Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Is There Really a Media Bias?

Read this in an interview with Andrew Norfolk, who broke the Rothertham Muslim sex-grooming story

He admits that when he first heard details of the allegations by mainly white girls against largely British-Pakistani perpetrators – during a speech by Labour MP Ann Cryer – he didn’t want to follow it up. “Immediately I thought this is a dream story for the far right,” he says. Yet as soon as he started investigating in the autumn of 2010 he knew he would have to report on it: “We found clear evidence of a crime pattern that was not being acknowledged or addressed and which was having the most devastating impact on some of the most vulnerable, innocent people in our society.”

In other words, it was just possible that his private personal opinions and outlook could have swayed him to ignore the story because it would assist a certain other political viewpoint, despite the facts.

He didn't.

But another reporter could have followed his ideological persuasion and not have done so.

And there is this, too:

Nor does he anticipate becoming a campaigner or public speaker about child sexual exploitation. “My job is to write news stories. I think the best way I can help is to carry on working as a journalist.”


Jewish Settlements Not Exaggerated

From the Journal of Jewish Studies:

Were there 204 settlements in Galilee at the time of Josephus Flavius?

by Chaim Ben David,

2011, Volume: 62, Issue: 1, 21-36 pp.

Abstract: Josephus Flavius notes that there are 204 cities and villages in Galilee. Is the number of settlements in Galilee that Josephus cites reliable, or does it belong to the series of figures that most scholars believe is exaggerated? To examine this issue, the article will first define the boundaries of Galilee at the time of Josephus and deal with the secondary question of whether this also included Gaulanitis. Then three different methods will be used to determine the veracity of this statement, counting (1) the number of settlements from the Ottoman period, (2) the number of settlements in the Late Roman period according to rabbinic literature, and (3) the number of settlements at the time of Josephus according to archaeological surveys. The evidence suggests that Josephus’ number of 204 settlements is probably not far from the actual number of settlements that existed in Galilee and Gaulanitis prior to the first Jewish revolt.

Was there a Peace Now Settlement Watch Team then, too?

Monday, September 29, 2014

How Did Harry Potter Die?

On 5th July 1939, a party from H.Q. Company, led by Captain P. H. Graves-Morris, encountered a small gang leaving Ad Daweina village. Fire was opened and one Arab wounded and captured. The village was occupied for 24 hours and, under pressure, eleven rifles, three revolvers and two shotguns were produced. Further visits yielded a total of thirty-four rifles, five revolvers and some S.A.A.— the largest haul of arms from any village in the Battalion area to date. Towards the end of July “A” Company moved to Sarafand and “B” Company handed over Beersheba to the civil police. On the evening of 22nd July, “D” Company, returning from As Samu, engaged an armed band at Kilo 39 on the Hebron-Beersheba road. This gang had earlier ambushed an R.A.F. armoured car. During the engagement Private Harry Potter (5251351) was killed and Privates Darby, Warwick, Pearson and Simmonds were wounded. Private Darby died of his wounds in hospital in Jerusalem on 7th September 1939. 

From the history of the Worcestershire regiment.

Fuller details for potter.

Oh, Ad Daweina is Duweima, where Amatzia is now:

On Duweima.


PM Binyamin Netanyahu's UN Speech

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech at the United Nations General Assembly
September 29, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates,

I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I've come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I've come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The people of Israel pray for peace.
But our hopes and the world's hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march.
It's not militants. 
It's not Islam. 
It's militant Islam.  
Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it's rapidly spreading in every part of the world. 
You know the famous American saying: "All politics is local"? For the militant Islamists, "All politics is global." Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.
Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas. To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late.
Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.
ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.
Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph,Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago:
A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master…
The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism…
and destroy the idol of democracy
Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future:
We say this to the West…
By Allah you will be defeated. 
Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world.
As Hamas's charter makes clear, Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel. But Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists.
That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that's why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama Bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior.
So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas.
And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common: 
·                     Boko Haram in Nigeria;
·                     Ash-Shabab in Somalia;
·                     Hezbollah in Lebanon;
·                     An-Nusrah in Syria;
·                     The Mahdi Army in Iraq;
·                     And the Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.
Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi'ites. Some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the 7th century. Others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the 9th century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their quest for supremacy. 
But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – Where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die. 
For them, anyone can be an infidel, including fellow Muslims.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Militant Islam's ambition to dominate the world seems mad. But so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept to power eight decades ago.
The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree about who among them will be the master… of the master faith. That’s what they truly disagree about. Therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.
There is one place where that could soon happen: The Islamic State of Iran.   
For 35 years, Iran has relentlessly pursued the global mission which was set forth by its founding ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini, in these words:
We will export our revolution to the entire world.
Until the cry "There is no God but Allah" will echo throughout the world over…  
And ever since, the regime’s brutal enforcers, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, have done exactly that.
Listen to its current commander, General Muhammad Ali Ja'afari. And he clearly stated this goal. He said:
Our Imam did not limit the Islamic Revolution to this country…
Our duty is to prepare the way for an Islamic world government…

Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. He could ask them to call off Iran's global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries on five continents since 2011 alone.
To say that Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees.
This bemoaning of the Iranian president of the spread of terrorism has got to be one of history’s greatest displays of doubletalk.
Now, Some still argue that Iran's global terror campaign, its subversion of countries throughout the Middle East and well beyond the Middle East, some argue that this is the work of the extremists. They say things are changing. They point to last year's elections in Iran. They claim that Iran’s smooth talking President and Foreign Minister, they’ve changed not only the tone of Iran's foreign policy but also its substance. They believe Rouhani and Zarif genuinely want to reconcile with the West, that they’ve abandoned the global mission of the Islamic Revolution.
So let's look at what Foreign Minister Zarif wrote in his book just a few years ago:
We have a fundamental problem with the West,
and especially with America.
This is because we are heirs to a global mission,
which is tied to our raison d'etre…
A global mission which is tied to our very reason of being.
And then Zarif asks a question, I think an interesting one. He says:
How come Malaysia [he’s referring to an overwhelmingly Muslim country] – how come Malaysia doesn't have similar problems?  
And he answers:
Because Malaysia is not trying to change the international order.
That's your moderate.
So don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive. It’s designed for one purpose, and for one purpose only: To lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb. The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium.
This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold military nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world’s most dangerous state in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons.
Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all.
It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pick-up trucks, armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction. 
I remember that last year, everyone here was rightly concerned about the chemical weapons in Syria, including the possibility that they would fall into the hands of terrorists.
That didn't happen. And President Obama deserves great credit for leading the diplomatic effort to dismantle virtually all of Syria's chemical weapons capability.
Imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic State, ISIS, would be if it possessed chemical weapons. Now imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic state of Iran would be if it possessed nuclear weapons.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Would you let ISIS enrich uranium?
Would you let ISIS build a heavy water reactor?
Would you let ISIS develop intercontinental ballistic missiles?
Of course you wouldn’t.  
Then you mustn't let the Islamic State of Iran do those things either.
Because here’s what will happen:
Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It's then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.
There is only one responsible course of action to address this threat:
Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled.  
Make no mistake – ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.
To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The fight against militant Islam is indivisible. When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it's set back in every place. 
That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight.
Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.
For 50 days this past summer, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran. 
I want you to think about what your countries would do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities. Imagine millions of your citizens having seconds at most to scramble to bomb shelters, day after day.
You wouldn't let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity. Nor would you let terrorists dig dozens of terror tunnels under your borders to infiltrate your towns in order to murder and kidnap your citizens.
Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels.
Yet Israel also faced another challenge. We faced a propaganda war.
Because, in an attempt to win the world’s sympathy, Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields. It used schools, not just schools - UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel.
As Israel surgically struck at the rocket launchers and at the tunnels, Palestinian civilians were tragically but unintentionally killed. There are heartrending images that resulted, and these fueled libelous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.
We were not.  
We deeply regret every single civilian casualty. And the truth is this:
Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, always to enable Palestinian civilians to evacuate targeted areas.
No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies.
This concern for Palestinian life was all the more remarkable, given that Israeli civilians were being bombarded by rockets day after day, night after night. As their families were being rocketed by Hamas, Israel's citizen army – the brave soldiers of the IDF, our young boys and girls – they upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world.
Israel's soldiers deserve not condemnation, but admiration. Admiration from decent people everywhere.
Now here’s what Hamas did: Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave. And just in case people didn’t get the message, they executed Palestinian civilians in Gaza who dared to protest.
No less reprehensible, Hamas deliberately placed its rockets where Palestinian children live and play. Let me show you a photograph. It was taken by a France 24 crew during the recent conflict. It shows two Hamas rocket launchers, which were used to attack us. You see three children playing next to them. Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas like this. Hundreds of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime.
And I say to President Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated, or spoken out against from this podium last week.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer:
Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. 
Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles.
By investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes, the UN Human Rights Council has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned. Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime - Hamas is given a pass.
The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere:
Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works.
By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions. It probably already has, about the use of civilians as human shields.
It’s not just our interest. It’s not just our values that are under attack. It’s your interests and your values.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We live in a world steeped in tyranny and terror, where gays are hanged from cranes in Tehran, political prisoners are executed in Gaza, young girls are abducted en masse in Nigeria and hundreds of thousands are butchered in Syria, Libya and Iraq. Yet nearly half, nearly half of the UN Human Rights Council's resolutions focusing on a single country have been directed against Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East – Israel. where issues are openly debated in a boisterous parliament, where human rights are protected by independent courts and where women, gays and minorities live in a genuinely free society.
The Human Rights… (that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same), the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices. 
We hear mobs today in Europe call for the gassing of Jews. We hear some national leaders compare Israel to the Nazis. This is not a function of Israel’s policies. It's a function of diseased minds. And that disease has a name. It’s called anti-Semitism.
It is now spreading in polite society, where it masquerades as legitimate criticism of Israel.
For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide. 
In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy's civilian population to get out of harm's way? Or ensuring that they receive tons, tons of humanitarian aid each day, even as thousands of rockets are being fired at us? Or setting up a field hospital to aid for their wounded?
Well, I suppose it's the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews, Judenrein, can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.
In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people.
But no more.
Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. 
We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion.  
Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity.
After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world.
Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East.
Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields.
I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World. But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace.
And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support.
I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land. The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel. History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years.
I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people.
But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground. Because you see, Israel's withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel.
These sobering experiences heighten Israel's security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today.
Just look around you.
The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void.
Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population.
Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country. That’s why in any peace agreement, which will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise, I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself against any threat.
Yet despite all that has happened, some still don't take Israel’s security concerns seriously. 
But I do, and I always will.
Because, as Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state.
And no matter what pressure is brought to bear, I will never waver in fulfilling that responsibility.
I believe that with a fresh approach from our neighbors, we can advance peace despite the difficulties we face.
In Israel, we have a record of making the impossible possible. We’ve made a desolate land flourish. And with very few natural resources, we have used the fertile minds of our people to turn Israel into a global center of technology and innovation.
Peace, of course, would enable Israel to realize its full potential and to bring a promising future not only for our people, not only for the Palestinian people, but for many, many others in our region.
But the old template for peace must be updated. It must take into account new realities and new roles and responsibilities for our Arab neighbors. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is a new Middle East. It presents new dangers, but also new opportunities.  
Israel is prepared to work with Arab partners and the international community to confront those dangers and to seize those opportunities. 
Together we must recognize the global threat of militant Islam, the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and the indispensable role of Arab states in advancing peace with the Palestinians.
All this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth. And the truth must always be spoken, especially here, in the United Nations.
Isaiah, our great prophet of peace, taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power.

לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה
וּלְמַעַן יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֹא אֶשְׁקוֹט
עַד-יֵצֵא כַּנֹּגַהּ צִדְקָהּ
וִישׁוּעָתָהּ כְּלַפִּיד יִבְעָר.
For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent.
For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still.
Until her justice shines bright,
And her salvation glows like a flaming torch.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let's light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future.

Thank you.


CLARIFICATION: Address by PM Netanyahu at the Institute for National
Security Studies 29/06/2014

...Maintaining the demilitarization of the Palestinian state must be inIsrael's hands. Otherwise, it will simply be unsustainable.
I believe that we must apply this updated concept to our arrangement withthe Palestinians: Palestinian political and economic control in theterritory governed by them, in parallel to Israeli security activity on theground in accordance with the operational requirements to ensure that theterritory is free of terrorist elements. The evacuation of Israel's forceswould most likely lead to the collapse the PA and the rise of radicalIslamic forces, just as it did in Gaza. It would also severely endanger theState of Israel.
…Sovereignty can and should coexist with that. It should adapt itself to thesecurity needs. And the true security needs which are becoming clearer andclearer and which you are currently discussing necessitate the continuedIsraeli presence and security activity in the West Bank and along the JordanRiver. Those who fail to understand that ignore reality.


19th Century Russian Photographs of Shiloh

I managed to locate three photographs at a Russian archive of Shiloh from the end of the 19th century.




Two panorama scenes and one of Jam'a A-Sattin, with the lintel in situ, which is now being excavated.

And I am fairly sure this is of Wali Yeitim:



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Islamists Are Dangerous Especially for Jews

Religion can be irrational, especially when manipulated for political ends.  For example, the matter of the usurption by Muhammed of Jewish rights as recorded in Surah 33:25-27

And Allah repelled those who disbelieved, in their rage, not having obtained any good. And sufficient was Allah for the believers in battle, and ever is Allah Powerful and Exalted in Might.

And He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Scripture from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts [so that] a party you killed, and you took captive a party.

And He caused you to inherit their land and their homes and their properties and a land which you have not trodden. And ever is Allah , over all things, competent.

If you read Arabic:

 وَرَدَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِغَيْظِهِمْ لَمْ يَنَالُوا خَيْرًا ۚ وَكَفَى اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الْقِتَالَ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ قَوِيًّا عَزِيزًا
وَأَنزَلَ الَّذِينَ ظَاهَرُوهُم مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ مِن صَيَاصِيهِمْ وَقَذَفَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الرُّعْبَ فَرِيقًا تَقْتُلُونَ وَتَأْسِرُونَ فَرِيقً
وَأَوْرَثَكُمْ أَرْضَهُمْ وَدِيَارَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُمْ وَأَرْضًا لَّمْ تَطَئُوهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرًا

More on the background here, inlcuding these topics:-

...traditional Muslims summarily hate all non-Muslims, period. However, they hate Jews more than anybody else on Earth...This hatred has nothing to do with land claims about Israel, which are false claims made throughout the Muslim world.  The Muslim hatred of Jews pre-dates the existence of the modern state of Israel by some 1400 years and is based on verses in the Qur’an and in the hadiths. From earliest childhood on, Muslim youngsters are brainwashed to believe that Jews are the worst enemy of Allah, with Christians, polytheists, and Hindus coming next. The rationale for this hatred is that everyone must accept Islam, since Muslims believe that it is superior to all other religions and Islam is the only true religion on Earth.

Islamic Supremacy

Verses from the Qur’an are specifically aimed at Jews. Since Jews were the first religious group to refuse conversion – the first Muslim failure – the rage against them is intense.

Hadiths Calling For The Killing Of Jews

Kill The Jew Behind The Stone:

Eradications of Jews from Arabia:

The Massacre of Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe:

The Massacre of the Jewish tribe in Khybar, (a city north of Medina):

Deception And Assassination of the Prominent Jewish Leader, Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf:

The Killing of a Jewish poetess for Taunting The Prophet of Islam:

The Assassination of Abu Rafi,’ another prominent Jewish leader:

The Blood Money System in Islamic Sharia Shows Contempt for Jews:

Jews are not eligible for blood money compensation


An Actor's Opinion

An actor was asked:

You signed the Toronto Declaration back in 2009 opposing the Israeli occupation of Gaza, and Israel is back in the news. What's your take on the current situation there?
And he replied:
Sadly, very little has changed in terms of the free rein that the government of Israel is given by the U.S. and other influential governments in terms of their handling of the Palestinian question. Sadly, too, the violent acts from a small minority of Palestinian terrorists also continue unabated. No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism, but if anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government’s acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored. Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near seeing either of these happening in the mainstream U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

If there is any state terrorism, it is to be found in the Palestinian Authority.  And censored is the last word anyone can use in the face of an overwhelming media platform provided to everyone, including actors, to vent on Israel.  If there is any even-handed reporting, it will not be found when Israel is the subject.


Jordan's King Deceives UN

So spoke King Abdullah II at the Summit on Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts - United Nations Security Council, New York, US on 24 September 2014

Jordan has taken a lead in interfaith initiatives. We are working now on introducing a Security Council resolution that will address the systematic targeting of religious communities.

Did those interfaith initiatives include Jewish religious aspects as relating to the Temple Mount?

Is the Jordanian Waqf not targetting the Jews vis-a-vis the Temple Mount? 

Does not Article 9 of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty not obligate the King and his kingdom 

"to provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance...to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace."

He also had this to say at the Plenary Session of the 69th United Nations General Assembly
New York, US on 24 September 2014:
Jordan strongly opposes threats to Jerusalem’s Arab Muslim and Christian identity. As Hashemite custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian Holy Sites, I will continue to oppose any violation of Al Aqsa Mosque’s sanctity.

So, King Abdullah II, what's it to be?


White Kittel Unnerves Islamist

The reaction of Islamists to the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount on the Thursday, a permitted day by the authorities, dress in the kittel worn for the Day of Judgment:

Yesterday, for the first time on the morning of the Hebrew year, Zionists were breaking in a celebratory way into the Haram in special dresses, and in a manner that violates the religious traditions. Dozens of Zionists broke into Al-Aqsa today led by the radical journalist of Arnon SEGAL dressed in a manner considered defiling for celebration in its courtyards and on its rock?!...
This dress is called blocks [?], means robe, a white robe usually worn by male orthodox Jews on special occasions and on their marriage...

The view:


Santorum's Sanity

Remember Ted Cruz and his leaving a platform when anti-Israel groups barracked him?

Well, someone thinks he was wrong:

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday criticized comments US Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made earlier this month in a speech that critics have said was unnecessarily confrontational toward a Middle Eastern Christian group.
"We have a responsibility to stand by people who are being persecuted," Santorum told Business Insider in a wide-ranging interview in New York. "This shouldn't be an ideological test — well, you have to agree with us on all of these things, or else we won't be with you. No, we're going to be with you if you are a religious minority that's being persecuted by a radical Muslim majority. Period."
..."To go in and to say something like, 'If you don't stand with Israel, I don't stand with you' — I find it hard to suggest that we're not going to stand with people who are being religiously persecuted and slaughtered because they don't share the same point of view we do with respect to Israel being the best friend of Christians in the world," Santorum said. 
Santorum stressed his support for Israel but said he would not let that prevent him from supporting a group on a separate issue if it didn't entirely share his view. 
"I don't accept that," he said. "I'm going to stand with them whether they see Israel as their best friend or not. And I think a lot of Israelis will stand with them even if they don't see Israel as their best friend. ... We need to stand with them irrespective of their viewpoints on the state of Israel. And this is being said by someone — you won't find anybody who's stronger on the state of Israel than I am."

But if he supports a group that downs Israel, the only country in the Middle East whose governing system, culture and judicial tradition saves Christians, isn't that an approach that is self-defeating?

Santorum has lost some sanity?


Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Bruce Blakeman Campaign

I attended the dinner for Republican Congressional contender Bruce Blakeman with an outstanding groups of Israel politicians and activists

and am following the campaign.


A Tale of Two Speeches

I selected excerpts from the "Full Official Text of President Mahmoud Abbas' Speech at the UNGA, to be delivered on September 26 with my underlining.

But there was a problem.  A different speech, in part, was delivered on September 27.

First, the pre-version:

The Question Palestine is intricately linked with...the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948...

...Over the past year we did not leave a door to be knocked or channel to be tested or path to be taken and we did not ignore any formal or informal party of influence and stature to be addressed...all of these sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government...the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people and all of the brutality of aggression and racial discrimination against our people that this policy entails.  This policy, which constitutes a breach of international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions, is the primary cause for the failure of the peace process...

...a horrific picture about the size of the settlement campaign, which the Israeli government does not hesitate to boast about and which it continues to execute through the systematic confiscation of the Palestinian lands...The occupying Power also continues to undertake excavations that threaten our holy places, and its military checkpoints prevent our citizens from getting access to their mosques and churches, and it continues to besiege the Holy City with a ring of settlements imposed to separate the Holy City from the rest of the Palestinian cities.

...At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling, persisting with its war of aggression of three years ago on Gaza, which resulted in massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques, and the thousands of martyrs and wounded.

...In recent years, the criminal actions of armed settler militias, who enjoy the special protection of the occupation army, has intensified with the perpetration of frequent attacks against our people, targeting their homes, schools, universities, mosques, fields, crops and trees. Despite our repeated warnings, the occupying Power has not acted to curb these attacks and we hold them fully responsible for the crimes of the settlers.

...the 1948 Al-Nakba, one of the worst operations of uprooting, destruction and removal of a vibrant and cohesive society that had been contributing in a pioneering and leading way in the cultural, educational and economic renaissance of the Arab Middle East.

...we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.

...1. The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip...and with the achievement of a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194...

2. The PLO and the Palestinian people adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism...

4. Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation Wall...

5. ...We only aim to de-legitimize the settlement activities and the occupation and apartheid and the logic of ruthless force, and we believe that all the countries of the world stand with us in this regard.

...we have been strengthening what we seeking to be the features of our State: from the preservation of security for the citizen and public order; to the promotion of judicial authority and rule of law; to strengthening the role of women via legislation, laws and participation; to ensuring the protection of public freedoms and strengthening the role of civil society institutions; to institutionalizing rules and regulations for ensuring accountability and transparency in the work of our Ministries and departments; to entrenching the pillars of democracy as the basis for the Palestinian political life.

...It is a moment of truth and my people are waiting to hear the answer of the world.  Will it allow Israel to continue its occupation, the only occupation in the world?  Will it allow Israel to remain a State above the law and accountability?  Will it allow Israel to continue rejecting the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations and the International Court of Justice and the positions of the overwhelming majority of countries in the world?

...I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough....

And now, from the actual one:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people...the occupying Power has chosen to defy the entire world by launching its war on Gaza, by which its jets and tanks brutally assassinated lives and devastated the homes, schools and dreams of thousands of Palestinian children, women and men and in reality destroying the remaining hopes for peace...

...I have...cautioned that the colonial occupying Power was preparing for a new Nakba

Here we find ourselves, full of grief, regret and bitterness, raising the same long-standing conclusions and questions after a new war, the third war waged by the racist occupying State in five years against Gaza, this small, densely-populated and precious part of our country.

The difference today is that the scale of this genocidal crime is larger...this recent aggression is unmatched in modern times...This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world...

We must also assume that no one will wonder anymore why extremism is rising...I affirm in front of you that the Palestinian people hold steadfast to their legitimate right to defend themselves against the Israeli war machine and to their legitimate right to resist this colonial, racist Israeli occupation...we will maintain the traditions of our national struggle established by the Palestinian fedayeen and to which we committed ourselves since the onset of the Palestinian revolution in early 1965.

...Amidst a torrent of massacres and storms of massive destruction, we witnessed the peoples of the world gathering in huge demonstrations...manifestations of true solidarity constituted an important message to those who were facing genocide in Gaza, helping them to feel they felt that they were not alone.

and on the question of Jerusalem, he was more specific

The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity and character of the Holy City, focusing on Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening grave consequences. At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted with their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, churches, properties and olive trees.

As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace.

So, what happened in between?


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A "Power" Letter

Was this letter actually composed?

September 23, 2014


In Israel’s letter to the United Nations Security Council of September 20, 2014, and other statements made by Israel, including its letter to the United Nations Security Council of June 25, 2014, Israel has made clear that it is facing a serious threat of continuing attacks from Hamas coming out of safe havens in Gaza. These safe havens are used by Hamas for training, planning, financing, and carrying out attacks across Gaza-Israel borders and against Israel’s people. For these reasons, the Government of Israel has asked that the United States lead international efforts to strike Hamas terror sites and military strongholds in Gaza in order to end the continuing attacks on Israel, to protect Israeli citizens, and ultimately to enable Israel forces to perform their task of regaining control of its borders.

Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza are a threat not only to Israel, but also to many other counties, including the United States and our partners in the region and beyond. States must be able to defend themselves, in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, as reflected in Article 51 if the UN Charter, when, as is the case here, the government of the State where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory for such attacks. The Palestinian Authority regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe-havens effectively itself. Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Gaza in order to eliminate the ongoing threat to Israel, including by protecting its citizens from further attacks and by enabling the forces of the IDF to regain control of Israel’s borders. In addition, the United States has initiated military actions against al-Qaida elements and Salafists in Sinai to address terrorist threats that they pose to the United States and our partners and allies.

I request that you circulate this letter as a document of the Security Council.

Samantha J. Power

His Excellency
Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York, NY
Of course not.

This one was:-

September 23, 2014


In Iraq’s letter to the United Nations Security Council of September 20, 2014, and other statements made by Iraq, including its letter to the United Nations Security Council of June 25, 2014, Iraq has made clear that it is facing a serious threat of continuing attacks from ISIL coming out of safe havens in Syria. These safe havens are used by ISIL for training, planning, financing, and carrying out attacks across Iraqi borders and against Iraq’s people. For these reasons, the Government of Iraq has asked that the United States lead international efforts to strike ISIL sites and military strongholds in Syria in order to end the continuing attacks on Iraq, to protect Iraqi citizens, and ultimately to enable and arm Iraqi forces to perform their task of regaining control of the Iraqi borders.

ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria are a threat not only to Iraq, but also to many other counties, including the United States and our partners in the region and beyond. States must be able to defend themselves, in accordance with the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, as reflected in Article 51 if the UN Charter, when, as is the case here, the government of the State where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory for such attacks. The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe-havens effectively itself. Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing ISIL threat to Iraq, including by protecting Iraqi citizens from further attacks and by enabling Iraqi forces to regain control of Iraq’s borders. In addition, the United States has initiated military actions against al-Qaida elements in Syria known as the Khorasan Group to address terrorist threats that they pose to the United States and our partners and allies.

I request that you circulate this letter as a document of the Security Council.

Samantha J. Power

His Excellency
Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York, NY

Viva la difference.