Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Women Gain Entry Rights at The Temple (And Need A Temple Be Destroyed?)


This is not about the Temple Mount, or the egalitarian Western Wall pray area in Jerusalem.

But it is riveting.

A two-year old ruling is coming to a clash in India.  We learn that

NEW DELHI — Thousands of devotees joined street marches in southern India on Monday as tensions mounted over a recent Supreme Court verdict revoking a ban on women entering a famous Hindu temple.

The Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala — considered one of the holiest for Hindus — in Kerala state has traditionally barred all women of menstruating age, between 10 and 50.

But India’s top court revoked the ban on women entering the temple in September...Those protesting against the court’s decision on Monday, including hundreds of women, warned they would step up their protests before the temple reopens on Wednesday, when it will have to allow all women entry as per the court order.

...“We will meet each villager in Kerala and chalk out a massive agitation plan to protect the temple, its centuries-old traditions and sentiments of Lord Ayyappa devotees,” Kerala BJP president P.S Sreedharan Pillai told NDTV.

Millions of devotees visit the temple every year to seek the blessings of Ayyappa, the presiding deity who is believed to be celibate. According to the temple website, pilgrims have to observe celibacy for 41 days before entering the shrine. 

And on Tuesday

India deployed hundreds of police Tuesday in southern Kerala state where protesters have threatened to stop women from entering a Hindu temple, despite a court ruling they can pray there. India's Supreme Court in September overturned a prohibition on women of menstruating age, between 10 and 50, from entering a temple for the deity Ayyappa.
Activists have said the long-standing ban reflected an old but still prevalent belief that menstruating women were impure.
Rajasthan BJP today condemned Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor's remarks that no good Hindu would want the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, by destroying somebody else's place of worship and asked the opposition party to clarify its stand on the issue....

...Mr Tharoor, who is Congress legislator from Thiruvananthapuram, made the controversial comments at an event in Chennai on Sunday.
"As a Hindu, obviously, I am conscious that a vast majority of my fellow Hindus believe that that (Ayodhya) was the specific birthplace of Ram," Mr Tharoor had said.
"For this reason, most good Hindus would want to see a Ram temple at the site where Ram was supposed to be (have been) born. But I also believe that no good Hindu would have wanted that a temple be built by demolishing somebody else's place (of worship)," he had said.
However, he later claimed that his remarks were distorted out of malice. 
"I condemn the malicious distortion of my words by some media in the service of political masters. I said: most Hindus would want a temple at what they believe to be Ram's birthplace. But no good Hindu would want it to be built by destroying another's place of worship," he tweeted.

Does UNESCO need to get involved



Crowds of agitated protesters in Kerala attacked female devotees, many of whom turned back as a result. Several people including an old woman were injured as crowds threw stones at vehicles and attacked police officers.The Sabarimala temple has historically been closed to women of "menstruating age".Hinduism regards menstruating women as unclean and bars them from participating in religious rituals.


What's With the Waqf?

Being reported there's a crisis between the Jordanian Endowments [Waqf] and the Jerusalem Endowments [Waqf] Department ... and threats of separation?

the Jordanian Awqaf sent a delegation to occupied Jerusalem to cancel the contracts of all employees and the work of new contracts...the staff rejected the wording of the new contracts being unfair to them, while the Waqf as represented by its director in Jerusalem, Azzam al-Khatib, said anyone who refuses to sign will be dismissed

Seems the employees view their role as on of "protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque and confronting the settlers".

In addition to duration of their work contracts and other items, there is a demand regarding a  deduction for Jordanian health insurance, which they do not benefit by forcing Jerusalemites to the Israeli health insurance, and turn it into an optional item for those who wanted them.

The Jerusalem Waqf responded saying,

"We consider ourselves the people of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which has always sponsored Islamic institutions and trusteeship in the city of Jerusalem and caring staff and workers in the endowments of Jerusalem in various means of support and improve the functional and living conditions for them, which the most recent of which was the issuance of a Royal Decree to improve the salaries of employees and to grant a financial reward of one month's salary for each year of service. "

A meeting was held in the office of the Director General of the Jerusalem Waqf on October 15th in the presence of the Assistant Director General of the Jerusalem Endowments, the Finance Manager and the Director of Human Resources.

So, is the tension financial, religious or political?



Monday, October 15, 2018

The Jewish Legion Fallen Centennial Memorial on Mt. Scopus

The story.

From my camera:


How Evil Was The Hebron Massacre?

On August 23, 1929, a Friday, and on the Shabbat, August 24, Arabs from Hebron and surrounding villages attacked the centuries-old Jewish community in the city.  Veteran and recent Jewish residents were slaughtered.

There was murder and rape.

And there was mutilation.

Not for the squeamish.


"Settler Racism"

This is a photograph taken yesterday, Sunday, October 13, 2018.

The event is the awarding of a certificate of merit and appreciation by Avi Roeh, Council Chairman, to sports enthusiasts, residents of communities in the Binyamin Region, who competed and won international and national championships in various categories.

Among the youngsters are members of the Gordon Family of Shiloh.

I think you can take note that the faces indicate a total lack of "racism" that excludes persons of different countries, physiological characteristics, skin color, etc.

There is no "settler racism".

There is Israeli pride.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Again, Is "Palestine" Really Part of Syria?

As Zachary J. Foster details in his 2011 Georgetown University MA thesis, "Arab Historiography in Mandatory Palestine, 1920--1948", many Arab historians

considered Palestine a constitutive part of Syria. Bahri, for instance, writes that Haifa is among the “mother cities of Syria broadly and Palestine specifically.” In his brief biography of Abid Baha’ Abbas, the founder of the Bahai faith, Bahri also lists all of the countries or regions with Bahai populations: Iran, Japan, China, India, Egypt, Syria (Suriyya), Europe and America. Insofar as there were many Bahai in “Palestine,” it only makes sense that Palestine was assumed as part of Syria in Bahri’s laundry list, or else it would have been an embarrassing oversight to neglect Palestine. Barghouthi and Totah add that Palestine “remained part of Syria, and a natural border did not separate it (Palestine) from it(Syria), and was not distant from it racially or historically, and therefore historians have not singled it [Palestine] out with a distinct name but rather they have related to it [i.e. naming, in terms of] the peoples and tribes living in it.”

If you are worried that his sources are not solid, a footnote there reads:

On the proposals for a Syria (including Palestine) -- Egypt union before the war, see Ayyad, Arab Nationalism,59; Lunts, “Shorishayha ve-Mekorotayha,” 34; Gooch and Temperley, British Documents, 824-5; During the war:Tamari, Am al-Jarad, 75-6; Blyth, “The Future of Palestine,” 85; And after the war: Mir’at al-Sharq, 23 December 1926. The proposals for a Palestine-Syria unification all come after the war and extend well into the late 1920s: see the resolution of the First Palestinian National Congress; responses in Palestine to the King-Crane Commission; petitions of the Muslim-Christian Associations; Resolution of the First Syrian National Congress in 1919, petitions produced by Nablusite notables, all of which opted for unity with Syria in the 1918-1920 period. On these proposals, See Porath, The Emergence, 81-2; Muslih,The Origins 131-154; Qasmiyya, “Suriyya wa al-Qadiyya al-Filastiniyya”; For more pro-Syrian unity rhetoric in the post 1920 period, see resolutions of the fifth Palestinian National Congress in 1922, cited in Kimmerling, “Process of Formation,” 80, n.62; Mir’at al-Sharq, 24 May 1925, 4 November 1926; Mansur, Tarikh Nasira, 120; Zionist report on the Third Palestinian National Conference, CZA,L4/768; Zionist report on Palestinian Activities in America. New York, 28 March 1922, CZA A185/56; ZionistReport on the Arab Movement, 1928, CZA, L9/349; For unity with the Hijaz, see Filastin, 10 September 1921; 14 March 1924; 19 June 1925

Quite simply, Foster considers the writing of a unique "Palestine history" to be

the projection of contemporary prerogatives on to the past.

Foster continues his review of the geography and history books written and published at the time and adds

in 1938 George Antonius uses the word Syria to describe the entire Bilad al-Sham region throughout his book. “Of the countries surrounding Egypt, Syria was the most important from a military point of view.” That is to say, it was still perfectly natural for him to write Syria to refer to places like Bir Sab’ and Ghazza. al-Nimr adds in 1938 that Nablus is located in the heart of Southern Syria (qalb Suriyya al-Janubiyya).

He continues

the tendency to consider Palestine a part of Syria that was suggested in Bahri, al-Barghouthi and Totah, Antonious and Canaan is consistent with the geographical studies of the period written by Arabs residing in both Palestine and Syria. In the first place, let us recall that discussions of Palestine are included in the classic histories of Syria written by Yusuf Dibbs and Jurji Yanni in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first Jughrafiyat Filastin was published in 1921 and seems to have been destined for the Mandatory education system. The authors, Totah and Khuri, write that there is no natural border between Syria and Palestine...For Sabri Sharif Abd al-Hadi’s Jughrafiyat Suriyya wa Filastin al-Tabi‘iyya, publishedin 1923—six years after the British arrived in Jerusalem—there is no neat border between Syria and Palestine. In some cases, the plains and mountains of Palestine and Syria bleed into one another.

By the way, on this book, Foster observes

It is worth noting that Rashid Khalidi misinterprets this book, claiming that its importance lies in“the fact that all over Palestine, students were already learning that Palestine was a separate entity, a unit whose geography requires separate treatment [from Syria].” Khalidi, Palestinian Identity, 174. As we indicated above,however, this book suggests much the opposite: that there was great confusion over what was Palestine and what was Syria, and that Palestine was a region within Syria. We must be careful to go to the primary sources before accepting Khalidi’s interpretation of the evidence..

Foster pursues the subject further and as it is important, here is another longish excerpt from his academic study:

Palestine was inextricably tied to a larger territorial unit, Syria. In some cases it was a constitutive part of it and in other cases Palestine did not include Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Tzfat, Nazareth, the Bisan valley and other areas. When we consider that,in the late Ottoman period, “Palestine” had no administrative status and “Palestinians” called themselves “Syrians,” this is not so surprising. The attempt by the British and French to transform much older conceptions of space and self, usually by resort to force of arms, did not happen overnight. I would suggest that the attempt to trace the “earliest manifestations” of the national or proto-national identity, as Khalidi, Gerber and Fishman have done, has inadvertently reified the naturalness and inevitableness of the development of nation-state borders, geographies and loyalties in the region, things that were simply not indigenous to the region and were brought to the region by the colonial use of force.Another implication of this section is that the various pro-Syrian unity positions taken by theArabs of Palestine from 1918-1920 were probably not as “fleeting” and “ephemeral” as everyone seems to believe. The decision of the First Palestinian National Congress to call Palestine“Southern Syria” in hopes of uniting with Faysal’s government in Syria, may itself have been an innovation, but in name rather than substance. The idea that Palestine was a part of Syria continues to be perfectly acceptable to Palestine’s Arabs in the 1920s and even as late as the 1930s and 1940s. We have examined city-loyalties, Arab and Islamic loyalties and the role of the regional epicenters.

As Foster concludes this chapter in his study

Today scholars want to know when a Palestinian identity first emerged, but they seem much less interested in determining what people themselves in the 1920s and 1930s actually cared about.

And then makes sure we are clear about the facts and how Arab historians today interpret them
while Khalidi is right to point to the existence of an incipient Palestine loyalty in the 1914-1923 period, he grossly over exaggerates both its importance for the people who felt it and its prevalence in the general population. The historical works would seem to support what Salim Tamari has described as a kind of “cultural nihilism” – the idea that Palestine was not particularly important or distinct apart from its Bilad al-Sham context, at least in the 1920s and also in the early 1930s...not a single book was written on the history of Palestine out of sheer passion and love for Palestine until the 1930s. As we stated previously, this is in complete contrast to the city histories – all of which seem to have been written out of the authors devotion and love for the home town. Continuing along to the 1930s, regional, Arab and Palestine histories remain roughly equal in number until 1936, at which point the conflict among the British, Zionists and Palestinians reached a breaking point with the outbreak of the General Strike in Palestine in the Spring of 1936, the first phase in a 3-year long revolt, today known as the “Great Arab Revolt.” Only then did interest in Palestine soar and come to dominate historical writing, alongside with Arab histories.

My take from this is that my outlook remains unchanged from when I first began blogging on this aspect: for Arabs, Palestine was a region, not a country. It was not a separate geopolitical entity except as part of Syria. Local patriotism was a result of the clash with Zionism which had a 3000-year history of a concrete conceptualization of what the Jewish homeland's borders were and which the Arabs did not possess.

This is part of what I term "Palestinianism" which is the fabrication, caused by competitiveness with the challenge Zionism confronts the local Arabs, of a history, an identity and a geography.

And from The Invention of PalestineZachary J. Foster, A DISSERTATION


P.S.  Some previous posts:




and an important one here.



Foster thought I "politicized" his research.


Monday, October 08, 2018

Me and the GA Scene I

I am planning on attending the GA in Tel Aviv.

But I have a problem.

So I wrote to them:

Thu, Oct 4, 1:11 PM (4 days ago)
I am registered for the Track 2 tour to Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.However, as it is leaving 8:30 from the hotel and I am not rooming in Tel Aviv, and am too far  away to reach Tel Aviv by that time, is there a location I can join the bus in Jerusalem?

They finally replied:

JFNA GA Registration7:54 PM (3 hours ago)
Good morning,
Thank you for the email. 
Shuttle Services From contract hotels to convention center for GA participants. Please check with the hotel to obtain this.
If you need any further assistance please feel free to email, chat, or give our office a call at the number provided below.
Have a great day!
JFNA GA Registration

Confounded, I responded:

11:42 PM (0 minutes ago)to ga
Did you actually read my letter?


The Jews' Historic Right to Settle...Crimea

Talk about turning things upside down (H/T=DN):-

JTA December 30, 1926 Vienna (Dec. 29)

Russian Jews have a historic right on which to base their land settling activity in the Crimea. This was the opinion expressed by Dr. Simon Dubnow, well known Russian Jewish historian, in an interview with the representative of the “Menorah.”

If the question of Jewish right to colonize Crimea is raised it must be remembered that the Jews have a right to claim to be autochthons of all the northern coast of the Black Sea. As early as the ancient Bosphorean empire, before the Christian era, colonies of Hellenized Jews have flourished on the Black Sea coast. Inscriptions which have been found there dating back to the first century prove the existence of organized Jewish communities in this region. These Hellenized Jews were followed by the Byzantine Jews in the fifth century of the Christian era. The Khazar empire, the leading classes of which adopted Judaism, existed between the eighth and eleventh centuries. Then, settlements of Jews and Karaites existed in this region between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries. Finally, the Jewish colonies have existed there since the nineteenth century. 

The historic rights of the Jews to colonize Crimea and the entire Black Sea coast from Odessa to the Caucasus cannot be doubted and it is certainly desirable in a region where for two thousand years our ancestors have, under the Greeks and the Scythians, engaged in agriculture, that the Jews should again cultivate the land...


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

So Said the Lord Archbishop of York

During the House of Lords Debate of April 7, 1948, Cyril Garbett spoke.

Garbett was the Lord Archbishop of York.

As I learned, The Archbishop of York is a senior bishop in the Church of England, second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

And here is what he said, in part:

The Mandate has failed through the inveterate hostility shown towards it by the Zionists, and by the acquiescence of the Agency in their violence. We went there to form a home. The Jews demanded a State, and they followed up their demands with crimes of violence. Remember, the crimes of violence started with the Jewish terrorists. There was the blowing up of the King David Hotel and the hanging of those two young boy sergeants. Murder after murder has followed and, side by side with these murders, there has been carried on a campaign of what I can describe only as venomous slander against this nation and those who attempted to carry out the Mandate...

...[the] Jews felt that the Arabs could be ignored, and they declared that Arab opposition was simply a bluff. The result is they now have the Arab nation in full hostility towards them. It is no good disguising that the Jews have lost the friendship of this country, which for centuries has been their friend. These events have started in this country a dangerous and deplorable movement of anti-Semitism. Now it look as if the Jews might easily lose the friendship of the United States...

... I feel that if we have failed out there it has been due to the actions of the Jews themselves, and to the failure of the Agency to recognise their responsibility towards the Mandatory Power. It is no good merely looking back upon the past. I know, of course, that the noble Viscount and a great number of the Jews in this country deplore as strongly as any of us here what has been happening in Palestine, but we have to think of the future. What is to happen in the immediate future? Here we come to the anxiety which has been expressed already by those who have spoken—anxiety about Jerusalem.

I find it difficult to state fully how deeply anxious many of us are about the future of Jerusalem in the next few weeks. Jerusalem is in the very heart of millions of Christians. It is true that they may sometimes idealise it, more perhaps than they would had the circumstances there been different. It stands for them not only as a symbol; if there are doubts about the authenticity of some of the sacred spots, there is no doubt that it was on the spot where Jerusalem is built that the Saviour of the world died and rose again from the dead. It is for those reasons that the whole of Christendom—and I am not thinking of any particular Church—is deeply and profoundly concerned with what happens in Jerusalem...I cannot stress too strongly the urgency of this matter. If Jerusalem is destroyed, there will come from the whole of Christendom a cry of horror and indignation. Christendom will be grievously wounded,

And how did he come by these opinions?

From a Jew in part:

I prefer to answer in the words of a Jew, Professor Zander, who has quite recently written a most valuable pamphlet on the whole subject of the Jews in Palestine. Speaking of the White Paper he says:  It was impossible to pretend indefinitely that our right to enter the country was unlimited; that it was Britain's duty to enforce the admission of every Jew for whom we could provide a living until at last we reached the majority in the country. It was impossible to demand that Britain by this method should do just what she had refused to do from the beginning—that is to establish a Jewish State against the will of the Arab, and thereby run the risk of violence and even war. 

As as Zander's son has noted, Zander

was never a Zionist nor, at least until then, had he been especially religious. 

but he did become the Secretary of the Friends of the Hebrew University for 27 years.


Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Zionism Harpooned Circa 1936

You should all be aware of Nitzana Datrshan-Leitner's book, Harpoon.

It chronicles the rather simple, non-violent way of confronting and defeating terror by Israel: its campaign to target the finances fueling terror organizations.

But it wasn't really all that new.

Eldad Harouvi's history of the CID in Mandate Palestine recounts the British effort beginning in 1936 to deal with the flow of money into Palestine and in to the coffers of the Mufti and other organizations that engaged in terror, insurrection and illegal strikes.

In the Hebrew edition I am reading, on page 117, documents are quoted from indicating Italian Fascist sources as well as from Egypt, false bank accounts, smuggling finances even by monks and nuns and more.

Other academic research papers are here which includes this:

Italian Foreign Minister, Galeazzo Ciano, met the German Ambassador to Rome, Hans Georg von Mackensen, to discuss Axis policy in the Middle East. During their conversation, Ciano stated 'that for years he had maintained constant relations with the Grand Mufti, of which his secret fund could tell a tale' (Source: Mackensen to Foreign Ministry, 10 September 1940, Documents on German Foreign Policy [DGFP] ser. D, Vol. XI (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961), p. 48.)

and this:

The Italian Foreign Ministry was willing to provide financial support to Arab nationalists in Palestine even before the revolt erupted. At first this was done indirectly. The Syrian exile, Ihsan al-Jabri, co-editor of the journal La Nation Arabe (together with Shakib Arslan) and member of the Syrio-Palestinian delegation to the League of Nations, was receiving funds from the Italian Foreign Ministry since April 1934. By autumn 1935, he had already been given 1,740,000 Italian lire. Jabri assured Italian officials he had 'delivered thousands of pounds' to the Mufti of Jerusalem.5  In November 1935, The Italian Charge d'Affaires in Jeddah, Giovanni Persico, handed ?5,000 to Fuad Hamza, the Saudi Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, on the understanding that this money was to be passed on to Hamza's 'friends in Jerusalem and Transjordan' who were 'willing to begin work at once'.6

In January 1936, Husayni personally asked the Italian Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mariano De Angelis, for a grant of ?100,000. This sum was to help in the financing of 'actions in Palestine and Transjordan'. The Duce approved this payment which was to be carried out 'immediately so as not to continue the relationship with us [and thus] compromise it during the period of agitation'.7 Despite Mussolini's approval, Palazzo Chigi informed the Mufti he would only be granted ?25,000, of which he received approximately 12,000.8 On 19 April 1936, an Arab crowd attacked Jews in Jaffa sparking disturbances
that spread across much of Palestine. Soon afterwards the leaders of the main political parties and organizations headed by the Mufti founded the Arab Higher Committee and announced a general strike. On 7 May 1936, De Angelis notified the Duce of Husayni' s intention to intensify the disturbances and to paralyze the British authorities. To achieve this he requested that the 'other ?16,000 that he had been promised' be forwarded as quickly as possible.9

In June, the Mufti renewed his request for a further ?75,000. De Angelis, who was nearing the end of his tenure in Jerusalem, argued the Arabs' case in Rome. He wrote a long memorandum to Ciano, shortly after the latter's appointment as Foreign Minister, imploring him to agree to Husayni's requests. De Angelis reported that, before he left for Rome, the Mufti asked him to 'tell Signor Mussolini that I have committed myself to the struggle (sono sceso in campo) because I believe in his promise and in his support'.1o Ciano was at first reluctant to enter into a costly commitment. He wished to continue relations with the Mufti but felt that the figure of ?75,000 was too high. He told De Angelis he would reconsider if the request was reduced to ?5,000 or ?10,000.11...

... On 15 January 1936, the Secret Affairs Section of the Cabinet recommended that an agent of the Mufti could purchase weapons in a 'foreign market' using funds 'provided especially by us'. 66 On 16 September of that year, having received the initial list of arms stored in Taranto, the Foreign Ministry considered 'providing for the acquisition of the rest
of the material abroad' .6

And this article which includes this information:

It was not until the strike entered its second month and appeals for help from Palestinian Arabs poured into Egypt3 that pan-Islamic societies and the Arabic press began to pay attention to the Palestinian crisis. Societies such as the Young Men's Muslim Association (YMMA), the Muslim Brethren (Jam'iyat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin), the Azharite Union, and the Egyptian Women's Union issued manifestos and protests against British policy in Palestine. These societies further initiated a fund-raising campaign for the Arab victims in Palestine.4 

Nothing too new under the sun.


Monday, October 01, 2018

The Betar Song "Both Banks of the Jordan" in Britain's Parliament

During the July 31, 1946 debate:

Mr. Gallacher 

In the Mandate, Palestine has two banks. On one side is Transjordania. It is a part of Palestine recognised as such in the Mandate although different treatment had to be given to it compared with the other part of Palestine. Transjordan has always been recognised as a part of Palestine; about that there is no question. What happened? A new regime under Emir Abdullah came into being in Transjordan. Is there any democracy under the Emir Abdullah in that country? Is there any Parliament, a democratic council or a democratic organisation of any kind? There is nothing. This Emir Abdullah—

Mr. Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

On a point of Order. I understand that the Ruler to whom the hon. Member is referring is a reigning sovereign, King Abdullah of Transjordan, and any reference which is derogatory to a ruling Sovereign who is a friendly Ally, is not in Order in this House.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (MAJOR MILNER)

That is so, but I had not gathered that the hon. Member was saying anything derogatory of the Emir Abdullah personally.

Mr. Gallacher 

When the Zionists speak of Palestine, they mean the country on both banks of the River Jordan. In the well known song, "Song of the Jordan," Vladimir Jabotinsky, the late leader of the Revisionists, wrote: "The Pillar that supports the bridge's span, The spine that doth uphold the frame of man, So Israel's spine and pillar as of yore, Is holy Jordan, mine for evermore, Two banks has the River Jordan, A left bank and a right, Both of them are ours".

Yes, there are two banks to the River Jordan and when the Zionists believed they were going to get Palestine, they thought they were going to get all of it and not a bit of it. Right in the midst of their hopes of realisation this deal was made with this fellow Abdullah. I do not know whether he is the king or whether he is a gang leader.


Ancient Iranian-Jewish Joint Military Campaign

From The History of  Heraclius describing the Persian military campaign against the Byzantine emperor of the day that led to the conquest of Jerusalem in 614:

Heraclius...[t]ogether with his brother Theodosius, he assumed the military command, assembled a multitude of troops...The Iranians grew stronger, went and took the city of Tarsus and all the inhabitants in the district of Cilicia. Then the entire country of Palestine willingly submitted to the king of kings. The remnants of the Hebrew people especially rebelled from the Christians and taking in hand their native zeal [The translation is uncertain: ew arheal i dzerhn znaxandz hayreni, perhaps "manifesting desire for a/their homeland"] wrought very damaging slaughters among the multitude of believers. Going [to the Iranians], [the Jews] united with them. At that time, the army of the king of Iran was stationed at Caesarea in Palestine. Their general was named Rhazmiozan (that is, Xorheam). He spoke with [the inhabitants of] Jerusalem so that they submit voluntarily and be kept in peace and prosperity.

Now first [the Jerusalemites] voluntarily submitted, offering the general and the princes very great gifts, and requesting that loyal ostikans be stationed with them to preserve the city. However, several months later the entire mob of the city's young braves united [miabaneal amenayn rhamik kacharhats 'n " mankunk' k'aghak'in...] and killed the Iranian king's ostikans. Then they rebelled from his service. After this a battle took place among the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem, Jew and Christian. The multitude of the Christians grew stronger, struck at and killed many of the Jews [The pejorative satakets'in is used]. The remainder of the Jews jumped from the walls, and went to the Iranian army.

Then Xorheam (who is Erhamikozan) assembled his troops and went and encamped around Jerusalem and invested it, warring against it for 19 days. Digging beneath the foundations of the city, they destroyed the wall. On the 19th day [of the siege] which was the 27th day of the month of Marg [The 11th month of the Armenian calendar, corresponding to June] in the 25th year of the reign of Xosrov Apruez [615], ten days after Easter, the Iranian forces took Jerusalem and putting their words to work for three days they destroyed [almost] all the people in the city.

Stationing themselves inside the city, they burned the place down. The troops were then ordered to count the corpses. The figure reached 57,000. Thirty-five thousand people were taken alive, among whom was a certain patriarch named Zak'aria who was also custodian of the Cross. [The Iranians] sought for the life-bringing Cross and began to torment [the clerics], executing many clerics at that time. Finally [the clerics] pointed out the place where it was hidden. [The Iranians] took it into captivity and also melted all the city's silver and gold, which they took to the court of the king. Now regarding those who had been arrested, an order was issued by the king to have mercy on them, to build a city and to settle them there, establishing each person in his [former] rank/profession [karg]. He commanded that the Jews be driven from the city, and the king's order was quickly implemented, with great urgency...

The site of the slaughter is Sultan Pool. There is another ancient source.

Consider this.

And this:

Judaism still attracted Christians to its rites in Antioch. In consequence, the first synod in Antioch (341) declared in its first canon that Easter should not be celebrated at the same time as the Jewish Passover (Mansi, "Synopsis," i. 51). The attachment of the Christian to Jewish customs may be particularly inferred from six sermons, delivered against the Jews in Antioch (about 366-387) by John Chrysostom, later patriarch of Constantinople. On Sabbaths and holidays, Christians, especially women, visited the synagogue in preference to the church. They also preferred to bring their disputes to Jewish judges and took their oaths in the synagogue.

The Jews felt so secure in their position that, in Inmestar, a small town situated between Chalcis and Antioch, they scoffed at Jesus and the Christians, but were severely punished (Socrates, "Historia Ecclesiastica," vii. 16; compare "Codex Theodosianus," xvi. 8, 18). The Antiochians revenged the wrong of Inmestar by depriving the Jews of their synagogue (423). The emperor Theodosius II. restored the synagogue to them; but on the protestations of the fanatical monk Simeon Stylites, he ceased to defend the cause of the Jews (Evagrius, "Hist. Eccl." i. 13). During the reign of the emperor Zeno, in brawls between the factions of the blue and the green, many Jews were murdered by the greens (Malalas, "Chron. Pasch." Bonn, p. 389). When Persia threatened the Eastern Empire, the emperor Phocas vainly endeavored to force the Jews to be baptized, and those of Antioch were driven to rebellion, in the course of which many Christians were killed and the patriarch Anastasius was condemned to a shameful death (610)

And this, the expulsion of Jews from Antioch in 592.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

"Settlements" That Break "Contiguity" and "Demographics"?

Is Israel the only country accused of establishing "settlements", taking into consideration "demographics" and such?


(But I admit, I cannot figure out if their "right bank" is west or west though).

The book tells of an elaborate plan, prepared in the Mahaweli ministry by, T.H.Karunatillake, Director, Planning and B.H.Hemapriya, media consultant, Mahaweli ministry,  with Gunaratne joining in, to  stop the forward march of Eelam. The plan was prepared in the beginning of 1983, a few months before the July riots, in strict secrecy so that the Tamil officers working in the Ministry would not hear of it.

The plan had two stages. The first stage was to establish Sinhala settlements in the river basins of Maduru Oya, Yan Oya and Malwatu Oya, with each settlement extending right to the sea. The Maduru Oya settlement would break the contiguity between Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts.  The Yan Oya settlement would sever the link between Trincomalee and Mullaitivu districts.  The Malwatu Oya settlement would fracture the connection between Mannar and Puttalam districts.

The second phase of the plan was to make use of the demographic change brought about by the Sinhala settlements and redraw the provincial map of Sri Lanka.  The boundaries of four provinces, Northern Province, North Central Province, North Western Province and Eastern Provinces would be redrawn, to create five provinces out of them.  The new province that would be created would be named North Eastern Province...

This redrawing of districts would leave only the Northern Province as the Tamil majority province.  The rest of the north and east would be converted to Sinhala majority provinces.  The southern point of the Tamil majority Northern Province would be Mankulam, observed T. Sabaratnam.

When Gunaratne was working in the Mahaweli Ministry, in the 1980s Ven. Kitalagama Sri Seelalankara, chief Incumbent of the Dimbulagala Temple (Dimbulagala Hamuduruvo,”) had come to Gunaratne‘s office in Colombo and said ‘while you people are seated in these big offices, separatist Tamils are mounting massive encroachment on the Mahaweli at the Maduru Oya, on the right bank, from the Batticaloa area. They are altering district boundaries, giving Tamil names to Sinhala villages and also changing the names of Sinhala people.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Stickball in Queens

I started this at a Facebook post and am expanding

My wife put in a DVD of the movie "Field of Dreams" which includes director's comments, etc. from which I learned the film's pull for fathers-and-sons relationships. So, here goes my father-son baseball story.
My swing was not that good at a certain period. While I did play some Little League (my best was a triple), most of our game was actually stickball with a Spaulding on 204th Street in Queens.  Our building at Holliswood's Hilltop Village Co-ops was the Hampshire, the one on the left of 204th:

Our apartment overlooked the street (outlined in blue; l-r: living room, kitchen, bathroom, my and my sister's room, parents' room)

Hitting and running was done with an eye on the traffic that incessantly kept turning of Francis Lewis Boulevard. We played in front of my building in the Holliswood Co-op and I'm posting one snap of where home base was (a manhole), 

another stree scene with, again, our 2nd floor apartment (outlined in blue) overlooking the "field", 

and you can see Francis Lewis in the background and there's another, showing the length of the street (and a black arrow pointing to "second base") where my longest shot fell, marked by a white arrow. 

before it really curved to the left and continued all the way down (and where we ice-sledded)

It was at the entrance of the "B" side of the next building and luckily did not strike any of the women at the Laundry Room. 

My father was a "three manhole" hitter in the South Bronx and actually once took me to where he played on one of my trips back from Israel (his older brother was in charge of a miniature golf set-up there). I can't remember where that was now but when we were there, the landscape sort of reminded me of Berlin after the war as there were a lot of boarded-up places and empty lots. I myself lived on Faile Street until 1954 when we moved to Queens.
To get to the point, we were spending most of the summer at my Aunt & Uncle's summer place which was my uncle's father's house on Beach 65th Street in Arverne at the Rockaways maybe 200 meters from the beach. I asked him to help me and coach my swing to improve it. We both walked out towards the beach where there was quite a large parking lot (the area drew thousands on weekends). It was mostly empty and my father positioned me with the broom handle (the "stick") and walked back, turned and said, "so, let's see what's wrong."
He pitched and I connected. The ball flew high out of the parking lot and across the street. Now, you may think I was ecstatically excited at my success but I wasn't. I was extremely shamed that I had brought my father out in the heat with, he perhaps thought, was a false story. Not to mention I now had to run out and hopefully find it.
To his credit, my father sort of smiled and asked, "are you sure you need the practice?'


After posting this, I did some research and the results:

a contemporary map location

one from 1898 way before serious housing development:

and a 1923 map which displays what we called "the back", the private home located between Francis Lewis and 188th Street where we road our bikes and didn't become a real Jewish neighborhood until the 1980s:

My primary school was P.S. 135, now the Belaire School.

Junior High was J.H.S. 109

In 1960, after having skipped 8th grade, I entered Yeshivat Chofetz Chaim (Yeshiva Preparatory High School) then on Kessel Street, Forest Hills to where it moved in 1955

and from where I graduated in 1964, after participating in the beginnings of the Rabbis' Sons as I was in the class with Dovid Nulman with Burry Chait a year above together with Barry Septimus and others.

On my old neighborhood and environs:

The Grand Central Parkway on top and the Hillside Avenue below mark the length of Holliswood, which lies between the Francis Lewis Boulevard on its right and 188th Street as the Western limit. The area started out as farmland, and is just north of the site of a famous Revolutionary War incident in which an American general Nathaniel Woodhull was wounded and imprisoned in an Inn by the British for refusing to say “God Save the King.”  

(In October 1775 Woodhull was made brigadier general of the Suffolk and Queen's County militia. In August 1776, on the eve of the Battle of Long Island, Woodhull's militia was detailed to drive livestock east to prevent its falling into British hands. Woodhull's troops had driven 1,400 cattle out onto the Hempstead Plains and with 300 more ready to go. A severe thunderstorm drove the general to take refuge in a tavern run by Increase Carpenter, about two miles east of Jamaica in what is now Hollis. Relief was not forthcoming, and his situation deteriorated.

Woodhull was captured near Jamaica, at an inn at 197th Street and Jamaica Avenue, by a detachment of Fraser's Highlanders led by captain Sir James Baird. He was struck with a sword multiple times, injuring his arm and head by a British officer purportedly for not saying, "God save the King", as ordered, saying instead "God save us all". He was taken to a cattle transport, serving as a prison ship in Gravesend Bay.)

In 1884 Frederick W. Dunton, the nephew of the first president of the Long Island Railroad, was traveling East and he admired from his railroad car window the green and rolling hills of what is now Hollis and Holliswood. He purchased 136 acres of farmland and divided it into lots for sale. He laid out the curving streets of Holliswood and gave them Latin or Spanish names, such as Rio, Como, Marengo, etc.  Epsom Course, oval shaped, was built by Mr. Dunton as a trotting race course. Many famous trotters were seen on its turf. The nearby development of Hollis Park Gardens, built in 1906, stretched between 192nd and 195th streets between Jamaica and Hillside avenues.

For himself he reserved a big lot at the southern edge of Holliswood on Dunton Avenue and built a big and beautiful mansion called Hollis Hall with views all the way to the ocean.

The area developed slowly into a comfortable middle-class neighborhood. Because of its location, Hollis attracted a large number of people who commuted to Manhattan to work.  Carpenter’s Tavern, the place where General Woodhull was captured, was replaced by housing in 1921. The neighborhood continued to grow as stately Victorian houses were built along Woodhull Avenue between 188th and 198th streets. Starting in 1922, many new streets were laid out between Hillside and Jamaica Avenues and tract houses were built by the hundreds. Hollis had become a fully built up community by World War II. It even experienced a bit of scandal now and then, as when Hollis Hall, Dunton’s old home in Holliswood, allegedly became a speakeasy during Prohibition. (An apartment complex stands in that spot today.) Hollis grew slowly and steadily, from 4,000 people in the 1920s to 31,000 people today. Some of the first homes ever built by mega-developer Fred Trump, the father of Donald, were in this neighborhood and still stand today. 

After Mr. Dunton’s death, Hollis Hall was sold and became a restaurant named Brown’s Chop House. It was reported to have been a speakeasy during prohibition.

When prohibition ended, Brown’s Chop House was torn down. The hill on which it stood was leveled, and our garden apartment complex, the modern day Holliswood Garden Apartments, were erected in 1949.