Sunday, April 22, 2018

Samaria?

Yes, "Samaria":


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Reaction to Natalie Portman (An Artistic Work-In-Progress)

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From her statement:

My decision not to attend the Genesis Prize ceremony has been mischaracterized by others. Let me speak for myself. I chose not to attend because...the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values. Because I care about Israel, I must stand up against violence, corruption, inequality, and abuse of power.



P.S.  Atrocity is an extremely cruel, violent, or shocking acta shockingly bad or atrocious act, object, or situation and, most relevant, (usually pl) acts of extreme cruelty, esp against prisoners or civilians in wartime.

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

The IDF vs. Gaza's "Great Return" March

The fourth Friday of the "Great Return" March from Gaza, April 20, whereby many thousands of Arabs are attempting to breach the border with Israel and in the process are shooting, tossing firebombs, damaging the fence itself, flying kites with molotov cocktails attached and other violent acts, has finished.  The IDF made a special effort to warn people not to approach the fence.

Yesterday's claimed injuries and fatalities were:

4 Civilians, including [1] Child, and Wounding 274, including 41 Children, 6 Women and 1 Journalist

I found there this cumulative table:



Let's retrace:


On 13 April 2018...2 Palestinian civilians were killed...393 Palestinian civilians, including 67 children, 10 women, 4 journalists and 3 paramedics were wounded

On 06 April 2018...9 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children and a journalist, were killed while 3 other civilians succumbed to their wounds they sustained on the first Friday of the Return March. Moreover, 608 others, including 80 children, 8 women, 4 journalists and 6 paramedics, sustained wounds...

and on 30 March 2018...13 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were killed on the same day, while 1067 others, including 208 children and 40 women, sustained wounds...

Obviously, either IDF snipers are improving their technical capabilities, or there is less smoke or the Gazans are getting more careful, the drop in the statistics of dead and wounded is quite impressive.

While all figures of dead and wounded must be treated with certain circumspection and even doubt, especially as regards the number of injured, and to the identity label of "journalists", it should be obvious that the "Great March" is but a great demarche by Hamas to hide their goals of Israel's extinction as a Jewish state which the world press and diplomatic echelons refuse to counter.

And it isn't working except as a propaganda tool.

For example, so tweeted Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process:
It is OUTRAGEOUS to shoot at children! How does the killing of a child in #Gaza today help #peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing. #Children must be protected from #violence, not exposed to it, not killed! This tragic incident must be investigated.

That is propping up propaganda*.  As a friend of mine tweeted back:

The age of criminal responsibility in Bulgaria is 14.

and I tweeted


I want to know too what exactly were the circumstances of what this 15 yr old was doing there? Was he playing with fire? Was he easily identifiable as 15 yrs old or perhaps his age wasn't on his forehead & he was engaged in endangering actions?

Is it not outrageous to swarm attack a border? Seek to breach it?

Until the "international community" and "human rights groups" align themselves with facts and truths, their emotions are not enough to solve problems.

_________

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Rooted Cosmopolitans

I tweeted on April 16, in response to yet another IfNotNow demo on behalf of the terrorist Hamas-sponsored Great March on Israel's Gaza boundary that they were

rootless cosmopolitans

and took flack. That that was an anti-Semitic term. An anti-Semitic slur. A slur against Diaspora activists.

It seems that I was slightly in error.

There do exist Jews who are rooted cosmopolitans, or at least more precisely, promoters of such. They are Diaspora-rooted.

Jane Eisner, the Forward’s editor-in-chief, has now published




Here are some extracts of yet another attempt to slow down Zionism, block it, halt it and recreate a Diaspora existence:

...the relationship between the world’s two largest Jewish communities [Israel and America] is growing more and more strained...I’m going to offer an alternative idea:...let’s acknowledge and celebrate their separate identities and embark on a new kind of relationship. To begin with, let’s leave behind the outdated notion of “Diaspora.”

I do not suggest that the two parties should divorce...We turn away from [Israel] at our peril, and our detriment.

...We need a new vocabulary, one that reflects a more egalitarian relationship...

...North American Jews stress personal morality and social ethics; Israeli Jews focus on history and destiny....

...Israelis can learn from us about living in pluralistic [mixed marriages?] families and communities, and developing innovative [anti-traditionalist?] expressions of Jewish faith and culture...

...I suggest that those of us in the Diaspora think of ourselves as being at home...While we live as equal Jewish citizens here.

Well, Jane, you seem to denounce the current parameters of Israel-Diaspora relations, even while distorting their reality, and you  justify a new situation that will only increase the ongoing dissolution of Diaspora Jewry.  You seek to create an equality between a Diaspora existence and that which is one of a homeland where, in Judaism, tithes are taken, where the soil possesses a form of sanctity, where all the elements of the Bible make sense: spiritually, geographically, agriculturally and even environmentally.

She, of course, casts blame on Netanyahu for most of this but also makes a bizarre claim that Israel's doesn't promote Hebrew-language studies. First of all, it does. Secondly, and before 1948, Jews learned Hebrew....how? Jews don't have a peoplehood obligation to know their native tongue? How do they read the Siddur? Wait, they still do read it, yes?

Representatives and leaders of the Diaspora Jewry, in the form of those who seek to dilute traditions, values and practices and demand equal standing as in the matter of the Western Wall as if that site is a political plaything, are on an ego trip not realizing that without Israel, their status would be one of precariousness and their security even less.

They seek to root their cosmopolitanism, that is, their desire to be not citizens of Israel but of the world, by negatively portraying Israel. They seek to reject the specific national identity of the Jew and thereby escape an political problem these few have with Israel.

That will not work. It never has.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Who Rules the Temple Mount?

As we all know, the (in)famous June 1967 arrangement of Moshe Dayan, then Defense Minister, the "status quo", set a policy that while Israel asserted sovereignty over the site, the practical day-to-day administration is in the hands of the Waqf.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expanded on that, in a statement that explicitly downgraded the status of Jews there when he declared

“Israel reaffirms its commitment to upholding unchanged the status quo of the Temple Mount, in word and in practice. Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount.”

That was in late October 2015. It was thought that those words were said to placate Jordan's King Abdullah and US Secretary of State John Kerry as part of the failed surveillance camera deal.  The cameras were never affixed and neither the US or Jordan paid for that whereas that statement was a significant yielding up of rights which until then had never been so starkly spelled out.

In that connection, it has been pointed out that the next attempt to assure security at the site but also to collect proof who initiated the violence, who had stored weapons of various sorts in the mosques and who was cooperating with terrorists and rabble-rousers which was the metal detectors of summer 2017, was foiled because:
the Palestinian and Muslim discourse the central issue is the need to combat what they believe to be guiding the Israeli policy, namely, the Jewish (or Zionist or settler) effort to take over the holy compound that includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to destroy the mosque and the Dome of the Rock so as to turn the Temple Mount into a place of Jewish prayer. Hence, the Palestinians and the Muslims did not see the installation of the metal detectors as a measure to improve security, but instead, as an obvious way to prepare the groundwork for changing the status quo and thereby advancing the objective that they ascribe to the Jews.

Before then we had statements such as these regarding the nature of the "status quo":


Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said on Thursday: “At last night’s security consultation, the prime minister made it clear that there will be no change in the status quo on the Temple Mount and that whoever expresses a different opinion is presenting a personal view and not the policy of the government.”

Regev said Netanyahu had made the comment at a meeting with security officials late on Wednesday. 

That was in November 2014.  The headline interpreted Netanyahu:


Binyamin Netanyahu rejects calls to let Jews pray at Jerusalem holy site


As Nadav Shragai wrote, it was obvious by then that

the old status quo has been greatly degraded, increasing Muslim control and status on the Mount and greatly undermining the status of Jews and the State of Israel on the Mount.

How degraded has it become?

This past Holocaust Day fell on a Thursday and according to the standing arrangements, Jews and other non-Muslim tourists should have been able to enter the holy compound. But they couldn't because of a Muslim holiday (I discussed that in detail here). But what was clear was that the Palestinian Authority celebrated that holiday on Thursday night-Friday and so the Mount should have been open, at least for morning visiting hours.

A letter from the Israel Police received by Michael Puah who complained explains the situation. The holiday was celebrated on Thursday in Jordan and so, the Temple Mount was closed to all non-Muslims:





If my understanding is correct, the Temple Mount basically is Jordanian property which Israel simply guards and assures that its Muslim status remains supreme and primary. Jordan customs are to be taken into consideration above all other regimes, including the Palestinian Authority (I presume because of the March 2013 agreement) and, of course, that of Israel. That agreement reads in the preamble of:


The continuity of Hashemite King of Jordan's custodianship of the holy sites since 1924 makes His Majesty more able to maintain the holy sites and to preserve Al Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Haram Al Sharif)

Jordan rules and pushes anti-Israel resolutions in such international bodies as UNESCO.

Jordan also is a signatory to a peace treaty with Israel which states in Article 9 that it will:


provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance...promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

That has never happened.  And Israel has never, to my knowledge, complained about Jordanian moves on the matter.

Jordan rules.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

They're Back to 1948

J Street tweeted a throwback to the 1948 "occupation":


The article referenced highlights the December 4, 1948 letter in the New York Times that infamously, responding to the Deir Yassin battle, blacklisted Menachem Begin as a "fascist" and which sought to upset his successful New York tour.

The author of the piece, published, with J Street approval, is David Granberg of IfNotNow. That letter, signed by "27 American Jewish leaders", condemned Begin

as the “latest manifestation of fascism,” [and] the letter cites the Irgun’s open and boastful involvement in the 1948 Deir Yassin massacre of over 100 Arab men, women and children as exemplary of the party’s dangerous and reactionary character. The letter called for Americans to unequivocally denounce Begin and his party, which also terrorized left-wing Jews 

and Granberg adds:

Less than four years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Jewish leaders recognized that Israeli violence against Palestinians was morally abhorrent, dangerous and absolutely unrepresentative of Jews or Judaism. 

That letter actually described Herut, Begin's political party, of which J St. founder's father was a member, as

closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties

And some are aghast at the terms some call IfNotNowers. 

Perhaps some Israeli violence was problematic. For sure. Especially that of the Palmach. But this throwback to 1948 is in line with the ideological line adopted now that justifies Arab violence, specifically the Return March antics at the Gaza border, while condemning the IDF's defensive measure against a terrorist organization.  And while IfNotNowers are saying Kaddish for Arabs killed there at the Gaza fence, they have never recited Kaddish for any Jewish victim of Arab violence (I have tweeted them repeatedly to counter my assertion but no denial).

Make no mistake: IfNotNow, JVP and now JSt. are pursuing an anti-Zionist cause.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Magnes, and the State Department, Continued

I have detailed the nefarious scheme to thwart Israel's independence in 1948 which involved Judah Leib Magnes coming to America in May 1948 and meeting Secretary of State George Marshall and President Harry Truman, in that order. And see the documents here.

I see now that Efraim Karsh has added more information:

the State Department, sensing an opportunity to reap some domestic political benefit, leapt into the fray. “We should abandon our present defensive attitude and take the offensive in a confident and courageous manner,” Loy Henderson, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and African Affairs, wrote to Undersecretary of State Robert Lovett on April 22

So

Henderson lost no time in transporting to Washington. There he met Marshall on May 4, dutifully assuring the secretary that the administration had needlessly been “too apologetic” in pushing its trusteeship proposals. Instead, Magnes urged, U.S. sanctions were called for: these would stop “the Jewish war machine in Palestine” dead in its tracks and disabuse the country’s “artificial” Jewish community of its dreams of statehood. Impressed by “the most straightforward account on Palestine” he had yet heard, the secretary arranged for his guest to be seen by President Truman.

But what has special interest to me, on the background of the activity of the IfNotNow group saying Kaddish for Gaza Arabs killed as they seek to invade Israel, is this thinking of Henderson:

We must persuade the more moderate Jews in this country to break the hold which a minority of extreme American Zionists now has on American Jewry so that Jewish leaders in this country, instead of continuing to push Palestine Jews into an extremely nationalistic position, will endeavor to impress upon them the importance of assuming a reasonable and moderate attitude with the Arabs.

Nothing has changed in the past 70 years, just has nothing had altered prior to 1948, in 1919, when hundreds of assimilationists, Reform Rabbis and anti-Zionists published their anti-Balfour Declaration in the New York Times, attempting to influence President Woodrow Wilson, a "tradition" carried on throughout the 1930s and 1940s. And it continued and continues: Breira, Open Zion, Jewish Voice for Peace, J Street, etc.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Was Jabotinsky Judaically Ignorant?

Many people, if they know anything about Ze'ev Jabotinsky, presume that because he was agnostic, he was unaware of Jewish sources.

While searching for some material, I came across an article which he published in Russian in
«Еврейскаяжизнь», (Jewish Life) № 6, June 1904 and it opens so:

СИДЯ НА ПОЛУ…
Помню еще из детских лет одно место в Pirké Aboth: «Не утешай ближнего своего, – учил Симеон, сын Элеазара, – пока еще лежит перед ним усопший». Вряд ли скоро мы сможем обменяться друг с другом словами утешения, потому что долго еще будет усопший перед нами.

and it translates so:

SITTING ON THE FLOOR ...
 
Since a young age, I remember this piece from Pirkei Avot:  "Do not comfort your neighbor," Simeon, the son of Eleazar, taught, "while his deceased lies in front of him." It is unlikely that we will soon be able to exchange words of consolation with each other, because the deceased will lie in front of us for quite a long time.

That reference to the Ethics of the Fathers is found in 4:18

Rabbi Shimon the son of Elazar would say: Do not appease your friend at the height of his anger; do not comfort him while his dead still lies before him; do not ask him about his vow the moment he makes it; and do not endeavor to see him at the time of his degradation.

Jabotinsky was 23 at the time that appeared and so we can be assured that his Jewish knowledge was not gained at a later age when it was required politically (for the Jewish masses in Poland, for example).

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