Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The Priorities

Think about it:

if you look at the websites (1, 2,) listen to the radio and, this evening, watch the TV, more time and loquacity will be spent on the pushing and shoving between a bunch of kids at the Mu'awsi than the Kassamim and the oil & nails incident that fell yesterday and the day before.

A matter of priorities?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sharon and Jabotinsky

In his speech before the Jewish Agency Assembly justifying the disengagement program (third paragraph from the conclusion), Prime Minister Ariel Sharon explained his rationale for the pullback and expulsion of Jewish civilians from their homes as one of assuring a Jewish majority.

Announcing that
"we do not have the ability to ensure a Jewish majority in every area",
he stated that,
"we had a dream of a Jewish state in all the territories of the Land of Israel, but, unfortunately, we do not have the ability to realize the entire dream."

In support of his position, he quoted from a 1923 article by Ze'ev Jabotinsky wherein the founder of the Revisionist camp had defined Zionism as meaning a Jewish majority and noting that Zionism could be "lost" without a Jewish majority.

A review of the entire article indicates that either Sharon's speechwriter has difficulty in reading or he purposefully manipulated Jabotinsky's intent.

But, at the very least, it should be pointed out that in 1923, the number of Jews living in the-then British Mandate, less than 100,000, was not at all a majority of the resident population. In fact, they were perhaps 20%, less than the number of Arabs residing today under Israel's administration, in the state and the Yesha territories.

Obviously, Jabotinsky in 1923, in believing in a Zionism that would eventually achieve a Jewish majority, had a different value system that Sharon in 2005.

My CNN Interview

Here's my transcript of the CNN interview I did today on the Yesha Council protest.

Some excerpts to interest you:-

Now, sir, this protest, does it actually prove anything, these kinds of stunts? Does it actually win you any support?

YISRAEL MEDAD, SETTLER ACTIVIST: Well, we are using the democratic process as best as possible. We had over 10,000 vehicles on 400 kilometers of highway. We had over 5,000 people from the entrance of Jerusalem standing on the sidewalks to the Knesset.

This is the way -- the best way we get a message across directly to the people. And the message is, stop and think. With everything that's going on, with the security problems, with the pressure from the United States, maybe disengagement is not what it is supposed to be.

If any of those people break and begin a process of crumbling of his cabinet, with everything else in disarray, we feel that the principles on which Mr. Sharon presented to the Israeli public and his cabinet members, the logic is not there anymore.

There's American pressure. There's lack of American misunderstanding. And, of course, there's Arab terror that just continues. So what are we gaining in disengagement?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Misquoted Am I

Some of you may have seen this NYTimes report in which I am mentioned and my words quoted.

This is one part of the quotation:-
"If Israel continues to retreat and weaken its position, things will only get worse."
Actually, I'm peeved.

In the quote, I was referring to the security situation and I had mentioned the continued Kassams and the shooting on Friday as a result of the removal of a restrictive roadblock in deference to Condi Rice's diktat. The "things" were terror attacks and not where 8000 expelled civilians will end up living, without denigrating that problem.

I had attempted to point out to the reporter that the government's decision on Nitzanim, which served as the kick-off for our conversation, was only one element in a larger picture of Israel's predicament now that Sharon is continuing to press forward with disengagement. This, despite the anarchy in the PA-controlled areas, despite the terror, despite the killings as a result of the removal of the roadblock, the homocide attempt at Soroka Hospital, etc.

Made Little Green Footballs

My scanned photo from Ha'Aretz made Little Green Footballs thanks to AT

Wrong Term

I was asked to sign a petition in support of the two Bayit Leumi guys on trial for sedition.

I wrote back that the use of the Hebrew term "meri ezrachi" (civil revolt) is wrong.

It is a wrong translation of civil disobedience

It is wrong because it also plays into the hands of the charge sheet and makes them "guilty". I mean, after all, you are “revolting”, no?

And PR-wise, a better term is needed.

I suggested "hitnagdut ezrachit" = civil opposition. And there are other alternatives.

But, Israelis, being who they are, I doubt I'll get anywhere.

Reliving History

When I was a kid, reading history books, I always got this feeling of "why can't I be that character? why can't I relive his adventures?".

Well, now we can relive a possible trial like the Ramban or book burnings in medieval France. Read all about it -

Russia probing whether Jewish law constitutes incitement
By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent

Russia's state prosecutor has ordered an examination into the Shulhan Arukh - a code of Jewish halakhic law compiled in the 16th century - to ascertain whether it constitutes racist incitement and anti-Russian material.

The prosecutor ordered the probe against a Jewish umbrella organization in Russia for distributing a Russian translation of an abbreviation of the Shulhan Arukh.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Yesterday, Ariel Sharon's security advisor on disengagement affairs, Reserve Brigadier General Eival Gilad announced that if, G-d forbid!, Kassams come raining down on the troops and civilians during the proposed expulsion process in August, then the Israel Air Force will not hesitate to employ bombing of civilians if the launchers and/or gunmen are using them for cover.

Isn't it amazing that for over four years, when that same military action could have prevented loss of life, property and the creation of a strategic threat against Israel in the form of looming missile attacks, not to speak of the development of the trajectory industry in the Gaza district, it was not employed and the one time it was used, it resulted in an appeal to the High Court of Justice to prevent Dan Halutz from advancing in his military career.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ha'Aretz is such a liberal newspaper. Here's its report on the murder, from ambush, of a Jewish civilian by Arabs today:-

Israeli killed, youth hurt in West Bank terror ambush
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

Palestinian gunmen near the northern West Bank city of Tul Karm opened fire on a car carrying two Israelis in a drive-by ambush early Monday, killing the 35-year-old driver and lightly wounding his passenger, 15.

The militants fired from a passing car point near homes in the village of Baka al-Sharkiyeh, a few hundred meters from the Green Line border of the West Bank. The victims' car was driving from the nearby settlement of Hermesh.


Not "terrorists"?

Oh How They Lie

Ha'Aretz reported on Sunday that MK Mohammed Barakeh and Hadash Party supporters honored "three fallen heroes" with a march so as to “remember three hung by Brits in ‘29”. The hanged did not actually “struggle for their land against the British”, as Barakeh claims.

The three, hanged on June 17, 1930 (not 1929), were of an original group of 17 sentenced to death. Ata’ah Ahmed El-Zir and Muhammed Halil Abu-Jamjam of Hebron and Fuad Hajazi of Safed were found guilty of killing Jews, not British. They participated in one of the worst and hideous attacks on innocent civilians in the pre-state era. The Jews of Hebron and Safed had distanced themselves for the new Zionist pioneering enterprise but these three, and thousands more, pillaged their property, raped their women, butchered their men and slaughtered their children.

This, then, is the highlight of the activities of the Tawfiq Ziyad Center for National Culture and Creativity (!)which co-sponored the march.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Letter in Ha'Aretz (in Hebrew)

I have a letter in today's Hebrew edition of Ha'aretz pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left in not apologizing in any way and in any advert the taking out of an eye of a soldier during the "nonviolent" campaign against the security barrier. I even mentioned as unfortunate that the picture of the soldier that appeared in last Friday's Ha'aretz wasn't in Gideon Levy's column (which usually has a whole slew of maimed Pals.)

See the 8th letter here

Friday, June 10, 2005

Yesterday, there was a non-political demo here in Israel. As reported,

Residents of Kibbutz Na'an and other communities in the Rehovot area blocked the entrance to a nearby IDF communications base yesterday morning in a protest against an antenna complex in the army camp, which they say emits harmful radiation.

Some 300 pupils at the Ganei Hillel School at Kibbutz Na'an have been kept home by their parents since the begining of the week, to protest the presence of the antennae. The headquarters of the communities' campaign said that studies will not resume until the Defense Ministry orders the removal of the antennae from the base.

Did I not suggest months ago to use an additional tactic of blocking IDF bases to prevent the troops from even reaching the area of Gush Katif and not to wait until all the troops are there?

Seems it's now an "acceptable" behavior.

And as for the left-wing's criticism that we should not use children, read on (and thanks to RA):-

However, residents' support for the school strike is uneven. "If radiation is, in fact, emitted," said one Kfar Bilu resident who opposes sanctions, "there is no question that the site must be relocated. But I don't understand why we have to fight this war at our children's expense. We have the feeling that people are straying from the central goal and creating a situation that disrupts orderly registration for the coming school year."

Protest leader Colodner did not understand why this is a problem. In his opinion, the children's participation in demonstrations is an education in democracy.

A Lesson of History

My wife, as many of you know, calls her writings "musings".

Well, my outlook is more between contemplations and assertions.

One of the favored responses I have come across in all these years (soon to be decades) to the change in approach and policy by Ariel Sharon by those I debate (and I have appeared in some strange and weird places with similar-fashioned people) is that finally he has seen the light. They add, too, that they knew this years ago.

In my opinion, almost every single perception of future reality made by those of the nationalist camp has come true. I recall justifying my move to Tehiya in 1978 by saying to someone that "katyushas will yet fall on Israel from Gaza". The position of the nationalist camp is not easy to defend because it is predicated on (take your choice): pessimism, charges of racism or paternalism, despondency, fatalism, et al. This is not because the character of our ideology or positions but due to the nature of our enemy.

I started this after reading a book review of a volume on the Hollywood Ten.
Those were the writers, actors and others in the film industry that were outed
by McCarthy in the early 1950s. The new book, "Red Star of Hollywood", by
Ronald and Allis Radosh, deals with one specific issue that I think has relevance
to our situation here and the problem I noted above.

For at least 6 years, between 1933-1939, a major attraction of the Left and especially the Communist Party, was its firm and unyielding anti-Nazism. This lured all the best of America's liberals and the Jews, the latter a powerful demographic element of Hollywood as well as Manhattan's West Side theater district.

Well, late in August 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a volte face only comparable to, yes, you guessed, Ariel Sharon championing a Palestinian state, disengagement and a few other unniceties (I think I just made up a word there).

The Radoshs point out that the day before the signing, rumors were rife and CP leader
Herbert Biberman, Stalinist screenwriter and director, publicly denounced the rumors
as hideous fascist slanders. The Soviet Union would never cooperate with Hitlerite
Germany. A few days after the official pact signing, he became head of the Hollywood
Peace Forum as if nothing had happened.

Our leftists here in Israel, whether in academia, the juridical system, the state prosecution, the media and our cultural elite, are slap-happy silly over Sharon's twist-about. And his son's loyal minions in the Likud party together with the fawning, timorous, obsequious politicians that lend him support in the Knesset and cabinet see wisdom and logic were there is none.

The fact that Sharon has adopted the approach to the Jewish/Zionist/Israel -
Muslim/Palestinian/Arab conflict that has been promoted by the Left since Matzpen
and Leibowitz in 1967, not to get too historic and recall The Five, Brit Shalom and
the Ihud, has no relevance to truth, cogency of thought and morality. In fact, just two years later, all thoses commies themselves found out their terrible mistake.

We, in Israel, have twice been through major "mistakes" like this. The proposed
autonomy plan wnet down the drain, despite the intentions of its initiators and the
Oslo accords literally blew up in our faces.

But, unperturbed, and despite all the warnings, and despite Justice Edmund Levy's
valiant attempts, we are going to go through this all over again.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Really That Dumb?

Haaretz informs us that

Also Tuesday, IDF troops shot and killed a man who climbed over the fence at the Egypt-Gaza border and entered southern Gaza. IDF officials said they believed the man was an Egyptian involved in weapons smuggling. No weapons were found on his body, the officials said.

And the Egyptians couldn't see him, couldn't spot him?

And Israel is asking the Egyptians to take over the fence security between Egypt and Gaza?

Are Sharon and Co. really that dumb?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Muslims, Not Palestinians

This report I found at the Haaretz English site:

Police battle Arabs in Temple Mount clashes

By Jonathan Lis and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents

Israeli police rushed into the Temple Mount compound and clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinians outside the Al Aqsa mosque on Monday as Jews visited the site to mark Jerusaelem Day, the anniversary of the capture of the Old City and East Jerusalem during the 1967 war.

and a similar one off of Yedioth from Reuters:

Palestinians riot in Jerusalem

Police faced off against stone-throwing Palestinians outside Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque on Monday.

A police spokesman said forces moved onto the Temple Mount after several hundred Palestinians threw stones at Jewish visitors near the shrine. He said two Jewish visitors were hurt.

I think these rioters should more properly be described as "Muslims" as I doubt there were any Christians there and for sure, the only Jews were the ones getting stoned.