Saturday, October 20, 2018

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: An unreasonable ruling
It is possible, it is definitely possible, that the State of Israel should've allowed Lara Alqasem to enter the country from the outset. The damage that may have been done to Israel by denying her entry, as quite a few articles argued, sometimes exceeds the benefits of enforcing the law.

But with all due respect to the writers of these articles, article D(2) of the Entry Into Israel Law clearly states that: an entry permit will not be granted to someone who is not an Israeli national "if he, the organization or the body he acts on behalf of knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel."

Alqasem headed a local chapter of the Students for Justice in Palestine, the body that leads the boycott against the State of Israel, and whose heads reject the very existence of the State of Israel.

There is no argument that the government's ministers acted in accordance with their authority. But the Supreme Court reversed the decision on Thursday because, in the opinion of the honorable justices, it is unreasonable: "Alqasem's desire to study in Israel is in contradiction with the idea of boycotting Israel." Excuse me?! Do these judges live in Israel? After all, Israel's universities have both lecturers and students who support the boycott movement. And the boycott movement's most prominent leader, Omar Barghouti, was, and perhaps still is, a student at Tel Aviv University. He's travelling around the world and preaching for the eradication of Israel. Is his or Alqasem's insistence to study at an Israeli university an indication of anything?

I could go on with more and more arguments mentioned in the decision, but there is not enough space to cover all of them. Because the problem with the ruling was and remains in the determination that the decision to deny Alqasem entry was unreasonable.

The range of reasonable responses is supposed to be broad. Very broad. Otherwise, the executive branch's discretion should be revoked and transferred to the jurists. Some citizens would disapprove of the decisions made under the executive branch's discretion. But if everything citizens—mostly if they belong to the media and academic elite—disapprove of becomes unreasonable, we could declare democracy dead. (h/t IsaacStorm)
Is Canada Knowingly Funding Extremism and Terrorism — Including Through UNRWA?
Canadian taxpayer money may be finding its way to Hamas, a known and documented terrorist group. The Criminal Code of Canada forbids funding terrorism, as well as the facilitation of those funding terrorism.

But last Friday, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Canada would send $50 million in the next two years to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This is in addition to the $110 million that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to UNRWA since 2016. UNRWA has been repeatedly accused of supporting extremism, promoting violence, and not checking beneficiaries against a list of known terrorists provided by the police.

The Canadian announcement made no reference to UNRWA’s alleged connections, and said the money is meant to help provide education and health services to Palestinians.

Funding UNWRA is not illegal in Canada, although given the agency’s reputation, it is a questionable use of taxpayer money. For instance, in August President Donald Trump withdrew $300 million in UNRWA funding. The US government would no longer “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs,” a US State Department press release said, calling it an “irredeemably flawed operation.”

In addition to funding UNRWA, the Trudeau government gave millions of taxpayers’ dollars to Islamic Relief Canada. Some of this money is forwarded to Islamic Relief Worldwide (UK), which has been repeatedly linked to Hamas.
UK: Anjem Choudary Released from Prison
"I believe we are underestimating the potency and danger of the radicalizers who don't carry knives, guns and overtly plot terrorist attacks but who pollute the minds of young Muslim men." — Richard Walton, former head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command.

"I asked the guy who spoke to him if the de-radicalization program had worked and he said, 'No, he's got worse. He's hardened. He speaks in the mind-set of the victim. He sees himself as a martyr the state tried to silence.'" — Fiyaz Mughal, head of the anti-extremist group Faith Matters.

Choudary is now considering mounting a legal challenge to the strict conditions of his release, according to the Telegraph. It reported that he has applied for legal aid funding, at taxpayer expense, to bring his action against government ministers, and arguing the parole conditions breach his human rights.

Friday, October 19, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss, Lara Alqasem's Enablers
Israel’s big mistake was letting Alqasem land at the airport. It tried to correct its mistake when authorities apprehended Alqasem at the border. But as events show, it was too late. As should have been predicted, as soon as she landed at the airport, Alqasem immediately began carrying out her propaganda stunt. In doing so, she demonstrated how important it is for Israeli authorities to properly enforce the entry ban on BDS operatives.

But the incompetence of Israeli immigration officials aside, they aren’t they real culprits in the Alqasem affair.

The culprits in this sordid story are Alqasem and her comrades in her racist movement — as well as their self-serving enablers on the Israeli Left; the American Jewish Left; and, perhaps most critically, Stephens and Weiss.

All of them viewed joining the BDS pile-on over Alqasem as a way to buy credibility — at Israel’s expense.

Media pundits are always quick to proclaim that they are not responsible for anything that happens subsequent to their writing. “We aren’t the decision-makers,” they bleat, as if they are convinced that all of their harping is utterly inconsequential.

These protestations are absurd, however. Pundits chose their profession to influence policymakers and the public. If they didn’t recognize their importance, they would have chosen a different profession. The Stephens-Weiss column was decisive in this absurd anti-Israel propaganda play.

Now that Israel’s Supreme Court has permitted Alqasem to spend a year in Israel, given what we know about the BDS campaign, and what we have observed about her over the past two weeks, we can be certain she will use her time, and her newfound celebrity to harm Israel far more.

She and the bigoted BDS movement she serves have her many enablers — including, and perhaps especially, “unhinged Zionists” Stephens and Weiss — to thank for the opportunity.
Seth Mandel: The Shame of the Anti-Defamation League
The integration of the two into mainstream Democratic Party politics is not a theoretical matter—refer back to the aforementioned Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Democrats’ praise of Corbyn, etc. Or watch the fusion in action: The confirmation of the judge Greenblatt came out so hard against, Brett Kavanaugh, saw a protest in Washington at which Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was introduced glowingly by Linda Sarsour. It’s a mutual-admiration society: Last year in Time magazine, the senator extolled the “courage” of “extraordinary women”—Sarsour, Mallory, and two of their colleagues.

If this is Greenblatt’s idea of “branding,” it’s understandable that those who want to fight anti-Semitism but who have been abandoned by Greenblatt—college students, political conservatives, strident pro-Israel advocates—would look to fill the gap. And it’s certainly reasonable for the existing Jewish establishment to be alarmed at the wrecking-ball revolutionary who wants to replace it with one that finds the very idea of criticizing anti-Semitism outrageous.

Greenblatt appears to see himself as a “disruptor,” the Silicon Valley self-designation that supposed rebels wear with pride. At a speech on philanthropy in Israel in 2017, he boasted of his work at the Obama White House, where he led the Office of Social Innovation and instituted “outcome-based payments, civic hackathons, and hybrid value chains.” His efforts “catalyzed new public-private partnerships that facilitated the flow of large-scale capital on long-standing problems.”

When he segued into his new responsibilities as head of the Anti-Defamation League, he didn’t leave his inner Elon Musk behind: “The question that animates me every day is, How can I apply what I learned in business and government to the social sector, how can I infuse our work with innovation and impact?”

He warned: “We have crossed a threshold that is less about the micro-economics of individual labor markets and more about the meta-economics of our common humanity. Facing planetary challenges like accelerating climate change, shrinking water and food access, and widening income gaps, we urgently need new response strategies.”

You almost expect Greenblatt to announce how to prevent cemetery vandalism using blockchain. Good luck solving climate change by catalyzing partnerships of civic hackathons that address the meta-economics of our common humanity, I guess. But the Anti-Defamation League isn’t the vehicle for it.

And it is apparently the vehicle for the study of anti-Semitic outburst against journalists only when the journalists share Greenblatt’s ideological presumptions. During the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, a combination of alt-right agitators and Russian trolls began making life online hellish for conservative opponents of Trump. Writers and pundits would be tweeted pictures of their faces imposed on a Jew locked in a gas chamber with Donald Trump about to push the button, or some other explicit Nazi threat. Soon the harassment moved off Twitter. My family was doxxed by a neo-Nazi site. My wife, Bethany Mandel, started getting phone calls of recordings of Hitler speeches. This became a common occurrence, but groups like the ADL seemed to notice only when Trump won the nomination and the harassers turned their attention to liberal journalists like Julia Ioffe. Then, and only then, was the anti-Semitic social-media wave treated as a new and terrifying crisis.

The ADL, which boasts that it “has been a pioneer in confronting cyberhate” since 1985, was revealed to be living in a partisan bubble. It convened a study, released in October 2016, to get to the bottom of the anti-Semitic cyber targeting. It turned out that my wife was one of the 10 most-harassed Jewish journalists during the election. Significantly, the top target—by a mile—was the conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, who received nearly 40 percent of the hate tweets. Conservative Jewish journalists were the ones most in need of a group like the ADL—and they continue to be least served by it.
Louis Farrakhan Uses CNN's Marc Lamont Hill to Promote $260 Music Box Set
Louis Farrakhan is using a photo with CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill to promote a $260 box set of music on his Nation of Islam website, TheWrap has learned.

Hill, a political commentator for CNN touted on the site as “one of the leading intellectual voices in the country,” told TheWrap that he was not aware his image was being used for commercial purposes and will ask for its removal.

“I don’t want to be used to promote anybody’s materials,” he said. “I am going to ask for it to be taken down as I don’t think it’s consistent with my values and my professional standards.”

Hill said the photo was taken sometime in the autumn of 2016 after the minister invited a number of people to a Wyoming farm to listen to the new album. “It wasn’t like one big event it was just people, cycling in and out,” he said. “It was good music actually.”



If you worry that people might look at history and see that Jews are indigenous to Israel, flipping the script of who is a colonialist and who is native, we have "scholars" who are ready to say that the ancient Israelites were also settler colonialists:

This essay looks at ancient Israel as a settler colonial society. After an introductory paragraph that describes the significance of the study of ancient Israel for the study of settler colonialism, it summarises various approaches to the study of the history of ancient Israel. It then presents evidence for seeing the Israelite documents and early history in settler colonial terms. Finally, it looks at some aspects of decolonisation of the biblical narrative based on acknowledging at least the very possibility of a settler colonial nature of early Israel.
The same author seems a little obsessed with looking at Jews, and only Jews, in settler colonialist terms. He has also written

 Ancient Israelite population economy: ger, toshav, nakhri and karat as settler colonial categories

A Commentary on Numbers: Narrative, Ritual, and Colonialism

Pitkänen, Pekka M A (2016) The ecological-evolutionary theory, migration, settler colonialism, sociology of violence and the origins of ancient Israel. Cogent Social Sciences, 2 (1). pp. 1-23. ISSN 2331-1886

Pitkänen, Pekka M A (2015) Ancient Israel and Philistia: Settler Colonialism and Ethnocultural Interaction. Ugarit Forschungen, 45. pp. 233-263. ISSN 978-3-86835-137-8

Pitkänen, Pekka M A (2015) Reading Genesis–Joshua as a Unified Document from an Early Date: A Settler Colonial Perspective. Biblical Theology Bulletin: Journal of Bible and Culture, 45 (1). pp. 3-31. ISSN 0146-1079

Pitkänen, Pekka M A (2014) Pentateuch–Joshua: a settler-colonial document of a supplanting society. Settler Colonial Studies, 4 (3). pp. 245-276. ISSN 2201-473X

A quick look at indexes of scholarly literature does not find any articles on Arab colonialism in the Middle East.

Think about that.




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From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Mowing the lawn in Gaza
According to media reports, the cabinet decided Wednesday night to “change the rules of the game” in relation to Hamas, and particularly in relation to its riots along the border every Friday afternoon. What this means remains to be seen.

Perhaps the IDF will assert control over the security perimeter it controlled on the Gaza side of the border until the end of 2012. Israel abandoned its security perimeter, which was 300 meters wide, and permitted Gazans to farm along the border fence, (and so set the conditions for Hamas’s current border aggression) in the framework of cease-fire talks at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense – the mini-war it fought against Hamas in 2012. Such a move would certainly constitute a significant improvement over the current situation.

Perhaps Israel will carry out major air assaults that could destroy a significant number of Hamas’s missile and mortar stocks. Perhaps Israel could retaliate for Wednesday’s missile strike by destroying the homes of Hamas leaders.

Whatever it does, and whatever military moves Israel makes, the fact is that Israel cannot end the menace it faces from Hamas. It can and should weaken Hamas’s war-fighting capability and perhaps intimidate Hamas leaders into cooling their jets for a few months or a year or two. But the next round will come whenever Hamas decides to open one and Israel will be forced to respond again.

As for Judea and Samaria, Israel has no reason to be concerned about who is in charge and to what degree they are in charge in the Palestinian population centers so long as Israel retains overall security control of the area. We don’t have a dog in the fight. None of the possible successors to Mahmoud Abbas or to his kleptocratic PA are any better than he is. And none of them are significantly worse.

The main strategic takeaway from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria is that there is no solution, military or otherwise to the Palestinians’ never-ending war against the Jewish state.

All Israel can do is secure its control over what it already controls by, among other things, applying its law to Area C, and use military force to limit the Palestinians’ ability to attack its civilians and its territory.

The coming days and weeks may and should see a significant escalation in IDF offensive strikes against Hamas targets in Gaza. But no matter how successful they may or may not be, they shouldn’t be seen as anything more than a military version of mowing the lawn. And just as grass grows back, so Hamas will rebuild its strength. Israel’s challenge is not to uproot the grass, but to maintain the capability to keep it as short as possible.

Who knows? Maybe one day the Palestinians will get tired of fighting and there will be peace.
Dueling Op Eds in the Australian press
Colin Rubenstein: Jerusalem embassy is logical step in Australia-Israel relationship
However, an examination of trade data between the US and Arab and Muslim states since President Donald Trump’s announcement in December 2017 of his decision on this issue and subsequent move of the US embassy to Jerusalem shows no evidence that the announcement had any negative effect on US trade with most Arab and Muslim countries.

As federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham argued regarding the resilience of Australia’s trade ties with Indonesia: you “don't … expect that two nations will always agree in terms of foreign policy positions as they relate to a third nation. But that shouldn't get in the way of a strong bilateral relationship".

Similarly, claims that there is something diplomatically improper about recognising Israel’s sovereignty in west Jerusalem or moving our embassy there has no historical basis. In 1966, 20 countries, including the Netherlands, located their embassies to Israel in Jerusalem. The Arab oil embargo of the 1970s and feeble defence by the US Carter administration against Palestinian pressure at the UN on this issue in 1980 eventually led to an embassy flight. Since 1995 it has been US law to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy to Jerusalem, mandates that the Trump administration has boldly implemented.

Moreover, there is a strong case to be made that an embassy move may help unlock the peace-process deadlock. The US embassy move has been part of a range of measures under a strategy by the Trump administration to break through the current impasse by signalling to the Palestinian leadership that time is not on their side. Australia’s bipartisan policy of supporting a negotiated two-state peace would be best served by doing what we can to assist these efforts to encourage a return to direct negotiations.

It should be further recognised that the PM's reviews of both the Iran and Jerusalem issues will also be well received by our most important strategic ally in Washington – a critical national interest consideration at a time when Australian security and economic concerns vis-a-vis North Korea and China loom larger than ever.

Scott Morrison, who has reaffirmed his decision to evaluate the potential policy shifts in the face of misplaced criticisms and intense pressure, should be commended for his tenacity and his unwillingness to buckle under threats both foreign and domestic.

Colin Rubenstein is executive director of The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council.
Izzat Abdulhadi: What Australian embassy move would really mean
In consideration of all this, one thing should be exceedingly clear: successive Israeli governments have not distinguished between East and West Jerusalem. Why then, do the supporters of unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital insist that such a move would be confined to only the western part of the city when Israel itself has and continues to ignore this crucial distinction?

Recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would mean, in practical terms, legitimising the de facto realities (which are clear for all to see), and affirming Israel’s ultimate vision for the city. If Israel considers Jerusalem one and the same city, then it will similarly consider Australia’s recognition and embassy relocation as affirmation of this, regardless of whether our diplomatic presence would be physically located in the west.

Morrison is right on one point, though. His assertion that “you don’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results” is sage advice. If Australia, as a so-called “middle power”, seeks to use what leverage it has to push both parties closer to a two-state peace – and to prevent the toxic and unsustainable status quo from continuing unaddressed – then the most sensible course of action would be to restore legitimacy to the weaker and exploited side by recognising a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. And to not embolden Netanyahu’s government in ignoring legitimate Palestinian claims in its pursuit of an exclusive and “greater Israel”.

Izzat Abdulhadi is Palestinian envoy to Canberra. Co-written with Cam Brady.



  • Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
From an email by J-Street:

On Tuesday, J Street joined with a broad coalition of Jewish organizations to oppose the detention and possible expulsion of American student Lara Alqasem by telling the Israeli government to #LetHerStay.

Today, we have some good news to report. Lara Alqasem has won her appeal and will be allowed to study human rights at Hebrew University.

By making calls to Israeli diplomatic missions, tweeting to diplomats and showing your support online and in the streets, YOU stood up for Israel’s democracy and helped to protect the education of a future human rights advocate in the region.

Does J-Street think that Israel's Supreme Court was swayed by a bunch of left-wing American Jews?

Perhaps J-Street doesn't want to give any credit to Israel's Supreme Court as looking at the case with an unbiased view based on only the facts and the law.

Because if J-Street would admit that Israel's Supreme Court actually cares about the law and human rights, it wouldn't be able to write things like this:

Recently, in a very controversial move, the Israeli Supreme Court gave the Netanyahu government the green light to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar. The move would displace 180 Palestinians and clear the way for Israel to expand settlements into the contentious E1 Area, thereby forming a block that would separate East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. 
If J-Street would admit that Israel's Supreme Court makes decisions based on the law, including human rights law, then it cannot complain that Israeli policies that are upheld by the court are wrong, as it likes to do.

When Jews are forcibly removed from their homes based on High Court decisions, J-Street applauds and agrees that the homes were built illegally. When Arabs are to be removed from homes that Israel's High Court say were built illegally (with compensation and with new towns built for them!) J-Street complains that it is immoral.

J-Street doesn't care about the law or morality or consistency.  It wants to push its far-left agenda under the pretense of caring about "justice."

Justice is the least concern of J-Street.






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  • Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
There is a conference on Islamophobia in Istanbul this weekend sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. (and a separate scholarly conference on the same topic next week.)

The aim of the conference is to "establish a dialogue among those interested in analyzing the phenomenon of Islamophobia objectively by tracing the roots and practices of discriminatory policies against Muslim societies in order to understand the context in which racism against Islam has developed and the role it plays today in undermining Muslim human rights."

The PLO was invited to the conference, and - as it does when it joins any international initiative - it will attempt to hijack the conference to make it into an anti-Israel hatefest.

The Palestinian representative has stated that he will demand that the final communique of the conference include "a clear condemnation of Israel for its role in supporting a campaign of Islamophobia, and it should stress that confronting Islamophobia in the world requires solving the Palestinian issue in a just solution that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people in an independent state according to international resolutions with Jerusalem as its capital."

Keep in mind that by any reasonable metric, Israel gives Muslims more rights and freedoms than most Western countries do - no limits on minarets, no limits on women wearing Islamic dress, and a higher percentage of Muslims in official roles than probably any other Western country. (Even Algeria just passed a law limiting women wearing burqas.)




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  • Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


A new video by Hamas threatens Israel with more rockets, warning Israel not to make any "mistakes":


Meanwhile, apparently some Hamas official said that the Palestinian Authority might have shot the rockets in order to force Israel to start a war with Gaza. Fatah responded by pointing out Hamas' hypocrisy; when the PA controlled Gaza and asked Hamas not to fire rockets it responded then by insisting on its rights to fire them and calling those who opposed them "traitors" - eventually expelling them from Gaza. Now it is coming out against rocket fire.







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Thursday, October 18, 2018

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Jeremy Corbyn is not the cause of left-wing Jew hate, he's the result of it
There are two two principal reasons why the left is institutionally antisemitic.

The first is that “Palestine” is its signature cause of causes. And the “Palestine” cause inescapably rests upon the extermination of Israel and the obliteration of the Jewish people from their own national story in their ancient homeland — the triple connection which constitutes Judaism itself.

The second is that, for the left, the world is divided into the powerful and the powerless. Those with power can never be good; those without power can never be bad. So every group deemed to be powerless claims victim status.

But grotesquely, Jews aren’t seen as victims because, as everyone “knows”, they emerged from the Holocaust to run the financial world, the media, the law, the arts, American foreign policy.

What’s more, since Israel is highly armed (solely for its defence) the Jews are seen as an all-powerful global force.

And so ancient anti-Jewish paranoia has been given loathsome legs on the left. And hence also the left’s extreme reluctance to acknowledge the disproportionate involvement of Muslims in antisemitic incidents in Britain and Europe.

The frequency of overt antisemitism on the left is not the key issue. It’s rather the collusion by Jeremy Corbyn with this bigotry — not only his refusal to deal with it in his party, but the fact that he himself is associated with these attitudes.

This is a cultural poison of long standing of which Corbyn is not the cause but the extremely problematic result.
Caroline Glick: Jewish Democrats Increasingly Anti-Israel
The current election cycle makes this point very clearly. As JTA reported this week, there are 36 Jewish candidates running as Democrats in House races. Half are incumbents, and half are challengers.

Over two-thirds of the Jewish Democratic incumbents (13 of 18) supported President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the most outspoken critic of the deal, arguing that it posed an existential danger to Israel by giving Iran an open path to a nuclear arsenal. Three-quarters of Israeli Jews agreed with him.

Nearly half of the Jewish Democratic incumbents (7 of 18) have received contributions from J Street, the anti-Israel Jewish political group founded with help from George Soros. Throughout Obama’s years in office, J Street served as the administration’s Jewish fig leaf.

J Street was a central actor in the campaign to block a Senate veto of the Iran deal. It has placed the blame for the failure of the Israel-Palestinian peace process squarely on Israel’s shoulders, and campus chapters of J Street have reportedly aided anti-Israel activists in attempts to support the antisemitic “boycott, divestment and sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel. The organization is considered so hostile to Israel that Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, refuses to meet with its representatives.

Among the Democratic challengers, five of 18 have received funding from J Street, according to JTA’s report. Ten have received money from other far-left PACs or were endorsed by Obama.

One of the Democratic candidates, Dan Kohl, who is running in Wisconsin’s 6th District against two-term Republican incumbent Glenn Grothman, is one of J Street’s founders, and its first political director. His uncle, Herb Kohl, served as a Senator from Wisconsin for four terms and was staunchly supportive of Israel.
The Story Of David And Goliath Gets Archaeological Evidence Backing It Up
Scoffers beware: the Biblical tale of David and Goliath just got more real than ever, thanks to an archaeological discovery that fits the Biblical description of Goliath’s armor.

In the Biblical tale, roughly 3,000 years ago, David, when he was still a young shepherd and not yet the immortal king, engaged in single combat on behalf of the Jews against Goliath, the huge champion of the Jews’ arch-enemies: the Philistines. The story read like this:

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”


After David volunteered to fight Goliath, David confronted him: “As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.”

As Haaretz reports, in 2017 archaeologists found shards of pottery in Philistine Gath that were inscribed with names similar to Goliath’s. In the first book of Samuel, it states, “He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze ... on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.”

  • Thursday, October 18, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
A short Twitter thread from Lenny Ben David, slightly edited:
________________

Beer Sheva mother's called national hero.

She woke to sirens in middle of night, ran upstairs to grab 3 sleeping kids from 3 bedrooms, ran downstairs; got all into bomb shelter  and shut the blast door just as the rocket hit.

Commentators say that had there been casualties, #Israel would be at war.
Her house was totaled. The woman, Miri Tamano, raising her 3 kids, is a divorcee who was laid off 6 months ago. With a BA and writing skills.
BTW, she's a Ethiopian Jew.

Here is picture of Miri Tamano who was interviewed on Israeli TV. She detailed her rescue of her 3 boys, the terror of the rocket hitting her house, telling her boys to hold their crying in to say from Psalms "Give thanks to God for He is good, for His goodness endured forever"

"The bomb shelter's door was blocked, gas leaking, water, then the rescue team got us out. It was a miracle.

"Maybe I am God's messenger to tell people to take the sirens seriously and get into the shelters."

JPost adds:
“I heard the alarm,” she told the media. “I thought it was dream. When I came to my senses, I hurried to take the children to the security room. I was trembling and I was afraid.”

Her sister Ora said that Tamano was sleeping on the first floor, ran up the stairs, and woke her three sons, ages eight, 10 and 12, who all slept in different rooms.

“Two of them didn’t want to wake up and she had to drag them out of bed,” Ora said.

The two-story home, located on a small cul-de-sac off a main road, was completely destroyed.

“I no longer have a home,” she said. “The memories are gone. Inside the house, the closets were stuffed with all kinds of things – and now there’s nothing left.”

Those asking about sending funds, Miri and family received a few thousand dollars for immediate needs from the Jewish Agency for Israel and from the Jewish community of Montreal, Beer Sheva's sister city.

Israeli government agencies have lots of experience in such cases, unfortunately.




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 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column


Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism in the US recently published an op-ed in Ha’aretz entitled “The One Speech Netanyahu Will Never Make to Diaspora Jews,” a not-too-clever attempt to imagine what it would be like for our PM to agree with him. He is quite right that Netanyahu would never say the things he has put in his mouth. 

Jacobs seems to believe that he knows what’s best for Israel better than those who live here, send their children to the army, and duck when rockets are launched at them. His movement has taken up the cause of transforming Israeli society into a replica of liberal America, whether Israelis like it or not.

In the spirit of providing free speechwriting services to important people, I have generously written a similar speech for Rabbi Jacobs to deliver to Israeli Jews. I hope he will use it someday, although the likelihood of that approaches zero. Much of what he wrote for our PM to say can be reused with minor changes, so that’s what I did. The portions in italics are direct quotations from Rabbi Jacobs’ proposed speech for PM Netanyahu. My additions and changes are in boldface.

***

Dear Israeli Jews,

It’s truly a gift to see so many of you here for this dialogue between our two Jewish communities, North American and Israeli Jewry. I realize that things have been tense recently between our communities. In the spirit of Yom Kippur, lingering after the gates have closed, I want to acknowledge my responsibility here.

Let’s start with the Kotel, a place that should unite – not divide – all Jews. American Reform and Conservative Jews practice mixed-gender prayer, and we would like to be able to pray our way when we visit the Kotel in Israel. We would like the members of our Israeli movements to be able to do so as well. But the 40% of Israelis that see themselves as religious or traditional – ranging from the 12% who are Haredi (“ultra-Orthodox”) to those for whom “the synagogue they don’t go to is Orthodox” – do not pray that way. Indeed, Haredim and some others on the observant side of the spectrum find mixed-gender prayer highly offensive, especially at the Kotel, which they treat as an Orthodox synagogue. And fewer than one-half of one percent of Israeli Jews are affiliated with the Reform and Conservative movements (no, the figure is not as high as 12%. Read the linked article). 

Now, I strongly disagree with those who find offensive what I find beautiful. But because I care about Jewish unity and shalom bayit, I believe it would be wrong to impose my American-oriented views and those of a handful of Israelis on a much larger number of more traditional ones. And so I am withdrawing my demand to allow mixed-gender prayer at the Kotel.

I have accused you of “disenfranchising the largest segment of practicing Jewry in the world.” But perhaps I engaged in a bit of hyperbole. What you do in Israel doesn’t “disenfranchise” anyone in the Diaspora, where Jews are free to practice Judaism however they want. And while I strongly disapprove of the way conversion and marriage are handled in Israel (and on this, many Israelis agree with me!), I realize that this is up to Israelis to decide. After all, Israel is a sovereign state!

I believe [the recently-passed Nation-State Law] is an important one that expresses the recognition by all of us that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people. I also know, however, that there are many concerns among Israelis, North American Jews, and other friends and allies. Let me set everyone’s minds at rest. The Nation-State Law does not damage the rights of minorities of any kind. And those rights are enshrined in other Basic Laws, so there is no need to repeat them here. In particular, there is no need for a “principle of equality,” which could be interpreted to grant national rights in addition to the civil and political rights that your minorities enjoy. And while my country, the US, is a “state of all of its citizens,” I understand that Israel is not. Didn’t I just say that at the beginning of this paragraph?

And, let me say something about BDS. You are a strong enough people to handle criticism from those who object to your self-defense. In this spirit, you ought to prevent entrance to Israel of those who would exploit open borders for the purpose of delegitimizing and demonizing your state. Entry to Israel for non-Israelis is a privilege, not a right.

Meanwhile, I am awaiting the Trump peace plan. I have no confidence in President Trump, perhaps, even lessthan many of you. What can I say? I hate the guy. I see myself as part of the “resistance.” [Scattered nervous laughter.]

But, I am not myopic. I know that you cannot have a secure Israel with a terrorist Palestinian state by your side. There, I said it. [Some light applause.]

My friends, your country’s security is intimately tied to the friendship of the United States of America. I pledge that I will do everything possible to rebuild bipartisan consensus  in Washington, so vital to Israel that I, following the lead of President Obama, tried so hard to wreck.

I will never sacrifice the deep bonds that exist between Israel and North American Jewry, including among progressive Jews who love Israel as dearly as I do. Yes, you [pointing to someone on stage who looks confused] heard me correctly.

In closing, I want to say you are welcome … as our dear partners and that I will try to work on my boundary issues and act as though Israel is a sovereign state, hard as that may be for me. 

Thank you.





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From Ian:

In blow to Palestinians, US places Jerusalem consulate under embassy
The State Department announced Thursday that it would bring its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians under the auspices of the US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, marking an implicit downgrading of the facility’s status and a fresh blow to its already strained ties with the Palestinians.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move was meant to “achieve significant efficiencies and increase our effectiveness” following the opening of the embassy in May. He insisted the merger of the two missions did not signal a change in US policy on the status of Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza Strip.

“The United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.”

He added that US President Donald Trump was commitment to a “lasting and comprehensive peace” between Israel and the Palestinians. “We look forward to continued partnership and dialogue with the Palestinian people and, we hope in the future, with the Palestinian leadership,” he said.

Pompeo said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman would be in charge of the tie-up and that the new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the embassy would remain, as before, at the consulate general building on Agron Street in the western part of Jerusalem.

PA arrests Palestinian-American for property sale to Jews
Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested a Palestinian-American citizen on suspicion of involvement in a real estate transaction with Jews in east Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The man’s family has notified the US State Department of his arrest.

Palestinian sources said that the man, a resident of Bethlehem, had worked for the PA Ministry for Local Government.

“The 55-year-old man, who is a US citizen, is being interrogated by the Palestinians security agencies in Ramallah for his role in the sale of an Arab-owned house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish organization,” the sources told The Jerusalem Post.

They said the man was suspected of acting as a “solicitor” between the owner of the house and the Jewish organization that bought the house.

A senior PA security official in Ramallah refused to comment on the arrest of the US citizen.

The Post has obtained a copy of the man’s US passport, but due to the sensitivity of the case has chosen not to publish his name.

US government officials said they were aware of the arrest and expressed concern that he would be treated fairly. They said the State Department was in touch with the PA regarding the arrest.
David Singer: Jordan Jumps on Trump Bandwagon Leaving PLO Way Behind
Any lingering thought that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) would have any role to play in President Trump’s soon-to-be-released peace plan has vanished – after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that $165 million had been deducted from funding to the PLO because of its continuing “pay for slay” policy in breach of the Taylor Force Act.

Jordan has now signalled its preparedness to replace the PLO by publically supporting Trump in an article written in the Jordan Times by Walid Sadi – a retired Jordanian diplomat with over 35 years’ experience and himself a former editor of the Jordan Times.

Sadi’s CV is impressive – having headed the Jordanian Delegation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Conference in Rome and been the Chairperson of the ICC’s Working Group on Crimes against Humanity. He also represented the Jordanian government in Washington, Moscow, Ankara and London.

The Jordan Times is published by the Jordan Press Foundation – in which the government-owned Social Security Investment Fund has a majority stake. Sadi’s endorsement of Trump could only have been published with the knowledge and approval of Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Sadi makes no bones in airing his reasons for Trump’s success on the world stage:

“World leaders fear him because they know he is capable of anything and his finger is so close to nuclear weapons capable of blowing hostile capitals to smithereens with no qualms or hesitations. And above all, he seems to get away with anything as if he is immune to any mischief from within or outside his country.”



HaShomer HaChadash:
This is a love story between a land and her people, a people and their land
There are some people who don’t hear when others speak the word, “impossible.” Instead they hear, “it’s possible” or “I am possible.” Their minds begin to race in search for solutions and when there is no logical reason to succeed, faith moves them forward.
Who could look at the barren hills of Eretz Yisrael and imagine that dead land awakened, brought back to life? What kind of people could look at rocky crags and see rolling vineyards, empty plains and see cosmopolitan cities bursting with Jews? How is it possible for people who never did a day of physical labor in their life to see themselves as farmers and know that one day their children would speak a language 3000 years old, as if it was the most natural thing in the world?
Dreamers. Crazy people. Our grandparents.
And today, the children of Israel grow up like children in any other first world country. With few of the discomforts of life, all the modern amenities and their faces buried in their phones, computers and tv screens.
What kind of modern child would willing put down their phone, turn off the tv and go outside to sweat in the sun? What for? They don’t know what hard work is and why in the world would they want to do any kind of physical labor? There is no necessity that could drive them, no demand.
And certainly, no teenager would dedicate a year of their life to creating a youth movement designed to connect the children of Israel to the land of Israel. Who would join a movement that doesn’t exist?
It could never happen. Or at least that’s what the founders of the Shomer HaChadash Youth Movement were told.
But it did. And today, after just one year, it’s the fastest growing youth movement in Israel, a country with well established youth movements existing for every sector of the population. Their signature shirt has become the most desirable branded piece of clothing among Israeli school children – a shirt emblazoned with the words: “I am my brother’s keeper” and a symbol of Alexander Zaid, one of the great original Zionist leaders, a man the children of today no longer learn about in school.
How can this be? What is going on here?
The malaise of screens, passivity, low interest and little knowledge seems to be an epidemic of the advanced world (and some of the developing world as well). Where once people were independent at a very young age, today young people remain “children” for a very long time, dependent on their parents, expecting guidance from someone else – a parent, an authority, the State.


In Israel, just two generations ago it was impossible to know whether the State would continue to exist. Three generations ago, the State was just a dream. Today, many take it for granted. Schools teach very little (if anything) about the visionaries who created what we have today. Children know the names of those who shaped our existence as the names of streets and institutions rather than the content of their works or the stories of their endeavors.
It was this gap that the founders of the Shomer HaChadash recognized. Originally founded as a revival of the original Shomer, the organization was designed to assist Israeli farmers in protecting their land from agricultural crime – through knowledge of history and understanding that the solutions that worked for our grandparents would work today, that while the State has difficulty to address all the challenges at hand, many can be solved and even prevented by friends and neighbors stepping up and declaring: “I am my brother’s keeper.”
The demand was so large, the Shomer HaChadash grew at an incredible pace and yet, as the fight to protect the connection of farmers to the land grew, it became more and more obvious how disconnected the younger generations already are.
Here too, the founders of the Shomer believed, the solution from the past would work. Just as the generations who came before us managed to breathe vitality into the land through reigniting the love story between our people and this land, now it has become time to ask the land to give purpose and direction to the children who need to deepen their roots.
While the malaise of screens is a global issue, our story is deeper than the challenges of city-dwellers who don’t know where their food comes from and the entitlement of millennials. Ours is a relationship with the land, a centuries old love story – the connection of an indigenous people returned to the land that gave birth to our nation. A Jew is a Jew anywhere in the world but there is a special kind of fulfillment, a completeness that comes from connecting to the land of our ancestors.
As I watched the ceremony concluding the first year of the Shomer HaChadash Youth Movement I found myself thinking: “How many people does it take to create a revolution? To change an entire society?”  
There stood before me a group of some 30 people: the managers of the program and high-school graduates, boys and girls, who had volunteered to postpone their army service for one year in order to give an additional year of service to the country via the Shomer HaChadash program. This year does not count as part of their army service and the only thing they get for the year is the experience they gained.   
They had split into communal living groups in different communities in Israel. Each group had built their own teaching farm, along with the children of that community and together they grew vegetables and spices. Very deliberately they chose to work with grade-school children (1st – 9th grade) rather than high-schoolers, to influence the new generation as they grow up, with an unadulterated connection to the land.
During the year, the volunteers (called in Hebrew Shin Shinim, an abbreviation of the term for year of service) were given lessons in agriculture, history and Zionism. No one told them how to manage their agricultural farm or how to teach the children. It was they who managed themselves - their schedule and budget, building lesson plans for the children and taking care of them every day, after school.
Everything they built, they built with their own hands.
Everything they grew was fruits of their planning, planting and nurturing.

Small children planted cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, watermelon, squash and more. They worked in the hot sun, patiently cared for the vegetables as they grew, learned to pick them at the right time and then sold them to members of their community. After school, instead of going home and turning on the tv, they stayed together and worked, creating new life.
In addition to working with the children of the community in which they lived, each group of volunteers spent time in schools, creating within the school a smaller version of their larger farms. The program was so phenomenally successful that for the next year additional communities are competing to see who will be able to have their own volunteers to create a farm with their children.
So few can create so much, for so many.
While elsewhere young people are being told that they can’t, that they are weak, that they need protection (not from physical threats but from having their feelings hurt, here are young people being told that they can do whatever they put their minds to – and they are being given the proof of experience to back up that statement.
The volunteers had spent a year studying the history of our people, the movement that led to the revival of our nation in our ancestral homeland and learning to care for the land. They were taught not what to think, but to make up their own minds after gaining their own personal understanding of the issue. Most of all, they were taught not to be afraid of standing in the gap, even if everyone is walking in one direction, if they are sure it is right – to walk in their own direction.
They are the embodiment of the great Jewish educator Janusz Korczak: “He who worries about days plants wheat. He who worries about years plants trees. He who worries about generations, teaches people.”
How many people does it take to create a revolution? To change a society? I don’t know.
What I do know is that those who don’t hear the word “impossible,” the dreamers, those who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world, usually do.

YOU can be part of this success!
Send your kids to a Shomer HaChadash pioneering program for overseas participants:  https://bit.ly/2ASoVjV   





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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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