Sunday, September 30, 2018

"Settlements" That Break "Contiguity" and "Demographics"?

Is Israel the only country accused of establishing "settlements", taking into consideration "demographics" and such?


(But I admit, I cannot figure out if their "right bank" is west or west though).

The book tells of an elaborate plan, prepared in the Mahaweli ministry by, T.H.Karunatillake, Director, Planning and B.H.Hemapriya, media consultant, Mahaweli ministry,  with Gunaratne joining in, to  stop the forward march of Eelam. The plan was prepared in the beginning of 1983, a few months before the July riots, in strict secrecy so that the Tamil officers working in the Ministry would not hear of it.

The plan had two stages. The first stage was to establish Sinhala settlements in the river basins of Maduru Oya, Yan Oya and Malwatu Oya, with each settlement extending right to the sea. The Maduru Oya settlement would break the contiguity between Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts.  The Yan Oya settlement would sever the link between Trincomalee and Mullaitivu districts.  The Malwatu Oya settlement would fracture the connection between Mannar and Puttalam districts.

The second phase of the plan was to make use of the demographic change brought about by the Sinhala settlements and redraw the provincial map of Sri Lanka.  The boundaries of four provinces, Northern Province, North Central Province, North Western Province and Eastern Provinces would be redrawn, to create five provinces out of them.  The new province that would be created would be named North Eastern Province...

This redrawing of districts would leave only the Northern Province as the Tamil majority province.  The rest of the north and east would be converted to Sinhala majority provinces.  The southern point of the Tamil majority Northern Province would be Mankulam, observed T. Sabaratnam.

When Gunaratne was working in the Mahaweli Ministry, in the 1980s Ven. Kitalagama Sri Seelalankara, chief Incumbent of the Dimbulagala Temple (Dimbulagala Hamuduruvo,”) had come to Gunaratne‘s office in Colombo and said ‘while you people are seated in these big offices, separatist Tamils are mounting massive encroachment on the Mahaweli at the Maduru Oya, on the right bank, from the Batticaloa area. They are altering district boundaries, giving Tamil names to Sinhala villages and also changing the names of Sinhala people.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Stickball in Queens

I started this at a Facebook post and am expanding

My wife put in a DVD of the movie "Field of Dreams" which includes director's comments, etc. from which I learned the film's pull for fathers-and-sons relationships. So, here goes my father-son baseball story.
My swing was not that good at a certain period. While I did play some Little League (my best was a triple), most of our game was actually stickball with a Spaulding on 204th Street in Queens.  Our building at Holliswood's Hilltop Village Co-ops was the Hampshire, the one on the left of 204th:

Our apartment overlooked the street (outlined in blue; l-r: living room, kitchen, bathroom, my and my sister's room, parents' room)

Hitting and running was done with an eye on the traffic that incessantly kept turning of Francis Lewis Boulevard. We played in front of my building in the Holliswood Co-op and I'm posting one snap of where home base was (a manhole), 

another stree scene with, again, our 2nd floor apartment (outlined in blue) overlooking the "field", 

and you can see Francis Lewis in the background and there's another, showing the length of the street (and a black arrow pointing to "second base") where my longest shot fell, marked by a white arrow. 

before it really curved to the left and continued all the way down (and where we ice-sledded)

It was at the entrance of the "B" side of the next building and luckily did not strike any of the women at the Laundry Room. 

My father was a "three manhole" hitter in the South Bronx and actually once took me to where he played on one of my trips back from Israel (his older brother was in charge of a miniature golf set-up there). I can't remember where that was now but when we were there, the landscape sort of reminded me of Berlin after the war as there were a lot of boarded-up places and empty lots. I myself lived on Faile Street until 1954 when we moved to Queens.
To get to the point, we were spending most of the summer at my Aunt & Uncle's summer place which was my uncle's father's house on Beach 65th Street in Arverne at the Rockaways maybe 200 meters from the beach. I asked him to help me and coach my swing to improve it. We both walked out towards the beach where there was quite a large parking lot (the area drew thousands on weekends). It was mostly empty and my father positioned me with the broom handle (the "stick") and walked back, turned and said, "so, let's see what's wrong."
He pitched and I connected. The ball flew high out of the parking lot and across the street. Now, you may think I was ecstatically excited at my success but I wasn't. I was extremely shamed that I had brought my father out in the heat with, he perhaps thought, was a false story. Not to mention I now had to run out and hopefully find it.
To his credit, my father sort of smiled and asked, "are you sure you need the practice?'


After posting this, I did some research and the results:

a contemporary map location

one from 1898 way before serious housing development:

and a 1923 map which displays what we called "the back", the private home located between Francis Lewis and 188th Street where we road our bikes and didn't become a real Jewish neighborhood until the 1980s:

My primary school was P.S. 135, now the Belaire School.

Junior High was J.H.S. 109

In 1960, after having skipped 8th grade, I entered Yeshivat Chofetz Chaim (Yeshiva Preparatory High School) then on Kessel Street, Forest Hills to where it moved in 1955

and from where I graduated in 1964, after participating in the beginnings of the Rabbis' Sons as I was in the class with Dovid Nulman with Burry Chait a year above together with Barry Septimus and others.

On my old neighborhood and environs:

The Grand Central Parkway on top and the Hillside Avenue below mark the length of Holliswood, which lies between the Francis Lewis Boulevard on its right and 188th Street as the Western limit. The area started out as farmland, and is just north of the site of a famous Revolutionary War incident in which an American general Nathaniel Woodhull was wounded and imprisoned in an Inn by the British for refusing to say “God Save the King.”  

(In October 1775 Woodhull was made brigadier general of the Suffolk and Queen's County militia. In August 1776, on the eve of the Battle of Long Island, Woodhull's militia was detailed to drive livestock east to prevent its falling into British hands. Woodhull's troops had driven 1,400 cattle out onto the Hempstead Plains and with 300 more ready to go. A severe thunderstorm drove the general to take refuge in a tavern run by Increase Carpenter, about two miles east of Jamaica in what is now Hollis. Relief was not forthcoming, and his situation deteriorated.

Woodhull was captured near Jamaica, at an inn at 197th Street and Jamaica Avenue, by a detachment of Fraser's Highlanders led by captain Sir James Baird. He was struck with a sword multiple times, injuring his arm and head by a British officer purportedly for not saying, "God save the King", as ordered, saying instead "God save us all". He was taken to a cattle transport, serving as a prison ship in Gravesend Bay.)

In 1884 Frederick W. Dunton, the nephew of the first president of the Long Island Railroad, was traveling East and he admired from his railroad car window the green and rolling hills of what is now Hollis and Holliswood. He purchased 136 acres of farmland and divided it into lots for sale. He laid out the curving streets of Holliswood and gave them Latin or Spanish names, such as Rio, Como, Marengo, etc.  Epsom Course, oval shaped, was built by Mr. Dunton as a trotting race course. Many famous trotters were seen on its turf. The nearby development of Hollis Park Gardens, built in 1906, stretched between 192nd and 195th streets between Jamaica and Hillside avenues.

For himself he reserved a big lot at the southern edge of Holliswood on Dunton Avenue and built a big and beautiful mansion called Hollis Hall with views all the way to the ocean.

The area developed slowly into a comfortable middle-class neighborhood. Because of its location, Hollis attracted a large number of people who commuted to Manhattan to work.  Carpenter’s Tavern, the place where General Woodhull was captured, was replaced by housing in 1921. The neighborhood continued to grow as stately Victorian houses were built along Woodhull Avenue between 188th and 198th streets. Starting in 1922, many new streets were laid out between Hillside and Jamaica Avenues and tract houses were built by the hundreds. Hollis had become a fully built up community by World War II. It even experienced a bit of scandal now and then, as when Hollis Hall, Dunton’s old home in Holliswood, allegedly became a speakeasy during Prohibition. (An apartment complex stands in that spot today.) Hollis grew slowly and steadily, from 4,000 people in the 1920s to 31,000 people today. Some of the first homes ever built by mega-developer Fred Trump, the father of Donald, were in this neighborhood and still stand today. 

After Mr. Dunton’s death, Hollis Hall was sold and became a restaurant named Brown’s Chop House. It was reported to have been a speakeasy during prohibition.

When prohibition ended, Brown’s Chop House was torn down. The hill on which it stood was leveled, and our garden apartment complex, the modern day Holliswood Garden Apartments, were erected in 1949.  


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Anti-Semitism in UK Parliamnet

No, not today.

July 31, 1946.

Here is MP Richard Crossman commenting in the debate following the King David explosion:

May I turn to General Barker?(*)                                                                              I am not so much concerned with him as with anti-Semitism. I was a little shocked at the roars of applause on the Benches opposite when the right hon. Member for West Bristol defended General Barker from the point of view that there was a great strain in Palestine, and that little errors of tact must be explained or excused. When one's troops are doing a military operation against the Jewish people, the danger of anti-Semitism is extraordinarily high. The natural instinct is to dislike the race or people one isfighting. There is an inclination rather to have it out with the Jewish community than to limit one's hatred to terrorism. This is a natural inclination, and it is all-important that the men at the top should give no sign of countenance, by word or praise, to support anti-Semitism. They should not officially give those under their command the feeling that it will not be ruthlessly penalised.

We are living in a strange world. I spent 120 days meeting and talking with Jews and others in Palestine, and elsewhere. I became aware of the deep unconscious anti-Semitism which there is in us, a virus, a poison which has been put into us by Hitler. I became more aware of it last Monday, when I listened to a moving Debate on Germany, in which I heard hon. Members advocating that Habeas Corpus must be given back to S.S. men; that it was impossible, as two hon. Members said, to indict a whole people. One even said that to indict an organisation was impossible. One Member said, "After all, liberty means liberty to be a Nazi." Those are sound sentiments. But I thought it a monstrous irony that a year after the war has finished hon. Members are making speeches forgiving the nation which killed six million Jews and pleading from all sides of the House that we should be fair to the Germans at a moment when they are condoning the removal of Habeas Corpus altogether in Palestine. There has not been a right to Habeas Corpus for any Jew or Arab in Palestine since the emergency regulations were introduced. They have been living under a more ruthless form of dictatorship in Palestine than the people living in the control division of Germany or Austria.


and here

Who Was Responsible for the Results of the King David Operation?

The words of Richard Crossman, MP for Coventry, East, House of Parliament, July 31, 1946:

I think it was 12 months ago that the Hagana came to the police authorities in Jerusalem and told them (*) that the Irgun had developed a new rocket weapon for shooting at the King David Hotel. The pipes, from which the rockets were to be shot, were placed in a field 400 to 500 yards from the King David Hotel in a position so deep in the earth that they could not be seen. It was thought that there were two bombs there. The British police, I believe, sent out mine detectors, but failed to find the bombs with mine detectors. They came back to the Hagana and asked for more accurate information. The Hagana thereon, with great risk to themselves, kidnapped a member of the Irgun and extracted from him—by means which I cannot indicate, as I do not know them—the precise location of one of these things. With the British, they discovered the thing, and took it to pieces. I am told that the British G.O.C. admired the mechanical ingenuity of the instrument. That particular outrage was in fact prevented owing to the assistance given to the British by the Hagana intelligence service. I am putting these things forward for check. I do not know whether they are wholly true.

I am also told that on no less than three occasions since the discovery of the V3, as the rockets were nicknamed, the Hagana intelligence have warned, and repeated their warning to the British security that the King David Hotel would, one day, have an assault from the inside, and that better security should be employed by the police and military there. All these warnings were disregarded at a moment when all the Hagana were locked up, and the terrorists of the Irgun were given a free hand. No further security was imposed on the King David Hotel, and the kitchens and night club were left inadequately guarded. In considering the responsibility for this terrible outrage, part of it, at least, must rest with those concerned with security. It is time one said this. A partial responsibility rests on anyone who knows the King David Hotel and left it, in this time of crisis, in this unguarded condition.


The information was communicated by Teddy Kollek.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

On Disproportionality - on British Television

I think I found an early reference to the fiendish "disproportionality" blame against Israel.

I am sure if I went back to the 1950s and review the diplomatic chatter, it would be there too but this one is from an episode of "Yes, Prime Minister" entitled "A Victory for Democracy".

I've included some of the rest from the script as it was just delightful:

The Arabs have put down a motion at the United Nations condemning Israel.

- Naturally, we'll vote on the Arab side.

- Naturally.

- But I gather the PM wants us to abstain.

- Surely not! Why?

- Something about the PLO starting it this time, faults on both sides.

- Sentimental nonsense.  Sucking up to the Americans, as always...

... - I gather we're proposing to vote against Israel in the UN tonight.

- Why?

- They bombed the PLO.

- But the Israelis dropped more bombs!

- The PLO started it!

- No, they didn't.

- It seems to me there are faults on both sides.

- Not according to my advice.

- America is worried. They want us to abstain.

- I don't think we could do that. The Foreign Office wouldn't wear it.

- Are they here to follow our instructions or are we to follow theirs?

- Now, don't be silly...

...- Then there's the U.N. vote on Israel tonight. The Americans want us to abstain. It's a question of maintaining our relationship with the Arabs. The power of Islam. Oil supplies.

- I'm talking about what's right and wrong.

- Well, don't let the Foreign Office hear you.

- If you insist on an even-handed approach, the Foreign Office might agree to abstaining, so long as you authorise our man there to make a powerful speech attacking Zionism.

- Surely we should promote peace, harmony, goodwill.

- Well, it would be most unusual.

- The U.N. is the accepted forum for the expression of international hatred...

...- Luke! Have you read this? We voted against Israel in the U.N. last night!

- Yes, Prime Minister.

- But I gave express instructions to abstain.

- I think not.

- I said I felt very strongly that we should not take sides.

- The Foreign Secretary noted your feeling.

- But did nothing about it!

- With respect, he did. He asked our U.N. ambassador if we should consider abstaining.

- What did HE do?

- He said no.

- You mean the Foreign Office can simply ignore the Prime Minister?!

- Certainly not, Prime Minister. They take full account of you when coming to their decision, but events move rapidly. There were important factors in our relationship with the Arabs that were not known to you when you took your view. We couldn't get through to you in time.

- I am on the phone, you know.

- It wasn't sufficiently important to wake you.

- It was! The White House will do its nut!

- You could be telephoned before every U.N. vote, but there are two or three a night.

- What can I do to reverse this?

- Nothing.

- That would be most embarrassing. Once stated, policy can't be retracted.

- I'd like to talk to the Israeli ambassador.

- I think not, Prime Minister.

- I want to talk to the Israeli ambassador.

- If I may say so, it would be rather unwise.

- Luke! Can you hear me? Watch my lips! I want to talk to the Israeli ambassador! 

- Of course, Prime Minister, if that is your wish. I will contact the Foreign Secretary and then telephone..

- I don't want the Foreign Secretary!

- Prime Minister, it would be most improper to see him without the Foreign Secretary present.

- Why? What do you think I want to talk about?

- Presumably the vote at the U.N.

- That would be most improper.

- Oh.

- My daughter Lucy wishes to spend her next long vacation on a kibbutz. Or I should say, as she's at the University of Sussex, another kibbutz.

- I see

- The ambassador and I were at the LSE. I thought I'd invite him to the flat tonight for a drink.

last night! - Yes, Prime Minister.
- But I gave express instructions to abstain.
- I think not.
I said I felt very strongly that we should not take sides.
- The Foreign Secretary noted your feeling.
- But did nothing about it! With respect, he did.
He asked our U.
ambassador if we should consider abstaining.
- What did HE do? - He said no.
You mean the Foreign Office can simply ignore the Prime Minister?! Certainly not, Prime Minister.
They take full account of you when coming to their decision, but events move rapidly.
There were important factors in our relationship with the Arabs that were not known to you when you took your view.
We couldn't get through to you in time.

Read more:
Anything else? Yes, I gather we're proposing to vote against Israel in the UN tonight.
Why? - They bombed the PLO.
- The PLO bombed Israel.
- But the Israelis dropped more bombs! - The PLO started it! - No, they didn't.
- It seems to me there are faults on both sides.
- Not according to my advice.

Read more:

Friday, September 21, 2018

Jewish Palestine Refugees - I Am Corrected

For years I have trying to promote the simple historical fact that Jews were also Palestine refugees.

(For previous posts see here; and here)

As per UNRWA's own definition, that Agency has decided that a refugee is a needy person, who, as a result of the war in Palestine, has lost his home and his means of livelihood

Arabs and Jews, both.

How "Palestinian refugee" crept in there I do not fully know.

But how many Jews.

My figure, based on what I read was between 17,000 to 20,000.

I was a minimalist.

Benny Morris’s book "1948 A History of The First Arab Israeli War", puts the number of Jewish refugees at 70,000.

According to a new book mentioned in the JPost, the number is at least 60,000 Jewish refugees.

The book, published in Hebrew

is titled "Jewish Refugees in Israel's War of Independence" and is authored by Nurit Cohen-Levinovsky who holds a PhD in history and heads the Educational Department at the Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Center in Tel Aviv.

As David Shayne notes,

according to Dr. Levinovsky, some 97 Jewish villages were attacked and damaged: 11 of these were destroyed entirely, 6 were conquered and lost – until after the 1967 Six Day War, when those conquered were re-established...Fully one quarter of Jerusalem’s Jews fled, mostly to the relative safety of the coastal plain.

Jerusalem's Jewish population numbered 100,000 in 1948. 

I stand corrected.

But I correct the record: as a result of the Arab terror ethnic cleansing campaign of 1920-1947, the true number of Jews who became refugees during the Mandate era, even if UNRWA limits the term "refugee" to the 1946-1948 period, is several thousands more, as we need include those who were driven out of Hebron, Gaza, Shchem, Jenin, Jericho, Tul Karem and Jerusalem.

The exodus from the Old City began in 1920, increased after Nov. 1921, after August 1929 and then during 1936-39 all due to Arab rioting and terror.
We know the British forced Jews out too.
At the beginning of the 20th century, 20,000 Jews lived in the Old City. In 1948, 1700 were left.
Thousands of Jaffa's Jews were forced out due to most of the same circumstances (in 1936, 10,000 Jews still lived in Jaffa. In 1920, 8740 Jews lived in Jaffa, by the British count, and that number increased until 1929.

Hundreds of Jews from Hebron.




Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Again, "Palestinian Nationality"

The soldiers forced their way in and began questioning Bayan while searching for documents. One officer found her husband’s old Palestinian passport, from his childhood in Jaffa, where he was born and raised during the British Mandate. The soldiers were amazed as they looked through its pages.
“Your reaction is no surprise to me. I am sure you have never seen such a document,” Bayan told them. “As you can see, the text is written in all three languages: Arabic, English, and Hebrew. It comes from the time when Palestine had enough room for everyone, regardless of his religion or sect.”
The soldiers confiscated the cherished passport, despite Bayan’s attempts to get it back, as she recounted tearfully to her husband when they were reunited some days later. In his memoirs, Shafiq al-Hout recalled the incident with obvious pain, conveying a message from the story, “that the Zionists’ perpetual objective is the elimination of Palestinian national identity. Why else would they insist on continuing to eradicate all physical, spiritual, and cultural trace of our presence in Palestine?”

The simple facts are

a. Arabs residing in the area of the Palestine Mandate viewed themselves as Southern Syrians as "Palestine" was part of Syria, they claimed. 

b. They demanded, into the mid-1920s, to dissolve the British Mandate and that the area by rejoined to Syria and continued, into the mid-1930s, to write about they being properly Syrians.

c. "Palestinian nationality" came to be as a result of the Jewish and Zionist claim to the area. Note the language of Article 7 of the Mandate decision:-

The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.

I've touched on this topic previously, here and here and will recap.

If anything the concept of a "nationality" and a "citizenship", specifically of "Palestinians", was invented by/for the Jews, not the Arabs.

It was created, fashioned and conceived, at least on the Jewish side, which over many centuries, viewed themselves as belonging to a very specific country, whose boundaries are delineated in Biblical and Talmudic texts scores of centuries earlier.  And these texts were not some ancient dead letter but they were studied, at least weekly, all throughout the Diaspora existence and Jews were very much aware of this element of what we call 'identity'.

The international legal process - via the Balfour Declaration, the Versailles Peace Conference deliberations, the San Remo Conference decisions and those of the League of Nations between 1917-1922,  - all declined, studiously, to mention Arabs in the context of the country called Palestine.  They were included in a group called "non-Jews".


Sunday, September 16, 2018

I Am Temple Mount Confused

On August 25, this news item appeared (and via Google Translate):-

Jerusalem is warning Israel after an Israeli court ordered Jews to pray at al-Aqsa

The story:

The Islamic Waqf (Islamic Endowments) Department in Jerusalem on Saturday warned Israel against taking any decision that would harm the Islam of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by allowing non-Muslims to pray there.

Wow. How destructive can pray be?

A lot less than emptying out the southern section and dumping archaeological and historical remains, I would suggest.

The ministry said in a statement that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the 144-acre Haram al-Sharif Mosque and all the roads leading to it, an Islamic mosque and an authentic part of the faith of all Muslims.

But why exclusive? Is not Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs shared?

The Department of Awqaf said that this statement comes after the various media outlets yesterday reported that the Israeli High Court demanded that the Israeli police and other government bodies provide reasons behind the continued prevention of Jewish extremists from breaking into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the performance of the prayers there.
In its statement, the Supreme Court of Israel, the highest judicial body in the government of Israel, granted 60 days to respond to the reasons for preventing Jewish extremists from performing Talmudic prayers in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
...Israel allows non-Muslims to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque at specific times without praying there.
According to a statement issued by the Awqaf Department, Al-Aqsa Mosque will not be subject to any laws of the land, and the Israeli court has no jurisdiction over the mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque squares witnessed clashes between worshipers and Israeli police during the last period, which led to the closure of the gates of the mosque, forcing the worshipers to pray on its gates before being reopened later.

Clashes? Or attacks by Waqf guards and other Muslims on innocent Jews and non-Jews?

Am I confused or is the Waqf trying to confuse us all?



Now the answer was published:

In a speech before the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on September 15, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas claimed that Israel was seeking to copy the example of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in different sections.
Abbas did not say what his lie was based on. He also did not provide any evidence of Israel's ostensible plot against the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said, nevertheless, that the Palestinians, together with Jordan, were planning to bring this issue before the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
Abbas's allegation was quickly picked up by several media outlets in the Arab world, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The headlines that appeared on websites affiliated with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, claimed that Israel is planning to permit Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Needless to say, there is no Israeli plan to allow Jews to pray inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, in the past few years Jews, like all other non-Muslims, have been allowed to resume their perfectly legal visits to the Temple Mount. Thousands of Jews have toured the holy site under police protection, despite provocations and violent attacks by Muslims. It is worth noting that any kind of prayer of "religious displays" by Jews or Christians anywhere on the Temple Mount are completely forbidden by the Israel Police.
Why is Abbas's false accusation significant and dangerous? Hours after reports were published of Abbas's allegation, a 17-year-old Palestinian from the town of Yatta in the southern West Bank fatally stabbed Ari Fuld, a 45-year-old Israeli-American citizen and father of four, in a shopping center in Gush Etzion, south of Bethlehem.
According to Palestinian terrorist groups, the terrorist, Khalil Jabarin, decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli "crimes" against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular and Islamic holy sites in general.


Thursday, September 13, 2018

They Meant Well

In a letter to the Irish Times, Jackie Goodall, the Director of the Ireland Israel Alliance, while dealing with the British Labour Party’s anti-Semitism controversy, includes this bit of history-in-error:

It should be remembered that the modern state of Israel was not created as a response to the Nazi genocide. The initial immigration of Jewish refugees to Palestine began in 1882, with a second wave returning just prior to the first World War, both as a direct result of vicious persecution.

The first sentence is quite true.

But why begin the theme of "initial immigration" with "refugees"?

As I have detailed (eight years ago), the Jews were always either in the Land of Israel or going to it, or being expelled from it, all throughout the centuries of dispersion and loss of political independence while being ruled by foreign conquerors and occupiers.  They were there because they believed they were commanded to be there, because they viewed that territory as their national patrimony and, based on that reality, as appears in the League of Nations Mandate decision,

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country

the establishment of the Jewish national home and the development of self-governing institutions are to be secured.

I wish to inform our Irish friends and supporters that Jews immigrated to then Palestine as did the students of the Vilna Gaon in 1808-09;  in 1838, Hungarian Jews immigrate; in 1777 over 300 Chassidim immigrate; during 1740-50 thousands immigrate to Eretz Yisrael under the influence of Messianic predictions of Rabbi Moses Haim Luzzatto and Kabbalist Rabbi Haim ben Attar; in 1855, Moses Montefiore bought land for agricultural purposes and acquired Mishkenot Sha’ananim, outside of the old city walls in Jerusalem for residential purposes.

This list is long - mine is over 12 pages long - but the point is that Jews repatriated themselves back to their homeland, mostly out of religious or ideological motives. Yes, after the Russian pogroms, the need to flee lands of dispersion became more pronounced.

Zionism is not a movement reflective of negativity - of pogroms, persecution and the like.  It is a most positive Jewish force.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

An Exercise in Deconstruction

Deconstruction is a literary term indicating "a critique of the relationship between text and meaning ".

I found this poem, "Everything in Our World Did Not Seem to Fit" by Naomi Shihab Nye here.  It is an example of "new Palestinian poetry".  Excuse me, "Arab Palestinian poetry". Ms. Nye's family roots are in Sinjil, just down the road from Shiloh where I live.

I realized that here poem is a literal work of deconstruction - of history, of Jewish national identity, of politics and of simple rational logic.

The poem:

Once they started invading us.
Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines,
pushing us into tiny places.
It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.
To this day they pretend it was.
But it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.
You don’t think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can’t go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.
Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for years.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.
LIFE magazine said,
“It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses.”
Surprising? Where else would we be?
Up in the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else’s need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in? No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently. But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

Let's deconstruct that literary work.

Once they started invading us.

Actually, the Arabs invaded Eretz-Yisrael in 638 CE. Moreover, despite the loss of political independence, Jews continued to reside in the Land of Israel, if in small numbers depending on the conditions and crcumstances of the various occupiers.

Taking our houses and trees, drawing lines,
pushing us into tiny places.

Throughout the Zionist resettlement enterprise, almost all the land was purchased from its owners.

It wasn’t a bargain or deal or even a real war.

The Arab terror war against Jews in 1920, 1921, 1929, 1936-1939 and the 1947 war was real as were the fedyeen and the PLO's launching in 1964.

To this day they pretend it was.

No. Arabs pretend.

But it was something else.
We were sorry what happened to them but
we had nothing to do with it.

If you mean the Holocaust, your leader, Haj Amin Al-Husseini surely did.

You don’t think what a little plot of land means
till someone takes it and you can’t go back.
Your feet still want to walk there.

You mean what was done to the Jews of Hebron, Gaza, Jerusalem's Old City and neighborhoods like Shimon HaTzaddik, Atarot or Gush Etzion?  What was a campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Now you are drifting worse
than homeless dust, very lost feeling.
I cried even to think of our hallway,
cool stone passage inside the door.
Nothing would fit for years.
They came with guns, uniforms, declarations.

We wouldn't have arrived if King Hussein had not fired artillery shells into Israel or invaded its territory in Jerusalem.

LIFE magazine said,
“It was surprising to find some Arabs still in their houses.”
Surprising? Where else would we be?
Up in the hillsides?
Conversing with mint and sheep, digging in dirt?
Why was someone else’s need for a home
greater than our own need for our own homes
we were already living in? No one has ever been able
to explain this sufficiently. But they find
a lot of other things to talk about.

We had no 'need for a home'. It was the Arabs who decided we Jews should have no home.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Arabs-called-Palestinians and De-Nazification

As I was saying goodbye to a group of students who had come to Shiloh to hear the 'other side' of the story, an accompanying adult pressed me as to how I saw the future.

I informed him that one of the central elements of the Arab conflict with Israel and Zionism was the inability of the Arabs, it seemed to me, to acknowledge any Jewish national identity in this area. Moreover, with no such groups as a "Peace Now" or "Yesh Din" within the Arab society, without pro-Israel demonstrations in Ramallah and Hebron, the extreme inequality of the populations and their perceptions make the situation worse. In addition, as a result of 25 years of the Oslo Process with the establishment of a "Palestinian Authority", today's 25-year old Arab's thinking has been conditioned by the educational system Arafat and Abbas created.  That system, as has been documented, has inculcated the very worse of the 1920s and 1930s Mufti-thinking along with erasing Israel from maps, calling Jews dogs, inciting to violence and terrorism, glorifying such and excluding any educational programming that would facilitate coexistence, if not peace.

The very first thing I'd suggest is dealing with this younger generation to condition them for peace and acceptance of the Jew-as-Zionist.

I then began saying, "without making any direct comparison, if, after World War II, there was a need by the Allies to institute a de-Nazification program..." but was loudly interrupted.  My interlocutor raised his voice a bit: "you cannot make any comparison with the Nazis." 

I attempted to respond, saying, "I precisely prefaced my remarks by saying I am not comparing Arabs to Nazis but drawing attention to the program that was instituted..." but could not finish. I had wanted to continue and say, "and a similar program should be in place for a decade amongst the Arabs of the Palestinian Authority" but I could not. The man was getting agitated, was refusing to listen and someone thought better to move him, gently, on to the bus and end the exchange.

There surely exists a problem with that post-WW II program, as Frederick Taylor notes:

"Germans loathed the hypocrisy and the arrogance of the allied assumption of superiority"

and so, it cannot be force.  It must come from a realization by the PA leadership that the failure of the PA by developing a consciousness of pure negativism in their attitude to Jews, Israel and Zionism is wrong and needs be corrected.  As with Germany, the PA must accept

how a violent pariah state can cleanse itself

Besides the fact that I did not compare Arabs to Nazis, the subject does come up.  In the first place, I never heard of or read of a Nazi on a suicide mission to kill Jews. It would seem only Arabs are capable of that. So there is no comparison there.

Many books have been published that trace the leader of the Palestinian Arab national movement, Haj Amin El-Husseini, and his identification not only politically and diplomatically with the Nazi movement and its leader, as well as mobilizing Muslim troops for the German armed forces and intervening to prevent Jews escaping Europe but philosophically, too. (See: Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam; The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years; The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Husseini; Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World; and an early study - The Mufti and the Fuehrer: the rise and fall of Haj Amin el-Husseini).

And then there was the Nazi-replicated crematoria plans for Palestine.

Let's recall that

Two months after Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933 al-Husseini had his first meeting with German General Consul Heinrich Wolff in Jerusalem. Al-Husseini’s Arab Revolt “took place against the background of the swastika: Arab leaflets and signs on walls were prominently marked with this Nazi symbol; youth organizations… paraded as ‘Nazi-scouts,’ and Arab children greeted each other with the Nazi salute.” On 2 October 1937 al-Husseini met with Adolf Eichmann in Palestine. 

On September 12, 1938, on the eve of the Munich Conference, at the Nuremburg Rally of that year, Hitler drew an analogy and compared the situation of the Sudenten Germans in Czechoslovakia to another:

Under no circumstances, however, am I willing to quietly stand by and observe from afar the continued oppression of German Volksgenossen in Czechoslovakia. 
It’s all tactics. Herr Beneš talks, wants to organize negotiations. He wishes to resolve the question of procedure in accordance with the Geneva Conventions and hands out little favors to placate the people. Things cannot go on this way! This is not a question of empty diplomatic phrases. This is a question of right, the question of a right not granted. What we Germans demand is the right to self-determination, a right every Volk possesses, and not an empty phrase. Herr Beneš is not supposed to grant the Sudeten Germans any favors. They have a right to their own way of life, just as any other people do...I am simply demanding that the oppression of three and a half million Germans in Czechoslovakia cease and that the inalienable right to self-determination take its place.

We would truly regret if this were to cloud or damage our relations to the other European states. Yet the fault would not be ours. It is the business of the Czechoslovakian Government to come to terms with the true representatives of the Sudeten Germans and, in one way or another, to reach some form of understanding with them. Nevertheless, it is my business and, my Volksgenossen, it is the business of all of us to take care that justice not be perverted into injustice. After all, this matter involves our German Volksgenossen. I am not in the least willing to allow foreign statesmen to create a second Palestine right here in the heart of Germany. The poor Arabs are defenseless and have been abandoned by all. The Germans in Czechoslovakia are neither defenseless nor have they been abandoned. Please note this fact.

Indeed, the Arabs of Palestine were very much in Hitler's thinking. Does that make them Nazis? No. But it does indicate that Nazi diplomacy very much had the Arabs of Mandate Palestine in mind. Their's was a situation to be employed to further Nazi aims. They were to be defended by the Nazis.

With all this, something similar to a de-Nazification program is very much a necessity.  Protests withstanding.