Monday, March 31, 2008

The Shiloh Junction Incident Aftermath

Two Jewish lives were saved today, as reported here and here.

The pictures, curtesy of Yonah Tzoref:-

Spring at Shiloh's Valley

Shiloh, Hills of Efraim, Israel

All views, looking south-east from the Ramat Shmuel neighborhood (where I live).

Wrong About Rights

Close to half a million Jews live on West Bank land captured by Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem. Some settlers claim a God-given right to live in lands they call Judea and Samaria.


Actually, almost all of us claim the right of international law to live in the Jewish national homeland as well as historical and cultural rights.

And read this summary:

The legal position of the whole of Palestine was clearly defined in several international agreements.

The most important is the one adopted at the San Remo Conference (following the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War), which decided, on April 24, 1920 to assign the Mandate for Palestine under the League of Nations to Britain. An agreed text was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations on July 24, 1922 and came into operation in September 1923.

In the preamble to this document it is stated that "...the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The declaration of November 2, 1917 is the famous Balfour Declaration and in this document, it was given international ratification.

Moreover, in Article 2 of the document, the League of Nations declares that "The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble.”

In the preamble it was clearly stated that "recognition has hereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

It was on this basis that the British Mandate was established. Britain betrayed its duty and far from keeping to its undertakings did everything to jeopardize the establishment of the Jewish National Home and finally decided, in 1947, to end its mandate unilaterally, leaving Palestine on May 15, 1948.

Meanwhile the UN (which had inherited the League of Nations) decided on the partition of Western Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab, but this decision of November 29, 1947 was not only rejected out of hand by the Arabs, but seven Arab armies invaded Palestine to put an end to the young State of Israel which had been established on May 14, 1948.

And more there as well as here and here.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Something is Wrong in the Balance of Steps Here

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel and the Palestinians on Sunday agreed to a series of ''concrete steps'' aimed at paving the way for a final peace agreement later this year, beginning with an Israeli pledge to remove some 50 roadblocks in the West Bank, U.S. officials said.

The officials, traveling with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, also said the Palestinians had agreed to step up their efforts to ''prevent terror'' in the West Bank.

Israel maintains hundreds of checkpoints, roadblocks and other travel restrictions in the West Bank, measures it says are needed to stop suicide bombers. The Palestinians say the restrictions are excessive and have stifled their economy. They have made removal of the checkpoints a top priority as the two sides, with U.S. backing, try to negotiate a final peace agreement by the end of the year.

In its statement, the U.S. said Barak and Fayyad agreed Palestinian security forces in the West Bank must assume ''greater responsibility.'' Israel has complained the Palestinian forces have not done enough to control militants.

Pic source

The statement said the Palestinians would soon deploy additional security forces in the West Bank town of Jenin, a hotbed of militant activity, and ''work to prevent terror.'' Last week, Barak said he had agreed to let the Palestinians deploy some 600 Jordanian-trained officers in Jenin.

Among the new measures are plans to build new housing for Palestinians in 25 villages, connecting Palestinian villages to the Israeli power grid and an agreement by Israel to allow larger numbers of Palestinian laborers and businessmen to work inside Israel.



It's here.

And review this.


Here's the link to Condi Rice's on-the-record background briefing coming into Israel.


Not a word about "settlements".


Tfoo-tfoo is an expression used while/after saying something from which one either needs protection or after one has just extricated oneself out of a tough spot or to ward off the Evil Eye, like:

"He dashed into the street after the ball but, tfoo-tfoo, luckily for him there was no traffic".


Arabs use it also.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Israeli Optimist a la BBC

I asked Heller whether he was still the optimist that he had described himself as being, three months before.

After all, on Tuesday, a missile fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza, had hit the neighbouring kibbutz.

"Today, I'm even more optimistic than I was in December," Heller told me. "Israel's having contacts - albeit indirect - with Hamas, I'm sure of it. They were elected democratically, after all.

"Yes, I'm disappointed with what happened once Israel moved out of Gaza. I had hoped the Palestinians wouldn't engage in hostile activities. But this is a process which will take years."

Heller claims not to be a political animal. But before Israel evacuated its 7,000-plus settlers out of Gaza in 2005, he used to organise a small group from the kibbutz, which, every Friday, between two and four in the afternoon, would go to the nearby border crossing to talk to the settlers as they returned to their homes for the Shabbat.

"We would invite them to a friendly discussion. We said they shouldn't stay there. It couldn't end well."

The kibbutzniks may have been neighbours of the settlers, but that was as far as the closeness went. "Our talks didn't meet with success. The settlers were often very hostile."

I suggested to Heller that his left-wing, kibbutz-inspired politics may once have been a mainstream in Israel, perhaps most strikingly before the establishment of the state. But now his was an isolated voice.

And Heller is...?

Each Mayday, he hosts an exhibition of 60 to 70 artists, in a converted cowshed on the kibbutz. The artists contribute one print each.

Every picture is red. Heller's politics come from his communist father.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Wright Wrong

Wright is about to move to a 10,340-square-foot, four-bedroom home in suburban Chicago, currently under construction in a gated community.

“Some people think deals like this are hypocritical. Jeremiah Wright himself criticizes people from the pulpit for middle classism, for too much materialism,” said Andrew Walsh, Associate Director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life with Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

According to documents obtained from the Cook County Register of Deeds, Wright purchased two empty lots in Tinley Park, Ill., from Chicago restaurant chain owner Kenny Lewis for $345,000 in 2004.

Documents show Wright sold the property to his church, Trinity United, in December 2006, with the proceeds going to a living trust shared with his wife, Ramah.

The sale price for the land was just under $308,000, about $40,000 less than Wright’s original purchase two years earlier.

Public records of the sale show Trinity initially obtained a $10 million bank loan to purchase the property and build a new house on the land.

But further investigation with tax and real estate attorneys showed that the church had actually secured a $1.6 million mortgage for the home purchase, and attached a $10 million line of credit, for reasons unspecified in the paperwork.

There is apparently nothing wrong with that, according to non-profit tax expert Jack Siegel of Charity Governance Consulting...“At least looking at it from a public document standpoint, there’s clearly not a problem that jumps out or some sort of wrongdoing,” Siegel said.

Siegel characterizes the transaction as unusual, however, because of the way Wright sold the property to Trinity and the way the deal was financed, with the attached $10 million line of credit.

Because churches are classified as private businesses, Trinity isn’t required to reveal its intended use for the line of credit. Nor, because it’s a non-profit entity, is it required to provide that information to the IRS.

And What's Wrong with Judaism?

Ever heard of Magdi Allam? The Muslim who converted to Catholicism?


Read on:

After a long and agonizing path, he says, he came to the conclusion that the Arab states' refusal to recognize Israel in the 1950s and '60s was to the Palestinians' detriment, and that the Muslim culture in which he was raised nurtured falsehood, tyranny, hatred, violence and death. In recent years, he concluded that the universal defense of the value of the sanctity of life goes hand in hand with the defense of Israel's right to exist.

Last year, Allam, winner of the 2006 Dan David Prize (for outstanding scientific, technological, cultural or social achievement), published the book "Long Live Israel: From the Ideology of Death to the Civilization of Life, My Story," which is forthcoming in Hebrew.

"After the book was published, I was severely attacked," he says. "They called me a traitor, a Zionist and an agent of the Mossad. They sentenced me to death again. This fact made me wonder why many Muslims lose the ability to conduct a conversation when Israel's right to exist is brought up for discussion." That, Allam explains, is one of the reasons for his conversion to Christianity.

Nu, he couldn't become a Yid?

A Snide Reference?

I read this in the NYTimes about the wife of James Cayne, the chairman of Bear Stearns, whose company is in trouble, in a story they published today:

Patricia Cayne, who is a student of Jewish religious traditions

Really? Really!

Here's what Rebbitzen Jungereis has said:-

From the moment I met Pat 17 years ago and she began to study Torah with me, she has never wavered from that commitment. Today, she continues to attend my classes with the same enthusiasm that she had on the first day, the only difference being that today, Baruch HaShem, she has her daughter joining in our sessions as well.

And this is what Penina herself said:-

In my family, my father’s sister and my mother’s two brothers have no Jewish descendants. The lineage our ancestors died for is lost. And three entire Jewish families are GONE!

If seventeen years ago, G-d had not put the Rebbetzin in my life, and then, if the Rebbetzin had not put Torah in my life, my Jewish family would also have disappeared.

When I met the Rebbetzin, like most assimilated Jews, I knew absolutely nothing about Judaism. I didn’t know about the Torah, the Sabbath or the life style of the Orthodox. It is not that I rejected any Judaic concepts, I simply didn’t know they existed. But once I started Torah classes with the Rebbetzin, all of that changed. My thinking, my interests, my reading, the food that I ate, my dress, time, conversations, friends and my world changed. Torah study transformed my life and reversed the assimilation process.

Nice, but what has that to do with the husband's finances?

Well, according to unnamed sources:

Cayne has spent considerable time searching for comparable events in religious history to see what lessons can be learned from the collapse of his firm, said a person who has spoken to him recently.

Ah, so it's not an antisemitic snide. Just a religious moment.

He Said; He Lied

His version:

“They took our land to build this road, and now we can’t even use it,” Mr. Abu Safia says bitterly, pointing to the highway with one hand as he drives with the other. “Israel says it is because of security. But it’s politics.”

The other version:

In recent years, in the wake of stone-throwing and several drive-by shootings, Israel has blocked Palestinians’ access to the road.

The context:

“There is already a separate legal system in the territories for Israelis and Palestinians,” said Limor Yehuda, who argued the recent case for the civil rights association on behalf of six Palestinian villages. “With the approval of separate roads, if it becomes a widespread policy, then the word for it will be ‘apartheid.’ ”

Many Israelis and their supporters reject the term, with its implication of racist animus.

“The basis of separation is not ethnic since Israeli Arabs and Jerusalem residents with Israeli ID cards can use the road,” argues Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a conservative research organization. “The basis of the separation is to keep out of secure areas people living in chaotic areas. If the Palestinian Authority, which has thousands of men under arms, had fought terror, this wouldn’t have been necessary.”


Once Upon a Time There Were Pioneers

As it is written in the Book of Nehemiah, Chapter 4:

1 But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; 2 and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein...4 And Judah said...7 Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows...10 And it came to pass from that time forth, that half of my servants wrought in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 11 They that builded the wall and they that bore burdens laded themselves, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 12 and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the horn was by me...16 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people: 'Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labour in the day.' 17 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one that went to the water had his weapon.

Maoz Chaim, 1939

Source of Picture

Of All the Chutzpah

...Silwan's residents say the foundation is slowly tunneling its way towards control of the entire neighbourhood.

"You start wondering what is happening when they change the names of places," Qarain says. "This is Silwan, but they call it Ir David. We know this street as Wadi Helwa Siyam, but they put up signs calling it Maale David."

And it gets even more conspiratorial:-

Amin al-Siyam says he is awakened nearly every night by the sound of Jewish settlers tunneling under his east Jerusalem house towards the Old City's deeply sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

"We hear them at night, under the house. Sometimes the whole building shakes. Then they leave the next morning, early," Siyam says.

Actually, its Jewish revenanism.

The site, on a narrow, traffic-choked street running down the steep southern slope outside the Old City's walls is surrounded by a high metal fence, with a large Israeli flag fluttering over a padlocked gate.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority says it has found an ancient tunnel that once carried rainwater from the heart of the Old City to a ritual bathhouse several hundred metres away.

"It was a brand new tunnel from 2,000 years ago," says IAA head Shuka Dorfman. "The condition of the tunnel was unbelievable."

Starting in 2004 archaeologists excavated most of the tunnel between the dig site and the bathhouse.

But last month they started working north in the direction of Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif.

Based on a late 19th century British excavation of large sections of the tunnel, archaeologists believe the tunnel leads to the Old City, veering close to the mosque complex but not passing beneath it.

Yet because the project is being carried out in secret and funded by a settler organisation, many residents think it is part of a plan to take over -- or destroy -- Haram al-Sharif.

Ir David provides around 600,000 dollars (380,000 euros) to the IAA every year for projects in and around the City of David but says it plays no part in the actual digging.

However, the foundation has sought to create a "living testament" to the historic Jewish presence in the mostly Palestinian neighbourhood.

"This is the most important place in the world for the Jewish people. We have been waiting for 2,000 years to come back to this area," says Doron Spielman, a senior foundation executive.

And here come the...Jews?

Meir Margalit, a spokesman for the Israeli Committee Against Housing Demolitions, says "the problem is not the archaeological digging, it is the agenda of the people who are behind the digging."

He and other Israeli activists fear that sensitive projects like Silwan, if left in the hands of right-wing groups, could one day be used to detonate the Middle East peace process.

"For a long time this has been a problematic issue, but now it is a dangerous issue," Margalit says.


And this revenanism gets better:-

It was a focal point of Jewish spiritual and cultural life in Jerusalem. It hosted the installation of the Ashkenazi chief rabbis of Palestine, and the historic addresses by Theodor Herzl at the turn of the century and by Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook over the fate of European Jewry before the outbreak of World War II.

And now, six decades after it was destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948, during the War of Independence, a page of Old City history is being revisited: the Hurva Synagogue is being rebuilt.

...The Hurva synagogue was built nearly a century and a half later by disciples of the prominent Jewish sage known as the Vilna Gaon.

Following its construction in 1864, the Hurva was the tallest building in the congested Jewish Quarter, its dome and that of the quarter's other main synagogue - Tifereth Yisrael - becoming a vivid and integral part of the city skyline in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries.

For the next 84 years, the structure became a center of Jewish spiritual and cultural activity, first under Ottoman and then under British rule.

,,,Both the Hurva and Tifereth Yisrael were among 29 Old City synagogues demolished by the Jordanian Army during the 1947-1949 Arab-Israeli war.

The Jordanians blew up the Hurva two days after the Jewish Quarter fell into their hands.


Tired Of Bet Shemesh Burkha Babes?

Tired of the Burkha Babes theme?

Upset at sexual abuse, incest, ladies tripping over themselves?

Try Paris Hilton for a change, close but less stressful:-

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Showing Us How

Kadima MK Othniel Schneller, initiator of the new law defining death as a result of the status of being brain-dead, rather than heart failure, demonstrating his lack of heart and being brain-dead himself:-

Well Worth It

Faced with the Arab PR efforts during the Second Lebanon War, only a handful of pro-Israel PR efforts turned out to be effective; and although I've never really praised any political figure, I can point to Netanyahu as someone whose PR efforts, carried out of his London suite, were well worth every penny.

What ever sums of money the media quoted – whether paid for by the Israeli taxpayer or not – we got our money's worth.

Should we try and find out how much a leading international lobbying firm would have charged for what Netanyahu accomplished in the world media and the social and financial arenas at the time of the war, it would probably come to several million dollars. He made full use of whatever screen time he was given, he was able to reach the hearts of the Americans and Europeans and link Israel's interest to their gut-feelings, to their relevant fears and to the Islamo-demographic developments mounting across Europe.

...One of his most notable achievements at that time was his appearance on SKY news, in which he exposed a Hizbullah spokesman – perceived by many European networks as a celebrity, a popular freedom fighter and an eloquent speaker – for the terrorist that he was, unworthy of the screen time given to him (even the interviewer eventually had no choice but to agree with Netanyahu, who "made a valid point.")

I don't know why Netanyahu stayed in a hotel. He should have been given a proper office in the Israeli embassy in London, but petty disputes in the government would have probably hindered such a thing. It's a shame really. One would think that when in war, and if the Opposition is able to carry itself in a State-like manner, the foreign minister would be able to put a side the internal partisan disputes and ask him to become an official player in the PR game.

Netanyahu's financial conduct may have been flawed. The Israeli elite has long been asked to get closer to the people, to reassure them it recognizes their hardships for being more than just statistics. I won't pretend to address any questions of ethics, proper administration (or lack thereof) or question pertaining to the politics of public or private funding, but I do know one thing: Even if the visit was funded by Israeli money, we still got off cheap.

Udi Lebel

Exporting Money

An Israeli billionaire who served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War has given £20 million to build a new wing at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

The gift from Sammy Ofer, an 86-year-old shipping magnate, is thought to be the biggest single donation by an individual to any cultural institution in the UK. It will help finance a new £35 million extension at the Greenwich site, on the Thames in southeast London, that will include a large exhibition hall and an archive centre.

Mr Ofer was born in Romania in 1922 but emigrated to the British mandate of Palestine with his family as a young child. He enlisted with the Royal Navy during the War, serving in the Mediterranean, and then went to serve in the Israeli Sea Corps during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

He then became a shipping agent, buying his first ship in 1950, and now owns, with his brother Juli, one of the world's biggest private shipping companies as well as other diversified interests. Forbes magazine puts his family's wealth at $3.9 billion, making him the 226th richest man in the world.


Land Dispute

Against their instructions, the police, once again, attempted to circumvent standing rules that wherever Arabs are legally permitted to till their property and that said property has been in dispute or is in close proximity to a Jewish community, there must be prior notice given and all arrangements must be made aforehand so as to avoid problesm of misunderstanding.

Those rules were made for the safety of the Arabs as well as to assure the jewish residents that they are not being threatened.

Today, in an area between Shvut Rachel and Shiloh, the police goofed it, perhaps on purpose and a small demonstration took place and in the end, the Arabs had to go home and the army needs now to rearrange the ploughing under strict supervision.

Here are some photos:

Give Me That Ol' Time Religion

Found here (connected to here):-

Peace is not only the concern of Governments or political leaders. Efforts to bring about peace need active support from people around the world.
The conflict in the Middle East, Islamophobia and antisemitism are usually fed and exacerbated by the preachings of fundamentalists using God or the Holy writings as a pretext.

Religious ministers of Judaism and Islam lead great communities worldwide and have the power to influence believers. They have a responsibility concerning the marginalisation and vigorous struggle against extremists and hate-talk by people who claim to belong to their religion.

Moreover they can create awareness by preparing people to honour peace and then to act for peace by showing their indignation at any signs of hate and intolerance that may emerge in their own community. First in Brussels in January 2005 and then in Seville in March 2006, the World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace strongly proclaimed its determination to officially renew the Judeo-Muslim dialogue.

In the presence of international observers, experts and representatives of other religions, Imams and Rabbis expressed their disagreements and their differing visions, but they also stressed their common heritage and the ethical philosophy of their respective religion. Finally, they took a strong, public stand against terrorism, poverty and extremism.

This rapprochement contributes to changing the way the Jews and the Muslims look at the world, but also how the world looks at the Jews and the Muslims.

Although, this dialogue is first and foremost for Jews and Muslims, it is not exclusively for them. It is open to all, believers or not, who want to build bridges and link human beings.

I'm pretty sure I commented on their last effort of two years ago (now, where did I do that?) and basically said that this is a fairly useless endeavor. The wild-eyed immams won't come and the wishy-washy Rabbis are not truly representative of Jewish nationalist interests, not to mention that the immas who do show - have no power to stop the terror and violence.

Think About It

From Atlas Shrugs:-

If there were 22 Jewish states, and only one tiny Arab state, and if in those 22 Jewish states every other group was denied anything like equality (see the various groups of Christians all over the Muslim Arab world, or for that matter see the various groups of non-Arab Muslims -- such as Kurds, Berbers, and black Africans in Darfur), and if those 22 Jewish states also possessed fantastic oil reserves and the one tiny Arab state possessed nothing but the intelligence of its populace, and if those 22 Jewish states were the size of the 22 members of the Arab League, with 14,000,000 square miles of territory, and the one tiny Arab state had less than 1/1,000th of that, or about 10,0000 square miles, and if those 22 Jewish states were possessed of an ideology that required them to move heaven and earth in order to eradicate that one tiny Arab state -- oh, and did I forget to mention all the other "not-quite Jewish states" that would be the correct analogue to the non-Arab Muslim states that the Arabs (and Islam) have convinced that they, too, have a stake in opposing Israel and wishing to see it destroyed? (See those frenzied mobs in Iran, or Pakistan.)

And if, furthermore, I knew that if those 22 Jewish states were intent on rewriting, or destroying, or utterly effacing, the history of those Arabs in their one tiny "Arab" state, because the rewriting of other peoples' history was what, for 1350 years, those Jews had been doing, and if there were a figure in Judaism akin to Muhammad, who was held up as the Model of Conduct, uswa hasana, as the Perfect Man, al-insan al-kamil, and if that Perfect Man in Judaism was not like any figure known to me in Judaism, or in Christianity, but was remarkably like Muhammad, as described in the Sira as teased out of the words and deeds attributed to him in the Hadith, and if, furthermore, I knew that if those 22 Jewish states, with their 14,000,000 square miles, and their fantastic unmerited oil wealth, and their unbelievable fixation on destroying a sliver of territory that was less than 1/1,000th of the territory they controlled, ever managed to destroy that tiny Arab state in the area bounded to the east by the River Jordan and on the west by the Mediterranean, a place so small one could not find it on the map, were ever to succeed, that would not satisfy them, but make them ever more eager to recover other lands that had once been in their possession, and indeed to work, with a sense of triumph, for the final acceptance, all over the world, of Judaism as the dominant faith, and with Jews assuming the role that Muslims look forward to assuming themselves, then yes, I would of course be on the side of that tiny Arab state.

Oh, I forgot to mention that to make your little hypothetical complete, one would also have to posit that the Jews had long ago conquered that little area, and many of the Arabs had fled to Europe, or elsewhere in the "Jewish lands," and in both places had had to endure different kinds of difficulties, and suffering, and recently, in Europe, had endured what the Jews endured under the Nazis. And those Arabs, who had in the last century come to realize that in order to deal with the entrenched prejudice, complicated in its origins, against them, that it made sense for them to return to that little sliver, which under Jewish rule had fallen, by all accounts, into ruin and desolation, and they had done so, buying up land at exorbitant prices, and managing to have their right to establish the Arab National Home on this little territory recognized by the civilized world, even if those Jews, in their vast territories and many (22 by now) states, were determined never to let those Arabs have their tiny country -- why, yes, if all of that, and all the rest that I haven't bothered to give here were offered, with Arabs in place of Jews, and vice-versa, I would have not the slightest difficulty being on the side of the Arabs in that case.

The reality, of course, is that Israel is the tiny besieged state, whose people are threatened by a permanent Jihad.

This was in answer to this:-

“If the Israel/Palestinian conflict were exactly the same as it is, only the roles of the two warring parties were exactly reversed, would you then switch allegiances to the Palestinian side?”

The Word is Eizen

Eizen means "iron".

Why "Settlements" is a Bad Word

Because it leads to misunderstandings:-

More Settlements in R.I. Nightclub Fire
By Associated Press

5:54 PM EDT, March 26, 2008


A speaker maker and two bus companies have agreed to pay a combined $1.3 million in tentative settlements stemming from a 2003 fire at a nightclub that killed 100 people, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

The companies agreed to pay survivors and families of victims of the fire that started when a pyrotechnics display for the band Great White ignited flammable foam that lined the walls of The Station in West Warwick. More than 200 people were injured.

The word to describe Jewish revenant residential sites is "communities".

A "Militant" Terrorist Bomber

Militant Held in ’02 Passover Bombing

Published: March 27, 2008
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli soldiers on Wednesday arrested a Hamas militant suspected by Israel of directing the bloodiest suicide bombing of the Palestinian uprising, an attack that killed 30 people and wounded 143 others during a Passover celebration in 2002.

And the BBC bested the AP/NYT's description:-

Israel Passover bomb suspect held

Israeli security forces have arrested a key suspect in a suicide bombing which killed 30 mainly elderly people at a festival meal in 2002. The Israeli military said Hamas commander Omar Jabar was detained early on Wednesday at a village in the Tulkarm area of the West Bank.

They said he had planned the attack, in the Israeli resort of Netanya, and dispatched the bomber.

It was the single deadliest attack of the five-year Palestinian uprising.

As many as 143 people were injured when the bomber blew himself up in a packed dining room at the Park Hotel on the eve of the Jewish Passover holiday.

Budget Problems in Shiloh...New Jersey

Shiloh also feeling pinch --13.1 cents

SHILOH -- The borough council introduced a 2008 municipal budget on Tuesday night that includes a 13.1-cent property tax rate increase.

The increase can be attributed to the decrease in aid provided by the state, according to Clerk Ron Campbell.

Rude Rubinstein

This appeared in the Jerusalem Post, composed by Professor Amnon Rubinstein:-

Settling Jews outside of Israel proper is - it is submitted - illegal in international law and is defective morally. The fourth Geneva Convention, which Israel has signed and ratified, prohibits such settlements. True, the Knesset has not translated these provisions into Israeli legislation, but in the opinion of this writer such an act of domestic reception is unnecessary as the convention by its very definition relates to occupied territories which lie outside the limits of Israeli law and jurisdiction.

My response:-

With all due recognizance of my lack of an academic degree in international law, I suspect that Professor Amnon Rubinstein errs and has, perhaps, allowed personal political ideology to overcome simple principles of jurisprudence and rational thought. In writing that "Settling Jews outside of Israel proper is...illegal in international law and is defective morally", while basing himself on the fourth Geneva Convention, claiming that thast document "prohibits such settlements" ("The folly at Givat Zeev", Mar. 25), he is expressing a defective logic and misrepresenting facts.

In the first place, that convention applies, as does any contractual obligation, to those who are signatories who are defined as the "High Contracting Parties". As there was no "Palestine" when that convention was produced, Israel cannot be considered as "occupying" another entity's territories, an entity that is not a party to that contract. Secondly, it was David Ben-Gurion, in a statement pronounced in the Knesset on December 3, 1949, who declared that the UN resolution of 29th November no longer has any moral force and is null and void. Taken together with the reality that the official representative bodies of the Arab community of the British Mandate refused to acknowledge that 1947 decision, in essence, the area administered currently by Israel since 1967, what Rubinstein refers to as "occupied", is still part of what the League of Nations Supreme Council defined on July 24, 1922 as the area to be reconstituted as the national home of the Jewish people. A Jew and a state institution representing the Jewish people, such as Israel, cannot be an "occupier" in its own country.

Moreover, Jews moving in to places like Givat Zeev and Shiloh are fulfilling the principle established in that Mandate decision which guaranteed them the "right to immigration to and close settlement on the land", paragraph 6. Therefore, even if the state of Israel was not actively encouraging and aiding such acts, individual Jews surely maintain those rights even unto this day.

Third, and last, since Jews lived in and owned and tilled property in those "territories" for hundreds of years prior to the wars of aggression by which Arabs, local and foreign, sought to eliminate the state of Israel, both in 1947-49 and in 1967, they are only returning home. Surely, they must protect the civil liberties of the non-Jewish population (and note: the terms "Arab" appears nowhere in that document becuase the international community and it law did not recognize any specific Arab ethnic or national right to the area of the Mandate). But that does not affect the right of a Jew or group of Jews or an entity like the state of Israel to facilitate those actions.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Miracle in Shiloh...Ohio

So, headcovering does have advantages.

Did scarf help stop stray bullet? Shiloh woman OK after being struck in head

A simple white scarf may have helped to save a 71-year-old Shiloh woman's life Monday. Mary Keesy was taken to MedCentral/ Mansfield Hospital shortly after 11 a.m. Monday, after a bullet from a .22-caliber rifle struck the top of her head.

Keesy said she feels lucky to be alive.

"The bullet skidded about four and a half inches and then penetrated through the skin, but I didn't feel any pain," Keesy said. "I had just this thin scarf on my head, but the doctors said it probably had a lot to do with saving me."
Richland County Sheriff's deputies said two 17-year-old boys were issued summonses for negligent assault. Both admitted to shooting rifles into the air near the railroad tracks on Noble Road, about one mile from Keesy's home at 16 Prospect St.

..."I didn't have any surgery or anything," she said. "I was told the bullet went through all the layers of my skin and reached my skull, but it didn't penetrate it."

...Despite the hole now in the middle of her scarf, Keesy said she plans to keep it as souvenir.

"This is just an example of the power of the Lord," Keesy said. "I know that God was with me and that's why I'm still here."

Burkha Babe Blunder

I saw this lady last night on the news. She's a Burkha Babe and could hardly walk due to the weight of all the robes she had on, not to speak of her lack of sight through all that stuff:

A Jerusalem court on Tuesday extended by six days the remand of a Beit Shemesh woman suspected of abusing her twelve children. Police believe that the children had sexual intercourse with each other, some for a long period of time.

...said police head of investigations in Beit Shemesh, Roni Markovitch. "We opened with a wide-scale undercover investigation, and then we received complaints of violence within the family and incest between the siblings."

Markovitch maintained that not all of the 12 children were involved in incest.

During the police investigation, it became evident that the mother was violent towards some of her children, and would routinely beat them, sometimes with a sharp object. In other instances, when the children would come home late, they would be sent to sleep in a locked shed outside of the house.

Tamar Rotem claims the woman is the leader of the BBs group.



Here's a video clip (in Hebrew)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Aliza Tur-Malka Greenberg

The widow of Israel's greatest national poet, Uri Tzvi Greenberg, was present at an event of the Begin Center Monday night and I took the occasion to be photographed with her.

She herself is a poet in her own right.

A Statistic

About 5,200 Israeli Jews visited the [Temple Mount] site last year, an increase of 6.3% compared to the year before.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Facile Fisk

Robert Fisk, that is. In The Independent:-

This Easter, the 92nd anniversary of the Rising, it is intriguing to look at the parallels that connect Ireland and the Middle East. The "Black and Tans", whom Churchill supported when they took their revenge on Irish civilians in 1920, were later sent – again with Churchill's support – to Palestine, where they became the "British Gendarmerie" and continued their reprisals against Arab and Jewish civilians to considerable effect. Decades later, John Hume (Ireland's only living statesman) wrote in The Jerusalem Post that Israel and "Palestine" should take a page out of Ireland's Good Friday Agreement. It was all about compromise, he said.

He was wrong. Israel's settlements on Palestinian Arab land in the occupied territories were as illegal as the Protestant settlements and the dispossession of the Catholics in 16th-century Ireland.

Well, here's my response:-

In a facile attempt to draw a link between Ireland and Israel, Robert Fisk suggests that "Israel's settlements on Palestinian Arab land in the occupied territories were as illegal as the Protestant settlements and the dispossession of the Catholics in 16th-century Ireland" (Mar. 23). Illegality cannot apply to this instance.

In the first place, Arabs invaded the area of Palestine, a country they never have quite managed to refer to in Arabic, adopting the Latin corruption of Philistine from the Roman conquerors. Their presence as interlopers begins in the 7th century, some 2000 years after the Jewish migration to the country which, until their arrival, was but a collection of feudal kings of perhaps ten different populations groups. It was under the Israelite monarchy that the land was united.

In the second place, the highest international legal authority of the time, the Supreme Council of the League of Nations, acknowledged the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute their homeland in all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in a series of decisions during 1922-23, the land mass having been whittled down by British imperial interference. That is the land area the Israel government administers at present.

If there is any true parallel, it is the underground resistance of the Irish that encouraged Jews to seek their independence from the British occupation, eventually forcing England to give up her Mandate.

On Striking Civilian Population

Is it moral and ethical to target a civilian population in response to terror and violence?

Should an entire population, including women and children, be held to blame?

Like in Gaza?

No, like somewhere else and by someone else:-

“One of our great aims,” Churchill wrote in July 1941, “is the delivery on German towns of the largest possible quantity of bombs per night.” Soon afterward, he said publicly: “It is time that the Germans should be made to suffer in their own homeland and cities something of the torments they have let loose upon their neighbors and upon the world.”

...the writer Gerald Brenan: “Every German woman and child killed is a contribution to the future safety and happiness of Europe.” Or David Garnett (the author of the novel “Aspects of Love,” on which the musical is based), who wrote in 1941: “By butchering the German population indiscriminately it might be possible to goad them into a desperate rising in which every member of the Nazi Party would have his throat cut.”

And They Say Israel Political Rhetoric is Inflammatory

The reaction of some of Mr. Clinton’s allies suggests that might have been a wise decision. “An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

Commenting on Governor Richardson's endorsement of Obama.

Tedy Kollek Was a Bad Boy

When he was an informant collaborator for British Intelligence.


Geulah Cohen - The Hollywood Version

The 1949 film resonates Geulah Cohen:-

Sword in the Desert is set in Palestine during World War II. Dana Andrews plays an American seaman engaged in smuggling European Jewish refugees into the Holy Land, despite the restrictions levied by the British occupation troops. Fifth-billed Jeff Chandler makes his movie debut as an Israeli rebel leader; his performance garnered so much fan mail that Chandler was given a seven-year contract at Universal.

Few of those letters came from Britain, where Sword in the Desert ran into distribution difficulties due to its blatant anti-British slant--especially as manifested in the underground radio broadcasts of leading lady Marta Toren. The principal complaint was that the British seemed to be the sole villains in the script, which virtually ignored the Arab resistance to the formation of Israel. Sword in the Desert represents a low-key warm-up to the blood-and-thunder excesses of Otto Preminger's 1960 Exodus.

and this:-

As a Jewish girl who stings the British with her broadcasts on the underground radio, Marta Toren makes perhaps the most forceful and believable individual in the group.

Torn told the Saturday Evening Post that the film-

"allowed me to play a woman of depth and purpose and that Hadassah presented her with a scroll for her contribution to the understanding of the problems of the 'settlers'."

Here she was:-

And here is the real heroine, the secret radio broadcaster for the Lechi underground, Geulah Cohen:-

Her book:-

Woman of Violence 1943-1948, New York, Holt Rinehart Winston, 1966, Ed.: 1st, Pages: 275.

This is the passionate and moving story of Palestine's fight for independence by a member of the Stern Gang. This was originally written in Hebrew and now appeared for the first time in English. The author's memoirs explode with the ferocious intensity of her terrorist faith & her inflexible idealism. This is a portrait of a woman and the conditions that drove her underground to embrace a philosophy of violence and terror.

There's a new edition with David Ben-Gurion's letter of appreciation to her as well as British police documents and newspaper clippings entitled: Woman of Valor which I edited.

In the 1960s, she was a columnist for the Maariv and I found this:-

In an interview with Geula Cohen in the newspaper Maariv in 1963, Yitzhak Shalev, a writer with right-wing inclinations, complained that the "cease-fire lines have become our emotional borders, the boundary to our longings and desires." He lamented that no poem or tale had ventured further south in setting than Kibbutz Ramat Rahel (overlooking the old border south of Jerusalem) or further east than Mount Zion. His disapproval described the basic parameters: the parting from historical Eretz Israel was not just a political fact but had also been internalized as an existential experience by the Israel-bred generation of the State.

And, while we're at it, Geulah and I:-

The "JewNo" Parody

The plot of the real movie written by...Diablo Cody:-

Sixteen year-old Juno MacGuff is the type of girl that beats to her own drummer, and doesn't really care what others may think of her. She learns that she's pregnant from a one-time sexual encounter with her best friend, Paulie Bleeker. Juno and Paulie like each other, but don't consider themselves to be exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend let alone be ready to be a family complete with child. Although she would rather not be pregnant, Juno is fairly pragmatic about her situation. Although there, Paulie really leaves all the decisions about the baby to Juno.

Initially she decides that she will have an abortion, but that's something that she ultimately cannot go through with. So she decides to have the baby and give it up for adoption. But first she has to tell her father, Mac, and stepmother, Bren, that she is pregnant. Although they would have preferred if Juno was on hard drugs or expelled from school, Mac and Bren too are pragmatic about Juno's situation. The next step is to find prospective parents for the yet unborn child. In the Pennysaver ad section, Juno finds Mark and Vanessa Loring, a yuppie couple living in the suburbs.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Torture; Now Shooting Each Other

You'd think the Arabs have enough to do trying to kill, maim and bother Jews besides torturing each other that they now have time for intramural activities:-

Clashes have broken out between Palestinian factions in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon. The fighting was between members of the Fatah faction and an Islamist group called Jund al-Sham.

It took place in the densely populated Ain al-Hilwe refugee camp, which is located on the outskirts of the southern city of Sidon.

Fighters launched rockets and exchanged gunfire in the middle of the camp, causing dozens of civilians to flee. Lebanese and Palestinian officials said one Fatah member was killed and four others wounded...

Talking to the "Wall"

Taken Thursday evening during Megillah reading at the Kotel:-

Pictures taken by my dear friend Ben Rappaport

The Purim Putz Award Presentation

A woman has sued the company behind Oprah Winfrey's TV chat show, claiming she was injured when audience members rushed to find seats at a recording. Orit Greenberg has demanded $50,000 (£25,100) in damages after allegedly being pushed down a flight of stairs. She said this caused her "severe and permanent injuries" and claimed the crowd in the studio was not properly controlled by Harpo Studios staff.

The production company declined to comment on her allegations. Harpo Studios told the Associated Press it did not make statements about impending legal cases.

Ms Greenberg claimed she was hurt in December 2006 while attending a recording of the programme in the US city of Chicago. Audience members were told to sit wherever they wanted, which led to the rush, according to the legal documents she has filed.

Orit Greenberg?


Gee, shouldn't she be used to pushing and shoving while on line?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Avodah Aravit

"Avodah Aravit" is a phrase that is not very complimentary.

It translates as "Arab workmanship" and the implication is 'less than reliable'.

But sometimes, Israel really does need Avodah Aravit:

The Palestinian militant movement Hamas has accused Egypt of torturing members of the group who were detained after crossing from the Gaza Strip. A Hamas spokesman said security forces had demanded to know about Hamas leaders' movements and the location of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Jewish Week's Purim Spoof


Purim 08: 33 Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Ban Purim
Purim '08: Israel At 60 - Medical Report
Purim '08: Beatles To Sing In Israel
Purim '08: Spitzer Offered Post As President Of Israel
Purim '08: UJA Completes Strategic 'Sweep'
Purim '08: Another Coup For Rosen
Purim '08: Lynne Spears Joins Rabbis in 'Yeshiva Week' Warning
Purim '08: Conservative Movement Split Over Unity Agreement
Purim '08: Ex-CIA Director Proposes Creative Ceasefire
Purim '08: Waterboarding May Be Kosher, Mukasey Insists
Purim '08: Rabbinical Writers Guild Strike Continues
Purim '08: Renewed Hope For Israeli Baseball
Purim '08: Too Many Jewish Groups? New One Formed To Study Problem
Purim '08: Rabbis Announce Choice For President
Purim '08: Rabbis Arrested In Money Laundering Scam
Purim '08: Hamas Recognized Israel

And People Expect Them to Make Peace With Us?

Talks between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have collapsed, Palestinian Authority and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has said.

Both sides blamed each other for the failure of the discussions, which took place in Sanaa, in Yemen.

Follow-up on That Police Brutality "Manual"

Following-up on this:-

Meir Indor, head of the Almagor organization for victims of terrorism, said Thursday that police mistreated him earlier in the week after arresting him in a protest in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem...

Indor said he was left handcuffed for one and a half hours in his cell, despite the fact that he was clearly unable to escape. He was strip-searched, allegedly in a search for illegal drugs, he said. In addition, he said, he was put in a cell with prisoners who smoked despite the fact that he informed officers that he suffers from asthma.

Even after he suffered an asthma attack, he said, police wanted to return him to the same cell. After several pleas and reminders of his condition, they put him on a mattress in the dining hall instead, without providing him with sheets...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Was Nodding Off At My Computer And...

Who Do You Dislike More?

The politician or the preacher?

Why I Don't Like To Use "Settler"

This is why, a story from South Africa:-

Landslide endangers settler home

A HUGE landslide on the N2 near Grahamstown is threatening to topple a historic settler homestead that has stood for 170 years.

Remember, the term is revenant or resident.

Intifada in the Galillee

Cars being stoned today.

There were a number of similar incidents reported near Shfaram in recent weeks.

More previous incidents here and here and here

Halle Berry Goes Cross-Cultural

Halle Berry's baby is named Nahla Ariela Aubry.

What, Arabic and Hebrew? (although the above site only mentions the Arabic element)

This site has it in full:

Nahla translates as honeybee in Arabic, while the Hebrew name Ariela means lioness of God.

However, there could be a link to two Walt Disney films - ‘The Lion King' and ‘The Little Mermaid'. In ‘The Lion King', the main lioness is called Nala, while Ariel is the lead character in ‘The Little Mermaid'.

After Shiloh and Suri, Hollywood is oh so Jewish.

Chabadi 'Baddie'


An assistant rabbi whose yarmulke was swiped by Arab men turned the tables on his tormentors, chasing one into a Brooklyn street where the thief was struck by a car and arrested, police said yesterday.

Uria Ohana, 25, a member of the Chabad Lubavitch movement, told The Post he entered a subway station alone at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street in Park Slope at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday. Ohana said he went through a turnstile and spotted a group of young Arabic men sitting on a bench.

Ohana said he felt a hand grab his brown yarmulke off his head. He then spun around and came face to face with one of the men, Ali Hussein, 18, police said.

"...I decided to chase him to get my yarmulke back," Ohana said.

They ran outside and Hussein darted into the street, where he was hit by a blue Volvo and toppled to the ground, cops said. "He couldn't move. He broke his leg. He was crying," said Ohana.

Police arrested Hussein for alleged aggravated harassment as a hate crime.

(Kippah tip: R)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Go, Sderot, Go

Seventy residents of Sderot and other towns bordering the Gaza Strip, filed an unprecedented lawsuit against the Israeli Defense Minister in the Jerusalem District Court. The plaintiffs are demanding that the IDF immediately utilizes the "Nautilus" laser guided, anti-missile system as a defense against Palestinian rocket attacks; "Failing to station the system – forfeiting residents' lives"

The lawsuit, which names Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak as defendants, alleges that the "Nautilus" system has the ability to intercept the short-range terrorist rockets in mid-air. To date, the IDF has not found an effective response to the daily Palestinian rocket barrages targeting Sderot's civilian population. The residents contend that the failure to utilize the currently available and inexpensive "Nautilus" systems is gross negligence on the government and IDF's part. They claim the government is not protecting their impoverished city as they would the more affluent Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

The residents are demanding, moreover, that the IDF employ the fully operational "Skyguard" system (based upon the "Nautilus" technology), to ensure that in a two years period at the latest, there is a complete solution for the rocket threat to the entire Sderot-Ashkelon region.

Why not Foreign Minster Tzipi Livni, too?

Amira's Advice

Twenty years after Mubarak Awad, here comes Amira:-

The question of why the Palestinians have not adopted Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent resistance should be addressed to PA leaders -- not the millions of Palestinians who every day wage an unarmed struggle against the sophisticated and advanced methods of oppression.

The protests would sound completely different if the protesters were to organize a calculated public revolt against Israel's tactics of annexation. There is no lack of opportunities.

There are hundreds of concrete barriers blocking exits to villages. The PA could send a bulldozer to remove one of them every day. Senior officials could come along: Mahmoud Abbas or someone from his bureau, heads of security organizations, members of the PLO central committee, senior Fatah representatives, ministers and directors general. There are roads that are forbidden to Palestinian cars. PA officials and West Bank residents could form a long convoy of cars and drive on these roads. Many Israelis would be happy to join them.

Building and development are banned in Area C. The Palestinian planning office could order the appropriate Palestinian ministries to put up electricity lines, to prepare the infrastructure to connect villages to the water carrier, to dig cisterns to collect rainwater, to build schools, clinics and houses. Maybe even dig wells. All of the things that the Israeli occupation authorities forbid to do on 60 percent of the West Bank. Here, too, there will be no small number of Israelis opposed to the occupation who will join up.

The Civil Administration will come and destroy it all. Then build it again. The senior officials accompanying the work will be arrested. Even better. Should only the residents of Bil'in be arrested for their unarmed struggle against the occupation?

It is possible to come up with hundreds of other measures of this kind, which could replace the official Palestinian governmental plan, and force the leadership away from their "make-believe state," and bring them back to battle for liberation.

Gee, you'd think the Pals. could think (or not) for themselves.

Demonstrating Against the IDF


Yesterday, at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Anyone know the NKer?

Clergyman Arik Ascherman's Opinion

Elad is an extreme right wing NGO which is openly committed to "Judaizing" East Jerusalem and especially Silwan because it is "Ir David", the ancient City of David. The State has given over to them administration of the archaeological parks and digs, and they attempt to buy out and/or expel Palestinian residents of Silwan. Sometimes the sales are legal, in other cases they are not, and in other cases they may be technically legal but achieved through extremely unsavory methods.

Source: Encounter-EMEM for international Israel-Palestine peace activities.

Oh my goodness. Jews "Judaizing" Jerusalem.

And Now, The Bad News

A new poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the attack this month on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem that killed eight young men, most of them teenagers, an indication of the alarming level of Israeli-Palestinian tension in recent weeks.

The survey also shows unprecedented support for the shooting of rockets on Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip and for the end of the peace negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli leaders.

The pollster, Khalil Shikaki, said he was shocked because the survey, taken last week, showed greater support for violence than any other he had conducted over the past 15 years in the Palestinian areas. Never before, he said, had a majority favored an end to negotiations or the shooting of rockets at Israel.

“There is real reason to be concerned,” Mr. Shikaki said in an interview at his West Bank office. His Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which conducts a survey every three months, is widely viewed as among the few independent and reliable gauges of Palestinian public opinion.

Here's from the poll:

Main Findings:

Findings indicate that a major shift, in Hamas’s favor, had occurred during the last three months with about 10% of the population shifting their attitudes and perceptions. The change included increased popularity of Hamas and its leadership, increased support for its positions and legitimacy, and greater satisfaction with its performance.

These changes might have been the result of several political developments starting with the breaching of the Rafah border with Egypt during the last week of January and first week of February, followed by the Israeli military incursion into the Gaza Strip leading to a large number of Palestinian causalities and an increase in the number of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip against Israeli towns such as Sderot and Ashkelon, the two suicide attacks in Dimona and Jerusalem leading to the death of nine Israelis, and ending with the failure of the Annapolis process in positively affecting daily life of Palestinians in the West Bank, in stopping Israeli settlement activities, or in producing progress in final status negotiations.

These developments managed to present Hamas as successful in breaking the siege and as a victim of Israeli attacks. These also presented Palestinian President Abbas and his Fateh faction as impotent, unable to change the bitter reality in the West Bank or ending Israeli occupation through diplomacy.

So, Something IS Missing

Ehud Barak, spotted yesterday.

Fauxtography by the New York Times

This picture, taken by Mohamad Torokman of Reuters appears in today's NYTimes above the caption: "A Palestinian woman fled Tuesday from an Israeli military raid in Zababida in the West Bank".

I am thinking that it's posed, staged, fabricated.

I can see some men in the background and the car is empty, with no body remains so here's what I am thinking that this woman either innocently tried to get by or was asked by the photographer to slink by. The caption suggesting that she's fleeing an Israeli raid is wrong, misleading, unethical.

Here's the Reuters' caption and notice the difference:

A Palestinian woman runs near a burning vehicle during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank village of Zababida, near Jenin March 18, 2008.

Here's another picture from that series with the caption: "Palestinian stone-throwers run near a burning vehicle during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank village of Zababida, near Jenin March 18, 2008".

Atlas Shrugs has me up.

Diaspora-Israel relations

In the dark and evil shadow of Arab terror of Qassams and bullets - from a rpeort by Amir Shacham, Director of Israel operations, UJC/:

Amazingly enough, only a few days later I experienced another powerful three way encounter between these communities but in larger numbers: The mayor and leadership of Gush Etzion decided to spend Shabbat with the residents of the kibbutzim of Sha’ar Hanegev, to show solidarity and to strengthen their partners who have been victims of so many Kassam rocket attacks in the last few years. The mayor and leadership of Sha’ar Hanegev were thrilled by the initiative and went out of their way to welcome their guests.

It was not simple but it was done with love: A real orthodox synagogue was created overnight in Kibbutz Mefalsim’s “members club”, following 60 years of secularism. Kosher catering was ordered from Sderot and kibbutz homes were opened for hospitality. Only forty guests could be accommodated, and forty more were put on a waiting list for future EtzioNegev weekends. Within 24 hours MetroWest approved a special grant to underwrite the kosher meals for Shabbat but our contribution was much more meaningful: Our mission of business professionals from NJ, chaired by Jeff Cohen, Ken Mandelbaum and Steve Roth, was given the option to join this unique Shabbat meal in Mefalsim. We surveyed the group by e-mail and hoped that perhaps few of them would be willing to go down there Friday night to the land of the Kassams. Within a few hours, all fifteen of them said that they would come (if I promised not to tell their wives). We should all be very proud of this group who could be cynical sometimes but unanimously decided to be at the right place and the right time for their community and people.

I was sitting in the temporary synagogue of Kibbutz Mefalsim, home of Mayor Alon Schuster, watching the ad hoc congregation, most of whom had only met for the first time that evening. It was a diverse group of people representing three distant communities; they have different backgrounds and mixed affiliations. The tone, setting, sound and site of this Kabbalat Shabbat service was perhaps strange for many. Yet one could immediately feel how everybody was praying with much “kavanah” and how the ancient texts of the Siddur were really binding us all together to become one family. “The threefold cord is not quickly broken”. Some prayed louder than others but the last verses of the Kaddish were heard loud and clear around the Sha’ar Hanegev region and perhaps also in nearby Gaza:

עושה שלום במרומיו. הוא יעשה שלום. עלינו ועל כל ישראל. ואימרו: אמן.

May he who creates the harmony of the spheres, create peace for us and for all Israel and say: Amen.

Not Dead, Not Even Past

There's a recent, 2003, book out that claims "The Palestinian past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past".

It's entitled "Memories of Revolt: The 1936–1939 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past" by Ted Swedenburg, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas.

It's described thus:

“This wonderful monograph treats a subject that resonates with anyone who studies the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and particularly Palestinian nationalism: that how Palestinian history is remembered and constructed is as meaningful to our understanding of the current struggle as arriving as some sort of ‘complete empirical understanding’ of its history. Swedenburg . . . studies how a major anti-colonial insurrection, the 1936–38 strike and revolt in Palestine [against the British], is remembered in Palestinian nationalist historiography, western and Israeli ‘official’ historical discourse, and Palestinian popular memory. Using primarily oral history interviews, supplemented by archival material and national monuments, he presents multiple, complex, contradictory, and alternative interpretations of historical events. . . . The book is thematically divided into explorations of Palestinian nationalist symbols, stereotypes, and myths; Israeli national monuments that simultaneously act as historical ‘injunctions against forgetting’ Jewish history and efforts to ‘marginalize, vilify, and obliterate’ the Arab history of Palestine; Palestine subaltern memories as resistance to official narratives, including unpopular and controversial recollections of collaboration and assassination; and finally, how the recodification and revival of memories of the revolt informed the Palestinian intifada that erupted in 1987.”

Just against the British?

And over 500 Jews weren't killed in what I call 'Saba Intifada' - the Grandfather Intifada? Jewish-planted trees weren't uprooted by the thousands, wells weren't blocked, fields weren't set alight, etc., etc. etc.?

Takes All Kinds

On March 22, 2006, Oded Haklai presented a paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association in San Diego, California. It was entitled: "Why Diaspora Jewish NGOs Donate to Palestinian Social Movements in Israel".

The Abstract:

In recent years, Diaspora Jewish organizations have been increasingly providing financial support to Palestinian social movements and NGOs in Israel. This phenomenon is particularly puzzling because it occurs during a period of heightened Palestinian-Israeli tensions and it involves large organizations from the mainstream of the Diaspora Jewish establishment, such as the New Israel Fund (NIF), the American Jewish Welfare Society (JDC), the Lurie Foundation, and the Abraham Fund initiatives.

Furthermore, several of the recipients are strong critics of the Jewish character of the state and its Zionist ideology. Both studies of the international dimension of ethnic conflict and Diaspora studies typically focus on the ways in which Diaspora communities assist their co-nationals. Conventional theories are silent on the reasons why a Diaspora would assist the "other".

The study explores a number of possible explanations. The first explanation is normative. The argument here is that the donors believe the Jewish state should adopt or enhance a more liberal character, rather than an ethnonational one. Another possible explanation is rational, interest-based. The argument here is that by providing financial support to Palestinian NGOs, the Jewish donors create a relationship of patronage whereby the recipients become dependent on the donors and, subsequently, their criticism of the Jewish-Zionist character of the state is softened.

A third explanation pertains to the image the donor community has of itself and questions regarding its own political identity. Traditionally, the Diaspora Jewish community, particularly in the United States, has had liberal leanings. Its financial support of Palestinian NGOs, according to the third explanation, is in response to growing criticism levelled at the Jewish establishment from the left-of-centre for its perceived blanket support of Israel. The Jewish community is thus caught between what are perceived as tension-laden tendencies: its concomitant commitment to both liberal and ethnonational ideologies.

Relying on dozens of interviews conducted with members of various donor organizations and Palestinian NGOs activists in Israel, the paper evaluates each of these explanations.