Saturday, 2 January 2010

Israel Matzav: Goodwill to Israel

Goodwill to Israel

This is from a letter about Bethlehem that appeared in the Belfast Telegraph:

I think as a New Year resolution we should use the name that God uses, namely Israel, rather than man-made modern labels such as 'Palestine' named after the Philistines, Israel's ancient and most bitter foes. Bethlehem, too, is in 'Judea' - not the often-used 'West Bank' which conveniently erases its inextricable Jewish link.

Mr McCann states that mothers are "forced to stand endless hours at checkpoints", yet when I visited Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Hebron in the 'West Bank' in late October, all the checkpoints we passed onboard a local Arab bus were completely unmanned and we did not get stopped once all the way from east Jerusalem.

Perhaps Mr McCann needs to update his information before he lambasts the Israeli security precautions set in place to ensure safety from the unrelenting terror attacks which regrettably emanate from the heart of Bethlehem.


Israel Matzav: Goodwill to Israel

Love of the Land: On the Lookout for Bias at NPR

On the Lookout for Bias at NPR

Steven Stotsky
CAMERA Media Analysis
31 December 09

National Public Radio's (NPR) news coverage of the Middle East often leaves the impression that Jewish settlement in the West Bank and Jerusalem is the main obstacle to an accord between Israel and the Palestinians. Meanwhile the unrelenting villification of Jews by Arab media, religious leaders and government institutions remains a largely taboo subject at the public network. During the Second Intifada, NPR's coverage had become so unbalanced that it prompted a flood of complaints from members of the Jewish community, who traditionally were staunch supporters of the public network. CAMERA produced numerous studies documenting the tilted coverage and ran full-page ads calling attention to the issue. The blatantly one-sided reporting diminished in the face of sustained public protest and NPR began to provide more balanced coverage, including more segments highlighting facets of Israeli life separate from the grinding conflict with the Palestinians. But recent examples make clear, the temptation to revert to old habits is ever-present and the need for constant vigilance in holding NPR accountable remains.

Again, NPR (falsely) blames Israel for housing discrimination

An All Things Considered segment by NPR's Jerusalem bureau chief, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, on Nov. 26, 2009, describes the eviction of Palestinian families from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan. In a familiar scenario, a Palestinian spokesman's allegations are amplified by a human rights organization and an oft-quoted Israeli activist. Token balance is supplied by including a brief statement by an Israeli official that fails to address the specific charges leveled. Genuine balance could be provided by Israeli experts who have studied the problem, but they are not called upon. The story promotes the charge that Israel uses discriminatory practices to uproot Arabs from their neighborhoods in East Jerusalem in order to establish a stronger Jewish presence. Garcia-Navarro generalizes a specific dispute over the demolition of illegally built homes into the accusation of a broad pattern of Israeli discrimination.

Love of the Land: On the Lookout for Bias at NPR

Esser Agaroth: Me'ir David Kahane, The Young

Me'ir David Kahane, The Young

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Wayehi 5770

Kahane Grandson Arrested by Shin Bet for Mosque Arson
Gil Ronen, 14 Tevet 5770/December 31, 2009

( Police and Shin Bet operatives arrested a Jewish youth from Kfar Tapuach in Shomron, a grandson of former MK Rabbi Meir Kahane, on Thursday morning. Eyewitnesses said the youth was not told why he was being arrested, but only that he would be taken to Tel Aviv. Police stated later in the day that he was suspected of involvement in an arson attack on a mosque at Kafr Yasouf in Samaria three weeks ago.

His father, Binyamin Ze'ev, and his mother, Talia, were murdered in a terror gun ambush on December 31, 2000. His grandfather, MK and fiery rabbi Meir Kahane, was assassinated ten years earlier.

Nationalist activists reacted to the arrest by saying: “We hope the Shin Bet and police do not abuse the boy the way they usually abuse settlers. He is an orphan without a mother and father, who were murdered in a terror attack.”

Security forces have been busy trying to identify and arrest the people involved in the mosque arson at Kafr Yasouf in northern Samaria on December 11. Unknown people entered the mosque in the pre-dawn hours, set alight a carpet and bookshelves, and scrawled some graffiti on the floor in Hebrew promising revenge for Arab terror.

What a coincidence...

...that his parents' yartzeits were on 5 Teveth.

...of the Westernized government and government lackeys probably went by the Gregorian date, December 31, happily waiting for the Hebrew calender finally to fall out of disuse.

I do not believe in coincidences.

Did Me'ir David do it? He had an allibi, an allibi which could easily have been checked out without the harassment, so, mostly not.

As politically-incorrect as it may be, neqamah (revenge, and when involving goyim) IS a misswah. So you will not find me shedding any tears for a burned-down mosque.

I must admit that I do not know Me'ir David very well at all. We have spoken only a handful of times. His family took care of that, due to my "associations." However, I can say that he is a very gentle young man who works hard at his learning and at building up the land with the rest of his family.

That being said, I also believe very strongly that he is being raised, shall we say, specifically not to be exactly like his father, Rav Binyamin HY"D.

Years ago, two of his uncles (one the gabbai, and the other ba'al qore') both voted to work toward removing the "Kahane stigma" from the [now] Central Tapu'ah beth k'nesseth,...whatever the hell that was supposed to mean. Both Me'ir David and another uncle voted against the resolution. What was he supposed to do?

The gabbai has continued to insist that the meaning of the word "stigma" in Hebrew has a much weaker connotation than its usage in English. Then why was such a vote necessary, if the "stigma" was not so strong? No response.

But this single example is only one of the reasons for the above belief. I am afraid I am unable to list the countless other reasons here.

Try as they may, though, they will not succeed. Everytime I bring up having lived in Tapu'ah, the reaction is always the same, from secular, left-wiong Jews, to Haredim, to mamlachtim, to Kahane followers and sympathizers.


The only difference is the tone. Positive or negative, everyone believes the same thing: K'far Tap'uah is an "extremist" town. No matter how many mamlachtim (undying state loyalists) and "mind their own business" college students the "powers that be" bring in to live there, it will always be Rav Binyamin's town, Rav Binyamin who once said:

"Who cares what people think? Let them think we're crazy settlers. Then maybe they'll leave us alone."

By letting you in on this secret, I expect to get more than a few purturbed emails from my former neighbors, who feel strongly about Rav Binyamin's strategy.

I'll just tell them not to worry. No one blog post has the power to break the so-called "stigma," let alone influence of the Rabbis Kahane HY"D, Me'ir David's father and grandfather.

so, what was the Shin Bet (Shabba"k/secret police) doing in Tapu'ah? Oh, it's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Just another opportunity to make a nasty attack on the Kahane family?

A ploy to get Kahane sympathizers to come out of the woodwork, due the outrage of such treatment of an orphan?


Take your pick. Personally, I stopped trying to figure out the motivations of the Shabba"k, and focus more on the more important issue, the motivations of those giving the orders, the shadow government of Peres, Beilin, and Baraq.


In the meantime, you may want to attend the memorial concert being held in K'far Tapu'ah, next Mossa'ei Shabbath, starring Bini Landau. If you cannot make it, then you will be able to enjoy it on the Voice Of Judea YouTube Channel, the following week.


Read another neighbor's take on the arrest in Now I Am Angry at The Torah Revolution.

Esser Agaroth: Me'ir David Kahane, The Young

Israel Matzav: To punish Iran, stop the Europeans from trading with it

To punish Iran, stop the Europeans from trading with it

There was an important article in Thursday's Wall Street Journal by Goli Ameri, the former U.S. assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, U.S. representative to the 60th U.N. General Assembly and the U.S. public delegate to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, in which Ms. Ameri argues that all of the talk of sanctions is nonsense, and what really needs to happen is to hurt the Iranian Republican Guards by stopping European trade with them.

According to Mohsen Sazegara, one of the co-founders of the IRGC and current researcher and democracy activist residing in the U.S., the IRGC controls the fundamentals of Iran's economy, with over 800 companies involved in shipping and ship-building, banking, energy, chemicals, heavy construction and machinery, electricity, transport equipment, and import of tear gas for oppressing mass demonstrations. The IRCG's most recent foray into Iran's business activities was the purchase of a 51% share in the Iranian Telecommunications Company for $8 billion, effectively gaining control of all Iranian communications with the outside world.

Who is Iran's main business partner? In 2008 the EU was—in its own words—the "first trade partner of Iran," with imports and exports totalling €25.4 billion ($36.4 billion) followed by China, Japan, and South Korea. The €14.1 billion in European exports to Iran last year, up 1.5% from 2007, included mainly machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, chemicals and even dual-use telecommunications equipment responsible for tracking and imprisoning protesters. Of the €11.3 billion in European imports from Iran, 90% is energy-related. Germany, France and Italy top the list, the former two also members of the team involved in nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Yet despite the IRGC's deep involvement in the Iranian economy, the Associated Press reported shortly after the June elections that Daniel Bernbeck, head of the German-Iranian Industry Group, said that "doing business in Iran is a far cry from doing business with the government itself....I see no moral question here at all. We are not doing business with Iran, but with Iranian companies. We are not supporting the government."

In the past two decades Europe's refrain has been that trade keeps the doors of communications open and allows them to openly discuss the nuclear issue and human rights violations. In a 2007 interview with Deutsche Welle magazine, Mechtild Rothe, vice president of the European Parliament, said that "relations with Iran have not reached a point where economic interests should need to suffer. I think it would be much better to negotiate—to speak with each other."

The people of Iran have now spoken loud and clear about their democratic aspirations. The EU, however, continues to pursue its economic interests, save for a range of toothless feel-good statements. As recently as October, the National Iranian Oil Company announced that "negotiations [on the South Pars Gas field] with Shell and Repsol [Spanish firm] in recent weeks have gone in the desired direction and efforts are being made to take action as quickly as possible given the mutual interests in this field." France's Total has also resumed discussions with the Iranian government on another phase of the South Pars Gas field. The AP also reported that, when asked if France would recommend that French businesses scale back trade with Iran, foreign ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux "wouldn't say yes or no".

Since the post-election crackdown discredited Europe's so-called "open doors of communications" strategy, Europeans are now hiding behind the slogan that scaling back business with the IRGC hurts average Iranians. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told the New York Times after the elections that "sanctions weigh in particular on the middle levels of society, but especially on the disadvantaged ones."

In 1968, Archbishop Desmond Tutu responded poignantly to similar criticism on sanctioning South Africa and its impact on the poor: "Moral Humbug," he said. "There is no room for neutrality. Are you on the side of oppression or liberation? Are you on the side of death or life? Are you on the side of good or evil?"

Read the whole thing.

I'll bet if you took a survey, most Americans (and Israelis) would be unaware that European trade with Iran continues as if nothing has happened over the last year. In fact, I wonder if President Obama or the Congress is even aware of it. It's time for a concerted campaign to shut down European trade with Iran.

By the way, Ms. Ameri says that the Americans have been better about passing laws but have never actually sanctioned any company for doing business with Iran. Hmmm.

Israel Matzav: To punish Iran, stop the Europeans from trading with it

Love of the Land: Abbas and other Palestinian “moderate” leaders glorify Dalal Mughrabi, perpetrator of worst terrorist attack ever against Israeli civilians

Abbas and other Palestinian “moderate” leaders glorify Dalal Mughrabi, perpetrator of worst terrorist attack ever against Israeli civilians

Robin Shepherd
01 January '10

So, the new year starts where the old one left off. The politically correct agendas which run riot in the BBC and much of the rest of the mainstream media in Europe continue to ensure the censorship of vital information about the Israel-Palestine conflict, snuffing out the truth and leaving much of the population in a state of unawareness.

Fortunately, though, anyone who actually wants to know what is going on can take advantage of the services of groups such as Palestinian Media Watch (link below) which is currently reporting on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s appalling glorification this week of Dalal Mughrabi, perpetrator of the 1978 bus hijacking in Israel in which she oversaw the slaughter of 37 civilians including more than 10 children.

Abbas and company ordered and presided over proceedings to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mughrabi’s birth. According to Palestinian Media Watch:

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Abbas and other Palestinian “moderate” leaders glorify Dalal Mughrabi, perpetrator of worst terrorist attack ever against Israeli civilians

Love of the Land: Jordan calls on Canada to seize Dead Sea scrolls

Jordan calls on Canada to seize Dead Sea scrolls

Point of No Return
02 January 10

With thanks: Victor; Lily

Countries will think twice about hosting an exhibition of Dead Sea Scrolls following a call by Jordan on Canada to seize the ancient manuscript fragments until their disputed ownership is resolved.

The exhibition of Dead Sea Scrolls, in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority, runs until tomorrow at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Two weeks ago, however, Jordan invoked the Hague Convention, which is concerned with the safeguarding of property in wartime, to urge Canada to take custody of the Dead Sea Scrolls, arguing that Israel had seized the scrolls illegally from Jordan when it re-conquered east Jerusalem in 1967.

Under the Hague Convention the country to which the artefacts are 'exported' becomes the custodian, responsible for their safe keeping.

When the exhibition first opened in the summer, the Palestinian Authority voiced similar objections. Then, a National Post article by Ed Morgan, a university of Ontario law professor, stated:

"In the first place, prior to 1967, the part of the West Bank in which the scrolls were discovered was illegally occupied by the Kingdom of Jordan -- an occupation condemned by virtually every existing international organization, including the Arab League and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. If one doesn't like Israel's current possession of the scrolls because of Israel's occupation of the territory from which they come, one cannot possibly like the Jordanian claim any better.

More to the point, the Palestinians have expressly recognized Israel as custodian of all artefacts found in the West Bank and Gaza pending a final resolution of the conflict.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Jordan calls on Canada to seize Dead Sea scrolls

Israel Matzav: Just who is behaving like a spoiled child?

Just who is behaving like a spoiled child?

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, who ought to know a thing or two about spoiled children, accused Israel on Saturday of acting like a 'spoiled child' for refusing to concede its future security before entering into negotiations with the fake 'people' that al-Faisal and his fellow Arab Muslims invented.

The Saudi foreign minister on Saturday criticized Israel's settlement construction and said the country acts like a "spoiled child" because the international community is not tough enough in pressuring it to make concessions.

Prince Saud al-Faisal said Washington and other players in Mideast peace efforts should take a "firm and serious" stand to put an end to Israeli construction on land Palestinians want for a future state.

Israel's announcement Monday that it is building nearly 700 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem is "a source of worry, which we strongly condemn," he said.


"The reason why a solution cannot be reached is the preferential treatment that Israel gets," he said. "When other countries violate international law, they get punished, except for Israel. If war crimes are committed, other countries get punished, except Israel.

"Israel has become in the international community like a spoiled child," he said. "It does what it wants without being questioned or punished."

Saud spoke after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country has long been Israel's closest ally in the Muslim world, though relations were strained over last winter's war in Gaza.

Davutoglu said Israel should end the "catastrophe and calamity" in the Gaza Strip and should freeze settlement building.

The last time I looked, Israel was ready, willing and able to resume negotiations unconditionally, while the 'Palestinians' were unwilling to resume them until all their demands were met up front. It seems to me that al-Faisal has branded the wrong party as the 'spoiled child.'

Israel Matzav: Just who is behaving like a spoiled child?

Israel Matzav: China providing Iran with armored vehicles

China providing Iran with armored vehicles

China is selling armored vehicles to Iran to be used against demonstrators.

Finally, with the arrival of the first shipment of armoured vehicles, China has officially joined in to repress the Iranian people, most likely to prevent the downfall of the “Supreme Leadership” and its own illegitimate interests in the region. The vehicles are built by military complex of Dalian DES-516B. Here is the description of the manufacturer:
Dalian Eagle-Sky Co.
Tel: +86-411-8681-3362
Fax: +86-411-8681-3763

The armoured anti-riot vehicles have a capacity of 10,000 liters to shoot cold and hot water, and three 100 liter tanks to shoot burning chemical liquids. The water is mixed with paint or tear gas that cannot be washed away. Each vehicle has two guns for shooting liquid up to a distance of 70 meters- it is controlled from inside the cabin. The price tag for each unit is 650,000 dollars. Also, a lot of extra burning liquid, paint, and tear gas was purchased.

It took four months for the delivery of the armoured vehicles, and since the Iranian regime was in a hurry, they had them delivered from China’s army organization- this is rare! China’s government was in as much of a hurry to get these to Iran.

Anyone still believe China is going to join in sanctions against Iran?

Israel Matzav: China providing Iran with armored vehicles

Israel Matzav: Whose wishful thinking?

Whose wishful thinking?

Haaretz cites 'senior officials' in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office who claim that 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians' are likely to resume this month.

The officials said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was to meet at the beginning of next week with PA President Mahmoud Abbas to present his agreements with Netanyahu on conditions for reopening talks and to pressure Abbas to return to the table.

According to the officials, most of the efforts to jump-start the talks are being made by Mubarak in conjunction with the United States. During Netanyahu's talks on Tuesday with Mubarak in Cairo, the prime minister discussed with Mubarak his agreements with the United States on conditions for opening talks with the Palestinians. A senior official said that Netanyahu "had not gone with new positions, but with ideas to renew talks."

If Haaretz is right, Netanyahu has come under the influence of his Left: Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.

Netanyahu has frequently met in recent weeks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres about the peace process. The two have been urging Netanyahu to move ahead, even if this means responding to some Palestinian demands.

Netanyahu apparently told Mubarak that Israel had agreed to discuss with the PA all the core issues, including Jerusalem and refugees. Israel has also apparently agreed to a preliminary two-year timetable for the talks and to express a commitment to previous agreements.

Hopefully, 'previous agreements' doesn't include Ehud Olmert's ridiculous offers to Abu Mazen.

Fortunately, Abu Mazen doesn't seem to have gotten the message.

The secular Fatah movement led by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursday vowed to step up its struggle against the Israeli occupation with demonstrations and diplomacy.

"Our programme emphasises the importance of a two-track approach, with the first being the escalation of the popular struggle to resist occupation," the movement said in a statement.

The group said it would model the struggle on the weekly demonstrations in two West Bank towns, Bilin and Nilin, where residents hurl rocks and protest against the expansion of Israel's controversial separation barrier.

Fatah, which marks the 45th anniversary of the start of its armed struggle on Friday, also vowed to "increase movement on the international level to pursue Israel, to isolate it and to force it to answer to international law."

"We renew our vow to continue the struggle until the end of the occupation and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, and a solution to the refugee issue," it said.

Fatah went on to say that it "would not spare any effort in restoring Palestinian national unity and returning the Gaza Strip from the hands of those who have taken it hostage," referring to its Hamas rivals.

Doesn't sound very peaceful, does it?

By the way, that article goes on to say that Fatah was founded in the 1950's and began its 'armed struggle' on January 1, 1965. And you thought there was no 'occupation' then, didn't you?

So whose wishful thinking is it that we're going to have 'negotiations'? Haaretz's? Netanyahu's? I'd bet all of the above.

Israel Matzav: Whose wishful thinking?

Israel Matzav: Iran turns the tables?

Iran turns the tables?

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki issued an ultimatum of his own to the West on Saturday. Mottaki threatened that if the West does not give Iran enriched nuclear fuel by the end of January, it will enrich its own.

"We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.

However, even if Teheran started working on the fuel production immediately, it would likely take years before it can master the technology to turn uranium, enriched to the level of 20 percent, into rods that make the fuel.

Unless they have mastered it already, which is likely the case if they are making a threat like this.

"[The West] must decide on supplying fuel for the Teheran reactor on one of the two offers, purchase or swap," Mottaki said. "Otherwise, the Islamic Republic of Iran will produce the 20 percent enriched fuel with its own capable experts."

Enrichment is at the core of the nuclear controversy. Iran currently has one operating enrichment facility that churns out 3.5 percent enriched uranium. The country needs fuel enriched to 20 percent to power a Teheran medical research reactor. For nuclear weapons, uranium needs to be enriched to 90 percent or more.

But getting to 20% is the hard part. Getting from 20% to 90% is much easier.

The Obumbler will accept Iran's offer in 3... 2... 1....

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: Iran turns the tables?

Israel Matzav: Arabs trying to steal Israel's heritage

Arabs trying to steal Israel's heritage

Stealing other nations' and religions' heritages is a long-standing Muslim practice. From the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to churches in Nazareth and Hindu shrines in India, Islam has long expropriated artifacts and structures that belong to other religions and cultures and made them into their own.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in an area northwest of the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956. Some of the scrolls wound up in Israel immediately, while others were taken by Jordan during its illegal occupation (recognized only by Britain and Pakistan) of the area west of the Jordan River between 1948 and 1967. Those scrolls fell into Israeli hands in the 1967 Six Day War.

There is no doubt that the scrolls are Jewish.

The scrolls are now on display in Toronto, and the Jordanians - whose country didn't exist until its 'royal family' was given it as a consolation prize for losing the Arabian peninsula to the al-Sauds in the 1920's - are claiming that the scrolls are part of their 'cultural heritage.' They're seeking to get the Canadian government to keep the scrolls in Canada and not let them return to Israel.
Jordan has asked Canada to seize the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls, on display until Sunday at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, invoking international law in a bid to keep the artifacts out of the hands of Israel until their disputed ownership is settled.

Even if Canada ignores the request, it will make other countries think twice before accepting the controversial exhibit.

Summoning the Canadian chargé d'affaires in Amman two weeks ago, Jordan cited the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, to which both Jordan and Canada are signatories, in asking Canada to take custody of the scrolls.

Jordan claims Israel acted illegally in 1967 when it took the scrolls from a museum in east Jerusalem, which Israel seized from Jordan during the Six-Day War and subsequently occupied. The Hague Convention, which is concerned with safeguarding cultural property during wartime, requires each signatory “to take into its custody cultural property imported into its territory either directly or indirectly from any occupied territory. This shall either be effected automatically upon the importation of the property or, failing this, at the request of the authorities of that territory.”

This means Canada must act, says Jordan. “The Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan would be grateful if the Government of Canada would confirm … whether it is prepared to assume its international legal responsibility, and the means by which it intends to do so,” it wrote.

While confirming that Canada has received a message from Jordan, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said yesterday that “differences regarding ownership of the Dead Sea scrolls should be addressed by Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. It would not be appropriate for Canada to intervene as a third party.”
But the Globe and Mail got this one wrong. They claim that Canada is obligated to act. As I read the Canadian law, that's not the case.
The Cultural Property Export and Import Act, Canada's own legislation to enact the Hague Convention, states: “If the government of a State Party submits a request in writing to the Minister for the recovery and return of any cultural property that has been exported from an occupied territory of that State Party and that is in Canada in the possession of or under the control of any person, institution or public authority, the Attorney-General of Canada may institute an action in the Federal Court or in a superior court of a province for the recovery of the property by the State Party.”

It adds that in the event that the Attorney-General institutes legal action to recover such property, “The court may … order that the property in respect of which the action has been taken be turned over to the Minister for safe-keeping and conservation pending final disposition of the action.”
Note that the law refers to the item as being 'exported from an occupied territory of that State Party.' Israel argues that the scrolls were not exported - they are only there temporarily. But this clause can be attacked much more directly. Judea and Samaria are not occupied. Moreover, even if they were occupied, they are not Jordanian territory under any circumstances.

Moreover, note that the provisions relating to both the Attorney General and the court are permissive and not mandatory. "May institute" and not "shall institute." "May order" and not shall order." There is no reason for the court to act.

On the other hand, I would get the scrolls back to Israel and not send them out again. Let the rest of the world come here to see them.

Israel Matzav: Arabs trying to steal Israel's heritage

Israel Matzav: What Code Pink wants in Gaza

What Code Pink wants in Gaza

Shavua tov, a good week to everyone.

Over at Huffington Post, Eric Trager has managed to figure out just what the Code Pink-led Gaza Freedom March opposes, but he's still having trouble figuring out what it favors.

But now that these marchers have given Stephen Walt grist for another conspiracy theory (who do you think is preventing this story from making it into American papers? ... whoops), it's worth asking: what are they for? Is CODEPINK for Hamas using the tunnels that run from Gaza into Egypt for stockpiling anti-aircraft missiles and longer-range rockets, rather than importing food and medicinal supplies? Are its activists for Hamas being strengthened once Israel opens the borders? If this yields renewed Hamas attacks against Israel, will the activists finally be for Israel's self-defense? Will these "Freedom" marchers declare that they are for Gazans' freedom from Hamas' imposition of strict Islamist codes; or for a Gazan government that develops its economy, rather than its arsenal; or for a Palestinian government that -- if nothing else -- holds its "democratic" elections on time?

Naturally, these questions are entirely beside the point. That's because CODEPINK's goals have nothing to do with actual Palestinian freedom. Indeed, whether CODEPINK is disrupting a Senate hearing or demonstrating in Cairo, its purpose is the same: to vilify American foreign policy and, in this case, one of America's most important allies in the Middle East. If CODEPINK really sought to promote peace, then it would have marched in solidarity with the traumatized residents of Sderot a long, long time ago. If the "Freedom" marchers truly cared about the future of Gaza, they would have donated the thousands of dollars that they spent on plane tickets towards one of the many reputable charities that assist Palestinians. And if they had any interest in seeing progress in ending this decades-old conflict, then they would have gathered in favor of something, rather than in opposition to everything.

But they didn't. So they're now wandering aimlessly around Cairo; complaining to their allies over e-mail; wearing pink; and looking ridiculous.

Actually, I think that now he has them figured out. Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: What Code Pink wants in Gaza

Love of the Land: A low and dishonest decade

A low and dishonest decade

Caroline Glick
01 January 09

Upon returning from Cairo on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proclaimed, "It's time to move the peace process forward."

The most sympathetic interpretation of Netanyahu's proclamation is that he was engaging in political theater. It was a low and dishonest statement uttered at the end of what has been, in the immortal words of W.H. Auden, "a low and dishonest decade."

Everyone with eyes in their heads knows that there is no chance of making peace with the Palestinians. First of all, the most Israel is willing to give is less than what the Palestinians are willing to accept.

But beyond that, Gaza is controlled by Hamas, and Hamas is controlled by Iran.

For its part, Fatah is not in a position to make peace even if its leaders wished to. Mahmoud Abbas and his deputies know that just as Hamas won the 2006 elections in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Hamas would win elections today. To maintain even a smudge of domestic legitimacy, Fatah's leaders have no choice but to adopt Hamas's rejection of peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state.

Clearly, now is not the time "to move the peace process forward."

No less than what it tells us about Netanyahu, his statement is notable for what it tells us about Israel. Our continued willingness to ensnare ourselves in the rhetoric of peace processes demonstrates how little we have progressed in the past decade.

In 1999, Netanyahu was ejected from office by an electorate convinced that he was squandering an historic opportunity for peace between Israel and its neighbors. A majority of Israelis believed that Netanyahu's signature policies of demanding that the Palestinians abide by their commitments to Israel, and maintaining the IDF's security zone in south Lebanon were dooming all hope for peace.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: A low and dishonest decade

DoubleTapper: TSA Subpoenas Bloggers

DoubleTapper: TSA Subpoenas Bloggers

RubinReports: The "Why Can't Everyone Just Be Friends" Narrative of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Evenhandedness Gone Mad

The "Why Can't Everyone Just Be Friends" Narrative of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Evenhandedness Gone Mad

By Barry Rubin

It’s a heartening story just made for this season and the Western media : two seriously injured children, one Israeli and one Palestinian, becoming friends together in a hospital, with an innocence that transcends the hatred of their peoples. The New York Times article is written precisely balanced, two families, two causes, absolutely identical. Oh how foolish is this unnecessary conflict. What folly drives humanity!

On one level, who can object to such a story, so fair, balanced, so humane and touching? Nowadays, to treat Israel on an equal footing with the Palestinians is rare enough and thus should be sufficient.

Yet something bothers me about this story, everything it leaves out and misleads about.

First, the basic tale. Orel was injured by a rocket fired from Gaza at Beersheva. Marya was injured in an Israeli missile which killed a terrorist leader. Both are eight.

The Times picks up the story:

“In a way, a friendship between two wounded children from opposing backgrounds is not that surprising. Neither understands the prolonged fight over land and identity that so divides people here. They are kids. They play.

“But for those who have spent time in their presence at Alyn Hospital in Jerusalem, it is almost more powerful to observe their parents, who do understand. They have developed a kinship that defies national struggle.”

Yet what does this leave out, at least in part? First, how they were injured isn’t precisely the same. Orel was hit in an unprovoked Hamas attack deliberately intended to kill Israeli civilians; Marya was hit as a regrettable accident by an Israeli attack against a terrorist who had murdered other Israeli civilians and who could only be stopped in that manner.

By the standards of the United Nations, the Hamas attack had no practical implication while the Israeli assassination of a terrorist sponsored by his local government (and hence immune from any arrest) was a war crime.

The article notes, regarding Marya and her father, that “the Israeli government, which brought him here for emergency help, wanted him and his children either to return to Gaza or to move to the West Bank.”

So is the reader being told to praise the Israeli government for bringing an entire family of what could be called “enemy citizens” to its country, supporting them financially, and giving their daughter free medical care, or criticize it for wanting them to go elsewhere? This is something remarkable, an astounding humanitarian gesture and a show of responsibility and apology, demonstrating a lack of hatred on the Israeli government’s part. Why is this passed over so lightly?
Clearly, Hamas would never so treat an Israeli. Indeed such a wounded Israeli would almost certainly be murdered or held hostage. The Palestinian Authority might turn over such an Israeli to the Israeli government but would not bother or dare to give treatment.

The article continues:

“But attention in the Israeli news media produced a bevy of volunteers to fight on his behalf. Marya would not survive in either Gaza or the West Bank. The government has backed off, supporting Mr. Aman on minimum wage and paying for Marya to go to a bilingual Arabic-Hebrew school nearby.”

In other words, after more than a half-century of conflict, terrorism, and hatred from the Palestinian side, individual Israeli citizens and the Israeli media—far from preaching hatred—demanded that a Palestinian be given free treatment, supported with their tax money, and allowed to stay in Israel as long as the family pleased to do so. How does this compare with the international slander of Israelis as monsters, haters, and war criminals? Again, the article gives the necessary facts but no hint of what this means.

There’s more:

“Volunteers who help are often religious Jews performing national service. Some ask Mr. Aman how he can live among the people whose army destroyed his family.”

This shows that even national religious Jews (Datim) who are very nationalist and whose community furnished many (most?) of the settlements and settlers hold such humanitarian views. They are conscious of what their country has done and of how the Palestinians might feel about it. That’s also remarkable.

The father responds:

“I have never felt there was a difference among people—Jews, Muslims, Christians—we are all human beings. I worked in Israel for years and so did my father. We know that it is not about what you are but who you are. And that is what I have taught my children.”

And so, of course, Palestinians can share such sentiments. Yet according to polls, this is hardly typical and what would Mr. Aman say if he were in Gaza, either out of conviction or peer pressure? In Israel the equivalent point of view can be given every day; in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, hardly ever.

Then the article plays a bit of a trick:

“But Mr. Aman has no official status and is also raising a healthy and bright son in a hospital room. He wants residency or a ticket to a Western country where his children will be safe and Marya will get the care she needs.”

Why does he want a ticket to a Western country “where his children will be safe”? Obviously, most Palestinians would love a visa to live in Europe or America; clearly the children would be safe there from the kind of war that crippled one daughter.

Of course not. If the family were to return to the Gaza Strip, they would be made to pay for having accepted Israeli hospitality and treatment, especially since Mr. Aman made such a statement to the media. Either Hamas (and their own neighbors) would harm them or he would be forced to renounce Israel as a horrible country that never did a good deed. No hint of this is offered in the article.

But the article is intent on its “evenhandedness”:

”Asher Franco, an Israeli Jew from Beit Shemesh who has been coming to the hospital for six months for his daughter’s treatments, was a recent visitor. They greeted each other warmly. A manual worker and former combat soldier, he was asked about their friendship. `I was raised as a complete Zionist rightist,’ he said. `The Arabs, we were told, were out to kill us. But I was living in some fantasy. Here in the hospital, all my friends are Arabs.’”

Notice he didn’t say we were raised to hate Arabs but only that the Arabs wanted to kill Israelis. That statement of course is quite true. Note, too, that Mr. Aman does not say that he was taught to hate Jews, even though that is the central point of Palestinian political culture.

The last word is givein to:

“Ms. Elizarov, Orel’s mother, noted that in places like Alyn Hospital, political tensions do not exist. Then she said, `Do we need to suffer in order to learn that there is no difference between Jews and Arabs?’”

Israelis don’t need to suffer because they already know that there is no difference and all are human beings. After all, Israel brought the family into Israel, supplied free medical care, paid to support the family, gave free schooling to the children, while Israeli citizens demanded that all of this be continued supported by a free Israeli media.

It is, of course, the Palestinian side—regimes, media, people—that need to learn this, have not done so, are not about to do so, and sustain the conflict.

The problem is that I know if a Palestinian suicide bomber got into my son’s school and blew himself up, killing and maiming dozens of children, there would be celebrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The terrorist would become a hero, his picture emblazoned on posters. Candy would be handed out; mosque sermons would celebrate his accomplishment; the media would cheer. Outside of a general formal condemnation of terrorism, no Palestinian politician would utter a sincere word of criticism; no citizenry would be horrified and speak publicly against such behavior. And all this would apply throughout the Arabic-speaking world.

I also know that every day the Palestinian media pours out hatred for Israelis, extols past terrorists and urges young people to become future ones, and rejects Israel’s right to exist. Nothing comparable occurs in Israel, not from any significant political figure, not in any media, not in any synagogue or in any school.

If you have any doubts, here is the head (“president”) of the Palestinian Authority leading the celebration just last week of the fiftieth birthday of a Palestinian terrorist, Dalal Mughrabi, who killed 37 Israeli civilians, including ten children, in 1978. This event, and many more like it, receive no coverage in the Western mass media and it takes place, of course, in an atmosphere where glorifying past terrorists is encouraging future ones.

So is everything really so equal? Are both sides really teaching to hate? No, not at all. In this article, at least they are treated as being equal. In much of the media, especially outside the United States, Israel is being treated as the party responsible for all these problems. The truth, of course, is the exact opposite. When will the Western media have the courage and honesty to write that truth?

RubinReports: The "Why Can't Everyone Just Be Friends" Narrative of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict, Evenhandedness Gone Mad
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