Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Needed: A Commemoration Plaque

While doing some research, I came across a letter written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to the HQ of the Jewish Legion in London at the end of October 1917 while he was with his troops in England:

I found out that while Chenies Street 

is marked by some memorials and history, the fact that the Jewish Legion HQ was at 22 Chenies Street is not marked.

I think a small plaque along the lines of:

During World War I, a building at 22 Chenies Street
served as the Headquarters for the Jewish Legion,
a force of over 5000 Jews who served in the
Royal Fusiliers and fought in Palestine 1918

Isn't that a grand idea?

Who, then, will help?



By the way, as I included in a previous blog post, there is a film clip and it would be wonderful if the building Patterson stands in front at around 1:30 and at 2:12 Jabotinsky appears was that Chenies Street building.

Is there anyone who could check newspaper archives and see if there was a report which mentions the parade which took place on Monday February 4th 1918?

It may have been The Pavillion Theatre in Mile End Road (which actually stood at 193 Whitechapel Road, near the corner with Vallance Road).


Kerry's CNN For the Record with Amanpour

On CNN with London-born, Muslim-raised and Teheran-educated (more on this later) Christiane Amanpour:

QUESTION: I want to stay in the Middle East. You did so much shuttle diplomacy. Basically, yet another administration has not brought peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.


QUESTION: Donald Trump says this is going to be his priority and that his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is an Orthodox Jew, will be a great negotiator and make a peace deal.

While it is fair to note that Kushner is an Orthodox Jew, to make sure we're fair all around, I thought to note Amanpour's personal background as well. In fact, we can add that she is married to a Jew by birth, American James Rubin.

To continue:

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, more power to them if they can do that, Christiane. But you have to have a theory of how you’re going to do that and what compromises are going to be made to do it. I assure you --

QUESTION: Were you wrong about the settlements and --

Now if I was the interviewer, I'd ask Mr. Kerry: "what compromises to you expect the Palestinian Authority to make?  Territories, because isn't the game "territorial compromise"?  

Or, perhaps, the PA needs to fulfill commitments they signed in previous agreements that until today that have not fully carried out?


SECRETARY KERRY: I assure you – let me just make this so clear – that when you say another administration has failed to do this – no, no. The leaders of the two countries involved – one country and one entity, the Palestinian Authority – have failed to come to the table and reach agreement. You know the old saying – you can lead a horse to water, you can’t make it drink. Now, we did a lot of leading to a lot of water, but people decided they weren’t ready for one reason or another to move. Now --

QUESTION: And one reason or another is what you described --

SECRETARY KERRY: And that is one of the reasons why we at the United Nations made the decision we made, because we believe that Israel has a major choice and the Palestinians have a major choice. The choice we put to Israel is if you want to be a Jewish state and you want to be a democracy, you cannot be a unitary state. And right now, they’re marching down the road, because of the increased settlements, because of the absence of a legitimate negotiation, towards that possibility. And all we’re trying to do --

Why not ask: "well, why can't they be a 'unitary state'? Are you sure the demographics are negative?"

QUESTION: So you said --

SECRETARY KERRY: -- is speak as a good, good, solid best friend of Israel. And we’ve done more for this government, more for Israel, than any other administration with the Iron Dome and the $38 billion --

QUESTION: Do you think they’re ungrateful? Do you think Prime Minister Netanyahu is ungrateful?

SECRETARY KERRY: No, I’m not characterizing it in any way whatsoever except to say that it – we speak out of a caring and concern for Israel as a democratic and Jewish state, and we also speak out of concern for the Palestinians, who will not be able to satisfy their aspirations ever without the ability to be able to create a state. So both have a huge interest in being able to move this forward, and we wish the administration coming in all the luck in the world if they find a different formula that will actually work. But I will be stunned if the Arab world writ large and the Palestinians in particular – because everybody has said the parties have to arrive at an agreement – I guarantee you the Palestinians are not going to agree to less than a state based on 1967 lines with swaps. They’re just not going to do that.

Did she do a follow-up and ask: if the end is a state based on the 1967 lines with swaps, what compromise is that? After all, they started the 1967 war with the terror campaign of the PLO beginning on January 1, 1965? 

Did she ask him about Israel and Iran?

No, she didn't.

Another empty Amanpour interview.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

What is a "Palestinian Citizen"?

I spotted this and it piqued my curiosity:

In the past, we would have read "Israeli Arabs demonstrate...".

They are not "Arabs" but "Palestinians".

Their nationality, even if born in Israel, is not Israeli.

If you check here, you'll learn that

There has never been a sovereign Palestinian authority to explicitly define who is a Palestinian, but the term evolved from a geographic description of citizenship to a description of geographic citizenship with an Arab ethnicity.

But if you go back a few lines there, you'll have to wade through some gobbledygook:

Palestinian people have a history that is often linked to the history of the Arab Nation, which is linked to the rise of Islam. When Islam was started by Muhammad in Mecca in AD 610, Christianity was the major religion of Palestine. Soon after the rise of Islam, Palestine was conquered and brought into the rapidly expanding Islamic empire...After toppling the Mamluk state in 1517, the Ottoman Turks took control of most of the Arab world. Palestine existed within the Ottoman Empire as two districts, also referred to as Sanjaks. The legal origin of citizenship in the Middle East was born of the Ottoman Citizenship Law of 19 January 1869...

So, there's a fictitious nationality based on a fictitious people in a fictitious country.

The Muslim Arabs conquered the Land of Israel that had been conquered by the Romans whose empire then became the Byzantine Christian Empire. It wasn't a country but just to districts.

But it gets better:

The Palestinian National Authority drafted, but did not pass, a piece of legislation in 1995 outlining its Citizenship Law. Article 7 of this legislation defines a Palestinian as anyone who "(1) was a holder of Palestinian citizenship (other than Jews) before 15 May 1948; (2) was born to a Palestinian father; (3) was born in Palestine to a Palestinian mother even if the citizenship of the father is not known; (4) was born in Palestine to unknown parents;...

So, to be "Palestinian" is not only a fiction but a racist status.

And liberal/progressives support this.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Clare Hollingworth on A/The Jewish National Home

Clare Hollingworth has died.

One of the most famous and best of the female war journalists.

She also covered Palestine after World War II, narrowly escaping injury or worse when the Irgun attacked the offices of the Government Secretariat and the General Army HQ esconced in the expropriated southern wing of the King David Hotel.

In her book (here), however, she tries to be a political interpreter of history:

I fail to understand her linguistic comment.

Can there be two Jewish National Homes?

What difference, politically, geographically, semantically or otherwise, would the "the" add that an "a" doesn't?

By the way:

After the war, Hollingworth, by now working for the Observer and the Economist, married Geoffrey Hoare, the Times's Middle East correspondent.The couple were just 300 yards from Jerusalem's King David Hotel when it was bombed in 1946, killing 91 people.The attack left her with a hatred of the man behind the attack, the Irgun leader Menachem Begin, who eventually became prime minister of Israel and won the Nobel Peace Prize."I would not shake a hand with so much blood on it," she explained.


Mispurposeful Language

UK Secretary of State Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson in Parliament at Question Time yesterday:

We supported it only because it contained new language pointing out the infamy of terrorism that Israel suffers every day, not least on Sunday, when there was an attack in Jerusalem. I was glad that the resolution identified that aspect of the crisis in the middle east, 

For Illustrative purposes only

The actual language:

Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons, 

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,  

...Calls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard, and calls for compliance with obligations under international law for the strengthening of ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including through existing security coordination, and to clearly condemn all acts of terrorism;  

"New language"?


Actually the wording is purposeful ("all"; "acts of violence against civilians") in its intent to allow the Arabs to claim Israel is engaged in terrorism.*

He fools himself.  And the British House of Parliament.

Well, at least there was this exchange:

Mrs Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet) (Con)

Will the Secretary of State agree to meet me and colleagues to discuss our grave concerns about resolution 2334, which my constituents believe will make peace in the middle east harder to achieve by imposing a complex set of preconditions that the Palestinians will use to avoid serious engagement in negotiation?

Boris Johnson

I am very grateful for that question, and I am happy to offer exactly such a consultation with colleagues. I know that the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), has already undertaken to do just that.


For those in the dark, the PA considers a "Jewish settler" and a "Jewish settlement" an act of state terror justifying their acts of "resistance" (actually, terror).

The text is quite ambiguous and permits the Arabs to act against Jews.


What Israelis Are Thinking

From the December 2016 Peace Index Poll

The cause of the Security Council’s condemnatory resolution: hostility to Israel: A small majority of the Jewish public (53%) thinks that the condemnatory resolution on settlement building in the territories that the UN Security Council recently adopted stemmed mainly from hostility to Israel. Only 28.5% said it stemmed mainly from a principled position in keeping with international law. A segmentation by political camp reveals that on the right as a whole and in the center, the majority ascribed the resolution to hostility to Israel (right—64%, moderate right—64%, center—45%, compared to 40% who thought otherwise).


Israel should not refrain from building in the wake of the Security Council resolution: To the question “In the wake of the Security Council’s condemnatory resolution, in your opinion should or should not Israel cease the construction in the territories?” 62% of the Jewish public replied that the building should continue


The building in the territories will continue under Trump: Seventy-one percent of the Jewish public assesses that under the Trump administration Israel will be able to keep building in the settlements


One state can be both democratic and Jewish: A majority of the Jewish public (58%) rejects U.S. secretary of state Kerry’s assertion in his recent speech that if there is no two-state solution and “the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic—it cannot be both.” 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Paris Conference and Its Echo from the Past

Everyone is getting very worried about next week's Paris Conference and the plan they might adopt.

According to a draft, its elements include

both sides to restate their commitment to the two-state solution, and to disavow official voices on their side that reject this solution;

each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps 

restate the validity of the Arab Peace Initiative 

reaffirm that they will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations; also reaffirm that they will distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;

welcome the prospect of closer cooperation between the Quartet and Arab League members to further the objectives of this Declaration and enhance, if necessary, existing mechanisms;

Rafael Medoff lists 10 previous "plans" that have been proposed by outsiders.

And I found an old echo of all this from 62 years ago, the Alpha Plan.

An early (evidently first) British version of the plan was drafted by Evelyn Shuckburgh—who was in charge of Middle East policy in the Foreign Office—following the conclusion of the treaty with Egypt at the end of 1954. The purpose was to work out an Arab-Israeli settlement...The main principles of the plan were: close co-operation with the United States; ‘visible concessions’ by Israel (territory and refugees [resettlement in Israel of 75,000 Palestinian refugees]); ‘guarantees of security’ by the major powers; an understanding worked out mainly with Egypt; and the definition of the objective as ‘an overall settlement’, not ‘peace’.

The essential elements included these details:

linking Egypt to Jordan by ceding to them two triangles in the Negev without cutting Israel's link to Eilat; ceding to Jordan some 400 square miles of land owned by villages on the Jordanian side of the border; ceding to Jordan certain problematic areas like Mt. Scopus and the Semakh triangle; ceding to Jordan an equivalent area south and west of Hebron should the Gaza Strip be given to Israel; dividing the demilitarized zones between Israel and its neighbours; the repatriation of a considerable number of refugees, to be agreed upon between Israel and the two Western powers; compensation for the rest, financed with international help; an agreement on the distribution of the Jordan waters as well as on Jerusalem; terminating the economic boycott which was based on a state of war; and Western guarantees for the new frontiers. Economic assistance was planned to increase incentives for the acceptance of the plan.

Anthony Eden's Guildhall speech added the pressure. 

Israel, and Egypt, rejected the plan.

A lesson learned.


Off the Moral Road With Byroade

I became aware of Henry A. Byroade, chosen in 1952 by President Harry Truman to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, due to Dr. Rafael Medoff's articles (here and here).  Here he is:

So I researched a bit more.

On May 17, 1953, in Lebanon, American State Department officials convened to discuss several matters relating to UNRWA's operations for "Palestinian Refugees".  John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, was present.

Here's an insightful snippet from United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. The Near and Middle East (in two parts) (1952-1954) on thre man's thinking:

At another meeting on April 1, 1953, at which time Syrian protests were registered against German reparations being awarded to Israel, Byroade expressed his personal opinion to Syria's ambassador:

Note there the link of a supposed similarity between the situation of Jewish refugees as a result of what Germany did in World War II to the Jews, aka the Holocaust, and the situation of Arabs who were refugees from the Palestine Mandate as a result of them and their allies violating UN decisions and launching a war of eradication and extermination against the Jews of Eretz-Yisrael,  That is an immoral comparison as much as it is historically incorrect but was adopted by a senior State Department official.

That same "balance" was at the root of Prime Minister Menachem Begin's retort to German Chancellor as recorded here:

While visiting Saudi Arabia in April 1981, Schmidt made some unguarded remarks about the Israel-Palestine conflict that succeeded in aggravating the always-delicate relations between Israel and West Germany. Asked by a reporter about the moral aspect of German-Israeli relations, he stated that Israel was not in a position to criticize Germany due to its handling of Palestinians, and "That won't do. And in particular, it won't do for a German living in a divided nation and laying moral claim to the right of self-determination for the German people. One must then recognize the moral claim of the Palestinian people to the right of self-determination." On 3 May, Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin denounced Schmidt as "unprincipled, avaricious, heartless, and lacking in human feeling", and stated that he had "willingly served in the German armies that murdered millions". Begin was also upset over remarks he (Schmidt) had made on West German television the previous week, in which he spoke apologetically about the suffering Germany inflicted on various nations during World War II, but made no mention of the Jews. While flying home from Riyadh, Schmidt told his advisers that war guilt could not continue to affect Germany's foreign relations

And a final (for now) "highlight" of Mr. Byroade, here is part of the transcript of a meeting in Washington on April 8, 1953 with Israel's Foreign Minister Moshe Sharret and Israel's Ambassador to the United States Abba Eban:

Researchers have asserted that

In 1954 he attracted criticism from both Israel and the Arab world for the administration's policy declaration in which he told the Israelis, "You should drop the attitude of a conqueror and the conviction that force is the only policy that your neighbors will understand," and told the Arabs, "You should accept this state of Israel as an accomplished fact."[1] That same year, he referred to Israel's Zionist ideology and its free admission of Jews through the Law of Return as "a legitimate matter of concern both to the Arabs and to the Western countries."[2]

So it seems Mr. Kerry in his speech two weeks ago was simply following in the long and failed, and quite biased tradition of State Department officials, seeking to undercut and weaken Israel with little regard to the facts of history and the morality that need be in international diplomacy.

I may return to Byroade in the future.


One more item, from a 1957 memorandum mentioning his 1954 speech on immigration to Israel:


Sunday, January 08, 2017

It Wasn't Kerry Who Said This

This, on May 22, 1989 at AIPAC, from Sec'y of State James Baker III:

The portion of the speech that seemed to upset the audience most was Mr. Baker's call for Israel to abandon ''the unrealistic vision of a greater Israel,'' and to ''forswear annexation; stop settlement activity; allow schools to reopen; reach out to the Palestinians as neighbors who deserve political rights.''
...Israel's Defense Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who met with Mr. Baker immediately after his speech, made clear he did not think some of the Secretary of State's remarks were helpful.
''I didn't write the speech,'' Mr. Rabin said. ''Had I been the one, I would have written it in a totally different way. I would have directed the calls more toward the Palestiniains and less toward Israel.''

Earlier in his January 1989 confirmation hearings, for the record, Baker stated

We continue to believe, however, that an independent Palestinian state will not be a source of stability or contribute to a just and enduring peace. 



Saturday, January 07, 2017

Kerry's "Jewish" and "Democratic" State

In his remarks on December 28, 2016, John Kerry, United States Secretary of State addressed the Arab-Israel conflict and the lack the the achievement of peace.

Paying close attention to his words, I noticed that he mentioned the term "Jewish" twelve times and "democratic" nine times and together, as the "Jewish and democratic state", twice and once as "Jewish democratic".

I picked them out:

That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state

if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace. 

Is ours the generation that gives up on the dream of a Jewish democratic state of Israel living in peace and security with its neighbors? Because that is really what is at stake.

And here are mention of Israel's Jewish identity:

Israelis are fully justified in decrying attempts to legitimize [sic. that should be delegitimize'] their state and question the right of a Jewish state to exist.

Nearly 70 years ago, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 finally paved the way to making the State of Israel a reality. The concept was simple: to create two states for two peoples – one Jewish, one Arab – to realize the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians. 

Principle two: Fulfill the vision of the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of two states for two peoples, one Jewish and one Arab

Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state has been the U.S. position for years

That’s why it is so important that in recognizing each other’s homeland – Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people – both sides reaffirm their commitment to upholding full equal rights for all of their respective citizens.

There is one odd, even strange, use of 'democratic':

And we understand that in a final status agreement, certain settlements would become part of Israel to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 49 years – we understand that – including the new democratic demographic realities that exist on the ground. 

That, I think could be a result of Kerry's meandering of mind and tongue although it could indicate that Kerry is quite well aware that the decisions to revitalize Jewish life in the historic regions of the Jewish homeland was done through a very democratic process in that election after election, governments were established, except in very short time periods, that all supported, encouraged and engaged in activities that increased the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria and, until 2005, in Gaza as well.

Incidentally, refugees are mentioned in a formulation that actually disengages the issue from the existence of Israel in this way:

Provide for a just, agreed, fair, and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, with international assistance, that includes compensation, options and assistance in finding permanent homes, acknowledgment of suffering, and other measures necessary for a comprehensive resolution consistent with two states for two peoples...The international community can provide significant support and assistance. I know we are prepared to do that, including in raising money to help ensure the compensation and other needs of the refugees

That set off the PLO's Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi who declared on television: 
"The six principles that [US Secretary of State John] Kerry presented are undeniable Zionist principles that serve Israeli interests...he said 'a Jewish state,' giving them [Israel] a great prize. We have refused and still refuse to say that Israel is a Jewish state... Even on the issue of the refugees, he [Kerry] automatically denied them the right of return, and said that it is necessary to reach a just solution of compensation and resettling and the like. In other words, there is no right of return."  [Official PA TV, State of Politics, Jan. 3, 2017]

Of course, Jewish refugees were not included in his speech.

But getting back to the issue of Kerry deciding for Israel what "Jewish" and "democratic" mean and why they are important, we can note there also her words

he said 'a Jewish state,' giving them [Israel] a great prize

Prize?  Or a simple recognition of what Israel is?

On January 6, in an interview, Kerry returned to that matter and expounded:

I believe in the state of Israel’s dream to be the democracy and the Jewish state it wants to be. But the simple reality is you cannot be a unitary, one state, with more non-Jews than Jews and remain a democracy or a Jewish state. It’s impossible. You can’t do it. David, Ben Gurion, the first president of Israel, said that. Rabin said it... moving towards a single state without resolving this two-state issue, which is why everybody has supported it until today, is leading Israel to a very dangerous place of perpetual conflict and it will not be a Jewish state.

Besides being contradicted by Ashrawi, I would wish to point out the chutzpah of someone defining for us Jews what is 'Jewish" and how that state is to be as a 'democratic' one.  I am sure Kerry is predicating himself of J Street's ideology, among other left-wing Jewish groups, as well as Peter Beinart's thinking, most more radical than the next.

I could argue that the demographic outlook is not as Kerry thinks it is and that his projected minority status or threatened minority status are in error.

But is think it could be summed up so:

Dear American Jewish Liberal-Progressives:
You Can Be Either Jewish
or Liberal.
You Cannot Be Both.

Let's make that a poster:

Of course, that is as true as they intend their slogan of "Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both" is.  They cannot have it both ways.

They have moved far off the Jewish quotient scale and have supplanted their liberalism, what is actually a universal assimilationist progressivism, as have Jews before them, for a foreign ideology which is destructive to Zionism, the Jewish national movement.

Those who join them risk losing their Judaism, no matter how they define it in practical religious terms.  They are 'lost at sea'.  They do not realize, or refuse to do so or worse, reject, that Israel and its Zionism is their anchor.


Tangentally, here is Melanie Phillips on "Real liberals must shun Palestinian colonialism".


Friday, January 06, 2017

Belated But Published

This letter was originally sent in on November 11.

Munib al-Masri reveals that as a child he was engaged, during the British Palestine Mandate period, in derailing trains with rocks on the tracks, with a success rate of 80% ("The journey of one of the wealthiest Palestinians", Nov. 11).

Given that indeed these acts of his took place, we must assume that this was in the time of the Arab Disturbances of 1936-1939, years which the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry termed were those of "the Arab campaign of murder and sabotage" as between 1940-1947, there were no similar violent anti-British actions by Arabs. 

Since he was born in 1934, at the most, he was perhaps five-years old when fighting the British and obviously was a child of physical talent and capability.  That is, if his tale is true.

It now has appeared in today's Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine.

Better late than never.