Monday, February 29, 2016

So, It Was A "Holy War"

Is the Arab-Israel conflict really a Jewish-Islam one?



Nothing New With Some Jews

E. Ben Sion expressed the view of Jews who founded Bibleitzy, the brotherhood that believed that Talmudism in that region was chiefly to blame for the false accusations of the anti-Semitic press  (Severe riots broke out in Kirovograd on April 15–17, 1881), and its members decided to do away with dogmatic theology and all religious ceremonies, including even prayer, so:-

"Our morality is our religion. . . . God, the acme of highest reason, of surest truth, and of the most sublime justice, does not demand any useless external forms and ceremonies."

And it went downhill from there:

In 1879, Jacob Gordin founded in Yelisavetgrad a sort of ethical culture society called Bibleitsy (also Dukhovnoye Bibleyskoye Bratstvo, Spiritual Bible Brotherhood), which obtained a considerable following among the workmen of the section. It advocated the abolition of ritual observances, even prayer, and the hastening of the era of the brotherhood of man. It preached, in the words of one of its leaders, that "our morality is our religion. God, the acme of highest reason, of surest truth, and of the most sublime justice, does not demand useless external forms and ceremonies." Following the organization of the Bibleitsy, and based on almost the same principles, branches of a Jewish sect, which called itself New Israel (Novy Izrail), were started almost simultaneously in Odessa and Kishinev. In the former city, the organization was headed by Jacob Prelooker, in the latter, by Joseph Rabinowitz. Prelooker, who after graduating from the seminary at Zhitomir became a school-master at Odessa, sought to bring about a consolidation between his own people and Russian Dissenters (Raskolniki: the Molocans, Stundists, and Dukhobortzi). The theme of his book, "New Israel", is a "reformed synagogue, a mitigation of the cleavage between Jew and Christian, and recognition of a common brotherhood in religion." Rabinowitz went still further, and preached on actual conversion to one of the more liberal forms of Christianity. These sects, which sprang up in church and synagogue during the latterpart of the "seventies," were the outcome of political and social as well as religious unrest.

Somehow, to my mind, that resonates with the style and essence of our Jewish less-than-pro-Israel people in JVP, at Tikkun, in J StreetYachad,and including Peter Berinart and associates.


Adult Education Required

My comment in response to this article:

What did they teach my son at the Etzel Museum?

I’m still not quite sure what my son learned on a class trip to the Etzel Museum. I, on the other hand, learned quite a few things — most importantly, that there’s no monopoly on the lack of compassion in Israel’s body politic.

By Akin Ajayi

is here:

This, - "once, Revisionist and mainstream Zionism shared similar objectives" - is a bit obtuse. Basically, all Zionists shared similar objectives. It was the methods employed that divided them into parties and streams, as well as their willingness to compromise on the end goals.

There is nothing "proto-fascist" in desiring the original borders of the Mandate as first set prior to the British betrayal by establishing, for a Saudi Arabian prince, the Emirate of Transjordan in 1922 after he invaded the area in November 1920, making trouble. Chaim Weizmann's borders of 1919 to the Peace Conference went up to the Litani and out to the Hejaz Raliway line. He was a fascist?

If the writer by this - " All means, including premeditated violence." - means initated, he is wrong. The Irgun violence responded to and reacted to Arab terror violence that, in a political sense, began with the (later-to-be) Mufti's 1920 April riots.

What is "self-conceived" bravery? Is the writer a "self-conceived editor"?

Compassion is not at all an odd word in that context of Begin's speech. After 1929 Hebron, any compassion shown by Hebrew fighters should be recognized as a highly-morally charged order reacting to the snipings by Jaffa's Arabs since November 1947 which caused thousands to flee to Terl Aviv, not to mention the Jewish dead as a result.

That 1948 NYTimes' letter by "a cluster of Jewish intellectual heavyweights" was very non-intellectual and nonsensical being based on a political outlook and ideological commitment that not only was wrong factually but proven, by history, i.e., peace with Egypt, Begin's parliamentary contirbutions to Israel's liberal democracy and such, to have been woefully wrong in its assumptions about his convictions, character and goals.

Regarding Deir Yassin, after trying to overrun Givat Shaul in March 1914, its residents gunrunned in 1920, according to a British report in Bernard Wasserstein's "The British in Palestine: The Mandatory Government and Arab-Jewish Conflict, 1917-1929", killed Jews in 1929 in Givat Shaul and invaded Bet Hakerem and shot up the Jerusalem highway during 1936-39 and in March-April 1948, residents were sniping at Bet HaKerem and Bayit VeGan.

And as for "We can agree that the Revisionists didn’t have moral correctness on their side.", well, if that is the case for the writer, how much "correctness" did the Arabs have in their opposition to a Jewish state in the people's historic homeland?

There is more, but I suggest after his visit to Bet Gidi, he should sit at the archives and library of Bet Jabotinsky at 38 King George St. in Tel Aviv.


Is The Temple Mount Camera Surveillance Project Proceeding? But Without Israel?

The Jordanian delegation at Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount planning the surveillance cameras:

They've come to proceed, seemingly without Israel, to affix the cameras agreed upon by Kerry, Netanyahu and Abdallah way back when as summed up:

Video surveillance of Jerusalem’s holiest site was meant to be a quick fix to lower tensions that have driven months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, but disputes over who controls the footage and what the cameras may or may not film are holding up the project...Jordan, the custodian of the shrine, says the camera project is moving forward, but that it’s still in the phase of technical preparations.
...U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the video surveillance plan during an October visit to Jordan, which administers the Haram as-Sharif, Islam’s third holiest site and home of the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques...Kerry regularly raises its importance as a confidence-building measure in his conversations with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials. Privately, though, some officials concede that the disagreements are so serious the cameras might never be installed.Initially, the details were to be worked out between the Israelis and the Jordanians, and officials suggested the cameras would be installed in a matter of weeks. But major sticking points quickly emerged.Israel wants surveillance inside Al Aqsa, arguing that this would expose Palestinians hoarding stones and firecrackers in the mosque for clashes with Israeli security forces.Jordan wants the cameras to only show the outdoor areas of the compound, including large plazas around the two mosques. Jordan’s king said in November that “there will be no cameras inside the mosque.” He gave no reason, but Palestinians have said they fear Israel will use the footage to spy on activists.
...“We remain committed to a solution that gives total transparency,” said a senior Israeli official when asked if Israel insists on having cameras inside the mosque. “We believe provocations can be exposed when they happen, and it can be clear what side they are coming from.”Israel also wants video footage to refute repeated Muslim allegations of Israeli plans to partition the compound, as was done at another contested holy site in the West Bank city of Hebron...Azzam Khatib, in charge of Jordanian-run Muslim endowment, or Waqf, which is in charge of the mosque compound, said the surveillance cameras should be managed by Muslim authorities “without interference from the Israelis.”
“As the king has said, there will be a control room for the cameras under the sole responsibility of the Waqf, and the images will be broadcast to the world through the Internet around the clock,” said Khatib, a Palestinian.
Minister of Awqaf and Jordan Hayel Daoud said that "technical delegation from the ministry is visiting the city of Jerusalem during the day to complete the final stages of technical and engineering studies for the project of installing surveillance cameras at the Al Aqsa Mosque in the backyards and courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Daud explained that the monitoring process will be around the clock, and will be broadcast over the Internet directly to all parts of the world everything that is happening inside the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Is the Temple Mount camera surveillance project proceeding? 
But without Israel?

11:45 PM Update:

Haaretz basically spins Daoud's version:

Progress has been made in the negotiations between Israel and Jordan over placing surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount. Senior Israeli and Jordanian officials said Sunday that the two sides had reached agreement on a significant number of disputed items that had delayed implementation of the understandings formulated over three months ago through the mediation of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Jordan’s Minister of Religious Trusts, Hail Daoud, said Sunday that a delegation of technicians from his ministry will visit Jerusalem during the next few days to expedite the final engineering and technical arrangements involved in installing cameras on the various plazas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Senior Israeli officials confirmed his remarks. The progress in the talks was first reported Sunday by Channel 10.

The Jordanian minister presented the main points of understandings reached regarding the cameras. The cameras will be installed in the large plazas and in a few other locations in the Temple Mount compound but contrary to Israel’s demand, no cameras will be installed in the mosques.The minister said that the cameras will broadcast simultaneously to Jordanian and Israeli control rooms. Transmissions will be live, 24 hours a day. The Jordanian minister said that to facilitate this a computerized communications network would be set up to link the Temple Mount to the Ministry of Religious Trusts in Amman.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Accessible"? To Jews?


To Jews?



Shared US-Israel History

Found this in an article on Salem and a recent movie:

while considering the movie to be a mostly plodding portrait of a family of 17th Century New England settlers


Friday, February 26, 2016

Ross & Makovsky's Leap-of-Disbelief

Two wise men, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky, in the Washington Post:

But, of course, Israel would have to adopt a policy on settlements that credibly ended building outside of the blocs. In addition to Israel stating publicly that it would no longer build beyond the security barrier, we would need several private understandings to be able to fulfill our side of the bargain: First, Israel would not add construction in places on the edge of the security barrier, such as Ariel, which has 20,000 settlers and is likely to be a difficult issue in final negotiations. Second, Israel would not build in Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Third, Israel would accept the principle of territorial exchanges or swaps.

They write that in order 

to preserve the possibility of a two-state outcome, particularly with the Palestinians entering a period of uncertain succession.

Of course, if uncertainty is in the succession, why should Israel take a risk now that would place itself in an awkward, no, a very threatening security situation?  Would an acceptance of territorial withdrawal lessen Hamas' influence and prohibit support for its terror campaign, or would, gioven the Gaza precedent, increase the possibility and probability of terror?

Are these gentlemen really wise or seeking to fulfill their own outlooks and forcing them on a reality that cannot at all assure not only Israel's existence but the stability of the region?

They do make a correct point:

The administration’s inability to differentiate between settlement activity within and outside of those blocs has actually bolstered the Israeli right, because most Israelis draw a distinction between the two. The Obama approach is seen as dismissing Israeli needs.

And they pursue it

A new U.S. approach would acknowledge that building within the blocs does not change the contours of the “peace map.” While not formally endorsing settlement activity, it would nonetheless seek to channel it into areas that will likely be part of Israel in any two-state outcome. In 2008, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas implicitly acknowledged the principle of settlement blocs remaining part of Israel, offering 1.9 percent of this territory during negotiations in return for land inside Israel.

Abbas is worthless and unsupported and won't be around soon.  And an offer of 1.9%?

Oh, they know that:

That does not mean that Abbas would embrace a U.S. approach that drew a distinction between settlement-building inside and outside the blocs.

And what is their next leap-of-disbelief?

The Obama administration could offer several things that would matter to Netanyahu.First, the president could promise to veto any resolution on settlements (or perceived to be anti-Israeli) at the U.N. Security Council. Second, he could agree not to present to the council a U.S. resolution on parameters for resolving the conflict. Third, he could commit to pressing our European and Arab partners to denounce Palestinian efforts against normalizing Israeli­-Palestinian contacts, emphasizing that the Palestinian effort to de­legitimize Israel is inconsistent with a two-state outcome. 

"Could"?  Obama could, would do that?

Are they serious?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ben-Gurion: "So Near To Tears" (And He Pounded on the Table)

On the background of American Jewish liberal/progressives and their associates who promote a theme of America has always had Israel's interests at heart and it is the Israeli right-wing, and especially Netanyahu, who are poisoning the atmosphere and relationship, read this and remember, Israel was not "occupying Palestine" at the time (or was it?) and there were no construction of so-called "illegal settlements":-

140. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1
Tel Aviv, February 29, 1956—9 p.m.

865. Spent over hour with Ben Gurion and Sharett today in conversation on Israel’s need for yes or no decision on arms question; Secretary’s testimony2 and what conclusions Israel must draw from it. I have never seen Ben Gurion so emphatic, forceful or so emotionally upset and, on several occasions, so near to tears. Sharett was less dramatic but for first time in my experience was unsmiling throughout interview, displaying attitude of undisguised cold bitterness and foreboding criticisms.

Ben Gurion spoke from his own rough notes and what appeared to be Her-Trib3 report of Secretary’s testimony. He was obviously most impatient to begin and dismissed amenities in matter of seconds.

He described Secretary’s testimony as “very bitter disappointment” he could accept suggestion that peace should not rest on arms alone if it didn’t exclude arms to Israel at time when its neighbors and Saudi Arabia and Iraq were supplied with arms.

He was scathing in rejection to suggestions Israel should rely on UN and tripartite declaration. “None of us would be living” he said, “if Israel had relied on UN in 1948. As for tripartite declaration, Great Britain is signatory but its shipment of offensive arms to Egypt and not to Israel bears no relationship to what I think is spirit of tripartite declaration. Israel does not rely on it nor does it intend to”.

He professed great worry over Secretary’s suggestion Israel’s frontiers could not be guaranteed until they were defined by agreement. In his view modification of frontiers implicit in testimony did not mean Secretary favored Israel moving into Sinai or expanding into Syria or to Jordan River. It was obvious he had in mind just the contrary. Pounding on table for emphasis he said Secretary obviously meant—from Israel’s standpoint—change for the worse or diminishment of Israeli territory. This would not happen as long as “we are alive. Our girls and boys will fight to the death”. He said Secretary had right to opinions on Israel’s requirements but whatever they were Israel was entitled to “yes or no answer. If the answer is to be no, please let it be said now. It was question of life or death. We are in mortal danger. Every week arms are pouring into Egypt. If war is declared there will be one military commander able to move all the forces of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria against Israel. Chances of attack are greater than ever before. I know how Nasser will read the Secretary’s statement. If US letting Israel down he would regard it as an invitation to attack”. He spoke bitterly of his conviction that in same circumstances which prevailed for Israel, if Belgium were to ask for arms it would not have been answered as Israel was— “Certainly not England nor even West Germany.”

Ben Gurion brushed aside my suggestion he was probably having to resist tremendous pressure both within his government, his political party and from the public. He declared only pressures on him were pressures of events. It was obvious, and confirmed later by Herzog who was present, that Ben Gurion meant that really effective pressures are those coming from the very heavy personal and official responsibilities he bears—responsibilities the weight of which he has been feeling with progressive consciousness during the past few weeks. This personal responsibility aspect of this attitude is significant of his dangerous attitude for making quick personal policy decisions in his capacity of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. Although he denied the influence of other pressures it is believed that he is under heavy and continuous pressures from the IDF, the mobilization of Egyptian and Syrian armed forces on Israel’s border, the GOI, party members and the opposition.

He stressed requirement which time placing on him. Israel could not rely on UN or tripartite declaration. In such grave circumstances they could only rely on themselves. If Israel were given arms he was sure there would be no attack. Without them Israel would have to reorganize its life. This was their land. Their frontiers were as sacred to them as those of America to the US. They would have to reorganize under the pressure of knowing they had been let down by the US on their request while arms were pouring into Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Ben Gurion said that he would be obliged to tell Knesset very soon what dangers were and what measures were necessary for preservation of Israel. In absence of assistance from US, Israelis must assume enormous burdens and make great sacrifices.

They were not going to rely on Secretary’s advice when their very lives were at stake. He said he proposed to tell Selwyn Lloyd the same on his forthcoming visit.


The US Ambassador's interpretation of the above.

And B-G's letter to the President.


Ben-Gurion's "Traditional and Biblical Outlook"


139. Telegram From the Embassy in Israel to the Department of State1

Tel Aviv, February 29, 1956—5 p.m.

861. At social event yesterday evening, Colonel Neeman, Deputy Chief IDF intelligence, made following comments USARMA:

(1) Practically the entire Egyptian Army is now in the Sinai area, most elements being close to Israel’s borders.

(3) Israel is taking precaution short of substantial mobilization which is extremely expensive and disruptive to her economy and daily life. Israel has been through this before and was learning how to live with such a situation.

(4) Neeman commented on the extreme vulnerability of the Egyptian forces in Sinai, adding that at time of Nitzana incident the army had urgently advised Ben Gurion that an opportunity existed to destroy the Egyptian Army, requesting permission to attack. Ben Gurion who, he said, had traditional and biblical outlook and morality despite the fact he is not a religious man, refused permission to attack.

(5) In view of vulnerability Egyptian forces, the army is now urging Ben Gurion to allow it to strike and destroy Egyptians before it is too late; that within a very short period of time Egyptians would be in a strong position. The Prime Minister had given no answer to date to this IDF advice. After referring to the increment in Egyptian tank strength, Neeman stated the real danger to Israel was Egyptian Air Force rather than Army. IDF knew Egyptian Air Force could bomb Israel in a matter of three minutes from bases close to Israel’s border and that all of the aircraft and fighter strength in the world would not prevent them from bombing. He added that Israel desired interceptor aircraft despite this fact, she was willing to take bombing losses but knew that with interceptor aircraft she could intercept Egyptian aircraft returning from their mission and ultimately wipe out Egyptian Air Force due to pilot rather than plane losses.

In conversation previous evening with Embassy counselor, Colonel Harkabi, Chief IDF intelligence, gave a similar estimate of the concentration of Egyptian and Syrian forces on Israel’s borders. In response question as to why IDF believed Egyptians would eventually take initiative in attacking Israel, Harkabi said this conclusion was based largely on intelligence information as to what Nasser was telling his own officers. According Harkabi, Nasser was taking line that destruction Israel was the keystone to establishment Egypt’s leadership throughout Arab world, which when accomplished would lead to Egyptian dominance Africa and Islamic world.

Embassy comment: Neeman’s comments re exchange between IDF and Ben Gurion at time Nitzana incident is consistent with reports received by Embassy other sources which indicated that IDF regarded situation at that time as a “golden opportunity” but that Ben Gurion did not go along because he and Cabinet had already adopted alternative policy obtaining additional arms to offset Czech arms shipment to Egypt.

...Sources close to Ben Gurion report that his current thought processes this subject run along following line. While willing to give limited credence to Nasser’s expressions to Westerners of his good will toward Israel his final decisions when he is militarily strong enough will be strongly conditioned in first instance by General Amer and RCC colleagues; in the second instance by the free officers; and, finally, by pressures from the other Arab States. Ben Gurion reportedly believes that somewhere along the line the pressures will become so great on Nasser as to force him to take the military initiative against Israel.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Booth Semantics


The Israelis are clear. They call it “terrorism.” Yet after five months of near-daily violence against Israelis, Palestinian society struggles with how to describe the wave of knife, gun and vehicular attacks targeting Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Is it an “uprising” or “upheaval” or “awakening” — or personal “despair”? Are the assailants “martyrs” or “victims” or both? Are the teens wielding kitchen knives “heroes” or “children” — and after they are shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during the attacks, should they be celebrated as “warriors” for the Palestinian cause or pitied as unstable individuals who “snapped”?
If Palestinians on the street are uncertain about what to call the ongoing violence, the Palestinian leadership appears paralyzed over word choices...Palestinians often decline to describe the stabbings and shootings as “attacks.” Instead, they call them “acts” or “incidents” or “operations,” though the word “operation” implies militant organization and direction from above, which they deny...In a January speech in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the violence “a popular awakening.”
Forget the Pals. and their linguistic hang-ups.  Mr. Booth, of course it's "terrorism".  And there is organized incitement promoting it.  

Have you a problem with the term?

Invidious BDS Action

On British trains and stations:

From this group. And this one.

And their money is from ... ?


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Egypt's Sisi and the Temple Mount

"We are particularly grateful to Jordan for its efforts which came out of the meeting that I held just about a year ago regarding the tensions in Jerusalem at the Haram al-Sharif, the Temple Mount compound. And we talked about that a little bit today, and need to continue to make progress. But that came out of an important meeting between the Prime Minister of Israel, His Majesty, Foreign Minister Judeh, and myself, and a telephone call at the time from President el-Sisi."

My questions:

a. why did Netanyahu permit Sisi's involvement?

b. what did Sisi promise Netanyahu?

c. what did Netanyahu yield?

d. where are the cameras?

e. what happened to the halt in incitement?

“It is time for the international community to tell President Abbas to stop spreading lies that Israel wants to change the status quo or destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque. We are the ones who maintain the status quo and protect the holy sites in Jerusalem. We defend ourselves like every democracy would do in the face of such terror attacks. To generate hope we need to stop terror and in order to stop terror we need to stop incitement,” Netanyahu said.

What was going on and what is going on?


A Transliteration Oddity

Snapped in Jerusalem, the Dan Panorama Hotel:

Let's zoom in:

I am fairly sure that first word should be Ohev, or could it be completely misspelled and it should be Rodef?


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Grey Area

The actor Joel (Joel David Katz) Grey has published an autobiography.

The 'scandalous' part: teen in Los Angeles, Grey had sex with his girlfriend’s mother and embarked on an affair with a cantor named Paul at his parent's temple.  Eventually the charismatic clergyman married a good friend of Grey's. One night the trio went out and Paul initiated a ménage trois. A few months later the cantor's wife confessed that she was getting an annulment and her family lawyer suggested that Grey be a co-respondent. The "Cabaret" star was terrified and confessed all to his parents. 

In fact, the cantor's wife was a former girlfriend:

Mr. Grey, then still in high school, had to reveal to his parents that he had been having an affair with the handsome young cantor of their synagogue in Los Angeles — and that he might be publicly named in the divorce suit brought by the cantor’s wife. (Complicating the story further: Mr. Grey had been dating the cantor’s wife before the cantor began dating her.)

What a cabaret.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Western Wall 1967

Second Day Shavuot - Isru Chag:

Who else was there? (source)


'Seizing the Mosque' in 1930

Is the recent dispute of Jewish rights to their holy places and the essential element of Zionism - a restored Jewish polity - new to the conflict Arabs have with Israel?

Of course not.

Here's a report from July 21, 1930:

Zionism is Dangerous Scheme Seeking Restoration of Kingdom of Judah,
Moslem Advocate Charges Before

“Zionism is a dangerous scheme which seeks the restoration of the Kingdom of Judah,” declared Mohammed Ali Pahsa, Moslem advocate from Egypt, in speaking for the Arab side yesterday afternoon before the Wailing Wall Commission. “The Jews contend that our fears of their encroachment on our holy places are baseless but the near or distant future will show that our fears are founded on fact,” he continued...

Mohammed Ali spoke before a room packed to capacity with practically the entire Arab Executive present as well as numerous Jewish leaders, Norman Bentwich, attorney general of Palestine, and Keith Roach, district commissioner.

The Moslem dignitary charged that “the Zionists persistently aim to seize the Mosque of Aksa and the Dome of the Rock. Such aims are bound to drive the Arabs from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, leading to greater violence toward the Jews than they suffered in Europe.”

...He succeeded in placing in the record the mizrachs, small paper banners which Jewish children carry on Simchas Torah with an inset of the Scrolls of the Law in an Ark with swinging doors and a picture of the Wailing Wall in the background. This, Mohammed Ali charged, shows that the Jews mean to open a gate leading from the Wall to the Temple.

He also put into the record a cartoon from the “Yiddische Folk” of New York dated April 30, 1920. The cartoon, printed soon after the San Remo decision confirmed the Palestine Mandate to England, was entitled “A Dream Come True” and accompanied by a poem of Philip Raskin called “It Has Happened.” This, the Moslem advocate said, was an indication that the Jews were not concerned about the Wailing Wall but were merely simulating indignation in order to approach the Mosque and remove the Moslems from their most holy temple.

Citing a statement of General Louis Jean Bols, a British officer who fought in Palestine during the War, that Menachem Mendel Ussishkin, head of the Jewish National Fund, had proposed, with the approval of Chief Rabbi Kook, the acquisition by the Jews of the pavement in front of the Wall...

...He concluded by saying that he had never thought that under the present circumstances the Jews would hasten to make such unreasonable demands.

Then, we were "seizing".

Now, we're "storming".


Thursday, February 18, 2016

A PA 'No' to Civil Society Meetings with Israelis

There are a good number of outsiders who truly seek to assist interfaith efforts for dialogue, peace, coexistence and a lessening of tensions here.

One of them recently sent out this message and a summary of events:

After having not met in several months, we had finally scheduled an encounter for Sunday, Jan ____, at one of our usual locations. Unfortunately though it was not to be. When those of us from Jerusalem (we were nine people in 4 cars) arrived at the spot, we were met by our Muslim members from the Hebron area, who were waiting for us in the parking lot. Apparently just a few minutes before, the owner, who has always been very welcoming and supportive of our group as well as many other interfaith and peace-related events, had approached the Muslims and informed them that he had been spoken to by people affiliated with the PA security forces who had asked him to strongly warn Palestinians against meeting with Israelis in the building. This was the reason why everyone was waiting for us on a cold night in the parking lot.  I suggested that the group from Jerusalem go inside for a few minutes to avoid the cold and also not be too obviously standing around in public and speaking to the Palestinians, and spent a few minutes myself with the Muslim members of the group exploring other possibilities. They were not comfortable going to the café at Gush Etzion (and in fact I am not sure that they would have been allowed to drive there) and none of the Jews and Christians who had come from Jerusalem felt comfortable trying another location in Beit Jala. So after a few minutes of deliberation we jointly decided to not meet at all that evening, since the most important consideration was everyone’s safety, followed by the need to make sure that everyone is comfortable with continuing their participation in the group. We agreed to re-schedule an encounter in a few weeks’ time in Jerusalem, and to obtain entry permits for anyone who needs them. 
This was obviously a very disappointing experience to put it mildly, yet what came out of it is that absolutely everyone in the group is committed to not allowing these things to stop us, and we are going to do what it takes to keep meeting in an environment which is safe and available to everyone.  On a personal note, I really want to thank everyone who took the time to attend, and especially express my deep respect and appreciation for our Muslim members whose commitment to our group remains stronger than ever despite these extremely difficult circumstances.

I am sure that a few phone calls to the right people would have facilitated a Gush Etzion location.

In any case, the warning of PA officials should be noted.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Settlements Are A Good Thing

"​What should the U.S. do? The history of civil wars since 1945 provides clear lessons that current policy is ignoring.
Contrary to common wisdom, it is possible for an external power to extinguish someone else’s civil war. Since 1945, over 20% of the approximately 150 civil wars have ended in negotiated settlements. That number increased to nearly 40% after 1991, as in the Balkans, Mozambique, Cambodia and El Salvador, in part because the international community learned how to facilitate such settlements.


Journalist Shot Dead by Terrorists

While doing research, I came across this newspaper report from the Revisionist-affiliated HaMashkif daily, published in Mandate Palestine on May 22, 1939:

which quotes Vera Weizmann, Chaim's wife, writing to the British Minister for Colonies about a house guest of hers in Rehovot, a Manchester Guardian journalist, who was killed on the same day the White Paper was published by Arabs.

I looked for an English-language report and found this:

This is the Reuter's report as it appeared in the Straits Times:

and in the Sydney Morning-Herald:

His mother wrote "Life is such a rush" in 1931 and The Keys of Heaven in 1920 and a children's volume.  A comedy she wrote, Britannia Of Billingsgate, was aired on BBC Television on November 19, 1953.

I do not know if he was the first journalist to be murdered covering the Arab-Israel conflict and that will need more research.

But at least the Arabs were labeled as "terrorists".

Quite different from today's press.


He was buried in Ramleh:


The Mufti's Salary

MUFTI OF JERUSALEM.HC Deb 08 July 1936 vol 314 c1178

26. Mr. PICKTHORN asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Mufti of Jerusalem was selected for his appointment by the High Commissioner for Palestine or elected by his fellow Moslems?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE I am glad to have the opportunity to make this matter clear. The Mufti of Jerusalem holds the appointment of Rais el-Ulema or President of the Supreme Moslem Sharia Council. His Eminence was elected to this office in 1922 by a Moslem general committee which was itself elected by secondary electors.

Captain PETER MACDONALD Is it not a fact that the Mufti is not and never has been a Government official, as has been alleged?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE I say that he was elected by Mohammedans, but he is recognised by the Government.

Mr. T. WILLIAMS Is it not the case that the Grand Mufti does receive £600 per annum from the Palestine Government?

Mr. ORMSBY-GORE As I explained before, in respect of purely judicial functions he receives, as do the Judges in Palestine, remuneration from public funds.

So, how much was he paid?

By the way, in 1930, for example, 600 pounds sterling would have been worth about 34,000 pounds in today's market.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Boycotting Zionism Since 1931

Many assert, like here, that the Arab boycott against Israel originated 

"in 1945"

I think that should be more nuanced.

I would maintain that the idea of boycott, as an official policy of Muslims against a Jewish entity in Eretz-Yisrael, should be traced back to December 1931 when the Islamic World Congress convened in Jerusalem and adopted a resolution on that matter. (see below)

The newspaper report:

Seems clear to me.



From Richard Scott Backman

So, I continued the search:

Arabs Boycott Jewish Electricity
March 16, 1923

Arab extremists are waging their fight against things Jewish even to the point of refusing the use of electricity derived from a “Jewish” station.
The Jaffa municipality has decided to stick to the old hand, foot and horse power rather than utilize any of the electrical power derived from the Buttenberg station at the Auja.
Efforts by the government to convince the Arabs that electricity was neutral and knew no politics proved unavailing.

Arab Students Adopt Anti-Jewish Resolution
August 18, 1929

What was termed an All-Palestine Arab Students Conference was held here yesterday with the result that a number of anti-Jewish resolutions were adopted.  The conference decided to combat Arab land brokers who are instrumental in selling land to Jews, to support Arab industries in Palestine and Syria to boycott foreign products, to appeal for unity among the Arabs of Palestine for the independence of the country within an Arab Confederation,

March 30, 1930

Two Arabs found guilty of agitating for the anti-Jewish boycott have been sentenced to six months each in prison.

They also boycotted elections in 1923.  And a lecture by Albert Einstein.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why Was Puar Not Pooh-poohed?

According to this source, following the presentation of an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist lecturer, the writer approached the former director of Jewish Studies at Vassar, Joshua Schreier, and asked him whether he believed Ms. Puar’s "outlandish accusations" and, he responded, 

“You prove to me that anything she said wasn’t true.” 

She was "stunned."

The event was an invitation to Jasbir PuarRutgers’ Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies, who spoke to “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.” According to the report
"With no documentation or specific evidence, Ms. Puar asserted that Israel’s ultimate goals are ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, stealing of Palestinian land and entrenchment and expansion of suffocating Israeli power. Israel’s “settler occupation” (her term) which she calls the “second Nakba” (catastrophe) is all about using “asphyxiating” biopolitical control over body and environment to suppress the Palestinian people. To this end, she claims Israel uses scientifically executed “maiming” and “stunting.”"

On her.

As I had wanted to relate to this, I sent a short, indeed, very short request for confirmation of his words: "Can you confirm these were your words?"  That was not quite the derech eretz he expected, which is his right.

It took a bit of effort to rewrite my request and it finally came out thus:

Dear Mr. Schreier,
I read the quotation (included below) in an article. Given that I am committed to professional and ethical standards of blogging, I thought it best to check with you. I imagine you are quite busy with personal and professional responsibilities, so I appreciate your help.
Yisrael Medad

In his reply, he explained that he has been inundated with hate mail, including numerous accusations that I am a "Nazi" and a "Kapo,"  He expressed appreciation for my eventual polite tone of my question. 

He then clarified what happened:

Ms. Dahl, the source of the citation in question, egregiously misrepresents my statements in her article.

We were in a discussion after the lecture, and she was extremely upset and agitated. She declared something on the order of, "That was all a lie! You don't believe those lies, do you?" The lecture was quite theoretical and in a different discipline than my own, so I responded with something like "tell me something specific she said that you think is a like, give me some proof that it is a lie, and I will HAPPILY believe you." Whatever I said exactly, my response expressed my hesitancy to reduce just about ANY hour-long, highly theoretical talk to simply a "lie" or the "truth."

After enduring a good ten minutes of Ms. Dahl's disjointed tirade and personal insults, I was still unclear as to what Ms. Dahl thought was a lie.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
J. Schreier

I checked other sources such as this one by Professor William Jacobson.

Mulling this over, one thing I would have suggested to Ms. Dahl, had I been standing next to her, would have been to ask Schreier if anything Puar had accused Israel was true.  To that question, he could have said either that all was true, that none of her gibberish was true or that  something indeed was correct in what she claimed.  That he did not even say, according to Dahl, that something had bothered him and made him unhappy, that he did not reach out to this obviously agitated and hurting lecturer and suggest to her that indeed her fears had some justification is odd.  

He couldn't have said something like 'her talk was indeed a challenge and of course included some rather outlandish and seemingly nasty charges but if you recorded it, I'll be happy to review the contents when I am back in my office and make remarks'.

Seeking safety in noting that Puar was off "in a different discipline than my own" and therefore his comprehension was limited or, dare I say, stunted, is rather a weak way out from a confrontation that he easily could have addressed forthrightly.

I was not there and I did not hear all she had to say and the threat of "don't dare you record this lecture" might have had its influence on me (no, not really, but following Mr. Schreier's lead, I was just being 'theoretical').  That alone is quite an invasion of academic freedom.

But what should precede all this is why would the Jewish Studies Department partner up with this obvious anti-Semitic academic in the first place?

In any case, if any Jewish students as well as non-Jewish pro-Zionist students there wish to hear a counter-exposition, about life in Judea and Samaria, about "Apartheid and Other Lies" being spread, perhaps I can assist.