Saturday, February 17, 2018

Using Civilians As Cover is a War Crime

First, we had this warning alert (h/t: YV):

EXCLUSIVE – Palestinian Terror Groups Mull Plan to Storm Israeli Border with Protesters

Palestinian terrorist groups have been considering the possibility in recent days of organizing mass protests by Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip at the border with Israel to try to break into Israeli territory to demonstrate against the worsening humanitarian crisis in the enclave, a senior official in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization told Breitbart Jerusalem.

...The proposal seeks to bring large numbers to protest along the length of the border with Israel with the goal of trying to get over the security fence and put pressure on the Israeli authorities...

Hani Sawabteh, a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, refused to confirm that any specific plans are being made...

(UPDATE: EOZ informs that there is a "The Great Return March" coming.)

Then, this past Friday, as the Jewish Press reported:

On Friday, during an Arab riot near the border fence, which takes place almost every Friday, a terrorist force took advantage of the confusion to approach the border and bury the explosive charge right next to the fence, opposite Ein Hashlosha. The same terrorists apparently hung up a flag on the fence in order to draw IDF forces to that point...

The JPost added

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. in southern Gaza east the city of Khan Younis when a patrol from the Golani infantry brigade arrived to neutralize a suspicious flag that was spotted on the Palestinian side of the fence following protests which broke out along the border fence on Friday.
While the flag to which the IED was attached was spotted on the Palestinian side of the fence, the troops were on the Israeli side of the fence when it detonated.

And today, as the IDF Spokeman reports:

Moments ago, an explosive device detonated on IDF troops adjacent to the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip

and then continued to provide details:

Four IDF soldiers were wounded in the attack, two severely. Evacuated and treated, families have been notified.

I suggest to the IDF to mine the area on Israel's side of the fence.*

If explosive devices are okay to be used by the Arabs in offense, they can surely be use by Israel in defense.

Using civilians as cover for terror is a war crime.

What happens when you ignore warnings:
Two Gaza Teens Killed by Israeli Fire After Approaching the Border


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What A Difference a Newspaper Makes

Interviewed by journalist Amit Segal at Monday’s conference hosted by the newspaper Besheva, Rivlin said

“In my opinion, the only solution is an iron wall. I believe wholeheartedly that the right wing is democratic before all else. It’s clear to everyone invested in the situation that if we annex the entire country, the Arabs living in the West Bank will need to receive full Israeli rights and citizenship.”

That was the Haaretz version.

Here is the Besheva one

At last year’s Besheva conference, Rivlin said, “I believe that Zion is ours and that Israel’s sovereignty should be [extended] to every site. Sovereignty over a certain territory grants citizenship to all who reside there. There’s no excuse. There cannot be one law for Israelis and another one for non-Israelis.”

When asked about his support for the left, Rivlin said, "When the Haaretz newspaper writes good things about me, I am very concerned and I start examining my actions." However, Rivlin also said that he will not change his mind, and blamed "others" for changing theirs.

"All my life, I have believed that all of Israel belongs to us. In my opinion, the only solution is to be as an iron wall, and I believe that the right must be more democratic than it is anything else."  "Everyone should know that if we apply sovereignty to all of Israel, all the Arabs who live in those areas will have to receive full citizenship and rights, like every other citizen of Israel."

Viva la difference.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wearing Out Peace

The Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF), which, it is detailed,
does promote a clear political agenda, based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization [and] Presents a biased and distorted view of the conflict, omitting Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including rocket attacks and terror tunnels, as well as Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.

has an arm called Wear the Peace which raises charitable funds through the sale of fashion items:

 for illustrative purposes only

In case you missed it, a map erasing Israel and making it all-Arab

is not a peaceful statement.

You don't have to boycott this.  You just don't need to purchase the goods.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Still Waiting Since 1939

During the opening of the May 22 debate in the House of Commons regarding the 1939 White Paper, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Malcolm MacDonald, said, regarding the the treaty contemplated by subparagraph (6) that "adequate provision has been made for: the security of, and freedom of access to the Holy Places, and protection of the interests and property of the various religious bodies",

Finally, in addition, the unique characteristic of Palestine is that within its borders are Holy Places which are dear to millions of Christians, Moslems and Jews throughout the world. We could not give up our trust in Palestine without being assured that everything that appertains to them, and the right of their devotees to have access to them, are preserved for all time. It is indeed a tragedy that around those sacred shrines should be repeated in modern times the folly of human hatred, violence and dispute. The whole world yearns for peace in Palestine, but it cannot be secured unless each people in the present dispute is ready to give up some part of its demands and to pursue a policy of conciliation with its fellow-citizens in that country. 

This was predicated on the 1937 Peel Commission Partition Plan:

Chapter XXII. - A Plan of Partition
...2. The Holy Places
The Partition of Palestine is subject to the overriding necessity of keeping the sanctity of Jerusalem and Bethlehem inviolate and of ensuring free and safe access to them for all the world. That, in the fullest sense of the mandatory phrase, is "a sacred trust of civilization"--a trust on behalf not merely of the peoples of Palestine but of multitudes in other lands to whom those places, one or both, are Holy Places.
A new Mandate, therefore, should be framed with the execution of this trust as its primary purpose. An enclave should be demarcated extending from a point north of Jerusalem to a point south of Bethlehem, and access to the sea should be provided by a corridor extending to the north of the main road and to the south of the railway, including the towns Lydda and Ramle, and terminating at Jaffa.

We are still waiting for Muslims to give up some part of its demands for exclusive control over the Temple Mount.

The LRB Has Not Yet Published This Letter

The following letter was sent for publication to the London Review of Books on January 14.

Despite being "considered for publication", it has not yet appeared.

"Neve Gordon, upset that anti-Semitism, in his estimation, has been 'inverted' in that "the charge ‘anti-Semite’ is used to defend racism, and to sustain a regime that implements racist policies" (The ‘New Anti-Semitism’, LRB, Vol. 40 No. 01 · 4 January 2018), suggests a remedy and writes: "We can oppose two injustices at once. We can condemn hate speech and crimes against Jews, like the ones witnessed recently in the US, or the anti-Semitism of far-right European political parties, at the same time as we denounce Israel’s colonial project and support Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination."

As one who daily fulfills the policy of returning Jews to their national historical homeland, and who rejects any charge of inherent racism in accomplishing that goal, I can only hope that Gordon succeeds in convincing his colleagues, friends and others to follow through on his suggestion.  However, I would wish to point out, to him and to readers of the LRB, that anti-Jewish sentiment and activity exists amongst Arabs, theologically as well as politically, and specifically Arabs of Palestine, and it has existed long before any "occupation" or "settlement construction" began.  The Mufti of Mandate days did not need to seek support from Nazi Germany in 1933, nor accept funds during that decade, nor travel to Berlin and make anti-Semitic broadcasts in support of the Nazi regime until the war's end.

Mahmoud Abbas surely can oppose Jews entering the Haram A-Sharif courtyard but does he need to pronounce that I "have no right to defile it with [my] filthy feet." (PA TV, Sept. 16, 2015)? Do their newspapers have to print caricatures with Jews represented by hook-nosed, side-curl figures"?  The PalWatch website presents hundreds of examples of hate language and drawings.

I trust in leaving out Arabs when he listed only US and European right-wing anti-Semitism, as well as left-wing Judeaphobia, Gordon was not protecting anti-Semites who perhaps align themselves with his racist approach that the Land of Israel beyond an ephemeral "Green Line" must be off-limits to Jews."


Thursday, February 08, 2018

A Temple Mount Beam

The Waqf, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority all claim there's no archaeological scientific proof of the existence of a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount.

Well, read this from a review of a study edited by Gideon Avni and Guy Stiebel, Roman Jerusalem: A New Old City, in the Journal of Roman archaeology. Supplementary series, 105.   Portsmouth, RI:  Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2015:

The second part of the volume (The ritual sphere) has two fascinating contributions...the other by Perez Reuven about a decorated beam removed from the al-Aqsa Mosque during renovations in the 1930s. The beam of cypress wood is 12.5 meters long and based on its decoration is dated by Reuven to the second or third century; it originally was part of an architrave of a monumental building in Roman Jerusalem. Reuven hypothesizes that it may have been part of a temple on the Temple Mount, which brings us to the debate about the presence of a temple to Jupiter on the site of the destroyed Jewish Temple and the fate of the Temple Mount."

It has been theorized that the beam was in secondary use:

High-quality Cedar of Lebanon and cypress beams from Herod’s Temple Mount would have been used and reused in a phenomenon known to archaeologists as “secondary use.” R.W. Hamilton’s 1949 publication on the dismantling of the Al-Aqsa Mosque already noted that many beams showed signs of secondary use. These signs include functional depressions or protrusions intended from their original use as well as decorative woodcarving styles from earlier periods.

Recent carbon-14 tests on the beams confirm their antiquity. Some predate Herod’s Temple Mount: One beam dates to the ninth century B.C.E.—the First Temple period! The exact history of the beams is hard to pin down. They were likely used in two or more different constructions, and poor storage has led to the ever-quickening degradation of the beams.

Despite conservation issues, Peretz Reuven was able to make detailed analyses of the beams. For example, indentations on the underside of a beam with Herodian/Roman-period decorations suggest that it rested on column capitals in an earlier structure. The indentations are spaced at a similar interval to columns at Herod’s Royal Stoa. 

The beams were for years stored outside, next the the southern wall, suffering from the elements:

and now for the past few years in the courtyard of the Double (Golden) Gate:

I presume they are rotting away.


And as it happens, the next day, Friday, after I posted this, Arnon Segal wrote on the same subject in his weekly Makor Rishon page dedicated to the Temple Mount and included this picture of various beams from different periods.  The earliest Roman beam is on top:


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Jordan Just Can't Stop the Incitement

Again, the official Jordanian News Agency Petra has published a report full of incitement language and this time, it has added an unforgivable claim.

It has all the regular stuff - "extremists", "settlers", "storm" and "provocative".

But now, there is the lie of "the alleged 'Temple Mount':

Extremist settlers storm Al Aqsa compound Ramallah, Feb.7 (Petra) -- Groups of Israeli extremist settlers early Wednesday renewed its storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Haram Al Sharif in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, a Palestinian source confirmed.

The General Director of the Islamic Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told Petra’s reporter in Ramallah that today's raid by the Jewish settlers was carried through al-Magharebah Gate under heavy protection of Israeli special forces.

Extremist settlers provocatively toured the Al-Aqsa yards, and listened to explanations on the alleged "Temple mount", while Muslims worshippers placed in different parts of the mosque protesting against these provocations, Al-Khatib added.

If Petra is just parroting Palestinian Arab propaganda, the King needs to oversee these violations of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty's Article 9.


It continues. It must be policy:

Dozens of extremist settlers storm Al Aqsa compound 
Ramallah, Feb.11 (Petra)-- Groups Israeli extremist settlers early Sunday stormed compounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Haram Al Sharif in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, a Palestinian source confirmed.

...Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told Petra’s reporter in Ramallah that today's raid by dozens of Jewish settlers was carried through al-Magharebah Gate...Extremist settlers provocatively toured the Al-Aqsa yards, and received explanations on the alleged "Temple Mount" by rabbis accompanied them, Al-Khatib added.


Today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi signed a new five-year $6.375 billion ($1.275 billion a year) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Jordan, beginning in FY 2018 and ending in FY 2022.

Mr. Tillerson, can you persuade Jordan to halt its incitement against Jews and their most sacred holy site?

They've done it again:

Settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque Ramallah, Feb. 13 (Petra) -- Groups of Israeli extremist settlers early Tuesday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque/ Haram Al Sharif compound in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, a Palestinian source confirmed.
The General Director of the Islamic Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told Petra’s reporter in Ramallah that today's raid by the Jewish settlers was carried out under heavy protection of Israeli special forces and police.
Extremist settlers provocatively toured the Al-Aqsa yards, and were briefed on the alleged "Temple Mount" by rabbis accompanying them, while Muslim worshipers and the mosque's guards peacefully confronted them chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great), Al-Khatib added.

 It's basically the same text regurgitated.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Teasing About War Crimes

In an interview in which +972's Joshua Leifer and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man spoke with B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad recently, one topic was his decision to describe Israel’s actions against Palestinian communities in the West Bank as war crimes and whether that should also be the case for settlements.

The question was

Will you be using war crimes language to describe other Israel policies, like the expansion and legalization of settlements...?

The answer:

I don’t know. Of course, there is a lot of concern that over-usage of this language — that [it] will end up losing its effectiveness, to the extent that it even has that. We try to use the appropriate language and speak with the right moral conviction as it is relevant to the current reality — not overdoing it and not under-doing it.
...this reality, this slowly moving strategy in the West Bank to displace Palestinians through these tactics of creating unbearable living conditions — it is not new...[it] means that...thousands of people have to endure living under conditions that are absolutely unacceptable and unjustifiable. And all this is done out of a planned policy to displace them.
...this ongoing reality...For us that’s the most important thing that we have to try and reverse.

So what happened to the "war crime" angle?

Was this nothing but a journalistic teaser?

Saeb, Shut Up?

Saeb Erekat, that Natufian, has had harsh words for the United States Representative to the United Nations. He even told her she needs to "shut up".

Nikki Haley is probably laughing over that.  But I laughed at this statement of his, that she:

called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president

and to "undermine the Palestinian national project".

Anybody really believe there is democracy in the Palestinian Authority?

And when was Abbas democratically elected?

January 9, 2005.

And have there been democratic elections since then?  No.

That's more than 13 years of non-democracy.

Saeb, shut up?

Monday, February 05, 2018

Thank You Anshel, Thank You Haaretz

Truth will out.

Forget religion.

Forget history.

Forget archaeology.

Forget international law.

Anshel Pffefer of Haaretz explains, on the background of ISIS in Sinai, why Israel must retain control of Judea and Samaria:

Airstrikes alone, no matter who carries them out, are not enough to wipe out ISIS in Sinai. Before ISIS came along, the original group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, was a local insurgency made up of disgruntled members of local Bedouin tribes, reinforced by Islamists who had fled Cairo and other cities. They are fighting on home turf, among their own people; they know how to blend into the villages and mountains.The Egyptian army...[is] not equipped and trained to fight an asymmetrical battle in terrain where they are regarded by many as foreign occupiers...The army barely manages to control the main coastal road and at night the soldiers cower in their armored vehicles.

By the end of 2016, airstrikes had decimated ISIS’ fighters; they were down to about 300 men and their leader was killed. But the Egyptian army failed to pursue its advantage on the ground...Just as in last year’s battles of Mosul and Raqqa it took a ground force to finally rout ISIS from its main strongholds, so too Israeli air support and aid from the U.S. and other Western states will not be enough to defeat Wiliyat Sinai unless Egypt’s own forces begin pursuing the insurgents on the ground.

Air control insufficient. Ground control paramount.  So simple.

Oh, and one really not need to forget religion, history, archaeology and international law.  Or other elements justifying Israel's continued control over Judea and Samaria.


Sunday, February 04, 2018

A Polish Victim of Arab Terror - In 1937

Stanisław Sluga (or Sludze)

was a Polish Christian.  He came to Mandate Palestine as a migrant worker. He had been employed in other countries in the Middle East also.

While working in Nes Ziona, he was shot and died a few days later of his wounds. A victim of indiscriminate, anti-Jewish Arab terror.

From an entry in a book on the first two years of the 1936-1939 riots ("Disturbances"):

He arrived in Palestine in 1933 and was an agricultural worker in Rehovot and Nes Tziona. He even joined the Histadrut (who paid his burial costs). He also visited Ethiopia and the Hejaz including Mecca (a spy?).  He then returned to Mandate Palestine and worked in Nes Ziona. 

He was shot at Bet Oved on March 5th by an Arab who approached him and asked for an orange.  He died five days later.

He was married and had a daughter.  He was planning on traveling to South America.  He had been previously beaten by Arabs while working in Lydda.  He became very suspicious of Arabs and could not understand his fellow Jewish laborers who sought out understanding and solidarity with the Arabs based on principles of socialism.

I am seeking any and all information about him, his family, his background, etc.

Were there any newspaper clippings in Polish newspapers at the time?

What happened to his descendants?  Do Poles today know about him?

Is there a memorial dedicated to him?

In fact, if there is none, on the background of the current tension between Israel and Poland, establishing one might be helpful.

He came from Piotrków, which is south-east of Lodz.  The Jewish memorial book of the town asserts that while in Palestine he

urged his Jewish friends to organize a defense against the Arab rioters.

Here are the clippings I managed to collect.

In English:

Three blood transfusions donated by Jews.

And in Hebrew.

Sluga provided testimony from his hospital bed:

A claim he recognized his killer when the police arranged a confrontation in the hospital:

His funeral, in Jaffa:

Davar's editorial on March 11:

A trial report:

The suspected murderer is set free due to lack of corroborating evidence:

In Polish Hungarian:

If anybody can locate contemporary Polish newspaper reports or can contact anyone in Piotrków and discover any item, it would be appreciated.


Friday, February 02, 2018

The Guardian's Holmes and His Journalism

The Guardian's Olive Holmes simply mouthpieced a report from the EU the other day.

Its essence:

Israel using tourism to legitimise settlements, says EU report
Exclusive: European Union Heads of Mission warn 
‘touristic settlements’ are being used as a political tool

I am going to guess, without any inside knowledge that Emek Shaveh was central to this.  A bit nasty they are.

In any case, as we know with archaeology in the Holy Land, Israel's archaeologists preserve all finds no matter from who, even of Arabs who occupied the Jewish homeland in 638 CE

That includes Canaanites, Philistines, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Muslims, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottomans...and even prehistoric civilizations.

Israel also protects the finds from those who steal, deface and destroy them (guess who).

But that is but one side to this story's unprofessional journalism.

No Israeli archaeologist is asked for a reaction.

No response from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

No quotations from a government representative like...the Minister of Toruism.

Was a "settler", aka Jewish resident, asked? From City of David or Ancient Shiloh?

Was this a balanced report?




After all, the reports underlying theme is astounding:

Archaeology and tourism development by government institutions as well as private settler organisations established what it said was a “narrative based on historic continuity of the Jewish presence in the area at the expense of other religions and cultures”.

That is a flat-out lie.  Holmes had not the sense to realize that and work a bit harder to include a riposte?

Shameful, really.  (UK MediaWatch post)