Saturday, April 30, 2011

Two Poster; Two Target Audiences

The two posters below are advertising attendance at the same event, one calling on Hareidim, the other the nationalist-religious camp:

The difference is obvious, yes?


Palin's Star of David

President Obama goes to a church named Shiloh but Sarah Palin wears a prominent symbol of her connection to the people and the land of Israel where the original Shiloh is:

(k/t = JED)


Is There An Oversight Apparatus for That Money?


The World Bank said on Thursday it would provide $10-million in aid to needy Palestinian families as a new unity deal between Fatah and Hamas raised questions about continued Western assistance.  The international body said the funds would go to 5500 families in the occupied West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, following a similar program in 2009 and 2010 that provided direct aid to some 25,000 families.

The announcement came as two key US lawmakers warned Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas that he risked losing aid from Washington by shunning peace talks with Israel and dealing with the Islamist Hamas movement.  In a letter to Abbas, Republican Representative Kay Granger and Democratic Representative Nita Lowey also expressed "serious concerns" about his efforts to seek UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

Is that money going to assist families of terrorists?  Persons who perhaps assisted terrorists, or provided succor to terrorists?

Who willl check?  The new Hamas-Fatah administration?


Friday, April 29, 2011

Poll Isn't Read Right

Going around but not being read right:-

Nearly half of the Israeli public believes the government should recognise a Palestinian state as long as Israel can keep the major settlement blocs, a survey published on Friday showed.

According to a poll published in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, 48 percent of respondents were in favour of Israel backing a Palestinian state -- on condition they could keep the five main settlement blocs in the West Bank.

But another 41 percent expressed the exact opposite view -- that in light of a Palestinian plan to seek UN recognition for their state this autumn, Israel should "vehemently oppose" the move, even if it meant a head-on confrontation with the United Nations.

More than half the respondents -- 53 percent -- said they believed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should present a diplomatic initiative to end the conflict, including "significant concessions" when he addresses the US Congress next month. But another 42 percent opposed the idea of a plan including significant concessions, the figures showed.

Ynet polls are always off.

Like this one:

The joint poll of Yedioth Ahronoth and Mina Tzemach revealed that 49% of the Israeli support a compromise over Jerusalem. They support handing Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and Arab areas adjacent to it, to the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the same figure (49%) said that they oppose such an agreement, yet the results showed that even before peace talks in Jerusalem wee launched, half of the public in Israel is willing to accept a compromise on Jerusalem for a peace deal with the Palestinians, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

But look carefully at the poll and the question and responses:-

Q: What should Israel do in wake of most of the world’s intention to recognize a Palestinian state in September?

-  Vehemently oppose this also at the price of directly confronting the UN: 41%

-  Also recognize a Palestinian state, while keeping the settlement blocs: 48%

In other words, the 48% conditions a "Palestinian state" on the presence of Jews therein.  And, as we know, the Pals. will not accept Jews in "Palestine" so the whole thing is not only hypothetical but is a non-starter.  The poll is unrealistic.


Crooke Get Creaky

Does this make sense to you?

From "The flawed premises: Two decades failed of state-making in Israel/Palestine":

many in Israel...have promoted the concept of a Palestinian state within provisional borders. But can this exclusionary inclusion really succeed? On the one hand, this techno-spatial political system, in spite of its claim to philosophical legitimacy, is at root no more than an evolution of the paradigm associated with a key Zionist strategist, Vladimir Jabotinsky: A different way to make Palestinians "disappear."

That was Alistair Crooke.

Well, good that he notes that Jabotinsky was a "key strategist" of Zionism but he premise is flawed. Jabo did not act to make the Arabs of the Palestine Mandate "disappear". They just did not merit a state in the Jewish national homeland.


Cinema Quiz

In which film were these lines spoken:

If it isn't Enid and Rebecca--the little Jewish girl and her Aryan friend.

You're late, asshole.

Fine, and how are you?

Did you bring the tape?

You never paid me for that tape of the lndian dance routine.

Yes, I did.

You Jews are so clever with money.

Fuck you! You stupid redneck hick.

Exra bonus:

who is the Aryan?


Don't Forget The Tahrir Square Rape

Reported by the NYTimes:-

Lara Logan thought she was going to die in Tahrir Square when she was sexually assaulted by a mob on the night that Hosni Mubarak’s government fell in Cairo. Ms. Logan, a CBS News correspondent, was in the square preparing a report for “60 Minutes” on Feb. 11 when the celebratory mood suddenly turned threatening. She was ripped away from her producer and bodyguard by a group of men who tore at her clothes and groped and beat her body. “For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands,”...She estimated that the attack involved 200 to 300 men.

...“The city was on fire with celebration” over Mr. Mubarak’s exit, she said, comparing it to a Super Bowl party. She and a camera crew traversed Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the celebrations, interviewing Egyptians and posing for photographs with people who wanted to be seen with an American journalist.

“There was a moment that everything went wrong,” she recalled.

As the cameraman, Richard Butler, was swapping out a battery, Egyptian colleagues who were accompanying the camera crew heard men nearby talking about wanting to take Ms. Logan’s pants off. She said: “Our local people with us said, ‘We’ve gotta get out of here.’ That was literally the moment the mob set on me.”

Mr. Butler, Ms. Logan’s producer, Max McClellan, and two locally hired drivers were “helpless,”...They estimated that they were separated from her for about 25 minutes. “My clothes were torn to pieces,” Ms. Logan said.

She declined to go into more detail about the assault but said: “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence.”


...Before the assault, Ms. Logan said, she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced. “I would have paid more attention to it if I had had any sense of it,” she said. “When women are harassed and subjected to this in society, they’re denied an equal place in that society. Public spaces don’t belong to them. Men control it...

Don't forget - Tharir Square has another symbolic meaning.


Amy Does The Tablet

Devora Myers has a piece on Amy Winehouse in The Tablet entitled 'Hot Mess'.

An excerpt:

...Winehouse wasn’t always the bad girl we see warbling, drunk and off key, during live performances. She was once a freshly scrubbed Jewish teen from Northeast London. Back when she recorded her first album, Frank, at 19, she was curvier and wore her long dark hair in loose waves instead of a mammoth beehive. On that album’s cover she is smiling with a full set of teeth, wearing a pink shirt that could’ve easily been pulled from the racks of Topshop. There’s nary a tattoo in sight. True, she had been kicked out of a prestigious stage school for getting her nose pierced, but that’s hardly scaling the mountain of teenage rebellion.

Winehouse’s musical tastes were informed by her family. Her parents and her paternal grandmother, Cynthia, who once dated the legendary musician Ronnie Scott, raised her on a steady diet of jazz greats and soul singers from Billie Holiday to Ella Fitzgerald to Dinah Washington. She seems genuinely close with her father, Mitch Winehouse—the one man in Amy’s life who has lived up to the ideal man she sings about in “Stronger Than Me.” The elder Winehouse has stood by his daughter throughout ordeals with drugs and alcohol and ably manages her finances and career. He even tried to play the guilt card on her by faking a heart attack in order to force her to confront her drug-abuse problems. “I was at me wits end. I just didn’t know which way to turn. I’d tried everything,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Once I even started screaming said I was having a heart attack, but it didn’t work. Amy’s not stupid and she wanted to see my medical records proving I was actually ill.” Another Jewish father might boast about how his son got into Harvard; Mitch Winehouse talks about he couldn’t fool his addict daughter into believing he was having real chest pains. (Such nachas.)

Hot indeed.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet A Liar

Do you know her?

Mary Hughes Thompson.


She lies. And is ignorant.

Read EOZ.

Original Hebrew Political Satire

Bamba is a popular kids' snack.

This reads: Obamba>

And at the lower right corner is the special Kosher hechsher symnol of the Eidah Hareidit called Badatz.


IDF Supports Policy of Refusal-to-Serve Action

No, not a refusal to serve when a Jewish community is being destroyed, or evacuated or a withdrawal is taking place.  Not that.  That's too, er, Zionist in character.

The IDF is a "humanist" army and is still improving it's Zionism.

Here's the story:

IDF reserve refuses to carry out return of African refugees to Egypt

Soldiers and officers had heard descriptions from colleagues who regularly serve in the area about abuse of the Africans by Egyptian border policemen.
Soldiers and officers in a reserve battalion that served on the Egyptian border in recent weeks have told their commanders they will not take part in "immediate return" - the sending back to Egypt of Africans sneaking into Israel. The brigade commander, meanwhile, has confirmed that the battalion will not carry out "immediate return."

The Negev Brigade's elite reconnaissance battalion completed a three-week deployment on the border. Nearly every night, Africans crossed the frontier, mostly Sudanese and Eritreans, and at least one time, Libyans.
Early in the deployment, a family of Eritreans was stopped. A company commander was ordered to send the transients back toward an Egyptian checkpoint. The soldiers and officers had heard descriptions from colleagues who regularly serve in the area about abuse of the Africans by Egyptian border policemen - violence, rape and murder - and refused to carry out the order. The commander contacted the battalion commander, Lt. Col. (res. ) Avi Friedman.

Friedman supported his men and contacted the brigade commander, Col. Yair Barkat, who then agreed that the troops would not carry out "immediate return."

During the deployment, Africans received medical treatment, food, drink and were taken to a holding area on the Israeli side of the border.

An officer said this week that "this decision received the battalion's full support .... In no way was this a refusal to execute an order, but rather a respectable understanding between the battalion commander and the brigade commander, who was intelligent enough not to get into a conflict over this issue."

The battalion commander, Friedman, declined to comment other than to say he was "very proud of the battalion and fully supportive of the soldiers and officers."...

...Soldiers and officers from the battalion who spoke to Haaretz asked to remain anonymous. "We're proud of what we did, but we don't want to make a big deal out of it," one said. "What we had to say we said internally, to the battalion and brigade commanders. Israel has a problem, and they don't know what to do, so they fob it off on the army."

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for human rights and liberties but I am just wondering, who gets to decide these matters and are similar situations capable of generating the same reactions, including that of Haaretz?


Thank You Hamas


Senior Hamas leader: Interim Palestinian government not able to work on peace with Israel

Mahmoud Zahar says the program 'does not include negotiations with Israel or recognizing it.'; Israel says accord reached between Hamas and Fatah would not secure peace in Mideast.

Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader who participated in the reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas, said on Wednesday that the interim Palestinian government would not be able to work on peace negotiations with Israel.

Well, to borrow a phrase, that settles it.


Hamas: "No recognition - no negotiations"

Yesterday the Palestinian Authority Fatah movement and Hamas reached a reconciliation and unification agreement, even though Hamas did not agree to recognize Israel. Israel has condemned the PA saying they have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas.

The following are PA Fatah and Hamas reactions:

"...[Hamas leader] Mahmoud Azhar said that the political platform of Hamas is 'no recognition [of Israel] and no negotiations.' He said that he's sure that the disagreements between Hamas and Fatah regarding the peace process will not affect the functioning of the government that will be established by this agreement, because the purpose of this government is only to handle internal Palestinian issues...

A spokesman for President Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudena, said, 'In response to Netanyahu's statements, we say that the Palestinian reconciliation and the agreement that was signed today in Cairo are internal Palestinian issues."

[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 28, 2011]


The 11th Volume of Jabotinsky's Letters Published

I was present at the book launch of the 11th volume of the Letters of Ze'ev Jabotinsky. This volume deals with the year 1936.

Pro. Aryeh Naor, Dr. Ido Netanyahu and the editors spoke.

Met friends.

Here I am with Aliza Tur-Malka, widow of the nationalist poet Uri Tzvi Greenberg:

Here is Aliza with Prof. Ben-Tzion Netanyahu (he's 101):

Friends, that's Ella Koblentz at the right:

Ido Netnayahu speaking:

and was sent this:


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Have You A Jewish Grandmother?

I didn't know Jewish grandmothers were that bad.

Reported about Gwyneth Paltrow that:-

the actress used the much maligned c-word during an appearance to describe her maternal grandmother Katherine on Chelsea Handler's late night chat show...the 38-year-old actress was invited on the show, which goes out at 11pm every weekeday, to speak about her cookery book My Father's Daughter.

Midway through their chat Gwyneth and Chelsea came to the realisation that they both had Jewish German grandmothers who they described as mean, and who they both knew as Mutti (German for mummy).

After Chelsea, 36, said her relative was 'a real b****', Gwyneth retorted, referring to her mother's mother, housewife Katherine Danner: 'My Mutti was a real c***'.

The word was bleeped out but eagle-eyed viewers will still be able to lip read and work out what she'd said and the reaction of those around her was a testament to that.

After the actress dropped the C-word, Chelsea recoiled with laughter and the audience broke out into a round of cheers and applause.

Gwyneth said: 'She just hated my guts, basically, and she tried to poison my mother against me.'

'She must not have been very happy and she must have had a lot of pain because she was as mean as hell.'

My grandmothers loved me.


An Archaeological Battle Over Tel Shiloh

Seems Tel Shiloh (yes, with an "h" as it is written in Hebrew as שילה - shin yud lamed hey) is in the news.

First, the good news:

New Archeological Effort Seeks To Unearth Mishkan's Secrets

The Israeli government has authorized a large scale archeological dig at Tel Shiloh, the ancient biblical site that housed the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and served as the Jewish nation's spiritual capital under the leadership of Joshua and the Judges for nearly 370 years.

Tel Shiloh, which is located north of Beit El in the Binyamin Regional Council (Samaria), adjacent to the modern settlement of Shilo, has become a popular attraction for local and foreign tourists.

While the goal of the dig is to showcase the life and times of ancient Israel, Tzofia Dorot, manager and public relations director of the Tel Shiloh tourist site, acknowledged that the location (in the heart of the Ephraim Hills) could prompt an international uproar.

"No doubt, this is going to make political waves, on a local and international scale," she told The Jewish Press. "And it couldn't come at a more crucial time with everything that is going on in the region, with the international community clamoring for Israel to make concessions.

"The effort to discredit and delegitimize our connection to the Land of Israel is gathering steam. It has been particularly intense since Arafat denied that the Jewish Temple ever existed in Jerusalem. But even before the announcement of the large-scale dig, we were been seeing more and more local and foreign visitors here every day. I am certain that once we begin the actual work the interest and visits will increase exponentially."

Remnants of ancient Shiloh's ramparts were uncovered in previous excavations, including parts of the city walls, homes, wine and oil presses, cisterns and huge warehouses containing enormous earthen jars that once contained oil, wine and flour destined for use in the Mishkan.

A number of residents of modern day Shiloh, which was re-established in 1977 [8 actually], have picked up where their forefathers left off, engaging in a variety of agricultural endeavors. Several boutique wineries in the region have been lauded by local and international wine experts as being among the best in the country.

Dorot is actively engaged in raising funds for a new Tel Shiloh educational and historical visitor's center in anticipation of headline-making discoveries. "Recently," she said, "we had three companies present their ideas for development of a major visitor center. I believe that once we've uncovered the secrets buried here for over 2,000 years, many people will come forward to help us create a magnificent center."

And here is the negative news:

Moves by the Israeli government and settler movement to appropriate historical sites undermine Palestinian cultural rights and highlight how Israel exploits archaeological claims for colonial ends. October 2010, while researching a guidebook to Palestine, I found myself increasingly confused about a number of historical sites scattered around the occupied West Bank. None of them had the religious and historical importance of the Ibrahimi Mosque or Rachel’s Tomb, but they had their own place in Palestinian history and architecture. They were places mentioned in Palestinian tourism publications such as the locally-published Alternative Tourism Group travel guide Palestine and The Palestinians, the official Palestinian Authority Ministry of Tourism website, Jericho Municipality’s tourist listings or the "Places to Visit" section of the PA’s diplomatic mission to Japan website. This implied that they were recognized by Palestinian sources as being part of the country’s heritage. But the information about them was hazy, as if their existence was being acknowledged but at the same time they weren’t being incorporated into the itineraries of the growing Palestinian cultural tourism industry. Palestinian tour organizers I spoke to dismissed my inquiries, saying only that "I’ve never been there" or "we don’t take groups there." There was, I soon found, a very good reason for this...

...A second example lies in the green, intricately curving hills of the central West Bank. On the road between Ramallah and Nablus, near the village of Luban al-Sharqiya and the small town of Sinjel, is Khirbet Seilun, or Tel Shiloh. The layers of habitation deposits at the tel (an archaeological term referring to a hill made up of centuries of building remains) show that people have lived there since at least the Canaanite Bronze Age, and there are significant Roman, Byzantine and Islamic remains.

Khirbet Seilun is regarded as sacred by some Jews because is has been identified by some historians as the Biblical Shiloh, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept for a period on its travels north from Mount Sinai. Excavations in the early 1980s uncovered remains from the Canaanite and Israelite periods, but nothing resembling the Tabernacle, the building which may have housed the Ark at Shiloh. More recent archaeological digs have been controversial because they have uncovered a spectacular Byzantine mosaic which some settlers want to move so they can continue searching for the Israelite sacred remains they believe lie beneath the three Byzantine churches and two small mosques on the site.

Unlike the Khan al-Ahmar and monasteries of St. Euthymius and St. Martyrius, a visitor center at Tel Shiloh is already functioning. Rather than being managed by the INPA, the Tel Shiloh site is run by the extremist settlers of Shiloh who, journalists and human rights groups report have been responsible for innumerable attacks, including shootings and arson, against neighboring Palestinian villages and olive farmers. The Shiloh settlement was founded in the 1970s by the Gush Emunim terrorist group, which exploded car bombs against the mayors of several Palestinian cities in 1980, seriously injuring Bassam Shakaa, then mayor of Nablus (see "Shiloh: An Obstacle to Peace," Time, 13 February 1978 and Nur Masalha, Imperial Israel and the Palestinians, 2000, p 123).

Shiloh and the archaeological remains it has appropriated are now marketed as a destination for pilgrimages and religious tourism but, perhaps unsurprisingly given the beliefs of the settlers here, some non-Jewish tourists report being turned away.

Controversy over the archaeological heritage of Khirbet Seilun looks set to escalate. Last month, The Jewish Press reported that the Israeli government had authorized large-scale new excavations at the site. The aims of the excavations were explicitly said by the paper to be "to showcase the life and times of ancient Israel," which suggests that the archaeologists carrying them out have specific intentions as to what they will find – or not find ("New archaeological effort seeks to unearth Mishkan’s secrets," 23 March 2011). The article did not name the director of the new excavations, but previous digs at Khirbet Seilun have been led by Rachel Ehrlich, a hard-line settler who, in a profile on one Christian Zionist website, was described as being "determined to put the site [of Shiloh] on the map [as] the place where the people of Israel first entered the land, where religious life for the Jewish people was centered for the 369 years the Tabernacle stood there" ("Uncovering our Past, Christian Friends of Israel Communities).

Tzofia Dorot, the manager of the Shiloh visitor center, made some telling comments to The Jewish Press about the importance to settler public relations of Israel’s appropriation of heritage sites. She claimed that Shiloh has been "seeing more and more local and foreign visitors" and that three companies with proposals for a "major visitor center" had visited the settlement. This activity occurred in spite of the skepticism from archaeologists about whether Dorot’s "headline-making discoveries" were really likely to be made.

Tzofia Dorot’s comments to The Jewish Press illustrate why the expropriation of Palestinian heritage sites – whether by the State of Israel or by settler groups acting as its proxies – has a significance well beyond the loss of individual buildings or artifacts. In the eyes of settlers and their supporters, in Israel and beyond, stealing Palestinian archaeological and architectural heritage isn’t just about attracting tourists with open wallets. It’s about asserting settler claims to the land, by emphasizing Jewish history over and above that of the peoples and faiths who came before and after them in Palestine. It is also about presenting the Jewish people as the legitimate custodians of Palestine’s Christian heritage, diverting attention from Israeli oppression of the world’s oldest and longest-lived Christian communities and reinforcing misconceptions about the Palestinian struggle as a religious rather than anti-colonial movement.

As Dorot sees it, the international "effort to discredit and delegitimize our connection to the Land of Israel is gathering steam." Thus, showing settler archaeology to gullible tourists, she believes, will be vital in countering "the international community’s clamoring for Israel to make concessions."

Meanwhile, Palestinian heritage organizations such as PACE and Riwaq are increasingly using models of community participation to raise awareness of the value of archaeological remains and the importance of protecting them (Ghattas J. Sayej, "Palestinian archaeology: knowledge, awareness and cultural heritage, Present Pasts, Vol 2, 2010). In Jerusalem, the Centre for Jerusalem Studies and Emek Shaveh are fighting official and settler expropriation of cultural and historical sites. But defending Palestine’s cultural heritage from the Israeli state and settlers is still low on the priority list.

Imagine that. Those uppity Jews, exploiting archaeology to prove who was here first and who has a better claim based on science rather than mythology (like a midnight horse ride from Saudi Arabia to Jerusalem).


This Is So Exciting But It Would Appear A Hoax

RA, the darling, informs me via RotterNet that

This week, the Seattle FBI announced the arrest of Richard Silverstein, 59, for filming, "Young children at the beach that clearly focused on the children's genitals and pubic area as they were changing on the beach or in bathroom stalls. Most of the images portrayed children under 6 years of age."

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), a group of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies working jointly to combat child exploitation, learned of Silverstein's videotaping of children when Broward Sheriff's Deputies noticed Silverstein videotaping children near the public bathing area at the beach last March.

I've been banned from his blog. This news is so exciting (can I use that verb in this context?).

Richard Silverstein is a blogger who hates Israel, hates Zionism, hates good Jews.

He's had articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. His blog is Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

Funnily enough, look what I wrote last November.

But now, Rotter has a 404 notice up.

Did someone read my post and make up the story?

I can't confirm it so I must presume it's a hoax.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There Went Another 'Bright' Idea

Every once in a while, some clever person suggests the idea that Israel, if it withdraws from Judea & Samaria, surrenders its natural defense lines and submits to the establishment of an independent second Arab state in the territory of the former Mandate of Palestine could do so without danger if international military forces would be in place to protect Israel if... (and even Iran suspects that)

Well, after reading this poor showing, I don't think that's a good idea:

Libya: Misrata port shelled despite Nato effort

Misrata has come under attack by Libyan government forces attempting to retake the besieged city. Three people were reportedly killed as missiles slammed into the city's port, a lifeline for those seeking to escape to the rebel stronghold Benghazi.

Nato is enforcing a UN resolution to protect civilians in Libya amid a two-month revolt inspired by other uprisings in the Arab world. A Nato air strike earlier damaged Col Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli.

That attack followed big explosions at the Libyan leader's sprawling Bab al-Azizia compound early on Monday, which government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim called "an attempt to assassinate the leader and other political leaders of this country".

If NATO can't beat Gaddafi, they are not going to secure Israel's existence.


And Look Who Came to the Seder

Belated but here he is:

Is that the kneidelach soup or the eggs in salt water?


If I Can't Pray, Can I At Least Play?

If the Israeli authorities prohibit Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, can we at least play some soccer?

Or is that a privilege reserved for Arabs only?



A Temple Mount Public Service Announcement


Temple Mount Prayer Notes: Connecting to the Heart!

Welcome to Temple Mount Prayer Notes, the only known free service in the world that allows your prayer notes to reach the holiest place on earth, the Temple Mount.

The prayer note carriers – observant Jews - ascend the Mount in strict accordance with Torah law. Prior to the ascent they prepare for and immerse in a kosher mikveh to remove spiritual impurities. While on the Mount they wear non-leather shoes and refrain from treading on the site of the Temple.

The prayer notes are then carried in a circle outside the periphery of the site of the Temple along with recitation of appropriate prayers. Due to the police enforced no-Jewish prayer policy the notes are brought up to the Mount discreetly and the prayers recited silently.

Since it is not possible at this time to bury the notes on the Mount, all notes are inserted into the Western Wall after the encirclement on the Temple Mount is completed.

It is of vital importance to help the Jewish People world over connect and to have at least this limited type access to the Temple Mount. All people from all nations are invited to submit their prayers as well, as it is written “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56)”.

May the Almighty accept all our prayers in Mercy,

The TMPN Team

And here is a video of groups of Hareidim visiting the Temple Mount during the Pesach holiday.

Of All Places - San Francisco Bans A Ritual

A ban on circumcision could end up on San Francisco's November ballot

A voter in the city says he will submit more than 12,000 valid signatures to the elections office today. That's more than the 7,200 needed to get the measure on the ballot.  The proposed new law would make it a misdemeanor to circumcise a person before they are 18-years-old.

"We don't come at this from a religious angle," Lloyd Schofield told the San Francisco Examiner.

"We feel this is a very harmful thing. Parents are guardians. They are not owners of children. It's a felony to tattoo a child."

The Department of Elections has 30-days to review the signatures and determine if the measure qualifies for the November ballot.  Schofield has been pushing for the ban for the past six months and he has spent $9,000 to collect enough signatures.  He has also supported a national campaign to ban circumcision. But while Schofield has found his supporters, religious groups have decried the threat of a ban has a violation of their religious freedom.

The Jerusalem Waldorf-Astoria is Proceeding

I first noted the new hotel in 2008.

And again last March.

Here are up-to-date views of the progress from Pesach:


Wall Posters Roundup

From a stroll near Kikar Shabbat:

a) protesting unmarried boys and men who take rooms in Tiberias and other leaisure sites and calling on parents to take them to task:

b)  no viewing films.  at all.  none.  and those who initiate the viewing and the hall owners are especially bad:

c)  at 3 PM today there was a public ritual slaughtering of a sheep which was employed to instruct about the carcass and entrails of the animal which is being learned in the relevant Talmud sections:

d)  another set of anti-film posters


A Quiz

From where have I quoted these lines?

They are from Clarel by Herman Melville.

I found them here.

Clarel? It was suggested to me by this article.

In brief:

Melville’s long poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) was the last full-length book he published. Until the mid-twentieth century even the most partisan of Melville’s advocates hesitated to endure a four-part poem of 150 cantos and almost 18,000 lines about a naive American named Clarel, on pilgrimage through the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of companions.

And this is an insight:

Clarel carries the erotic theme all the way through to the conclusion of the poem; and, moreover, it attempts to answer the question of why the erotic and the metaphysical should be interrelated in the first place. Clarel, its protagonist, is a young divinity student who goes to Jerusalem to assuage some vague religious unease. In the Holy City he meets and falls in love with Ruth, a beautiful young Jewish girl. Ruth's father Nathan is an American who had married a Jewish-American girl, Agar, and converted to her religion. Espousing his new faith even more than his new wife, he has emigrated with his reluctant spouse and daughter to Palestine. He is hostile to Clarel, while the homesick Agar likes the youth. Thus when Nathan is murdered by marauding Arabs, Clarel's romantic prospects change for the better.

Clarel's reaction to the improvement in his fortunes demonstrates a deep ambivalence which, so long as the affair had been potential only, was not brought into play. Hearing of the killing, he immediately decides to depart the next morning on a pilgrimage which has been organized by some of his friends. His pretext is that because the women are shut away from him in ritual mourning, he cannot bear the solitude of Jerusalem. On the pilgrimage, the poem's foreground is occupied by discourses among the pilgrims on such topics as science, faith, and politics. It would appear that the romantic situation has been jettisoned. And the very few interpreters of Clarel--for it is a poem of over 18,000 bumpy, clangorous lines-are unanimous in viewing the love story as a clumsy frame, all the more clumsy because it occupies the entire first quarter (one out of four books) of the poem. [1]

But because in Clarel the evasive nature of the protagonist's behavior is recognized, the abandonment of love becomes part of the plot itself. The events of the pilgrimage and the incredible quantity of talk in the poem are elaborated against, and referred back to, the motivating event: Clarel's flight from Ruth. Thus the intellectual and erotic dimensions of the situation are integrated...

If you are interested, try this.


Your Terrorist Is His Freedom Fighter?

At the beginning of this month, there was a story involving Jewish "terror".  Remember?  No?  Here:

Elyahu Bet-Zuri suggested sending agents of the Stern Gang, a terrorist group dedicated to forcing the British out of Palestine, to London to kill the prime minister.  MI5 was concerned that Jewish extremists might try to assassinate other leading British politicians, in particular the post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, files released to the National Archives reveal.  Major James Robertson, from the agency's Middle East section, said threats made by Bet-Zuri in November 1944 were disclosed by another member of the Stern Gang who was arrested in April 1945.

The suspect revealed: "As soon as he [Bet-Zuri] returned to Stern Group headquarters he proposed to suggest a plan for the assassination of highly placed British political personalities, including Mr Churchill, for which purpose emissaries should be sent to London."   But Maj Robertson noted: "The above information does not, as you will see, amount to very much...


So. were these Arabs "terrorists"?   These:

At midday on Friday, 12 June 1936 by Lions’ Gate just outside the Old City of Jerusalem, two armed Palestinians, Bahjat Abu Gharbiyah and Sami al-Ansari, both teachers aged respectively twenty and eighteen, ambushed a car containing British acting Assistant Superintendent Alan Sigrist and his guard, British Constable Edmund Doxat. The assailants’ primary target was the senior officer, Sigrist, not Doxat. This was after almost two months into the Arab revolt in Palestine during which Palestinian and Arab rebels targeted British officials, in protest against Britain’s policy of supporting Jewish immigration and settlement to the country. Sigrist was on his regular tour of the British police guarding the gates of the Old City but as it was also the day for Friday prayers, British security was tighter than usual. As a young a cousin of al-Ansari, Serene Husseini, recalled: “as the time for noon prayers drew closer. The streets were heavy with anger. As men and women entered the gates of the al Aqsa Mosque their faces betrayed worry and sadness.”1

Sigrist was driving a left-hand drive car on the right side of the road as cars had been introduced to Palestine in the Ottoman era, before the British – who drive on the left – arrived in 1917.2 Doxat sat to Sigrist’s right in the passenger seat armed with a British Army-issue Lee-Enfield rifle as well as a Service revolver pistol. As the two men drove away from St. Stephen’s Gate following Sigrist’s visit to the police picket there, the assassins, who had been tracking Sigrist’s daily schedule, struck on the Jericho road just outside, shooting Sigrist as he was returning to Herod’s Gate on the incline by the Muslim cemetery a few meters before the turn at the northeast corner of the Old City walls. Sigrist being on the road-side of the car meant that the two assassins had to step into the middle of the road to shoot him, and as both men aimed at Sigrist this left Doxat temporarily free to return fire. The assassins had chosen this spot as Sigrist’s car slowed on the incline before the turning; Abu Gharbiyah’s memory is that both men were “calm and in full control of the situation” when they launched their attack.3

In June 2009, Abu Gharbiyah, now ninety-three, consented to an interview with this author at his home in Amman, Jordan.4 His recollections supplemented by contemporary records provide a useful counter-narrative to the traditional British account of undiluted rebel terrorism, and one that this essay will go on to describe in an attempt to explore the contested terrain of who used violence in Palestine at this time and for what purpose. Using the shooting of Sigrist as a case study opens up wider debates on official and unofficial aggression, complementing recent academic studies on Britain’s use of force in Palestine at this time, and giving voice to what Edward Said has described as the “invisible and inaudible” Palestinians who fought the British in the late 1930s.5 That said, oral history and memory have their pitfalls. Thus, a British Palestine police contemporary of Sigrist (and present at his funeral some twenty years ago) read this author’s account of Sigrist’s activities in Jerusalem and remembered Sigrist as a “pleasant chap and a bit of a scholar,” a description that jars with the account that follows of Sigrist’s violence directed at Palestinians, as readers will discover.6

The shooting of Sigrist gets little mention in the literature, not surprising considering the large number of attacks on British officials during the revolt in Palestine. In Tom Segev’s One Palestine, Complete (2000), the outrage is recorded simply as, “a young Arab [al-Ansari] opened fire on the car of a Jerusalem police officer, wounding him. A British soldier returned fire; the Arab was hit and later died.”7 The Palestine Post reported that the two assassins had hidden below the side of the Jericho road before the attack, a claim refuted by Abu Gharbiyah who later wrote that they were both walking openly in the street; other accounts have the men jumping on and, in one case, into the car.8 Abu Gharbiyah hid his weapon under his tarbush while al-Ansari’s was in his pocket – both men had automatic pistols, Abu Gharbiyah an Italian Beretta and al-Ansari a French Lafayette.9 Abu Gharbiyah and al-Ansari fired together from about a meter away at Sigrist who was inside the car, shooting him twice in the chest and shoulder (or, more likely, one round caused both wounds), the latter a serious wound. The secondary target, Doxat, sat alongside his superior officer struggling with his rifle inside the confined space of the car. Abu Gharbiyah and al-Ansari had agreed to fire slowly but Doxat managed to return fire with his pistol that he had previously drawn on seeing the two men loitering in the area, so al-Ansari shouted at Abu Gharbiyah to shoot more rapidly.10 Doxat was quick to react as he was returning fire at the same time or even before the two assassins opened up with their weapons on Sigrist, shooting at first to his left across his comrade and through his open window, a decisive reaction that would surely have deafened Sigrist.11 Doxat and the assassins also exchanged bullets through the shattered windscreen. In the mêlée, al-Ansari emptied his pistol and ran off, wounded, shot by Doxat in the fire-fight. His direction of flight is uncertain, either to the south and east towards Gethsemane and the Kidron valley, or to the north towards Wadi el-Joz, according to Abu Gharbiyah.12 Abu Gharbiyah fired off his last rounds at Doxat, some or all of the bullets deflected by the car’s (reinforced) glass or bodywork, aware that by chance an Army-escorted Jewish Potash Company convoy was approaching from the southeast. Sigrist had slumped back when shot, releasing his feet from the car’s pedals, so Doxat had shot al-Ansari while inside a vehicle rolling backwards, under fire, pulling on the hand-brake, and alongside his badly wounded superior officer – no mean feat...

...during the revolt Palestinians attacked British police officers, soldiers and officials, including high-profile victims such as British police Inspector-General R. G. B. Spicer who in 1937 had a narrow escape when a would-be assassin emptied his pistol into his car at point-blank range as he was being driven through the gates of the Russian Compound in Jerusalem.26 On 28 May 1936, inside Jerusalem’s Old City, rebels killed British Constable Robert (or Ronald) Bird with three shots from the window of a building, one of which went through his heart.27 At the same time as the Sigrist shooting, rebels tried to kill J. A. M. Faraday, Deputy Superintendent in Nazareth.28 Certainly, being a British official made someone a target but the rebels also discriminated, picking on particularly hated authority figures such as the pro-Zionist Assistant District Commissioner in Galilee, Lewis Andrews, who was shot dead leaving church in Nazareth on 26 September 1937. In Jenin on 24 August 1938, an assassin shot nine times and killed acting Assistant District Commissioner W. S. S. Moffat, “known for his bad behaviour,” a man who, Abu Gharbiyah claims, lined up Palestinian villagers during the revolt and shot every fifth man when hidden rifles were not produced for the authorities.29 In Moffat’s case, the British quickly apprehended the assassin after the murder – he was, apparently, a blond hunchback and so rather visible – after which in the tradition of al-Ansari he died in custody, trying to escape, despite his disability and being surrounded by fit, young British soldiers.30 “Shot trying to escape” is a recurring phrase in British files. Then again, the Arabs nicknamed Moffat’s assassin, “Mohammed,” “gazelle” because he was so swift.31 (Jewish files in the Haganah archive tell the remarkable tale that Moffat’s assassin, ‘Ali Muhammad el-Mahmoud, dressed up as a hunchback, leaving Jenin’s genuine hunchback to face the music. British soldiers shot the innocent “real” hunchback.)32

Similarly, in Abu Gharbiyah’s memoirs, he recalled how some forty days after the attempt on Sigrist he attacked two Royal Air Force (RAF) servicemen, near the same spot as the 12 June assault, shooting them with a pistol hidden inside his tarbush.33 This is a reference to the shooting by an “unknown assailant” of Aircraftsman C. D. White and a colleague on the Jericho road near Gethsemane on 10 August 1936.34 White died; the other man was wounded. Significantly, Abu Gharbiyah claimed that he had picked the two men because of the RAF’s aerial bombing of rebels in the countryside of Palestine. Indeed, before attacking them, he had considered targeting a Jewish carpentry shop in the Old City, near al-Ansari’s house, but had subsequently changed his mind, “since the English were the main enemies.”35 “

There's more there.

What say you?


Can You Get To Columbia Next Week?

If so, you might be interested in a very un-balanced panel discussion in the tradition of non-academic insitutions:



This panel is dedicated to examining the reality and consequences of Israel's war and siege of Gaza. What do we know about Gaza 2008-2009 today after several investigations by various human rights organizations? Is the head of the UN fact-finding mission Justice Richard Goldstone right in arguing (as he did recently) that a 'reconsideration' of his UN report, which found evidence of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, is now in order?


Norman G. Finkelstein, author of This Time We Went Too Far: Truth and Consequences of the Gaza Invasion

Rashid Khalidi, author of The Iron Cage, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia, and Co-Director of CPS

Peter Weiss, Vice President, Center for Constitutional Rights

2 May 2011, 7:30 PM ~ 10:00 PM
Room 417, Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building, Columbia University
420 West 118th Street, NY, NY 10027

And don't do anything I would do there.


Look at this "scholarship" there (lower down on the page):


Spring 2011 Middle East W4053 (NEW COURSE)


Instructor: Salim Tamari

Spring 2011 Middle East G6225 (NEW COURSE)


Instructor: Salim Tamari

Spring 2011 Anthropology V3887 (NEW COURSE)


Instructor: Rhoda Kanaaneh

Spring 2011 English BC3149 (NEW COURSE)


Instructor: Bashir Abu-Manneh

Tuesday & Thursday, 2:40-3:55 PM, Room TBA The significance of colonial encounter, statehood, and dispossession in Palestinian and Israeli cultures from 1948 to the present, examined in a range of cultural forms: poetry, political tracts, cinema, fiction, memoirs, and travel writing. Authors include: Darwish, Grossman, Habibi, Khalifeh, Khleifi, Kanafani, Oz, Shabtai, Shalev, and Yehoshua.

FALL 2010

Fall 2010 History G8716

POLTICS OF TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST; Politics of Truth and Reconciliation in the Middle East; 4 points

Instructor: Thomas Hill

W 2:10-4, 311 Fayerweather.


Spring 2010 History G9713


Instructor: Rashid Khalidi

Tuesday 2:10pm-4:00pm 208 KNOX HALL

Your US Tax Dollars at Work

I've been informed that the U.S. Contributes $126.8 Million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and here's the full statement:

The United States is pleased to announce a contribution of $126.8 million toward the 2011 operations of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The contribution, funded through the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, will support UNHCR’s programs worldwide, including refugee returns to such places as Afghanistan and the Sudan; local integration and resettlement; and protection and life-saving assistance. U.S. funding supports the provision of water, shelter, food, healthcare, and education to refugees, internally displaced persons, and other persons under UNHCR’s care and protection in countries such as Iraq, Colombia, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda.

However, did you know that last March, the Office of the Spokesman of the State Department announced that

Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz welcomed Filippo Grandi, recently appointed Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), to Washington DC on March 11, 2010, and announced that the U.S. will make an additional planned contribution of $55 million to UNRWA.

The United States is UNRWA’s largest donor. The announced contribution of $55 million includes $30 million to UNRWA’s General Fund, which provides core services to Palestinian refugees across the region, and $25 million to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for the West Bank and Gaza. This additional funding will bring total U.S contributions to UNRWA thus far in Fiscal Year 2010 to $95 million. In 2009, the United States provided more than $267 million to UNRWA.

I tried to do some math.

The number of refugees the UNHCFR takes care of is

The latest figures available show that the number of refugees of concern to UNHCR stood at 10.4 million refugees at the beginning of 2011, down slightly from a year earlier.


A further 4.7 million registered refugees are looked after in some 60 camps in the Middle East by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which was set up in 1949 to care for displaced Palestinians.

So, aided by IB, it seems that the US tax payer is contributing $20.20 or so to a "Palestinian refugee" where as any other type of refugee only receives $12.20 per person.

Does that sound fair?

And consider just one figure I found on page 27:-

An estimated 251,500 refugees and 2.2 million IDPs returned in 2009. This is the lowest number of refugee returns in 20 years, and signifcantly below the 604,000 refugees who returned home in 2008.

So, whereas there is a major flux of population from refugee status back to indigenous status or resettled status, the "Palestinian refugees" do neither.  They stay where they are and refuse to be resettled even though the UN stipulated that in addition to repatriation, compensation is also an alternative.

So for all those who leave nasty comments about US tax money going to Israel, have fun with this figure.


P.S.  I have been updated:

June 18, 2010

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that the United States will be making an additional contribution of $60.3 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to support UNRWA’s core budget and special projects in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.

The $60.3 million contribution will provide critical services, including health, to 4.7 million Palestinian refugees. Of this contribution, $5.7 million will support nine special projects, including reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools in Jordan, Syria, and the West Bank, an afterschool program for refugee children in Lebanon, and a referral system to help refugees facing gender-based violence.

With this contribution, the U.S. will have provided more than $225 million to UNRWA in 2010, including $120 million to its General Fund, $75 million to its West Bank/Gaza emergency programs, $20 million to emergency programs in Lebanon, and $10 million for the construction of five new schools in Gaza.

The U.S. commitment to the welfare of the Palestinian people was further underscored by the President’s June 9 announcement that the United States will move forward with $400 million to increase access to clean drinking water, create jobs, build schools, and address critical housing and infrastructure needs in the West Bank and Gaza. As UNRWA’s largest bilateral donor, the U.S. recognizes the critical role UNRWA plays in assisting Palestinian refugees and maintaining regional stability and calls upon other donors to enhance their support for UNRWA.

I'll let you do the additional math.


Better: Stay Alive

I received this notice:

On the 21st April, a meeting regarding the discussions and reflections on the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni was held in Rome amongst different activists. From the gathering, the need to organize a convoy to Gaza through Egypt was decided.   Let’s start this process by sharing those points:

- We want to go to Gaza through Rafah Border Crossing with all in the world that need to say aloud what Vittorio used to say: Stay human!
We want to do it from Egypt because, in the post Mubarak era, that border must be opened to break the siege imposed for too long on the people in Gaza.
- We want to be in Gaza on the 15th May which is the 1 month
anniversary of Vittorio’s death. It will be also Nakba day, when thousands of young Palestinians, as already announced, will go back to the street all over the world to ask for the end of the occupation and also, a new unity and the end of the internal division within the Palestinian authorities.

Hey, guys, it's better to first stay alive.

Your "friends" there in Gaza will kill you.


I Was There

Caught this in an article in Haaretz and just wanted my readers to know, I was there in the subterranean cistern and stepped inside (but not into the water) and down a step or two.

I was there with Yoel Bin-Nun and Yoel Elitzur investigating what Rabbi Getz had done on special invitation and a day or two later, the fight broke out:

Journalist Nadav Shragai, who investigated the tunnels for his 1995 Hebrew-language book "The Temple Mount Conflict," explains that, according to Maimonides, when King Solomon was building the First Temple he knew it would eventually be destroyed, so he "built a structure in which to hide the Ark, down below in deep and twisting concealed places." Getz believed the Ark of the Covenant, which had not been seen since Solomon's days, was still hidden beneath the Temple Mount. The Ark, Getz believed, would hasten the redemption. Except that his excavations nearly led to bloodshed.

Getz spearheaded the excavation of the Western Wall tunnels, which were meant to expose the western wall of the Temple Mount in its entirety. The tunnels stretch northward from the Western Wall plaza deep into the Muslim Quarter. One visual highlight of the tunnel tour is a colossal carved stone weighing hundreds of tons. Given the limits of Second Temple-era engineering capabilities, it is still unclear how the stone got there. The tunnels also afford visitors the opportunity to pray at the closest point to the Temple's Holy of Holies.

But Getz wanted much more. In 1981, his excavators broke eastward onto the Temple Mount, into an ancient tunnel first excavated by Warren. Getz was looking for signs of the Ark. His excavation was conducted under a heavy cloak of secrecy, with knowledge of it kept even from Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

When Waqf officials discovered the tunnel, a massive altercation broke out between the excavators and Palestinian youths who entered the tunnel from the Temple Mount side. In the wake of the riot, then-Minister of Religious Affairs Yosef Burg, ordered the opening sealed.

In his book, Shragai quotes from the diary of a frustrated Getz, who wrote on September 3, 1981: "A sound of beating, a sound of Arabs in the tunnel. Apparently, they are sealing the inside of the wall with thick concrete. Every shout is like a dagger in my wounded heart. I yelled out: 'O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy Temple have they defiled.' But I must be stronger, and not be broken, for I must continue in my capacity, even if I am alone in the war."


The Inhumanity of the Palestinian Authority

PA daily: "Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes"

As per PMW -

An article in the official PA daily newspaper claims that Palestinian Christian youth perform a spring march in the streets that includes the chant: "Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes." (See PMW web site for examples of the Palestinian Authority referring to Jews as "apes and pigs.") He writes that these "meaningful messages" are in response to Israel's security measures in Jerusalem during the holiday of Passover:

"For many years the holy city [Jerusalem] has been deliberately closed to Palestinians, under security-related pretexts and for the Jewish festival of Passover."

The writer says that the Easter services in Jerusalem have lost their Palestinian flavor because of western Christian pilgrims:

"The festivities at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have begun to assume a western character, because of the massive presence of foreign Christian pilgrims and the limited presence of Palestinians."

But the writer insists that in Palestinian Authority cities, the festivities have retained their Palestinian flavor. He describes youth chanting that the Jewish holiday of Passover is the "Holiday of the Apes":

"The spring carnival has retained its [Palestinian] flavor in towns such as Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Ramallah... with the demonstrations of the Scouts, songs, dances, and popular Palestinian hymns about Christian-Islamic unity and internal Christian unity. These hymns carry meaningful messages, in response to the Israeli prohibition [to enter Jerusalem], as seen in the calls of the youth who lead the procession of light, waving swords and not caring if anyone accuses them of anti-Semitism: ... 'Our master, Jesus, the Messiah, the Messiah redeemed us, with his blood he bought us, and today we are joyous while the Jews are sad,' and, 'Jews, Jews! Your holiday is the Holiday of the Apes, while our holiday is the Holiday of the Messiah.'"

[PA TV (Fatah), April 11, 2011]


Nope, No Rights

I agree, and have lectured so, with Eli E. Hertz:-

International law expert Professor Eugene V. Rostow, a key draftee of the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution 242, examining the claim for Arab Palestinian self-determination on the basis of law, concluded: [1]

"The Mandate [for Palestine] [2] implicitly denies Arab claims to national political rights in the area in favor of the Jews; the mandated territory was in effect reserved to the Jewish people for their self-determination and political development, in acknowledgment of the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land. Lord Curzon, who was then the British Foreign Minister, made this reading of the mandate explicit. There remains simply the theory that the Arab inhabitants of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have an inherent 'natural law' claim to the area. Neither customary international law nor the United Nations Charter acknowledges that every group of people claiming to be a nation has the right to a state of its own." [italics by author]

Political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs, were guaranteed by the League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].


[1] See Eugene V. Rostow, The Future of Palestine, Institute for National Strategic Studies, November 1993. Professor Rostow was Sterling Professor of Law and Public Affairs Emeritus at Yale University and served as the Dean of Yale Law School (1955-66); Distinguished Research Professor of Law and Diplomacy, National Defense University; Adjunct Fellow, American Enterprise Institute. In 1967, as U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, he became a key draftee of UN Security Council Resolution 242. See also his article: "Are Israel's Settlements Legal?" The New Republic, October 21, 1991.

[2] "Mandate for Palestine" at:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wow! Obama Comes To Shiloh

Well, not the Shiloh where I live.

But a Shiloh nevertheless:

Obama family to worship at Shiloh Baptist Church for Easter

Long before the sun rose over the Shiloh Baptist Church, people were passing through metaldetectors at the historic African American congregation where President Barack Obama and his family will celebrate Easter.

Despite an army of smiling Secret Service agents and D.C. Police cars outside, the folks were rocking at the 6 a.m. service to the sounds of the gospel standard "How I Got Over."

Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, in the church's program, said, "We are honored to welcome to our 10 a.m. Easter service President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia and Sasha. Shiloh prays for the first family every Sunday and we thank God for the wonderful inspiration they provide to our nation."

Mr. President, why don't you come on over to the original Shiloh?

You can pray here (and no racist sermons!).

We have three Byzantine basilicas.

We also have a good few synagogues (mosques are in the nearby villages).

Barack, can we be expecting you?

Think about what the pastor said last year, about a God-given land:-

Wallace Charles Smith wrote last September, on the church's 147th anniversary, that the group "could not see the way ahead ... but went forth to a land they felt God had given them."

That God-given land is Israel, the Holy Land, the land God made a covenant with the people of Israel.

And I liked this so much, I left a comment at the ABC blog:



Obama’s Easter Sunday Pastor Rails Against Racist Talk Radio (Compares Rush to KKK!)

The media stood and applauded yesterday when President Obama and his family went to church for Easter. Yesterday’s visit to Shiloh Baptist Church in D.C. shows again that Obama really is a man of faith, the reports seem to suggest.  But while the media rushed to report on the first family’s attendance of the predominately black congregation (and the family’s outfits), what it failed to mention are the views held by the church’s pastor. And while those views have not been delivered in the same fiery manner as Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, they sound eerily familiar.

What views are those? How about him saying in 2010 that the country is still racist, that racists get programs on Fox News, and that Rush Limbaugh is the new KKK.

James Parker at WRNO-FM in New Orleans did some digging yesterday about Shiloh Baptist’s pastor, Dr. Wallace Charles Smith. Not only did he find that Smith loves to preach on race, but he noticed Smith even infused race into yesterday’s Easter sermon:

One has to dig into the blog notes from various reporters to piece together the content from the sermon. Aside from the First Couple being honored guests, Pastor Wallace Charles Smith also announces that his 4 week old grandson is attending church for the first time, and a pool reporter noted an interesting perspective on the infant:

“[Pastor Smith] talked about how his baby grandson’s gurgling is actually “talking” because he is saying ‘I am here … they tried to write me off as 3/5 a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now … and is saying I am not going to let anybody from stopping me from being what God wants me to be.’”


The Murder of a Jew - Reactions

Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, who is Ben-Yosef's aunt, eulogized the victim saying: "My brother's son was murdered by a terrorist masked as a Palestinian police officer, for no more reason than his wish to pray, he was innocent."

The victim's aunt, Science and Culture Minister Limor Livnat, released the following statement following his death: "The minister is shocked by the murder of her nephew. A young man whose goal on the final eve of Passover was just to pray was killed in cold blood in a revolting matter, and left behind a wife and four orphans."

The minister, accompanied by her parents at the funeral, said that her "nephew was killed by a terrorist disguised as a Palestinian policeman, through no fault of his own, just because he wished to pray. He was a person who just wanted to do good."

Livnat tearfully added "my nephew was named for Shlomo Ben-Joseph who sacrificed his soul for the land of Israel, and now my nephew has been murdered for the land of Israel, my dear son."


The Yesha Council issued the following statement: "This morning's murder by Palestinian police officers cannot be tolerated. Of the recent murder of Jews was the result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority, then this is a murder committed by the PA itself, just like in the days of Arafat."


MK Danny Danon (Likud) called on the US to reconsider its funding of the Palestinian security forces, as well as the training exercises that it does with them. He passed this request on to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"As a true friend of Israel, we expect that the objective of this training would be to ensure Israeli security and not to kill its citizens," he said.

The death notice of the Shuvu Banim Yeshiva where he studied:


What If B'tselem, Amnesty, HRW, Et Al. Were Fair & Objective

If they were fair and objective, then, as a friend of mine suggested, some questions should be asked of them:

What body, institution or person will be investigating this suspected war crime?

The Palestinian Authority has been shown to be totally incapable of investigating itself so, perhaps the ICC is the appropriate venue for a trial.  Moreover, maybe an NGO venue is appropriate or a framework like the Russell Tribunal?

Did the Arabs who murdered Livnat and wounded the others intentionally seek to kill innocent civilians?

Did they have evidence or any reason to think that they were firing their weapons at a legitimate military target rather than civilians?

Was disproportionate forced used?

What is the responsibility of political and military personnel in this?

Does a policy of targeting civilians exist?

What is the responsibility of the states and individuals involved in providing the weapons and training?  Is the United States a body to be investigated?

Should the Oslo Accords be renegotiated in this matter of religious sites?


This is NOT A Message from Chabad


Indian doctor says Hindu holy man Sathya Sai Baba, considered a living god by followers, dies

Sunday, April 24, 1:15 AM

PUTTAPARTI, India — Indian doctor says Hindu holy man Sathya Sai Baba, considered a living god by followers, dies.


IDF SPOX Serves...the PA?

LBD asked me:

Why is the IDF Spokesman’s office rushing to serve as the PA press spokesman? What was the Chassidims’ “suspicious movement?” They were breathing?

See this Bloomberg item:

Israeli Killed in West Bank Shooting Incident, Army Says

By Gwen Ackerman - Apr 24, 2011 10:05 AM GMT+0300 A Palestinian policeman in the West Bank opened fire at “suspicious movement” today, killing an Israeli civilian and wounding four others, the Israeli Army Spokesman’s Office said in an e-mailed statement.

Palestinian officials informed the Israeli army of the incident and the two sides will hold a meeting to examine the incident later today, the statement said.

Yes, that's what the IDF published.


The Middle East and the Royal Wedding

This is unbelievable (and it is the News of the World) but also ABC:-

Wills and Kate will have a week in Jordan

WILLS and Kate will spend a very private honeymoon in the kingdom of Jordan - at a luxury villa owned by the Middle East country's king. The villa, part of King Abdullah II's lavish personal summer palace, is in Red Sea resort Aqaba. It is surrounded by miles of private beach and protected by the monarch's elite military guard.

A source close to the Jordanian Royal Family told us: "The King has known the British Royal Family all his life and knew he could offer the newlyweds privacy unlike anywhere else in the world. It is completely isolated and hidden from prying eyes. After sharing their wedding with billions of others it will suit William and Kate perfectly.

"The King has made his summer palace impregnable. His father King Hussein suffered 37 assassination attempts on his life and over the years the Aqaba palace has been turned into a fortress."

Recent unrest across the Middle East, including Jordan, has forced royal officials to line up other possible honeymoon locations but Aqaba is top of Wills and Kate's list. Towers manned around the clock by armed guards and palm trees line miles of beach where Wills and Kate will be able to sunbathe unseen and enjoy water-skiing and tennis. The warm, clear waters of the Red Sea will be perfect for Kate, who lived in Jordan for part of her childhood. She was spotted buying bikinis in London this week.

A helicopter pad on the villa's roof will allow the newlyweds to travel to visit some of the wonders Jordan offers tourists, including Petra, the city carved into a mountain in 1200BC.

This is ridiculous. Yes, we know of that "Jordan Is Beautiful" Campaign.

First of all, Eilat is so much a better place.

Second, Jordan is a non-democratic country. Yes, it's a monarchy like Great Britain and yes, the royal family men go to Sandhurst but still, this is not the example to set.

Third, it is dangerous out there:

Jordan unrest: Salafist clash wounds dozens in Zarqa

Dozens of people have been injured as ultra-conservative Salafist Muslims clashed with pro-government supporters in Jordan's northern city of Zarqa.

The police used tear gas to disperse the crowds, a police spokesman said. Six officers were stabbed and 34 others injured in the clashes, he added.

Meanwhile, up to 1,000 people protested in the capital Amman, calling for political and economic reform.

We know Jordan was created out of nothing by England but that debt was finished long ago.

Oh, and watch out for trouble with your credit cards.


Recreating on the Jordan

Today's headline whopper:

No, that wasn't about some hanky-panky here in Israel by a young couple on the shores of the Jordan River but a boating accident in Utah:

MURRAY — A day following Wednesday's near tragedy in which a Boy Scout was rescued from a raging river at flood level, a commission issued a press release advising people of risks involved with recreating on or near the Jordan River during the ongoing runoff.

The Jordan River Commission's release stated the spring is the wrong time to use the river for recreational purposes; citing cold muddy water and high flows that push large debris hidden in the mirky water. Spring water temperatures can cause hypothermia and almost instantaneous blackouts, the release states.

The release called for extreme caution and advised Jordan River users to know the potential risks, safe entry and exit points and dangerous areas of the river. It was a waterfall that tipped the canoe of a 14-year-old Scout, 16-year-old Venture Scout and an adult leader.

Before being tipped, they were about to exit the river to walk past a small waterfall near 4600 South and 500 West when a branch they were clinging to broke. They were swept over the falls and their canoe flipped, said Murray Fire Marshal Russ Groves.

Kelby Merrill, 16, and the adult swam to shore while the boy clung to a branch to a branch of a tree growing in the river for about 30 minutes before members of a swift water rescue team pulled him from the river.

"Our victim actually began getting recirculated in the current. It's a recirculating current, it's like a washing machine," said Murray Fire Capt. Joseph Treadwell.

No, that's not re-creating as in procreation but recreating as in recreation, having fun.