Wednesday, April 24, 2019

How to Lie in Parliament

These are from the words of George Sydenham Clarke, 1st Baron Sydenham of Combe, an opponent of Zionismin the British Parliament on June 29, 1920

We have no official information regarding the riots at Jerusalem, but it is clear they might have been most serious. It appears that the Moslems came without firearms, which seems to show that they did not intend any harm to the Jewish population. On the other hand, the Jews had firearms, which were provided for them by Lieut. Jabotinsky. As they fired rather wildly from the roofs of the houses, I believe they killed or wounded some of their own people. Lieut. Jabotinsky was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. That was immediately reduced to one year, and I believe they are now demanding his immediate release. There were many Moslems also sentenced at the same time, but I do not know if anyone has demanded their release.

Firearms are not required to kill. Knives and sticks do very well. And who said they had no firearms?

Blaming Jews, firing from rooftops, is truly low-grade for a Baron.

And he is sorry no one is demanding the release of Arabs (but there were).

The Silence of Beinart

The following was sent to the Forward as an op-ed submission on March 24.

On April 8, due to my previous misunderstanding, I agreed to have it appear as a letter.

I checked today and my letter wasn't there. Another from April 16th was, however.

It may as yet still appear.

In the meantime, here it is:

Reading yet another Peter Beinart attack on AIPAC (“AIPAC IsPlaying The Victim, But It’s Palestinians Who Are Being Silenced”, March 26) as part of his decade-long assault on American Jewish Establishment institutions and influence, playing on one of his frequent themes that somehow the victims of an enforced campaign of silencing are the Arabs of the former British Mandate territory of Palestine who are still, after they have numerous times rejected diplomatic solutions for more than nine decades, seeking their state, I was first taken aback by his defense of Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar.

Her anti-Jewish agenda, expressed through many statements going back years, is clear. As is said, even for a “goyisheh kop” her sentiments are obvious. Money, hypnotism, etc. For Beinart, however, “Omar, has suggested, flippantly, that AIPAC wields power because its supporters give politicians money”. It was a joke. It was her sense of humor. If it weren’t so unfunny, I’d compare that remark to Hamas’ mistakes in consistently firing missiles from Gaza deep into Israel. But I realized that for Beinart, his success depends on how outlandish he can stretch his logic so that instead of disturbing people who actually think, he wows them with the most extreme convoluted possibilities.

By the way, Omar insinuated that AIPAC directly gives money, “Benjamins”, but why should Beinart need to feel he must be exact in his assertions. Many of his other assertions and ideological interpretations are also just enough inexact as to allow him to hypnotize, sorry, bewitch a younger generation of American Jews.

Beinart’s next step in this piece is to identify AIPAC with the “Right”. He does that writing “AIPAC also wields power because of a strong cultural, ideological and religious affinity for Israel, particularly on the right.” Why “particularly”? Hasn’t AIPAC been a power no matter what Israeli government has been in power? Hasn’t AIPAC been a power no matter who is on its governing bodies?

But Beinart is on a silencing campaign of his own and there is nothing better than to accuse someone or something of the exact sin in which you yourself are engaged in yourself. He is well aware of that maneuver.

He continues to silence Omar’s troping of anti-Semitic similes. Omar’s “push for allegiance to a foreign country” in relation to AIPAC and other Jewish groups “is simplistic and misleading”.  Note: Omar is not simplistic; her words are. And I would add that her intent wasn’t at all simplistic.

Beinart finally turns his rabid rhetoric on AIPAC which “is not victim but victimizer”. Why? It seeks to push the legislation of the Combatting BDS Act. As proof that that would be bad, Beinart avoids all legal opinions supporting the law and cherry-picks that of the American Civil Liberties Union. Why is their opinion better than any other in support of the law we do not know.

He attacks the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act and in doing so ridiculously suggests that “a student who called for transforming Israel from a Jewish state into a secular state with equal rights for all would be guilty of bigotry”. Firstly, Israel is secular albeit with a strong Jewish character.  That was the whole idea of Zionism as the Jewish national movement. It is worth pointing out that the United Nations recommended already in 1947 that a Jewish state be established within a portion of the original Mandate for Palestine territory. That territory, Beinart perhaps need reminding, was to become the Jewish national home due to its historical connection to the Jewish people and not just a state of its residents.

He continues and turns the most outstanding negative characteristic of the Arabs of the former Palestine Mandate, their self-imposed victimhood-for-sympathy and writes of the pro-Israel community that it acts as it does “because permanent victimhood creates moral license”.

He pooh-poohs Israel “as perennially facing existential threat” as if it doesn’t. His proof? In 1993 the PLO “recognized Israel’s existence”. That recognition was hollow as it sought to define Israel as not an expression of Jewish national identity. He trumpets that “Israel is the sole Middle Eastern nation with nuclear weapons” which may be true but that is only because Iran is not in the Middle East and a nuclear reactor in Syria, which is quite non-peaceful towards Israel, was destroyed. He is quite upset that Israel dares to claim any “moral responsibility” or that it faces “an existential threat” for in doing so, “then anything Israel does to defend itself is legitimate” as if Israel constrains itself more than any other country under similar acts of aggression whose sole aim is to kill and maim civilians whether by rockets, car-rammings, suicide-bombing or kite and balloon bombs.

He then launches his own explosive charge in comparing AIPAC to Israel’s defense measures, using the same words: “then why shouldn’t AIPAC use any means necessary to protect itself”, as if AIPAC employs lethal weapons.

Beinart challenges AIPAC to “confront the moral responsibilities of Jewish power”. He, conveniently, ignores the obverse element in his argument: will he come to an Israel which divests itself of power and live here during the horrific events that will surely follow?


Email exchange:

Op-ed submission

Yisrael Medad
Tue, Mar 26, 11:58 PM

Wed, Mar 27, 6:26 PM
to me

thanks, will post as a letter to the editor
Batya Ungar-Sargon
Opinion Editor

Yisrael Medad
Wed, Mar 27, 6:32 PM
to Batya

Thank you.

Yisrael Medad
Fri, Mar 29, 8:21 AM
to Batya

it will eventually appear here?

Batya Ungar Sargon
Fri, Mar 29, 6:57 PM
to me

yes, edit below:

Yisrael Medad
Apr 5, 2019, 2:22 PM
to Batya

Too bad that the last update in the Letters Section is March 14 as of 10 seconds ago.

Batya Ungar Sargon
Apr 5, 2019, 4:25 PM
why too bad? I sent you an edit - just waiting on your ok... is that not clear?

Yisrael Medad
Fri, Apr 5, 4:37 PM
to Batya

I understood you as simply showing me.
As it you defined it as a letter, I didn't think you were requiring my approval.
It's fine.

Yisrael Medad
Apr 8, 2019, 10:48 PM
to Batya

Repeat: okay.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

"Civil Disobedience in Palestine...Boycott"

There once was a time:

Civil Disobedience in Palestine, International Boycott of Britain Urged by NZO

October 2, 1945

Declaring that “Britain has placed herself in the position of an open enemy of the Jewish people, and the Jewish people have no other recourse but to treat her as such, the New Zionist Organization of America [the Revisionist Movement] has called for an international boycott of Great Britain and a campaign of civil disobedience in Palestine.

The NZO proposed program of action, which was released at a press conference during the week-end, outlines the following measures of opposition to British policy in Palestine:

1. Non-cooperation with the British Government in London and the British administration in Palestine in any way whatscever so long as the White Paper remains in force.

2. Declaration of civil disobedience by all Jews in Palestine, including the refusal to pay taxes or to comply in any other way with governmental orders.

3. An organization of an international boycott of British goods, British shippings and British services throughout the world.

4. All Jewish soldiers from Palestine and elsewhere who received from Britain medals of distinction for their services in the first and second world wars, should return these medals as an expression of their indignation at Britain’s treatment of the Jewish people.

5. Direct resistance of every attempt to prevent Jews from entering Palestine or from acting in accordance with their inalienable rights as human beings and residents of that country.

The NZO, while supporting all protest meetings and other similar activities, warned that at this time protests were not sufficient, and that “more vigorous, militant action” is called for.


AP's Old News

In this report, we read:

For the past 25 years, the international community has supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war — as the best way to ensure peace in the region.

The logic is clear. With the number of Arabs living on lands controlled by Israel roughly equal to Jews, and the Arab population growing faster, two-state proponents say a partition of the land is the only way to guarantee Israel’s future as a democracy with a strong Jewish majority. The alternative, they say, is either a binational state in which a democratic Israel loses its Jewish character or an apartheid-like entity in which Jews have more rights than Arabs.

It also appeared in the NY Times. 

Let's clear this up, with facts.

The international community supported the establishment of an "Arab State" in the West Bank Judea and Samaria, note: not specifically "Palestine", in 1947 with the UN partition recommendation. The Arabs refused that, just as they refused the 1937 Peel Commission suggestion of partition and just as the first partition, when historic Palestine was truncated and its eastern regions were separated from the League of Nations original mandate plan and awarded to a recent arrival from Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Jewish settlements rights were disallowed in those areas while Arabs could continue to live in and come to the Jewish section of Palestine.

Furthermore, given the record of all lands yielded up or surrendered by Israel of the territories it gained in 1967 have been used as bases for hostile terror attacks, especially Gaza from which Israel supposedly "disengaged". To provide the Arabs with more such bases is quite the opposite of peace.

There is no logic in a two-state solution.

The so-called "demographic threat" is not as portrayed. The figures are actually in favor of the Jewish population.  But really. I detailed sources here. And you can search this blog going back over decade (using "demography", "demographic threat").

As for "democracy", if Arabs, or for that matter any non-Jewish minority, seek to de-Judaize the Jewish state, well, there are safeguards for that, or there will be. Otherwise, if all Jews need to exit the proposed state of "Palestine", why not all the Arabs exist Israel? Not that I am suggesting that but just pointing to the illogical thinking of some people who only care about Arabs.

The Jewish character need not be "lost" without a strong Jewish majority.  And, by the way, what is a "strong Jewish majority"? Is it 80%? 75%? 70%? 60%? What, indeed, is the cut-off? Or, what is Jewish? Do we have to regard all those who claim to be Jews as Jews? And what about the non-Jewish non-Arabs, the foreign migrant worker community? Are they a factor?

Of course, all this avoids the central issue: is the Arab conflict with Israel and Zionism one of territory or is it existential? That is, will the Arabs honestly and genuinely accept a Jewish state in any territory they consider Islamic? Do they recognize Jewish national identity?

Will Jews accept a state without Jerusalem in its entirety?

AP reporting still stuck in the past.


Corbyn's Shrew Misses the Passover Essence

In a clip I've seen, Tania Shew 'explains' Passover to Jeremy Corbyn.

Of course, what has been totally skipped over is that for the Jews to be able "never to oppress a stranger", they have to be in their own homeland. They have to be "home" where others are "strangers". If we're not in Eretz-Yisrael, that command is useless as everywhere else, we, too, are "strangers".

We're not truly "home" in the Disapora.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Joke

Watching the blaze at the Notre Dame Cathedral provides me an opportunity to relate a joke.

As we all know, in Victor Hugo's novel, Quasimodo, the hunchback and bell ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, 

fails to save Esmeralda and she is hanged. After Frollo is pushed by Quasimodo off off Notre Dame'roof, Quasimodo goes to the cemetery, hugs Esmeralda's body, and dies of starvation with her.* By the way, there was a hunchback at Notre Dame in real life but that was in the 1820s and he was a stonecarver, Mons. Trajan, "Le Bossu".

And the joke begins:

Notre Dame is left without a bellringer. A priest is ordered to search for one and places an advertisement in the local daily.

A day later, a candidate shows up but he lacks arms. The priest rejects him as unqualified but the man begs to be given an opportunity to prove his ability.

They ascend the bell tower and, using his head, the man displays remarkable physical abilities but the priest still feels he is not up to the job. Then, in an attempt to show how really loud he can ring it, he makes a mad dash from one end of the platform towards the bell, jumps at it, misses his object and falls out and down to his death.

The priest dashes down the steps and begins to apply the last rites. One man in the crowd that has gathered askes him, "Do you know this man?"

The priest answers in the negative and adds, "But his face rings a bell."

Still without a bellringer, the priest places yet another advert and the next day, the same man shows up. It turns out the deceased bellringer has a brother.

Shocked, the priest rejects him but when the man says that his brother had interviewed for the job to save the family from starvation, the priest relents and allows him to display his talents.

The scene from the previous day repeats itself and to the priest's horror, he, too, in an attempt to show his ability, misses the bell and falls to his death.

Again rishing down to apply the last rites, the priest is asked by another onlooker, "Father, do you know this man?"

The priest looks up and answers, "No, but he's a dead ringer for his brother."

-    -    -    -

Oh, and if you think this is not the time for a joke, consider this rendering of the burning of the Talmud in Paris

The smoke of the burning Talmud, however, rose in 1242 against a Gothic in full possession of its grand manner: the western façade of Notre-Dame of Paris. This tremendous sculpted wall—the most famous of postcard images—dates from 1200 to 1250, the classic instant of triumph. Flanking the central door stand two Queens, rivals across the centuries. The radiant figure on the left is the Church Victorious, crowned and imperial, and holding a chalice which is nothing less than the Holy Grail. The Queen on the right is posed in defeat, her staff broken in several places, her eyes covered by a coiling serpent, her signs of royalty removed or shattered. A reversed Tablet of the Law, falling from her hand, shows that she is the Synagogue. The statues at Paris are modern, the work of the 19th-century restorer. But at Strasbourg are two Queens in all their original beauty. The Church is magnificent. The Synagogue is amazing. We may stand before them for many hours, trying to decide which is the more lovely; and the decision will be purely a subjective matter of taste, as it should be; but as we look at the bandaged eyes of the captive Queen, and study the exquisite proportions of her broken staff, we shall not fail to realize the utter grace and majesty of her defeat.

As for Quasimodo’s mysterious disappearance, all that we have been able to ascertain on the subject is this:  About a year and a half or two years after the concluding events of this story, when search was being made in the pit of Montfaucon for the body of Olivier le Daim, who had been hanged two days before, and to whom Charles VIII granted the favour of being interred at Saint-Laurent in better company, there were found among these hideous carcases two skeletons, the one clasped in the arms of the other. One of these skeletons, which was that of a woman, had still about it some tattered remnants of a garment that had once been white, and about its neck was a string of beads together with a small silken bag ornamented with green glass, but open and empty. These objects had been of so little value that the executioner, doubtless, had scorned to take them. The other skeleton, which held this one in so close a clasp, was that of a man. It was observed that the spine was crooked, the skull compressed between the shoulder-blades, and that one leg was shorter than the other. There was no rupture of the vertebræ at the nape of the neck, from which it was evident that the man had not been hanged. He must, therefore, have come of himself and died there.   8
When they attempted to detach this skeleton from the one it was embracing, it fell to dust.

I heard this some 40 years ago and in a search found this.

BTW, the latest set of bells installed on its 850th anniversary


Friday, April 12, 2019

Beresheet Crashes - British Get Their Revenge

The British finally got their revenge for those Mandate troubles we caused them:

"The UK contribution to the Beresheet mission is a LEROS 2b rocket engine, developed and built at Nammo Westcott in Buckinghamshire. Originally designed for manoeuvring satellites into their final orbits and for deep space missions, the LEROS will power the lander during its transfer to the lunar surface, ensure a safe landing, and will also hop the lander to its second location"

(this was a humorous satirical observation, in case someone is taking this seriously)



Engineers believe a technical glitch — likely in the component that measures the spacecraft’s altitude in relation to the surface — triggered a chain reaction of events that caused the main engine of the spacecraft to stop. Without the main engine running as a braking mechanism, it was impossible to slow Beresheet’s speed from 1,700 kilometers per hour (1,000 mph) to 0 just above the moon’s surface. Engineers were able to restart the engine, but by this time the spacecraft was too close to the surface to slow down sufficiently.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

TransJordan, 1933

Item A:

Item B:

Full text:

A strong fight for the right of Jews to settle in Transjordania was put up at the last session of the League of Nation’s Mandates Commission, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today, although minutes of the session will not officially appear before September. The fight was conducted mainly by the Dutch representative, D. Van Rees, vice-chairman of the Mandates Commission, who demanded an explanation of the British Government’s opposition to Jewish settlement of Transjordania.

Van Rees emphasized that the mandate does not exclude Jewish immigration in the Transjordan area, and he indicated that the population of Transjordania is in favor of Jewish settlement there. Van Rees pointed out that Transjordania is double the size of Palestine, but has only 300,000 inhabitants at present, while Palestine has 1,000,000.


“Besides, why prohibit sale of land there to Jews when the Emir Abdullah of Transjordania desires it?” he asked.

He also pointed out that many Jews living in Palestine at present are not Palestinians, but are still subjects or citizens of countries belonging to the League of Nations. Considering the principle of equality for the citizens or subjects of all countries which are members of the League, it would be impossible to prevent these persons from settling in Transjordania, Van Rees stated.

The British representative, Mark Aicheson Young, former secretary of the Palestine Administration, replied to Van Rees by stating that the British Government is not prepared at present to permit Jews to settle in the Transjordan territory. There is a general feeling in that country that settlement at present is impracticable for reasons of security, he contended.


The British representative stated that though it is true that Transjordania is much bigger than Palestine it does not contain as much cultivable land, consisting largely of desert areas. The cultivable parts of Transjordania are as densely populated as the larger part of Palestine, Mr. Young declared.

Lord Lugard, British member of the Mandates Commission, asked Mr. Young to define his Government’s attitude toward Arabs from Palestine settling in Transjordania with the assistance of Jews in Palestine. Mr. Young replied that the British Government would not object to this so long as the number of Arabs immigrating falls within the absorbtive capacity of Transjordania. He claimed that the Transjordan area does not contain large unoccupied tracts of land suitable to support a big wave of immigration.


On 4 June 1917 the French foreign ministry issued the Cambon Letter, a statement that it approved a text presented to it by Zionists that "circumstances permitting, and the independence of the Holy Places being safeguarded... it would be a deed of justice and of reparation to assist, by the protection of the Allied Powers, in the renaissance of the Jewish nationality in the land from which the people of Israel were exiled so many centuries ago." It went on: "The French government cannot but feel sympathy for your cause, the triumph of which is bound up that of the Allies."

Britain was given a mandate for Palestine, with the aim of fulfilling the Balfour Declaration. But Winston Churchill was also negotiating with Arab leaders about their demands for land, and so he had the details redrafted: Britain was no longer obliged to foster a Jewish state east of the Jordan River. At the same time, Britain also surrendered land in the north of Palestine, handing it to France, which had been given a mandate for Lebanon.

The upshot was that in 1921 the land east of the Jordan River – forming 75 percent of Palestine – was hived off as Transjordan. It was meant to be temporary, to provide a haven for Abdullah, one of the Arabian princes at war with each other.

Weizmann protested, writing to Churchill to note that "the fields of Gilead, Moab and Edom, with the rivers Arnon and Jabbok are historically and geographically and economically linked to Palestine, and it is upon these fields, now that the rich plains of the north have been taken from Palestine and given to France, that the success of the Jewish National Home must largely rest..."


Saturday, March 23, 2019

What is a 'Historical Connection'?

Great Britain's Ambassador to Jordan, Edward Oakden, was told two years ago by Jordan's Lower House Speaker, Atif Tarawneh, that Jordan attaches great importance to the Palestinian cause and believes that the Hashemite custodianship is the legitimate guardianship of Jerusalem's holy shrines. And he added:

"Jordan's custodianship is firm and historically entrenched and any attempt to circumvent that is bound to inflame the sensibilities of Arabs and Muslims around the world"

On that background, consider the statement of Jordan's King Abdullah II who is vowing to keep protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites in Occupied Jerusalem. He called it

a “red line” for his country

and admitted during a visit to the Zarqa governorate last week 

that he’s under pressure to alter his country’s historic role as custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites but that he wouldn’t. Abdullah says: “I will never change my position toward Jerusalem in my life.”

This is a consistent line. Last April. the King was quoted

Stressing that the Hashemite custodianship of Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem is “a historical duty and responsibility that we are proud to carry”, King Abdullah said: “We will persevere in upholding this responsibility, in coordination with our brothers at the Palestinian National Authority and with your support.”

What "history" is he talking about?

The most compact statement is this, from the 2013 Jordan-PLO Agreement on the Jerusalem Holy Sites:

Recalling the role of King Al-Sharif Hussein Bin Ali in protecting, and taking care of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem and in the restoration of the Holy Sites since 1924; recalling the uninterrupted continuity of this role by His Majesty King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who is a descendant of Al-Sharif Hussein Bin Ali; recalling that the Bay’ah (oath of allegiance) according to which Al-Sharif Hussein Bin Ali held the custodianship of the Jerusalem Holy Sites, which Custodianship was affirmed to Al-Sharif Hussein Bin Ali by the people of Jerusalem and Palestine on March 11, 1924; and recalling that the Custodianship of the Holy Sites of Jerusalem has devolved to His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin al-Hussein;

An expanded research booklet is here. That "custodianship" was based on some eight months that Ali claimed to be Caliph but was tossed out:

Two days after the Turkish Caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 3 March 1924, Hussein declared himself Caliph at his son Abdullah's winter camp in Shunah, Transjordan.[10] The claim to the title had a mixed reception, and Hussein was soon ousted and driven out of Arabia by the Saudis, a rival clan that had no interest in the Caliphate.

That booklet first debunks Jewish history. Rather badly and so stupidly. On page 59, we read:

The present-day Israeli narrative seeks to justify the ethnic domination of Jews in the Holy Land by making the claim that the earlier 400-year connection of Jews to Jerusalem (and the later 100-year connection) gives Israel sovereignty over it. However, Jerusalem was founded by the Arab tribe of the Jebusites 2000 years before the arrival and brief rule of the Hebrews. In fact, many different nations and peoples have lived and ruled in Jerusalem, but for more than 1200 years of the last 1400 years since 638 CE, Jerusalem has been a predominately Arab and Islamic city. Moreover, in the 5000 years since Arabs founded the city, they have maintained a constant presence there (as Muslims or pre-Islam) and have ruled it for at least 3200 of the 5000 years of recorded history, compared with only about 500 years of Hebrew and Jewish rule.


Then, on pages 56-57, the Jordanian "historical connection" is explained:

...the Jordanian Hashemites took on the role of the guardians and custodians of the Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem. In 1918, British Commander Hogarth was instructed to deliver a guarantee to Sharif Hussein bin Ali — Emir of Mecca and father of the founding King of Jordan Abdullah I — that Muslim Holy Sites shall be considered a Muslim concern alone and shall not be subjected directly or indirectly to any non-Muslim authority. Since 1922, the Hashemites have undertaken three major restoration projects of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem and since 1948 Jordan has continuously maintained the Awqaf Administration in the Old City. The First Hashemite restoration of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque took place during the period of 1922–1924, under the auspices of Sharif Hussein and in cooperation with the Supreme Muslim Council. This exceptional historic role continued during the periods of the “British Mandate”, the period of Jordanian rule over East Jerusalem (1948–1967) and even after the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem (1967–present). Sharif Hussein bin Ali donated 24,000 golden lira to the first renovations of Al-Aqsa Mosque and requested to be buried there before his passing.  

History of less than a century.

Jordan was not officially a country, a sovereign and recognized country, until 1946, by the way.

There you have it.