Thursday, December 31, 2009

Social Media Pun

Twittering encouraged in church.
Submitter still afraid of being text-communicated

Found at FARK

A New Hebrew Blog Post - At News1

For my Hebrew readers, I have a blog post at Yoav Yitzhak's News1 site.


It's about this article which includes this:

...Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who has initiated new educational activities on the 12 Jewish men who were sent to the gallows or committed suicide during the British Mandate. An official at the Education Ministry...protested to Haaretz reporter Or Kashti that the minister was injecting his ideology into the study material. A senior historian added that the fact that these 12 men were victims does not justify turning them into a subject of study.

So what should we tell the little girl who lives on Shlomo Ben-Yosef Street who wants to know about the first person sent to the gallows, who took part in an attack on an Arab bus and was hanged by the British on June 29, 1938? What shall we say to the boy from Etzel Street who asks about the the Etzel pre-state underground that set a "price tag" for the foreign occupier?...

The 12 men who went to the gallows are, for better or worse, part of the Zionist ethos. Nations immortalize and even beautify the stories of the lives and deaths of those who fell on the way to achieving freedom. And we have achieved freedom.

The Palestinians are, at best, halfway there. Of all people, Sa'ar and his colleagues on the right, who foster the heritage of terror and sacrifice, should understand that the Palestinians, too, have a moral and educational obligation to their "fallen."...

However, the ethos of death and the glorification of massacres of Palestinians (or of Jews, such as the case of the Etzel arms ship the Altalena, which was shelled by the newly created Israel Defense Forces) are the complete opposite of the "exemplary values" that Sa'ar writes about in his letter to teachers. The right values - reconciliation, equality and nonviolence - he should seek elsewhere...

Israel's children can get to know Etzel fighter Shlomo Ben-Yosef, who wrote before his execution that "I am going to die, and I am not sorry at all because I am going to die for my country!" But Israel's children should also get to know Yitzhak Frankenthal, who founded the Parents Circle...

How Many Suffer Violence?

How many Gazan women suffer violence from men?







That Alert - The Details

If you remember, I alerted you to a sexual abuse case by police.

Wrong place.

The Hebrew item is out, here.

Four minors, girls, demand 500,000 NIS damages claiming police at the Benjamin station conducted and illegal and an intimate improper search on their bodies.

Now We Await A Trial

Kahane grandson arrested for mosque torching

Israel's Palestinian Settlements?

I read this at the Guardian,

I've changed my mind about a two-state solution - Israel's Palestinian settlements are now too extensive to make division of the land practical. Instead, it must be shared

That was Mehdi Hasan of The New Statesman.

and left this comment:

Hey, the sub-headline fooled me. It reads: "Israel's Palestinian settlements" and I thought it meant the Arab residency locations within the pre-1967 Israel. You see, if it meant places like where I live, in Shiloh, it should have read "Israel's Jewish communities [in so-called occupied Palestine]".

But think of it, if we began calling all Arab towns (Nazereth, Um El-Fahm) or villages (Kfar Qassem), et al., as "settlements", then maybe we can even out the playing field. After all, someone could say that if all Jews have to be expelled from a future "Palestine" and their homes destroyed (like what happened in Gaza when even the synagogues left standing were destroyed by raging Arabs in 2005), then why not have Israel's Arabs move over to "Palestine" and make the peace that much better. No friction, no disloyalty, no interaction. You there, we here.

Is that immoral to move Arabs? probably. Am I for it? No. Well, not unless you force me to leave. What's good for me is good for you.

And one last thing: there is nothing illegal (or illegitimate as Obama would say) about me living in Shiloh, where my forefathers walked, and prophesized (Samuel; Achiyah), and distirbuted the tribal portions (Joshua) and served in a Tabernacle (Eli), etc.


See this:

Weekly Protest March from the Mashbir plaza to Sheikh Jarrah

Join a march from West to East Jerusalem in protest of the injustice committed against the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. The march will end in Sheikh Jarrah with a protest against the settler enterprise in the neighborhood and the suppression of the Palestinian opposition.

The march will start Friday at 13:30 from the Mashbir plaza, on the corner of King George and Ben Yehudah to a demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah that will begin at 15:00

Every Friday for the past few weeks, there has been a march to Sheikh Jarrah to protest the eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes. The settler violence in the neighborhood is only increasing, and this week included stone throwing, breaking into houses and racist graffiti. The protest is growing and every week many more join the march and demonstration in the neighborhood.

March with us this week also and bring mirrors!

For further information- , Gali 0544679756 or Maya 0547423044

Gee, is the intent to blind the police, to cause them permanent eye damage?

Will anyone either apply for a restraining order or inform the police so that they can impound the mirrors - or break them?

The Temple Mount's Centaur

Following up on my participation at the 15th Rennert Conference of New Studies on Jerusalem held at Bar-Ilan University last week, here is a picture that was shown, accompanying the lecture by Dr. Gaby Barkai:

Yes, that's a Centaur.

A what?


In Greek mythology, the centaurs are a race of creatures composed of part human and part horse...with the hindquarters of a horse attached to them; in later renderings centaurs are given the torso of a human joined at the waist to the horse's withers, where the horse's neck would be.

And where was this found?

Seems that as a result of earthquakes in Jerusalem in 1927 and 1937, the Waqf engaged in major rennovations of the El-Aqsa Mosque. R.H. Hamilton, the Mandate Archaeology Officer (*) took some pictures of the works and when one of the stones that paved the Mosque floor was overturned to deal with the earthworks below, the centaur appeared.

His description is in his: R. W. Hamilton, The Structural History of the Aqsa Mosque. A Record of Archaeological Gleanings from the Repairs of 1938-42, Government of Palestine, Jerusalem 1949. And if you have access to a university library, search for this publication: Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine

In other words, there was a pre-Islamic Temple Mount period (!) unlike what you nmight be given to understand by Pal. proaganda and the remains of probably what was the Temple of Jupiter, the structure the Roman conqueres of Judea raised over the destroyed Jewish Second Temple, were filched and reused by the Muslims in the 8th century to build their El-Aqsa mosque.

As Lambert Dolphin writes:

After the Bar Kochba revolt in 132 C.E., the Romans leveled the entire city of Jerusalem and a built a Roman city, Aelia Capitolina, on the ruins. To obliterate any Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, they built a temple to Jupiter on the site.A similar temple, built by the same builder at about the same time, has been discovered at Baalbek, Lebanon.The Roman architectural practices of the time featured a rectangular basilica, and a polygon structure opposite a courtyard. When this architecture is overlaid on the Temple Mount, it matches the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock exactly. This unique architectural similarity suggests that the Roman Temple to Jupiter may have been on this very site, converted for Christian purposes in the 4th Century, and then served as the foundation for the present Moslem structures, the Al Aqsa Mosque an the Dome of the Rock, which were built in the 7th Century.

More pictures from the Mandate period:

a) facade of El Aqsa:

b) collonaded interior

c) Muslim Indian British Mandatory guard at the entrance, armed:

d) the facade, this time, from the northwest looking southeast:

More info:

The first renovation of the 20th century occurred in 1922, when the Supreme Muslim under Amin al-Husayni hired Ahmet Kemalettin Bey — a architect — to restore al-Aqsa Mosque and the monuments in its precincts. The council also commissioned architects, Egyptian experts and local officials to contribute to and oversee the repairs and additions which were carried out in 1924-25 under Kemalettin's supervision. The renovations included reinforcing the mosque's ancient Ummayad foundations, rectifying the interior columns, replacing the beams, erecting a scaffolding, conserving the arches and drum of the dome interior, rebuilding the southern wall, and replacing timber in the central nave with a slab of concrete. The renovations also revealed Fatimid-era mosaics and inscriptions on the interior arches that had been covered with plasterwork. The arches were decorated with green-tinted gypsum and gold and their timber tie beams were replaced with brass. A quarter of the stained glass windows also were carefully renewed so as to preserve their original Abbasid and Fatimid designs. Severe damage was caused by the 1927 and 1937 earthquakes, but the mosque was repaired in 1938 and 1942.



Some background info: 1926...a decision was reached to sever the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from the Department of Antiquities (Palestine Government). Until that year the two institutions were managed by a single director, Professor John Garstang, who was the first director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem, starting in 1919, and of the Department of Antiquities from 1920. In 1926 Garstang resigned from the former institution and became the full-time director of the Department of Antiquities.

Between 1921 and 1930 the British School of Archaeology and the Department of Antiquities shared the same building, called “Way House”. This building stood on Museum Road, named after the museum of the Mandatory Department of Antiquities (after the Six Day War the structure was demolished and the name of the street was changed to that of Rehov Piqqud ha-Merkaz. From January 1930 until May 1935 the Department of Antiquities used exclusively “Way House” which housed both the museum and the independent library.

During the 1930’s the library underwent a dramatic change after John D. Rockefeller Jr. donated two million dollars in 1929. One million was spent for the construction of a new edifice to accommodate the archaeological museum, the library, the store rooms, and the headquarter of the Department of Antiquities including the equipment. The other million was invested in a fund whose profits were dedicated to finance the activities and salaries of the employees.

Tony Judt: New Status

Tony Judt reveals:

I suffer from a motor neuron disorder, in my case a variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Lou Gehrig's disease. Motor neuron disorders are far from rare: Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and a variety of lesser diseases all come under that heading. What is distinctive about ALS—the least common of this family of neuro-muscular illnesses—is firstly that there is no loss of sensation (a mixed blessing) and secondly that there is no pain. In contrast to almost every other serious or deadly disease, one is thus left free to contemplate at leisure and in minimal discomfort the catastrophic progress of one's own deterioration.

In effect, ALS constitutes progressive imprisonment without parole. First you lose the use of a digit or two; then a limb; then and almost inevitably, all four. The muscles of the torso decline into near torpor, a practical problem from the digestive point of view but also life-threatening, in that breathing becomes at first difficult and eventually impossible without external assistance in the form of a tube-and-pump apparatus. In the more extreme variants of the disease, associated with dysfunction of the upper motor neurons (the rest of the body is driven by the so-called lower motor neurons), swallowing, speaking, and even controlling the jaw and head become impossible. I do not (yet) suffer from this aspect of the disease, or else I could not dictate this text.

By my present stage of decline, I am thus effectively quadriplegic.

And to think how he tried to handicap Israel and Zionism.

Palin Critic Plays Hate Card

Jonathan Raban writes, in the NYRB, of course:

Palin showed her form in her first big race, in 1996, when she challenged the three-term incumbent mayor of the town, John Stein, who seems not to have known what hit him. With the backing of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, and the hunting interest, she campaigned on the nonmayoral issues of abortion and gun-ownership. It was put about that the Steins were living in sin: they produced their marriage certificate. It was also put about that Stein, a lapsed Lutheran, was Jewish. In 2008, he told William Yardley of The New York Times:

Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, "Whoa." But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: "We will have our first Christian mayor." I thought, Holy cow, what's happening here?

In Going Rogue, Stein is described as "relatively new to the community." "He wasn't a born-here, raised-here, gonna-be-buried-here type of hometown guy." Those darned wandering Jews.

Jewish Jacobs Jolts

Marc Jacobs is on the right there with Lorenzo Martone:

Marc Jacobs (born April 9, 1963 in New York City) is an American fashion designer. He is the head designer for Marc Jacobs, as well as the diffusion line Marc by Marc Jacobs. Jacobs is currently the Creative Director of the prestigious French design house Louis Vuitton.

Marc Jacobs was born in New York City to Jewish American parents.

But, is that an Islamic position?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Aftonbladet Battered

Go to Israel Matzav.

You remember that 'organ harvesting' story from Sweden?


Having just now finished Kavalier and Clay,thanks to IB, I recalled that once upon a time I had a copy of this comic book:

Picture Stories from the Bible: Complete Old Testament Edition,
The Complete Old Testement Edition
DC Comics
All-American Comics, E.C. Comics
December 1943
Featuring: Moses, David, Goliath, Abraham, Isaac, Elijah.
232 Pages

That was the back cover.

Here's a critique:

Still, so much of the Bible is such marvelous raw material for visual narrative (it hardly needs to be mentioned that it continues to inspire cartoonists as idiosyncratic as Basil Wolverton, Chester Brown and Robert Crumb), that it seems like some of the blame must fall squarely on writer Montgomery Mulford and artist Don Cameron. Cameron's art is stiffly graceless: his six-panel-grid page layouts contribute to Mulford's plodding pacing. (The contrast between the dramatic stories being told and the pedestrian tone can lead to some unintentional humor, such as when David comes home from a hard day of work, complaining to his wife that the King threw a spear at his head — again. The wife responds that she's going to help him escape, probably sick of hearing about it.)

The comic features a lot of unnecessary caption boxes ("So-and-so Speaks" — is suspended over a headshot of a character with a word balloon) and close and medium shots of characters talking, talking, talking in Biblese...Absent a muse, Cameron borrows visuals, probably from films, which can occasionally work for him — his Jezebel owes something to the Evil Queen in Disney's Snow White, and there are times when his pages evoke a Western, which works well to depict the wandering of the tribes as they are enslaved, evicted, battle hostile environments and war over territory with others — and can occasionally work against him, such as Esther's just-below shoulder-length waved coif and blue eyeshadow.

Me? I loved it. Read it dozens of times.


Understanding the Settlement Moratorium
BESA Center Perspectives Papers No. 98, December 29, 2009

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Does the tactical political value of the Netanyahu
government’s ten-month moratorium on new building in the West Bank justify its diplomatic and security costs? It seems to be so because limited costs are better than risks of disaster. Analysis suggests that postponing and possibly avoiding a fight with the Obama administration was the main reason for Israel’s decision, and that ten months from now the Israeli prime minister will be in a better position to resist US pressures.

New You Might Have Missed

BBC reports:

The choir of Clare College, Cambridge, will be singing Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Israel Camerata Orchestra. But the singers have not, as a choir, been able to perform in East Jerusalem or Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after a Palestinian protest against the choir's tour of Israel...

Tim Brown says he is very disappointed. He had been hoping that the choir could precede its tour of Israel with a visit to St George's Cathedral in East Jerusalem, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. They had been invited to sing in both locations by the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem.

But that was before the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign swung into action.

Seems To Disappoint

As I blogged in September, I was waiting for a new book to come out.

It has.

The Amazon blurb reads:

Israeli academics Pedahzur (The Israeli Secret Service and the Struggle Against Terrorism) and Perliger (Middle East Terrorism) point out that Muslim extremists don't hold a monopoly on terrorism: Israel has seen hundreds of attacks by Jewish terrorists — most directed against Palestinians, but some against the state itself.
[Jewish "terrorists" is misleading. There was the communal violence of the 1930s when Arab gangs, like today, indiscriminately attacked Jews, mainly civilians, as there was no Jewish army, and Jews, from the Hagana and Irgun responded in form, and for a short period between December 1947 - May 1948. The current terrorism is much different and you can't lump them together.]

The authors present a carefully constructed theoretical model, positing that radicalization within a specific counterculture, fostered by a threatening external event and portrayed by spiritual leaders as catastrophic precipitate violence — not just by Jewish extremists but any counterculture that adheres to a totalistic ideology. [that's so brilliant - being sarcastic there]

Indeed, the authors see clear parallels between Jewish terrorist cells and their Muslim counterparts, [what?] and stress that mere faith isn't enough to create violent intent (they note that religious terrorist groups...made up less than 15 percent of all terrorist groups active in the 20th century). Pedahzur and Perliger occasionally slip into academese and assume a close knowledge of Israeli political minutiae, but in combining exhaustive analysis with straight-forward language and compelling nonfiction narrative, they provide excellent insight into a little reported and even lesser understood reality.

Are You An Engineer? Are You A Potential Terrorist?

Of all the biographical details that have emerged about the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas, perhaps the least surprising -- at least to those who study these things -- is what he studied in college...the propensity toward engineering studies is an aspect of the terrorist profile that has drawn increased scrutiny of late from scholars, who have been advancing theories about the high correlation between the two.

In a study published this year, European sociologists Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog..."The bottom line is that while the probability of a Muslim engineer becoming a violent Islamist is minuscule, it is still between three and four times that for other graduates," Gambetta wrote in an article in the New Scientist that summarized the pair's findings, which were published in August in the European Journal of Sociology.

So what makes engineers more likely to become terrorists? The most obvious theory is their technical expertise; al-Qaida and other terror groups need to recruit people who can make bombs. But Gambetta and Hertog...conclude that the phenomenon is explained by a combination of mindset and professional circumstance. Citing studies finding that engineers as a group are more politically conservative than other professions, Gambetta and Hertog write that engineers by nature are more likely to be drawn to the kind of rigid, hierarchical worldviews that radical Islam provides: Their governing mentality "inclines them to take more extreme conservative and religious positions everywhere."...


Weather? That Won't Work Either; Neither Will Felafel

From the satiric Onion:

Middle East Small Talks To Focus On Getting Israel, Palestine To Discuss Weather

According to State Department officials, the violently clashing peoples of Israel and Palestine have agreed to resume small talks this week in an effort to move toward eventually having a discussion about the weather. "Our goal is to achieve a preliminary open dialogue about the weather that will be mutually beneficial for all involved," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton...At press time, officials were trying to find the easiest way for representatives from Israel and Palestine to bump into each other at the grocery store

Grocery store?

Try hummus stand. But not a felafel stand.

Why not? I guess some moonbeams would call it 'gastronomic colonialism". Why not. Here, read:

...the falafel became synonymous with the Israeli figure. It is a quick, messy, spicy, no-frills street food, which packs plenty of nutrition and value into a small portion. Adopting it as a national food matched an ideology that attempted to negate the Diaspora in favor of a new and vital Jewish existence in Israel. The fact is that this low prestige street food is in step with the ambivalent attitude toward the local Arab population: treating it as a role model on the one hand, but also as a primitive society in need of modernization and acculturation on the other...[a] belief shows the paternalistic attitude of the Jewish settlers toward the local population, projecting them as primitive and in need of modernization. The adoption of certain practices from the Palestinian population is done not only without acknowledging their source, but is actually implemented through an erasure of these sources. Because of the ambivalent attitude toward the products of the Arab population and culture, these products must be divorced from their Palestinian heritage if they are to play an important role in Jewish-Israeli culture.
Since falafel became such an emblem of Israeli cuisine the tendency to erase its Arab ancestry grew. A recent Israeli government publication, a booklet of recipes distributed in the United States by the Israeli Embassy, described the falafel as a dish that became popular in Israel...

Let's be blunt:

Lebanon: Israel stole our falafel

Country's Industrialists Association says Jewish state trying to claim ownership of traditional Lebanese delicacies like tabouleh and hummus, plans international food-related suit

As if Jews in Arab countries hadn't been eating felafel for centuries.

Wait, are French Fries French?

Brilliant Genius

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) says “100% of Islamic terrorists are Muslims.”



I think there are situations like this where we are afraid of being accused of profiling. The fact is while the overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding people, on the other hand 100% of the Islamic terrorists are Muslims, and that is our main enemy today. So while we should not be profiling people because of their religion, at the same time we should not be bending over backwards to somehow keep them off a list.

A Borderline Decision

They Say The "Shma" in Iran???

So, who knew?

Right on Rights

Israel's Right in the 'Disputed' Territories

The recent statements by the European Union's new foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton criticizing Israel have once again brought international attention to Jerusalem and the settlements. However, little appears to be truly understood about Israel's rights to what are generally called the "occupied territories" but what really are "disputed territories."

That's because the land now known as the West Bank cannot be considered "occupied" in the legal sense of the word as it had not attained recognized sovereignty before Israel's conquest. Contrary to some beliefs there has never been a Palestinian state, and no other nation has ever established Jerusalem as its capital despite it being under Islamic control for hundreds of years.

The name "West Bank" was first used in 1950 by the Jordanians when they annexed the land to differentiate it from the rest of the country, which is on the east bank of the river Jordan. The boundaries of this territory were set only one year before during the armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan that ended the war that began in 1948 when five Arab armies invaded the nascent Jewish State. It was at Jordan's insistence that the 1949 armistice line became not a recognized international border but only a line separating armies. The Armistice Agreement specifically stated: "No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims, and positions of either Party hereto in the peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations." (Italics added.) This boundary became the famous "Green Line," so named because the military officials during the armistice talks used a green pen to draw the line on the map.

After the Six Day War, when once again Arab armies sought to destroy Israel and the Jewish state subsequently captured the West Bank and other territory, the United Nations sought to create an enduring solution to the conflict. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 is probably one of the most misunderstood documents in the international arena. While many, especially the Palestinians, push the idea that the document demands that Israel return everything captured over the Green Line, nothing could be further from the truth. The resolution calls for "peace within secure and recognized boundaries," but nowhere does it mention where those boundaries should be.

It is best to understand the intentions of the drafters of the resolution before considering other interpretations. Eugene V. Rostow, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in 1967 and a drafter of the resolution, stated in 1990: "Security Council Resolution 242 and (subsequent U.N. Security Council Resolution) 338... rest on two principles, Israel may administer the territory until its Arab neighbors make peace; and when peace is made, Israel should withdraw to "secure and recognized borders," which need not be the same as the Armistice Demarcation Lines of 194."

Lord Caradon, the British U.N. Ambassador at the time and the resolution's main drafter who introduced it to the Council, said in 1974 unequivocally that, "It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial."

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. at the time, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, made the issue even clearer when he stated in 1973 that, "the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal." This would encompass "less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territory, inasmuch as Israel's prior frontiers had proven to be notably insecure."

Even the Soviet delegate to the U.N., Vasily Kuznetsov, who fought against the final text, conceded that the resolution gave Israel the right to "withdraw its forces only to those lines it considers appropriate."

After the war in 1967, when Jews started returning to their historic heartland in the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, as the territory had been known around the world for 2,000 years until the Jordanians renamed it, the issue of settlements arose. However, Rostow found no legal impediment to Jewish settlement in these territories. He maintained that the original British Mandate of Palestine still applies to the West Bank. He said "the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine west of the Jordan River, that is, in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem, was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors." There is no internationally binding document pertaining to this territory that has nullified this right of Jewish settlement since.

And yet, there is this perception that Israel is occupying stolen land and that the Palestinians are the only party with national, legal and historic rights to it. Not only is this morally and factually incorrect, but the more this narrative is being accepted, the less likely the Palestinians feel the need to come to the negotiating table. Statements like those of Lady Ashton's are not only incorrect; they push a negotiated solution further away.

Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.

That Many Americans?

How many American citizens are there in Judea & Samaria, aka Yesha?

This reporter knows and she writes of

Americans living at crossroads of Mideast diplomacy

...Michael left a comfortable apartment in Sherman Oaks in suburban Los Angeles just over a year ago to make his home in the West Bank Jewish settlements and outposts that are considered illegal under international law.

"The rest of the world, including the U.S. president, feels like they can tell Jews where to live. I'm an American, but I'm a Jew first. It is our duty to settle this historic land," Michael said.

Michael is among the more conservative members of the settler movement, the nearly 500,000 Jews who live amid 2.4 million Palestinians on land that Israel conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War.

..."The administration's policy on settlements is very clear," said a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. "The U.S. doesn't accept the legitimacy of Israeli settlements, and we view the expansion of settlements as illegitimate."

American citizens, however, are major political and financial supporters of the settlements, emigrating to live in them and funneling tens of millions of dollars to them through tax-exempt nonprofit organizations such as the New York-based Central Fund of Israel; The Hebron Fund, based in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Christian Friends of Israel, the U.S. branch of which is based in Charlotte, N.C.

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics said that as of 2008, there were 36,700 North Americans and Europeans living in West Bank settlements. The Israeli political group Peace Now, which opposes settlement activity as an obstacle to making peace with the Palestinians, says the percentage of Americans in West Bank settlements is "significantly higher" than the percentage living in Israel.

Hagit Ofran, the director of Peace Now, said that Americans have always played a key role in the settlements. Among the movement's prominent leaders are David Wilder from Bergen County, N.J., and activists Baruch Marzel of Boston and Rabbi Eliezer Waldman of New York City.

The so-called "price tag" policy, in which Israeli settlers take revenge for actions against them by attacking or destroying Palestinian property, originated with a group of English-speaking settlers in the northern West Bank. [???]...

That many?

I think there are more Arabs who are US citizens.

Baruch is from Chicago. Rabbi Waldman, I think, was born in Petah Tikva but his parents moved to the States when he was young. I'm from the Bronx, where I was borm and Queens, where I grew up.

And I wonder which Americans are the originators of the "price-tag" policy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

But Is It Kosher?

Chabad say yes.

The rest say no.

What are we talking about?

Bénédictine, a liqueur that I spotted in the NYTimes:

Bénédictine, which celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2010, has done both: It has lived well, having evolved from a bitter medicine formulated by French monks into a fancy-schmantzy after-dinner liqueur, and crammed two or three lives into its half-millennium history...comes from a blend of 27 herbs and spices that a monk named Dom Bernardo Vincelli distilled in 1510 at a Bénédictine monastery in Fécamp, France, in Normandy. Dom Vincelli’s Elixir, as it was called then, was a hit until the French Revolution, when the monastery was destroyed. In a Dan Brown-worthy plot twist, the recipe was lost until an art collector and wine merchant named Alexander Le Grand discovered it within a trove of old books he bought in 1863. After toying with the recipe, Le Grand began selling the elixir as Bénédictine — for pleasure, this time, rather than for medicinal reasons.
Chabad says

1. you may purchase and enjoy even such drinks that are produced by monasteries. A monastery is not a church, it's a dormitory.

2. I am told that in the immediate post-World War II period, when numerous Habad Hasidim settled in France, two rabbanim did check the Benedictine factory, which no linger belongs to the Benedictine monks, and found that i contains no wine...Rebbi Schneersohn sent a shalah manoth package to the Rebbi of Amsinev, and there was a bottle of Benedictine in it.

3. See in the Hosafos to Hemshech 5666 (don't have it right here to note the page), a Reshima from the Frierdiker Rebbe, describing how the Rebbe Rashab celebrated something with him by saying L'chaim on some Benedictine.

4. The liqueur Benedictine has officially been recognized as kosher. Rabbi Moshe Dovid Gutnick recently announced that Benedictine is kosher after checking into its ingredients. The Rebbe used to drink Benedictine at farbrengens until a certain individual claimed that there was a halachic question regarding its kashrus.

Everyone else

Star K - Not recommended;
London Beth Din - Dom is kosher;
NSW (Sydney) -- Not acceptable;
MK (Montreal) - Not acceptable;
OU - Not recommended.
Chicago - Not Kosher
JSOR - nope
Seattle - not recommended
France - NK


And try these.

Funeral Procession in Meah Shearim

Rebbe Avraham Goldman, the seventh Admor in the Zvill dynasty (*), died and here is one picture:

That's Meah Shearim Street



Zvill (Zvyahel) is a Hasidic dynasty originating with Rabbi Moshe of Zvill, the son of Rabbi Yechiel Michael, the Magid (Preacher) of Zlotchov. Rabbi Moshe passed away in 1831 and was succeeded by his son Rabbi Mordechai. The original town of Zvyahel is located today in the Ukraine and is known as Novograd Volynski. The custom to call themselves Zvil instead of Zvyahel can be attributed to several reasons: 1) similarity between Zvill and Zvul - one of the holy Temple names; 2) a matter of difficulty to write the Ukrainian word Zvyahel in English, or Hebrew.

And on Yehiel Mikhel of Zlotchov see here by Mor Altshuler, a friend of mine.

Now, "Segregated" Is the New Buzz Word

After "apartheid", we now have "segregated".


Israeli Court Rules Against Segregated Road

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a major access highway to Jerusalem running through the occupied West Bank could no longer be closed to most Palestinian traffic.

In a 2-1 decision, the court said that the military had overstepped its authority when in 2002, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising, it closed the road to non-Israeli cars. The justices gave the military five months to come up with another means of ensuring the security of Israelis that permitted broad Palestinian use of the road.

“The court was saying that you can’t reasonably find every Palestinian inhabitant to be a security risk,” noted Moshe Negbi, a legal commentator for Israel Radio, in a telephone interview. “The security considerations are legitimate but they have to find other solutions.”

...Limor Yehuda, the lawyer who argued the case for the civil rights group, said that she hoped the court would apply the ruling to all segregated roads in the West Bank in order to end the dual system there.

“We can see that as a society we are going in the wrong direction and endangering our basic values of a rule of democracy and rule of law,” she said.

...She had told the court that the rise of segregated roads in recent years approached apartheid but the chief justice, Dorit Beinish, chided her for using that term, calling it inappropriate and extreme.

...The dissenter in Tuesday’s case, Justice Edmond Levy, argued that the court should leave the situation in the hands of the military and defense ministry, and worried that five months were not enough time to create a new system.

Israeli settler leaders expressed alarm at the court’s decision, saying it would endanger Jewish travelers. They charged that the justices “never missed an opportunity to blame Jews for racism and provide Arabs with convenient conditions for the next terror attack.”

As peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians remain stalled, the threat of violence has risen slightly in recent weeks. Last week, an explosive device made of a gas canister and fireworks was found on Highway 443.

"Restricted" isn't good enough so that we don't have snide hints at racism or the American experience after the South African linkage?

NYTimes Readers Learn Positive Profiling

From a Letter to the Editor:

To the Editor:

What a surprise. Another terrorist gets through the Transportation Security Administration screening. How much longer do we have to put up with mindless and inadequate procedures before the T.S.A. recognizes that profiling, as practiced by the Israelis, really works?

The following are real questions asked of me by well-trained security personnel: Why are you going to Israel? A bar mitzvah? Your relationship? Where is it? What is the boy’s name? Parent’s name? Phone number? You’re going to a professional meeting? Who is the sponsor? May we see your invitation? Would you please wait while we disassemble your laptop and check for explosives?

This approach works.

Robert A. Myers
New York

Shchem - Here They Come

Lending a shoulder (*):

There will be a rally at the south entrance to Shchem [okay, Nablus for all you not-in-the-know] this Saturday night, Motzei Shabbat, with Adi Ran and Sinai Tor plus speeches and a video, "Returning to Shchem".


(*) Shchem, in Hebrew, in addition to being the name of the capital of Samaria, means shoulder.


Shechem (shē`kəm), town, central ancient Palestine, the modern Tell Balatan, between Mts. Gerizim and Ebal, near Nablus, Heb. Shechem, city (2003 est. pop. 127,000). Excavations in the 20th cent. indicate a village there c.3500 B.C. Shechem's greatest period began c.1700 B.C. when the Hyksos rebuilt it. According to patriarchal narratives in the Book of Genesis, it was visited by Abraham, and Jacob built an altar to God there. Jacob pastured his flocks near Shechem; his well remains a landmark. The rape of Dinah, Jacob's daughter, by Shechemites provoked Jacob's sons to plunder the city. As related in the book of Joshua, after the Canaanite conquest, Hebrew tribes gathered at Shechem. Solomon's son Rehoboam was crowned (c.930 B.C.) there; Jeroboam I, first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. "built" Shechem. Thus it was the first northern capital, before Samaria. A small community of Samaritans still live in the area.

Sensitive Rationality - Or, Plain Democracy

Remember this?

The state prosecution demanded unprecedentedly harsh punishment in a charge sheet against six minor girls who demonstrated outside the home of former Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) Division Commander Maj.-Gen. Noam Tibon.

Well, in a similar case, we now have a bit of rational sensitivity:

A young Israeli from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar who was arrested for distributing pamphlets denouncing a prosecutor was ordered released from house arrest on Tuesday.

Petah Tikva Magistrate Court Judge Einat Ron ruled that the boy, who was arrested on the charge of insulting a public figure, engaged in legitimate protest by handing out fliers outside the home of Shir Laufer...Prosecutors allege that on two occasions earlier this year, the boy handed out pamphlets which accused Laufer of "persecuting many Jews who live in the area."

"Laufer and her department are legally backing the government's war on illegal outposts which the government seeks to hand over to the Arabs," read the flier. "Whoever collaborates with the hostile authorities needs to pay for the damage inflicted against their brothers. The [collaborator] is responsible for its actions and he is participating in the injustice even if he is a small pawn in the system."

Judge Ron restricted his entry into Petah Tikva, Laufer's city of residence. As such, the judge offered harsh criticism of the police and prosecutors, who sought to extend the boy's remand on the grounds that the pamphlet constituted "a palpable danger whose scope is difficult to predict."

The "Right to Resist"

As a member of a discussion/action group, I was pointed to Paragraph 1875 of the Goldstone Report where you can read this:

People of Palestine have the right to freely determine their own political and economic system, including the right to resist forcible deprivation of their right to self-determination and the right to live, in peace and freedom, in their own State.

and one person asked:

Is there any such right in international law? How far does the "right to resist..." go?...this is one of the few cases where Goldstone uses the word "Palestine" in the context of an already existing entity
And someone else noted:

There may be some ill defined "right to self determination" but how such a right is exercised is debatable (See e.g., Judge Koojimans decision in the Wall case). Moreover, a so-called "right to resist" is a fabrication invented by Richard Falk in the 60s and there certainly is no "right to resist" by directing attacks against Israeli civilians.

I think the wording is a template text based on and lifted from resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, containing the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which has been repeated many times subsequently, as in this 1991 resolution which all, and others, contain this:

Reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of the oppressed people of South Africa for the elimination of apartheid and for the establishment of a society in which all the people of South Africa as a whole, irrespective of race, colour or creed, will enjoy equal and full political and other rights and participate freely in the determination of their destiny,

Also reaffirming the legitimacy of the struggle of all peoples under colonial and foreign domination, particularly the Palestinian people, for the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination and national independence, which will enable them to decide freely on their own future,

...Recalling its resolution 44/147 of 15 December 1989,

1. Reiterates that, by virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right, freely and without external interference, to determine their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and that every State has the duty to respect that right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter;...

So, you see,

a) there is a logic to the madness of the "apartheid" campaign. it's their 'base of operations';

b) Goldstone, a South African, aka former apartheidist expert is quite necessary for the campaign;

c) the squabbling over whether there is a "Palestinian people" is not simple semantics but a matter of life-and-death, mainly for Jews; [on "Palestine" see here]

d) "struggling" is one thing but "resistance" is terror. There is no 'right to resist' in the UN resolution. (*)

There is this using the term resist:

“One has an undoubted right to resist an unlawful arrest, and courts will uphold the right of resistance in proper cases.”

United States Supreme Court, United States v. Di Re, 1948.

But that is not relevant in our case. Seems that:

Professors Richard Falk and Ted Honderich have referred in the past to a right to violence – Honderich has gone further, suggesting that on the basis of present realities, the Palestinians are entitled to their terror.

As a pro-Pal. blogger wrote:

How come the Israeli ‘right to defend’ (right to occupy and kill innocents) is respected and supported by U.S. but Palestinians ‘right to resist’ and fight back the occupation is a crime? What a hypocrisies and double standard.

There is this claim, too:

(UN Charter art. 51) The right to resist finds application within the framework of the right of legitimate defense because "a state which forcibly subjugates a people to colonial or alien domination is committing an unlawful act as defined by international law, and the subject people, in the exercise of its inherent right of self-defense, may fight to defend and attain its right to self-determination."

but what the UN Charter actually reads is:

Article 51

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Of course, a 'right to resist' is a sneak-in. Someone coopted it where it did not originally exist.

As this legal observer wrote on p. 130 of his article:

...the source of violence around the world occurs where there is no democratic outlet for dissent or credible protection for persecuted peoples and minorities. A dangerous political and human rights lacuna has been created in the international legal system. This lacuna consists of the international communities failure to address the position of stateless nations, peoples, and persecuted minorities, and those involved in the collective fight for democratic reform against authoritarian regimes. Instead, member states within the United Nations have preferred to reinforce the virtual inviolability of the system of state sovereignty, save in the exceptional circumstances where the Security Council authorises use of force under Chapter Seven. This lacuna has led to numerous internal conflicts which could have been avoided had certain avenues of international political and legal redress been available. The failure to provide avenues of redress has led numerous groups to turn to more violent methods.

But, as we all know, the Pals. particularly have been provided with numerous democratic avenues which they have all rejected as their interest is not in the promotion and realization of their own rights but more in the obliteration and negation of any national rights of the Jewish people.

But, getting back to Honreich, it seems that Tomis Kapitan in his Israel, Palestine, and Terror, in Continuum (2008): 17-33, on pages 2-3 asserts:

...Ted Honderich describes terrorism as small-scale violence, driven by a political aim, that violates national or international law and is prima facie morally wrong. He thereby counts a good deal of resistance activity and guerilla warfare as terrorist, even when directed against military personnel, while excluding the large-scale military actions of governments. Of course, he may define the word as he chooses, but given its common currency and negative connotation, ‘terrorism’ has become the term of art for classifying illegitimate political violence...

...Honderich argues that the ‘right thing’ in 1947-48 was the establishment of a Jewish national state in Palestine. However, to secure a Jewish state required a ‘decisive Jewish majority’ among the citizens, and at the time this entailed ‘transferring’ a large segment of the Palestinian Arab majority to areas outside those claimed for a Jewish state. During the 1948-49 war, this was achieved through massacre, fear-induced flight, and forced exodus, resulting in the removal of three-quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs from their homes and lands.3 Accordingly, by Honderich’s logic, since the only means of establishing a Jewish national state was through terrorism, then ‘the founding of Israel in Palestine and the terrorism for it was right in what is arguably the most fundamental sense.’ The same blessing is to be withheld from what Honderich calls ‘neo-Zionism’— the endeavor to extend the Jewish state throughout Palestine. However, since the Palestinians also have a right to a state of their own in the remainder of Palestine, then they have a right to resist neo-Zionism, and since the only means to do so is through the use of terrorism against Israelis, then Palestinians have a right to engage in terrorism...

...Viewed in its proper light, the Principle of Self-Determination derives from the same root as the doctrine of popular sovereignty, conferring upon the inhabitants of politically-defined regions the right to be self-governing, regardless of their national, ethnic, or cultural complexion. The massive violation of this fundamentally democratic principle is the chief moral failure that has shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we are serious about ‘keeping people out of bad lives,’ as Honderich urges, then there is plenty of reason to resist nationalism, and if terrorism can only be justified because it is the means for creating nation-states then Honderich's argument fails. But an argument is one thing; its conclusion is quite another. Despite his reasoning, perhaps a distinct justification can be given for Palestinian terrorism.

He refers to: Honderich, T.(2006), Right and Wrong, and Palestine, 9-11, Iraq, 7-7. . . Boston: Seven Stories Press and this book, too.

But he also, in footnote 3, writes:

See the documentation of this Zionist campaign of ethnic cleansing in Khalidi 1971, Flapan 1987, Morris 1987, 1999, 2001, and Pappe 2006. In his diaries, Theodore Herzl advocated discrete expropriation of Arab property and removal of the poor Arabs from the land (Patai 1960, vol. I, p. 88). Subsequent Zionist leaders such as David Ben-Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky explicitly favored forced transfer of the Arabs from Palestine to make way for the establishment of a Jewish state (Flapan 1987, 103; Gorny 1987, 270; Morris 1999, 659, and 2001, 42-44; Segev 1999, 407).

That footnote is academically worthless and has been disproved as misquotations, outright lies and falsehoods and devious misinterpretation. I have dealt with Jabotinsky previously at this blog.

His 'nail in the coffin' (literally) is this conclusion, p. 17:

...the undeniable fact is that the Israeli political leadership remains determined to expand the Jewish state beyond the 1949 armistice lines, with or without Palestinian resistance. The Israeli settlements are integral to this expansion, for not only are they portrayed as irreversible facts on the ground, they are instrumental to the argument that the only way to end hostilities is by separating the two communities by either transferring the Palestinians out of the area or isolating them within increasingly infeasible disconnected ‘bantustans’ (Reinhart 2003. chps V, IX). It is ludicrous to think that these settlements in occupied territory are driven by a desire for security; if anything, they multiply Israel’s security concerns. Not only must the Israeli government continue to expend large amounts of money in protecting their inhabitants, but Palestinian outrage and frustration will only intensify with every dunum confiscated and every Israeli house built. Unless there is a collective decision on the part of Palestinians to concede defeat and evacuate their ancestral homeland, these emotions will seek outlets. Recourse to terrorism is one way of checking the Zionist ambitions which otherwise would very likely proceed unopposed and beneath the radar of world opinion and concern.

That conclusion is also predicated on mendacious assertions. For one, it is the Pals. who, since 1949, have attempted quite violently to 'expand beyond the armistice lines'. International law guarantees "close Jewish settlement" in Judea and Samaria - something quite independent, if you want to argue, from what state exists there - in the League of Nations Mandate, Article 5. And, as pointed out, have consistently rejected any resolving of the situation through any forum.

Unfortunately, Hondreich suspects that his

...view, on Zionism and neo-Zionism and Palestinian resistance to or self-defence [actually, "arguing that support for the Palestinians includes acknowledging their right to terrorism"] against neo-Zionism, is in fact easily the majority view in the world, however quiet people are about it, however reluctant to express it.

Of course, there are those who think Hondreich isn't going far enough with the immorality he promotes and well as the misreading of history and the understanding of Jewish nationalism.

(To be continued...)



See this:

3236 (XXIX). Question of Palestine
The General Assembly,
Having considered the question of Palestine,
Having heard the statement of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,1/
Having also heard other statements made during the debate,
Deeply concerned that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has yet been achieved and recognizing that the problem of Palestine continues to endanger international peace and security,
Recognizing that the Palestinian people is entitled to self-determination in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
Expressing its grave concern that the Palestinian people has been prevented from enjoying its inalienable rights, in particular its right to self-determination,
Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter,
Recalling its relevant resolutions which affirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,
1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in Palestine, including:
(a) The right to self-determination without external interference;
(b) The right to national independence and sovereignty;
2. Reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return;
3. Emphasizes that full respect for and the realization of these inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable for the solution of the question of Palestine;
4. Recognizes that the Palestinian people is a principal party in the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East;
5. Further recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to regain its rights by all means in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

(Kippah tip: Daled Amos)

Galloway's Libel and a Bit of Anti-Semitism

George Galloway should be sued for writing this:

But the revelation in the Israeli parliament in recent days that the body parts of Palestinian prisoners were systematically harvested without the knowledge or consent of their families has had an impact in these parts which it is difficult to overstate.
"Pal. prisoners"?

Sorry there but a decade ago, mainly Jewish corpses, the majority soldiers, and a few Arab corpses at Abu Kabir had corneas, a bit of skin and other minor post mortem surgery done. It was stopped after the law was refined. I treated it here briefly.

No "prisoners".

No "Palestinians".

No "system".

And those so operated on were dead - from Galloway's syntax, you would think they were still alive at the time.

Does anyone think Galloway needs a brain transplant?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Which One Is Your Favorite Anchorwoman?

The Blind Leading the Lame

Ma'an reports:

The US President Barack Obama’s administration asked Israel to explain a raid on Nablus in which special forces killed three Palestinian men, an Israeli newspaper reported on Sunday.
(these pro-Pals. too)

The source?

The daily newspaper Haaretz said Israel’s National Security Adviser Uzi Arad shared intelligence with the US officials reportedly linking the men to the fatal shooting of a settler on Thursday.

Unnamed Israeli sources told the newspaper that the Obama administration did not formally protest or complain about the incident, but only sought clarifications, passing on a complaint from the Palestinian Authority.

Oh well.

Be Independent

A New Mishegaas

Meet meerkat Aleksandr Orlov, the anthropomorphic animal:




Table of Contents

Herbert Zweibon

Real Jean Isaac

William Mehlman

Jerold Auerbach

Andrew Roberts

Ruth King

Tackle Football in Israel

Things got considerably tighter atop the Kraft Family IFL standings over the weekend, with the last of the unbeaten teams falling and an expansion dark-horse contender nudging its way into the already crowded first-place race as the season hit its midway point.

In Thursday’s Christmas eve special from the capital, the Judean Rebels improved to 3-2 on their inaugural campaign with a comfortable 43-12 victory over the Beersheva Black Swarm.

That proved to be just the table-setter for Saturday night’s thrilling clash in Holon, where, in a 32-36 final, the Big Blue Jerusalem Lions cooled down the red-hot Mike’s Place Tel Aviv Sabres to create a three-way tie for top spot along with the also 4-1 Real Housing Haifa Underdogs.

The Lions, playing without veteran heart-and-soul Yonah Mishaan and tackling-machine Scott Eisenberg, got game-breaking performances from Itai Ashkenazi, Idan Yaron and Amichai Bergman on offense, as well as inspired outings from linebackers Aryeh Bauman and Gani Medad on defense, to deal the Sabres a loss after four opening Ws and quash the latest bid for the IFL’s first-ever perfect season.

Quotable Words

"We need to tell the world that there are no 'magic solutions,'" Lieberman said. "We will not get to a permanent agreement in the coming decade, or the one after that. The Palestinians are even unable to reach a stable peace agreement among themselves."

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman

Good Old Reuters; Bad New Obama

Good old Reuters:

Israel's Housing Ministry invited contractors to bid for the construction of 198 housing units in Pisgat Zeev, 377 homes in Neve Yaakov and 117 dwellings in Har Homa, settlements near Jerusalem.

Just in case you didn't know, those three Hebrew names, Pisgat Zeev, Neve Yaakov and Har Homa, are neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

Not by Reuters:

Israel announced plans on Monday to build nearly 700 new homes for Jews in areas of the occupied West Bank it considers part of Jerusalem
Found in NYTimes.

AP gets it reported better:

Amy Teibel, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JERUSALEM - Israel said Monday that it will build nearly 700 new apartments in east Jerusalem, drawing tough criticism from both the Palestinians and the United States, which denounced the plan as an obstacle to peacemaking.

The dispute over east Jerusalem is the most intractable - and explosive - in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state and consider Jewish neighbourhoods there to be settlements. Israel claims all of the city as its eternal capital.

An they missed what UPI caught:

Jerusalem approves Arab housing units

JERUSALEM, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Israel has approved the construction of 500 housing units in Jerusalem's Silwan neighborhood for both Arab and Jewish residents, officials said.

Israeli Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias said Monday that units have been authorized after Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat gave his approval for the building in an effort to address a housing shortage in the capital, reported.

Palestinians have accused Jerusalem officials of not allowing them to build in the city while approving hundreds of new Jewish housing units in outlying neighborhoods such as Neve Yaakov, Har Homa and Pisgat Ze'ev. said only two of the new Silwan units have been reserved by Jewish residents living in the area.

In another related Reuters story, the White House gets involved:

The White House on Monday called for Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table as soon as possible and for Israel to halt the construction of new homes for Jews in East Jerusalem. "The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Oh, my. My oh my.

Israel is already "at the negotiating table" fellas.

There's "frozen " Jewish communities on the menu but the Pals. won't even nibble.

Obama should get his priorities right. Jews have always lived in, around and all around Jerusalem town before the Ottoman occupation, the English occupation and the Jordanian occupation.

If he keeps trying that 'East Jerusalem trump card', he's going nowhere.

The NYTimes and the World in Pictures

If you go here, you'll see a picture, one of 87 in the NYTimes "2009 - The Year in Pictures".

The picture has a caption that identifies Jericho as the place Muslims believe where Moses in buried.


The Muslims believe its a place south of Jericho. Nebi Musa.

By the way, out of 87 pictures, 6 are related to Israel:

1 as mentioned above
1 a "settler" woman
1 soldiers crying at a funeral of a comrade
3 on Gaza

As was suggested to me:

none of sri lanka. what about congo?

All the picture that fit, I guess.

(Kippah tip: Aliza G. & R. Landes)

More Scenes at Shiloh

A Hazy Sun (looking west):

The Gutnik Building at Yeshivat Shiloh:

Shvut Rachel (foreground):

And Jordan in the background:

Construction Not Frozen

Not to get upset.

Work on a water line.

Not covered by suspension.

So, work goes on.

The New Nickname for the Latest Terrorist


(ready for it?)

...the Crotchbomber.

Israel Government Reacts to Tiger Woods

From the Tourism Ministry:

28 December 2009



An overall investment of 760 million NIS over the next 15 years in establishing 16 golf courses of international standing will inject about 3 billion NIS at current prices into the Israeli economy, both directly and indirectly – this according to the master plan for golf tourism initiated and led by the Tourism Ministry in cooperation with the Israel Lands Administration. The plan, which was recently approved, also claims that the investment would double the average expenditure per tourist to $2000 and increase annual hotel occupancy in Israel by about 20% at the end of the investment process.

Over the coming months, the Tourism Ministry and Israel Lands Administration will implement a statutory and marketing feasibility plan for 3-5 potential golf course sites, followed by a detailed plan for 1-2 golf courses. The sites are located in the Eilat region, the coastal plain between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, Tiberias and Hadera.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov: "Developing golf tourism will diversify the tourism product, encourage high value local and international investment from a tourism, commercial, employment and regional development viewpoint. In addition, tens of thousands of golf tourists will come to Israel annually and golf tourism will help Israel compete with other countries in the region including Egypt, Jordan and the Mediterranean basin countries, which have long been preferred golf tourism destinations."

Do you think they know anything about golf?

Maybe they should offer an extra feature: explode hidden mines with every stroke when you ball lands outside the green?


That is an authentic press release I just received.

A More Balanced Picture of a Problem

One of the canards in the false litanty of Arab propaganda is the matter of ID cards.

Here's a short summary. A female Rabbi discusses it.

A good backgrounder.

Well, you know of course that others suffer problems. Christians, in fact. BBC is reporting:

Egypt's Coptic Christians battle for ID cards

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Cairo

...Girgis Gabriel Girgis is tattooing a baby girl. She is very young, only about three years old, and branding the blue cross onto the girl's inside wrist brings a piercing shrill scream...The tattoo symbolises community and identity...a tiny Coptic cross.

...And now - even as an adult - Ayman is denied by the state the Christian identity card he craves.

"Since the age of 16, I have been living an anonymous life," he said.

"In the eyes of the I state, I don't exist. They are trying to force me to become a Muslim by accepting a Muslim identity card. But it was my father's decision to convert. Not mine."

"I'd rather die than accept a Muslim identity card. It is plainly obvious to anyone here I am a practising Christian," he says.

Christians in Egypt comprise about 10% of the country's 80 million people.

But in a predominantly Islamic society, the Copts say they are are being increasingly marginalised.

Identity cards carrying details of a person's religion are required by law in Egypt for employment, education, and access to any public services.

International rights groups say they are also used to discriminate in areas such as employment.

...The BBC did ask the interior ministry for a response to our investigation, but after three weeks we have had no answer. No government representative has been put forward for comment.

Just so you have a balanced and full picture.



Iraqi Christians' safety hopes

...In Iraq, Christians and Muslims have worshipped side by side for centuries.
“ Our situation is Iraq's situation - now we pray the situation will become better ”
Shlemon Warduni Auxiliary Bishop

But half of the congregation of the Virgin Mary church have fled in recent years. "They have gone either to the north of Iraq or to other countries because of the situation, the car bombings and kidnappings. There is no security, no peace," said Auxiliary Bishop, Shlemon Warduni.

Outside the gate, a group of policemen stand guard. Earlier this year, a car bomb exploded right in front of the church...According to some estimates, half of Iraq's Christian minority have left their homes since the American-led invasion in 2003...