Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who's the Virgin? Who's the Hooker?

Klein...went on to attack the media for digging up the allegations. She also said that in politics, “we want a virgin to do a hooker’s job.”

That was Arizona State Senator Lori Klein.


Trailing Along, Throughout the Land

I read this

Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov inaugurated on Tuesday the new Gospel Trail pilgrimage route which has been created by the Ministry of Tourism along with the Jewish National Fund.

The trail, which cost NIS 3 million to develop over three years, is designed to further increase the already large numbers of Christian tourists and pilgrims who visit Israel each year...

Miszensikov said that he expects the Gospel Trail to attract an additional 200,000 tourists every year above the current figures.

The route of the Gospel Trail follows the path which Jesus walked at age 30 after he was evicted from Nazareth, as related by the New Testament.

The trail, which runs for 63 kilometers, starts at Mount Precipice just outside Nazareth and continues eastwards down to Capernaum, taking in a number of important Christian holy sites.

These include the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount; Magdala (Migdal today) the home of Mary Magadelene; Tabgha, the site of the Feeding of the Five Thousand; and Capernaum, where Jesus established his ministry and met his first disciple Peter.

And searched around and found this -

Here's the Tourism Ministry site and here's their map.

If you'll recall, I hosted a BBC reporter three years ago on his journey from Nazereth to Bethlehem and he traversed Samaria and Judea on his journey.  See here I, here II, here III, and here IV.

The New Testament notes, in Acts 8:1, that the Apostles were dispersed througout Judea and Samaria.

Christian pilgrims and all others, you are welcomed to trek throughout the Land of Israel and soon the Ministry of Tourism will assist in that too.


Sexuality and the Jewish Orthodox Woman

First, I was alerted by Gefen to this book

The Newlywed Guide to Physical Intimacy by Jennie Rosenfeld and David S. Ribner

which has this from a review:

This book surprised me with its clear and thorough explanations considering it was written by and intended for the conservative and ultra-conservative Torah-observant Jewish community. Even though the text itself is without illustrative photos and diagrams, there is a modest packet of explicit drawings tucked into a sealed envelope attached to the inside back cover. As befits a book intended for a chaste and conservative audience, there is a label on that packet warning of its explicit nature...This small book contains useful information that not only provides practical advice about techniques and mechanics, but also nurtures a sensitivity that will benefit both sexual partners.

There are the necessary basics: where things are and how they work; but there is also a strong emphasis on the need for patience and clear communication. To that end, the authors address issues that most people never consider, but which are necessary for an active, fulfilling sex life...this small book is not one to skirt vital issues: how sex smells, sounds, and feels for both the male and female; how to deal with unrealistic expectations; and, lack or orgasm as well as how to maximize orgasmic potential. There is a straightforward discussion of lubrication, how to deal with the constricts of religious observation as it applies to sex, causes of impotence, sex during and after pregnancy and how external pressure can affect a couple's sex life amongst other issues.

and now, Emily Amrousi writes about another book. "Touching Distance," by Naomi Wolfson, a psychotherapist and couples counselor who lives in the settlement of Psagot, she is a mother of eight who covers her hair with a scarf. She has co-authored (with her daughter!) a tasteful yet bold book about sexual intimacy and pleasure. (A previous book is reviewed here)

And Emily relates of her meeting/session:

The sex act, from a Jewish point of view, Wolfson begins without blinking, is not intended merely to fulfill the commandment of "be fruitful and multiply." It is also supposed to give pleasure...Any consensual act between a couple is halachically permissible, she boldly writes, and any act that boosts mutual desire and satisfaction is a blessing. "Distance leads to touching and longing leads to pleasure. Restrictions help you miss your partner and intensifies the passion," she says, and we all lower our eyes to the cookies.

"We are all women, we all want love, we all menstruate, we all have sexuality," says Wolfson in a steady, experienced voice, encouraging us to look up again. "Judaism is responsive to women and gives us space so that on certain days of the month we don't need a filing cabinet of excuses like 'I have a headache,' and can just curl up under the covers or with a good book." We laugh. The ice is broken.

"Then comes passion and the desire to be together. Impurity is not dirtiness, but absence of life. The mikveh is the culmination of a woman's private, internal process. I immerse in primordial waters, feel renewed and then come to my partner full of vitality, energy and sexuality."

What was taking place in that room was not a reform but a revolution...

Truly so.


Faking It

The Independent reports on the Sumarin Family case in Silwan.

Two reactions:

a) Note:
"Technically, Israel is acting within the bounds of its own law...".

My, my. Legal!
But Jews are expected to be more than just technically legal. Higher standards.


b) note:
"Why do settlers who came here 20 years ago have the right to take over? Just because King David was here 3,000 years ago?" he says.

No, because Jews were there until the late 1930s when Arabs chased them away like they did later in 1947-1948 to the Jews of Shimon HaTzadik, Sham'a and other neighborhoods of Jerusalem in addition to the Old City Quarter and Neveh Yaakov and Atarot.

Never trust an Arab here to present you with the full, unadulterated and complete history of the conflict.

They'll fake it more often than not.


The Sumarin family has been rejecting eviction orders since 1991.  There have been several legal hearings on the subject. The family won one but lost  others.   In 2005 the family did not bother to present a defence at a court case in Jerusalem.


Satmar Construction

At the site of the old Edison Cinema, on Yeshayahu Street:

That's gonna cause some traffic jams.


Proser's Solidarity Speech

From Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor's speech on November 29, 2011:

...Mr. President,

Even more than the words spoken in the speeches here today - or the words in the resolutions before you - it is the words not spoken that speak volumes. This Assembly has made clear that it does not stand in solidarity with many people in our region today. In this hall, I hear no solidarity with the one million Israeli men, women and children who live under the constant rain rockets, mortars and missiles from the Gaza Strip. I hear no solidarity with the 16-year old boy who was killed last April when a Hamas anti-tank missile struck his school bus. Or the thousands of other Israeli civilians who have been killed and injured. I hear no solidarity with the Israeli children who learn the alphabet at the same time that they learn the names Kassam, Grad, and Katyusha - the rockets that keep them out of school for weeks at a time.

I hear no solidarity with the Palestinians who are victims of brutal Hamas rule - with the political opponents who are tortured, the women who are subjugated, or the children who are used as suicide bombers and human shields.

And - Mr. President, today I hear no solidarity with the many people in the Middle East who are being repressed and slaughtered every single day for demanding their freedom. From Syria to Iran to Yemen, these people are no longer content with their leader's explanations that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Middle East - a fiction that is advanced through resolutions like those before us today. Today the people of the Middle East demand real answers for their plight.

I also heard no discussion today about the incitement that continues to fill the West Bank and Gaza, where the next generation of Palestinian children is being taught that suicide bombers are heroes, that Jews have no connection to the Holy Land, and that they must seek to annihilate the State of Israel. From cradles to kindergarten classrooms; from the grounds of summer camps to the stands of football stadiums; from the names of public squares to the public pronouncements of Palestinian leaders, these messages are everywhere...


No, None of Our "Settlements" Involved

This headline is poorly phrased:

Settlement in Lawsuit Over Gay Softball Series

No "Jewish settlement" is involved in gay softball.

Or hardball, for that matter.


Friedman Flunks Out - Again

Tom Friedman is at it again.  "It" being his notorius "Israel-bashing".  In today's column, The Arab Awakening and Israel, he acknowledges that

Israel is facing the biggest erosion of its strategic environment since its founding. It is alienated from its longtime ally Turkey. Its archenemy Iran is suspected of developing a nuclear bomb. The two strongest states on its border — Syria and Egypt — are being convulsed by revolutions. The two weakest states on its border — Gaza and Lebanon — are controlled by Hamas and Hezbollah.

And notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that ceding territory to the Palestinians was unwise at present.  Friedman grasciously acknowledges that

Netanyahu’s analysis of the dangers facing Israel is valid, and things could still get worse.

But still thinks that Netanyahu’s diagnosis is wrong.

Despite  "Israel’s fear of Islamists taking power all around it cannot be dismissed", he still asks Israel to ignore that fear.  After all, he suggests, there is nothing to fear because

...the new politics is just beginning: Islamists will now have to compete with legitimate secular parties.

He asserts:

Netanyahu’s prescription is to do nothing. I understand Israel not ceding territory in this uncertain period to a divided Palestinian movement. What I can’t understand is doing nothing...Israel’s best defense is to strengthen Fayyadism — including giving Palestinian security services more areas of responsibility to increase their legitimacy...Israeli rightists will be tempted to do nothing, to insist the time is not right for risk-taking — and never will be — so Israel needs to occupy the West Bank and its Palestinians forever. That could be the greatest danger of all for Israel: to wake up one day and discover that, in response to the messy and turbulent Arab democratic awakening, the Jewish state sacrificed its own democratic character.

The comment I left there:

Mr. Friedman writes that "I understand Israel not ceding territory in this uncertain period to a divided Palestinian movement. What I can’t understand is doing nothing." and then adds that he cannot understand why "Israel needs to occupy the West Bank and its Palestinians forever."

In the first instance, Israel has not "done nothing", a calumny Friedman insists upon repeating as if he can create a truth out of a lie. The Bar-Ilan speech recognizing (foolish as it was in my opinion) the need for a two-state solution, then recognizing specifically a "Palestinian state", then the construction moratorium and other diplomatic moves - all while the Pals. play at "as if" while not reducing their anti-Israel, anti-Zionist incitement, insufficient security (the Fogel family, for example) and other aspects, not to mention Gaza, hamas and its missiles (btw, Israel yielded up Gaza entirely as well as expelling the Jews from their homes) is not "nothing".

Moreover, the support fro Fayyadism or whatever, while stomping on Netayhau itself becomes an unjust and unfair form of participation by Friedman in the diploamtic process itself - all to Israel's disadvantage. So, while Friedman claims Netanyahu is doing "nothing", he himself is doing much too much in a negative fashion which will not bring peace nor security.

Thank you Mr. Friedman - for nothing.


There Go the Paving Stones

Snapped this morning at the Ammunition Hill station of the Light Railway - the slowly but surely disappearing paving stones:

Are they to be thrown at us eventually or maybe going to new illegal construction?


High Court Stoops Low for Shiloh


High Court orders Shiloh construction investigation

The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Tuesday to notify the court within 60 days regarding its intention to open a criminal investigation into unauthorized construction in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh.

The panel of three justices – Miriam Naor, Esther Hayut and Neal Handel – also ordered the state to update the court regarding the issue of continued construction plans in Shiloh.

The ruling came after the court heard a petition on Monday filed by Peace Now regarding unauthorized construction of residential housing units in the settlement, northeast of Ramallah.

Peace Now claims the construction, on three areas of designated state land, is illegal because the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council has not received appropriate planning permits from the Defense Ministry.

The state informed the High Court on Sunday that the Defense Ministry decided to retroactively approve building plans in Shiloh, a move that will legalize 119 residential units in the settlement.


Attorney Akiva Sylvetsky, the Binyamin Local Authority's legal representative, showed the court precedents it has set itself, which determined that the court shall not force authorities to take enforcement measures in places where the state declares an intention to legalize the construction.

The motion by Peace Now is therefore superfluous, he said.

Sylvetsky also said that Peace Now never filed any kind of complaint with the Binyamin Local Authority.

In the course of the session, the judges expressed puzzlement at the attempt by Peace Now to involve the court in matters of construction on state land within communities. The court said it would give a decision in the coming days.

Check my previous post for some explanations of what's going on but bureaucratic delay is not an unknow problem, even in Shiloh...Southwest Illinois:-

Police contract negotiations cost Shiloh $30,000

It took 17 months for the Village of Shiloh and the Fraternal Order of Police to come to terms on a new contract, which gave full-time police officers on average a 3 percent raise last year, this year and next year.

In addition to pay increases, the lengthy contract negotations cost the village $30,000 in legal fees.

And I finally received from Dani Dayan his op-ed on the subject from January 2008: Legal, and then some which provides some insight into related problems.


...The decision to form Bruchin came from the ministerial committee on settlement in 1983. Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin approved the decision in 1988. Former defense minister Moshe Arens also gave his approval to Bruchin's construction several years later. The area designated for Bruchin was all state-owned.

The state approved the development of infrastructures for the town. The non-governmental pacifist organization Peace Now argues the state invested over $3 million in the town. Bruchin is now home to some 80 families, who most ly reside in permanent homes.

The government, following Sasson's lead and the media, claims that Bruchin is unauthorized and illegal.

Bruchin was authorized by the appropriate state authorities. The land it occupies is state land, and it has a detailed municipal outline. But since its formal approval process isn't completed, Sasson calls Bruchin an illegal outpost. And so, the Israel Electric Corporation does not upgrade the town's infrastructure.

On the western side of the Green Line lies Lehavot Haviva, a veteran kibbutz belonging to the Hashomer Hatzair movement. I do not know whether in 1949, when the kibbutz was established, or in 1951 when it was moved to its current locale, it was done as a government resolution. What is certain is that the kibbutz was set up on lands that did not belong to the state.

Before it was moved to its current location, the authorities evicted the people of the Arab village Jalameh, in the framework of a plan by the Prime Minister's Office to "remove small Arab shanties and move their inhabitants to larger villages." The residents of the land were transferred to neighboring Arab villages.

Sasson is troubled by municipal blueprints that have been lawfully approved. Well, Lehavot Haviva has a blueprint which was approved in 1980 - 31 years (!) after the kibbutz was formed. For 31 years, the kibbutz had been, according to Sasson philosophy, an illegal outpost. And yet, no one demanded it be removed.

...That used to be the procedure through which town and settlements were approved, and it was law. Compared to what went on in those years, the procedure for setting up the "outposts" is a temple of decorum and of justice. No one had been evicted from their homes for the formation of a Jewish settlement.

...The issue of the outposts is not a legal one, but a matter of foreign policy. Otherwise, the pledge to evacuate them would have been made to the president of the Supreme Court instead of the U.S. Secretary of State...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jabotinsky Goes to the Theater - Stars in a New Play

In this news item, Politics is the thing, we learn that the Herzliya Theater Ensemble's new artistic director wants to increase subscribers tenfold; stage right, meet stage left.

The 2012 repertoire is composed entirely of original plays and constitutes "a sharp and very refined and diverse look at the Israeli reality," Kotler said Sunday.

...[a] play to be performed next season will be A.B. Yehoshua's "Hayelkhu Shnayim Yahdav" (literally "Will Two Walk Together")*, about early Zionist politics. It features a London meeting between David Ben-Gurion, played by Rami Baruch, and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, played by Gil Frank.

The play, which will be directed by Kotler, will be performed in April, as a joint production with the Cameri Theatre.

There is an historical background to this:

The end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s were years of growth and consolidation for the Revisionist movement. At various conferences held during that period, doubts were raised as to whether to continue operating under the auspices of the World Zionist Organization. Tensions between the Revisionist movement and Zionist workers’ parties reached new heights after the assassination of Ḥayim Arlozorov, a Mapai leader, in 1933. In an effort to reduce the tension between Mapai and Revisionist camps, a meeting was held between Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky, and it was agreed that the Revisionists would have a role to play on the Zionist Organization’s executive.

And this

An attempt to restore Zionist peace through a series of London meetings in the fall of 1934 between Jabotinsky and David Ben-Gurion was less noteworthy for its futility than for the light it shed on the visceral difference between Jabotinsky and most of his contemporaries in the Labor Camp. Ben-Gurion was both fascinated and repelled by him. “There was in him complete internal spiritual freedom,” Israel’s first prime minister told Schechman during a conversation in 1945 at his Negev retreat in Sde Boker. “He had nothing of the ‘Galut Jew’ and was never embarrassed in the presence of a Gentile.”

More: October [1934], Pinhas Rutenberg, a Zionist businessman, arranged for a secret meeting between Ben Gurion and Jabotinsky at his London home. On 26 October the two signed an agreement to ban violence in their disputes. Later pacts sought to regulate the relationships between the rival unions and called for an end to the Revisionists boycott of WZO fund- raising campaigns and, in return, the restoration of the Betarims right to obtain immigration certificates, which had been denied them because of their strike-breaking. The agreements were unpopular with the ranks on both sides, with Achimeir in Palestine and Menachem Begin in Poland both bitterly opposing them. However, the Revisionists world congress in January 1935 finally went along with the agreements, but the Histadrut referendum, in late March, overwhelmingly, 15,227 to 10,187, repudiated the pacts.

There were actually four agreements that resulted from the meetings, one was that

In this “London Agreement”, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky had come to an understanding and had worked out an agreement together which included the banning of libel and insults between their two movements.

And here:

After the Arlosoroff murder trial, an attempt at a reconciliation between the Revisionists and the Zionist leadership was made in 1934. At the initiative of Pinḥas *Rutenberg, Jabotinsky and David *Ben-Gurion met in London and, after lengthy negotiations, signed three agreements. The first enjoined all Zionist parties to refrain from certain forms of party warfare, notably "libel, slander, insult to individuals and groups." The second was a labor agreement providing for a modus vivendi between the Histadrut and the Revisionist workers, including the controversial issues of strikes. The third provided for suspension of the Revisionist boycott against the Zionist funds and a guarantee of immigration certificates for members of Betar. The agreements were welcomed by Zionist public opinion, but the labor agreement was submitted to a referendum of Histadrut members and rejected by a majority. The atmosphere of goodwill petered out.

The best book is in Hebrew by Yaacov Goldstein - The Agreement between David Ben-Gurion and Zeev Jabotinsky and its Failure (1934-1935), Yariv- Hadar Publication, Tel Aviv, 1979 (together with Yaacov Shavit)


"הֲיֵלְכוּ שְׁנַיִם יַחְדָּו בִּלְתִּי אִם נוֹעָדוּ" which is a verse in Amos 3:3 - "Will two walk together, except they have agreed?"

Cornell Graduate On Trial for Corruption

CBS reports via AP

Hassan Abu Libdeh, who holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, is set to go on trial on Dec. 12, according to chief public prosecutor Ahmed Mughanni.

In a statement, Abu Libdeh professed his innocence and vowed to defend himself "before the judiciary against these false accusations."

Two senior government officials with access to court files said the case involves corruption, breach of trust, manipulation and fraud. They said the charges date back to when Abu Libdeh, who holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in New York, headed the Palestinian Capital Market Authority in 2008. The authority oversees the local stock market.


Not the "East Bank" But the Left Bank

From the Western Times
Tue 26 Mar 1918
Devon, England

“IN PALESTINE General Allenby Reports a Further Advance ON THE JORDAN

The War Office announces: During Friday night our positions on the left bank of the Jordan were extended, and some prisoners and machine-guns captured. An enemy formation of five aeroplanes...

A "bank" of a river is defined from the north and so "left" is to the east and "right" is in the west.  Here:

The descriptive terms "right bank" and "left bank" are relative to an observer looking downstream, in which the right bank is to the observer's right, and vice versa.

And, by the way,

By this term is understood what retains the river in its natural channel, when there is the greatest flow of water.

That is, to call the territory of the highlands of Samaria and Judea the "West Bank" is incorrect and actually, plain silly.


Regulation - What Does A Journalist Think?


Self-regulation of the press on its own had failed, she told the inquiry, adding that she did not think the regulation of the broadcast media constrained reporters.

Anne Diamond
in testimony before the Leeveson Inquiry Commission


The Pregnant Photographer and the Gaza Crossing

My comment is up at the NYTimes site.

And then I added another.

And another.

This is Not Gay News

JPost is reporting of a rise in HIV cases among gay men here:

Among the 420 newly diagnosed cases of HIV in Israel in 2010, 148 of them were homosexual men, according to the Health Ministry, which is worried about the “dramatic increase” in infection among gay men. They constituted half of all men who were newly diagnosed.

The ministry released figures to mark World AIDS Day, December 1.

They were collected by Dr. Zohar Mor, adviser to the head of public health services for tuberculosis and AIDS in the Health Ministry, and the voluntary organization Hoshen. The figures were four times higher than the figures of HIV-infected men in 2000.

I hope this isn't a result of Israel's Hasbara campaign line, the one from an Israeli marketing campaign to create a positive, non-conflict image of democratic Israel, including gay life (which is being fought by Queers Against Apartheid) and the Tel Aviv tourism campaign launched last year to attract gay visitors, especially the parade, which has moved up also to Jerusalem.

And just after the NYTimes "pinkwashing" flareup ("pinkwashing"?  here).

Maybe it's better some gay conferences are cancelled.


Weak As Weak Is

I commented on Netanyahu's weakness to the Temple Mount and even Akiva Eldar is amazed:

Who is this Netanyahu that's involving Muslims in Jerusalem affairs?

If Netanyahu were opposition leader, instead of prime minister, he would have tarred and feathered anyone who decided to defer the demolition of the Mughrabi Gate.

And agrees with me:

Netanyahu's request to defer the demolition of the dilapidated bridge that leads to the Mughrabi Gate and the installation of a new bridge has no political or religious justification.

As UNESCO records:

At the last minute, when the heavy equipment was ready to carry the new metal bridge to the Western Wall area, Jordan's King Abdullah got cold feet. Pressured by Islamic groups in Jordan and Egypt, headed by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the king asked that the renovation be postponed. As always, he wanted to verify that a request along the same lines would come from Washington.

So, weakness all-around is the new diplomatic policy?


JPost editorial concludes:

This madness must stop. An absurd situation has been created in which some irrational Muslim leaders, intoxicated by their own lies – including the spurious belief that the First and Second Temples were never situated on the Temple Mount – have intimidated Israel into inaction.

Israel must not cave in to the insanity of Muslim extremism. The Mughrabi bridge must be replaced – the sooner the better.


Today Is Partition Plan Day. But Yesterday?

Yesterday was Mufti-Hitler Day.

For more info -

There are also good history books

Matthias Küntzel: Djihad et haine des Juifs : Le lien troublant entre islamisme et nazisme à la racine du terrorisme international

Martin Cüppers, Klaus-Michael Mallmann -
Croissant fertile et croix gammée : Le Troisième Reich, les Arabes et la Palestine

Jeffrey Herf -
Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World


How To Subvert Democracy

Yariv Oppenheimer, Executive Director of Peace Now, Mossi Raz, Executive Director of “All for Peace” Radio and Hassan Jabareen, Director, Adalah are engaged in subversion.

They are guests of Franziska Brantner, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jan Philipp Albrecht and Margrete Auken, MEPs fromm the Greens | European Free Alliance at a "Hearing" on the subject of "Israel’s democracy endangered?" where they are to discuss the proposed NGO laws and the recent "Price tag" attacks. It's happening today, Tuesday, 29th November, 18:00-19:30h at the European Parliament, ASP Room A5E-1. The event is to be followed by a reception (kosher?).

I received this reaction:-

On the 29th of November, on the anniversary of the UN vote adopting the partition plan and giving international recognition to the Zionist objective of Jewish national sovereignty and equality, these three officials of Israeli NGOs funded through secret processes by European governments are speaking in the EU parliament in an anti-democratic framework organized by the EU's most anti-Zionist members. These activities in Brussels protect and defend European neo-colonialism, in the form of funding used to manipulate Israeli democracy and promote demonization under the facade of "civil society" organizations.

How the mighty-mites have fallen!


This Groping Goldberg Is But Half

A teacher named Katherine Goldberg groped an air steward on flight it is reported but the Goldberg part is her father I have been informed from London.


A teacher who assaulted an air steward while under an "alcohol-induced illusion" has been spared jail. Katherine Goldberg, 25, was on a night flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, to Heathrow in August when the incident happened, Isleworth Crown Court heard...Goldberg, of Ealing, west London, was fined £1,500, and ordered to carry out an 11-month community order and 80 hours of unpaid work. She must also pay £250 costs.

...Goldberg was returning from visiting her boyfriend and grandparents in South Africa where she had been celebrating the end of her teaching exams. She took two bottles of alcohol on to the Virgin Atlantic flight and was so drunk she became under the "alcohol-induced illusion" the steward was her boyfriend, the court was told.

Prosecutor James O'Connell said...her "antics changed and became rather sexual", Mr O'Connell said. The court was told she groped the man through his trousers and kept making offers to him..."In her complete alcoholic funk she was confusing him with her current boyfriend, Clayton, and Owen, a previous boyfriend.

...Goldberg, of Crosslands Avenue, had no recollection of the events on board when she was met by police at Heathrow but was very apologetic. She has been suspended from her job as a teacher and has since admitted to having an alcohol problem, the court heard.

The good news? There was no danger and there may be a future:

...Judge Andrew McDowall said none of the other passengers had been in any danger during the flight and Goldberg did not have to be restrained at any stage...The judge said he hoped she would be allowed to continue to teach despite the sexual assault conviction.


And Was Israel "Dragged"?

A thought came to me after reading the letter below from the New York Review of Books, a bastion of anti-Zionism and extreme Israel-bashing which is - will a letter be published in the near future recanting the "dragging of Israel through the mud of calumny and antisemitic falsehoods"?


To the Editors:

Concerning my review of several books on Alexander the Great [NYR, October 27], a letter to the editors is correct to say that Homer does not explicitly say that Achilles dragged Hector’s body “around” the walls of Troy. Mea culpa; and I am grateful to the writer for pointing this out.

The writer is also right to say that many readers of Homer have taken the text as I did—largely, I think, because of the lamentations uttered by the Trojans when they see this scene of cruelty, looking down from the city walls (Andromache watches the body being dragged “before the city” and “to the ships of the Greeks,” Iliad 22, 464–465).

That is certainly how Virgil understood it; and there has never been a more acute reader of Homer than Virgil.

Mary Beard
Professor of Classics University of Cambridge
Cambridge, England

All either an optical illusion or isuse of vocabulary.


Zooarchaeology and the Biblical Narrative

The "Palestinian narrative" is in trouble, yet again:

There'll be a lecture on Tel Dan soon -

Blood on the Altar: Architectural, Artifactual and Zooarchaeological Evidence for (Israelite?) Animal Sacrifice at Tel Dan by Jonathan S. Greer (The Altamont School, Birmingham, Alabama).

on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:30pm at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Reception Hall of Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Seems, as distributed that:

An analysis of architectural features, certain artifacts, and an exceptionally large concentration of animal bone remains uncovered over the last few decades from the so-called “sacred precinct” at Tel Dan, in northern Israel, will be presented suggesting that animal sacrifice and sacred meals were carried out at this installation during the days of the Israelite kings (late 10th cent. - mid 8th cent. BCE). The site is associated with one of the infamous golden calves of Jeroboam I after the death of Solomon in biblical tradition and this synthesis, thus, has implications for the history of ancient Israel and for the formation of priestly literature concerning sacrificial rites.

Seen any Arabs?


Peace Now Takes the Criminalize Route

As I noted previously, construction at Shiloh, the object of a Peace Now High Court appeal which failed, is a simple matter of administration and bureaucracy, of parcelization and zoning (see what is on the books in the UK).  The ownership, as if it is "stolen privately-owned land", is not the issue but if land originally set aside for agriculture can be used for building homes.

Trust me, living here, no real agriculture can be developed there where the building is.  The original designation was simple an off-hand decision at the time.

There is nothing criminal in the procedure but our Peace Now Zionists won't give up.

Read on from a JPost report: Shiloh construction may bring criminal probe

The State Attorney’s office is weighing the possibility of ordering a criminal investigation into illegal construction [it isn't illegal] in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh, even as the Defense Ministry has said it plans to legalize the building.

...The panel of three justices – Miriam Naor, Esther Hayut and Neal Handel – heard a petition filed by Peace Now over alleged illegal construction of residential housing units in Shiloh, northeast of Ramallah.  Peace Now claims the construction, on three areas of designated state land, is unlawful because the Binyamin Regional Council has not received appropriate planning permits from the Defense Ministry.

Monday’s hearing came after the state informed the High Court on Sunday that the Defense Ministry has decided to retroactively approve building plans in Shiloh, a move that will legalize 119 residential units in the settlement. [a move that happens all the time all over Israel as well as in kibbutzim]

...Peace Now had asked the court to order the Defense Ministry to explain why it had not taken all necessary actions to prevent the houses’ construction and to investigate and to prosecute those members of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council responsible for the building.

...The petition relates to three different areas in Shiloh, one of which was officially zoned as agricultural lands, and which cannot be used for residential building. [well, if you change that status, the land can be used.  is Peace Now asserting that the government can't change its mind?]

In order to legalize building on that land, the state must now undertake a public process, during which members of the public will be allowed 60 days to voice any opposition to the zoning changes.  The other two areas are already zoned as residential, but Peace Now argues that the houses built on that land were constructed without a proper permit. [Peace Now turns here, turns there and wants us to get dizzy]

...Peace Now had contacted the Judea and Samaria regional police and the deputy attorney-general asking for a criminal investigation into alleged illegal construction by the Binyamin Regional Council.  However, the state said in its written response that such an investigation was “not a simple matter.”

In Monday’s High Court hearing, attorney Michal Friedlander, for the state, said that that a decision has not yet been made regarding the criminal investigation...Friedlander said that a decision would be made on the matter within several weeks.

...After the hearing, attorney Akiva Sylzetsky, for the Binyamin Regional Council, told The Jerusalem Post he was optimistic the court would decide not to intervene in the matter of the housing construction.  Regarding the police investigation, Sylzetsky said it would be “difficult to start an investigation in a place where the process of legalization has already started,” and that any investigation would not necessarily result in indictments being filed.

According to Sylzetsky, the state’s move to legalize housing construction in Shiloh is part of a trend that has developed over the past year and-a-half in reaction to petitions like this one, filed against building on state (public) lands in the West Bank.  The petitions have given the state the impetus to legalize settlement construction on state lands, which lacks the necessary permits. The land is considered public and there are no Palestinian private land claims against it, Sylzetsky says, because the High Court has forced the state to give an answer about the land.

“Peace Now’s petitions have been having the opposite affect to that intended,” he added. “In several places, the state has legalized construction because of petitions, whereas if the settlers themselves had asked for legalization it would never have happened.”...The state can legalize the houses because they are built not on private Palestinian land but on so-called “state lands,” land considered public property under Ottoman law. [not only that, sir, but the League of Nagtions Mandate decision specifically charged that state and waste lands were to be used for "close Jewish settlment", Article 6]

According to that law, which was in force when Israel took the area from Jordan in 1967, land in the West Bank is considered state land unless an individual has occupied, cultivated and paid taxes on it for at least 10 years.

Meanwhile, also on Monday, the High Court of Justice decided to postpone a hearing of a petition by civil rights watchdog Yesh Din into alleged illegal construction on private Palestinian land in the Kochav Ya’acov settlement.  The decision came after the state agreed to carry out a land ownership survey. Lawyers Michael Sfard, Shlomy Zecharya and Avissar Lev filed the petition on behalf of Ali Barakat, head of the village council of Akeb, whose constituents allegedly own the land.

One day, the real criminals will get their comeuppance.

That is not a threat but an expectation and observation.

P.S.  What to buy some property?

P.P.S.  Did you know that as of May 1968 a land survey was done by the Israel Lands Administration, the General Staff's Settlement Department and the Department of Agriculture. These were its findings: 50,000 dunums were in private Palestinian lands.
(see: Shlomo Gazit, The Carrot and the Stick: Israel's Policy in Judea and Samaria, 1967-68, B'nai B'rith Books, Washington, D.C., 1995) and that by November 1992, one year after the Madrid Peace Conference and the start of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, land held by Israel potentially for the use of Israeli settlers constituted more than 60 percent of the total area of Judea and Samaria and 35 percent of the total area of the Gaza Strip. Prior to 1948, Jews bought lands in the Judea and Samaria and when the Jordanian government took over, it passed the Custodian of Enemy Property Law and established the office of a Custodian of Enemy Property under whose administration the lands that had been bought by Jews were placed. These amounted to some 30,000 dunums out of the total area of 5.5 million dunums (see: Gazit, op. cit., p. 126).

As this pro-Arab source explains, land ownership is complicated and compounded by refusals to register such.


Monday, November 28, 2011

But The Int'l Court of Justice Decided

One of the claims the anti-Yesha crowd asserts in the field of international law is the use of the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" by the International Court of Justice. For example, at para. 70-78:

At the close of its analysis, the Court notes that the territories situated between the Green Line and the former eastern boundary of Palestine under the Mandate were occupied by Israel in 1967 during the armed conflict between Israel and Jordan. Under customary international law, the Court observes, these were therefore occupied territories in which Israel had the status of occupying Power. Subsequent events in these territories have done nothing to alter this situation. The Court concludes that all these territories (including East Jerusalem) remain occupied territories and that Israel has continued to have the status of occupying Power.

Well, this "occupation" actually is not illegal in and of itself. If Israel responded to aggression with defensive operations, especially since no Arab state and the terrorist groups they sponsored ever honored or respected that Green Line during the 19-year period prior to 1967, Israel's "occupation" could be just.

The Court's language, true, is a bit problematic here at para. 87:

The Court first recalls Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter, which provides that:

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,”

and General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV), entitled “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States” (hereinafter “resolution 2625 (XXV)”), in which the Assembly emphasized that

“No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal.”

...the same is true, it observes, of its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

Who, then, was the aggressor in and prior to 1967, and can a state, in a defensive action, assert a territorial claim? And, I stress, we have not discussed Israel's rights to the territories of Judea and Samaria, as well as Gaza in principle, reflected in League of Nations Mandate decisions of 1922 and 1923, following the San Remo Conference decision of 1920 and the spirit of the deliberations of the 1919 Versailles Peace Conference.  As noted, "the ICJ says absolutely nothing about the fact that the League of Nations Mandate referred to 'the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people' and that this injunction was understood at the time by the League of Nations and by the British Mandatory Power as applying to the whole of Palestine west of the River Jordan, that is, including the present-day West Bank".

More mix-up is in the decision textof the ICJ Opinion, at para. 101, where you can read:

The Court accordingly finds that that [the IVth] Convention is applicable in the Palestinian territories which before the conflict lay to the east of the Green Line and which, during that conflict, were occupied by Israel, there being no need for any enquiry into the precise prior status of those territories.

But if there is no "precise prior status", perhaps the judges are wrong?

There is an inherent contradiction as welll as sever unclarity here.

Furthermore, Judge Pieter Kooijmans of The Netherlands, in a separate opinion, added at para. 30,

"The Court has refrained from taking a position with regard to territorial rights and the question of permanent status."

In addition, Israel assumed the administration over the territory after the Kingdom of Jordan, which had illegally annexed those territories in April 1950 following a military occupation, attacked Israel which led to the 1967 Six-Day War.  The region has been essentially disputed land with the claimants being Israel, Jordan, and Arabs referring to themeselves a "Palestinians". The final status and borders are final negotiations issues according to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the language of the Camp David Agreements and the Oslo Accords.

All this is ignored, which I would say is either bias or prejudice, political or judicial.

The court's "historical narrative" has as its chronology that the Armistice Agreement of 1949 is followed immediately at para. 73 by this formulation:

"In the 1967 armed conflict, Israeli forces occupied all the territories which had constituted Palestine under British Mandate (including those known as the West Bank, lying to the east of the Green Line)."

As I've emphasized, the years and character of Jordanian rule are not mentioned, nor is there any examination of Jordan's status in Judea and Samaria, the geographical terms, we should recall, employed by the United Nations in its November 29, 1947 partition recommendation. The historical narrative of the ICJ was critically flawed as pointed out in the separate opinions of the minority judges such as Judge Rosalyn Higgins of the United Kingdom, comments in her separate opinion at para. 16:

"I find the 'history' as recounted by the Court in paragraphs 71-76 neither balanced nor satisfactory."

Funnily enough, there was a Jordanian judge sitting, Judge Awn Shawkat Al-Khasawneh who, as expected, ignored any anti-Jordanian matters that could spoil the anti-Israel opinion.

In March 1994, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright, stated as recorded in UN Security Council Official Records, 3351st Meeting, 18 March 1994, UN Doc. S/PV.335 p.12 (1994):

"We simply do not support the description of the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 war as occupied Palestinian territory. In the view of my government, this language could be taken to indicate sovereignty, a matter which both Israel and the PLO have agreed must be decided in negotiations on the final status of the territories."

So, what about this "occupation" business?

As Robbie Sobel pinpoints:

"From 1948 till 1967 the West Bank had been under Jordanian rule and the Gaza Strip under Egyptian control. The UN General Assembly however refrained from designating these territories as occupied Jordanian or occupied Egyptian territory, presumably since the majority of states, including the Arab states, had not recognized the West Bank as Jordanian territory and Egypt had not even claimed sovereignty over the Gaza Strip.

From 1967 till 1976 the UN General Assembly resolved the dilemma by referring to occupied "Arab" territories and often simply as "occupied territories." From 1976 onward, the increased political clout of the PLO at the UN led to a change. A 1976 UN General Assembly resolution referred to "the right of the Arab states and peoples whose territories are under Israeli occupation". From 1977 the reference becomes "Palestinian and other Arab territories."

No justice.  Not legal analysis.  Political clout.  Ideology.

Other matters are what the Court did and did not say about the Green Line, Jerusalem and the status of the body known as the Palestinian Authority.

As I was informed, the ICJ did not provide a ruling on the status of the territory. The Court does apply the rules of belligerent occupation but without any rendering any opinion on the status of the territories. Yes, the court’s opinion that Israel has no claim to the land is stated far more directly in para.114-122. In any event, while the Court is rendering its opinion, it is not making a ruling on anything. Israel was not a party to the proceedings, which were, in any event, advisory, as the title to the case states. The Court gave its advice to the General Assembly on its opinion. It is entitled to its opinion, and Israel is entitled to its own opinion. As expressed to me - "Bottom line, the claim that the ICJ gave a ruling is flat out not true."

As Rothenberg and Bell have noted, “The UN General Assembly (GA) resolution asking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion is actually a request for an endorsement of an already-stated political opinion of the GA. The ICJ lacks jurisdiction over the case because the GA has dictated the desired result. The court is not authorized to make endorsements of the GA’s political opinions dressed in legal garb.” (See: Laurence E. Rothenberg and Abraham Bell, “Israel’s Anti-Terror Fence: The World Court Case” (2004) Jerusalem Viewpoints.


I was assisted by material in Jerusalem Viewpoints, No. 535 28 Elul 5765 / 2 October 2005, The ICJ Opinion on the Separation Barrier: Designating the Entire West Bank as "Palestinian Territory" by Robbie Sabel

and NGO-Monitor Analysis, October 4, 2003 as well as Gerald Steinberg's article.

I Belong to a Settlement

No. Shiloh is a Jewish residential community. Populated by revenant Jews.  Not a "settlement".

But according to this study, I do belong to a settlement:-

Defining & Characterizing Virtual Settlements

The need to distinguish between a virtual community's CMC [computer mediated communication] messages and the virtual community itself creates a dilemma similar in form to those faced by a number other disciplines. For example, after centuries of debate over the mind-body problem, psychology now distinguishes between the act of cognition and observable behavior. Likewise, it is necessary to distinguish between a community and its material in order to determine when a series of group-CMC demonstrates the existence of a virtual community. Therefore a distinction will need to be made between the cyber-place within which a virtual community operates, which will be termed a virtual settlement, and the virtual communities themselves.

Defining Characteristics

For a cyber-place with associated group-CMC to be labeled as a virtual settlement it is necessary for it to meet a minimum set of conditions. These are: (1) a minimum level of interactivity; (2) a variety of communicators; (3) a minimum level of sustained membership; and (4) a virtual common-public-space where a significant portion of interactive group-CMCs occur. The notion of interactivity will be shown to be central to virtual settlements. Further, it will be shown that virtual settlements can be defined as a cyber-place that is symbolically delineated by topic of interest and within which a significant proportion of interrelated interactive group-CMC occurs. It also follows that the existence of a virtual settlement demonstrates the existence of an associated virtual community.

(1) Minimum Level of Interactivity

It has been argued by some sociologists [(Minar and Greer 1969)] that our understanding of community begins with an examination of interaction and that leads to commitment to a given place and group. Both communities and virtual communities are composed of “groups”...

And it goes on:

Characterizing virtual settlements

Once a virtual settlement has been identified it can be characterized via an empirical description of its CMC-message-system. For example, does the virtual settlement under study have a large but unstable population? Or is it small and cohesive? Such a characterization can result from the modeling of a number of variables such as the number of subscribers; the number of posters; the density of posting; the number of topics generated over a particular period of time; the average length of postings. and so on. In a similar fashion, traditional human settlements have been characterized by archaeologists who have been interested in such issues as the development of sedentism, agrarian-based urban settlements and the growth of industrially based cities.

In both archaeology and the field of CMC, researchers focus on cultural artifacts: the archaeologist on scarabs, pots, arrow heads, the remains of cities, etc., the CMC researcher on listserv postings, web site structures, web site content, number of spams[2], Usenet content, etc. These artifacts can provide an integrative framework for a settlement's life, be it virtual or real, or they can obstruct or fail to facilitate otherwise viable, active behavior. As will be shown below the discipline of archaeology provides insights into how such characterizations of virtual settlements can be studied in order to expand our understanding of communication in general...

Well, well.


Subliminal Advertising

My spam box is filled with offers with the key words being:





Is there a subliminal message about the Land of Israel in there?


Hebron Hootenanny at Machpela Cave

I filmed this a few months ago - a group of Sfaradim enjoying the Cave of the Patriarchs:


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Construction Is Legal (Peace Now Cries Foul)

Back in March, Peace Now tried to muscle Shiloh around.

And now:

The Defense Ministry has approved two plans for the construction of 119 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, Ynet has learned. The building permits were revealed in the State's response to a petition filed with the High court of Justice by Peace Now eight months ago after the construction of 40 units had already begun on a number of Shilo plots...Defense Minister Ehud Barak's bureau said in response: "Anything approved in Shilo is just approval of the existing situation; any additional construction will need a new permit."

In its petition, Peace Now claimed the construction was illegal and was not included in the original plan for the area, as approved by the Central Bureau of Planning at the Civilian Administration of Judea and Samaria. In its response, submitted Wednesday, the State said that in light of the petition it has decided to retroactively authorize all permanent housing units included in the two construction plans.

If implemented, the construction plans would expand Shilo by 60%. There are currently 195 housing units in the settlement, in addition to caravans.

To clarify: this was not a matter of illegality.  It's one of internal zoning.  Slow bureaucracy.  Certain areas did not yet have their status altered.   Dany Dayan had an article about the kibbutzim going through decades of administrative paperwork to accomplish similar moves.

P.S.  195?  I'll start counting.  We have about 300 families.


The Weak Foundations of Netanyahu's Temple Mount Attitude

Temple Mount report in Haaretz:-

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Jerusalem municipality and the Public Security Ministry to delay the execution of a demolition order for the Mugrabi Bridge...Egypt's warnings that the move could lead the Tahrir Square protestors to focus their anger on Israel, prompted Netanyahu to delay the demolition...the Islamic Waqf – the religious authority which manages the Temple Mount – launched a public campaign against the demolition, arguing the demolition was part of an Israeli plot to damage the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

A similar campaign was started in Jordan, with the backing of the Ministry of Awqaf Islamic Affairs and Holy Places...Sources have indicated that Netanyahu's decision to delay the demolition was also prompted by Jordanian warnings that the move could incite riots in the Hashemite Kingdom.

This decision, in the first instance, saves Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitz:

Arutz Sheva has received a report that the city of Jerusalem is about to file charges against Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich of the Western Wall and Holy Places in his capacity as chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Fund. The charges stem from the fund's failure to respond to a demand made a month ago by City Engineer Shlomo Eshkol to dismantle the wooden ramp from the Western Wall Plaza to the Rambam (Mughrabi) Gate to the Temple Mount and replace it...

Mr. Prime Minister,

the "time factor" never works to Israel's advantage.

The Waqf, local and Jordanian (which views itself, as a full partner in the administration of the Temple Mount stemming from the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty: ARTICLE 9 - PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE: Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance. In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines...), willl always make noise.

And who knows when the turmoil in Egypt will end?

The Islam world is engaged in Tewmple denial in any case, not matter what is done.

If fundamentalist Islamic forces are at work in Egypt and Jordan that is a long-time development, has always negated Israel's administration of the Temple Mount and will respond even more forcefully after Netanyahu's waiting period is done.

But more important, Netanyahu has to make clear that that bridge work is on the exterior of the Temple Mount and is to be done to save lives.  What religion could be against protecting people's safety?

Netanyahu's approach, based on a frightened attitude, is displaying weakness.

And, in the Arab Middle East. that is dangerous.


Gorenberg - Facile, Fraudulant and Fake

Most recently, there was Gershom Gorenberg in The New Prospect. (Pssst. Richard Silverstein considers him a "liar". Two years ago, he was praising Benny Morris in The New York Review of Books.

In a recent appearance, he said:

...there are three things necessary to restablish Israeli democracy: The separation of synagogue and state, the graduation from being a national liberation movement to one that takes care of its citizens, and an end to the occupation...American Jews need to give up idea of a besieged Zionism...

Back in 2006, he had written in Building Nowhereland in the Washington Post:

Out on Highway 60, the bulldozers are at work...Once again they are changing the face of the land in a way that makes life far more difficult for Palestinians while damaging Israel's own long-term interests.

Actually, at least security-wise, the fence, in the long-term, has proven that the territories must be retained someway/somehow by Israel. For me, that's quite useful.

Now, in Israel’s Other Occupation in the New York Times, his piece is summarized as

The ethnic conflict in the West Bank is metastasizing into Israel, threatening its democracy and unraveling its society.

And in the article, he states

JEWS began settling in occupied territory weeks after the Israeli conquest of 1967. The strategy of settlement was born before Israeli independence in 1948, when Jews and Arabs fought for ethnic dominance over all of British-ruled Palestine. By settling the land, Jews sought to set the borders of the future Jewish state, one acre at a time. Post-1967 settlers, though they saw themselves as a vanguard, were really re-enacting the past, reviving an ethnic wrestling match — this time backed by an existing Jewish state.

Now, the attitudes and methods of West Bank settlement are inevitably leaking back across a border that Israel does not even show on its maps.

Let's be clear, (a) Jews have been "settling" in the Land of Israel for 3500 years and throughout the period of Dispersion and loss of political independence - under Roman, Byzantine, Persian, Muslim, Crusader, Ottoman and British conquerers and occupiers and (b) that historic connection of (a) formed the basis for the League of Nations' decision, preceded by the Balfour Declaration, the Versailles Peace Conference deliberations and the San Remo Conference decision, which recognized and guaranteed by power of international law the right of Jews to close settlement on state and waste lands in the territory of Palestine which was truncated and after September 1922 consisted of all the land between the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea.

The "border" he seeks to sanctify, the "Green Line", was artificial, temporary and the result of Israel's defensive actions against illegal Arab aggression.  It's 19-year existence was of total divorce from Jewish history but Gorenberg is just that type of Jew - the 'now'.

In the NYT piece, he 'borrows' language to describe the reality of Acre and the rest of the north:

Segregation, though, is intrinsically a denial of rights. The countryside throughout the Galilee region of northern Israel is dotted with a form of segregated exurb, the “community settlement.” In each of these exclusive communities, a membership committee vets prospective residents before they can buy homes.

Havde you seen Jews in Arab villages?  No.  Because they get stoned, robbed and killed.  That was the modern Zionist experience and that's why, partially, separated communities developed and also because Jews wanted to be socialists and farmers and do all the hard work themselves.  Othwerwiuse, Gorem would still be calling them as "lording over slaves", I guess.  The kibbutzim are Gorenberg's original sinners but they are of the Left and so they are sidelined to his story.

But he has another problem:

If and when Israel finally leaves the West Bank quagmire behind, it will face a further challenge: the settlers need to be brought home. But allowing them to apply their ideology inside Israel, or to transplant whole communities from the West Bank to the Galilee, will only make the situation worse in Israel proper.

Would he wish we went to the moon, or Mars?

Who is the segregationist?

Minority vs. Majority Rule: B. Begin's Backward Democracy

Benny Begin writes of "Knowing how to govern" and exclaims:

Some on the Right, who belong to the parliamentary majority dubbed "the right-wing camp," have been lamenting the so-called dire political straits they are in. "We have been in power for 30 years but we are not 'in control,'" is one common refrain...[but...they have no idea how to govern, or worse, do not want to govern.

These grumblers are blind to the failure of their traditional rivals. The Left's representation in the Knesset has dwindled and is just a small minority; socialism has been out of favor as an economic system for years now; only a small number of people still believe that peace and security are within reach given the current Arab leadership in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip; about 600,000 Jews currently reside "outside the Green Line" [demarcating Israel's border with Jordan prior to the Six-Day War].

But there are still "left-wing collaborators in the Likud," one bitter and frustrated hero told me last week. "They frustrate every piece of legislation put forth by the national camp," he said...[but]...these political gluttons are actually referring to a completely different thing: "unchecked right-wing rule."

...An unchecked majority tends to steam roll others. If the majority fails to understand that it must restrain itself, we must introduce measures to check it and see that they are is incumbent upon Likud members to frustrate repeated efforts to introduce a free rein...I am not talking about being magnanimous, but rather being decent. It is not about being just; it is about being smart.

...Knowing how to govern entails recognizing the limits of power and the minority's rights. Knowing how to govern means translating into action Hillel the Sage's maxim of treating others the way you would like to be treated. History has shown that a government whose supporters are ashamed of it will ultimately lose its grip on power.

Begin, to support his magnanimity, asserts:

Many political office-holders come from the Right. This is also true when it comes to various senior management positions and many other fields in the country.

This, however, is not quite correct. And in being slightly incorrect, Minister Begin is being too harsh on his fellow Likudniks.

There are three main anti-democratic elites in Israel's society: the media, the courts and the academia. Each of those three interlock with each other to defend each other and to launch coordinated attacks against 'hostile' forces. The frustration caused is problematic because while there is no "democratic solution", because those elites are undemocratically operating after entrenchment, any move to undermine their power is labeled as undemocratic.

A case in point: when Mr. Begin became Minister of cience he was approached by someone who had previously worked in the Ministry, had a collgeg degree and was sane and normal. It was suggested that he become Begin's PPS (personal private secretary) or senior advisor. Begin declined and moreover, kept the Meretz-appointed Director-General in place.

That is not how to "rule" and there is nothing undemocratic or trampling of a minority in that. In fact, with that attitude, the minority is what rules.

I cannot disagee with Begin's understanding of what is required in Israel in terms of honoring the mores of public democratic beahvior.  But if those aren't shared by all, those who aren't willing to make sure the rules apply to all for all will lose out.


London's West Bank

I was wondering, if I ever do get to London - and I have every intention to do so (I even have an invitation from the Board of Deputies to appear before them*) - could this venue be an appropriate location for a press conference?

Think of the possibilities.


From a November 24 email of the President of the Board, Vivian Wineman

...I had not heard of Yisrael Medad before this conference and understand that he has not been involved publicly in defending Israel on the international scene. The committee decided not to invite him but to invite others with similar views a decision which I did not initiate but with which I agreed and am part of. If Yisrael Medad wishes to come to the UK to promote his views we would of course be prepared to receive him at the Board.

Regards Vivian


A Challenge to the Manchester Big Tent Event

I have received a bit of criticism for publishing my own criticism of one aspect of the Manchester Big Tent Event.  I would love to know if Jonathan Freedland received criticism for his JC piece which included this thinking directed at the conference:

...I wonder if they [Israel's friends in the British Jewish community] realise that the fight for the Israel they love may also need to take other forms - and not just against the obvious enemies.  Start with...Hebron...The centre of a city of 175,000 people has been utterly emptied, its streets deserted, its shops vacant, thanks to a policy the Israeli army calls "sterilisation" - ensuring the area is clear and safe for Hebron's 800 Jewish settlers...A map shows purple roads where no Palestinian cars are permitted, yellow roads where no Palestinian shops are allowed to open and red roads where no Palestinians are even allowed to walk.

a.  first, that division was part of the agreement, to divide Hebron to H-1 and H-2.
b.  the use of "sterilisation" instead of "cleansing" is a nefarious use of language which Freedland knows is not only wrong of itself, but is a play to Nazi ideology and practice. It is also a play to all the UK's antisemites.  That is sick.
c.  the reality was not that the centre was emptied for security but that the lack of security, the Arab terror, like the assassination of an infant girl, the stabbings of worshippers, the killings in their homes of Jews resulted in a necessary tightening of security measures.
d. don't fret, Jonathan, Jews can't walk in more than 95% of Hebron so who is more discriminated against?

...All this has made life so impossible that an estimated 42 per cent of the families who once lived in this central part of town have now moved out.

Maybe if there was less anti-Jewish violence, they'd wish to move back in.  Jews can't move about so easily.

Israelis can walk freely down streets that are barred to Palestinians, surveying the shuttered shops that have been covered with some of the most vile graffiti I have ever seen. The familiar "Death to the Arabs" is there, but so is "You have Arabs, you have mice," the words covered up, but still legible.

Yes, that is really nasty but someone obviously thought enough to cover it up.  And the Arabs?  When not acting violently, their vile sermons in mosques, calling Jews monkey, pigs and pygmies are at least as vicious.

...according to my guide, Yehuda Shaul, a kippah-wearing army reservist who served two long tours in Hebron and who now works with the Breaking the Silence movement which, via the new Yachad organisation, has shown several Anglo-Jewish Zionist youth leaders and synagogue activists around the city. Shaul believes that Hebron simply reveals the reality of the occupation in an intense, distilled form.

Nice to know how Yahad works, and with whom.

...if the Israel we love is the Jewish, democratic state established in the Declaration of Independence then we need to fight for it. It is under threat and not only from the usual suspects, the hostile media and the "delegitimisers". It is also threatened from within, by Israel's own actions...

If anyone is threatening Israel "from within", one need look no farther than someone like Freedland who is surely an ASHed Jew.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are You In Solidarity With "Palestine"?

If you are in solidarity with "Palestine", then you probably visit this site:

And did you notice the map logo there?

Yes, the PLO map which indicates that in 1964, when the organization was founded, it intended to "liberate" Israel, all of it, to the sea:

No solidarity, at all, with Israel then?

And consider the campaign's aims:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) campaigns for justice for the Palestinians. We also advocate for Palestinians' civil, political and human rights, in accordance with international law.

PSC is established to campaign:

for the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people
for the right of return of the Palestinian people
(to where?)for the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli state from the occupied territories
(how are the "occupied" territories defined?)against the oppression and dispossession suffered by the Palestinian people
in support of the rights of the Palestinian people and their struggle to achieve these rights
to promote Palestinian civil society in the interests of democratic rights and social justice
to oppose Israel's occupation and its aggression against neighbouring states
(wait! so what was the above aim about? what "occupation"?)in opposition to racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice and Islamophobia, and the apartheid and Zionist nature of the Israeli state


Success to the Big Tent Event in Manchester

I wish all the participants at tomorrow's Manchester Big Tent Event all success, even if I cannot be there as decided by the committee that decides such decisons.

I ask them to remember that the basis for their conclave is the Reut Report on BDS and that one of the two operative conclusions is:

Jewish institutions meanwhile will have to allow for innovative thinking, new tools, and aggressive experimentation that usually takes place outside of the established community.

and this method instruction:

Open tent 3: It takes 'all instruments of the orchestra' to win this fight - from the political right and left. This principle requires embracing the paradox in which the more critical a left-wing voice against Israeli politics, the more credible its stance against delegitimization. Simply put, the most effective voices against Israel's delegitimization come from the far liberal and progressive left.


Egyptian "Democracy" Prognosis: Antisemitism Resurgent

From Eldad Beck's on-the-scene report:

Cairo rally: One day we'll kill all Jews

A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo's most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to "one day kill all Jews."

Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the "battle against Jerusalem's Judaization."

...Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the "Zionist occupiers" and the "treacherous Jews." Upon leaving the rally, worshippers were given small flags, with Egypt's flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other, as well as maps of Jerusalem's Old City detailing where "Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem's Muslim character."

...Spiritual leader Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb charged in his speech that to this day Jews everywhere in the world are seeking to prevent Islamic and Egyptian unity.

"In order to build Egypt, we must be one. Politics is insufficient. Faith in Allah is the basis for everything," he said. "The al-Aqsa Mosque is currently under an offensive by the Jews…we shall not allow the Zionists to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem.) We are telling Israel and Europe that we shall not allow even one stone to be moved there."

Muslim Brotherhood spokesmen, as well as Palestinian guest speakers, made explicit calls for Jihad and for liberating the whole of Palestine. Time and again, a Koran quote vowing that "one day we shall kill all the Jews" was uttered at the site. Meanwhile, businessmen in the crowd were urged to invest funds in Jerusalem in order to prevent the acquisition of land and homes by Jews...



Iran on Israel's Borders

It's official (via IMRA):

Senior Military Aide to the Iranian Supreme Leader Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned Israel that should it attack Iran's nuclear sites, Tehran and its regional allies, including Hezbollah and Hamas, will crush its cities with rocket and missile attacks.

Safavi, who formerly led the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), told Iran's Arabic-language satellite channel Al-Alam "in case of an attack by Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza will also join the fighting".

As he says,

"There will be no need for Iran to launch ballistic missiles at Israel, because all the Zionist cities are within the range of our ally Hezbollah's Katyusha (rockets)," he continued.


A Comment to Gershom Gorenberg

Comment left at The New Prospect blog of Gershom Gorenberg:

Having become a Zionist, a quite active one I would suggest, in 1962 in New York, and living there until 1970 and being very involved, can I say that Gershom congratulates himself too much, I fear. He has trea no new path. Robust debates with opponents have always taken place even in strongly supportive congregations and organizations of the right of Jews to reside in Judea and Samaria, something they did - which usually is ignored - throughout recorded history except for the brief 19 year period of Jordanian illegal occupation between 1948-1967. Somehow, persons like Gershom rarely dissect the history as regards "rights", "legality", etc. when it comes to the reality of that period and that immediately prior, seeking to distract attention from the behavior of the local Arab nationalist movement in Mandated Palestine which engaged for 30 years in a prolonged campaign of ethnic cleansing of Jews from Hebron, Shchem/Nablus, Gaza, Jenin and Jerusalem's Old City in addition to the newer locations such as the 4 kibbutzim in Gush Etzion, at Bet HaAravah, the moshavim of Atarot and Neveh Yakov accompanied by terror, gto be continued througout the 1948-1967 period first by fedyeen and then by Fatah/PLO. Gershom & Co. always start from June 10, 1967 and a supposed "illegal occupation".

Of course, his back row intelocuter has a point. Besides that opinion, of someone who subsequently left Israel and ran away to more progressive quarters, Israel's legal minds and its Supreme Court, have awarded legal approbation to almost all of the construction of Jewish homes, factories, farms and schools in Judea and Samaria, distinguishing between that issue and that of eventual political sovereignty. In assisting the view that Jews should be banned from Judea & Samaria, prohibited from living there, Gorenberg actually serves the darkest forces of illegality, apartheid and violation of Jewish rights as guaranteed by the highest legal forum at the time which recognized the historic connection of the Jewish people with that territory as part of the land area to become the reconstituted Jewish national home (for a collection of opinions, see:


Friday, November 25, 2011

"I Believe" - Josh Waller's Clip Is Back Up

It's back up:

I first had it here but it underwent further work.

The song's message:

“I Believe” is a song that crushes the barriers of ideological differences. The foundation of an eternal righteous plan for the redemption of the whole earth begins with a special covenant to a specific people in a specific land. In the millenniums following this promise men have sought to alter, to distort, and even undo God’s beautiful plan.

This song challenges us to make a stand with the Word of God:

He remembers His covenant forever…the word He commanded for a thousand generations…the covenant He made with Abraham…the oath He swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." Psalm 105:8-11

Many of the Jewish people obviously understand this eternal promise. We see it in their actions. They have come back to the land the prophets foretold they would return to - again, the evidence of the existence of our Creator and the truth of His Word.

At this moment in history, when the nations unite to discuss the future of the Promised Land, every person is called to make a righteous choice. Today, as we watch and listen to this song ……as we sing it ….as we witness the prophetic word confirmed ….may this be your declaration of faith in an eternal God and an eternal promise. May this song unite the hearts of every Bible believing person – both Jew and Non-Jew - all those longing for the Redemption in Jerusalem.

Make the Stand …….


Uri Avnery and His Mother

His mother didn't appeciate his visit to Arafat and according to her will (below) didn't leave him one single penny:

"I, Hilda Wolf (Osterman) nee Englestein, ID746976, 50 Lamed Hey St., Givatayim, arrange my will as follows:

1.  To my son, Uri Avnery, ID 39517; 10A Rupin St., Tel Aviv, I leave not one single penny as he did not take car of me and, instead, went to visit the murderer Yasser Arafat".


See here in Haaretz:

Haolam Hazeh also vexed Avnery's mother, Hilda Ostermann, who wrote her son out of her will. "I do not leave a penny to my son Uri, who instead of taking care of me went off to visit that murderer, Yasser Arafat," she wrote.


A House Grows in Shiloh

34 seconds of construction:




Photo/Video credit: YMedad


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cockamamie Kamiya

In Salon you have not only weirdo leftists, but quite borderline anti-semites such as its executive editor, George Kamiya who is arguing against a possible military action against Iran pushed, he sees, by neo-cons who are interlocked with Israel:

Despite disingenuous claims to the contrary, the only reason the U.S. is even talking about war with Iran is Israel. As the invaluable M.J. Rosenberg, who knows the working of the Israel lobby as only a former card-carrying member can, notes, “It is impossible to find a single politician or journalist advocating war with Iran who is not a neocon or an AIPAC cutout. (They’re often both.)”...these incompetent militarists are still taken seriously. And the reason is simple: They purport to be supporters of Israel. In American politics, you can get away with even the most cracked war-mongering as long as you claim to be “pro-Israel.” And the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card for anything having to do with Israel is the Holocaust...

...daring to stand up to Israel in an election year is another.

And then he misleads:

The key element is the Israeli-Palestinian issue. If Israel makes a just peace with the Palestinians and the Arab League recognizes Israel, the entire raison d’etre of Iran’s rejectionist position would be removed. Israel and Iran would then just be neighbors squabbling over their turf, along with the rest of the countries in the rapidly transforming Middle East.

Israel stands at a crossroads — and time is not on its side. Netanyahu is a disciple of the father of Revisionist Zionism, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who argued that the Arabs, understandably in his view, would never voluntarily accept Zionist colonization, and could only be controlled by an “Iron Wall the native population cannot break through.”

Netanyahu lacks Jabotinsky’s intellectual integrity, but shares his belief that brute force is Israel’s only recourse. For him, it is always 1938, the Palestinians are terrorists, Israel’s enemies are murderous anti-Semites and the Jewish state must exist in a constant state of war.

Always? Or just when Arabs kill Jews?

Must Israel exist in a state of war or is it our enemies who seem to prefer violence over negotiations, coexistence and compromise?

Here is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today at his joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc:

"The goal of Iran's nuclear program had been the subject of controversy but it is no longer such. Iran is vigorously working to achieve a nuclear weapon. This is the threat against Israel, against the region and against the entire world. While it is very important that significant economic sanctions have been imposed, it is insufficient. Effective sanctions must continue to be imposed on its petrochemical industries and on the Iranian central bank as well, and soon."

And also misrepresents:

Obama’s Middle East policies have been hugely disappointing, but he is not a fool. He knows that Iran — which has not started a war in modern history — poses no conceivable military threat to the United States. He also knows that the Arab Spring and the crisis in Syria have weakened Tehran’s geo-strategic position...

...Contrary to the ignorant claims made by Islamophobic hawks like Goldberg, Iran is not run by madmen bent on committing national suicide...


He challenges the largest superpower on earth, threatens a regional superpower with annihilation, and mocks international efforts to keep tabs on his nuclear program. Where does the unswerving confidence of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad come from?

...According to Shiite Islam, the twelfth Imam, named Mahdi, is the awaited messiah who will establish the rule of Islam around the world – following a massive war during which Islam's enemies are expected to be decimated. Iran's official state websites are filled with information about the Islamic Republic's messiah.

And consider this letter:

...there is a large difference between the North Korean and Iranian regimes. The North Korean regime's sole aim is to stay in power. Kim Jong-Il's brand of fascism has limited global appeal, unfortunately, Iran's does not. Iran's rulers' aim is to bring their strain of Islamic revolution to the world at any cost. As the Ayatollah Khomeini said in 1980: "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. -. I say let this land (Iran) go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world."

Iran's tyrants don't care if Israel retaliates against a nuclear attack because Israel will be annihilated due to its minute dimensions, yet the Islamic world will continue because of its great acreage.

Iran will attack when it has the capability; that may even herald the "return of the Mahdi" as per Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's doomsday fantasies. The attack will probably be through Hezbollah, who already possess short range delivery systems, as this allows Iran plausible deniability.

Michael N.W. Baigel, Toronto.