Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Yes, Muslims Occupied Palestine

Just as I have been insisting.





Eliezer Tauber's Treatment of Deir Yassin

My own post on Eliezer Tauber's book on Deir Yassin is here.

I quote from Yoav Gelber's review

"...Tauber deserves every kudo for his meticulous work, which is exemplary for this genre of historiography. He left no stone unturned and used all the available sources, written and oral, Arab, Jewish (Haganah, IZl, LHI, and political), British, and Red Cross. This resolution of microhistoriographic analysis requires a massive use of oral testimonies, extracting the valuable material from the rubbish and a careful scrutiny of the findings. His expertise in Arabic and on Palestinian society equipped him with vital tools for conducting such a study.

In examining the oral testimonies about the battle in Deir Yassin, Tauber has shown how the stories of witnesses on both sides, Arab villagers and IZL and LHI combatants, are close to each other. Of course, each witness speaks from his individual and national perspectives, but it is clear that they all speak of the same battle and that their stories are supplemental rather than contradictory. At the same time, the narratives that were circulated by both sides’ higher echelons immediately after the fighting was over are propagandist and conflicting.

...At that stage of the war, occupying an Arab village was something new, still without precedent. Under the circumstances of the inter-communal civil war overshadowed by waning British sovereignty, it was also impossible to hold people in captivity and POWs should have been either released or killed. This axiomatic assumption forecasted the flight of the non-combatant population at the beginning of the raid. In the case of Deir Yassin, the axiom proved mistaken for various reasons analyzed by Tauber.

Seven IZL and LHI fighters were killed in Deir Yassin. There are various figures of wounded, fluctuating between 10 and 40. Tauber tends to establish the number as a little above 30. There are several estimates and nominal lists of Arab fatal casualties. Arab informers for the SHAI (Jewish intelligence) reported from the beginning on 100 to 110 killed. The conquerors boasted that they killed 240 Arabs and the foreign press as well as the Haganah adopted this figure for polemical or political reasons of their own. This figure was generally accepted, though Arab propagandists inflated the number up to 400. In the 1990s, the anthropologist Sharif Kan’ane published the findings of his research that put the number back at 107, based mainly on Arab lists and survivors’ testimonies. After reviewing all the existing lists and comparing them, Tauber compiled his own list that includes 101 names and is probably the closest to the real number.

Although the onslaught on Deir Yassin was not a glorious operation by any standard, a wide gap separates what happened in the village and the rumors that spread at the time and have persisted to the present. It was a bloody battle fought in the midst of the civilian population, but in 1948 there were bloodier encounters such as the fall of the Etzion Block and the conquest of Lydda. In Deir Yassin there was no pre-planned, deliberate massacre as the prevalent Arab narrative, backed by Israeli radicals, naïve or ignorant, has claimed ever since. Tauber skillfully disproves the massacre myth and refutes the allegations of atrocities such as rapes or executions.

The myth was created during the war of propaganda that followed the occupation of the village. The IZL and LHI inflated and glorified their accomplishment. The Haganah preferred the version of the SHAI’s Dissidents Section over the far more accurate version of its Arab Section, and the Jewish Agency panicked because of the possible diplomatic consequences and hurried to condemn the perpetrators and apologize to King Abdullah of Transjordan and to the world in general. The British were apologetic and apparently had some compunctions about their indifference, but they stuck to the plan of evacuation and refused to get involved in combat.

Hitherto, the bulk of the Arab population had looked on the fighting from the sidelines. The local Arab leadership in Jerusalem strove to excite the Palestinians, and bolster up their motivation to fight. This was the main purpose of the propaganda campaign that Hussein Khalidi, the only member of the Higher Arab Executive present in the country, and his associates launched in the following days. They achieved the opposite outcome: instead of inspiring the Arabs’ stamina and will to fight, the inflated numbers of casualties and faked atrocity rumors shocked and intimidated the non-combatant population and considerably encouraged the mass flight.

Nonetheless, I think that Tauber overstates the part of Deir Yassin in causing the Arab mass flight. Before Deir Yassin, about 100,000 Arabs left their homes, huts, or tents and wandered to the neighboring countries or to purely Arab regions in the depth of the country. The Palestinians have tried to minimize the scope of this early wave of refugees and claim that only members of the elites fled, but the flight was more varied and its scope was bigger. The early refugees did not consist exclusively of the elites and included additional categories, such as residents of frontier or mixed neighborhoods in the cities, Bedouins who camped in Jewish areas, or first generation immigrants from the countryside who lost their jobs in the towns and returned to their villages. Deir Yassin and the following propaganda campaign did not cause the mass flight and at most stimulated an already existing process. Indeed, they strongly affected the villages around Jerusalem and the Arab quarters outside the city’s walls, but their impact diminished in more distant villages and was marginal in the Arab and mixed towns from where the majority of the refugees fled.

Tauber is wrong in connecting the Arab armies’ invasion to Deir Yassin. Truly, the news shocked the Arab masses abroad but hardly affected the debates of the Arab League’s Council that convened in Cairo two days later. Hitherto they objected to invasion and relied on the Arab League (or Liberation) Army to defeat the Jews after the end of the mandate. The collapse of the ALA in Mishmar HaEmek and the defeat of the Palestinian militias and ALA detachments in the towns left them no alternative but invasion. The purpose was to save what was left of Arab Palestine rather than “throwing the Jews into the Mediterranean,” but Deir Yassin had little, if any, part in the decision.

One of the explanations of Deir Yassin survivors for the onslaught on their village was the participation of several villagers in the Arab attack on the nearby village of Qastel the day before. This is a lame excuse and probably no one on the Jewish side knew about their participation...



Tauber gave a presentation at the ASMEA conference in November 2021. Recording is here:


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Rogel Alpher's Sardonic Wit

In what passes for sardonic sarcastic left-wing humor, Rogel Alpher, accusing Israel's right-wing of wanting to end the peace we have with Jordan, writes, inter alia:

Jordan is also bothering [???]* the right on the Temple Mount. Another flood of articles in the right-wing media concerns the desire and right of Jews to change the status quo on the Temple Mount. The most minimal demand is to allow Jews free access to pray there. The maximalist demand is the demolition of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the rebuilding of the Temple. The Jordanian Waqf is in the way – they are also too proud and arrogant. This is another reason to remove the person who is giving the Waqf his backing, King Abdullah, and to revoke the peace treaty that recognizes the special status and role of Jordan on the Temple Mount.

No one wants to revoke the peace treaty. We all would like it to be honored, by all sides, equally.

As Rogel knows (or he may not), Article 9 in the treaty reads - and I highlight the really important themes Rogel should be supporting as a left-wing, liberal humanist:
Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines.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.

I think those are worthwhile values to campaign for and if Abdullah II can't fulfill that aspect of the treaty, he should be held accountable. 

Rogel knows that PM Netanyahu is firmly behind the status quo. Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan likewise supports it although he does allow acts that the courts have permitted in principle but previous ministers have been nervous to allow. He also knows that the numbers of maximalists actually pushing that demolition/rebuilding agenda is small although the dream of a future scenario like that is undoubtedly held by the majority of Jews.

In other words, Alpher is not being funny but using scare tactics and rumor mongering.


* The Hebrew term used is מפריעה which in this instance means 'interferes with' or 'disturbs'.


That Bansky Work of Art?

My observation:


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Hanukah Geography

During the period when the Land of Israel was ruled by the Seleucid dynasty of the Syrian-Greek Empire, Antiochus IV came to be the emperor in 174 BCE. He was known as called Epiphanes. He sought to unify his subjects by forcing upoon them a common religion and culture. For the Jews of Judea this meant a suppression of Jewish law. He also interfered in matters of the Holy Temple worship.

Eventually, a revolt broke out, sparked by the actions a priestly family, the Hasmoneans, in Modiin led at first by Mattityahu and then his sons. They became known as the Maccabees and were quite successful in their tactics of guerrilla warfare. The Syrian-Greek occupiers were defeated.  Returning to liberated Jerusalem and led by Judah, they entered the Temple courtyards, removed the idols placed there by the Syrians, built a new altar and dedicated it on the twenty-fifth of the month of Kislev, in the year 139 BCE.

Seeking oil to light the Menorah, they found only a small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest Yochanan. It was sufficient to create light for only one day. By a miracle of God, it continued to burn for eight days.

This is, in concise form, the Hanukah story.

But where did the story take place? Where were the battles? Where was the Temple?

What is the geography of Hanukah?

Here is a map of the major sites of the Hanukah story:

Here is another:

Here is a map of the entire period of the Hasmonean reign which continued until 63 BCE or so when the territory controlled expanded across the Jordan River as it was previously from Biblical times:

In other words, if we apply contemporary terms, the main site of the miracle we celebrate by lighting candles for eight days, Temple. is now in... "occupied East Jerusalem".

The major battles the Maccabees waged were:

Battle of Wadi Haramia (167 BCE)
Battle of Beth Horon (166 BCE)
Battle of Emmaus (166 BCE)
Battle of Beth Zur (164 BCE)
Battle of Beth Zechariah (162 BCE)
Battle of Adasa (161 BCE)

Battle of Elasa (160 BCE)

All in what is mistakenly called the "West Bank".

Of course, this would mean that we would might think that we are celebrating a holiday of occupation.

But that would be wrong. In fact, it is the language and rhetoric of "occupation" used today that is what is wrong and incorrect.

What we need is a linguistic revolt, especially among Jews.

Jewish control/administration over Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem is not wrong, not immoral but a return to the true geography of the Jewish national home, Judaism and Jewish history.


Friday, December 20, 2019

To What State Does that Artifact Belong?

I read that the U.S. – Jordan Cultural Property Agreement was signed on December 16, 2019.  It aims to "restrict the import of Jordanian artifacts to the United States of America, which includes coins, manuscripts, stones, minerals, ceramics, glass, mosaic plates and ancient bones, seashells and human, animal and plant remains, whose history ranges from about 1.5 million years BC to about 1750 AD".  It also stresses the "need to return Jordanian artifacts that was confiscated in the United States of America to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan".  In addition, there is the goal of "increasing awareness of the Jordanian civilizational and cultural heritage".

Far be it from me to interfere with archaeological preservation but I am wondering about a problem.

Up until 1922, the territory of that kingdom by the desert was part, and so it was known, of Palestine. 

If there is an artifact in the US from, say, 1100 BCE, does it belong to Jordan, a future Palestine or, perhaps, Israel, the state that ruled the area at that time? Please recall, it was named Palestine by the Romans only in 135 CE.

This is confounding me.

Did Assistant US Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Mrs. Marie Royce who signed the document or her superiors give a thought about that?


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Geula Cohen - Geneology

Geula Cohen, who died on December 17, 2019 in the evening, belonged to a large family.

I found this geneology record and it is being updated:

Geula Esther Cohen was born on January 6, 1925 in Tel-Aviv, Israel, and not in December. See third name below:

Geula's father was Yosef COHEN (1) and her mother was Miriam Rivkah LIBCHAR. (2)  Her paternal grandparents were Shalom COHEN (died in Yemen) and Sarah Awad TAWIL (died in Israel); her maternal grandparents were Yamin LIBCHAR (3) and Ester AROESTI. (4) 

She had six brothers and three sisters, named Shalom, (5) Yokhanan, (6) Aharon,(7) Avner, (8) Yehoyada, (9) Ohali, (10) Judith, (11) Malka (12) and Sarit. (13)  She is the second oldest of the ten children. 

She married Emmanuel Hanegbi (Strassberg) and had two children, Yair (who is no longer alive) and Yitzhak-Tzachi, born on February 26th, 1957. 

Tzachi married Rendy Fran Firpo (1961) and has four sons: Ido (1988), Matan, Stav (twins, 1992) and Liad (2004).

(1)   Yosef was born in 1900 in Yemen.  Yosef's father was Shalom COHEN and his mother was Sarah Awad TAWIL. He had a sister named Shoshana.  He died at the age of 72 in 1972 in Jerusalem, Israel.
(2)   Miriam was born in 1905 in Jerusalem, Israel.  Miriam's father was Yamin LIBCHAR and her mother was Ester AROESTI.  Her paternal grandparents were LIBCHAR and Unnamed; her maternal grandparents were Avraham AROESTI and NEGRIN. She had a brother and a sister, named Avraham and Vida.  She was the second oldest of the three children. She had a half-brother and two half-sisters, named Reuven, Luna and Roza.  She died at the age of 66 in 1971.
(3)   Yamin was born in Israel.  Yamin's father was LIBCHAR and his mother was Unnamed. He had a brother and two sisters, named Shlomo, Rachel and Tamar.
(4)   Ester was born in Monastir, Yugoslavia.  Ester's father was Avraham AROESTI and her mother was NEGRIN. She had two brothers and two sisters, named Izhak, Shmaya, Mazal and Hanah.  She was the youngest of the five children.  She died in 1914 in Tiberias, Israel.
(5)   Shalom was born before 1932.  He was the fourth oldest of the ten children.
(6)   Yokhanan was born on May 14th, 1932 in Israel.  He is the fifth oldest of the ten children.
(7)   Aharon was born on August 10th, 1934 in Tel-Aviv, Israel.  He is the sixth oldest of the ten children. He died at the age of 76 on January 7th, 2011
(8)   Avner was born in 1936.  He is the seventh oldest of the ten children.
(9)   Yehoyada was born in 1940.  He was the nineth oldest of the ten children.  He died at the age of 68 on June 27th, 2008.
(10)  Ohaliav, known as Ohali, was born in 1942.  He is the youngest of the ten children. He died at the age of 72 in December 2014.
(11)  Judith was born before 1925. .  She was the oldest of the ten children.
(12)  Malka was born on February 25th, 1928.  She was the third oldest of the ten children.  She died at the age of 78 in 2006.
(13)  Sarit was born on March 28th, 1938 in Israel.   She is the eighth oldest of the ten children.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Dear Secretary of State; Dear Congressman - Settlements on the Hill

The Congressmen's letter:

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C., 20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We write to express our strong disagreement with the State Department's decision to
reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank by repudiating the 1978 State Department legal opinion that civilian settlements in the occupied territories are "inconsistent with international law." This announcement, following the administration's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem outside of a negotiated agreement; its closure of the Palestinian mission in Washington, D.C. and U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem; and its halting of aid Congress appropriated to the West Bank and Gaza, has discredited the United States as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, severely damaged prospects for peace, and endangered the security of America, Israel, and the Palestinian people.

U.S. administrations from both parties have followed the 1978 guidance because
settlement expansion into the occupied West Bank makes a contiguous Palestinian state inviable, jeopardizing Israel's future as a secure, democratic homeland for the Jewish people. The State Department's unilateral reversal on the status of settlements, without any clear legal justification, therefore has offered a tacit endorsement of settlements, their expansion, and associated demolitions of Palestinian homes. In addition, one day after the Department's decision, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved to advance a bill to annex the Jordan Valley. As annexation and the United States' approval thereof would destroy prospects for a two-state solution and lead to a more entrenched and possibly deadlier conflict, this decision erodes the security of both Israel and the United States.

This State Department decision blatantly disregards Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention, which affirms that any occupying power shall not "deport or transfer parts of its
own civilian population into the territory it occupies." In ignoring international law, this
administration has undermined America's moral standing and sent a dangerous message to those who do not share our values: human rights and international law, which have governed the international order and protected U.S. troops and civilians since 1949, no longer apply. If the U.S. unilaterally abandons international and human rights law, we can only expect a more chaotic and brutal twenty-first century for Americans and our allies, including the Israeli people.

Given these serious implications, we strongly urge you to reverse this policy decision

The response:

The Honorable
Andy Levin
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Levin:

I am in receipt of your letter of November 21 in which you criticize the State Department's determination that the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not categorically inconsistent with international law - a decision which you contend reverses “decades of bipartisan US policy on Israeli settlements.” You further argue. in conclusory fashion, that this determination “blatantly disregards Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

While  I appreciate your interest in this important issue, I could not disagree more with those two foolish positions. I will briefly respond to your principal points.

First, the State Department's determination did not reverse any policy with regard to Israeli settlements. Rather, the State Department reversed a legal determination by Secretary Kerry. made during the waning days of the Obama Administration, that the establishment of settlements was categorically inconsistent with international law. That determination was made in a failed attempt to justify the Obama Administration's betrayal of Israel in allowing UNSCR 2334 — whose foundation was the purported illegality of the settlements and which referred to them as “a flagrant violation” of international law — to pass the Security Council on December 23, 2016.

Second, Secretary Kerry's determination did not enjoy bipartisan consensus. Rather, it received bipartisan condemnation, including from leading Democrats in both chambers of Congress. Indeed, an overwhelming number of Senators and House Members, on both sides of the aisle, supported resolutions objecting to the passage of UNSCR 2334. Secretary Kerry's statement departed from decades of bipartisan consensus, reverting to an approach last advanced by the Administration of President Carter in 1978 whose position was reversed by the next succeeding president, Ronald Reagan.

While you are free to fixate on settlements as a barrier to peace. you are simply wrong in referring to that view as being subject to bipartisan agreement. No less a Democratic spokesman than the Senate Minority Leader publicly stated at his AIPAC address on March 5, 2018, that “it's sure not the settlements that are the blockage to peace.”

Third, you assert that we have “blatantly disregarded” the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Trump Administration has thoroughly reviewed and analyzed this issue and we respectfully disagree. Among the numerous sources and authorities supporting our view. I commend to you the writings of Eugene Rostow, who left his position as Dean of the Yale Law School to become Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson Administration. Dean Rostow represented the United States in the peace talks that followed the 1967 Six Day War and was responsible for the drafting of UNSCR 242, which even today remains the primary architecture for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Dean Rostow stated in 1983 that “Israel has an unassailable legal right to establish settlements in the West Bank.”

Fourth. US policy with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict largely has been consistent for decades and remains so: we support and seek to facilitate direct negotiations between the parties towards the goal of a just and lasting peace agreement. Regrettably. as many experts concur, UNSCR 2334 and the related self-justifying remarks by Secretary Kerry have saddled the Trump Administration with a significant handicap in advancing the cause of peace by erroneously injecting into the conflict an incorrect and largely irrelevant legal component. This in turn has led to the hardening of positions. especially on the Palestinian side. By way of example. the closing of the Office of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington D.C.. which you criticize, was mandated by Federal statute following President Abbas’ announcement before the United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017, that the Palestinian Authority “called on the International Criminal Court . . . to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities . . . I doubt that President Abbas. with apparent animus towards Israel. would have taken such an inappropriate and unlawful position absent the cover mistakenly granted under UNSCR 2334 and Secretary Kerry's unfortunate speech.

The Trump Administration is committed to working tirelessly to advance the cause of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We approach the issue pragmatically and diplomatically, but we eschew the erroneous positions of international law that have gained favor in the past decades. The Obama-Kerry departure from America’s historic support of Israel has done nothing to make peace more attainable. The State Department's recent determination that the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se illegal is an important step in the peace process and we are confident that it creates the right platform for further Progress.

We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know if we may be of further

Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Here Comes the "Palestine is Canaan" Campaign, Again

If you follow me, you may have read one of my previous posts on this subject, of a Canaanite past of the current Arab residents in the Land of Israel.

Like this one.

Arabs-who-call-themselves-Palestinians ridicuously claim they are descendents, that is direct descendents, of the pre-Israelite residents of this country. Those residents were Jebusites, Hittites, Emorites and Canaanites. This ruse is employed to subvert the Jewish claim to this land although the Bible is very explicit that, indeed, these peoples did live here first. No surprise there.

Last time I noticed it was in 2015 I think, when I was following the escapades of the US Consul-General here:

November 10, 2014 (WAFA) – American Consul General Michael Ratney participated on Monday in the tenth annual olive harvest festival in Jenin where he visited local farmers and met with Canaan Fair Trade Olive Harvest Festival Director Nasser Abufarha.

And now (h/t=EOZ), they are reviving it.

Here is Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh's declaration
The Prime Minister said: We launched this conference to launch the narrative on Palestine, because Israel is waging a systematic war against us, the first of which is the geographic war, the land of Palestine is being eroded on a daily basis and settlements are being built on it, the number of settlers is 711 thousand living in 225 settlements, and also in addition to the geography war there is a war of demography 

The video.

Arabs cam from Arabia.  Arabia is in Saudi Arabia.  While some Arabs, as merchants, wandered about, as a people, Arabs arrived in what the Romans called Palestine as conquerors and occupiers in 638 CE. They even called the country Filastin. Not even Canaan.

And now, in 2019, they keep repeating this outlandish, unsupported claim.


Friday, December 13, 2019

Shame on the NYTimes Publishing an Anti-Semitic Letter

In Friday's paper, reacting to President Donald Trump's Executive Order [EO], this letter was published:

To the Editor:
Re “Trump’s Order Protects Jews,” by Jared Kushner (Op-Ed, Dec. 12), about an executive order to withhold federal money from colleges that don’t fight bias against Jewish students:

Attacks on Jews in this country and throughout the world are very troubling. Everyone with even a meager knowledge of history is well aware of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. Also troubling are the attacks on Muslims, people of color and those who are not heterosexual.
Mr. Kushner’s father-in-law, Donald Trump, and members of the administration are largely to blame for the rise of violence and discrimination against the “other” here in this country, including Jews.

I would be more apt to support the president’s executive order if I weren’t overwhelmingly disgusted by the overt racism, misogyny and anti-Semitism displayed by this president and his supporters over the last three years. It is the president who has engaged in divisive, dangerous rhetoric, fueling the flames of white supremacy and anti-Jewish sentiment.

Instead of seeking fair treatment of all residents of this country, this president has decided to win over the Jewish vote through this transparent ploy.

Jane Carlin
Stamford, Conn.

The EO simply applies, in an equalizing fashion, the terms of the law as it has applied to other minorities. In other words, it removes any discrimination against Jews as regards protection from hate crimes they otherwise previously did not have. We Jews, and the students on campuses, surely do need that equality factor.

Moreover, the reason for that is not Trump. To blame him for radical Muslim students, their extremist progressive allies and, unfortunately, the neo-Bundist Jewish Diaspora supremacists attacking verbally and physical with threats of harm as well as harm caused by prejudiced lecturers and university administrators, is anti-Semitic.  It is, again, blaming the victim.

Shame on the NYTimes.


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The New York Times Goes Cockamamie

Only in the New York Times would one find such a cockamamie* defense of anti-Semitism

...critics have complained that such a policy could be used to stifle free speech and legitimate opposition to Israel’s policies toward Palestinians in the name of fighting anti-Semitism++. The definition of anti-Semitism to be used in the order, which matches the one used by the State Department, has been criticized as too open-ended and sweeping.  For instance, it describes as anti-Semitic “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” and offers as an example of such behavior “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

If that isn't wacky enough, this follows:

opponents of the definition fear that it could be used to declare any defense of Palestinian autonomy to be anti-Semitic, with federal education funding as a cudgel.

Autonomy is granted by the sovereign power within its own territory.  By agreement. So campaigning for autonomy cannot be anti-Semitic as all it is is a political arrangement that does not deny Jewish nationality.

I am presuming that radical Jewish anti-Zionists are at work here, supplying the NYT with nonsensical reasoning. I need be careful here as anti-Semitism is actually non-sensical itself which could lead to all sorts of misinterpretations and misrepresentations.

The order, once signed, is to protect Jews and also non-Jews who seek to defend Israel on campuses without being threatened with actual violence, their events shut down, their dorm rooms targeted by fellow students, off-campus activists as well as by their own lecturers and administration officials.


Read Joel Pollock on another NYT cockup in reporting on Donald Trump's Executive Order.

++  What is happening is that free speech and legitimate opposition to Arab terror, incitement, defense of Zionism & Israel, etc. is being stifled by Arabs and their fellow-travelers. That is the horrific situation on campuses and what the EO will combat.

The order, I understand, prohibits discrimination based on "perceived shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics".
In other words, the crime is what the anti-Semite presumes, not necessarily what Jews think of themselves.


Initial reporting indicated that the order would include language defining Judaism as a “national origin,” setting off a frenzy among major Jewish organizations, activists and lawmakers. The draft text of the order obtained by JI makes no such reference.

Of note: There is no mention of Israel in the text of the executive order draft shared with JI. However, IHRA includes as contemporary examples of antisemitism the accusation of dual loyalty, using symbols associated with antisemitism to characterize Israel or Israelis and “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” IHRA also notes in its working definition that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”




Saturday, December 07, 2019

For the Record: Rashida Tlaib on H. RES. 326

Rashida Tlaib's remarks on H. RES. 326*

Ms. TLAIB. Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a proud granddaughter of a strong, loving Palestinian woman, my sity. For me to stand up for her human dignity, I must oppose H. Res. 326.

This resolution not only endorses an unrealistic, unattainable solution, one that Israel has made impossible, but also one that legitimizes inequality, ethnic discrimination and inhuman conditions. Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud party have actively fought against a two-state solution and took steps to ensure its demise. They increased their illegal taking of Palestinian homes, imprisoned more Palestinian children than ever before, and are building walls right now to annex the West Bank and other Palestinian villages.

Moreover, Israel’s nation-state law, which states that only Jews have the right to self-determination, has eliminated the political rights of the Palestinian people and effectively made them second-class citizens. Separate but equal didn’t work in our country, and I can’t see that it is possible in other countries. Given our Nation’s history of segregation, we should recognize when such injustices are occurring. We cannot be honest brokers for peace if we refuse to use the words: illegal occupation by Israel.

Our country and the United States Congress must condemn these undemocratic actions. We must take bolder actions to ensure that human rights are upheld in Israel and that Palestinians and Black Israelis are treated with equality every human being deserves.

To honor my Sity Mufteih who lives in the occupied West Bank, Palestine, I am unable to support this resolution today. She deserves better. 

Video is here.

* Full text

Whereas the special relationship between the United States and Israel is rooted in shared national security interests and shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; 
Whereas the United States has worked for decades to strengthen Israel’s security through assistance and cooperation on defense and intelligence matters in order to enhance the safety of United States and Israeli citizens; including by finalizing in 2016 under the Obama Administration, a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to annual military assistance and cooperative missile defense programs, which is in the national interests of both countries; 
Whereas the United States remains unwavering in its commitment to help Israel address the myriad challenges it faces, including terrorism, regional instability, horrifying violence in neighboring states, and hostile regimes that call for its destruction; 
Whereas the United States, under Presidents of both parties, has provided bilateral and multilateral foreign assistance to promote the security, stability, and the humanitarian well-being of Palestinians; Whereas the United States has long sought a just, stable, and lasting solution to the IsraeliPalestinian conflict that recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination and offers Israel long-term security and full normalization with its neighbors; 
Whereas for more than 20 years, Presidents of the United States from both political parties and Israeli Prime Ministers have supported reaching a two-state solution that establishes a Palestinian state coexisting side by side with Israel in peace and security; 
Whereas for more than 20 years, Presidents of the United States from both political parties  have opposed settlement expansion, moves toward unilateral annexation of territory, and efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel; 
Whereas United States administrations from both political parties have put forward proposals to provide a framework for negotiations toward a two-state solution, including the parameters put forward by President Bill Clinton in December 2000, the Road Map proposed by President George W. Bush in April 2003, and the principles set forth by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in December 2016; 
Whereas ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is vital to the interests of both parties and the leadership of both parties must negotiate in good faith in order to achieve peace; 
and Whereas delays to a political solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians pose a threat to the ability to maintain a Jewish and democratic state of Israel and the establishment of a viable, democratic Palestinian state: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that— 

(1) only the outcome of a two-state solution that enhances stability and security for Israel, Palestinians, and their neighbors can both ensure the state of Israel’s survival as a Jewish and democratic state and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state of their own; (2) while the United States remains indispensable to any viable effort to achieve that goal, only the Israelis and the Palestinians can make the difficult choices necessary to end their conflict; 
(3) it is in the enduring United States’ national interest to continue to stand by its ironclad commitments under the 2016 United StatesIsrael Memorandum of Understanding, which seeks to help Israel defend itself against a wide range of threats; 
(4) the United States, with the support of regional and international partners, can play a constructive role toward ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by putting forward a proposal for achieving a two-state solution that is consistent with previous United States proposals to resolve the conflict’s final status issues in ways that recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination and enhance Israel’s long-term security and normalization with its neighbors; 
(5) it is in the United States’ interest to continue promoting the security, stability, and humanitarian well-being of Palestanians and their neighbors by resuming the provision of foreign assistance pursuant to United States law; and 
(6) a United States proposal to achieve a just, stable, and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should expressly endorse a twostate solution as its objective and discourage steps by either side that would put a peaceful end to the conflict further out of reach, including unilateral annexation of territory or efforts to achieve Palestinian statehood status outside the framework of negotiations with Israel.


Monday, December 02, 2019

Are "Jewish (Re)Settlements" Legal?

Following the latest US policy decision on the Jewish civilian residency communities in Judea and Samaria of November 18, declared by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, which reads:

Turning now to Israel, the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.
U.S. public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades.  In 1978, the Carter administration categorically concluded that Israel’s establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law.  However, in 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn’t believe that the settlements were inherently illegal.
Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn’t advance peace.  However, in December 2016, at the very end of the previous administration, Secretary Kerry changed decades of this careful, bipartisan approach by publicly reaffirming the supposed illegality of settlements.
After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan.  The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.
I want to emphasize several important considerations.
First, look, we recognize that – as Israeli courts have – the legal conclusions relating to individual settlements must depend on an assessment of specific facts and circumstances on the ground.  Therefore, the United States Government is expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.
The Israeli legal system affords an opportunity to challenge settlement activity and assess humanitarian considerations connected to it.  Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities and has concluded that others cannot be legally sustained.
Second, we are not addressing or prejudging the ultimate status of the West Bank.  This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.  International law does not compel a particular outcome, nor create any legal obstacle to a negotiated resolution.
Third, the conclusion that we will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank.  Our decision today does not prejudice or decide legal conclusions regarding situations in any other parts of the world.
And finally – finally – calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn’t worked.  It hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.
The hard truth is there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace.  This is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and I will do everything I can to help this cause.  The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status negotiations.
And further, we encourage both sides to find a solution that promotes, protects the security and welfare of Palestinians and Israelis alike.
I add more to previous lists of opinions (here; and here;) supporting the full legality and legitimimacy of Jewish residency in Judea and Samaria:

Talia Einhorn.

Douglas Feith.

Observation of Amnon Lord.

Dore Gold.

Matthew Mainen.

Eugene Kontorovich.


Gill Troy.

Ken Cohen.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Palestinism and Palestinianism

As Vic Rosenthal writes

Palestinism? It is the belief that the Palestinian Arabs were unfairly victimized, dispossessed, colonized, raped, punished, expelled, murdered, degraded, castrated, etc. by the Zionist Jews who created the State of Israel, which continues to do all these things to them. Palestinism holds that this is the single greatest injustice in the world today, and only the replacement of the world’s only Jewish state by an Arab state can rectify it.

I use a parallell term, Palestinianism, since at least 2011.

Palestinianism is that ideology which promotes a nationalist myth that there is an Arab Palestinian nation.  It is different from all other Arabs.

That they have resided in the area of Palestine for 5000 years.

That Palestine was never a Jewish homeland. 

That, for example, the Temple never existed. And if it did, it was not erected in Jerusalem.

And on and on.


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Forcing Language Down Our Throats - UPDATED

The decision of the EU Court in the Psagot Winery case contains this language:

"foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance... as regards the issue whether the indication ‘Israeli settlement’ is mandatory, the Court first of all underlined that the settlements established in some of the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterised by the fact that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law. The Court then held that the omission of that indication, with the result that only the territory of origin is indicated, might mislead consumers."

From that it seems that any winery or factory for that matter must use the term "settlement" on its label.

But why is that the term to be employed?

Why not "community"? Or another synonymous term?

Why is "indication of their territory of origin", which plainly refers to a geographical location, to be solely defined as "settlement" rather than actual geography?

The geographical terms "Judea" and Samaria" after all appear in the UN's 1947 Partition Plan to delineate borders. Here:

...The boundary of the hill country of Samaria and Judea starts on the Jordan River at the Wadi Malih...at a point on the district boundary between Haifa and Samaria west of El Mansi...From here it follows the northern and eastern boundaries of the village of Ar'ara, rejoining the Haifa-Samaria district boundary at Wadi'Ara

Can this: "Produced at the Psagot Winery, in the territory of Samaria", be used?   

Or can "Produced at the Locality of Psagot" be used?

If not, why?

Why is the Court obligating, as regards "indication", that only the specific term "settlement" is mandatory?

By the way, in French, "settlement" is translated as colonie (see here). That truly would be a matter of bad English with unnecessary negative connotation.

This is, in addition to all else wrong with the decision, stuffing langauge down or throats.



Yes, I am aware that the issue the Court addressed was whether the products made in Judea and Samaria can be labelled "Made in Israel".  See this as an example of addressing that.


If the wine, or whatever, produced in Judea & Samaria cannot be labeled as "Made in Israel", it equally should not be labeled as "Made in Palestine" so, is it "Made in the Disputed/Occupied/Liberated Territories of Somewhere or Other"?


The full judgment (I was relying on the press release) reads:

For products from Palestine that do not originate from settlements, an indication which does not mislead about the geographical origin, while corresponding to international practice, could be “product from the West Bank (Palestinian product)”, “product from Gaza” or “product from Palestine”.


The Court also observed that 

the country of origin or the place of provenance of a foodstuff must...be indicated where failure to indicate this might mislead consumers into believing that that foodstuff has a country of origin or a place of provenance different from its true country of origin or place of provenance. In addition, it noted that, where the origin or provenance is indicated on a foodstuff, it must not be deceptive.

For products from the West Bank or the Golan Heights that originate from settlements, an indication limited to “product from the Golan Heights” or “product from the West Bank” would not be acceptable. Even if they would designate the wider area or territory from which the product originates, the omission of the additional geographical information that the product comes from Israeli settlements would mislead the consumer as to the true origin of the product. In such cases the expression “Israeli settlement” or equivalent needs to be added, in brackets, for example. Therefore, expressions such as “product from the Golan Heights (Israeli settlement)” or “product from the West Bank (Israeli settlement)” could be used.’

If so, how can anything produced by Arabs in the same territory be labled "Made in Palestine"? The Court suggests the Shiloh Winery located 1.5 kilometers from Turmos Aya are in two different geographical provenances?

Much more deceptive as Palestine doesn't actually exist.