Friday, April 28, 2017

The Germans Wouldn't Meet

Seems the flap with Germany's Foreign Minister had a truly bizarre aspect, which, as the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports (ht JW) as does Der Spiegel had Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of 

instinctual instability (or betterextremely insensitive)

The paper continues (original German below*) that 

Gabriel had also denied [Netanyahu's] clarifying discussion after the altercation. "I wanted to call on Foreign Minister Gabriel to explain my point of view and to clean up the matter, but he declined a telephone call."

What was the official German Foreign Office explanation?  They contradicted it

According to Gabriel, Netanyahu had already offered a telephone call instead of a meeting before his cancellation, but only under two conditions: Gabriel should not participate in the meeting with the government-critical peace activists themselves, but send a representative. In addition, a formal representative of a Jewish settlement in the Palestinian territories should attend the meeting. The German side did not want to agree to this. The Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories are, from a German perspective, illegal.

Just because you presume we are "illegal" we are outside the sphere of diplomacy?  German diplomats never met illegal groups or persons? There were no "secret contacts" in the 1970s? In 1989, PLO spokesman Bassam Abu Sharif met on Oct. 16 German Foreign Ministry officials, even if Arafat was too high profile to be received then.

Let's not forget Menachem Begin's run-in with the thinking in circles of policy that Hitler’s persecution of the Jews was responsible for the creation of Israel, specifically advanced by former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who said Germany has a special responsibility toward the Palestinians because of the consequences of the Nazi era.

But that Netanyahu pushed for a meeting with a Yesha community representative is good news.


P.S.  I know see here that Gabriel said that he

rejected the cancellation of the meeting on domestic policy motives. "I think that we can not now become the game of domestic politics in Israel," he said in Jerusalem. 


Who was playing a game of domestic politics if not Germany which funds domestice NGOs that act as agents of change to please foreign state donors?


* Der israelische Regierungschef Benjamin Netanjahu hat Außenminister Sigmar Gabriel Instinktlosigkeit vorgeworfen. 

...Gabriel habe zudem ein klärendes Gespräch nach dem Eklat verweigert. "Ich wollte Außenminister Gabriel anrufen, um meinen Standpunkt zu erläutern und die Sache zu bereinigen, aber er lehnte ein Telefonat ab."  Das Auswärtige Amt widerspricht dieser Darstellung. Nach Angaben aus Gabriels Umfeld hatte Netanjahu bereits vor seiner Absage ein Telefonat statt eines Treffens angeboten, aber nur unter zwei Bedingungen: Gabriel sollte an dem Treffen mit den regierungskritischen Friedensaktivisten nicht selbst teilnehmen, sondern einen Vertreter schicken. Außerdem sollte ein förmlicher Vertreter einer jüdischen Siedlung in den Palästinensergebieten an dem Treffen teilnehmen. Darauf wollte sich die deutsche Seite nicht einlassen. Die jüdischen Siedlungen in den palästinensischen Gebieten sind aus deutscher Sicht völkerrechtswidrig.


Were We Always Building Settlements?


Or is this an anachronistic semantic exploitation of post-67 linguistics?


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don't Be Embarrassed to Wear a Kaffiyeh

There's a new initiative intended to be pro-"Palestinian":

Wear your Keffiyeh and show your support for Palestine in remembrance of the Nakba day. 



Yes, remember the kaffiyeh and the Jews - in HaShomer, Palmach and the IDF, who wore them:

They should be embarrassed:


Arms for...Eshkol

The "Feinberg" in this May 20, 1965 document snippet is Abe Feinberg, who, among other things, was President of Americans for the Hagana and organizer of Truman's "whistle-stop" tour that gained him the election (he "came up with a pledge to raise the money for a whistle stop") -

The context is the internal political fight between David Ben-Gurion and Levy Eshkol (see below).

Whether those tanks ever arrived, I do not, as yet, know but I remind you that in 1967, the US joined in on the ban for Israel to have tanks participate in the Independence Day parade, but that's another story.

In any case, America has a long history of internal interference in Israeli elections.


On the Ben-Gurion/Eshkol dispute from May 17, 1965:

The Mapai Party Secretariat, after two days of deliberations, today decided to express full confidence in Prime Minister Eshkol and to back him in his dispute with former Premier David Ben-Gurion which came to a head last week, when Ben-Gurion called Mr. Eshkol “unfit” to lead the party and the country...While superficially, Mapai seemed to be on the verge of a split, party leaders today expressed confidence that no split would develop.
...Mr. Eshkol [had] declared: “If there are members of the Government who think about me the way ‘that man’ does, I suggest they free themselves from their posts.” He added that despite the sharp attack on him, he intended to continue his policies until the end of the Government’s term.
...In addressing the Mapai Secretariat during the weekend, Premier Eshkol took up Ben-Gurion’s charge that he had opposed a renewed investigation of the Lavon Affair on grounds it would open a “Pandora’s Box” of issues involving Israel’s security activities. Ben-Gurion had said that any individual afraid of Pandoras Boxes should not be Premier even if the party’s center elected him...Also attacking Mr. Ben-Gurion, Foreign Minister Golda Meir told the Secretariat that, while there were no actual differences between the majority and the minority on the issue, there was “merciless slander and libel and personal war directed at eliminating certain comrades.”...Education Minister Zalman Aranne deplored the “evil spirit” that was hovering over the party and charged that Ben-Gurion was treating Premier Eshkol the way he treated former Premier Moshe Sharett ten years ago. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

When An American Jewish Leader Undermined Official Israel

Jacob Blaustein 

was an industrialist who was drawn into the complex world of diplomatic service. He participated in negotiations on behalf of two United States presidents, peacekeeping missions, and service at the birth of the nation of Israel. As President of the American Jewish Committee, he worked to protect the civil and religious rights of Jews and other minorities and to promote intergroup tolerance. Jacob Blaustein was a lifelong advocate for human rights and helped to promote the idea of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position that was established more than twenty years after his death in 1970.

And more relevant to the material below:

In 1950 AJC President Jacob Blaustein reached an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stating that the political allegiance of American Jews was solely to their country of residence. By the Six-Day War of 1967 AJC had become a passionate defender of the Jewish state, shedding old inhibitions to espouse the centrality of Jewish peoplehood...Before the Six-Day War in 1967, AJC was officially "non-Zionist". It had long been ambivalent about Zionism as possibly opening up Jews to the charge of dual loyalty, but it supported the creation of Israel in 1947-48, after the United States backed the partition of Palestine. It was the first American Jewish organization to open a permanent office in Israel.

According to this source, quite anti-Zionist, Blaustein made a speech in February 1948 that illustrated

the "Zionizing" of the otherwise integrated American Jewish community, and the development of inordinate American support for the State of Israel...[the] watershed February 1948 speech by chairman Jacob Blaustein — shows that the American Jewish Committee, then the nation's most influential American Jewish organization, had reluctantly supported partition of Palestine in an effort to stop escalating Jewish nationalist terrorism.  In fateful moments in America's relations with Palestine, after David Ben Gurion declared the Jewish nationalist state, the AJC kept silent on the betrayal of its ideal of nonsectarian government for all Palestinians.  This decision has reverberated in the American Jewish community since — hostage to Israeli state violence and left helpless to offer an alternative to Jewish domination of Palestine.

In April 1950, he had made another speech which clarifies his new outlook: Jews, we are concerned lest our brethren, having once found a haven in Israel, be slaughtered in another war. In addition, any military defeat of Israel would be serious not only for Israel and the Israelis, but for Jews everywhere.  
However, as he explained there, he and the AJCom were not quite pro-Zionism at that time:

...while the American Jewish Committee and the [American] Council [for Judaism] technically have a common point of view concerning world Jewish nationalism and the disastrous consequences that would result if that concept should be successfully indoctrinated among Jews in America and elsewhere, a vast difference of opinion exists as to what, for example, constitutes a 'nationalistic' statement. To us it appears that the Council's definition is so broad as to be but a rationalization of an extreme and sweeping anti-Israel position. Further, it seems we are also apart on what the American scene is like.  We frankly do not understand what the Council hopes to gain by its particular kind of publicity in the general press. They can hardly expect to influence the statements and actions of Zionists and the Israeli by such attacks. Nor can it be believed that the favor of our fellowAmericans who are not Jews will be so won. On the contrary, the latter may unfortunately be tempted to conclude: a plague on all the Jewish houses.

Blaustein held to the view that

there can be no interference by the Government of Israel in the internal affairs of American Jewry

With that background and those credentials in place, we now reread a telegram that was sent from the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State on June 6, 1964 on the subject of the Arab refugees.

At dinner last night, [US Ambassador to the United Nationas Adlai] Stevenson discussed refugee question with PM [Levy] Eshkol of Israel. After emphasizing seriousness of problem for both Israel and US in Near East and in UN, Stevenson asked what plans Israel has for dealing with problem. Eshkol replied that he fully appreciated difficulties question presented for us but that Israel had no new suggestions to advance. After expressing firm opposition to Johnson proposal he said that adding 100,000 Arabs to the 250,000 now in Israel, and assuming the present rate of Jewish immigration continued at about 30 to 35,000 per annum, the higher birth rate of Arabs would “create a Cyprus situation” within 25 years. On this assumption he estimated Arab population would become one quarter of total. Arabs will force refugees back into Palestine by various devices and he was not sure that any open-end formula could even restrict repatriation of 100,000.

While extremely cordial and appreciative of US and UN problem, his position appeared inflexible and he advanced sundry arguments as to why any increase in Arab population was hazardous for Israel, including fact that Arabs do not serve in army. Eshkol referred repeatedly to integration of many of refugees into Arab countries and left no alternative but absorption of balance by Arabs.

After Eshkol leaves, someone else enters the room:

Following his departure, Jacob Blaustein asked Stevenson if he had discussed refugee problem, adding that if formula could be devised which would limit Arab repatriation to 100,000, he felt confident GOI [Government of Israel] could be persuaded to accept it in final settlement of problem. Stevenson concluded that Eshkol's official position at least no more tractable than Ben Gurion's.

Reread this:

he felt confident GOI could be persuaded to accept it in final settlement of problem

Blaustein and the AJCom had ideological and principled opposition to a 'dual loyalty' situation and refused for decades to be identified as Zionists and waged a battle to assure Israel's non-inteference in the life of American Jewry, but when Israel put forward a policy position, an intransigent one even, Blaustein felt that he was worthy enough to suggest that Israel could be "persuaded" to change its mind.

Reflect on that.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Enemy Within: Israeli Bureaucrats

Did you read this?

The story is that

Tour operators in Israel received a letter on Sunday from the Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) asking them to sign a commitment to not bring tourists into the West Bank. 

Actually, there were two parts to that instruction.  Here's the letter:

And, as is the problem with bureaucracy - 

PIBA later said the missive was sent out in error.

And here is the form that was to be signed and returned:

The letter, dated April 23 and shown on Channel 2 Monday evening, was headed “Requirement not to take tour groups into Judea and Samaria” — the biblical name for the West Bank — and signed by Michal Yosepof, who heads the PIBA’s Border Control Department.

The letter instructs tour operators that “beginning May 15, 2017, you will be required to attach to every request for scheduling a tour group in Israel a commitment form not to enter Judea and Samaria” that must be submitted to the PIBA.

...Such a ban would prevent tourists from visiting Jewish settlements, as well as bar Christian pilgrims from important biblical sites such as Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the Jordan River.

However, Channel 2 reported that the PIBA said the letter was a mistake and was to meant focus only on areas of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority...The PIBA also told Channel 2 that it would reissue a letter to tour operators to clarify the situation in the near future.

Obviously meant to deter "solidarity tours" and showcase "Freedom Summer" visits like that of Beinart & Friends, when will Israeli officials learn to, well, think through things?  Or consult with people who know?


Monday, April 24, 2017

Germany's Two-State Solution

Here's the headline:

You would think that if it didn't work out for them, why should they force it on Israel?


Brody and the Holocaust and the Memory

If you go to this site, one of several that repeat the same basic story, you can read of Brody, then in Poland's Eastern Galicia region (now in the Ukraine), during the Holocaust and specifically this rendering: 

...At the beginning of 1943 a resistance group was organised in the ghetto. The leader was Samuel Weiler. The resistance organisation made contact with the Polish underground, a unit of the Polish People's Army from whom they obtained several guns. The Jews wanted to organise resistance in the event of the liquidation of the ghetto. Some of the members of the group decided to escape to the forest prior to the liquidation...In the Pianica forest a so-called "family camp" was organized, where 80 - 200 Jews from Brody were hidden.

The final liquidation of the ghetto occurred on 21 May 1943, in the course of which members of underground organisation opened fire on the Ukrainian policemen and Germans. Several Ukrainians were killed. The Germans set fire in the ghetto and many people were burned alive. Others were executed on the streets or in the forest near the town but in the chaos that ensued, many Jews escaped from the ghetto. Among them were some members of the resistance, led by Weiler. He survived the war in a partisan unit. Of the many people who tried to escape only a very few survived with the help of Poles and Ukrainians. In this final deportation, more than 3,000 inmates of the ghetto were probably sent to Sobibor. From the entire pre-war Jewish population of 10.000 in Brody, only 88 people survived until the liberation. 

Weiler was a member of Betar.  If you've read Moshe Arens article today, you know that the answer to the question:

Why were there two organizations and not one? 


in the ideological and political hostility that characterized the politics of the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine. 

Brody was where my mother's family lived, the Shteckler and Nadel families.  

I think the story of Weiler should be told in full:

Samuel Weiler
From Publications of the Partisan Fighters Museum,
Tel–Aviv, Tevet 5732 – December 1971
By Joseph Parvari (Leiner)

Translated by Moshe Kutten

Edited by Rafael Manory

One of the last commanders of the Beitar organization (In Hebrew the acronym for “The covenant of Yosef Trumpeldor”[1]) in Brody was Shmuel Weiler, of blessed memory, great–grandson and grandson to a Rabbinic dynasty, a graduate of the Polish Gymnasium, a handsome youth, brave and fearless, and limitlessly dedicated to the national movement.

In 1941 he was a resident of the ghetto [he was born in Vienna - YM]. Here, in Brody, despite all of the suffering and the horrible conditions in the ghetto he dreamt about rescuing his nations' honor and about raising the flag of the struggle against the invader and the oppressor of the Jews.

He was one of the few who survived the war. Based on his written testimony[2] that he provided to the Jewish Historical Institute in Krakow, one can assemble a short review of the fight of the local youth against the Nazi regime.

Shmuel Weiler, the commander of Beitar, together with several friends, including Shlomo Halbershtadt, a former member of the “Hashomer Hatzair”[3] movement, Yaakov Linder, a member of the “Komsomol” (The Communist Youth Movement) and the teacher Adolf Klar, established a fighting organization in the ghetto by the name of ZOB (Zydowska Bojowa Organizacja = The Jewish Fighting (or Combat) Organization), headed by Shmuel Weiler, which was the nucleus of the local partisan movement. The Jewish fighters contacted the Polish fighters in Lvov and asked for their help; however, the Poles refused to accept them in their ranks, and to provide any weapons. Thus, the organization, which was isolated from the outside world, decided to secure the needed financial means on its own, and to acquire the necessary weapons by purchasing it or by force. Among the few who were willing to assist the organization, was the Ukrainian Communist activist, Yashko Buraczek, a friend of the Jews, who has meanwhile passed away. The organization received the first handgun from him.

Weiler managed to contact an ethnic Pole, a soldier who served in the 45th battalion of the German army infantry (there were Poles from Pomerania, Silesia and Poznan who served in the Wehrmacht). This Pole told Weiler about the huge defeat suffered by the German forces headed by von Paulus, during the winter of 1942/43 in Stalingrad. The organization published and disseminated this and other news via leaflets. The news helped in raising the morale among the Jews and in forging their will to survive. However, the organization was not satisfied with only this type of actions. It decided to start open struggle, get out of the ghetto, and run away to the surrounding forests. They planned to join the partisans and fight against the Germans.

The organization continued its activities by performing sabotage actions. Near the village of Sukolovka, its members blew up a tar factory. Tar was a needed raw material for producing ammunition. The forced labor camp at the Sasov quarry was attacked too in order to get hold of dynamite for the production of mines. An underground member, the engineer Fauerstein, invented a mine for blowing up railroad tracks. The mine was placed about 40 kilometers from Brody between Krasna and Kolkosh stations and caused the derailment of a train locomotive, the destruction of two boxcars full of weapons and ammunition, and the death of tens of German soldiers.

Despite the harsh conditions and the never–ending lurking dangers, at every moment the fighters were also keen at preserving their cultural life even while in the forest. They organized meetings on Saturdays and evenings, in which they gave lectures on current events. Moishe'le Shapira stood out in these meetings in which he read from his poems about the Jewish people, its enemy and the fight against it.

At about the same time, it was announced that the organization was accepted into the ranks of the GL–Gwardia Ludowa–organization, the “Elite People's Guard,” the Polish underground leftist resistance organization in Lvov. The GL organization promised to provide commanders, as well as non–Jewish partisans and weapons.

When its funds had dwindled, the organization decided to rob the national bank branch in Brody. Twelve people set off to carry out this undertaking on 13th of May 1943. At noontime, the members heard that the force encountered a German army unit. A battle ensued, in which two of the group members – Bunyo and Izyu Reinhold, were slightly wounded. The group was forced to retreat toward the forest. The German succeeded in capturing two of the fighters in the swamps and they handed them over to the city gendarmerie. While their clothing were being searched, the fighters managed to draw their guns, kill a policeman and run away to the ghetto. The house in which they were hiding, was surrounded by the police force and its residents were taken out and shot to death. When the fighters saw that they do not have any hope of escape, they committed suicide.

At that point, it was clear that the time had come for an uprising. The organization called for active resistance against the oppressor. They encouraged the Jews to follow the example of Ghetto Warsaw, which fought heroically against the Germans. They appealed the people to escape to the forest and join the partisans. Many abided by the appeal. In order to sustain themselves, groups of members attacked the farms of rich “volkdeutsches” and confiscated meat and flour. They left a note in every place they raided, acknowledging the confiscation of the produce, stamped by the organization logo.

On 17th May 1943, a force consisting of two German army companies, Ukrainian police and the gendarmerie attacked a group of the organization members. The ensued battle lasted the whole day. Unfortunately, the attackers had the upper hand. Thirty Jewish warriors died a heroic death. The survivors returned to the city and hid in the attic of the ruined synagogue. The police discovered their hiding place and they were captured. After that incident, the head of the Judenrat demanded that Shmuel Weiler sign a declaration that he would not incite the youths to fight against the Germans. Weiler refused. The Judenrat then demanded that Weiler's mother sign in his name and she refused as well.

During the night of May 20/21, 1943, the ghetto was surrounded by S.S. units that arrived from Lvov, headed by Major–General Katzman, may his name be damned, and Ukrainian police forces that were mobilized from throughout the environs joined them. They entered the ghetto and forced out people from their homes and hideouts. After robbing them of everything they owned, they loaded them up on trucks and transferred them to the train station. From there they transported them in crowded and sealed boxcars to the death camp of Majdanek (one of the survivors testified later that the train bypassed the Belzac camp). Many tried to jump off the moving train, but only three managed to survive.

Miraculously, Shmuel Weiler himself survived. After the liberation by the Red Army, he and his mother moved to Poland and from there to France. In France, he continued his work in the movement and became the secretary general of the right–wing Herut–Hatzohar Union party[4]. He served as a journalist for the party's newspaper, “Herut”, in Israel and acted on behalf of and for the benefit of the state of Israel. He played a major role in organizing the weapon shipment via the ship Altalena. He served as a delegate in the Zionist congresses and visited Israel.

The author would like to mention that a group of Jewish partisans from the neighboring city of Radzivilov, was also active in the area of Brody during the conquest years (see article by Yekhiel Porochovnik in the Yizkor book for the city of Radzivilov–Sefer Radzivilov, pp. 232–250[5]. Shmuel Weiler did not mention the group in his testimony since most of their activities occurred after the extermination of the ghetto. Most of the members of this group later joined Russian units and fought in the ranks of the Red Army.

Shmuel Weiler passed away in Paris in 1962, at the age of 48, after suffering from a malignant disease. His mother, Adela Weiler transferred his body in December 1962 to Israel, and he was buried in Kiryat Shaul cemetery [near Tel Aviv. M.K]. Adela Weiler passed away in October 1971. She was a public figure and an industrious Zionist leader in Brody. She was buried near her son.

Her memory and the memory of her son would be forever bound in the bundle of the living among all of Israel heroes.

Translator's Notes

Beitar–A Revisionist Zionist youth organization founded in Riga, Latvia, by Zeev Jabotinski (the leader of the Revisionist Movement, linked to the right wing Herut Party. The organization was named after the leader of Jewish settlers in Tel–Hai, Yosef Trumpeldor, who was killed in defense of the settlement. Return
Shmuel Weiler's testimony was taken from the collection “Underground Movements in the Ghettoes and the Camps,” edited by Betty Eisenstein, 1946, published by the War Archives, the Jewish Committee in Krakow (in Polish). The testimony also appears in Brody Yizkor Book, pp. 170–174: (l) 
Hashomer Hatzair–Translated literally as “The Young Guard” is a leftist Marxist Zionist youth movement affiliated with a party by the name of Hashomer Hatzair–Workers Party of Palestine (later unified with other movements to form the leftist Mapam and Meretz parties). The organization was established in Galitzia in 1913. The movement is active today in Israel and internationally. 
Likud Party – Literally translated as “consolidation”, is a union of center–right wing parties formed by Menahem Begin. The senior party in the Likud is Herut (translated literally as “Freedom”) which was formed in 1948 as a successor to the Revisionist Irgun militant underground organization. The first union was formed in 1965 between Herut and the centrist Liberals party. Several other small parties joined in 1988.

Radzivilov's Yizkor book.

on the first day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth, 1946

In the book Ner Tamid - Yizkor L'Brody, he is mentioned, see pages 170-175, but no pictures of Betar Brody or of Weiler, which I have seen when I visited one of the editors, are included in the book!

A portion of what appears there:

Shmuel Weiler, who brings this testimony, turned to the Pole, Tadeusz Z'ak, and asked him to find out whether the Polish Fighting Organization – or the“Home Army” (“Armia Krayova”) in Lvov would agree to accept the Jewish fighters into its ranks, or, at least, maintain a contact with the Jewish organization in Brody. Z'ak returned and brought an absolute negative answer. The members of the Polish organization said that they do not want any contact with the Jews.

The Jewish youth didn't give up. It was decided to establish an organization called “The Jewish Fighting Organization” [or ZOB - Zydowska Organizacja Bojowa]. In Polish, the name of the organization begins with the word “Jewish,” and thus, it was felt that it was a separate organization that didn't receive help from any cause. Based on a suggestion by the teacher, Keller, it was decided to postpone combat operations to the following spring and use the period of fall and winter of 1942 for organization and preparation. A leadership was elected: Shlomo Halbershtadt, Yaakov Linder and Shmuel Weiler. A contact was established with the Ukrainian, Yashek Borchak, a known communist activist. The Organization was based on “trios” (troika). Meetings took place every evening. Funds were collected, weapons were acquired and bunkers were prepared. A bulletin, which publicized the news from Radio London, was published. Underground leaflets – “Gwardzistah” [Militiamen] “Neipodelgloshets” [Freedom] and “Volnoshets” [Independence] were brought from Warsaw, and leaflets of the “Polish Workers Party” (PPR) were brought from Lvov.

In December of 1942, Weiler established a contact with a soldier from the German army, a Pole from Pomeran near Poznan (The 452nd German battalion was made up of Polish residents from Poznan and Pomeran). The soldier told Wailer that twenty-two German divisions, under the command of General Paulus, encircled by the Red Army in Stalingrad. The information flowed two-ways. The Jewish organization also provided information, which was carried back t by the German soldier, to the Polish soldiers in the German battalion as well as leaflets.

A branch of the organization was also established in the labor camp where the Germans concentrated the majority of the men from the ghetto who were of working age. Meir Foyershtein, Marian Altura and Mans Klugshlager headed the group in the camp.

in February of 1943, it was decided to open operations in Brody. Two of most devoted members of the organization – Shteiner (aka “Yoshko”) and Baumvald (aka “Bunyo”), were sent to the forest to select an appropriate location for digging a shelter for a large company. They were given two handguns, shovels and provisions for the road. Six days later, the two returned and announced that they established in the forest, about 21 kilometers from the narrow-gauge railway, a bunker for twelve men,

On their return, the young men met two Jews in the forest who were sent by the Jewish Fighting Organization of Krakow to explore potential locations for partisan operations. The Krakow fighters had weapons, Aryan papers, underground literature and also a small military pharmacy. They told that they had another member with them who disappeared without a trace. They walked to Lvov on foot. In the town of Oleshko they were stopped by a Ukrainian police commander who demanded to see their identity cards. The young men shot the policeman and fled.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Whose "History" and What "Performance"

Did you read this?

8,000 Jewish settlers raid historical sites in the West Bank

Around 8,000 Israeli Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli forces, raided the village of Kifil Haris in the central West Bank city of Salfit and performed Talmudic rituals in an attempt to provoke the local Muslim population, Quds Press reported on Friday.

Kifil Haris is the proposed site  of Joshua's grave and has been visited yearly for the past 30+ years and more, organized through the Shomron Regional Council under the auspices of the IDF.


a) the historical aspect of the site is, of course, Jewish.

b) the nasty anti-Semitic trope: "performed Talmudic rituals". Jews never pray. They perform rituals. Unlike Muslims who prostrate, etc.


On Zionist 'Aggression', 1964

From the minutes of a Conversation in Washington on April 14, 1964 regarding the relations between the United States and Jordan with the participation of
His Majesty King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Dr. Hazem Nuseibeh, Minister of Court of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Anton Atallah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
His Excellency Saad Juma, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
The President
Mr. George Ball, Acting Secretary of State
Mr. Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State
Robert G. Barnes, Ambassador to Jordan
Mr. William Macomber, Assistant Administrator for Near East and South Asian Affairs, AID
Mr. Robert Komer, The White House
Mr. Rodger Davies, Director, Office of Near Eastern Affair

...Ambassador Juma said that the basic flaw in the U.S. approach is equating of the Arab states and Israel. This flies in the face of the fact that the inhabitants of Palestine are refugees, their property was destroyed, and they are living in misery. In 1947 no Arab delegate would talk with the Soviet representatives at the UN. The strong ties were with the U.S. In one single decade the basic transformation in the entire alignment of the Near East took place because of the U.S. policy toward Israel. Arabs fear that a crisis situation can arise in their relations with the U.S. unless this basic problem is faced squarely. The Ambassador pointed out that the Arabs were not previously interested in large armies or acquisition of modern arms except for parade purposes. He fears that the trend is toward reactivation of the Palestine problem rather than settlement. 

The Arabs are not opposed to Jews as members of a great religion or as a people. However, the Zionist movement is behaving in a manner which faces the Arabs with dangers. The Zionists are seeking to acquire atomic weapons to further intimidate the Arabs. As a result the Arab world is squandering precious resources in maintaining a balance of armaments. He said he thought it was high time for a new look and a reappraisal of the 1948 policy of “might vs. right”. U.S. policy now is that Israel exists and must be accepted. The Ambassador believed that the U.S. with its principles of justice and morality must take another look at the Palestine problem.  Foreign Minister Atallah said that tension was rising because of the arms problem and the expected diversion of the Jordan. Arabs know U.S. policy: Israel has been created to remain there. Arabs know the U.S. anxiety for Arab peace. For this latter, thanks are due. However, U.S. policy overlooks the price asked; the price is tantamount to Israel's retaining Arab lands illegally and no enforcement of the UN resolutions and the right of Palestinians to return to their homes. Arabs do not expect the U.S. to pick up their chestnuts but do expect support on any additional forms of aggression. Zionism is aggressive—it has designs on the Arab world. Initially seeking only a national home, this proved not enough and a Jewish state was necessary. The Jewish state quickly overran borders allotted and lines emerging from the Armistice are now becoming sanctified as the status quo. The Zionists took lands, settled aliens thereon and now are bringing more. Although all persecuted Jews have long been settled, Zionists seek other Jews for Israel. They seek them from the U.S., the USSR and Britain.

(The President was called out at this juncture for an urgent telephone call.) Clearly their aim is expansionism from the Zionist heartland. Arab refugees have no right to their home but Jews from abroad do. Israel wants more land, more water and more people.


Another Reason to Move US Consulate to Ramallah

I have always tried to emphasize that US policy vis-a-vis Jerusalem is an anomaly.

The Consulate still is not officially under the supervision of the embassy.  Its birth registration regulations are non-sensical.  Its attitude to Jews in Jerusalem and the regions of Judea and Samaria border on the segregationist and discriminatory.

Now read this:

"In the spring of 1964, as former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson was preparing for his presidential election campaign, eager to please supporters of Israel, a compromise was reached over a diplomatic controversy regarding passport stamps. It turns out that the consuls at the American consulate in Jerusalem, who reported directly to the State Department in Washington and not to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, carried a stamp in their passports with the words “Jerusalem, Palestine.” The Israeli government refused to renew their visas, but the Johnson administration dug in its heels for a year, until finding an acceptable formula that was veiled in secrecy.

The consul who had been denied a visa, Thomas Mann [?? see below*], would be issued a second passport that would bear the name Jerusalem without Palestine. Israel would issue him a visa on this passport and, based on that visa number, Mann would be allowed to enter and leave the country. But the passport would be placed in a safe in Washington and Mann would continue to carry his original passport. From then on, the U.S. State Department would desist from noting that new consuls were being posted to Palestine and would no longer use the explosive word on stamps and paperwork. In addition, a claim by Israel that the word Palestine appeared on a sign on the door of the consul’s office was refuted.

All of this was regarding West Jerusalem, which was under Israeli control even before the 1967 Six-Day War."

I remind you: the idea that the internationalization of Jerusalem, supposedly fixed in what is basically a non-document - the 1947 Partition Proposal of the UN that was a dead letter the day after it was voted on being rejected by the Arabs - still holds despite the fact that the plan itself was but to be for a ten-year period after which there was to be a referendum (see "D") is plainly nonsensical.

* As to the official's name, see this:
Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1WashingtonMarch 14, 1964, 10:48 a.m.793. Israel Embassy has been informed of Department's approval of following:
1.We accept Israel Embassy's proposal regarding Munn's passport (Deptel 774 to Tel Aviv)2 as most expedient way to resolve issue, i.e., proposal that we issue Munn second passport without designation Palestine which Israel Embassy will visa and return to Dept for disposition. GOI would then issue border-crossing permit against Israel Embassy visa number, but Munn would retain his present passport.
2.We will cease using “Palestine” in passports as place of assignment and cease issuing, renewing, or amending passports with seal bearing word “Palestine”.
3.If there are no adverse repercussions from foregoing, we will change listing of Jerusalem Consulate General in Foreign Service List so that it would be listed under Jerusalem rather than Palestine.
Dept stressed that if there is any publicity over steps 1 and 2, it would be difficult for us to carry out additional steps now contemplated to accommodate Israelis on this issue.3 Israel EmboffGazit said he would immediately refer proposal to GOI. He again asked about plaque over front door of Congen office in Israel-held Jerusalem. Is our understanding correct that plaque does not contain word “Palestine”?4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 PAL. Confidential; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Lucien L. Kinsolving; cleared by Davis, Jernegan, Stephen Campbell of IO/UNP, and Harriman's Special Assistant Frederick Chapin; and approved by Harriman. Also sent to Jerusalem and repeated to Amman.
  1. Telegram 774 to Tel Aviv, March 5, summarized an informal conversation between Davies and Israeli Minister Gazit concerning Israel's efforts to obtain U.S. agreement to drop the use of “Jerusalem, Palestine” in passports issued or renewed in Jerusalem and issued to officers stationed in Jerusalem. Davies strongly protested Israel’s refusal to honor Consul Robert H. Munn's passport, which contained this usage. (Ibid.) A chronology of discussions on this subject, dating back to February 1963, is attached to A–104 from Jerusalem, March 30. (Ibid.)
  1. Telegram 812 to Tel Aviv, March 19, stated that the Department was preparing an order for new seals for the Consulate General, all bearing the designation “Jerusalem” without the word “Palestine.” It instructed the Consulate General to begin using the new seals as soon as they arrived and at the same time to cease using the word “Palestine” on letterheads and in correspondence. (Ibid.)
  1. Telegram 316 from Jerusalem, March 15, replied that the word “Palestine” did not appear on any Consulate building. (Ibid.)

If America's Consulate is so caught up, almost exclusively, with "Palestine", move it to Ramallah.

And while we are on the subject of "Palestine", read on:

Research Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (Denney) to Acting Secretary of State Ball1Washington, May 11, 1964.RNA–12


The Search for a “Palestine Entity”

The projected conference of Palestinians now scheduled to take place in Jerusalem late in May 1964 focuses attention on various attempts of the Arabs to organize their Palestinian brethren into a group to represent the common interest. This paper has been produced in response to a request for a study of the past history and current status of the Palestine entity question.


The Arab states once again are giving prominence to plans for the establishment of some form of body to represent all the Palestine Arabs. At the Arab Summit Conference in Cairo in January 1964, Ahmad al-Shuqayri, a Palestinian long prominent in Palestine Arab affairs, was designated to organize a so-called “Palestine entity.” Thus far, Shuqayri has announced a “National Charter for Palestine” and a “Constitution of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.” These documents will be laid before a conference of Palestinians scheduled to open in Jerusalem on May 28, 1964. He has announced also the formation of a “Palestine Liberation Front” to be composed of commando units to be kept combat ready. While Shuqayri has been attempting to gain support for this Charter and for the establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestine Liberation Front, his rivals, notably Hajj Amin al-Husayni, have been organizing to oppose these schemes with the support of Arab states opposed to Nasser. The current endeavor to create a Palestine Entity, like previous attempts, seems destined to become a victim of the continuing struggle for power among Palestine Arab leaders and of the contest over the balance of power in the Arab world.

And we'll add this December 1965 memo, too:

...Formation of the Palestine Liberation Organization is the latest of several attempts to provide a political focus for the refugees, and it has the nominal backing of the Arab League. At the same time, however, two independent terrorist groups seem to be trying to trigger incidents which would bring the Arab states into military action against Israel.

Jordanian King Husayn opposes either approach to eliminating Israeli rule because his country is the Arab state most exposed to any Israeli reprisal. Moreover, Jordan includes part of Palestine and is the haven for half of the refugees, and Husayn is wary of pro-Nasir subversion among Jordan’s Palestinians. Syria, on the other hand, whose support of the terrorism offers greater provocation to the Israelis, enjoys the advantage of being more difficult to retaliate against.

Although Nasir, like Husayn, seems anxious to avoid any escalation of the sporadic border incidents, these Palestine-Arab activities could, with little advance notice, lead to the largest Arab-Israeli clashes since Suez.

There are of course fundamental differences between the PLO's views of the Palestine problem and our own. We are as a matter of national policy committed to support the continued existence of Israel; PLO officials repeatedly have declared it is that organization's aim to see the state of Israel destroyed. We are committed to a peaceful solution of the whole complex of Palestine issues; the PLO's declared policies increasingly indicate it sees no alternative to solving these problems than by force of arms...We believe that productive relations can be established between PLO members and USG officers. We do not believe that we should undertake any kind of broad-scale campaign to establish such relations, but neither should we ignore opportunities as might present themselves. Such relations we believe are another way of demonstrating to the Palestinians and other Arabs our continuing friendship for the Palestinian people. There is of course the possibility of acquiring useful intelligence... If PLO officials wish to call at USG offices they should be received at a subordinate level. Officers should not attend official PLO functions. There is no objection, however, to US officers’ attendance of small, informal functions given by PLO officers or ones at which the latter are present, even as guests of honor.

Officers may where appropriate maintain unostentatious personal contact with PLO officials. They may attend official host country functions at which PLO officials are present, though not ones at which they are guests of honor.


Mr. Jones stated that the Department of State was unable to maintain formal relations with the Palestine Liberation Organization. On the legal side, it did not represent a sovereign entity. On the practical side, it was widely regarded in the United States as an organization dedicated to terminating the existence of a state that we recognized. Naqib suggested that the Department view the PLO as an organization dedicated to promoting the rights of the Palestinians. Mr. Jones said that on that basis he would be pleased to provide any personal assistance to Mr.Naqib.


I continued searching and found this amazing reflection from Luke Battle * in the situation described above on the removal of "Jerusalem, Palestine" characterization:

Letter From the Ambassador to the United Arab Republic (Battle) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs (Talbot)Cairo, October 27, 1964.

Dear Phil:

I did not want to let Ridge Knight's letter and memorandum of October 162 go by without some comment.

I think Ridge's basic thesis is right. The United States is apparently a helpless witness to Israel's inexorable drive not only to gain full sovereignty over the demilitarized zones but to “remilitarize” them. Therefore we get bogged down in details—“Black lines,” “Brown lines,” etc.—and end up assisting the Israelis in a process which is a clear violation of the letter and spirit of the Armistice Agreement and of the UN Charter. What should add to the Syrians' apprehensions re Israel intentions and latent U.S. support for them is the fact that the Israelis in 1955 possessed themselves of the Nitzana demilitarized zone on the Egyptian-Israel armistice line and now operate that region in fee simple with none to protest the presence of Israel armed forces there.

We are unable to persuade Israel to return to the Israel-Syrian Mixed Armistice Commission so we get directly involved in the details of General Odd Bull's informal negotiations with the parties. We have been unable to persuade the Israelis to withdraw their unilateral denunciation of the Egyptian-Israel Armistice Agreement so we involve ourselves in the details of financing and administering the United Nations Emergency Force.

We are unable to formalize the international community's very real interest in Jerusalem. Under Israeli pressure, we have now removed the designation “Jerusalem, Palestine” from our directories. Maybe this was the right thing to do. Maybe Jerusalem will just disappear. Maybe the next change in the Foreign Service List will be to call Israel-occupied Jerusalem “East Tel Aviv.”

We are unable to obtain Israel compliance with UN resolutions calling for the repatriation and compensation of the refugees. Therefore we natter at UNRWA to prune its lists and cut expenses and keep reminding the Arab host governments that it is American bounty that keeps the unfortunate refugees alive.
The above picture is not very pleasant. It is compounded by the fact that Israel and its friends in the United States have been able to establish widespread credence in an upside-down world where Syria is the trigger happy party in the demilitarized zones, Nasser is dedicated to the destruction of “peace-loving” Israel, and the plight of the Arab refugees is somehow the fault of the Arab host governments.

All the above is said neither in sorrow nor in anger...

Most of this criticism goes back to the era of the 1940's when it was quite true that almost all Middle Eastern experts who looked at the question of our relations and our basic interests in the Arab world believed that the Israelis, or rather that the creation of Israel, would have a very detrimental effect on Western and U.S. relations with the Arab world. And that while the plight of the Jewish people around the world was an extremely unfortunate one, that the Arabs had certainly as much legal right as the Israelis to Palestine. The sad thing about this issue is, in my own humble opinion, that both sides have an almost unassailable moral and legal case. The validity of either case hinges on when you begin the discussion. If you go back far enough, you can make a very compelling case for the Israelis; it depends on when you start, and it's a case on which justice and injustice is clear on both sides, and there is no answer at this stage, in my judgment, except to accept the verdict of history and to support the continued existence of Israel. Now, this does not necessarily mean that this should involve us in any support from a military point of view nor with American manpower. That decision has to be made by the President of the United States and in the context of the situation that exists at the time when this issue comes to the front. Now, if we have another round of hostilities—I'm supposed to talk of history and not the future—but if we have another round of hostilities, serious hostilities in the Middle East, which at the moment appears quite likely, the President will have to decide in the light of the situation then existing whether he believes that he should because of the threat of the Russians, or because of the Russian involvement on behalf of the Arabs, or what have you. He has to decide then how far we will go. We are not committed; we have no commitment to come to the military defense of the Israelis; we have a general commitment to the territorial integrity of all the countries in the area