Sunday, June 28, 2020

Other Minor Details

Minor Detail is Adania Shibli's new novel.  It anchors itself in a 1949 rape and murder of a young Bedouin in 1949.

The book, as reviewed, is

a highly sophisticated narrative that pitilessly explores the limits of empathy and the desire to right (or write) historical wrongs by giving voice to the voiceless.

It is based on an actual case as reported in Haaretz in 2003. The soldiers involved were tried and punished, inadequately I add. The main culprit received 15 years. 

There was no excuse for what happened.

I would, however, hope that other rape incidents would be served by a literary treatment as there were in the past. That is, of Jewish women raped by Arabs. Other minor details.

Like Salia Zohar. Like Jewish women in Jerusalem 1920 (p. 277). Like women in Hebron in 1929 although Hillel Cohen attempted to deny that. Like Ori Ansbacher.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Semantic Subversion

Just one paragraph from this book by Shira Robinson, Citizen Strangers:

Shira Robinson

is Associate Professor of History and International Affairs at The George Washington University. And she is well-connected to anti-Zionist groups. She was born in Israel, or "Palestine" as she prefers, and is the granddaughter of Batsheva Naimer, wife of Gus Naimer of Newark. More relevant, she was an associate at Human Rights Watch/Middle East during the 1990s. At about the same time, she was employed at Yedioth Ahronot.

To return to the extract above.

The new post-modern, post-fact narrative approach simply redefines any term so as to fit it to the predisposed political/ideological outlook.

Race, apartheid, whatever. Takes its original exact meaning and stretch it a bit so that your enemy is incuded, no matter how much you need fabricate.

By the way, conversion of Moslem Arabs to Judaism is not at all impossible. It happens. This female singing star. This Kuwaiti. This man.  Her "blood-based" charge is nonsensical. And a malignment.

Oh, and Israel is not a settler-colonial project.


Friday, June 26, 2020

When are Territories "Disputed"?

When are territories "disputed"?

When they are not administered by Israel.


French President Emmanuel Macron says France will cooperate with Madagascar to find a solution for the Glorioso Islands, a tiny, uninhabited archipelago in the Indian Ocean which is disputed by the two countries....A joint commission on the issue will hold its first meeting next month.
Macron visited the Glorioso Islands Wednesday — a first for a French president. Located between the French overseas island of Mayotte and Madagascar, the islands used to be part of the French colonies.

Mayotte, moreover, is an overseas department and region of France, an integral part of France.

The five overseas departments and regions of France are:

French Guiana in South America;
Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean;

Mayotte and Réunion in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa.

All those are a very, very long way from France.


Mr Shukla said India faced a greater threat of a “two-front war” on its border than at any time in the recent past thanks to deepening economic and diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan, both of which accused India of changing the status of disputed Kashmir by bringing Ladakh under central government control last year. Islamabad and Beijing could use the two-front strategy “as a retaliatory measure to up the cost of any escalation by India, or if India activates Tibet”, for instance by declaring it a disputed territory, he said.


At least five dead in separate gun battles as number of rebels killed in disputed territory this year surpasses 100.
At least five people, including a six-year-old boy caught in the crossfire, have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir.


Japan changes administrative status of disputed islandsJapan recently approved a bill to change the administrative status of a group of islands which have been claimed by both China and Japan, and has remained a point of disagreement for both the countries.Japan’s Okinawa city council approved the bill on Monday. The Ishigaki City Council will change the administrative status of the island group known as Senkakus in Japan, and as Diaoyus in China.


As Islamic State (ISIS) militants continue to launch attacks on Iraqi civilians and security forces, officials have been shuttling between Baghdad and Erbil to discuss a possible joint security mechanism to secure disputed territories of Iraq and prevent further instability. 
Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Inad arrived in Erbil on Thursday to discuss increased coordination between Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to fill the security vacuum in the disputed areas. Inad stressed the importance of “close coordination” between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga forces against ISIS in the disputed areas

Have I made my point?

In 1922, the international community in a legal act made by the countries which had liberated the regions conquered and occupied by the Ottoman Empire along with four dozen others, decided to recognize the Jewish historical connection to the Land of Israel and to recnstitute therein the Jewish National Home.  Part of tht territory, lying east of the Jordan River was separated and Jewish settlemnt activity was prohibited, although th actual language was simply "postponed".

Thus, all the area west of the Jordan River was to become the future Jewish state.

Due to Arab terror throughut the years of the Mandate, a first partition west of the Jordan River was made in 1937, rejected by the Arabs. In 1947, the United Nations recommended a second plan of partition, also rejected by the Arabs.

The area was subsequently illegally annexed by the Kingdom of Jordan, an act not recognized by any country except Great Britain.

No State of Palestine ever existed and in 1967, due to Arab aggression, following 19 years of further Arab terror previously practiced during the Mandate years of 1920-1948, Israel came to repossess that area.

It should be properly referred to as "disputed territory" even if you do not agree with me that it is liberated Jewish land, the regions of Judea and Samaria.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Is Yael Stein Wrong?

Here is Yael Stein in Haaretz:

Israel suspended land registration in the West Bank, declared some 1 million dunams (more than 247,000 acres) as “state land” and allocated them nearly in their entirety to the settlements...That declaration was based on a skewed interpretation of the law and carried out in violation of the basic tenets of due process. Moreover, even if this were in fact public land, it was meant for the Palestinians, not the settlers, who were not supposed to be there: The entire settlement enterprise is prohibited and constitutes a war crime – a point that Hayut ignored...the subordination of the lives of the Palestinians to the needs of the settlers.

Ms. Stein 

Photo: Tony Cross

is the director of research at B’Tselem.

Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate decision reads:

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

That decision's preamble reads:

...the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peopler...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;

In addition, Article 11 reads:

The Administration of Palestine shall take all necessary measures to safeguard the interests of the community in connection with the development of the country, and...shall have full power to provide for public ownership or control of any of the natural resources of the country ...It shall introduce a land system appropriate to the needs of the country, having regard, among other things, to the desirability of promoting the close settlement and intensive cultivation of the land.

Now, I ask you, is Stein correct in her assertion?

Or is she wrong?


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Yet Another Not-Published Letter

After reading Yossi Klein Halevi's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, "Annexation Would Be a Mistake—and a Tragedy"I sent this 'Letter-to-the-Editor' in.

I cannot seem to find it published.

Yossi Klein Halevi, writing in his "Annexation Would Be a Mistake—and a Tragedy" (June 15), posits that "With every Palestinian rejection, the map of a potential Palestine has gotten smaller. Time is not on their side."  He adds: "Mr. Trump, they are effectively saying, is a useful idiot whose plan will serve settler interests now, and then fail to deliver on a Palestinian state later".

As regards the element of time, ever since 1922 when the Jewish National Home lost all areas of historic Palestine east of the Jordan River, and the 1937 and 1947 Partition Schemes which were to deny Jews more than 60% of the remaining territory west of the river, on through the 1968 Allon Plan, the 1977 Begin Autonomy Plan, the 2000 Camp David II Plan and the 2008 Olmert Plan, among others, how much time would Klein Halevi presume that Israel wait and waste for security and arrangements that will assure as much of a peaceful reality for Israel and its citizens as possible?

Moreover, if anyone will fail to deliver on a Palestinian state, it will be the Arabs-called-Palestinians who will not fulfill the very logical, rational and moral conditions for doing so that the Peace-to-Prosperity Plan sets out. As President Trump detailed in his January 28 remarks, "we are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful co-existence. This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights; protecting against financial and political corruption; stopping the malign activities of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other enemies of peace; ending the incitement of hatred against Israel — so important; and permanently halting the financial compensation to terrorists." 

Trump is certainly being useful here, but is far from being an idiot. I will avoid judging Klein Halevy on this matter.


Monday, June 22, 2020

The "It" Land

Four hundred years after it was invaded and occupied by the Ottoman Turks;

And six hundred years after it was invaded and subjugated by a force led by the Kurdish Iraqi Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub;

And eight hundred years after it was invaded by the First Crusaders from Europe;

And thirteen hundred years after the hordes of Muslims came out of the Arabian Peninsula to invade and occupy it

And sixteen hundred years after its Christian Byzantine and Persian Sansarian rule came to an end;

And eighteen hundred years after the Roman Empire quashed a second armed rebellion by its residents seeking liberation and named it Palestine;

It, the Land of Israel (Eretz-Yisrael), the Holy Land, the Province of Judaea, the homeland of the Jews for over three-thousand years, where the Jewish People's prophets, priests and princes practiced the first monotheisitic religions, developed the Hebrew Language and culture, after being liberated during World War One by the Principal Allied Powers, was declared by the Supreme Council of the Paris Peace Conference's High Contracting Parties to have its administration entrusted to a Mandatory which would be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on the 2nd November, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. 

The Land was first partitioned in 1922 when the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined were excluded from the Mandate and applying the rights of Jewish immigration and close settlement were postponed and  withheld.

In 1937 another partitioned was made but two years later, was discarded and the whole idea of a Jewish National Home was scrapped.

In 1947, the UN recommended partition and the Jews agreed. Arabs declared war and fr the next 19 years after losing, carried on a terror campaign to eliminate the Jewish state.

Despite many other offers of partition, withdrawal and such including an autonomy plan, a disengagement, the Oslo Accords, a construction moratorium and much more, the Arab side is still declining to negotiate and refusing to pursue peace.

The "it" land is the Jewish people's legacy and it will remain under Jewish control.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Checking A Footnote

I read this in an academic article, one not sympathetic to Israel, by Professor Emerita at Boston University Irene Gendzier based on her book, Dying to Forget Oil, Power, Palestine, and the Foundations of U.S. Policy in the Middle East:

Michael Assaf, adviser to Ben-Gurion, had an acute sense of its long-term implications for Israeli-U.S. relations, and more generally for those of Israel and the West. What he wrote in an editorial in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz in 1951 was to prove prophetic. Assaf reviewed the precarious situation of Arab regimes in the face of nationalist movements, both secular and religious, concluding that the states in question were weak militarily. In this context, he considered the impact of Israel's strengthening, which he described as "a rather convenient way for the Western Powers to keep a balance of political forces in the Middle East. According to this supposition Israel has been assigned the role of a kind of watchdog." In that capacity, if the "Western powers will at some time prefer, for one reason or another, to shut their eyes, Israel can be relied upon to punish properly one or several of its neighboring states whose lack of manners towards the West has gone beyond permissible limits."47

Footnote 47 reads:

 47 "The Harlot from the Cities Overseas and We — Thoughts on the Eve of [Jewish] New Year 5712," Op-ed article, Ha'aretz, September 30, 1951, cited in Moshe Machover, "Israelis and Palestinians: Conflict and Resolution," Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust Annual Lecture, November 30, 2006, pp. 13-14.

I looked it up.

It is not on pages 13-14. 

An article with that title is found on page 2.

It is written, however, not by Assaf but  by Gershom Schocken, the owner and publisher of Haaretz at the time. Since the 30th was the eve of Rosh Hashana but a Sunday, I checked the previous Friday and the following (Friday being the weekend edition) but not Assaf.

And yes, the passage appears so:

 משום כך חיזוק מסוים של
ישראל הוא דרך נוחה למדי בשביל
מעצמות המערב כדי לשמור על איזון
כוחות פוליטי במזרח התיכון. לפי סב-
רה זו נועד לישראל תפקיד של מעין
כלב-שמירח. אין לחשוש שהיא תפעיל
מדיניות תוקפנית כלפי מדינות ערב,
אם דבר זה יעמוד בניגוד ברור לרצונן
של אמריקה ובריסניה, אך אם מעצמות
המערב יעדיפו פעם, מטעם זה או אחר,
לעצום עין' אפשר יהיה לסמוך על כך,
שישראל תהיה מסוגלת להעניש ?ראוי
אחת או כמה מהמדינות השכנות שלה,

אה גבולות המותר. שחוסר הנימוס שלהן לגבי 


Tuesday, June 09, 2020

The Tool That Is Twitter

In my Media Comment columns at the Jerusalem Post, wrttten conjointly with Eli Pollak, we have highlighted an aspect of Twitter that we see as harmful to objective and fair journalism which is the way it leads journalists to become personal and then strident and nasty in their conversation which spills over back into their reporting.

In this June 8 NYTimes article, there is revealed another aspect, one in which the reporter feels obliged, because of the mass feedback that Twitter generates in an intoxicating fashion, to respond to what his/her audience wants to hear:

The central vein for reporters, producers, activists and a vast national audience was Twitter, which had already begun subtly shifting the power dynamic innews. It steered coverage. When John Eligon of The Times published a largely sympathetic profile of Mr. Brown that described him as “no angel,” it setoff outrage on Twitter as a symbol of a style of journalism that seemed too ready to explain away police violence. “They had a point” about the phrase, Mr. Eligon recalled last week. Twitter “did make it feel like you’re more accountable to a broader audience and a more diverse audience.”The platform also gave the younger reporters “freedom to establish their own stilts in ways we didn’t have without someone handing us the keys,” said Trymaine Lee, then 35 and reporting for MSNBC. Before you’re at the whim of the newsroom,’’ said Mr. Lee. Buton Twitter, the young journalists received “positive reinforcement,they’re getting thousands and thousands of people saying, ‘Yes, we do like that.’”

To borrow radical progressive political terminology, this is media weaponizing in support not of social or economic or political change and improvement but in support of revolution while jettisoning any normative ethical professionalism.


Monday, June 08, 2020

The Palestinian Authority and the US Peace To Prosperity Plan

President Donald Trump announced his so-called Deal of the Century on January 28 this year.

It is quite beneficial for the Arab side. Since then, what has been done or said by the Palestinian Authority?

The next day they had people take to the streets as part of a "day of rage"Saeb Erekat said the Trump administration had simply "copied and pasted" the steps that Mr Netanyahu wanted to see implemented. "It's about annexation, it's about apartheid.

Mahmoud Abbas declared "We say a thousand times, no, no, no. We rejected this deal from the start and our stance was correct."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas said he is ending "all agreements" with Israel and the United States 

The Palestinian Authority prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said it would be “buried very soon.”

At the UN in early February, Abbas announced,  "we will not accept this plan; we will confront its application on the ground.”

In May, Abbas notified all that “The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the state of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones.” Note: he did that last July and two years earlier.

Terror attacks continueThat the PA is creating an atmosphere of terror and war for the Palestinian street is documented.

I think things are quite clear.

So does Jared Kushner keep pushing? Was Jason Greenblatt smart to get out?


Wednesday, June 03, 2020

The Key is Reducinig The Four-Year Period

How to prevent the establishment of a second Arab state (well, third if we include Gaza) even though Israel has indicated acceptance of the Peace for Propserity Plan?


Reduce it.

What four years?

Here is President Trump on January 28:

Perhaps most importantly, my vision gives the Palestinians the time needed to rise up and meet the challenges of statehood.  I sent a letter today to President Abbas.  I explained to him that the territory allocated for his new state will remain open and undeveloped for a period of four years.  During this time, Palestinians can use all appropriate deliberation to study the deal, negotiate with Israel, achieve the criteria for statehood, and become a truly independent and wonderful state.

President Abbas, I want you to know that if you choose the path to peace, America and many other countries will — we will be there.  We will be there to help you in so many different ways. 

How to reduce those four years?

Here are the preconditions Trump set out:

To ensure a successful Palestinian state, we are asking the Palestinians to meet the challenges of peaceful co-existence.  (Applause.)  This includes adopting basic laws enshrining human rights; protecting against financial and political corruption; stopping the malign activities of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other enemies of peace; ending the incitement of hatred against Israel — so important; and permanently halting the financial compensation to terrorists. 

No basic laws? Time reduced from the four years.

Continued financial corruption? No halt in pay-for-slay compensation for imprisoned terrorists? Time taken off those four years.

Terror continues?

Incitement continues? 

No negotiations (as at present)? Time reduced.


I was sent by LBD back to the full text of the plan itself so, as in Section 22,

If the PLO and the Palestinian Authority shall not refrain from any attempt to join any international organization without the consent of the State of Israel; or act, and not dismiss all pending actions, against the State of Israel, the United States and any of their

citizens before the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and all other tribunals, more time can come off.

Those four years will become a few months or even weeks. In fact, over four months have already passed and the map has not yet been converted from a conceptual one.

This time Mr. Trump needs to hear: no four years!


Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Antifa in Mandate Palestine

“Antifa” was a group founded by the International Communist League in Mandate Palestine in 1934 to promote radical socialist ideas as well as to oppose Revisionist Zionism. Its members were extreme moderates (pro-Havlaga restraint policy during Arab riots 1936-39) who sought compromise with nationalist Arabs and eventually went on to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War.

Some images

 See here

An article in the pro-Irgun Polish-language monthly Jerozolima Wyzwolona, June 30, 1939 

A notice in the Palestine Post August 23, 1937

From the JTA, February 10, 1937

A delegation including a Jew and an Arab-Morris Efrom and Najib Yusuf – have arrived in New York as representatives of the Antifa Committee of Palestine for a tour of the United States sponsored by the American Antifa Committee, which includes Roger Baldwin, Prof. Morris R. Cohen, the Rev. John Haynes Holmes and Ernst Toller.

And six days later:

Could this be that Morris Erem? Seems he was first in Borochivian Workers List then in Poelei Tzion Smol.

A Hebrew-language report on Najib Yussef on the trip in the Revisionist HaYarden.