Sunday, May 31, 2015

  • Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Very interesting find by MEMRI:

In a recent TV interview, Egyptian historian Maged Farag called for normalized relations with Israel, saying that Egypt would benefit from cultural and economic exchange, from tourism, and from Israel's advanced agricultural and industrial technology. "For 70 years, the Palestinian cause has brought Egypt and the Egyptians nothing but harm, destruction, and expense," said Farag. "We should think with a scientific and open mind, with our eyes set on the future," said the historian, who recently visited Israel to attend a conference on Egyptian Jewry.

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on the Egyptian Mehwar TV channel on May 26, 2015.

Interviewer: You were quoted as saying that we should drop the Palestinian cause, and focus on normalizing our relations with Israel, and thus becoming its friends and buddies. Are you serious?!

Majed Farag: What I'm saying is that we should pay attention to the interests of our country. There are no such things as eternal enmity or eternal love.There are only eternal interests. We should identify our country's interest. Churchill once said that he was ready to cooperate with the Devil in the interest of his country. As a man who knows a little bit about history and about international relations, I believe that it is in our interest to maintain normal relations with Israel. Of course, we have the right to maintain caution in these relations...

Interviewer: Are you talking about national security?

Majed Farag: With regard to national security, according to my information, there is cooperation, and there is dialogue on the political, security, and military levels between Egypt and Israel. The state is not the problem. The problem lies with the people, who still live the old ideology and the cultural heritage on which we were raised. Our generation was raised upon hatred and upon these people being barbaric...

Interviewer: I don't like them.

Majed Farag: You have the right not to like them.

Interviewer: But we were forced to confront them...

Majed Farag: Look, there is a difference between loving them... There is no love or hate in politics and in international relations.

Interviewer: I agree.

Majed Farag: There are only interests. It is in our interest to cooperate with people of culture, science, thought, and technology - all those things that can benefit us.


Majed Farag: As an Egyptian, I care about one thing and one thing only: my country's interests. I care about our national security. For over 70 years, the Palestinian cause has brought upon Egypt and the Egyptians nothing but harm, destruction, and expense. We have been preoccupied all our lives with the Palestinian cause...

Interviewer: Peace in the Middle East...

Majed Farag: No. The Palestinian cause is Palestinian. Egypt's problem has been resolved. The occupied land has been liberated. End of story, as far as I'm concerned. Let us now live and care about the interests of my country. Am I supposed to shackle myself to the Palestinian cause? Let the (Palestinians) resolve it. I have no problem with that. We have tried to help them many times. You remember the story of the (1977) Mena House meeting, to which they did not show up...

Interviewer: Sadat told them to come and sign with him...

Majed Farag: They don't think it is in their interest. They don't want to resolve their own problem.


Majed Farag: I still don't understand what the big deal is. I met many Egyptians there, and many Egyptians have visited Israel. I don't understand why my visit there made people so angry.

Interviewer: Because you are Maged Farag.

Majed Farag: C'mon...

Interviewer: Because you published pictures and said...

Majed Farag: Was I supposed to conceal my visit to Israel, and go there on a different passport, and all that? No. You know that I am not afraid. My principal is: If you are afraid, don't talk about it, and vice versa. I am convinced that this benefits my country. It is in the best interest of my country to have good relations... I won't say "friendly" relations, because friendliness is not the issue. It's about interests. I can benefit from that neighbor in many ways. You prefer to remain enemies with it? Fine. Let's be enemies. But until when? Until the Palestinian issue is resolved? It won't, and you know that better than me. The Palestinian issue will not be resolved because (the Palestinians) do not want it to be resolved. I just want to say one more thing. Some people said to me: "How can you go to an occupying country?" Occupying?! Do you have any doubt that Israel is, and will continue to be, a reality? Do you still hope and believe in the old idea of throwing them into the sea? Is that logical?!


Majed Farag: I'm sure that you have heard that there is a sign in the Knesset, saying: "From the Nile to the Euphrates."

Interviewer: It's from the Euphrates to the Nile.

Majed Farag: No. "From the Nile to the Euphrates."

Interviewer: Okay, I thought it was the other way around.

Majed Farag: This is not true. There is no such thing.

Interviewer: And it does not appear in The Protocols either?

Majed Farag: What protocols?

Interviewer: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That old group.

Majed Farag: Look, sir, let's stick to the Knesset.

Interviewer: Is there a sign saying: "From the Nile to the Euphrates?"

Majed Farag: Of course not.

Interviewer: Is that "for sure"?

Majed Farag: Sure, it's for sure. We all know that this is not true, but people keep saying this to heat up the hostility.


Majed Farag: We have had bad relations with this neighbor for 60-70 years. It is high time that these relations improved. We should first make peace with ourselves and then with our neigbors. We should think with a scientific and open mind, with our eyes set on the future. France and Germany fought for hundreds of years.

Interviewer: People think they fought one another only in the World Wars.

Majed Farag: Of course not. They fought the Hundred Years' War [sic], and whatever... a million different wars. They spent centuries fighting wars. Today, France and Germany have become one country. Not only have they made peace, but they have also united.


Majed Farag: Nations are migrating and occupying certain areas, and they live and coexist there. After a long period of occupying the land and settling in it, they become, as time goes by, the owners of the place, as you might say. How come we did not protest when Turkmen tribes occupied and settled in the Eastern Roman Empire, establishing the Ottoman Empire, which evolved into modern Turkey? Are these really the original owners of land? No, they're not. The Turks are not the original owners of the land. They came from Turkmenistan. Why did we not protest when Turkey occupied north Cyprus? Nobody uttered a word of protest. We do we remain silent over Spain's occupation of parts of Morocco? Cities in Morocco are considered part of Spain, not merely occupied land. England took Gibraltar and considers it part of England. There are many examples in history, but nobody wants to...

Interviewer: But none of these cases is around us. The (Palestinians) are right on our border.

Majed Farag: Cyprus is also on your border.


Interviewer: What is the meaning of having normal relations?

Majed Farag: Normal relations require, first of all, cultural exchange. I must not fear the other. So long as I fear the other, nothing good can develop. We should not fear (Israel). We should visit there.


First there should be cultural exchange. There should be tourist exchange, and economic exchange. There are Israeli companies that specialize in modern drip irrigation. They have very advanced irrigation technology. We have a water problem. We have a shortage of water. Why can't we take advantage of their technology, of their thought, and of the results of their research? They used this technology to cultivate the desert, so why can't we use it here? Why can't I benefit from someone who used to be my enemy? I'm not looking to force him to become my friend. I want him as a partner in developing agriculture and industry in Egypt.


Many Egyptians have dealings with Israel, but in secret. Nobody has the courage to admit it. Many Israeli companies have representatives in Egypt. I have met many Egyptians who work in Israel. They are Muslims, and they marry Jewish Israeli women. They live and work there, and they encounter no problem whatsoever. What's the problem with that? But everybody is afraid to admit this. They think that this is some sort of a crime. It is not a crime. It's very normal. This is how it should be. This is the natural development of things.

Interviewer: What do you want us to teach in Egyptian schools about the wars of '56, '67, and '73?

Majed Farag: We should teach that there were wars in '48, '56, '67, and '73, and that these wars came to an end, that we signed a peace treaty, and we should set our eyes on the future. That's it.


Israel exists, whether we like it or not, and it will continue to exist, whether we like it or not. So let's just accept this.

(h/t Alexi)

  • Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ma'an reports on something that makes Israel actually seem not so hell-bent on doing everything possible to make life miserable for Arabs:
Palestinians living in Israel will be able to access the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya through the Eyal checkpoint ten years since it was closed by Israeli authorities, officials in Qalqiliya told Ma'an on Sunday.

Director of civil affairs at the governor's office, Muhannad Shawar, said the decision will be put into effect by June 7.

He said it came following a request from Palestinian officials who pointed to the enormous convenience that entry through the Eyal checkpoint would bring for residents of Taybeh, al-Tirah and other towns in northern Israel with a Palestinian majority.

According to the agreement reached with the Israeli authorities, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship will be allowed to visit Qalqiliya in private vehicles between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. They are to return via checkpoint 109.
Good news, right? When terror decreases, freedom of movement for Palestinian Arabs increases.

But this is a Palestinian newspaper, so they have to add some lies to keep their record consistent:

Israeli forces maintain severe restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories through a complex combination of fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians but open exclusively to Jewish settlers, and various other physical obstructions.
Car with Palestinian plates on a purportedly "Jewish-only" road (CAMERA)

The myth of "Jewish-only roads" has been debunked quite thoroughly,here and  here and here for starters.

Then comes an even bigger whopper:

The West Bank is almost entirely surrounded by the Israeli separation wall, which is more than 700km long.
A separation barrier on only one side of an area is now considered to be "surrounding" it?

Just as international law is interpreted differently for Israel than for any other country, the dictionary itself is different for Israel as well.
From Ian:

Barack Obama's MidEast fantasy world
Regarding Israel, Obama seems to believe U.S. – Israel relations during the past six years have basically been fine and that the recent drama and public acrimony between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been overblown.
Obama also says, “I have maintained, and I think I can show that no U.S. president has been more forceful in making sure we help Israel protect itself, and even some of my critics in Israel have acknowledged as much.”
The interview sticks to Middle East affairs, though is likely to be of interest to anyone who follows international politics or current debates surrounding U.S. foreign policy. It provides insights into how Obama views both past decisions he has made and the current challenges in front of him.
January 20, 2017 feels so far away. No matter what happens between now and then, we’re going to remember Obama for a very long time.
Rivlin: Ironic that killers of Israeli athletes seek to oust Israel from FIFA
There is a certain irony in the fact that what took place in Zurich last Friday was the outcome of an attempt by those who murdered Israelis in Munich in 1972 to oust Israel from FIFA, President Reuven Rivlin told German Foreign Minister Sr. Frank Walter Steinmeier on Sunday.
The two men previously met in Berlin just over two weeks ago. Rivlin welcomed Steinmeier as “a friends of Israel” and said that Israel appreciates what Steinmeier has done for Israel in the interim.
He was referring to pressures that were being put on Israel by the United Nations and the Palestinians. Israel does not need to be pressured in sport or academically he said, alluding also to BDS.
Israel realizes the importance of rebuilding Gaza, said Rivlin, and was willing to cooperate. Aware that Steinmeier’s next stop during his current visit was to Ramallah, Rivlin asked him to tell Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the only way to bring the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to an end was through direct negotiations.
More diplomatic challenges await Israel after FIFA victory
The Prime Minister's Office is sending out a message loud and clear: Force won't work. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fourth government has kicked off amid massive challenges in the international arena. In the last ten days alone there have been at least four fronts that the Prime Minister's Office has had to tend to: 1. The Egyptian demand to impose nuclear supervision and demilitarization on Israel at the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference; 2. The Palestinian demand to have Israel removed from the world soccer governing body FIFA; 3. The nuclear negotiations between Western powers and Iran; 4. The French initiative to advance unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. Security Council.
On the first two fronts, the NPT review conference and the FIFA congress, Netanyahu (who currently holds the foreign affairs portfolio as well) worked diligently to thwart the initiatives. Both ended in Israeli victories and a defeat for the initiators.
Fieldwork conduced by Israel's National Security Council, under the direction of former Mossad deputy chief Yossi Cohen, has yielded success. There were attempts to corner Israel into nuclear supervision by way of legal means at the NPT review conference, but those attempts failed. At the FIFA congress, in addition to trying to oust Israel from the federation, there were attempts to transfer the debate over Israel's alleged crimes to the U.N., but those attempts failed as well.

Screen ShotAnyone who reads my material knows that I often use the popular American pro-Democratic Party blog, Daily Kos, as one guide, among others, to progressive-left thinking.  Over years of observing prominent left-leaning venues I came to a conclusion that seems to irritate them.

My conclusion was not, as it is sometimes claimed, that the western-left is crawling with veiled anti-Semites who use the "Palestinians," and sometimes even the Holocaust, as a club with which to beat up on the Jews of the Middle East and their diaspora supporters.

On the contrary.  In my experience, a majority of left-leaning westerners are most certainly not anti-Semitic.  However, after decades of rolling around in the sour and ahistorical muck of the so-called "Palestinian Narrative" they have come to look upon the Palestinian-Arabs as the quintessential victims.  Having won the Grand Sweepstakes of Victimhood, the Palesinian-Arabs represent victimhood lifted skyward to an iconic status.  Look up the word "victim" in the proverbial dictionary and find the grinning visage of a keffiyeh-draped Yassir Arafat leering back at you.

{If the Jews were the twentieth-century recipient of this dubious prize, the Palestinian-Arabs have certainly taken the trophy from us within the progressive imagination.  Speaking strictly for myself, I am perfectly happy to be rid of it.}

What this has resulted in, though, is the infiltration of western-left venues by anti-Semitic anti-Zionists who do, in fact, veil their anti-Semitism behind a veneer of human rights concerns.

The truth is that "pro-Palestinian" activists are not pro-Palestinian at all, for if they were they would care about human rights abuses toward Palestinian-Arabs committed by non-Jews.  But they don't.  They only care about the Palestinian-Arabs to the extent that they can use them as grotesque props in a staged drama intended to defame the Jewish people and justify violence against us.

{See Pallywood.}

It is within this setting that the acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within the progressive-left is currently taking place.  And this represents the heart of my argument.  It is not that the western-left is filled with anti-Jewish racists, it is that they have come to accept anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as just another normal part of the left-leaning coalition.  There are feminists and peace activists.  There are the various ethnic constituencies, including the Jews.  There are the environmentalists.  The anti-Zionists.  The anti-Capitalists.  The Gay community.

And so forth and so on.

Most people, of course, are not single-issue and, thereby, represent a patchwork of interests and concerns.

In order to demonstrate the tension within progressive-left circles around the Arab-Israel conflict lets take a look at the reception of a Daily Kos "diary" entitled, Amnesty International: Hamas tortured and killed Palestinians by someone writing under the Nom de Blog, unapologeticliberal777.

Now, to my mind, this is pretty straight-forward stuff.  He or she writes:
Amnesty International said in a report released today that the militant group Hamas tortured and killed Palestinians during the war against Israel in the Gaza Strip last year.

Hamas exploited the fighting against Israel in July and August to “ruthlessly settle scores,” including with members of Fatah, the rival political faction and political base of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, according to Amnesty.
Indeed.  And it is refreshing to see Amnesty go after someone aside from Jewish Israelis for a change.

If you observe the comments beneath the piece, which is what I am primarily interested in, you will see pro-Jewish / pro-Israel left-wingers endeavoring to engage with anti-Jewish / anti-Israel left-wingers.  Thus we get to enjoy the following exchange:

9 month old truce broken yesterday too (9+ / 0-)

Rockets were fired into Israel yesterday for the first time since the August truce. Won't be long now before the sympathizers come and tell us how Israel forced them to indiscriminately fire rockets, intentionally, into civilian areas. I can hear their collective yawns over these new war crimes.

by Angryallen on Wed May 27, 2015 at 06:49:17 AM PDT
Such a pro-Israel comment cannot be allowed to stand alone and so we get this response:
Won't be long now (8+ / 0-)
before the apologists come and tell us hundreds more Palestinian children need be to be killed and entire neighborhoods leveled because Defend Itself.

Oh wait, already here.

by nosleep4u on Wed May 27, 2015 at 07:31:55 AM PDT 
Note, of course, the anti-Semitic blood libel embedded in nosleep4u's comment.  He or she honestly thinks that Israeli Jews love to kill non-Jewish children.  This emphasis on the Jewish killing of non-Jewish children is directly out of the Middle Ages and finds ongoing prominent expression in all left-leaning western venues, today, including Daily Kos.

Notice, also, that both comments received almost the same number of recommendations.  The pro-Jewish / pro-Israel commenter received 9, while his anti-Jewish / anti-Israel interlocutor received 8.

Then we get this:
Yes, by all means. When all of Palestine has been (3+ / 0-)converted into a gigantic walled prison with all points of entry controlled by Israel, with access to food and water limited to somewhere between starvation and subsistence and with assassination via helicopter gunships or airstrikes by an occupying power a constant threat, let's shine a light on the bad behavior of some of the inmates of this massive prison. Because that's clearly the most important thing going on.

by Ralphdog on Wed May 27, 2015 at 11:35:15 AM PDT 
Wow.  That is some kind of serious indictment.

All of Palestine is a gigantic walled prison!

All points of entry are controlled by Israel!

They have limited access to food and water for the native population to somewhere between starvation and subsistence!

They assassinate Palestinian-Arabs via helicopter gunships or airstrikes for no reason whatsoever!

I embellished a bit, but the obvious implication of Ralphdog's dark fantasies about the Jews of Israel is that, much like every other generation of Jews for millennia, we deserve whatever beating anyone wishes to dish out.

Every generation we are told why it is that the Jews need a sound thrashing - if not the occasional helpful genocide - and Ralphdog is simply doing his bit to see to it that the current generation of Jews are no less maligned than the previous ones.

Ralphdog has rolled around in the poisonous muck of the "Palestinian Narrative" for so long that vomiting outrageous accusations against Jewish Israelis has become a gag reflex.  When anyone dares to criticize even the most vicious of Islamist dictatorships people like Ralphdog  (by the way, if you give it a moment's thought you will realize the appropriateness of his moniker)  inevitably spit poison at the Jews.  This despite the fact that the Hamas charter calls quite specifically for the murder of the Jewish people wherever we might be found.

According to the Hamas charter, anyone for any reason should have every right to walk into my house and chop my head off merely because I happen to be a Jew.

And, yet, western-leftists continue to believe that diaspora Jews have a moral imperative to support the progressive movement, despite the fact that the progressive movement, and the Democratic Party, have made homes of themselves for people like Ralphdog.

The American right-wing, of course, has its David Dukes, but it must be acknowledged that the American Right has done a very good job of purging the anti-Semites from their midst ever since William F. Buckley, as an editor for The American Mercury in 1951 and 1952, stood up against anti-Jewish racism before launching The National Review.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of the American Left.  Again, it is not that the Left is crawling with anti-Jewish racists, but that, given The Narrative, they have accepted a fundamentally anti-Semitic sub-movement - anti-Zionism and BDS - into left-leaning organizations throughout the West.

This represents a betrayal of its Jewish constituency, at least among those of us who care about the well-being of the Jewish people and thereby the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.  The question is, what is to be done about this betrayal?

What I chose to do was conclude any association with the progressive-left and the Democratic Party.

I no longer march.  I no longer donate.  I no longer phone-bank.  None of it.  The day that I looked up during an anti-war rally in Civic Center, San Francisco, and saw a Nazi Swastika entwined within a Star of David at a "peace rally" was the day that I knew that the Left was dead.  For me that sign represented a worm, a leach, gnawing its way into the movement.

Perhaps if the person who held aloft that image had been confronted, I might have felt differently.  Of course, I did not confront him either.  My group, which was almost entirely non-Jewish, simply walked out of the rally.

Leaving the Left, however, is not the only reasonable response to such circumstances by western Jews.  One can also stand one's ground and fight.  Western-left Jews who confront the Ralphdog's of the world are needed and, if you follow the thread, you will see that Ralphdog was, in fact, confronted.

However, Jews who remain on the Left, who also wish to support Israel, need to do so from a position of strength, not weakness.  They need to be pro-active, not merely reactive.

When I was still mouthing-off in left-leaning venues it always seemed that the anti-Semitic anti-Zionists would attack and we would defend.  They attack, we defend.

It is long past time for this pattern to change and we are the ones who must change it, because sure as heck no one else is going to do it for us.

I recommend two tactics:

1)  Expand the terms of the discussion both historically and geographically.

This is not a fight that started in the twentieth century, but in the seventh.  That is, the struggle is not over land, but is, in fact, part of much longer Arab-Muslim effort to oppress the Jewish minority in the Middle East for Koranically-based religious reasons.

Nor is it a squabble between Israelis and Palestinian-Arabs, but between the Jews of that part of the world and the great Arab-Muslim nation that surrounds them and refuses to allow them normal status as human beings in the world.

Both of these assertions have the advantage of historical accuracy.

2)  Put the Left on notice.

Make for them to understand that the Jewish people are not going to accept the betrayal.

The western-left and the Democratic party have betrayed their Jewish constituencies through accepting anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the general coalition.

That is what the well-meaning Left needs to understand.

Jewish progressives can stay and fight, but they cannot do so without acknowledging the obvious.

Unless you confront your non-Jewish left-leaning friends and colleagues directly on that score then, at best, you're trimming the hedge.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.
  • Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Palestinian Ministry of Information, run by the "moderates" of the Palesttnian Authority under that man of peace Mahmoud Abbas, has denounced terrorism.

Suicide bombings? Hamas rockets? Knife attacks in Jerusalem? Arabs running over Jews in cars?

No, of course not. The terrorism that they condemn is of a more heinous variety altogether.

Jews walking around their most sacred spot.

The Ministry issued this press release on May 25:
The Ministry of Information considers the invitations of the so-called "Temple Mount" organizations to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday and today, on the occasion of the so-called holiday of the revelation of the Torah, to be extremist government-sponsored terrorism.

The Ministry confirms that the occupation's facilitating people to break into the holy mosque, and its protection of the extremists, and its attack on worshipers, and cracking down on freedom of prayer in it, reveals Israel's true intentions to launch the terrorism of aggression all the way to seizing and establishing a "temple" in its place!

The Ministry calls on our people to decamp to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend it against what is being plotted against it. And it urges the ambassadors of countries of the world and members of diplomatic missions to carry out their responsibilities, and to intervene with their governments to force Israel to stop its terrorism against the Islamic and Christian holy sites before it is too late.

The Ministry says that the occupation is responsiblefor all the consequences of the intrusion, and exposure to the worshipers, and the threat to the first Islamic Qibla.

The Ministry of Information
Here are some of the terrorists, who presumably must be stopped by any means before they perform their next act of terror.

Which makes another question that reporters will never ask Mahmoud Abbas - "Do you really consider Jews walking around a holy site to be terrorists?"

  • Sunday, May 31, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last month I noted a report written by many NGOs, including Oxfam and CARE  International, that blamed Israel for the slow pace of Gaza reconstruction.

More recently Amnesty also blamed Israel (in a purportedly anti-Hamas report) saying that it needed to lift the blockade on Gaza to help reconstruction, implying that somehow Israeli restrictions were to blame for the slow pace.

I showed already in April that they were lying. Israel was not the bottleneck at all, but many countries that promised to fund the Gaza reconstruction - mostly Muslim countries - have been not paying their pledges.

Now, proof that Oxfam and Amnesty are falsely blaming Israel comes from an unlikely source - Qatar.

Qatar continues to aid reconstruction efforts in the war-torn Gaza Strip as new projects start, says committee chief Muhammad al-Amadi.

"The reconstruction process is progressing very well as construction material is being shipped to Gaza everyday without any obstacles," al-Amadi said to Ma'an, adding that contracts for new projects have been signed and bids for more projects will be made.

Israel has approved all the Qatari-funded projects in the Gaza Strip, he said.
In March, Emadi admitted that most of the cement going to Gaza is being diverted to the black market, with homeowners selling cement meant to rebuild their homes. And even then he praised Israel's efforts in helping to rebuild Gaza.

Emadi's honesty about Israel exposes the hundreds of Western-funded NGOs in Israel and the territories to be nothing more than a giant scam to raise money from, and spend money on behalf of, those who hate Israel.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

From Ian:

The Jewish Revolt
Review: Bruce Hoffman, ‘Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947’
Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.
Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.
It was Lehi that began the terror war against the British in 1940. Its members were completely isolated at first, perceived by the Yishuv—a term for Palestine’s Jewish community—as a criminal gang. Lehi was led by Avraham (Yair) Stern, whom Hoffman describes as a man “of grandiose dreams and half-baked plans,” an outstanding classics student at Hebrew University, and a poet. The title of Hoffman’s book comes from a poem written by Stern, which would become Lehi’s anthem. Stern was killed by the British in 1941, and the group’s remaining members killed or captured. The group was revived in 1943 under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir, decades later to become Israel’s prime minister.
In 1944, when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated, the Irgun, too, declared a revolt. Its new leader was Menachem Begin, who had led the Jewish nationalist youth group Betar in Poland. Hoffman considers Begin a first-class strategic thinker who recognized that he could not defeat Britain militarily and so decided “systemically [to] undermine its authority,” believing that if the Irgun could destroy the government’s prestige “the removal of its rule would follow automatically.” Through the Irgun’s violent actions, he made Palestine a center of world attention, a “glass house” as he described it, where every British misstep was broadcast to the world.
Post-WWII, Jews were ‘used as pawns’ by world superpowers
The end of World War II brought with it the end of the Holocaust, and beginning in July 1944 with Majdanek, concentration camps in Poland and Germany including Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, were liberated by Allied forces. On May 8, 1945, the day Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally, Soviet troops also liberated Theresienstadt.
But the end of the Holocaust shouldn’t be confused with the end of liberation itself. In his new book “The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and Its Aftermath,” Dan Stone, a professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London, argues liberation “was a process, something that happened over time.” It did not “immediately bring about an end to the camp inmates’ suffering,” particularly for the thousands of Jewish displaced persons (DPs) who remained stuck in camps in Europe for years after the war.
In “The Liberation of the Camps,” published mid-May, Stone also makes clear that “the murder of the Jews and the collapse of the Third Reich helped to shape the pattern of the postwar world,” including in the Middle East.
The Times of Israel sat with Stone at his University of London office at Royal Holloway to discuss the fate of Jewish DPs and how, as both a refugee problem and an international question, they became caught up in the politics of the Cold War and the domestic affairs of the superpowers.
NYT Prints Anti-Israel Op-ed by Player from Terrorist-Linked Palestinian Soccer Club
The New York Times has published an op-ed by Palestinian soccer player Iyad Abu Gharqoud, demanding that FIFA kick Israel out of international soccer. The Times allows Gharquod to play the role of the aggrieved victim but ignores the fact that his soccer team, the Hilal Al-Quds club, held a tournament for 12-year-olds named for terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led an attack on a bus in 1978 that killed 37 Israeli civilians, including 12 children, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Gharqoud’s main complaint is that Palestinian “coaches and referees are blocked from moving between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and frequently are barred from tournaments.” That is for the very simple reason that Palestinian terrorists are still at war with Israel.
The terrorist group Hamas, for example, controls the Gaza Strip and uses it to launch deadly attacks on Israeli civilians, resulting in restrictions on travel that necessarily apply to all Palestinians, not just elite soccer players.
When peace-oriented groups have organized friendly soccer matches between Palestinians and Israelis, the Palestinian Authority has denounced them. Last year, Palestinian officials called a game between Israeli and Palestinian boys, which was sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, a “crime against humanity.”
The man who made that statement, Jibril Rajoub, is leading the effort to have Israel suspended from FIFA. Gharqoud mentions none of that in his Times op-ed.

Friday, May 29, 2015

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The compromise proposal that the PA proposed to the FIFA is not as much of a victory as Israel is pretending.

90% of FIFA members voted for this:
In order to end the suffering and discrimination of our Palestinian football family at the hands of the illegal and racist occupation of our land, we have presented a proposal for a final solution. [A committee to investigate]

(1) The restrictions of Palestinian rights for the freedom of movement. (2) The continued racism and discriminatory behavior of IFA officials and clubs in direct violation of not only the principles of FIFA, (including FIFA’s no-tolerance policy against racism and discrimination) (3) the grave concern over at least five Israeli clubs located in illegal settlements in the occupied State of Palestine.
Saying that they will investigate Israel's "racism" means that they are saying Israel is a priori racist.

UPDATE: Some commenters are saying that the Haaretz report isn't accurate. I couldn't find the actual text on the FIFA site.

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Universities Should be Unsafe for Political Correctness
The current code word being tossed around to protect political correctness from competition in the marketplace of ideas is “unsafe.”
“I feel unsafe” has become the argument stopper on many university campuses. Efforts have been made to shut down controversial events or speakers, some of which have succeeded, at MIT, the University of Michigan, Northeastern University, Oxford, Hampshire College, Smith College, and other great universities on the grounds that students would feel “unsafe.” Students must, of course, be and feel physically safe in their dorms, classrooms and campuses. That’s what university and city police are for: to protect against physical assaults and threats. But no one on a university campus should be or feel safe or protected when it comes to the never-ending war of ideas.
An important role of the university is to challenge every idea, every truth, every sacred notion, even if challenge makes students (or faculty) feel intellectually uncomfortable, unsettled, or unsafe. There must be no safe spaces in the classroom or auditorium that protect members of the university community from dangerous, disturbing or even emotionally unsettling ideas.
The depraved indifference of ‘two-statism’
Under these conditions, demilitarization is virtually irrelevant. Even lightly armed renegades with improvised weapons could disrupt the socioeconomic routine of the nation at will, with or without the complicity of the incumbent regime, which due to its despotic nature would have little commitment to the welfare of the average citizen.
Definitely depraved indifference
Faced with this grim prospect, any Israeli government would either have to resign itself to recurring paralysis of the economy, mounting civilian casualties and the disruption of life in the country, or respond repeatedly with massive retaliation, with the attendant collateral damage among the non-belligerent Palestinian-Arab population and international condemnation of its use of “disproportionate force.”
It is uncertain – perhaps unlikely – that the fabric of Israeli society could withstand the strain for long...
The fact that other, more palatable, outcomes may be possible is of no real relevance. Unless two-staters can provide some plausible argument as to how such grave consequences can be averted with a significant degree of certainty, it will be increasingly difficult not to have grave doubts as to the nature of their motives. After all, as the introductory citation from Yossi Beilin, arch-architect of the Oslo Accords, demonstrates, two-staters were aware that their policy might be unsuccessful. Yet despite it clearly failing their own “test of blood,” despite the clear and present danger it entails, they persist in it.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile calls for a Palestinian state with concern for the security and well-being of the Jewish nation-state – and increasingly difficult to deny that “depraved indifference” is becoming an ever-more apt characterization of “two-stater” behavior.
 Sarah Honig: The Holy See’s unholy sanctimony
Despite Israel’s exemplary attributes of sovereignty, the Vatican remained sour, begrudging and glacially aloof – and that again is resorting to understatement.
So whereas a Palestinian state is recognized prematurely – before actual self-determination – it took the Vatican a whopping 45-and-a-half years after the fact to bring itself to officially recognize Jewish self-determination. Egypt – Israel’s bitter foe for decades – beat the Vatican by 14 years.
Only in late December 1993 did the Vatican finally deign to recognize the Israel that was born in mid-May 1948. Moreover, the Vatican’s ultra-belated recognition remained hesitant, as if the ecclesiastical bureaucracy’s gut instincts prevented it from at all stomaching the notion of Jewish sovereignty.
The difference screams to High Heaven and anyone who denies a brazen double standard simply refuses to admit the truth staring us all in the face.
The adjective which most immediately comes to mind to describe the Vatican’s blatant bias is sanctimonious. Its dictionary definitions are “affecting piety, making a display of holiness, showing false righteousness, marked by hypocritical virtue.” All the above fit the Holy See to a tee to say nothing of the fact that sanctimonious originates from the Latin sanctimonia (sanctity) and sanctus (holy).
Galling pontifical predispositions or preconceptions were even abundantly evident during the visit here last year of apparent nice-guy Pope Francis.

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Tomorrow, Mahmoud Abbas' grandson, also named Mahmoud, is getting married in Doha, Qatar.

Some Arab newspapers say that it is likely that Abbas will meet with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. Some sources say Meshal was invited.

Abbas is also expected to meet with the Emir of Qatar to beg for more money.

Abbas will fly there on a private plane with family members and his own security detail.
From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Barack Obama’s anti-Semitism test
By rejecting the policy significance of anti-Semitism for the Iranian regime, Obama exhibited yet another anti-Semitic behavior. Obama asserted that if you fail to recognize the danger that anti-Semitism constitutes for Israel’s survival, then you are an anti-Semite.
Obama’s statements about the Palestinians also indicate that he feels little love for Jews. As has been his consistent practice since assuming office, in his charm offensive last week, Obama continued to ignore the fact that if the Palestinians were primarily interested in a state, rather than in the destruction of the Jewish state, they could have had one at almost any time since the release of the Peel Commission report in 1937 that first suggested partitioning the land west of the Jordan River between a Jewish and an Arab state. His consistent refusal to deal with this simple fact, and his insistence on blaming Israel for the Palestinians’ expressed misery despite Israel’s repeated offers to partition the land in exchange for peace raise serious questions about his intentions toward the Jewish state.
As Obama rightly understands, in the coming months, as he tries to sell his nuclear deal with Iran and his anti-Israel positions at the UN to the American public, the question of whether or not he is an anti-Semite will become more salient than ever before.
Now that he has answered the question, Israel needs to act in accordance with Jewish values, and choose life even at the expense of good relations with the Obama administration.
Melanie Phillips: Israel’s Foreign Ministry moves to be right
Israel’s new deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, has caused a sensation, not least in her own ministry. She has told the truth.
She said Israel must not hesitate to assert that the entire Land of Israel, including the West Bank, belongs to the Jewish people.
That right, she said, came from the Hebrew Bible. She referred to Maimonides, who asserted that Genesis began with the creation of the world in order to provide a riposte to foreign nations accusing the Jews of stealing the Land of Israel.
Israeli diplomats were aghast. “It’s the first time anyone has asked us to use verses from the Torah for public diplomacy abroad,” one was quoted as saying.
It is true that the hostile West (and many Israelis) may write off Hotovely as just another religious zealot who wants to annex the West Bank.
In fact, she also said she is committed to a two-state solution along the lines laid down by Prime Minister Netanyahu: that Israel would support a Palestine state established to live in peace alongside Israel.
Palestinians drop bid to have Israel banned from FIFA
The Palestinian delegation to FIFA on Friday dropped a motion to have the Israeli soccer federation suspended from international football amid pressure from dozens of national delegates.
Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub submitted a last-minute amendment to the proposal and told the Congress that “a lot of colleagues” asked him not to call for Israel’s suspension.
He said dozens of football presidents called on him to drop the bid, “but it does not mean that I give up the resistance.”
Instead, Rajoub called on international delegates to vote on setting up a monitoring mechanism to oversee three points: the movement of Palestinian soccer players and soccer equipment donated to the Palestinians, monitoring racism and discrimination against Palestinian soccer players, and the issue of Israeli teams from settlements in the West Bank, which he referred to as “five racist clubs which should be banned.”

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Gilad Atzmon, antisemitic jazz musician, wrote a screed against Jewish Voice for Peace, the anti-Zionist organization, for not hating Jews enough.

Apparently, Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s Executive Director, wrote a letter to Alison Weir, another antisemite who described Judaism as “such a ruthless and supremacist faith," saying that they won't work with her any more because she is a bigot, and it doesn't look good for a group that pretends to be liberal and peace-loving to associate with someone who hates Jews:
Dear Ms. Weir,

Jewish Voice for Peace has chosen not to work with you because our central tenet is opposition to racism in all its forms, and you have chosen repeatedly to associate yourself with people who advocate for racism.

You have been a repeat guest of white supremacist Clay Douglas on his hate radio show, the Free American. Clay Douglas is concerned primarily with the survival of the White race and sees malign Jewish influence everywhere. His racist, anti-Jewish, and anti-gay rhetoric can be found across the front pages of his multiple websites.

In the course of your appearance with Clay Douglas on August 25, 2010, for example, you were silent when Douglas invoked the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and engaged in a racist diatribe against Jews. Your repeated appearance on this show (April 23 and August 25, 2010; February 9 and May 18, 2011) show that you knew his extremist views and chose to continue the association.

Your troubling associations and choices further include giving interviews to a range of far-right outlets including The American Free Press, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a hate group, and the anti-gay, anti-Jewish pastor Mark Dankof. One of your articles appeared in an anthology that was promoted by the infamous Holocaust-denial organization, the Institute for Historical Review. We see no evidence that you have disavowed any of these outlets or institutions.

Our movement must be built on a foundation of love, justice and equality for all people. It should not and cannot win by fueling or endorsing any form of hate, whether against People of Color, gays, Jews, Muslims or anyone else.

At Jewish Voice for Peace, we are particularly sensitive to the long history of anti-Jewish oppression as well as the ways that Palestinian liberation work is frequently tarred with false charges of anti-Semitism. Just as we call out the hateful associations of those who seek to perpetuate injustice against Palestinians, as a movement we must also hold the line against those who promote the false notion that Palestinian liberation can be won at the expense of others.
Atzmon freaks out, saying that JVP is putting Weir in "herem" (excommunication) and calls Weir a "patriot":
JVP’s Herem announcement declares: “our movement must be built on a foundation of love, justice and equality for all people.” This is a beautiful sentiment but unfortunately, it contradicts the purpose of the letter that states in precise terms who should be excluded from ‘love’, ‘justice’ and ‘equality.’ It is astonishing that the ‘anti’ Zionists who lead JVP practice segregation and exceptionalism on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder what it is about Israel or Zionism that they oppose. Vilkomerson’s rant reveals a deep morbid fear of Whiteness that resembles Bennett and Liebermann’s resentment towards Arabs and Muslims.

For years I have argued that the continuum between Zionism and the so-called Jewish ‘anti’ is undeniable. In its actions, JVP has foolishly confirmed again and again that my observation is correct. The original Protocol OF The Elders Of Zion is considered to be a Tsarist forgery, but the call for a herem was composed by Vilkomerson in the name of her ‘Jews only party’ and is an authentic protocol. It is a revealing glimpse into the racist morbidity that is embedded in the Jewish Left and it sheds light on the corrosive impact of JVP in its current form.
Weir also reacted furiously to JVP's criticism, as Daphne Anson documented in an excellent article here.

Crazy haters attacking other crazy haters for being crazy haters. We real writers of the Protocols couldn't have planned this better!

(h/t Ian)

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
No, this isn't satire.

Some starry-eyed peace activists announced the annual Jerusalem Hug:
On Thursday, May 28th 2015 many people will gather around the Old City of Jerusalem. Israelis and Palestinians as well as peace activists from the world will walk hand in hand around the city walls. We will stand shoulder to shoulder, sharing our wish for peace and our love for Jerusalem.

The aim of the “Jerusalem Hug” is to promote a peaceful experience, a life of freedom and joy to all people. The “Jerusalem Hug” focuses on love, respect and unity between all people. With this attitude the participants will spread out around the walls of the Old City, holding hands, singing and praying for peace and respect for all humankind.

The “Jerusalem Hug” symbolizes a different way to achieve peace: the way of the heart. We believe that when we find peace in ourselves. When we are able to forgive and open our heart for our fellow human beings, world peace will come closer. Change begins in one’s heart.
Who can be against hugs?

Jerusalem Post reporter Seth Frantzman reports:
Located between Damascus Gate and New Gate, the event was to begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Mishol Hapninim Garden, under the picturesque trees and walls of the Old City. Arab youngsters were practicing parkour and photographers had gathered to watch them. As if to coincide with the beginning of the event, several young men arrived and spoke to the Arabs who were participating, many of them wearing “Jerusalem Hug” shirts.

They told the Arab participants to leave the “normalization event” and tried to pull a woman and her child.

Arguments broke out and those with cameras were threatened by the Arab anti-normalization youths to delete film of them harassing the participants.

Water was thrown at the people present. One of the young men hit me in the face while his friend tried to prevent me from leaving.

Quds Media, a Palestinian outlet, reported the disruption of the event as “youths trying to prevent the establishment of an effective normalization event near Damascus Gate near Al-Aksa Mosque.” Commentators on social media noted that the activists involved sought to “reject normalization” and called participants “donkeys,” accusing them of leading people “to storm Al-Aksa Mosque.”

  • Friday, May 29, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ammon News gives a hint as to what happened in an opinion piece:
On May 24th 2015, events took place in Amman to raise awareness of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) communities in Jordan. These events drew a crowd which consisted of many activists, members, and allies of Jordan’s LGBT community. One of the spokespeople at the events was no other than the United States ambassador to Jordan, Alice G Wells. She was subsequently reported to the public prosecutor for supporting the community.
A Jordanian lawyer was behind the complaint. He says that Wells was violating the Jordanian constitution, which says that Islam is the official religion of Jordan that the family is the basis of society. Therefore, these meetings were against Jordanian law, he says, and formal actions should be taken against Ambassador Wells for participating in an illegal meeting.

Images of Wells at the meeting were leaked to social media, causing an uproar in Jordan. The organizers of the meeting admitted that Wells attended in an unofficial capacity to show solidarity, as did several EU ambassadors.

A number of Arabic newspapers in Jordan have criticized Wells for her apparent pro-gay stance. Assabeel wonders if the Jordanian government was aware of these meetings and decided to turn a blind eye, or if Wells did it secretly.

Addustour sees this incident as part of a series of tactics that the US and Israel are using to pervert Jordanian society with unnatural and ungodly acts.

Astonishingly, even though this international incident occurred five days ago, this story has not made it to the mainstream media. CNN Arabic did cover it but apparently thought that it was not newsworthy enough for CNN outside Arab countries.

The opinion author at Ammon News has his own very interesting theories as to how to handle this issue. Instead of censuring Alice wells, he says, Jordanian officials should eliminate the scourge of homosexuality in Jordan altogether:

From a scientific point of view, I suggest that a person’s hormone levels be tested to see if an imbalance in chemicals is present should their sexuality or gender be suspected of differing from the norm in the early years of their life. Accordingly, perhaps a medical approach could be utilised in this situation to bring hormone levels into balance with the intention of settling their behaviour. Meanwhile, if this imbalance is found at a later stage in life, it should be treated likewise, and doctors should also provide information and advice on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases which are prevalent in the gay community.
Those darn hormones!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

From Ian:

The daily effects of Palestinian privilege
Whilst the idea of ‘privilege’ is intellectually suspect for a host of reasons, it’s troubling that Jews, of all people, are often considered among “the privileged” within this paradigm. Not only has the post-Holocaust taboo against antisemitism been eroded, but Jews, who represent a fraction of 1% of the world’s population, are – in a manner evoking classic tropes – now routinely portrayed by virtue of their relative success in the West, as an elite, monied and dangerously powerful group.
Further, the idea that Jews benefit from instiutional privilege has begun to gain some traction within the mainstream left.
Maital Friedman wrote an op-ed at JTA back in January, on Martin Luther King Day, which asked Jews to be “aware of racial inequality and of the daily privileges we [Jews] enjoy that others cannot”. On April 7th, The New Republic published an article, titled ‘Does the Holocaust discount Jewish white privilege?’, which – though narrowly rejecting the idea of ‘Jewish privilege” as such – argued that even Jews whose relatives were killed in the Holocaust can now be beneficiaries of ‘white privilege’.
Though we’ve responded previously at length to the suggestion that Jews and/or Israelis enjoy unfair advantages, in monitoring media coverage of Israel year after year, we’d argue that Palestinians are – in many respects – uniquely privileged.
Here’s our list of the advantages (privileges) of waking up in the morning as a Palestinian – the daily effects of Palestinian privilege.
Muslim Scholars: Israel Is ‘Root Cause’ of All Islamic Nations’ Failures
Muslim clerics gathered in Beirut on Wednesday to kick off the Khomeinist International Union of Resistance conference, where “scholars” discussed how to stand up against the “cancerous tumor of Israel,” according to reports from Lebanese and Iranian media outlets.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem told the audience that Syria’s successes on the battlefield – with the help of Hezbollah and Iran – are “a pure success which will be followed by others, Allah willing.” When asked whether criticism of his terrorist group was legitimate, the Hezbollah leader said that such criticism only “serves the Israeli scheme,” Al Manar reported.
Qassem, as Hezbollah’s second-in-command, has regularly reminded observers that his organization’s chief goal is to seek the destruction of Israel. He has argued that Islamic law allows for Hezbollah jihadists to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.
Iran’s state-run Press TV reports that the Muslim scholars all agreed that Israel is a “root cause of economic, political and cultural problems facing Muslim nations in recent decades.”
The Muslim “academics” unanimously agreed that “confronting the Tel Aviv regime” is a “top priority of Islamic resistance movements.” The clerics promised to support “the resistance” (Hezbollah, Hamas, and other jihadist terrorist groups) in their mission to destroy Israel, according to the report. (h/t NormanF)
How UK taxpayers’ money is funding Palestinian terrorists
Therefore, I have no problem in UK aid money going to Palestinians who really need it, as anything that can give hope to Palestinians lessens the chance of them turning to violence. The problem is though, numerous reports show that is not where the aid money is going. Rather it’s lining the hands of Palestinian terrorists, whose raison d’etre is attempting to destroy everything they touch whether that’s Israeli lives, Palestinian hopes and dreams, as well as Palestinians caught in the crossfire and their ultimate goal the destruction of Israel. Supposedly the Department for International Development gives aid money to the Palestinians to help build Palestinian civil society and encourage peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s all very laudable, but perhaps before giving taxpayers’ money away like confetti, it would have been a good idea to do a cursory check on where the money’s actually going. I would have thought that to be a good idea, considering the Palestinian leadership does have a track record of embezzling money or using it to fund terrorists. Yet despite protestations to the contrary nothing of the sort has taken place. I for one object to taxpayers’ money being spent on murderers who would like to see my relatives dead for the crimes of being Jewish and Israeli.
Lest you think this is a rant based on little evidence, I’d like to share some facts with you. In the past five years the Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken £130 million in foreign aid from the Department for International Development. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) who have done studies into where the money has gone have made credible claims that Britain may have been intentionally misled by the PA, who said they had stopped controversial payments amounting to an estimated £84 million annual wage bill for around 5,500 terrorists locked up in Israel.
In fact there is little proof that this blood money has stopped. I find it gut-wrenching that among those now eligible are Abdullah Barghouti, Hassan Salameh and Jamal Abu Al-Hijja who are serving 122 life sentences between them for planning suicide bombings. The Government talks about fighting extremist terror, yet here they are indirectly rewarding them, with PMW saying that our aid money could be being used to fund the salaries and bonuses of 5,000 terrorists. I thought the UK was committed to fighting terrorism!

  • Thursday, May 28, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
You can find anti-Israel propaganda everywhere.

From a North Dakota news site DL-Online:

There have been many chapters in the life of retired North Dakota State University physics professor Ghazi Hassoun.

“I was born in Palestine, during the British mandate, in 1935,” says Hassoun as he relaxes on a couch in the Pelican Lake summer home he shares with his Fargo-born wife, Linda. Her whose family owned the lakefront property near Cormorant village for decades before the couple bought out Linda’s family and made the home their own.

It is his journey from life as a self-professed “happy-go-lucky” youth in the then-Palestinian city of Haifa, to his family’s struggles as refugees in Lebanon, and eventually to the University of Minnesota, where he met first wife Virginia, earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and went on to teach physics at NDSU for nearly four decades, that formed the basis of Hassoun’s first book, “Walking Out Into the Sunshine.”

“I had a story to tell,” he said. “I knew this was something that should be written down, on paper.”

Even as a young boy, “I was aware that there was a lot of conflict over whose country Palestine was,” Hassoun says.

There were the Palestinian Arabs, who wanted to reclaim their homeland from the British and assert their independence, and there were the Zionist Jews who, displaced and all but wiped out by the Holocaust during World War II, yearned to reclaim the “Holy Land” of their ancestors and resurrect the nation of Israel — though, as Hassoun pointed out, the Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe hundreds of years ago.

Nevertheless, the Zionist movement had the backing of some powerful political allies — including the United States — and by the time Hassoun was 13, in 1948, the state of Israel had been formed by splitting the territory formerly known as Palestine into two (hostile) nations.

That decision has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern politics and culture that continues to the present day — and made an indelible impression on a young Ghazi Hassoun.

Unfortunately, the home owned by Ghazi’s family fell on the wrong side of the dividing line between Israel and Palestine, and they were forced to flee to Lebanon, as refugees.

“I grew up very fast,” Hassoun says. “My family lost their homes and businesses in Palestine as a result of the conflict.”
"Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe"?

Yeah, the Crusades and pogroms and expulsions and blood libels and Holocaust were so comfortable!

Now, what were the circumstances of Hasoun's family's being "forced to flee" to Lebanon?

His book gives the answer. His father saw some Arabs who were killed in an attack at a morgue, and started having nightmares and delusions:

No one was forced out. His family panicked and chose very consciously to go, and they had time to scout out places to live in Lebanon and they even shipped some of their furniture out in a process that took weeks. No expulsions, no massacres, nothing. A reasonable choice to leave a potential battle zone on their own terms, knowing very well that their house will remain in the territory of the Jewish state - but they didn't plan on the Jewish state surviving more than a few weeks.

Moreover, the nightmares that Hasoun's father had of Jews coming to slaughter his family came from mental illness, not from anything rational. The book mentions (p. 69)  that his father kept these delusions even after leaving Palestine in Tyre, Lebanon; he would stop people on the street and tell them what the Jews were planning to do to them. The family had to place him into a psychiatric hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

This is typical of Nakba "eye-witnesses" - in the end, they witnessed nothing but their own families' often irrational decisions to leave the land they claim they love.

Unlike the Palestinian Jews, these witnesses had the option of leaving.

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

Recently we’ve been hearing — both from Hezbollah and Israel — about the massive installations the terrorist group has been building just across the Lebanese border with Israel, and what will happen when war breaks out.

Omri Ceren of The Israel Project explains:
They’ve taken their arsenal – 100,000+ rockets including Burkan rockets with half-ton warheads, ballistic missiles including Scud-Ds that can hit all of Israel, supersonic advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft assets, drones and mini drones, tunnels, etc. – and embedded it across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. …

The Israelis can’t afford a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The Iran-backed terror group has the ability to saturation bomb Israeli civilians with 1,500 projectiles a day, every day, for over two months. They will try to bring down Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers with ballistic missiles. They will try to fly suicide drones into Israel’s nuclear reactor. They will try to detonate Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure. They will try to destroy Israeli military and civilian runways. And – mainly but not exclusively through their tunnels – they will try to overrun Israeli towns and drag away women and children as hostages. Israeli casualties would range in the thousands to tens of thousands.

And so the Israelis will have to mobilize massive force to shorten the duration of a future war. One of the things they’ll do is immediately is move to eliminate as much of Hezbollah’s vast arsenal as possible. Hezbollah is counting on the resulting deaths of their human shields – and they’ve guaranteed to that the body count will be significant – to turn Israel into an international pariah.
Hezbollah has adopted the most extreme form of the human shield strategy pioneered by Hamas in Gaza. The IDF will be forced to choose between killing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Lebanese civilians and seeing its own country laid waste.

Until recently, a strategy like Hezbollah’s would have been considered ludicrous. When the RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF devastated Germany toward the end of WWII, it wasn’t even a question of collateral damage — civilians were a large part of the target. Sir Charles Portal of the RAF issued a directive in 1943 to combined British and US air forces that
Your primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.
But times have changed. Although I do not think that the legalities involved have changed much since then, such “morale bombing” would be considered morally indefensible by most people today. So we can expect that when the next war does start, and when Israel bombs Hezbollah installations in South Lebanon with an unavoidably great loss of civilian life, there will be outcries against Israel for its brutality. There are a few things we should keep in mind:

First, the IDF response to a Hezbollah rocket attack — and it will be a response, not a preemptive attack — will have as its objective the neutralization of rocket launchers, attack tunnels, and other military targets. Unlike the allied air raids over Germany and Japan, civilian casualties will be entirely collateral damage, not part of the objective.

This means that the requirement of proportionality found in the international law of war, that the use of force that could cause collateral damage be limited to what is necessary to achieve a military objective, will be met as long as the IDF attacks military targets rather than bombing indiscriminately, doesn’t use WMD, etc.

But even if it’s legal, isn’t it wrong to kill innocent civilians, women and children who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

There is certainly a moral evil here, but even though the immediate cause of the catastrophe will be the IDF, what Aristotle called the “final cause” — the ‘for what’ that an event occurs — is Hezbollah’s intention to deter Israel from defending herself.  The civilians who will be hurt are deliberately intermingled with military targets, just in order to act as human shields.

In a 2013 article, Ron Ben-Yishai described one way Hezbollah implemented its strategy after its 2006 war with Israel:
…the Shiite terror group launched a major social/real-estate project that bolstered its political standing: It purchased lands on the outskirts of the villages, built homes on these lands and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices (to rent or buy), one the condition that at least one rocket launcher would be placed in one of the house’s rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
There can be no doubt of Hezbollah’s intentions, and thus no doubt of its responsibility if these families suffer. Israel’s reaction, on the other hand, is morally justified as an application of the principle of self-defense. That is, it is because of their actions that we are forced to choose between causing massive civilian casualties or suicide.

The use of human shields is not only morally reprehensible, it is illegal according to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law. Of course, the asymmetric warfare strategies used by terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, etc. deliberately contravene international law, which gives them an advantage over nations like Israel that are bound by these principles.

This leads to the absurd consequence that the more a nation tries to behave morally and legally, the more of its advantage it gives up. Further, the more technologically advanced a nation is, the more it is expected to use its technology to protect the enemy population. Quite a change from the past, when military technology was only used to kill and terrorize.

It has also created a de facto alliance between the barbarians of Hezbollah and Hamas and sophisticated, supposedly morally conscious Western leaders.

Israel has been fighting an information war in parallel with its military conflicts. Its enemies in this non-violent but ultimately deadly struggle include not only the Arabs and Iranians, but Europe, the UN and the Obama Administration (usually through intermediates such as “human rights” NGOs). Their objective has been to promulgate the idea that the IDF deliberately targets civilians, acts disproportionately and with unnecessary brutality.

Once implanted, this false perception can be rolled out at the time of military conflict and deployed in international fora and by governments (e.g., the arms embargo applied by the US during last year’s Gaza conflict) to justify actions that limit Israel’s ability to defend herself. The EU and Mr. Obama will not launch any rockets against Israel, but they will do what they can to force her to absorb those fired by the terrorists.

It is a sign of Western moral weakness and reality inversion that instead of taking the difficult path of preventing the Hezbollah buildup after 2006, as promised, it joined the infowar against Israel. In a real sense, the West will share responsibility with the terrorists for the devastation of southern Lebanon that is sure to come.

Israel will take the actions it must to survive, despite the hypocritical cries that will be heard from those that have been building the case for the terrorists all along. And, to paraphrase Naftali Bennett, there will be no reason to apologize.

From Ian:

PMW: PA sports: Prohibiting peace building and glorifying terror
This week, the Palestinian Authority is asking FIFA to suspend Israel's participation in FIFA sports activities. It is ironic that the PA is making such an aggressive request, when in fact it is the PA and Fatah who routinely disrespect the basic values of international sportsmanship, and the spirit upon which Olympic sports are founded.
The Palestinian Authority's abuse of sports is a concrete example of how the PA chooses to further entrench the conflict rather than work to resolve it. The Palestinian Authority uses sports to send the message that murdering Israeli civilians is honorable and heroic, that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that peace building or "normalization" with Israel is prohibited and even criminal.
Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA Olympic Committee, has organized and is promoting the request to FIFA. He is also one of the driving forces behind this abuse of sports and continues to promote terror himself. Even the terrorists responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972 continue to be glorified by the PA and Fatah.
PMW documentation clearly shows the irony of the PA's request. If any sports association should be suspended from FIFA for fundamental violations of the spirit of sports, it is the Palestinian Authority.
International community must hold Hamas accountable, says Col. Kemp
“The laws of armed conflict require them [Hamas] to evacuate civilians if they are using an area as a military position,” explained Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, on a recent trip to Israel.
As the governing power in Gaza, Hamas is responsible for actions emanating from its territory.
“Hamas is not blamed for using human shields. [According to the laws of war] they are not allowed to coerce civilians to come to where an attack might take place or where weapons are stored,” Kemp said.
Last summer’s war exposed Hamas operating from within civilian environments, firing rockets next to buildings and mingling with the civilian population in Gaza. The rocket fired Tuesday was similarly fired from an area proximate to civilians.
Kemp, who gave testimony to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s probe into 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, asserts that it is time for Israel to work with Western governments to apply pressure on the Palestinians in regards to Gaza.
“They must not finance UN schools that demonize Israel, not finance the tunnels [Hamas builds], not finance people who bring in weapons,” he said.
Israelis Try Realism; Obama and the Palestinians Don’t Like It.
The problem with much of Israeli diplomacy during the last 20 years has not been due to a lack of effort given to promoting the peace process. Rather, Israel’s diplomats have often been so heavily invested in the notion of peace that they failed to treat the conflict as one in which both sides, and not just the Palestinians, had rights. This has been a particular problem for Likud governments, which has often handed the foreign ministry over to coalition allies or saddled with leaders like Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s former partner and now rival who was clearly unsuited to the task and wound up doing little to change the culture of the ministry.
Contrary to the criticisms of left-wing politicians quoted in the New York Times who want Netanyahu to surround himself with people who agree with Obama about the Middle East, the prime minister did well to name a sober thinker like Gold who doesn’t try to imagine the Middle East as he’d like it to be but instead sees it as it really is.
Instead of cravenly bowing to U.S. dictates, Netanyahu wants his diplomats to stand up for its country and to speak truth to an American government whose view of the region is distorted by their fantasies about both the Palestinians and their new Iranian negotiating partners. Israel must continue to thread the needle between the need to be open to the possibility of peace, however unlikely, and avoiding being sucked down the rabbit hole into talks that are set up to fail and for which it will always be blamed for the failure no matter what the Palestinians do. Rather than seeking to demonize Gold, Netanyahu’s critics should give him credit for seeking to align his country’s diplomatic corps with a strategy based in the reality of Palestinian intransigence. In the long run, truth is always a better foundation for foreign policy than fiction.


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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 19 years and 40,000 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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