Tuesday, January 21, 2020

From Ian:

Uncovered, Polish Jews’ pre-Holocaust plea to Chamberlain: Let us into Palestine
The sordid history of the May 1939 British White Paper, the notorious document with which the British all but slammed shut the doors of Palestine to European Jewry, has been documented many times. Less-remembered is how the (Jewish-owned) New York Times took British prime minister Neville Chamberlain’s side the day after the White Paper was issued, incurring the wrath of Chaim Weizmann and the Zionist leadership. Virtually unknown, however, is that the Polish Jewish community had sent a desperate plea two months earlier to Chamberlain — a telegram begging him to keep the gates of Palestine open.

This is the story of that plea.
Although the dispatch of the telegram was reported at the time, this article apparently marks the first time the document itself is being published.

The missive was discovered after 82 years in a British Colonial Office file; there is no evidence that Chamberlain or anyone in his office discussed it or, indeed, ever even saw it.

By late 1938, the Jewish position in Europe, already precarious in Germany and countries under the threat of German invasion, had worsened dramatically. On September 30 of that year Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement, allowing Hitler to annex the Sudeten areas of Czechoslovakia.

Chamberlain naively believed appeasement would bring “peace in our time,” but in actuality, the opposite occurred — Chamberlain’s weakness emboldened Hitler to launch World War II just 11 months later. By June 1940, Hitler was bombing the civilian population of London.

The Munich Agreement also paved the way for the Holocaust, which began less than six weeks later with the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 9, 1938. Thousands of Jewish businesses and synagogues were destroyed throughout Nazi Germany. Hundreds of German Jews lost their lives in the overnight orgy of violence, a precursor to the fate awaiting six million other Jews throughout Europe. After Kristallnacht, no one could claim ignorance of Hitler’s intentions toward the Jews.

David Collier: Catching the antisemites – playing a whack a mole game
Whack a mole is a popular game based on a repetitive and futile task. You are faced with numerous holes in the ground and you can never be sure out of which one the mole will appear. Your role is to ‘whack them’ wherever the pesky animals surface. The task is endless.

Most of those who are seriously fighting antisemitism understand this concept perfectly. It is what most of us do. In the real world however, we are not waiting for a mole, but an antisemite. Our ‘holes’ are newspapers, institutions and educational environments such as the BBC, the Labour Party, national unions and on the university campus.

There are dozens if not 100s of skilful, dedicated fighters against antisemitism who have their eyes firmly fixed on the ‘holes’ – waiting for the antisemites to appear. They always do appear – we catch whichever ones we can and the task is endless.

The mole, the hole and the task at hand
This is one of the reasons I rarely publish news of success stories. The research behind this blog has been at the forefront of the battle against antisemitism for years. I have been responsible for countless headlines in every major media outlet in the UK and many abroad. On Saturday it was the Telegraph and yesterday I even made the Bookseller. Many exclusives give credit to my research – some do not. Publicity is never sought for publicity’s sake. The problem is inherent in the game we play – ‘catching an antisemite’ or ‘whacking the mole’ is of limited value if we do not follow through and ensure the hole itself is filled.

Is Pearson a victory?
I can use Pearson Education as the first example. Over the last few days I have received dozens of congratulatory messages over the withdrawal of the Pearson Education book. On the face of it, the story is a success. The Zionist Federation and UKLFI turned to me to with concerns about the bias in a school textbook. They asked me to do a proper analysis, which I did. I was left in no doubt – the textbook carried major historical distortions and many of the usual anti-Zionist messages. It wasn’t just a slight bias – but a rewrite of the historical pillars upon which the conflict was built. I published the report – Pearson went off to conduct a review – and recently announced that the book has indeed been withdrawn. Success claimed – the book is no longer available. Mole duly ‘whacked’.

But look closely at Pearson’s announcement. They claim they found ‘no overall evidence of anti-Israel bias’. This is a lie. I know it is a lie – and I am pretty certain that they know it is a lie. In their own response they claim they need to ‘rebalance’ sources. How can there be no bias if the sources are unbalanced? Might I suggest they invest in lessons in verbal reasoning or logic solving. They can order helpful textbooks from their own warehouse.

None of this matters. Pearson has shareholders and a duty to look after its own credibility. We do not need a public admission that their processes are flawed.
Less than half of French confident of government ability to tackle anti-Semitism
Less than half of the French public, Jews and non-Jews alike, have confidence that the country’s leaders can tackle what is seen as a widespread problem of anti-Semitism in the country, a survey released Monday found.

Nearly three-quarters of the public said that racism against Jews is plaguing all areas of French society, according to the American Jewish Committee’s Paris branch.

“But alignment on the antisemitism threat to French society, and the government’s weak responsiveness, does not mitigate the fears of Jews about their safety and future in France,” the group said in a statement.

Only 47 percent of Jews and 48% of the general public have confidence in French President Emmanuel Macron tackling anti-Semitism, the survey found. The government had the confidence of just 46% of Jews and 41% of the public in dealing with the issue, while local elected official fared better, with 58% of Jews and 56% of the public expressing confidence in their abilities.

Overall, 73% of the French public and 72% of Jews said that anti-Semitism is a problem that affects all of French society.

However, there were significant differences between how Jewish and non-Jewish people felt about the severity of anti-Semitism in the country.

The level of anti-Semitism is high according to 67% of Jewish respondents, while only 47% of the general public agreed. Just 27% of Jews felt the level is low, compared to 22% of the general public.

  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
My series of re-purposing single-panel cartoons continues...





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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
IfNotNow wrote a tweet, trying to use a story in the Forward to make an anti-Israel point.




Now, how many members of IfNotNow bother to learn Yiddish? How many really care about Yiddish culture? The article about YIVO laying off its librarians was just used as an excuse to say that, look, Jews are giving more to an awful Israel than to a vital effort to preserve Yiddish culture.

If you care about Judaism, where should your charity dollars go? What should be your priority?

This Yiddish topic indicates how anti-Zionists think.

The Yiddish that YIVO preserves, and that organizations like the Workman's Circle celebrate and study, is essentially a dead language. For historical and sociological reasons it is nice to study the history of Jews arriving in the US in the 19th and 20th centuries and their media, but outside a tiny number of people who keep it barely breathing there is nothing left.

They are interested in pretending to preserve a culture that exists only in history, one that doesn't affect their lives today. That is the Judaism of the socialist Left.

But there is another Yiddish that is thriving - the Yiddish of the Chassidic communities in New York. They have newspapers, magazines, children's periodicals and books. It doesn't need preservation - Yiddish newspapers have hundreds of pages in an era where secular newspapers are shrinking.

No one in the secular Yiddish community is interested in current Yiddish culture. Because it is the Yiddish of a living, breathing people who are committed to living Yiddishkeit. Even though it is centered on the anti-Zionist Satmar chassidic community, this is not something that the socialist Left wants anything to do with.

Yiddish is the microcosm of how people think of Judaism.

If you care about Judaism, you would want to prioritize Jewish education, Jewish culture, and Jewish living today, not yesterday. Preserving the memory of the Holocaust is important but preserving Judaism today is more important. Living Jews are a higher priority than martyred Jews. Keeping them Jewish and proud should be the project that proud Jews support.

Right now, Israel is where that is happening more than anywhere else. The most innovative and creative Jewish education and cultural initiatives are in Israel. If anything, we need to export their ideas to Jews in the diaspora. American Jews are hanging on, Israeli Jews are thriving. In Israel, Judaism is happening today, not the turn of the 20th century.

There may be exceptions but "progressive" anti-Zionist Jews are more interested in dead Judaism than in Judaism that demands participation, creativity and innovation.

If they cared about Judaism, they would care about Israel.





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From Ian:

Warning Iran, PM says lesson of Auschwitz is to confront evil when it’s small
On the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again drew a parallel between the Nazi genocide of Jews and Iran’s nuclear program.

“So we now have the capacity to defend ourselves, and I think the lesson of Auschwitz is: One, stop bad things when they’re small, and Iran is a very bad thing. It’s not that small but it could get a lot bigger with nuclear weapons, and I think the first thing is stop that,” he said in a television interview with TBN.

“And second, understand that the Jews will never ever again be defenseless in the face of those who want to destroy them. These are the two things that I think are important.”

The full interview with the Christian network will be broadcast on Tuesday evening. In a short clip released earlier during the day, the prime minister lamented the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust and stressed that attempts to wipe out the Jewish people have not ceased.

“A third of the Jewish people went up in flames. There was nothing we could do,” he said.

“Now, after the Holocaust and the State of Israel was established, the attempts to destroy the Jewish people have not disappeared,” Netanyahu said. “Iran openly declares every day that it wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. And by the way, Israel has today a population of more than six million Jews.”
Netanyahu On Trump Taking Out Soleimani: ‘A Tremendous Achievement’ That Accomplished Two Key Goals
In an interview with TBN that airs in full Tuesday night, a preview of which has been released exclusively to The Daily Wire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed President Trump’s decision to target Iran’s top military leader, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force. The removal of Soleimani, said the Israeli leader, is a “tremendous achievement” that accomplished two key priorities at once.

Asked how Soleimani’s death will “change the Middle East,” Netanyahu told TBN Television Networks President Matthew Crouch that he believes that, first of all, “it sends a message of American determination and American strength — it’s a deterrence, a very powerful one.”

“Secondly, Soleimani himself was the architect and the generator of Iran’s empirical [goals], the Iranian empire,” Netanyahu continued. “Iran is predominantly Shiite. [Soleimani] would go into a neighboring country, say Iraq, and he would find Shiites and would create Shiite militias … manned by Iraqi Shiites but commanded by his own officers, Iranian officers. The same he would do in Syria, same he would do in Yemen.”

“He was beginning to choke the Middle East,” the prime minister stressed. “He wanted to conquer the entire Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula and ultimately destroy Israel. He was beginning to push his forces right next to Israel in Syria — and we responded to them very forcefully, we hit back.”

“But it is important to understand that Iran’s expansion into this horrible empire that brings misery and death to untold numbers of people in the Middle East—by the way, Jews and Arabs alike, Christians Muslims Jews, everyone,” said Netanyahu. “This man was an engine of destruction and conquest and subjugation. And his removal, I think, helps roll back these forces of tyranny.”



  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which maintains a buffer zone on the Israeli-Syrian border, issues regular reports of violations by both sides.

In September, it mentioned that Israel reported a projectile being shot at Mount Hermon:
The Israel Defense Forces informed UNDOF that, on 1 June, projectiles had been fired from the Bravo [Syrian] side towards a ski resort on Mount Hermon on the Alpha [Israeli] side. On 2 June, military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Observer Group Golan, who are under the operational control of UNDOF, inspected the site, which was about 100 m south of an Israel Defense Forces position, and found a crater and an indication that a projectile had been fired from an east-south-easterly direction. 
Israel was also found to violate the cease fire:
The military violations on the Alpha side included the presence of Iron Dome systems and multiple rocket launcher systems within 10 km of the ceasefire line, which are considered unauthorized military equipment in the area of limitation pursuant to the terms of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement. 
Iron Dome, which is completely defensive, was called out as a violation.

The US, when writing a memo in support of continuing UNDOF operations in December, noted this jarring fact:

The United States believes UNDOF continues to have a vital role to play in preserving stability between Israel and Syria. We respect and recognize the Mission’s impartiality. This Council should be under no illusion however, that there is any equivalence between the noted violations on the Israeli and Syrian sides.

On November 19, four rockets were fired towards Israel from inside Syria. Those rockets were all intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system, likely saving the lives of civilian men, women, and children. While UNDOF has flagged Iron Dome emplacements as technical violations of the Disengagement agreement, no comparison should be drawn between these defensive systems and Syrian violations.
Another interesting point from the US about how UNDOF might be affected by President Trump's recognizing the Golan as part of Israel:

Much has been said about President Trump’s announcements earlier this year recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Today’s renewal demonstrates that the United States is committed to the 1974 Disengagement Agreement, and that this announcement in no way undermines UNDOF’s mandate.
(h/t Irene)



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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
JPost reports:
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) thwarted 560 significant terrorist attacks in 2019, more than 300 of them shootings, it said Monday.

Ten would-be suicide bombers and four attempted kidnappings were thwarted, Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman said.

The harvest of resistance in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem enabled the resistance to kill 5 Zionists, injure 153 others, carry out 38 shootings, 30 stabbings and attempted stabbings, 11 car rammings and attempted assassinations, 87 planting of explosives and throwing explosive devices.
Here are the five Israelis killed in terror attacks mentioned by Hamas:

7 February 2019 - Ori Ansbacher, 19, of Tekoa, was brutally assaulted and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while walking in the Ein Yael forest southwest of Jerusalem.
17 March 2019 -  Gal Keidan, 19, of Be’er Sheva, a sergeant in the Artillery Corps’, was stabbed and killed in a terror attack at the Ariel Junction. After stabbing him, the Palestinian attacker subsequently stole his weapon before shooting him and two other people in separate locations.
18 March 2019 - Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, 47, father of 12 from the settlement of Eli, was critically wounded while driving past the scene of the terrorist attack at the Ariel Junction in the northern West Bank on Sunday, 17 March 2019. He succumbed to his wounds the following day.
8 August 2019 - Dvir Sorek​ (19) from the settlement Ofra, a soldier in the IDF Hesder program, was abducted and brutally murdered while returning to his yeshiva from a trip to Jerusalem. His body was found in the early hours of Thursday morning.
23 August 2019 - Rina Shnerb​ (17), a resident of Lod, was murdered when terrorists detonated an IED device near a popular tourist and recreation site situated near the West Bank settlement of Dolev. Her father and elder brother who were with her were seriously wounded.  
This doesn't include the victims of rocket attacks last year:
5 May 2019 - Moshe Agadi,​ 58, father of four from the city of Ashkelon, was critically wounded while standing outside his house early on Sunday morning (5 May). Magen David Adom paramedics provided emergency medical treatment at the site and immediately evacuated him to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center, where he was unfortunately pronounced dead on arrival.
5 May 2019 - Ziad Alhamada​, 49, father of seven, was critically wounded when a rocket hit the factory where he worked in Ashkelon. The second victim in today’s attacks, he was rushed to hospital but died of his wounds shortly thereafter.
​5 May 2019 - Moshe Feder​, 68, of Kfar Saba, the third of four victims in today’s attacks,  was on his way to his place of work at Kibbutz Erez when his car was struck by an anti-tank missile.  He was evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon where he succumbed to his injuries.
5 May 2019 - Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman​, 21, of Ashdod, a rabbinical student and member of the ultra-Orthodox Gur sect, was the fourth casualty in today’s attacks. The father of an infant child, he was critically wounded by shrapnel while rushing to a shelter in Ashdod. He was evacuated to a hospital but later died of his wounds. 
7 July 2019 - Rivka Jamil (89) of Ashkelon died on Sunday from wounds sustained while running for a bomb shelter during the last round of violence from the Gaza Strip in May 2019. ​
17 September 2019 - Nina Ganisdanova​ (74) of Ashkelon succumbed to wounds sustained during a rocket barrage launched from the Gaza Strip which hit her apartment building in Ashkelon on 12 November 2018. Another tenant of the building, Mahmoud Abu Asba (48),  a Palestinian father of six from the village of Halhul, north of Hebron in the West Bank, was also killed in the attack.  
Hamas commented on the Shin Bet report, saying that it is proof that the Palestinian Authority is disgracefully cooperating with Israel.



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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


Arabic media is reporting that international BDS movement expressed its strong condemnation and rejection of the participation of Israel in the  Dubai International Expo 202

In a statement issued on Monday, the campaign called on all countries and parties participating in the exhibition, which is scheduled to be held in October, to boycott the expo and withdraw from participation. It also called on the United Arab Emirates to refuse to receive the delegation of Israel on its soil and cancel Israel's participation from the exhibition

The campaign said: "The boycott of the Israeli occupation state and confronting the phenomenon of normalization in all its forms is a collective responsibility and a necessity for the struggle in order to deprive the occupation and its institutions of some of the most important tools of its hegemony and control over our society and our capabilities."

Back in the early days of Israel, when the Arab boycott was explicitly against Jews and not Israel, the Arab League expanded the boycott to include boycotting anyone doing business with Israel (the secondary boycott.) No one could have ever imagined that an Arab League state would be the object of such a boycott for its relations with Israel.





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Monday, January 20, 2020

From Ian:

David French: ‘And No One Will Make Them Afraid’
Wait. Locusts? Now, obviously, those are not Zachary Evans’s words. He does not agree with the sentiment—he’s reporting its existence. And while many people were outraged to see that sentiment in the pages of National Review, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his editors are not anti-Semites. But it’s extraordinarily jarring to read those words. We overuse the term “dehumanizing” in modern discourse, but a person comparing people to insects is the very definition of dehumanizing. And over what? Zoning disputes? Local elections? Job choices?

Moreover, there’s another key sentence in the article: “There is no indication that [the Jersey City and Monsey attackers] attacked Jewish targets for reasons related to outmigration from New York City to the surrounding region.” So why the extensive focus on the thing that doesn’t seem material to the attacks?

In fact, to the extent that we know the attackers’ motivations, their hatreds ran very, very deep. The Monsey attacker searched the question “Why did Hitler hate the Jews?” One of the Jersey City attackers followed “Black Hebrew Israelite theology,” a fringe belief that, as Evans writes, holds that “African Americans are the true descendants of the ancient Israelites and that Jews are essentially pretenders to the faith.”

As I read Evans’s piece, I had a singular thought: He’s waving away the mountain and focusing on a pebble. He’s missing the ocean for the puddle. People do not launch machete attacks over zoning disputes. They don’t open fire in kosher supermarkets because their new neighbors don’t make good salaries. There might be “simmering local conflicts” over zoning (welcome to America; there are always “simmering local conflicts” over zoning), but none of that is truly relevant to deadly violence.
Australia’s ABC News Considers the ‘Case Against Zionism’
It might be hard for Abu Sita and his ilk to stomach, but the concept of a Jewish nation goes back millennia. The Hebrew term Am Yisrael, meaning the Nation of Israel, is found regularly in ancient Jewish texts.

Abu Sita is so busy condemning Zionism that he cannot bring himself to recognize that anti-Zionism is riddled with antisemitism. Halfway through his piece, he writes that “anti-Zionism from the outset was not antisemitic”. This is a stunning rewriting of history. As long as Zionism has existed, there have always been antisemitic elements present among those objecting to it, and these have elements only become more prominent with time. Abu Sita utterly ignores the antisemitism which riddles anti-Zionism.

Throughout the piece, Abu Sita makes numerous contentious claims. For example: “At the time of the Basel Congress, some 95 percent of the population were Arab Palestinians who owned 99 percent of the land.”

In reality, most of the land was owned by absentee property owners from other parts of the Ottoman Empire. That’s how the Jews managed to buy such a large amount of the land.

ABC Australia Does Journalism a Disservice
The op-ed section of a newspaper or media outlet is often its most vibrant and expressive. A good op-ed supplement will contain pieces from a range of perspectives, and allow writers to compete in the battleground of ideas.

As Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC Australia owes its citizens a platform upon which a wide range of ideas should be aired and discussed. Nevertheless, there should be fair limits as to what can and cannot be published. ABC Australia does journalism a disservice when publishing barely-disguised hate speech.

Pieces which serve to totally delegitimize an entire nation, articles which undermine the right of millions of people to live where they are, do not promote peace and do not deserve a platform in the form of one of a country’s most cherished institutions.

Virulent hatred of this kind has no place on the website of a national broadcaster such as ABC Australia.
The Palestinian delusion
Renowned jihad watcher Robert Spencer's latest book is a sobering look at the impossibility of reaching a lasting agreement with the Arabs living in and out of the only Jewish State.

“From beginning to end, the conflict with Israel is all about Islam,” writes world-renowned jihad watcher Robert Spencer in his latest superlative book, The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process. He documents in detail how jihadists and their allies worldwide have skillfully weaponized an invented Palestinian Arab identity against the Zionist struggle for a Jewish state.

Spencer dissects a decades-old “propaganda success that Josef Goebbels and the editors of Pravda would have envied,” namely the global myth that Palestinians are an “indigenous population.” So declare institutions like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), while Palestinian leaders fantasize about a “link between the ancient Canaanites or Jebusites and the modern-day Palestinians.” In reality, Roman occupiers in 134 first derived the name Palestine after the “Israelites’ ancient enemies, the Philistines,” in order to eradicate the identity of defeated Jewish rebels. The self-named "Palestinians" descend from the Arabs who invaded in the 7th century.

In subsequent centuries most Jews entered diaspora exile, leaving their ancestral homeland to decay under largely disinterested imperialists such as various Muslim powers following seventh-century Arab conquest. Mark Twain's 1869 travelogue The Innocents Abroad thus states that “Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.” Historian William B. Ziff wrote in 1938 that at the 20th century’s beginning Palestine's 40,000 Jews "and about 140,000 others of all complexions...had no other feeling for this pauperized, diseased-ridden country than a fervent desire to get away."

This wasteland transformed when Zionist Jews, beginning in the 1880s, sought to reestablish a Jewish state. Their regional development investment ironically increased the Arab population which came seeking employment. Particularly the League of Nations Palestine Mandate entrusted to Britain in 1922 as a “Jewish national home” on territory lost by the collapsing Ottoman Empire in World War I witnessed significant Arab immigration.

  • Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Israel's Foreign Ministry Arabic social media accounts published photos of the beginning of construction of the Israeli exhibition building at the Dubai Expo 2020.

Arabic news media follow those accounts closely and the news was widely spread.

Hamas read the stories and got very upset.

Spokesman Hazem Qassem issued a statement, "calling on the parties that seek to normalize with the occupier to stop this behavior.

"This (behavior) encourages the occupation to raise the pace of its crime against our Palestinian people and increase its violations against the sanctities of the [Islamic] nation.

"The Zionist entity must remain the central enemy of the nation, maintaining the conflict with it, and facing its policy that aims to undermine all opportunities for the nation's rise and development."

 It wasn't that long ago that Hamas or the PLO could issue a statement like this and the Arab world would be shamed into following their demands. Those days are now over, and the Palestinians who have rejected peace for so long as their main tactic, knowing that the Arab world backed them up, have no ideas what to do.

Because actually negotiating in good faith is not imaginable to them.




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It’s cold outside. The rain beats on the windows and thunder rumbles in the distance. Night is approaching and the warm bed beckons with the promise of a cozy embrace.

The closeness of comfort seems so utterly wrong, knowing that he is outside, alone, in the dark, setting off for a night of strenuous effort. He will be carrying one third his own body weight, wet and cold, navigating to the pre-determined point.

He will walk somewhere between 20-30 kilometers (13-18 miles). My drive from home to work every day is 22 kilometers. He will walk further than that, alone, sometimes through the hills, sometimes through villages, as it pours and the ground turns to mud that engulf his boots, sucking him down, making his already heavy load even harder to carry.

By the end of the night he will arrive where he was directed to go. Cold, wet, hungry and exhausted.

And the next day he will do it again.

For a parent few things are as difficult as knowing that your son is alone in the dark, cold and possibly in pain and there is absolutely nothing you can do to help. The little boy you watched grow up is being put through deliberate difficulties so that when war comes (or he has to go on special missions) he will be able to survive.

The little boy who used to come home from school and show you the bruises he got playing soccer with his friends doesn’t show you the bruises he gets now. He might come home limping but he won’t mention it. He just gives you a hug hello and when you ask about his week he says: “It was fine.”

In 1955 David Ben Gurion gave a speech concluding the IDF Officer’s course with the instruction: “Every Jewish mother must know that she put her sons [lives] in the hands of officers who are worthy of that [responsibility].” This is the spirit of the IDF and for the most part it works. You have to trust the officer in charge that their decisions are the best possible to protect the life of your boy but when your son is cold, wet, hungry and exhausted you want to be there. To take care of him.

There are lots of Israelis who do kind things for IDF soldiers but every once in a while there are people who go above and beyond anything you could imagine.

One little lady is known to many as “the mother of the soldiers.” Unlike others who call attention to their good deeds, because they enjoy the limelight and because being noticed helps raise funding for further activities, she shies away from any attention.

She’s a doer, not a talker.

She doesn’t lack anything. She’s not trying to fill a void or even honor someone who passed on. She simply has a heart that expanded beyond the doors of her own home, beyond the members of her family, her children, to include as many soldiers as possible, as if they too were hers.

She wants no attention, no media mentions, no photos, interviews or financial assistance. She’s not part of any organization and she’s certainly not some official institution. When she heard that I am a writer she said: “Oh no! That’s very bad for me!”

She just wants the opportunity to wrap IDF soldiers in a mother’s love – and not just individual soldiers, entire units.

In other countries military training would never be set up so that units could pause to be mothered by a civilian. Israel is different. Soldiers she once took care of become officers who bring their soldiers to her. They schedule training so that, when the area and the timing are right, they bring their unit to her, so that she can take care of them as well.

She waits for them at the break of dawn, knowing full well what they experienced in the night. As they straggle in, she watches their feet, looking to see who is limping. This isn’t the first time the soldiers have ended a training exercise with spreads of food but it is the first time the food wasn’t brought by one/some of their parents or funded by some organization.

It’s the first time a woman they don’t know looks up at them, declaring: “While you are here, I am your mother.” And while they eat hot food, sandwiches and cakes with coffee, tea and cold drinks, she helps them wash the mud off their boots and puts their dirty uniforms in the laundry.      

She moves between them, giving each what he needs. She sees so many soldiers she doesn’t remember all their names but she remembers their faces – the soldier who had a cold and she convinced to take medicine, the soldier who lost his phone, the soldier who asked her advice about problems he has at home and on and on.

Wanting to better care for the soldiers who come to her, she revamped part of her property so that dozens of soldiers can sleep there at a time. There are beds, clean sheets, piles of towels, new toothbrushes and mountains of fresh, new socks waiting to be used.

Soldiers always need socks.

She showed me the stock she had ready for the next group scheduled to arrive included bags and bags of neck warmers she had just purchased.: “There aren’t very many coming,” she said, “only 70.”

Stunned I asked: “But how do you do it?! 70? It’s just you, how do you take care of so many?”

Smiling softly, she answered: “The same way you take care of 30” and then she proceeded to show me the extra showers and lavatory she built because what she had wasn’t enough when large groups came to her.

“You know the soldiers love to have hot showers after long, hard training exercises. There’s nothing that pleases me more than looking out the window and seeing steam come up from their showers.” Just like any mother, she finds comfort when the boys are clean and warm, well fed and can relax someplace safe.

And each time she mothers a soldier, she not only takes care of him but she also provides balm for the aching hearts of his parents.





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  • Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon


Just yesterday I reviewed "Harpoon," the account of how Israel was going after terrorists by going after their sources of money, and how lawsuits against banks that paid terrorists were a very effective method of doing exactly that.

Here are excerpts of a Mondoweiss article published just now that shows that this works:

Palestinian community orgs and ex-prisoners say the Arab Bank is closing their accounts 
When [Aida Youth Center (AYC)'s Anas Abu Srour] asked why the account was being closed, Abu Srour said he was told it was an “internal policy” decision. “They refused to elaborate more than that,” he said.

The incident with the AYC came just a few days after a class action lawsuit was filed against the Jordan-based Arab Bank by the families of Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks.

The plaintiffs, numbering over a thousand Israelis, are suing the bank for NIS 20 billion ($5.8 billion) in compensation, claiming the bank “knowingly supported and financed terror groups that carried out attacks that claimed hundreds of lives,” the Times of Israel reported in December.

The suit claims that the Arab Bank played an integral role in the attacks, knowingly funding individual Palestinian attackers as well as organized groups.

Mondoweiss learned that the incident with the AYC was not an isolated event, and that in recent months the Arab Bank has reportedly been closing the accounts, or refusing to open new accounts, for other community-based organizations, former Palestinian prisoners, and the families of Palestinians killed by Israelis.

30-year-old Ahmad Salah from the al-Khader village, was recently notified that his application to open up an account with the Arab Bank was denied.

Salah, a former prisoner, wanted to switch from his current bank to the Arab Bank, which has a branch that is closer to his home.

“When I returned two weeks after applying to check on my status, the employee checked my file, and he suddenly became shy, as if he was ashamed,” Salah told Mondoweiss.

The employee asked Salah to take a seat, and his manager would come to explain the situation to him. When the manager arrived, Salah was shocked to hear his answer.

“The manager came and told me ‘we can’t open an account for you because you were in Israeli prison,” Salah recounted. “I asked, ‘what does this have to do with anything?’ This is a Palestinian bank, not an Israeli bank.”

Salah alleges that the manager told him the bank was “having a lot of issues in court with the Israelis,” and due to pressures from the Israeli government, couldn’t “take the risk” of opening an account for someone with his profile.
This is the best article I've ever read at Mondoweiss.



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From Ian:

How can the Middle East change?
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still widely supported by the international community, despite the fact that neither Israel nor the Palestinians are moving any closer to that solution.

It is unfortunate that the international community is so attached to current borders, even if those borders are unjustly drawn up against the popular will of the people.

Indeed, most of the borders in the Middle East, not to mention Africa, some of Asia and the Americas, were established by the former colonial powers of Europe with little regard for the native inhabitants. People of different ethnicities and religions were forcibly incorporated into new countries like Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

It is also ironic that the European powers imposed most of the Middle East’s current borders without taking into consideration the ethnic and religious makeup of the region, because in Europe itself, following the World War I, they were doing the exact opposite.

After the war ended, the victorious Allied powers decided that there would no longer be multinational empires ruling the continent. Hence, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was broken up and its territory was divided into separate states based on nationality. This is how the current states of Hungary and Austria were born, as well as the former states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
Michael Lumish: An Alternative Solution
What I am considering is more along the lines of Caroline Glick and Martin Sherman. It is one possible answer to Enno's question. Annex Judea - Samaria, up to the Jordan River. Those hillsides above Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are traditional Jewish land. The Arabs, along with others, conquered it, but the Jews are the only extant indigenous people to that land. That is our land and we should not respect the rights of conquerors to steal it from us, particularly within living memory of the Holocaust (Shoah).

There are two major fears concerning the Jewish annexation of Jewish land. The first is demographic and the second is international reaction. What I propose -- with some modesty, thank you -- is that Israel annex Judea - Samaria up to the Jordan. The demographic problem need not be a problem if it is dealt with in a straightforward manner. A reasonable percentage of non-Israelis who live on that land would need to be interviewed. Those who despise Jews would need to move elsewhere. Those who do not express any such hatred would need, just like Jewish citizens of Israel, to do a few years of national service. Those who complete that service with good report should be offered Israeli citizenship.

The international reaction to a Jewish annexation of Jewish land is more complex. Western-Europe, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Democratic Party leadership essentially despise the Jewish people and our state. If Israel were to annex our own land they would throw a fit. But if we fail to do so in coming years than we will never be able to do so and we will remain forever back on our feet. We will always be at the mercy of Europeans who think that persecuting Jews is a matter of "social justice" and Arabs and Muslims who simply want us dead or gone from our own historical homeland.

But if there was any a moment in recent Jewish history to claim our land, now is probably the time. Not only do we have an ally in the White House, but we have greater economic, technological, medical, scientific, and diplomatic reach than in any time in Jewish history.

What I would suggest to my friend, Enno, despite the fact that I am sitting in my perch in northern California, is that perhaps now is the time for bold action.
Shin Bet chief Argaman: We thwarted 560 terror attacks this year
Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman said on Monday that his agency thwarted 560 significant violent attacks this past year, more than 300 of them shooting attacks.

Argaman was speaking at a ceremony to give prizes to top performers in the country's intelligence agencies.

He gave credit to the entire Shin Bet and other agencies for their efforts in nabbing terrorists before they could kill Israeli civilians.
Operatives who participated in six key operations were given awards.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also spoke at the ceremony, emphasizing that Iran remains the country's main threat.

He said that Iran threatens Israel using conventional warfare, and is a potential nuclear threat in the future and via proxy terror groups.
Netanyahu thanked the intelligence agencies for both keeping the Israeli public safe and giving them a relative sense of safety in the midst of a dangerous region.

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