Sunday, March 18, 2018

Avi Gil and the Failure of the Oslo Accords

Avi Gil, long-time Shimon Peres confidant, was asked on the occasion of the publication of his memoir:

Today the Oslo Accords are perceived as a failure by large parts of the Israeli public. Do you still believe in it?

and replied: 

“I will not deny that significant mistakes were made by both sides. On the Palestinian side, they did not control and did not stifle the terrorism effectively. That was a terrible wrong, flaw or sin – all those words are correct. Both because of the victims who died and also because it sabotaged the possibility of progressing from there. And on our side, especially, because of the settlements. Because according to the Palestinian narrative – and I don’t have a good answer when they thrust it in my face – they say: ‘In Oslo we made a tremendous concession from our point of view, of 75 percent of our dream, of what in our opinion is ours, of the territory between the sea and the river, and what has been left to us are the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which constitute about 25 percent. We agreed to recognize you on the basis of our understanding that Gaza and the West Bank are ours, it doesn’t matter in what form [not necessarily as a state, but as long as they could see the land as theirs], and since then you have been eating away at that territory. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a right-wing or left-wing government, since we signed on the White House lawn, the number of settlements has done something between doubling and tripling.’”

Two comments.

One, the assumption that 'settlements' equals 'terror' is a huge failing by those who, like Gil, seek to understand, as it were, why did Oslo fail. The terror preceded political Zionism, Balfour, the Mandate and the state and the "occupation".

Second, the accords specifically applied an exclusion category to the issue of Jewish residency locations in Judea and Samaria.  As explained here:

Neither the Oslo Accords, nor any subsequent signed Israel-Palestinian agreement put any restriction on settlement growth in Area C, the Israeli-controlled area of the West Bank.

Article 5, Section 3 of the Oslo Accords, which deals with what will be discussed during permanent status negotiations, makes it clear that the future of the settlements would be resolved only through direct negotiations between the two parties. No other article limits construction of or in settlements.

Moreover, this was confirmed in 1997 by then-US Secretary of State Madeline Albright who told NBC that while she disagreed with an Israeli decision to build new dwellings in the West Bank settlement of Efrat, “it’s legal”. Asked by Reuters if Albright was changing US policy of ambiguity regarding the legal status of Israeli settlements, her spokesperson James Rubin clarified that “All she meant by that was that as a technical matter, Oslo does not prohibit the settlements” or “[the construction of additional] housing in [the West Bank settlement of] Efrat.”

So typical of the Oslo proponents.

And Peres admirers.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Will An Israeli Win By Getting Beaten?

Leafing through Haaretz from a week ago, I spotted an interesting story of Israeli cinema (at the JPost, they have the wrong trailer up, for some reason, but no real story of the film).

According to Haaretz's report, an Israeli film won a Golden Bear award as the best short film in Berlin. Based on this, that makes the film an automatic candidate for next year's Oscars.

The festival site included this description of her film, "The Men Behind the Wall":

Woman seeks men. Man seeks women. Everything could be so simple if she weren’t in Israel and the guys nearby that the app suggests in search mode weren’t in the West Bank. Israeli filmmaker Ines Moldavsky makes herself the subject of her investigation...time and again the talk comes back to their needs, their lust, the possibility of sharing that lust. The filmmaker’s aesthetic strategy is that of a double exposure in her search – she experiences the personally unfamiliar physical space in Palestine as well. The conversations oscillate between virtual phone calls and concrete encounters. The artist stands provocatively at an intersection in downtown Ramallah, dressed in a red spaghetti strap dress, outstretched arms balancing a microphone boom in the air.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                           Violence resonates – in the search for a violation of boundaries.

Haaretz was a bit more, er, explicit:

The idea for the short seems simple, but her highly experimental documentary actually touches on a multitude of complex themes.

“Every morning, I woke up in my Jerusalem apartment and thought about what it would be like to target Palestinian men that live behind the wall for dates on my dating app,” Moldavsky explains, referring to the West Bank separation barrier.

The 28-minute short shows the filmmaker soliciting Palestinian men in Gaza and the West Bank for BDSM sex via the dating apps Tinder and OkCupid, and then getting in touch with them on the phone and via Skype. It also documents their candid, explicit conversations about lust, hard-core sexual practices and the desire for casual dating.

This reminded me, in a backwards fashion, of a something written in 1977 about Zionism, which I blogged in 2007,  That since the word zayin in Hebrew is the male penis, Zionism is actually the Jews screwing the Arabs.

The filmmaker, Ines Moldavsky

said she

wanted to show young Palestinians simply as men; as gentle, sexy, handsome, nice guys who think about the mundane things in life like sex and dating.

She is a graduate of Bezalel. On its site the film's description reads:

זהו מסע פטישיסטי של אישה, ספק מרגלת, ספק אומנית, ספק נימפומנית בשטחים הכבושים. 

which translates as

This is a woman's trip of fetishism - perhaps a spy, perhaps an artist, perhaps a nymphomaniac - into the occupied territories.

As I do not know if actual sex was engaged in, what I do know is that this is at her Facebook page:

and she's been thinking about "occupation" since at least October 2012.

Going back to Hazelton, after reading her, Henry Makow understood her so:

According to Hazleton -- whose analysis overlaps significantly with that of Jay Gonen, the Israeli-born author of A Psychohistory of Zionism -- Zionism's predominant impulse is an acting out of son-mother incest. 

While I am willing to yield that once the area of psychology becomes a dominant element of analysis, there really are no borders.  What was an Arab woman doing exploding herself on a Jerusalem street?  Participating in an orgy? Is that Arab sexual activity?  When an Arab stabbed a Jew near the Ariel junction was he exhibiting homosexual aggressiveness?

These theories are not only outrageous, but, in my opinion, reveal more about the perversions of those who suggest them.

Again, I do not know from the film's descriptions whether or not Ines actually did get physical, whether her sex was violent against her or against the males or whether she was just a talker, and that is none of my business.

What I do think is that she should keep any perverse thoughts about the conflict Arabs have with Israel to herself and what she does with the award is for her private pleasure.

But next year's Oscars will be Israel-centered again.


Cross-post version here. ^

Sunday, March 11, 2018

To: Trumpeldor; From: Jabotinsky

Recently, letters written by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to Yosef Trumpeldor in 1916, were released by the Jabotinsky Institute.

They dealt with issues concerning the raising of a Jewish armed force to fight alongside the Allies in World War I.

First, there was the Zion Mule Corps, which Jabotinsky felt was not worthy of the ideal - a battle-front Jewish military unit - and then the Jewish Legion, three battalions that reached the Palestine front and fought the Ottomans and Germans and pursuing them across the Jordan River to E-Salt.

Here are two letters from the Walla report:

The one above indicates the uphill struggle but with the publication of JH Patterson's With the Zionists in Gallipoli there is interest in the project

In this one he asks that Trumpeldor come to London for "your appearance here could be the spark in a pile of dry hay":

And a July 1917 letter from Trumpeldor to Jabotinsky from the A7 site in which he updates on his unsuccessful efforts to raise a unit of Russian Jews to join the Legion (and in Russian at Vesty):

And here is the Maariv report on a letter from Trumpeldor to Jabotinsky:


Is Zeid Ra'ad al-Husseini A Grave Crimes Target?

This has been published:
Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and east Jerusalem is a war crime, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein charged in a report he issued last week...He continued, “The transfer of the population by an occupying State into an occupied territory is a grave breach of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and therefore a war crime.”

Article 147 reads:

Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the present Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person, compelling a protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the present Convention, taking of hostages and extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

Zeid should know that there is nothing unlawful in the act of a Jew residing in the areas of the historic Jewish national home, a right guaranteed by international law. 

One would think he is asking to be a target of a grave crimes investigation.


Thursday, March 08, 2018

Mr. K.M. Pollack: I Have a Grievance

How either misinformed, uninformed or malicious can someone be?

Here, from a book review of Ronen Bergman's history of Israel's targeted assassination operations:

Israel has a big problem here. Targeted killings, barriers and other security activities can suppress terror attacks, but it is not at all clear that Israel can ever win the hearts and minds of the Palestinians, the crucial foundation for Palestinian terrorist groups. It had the same problem with the Shiites of Lebanon and their support for Hezbollah. That’s because the Israeli occupation is a central grievance of the Palestinians, as it was for Lebanon’s Shiites.

That was by Kenneth Pollack in the New York Times. 

Pollack, Kenneth M. to be exact, is, I learn:

a noted former CIA intelligence analyst and expert on Middle East politics and military affairs. He has served on the National Security Council staff and has written several articles and books on international relations. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business strategy firm.

There are three problems in that paragraph above.

The first is it is misleading in that Israel's program began before 1967 and even before 1948. So what "occupation" is he talking about?

Second, even if he can identify a specific "occupation", what has that to do with the need to protect Israelis, and Jews (not to mention the non-Jews Arab terrorists have attacked over the years)? Why should that justify in any form Arab violence against civilians? He considers Israel's existence a proper "grievance"?

Third, if this is the level of analysis at the CIA, Brookings, etc., then just wow.

It would seem I have a grievance with Mr. Pollack.


I see now that Ira Stoll found something else that discredits Pollack as someone who supposedly knows something.


(Hint:  Israel “so far has not tried…trading land for peace”)


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Beinart Is Right While Being Wrong

Peter Beinart, writing in The Atlantic, actually has an interesting and even insightful observation on AIPAC:

AIPAC is conducting a remarkable experiment. It’s doubling down on bipartisanship and ideological diversity even as tectonic shifts in American politics and culture make that harder and harder. It’s doing so even though it could alienate its rising base on the right...It’s fascinating to watch, and it’s likely to fail. It won’t fail because younger liberals can’t find things to admire in Israel. They can. It will fail because the thing about Israel that young liberals admire least is its half-century long policy of denying Palestinians in the West Bank basic rights like free movement, due process, and citizenship in the country in which they live—and entrenching that denial by building settlements where Jews enjoy rights that their Palestinian neighbors are denied. 

Earlier in the piece, Beinart notes something which goes with what I'd like to mention in responding to his point:

younger American Jews are less likely to bifurcate their views in this way. They are less likely to have personally experienced anti-Semitism. They are less likely to know relatives who survived the Holocaust. And they are less likely to have witnessed events like the 1967 and 1973 wars, when Israel’s existence appeared to be in peril. To the contrary, they have come of age seeing both American Jews, and the Jewish state, as privileged and powerful.

His reasoning about the 'weakness' inherent in the younger Jewish generation is factually correct.

But what he ignores is that the activity of J Street, IfNotNow (see their reaction), Jewish Voices for Peace and OpenHillel, among other groups, is pushed by...Peter Beinart.

He encourages them, leads them, instructs them and provides platforms for their views and in doing so basically hides or belittles or minimizes all those historical truths, truths (and others) which continue to exist.  They may be events of  80, 70, 60 and 50 years ago - the rise of Hitlarian anti-Semitism and the failure of the democracies to counter it, the rampant terrorism of the Yishuv's Arab population as well as its support for Nazism, the Holocaust, the White Paper policy both prior to the world war and immediately after, the resistance to Mandate British oppression, the birth of Israel, the 19 years of Arab terror of the fedayeen and Fatah, and, the ideological and practical aspects of Jewish national identity.

His is a major contribution to the younger generation's inability as well as unwillingness to understand, comprehend and be willing to assume that for the most part, Israel is not only a country to be defended, with the faults that are, but must be defended for their own good.

Like others in the past century and a half - first, the Reform movement, then the Bundists, then the Brit Shalom intellectuals on to the American Council for Judaism and then Breira - who have tried to distance themselves from Zionism and Israel, they have failed but in doing so have caused so much damage and laid foundations for future weakness and unnecessary embarrassment. Not to mention being wrong on facts and figures on specific issues of security, demography and democracy.

As right as he is, he is so wrong.



Here is one example of Beinart-spawned Jewish youth - Raphael Magarik, Phd Candidate in English and Jewish Studies at the University of California, Berkeley - writing in Haaretz:

Now, Farrakhan is a vicious anti-Semite (among their other sins, Jews, he said last week, encourage "degenerate behavior in Hollywood turning men into women and women into men.”)...we should remember: currying favor with despicable men is the foundation of American Jewish institutions and life.

Don’t believe me?

Well, think about Birthright...Or for that matter, take AIPAC, which regularly hosts the anti-Catholic, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and crazily conspiratorial Pastor John Hagee, simply because Hagee leads a massive bloc of Christian Zionists.

Or take The New Republic, once the unofficial home of liberal Jewish intellectualism....

Every professional Jew I knew has horror stories about their local Farrakhan: an older man with deep pockets and an even deeper reservoir of hatred...


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

New Arab Version of "Throw the Jews into the Sea"

Some people claim that the phrase "throw the Jews into the sea" was made up.

Well, there's a new artistic version at AlQuds:

Don't be fooled by Arab propaganda.

It's worse than you think.

A bonus:



The 1922 Arab Hasbara Failure

In 1922, there was an exchange of letters based on meetings held at that time, including the previous year, in London between a Palestine Arab Delegation and representatives of the British Government in an effort by the Arabs to suppress the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of a Jewish National Home.

A February 21st letter, signed by Moussa Kazim El Husseini, President.and Shibly Jamal, Secretary (on Shibly, see below), opened thus:

    We would, therefore, submit the following observations:—
Whilst the position in Palestine is, as it stands to-day, with the British Government holding authority by an occupying force, and using that authority to impose upon the people against their wishes a great immigration of alien Jews, many of them of a Bolshevik revolutionary type, no constitution which would fall short of giving the People of Palestine full control of their own affairs could be acceptable.If the British Government would revise their present policy in Palestine, end the Zionist con-dominium, put a stop to all alien immigration and grant the People of Palestine — who by Right and Experience are the best judges of what is good and bad to their country — Executive and Legislative powers, the terms of a constitution could be discussed in a different atmosphere. If to-day the People of Palestine assented to any constitution which fell short of giving them full control of their own affairs they would be in the position of agreeing to an instrument of Government which might, and probably would, be used to smother their national life under a flood of alien immigration.

In the Colonial Office reply for Churchill, signed by J. E. Shuckburgh, Assistant Under Secretary of State, and sent on March 1, the Arabs were told off:

I am directed by Mr. Secretary Churchill to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 21st February on the subject of the draft Orders in Council providing for the Constitution of Palestine. Mr. Churchill has carefully considered this letter and has instructed me to offer the following observations upon it:

...3. Mr. Churchill regrets to observe that his personal explanations have apparently failed to convince your Delegation that His Majesty's Government have no intention "of repudiating the obligations into which they have entered towards the Jewish people. He has informed you on more than one occasion that he cannot discuss the future of Palestine upon any other basis than that of the letter addressed by the Right Honourable A. J. Balfour to Lord Rothschild on the 2nd November, 1917, commonly known as the "Balfour Declaration." You state in your letter that the people of Palestine cannot accept this Declaration as a basis for discussion. Mr. Churchill is unable for the reasons stated above to regard your Delegation as officially representing the People of Palestine. He presumes that your statement is not in any case intended to apply to the existing Jewish population of Palestine, which, so far as he is aware, your Delegation makes no claim to represent.

4. With regard to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, I am to observe that this Article, in so far as it applies to territories severed from the Ottoman Empire, has been interpreted by the Principal Allied Powers in Articles 94 to 97 of the Treaty of Sevres, Syria and Iraq are explicitly referred to in Article 94 of that Treaty as having been provisionally recognised as Independent States, in accordance with the fourth paragraph of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Article 95, on the other hand, makes no such reference to Palestine. The reason for this is that, as stated in that Article, the Mandatory is to be responsible for putting into effect the Declaration originally made on the 2nd November, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. There is no question of treating the people of Palestine as less advanced than their neighbours in Iraq and Syria; the position is that His Majesty's Government are bound by a pledge which is antecedent to the Covenant of the League of Nations, and they cannot allow a constitutional position to develop in a country for which they have accepted responsibility to the Principal Allied Powers, which may make it impracticable to carry into effect a solemn undertaking given by themselves and their Allies.

...6. The references in your letter under reply to "a great immigration of alien Jews," "a flood of alien immigration," and "a flood of alien Jewish immigration," coupled with the request that the British Government should "put a stop to all alien immigration," and the reference to the Zionist Organisation in Clause 2 of paragraph (d) of your letter, indicate that your Delegation and the community which they represent, imperfectly apprehend the interpretation placed by His Majesty's Government upon the policy of the National Home for the Jewish people. This interpretation was publicly given in Palestine on the 3rd June, 1921, by the High Commissioner in the following words-

" These words (National Home) mean that the Jews, who are a people scattered throughout the world, but whose hearts are always turned to Palestine should be enabled to found here their home, and that some amongst them, within the limits fixed by numbers and the interests of the present population, should come to Palestine in order to help by their resources and efforts to develop the country to the advantage of all its inhabitants."

This interpretation was endorsed by the Secretary of State in his speech to the House of Commons on the 14th June, 1921. Mr. Churchill is reluctant to believe that your Delegation, or the people whom they represent, can entertain any objection in principle to the policy as thus interpreted.

On Shibly:


Churchill did attempt to placate the Arabs in his June 3, 1922 letter to the delegation which, in part reads:

His Majesty's Government...would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine In this connection it has been observed with satisfaction that at the meeting of the Zionist Congress, the supreme governing body of the Zionist Organisation, held at Carlsbad in September, 1921, a resolution was passed expressing as the official statement of Zionist aims "the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of the peoples an undisturbed national development."

But (a) the Arabs didn't believe him and refused to engage in compromise and (b) Churchill didn't understand that, given the Arab refusal, that 1921 Zionist Congress decision was not in any way contradictory to his policy statement.  In fact, the 1923 Zionist Congress, also held at Carlsbad, reputed his decision to sever the Eastern Land of Israel territories.

"Palestine as a whole", then, included Transjordan, i.e., today's Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.


The Betar Members of Przytyk

At Przytyk occurred a murderous pogrom on March 9, 1936. Two Jews were beaten to death after Endek pogromists attacked Jews which developed into a riot including attacks on policemen.  A young 20-year old Jew, Shalom Lesko, whose house was being attacked, opened fire with a hunting rifle and killed a Pole. That caused an increase in the Polish violence and two elderly Jews, a man and his wife, Josef and Chaya Minkowski, were clubbed and beaten to death.

Recent Polish anti-Jewish historical revisers have sought to blame the whole affair on the Jews as here:

Przytyk became the scene of the Polish-Jewish riot on March 7–9, 1936, triggered by the killing of Polish farmer Stanisław Wieśniak by the young Jewish vigilante.

And here, in Polish.

There were also shots fired at the beginning in the marketplace in self-defence.

The academic article by Joshua Rothenberg of Brandeis University, The Przytyk Pogrom, published in the journal Soviet Jewish Affairs Volume 16, 1986 - Issue 2, ignores the identity of the Betar members as well the head of the local New Zionists-Revisionists Organization chairman in the self-defense efforts. 

He names them, Yitzchak Frydman and Jankel Kirszencwajg, as he had to: Jankel received six years imprisonment and Frydman five.  But they are somehow unaffiliated. Anonymous. In all, 14 Jews were accused of illegal use of arms and violence:

Four Poles were accused of murdering the Minkowski couple; both were killed  with an axe in their own house. After their death, the killer(s) beat up MinkowskiÕs children, who were hiding in another room. The suspects were all acquitted because of the lack of evidence. Two Jewish members of the self-defence organization were condemned to five and six years in prison for possession of illegal weapons. The court rejected the claim that the Jewish defendants had acted in self-defence and held them responsible for inciting a riot in the market by attacking peasants. The trials ended on June 26th, and the  Jews were charged with insulting the honour of the Polish nation


Historian Emanuel Melzer noted that: 'the state showed no inclination at this time to control or condemn the radical Endek anti-Jewish propaganda that continued to be distributed. Newspapers began to agitate explicitly for Jewish blood to be spilled'.

 A shame that the organizational allegiance of the self-defence activists was ignored.

Or, for shame.


Monday, March 05, 2018

You Know April 9 Is "Deir Yassin Day"?

I have blogged previously and profusely on Deir Yassin, the Arab village near Givat Shaul, in today's Har Nof neighborhood and specifically, the grounds of the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center.

Here. And here.

It was overrun by Irgun and Lechi forces, assisted by a Palmach unit who provided mortar fire and the Hagana command who supplied ammunition and medical services during the fighting, on Friday, April 9, 1948. This year it falls on a Monday.  There's now a film.  There's a commemorance site. Even a Facebook page.

And now, Shmuel Rosner has reviewed the new book that has appeared in Hebrew in his The Truth of Deir Yassin.

The author is Eliezer Tauber, an Israeli academic who specializes in the modern history of the Middle East

The book's cover:

I have met him.

As Rosner notes, Tauber has published

a book arguing that there was no massacre in Deir Yassin. A detailed account of a fateful day, minute by minute, hour by hour. A convincing account. 

What really happened in Deir Yassin? Tauber is not the first scholar to argue that the large-scale massacre story is a myth. Professor Yoav Gelber, in “Palestine 1948: War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem,” makes a similar claim. Still, Tauber was more thorough than all of his predecessors in looking into this specific day of carnage. The result is a gripping narrative. 

...He counts one clear case of unjustified shooting. An Arab family evacuated a house in surrender. An Irgun fighter opened fire while his commander was shouting at him, “What are you doing? Stop it!” This incident, Tauber believes, gave credence to later overblown stories of larger-scale massacre, rape, mutilation and barbarity.

And to the crux. As I have noted, the Arabs themselves created the myth.

...the myth was perpetrated not because of confusion. It was a deliberate attempt by the Palestinian leadership to force the Arab militaries of surrounding countries to intervene in the battle over Palestine. The leaders of the Palestinians sowed a wind and reaped a whirlwind. 

Rosner, though, makes this important point:

Professor Tauber believed that his story would be of great interest to American publishers. He contacted university presses in the United States, and their response left him stunned. A representative of an elite university wrote back: “While everyone agreed on the book’s many strengths, in the end the consensus was that the book would only inflame a debate where positions have hardened.” Another one wrote: “We could sell well to the right-wing community here but we would end up with a terrible reputation.” Apparently, a book questioning the Palestinian narrative is not a book that American universities feel comfortable publishing.

Amazingly, though, he has made it into the Wikipedia entry

Israeli researcher Eliezer Tauber writes that a total of 101 people were killed, 61 definitely in combat circumstances (including 24 armed fighters, with the remained being their family members who were with them); 18 for whom the cause of death could not be determined; about 10 whose deaths are in a "grey zone" whose charactization can be debated; and a further 11 being members of a single family who were gunned down by a single Irgun member.

More references:

Avi Woolf

Dr. Arnon Groiss

Shimon Cohen



On the refusal of publishers at Legal Insurrection.