Friday, November 29, 2013

From Ian:

The Two-State Delusion
While Israelis consistently poll in support of a Palestinian state, the reasons for abandoning the idea have multiplied over time. Palestinian nationalism with its malignant and rogue features remains committed to destroying Zionism. The Fatah media and school curricula indoctrinate the Palestinian people and youth to disparage Jews as "evil" and Israel as a "cancer." Palestinian military forces train for the possibility of future fighting with Israeli military forces, and Palestinian diplomacy, like the recent failed attempt to get the U.N. to grant it unconditional statehood, remains the stuff of wily bazaar bargaining in a diplomatic war of attrition. It is clear that the Palestinian public has never really accepted the two-state solution as a final end to the conflict. This was given vivid expression in the last interview by the late Faisal Husseini, the prominent PLO leader, who infamously compared the Oslo process to a Trojan horse that would bring about Israel's demise. More recently, Abbas Zaki, Fatah Central Committee member, confessed that "it's not acceptable to say we want to wipe Israel out … It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself." (h/t NormanF)
Hold the phone. Who are you calling a Palestinian?
The word “Palestinian” has always been difficult to define. For a start, there has never been a state called “Palestine”, so how can you define Palestinians? There has never been a Palestinian currency, monarch, capital city or defined international border.
In fact, at the end of the Ottoman empire in 1918, Arabs living in the area now covered by Israel and Jordan preferred to be known as Syrian. It was the incoming Jews who were calling themselves “Palestinian”, following the name of the area under British mandate control.
In Israel, an Arab village builds mosque with Chechen help
Bankrolled largely by Chechnya and named after its former leader Akhmad Kadyrov, who was slain by Islamist militants in 2004, the glimmering shrine tells of this small Israeli Arab community's historical ties to the restive Russian province.
Abu Ghosh residents say their forbears were Chechens who came five centuries ago to then Ottoman-ruled Palestine. With the advent of modern Zionism, the villagers were quick to forge an alliance with the Jewish state founded in the war of 1948.
Failure of the Two-State Solution: A Reply to Ian Lustick
Blaise Pascal once noted, “The first moral obligation is to think clearly.” In his “Two-State Illusion” (New York Times Sunday Review, Sep. 15), Ian Lustick provides proof that Pascal was right. By getting most of his details just wrong enough to inform sloppy thinking, Lustick reaches conclusions that are profoundly immoral. Since Obama’s and Kerry’s thinking on the issue resembles Lustick’s, it should be helpful to see where Lustick goes wrong.
Two “dirty secrets” lie at the root of the failure of the “two-state” solution, one on the Palestinian side and one on the Israeli. People involved with the discussions are aware of them, but because they identify the fundamental flaws with the Oslo “peace process,” much of academia and the media go to great lengths not to mention them, and Lustick certainly doesn’t.
Salah: Knesset Has No Right to Discuss the Temple Mount
Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel, says that the Israeli Knesset has no right to discuss matters pertaining to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount, and that all of its decisions on the matter are null and void.
In an interview published Wednesday in Hamas publication Falastin, Salah said that "we will continue to monitor all of the Israeli plans that have as their goal the city of Al Quds [Jerusalem - ed.] and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Knesset's intervention in the matters of Al Aqsa is null and void, and anything that stems from something that is null and void, is null and void itself."
Shaath: 'We Will Stay in Negotiations Just to Release Prisoners'
Nabil Shaath, one of the senior officials in the terrorist organization Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), has declared in a Maariv interview Friday that the PA will remain in talks until all of their terrorist "prisoners" are released - despite admitting that talks have tanked.
"We have committed to negotiations for a period of 9 months, and by then we hope to see all 104 of our prisoners released," Shaath claimed. He also noted that if not for the release of the more terrorists, PA negotiators would have left the peace talks entirely - just as they threatened to do earlier this month.
MK Shaked urges Tel Aviv mayor to pull plug on Nakba film festival
Habayit Hayehudi faction chairwoman MK Ayelet Shaked implored Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Thursday to cancel an upcoming film festival focusing on the Nakba, the Arabic term meaning "catastrophe" that Palestinians and Israeli Arabs use to describe the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem during Israel's War of Independence.
"I was shocked to discover that Tel Aviv Municipality was helping produce an anti-Zionist film festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. A review of the event's line-up clearly shows that the films represented at the festival are of an anti-Zionist nature," said Shaked.
Poll: Majority of Israelis Believe Settlements to be Legal
A strong majority of Israelis believe Jewish settlement in the West Bank to be legal under Israeli law, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by New Wave Research on behalf of Regavim, found that 60 percent of Israelis view the settlements to be legal, while only 16 percent consider them to be illegal. 24% were unsure.
‘Turkey’s ban on Israeli flights could bring down El Al’
Air traffic between Israel and Turkey has soared by over 150 percent since the 2010 Gaza flotilla episode sent bilateral ties hurtling into the abyss. But only Turkey is benefiting from the increase: The total number of Turkish airline flights out of Ben Gurion Airport each week has reached a staggering 112. The total number of Israeli airline flights on the route: zero.
For reasons Jerusalem blames squarely on Ankara, Israeli airlines have been unable to fly to any destination in Turkey since 2007 and are locked out of the market. As first reported by The Times of Israel, Shkedy on October 22 sent a letter to Netanyahu in which he demanded Israel preclude Turkish airlines from flying to Israel as long as Ankara prevents Israeli airlines from competing, or at least halt the expansion of Turkish companies.
Honest Reporting: Oborne Back to Bashing the “Israel Lobby”
Oborne is clearly not the right person to comment on the dangers of the Iranian nuclear program and even less so when this gets mixed in with his obsession with the image of an all-powerful lobby even when this holds no water. Even Oborne himself concluded in his 2009 program that he hadn’t found anything even faintly resembling a conspiracy.
Fast forward to 2013 and all Oborne will find is the very legitimate fears of Israel when it comes to the Iranian nuclear threat and the very legitimate right of Israel and its supporters to express those fears to the international community.
Kanye West defends Obama, saying he lacks Jewish connections
Speaking on "The Breakfast Club" morning radio program on New York Hip Hop and R&B station Power 105.1, West said: "Let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money, and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can't make these moves, or he's not executing. That's because he ain't got those connections. Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don't have the same connections as oil people. You know we don't know nobody that got a nice house. You know we don't know nobody with paper like that, that we can go to when we're down."
The incident did not mark the first time that West had made comments which raised eyebrows among Jews. In 2011, he was booed at a concert in England after comparing himself with Adolf Hitler.
FIFA upholds Ukraine sanctions for Nazi salute
FIFA said Wednesday that its appeals committee confirmed Arena Lviv is barred from staging qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium hosted three matches at the 2012 European Championship.
Ukraine must also play its first home qualifier on the 2018 program in an empty stadium.
Lone Soldiers celebrate ‘Thanksgivukkah’ together in capital
According to the IDF, there are presently approximately 5,000 Lone Soldiers, or Diaspora Jews who volunteer to serve in the IDF without having their parents living in the country. While the soldiers are assigned surrogate families, many face challenges acclimating to a starkly different life in Israel.
“I knew this would be challenging,” said Adam Ota, 19, a soldier from Japan, who celebrated his first Thanksgiving.
“I miss my family, but we frequently Skype, so I still see them all the time.”
Ota, the grandson of Holocaust survivors on his mother’s side, said he joined the IDF because he was inspired by his grandfather, who fought in the War of Independence after being liberated from Hungary.
Wounded Soldier Honored at Lighting Ceremony for Jewish Unity
On Thursday, Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director of the Chabad Terror Victim's Project (CTVP) and former IDF soldier Kfir Levi lit the candles together in a special program by Jewish unity organization Korov Lalev (lit. Close to the Heart).
Rabbi Kutner explained to Arutz Sheva that the soldier, who was badly wounded in Gaza in 2002, demonstrates the modern epitome of light and life in the spirit of the Hanukkah holiday.
IDF Blog: The Miracle of Hannukah Finds New Meaning in the Lives of IDF Soldiers
In honor of the miracle-inspired holiday of Hannukah, we bring you a series of stories from around the IDF – stories of soldiers that, in keeping with the holiday, are truly miraculous. Check back throughout all eight nights of Hannukah for more enlightening stories.
Largest European Menorah Lit in Berlin's Victory Gate
Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag (parliament), spoke at the ceremony, reminding that "recently we marked 75 years since the (Nazi) pogrom 'night of broken glass' (Kristallnacht). In those times Germany left the cultured world for several years, and in those times many people had a good reason to believe that those events indicated the beginning of the complete end of Jewish life in Germany."
Lammert added "today, not for the first time, but for the tenth time, we are celebrating the holiday of Hanukkah here in Berlin...in the most central square of Berlin. It's a great expression of the changes that Berlin has seen since the Nazi regime."
Russia: Publicizing the Miracle of Hanukkah in Moscow
Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazer, fulfilled the commandment to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah in a big way Wednesday night: by lighting a giant hanukkiah outside of Moscow's Red Square in Russia.
Lazer made the blessing over the miracles "in those days and in these times," a traditional Hanukkah blessing over the candles, in front of a symbol of the modern miracle for Soviet Jewry: the downfall of the USSR.
Report: Pope Francis to visit Israel in May
A senior unnamed Israeli source quoted by CNN said that the papal visit has been tentatively set for May 25-26.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to the Vatican next week and meet with Pope Francis. He will extend an official invitation to the pontiff to visit the Holy Land.
Israeli wins jiujitsu world junior championship
Almog competed in the under-87 kg (192 lbs.) category for youth. Before entering the finals, he prevailed against an opponent from Romania in a mere 20 seconds. This was the quickest match of the entire championship, earning him a special trophy.
In the semifinal and final, Bretsch encountered rivals from Turkey and defeated them. Two years ago, Almog won the European championship for his age group.
He says that one of the most significant moments was when they played the Israeli national anthem. "When I heard Hatikvah sung from the podium it was an amazing feeling."
New Movie Shows Brave, Tragic History of Gush Etzion
Kfar Etzion was the decisive battle. Mothers and children had been evacuated to Jerusalem when the defenders realized that the beleagured Hagana could not send forces to defend them. They never saw their fathers and husbands again. After a heroic battle - a day before Israel's independence was declared - the surrendering defenders of Kfar Etzion were killed in cold blood by the Arab forces, despite their raising a white flag. Only 4 survived.
Now residents of the region have created a new memorial for the 21st century: a professionally produced film that portrays the region’s history, including the Jewish settlement in the 20th century, and the brutal destruction of that settlement during the war.


Why Isn’t the World More Thankful to Israel?
This is only a sampling of Israel’s many humanitarian missions over the years. There have been more including sending a team to Cameroon in 1986 after a poison cloud emerged from a lake killing hundreds of villagers and a group of medical professionals to Central America in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Mitch. I could also mention that while the world fiddles around with Syria, over 100 Syrians have temporarily escaped the ravages of war there and gotten treatment in Israel. In recent weeks two Syrian babies were born in Israel too.


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