Thursday, March 23, 2017

And the "Dumb Jew Award" Goes to...Peter Beinart

Here's the screenshot of Peter Beinart's tweet (p.s. he's blocked me) responding to Brigitte Gabriel's tweet:

Now, most Jews and many non-Jews know that the Purim story involves Jews defending themselves from a state-sponsored program of elimination, eradication and extirpation.

It cannot be compared to supremacist radical Islamism killing non-Muslims in a terror campaign that has no rhyme nor reason.

He later attempted to link his remarks in a smug fashion to the Israeli administration of portions of the Land of Israel not (yet) under full sovereignty:

Verified account @PeterBeinart · 18h18 hours ago18 hours ago18 hours agoMore@ACTBrigitte we do. And luckily, there's nothing violent about a military occupation that denies millions of Palestinians basic rights for 50 years

(Added paragraph below)

What Beinart does in that tweet is mask that a) the Pals. are the ones who have been avoiding closing a deal, since 1993's Oslo Accords including Clinton Parameters, Netanyahu's construction moratorium, Olmerts's and Livni's swaps, etc.;  b) ignoring that there is a security aspect in Israel's administration;  c) that so-called "occupation" is legal in that it responded to a war of aggression in a defensive fashion.

Beinart, besides exploiting anti-Semitic tropes against his ideological foes and misrepresenting Zionism in his poorly researched book, see here and here, is now turning Judaism upside-down.

For that, he truly deserves the Dumb Jew Award.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A World War One "L'chayim" Tale

As has been announced:

Hundreds of Liquor Bottles belonging to British Soldiers from World War I were Exposed near Ramla
The surprising find was discovered in excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority prior to the construction of Highway 200, which was initiated and financed by the Netivei Israel Company

An unexpected discovery was made a few weeks ago in an archaeological excavation of the Israel Antiquities Authority conducted in the vicinity of Ramla. Together with flint tools that are 250,000 years old from the Middle Palaeolithic period, archaeologists were astounded to find a fascinating reminder from the First World War that included, among other things, hundreds of liquor bottles that are 100 years old. These were found near a building where British soldiers were garrisoned during the war.

According to Ron Toueg, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, "...We exposed a building whose upper part was not preserved, which was apparently the foundations of a barracks...Inside the building we discovered dozens of uniform buttons, belt buckles, parts of riding equipment, and other artifacts that were the property of the British soldiers. The building caught fire and collapsed for a reason which at this point is unclear. The place where the soldiers discarded debris was revealed just a few meters from the building. We were surprised to discover that along with broken crockery and cutlery there was an enormous number of soft drink and liquor bottles. In fact, about 70% of the waste that was discarded in the refuse pit were liquor bottles. It seems that the soldiers took advantage of the respite given them to release the tension by frequently drinking alcohol”. 

...According to Sary Mark, an architect, conservator and an authority on the British army’s occupation of the area, “On November 15, 1917 the Egyptian Expeditionary Force under the command of General Allenby conquered the area around the towns of Lod and Ramla. Before occupying Jerusalem the army encamped in the area where the archaeological excavation took place: the headquarters at Bir Salam – Ramla Camp and Sarafand Camp. The army was based there for about nine months until a decision was made to continue the conquest of the country further north. The building that was discovered in the excavation was used by the British soldiers, and it is rare authentic evidence and the first of its kind of the day-to-day life of the expeditionary forces for a very brief period during the First World War”.

Thanks to Eriola Jakoel, media coordinator of the Central Region, Israel Antiquities Authority. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Hillarious Heller

Kevin Jon Heller blogs at Opinio Juris.

At a post discussing the "Apartheid" Report of Falk & Khalaf, he wrote:

As critical as I am of Israel’s unconscionable oppression of and violence toward Palestinians, I have never accused Israel of practicing apartheid. But there is absolutely no justification for the UN suppressing an official report issued by one of the regional offices of the Economic and Social Council — particularly in response to pressure from the object of that report (and its chief enabler). Nor is this the first time the UN has bowed to Israeli pressure...

Comments were commented and I caught something he wrote:

Amazingly, I have spent far more than 10 minutes in Ramallah — days, actually — with Palestinians who knew full well that I’m Jewish, and yet I somehow lived to tell the tale…

and published this, third paragraph:

Heller came back and we have this there now:

He's replied and there is an exchange, notably this:

Kevin Jon Heller
Yes, nothing demonstrates prejudice quite like quoting high-ranking Israel officials’ own words…

...Your response to Yisreal is weird. Drawing a line from “expressing less than favorable views” to ” referring to their children as “little snakes” is bizarre. You are also being quite dishonest when you say you quoted Shaked in her “own words”. Those were not her “own words” and you ignore the context. It is also irrelevant to the discussion here, but I can see why you want to change the subject.

Kevin Jon Heller
I get it. It’s tired and pathetic, but I get it — everyone who criticises Israel is, by dint of their criticism, biased. Only those who defend Israel are objective. The myopia is staggering, but it’s entirely predictable.

Yisrael Medad
The really weird matter is that in writing “Yes, nothing demonstrates prejudice quite like quoting high-ranking Israel officials’ own words…”, KJH was either misconstruing what I had referred to or didn’t quite grasp it.

I had written “Can a Jew or even a Christian expressing less than favorable views about Palestinians be as free in Ramallah or try Hebron or, better, Shchem/Nablus?” and he refers to the most extremist instance of Ayelet Shaked’s remarks (and I won’t get into whether they were her words, quoted or whether she apologized or not for that is not the point). From my “less than favorable” to her “snakes” is a trick that a law professor should not be engaged in.

Unlike Kumar, I do think he has control of brain and limbs. Or, to be a university professor, he should. His frothing and ranting on political and ideological issues are unseemly.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A First: US Jerusalem Consulate Facebook Hebrew Post

After years of following the Facebook page of the United States Consulate Facebook page and noting that despite perhaps 1,000,000 Hebrew readers in the area over which it supervises it does not appear in Hebrew, only English and Arabic.

I now see that one post, only one post, has appeared also in Hebrew:

Maybe Jason Greenblatt's presence was a help?

The next days' posts reverted to the Hebrew-exclusion policy.

Three hours later they posted about

an introductory course on the TOEFL test at America House Ramallah. This will be a 5 - week class and will prepare you for ALL four areas of the TOEFL testing reading, writing, listening and speaking! The deadline for application is Sunday 19th.

The next day they posted about
Calling all 14-16 year olds! Are you interested to learning about robotics and new technology? If so, join our Tech Club! 

And a few hours after that, a post on:

Deputy Consul General Dorothy shared her experience as a female leader with our English Access Microscholarship Program - Headquarters class in Ramallah

An aberration?

Objective Study - Jordanian Style

Dr. Omar Ghul, an epigrapher from Yarmouk University, recently declared the following:

“Besides being part of the global cultural heritage, the Dead Sea Scrolls represent an essential component of the religious and cultural heritage of Palestine and Jordan...An objective study of these texts would help us better understand the historical roots of the three main religions of the region... and the relationships between them.” 

What is needed is an objective study of the texts, “away from any agendas that seek to use these ancient texts to claim modern religious and political rights on the ground, in Palestine and in the region”

I checked.  While "Hebrew" is mentioned, "Jews" or "Jewish" are not.

"Objective study"?


Friday, March 17, 2017

Do You Read the Quran?

From Sura 9:-

How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient.

And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease.

Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.

Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people

The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakah and do not fear except Allah , for it is expected that those will be of the [rightly] guided.

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah , and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.

And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].


Settling An Argument: Palestine, Palestinians, Palestinization, Palestinianism

I use Palestinianism to describe a phenomenon of an Arab people who never in history shared any specific national identity characteristics that would set them off and make them a special case as a "people".  See here, and also here, for example, and also here for Bat-Yeor.

Palestinianism is

self-mythologising [as in the case of] Palestinianism...the ideology which suggest there is a nationalism for a group of Arabs-who-refer-to-themselves-as-'Palestinians' and which, at its essence, denies the existence of a Jewish People, with its history, religion, culture and history who possess an historic homeland.

No defined national homeland.

So-called national homeland never existed as a political or even an administrative entity.

The name "Palestine" came from the Roman rule over the Land of Israel after 135 CE, although previously a region by that name did exist but was not applied to what is know as Palestine today, whereas Judea was.

Arabs have a non-Arabic name for their national homeland.  Really?

Now see this I caught (red from bottom up):

His conclusion?

"the Palestinisation issue started after the Green Line was erased"

Argument settled?


Thursday, March 16, 2017

High Court's Low Ceiling

As being reported

High Court justices have ordered the Interior Ministry to restore the residency rights of a Palestinian man born in East Jerusalem who was denied permission to live in the city after being away for many years... justices Uzi Fogelmen, Meni Mazuz and the court president, Miriam Naor, found in his favor and instructed the ministry to restore his status.

The ruling's significance is in the fact that the justices accepted the principle argued by Abdulhak's attorneys that East Jerusalem residents are not immigrants but have rights due to the fact they were born in the city.  Fogelman wrote that "the interior minister must...consider the special circumstances of these residents – that as opposed to immigrants seeking status – they have a strong affinity to the place where they live, as people born in this area..."

Mazuz added: "Under these circumstances, the appellant ought to be viewed as someone who has renewed their affinity to Israel and considering the special status of East Jerusalem residents as native born 

I have two interrelated questions:

a) does Mr. Abdulhak accept Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem?

b) is that what "affinity" means?  or is his "affinity" strictly non-Israeli?  and if so, what are the justices doing?

c) and if indeed Abdulhak's argument is what he truly believes, well, then, the Jewish right of return should gain his support as there's no greater affinity to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel as that of the Jews, even if we were not born here.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Construction at Shiloh...Crossing

No, not Shiloh, Mateh Binyamin.

Shiloh Crossing at Billings, Montana.

A new Jiffy Lube will open at Shiloh Crossing around June, leaving the retail center with six remaining acres available for development.Workers for contractor Langlas Construction were delayed slightly because of this year’s lengthy winter, but Shiloh Crossing developer Steve Corning said Monday it’s moving along in front of the new Popeyes and Five Guys Burgers and Fries building.The $272,000 shop will be the second in Billings for Jiffy Lube. The city’s first Jiffy Lube opened in October 2015. Franchisees Matt Johnson, Kelly Thompson and Kelly Kent, based in Oregon, own the Billings stores.The building is about 4,700 square feet at 1028 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Vehicles will drive into the bays from the north end, Corning said.Jiffy is the nation’s largest quick-service oil change shop with more than 2,000 stores nationwide. It’s a Houston-based subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., but all service stations are owned by franchisees.
PauseCurrent Time

Duration Tim

Has Linda Sarsour Protested This Oppression of Women?

I'll be concise (as many are commenting) and to the point about her moral failure and political duplicity when it comes to Israel and Zionism.  And her hypocrisy.

Four excerpts of her in italics and my comments:

When you talk about feminism you’re talking about the rights of all women and their families to live in dignity, peace, and security. It’s about giving women access to health care and other basic rights. And Israel is a country that continues to occupy territories in Palestine, has people under siege at checkpoints—we have women who have babies on checkpoints because they’re not able to get to hospitals [in time]. 

Checkpoints exist because Arab terrorism exists.  Remove the latter and no former.  Ghandi led a non-violent protest movement but ever since 1920, at least, the organized anti-Zionist Arab movement has been only violent and primarily directed to kill Jews and prevent any form of Jewish national identity.

No system is 100% successful - both in preventing suicide-intent female bombers who seek to kill and maim innocent children, women and men in their terror attacks and in assuring that innocent Arabs are not caught up in unfortunate situations that are not intended.

[women in Palestine] are oppressed in many ways, including lack of access to health care and poverty. These are women who have to figure out ways to feed their children. They have limits on their travel. These are all things that women around the world want and many of us have the privilege of having access to in the United States. Women in Palestine are women that require other women around the rest of the world to stand with them. There are some [Palestinian] women who are denied access to scholarships. There have been Fulbright scholars banned from leaving the country to pursue higher education. There are just so many levels of oppression that all Palestinian people experience, but in particular, women.

And she ignores the internal societal problems women face that has no connection to the "occupation" as reported here in 2013:

Twenty-seven women are thought to have been killed last year in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by family members claiming reasons of  “honor” — more than double the 13 cases documented in 2012. The age-old rationale can serve as a cover for domestic abuse, inheritance disputes, rape, incest or the desire to punish female independence

and in their recent report, even Amnesty made a 

"brief comment on “violence against women... particularly within Palestinian communities in Israel.”

and this month we read the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) documentation that:

On the Palestinian internal level, women's suffering continues due to the ongoing state of gender-based discrimination and increased as well due to the poverty high rates and domestic violence. PCHR documented the killing of 6 women in security chaos incidents; two of whom were killed on grounds of the so-called “family honor”.

The situation of oppression is worse, however:

Palestinian women's rights groups are demanding the revocation of an article of Palestinian Authority law that they say allows criminals to get away with murder. According to Article 99 of Penal Law No. 16 of 1960, the family of a murder victim is permitted to "waive its personal right" to justice and forgive the crime. In such cases, the length and severity of punishment is significantly reduced.
 However, given that the vast majority of violence against Palestinian women is domestic, the family of the murder victim is often the family of the murderer as well. Thus, the Palestinian Director of the Women's Courts Project in the TAM organization Victoria Shukri explained, "In 95% of the murders of women in Palestine, the [victim's] personal right is waived."


Palestinian Media Watch reported on upsurges in Palestinian "honor killings" in 2012 and 2014. According to the official PA daily, 53% of Palestinian women have suffered from violence. In 45.9% of the cases, the violence was perpetrated by the victim's father, while in 25.5% of the cases it was perpetrated by her brother.  [Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 28, 2014]. 

You’ve probably seen that any visible Palestinian-American woman who is at the forefront of any social-justice movement is an immediate target of the right wing and right-wing Zionists. They will go to any extreme to criminalize us and to engage in alternative facts, to sew together a narrative that does not exist. 

Well, criminals should be treated as criminals.  But here's a response from someone who makes a good point:

You yourself said in your now famous Women’s March speech, “When we fight for justice, we fight for it for all people”. Apparently, you meant for all people except for Jews who believe that they also deserve a state that protects them. Your statement that a woman cannot truly be a feminist if she is a Zionist excludes people and makes them feel unwelcome and unwanted in your version of feminism. It also shows your true colors and your true hate, your true discrimination and your true exclusiveness. I hope the world opens up their eyes and sees this and stops shining its spotlight on you as a feminist to follow and to emulate.

You can’t be a feminist in the United States and stand up for the rights of the American woman and then say that you don’t want to stand up for the rights of Palestinian women in Palestine. It’s all connected. 

Yes, it is all connected but isn't it amazing how many feminists, okay, let's be clear, Jewish American feminists support Arab women in Israel and in the territories?  Doesn't that tell you something about the value and quality of Jewish/Zionist feminism?

I blogged previously about your effort to raise funds for a desecrated Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Excellent.  I thank you even from Shiloh.  But what about the Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem, ,more than 2500 years old, desecrated and vandalized by Arabs?  It started during the 19 years Jews were banned from Jerusalem under the Jordanian illegal occupation and continues.

Where was/is your voice on that?

Does your feminism sensitivity for injustice stop at that because you are Palestinian?

Are you hypocritical?

Can I discount your feminist credentials because all you are doing is manipulating and exploiting feminism to deny Zionism?


More 'good' stuff.

And here's Mayim Bialik. 

And will Sarsour answer these questions:

where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support when they marched against the Muslim Brotherhood, asking for America's help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants?


Sarsour responds to a FB comment by Sarah Tuttle-Singer and I picked out some of the conversation:

Avi Eisenman I'd be interested to hear Linda Sarsour directly respond to Sarah's question about condemning "violence and acts of terror that slay mothers inside their homes and little girls in their bedrooms "

Iris Richman Chiming in here, Linda Sarsour and I had a bit of a twitter discussion a couple of days ago. As a person who really wants us to be able to work together- and as a rabbi - I'd be happy to convene a meeting in NYC. The meeting is for those who want to work together and not for anyone who has prejudged. Linda, would you come?

Tiffany Loria My question as she affirms that you "...cannot be a supporter of Israel and not criticize and call for an end to the occupation...." my question then Linda you do the same and criticize the horrors that Hamas and the PA inflict

Noam Besdin Linda, on the off chance the trolls here haven't chased you away: I understand that you are particularly sensitive to Palestinian suffering, but do you see that when you say you are fighting for womens' rights all over the world (and more power to you ...

Linda Sarsour It's simple. It's because Israel receives the LARGEST US military aid package by far so our tax payer dollars pay for the oppression of Palestinians including Palestinian women. We help fund the occupation. It is our responsibility as Americans to demand that our government not aid the oppression of any groups. We do not fund Boko Haram who are a horrific group of people terrorizing women and communities, we do not fund Hamas, or Al Qaeda, etc.

Noah Ben Yes, please ignore the trolls. They're deplorable. Could you please just answer my very basic question however. There's a closed group of over 1500 people watching / waiting for a response.

David Seidenberg The truth about Linda Sarsour's interview in The Nation is that the Nation distorted her position to get more clicks. Here's what I wrote about it, before I saw Sarsour's confirming letter to Sarah Tuttle-Singer: "Sarsour and the left-right conspiracy: Did The Nation lie?"

"The actual question Sarsour asks, and answers in the negative, is this one: “Is there room in the movement for people who support the state of Israel and do not criticize it?” That’s a pretty important question....

"We are getting sucked into a trap. The funny thing is that the trap is not being laid by the right-wing but by people on the left...

"Here’s a final question to challenge anyone else who may think you can’t be a Zionist and a feminist. Do you think you can be an observant Muslim and a feminist? If radical leftists want to measure Islam in the same way that they measure Zionism, the answer has to be no. But if you recognize that what it means to be a real change agent for others is to also be a change agent for one’s own community and culture, then you will know that the answer has to be yes."

And I added this:

Sarah Tuttle-Singer Is this Linda Sarsour's comment? "...It's because Israel receives the LARGEST US military aid package by far so our tax payer dollars pay for the oppression of Palestinians including Palestinian women. We help fund the occupation. It is our responsibility as Americans to demand that our government not aid the oppression of any groups. We do not fund Boko Haram who are a horrific group of people terrorizing women and communities, we do not fund Hamas, or Al Qaeda, etc." Well, she's lying. (See here) and actually they were funding Hamas through tax-exempt societies and more (See) (and also)

All Sarsour knows is anti-Zionist lies and calumnies and she covers for terror groups. 


And Annika Hernroth-Rothstein