Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Aggression, Desecration, Racism

Give me a break.

The Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of the Palestinian reported [here also] that the Israeli occupation forces and settlers have carried out about 124 violation and aggression against the holy sites during the month of April / May last.

The Minister of Religious Endowments, Joseph Adeis,

in a press statement on Monday that the Israeli attacks "centered" in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron (south of Jerusalem).

Sheikh Adeis pointed out that the occupation authorities prevented the call to prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque 63 time, pointing out that it continued apostasies on Waqf land in Jericho, Hebron and the shrine "Joseph" in Nablus.

The Palestinian minister said that nearly 1800 Jewish settlers "stormed and desecrated the" Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of April, Msttrda "which raise the issue during the last four months of 4800 to the settlers."

He pointed out that the occupation authorities "stepped up their actions racism" against the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque and internal and external courtyards.

Msttrda: "The government of Israel is seeking to bring the Jewish character of the maximum through the daily incursions, and Talmudic prayers, and the attack on the marabouts and detention."

Adeis He stressed that "Israel" has taken a series of measures to "reduce the Palestinian presence" in the city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and allowed the settlers to exercise complete their rituals freely and under guard.


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Elie Wiesel and the Irgun

An earlier, more raw, version of Elie Weisel's The Night has been found.

I wonder what many people, who perhaps may not know of his 1945-148 activities, would think.

He was an Irgunist in France.  Not a fighter, but a propagandist.

Elie Wiesel's service in the Irgun is to be found in his All Rivers Run to the Sea, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995 from p. 157 onwards

After the November 29, 1947 UN Partition resolution, Wiesel found the Paris office of the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf, ציון אין קאמף: ביולעטין געווידמעט דעם ארץ ישראל באפרייאונגס- קאמף
and offered his services. He was accepted.

He describes his vision of the underground “resistance” at this time so on p. 162:

Physical courage, self-sacrifice, and solidarity could be found even in the lower depths; total compassion, rejection of humiliation either suffered or imposed, and altruism in the absolute sense were found only among those who fought for an idea and an ideal that went beyond themselves. Nobility of action was found only among those who espoused the cause of the weak and oppressed, the prisoners of evil and misfortune.

For Wiesel, being in the Irgun in Paris was:

“risking neither death nor imprisonment. Even deportation from France was unlikely. Stateless persons were rarely deported, that was one of the few advantages of the status.” (p. 162)

His introduction to the Irgun is described so:

The following Monday I presented myself at the editorial office. Joseph, the boss, showed me to a desk, handed me an article in Hebrew, and asked me to translate it. The article, published in the Irgun’s newspaper in Israel, was a denunciation of David Ben-Gurion and the Haganah and a paean to Menachem Begin, commander in chief of the Irgun. I translated the Hebrew words into Yiddish without grasping their meaning. I knew that the Haganah was fighting the British as hard as the Irgun was, and I couldn’t understand why the two movements hated each other so much. The article also mentioned the Lehi (the so-called Stern Gang), but what was its role?  (p. 163)

Wiesel’s mentor, Shushani, was also caught up in the Jewish assaults in Palestine:

Though he abhorred violence, he was hardly indifferent to the Jewish struggle in Palestine. Whenever the British arrested a member of an underground organization, Shushani tried to get information about his fate. One day he seemed extremely agitated. He interrupted our lesson, pacing, bumping into walls, blowing his nose, panting and wiping his forehead … It was the day a member of the Lehi and a member of the Irgun committed suicide together just a few hours before their scheduled execution. (.164)

Wiesel has a friend who enlisted in the Lechi:

How and why did François  suddenly decide to join the struggle for an independent Jewish state? Had he, too, knocked on the Jewish Agency’s door on the Avenue de Wagram? Though he joined the Lehi, and I belonged to the Irgun, our friendship was unaffected. In any case, each of us kept his activities to himself. We both agreed that the less we knew about each other, the better.6 No one asked questions at the synagogue I attended on the Rue Pave’e. To them I was a student like any other. If only they knew. (p. 165)

And he mentions someone I got to know and wehose son and daughter I was active tih:

Through work I met Shlomo Friedrich, the leader of Betar, Jabotinsky’s Youth Movement. He was a tall, vigorous man with a rapid gait, a former prisoner in the Gulag. […] The process of becoming a journalist involved attending press conferences, public meetings, and demonstrations, and offered a chance to meet such “colleagues” as Henri Bulawko. As we talked, we discovered that we had been in Auschwitz-Buna at the same time. And I met Leon Leneman, one of the first to sound the alarm for Soviet Jews. […] Envoys from the Irgun came to the editorial offices every day. All were from Palestine and I was supposed to know only their aliases. Their commander, Elie Farshtei, was shrouded in mystery [he is Eli Tavin- YM], but, after swearing me to secrecy, Joseph told me of an incident from his past. In 1946 … he was captured and tortured by agents of the Haganah […]  I was flattered when Elie Farshtei stopped by to ask whether I wasn’t working too hard, whether my studies weren’t suffering. I told him that everything was fine, and that I hoped he was pleased with my “contribution” to “Zion in Struggle.” […] In the corridors I might have encountered a young Jewish girl from Vienna, beautiful and daring, who transported documents and provided a hiding place for guns: my future wife. (p. 166-7)

He continues there:

The Zionist organizations in the Diaspora worked tirelessly to supply our brothers in Palestine with political and financial support. In France and in the United States as well, we were mobilized. Young and old, rich and not so rich, all felt the fever our ancestors had known in antiquity. Representatives of all the resistance groups worked day and night, though separately, procuring arms and ammunition, raising funds, recruiting volunteers who would set out for the various fronts of the nascent Jewish state. Elie [Farshtei] and his aides no longer found time to sleep. Out of solidarity, neither did we. (p.167)

Deep down, I had reservations. Military life was not for me. […] what if I died in combat? I hadn’t yet done anything with my life, had written nothing of the visions and obsessions I bore within myself, hadn’t yet shared them with anyone. […] Nevertheless, I decided to heed the call to arms.
Nicholas and I signed up at the recruitment office … (p.167-8)

Wiesel at rear in Ambloy, (Loir-et-Cher) France before arriving in Paris:


Thursday, April 28, 2016

It? It Who? It What?

To what or of what does the "it" in this headline refer?

Jordan is not acting responsibly at the Temple Mount.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


American knowledge and understanding of foreign affairs:

The boundaries of the proposed new Arab and Jewish states do not satisfy Zionist aspirations from either the political or the economic viewpoint, and the whole plan of partition with economic union is totally unacceptable to the Arabs. Although frequent reference has been made to “sacrifices” accepted in the interest of compromise, the partition plan was strongly supported by the Jewish Agency for Palestine and by various Zionist organizations favoring the establishment of a sovereign Jewish political state in Palestine. It did not, however, have the support of the Irgun, the Revisionists or the Stern gang (the so-called leftist groups), whose influence among the Jews of Palestine appears to be increasing.

That was from here in January 1948.


Oh, Look, A Palestine Solution

Proposed March 1944

  • 1. With the failure of twenty-five years of government in Palestine, a radically different settlement, freed from the commitments arising from World War I, seems to be required.
  • 2. A Trusteeship for Palestine exercised by the three religious groups would be a failure. However, there is moral and political justification for the proposal that the three principal religious groups should be associated with the future plan of government.
  • 3. It is recommended that Palestine be constituted as an International Territory under a charter; that a great power be appointed Trustee; that a Board of Overseers representing the three world religions be set up as an advisory body. The reasons and conditions that support this recommendation are as follows:
    • a. The administrator of Palestine must be capable of firm, decisive and prompt action. This requires experienced officials under central control.
    • b. Firm, decisive and prompt action cannot be taken if sectarian and political differences are allowed to exercise their divisive and delaying influences.
    • c. The political and economic problems being highly complex and interwoven with hitherto irreconcilable religious differences, only a centralized and experienced rulership will guarantee justice.
  • 4. It is recommended that the Trusteeship should be awarded to Great Britain by the United Nations Organization under the charter. The charter would recognize the interest in Palestine of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. It would establish the Arab and Jewish communities as autonomous political entities with wide powers of local self-government.
  • 5. The advantages of the proposed settlement are:
    • a. It would eliminate the difficulties that arise because of the conflicting commitments of the past.
    • b. It would place Palestine outside the bounds of both nationalist and imperialist ambitions.
    • c. It would provide means by which to solve the basic economic problems.
    • d. It offers a better prospect than any other plan yet proposed for cooperation in the government of Palestine and for eventual self-government of the people of Palestine.
Another example of State Department discombobulation.


I Found a Real Palestinian



Monday, April 25, 2016

Freedom House Is A House of Horrors

Did you know that Freedom House has downgraded Israel's media status?

And why?

Israel declined due to the growing impact of Yisrael [Israel, actually] Hayom, whose owner-subsidized business model endangered the stability of other media outlets, and the unchecked expansion of paid content—some of it government funded—whose nature was not clearly identified to the public. (p. 20)

That reads as if someone from Yedioth Ahronot, in the past a virtual monopoly on the media scene, had composed that.  Or someone from Haaretz.

Every newspaper is owned.  Haaretz has a foreign investor.  And all owners, at some point, subsidize their outlet.  Does that mean it, too, should under a certain impact?


Deir Yassin, June 12, 1939

The Palestine Post, June 13, 1939.


Say It Ain't So, PA

What will liberals do now?

As if we didn't know.

Some details:

The Palestinian security services in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were responsible for 2,578 arbitrary detentions and summons to appear in 2015, documents the Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights in a new report—including 228 that resulted in torture.

"Many people are reluctant to talk about human rights violations by Palestinian security forces because it will ‘deepen the division’ between the two main factions, Hamas and Fatah," says Sandra Owen, a political adviser to the Euro-Med Monitor. "...Palestinians have too many external oppressors to be oppressors of their own people, no matter who does it.”

The Euro-Med report, "Strangulation Twice: the Oppressive Practices of Palestinian Security Services," documents 1,274 arbitrary detentions in the West Bank in 2015 and 1,089 summonses to appear in front of the police or “interior security.” Most of these actions by the Palestinian Authority targeted individuals affiliated with Hamas or who opposed PA policies. Among those arrested were about 35 journalists and human rights activists, 476 university students, and 67 teachers/professors.

...During detention, 179 individuals reported not being shown an arrest warrant, confiscation of belongings and even beatings with sticks and solitary confinement. Medical reports confirmed the systematic practice of torture in Palestinian Authority jails in the West Bank.

They'll find a way to blame it on the Jews/Zionists.



Another Traffic Accident

One of the constants in the public diplomacy campaign waged against Israel is the willingness, if not enthusiastic desire, to either lie outright or at the very least, assert unproven and wild accusations before any review is conducted by the Arab side.

Two years ago there was a tragic incident when  a Jewish driver struck two young Arab girls. I blogged it then.  
It happened near where I live at the nearby Sinjil village.

Anyone who has driven that stretch of road knows that it is one-lane each way, no sidewalk or any proper or safe walkway along the road.  And it happened at dusk

Here's from what the Permanent Observer Mission of "Palestine" submitted at the time to the UN:



Pursuant to my letter of 14 October 2014, I am compelled to place on record our absolute condemnation of the criminal, deadly actions being perpetrated by extremist terrorist settlers illegally transferred by Israel, the occupying Power, to the Palestinian land, as well as continued Israeli incitement and provocations against holy sites, in particular in East Jerusalem, in what appear to be a deliberate attempts to exacerbate already-volatile tensions and create further instability.

On a nearly daily basis, Israeli settlers continue with their terror rampages, persisting with attacks on Palestinian civilians, destruction of properties, and theft of land and natural resources.  The latest terrorist crime by a settler occurred yesterday, 20 October 2014, when a setter ran over two young girls who were walking home from school in the West Bank town of Sinjil  in a so-called “hit and run” accident.  Kindergarten student Inas Khalil, age 5, and Nilin Asfour, age 8, had just gotten off the school bus and were walking to their mothers who were waiting for them on the opposite side of the street when an Israeli settler’s car rammed directly at them and sped away.  Inas and Nilin were both rushed to the hospital.   Tragically, 5-year-old Inas was pronounced dead a couple of hours later, while Nilin still remains in critical condition.  We condemn this brutal act of Israeli settler terrorism, and we call on the international community to unequivocally condemn this and all other such attacks and terror against Palestinian children under Israeli occupation.

It should also be mentioned, that this so-called “hit and run” accident has become a reoccurring deadly practice by Israeli settlers against the Palestinian civilian population.

This morning, there was another accident there.  This time, an Arab woman man was struck (I do not as yet know her his medical condition).

But there was a difference.

The driver was an Arab.

Let me know if it makes the news and how it will be reported.



It has been reported here as

وفاة مواطن في حادث دهس وقع قرب قرية سنجل شمال رام الله

The death of a citizen in an accident hit and felled near the village of Sinjil north of Ramallah

No "terrorism".  No purposeful killing.

Only Arabs involved.

And here was the traffic jam I was caught in:


Sunday, April 24, 2016

"If We Must Offend One Side..."

One of the very specific claims anti-Zionists (and, of course, anti-Semites) from Great Britain charge Israel with is the underground militant (I would have written "terror" but I understand that term is just not on anymore) campaign waged by the Irgun and the Lechi.  Usually, but not always, the Hagana and Palmach seem to get lost in the antipathy scale.

Not only do these people not like Jews and truly can't stand Zionists but that Jews dared shoot at, kill, mine, and even hang British soldiers and policemen who served here in the Mandate of Palestine until 1948 is way too much for them and the Jews are to be hated.

Parallel to this is the assertion that especially after World War II and the loss of so many British lives in the cause to save Jews from the Nazis, that underground struggle was not only wrong and immoral but it was an example of ingratitude for British blood spilled in Europe.

I understand that approach and of course, on a personal level, the families of the almost 400 British officials, political and security who lost their lives during the Mandate as a result of Jewish violence suffered much.

But somehow, these people never seem to grasp what the British directly did just before and during World War II.  The partition plans of Peel and Woodhead, the St. James Conference and the May 17, 1939 White Paper sealed the fate of millions of Jews, confining them to Europe and making Hitler’s job that much easier.  That the Jewish Brigade was only authorized in 1944 and that the railways to concentration camps were never bombed only compounds the situation.

Here are a few lines from Bruce Hoffman’s new book that illustrates the callousness which, to my mind and that of the underground leaders at the time, should explain why the British political establishment deserved rightly what it suffered in Palestine in the 1940s:

We Jews were "offended".

And the response, as the British learnt, was just as offending.  And coming from Jews, quite embarrassing, I presume.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rabid Weinberger

From this interview of Brian Lamb with Sally Denton who wrote The Profiteers on the Bechtel Corporation (and read here from p. 301 on):

So how does -- again Jonathan Pollard play in this book and his relationship to Cap Weinberger and the attitude supposedly of the Bechtel people about Israel?

Well he had -- in his own words and in Wolf Blitzer who wrote a book about him. He had been encouraged to or was inspired to spy for Israel, he was working for Office of Naval Intelligence and came upon information about chemical weapons plants being built by American companies and in Syria and in Iraq and in Libya, and he went to his superior in the navy and told him, you know we've got a treaty with Israel they need to know that, you know their enemies are armed -- getting armed for chemical weapons, their neighbors and the -- he was told by his officer -- his boss basically who -- he -- as he recounts it, the boss laughed and said, you know we can't tell the Jews about this, they're sensitive about gas, which was a reference obviously to the mustard gas that the Nazis used.

And so there was some impetus on his part to start spying for Israel, which he did for next, I think 18 months during that time. The -- he pled guilty and was expecting to get a two year sentence, that was the plea bargain that he had made with the US government, but when he pled guilty he was given a life sentence. And the justification for that was a sentencing memorandum written by Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense who, you know, I mean Pollard would have been in his defense department at that time, about the extensive damage that had been done by what Pollard gave to the Israelis. And I think the justification was also for the life sentence was that he had violated his plea agreement by speaking with Wolf Blitzer who went on to write a book about it.

Cap Weinberger also -- I don't remember the exact legal language but was indicted or found to perjure himself in the whole Iran-Contra thing but was pardoned by George W. -- H. W. Bush. What was -- what's your take on Weinberger's relationship to the Saudi Arabia and also George Shultz?
  Sally Denton
  And Saddam Hussein?

Yes. I -- you know there was a time -- I mean -- I think Weinberger and Shultz represented a direct shift from the American government more toward away from Israel and more toward the Arab states and that was certainly felt by the Israelis at the time, and of course the Israelis were always skeptical of Bechtel dating back to, you know the '40s and '50s and '60s and the Arab boycott. And so there was always some, a little bit of skepticism that the Israelis felt towards Bechtel and Bechtel have never done, here they were building throughout the Middle East but no projects in Israel.

And you think -- do think after your research that there was a direct connection?


The attitude on the part of George Shultz and Cap Weinberger toward Israel.

No I don't think so. I think maybe Cap Weinberger, he was very -- he was rabid on the subject of Israel and George Shultz I think was really a statesman and I think that was -- you know, he was going forward with the policy, he was influencing Reagan and that I think they were in lockstep with each other and I think Cap Weinberger was really kind of a more of a neo-con.