Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Poetry of the Other Darwish

On the Temple Mount, the Waqf rules.

The Waqf moves from Jordan to the Pal. Authority to Hamas and back.

Israel has no 'hands-on' supervision role except in extreme cases and even then, like the near-collapse of the southern wall, Jordanian and Egyptian engineers are brought in.  Hamas and ISIS flags and banners are flown, demonstrations and assemblies of a political nature are held and there are riots regularly of various degrees all intended to prevent Jews and other non-Muslims nay right to freedom of worship or respect to be displayed for a religious holy site.  No coexistence, no sharing.

[the police allowed 15 Jewish settlers and 20 intelligence officers to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards in the morning under their protection. The Aqsa foundation, in this regard, warned the Israeli occupation authority of its persistence in its hostile activities against the Islamic holy place and said it would continue its efforts to protect it against all Judaization plans.]

But I found an account of this year's PalFest, with this
on the esplanade of the Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center, the local poet Najwan Darwish reads from his collection Nothing More to Lose, recently published by NYRB Classics. His poem “Jerusalem (I)” [2 is here]opens:

“We stood on the Mount
to raise a sacrifice for you
and when we saw our hand rise
we knew
that we were your sacrifice”

Sorry, Najwan, but if anything or one is being sacrificed on the Temple Mount, it is the rights of Jews.  It is the young Haredi children assaulted last Passover. The shouts and venomous screams directed at Jews simply strolling along, as the Muslims attempt to interfere and block the route, acting provocatively.

And as for Darwish's literary worth, this charge from another of his poems:

I see a thread of beauty ripplinglike a river of nobilityBut soon enough I tell myself:Shut up and look awayyou Narcissus surrounded by Zionist lieswalls and checkpoints rising all around youShut up

and from another

In the thirties of the past century it occurred to the Nazis to put their victims in gas chambers. Today’s executioners are more professional:They put the gas chambers in their victims.

He can compose poetry, I'll grant but he can't navigate:

...he made it to the following night’s event in Ramallah and, after several false starts, he finally explained: He’d waited at a checkpoint for forty-odd minutes before being turned away. A soldier didn’t want to let him through, and Darwish felt he didn’t have time to wait for some higher-up to arrive and sort it out. So he drove off in search of an alternate checkpoint. But he got lost. He couldn’t find Nablus on his GPS, he couldn’t find signs pointing to the city and — perhaps even more telling — walls blocked his view of possible landmarks.  He ended up near Tel Aviv, where he got stuck in traffic, and continued driving around for a while longer before, in frustration, he gave up and went home.

By the way, there are no walls near Shchem so, unless he got lost leaving Jerusalem, he doesn't even know that lay of his own "land".

And as I am a bit digressing, this disturbed me:

Four days after Darwish and his guests read to an audience of more than 1,000 in Ramallah's Kassaba theatre, the Israeli army began its operation to root out suicide bombers. Palestinians see the invasion as collective punishment and a move to destroy the infrastructure of their embryonic state. Darwish, who had already left Ramallah to give a poetry recital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, was unable to return. He learned that the Sakakini Cultural Centre, where he edits his quarterly literary review Al-Karmel, had been ransacked and his manuscripts trampled into the floor. "They wanted to give us a message that nobody's immune - including in cultural life," says Darwish. "I took the message personally. I know they're strong and can invade and kill anyone. But they can't break or occupy my words."

To think that Israeli soldiers purposefully sought out Darwish's poetry (or even could read it) is laughable.  As the Palestinian society mostly is mobilized, even their cultural output is suspect to incite and encourage terror and the examples above illustrate well my point.

P.S.   The other Darwish.


Slithering Silverstein

In a new post, Richard Silverstein serves as a leaker spout for an article at NTG which, he claims

IDF Killed Three of Its Own Soldiers After Declaring Hannibal Directive

He quotes, in translation, this section:

"As a result of activation of the Hannibal Directive, three IDF soldiers were killed and 120 [ed., the actual number was 160] Palestinian civilians were killed from cannon fire [as a result of IDF fire that destroyed the surrounding neighborhood]."

The original Hebrew is so:

כתוצאה מהפעלת "נוהל חניבעל" נהרגו שלושת הלוחמים, וככל הנראה כ-120 אזרחים פלסטינים מירי פגזים. 

However, later down the piece, it reads:

"הכוח נתקל בחוליה כשהיה בשטח פתוח צמוד לבתים וזיהו פיר לא רחוק משם. לשם הכניסו את הנעדר...
לאחר שנפתחה לעבר הכוח אש משמעותית ממנה נפגעו ככל הנראה כלל הלוחמים
הכוחות זיהו שמדובר בחטיפה ועל פי דיווחים הפעילו "נוהל חניבעל", במסגרתו צה"ל מפעיל אש לכיוון החוטפים. 

which, in English, is

The forces [Sayeret Givati, commanded by Benaya Sarel] encountered a group of terrorists in the open, close by some houses not far from there [where the snatch took place] and identified a tunnel opening.  There was where they dragged down the missing soldier [Hadar Goldin].  After significant fire was opened at them [the IDF], from which most of the soldiers were hit, they realized that a kidnapping was occurring and, in accordance with the "Hannibal Directive", whereby the IDF shoots in the direction of the kidnappers...

Since the other two soldiers killed, Sarel and Lial Gidoni, were not kidnapped, it seems illogical that the "Hannibal" fire was responsible for their deaths.

In any case, this conclusion of Silverstein:

It’s important to note that nowhere in this report does it say that the Hamas fighters killed the three IDF soldiers who died during this skirmish (though it does say the cell may’ve fled into the tunnel with Goldin’s body).  The entire premise is that the IDF killed them as a result of the massive amount of fire it used after the Hannibal Directive was declared.  This fact has never been reported in the Israeli media.  

is wrong as (a) it does say that the soldiers were hit with Hamas fire;  and (b) he does not deal with the very apparent contradiction or, at the least, seemingly incorrect order of events in the NRG story. 

A comment there, from 'Black Canary', notes the inconsistency of another point, that Haaretz reported the story at the time differently.

In any case, when will Silverstein learn Hebrew?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where Are the Child Services?

This past week on the Temple Mount, in support of Hamas and its rockets:

Not only child services but the police.

And note the smile on the face of the woman in the background.

P.S.  In Tulkarem, the Pal. Authority confiscated Hamas flags today.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Qatar in Our Backyard

Who is a major funder of Hamas?


Hamas and its backers such as Qatar have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on tunnels and rockets with one goal in mind: killing Israelis.


In 2010, Qatar twice offered to restore trade relations with Israel and allow the reinstatement of the Israeli mission in Doha, on condition that Israel allow Qatar to send building materials and money to Gaza to help rehabilitate infrastructure, and that Israel make a public statement expressing appreciation for Qatar's role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East. Israel refused, on the grounds that Qatari supplies could be used by Hamas to build bunkers and reinforced positions from which to fire rockets at Israeli cities and towns

So, what do we make of this

A $1 billion bet on peace: Qatar funds huge Palestinian settlement in West Bank   Sunday Mar 3, 2013 

and this:

Rawabi is the first master-planned city in the heart of Palestine and truly emphasises Qatari Diar’s mission of enriching the quality of people lives. 
...Located 9 km north of Ramallah, 20 km north of Jerusalem and 25 km south of Nablus, Rawabi is being built as a modern, high-tech city with gleaming high-rise buildings, green parks and shopping areas.​​

and even more interestingly:

Qatar currently funds several large economic projects in Gaza, such as the establishment of a large hospital. It also funds the building of new infrastructure and the renovation of existing decrepit infrastructure. This includes Gaza’s crumbling sewer system, which poses a health risk to Gazans (while threatening Israel’s groundwater resources). Qatar also invested tens of millions of dollars to pave Salah al-Din Road connecting the northern Gaza Strip with the south.

Furthermore, Qatari architects, engineers and other professionals, along with some foreign experts representing Qatar, enter Gaza through the Erez Crossing with permits issued by Israel in coordination with Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economy Ministry.

Additionally, the Qataris have committed to procuring all required raw material from Israel, not only because they have no other choice, but intentionally, out of the belief that this would soften the Israeli position. The purchases are currently valued at tens of millions of dollars, and in the coming years the total investment could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. In other words, Israeli corporations benefit from the existence of projects funded by the Qataris in the Gaza Strip.

Rawabi will overlook Israel's central section.  From there, the view --- and trajectory for rockets --- is excellent.

Think about that.

And think about this:

Israel has blocked Qatari funds, aimed at covering the cost of the salaries of former Hamas employees, from being transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA)...Qatar pledged to pay $60 million within three months to pay the salaries of the former Hamas-run government in Gaza.

So, why can't it halt the funding of Rawabi which is just as much a threat?  And surely will be.


200 Yards from Kfar Saba

Over 30 years ago, one of the explanations my associates and myself put forward, and I am sure that somewhere there is a record of this, maybe in Zot Haaretz, for maintaining the border of Israel on the Jordan River and on the Golan Heights was the concept that the border that those are the actual borders Israel shares with Iraq and Iran, and not those hundreds and more miles away.

If Israel has no military presence in those places, to act as a trip-wire, we're will be in very deep trouble.

Well, read this:

Islamist opposition fighters in Syria, including members of an Al Qaeda affiliate, took control of the Quneitra crossing point on the demarcation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, activists said on WednesdayThe move could bring Islamist forces within 200 yards of territory controlled by Israel. An activist in the area, contacted by Skype, said a coalition of Islamists, including members of the Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, opened an assault on the government-held crossing early Wednesday. The status of a United Nations force that is supposed to monitor the crossing point was unclear.

Militants with a rival and more extreme Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, have spread from Syria into parts of northern and central Iraq.

Dear fellow Israelis who believe in withdrawal, retreat and disengagement as a fundamental policy, and their liberal/prog supporters abroad, do you really feel comfortable today?

Or would you rather have these Islamists 200 yards from Kfar Saba and Jerusalem ?


Of What Worth Is A Holocaust Survivors' Ad

That "Holocaust Survivors' Ad" thing and subsequent hullabaloo?

If they are survivors, it means they didn't leave when they had the chance (and I am talking about the 1933 period on) or their parents didn't. So, either they were non-Zionist (or anti-) at the time or their political sophistication was low. Not all, of course, it wasn't easy getting out but there were many tens of thousands who did and not only due to money but to a spirit of daring but enough, and so to trust them with Israel's political, diplomatic, military future is not a wise thing.


Is Obama on Ice with ISIS?


President Obama wants to decide by the end of the week whether or not his war in Iraq against the Islamic State will expand to the group’s haven in eastern Syria. But nearly everything about the potential military campaign is still in flux, administration officials tell The Daily Beast—from the goals of the effort to the intelligence needed to carry it a series of high-level meetings Tuesday—including one gathering of the Principals’ Committee, the administration's top national security officials—White House staffers and cabinet secretaries alike struggled to come up with answers to basic questions about the potential strikes. Among the unresolved issues: whether the U.S. has reliable intelligence on ISIS targets in Syria; what the objectives and limits of the strikes would be; and how the administration would defend the action legally, diplomatically, and politically.

My graphic interpretation:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hamas and the "Hunger Games"

From the plot of the Mockingjay, the third volume soon to hit our screens:

Katniss presses on alone towards President Snow's mansion, which has been surrounded by Capitol refugee children being used as human shields to protect Snow.

This quote from the book *

does not apply to Gaza.

There is no hope there as long as Hamas rules.

They sacrifice children to the tunnels.

They crowd civilians on to roofs.

They launch rockets from school yards and hospitals and even near journalists' hotels.

Forced human shields' use is a war crime.

But if the locals agree to their use as such, there is no hope.



President Snow: Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained.

Headline Winner

Last time, I found a story and headline with "West", "Bank" and "settlement" included.

Now we have something quite close:

U.S. to allow some immigrant deportees to return under settlement

with this content:

The government admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement...but it agreed to take several measures to protect migrants' rights.

I think the rights of Jews to be able to reside in Jewish communities, aka "settlements", is legal and should be protected ("The Administration of Palestine...shall facilitate Jewish immigration...and shall encourage..close settlement by Jews on the land...") and surely no less so than persons whose parents brought them illegally into the United States and who accepted a suggestion that they voluntarily agree to be deported and now, perhaps, qualify for repatriation since they were longtime California residents with relatives who are U.S. citizens.

These persons surely have less a connection to California than Jews to the Land of Israel which was guaranteed to be reconstituted as the Jewish national home due to our historic connection to that country.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yes, Media Bias Is Dangerous

Graphics are for illustrative purposes only.

Recent resources:

Matti Friedman's expose from Tablet Magazine.

(developed from this site if, however. in reverse)

Disproportionate US Reaction


"The U.S. Coast Guard fired a warning shot at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf Tuesday after the Iranian vessel pointed a machine gun at a Coast Guard boat, according to the Navy."

But they just aimed.  They didn't shoot?  So disproportionate.


The Monomoy was operating on "a routine maritime security operation" 

What U.S. coast is there in that area of the world?  To quote a friend:

Whose coast are they guarding?


Middle East Lesson From History

From this article:

In December 1971...then home secretary, Reginald Maudling, announced that the British government had managed to ensure that an “acceptable level of violence” had been achieved...The current conflagration across the Middle East brings to mind Maudling’s words once more. It seems that the wider the flames spread, the less the west seems exercised by the details.

The one exception to this is the Israel-Palestine conflict, for which there has historically been a lower threshold of tolerance for “acceptable levels of violence” than elsewhere in the Middle East. This is a phenomenon for which many explanations have been offered. Some point out that there is a double standard when it comes to criticism of Israel, especially when compared with the acts of brutal authoritarian regimes such as that in Syria...

Others have said that Israel occupies a special place in the western psyche because it has the support of the most powerful western states and because, as a democracy, it should be held to a higher standard of behaviour—hence the greater emphasis on the question of “proportionality” in the present Gaza war...

Yet there is perhaps a third explanation for the despair that has greeted the latest gut-wrenching violence in Gaza. It is that, of all the conflicts engulfing the Middle East, the one in Israel-Palestine is seen as having a solution that is both conceivable and possible to envisage for those on the outside looking in...

One fallacy that has been exposed in recent years is that the Israel-Palestine conflict was the main source of the Middle East’s wrongs and a “root cause” of international terrorism, rather than just another of its many interconnected micro-conflicts...

and this

The greatest driver of violence in the Middle East is not a revanchist challenge to existing borders but an internal combustion of some of its most important states.

The failure of the modern Arab state is not, first and foremost, a product of the inherent artificiality of the borders left by the imperialist powers a century earlier; Jordan, perhaps the most artificial state of all, is one of the few that has managed to muddle through. The pattern is clearest in Syria and Iraq. In both cases, the rot started at the centre....

In recent days, as I read the Palestine files in the National Archives for 1945-51, when the British cabinet debated how to retire from the region at the end of the Second World War, something else became apparent—that some of the deepest thinking about these questions came in inverse proportion to the will or capacity to see solutions through. In his correspondence with Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1947-48 the then foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, said that the best the British could hope for was that their withdrawal from the region could “induce a sense of realism among Jews and Arabs”, and thereby create the conditions for peace. Attlee was unconvinced.

Oh.  The article is entitled:

History's Lesson for the Middle East: When Superpowers Leave, Stability Doesn't Follow


Ceasefire Heat

Is the ceasefire good?

Our victory; real victory?  (see this in Hebrew; or maybe Hamas humiliation?)

Well, all the analysis is post-facto from the original intentions.

The problems were at the outset, and remain so now:

how come we weren't sufficiently prepared for the terror assault tunnels?  do we have an answer?

what about the mass exodus from the Gaza Strip envelop area?

how can we, with a blockade that will be lessened, even if infinitesimally, prevent further and more sophisticated rearming?

since the experience has been similar, at least twice before, that Hamas only strengthens its capabilities, do we have smart commando operations planned?

As for Abbas over Hamas, besides the rhyme, still bad news.  Qatar & Turkey still heavily invested.  US-front needs huge shoring up.


Start Counting

As this chart displays

despite hostilities and subsequent agreements, ceasefires and other halts, the rocket fire has always continued over the past 14 years from Gaza.

Can you answer these questions:

a) when will Hamas begin firing anew?

b) how many rockets/mortars will it fire until Israel resumes active defense?

c) how long until a major Israeli counter-terror operation?

d) and how many projectiles will be launched until the next ceasefire?

and last, but not least,

e) will Binyamin Netanyahu still be Prime Minister when (c) happens?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why Abbas Is Not Good News

Isn't it good that the PA's Mahmoud Abbas took charge of the ceasefire?

Well, not if he speaks like this:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday announced a permanent ceasefire between Israel and Palestine.  The ceasefire came into effect at 7:00pm Cairo time (1600 GMT).
Abbas, in a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, added that the negotiating parties will return to Cairo at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss further points in the truce.
...Despite the truce, Abbas said that the question of future violence remains.  "What next?" he asked. "Will there be another attack on Gaza?"

Mr. Abbas, if Hamas doesn't launch rockets, dig terror tunnels, attempt to smuggle in advanced weapons, there'll be no attack on Gaza.

Jewish Somersaulting

What does this picture remind me of?


The Vila Gaon (GR"A) was personally opposed to Hasidism, because he believed them to be heretics. Why did he see them in this way? Because they presented a new and innovative form of religious practice. In particular the new forms of prayer (such as somersaulting


The Matti Friedman Very Short Version

A former AP correspondent explains how and why reporters get Israel so wrong, and why it matters

The very short version:

the central tropes of the international media’s Israel story ... one which is a narrative construct that is largely fiction.

How Important Is the Israel Story?

Staffing is the best measure

The volume of press coverage

News organizations believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.

what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel.

no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government.

Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate.  they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.

Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported.

The Hamas emplacements [in Gaza] were not important in themselves, and were therefore ignored. What was important was the Israeli decision to attack them.

Any veteran of the press corps here knows the intimidation is real

Do not to inform readers that the story is censored unless the censorship is Israeli.Most reporters in Gaza believe their job is to document violence directed by Israel at Palestinian civilians…They are dependent on Palestinian colleagues and fixers who either fear Hamas, support Hamas, or both.

The fact that Israelis quite recently elected moderate governments that sought reconciliation with the Palestinians, and which were undermined by the Palestinians, is considered unimportant and rarely mentioned. These are a matter of policy.the narrative was that the Palestinians were moderate and the Israelis recalcitrant and increasingly extreme.

Many of the people deciding what you will read and see from here view their role not as explanatory but as political.

The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s—the quest for a “two-state solution.” … the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” …described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab…

The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party.

reporters generally cannot see the Israel story in relation to anything else [happening in the Muslim Middle East]

they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies…Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.

Many in the West clearly prefer the old comfort of parsing the moral failings of Jews, and the familiar feeling of superiority this brings them, to confronting an unhappy and confusing reality. They may convince themselves that all of this is the Jews’ problem, and indeed the Jews’ fault. But journalists engage in these fantasies at the cost of their credibility and that of their profession. And, as Orwell would tell us, the world entertains fantasies at its peril.


After cooling off at the pool, I thought to add these points that are missing, if only from the professional side:

the overwhelming amount of journos today are ignorant of Mideast history; are products of liberal/prog educational frameworks; have no second language and surely not Hebrew.

They are so into a minus, they have almost no chance at being positive.

Have You One Good Reason for Israel's Blockade of Gaza?


Tehran will "accelerate" arming Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over Iran, which was shot down, a military commander said on Monday.
"We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response," said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of aerial forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on their official website

Enough for me.

Gaza Truth Stranger Than Fiction

Remember this poster of mine?

Is truth stranger than fiction?

Dozens injured as Israeli jets hit Italian tower 

The Italian tower complex and a UN-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees is the latest targets of the Israeli attacks.

Go know.

At the Expense of YESHA Communities

I just blogged about headlines and stories that employ the terms "settlement", "bank" and even "west", at the expense of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Now, a few days later, we have another winner, at The New Yorker:

Confusing at times.


The Double Standard Measure of Western Diplomats

In my opinion, my blog posts are supposed to be not overly-long comments on world affairs, etc.

After a decade of blogging, it's wearisome to repeat all the necessary background to my views and outlook.  If stymied or perplexed, just click back a few posts and catch up.

With that intro, consider this in an Ha-Ha-Haaretz report:

Palestinian security officials recently questioned two employees at a nonprofit organization headed by former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, in what some regard as an effort to exert political pressure on Fayyad after his organization launched a campaign to help needy Gazans.
Western diplomats who were informed of the incident said the questioning appears to have been carried out with the knowledge and consent of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.“There’s no doubt that this process was initiated by orders from above,” said a Western diplomat. “Such things don’t happen just like that.”

They have Fayyad's back, or, they desperately feel a need to protect those NGOs which serve as the funnel for money to undermine Israel.

But more relevant for me is this line:

“There’s no doubt that this process was initiated by orders from above...Such things don’t happen just like that.”


So, when I complain about evil content in educational materials in the schools of the Palestinian Authority, or the incitement on the Pal. Authority media, or the glorification process of the Pal. society be memorializing terrorists at road junctions and town squares, or the rabid anti-Semitism spouted by Pal. Authority immams, or anti-Jewish riots at the Temple Mount, not to mention what goes on in Hamas-dominated Gaza, I can assume that those "above" initiated all that, are aware of that and are, to be sure, responsible for it all.

After all,  

. “Such things don’t happen just like that.”

Joke Material for Elon Gold

Elon Gold and family underwent a "hate incident" in LA last Shabbat evening on the background of the operation in Gaza.  The children were introduced, perhaps too early, to the reality that it's not what a Jews does but what he represents that draws hatred and the use of violence.  Years ago, it was what I "did", supposedly, to Christ that got me into trouble and now, it is what Elan "did" to Gaza Arabs.

It includes this excellent section on the media:

I can write a fifty page piece about where all the hatred comes from. There are too many fingers to point at. The media, (I’m talking to you CNN, NY Times, etc.), who instead of reporting on every single rocket fired into Israel, chooses to focus on every civilian casualty of this war, instigated and perpetuated by Hamas. Constantly providing the numbers of the dead, instead of the number, eleven, which is the number of cease fires Hamas broke, thereby causing all of this death and destruction. Repeatedly displaying images of dead civilians without any of the context that many of the deaths are terrorists and that any real civilian casualties were victims of Hamas’s double war crimes of firing rockets at innocent civilians while using their innocent civilians as human shields. Or that a number of casualties include civilians who were killed by errant Hamas rockets.
This is what fuels the fire and allows for people to think they now have the right to wish death upon my children.

He finishes his piece so:

I can go on and on about how all of the pro-Palestinian rallies have signs that say "Death to Jews" and praising Hitler, and why Jews everywhere are now targets of hate crimes, hate incidents, vandalism and murder. I could ... but I have jokes to write. Because I’m trying to make the world a better place with laughter. Sadly, we now live in a world full of people that love to hate, more than they love to laugh.

So, Elon, here's a thought:

Growing up in New York in the 1950s, the "good old days", we were cursed, yelled out, threatened and occasionally beaten (and we gave back) just because we were Jews.  The Irish and Italian toughs in Queens where I lived didn't need what Israel was doing, or not doing, to hate and act on that hate. 
It came from another place, and we'll leave it at that.

But, Elon, if you want to turn this experience of mine into a joke, something like:

But reflecting on my experience, I guess things have changed.  In the past, the anti-Semites didn't need to use Israel as an excuse to curse and beat Jews. Maybe that means something for the good?

go, right ahead.

But don't stop being who you are.

Monday, August 25, 2014

And Now, It's Reverted to A Garbage Dump

There are several versions of the recounting of how the Western Wall area became a garbage dump and how it was saved.

As recorded, " The women of  the new Roman city built over the ruins of Jerusalem were instructed, by Roman law, to take their garbage to the dump daily".

Sultan Selim is one hero.

In fact, many Jewish sites were turned into garbage dumps.

And now, it's happening again.

On the Temple Mount.

First, it was right next to the raised plafrom, to the east (above).

But now, they've move it a bit to the north:

Garbage is garbage.

It doesn't belong there.

If this is the way the Waqf 'administers' the iste, they should not be the direct administrative agent.

Mr. Netanyahu?  Mr. Bennett?


Another Assorted GraphicZionism Collection

P.S.  The competition:


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Liberal Shame

In the NYTimes recently, Antony Lerman, a former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and author of “The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist”, is afforded much space to make an argument for "liberal Zionism". He is so liberal that he writes at the beginning:

The decision of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to launch a military campaign against Hamas in Gaza

as if Netanyahu woke up one fine morning and decided.  No rockets or terror mentioned.  Poof! Israel launches a military campaign.

But his warped thinking whic negates any possible input he might think he can contribute is best exemplified but his final paragraphs:

The dissenting left doesn’t have all the answers, but it has the principles upon which solutions must be based. Both liberal Zionism and the left accept the established historical record: Jews forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes to make way for the establishment of a Jewish state. But the liberals have concluded that it was an acceptable price others had to pay for the state. The left accepts that an egregious injustice was done. The indivisibility of human, civil and political rights has to take precedence over the dictates of religion and political ideology, in order not to deny either Palestinians or Jews the right to national self-determination. The result, otherwise, will be perpetual conflict.

In the repressive one-state reality of today’s Israel, which Mr. Netanyahu clearly wishes to make permanent, we need a joint Israeli-Palestinian movement to attain those rights and the full equality they imply. Only such a movement can lay the groundwork for the necessary compromises that will allow the two peoples’ national cultures to flourish.

This aspiration is incompatible with liberal Zionism, and some liberal Zionists appear close to this conclusion, too. As Mr. Freedland put it, liberal Zionists “will have to decide which of their political identities matters more, whether they are first a liberal or first a Zionist.”

They should know that Israel is not Judaism. Jewish history did not culminate in the creation of the state of Israel.

Regrettably, there is a dearth of Jewish leaders telling Diaspora Jews these truths. The liberal Zionist intelligentsia should embrace this challenge, acknowledge the demise of their brand and use their formidable explanatory skills to build support for a movement to achieve equal rights and self-determination for all in Israel-Palestine.

Sorry but no patience to note all the ridiculous and unproven assertions above which are unsupported by the historical record as well as the fraudulent argumentation Lerman employs to misrepresent reality.

Such a liberal shame.

P.S.    Good for David Bernstein.


Can Stonehenge Help With Gaza's Tunnels?

Taking a cue from a dear friend after she read a story I sent her, I wonder if this project can assist with Israel's problem with the Hamas terror tunnels.

The details:

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, is a four-year collaboration between a British team and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology in Austria that has produced the first detailed underground survey of the area surrounding Stonehenge, totaling more than four square miles...gathered by geophysicists and others wielding magnetometers and ground-penetrating radars that scan the ground to detect structures and objects several yards below the surface...led them to the first GPS-guided magnetometer systems. A magnetometer has sensors that allow a geophysicist to see evidence of historic building, and even ancient ditch-digging, beneath the soil by mapping variations in the earth’s magnetic field. The GPS-guided versions were able to pinpoint some of those discoveries to within one centimeter. The Gaffneys believed that Stonehenge scholarship needed a massive magnetometer- and radar-led survey of the whole site.

And perhaps we're already on the way.

True, the main difficulty Israel has experienced is that the tunnels are much deeper.  Recently, we were informed:

The Israel Defense Forces in the near future will deploy a tunnel detection system on the border of the Gaza Strip, as part of an operational experiment to examine whether a technological solution could discover the digging of tunnels. According to the military, 300 million shekels ($86.5 million) were spent on research and development in the field of tunnel detection since 2007, but so far without any results. Some 700 different projects were examined and thousands of experiments have been carried out, a senior official disclosed on Monday. Two systems failed in operational experiments conducted on the Gaza border eight years ago. The systems will be now redeployed, after improvements and upgrades have been introduced...Among proposed tunnel-detection technologies is the use of vehicle-mounted, ground-penetrating radar. However ,this solution can only detect tunnels to a depth of 10 meters and the last tunnels discovered during the Gaza operation that reached Israeli territory were as much as 25 feet below ground.  Another proposed system takes advantage of the earth’s gravitational field to detect underground voids at great depth. The most advanced method involves geo-seismic methods and buried sensors, which is the system to be used in the current trial.

All we have to do is wait.

And choose a name.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sophisticated Hamas (UPDATED)

"We do not target civilians, and we try most of the time to aim at military targets and Israeli bases," Meshaal said. "But we admit that we have a problem. We do not have sophisticated weapons. We do not have the weapons available to our enemy … so aiming is difficult. We do promise you, though, that we will try in the future and we will warn people … We have given warnings to Israeli civilians. We promise that if we get more precise weapons, we will only target military targets."

If you wanted to know why Israel continues a blockade and demands in negotiations that supervision be applied to all imports into the Gaza Strip, the answer is above.

Those were the words of Khaled Meshal.

If there is a negotiated arrenagement leading to peace, why would Hamas require more sophisticated, more precise weapons?

And there was this, too:

Meshaal acknowledged for the first time that Hamas members — but not the group's political leadership — were behind the slaying of three Israeli settlers on the West Bank in June. But he defended the murders as a legitimate action against Israeli "illegal" occupation.
"We were not aware of this action taken by this group of Hamas members in advance," he said. "But we understand people are frustrated under the occupation and the oppression, and they take all kinds of action."
When asked directly whether Hamas members carried out the abduction of the Israeli teens, Meshaal said: "We learned about these confessions from the Israeli investigation … Hamas political leadership was not aware of all these details. We learned about it later on …
"Our view is that soldiers and settlers on the West Bank are aggressors, and they are illegally living in this occupied and stolen land. And the right to resist is the right of Palestinians."

And do not forget that all of Israel is an "illegal settlement" and all Israelis are "settlers".


Ilan Pappe
Q: It was reported that Israel launched its military incursion into the Gaza Strip after Hamas allegedly kidnapped and killed three young Israeli settlers. So far, more than 2,000 Palestinians have been slaughtered in the month-long conflict. Do you consider this mass killing in such a broad extent, and the obliteration of the civilian infrastructure of the Gaza Strip a logical, proportionate and justifiable response to the kidnapping of three Israeli citizens, while there isn’t still reliable evidence showing that the abduction was done by Hamas?
A: No, of course not and the destruction of Gaza is not really a retaliation to the abduction and killing of the three settlers. The incident was a pretext for implementing a policy that was formulated long time ago towards the Gaza Strip; a geopolitical area of Palestine for which Israel has no clear policy. It manages, at least in its own eyes, quite successfully, the rest – 98 percent – of Palestine. It imposes harsh restrictions on the Palestinian minority inside Israel and colonial rule in the West Bank. These policies were also tried in the Gaza Strip but it was a risk to have settlers there and it was too full of refugees for to be seriously considered part of Israel. So it was ‘ghettoized’ with the hope that it would be domiciled in such a way. But Gaza resists and the only way Israel deems possible to react to this, is to use all its military might to crash that rebellion.


I hope they don't kill the translator as Hamas has released "an explanatory clarify inaccurate and incomplete media and press interpretations:-

Hamas clarifies press remarks by Mishaal on three settlers killed last June; Hamas knew who killed them only through Israeli investigations

...what happened to them as a natural and legitimate act against the illegitimate Israeli occupation.

...“We did not have prior knowledge of this act which was done by a group of Hamas members, but we do know that any distressed people living under occupation and oppression could do anything to defend themselves,” the Hamas Movement explained.

“The soldiers and settlers in the West Bank are considered ‘assailants’ and live illegally on usurped and occupied Palestinian land, so the Palestinians have the right to resist them,” the Movement reiterated some of what Mishaal said in the interview.