Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BBC on Our Demographics


More than 500,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, among a Palestinian population of about 2.5 million.

More, actually.

At least 330,000 in Judea and Samaria and over 250,000 in the new neighborhoods in Jerusalem's north, east and south.

Here's Bibi Netanyahu's Joinst Session of Congress speech:

...the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967. The vast majority of the 650,000 Israelis who live beyond the 1967 lines reside in neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem and Greater Tel Aviv. These areas are densely populated but geographically quite small. Under any realistic peace agreement, these areas, as well as other places of critical strategic and national importance, will be incorporated into the final borders of Israel.


In The Middle East, Leaps of Faith Can Be Suicidal


via Advertising Agency: Torres Comunicação, Fortaleza, Brazil

Countering Pal. UDI


There Could Be A Two-state Solution

But A One-way Declaration Won't Work At All

(and that could be: "Empty Head")


Romney Rumbles

Caught at Ben Smith on Politico:-

At a VFW event in Texas today, Romney offers detailed criticism of a foreign policy he calls "muddled," though it isn't entirely clear here how he would have acted differently in Libya, aside from — he says — having seen it coming:

In the Mideast, we are pressuring our closest ally Israel to make concessions while putting almost no pressure on the Palestinians. The administration was quick to criticize Israel but slow to confront Syria’s strongman, Bashar al Assad, even though he facilitated arming Hezbollah, allowed terrorists to cross his border into Iraq to attack U.S. troops, and turned weapons on his own people. Instead of calling Mr. Assad a reformer, the administration should have labeled him a killer.


A Suggestion for September

In preparing for September, I have a suggestion but lets clarify "September" which means

Palestinian leaders [will] rally West Bank residents on Facebook and activists prepare campaigns against Jewish settlements and military checkpoints..."There will be activities everywhere — against the wall [Israel's separation barrier], against the settlements and against the occupation," said Wasel Abu Yousef, who heads the Palestine Liberation Front, a faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization. "We want to escalate all popular protests."  Palestinian officials say they are committed to keeping demonstrations nonviolent.

we are informed that:

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian civil society coalition, reiterates and further explicates below the main principles which have informed its position on this matter, as expressed in our statement issued on June 1, 2011.
(1) Self Determination
The most fundamental, inalienable right of the people of Palestine is the right to self determination. Ending the occupation is one pillar in exercising that right. The right to self-determination, which in the case of Palestinians is represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), is commonly defined as the right of “all peoples … freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” It is a right held by all Palestinians, irrespective of their current location, by virtue of international law and the principles of popular sovereignty and democracy. All Palestinians, including the refugees in the shatat (diaspora) and Palestinian citizens ofIsrael, have a right to participate in and be represented by – in the UN and elsewhere – a democratic PLO that determines the political status and pursues the economic, social and cultural development of the entire Palestinian people.

At a minimum, exercising the right to self determination by all Palestinians entails:

1. Ending Israel’s occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in 1967;

2. Honoring the right of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality by ending the Israeli system of legalized and institutionalized racial discrimination (which conforms to the UN definition of apartheid); and

3. Respecting and enabling the implementation of the UN-sanctioned right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands from which they were expelled.

Can I translate that?  It's the old "stages" maneuver.  This one:

On 9/13/1993, the same day that Arafat signed the Declaration of Principles of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, Arafat appeared in a taped interview on Jordan TV: "Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we do it in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and establish a sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow against Israel."

Now, getting back to those points above:

1.  Full withdrawal to June 4, 1967 armistice lines (whihc delineated the end of Arab 1947 aggression);
2.  Establishing ethnic autonomy in the Negev, Little Triangle, the Gallilee (preparing for irridentism);
3.  Demographically drowning Israel (and ignoring Arab-initiated ethnic cleansing of Jews 1920-1948).

So, I would suggest that leaflets in Arabic be distributed warning the local Arab population not to approach parameters of the communities and not rely on the PA mass media.  Don't approach the gates, our fields, our orchards, our vineyards.

Don't throw stones. Stone-throwing is not a non-violent act.

Don't block roads. Don't trespass. Don't encroach.

Don't threaten.

And from the State Department:-

QUESTION: So on a related issue, there was a report in Haaretz today the Israeli army is arming and training settlers in anticipation of Palestinian marches toward the settlement. Could you comment on that?

MS. NULAND: Apart from saying that we have regularly engaged with both Israelis and Palestinian governments to urge them to do everything possible to maintain peace and security in the West Bank and we will continue to do that. We – the right path for both sides is to come back to the negotiating table.

Take the advice. Try to negotiate. Even though you've been an abysmal failure so far, even since January 1919.


Hosting " Mideast Media Sampler 08/31/2011" on The Lede & Derfner

The Lede's defense of Larry

Along with Roger Cohen, Nicholas Kristof and Thomas Friedman, the New York Times has another writer, Robert Mackey who is reliably anti-Israel. It's little surprise, then, that Mackey has weighed in on the recent firing of Larry Derfner by the Jerusalem Post with Israeli Columnist Is Fired for Writing That Palestinian Terrorism Is ‘Justified’. Anyone familiar with Mackey's work would know that he would find plenty of support for Derfner from critics of Israel and not consider anything other than what those critics would say. One would also expect plenty of misinformation.

When he posted that apology last Friday, Mr. Derfner also removed the offending post from “Israel Reconsidered,” the private blog he shares with another Israeli journalist. Before he could delete it though, another blogger, who agreed with the argument, had made a copy of the complete text of Mr. Derfner’s original post, “The Awful, Necessary Truth About Palestinian Terrorism.”

Actually he shares Israel Reconsidered with Richard Silverstein, a nasty American anti-Israel blogger. No one familiar with Silverstein would consider him a journalist. Silverstein also developed a habit of going to news outlets and complaining that other bloggers were mean to him. The New York Times apparently thought that was news.

Towards the end Mackey writes:

In a defense of Mr. Derfner, Dimi Reider, the other contributor to the blog “Israel Reconsidered,” argued that The Jerusalem Post — which lurched from the far-left to the far-right of Israel’s political spectrum in 1990, after it was purchased by the press baron Conrad Black — allows its conservative columnists the freedom to state extreme views without fear of reprimand.

The impression that Mackey gives (and Reider's subsequent comments give) is that the Jerusalem Post is a narrow "right wing" rag. Truth is if you check out the columnist page, you see prominent left wingers and critics of Israel such as David Newman, Gershon Baskin and Ray Hanania.

The suggestion that the Post went from "far left" to "far right" and never changed in 1990 is also misleading, but it's a mistake that the New York Times had made previously. In 1996, the papers Serge Schmemann reported (erroneously):

Even the conservative Jerusalem Post, once a staunch supporter of Mr. Netanyahu, now finds fault with him over the settlement issue for giving the Palestinian Authority ''the ammunition it needs'' to rally the world against Israel.

After Netanyahu was elected, David Bar Ilan left the Jerusalem Post to serve as Netanyahu's spokesman and was succeeded as editor by Jeff Barak. Barak was decided more liberal than Bar Ilan, which explained the switch in the paper's tone.

Still I wonder, would Mackey consider Ha'aretz "far left?" The New York Times?


On How The NYTimes Reports

What was reported yesterday is today in the NYTimes:

We are informed that

The military is drawing up boundaries around each settlement that protesters will not be allowed to cross and is carrying out simulated “scenarios” with the security teams, according to Shlomo Vaknin, the security officer of the Yesha Council, the settlers’ umbrella organization.

It was not clear how the boundaries would be made clear to protesters.

I hope the protestors will get to know those boundaries.

For all our sakes.

But the NYT has to get biased:

...There are more than 100 settlements in the West Bank, only some of which are fenced. Each has its own rapid response team armed with military-issued M-16 automatic rifles. There are high levels of hostility — and past clashes — between some Palestinian villages and neighboring settlements and outposts dominated by Jews claiming territory they consider their biblical birthright.

And added this:

the Israeli military said in a statement that it “maintains an ongoing, professional dialogue with the community leadership and security personnel throughout Judea and Samaria while devoting great efforts to training local forces and preparing them to deal with any possible scenario.” It was referring to the areas of the West Bank by their biblical names.

My that sounds ominous.  Our communities "dominate" although anybody who has been out here can see that many more Arab villages dominate our towns, and dominate our roads and our fields.  They not only dominate, they kill, and ignite and destroy.  This is not a one-way situation.

And those names?  They appear in the 1947 partition resolution:

The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih south-east of Beisan and runs due west to meet the Beisan-Jericho road and then follows the western side of that road in a north-westerly direction to the junction of the boundaries of the Sub-Districts of Beisan, Nablus, and Jenin...

Is the UN a Bible-thumping organization?  Is there something wrong with Biblical names?

Does not the NYTimes know what real boundaries are?  Or what if the esteemed paper would employ such terms as "historical borders" or "historical names"?  Do they have to stain us with a brush of fanaticism?

And there is, on another theme, this:

The Israeli military says it now provides its forces with more nonlethal equipment for use in such situations. Despite reports that such weapons, like tear gas and stun grenades, would be distributed to the settler teams, Mr. Vaknin said he believed the military had so far decided not to do so.

So, not everything reported is true.


On the Migron Issue

From Moshe Dann's op-ed:

...Relying on the opinion of the State Prosecutor’s Office and Civil Administration, the Supreme Court accepted Arab claims that Migron was built illegally on “private Palestinian land.”  The Supreme Court, however, did not investigate or examine the issue, since it does not deal with such questions; only the District Court has this authority. The State and Civil Administration never explained why they did not object initially, or why they changed their position; there is strong suspicion that the reason is political.

Although the area of Migron is registered to Arabs, the district court has not authoritatively decided this issue. Since the alleged original Arab owners are deceased or unknown, there are serious questions of whether the Arab claimants really do own the land. Moreover, despite the 64 plots in dispute, only four petitioners have appeared. Why hasn’t the government accepted their petitions, and where are the rest? These and other questions regarding ownership will be considered when the case is heard in the Magistrate’s Court.

How the land was acquired by the Arabs who now claim it is important. Under Turkish, British and Jordan rule, large tracts of state land were given to individuals, tribes and villages by the sovereign power on condition that they pay taxes and use the land within a specified amount of time, usually 10 years. Land not used within the given time reverts to the state.

The area of Migron was never used or developed by its Arab claimants, then or now. But there is a more important question...

The Arab claimants have rejected generous offers of compensation and alternative sites which more than match the value of Migron’s land. Their refusal is understandable since, according to Jordanian and PA law, selling land to Jews is a capital crime. Hundreds of Arabs suspected of such transactions have been tortured, jailed or lynched.  Pushed by NGOs like Yesh Din and Peace Now, therefore, the Arab claimants are used as political pawns...



Remember how everyone all made fun of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Courage" event?

That we Israelis don't need anyone teaching us courage.

Well, who did award courage?

Read one:

Consulate Honors Palestinian Woman of Courage

Ms. Diane Kelly, a senior-level U. S. Department of State official, presented Dr. Salwa Najjab, Director of Juzoor for Health and Social Development in Ramallah, an award recognizing Dr. Najjab’s groundbreaking work in health-care and women’s rights. Dr. Najjab is an expert in women’s health issues, and founder of a number of women’s health and maternal mortality reduction programs, including development of community health and specialized training programs for nurses and midwives. On Monday, April 26, the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem hosted a ceremony honoring Dr. Najjab and her achievements. Dr. Najjab was nominated by the U.S. Consulate General for the International Woman of Courage Award, which recognizes women around the world who have shown exceptional courage and leadership in advocating women’s rights and advancement. Ms. Kelly is a senior policy advisor to Ambassador-at-large Melanne Verveer, in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues...

So, courage should be recognized and rewarded.


Shiloh's Children

At our main park:

I hope they never become targets of Larry Derfner's terror justification.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

David Grossman - Icon

The author, David Grossman, displaying his knowledge and intelligence, in French:

Vous avez parlé de la manière dont la conscience et la morale des Israéliens sont envahies par cet état de guerre.

Ce pays vit depuis plus de cent ans dans la violence. Etre acculé de cette manière fait ressortir les aspects les plus violents, agressifs et paranoïaques de notre psyché. Pas parce que nous sommes pires que d’autres peuples, mais parce que toute nation piégée dans une telle situation ferait de même. Et bien sûr, vous commencez à diviser le monde entre bons et mauvais, vous diabolisez les autres, vous vous idéalisez vous-mêmes et vous promulguez des lois qui conviennent à votre anxiété et pas à vos valeurs. C’est ce qu’on voit aujourd’hui, ce constant rétrécissement de la démocratie. On voit comment un groupe de Juifs messianiques cinglés a kidnappé tout un Etat. Une petite minorité dicte notre système moral, notre politique, notre avenir. Et la majorité collabore avec eux, elle accepte des choses qui semblaient impensables il y a dix ans. La mentalité des colonies a envahi le pays.

Par ailleurs, c’est vrai que les Juifs seront toujours une petite minorité au Moyen-Orient. En ce sens, je ne suis pas un pacifiste et je ne suggère pas que nous nous passions d’une armée très forte. Je n’ai pas confiance dans la bonne volonté des pays arabes. Ils n’ont jamais montré de bonne volonté envers nous, de même que nous n’avons jamais montré de bonne volonté envers eux. Nous avons donc besoin d’une armée forte pour défendre notre Etat. Mais l’armée ne peut pas être le seul moyen pour nous de rester ici. Au lieu d’être un outil pour une vie meilleure, elle est devenue une fin en soi.

In English translation:

You spoke of how consciousness and morality of the Israelis invaded by this state of war.

This country has lived for over a hundred years in the violence. Being driven in this manner highlights the most violent aspects, aggression and paranoia of our psyche. Not because we are worse than other peoples, but because every nation trapped in this situation would do the same. And of course, in dividing the world between good and bad, you demonize the other, you idealize yourself and you make laws that suit your anxiety and not your values. This is what we see today, the constant shrinking of democracy. We see how a group of crazy Messianic Jews kidnapped an entire state. A small minority dictates our moral system, our politics, our future. And the majority that cooperates with them, accepts then the things that seemed unthinkable a decade ago. The mentality of settlments invaded the country.

Moreover, it is true that the Jews will always be a small minority in the Middle East. In this sense, I am not a pacifist and I do not suggest that we yield on a very strong army. I have no confidence in the willingness of Arab countries. They have never shown any goodwill towards us, as we have never shown any good will towards them. So we need a strong military to defend our state. But the army can not be the only way for us to stay here. Instead of being a tool for a better life, the army became an end in itself.

Does all that reflect on an incisive analysis of the historical, political and military situation Israel is in and has been for decades? 

Are you confident that Israel selects its intelectual and cultural icons wisely?


Sally and Her Fingers or, Is That The Way a Woman Married to A Nice Jewish Man Should Act?

Sally, wife of Speaker of the Parliament John and Jewish, Bercow and her finger:

Actually, she was going to use two fingers:-

‘Because of who I’m married to it’s not acceptable apparently, I hope he doesn’t divorce me over it. ’Because I’m married to the speaker apparently I’m not supposed to do this sort of thing. ‘But I am not my husband.’

She said she was raising £100,000 for the Ambition for Autism charity. ‘Even if I cock up, my charity gets the money. ‘I want to stick two fingers up to the establishment who think it’s the kind of thing I shouldn’t do’

She said her appearance was bound to ‘raise a few eyebrows’


Goebbels Had A Secretary

Did the Nazis actually order the round-up of Jews for purposes of elimination?

Ask Goebbels' secretayr:-

She took down every word that Goebbels uttered, both his private correspondence and his official orders, including those ordering round-ups of Jews in Berlin to please Hitler that the capital was becoming 'Jew-free'.


'I didn't know about the Holocaust. I was a stupid, politically uninterested little sausage of simple means. I only learned about the Jewish extermination programme after the war. Goebbels never mentioned it in his correspondence.

Is she, too, a denier?


Remember That Construction Moratorium?

You recall my pictures from last November? Here at Shiloh?

And this sign from April 2010?

Same site today.  Progress:

Think about that when wondering what our purpose is in our national home.


Why Be Coy? Yes, We'll Be Prepared for September

AFP is passing on this story culled from the Hebrew press:-

Israeli army trains Jewish West Bank settlers

The Israeli army is training Jewish settlers in the West Bank to repel any violent protests in the territories when the Palestinians try to secure UN membership next month, the military said.  Asked to confirm a story first reported in Haaretz newspaper, the army issued a written statement saying it was in the process of training settlement response teams, "to deal with any possible scenario."  But it declined to give details on "operational preparedness."

...Most settlers already have assault rifles or pistols.  "There is also a decision, in principle, to equip the chief security officers of settlements with the means for dispersing demonstrations," the paper said, citing a document in its possession. "These would include tear gas and stun grenades."

Why the retinence?

a) first all, since more than half our population is made up of women, children, elderly and those who are unlicensed who do not either possess a weapon or are trained in weapons usage, and that includes Hareim, "most" is unfactual;

b) we have had response teams for decades.  the training gtes improved from year to year as well as according to the Arab threats;

c) if anything, the object of this is that we wil be able to defend ourselves and families from murderous hordes with as much ability as possible so as to prevent fatalities to those who seek our death or injury;

d) at Adei-Ad, behind Shiloh, I have noted attempts by masses if charged up Arabs throwing stones, attacking and destroying and there is no doubt their intentions are to kill, if possible, maim, if possible and to destroy homes and agricultural produce, if possible

We aim (pardon the pun) to make that an impossibility.



'Training sessions are nothing extraordinary'

Danny Dayan, chairman of the settlers' YESHA Council, said in a telephone interview that "Certainly during a period of tension, with intelligence reports of possible threats, of course readiness crews are being trained."

Dayan saw these preparations as "nothing extraordinary", noting how most settlers residents involved have already done compulsory duty in the IDF, which drafts most Israeli men at the age of 18.  "The Israeli army is responsible for them, they are not private settler militias of the residents," Dayan said.

Armed settlers residents "operate under orders to avoid killing civilians. In the event of a break-in at a settlement, the response would be purely defensive, nothing offensive," he added.

...Avigdor Shatz, who oversees security in the Benjamin settlement district of the West Bank Judea Judea and Samaria told Reuters that ahead of September's vote, "we are exercising them (security personnel) more, so they will be as trained as necessary." He would not provide details or figures on how many settler security personnel exist, but said most of the 140 or so enclaves Israel has built in the West Bank area had defense teams, and said "very few" of their members had firearms.



Rabbis Now Oppose My Neighbor's Initiative


Rabbis withdraw support for gay marriage

Senior Religious Zionism Rabbis Yaakov Ariel, Haim Drukman and Elyakim Levanon have withdrawn their support from a recent initiative seeking to match between religious homosexuals and lesbians until the religious and ethical aspects of the issue are clarified, Ynet has learned.  The three even demanded that the Kamoha association, which is part of the matchmaking initiative, immediately remove their names from the list of supporters on the association's website – until further notice.

...Rabbis Ariel and Drukman are refusing to address the issue and explain their stand, but Ynet has learned that they have not ruled out matches between homosexuals and lesbians. They believe that this option must be discussed seriously and thoroughly, including the halachic and mental aspects of such a move.

...The three rabbis feel that Rabbi Arale Harel, who initiated the new project, took things too fast when he launched the initiative based on their agreement in principle, and without receiving their final approval...Rabbi Menachem Burstein, head of the Jewish fertility organization Puah Institute, who supports the initiative, admitted that Rabbi Harel was wrong to have rushed to link the rabbis to the project, but added that he had no doubt that all Religious Zionism rabbis would eventually support it.

According to Burstein, a homosexual and lesbian planning to marry through the new project are required to present a letter from a therapist confirming that they have tried to become straight but failed, promise to remain faithful to each other as long as they are married and accept psychological guidance for them and their children – three conditions aimed at meeting any rabbinical or professional objection to the matter.

The project's initiator, Rabbi Harel, told Ynet that "throughout the years that the matchmaking initiative has been conducted, the abovementioned rabbis have been escorting the idea with their advice and resourcefulness. Now, after it has been made public, they have expressed reservations over its public aspect, as well as additional questions relating to a small number of the couples.

"These reservations were presented to me in talks I had with the rabbis, and therefore we stopped publishing their names as supporters of the initiative until the issue is clarified. Apart from the abovementioned rabbis, there are others who support this initiative and their names will be published soon."

I noted his efforts here and also here.


UDI for "Palestine" Irresponsible

That's what Avi Yesawich says:

...the UN will be recognizing a state whose government(s) maintains questionable legitimacy among its own population[s], is maligned by deep corruption and internal fighting, lacks control over terror cells that undermine all peace efforts, is depressingly mismanaged and is completely dependent on Israeli industry [and abuses human rights, wages against a free press, encourages honor killings, lacks judicial transparency, et al. - YM]. The world will be voting into existence a welfare state that currently owes much of its sustenance to the donations of the international community and Israeli tax transfers [together with huge embezzlement scandals - YM].

The Fatah- Hamas reconciliation agreement has proven to be a failure and never came close to being implemented – and it may never be. Abbas recently rejected the recognition of Israel as the Jewish State [and rejected Jewish residency therein - YM]. The recent terror attacks and rocket fire emanating from Gaza have shown that terrorist groups other than Hamas hold considerable political and military sway in the Gaza Strip [and the PA is responsible for terror incitement - YM]. Israeli security cooperation with Fatah has minimized similar developments in the West Bank, although that certainly didn’t prevent the Itamar massacre or other recent murders [and yesterday's drive=over attack. - YM]. Are these positive signs that point to a nation ready for statehood?

Of course, the real question is do they desire a state or are seeking yet another instrument of power to deny Jews our rights in the land?


When In Jerusalem - It's Hagov Bar, the Lion's Den at Zion Square

An advert for my son's sports bar & grill:

Try it.


When is A Terrorist Not At Least A "Militant"?

In the New York Times:-

Palestinian Man Injures 8 at Israeli Club, Police Say

A Palestinian man from the occupied West Bank wounded eight Israelis early Monday when he hijacked a taxi in Tel Aviv, drove it to a packed nightclub and ran over police officers at a security checkpoint before emerging to stab several bystanders.

A police spokeswoman said the man, who is 21 and from Nablus, shouted “God is great!” in Arabic before being subdued by police officers. One officer was seriously hurt and three others were wounded, as was the taxi driver.

The police said they believed the attack was an act of political terror. The Palestinian Authority condemned it.

The paper did manage to slip in "terror" but no "militant".


Well, almost.  This:

Terrorist attacks, which became relatively common in Israel during the Palestinian uprising in 2002 and 2003, have been rare in Tel Aviv in the last few years, for a combination of reasons, including the renunciation of violence by the West Bank leadership, the construction of a security barrier by Israel and intensive Israeli military activity against militant cells.

I wonder what Larry Derfner would write.


Seeing and Not Seeing in the Middle East

Who wrote this and about what?

Considering where we come from, who our partners are, and where we set our vision going forward, the option of despair and disillusionment is simply nonexistent.

Well, first the writers:

Stav Bar-Shany studies Middle East and general history at Tel Aviv University. A former member of the Meretz political party, Bar-Shany worked with member of Knesset Dr. Tzvia Greenfield...She thinks that Tel Aviv is the best place in the world, and that a two-state solution is the only political option to ensure that Israel will continue to prosper and fulfill its unique potential.

Maayan Ravid is soon to complete her studies in political science and the history of the Middle East and Africa at Tel Aviv University. Ravid has lived in Israel and in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been involved with community initiatives promoting peace and reconciliation on both continents. She has volunteered for several years with Sudanese refugees in Israel and worked with Hillel on social justice programs.

And now, take a deep breath for the vision

First, we look back: ...This is the only country we have, with its distinct Jewish character, historical ties, intensity, and never-ending challenges. We must continue striving to live here safely and peacefully. We cannot give up on their hopes and dreams.

Second, we look around: ...We understand that there must be another way to ensure safety and promote a livelihood for both sides — to create a viable future for two states...

Third, we look ahead: We want to continue living in this country. Our ancestors struggled for it in the past and we struggle for it today. But we do not want our children to need to continue that struggle further. The Zionist dream is not to continue living on the sword while preventing another people their own sovereignty. The Zionist dream is to be a nation among nations with many achievements, aspirations, and a sense of moral integrity. We cannot give up on the future.

There are none so blind as those who will not see or, as Jeremiah 5:21 has it:-

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding, that have eyes, and see not, that have ears, and hear not:

How they can propose and presume to solve all their parameters within the reality we face is beyond me.


Shiloh is Known for the Tabernacle

And the Tabernacle has 'wandered' far as I have been informed by Wayne Stiles here:

A Baptist organization had constructed a scale model of the Tabernacle that Moses carried around in this same wilderness for 40 years. Once in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I saw another scale model of the Tabernacle, but that fiberglass structure looked more like a piece of modern art.

Our Tabernacle was different - Zevachim 118a:

It had no roof, but stones below and curtains above

and at 61b, too:

R. Hisda6 said in Rab's name: The altar at Shiloh was of stones. For it was taught. R. Eleazar b. Jacob said: Why is ‘stones’ stated three times?7 One refers to that of Shiloh, another to that of Nob and Gibeon, and the third to that of the Eternal House.8 R. Aha b. Ammi raised an objection: The fire which descended from heaven in the days of Moses9 did not depart from the brazen altar until the days of Solomon.10 And the fire which descended in the days of Solomon11 did not depart until Manasseh came and removed it. Now if this is correct,12 it should have departed earlier?13 — He [R. Hisda in Rab's name] made his statement in accordance with R. Nathan. For it was taught, R. Nathan said: The altar at Shiloh was of brass; it was hollow, and filled with stones.14 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: What does ‘it did not depart’ mean? It did not depart [disappear] into nothingness.15 How was it? — The Rabbis said: It sent forth sparks.16 R. Papa said: It took up its abode now here, now there.

with this note:

Thus it partook partly of the nature of a house, and partly of the nature of a tent.

As for its importance, we read at 119a:

WHEN THEY CAME TO JERUSALEM etc. Our Rabbis taught: For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance: ‘rest’ alludes to Shiloh; ‘inheritance’, to Jerusalem. And thus it says, My inheritance is become unto Me as a lion in the forest; and it says, Is My inheritance unto Me as a speckled bird of prey?17 this is R. Judah's opinion. R. Simeon said: ‘Rest’ alludes to Jerusalem; ‘inheritance’, to Shiloh, as it is said, This is My resting-place for ever; here will I dwell, for I have
desired it; and it says, For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation.18 On the view that ‘rest’ alludes to Shiloh, it is well: hence it is written, ‘to the rest and to the inheritance’.19 But on the view that ‘rest’ alludes to Jerusalem while ‘inheritance’ alludes to Shiloh, [Moses] should say, ‘to the inheritance and to the rest’? — This is what he said: Not only have ye not reached the ‘rest’ [Jerusalem]; you have not even reached the ‘inheritance’ [Shiloh]. The school of R. Ishmael taught: Both [words] allude to Shiloh;20 R. Simeon b. Yohai said: Both
allude to Jerusalem.21 It is well on the view that ‘rest’ alludes to Shiloh [and] ‘inheritance’ to Jerusalem; or the reverse; hence it is written, ‘to the rest and to the inheritance’. But on the view that both allude to Shiloh or both allude to Jerusalem, he should say, ‘unto the rest and inheritance’?1 That is a difficulty. On the view that both allude to Shiloh it is well: ‘rest’ means when they rested from conquest, while [it is called] ‘inheritance’ because there they divided their inheritance, as it is said, And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord; and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.2 But on the view that both allude to Jerusalem, ‘inheritance’ is well, as it means the eternal inheritance; but why is it called ‘rest’? — It was the place where the Ark rested, as it is written, Arise, O Lord, unto Thy resting-place, Thou, and the ark of Thy strength.3 On the view that both allude to Jerusalem, but that [during the period of] Shiloh bamoth were permitted, it is well; hence it is written, So Manoah took the kid with the meal-offering, and offered it upon the rock unto the Lord4 . But on the view that both allude to Shiloh, and bamoth were [then] forbidden, how [say], ‘and offered it upon the rock unto the Lord’?5 — It was a special dispensation.6 The school of R. Ishmael taught as R. Simeon b. Yohai, who maintained: Both allude to


#88 Am I


Not bad at all.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Now, It's Bombing From The Air & Killing Civilians

No, not in Gaza.  Not Israel.

Turkey.  Against the Kurds in Iraq:

Iraqi Kurds flee Iranian and Turkish bombardment

MANGORAYATI, Iraq (Reuters) - ...Along the Iraqi northern Kurdish region's borders with Iran and Turkey, hundreds of refugees have fled since mid-July to small camps to escape attacks by Iraq's neighbours on rebels hiding along the frontier in their long war for Kurdish self-rule. Iraqi Kurds say they are caught in the middle as Turkey and Iran attack their villages across the the foot of Qandil mountains where Turkish jets now fly low across the frontier to hunt Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels taking refuge in northern Iraq and southern Turkey...
And this

Turkey's armed forces said on Monday some 145-160 Kurdish guerrillas were killed in the military's air and artillery strikes in northern Iraq this month, raising the toll from between 90 and 100 rebels. The attacks, the first in more than a year on suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebel bases in Iraq, were launched after PKK assaults in Turkey killed more than 40 security force personnel over the previous month.

Are they too far inland for an aid flotilla from Israel?

Is Assad of Syria going to the UN over this?


From Chile to Israel

A "walking Israeli love machine", Ziva David:

Uttered in this episode when she's told to watch a suspect "like Syria".

She did make it to Israel actually.


Jewish Vineyard Partially Destroyed - by IDF & Civil Administration

Police Attack Vineyard Near Shiloh

Large forces of Yasam special police tried to tear down a vineyard late Monday morning at Adei Ad, near Shiloh. Three residents were arrested in the resulting confrontations...Regavim, an NGO that specializes in Jewish land rights, has filed a motion on this matter to the High Court. It wants the question of ownership decided. Residents blamed the IDF Civil Authority of trying to quickly create facts on the ground and raze the vineyard after Regavim's motion was filed to the High Court.  "Despite our protestations and explanations, the Civil Administration continued the destruction until NK Uri Ariel (National Union) showed up and stopped it."

MK Ariel told Arutz Sheva that several dunams of vineyard had been destroyed before he showed up and intervened. It is terrible to see the vines uprooted but people here are strong. With G-d's help we will plant 10 or 100 seedlings for every one destroyed."

Claim that a pilotless drone was used.

The area is closed due to military order.


Derfner Got Himself Fired

My original attack at MyRightWord is here and here in the JPost blog section itself..

Many others also joined in.

And dumb Larry Derfner was fired:

I got fired by The Jerusalem Post today. The paper got hundreds of notices of cancellations of subscription after my blog post (“The awful, necessary truth about Palestinian terror”) of Sunday last week; the reason being given for my firing, though, is the substance of the essay, despite the apology I published later. A page-one notice to this effect will be published in the Post tomorrow.

...Today the paper ran a column by Isi Liebler titled “Justifying murder – an abomination,” which, like nearly all of the right-wing websites attacking my original essay (I took it down from my blog upon publishing the apology)... I realized now that the terms “right” and “justify” in connection with the killing of Israelis were wrong, even “obscene,” and that despite all the disclaimers I wrote, they gave a positive connation to terrorism, about which I find nothing positive whatsoever...What bothers me most is not that I got fired, but that I’m not being given the opportunity to fill in the picture that’s been so distorted in today’s Post column and in right-wing Web commentaries. The parts of the picture being obscured or outright hidden would show that while I misspoke myself harmfully, my intent was not to support, endorse, advocate, encourage or call for terror against Israelis, but to end it

I want to repeat: I tried to leave comments at his blog but they were published.  So much for his own demands for a right for free expression.

Here are some of the reactions I received from friends on hearing the good news:

Poor Larry. Another sacrifice on the altar of the right wing maniacs - who of course want to perpetuate terror, while he, the misunderstood and maligned voice of sanity, just wants to save Israelis by stopping the provocations that lead to Arabs being forced to kill us.  In his mindboggling arrogance it never occurs to him that perhaps his ideas are....dare I say it....wrong, and that this is not about the 'occupation' but about a Jewish Israel of any size. In which case he wouldn't be able to explain that we've brought it on ourselves and would have to maybe entertain the thought that we face bloodthirsty murderers. Or we could convert. I'm sure Ha'aretz will pick him up. Maybe they'll take the "great majority" of J post staffers whom he claims opposed the firing, too.

So, he didn't say, he didn't mean it, and anyway, he said he's sorry.

Derfner is really thicker than I had thought. He wrote that the Arabs had a "right" to use terrorism against Israel but that they shouldn't use. But the problem is assigning them such a "right." He doesn't see that.  No big loss. I haven't read a Derfner column in years. I wondered why the JPost wasted space and paper on him. I wouldn't mind reading a knowledgeable and rational "leftist," somebody who thought for himself. Unfortunately, "leftist" today means irrational, slogan-screaming, hate-ridden, anti-Jewish especially. Derfner's reasoning has been absurd for years.

Derfner JUSTIFIABLY fired, he PROVOKED it

Larry Derfner was fired by the Jerusalem Post.  Kudos to editor Steve Linde for making the correct but difficult decision for which he will undoubtedly be vilified.   Let's be clear - this is not an anti-free speech position.  Derfner has the right to say what he wants on his own blog, of course, but he does not have the RIGHT to be a paid columnist for the Jerusalem Post.  By writing, first, that Israeli behavior justifies Arab terrorism (albeit that he doesn't like when Israelis are killed - how brave!), and then "correcting" it and stating instead that Israeli behavior provokes Arab terrorism against, and the murder of, Israelis, Derfner revealed to the world that he is so sympathetic to the Arab Palestinian narrative that he believes it wholecloth, so much so that he really can understand why they kill Israelis.  Guess what?  That is sympathy for terrorism, that is fellow traveling with terrorism, that is so far over the line that your viewpoint is no longer one that is deserving of a paycheck from the Jerusalem Post.  You can believe their narrative, but to say that their response, rather than one of protest, political organizing, legitimate cris de couer, but instead be the murder Israelis, babies, mamas, boys, girls, soldiers, fathers, sisters, brothers was caused (that is what provoked means) by the  Grow up Larry Derfner.  He actually did provoke the consequences of his actions, let's see if he learns from this experience.  I doubt he will, but instead will don the mantle of victimhood and wear it proudly amongst his kind.  If so, they deserve each other.  Opening at Haaretz?

Barry Rubinn thinks Larry Derfner Should Be Debated Not Fired but as I wrote to him:

Since I tried, valiantly, to leave comments at his original pre-apology post prior to its removal, wording them without rancor or incitement but none were published, I have no sympathy for the philosophy of free expression you champion in this.

A response to Barry:

Derfner was fired because hundreds of people spoke with their feet. They found Derfner so offensive and over the line this time that they cancelled their subscriptions as an act of protest. That is a valid act on the subscriber's part - they don't need to give money directly or indirectly to someone they find offensive. The JPost needed to make a business decision here, they didn't have to fire him, they could have slowly bled to death as subscribers left them, or they could have tried to go head to head with Haaretz, or they could have waited to see if it blew over. It might be equally valid to ask if the JPost could/should print a column by Hamas, and open up their viewpoint ad speakers to public debate too.

And from Steve Plaut:

Derfner by the way never offered to volunteer his own entire set of family members to be murdered by the Palestinians in legitimate and justifiable acts of resistance. He only wants to see YOUR children murdered for peace...Oh, and if you are suddenly feeling sorry for poor little Derfie, don’t. Take a look at this report by himself about his getting arrested as part of a violent airport protest against Israeli “apartheid” from a few weeks back


But Pals. Traffic in Live Body Parts

What's he complaining about?

Israel Traffics Palestinian Body Parts, Says Qaraqe’e

RAMALLAH, August 28, 2011 (WAFA) – Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, Sunday said that Israel is the largest international trade center for body parts, due to its continuous trafficking of the remains of
Palestinian bodies, which are held by the Israeli government.

During a speech he delivered in the national day of the Campaign to Recover the Remains of Palestinians and Arabs from Israel, as well as to reveal the fate of missing persons in Israel, Qaraqe said Israel is violating the international law, agreements and norms by continuing to withhold the remains of Palestinians, which is what he called a 'heinous crime'.

Gild Shalit is alive and they're trafficking his body whole.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Set of Posters: Don't Strip Israel of...

My idea; Elder of Zion's graphic ingenuity.

For the male college campus dorm or frat house:

And let's go with another contribution from EOZ, all his own:

Is that Jeremy J Street?

Btw, see The Forward.


Hareidi Mixed Swimming and A Grave Children's Book

At the Lion's Pool near the Begin Center at Bloomfield Park, Hareidi youngsters taking advantage of a source of water:

and here's a new Chabad book for children on how to behave at the Rebbe's grave, entitled "A Door that Opens for All": -


More Housing Solutions

Further to this post on Hareidi solutions to the housing problem, please see some more photographs:

If you follow the arrows I've inserted, you'll discern additions, closures and other ways and means to stretch a small apartment.

Taken just off of Shmuel Hanavi, east of the junction at Shimon HaTzadik Street.


Buying Pumpkin

Buying vegetables is always a challenge.

I try to do my vegetable and salad shopping at the Machaneh Yehudah shuq (open-air market).  And one of my son's lives nearby so I get to either drop off mail for him or get a glass of water.

I have, by now, regular 'bastas' (basta is our word for market stall although I don't really know the etymology) and to my luck, I'll get very good service as yesterday, when the pieces of pumpkin were not inviting.

The stall owner simply opened up another, every large one even at the end of the day:

A great stall owner.


Glenn Beck and Shelly Yechimovitz - In the Same Boat

From Dror Eydar's media column in Israel Hayom:

...Glenn Beck's consistent and strong support for Israel and the Jewish people is believable. His words ring of truth. In Beck's mind, Israel is on the front line of the entire West as it confronts radical Islam, which threatens to sweep away not just Europe but the entire world. Supporting Israel, which includes offering it constructive criticism, is the most noble and moral course of action that any reasonable, free-thinking person could take.

Yet here, the Left has turned its nose up in disgust as it does toward anyone who isn't its darling...Beck spoke about what many of us have long known, that "peace" has unfortunately lost its original meaning and now constitutes a starting-point for those who seek to destroy Israel...The one thing that has really turned Beck into a persona non-grata is his steadfast belief in Israel's right to settle any part of the country, including Judea and Samaria. Poor Beck did long ago what Shelly Yachimovich did last week - say that he does not see the settlements as an obstacle or a problem, but as a natural right within the Israeli mainstream. Yachimovich, by the way, underwent a similar inquisition by the church of the Left after she expressed views that oppose that camp's doctrine.

Time and again, we hear about the desire of Christian supporters of Israel to convert us, to hasten our destruction and to lead us to a catastrophic Armageddon that will produce the Messiah's second coming. These are the beliefs of ignoramuses who do not distinguish between different Christian denominations. The same goes for those in the religious camp who shudder every time they hear the name Jesus. In fact, there was a Jew named Jesus who observed the mitzvot and believed in the central tenets of Judaism and never converted to another religion. The criticism he expressed about the elite Sadducees was the type of social and spiritual criticism voiced many times throughout history. This Jewish man became the central anchor of a faith practiced by billions of people worldwide. He is their Messiah, not ours. So what's the problem?

I suggest that you listen to the speech given by leading evangelist Pastor John Hagee at Beck's rally if you want to understand the religious force that has joined Israel and the Jewish people in one of our most troubled times. Hagee and his colleagues marked a first in 2,000 years: They denounced replacement theology, a principle of the Christian church that states that God abandoned the Jews after they rejected Jesus as the messiah and chose the church instead. Since then, the Jews have been considered "Israel after the flesh," or the biological offspring of the nation of Israel, as opposed to "Israel of the spirit," or "the chosen people." The evangelists have gone back to interpreting the Bible on its own terms, meaning that "Israel" signifies the Jewish people and the chosen people. As far as evangelicals are concerned, God never abandoned the Jewish people and they are thankful that we gave them Jesus and his apostles, all of whom were Jews. They read the covenant with Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse," as a commandment: Those who support Israel and the Jews will be blessed, and whoever curses them and incites against them will himself be cursed and lose personal and national standing..."This time in history," they are saying to Israel," you are not alone."

We must not reject this outstretched arm.

I can agree with that nalysis.


When Peace Comes to Ofra

Eretz Shalom is holding a public meeting of talks, discussions and a "show" with Rav Menachem Froman at Ofra this Thursday:

I guess you can call them the Yesha peaceniks.

Eretz Shalom is a social movement which works toward the advancement of peace and dialogue between the Jewish and Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria. The movement is mostly made up of sons of Abraham , Jews and Arabs who are interested in living in their homeland in mutual respect and cooperation with their neighbors. We understand that we are destined to be neighbors for many more years, it is in our interests and is, indeed, our mutual desire to advance good neighborly relations. Eretz Shalom is not a political movement and does not presume to offer conclusive solutions or to formulate peace agreements, but rather works from the participate in dialogue and joint projects in education, religion, culture and the environment in the hopes of creating change that will burgeon from the bottom up.

PhD candidate Ariel Zellman conducted an extensive interview for his doctorate-in-progress.

Monolithic are we?



Finally, A Negotiated Settlement

Naw, not here in the Middle East.

In LA:-

Mel Gibson and his ex-girlfriend have reached a financial and custody settlement of a bitter dispute that spawned a criminal case and left the Academy Award winner’s reputation damaged.  Los Angeles Superior Court officials said in a statement late Friday that Gibson and Russian musician Oksana Grigorieva had reached an agreement after days of negotiation. Terms and conditions of the settlement were not announced, but a hearing Wednesday will be held to discuss the financial terms.

Is anyone happy about this anti-Semite?



Ma'ariv reports (in Hebrew) that another plot in the reclaimed Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood, ethnically cleansed of its Jews by Arabs in January 1948, will be developed.

Here's a picture of the site (to the right) and an aerial photo identifying other areas in the neighborhood (to the left):

The plan is that a public parking lot, with proper vehicular access, be constructed.  It will take a few months for all to be in order but Jerusalem Municipal Council member Rabbi Yaakov Halperin (Torah Judaism) is confident all will be okay.

Maariv, of course, starts off the story on the theme of 'provocation' and 'expected demonstrations' proving that reporting is a secondary effort to either stirring things up or plain selling newspapers through sensationalism.


Abbas Reaffirms Racist Apartheid Approach

From President Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the Third Meeting of the imams and preachers, Ramallah (via Google translation and my redaction):-

In the name of God the Merciful [?], Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Prophet Muhammad and his companions and companions:

Dear brothers and sisters...

...we are not the ones who rejected peace negotiations but we did reject what they Quartet made to be the basis for their decision a few months ago...give us something reasonable.  We say do not give us the Jewish state, we would not accept it nor would we accept such talk, or say that settlement blocs are a fact or that the solution of the problem of refugees is only in the Palestinian state.  We will not accept such talk.  The Quartet cannot impose on us the form of state or to recognize the nature of the Israeli state.  This is not our business.  It is not for us to say the State of Israel is a Jewish or Hebrew, so we will not accept these matters...


Israel Protects...Pals.? And Feeds Them, Too

(Communicated by COGAT and the IDF Spokesperson)

Several mortar shells hit the Erez Crossing, just as three Palestinian women and two infants were crossing back into the Gaza Strip after receiving medical treatment in Israel.

On Thursday night (August 25th), the terror organizations from the Gaza Strip continued launching rockets and mortar shells towards Israel. During the attack several mortar shells hit the Erez Crossing, just as three Palestinian women and two infants were crossing back into the Gaza Strip after receiving medical treatment in Israel, causing damage to the
crossing's infrastructure and an electrical shutdown. The power outage disabled gates at the crossing. Two of the women passed through safely but a third woman, along with her infant daughter, got caught between two disabled gates while rockets were falling.

The commander of the Erez crossing and another security officer rescued the woman and her daughter. All of the Palestinian women were brought to a protected shelter at the crossing where they were given a meal for the end of the daily Ramadan fast.

The squad of terrorists that fired a mortar shell hitting the Erez Crossing was targeted shortly afterwards by an IAF aircraft, in the northern Gaza

Did the terrorist squad members get to eat before sent on their way?


US Consulate-Genertal: Saeb Erekat Lies

Saeb Erekat lies and fibs and fabricates all the itme.  Inveterately.

And now, even a US diplomat has to point that out:

US Consulate Denies Statements Attributed to its Consul General
August 27, 2011 (WAFA) – The United States consulate in Jerusalem Saturday denied statements attributed to its consul general, Daniel Rubinstein.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has quoted Rubinstein as telling him following their meeting in Jericho on Friday that the US Administration believes the Palestinian bid to ask for United Nations recognition and membership in September is futile and useless and that the US will veto the resolution and may even cut aid to the Palestinian Authority if it proceeds with its plans.

Deputy spokesperson of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, Arlissa Reynolds, said in a statement that “while we cannot get into private diplomatic
discussions, this report is not an accurate portrayal of the US position, nor did CG Rubinstein make the comments purported in the media.”...

Will he ever stop?

Will diplomats ever stop trusting him?



Saturday, August 27, 2011

J Street: Rabid Skunks; Euthanisia Required

No, not the organization that seeks to undermine Israel's security and diplomatic standing.

A real street in Sacramento:

Rabid skunks found in Downtown Plaza parking garage

A skunk captured at the Downtown Plaza parking garage has tested positive for rabies.

Signs have been posted at the garage warning visitors to be on the lookout for skunks in the vicinity of the garage at Fourth and J streets. Nobody has yet been bitten by one of the normally nocturnal animals, but an animal control officer has been sprayed trying to snare one of them.

Gina E. Knepp, acting Animal Care Services Manager for the City of Sacramento, said on Aug. 16 about 1:30 p.m. the police department notified the city that animal care was needed at the parking garage entrance between Fourth and Fifth street on J Street.

Animal control was told that there was a skunk running around in the underground garage, chasing people. Skunks are nocturnal and not usually seen during the day -- a possible sign of illness in the animal.

The responding animal control officer was also chased by the skunk, but, undaunted, he used a long pole with a noose to catch the critter. The animal control officer was sprayed by the skunk but the animal was successfully brought to animal control, which euthanized it.

A parable?


Read more:

Ethnic Cleansing in "Palestine"

One of the many charges against the Zionist enterprise in the Land of Israel has/is been: ethnic cleansing.

Never mind that Jews were those ethnically cleansed during the Mandate period, from Tel Chai to Hebron, Jenin, Shchem, Gaza, Hulda to the Old City of Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Bet HaAraha, Neveh Yaakov & Atarot and other places.  What about the Arab conquest and occupation beginning in 638?


During the Arabic period, the Land of Israel was of a low priority for the Arabic rulers. The Umayyad government centre was in the Arab Peninsula at first, moving to Damascus in 660. The rulers of the Abbas dynasty moved their centre to Baghdad, while the Fatimid and the Seljuks ruled from Egypt. The Land of Israel was an occupied territory and a source of revenue from tax and land confiscations that benefited the rulers. In his article “Status of the Land of Israel under Muslim Rule”, Prof. Moshe Gill describes it as “a gold mine for Muslims”: From the year 670 to 975, the Arabs collected from 304,000 dinars per year (during the 820’s) to 850,000 dinars per year (during the 860’s). The average annual tax collected was about 400,000 dinars. Many of the rural settlements were deserted and destroyed and the cultivated area shrank in size. Many of the Jews and Christians were farmers, particularly those in small settlements. Jews worked also in pottery manufacturing, smithies, glass manufacturing, mats making, textiles, flour mills, and soap manufacturing, as well as commerce. The constant fighting, however, hurt trade and manufacturing, the economy deteriorated and the country’s population was impoverished. There is no data about the number of Jews living in the country on the eve of the Arabic occupation. Based on his analysis of various factors, Michael Assaf estimates that their number then was 150,000--200,000. During the Arabic occupation, in the 7th, 8th, and 9th centuries, Jews from communities in the Arab Peninsula, North Africa, and Babylon returned to Israel and its Jewish population increased slightly, but from correspondence preserved in the Cairo Genizah we learn that the security situation in the country made many leave, particularly during the Fatimid period. Documents from the Cairo Genizah presented by Prof. Moshe Gill contain evidence of Jewish communities in Israel, particularly from the 10th to the 11th centuries. In the Galilee, Tiberias was the centre of Jewish spirituality, with several synagogues and two communities: Jews from Babylon and Jews from Jerusalem. There were also Jews in Acre, Haifa, Gush Halav, Pequi’in, Dalton, Kfar Cana, Kadesh Naphtali, Tzipori, Kfar Hananya, ‘Ivlin, Kfar Mandi, Safed, ‘Akhbara, and Biriya. According to the 10th century Arabic Geographer Al Muqadassi, there were large Jewish settlements in Gush Halav and Kadesh Naphtali, and Jews lived also in Ramle, Hebron, the coastal cities, Tzo’ar (near the Dead Sea) and Eilat. Ramle was the largest Jewish centre in the South, with three communities, 2 synagogues, and 5000 Jews. The community in Hebron was well organised and had a synagogue near the Cave of Machpelah. During the Arab occupation Jews lived in Caesarea, Jaffa, Ashkelon, and Raffiah.

The Genizah letters also tell of deteriorating security under Fatimid rule as a result of 60 years of constant fighting against extremist Shiite elements, the Byzantines, and Bedouin assaults. Letters describe horrors committed by Bedouins in Jerusalem and Ramle. In his study Michael Assaf mentions Jewish settlements in the Negev and notes that Eilat was called “City of the Jews” by the Geographer Al Bakri (d. 1094). Assaf points out that in addition to coastal cities and Tiberias, Raqat and Hammat, other Upper Galilee Jewish places mentioned in the Cairo Genizah documents include the Fort of Dan, Ba’al Gad, ‘Akal, Zeitoun, ‘Alma, Al-‘Alawiya, and Tirtzah, as well as Jerusalem, Hebron, and Ramle in Judea. Assaf mentions several factors that caused the significant decline of Jewish population numbers at the end of the Arab occupation due to desertion, which was caused by the unstable security conditions.

Prof Moshe Gill summarised the Jewish situation in Israel during the Arab occupation as evident from the Genizah documents. Genizah letters describe “generations of decline and impoverishment in body and spirit in the wake of the extraordinary troubles of the times and the transformation of the Land of Israel into a constant battle field. The Jewish settlement fought for its actual physical existence”. But the letters also reflect “the continuance of Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel through generations of Arab occupation. This settlement was a direct descendent of the Jewish settlement of ancient times”.

...In her article “The Role of the Conquest in Shaping the Layout of Settlement in the Land of Israel during the Early Muslim Period”, Dr Milka Levi-Rubin determined that the main change in population composition took place in the coastal cities. The change was evident in the almost total desertion of the coastal cities by their Christian population as the Arabic army approached. The Christian population was, until then, the economic, social and cultural back bone of the country. Most of those leaving belonged to the elite affluent, Greek-speaking classes, and those staying behind were mostly Aramaic-speaking lower classes who had immigrated to the Land of Israel from what is now Syria and Lebanon.

...Yoram Zafrir described in his study “The Arabic Conquest and the Process of Population Impoverishment in the Land of Israel” how “during the Muslim period, and generally through the Middle Ages, a most significant process of decline in the population of the Land of Israel took place”. Zafrir brings archaeological evidence that show that the process reached its climax during the Abbasside period, from the mid 8th century, although signs of population decline are apparent already in the Umayyad period. The reasons for this crisis, according to Zafrir, were:

In the first place, neglect: once the government centre moved to Baghdad, the government did not allocate resources for the country’s prosperity. Secondly, the trend of replacing the Christian administration with an Arab-Muslim one lowered its efficiency, while the anti-Christian sentiments drove Christians out of the country. Zafrir studied the Arabic population in the country based on the Nitzana Papyri (late 7th century) and M. Kokhavi’s archaeological survey. These sources attest to the desertion of Arabic settlements in the Negev Mountain area due to the difficult living conditions, water and land shortages, insecurity caused by Bedouin pillage raids, Bedouins taking over settlements and populating them on-and-off, and demolishing buildings for their construction materials as seen fit.

According to this archaeological survey there were 470 settlements in the southern area in the Byzantine period, and only 76 remaining during the Arabic period. Fifty of them were located in the Jordan Valley, where desertion was halted thanks to irrigation works carried out by the Umayyad government. Around Sde Bokker, 8 settlements remained during the Arabic period out of 45 that existed during the Byzantine period. The Byzantines converted the inhabitants of the Judean desert to Christianity, but the population left with the collapse of Byzantine rule because, contrary to the Byzantine government’s custom of reducing taxes and providing protection during times of drought, the Arab-Muslim rule was only interested in collecting taxes. The deserted settlements were taken by Bedouins who continued their nomadic life-style.

Prof. Sharon determined in his study “Processes of Destruction and Nomadisation in the Land of Israel” that Bedouin invasions for settlement began only in the mid 9th century, increasing around the mid-10th century and particularly through the 11th century. During the 9th century, Bedouin tribes settled in the Negev area, and from the mid-10th century, and particularly in the 11th century, Bedouin tribes invaded the Jordan Valley. Throughout the Arabic Muslim period other Bedouin tribes conducted raids into the country, and for some time also ruled sections of it (article on the Bedouin invasions of the Land of Israel will be published latter).

Michael Assaf quotes a report by the Arab Geographer Al Ya’akubi from the end of the 9th century about the settlement of Arabs and Persians in the Galilee, around Ramle-Lydda, in the coastal cities, Nablus, and Yavne. He mentions 6 Arabic tribes that settled in the country. Assaf brings similar reports of 10th century Arabic historians. The picture emerging from the Arabic sources is of Arabic settlement in estates confiscated from the Byzantines in the Western Galilee, settlement in Tiberias and the Eastern Galilee, around Ramle-Lydda and in the Jordan Valley. According to Assaf the Arabic sources tended to obscure the presence of Christians and Jews in the country and exaggerate the extent of Arabic settlement. The 10th century Arabic Geographer Al Mouqadassi reported the presence of Samaritans and non-Arabic Christians.

Prof. Moshe Gill notes that with the Abbasside conquest the presence in the country of the tribes that served as garrisons was limited, their allowances were cancelled and they were relocated to Egypt and Iraq. The tribe Bannu Al Ash’ar (originally from the South of the Arab Peninsula) resided in Tiberias during the Abbasside period. The Arabic author Al Mas’oudi wrote that from the end of the 10th century to the mid 11th century there was only one mosque in Tiberias compared to 3 synagogues, attesting to the small number of Muslims in the city. Muslims began settling in Hebron only from the 10th century. Muslims were living in Eqron, which had a large mosque. In Nablus, Arabic tribes were living in the 9th century alongside the Samaritans. In Bet Shean the population included Arabs as well as non-Muslims.

In his research on the Crusader period, Ronnie Ellenblum determined that, as a result of the decline in Samaritan population in north Samaria at the end of the Byzantine period, Bedouin tribes began moving into that area during the Arabic Muslim occupation. Their process of permanent settlement, however, was slow and was not yet completed at the time of the Crusader conquest.

In a lecture on Samaria, Dr. Levi-Rubbin determined that Arabic historians give evidence of significant Muslim settlement in Samaria, side by side with the Samaritans, during the 9th century, and that Arabic penetration into the area began in the 7th century. In Saladin’s time, i.e., in the 12th century, Arabs were the majority in Samaria.

In his research “The Coastal Cities of the Land of Israel during the Arabic Period, 640 – 1099”, Amikam Elad states that an effort was made by the Arabic rulers to encourage Arab and Persian soldiers to settle in the coastal cities, by handing out land and homes that had been deserted. Mosques were built in the coastal cities and Muslim clerics opened schools for Islam...

And as for "Palestine" -

Arabization meant imposing the Arabic language, culture, and customs, but did not include converting the population to Islam.

The Arab conquerors did not call the country Palestine, but rather Al Sham, meaning “left”, because the Land of Israel is to the left of the rising sun. This term included Syria as well.

The Umayyad rulers maintained the Byzantine administrative division: Palestina Prima, which included Judea, Samaria, and part of the coast, and whose capital was Caesarea, was called Hijaz Filastin(Hijaz means district)/ The Capital was first moved from Caesarea to Lydda, and in 717 was moved to Ramla, the only city the Arabs built (in 716) in the Land of Israel.

Palestina Secunda, which included the Galilee, the Sea of Galilee, and part of the Jordan Valley and whose capital was Tiberias, was named Hijaz al Urdun, i.e., the Jordan District. Jerusalem’s Roman name, Aelia Capitolina, was maintained for a while, then changed to Bet Al-Maqdas (‘Beit Hamikdash’ – the Temple) and then to Al Quds.

The Arabs did not have an educated class that could take over the administrative system, nor did the Umayyad welcome any shake-ups until their rule was stabilised. The Greek language, therefore, remained as the official language and Christian officials continued to administer the country’s affairs. The top echelon, however, were the Arabs, who gave themselves estates – villages that provided their income.

The Arabization process began only at the end of the Umayyad period, as evident in the gradual take over of the administration by Arab administrators, the use of Arabic for official matters, the replacement of Byzantine coinage with Arabic one, and the spreading of the Arabic culture as a way of living...

Amazing, eh?

Never trust an Arab or pro-Arab propagandist.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Sorry, But No Proselytizing, Please

I boarded bus #148 from the Central Egged Bus Station in Jerusalem today at 13:00 to return home to Shiloh.

On the seat next to me I found a booklet, in Hebrew, entitled "Ben David" or, "Son of David", decked with Israeli flags on a background of Jerusalem's Old City walls:

Now, since the Yeshiva at Eli is called "Bnei David", someone could presume there is a Jewish connection but I knew otherwise (I have had 50 years of experience, actually). It was a missionary tract, a new translation in Hebrew of the Book of Matthew, and see below* on the anti-Semitism therein, sponsored by a nasty messianic Christian effort whose Statement of Faith parallels most of this group's statement, which is linked to at their site.

Here it is:

This is an act of proselytizing. Whoever you are, you are distributing articles of faith of a different religion with the intent of influencing Jews to convert.

I know you think that that is what being a good Christian is. But it is not. And yes, I do know some Christians really are upset at our reluctance to permit full-scale missionizing attempts and even slide into hate speech. As the US State Department's annual report notes:

A 1977 anti-proselytizing law prohibits any person from offering or receiving material benefits as an inducement to conversion; however, there have been no reports of the law's enforcement. A bill that would have restricted proselytizing further was promulgated in 2000; however, similar bills did not reach a final vote in the past and local observers do not believe that this bill will be enacted. Christian and other evangelical groups asserted that the draft bills were discriminatory and served to intimidate Christian groups. Missionaries are allowed to proselytize, although the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) voluntarily refrains from proselytizing under an agreement with the Government.

The law adopted into our Penal Code reads
Giving benefits to induce change of religion

174A.If a person gives or promises another person money, valuable consideration or another material benefit in order to entice him to change his religion or to cause him to entice another to change his religion, then he is liable to five years imprisonment or a fine of NS150,000.
Receiving benefit for change of religion

174B. If a person accepts or agrees to accept money, valuable consideration or another material benefit for the promise to change his religion or to cause another person to change his religion, then he is liable to three years imprisonment or a fine of NS49,800.

Change of a minor's religion

368. (a) If a person performs a religious conversion ceremony of a minor or performs some other act that leads to the change of a minor's religion, in violation of the provisions of section 13A of the Capacity and Guardianship Law 5722-1962, then he is liable to six months imprisonment.
(b) If a person induces a minor, by addressing him directly, to change his religion, then he is liable to six months imprisonment.

You may think that draconian (a futher tightening of restrictions was rejected [in Hebrew]) but there's a good reason for what is the law ro be the law of the land, the Land of Israel. All faiths and those of no faith are free to practice their religious beliefs in Israel. You can come here and do good deeds and do charity. Stealing Jewish souls, for that is what proselytizing is, is not a good deed. We do not practice that and as Hillel, who predated Christianity, said, "do not do unto others what you would not want done unto you."

Good and normative relations are being built between Christians and Jews in Judea and Samaria based on the recognition that if you believe in the Bible, then you must believe that what we are doing in Judea and Samaria is good and contributes to the ultimate benefit of all mankind. What we are doing is correct and right and has been prophesied.

Let us get on with our work, unhindered, or at least with positive assistance, and all will be better. We have much that could be shared but that doesn't mean that you have the freedom to feel that you can 'snatch'. Our other shared history is too painful to be gone over but know, we recall and remember and we have not fully reached the level of forgiveness and, to be truthful, there is no reason we should.

But we can look forward to a future in which we all can gain - but without any feelings of mistrust and suspicion on our part, which would be caused by the activity I described at the beginning of this post.  There is much to be lost.  Be careful, if only for your co-religionists who approach the task of being part of Jewish national reconstitution and their efforts be harmed.

Can we agree on that?


Although the Gospel of Matthew is considered to be the "most Jewish" of the Gospels, it contains one of the most anti-Jewish passages found in the Second Testament. Probably located in Syrian Antioch, the Matthean community defined itself over and against the synagogue.

Thus, the term "Jews" in the Gospel represents those who deny the resurrection and believe that the disciples stole Jesus's corpse (28:13-15). Through Jesus, membership in the one people of God is extended to include the Gentiles (24:14; 28:16-20; see also Great Commission), but they do not replace the Jews (4:18-13:58). Both Jew and Gentile participate in God's plan for salvation.

As Matthew's narrative marches toward the passion, the anti-Jewish rhetoric increases. In chapter 21, the parable of the vineyard (to which we have already referred) is followed by the great "stone" text, an early christological midrash of Psalm 118:22-23: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone" (Matt. 21:42). Then, in chapters 23 and 24, three successive hostile pericopes are recorded. First, a series of "woes" are pronounced against the Pharisees: "you testify against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the prophets...You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?" (23:31, 33).

According to the New Testament Gospels, Jesus, on his fateful entry into Jerusalem before Passover, was received by a great crowd of people. Jesus was arrested and purportedly tried by the Sanhedrin. After the trial, Jesus was handed over to Pontius Pilate, who duly tried him again and, at the urging of the people, had him crucified.

Then, Jesus laments over the capital: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it...See, your house is left to you, desolate" (23:37-38). And finally, Jesus predicts the demise of the Temple: "Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down" (24:2b).

The culmination of this rhetoric, and arguably the one verse that has caused more Jewish suffering than any other second Testament passage, is the uniquely Matthean attribution to the Jewish people: "His [Jesus's] blood be on us and on our children!" (27:25). This so-called "blood guilt" text has been interpreted to mean that "all Jews, of Jesus' time and forever afterward, accept the responsibility and blame for Jesus' death."