Saturday, March 31, 2012

Best Headline of the Week

Exactly what is being implied here:

Palestinians grapple with non-violence

To define,

grap·ple, verb (used without object)

1. to hold or make fast to something, as with a grapple.

2. to use a grapple.

3. to seize another, or each other, in a firm grip, as in wrestling; clinch.

4. to engage in a struggle or close encounter (usually followed by with ): He was grappling with a boy twice his size.

5. to try to overcome or deal (usually followed by with ): to grapple with a problem.

Well, number 5 just might be a non-violent activity, but...

With Pals., I doubt it.


And Now, The Temple Mount Code

There are serious books on the topic of the Temple Mount, like this one on Newton, and there are novels.  A previous one I dealt with.  Here is from a book review:

Thomas Lourdes is a scholar, an adventurer and one of the world's leading linguists...a womanizing, handsome (naturally) world traveler who has been summoned from his Harvard classrooms to Jerusalem, where an old friend has found the text...When he finally reaches Jerusalem, he finds his friend murdered and home ransacked. The Code is missing.

The Temple Mount Code is supposed to be a dangerous, secret document that will allow whoever has it to rule all of Islam and, thus, wage a global war against all infidels. The Iranian Supreme Ruler imam is racing Lourdes for the artifact, and this sets up a great conflict with all sorts of traps, treacherous encounters and dangers.

That makes over a dozen action/thriller genre books with the Temple Mount as a subject.

Someone telling us something?

Well, as I haven't read this one, we'll have to wait.


Friday, March 30, 2012

From Hartford to Samaria

Academic notice sent out for Ariel University Center:

הנכם מוזמנים להרצאתו של פרופ' דון אליס "תקשורת דליברטיבית וסכסוך אתנו-פוליטי" במסגרת הסמינר המחלקתי בבית הספר לתקשורת במרכז האוניברסיטאי אריאל.הרצאה תיערך ביום שני הקרוב, 2.4.12, בשעה 11:00 עד 12:30 בחדר 21.1.41 בבניין בית הספר לתקשורתפרופ' אליס הוא מרצה אורח בבית הספר לתקשורת

"Deliberative Communication and Ethnopolitical Conflict"

Processes of deliberation are underappreciated for their applicability to ethnopolitical conflicts. In the talk I argue that processes of deliberation based on theories of democratic communication can help conflicting groups make decisions that are moral, engaged, legitimate, and open to change.
Go, Ariel!
P.S.  He's taught there.

Cross-Dressing at Deir Yassin

This cross-dressing happened at Deir Yassin as well:

The lengths the Taliban are prepared to go to in order to gain access to coalition forces was illustrated yesterday when local police arrested seven men dressed in women's clothing in Mehterlam, Laghman province, east of Kabul.


Those Not Wanted on the Temple Mount

I am copying EoZ's post on a Temple Mount matter and my post on Temple Mount visitors stats is here:
The Al Aqsa Foundation has released statistics on how many non-Muslims have visited the Temple Mount this year, and they aren't happy. According to their statistics, 1034 religious Jews (what they call "settlers") visited so far this year, as well as 63,887 foreign tourists, and 983 Israeli security forces to protect the visitors from being stoned to death... ...Sometimes their bizarre press releases where they describe Jews and Israeli security forces "storming Al Aqsa" gets picked up by other media (yesterday Breitbart actually published a press release from Quds Media about it, it has since been taken down.) More interesting is that they are expanding their vitriol to all foreign tourists. Their latest screed says The occupation guarding the groups of foreign tourists during their collective tours of Aqsa, which is punctuated by outrageously obscene acts, such as the exchanging kisses, embraces, and other practices, which are contrary to morality. The Israeli occupation prevents any of the worshipers or even al-Aqsa mosque guards from approaching these tour groups, and threatens to arrest and prosecute anyone who tries to prevent tourists from committing such heinous acts. ...the number of tourists who broke into and desecrated the Al Aqsa Mosque in the three months are 63,887 foreign tourists. They have photos of these outrageous desecrations. Isn't it comforting to know that they are not merely anti-semitic, but against every non-Muslim too? But they still are anti-semitic as well. Ahmed Qurei, former PA prime minister, announced yesterday that Jews visiting the Temple Mount are meant to divide the Temple Mount between Jews and Muslims and that their repeated visits are "provocations" that would result in "bloody clashes."...

American Jews-of-the-Left/Liberal and Their Problem

Barry Rubin attacks Peter Beinart and makes some good points:
We live in an age of intellectual absurdity in which a book by someone who has no notion of Israeli reality and who is, at best, decades (I’d say three) out of date is treated as if he could possibly be of some relevance. Or an organization that has literally never made a single pro-Israel initiative claims to be the country’s best friends. Contrary to the title of Beinart’s book, there is no crisis of Zionism, certainly not in the way he and similarly thinking American Jews believe. The crisis is simply that Israel has become an actually existing country that is defined by an Israel-Jewish patriotism based on a historical Zionism...the problem of American liberal Jews is not to save Israel from reactionary religious extremists and hardline rightists but to come to terms with the views of the majority of Israelis, the centrists and those left of center...Another part of their problem with Israel is that it is, in a sense, too “Jewish” and at odds with their preferred ideology. They want Israel to be what they want America and Europe to be. Yet instead it is too religious; too traditional; too much of a nation-state; too willing to defend itself; and too willing to recognize its enemies even if they are non-white, non-Western, and non-Christian. If your definition of proper Jewishness is to be like Berkeley and Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Israel is not going to make the grade.
but it is his "PS" that delighted me. Here:
Special Bonus Feature: A Short History of Jewish History and the Centrality of Settlements 737 BCE, Jews establish settlements, leading Assyrians to invade. 587 BCE, Jews build new apartments in settlements. In response, Babylonians conquer land and exile the Jews. 70 CE, Jewish settlements produce Dead Sea Scrolls. Left-wing pseudo-intellectuals do not boycott. Temple Falls 1096 CE Jews think about establishing settlements. Crusades begin and Jews are massacred. 1648 CE Jews in Ukraine make kugel on settlements in Ukraine. Cossacks begin armed boycott movement. 1917 CE Shocked by Jews clinging to their religion, reactionary Zionism, and pseudo-revolutionary Bundism, heroic Bolshevik Jews save the day by helping bring about the Russian Revolution, close down synagogues, outlaw Yiddish, and put Zionists and Bundists into concentration camps. And so on down to the present.
Great. ^

Intersectionality Comment

I caught this at the site for left-leaning Jewish students, New Voices, and its by Shani Chabansky:-

Just after the “Bringing Women to the Fore and Advancing Peace” session [at the J St. Conference], an elderly woman approached me to respond to a question I had asked about intersectionality, a term used in modern feminist theory to describe how all forms of oppression are connected. The idea is that you can’t eradicate racism without getting rid of sexism, or homophobia...The woman...didn’t like the fact that I used the term intersectionality...I should call them “multiple voices or something to that effect.” It was great.

I thought about that and left this comment there:-

Can interactibility be applied beyond feminist semantics? To nationalism? If so, could it be said that Jews cannot fulfill their Zionism if the Arabs cannot realize their Palestinianism?

What do you think?


How Open Is "Open Zion"?

Here is the "about statement" of Peter Beinart's Open Zion blog:-

Open Zion will foster an open and unafraid conversation about Israel, Palestine, and the Jewish future. We believe in a two-state solution in accordance with the liberal Zionist principles articulated in Israel’s declaration of independence, which promises a Jewish state that ensures “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex” and “freedom of religion, conscience language, education and culture.” But we also believe in respectful argument with those who disagree; we aim not to draw red lines but to debate them

If the comments are always closed, how does one engage in conversation, argue or debate?


And an update on ta related issue:

It's not just that Deputy Ambassador Bina completely smacked down J-Street at their conference. His full speech is available on the Jewish Press. It's really good.

As far as we can tell, they've taken down every mention of him from their website, and his is the only video not being displayed from the conference.

I guess the open tent policy has its limits.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jerusalem & US Supreme Court Comment

From Alan Rozenshtein's blog on the issue of Jerusalem in the US Supreme Court, which in Zivotofsky v. Clinton it delieverd an 8–1 decision and reversed the lower courts’ dismissal of Menachim Zivotofsky’s suit to have “Jerusalem, Israel” listed as his place of birth. The Court held that that the political-question doctrine did not bar Zivotofsky’s suit, and he adds:-
...Chief Justice Roberts began by setting out the conditions for a political question: “where there is a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it” (internal quotation marks omitted). He held that the lower courts had “misunderst[ood] the issue presented. Zivotofsky does not ask the courts to determine whether Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. He instead seeks to determine whether he may vindicate his statutory right, under §214(d), to choose to have Israel recorded on his passport as his place of birth.”...[and] concluded that Zivotofsky’s suit was not barred by the political-question doctrine...Recognizing that the Court was “without the benefit of thorough lower court opinions to guide [its] analysis of the merits,” he remanded the case for a decision on the merits.
Justice Sotomayor concurred in part, writing
In my view, it is not whether the evidence upon which litigants rely is common to judicial consideration that determines whether a case lacks judicially discoverable and manageable standards. Rather, it is whether that evidence in fact provides a court a basis to adjudicate meaningfully the issue with which it is presented. The answer will almost always be yes, but if the parties’ textual, structural, and historical evidence is inapposite or wholly unilluminating, rendering judicial decision no more than guesswork, a case relying on the ordinary kinds of arguments offered to courts might well still present justiciability concerns.
...(Justice Sotomayor’s opinion, unlike Chief Justice’s Roberts, presumably leaves it open for the lower courts to again find Zivotofsky’s suit nonjusticiable as a political question, this time on Baker category three grounds.)
And he adds
For an interesting thought on what Zivotofsky means for judicial involvement in foreign affairs, see Peter Spiro’s brief post...
where you can find this comment by Eugene Kontorovich:
I’m wondering what the State Dept’s strategy will be on remand. They don’t want to litigate this issue before November; maybe by the time it comes back up on dist ct’s calendar that won’t be consideration? If Republicans win, interesting if they would continue to fight in lower courts too.

JewishIsrael Attacks Hagee - Unfairly?

JewishIsrael has posted a short clip of John Hagee describing what will happen on the Temple Mount according to Christian theology, quoting the Book of John and Philppians, I think. Of course, in the first instance, Temple Christology is still in self-argument about what Hagee was referring to in the clip.  But that is, to an extent, off-topic. In a companion blog post, JI asserts:
Last week, Pastor John Hagee used the rooftop of one of the most respected Torah institutions in the world, which overlooks the Kotel and Har Habayit, to declare that jesus is lord and king and to assert that "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess" that belief.
If you review the clip, you will come to the conclusion, that Hagee pronounced a text that any tour guide would - okay, his tone was reverential but that is his voice, but it was a factual statement of what is in the New Testament and what certain Christians believe. I didn't see or hear any worship feature in the clip nor any preaching. The JI headline - "Hagee Preaches the Gospel from the Aish HaTorah Rooftop" - I think is wrong and misleading. But that's their style. They 'interpret' for you. Like this:
There are a number of reasons why Christians support Israel, but to underestimate or dismiss Jewish concerns, or the importance of the evangelizing and eschatological agendas for Hagee, is simply misleading... In the last month we have seen purported Christian friends of Israel involved in the repeated desecration of Torah scrolls, schedule a Passion Play at the Kotel's Davidson Center, and now crown their deity as king over Jerusalem, from the Old City rooftop of Aish HaTorah, overlooking the Temple Mount. Jewish Israel has the greatest respect for Aish HaTorah and its institutions, but if this chillul Hashem is part of the cost involved when we Jews embolden evangelical designs by accepting vast amounts of their love and support, then perhaps it's time to say "no thank you" and for Jewish leaders to call for a complete reevaluation and reassessment of this relationship.
And they also interpret 'freedom of religion':
...freedom to worship just isn't good enough anymore - it has to be "complete". And to the evangelical that means the right to shout the gospel from the rooftops of Jerusalem. It seems Hagee was testing the waters a bit and reveling in his new found freedom.
Actually, freedom of religion does mean that, as long as it isn't done too loudly, at weird hours, etc. That's the freedom the state of Israel, as a democratic state, has the responsibility to do. ^

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meet American Religious Discrimination

In Connecticut:
Barbara Cadranel...received a mezuzah as a gift in the fall of 2011, she put it on the doorpost of the front door of her third-floor condo unit, affixing it with Velcro. It was a religious rite that Cadranel, 60, learned in Hebrew school. It is now a source of controversy. Cadranel faces a fine of $50 a day from her condo association for hanging the glass mezuzah on her doorpost. She is threatening to take legal action against her condo association and has gained the support of the Anti-Defamation League...Cadranel said she was "shocked" and "outraged" when she was told to remove the mezuzah. "I was violated," she said. "I'm bullied and I'm saddened. It's changed my whole existence here." A Happy Easter wreath with a bunny on it hangs on the door across the hall from hers. She says she's cordial to all in her building, but some neighbors just stare at her without speaking. The California Condo Association allows unit owners to display religious items on the outside of doors, but not on their doorposts, the frame around the door.
I am not sure America is quite fully the land of the free but I'm glad there are brave people at home there. ^

So, Who Is Samir? Where Does He Live?

From this week's State Department Press Briefing on March 26:

QUESTION: But are you suggesting that the United States Government is aware of all the details of everything that happens in the settlement and how the settlements are impacting Palestinian lives and so on?

MS. [Victoria] NULAND: Everybody knows that there are issues here. You know our position on settlements. We don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity. We oppose any effort to legalize outposts. We don’t think that having a fact-finding mission is going to shed any more light that is going to lead to a change in the situation, unless and until these parties sit down together and work it through.

QUESTION: But suppose that the fact-finding mission finds out that one community – for instance, in my village, it is divided by the wall and a settlement, and communities suffer tremendous hardship, and let’s say parents visiting their children or children visiting their parents and vice versa. Suppose they come up with something like this. That is a fact that could be brought to your attention and you could say, well, we want these people to be able to visit each other.

MS. NULAND: Said, there is a full and vibrant press in that part of the world. Your newspaper is one of the leading proponents of a free press out there, so this is not an issue where the facts are not well-known.

QUESTION: Can I ask one more?

MS. NULAND: Please, Samir. Yeah.

So, who is Samir?  His newspaper?  His village?

Can you imagine a resident of Judea and Samaria there?

P.S.   Could he be "Press TV also contracts with American Press and TV Services (APTVS), an outfit run by Egyptian nationals Gamal Hassanein and Samir Ezeldin."


Is Beinart A Bit of a Racist?

Judith Eisner, in The Guardian, on Beinart:
Personally, I think his version of "Zionist BDS" is both impractical and dangerous for Israel. As the Forward has reported, the practical effects of this type of targeted boycott may be no more than a dramatic, empty gesture.

And my comment left there:

Besides impracticality, the other issue, one which Beinart would be expected to hold dear to a person like him who gives primacy to his political ideology - liberalism - and a form of rule - democracy - above all else, is: whether BDS directed specifically against Jews, predicated on a policy that would deny them the right to reside in a territory - and moreover, a territory that is part of their historic homeland (as defined not by them but by the Supreme Council of the League of Nations back in 1922, after San Remo Conference in 1920 and after the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919 before that) - is actually racism.  In other words, for goals of political conflict resolution, Beinart would void the right of Jews to residen somewhere.

Of course, given this, can one then suggest that Arabs should be turned out of Israel not only as a mirror-image approach (what's fair is fair) but pragmatically, less Arabs, less problems, even of demograqphic threat inside pre-67 Israel?

If Beinart could be forgiven for being intellectually provocative, I am sure the discssion on this aspect will be respected.


Middle East Country Quiz From Amnesty

Guess which Middle East country in this news story is not mentioned:- Middle East executions soaring, says Amnesty
Human rights monitors are alarmed by a sharp rise in executions in the Middle East at a time when the overall number of countries using capital punishment worldwide is falling. During a year of tumultuous political change and violence throughout the Middle East and north Africa, the region led the world in the use of the death sentence, according to a report on Tuesday by Amnesty International. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen accounted for the vast majority of the 558 executions recorded last year by Amnesty in the Middle East and north Africa. The number of executions rose 50 per cent in 2011 from the previous year, the Amnesty report said. ...Iraq appears to be accelerating its use of capital punishment, with 68 killed in 2011, but 69 reported to have been executed so far this year. Worldwide, only 20 countries carried out executions last year. While most Arab countries retain laws allowing death sentences for a variety of crimes, authorities in Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco and Qatar have refrained from implementing them. Meanwhile, Tunisia for the first time in recent years did not impose a single death penalty last year, following the revolution that ousted President Zein al-Abidine Ben Ali.
That's right, Israel. Israel is located in the Middle East. It didn't execute anyone but doesn't merit a mention, this way or that. Now, can you guess why? Oh, the Palestinian Authority is mentioned, 5 executions, in the actual report itself (there at p. 32-33) but still, Israel is not included. Israel lcan't even get a of nod of appreciation from Amnesty. ^

How Not To Poll

Let me quote Dr. Aaron Lerner from IMRA on two issues I have discussed previously which are (a) the dissonance of Israelis, admitting their pessimism and disbelief of the otherside while expressing optimistic hope nevertheless and (b) the unwillingness of Israeli pollsters to really find out the most important things based on this recent poll, Joint Israeli Palestinian Poll, March 2012 :-
IMRA contacted Prof. Yaacov Shamir, Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace Hebrew University, to follow up on the finding of his recent poll that 64% of Israelis (including Israeli Arabs) think that the goal of the Palestinians is to destroy Israel (42% destroy Israel and kill the Jews ,  22% destroy Israel but apparently not kill the Jews). IMRA asked Prof. Shamir how this result jibes with the willingness of the Israelis polled to create a Palestinian state.  Prof. Shamir explained that this question was designed to measure the perception the Israelis have regarding the Palestinians while the questions about a Palestinian state were questions relating to implementation. IMRA:  So the Israelis don't connect the dots? Prof. Shamir:  Yes. IMRA asked Prof. Shamir why the joint poll of Israelis and Palestinians did not follow up and ask each side what their goal is (namely in the case of the Palestinians, ask them if their goal is to destroy Israel and ask the Israelis if their goal is to extend Israel's  borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens). Prof. Shamir replied that he believes they have never asked such a question and indicated that he considered such a question as a question that did not serve the purposes of the polling. IMRA asked Prof. Shamir if the purpose of the polling is to provide information to decision makers. Prof. Shamir answered in the affirmative. IMRA suggested to Prof. Shamir that the question of what the Israelis and Palestinians see as their own goals was the "elephant in the room" but Prof. Shamir declined to indicate a change in his position against asking these questions in a poll.
So, is that an example of reliability, trustworthiness and of a true refelction of opinion?


P.S.  This just in:-

IMRA received the following e-mail from Prof. Shamir:

From: shamir Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 12:17 PM To: Cc: Subject: Comment to imra

Dear Imra editor As to our Joint palestian Israeli March poll why don't you report the similar high level of threat of Palestinians? and the fact we will also not cofirm this among Israelis? Half the truth is a full lie. shame on you I dare you to publish thim comment on your site Prof. Yaacov Shamir ----

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: It should be noted that the entire report was indeed included in the report distributed - including the "similar high level of threat of Palestinians". In point of fact, the question to Prof. Shamir was "why the joint poll of Israelis and Palestinians did not follow up and ask each side what their goal is (namely in the case of the Palestinians, ask them if their goal is to destroy Israel and ask the Israelis if their goal is to extend Israel's borders to cover all the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and expel its Arab citizens)". So IMRA was, indeed, interested in the "whole truth" and not the "half truth". The question for Prof. Shamir is why he does not want to so see if the perceptions that the Israelis and Palestinians have about the goals of their counterparts are accurate or not.

Here is the results from another pollster: 60% The real goal should be to start with two states but then move to it all being one Palestinian state Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research For The Israel Project Questionnaire West Bank and Gaza Strip October 4-15, 2010 854 Respondents, 1020 Unweighted]


I'm At Urban Dictionary

My definition has been accepted by Urban Dictionary:-

kill confirmation

the act of approaching a person shot and possibly only wounded and from close-range, shooting again, even repeatedly, to assure death.

Israel's High Court accepted the appeal of journalist Ilana Dayan. Dayan and Telad were ordered to pay the officer, knows as Captain R., NIS 300,000 for showing footage and airing audio tapes that suggested he had made a "kill confirmation" of 13-year-old Iman al-Hams near an IDF fortification in Rafah in the Gaza Strip in 2004.


J Street Does Not Go Zion Way

Found at this report where Daniel Treiman quotes Chemi Shalev on the J Street Conference
...when Olmert spoke of the deep Jewish connection to Jerusalem, a staple crowd pleaser at AIPAC, the J Street audience yawned, but when he referred to the inevitability of the capital’s division, his listeners howled with approval. Realizing where the crowd’s sentiments lay, Olmert had to beg his audience not to applaud when he recounted his painful agreement during his talks with Abbas to relinquish Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount.

and then adds his own observations:

I’d note that this applause disconnect isn’t entirely due to the (very real) policy differences between the two groups. For instance, AIPAC and J Street both support Iran sanctions, and both would certainly agree that there is a deep Jewish connection to Jerusalem. But talking about the Iranian nuclear threat or the Jewish connection to Jerusalem evidently doesn’t put the fire in the bellies of J Streeters in the same way as it does for AIPACers.
This is, to a certain extent, reflected in the two groups’ position statements on Jerusalem. AIPAC’s issues page on Jerusalem hits the emotional notes. It states that Jerusalem “has served as the Jewish people’s spiritual and religious capital for 3,000 years.”

By contrast, J Street’s policy statement on Jerusalem offers (in some detail) its prescriptions for the city’s future under an eventual peace accord, but the language is clinical and devoid of emotion. It makes no mention of the Jewish historical connection to the city even as it devotes one of its four paragraphs to criticizing Israeli policies in eastern Jerusalem.

Even in affirming Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital, the J Street statement sounds more defensive than emphatic: “J Street does believe that Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and will be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed two-state solution.” (Why the use of words like “does believe” with reference to the notion that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital?)
"By the waters of the Hudson and Potomac...". ^

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Evil That Lurks in Beinart

Peter Beinart, as we all know, want American Jews to boycott Jews and their industries and businesses if they live and work in Judea and Samaria, across the "Green Line". But he has more expansive desires. He wants American Jews to do more and involve others outside the "Tribe". As reported, his J Street address, [Beinart] also repeated his call for changing U.S. tax rules so that charitable contributions to West Bank settlements will not be deductible.
That, I would suggest is an intolerable step to take. It reveals the evil that lurks in his heart. If his opposition to Jewish life in portions of the historical Jewish national home, as delineated by the League of Nations, a territorial area that was betrayed by the British Mandatory regime, is rational-based, there would be room for debate and discussion although, as I and others have written, his arguments and thinking are ridiculous and his facts are, well, not facts. But in making an appeal to involve outsiders, he is taking the controversy into uncharted waters, for who knows what will develop. Has the recent Supreme Court decision on Jerusalem bothered him? To what other issues will his animosity take his attention and activity? What will he next consider undemocratic in his illiberalism? Beinart must be informed and persuaded that he has chosen a wrong path. And let me add this interpretation of his that highlights his problem: “What really struck me when I read [Netanyahu's] writings and that of his father Benzion, and then about the Revisionist tradition, is this belief that the world is a very nasty place, and the Jews are in danger because they don’t recognize its nastiness. Because they’ve gotten this crazy idea that they’re supposed to be better than everybody else. And that this is deep in our history, it’s something that has emerged over hundreds and hundreds of years in the Diaspora − and we’ve got to get rid of it. We’ve got to become like everybody else.” As we know, especially after Touluse, yes, the world is a nasty place. And, yes, the Jews are in danger. We do not have this idea of being better. He has it for otherwise, he wouldn't be berating Israel to be better. And we surely do not need to get rid of the feeling and as for being like evertone else, well, it's an either/or situation, Peter. Either we are, for example, like the Arabs or like the United States, who act much worse than Israel on the battlefield, in the diplomatic world, etc. or we are like - khow we are and deal with it. Many have criticized him. There need be more. ^

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Gorenberg Green Line Groan

Over at the Zion Square blog, Gershom Gorenberg is groaning (and the comments are closed - so much for free expression and discussion).

The Green Line is a disappearing, if not disappeared.

Worse, maps without the Green Line

erase the State of Israel.

He researched and discovered

...a carbon copy of the original directive. It was written by Yigal Allon, then the minister of labor, on October 30, 1967, less than five months after Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War. Allon’s ministry included the government’s Survey Department. He told the department chief that from that day on, the pre-war boundaries should no longer be printed...Awaiting the drawing of new borders, Allon erased the old ones, with the acceptance of the government as a whole.

Then, Gershom gets politically ideological:

Allon’s action was a fiction, a self-deception. Even for internal Israeli purposes, the Green Line has remained the divider between the territory subject to Israeli sovereignty and the land under military rule... What lies past the Green Line (Jerusalem) is under Israeli control, but it’s not part of Israel.

Let's be honest here. Even in the "old", pre-1967, Green Line border of Jerusalem there was no international recognition.

He is even a bit angry:

...symbolically, [Allon] erased one of the basic elements of a modern state—a defined territory. His map shows a return to the reality of his youth, before the establishment of Israel: a single territory from river to sea, in which two ethnic groups fought for control.

But that struggle went on between 1949-1967 so the Green Line, in Arab eyes, means nothing. Israel can't have it as a support. So why get so upset (the Gorenberg groan)?

Then he gets downright ridiculous:

Seen from one angle, the absence of the Green Line says that Israel has expanded. Seen from another, it removes Israel from the map. Seen both ways, it lends support to dogmatists, Jewish and Palestinian, determined to possess the whole land and to keep sacrificing lives until they achieve their goals.

No Israeli government proposal or non-establishment suggestion to either/or Hamas, or Fatah, or the Palestinian Authority or the Islamic Jihad or Arafat or Abbas to base a solution on the Green Line has ever worked out.

The Green Line truly is a fiction - but of the extreme peace messianists among us.

But a word of my own:

the Green Line, besides not being a border but rather a ceasefire line, actually "The lines...shall be designated as the Armistice Demarcation Lines", lost any legitimacy or relevance once the Arabs went to war. In fact, I'd suggest that at the very least, once the PLO set out to liberate, sorry, destroy Israel in 1964, the line is irrelevant and possesses no legal force. As the armistice greements, like the one with Jordan, for example, were intended to

...facilitate the transition from the present truce to permanent peace in Palestine, to negotiate an armistice;

and that would be based on

the following principles...1. The injunction of the Security Council against resort to military force in the settlement of the Palestine question shall henceforth be scrupulously respected by both Parties; 2. No aggressive action by the armed forces - land, sea, or air - of either Party shall be undertaken, planned, or threatened against the people or the armed forces of the other; it being understood that the use of the term planned in this context has no bearing on normal staff planning as generally practised in military organisations; 3. The right of each Party to its security and freedom from fear of attack by the armed forces of the other shall be fully respected;...

Since we know - even if Gershom perhaps is fuzzy on this - that nothing of those guidelines for peace and security were intended to be upheld by the Arabs and, from the infitrations of the fedayeen to the Fatah terror, they surely were not, Gorenberg cannot now insist the Green Line should not disappear, for it was gone long ago.

When will the Gorenberg approach dissipate?

Can you hear me groaning?


Beinart's Half-Truths

Bret Stephens on Peter Beinart's book:

the deeper problem isn’t that there’s so much in Beinart’s book that is untrue, but rather so much that is half-true
and one more:

The real problem for Beinart’s argument is that, in word and deed, Palestinians have repeatedly furnished good reasons for the Israeli (and American) right to argue against further territorial withdrawals, at least until something fundamental changes in Palestinian political culture.

Read it all.


I left this comment there:

As usual, I think we can safely assume that this campaign of Beinart's (as previous ones with other Jews uncomfortable with what actually happens when a nation returns to history, reconstitutes its state apparatus, etc.), is as much personal as it is concerned with the Jewish community and Israel. He is trying to solve his problems as much as he is saving Zionism. The only real question is: is he sincere.

We know from the over 40 articles and blog posts so far published, and the hundreds of comments left at them so far, that his logic is twisted, his knowledge of history is not up-to-par, his argumentation is lacking and his willingness to overlook uncomfortable facts and realities would categorize his profession as chicanery.

Of course, he could claim that his assistants let him down but as an honest professional, he knows it his problem.

He has been obsessed with his so-called liberal/progressive prism of what Israel should be - the beloved on a pedestal - that he ignores not only what JBI has noted above, ignores and essentially belittles not only what the Arabs have done and seek to continue to do - no matter what Jews do - and more but he refuses to compare Israel to what other countries do. His search for purity is abject. His undercutting of Israel only elevates the Arab ability to continue their terror, their rejection, their denial, their identity theft, their incitement. For the Beinarts, they will 'kill' what they 'love' because they exclude or excuse or act paternalistically towards the enemies of Israel, the opponents of Zionism and the haters of Jews - all in the name of some weird Judaism cum liberalism/humanism which is really what is most important to him.


So, Even Amira Hass Has Read Me

Amira Hass has noticed me:

This statement sparked the following rebuke from Yisrael Medad, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, to post a comment: "Mr. Ambassador, Your repetitive use of 'West Bank' is unfortunate. Not only is it incorrect geopolitically, historically and legally; not only does it go against the direction of your superior, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who calls the area 'disputed'; but it is simply damaging diplomatically. Use 'Judea and Samaria,' please." And here we have the Israeli right wing airing its dirty laundry in public, or at least in front of whoever bothers reading the more than 240 reader comments.


Hamas Hoodwinks; MJ Loses Out

Hamas hoodwinks again (k/t=LBD) even mainstream knows:

The baby's death - which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a man identified as the father and a Gaza hospital official - would have been the first linked to the territory's energy crisis, and the report appeared to be an attempt by Gaza's Hamas rulers to use it to gain sympathy.

However, the AP later learned that news of Mohammed Helou's death first appeared March 4 in the local Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds, in an article written by a relative of the bereaved family.

which is what was noted here in a treatment of Israel-laster, MJ Rosenberg, peddler and purveyor and anti-Zionism.



Haaretz's False Claim

Haaretz claims:

Hundreds of Beitar Jerusalem supporters assaulted Arab cleaning personnel at the capital's Malha shopping center on Monday, in what was said to be one of Jerusalem's biggest-ever ethnic clashes. "It was a mass lynching attempt," said Mohammed Yusuf, a team leader for Or-Orly cleaning services.

I'd think that the Arab riot of August 23, 1929 was larger.


Berlin, Sep. 6 (JTA) –  A vivid account of the events which transpired in Jerusalem is given by the Jerusalem correspondent of the "Berlin Tageblatt" in a news letter to that paper. Describing the first disorders, the correspondent states : "I myself was attacked on University Street and plundered. I received twenty wounds from sticks and stones. I owe my life to the fact that I simulated death. Later, covered with blood, I tried to ask help from a passing automobile, but the Arab driver tried to run me over."  The correspondent further described the inactivity of the authorities, the felony of the Arab policy and the heroism of the Jewish self-defense.

And they even killed some Jews.


Rabbi Wolpe's Wallop

Rabbi David Wolpe reviews the new Beinart book.

I left this comment:

So, in writing "It is hard to make a case that many of Israel’s settlements are anything but an impediment to a final resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians", you have a case that explains why, when there were not Jewish communities in Judea&Samaria (Yesha) between 1949-1967 there was no conflict resolution because....? Nu. Why? And after Disengagement we have peace with Gaza? Maybe there's another impediment - one of the Arabs and one of Jews who can't think straight?


Retro on "Get Out" Demand

Remember when you read this:-

“IT’S NOT OUR PLACE TO TAKE SIDES” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Democratic presidential frontrunner Howard Dean days ago in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But then he promptly took sides, saying that peace would require the dismantling of an “enormous number” of Jewish settlements.

This, historians may record, was the moment the wheels started to come off the bandwagon that had been speeding the former Vermont Governor to his party’s nomination….and perhaps into the White House.

“Howard Dean’s statements break a 50-year record in which presidents, Republican and Democrat, members of Congress of both parties, have supported our relationship with Israel based on shared values and common strategic interests,” said Dean’s rival Senator Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.) in this week’s Baltimore Democratic candidate debate.

In the verbal fistfights that happened during and after this debate, Dean accused Senator Lieberman of trying “to demagogue this issue” in a “despicable” attempt to divide the Democratic Party.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post reports that Senator Lieberman afterwards released to the press this statement: “While Dean claims he’s ‘not taking sides,’ he specifically called for Israelis to leave the West Bank.”

“To dictate to Israel the terms of concessions on any issue [like settlements] is inappropriate,” read a Fax sent to Dean by the Anti-Defamation League asking for clarification of his position. As of Thursday, September 11, reported Deborah Orin of the New York Post, the ADL had received “no response from Dean-land.”

Both the ADL and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, reports Orin, have called Dean’s remarks on Israel “’troubling’ and a break with U.S. policy.”  “This is not a time to be sending mixed messages,” read a letter signed by more than two dozen Democratic Members of Congress (several of whom support Dean rivals), including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.).
“On the contrary,” the Congressional letter continued, “in these difficult times we must reaffirm our unyielding commitment to Israel’s survival and raise our voices against all forms of terrorism and incitement….It is unacceptable for the U.S. to be ‘evenhanded’ on these fundamental issues.”

We've come such a long way since then and, remind me, where is Dean?

I mean you know who is is/was, yes?


Ilana's First

My friend, Ilana Brown, has her first op-ed up at the Jerusalem Post.

Schep nachas.

From strength to strength, from word to word.


Olmert Speaks Out Against Beinart

No, not Ehud. His brother, Yosef (whom I know well).


Dr. Josef Olmert, who is currently teaching at the University of South Carolina, was so angry at Beinart over his recent New York Times op-ed that he offered to come to Washington to debate against him at a forum. But he didn't make it to the J Street conference.

"Beinart’s article and his book clearly require a response, even if it is doubtful whether free-speech, good-hearted liberals like him are even interested in a debate, as they believe in a boycott of hundreds of thousands of settlers," Joseph Olmert told Haaretz. "It's collective punishment, and I was under the impression that peace-lovers hate collective punishments. Well, apparently only against Palestinians," he said.

Josef Olmert wondered where a proper settlement boycott ends. "What is the case with those who believe in the right of Jews to live in their historic homeland, while they themselves still live inside the Green Line borders?" he asked. "Are they not more dangerous than the settlers themselves, for it is their political support which brings pro-settler governments to power in Jerusalem? And what about those who vote for these governments even if settlements are not necessarily their main agenda? Don't they deserve to be boycotted by virtue of their political blindness?"

"And last, but not least," Joseph Olmert continued, "What about those, like me, who believe that Jews have a right to live in Judea and Samaria - but also believe, as painfully as it is, that most of these territories will have to be under Palestinian control, if and when the latter will be ready to compromise on 'just' 95% of the disputed lands? Should not we be boycotted for the sin of using Biblical names, thus cultivating, though inadvertently, support for the settlers? Boycott, Beinart should know, is something that you know how it starts; you never know how it ends." He went on to say that that political scientist and activist Norman Finkelstein called upon the organizers of the BDS campaign to "say the truth: that it is their goal to destroy Israel, not just to boycott it."

Another question Joseph Olmert had for Beinart was how effective the boycott would really be. "Take the Arizona example," said Olmert. "Governor Jan Brewer was reelected in 2010 with a landslide. Her voters were not impressed with the boycott." (During my last visit to the West Bank, some business owners boasted that their sales had skyrocketed since the calls to boycott their products).

But at that J Street Conference, you have deep thinking people like Jacob Silverman, a student at UC San Diego, who

is still trying to figure out what he thinks about it. I meet him near the J Street U merchandise, which included t-shirts with messages like "I [heart] two states." He isn’t wearing one of those, but does have a black yarmulke on his head - certainly not typical for this conference.

"It's important to put pressure on the settlements enterprise," says Silverman. "That's also what the Palestinians at the conference said.

J Street - Zionism's Dead End.

Then again, if you are a street person, you can stumble across a headline like this:

Crosswalk proposed for F.C.'s J Street, Highway 69 intersection


Ha-Ha-Haaretz Loses - Again

Despite a massive and intensive media campaign to oppose any military action by Israel to solve the threat from Iran, it has had to publicize that

Poll: Most Jewish Israelis say Iran strike less risky than nuclear threat

Most of those polled (60 percent) agreed that only military action could stop Iran's nuclear program.

A detail:

The poll, conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, showed that 65 percent of those asked agreed with the claim that the price Israel would have to pay for living with the threat of an Iranian bomb would be greater than the price it would pay for attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. Only 26 percent disagreed with this claim, with nine percent saying they weren't sure.

Can we presume that Haaretz isn't that influential?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Extreme Sports in Gush Shiloh



Touring a Refugee Camp

It was reported that

The Holy Land: Sixteen members of Trinity Lutheran Church travel to Israel

One participant noted that
In the nearly two decades since Booth last made the trip to the Holy Land, he said the biggest change was the amount of archeological digs under way.

Booth was quick to point out that despite the ancient and historic areas Israel is a modern state and Jerusalem a modern city with a cosmopolitan mix of people. “Much like it was in Jesus’ time,” he said.


The tour included a trip to a refugee camp established in 1949 for displace [sic] Palestinians. “We had a Jewish tour guide and an Israeli Arab bus driver who were friendly with each other,” said Booth.

Aren't we Jews lucky they can't visit a Jewish refugee camp?

But they could have visited a former Jewish residential area, ethnically cleansed by Arabs if they were looking for balance.


So, Now We Have "Christ's Settlers"

Well, according to the story in The Forward (a weekly that at times has a backwards view of reality):

Evangelicals Volunteer on West Bank Because the Bible Says So

This screen shot shows and even more sensationalisty twist. Par for the course. Either they have to sell newspapers or slam us revenants.

I hope that endears us to the liberal, humanist, multiculturalists out there.


Psagot, West Bank — It is a typical, even stereotypical, West Bank settlement scene: bearded young men pruning vines while enthusing about the Chosen People’s God-given right to this region. But in this case it is Jesus, and not Jewish identity, that animates these tillers.

...Now, the settlers have international harvest help of their own. The young Christians working in the Psagot Winery’s vineyards near Ramallah in mid-March were members of HaYovel. Last year, this Tennessee-based evangelical ministry started a large-scale operation to bring volunteers to tend and harvest settler grapes. They attach epic importance to their work.

“When you see prophecy taking place, you have the option to do nothing or become a vessel to it,” said volunteer pruner Blake Smith, a 20-year-old farmer from Virginia.  HaYovel preaches the old-school ideology of Religious Zionist settlers with one innovation: a sacred role for Christians.

The group’s members believe that the establishment of the State of Israel, its subsequent conquering of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and specifically the flourishing of agriculture in the occupied areas are fulfillments of biblical prophecies. Like many settlers, HaYovel cites a prophecy by Jeremiah that refers to the Samaria region of the West Bank: “Again you shall plant vines on the mountains of Samaria.” And like them, HaYovel believes that the settlement movement will help to bring the Messiah to Jerusalem — the only difference being that the volunteers anticipate a second coming.

But these Christians also focus on a prophecy rarely cited by settlers [but I do], who tend to place ideological value on using only avoda ivrit, or “Hebrew labor,” whenever possible. “And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and foreigners shall be your plowmen and your vine-dressers,” Isaiah prophesized to the Israelites.  HaYovel...has made reverence of settlers into a central religious virtue.

“Being here, we just want to serve — and to bless the Jewish people in building up the land,” said Joshua Waller, a HaYovel ministry leader...“We are not here to teach anything, just to learn,” Joshua Waller said shortly before the talk began.

To some of the volunteers, becoming settler laborers is a way of righting a historical Christian wrong. “This is a crazy time,” said Joe Trad Jr., a 23-year-old college dropout from Missouri. Over 2,000 years of contention, he said, “we saw Constantine and the Holocaust. Yet today, in this spot of the world, you have Christians and Jews for the first time with the same goal.”...

...Tommy Waller visited Israel for the first time in 2004, and resolved to start an initiative to help settler farmers. He set up HaYovel and began bringing small delegations to the West Bank in 2006 — the same year that he left the Amish community. Last year, he expanded the operation, bringing in 300 instead of his normal retinue of fewer than 100. He hopes to reach 400 this year.

...The group does have some opponents who fear that HaYovel is not honest when it denies any missionary agenda. Shlomo Aviner, chief rabbi of Beit El, rejects any joint Jewish-Christian ventures. [Har Bracha Rabbi] Eliezer Melamed, a hard-liner who has sworn not to accept Christian donations for his yeshiva, had ruled that HaYovel is “not working to convert us, God forbid, rather, to strengthen us.”

...Settler wineries are flourishing. Eshkol Hazahav, one of Israel’s most prestigious wine-tasting competitions, awarded West Bank settlement wineries a record seven of its 50 prizes in 2010. But settler wineries tend to be smaller than those on the other side of the Green Line that divides the occupied West Bank from Israel’s pre-1967 boundary. The settlers complain that margins can be tight — especially as many of them, for ideological reasons, refuse to employ Palestinians, who will generally work for less money than Jews.

HaYovel’s volunteers work for long stints, sometimes up to three months, providing hundreds of hours of free labor at the busy seasons of the grape-growing year. They choose vineyards, and only vineyards, to deploy their help because farming them is particularly labor-intensive, and because they are mentioned specifically in biblical prophecy. In the latest trip, which ended on March 20, 35 volunteers pruned a total of 100 acres of vines at Psagot, Shiloh and elsewhere. “It takes a lot of expenses off farmers, who are struggling in this area,” said Nir Lavi, owner of the Har Bracha Winery.

The HaYovel faithful are well aware of strong anti-settlement lobbies among both Jews and Christians...HaYovel responds to such viewpoints with two words: covenant and prophesy.

Tommy Waller insists that his ministry bears no antagonism toward Palestinians, whom it wants to see living peacefully in the West Bank. But he insists that the biblical promise to give the Israelites the Land of Israel, and various prophecies, justify Jewish rule there. Given the significance of West Bank sites to Jewish history, he argues that demanding an end to Jewish rule in the West Bank is akin to “anti-Semitism.”

“If you take away Shechem [Nablus], Beit El, Shiloh and Hebron — places where Jewish identity came to being,” asked Waller, “is there still a Jewish identity?”

Jabotinsky once spoke of how he longed for his fellow Jews to have, at times, a "goyische kop".

How right.


P.S. I'm trying to leave this comment there:

As a supporter of Tommy's effort, may I point out that the challenge for the Rabbis in this age of 'on the edge of Redemption' is the phenomenon of the "foreigner' who will be coming to Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-3), who will accompany (Isaiah 56:3; 6) as well as the verses in Isaiah 60 - "3 And nations shall walk at thy light, and kings at the brightness of thy rising. 4 ...they all are gathered together, and come to thee; thy sons come from far, and thy daughters are borne on the side. 5 ...the wealth of the nations shall come unto thee. 6 ...they shall bring gold and incense, and shall proclaim the praises of the LORD... 10 And aliens shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee; for in My wrath I smote thee, but in My favour have I had compassion on thee. 11 Thy gates also shall be open continually, day and night, they shall not be shut; that men may bring unto thee the wealth of the nations, and their kings in procession. 12 For that nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted...16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the nations, and shalt suck the breast of kings; and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour, and I, the Mighty One of Jacob, thy Redeemer."

This is a complex issue but the point is that we can cooperate, within defined areas of activity. Those who honor us, and the successes we have had, and see in these occurences Divine inspiration, are to be welcomed for we are all Bible believers which makes us closer to a more moral, a more just life for all mankind. And part of that is the reestablishment of Jewish spvereignty in the homeand which is in the territory that was intended: Judea, Samaria and Gaza. We work with what we have been blessed.


Incitement; Islam

Well, not what you might be thinking.

This item is about a 160-page book, published by Idara Impex in New Delhi, India, and written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi.

It's called "Gift for Muslim Couple".

As we learn:

In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”

Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ”

In terms of physical punishment, the book advises that a husband may scold her, “beat by hand or stick,” withhold money from her or “pull (her) by the ears,” but should “refrain from beating her excessively.”

Moderate Muslim voice Tarek Fatah says the shopkeeper should be charged for selling such a book.

“I wouldn’t say it’s hate, but it is inciting men to hit women,” said Fatah, who identified the book’s author as a prominent Islamic scholar. “This is new to you, but the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten. Muslim leaders will deny this, but... ”

So much more than the instructions to Gerer hasidim.


Finally, Netanyahu Puts Israeli Arabs on His Agenda

And it's about time.

Who knows how many more Arabs will die. whose hand?

PM Netanyahu's Remarks at the Start of Today's Cabinet Meeting
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 25.3.12:

"Last weekend there were three murders in the Arab sector. Reducing crime in the Arab sector is a goal of the Government and it needs to be a goal of the country. I appreciate the fact that there are increasing voices from within the Arab sector, from its leaders, mayors and citizens, calling for stepped-up law enforcement within Arab communities and villages. I think that this is an important change. I add to this my call for enlistment in the civilian service, within which it will also be possible to combine actions for increased law enforcement. The community can help itself. The Arab sector can help itself vis-à-vis increased law enforcement by volunteering in the civilian service as well.


In Arabic:

في الأسبوع المنصرم وخلال 24 ساعة فقط تم ارتكاب ثلاث عمليات قتل في الوسط العربي في البلاد. إن تقليص حجم الإجرام في الوسط العربي يعتبر هدفاً للحكومة ويجب عليه أن يكون هدفاً يتم تحقيقه من قبل الدولة. إنني أقدّر الأصوات التي تعلو من هذا الوسط بالذات ومن قبل قياداته ورؤساء المدن والمواطنين الذين يناشدون بتشديد تطبيق أحكام القانون في البلدات والقرى العربية. أعتقد أن هذا هو تغيير مهم وأزيد الى ذلك دعوتي الى الانخراط في الخدمة المدنية الذي يمكن أن تُدمج فيها عمليات لتشديد تطبيق أحكام القانون.
إن الوسط العربي يستطيع أن يساعد نفسه بتشديد تطبيق أحكام القانون, أيضاً من خلال التطوّع الى الخدمة المدنية. واشتركتُ في الأسبوع المنصرم في المؤتمر الذي نظّمته الحكومة من أجل زيادة مشاركة عرب اسرائيل في نمو الاقتصاد الإسرائيلي. وتناول الحديث هناك الخطوات لإشراك العرب في التطوّر الاقتصادي وفي التعليم والمواصلات وتسهيل الوصول الى أماكن العمل ومواضيع كثيرة أخرى. أعتقد أن كل هذه القضايا مهمة ويتم القيام بعمل واسع النطاق في هذا المجال.


Found: Israel 'Apartheid '

From Karni Eldad's "Israel's 'agricultural apartheid'" column in...Haaretz:-

Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria can be broken down into a number of periods - the settlement period...the agricultural period...and the period of tourism...

, during which wineries, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and tourist attractions were built under every tree.

...However, there are good people in the military advocate general's office who do not look favorably upon Jewish farmers in Judea and Samaria and are doing their best to remove Jewish presence from the area. Agricultural apartheid. One of the most important and creative means is the "directive for disruptive usage."

According to Israeli law it is possible to evict someone who has entered an area that is not their own for 30 days after the fact. However, the directive for disruptive usage states that Jews can be evicted from land they have cultivated for as long as three years, and later this period of time was extended to five years. This applies even if the land has never been cultivated before, even if for years no single Arab has claimed ownership of the land, and even if there is no proof of another person's ownership.

This directive discriminates against Jews...Col. Eli Bar On...wrote a sharply worded letter to the Civil Administration head...explain[ing] the reasons why the directive should be implemented - an absence of court proceedings, a lack of legal tools and an inability to access a land registry. Of course these are ridiculous claims and are fundamentally exaggerated. The courts are full of Palestinians submitting complaints all the time...the fourth argument in Bar On's letter is that it is necessary to "minimize the number of conflicts and their intensity." In other words, the honored brigadier general says it is possible to prevent Palestinian violence if the Jewish side surrenders in advance, instead of holding a fair trial...

...The directive of disruptive usage embroils the Civil Administration in civilian land disputes. This is not its role but the role of the courts. If someone has a claim and proof, then he should turn to the authorized organ for a decision...

I think Bar On has become confused on a number of levels: a. The head of the Civil Administration should not intervene in civil land disputes; b. A legal adviser should not forcefully intervene in the decisions of the head of the executive authority on the ground; c. He apparently has forgotten that this is a Zionist state.

And I knew her when she was just a little girl.


Retro Tom Friedman 1987

The Ariel Foundation working on behalf of the "capital of Samaria" has actually fond memories of the New York Times' Tom Friedman:

NY Times: Ariel Journal – One West Bank Plan, Mix Concrete and Yuppies In City of Ariel on March 21, 2012 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN, Special to the New York Times Published: June 02, 1987

Ron Nachman’s critics call him a one-man obstacle to peace. His neighbors just call him Mayor, friend and ”hey, you.” He calls himself a simple pioneer for the Likud bloc, Israel’s large nationalist party.

Mr. Nachman is the Mayor of one of the fastest-growing Israeli towns in the West Bank. With all the discussion these days about an international peace conference on the Middle East, and Israel’s possibly ceding part of the West Bank to Jordan, Mr. Nachman recently invited an American for a tour and what he called ”a dose of reality.”

Whatever foreigners may think of Mr. Nachman’s version of reality, it is widely shared among the 65,000 Jews [today, there are approximately 350,00 Jews residing in Judea and Samaria] in the West Bank, and it will be widely aired in Israel if an international conference is ever held.

The Mayor began his tour by rolling out huge color aerial photographs of Ariel, in the heart of the West Bank about an hour’s drive north of Jerusalem. Brimming with enthusiasm, his voice constantly had to compete with the din of jackhammers and earthmoving equipment outside his door.

”Do you have any idea how big Ariel is?” asked Mr. Nachman, one of the founders of the nine-year-old town. ”It is 12 kilometers wide,” or about seven and a half miles. ”That is almost the same width of the state of Israel at its narrowest point before the 1967 war. Did anyone ever tell you that?” Plan for 100,000 People

Actually, that 7.5-mile span refers to the total area zoned for Ariel’s projected 100,000 residents. Only the core of it is settled now, with 6,000 Jewish residents, 3,000 of them under 18.

On the eastern boundary, though, a high-tech industrial park is rising, and on the western edge an industrial zone employing several thousand people is already in operation. For now, most of Ariel’s residents work in Tel Aviv.

”Everyone is speaking about an international conference and territorial solutions but they don’t know the reality,” Mr. Nachman said in a voice laced with contempt. ”Abba Eban? He’s never been here. Shimon Peres? I think he was here three years ago. Yitzhak Rabin? I don’t know when he was here last.”

”They have no feel for what is happening here,” he said, hopping into his car for a tour. ”Action, action, action, all the time. Peres can speak and speak and speak, but we do.”

How time flies.


Beinart and ... Jabotinsky: A Betrayal

Rick Richman deals formidably and devastatingly with Peter Beinart's misuse of Ze'ev Jabotinsky in his new book.


...It is unlikely he read Jabotinsky’s 12-page essay before using it as the crux of his analysis, because Mr. Beinart not only egregiously misstated the theme of the essay; he even misinterpreted the two-sentence quote...Mr. Beinart mistakenly assumed Jabotinsky was endorsing an amoral “contemporary code of morality.” Had he read the entire essay, he would have realized Jabotinsky was observing that even in the best countries, even in the most civilized circumstances, contemporary morality disregarded Biblical injunctions and was not sufficient to protect an oppressed people.

Jabotinsky’s conclusion was that power was necessary for Jews to survive, and that assimilation in Europe would not ultimately protect them. Three decades later, he was proven tragically correct, in the most cultured and sophisticated countries in Europe.

Contrary to Mr. Beinart’s caricature, Jabotinsky “towered high above all the other Zionist leaders between both world wars in his culture, sensibilities, and intellectual horizons,” wrote Shlomo Avineri in “The Making of Modern Zionism” (1981)...[in] this poorly researched, poorly written book, Mr. Beinart ends up proposing a boycott of other Jews, and deems Mr. Obama more Jewish than Mr. Netanyahu.

and I left this comment there:

While not excusing Beinart in any way, I am going to presume that one of his many (I think there were close to 20?) researchers, trying to impress his/her boss, and due to sloppy reading (liberal intellectual elites do not do anything wrong, do they? well, not on purpose), given the assignment to find dirt on Jabotinsky, Beinart's bette noire of classic Zionist thought, provided the master with what he wanted.

Just for the record, the translation of that 1910 article was specifically done by request so as to be sent to President Obama as an example of (a) the true humanist, liberal thought framework of Jabotinsky - unlike those who sought to misinterpret his thinking (for example, note his introduction to his Iron Wall essay: ...I find it necessary to begin with an introduction , and, moreover , with a personal introduction. I am reputed to be an enemy of the Arabs, who wants to have them ejected from Palestine, and so forth. It is not true. Emotionally, my attitude to the Arabs is the same as to all other nations – polite indifference. Politically, my attitude is determined by two principles. First of all, I consider it utterly impossible to eject the Arabs from Palestine. There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority. And secondly, I belong to the group that once drew up the Helsingfors Programme , the programme of national rights for all nationalities living in the same State. In drawing up that programme, we had in mind not only the Jews, but all nations everywhere, and its basis is equality of rights. I am prepared to take an oath binding ourselves and our descendants that we shall never do anything contrary to the principle of equal rights, and that we shall never try to eject anyone. This seems to me a fairly peaceful credo. But it is quite another question whether it is always possible to realise a peaceful aim by peaceful means. For the answer to this question does not depend on our attitude to the Arabs, but entirely on the attitude of the Arabs to us and to Zionism." - expressions Beinart couldn't even find today); and (b) to impress upon Mr. Obama that despite what he thinks, Jews and Israel cannot let go of its defensive measures nor be lax - of fearful - of employing them.

Just like Jabotinsky had to deal with the Brit Shalom/HaIhud phenomenon of pacifism and yielding on the idea of the Jewish state and immigration to it in the late 1920s and 1930s, as well as the Yishuv almost being cut off from a supply of weapons when Magnes met Marshall and Truman in May 1948 (see here), so today, all of Israel, on both sides of the Green Line, must contend with the warped vision of Beinart and Friends which preeminently chooes an ideology of liberalism and humanism that not only is misconceived but can only reward those who are inhuman and illiberal foremost to Jews and Israel, supposedly those Beinart seeks to assist.

Can he be that unintelligent to grasp that reality?

Beinart betrays.

He betrays intellectual honesty. He betrays liberalism. He betrays Zionism and so, too, his presumed Judaism.


Slowing Down On J Street

From the interview of Jeremy Ben-Ami by Jeffrey Goldberg:

JG: But you publicly disagreed with his op-ed in which he called for a boycott of products made in settlements. Why do you disagree with it?

JB: Because I don't think that it makes any sense to put negative pressure on people whose behavior you hope to change. I think that the way that Israelis will feel comfortable making the compromises and the sacrifices--and Israel as a whole, not just the settlers --is when they really feel that not only American Jews, but the United States, is going to be there for them...

...The biggest obstacle I see in the Israeli psyche at the moment is this sense that two states is never going to happen, that there's just no way peace is ever going to come. While 70% of Israelis want a two-state solution, 80% of them think it's never going to happen in their lifetime.

JG: How do you dislodge the settlers?

JB: The way that you overcome the mindset, which I think is the first step, is you actually present an agreement that, lo and behold, the world supports, and Palestinians would support, and you realize that, hey, we actually can get it. And that positive pressure to make that decision by creating a path to hope, a path to the future, gives you then the national political will and the national political consensus to make that very difficult move: to say to the settlers, it's time to come home.

...The problem with Oslo was it laid out a process without ever telling you what the end result is going to be. What does that Palestinian state look like? What does the border look like? What are the security arrangements? Let's actually skip over the three to five years of process and talks, because we don't need them--because we already know what the end result looks like. Let's put that deal on the table and force the political decision on both sides--both the Palestinians and the Israeli political world--to decide if they are really ready to say yes to a realistic resolution to this conflict.

...JG: We expect J Street to condemn settler violence, or provocative settlement building, or the power of the religious right parties in Israel. But another thing that we don't seem to hear from J Street enough is where the left side of the framework is. I understand where you go on the right, but it's always this concern--look, some of it is manufactured by people who don't like your general outlook, but some of it is real. What is "too left" for J Street? What sort of expression of criticism is too far to the left, from your perspective?

JB: We established at the beginning of the interview some of the tactical things that are too far. We don't support, obviously, BDS but also Peter's conception of "Zionist BDS," that that is either advisable, doable, or workable.

JG: Do you think that this would put you on a slippery slope toward full BDS?

JB: I think it's very hard to make a clear line between what is "settlement business" and what is not. So many businesses do business on both sides of the Green Line. Very few things are simply, purely done on the other side of the Green Line.

JG: And isn't it, of course, the Israeli government that subsidizes factory-building in settlements that then create products that are sold?

JB: Right.

JG: So then why are you blaming the factory? Shouldn't you be blaming the guy who gave you the money to build the factory, which in this case is the Israeli government?

JB: The same issue comes up with divestment. Because if you divest from a company that produces a military product that is used in the occupation, that same company is probably producing a product that helps defend Israel from, let's say, rockets. So if you're saying you shouldn't be supporting a truck company or a boot manufacturer, is that the boots of the soldiers who are going to defend Israel itself? It is a slippery slope and very hard to draw that line.

JG: Do you think Beinart's idea is going to catch on?

JB: I think there are a lot of people in the progressive part of the pro-Israel community who are personally, deeply bothered by the notion that we would doing anything that helps to perpetuate this occupation. So I think on a personal level, people do, when they find out that a product or a wine or whatever it is comes from the West Bank, then personally I think people will consider this.

JG: I don't think this is going to gain traction in the American Jewish community. Tell me I'm wrong.

JB: No, I don't think so either...


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oops, There Goes the Fertility Rate

My friend, Yaakov Faitelson, has published a short piece on projections of the "demographic problem" that seem to claim that there is a threat to the future of the Jewish state and terms them a form of terror which are repeated every few years [from 1993: Israeli settlement in the West Bank is failing to win the demographic war against Palestinians in the West Bank, according to a recently completed major study]. It appeared in Makor Rishon and he formulates his response to what he calls the

making the Jews a minority in their country is presented as a prophecy that must come true.

[this blog now reflects important input from Yaakov F.]

Note: In 2010, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of the Jewish woman resident in the Jewish communities throughout Yesha was 5.18 versus 3.12 of an Arab woman in the the same area (the WB).  And the natural increase of the Jewish population there was 3.54% that year versus 2.13% for the Arab population.  That's the natural increase per 1000, from CIA World Factbook 2010.
He notes at the outset that the forecast for this minority status to occur keep moving forward in time, from 1985 to 1990 to 2000, 2008 and on to 2016 and now 2020.  He quotes a Yedioth Ahronot headline from July 1985 that "by 2000, Israel will not be Jewish" to an August 1988 headline reading "In 20 years there'll be here but a Jewish autonomy." Maariv announced in February 2002 that that Israel has only 15 of existence as a Jewish state left.

(And here is from a Haaretz piece from January 2 this year:

the bottom line of the Palestinian Authority's report. "On the basis of the estimations presented by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics in 2010, and provided that natural growth remains unchanged, the number of Palestinians and Jews will become equal and stand at 6.3 million [each] by the end of 2015," it said. "In addition, by 2020 the number of Palestinians living in historical Palestine will stand at 7.2 million people, while the number of Jews will stand at only 6.8 million."

where is is claimed that there is a "right-wing approach, according to which any demographic problem is far less serious than the picture that the Israeli left-wing is trying to paint.")

There is another trick: creating an artificial block of "enemies of Israel" so as to enhance the sense of the demographic danger which in addition to Arabs also now include "the Russians", "prostitutes from Moldova" and "foreign workers".  Recently, the list is expanded by including "the hareidim".

Of course, this is a form a racism.  The opponents of retaining the areas of Judea and Samaria create a backdrop of an engineered nightmare with resulting hysterical predictions that soon all this horrible mass would unite and then eliminate the existence of Israel.

The attempt to present the Druze, Circassians and Bedouins, who serve in the IDF, and Arab Christians and Muslims, some of which are disabled army veterans as non-loyal citizens, as if they were a homogeneous bloc hostile to Israel, is just pure folly.  It is inciting sectarian passions.

All these are completely contrary to the scientific approach.  These are forecasts based on erroneous demographic data, especially in assuming that birth and death in Israel are fixed and permanent. They also ignore data Jewish immigration to Israel and her Arab immigration, claiming that you can anticipate them.

Examination of demographic processes over long periods of time proves that like everywhere in the world, even in Israel they are dynamic and not static. Even the head of the demographic unit in Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Ahmed Halihel: "We were wrong in assessing Jewish fertility growth, and on the other hand, the rate at which Arab fertility declined. We believe the fertility of the Arab population will continue to fall toward the 2-3 children."

Indeed, if in the State of Israel in 1995, for every Arab baby, 2.3 Jewish babies were born, then in 2011, 3.05 Jewish babies were born for every Arab child which is less than even what native-born Israeli women are producing, 3.09. Within the last decade, the increase in fertility among Jewish women has been to 2.97. According to the CIA, - total productivity of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria declined by half, from 6.2 in 1988 to 3.5 in 2011. Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, this increase was due to increases in fertility among secular women, when amongst the hareidi population, it fell in that period from 7.71 to 6.53. Integration of immigrants from the former USSR have greatly contributed to an increase in the general Jewish fertility...

As an Egyptian researcher states, the presumed advantage of the higher natural increase of Palestinian Arabs is disappearing due to the success of family planning programs and especially the emigration of young people, especially from Judea and Samaria, abroad...
(and not only that study but this one asserts:

Taking into account the current situations that Palestinians live in since the beginning of the current decade such as closure, poverty and unemployment, it is obvious that there is a trend of migration preference amongst the youth sector and unemployed persons particularly. Data from questionnaires carried out by the Institute of Development Studies in Birzeit university during February 2007, indicates that percentages of individuals aged 18 years and above, who prefer migration from the Palestinian territories, has reached 32.4%.)

Indeed, according to the CIA, - total productivity of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria declined by half, from 6.2 in 1988 to 3.5 in  2011, and in Gaza, it dropped from 7.49 in 1988 to 4.74 per woman in 2011.  This is a clear downward trend.

(I found this from January 2007 here:

Khawaja, for example, finds that the fertility rate among the Palestinian refugee populations is not conclusively higher than that of non-refugees. In 1991–1994, a refugee woman in the West Bank had on average 0.4 children less than a non-refugee woman. Between 1983 and 1994 the decline in the fertility rate among refugees in the West Bank was more rapid than that among the non-refugee population; 15 percent and 9 percent respectively...From the data accumulated on the Palestinian population in the years 1968–2003, the Palestinian TFR in the West Bank and Gaza has remained one of the highest amongst Muslim populations worldwide. Yet the total Palestinian fertility rate has, for over a decade, moderately declined. In the West Bank, this process has been gradual, moderate but consistent, whereas its progression in Gaza is marked by cyclical change. From 1968 to 1975 an increase in the fertility rate is apparent in both population groups, or, at least, neither exhibited signs of decrease.44 From 1975, there was a gradual and slow decrease that came to an end towards the end of the 1980s. From the late 1980s, signs of difference began to appear between the two regions. In the West Bank, after a slight increase, a slow and gradual process of moderation is evident and this continued until the beginning of the twenty-first century. In Gaza the level of fertility continued to rise until 1992, when it peaked at 8.1 children per woman. From 1993 on, there was a slow, gradual but consistent decrease in the fertility rate (see Figure 1). Due to the nature of the statistics and their level of credibility, it can be cautiously suggested that the gradual decreasing trend in the fertility rate was a product of the following interrelated factors: change in the political climate due to the signing of the Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinians; developments in Palestinian expectations due to the changes in economic conditions; and the activities of various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) towards the promotion of social causes (including family planning))

The continuation of Jewish immigration and a growing stream of Israelis returning to Israel in recent years, together with growth of Jewish fertility on the other as well as the decline in fertility amongst Arabs and increased Arab emigration from Israel on the other hand, ensures that not only the Jewish majority will be maintained, but may grow in the coming years.

Here is Yaakov's previous academic article.
And this in an Arab research, p. 12:

The land of Palestine has always attracted migrants, and those who migrated there developed a deep attachment to the country. (Shiblak, 2005) The immigration of non-Jews increased steadily between the two Worlds wars. About 100,000 (8% of the total population of Palestine in 1948) of immigration (entrepreneurs, professionals and laborers) came from neighbouring Arab countries. However, most of them left the country after the war of 1948.

In other words, the relatively high "refugee population" is false in that, as we know, a "Palestinian refugees" was someone who only had to have spent but two years in the Mandate territory.

Back in 2005, the issue became 'hot' even though for years that I can remember (and I am referring to articles that appeared in Zot Haaretz, the bi-weekly of the Land of Israel Movement) it was always pointed out that the ominous predictions that we'd be a minority never came to fruition - ignoring the other aspect: if Arabs increase more than Jews, what difference if we yield up Judea and Samaria: there's always the 'problem' with the Arab population within Israel, no?
Here are some more articles.

And here are two more: one and two.


Biblical Violence

Here are some lectures from the program of the Norwegian Summer Academy for Biblical Studies (NSABS) International Meeting Schedule (provisional)

Monday, August 7
09.00-09.20: Kristin Moen Saxegaard: Theological Reflections Encountering Violence  10.00-10.30: Karl William Weyde Holy War or YHWH’ War? On a Central Issue in OT Research
11.00-11.30: Markus Zehnder: The Annihilation of the Canaanites - A Reading of Deuteronomy 7:1-5 and Similar Passages in Context
11.30-12.00: Robert L. Hubbard: Rest for the Wary - Cities of Refuge and Cycles of Violence
14.00-14.30: Årstein Justnes: A Violent Hope - ‘Scriptural’ Eschatology in the Dead Sea Scrolls
15.30-16.00: Terence Fretheim: God and Violence in the Old Testament
16.00-16.30: Joshua Berman: The Biblical Ideal of the Warrior Citizen
Tuesday August 8
08.45-09.15: Hallvard Hagelia: Violence and Ethics in Amos
09.30-10.00: Karin Finsterbusch: Violence against Judah and Jerusalem: Images of Destruction in Jer 4-6
10.00-10.30: Gordon McConville: Does Violence ‘Come with the Territory’? An Exploration of Peace and Violence in the OT
13.30-14.00: Georg Fischer: Who is Violent, and Why? Pharaoh and God in Exodus 1-15 as a Model Case for Violence in the Bible
14.00-14.30: Lennart Boström: Uzzah’s Fate (2 Samuel 6) and Similar OT Stories – A Theological Problem for the Modern Reader
15.00-15.30: Lars Olov Eriksson: The Enemies in Psalm 119 in Relationship to Its Genre
15.30-16.00: Knut Heim: Poetic Justice: Violence, Justice and Ethical Ideals in Biblical Poetry Short Break