Friday, July 31, 2009

Dear Mr. President, In Case You Want to Invite Me

I don't drink beer.

In fact, I do not imbibe any carbonated beverages.

If someone gives me a glass of seltzerwassr, I'll have to stir it for five minutes to remove the gas.

So, if Mr. Obama ever would want to discuss issues of Jewish communities in the Jewish national patrimony, like this:

it can't be beer.

Is that okay?

Sick, Sick

I found this item here (with Kippa tip to Mere Rhetoric):

Roseanne Barr's most-recent tailspin into the gutter involved a photo shoot with Heeb magazine wherein she is seen wearing an Adolf Hitler moustache and swastika as she takes burnt gingerbread "Jew Cookies" out of an oven. In another, in same costume, she is shown about to take a bite out of one of these burnt cookies.

You don't believe me?


But What's A "Palestinian" Exactly?

Is "Palestinian" a definition of a geographical residency?

Or religion?

Or ethnicity?

Or race?

Or national status?

"Palestinian" like in here, the very last line:

Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants Program West Bank/Gaza 2009-2010

Investing in the Future of Young Palestinian

AMIDEAST is now accepting applications for the Abraham Lincoln Incentive Grants Program, funded by the United States Department of State through the Middle East Partnership Initiative and the Consulate General in Jerusalem. The program will provide grants (financial assistance) to promising, academically qualified but economically challenged students who will be in grade eleven in the academic year 2009/2010 from both Gaza and the West Bank to assist them in competing successfully for scholarships to pursue their undergraduate studies in the United States. The program will assist the selected students to become competitive applicants for U.S. college and university admissions and scholarships.,,

AMIDEAST will provide students with the following range of educational advising, test preparation and testing services:

o Two hours of private, customized one-on-one advising consultations
o Two hours of in-center internet use each week
* College Application & Essay Writing Workshop (18 hours)
* Test Preparation Courses for iBT/PBT TOEFL and SAT I ( 30x2 hours) in addition to Online Practice Tests for iBT-TOEFL and SAT I
* Payment of application fees at up to six U.S. colleges or universities.
* Visa application fees, SEVIS fees and travel allowance for visa interview at the U.S Consulate General in Jerusalem, if admitted to a U.S. university.

...a student must meet all of the following requirements:

* My family is unable to meet the costs of applying to a U.S. college or university
* Be a Palestinian resident of the West Bank, East Jerusalem or Gaza Strip

Can I ask any lawyers out there: can a Jewish resident of one of these areas apply? And if not, is that discrimination? You know, like in...racism?

Will The US Provide Grants for the Jewish Cultural Heritage Preservation of Judea and Samaria?

Found over at the American Consulate General site:

Consulate General staff and Dr. Adel Yahya, Director of the Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE), met to commemorate the first grant given to Palestinians under the U.S. Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. The project will assist three historic villages in the West Bank – Beitin, Aboud, and Al-Jib – to preserve their cultural heritage and promote tourist destinations, while also raising awareness among residents of the villages about their cultural heritage, assisting local specialists and curators on the methods of cultural preservation, and educating the communities on the illegal procurement and sale of antiquities. The director of PACE and its staff thanked the Consulate General for its support and noted the importance of this grant, especially as it involves training Palestinians on the methodology and techniques of cultural heritage preservation.

Al-Jib, you should know is the Israelite Givon:

The first scientific identification of al-Jib with the ancient Canaanite city of Gibeon was made by Edward Robinson in 1838.[4] Archaeological excavations led by James Pritchard in 1956, 1957, and 1959 confirmed this identification with the discovery of 56 jar handles inscribed with the Semitic triliteral gb'n.[4] The inscriptions were dated to the end of the Judean monarchy and have been cross-referenced against geneaological lists in the Book of Chronicles. While they include many Benjaminite names, they also include non-Israelite names, attesting to the intermixing of local population.[4]

In the Book of Joshua, ancient Jib or Gibeon is described as "a large city, like one of the royal cities." The flat and fertile land with many springs which surrounds it gave rise to a flourishing economy, attested to in the large number of ancient jars and wine cellars discovered there. The jars could hold 45 liters of wine each and 66 wine cellars two meters deep and dug out of rock have been unearthed in Jib.[4]

4 - Brooks, Simcha Shalom (2005), Saul and the Monarchy: A New Look, Ashgate Publishing

and Beitin is Bet El or not.

Can we get grants for Jewish culture?

Or, at the very least, stop Arabs from destroying that heritage?


Why Aboud?


Aboud: The story of Aboud is another illustration of how the barrier is making life difficult for the remaining Christians in the West Bank. Aboud is a small village northwest of Jerusalem near Ramallah and is six kilometers from the Green Line, Israel's internationally recognized border. The Christian history of Aboud dates back to when Jesus and the Holy Family passed through Aboud enroute from the Galilee to Jerusalem. There are remains of nine ancient churches dating back to the early centuries and visited by pilgrims from all over the world. Today, Aboud is home to approximately 2200 people, half of which are Christian. In the 1980's land was confiscated from Aboud without any compensation for the construction of two settlements. In 2005, the Israeli military issued additional orders for the confiscation of land without compensation to build the barrier. The route of the barrier will confiscate around 1000 acres of land, leaving the settlements ample space to expand. The consequences for Aboud have been catastrophic. Thousands of olive trees have been uprooted with no adequate compensation. Many of these trees are over a thousand years old and are a part of the town's Christian heritage. More importantly, they are a major source of income for Aboud's families. One olive tree produces up to $200 of profit per season. The Israeli government's offer to buy or compensate each destroyed tree for $15.00 is not an equitable solution. In addition, the barrier will strengthen Israel's control of the water supply. Aboud sits on the Western Aquifer, one of the main sources of water for the area. The Israelis also control a small water reservoir on the east side (Aboud side) of the barrier. While this may appear to give control of the water to the residents of Aboud, it does not. The reservoir is surrounded with a high chain link fence topped with barbed wire. It is always locked and only Israeli officials and settlers have the keys. It is seldom accessible to the people of the village. The Israelis ration the water in Aboud during the summer months while the settlements enjoy a 100% flow of water year round.

Temple Mount in a Chabon Novel

Two years ago, I blogged about finding the Temple Mount prominently dealt with in a Michael Chabon novel.

Ilana B. lent me "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", and as she occasionally tests me to see if I am reading it thoroughly, I note that I found this on page 24:

"...and kept a steel engraving of the Temple Mount on the east wall of his room"

LATimes Gets Into the Editorial Act on Obama vs. Israel

Like the WashPost and the NYTimes, LATimes has an editorial but is more pro-Obama:

Obama's evenhanded Mideast policy

The president's approach isn't anti-Israel; it's a balance that could tip the scales toward a two-state solution.

...The idea that Obama is "anti-Israeli" is far-fetched. Speaking at Cairo University in June, Obama declared categorically to the Muslim world that the bond between the United States and Israel is "unbreakable." Israel remains a key ally, the No. 1 recipient of U.S. foreign aid at more than $2.7 billion this year. The special relationship between the two countries was demonstrated once again this week by visits from four high-ranking administration officials. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, national security advisor James L. Jones, special envoy George J. Mitchell and Mideast specialist Dennis Ross traveled there to assure Israel of U.S. military cooperation and opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions, as well as to press the settlement issue and to try to put the peace process back on track.

That said, it is true that Obama has made significant policy shifts in order to serve as an effective peace broker...the future of settlements has to be resolved through negotiations. Such preemptive moves stand as proof to Palestinians and most of the Arab world that neither Israel nor the United States is serious about creating a viable Palestinian state.

This is why Obama is seeking -- dare we say? -- a more evenhanded approach to peace-making. He wants to shift the U.S.-Israeli alliance from what former U.S. Mideast negotiator Aaron Miller calls an "exclusive relationship that doesn't serve our interests to a distinguished special relationship, which we do need." In fact, that is also what Israel needs, given that the exclusive relationship has failed to provide security or produce a sustainable peace. Most Americans, Israelis and Palestinians support separate, side-by-side Israeli and Palestinian states. Rather than fear the Obama administration's shift, Israelis should hope that more balance will give Obama more clout to pursue a two-state solution -- Israel's best hope for a secure future.

[Of course, a two-state solution is the only solution that has ever been tried but has consistently failed time and time again. 1922 East Palestine became TransJordan. 1937 west Palestine was to be partitioned but local Arabs never agreed - they wanted it all. 1947 the UN Partition would have left the Jews almost nothing of the original territory to have been the Jewish National Home and the Arabs rejected it. 1968 Allon Plan was rejected. 1993 Oslo Accords dissolved into terror as did every former political arrangement. 2005 Disengagement from Gaza brought about increased terror. Local Arabs are not interested in peace or a state but preventing Jews from any national independence in any portion of their homeland]

...Arab states have been as resistant as Israel and just as wrongheaded. A Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman said this week that "normalization" comes only after Israel has changed its ways...

...Obama has been criticized for failing to rally Israeli public opinion on the settlement freeze. That shouldn't be so hard because most Israelis do not support settlements, [not true] but he does have to reach out to them, and he needs the help of Arab states to do so.

...the goal of a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel...ultimately this serves the interests of Israel, its Arab neighbors and the United States. And it is a goal more likely achieved with an evenhanded U.S. policy.

Some Good News

From Bishara A. Bahbah who taught public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he also was the associate director of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East:

Palestinian-state dream merely hallucination

Palestinians can dream about a two-state solution but the realities on the ground present a grim picture and a dream that is more far-fetched than ever.

...I consider myself an optimist. I participated in the Middle East peace negotiations as a delegate. So why am I so gloomy?

The West Bank and East Jerusalem, the largest chunk of the territory that would be the base of the new Palestinian state, are being swallowed by Israel. They are looking more like Israel proper, except for the isolated and disconnected Palestinian communities.

...The Palestinian political landscape is a mess. Talks of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas have been frequent, yet completely fruitless. There are irreconcilable differences between Hamas and Fatah that can only be overcome with the demise of one or the other.

...If history is our guide, prospects of peace, especially under a right-wing Israeli government, are grim as ever. What options do Palestinians have?

They can live with the status quo: a divided West Bank and Gaza (geographically and politically); hanging on to whatever they can from the clutches of Israel's expansionist policies; a continued dependence on foreign political and financial support; and a misguided hope that Israel will acquiesce to the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Or, the Palestinians can give up the dream of Palestine and ask Israel to absorb Palestinians into Israel (politically and economically), provide them with equal rights as citizens, and allow Palestinian refugees to come back into the West Bank and Gaza under the same terms. Palestine can then become a state within a larger state such as Arizona is part of the U.S.

Any Israeli Jew in his right mind wanting to maintain the Jewish nature of Israel would say, "Hell, no!"

That is why I believe that the prospects of peace and the establishment of a Palestinian state at this juncture are a hallucination at best. I am, nevertheless, the first to hope that I am wrong.

So, The "Green Line" Is Movable?

Found here:

Exchange of territory:

According to Article 6 Israel received a territory in the area known as Wadi Ara and the Little Triangle in exchange for territory in the southern hills of Hebron. [7] In March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew from Palestine and handed over their positions to the smaller Jordanian legion, 3 Israeli brigades manoeuvred into positions of advantage in Operation Shin-Tav-Shin. The operation allowed Israel to renegotiate the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the Northern West Bank in a secret agreement reached on 23 March 1949 and incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement. The green line was then redrawn in blue ink on the southern map to give the impression that a movement into green line had been made. [8]

The events that led to a change in the Green line was an exchange of fertile land in the Bethlehem area to Israeli control and the village of Wadi Fukin being given to Jordanian control. On 15 July when the Israeli Army expelled the population of Wadi Fukin after the village had been transferred to the Israeli-occupied area under the terms of the Armistice Agreement concluded between Israel and the Jordan Kingdom The Mixed Armistice Commission decided on 31 August, by a majority vote, that Israel had violated the Armistice Agreement by expelling villagers across the demarcation line and decided that the villagers should be allowed to return to their homes. However, when the villagers returned to Wadi Fukin under the supervision of the United Nations observers on September 6, they found most of their houses destroyed and were again compelled by the Israeli Army to return to Jordanian controlled territory.

The United Nations Chairman of the Mixed Commission, Colonel Garrison B. Coverdale (US), pressed for a solution of this issue to be found in the Mixed Armistice Commission, in an amicable and UN spirit. After some hesitation, this procedure was accepted and finally an agreement was reached whereby the Armistice line was changed to give Wadi Fukin to the Jordanian authority who, in turn, agreed to transfer some uninhabited, but fertile territory south of Bethlehem to the Israelis, (essentially a reversal of part of the March 1949 land swap). [9]

Revisionist History

If you were an Arab or a supporter, and you wanted to wipe out any Jewish connection to the same land you desired for your own, ignore the historical record and simply engage in propaganda, how would you describe the chronology of "Palestine"?

Well, if you were really cheeky (or is that chutzpadic?), you'd write something like this:

Palestine was under the rule of the Eastern Roman Emperors since 400 AC and until it was conquered by Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, who was given the keys of Jerusalem from Patriarch Safronios in 638 AC. The city then remained under Islamic-Arab rule until the Crusaders captured it in 1099 AC. Christian rule lasted until 1187 AC when Salah Eddin reconquered the city, which then was ruled by the Ayyubids until being recaptured by the Crusaders in 1129. Some 15 years later, the Arabs regained Jerusalem and the city remained in their hands until 1917.

In 1517, Turkish Sultan Selim I conquered Jerusalem and Palestine and incorporated both into the Ottoman Empire, which remained in control until the British occupation in 1917, with the exception of a short period of Egyptian rule (from 1831 until 1840). In the course of World War I, the Ottoman forces capitulated in Jerusalem on 9 December 1917 and mayor Selim Effendi Al-Husseini surrendered to the allied forces led by British Gen. Edmond Allenby, who officially entered the city two days later and established the British military administration in Jerusalem. In April 1920, the San Remo Conference awarded administration of the former Turkish territories of Syria and Lebanon to France, and Palestine, Transjordan and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to Britain. On 24
July 1922, the League of Nations Council approved the Mandate for Palestine without the consent of Palestinians (The terms of the Mandate became official on 29 Sept. 1923, until which time British military rule remained in place).


That's from PASSIA in early 2002.

Jews anyone?

Have they, er, improved?

There Goes (?) A Tax-Exempt Status

I have pointed out the signs that something is underway on the issue of the tax-exempt status of monies donated to charitable enterprises located in Jewish communities beyond the Green Line. Especially the David Ignatius article in the WashPost and another by Ronit Avni

Back in late March, I was quoted in a JTA article on the subject. And see this.

Well, now this:

Israeli NGO battles settlements in US

The left-wing organization Gush Shalom is launching a campaign against organizations soliciting donations in the United States, particularly those receiving US federal tax exemptions for settlements and illegal outposts, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The timing of the campaign has been stepped up from September to August because the Foreign Ministry recently launched its own campaign to block governments of foreign countries from donating money to human rights organizations in Israel.

...According to Gush Shalom, which refused to comment on this report, "while the public launch of the campaign, through publication of the first reports and legal actions, was originally planned for September of this year, recent events have prompted us to accelerate the timetable.

"The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Avigdor Lieberman, in a grossly undemocratic move and in close coordination with a number of purportedly independent organizations such as NGO Monitor, has decided to actively target the operations of Israeli human rights organizations active in the Occupied Territories by pressuring the government of friendly nations to cease critical financial support for them."

According to Gush Shalom, in criticizing the Dutch embassy in Israel for giving a grant of almost €20,000 to Breaking the Silence for its controversial report on alleged IDF human rights and war crime violations during Operation Cast Lead, the government acknowledged that the organization's actions were legal and legitimate but allegedly said they were politically incorrect.

On the other hand, "many of the activities of the organizations targeted by our campaign are illegitimate and/or illegal under international, US and EU law." In the first phase of its campaign, Gush Shalom will pressure the US to halt tax exemptions to Israeli organizations and NGOs which "directly and openly support the development and operation of illegal outposts.

...Gush Shalom said that in the second stage of the campaign, it will focus on the financing mechanisms of mainstream organizations such as Nefesh B'Nefesh, Christian Zionist philanthropies, the Jewish National Fund and the World Zionist Organization, which are also active in the West Bank.



Division 54 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 provides an income tax exemption for annuities and deferred lump sums made under structured settlements

relates to a situation in Australia.

NYTimes Jealous of WashPost?

The Washington Post had a basically anti-Obama editorial yesterday on how he is treating Israel.

Is the NYTimes jealous?

...Less visibly, but we hope just as assertively, the administration is pressing the Palestinians and other Arab leaders to take concrete steps to demonstrate their commitment to a peace deal. Those must clearly contribute to Israel’s sense of security.

Unless all sides deliver — the Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis — Mr. Obama’s credibility and the credibility of the peace process will be undermined.

The ultimate question of who controls which land will have to be resolved at the peace table with border negotiations and land swaps. Right now, some 300,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank; 200,000 in East Jerusalem. And the continued expansion of Israeli settlements has led Palestinians to doubt they will ever be allowed to build a viable state. The issue has also given Arab states a far too convenient excuse for inaction.

While Israeli governments have repeatedly promised to halt settlement activity — and no new settlements have been approved in nearly two decades — existing ones have continued to mushroom with government incentives. According to Americans for Peace Now, an activist group, 4,560 new housing units were built when Ehud Olmert was prime minister. Mr. Netanyahu has rejected demands for a freeze and insisted that “natural growth” (to accommodate births) must be allowed.

Under pressure from Washington, Mr. Netanyahu’s government has dangled a possible compromise: a temporary freeze in new construction, as long as 2,500 units now in process can be completed and Arab East Jerusalem is exempt. It is a weak offer.

While they press the Israelis, Mr. Obama and Mr. Mitchell are also asking the Palestinians and Arab states to do more. They are insisting that the Palestinians work harder to prevent incitement against Israel in schools and the media. They have asked Arab states — notably Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria — to signal the beginning of an acceptance by allowing Israel to fly commercial planes through Arab airspace or open government commercial offices in their capitals.

President Obama and Mr. Mitchell claim they are making progress, but so far there is little sign of it...

Israeli leaders do not often risk being at odds with an American president, but polls show broad support for Mr. Netanyahu’s resistance. President Obama, a skilled communicator, has started a constructive dialogue with the Islamic world. Now he needs to explain to Israelis why freezing settlements and reviving peace talks is clearly in their interest.

More of "Jews Are Their Own Worst Enemies"

Extreme left-wing radical progressive liberal Jew upset at liberal left-wing Washington Post.


Israel sympathy.


Washington Post: On Israel, More Catholic Than The Pope
By M.J. Rosenberg

If the Washington Post was an Israeli daily, it would not be Ha'aretz -- the New York Times of Israel which publishes editorials and columns on all sides of the issues -- it would be the Jerusalem Post, jingoistic and, if anything, to the right of the government.

Of course, the Washington Post is not an Israeli paper so its defense of even the most indefensible Israeli policy -- the refusal to freeze settlements -- is just weird. Fred Hiatt (the editorial page editor), neocon hero Charles Krauthammer and columnist Bill Kristol consistently defend Israeli policies with a zealousness they last demonstrated when pushing for war with Iraq.

...Nor are there any "parameters for curtailing settlements accepted by previous U.S. administrations." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton searched the archives and says that there is no evidence whatsoever that any agreement allowing settlement expansion exists. [this is BS]

The reason US relations with Israel have deteriorated is that the Israeli government is increasing, not decreasing, settlement activity. [more BS] This is its response to Obama's one demand: a settlements freeze, a freeze a sizable percentage of Israelis believe is acceptable. [how sizable? telephone booth size?]

...[now he gets a bit antiS] Israel is the number one recipient in the world of aid from the United States. And traditionally the aid relationship is a two-way street. The donor provides it and the recipient pays some heed to what the donor requests.

So far, that has not been the case with the Netanyahu government.

The Washington Post had better start thinking with at least a tad of objectivity about Israel's current policies. The last thing the world of journalism needs is a second Jerusalem Post.

How The Mighty Have Fallen

This is a photograph of a potential politician after her arrest for battery:

If you are broad-minded, I previously posted some other pictures of the lady, with all her makeup on, although not much else (semi-SFW).

As her stage name is Stormy, I guess it all makes sense.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tisha B'Av 5769 - 2009

Here is something you cannot hear anywhere else.

As the Talmud instructs (or here, the talk on October 4, 2008 source notes):

Ta’anit 16b

Amen’ is not made use of in the Temple.6 And whence can it be adduced that the response, Amen, was not made use of in the Temple? — For it is said, Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting; and let them say: Blessed be Thy glorious Name, that is exalted above all blessing and praise...What them was said in the Temple? Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed art Thou who redeems Israel; and the congregation respond, Blessed be the name of his glorious kingdom for ever and ever

Today, I participated in the Mincha (Afternoon) service at the Rav Goren Synagogue as I did two years ago.

In accordance with the above instruction as to the text to be uttered, this video will provide you with the audio for that text as the synagogue is located inside the space of the Temple Mount:

And here are some snapshots of the day's activities:

On Rechov Haguy Street, opposite the memorial plaque commemorating the murder by stabbing of Elchanan Atali, there's an alleyway:

and that alleyway has a sign, in Hebrew, pointing to the "Little Wall"

and there, just before you would enter the Temple Mount, you turn left and walk into a courtyard (here's how it looks coming back out):
and you will come upon a section of the Western Wall north of the Western Wall Plaza:

Afterwards, I continued to the Rav Goren Synagogue.

Here, the Sefer Torah is being held aloft at the end of the reading:

another view of the congregation:

a view through the reinforced windows of the Dome of the Rock:

The sign warning that you are about to cross over the Western Wall towards the east and will be entering the Temple Mount sanctity (the synagogue: is actually on the second floor of a building that abuts into the compound over columns along the Western Wall):

Why Nadav Shragai Visits the Temple Mount

Why I will visit the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av

"Tisha B'Av will last forever," promised Kamal al-Khatib, deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, to thousands of cheering Muslims at the Temple Mount a few days ago. Even the hearts of Jews far from the mountain saddened. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mocked us in the same spirit a few months ago when he said, "Call yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic - it is none of my business." He refused to accept Israel's Jewish identity. We, who have drifted away from Tisha B'Av and the Temple Mount, should be grateful to both of them, because sometimes a nation needs its haters to discover its real face in the mirror again.

...Tisha B'Av is filled with events organized by Temple Mount movements and groups interested in negotiations and public discourse, but the general public is not part of all that. It is doubtful whether legislation would help in this case...

...Labor Zionist leader Berl Katznelson once said that "had Israel not mourned its destruction for generations ... we wouldn't have had Hess, Pinsker, Herzl or Nordau ... Yehuda Halevy wouldn't have been able to create 'Zion, Won't You Ask' and Bialik couldn't have written 'Scroll of Fire.'" Chaim Arlosoroff, one of the most outstanding Labor Zionist leaders, defined Tisha B'Av at the beginning of the last century as "the nation's greatest mourning day." is time to call, 'Arise! Let us go up to Zion," let us go to the Temple Mount. Within the limitations of halakha and of police directives, not as a provocation or demonstration.

A heritage trip to Morocco or Poland is all well and good, but going to the Temple Mount is the real heritage posters, demonstrations or ritual effects. This minimum, visiting the Temple Mount, is reserved by Israel's laws to any Jew who wants it, even if he wears a skullcap. The police, despite their balking, must allow it...

Nevertheless, be ready for this:

Jewish extremists raid Al-Aqsa Mosque, perform rituals

GAZA, July 29 (KUNA) -- A number of Jewish extremists on Wednesday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and preformed religious rituals, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said.

The foundation said in a statement that more than 200 Jewish extremists entered the Mosque within 30 minutes only and were positioned all over its vicinity, noting that the intrusion was "significance" in terms of timing and size, especially as it coincided with eve where the Jewish people celebrate the anniversary of temple ruins at Temple Mount...The Temple Mount; also known as Mount Moriah, and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is a religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem. Due to its importance for Judaism and Islam, it is one of the most contested religious sites in the world.

And maybe you'll get lucky and find something:-

Stone Vessel with 'Priestly Inscription' Uncovered In Jerusalem

A rare 2,000-year-old ritual vessel made of limestone and inscribed with 10 lines of text has been discovered in an excavation near the Zion Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem. It is an unprecedented find, according to Dr. Shimon Gibson..."Such stone vessels were used in connection with maintaining ritual purity related to Temple worship, and they are found in abundance in areas where the priests lived," Gibson reported...

Although the letters are clearly visible it will take some time before their meaning can be discerned...a group of experts consulting on the matter was not convinced; they say there is a possibility that the text contains the sacred name of G-d and is deliberately cryptic.

...Also uncovered were at least half a dozen Murex snail shells with holes drilled through them...Murex snails were cultivated in ancient times at sites along the Mediterranean Sea, and a royal blue dye was extracted from them...

For the Record and For Reflection

IDF general who evacuated Gaza settlers calls pullout 'utter nonsense'

The decision to evacuate Gaza Strip settlements in 2005 was "utter nonsense," the head of the Israel Defense Forces' ground troops during the Gaza disengagement said Thursday.

Israel Defense Forces General (Res.) Yiftach Ron-Tal made the comment during an interview on Army Radio, a day before the fourth anniversary of the disengagement on the Hebrew calendar.

"Today it is clear to everybody, that what at the time was an argument over a difficult event, was utter nonsense from a security perspective," he told Army Radio.

"I opposed it from the deepest meaning of the word opposition - from a security aspect, from a religious aspect and from a national aspect."

But don't worry -

Ron-Tal added, however, that he decided without hesitation to participate in the disengagement.

"I suffered and didn't sleep at night, but the decision was completely wholehearted. In my opinion, the alternative for the people of Israel was even worse."

This is great thinking (not really but that's Israelis for you).

And This Happened Where?

AP reports:

Security forces hunted door-to-door for Islamic militants in ______________ on Thursday after storming the compound of a radical sect and killing more than 100 people.

A top rights group said the government forces had killed bystanders and other civilians. A military spokesman denied the charge and said it was impossible for rights workers to tell who was a civilian and who was a member of the _____________, which the government blames for instigating days of violence in the mostly Muslim region.

The government warned people to evacuate the area, then shelled and stormed the group's mosque and headquarters Wednesday night, setting off a raging firefight with retreating militants armed with homemade hunting rifles, firebombs, bows and arrows, machetes and scimitars.

An AP reporter saw soldiers shoot their way into the mosque under fire and then rake those inside with gunshots. The reporter later counted about 50 bodies inside the building and another 50 in the courtyard outside.

Okay, relax, it wasn't anywhere near Israel or that Israeli troops were involved.


My New LA Times Op-ed - And Please Vote There

In the Los Angeles Times:

The 9th of Av's new tears

President Obama's policies toward Israel add fresh pain to a day of lament.

By Yisrael Medad

July 30, 2009

An apocryphal story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte entering a darkened synagogue and observing weeping Jews, sitting on low stools. Asking what misfortune had occurred to cause such behavior, he was informed that it was the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.

On that day, as Napoleon learned, Jews commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem and the fall of the Fortress of Betar. The day, marked with a 25-hour fast and a public reading of the book of Lamentations, signifies not only the loss of Judaism's singular holy site but the end of independent political sovereignty and the eventual expulsion, a second time, into exile.

On hearing that story, Napoleon exclaimed: "A people that cries these past 2,000 years for their land and temple will surely be rewarded."

Today, the 9th of Av, there are many new threats to Jerusalem, including the recent diplomatic dissing of Israel by the U.S. Fortunately, the words of President Obama and other U.S. officials have served to reinforce a consensus among Israelis that Jerusalem must remain exclusively under Israeli control and that even communities of Jews living outside the former Green Line, the armistice line drawn after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, must remain a part of Israel.

A liberal Washington think tank, the Center for American Progress, recently conducted a panel discussion based on the premise that the Old City of Jerusalem is the main impediment to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. The group's plan recommends that Israel and a future state of Palestine appoint a third-party administrator that would run and police the city. An audience member who asked why the status quo could not be retained was informed by a panelist that that "would be too intangible."

We have to hope Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton knows better than to upset the status quo. As longtime diplomat Dennis Ross informed us in his book, "The Missing Peace," the only new idea Yasser Arafat raised at Camp David in 2000 was that the temple didn't exist in Jerusalem, claiming it had been located in Nablus. Her husband, then-President Clinton, was astonished at this. Instead of "Holocaust denial" we were given "temple denial."

U.S. policy toward Jerusalem has long tended toward the "denial" side of the equation. If an American living in Jerusalem gives birth to a child in either West Jerusalem or post-1967 East Jerusalem, for example, her progeny is not recognized by the U.S. as being born in Israel. The birth certificate and passport will list only a city name -- Jerusalem -- as the place of birth.

This rule follows the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual, which notes: "For a person born in Jerusalem, write JERUSALEM as the place of birth in the passport. Do not write Israel, Jordan or West Bank ..." The "logic" for this is that Israel is considered by the United States to be "occupying" territories -- including Jerusalem -- whose final status must be negotiated.

As State Department spokesman Ian Kelly admitted on June 22, before being reined in, the recent Obama administration fixation on a "settlement freeze" also targets neighborhoods in East Jerusalem whose Jewish population's "natural growth" is to be halted.

And there is more State Department trickery. Births of children of American citizens in any of the Arab towns or Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem and beyond the Green Line will have their birthplace noted, as per the above-mentioned regulations, as the "West Bank." Is the "West Bank" a state? Is the State Department engaged in creating new states?

This is an illogical and quite unreasonable bureaucratic situation. On the one hand, the State Department has fashioned a new "state" while, on the other, it is ignoring Israel's status in its own capital.

The "West Bank" never existed as a geopolitical entity until April 1950, when Jordan annexed the area. That annexation, incidentally, was considered by all the world -- except for Britain -- as an illegal occupation. Yet the U.S. has established the "West Bank," with the stroke of a pen, as if it were a state entity.

If the U.S. insists on using boundaries dating to 1948, shouldn't it also use the place names in use at that time? "Judea" and "Samaria" were both names written into the U.N. partition resolution. A baby born to U.S. citizens in Shiloh, for example, should therefore be registered as having been born in "Shiloh, Samaria."

Today is a day of lament for a long-ago event seared into the collective memory of Jews the world over. But the contemporary pressures the Obama administration has brought on Israel have created another lamentable situation between the two nations. This year, the ancient fast days will also provide an outlet for contemporary frustration over issues of sovereignty, political independence and security.

The newspaper has also set up a vote on the question:

Should "Country of Birth" for American babies born in Jerusalem be "Israel"?

Can I request that you vote?


In a Wahsington Post editorial, "Tough On Israel", that criticizes Obama on his approach to Israel, confirming the thrust of my op-ed, I found this:

Israeli public opinion, which normally leans against the settler movement, has rallied behind Mr. Netanyahu.

I would dispute that. In the past 42 years, the Israeli public has consistently voted in an overwhelming fashion for parties supporting the basic policies of retaining Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Even various polls hover around the 50% mark and, depending on the phrasing of the questions, actually supports Yesha positions. Check my blog for examples.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Reasons To Reconsider Attending Leonard Cohen's Israel Concert

After the Pals. refused his offer to appear in Ramallah,

Internationally-renowned artist Leonard Cohen will not be performing in Ramallah as planned. The 74-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter has had his concert in Ramallah canceled in a development viewed as a small victory by groups calling to boycott Israel.

Pro-Palestinian activists said Cohen was not welcome in Ramallah as long as he insisted on performing in Tel Aviv, where a concert is planned for September 24.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club, which was organizing the event, decided to cancel the concert because it was becoming too politicized, but the club insisted it did not bow to pressure from boycott organizations.

we now read this:

The official Leonard Cohen forum announced it will start selling tickets for the singer's Tel Aviv concert this coming Friday, July 31. The sale, which is offered only to registered members of the forum, will last until Saturday evening...According to the message, all the proceeds from the September 24 concert in Ramat Gan Stadium, titled "A concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace“, will go towards a newly-established foundation to benefit Israeli and Palestinian organizations working for reconciliation.

So, the tickets will be bought via chillul shabbat, desecrating of the Sabbath and the monies will go to some sort of peace group which will be, no doubt, dominated by our progressive liberal cultural elites.

Not very inviting.



Tickets for Leonard Cohen¹s September 24 concert in Ramat Gan Stadium will go on sale Saturday night...Ticket prices will range from NIS 350 to NIS 1,200...

As reported exclusively in The Jerusalem Post, Cohen will be donating his proceeds from the concert to an Amnesty International-administered fund which will funnel the money to Israeli and Palestinian organizations that are working toward conciliation.

The initial recipients of the funds will be the
Parents Circle - Family Forum, the Peres Center for Peace Children¹s Medical Program, and Combatants for Peace, an organization which attempts to bring together IDF veterans and Palestinian terrorists who have renounced their ways.

The Palestinian Happy Child Center, a developmental center that works with special-needs children in Ramallah, has been vetted as another recipient but has not yet confirmed its participation.

Well, chillul Shabbat (Desecration of Shabbat) is out but the list of those NGOs is way too left for anybody with a modicum of Jewish self-respect.

What about Terror Victims' groups?

And as for the prices...

Is Obama A Racist?

Are you thinking that Rabbi Waldman was wrong the other night when he said:

'Obama is a racist,' settler rabbi tells protestors in Jerusalem

The Yesha Council of settlements organized a demonstration in which some 1,500 rightists gathered near the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem...

Among the speakers at the demonstration was Rabbi Eliezer Waldman, the head of the Nir yeshiva in the settlement of Kiryat Arba. "Obama is a racist," Waldman told the assembled crowd. "If he continues with his actions, he will bring about the disintegration of the American superpower."

Well, read on:

Fox News Channel...popular — host Glenn Beck, who Tuesday morning branded President Obama a "racist."

The combustable Beck ignited a firestorm when, during a Tuesday morning appearance on FNC's freewheeling "Fox and Friends," he said the President's reaction to the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest situation in Cambridge, Mass., suggested a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."

..."I'm not saying he doesn't like white people. I'm saying he has a problem," Beck responded. "This guy is, I believe, a racist."

And who, last month, wrote:

I believe the president has been misled. There can be nothing illegal about a Jew living where Judaism was born. To suggest that residency be permitted or prohibited based on race, religion or ethnic background is dangerously close to employing racist terminology.


A Wall Poster I MIssed

As Ynet reports and Peace Now repeats:

On the traditional Jewish day of mourning for the destruction of the first and second Temple, Peace Now printed and posted signs throughout Jersualem that warned:

"The Occupation will destroy the Third Temple."

Using paragraphs from the Torah the poster stated:

"Why was the First Temple destroyed? Because of three things – idolatry, incest and bloodshed.
Why was the Second Temple destroyed? Because there was unfounded hatred.
And what, heaven forbid, will lead to the destruction of the Third Temple? The settlements, fanaticism and occupation."

"For this I mourn
For the settlements that were built in the heart of Palestinian territory and that keep peace and quiet from our land.
For the settlements that were built, with or without permit, and that turn us into the loathsome scum among the nations.
For the outposts that were built by deception and by turning blind eyes.
For Jerusalem, the joy of the land, that has been turned into a city of strife and quarrel.
For the continued investment and construction in the settlements, that will ultimately lead to one state for two peoples – and thus put an end to the Zionist enterprise."

The poster is signed: "Seek peace, and pursue it. Not Obama's, not the world's. The settlements are our problem."

Explaining the poster, Yariv Oppenheimer, Peace Now Secretary General said, "This is not about hatred of settlers, but the clear understanding that without the realization of the two-state vision, the State of Israel cannot remain a Jewish, democratic state, and this, for us, is the destruction of the Zionist ideology."

UPI has it up already.

I guess it wasn't put up in Meah She'arim or Geulah.

It Is The Quran That Informs Us All of the Two Temples That Existed in Jerusalem

Where does Stephen Rosenberg, a fellow of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archeological Research in Jerusalem, find proof of a Temple on Haram al-Sharif?

In the Quran!

He writes:

...let's turn to their own sources. The Dome of the Rock was built during the caliphate of Abdul al-Malik and completed in 692 CE. It stands directly over the extensive rock which, by Muslim tradition, was the landing and departure point of Muhammad on his steed El-Burak during his Night Journey from Mecca. The "evidence" is the foot and hoof marks on the rock - a cultic relic from early days.

These marks also indicate that it is from here, and to here, that God will come and go at the End of Days. As His direction of travel is not known, the Dome of the Rock was built facing the four winds of heaven. It has no focus except the central rock, and entrances on all four sides. Does the central rock indicate the presence of a Jewish Temple? Not necessarily, but the Koran itself now makes that clear.

The prophet's night journey is described in Surah 17: "Glory be to Him who made His servant go by night from the Sacred Temple [Mecca] to the farther Temple [Al-Aksa, Jerusalem], whose surroundings We have blessed..." It goes on to say, "We solemnly declared to the Israelites: 'Twice you shall commit great evil in the land... and We sent against you a formidable army which ravaged your land... and when the prophecy of your second transgression came to be fulfilled, We sent another army to afflict you and to enter the Temple, as the former entered it before..."

Thus the Koran itself gives us the evidence of the destruction of the two Temples that had stood on the site of Al-Aksa.

Nothing could be clearer.



and in transliteration:

17:7 In ahsantum ahsantumli-anfusikum wa-in asa/tum falaha fa-itha jaawaAAdu al-akhirati liyasoo-oo wujoohakum waliyad khulooal masjida kama dakhaloohu awwala marratin waliyu tabbiroo maAAalaw tatbeeran

See, too, here and this source which stresses the two calamaties of the destructions of two Temples:

After the cryptic allusion to the Night Journey in verse 1, it continues (verses 2-8) with a warning to the Jews. Allah previously warned them that twice they “would they do mischief on the earth and be elated with mighty arrogance” (v. 4). Ibn Kathir elaborates: “Allah tells us that He made a declaration to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, meaning that He had already told them in the Book which He revealed to them, that they would cause mischief on the earth twice, and would become tyrants and extremely arrogant, meaning they would become shameless oppressors of people.”

Another Ha-Ha-Haaretz Column

Alex Sinclair has a problem in writing:

Tisha B'Av, like Yom HaShoah and many other aspects of the Jewish calendar, can no longer be a politics-free zone. Our sense of victimhood, our righteous indignation at how we have always been the wronged party, has become a socio-psychological barrier to the political steps that are necessary for peace to be achieved.

We have been victims, but the Palestinians have also been victims.

Sinclair might be considered a social-politico-psychopath writing that.

We Jews have been victims - of our enemies.

The Arabs have been victims, yes, but of themselves, their misreading of history, their religious fervor, their hostility of Jews and the way they managed their own nationalist affairs.

Kabbalah Kutie Kopies Sephirot

Seems someone has noticed a problem:

and decided to get explicit:

which reminded me of...the Kabbalah's conceptualization - the Sephirot:

The Correct History - Rejoinder to Benny Morris

Thanks to a good friend, Yonatan Silverman, who translates, I now possess a copy of Benny Morris' new "One State, Two States" (it's not really a book but an extended essay/overview). See here and here.

On page 44, you can read that Jabotinsky spoke at the 17th Zionist Congress, held in 1931, and wished to resurrect the historic borders of the Land of Israel, on both banks of the Jordan. However, writes Morris, "the Zionist majority rejected Jabotinsky's call". There is a footnote there relating to Arye Naor's book, "Greater Israel".

His 'history' is off.

Jabotinsky proposed more specifically that the aim of Zionism, the endziel, be "a Jewish state, the creation of a Jewish majority in Palestine on both sides of the Jordan". He did so propose in response to Chaim Weizmann's throwawy line, in an interview with the JTA, "I have no understanding of, an no sympathy for a Jewish majority in Palestine". (see Schechtmann, JB, The Jabotinsky Story, Vol. II, pp. 147 - 154)

So, there were three elements: a Jewish state and not just some cultural center; a Jewish majority and no just a few 'colonies'; and a territory -not just historic Jewishly but the area even Weizmann himself had supported.

And what happened?

In a roll-call vote of 121 to 57, the Congress decided not to vote at all on the resolution and to keep it off the agenda.

The Congress had a choice to amend the resolution, to keep "Jewish State" in, or "Jewish majority" or "both banks of the Jordan" or any combination. But no, they preferred not to deal with the issue.

By the way, Weizmann was not re-elected as WZO President.

Poster for Temple Mount Activity

"Trust In God, Not Obama"
"Yes To the Hilltop Youth and to the Temple Mount -
No to Capitol Hill and Washington"

and come to the Temple Festival on Saturday night at Tapuah

Almost Bereft of Logic

Over at the NYTimes, Celestine Bohelin doesn't like Jewish communities and in reviewing some diplomatic history, writes:

The Shepherd Hotel site is a case in point. The most important fact about this particular project is that the building permit was granted July 2, just weeks after the Obama administration first signaled that it would object to any new building in the captured territories.

Israel’s timing couldn’t be more provocative. Giving the green light to the project now, after years of delays, may be part of a larger plan to Balkanize East Jerusalem, splitting neighborhoods in such a way that a future political solution for the city becomes impossible.

Or it might have been intended as a signal that Israel would continue to build as Israel saw fit, no matter what Washington said.

Either way, it is “unhelpful,” as Condoleezza Rice said as secretary of state in 2005 about other unilateral steps taken by Israel in East Jerusalem. That was her polite, and not very effective, way of telling Israel to hold off.

I guess that she'd prefer Hillary to put on this face:

Now, Celestine is not totally bereft of logic, for she writes:

President Barack Obama...has begun with a direct and public challenge to Israel’s latest plan to build new settlements in East Jerusalem. It’s a risky move...This gambit puts the settlement issue at the center of the table, even before the next round of Arab-Israeli negotiations starts — if it ever does. The downside is that it might only serve to harden Israel’s stance, without softening Arab positions.

Which it already has.

Oh, well.

(Kippah tip: MZ)

A Deconstructionist Text

I was reminded of the above picture after reading this:

Senators urged not to sign letter on Mideast

Americans for Peace Now is urging U.S. senators not to sign a letter encouraging the Arab world to normalize ties with Israel because it does not mention efforts to halt Israeli settlements. The bipartisan letter to President Obama, circulated by Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and James Risch (R-Idaho) and backed by the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, is "unhelpful" because it "seems to make a straightforward and reasonable demand for the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel," but "the subtext of the letter directly contradicts and undermines the efforts" of the Obama administration "to promote Middle East peace...the Bayh/Risch letter conspicuously ignores Israel's continued refusal to stop settlement activity" and "never even once mentions the word 'settlements,'" states the Americans for Peace Now letter. "It sends a message that signers consider settlements more important than peace."...

This is truly a text of deconstruction.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Temple Mount In The Knesset

Arutz 7 reports:

As Tisha B'Av, the annual day of mourning over the destruction of the Temple, approaches, Members of Knesset met to talk about the Temple, its role in Jewish life, and Israel's approach to the Temple Mount today. The conference was organized by MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union).

My wife blogged about it already (here) with her pictures.

My pictures:


The American non-governmental organization, USAID, is involved in an illegal building project on the site of the Shdema refugee camp, near Beit Sahur, members of a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee subcommittee discovered on a tour of the eastern Gush Etzion area.

National Union MK Arye Eldad protested the illegal building in a letter to the US embassy in Tel Aviv. Eldad, who is a doctor, said that there had been plans in the Civil Administration to build a hospital on the site but no permission had been given for USAID to build there.

"We cannot accept the fact that at the same time that the United States demands that Israel stop 'all illegal building projects' in Judea and Samaria, an American organization that enjoys tax exemption in the US is involved in illegal building activity in Judea and Samaria," Eldad wrote.

Israel's Cinema Industry Wages War

Israel fought a war in Lebanon between 1982 until the embarrassing fleeing in 2000.

Last year, in 2008,

"Beaufort," an Israeli film describing events at an army post in the run-up to Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

This year, 2009,

"Waltz with Bashir" will be one of the five finalists competing for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars on February 22, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced yesterday.

And this coming year, 2010, what is the theme of the Israeli film to be submitted to the Oscar Committee?

You guessed it: Lebanon.

"Lebanon".is a film whose story about a tank that gets stuck in June 1982 in a village while a Syrian commando force closes in. Shmulik Maoz is the director.

Three years in a row, the cultural elite of Israel's cinema industry seems to be fixated on smacking Israel around on one of the most prestigious film stages of the world: Hollywood.

Two years in a row, Israel lost.

Does anyone think a third film on the subject of Lebanon will be nominated - forget about winning?

Why are they doing this?

You Into Trance?

Solar System, a DJ voted #85 in the world, is, as I have just seen in a televised interview, an Israeli and does not appear on Shabbat or other days when music is prohibited.

His MySpace.

He appears at the end of this clip:

Quotable Words

By referring only to the Holocaust, and ignoring the historical Jewish attachment to the land of Israel, the president has inadvertently reinforced Muslim misconceptions regarding Jewish indigenousness. The Holocaust helps explain why Israel fights, not why Israel exists. It doesn't explain why thousands of Ethiopian Jews walked across jungle and desert to reach Zion; nor for that matter why some Jews leave New York and Paris to raise families in a Middle Eastern war zone.

Yossi Klein Halevi

Go On, Have Your Heartstrings Plucked

Plucked by Raja Shehadeh who writes of The Blue Velvet Hills of his youth:

...can remember the appearance of the hills around Ramallah in 1979, before any Jewish settlement came to be established there. In the spring of that year I walked north from Ramallah, where I live, to the nearby village of A’yn Qenya and up the pine-forested hill. A gazelle leapt ahead of me. When I reached the top I could see hills spread below me like crumpled blue velvet, with the hamlets of Janiya and Deir Ammar huddled between its folds. On top of the highest hill in the distance stood the village of Ras Karkar with its centuries-old citadel that dominated the area during Ottoman times. I had been following the worrying developments of extensive settlement-building elsewhere in the West Bank and wondered how long it would be before these hills came under the merciless blades of the Israeli bulldozers. I didn’t have to wait long. A year later the top of the hill was lopped off and the settlement of Dolev, then a cluster of red-tiled Swiss-style chalets, was established.

Blue velvet?

You gotta be kidding. Soon he'll be singing Shenandoah Valley.

First of all, before the Arabs lived there, Jews did so what does he think we recall and what we think about the destruction of our homeland and its being laid to waste by his forefathers?

Second, that citadel of Ras Karkar? Ever heard of the Crusaders?

Third, isn't it amazing that over the centuries, the land stultified and when the Jews returned, within a very short time, so much development, economic improvement, agriculture, etc.

Better Late Than Never

Poll: 68% of public that supported disengagement have changed their mind

Sixty-eight percent of the public who supported the disengagement in 2005 have changed their opinion on the issue, Army Radio reported Tuesday, according to a poll ordered by the Committee of the Gush Katif Evacuees.

Two thirds of those polled said that the government's handling of the evacuees was seriously flawed.

The Hebrew-language item notes that almost 5 billion New Shekels were expended for the disengagement.

How much for a significant portion of the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria then?

A bit too exorbitant, no?

A Position To Ponder

The position of Jeffrey Goldberg:

Do I agree with Obama that Jews should be forbidden to build in certain areas of Jerusalem? My Judaism will survive my inability to live in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem (which, last time I checked, have no particular holy significance for Jews). What matters in Jerusalem is the Temple Mount. Everything else is commentary...

But what does matter to you about the Temple Mount, Jeffrey?

Today, before any suggested alternative plan is adopted or even discussed, a Jew cannot openly pray on the Temple Mount, he cannot identify himself too overtly as a Jew, cannot read a religious text there, say Lamentations, for example, on this coming Thursday to mark its destruction on Tisha B'Av, cannot prevent Muslims from destroying Jewish historical, cultural and archeological artifacts found there, cannot stop Muslim construction, cannot conduct a scientific dig there and a few other things all the while as Arab kids play soccer there, families picnic there, etc.

What could be worse, not quantitatively but qualitatively?

And what should the proper framework of respect for the Temple Mount be?

An Observation To Ponder

An Observation of Noah Pollak:

...what I see on the West Bank and Gaza are societies that have made themselves so dysfunctional and self-hating that the UN collects their garbage for them. Somehow, the weaker and more divided the Palestinians get, the more powerful they become. And the more economically and militarily mighty Israel gets, the weaker it becomes.

Found here.

Headline Says It All

This headline:

304,569 occupiers in West Bank now

I always try to keep myself occupied.

Why Americans Have Problems Comprehending The Middle East

Found here:

And the pyramids are where?

Can The Israeli Police Learn New Lessons and Tactics?

I wonder, are Israeli police open for ideas regarding how to deal with demonstrators?

Seems there's an attempt over in Britain:

'Mediators' proposed for protests

Independent Northern Ireland-style go-betweens could ease tensions between police and protesters, say MPs.

The Joint Committee on Human says a decision to "kettle" some of the London demonstrators had failed to recognise their rights. One man died after the London protests and investigators are looking at other formal complaints about police actions.

..."Both protesters and police must share information," said the report. "Whilst this happens in many cases it is clear that at least some aspects of communication at the G20 protests were poor. "Mutual distrust was apparent and the police and protesters seemed to have different expectations of what the dialogue should be about and how it should proceed.

"This ineffective communication led to frustration on both sides and, possibly, to the police taking a more heavy handed approach to the Climate Camp protest than would otherwise have been the case."

..."There is a case for considering the use of independent negotiators to facilitate dialogue between police and protests to overcome distrust and tensions," said the committee.

...Andrew Dismore MP, the committee's chairman, said: "While kettling may be a helpful tactic, it can trap peaceful protesters and innocent bystanders for hours. "There must be clear safeguards in place to make sure containment is used only when necessary and proportionate."

This I found most appropriate to the situation here in Israel:

The committee also said officers should be legally obliged to wear their identifying numbers, after a number of complaints during the G20 that officers did not have them on display.

And I found this on the media of special interest:

Media reporting of the build up to the G20 protests

31. The Climate Camp Legal Team, in its written evidence, commented on “increasing concern that the police were talking up the potential for violence in their press briefings”.78

Commander Bob Broadhurst, “Gold Commander” for the G20 operation, was reported as having spoken about activists planning in an “unprecedented” way to “stop the city”. The Metropolitan Police’s press spokesman, Simon O’Brien, was reported as having described the police as “up for it”, the implication being that the police were ready for violence. There was talk of old anarchist groups reforming and using new technology to thwart the police.79

Paul Lewis of the Guardian cited a briefing provided by Commander Broadhurst on 20 March in which it was alleged that he “told reporters of the possibility that protesters might storm buildings, damage property and bring large areas of London to a standstill”.80

32. AC Allison denied that the Metropolitan Police had talked up the prospect of violence. He said that police spokesmen had not mentioned the possibility of violence and had emphasised that plans to disrupt the City were “aspirational”.81 Quoting Commander O’Brien in full, he showed how his comment on the police being “up for the [G20] operation in all of its complexities” had been taken out of context and applied solely to the public order elements of the operation.82 He took issue with Mr Lewis’s recollection of Commander Broadhurst’s comments and said “the last thing we wanted to do was hype this up in any way, because we recognised that if we, in any way, hyped this up, all we were likely to do is encourage more people to come out and commit disorderly acts”.83

33. We have had the opportunity to review the transcripts of the press briefings provided by Commanders Broadhurst and O’Brien and they are consistent with the oral evidence we heard from AC Allison. The briefings clearly set out the police’s concerns that the G20 summit would create some difficult public order challenges, without forecasting violence or buildings being stormed and without giving the impression that the police were relishing the opportunity for a fight.84 Consequently, we conclude that the main responsibility for talking up the prospect of violence and severe disruption rests with the media, not the police. As AC Allison said, “our briefings were designed to say exactly what our intelligence was … sadly, the media took it in a particular way and started reporting it in a particular way”.85

34. AC Allison said that the police had responded to exaggerated press comment about the G20 protests by briefing the Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority to undertake a round of interviews to argue that the prospect of violence had been over-emphasised.86 We welcome this approach, but suggest that the Metropolitan Police could have done more to respond to exaggerated and distorted press coverage of its briefings. We note the conclusions of the parliamentary observers’ report that “aspects of the media strategy employed by the police prior to the demonstrations may have contributed to escalating expectations of violence”.87 We recommend that the Metropolitan Police review how the media reported its briefings on the G20 protests with a view to ensuring that exaggerated and distorted reporting can be countered with a quicker and more effective and authoritative response in future.
78 Ev 58.
79 For example, “G20 summit: Britain’s biggest ever policing operation launched”, Telegraph, last internet update 3.4.09;
“Office staff warned of confrontation as City braces for mass G20 protests”, Observer, 22.3.09.
80 Ev 78 and Q84. Also Q19 and Policing of the G20 Protests, paragraphs 25-6.
81 Q81.
82 Ibid.
83 Qq84-88.
84 See Q234.
85 Q82.
86 Q81.
87 Executive Summary, paragraph 2.

There Is Also A Matter of "The Honor Of Israel"

I read:

Even as settler leaders, politicians and supporters rallied in the capital, other activists spent the day in Judea and Samaria trying to set up new outposts as part of an overall strategy by the Land of Israel Faithful group to expand Jewish holdings in the West Bank...At one called Netzer, located between the Elazar and Alon Shvut settlements in Gush Etzion, border policemen dispersed a group of 15 teens who had gathered there and detained three of them...Two other teens were detained by police at a site called Inbalmin, near the Ma'aleh Michmash settlement in the Binyamin region.

At a hilltop outside of the Avnei Hefetz settlement in Samaria, however, former Kedumim mayor Daniella Weiss said that some hundred activists managed to gather near a new outpost site. Activists would return on Tuesday to the three sites as well as to eight others in Judea and Samaria, she said.

While we have no fundamental ideological differences, this naarischkeit (lit.: kids' play) Daniella is engaged in is not for the Honor of Israel.

Ten more houses in an existing community has much more value.