Thursday, September 29, 2016

When Judea Became "Ancient Palestine"


Caves in which Jewish rebels hid from Romans 2,000 years ago found in Galilee.As the First Jewish War raged in ancient Palestine, villagers would hide in impressively inaccessible cliffside caves as the Roman armies marched through.

Both the Jews and the Romans actually called the territory Judea, like in this Roman victory coin:

It reads the Judaea.

And "Palestine" as the name for the country came after 135 CE, some seven decades later.

But Haaretz knows better.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Careful When a Journalist 'Explains' Something to You

Here's a description of the latest incident in which Binyamin Netanyahu is portrayed in a scandalous fashion, a descritpion which I think is fair :

On Saturday evening, Netanyahu gave interviews to Israeli television channels from New York....One of the issues raised during the interviews had to do with values. Netanyahu was asked if he regretted the phone call he had made to Charlie Azaria, the father of Sgt. Elor Azaria, who is on trial for manslaughter after being filmed shooting a seriously wounded Palestinian terrorist to death in Hebron. He replied that he had no regrets.
 Channel 2's Udi Segal asked him if he had telephoned parents of other soldiers who allegedly disobeyed the army's orders, and Netanyahu replied: "No, but I did call many parents who were in distress over the fact that their sons had been killed or had gone missing."

But then the writer, Nahum Barnea, "explains" the scandal:

The comparison between the parents of a soldier who is on trial for manslaughter and the parents of missing soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul is outrageous, not least because of the unbridgeable abyss between fighters who sacrificed their life for the state and a soldier accused of a serious crime. It is outrageous because of the abyss separating between the parents...And it's outrageous because it offers Israelis in general, and those who serve in the army in particular, a distorted value system which must not be accepted. Soldiers are not children. They are adults,

However, it is Barnea making a bad comparison.

Netanyahu was asked about making a phone call to relieve distress of a parent who is concerned his child, while in uniform, is perhaps not being treated fairly, in a lawful fashion or, because of the situation the parent finds himself in, physically. medically, economically or psychologically.

Let's not forget that in that phone call to the soldier on trial, the Prime Minister did not identify with the soldier's action but informed the father that he must trust the system.  

“I have full faith in the IDF and its chief of staff, and that I think you, too, should have faith in the commanders and examination, just as the people of Israel need to stay united around its army. We only have one army, with many more challenges ahead of us,” Netanyahu added. 

If anyone, it was the former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon who injected a prejudicial tone into the public discourse, saying then

when someone has his hands up, or is already neutralized, that’s when you arrest,” he added. “Whoever supports these kinds of acts [the soldier’s] is damaging the values of the Israel Defense Forces.”

in what was a blatant attempt to subvert justice and interfere with the future trial and the then on-going investigation.

But the media went into a shark frenzy, Yedioth Ahronot plastered the above column on page 1 and Netanyahu had to clarify 

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a clarification on Sunday, in which Netanyahu stated, “I am sorry if my words were misunderstood.” He continued to say that “In no way did I compare the suffering of bereaved families—a suffering I am very familiar with—to that of other parents who are also suffering. There is no comparison and can be no comparison.”
Haaretz went further, of course:

Prime minister openly supports Elor Azaria and demonstrates empathy toward his family, even if it's seen as challenging the military justice system.

wrote Amos Harel and Gili Cohen.

Netanyahu, declares the first principle of Israel journalism, is guilty.

The second principle is he can never be correct.

And if he isn't guilty and is correct, then the third principle is that he must be doing it for an ulterior reason.


Just a Bit of Anti-Semitism

Note the features of the Jew in this caricature by E.H. Shepard in the UK 'Punch', September 18, 1946:


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Intellectuals or Immoral Dummies?

This letter has been published and is being trumpeted by this Haaretz headline:

Over 70 American Intellectuals Call for 'Targeted Boycott' of Israeli Settlements

We, the undersigned, oppose an economic, political, or cultural boycott of Israel itself as defined by its June 4, 1967, borders. We believe that this 1967 armistice line, the so-called Green Line, should be the starting point for negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian parties on future boundaries between two states. To promote such negotiations, we call for a targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, and any investments that promote the Occupation, until such time as a peace settlement is negotiated between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
We further call upon the US government to exclude settlements from trade benefits accorded to Israeli enterprises, and to strip all such Israeli entities in the West Bank from the tax exemptions that the Internal Revenue Service currently grants to American nonprofit tax-exempt organizations. The objects of our call are all commercial and residential Israeli-sponsored entities located outside the 1967 Green Line. It is our hope that targeted boycotts and changes in American policy, limited to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, will encourage all parties to negotiate a two-state solution to this long-standing conflict.

My comments: 

a.  On June 4, 1967, Israel did not include the Western Wall or any other portion of the Old City where there was a Jewish population for centuries that had been ethnically cleansed.  They really uphold Israel redividing its capital? Jerusalem is a "settlement"?

b.  If there is no action called against the Palestinian Authority, only Israel is considered by these intellectuals as "guilty". That is an immoral position. To disregard the terror, the support of terror and the incitement, for example, is dumb.

They are targeting the wrong side.  Why should this boycott encourage the Palestinian Authority to do anything but wait?


Why not boycott something of the Palestinian Authority to encourage them to negotiate after, for example, Netanyahu's construction moratorium?

See here for roots of this letter. And earlier.


Isn't There a Law?

As reported:

A cabinet resolution that will likely be debated this week would require the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division to consult with the attorney general over its work plan. Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel objects to the proposal.The coalition agreement signed in 2015 gives Ariel responsibility for the quasi-governmental agency. The Settlement Division has not received state funds for two years, after Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber ruled that the agency was in fact a nongovernmental entity carrying out governmental activities.


According to the Law of the Standing of the WZO/Jewish Agency, a covenant of cooperation is established, among other things, to further the tasks of these two bodies which include:

 הפעולה המעשית של ההסתדרות הציונית העולמית וארגוניה למילוי תפקידיה ההיסטוריים בארץ ישראל

the fulfilment of their historic tasks in Eretz-Israel 

I guess I am just asking?

Judea and Samaria are in Eretz-Yisrael.


Palmach vs. Palmach and What About That Castration?

I caught this in Haaretz this week:

“Have a little sensitivity. Our generation may be nearing the end of the road, but we have children, grandchildren and families,” said Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Horev, 92, on Wednesday.Horev, a Palmach veteran, has joined the Palmach veterans’ protest against a cabinet decision to build a permanent memorial to former minister Rehavam Ze’evi at the national memorial site at Sha’ar Hagai, near Jerusalem – one of the symbols of the Palmach generation and its Harel Brigade.“The Israeli government did a terrible thing; this isn’t wise or fair,” said Horev, who took part in Palmach battles near Jerusalem in the War of Independence.

A "terrible thing"?

Not "wise"?

Not "fair"?

No "sensitivity"?

A little research will reveal something interesting about Horev, who waves about now the banner of "purity of arms".

In 1945 a series of sexual assaults troubled the Jewish inhabitants of Beit She’an Valley [and] motivated the regional commander of the Haganah to react. The suspect was identified shortly after the first incident...[as] Aref Ben Ahmad Esh Sharida, a nineteen year old Arab from Biesan, was arrested, identified [ Amos Nevo, a journalist who interviewed Palmachniks who participated in the operation, identifies the rapist as Mohammad Tawash. This indiscrepancy might be attributed to the fact that the rapist had an accomplice. Amos Nevo, "The Punishment," Yediot Ahronot April 30, 1993]...members of the Palmach, the striking forces of the Haganah, made their own inquiries about the identity and whereabouts of the suspect, and resolved to castrate him (after two more sexual assaults had occurred). The operation was approved by the Palmach’s chief commander, Isaac Sadeh, who decided they should teach a lesson, but not kill. A Palmach unit prepared for the operation. Undercover agents gathered information about the suspect and consulted with a doctor [Mendele of the Kupat Holim Clalit] who instructed them how to use ether and which veins to cut. Disguised as Arabs, they came to the suspect’s house and lured him to come with them to a wadi. Despite the anaesthesia their victim remained confused and active, and was therefore stunned with a club’s blow on his head. The primitive operation was performed with a shaving knife and the veins were tied with a shoe lace...The brutal castration was commemorated in a popular Hebrew song “We castrated you, Mohammed!”...

Two members of the Palmach unit were Yochai Bin-Nun and ... Amos Horev, himself. A book by Gamliel Cohen, “Undercover: The Untold Story of the Palmach’s Undercover Arab Unit,” published by the Ministry of Defense and the Galili Center for Defense Studies, provides more details.

Would Ze'evi had done this?



To be fair to the Hagana:

A similar occurrence took place in late 1946, when a mentally-ill Jewish woman was raped near Ramat Gan by an Arab greengrocer from Sheik Munes, who was consequently arrested, but released on bail despite his admission. (HA 173-23, HA 177-27).  The Haganah abducted the man, Mahmoud Mohammad Shoulabi, upon his release. The castration was performed in a forest near a governmental hospital (Bellinson Hospital, in Petach Tiqva), by Dr. Reuven (Rudolph) Meir, a psychiatrist. After the operation, an anonymous caller notified the police about a wounded Arab in the forest. Mahmoud was hospitalized. He was eventually convicted, but given a short sentence in consideration of what he had gone through. One Haganah member indicated that after a while the castrated victim became their informant, and was subsequently murdered by fellow Arabs who suspected him.  A critical Jewish newspaper article titled “Rascals take the law into their own hands” denounced the operation.


Friday, September 23, 2016

When Did The Partition Plan of 1947 Become Impotent?

What happened after the November 29, 1947 partition proposal was rejected by the Arabs, diplomatically?

And what possible ramifications were there in the process?

Well, there was U.N. General Assembly Resolution 186Appointment and terms of reference of a United Nations Mediator in Palestine; May 14, 1948

186 (S-2).
The General Assembly
Taking account of the present situation in regard to Palestine,
Strongly affirms its support of the efforts of the Security Council to secure a truce in Palestine and calls upon all Governments, organizations and persons to co-operate in making effective such a truce;

...1. Empowers a United Nations Mediator in Palestine, to be chosen by a (i) Arrange for the operation of common services necessary to the safety and well-being of the population of Palestine; (ii) Assure the protection of the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites in Palestine; (iii) Promote a peaceful adjustment of the future situation of Palestine;

...Relieves the Palestine Commission from the further exercise of responsibilities under resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947.

The Arabs of the former territories of the Mandate of Palestine mst certainly did not do what was asked in that decision.

This was followed by the establishment of a Palestine Conciliation Commission [PCC] in December 1948 but as this article suggests, even before the PCC

Following Israel's emergence, some U.S. officials were openly prepared to jettison the Partition Resolution as obsolete. Philip Jessup, a member of the Policy Planning Staff and the deputy U.S. representative on the Security Council in the summer of 1948, was one of them. He was not the only one who believed that the Resolution was no longer applicable; that its proposal for a Palestinian state and an economic union with Israel was unlikely; and that Israel and the United States would be better served by promoting an increased role for Transjordan's King Abdullah in Palestine.

So, the position that the partition was a dead letter less than a year after it was proposed and cannot be now entered into the diplomatic discourse as, for example, that Jerusalem's fate is till undetermined since the last effective act was its declaration as an international regime, as the US maintains, is contradicted by its own diplomats at that time.


J Street's Wrong Turn

First, J Street goes after Regavim's tax-exemption status.

While the US has consistently opposed illegal settlement expansion, it has allowed Americans to make tax-deductible contributions to groups actively engaged in dispossessing Palestinians of their land and aiding the spread of settlements. Today, we're calling on the Treasury Department to review whether tax-deductible treatment for donations to such groups meet the relevant requirements -- and, if not, to cut off the flow of tax-deductible US dollars...To: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew -  Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements are clear about the criteria organizations must meet to benefit from tax-deductible, charitable donations: Their activities must not be “illegal [or] contrary to a clearly defined and established public policy.”

This follows a campaign (see here) which asserts

Support for settlements...contradicts the clearly established, bipartisan US policy of opposition to settlement expansion. Why should US taxpayers subsidize activities expressly designed to oppose and undermine decades of consistent US policy, which are illegal under international conventions signed and ratified by the United States? This is a question we’re asking of the Treasury in an action we launched last week. 
Then, MK Michal Rozin lends support.

As a Member of Knesset, my job is to speak out on behalf of the best interests of my fellow citizens and my country...the settler movement and its powerful allies in the Netanyahu government have been quietly laying the groundwork for annexation in the West Bank’s Area C...This process is led in part by influential right-wing NGOs (like the group Regavim),...Incredibly, Regavim and their fellow settler groups often benefit from tax-free contributions coming from the USA -- even while they actively oppose the two-state solution, undermining key US and Israeli interests.
That’s why J Street has called on the US Treasury Department to review whether the activities of Regavim should make them ineligible to receive tax-free contributions...I’m so grateful to J Street supporters like you, and to all those Jews around the world who love Israel and know that supporting Israelis means standing up for diplomacy and peace -- and speaking out when our government’s policies put our values and security at risk.
Thank you for all that you do,
MK Michal Rozin

But it's based on a lie.

First of all, that "public policy" claim is wrong. it's an administration policy, not public.

Whereas way back in 1978, a legal opinion was expressed by the State Department's legal advisor that activity related to the promoting and facilitating of Jewish civilian residency in the disputed areas of the former Palestine Mandate territories not currently under Israel sovereignty (and let's not forget that all of Jerusalem is still considered as I write by the State Department not to be Israel territory) is

inconsistent with international law.

the arguments are weak and misrepresent international law.  Even a Peace Now resource reveals, as does this one, that most of the US Presidents' words they use avoid the legal aspect as has President Obama as he refers to the communities as "illegitimate'.  Then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright actually admitted the Jewish communities across the Green Line are legal as have many other American political figures and scholars.

This campaign seems to be based on this Nicholas Mirkay article from 2013 and on this one by Amanda Berman in 2010 Already in 2011, Mirkay went after the JNF to the delight of some. And seems he started at this as early as 2008 based on his 2007 paper. (And the NYTimes has pumped it like here in 2010 and see this letter by William H. Welsch Sep 22, 2006). But already, as noted there, it was pointed out that Mirkay and comrades are mixing apples and pears:

“I do not think racial [discrimination] in America, with our own unique history, is the same as the unique situation of Israel and the Palestinians,” Ellen Aprill, a professor at Loyola Law School

Indeed, as my second point, the challenge to a presumed tax-exemption status must prove a negation of or actions of that organization is does it go againts "fundamental public policy" and "well-defined standards of public policy" as stated clearly here.  It must be shown to be "contrary to well-established and clearly defined public policy." 

As further clarified in IV Scott on Trusts Section 377 (3d ed. 1967):

"A trust cannot be created for a purpose which is illegal. The purpose is illegal ... if the trust tends to induce the commission of crime or if the accomplishment of the purpose is otherwise against public policy.... Where a policy is articulated in a statute making certain conduct a criminal offense, then ..., a trust is illegal if its performance involves such criminal conduct, or if it tends to encourage such conduct." . 
....In determining whether activities of this type are consistent with IRC 501(c)(3), the Service relies on a three-part test. Rev. Rul. 80-278. Such activities will be considered permissible under IRC 501(c)(3) if: (1) The purpose of the organization is charitable; (2) the activities are not illegal, contrary to a clearly defined and established public policy, or in conflict with express statutory restrictions;

One more opinion on this:

The Treasury Department is empowered to enforce "established public policy" with respect to tax-exempt charities.' Under this public policy power, the Treasury has revoked the tax-exempt charitable status of organizations that discriminated against blacksorganizations whose members engaged in civil disobedience against war, and organizations involved in illegal activity. The Treasury interprets its public policy power as applying to any activity that violates clear public policy...The point at which a public policy is sufficiently established for purposes of applying the Treasury's public policy power is unclear...Presently, neither Congress or the United States Supreme Court has decided conclusively whether race-based affirmative action violates public policy.

Besides the obvious, that Jewish resettlement activity in Judea and Samaria is not to be compared to the rest of the examples - which are mainly race-oriented or proven criminal activity but also internal American issues and to extend the IRS power to actions of non-Americans, even if supported by American citizens - it is clear that no illegality is involved.

But more important, American public policy was quite the opposite.  It supported Jewish resettlement activity through the Anglo-American Convention of 1924 when the territory defined as the Jewish national and historic homeland was all the region between the sea and the river.  If it was legal then, it's legal now and as there is no equal sovereign power to Israel who can prove claims to that territory, all this legalese fumfitting (to mutter, splutter and stutter in Yiddish) is just pro-Palestine propaganda (PPP).


Even Mahmoud Abbas Gave His 'Hechsher'

Snapped this a few days ago:

For those whose Hebrew in inadequate, this real estate development offer at "Givat Edumim" proclaims that even Mahmoud Abbas checked and found out that the land does not belong privately to an Arab.

The value of the property will rise greatly, the Mayor of Maaleh Adumim favors the project, there's a government decision in favor of a community at the location which is but 7 kilometers from Jerusalem, etc., etc.

What a sell.

Is it a buy?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shiloh Wine Mention

From Wine Spectator's October 15th issue:

You noticed Shiloh in there?


You Will Be Pilloried, King Abdullah

Thus said Abdullah II, Monarch of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (aka eastern Palestine) in the United Nations yesterday

...Safeguarding Jerusalem is a key concern ... the Holy City; a strategic linchpin not only for my region but for the world. This is a priority for me personally, and for all Muslims. We utterly reject attacks on Muslim and Christian Holy Sites ... and any attempts to alter the historic Muslim, Christian and Arab identity of the Holy City. As the Custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, I will continue my efforts to protect these places, and stand up against all violations of their sanctity, including attempts for temporal and spatial division of Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.

Sir, there are no "attacks" but visits, with Jews being restricted by Israel's governments to tours only, as if Jews had no rights to this holy site.

The only "altering" is the work done by the Waqf funded by you to either destroy, deface or cover-up the Temple Mount's Jewish past or to new construction.

It is you who seek to change the "identity" of the site or falsify it or deny it.

If you do not adhere to the terms of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty which are

Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance...The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace...The Parties will seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance based on shared historic values, and accordingly undertake: to abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other, and to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organisation or individual present in the territory of either Party;

then you are the one to be pilloried in international forums.



I realized that I need to clarify a point for the newcomers to my blog.

Abdullah refers to sites. That means not only the Haram Courtyard but all over (is that "conquest expansion"?) and as an example here is an item from 2013:

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs Nasser Judeh on Thursday voiced Jordan's total rejection of what has been reported by the media on Israeli plans to expand the Buraq Square in the courtyard of Al Aqsa Mosque in a way that threatens the Islamic monuments.

The Buraq Square is none other than the Western Wall Plaza which is outside the Haram precincts.  That is definitely upsetting any status quo.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If Only, President Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama told the United Nations today that

Both sides would benefit if Israel recognised it cannot permanently occupy Palestinian land and if Palestinians rejected incitement and recognised Israel's legitimacy, 

Now, if only the Palestinians recognised that they are actually occupying Jewish land and Israel recognised that incitement is never going to be halted by the Palestinians, there'd be a better base for understanding what the conflict is about and its chances for a negotiated settlement. 

And if Obama had recognised that earlier, well, we wouldn't have had all the problems we did have, unnecessarily.


Add 1777 the Anniversary List

At a conference I attended this morning, an official of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Asher Fredman, a Senior Coordinator for Diaspora Affairs, made a wonderful presentation.

Referring to the upcoming 2017 which will mark 50 years to the Six Day's War as well as the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, he mentioned other events that took place in a "7" year like the First Zionist Congress, 1897, the Peel Commission Partition Plan, 1937, the UN's Partition scheme, 1947 and Sadat's visit to Israel, 1977.

I have involved myself in this Balfour Centenary since 2012 (my letter to Mr. Netanyahu, in Hebrew, is below* and I have in my files a similar letter to Naftali Bennett from November 2, 2014), especially what I saw happening in England with the Balfour Project..

I was impressed with the change I detected from Asher's words in government policy.

However, there was one other date I wanted to suggest to him to be included: 1777.

In that year occurred the Aliyah to Eretz-Yisrael of the Hassidic leaders. Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk (1730-1788) and Avraham Kalisk (1741 - 1810) and with them some 300 immigrants. They set themselves down in Tiberias, where Rabbi Menahem Mendel oversaw the building of a Hassidic synagogue. 

They laid the foundations for what would come to be called the Old Yishuv. Etkes has written that 

Scholars are divided on the question of the causes of this migration. Simon Dubnow connected it to the persecution of hasidim by mitnagedim. According to this explanation, the establishment of a hasidic center in the Land of Israel sought to affirm the standing of Hasidism and refute the claims of its opponents. Israel Halpern maintained that the hasidic immigrants aspired to sanctify themselves with the holiness of the Land of Israel. Ben Zion Dinur, on the other hand, saw the migration as bearing messianic significance. An important element in this debate on the reasons for the hasidic migration was the discovery of a contemporary Karaite source. This source, first discussed in an article by David Assaf, links the hasidic migration to rumors that the Messiah son of David, had appeared in the Land of Israel.

My friend, Mor Altshuler has some important research material.

I also suggest Arie Morgenstern's book.

In any case, 1777 should be included.

כ"ה תשרי תשע"ג
10 באוקטובר 2012

לכבוד מזכיר הממשלה
עו"ד צבי האוזר

הנדון: ציון 100 שנים להצהרת בלפור

שלום רב,

ביום 7 בנובמבר 2017, בעוד חמש שנים, נציין הצהרתו של הלורד בלפור, שעליה מושתת מעמדו של מדינת ישראל במשפט העמים בחלקו הגדול.

אין צורך להפריז על חשיבותו של האירוע הזה, פרי עמלו של הציונות המדינית של הרצל, מה עוד אלא שכבר היום פועלים כוחות אנטי-ציוניים ואנטי-ישראליים לציין את האירוע – בדרכם שלהם (ראה באתר זה:

שוחחתי עם השרים בני בגין ולימור לבנת והם הפנו אותי אליך, אם כי שלחתי אל מזכירות הממשלה פקס לפני חודש ועדיין לא קבלתי תגובה.

האם הממשלה החליטה כבר על הקמת מנהלת 100 שנה להצהרת בלפור?

אם לאו, אני ממליץ על הדבר כולל שיתוף פעולה עם גורמים אחרים כמו ההסתדרות הציונות העולמית אשר יוטלו על המנהלת הזאת משימות מהתוויית הדרך לציין את האירוע ועד לפיקוח על עריכת כנסים, הוצאה לאור של פרסומים, ניהול אתרי מדיה חדשה ועוד ועוד. כמובן, אשמח להיות חלק מהמערך הארגוני הזה.

אשמח להתייחסותך,

ישראל מידד
שילה, ד.נ. אפרים 44830


So, The US State Department Boycotts?

​As reported

U.S. Embassy Accidentally Sends Settlement Wine as Jewish New Year Gift
...the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv sent gift baskets to a number of Israeli organisations, as it does every year. Among the recipients was Peace Now, a group opposed to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank....An embassy official confirmed the baskets had been sent out, saying they were purchased from a vendor who put together the contents, which were not checked before distribution.  "This should in no way be interpreted as a change of our policy on settlements, which is long-standing and clear," the official said.

So...the policy is not to purchase products produced, grown and/or made in the Jewish communities?

Would that be called, er, boycotting "settlement goods"?

To answer "no", you'd have to claim that all that happened was that the Embassy's choice of wine pissed off Peace Now.​  But that doesn't sound like a State Department policy.

I guess they must be engaged in boycotting then (taking his advice?).


Monday, September 19, 2016

The Murder of Avraham Stern in Parliament

In parliamentary question time in Britain's House of Lords, on the subject of "Palestine Terrorism", we have this record for 02 June 1942 

My Lords, I beg to ask the first question standing in my name.

[The question was as follows: To ask His Majesty's Government when and under what circumstances a Palestinian Jew named Stein or Stern was killed while attempting to escape.]

My Lords, my noble friend Lord Cranborne has had to leave the House, and he has asked me to make the following statement on his behalf. Abraham Stern, to whom the noble Lord's question presumably refers, was the leader of a secret terrorist organization of Jewish extremists formed in Palestine about the middle of 1940. The Stern group included persons known to have been responsible for the murder of two British police inspectors in 1939, but against whom nothing could be proved, and others concerned in cases either of murder or robbery with violence who have subsequently been convicted.

Soon after the group was formed, its members entered upon a campaign of organized terrorism, primarily with the object of obtaining funds for the furtherance of their 69so-called political programme, which was Fascist in character. In the furtherance of their objectives, they sought to enlist the help of Italy after Italy had entered the war. Steps were taken by the authorities to round up the gang, and the activities of these Jewish terrorists reached their climax in the cold-blooded murder at Tel Aviv in January last of three police officers and the wounding of four others. Vigorous action has since been taken by the police in rounding up members of the gang, and this resulted in the death, while attempting to escape, of Stern himself and of two other terrorists in February last, and in the detention of the principal members of the gang.

LORD WEDGWOOD My Lords, I hope that the noble Lord realizes that the connotation of the words "killed while attempting to escape" is unfortunate. They have a very unfortunate background and, indeed, come from Germany. I hope that that sort of thing is not going to develop in Palestine.

Stern, Yair, was shot dead while his hands were manacled.

Did [Geoffrey Morton] or did he not shoot an unarmed Stern in cold blood? Morton maintained, for the rest of his life that he shot Stern dead because the latter had tried to escape through a window and might have triggered an ‘infernal device’ that would blow everybody in the room up. This version of events was called into question several times in subsequent years. The most damaging testimony came from a fellow policeman, Sergeant Bernard Stamp, who claimed to have been in the room when the shooting took place. According to Bishop, in a statement Morton gave immediately after the event, he acknowledged Stamp’s presence, but years later he denied the sergeant had ever been there. Not long before he died, Stamp said that Morton shot Stern without him having made any attempt to escape, and that any talk of there being an ‘infernal device’ was trumped up nonsense.
And this:

Another policeman, Bernard Stamp, later told Israel Radio that in his judgment, Stern was "killed by the police force, he was unarmed, no chance of escape."


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not As Good As You Thought It Was

There is a new book out by Goran Adamson entitled The Trojan Horse: A Leftist Critique of Multiculturalism in the West and it provides a lot that will make you comfortable in feeling that all these mew-fangled ideas of multicilturalism and moral relativsm and such are not really that good.

Excerpt from one review:

reason, freedom and individuality – the cornerstones of democracy and civil rights – are being undermined by the ideology of multiculturalism and its elevation of particular identities and rights over universal political freedom.

the methods and theories of multiculturalists are similar to those of right-wing extremists: both want to force reality to conform to their worldview, rather than respond to it as it really is.

parallels between multiculturalism and old-fashioned racial thinking. For instance, as Adamson points out, multicultural ideology makes a fetish, like the racial theories of yore, of ethnic diversity. What matters is not, as Martin Luther King believed, the content of one’s character, but the colour of one’s skin. Common human traits, such as the capacity for abstract thinking, creativity and self-consciousness, are effaced in the name of what divides us. In this sense, multiculturalism is just as fixated on race as the racist thought of the past.

treat[ing] them as individuals who have a basic human need for self-determination; rather, ‘the immigrant’ is an abstract type, a species, a race. Thus the racist implications of multiculturalism loom large despite its ostensible anti-racism. The ‘other’ is presented as either inherently fascinating or as a fragile victim. They are not like us. And in this separation of us from them, racism festers,

universalism and inclusivity of the civil-rights movement appears to the ardent multiculturalist as an embarrassing form of ‘cultural imperialism’.

European liberalism unique, and different to its pre-Enlightenment rivals, Adamson suggests, is that it explicitly attempts to remove questions of moral value from the political sphere

in their eagerness to avoid accusations of racism, left-leaning liberals have abandoned traditionally progressive liberal principles. And, in doing so, they have unwittingly embraced a form of multiculturalism that is deeply ideological and illiberal in its current form.

And from another:

multiculturalism contains numerous intolerant qualities bordering on racism; such as the exotification of the ethnic group, and the thin veil between ethnicity and nationalism. Multiculturalism replaces racism towards other cultures with a fascination and an obsession with the other.

assumption that diversity is anti-racism and that multiculturalism rests on a progressive, tolerant, and egalitarian foundation and finds it deeply troubling that views that contest such thinking are denigrated. On the contrary Adamson asserts that a scientific discussion should allow for the opposite point of view where diversity and racism are two branches of early 19th century political romanticism. By not so doing, Swedish universities have failed in their intellectual mission – the only mission that matters – and descended into ‘mindless trumpeting of Social Democratic pseudo-radicalism’. He concludes that ideas embedded in multiculturalism under whose umbrella diversity falls, have failed concerning the independence of universities in regard to ideological debate and critical thinking. This has undermined the autonomy of lecturers and researchers and ‘infiltrated panels, projects, institutes, faculties, offices, courses and curricula’. The final damning charge is that it has let students down: ‘instead of showing them how to think, it has told them what to think’.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Long Live the Free Press

The media engages in exposing facts.

Like politicians stealing taxpayers money.

Like financial tycoons exploiting friendships to get good deals.

Like employers harrassing their employees.

The media self-glorifies in exposure, revelations, leakings and full disclosure.

And the media lashes out at anyone who incringes on its rights of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, etc.


Er, well...

The BBC has said new rules to force it to reveal the pay of its on-air talent are “disappointing” and likely to cause a “massive headache” after the government confirmed that any employee earning more than £150,000 would be identified.
Culture secretary Karen Bradley said the new obligations to reveal details of stars’ pay would help make the BBC a more “transparent and open” organisation as she launched a draft charter which also confirmed changes to the BBC’s historic system of governance.  In response, Rona Fairhead, who is to stand down as chair of the BBC Trust, said the governing body was “disappointed” by the change in disclosure rules.


On the Occupation of Palestine and International Law in...1922

Is the question of the "occupation of Palestine" and the "transfer of a civilian population into the occupied territories" a new issue?  Is the Hague Convention only recently being recalled?

Of course not.

Excerpts from the British House of Lords debate on the

LORD SYDENHAM [1] My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government the Questions of which I have given Notice—namely:—

1. Whether Palestine, pending the conclusion of peace with Turkey and the acceptance of the Draft Mandate by Parliament, remains in the position of "occupied enemy country."
2. Whether, in "occupied enemy country," International Law, as amended by Section III. of the Hague Convention, sanctions such proceedings as—
(a) The introduction into the country of more than 20,000 aliens against the wishes of more than 90 Per cent. of the people, aad in violation of enemy law.
(b) The imposition of a third official language, which is not spoken by more than five per cent. of the people.
(c) The selling, to a syndicate financed by aliens, of church property which, under enemy law, was treated as Wakf...

In October last I tried to raise the question of the legality of the proceedings of the Government in Palestine, and the answer I received at that time was not at all a satisfactory one. The noble Duke said the High Commissioner of Palestine was "in the position of a competent military authority." I have no doubt whatever that Sir Herbert Samuel is a most competent military authority, but even so exalted a personage ought to have the sanction of Law behind him. It is only in Ireland that we have inside the Empire 145 at the present moment a Government which has no legal authority. The noble Duke admitted at that time that the action of selling the lands of the Greek Church goes somewhat beyond that which is recognised by international jurisprudence as the normal functions of an ordinary Occupying Power. But he contended that "His Majesty's Government is not an ordinary Occupying Power"; and I think he was perfectly right. We are probably the most extraordinary Occupying Power ever known to the world.

Article 43 of Section 3 of the Hague Convention says this: The authority of the legitimate power having actually passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all steps in his power to re-establish and ensure as far as possible public order and safety while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country. I ask your Lordships to note those words, "while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country." Was the Zionist Government which we have set up in Palestine absolutely prevented from respecting Turkish Law in the cases which I have quoted in the second part of my Question? I could have included many more cases of the violation of Turkish Law than I have, but I have selected four typical cases. Is it really absolutely necessary to do all these things? If it is, then my whole contention, of course, falls to the ground.

Take the introduction of more than 20,000 aliens against the wishes of more than ninety per cent. of the people. Can we say that this was absolutely necessary? Why was there such a hurry about it when Palestine had not had time to recover from the devastations of the war and was not in a position to receive a great influx of colonists? This horde of aliens was collected by foreign agents in Central Europe and clumped down on the shores of the Holy Land only because British bayonets supported the dumping. Were British troops ever before employed in such a humiliating duty? Of this horde, a considerable number, no one can say how many, were Bolsheviks, and it was Bolsheviks who started the riots at Jaffa last year and posted up such placards on the walls as these: Down with the English coercive power. Long live the free women of the Communist Society. 146 A section of these aliens is destitute of all morals and is now adding to the vicious elements in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Is it fair to force these people on the Palestinians?

The latest achievement of the Zionists is to smuggle in 303 revolvers and 17,000 rounds of ammunition. They were all brought into the country in beehives and incubators, which the Zionist Government had proclaimed to be free of duty. A previous consignment was landed without detection, and a third consignment was found to be on the way. This must mean that these arms come from Germany through Trieste, and it shows that these imported aliens, whom we have forced upon Palestine by our Army there, are already in secret relations with their co-religionists in Europe. I ask your Lordships to consider whether all this was absolutely necessary and, therefore, consonant with the Article I have quoted from the Hague Convention.

I turn to the selling of the lands of the Greek Church, which was certainly in violation of Turkish Law. I explained in October exactly what was done. These lands were parcelled out into large lots which could not be purchased by any of the Palestinians, none of them being wealthy enough for the purpose. Since then the sale has taken place. There was no competition, and I understand that the lands went for very much below their value. The possessors of this land, which is the most valuable suburban land around Jerusalem, are now living in New York, Chicago, Frankfort, Berlin, Paris, London—all or any of these places. Article 56 of the Hague Convention directs that the property of institutions "dedicated to religious worship, … even when belonging to the State, shall be treated as private property." I do not know if that Article helps my ease in any way, for I am not lawyer enough to be able to say, but the fact is that this Church property was sold to aliens by the Zionist Government against the wishes of the people and against the law of the country, and the effect of that in future will be most serious. Again I ask your Lordships to consider whether that could be pronounced to be in any way a necessary action.

...I have spoken of the Government of Palestine as a Zionist Government, and I think I am justified in using that term. The Government is a pure autocracy in the hands of a man whom Mr. Churchill described in the House of Commons as "an ardent Zionist." In addition, the Legal Secretary is a Zionist, the Secretary of Commerce and Industry is a Zionist, and the Director of Stores, who disposes of all the contracts, is also a Zionist. It is a remarkable fact that two of these persons took a very active part in the long and complicated manœuvres which led to the Balfour Declaration, and they now appear in high office in Palestine. But that is not nearly all. An imperium in imperio was set up in April, 1918, six months before Viscount Allenby had completed the conquest of Palestine, so great was the hurry to take possession of this little country. That Zionist Commission was reorganised and strengthened in 1919, and it consists of persons who are not Palestinian citizens but are supposed to represent International Zionism. The effect of such a body sitting in Jerusalem can easily he imagined. Like Bunty, it pulls all the strings. By the terms of the proposed Mandate it is proposed to make this Commission a statutory body, and that will have the necessary effect of placing the economic future of Palestine in the hands of foreign international capitalists. I should have thought that even a Unionist House of Commons would not have put up with that, but one never knows what may happen now.

In his recent tour in Palestine, Lord Northcliffe made two quite important discoveries. He found out that Palestine is now governed by armoured cars, which I think quite well expresses the situation, and he also discovered that the orthodox Jews of Palestine are very strongly opposed to Zionism, as indeed they may very well be. I hope I have not wearied your Lordships; I have not told half of this wretched story. In all our history I know of no instance in which we have occupied a country, said we were liberating that country, and then treated it with the injustice and even inhumanity that we have shown to Palestine...

I think that the patience and restraint shown by Palestinians, Moslem and Christian, like the patience and restraint which have been shown by Ulstermen, have been very remarkable.[2] There have been some local disturbances, which in certain cases, as at Jaffa, were started by Zionists. But it is not safe to count on the continuance of this patience, and our present large and quite unnecessary military expenditure may have to be very considerably increased in the near future. I hope that His Majesty's Government will this afternoon make the situation perfectly clear, in so far as it is affected by the Hague Convention. For myself, I attach much more importance to the moral law than to any other law, and I believe that we are now violating the moral law every day in the treatment of our late Allies, the helpless Palestinian population, for whose welfare we have made ourselves completely and entirely responsible.

THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND My Lords, the status of Palestine and the position of His Majesty's Government therein were exhaustively discussed in your Lordships' House in connection with the Question asked by the noble Lord, Lord Parmoor, on November 10 last [3]. On that occasion I explained that Palestine is at present, and will be until the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace with Turkey, "occupied enemy territory," and that His Majesty's Government's position therein is that of an Occupying Power.

I went on, however, to explain that His Majesty's Government's position is not that of an ordinary Occupying Power. In ordinary circumstances an Occupying Power is merely in temporary occupation of a portion of enemy territory which may, and probably will in due course, be returned to the Power which formerly possessed it. In these circumstances it is only 149 reasonable and proper that the Occupying Power should maintain the territory as far as possible in statu quo ante, in order that the minimum of dislocation may occur when it is evacuated and returned to the Power which possessed it before. It is also in ordinary circumstances usual to find in the country an existing administration which can be carried on without very much difficulty.

In the case of Palestine, however, both these conditions are absent. Palestine is not going to be returned to Turkey, and the obsolete and outworn system of government which had been imposed by the Turkish conquerors upon a non-Turkish population had disappeared with their disappearance. There was, therefore, no reason for re-establishing this system, and it was incumbent, upon His Majesty's Government, as I said in my reply to the noble Lord, Lord Parmoor, to set up a civil administration in the country for the purpose of discharging the necessary functions of government.

But more than this, His Majesty's Government, when they were entrusted with the administration of Palestine by the Supreme Council of the Allies at San Remo, were entrusted with it under certain definite conditions. They were to administer the country in such a manner as to implement the Balfour Declaration; that is to say, while protecting the civil and religious rights of the existing inhabitants, they were to render possible the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Such conditions were totally incompatible with the strict observance of the status quo ante, by which was implied the maintenance of that mediæval immobility which was characteristic of countries within the Ottoman Empire. His Majesty's Government cannot therefore admit that they are entitled only to take such action in Palestine as is strictly sanctioned by Section 3 of the Hague Convention.

I will now deal with the four specific points raised by the noble Lord. First, as regards immigration, the obligations imposed on His Majesty's Government by the conditions under which Palestine was entrusted to them, made it necessary for them to initiate a policy of strictly controlled and selective Jewish immigration up to the economic absorptive, capacity of the country. It is true that in 1888 a Turkish Law was promulgated forbidding the entry into Palestine of foreign, or, indeed, Turkish Jews for a period exceeding three months. The Powers, however, never recognised the validity of this law, basing their objection on the fact that it tended to discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish nationals of foreign States, and in practice the law had been ineffective since its promulgation...

§LORD LAMINGTON My Lords, I do not quite understand from the answer of the noble Duke what is the present position of the Immigration Regulations in Palestine. I understand that those Regulations, which imposed certain discrimination as to the nationality of the Jews who were to be admitted, were a failure, and that therefore at the present time Jews of any nationality can enter Palestine, presumably under Zionist assistance. To my mind, the one question which touches not only the Arab but the Christian population of Palestine, is the question of immigration. I understand that there would be no objection to a native of Palestine returning to his home, but there is the strongest objection to having immigrants introduced there by Zionist or Jewish influence, and this is a point which weighs most heavily, I fancy, upon all those who dislike the idea of this Jewish Home in Palestine. I should therefore be glad if the noble Duke would say what is the position of the immigration of Jews into Palestine.

THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND I think I made it clear in the first part of my statement that we had initiated a policy of strictly controlled and selective immigration up to the economic absorptive capacity of the country—that is to say, not more than can be absorbed in the country are allowed to come in, and those who are able to come in are carefully examined before they are allowed to enter. No Bolsheviks, or people of that kind, are allowed to come in.
LORD LAMINGTON Are their passages paid, or do they come in by voluntary effort?
THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND May I have notice of that Question?
LORD RAGLAN Is it not a fact that a large number of these Jews are not self-supporting, but are employed on relief works, paid for by the Arab taxpayer?
THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND That, again, I should like to look into, but I doubt whether it is so.
LORD SYDENHAM May I ask whether in the four cases which I quoted in the Question, His Majesty's Government consider that the Government of Palestine were absolutely prevented from following the ordinary law of the land. Do I understand the noble Duke to say that the original Turkish Law, which rigidly regulated the introduction of Jews, had not been observed?
THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND The law which was promulgated in 1888 has never been put into force, or recognised by the Powers. It is true that it existed, but it has never been observed.
LORD SYDENHAM I take it, all the same, that it has been acted upon, because there was no great influx of Jews until we took over the country.

My notes:

[1] In a speech he delivered at a luncheon given by the Palestine Arab Delegation at the Hotel Cecil in London on 15th November, 1921 he spoke the Zionist aggression in Palestine : its objects and achievements and described the Mandate negotatiated with the Zionists as "monstrous".

and this which resonates with the theme of Canaanite Eyes, here too, and more and  Saeb Erekat's propaganda Netufians

[2] In April 1920, May 1921 and November 1921, there were murderous Arabs riots in Jerusalem, Jaffa and Petah Tikva.

[3] The debate is here.  And it includes this section:
"THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND My Lords...It is quite true that the present legal position of His Majesty's Government in Palestine is that of a power occupying enemy territory. I am advised that, from a strictly legal point of view, the action taken by His Majesty's Government, through the Palestine Government, with respect to the Patriarchate is entirely legal; that is, that it cannot be questioned by the Courts and will be validated in due course by the necessary legal processes when the military occupation comes to an end. I am informed that the Ordinance regulating the affairs of the Patriarchate is perfectly legal, in that it is an order of the High Commissioner who is in the position of a competent military authority.

On the other hand, it is perfectly true that this action goes somewhat beyond that which is recognised by international jurisprudence as the normal functions of an ordinary occupying power. But I would represent to your Lordships that His Majesty's Government. is not an "ordinary" occupying power. It has been entrusted by the Supreme Council of the Allies with the administration of Palestine, pending the coming into force of the Treaty of Sevres, and consequently considered itself authorised, and indeed bound, to set up a civil administration in the country for the purpose of discharging the usual functions of Government...According to International Law a country in foreign occupation must be administered according to its own law, but the occupying Power can modify this law by orders issued by the competent military authority, and this has been done in regard to many matters in Palestine,..
LORD PARMOOR If I may say one word in answer to the noble Duke, I thank hint very much for the detailed answer that he has given to my Question, but if we look beneath the surface I think I am not going too far if I say that he, speaking on behalf of His Majesty's Government, admits that what has been done in Palestine cannot be regarded as legal under International Law, and will have to be validated by subsequent proceedings.
THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND My reply does not admit that it is illegal action. The words I used were: "I am advised that front a strictly legal point of view the action taken by His Majesty's Government, through the Palestine Government, is entirely legal."...I... made it clear that there are powers by which the High Commissioner, representing the military authority, can modify the law. "The occupying Power can modify the law by orders issued by the competent military authority," and therefore the action taken was in that respect legal.