Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Shiloh and Jimmy Carter - 40 Years On

Shiloh, where I live with my wife and where my children were raised and grew up since September 1, 1981, is celebrating the 40th anniversary since its founding in 1978.  On the 1st of the Hebrew month of Shvat, January 9, 1978, the first 8 families and some Yeshiva students arrived and on the 15th, Tu B'shvat, the public ceremony was held.

At that time, Shmuel Katz ran against Haim Landau as a Minister in the new government, a Land of Israel Movement protest was being held outside the Prime Minister's office, Karnei Shomron's land was being prepared, Arik Sharon was planning expansion in the Rafiah Salient and the government was authorizing a limited settlement plan.  The Egyptians arrived in Jerusalem to continue the talks a few days before the founding ceremony with Buhtros Ghali, Ibrahim Kamal and also the American Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and Alfred Atherton.

But there is a back story concerning the American administration that should be recalled in connection with the reestablishment of Jewish life in the Hills of Efraim, at the site of the Tabernacle.

Jimmy Carter and his aides were quite opposed to resettlement activity ion Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

On March 8, 1977, then Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin heard this from Carter:

However, with the Likud victory in the May elections two months later, Carter and Company were faced with a new challenge when Menachem Begin, a Land of Israel loyalist was elected.

They had a plan, though:

 On July 19, 1977, Begin came to the White House for a visit and spoke:

To return to Shiloh's founding.  Just at that time, Israel had a delegation in Cairo in a first round of talks following Anwar A-Sadat's Jerusalem visit in November. As Carter notes in his diary on January 30:

That idea of Begin breaking his word was cardinal to Carter and he demanded Shiloh be dismantled.

From William Quandt's book:

And as Jeremy Pressman has observed:

The United States was very concerned about Israeli settlements. When Carter met Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Ha’aretz reported, he told the Israeli prime minister “that the U.S. objects to any settlement in the occupied territories.”57 Carter, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis recalled, “viewed them as illegal and unjustified.”58 

In early May, Carter had U.S. officials privately protest the establishment of a new Israeli settlement at Mes’ha.59 In the summer of 1977, Vance privately told Israeli leaders the United States did not accept the “legitimacy” of settlements.60 In mid-1977, Begin promised Vance that Israel would limit itself to six to eight new settlements “on land within present military bases or on government-owned land.”61  After Israel approved three new settlements in August, Carter reminded Begin privately that settlements were illegal and that Carter might need to reaffirm publicly the 1967 border if Begin continued in this direction. The State Department also publicly condemned the Israeli move.62 

In a September 1977 meeting at the White House, Carter reminded Dayan that the “U.S. has always felt that Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal.” With Carter, Dayan promised settlers would only enter in six “military camps” – what Israel called Nahal units – and, more broadly, “no settlement would stand in the way of peace.” Carter reacted by saying he was “still quite concerned about settlements. We consider them to be in violation of the Geneva conference.”63 Dayan’s promise was “the second best and not the best.” The president also asked Dayan to minimize the publicity surrounding settlements or new settlers.64 

In early January 1978, Israel announced new settlements in Sinai, angering Carter and sparking another U.S. missive. In a letter to Begin a few days later, Carter clearly spelled out the U.S. position: “On numerous occasions since [September 26, 1967], United States representatives have expressed the disapproval of, and opposition to, the establishment of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories” because they contravene the Geneva convention and “are prejudicial to the achievement of a Middle East peace settlement.” Carter noted Dayan’s words the previous September. Later in the letter Carter warned Begin that it “would be particularly regrettable if a serious setback to the 20 current peace process were to be perceived as a result of Israeli action on settlements.”65 

For the rest of 1978, the Israeli government did not establish any more settlements.66 

In April 1978, Brzezinski was again reviewing the settlement situation for the president. For Begin, Brzezinski wrote, the Dayan statements were “no longer valid.” A different, temporary Israeli freeze also had “now ended.” Begin declined to stop West Bank settlements but would have “due regard for political considerations,” apparently a faint nod to U.S. opposition. Brzezinski concluded: “On ideological and political grounds, Begin is simply not prepared to agree to a full moratorium on all settlement activity. If we hope to persuade Begin to show restraint on this issue, we will have to remind him frequently of our strong opposition to further settlement activity.”67 U.S. officials recognized the Begin government’s deep attachment to the settlement project but were committed to continuing to try to slow it to help advance the diplomatic process...
57 Quandt to Brzezinski, “Israeli and Arab Reactions and Comments,” March 17, 1977, NSA, Brzezinski, Country file, Box 34, folder: “Israel 1-3/1977,” JCL. See also Quandt, Camp David, p. 45; and Carter, White House Diary, pp. 123, 125, 162, 167, 173, 176, 180.
58 Lewis interview, August 9, 1998.
59 In addition to calling in Israeli ambassador Simcha Dinitz, Secretary Vance raised the issue with Israeli Foreign Minister Yigal Allon on May 11, 1977. Brzezinski to Carter, “Israeli Settlement at Mes’ha and Vance-Allon Meeting,” May 16, 1977, NSA, Brzezinski, Country file, Box 34, folder: “Israel 4-6/77,” JCL. These exchanges were consistent with what Brzezinski told Carter to tell the U.S. Amb. to Israel, Samuel Lewis, regarding settlements: “We will continue to make our opposition to these policies known.” Brzezinski to Carter, “Your meeting with Ambassador Samuel Lewis, Wednesday, May 4, 1977, 2:00 pm,” same folder.
60 Sick to Brzezinski, “Summary of Vance’s Middle East Trip,” August 12, 1977, NLC-SAFE 16 A-13-18- 1-2, p. 6. 61 Sick to Brzezinski, “Summary of Vance’s Middle East Trip,” August 12, 1977, NLC-SAFE 16 A-13-18- 1-2, p. 5. On settlements, see also Quandt, Camp David, pp. 81, 83, 111.
62 Quandt, Camp David, p. 100.
63 On this draft transcript of the meeting, most or all of the word conference is crossed out and something is written above it. The word might be convention.
64 Transcript, “Meeting of Foreign Minister Day[an] with President Carter, Monday, 19 September 1977, at White House, Washington, D.C.,” BDP, Geographic, box 14, folder: “Middle East - Negotiations [9/75- 9/77], JCL, pp. 1-2, 11, 14-15; and Quandt to Brzezinski, “Aide Memoire,” September 20, 1977, NSA, 45 Brzezinski, Country file, Box 35, folder: “Israel 8-9/77,” JCL. For a brief assessment of Dayan’s promise, see Quandt to Brzezinski, “Israeli Settlements since September 1977,” memo, February 1, 1978, NSA, Brzezinski, Country file, Box 35, folder: “Israel 1-3/78,” JCL. Quandt also sent “a chronology of our most important private exchanges with the Israelis on the question of settlements” and noted that Carter “has frankly spoken out in press conferences about the illegality of the settlements.” See Quandt to Brzezinski, “Chronology on Discussions Concerning Settlements,” February 1, 1978, same location. The chronology itself was not in the folder but again suggests the frequent attention Carter officials paid to the settlement question. See also Quandt, Camp David, p. 113; and Moshe Dayan, Breakthroughs: A Personal Account of the Egypt-Israel Peace Negotiations (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981), pp. 59-63.
65 “White House to American Embassy, Tel Aviv,” January 10, 1978, NLC-16-101-3-2-7. See also Brzezinski to Carter, “Previous US Votes on UN Resolutions Concerning Israeli settlements,” October 27, 1977, NSA, Brzezinski, Country file, Box 35, folder: “Israel 11-12/77,” JCL; and Quandt, Camp David, p. 179.
66 Gush Emunim, an extra-parliamentary settlers’ movement, established one in late January in Shiloh. Quandt, Camp David, pp. 161-162.
67 Brzezinski to Carter, “Israeli Settlements,” April 19, 1978, NSA, Brzezinski, Country file, Box 35, folder: “Israel 4/78,” JCL. 

I myself have written thrice to Mr. Carter to come and visit to see what has developed here at Shiloh.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Three-Thousand Year Old Temple Reportedly Destroyed

But it wasn't in Jerusalem so you may not have read or heard about it:

AIN DARA, Syria (A.W.)—Both the Syrian government and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor confirmed on Sunday that Turkish shelling of Syria’s Afrin region has seriously damaged the Ain Dara Iron Age temple.

Reuters has circulated that Ain Dara, an iron age temple with remains of large carved basalt blocks and wall reliefs, 

was hit with shells and that the Syrian government’s antiquities department called for international pressure on Turkey “to prevent the targeting of archaeological and cultural sites”.

And Turkey was so upset with Israel in 2007 when it was fixing the external entrance to the Temple Mount and archaeological excavations were done under Turkish supervision and 24-hour cameras. And Erdogan is increasing his demands to retake the site as in Ottoman times.

As we know: if it involves Jews it makes the news.


Monday, January 29, 2018

What Does King Abdullah Mean By "Key"?

King Abdullah of Jordan told American Vice-President Mike Pence last week that

“For us, Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians, as it is to Jews. It is key to peace in the region and key to enabling Muslims to effectively fight some of our root causes of radicalization”

Well, finally putting Jews on equal status with Muslims.  

That should mean a halt to inflammatory language such as "storming" the Temple Mount. 

It should mean fulfillment of the terms of Article 9 of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty:

It must mean a reining in of the Waqf guards behavior, guards whose salaries are paid by Jordan.

It could mean even joint archaeological projects.

It could mean permitting Christians the right to read from a Bible, and have Jews enjoy that as well.

King Abdullah, what do you say?


Friday, January 26, 2018

Another Letter That Didn't Get Published

This was sent to the NY Times:

Your editorial, "Mike Pence’s Self-Serving Trip to the Holy Land
" (January 23), 
accused Vice-President Pence of choosing "to ignore Israelis’ shared history with the Palestinians" in his Knesset speech earlier this week.

Did you really want him to recount the murderous pogroms Arabs committed against Jews in Hebron, Gaza, Jerusalem during 1920-1947 which caused an ethnic-cleansing of those Jews from homes in which they resided, in some cases for centuries and over 1000 dead Jews? The war of aggression initiated by Arabs of Mandate Palestine in 1947 in violation of the UN's Partition recommendation? The decade of fedayeen terror until 1956? The founding of the PLO in 1964, three years prior to the so-called 1967 "occupation" and the construction of any Jewish civilian resettlement homes in Judea and Samaria or Gaza?

It hasn't appeared.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Halted Projects

The renovation projects which are claimed to have been halted, according to the director of the Department of Endowments Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib include

mosaics and decorations colored plaster and colored in Al-Aqsa, restoration of the Bishop of the Marwani prayer, and the project of external lighting and the interior of the maximum, and change the outside marble Dome of the Rock and the threat of violation of the decision to arrest.

Al-Khatib pointed to other projects hindered by the occupation for many years, including the prevention of endowments to remove dust piles from the eastern region, and tiling the yards of the mosque and terraces, as well as infrastructure damaged by electricity and water and land communications network has not been restored since the sixties of the last century.

He said that the occupation has for years prevented the establishment of a warning and extinguishing system in the mosque and agricultural projects, where "we can not trim a damaged tree or even install a new bulb in another place is disabled."

Al-Khatib addressed the prevention of the occupation authorities endowments to restore the area of ​​Bab al-Rahma, and the issuance of a decision of the courts, "Israel" to close it, and another decision to prevent the opening of the center of Bab Guanma, which was prepared by the Department to inaugurate the service of worshipers before the month of Ramadan last.

He stressed the right of the Islamic Waqf Department to bring all the necessary materials for the restoration, and has no problem in informing the Israeli police before entering the mosque, but categorically refuses to interfere in the nature of its work in squares and chapels.

...The spokesman of the Jordanian government, Mohamed Momani condemned the step of the new occupation authorities to stop all maintenance and restoration work in Al Aqsa Mosque, and confirmed in a statement circulated to the media that the affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the jurisdiction of the administration of the Jerusalem endowments of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Islamic sanctities.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What Jews, Supposedly, Do On the Temple Mount

I have detailed over the years Arab/Muslim reports accusing Jews of doing all sorts of things on the Temple Mount.

This is a new level of decadency

Jewish settlers defile the Aqsa Mosque almost on a daily basis under police escort and they intensified in recent months their provocative acts during their tours of its courtyards, including their attempts to impose a new fait accompli by repeatedly performing dances and rituals at the Islamic holy site.

It's an IranianShiite site. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gordis' Push for a Moderate Voice

Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis has written a piece countering what he sees as an unfair effort in the media

to portray Israel as being in the grip solely of the right 


is to ignore signs that more moderate voices may be galvanizing.

He highlights one such voice, a group called Commanders for Israel's Security.

In doing so, he seems to mislead his readers.

For example, the group's billboard campaign he describes in his article was a huge publicity black-eye for the group which was accused of fomenting racism in its use of Arabic and suggesting all Arabs are terrorists.

He does not note that all these commanders have been responsible for all that has happened to Arabs and only in retirement do they seem to adopt leftist positions (which Gordis shies away from terming "leftist").

While mentioning Yaakov Amidror, he declines to add that he is at the heart of a new neo-conservative think tank which is not that in favor of a two-state solution.

But worse, he hides the fact that for decades a similar group was active on the scene with no appreciable affect on Israel's public opinion.  That group is the Peace and Security Association founded in 1988.  And there were previous groups not to mention that Peace Now began with an "Officers' Letter".

That missive was addressed to Prime Minister Menachem Begin.  It was dated March 7, 1978 was signed by 348 reserve officers and NCOs in the IDF. It called on Begin to prefer peace negotiations with a view towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict to a policy promoting settlements beyond the Green Line and the continued control over "around one million Arabs", jeopardizing Israel's Jewish and democratic character. 

Gordis should have given historical background, explained why all these earlier efforts failed and then, perhaps, point out why this new group could succeed or why it will also fail.

He makes an odd claim about Ehud Barak who supports the group, that "he is trusted by Israelis on security matters".  Really? What's the proof?  Why was he the shortest-serving PM on record?  Why can't he get back into politics?

As for the two-solution and support for it, it would be fair to note that no poll has ever suggested another option to the public.  For example, should Jordanian territory be part of the land mass required for peace? Should a Jordanian-linked federation be an option?
Should Egypt be given Gaza?

We simply don;t know what the public really thinks because they have never been questioned and the only relevant poll is the elections which right-of-center parties have consistently won since 1977.

Israeli public opinion and politics are not an easy subject.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Mr. Vice-President, Jordan Can Do Better

From US Vice-President Mike Pence's words to King Abdallah II of Jordan yesterday:

 we’re grateful for your personal commitment to religious diversity and religious freedom,

Mr. Vice-President, in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, Jordan and its Waqf can do much much better than they are.

"Palestine" As A Pick Up Line

In a short story by Isaac Babel, "My First Fee", I found a section describing his effort at obtaining the services of a prostitute in Tiflis, using "Palestine" as his pick-up line:

...I had no choice but to look for love. Needless to say, I found it. For better or worse, the woman I chose turned out to be a prostitute. Her name was Vera. Every evening I went creeping after her along Golovinsky Boulevard, unable to work up the courage to talk to her. I had neither money for her nor words-those dull and ceaselessly burrowing words of love. Since childhood, I had invested every drop of my strength in creating tales, plays, and thousands of stories. They lay on my heart like a toad on a stone. Possessed by demonic pride, I did not want to write them down too soon. I felt that it was pointless to write worse than Tolstoy. My stories were destined to survive oblivion. Dauntless thought and grueling passion are only worth the effort spent on them when they are draped in beautiful raiment. But how does one sew such raiment?

A man who is caught in the noose of an idea and lulled by its serpentine gaze finds it difficult to bubble over with meaningless, burrowing words of love. Such a man is ashamed of shedding tears of sadness. He is not quick-witted enough to be able to laugh with happiness. I was a dreamer, and did not have the knack for the thoughtless art of happiness. Therefore I was going to have to give Vera ten rubles of my meager earnings.
I made up my mind and went to stand watch outside the doors of the Simpatia tavern. Georgian princes in blue Circassian jackets and soft leather boots sauntered past in casual parade. They picked their teeth with silver toothpicks and eyed the carmine-painted Georgian women with large feet and slim hips. There was a shimmer of turquoise in the twilight. The blossoming acacias howled along the streets in their petal-shedding bass voices. Waves of officials in white coats rolled along the boulevard. Balsamic streams of air came flowing toward them from the Karzbek Mountains.

Vera came later, as darkness was falling. Tall, her face a radiant white, she hovered before the apish crowd, as the Mother of God hovers before the prow of a fishing boat. She came up to the doors of the Simpatia. I hesitated, then followed her.

"Off to Palestine?"

Vera's wide, pink back was moving in front of me, She turned around,


She frowned, but her eyes were laughing.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Gaza Joy" But in Israel It's Child Abuse

The issue of the under-age labor force in agriculture and related activities is problematic.

Israel is accused of exploitation. However, the Palestinian Authority is als accused:

In 2016, the Palestinian Authority made a minimal advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in the areas of the West Bank under its control. The Palestinian Authority took steps to enforce child labor laws and improve coordination among government agencies in their work to address child labor, including its worst forms. However, children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in construction and illicit activities. The legal framework does not criminally prohibit all elements of child trafficking. In addition, programs to prevent or eliminate child labor in agriculture and street work are insufficient.

Human Rights Watch got involved but its claims were denied

But, seemingly, for the IRCC, there is joy in labor.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Temple Mount 'Fake News' Spillage

Alerted by EOZ to Ma'an News Agency's editor's oped, I saw that there was an outrageous claim (among others) of Dr. Nasser Al-Laham :

وهم الذين سمحوا للإرهابيين المستوطنين بدخول المسجد الأقصى وشتم النبي محمد عليه الصلاة والسلام، وسكب الخمور على سجاجيده، هم الذين أحرقوا كن

They allowed the settler terrorists to enter Al Aqsa Mosque and insult the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and poured liquor on his carpets.

Er, we aren't allowed to enter any building within the Temple Mount compound. And surely not with liquor or even liquids.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Anne Frank Operation

At my Facebook account yesterday, I uploaded the story of Rabbi Susan Silverman's new idea.

In short:

A group of Israeli rabbis, including the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman, launched Tuesday an Anne Frank-inspired activist program calling on Israelis to hide African asylum seekers facing forced expulsion from Israel in their homes.

The Anne Frank Home Sanctuary movement hopes to assist the near 40,000 African asylum seekers predominately from Eritrea and Sudan that the Israeli government intends to deport either to their homelands or another sub-Saharan state beginning in April and over the coming two years.

And I added this comment:

S. Silverman's sister basically comparing Israel to Nazi Germany: hunting down poor human beings to be taken away in cattle cars.

Here's the Newsweek headline:


Donations are through Rabbis for Human Rights.

Yosef Abramowitz was angered:

yisrael, you are better than that. there are enough affidavits and evidence of so many asylum seekers who left Israel who ended up dead in other african countries or drowned trying to cross the sea. no one compared to Nazi Germany but we always say to the world that there are lessons learned from the Holocaust and admiring the courage of righteous gentiles who hid Anne Frank and others is one of them. Let s not slander what could be life saving actions that we are obligated to do anyway under the 1951 international convention that young Israel championed right after the Holocaust.

I will not enter the argument of how did these people get here, why they wanted to come, what are their physical security concerns, their economic ones, etc. I am simply pointing out to a travesty being done on Jewish history, Jewish memory and maligning the state of Israel.

My response to Yosef: 

One could have declared a "Sanctuary City" model like California but the group chose Anne Frank. Anne was legally in the Netherlands Dutch [corrected: she was born in Germany]. She wasn't a transient immigrant who illegally entered the Netherlands and the Dutch were not following through on a voluntary expulsion scheme. Silverman and you, I presume, are engaging in a heinous propaganda trip of anti-Israel defamation and demonization. You quite definitely are comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Shame on you!

I am amazed there is even a defense of the naming.



Alternative Name Suggestion

The Rahab Operation

Joshua 2:2- And it was told the king of Jericho, saying: 'Behold, there came men in hither to-night of the children of Israel to search out the land.' 3 And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying: 'Bring forth the men that are come to thee, that are entered into thy house; for they are come to search out all the land.' 4 And the woman took the two men, and hid them...

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:, 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.