Monday, January 31, 2011

With A Presidential Candidate in Maaleh HaZeitim

I was, this evening, a guest at a reception for some special guests visiting Israel, and specifically the new areas of Jewish residency in Jerusalem's newer neighborhoods on Mount Scopus, at the Beit Orot compound, and on the southern slope of the Mount of Olives, in a building complex known as Maaleh HaZeitim where over 60 families already live and where there is room for more.

The occasion was another visit of former Governor Michael Huckabee. (Here's a post from August 2009).

He was earlier in the Knesset and then over at Beit Orot for a cornerstone-laying ceremony..

Here's one news report:

Potential 2012 U.S. presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told Jewish settlers residents Monday that attempts to prevent them from building in east Jerusalem are as outrageous as housing discrimination in the United States.

"I cannot imagine, as an American, being told I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English," he said.

Huckabee dismissed the notion that Jewish settlements communities on land the Palestinians want for a future state are obstacles to peace. Instead, he backed the settlers' residents view that they have the right to build anywhere in "the place that God gave them."

And here is an expanded version:

"It is inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live," Huckabee added. "I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English. I would be outraged if someone told me that in my country, I would be prohibited and forbidden to live in a part of that country, for any reason."

At this evening's reception, sponsored by Ateret Kohanim and Dr. Irving and Cherna Moskowitz, at whose home I spent a few days a goo dfew years ago (Cherna addressed us via a video clip), Huckabee made the important point that American settlers, when they arrived in North America, had no ancestral heritage connection with the land unlike the Jews who have had a 3500 year link, based on religious, cultural and historical elements, with this Land.

There were many people there I have known for decades and it was a pleasure to be invited.

Some photographs:

a) Mike Huckabee addressing the guests - that's Effie Eitam to the left

b) Jon Voight is in the center, Yoran Ettinger to the right and Moshe Saperstein front left -

c)  the guests

d)  Dassie & Arthur Marcus of the Cedntral Fund for Israel with me, old and dear friends -

Arutz 7 has a clip.


The Right of Self-Defense

The Right to Self-Defense

Three years ago, the soldiers David Rubin HY"D and Achikam Amichai HY"D were murdered by Arabs while hiking in Nachal Telem in the Har Hebron region. Their friends swore to honor their memories by continuing to hike everywhere in the Land of Israel.

For three years now, there have been weekly ‘David and Achikam hikes’ throughout Judea and Samaria, among springs and caves, streams and breathtaking views.

The hikes are organized by responsible and cautious guides, who have led thousands of hikers from all parts of the country: Ashdod, Rishon Letzion, Bat Yam, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, and more.

Last Friday, the 23rd of Shvat 5771 (Jan. 28, 2011), the group hiked to Biblical Tel Gedor in Gush Etzion. On the way back, Arabs from a
nearby village saw them and began shooting guns and throwing stones. The size of the group – in the dozens – and its make-up – which included people in their ‘70s, made a quick evacuation difficult and while descending the Tel, defensive measures were required.

When army and police forces arrived, they arrested the hikers who were carrying weapons. Those hikers were imprisoned and charged with homicide before it was even established that any Arab had been killed, before a dead body was even produced, and before even one Arab was interrogated.

On Wednesday, the 28th of Shvat, February 2nd, there will be a court hearing in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound. We are asking the public to be there at 9:30 a.m. to demand that the Jewish State allow Jews the right to defend themselves and to demand that those detained be freed immediately.

Why is it that when Jews are murdered, our government officials decry the terrorists, but that when Jews save themselves from being murdered, the victims are treated as murderers? When David and Achikam were murdered, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said “[they] fought bravely”. Why is it that now the victims of last week's hike are being treated as killers?

Do Jews in present-day Israel have the right to remain alive by defending themselves against murderous attackers without being charged with homicide?

Human Rights in Yesha- Honenu- Matteh Yehudi Leumi (Mi"L)- Vaad Mityashvei Shomron- Vaad Mityashvei Binyamin- Judea Action Committee-Chomesh Techilla- Manhigut Yehudit- Matte Tsafon- Nachala- Hamateh Lehatsalat Ha'Am veHaarets- Erets Israel Shelanu-Halamish- Neemanei Erets-Virashtem Ota- Women for Israel's Tomorrow (Women in Green)

For details Yehudit Katsover 050-7161818 Nadia Matar 050-5500834.


"Destroy Israel" Is The Cry From Egypt

This is democratic reform?


Roger Cohen:-

One way to measure the immense distance traveled by Arabs over the past month is to note the one big subject they are not talking about: Israel.


The arguments of those who say, “Better the devil you know” are already clear. Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel-prize-winning Egyptian opposition leader, has immense stature but no organization. The Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist Israel haters, will fill any void. Look at what Arab democracy brings: Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and chaos in Iraq! You want that in Egyptian guise? These arguments are facile...A representative Egyptian government — the one whose birth pangs I believe we are witnessing — will talk about Israel one day...



Jerusalem Is Jewish

Look what I found at page 447 of this book:


Jerusalem achieved a Jewish plurality majority of the demographic makeup of the city over 160 years ago.


Yoav Galant and The Right-Wing

Just a mulling:

How many people know that IDF Chief-in-Command Yoav Galant's home is located in Moshav Amikam which was founded by and affiliated to the Herut- Betar Settlement Center (Mishkei Herut Betar) [phone # here]?  And more details in Hebrew here.


From Post-Zionism To Retro-Anti-Zionism

Here's a headline:-

More than 1,000 Jaffa residents protest
Jewish settlement project being built in the heart of the city


So, those things are not restricted to beyond-the-Green-Line-Israel?

On May 1-2, 1921, Arabs killed Jewish immigrants and others staying at a hostel as well as Yosef-Chaim Brenner, the novelist, in a nearby orchard in Jaffa.

The "killing of Zionism" continues.

Remind me, was it the "Arab port" of Jaffa from where Jonah attempted to flee his mission? A "Palestinian port"? Was Jonah a "Palestinian"?


An Academic View of Terror Activity

From the Journal of Conflict Resolution February 2011 vol. 55 no. 1 133-158:-

Three Two Tango: Territorial Control and Selective Violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza

Ravi Bhavnani, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA;
Dan Miodownik, Departments of Political Science & International Relations, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel;
Hyun Jin Choi, Department of Political Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.


This article extends the formal logic of Stathis Kalyvas’ theory of selective violence to account for three political actors with asymmetric capabilities. In contrast to Kalyvas’ theory, the authors’ computer simulation suggests that (1) selective violence by the stronger actor will be concentrated in areas where weaker actors exercise control; (2) the relative level of selective violence used by weaker actors will be lower because of a reduced capacity to induce civilian collaboration; and (3) areas of parity among the three actors will exhibit low levels of selective violence perpetrated primarily by the strongest actor.

Results from a logistic regression, using empirical data on Israel and two rival Palestinian factions from 2006 to 2008, are consistent with these predictions: Israel was more likely to use selective violence in areas largely controlled by Palestinian factions; zones of incomplete Israeli control were not prone to selective violence; and zones of mixed control witnessed moderate levels of selective violence, mainly by Israel. Nonetheless, Palestinian violence remained consistent with Kalyvas’ predictions.

Wish Upon A...Scimitar

From EOZ:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Does This Mean To You About Settlements?


Maybe Amana or Moetzet Yesha should apply for accreditation?

It's possible:


What is an NGO?

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens’ group, which is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good. Task-oriented and made up of people with common interests, NGOs perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions, bring citizens’ concerns to governments, monitor policy and programme implementation, and encourage participation of civil society stakeholders at the community level. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms, and help monitor and implement international agreements. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, the environment or health. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations (UN) system differs depending on their location and their mandate.

Criteria for association with DPI

•The NGO must support and respect the principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

•Must be of recognized national or international standing;

•Should operate solely on a not-for-profit basis and have tax-exempt status;

•Must have the commitment and the means to conduct effective information programmes with its constituents and to a broader audience about UN activities by publishing newsletters, bulletins and pamphlets; organizing conferences, seminars and round tables; or enlisting the attention of the media;

•Should preferably have a satisfactory record of collaboration with UN Information Centres/Services or other parts of the UN System prior to association.

•Please note that in cases where the NGO has no record of collaboration but the DPI Committee on NGOs approves its applications, it will have a provisional association status of two years until which it can establish a partnership with the relevant UNICs/UNISs or UN system organization;

•The NGO should provide an audited annual financial statement, indicated in US currency, and conducted by a qualified, independent accountant;

•The NGO should have statutes/bylaws providing for a transparent process of taking decisions, elections of officers and members of the Board of Directors.

•Should have an established record of continuity of work for a minimum of three years and should show promise of sustained activity in the future.

Why not?


More On That Football Game.

This game.

Here's the Yedioth Ahronot story that appeared on Thursday in the Hewbrew newspaper edition, starting on the front page:

IDF chief's son battles Judean Rebels

Itay Ashkenazi says tried to avoid 'massive' Palestinian defenders who play for settler football team. Rival captain: This is about more than just sports

The settler [???] football team Judean Rebels, which lead the Israeli Football League after seven games, faced the league's second best team - the Jerusalem Lions - on Thursday, in what was dubbed as the "game of the season."

The star players who lined up on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage certainly added another dimension to the game. On the one side - Itay Ashkenazi, the son of outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. On the other - three Palestinians from Ramallah who will try to sack the Lions' star quarterback whenever they get the chance.

"I separate football from everything else," Ashkenazi, 31, told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily before the game. "On the field it doesn’t help me that my father is the army chief, and it's not a big deal to me, just like I don’t care if the players on the opposing team are Christian, Muslim or Druze. I see them only as football players who are playing against me.

"Naturally, they’ll be looking for my head - to hurt the quarterback - because that's how the game is played, but it is only about sports – and may the best team win," he said.

The brothers Ayoub, Muhammad and Mussa Alian are the star defensive players for the Rebels. After moving from California to the West Bank city of Ramallah about three years ago, the brothers joined the Rebels, a team of settlers which is supported by Breslov hasidim.

The brothers leave Ramallah several hours before each game in case they are delayed at IDF checkpoints along the way. "I really don’t mind playing for a settler team, as long as it helps me realize my dream of playing for a good college team in the US next year," Ayoub said.

"Ashkenazi's son? That doesn't really concern us. We're not into politics," he said.

The three Palestinians practiced with the Lions before joining the Rebels. "We welcomed them with open arms," Ashkenazi said. "They are massive players, and it would be wise of me to try and avoid them during the game."

"Now it's time to prove that we are the better team," Rebels captain Shlomo Shechter said. "This isn’t just about control of the league; it's about control of Jerusalem. This is about more than just sports."

Ashkenazi likened the football league to the IDF: "It's a social melting pot. Just like in the army, the physical challenges bring the people together. The league has Filipinos, Muslims, Jews and Circassians. This is how real coexistence looks like."

The Lions trounced the Rebels 40-16.

The score is always the most important item.


From the IFL site:

Big Blue played almost error-free ball, coming in with an air-tight gameplan and executing it to perfection to jump into sole possession of first place in the division with a much more convincing conquest of the Rebels than the season-opening two-point squeaker.

“They’ve been the best team in the league all season,” said Lions’ coach Yonah Mishaan. “We knew we had to come in ultra prepared to have a chance to beat them. I’m really glad with the way things turned out this time, but I have a feeling this great rivalry isn’t done.”

For now, at least, Big Blue continued its dominance of the Rebels, improving to 4-0 in their lifetime head-to-head, and remaining the only team in the league that has shown the ability to disrupt the Gush Texas offense.

With a mixture of outside blitzes, physical cornerback play, and plain brute strength, the Lions forced the Rebels into three critical fumbles, while not turning over the ball themselves. QB Itay Ashkenazi continued his sparkling run of late, missing on just six of his 21 pass attempts and throwing for 191 yards and five touchdowns, three to Idan Yaron and a pair to Binyamin Schultz.

On defense, the Lions (7-1) were just as dazzling, racking up six sacks for 38 yards and holding a vaunted Rebels offense to almost 27 points less than its average coming in. Yoni Cooper (10 tackles, 3 sacks) and Scott Eisenberg (20 tackles) led the way, but there was plenty of help all around, including a key Kasey Stewart touchdown on a fumble recovery in the endzone when the game was still tight.

For the Rebels (6-2), who have only been beaten by Big Blue this season, they hope it was just a much-needed wake-up call to jolt some fear into the team heading into the playoffs.

Both Alex Swieca (4-11, 62 yards) and Joe Martisius (2 crucial fumbles, although he did have a TD and 14 tackles) put up rare bad games as the offense sputtered badly for most of the night. Zack Miller (60 yards rushing) and Jon Millar (149 total yards, TD) were among the only bright spots for the Orangemen, playing with heart and poise, although Millar had to leave in the third quarter with a back injury that was later diagnosed as (thankfully) a bad bruise.

All in all, a game to forget and move on from the Rebels stand-point and one to build upon and be proud of for the surging Lions.



Shhhh. New Israel Fund

Remember him?:

Israeli Arab writer, activist to spend time behind bars for contacting foreign agent, spying for Hezbollah. Most serious charge removed in plea bargain
And remember this?

The state claims that Makhoul's admission has put an end to accusations of political persecution, some of which were voiced by Makhoul's attorneys during his time in detainment. Makhoul, 52, was arrested in May, and criticism of the manner of the late-night detainment immediately ensued.

Here is Richard Silverstein's weird take:

Makhoul is innocent and wasn’t proven guilty...Makhoul is guilty of nothing more than having contacts outside Israel with other Arab peace and environmental activists

And here is Haaretz:

The verdict stated that Makhoul handed intelligence to a Hezbollah agent on Shin Bet installations in the Haifa region and on Mossad offices in the center of the country. He also attempted, the verdict said, to pass on information about a military base and sought details about the residence of Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin.

But let's go back to this: that Makhoul was director general of the charity Ittijah (Union of Arab Community-Based Associations), acknowledged officially by the UN.

Caroline Glick noted that

...Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman did not simply accuse the likes of Ir Amim, B’Tselem, Adalah, New Profile, Breaking the Silence, the Public Committee Against Torture, Human Rights Watch, Ittijah, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Gisha, HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, Yesh Din and Physicians for Human Rights in Israel of being on Europe’s payroll. He said that these groups “help terrorists, and their main aim is to weaken the IDF and its ability to protect the citizens of the State of Israel.”

The notion that Israeli NGOs may have ties to terrorists is without a doubt political dynamite.

NGO Monitor states:

Ittijah has received funding and support from sources, including the Ford Foundation, the EU, and NGOs such as the New Israel Fund and Christian Aid, whose own politicized activities have been analyzed by NGO Monitor.

And here, too.

And who suggested that groups of American Jews meet with Ittjah?

The Reform Movement's Religious Action Center.



Hillarious Hillaryianisms

David Pryce-Jones (who I have appreciate since The Closed Circle):-

Mrs. Clinton tells us that the Obama administration’s assessment is that “the Egyptian government is stable.” There has been no pronouncement quite so fanciful as that since Jimmy Carter praised the Shah of Iran as a pillar of stability in the Middle East six short weeks before the Shah was run out of Iran. Along with the Arab order, American policy in the Middle East is also shaking.

More Hillarious Hillaryianisms:


QUESTION: It seems to me that when this started out, and we saw the signs and the protestors in the street, they were anti-Mubarak. Now, if you are watching, we are seeing signs that say, “U.S., Stop Backing Mubarak.” What side is the U.S. on, Mubarak, or the people in the streets?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, there’s another choice: it’s the Egyptian people. We’re on the side, as we have been for more than 30 years, of a democratic Egypt that provides both political and economic rights to its people, that respects the universal rights of all Egyptians. And that is the message that every ambassador, whether Republican or Democratic president, everyone has conveyed for over 30 years.


QUESTION: There are people still on the streets in great numbers. On Tuesday, you said that the U.S. Government’s assessment is that the Government of Egypt is stable. Do you believe that was a mistake or do you think today that the Government of Egypt is stable?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Christiane, I know that everybody wants a yes-or-no answer to what are very complicated issues. Obviously, this is a volatile situation. Egypt has been a partner of the United States for over three decades, has been a partner in achieving historic peace with Israel, a partner in trying to stabilize a region that is subject to a lot of challenges. And we have been consistent across those three decades in arguing that real stability only comes from the kind of democratic participation that gives people a chance to feel that they are being heard.


QUESTION: Should Mubarak lose power? Will the United States offer him sanctuary?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I believe strongly that we are only at the beginning of what is unfolding in Egypt. I’m not going to go into hypotheticals and speculation, other than to say that President Mubarak and his government have been an important partner to the United States. I mean, let’s not just focus on today. This is a government that made and kept a peace with Israel that was incredibly important, avoiding violence, turmoil, death in the region. But so much more has to be done, and that is what we are urging.

QUESTION: But you’d like to see him stay in power?

SECRETARY CLINTON: David, you cannot keep trying to put words in my mouth. I’ve never said that. I don’t intend to say that. I want the Egyptian people to have the chance to chart a new future. It needs to be an orderly, peaceful transition to real democracy, not faux democracy like the elections we saw in Iran two years ago, where you have one election 30 years ago and then the people just keep staying in power and become less and less responsive to their people. We want to see a real democracy that reflects the vibrancy of Egyptian society. And we believe that President Mubarak, his government, civil society, political activists, need to be part of a national dialogue to bring that about.


Remember Sarah Palins's "Blood Libel" Incident?

If you do, then what do you think of this?

People, don’t give Sarah Palin and the Tea Party a pass for their hateful rhetoric. It has energized some very disturbed, racist individuals in this country to shoot and kill innocent people in the name of “Take America Back.”

Who are they taking it back from? Last time I checked, we were all Americans… black, white, green, yellow, Jewish, or Catholic. When we go to war, we go as one. When terrorists bomb a building and kill Americans, we all mourn. When a natural disaster devastates an American city and loved ones perish, we all grieve. When teams win championships, black and white fans come together to cheer for their home cities.

Palin, the Tea Party, and right-wing pundits like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly have blood on their hands.  The bodies in Tucson are on them. Palin’s assertion that she’s a victim of “blood libel” is reprehensible and ridiculous. Everyday this lady and those conservative talking heads are on the radio, cable television, Facebook, and Twitter gassing people up with directives to take back the country. They make false claims, including the trope about the black U.S. president not being a citizen. Sick, racist folks listen to this shit, believe it, and are motivated to take violent measures.
(K/t: GP)


Can We Expect This With Jerusalem's New Light Rail Project?


Acculturation Seminar on Islamic Feminine Headwear

HH #302 Is Up !!

And it's here.


Do You See What I See?

Look at this picture and tell me, what do you see?

Yes, I know Debbie J. is pretty but don't you see the Tel Aviv skyline from Nofim across the Green Line?


You and Israel have a problem.  A security problem.

And here's the lady at Itamar, south-east of Shchem (Nablus) and behind here, to the east is the Lower Jordan River Valley and the hills of Jordan:

Did I hear anyone say "strategic depth"?  "Value of territory"?


Jewish [& Google] Wedding Story (Long Time A-Coming)

Haven't posted my Jewish wedding stories in a while so here's today's:-

Rubin and Karp

Anne Merrill Rubin, a manager with Facebook, and Aaron Benjamin Karp, a manager with Google, were married Saturday evening at the River Café in Brooklyn. Rabbi Sheila Goloboy officiated.

...The couple met in Florence, Italy, in January 2005, while studying abroad through New York University.

“He was the only boy in our photography class,” Ms. Rubin said. “I thought he was really cute. He told me he had to leave a little bit early that semester for his brother’s bar mitzvah, and I was like ‘Oh, you’re Jewish?’ We ended up bonding over all things Jewish — it was a little embarrassing and dorky.”

After the semester, they returned to internships in New York and went on their first date to the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village.

"I think we were a little shocked at how well that first date had gone," Ms. Rubin said. “We had been just friends in Italy, and now it seemed we were together in a more romantic context and sparks just started to fly.” Upon graduation, Mr. Karp was hired by Google and moved to Manhattan. Eight months later, Ms. Rubin joined Google, too [and then moved to Facebook].

...In August 2008, they moved in together, into a 550-square-foot studio in Manhattan.

“It was such a small, confined space,” Ms. Rubin said. “If that’s not marriage boot camp, I don’t know what is.”

They have since moved into a much bigger apartment in Brooklyn.

“I’m so excited to have walls and doors for the first time,” Ms. Rubin said.

Mr. Karp noted that “our living room is comically under-furnished with the furniture from our Manhattan apartment.”

But the new place, he added, is complete with the two most important items.

“She and I,” Mr. Karp said
. “That’s all that really matters.”

Hey, what about the mezuzah?


Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 30.1.11:

"We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region. Last night, I spoke with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I also held consultations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and with Israeli intelligence officials.

Our efforts are designed to continue and maintain stability and security in our region. I remind you that the peace between Israel and Egypt has endured for over three decades and our goal is to ensure that these relations continue. Of course, at this time, we must show maximum responsibility, restraint and sagacity and, to this end, I have instructed my fellow ministers to refrain from commenting on this issue. Naturally, we are also holding consultations in the appropriate government forums.

Oh well.


"Rational" (Not) Egyptian Thinking

From MEMRI TV Clip No. 2772: -

Retired General Sameh Saif Al-Yazal, Director of Egyptian Institute for Strategic Studies: It Is a Disgrace for Al-Qaeda to Target Honorable Egyptian Citizens But to Refrain from Attacking Israelis

Following is an interview with retired General Sameh Saif Al-Yazal, director of the Egyptian Institute for Strategic Studies. The interview aired on Egyptian TV on January 1, 2011.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit MEMRI's site here.


New Poll Findings

From January's Peace Index:

A clear majority (68%) of the Jewish public thinks that the Palestinians do not see the two-state solution as the end of the road, and that even if a peace agreement is signed, the Palestinians will continue the struggle to create a Palestinian state in the entire Land of Israel. A recent survey in the territories, which was conducted by and American team, found that the majority of Palestinians indeed view the two-state formula as an interim stage, and believe the conflict will only end when a Palestinian state is established in all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

...The Jewish public is split (48% for each side) on whether Israel can count on an American veto in the United Nations to prevent an overall recognition of the Palestinian state without a peace agreement (a majority of the Arabs expect a U.S. veto). This is apparently one of the reasons that a Jewish plurality (47% as opposed to 39%) views the present situation, in which there is no progress in negotiations, as bad for Israel’s national interests. Among the Arabs two-thirds see it that way.

Should organizations’ funding sources be investigated? A majority of the Jewish public (66.5%) and a small majority of the Arab public (53%) favors investigating the funding sources of the human rights and peace organizations. However, a much larger Jewish majority (84%, and a 62% majority of the Arabs) considers that, if it is decided to investigate the foreign funding, all the organizations should be investigated whatever their political positions. Seventy-two percent of the Jewish public think the investigation should be conducted by the legal authorities rather than by the Knesset, while only 14.5% say the opposite.

I hope foreign observers pay claose attention to that 68% majority of doubters.


The Thousand and Umpteenth Night

Leave it to the Arab imagination:

Raef Najm: Israel will demolish the Al Aqsa mosque

The former Jordanian Minister of Awqaf – a well-known expert on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem affairs- Mr. Raef Najm said that he expect that Israel will manage at the very end to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque.

Najm who was interviewed by Aljazeera channel said that he expect also that it is more likely that the Israeli occupation will deport the Arab Jerusalemites from the holy city, if the Arab formal stance remained as it is appeasing Israel. Najm stressed that what is delaying the Israeli plan is the support that the Arab Jerusalemites received by their Arab brothers inside the Green Line area.

He added that the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat ceded the Jewish Quarter (Al-Sharaf neighborhood) and part of the Armenian Quarter and the Mount of Olives and the territory of the so called "Talmudic gardens" in Camp David negotiations.

He's been at it before.

(K/t: DS)


Middle East Pics From Space

So quiet and peaceful from up there.

(k/t [that's shorthand for "Kippah tip", my Jewish Hat Tip]: Lady OK)


Will Marty Peretz Come Visit Me?

Marty Peretz, grandmaster of American traditional liberalism (meaning true to basic principles of reason, logic and support for just causes) and partner-owner of The New Republic, has settled down in Tel Aviv, as this Jerusalem Post interview informs us:

Peretz seems to enjoy the cultural distractions and comforts of Tel Aviv.

“I’ve made Tel Aviv my locale now because in Jerusalem you wake up in the morning with the Jewish problem, and you go to sleep with the Palestinian problem,” he said. “I don’t like my life to be about politics, about religion, or about conflict.

Jerusalem is a very dour city and it doesn’t suit me. It’s a nasty place – the religious politics suffuses it, the corrupt politics suffuses it and the ideological politics suffuses it.”

Peretz added that while he hasn’t attended the Sheikh Jarrah protests in East Jerusalem, as has been reported, he does plan on going just to see for himself.

I hope he doesn't mind that "settle down" usage.

If he's contemplating a bit of political tourism, besides going to Jerusalem and seeing what goes on at the former Jewish neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik, - founded in the 1870s and whose Jewish residents were ethnically cleansed from the area as a result of Arab aggression launched against Jews to thwart a UN recommendation of territorial compromise, the Partition Plan of
November 29, 1947, which the Jews actually had accepted, - well, I hope he'll accept my invitation to see Shiloh and other pioneering Jewish communities in other parts of the Jewish national homeland.

We're referred to, disparagingly, as "settlements", as if we are intrusive, foreign, temporary and plain bothersome.  But we do belong to this land and we have done much to prove that.

Peretz would be surprised.  Dour we are not.

Marty, you coming?


Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Settlements"? In Egypt?


Are there "settlements" in Egypt?

Or are the Arabs and pro-Pals. in Jaffa simply exploiting media attention?


Zionist Land Transjordan

From this books:


A Steven E. Hughes Poster

That was from the pen of Stephen E. Hughes.



Now in Jerusalem: Call for Employment Restrictions

Found in a synagogue in Jerusalem:


HELP !!!
Do Not Hand Me Over to My Enemy!
"Our Daughters Are Becoming Available to Another Nation"

We Call Upon Shop Owners:

Stop employing enemies in our neighborhoods!
Enough of allowing the enemies of Israel to enter our neighborhoods!
Halt the attacks on our daughters and children!

Get prepared for the campaign against employing enemies!!!


On The "Ra'anana Five" - A Historical Note

On November 11, 1947, British Mandate police and army personnel surrounded a house located in an isolated section of Ra'anana. The hosue was being used as a training camp for members of Lechi, the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel.

Without any calls for surrender, fire was opened by the British and 5 teenaged boys and girls were killed. Another five survived.

From a Lechi announcement:

The Recruits: Ora, Hemda, Ruth, Ariel [and] Fighter-Instructor, Igal

Overwhelmingly outnumbered, they fell in the fields of the Sharon during a surprise attack. Young recruits, they were learning how to join the fight in their people's struggle for survival.

Their innocent blood commands us


"The sons tearing up the flesh of their mother are an obscenity and their sacrilege can never be expiated."
"And the sinning sons of Eli the High Priest, Hofni and Pinchas, are there as well, the pronged forks of their lust held ready, eager for the choice bits of the sacrifice."

In the following days, Lechi killed 7 British security persons and wounded more than 35. The collaborators who revealed the location, of the Shuvki family, Arabs, also were attacked and paid for their act.

The victims names were:

Yitzhak Moskowitz
Leah Gintzler
Yehudit Cohen
Shalom Maharovsky
Sarah Belsky


That Durn Wall

A cartoon (k/t: AL)

that illustrated this Financial Times report:

Settlements bury a Palestinian state by Philip Stephens

that asserts a thesis, in  his understanding of the Palileaks that

The central narrative is much as it seemed – Palestinian weakness and hesitations colliding with Israeli obduracy.
While he does open with balance:


This gloss has a craven Mr Abbas secretly offering to surrender most of East Jerusalem and to abandon millions of refugees. You don’t have to have a suspicious mind to conclude the purpose was to weaken the Palestinian negotiators and to slam the door on more talks. None has been more pleased by the furore than Hamas, the Islamist group in control of Gaza.


Yet, look through the other end of the telescope and it is the Israeli side that comes off worse. While Palestinian officials were ready – desperate even – to (literally) give ground, the Israelis mostly made offers their interlocutors could only refuse.

His conclusion:

The papers thus debunk the myth carefully constructed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of a feckless Palestinian side unwilling to engage properly.

His ridiuculousness is highlighted by twisting history.  This account:

It is important to say there were one or two moments when Israel might have taken a different course. The closest it came to breaking free of intransigence was in 2008 when Ehud Olmert, the then prime minister, made a comprehensive territorial offer to the Palestinians.
is just the opposite.  The Pals. left the table with Olmert's offer but neglected to return or accept it.

Here, from the NYTimes:

In excerpts from the memoirs published Thursday in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, and in an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Olmert provides details on negotiations that have been the focus of attention and Arab anger this week because of leaks to Al Jazeera, the television network, of Palestinian documents with minutes from related meetings. The leaks may well make it harder for concessions to be offered in the future.

Mr. Olmert said the two sides had agreed on key principles: the state of Palestine would have no military; an American-led international security force, not Israeli soldiers, would be stationed on its border with Jordan; Jerusalem would be shared, with its holy sites overseen by a multinational committee; and a limited number of Palestinian refugees would be permitted back into what is now Israel, while the rest would be generously compensated.

The two agreed that Israel could keep some land in the West Bank on which settlements had been built, but disagreed over how much. Mr. Olmert wanted 6.5 percent of the area but would go as low as 5.9 percent; Mr. Abbas offered 1.9 percent.

In a separate interview, Mr. Abbas confirmed most of Mr. Olmert’s account. Both said they hoped at the time that American proposals would settle the differences...

...Mr. Olmert notes in his memoirs that his last meeting with Mr. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, took place on Sept. 16, 2008, in Mr. Olmert’s Jerusalem home. He had presented the Palestinian leader with his map of Palestine minus the 6.5 percent that would stay with Israel. Alongside it was a map of Israel with the equivalent amount of land to be annexed by Palestine.

“Abu Mazen said that he could not decide and that he needed time,” Mr. Olmert writes. “I told him that he was making an historic mistake.

“ ‘Give me the map so that I can consult with my colleagues,’ he said to me. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Take the pen and sign now. You’ll never get an offer that is fairer or more just. Don’t hesitate. This is hard for me too, but we don’t have an option of not resolving this.’

“I saw that he was agonizing. In the end he said to me, ‘Give me a few days. I don’t know my way around maps. I propose that tomorrow we meet with two map experts, one from your side and one from our side. If they tell me that everything is all right, we can sign.’ The next day they called and said that Abu Mazen had forgotten that they needed to be in Amman that day, and they asked to postpone the meeting by a week.

“I haven’t met with Abu Mazen since then. The map stayed with me.”

And what does Stephens claim? That

Mr Olmert’s offer came too late.

But he's spot on with this observation:

If the papers convey a single message, however, it is that the opportunity for a deal has probably passed. The settlements have served their intended purpose of creating facts on the ground that preclude a viable Palestinian state.

That wall in the cartoon?

It's from Jabotinsky's article of 1923.


Lone Jew, Threatened, Forced To Defend Himself

From IDF security camera at Arik Burin that recorded a shooting incident last week in which a lone Jew was threatened with violence and needed to defend himself:


Op-Ed Dished

Following an op-ed piece in ther NYTimes that asserted that Benjamin Netanyahu's government coalition both internally argumentative and habitually intransigent, has not provided much confidence in the chances of even a provisional compromise, especially as settlers continue to build in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

when we know that Jerusalem is not a "settlement" and to describe it as such is simply adopting the Palestinian narrative that denies Jewish national connections to its 3000-year old capital

and refers to

Palestinian incitement and Israeli belligerence

thus equalizing two different matters, besides ignoring Arab terror acts

and proposes an absurd balance of dependence of Israel's

...future as a Jewish democratic state depends on the creation of a peaceful, democratic and stable Palestinian state by its side

and would have us accept a racist proposal which is not to be applied to Israel which must continue to maintain a 20% Arab presence in the state by writing Palestinian state will emerge on a West Bank blanketed with settlements, and the future of the larger, more far-flung settlements must ultimately be decided by a negotiated agreement.

among other nonsensical comment on the situation.

Then these leters were published and I am thankful to Petrushka, Dishler and Rapp and am embarassed for Bronstein:-

To the Editor:

Re “Good News From the Middle East (Really)” (Op-Ed, Jan. 26):

Kudos to Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish for presenting a refreshingly optimistic, balanced and moderate view of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. May the Israeli and Palestinian governments follow the advice recommended by the two commentators en route to the long-awaited compromise between the two peoples.

Yitzhak Bronstein, New York

To the Editor:

The major flaw in Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish’s analysis is the assumption that a two-state solution demands a Palestine free of Jews. That does not leave a warm and fuzzy feeling with many Israelis and their supporters about the future neighborliness of the new state.

Second, such an outcome is impossible to achieve for a whole host of logistical, political and religious reasons. A Palestine free of Jews is a show stopper.

Menachem Petrushka, Flushing, Queens

To the Editor:

This very long essay giving the joint perspective of an Arab and a Jew on the prospects of finally settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does a good job of reviewing the multitude of strategic and political perspectives involved from both sides. But it doesn’t stress enough a fundamental problem: the continuing systematic indoctrination of Palestinian and Arab youth with a distorted religious and racial view of Israelis and Jews.

Since Israel’s founding in 1948 and up to the present, textbooks and other educational materials in Palestinian schools and in schools throughout the Arab world have been filled with anti-Semitic distortions and propaganda, essentially ensuring that continuing generations of Arab youth grow up hating Israel and Jews. Many of the weekly Friday sermonizers at Arab mosques continue to spew forth venomous anti-Israel and anti-Semitic diatribes, reinforcing a maniacal hatred of Jews.

There is no comparable institutionalized demonization of anyone occurring among the vast majority of the democratic Israeli society.

“The softening of hearts” that Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish correctly recognize as an ultimate requirement for a lasting, peaceful resolution of this conflict will not likely occur until this basic flaw is corrected.

Jerry Rapp, New York

To the Editor:

I wish I could be as optimistic as Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish regarding peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The only scenario that they didn’t discuss and that haunts me is the possibility of Hamas’s winning an election in the West Bank after Israel recognizes a Palestinian state.

Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and is heavily armed by Iran. A repeat of the Gaza takeover would be intolerable.

Bernard Dishler, Upper Gwynedd, Pa.

Of course, we should be thankful to Ibish for this analysis from 2005 about the failure of Arab governments to help the Arabs of the territory of the former Mandate of Palestine:

...The outrageous and shameful behaviour of the government of Lebanon, my home country, towards its own Palestinian refugee population would probably be exhibit A, excluded as they are from so many professions, hemmed into some of the most wretched refugee camps in the entire world. There are many other key examples, of course, including the expulsion of Palestinians from Libya and Kuwait, one could go on and on. I doubt anyone in this audience is unaware of this sorry record. It's a sad but true commentary and one that we need to face up to, that Palestinians living in my adopted country, the United States, have more rights than they do in any Arab state. Worse still, Arab governments have consistently encouraged the Palestinian national movement to adopt a set of self-defeating strategies in the pursuit of national liberation. While almost all Arab states have developed pragmatic policies of their own towards Israel, they have promoted political stridency and militant rhetoric among Palestinians, encouraging them to live in a fantasy world in which a simplistic formula of armed struggle, steadfastness, you have to love these buzz words, steadfastness, and worst of all, the very worst buzz word of all, martyrdom, are framed as a serious response to the incredibly complex challenges facing Palestinian national liberation. Many Arab governments have uncompromisingly championed the Palestinian cause with words, of course, only with words, encourage Palestinians to confront the vastly more powerful Israelis alone and virtually unarmed, and then fetishised images of dead and dying Palestinians on satellite television, while fearing and mistreating Palestinians, live Palestinians, in their own states, and at the same time doing all sorts of business, whether openly or covertly, with Israel. In effect, many Arab governments have been willing and committed to fight the Israelis till the last Palestinian.

Ibish has been dished by CAMERA previously.

As for Goldberg, the second author of the original op-ed, well, he was disappointing. The less said, the better for him.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Will Both Banks of the Jordan Be Joined?

I wonder what the thinking is over on the other side of the Jordan River?

Oh, here is one view:

Arab world unrest has Jordan’s king under pressure

Unrest ripping across the Arab world is putting pressure on Jordan's King Abdullah II, a key U.S. ally who has been making promises of reform in recent days in an apparent attempt to quell domestic discontent over economic degradation and lack of political freedoms.

After two weeks of widespread protests inspired by the revolt that overthrew Tunisia's autocratic president, Abdullah has promised reforms in meetings with members of parliament, former prime ministers, civil society institutions and even Jordan's largest opposition group, the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood Movement.

But his promises appear unlikely to quash the opposition's daring calls to elect their prime minister and Cabinet officials, traditionally appointed by the king.

The Muslim Brotherhood called for fresh demonstrations on Friday to press its demand for political and economic reforms.

...When Abdullah ascended to the throne in 1999, he said he envisioned Jordan as one day becoming a constitutional monarchy, similar to Britain.

..."There must be real political reforms to allow the people to have a direct involvement in matters affecting their lives," said Hamza Mansour, the head of the Islamic Action Front, the Brotherhood's political arm...

Maybe Israel can help out here?

After all, the regions on both banks of the Jordan River were once to become the Jewiosh National Home.



In registering at a site, I tried to locate myself and came up - well, minor:

That was the NYTimes' obituary site.


Lisa Threatens Me: "Be Quiet or Be Blocked"

Evidence A:

The opening, she tweets

and then mentions:

lisang Lisa Goldman

RT @JessicaMontell: "Stability is a pernicious word" says @ElBaradei, debunks fear of Muslim Brotherhood bogeyman #Jan25

Evidence B:

"Today is 2011".   ???
"A big day". ???
And then the threat.

Don't you just love progressive liberal radicals?

She is awarded the Monkfish award:


How Long Do We Need To Wait For That "However"?

Wait for the "however":-

Palestinian killed after settlers open fire in West Bank village

Incident comes only a day after police confirmed Palestinian reports saying that a Palestinian youth was shot to death by an unidentified Israeli citizen.

By Avi Issacharoff

One Palestinians youth was killed and another wounded early Friday after settlers reportedly opened fire at a village north of the West Bank city of Hebron, only a day after a Palestinian youth was shot and killed by an unidentified Israeli citizen near Nablus.

According to preliminary Palestinian reports, the incident occurred after dozens of settlers from the settlement of Bat Ayin descended on the village of Khirbet Safa in the early morning hours and confronted some of the locals.

The confrontations reportedly resulted in the setters opening fire at the crowd, leaving one Palestinian lightly wounded and another in critical condition. The two were evacuated to a hospital in Beit Jala near Bethlehem, where one of them, a 17-year-old succumbed to his wounds.

The settlers, however, claimed that a group traveling nearby was fired upon, adding that others came to their rescue. Preliminary reports said it took police and Israel Defense Forces units over half an hour to arrive at the area.
Haaretz is a great newspaper, however...


Football Trumps Politics

Take a close look at who came to last night's football game at Kraft Stadium in Jerusalem's Sacher Park:

In the center, kaffiyeh-headed, is Haj Ibrahim Ahmad Abu El-Hawa of the Jerusalem Peace Makers an "Interfaith group for Understanding, Reconciliation, and Peace".  We spoke afterwards, in Arabic (okay, mine is still basic) and English and he gave me his card.  Who knows, maybe more gridiron and less grit and iron?

After all, three Arab residents, brothers, from Beit Hanina play for the Judean Rebels.

Haaretz yesterday had this:

This week in the IFL sees a Thursday doubleheader in the capital at Kraft Stadium. The Gush Texas Judean Rebels and Big Blue Jerusalem Lions both hold 6-1 records and the result of their bout could determine which of the teams ends up with a first-round bye in the playoffs.

But they lost to my son's team, the Jerusalem Lions, 40-16.

Almost two decades ago, I tried convincing interested-in-peace diplomats that going the indirect route to achieve coexistence understanding was the best path to peace. They listened politely but though they knew better.

Oh well.

Here's a pre-game Channel Two TV report, in Hebrew.


Proud to Be an "Anti-Semite"

This is how values devolve:

At The Nation:

posted by: DejaVu at 01/27/2011 @ 3:49pm

"It's come to the point where being branded an "anti-semite" is actually quite a compliment, meaning someone who has the courage and decency to stand for justice and the innocent in the face of such hideous and vile criminality. Thank you for your piece."

The "piece" was written by Naomi Klein who is a fellow at The Nation Institute.

Yes, things can get mixed up.

Like this, in Klein klutz-clop:

...The Goldstone Report is a serious, fair-minded and extremely disturbing document—which is precisely why the Israeli strategy since its publication has been to talk about pretty much everything except the substance of the report. Distractions have ranged from further posturing about the UN’s bias, to smear campaigns about Justice Goldstone’s personal history, to claims that the report is an integral part of a grand conspiracy to deny Israel’s right to exist...

Writing like that can make one anti-progressive. Proudly so.

(k/t: JB)


Where, O Where?

This is what goes for deep analysis and punditry on the situation we face, the Arab world possibly going under or at the least, into instability:

...Then as if we haven’t learned, up pops Hillary Clinton – first of all calling for reform in the Arab world, then for “stability” in Egypt – stability being universal code-word from Beijing to Brazzaville for dictatorship – and then suddenly when the mob gets heavy the dictators are supposed to open up Facebook again.

It is all very reminiscent of – well, of the 1980s...There was one important factor which made those transitions easier than they might have been, however, and very successful in the cases of some, such as South Korea and Taiwan. That was the leadership of charismatic but, importantly, broad-minded leaders who while demanding change understood key concepts, such as babies and bathwater...That brings us, of course, to Nelson Mandela, currently ailing in South Africa. South Africa is no South Korea, it is true, but as we all know the worst fears of western pessimists of a bloody revenge for the horrors of apartheid were averted, in part due to the magnanimity of men like him...

and then it gets worse:

...The fragmentation and conflicts of the Arab world have buried such figures of authority and prestige under a welter of conspiracy theory, obscurantism and dogma. [and why is that? is it intrinsic to the political culture? to the nature of Islam?] There are plenty of ordinary people who – as sensible people across the world do – feel ambiguous about America, loving its openness and prosperity, fearing its heedlessness to the families who are on the receiving end of its foreign policy blunders...

A bit of light in his tunnel, though:

I have yet to hear anyone blaming Israel for this week’s uprising. But no doubt someone is somewhere.

And his vision?

What is needed, instead, is someone to lay out a vision of the new Egypt, the new Tunisia, the new Libya, Saudi and Yemen...where’s the Arab Mandela when you need him?

That's it?

Well, we all have then a long wait.


Kosher Check

There's a Kashrus Alert: Sushiagogo out:

A company doing business via the internet in the Ramat Beit Shemesh area, under the name Sushiagogo (
aboutus.html) markets its product under the hechsher of Badatz Agudat Yisrael. The company apparently takes email and telephone orders and delivers, as well as selling the product fresh in RBS Aleph.

I spoke with two officials in the badatz earlier this morning at the behest of a number of folks in RBS. The badatz’s Rabbi Gefner, a mifakeach (supervisor), and the badatz’s rav hamachshir, HaRav Binyomin Adler Shlita, confirmed that the company in question does not have a hechsher from Agudah.

They urged me to inform the public that the badatz is in no way responsible for the kashrus integrity of anything sold by the company.

Based on the company’s website and emails, it does not claim any other hechsher so it is entirely possible that the products sold to individuals were without any kashrus hechsher whatsoever. Anyone with halachic concerns is advised to contact their rav/posek.

Sushiagogo: located at 19/4 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Of course, as well, "it is entirely possible that the products sold to individuals were with a very good kashrus hechsher".

So, please check either way you want to go with the sushi.


And two days later:

January 30, 2011

1. Update from Badatz Agudah Regarding Sushiagogo
After hours of phone calls before and after shabbos, Baruch Hashem, the issue regarding Sushiagogo (listed as a Ramat Beit Shemesh
business) has been clarified, thanks mostly due to cooperation of Rabbi Shimon Kroizer, a senior official and a Jerusalem mifakeach in Badatz Agudat Yisrael.

I must commend everyone dealing with the issue, since it was not until very close to shabbos that the actual picture became somewhat clear, and the persons representing Sushiagogo, Badatz Agudas Yisrael and Ramat Beit Shemesh all understood that the situation was due primarily to a lack of communication in the badatz organization, as well as a failure to update the Sushiagogo website, which still shows the business operating locally in RBS, which simply is not the case.

In short, JKN acted responsibly, confirming information with senior badatz officials, including the rav/posek who administratively runs
the organization, but the badatz’s internal sloppy procedural realities resulted in misinformation given to consumers and JKN. JKN fulfilled its mandate of informing the public, at the behest of an established kashrus certifying agency.

I would like to point out the following:
1. No names were mentioned, for this was unnecessary and the goal was to inform the public, not besmirch the name of the owner
2. The alert stated “there was no hechsher” and no accusations of non-kosher were intimated. This would have not been factual since there was no evidence of this
3. Only the minimum information required as per the badatz alert was relayed to the public. Suffice it to say that after hours of conversations and emails, much information is learned but halacha dictates boundaries of what needs to be shared with the general public.

For RBS customers’ familiar with Sushiagogo since its inception, you may or may not know that today, there is a new owner and there simply is no connection to the operation that existed in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Secondly, an agreement was reached a number of weeks ago between Rabbi Kroizer and Sushiagogo, which has been operating out of the Jerusalem-
based Maxim Restaurant [which is under the Badatz Agudah hechsher]. The Agudah was uninformed of this arrangement, and thus took and had no acharayus (responsibility) on the food, as told to us on Friday.

According to Rabbi Kroizer, this deal began a number of weeks ago but as of today, it has ended.

Rabbis Adler and Kroizer stressed to me in conversations this morning to inform the public that as of motzei shabbos, Sushiagogo no longer
has a hechsher.

For reasons that are not going to be shared with readers since they are not relevant, Rabbi Kroizer simply did not get around to informing Rabbi Binyomin Adler, the head of the badatz, and therefore, when calls were made on erev shabbos to Rabbi Gefner, a badatz official, and Rabbi Binyomin Adler Shlita, the rav/posek of the badatz, JKN was told that there was no hechsher, urging us to warn the public that the use of the badatz logo by Sushiagogo was unauthorized.

Rabbi Kroizer expressed his sincere apology for the mess that resulted from his failure to update the head of the badatz, and perhaps is now
increasingly aware of the need to enhance the badatz’s administrative procedures.

All of which justifies my suggestion.


The Diminishing Demographic Dimension

Did you know?

Muslim birth rate falls worldwide

Report says after 2000's 'youth bulge', Muslim population growth to decline over next two decades; 23% of Israel's population will be Muslim by 2030

Falling birth rates will slow the world's Muslim population growth over the next two decades, reducing it on average from 2.2% a year in 1990-2010 to 1.5% a year from now until 2030, a new study says.

Muslims will number 2.2 billion by 2030 compared to 1.6 billion in 2010, making up 26.4% of the world population compared to 23.4% now, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report did not publish figures for worldwide populations of other major religions, but said the United States-based Pew Forum planned similar reports on growth prospects for worldwide Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism.

"The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries," it said, noting the birth rate is falling as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to cities.

"Globally, the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades - an average annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims, compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims," it said.

The report, entitled The Future of the Global Muslim Population, was part of a Pew Forum program analyzing religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

And as I have been noting for the past two decades, our demographic situation here is affected by two major factors:

• Fertility rates in Muslim-majority countries are closely related to women's education levels. In the eight Muslim-majority countries where girls generally receive the fewest years of schooling, the average fertility rate (5.0 children per woman) is more than double the average rate (2.3 children per woman) in the nine Muslim-majority countries where girls generally receive the most years of schooling. One exception is the Palestinian territories, where the average fertility rate (4.5 children per woman) is relatively high even though a girl born there today can expect to receive 14 years of formal education.

• Fewer than half (47.8%) of married women ages 15-49 in Muslim-majority countries use some form of birth control. By comparison, in non-Muslim-majority, less-developed countries nearly two-thirds (63.3%) of all married women in that age group use some form of birth control.

There are other factors but here in the Land of Israel, thyese factors are quite potent, and are working in our favor.


How Not To Negotiate Peace

The gaps in December 2009:


The Israeli side proposed the following:

The return of 1,000 refugees to Israel annually and for a period of five years. These would return for humanitarian reasons.
Return to the State of Palestine would be an internal Palestinian affair.
An international compensation fund would be established, on which Israel would be a member.
Israel rejected to bear any liability for the calamity caused to the Palestinian refugees.
Israel would bear a special liability for the compensation of refugees


the Palestinian side stated the following:

Solutions for the refugees’ properties would be discussed.
The right to return is safeguarded by the international law and UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
The return of 15,000 refugees to Israel on an annual basis for a period of ten renewable years.
Return to the State of Palestine shall be subject to the Palestinian law only.
An international compensation fund shall be incorporated, whereby all refugees would be compensated regardless of their choice. The right is to return, not to either return or receive compensation.
Host countries would be compensated.

The differences of opinion is not just negotiation posture and maneuvering for room to lose or gain but a fundamental and ideological chasm.

This is not peace. Or an intention for peace.

And, by the way, where is the agenda item of Jewish refugees?


Protecting Israel's Rights to and in Its Historic Homeland

Cantor, Hoyer lead push for Obama pledge to veto Palestinian resolution

Key House leaders sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday evening urging that the U.S. veto a resolution at the U.N. Security Council that would declare any post-1967 Israeli settlements, including East Jerusalem, illegal.

The letter comes as the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League push the resolution at the council, which Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed opposition to a week ago...

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), along with House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-Calif.), incoming Middle East subcommittee chairman Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) and Ranking Member Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), asked Obama to "pledge in response to this letter to veto any UN Security Council resolution that criticizes Israel regarding final status issues."

"Instead of negotiating directly with Israel to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, Palestinian leaders continue to seek to circumvent the negotiating process by advocating anti-Israel measures by the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, and UN Human Rights Council," the letter states. "In fact, Palestinian leaders are currently seeking consideration of a Security Council resolution that would condemn Israel for the aforementioned housing construction and demand that Israel cease all such activity.

...The lawmakers also called the resolution "without merit" and called the United Nations action "counter-productive" to the peace process...


J Street is Dangerous (A Continuing Series)


21 year old Jennifer Safarick's car was crushed around 3:30 when she was driving westbound on J Street at the Showboat intersection.

She darted in front of a semi-truck. The area was blocked off for an hour and a half by sheriffs and State Patrol officers.

She was taken to Mary Lanning Hospital for treatment. There is no word on her condition at this time.

You just never know what can happen on a J Street.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is This Group Misleading You?

I received a message from the group Jewish Israel which has been in the forefront of defending Jews from the wave of "Hebrew Messianism" activity that goes on and which seeks to convert Jews to Christianity.

To be exact, here's their Mission Statement which starts off so:-

Jewish Israel takes a critical look at Israel’s alliances with Fundamentalist Christian groups, and provides a platform for ongoing monitoring and pro-active responses to evangelical missionary campaigns targeting Jews for conversion

Of course, Israel doesn't have alliances but rather public and private groups and individuals do and government officials, at least from Menachm Begin's time that I personally remember, have made appearances here and abroad at various functions. All have praised the renewed Christian Zionism movement that has provided vital political and diplomatic support as well as contributions of volunteer work and money to many causes of Israel and Zionism.

As Jewish Israel points out, we must always be vigilant as well as making clear to our Christian allies that proselytizing is unwelcome. We Jews stand on our own religious basis through our historic covenant with God since Abraham's time.  There have been attempts at soul-snatching and it is something to monitor.

Nevertheless, as always, a little bit of zeal can get out of hand.

For example, that message I mentioned above.  Here it is:

A message to all members of Jewish Israel

The Van Leer Jerusalem Insitute will be hosting an interfaith conference on "New Frontiers in Jewish and Christian thought" and covering such topics as conversion, messianism, jesus, paul and Israel's covenant. This appears to be a follow-up to the Yale Divinity School conference which was held last October, as Rabbi Riskin and a number of the speakers who presented presentations at Yale will also be featured at Van Leer. Details of the Jerusalem conference can be found (here).

I would think that some people might presume that the issue of conversion at that conference has something to do with Jews being converted to Christianity and even a discussion of such would really be a non-starter.  And "jesus" and "Messianism".

However, I did take the time to check out the "details" and read that the issue of the conference was Christians converting to Judaism!

Here, follow the arrow:

Now, the alert of Jewish Israel didn't actually lie about the conference topics, but, on the other hand, if someone didn't check and went off and got angry at the Rabbis participating and accusing them of cooperating in the loss of Jewish souls, well, that would be very unfortunate and a result of a bit of a, shall we say, lack of clarity.

The lesson?

Always read and always try to go to the source.

And, too, always be careful with Christians...and Jews.