Sunday, September 30, 2007

Who is the "He"?

a lot of the animosity (in the world) is centered around what's happening to bring peace or not bring peace in (Israel-Palestine)."

"There hasn't been one single day of peace talks in the last seven years," he complained.

Yup, wise Jimmy Carter.

Sky on the Maxim Spread


Sorry, no pics on this blog.

When Arrested, Be Careful

As a precautionary follow-up to Nadia Matar's story, please pay attention of what not to do:-

A woman late to her plane became irate, was put in handcuffs and was later found dead in a holding cell, police said. Authorities were investigating Saturday if the woman choked herself while trying to get free from the handcuffs.

Carol Ann Gotbaum, 45, of New York, was arrested Friday at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport after a conflict with gate crews who refused to allow her to board a plane, said Sgt. Andy Hill, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Officers handcuffed her and took her to the holding room, where she kept screaming, authorities said. Hill said officers checked on her when she stopped screaming and found her unresponsive.

Hill said it appears Gotbaum may have tried to get out of her handcuffs, became tangled in the process and the cuffs ended up around her neck.


What Have Shiloh and Stanley in Common?

The famous explorer, Henry Morton Stanley and the name of my community have this in common:-

The man we know as Stanley was born John Rowlands in North Wales to a dissolute mother, and at the age of 6 was confined to the misery of a workhouse. He escaped once but was sent back by ashamed and indifferent relatives. He was discharged from this semi-prison at 15, got a job on an American ship, which he jumped in New Orleans. He worked awhile there, experimented with a new name and identity and joined the Confederate Army, in a local regiment, the Dixie Grays, in 1861. He fought at the battle of Shiloh, was captured by a Union patrol, clapped into prison at Camp Douglas and given the choice of fighting for the North or rotting. He changed sides, marched under a Union flag, then deserted and sailed to Wales, where he was again rejected by his mother: “Never come back to me again unless you are in far better circumstances than you seem to be in now.”


Even He Knows the Truth

Who said this, confirming my point about the Mandate awarded to the Jewish People to reconstitute their national homeland:-

The British saw the Jews as more or less like themselves: a people, a national group. There was anti-Semitism -- there was profound anti-Semitism in the British mandatory administration of Palestine -- but officially, institutionally, in the terms of the Balfour Declaration, the mandate and the League of Nations, the Jews were a national group. The Arabs were not seen in those terms; they were not a national group and did not exist as such. The words Arab and Palestinian are not in the mandate.

Rashid Khaladi

Jordan On the Temple Mount

Medialine has the stroy in full:-


The Hashemite Fund for the Renovation of Al-Aq'sa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock’s Board of Trustees conducted their first meeting on September 23. The meeting was attended by Jordan’s King 'Abdallah II, who announced a personal donation of over $1.5 million...The new fund is headed by a member of the royal family, Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad – another sign of the importance Jordan attributes to its activity.

...The fund has announced it will work to achieve two important goals: renovating the Al-Aq'sa Mosque and its surrounding compound, and supporting the Arab citizens of Jerusalem in order to "enable them to resist Israeli attempts to evict them from their city," according to Prince Ghazi.

"Looking after Jerusalem’s holy sites and supporting the steadfastness of its people are at the center of our attention and are a duty for all Muslims," King 'Abdallah II said during the meeting.

...Bab Al-Magharba is the central gate to the Al-Aq'sa compound. Last year the Jerusalem Municipality began renovation works on the earth rampart leading to the gate after parts of it collapsed...One of the first challenges to the seriousness of the Hashemite Fund will be the Bab Al-Magharba Bridge. During its first meeting this week one of its members, Raef Najm, said alternative plans to the Israeli bridge would soon be presented to UNESCO.

..."We, the members of committee, are unanimous in rejecting the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem and the annexation of the city," said another member of the Hashemite Fund, Dr. Kamil A-Sharif, during an interview with The Media Line.

According to A-Sharif, the main duty of the committee will be "to propagate the question of Jerusalem in the Muslim world and the world at large, to fight for the rights of the Arabs in Jerusalem and to reject the occupation. We are determined to keep the status of Jerusalem as an Arab city," A-Sharif said.

...Meanwhile, the fund is planning to implement a project to construct fire warning and extinguishing systems in the Al-Aq'sa compound. This project will begin in two weeks time after Eid Al-Fitr, head of the Jerusalem Islamic Endowments, Sheikh 'Azam Al-Khatib, told The Media Line.

Al-Khatib said he believed the main focus of the fund should be the renovation works in Al-Aq'sa.

"With regard to projects concerning the rest of Jerusalem, they are – to my understanding – outside the realm of the fund at present," Al-Khatib said.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I Have No Sympathy Either

Here's a great letter, commenting on the story Steve Erlanger published (and which I commented on) which implicitly implicated the father's a children killed by Israeli fire after a Qassam rocket attack:-

Re “For Gaza’s Young at Play, Fields Can Be Deadly” (front page, Sept. 26):

I have never hardened my heart to children, but I have no sympathy for parents who condone barrages of attacks against Israeli civilians (including Israeli children) in the name of a spurious resistance that has accomplished neither peace nor prosperity, while allowing militants freedom to launch those attacks from where their children play.

Israel is condemned for using “state power” to protect its citizens while Hamas, equally a “state power,” claims the right to endanger its own citizens by unprovoked and unproductive acts intended to maximize carnage.

True, these attacks have been ineffectual so far, but their intent is clear. Their material objective, however, is not.

Gazan children will be much better served when their leaders choose to focus on their welfare, through policies of peaceful coexistence, education and economic development.

Ellen W. Kaplan
Springfield, Mass., Sept. 26, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Roth on Cleaning

“My mother was one of those devoted daughters of Jewish immigrants who raised housekeeping in America to a great art. (Don’t talk to anyone in my family about cleaning – we saw cleaning in its heyday.)”

Phillip Roth


A Bit of Intellectualizing

One of the icons of anti-Zionist thinking is Hannah Arendt (previously dealt with in these pages [and here, too]), adored by the radical and progressive Left.

Here are some excerpts from an article, fair and balanced, on her Jewish writings and positions that clarifies some of her core problems.

Hannah Arendt and the modern Jewish experience

What is it about Arendt’s Jewish writings and persona that have rendered them so peculiarly divisive, and emotionally and ideologically charged?...

...Of her relationship to her second husband, the German radical and non-Jew, Heinrich Bl? she wrote in 1946: “If I had wanted to become respectable I would either have had to give up my interest in Jewish affairs or not marry a non-Jewish man, either option equally inhuman and in a sense, crazy”. Her Jewish identification was strong and passionate – “I belong to the Jews”, she declared, “beyond dispute or agreement” – but was never absolute.

...It is precisely this deep yet ambiguous involvement in existentially crucial Jewish matters, indeed, her partial “insider” status that still endow her, for many, with a troubling, even threatening, relevance. As a “connected critic”, a member of the family rather than an outsider or enemy, her arguments have standing and authority; they demand engagement rather than simple dismissal.

...Whereas nationalist historiography is based on the uncritical assumption of a distance on principle between Jews and their host nation, assimilationist historians opt for an equally uncritical assumption of a 100 per cent correspondence between Jews and their entire host nations. The advantage of the nationalist hypothesis over that of the assimilationists is a purely practical one: it does not lead to illusions that are quite so absurd . . . . But for Zionism – as for nationalist historiography – status as a “nation of foreigners” is just as undifferentiated as 100 per cent correspondence is for the assimilationists. Instead of one abstraction – the German people – we now have what are more or less two opposing abstractions: the German people and the Jews. This likewise strips the relationship between the Jews and their host nation of its historicity and reduces it to a play of forces (like those of attraction and repulsion) between two natural substances, an interaction that will be repeated everywhere Jews live . . . . Assimilationists were never able to explain how things could ever have turned out so badly, and for the Zionist there still remains the unresolved fact that things might have gone well.

...Arendt’s Jewish national politics were consistently couched in terms of the priority of popular needs, and a critique of self-serving and manipulative elites. Her withering comments on “notable”, “educated” and “exceptional” Jews and their contempt for East European Jews pervade these pages. Moreover, she regarded with wonder and admiration those national historical forces that “taught both Eastern and Western Jews to see their situation in identical terms” and, in 1944, showered praise on the Jewish underground movements for their elimination of “any difference between Western and Eastern Jews, between assimilated and unassimilated . . .”.

...One dimension of her dissent flowed from her belief that Jewish national rights and politics had to be conducted in worldwide rather than Palestinocentric terms. But the real gist, and the contemporary relevance, of these essays lies in the conviction that the relationship with the Arabs constituted “the only real political and moral issue” of Zionist and Israeli politics.

...Her notions of an intact Jewish nationalism on a federative or a binationalist basis have thus far proved illusory, given the ongoing lack of political will on all sides for such an arrangement. Yet her fears about the inherent problems and consequences of the conventional national route were realistic enough.

This, of course, recalls what was said of Phillip Roth:-

Roth, like his favourite character, Nathan Zuckerman, appears to be “a Jew without Jews, without Judaism, without Zionism, without Jewishness, without a temple or an army or even a pistol, a Jew clearly without a home, just the object itself, like a glass or an apple”. But a Jew nonetheless.

Erlanger Loved Among the Way-outers

I have been pointedly critical of the entrie thrust of Steve Erlanger's recent reports from Gaza ever since the overthrow.

Seems the far-out Jewish Left agrees, from the other side of the coin:-

With Yom Kippur just behind us, our thoughts turn now to the festival of Sukkot (sometimes known as the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles)...Like these other huts, the sukkot we build today are only temporarily fixed in place, and serve to instill within us a sense of movement and freedom.

It appears, however, that in Israel -- where you can find a sukkah on nearly every porch, in every yard and at every restaurant -- this message of movement and freedom is lost on those making policy decisions for the occupied West Bank...Sukkot is a time when we are to recall our own journey toward freedom and the wandering lives of our ancestors. Can we in good conscience celebrate fully when others are denied their freedom and freedom of movement? We can and should celebrate, but we need to also take special note of what is happening in the Occupied Territories while we celebrate.

Suggestions for Sukkot:

Learn about the restrictions the occupation places on daily life for Palestinians in the occupied territories and discuss them with your friends and family. A recent series of articles on this topic by Stever Erlanger of the New York Times is listed below.
For Gaza’s Young at Play, Fields Can Be Deadly by Steve Erlanger, New York Times, September 26, 2007
Isolation of Gaza Chokes Off Trade by Steve Erlanger, New York Times, September 19, 2007
West Bank Boys Dig a Living in Settler Trash by Steve Erlanger, New York Times, September 2, 2007
A Segregated Road in an Already Divided Land by Steve Erlanger, New York Times, August 11, 2007

This was written by Rabbi Scott B. Weiner, national board member who serves on the Rabbinic Cabinet of Brit Tzedek v'Shalom. He serves as the spiritual leader of the Hebrew Tabernacle Congregation in New York City...Rabbi Weiner co-founded the Running Rabbis, with his chevruta (study) partner, Rabbi Benjamin David. The Running Rabbis run marathons and other races to raise funds and awareness for important charities and causes.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 707
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

Study partner.

A Bit of Positive Propaganda

This is making the rounds:-

This year Islam and Judaism's holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days. Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terror attacks across 10 countries during this time...while Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Latin/Jewish Fusion Cooking?

I found this here (don't ask how) about a Pepper & Chili Fiesta in Brooklyn over Succot:-

The 15th annual celebration of all things spicy, from chilies to chutneys, will take place on Sept. 30, from noon to 6 p.m. There will be displays on growing chili plants, cooking demonstrations featuring Latin/Jewish fusion cooking, spicy pickles, Indian chutney and even chocolate and chili pepper recipes.

Since my wife manages the Kosher Carnival, maybe she can help out.

What is Latin/Jewish fusion cooking?

Here's one reference and here's another.

And Now for The Bad News

in the West Bank, where President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority holds sway, Palestinian security forces found what they said were two Qassam rockets and handed them over to the Israeli Army for inspection.


Well, well.

Some of you reading this post will be thinking, 'what does Medad want - the Pals. are helping Israel, providing it with security'.

Read on:-

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday condemned the Israel Defense Forces strikes on the Gaza Strip that killed 11 Palestinians since late Wednesday.

The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Thursday that Abbas, who is currently in New York, addressed the United Nations Security Council and world leaders demanding that they intervene to "stop the massacre of Palestinians being carried out by the army of the occupation in the Gaza Strip."

This incendiary language is not conducive to peace and security especially as everyone knows that 9 of the 11 killed were either Hamas or Islamic operatives.

That's good percentages.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Most-Hated Jewess?

Yigal Amir's wife, Larissa Trimbobler, seems to appear to be one of the most-hated Jewesses in Israel.

Here she is on the front page of Maariv under the headline: "The Murderer's Baby".

Since at least half of that baby is Larissa's, that headline is unfair.

But fairness never was a problem that could interfere with Israel's politically slanted press.

Our Special Ethiopian Program

My place of employment, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, has been sponsoring for the past 7 years a special educational leadership program for the Ethiopian community.

Not too long ago, we held an old-day seminar session and Dr. Shalva Weill of the Hebrew University and Rabbi MK Michael Melchior who is head of the Knesset's Education Committee.

Even I got in on the act (I coordinated it for 5 years):-

Does Bibi Know What Ross Knows?

Anything involving a Syrian nuclear development is going to be a concern for the Israelis--and their threshold of tolerance is going to be low. Israel has tracked the North Korea-Syrian military relationship very closely for a long time.

North Korea has provided Syria with advanced missile technology and surface-to-surface rockets of increasing range, accuracy, and payload.
Found in:-

by Dennis Ross

Well, he should know.

Noah's Ark on Sukkot in Jerusalem

A Darfur protest:-

Erlanger Enamored

Another Steve Erlanger "inside Gaza" story:-

September 26, 2007
For Gaza’s Young at Play, Fields Can Be Deadly
GAZA — The three Abu Ghazala fathers were in mourning, in the Palestinian way, sitting with their relatives recently in a shaded courtyard, open to the fields of watermelon and eggplant in which their children had died.

The children — Yehiya, 12, Mahmoud, 9, and Sara, 9 — were tending goats and playing tag on Aug. 29 when an Israeli shell or rocket blew them apart. “They went up to that palm tree,” said Ramadan Abu Ghazala, Yehiya’s father, pointing 300 yards away. “They went there every day.”

As the fathers, all farmers, talked, an Israeli blimp, with cameras, hovered in the sky above Beit Hanoun on the northern edge of Gaza, an Israeli drone buzzed in the air and an Israeli watchtower loomed over the nearby border. It was the blimp or the drone, presumably, that first identified the target.

And there's more.

Like this contradiction:

The Abu Ghazalas do not defend the rocket fire from their fields...Suleiman Abu Ghazala, Sara’s father, said the launcher in question had been sitting in the same field for three months; the others agreed.

Hmmm. Three months they didn't think to remove the launcher?

They crazy or perhaps they really do support Arab terror against Israeli civilians?

I Thinks Gershon Salomon Has Been Around Christains Too Much

Here's his latest flyer.

Some of his terminology is too "religious", methinks.

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement
will March on Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles)
18 Tishrei 5768 - September 30, 2007
to the Temple Mount and the City of David

The Faithful will make their pilgrimage of Sukkot and demonstrate against the evil anti-godly plans of the weak Prime Minister of Israel and the pressure coming from President Bush and Condoleezza Rice on Israel to divide the land of Israel, to found a "Palestinian" terror state and to make the Biblical Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a "Palestinian" capitol.

This is a revolt and evil in the eyes of the G–d of Israel and He will never allow it.

Everyone is called to take part in this very important event at a very critical time.

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will march on Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) 18 Tishrei 5768 - October 30, 2007 to the Temple Mount and the City of David. At 8:30 a.m. we shall march up to the Temple Mount to make the pilgrimage of this feast as G-d commanded us in His word. After 1,937 years of destruction the children of Israel will pilgrimage again to the holy hill of G-d in Jerusalem with a deep prayer in their hearts to make this pilgrimage next year in the rebuilt Temple of G-d.

At 9:30 we shall march to the Hulda Gates located on the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount, calling the Israeli Government to immediately open these holy gates which were the main entrance of millions of Israelis in the biblical times and were named for the great prophetess Hulda who prophesied in the First Temple age. In this holy place we shall also demonstrate against the pressure coming from President Bush and Condoleezza Rice on Israel to give away the Temple Mount and the sovereignty of Israel in this most holy place of Israel to the so called "Palestinian Authorities" and to put on the Dome of the Rock, the location of the Holy of Holies of the Temple, a "Palestinian " flag.

As it looks the weak Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, is going to surrender to this pressure. These terrible evil plans also include the division of Jerusalem , the eternal capitol of Israel and to found a "Palestinian" capitol in the biblical Jerusalem , the City of David, that will be the capitol of a "Palestinian" state that they together plan to found in the most biblical areas of the land of Israel, in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

These anti-godly evil plans are a terrible revolt against G-d who gave the land of Israel to His chosen people Israel for a purpose and to be the land where He Himself will dwell among His people Israel. He chose Jerusalem to be His capitol and the eternal capitol of His people Israel. Thousands of years ago He chose and anointed Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, to be His holy hill where His people Israel will build for Him the holy Temple where He will dwell among His people exactly as He commanded them: "Build me a Temple and I will dwell among you" (Exodus 25:8).

On this holy hill existed the First Temple of G-d, built by King Solomon 3,000 years ago that was destroyed by the Babylonians in the year 586 BCE and the Second Temple built in 516 BCE and destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 CE. Now the G–d of Israel is expecting and calling His people Israel to immediately build the Third Temple so that He can again dwell among His people Israel and among all His creation, as the prophet Isaiah prophesied: "My house will be a house of prayer for all nations" (Isaiah 2: 1-5 and Isaiah 56: 5&7).

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement will demonstrate mainly against the Prime Minister of Israel and his anti-godly and anti-Israeli plans. It never before happened that an Israeli leader will give away the Temple Mount, the biblical Jerusalem and the holy land of Israel to foreigners and enemies of the G–d and the people of Israel like the evil cruel so called "Palestinians" that invaded the land of Israel and are for more than 100 years making wars against the people of G-d with one intention and goal: To make it another Islamic country and state. It is a shame and a tragedy which never happened in the 4,000 year history of the people of G-d. And I am aware of the judgement of G-d that will come on all the partners of these evil plans and their nations. Tens of millions of Jews gave their lives to protect the Temple Mount of G-d, Jerusalem and the holy land of Israel or when they fought to liberate these holy places from foreign evil control. The G–d and the people of Israel will not allow it now to happen especially after the G–d of Israel regathered His people back to the land of Israel from all the corners of the world, reestablished for them the Kingdom of Israel and His Kingdom in the holy land, made Jerusalem again the eternal capitol of Himself and Israel and in 1967 returned the biblical Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to Israel to immediately rebuild His holy Temple. All these end-time godly events were a part of G-d's plan to redeem Israel and through Israel to redeem all the world. The Temple Mount Faithful Movement will very clearly state and swear in front of the holy hill of G-d that they will give their lives to avoid this evil and criminal plans. We shall swear like our forefathers: "If I will forget you Jerusalem I will forget my right hand..." and that the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the holy land of Israel will never fall again and that from here we shall never move and again be taken from.

After the demonstration in front of the Hulda Gates of the Temple Mount we shall march with the Israeli flags with the Star of David to the ancient City of David calling the people of Israel not to allow Olmert to divide Jerusalem and the holy land of Israel and to bring to pass this terrible crime of giving away the Temple Mount, the heart and the soul of Israel, to the most cruel enemies of the G–d and the people of Israel. At the end of this march we shall arrive at the ancient Siloam Pool that was just recently discovered where we shall make the traditional ceremony of the "Beit Shoevah Celebration" and "Nisuch HaMay'im" ceremony, exactly as our forefathers did when the Temple existed. They used to pull the water with prayers for a blessed year with rains and to pour the holy water on the alter in the Temple together with exciting thank prayers to the G–d of Israel for the blessings that He poured on His people Israel and the land that He gave them.

This is going to be a major godly and important event which will bring to the attention of everyone the godly significance of this special time that we are experiencing now and expectations of the G–d of Israel from His people to keep and protect the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the holy land that He gave them from any dangerous evil plans. We are going on Sukkot to the Temple Mount and the City of David to protect the heart and the soul of te G-d and the people Israel and all the world and to save the holy location of the Temple from evil pagan hands. We are going to call the people of Israel and her friends all over the world to remove the enemy from the holy Temple Mount of G-d and to immediately rebuild the Temple as G-d is calling us to do.

Everyone is called to participate in this major event of the Temple Mount Faithful Movement and to be a part of a major historical event that will be an important stage and step towards the rebuilding of the Temple and the completion of G-d's end-time plans. We are calling everyone to stand with the Faithful Movement and to help her to bring to pass all the end-time plans of the G–d of Israel in our lifetime.

May the G-d of Israel bless you and all our friends with a new blessed year to you and to your families. May G-d make the coming year the year of the rebuilding of His Temple and the coming of Mashiach ben David.

With deep appreciation and love to all of you,

Gershon Salomon
Chairman, The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement

NEWS FLASH: Three Arrested

Three activists for the Sukkot "Establish 5 New Communities" Campagin were arrested this morning at Chashmonaim.

They possessed flyers and orange colored caps.

Hebrew release here.

Dorothy Is Not Worried

Dorothy Naor has admirable qualities, mostly in what we refer to as the sphere of humanitarian activities. I don't mind her left-wing views but I have a problem with her priorities.

Here's part of Dorothy's story (a bit shortened and I'll comment below):-

Dear All,

I'm not from Machsom Watch. I'm just an individual that at times accompanies Palestinians to hospitals. Yesterday I received a phone call asking me if I could go today to Gaza to pick up a 17 year old patient at the Erez checkpoint and drive him and his father or uncle (one of them accompanies him) to Sheba hospital
near Tel Aviv. The boy has been fighting leukemia for several years...I arrived at the checkpoint at 9:00, only to learn that the Erez checkpoint was closed and that no one--but NO ONE-- was coming out, not for hours. There had been 'hot'
reports on some sort of Palestinian attempt at violence.

So I was told. I don't take these reports too seriously.

They could be true, but they just as likely are concocted to play to Israeli fears and assumptions, mainly to keep them in line--to keep the public fearing, so, heaven help it, it won't start asking questions and doubting that Israel needs an army, much less an army that is the 4th strongest in the world!

...Then I started phoning. Not so easy, because while I have numbers as the Civil Administration in my cell phone address book, these are for the West Bank, not Gaza. So that when I phoned Dalia at the Civil Administration, she was unable to help me. When later I had the Gaza phone numbers for the Civil Administration, no one answered the phone. Apart from these phone numbers, all my phone numbers of Knesset members and the like were at home. It just hadn't occurred to me that I might need them (that won't happen again). To make a long story short, several people whose numbers I had gave me phone numbers and made suggestions of whom to call. The female soldier at the gate gave me the phone numbers of the Erez DCO. The DCO couldn't help. The Physicians for Human Rights couldn't help. The person from the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said that he would help, but at the end said that he could not tell the army what to do. Later I was informed that it was the Shabak who was holding things up. The Knesset members that I contacted did not answer their phones (perhaps they were abroad). And so on and so forth...

What admirable qualities does Dorothy possess?

Gumption. Assertiveness. Willingness to do things alone.

Of course, however, her value system is a bit problematic.

It just so happens that the Pals. continue to send forth the suicide bombers and the incident at Tel Aviv inbetween Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is just one.

Yes, hard decisions have to be made and I certainly know that the police or other security personnel can be SOBs.

But, on the background of Pal. violence, that something like this occured should not be surprising to a seemingly intelligent person like Dorothy.

And if she doesn't appreciate the security we have in Israel due to the Shabak, etc., then let her go "over the rainbow".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Columbia U. and George Lincoln Rockwell

Over here, in a wrap-up of the demo outside Columbia University, you can see a member of my former synagogue in Queens, now known as the Young Israel of Holliswood, Awi Federgruen. If you're too tired to pop over there, okay, here's the picture:-

Anyway, in December 1965, George Lincoln Rockwell was scheduled to speak at Columbia and in addition to Youth Against War & Facism, a Communist front-group, all the Zionist youth groups and movements were out in force.

Betar planned something special. Basically, we were going to end Rockwell's life on the stage of the hall. A diversion was fixed in the form of cherrybombs while on the other side of the stage, in a bathroom, about eight of us were to be waiting so that we could take advantage of the pandemonium. We even practiced a day before in the stalls, changing around the seating arrangements, two to a stall, so that anyone checking would see different pants in different stalls. Someone was to extinguish the electricity, another 3-4 were to physically attack the Nazi and at least I was one who was supposed to protect the inner circle from attempted police attacks. I was 18 at the time and so while I still think we were right, at least I can always say "there's a youthful experience for you".

As luck would have it, someone we never knew phoned in a bomb threat while we were on the way from the Manhattan Moadon by bus. The campus was shut down and even an attempt by us to enter the grounds through the underground passageways failed (with me and BR just avoiding arrest due a very quick retreat).

Betarim never giving up, we got in through the Morningside Drive entrance, attempted to rush the side entrance to the hall but were rebuffed by New York's finest. Eli Solomon was thrown to the ground and stayed there long enough for a reporter to ask him what he was doing on the ground in a snow bank and he replied: "I am representing my Jewish brethren killed in the Holocaust".

Oh, we never accomplished our mission as the Nazi was arrested trying to crossover the George Washingston Bridge.

This Should Have Guided Our Own Oslo-oids in 1992-93

Melanie Phiilips quotes this:-

There is nothing really ‘unhinged’ about Ahamadinejad’s thinking, statements and actions. They are internally consistent. He is simply a fanatic who is wedded to an extremely dangerous exclusionary system of belief. Humanity must learn that dismissing him as a lunatic will result in great suffering, as it did with Hitler. Tragically, Ahmadinejad is the embodiment of several million people who are hinged exactly like him and who are willing to give their lives, and take with them as many lives as required in the service of their belief. In this age of Weapons of Mass Destruction a man with huge sums of petrodollars can serve as the catalyst of total annihilation.

Prudence would err on the side of being an alarmist than a complacent dismissive. Ahmadinejad and his ilk are not interested in any negotiation, any compromise or any live-and-let-live final solution. They are determined to be the soldiers of Mahdi come-what-may. They have no problem with the total destruction of the world. They are headed for a life of eternal bliss in Allah’s paradise. They hardly care, even rejoice, if the rest of humanity is subjected to a tragic death in the nuclear, biological and chemical wasteland of planet earth. Humanity cannot afford and must not ignore the emergence of the final threat to its very existence on this planet.

And the above analysis applies to our Rabin-Peres-Beilin Oslo Undergound Gang as well.

Oh, No! It's O Jerusalem

The book is now a film.

At their site, they have a timeline.

It starts when?

70 AD when Jerusalem is destroyed (which allows the Arabs to still claim they were here before the Jews 1500 years previously because they, now don't laugh, were the original Jebusites.


The Jebusite Arabs founded the City, according to current available archaeological artifacts some 5,000 years ago, during the bronze age, and named it Uru Salem – the City of Peace.

The next is 636 when Calif Omar conquers Jerusalem and the Muslim occupation begins.

Okay, two points for using the term "conquest" and "occupation" in an Arab context but what happened to Bar Kochba in 132-135? What about the Mishna and Gemara 250-500? What, we Jews weren't here at all?

From Judy Balint - Sukkot in Jerusalem

15 Ways You Know Sukkot is Coming in Jerusalem (Updated for 2007)

By Judy Lash Balint

1. The clang of metal poles and the sounds of hammering are practically constant as Jerusalem's apartment dwellers hurry to erect their sukkot and squeeze them into small balconies, odd-shaped gardens and otherwise derelict rooftops.

2. The tourists have landed! Overwhelmingly religious English and French speaking, they jam the city's take-out places and restaurants, and may be seen in packs wandering up and down Emek Refaim and Derekh Betlechem talking to their friends at top volume on their cell phones.

3. Almost every non-profit group worth their salt has scheduled a fund-raising and/or familiarization event for the days of Chol Hamoed Sukkot, aimed at capturing the attention of the wealthy temporary Jerusalem residents.

4. Real estate agents are taking a deep breath before their busiest week of the year as they prepare to pitch their over-priced wares to eager foreign buyers. Each of the many luxury residential building projects around town managed to put up billboards depicting the completed construction and inviting prospective buyers in for a tour of an unfinished building site.

4. You can't get on a bus without being poked in the rear a dozen times with someone's stray lulav.

5. The sweet smell of etrogim in Jerusalem's Machane Yehuda (Yehuda Market) is overpowering. Huge crowds descend on a lot on Jaffa Road neae the market to vie for the best lulav and etrog.

6. One enterprising bookstore is offering "Machzor rentals" for tourists who inadvertently left their holiday prayerbooks at home.

7. You've never seen such gaudy sukkah decorations in your life---unless you've been to Wal Mart on Xmas eve. Kiosks manned by bearded Haredim in Meah Shearim are selling gold, green and red tinsel hangings---exact replicas of Xmas decorations in the Old Country.

8. Huge piles of schach (palm fronds for the roof of the sukkah) cover major city squares, and citizens are invited to take as much as they need for free.

9. The usual throngs of traditional Jews are expected at the Western Wall for the thrice-yearly observance of the ancient ritual of Birkat Cohanim--Blessing by the Priests--that takes place during the intermediate days of Sukkot.

10. Like Xmas tree lots back in the US, empty city lots all over Jerusalem are taken over to sell sukkot of every size and description. Some are marketed by large companies and feature the latest space-saving technology and hardiest material, while others are simpler affairs made of tubular piping and plastic walls.. Every kosher restaurant in town has a sukka of some kind and each boasts bigger and better holiday specials to entice customers.

11. Since the entire week of Sukkot is a national holiday you'll have a tough time deciding which festival/event to take part in. There's the New Age Bereishit Festival at Dugit beach; The Tamar music and arts fest at Ein Gedi; Acco's acclaimed Fringe Theater Festival; Rishon L'Tzion's Wine Festival and a Storytellers Festival in Givatayim, to name just a few.

12. Touring the country is another favorite Sukkot activity and every political group is promoting trips to "See For Yourself." Hevron is a perennial favorite for Chol Hamoed (intermediate festival days) with a special opening of the Isaac Hall in the Cave of the Patriarchs that's normally off-limits to Jewish visitors. The far left organization Ir Amim funded by the European Union and the Ford Foundation, offers to take visitors to see their version of Jerusalem.

13. Not to be left out are those Christian friends of Israel--the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem will bring 6,000 members from 80 nations to attend their annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration. Opening ceremonies this year will take place at Ein Gedi, near the Dead Sea.

The Christian contingent will also take part in another annual Sukkot event, the Jerusalem March, dressed in costume of their countries of origin.

Organizers claim that the Christian event will pump $10 million into the local economy, taking up 15,000 hotel room nights during their stay.

14. Another prominent group of tourists set to arrive are refugees from the young frum singles scene who make an annual migration to Jerusalem from the Upper West Side for Sukkot. Discreet meetings of earnest, well-scrubbed, modestly dressed twenty-somethings take place in all the major hotel lobbies.

15. And speaking of refugees--spare a thought for those 1,700 families expelled from their homes in Gush Katif in August 2005. More than two years on and hardly any of them are living in permanent housing. 1,375 former Gush Katif residents are still unemployed. Several have died at a young ages and many couples have divorced due to the economic and social pressure and the uncertain future they face. Neither they nor the Israelis in and around Sderot who continue to endure Hamas shelling will need to be reminded of one of the essential messages of the Sukkot holiday--the flimsiness of our physical existence and our reliance on God for sustenance and shelter.

NYTimes Ill-logic

We welcome President Bush’s decision to include Syria on the list of countries invited to a November Middle East peace meeting...If Damascus chooses not to attend the meeting, it would again confirm its role as one of the region’s dangerous spoilers. If it chooses to come, the chances for peace may increase.

And why is this illogical, you ask?

Because no matter what Syria does or decides, the NYT will constantly pressuring Israel to give up its security (i.e., the Golan Heights).

But Can We Watch?

HaRav Mordechai Eliyahu sent out the following communique:

It is forbidden for Jews to participate in a march with Christian pilgrims in the streets of Jerusalem.

But can we watch?

Give Me That Ol' Time JNF

With appreciative thanks to Dassie Marcus, here are two pages from the 1939 amended Principles of Incorporation of JNF USA.

You'll notice in them very explicit goals - all of them Jewish, including "settlement". And the Palestine Mandate at that time included all the territory what Israel controls today - that is, all of Judea and Samaria.

Modern Liturgical Music

One of the piytuim given over to the adaption of new tunes during the High Holiday service is V'Chol Ma'aminim (here's one version).

Some bloggers have been competing for which is theri best tune and my choice is Enya's Anywhere Is:-

Monday, September 24, 2007

A View of a Jewish Neighborhood

The sukka is to be covered with branches and wood and so, every year we place an order for palm fronds.

And here are my order and that of my neighborhood, waiting for us when we stepped outside this morning early. An overnight job.

Carl Has Quarry Pics Up

Go here to see Carl's pictures at the Temple Mount building quarry.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

BBC Doesn't Like Jews?

The BBC has a story on the death of Marcel Marceau here.

What's missing?


At 15, his Jewish family was forced to flee their home when France entered the Second World War.

Now, if Wiki could have that, why would the BBC hide his identity?

I Hope Potential Suicide Bombers Can't Read


Well, you can read this:-

A Californian man has been charged with using his false leg to smuggle three endangered iguanas from a nature reserve in Fiji to the United States. Prosecutors say Jereme James stole the banded iguanas while on a visit to the South Pacific island in 2002. He is alleged to have constructed a special compartment inside his prosthetic limb to move the reptiles.

Here We Go Again

I smell a police state warming itself up.

(picture by Gemma Blech)

...There I was, sitting on the stone bench, discussing the issue with the lawyer, surrounded by friends - but the police obviously had no patience to wait till I finish my phone call. I heard him shout: Nadia, come with me right now otherwise you will be responsible for the violence that will happen here! Immediately after saying that, policemen started violently beating the women who were surrounding me to push their way through to get me. It was unbearable to see how they had no qualms beating and hitting older women and men. When they reached me they grabbed my arms and my legs, lifted me up like a sack of potatoes, shlepped me to the van in the most immodest way and threw me in the van. Being a religious woman I cover my head with a cap. In this violent commotion, my cap fell off so when I was in the van I raised myself, stuck my head out of the van and demanded to get my cap back. The policeman who was the driver barked at me saying: sit down right now. Another policewoman shouted: sit down right now or I will close the door on your head. I told them: I will not sit down till you give me my hat. To no avail.

The driver policeman, whose name I found out later is Avi Nissan #1114214, then grabbed my right wrist and twisted it in the most painful and violent way. The pain shot through my body. I was unable to stand and was thrown down on the seat-the door of the van shut. Then Michal Shofet, longtime Women in Green activist was pushed into the van too. I asked her why they arrested her. She told me that she was outside and witnessed the most brutal police behavior. When she saw that one woman had been pushed to the floor and looked as if she was fainting, she started shouting at the policeman demanding he stop hitting. That is when he grabbed her and pushed her into the van.She said that her arm was really hurting. When I told her how upset was that I had no head covering, she gave me her orange scarf.

...I want to thank all our dear family members, friends and supporters who came and gave us chizuk (strength). You guys are great. A special thanks to Honenu and Attorney Ephraim Katzir...

One thing is for sure. If the Olmert government thinks they scared us with their violent Bolshevik behavior, the exact opposite is the truth. We realize that we have touched a sensitive nerve. No arrests nor beatings will stop us. We will continue to fight for the Land, the People and the Torah of Israel. And if it is a crime to love the Land of Israel, then it is our honor to be arrested for such a "crime"!!

With Love of Israel,

Nadia Matar

P.S. Here is a link to the Arutz 7 article with video clips of the vigil:

Remember "Radical Chic"?

"Radical Chic" stems from the famous Leonard Bernstein party that Tom Wolfe satirized.

In "Radical Chic," Wolfe describes an intriguing phenomenon of the late Sixties: the courting of romantic radicals — Black Panthers, striking grapeworkers, Young Lords—by New York's socially elite. He focuses primarily on one symbolic event: the gathering of the radically chic at Leonard Bernstein's duplex apartment on Park Avenue to meet spokesmen of the Black Panther Party, to hear them out, and to talk over ways of aiding their cause. Tom Wolfe re-creates the incongruous scene — and its astonishing repercussions — with high fidelity. But he gives us more than just a wry account of life among the Beautiful People; he also provides a historical perspective on that impulse of the upper classes to identify themselves with what they imagine to be the raw, vital lifestyle of the lower orders.

and this:-

Such apparent incongruity had been observed also in France before and during the "May Revolution" of 1968. A contemporaneous account of early disturbances at the University of Nanterre noted that "it is the girls that give the show away - culottes, glossy leather, mini-skirts, boots - driving up in Mini-Coopers ...". Similarly, in Paris, "the theatre of the barricades ... attracted its share of chic walk-ons in Saint Laurent"

Well, it has mutated.

Read on:

Mohammad Bakri will be in New York next week and he has put himself in our hands for two nights. We of Al Jisser Group and the Defend Mohammad Bakri Committee decided that two quiet dinner meeting with Mohammad would be ideal. Two nights so that we would be small groups able to talk with him directly over dinner. We hope to have between 15 and 20 people each night.

Thus we invite you to join us on either of the two nights as we circulate Mohammad from table to table to talk one on one. There are two subjects that we wish him to
talk about and they are the reasons we are doing these fundraising dinners. We want him to give us a progress report on the terrible suit that is being brought against
him by five Israeli soldiers who claim that the film Jenin, Jenin ruined their lives. And amid the troubles we want to remember that his art must continue and thus we will ask him about the film he is now working on.

Mohammad will do a small piece of one of his plays for us -- a brief solo performance and we will show one of his films late after dinner for those who might wish to stay.

This dinner will be the familiar feast that Mamlouk Restaurant provides. Salam al Rawi of Mamlouk has graciously offered us space and permission and equipment to
project the videos.

Please invite you friends, circulate this announcement. Come hungry and bring your checkbook.

The hour is 7:00 pm The dates are: Tuesday September 25 or Wednesday September 26, 2007 Dinner donation is $100 or $50 allowing people to self select what they can afford.

Mamlouk Restaurant is at 211 E. 4th St. at Avenue A If you can't come and would like to donate, you can do so in two ways: Send a tax deductible check made out to "Al Jisser Group" Mail it to: Al Jisser Group P.O.Box 255 New York, NY 10013 or go to and donate via Paypal using a credit card.

Bakri is a liar, a sued propagandist. His film was fiction yet he gets away with it because, despite his "pineapple" pocked face, he's thought of as beautiful and smart and representative of the New Arab, despite the fact that a relative of his was involved in a terrorist act.

From Leslie Gelb's Review on the Mearsheimer and Walt Book

I believe that the authors are mostly wrong, as well as dangerously misleading...Mearsheimer and Walt, together with Carter and their phalanx of backers at universities and research institutes, have to be answered, not by calling them anti-Semites, but on the one familiar with their extensive scholarship or their lives ever accused them of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments ... until the appearance of their article last year. And such charges are not unusual in this little world. But as my mother often said, “They asked for trouble” — by the way they make their arguments, by their puzzlingly shoddy scholarship, by what they emphasize and de-emphasize, by what they leave out and by writing on this sensitive topic without doing extensive interviews with the lobbyists and the lobbied.

...they heat things up, declaring that no lobby has ever been more powerful. They start quoting others, like former Representative Lee Hamilton, who said in 1991 that “there’s no lobby group that matches it.” And they cite a number of staff members for the lobby bragging about their power. One said: “In 24 hours, we could have the signatures of 70 senators on this napkin.” Publishing these one-liners as some kind of evidence is not the stuff of good scholarship.

Most tellingly, and contrary to their careful opening definitions, Mearsheimer and Walt move on to one story after another, premised on the lobby’s domination of United States policy toward the Middle East. But they rarely back that premise up.

Read it all, here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Phony, No?

The "checkpoints", those security elements that save lives, are a constant proaganda theme. We've got Machsom Watch and Betselem and others beating the war drums against Israel on this and, as I posted earlier, even the UN counts them regularly.

Well, look what I found:

The United Nations listed 572 checkpoints (476 of them unguarded barricades)

So, about 80% of the so-called "harrassment" the Pals. undergo is, well, more BS than anything. I mean, even if they are dirt ramps and such, if they are unguarded, then how secure are they?

I don't; They Don't

These Muslims from the area of the PA were kept out of Jerusalem so they couldn't pray at the haram A-Sharif:


Sorry, but no sympathy here.

Since I can't pray on the Temple Mount, this picture doesn't pluck my heartstrings.

If the Muslims would deign to try some coexistence and compromise, then maybe we'd all be ahppy and pleased.

An Even-Handed and Balanced Peace Conference

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Washington plans to invite six Arab states including Syria to a Middle East peace conference...Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, plus the Palestinian Authority to attend the U.S.-sponsored conference, expected to be held in November.


They are inviting Israel, yes?

And Israel is coming???

Palestine's Pride

Now, most of you readers, veterans for sure and also newcomers, know that "Palestine" is a no word at this blog. There are no "Palestinian Arabs" but "Pals."

“Now, Palestine, Tex., is on the map,” he said

But I'm more than willing to make an exception in this instance because I love American football and this is a great story of "Palestine's Pride"

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chelsea & Avram Grant

"Avram Grant is going to be as welcome as Camilla at Diana's memorial.

"This guy is not well-loved at Chelsea. He is not going to last."


The question really is: will there be a rise in antisemtic threats, curses and insults or worse? The previous manager was a foreigner so that can't be a factor. And Grant hasn't be given a chance to win or lose yet.

We'll wait.

After Lerner, Gittai

Variety's review of the new film, "Disengagement"-

Amos Gitai's English-language "Disengagement," about the eviction of Israeli settlers from Gaza..Featuring a virtuoso, disquietingly fey performance by Juliette Binoche and a compelling straight-arrow turn by Israeli heartthrob (and Gitai regular) Liron Levo, magisterial pic shifts foreground and background as it focuses on both mass displacement and its impact on a family. Displaying none of the rough edges or lumpen agitprop that often shake up Gitai's narratives, pic joyously disturbs on all levels. Distribs should take notice.

In a narrow train corridor, a French-Israeli man who isn't really French and a Dutch-Palestinian woman who isn't really Dutch share a passionate kiss and more, in an out-of-context promise of Middle Eastern detente. The man is Uli (Levo), and he is traveling to France, where his adoptive father has just died.

A hefty part of the pic takes place in that father's rundown, emptied-out digs in Avignon, where daughter Ana (Juliette Binoche) has spent the past couple weeks. Ana welcomes her long-lost brother with something close to desperation, her affection bordering on the febrile while flirting with the sexual. The link between the siblings is palpable, Ana bringing out the more tender, imaginative side of her Israeli policeman brother, Uli evoking the thoughtfulness and decisiveness hidden beneath his sister's passivity.

Ana has decided to end her loveless marriage, and a visit to her father's longtime friend and lawyer (Jeanne Moreau, in a nicely authoritative cameo) reveals the daughter she abandoned at birth is now living in an Israeli settlement in Gaza. Ana insists on traveling there with Uli, who must return in time to evict the settlers.

Though superficially similar to "Free Zone" (with its ethnically conflicted heroine experiencing culture shock on her voyage through Israel), "Disengagement" is only momentarily a road movie. Denied the ability to travel with Uli by a paranoid colleague, and stopped at checkpoints along the way, Ana winds up wandering the desert with a troupe of fanatical settlers, fervent in their belief that their God will not let them be uprooted.

Gitai's extraordinary choreography of the reunion of Ana and daughter Dana (Dana Ivgy) in the midst of the forcible eviction of the settlers is nothing short of brilliant. The confusion, grief and disbelief of the settlers, and the compassion, impatience and anger of the police swirl around the family drama in endlessly evolving patterns for the pic's amazing last act.

Tech credits are superlative, maintaining a dynamic balance between interior emotion and exterior decor.

and from another review:-

...Critics have singled out the moment when Ana is reunited with her daughter (played by Dana Ivgy) as an extraordinarily choreographed scene of great emotional depth. In one of several long tracking shots in the film, Ana comes across her daughter supervising a class of small children just shortly before the settlers are forcibly removed from their homes. The two recognize each other and tentatively embrace, Dana lightly touching her mother's face, smearing finger paint on her cheek...

...Binoche, whose maternal grandparents were imprisoned at Auschwitz, has more than a fleeting interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has a clear recollection of when the Israeli government voted to implement a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza strip.

"I remember vividly when there was fear it was going to explode. And, actually, even though it was painful, it seemed that it went smoothly from an outsider's point of view. Of course, when you see documentaries, it is more complicated, and there were some conflicts. But most importantly there were no dead. It was such a vivid and painful subject," she says.

Gitai, who rose to fame and worked for a full decade in France, has since returned to Israel, where he continues to make films that tackle issues such as war, the role of women in Jewish society, and the triangulation of the individual, the family, and the State in Israel.

To Binoche, his instruction was invaluable: "I have to say that Amos has been my teacher for many years now, and we talked a lot about the situation. He taught me the history of Palestine and all the layers of conflicts. He has done some wonderful documentaries that he gave me and we discussed that many times. And it interests me, having a knowledge of what is going on. And not only reading it in newspapers which have one point of view."

Binoche points out the complexity of the situation but concedes that she was initially less sympathetic toward the Israeli settlers who had held occupation of the Gaza strip from the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 until their disengagement under orders from the Israeli government in 2005.

I have to say that when it was happening, I felt: 'Those people really have to leave this place. How come they managed to settle in 30 years ago. How was it possible? They have got to leave. There is no other way. Why do they hang onto things like that?' And when I saw the documentaries, I felt completely different. Then you realize that people were born there. Their neighbors, their friends, their education, the smells, and all the dreams that they bring are in them. And all of a sudden to have to go away," she says. "[This] was another layer that I didn't imagine as an outsider. So I felt compassion and [realized] that on each side it is very painful. It is terrible. I think it was necessary for them to go. It was completely necessary for Israel to make an effort and prove that they can do it. And I think it was the smartest move of Sharon's politics, because some of it I find very aggressive. And yet again, from an outsider's point of view the subject is endless because if you don't take sides, you somehow take a side.

"What I like about the movie is that it doesn't try to judge," she continues. "It exposes the feelings of different sides. For the Palestinians, it says: 'This is our land. And we have taken a lot bombs. We have nothing. We have stones. We are poor. And [the Israelis] have the power. We were chased in '48.'"

Binoche notes that during the panic of homes being torn down by bulldozers and cranes in the Gaza strip, Ana asks why are houses being destroyed when they could be used by Palestinians. "But," Binoche says, "it is the kind of question that is not a judgment. But you have to ask questions. And I think as an artist you have to be willing to expose political issues because they are human issues, and it is important to be responsible for them."

What About Pal. Promises?

Haaretz reports:-

Despite repeated promises to reduce the number of roadblocks in the West Bank, Israel has in fact added dozens of new ones, according to the United Nations.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak promised U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week to remove 24 roadblocks and consider additional alleviations of movement restrictions on the Palestinians. This followed a similar promise to alleviate movement restrictions that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

However, the number of roadblocks has now reached 572, an increase of 52 percent compared to 376 in August 2005, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In the past two months alone, Israel put up 40 new roadblocks, OCHA said.

Nu, the Pals. have promised a lot, too. Anyone at the UN tracking down their performance?

Religious Freedom?

Here's an excerpt from the US State Department's Report of Religious Freedom as regards the question of the Temple Mount.

Notice how, when touching on the definition of the status of the Temple Mount, the Haram al-Sharif is most definitely what the Muslims claim it is whereas for Jews, we only "refer" to it or "consider" it implying that it's not really true. That's a bit of the State Dept.'s own discrimination at work, I'd say.

Here's the material with some comments of mine in brackets:

Restrictions on Religious Freedom

PA government policy contributed to the generally free practice of religion, although problems persisted. The Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) contains the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, among the holiest sites in Islam. Jews refer to the same place as the Temple Mount and consider it the location of the ancient Jewish temple. The location has been, as with all of East Jerusalem, under Israeli control since 1967, when Israel captured the city (East Jerusalem was formally annexed in 1980, and thus Israel applies its laws to East Jerusalem). The Haram al-Sharif is administered, however, by the Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian-funded and administered Muslim religious trust for East Jerusalem with ties to the PA. The Israeli police have exclusive control of the Mughrabi Gate entrance to the compound and limit access to the compound from all entrances. The Waqf can object to entrance of particular persons, such as non-Muslim religious radicals, [that's me or Gershon Solomon] or to prohibited activities, such as prayer by non-Muslims or disrespectful clothing or behavior, but lacks effective authority to remove anyone from the site. In practice Waqf officials claimed that police often allowed religious radicals (such as Jews seeking to remove the mosques and to rebuild the ancient temple on the site) and immodestly dressed persons to enter and often were not responsive to enforcing the site's rules. During Passover in 2007, Israeli police escorted more than 100 activists affiliated with the right-wing group "The Temple Mount Faithful" to enter the compound on two consecutive days, the second day while carrying a model of the Second Temple [oh my gosh. wait, isn't that "religious freedom" for Jews??].

Non-Muslims may visit the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, with advance coordination with Waqf officials. The Israeli Government, as a matter of stated policy, has opposed worship at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount by non-Muslims since 1967 [not discriminmatory?]. Israeli police generally did not permit public prayer by non-Muslims and publicly indicated that this policy has not changed in light of the renewed visits of non-Muslims to the compound. However, Waqf officials contended that Israeli police, in contravention of their stated policy and the religious status quo, have allowed members of radical Jewish groups to enter and to worship at the site, including during Passover 2007. Representatives for these Jewish groups claimed successful attempts to pray inside the compound in interviews with the Israeli media. The Waqf interpreted police actions as part of an Israeli policy to incrementally reduce Waqf authority over the site and to give non-Muslims rights of worship in parts of the compound.

There were several violent clashes during the reporting period between Israeli police and Muslim worshippers on the Haram al-Sharif, which Waqf officials alleged were due to the large police contingent kept on the site. At times Muslim worshippers threw stones at police, and police fired tear gas and stun grenades at worshippers. Muslim worshippers also held demonstrations at the site to protest reported right-wing Israeli nationalist plans to damage the mosques or create a Jewish worship area at the site. Israeli security officials and police were generally proactive and effective in dealing with such threats.

Citing violence and security concerns, the Israeli Government has imposed a broad range of strict closures and curfews throughout the Occupied Territories since October 2000. These restrictions largely continued during the reporting period and resulted in significantly impeded freedom of access to places of worship in the West Bank for Muslims and Christians.

The Israeli Government prevented most Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza from reaching the Haram al-Sharif by prohibiting their entry into Jerusalem. Restrictions were often placed on entry into the Haram al-Sharif for Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, especially males under the age of 45. During the clashes surrounding the excavations at the Mughrabi Gate ramp in 2007, males under the age of 50 were prohibited entry to the Haram al-Sharif.

There were also disputes between the Muslim administrators of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and Israeli authorities regarding Israeli restrictions on Waqf attempts to carry out repairs and physical improvements on the compound and its mosques. Israeli authorities prevented the Waqf from conducting several improvement projects and removing debris from previous restorations to the site, alleging that the Waqf was attempting to alter the nature of the site or to discard antiquities of Jewish origin. Israeli authorities began excavations near the Mughrabi gate, preparing to build a permanent ramp onto the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Waqf officials were not allowed access to the excavations in early 2007 and claimed they were not consulted in any part of the planning process for either the excavations or the ramp that will be constructed to replace the existing ramp. At the end of this reporting period, the excavations were suspended...


Palestinian media frequently published and broadcast material criticizing the Israeli occupation, including dismissing Jewish connections to Jerusalem. In September 2005 Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi, the Chief Justice and President of the Higher Shari'a Council, called the Israeli Government's claim of a Jewish connection to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount a "baseless lie" and a provocation to Muslims everywhere. Al-Tamimi also warned against the "Judaization" of Jerusalem.

And there is also this:-

During the reporting period, Palestinian violence against Israeli settlers prevented some Israelis from reaching Jewish holy sites in the Occupied Territories, such as Joseph's Tomb near Nablus. Since early 2001, following the outbreak of the Intifada, the Israeli Government has prohibited Israeli citizens in unofficial capacities from traveling to the parts of the West Bank under the civil and security control of the PA. This restriction prevented Israeli Arabs from visiting Muslim and Christian holy sites in the West Bank, and it prevented Jewish Israelis from visiting other sites, including an ancient synagogue in Jericho. Visits to the Jericho synagogue have been severely curtailed as a result of disagreements between Israel and the PA over security arrangements.

Settler violence against Palestinians prevented some Palestinians from reaching holy sites in the Occupied Territories. Settlers in Hebron have in previous reporting periods forcibly prevented Muslim muezzins from reaching the al-Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs to sound the call to prayer and have harassed Muslim worshippers in Hebron. Settler harassment of Palestinians in Hebron was a regular occurrence in this reporting period. The Israeli Government did not effectively respond to settler-initiated blocking of Muslim religious sites.

Talkbacks on My Altalena Op-ed

If you revisit my JPost op-ed (who have already read it once, yes?), I've left a comment in response to some of the talkbacks there and here it is:-

There is a whole body of literature termed "counterfactual history" or, the "what-if" syndrome. If Lerner had applied himself to portraying Ben-Gurion as bringing on the Altalena more arms, a plan the Irgun suggested to the Hagana months earlier, what would have happened in the war against the Arabs. Now, that's what I call good theater drama. But Lerner is ideological, not an artist. Too bad since he does write well.

Codni is back to "Robusting"

A year ago, Condi was robusting all over the place (see my previous post).

On the way back from Israel, she was being very robust. Here are selections from her on-board press conference:- try and get this document done...There are a number of holidays to contend with, both Israeli and Islam holidays. [I thought that was cute]..

QUESTION: You spoke a bit more about the document on this trip than we've heard
before. Can you flesh that out a little bit for us? What do you expect the
document itself to do? Is it fair to call it an agreement? Is it something that
both sides will sign?

SECRETARY RICE: I think it's better to think of it as a joint statement. I
don't want to try to give it a name because I think they will name it at some
point...I think we'll have to -- they're going to have to have a few sessions between
their negotiating teams to really set the parameters of this document...

QUESTION: Just very quickly on the document, do you want to see some kind of
timeline, some specific benchmarks, you know, along the lines -- there was
something like that on the roadmap and kind of got away from it -- but just on
this issue of Gaza...
SECRETARY RICE: ...I don't really expect that this document that they would have would have timelines. I think that's not the intent...the United States has a very clear policy about Gaza. It is an indivisible part of the Palestinian territories. It will be a part of the Palestinian state...Remember what I'm saying is that we recognize the indivisibility of those territories...

...Security has to be resolved. It has to be a security concept that works for the new Palestinian state and for Israel and, for that matter, for the Palestinian neighbors. For instance, Egypt borders Gaza. There will have to be understanding about economic relations, about resources...I think that what really this does is -- recognizing that there is a sequence of obligations that will have to be fulfilled to get to a Palestinian state..this is a conflict, the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, that needs to be resolved for its own reasons. It's gone on a really
long time. The Palestinians have been without a state for a really long time.
There are generations now of Palestinians who've kind of come and gone while
the promise of statehood has been held out but hasn't been fulfilled. And I
think that that has been really not good for Palestinians, it's not been good
for Israelis and it's not been good for the region.

Released on September 21, 2007

Now, This is Chutzpah

Fark writes:

Woman who killed her husband with a shotgun asks court for custody of her three daughters, saying she needs their support to get over pain of losing her husband. Wow, the concept of 'chutzpah' exists in Tennessee

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Not a Kosher Carnival

My wife blogs a Kosher Carnival collection of recipes and other culinary ideas which, I understand (I just do a fancy omlette and the chicken soup; no expert am I), is quite popular. Here, send in stuff.

Anyway, here's one story I came across which is definitely not "kosher". Although I do wonder that if it was the wife who threw the onion - would she have been arrested.

Des Moines police investigate attack by onion

A Des Moines man went to jail Wednesday afternoon for allegedly throwing an onion at his wife.

The police report begins: "(The victim) states her husband had been drinking and they got into an argument."

James Izzolena, 54, of 3515 Sheridan Ave., was charged with domestic assault causing injury. Police said he became upset with his wife, Nicole Izzolena, 27, and tossed an onion at her, striking her in the back of the head. She told police it made her head hurt. James Izzolena admitted throwing the onion, police said, but he claimed he did not intend to hit her with it. He was being held without bond pending a court appearance today.

Hmm, did she cry?
(sorry, couldn't avoid that)

Temple Mount & the Five Towns

Even the Five Towns is waking up to the horrific destruction going on at the Temple Mount with an Israeli government in conivvance and with public complacency.

Maybe even OrthoMom will help out?

And by the way, did you know that the archeological finds on the Temple Mount this past month are "secret"?

Here in Hebrew is the news item from the court room when the plaintiffs were eascorted out opf the courtroom while the Antiquities Authortiy personnel exhibited their reports which, they claimed, were secret and here in English is a video interview with Israel Caspi on the subject.


Altalena Video Clip

Here's a video clip from Channel 10 news (in Hebrew) on the new Altalena docudrama.

And here is an interview (in Hebrew) with the actor that portrays Begin.

Israel Occupying?


by Howard Grief


It was a nerve-racking experience to attend an international conference of distinguished jurists on "Forty Years after 1967: Reappraising the Role and Limits of the Legal Discourse on Occupation in the Israeli-Palestinian Context", held on June 5-7, 2007 in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. This event was sponsored by three organizations promoting international humanitarian law, human rights and Israeli-Arab co-existence: The Minerva Center for Human Rights, based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. All the speakers and panelists referred repeatedly to Israel's "occupation" of "Palestinian territory", and alleged that the "West Bank" and Gaza are "occupied territories" under international law and that Israel's legal status in those territories is that of an "Occupying Power". No dissenting voices were heard, though one jurist, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershatz of Bar-Ilan University did say that the "occupation" was legally established within the framework of international law. I came to the conference as an observer to witness in person the folly and self-flagellation of Israel's legal elite who give vent to the most anti-Zionist and pro-Arab contentions in scholarly fashion. It was disgraceful to hear speaker after speaker holding the same unshakable assumption, that Israel is in serious breach of the laws of belligerent occupation, as laid down in the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, particularly as regards the establishment of "illegal" settlements in the "occupied territories" and its unmet obligations as an "Occupying Power" towards the Arabs.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from this Conference is that the Law Faculties of Israeli Universities are filled with professors and legal scholars who advocate the Arab case concerning the "occupation", and who have indoctrinated their impressionable students with the same injurious views. By railing against the "occupation", the legal scholars who populate the law faculties libel and berate their own country and encourage foreign scholars to join in the castigation of Israel for perpetuating the "occupation". Not least of all, they give aid and comfort to Israel's enemies.

It is becoming more and more difficult to refute the falsehood of "occupation", because this unfounded accusation has been given credence by no less an august institution than the Supreme Court of Israel. Beginning principally with the 1979 Eilon Moreh case and extending to recent cases involving the erection of the security fence and the Disengagement Implementation Law, the Court has affirmed that Israel is indeed an Occupying Power in Judea, Samaria and Gaza and governs these territories by virtue of the rules of belligerent occupation, exactly as Arab leaders have maintained. To overturn this libelous falsehood, it would require a special law to be passed by the Knesset, a law affirming Jewish legal rights to all parts of the Land of Israel, especially the so-called areas under "occupation". Such a law must state specifically that Israel does not occupy -- in the legal sense -- any area of the Land of Israel.

THE IDEA THAT Judea, Samaria and Gaza are under Israel's "occupation" was born on June 6-7, 1967, when the Israel Defense Forces overran and repossessed these territories in the Six-Day War and the National Unity Government headed by Levi Eshkol instantly applied Article 43 of the Hague Regulations to keep the existing laws in force. The invoking of this article of international law by the Government was based on the legal advice of then Military Advocate General and future Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, as well as several others who concurred in that decision. However, this step was in direct contradiction to the existing Israeli constitutional law embodied in the law known as the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance enacted by the Provisional State Council on September 16, 1948, and two proclamations that were issued by Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion just prior to the enactment of this law. These two proclamations -- the Jerusalem Proclamation of August 2, 1948 and the Land of Israel Proclamation of September 2, 1948 -- required the application of the law of the State to areas of the Land of Israel re-conquered by the IDF outside of the recommended UN partition borders of November 29, 1947. Both the law and the two Proclamations were made retroactive to May 15, 1948, thus creating one legal aggregate upon which to base future annexations of re-conquered territory that was part of the Land of Israel.

In contrast to the practice followed by Ben-Gurion's Government in 1948, the Eshkol government in 1967 applied not only the Hague Regulations relating to "occupied territories", but also the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. This gave birth to the assumption in the eyes of the world and in Israel itself that the liberated territories of the Land of Israel and the Jewish National Home were indeed "occupied territories". Israel chose to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention voluntarily and not to annex the liberated territories (except for eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights) out of demographic concerns and to keep alive the hope of signing peace treaties with the neighboring Arab states. But this provided no justification for the violation of the existing constitutional law or for failing to apply the law of the State to the liberated territories as Ben-Gurion did in 1948.

The term "occupation" is defined in article 42 of the Hague Regulations, where it states that "territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised". The premise of Article 42 is that the territory in question belongs to the Occupied Hostile State which lost this territory in a war with the Occupying State. Since Jordan was never the legitimate sovereign of Judea and Samaria -- its occupation of this territory during the 1948-1949 Israeli War of Liberation has always been unacceptable under international law -- there never was any "occupation" of Jordanian territory. For the same reason, under neither the Hague Rules nor the Fourth Geneva Convention was there any "occupation" of the Gaza Strip, since Egypt was never the sovereign of that territory and, in fact, never claimed to be. Furthermore, the term "occupied Palestinian territory" is a non sequitur, since with the termination of the Mandate for Palestine there is no state called "Palestine" from which any land was taken in war, and the laws of belligerent occupation apply only to independent states and not to non-state entities such as the "Palestinian Authority" and the so-called "Palestinian People". In truth, the areas of Mandated Palestine that are said to be under Israel's occupation are actually integral parts of the Jewish National Home and belong to the Jewish People under both Israeli constitutional law and international law as decided in the post-World War One global settlement and the carving-up of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.

The Jewish National Home is not merely a meaningless phrase or slogan. It was and still is a concept of international law that was accepted by the 52 member states of the League of Nations which confirmed the Mandate for Palestine on July 24, 1922. In addition, the United States approved the boundaries of the Jewish National Home, including Judea, Samaria and Gaza, when it signed a treaty with Great Britain respecting the Mandate on December 3, 1924; this treaty was then proclaimed by President Calvin Coolidge on December 5, 1925 as part of the law of the United States. The boundaries of Mandated Palestine were those previously set down in the Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 23, 1920 and embraced all the so-called "occupied territories" of today.

The first and most important speaker at the Conference was Prof. Yoram Dinstein of Tel-Aviv University. In his opinion, as stated personally to the present writer, the Arabs of Palestine inherited the rights of the ousted sovereign Jordan, which transferred those rights to the "Palestinians" as a result of King Hussein's Declaration of July 31, 1988 dissolving Jordan's legal and administrative links with the West Bank. Dinstein's opinion is untenable since, as already noted, Jordan was never the recognized or legitimate holder of sovereignty over what it called its "West Bank". It acquired this territory in May 1948 through an unprovoked act of aggression against the nascent Jewish State; it had no right to this territory and then illegally annexed it two years later. Only two countries recognized this illegal annexation, Pakistan and Great Britain, though the latter did not recognize the Jordanian appropriation of the eastern part of Jerusalem. Not even the Arab League of states recognized the Jordanian annexation of the conquered areas of Mandated Palestine.

There remains only one way to end the myth of Israeli "occupation" of lands that belong by law to the Jewish People. A future Government of Israel must abolish the military regime adopted in June 1967 for Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and replace the existing military laws and regulations with the law of the State of Israel.


Many Israeli and foreign jurists assume that Israel has violated the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, when it allowed Jewish communities to be built in Yehuda (Judea), Shomron (Samaria) and Gaza -- collectively, YESHA. Even Israel's Supreme Court has affirmed that Israel is an Occupying Power in these areas, having the right of governing them only by virtue of those Conventions. But is that true?

Since 1967, when the Israel Defense Forces conquered YESHA (as well as the Golan Heights and Sinai), successive Israeli governments applied Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, thereby retaining the existing laws of its former rulers. Invoking this article of international law was based on the legal advice of Meir Shamgar, Military Advocate-General in 1967 and later Supreme Court President, and others. This decision, however, directly contradicted existing Israeli constitutional law, the Area of Jurisdiction and Powers Ordinance enacted by the Provisional State Council on September 16, 1948, and two earlier proclamations issued by Prime Minister and Defense Minister, David Ben-Gurion.

The Jerusalem Proclamation of August 2, 1948 and the Land of Israel Proclamation of September 2, 1948 required the application of Israeli law to all areas of the Land of Israel re-possessed by the IDF beyond the UN partition borders of November 29, 1947. Both the law and the Proclamations were made retroactive to May 15, 1948, thus creating one legal aggregate upon which to base future annexations of re-conquered territory that was part of the Land of Israel and the internationally recognized Jewish National Home.

In contrast to the practice followed by Ben-Gurion's Government in 1948, the Eshkol National Unity Government in 1967 applied not only the Hague Regulations relating to "occupied territories", but also the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. This gave birth to the assumption that the liberated territories of the Land of Israel and the Jewish National Home were indeed "occupied territories".

Israel chose to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention voluntarily and did not annex the liberated territories (except for eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights) out of demographic concerns and to keep alive the hope that neighboring Arab states would make peace. But this provided no justification for the violation of existing constitutional law, or for failing to apply the law of the State to the liberated territories, as Ben-Gurion did in 1948.

THE TERM "OCCUPATION", DEFINED IN ARTICLE 42 of the Hague Regulations, refers to territory that is "actually placed under the authority of the hostile army and the occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised."

The premise of Article 42 is that territory which belonged to an Occupied State and was lost in war with the Occupying State cannot be claimed or annexed by the latter. Since Jordan was never the legitimate sovereign of Judea and Samaria -- its occupation of this territory during the 1948-1949 Israeli War of Liberation has always been unacceptable under international law -- there never was any "occupation" of Jordanian territory. For the same reason, neither under the Hague Rules nor the Fourth Geneva Convention was there any "occupation" of the Gaza Strip, since Egypt was never the sovereign of that territory and, in fact, never claimed to be.

Furthermore, the term "occupied Palestinian territory" is a non sequitur, since with the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine there is no state called "Palestine" from which any land was taken in war, and the laws of belligerent occupation apply only to independent states -- not to non-state entities such as the "Palestinian Authority" or the so-called "Palestinian People".

Areas of Palestine which were under the British Mandate that are said to be under "Israeli occupation" are actually integral parts of the Jewish National Home and belong to the Jewish People under both Israeli constitutional law and several international agreements concluded immediately after World War One, which constitute the real international law that is today conveniently forgotten by those alleging Israeli occupation of YESHA.

The belief that Palestinian Arabs inherited national and political rights from Jordan, which King Hussein then transferred to the "Palestinians" on July 31, 1988 when he dissolved Jordan's legal and administrative links with the West Bank has no legal basis. Since it acquired this territory through an unprovoked act of aggression, Jordan had no right to this territory. Not even the Arab League recognized the Jordanian annexation of the conquered areas of Mandated Palestine.

To repeat the conclusion from Part 1: to end the myth of Israeli "occupation", the Israeli government must abolish the military regime adopted in June 1967 for Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and replace the existing military laws and regulations with the law of the State of Israel.

[*] The proper names for the West Bank are Samaria and Judea -- Samaria is the land north of Jerusalem; Judea is the land south of Jerusalem. These names were used in Biblical times and throughout the centuries, until (Trans)Jordan invaded the territory in 1948, renaming the area the "West Bank".