Friday, March 23, 2018

Now, We're "Strangling"

Straight from the March 22 edition of News From Ramallah (and at Wafa here, but less the 'strangling' or 'choking' or 'suffocated'= يخنق ):
The Council of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the occupied city of Jerusalem warned of the preparations being made by the Israeli occupation authorities [note: the event has nothing to do with "officila Israel"]  to hold the festival "Training the Passover Sacrifices" with the participation of senior rabbis of the temple and singers and TV channels in the Umayyad palaces adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque on its southern side.

The festival, announced by the Temple Mount organization, will be held on on Monday, while preparations will begin on Sunday.

The Council noted in a statement that the occupation, for half a century, has strangled the Al-Aqsa Mosque with Judaic projects [wow], claiming to be urban and cultural projects, exploiting the Jewish holiday season, excavations and daily incursions. To the Talmudic gardens and temples of the temple, and today seeks to this dangerous festival.

It stressed that "the Umayyad palaces and all that surrounds Al-Aqsa Mosque is an integral part of the Islamic Waqf, which is a pure right of Muslims, and no one has the right to attack or change its function."

The statement said that "this act of intimidation is a violation of the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a step of the Judaization will not be silent on them, which is rejected and denied, because silence on them will give extremist groups the green light to crawl inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

He warned the Awqaf Council to take such a step, which provoked the feelings of Muslims, and may lead to things that do not praise the punishment [? terror?]

By the way, since September, over 12,000 Jews who observed strict purity restrictions ascended to the Temple Mount.  Among them a group of 50 Rabbis.

Here's the poster for the exercise of the Paschal Sacrifice:

Monday, March 26, near Davidson Center, starting at five-thirty o'clock and preceded by an ascent at 1:30,  walk around the compound on the outside passing the gates at 3:00 and at 4:30 tours at the Davidson Center.


What Does John Bolton Say About Israel?

Last June, Ambassador John Bolton was awarded the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies Guardian of Zion Award.

The Center, affiliated with Bar-Ilan University, conducted the ceremony at the King David Hotel at which my wife and I were privileged to attend. It was established at Bar-Ilan University in 1995 by US Jewish community leaders Ingeborg Hanna and Ira Leon Rennert as an expression of their commitment to the preservation and advancement of Jerusalem's unique heritage. Integrating studies on the history, archaeology, geography, demography, economy and sociology of Jerusalem, the Rennert Center has become the foremost academic center in the international academic community studying aspects of Jerusalem's past and present.

The guests were great, including Caroline Glick among many.  Caroline has a post on his 2005 speech at ZOA.  The food was excellent.  And the atmosphere, as Bolton spoke, became more electric.

I had heard him a few years ago in New York at an event of American Likud.

To understand that, here are some selections from his full remarks:

"I don't believe there is a future for the two-state solution. We have been pursuing it for 70 years without success. I don’t think year 71 of pursuing it will make any change...[we should] advocate[d] for a three-state solution which would merge Gaza with Egypt, and parts of the West Bank with Jordan"

"I don't think there is a viable Palestinian state. I don't think there are institutions on the Palestinian side that can live up to the commitments of a treaty with Israel, that could give Israel or the US or anyone confidence that such a state could provide for the wellbeing of the Palestinian people or could resist takeover by terrorist elements. That's why to me the best solution for the Palestinians is to tie them in to existing economies and societies where the potential for a better life for them and their families is real, rather than pursuing a political objective that ultimately won't work and certainly won't benefit the daily lives of average Palestinians"

"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That isn't going to change. And putting the American embassy on a piece of ground well within the existing green line isn't going to offend anybody who is serious themselves about wanting peace. And I have a further objection. I don't think anybody should tell the US where it puts its embassy, anywhere."

"I think people need to pay more attention to the connection and collaboration between Iran and North Korea. We know that they've collaborated for nearly 30 years on ballistic missiles, and there's every reason to think that they've collaborated on the nuclear side. The day that North Korea gets a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, Iran can have it the next day by writing a check in the right amount of money. I have a zero risk tolerance for nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states like Iran and North Korea because the threat to innocent civilians around the world, not just in America but in Israel and across the world, is very real."

A video of another of his speeches.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Foreign Ministry Haughtiness

These past three days I have been attending the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem.

It was impressive and ultimately important.  Although I caught two spelling errors in the titles on the opening evening's movie (its, not it's and hatred, not hatered), those were  minor things to what did, however, cause me to be critical of some other elements of the program.

Under the ministership of Binyamin Netanyahu and his deputy, Tzipi Hotovely, the first session had three persons: Dan Meridor, someone who fled the Likud, returned but is quite an opponent of Netanyahu, Shlomo Avineri, a veteran Mapainik who founded Chug 77 to oppose the Menachem Begin government that won the elections in 1977 as well as redirect Labour Party's political agenda and a relatively politically non-descript European Jewish establishment figure. And they brought in Israel's government's behavior towards Hungary in quite a critical fashion with no one to offer a different voice.

In another session on intersectionality on the campuses, again, the panel was imbalanced. Entitled "Antisemitism in the Far Left - Intersectionality as a Cover for Hate Speech in Current Progressive Activism", it was chaired by Jonathan Arkush, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews with David Bernstein, President and CEO, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, a Bill Clintonite, Dave Rich, Associate at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, an organization that is quite problematic politically in England, 
Nadine Epstein, Editor-in-Chief, Moment Magazine, the periodical founded by Leonard Fein, a radical leftist and Sohrab Ahmari, Senior writer, Commentary Magazine, an Iranian Catholic who, oddly enough, was the staunchest defending Zionism, Israel and facing down forcefully anti-semitism.

The third day I was bestirred at a session entitled "The Denial of Jewish History in International Organizations: The case of Jerusalem in the United Nations and UNESCO" chaired by Dan Mariaschin, CEO and Executive Vice President, Bnai Brith. 

The keynoter was Irina Bokova, former UNESCO Secretary General and she was fine. Of the respondents, Peta Jones Pellach, Director of Educational Activities, The Elijah Interfaith Institute, Ivo Goldstein, former Croatian Ambassador to UNESCO, Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, it was David Roet, Former Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations who, for me, highlighted a background problem I discerned: biased planning.

Samuels had discussed how the Palestinians were, year-by-year, turning UNESCO into a forum for anti-semitism by the theft of national cultural locations, stripping them of their Jewishness. One was the Western Wall which was exclusively called Al-Buraq in UN documents with "western" simply being a direction rather than referring to the Temple. He was upset at such blatant identity theft and rearranging history.

At question time, and Josh Wander caught my question and the reply, I noted that Yasser Arafat, right after Oslo, had always referred to the Wall as Al-Buraq and he did so purposely based on the findings of the 1930 International Commission whose

aim and object...have been to inquire into and to pronounce a verdict upon the disputes that have arisen between Arabs and Jews in connection with the practice of the Jews to resort to the Western or Wailing Wall (by the Arabs called Al Buraq) for the purpose of devotion.

and which decided

To the Moslems belong the sole ownership of, and the sole proprietary right to, the Western Wall, seeing that it forms an integral part of the Haram-esh-Sherif area, which is a Waqf property.

To the Moslems there also belongs the ownership of the Pavement in front of the Wall and of the adjacent so-called Moghrabi (Moroccan) Quarter opposite the Wall, inasmuch as the last-mentioned property was made Waqf under Moslem Sharia Law, it being dedicated to charitable purposes.

I have blogged about it several times, for example see here from 2007.

My question was: why did the Foreign Ministry fail in seeing already 20 years ago where this was heading with Samuels now bemoaning the situation.

Roet, at the far left,

Credit: Yisrael Medad

first replies by making fun of the suggestion that was made to refer to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.

Odd. That was the whole point of Samuels complaint: the Arabs are stealing our national legacy, our geography and our place names.  

Perhaps if 20 years ago or even 50 years ago the genuine and historically correct terminology had been used, the world today would not be voting for UNESCO resolutions that erase our past.  Roet displayed not only institutional failure but haughtiness. He was deriding both the truth and a political view that promotes standing up for rights.

If Roet can't stand up for the rights of Israel's national heritage sites, how can we trust him for other matters? A lousy Israeli diplomat, I'd say.

He then continues with hubris and suggests that it is I who am harming the situation of anti-Semitism as instead of targeting those who do Israel and Jews harm, I am attacking the Foreign Ministry.

But I had just proven then his policy was the harmful one.  

He ignored the Foreign Ministry failure and sought to blame me.

Is he not smart? Too "smart"? Coovering up decades of Foreign Ministry failure and wrongheadedness?

All this reminds me of something the prophet Tzefaniah composed in Chapter 3 of his book:

Woe to her [Jerusalem] that is filthy and polluted...Her prophets are wanton and treacherous persons; her priests have profaned that which is holy, they have done violence to the law...For then will I [God] turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent...In that day thou shall not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against Me; for then I will take away out of the midst of thee thy proudly exulting ones, and thou shalt no more be haughty in My holy mountain...The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth...

I hope Ambassador Danny Danon takes note.

P.S.  After a night's sleep, I improved on this.

And here is Israellycool.

And the JPost report leaves out the tiff, although she was there taking notes.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Avi Gil and the Failure of the Oslo Accords

Avi Gil, long-time Shimon Peres confidant, was asked on the occasion of the publication of his memoir:

Today the Oslo Accords are perceived as a failure by large parts of the Israeli public. Do you still believe in it?

and replied: 

“I will not deny that significant mistakes were made by both sides. On the Palestinian side, they did not control and did not stifle the terrorism effectively. That was a terrible wrong, flaw or sin – all those words are correct. Both because of the victims who died and also because it sabotaged the possibility of progressing from there. And on our side, especially, because of the settlements. Because according to the Palestinian narrative – and I don’t have a good answer when they thrust it in my face – they say: ‘In Oslo we made a tremendous concession from our point of view, of 75 percent of our dream, of what in our opinion is ours, of the territory between the sea and the river, and what has been left to us are the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which constitute about 25 percent. We agreed to recognize you on the basis of our understanding that Gaza and the West Bank are ours, it doesn’t matter in what form [not necessarily as a state, but as long as they could see the land as theirs], and since then you have been eating away at that territory. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a right-wing or left-wing government, since we signed on the White House lawn, the number of settlements has done something between doubling and tripling.’”

Two comments.

One, the assumption that 'settlements' equals 'terror' is a huge failing by those who, like Gil, seek to understand, as it were, why did Oslo fail. The terror preceded political Zionism, Balfour, the Mandate and the state and the "occupation".

Second, the accords specifically applied an exclusion category to the issue of Jewish residency locations in Judea and Samaria.  As explained here:

Neither the Oslo Accords, nor any subsequent signed Israel-Palestinian agreement put any restriction on settlement growth in Area C, the Israeli-controlled area of the West Bank.

Article 5, Section 3 of the Oslo Accords, which deals with what will be discussed during permanent status negotiations, makes it clear that the future of the settlements would be resolved only through direct negotiations between the two parties. No other article limits construction of or in settlements.

Moreover, this was confirmed in 1997 by then-US Secretary of State Madeline Albright who told NBC that while she disagreed with an Israeli decision to build new dwellings in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, “it’s legal”. Asked by Reuters if Albright was changing US policy of ambiguity regarding the legal status of Israeli settlements, her spokesperson James Rubin clarified that “All she meant by that was that as a technical matter, Oslo does not prohibit the settlements” or “[the construction of additional] housing in [the West Bank settlement of] Efrat.”

So typical of the Oslo proponents.

And Peres admirers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Will An Israeli Win By Getting Beaten?

Leafing through Haaretz from a week ago, I spotted an interesting story of Israeli cinema (at the JPost, they have the wrong trailer up, for some reason, but no real story of the film).

According to Haaretz's report, an Israeli film won a Golden Bear award as the best short film in Berlin. Based on this, that makes the film an automatic candidate for next year's Oscars.

The festival site included this description of her film, "The Men Behind the Wall":

Woman seeks men. Man seeks women. Everything could be so simple if she weren’t in Israel and the guys nearby that the app suggests in search mode weren’t in the West Bank. Israeli filmmaker Ines Moldavsky makes herself the subject of her investigation...time and again the talk comes back to their needs, their lust, the possibility of sharing that lust. The filmmaker’s aesthetic strategy is that of a double exposure in her search – she experiences the personally unfamiliar physical space in Palestine as well. The conversations oscillate between virtual phone calls and concrete encounters. The artist stands provocatively at an intersection in downtown Ramallah, dressed in a red spaghetti strap dress, outstretched arms balancing a microphone boom in the air.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                           Violence resonates – in the search for a violation of boundaries.

Haaretz was a bit more, er, explicit:

The idea for the short seems simple, but her highly experimental documentary actually touches on a multitude of complex themes.

“Every morning, I woke up in my Jerusalem apartment and thought about what it would be like to target Palestinian men that live behind the wall for dates on my dating app,” Moldavsky explains, referring to the West Bank separation barrier.

The 28-minute short shows the filmmaker soliciting Palestinian men in Gaza and the West Bank for BDSM sex via the dating apps Tinder and OkCupid, and then getting in touch with them on the phone and via Skype. It also documents their candid, explicit conversations about lust, hard-core sexual practices and the desire for casual dating.

This reminded me, in a backwards fashion, of a something written in 1977 about Zionism, which I blogged in 2007,  That since the word zayin in Hebrew is the male penis, Zionism is actually the Jews screwing the Arabs.

The filmmaker, Ines Moldavsky

said she

wanted to show young Palestinians simply as men; as gentle, sexy, handsome, nice guys who think about the mundane things in life like sex and dating.

She is a graduate of Bezalel. On its site the film's description reads:

זהו מסע פטישיסטי של אישה, ספק מרגלת, ספק אומנית, ספק נימפומנית בשטחים הכבושים. 

which translates as

This is a woman's trip of fetishism - perhaps a spy, perhaps an artist, perhaps a nymphomaniac - into the occupied territories.

As I do not know if actual sex was engaged in, what I do know is that this is at her Facebook page:

and she's been thinking about "occupation" since at least October 2012.

Going back to Hazelton, after reading her, Henry Makow understood her so:

According to Hazleton -- whose analysis overlaps significantly with that of Jay Gonen, the Israeli-born author of A Psychohistory of Zionism -- Zionism's predominant impulse is an acting out of son-mother incest. 

While I am willing to yield that once the area of psychology becomes a dominant element of analysis, there really are no borders.  What was an Arab woman doing exploding herself on a Jerusalem street?  Participating in an orgy? Is that Arab sexual activity?  When an Arab stabbed a Jew near the Ariel junction was he exhibiting homosexual aggressiveness?

These theories are not only outrageous, but, in my opinion, reveal more about the perversions of those who suggest them.

Again, I do not know from the film's descriptions whether or not Ines actually did get physical, whether her sex was violent against her or against the males or whether she was just a talker, and that is none of my business.

What I do think is that she should keep any perverse thoughts about the conflict Arabs have with Israel to herself and what she does with the award is for her private pleasure.

But next year's Oscars will be Israel-centered again.


Cross-post version here. ^

Sunday, March 11, 2018

To: Trumpeldor; From: Jabotinsky

Recently, letters written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to Yosef Trumpeldor in 1916, were released by the Jabotinsky Institute.

They dealt with issues concerning the raising of a Jewish armed force to fight alongside the Allies in World War I.

First, there was the Zion Mule Corps, which Jabotinsky felt was not worthy of the ideal - a battle-front Jewish military unit - and then the Jewish Legion, three battalions that reached the Palestine front and fought the Ottomans and Germans and pursuing them across the Jordan River to E-Salt.

Here are two letters from the Walla report:

The one above indicates the uphill struggle but with the publication of JH Patterson's With the Zionists in Gallipoli there is interest in the project

In this one he asks that Trumpeldor come to London for "your appearance here could be the spark in a pile of dry hay":

And a July 1917 letter from Trumpeldor to Jabotinsky from the A7 site in which he updates on his unsuccessful efforts to raise a unit of Russian Jews to join the Legion (and in Russian at Vesty):

And here is the Maariv report on a letter from Trumpeldor to Jabotinsky:


Is Zeid Ra'ad al-Husseini A Grave Crimes Target?

This has been published:
Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem is a war crime, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein charged in a report he issued last week...He continued, “The transfer of the population by an occupying State into an occupied territory is a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore a war crime.”

Article 147 reads:

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

Zeid should know that there is nothing unlawful in the act of a Jew residing in the areas of the historic Jewish national home, a right guaranteed by international law. 

One would think he is asking to be a target of a grave crimes investigation.


Thursday, March 08, 2018

Mr. K.M. Pollack: I Have a Grievance

How either misinformed, uninformed or malicious can someone be?

Here, from a book review of Ronen Bergman's history of Israel's targeted assassination operations:

Israel has a big problem here. Targeted killings, barriers and other security activities can suppress terror attacks, but it is not at all clear that Israel can ever win the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, the crucial foundation for Palestinian terrorist groups. It had the same problem with the Shiites of Lebanon and their support for Hezbollah. That’s because the Israeli occupation is a central grievance of the Palestinians, as it was for Lebanon’s Shiites.

That was by Kenneth Pollack in the New York Times. 

Pollack, Kenneth M. to be exact, is, I learn:

a noted former CIA intelligence analyst and expert on Middle East politics and military affairs. He has served on the National Security Council staff and has written several articles and books on international relations. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business strategy firm.

There are three problems in that paragraph above.

The first is it is misleading in that Israel's program began before 1967 and even before 1948. So what "occupation" is he talking about?

Second, even if he can identify a specific "occupation", what has that to do with the need to protect Israelis, and Jews (not to mention the non-Jews Arab terrorists have attacked over the years)? Why should that justify in any form Arab violence against civilians? He considers Israel's existence a proper "grievance"?

Third, if this is the level of analysis at the CIA, Brookings, etc., then just wow.

It would seem I have a grievance with Mr. Pollack.


I see now that Ira Stoll found something else that discredits Pollack as someone who supposedly knows something.


(Hint:  Israel “so far has not tried…trading land for peace”)


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Beinart Is Right While Being Wrong

Peter Beinart, writing in The Atlantic, actually has an interesting and even insightful observation on AIPAC:

AIPAC is conducting a remarkable experiment. It’s doubling down on bipartisanship and ideological diversity even as tectonic shifts in American politics and culture make that harder and harder. It’s doing so even though it could alienate its rising base on the right...It’s fascinating to watch, and it’s likely to fail. It won’t fail because younger liberals can’t find things to admire in Israel. They can. It will fail because the thing about Israel that young liberals admire least is its half-century long policy of denying Palestinians in the West Bank basic rights like free movement, due process, and citizenship in the country in which they live—and entrenching that denial by building settlements where Jews enjoy rights that their Palestinian neighbors are denied. 

Earlier in the piece, Beinart notes something which goes with what I'd like to mention in responding to his point:

younger American Jews are less likely to bifurcate their views in this way. They are less likely to have personally experienced anti-Semitism. They are less likely to know relatives who survived the Holocaust. And they are less likely to have witnessed events like the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel’s existence appeared to be in peril. To the contrary, they have come of age seeing both American Jews, and the Jewish state, as privileged and powerful.

His reasoning about the 'weakness' inherent in the younger Jewish generation is factually correct.

But what he ignores is that the activity of J Street, IfNotNow (see their reaction), Jewish Voices for Peace and OpenHillel, among other groups, is pushed by...Peter Beinart.

He encourages them, leads them, instructs them and provides platforms for their views and in doing so basically hides or belittles or minimizes all those historical truths, truths (and others) which continue to exist.  They may be events of  80, 70, 60 and 50 years ago - the rise of Hitlarian anti-Semitism and the failure of the democracies to counter it, the rampant terrorism of the Yishuv's Arab population as well as its support for Nazism, the Holocaust, the White Paper policy both prior to the world war and immediately after, the resistance to Mandate British oppression, the birth of Israel, the 19 years of Arab terror of the fedayeen and Fatah, and, the ideological and practical aspects of Jewish national identity.

His is a major contribution to the younger generation's inability as well as unwillingness to understand, comprehend and be willing to assume that for the most part, Israel is not only a country to be defended, with the faults that are, but must be defended for their own good.

Like others in the past century and a half - first, the Reform movement, then the Bundists, then the Brit Shalom intellectuals on to the American Council for Judaism and then Breira - who have tried to distance themselves from Zionism and Israel, they have failed but in doing so have caused so much damage and laid foundations for future weakness and unnecessary embarrassment. Not to mention being wrong on facts and figures on specific issues of security, demography and democracy.

As right as he is, he is so wrong.



Here is one example of Beinart-spawned Jewish youth - Raphael Magarik, Phd Candidate in English and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley - writing in Haaretz:

Now, Farrakhan is a vicious anti-Semite (among their other sins, Jews, he said last week, encourage "degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men.”)...we should remember: currying favor with despicable men is the foundation of American Jewish institutions and life.

Don’t believe me?

Well, think about Birthright...Or for that matter, take AIPAC, which regularly hosts the anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and crazily conspiratorial Pastor John Hagee, simply because Hagee leads a massive bloc of Christian Zionists.

Or take The New Republic, once the unofficial home of liberal Jewish intellectualism....

Every professional Jew I knew has horror stories about their local Farrakhan: an older man with deep pockets and an even deeper reservoir of hatred...