Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Uri Tzvi Greenberg Confirmed By Eichmann

I found this fascinating but why, afterwards:

Bettina Stangneth’s recent Eichmann vor Jerusalem, [the book]...comes as a shock even to those of us convinced that Eichmann was highly motivated and knew exactly what he was doing...[writing in] more than 1,300 pages of writings and transcripts from Eichmann’s Argentine period.

...Eichmann [was] at the very center of a network of unrepentant ex-Nazis there who still had supporters in the upper echelons of the Bundesrepublik...This group held regular meetings [in Argentina] where they would drink and vent their bile, but also worked methodically to extend a network of sympathizers, forged documents to exculpate themselves and National Socialism, and spoke seriously of returning to Germany and staging a coup. In this circle of friends, Stangneth concludes, Eichmann remained a “fanatical Nazi.”

...Stangneth quotes the entire rant, which takes up three densely printed pages in the German edition. What comes through is Eichmann’s intense devotion to Nazi aims and defiance in the face of the enormity of German crimes against the Jews, whose lives mean nothing to him. Denying he was a mere bureaucrat, he presents himself as an engaged fighter for his Volk and Blut, his exact words.

As for the Jews, he gives them almost cosmic significance, explaining that their dominance was secured by their vast learning and the imposition of their revelation on other peoples. He finds it “depressing” to think that the Christian Church is built on Jewish revelation and says (this is not in Life) that “it is from this awareness that I fight against this enemy”—a phrase that could have been taken from Carl Schmitt’s writings on the Jew as civilizational enemy. Eichmann comes through as a classic pro-Zionist anti-Semite, “fascinated” with Judaism—he claimed, falsely, to have learned Hebrew from Benjamin Murmelstein in Vienna—and “passionately” devoted to finding them a new homeland. So long as they were driven, by any means necessary, from their current one.

And now, why for me that was fascination.

The concept that Eichmann expresses, that it was the Judaism of the Jews that provided a religious ethic which undermined the code of behavior which he, and his fellow Nazis, sought, that our religion and culture, in its ‘weakness’, as it were, corrupted what the non-Jewish philosophy of life should be, is reflected in the poems of Uri Tzvi Greenberg published in the volume of collected poems on the Holocaust, Rehovot HaNahar (Streets of the River), that appeared in 1951.

In the poem Shir HaPanim HaKadosh: Acheinu Kol Bet Yisrael (The Holy Poem of the Faces: Our Brothers All of the House of Israel), pages 187 – 194, which originally appeared in September 1946, Greenberg asks in a multi-repeated one line refrain

Eich lo yist’munu goyim…
(“How could the non-Jews but not hate us?”)

And he bases this presumption on the fact that Jews provided the example and the standard for much of what the non-Jews inherited in their own rituals, beliefs, morals and restrictive limitations.

“The shining candelabrum that we lit in the Temple on Mount Moriah
Is that which is burning in their halls and huts;
And had it been extinguished, their souls would have been darkened, as the soul
Of their ancient elder and of the soul of the beast in their forest - -
And this they well know, they truly do!
How could the non-Jews but not hate us?”

He highlights Jewish successes in the realm of morals and spiritual achievements and each theme ends with that refrain.

In another poem, on page 32, entitled “The Poem of Avraham’s Race”, he treats his theme as one in which we liberated mankind from idolatry and slavery but nevertheless, we were not congratulated:

“From the day we overcame the nature of fire and water
And we left them behind joyfully for freedom and majesty,
The fire follows right after us: to grab us amidst the straits;
And the water is behind us: to drown us.
From the day we smashed the idols of wood and stone
And we taught that there is a God who creates all creation –
The wood of the non-Jews lies upon us in its death-shadow,
And every stone is angry at us for they do not wish to be a
Foundation for our house.
And from the day that the idolaters from the generation of Avram
Until the generation of the Cross
That received from us the knowledge of the One God alone,
That cannot be grasped in physical form
We have not known any refuge from the non-Jews’ anger;
Their blood cries out so for their ancient idol…
And in their sub-consciousness, in moments of the weakness of longing,
They come to us – to the Hebrew well
For they have no prayers of their own in their mouths,
Not on a festive day or one of mourning
Not when they crown their king or when they bury him,
Not on a day celebrating heroism or one after a battle campaign,
On land or sea,
Other than our prayers.
From our king, David,
Come the lips
In the choirs
Selah and Hallelujah and Amen – “


Samaria Trumps "Palestine"

According to the book reviewed here, Samerina (Samaria) was one of the two Assyrian-conquered districts of the subjugated, since 740 BCE, former Monarchy of Israel.

A Jewish region.

That's more ancient than "Palestine".



Assyrian cuneiform states that 27,290 captives were taken from Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, by the hand of Sargon II.Sargon records his first campaign on the walls of the royal palace at Dur-Sharrukin (Khorsabad):
In my first year of reign *** the people of Samaria *** to the number of 27,290 ... I carried away.
Fifty chariots for my royal equipment I selected. The city I rebuilt. I made it greater than it was before.


Netanyahu, So Stop the Next Release

I read this:

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks, this morning to the 7th Galilee Conference in Tiberias:
"The essence of the difference between us and our neighbors may be seen in one picture. While we are prepared to take very painful steps in an effort to try and reach an agreement that would put an end to the conflict, they, along with their highest leadership, are celebrating. Murderers are not heroes. This is not how one educates for peace. Peace can exist only when the education toward incitement and the destruction of Israel stops. There will be peace only if our security interests and our communities are assured. Peace will be established only when we can defend ourselves by ourselves against any threat."

So, don't let any more go.

If the releases aren't assisting the peace process, why continue?

The Dye That Preceded 'Palestine'

Yoli Shwartz, Israel Antiquities Authority spokesperson, informs us all:

Research has Revealed Three Rare 2,000 Years Old Fabrics
that were Dyed with an Extract from the Murex Snail
...within the framework of a study conducted by Dr. Na‘ama Sukenik of the Israel Antiquities Authority, three other rare fabrics belonging to pieces of prestigious textiles were exposed that might have been used as clothing in the Roman period.
 ...These prestigious textiles, from the Wadi Murabba‘at caves located south of Qumran, were revealed in a study that analysis the dye of 180 textiles specimens from the Judean Desert caves. Among the many textiles, most of which were dyed using substances derived from plants, were two purple-bordeaux colored textiles – parts of tunics that were double dyed utilizing two of the most expensive materials in antiquity: Murex trunculus (Hexaplex trunculus) and  American Cochineal insect.

...purple is considered the most prestigious color of the earlier periods; however it seems the public’s fondness for this reached its peak in the Hellenistic-Roman period. The purple dyed fabrics attested to the prestige of the garment and the social status of its owner...that color, the price of which soared and was equal to that of gold.  

It is difficult to know for certain how such prestigious fabrics came to be in the Murabba‘at caves. They might have been part of the property belonging to Jewish refugees from the time of the Bar-Kokhba revolt and demonstrate their economic prosperity prior to the outbreak of the uprising.  

And all that - the dye and the clothing - happened way before "Palestine". 

It was a Jewish color.


That Figure of 6 Million

No, not the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

But a tragedy in any case.

Six million.  6,000,000.

That's the amount of Jordanian Dinars being invested in Jerusalem:

The story here (via Google Translate and my redaction):

6 million Jordanian dinars cost of projects
The Minister of Waqf Affairs and Islamic Sacred Endowments, Dr. Hale [Haj?] Abdul Hafeez [
Dr. Abdul Salam Al-Abbadi], announced that the cost of projects for the Al-Aqsa Mosque amounted to 6 million dinars [that's almost $10 million] during the years 2011 to 2013...while attending a meeting of the Committee on Palestine parliamentary, held yesterday [Monday, December 9] under the chairmanship of MP Yahya Saud and in the presence of members of the Committee he relayed that one of the projects that have been implemented is to provide the Al-Aqsa Mosque with electric generators at a cost of 250 thousand dinars, and rehabilitation of the lighting network of the mosque at a cost of 750 thousand dinars, in addition to the Marwani carpeting at 140 thousand dinars.  He added that...the occupation forces want to be able to implement this project, but that Jordan categorically refused..."There is no communication between the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf and the Israeli occupation forces, except through the Jordanian Foreign Ministry", he added.

The minister pointed out that there is the Directorate of Endowments in Jerusalem linked financially with the Jordanian Ministry of Awqaf, and is managed by the Directorate of Awqaf Council is the owner of the state, headed by Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab.

He emphasized that there is a restructuring of the Directorate of Awqaf Jerusalem, and the development and functions of the service, in addition to the appointment of 30 staff, including 14 guards through advertisements for jobs in newspapers, were selected, through a committee formed by the Ministry of Awqaf and the Directorate of Awqaf Jerusalem, provided that the employee applicant of the population of Jerusalem.

In response to inquiries Chairman of the Committee and its members on the position of the government of serious Israeli measures in Jerusalem, he said "Guardianship of Jordan is a historical, religious, and political tutelage of the Palestinian Authority are".

He urged the international community to assume its responsibilities regarding the protection of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa from repeated Israeli aggressions, entry of occupation forces in uniform and settlers to al-Aqsa mosque...pointing out that Israel is seeking to divide Jerusalem spatially and temporally, in addition to changing the parameters of the city.

...Chairman Saud stressed that the Commission condemns and deplores the Judaization of holy places by the Israeli authorities, demanding the same time members of the Committee and of international organizations and the United Nations to do its duty towards these dangerous practices.  Saud explained that the committee will hold a conference in Jerusalem Arabic means through next March during which it would invite international organizations and human rights to discuss this matter.

Vice Chairman of the Committee T Attia minister demanded the need to redress the staff in the Directorate of Jerusalem, calling on the government to take action regarding the measures occupation forces Judaization of Jerusalem...

BTW, a parallel item notes that

...the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in urgent need of more than 100 million dollars for reconstruction...to keep it firm with a staff of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem of 560 employees paid by the Jordanian government with a budget of up to six million dinars annually.

What?  560 employees?

I never see more than 20 at a time unless they count all those Wicked Women of the Waqf and the 'Tablet' Men sitting around all day.

You want 'proof' of that Judaization?


...Mahmoud Abu Atta...said...The excavations on the bottom of the Haram [show] that there are other fossils reached within the boundaries of the mosque from the bottom, and demonstrates that there are many clues, including the occurrence of cracks inside the squares and buildings of the mosque , and the loss of a large number of old trees sequentially...'We counted the presence of 15 sites along the western side of the Al-Aqsa mosque used synagogues each for men and another for women , inside the tunnel section and the western section last Exposed above the ground'.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage revealed Monday that the implementation of the Israeli occupation of new fossils and in-depth bottom -Aqsa Mosque in recent times , specifically down the door of the chain , located in the western side of the mosque, up to a depth of 8 meters.  According to the institution that the new digs comes within the tunnel excavation in the west and extends down along the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque .

Other beliefs:

Masjid Al Aqsa was the second Masjid on earthIt was built 40 years after the Ka'ba in MakkahMost scholars are of the opinion that Masjid Al Aqsa was first built by Prophet Adam.Ibrahim (as) rebuilt the Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem as he and Ismail rebuilt the Ka'ba in Makkah.Prophet Daud (as) began the rebuilding of Masjid Al Aqsa.It was Prophet Sulayman (as) who finally completed the building of Masjid Al Aqsa.The Jews call this same Masjid Al Aqsa built by Sulayman as their Temple.The site of Masjid Al Aqsa remained barren and was used as a rubbish tip for nearly 600 years until the Great Khalifah Umar bin Khattab liberated Jerusalem in 637/8 AD.The Khalifah Umar bin Khattab began the foundation of Masjid Al Aqsa and a timber mosque was built.The Umayyad Khalifah, Abd' al Malik ibn Marwan in 691/2 [72/73 AH] began the construction of, Dome of the Rock - today this is the Golden Domed Mosque.The al Buraq wall or Western Wall where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal the Buraq on the night journey of al Isra is what the Jews call the wailing wall.To Muslims it is the land or the Haram Sharif area which is most holy and important.The Haram area of Al Aqsa has within it the Masjid Al Aqsa [Black Domed Mosque] and Dome of the Rock [the Golden Domed Mosque].Israel occupied Masjid Al Aqsa in 1967.That, the fundamentalist Jews have made 100's of attempts to destroy Al Aqsa since 1967 when they occupied it. A fire in 1967 started by their help destroyed the 900 year old Mimbar installed by Slaudeen Ayub, the Great Muslim Hero.That, the fundamentalist want to blow up and destroy Masjidul Al Aqsa and replace it with a Jewish Temple.

And more:

When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ received the command from God to lead the Muslim community in five daily prayers, their prayers were directed towards the holy city of Jerusalem. For Muslims, the city of Jerusalem is an important site. As the home of numerous prophets of Islam such as Dawud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), and ‘Isa (Jesus), the city was a symbol of Islam’s past prophets. When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ made the miraculous Night Journey from Makkah to Jerusalem and the Ascent into Heaven that night (known as the Isra’ wal-Mi’raj), it acquired an added importance as the place where the Prophet ﷺ led all the earlier prophets in prayer and then ascended to Heaven.
For Muslims, however, Jerusalem would remain a far-off symbol during the life of the Prophet ﷺ and the years immediately after his death. As Muslims came to control Iraq and then Syria in the 630s, however, Jerusalem would become a Muslim city, and the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem would become one of the most important pieces of land in the Muslim empire.


Monday, December 30, 2013

The Last Straw

This is Israel's Ambassador's response to a screed by Jack Straw in The Times of London (see below):

Israeli response, 30 December 2013.

‘Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians’
Sir, Jack Straw (Opinion, Dec 26) asserts that Palestinian shacks in the South Hebron hills are being gratuitously demolished by Israel while their residents are charged exorbitant sums for water.
In fact, although these structures were built without regard to planning permission, the Israeli authorities, which under the Israeli-Palestinian agreements are charged with responsibility for planning regulations in the area, invited the residents to submit a master plan to regularise the situation.
The proposed master plan which was submitted was rejected. Not, as Straw suggests, because of gratuitous harassment, but because the planning committee found that it did not provide adequately for welfare services for the residents, and in particular would deprive Palestinian women of access to educational and professional opportunities. The committee has invited the residents to make an amended application.
The price of water is determined by the Palestinian Water Authority, not by Israel. Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians. Far more damaging than the castigation of Israel, however, is the effect of such condescension and low expectations on the Palestinian side.
Ultimately, the most effective way of dealing with the issue of the South Hebron hills is for the two sides to reach a final status agreement. But ignoring the fact that the Palestinians too have responsibilities will not help bring that agreement closer.
Daniel Taub
Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’s

This was mine, which was not published:

"Shocked" by what Jack Straw, Member of Parliament for Blackburn, saw in the South Hebron hills at a Jewish community renewed at Susya, Britain's former Foreign Minister, who two months ago was criticised by the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, moderate on the issue of Jewish residency beyond the Green Line, which said his 'Jewish power' remark seemed to “echo some of the oldest and ugliest prejudices...and go far beyond mere criticism of Israel”, and who, last month, admitted to a "spectacular mistake", now fulminates and presents what he hopes his readers will accept as facts in his "Israel must learn that cruelty does not pay" (Dec 27) .

In the first place, the uncovered Second Period synagogue there, constructed around the 5th century and which pre-dates the Arab occupation of the country by centuries, a building Charles Warren and Claude Conder labeled in 1875 as an 'Important public structure', indicates that not only is Jewish residency not illegal at Susya but perhaps it is the Arabs that need to address such issues.  In fact, the Arab Susya is a squatters' settlement.  It's residents have been there for less than decades, as aerial photographs presented in court prove.

In the second place, to deal with the matter of Staw's claim of Arabs being required to pay for water from tanker and such.  Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit approved 22 water projects in 2011 after having received approval from the Joint Water Committee.  Israel has done much throughout Judea and Samaria to improve basic infrastructure but there are difficulties.  At times, the Palestinian Authority refuses to cooperate, such as in the matter of polluting waste disposal.  Some 95 percent of the per year sewage produced by the Palestinians is not treated at all although they are responsible for this.  At least one-third of the water being pumped out of the ground by the Arabs in these areas is wasted through leakage and mismanagement as estimated by the Palestinian Water Authority itself.  There is no recycling of water.  There is, unfortunately, extensive theft of water by individual Arabs, done by simply connecting to the water lines of Israel’s Mekorot national water company, as well as even by official Palestinian Authority personnel.

All this and much more is documented in Prof. Haim Gvirtzman's January 2012 report entitled, "The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective" which is available online and the reports of the Regavim NGO, certainly no less a resource than the NGO upon which Mr. Straw depends.

It would behoove Mr. Straw to review all the relevant material and perhaps contribute another article, one in which he again would admit a mistake.

The original piece:

Israel must learn that cruelty does not pay

West Bank families should be given building permits but not gratuitously harassed
I was in the middle of my Law finals, in June 1967, when the Six-Day War erupted. Neither I nor my friends shed a tear when the Egyptians and their allies were decisively beaten by Israel. Support for this young country was, if anything, stronger on the left in Britain than it was on the right.
I still support Israel, and its right to live securely within its international borders. But my reservations about its conduct towards the Palestinians have grown year by year.
On a visit this month I was shocked by what I saw of the Israelis’ actions towards Palestinian shepherd families in the South Hebron hills. The Israeli daily Haaretz described its Government’s explanation for these actions, as “sugar-coated lies”, which had won “this month’s George Orwell Prize for misleading language”.
Sixty kilometres south of Jerusalem, in the Occupied Territories of the West Bank, there sits on a hill the large Israeli settlement of Susiya. The settlement is illegal in international law, condemned in those terms by the British Government. Still, it’s there, and has all modern conveniences, including water and electricity.
Some Israeli settlers in these hills breed chickens. They have piped water, and electricity from the grid. But families in the Palestinian village of Susiya, just down the hill from the main Israeli settlement, have neither, even though the water pipes go through their land. The settlers pay 9 shekels (£1.57) a cubic metre for their water, piped. The Palestinians have to pay up to 35 shekels (£6.14) per cubic metre — from a tanker.
These Palestinian families, scattered across the bleak landscape, are now about 250 in all. They once had warm dry homes, built into caves in the hillsides. The Israeli Defence Force filled them in. They used to have many cisterns, large tanks excavated from the rocks. The IDF have filled many of those in, too. Meanwhile the families have to live in temporary structures — scaffold frames covered in plastic sheeting.
This land is the Palestinians’. They tell me they can prove their title back to Ottoman days. Ah, claims the Israeli Government, but as the occupying powers we have to follow the planning law of the Jordanians, the sovereign power before the 1967 war. The Palestinians have to have a permit for any structure. They don’t, so the structures have to come down.
The Palestinians say they won’t leave their land. They rebuild their tents. Their plight is repeated by other local herding communities and Bedouin across the West Bank.
These communities fight to stay, not by force of arms but by force of argument. They are supported in their fight by some courageous groups of Israelis: such as Rabbis for Human Rights and Breaking the Silence, a group of veterans from the IDF, who have broken the silence culturally expected of all who serve in the Israeli armed forces.
It was one member of this group who took me to Susiya. He told me of the patrols of his fellow soldiers in neighbouring Hebron to “make their presence felt”— through nocturnal break-ins to random Palestinian houses, pour encourager les autres.
With the help of these Israeli groups, the Palestinian shepherd families in Susiya applied for building permits. They were turned down. Try for a “master plan”, they were told. They did, to be turned down again, with language whose implausibility would not only have graced Orwell’s pages, but Kafka’s too. “The current [master] plan constitutes yet another attempt to keep a weak and downtrodden population from having the possibility of making progress,” said the Israeli Civil Administration sub-committee, in its rejection decision.
This population is not “weak”. I’ve rarely met such determined people. “Downtrodden” they are — by the Israelis. But that could easily be resolved if the IDF stopped trashing their land, and the Administration did what they do for Israeli Jewish settlers in similar circumstances — gave them building permits and connected them to the water and electricity grids.
If this happened, Israel would start to regain the natural support it had in 1967, but which by its own gratuitous actions it has been so carelessly throwing away.


A Two-State Pitfall and Disaster

I oppose a two-state solution.  One reason is that it is actually a four-state solution: Israel, Gaza, Judea & Samaria (aka, 'West Bank') and Jordan all in historic Palestine.  Three Arab states vs. one Jewish Israel.

Motti Kedar thinks of an 8 state solution*.

And here is what will play out in our neck of the woods if the two-state solution will happen:

The BBC's James Copnall says aid workers fear a humanitarian crisis in S Sudan
There are conflicting reports from South Sudan where youths loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar are said to be marching on the strategic town of Bor.  In an interview with the BBC, a spokesman for President Salva Kiir denied earlier reports that most of the youths had been persuaded to go home.  Instead, Ateny Wek Ateng said the group had clashed with government forces.
At least 1,000 people have died in this month's fighting. More than 121,600 are believed to have fled their homes.
...The White Army [because of the white ash they put on their skin to protect them from insects] is a name that inspires fear in South Sudan.   This loose grouping of armed youth from the Nuer ethnic group was at least partly responsible for the 1991 Bor massacre, in which at least 2,000 people were killed.  Then, the White Army fought alongside Riek Machar, who had split away from the main southern Sudanese rebel group fighting Khartoum.  In 2011 and 2012 a new incarnation of the White Army went on the rampage, killing hundreds of civilians from the Murle ethnic group.
...Tens of thousands of civilians have sought refuge in UN camps, and reinforcements have been arriving to give them extra protection.
What began as a power struggle between Mr Machar and President Salva Kiir has taken on overtones of an ethnic conflict. The Dinka, to which Mr Kiir belongs, are pitted against the Nuer, from which Mr Machar hails.
...UK Foreign Secretary William Hague...said he had encouraged them "to enter into negotiations immediately and without preconditions" and offered the UK's diplomatic support.
...South Sudanese government spokesmen were quoted as saying the group numbered as many as 25,000 armed men..."They seem to be adamant because they think that if they don't come and fight, then the pride of their tribe has been put in great insult," he said..."They are a wildcard whose intervention in the theatre of conflict outside Bor could ratchet up the conflict even further."

Hamas vs. Fatah.

Islamic Jihad vs. Hamas.

Salafists vs. Islamic Jihad.

Hezbollah vs. everyone.

Al-Rub vs. Rajoub.

A recipe for disaster this two-state solution idea.


Dr. Kedar brought to the discussion a different idea. There are two concerns we have, he said: One is to prevent a Palestinian Arab state from coming into existence, as it would be severely problematic. On the other hand, we want to ensure a very large Jewish majority..

...What he proposes is a sociological/anthropological solution: an Eight-state Solution. There are different Arab clans that are alive and well in this area. The problem is when there are multiple clans or tribes — multiple ethnic and religious groups — inside one political entity. This is the problem in Iraq, and if there were a Palestinian state, we would see a situation like that of Iraq. Quiet is possible when a political entity is controlled by one clan or tribe only. This is the way it is in the Arab Emirates.

What Kedar suggests is that emirates based on individual clans or tribes be established in Judea and Samaria: they would be city-states. Each major Palestinian Arab city is controlled by a clan or tribe. The leaders of these clans know what to do, and what not to do, and it is this indigenous leadership and not PLO leadership that we should be dealing with. There wouldn’t be formal peace agreements, but rather understandings that generate a condition of quiet — a modus vivendi.

The city-states Kedar envisions are Jenin, Tulkarem, Shechem, Kalkilya, Jericho, Ramallah, and the Arab part of Hevron. Such small states do exist now, he says, in places like the Vatican and Gibraltar. He sees this as viable if some area for industrial development is included.


Do You Feel The Earth Move?

Remember this Carole King song?

I feel the earth - move - under my feet
I feel the sky tum-b-ling down - tum-b-ling down
I feel my heart start to trem-b-ling -
Whenever you're around

It came to mind reading this:

Ismail Radwan, Minister of Religious Affairs in Gaza's Hamas government, claims that Israel is trying to cause anartificial earthquake to totally collapse the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. According to Radwan, Israel is attempting to do so to establish the Third Temple.

In Arabic (thanks to EOZ):

حذر وزير الأوقاف والشؤون الدينية بغزة إسماعيل رضوان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي من إحداث زلزال اصطناعي يؤدي لانهيار ودمار المسجد الأقصى بشكل كامل, لبناء ما يسمى هيكل سليمان المزعوم خاصة بعد اكتشاف حفريات جديدة بالأمس أسفل المسجد وكنيس للنساء.


wants all Muslims to enlist to the military in response.  And he further said that

through repeated Jewish access to the Temple Mount, as well as "excavations and criminal acts," the Israeli "occupation" has "arrived at the stage of accustoming Palestinians, Arabs and Muslim to accept the existing reality so as to implement their goals to destroy the mosque and build the supposed Temple."

Maybe we should start dancing there and see what happens?

But seriously, how does the enlightened world tolerate such nonsensical blitherings?

I'm amazed he hasn't (yet) claimed Israel is orchestrating a tsunami to wipe Gaza off the face of the earth.




3 Children were arrested by the police at al-Aqsa mosque: Abu Hamza-They Knapp, Abdul Rahman Hashlamon, and Ahmed Al Takruri, who are between the ages of 7-8 years.

Not reported:

They also threw rocks at Jewish visitors.

And even got to walk through the Western Wall Plaza, triumphantly, afterwards:


Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Hold The Mayo"

Mayonnaise is not in use in our house any more.

Well, except if a kid comes home and decides to make a cole slaw afater a fashion.

Now, I found this post and I quote:

“Anytime somebody orders a corned beef sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise, somewhere in the world, a Jew dies,” goes one version of the old Milton Berle joke. The joke works on two levels: It may be that the Jew is dying out of horror at a clueless deli patron, since everyone knows corned beef goes with mustard and rye. Or it may be that the Jew is dying because she herself has chosen mayo and white, and therefore is no longer a Jew. In either reading, the mayo critique is clear—Keep your slime off my food!—a protest that critics of the sauce would make ever more emphatically as the 20th century wore on.

...for many Jewish Americans who came of age in that era, the frequent combination of white mayonnaise, white bread, and white gentiles created a lunchroom culture clash in which they were on the losing end...

...Borscht Belt comedians...made the mayo-munching majority a target for gentle ridicule. To Mel Brooks, a Midwesterner was someone who “drives a white Ford station wagon, eats white bread, vanilla milkshakes, and mayonnaise.” Jackie Mason observed that when gentiles first ate pastrami they used mayo, but after trying mustard “they become like Jews”: one look at someone wielding the white stuff and “they say, ‘Yech.’”

...Woody Allen underscored mayo’s goyish qualities in both Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters; humorist Harry Shearer profiled a family of pasty Midwesterners who maintained personal mayonnaise bottles in his 1985 mockumentary The History of White People in America. The menu at Katz’s Deli, Manhattan’s famous smoked-meat joint, bowed to the anti-mayo comedic-industrial complex by warning pastrami seekers to “ask for Mayo at your own peril.”...Despite its milklike appearance, mayonnaise is kosher and in fact holds a time-honored place in Jewish cuisine; Katz’s Deli happily sells mayo-rich egg salad and Russian dressing. Jackie Mason, in an email, hypothesized that the complicated relationship between Jews and mayonnaise was probably a consequence of Jews feeling “guilty over betraying mustard.”

A more fundamental—and deadly serious—threat to the hegemony of mayonnaise would come from public health advocates...By the 1960s scientists were sounding the alarm that eating too many cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs was perilous for the heart...Health anxieties over mayo expanded further with reports linking raw egg consumption to salmonella poisoning.

The only thing I have to add is that during a reserve duty tour, I was assigned to the kitchen detail and actually made mayonnaise.  Into a large spinning bowl, but large, went eggs and oil and we spinned it around and around.  So I do have not only eatuing experience but creation-experience.

During another duty tour, over Peasach, I made my pizza-matzah and they came from far and wide.

But that's another story.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Too Much Vino

Left-of-center people always manage to demonstrate a remarkable sense of illogic when they express themselves:

One of the actresses, Sarit Vino-Elad, said she could not bring herself to step foot in a theater built on occupied land and which posed an obstacle to peace with Palestinians.
"This is not a boycott. It's my own little protest against a government policy that continues to build settlements," she told The Associated Press. "They are trying to make Ariel part of the consensus, but as far as I am concerned it is not legitimate. You want me to perform there? Solve the problem."

She has a problem no one can solve.

Ms. Vino -

a.  yes, you are boycotting.

b.  Ariel is already pasrt of the consensus.  For Arabs, Tel-Aviv is not yet part of the consensus.

c.  The problem to solve is on the Arab side.

c.  Live dangerously.  Ask your friends to join you and boycott a performance in an Arab location to protest Arabs campaigning against IDF enlistment or the practice of 'honor killing'.

Have A Merry Festive Season


"Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, 

during the reign of King Herod" 


Friday, December 27, 2013

Ohana's Jousting Or, A Knight in Dulled Armor

David Ohana, using an academic's trick, rehashes a six-year old article.  In Haaretz, he publishes this:

High on a hilltop: Are the settlers modern day crusaders?The Jewish settlement project in the West Bank poses a danger to the Zionist project.

Ohana is a professor who teaches history at Ben-Gurion University in Be’er Sheva and the author, amongst other books, of “The Origins of Israeli Mythology” published by Cambridge University Press which is described so (perceived errors of syntax by me left in place):-

We claim that Zionism as a meta-narrative has been formed through contradiction to two alternative models, the Canaanite and crusader narratives. These narratives are the most daring and heretical assaults on Israeli-Jewish identity, which is umbilically connected to Zionism. The Israelis, according to the Canaanite narrative, are from this place and belong only here; according to the crusader narrative, they are from another place and belong there. On the one hand, the mythological construction of Zionism as a modern crusade describes Israel as a Western colonial enterprise planted in the heart of the East and alien to the area, its logic, and its peoples, whose end must be degeneration and defeat. On the other hand, the nativist construction of Israel as neo-Canaanism, which defined the nation in purely geographical terms as an imagined native community, demands breaking away from the chain of historical continuity. Those are the two greatest anxieties that Zionism and Israel needed to encounter and answer forcefully. The Origins of Israeli Mythology seeks to examine the intellectual archaeology of Israeli mythology, as it reveals itself through the Canaanite and crusader narratives.

To the point, Ohana writes:

The second challenge to Zionism emanated from Arab historians and statesmen. Beginning from Israel’s War of Independence, they drew a parallel between the Crusaders and Zionism, between the Christian colonialism of the Middle Ages and Jewish nationalism in the 20th century. From their perspective, Zionism as a colonialist movement encouraged European settlers of Jewish descent to seize control of lands that were already settled by native Palestinians...The Zionist-Crusader analogy documents (or imagines) conquerors coming from Europe in the belief that the land has been promised to them, but who eventually will yield to the logic of the place and, defeated, disappear back to their countries of origin. 

That belief of a disappearance or eventual withering or a defeat of the Zionist enterprise is what is relevant.  But Ohana upgrades this perception, writing

The settlement of about one-tenth of Israel’s Jewish citizens over the Green Line is liable to change the character of the State of Israel...we have been witness to nothing less than a mutation that is distorting the essence of the Zionist ideology, the intention of its progenitors and the deeds of the first Israelis. Borrowing a concept from the natural sciences, we can say metaphorically – not biologically – that what we have here is a genetic code, and there are mutations in the generational transference.

This use of genetics is, of course, not racial although I think if I used the terminology I would be branded as a racist.

What's bothering Ohana?

The occupation and the settlement enterprise are eating into the potential neighboring state and barely leaving it territorial space – that is, a possible basis for the establishment of a normal sovereign state. In this way, even if a lean, noncontiguous Palestinian protectorate is established in the future, its irredentist demands (for the return of sovereignty over territories across the border) will obviate its normality – it will resemble a volcano that is about to erupt at any moment.

Well, in the first place, since Israel has been trying to get the Pals. to set up that state, and the failure lies in the Arab outlook that Israel should not exist, are we nevertheless knights in shining armor?  A la Ohana, we "Crusaders" could be jousting ourselves out of a homeland.

He then proceeds to noisely clang:

The Canaanite character of the settlements across the Green Line was apparent from the very first settlement, Kfar Etzion...From being a symbol of the longings of the members of Kfar Etzion, who were forced to abandon their home in the wake of the War of Independence, the tree became a ritualized fetish....In 1967...the space around the tree became a neo-Canaanite center of worship...[and] the Canaanite names Gush Emunim chose for its settlements, such as Kiryat Arba, Elon Moreh, Kedumim and Karnei Shomron...[as a symbol of] the settlers’ Canaanite character in preferring the Land of Israel over the Torah of Israel and the State of Israel...

In another section Ohana really dirties his armor:

...But the settlers are not only neo-Canaanites. They are also a type of Jewish Crusader...The settlers imagine themselves as potential refugees, if the territories are returned. That is a cheapening of the term “refugee.” The 7,000 or so settlers who were evacuated from the Gaza Strip in 2006 are not refugees, but still Israeli citizens who moved from place to place. The settlers, like the Crusaders, settled on the hilltops...They do not cling to the land and to farming, but to fortresses and citadels...With their religious colonialism, the settlers are bent on liberating holy tombs in Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem, which were taken over by foreigners, just as Pope Urban II called for the liberation of the Holy Sepulchre...

And the Arabs who became "refugees", many needing only two years residency for this qualification, were Jordanian citizens.  So what?  This is deep academic thinking?



At one panel I participated in with Talia Sasson and Avner Gevaryahu, on Israel's democracy, I noted that the claim of anti-Arab discrimination could be, in part, dependent amongst some due to the perceived lack of tax participation payments they make.  I raised the point that perhaps those who avoid taxes should be reviewed and, at the least, that on the municpal level they be challenged.

Talia was extremely upset.  Of course, she quite adamantly claimed there was institutional discrimination against Arabs and even announced that "of course they cannot be expected to stand at attention when the Rembrance Day siren goes off" when I pointed out that usually our news programs only screen the Haredim walking about in Bnei Brak and Meah Shearim doing so when we all know that if the camera would be situated in Um El-Fahm we might see even worse behavior.  And she was angry that I would link finances and citizenship.

My point that perhaps services be linked to payment of taxes on the municpal level was met by derision.

Well, at least for your knowledge:

Study: Arabs evade tax payment due to poverty 

Ben-Gurion University research suggests low tax payment rate among Arabs not related to national sentiment or poor enforcement, but to considerably lower income of average Arab family compared to Jewish family. 

One solution: Conditioning municipal services with tax payment

Some details:

The current municipal tax collection rate within the Arab population stands at 18.6% as opposed to 53.7% in the Jewish sector. However, the particularly low collection rate also derives from past debts which are added to the general collected sum. The rate of tax evaders within the Arab population stands at 60%.

...Haj claims that the low tax payment rate derives from the poor economical state of the Arab population as opposed to the Jewish population. He reached the conclusion that in communities of high socio-economic status the collection rate is equally high and vice versa...

..."In Arab local councils and municipalities there is a much lower level of integrity in comparison to the Jewish sector. This means that when residents realize that tax payers' money ends up with relatives of officials and political appointments as well as with affairs not concerned with the public welfare, they become less inclined to pay tax."

Wait!  That isn't linked to "the poor economical state of the Arab population as opposed to the Jewish population", is it?

Additional information:

Haj claims that the Arab communities need to cultivate an atmosphere of belonging and commitment to the community which fortifies the "tax payment morale." He further asserts that a reform needs to be implemented within the municipal tax payment system and should be adjusted to the Arab sector's particular nature. This includes affirmative action for populations in low socio-economic status.

Another item on that report reveals this

"It's not true that Arabs don't pay taxes because they feel alienated by the state," Haj. "In my discussions with the citizens, I didn't find any connection between those types of sentiments and the levels of compliance with taxes." Instead, Haj believes, the problem revolves around the nature of the municipal tax. "The problem is that the municipal tax is paid according to how much land you own, not according to income," said Haj. 

I am not an economist and I will admit that my math skills are, well, poor. But isn't land worth more?

I think the Limmud audience was fooled.

- - -

Incidentally, as for linking citizenship rights and the fulfillment of monetary civic duties, there are other angles:

...A growing number of states are selling citizenship. Malta is the latest. So EU citizenship can be yours for 1.15mn Euros. Hungary, Spain, and Portugal now offer permanent residency in return for smaller investments in residential property, which can lead to citizenship in short order; and Cyprus tossed consolation passports to foreigners who lost more than three million Euros in the country’s banking collapse...

...The Dominican Republic...Supreme Court declared Dominican-born individuals of undocumented parents (almost all Haitian) not to enjoy Dominican citizenship...


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Does It Get Crowded?

Heathrow Airport, London


I Did Meet Michael Sherbourne


Hope for Looted Temple Mount Artifacts?

Based on this

Looted Islamic wooden beams return to Egypt
Egypt restitutes Ghanem Al-Bahlawan Mosque's eight decorative woodenbeams from Denmark after a court rulingNevine El-Aref , Thursday 19 Dec 2013
Minister of State for Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Onlinethat the ministry had reported the theft of the beams in 2008 to localpolice as well as the Interpol.
In 2012, the Egyptian Embassy in Copenhagen reported that the DenmarkCustoms Police had uncovered a package containing the stolen items.

can we get back looted Temple Mount archaeological remains?


More Century-Plus-Old Tel Shiloh Photographs

Thanks to Lenny Ben-David's Picture-A-Day, I can now show you additional pictures from over a century ago of Tel Shiloh.

This picture shows how easy it was to remove archaeological artifacts from Tel Shiloh:

This one show the Wali Yeitim, looking north:

And this is looking south-easty at the same Muslim building:

Another view:

Credit Note:

Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside. Please contact UCR/California Museum of Photography for information about the copyright status of this item. Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Brooks Breaks

Over the decades, Israelis have wobbled through error, uncertainty and moral ambiguity. But, collectively, they have adapted to their tragic circumstances with some reasonable degree of success. They didn’t recoil from the drama they were caught in. They are nothing if not critical of one another. The society moves forward on a great wave of fevered argument. There are always new parties, as old messy improvisations — the semi-socialist economy, the Oslo process, the security fence — become obsolete.But there will always be those whose minds recoil from the ambiguity of a tragic situation. Some of these people turn into amoral realists and decide in the brutal situation that anything that advances survival is permitted. Under their leadership, security becomes insecurity because security measures are taken to the extreme. These are the people who want to permanently colonize the West Bank.On the other side, there are people whose minds seem to flee, almost by instinct, from ambiguity to absolutism. These are often good people, with high ideals. But they take a dappled society in a tough situation, like Israel, and they want to judge it according to black and white legal abstractions. They find a crime or an error and call for blanket condemnation (these people tend not to apply this standard to themselves).

And the bold section is not a description of me.  Or my friends.  That 'some' are quite unrepresentative and not at all a 1% if that of the 370,000 Jews resident in Judea and Samaria - and certainly not our elected leaders.

That was immoral writing by Brooks.


The BBC Goes Not Nittel on Christmas

Here in England, I meet up with Judaism's ghost.

Ghost story, that should be:

Mark Gatiss’s dramatisation of The Tractate Middoth (BBC2) by...MR James. Don’t let the title put you off: this is a terrifying story of a haunting in a library. 


Gatiss's adaptation of James's spine-tingling tale will air on BBC2 at 9:30pm on Christmas Day, followed at 10:05pm by MR James: Ghost Writer, a documentary about the revered master of discomfiture, which Gatiss will front...[Sacha] Dhawan, meanwhile, appears...[i]n The Tractate Middoth, he plays a young library assistant drawn into the supernatural world surrounding an obscure Hebrew text, 

A Talmudic text on Christmas?

The scenario is simple. A rich, diabolically misanthropic clergyman has surrounded himself with ancient books. He has a “soul like a corkscrew”. He has two possible heirs – one, John, he hates; the other, a harmless widow with a daughter, he despises. As he dies, he resorts to mortmain (“the hand of the dead”), the will that outlasts the body. His vast property he leaves, by one will, to his male heir. A later will leaves everything to the heiress. Yet he has secreted the revised will in an ancient and particularly sinister [???] book: The Tractate Middoth. He has donated this to a rare book library – but which one? And, if it is found (which, 20 years later, it is), what dark forces will theTractate release?Gatiss makes confident changes to his source text. He moves the main action from the Edwardian period to the 1950s. He introduces characters, a deathbed scene (which James might have thought a trifle heavy-handed) and Doctor Who-style visual effects. He makes the young hero a jaunty Cambridge undergraduate, not a beaten-down assistant librarian. It all works, although for those who love the story it jolts a bit.Two things combine to make the M R James story as perfect in its “movement” as a Swiss watch: brevity and a feather-light touch.

Just two comments.

1.  Tractate Middoth is not all that obscure or sinister. 

2.  On Christmas, there is a custom not to learn Torah.  And Christmas Eve is called 'Nittel' Nacht.  More here.