Friday, 15 January 2010

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

Here's another of the Friday night table songs, 'Mah Yediduth,' which describes some of the pleasures of the Sabbath (my personal favorite is 'sleep is praised' :-)

Let's go to the videotape.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Elder of Ziyon: Muslim logic

Elder of Ziyon: Muslim logic

Israel Matzav: Time for Obama to stop shielding the PA

Time for Obama to stop shielding the PA

This article from London's Jewish Chronicle is spot-on.

On December 28, Judge Gladys Kessler, sitting in Washington DC, delivered an unprecedented and withering rebuke to the Obama administration in relation to a civil action brought against the PA by the relatives of the late Mr. Esh Gilmore. On October 30 2000, Mr Gilmore, an American citizen, was shot dead in Jerusalem. He was 25 years of age, married with a young daughter.

His relatives — the plaintiffs — allege that his murder was carried out by a faction controlled by the PA, from which they seek damages. The PA has sought to delay the determination of the case and, on November 28 2006, Mahmoud Abbas himself wrote to the then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, asking her to intervene. She refused to do so but replied, on January 12 2007: “I encourage you to respond to US legal proceedings in good faith and in a timely manner.”

The PA decided not to defend the suit. Judgment was therefore entered against it in absentia. Thinking better of its inaction, the PA then appealed to Judge Kessler. The learned judge, knowing that any order she might make could affect the peace process, turned (as she was entitled to do) to the Obama administration for guidance. The curt response she received was (in her own words) “particularly unhelpful”. Indeed, she accused Hillary Clinton’s state department of being “mealy-mouthed” in declining to furnish the court with any authoritative pronouncement. But the state department’s brusque response did contain one comment of note. It warned Judge Kessler that the USA “remains concerned about the potentially significant impact that these default cases may have on the defendants’ financial and political viability.”

Liability for damages and ability to pay them are two different, though obviously not unrelated matters. However, it seems to be the policy of the Obama government to shield the PA from the consequences of its action, or rather inaction — whether it be a petulant refusal to defend itself in an American court or a calculated unwillingness to sit opposite Israel at a negotiating table.

Let us be clear. During 2009, Mr Abbas negotiated eagerly with the USA, the UK and the EU. But not with Israel. He must be made to realise that the international community — but above all the USA — will not do his negotiating for him.

Until he is disabused of his evident belief that peace lies in this direction there will be no meaningful negotiations. And no peace.

Don't hold your breaths waiting for Obama to cut Abu Mazen loose. It's far more likely he'll keep making excuses for the 'Palestinians.' But recognize what's going on. It's one reason there won't be peace in your lifetime or mine.

Israel Matzav: Time for Obama to stop shielding the PA

Israel Matzav: Another goy confuses Jewish with 'liberal'

Another goy confuses Jewish with 'liberal'

Andrew Sullivan is showing off his ignorance again.

The slow cultural shifts in Israel - toward ever more arrogance, more fundamentalism, more Russian immigrant racism, contempt for the Muslim world, military adventurism, and the daily grinding of the Palestinians on the West Bank and pulverization and inhumane blockade of the people of Gaza ... well maybe some others can explain it.

All I can say is: it saddens me, as a longtime lover of the Jewish state. It does not represent the historic mainstream of liberal Jewish society, it is a betrayal of many Jewish virtues that goyim like me deeply admire, and it seems designed for war as some kind of eternal and uplifting state of mind.

Sorry Andrew, but "Jewish" and "liberal" do not mean the same thing. Judaism does not require that we roll over and play dead for the Arabs. And if the only way to defend ourselves is war, then war it will be.

By the way Andrew, don't you think it's a little bit racist to imply that all Russian immigrants to Israel are racists? Just wondering. Oh, and that picture at the top? It's a Gaza fruit market and it was taken quite recently. Looks like they're being 'pulverized' and 'inhumanely blockaded,' doesn't it? I wonder how many other Arab countries have it as good as Gaza does.

Israel Matzav: Another goy confuses Jewish with 'liberal'

Israel Matzav: Canada does the right thing, cuts funding for anti-Israel hate groups

Canada does the right thing, cuts funding for anti-Israel hate groups

The government of Canada has decided to cut off all funding to Christian and Muslim organizations that support or promote anti-Israel hatred.

One such organization is the Kairos welfare agency, which lost $7 million – half of its annual budget. Kairos is a social apparatus serving 11 Catholic and Protestant groups and churches promoting the "liberation theology" within the Canadian legal and educational establishments.

Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said that the agency's budget was cut back in light of its anti-Semitic positions, adding the group preaches for recognition of such terror organizations as Hamas and Hezbollah while rejecting the Jewish people's right for a state.

Kairos denied Kenney's claims and charged that the Canadian government's decision was motivated by political considerations. It further argued that criticism of Israel should not be regarded as anti-Semitism.

Another organization whose funds were cut back was the Canadian-Arab Federation, which provides aid for immigrants from Muslim countries. The claim against the group was that it promoted hatred and extremism. The Federation claimed in response that by withdrawing funds from its budget, the Canadian government is shunning Arab immigrants.

The Palestine House Educational (PHE), which has enjoyed $750,000 a budget in the last two years, has also been targeted by Canadian authorities.

Wow - someone gets it. Awesome!

Israel Matzav: Canada does the right thing, cuts funding for anti-Israel hate groups

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinians' and the Kosovo model

The 'Palestinians' and the Kosovo model

Two years ago, I warned that the 'Palestinians' may try to adopt the model that Kosovo adopted with the Serbs by unilaterally declaring independence. Here's some of what I wrote in a very lengthy post.

All of which brings us to what Israel's response to Kosovo's declaration of independence ought to be. Here, there is little doubt that Israel ought to refuse to recognize Kosovo for two reasons I have discussed before, namely the implications that the Kosovo situation has for the 'Palestinians' and the implications it has for 'Israeli Arabs.' First, the 'Palestinians':

There is a small piece of disputed land, that is rich in history but poor in everything else. Its preponderant population of two million Muslims wants to turn it into a sovereign state. The United States, the European Union, and much of the 'international community,' are in favor of creating a sovereign state on that piece of disputed land, but doing so would open a Pandora’s Box of geopolitical, legal, moral and security issues, and create a black hole of lawlessness, endemic corruption and jihad-terrorism.

Sounds like Judea and Samaria or Judea, Samaria and Gaza, doesn't it? But it's not. It's Kosovo, the southernmost province of Serbia.

The 'Palestinians' were quick to understand the implications of a western recognition of Kosovo's independence. 'Palestinian' negotiator Yasser Abd Rabbo suggested last week that the 'Palestinians' should follow Kosovo's model and declare their state reichlet unilaterally. But 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen was smarter than that.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas quickly dismissed a top aide's call Wednesday for a unilateral declaration of statehood if negotiations with Israel fail.

The Palestinians are committed to reaching a negotiated peace agreement this year, Abbas said in a statement.

"If we are unable to do that... We will return to our Arab [brothers] to take the appropriate decision," he said.

Abu Mazen is waiting for one of two things to happen. He is waiting either for Israel to recognize Kosovo, which could happen at any time, and which would make it much more difficult for Israel to argue that the 'Palestinians' do not deserve their own state reichlet. Or he is waiting for negotiations to break down completely, which could force the Americans to recognize an independent 'Palestinian' state reichlet due to this statement on Friday by US State Department spokesman Sean McCormick:

Asked why Kosovo had to wait just nine years under UN administration to obtain its independence, while the Palestinians have been waiting since 1948, McCormack said the situations were different.

"The situation in Kosovo had run its course, in terms of trying to find a solution, a negotiated political solution," McCormack said.

"We believe that there still is the possibility of a negotiated settlement" in the Palestinian territories, he said, citing peace talks held in Annapolis, Maryland last year under the auspices of President George W. Bush.

For those who can't read between the lines, Daled Amos explains what this statement means:

So, if it becomes clear that a negotiated settlement is not feasible, would the US likewise contend that the situation "had run its course" and ultimately back the establishment of a Palestinian state?

I think the obvious answer to that question is "yes." And if Israel recognizes Kosovo, that makes it even easier for the US to do so.

Fast forward two years. The 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians' have broken down to the extent that the parties are no longer able to sit at the same table. The fact that they're not sitting at the table due to new demands by the 'Palestinians,' which were copied from the Obama administration, is almost irrelevant. The fact is that there are no negotiations, and it shows that the 'Palestinians' are now trying to adopt the Kosovar model. That's what the 'Fayyad plan' for a unilateral declaration of a 'Palestinian state' in two years (late 2011?) is all about.
  • Mahmoud Abbas' new precondition that the international community recognize the 1967 lines in the West Bank as the new Palestinian border bolsters the assessment that the Palestinians have largely abandoned a negotiated settlement and instead are actively pursuing a unilateral approach to statehood.
  • Senior Palestinian officials note that Palestinian unilateralism is modeled after Kosovo's February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia. European and U.S. support for Kosovo's unilateral declaration has led the Palestinian leadership to determine that geopolitical conditions are ripe to seek international endorsement of its unilateral statehood bid, despite the fact that leading international jurists have suggested that the cases of Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are historically and legally different.
  • The Palestinians are legally bound to negotiate a bilateral solution with Israel. Unilateral Palestinian threats to declare statehood have been rebuffed thus far by the European powers and the United States.
  • The Palestinian "Kosovo strategy" includes a campaign of delegitimization of Israel, seeking to isolate Israel as a pariah state, while driving a wedge between Israel and the United States. The unilateral Palestinian bid for sovereignty will also likely turn the Palestinians into the leading petitioner against the State of Israel at the International Criminal Court. Although the PA is not a state and therefore should have no legal standing before the court, the petition it submitted to the court after the Gaza war was not rejected by the ICC.
  • Finally, a unilateral Palestinian quest for the 1947 lines may well continue even if the 1967 lines are endorsed by the United Nations. The PLO's 1988 declaration of independence was based on UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recognizes the 1947 partition plan for Palestine, not the 1967 lines, as the basis for the borders of Israel and an Arab state.
Does the fact that the 'Palestinians' are 'legally bound' to negotiate a 'settlement' with Israel really mean anything? For how long are they bound to negotiate? Are they bound to negotiate in good faith? Can they turn the negotiations into a sham by refusing to compromise? Consider this from the same article excerpted above:

In late 2008, the collapse of the Annapolis peace negotiations between Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who, as Abbas acknowledged publicly, had made unprecedented concessions,6 further motivated the Palestinians to embrace a unilateral approach to statehood as a default option. Abed Rabo confirmed at the time that, "we have another option. Kosovo is not better than Palestine."7


Two leading international jurists have suggested that the cases of Kosovo and the Palestinian Authority are historically and legally different.10 However, from a Palestinian point of view, it seems that legal and historical context are less important than the sympathetic political perceptions that can be created in the international community by promoting what appear to be some external similarities.11 The Palestinians liken themselves to Kosovo's profile in the West as a besieged, indigenous population seeking freedom and independence from its brutal Serbian sovereign overlord, which in the Palestinian analogy is the State of Israel's "occupation" of the disputed West Bank.12

True, both Palestinians and Muslim Kosovars enjoy international support for their respective bids for independence.13 Both have established internationally-sanctioned, self-governing authorities, receive European security backing and UN financial support, and work with UN-appointed special envoys, while each has penned a constitution. However, Kosovo enjoys a NATO security presence, which Palestinian negotiators have failed to introduce into the West Bank despite several attempts to do so in past peace negotiations with Israel.14

Another point of similarity between Kosovars and the Palestinians involves territory. The Kosovo model did not require a territorial compromise on the part of the Albanian Muslim Kosavar government to take into account areas where concentrations of Serbian Christian population remained.15 Similarly, the Palestinian leadership has been reluctant to compromise with Israel over Israeli population centers and vital security requirements in the West Bank.

Politically, many in the Palestinian leadership assess that adopting a unilateral "Kosovo strategy" and seeking international legitimacy to impose the 1967 borders on Israel is their best option, which, in their view, would automatically solve the issues of Jewish settlements and the status of Jerusalem without having to negotiate with Israel, while leaving the refugee issue to be decided according to the "agreed-upon solution" specified in the Arab peace initiative.16


The Palestinian leadership did not adopt the unilateral "Kosovo strategy" ex nihilo. Leading members of the European Union encouraged the Palestinians to move in this direction. PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat credited former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana with engineering the idea.28 In July 2009, Solana told a British forum that after a fixed deadline, the UN Security Council should unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines.29 Palestinian unilateralism also received a boost in early December 2009 when Sweden, in the final thirty days of its rotating EU presidency, proposed that EU foreign ministers back its draft proposal recognizing east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, thus implying EU acceptance of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood.30

The EU Foreign Policy Council partly softened its final statement days later. However, as former UN ambassador Dore Gold notes, the final EU statement still retained the proposal that envisioned Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. Additionally, the statement said that the EU "would not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem," thereby enshrining the 1967 lines - a key Palestinian demand - as a previous political border.31 Palestinian unilateralism has also drawn encouragement from the United Nations itself. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has reportedly issued expressions of support for such moves, according to former PA security chief Mohammed Dahlan and Saeb Erekat in a November 14, 2009, interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam.32

The only thing stopping a unilateral declaration of 'Palestinian statehood' is the fact that the US won't recognize it. If the US would recognize such a declaration, so would the Europeans. I would look for a lame duck President Obama (sometime after the 2012 elections, whether or not he is God forbid re-elected) to recognize such a declaration. That's what the 'Palestinians' are seeking.

Despite Palestinian disenchantment with Washington, there are signs that the Obama administration position supports the Palestinian demand for a state along the 1967 lines and a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem,39 which are central objectives of the Palestinian "Kosovo strategy." According to one assessment, Obama may have even supplied the Palestinians with a letter of guarantee to that effect.40 While the U.S. is publicly committed to the principle of a negotiated solution between the sides, it has grown impatient with the bilateral process. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel reportedly expressed deep frustration with both the PA and Israel, which supports the Palestinian sense that they are on the right track in pursuing a unilateral "Kosovo" option.

Is it certain that the 'Palestinians' will succeed in their quest to declare 'statehood' unilaterally? No. But it's far more likely that they will succeed in gaining an endorsement of a 'Palestinian state' declared unilaterally from a lame duck Obama than it is that the current Israeli government will offer them something better than what they turned down from Ehud Olmert last September.

What could go wrong? Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: The 'Palestinians' and the Kosovo model

Israel Matzav: Talks for the sake of talks aren't going to go anywhere

Talks for the sake of talks aren't going to go anywhere

Former Bush administration Middle East adviser Elliott Abrams talks with the Council on Foreign Relations about the 'peace process.' Some of this is about Iran, but most of it is about Israel and the 'Palestinians.' The bottom line is that Obama, Mitchell and Clinton are going about this all wrong. Sure, they can force the parties to the table, but unless the parties both want to be there, nothing is going to happen.

Coming back to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, is anything really possible until Hamas and Fatah can get their act together?

Well, I would put it another way. There is a lot of pressure from the Saudis and some other Arab governments for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. But the Israelis have made clear that they are not going to negotiate with a government that is half terrorist, a government that includes representatives of Hamas. So I don't think that Hamas-Fatah reconciliation would be good for negotiations. I would argue that negotiations progress only when there has been progress on the ground. Or to put it another way, diplomacy has got to reflect what is happening on the ground and not vice-versa. If the Israelis see the development of a representative system of government, a legal system, law and order, and a thriving economy in the West Bank, that is much more likely to make them willing to negotiate successfully for establishing a Palestinian state. That is what has to come first.

So you think that just trying to get talks going for the sake of talks is a mistake?

I do, and the example I would give you is Annapolis [where the United States in November 2007 launched a meeting with all Middle East nations to get peace talks started]. The United States can always get talks going if it tries hard enough. The question then is where do they go? And we saw in the case of Annapolis that they did not go anywhere. I suppose that if the administration concentrates almost exclusively on getting a negotiation going, it can get a negotiation going, but it isn't going to go very far. Both the Palestinians and Israel will ultimately decide that their relations with the United States are important enough to sit at the table together, but that's not a formula for successful negotiations; that's just a formula for keeping the United States off your back.

It does recall the efforts of the Carter administration to try to get a grand negotiation going, but it wasn't until Egypt's President Anwar Sadat took the initiative for direct Israeli-Egyptian talks that things got rolling.

That is an important point because the real impetus for those talks, which led to the Egyptian-Israeli peace agreement in March 1979, didn't come from the United States, but from Sadat. It would suggest that when the parties are ready to have a successful negotiation, they will do it whether we like it or not. And our pressure on them, while it leads them to the table, does not lead them to successful negotiations if they're not ready.

And you think at the moment they're not ready?

That's right. I think that the Palestinians are not ready to go back to the table until there is a settlement freeze first; second, they are divided between Hamas-Gaza and Fatah-West Bank, and thirdly, one has to remember that Fatah and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which runs Fatah, are facing a generational leadership change. President Mahmoud Abbas, who is the head of the Fatah party, the head of the PLO, and the head of the Palestinian Authority, has announced that he is not going to run again. In fact this month, his term and the term of the legislature are, by anybody's definition, up. They will stay in office until an election can be held. But sooner or later, an election does have to be held, and if Abbas doesn't run again, there is no obvious candidate for replacing him. So they are in the middle of a kind of political crisis, and that is not a great moment for negotiations with the Israelis.

The difference here is that the odds of the 'Palestinians' actually wanting peace are much greater than the odds ever were for Sadat. But that's just fine because the mistake with Sadat was making peace with a leader and not with his people.

Read the whole thing.

Israel Matzav: Talks for the sake of talks aren't going to go anywhere

Israel Matzav: Israeli embassy convoy in Jordan escapes roadside bombing

Israeli embassy convoy in Jordan escapes roadside bombing

Four years ago, I was in Paris for the Sabbath, and found myself at a communal meal sitting opposite the daughter of Mrs. Carl's and my wedding photographer. This woman was in Paris with her mother who lived in Israel and her sister who lived in the US. She was attached to an Israeli embassy in an African country, which flew her to Paris once a month to buy meat and other Kosher foodstuffs. She said that she and her husband had started in the foreign service in Jordan, which was considered a plum assignment because "you get to come home every weekend." After Thursday evening, it may not be considered such a plum assignment anymore.

Around 5:00 Thursday afternoon, a roadside bomb went off next to a convoy from the Israeli embassy in Amman that was making its way to the Allenby Bridge crossing back into Israel. At least one car flipped over, but miraculously, no one was hurt. The ambassador was not part of the convoy.

A bomb exploded near a small convoy of vehicles belonging to Israel's embassy in Jordan on Thursday afternoon. No one was hurt in the incident, which occurred some 20 kilometers from the border crossing at Allenby Bridge, and the vehicles continued on to Amman [the previous link says they continued to the bridge, which makes more sense. CiJ].


Two Jordanian security sources said the attack targeted a top Israeli diplomat in Jordan. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The spokeswoman at the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Merav Horsendi, confirmed that there was a blast next to a convoy carrying embassy employees.

"All I can say now is that everyone is fine," she said.

The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) was cooperating with Jordanian security authorities to investigate the explosion.

On Thursday evening, the Jordanians arrested a taxi driver in connection with the bombing.

Israel's embassy in Jordan is one of the most highly guarded Israeli embassies in the world. I wonder why.

Israel Matzav: Israeli embassy convoy in Jordan escapes roadside bombing

Love of the Land: Bye-bye Jordan

Bye-bye Jordan

The Muqata
15 January '10
Posted before Shabbat

The Muqata blog would like to say good-bye to all our readers in Jordan.

As you Jordanian readers know The Jordanian government has ruled that electronic communication like websites will be subject to the country's Press and Publications Law.

Presumably that means that websites such as ours that advocates that Jordan, with it's overwhelming Palestinian majority is a de facto Palestinian state under illegal Occupation by the Hashemite government, will not be taken too well by the authorities over there and will result in the Muqata blog being censored.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Bye-bye Jordan

Love of the Land: Israel sends aid to Haiti — Arabs and Turks don’t

Israel sends aid to Haiti — Arabs and Turks don’t

Fresno Zionism
14 January '10

Following the disaster in Haiti, China, the US, Canada, Britain, Spain, Iceland, Portugal, Russia, Taiwan, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, France, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and of course Israel all have medical or rescue personnel on the ground there, or on the way. IDF medical teams who will set up a field hospital are already in the air.

The nations listed above and many others as well as international organizations, India, Australia, Norway, Italy, the EU, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, and South Korea have all pledged tens of millions of dollars and Euros (the US is tied for the biggest pledge with the World Bank at $100 million each).

But what’s missing? How about the countries swimming in our petrodollars, Saudi Arabia, Iran? The UAE has promised fifty tons of supplies. Nothing so far from any other Arab or Muslim nations. Where is that great humanitarian Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was so concerned about the ‘disaster’ in Gaza, now that a real disaster has occurred? Oh, he’s sent Turkey’s ‘condolences’! Does he remember that after a deadly earthquake in 1999, Israel sent its rescue and medical teams to Turkey as well?

It is ironic that Israel, almost universally vilified on ‘humanitarian’ grounds, and despite its small size and lack of resources, is in fact always among the first to help in natural disasters worldwide!

Love of the Land: Israel sends aid to Haiti — Arabs and Turks don’t

Love of the Land: Mahmoud Abbas, drama queen

Mahmoud Abbas, drama queen

Elder of Ziyon
14 January '10

Mahmoud Abbas is really big on making big, dramatic statements that get headlines but are meaningless.

The most famous recent example was when he claimed he would not run for President again. He said this with the full knowledge that there will be no elections in the near future, and that the president of the PA is subservient to the chairman of the PLO - which just so happens to be Mahmoud Abbas. He has no intention of relinquishing power any time soon, but when he makes threats like these (and he has done it numerous times before) he gets headlines and a modicum of support from the Fatah faithful (for whom he is also the leader.)

Today, he came up with a new one. He told an Egyptian newspaper that it is possible that Israel will assassinate him, just like they assassinated Arafat. He compared himself to Arafat by saying that just like Arafat was a man of peace who signed agreements with Israel, so is he, and just like Israel killed Arafat, so might he be killed by Israel. But he believes in Allah so it's no biggie.

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: Mahmoud Abbas, drama queen

Love of the Land: Media, Hurrying to Canonize Mahmoud Abbas, Overlook Inconvenient Facts

Media, Hurrying to Canonize Mahmoud Abbas, Overlook Inconvenient Facts

14 January '10

Palestinian Media Watch in a Dec. 29, 2009 article by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook, reported that the Palestinian murderers of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai (a 45-year old Israeli father of seven children) were declared to be “Holy Martyrs” by Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. But the American media was AWOL on this story possibly because the story tarnishes the Palestinian president’s benign image in the media as a trustworthy peacemaker.

Similarly, only the Associated Press reported on the recent decision to name a Ramallah square in honor of the female mastermind of a 1978 bus hijacking in Israel that killed 37 people. A Nexis on-line search found only one major American newspaper containing the AP report.

The AP report quoted Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, condemning the honor bestowed upon the terrorist mastermind: "This is not the way to make peace. Peace is made by educating reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by fostering respect."

The media’s selectivity toward Israel and Abbas is typified by the so-called national “paper of record,” the New York Times, which, although it failed to inform readers about the honors bestowed upon the Palestinian murderers of Rabbi Chai or the mastermind of the 1978 bus hijacking, did provide space for at least one relatively inconsequential event: The Israeli man who at age 50 was granted his 11th divorce (January 10, 2010 Sunday, Week in Review, Pg. 4).

Love of the Land: Media, Hurrying to Canonize Mahmoud Abbas, Overlook Inconvenient Facts

Love of the Land: The troubling single dimensional approach of PM Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan address

The troubling single dimensional approach of PM Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan address

Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA Weekly Commentary
14 January '10

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his team frequently cite his 14 June 2009 speech at the Begin-Sadat Center at Bar-Ilan University as his definitive policy statement.

So, in search of a better understanding of what Mr. Netanyahu ‘s goals are, I went back to review at the text he invested so much effort to prepare.

So here’s what he says about Judea and Samaria:

“Judea and Samaria – the places where Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, David and Solomon, and Isaiah and Jeremiah lived – are not alien to us. This is the land of our forefathers.”

And so?

Will this connection have any weight in policy making?

Will policy reflect, for example, our tremendous national connection to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron?

Consider this critical passage from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s presentation:

“I have come tonight to give expression to that unity, and to the principles of peace and security on which there is broad agreement within Israeli society. These are the principles that guide our policy, a policy that must take into account the international situation that has recently developed. We must recognize this reality and at the same time stand firmly on those principles essential for Israel.”

Get it?

(Read full post)

Love of the Land: The troubling single dimensional approach of PM Netanyahu’s Bar Ilan address

Love of the Land: Hamas Is Working For Consensus To Stop Firing On Israel

Hamas Is Working For Consensus To Stop Firing On Israel

14 January '10

(A year older, and a year smarter?)

Recently, Hamas has stepped up the pace of its meetings with Palestinian factions in Gaza in order to draw up an agreement on stopping the firing at Israel.

Also in the Palestinian Authority, calls are being heard for stopping the firing of rockets.

Yahyah Rabah, columnist for the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and former PA Ambassador to Yemen, has called to learn lessons from the Al-Aqsa Intifada, and not to allow a situation in which every faction acts on its own and fires rockets at Israel.

He said that another war should be prevented, because Gaza has not yet recovered from its wounds, and that there should be no advancing towards another catastrophe if it can be prevented.

Source: Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Al-Ayyam, Palestinian Authority, January 14, 2010

One year ago...

Sydney Morning Herald
19 January '09

Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said the Gaza war with Israel amounted to a "great victory" for the Palestinians, in a televised speech on Sunday.

"God has granted us a great victory, not for one faction, or party, or area, but for our entire people," said Haniya, the prime minister appointed by the Islamist movement Hamas in the impoverished territory.

"We have stopped the aggression and the enemy has failed to achieve any of its goals," he added, less than 24 hours after Israeli halted a massive offensive on Gaza that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.

The senior Hamas leader has been in hiding since the start of the offensive on December 27, but made two previous televised statements promising victory amid the deadliest Israeli offensive ever launched on the territory.

Haniya confirmed his movement's decision earlier Sunday to adhere to its own unilateral truce for one week to allow Israel to withdraw all its troops and to reopen Gaza's border crossings.

"The groups of the resistance have decided to halt their fire in Gaza so that the enemy army can completely withdraw," he said.

"The decision proves that the resistance was correct and responsible, and works according to the interests of our people."

Israeli troops began withdrawing from Gaza after the ceasefire took effect at 2am on Sunday (1100 AEDT Sunday) but the Jewish state has said its military will return fire if attacked and has not set a date for their full withdrawal.

Love of the Land: Hamas Is Working For Consensus To Stop Firing On Israel



"Diaspora is a Greek word for a Jewish condition". Thus begins Dan Diner's foreword (alas, in German) to Doron Mendeles and Arye Edrei's very important new book Zweierlie Diaspora: Zur Spaltung der antiken juedischen Welt. I'll talk about the book someday, but that first sentence is arresting on its own. Back in the Helenic world, people lived where they were supposed to live; a nation living in dispersal while remaining a nation was odd enough to require a word be invented to contain the thought.

Later the word took on many additional meanings, of course, but that initial condition is of great significance. More than 2,000 years ago the Jews were already doing things differently from everybody else.

Old habits die hard. Ancient ones, it seems, don't die at all.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

Elder of Ziyon: Ahmadinejad calls 9/11 "like a funny show"

Elder of Ziyon: Ahmadinejad calls 9/11 "like a funny show"

Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad admits it gets money from Iran

Elder of Ziyon: Islamic Jihad admits it gets money from Iran

Elder of Ziyon: Work accident!

Elder of Ziyon: Work accident!

Elder of Ziyon: Mahmoud Abbas, drama queen

Elder of Ziyon: Mahmoud Abbas, drama queen

DoubleTapper: IDF Prepares for Haiti Relief

IDF Prepares for Haiti Relief

The delegation prepares to depart to Haiti at IDF Home Front Command Headquarters.

Col. Dr. Itzik Kryse MD, head of the Israeli medical team, briefs the troops.
Israel is doing all in its power to help the people of Haiti cope with the disaster in their country. A 220-person delegation, headed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, will left Thursday evening (14 January 2009) for Port-au-Prince on two Boeing 747 jets leased from El Al by the IDF. The Israeli relief package includes IDF Home Front Command field hospital and search and rescue unit.

More Here and Here

DoubleTapper: IDF Prepares for Haiti Relief

Chester Chronicles - Honor Killers: Prosecuted in Europe, Seen as Psychiatric Victims in America

Chester Chronicles - Honor Killers: Prosecuted in Europe, Seen as Psychiatric Victims in America

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Overnight music video

This is Yaakov Shwekey's first clip (Beni - Shomati released in 2001).
The clip take place in Jerusalem.

In the song, a father urges his son not to forget God's commandments and morals.

Let's go to the videotape.

Israel Matzav: Overnight music video

Love of the Land: Gauging the Iranian Threat

Gauging the Iranian Threat

Matt Gurney
Front Page Magazine
13 January '10

In a recent interview with the Canadian news magazine Maclean’s, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy offered fascinating, expert insight into Israel’s current security situation.

Unsurprisingly, his interview focused largely on the questions of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians and the threat posed by Iran. On the Palestinian question, Halevy said that the prospect for peace between Israelis and Palestinians hinges upon the ability of the Palestinians to forge their own state, without relying on foreign benefactors to do it for them. (Left unsaid is that such a Palestinian state would have to renounce the fanatical hatred of Israel that has consumed it for three generations.) But the real crux of the interview is Halevy’s thoughts on the threat posed by Iran.
When asked about Iran developing a nuclear strike capability, Halevy responded with words worth quoting at length:

“It is a serious threat. It is not an existential threat. It is not within the power of Iran to destroy the state of Israel — at best it can cause Israel grievous damage. Israel is indestructible. I believe that Israel has a sufficient capability, both offensive and defensive, to take care of any threat, including the Iranian threat.”

Few can match Halevy’s expertise. Yet, when he says that Iran at best can “cause Israel grievous damage,” one has to wonder exactly how much damage he means. When discussing the prospect of being attacked with nuclear weapons, what level of destruction would Israel be willing to absorb before it deemed itself destroyed, rather than merely virtually destroyed? And if Iranian-issue nuclear bombs are exploding in Israeli cities, meeting the technical definition of “not destroyed” would hardly be a consolation for the Israeli populace.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Gauging the Iranian Threat

Israel Matzav: Video: Immediate aftermath of Haiti earthquake

Video: Immediate aftermath of Haiti earthquake

CNN has posted a video of the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti here. It's horrifying.

Israel Matzav: Video: Immediate aftermath of Haiti earthquake

Israel Matzav: IDF sending field hospital to Haiti

IDF sending field hospital to Haiti

The IDF is sending 220 people to Haiti to set up a field hospital to help in the aftermath of a massive earthquake there yesterday. Among those going are 40 doctors and 24 nurses. Most of them are leaving for Haiti on Thursday night.

The party sent to set up the hospital will include 40 doctors and 24 nurses, and is scheduled to leave Thursday evening. The hospital, capable of treating 500 patients, will include an intensive care unit, two operating rooms, a pharmacy, and an X-ray lab.

Search and rescue agents from the Homefront Command will also be included in the party.

Levy said a Home front Command delegation was currently making its way from the Dominican Republic to the quake-struck country.

The number of victims resulting from the quake has not yet been announced. The Foreign Ministry has stated that all of the Israelis deemed missing after the disaster have been contacted but for Sharona Elsaieh, daughter of late peace activist Abie Nathan.
Maybe I haven't been following this enough, but the only other country I've seen sending people there is the United States, although I did see that the UN and Cuba already have people there.

For those who want to see more pictures of the IDF preparations, you can find them here and here.

Israel Matzav: IDF sending field hospital to Haiti
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