One of the gifts the Bar Mitzvah boy received was a journal.
He looked at it carefully, but couldn't quite figure it out. After all, even a pen he didn't receive.
"Mom, what's this book for? All the pages are blank," he asked.
"It's called a journal," she explained. "You write down interesting stuff that happens to you."
His face broke out into a smile.
"You mean it's sort of like a blog, only on paper?"
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Rosh Hodesh Av
Rosh Hodesh Shaharit Prayer at “Shalom Al Israel” in Jericho
On Monday 1st Menachem Av (12th July 2010): Departure from the community of “Mevoot Yericho” (with IDF escort) at 7:45 AM. A bus will be provided from Binynei HaUma in Jerusalem at 6:30 AM and will stop over at Beit Hogla at 7:00 AM.
* Possibility of boarding the bus at Beit Hogla (near the old Beit HaArava junction – take Highway 1 from Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, then turn north on Highway 90 and then travel 2km to the Mul Nevo army base).
* Possibility of arranging a ride from the central area (Petah Tikva, via Highway 5 and Tapuah Junction), phone Yoni 052-3527313.
* Cost: 50 sh; for youth and Yeshiva students: 25 sh.
* Advance booking required with Erna, tel 052-8699300 or Yoni, tel 052-3527313.
New Signposts for Shalom Al Israel
New signposts have been made and, with the help of G-d, we will affix them in and around Shalom Al Israel after the shaharit prayer in the Beit Knesset.
Beit Hogla is 9 Years-Old
We are situated in the lowest place in the world! Opposite Mt Nevo (where Moses is buried), we preserve the tradition of Moses our teacher.
Here is the place of the covenant between the multitudes of the Israelites and G-d, after crossing the Jordan river. Here, the Israelites held the first Pessah in the Land of Israel. Here the Israelites became a People with the aim of conquering the Land
On Monday 1st Menachem Av (12th July 2010) at 18:30: Guided tour and talk in Beit Hogla, followed at 21:00 by a fascinating lesson (in Hebrew) by Rav Doron Rozilio.
Contact Erna, tel 052-8699300 or Yoni, tel 052-3527313.
The one with no travel and food restictions?
The one on Cuba.
By the US:-
A congressional panel is poised to take the first step toward ending a decades-old U.S. ban on travel to Cuba and removing other hurdles to food sales to the Caribbean island, a senior lawmaker said on Tuesday.
nearly 50-year-old U.S. embargo on communist-led Cuba
But it seems there'll be strong resistance from conservative lawmakers and Cuban-Americans who oppose any step to ease restrictions on trade and travel with Cuba until a democratic government is in power in Havana.
So I checked:-
The United States embargo against Cuba is a commercial, economic, and financial embargo partially imposed on Cuba in October 1960. Entitled the Cuban Democracy Act, the embargo was codified into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of maintaining sanctions on Cuba so long as the Cuban government continues to refuse to move toward "democratization and greater respect for human rights". In 1996, Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act, which further restricted United States citizens from doing business in or with Cuba, and mandated restrictions on giving public or private assistance to any successor government in Havana unless and until certain claims against the Cuban government are met. In 1999, U.S. President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo even further by ending the practice of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies trading with Cuba. In 2000, Clinton authorized the sale of certain "humanitarian" US products to Cuba...It is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history.
No flotillas, though.
Well, none going in.
- - -
The activity in voluntary.
Would that it be true.
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settlers, Jewish (n.)
The cause of all conflict in the Middle East, and arguably in the entire world. (No other people in the entire history of the whole world ever "settled" anywhere they weren't supposed to except those damn Brooklyn-born Jews.)
Op-ed by Roger Cohen, June 10, 2010: Several factors have nudged the country [Israel] rightward: religious-settler extremism...
Read it all.
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“I have to admit, we, the private sector, have changed,” said Hulileh. “The mood used to be all the time to complain and say there is nothing we can do. And then the politicians were trying to create this atmosphere of resistance — resistance meant no development under occupation.”
Think about that.
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From an Irish friend
A *Richard and Cynthia Murphy* in NJ, and a *Tracey Lee Ann Foley* in Boston, MA are among the 10 held [the Russian spies in the US].
The use of a good Cork name like Murphy is clearly an effort to embarrass Foreign Minister Martin, and scupper his ill-concealed plans to rapidly replace Brian Cowen, while *Foley* must be aimed a well-known retired North Kerry Fianna Fail TD, Denis Foley who was exposed as having a secret off-shore tax-dodging bank account with Ansbasher.
Just has to a Mossad revenge operation - not a Russian one.
Unless of course Richard and Cynthia Murphy are related to Provo IRA chief, Thomas *Slab* Murphy...
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Returnig to Sheikh Jarrah
Continuing the struggle! Strengthening the solidarity!
against the settler and police violence, the house demolitions and the eviction of families.
The vigil will start at 16:00
At Shiekh Jarrah garden, Damascus road (next to the American Colony)
You can join us for the march (at 15:00) from Damascus gate to Sheikh Jarrah
New - from the vigil there will be tours to the various settlements in the Sheikh Jarrah
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, Yuval - 054-7982889
Transportation from Tel Aviv will leave from Arlozerov train station at 14:30. for more information call: Lihi - 0504880969
a) there's a spelling typo "returning"
b) just how many "settlements" are there in Shimon HaTzadik? Are there "Arab settlements", too?
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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Israeli radicalism foremost obstacle to peace -
...the first and foremost challenge that confronts the peace process today, is the radical right-wing mentality that controls the Israeli decision-making, which is reflected clearly in the outright denial of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination.
And what happened to terror? To Hamas policy of eradication? The PA's economic "ethnic cleansing"?
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I didn't until I read something here.
It's the Bank for International Settlements, actually.
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is
an international organisation which fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks.
The BIS fulfils this mandate by acting as:
- a forum to promote discussion and policy analysis among central banks and within the international financial community
- a centre for economic and monetary research
- a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions
- agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations
No, I have no aspirations to be international.
I'd settle for Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
- - -
and its caption reads:
Settlers pointing handguns at Palestinians near Nablus - Photo by: AP
The story is headlined:
West Bank settlers outraged by Israel Police curb on handguns | West Bank residents claim discrimination as nationwide campaign to limit gun use makes no exception for Israelis living beyond the Green Line
Now, do those look like handguns to you?
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Quoting him from a JPost report that "A military strike against Iran would be 'incredibly destabilizing'”, Ms. Rubin adds:
...this should certainly unnerve you — on multiple counts. First, we again see that the Obami consider the prospect of a strike on Iran to be ”destabilizing” — apparently more so than a nuclear-armed Iran. Second, Mullen confesses he really doesn’t know how far Iran’s nuclear program has progressed...is it evidence that our intelligence is deficient...Third...he thinks economic sanctions will be ineffective. Finally, and worst of all, even if Mullen believes these things, why in the world would he say them?
Her conclusion is that Mullen and Obama would want us to
...learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran. As many of us have argued for over a year, that has been and remains, if not the intent, at least the inevitable result of Obama’s Iran policy. That the vast majority of mainstream American Jewish leaders have not woken up to this reality – nor in any meaningful way challenged the administration – is a tragic failure of immense proportions.
I like being a blogger. It's being in
Her opinions and thinking I line up with.
But can't those American Jewish leaders think?
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Julia Gillard was elected [Australia's] prime minister last Thursday...
On Monday she was caught in her first political storm as prime minister following a letter written by Ross Burns, who served as Australia's ambassador to Israel between 2001 and 2003.
In a letter to the Sydney Morning Herald, Burns said Gillard has been ''remarkably taciturn on the excesses of Israeli actions in the past two years''.
The former diplomat hinted that Gillard's stand stemmed from her relations with Jewish Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon, who employs Gillard's partner Tim Mathieson and has been active in advancing Australia's ties with Israel...Burns was joined by another former Australian ambassador to Tel Aviv, Peter Rodgers, who said that under successive governments, Australia's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had become increasingly unbalanced
Despite the stink of antisemitism in bringing up Jewish money, could it be that she simply has heard the truth through good sources?
That she doesn't need to be 'even-handed' be faithful to the truth?
What type of ambassadors were these mates?
P.S. See MerylYourish.
(Kippah tip: DG)
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Palestinians 'cleanse' shops of goods made in settlements
‘This campaign is much stronger than throwing stones at the Israeli Army’
RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank: Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad launched on Monday a new door-to-door campaign aimed at “cleansing” shops in the occupied West Bank of goods produced in Israeli settlements.
The so-called “Shop-to-Shop” campaign is part of a months-old boycott that has seen the Western-backed Palestinian Authority impose fines and even jail sentences on merchants who trade in settlement goods.
“This is a new campaign, and an important part of the efforts, both official and popular, to cleanse the market of all settlement goods by the end of the year,” Fayyad told reporters on a visit to a supermarket in Ramallah, West bank.
That settles it (excuse the pun).
- - -
The accused in recent plots aimed at the United States are a diverse group, including an Army psychiatrist of Palestinian ancestry spraying gunfire at Fort Hood, Tex.; a popular coffee vendor from Afghanistan planning to blow up the New York subway; the son of a prominent Nigerian banker trying to take down an airliner over Detroit; and Mr. Shahzad, a Pakistani-American who loaded his Nissan Pathfinder with fertilizer, propane and gasoline in fortunately ineffectual combination.
Yet they all appear to have imagined themselves as warriors against the enemies of their faith. Their national or ethnic loyalties had been supplanted by loyalty to their co-religionists, the global community of Muslims, known as the ummah.
Maj. Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people in the Fort Hood shooting spree last November, had quoted the Koran in a 2007 PowerPoint demonstration to explain why some Muslim American soldiers might feel conflicted: “And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell.”
“If Muslim groups can convince Muslims that they are fighting for God against injustices of the ‘infidels,’ ” Major Hasan wrote, “then Muslims can become a potent adversary; i.e. suicide bombing.”
Not diverse. All Muslims.
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Jessie Gugig, 15, said she could not believe the charges, especially against Mrs. Murphy. “They couldn’t have been spies,” she said jokingly. “Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”- - -
This behavior was of no diplomatic benefit as Israel, nevertheless, was pilloried and subject to condemnation such as the Goldstone Report. Why then should Israel, despite its very Jewish ethics, seek to offer any further sacrifices, especially security endangerment and possible existential threats simply to gain favor from columnists and biased diplomats?
Roger Cohen describes the Biblical portion his daughter read for her Bat Mizvah as "about the Korah rebellion and God’s sweeping punishment" ("Modern Folly, Ancient Wisdom", June 11). He is referring to 250 Israelites swallowed up by the earth. They had sought to undermine Moses' authority. His daughter has learned that God needs human help to sensitive himself to the human condition.
However, it seems that in relation to the punishment meted out to the Golden Calf sinners when 3000 were killed by the Levites, according to Exodus 32:28, God was learning from experience in a quite orderly, and human, fashion. It is another question whether man is learning from God.
Lydia Polgreen's report on Ayodhya ("Years Later, Destruction of a Mosque Still Echoes", Dec. 7) has ramifications for another religio-nationalist flashpoint - Jerusalem's Temple Mount - on two levels. The first, unfortunately she provides no indication that the Muslim mosque built there in 1582 supplanted previous Hindu temples as similarly, the Temple Mount's history as a Jewish sacred location is too often glossed over, ignored and deprecated. Secondly, there is the parallel unwillingness of the Waqf Islamic trust not to seek compromising on facilitating shared use of the large compound. Moreover, the Waqf and also the Palestine Authority are propagating a 'Temple denial' theme in the face of archaeological finds despite Muslim efforts to destroy them.
The Jewish people cannot be expected to erase the Temple Mount's past nor it's expected future. Will the lesson of Ayodhya be learned?
She had been on a semester program at Bezalel Arts Academy and now
...recalls waking up to reports of a deadly clash between Israeli Navy commandos and those aboard a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla.
Though she already had attended many protests against the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Henochowicz said the circumstances surrounding the flotilla gathering felt different. She expected the protest to be relatively calm, given that nine Turkish passengers died in the early-morning raid [???].
Events, however, took a violent turn when border police responded to several Palestinian youths who had begun throwing rocks. [isn't that backwards? events took a violent turn when Arabs began acting violently, no?] Authorities have said that Henochowicz was not intentionally targeted, according to news reports, but she questions that claim.
Witnesses at the protest have reported that the canister was shot directly at Henochowicz, who was holding a Turkish flag aloft at the time and was not standing near the rock throwers. [and other witnesses say differently]
...“Tear gas shot from those guns does not even closely equal throwing stones,” she said. [so, the police should throw stones back?] “I know maybe this is apologetic or something, but I think that usually when people throw stones it is more of a symbolic thing because [stones] are highly inaccurate” [as are gas canisters?] and usually are cast in frustration [so, if they are thrown with malice aforethought, we can then defend ourselves?].
Even before Henochowicz arrived in Jerusalem, she says she had already begun to question the Jewish state’s policies regarding the Palestinians, as well as use of military force...American Jewish youths are taught that “Israel is surrounded by hostile Arabs who are just closing in on it,” but after arriving in the country, Henochowicz says she now believes that Israel is the true aggressor.
“The thing that scared me the most about going to the West Bank was the Israeli military,” she said. “I wasn’t going to get hurt by Palestinians there.” [no, because she identified with them and supported them. silly.]
...Henochowicz says she was motivated to act after witnessing a confrontation in Sheikh Jarrah, an Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood. A group of Chasidim had begun screaming prayers at Palestinian children, she recalled.
“For me it was really strange because ... these prayers are a part of me, and it’s really hurtful” to see religion utilized as a weapon of hate, she said. [talk about being strange]
Don't they teach logic anymore?
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Monday, June 28, 2010
Seems people are promoting Ancient Manna on Modern Menus
...When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, What is it? In ancient Hebrew, what is it can be rendered man-hu, a likely derivation of what this food has come to be called, manna. The Bible describes it as being like coriander seed, and white, and its taste was like wafers with honey.
...Mannas form best in extremely dry climates like the Middle Easts where sap oozes at night and dries up in the morning. The favored theory on what the Israelites called manna is the sap of a tamarisk tree...Behroush Sharifi, a New York dealer in rare spices and dried foods from the ancient Silk Road whos known as the Saffron King, imports two venerable forms of manna from Iran: Hedysarum manna and Shir-Khesht
...Garrett McMahon, a sous-chef at Perilla in Manhattan, uses Hedysarum manna with sea salt to finish off a foie gras terrine with Marcona almonds, candied kumquats and toasted brioche. The manna allows us to achieve a sweet, salty balance while maintaining a great crunchy texture, Mr. McMahon said.
...Even more complex and subtle is the Shir-Khesht manna from the cotoneaster nummilaria shrub. Shir-khesht looks like broken-up bits of concrete or coral and is whiter than hedysarum manna. It is sweet, with some gumminess that eventually dissolves in the mouth...
Well, what do you know. Another Bible story come true.
(Kippah tip: RH)
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The suspension was limited until September 26 and people and groups are getting ready for a variety of options.
No one is convinced things will return to what they were.
But more depressing is the situation in metropolitan Jerusalem where 3000 housing starts need to begin annually but we are no where near that. Jewish population since 1967 has grown 150% but the Arab population by 291%. On the other hand, 40% of the capital's Jewish population lives in neighborhoods beyond the former Green Line boundary. The private land reserves are dwindling and the government must free up public land.
Dr. Aviad HaCohen analyzed the legal aspects of the suspension directive:
MK Yaakov Katzeleh Katz, National Union, conference organizer:
Dany Dayan, Chairman of the Yesha Council:-
Not-quite-frozen construction - a primary school expansion:-
Not-quite-frozen construction:- residential homes:
On May 18, the West Bank community of Al-Jib inaugurated its first cultural heritage museum showcasing Palestinian artifacts and cultural arts. The museum and its gift shop, which features handicrafts made by local female artisans, was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation to the Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE)...The grant provided much needed support and assistance to three historic villages in the West Bank – Beitin, Aboud, and Al-Jib – as these communities work to preserve their cultural heritage and to promote local tourist destinations.
...The director of PACE and members of the local community, including the mayor and governor, attended the opening ceremony of Al Jib’s cultural heritage museum, and thanked the Consulate General for its support. Cultural Affairs Officer Cynthia Harvey addressed the audience, congratulating them on the success of their program and the launching of the museum, which will benefit Al-Jib residents for the years to come.
In order to have successful peace negotiations, I guess the State Department needs to create also a "Palestinian heritage" so that there should be a "Palestinian people" so that there may be a "Palestinian state".
That's a lot of creative diplomacy.
Even Gaza gets in the act, literally:
Gaza Theater Group Presents American Classic Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”
“Basma” (Smile), a Gazan cultural arts organization, held its first performance of John Steinbeck’s classic story “The Pearl” on May 12 in Gaza. With a $20,000 grant from the Consulate General’s Public Affairs office, Basma translated Steinbeck’s work into classical Arabic and hired actors and a director to stage the play. Approximately 200 people attended the initial performance including intellectuals, artists, and civil society leaders.
I received an angry e-mail (now there's a first!) from a friend who argues that I'm too naive about J Street, the liberal pro-Israel group. An excerpt:I watched your debate with Jeremy Ben-Ami the other night and it seemed like you agreed with nearly everything the guy had to say. You should understand that J Street is not a Zionist group at all. It supports congressional candidates who are hostile to Israel, and, in its own statements it says it's opposed even to the threat of military action against Iran, something that Obama does regularly. Why don't you understand that J Street is a wolf in sheep's clothing? It is designed to separate Israel from the Democratic Party. It is not interested in supporting Israel, it is interested in providing cover for Jews who dislike Israel but need a Jewish cover to say so.I told my friend that I respectfully disagree, and furthermore, I'm troubled that he finds J Street such an existential threat (you'll pardon the expression). I don't agree with everything J Street stands for, certainly, but I find it, in the various brief encounters I've had with its leaders and members, to be filled with American Jews who a) love Israel, and b) wish it would end its policy of settlement of the West Bank, and, if possible, the occupation of the West Bank as well. Since I'm for an end to the settlements myself, I find it hard to believe that J Street is anti-Israel, since I am certainly not anti-Israel. One can be pro-Israel and anti-settlement. There has to be room in American Jewry for people who disagree with the policies of Israeli governments but want Israel to survive as a Jewish democracy.
Jeffrey is wrong.
J Street is the new Utopia for all the antis: the anti-Zionism, anti-Israel, anti-nationalism. It serves as a nice home for all the street hobos who have found themselves marginalized. Their intermarriage flashed in the NYTimes Mag, their gunning for AIPAC, their links to anti-Israel politicians, their flagrant flip-off of Israel, their concern for America, etc. is all symptomatic of an underground exercise in undermining Israel's support.
That's the danger, existential danger and that's why they are anti.
The road to hell is paved with a helluva lot of sh*t in this case.
They have won out over radical, fundamentalist Islamism.
If you go here, you'll learn that
On August 25, 2005, anonymous radical Islamist clerics published in the Saudi daily newspaper al-Watan, an anti-soccer fatwa (ruling)...The fatwa declared that soccer is permissible to play only when its rules are different from the accepted international rules. The ruling is based on a hadith (prophetic tradition) which forbids Muslims to imitate Christians and Jews...one should "not set the number [of players] according to the number of players used by the non-believers", and thus, only a larger or smaller number than eleven players can play together...
There's more there.
(Kippah tip: BC)
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Sunday, June 27, 2010
Like in this story:-
Western Wall museum plans threaten Roman relics, archaeologists warn
according to which,
Jerusalem's district planning council was on Sunday set to rule on a controversial museum project that archaeologists claim would destroy valuable ancient structures beneath the Old City. The new museum is planned for the concourse beside the Western Wall of the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site. [er, so which is the "holiest" - the Western Wall or the Temple Mount? -YM]
a group of archaeologists who have petitioned the council says the new building, designed by architect Ada Karmi, would damage an ancient Roman road, flanked by rare and elaborate columns, that runs beneath the planned construction. They say that if Jewish relics were under threat, the project would never have been allowed. [ah, Jewish racism - YM]
Karmi's plans would preserve the Roman relics, which the public would be able to view from a basement gallery beneath the new building. But the group of archaeologists, which includes several members of Israel's UNESCO committee, says that this solution ignores the possibility of developing a unique historical site.
Any other possibility? Yes:-
In response to the petition, Shmuel Rabinovitch, the Western Wall's rabbi, said the new building would be essential in providing services to the increasing number of visitors to the site. Far from damaging fragile ruins, the new structures would ensure their preservation, he said.
So, if the Romans were around, does anyone think they'd preserve a Jewish site, a site they tried to destroy, twice?
- - -
Well, with a little imagination and a lot of technical skill that I do not possess, the following clip, with a little editing, could serve as a wonderful Israeli response:
What do you think?
References: 1; 2; 3.
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Judges 9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.
In this map, it is located almost in the middle of the map, east of Beita El-Fukka (Upper Beita):
Some friends of mine walked through the area to Aruma and saw, on the way:
However, the IDF decided to "close the area"
and the hike came to a fairly abrupt end, including detention for a short period of some of the participants.
If you read Hebrew, here is a detailed explanation from a previous hike.
The June 20 White House statement opens thusly:
"The President has described the situation in Gaza as unsustainable and has made clear that it demands fundamental change."
One would expect that a rational policy would use the words "unsustainable" and "demands fundamental change" to mean that the president demands the overthrow of Hamas. In fact, it signifies the exact opposite: he demands the stabilization of that regime.
The statement continues:
"On June 9, [Obama] announced that the United States was moving forward with $400 million in initiatives and commitments for the West Bank and Gaza. The President described these projects as a down payment on the U.S. commitment to the people of Gaza, who deserve a chance to take part in building a viable, independent state of Palestine, together with those who live in the West Bank."
Just think of the calm insanity of that paragraph. The United States is going to pump money into Gaza. That money is a "down payment on the U.S. commitment," that is, it is not an act of generosity for which the United States deserves to get something in return. No, the phrasing makes it seem that the United States owes them the money.
Max Rodenbeck, Middle East correspondent for The Economist.
Here's what he writes:-
"But he gets the past subtly wrong, too, often by omitting vital context. He says that when the Arabs rejected the partition of Palestine in 1947, it was simply because they refused to accept having a Jewish state next door. Yet Arabs were not alone in questioning the United Nations plan to allocate 56 percent of Palestine’s territory to a minority consisting mostly of recent immigrants, which made up barely a third of the population and owned just 7 percent of the land. Greece, India and Cuba, among others, also voted no, while China, Ethiopia, Colombia, Chile and Mexico abstained. The overriding motive of all these doubters was presumably not bigotry, as Lewis implies, but concern about Palestinians’ rights.
Vital context? Subtly wrong?
Hmmm. But we'll keep it concise.
We all know that immigration to Mandate Palestine was restricted. The infamous "schedule" system. For example, Arab terror forced Britain to limit incoming Jews between 1939-1944 to 75,000 and only some 60,000 or less made it in.
And how "recent" is recent"? What about the Ottoman period when Jews had to sneak in?
Heck, how many Arabs - from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt - were recent arrivals?
But "Palestine Mandate" was partitioned. If it was all or nothing, what difference "minority"? Besides, all the Jews in the "Arab State" were killed or ethnically cleansed.
And if he includes Judea and Samaria in the concept of "Palestine", well, we're back. The "territories" belong to Israel because Rodenbeck says so since they're part of "Palestine", all or nothing.
More than 7 per cent but Arabs only privately owned some 15% so big deal. Over 75% of the land was state land, belonging to the government in power.
Most of those voting against did so because either Arab Bloc/Muslim nations pressure or pressure from the Vatican.
It's all fairly straightforward and simple, but not Max.
here; here; here;
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He's from Mongo.
I mean mingling as in Saudi Arabia.
This is Saudi Arabia "mingling":-
Saudi women and men sentenced to flogging and prison for mingling at party
Four women and 11 men were sentenced to flogging and prison terms for mingling at a party, judicial officials said.
The men, who are between 30 and 40 years old, and three of the women, who are under the age of 30, were sentenced to an unspecified number of lashes and one or two year prison terms each.
The fourth woman, a minor, was sentenced to 80 lashes and was not sent to prison.
The ruling was handed down on Tuesday at a court in the northern town of Ha'il.
The officials said the police saw the group partying until dawn last month...Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam that prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling.
Family Dies When Poisoning Rats with Exhaust Fumes
Three residents of a small settlement in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region died from exhaust fumes of their own Zaporozhets vehicle. The head of the family, a 71-year-old man, decided to exterminate rats in the house with the help of his old car.
The man attached a hose to the exhaust pipe of the ZAZ-968 “Zaporozhets” car and put the other end of the hose into the basement of the house. He started the engine and went upstairs.
Some time later, the man decided to see what was happening in the basement. As soon as the man entered the basement, he lost consciousness because of the high concentration of exhaust fumes. His wife, a 77-year-old woman, started worrying about her husband when he did not come back. She went downstairs to see what was happening in the basement and fainted too. The same happened with their 29-year-old granddaughter. Their other granddaughter found the bodies two hours later and was lucky to stay alive. However, her three relatives died.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
But they call it "West Bank":-
It deals with West Bank Settlements, Communities and Facts on the Ground but there are no "settlements".
There are Jewish communities, towns, villages, kibbutzim, moshavim and even cities.
But no "settlements".
- - -
It's Board of Directors includes H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Honorary Chair, Secretary-General of the United Nations; Rita E. Hauser, Esquire, Chair of the IPI Board of Directors, President of the Hauser Foundation; and its President is Mr. Terje Rød-Larsen.
Terje? Of Oslo Accords infamy? Oiy vey.
Anyway, at the meeting, Meridor said the future of Palestinian refugees is the most crucial issue for Israel.
"It's more important than even the exact delineation of the border, which is a problem but we can agree on this: It's more important even than the security arrangements that are very important," he said.
Meridor said Erekat's statement that the Palestinian Authority has no right to negotiate the right of return of the refugees — that the refugees themselves will have to make the choice and they have the right both to return and to compensation — raised major problems.
Any peace agreement that did not settle the refugee issue would mean "there is no end to the conflict."
From information I have, the most potent argument that Israelis across-the-divide believe is a good reason for keeping Judea and Samaria under Israel's control is the fear that if Arab refugees flood the "territories", it is just a matter of time before the pressure to let them "return" to Lod, Jaffa, Beer Sheva and Haifa builds up.
And this is interesting about Jerusalem and religion:-
Meridor nonetheless quoted the late Pope John Paul II saying that Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, but was promised only to the Jews. The remark drew audible gasps from the audience. Erakat threw his hand to his forehead in desperation.
Er, Saeb, how come the Koran doesn't mention the city at all?
In another story covering the debate, we read:
“If by the end of this year we have no two-state solution, you will sweat,” Erakat told Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Meridor
Truth told, I think it is Erekat who is sweating.
Take Deborah Solomon of the NYTimes.
Here's her final question to Tzipi Livni this week:
Are you dying?
And Ms. Livni replies:
It’s not part of my plan for now.
I do not quite know how to describe Tzipi's answer. Does anyone really "plan" to die? Why not respond: "Are you dying?". Or, "Don't we begin dying the moment we are born?".
What else is there in that interview?
Well, let's read on in Leader of the Opposition
...Many Americans agree Hamas is a disaster, but might Israel do more to show concern for the Palestinian people and the problems they face?
I know that there is no humanitarian crisis.
Why do you say that?
The crossings are open for humanitarian needs. I suggested in the past to put cameras online, on the Internet, for the world to see all the goods entering Gaza Strip. This was my suggestion when I was foreign minister.
Now, that is a good idea. It might have even caught some terror activity by the Gazans.
But here, she gets a bit hubric:-
You lost to him [B. Netanyahu] in the race for prime minister last year. Will you run again?
I will be prime minister. It’s about the future of my state.
Wow, a prophetess in Israel.
And in this series, she avoids the rumors that her husband was very much involved in Foreign Ministry-related projects:-
Isn’t your husband in advertising?
My husband is in branding. He brands places — cities, institutions.
Do you ever talk to him about improving Israel’s image?
Yes, of course. I believe Israel needs branding. I want that the word “Israel” will relate not just to an Israeli soldier or a camel, but Israel as an advanced liberal society with a strong economy and great people.
At least we find this in there:-
On the right of Israel to exist and to defend itself, there is no opposition in Israel.
- - -
Friday, June 25, 2010
to a Palestinian state, the more it comes at the expense of our own?"
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's national security adviser
in an address to a Jewish Agency audience,
June 22, 2010
"The creation of a Palestinian state remains the choice of many. But in the process, have you failed to notice that the more we lend legitimacy to a Palestinian state, the more it comes at the expense of our own?"
...the Palestinians [are] "major actors in the de-legitimization of Israel"..."In trying to make peace" via the indirect U.S.-led talks, "we are embracing an adversary who is conducting a very effective battle against us internationally..."Maybe we should have acted somewhat differently -- less zealous to champion the Palestinians and more eager to defend our own ranks."
..."If we do make an initiative, which incorporates further concessions, it would only validate their current rejectionist position, leading them to say, 'If we wait long enough there will be some more,' " Arad said, referring to the Palestinians.
Finally, some, ahem, original thinking.
- - -
Here is the blurb for one of the tours, entitled "The Holy Land: Views on Israeli-Palestinian Relations" to take place between Oct 6-16, 2010 with Everett Mendelsohn:-
Explore the archaeological and cultural heritage of Israel and Palestine, and engage in the political issues that they face. Visit Jerusalem with its unique interplay of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures and Ramallah, the political center of the Palestinian Authority. Then travel through the Jordan Valley to Tiberias, base for visits to ancient Capernaum and Beit She’an, a well preserved Roman and Byzantine city. Conclude in sophisticated and vibrant Tel Aviv. Meetings with distinguished Israeli and Palestinian notables in the political and diplomatic worlds will enhance this unique journey.
Here's an appreciation:
“Depth of information and contacts was beyond my expectations…It is hard to single out highlights as there were several each day. Personal contact and exposure were very meaningful.” – HAA Traveler from Hingham, Mass. reflecting on the trip to Israel in 2008
See here for more info.
By the way, this is a 'rich' tour: it "starts" from $7,795 per person. For 10 days (actually almost 9). Are they leaving big tips for Arab refugees?
But let's get back to basics.
Everett Mendelsohn is...Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at Harvard University, where he has been on the faculty since 1960. Among his recent publications are “Religious Fundamentalism and the Sciences” and “Grasping the Elusive Peace in the Middle East.” He coauthored the report, “Israeli-Palestinian Security – Issues in the Permanent Status Negotiations” for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences where he chaired the Middle East Security subcommittee. He has visited widely in the Middle East on a regular basis since 1968. He is committed to using his personal contacts to ensure we receive a balanced perspective on the history and current state of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
He happens to be on the FFIPP-USA Advisory Board. FFIPP is
an international network of academics and students that support a complete end to the illegal Israeli occupation of lands seized in the 1967 war and removal of all the settlements and the separation wall built on occupied land.
We call on Israeli, Palestinian and international academics everywhere to take a stand in support of ending the occupation, as well as against the extreme violence to which it has subjected both Palestinians and Israelis. Academics worldwide must also stand firm in support of the basic human right for free education in both Palestine and Israel, a right that has been compromised, continually in Palestine, due to the continued occupation.
1. We call upon international academics visiting Israeli institutions of higher education, and Israeli academics visiting foreign institutions, to make clear their support of ending the Israeli occupation and the removal of the separation wall built on occupied land.
2. Academics invited to speak at Israeli educational institutions should try to visit and speak at equivalent Palestinian institutions.
3. FFIPPI supports the call to sanction faculty and institutions, which clearly support the occupation.
4. FFIPPI calls on professional associations of academics, in Israel and internationally, to take a stand against the occupation and to issue guidelines regarding the use of academic connections to promote the end of Israeli occupation.
5. FFIPPI expresses its strong support for and encouragement of individuals in the Israeli and Palestinian academy whose actions against the occupation and in support of peace and justice have resulted in personal hardship. Notable cases include Israelis refusing IDF military service in the occupied territories; those publicly condemning the violation of civil and human rights in the occupied territories; and those Palestinians who have called for an end to suicide bombing and the use of arms against Civilian targets. FFIPPI will act to publicize their actions.
6. FFIPPI views the College of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank as a part of the machinery of Israeli occupation and calls upon academics worldwide to refuse to collaborate with it in any way...
Well, I just love the liberal progressive approach to academic freedom.
Those poor (actually quite rich) tourists. This is a political tour of pro-Pal. character.
But one more thing.
I love the use of "notables" up there.
"Notables" is a key term in what is claimed to be "Palestinian nationalism" which at the most was a clash of competing elite families who sought (and bought) favors from the central power authority - Ottoman or British, or Jordanian for that matter.
See here and also here. And this:
...the Muslim-Christian Association (MCA) first appeared in Jaffa early in November 1918, and in Jerusalem later the same month; subsequently it set up branches in various Palestinian towns. The purpose behind creating the MCA was to organize a Palestinian national struggle against the threat of Zionism.
The top leadership of the MCA was drawn largely from the older generation of urban notables who had social standing in Ottoman times. Initially, the MCA, under former Jerusalem mayor Musa Kazim al-Husayni, did not have much political power, and its significance derived from the fact that it embodied the concept of political cooperation between Muslims and Christians in Palestine. Gradually, however, it became a group of leaders and activists who were able to mobilize important segments of Palestinian society around a program of independence and opposition to Zionism...
More sympathetic background here.
The tour doesn't seem balanced.
I would suggest a meeting with a revenant Jew residing in the area of his historic national homeland to present his view and narrative.
Want to suggest me?
Write them at email@example.com.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
We asked: “Some claim that despite the international criticism, Israel should continue the blockade of Gaza and only allow the entry of the most essential items so as to keep the pressure on Hamas and prevent attacks from there on Israel. Others claim that the price Israel is paying for the blockade in world public opinion is higher than the risks of removing it. With which opinion do you agree more?” A sweeping majority of the Jewish public—78%—sided with the first claim, voiced repeatedly in the past by decision-makers, that the blockade should be continued so as to pressure Hamas and prevent attacks. Only a minority—17%—thought the price in terms of international public opinion was too high (note that the survey was done before Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement on canceling the limitations Israel had imposed in the past on the entry of goods into Gaza).
The War and Peace Index is written by Prof. Tamar Hermann and Prof. Ephraim Yaar under the auspices of the Evans Program for Conflict Resolution of Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. The telephone interviews were conducted by the Dahaf Institute from June 7-9, 2010, and included 603 interviewees who represent the adult population of Israel (including the territories and the kibbutzim). The sampling error for a sample of this size is 4.5%.
But it pretends to be fair, democratic, pluralistic and intellectual.
Well, here's an exchange betweeon someone wishing his article to be published and an editor:
In response to the article's submission:
Thank you for thinking of The Nation. Your proposed article is diametrically opposed to our opinion on this blockade, so we will be unable to take you up on your offer of this article.
Author's response to the editor:
That is a very interesting email. Never before have I ever been told that a news website or publication wouldn't publish an article of mine because they oppose my point of view. How does your response and refusal to publish my article, based on political reasoning, fall in line with The Nation's founding prospectus?
"The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred."
It seems to me you are diametrically opposing your own prospectus?
All the best,
The Nation editor's response to that:
We are a journal of opinion--usually dissenting opinion. You espouse the run-of-the-mill mainstream views that we are here to correct, as they are based on misinformation/propaganda. It doesn't need repeating.
The funny thing about opinion is, if you ask me I would say your view is "run-of-the-mill" and that is the one I am here to influence. That's how opinions work, everyone has one. So you should be ashamed that you call your site a "journal of opinion" when you don't allow for opinions other than the decided upon stance to be represented.
If you believe Osher and Rami Twito's rocket maimed legs are misinformation, I invite you to Israel to come and see them for yourself.
JL would seem to be Copy Chief Judith Long.
And here are "5 Questions with Judith Long" who has been a copy editor for The Nation for more than twenty years.
Q: What is your preferred environment for writing?
A: Home, either out in the yard (weather permitting) or inside by a crackling fire.
Q: What punctuation mark are you fondest of?
A: Em dash (you didn't ask, but my least favorite punctuation mark is the semicolon—although it has its uses).
Q: What punctuation, spelling, grammar, style, or usage error annoys you the most?
A: When "I" is used instead of the correct "me," as in "They slid the secret file to Boris and I." Also, when people are over-sticklerish, as when they freak out at "Who did you vote for?" I also hate the incorrect "chaise lounge" for the correct "chaise longue" and the incorrect pronunciation of "forte" (basketball is not my forte) as "for-tay" instead of "fort." Also, it's "different from" not "different than," and never, ever say "the reason why ___ is because . . ."
Q: If you weren't in your current line of work, what would you be doing instead?
A: Teaching English (which I spent many years doing before my current incarnation as a copy editor).
Q: What drove you to become a writer?
A: Love of words, writing, language, publishing, and making a silk purse out of a sow's ear—which is what editing is.
Not a word about ideological fanaticism. Hmmmm.
She thinks that there were "terrorists occupying the White House".
Thinks? Is that the correct term?
- - -
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
[Israel] treats Gaza as an "enemy state,"...That Gaza continues to function today is a testament not to Israel's or the international community's humanitarian impulses, but to the remarkable social cohesion of Palestinian society and, let us acknowledge the fact--to Hamas's governing skills.
He comes to praise Hamas - and to bury Israel.
- - -
And now in Holland:-
Dutch police use 'decoy Jews' to stop anti-Semitic attacks
Lodewijk Asscher, Amsterdam's mayor, has ordered the new decoy strategy to cut the number of verbal and physical attacks on Jews, amid fears that anti-Semitic "hate crime" is on the rise. "Jews in at least six Amsterdam neighbourhoods often cannot cross the street wearing a skullcap without being insulted, spat at or even attacked," according to local reports.
...Secret television recordings by the Jewish broadcasting company, Joodse Omroep, broadcast at the weekend, have shocked Amsterdam, a city which prides itself on liberalism and which is home to the Anne Frank museum.
The footage showed young men, often of immigrant origin, shouting and making Nazi salutes at a rabbi when he visited different areas of the Dutch capital.
"Immigrant origin" = Muslim.
And look what happens in Germany.
(Kippah tip: SR)
- - -
Riding shotgun in an armored vehicle as it passed through the heat and confusion of southern Afghanistan this month, an Army sergeant spoke into his headset, summarizing a sentiment often heard in the field this year.
“I wish we had generals who remembered what it was like when they were down in a platoon,” he said to a reporter in the back. “Either they never have been in real fighting, or they forgot what it’s like.”
The sergeant was speaking of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the circle of counterinsurgents who since last year have been running the Afghan war, and who have, as a matter of both policy and practice, made it much more difficult for troops to use airstrikes and artillery in the fight against the Taliban.
One Marine infantry lieutenant, during fighting in Marja this year, said he had all but stopped seeking air support while engaged in firefights. He spent too much time on the radio trying to justify its need, he said, and the aircraft never arrived or they arrived too late or the pilots were reluctant to drop their ordnance.
“I’m better off just trying to fight my fight, and maneuver the squads, and not waste the time or focus trying to get air,” he said.
Several infantrymen have also said that the rules are so restrictive that pilots are often not allowed to attack fixed targets — say, a building or tree line from which troops are taking fire — unless they can personally see the insurgents doing the firing.
This has lead to situations many soldiers describe as absurd, including decisions by patrol leaders to have fellow soldiers move briefly out into the open to draw fire once aircraft arrive, so the pilots might be cleared to participate in the fight.
- - -
Here they are:-
Source (in Hebrew)
Of course you knew that when I read this, I immediately thought: "why doesn't he go with a Moshe Dayan costume?", right? And then I had another thought. Read on.
Kate Spear-Brodsky and Louai Abu-Osba
Kate Spear-Brodsky, a daughter of Duston Spear of Bedford, N.Y., and Eugene V. Brodsky of New York, was married Saturday to Louai Yousef Abu-Osba, a son of Nadia Salem Saqer of New York and Dr. Yousef Khalil Abu-Osba of Amman, Jordan. The Rev. Donna Schaper, a minister of the United Church of Christ, officiated at the home of the bride’s mother and stepfather, Jon-Marc Seimon, in Bedford.
...Ms. Spear-Brodsky and Mr. Abu-Osba met in October 2002 when she visited a fellow student’s apartment to watch movies. Mr. Abu-Osba often came to the apartment to play video games with a friend who also lived there, and to cook spicy meals...As Halloween neared, she asked him what costume he was going to wear at the campus party. He revealed plans to go as a software pirate and hand out pirated software. But Ms. Spear-Brodsky said she mistook his answer to mean he “was going to be like Jack Sparrow” and asked if he was going to wear an eye patch.
He was initially taken aback by the question, but then quickly readjusted his costume design — especially after she told him “eye patches are sexy.” Put in that context, he recalled, “I made sure I was wearing an eye patch.”
...The couple chose an olive branch as their theme for the Jewish-Muslim union, and the ceremony under a wedding canopy combined readings in Arabic and English, and a traditional Palestinian wedding dance.
Traditional? No shooting?
Carmiel suffering from Arab neighbors' celebratory gunfire
Custom of shooting guns into the air celebrations in Arab villages has been around for years, but the residents of Carmiel are finally fed up. City resident says, 'Police say not to leave the house if I'm scared. Is that a solution?' Mayor petitions minister of internal security on issue
The celebratory gunfire shot off in Arab towns in the Galilee is not making for particularly happy neighbors. The shooting has reportedly increased during recent nights because of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
This has provoked Carmiel Mayor Adi Eldar to petition Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on the issue, demanding that he "exercise all the force of the police to stop the unending gunfire in the neighboring villages."
Nearly every night throughout the summer gun shots can be heard during one of the weddings in the Arab villages nearby Carmiel. The phenomenon increases during the Eid al-Fitr holiday and during major sporting events. In many cases, the explosions heard are from fireworks, but often comes from hunting rifles, revolvers, and even automatic weapons.
Our house faces the villages. The situation here is just getting worse," said Margalit Wolovitch, a resident of the western section of Carmiel. "The gunfire is unbearable, both in terms of the safety risk and in terms of the fact that large weapons caches exist in these villages, and no one is doing a thing."
According to Wolovitch, "There are entire nights that you can't even shut your eyes here. When there is a wedding, they shoot; when there is a holiday, they shoot; when there are elections, they shoot. Multiple shots in the air at once. On election day last month, they shot throughout the day.
Even Ahmed, the Producer/Host of the Arab American TV Show Belahdan at Minnetonka, MN knows:
...I KEPT ON DRIVING ON A DUSTY ROAD UNTIL I FOUND WHAT SEEMED TO BE A COUNTY FAIR, WITH LOTS OF CHEVY AND FORD CARS AND PICK-UPS SURROUNDING A BIG TENT NEXT TO AN OLD FARM HOUSE. IT WAS OBVIOUS MOST OF THE TOWN'S POPULATION WAS HERE. HUNDREDS OF FOLKS WERE DRINKING, EATING AND DANCING INSIDE THE BIG TENT HAVING A GREAT TIME. I HAD NEVER SEEN SO MANY NON-MUSLIMS AT A MUSLIM WEDDING BEFORE.
THIS WAS THE BIG FAT AMERICAN WEDDING IN REVERSE. I WAS OUTNUMBERED, AND OUT OF MY HOME SECURITY COMFORT ZONE...THE WEDDING CEREMONY WAS SHORT AND SWEET, DEVOID OF ANY EXCESSIVE RELIGIOUS OVER TONE. WE ALL SAT INSIDE THE TENT CELEBRATING THE HAPPY OCCASION; NEXT TO A TABLE WHERE A FEW ARAB GUESTS WERE SEATED, AN OLD COUPLE SEEMED TO BE UNCONCERNED THAT AN ARAB GUEST MAY STAND AND START SHOOTING IN THE AIR, AS ARABS CUSTOMARY DO IN THEIR WEDDINGS.
Oh, and even he was thinking like me:
AS THE NEWLYWED COUPLE WAS CUTTING THE CAKE, I WONDERED FOR A BRIEF MOMENT; WHY WOULD A YOUNG AMERICAN WOMAN RISK MARRYING AN ARAB AMERICAN NOWADAYS? HASN'T SHE BEEN ALARMED ENOUGH?
For those who received this, unfortunately (and I am not sure if "understandably") no refutation of the Ben Franklin assertions is included even as a footnote.
So, here it is :
The Franklin "Prophecy"
Modern Anti-Semitic Myth Making
This article, which thoroughly documents the history of the transparent fraud known as the Franklin "Prophecy", appeared almost forty-five years ago in the April-May 1954 issue of Facts, a publication of the Anti-Defamation League. At the time, the authors wrote "This 20-year-old anti-Semitic hoax is circulating again." Today, more than sixty-five years after it was manufactured, the "Prophecy" it is still circulating, a staple of anti-Semitic propaganda. It can be found on a number of web sites maintained by haters and hate-groups. The article is, therefore, still timely and instructive.
Another anti-Semitic hoax on history, of a piece with that incredible forgery, The Protocols of The Learned Elders of Zion, but not as widely distributed nor as successful in creating the pogrom atmospheres that were the achievements of the Protocols, is a speech attributed to Benjamin Franklin during the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The anti-Semitic movement, which founded the hoax, calls it the Franklin Prophecy — ascribing to Franklin a dire warning that unless Jews were expelled from the new nation by Constitutional decree they would ultimately immigrate in great numbers to the detriment of the Christian population.
Of course, no such speech was ever made. But the hoaxers sought to impart an aura of historical credibility to the fake by claiming that the speech is quoted in a "private diary" of Charles Pinckney, Revolutionary leader who was delegate from South Carolina to the Constitutional Convention. They also maintain that the diary is now in the possession of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, a bald lie which Henry Butler Allen, director of the Institute, has often refuted. Allen says that "historians and librarians have not been able to find [the diary] or any record of it having existed."
A copy of the forgery was anonymously circulated through the mails this month [May 1954] on stationery captioned WAR DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF. The envelope bore a May 3 postmark from Atlanta, Ga. This is the latest in a series of recent incidents that suggest another revival of the Prophecy. A copy was picked up earlier this year at a Tampa, Fla., bus stop, and there have been recent distributions of it in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Alabama.
The Franklin Prophecy was first published in February, 1934, in William Dudley Pelley’s publication, Liberation. (In 1942 Pelley was convicted of sedition and given a 15-year sentence.) The following is the most common version of the faked speech:
There is a great danger for the United State of America. This great danger is the Jew. Gentlemen, in every land the Jews have settled, they have depressed the moral level and lowered the degree of commercial honesty. They have remained apart and unassimilated; oppressed, they attempt to strangle the nation financially, as in the case of Portugal and Spain.
For more than seventeen hundred years they have lamented their sorrowful fate — namely, that they have been driven out of their mother land; but, gentlemen, if the civilized world today should give them back Palestine and their property, they would immediately find pressing reason for not returning there. Why? Because they are vampires and vampires cannot live on other vampires --they cannot live among themselves. They must live among Christians and others who do not belong to their race.
If they are not expelled from the United States by the Constitution within less than one hundred years, they will stream into this country in such numbers that they will rule and destroy us and change our form of Government for which we Americans shed our blood and sacrificed our life, property and personal freedom. If the Jews are not excluded within two hundred years, our children will be working in the field to feed Jews while they remain in the counting houses, gleefully rubbing their hands.
I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude the Jews forever, your children and your children’s children will curse you in their graves. Their ideas are not those of Americans, even when they lived among us for ten generations. The leopard cannot change his spots. The Jews are a danger to this land, and if they are allowed to enter, they will imperil our institutions. They should be excluded by the Constitution.
The Uses of the "Prophecy"
For more than two decades the Prophecy has been circulated throughout the United States. In the 1930's it was disseminated by chain letters. Printed copies of the spurious speech were placed in trains, buses, railway stations and similar public places. It appeared in the propaganda press and broadcasts of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, and a version was included in the 1935 edition of Handbucb der Judenfrage (Handbook On The Jewish Question), a political tome by Theodor Fritsch, first written several decades earlier, that became a Nazi bible.
Such anti-Semitic groups as Chicago’s We The Mothers Mobilize For America exploit the Prophecy as part of their stock-in-trade. Gerald L. K. Smith and other anti-Semitic propagandists continue to argue its authenticity [The Cross and The Flag, Dec., 1952]. In recent years reprints of it have appeared in Mrs. Lyrl Van Hyning’s Women’s Voice [July 31, 1952] and Harry William Pyle’s Political Reporter [July, 1953]. This month [May,1954] it was a feature of an anti-Semitic publication, The Point, put out by Father Leonard Feeney, the excommunicated priest, and his group at St Benedict’s Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Documenting a Fraud
The fraudulent nature of the Prophecy -- and the fact that anti-Semitism was foreign to Franklin’s behavior — has been substantially documented by eminent historians. The late Charles A. Beard reported, "I cannot find a single original source that gives the slightest justification for believing that the Prophecy is anything more than a barefaced forgery. Not a word have I discovered in Franklin’s letters and papers expressing any such sentiments against the Jews as are ascribed to him by the Nazis — American and German. His well-known liberality in matters of religious opinion would, in fact, have precluded the kind of utterances put in his mouth by this palpable forgery . . . In his writings on immigration, Franklin made no mention of discrimination against Jews."
Beard also noted that "the phraseology of the alleged Prophecy is not that of the 18th century; nor is the language that of Franklin. It contains certain words that belong to contemporary (Nazi) Germany rather than America of Franklin’s period. For example, the word ‘homeland’ was not employed by Jews in Franklin’s time. It was created in connection with the Palestine mandate." Beard also showed "positive evidence" that Franklin held Jews in high regard, citing the instance when the Hebrew Society of Philadelphia sought to raise money for a synagogue in Philadelphia. Franklin signed the petition of appeal for contributions to "citizens of every religious denomination" and gave 5 pounds himself to the fund.
J. Henry Smythe, Jr., compiler of The Amazing Benjamin Franklin, has characterized the Prophecy as "a counterfeit," adding it was a "libel of the Jewish race, unjust both to Jews and to the name and fame of Benjamin Franklin. I have investigated this calumny and find no historical basis." Julian P. Boyd, librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, made the same evaluation, and John Clyde Oswald of the International Benjamin Franklin Society noted that "the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were secret. No official record was kept but a great deal of information has been accumulated and pieced together, giving a fairly good picture of what transpired. Franklin was then 81 years of age and in poor health. He took an active part in the proceedings but made his contributions to the deliberations not orally, but in written memoranda, which he handed to this friend, James Wilson, another member of the Philadelphia delegation, who sat by him and who read them to the Convention. They have been preserved and the collection is believed to be complete..."
The late Carl Van Doren, a biographer of Benjamin Franklin made this report:
The speech against the Jews which Benjamin Franklin is alleged to have made the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is a forgery, produced within the past five years [1933-38]. The forger, whoever he was, claims that the speech was taken down by Charles Pinckney of South Carolina and preserved in his Journal. The forger presumably knew that, in a letter to John Quincy Adams dated December 30, 1818, Pinckney said he had kept a Journal of the proceedings at the Convention. But this Journal, if it ever existed, has never been found. The forger claims that Pinckney ‘published’ the Journal ‘for private distribution among his friends’ with the title Chit-Chat Around the Table During Intermissions. No copy of any such printed Journal has come to light. Not content with these two claims, the forger has further asserted that the original manuscript of Franklin’s speech, apparently from Pinckney’s Journal, is in the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute does not possess the manuscript.
The forger’s authority for his document is nearly as mythical as could be imagined. He cites a manuscript which does not exist, a printed book or pamphlet which nobody has seen, a Journal which has been lost for more than a hundred years. There is no evidence of the slightest value that Franklin ever made the alleged speech or ever said or thought anything of the kind about the Jews.
This report originally appeared in the April-May 1954 issue of Facts, a publication of the Anti-Defamation League