Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Abbas Unhinged and Identity Theft

How bad was Mahmoud Abbas' historical revisionism?

[UPDATE: The transcript]

Let us count the ways.

First from the censored WAFA version I caught earlier:

The Question Palestine is intricately linked with the United Nations...and via the essential and lauded role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - UNRWA - which embodies the international responsibility towards the plight of Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948. 

1. If the UN counts, why not the League of Nations and its support for the reconstitution of the historic Jewish home in Palestine?

2. Mentioning discredited UNRWA?

The core issue here is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.

3. No. The Palestinian Authority refuses to recognize Jewish national identity.

Settlement activities embody the core of the policy of colonial military occupation of the land of the Palestinian people 

4. Those activities are specifically guaranteed by international law, Article 6, League of Nations, July 1922.

5. Moreover, if Jews cannot 'settle' in the Land of Israel, where can they reside?

At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling, 

6. If no Arab terror activity, no shellings, mortars, rockets or tunnels, no restrictions.

In recent years, the criminal actions of armed settler militias, who enjoy the special protection of the occupation army, has intensified with the perpetration of frequent attacks 

7.  Attacks have gone down. They are dealt with by police. Are Arab terrorists paid the the PA coffers for killing Jews?

we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine - on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.

8. Of all the original territory of "Palestine", Israel is but 25%.

I appealed to the British Government to rectify the grave injustice it inflicted upon the Palestinian people when it issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, promising Jews a national homeland in Palestine, despite the fact that Palestine was inhabited by the Palestinian people and was among the most progressive and prosperous countries

9.  To do that, Abbas is requesting a negation of Zionism per se.

This "official" version, as does Haaretz and Times of Israel, leaves out all this negative, irrational, myth-creating and fantasy.  And watch the MEMRI recording. As Noah Pollack writes:

the [NY] Times left out all the good stuff–the rank anti-Semitism, the crazed conspiracy theorizing, the threats of violence, the glorification of terrorists. 

Even Barak Ravid, formerly of Haaretz and now Senior Diplomatic correspondent, Channel 10 News had to admit:

Palestinian President Abbas's speech at the PLO conference right now is becoming more and more delusional

And former US Ambassador Shapiro wrote it was:

a shameful speech full of bizarre canards about Israel's illegitimacy

Now, to the MEMRI clip: 

Again, the "Palestinians" preceded the Jews:

Cromwell came up with an idea:


What really happened is

In 1653, at Oliver St John’s suggestion, Cromwell issued an official directive to authorise, “Menasseh ben Israel, a rabbi of the Jewish nation, well respected for his learning and good affection to the State, to come from Amsterdam to these parts.”

In other words, just the opposite direction! 

This too:

To do what?

The man is psychotic.


He wasn't a grandfather and it was in 1841:

More. In 1840,

And what did Herzl declare? Really?

He mentions the fictitious Campbell-Bannerman report.

It gets worse. Watch it all.  And now, read it.

I have termed this "identity theft".

And read this blogpost.

And this one, too.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Revisiting that Church, that Mosque, that Cathedral in Cordoba

I have noted the parallel between the Muslim demands that Jews not seek to regain their rights at the Temple Mount whereas in Cordoba they are doing the very same thing several times here. Also here.

I am not arguing who is historically correct but the very idea that what Muslims can do in Spain (seemingly a very foreign country which they conquered and subjgated) is prohibited for Jews.

I have found this item (in Spanish) from last June:

The Cabildo (administrative council) affirms that the "false controversy" over the Mosque is "an attack on Catholics"
Remember that "she has been possessed by the Church in an uninterrupted manner" since 1236June 23, 2017

The Cabildo challenges the City Council to bring to justice the property of the mosque of Cordoba Demetrio, about the Mosque: "It is Byzantine Christian art, the Moors only put the money".  The mayor herself is aware of a report from the City Council's legal counsel that recognizes that the Monumental Mosque-Cathedral Complex has never been part of the inventory of assets of the City of Cordoba

The Cabildo Catedral de Córdoba has made this Thursday a "call to the responsibility of politicians and institutions so that they do not feed" the "false polemic" on the ownership of the Mosque-Cathedral, since "it only generates division among the population and supposes an attack on the Catholic community of Córdoba, which has the right, like any Catholic community anywhere in the world, to have its own Cathedral, as a place of worship for the entire diocesan community. "

In a statement, the Cabildo has reacted well after this Thursday has been constituted in the City of Cordoba a commission of experts who will advise the Consistory and the mayor, Isabel Ambrosio (PSOE), in the "legal, patrimonial and academic" fields, on how to achieve that "the Mosque-Cathedral returns to have public ownership".

Given this, since the Cabildo has been stated that such statements "have no legal basis", since "the owner of the Mosque-Cathedral Monumental Complex of Cordoba is the Catholic Church since 1236 and this has been affirmed by international, national and international institutions. local ", as well as" the courts ".

In fact, as recalled from the Cabildo, "the own mayor, Isabel Ambrosio, is aware of a report from the City Council's legal advice that recognizes that the Mezquita-Catedral Monumental Complex has never been part of the City Council's inventory of assets".

In addition, "the Court of Instruction number six of Cordoba recognized in June 2015 that the Monumental Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is owned by the Church since 1236 and, since then, has been owned by the Catholic Church in a public, peaceful and uninterrupted. "

...On the other hand, and regarding the possibility that in the Cathedral of Córdoba there may be a shared cult, between Catholics and Muslims, the Cabildo has stressed that what is the main temple of the Diocese of Cordoba "has been consecrated for almost 800 years years to the catholic cult, which is incompatible with the Islamic cult, as is not compatible the Catholic site with the Muslim in the Islamic religious center"...


Pezinok / Bosing, May 27, 1529 (Friday, 13 Sivan)

Boising or Pezinok is located here (blue dot):

And what happened in the town on that day?

...thirty Jews were burned to death on the accusation of having murdered a Christian child for ritual purposes. The charge was invented by the lord of the place, Franz, Count of St. Georgen and Pösing, who wished to rid himself of the debts which he owed to the Jews of Marchegg and Pösing. Isaac Mandel, prefect of the Hungarian Jews, demanded protection and justice at the hand of King Ferdinand I. for the Jews of both these places; but the feudal lord did not heed the king's warning. The memory-book of the Cracow ḥebra ḳaddisha records the names of those who suffered death at this time. In order to witness the martyrdom, the inhabitants of Neisse, Olmütz, and Vienna, as well as those of the neighboring cities, poured into Pösing. Among those who suffered was Moses b. Jacob Kohen, who with his children voluntarily cast himself into the flames. The Jews of Marchegg were saved, as in the meantime the missing child was found alive.

And what happened afterwards?

For centuries after this event Jews were not permitted to live in Pösing, nor even to spend a night there. When a Pösing senator gave shelter to the Jew Lazar Hirsch, the excited populace besought King Leopold I (1657-1705) to confirm their old right of prohibiting Jews from sojourning there. The king decided in favor of the town, and Lazar Hirsch was compelled to remove to the estate of the counts of Palffy.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Being Homeless in Gaza

I fell in love the title of Sarah Helm's piece in NYRB:- "Homeless in Gaza". (On Ms. Helm. She writes a lot on Gaza: here, here to talk to Hamas, and here, too )

At first, I thought it was about the 8000 Jews from Gush Qatif and northern Gaza, expelled from their homes for no good reason and no real improvement in the peace situation and certainly not the security situation.

Then...I realized I was wrong and that it was about Arab Gaza.

And then I read this:

Within a few years [after 1948] Israel had erased almost every Arab village in the former Gaza District. 

and thought, 'wait, politics and ideology aside, Gaza was in Egyptian hands then'.

It dawned on me that she had meant to infer that parts of the former British Mandate of Palestine that had been in the district of Gaza until 1948, a purely administrative demarcating of territory, and were now in Israel, like Ashkelon (Majdal) and Ashdod (Isdud), no longer had an Arab population.

Here's an Arab map:

But don't be fooled. The Gaza District in Mandate times stretched far to the east and north-east:

Of course, mentioning that the Arabs of Gaza, assisted by the Egyptian Army, in violation of the UN's decisions, had invaded Israel to eradicate it is not historically worthy. Or that there was a small Jewish community in Gaza city until murderous Arabs attacked Jews in the riots of 1929 and forced them out. Or that Kfar Darom, a kibbutz in the Gaza Strip had been overrun in 1948 and had to be abandoned, its residents not allowed to return. Or whatever additional terror there was that continued until 1967.

 Not only "homeless" is an issue. Revisioning history is, too:-

“The conflict began in 1948, not 1967. It cannot be solved without returning to the root cause,” said Abu Sitta, who fled the Gaza District as a child. And there is a Palestinian plan, he said, which is to win back ground in the narrative war by challenging Israel’s version of the 1948 war. A form of peaceful resistance, this campaign of retrieving the facts is already well underway, he said...

I searched her piece for the word "rockets". Not a mention.

As for "terror", there two. One , in passing, notes that Hamas is considered a terrorist organization (I don't think she does) and this:'
no evidence [was found] that the refugees [in 1948] had fled on orders from Arab leaders, but had done so mostly out of terror after hearing reports of massacres carried out by Israeli soldiers in villages such as Deir Yassin,
No "mortar" either.




Palestinian authorities say a Gaza fisherman died a day after Egyptian naval forces shot him off the coast.
The Interior Ministry said Saturday that Abdullah Zidan, 33, was in the Palestinian waters of the town of Rafah, which straddles the Gaza-Egypt border, when his boat came under fire.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Medad "4C" Construct

I suggest to all the activists and organizations to at least adopt my Four C Construct so with all the divisiveness and lack of unity among us, at least we can work together.

In short:





More about them in this video, beginning at 6:00.

And if you like listening to me, try this video interview  from Jan 18, 2013 conducted by Judith Nusbaum, representing the Unity Coalition for Israel.


Monday, January 08, 2018

Being Religious and a NYT Letter to the Editor

I delayed responding to this letter of Leon as, to be honest, I couldn't find a reference to him on social media outlets which, for me, is a sign that a person doesn't exist.  It was the spelling, which he informs me " I have it spelled differently [Karyem] on Facebook. The Times has it how I write it in person."

But he found me.  And now to his letter in the New York Times:

Re “Israeli Wants to Name Train Station for Trump” (news article, Dec. 28):

Rarely have my religious sensibilities been so offended as they were by the Israeli transportation minister’s plan to name a new train station in the Jewish Quarter, near the Western Wall, after Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has made a political career out of closing America’s doors to the widow, the orphan and the stranger. He ran a campaign vilifying religious minorities, but as president referred to those marching alongside neo-Nazis in a Charlottesville, Va., rally last summer as “very fine people.”

As a Zionist and a current Jerusalem resident, I appreciate the president’s decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over its capital. But that does not mitigate the profanity of slapping his name on this sacred site.

The Western Wall is not a casino, and it is a desecration to associate the Temple Mount with that gilded, tacky brand that has already brought one great nation so low.


Leon is studying at a rabbinical seminary, and it is the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He had wanted to vote for moderate progressive New York candidate for mayor Sal Albanese, who was endorsed by the...Jewish Press! I hope he is one that Daniel Gordis would not be wary of, as a rabbinical student, or a member of Conservative Judaism.

And to Leon's letter.

First of all, congratulations on being published. I have had letters published there but my batting average is quite low.  But that is not because of my writing ability but because of my opinions.  So, Leon, take that into consideration.  If you had written in support of the naming of a train station after Trump, I'd bet you wouldn't have gotten in (there was no pro-letter, was there?).

Second, good vocabulary: sensibilities, offended the widow, the orphan and the stranger, vilifyingmitigate the profanity of slapping his name, gilded, tacky.  Good future sermon potential.

Third, writing, though, that you are "a current Jerusalem resident" is a bit of a sleight-of-hand. Really now. You were passing along a misrepresentation of your Jerusalem status? Are you earning a living here? Are you making Aliyah? Why not write "currently a rabbinical student on a year's (two years?) program"? 

Four, why at all should your religious sensibilities be offended?  What has a train station to do with religion?  It has to do with Trump's declaration regarding Jerusalem:

...today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.  This is nothing more, or less, than a recognition of reality.  It is also the right thing to do.  It’s something that has to be done.

If your religious sensibilities were offended it should have been this part of his words:

a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall...In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif.

Why cannot Jews pray on the Temple Mount, which is a religious act and some think an obligation?  If you demur, I would point out that that is probably because of a political outlook. You do know that there's a Conservative psak on the matter permitting entrance (although Reuven Hammer, supporting entrance, disagrees as to actual Jewish prayer)?  The law of Israel is on the side of those who seek freedom of religion although the High Court of Justice discriminates against Jews in this matter. Even the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty lends support to this request (Article 9).

Fifth, is it "profanity" in naming a train station after President Trump?  Truly? Of course, if it is Trump himself that bothers you, rather than naming the station after a person, a non-Jew, then we are left with a political dispute.  But is it proper for you to disagree, in the name of "a Jerusalem resident", "Jerusalem, Israel", as if you are now representing 800,00+ Jerusalemites and millions of Israelis, without a smidgen of veracity or authority, to that act? That the NYTimes can wave you about, albeit in the letters section? After all, you must know how they would exploit that letter.

I cannot argue on the grounds of whether Minister Katz made to correct decision.  We do have a King George V Avenue - and he didn't do a thing.  He happened to be king when the Balfour Declaration was made.  There is French Hill, after a Colonel French or perhaps French nuns.

But if it is the proximity to Jewish holy sites that sets you off, you do know this, yes?

R. Johanan said: Why did Omri merit sovereignty? Because he added a region to Eretz-Yisrael, as it is written, And he bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, owner of the hill Samaria,[I Kings 16:24]  R. Johanan said: Why did Ahab merit royalty for twenty-two years? — Because he honoured the Torah, which was given in twenty-two letters...R. Judah says: Manasheh has a portion therein..."because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah" [Jeremiah 15:4], One Master  maintains, 'Because of Manasseh' who repented..."

So, from a religious, or theological Rabbinic standpoint, Trump should be thought of having some positive merit - at least as regards the train station being named after him: he made a major contribution to Israel's sovereignty and the raising up of the worth of the Land of Israel, the Jewish national home; he gave honor to the Jewish connection to Israel and Jerusalem and he still can yet repent.

In other words, you not only were interfering but your religiosity, as regards your political viewpoint is questionable, at the least.  As to the matter of your Jerusalem residency, well, maybe you will stay and not go back to the lands of Dispersion and Exile but will be a good religious Jew and stay.  And use the train.


Sunday, January 07, 2018

Saluting Conor Cruise O'Brien

From this appreciation of Conor Cruise O'Brien:

Although Cruise O’Brien denounced nationalism in his own country, he adopted another’s in the shape of Zionism, which led to his absorbing, if one-sided, book The Siege (1986). He accepted the premises of Zionism somewhat uncritically, and paid too little attention to the Palestinian Arabs, who had been the majority population of Palestine when Zionist settlement began, and to the possibility that they had suffered an injustice. This unlikely displacement of patriotic feeling sprang partly from his own philo-semitism, and partly from his tendency to conflate all terrorists (notably, the IRA and the PLO), but also from an undoubted esprit de contradiction: he took up the cause of Zionism and Israel just as the liberal left turned against them. 
Partisan as he was, Cruise O’Brien adhered to his own code of intellectual honesty in his study of Israel. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Zionist movement was split between the Labor Zionists under David Ben-Gurion and the right-wing Revisionists led by Vladimir Jabotinsky (the forebears of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party). Cruise O’Brien pointed out in an essay published in his 1988 collection Passion and Cunning what many liberal supporters of Israel have tried to overlook—that in their attitudes toward the Palestinian Arabs, the only real difference was that Jabotinsky expressed himself with a public candor that seemed impolitic to Ben-Gurion.


They Are Calling for Ribat

The term ribāt  in Arabic means a course of action whose purpose is to persevere with patience so as to outlast the enemy at what is considered a front-line location of conflict.

In the Hadith we find: "Muhammad Ibn Ka’b al-Quradhī (رحمه الله) said, “(And perform ribāt) against My enemy and your enemy until he abandons his religion for your religion” [Tafsīr Ibn al-Mundhir]."

And here is how it is used in response to the news of the dramatic increase in numbers of Jews observing the ritual stringency who ascend to the Temple Mount:

الرباط الكثيف والمواظبة عليه داخل الاقصى هو الحل الوحيد لمنع هذه الزيادة الخطيرة جدا...

which translates as 

intensive and diligent ribat is the only solution to prevent this very dangerous increase...

As explained at my source, the linguistic root of ribāt stems from the term used for the binding (irtibāt) of horses in preparation for the enemy just as their enemy binds their horses in preparation for them. The word then was extended to describe those stationed at frontier posts defending those behind them whom the enemy desires to harm with evil, whether the enemy has horses he has bounded or is on foot without a riding animal for himself.

Males performing this duty are murābitīn and the females are murābitun because
“A day of ribāt for Allah’s cause is better than the world and everything it contains. [Reported by al-Bukhārī and Muslim from Sahl Ibn Sa’d]."
It's a serious business:

"Since the revival of jihād more than thirty years ago, mujāhid leaders have stated that jihād – on the personal level – consists of strides on a roadmap towards shahādah. One first performs hijrah to the lands of jihād (now, dārul -Islām), then gives bay’ah, pledging what it entails of obedience (sam’ and tā’ah) to the amīr (now, the Khalīfah)...then trains (i’dād) for the purpose of jihād, then patiently spends months of rībat, serves countless hours of guard duty (hirāsah), then fights (qitāl) in battles and kills (qatl) whom he can from amongst the kāfir enemy, and finally achieves shahādah."

which leads us back to a decision taken by Internal Security Minister Gilad Ardan to proscribe them two years ago.


The Grand Shaikh of Al-Azhar, the oldest university in the Muslim world, said on Friday that the battle with the Zionists is not only about Al-Aqsa Mosque, but also the rest of the 35 acre sanctuary around it, Quds News Agency has reported.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is not a small area of land,” explained Shaikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb. “The sanctuary also includes the Dome of the Rock Mosque, wells and corridors.” All of them, he pointed out, make up Al-Aqsa Mosque.  The Zionists want to take over Al-Aqsa. Referring to the Dome of the Rock as Al-Aqsa Mosque is a deceitful Zionist plan.

The Grand Shaikh’s comments came just days ahead of Al-Azhar’s International Conference about Jerusalem, which is scheduled to be held in Cairo on 17 and 18 January.

But the fuller version is worse:

Sheikh al-Tayyib said that the West's intention to grant Palestine to the Jews was to gather them in a place and expel them from Europe, to deny some of the Holocaust it had committed against the Jews, and because the antagonism of the Christian traditions of Judaism is traditional and inherited in the blood of many Western Christians, whether they are rulers or ruled.
Dr. al-Tayeb responded to the claim of some of them that the Aqsa Mosque mentioned in the Koran is not the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which we know in Palestine but it is a mosque on the road to Taif, saying: 

Whoever claims that it is trumpet of the horns of the Zionists in the East, which is not based on evidence or evidence of evidence; it is attributed to this talk to the realist, and reference to the writings of this world, Al-Waqqadi says in al-Maghazi (3 / 958-959): The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ended up on the night of Thursday for five nights from Khu`l al-Qa'dah, and he lived in al-Jaranah thirteen. When he wanted to leave for the city, I stayed the night at night, I was deprived of the Aqsa Mosque, which is under the valley of the maximum enemy, and was a chapel The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was not allowed to enter the valley except for a mahram. He still did not meet until he received the pillar. What is the connection between this? Al-Aqsa Mosque, in which Allah said: "Al-Aqsa Mosque, which we have surrounded." Al-Jawqadi speaks about two mosques, one near and the other after him. He described them as the maximum and the lowest on what is used by the scholars. He did not mean that this mosque is named al-Aqsa and the other is its lower name. Who does not distinguish between the name and description. 

Sheikh al-Tayeb said that Al-Azhar is keeping pace with the Palestinian issue with its conferences, scientists and authors. He said: "We have the works of the world about Jerusalem, including what is printed and what is a manuscript, and on this occasion I emphasize the importance of having a course on Jerusalem in primary, The history of the three mosques, the history of the holy mosque (the Kaaba), the history of the mosque and its developments, and also the history of Al-Aqsa Mosque, because the Arab mind is free of the culture of Jerusalem or the culture of Palestine in general. We face a strong "Israel" that has k One womb has a single frame with a people divided on itself.


Thursday, January 04, 2018

Israelis and Their Opinions in Polls

I have blogged about this aspect of Israeli public opinion previously.

To summarize:

1. Most Israelis lean right. This is obvious since 1977 when governments favoring right-wing policies have consistently been able to be confirmed by Knesset vote due to a majority of the parties agreeing to such a policy.

2.  In answering polls, a majority responds with right-leaning opinions.

3. When asked specifics, however they tend to reply in a way in which they think complies with hw the world thinks they should be thinking.

Example from the December Peace Index:

The status of Jerusalem - between aspirations and reality: What do Israelis want? A majority of the Jewish public (72%) thinks that after stable peace between Israel and the Palestinians has been achieved, Jerusalem should be united and the capital of Israel (including those who would accept the Islamic holy places being in the Palestinians’ hands). Very few see a likelihood of alternatives that would reduce Israel’s control of the city: 12% think that in a situation of peace, the western part should remain the capital of Israel and the eastern part should be the capital of Palestine; 7% say Jerusalem should be an international city; while 5.5% believe the city should remain united and be the joint capital of Israel and Palestine. In the Arab public the highest rate, 44%, wants the city to be divided with the eastern part serving as the capital of Palestine and the western part as the capital of Israel. The second largest rate, 22%, wants it to remain united and be the capital of both countries, Israel and Palestine.And what do people think will actually happen? To the question “What, in your opinion, will in fact happen if a peace agreement is signed between Israel and the Palestinians?” half (50%) of the Jewish public answered that the city will remain united and the capital of Israel (including those who think it will remain united but the Islamic holy places will be transferred to the Palestinians), about a quarter expect it to be divided and to be the capital of both states, and small percentages chose a common capital or an international city as likely alternatives. The high rate of Arab interviewees who did not give an answer to this question, about one-third, prevents us from relating to this sample’s distribution of responses.


Wednesday, January 03, 2018

With What Is The State Department Occupying Itself?

From US State Department's Spokeswoman Heather Nauert's Press Briefing on January 2, 2018

QUESTION: I’m not asking you to. But do you still – does the administration believe that the West Bank is occupied by Israel?
MS NAUERT: I can only say that our position has not changed. Our position on that hasn’t changed.
QUESTION: Well, does that mean that – does that mean that you still regard the West Bank as being occupied?
MS NAUERT: Matt, I can just tell you our position hasn’t changed. I’m going to be very careful with the words because anything related to this region, as many others --
QUESTION: Exactly.
MS NAUERT: -- is extremely sensitive.
QUESTION: Exactly.
MS NAUERT: Our position has not changed, and I won’t budge from that.
QUESTION: Okay. At some point it would be nice to find out exactly what that position is. You shouldn’t be afraid – precisely because it is so sensitive, you shouldn’t be afraid, unless you’re embarrassed by what the policy is. Not you personally, but whoever. You shouldn’t be afraid to say what it is instead of just saying it hasn’t changed.
MS NAUERT: I don’t think – Matt, as you have seen, when America speaks about a matter, it is taken very seriously.
MS NAUERT: And so that is why it’s important for the United States to be careful with its words. And you may not get all the words that you were hoping to get, but I’m going to be careful with the words. Okay?
QUESTION: Okay. Well, does that include tweeting stuff about “little Rocket Man” and things like that?
QUESTION: Be careful with your words? Or “fire and fury” is going to rain down on North Korea?
MS NAUERT: I’m not even going to go there, Matt. Okay?
QUESTION: If you’re saying that the position hasn’t changed, why won’t you just state the position?
MS NAUERT: Michele, the position hasn’t changed. I’m not going there, okay? You’ve got all --
QUESTION: Just – okay.
MS NAUERT: That’s it on that. Okay? Let’s move on.

So, is Judea and Samaria "occupied"?
P.S.  It is, but quite legally, as a result of Israel's defense against armed aggression.  It is termed "belligerent occupation" which means that it has occurred as a result of hostilities. It does not mean the occupation is illegal:
The term "belligerent occupation" is frequently used to describe the establishment of military government in enemy territory (p. 2 note 5)

As we all know:
Israel refuses to acknowledge the Convention's de jure application to any of the Occupied Territories. Israel has, however, said it will comply de facto with the Convention's humanitarian provisions in administering the West Bank and Gaza (but the applicable provisions have never been specified).


Monday, January 01, 2018

Yes! First Temple Archaeological Proof

As the Israel Archaeological Authority has announced today:

"A unique and significant discovery was made during archaeological works in the Western Wall Plaza, on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority and in association with the Western Wall Heritage Foundation: A stamped piece of clay from the First Temple period, which belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem – the most prominent local position to be held in Jerusalem of 2700 years ago.

This extraordinary find is a lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired. It measures 13 X 15 mm and is 2–3 mm thick. The upper part of the sealing depicts two figures facing each other, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script.

The sealing was presented to the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, during his visit to Davidson's Center, near the Western Wall, last week. After the completion of the scientific research, the sealing will be on temporary exhibit in the mayor's office.

The sealing, its use unknown, was retrieved by Shimon Cohen while wet-sieving the soil from a late First Temple-period building (seventh-sixth centuries BCE).

Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site located in the northwestern part of the western Wall Plaza, on behalf of the IAA, believes that "the sealing had been attached to an important transport and served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city." Dr. Weksler-Bdolah further suggests that "it is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport sent by the city governor. The finding of the sealing with this high-rank title, in addition to the large assemblage of actual seals found in the building in the past, supports the assumption that this area, located on the western slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem, some 100 m west of the Temple Mount, was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period." According to Dr. Weksler-Bdolah "this is the first time that such a sealing is found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2700 years ago."

Prof. Tallay Ornan of the Hebrew University, and Prof. Benjamin Sass of Tel Aviv University, studied the sealing and describe it thus: "above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment. In the register beneath the double line is an inscription in ancient Hebrew: לשרער, with no spacing between the words and no definite article. It denotes לשר העיר, i.e., “belonging to the governor of the city." Prof. Ornan and Prof. Sass add, that "the title 'governor of the city' is known from the Bible and from extra-biblical documents, referring to an official appointed by the king. Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles, Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of Josiah.

Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, When the find was presented to him related that "it is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem. This shows that already 2700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city. Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3000 years. Today we have the privilege to encounter another one of the long chain of persons and leaders that built and developed the city. We are grateful to be living in a city with such a magnificent past, and are obligated to ensure its strength for generations to come, as we daily do."

According to Dr. Yuval Baruch, archaeologist of the Jerusalem District in the IAA: “the outstanding significance of the finds brought upon the decision to conserve the First Temple-period building exposed in the Western Wall plaza excavations and open it to visitors"."

A short explanatory film clip.

This find is quite special as unlike other similar finds,

"Ours is special because this was the first time the seal of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem itself was found in the right place," Weksler-Bdolah says.

Take that, o ye Muslims.