is creating a parallel universe, our own free-standing reality.”

...Mr. Sapoznik estimated that 15 to 20 percent of participants were not Jewish. About half are musicians hankering to hone skills with human artifacts like Pete Sokolow, 69, who as a professional musician in the fading klezmer days of the 1950s played piano with legends like the four Epstein brothers and Dave Tarras.

...Everyone seems on a mission to recapture and resurrect, but the work is not just about mining the past. The musicians, for example, are inventing new melodies with a klezmer lilt but flavored with jazz, rock and even salsa...

A bi gezunt!


No Watching Films. Of Any Kind. For Any Purpose

That's the message, well, command, of this wall poster I snapped yesterday near Kikkar Shabbat:

Despite blandishments in Yiddish, despite educational purposes, for purposes of a mitzvah, no films of any kind.

The reason?  This form of activity has been proven to lead to the destruction of modesty.

By the way, the date of that is December 8, 1990.  Recycled.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Well, They Are Clear About The Issue

This issue:

The Presidency spokesperson , Nabil Abu Rdeineh confirmed today that all the forms of settlement (outposts and non-random) in Palestinian lands are illegal.

Commenting on Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejection of demolishing outposts, Abu Rdeineh said that the negotiations include a cessation of all forms of settlement including the so-called natural growth, stressing that the Palestinian Authority rejects all the forms of settlement. Pointing out that comprehensive and justified peace must be based on a clear and specific basis and not based on settling and depriving Palestinian lands.

Next they'll be throwing Jewish babies into a river?


Conflict in Space and Time

Predicting Conflict in Space and Time by Nils B. Weidmann, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA, and Michael D. Ward, Department of Political Science, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

is that academic article relevant for Israel's situation?


The prediction of conflict constitutes a challenge to social scientists. This article explores whether the incorporation of geography can help us make our forecasts of political violence more accurate. The authors describe a spatially and temporally autoregressive discrete regression model, following the framework of Geyer and Thompson. This model is applied to geo-located data on attributes and conflict events in Bosnia over the period from March 1992 to October 1995.

Results show that there is a strong spatial as well as temporal dimension to the outbreak of violence in Bosnia. The authors then explore the use of this model for predicting future conflict. Using a simulation approach, the predictive accuracy of the spatial—temporal model is compared to a standard regression model that only includes time lags. The results show that even in a difficult out-of-sample prediction task, the incorporation of space improves our forecasts of future conflict.


Haaretz Choking On Itself

For having to report this news:

A group of Israeli settlers Jews entered another apartment in East Jerusalem on Wednesday, this time located in the A-Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives.


...no Palestinian residents were evicted from the A-Tur apartment, which has been empty for the last several years as legal battles waged over ownership claims. Nor did any violence break out, though the atmosphere was tense.

That settlers have moved into two Lowell-owned apartments in East Jerusalem this week appears to be purely coincidental and related to the fact that in both cases, a court recently ruled in Lowell's favor.

The apartment, located on the second floor of an apartment building, is near Beit Hahoshen, another apartment building in A-Tur populated entirely by settlers...At about 10 A.M. on Wednesday, Elad representatives arrived at the apartment, escorted by police and security guards. The guards broke the lock on the door and replaced it with a new one. The Elad representatives then began preparing the apartment for habitation by hooking it up to the electricity grid and doing various repairs. All the work was done behind a locked door and closed blinds, with the security guards present.

"The settlers arrived in the morning and began to break the lock," a Palestinian resident of the building, who declined to give her name, told Haaretz. "We were frightened. The children are scared of them and of their guards. [they're scared?]

"Why do they come here?" she emanded. "They have a whole country. So why here of all places, in our house?" [why oh why?]

..."Over the past week, we witnessed a demonstration by artists in Tel Aviv who raised on outcry on behalf of Arabs in Safed, asking 'how it could be that people weren't willing to sell or rent them apartments?' But you can't hold the stick at both ends - because these same people oppose Jews buying apartments in East Jerusalem. That's discrimination. I have no problem with Arabs buying apartments in west Jerusalem, just as I'm in favor of Jews buying in the eastern part of the city."


On Legality and Ignorance (Or Worse)

From here:

Catherine Ashton - the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy recalled for the benefit of some 30 Foreign Ministers or Foreign Ministry officials over lunch on 22 November that the:

“the settlements are illegal under international law, are an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”

The minutes of that luncheon indicate not one of those enjoying the gastronomic treats provided for them took the slightest exception to Ms Ashton’s statement. It appears that her remarks were consumed with relish along with the wine and other goodies savoured on this occasion.

Her spurious claims need to be rejected in the most clear and unambiguous terms for the following reasons:

1. Jewish settlements in the West Bank are legal under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter subject to the civil and religious rights of the non- Jewish communities living there not being prejudiced.
2. 96% of the non-Jewish communities living in the West Bank have their civil and legal rights administered and regulated by the Palestinian Authority - not Israel.
3. The absence of any Jewish settlements in the West Bank between 1948-1967 - after Jews previously living there had been driven out of their homes in 1947/1948 by the Jordanian army - did not lead to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
4. Offers to cede Jewish claims to more than 90% of the West Bank made by Israel in 2001 and 2008 in order to achieve the European Union’s desired two-state solution - the creation of a new Arab state between Israel and Jordan - were rebuffed by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League.
5. The European Union two-state solution could have been achieved at any time between 1948 - 1967 by the stroke of an Arab League pen. Seeking 40 years later what was rejected during that 19 year period - amounts in effect to a legal estoppel - which Israel cannot be held responsible to rectify in 2010.
6. A different kind of two-state solution to that being pushed by the European Union is and can be achieved very easily by Israel and Jordan simply redrawing the international boundary that currently separates them so as to restore as far as is now possible the status quo that existed at 5 June 1967.

Ms Ashton also jogged the munching participants’ memories of the “Council’s December 2009 conclusions” - which contained the following similar statement:

“The Council reiterates that settlements, the separation barrier where built on occupied land, demolition of homes and evictions are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. “

Again the Council seemed to have then conveniently overlooked the following further facts:

1. The West Bank is not “occupied land”. It is “no man’s land” in international law. Sovereignty still remains to be allocated there in accordance with the terms of the Mandate for Palestine and the United Nations Charter which preserves the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the West Bank and to close settlement by Jews on State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
2. Whilst construction of the settlement barrier within the West Bank has been ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in an advisory opinion - such opinion is binding on no-one. That decision was also made without the Court even considering the legal import of Article 6 of the Mandate and article 80 of the UN Charter. Indeed the United Nations when seeking that advisory opinion failed to include any mention of the Mandate or the provisions of its own Charter in the documents it submitted to the Court to rule on. The European Union needs to take careful note of the following view expressed by Justice El-Araby in that case: “The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.” Proceeding to make policy decisions not based on this starting point has led the European Union into a whirlpool of distortion and self-deception.
3. Demolition of homes - where they have occurred - has been due to illegal unauthorised construction or in consequence of proven connection with terrorist attacks in accordance with the existing Mandate laws still operative in the West Bank at the time of its loss by Jordan to Israel in 1967.
4. Evictions - where they have occurred - have been taken after Court declarations finding such occupation to have been illegal.

The Foreign Affairs Council appears to be totally lacking in any basic understanding of the above facts that have resulted in the 130 years old conflict between Jews and Arabs still remaining unresolved.


Am I Living Illegally in My Shiloh Home?

He says no:


What Are Those Jews Doing To Those Olive Trees?

What are they doing?

They are harvesting them, after planting them and nuturing them. In Rechalim and Shiloh.

See the orchard of Erez Ben-Sa'adon and of Meshek Achiyah:

Some 12% of all Israel's home-use olive oil production (in the film 10% is mentioned but I double-checked with Yair Hirsch) is produced at Meshek Achiyah. 400 tons say Itamar Weiss. That's 600,000 bottles.

All-in-all, farmers in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) tend 8000 dunams of agricultural land. Scores of boutique wineries as well as olive tree growth.


You Will Purchase the Book?


Do You Know When Ze'ev Jabotinsky Was Officially Demobilized?

That's from the London Gazette, October 24, 1919


Chanukah Happened in Judea and Samaria

A map displaying the sites of the campaigns and victories of the Maccabim.

Thursday Morning's Shiloh Sunrise


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Join Peace Now And Save Jerusalem, As It Were

I checked Peace Now's website for any posters or flyers like the one below (yes, also in Hebrew) so it really must be new.

The first side shows a schematic map of Jerusalem, "West" and "East" and claims that the 'settlers' are making Jerusalem into a bi-national city.  Unfortunately, they can't distinguish between citizenship and nationality.
Jewish families are residing amongst Arab ones!
And the call is: Jerusalemties assume responsibility and save the city.

At least the Mt. of Olives 2000-year old Jewish cemetery isn't makred as a "settlement".

The reverse side call for people to join Peace Now as there still is a cahnce for peace, if PN's struggle is successful:

Oh, and that map has the Old City sort of unique in grey and the Temple Mount or, in the Hebrew, Har Habayit, is missing.  It is only El-Aqsa.


When The Zionist Left Was Anti-Partition

Zionist politics is a complex subject.

Once upon a time, HaShomer HaTzair (the political party before it became Mapam and not strictly the youth movement) was anti-partition, seeking a binational state.

As the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry found out:

As the result of the public hearings and of many private conversations, we came to the conclusion that the Biltmore Program has the support of the overwhelming majority of Zionists. Though many Jews have doubts about the wisdom of formulating these ultimate demands, the program has undoubtedly won the support of the Zionist movement as a whole, chiefly because it expresses the policy of Palestinian Jewry which now plays a leading role in the Jewish-Agency...Palestinian Jewry is riddled with party differences. The number of political newspapers and periodicals bears witness to the variety and vitality of this political life, and, apart from pressure exerted on Jews considered to be disloyal to the National Home, we found little evidence to support the rumors that it was dangerous to advocate minority views...Hashomer Hatzair, a socialist party which, while demanding the right of unrestricted immigration and land settlement, challenges the concept of the Jewish State and particularly emphasizes the need for cooperation with the Arabs. Hashomer Hatzair, though it did not appear before us, published shortly before we left Jerusalem a striking pamphlet in support of bi-nationalism.

And here is the poster that expresses the above view:

It's headline reads:-

Biltmore Means Partition and a Good Partition is Fata Morgana

And here is a Marxist critique:

As regards the bi-nationalism of Hashomer Hatzair, it is an untruth to say that they stand for an Arab-Jewish Republic. Against the official Zionist programme they put forward these demands:

1. To open the doors of Palestine for Jewish immigration.
2. To establish in Palestine a political regime under international control which will give the Jewish Agency the right t carry out Jewish immigration according to the full economic absorptive capacity of the country.
3. To grant the Jewish Agency the necessary authority for the development and building up of the country, including settlement of all government owned lands and uninhabited spaces, in the interests of the two sectors of the population, which will make dense Jewish colonisation possible, and the development of the Arab economy.
4. To establish in Palestine after the war a regime based on the political equality of both peoples; which will enable Zionism to realise its aims undisturbed and will advance Palestine towards political independence in the frame of bi-nationalism. (Against the Stream, Collection of Articles and Speeches, Tel Aviv, 1943, Hebrew).

All matters of immigration and settlement, according to Hashomer Hatzair, must be dealt with by the Jewish Agency, which will be concerned – as it has been concerned until today – with the “development of the Arab economy.”

Of course has Hashomer Hatzair is ready to co-operate with the Arabs on such a basis. They only forget one small question: will the Arab masses accept this as a basis for collaboration? Is not control over immigration and colonisation in such a country as Palestine control over the most important functions of the state? Does the programme of has Hashomer Hatzair differ from the Jewish State programme in other than a greater dose of hypocrisy?

But if any doubt remains as to the extreme Zionism of Hashomer Hatzair, its leaders dispel it when they explain the bi-national programme:

“we aspire to the concentration of the majority of Jews in Palestine and the neighbouring countries.”

“The problem we are all concerned with is what is the most purposeful way to cease being a minority in the country.”

“Ben-Gurion claims that Zionism is not conditioned by the agreement of the Arabs; our position has always been the same.”

“Without agreement with the Arabs, too, we will continue the Zionist undertaking.” (From the speeches of M.Yaari and Y. Chazan in the Inner Zionist Council, 15th October and 10th November, 1942).

What is the basis for agreement with the Arabs? Hashomer Hatzair gives a clear answer:

“A primary precondition for any negotiation will be a declaration and common agreement that negotiations will be a declaration and common agreement that negotiations will be carried on only on the basis of the Mandate, and the unshakable recognition of Jewish immigration into Palestine.” (On the Wall, 1.1.39)

Are not Hashomer Hatzair really enthusiastic about bi-nationalism and fraternity with the Arabs? After all, all they ask of them is consent to only two “small” points – imperialist domination and Zionism.

Artistry At Bet El

Heard of this group?



Go here and here.

And here they are at Bet El, painting caravans and anti-terror road blocks, with help from One Israel Fund:

Full story here.

Wednesday's Shiloh Sunrise



When They Tried A Wall

I mentioned the International Commission of Inquiry established by the British Mandatory authorities in 1930 which issued a report that resulted, in May 1931, in unjust restrictions on Jews by the Western Wall in addition to awarding to the Muslim Waqf the ownership of the Wall and the small courtyard which served as the worship site.

Let's recall what the Kotel looked like:-

That's  Lt. General Dill (later Field Marshal Sir John Greer Dill), General Officer Commanding British Troops in Palestine and Transjordan, 1936-1937, visiting the Western Wall in 1936.

Above, the Kotel courtyard in the early 1940s.
Even Senators visited.

A book was published that collected all the testimonies of the Jewish witnesses who presented the Jewish case for Jewish rights at and of the Kotel.  It was entitled "Mishpat HaKotel", the Trial of the Wall.

Here is the cover:

Here is the title page:


Ben Smith, Yisrael Medad and Sarah Palin

Carl caught it first, here.

My interview with Ben Smith of POLITICO.

Why don't you comment there as some balance is needed.


Alana Goodman's take.


A New Settlement?


But not the one you're used to reading about.

The one that involves negotiations of lump-sum final settlements for those affected by the BP oil spill.

One that is very much more messy than our "settlements", and more dangerous and costly.


Bronner Errs

The New York Times' Ethan Bronner, wrote this:
Gen. David H. Petraeus, who oversaw American war efforts in Iraq and now in Afghanistan, told Congress this year that the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict created a hostile environment for the United States in the region

It's wrong, though.
Petraeus was asked the question on camera by Philip Klein and denied it.

How's that for the paper of record?


New Abbas Poster

Here at EOZ.

Do you know Abbas thinks of the Mufti?


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Real Reality in the Middle East

“Every American ambassador in the region knows that official meetings with Arab leaders start with the obligatory half-hour lecture on the Palestinian question,” said a senior American diplomat who has spent his career in the Middle East and asked not to be identified to protect his work. “If we could dispense with that half-hour and get down to our other business, we might actually be able to get something done.”


Land in Dispute

This item:

NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Armed settlers stopped Palestinian farmers from working on their land in the West Bank village of Qaryut, south of Nablus, Monday, officials said.

Mofeed Jameel, the secretary of Qaryut's village council, said gun-wielding Israelis from the settlement of Shiloh ordered the farmers to leave farmland surrounding the settlement. He added that residents of the village have a decision from the Israeli Attorney General that allows them to work on the land in question, an area of about 50 dunums.

Palestinian Authority settlement affairs officer Ghassan Doughlas confirmed the incident and also alleged that Israeli soldiers were present with the settlers.

is not truthful.

The case is in judicial process and only the dumb intervention by a division commander temporarily permitted a part of the disputed fields to be worked and that didn't happen today.

But Rabbi Ascherman, clergyman to his Palestinian flock, is seeking, it appears, a provocative situation.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Diehl On The Mark

Jackson Diehl:

The same might be said about Obama's preoccupation with stopping Israel's settlement expansion in the West Bank and Jerusalem - a campaign that even Palestinian and Arab leaders have watched with bafflement. True, almost everyone outside Israel regards the construction as counterproductive, and only a minority supports it inside Israel.

But that is just the point: The dream of a "greater Israel" died more than 15 years ago. Even the Israeli right now accepts that a Palestinian state will be created in the West Bank. The settlements have become a sideshow; the real issues concern how to create a Palestinian state in a Middle East where the greatest threat is not Israeli but Iranian expansionism. What to do about Hamas and Hezbollah and their Iranian-supplied weapons? How to ensure that the post-occupation West Bank does not become another Iranian base? Those issues did not exist in 1983 - and the Obama administration seems to have no strategy for them.

This, though, only a minority supports it inside Israel is simply wrong.


Even He Knows What Obama Didn't

“If Obama wanted to be a transformational figure, he would never have led with the settlements,” said Eyal Arad, the architect of Livni’s campaign for prime minister. He argues — like most Israelis — that Obama inadvertently got talks hung up on a matter of irrelevant principle, rather than engaging the reality that some settlements can stay while others must go.


Archaeology Is History

Another find:

Israeli archaeologists uncover ancient Roman pool in Jerusalem
Pool, estimated to date from the Roman occupation of the city in 70 A.D., was found while excavating the site for a planned new mikveh.

While excavating the site for a planned new ritual bath for Jews in Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists uncovered a pool belonging to the Roman legion that sacked the city nearly 2,000 years ago.

The discovery announced Monday sheds a rare light on the city the Romans built after destroying the second Jewish Temple in 70 A.D. and expelling the Jews from Jerusalem following their revolt.

Ofer Sion, the director of the excavation in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, said...
"It is very important because in all the excavations in the Jewish quarter [we have] never found a building from the 2nd and 3rd century," he said Monday.

The archaeologists found steps leading to the pool's white mosaic floor and hundreds of terra cotta roof tiles stamped with the name of the Roman unit - the famed Tenth Legion - that built the pool. Sion suggested the site was part of a larger complex where thousands of soldiers once bathed.

The official announcement is here with this:

Dr. Sion adds, “Another interesting discovery that caused excitement during the excavation is the paw print of a dog that probably belonged to one of the soldiers. The paw print was impressed on the symbol of the legion on one of the roof tiles and it could have happened accidentally or have been intended as a joke”.

And this:


Ah, Britain



LONDON (AP) — A BBC documentary says Saudi textbooks containing anti-Semitic and homophobic material are being used in British classrooms.

The BBC's "Panorama" program found the books in use for weekend education programs teaching the Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 Muslim children in Britain.

The show, to be aired Monday, says the books include claims that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, teach that the penalty for sodomy is execution and show the correct way to chop off the hands and feet of thieves.

The government said it would tighten regulation of part-time classes. Education Secretary Michael Gove says anti-Semitic and homophobic sentiments have "absolutely no place in English education or in public life in Britain."

The BBC:

Saudi school lessons in UK concern government

The government says it will not tolerate anti-Semitic and homophobic lessons being taught to Muslim children in the UK.

BBC Panorama found that more than 40 Saudi Students' Schools and Clubs are teaching the official Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 pupils.

One text book shows how the hands and feet of thieves are chopped off.

...Education Secretary Michael Gove said there was no place for the Saudi teachings with regard to Jews or homosexuals in Britain: "To my mind it doesn't seem to me that this is the sort of material that should be used in English schools."

...One of the text books asks children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jewish people. A text for younger children asks what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam - the answer given in the text book is "hellfire".

...Neal Robinson, an expert in the Koran, said the context in which the materials are presented comes with risks.

"To present it cold, as it seems to be here, just part of the teaching of Islam, no it's not wise. In the wrong hands I think it is... ammunition for anti-Semitism."

The use of these materials in Britain comes three years after a BBC investigation found a Saudi-funded school in west London was using texts that referred to Jewish people and Christians in derogatory terms. That prompted assurances at the highest diplomatic levels that the materials would be removed...

They just don't learn, it seems.


Yesha Council Press Release

Yesha Council Announces Plans for

Massive Public Campaign Opposing Freeze Resumption

“We will not stand idly by as a US President forces Israel to commit national suicide.”


(JERUSALEM- November 21, 2010) Following a mass demonstration Sunday held adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria announced that the pressure on the government against renewing any building freeze would only intensify in the comings days.

“This is an effort which is critical not only for the people of Judea and Samaria but is one that should be embraced by all Israelis,” said Danny Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council. “Our very national credibility is at stake.”

“Any resumption of a building freeze is a troubling signal of our Government’s weakness and will achieve absolutely nothing in advancing our relations with the Palestinians,” Mr. Dayan said. “Our Government must remember that it was elected to fulfill the will of the people of Israel and not that of the US President.”

The Yesha Council announced a series of measures and activities that will go into effect beginning the morning of Monday, November 22nd including:

- At 10:00 Monday, the Yesha Council will begin operating an emergency situation center adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Office. The center will be staffed by local council heads, Yesha Council executives and residents of Judea and Samaria. The center will orchestrate all efforts aimed at exacting pressure on the political establishment and the general public to prevent imposing any building freeze in Judea, Samaria or any part of Jerusalem.

- The Yesha Council will significantly expand its effort to lobby senior Likud members against any support for the US Government’s proposal to reinstate the building freeze.

- On Tuesday, November 23rd at 1:00 PM, a meeting of all Council heads will take place at the emergency situation center to assess the situation.

“We will not allow our nation to be bribed by a country that we long thought to be a trusted friend and partner. Whatever his intent, the reality is that President Obama is asking Israel to commit national suicide by severely jeopardizing our security needs and we cannot stand quietly by and allow this to happen, “Mr. Dayan said.