Saturday, June 30, 2012

Raped, Will She Now Rape Us?

Natasha Smith, a student journalist, underwent an horrible experience recently in Tahrir Square.

Despite what happened to other Western and female journalists, she went there and was raped.  Her account is here.

The lesson she learned?


I understand that I was naive and, arguably, stupid to have been near Tahrir Square. I take full responsibility for poor judgement in this respect. However I did not simply march into Tahrir Square with a camera held up high; I was so captivated by the atmosphere on the bridge that I just kept walking, and tried to turn around as soon as I released how close to Tahrir Square I actually was. Again, my lack of spatial awareness was my own mistake, as I was not familiar with the area. I had felt so safe on the bridge surrounded by women and children, and I wish I had turned around as my friends and I had originally planned, before we became caught up in the wonderful, celebratory atmosphere. I understand why many people feel I am foolish to plan to return to Egypt. But I will take a long time to prepare for my next visit, will set up a wide support network to ensure my safety, and will never take the kind of risks I did last Sunday again. Moreover, I feel a sense of duty to bring something good out of all this,

Can you trust this journalist's work?  Is she smart enough, is her perceptions introspective enough to give us the truth or is she "captivated", caught up and that her misinterpretations will cause us to have our minds raped by her documentary?


Sheikh Sabri Denies and Denounces

More Temple Denial found at this Arab-language site:

The head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, Sheikh Sabri, refused [to acknowledge] the recent characterization of the right to consider the al-Aqsa mosque holy 'public squares'.
He said, in a Friday sermon today, 'This means that these squares are located at the disposal of municipal occupation and under the terms of reference, saying' this is completely unacceptable. '
He stressed that the squares are an integral part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, said: ... includes the Dome of the Rock and the Marwani prayer room and all the old and the subsequent squares and terracing and Alloawin and Galleries and the ways and wells and the outer gates and walls, including the Wailing Wall '. 

...he announced repeatedly in a clear, explicit and emphasizing fashion that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is for Muslims alone and will not be subject to any court, negotiation or any failure and for any negligence nor any waiver of corn dust from it.'
On the other hand, Sheikh Sabri on behalf of all Muslims in Jerusalem and the environs of Jerusalem and on behalf of Muslims denounced all done by the army of occupation these recent days such as the frequent incursions of the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the raising of the Israeli flag by the Rock mosque. He stressed that this aggressive behavior is a provocative actions affect the sanctity of Al Aqsa...


Friday, June 29, 2012

The Zionist Titanic Pose

Haaretz has a weird, self-destructive sense of humor. 

From its June 27th issue, Galaria section, p. 18:

"Things That Never Happened": the film Altalena with Geulah Cohen and Menachem Begin in the classic Titanic bow pose.  Artist: Yizhar Shkedi.

Referring to the story of the search for the ship's remains.


The Press Hasn't Heard

I left this comment

The leaders of the movement to assure Jewish residency rights in the areas of the Jewish national home not (yet) under full Israel sovereignty of Judea and Samaria, those in the Yesha Council and all the chairpersons of the regional, municipal and local councils, have always condemned the "price tag policy" violence.  Perhaps not enough, and perhaps the foreign media has not been paying attention.  My blog contains many such statements over the past few years.  The acts are wrong, criminal, immoral and quite unhelpful.  Remarkably, though, although many arrests have been made, no one from our community has been tried or even sentenced.  One would hope that the police are not too lax so as to have articles like this be written.

Compare that behavior to that of the Palestinian Authority in responding to terror attacks against Jewish civilians - Saeb Erekat when not creating fiction about a massacre in Jenin - who always seem to "balance" their remarks.  And all the while, incitement to kill and firing rockets at schools is the Arab norm.

at this story by Dan Ephron of Newsweek.


Low-Intensity Conflict Report #27

Security Report June 29, 2012 by Yehudit Tayar

These reports are translated and publicized by Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron with the clearance and confirmation of the IDF.  Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron is a voluntary emergency medical organization with over 500 volunteer doctors, paramedics, medics who are on call 24/7 and work along with the IDF, 669 IAF Airborn Rescue, the security officers and personal throughout Yesha and the Jordan Valley, and with MDA.

June 28, 2012

Arabs threw rocks and attacked workers on the security fence in the Southern Hebron Hills near the community of Eshkolot. 1 worker was moderately wounded from the attack.  IDF went in to end the violent attacks. 1 Arab injured as a result of the attack and refused medical care.

Israeli Police arrested 2 Arabs from Issowiya who are involved in the recent fires around Jerusalem near Mt. Scopus and the fire that was caused as a result of fireworks that were shot off towards Opharit Military Base resulting in the injury of 13 IDF soldiers from smoke inhalation.  They were remanded to extended custody for further investigation.

Arabs attacked Israeli vehicles on the Gush Etzion-Hebron Highway near El Hadar

June 27, 2012

Ma'aleh Adumim:  Arab attempted to steal weapon from security guard in the city of Ma'aleh Adumim and was shot by the guard in self-defense.

Rock attacks on Gush Etzion-Hebron Highway towards Israeli vehicles and buses near El Arub.

June 26, 2012

Fire from Gaza:

107 M'M rocket landed in Kibbutz Nachal Oz causing damage to chicken coop where it landed.

2 Missiles launched directed to Netivot.  2 were shot down by "Iron Helmet".

Near Ma'aleh Shomron Arabs attacked Israeli vehicles with rocks causing damage.

Released by Israeli security forces:

Israeli Intelligence and Police exposed a cell that was smuggling dozens of cell phones to jailed terrorists who are doing time in Israeli prisons.  55 which were to be smuggled in within a short time were confiscated.

June 25, 2012

Arabs attacked Israeli vehicles with rocks north of Hebron between Mivtarei Halhul causing damage to the vehicles.

Reported Arab family feud in Shoafat Camp.  When Israeli police went in to restore order they were attacked with Molotov cocktails and rocks.


Sheitels and Sex, Hollywood's Take

There's a new movie in production.  It's John Turturro's comedy, Fading Gigolo, about a cash-strapped guy who decides to become a gigolo in the Hasidic Jewish community.

It get's interesting as Woody Allen is involved:

...But nobody has ever asked me to be in their film! Over the years. When I say nobody, two or three times I've been asked, and I've always said yes. But it's been two or three times in, I don't know, thirty years. Or more than that. So when John Turturro asked me if I would be in Fading Gigolo, I said sure. Because nobody ever asks me, so I was happy to do it.

Are you going to be the fading gigolo?

WA: No, he is!

Will any of these ladies be in sheitels?

...Sofia Vergara is in talks to take on a supporting role, and Sharon Stone is also set to co-star.
Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte ("The Kids Are All Right") and French shingle MK2 are producing the pic, which finds Turturro and Allen playing cash-strapped best friends who decide to go into the gigolo business together and subsequently attract the suspicion of the Hasidic Jewish community in which they live. Duo take on the pseudonyms Virgil and Bongo, with Allen pimping out Turturro's character until he falls for a Jewish widow, who has not yet been cast. Stone will play Allen's dermatologist who hires Turturro to sleep with her, while Vergara is expected to play another wealthy client who's bored with her marriage and wants to have a threesome with Turturro and Stone.

Because this project isn't crazy enough, "Modern Family" star Sofia Vergara is also circling the film as a housewife on the prowl for more exciting bedfellows and Sharon Stone is already set to co-star as Allen's dermatologist, who hires Turturro's services. Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte ("The Kids Are All Right") is producing the film with MK2.

 Is his next movie to be about the Yeshiva-bochur who tries out for the job of lifeguard at the local mikveh?

P.S.  NYTimes on Hassidic cress in hot weather.

...When the mercury passes 90, most New Yorkers start to wilt. Many resort to shorts and tank tops, even in the office. More than a few bankers and lawyers reach for their seersuckers.

A shtreimel, a fur hat, has been given holes for ventilation. /Joel Czin displayed lightweight frock coats at G&B Clothing in Borough Park./ A prayer shawl, lighter because it is made of fine thread./ A sleeveless tzitzit for daily wear, offered by Malchut Judaica, is made of cotton and eliminates the need for a separate T-shirt. 

Yet amid all the casual summer wear, in some neighborhoods more than others, Hasidic men wear dark three-piece suits crowned by black hats made of rabbit fur, and Hasidic women outfit themselves in long-sleeved blouses and nearly ankle-length skirts. To visibly cooler New Yorkers, they can look painfully overdressed. 

Some New Yorkers who are not Hasidic surely ask themselves: How on earth do they stay cool?
The answer is a mix of the spiritual and, yes, the creatively physical. The Hasidim will tell you they have learned to live comfortably in all seasons with their daily attire. 

“I think I’m not as hot as other people because the sun is not on me,” said Chany Friedman, who was shopping recently in Borough Park, Brooklyn, with two of her five children in tow, wearing a sweater and dense stockings in addition to other concealing clothing. “If I’m covered, the sun is not on me. I’m happy that I’m not exposed to the world.” 

Using a Hebrew name for God, she added, “That’s what Ha-Shem wants from us.”...


Our Golem Goes to Mecca


Just kidding.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Losing the Foundation Stone

Tomorrow's Friday edition of Makor Rishon will be carrying a lead story by Arnon Segal on how the Temple Mount Foundation Stone, in Hebrew Even HaShtiya, has had metal supports placed on it while the Waqf renovates the Dome of the Rock:-


 The Protection of Holy Places Law 5727 (1967), to remind us, reads:

The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places...2 (a) Whosoever desecrates or otherwise violates a Holy Place shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of seven years.

To remind you of the "war".

The other "battle".

Cast Signing

They're making fun of Bibi.

He tore a tendon playing soccer and had his foot placed in a cast.

And some mockers put up a site, inviting people to write/sign on his cast.

At this site.


Archaeological Chronology



Epi-Paleolithic (Late Natufian)
10500-8500 BC
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
8500/8300-7500 BC
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
7500-6000 BC
Pottery Neolithic A (Yarmukian culture)
6000-5000 BC
Pottery Neolithic B
5000-4600 BC
Early Chalcolithic
4600-4200 BC
Middle Chalcolithic
4200-3800 BC
Late Chalcolithic
3800-3400 BC
Early Bronze Age I
3400-3000 BC
Early Bronze Age II
3000-2700 BC
Early Bronze Age III
2700-2300 BC
Early Bronze Age IV
2300-2000 BC
Middle Bronze Age I
2000-1800 BC
Middle Bronze Age II
1800-1650 BC
Middle Bronze Age III
1650-1550 BC
Late Bronze Age I
1550-1420 BC
Late Bronze Age II
1400-1200 BC
Iron Age I
1200-1000 BC
Iron Age IIA
1000-925 BC
Iron Age IIB
925-732 BC
Iron Age IIC
732-586 BC
Neo-Babylonian Period
586-535 BC
Persian Period
535-333 BC
Hellenistic Period
333-64 BC
Roman Period
64 BC-AD 324
Byzantine Period
Early Islamic Period
Middle Islamic / Crusader Period
Late (Mamluk) Period
Islamic to Ottoman                                             1516-1918


Joshua Muravchik in Jerusalem


That is Professor Joshua Muravchik who delivered a talk on Neoconservatism at the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem today. I introduced him and quoted from his "Neoconservatives and the Arab Spring" from September 2011where he wrote:

...Perhaps the most important of the region’s hopeful signs is the rebellion in Syria...If these brave people persevere and drive the Assad dynasty from power, that itself would go far toward making the Arab Spring a net benefi t for the region and the world...Beyond Syria, there is reason to believe the outcome of the Arab Spring will be positive...But it seems unlikely that the Egyptians, aroused as they are and having lived through the Nasser experience, would succumb to a new despotism. The most likely force to impose it, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been having trouble keeping its own members in line, much less the rest of the country...

Needless to say, his talk was interesting and stimulating.


And Reporting Zionism 1895 & 1898

Continuing the newspaper snippets mentioning Zionism I posted earlier, here are two more:


April 12, 1895

April 22, 1898


Media Doublespeak

Our Media Comment column in today's Jerusalem Post.


Zionism 1854

From the December 8, 1854 issue of the Ontario, Canada newspaper, The New Era:

Even before Herzl, political Zionism was active and even the Canadians knew of it.

"Before 'Palestine' it was the 'Land of Promise'".


Me at the Tomorrow 2012 Conference

Thanks to Sharon's album of RealJerusalemStreets


Announced: 80% of Migron Land Purchased by Jewish Residents

The heads of the Migron community will claim on August 1 before Israel's High Court for Justice that they do not have to move.

The Arutz 7 Hebrew site (at this moment) is announcing that 80% of the land in dispute has now been bought from the Arab owners for several hundreds of thousands of dollars from an American-Jewish philanthropist.



MKs Elkin & Eldad demand that the government inform HCJ that there's no need to move.  (link in Hebrew)

More details here.

Of course, someone will ask: if they claimed the land wasn't owned, from whom did they buy it?


Putin and the Western Wall, Cont'd

I blogged about Vladimir Putins and the Temple discussion he conducted.

He reacted to the matter in response to a question at a press conference (k/t=IMRA):

QUESTION: You visited the main holy sites here and in Jerusalem. You even prayed at the Wailing Wall. I will venture to ask, what did you pray to God about?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: The Wailing Wall is a holy shrine for the Jewish people; it is one of the pillars of one of the world’s major religions, Judaism. As you know, Judaism is one of the four traditional religions in our nation, and this status for Judaism was established by the law of the Russian
Federation. Thus, I feel that it is entirely normal to visit this shrine – in this case, a shrine of the Jewish people.

In addition, there are also other considerations. You know, all disputes in the Middle East ultimately come down to this place, because it is a point of contention, and one of the most problematic matters in this discussion is who this place belongs to. First, a synagogue was built here, then other cultural buildings, then still others – and so on. Honestly, I have been here before, I have watched, and I have visited the Wailing Wall, too. But I never had the chance to get to see it so closely. It was very interesting and useful to look at this problem from within, to hear specialists talk about it.

Moreover, I do not know who among you has been there, whether you have seen it or not, but I was able, quite spontaneously, to talk to people who had just come there to pray. I must say that it was an interesting conversation and the people were very open, kind, interested in cooperating with all their sisters and brothers from other faiths. It was very nice to hear and see.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ever See a Lefty Zionist Cry?


It reads:





How to be "Pro-67 Borders"

A T-shirt making the rounds:

That reads:



Maybe this will help.  And a Rabbi Green explains:

Yes, Israel needs to return to the borders of before 67 CE, the year Vespasian embarked on his military campaign to conquer and lay waste to the land of Israel and ultimately destroyed the Holy Temple (in 68 CE).  What were the pre-67 CE borders, you ask?

Well, for one, these borders contained areas most vital to Israel's security and defense (e.g. Golan, Gaza, West and East Banks, part of the Sinai, etc.). Moreover, they contained the heartland of Biblical Israel, including Judea, Samaria, and even Transjordania.

In 67 CE, there was no "Palestine," but only Israel, land of the Jews. No "Aelia Capitolina." No "East" and "West," but only one united Jerusalem...

And in 67 BCE, there was a strong Hasmonean state.

Here's one version of the Hasmonean conquests including 67 BCE:

 This is also very detailed:

At the very least, you'll notice, the country stretches to both sides of the Jordan River.


Some history:

With the establishment of Hasmonean rule (transformed in 104-103 B.C.E. into a kingdom), Jerusalem entered a new stage of history as the capital of an independent state. While the city had already enjoyed this status for some four hundred years during the First Temple period (c. 1000-586 B.C.E.), it had been reduced to a modest temple-city for the first four hundred years of the Second Temple era (c. 540-140 B.C.E.), serving as the capital of a small and relatively isolated district.
All this changed, however, under the Hasmoneans; as Jerusalem assumed its role as the center of a sizable state, the city's dimensions and fortunes were affected as well. Replacing the district of Yehud in the Persian and Hellenistic eras, the Hasmonean realm expanded greatly, encompassing an area roughly the size of David's and Solomon's kingdoms' and becoming a significant regional power by the beginning of the first century B.C.E. Jerusalem under the Hasmoneans grew fivefold, from a relatively small area in the City of David with some five thousand inhabitants to a population of twenty-five to thirty thousand inhabitants…

And start at page 63 at this book.

Why Not The 8 State Solution?



P.S.  That was my 16,000th post at this blog.


Write UNESCO, Save Bethlehem

Can I ask you, after reading below, to do something?

Russia to Back Naming Bethlehem on World Heritage List
RAMALLAH, June 27, 2012 (WAFA) – Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said during a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Siham Barghouti in Ramallah on Wednesday that his country will vote to include the city of Bethlehem on UNESCO’s International World Heritage of Humanity List.  The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is expected to deliberate this week Palestine’s request to include Bethlehem on the World Heritage List.

Whatle I would wish you to do is to write to UNESCO and point out that if they do decide that Bethlehem is to be included then its history, especially as regards its Biblical and Jewish legacy be publicized.

Like so:
Biblical scholars believe Bethlehem, located in the "hill country" of Judah, may be the same as the Biblical Ephrath, which means "fertile", as there is a reference to it in the Book of Micah as Bethlehem Ephratah. The Bible also calls it Beth-Lehem Judah, and "a city of David". It is first mentioned in the Tanakh and the Bible as the place where the matriarch Rachel died and was buried "by the wayside" (Gen. 48:7). Rachel's Tomb, the traditional grave site, stands at the entrance to Bethlehem. According to the Book of Ruth, the valley to the east is where Ruth of Moab gleaned the fields and returned to town with Naomi. Biblical tradition holds that Bethlehem is the birthplace of David, the second king of Israel, and the place where he was anointed king by Samuel. It was from the well of Bethlehem that three of his warriors brought him water when he was hiding in the cave of Adullam.

In 1173, Binyamin of Tudela visited the town and found a few Jews living there as he recorded in his travelogue:

Two parasangs from Jerusalem is Bethlehem of Judea, called Beth-lehem; and within half a mile of it, where several roads meet, stands the monument which points out the grave of Rachel. This monument is constructed of eleven stones, equal to the number of the children of Jacob. It is covered by a cupola, which rests upon four pillars; and every Jew who passes there inscribes his name on the stones of the monument. Twelve Jews, dyers by profession, 15 live at Bethlehem. The country abounds with rivulets, wells, and springs of water.

UNESCO Headquarters:
  • 7, place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris 07 SP France
  • 1, rue Miollis 75732 Paris Cedex 15 France
General phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 10 00

Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York.
2, United Nations Plaza
Room 900
New York 10017
Mail: newyork(
Tel: +1-212 963 59 95
Fax: +1-212 963 80 14

Philippe Kridelka
UNESCO Liaison Office in New York
Mail: p.kridelka(
Tel: +1-212 963 5978
Fax: +1-212 963 8014

Liaison Office to the United Nations in Geneva.
15 route des Morillons
1218 Grand-Saconnex / Geneva
Mail: geneva(
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 7880
Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 7805

Luís Manuel Tibúrcio
UNESCO Liaison Office in Geneva
Mail: l.tiburcio(at)
Tel: +41 (0) 22 917 7882

On Settlements, Villages and...Hamlets

I sometimes use a bit of humor and when referring to the locations of Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria, I can be heard saying:

"I prefer communities, not 'settlements'.  In fact, we are towns, villages, cities, suburbs and so-on, but not 'settlements'.  Oh, and as we mostly keep kosher, please don't use hamlets."

It gets a laugh.

And now?

Read the Reuters headline:

West Bank hamlets share name, not fate

Who could know?

But then the news agency falls back into semantic subversion:

Susiya the Israeli settlement enjoys well-watered lawns, humming electricity, and the protection of a mighty state. One rocky hill away, Susiya the Palestinian village is parched and doomed.

There we go.


Journalism - Style Haaretz

At the annual American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) Conference, held last week in Philadelphia, a newsworthy session was held with Chemi Shalev, the newly appointed US correspondent for the English language edition of HaAretz...After hearing Shalev's insightful analysis of current Israeli politics and the current state of Israeli-Arab negotiations, our news agency posed a question to Shalev:

* Why does HaAretz not report what the Palestinian Authority communicates to their people in their language, on the PBC TV, the PBC radio, Palestinian Authority newspapers and the Palestinian Authority schools?*


...Shalev's candid response: “We do not have room to cover all of that”

The follow up question was simpler: In the context of any article that HaAretz runs on the peace process, why not mention what the spokespeople of the PA say that day in their media and in their own language?


* As an editor, I would recommend not covering that”. *

In other words, a senior editor of HaAretz admitted to a gathering of journalists that his newspaper engages in a journalistic indiscretion...Shalev admitted, Haaretz will not report the consistent message that the Palestinian Authority conveys in the Arabic language.

This poses a challenge to agencies that rely on HaAretz as a source.


Nora Ephron Died

The comment I left at this site:-

While it is great to have witnessed how far a smart & talented female could move into areas previously restricted and excell, too bad that the final "Miss" list of a Jewish female needed to include bacon and Christmas and nothing Jewish.
I really did enjoy her writing, though.


I have now seen this at The Forward:

Nora mainly had a lack of [Jewish identity]...She said she thought of herself “as a Jew, but not Jewish.” She wasn’t in denial about her Jewish identity, just indifferent to it: “At this point, it doesn’t make the Top 5 of what I would say about myself. And it probably never did.”

...She grew up in Beverly Hills with colorful parents and a Christmas tree. She went to school on the Jewish holidays because her mother said, “What are you going to do if you stay home?”
She told me the most interesting moment for her as a Jew was when she went to Wellesley College in 1958 because the school had a quota on Jews. After she was admitted, she received a housing form on which she was supposed to put her religious preference.
“I thought that leaving it blank was sort of the right response,” she told me. “And I got a letter back saying I wouldn’t be given a room assignment till I told them my religious preference.
So I wrote them a letter saying that I was an atheist but I had been born a Jew, and sent it off. And then I went off to Wellesley and it was absolutely clear to a blind person that the housing department worked in the following way: Catholic girls roomed with Catholic girls, Jewish girls were put with Jewish girls and Protestant girls with Protestant girls. When I joined the school newspaper, we exposed this, by the way. But I suddenly realized that whether I thought of myself as a Jew or not, other people thought of me as a Jew, and I had to come to terms with what that was.”
She did recall one major advantage of being Jewish at Wellesley: “There were so many Jewish guys at Harvard and Harvard Law School, and a lot of them were under strict orders to date Jewish girls. The Jewish girls at Wellesley and Radcliffe had, I think, a much more active social life than anyone.”
She was relieved her two boys didn’t request bar mitzvahs. “First of all, because of my feelings about religion, and second of all, because they’re so expensive, and third of all, because nothing is more awful than a divorced bar mitzvah.” (She was divorced from their father, Carl Bernstein, the second of her three husbands.)


Islamic Putdown of Putin

I have found a response to Russian President Putin's pro-Temple statement.

It's here:-

The lawyer Zahi Nujeidat, the official spokesman for the Islamist movement in the Palestinian territories, said:

"This is a cheap and unctuous position about the Israeli establishment, by the Russian bear, who spills the blood of our people in the Levant, and I believe there is great harmony between the two positions [between Zionism and Putin - YM].":

The "Al-Aqsa Foundation" responds to what was stated by saying:
"We say to Putin and his ilk, that the Wailing Wall is pure Islamic, a part and parcel of the Al Aqsa Mosque, nor do non-Muslims have a right to the Wall or in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and all the historical facts and international documents confirm it as the Islamic Al-Buraq Wall, including the British Shaw Commission..."


Is this appropriate?


Going Under



They're not racist.  Not anti-Semitic.  They just fabricate.

A Zionist plan to establish a Jewish museum under al-Aqsa mosque

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) issued a statement on Tuesday revealing that the occupation authorities had recently ratified a budget of four million shekels (more than one million dollars) to establish a Jewish center.

The center will be built under the name “audio-visual Museum”, at the entrance of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood, a few meters from the south of Al Aqsa Mosque. [a. it's much more than a "few meters". b. it is outside the walled enclosure. - YM] The foundation added that the site on which the center will be set up is a historic water well and a cavity of seven meters under the ground. The museum will be connected to the tunnels’ network dug by the occupation underground in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This project comes within the plan of establishing seven Jewish Talmudic buildings around Al-Aqsa mosque, revealed the foundation.  It also said that the occupation is carrying out extensive excavation in the area in preparations to build the museum.

(see here for pictures)
And let's add this story:
Settlers and the Israeli intelligence elements of the storm Al-Aqsa Mosque ...Eyewitnesses reported that dozens of settlers and members of the Israeli intelligence, raided on Tuesday morning (26 | 6), the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and entered the tribal prayer. At the time the Israeli occupation forces prevented worshipers from entering the mosque under the pretext of fear of clashes and harassment of visitors to the mosque. The Foundation, "Building the maximum" that the occupation forces at the door of the beholder and Guanma [?], prevented the entry of children and their families has led to verbal altercations and defend with hands."


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Battle of the Women

According to this report, a new Islamic group has organized to "protect" the Temple Mount the Al-Aksa Mosque/Haram E-Sharif and its sanctity from Jewish women who come to visit. They call themselves, "Mrabotat".

Here they are:


Shabbat Timers in the NYTimes

Shabbat timers make it into the NYTimes:

Gas, sewage, water, air-conditioning and electricity — including timers for Shabbat — were all in place on Tuesday as families ousted from the disputed neighborhood known as Ulpana made their way to their new homes down the hill here.

One result of a well-educated Jewish reporter with a strong Jewish background on the job.

And there was this, too:

Mrs. Kitay, who emigrated from Australia in 2009, said she would first make sure that the cribs and changing table were set up before her 2-year-old daughter and 5-month-old son returned from day care in midafternoon. Then, after bedtime, she would confront the rest of the job, deciding which pieces of their furniture would fit, and which would have to wait in storage until more permanent homes are built. “I made aliyah , I moved to Israel, because of something deep down I didn’t quite understand,” Mrs. Kitay said. “Now I understand. The minute someone tries to take something that you love, you go crazy. I’m going crazy for this land.”


Putin: May The Temple Be Rebuilt

In this story relating about Vladimir Putin's visit to the Kotel and his conversation with a recent Russian immigrant, you can listen to the Russian-language conversation or you can read this in the Hebrew:

אותו יהודי שזכה לדקות שיחה ידידותית עם פוטין, סיפר לנשיא על חשיבותו של הכותל לעם היהודי, על בית המקדש שחרב ועל שלמה המלך שבנה אותו. הנשיא הקשיב לו בשקיקה, ואמר: "בדיוק בשביל זה באתי לכאן, להתפלל שיבנה שוב בית המקדש. אני מאחל לכם שיתקבלו תפילותיכם". לאחר מכן לחץ את ידיו של היהודי בחום לב, ונפרד ממנו באיחולים.

or, in short, Putin is told how important the area is, the importance of the Kotel, the Temple that was destroyed and was rebuilt and Putin responds:

"this is exactly for what I came here, to pray that the Temple will be rebuilt.  I wish that all your prayers be answered."

From his mouth to God's ear.




Battir's NYTimes's 'Sprightly elderly woman'

The New York Times (finally) has reported on the Battir/Betar water story and it's petition to UNESCO as a world heritage site deserving of protection (I blogged previously here).  They want an ecomuseum. The claim is that village's

ecological and environmental equilibrium will continue to be threatened and its residents denied the chance to enjoy their natural heritage and sustain the land.


water flows through a Roman-era irrigation system

And I just loved this portrayal of a

sprightly elderly woman, a distant relative, skipped down to a nearby plot across the railway track

Skipping?  Exactly how elderly is she?

But let's return to what is supposed to be fact rather than literary fiction.

First, let's identify the site more historically correct:

Tel Betar (Khirbet el-Yahud) is situated southwest of Jerusalem near the Arab village of Bittir, its northern side flanking the Rephaim Valley...Khirbet el-Yahud is unanimously identified with Betar, the last stronghold of the Second Revolt against the Romans, where its leader, Bar-Kochba, found his death in 135 CE. The ancient name was (p)reserved in the name of the Arab village Bittir, and the Arab name of the site - Khirbet el-Yahud, that is "The ruin of the Jews", keeps the memory of the Second Revolt. The identification is supported by the results of the surveys and the excavations. The Roman siege of Betar in 135 CE, the conquest of the settlement and the slaughter of the besieged, including Bar-Kochba, which put an end to the Second Revolt, is mentioned in both Jewish and Roman Sources - The Talmud and the Midrash, and Eusebius (3rd-4th centuries CE) in his book on the history of the church.

Now, let's get factual on Battir's irriagtion situation:

Battir has 12,000 Dunums [dunam is 1,000 square metres (10,764 sq ft)] of arable land. 4,000 Dunums are cultivated. Of the cultivated land, 50 Dunham are near the spring and cultivated with the water of the spring. From the remaining 8,000 Dunham of arable land that are not cultivated, 5,000 Dunham are not cultivated due to lack of water. The majority of the agriculture land relies solely on rain...

In other words, the system irrigates .0125% of the total.  Just over 1%.  (See this: "Correction: Palestinians-Troubled Terraces story - In a May 11 article, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the agricultural terraces in the West Bank village of Battir cover 2,000 hectares, or about 800 acres. The correct figure is 800 hectares, or nearly 2,000 acres.] C'est toute.  And

Battir households are all connected to the water supply managed by the municipality of Battir. This water is supplied by by The Israeli water company ‐ Mekorot

And it has been since 1973 that

 the village of Battir did most of its growth (p. 14)

Yes, there is a water problem at Battir.  But it is a waste-water disposal problem:

Battir, like most of the villages in West Bank, has no sewerage network. Most families therefore depend on boreholes (cesspits) for their black wastewater. These boreholes [see below] are the main contamination source of the spring water as many of them are not pumped and none of them are sealed against leaks. According to the same survey, 80% of households have separated pipes systems for black and grey water3. While the black‐wastewater is directed to the boreholes the gray water is used for irrigation in the proximity of the house without any treatment. More than 50% of households never pump out their borehole. Only about a quarter of the households pump out their boreholes in a monthly basis, the rest pump out their boreholes on a time range from 2 months to 5 years. The pumped out solid waste is conducted by a truck owned and operated by the municipality. This truck pumps‐out only or mostly the solid waste. In most cases the solid waste is taken to a treatment facility at some cost. Yet, many cases were reported about the drivers disposing the solid waste in the Wadi (dry streambed) near Battir.

According to that NYTimes' report:

...the villagers and conservation experts fight to save what they say is a unique living cultural and historical landscape. 

With all that sewerage, what exactly at the villagers conserving?

And then there's the Israeli, Gidon Bromberg, director of Friends of the Earth Middle East, described as "an organization that works to promote cooperation on environmental issues in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories". He was quoted as saying

“there are alternative ways to bring about security without destroying 4,000 years of cultural heritage for the Israelis, the Palestinians and all of humanity.”

Wait.  4000 years heritage?  What happened to the Romans?  They are from 2000 years ago [Roman rule began in 63 BCE]

But to return to conservation:-

The Battir spring has discharge rate of about 40 cubic meters per day according to my measurement. While visiting the site, I measured 1 liter discharged every 2 seconds (times 43,200 seconds – half of the days seconds). Yet, the secretary of the municipality estimated the springs yield at 150m3/day in the summer and 250m3/day in the winter...Some residents take water from the spring in buckets for domestic use and a common yet unlawful practice is the use of the wells waters for washing personal cars.

And hygiene:

... The use of these boreholes has already caused pollution of water springs in the village, according to the results of regular pathogen tests carried out by the Palestinian Ministry of Health from 2006 the Battir Spring has a concentration of fecal coliform bacteria 230 colonies/100ml. I also obtained a report (annex 1) from 2009 that shows, the fecal coli‐form bacteria at the spring were TMC (to many to count) and for E. Coli in the range from 20‐40 colonies for 100mL. Correspondingly, reports of recurring incidents of water borne diseases amongst children are reported by the local clinic. In the past years cases of amoeba have been registered with the village clinic due to drinking spring water. In May 2010, 50 cases ameba were reported in the boy’s school. The affected groups were student’s ages 6‐14 years old were affected. In the same month in the girl’s school, 3 students as well as some mothers reported cases of should be mandatory to inform clients of the necessity to wash the vegetables harvested with this water. Also, the grey water used in proximity of the house might also contain pathogens that may have a negative effect on human health. This contamination might occur as a result of washing parts of our bodies after being exposed to pathogens in a way were the pathogens are transferred into the water.

According to BBC,

A simple system of manually diverting water via sluice gates means that fruit and vegetables from the small plots on the lower slopes are renowned for their freshness and quality.

It's not UNESCO that Battir's residents require but the World Health Organization .


P.S.  I overlooked this in Isabel Kershner's story:

 Until the late 1940s, Battir was the last stop before Jerusalem on the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway.

Well, if we recall Mandate history, can't we add this from August 18, 1939

and this from October 19, 1937

and this

The railroad suffered numerous terrorist attacks during the 1960s prior to the Six-Day War, especially due to its proximity to the Green Line and the Arab village Battir. On October 27, 1966, one person was injured from a bomb that was placed along the route.

History can become, er, complicated.


Following the suggestion of a commentator, I went to this book, The World of Ancient Israel Sociological, Anthropological and Political Perspectives by Ronald E. Clements and I found this information about terracing:

In short, Romans-Shmomans.  It was the Hebrews.  Especially important in light of how the "reality" is propagated as in AP:

Terraces are a common Palestinian farming technique in the hilly West Bank terrain.

Edelstein, G., and Gat, Y. (1980-81). ‘Terraces around Jerusalem’, Israel – Land and Nature, 6 (2).
Ron, Z. (1966). ‘Agricultural Terraces in the Judean Mountains’, Israel Exploration Journal, 16.

After the destruction of the First Temple.

The impoverished Jews and the foreigners who settled in abandoned Jewish territory could not, however, maintain the terraced hill farms and orchards. When the exiles returned, they found the land forsaken and desolate. They proceeded to repair the terraces, to restore the agricultural installations and to plant vines and fruit trees.

The Pals. disagree:

Ghattas Sayeg presents irrefutable evidence in his "The Origin of Terraces in the Central Hills of Palestine" that the use of terraces in Palestine were not a function of the Israelite invasion and settlement in Palestine under Joshua. The Israelites were nomads, while terraced agriculture required extensive experience and studied familiarity with the Palestinian landscape.

And this, too:

Palestine’s cultural heritage embodies several components, such as archaeological and historical sites, traditional buildings, unique places of aesthetic value, sacred places, ancient roads, natural and artificial caves, cisterns, agricultural terraces and watchtowers, ancient rock-cut tombs and cemeteries, olive and wine presses, as well as a large number of artifacts and other movable objects of historic, scientific or aesthetic value.

So what happened to the Romans?  They only dealt with the water?

P.S.  Friends and I in Battir in late June 1967:


CAMERA mentions me.

As does On the Contrary.

And also Jonathan Tobin at Commentary.

And also here.

And Caroline Glick, who mentions me:

...a central goal of Palestinian propaganda, and advanced by all relevant sectors of Palestinian society, is to rewrite history and erase the Jews from the history of the Land of Israel.

And rather than call them on this intellectual crime of literally biblical proportions, the Western media collaborates with them. For instance, on Tuesday, the New York Times published an article about the efforts of the Palestinians from Battir, an Arab village southwest of Jerusalem, to have their ancient terraced irrigation system recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They claim the designation is necessary and urgent because if they don’t get it, Israel may build a portion of the security barrier through the village and harm the irrigation system.

Isabel Kershner, the Times’ reporter, referred to the irrigation system as “a Roman-era irrigation system.”

But as the bloggers Yisrael Medad and Elli Fischer pointed out, it is a Jewish irrigation system from the Second Temple period. And while Battir is a reasonable candidate for World Heritage Site status, it is first and foremost a Jewish heritage site. Battir is the Arab name for the ancient Jewish village Betar, the site of Bar- Kochba’s last stand against the Roman Empire.

It is the last place where Jews were sovereign until the establishment of the State of Israel.

But Kershner didn’t mention any of that.

Doing so would lead to too many inconvenient truths – about the nature of Palestinian nationalism, about UNESCO, about Jewish rights to the land. So the historical significance of Battir was left unreported, and the nature of the irrigation system was reported incorrectly.

On the face of it, it can be argued that the Western media’s willful blindness towards Islamic Jew-hatred and its influence on world affairs are part and parcel of the Western elite’s collective refusal to recognize and contend with the implications of the phenomenon.

But this is too forgiving.

Policy-makers who ignore Islamic Jew-hatred are doing so because they are trying to sell their policies. What’s the New York Times’ excuse? The media are supposed to report facts, not shape perceptions. The facts, not the perceptions are supposed to inform policy.

That is, they are not supposed to collaborate with policy-makers, they are supposed to inform policy-makers and the general public.


Is the BBC Biased?

Consider the 'heroes' of Edward Mortimer who has issued a review of Jeremy Bowen's Arab Spring coverage:

Who are the writers you recognize as shaping your vision of the ME region?

Maxime Rodinson. Walid Khalidi. Mohamed Sid Ahmed. Fred Halliday. Ernest Gellner. Kanaan Makiya. Edward Said – even though, of course, they disagreed strongly with each other. Perhaps above all Israel Shahak, whom you may not think of as a writer, but he wrote indefatigably – thousands of pages translating bits of the Hebrew press which he knew the government press office would never translate; long handwritten personal letters; and one or two important small books, especially “Jewish History, Jewish Religion”. A strong and brave man, not always right perhaps, but one of those who makes it just about tolerable to be a member of the human race…







Soul vs. Body

...while you may have devoted your career, voice and resources to fighting for Israel’s soul, others, like myself, have devoted ours to protecting Israel’s body from the often disproportionate, unfair and scathing attacks against it.

David Bernstein, countering New Israel Fund criticism.


Quotable Words

I dislike the contextless castigation of Israel, because it is not serious about a solution. Introspection is a solemn duty, but it has limits as a political analysis, because it avails only against one’s own culpabilities, and others are also culpable.

Leon Wieselthier, last April


Thank You, AP

Yes.  Thanks go to AP for this story:

One clutched stones behind his back, another extended a sling shot. A third man appeared wrapped in a Palestinian flag. All were masked. The seven Palestinians gathered in a home in the West Bank village of Bilin displayed their improvised weapons of protest as Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photographer Oded Balilty snapped their portraits against a black backdrop.

One muscled young man hoisted a tire like those burned in hastily thrown-up roadblocks. Another covered his face with a plastic bag like those worn by protesters for protection against tear gas. A third wore a gas mask.

All concealed their identities with checkered kaffiyehs, black masks or, in one case, a balaclava printed with a Palestinian flag and the words "Popular Resistance" in Arabic. The images provide a rare look at the Palestinian stone throwers normally seen in the streets in action against Israeli soldiers.

While they are viewed as symbols of resistance and even heroes by many Palestinians, stones can kill, and the Israeli army notes that hundreds of soldiers have been injured by Palestinian stone throwers. Over the years, many stone throwers also have been wounded or killed in fighting with Israeli troops.

Of course, the killed stone throwers chose to engage in offensive violence.  Their free-will.

(The pictures are there)


Monday, June 25, 2012

Emperor Obama's No Clothes


Inspired from here.

Reflections on the 1978 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty

Israel’s Sinai catastrophe

Hagai Segal's reflection:

It is dangerous to celebrate great historical events too early.

There, some 34 years after Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula, it suddenly turns out that we made a terrible, foolish mistake. Two leaders, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, were awarded a Nobel Peace Prize because of this folly, and it was considered to be one of the best things that happened here since 1948.

Yet one clear day, we found ourselves without the Sinai, and without peace.Even withdrawal objectors had trouble at the time imagining the extent of the catastrophe. They barricades themselves on a Yamit monument in order to warn us that one of these days the Egyptians will attack us from the Sinai, yet they did not consider the possibility that the Egyptian threats will be a minor issue compared to the new threat we now face from that region which we left behind in 1982.

All the madmen of the radical Islamic camp are flooding the area as of late and are starting to embitter our lives. Afghanistan is here. As opposed to previous periods, we cannot even respond, as not to find ourselves entangled in a head-on collision with the new Egypt; an Iran-style Egypt.

All we can do now is build a fence and hope for a miracle.

In fact, one miracle has already happened. Despite all the domestic and external pressures, we have not yet signed a peace treaty with Syria that is based on the Egyptian model of withdrawing to the last inch.

The impasse on establishing a Palestinian state is also a sort of miracle. We spared ourselves Qassam rockets exploding in Tiberius, in Afula and in Herzliya. Indeed, that’s the last thing we needed right now.


More Temple Mount Incendiary Incitement


Israeli occupation police allowed around 70 soldiers from the Israeli navy to storm the holy Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem and to stroll in its plazas.  Local sources said that the soldiers broke into the holy site in their uniform at around 0900 am Monday, adding that the leader of the extremist Temple Mount Trustees Gershon Salomon was also allowed into the Aqsa plazas.

First of all, "plazas"?

But to the point, no one "storms" and no one "breaks into" - and it is a Jewish holy site, after all.  Israeli authorities, unfortunately, do not permit overt expressions of worship or religious respect, so what are they complaining about?  And unlike the Waqf authority, hey didn't dig up Muslim artifacts and throw them away or cover up others.

And Gershon Solomon?  He would be let in?  (and it's Temple Mount Faithful, not "Trustees").

So, let's review another site, here:-

On Monday, 25th June, Israeli occupation police admitted 57 members from the Israeli navy and a member of the Knesset to take a tour in al-Aqsa mosque's yards. The head of the Islamic Awqaf department in Jerusalem, Azzam al-Khatib, said the soldiers spread out in the mosques' yards and roamed around while in their military uniform.

"These tours are always repeated, as groups from the different Israeli forces and Israeli civilians enter the mosque and do provocative tours inside its yards," Said al-Khatib.  One of the guards in al-Awqaf denied that Gershon Salomon, the head of the "The Temple Mount Trustees" a Jewish religious movement, entered into the mosque.

So, 23 soldiers less. No Solomon.  But one Member of Knesset.

They don't "storm".  They "roam".   But they are "provocative".

Again, this is Arab incendiary propaganda.


P.S.  This site (k/t= EOZ) in Google translation has this:

Led extremists Monday are Jewish rites and rituals in front of Talmudic Marwani prayer in Al-Aqsa mosque guarded by members of the police occupation.

Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the situation on the extremists and religious Rashma hat and stood in front of the Chapel Marwani Ugehma towards the Dome of the Rock and began police protection Haaúarhama performance.

Eyewitnesses said that the worshipers warned the police and Nnbhoha to what is going on but did not bother and prevented them from interfering with their prayers and continued to extremes.

The Jordanian ministry of Islamic affairs and holy sites strongly denounced the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) for facilitating the entry of Israeli soldiers and extremist Jewish figures into the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyard on Monday and described it as a provocative act....In a press release, the Jordanian ministry stated that the IOA carried out on May 22, 2012 destructive excavations in Al-Maghariba area near the Aqsa Mosque and erased historical Islamic ruins, and on May 28 of the same year it allowed extremist soldiers to provoke the feeling of Muslims and raise the Israeli flag in the courtyard of the Dome of Rock Mosque. The ministry said that Israel flagrantly insists on violating all international agreements which require it to respect Jordan’s role in taking care of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

There were other visitors.


Support for Zambish; Opposition to Disruptive Elements

Ze'ev (Zambish) Chever, Secretary-General of the AMANA settlement arm, had his tyres punctured at Bet-El last week - and not for the first time.

Here is from Israel Hayom's report:

'Sin of silence' over attacks must be stopped; "Biggest threat to settlement enterprise is not Obama, Netanyahu, or Barak, but acts of violence."

...Amana...held an unprecedented emergency conference against settler violence and in support of the organization's director-general, Ze'ev (Zambish) Hever, who in recent years has been the victim of threats and harassment by right-wing activists who view him as too comprising and willing to give up land in Judea and Samaria.

...Hever himself spoke out against settler violence and acts of vandalism, saying, "For years I used to stop angry youths roaming the streets of Judea and Samaria. I see the anger in their eyes, their hatred and I choose not to bow down. This atmosphere must be purified." Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan, also speaking at the conference, said "The biggest danger to the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is not [U.S. President Barack] Obama, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, or [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak, but acts of violence, and silence over this ends today," Israel Radio reported.

And from the JPost:

..."Violence has become an acceptable currency in our camp. It comes in dozens of forms and we are silent. We have all worked for Migron and for Ulpana, but with a hand on our heart...How many here did something to stop this terrible and shameful phenomenon of Jews with masked faces and slingshots and stones in their hands?" [Dany] Dayan asked. "Our hands are not clean."

"We are building the land of Israel together with the nation of Israel and its representatives which is the state of Israel. We are doing this together and not against each other...In this way, we will continue as best we can, with effort, dedication, thoughtfulness and sometimes, cunning," [Chever] said.

Rabbi Yaakov Meidan said, "Unfortunately we woke up too late. Those who failed to protest yesterday against a Molotov cocktail thrown at an Arab woman in Hawara, and who did not protest when stones were thrown at a [military] jeep, were confronted today by the Zambish's slashed tire, and will find themselves tomorrow in an even worse situation."