Sunday, April 23, 2017

Whose "History" and What "Performance"

Did you read this?

8,000 Jewish settlers raid historical sites in the West Bank

Around 8,000 Israeli Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli forces, raided the village of Kifil Haris in the central West Bank city of Salfit and performed Talmudic rituals in an attempt to provoke the local Muslim population, Quds Press reported on Friday.

Kifil Haris is the proposed site  of Joshua's grave and has been visited yearly for the past 30+ years and more, organized through the Shomron Regional Council under the auspices of the IDF.


a) the historical aspect of the site is, of course, Jewish.

b) the nasty anti-Semitic trope: "performed Talmudic rituals". Jews never pray. They perform rituals. Unlike Muslims who prostrate, etc.


On Zionist 'Aggression', 1964

From the minutes of a Conversation in Washington on April 14, 1964 regarding the relations between the United States and Jordan with the participation of
His Majesty King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Dr. Hazem Nuseibeh, Minister of Court of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Anton Atallah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Saad Juma, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
The President
Mr. George Ball, Acting Secretary of State
Mr. Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State
Robert G. Barnes, Ambassador to Jordan
Mr. William Macomber, Assistant Administrator for Near East and South Asian Affairs, AID
Mr. Robert Komer, The White House
Mr. Rodger Davies, Director, Office of Near Eastern Affair

...Ambassador Juma said that the basic flaw in the U.S. approach is equating of the Arab states and Israel. This flies in the face of the fact that the inhabitants of Palestine are refugees, their property was destroyed, and they are living in misery. In 1947 no Arab delegate would talk with the Soviet representatives at the UN. The strong ties were with the U.S. In one single decade the basic transformation in the entire alignment of the Near East took place because of the U.S. policy toward Israel. Arabs fear that a crisis situation can arise in their relations with the U.S. unless this basic problem is faced squarely. The Ambassador pointed out that the Arabs were not previously interested in large armies or acquisition of modern arms except for parade purposes. He fears that the trend is toward reactivation of the Palestine problem rather than settlement. 

The Arabs are not opposed to Jews as members of a great religion or as a people. However, the Zionist movement is behaving in a manner which faces the Arabs with dangers. The Zionists are seeking to acquire atomic weapons to further intimidate the Arabs. As a result the Arab world is squandering precious resources in maintaining a balance of armaments. He said he thought it was high time for a new look and a reappraisal of the 1948 policy of “might vs. right”. U.S. policy now is that Israel exists and must be accepted. The Ambassador believed that the U.S. with its principles of justice and morality must take another look at the Palestine problem.  Foreign Minister Atallah said that tension was rising because of the arms problem and the expected diversion of the Jordan. Arabs know U.S. policy: Israel has been created to remain there. Arabs know the U.S. anxiety for Arab peace. For this latter, thanks are due. However, U.S. policy overlooks the price asked; the price is tantamount to Israel's retaining Arab lands illegally and no enforcement of the UN resolutions and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes. Arabs do not expect the U.S. to pick up their chestnuts but do expect support on any additional forms of aggression. Zionism is aggressive—it has designs on the Arab world. Initially seeking only a national home, this proved not enough and a Jewish state was necessary. The Jewish state quickly overran borders allotted and lines emerging from the Armistice are now becoming sanctified as the status quo. The Zionists took lands, settled aliens thereon and now are bringing more. Although all persecuted Jews have long been settled, Zionists seek other Jews for Israel. They seek them from the U.S., the USSR and Britain.

(The President was called out at this juncture for an urgent telephone call.) Clearly their aim is expansionism from the Zionist heartland. Arab refugees have no right to their home but Jews from abroad do. Israel wants more land, more water and more people.


Another Reason to Move US Consulate to Ramallah

I have always tried to emphasize that US policy vis-a-vis Jerusalem is an anomaly.

The Consulate still is not officially under the supervision of the embassy.  Its birth registration regulations are non-sensical.  Its attitude to Jews in Jerusalem and the regions of Judea and Samaria border on the segregationist and discriminatory.

Now read this:

"In the spring of 1964, as former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson was preparing for his presidential election campaign, eager to please supporters of Israel, a compromise was reached over a diplomatic controversy regarding passport stamps. It turns out that the consuls at the American consulate in Jerusalem, who reported directly to the State Department in Washington and not to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, carried a stamp in their passports with the words “Jerusalem, Palestine.” The Israeli government refused to renew their visas, but the Johnson administration dug in its heels for a year, until finding an acceptable formula that was veiled in secrecy.

The consul who had been denied a visa, Thomas Mann [?? see below*], would be issued a second passport that would bear the name Jerusalem without Palestine. Israel would issue him a visa on this passport and, based on that visa number, Mann would be allowed to enter and leave the country. But the passport would be placed in a safe in Washington and Mann would continue to carry his original passport. From then on, the U.S. State Department would desist from noting that new consuls were being posted to Palestine and would no longer use the explosive word on stamps and paperwork. In addition, a claim by Israel that the word Palestine appeared on a sign on the door of the consul’s office was refuted.

All of this was regarding West Jerusalem, which was under Israeli control even before the 1967 Six-Day War."

I remind you: the idea that the internationalization of Jerusalem, supposedly fixed in what is basically a non-document - the 1947 Partition Proposal of the UN that was a dead letter the day after it was voted on being rejected by the Arabs - still holds despite the fact that the plan itself was but to be for a ten-year period after which there was to be a referendum (see "D") is plainly nonsensical.

* As to the official's name, see this:
Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1WashingtonMarch 14, 1964, 10:48 a.m.793. Israel Embassy has been informed of Department's approval of following:
1.We accept Israel Embassy's proposal regarding Munn's passport (Deptel 774 to Tel Aviv)2 as most expedient way to resolve issue, i.e., proposal that we issue Munn second passport without designation Palestine which Israel Embassy will visa and return to Dept for disposition. GOI would then issue border-crossing permit against Israel Embassy visa number, but Munn would retain his present passport.
2.We will cease using “Palestine” in passports as place of assignment and cease issuing, renewing, or amending passports with seal bearing word “Palestine”.
3.If there are no adverse repercussions from foregoing, we will change listing of Jerusalem Consulate General in Foreign Service List so that it would be listed under Jerusalem rather than Palestine.
Dept stressed that if there is any publicity over steps 1 and 2, it would be difficult for us to carry out additional steps now contemplated to accommodate Israelis on this issue.3 Israel EmboffGazit said he would immediately refer proposal to GOI. He again asked about plaque over front door of Congen office in Israel-held Jerusalem. Is our understanding correct that plaque does not contain word “Palestine”?4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 PAL. Confidential; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Lucien L. Kinsolving; cleared by Davis, Jernegan, Stephen Campbell of IO/UNP, and Harriman's Special Assistant Frederick Chapin; and approved by Harriman. Also sent to Jerusalem and repeated to Amman.
  1. Telegram 774 to Tel Aviv, March 5, summarized an informal conversation between Davies and Israeli Minister Gazit concerning Israel's efforts to obtain U.S. agreement to drop the use of “Jerusalem, Palestine” in passports issued or renewed in Jerusalem and issued to officers stationed in Jerusalem. Davies strongly protested Israel’s refusal to honor Consul Robert H. Munn's passport, which contained this usage. (Ibid.) A chronology of discussions on this subject, dating back to February 1963, is attached to A–104 from Jerusalem, March 30. (Ibid.)
  1. Telegram 812 to Tel Aviv, March 19, stated that the Department was preparing an order for new seals for the Consulate General, all bearing the designation “Jerusalem” without the word “Palestine.” It instructed the Consulate General to begin using the new seals as soon as they arrived and at the same time to cease using the word “Palestine” on letterheads and in correspondence. (Ibid.)
  1. Telegram 316 from Jerusalem, March 15, replied that the word “Palestine” did not appear on any Consulate building. (Ibid.)

If America's Consulate is so caught up, almost exclusively, with "Palestine", move it to Ramallah.

And while we are on the subject of "Palestine", read on:

Research Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to Acting Secretary of State Ball1Washington, May 11, 1964.RNA–12


The Search for a “Palestine Entity”

The projected conference of Palestinians now scheduled to take place in Jerusalem late in May 1964 focuses attention on various attempts of the Arabs to organize their Palestinian brethren into a group to represent the common interest. This paper has been produced in response to a request for a study of the past history and current status of the Palestine entity question.


The Arab states once again are giving prominence to plans for the establishment of some form of body to represent all the Palestine Arabs. At the Arab Summit Conference in Cairo in January 1964, Ahmad al-Shuqayri, a Palestinian long prominent in Palestine Arab affairs, was designated to organize a so-called “Palestine entity.” Thus far, Shuqayri has announced a “National Charter for Palestine” and a “Constitution of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.” These documents will be laid before a conference of Palestinians scheduled to open in Jerusalem on May 28, 1964. He has announced also the formation of a “Palestine Liberation Front” to be composed of commando units to be kept combat ready. While Shuqayri has been attempting to gain support for this Charter and for the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestine Liberation Front, his rivals, notably Hajj Amin al-Husayni, have been organizing to oppose these schemes with the support of Arab states opposed to Nasser. The current endeavor to create a Palestine Entity, like previous attempts, seems destined to become a victim of the continuing struggle for power among Palestine Arab leaders and of the contest over the balance of power in the Arab world.

And we'll add this December 1965 memo, too:

...Formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization is the latest of several attempts to provide a political focus for the refugees, and it has the nominal backing of the Arab League. At the same time, however, two independent terrorist groups seem to be trying to trigger incidents which would bring the Arab states into military action against Israel.

Jordanian King Husayn opposes either approach to eliminating Israeli rule because his country is the Arab state most exposed to any Israeli reprisal. Moreover, Jordan includes part of Palestine and is the haven for half of the refugees, and Husayn is wary of pro-Nasir subversion among Jordan’s Palestinians. Syria, on the other hand, whose support of the terrorism offers greater provocation to the Israelis, enjoys the advantage of being more difficult to retaliate against.

Although Nasir, like Husayn, seems anxious to avoid any escalation of the sporadic border incidents, these Palestine-Arab activities could, with little advance notice, lead to the largest Arab-Israeli clashes since Suez.

There are of course fundamental differences between the PLO's views of the Palestine problem and our own. We are as a matter of national policy committed to support the continued existence of Israel; PLO officials repeatedly have declared it is that organization's aim to see the state of Israel destroyed. We are committed to a peaceful solution of the whole complex of Palestine issues; the PLO's declared policies increasingly indicate it sees no alternative to solving these problems than by force of arms...We believe that productive relations can be established between PLO members and USG officers. We do not believe that we should undertake any kind of broad-scale campaign to establish such relations, but neither should we ignore opportunities as might present themselves. Such relations we believe are another way of demonstrating to the Palestinians and other Arabs our continuing friendship for the Palestinian people. There is of course the possibility of acquiring useful intelligence... If PLO officials wish to call at USG offices they should be received at a subordinate level. Officers should not attend official PLO functions. There is no objection, however, to US officers’ attendance of small, informal functions given by PLO officers or ones at which the latter are present, even as guests of honor.

Officers may where appropriate maintain unostentatious personal contact with PLO officials. They may attend official host country functions at which PLO officials are present, though not ones at which they are guests of honor.


Mr. Jones stated that the Department of State was unable to maintain formal relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization. On the legal side, it did not represent a sovereign entity. On the practical side, it was widely regarded in the United States as an organization dedicated to terminating the existence of a state that we recognized. Naqib suggested that the Department view the PLO as an organization dedicated to promoting the rights of the Palestinians. Mr. Jones said that on that basis he would be pleased to provide any personal assistance to Mr.Naqib.


I continued searching and found this amazing reflection from Luke Battle * in the situation described above on the removal of "Jerusalem, Palestine" characterization:

Letter From the Ambassador to the United Arab Republic (Battle) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot)Cairo, October 27, 1964.

Dear Phil:

I did not want to let Ridge Knight's letter and memorandum of October 162 go by without some comment.

I think Ridge's basic thesis is right. The United States is apparently a helpless witness to Israel's inexorable drive not only to gain full sovereignty over the demilitarized zones but to “remilitarize” them. Therefore we get bogged down in details—“Black lines,” “Brown lines,” etc.—and end up assisting the Israelis in a process which is a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Armistice Agreement and of the UN Charter. What should add to the Syrians' apprehensions re Israel intentions and latent U.S. support for them is the fact that the Israelis in 1955 possessed themselves of the Nitzana demilitarized zone on the Egyptian-Israel armistice line and now operate that region in fee simple with none to protest the presence of Israel armed forces there.

We are unable to persuade Israel to return to the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission so we get directly involved in the details of General Odd Bull's informal negotiations with the parties. We have been unable to persuade the Israelis to withdraw their unilateral denunciation of the Egyptian-Israel Armistice Agreement so we involve ourselves in the details of financing and administering the United Nations Emergency Force.

We are unable to formalize the international community's very real interest in Jerusalem. Under Israeli pressure, we have now removed the designation “Jerusalem, Palestine” from our directories. Maybe this was the right thing to do. Maybe Jerusalem will just disappear. Maybe the next change in the Foreign Service List will be to call Israel-occupied Jerusalem “East Tel Aviv.”

We are unable to obtain Israel compliance with UN resolutions calling for the repatriation and compensation of the refugees. Therefore we natter at UNRWA to prune its lists and cut expenses and keep reminding the Arab host governments that it is American bounty that keeps the unfortunate refugees alive.
The above picture is not very pleasant. It is compounded by the fact that Israel and its friends in the United States have been able to establish widespread credence in an upside-down world where Syria is the trigger happy party in the demilitarized zones, Nasser is dedicated to the destruction of “peace-loving” Israel, and the plight of the Arab refugees is somehow the fault of the Arab host governments.

All the above is said neither in sorrow nor in anger...

Most of this criticism goes back to the era of the 1940's when it was quite true that almost all Middle Eastern experts who looked at the question of our relations and our basic interests in the Arab world believed that the Israelis, or rather that the creation of Israel, would have a very detrimental effect on Western and U.S. relations with the Arab world. And that while the plight of the Jewish people around the world was an extremely unfortunate one, that the Arabs had certainly as much legal right as the Israelis to Palestine. The sad thing about this issue is, in my own humble opinion, that both sides have an almost unassailable moral and legal case. The validity of either case hingeson when you begin the discussion. If you go back far enough, you can make a very compelling case for the Israelis; it depends on when you start, and it's a case on which justice and injustice is clear on both sides, and there is no answer at this stage, in my judgment, except to accept the verdict of history and to support the continued existence of Israel. Now, this does not necessarily mean that this should involve us in any support from a military point of view nor with American manpower. That decision has to be made by the President of the United States and in the context of the situation that exists at the time when this issue comes to the front. Now, if we have another round of hostilities—I'm supposed to talk of history and not the future—but if we have another round of hostilities, serious hostilities in the Middle East, which at the moment appears quite likely, the President will have to decide in the light of the situation then existing whether he believes that he should because of the threat of the Russians, or because of the Russian involvement on behalf of the Arabs, or what have you. He has to decide then how far we will go. We are not committed; we have no commitment to come to the military defense of the Israelis; we have a general commitment to the territorial integrity of all the countries in the area 


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Challenge to the Temple Mount Women

I had posted in this blog a fashion challenge for ladies.



I received this challenge from the person who produced a headscarf with the Dome of the Rock on it:

I did not give you permission to post photos of my scarf on your website and as the copyright owner of the artwork I'll give you a choice of either purchasing a license to use the photo for $300 or taking the photos down. 

Since I will not pay $300 for someone who advances fashion to highlight Islamic messages, I am removing the photographs which you can see free here.

If you Google "Jerusalem Scarf", the name for her item, you can find a Jewish-oriented item and other Arabic-oriented items (including Ms. Miranda's selling for 186.67 NIS; the original sells from $49 and described as "A sensuous silk crepe de Chine scarf depicting the cityscape of Jerusalem with brown fringe accents. So many uses ! Wear it in your hair, around your neck or use it as a table runner or wall  hanging."). The same scarf is here, too. I hope they paid her.

And the challenge remains for the Women of the Temple:

You can do better, yes?


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mondoweiss and "Facts"

Israel will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 War with an official ceremony in an illegal West Bank settlement. This news is a week old, but it has gotten no attention in the United States.

Here is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s declaration eight days ago:

Today the Cabinet will approve a decision about the celebrations to mark 50 years since the liberation of Judea, Samaria [biblical names for the West Bank] and the Golan Heights. We will also celebrate the liberation of Jerusalem...The main event will take place at Kfar Etzion..

...Kfar Etzion is an illegal settlement south of Jerusalem that was rebuilt [sic!] in 1967 because it had been a Jewish town before the partition of the land in 1949, and the site of a massacre of Jews...

A.  Kfar Etzion was built on land purchased. Legally.

B. Yes there is a claim that since "The area called 'Gush Etzion' today is more than 30 times the size of the historic Gush Etzion" there is somehow a fraud.  But Kfar Etzion is Kfar Etzion.

C.  That "massacre"? Perpetrated by Arabs. A day before state declared.

D. The partition? November 29, 1947 and never accepted but rejected by the Arabs.  It never really existed.


Truth? In the New York Times? (Multiple Updated Version)

Read this.

And this.

And this.

And read Netanyahu's remarks below.

All on the New York Times publishing an op-ed by a terrorist murderer without identifying him as such.


Nothing new, really.

In 2007 Hamas also had an op-ed published.

By a "political advisor".


Speaking to Army Radio, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren called the opinion piece a "journalistic terror attack." The former ambassador to the U.S. said that Israel should consider action against the New York Times for publishing something "full of lies," especially if it turns out the paper helped Barghouti smuggle his article out of prison.


And now this:

And also read Public Editor's remarks:

I asked Jim Dao, editor of the Op-Ed pages, about the decision not to include Barghouti’s crimes.Dao noted that the piece does say the author received multiple life sentences but he acknowledged that it doesn’t state the crimes for which he was convicted. “We are drafting an editors’ note that will provide that information,” he said.
...This isn’t a new issue for the Opinion section. I have written before on the need to more fully identify the biography and credentials of authors, especially details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading. Do the authors of the pieces have any conflicts of interest that could challenge their credibility? Are they who they say they are, and can editors vouch for their fidelity?

I see no reason to skimp on this, while failing to do so risks the credibility of the author and the Op-Ed pages.

In this case, I’m pleased to see the editors responding to the complaints, and moving to correct the issue rather than resist it. Hopefully, it’s a sign that fuller disclosure will become regular practice.


And just now:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (18 April 2017), at Maimouna festivities in Dimona, made the following remarks: "I read, on Sunday, the article in the New York Times that presents arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti as a 'parliamentarian and leader'. The paper recanted after we pointed it out to them. Calling Barghouti a 'political leader' is like calling Assad a 'pediatrician.' They are murderers and terrorists. We will never lose our sense of clarity because we are on the side of justice and they are on the side that is neither just nor moral. This moral clarity, the readiness to defend our country, the readiness to fight those who would destroy us, is one of our greatest strengths, alongside love of Israel. Love of Israel is expressed in this abundance, this beauty and this heat. We will continue to develop our country and we will continue to safeguard it.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Revolting Jews in Judaea

From a book review in Strata by Tessa Rajak from Reading and Oxford on Gil Gambash's Rome and Provincial Resistance. Routledge,  2015:-

When revolt did occur, the Romans here, as everywhere, reacted speedily. But it was only in 66 CE, after the Jewish rebels against all expectation routed and forced the withdrawal of a force of 30,000 men commanded by Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, which should have nipped their insubordination in the bud, that the Roman attitude ‘changed dramatically’ (p. 144). The trauma was comparable to that of Augustus’s unforgettable Varian disaster of 9 CE. Now Judaea was no longer treated as part of the provincial system, but as a foreign power to be given the full treatment and resoundingly defeated. This now, was a conquest rather than a reconquest. Hence Vespasian’s approach to the campaign: willing to bring his whole army to bear on relatively small engagements such as the sieges of Jotapata and of Gamala. It was in the nature of such a campaign that he operated with caution and he took his time...In the end, then, the Jewish case was special, but not because there was anything special about the Jews, nor about Roman attitudes to them, but because of the particular turn taken by their revolt.

No Palestine there.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Reconstructed vs. Poststructural Palestine

The authors of this 2011 essay, "The Ethnographic Arriving of Palestine", Khaled Furani1 and Dan Rabinowitz, offer a thesis that

ethnographic engagement with Palestine since the nineteenth century [is]: biblical, Oriental, absent, and poststructural.

 They further claim that

the new admissibility of Palestine [as subjects of anthropological inquiry] is embedded in two interrelated epistemological-political conditions. First is the demystification of nations and the ethnic groups that formed them, and a corresponding surge in the legitimacy afforded to groups with counterclaims.

and they seek to propose 

an ethnography that draws upon postcolonial critique but goes beyond its common concerns..a future ethnography of Palestine could examine the theological underpinnings of the secular state, as a particular embodiment of sovereignty. To what extent does such a state enable cohabitation of people with different religions or with none at all? What are the regimes of tolerance that national sovereignty requires and how are they produced? How might the Palestinian notion of summud (persistence) address the prevalent devaluation of patience in classical and contemporary analyses of power?...How might Palestinian narratives of return (‘awdah) challenge the selfevident linearity of the secular sense of time?...Can the predicament of modern Palestinians help rehabilitate a forgotten vocabulary of social theory that includes idioms such as silence; invisibility, finitude; revelation, fate; exile, and absence? 

One definition of ethnography is "the recording and analysis of a culture or society, usually based on participant-observation and resulting in a written account of a people, place or institution" and another has it that ethnography is "a sociological method that explores how people live and make sense of their lives with one another in particular places. The focus might be on people and the meaning they produce through everyday interactions, or places, and the organizational logics that guide our activities."

The article does not mention identification as Southern Syria, or actions and practices that would continue to seek that ethnic identification.

An example I recently noticed is in the words of Hadash Party President, and former MK, an Mohammad Barakeh when he condemned the U.S. attack in Syria. As Haaretz reported, on his Facebook page he wrote: 

“the solution in Syria must be a diplomatic one, getting rid of ISIS terror and whoever supports it, maintaining the unity of Syria as a country and nation with all its constituent components.”

As a political scientist as well as a logical and rational person, I would suggest that the underlined phrase above contains an implicit recognition of the demand for the reconstruction, not a poststructural, of Greater Syria wherein the region of "Palestine", which never was a defined country in Arab/Islamic history, is considered but Southern Syria.

I would hope those who wrote this essay and those who have read it, take my suggestion into consideration.


Academically on Rocks and Stones

Like Jeremy Pressman, I, too, have kept rocks thrown at me and my family by rioting Arabs, although they were on on my window sill.

Pressman's research article, "Throwing stones in social science: Non-violence, unarmed violence, and the first intifada", was published on April 8, 2017 in Cooperation and Conflict and I will deal with it below.

An Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut, Pressman marshals almost 90 referenced books and article to deal with the claim that rock-throwing protests are actually non-violent.

He has previously published a book, Point of No Return: The Deadly Struggle for Middle East Peace, with Geoffrey Kemp (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1997), which a critic noted had paid

altogether too little attention to terrorism and to Israeli objections that the Palestinian Authority is not living up to its side of the Oslo fundamental bargain...ideological developments are nearly ignored; the reader learns too little about the attitudes of the various Islamist groups, from where they draw their support, and how much cooperation they engage in across countries.

and several other articles (here and here) for example.

To return to stones and rocks, his most recent contribution to analyzing and presenting context contains this summary in the abstract:

Social scientists treat stone-throwing as a non-violent act or argue that protest movements may be primarily non-violent despite stone-throwing. However, this study of an iconic example, the first intifada (Palestinian uprising, 1987–1993), demonstrates that stone-throwing is better characterized as unarmed violence...The throwing of stones was central to the intifada and its identity and definition...These findings challenge important social science work and the mainstream Israeli and Palestinian narratives about the first intifada.

I highly recommend reading the research work, although his writing can be a bit restrained when he feels he is nearing too political an area such as the legitimacy of "Palestinian nationalism". Nevertheless, there are some problems.

Pressman avoids any reference to Islamic cultural underpinnings to the act of rock-throwing. There is the well-known ritual Stoning of the Devil, part of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca when pebbles are tossed at three walls (formerly pillars), called jamarāt, in the city of Mina.

And there is also the incident when Muhammed had rocks thrown at him which caused him to bleed and pray to Allah

I complain of my weakness, lack of support and the humiliation I am made to receive.

More importantly is the Hadith, quoted many times by Muslim preachers, including those in the Palestinian Authority:

The hour will not be established until you fight the Jews, and the stone and the tree behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: "O Muslim! O Servant of Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, so come and kill him."[Qur. 8:55-6 ; 98:6 - referring to "the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah"; Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:176-7; 4:56:791; Sahih Muslim, 41:6981-5.]
It has been reported that rock throwers, at least at the Temple Mount, get paid for their effort.

Incidentally, last month a Christian pastor in New Jersey, claimed he had his windows broken by rocks:

BAYONNE -- A local pastor's home was vandalized for the second time this year, shortly after the plan for a proposed Muslim community center was nixed at a special Zoning Board meeting earlier this week.Joseph Basile, a pastor at Grace Bible Fellowship who has been an opponent of the Muslim community center, told The Jersey Journal that rocks had been thrown through his window sometime after the special Zoning Board meeting Monday night.

To gloss over this aspect, of an ingrained religious/cultural practice, one intended to hurt, maim and even kill, is unfortunate on Pressman's part although, perhaps, the ability of scholars today in academia to even mention this character-trait is severely repressed, leading to self-censorship.

A second comment I have is that Pressman ignores the stone-throwing practices during the Mandate period.

For example, during the trial following the relatively minor riots in Jaffa in October 1933, we read this report from  February 02, 1934 in the Palestine Post:

On April 21, 1936 it reported

The first High Commissioner Herbert Samuel was stoned in April 1921 during a visit to Bet-Shean.  Jews had stones thrown at them while visiting the Western Wall, here in the Palestine Bulletin on November 21, 1928

And as reported on September 27, 1931, Arabs know well that stones thrown can kill:

My neighbor's infant son was killed when a rock, thrown at the vehicle he was in, crushed his skull.  Near Hebron, a father and his infant son were killed by a thrown rock that caused the father to lose control of the car and crash.

My last comment is Pressman fails, even in passing, to note the support for stone throwing from supposedly smart and intellectual people who should know that rocks are weapons and not a non-violent instrument of protest, like Edward Said in 2000, no matter how "symbolic" a value is assigned to the act:

An easy Wikipedia search will turn up this

mā fī khawf mā fī khawf

al-ḥajar ṣār klashnikūf,
('There is no fear, there is no fear
For the stone has become the Kalashnikov.')

which would intimate an acknowledged conscious realization that damage is to be done by the thrown rock.

Pressman could have done better and been more comprehensive.




Saturday, April 15, 2017

We Want Homes

Original found here

After select treatment of artistic expression:


"Let's Build Shiloh" Jealousy

This headline about building and construction would stir up a cataclysmic media storm if it had applied to my home village of Shiloh:

But it refers to a location in North Carolina.

So jealous.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Let's Go Temple Mount Underground

This illustration from this book (Plate XXVII), "Jerusalem Explored, Volume II with Plates, Being a description of the ancient and modern city, with numerous illustrations consisting of views, ground plans and sections"

appears today in Arnon Segal's weekly Temple Mount column in Makor Rishon.

The author, Ermete Pierotti, is seen there on the left.  In 1858, the Italian Ermete Pierotti, former Captain in the Corps of the Royal Piedmontese Army Engineers, was appointed architect and engineer of Jerusalem by the Ottoman governor. This gave him the opportunity to explore various places in the city, including the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), something which hardly any non-Muslims had done at the time. 

The two arrows at left and right point to a subterranean tunnel under the Dome of the Rock structure.

The solid-colored arrow in the center points to two underground caves, one under the other. The uppermost one is called by the Arabs as the Well of the Souls and it is under the Foundation Stone rock 

which was where the Altar was placed when the Temples stood


Pierotti claims that he descended into the second cave below and, as he records in Volume I, p. 97-98:

...I found the floor covered with wet mud to a depth of about 1-1/2 feet. At the first glance I saw an opening on the south side, 3 feet wide and 4-1/2 high, half built up with Arab masonry, and after clearing away some of the stones, earth, and mud that blocked it up, I passed through it into another cistern in the same direction, 32 feet deep. These are both very ancient, and are wholly excavated in the rock; and I have no doubt that they belonged to the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. On the south and on the east of the deeper cistern are the openings to two passages; the first leads to a conduit (3 feet wide and 3-1/2 high), descending from the west; but after going a few feet along the passage we find another conduit of the same size as the above, coming from the south,[Pg 98] and leading upwards into a double cistern, as I had always expected. The form of the lower chamber is an irregular sphere, about 22 or 23 feet in diameter, its floor is covered deep with dry mud with a few stones, (but rather too many for me to remove). On a careful examination I saw, at a height of 12-1/2 feet, the mouth of the hole leading to the upper chamber, about 6-1/2 feet in diameter and 4 feet long, and the marble slab, which we have already mentioned as covering it. This it was that the Santon struck with his foot or stick to prove the existence of the 'Well of the Souls' below! There is a conduit on the south, into which I entered through an aperture (now walled up), and by a very gradual ascent reached the other extremity at the fountain opposite to the mosque el-Aksa. The whole depth of the double cistern is 28-1/2 feet below the top of the rock, and 23-1/2 below the pavement of the mosque. The reader may imagine my joy at this result of my labours, so long desired and so anxiously sought, and the gratitude I felt to God for granting me this boon of ascertaining the position of the altar of burnt-offerings, and the cisterns and conduits for blood belonging to the ancient Temple; an ample recompense for all my toil. It is true indeed that after a most careful search I have not been able to find any opening on the south-west, in accordance with the statement of the Rabbinical writers; but for this time I trust my own eyes, and that suffices me.

If only we could reinvestigate.