Monday, 28 September 2009

Love of the Land: Harsanyi: How to lose friends ...

Harsanyi: How to lose friends ...

David Harsanyi
25 September 09

The United States does not negotiate with terrorists — but we insist Israel do without preconditions.

We will not get entangled in the distasteful internal politics of Iran — but we define Israel's borders.

We will remove missile defense systems in Eastern Europe so we do not needlessly provoke our good friends in Russia — but we have no compunction nudging Israel to hand over territory with nothing in return.

This week, President Barack Obama spoke to the United Nations' General Assembly and insisted that Israel and the Palestinians negotiate "without preconditions." (Well, excluding the effective precondition that Israeli settlements are "illegitimate," according to the administration — so no pre-conditions means feel free to rocket Israel while you talk.)

This tact, Obama hopes, will lead to "two states living side by side in peace and security — a Jewish state of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people."

Hate to break the news to you, but there already exists a Jewish state of Israel with true security for all Israelis. This security is attained through a perpetual war against terrorism and Arab aggression.

And the last time Israel withdrew from disputed lands without pre-conditions to allow the potential of the Palestinian people to shine through was in Gaza. The Arabs, hungering for the light of freedom, used the gift to elect Hamas — now an Iranian proxy and always a terror organization — to rain rockets down on the civilians that voted to allow the first democratic Arab entity in history.

If Obama expects Israel to end the "occupation" that began in 1967 he is also demanding Israel abandon parts of Jerusalem. If he really anticipates a Palestinian state will be "contiguous territory," what he expects is that Israel can't be contiguous.

And when he uses the word "occupation" he is negotiating for the Palestinians. None of the lands up for discussion are "occupied" territory. The president, a highly educated man, knows well that there has never been an ultimate agreement on borders, nor has there ever, in history, been a Palestinian state to occupy.

There is an ethical question that the president might want to answer, as well. Why would the United States support an arrangement that scrubs the West Bank of all its Jews? Why is it so unconscionable to imagine that Jews could live among Muslims in the same way millions of Arabs live within Israel proper? Not many international agreements feature ethnic cleansing clauses.

Isn't this, after all, about peace?

Of course, we all know the answer to this question: Jews would be slaughtered, bombed from their homes, rocketed from their schools. This indisputable fact reveals the fundamental reality of these negotiations.

Instead of reaffirming the importance of our relationship with Israel, Obama has renewed our membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council, presided over by exemplars of self-determination and human dignity like Libya, Syria and Angola. The hobbyhorse of this organization is accusing Israel of war crimes, which isn't surprising.

Noted intellectual George Gilder argues in his recent book, "The Israel Test," that where you stand on Israel — not always, but in general — is an indication about how you feel about the ideals of liberty and capitalism. The debate over Israel, he claims, is the manifestation of a deeper moral and ideological war around the globe.

"The real issue," writes Gilder, "is between the rule of law and the rule of leveler egalitarianism, between creative excellence and covetous 'fairness,' between admiration of achievement versus envy and resentment."

This nation has no inherent duty to wage endless wars to secure freedom for the world's masses — often against their will. But shouldn't it stand with those nations that already value the basics tenets of a free and peaceful society?

Or, are all people now equally deserving of our friendship simply because they exist?

E-mail David Harsanyi at

Love of the Land: Harsanyi: How to lose friends ...

Love of the Land: Intolerance on the Temple Mount

Intolerance on the Temple Mount

David Kirshenbaum
JPost Opinion
27 September 09

(Erev Yom Kippur all Jewish visitors were turned away as Arabs rioted on Har HaBayit to prevent their ascent)

Last week, our synagogue in Beit Shemesh made its annual High Holy Day week visit to the Temple Mount. We began the tradition six years ago when the site was reopened to non-Muslims. During the first three years following the start of the September 2000 war launched against Israel by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hizbullah, the government decided to reward Arab terror by barring all non-Muslims from even setting foot on the Temple Mount.

Visiting the Temple Mount is a schizophrenic experience. When standing there, it is impossible not to be awestruck by the magnitude of where you are and the enormity of the colossal events that took place there. It is on the Temple Mount that both the First and Second Temple stood for nearly 1,000 years, where millions of Jews from all over the Land of Israel and the Diaspora made the three festival pilgrimages and where, according to Jewish belief, the Third Temple, ushering in the days of the messiah, is destined to be built. Throughout history, whenever and wherever Jews were engaged in prayer, they faced Jerusalem. And when in Jerusalem, they pray in the direction of the Temple Mount.

It boggles the mind to imagine your family tree and to consider when the last time anybody in the family line had been on the Temple Mount. Might that ancestor have been one of the survivors of the fighting that took place there prior to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 CE? Might it have been on Shavuot of that year, the final pilgrimage festival celebrated by the Jewish people prior to the destruction?

But now that I was standing in that holiest of places, which generations of Jews for 2,000 years could only dream of visiting, I was forbidden to pray. Simply moving my lips in whispered prayer could be grounds for removal. Why? Because I am a Jew. And only a Muslim can pray on the holiest site in Judaism. A Jew may not.

DURING THE War of Independence in 1948, the Old City of Jerusalem fell to the Jordanians. Nearly 1,500 Jews, including many women and children, were killed. While it was under Jordanian control, dozens of Jewish synagogues, many centuries old, were destroyed and the cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews have been buried for 2,500 years, was desecrated. For 19 years, no Jew was allowed to set foot in the Old City or pray at the Western Wall, the retaining wall of the Temple Mount closest to where the Temples stood.

In June 1967, when Egypt, Syria and Jordan embarked on a war to annihilate the Jewish state, Israel recaptured Jerusalem's Old City. One of the most stirring announcements in Jewish history was the message transmitted from the front during the Six Day War: "The Temple Mount is in our hands."

But then, in a mind-boggling display of attempted appeasement of an enemy that just days before had sought Israel's destruction, defense minister Moshe Dayan decided to allow the Muslim religious council, the Wakf, to retain administrative authority over the Temple Mount. Thus, a truly bizarre and unacceptable situation developed.

Israel has scrupulously upheld Muslim worship at the Aksa Mosque, which was built just off the supposed site of the Temples, even when the site has been used to stone Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall and sermons are delivered calling for the demise of Israel and the US. Nor have Muslim prayer services been banned even in the worst periods of Arab terror attacks. During the just-completed Ramadan, hundreds of thousands of Arabs prayed at al-Aksa and held nighttime picnics on the Temple Mount breaking their fast. The garbage and leftover food items we saw strewn over the Temple Mount during our visit was appalling.

But in glaring contrast, Israel has, for the past 43 years, failed to challenge the Muslim ban on Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. On our visit, the number of Jews allowed up at one time was severely limited, we were checked for any religious items, which cannot be brought onto the Temple Mount by a Jew, and we were warned by the police not to even whisper a prayer.

THE STATUS quo is woefully offensive and intolerable. Never mind that at no time during the lengthy Muslim control over much of the Middle East did the Muslims ever designate Jerusalem as an imperial capital or even as a provincial or subprovincial capital. Even if we choose to overlook this very relevant history, the pattern of Islamic religious imperialism, exemplified by the Wakf's contemptible conduct on the Temple Mount, must not be ignored.

The problem is not simply that the Arabs have attempted to take as their own every site in Israel holy to Judaism, whether it be the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem or Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. But in doing so, they have consistently attempted to obliterate the historic Jewish connection and claim to each of those sites.

In the same manner, in the years following the Oslo Accords and Israel's withdrawal from Bethlehem, a concerted policy by the Palestinian Authority to Islamicize the city and terrorize the Christian population resulted in a reduction in the percentage of Christians living there from 60 percent to less than 15% today.

We pay a terrible price when we close our eyes to the trampling of human rights and religious freedom out of fear of enraging the Muslim world. The Temple Mount is a huge area. It is the length of nearly five football fields north to south, and nearly three football fields east to west. It is certainly large enough to accommodate the ancient call of the prophet Isaiah recited in fervent prayer by Jews on Yom Kippur: "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations."

The sooner we take action to help bring this about, the better.

Love of the Land: Intolerance on the Temple Mount

Love of the Land: Multi-culturalists distort Nazi past to placate Muslims in Germany

Multi-culturalists distort Nazi past to placate Muslims in Germany

Robin Shepherd
Think Tank Blog
27 September 09

What happens when multi-culturalist, anti-Israeli pieties clash with a full and rounded rendition of the Nazi past? If recent events in Berlin (of all places) are anything to go by the answer may be as follows: important truths will be denied so that those multi-culturalist, anti-Israeli pieties may be preserved.

In the most important commentary on the subject for quite some time, Daniel Schwammenthal of the Wall Street Journal Europe relates a story about such events which everyone should read and internalise. It is not only shocking in itself, it holds up an image of one of Europe’s possible futures.

Schwammenthal’s piece pegs off an attempt by a German journalist, Karl Rössel, to stage an exhibition at a state funded multi-cultural centre in an Arab and Turkish dominated area of Berlin. The exhibition was entitled “The Third World in the Second World War” and included a small section on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini — the Palestinian leader and national hero who was an admirer of Hitler, a prolific propagandist for the Nazi cause and an active recruiter for the SS in wartime Yugoslavia where he participated in genocide.

Such facts, unfortunately, do not fit with the multi-culturalist narrative in which the people of the third world can only be counted as victims. Nor do they fit with important elements of the anti-Israeli narrative in which, as Schwammenthal notes, the notion that the Palestinians are “paying the price for Germany’s sins” as “the second victims” of the Holocaust is deeply rooted. The event was, therefore, cancelled. The Berlin authorities initially supported the decision but then belatedly and reluctantly backed down following accusations they were pandering to historical revisionism.

In Schwammenthal’s words:

“Mr. Rössel [the author of the exhibition] says this episode is typical of how German historians, Arabists and Islam scholars deny or downplay Arab-Nazi collaboration. What Mr. Rössel says about Germany applies to most of the Western world,where it is often claimed that the mufti’s Hitler alliance later discredited him in the region. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the Mideast, Nazis were not only popular during but also after the war—scores of them found refuge in the Arab world, including Eichman’s deputy, Alois Brunner, who escaped to Damascus. The German war criminals became trusted military and security advisers in the region, particularly of Nazi sympathizer Gamal Nasser, then Egypt’s president. The mufti himself escaped to Egypt in 1946. Far from being shunned for his Nazi past, he was elected president of the National Palestinian Council. The mufti was at the forefront of pushing the Arabs to reject the 1948 United Nations partition plan and to wage a “war of destruction” against the fledgling Jewish state. His great admirer, Yasser Arafat, would later succeed him as Palestinian leader.

“The other line of defense is that Arab collaboration with the Nazis supposedly wasn’t ideological but pragmatic, following the old dictum that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This “excuse” not only fails to consider what would have happened to the Jews and British in the Mideast had the Arabs’ German friends won. It also overlooks the mufti’s and his followers’ virulent anti-Semitism, which continues to poison the minds of many Muslims even today.”

But not, it seems, if you listen to the BBC or read the Guardian or most other bien pensant organs of the media in western Europe. The inconvenient truths about Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism must be denied even if this means providing a distorted picture of the Holocaust and its participants and collaborators.

The other significant part of this story, of course, is that the furore arose in large part because of the location of the planned exhibition in an area dominated by Muslims. But since any discussion of potential problems arising from Europe’s soaring Muslim populations has been a prioridesignated as “racist” by multi-culturalist ideologues, that issue cannot be properly discussed either.

I’m afraid that this is the way things are going in modern Europe. And, be warned, this is just the start of it.

To read Schwammenthal’s excellent piece, click here:

For a broader discussion of such issues as they relate to Israel, click here to purchase my recently published book, A State Beyond the Pale: Europe’s Problem with Israel:

Love of the Land: Multi-culturalists distort Nazi past to placate Muslims in Germany

Israel Matzav: Video: Iran launches short-range missiles

Israel Matzav: Video: Iran launches short-range missiles

Love of the Land: The Master Plan

The Master Plan

Ted Belman
25 September 09

Conventional wisdom tells us that western Europe and America are pressing Israel for concessions in order to placate the Arabs. In my recent Israel can and must act in her own best interests. I wrote

    Shortly thereafter (1938) Ben Gurion made his case to Malcolm MacDonald, the Colonial Secretary, who suggested, that the Arab and Muslim world could rise up and threaten the British Empire and therefore to prevent this, Britain had to make sure that the Jews in Palestine remained a minority.

But Menachem Begin had a different take which he set out in his 1948 book, The Revolt. This book is Begin’s reflection on the Jewish revolt against the British, which he lead. He likened this revolt to the revolt by the Maccabees against the Greeks in Second Century BCE and by the Jews against the Romans in the First Century CE and by Bar Kochba against the Romans in the Second Century. But he also foresaw a Maccabee-like victory rather than Bar Kochba-like defeat.

Begin advises that Britain had long wanted Palestine for itself well before the Balfour Declaration. When Herzl was still alive, Lord Cromer of Britain, said “When the Ottoman Empire crumbles, as sooner or later it will, we (Britain) must have Palestine.”

Britain generally had a policy of cloaking their goals with a lofty ideals, such, as in this case, giving the Jews a national home. So in furtherance of her “Master Plan” in the late Nineteenth Century she kept complaining of Turkey’s treatment of the Jews.

The best way for Britain to gain control of Palestine was to act ostensibly on behalf of the Jews. This was born out in the Balfour Declaration in 1917 in which the British Government backed the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, mind you, not Palestine as the Jewish homeland. Britain would have Palestine and the Jews would have a homeland in it. Britain had no fears that too many Jews would want to come. Afterall they were not pioneers and certainly not fighters. The blueprint evolved: the Arabs when required would “revolt” against the “foreign invasion”; the Jews would be forever a threatened minority. Thus Britain would be called upon to maintain the peace. Unfortunately for them, as Robbie Burns wrote, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley,”

Throughout the twenties and thirties the British encouraged the Arabs to “revolt”. But because of the Holocaust, the Jews kept coming. Britain in order not to lose control had to limit their entry.

Thus the Peel Commission in the late thirties recommended in a White Paper that only 75,000 Jews more, be allowed into Palestine by 1944. The Jews had to be kept to a minority at all costs. In fact Hitler’s Final Solution played into their hands as there would be less Jews left to emigrate to Eretz Yisroel. The British spin machine went into overdrive and overtime. “Afterall, couldn’t let German spies into Palestine, could we.”

During this period, the Jewish leadership followed a policy of self-restraint known as “havlagah”. But Vladiimir Jabatinsky, the founder of Betar, would have none of it. He preached resistance and revolt until his death in 1940. Out of his teachings was born the Jewish underground army The Irgun and another underground group, Fighters for Freedom of Israel which later became known as the The Stern Gang after their slain leader.

In early 1944 The Irgun declared war on Britain demanding an “immediate transfer of power to a Provisional Hebrew Government” and announced a call to arms for all Jews. The British reaction amounted to, “What chutzpah!”.

Shortly thereafter, the revolt brought about the neutralization of the Arab factor. They ceased to do the British bidding. Only after the British announced that they were leaving Palestine and the Arab countries declared war on the future Jewish state did the local Arabs return to their attacks.

Britain expected that the Stern Gang and The Irgun would fight them and maybe even the Haganah would join in. They were confident they would crush them just as the Romans crushed the Jews 2000 years earlier. They would force the Jewish leaders to collaborate and hunt them down just like the Nazis did. They planned to get the support of the US for their plan arguing it was necessary to prevent Russian expansion into the Middle East. All this was set out in a document marked “Secret” prepared by the British “Cairo Bureau” which came into the hands of The Irgun.

The revolt depended on the willingness of the Jews to fight to the death. And they were not found wanting. According to Begin, but for the revolt, the state of Israel would not have come into existence. According to Ben Gurion, who usually opposed Begin, but for him the state would not have survived the war waged by the Arab counties after the state was declared. They were both right. Begin had forced Britain out and Ben Gurion had prepared Israel to defend itself by building an army and keeping the country unified.

A month before the State of Israel was declared, The Irgun and others, attacked Deir Yassin, an Arab village. There is much dispute on the numbers killed. Wikipedia reports

    The massacre became a pivotal event in the Arab-Israeli conflict for its demographic and military consequences. The narrative was embellished and used by various parties to attack each other—by the Palestinians to besmirch Palestine’s Jewish community, and later Israel; by the Haganah to play down their own role in the affair; and later by the Israeli Left to accuse the Irgun and Lehi of violating the Jewish principle of “tohar hanashek” (purity of arms), thus blackening Israel’s name around the world.[6] News of the killings sparked terror within the Palestinian community, encouraging them to flee from their towns and villages in the face of Jewish troop advances, and it strengthened the resolve of Arab governments to intervene, which they did five weeks later by invading Palestine, following Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14.[2]

Begin advises that it was a very important military target and that the fighting was fierce. He adds;

    Yet the hostile propaganda disseminated throughout the world, deliberately ignored the fact that the civilian population of Deir Yassin was actually given a warning by us before the battle began. One of our tenders carrying a loud speaker was stationed at the entrance of the village and it exhorted, in Arabic, all woman and children and aged to leave their houses and to take shelter on the slope of the hill. By giving this humane warning our fighters threw away the element of complete surprise, and thus increased their own risk in the ensuing battle.

Many, though not all, heeded the advice.

    Our men were compelled to fight for every house; to overcome the enemy they used large numbers of hand grenades. The civilians who had disregarded our warnings, suffered inevitable casualties.

Love of the Land: The Master Plan

US: Too Late to Stop Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News

US: Too Late to Stop Iran - Defense/Middle East - Israel News - Israel National News
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