Monday, June 17, 2024

What Happened to the Starvation? And the Famine and Malnutrition?

On March 18, 2024, an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) was published.

It read:

The IPC acute food insecurity analysis conducted in December 2023 warned of a risk that Famine may occur by the end of May 2024 if an immediate cessation of hostilities and sustained access for the provision of essential supplies and services to the population did not take place. Since then, the conditions necessary to prevent famine have not been met and the latest evidence confirms that Famine is imminent in the northern governorates and projected to occur anytime between mid-March and May 2024.

According to the most likely scenario, both North Gaza and Gaza Governorates are classified in IPC Phase 5 (Famine) with reasonable evidence, with 70% (around 210,000 people) of the population in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe)...The famine threshold for household acute food insecurity has already been far exceeded and, given the latest data showing a steeply increasing trend in cases of acute malnutrition, it is highly likely that the famine threshold for acute malnutrition has also been exceeded. The upward trend in non-trauma mortality is also expected to accelerate, resulting in all famine thresholds likely to be passed imminently.

The southern governorates of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, and the Governorate of Rafah, are classified in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency). However, in a worst-case scenario, these governorates face a risk of Famine through July 2024.The entire population in the Gaza Strip (2.23 million) is facing high levels of acute food insecurity. 

The IPC latest report, published June 4 reads (FRC=Famine Review Committee):

The FRC does not find the FEWS NET analysis plausible given the uncertainty and lack of  convergence of the supporting evidence employed in the analysis. Therefore, the FRC is unable to make a determination as to whether or not famine thresholds have been passed during April. As the FRC does not find the FEWS NET analysis plausible for the current period, the FRC is unable to endorse the IPC Phase 5 (Famine) classification for the projection period. However, this FEWS NET projection is in line with the FRC projection done in March 2024, which has not yet been updated.

In other words, there is no starvation, nor famine nor malnutrition in Gaza.


What Rabinovich Could Have Said

Back on February 1, 2024, Emily Bazelon moderated at the New York Times a conversation with six participants.  Entitled "The Road to 1948", it was to discuss "how the decisions that led to the founding of Israel left the region in a state of eternal conflict."

Participating were Salim Tamari, sociologist at Birzeit University in the West Bank, Abigail Jacobson, history professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Leena Dallasheh, historian working on a book about the city of Nazareth, Derek Penslar, history professor at Harvard University, Nadim Bawalsa, historian and associate editor for The Journal of Palestine Studies and Itamar Rabinovich, history professor at Tel Aviv University.

It is very instructive not only as regards the historical facts (and non-facts) included but how too many fudge issues and spin them.

One particular statement caught my eye, that of Rabinovich, at the very end. It is illustrative of how an Israeli, with a trump card in his hand, lets it drop from his fingers and, moreover, uses it in a way that is detrimental to Zionism. 

Here he is:

I want to speak about the destructive power of nationalism. What we have here is the collision between two national movements that were born at about the same time. In 1905, the Lebanese [Maronite Christian] intellectual Najib Azoury published a book in which he said these two national movements would have a destructive effect on the whole region. At the end of World War I, three multinational empires collapsed, the Ottoman, the Austro-Hungarian and the Russian. None of them was great at that point. But look at what they were replaced by — mostly ethnic conflicts and the collision between national movements in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Levant.

Rabinovich is quite familiar with Azoury's book, Le réveil de la nation arabe 

(and see here), 
is, indeed important, as it refers to a Palestine as a country:
La Palestine était donc ouverte de partout aux invasions étrangères 

And, more importantly, it refers to the Zionists:

Les Juifs de nos jours ont parfaitement compris les fautes de leurs ancêtres ; aussi cherchentils soigneusement à les éviter dans la reconstitu¬ tion de ce qu’ils appellent leur ancienne patrie, en acquérant la partie de la Palestine que leurs aïeux n’avaient pu posséder, et en occupant avant tout les frontières naturelles du pays ; voilà deux points des plus importants dans le plan d’action des Sionistes. [The Jews of our day have perfectly understood the faults of their ancestors; they also carefully seek to avoid them in the reconstitution of what they call their ancient homeland, by acquiring the part of Palestine that their ancestors could not have possessed, and by occupying above all the natural borders of the country; These are two of the most important points in the Zionist action plan.]

Azoury also wrote:
"Zionist and Arab nationalist aspirations were likely to come seriously into conflict...two important phenomena are emerging at this moment in Asiatic Turkey. They are the awakening of the Arab Nation and the latent effort by Jews to reconstitute on a very large scale the ancient Kingdom of Israel... They are destined to fight each other continually until one of them wins."
Rabinovich could have used the quotation to indicate that even the Arabs were aware, at the beginning ocf the 20th century, that the Jews were an ancient people in the country and had a Kingdom and additional elements of history, a narrative contemporary Arabs refuse to recognize, denounce and deny.

He could have quoted Azoury regarding demographic figures, page 22:
If we only count the rural population, the West Bank is no more inhabited than the other part of Palestine, despite its larger surface area...From Léontès to the Bir-Sabeh plateau, the rural population hardly exceeds 100,000 inhabitants. By adding the urban population of Hebron, Gaza, Jaffa, Jerusalem, Nablus, Caiffa, Saint-Jean-Acre, Tyre, Nazareth, Tiberias and Safed, we arrive at 170,000 souls. To this must be added the 30,000 nomadic Bedouins of the Bir-Sabeh Plateau, which gives us a total of 200,000 inhabitants. In this number we do not count the Jews who also number 200,000; because we are only considering, for the moment, the population that lives off the ground.
I cannot confirm his data but that is a remarkable accounting.

Azoury possessed a negative view of Jewish aspiration, writing on page 46 of a Jewish "encroachment" (l’envahissement). On page 48, he refers positively to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion ("L’étude approfondie que nous faisons...servira aussi à montrer à ceux qui liront Le Péril juif universel, combien les circonstances présentes sont favorables aux projets des Sionistes dans le pays qui fût le rêve de leurs ancêtres et qui, au¬ jourd’hui encore, excite tant leurs convoitises" - "The in-depth study we make...will also serve to show those who read The Universal Jewish Peril how present circumstances are favorable to the projects of the Zionists in the country which was the dream of their ancestors and which, even today, excites their desires so much").

In other words, given an opportunity to make a firm, uncompromising Zionist statement based on an Arab's writing, and there is much he could have said based on Azoury, Rabinovich 'drops the ball'.


Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Non-Arab Minorities in the Middle East.

Have you seen this short clip?

A Jew without army is a Yezidi!

If Jews didn’t have their own army, they would have faced the same fate of Yezidis by lSlS Terrorists!

Watching/listening brought back memories.

As a Betar member and Revisionist Zionist, I got to know the first stirrings of what would become the Canaanite Movement.

Its first ideologues were Uriel Halperin (to become the poet Yonatan Ratosh) and Ada Gurevich (A.G. Horon) in the late 1930s influenced by French pro-Phoenician thought. A new book is out (not yet in my hands): The Hebrew Falcon: Adya Horon and the Birth of the Canaanite IdeaThe Hebrew Falcon: Adya Horon and the Birth of the Canaanite Idea. An older bookolder book. Another source is here.

When I served a Betar emissary in the UK 1975-77, I developed a hasbarah presentation based on a booklet Horon had published showing how the Middle East was not truly Arab but Arab dominated and occupied and that all minorities should unite, including Israelis. I asked the official bodies I worked with (Jewish Agency; Embassy) to assist but they just looked at me dumbfoundedly. 

The Maronite Lebanon civil war broke out shortly thereafter. Oh well. In any case, the dozen or so times I lectured before audiences was amazing when the idea began to sink in.


Sunday, June 02, 2024

Were IDF Troops Moved to Hawara Prior to Oct. 7?

A staple claim of Israel's Left is that a day or so prior to October 7th, significant enough numbers of soldiers were moved from the Southern Front Command to the area of Samaria and, specifically, to Hawara to protect the succah that MK Tzvi Succot had set up in the town 

as a protest against repeated terror attacks against Jews traveling through the town. That move of soldiers supposedly affected the ability of the IDF to defend the Gaza Envelope area from the Hamas-led invasion and slaughter. It wasn't clear exactly how many but the rumor made its rounds. The assertion was the "settlers" had "blood on their hands". One tweet claimed 25 battalions were moved over (that's thousands of soldiers).

Here's from a news report quoting Roy Sharon of Kan News, Channel 11:

Over 100 soldiers diverted from Gaza to Judea and Samaria just days before massacre. Two troop companies were relocated from the Gaza Division to Judea and Samaria two days before the Hamas massacre.

It went on:

"Two companies from the Commando Brigade that were reinforcing the Gaza Division during the holidays (as part of a General Staff standby, not as a routine security force) were called from the Gaza envelope to the Huwara region two days before the massacre. Over one hundred soldiers were indeed diverted from the jurisdiction of the Gaza Division to that of the Samaria Brigade," Sharon wrote.

He noted that "to the best of my inquiries, these companies (that left the Gaza Division) were not replaced with other forces; the IDF Spokesperson did respond to this question as well." Sharon also mentions the fact that just a day ago, he reported that the IDF did not move forces from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

Now Sharon claims: "Unfortunately, the information that IDF officers gave me was erroneous (yesterday they explained that they did not remember/know that two companies came from the Gaza envelope)."

Some of the stories that appeared (in Hebrew) are here; and here. The IDF Spokesman denied the facts but they belief in their supposed truth persisted. Already on Oct. 6, Naor Narkis tweeted that soldiers had been transferred to guard the MK's succah and he was endangering them unnecessarily.

We now have the actual internal IDF document that established, prior to Oct. 6, the manpower order to move troops over:

and it proves that troops were set to be moved from the South to Huwara already in August as part of a quarterly program arrangementand moreover, the military document proves that on the day before Oct. 7, forces from the area surrounding Gaza had not been sent to protect MK Zvi Sukkot's protest tent in Huwara.

As explained,

...the transfer of the forces to reinforcement positions throughout Samaria was part of a quarterly IDF plan from as early as August last year, and therefore is not connected to MK Zvi Sukkot's protest tent.  According to the quarterly plan from August, which was disclosed by the head of the Samaria Council, no battalions were brought there from Gaza, but according to the same pre-planned reinforcement program, a force of [dozens of] soldiers from the Egoz unit – as defined in the document as "General Staff Reserve" (meaning soldiers not belonging to the Gaza area) - replaced a group of soldiers..."

In fact, those soldiers arrived a half-day prior to the terrorist incident which led to the protest succh being erected. 

Sometimes, one just cannot trust the news. Especially when Jews resident in Judea and Samaria are involved.


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Moshe Sneh's Role in the King David Explosion

Recently, a new biography on Moshe Sneh has appeared, authored by Nir Mann, dealing with the period of his life when he commanded the Hebrew Resistance Movement.

Based on a review by Yossi Kister that appeared in Ha'Umma, in its issue 234, I summarize some new material on the King David Hotel explosion, portions which appeared in various articles Mann published.

Sneh pushed a line that was termed "activist" in those days in the Yishuv which meant that the fighting forces would attack rather than respond. As a result, between the end of 1945 and the summer of 1946, relatively large-scale and well-coordinated insurgency operations took place against British installations, rail lines, bridges and othe targets.

Already in May 1946, Sneh managed to get its Committee 'X' to authorize a new series of objects, one of which included the King David Hotel's southern wing. It was that section of the hotel that had been appropriated by the Mandate Government already in 1939 for offices. In 1946, senior officials, both in the civil and military departments, were in that wing.

However, on May 8, 1946, David Ben-Gurion had written of his unwillingess to continue offense actions. Sneh's policy was saved, as it were, by Britain's unwillingness to permit increased immigration which undermined the position furthered by Moshe Sharett and other moderates. In reaction to the "Black Sabbath" operation of the British, a further decision was taken to act in a triple operation.

Some ten days prior to the King David operation, the personal political secretary of Chaim Weizmann, Meir Wesigal, visited Sneh and instructed him to cease all military operations. As a result, Sneh tendered his resignation on July 17. However, despite the initial authorization given to both the Irgun and the Lechi for the planned actions at the Hotel and the nearby Royal Air Force Intelligence offices, Sneh did not inform neither Menachem Begin or Natan Yellin-Mor regarding his resignation.

His handwritten note to Begin of July 19 simply asked Begin, a second time, to delay the operation for a few days. Begin waited a few days and the new date was fixed for July 22. However, Begin was not apprised of the resignation. Moreover, he was unaware that Sneh on the day of the explosion was in Haifa sneaking aboard a commercial ship and the next day left the country clandestinely for Paris, there to join Ben-Gurion for a Zionist conference.

In a sense, Begin, and the Irgun, were left "holding the bag". The Hagana-led United Resistance Movement had insisted that the Irgun assume all responsibility even though the regular policy was that only the URM would appear as the sponsoring organization in announcements.

If Sneh had informed Begin of all the background, had told him he was no long the head of the URM (to one interviewer in his later years he said he didn't tell Begin to further delay the operation as he was no longer in command (!)) or even ordered him to halt the plans, there may have been a difference although I am not sure. 

In any case, the King David Hotel explosion was a joint Hagana-Irgun operation authorized by the highest echelons.


Sunday, May 26, 2024

Hebrew in Latin Characters

Ze'ev Jabotinsky enthusisasts know that one of his ideas was to have Hebrew appear in Latin characters. Joseph Nedava termed it the Latinization of the Hebrew script. He wrote a book, called Taryag Millim, to raise interest. In 1931, JTA reported:
The substitution of Latin characters in the Hebrew language, too, has been urged, notably, by Mr. Ittamar Ben Avi, the son of Eliezer Ben Jahuda, the Hebrew lexicographer, and Mr. Vladimir Jabotinsky. He was sure, Mr. Jabotinsky has written, that the movement would have a great influence on the development of Hebrew by enabling many people who could not read the present Hebrew script to read Hebrew books and papers. Efforts in this direction, he said, have also been made by Dr. Bodenheimer in Cologne and by the Hebrew poet, Dr. Jacob Cohen.
Here is an example, in Jabotinsky's handwriting from 1928, notes he wrote in Hebrew Latin characters:
What I didn't know is that a periodical appeared in Tel Aviv, named Deror that attempted to put this into actual practice. A page:
It wasn't a success and the initiative never gained traction. ^

Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Jewish Cordoba

I have blogged multiple times here on what I see as a parallel between the conflict between Catholics and Moslems over the Cordoba Cathedral and that of Jews and Moslems at the Temple Mount.

In short, I ask why can Moslems demand equal rights to a church, including prayer therein, that Moslems occupied and turned into a mosque after conquering Spain and then following the Reconquista, they were prohibited from doing so yet, when Jews retook the Temple Mount where Moslems had built an Islamic compound after conquering and occupying Judea, Jews demanding equal prayers rights and additional privileges are somehow in the wrong.

Read here; here; and here. And let's not forget the Hagia Sophia (and here).

And now what do I read?

Medieval synagogue discovered under Spanish church

Remnants of a medieval synagogue were discovered during restoration of altarpiece in Santa Maria la Blanca church in Seville. Archeologists performing restoration work on the apse and altarpiece of the Santa Maria la Blanca church in Seville, Spain, have uncovered the remnants of a medieval synagogue Ark.

I checked here:

Santa María la Blanca is the only church in Seville which has the remains of three religions. Formerly a mosque, it was made a synagogue on the orders of King Alfonso X in 1252, and was then consecrated as a Christian temple in 1391

The church:

The outline of the ark:

"In our work we have documented the rear wall of the main altar, made with solid bricks of variable dimensions but around 29x14.5x5 cm, prepared for rope and firebrand as it is a load-bearing wall. This wall has a thickness of about 94 centimeters," explained archaeologist José Antonio Valiente. The hejal that was discovered in 2012, like the mihrab of the mosque, is a rectangular space, open in front, "the wall documented during this performance would correspond to its rear closure, on the right side wall as shown. If you look straight ahead, it would include the space where the sacred books of the Torah would be placed and which is oriented to the east according to the canons of these religious buildings," the archaeologist explained.

If you are visiting Seville, go here:

Its in the Juderia, the old Jewish quarter.

Yes, the synagogue that existed there is well-known but finding the Ark is new:

José María Rincón, the director of the restoration, said that the Ark had been concealed by the wall-sized, gilded baroque altarpiece, built in the mid-1600s. Rincón called the discovery “a unique opportunity to witness an element unseen for 350 years, soon to be veiled once more, likely never to be seen again.” The Ark was in “an exceedingly precarious” condition, he continued. 

All confimed.

But we Jews cannot even do archaelogical work at the Temple Mount.


Monday, May 13, 2024

How Many? (Or, Gaza Arithmetic)

How many casualties are there amongst Gaza's population?

It depends.

At the New School last week, it was up to 40,000 dead.

Ken Roth has it as more than 34,000 and 77,700 injured.

UN data suggests large revision in Gaza war casualty figures. In reports released on May 6 and 8, previous estimates based on info provided by the Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health, the Government Media Office in Gaza, and Israel were seemingly halved. On May 6, the UN disclosed that 34,735 individuals had reportedly lost their lives in Gaza, with over 9,500 women and over 14,500 children among the reported casualties. However, just two days later, on May 8, revised figures showed a total of 34,844 fatalities, including 4,959 women and 7,797 children.

Then again, the UN Halves Its Estimate of Women and Children Killed in Gaza.

At OCHA on May 10, one can read that "Between 7 October 2023 and 9 May 2024, at least 34,904 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 78,514 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza."

Yesterday, the BBC reported that "more than 34,900 people have been killed in Gaza since then, according to the territory's Hamas-run health ministry."

Reuters, today, reads: "The Palestinian death toll in the war has now surpassed 35,000, according to Gaza health officials who fear many more bodies are lost under the rubble."

According to UPI, "The death toll in Gaza has since surpassed 35,000 people, according to Gazan health officials, who claim many of the victims are women and children."

And today, AP reads similarly: "Israel’s offensive has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza."

However, are those figures reliable?

Could there be flaws?

Has the data been reviewed and checked?

Are perhaps they are faked?

Maybe there's no evidence of errors?

What's really going on?

They a scam?

Perhaps manipulated?

Wait. Is this an old story?

And why is it important?

UN blames ‘fog of war’ for major overcounting of Gazan child deaths
And Israel's official estimationin excess of 14,000 terrorists; 16,000 civilians


Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Latest Non-Published Letter to the Editor at NYTimes

Witnessing the actions led by pro-Palestine student groups on college campuses as well as listening to and reading their slogans, one cannot but be confused and confounded as to how a supposedly "anti-occupation" movement insists upon occupying property that does not belong to them nor have they permission to reside in them. That is, until one realizes that rules of logic do not necessarily apply to the issue of "Palestine" .

Yisrael Medad

Shiloh, Israel


Friday, April 26, 2024

Does "Civitavecchia" Sound Familiar?

A new post reviews the Italian Fascist's regime's involvement in the training of Israel's future sailors.

The Betar Naval Academy was 

Jewish naval training school established in CivitavecchiaItaly in 1934 by the Revisionist Zionist movement under the direction of Ze'ev Jabotinsky, with the agreement of Benito Mussolini.The titular head of the Academy was the Italian maritime scientist Nicola Fusco but Betar leader Jeremiah Halpern ran the School and was its driving force. The Academy trained Jewish cadets from all over Europe, Palestine and South Africa and produced some of the future commanders of the Israeli Navy.

A topic that is not well studied by academics is the Israeli Navy creation with help from Fascist Italy in the 1930s. Many of us don't know that Mussolini had links with the Jewish of Italy, when he started his political movement that was later called "Fascism"(please read in Italian the interesting essay).

Maurizio Rava was governor of Italian Somalia and was born in a Jewish family in Milan. He enthusiastically joined the "National Fascist Party" ('Partito Fascista' in Italian language) during World War I: in 1919 he was a cofounder of the "Fascio" of Roma. In the 1920s Rava was vice-Governor of Italian Libya and a general in the fascist militia. From 1 July 1931 to 6 March 1935 Rava was the "Governor" of Italian Somalia. But in the late 1930s he faced problems within the party because of Nazi Germany's influences against Italian Jews.  However he was always respected by the fascists (read here). After being nominated "senator", he died in 1941 because of wounds received in Italian Libya, when was a general of brigade fighting the British. In the last years of his life he was very close to Italo Balbo (the second in charge in fascist Italy after Mussolini) and promoted some links with the Israeli Navy.

Links to Jabotinsky Revisionism

Indeed Rava was linked to Jabotinsky (the main leader of the "Zionist Revisionism") who promoted the "Betar" (youth organization of the Revisionism) and who did the 1931 Betar Conference where was decided to promote the so called "maritime idea" of the 'Rodegal association' (read in Italian). In this conference the captain Irmiyahu Helpern was allowed to create a jewish  "group for maritime self-defense", that was to be prepared in the Italian navy school of Civitavecchia (located near Rome). 

Maurizio Bendes, responsible for the Betar in Italy, started to contact the Italian authorities for the authorization to open a section school for Jews in the Civitavecchia military compound.

The Jewish Italian Revisionists obtained the official approval from the Italian admiral Thaon de Revel in January 1935. The same Mussolini agreed with this request since early 1934 and welcomed the contacts with the Jewish organizations (previously he had met 3 times with the Jewish leader Chaim Weizmann). Mussolini never met Jabotinski (who has been a student at the Sapienza University of Rome law school and always showed sympathies for the Italian Fascism before it suffered the influence of Hitler). Jabotinski ordered to the young Jewish members of the "Betar" the use of "brown shirts"  similar to the "black shirts" of Mussolini, and was nicknamed the "Revisionism Duce" (LEONE CARPI, Come e dove rinacque la Marina d'Israele, la scuola marittima del Bethar a Civitavecchia - Nemi, Roma 1965)

In 1933 the Italian Foreign ministry (Mussolini was also Foreign Minister) began circulating internal policy documents arguing that a strong Jewish state would be in Italy's best interests, against British control of Palestine and the Middle East .

Although Jabotinsky had still not been able to arrange a meeting with Mussolini it became clear that the Italian government did view the Revisionists as potential ideological partners at the end of 1933. It was this change that facilitated the creation of the Betar Naval Academy in the Italian port city of Civitavecchia.

Nicola Fusco, the nominal head of the Academy, was administrative secretary of the local Fascist Party and the relationship between the cadets and the fascist establishment was close.

Brief History of the Academy

In October 1934, the first 28 Jewish official students arrived in Civitavecchia to be trained in the Maritime School; in the next three years there will be almost 200 graduates. On the uniforms they carried an anchor, the Menorah (the seven-branched candlestick) and the lictorian bundle, and in some official ceremonies they hailed in Roman style, as recalled by the then group leader Avram Blass, later become admiral of the Israeli Navy.

In 1936 the Second Course began, inaugurated by the Chief Rabbi of Rome. Meanwhile, a 60-meter motor sailboat was also purchased, the 'Quattro Venti', renamed "Sarah I", which in the summer of that same year sailed towards Palestine, where it was welcomed with great celebrations by the Jewish community. It is the first merchant of the modern history of Israel.

First commander of the "Sara I" was a professor of the school, Tiberio Paone. The second course was inaugurated on March 29, 1936, in the presence of the Chief Rabbi of Rome. The members increase considerably, going up to 52, with the Poles who were the largest group. The second educational cruise is limited to the Italian ports and the French airports of Nice and Marseille.

In February 1937, Commander Fusco was invited to London to meet with the leaders of the Zionist movement, including Jabotinsky, and some businessmen. There was a discussion about the creation of a Jewish fishing port to exploit the sea in front of the coasts of Palestine.

The third course opened in February 1937 with about seventy students. In the lessons were introduced fishing concepts. In order for the students to receive practical fishing lessons, a trawler, renamed "Neca", was purchased at a judicial auction in Porto Santo Stefano. It was then joined by a smaller one, the "Lea". The cruise of summer 1937 had Palestine as a destination, where at the arrival of "Sarah I" grand celebrations were unleashed in honor of the students of the school. The Palestine Post reported that visitors from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the settlements visited the ship to greet the "Jewish seagoing pioneers".

But in 1938 the school had to close after the fourth course was held. The sad reason: Mussolini government has now changed its political acceptance towards Judaism, under the terrible influence of Adolf Hitler and his Nazism. But the courses were very successful and the Revisionists also contacted in December 1935 and in April 1937 the Italian consulate in Haifa to see if they could send some youths to train with the Italian air Force (The Jews in Fascist Italy; p.262 ) 

Future commanders of Israeli  Navy and the start of "Sayetet 13"

However the Academy trained nearly 200 Jewish cadets from all over Europe, Palestine and South Africa and produced some of the future commanders of the Israeli Navy.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

A Conversation on X with a Professor

Basically starts here, with him responding to me reaction so:

Re: "That is the least disruptive way of occupying space on a campus”

Actually, it's one of the worst as it takes over external space where more students need to pass by and hear the epithets. More students see it.

You're a professor?

9:08  19 באפר׳ 2024


Angus Johnston @studentactivism

"Protests should be restricted to places where nobody will see them" is a fascinating take.


Yisrael Medad


I did not write that.

Infering is fraught with danger.

I argyed that the professor's defense of the pro-Pal Columbia U. lawn-in was illogical.

And given the violent nature of those demos, an invitation to do injury in the name of "non-violent protest".


Angus Johnston


You said that a form of protest which “takes over external space where more students need to pass by and hear” is bad. My gloss on that is a straightforward paraphrase, no inference required.


Yisrael Medad


Jewish alumni from Columbia University warning that violence against Jewish students may be imminent.

“At present, new, unauthorized protests are disrupting classes and creating an irrefutably unsafe environment for Jewish students,”


Angus Johnston


Speech is either 1A protected or it isn’t. If it is, let the protest continue. If it isn’t, take action against specific speakers. Mass arrests of everyone in an occupation isn’t that.

My claim is not that Columbia violated the law. But also, Columbia doesn’t have an unrestricted right to suppress student speech-—not while it receives federal funding.


Yisrael Medad


Federal or private funding should not act as an impediment or facilitator of student speech.

But to the point: haranguing and threatening students is not free speech. It is a normative element that precedes physical violence, especially using hateful terms & expletives.


Angus Johnston


Using “hateful terms and expletives” is, in most cases, protected speech. And AGAIN, one person using hateful terms isn’t reason to arrest another.


Yisrael Medad



But for a university administration it probably indicates lack of civility, intention to threaten, act in a violent way and generally use the campus property for possible nefarious illegal deeds and so well within their right to order the punks off the lawn.


Thursday, April 18, 2024

On Jabotinsky's Views on Arabs

From here, Shlomo Avineri:

"In connection with the central position of national existence in Jabotinsky’s theoretical concept, his approach to the position of Zionism in the Arab question is especially interesting. And we repeat, we are not interested in tactical positions, but in the question of principle, and here Jabotinsky inevitably faces a very difficult problem.

On the one hand, one might believe that a person like Jabotinsky, who saw in nationalism, in national characteristics, in the national desire to separate from others and in national pride, the focus of state and historical development, would be attentive to the aspirations of Arab-Palestinian nationalism. One who did not shy away from Ukrainian nationalism with its anti-Semitic manifestations, as we saw above, who was intellectually interested in Serbs, Croats and Albanians with their national rights, who believed that Estonian choirs testify to the strength of the national feeling seething in the Estonian people , - from such a person one could expect that, having come to analyze the Middle Eastern reality, he would try to find a place for Arab nationalism - in Palestine and in neighboring countries - in the overall picture of his worldview.

But that did not happen. Anyone who wants to find in Jabotinsky an attempt to resolve this issue will be disappointed. The fundamental decision here was not easy for any of the Zionist thinkers, but perhaps it could have been expected from such a thinker as Jabotinsky, in whose philosophy nationalism, as a universal phenomenon, occupied such a central place. However, Arab nationalism is discussed infrequently and in passing in his writings, and anyone who detects a considerable amount of disdain for the Arabs in this limited material would be right.

True, Jabotinsky, with his moral conviction, stood for the fact that in the future Jewish state, where the Arabs would be a minority, they would receive full civil rights as individuals. But a continuous thread runs through all of Jabotinsky’s literary and political activities: he does not seem to notice the Arabs as a serious political, social or cultural factor.

Once again, this seems to be driven not by tactical considerations or an attempt to evade a question that may be difficult to answer, but by something deeper: at the heart of this position is Jabotinsky's concept of the superiority of European culture; therefore, he views Zionism as an expression of this cultural power of Europe. In his writings, he resolutely rejects the idealization of the East or the Arab world, and in the article “Fashion for Arabesques” (1927) he argues with those participants in the Zionist movement who strive to see in the return to Zion also a return of the Jewish people to their origins - to the East. The Jewish people, Jabotinsky argues, are a European people, their culture took root in Europe, European culture itself is based on elements to which the people of Israel contributed from the best of their heritage, and there, in the West, and not in the East, the place of Israel as a people . According to Jabotinsky, this also applies to the Sephardi community: “Our origins from Asia, of course, are not proof. All of Central Europe is filled with races that also came from Asia - and much later than us.

All Ashkenazi Jews and perhaps half of the Sephardic Jews have lived in Europe for almost two thousand years. Enough time to take root spiritually.

Even more important is the other side of the issue: we not only lived in Europe for many centuries, we not only learned from Europe: we, the Jews, are one of those peoples who created European culture, and one of the most important among them...

The spiritual atmosphere in Europe is ours, we have the same right to it as the Germans, English, Italians and French: the “copyright” right. And in Eretz Israel this creativity of ours will continue... Nordau said it well: we are going to Palestine to push the moral limits of Europe to the Euphrates River" [5] .

In the same year (1927), Jabotinsky wrote a long article entitled “Merchants of the Spirit,” in which he tries to prove that the Arab medieval culture was, in essence, not Arab, and not even Muslim, and that most of the famous names in the field of thought in the Arab world of the Middle Ages belongs to the Syrians, Jews, Persians, etc. - and not to the Arabs themselves. It is clear that the main question here is not the historical correctness of such a definition, which itself is historical and conditioned by time; It is interesting that the same thinker who, when discussing Ukrainian nationalism, carefully emphasizes the element of difference between Ukrainians and Great Russians, does the opposite when discussing Arab culture [6] .

The same question finds artistic expression in the story “Zhidenok”, which appeared in a collection in Russian published by Zhabotinsky in 1930.

Jabotinsky himself is aware that the story can be called “obviously chauvinistic.” The main story is a detailed story about a Jewish teenager in one of the settlements of Eretz Israel, proving how much better he knows Arab culture and the geography of the Middle East than all the students of the village Arab school, which is known as “an amazing school: six classes, geographical maps and teacher from students of Cairo Al-Azgar University.” The story may be trivial, but the lesson that Jabotinsky wants to draw from it is clear, especially since the Jewish teenager in the story sums up the goals of this education in a very simple form: “The students must learn two branches of knowledge: to speak Hebrew and to beat face."

Jabotinsky gives this assessment not only to the Arabs, but also to Islam in general. In the article “Islam” (1924), Jabotinsky points out a number of cases in which a handful of European soldiers managed to defeat vastly superior Arab or Muslim forces. The Italian victory over the Senu Sith in 1911 in Tripoli, the victory of the French expeditionary force over Faisal in Damascus in 1920 - all this serves as decisive proof for Jabotinsky of the significant superiority of the West.

“I am not writing this to humiliate or ridicule the Arabs; I have no doubt about their military valor... In our time, war is a scientific and financial matter; backward peoples cannot do it.”

This backwardness is not only a matter of time, according to Jabotinsky, as far as the Muslim world is concerned. “Its real power in the future will be even less than before,” he says, objecting in particular to those who believed that Britain was forced to reckon with the Arab and Muslim factor in its Middle East policy. The Muslim world does not represent—and will not represent—a political force, as Jabotinsky says in the same article: “220 million people or even more profess Islam; but “Islam” as an integral factor in international relations does not exist... in the same way it is possible now, as it was possible a hundred years ago, to bring a conflict with any Muslim people to any end, without risking any complications of a pan-Islamic nature... As a political fist … Islam does not exist.”

If this concept defines Jabotinsky's position in assessing Arab nationalism, then it is clear that his conclusions regarding the demands of the “Palestinian” Arabs are unambiguous. Testifying before the British Royal Commission on Palestine (Peel Commission) in 1937, Jabotinsky demands the establishment of a Jewish state throughout the land of Israel in accordance with the basic principles of the revisionist movement and continues: “We unanimously affirm that the economic situation of the Arabs in the country is in the period of Jewish settlement, and thanks to Jewish settlement, is the envy of neighboring Arab countries to such an extent that Arabs from these countries show a clear tendency to migrate to Palestine. And I have already shown you that, in our opinion, there is no need to oust the Arabs. On the contrary, we mean that Palestine on both sides of the Jordan will accommodate both the Arabs and their descendants and many millions of Jews. I do not deny that in the course of this process the Arabs will inevitably become a minority in Palestine. However, I deny that this will cause them suffering. This is not a misery for any race or nation if it already has so many nation-states and many more nation-states will be added to them in the future. One part, one branch of this race, and by no means the most significant, will join the state belonging to others in order to live in it... This is a completely normal thing, and there is no “suffering” in it.”

Note that Jabotinsky does not argue that, compared with the Jewish claims to Eretz Israel, the Arab claims are less valid or that, compared with the possibility of the Jews remaining in the minority, the situation in which part of the Arab nation will be a minority in the Jewish state will be a lesser disaster and will entail less hardship.

For him, turning the Arabs in Palestine into a minority will not cause them any trouble at all. Personal rights, of course, will be granted to them - but on a national level they have no claims. Here the right is not opposed to the right and 13* 387 claims - claims, as Weizmann and his like-minded people saw it. From Jabotinsky’s point of view, everything that was once said about Jews in the Diaspora can also be said about Arabs in Palestine: the Arabs of this country as individuals have everything, but as a collective nothing."


Sunday, February 25, 2024

Did the "Zionists" Yield on the Negev in 1947?

From a February 1947 State Department memorandum:

"...In present discussions, Negeb has been divided into two parts. Northern or cultivable part carries already a substantial Arab population, and British hope to develop it further in Arab interest (see 2 above). Jews have themselves stated that uninhabited southern part of Negeb is useless to them. Consequently, Negeb will be left in Arab area."

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Lesson on 'How to think like Said Arikat'

There is nothing like an extensive example of Said Arikat's questioning at the State Department to exhibit how PPPPs (pro-Palestine propaganda proponents) think and how they insert wrong assumptions, untruths and misrepresentations into their questioning. Mehdi Hasan, of course, is another.

Here is from
the State Department Press Briefing of January 30, 2024 (the boldface I have added):-

MR MILLER: Go ahead, Said.

QUESTION: Thank you. Actually, on both points. But on this particular one, I mean, Israel occupies the whole West Bank. They are under their control. They don’t need to disguise themselves as medics and go into a hospital and kill people, which you called non-civilians. They are actually civilians, but that’s beside the point. So —

MR MILLER: I – so that is very much – but hold on.

QUESTION: Just allow me. Allow me just to follow up.

MR MILLER: No, Said, but before you call someone a civilian that Israel has said is a member of Hamas, I need to put on the record that that is very much a question that’s in dispute.

QUESTION: There are civilian members of Hamas; it’s a political organization. I mean, you may disagree with their politics, but that does not make them militants, right? Or —

MR MILLER: I would very much —


MR MILLER: I would very much disagree with that, Said.

QUESTION: That is —

MR MILLER: They’re a terrorist organization as have been —

QUESTION: Right, but that —

MR MILLER: — have been designated by the United States of America.

QUESTION: Right, but that’s an accusation of the occupier, a military occupier. They are making the accusation. I want to ask you: Is that a conduct befitting a state or a group of gangsters to go in and kill people, assassinate them as they sat in their beds?


QUESTION: Is that the conduct of a state? Will the United States ever do something like this under similar circumstances?

MR MILLER: So, Said, I am going to first of all note for the record, because it is important to note for the record, that Hamas is a brutal terrorist organization that carried out the brutal murder of 1,200 people on October 7th and —

QUESTION: We’re talking about the Bank, the West Bank. We’re talking about the West Bank, not Gaza.

MR MILLER: — and there are members of Hamas – and there are members of Hamas in the West Bank. And in addition to carrying out the brutal murder —


MR MILLER: — of 1,200 people on October 7th, has hid behind civilians in Gaza and been responsible for the death of many, many Palestinian civilians who they use as human shields. So before we talk about the people who died in this operation, I think it’s important to talk about who Hamas is, and it is not just – it is not a political organization, Hamas. It is – or Said. It is a terrorist organization that has carried out terrorist acts to kill civilians and has said it wants to continue to carry out those terrorist acts over and over again, and that context is important because Israel has the right to carry out antiterrorism operations to bring members of Hamas to justice. But as I said, we want them to be carried out in full —

QUESTION: I am asking you —

MR MILLER: Said, let me finish – in full compliance with international humanitarian law.

QUESTION: I’m asking you: Is this a conduct befitting a state that controls every single person in that whole territory?

MR MILLER: We think it is appropriate that they have the ability to bring members of Hamas to justice.

QUESTION: Fair enough, fair enough. That’s your answer.