Monday, December 18, 2023

Another of My Not-Printed-Letters-to-the-Editor

To the Editor of the Jerusalem Post:

Herb Keinon is correct ("The jarring voices of internal division rise again", Dec 5) that the last thing we need is a continuation of the "camp vs. camp" atmosphere that preceded this period of war. However, I myself was jarred to read that his first example of the divisional antagonism was a Likud Minister, David Amsalem, who was responding - as Keinon admits - to former General Dan Harel who had spoken the previous evening. I would have liked to think that the principle of "first things first" be preserved in "analysis" columns.

More importantly, though, is that Keinon neglected to inform his readers of the true extent of the persistence of the anti-Netanyahu forces. Those who are on social media platforms, notably Facebook, X and Telegram, are aware that they never actually stopped.

There one can see the posts of Mehdal23 with its poster of Netanyahu's face slapped with a bloody hand and the slogan "Guilty of the Slaughter". There are other groups as well. Shikma Bressler and Moshe Radman Abutbol, leaders of "Force Kaplan", along with Ilan Shiloah and Ami Dror, pump out posts multiple times every time in sharp, berating and denigrating fashion. Their messaging, their visuals and their video clips have only increased in negative near hysterical tone. Ronen Tzur who advises many of the anti-Netanyahu groups is now positioned as publicist and strategist for the abductees campaign and is accused by families of those in Gaza of turning that forum into another venue for anti-Netanyahu rhetoric. Jarring indeed.


"Both Banks" a la Omar Bartov

I left this comment at a talk/interview in which Omer Bartov and Peter Beinart participated in of Democracy Now!:

At 10:10 on to 11:30 or so, on the issue of "from the Rive to the Sea" - a) historically, the Land of Israel as the Jewish national home always comprised of land on both banks on the Jordan River from Biblical times through Talmudic era* and also various foreign conquerors. b) actually, the League of Nations indicated in its 1922 decision that that was so but postponed full application of the Mandate for the reconstituted Jewish home due to Gt. Britain, illegally I would suuggest, bringing in Abdullah the Hashemeite of Saudi Arabia to newly-created Jordan. c) the Israeli Right never intended to slaughter all the Arabs as the Hamas wishes to do and the Fatah wouldn't mind doing.

* "We learned there in a mishna: Eretz Yisrael is divided into three separate lands...Judea, Transjordan, and the Galilee." Pesachim 52B, for example

Thanks to IB for the heads-up.


Friday, November 17, 2023

The Storming of Haifa’s Maccabi Hall, 1934

The storming of Haifa’s Maccabi Hall, 1934

By Yisrael Medad

Published in the Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine, November 17, 2023

On Thursday evening, October 18, 1934, at 9:15 PM, Dr. Wolfgang-Ze'ev von Weisel ascended the platform of the Maccabi Hall in Haifa located where Herzl and Balfour Streets join, near the old Reali High School site. He was facing less than 100 listeners who had purchased tickets to hear him speak on the topic "The status of the Jews in Europe and the Question of the Saar Region and the National Petition". He never finished his presentation. In fact, he barely got a word out.

Viennese-born, as his father, who was an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Army, von Weisel also served and was wounded in World War I. He came to Mandate Palestine in 1922 and was an instructor in the early Hagana officers’ training school in 1924. He became an early disciple of Ze'ev Jabotinsky and a leader in the Revisionist Party. He was a renowned syndicated journalist and, covering the outbreak of the 1929 riots in Jerusalem, he was stabbed and seriously injured.

The anti-Revisionist atmosphere in Haifa at that time was especially vitriolic especially following the murder of Haim Arlosoroff in June 1933 with the suspicion of guilt falling on the Revisionists. Mapia's Haifa branch decided that Revisionists must be "dismissed from work and deprived of their livelihoods; we must create an atmosphere of moral contempt and personal boycott, on the streets, at work, and wherever we can exert influence." This resulted at the end of July 1933 in the dismissal of Revisionists and Betarim from jobs in Histadrut enterprises.

A new labor clash, this one in Haifa at a construction site, began to develop in January 1934. Contractor David Shmuel-David was engaged in constructing an apartment building in the Herzliya neighborhood just west of Hadar Hacarmel. He employed not only Histadrut-affiliated workers but didn’t see any problem with Betarim even though, technically, they were unorganized.

On one occasion, when, short of laborers, he asked of the Haifa Labor Council to employ Betarim in addition to Italians and Arabs. That body insisted that he employ only organized labor and to exclude the Betar members. When he refused and hired them anyway, the Labor Council called a strike. Abba Hushi, head of the Haifa Labor Council, spoke in the name of 6000 workers and felt he could bully anyone who opposed his vision of "Labor Palestine".

The Betar members who had been called in, were declared strikebreakers. Other buildings in Haifa belonging to the contractor, as well as those of a Weinstein, were demolished. The few Betarim who did get though and worked were repeatedly attacked by mobs of party activists and the police had to intervene. Previously, Mapai had sanctioned a muscle group set up by Yitzhak Ben-Aharon called Hever Hape'ilim ("The Activists"), the practical organization of which was in the hands of Ben-Aharon, Yosef Almogi of Haifa's Labor Council and Yosef Avidar of the Tel Aviv Labor Council and also a member of the Hagana command.

The rank and file were organized into "Hapoel Squads," within the framework of the Hapoel Sports Organization. They were controlled by the labor councils in the cities, especially Tel Aviv and Haifa, which provided funds. Yet, by the Histadrut denying Betarim the right to work because they were unorganized, and denying them the right to organize themselves within their own labor exchange, the local labor councils left the Betarim few alternatives other than breaking strikes so that they could earn money for their physical existence. Clashes were inevitable.

Two additional occurrences fed into the events of October 18. In July, Avraham Stavsky was found not guilty of Arlosoroff's murder after a three-month long trial that filled the newspapers almost daily. Moreover, in late August that year, the Revisionist movement appealed to Mapai to reach understandings so as to remove from inter-party activities any violence as well as to achieve a modus vivendi for resolving labor disputes which had plagued the Yishuv ever since February 1928 and, in greater intensity, since October 1932 when, at the Froumine Biscuit factory in Givat Shaul in Jerusalem, Betarim were beaten up for strikebreaking.

During an earlier discussion at a Mapai Central Committee session in June 1934, Moshe Beilinson, member of the Histadrut's Executive Committee, decried the fact that "Our movement's image is becoming more and more distorted. For the past two years, the use of physical force has become our answer to everything…We, for our part, have only one response: force! Strikebreakers, unorganized labor, employment of Arabs, children in uniforms we don't like, calling Stavsky to the Torah. Everything is an abomination and our reaction is always the same: Let them have it!" His criticism fell on deaf ears in Haifa.

In Haifa, it was Labor Zionist policy that no Revisionist meeting could take place even in a closed hall and by invitation. And so, outside the Maccabi Hall that Thursday evening were about 1500 protestors recruited from Hapoel squads, kibbutzim and socialist youth movements. As soon as the meeting began, there were disturbances from several socialists who had purchased tickets to be on the inside. The doors were broken down and the mob began to stone those inside.

A stink bomb was thrown which caused vomiting and dizziness in the enclosed space. Windows were smashed. Furniture was overturned. Over twenty people (40 according to Haaretz, among them 7 police personnel) were injured, among them, Von-Weisel himself whose head was cut. Four, including two children, passers-by, required hospital treatment and one, 15-year old A, Rundstein, had his head operated on. Police officer Blumstein needed medical attention, too. Fifteen were arrested but released on bond. When the contretemps ended, hundreds of labor youth movement members marched in formation through the streets of downtown Haifa singing a workers' march, “Kadima HaPoel”.  

The immediate result was that the Betarim and Revisionists gained much sympathy within the parties and non-socialist parties. The Vaad Haleumi established an inquiry commission. At the Mapai Central Committee convened on October 21, 1934, Golda Meyerson (later Meir) declared: "How could our people sing that night in Haifa?! The youngsters who participated in the action should at least have been ashamed and not flaunted their 'victory'…to organize 1500 people in order to throw eighty Revisionists out of a closed meeting, that's not brave."

Many more Mapai leaders recalled the view of Berl Katznelson who earlier had identified Mapai’s problem of Mapai as the looming "fascisization of the labor movement".

Despite the gain, the Revisionists and the Betar members lost a larger battle. Ben-Gurion's talks with and tentative agreements with Jabotinsky in London mediated by Pinhas Rutenberg during 16 meetings that were held over a period of a month in 1934, first broached in mid-August, were put to the test in a vote of authorization by the members of a special Histadrut convention on March 24, 1935. Those who opposed inner Zionist peace numbered 11,522 and those who sought to continue the exclusionary and discriminatory policies garnered 16,474 votes.

The socialist camp’s willingness to justify violence against its ideological rivals stemmed from the European tradition of the working-class who believed employing force to ensure the right to work, on the one hand, and, on the other, identifying Revisionism with fascism on the background of events in Berlin, Rome and more recently, Vienna.

When that formula took hold, the next logical step was to assume it was quite legitimate for workers to attack them even as they were of the same economic class. In later years, the Yishuv would witness the Saison campaign to hunt down members of the dissident undergrounds and the Altalena Affair. The poison that temporarily reached a crescendo in Haifa has seemingly continued its nefarious influence as we witnessed the crashing of a Likud assembly in Raanana on September 4 and the daubing of the Bet Jabotinsky in red this past weekend in Tel Aviv.

Among other sources, including the press at the time, I note Anita Shapira's article, "The debate in Mapai on the use of violence, 1932–1935", in Studies in Zionism, 1981.

Some newspaper articles and a photograph of Wolfgang-Ze'ev von Weisel

"The Red Pogrom in Haifa"

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Arguing in the London Times over Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall"

On November 2 my response letter was published in the London Times:

The letter to which I replied is here:

Ze'ev Jabotinsky's article, The Iron Wall, translated into English,
is here.

Toward the end of the article Jabotinsky went to some length to dispel any impression his analysis might have given that he despaired of the prospect of reaching an agreement with the Arabs of Palestine:

I do not mean to assert that no agreement whatever is possible with the Arabs of the Land of Israel. But a voluntary agreement is just not possible. As long as the Arabs preserve a gleam of hope that they will succeed in getting rid of us, nothing in the world can cause them to relinquish this hope, precisely because they are not a rabble but a living people. And a living people will be ready to yield on such fateful issues only when they have given up all hope of getting rid of alien settlers. Only then will extremist groups with their slogans "No, never" lose their influence, and only then will their influence be transferred to more moderate groups. And only then will the moderates offer suggestions for compromise. Then only will they begin bargaining with us on practical matters, such as guarantees against pushing them out, and equality of civil and national rights.

The article concluded with a profession of faith that peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Palestine would be possible, but only as a result of the construction of an impregnable wall:

It is my hope and belief that we will then offer them guarantees that will satisfy them and that both peoples will live in peace as good neighbors. But the sole way to such an agreement is through the iron wall, that is to say, the establishment in Palestine of a force that will in no way be influenced by Arab pressure. In other words, the only way to achieve a settlement in the future is total avoidance of all attempts to arrive at a settlement in the present.
Moderate Zionists criticized the article, especially on the grounds that it was written from an immoral standpoint. Jabotinsky therefore wrote a second article, entitled "The Morality of the Iron Wall," in which he turned the tables on his critics. From the point of view of morality, he held, there were two possibilities: either Zionism was a positive phenomenon, or it was negative. This question required an answer before one became a Zionist. And all of them had indeed concluded that Zionism was a positive force, a moral movement with justice on its side. Now, "if the cause is just, justice must triumph, without regard to the assent or dissent of anyone else."


Sunday, October 29, 2023

Was 'Palestine' Actually Syria?

Let's check on that way back when:

"In 1917, Ramallah-born New York surgeon, Fuad Isa Shatara, and N.A. Katibah founded the Palestine Antizionism Society. It was among the organizers of an anti-Zionist rally on November 8, 1918 in Brooklyn. Besides the two founders, the young Lebanese Orientalist Philip Khoury Hitti made an appearance as a speaker at the event. The rally passed a resolution, describing the Arabs at risk of being dominated by “a race rendered more powerful and wealthy through contact with the western civilization thus applying might against right” and protesting the “artificial importation of Zionists flooding the country against its natural capacities and thus forcing an emigration of the rightful inhabitants.”227 Thus, by 1918, the anti-Zionist Arab-American movement had already found both its central arguments and its leaders. Rihani, Hitti and Shatara would shape the movement over the next two decades. The Arab Americans worked to influence the State  Department and other influential elements of the foreign policy strata. Fuad Shatara of the Palestine Antizionism Society wrote two letters to Secretary of State Robert Lansing in November 1918 and February 1919, arguing that Zionism was in contravention to Wilson’s Fourteen Points.228 In December 1918, Hitti and George Khairalla established the New Syria National League. The group lobbied for the establishment of a Greater Syria under American protection, reaching from the Sinai to the Euphrates.229 These groups intensified their activities in light of the upcoming peace conference in Paris. Shatara and Hitti reached out to John Huston Finley, the chief of the Red Cross Commission in Palestine, asking Finley not to detach Palestine from Greater Syria.230 During the conference, Hitti’s New Syria National League also sent a telegram to Wilson, Lloyd George and Clemenceau advocating an American protectorate over Syria. 231"          

227 “Untitled,” New York Times, November 9, 1917; cited in Davidson, “Debating Palestine,” 230; see also Knee, “The King-Crane Commission of 1919,” 204. 228 Davidson, “Debating Palestine,” 231. 229 The Formation of Modern Iraq and Syria (Routledge, 2013), 147. 230 Knee, The Concept of Zionist Dissent in the American Mind, 1917-1941, 205. 231 The Formation of Modern Iraq and Syria, 147.

From this thesis.


Tuesday, October 03, 2023

A Pro-Israel Question at a State Department Presser (UPDATED)

 A rarety.

A pro-Israel question at a State Department Presser:

QUESTION:  Okay.  In light – thanks, Matt.  In light of UNRWA donors’ – that’s a UN agency – recent meetings at the UN, will the U.S. ask the UN to inspect and disarm UNRWA refugee camps that have become well-equipped arsenals?  And I have a follow-up question. 

MR MILLER:  Do you mean – where particularly do you mean? 

QUESTION:  In the Middle East. 

MR MILLER:  In the Middle – yeah. 

QUESTION:  In the Middle East. 

QUESTION:  UN Relief and Works Agency.

QUESTION:  Okay, so regarding Israel — 

MR MILLER:  I was – I wanted to get a little more specific. 

QUESTION:  — and the Palestinian idea.  But the UNRWA issue, so — 

MR MILLER:  So I will say that, as we have said before, we have long recognized Israel’s right to defend itself and take actions to secure its territory. 

QUESTION:  Okay.  The follow-up to that is:  Will the U.S. challenge the official Palestinian school curriculum, which rejects the two-state solution by teaching the next generation to reject any recognition of Israel?  

MR MILLER:  So, I will say that we support the two-state solution.  You’ve seen me asked about that on a number of occasions.  That will continue to be our policy, and that will be our policy as it pertains to anyone on either side of this longstanding conflict who wants to take a different position. 

QUESTION:  What about those well-equipped arsenals and the concerns that Israel has that are happening – that are occurring in the UN agency UNRWA camps? 

MR MILLER:  Again, as I’ve said, we support Israel’s right to secure its nation.

Who was the journalist?*


The journalist is Dr. Anthony Harper of InterMountain Christian News


Thursday, September 21, 2023

Marking the Centenary of Berlin's Scheunenviertel Pogrom

 It was, as claimed, the first pogrom in Berlin.

It took place in the Scheunenviertel (Barn) quarter in the first week of November 1923. It was termed the "Ostjudenpogrom". The area is today, less than one-half square mile, is now Berlin's Mitte district, not far from the historic city center, north of the city wall between Hackescher Markt and today's Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

Earlier in 1923:

the Berlin police chief Wilhelm Richter ordered a large-scale raid against the Jewish population in the Scheunenviertel, during which around 300 Jewish men [eventually to reach some 1500], women and children were picked up by the police and interned in a “Jewish camp” near Zossen, a chilling precursor to what would happen over the next 20 years.

That referred to

popular violence against Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe during the Weimar Republic, their incarceration in camps in Pomerania and Bavaria during the early 1920s

Specifically,  the so-called Bavarian “Ostjuden Deportation” of October 1923 when Gustav Ritter von Kahr was appointed by Bavarian President Eugen von Knilling (BVP) as state commissioner general (Generalstaatskommissar) with dictatorial powers under Article 64 of the Bamberg (Bavarian) Constitution. Kahr refused to ban the Nazi Party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter, on 29 September he suspended the enforcement in Bavaria of the Law for the Protection of the Republic and in mid-October, Kahr had several hundred Jewish families who had immigrated from Eastern Europe decades earlier expelled from Bavaria (See: "The Expulsion of Jews with Polish Citizenship from Bavaria in 1923, Józef Adelson, POLIN, 2008). 

As reported in the JTA on Ocotober 29, 

Two hundred Jewish families have already been expelled from Bavaria and as many are awaiting deportation... including Jews who, while not subjects of the Bavarian State, are citizens of the Reich...A number of East-European Jews from Austria are also among the evicted. The houses owned by the deportees have been requisitioned for the alleged purpose of housing the refugees from the Ruhr district...The Voelkishe Beabachter, organ of Adolph Hitler, disregarding the Jews’ plea, continues the publication of the names of Jews not yet expelled, demanding the confiscation of their property as well as of those already deported.

Moreover, "an order has been issued by Dictator von Kahr to the Jews expelled from Bavaria, that their property must not be removed from the country. Jewish business men and manufacturers have received orders from the police authorities that the machinery and equipment of their factories as well as their products must remain in Bavaria, and their factories must be conducted in their absence by managers appointed for the purpose." 

The event went international at the end of November when

Foreign Minister Roman Dmowski of Poland has addressed a new note to Bavaria protesting the expulsions from Bavaria of Jews who are Polish citizens...the deportations are contrary to international law as well as the common principles of humanity. In conclusion, M. Dmowski threatens to order the deportation of German citizens on Polish soil if the expulsions of Polish citizens are continued.

Austria and Spain became involved.

To return to the events of the Berlin pogrom:

Jews of Berlin Attacked by Mob of 30,000  November 6, 1923

"...a mob of 30,000 stronge invaded the Jewish sections of the city and carried out the first pogrom in the history of Berlin. Anti-Jewish riots commencing in the afternoon in Grenadierstrasse, and Dragonerstrasse, inhabited largely by East-European Jews, 

spread by the evening to all quarters of the city housing Jewish residents...No Jew was safe on Berlin streets yesterday and it is too early to say that greater security prevails today. Jewish passers by were stopped at every turn, were searched, maltreated, robbed of their possessions and stripped of their clothes, some being left only in their undergarments. Homes of Jews were searched for food and money, owners offering the least resistance being severely beaten.

Shops owned by Jews were plundered of their contents which were hurled through the windows smashed by the hooligans in order to gain entrance. Jewish tenement dwellers were dragged from their beds and driven to the streets in their night clothes.

...That the anti-Jewish riots were premeditated and well-organized is shown by the fact that on a given signal the plundering and mobbing would begin, and at a sign from a specially organized corp the anti-Jewish excesses would end.

...The Tageblatt and the Local Anzeiger remark it is significant that the mob attack was not sporadic, but broke out simultaneously in the Muezastrasse, Gormmanstrasse, Linienstrasse, Grenadierstrasse, Dragonerstrasse. Lilienstrasse, where many residences and practically all shops were systematically plundered, the wares being distributed among the waiting crowd. Especially in the clothing and piece-goods district were the wares seized and cut up to be carried away by the rioters...Herr Kopf, manager of the “Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith” received several blows from a black-jack as he was caught in a crowd swarming towards the Boerse and shouting “Death to Jews”.

Reports {as referenced in Dunker, Der Reichsbund judischer Frontsoldaten 1919-1938: Geschichte eines judischen Abwehrvereins, 53; "Der Bund judischer Frontsoldaten vor Gericht," Judische Rundschau, no. 40 (1924)}  noted

While the police had not arrived members of the Reichsbund Judischer Frontsoldaten (Jewish Veteran Association) assembled at the Jewish community centre on the nearby Rosenstrasse. Cadres of members, some of which were armed with pistols and rubber truncheons were formed and began patrolling the area, guarding synagogues and defending local Jews against the looters. On Bulowplatz, the Reichsbund cadres clashed with a group of some hundred rioters. In this situation, the veterans seek support from a passing by police patrol that refuses and leaves the area. In the following melee, a shot rang out fatally wounding a rioter.

The failure of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch in Bavaria did not deter the authorities there from halting the earlier deportations.

A precursor to the atmosphere which allowed Hitler to commence the Holocaust.


Thursday, August 10, 2023

Timeline of the Crisis

Taking an idea from Yishai Friedman of Shvi'i, here is a contribution to understanding how we in Israel got to where we are in the summer of 2023:


1980 Aharon Barak, appointed as a Supreme Court Justice in 1978, employs for the first time the Reasonableness Standard that would justify a governmental institution decision

1986 Ressler case and Barak devoted twenty-five pages to the issue of justiciability and delineated two classic categories of justiciability, normative and institutional. By doing away with institutional non-justiciability, Barak challenges the common conception of the separation of powers.

1992 In March, the Knesset passes two basic laws aimed at protecting human rights: Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation and Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. Both those basic laws contain a “limitation clause”: “One is not to violate the rights in accordance to this Basic Law save by means of a law that corresponds to the values of the state of Israel”. Pre-1992 legislation was shielded from constitutionality review.  Criticism maintained that the 1992 basic laws did not really authorize the Court to strike down legislation as this was allegedly not the legislative intent and because the laws were adopted were not sufficient to afford them with constitutional status superior to ordinary legislation. (For instance, Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty was supported by 32 members of the Knesset, and 21 members opposed it—most members did not vote. Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation was adopted by 21 members without opposition.) Moreover, the review involves value judgments and those should be decided by democratically elected representatives and not unaccountable judges.

1995 Barak, then president of the Supreme Court, announced that a constitutional revolution, a phrase he coined, was taking place in Israel based on his own interpretation of the Basic Laws enacted by the Knesset in 1992 as having the force of a constitution. Since then the Supreme Court has struck down 22 laws that were enacted by the Knesset. It intervened in decisions of the Israeli security agencies and even invalidated administrative decisions of the Israeli government and its ministers.  All this was done without any legal basis; that is, without the consent of the Knesset, which is solely invested with the power to draft and adopt a constitution.

November 9, 1995 the landmark case United Mizrahi Bank v. Migdal when the Supreme Court declared that basic laws are superior to regular laws and declared it may strike down Knesset statutes that are incompatible with the terms of the limitation clauses in the two basic laws from 1992. It would do so based on an evaluation process consisting of three main stages: if there is an infringement of a constitutionally protected right with an expansive interpretation of constitutional rights necessary for a dignified existence. If a protected right has been infringed, the second stage is whether the infringement was grounded in legislation that corresponds to the values of the state of Israel (defined in the two basic laws from 1992 as Jewish and Democratic) and serves an appropriate purpose. The third stage is the “proportionality” stage, i.e., if the harm to constitutional rights does not outweigh the social gains achieved by the reviewed law. If the harm clearly exceeds the gains, the law will be invalidated.

February 14, 1999 an estimated 350,000 Haredi demonstrators called on the justices not to interfere in matters of religion.

2015 Elections. Seven months later, investigation of Gidi Wetz on Netanyahu's influence on Walla! News site. It will develop into Case 4000 (see below). In August, demonstrations against the gas deal led by Orly Bar-Lev, Gonen Ben-Yitzhak and others.

2016 Police open investigations into Case 1000 (benefits from Milchen and Parker); Case 2000 (Netanyahu and Noni Mozes of Yedioth Ahronot); and Case 3000 (the submarine affair). Attorney-General Avicahi Mandleblit was under pressure of weekly demos at his Petah Tikva house to authorize, as per law, investigations of a sitting Prime Minister.

June 2017 Case 4000 (Eluvitz and Netanyahu charged for favorable financial terms for Bezeq purchase, in essence, bribery). Later that year, the "Balfour Protest" erupts. August Ari Harow turns state's witness after incarceration. September Supreme Court annuls, again, amended Mobilization Law.

2018 Shlomo Filber, former Director-General of the Telecommunications Ministry turns state's witness after incarceration. Avigdor Lieberman leaves the coalition. Yair Lapid refuses to vote for an additional Mobilization Law.

2019 April – Knesset elections. September – second round of elections. November 21 – Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit charges Netanyahu with behavior of briberyfraud, and breach of trust.

2020 – March – elections for 23rd Knesset. Unity government formed. "Black Flags" demonstrations begin led by siblings Yarden, Shikma (Bressler) and Eyal Schwartzman.

October - Amit Segal leaks tape of Attorney-General Mandelblit implying he was being blackmailed to tailor a case against Netanyahu thus feeding supporting an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that the attorney general had been blackmailed by the State Attorney Shai Nitzan. Government fails to pass the budget, Netanyahu rather than passing premiership to Gantz calls for elections.

2021 – March 23 elections held but only in late May was a coalition formed when Netanyahu failed and then Bennett's Yamina joined with Bennett, with 6 seats, becoming first of a new prime minister rotation agreement. In May, Arab-Jewish mixed-city riots broke out. Black Flags demos halt whereas rightwing demonstrators pressure Yamina MKs.

2022 – April 6 MK Idit Silman resigns leading to elections which took place on November 1, the fifth round in four years. According to the rotation agreement, upon the dissolution of the Knesset, Yair Lapid became Prime Minister on July 1. The new coalition was represented by 64 MKs. In December, opponents of the new coalition began to meet to plan grassroots campaign of demonstrations.

2023 – January 3 – Yariv Levin, Justice Minister, announces elements of a judicial reform legislation. January 14 – protests begin.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

"Palestine" - Part of Greater Syria

From "Missouri Zion, Missouri Intifada: Mormonism, Zionism and the Palestine Conflict", Graham St. John Stott, Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, May 2007, Edinburgh University Press:


Friday, June 16, 2023

The Palestine Mandate Flag

Thanks to this story of the arrival from Germany in 1935 of the tourist ship, Tel Aviv, we know that flag of the mandate was not as many have claimed - the blue-and-white version similar to our current flag - but one with a Union Jack and a circle with 'Palestine' inside

Description in the Haaretz news item: