Wednesday, November 24, 2021

To Yossi Klein Halevi on Canceling

Yossi published over at TOI this

To the students who walked out on Palestinian-Israeli dialogue

commented:

To: "You can’t cancel the Palestinian people, you can’t cancel the Israeli people. Both the Jews and the Palestinians are indigenous to the same little tortured piece of land."

But you can cancel the supremacy of a presumed right of an Arab collective to claim they have a better right to this country they call "Palestine" (and until the 1920s, they called it "Southern Syria") than Jews possess. And you can justify this line in the preamble of the League of Nations decision to grant Jews a national home: "recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country" as well as the total ignoring therein of Arabs and any special rights as Arabs per se other than simply being residents. You can cancel their strategy of terror, their refusal to compromise and their rejection of negotiations. And after so many cancellations and many more, one can come to a certain conclusion.

That's it.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

An Egyptian Jew in Eretz-Yisrael in the 14th century.

I attended the opening of a new exhibition at the Israel Museumm this past week:

Painting a Pilgrimage: A 14th Century Hebrew Scroll Unveiled is curated by Dr. Rachel Sarfati at the Spertus Gallery.

On display is a scroll from the 14th century. It is almost eleven meters long and

documents the pilgrimage of an Egyptian Jew to the Land of Israel. Its 130 illustrations (often accompanied by inscriptions) of sanctified places from Egypt to Lebanon offer a glimpse of what the region looked like over 700 years ago...The central illustration, which is some two meters long, depicts the Temple on the Temple Mount and reflects the belief shared by Muslims and Jews in the Middle Ages that the Dome of the Rock was built in commemoration of Solomon's Temple.

My photographs:








Let me repeat that: an Egyptian Jew travels to Eretz-Yisrael in the 14th century.

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Now, the 'in-term' is "Spiking"

Always pay attention to the use of words and terms as part of the semantic wars.

For example:

Settler attacks on Palestinian spike, reflecting Israel's systemic failure by Amos Harel in Haaretz, Nov. 19, 2021

Shall we review the use of "spike"?

Spike in Israeli settler attacks serves Bennett government policy: Terrorize Palestinians and take more land on Otober 18, 2021.

On January 28, 2021, we read: Spike in settler violence backed and encouraged by state and on April 14, 2021, the UN 'says': Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians spike to 210 so far this year. And on February 2020, a year earlier, the EU spoke out against Israeli settler spike.

Back in the Fall of 2012, you could have read in an academic article of "The spike in assaults on Palestinians".

Given that "spike" means a sharp increase in the magnitude or concentration of something, obviously, there is usually a reason for that increase and it behooves those who use it to explain why. Or even prove there is an actual spike.

That, I fear, would then defeat the whole purpose of emplying the term "spike" for it is used more as a scare tactic than anything else.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

How the PLO Alters History in Magid's Book Review

Originally published at the +972 site (and republished by the PLO's Department of Culture and Information which found it worthy), Shaul Magid's review of Mikhael Manekin's “The Dawn of Redemption: Ethics and Tradition in a Time of Power” provides insight not only into a leader of the "Breaking the Silence" group but for purposes of this blogpost, Maggid himself.

Manekin, a Jerusalemite, attended the Maaleh Gilboa Yeshiva, was diretor of "Breaking the Silence", then of Avrum Burg's "Molad" institute and now the "Nationalism and Partnership" group linked to the NGO "Cooperation for the Future" or The Alliance, as well as the joint Arab-Israel Van Leer Institute section. The raison d'etre is a 

"striving for a formulation of a shared political syntax; a toolbox that includes a bridging narrative; formulas for political and ethical justification; and social, cultural, and political frameworks. All of these aspects will join into a subset that can be called 'binational interventional politics'...The moral demand of the group’s members is an increase in equality and civil and national justice and the development of a political tradition of respectful national partnership".

Note the "binational".

A bit more of how Magid sees the book:

“The Dawn of Redemption” reflects on the power, abuses, and failure of religious Zionism as an institution of power in Israel today...the brutality of Israel’s ribonut...a new monstrous “national religious Jew” has been created...theological chauvinism and secular violence, messianism enacted through subjugation. In short, unadulterated ribonut.

Now that we are clear as to the book itself, I want to point something out regarding Magid. He recalls a 1953 incident so:

the infamous October 1953 massacre in the West Bank village of Qibya, which was then occupied by Jordan. On orders from above, a group of Israeli soldiers led by Ariel Sharon slaughtered at least 69 Palestinian civilians in the village, the majority of them women and children. 

The repraisal raid on Qibya did indeed occur and it happened on October 14. It was led by Sharon. "Slaughtered", however, is not the correct term. The assault details are quite well known:

IDF soldiers encountered resistance from soldiers and village guards, and in the gunbattle that followed, 10–12 soldiers and guards defending the village were killed and an Israeli soldier was lightly wounded. The soldiers did not thoroughly inspect the homes in the village for the presence of residents, and when military engineers dynamited dozens of buildings across the village, scores of civilians were killed.

This, to be fair, was a basic repeat of the Palmah operation in February 1948 at Sasa*.

But the review was tampered with by the PLO.

After the words: "the majority of them women and children," 

they insert: 

"who were coming home from their fields after transgressing a curfew that they didn’t even know existed"

Screen shot:

That, of course, is another unfortunate incident, from the 1956 Sinai Campaign.

Now, ask yourselves, why would the PLO do that?

Are they not knowledgeable?

Do they presume their audience is not knowledgeable?

Will Magid complain?

Will +972?


______

*

On February 15, 1948, a Palmach unit entered the village during the night and, without resistance, planted explosives against some of the houses. It was reported at the time that ten or more houses were totally or partially destroyed and 11 villagers were killed (5 of them small children). According to the official history of the Haganah, the village had been used as a base for Arab fighters...According to Benvenisti (who gives the date of the attack as 14 February), the Palmach units that raided Sa'sa' killed 60 people and demolished 16 houses.

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Monday, November 08, 2021

Lebanon - A Christian Nation

The Maronite expatriates from Lebanon were quite active in the Detroit area of the United States. I recall hearing about their strong anti-Moslem stand and the cooperation that developed between them and the Revisionist Party in he US.

Here is from a memo of A. Richards, General Director, "Friends of Lebanon", Detroit/New Mexio, June 1955, that Eri Jabotinsky was involved in and recently upload by the Israel State Archives:



The file contains much additional material for background.



The idea that Israel could cooperate with these elements was not new to Menachem Begin when the First Lebanese War began later in 1981.

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Seidemann Corrupting History

In a recent mailing sent out by Kares Shapiro and Mark Gold of "Partners for Progressive Israel" on the issue of Sheikh Jarrah, they include an appeal by Danny Seidmann 


along with
a clip of him speaking, ominously, about a renewal of the "Naqba" and quoting him about the legal aspect of the property dispute so:

They purchased the claims to the East Jerusalem property from the earlier Jewish owners and took the Palestinian residents to court in order to evict them—to make way, it must be noted, not for descendants of the Jewish residents, but for settlers who never lived there, and who ultimately seek to drive out Palestinian presence from the city.

The Arabs living there at present, it should be noted have no connection to that area of Jerusalem or the former resident either. They were resettled from other areas in the city. In fact, the history of Silwan itself, Kfar Shiloah in the Hebrew, is one of ethnic-leansing of its Jewish residents - not during the 1948 war, when the aggressive Arabs lost their intended war of Jewish extinction - but during the 1930s, during yet another round of Arab terror.

In other words, the Jewish expulsion resulted not from mutual hostilities or an attack by Jews on Arabs but by Arab aggression on Jewish civilians seeking to eradicate their existence in the neighborhood a decade prior to the Naqba situation (itself brought upon the Arabs by their lawlessness, their violence, their rejection of diplomacy and compromise).

I am no lawyer but I do know the history of the conflict and Seidemann is corrupting our understanding of what happened, when it happened and for what purpose. When that happens, the law becomes irrelvant.


Monday, November 01, 2021

Islamist Voice: Not Containment but Confronation

I am excerpting from "The Silent Zionist Prayers - Containment Instead of Confrontation" by Ahmed Samir Quneita, published on October 31, 2021 in Arabic. Quenita 



is a Master's student in Diplomacy and International Relations and who specializes in Syrian matters.

I post his writing so that we all are presented with the terminology and the framing of the true conceptualization of the Islamic opposition to Zionism.

He is bothered by "Zionist plans to Judaize Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, through a series of provocative activities against Muslims and Arabs" so as "to impose a new reality that enhances the Zionist presence inside the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque at the expense of the original Palestinian right". The goal is "temporal and spatial division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque - similar to what is happening in the Ibrahimi Mosque in the city of Hebron - marking the establishment of the alleged temple on the ruins of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque".

He is upset with "the official Arab political apostasy and the rush towards normalization with the occupying Zionist entity":

"What is new this time...is allowing the establishment of 'silent Talmudic prayers' inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, after these rituals were forbidden to the herds of rapists who stormed Al-Aqsa...this prohibition of 'silent prayers' was not related to Zionist judicial rulings or legal regulations, but rather in response to security assessments presented by the occupation police to the official authorities regarding the possibility of confrontations between Al-Mourabitat al-Quds and the Zionist police forces...such rituals provoke the religious feelings of Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims."

"A judge in the 'Zionist Magistrate’s Court' in Jerusalem had ruled at the beginning of October that silent prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque “cannot be interpreted as a criminal act,” and that there was nothing to prevent 'the natural right of the Jews to pray on the Temple Mount'.”

"...the Zionist occupation seeks to make a milestone in the series of Judaizing the Holy City, by achieving a qualitative achievement represented in allowing the performance of "silent prayers" and with the support and blessing of the 'Zionist Magistrate's Court'...we are facing a dangerous stage entitled to allow the settlers’ flocks to perform their prayers 'but silently', and that the issue of temporal and spatial division is around the corner if the enemy succeeds in passing this malicious scheme against the Arabs and Muslims."

The Jordanian side, which is entrusted with the Department of Islamic Endowments in occupied Jerusalem, did not issue any reaction commensurate with the size of the Zionist crime, the 'silent prayer' permit, except for the statement issued by the Jordanian Foreign Ministry on October 6, which stated that 'the decision is null and without effect.'...

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Responding to the Jabotinsky Fascist Claim

I see that in the new issue, my letter does not appear (not that I expected it).

An extract from a review of Tom Segev's biography of David Ben-Gurion in the New York Review of Books:

Segev consistently opts for the less charitable interpretation...A more significant example is the conflict with the Revisionists, a militant, nationalist faction of the Zionist movement, which later evolved into the Likud party. Ben-Gurion described them as an enemy and the fight against them as a war. He called the Revisionist party “a Jewish Nazi party” and its leader, the Odessa-born writer Vladimir Jabotinsky, “Vladimir Hitler.” For Segev, this was all “verbal acrobatics.” In November 1944, following a series of terrorist attacks by the Revisionist underground organizations against British targets, Ben-Gurion ordered Haganah forces to crack down on them. Surrendering Jewish fighters to the resented Mandate authorities was no more popular among his ranks than restraint in the face of Arab violence had been a decade earlier. But he insisted: “The two are incompatible—either the way of the terrorists or the way of Zionism.”

According to Segev, this too was merely a political power play, “a struggle over who would rule the Jewish state that would be born after the war.” The differences between them—differences that arguably shape the political landscape in Israel to this day—are in his account negligible:

Jabotinsky was not a fascist any more than Ben-Gurion was a Marxist. Ben-Gurion was no less nationalist or militarist than Jabotinsky. The right-left divide in the Zionist movement was largely a matter of style and modes of operation, not of fundamental values. In the large picture, it was a fight over power more than it was over ideas.

It is true that Labor Zionists and Revisionists had the same goal: an independent state with a Jewish majority in historic Palestine. (Though arguably they had very different ideas about the character this state should have; the sympathy expressed by prominent Revisionists for fascism—saluting their leader as “Duce” and their unscrupulous targeting of civilians—might plausibly be taken to indicate differences in “fundamental values.”) Indeed, both parties were opposed to binationalism—the creation of a single state for both Jews and Arabs in Palestine—which was advocated in one form by the Communists and in another by a group of utopian intellectuals known as Brit Shalom. But the ideological conflicts in the Zionist movement cannot be reduced to the question of binationalism (a fanciful idea even by Segev’s account).

At a high enough altitude all differences disappear. For Segev, it seems, ideas belong to the sublime realm of fundamental values or goals. Everything else is just power, by which he means the struggle for personal gain and position. But between values and egos lies the domain of what is to be done—the domain of politics. That is where Ben-Gurion excelled.

I sent this letter to the editor:

In Assaf Sharon's review of Tom Segev's biography of David Ben-Gurion (‘This Obstinate Little Man’, Nov. 4), he refers to the clash between Ben-Gurion and Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky. Sharon notes Segev's opinion that "Jabotinsky was not a fascist any more than Ben-Gurion was a Marxist" yet adds his own view that Jabotinsky's followers were "saluting their leader as 'Duce'" and engaged in "unscrupulous targeting of civilians".

Only one member of Jabotinsky's Revisionist Party, Dr. Abba Ahimeir, suggested such behavior but Jabotinsky rejected the idea. Only amongst members in the Italian branch of his movement was he called 'Duce' due to the political atmosphere in that country. As Avishai Margalit explained in these pages (NYRB, "The Spell of Jabotinsky", Nov. 6, 2014), Jabotinsky repudiated fascism. He refused to meet Mussolini (although Chaim Weizmann did so, four times).

It need also be clarified that the "civilians" targeted were Arabs during the 1937-1939 years of the Arab Revolt when, after Arab terror gangs attacked Jewish civilians in their homes, in marketplaces and on public transportation, the Revisionist militia, the Irgun, retaliated in kind.

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Letter to the Editor Re: Temple Mount

Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine, Otober 29, 2021

Jeremy Sharon’s excellent overview of the Temple Mount situation at present should have recalled four background essentials for a fuller understanding of the issue.

Firstly, the sanctified Jewish “Temple Mount” area is smaller than the Muslim al-Haram al-Sharif, and Jews do not seek to enter Muslim buildings. There is enough room for Muslims, Jews and Christians to pray without “invading” another’s territory.

The second is that Jewish prayer is recognized as a basic right by decisions of the High Court of Justice based on the 1967 Law for the Preservation of Holy Places. Prayer is not illegal.

Third, the status quo of 1967 is not upheld by the Muslim Wakf, which has built three new mosques within the compound, destroyed historical and archaeological artifacts and altered administrative customs.

Fourth, Jordan, which is responsible for the (Jerusalem) Wakf Islamic religious trust and funds it, refuses to fulfill its obligations as per the 1994 Peace Treaty with Israel. Article 9 reads: “Each Party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance... The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.” Even the positioning of surveillance cameras that could help prevent violence at the Temple Mount was sabotaged by Jordan.

YISRAEL MEDAD

Shiloh

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