Monday, 15 February 2010

Israel Matzav: Should the US be giving UNRWA $40 million?

Should the US be giving UNRWA $40 million?

Well of course, the US should not be giving UNRWA $40 million. But it's important to know why not.

Last month, due to concerns Hamas had infiltrated UNRWA, the Canadian government quietly decided to redirect funding away from the agency; instead, the $300 million in aid Canada has pledged to the Palestinians for the next five years will go to food aid and the support of the Palestinian justice system in an effort to help the Palestinians build a civil society.

Perhaps the U.S. should follow Canada's lead.

In recent years, watchdog organizations have shined a light on the content of books in schools in the Palestinian territories - and what they illuminated was a consistent pattern of propaganda denying Israel's right to exist, dehumanizing Israelis and Jews, and lacking any concrete perspective that would point towards a nonviolent resolution of the conflict, such as a two-state solution. UNRWA schools use the same text books as those that are used in Palestinian schools run by the Palestinian Authority - and by Hamas.

In 2007, Senator Hillary Clinton joined Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that translates and publishes online the contents of Palestinian media, in presenting a report to Congress analyzing eight textbooks used in Palestinian schools.

In a press conference on Capitol Hill, then-Senator Clinton said, "These school books together with the media are profoundly poisoning the minds of these children."

(Clinton also convened a Senate subcommittee hearing on the subject at which Marcus testified in 2003).

In the aftermath of last week's State Department announcement of its plan to give UNRWA $40 million, I spoke with Marcus and asked whether text books in UNRWA schools continue to incite intolerance and hatred.

He said that, the wake of consciousness-raising including Hillary Clinton's stand, the Palestinian Authority had removed overt anti-Semitism from a new crop of text books. But the new books do not acknowledge Israel's right to exist and, perhaps even more chilling, are laden with content that romanticizes suicide martyrdom to children.



Israel Matzav: Should the US be giving UNRWA $40 million?

Israel Matzav: Saudi scholar wants to appear on Israeli television

Saudi scholar wants to appear on Israeli television

The Arab News reports that Saudi scholar Mohasen al-Awaji wants to appear on Israeli television.

RIYADH: Saudi scholar Mohasen Al-Awaji has caused controversy by saying he is prepared to appear on Israeli television.

Interviewed on Al Arabiya news channel last week, Al-Awaji said that although he has not been invited by any Israeli TV channel he would be willing to appear purely to tell the Israeli viewing public about the threat posed by Zionism. He added that appearing on Israeli TV was the right move and would help counter Israeli propaganda.

“The aim is to expose the crimes the Zionists have committed. Debating with logic and evidence and using their media and appearing on their television channels will be effective and allow us to reach a wider audience. At the same time it will show the Zionists that we are willing to talk to them on their own ground,” he said.

He can come on television here so long as Dr. Mordechai Kedar appears with him and debates him. But of course, al-Awaji won't do that, and there's not going to be peace between Israel and the Arab Muslim countries anytime soon.

Despite his willingness to appear on Israeli television, Al-Awaji told Arab News that he is impressed and delighted at the negative response [to appearing on Israeli television that he has received from other Saudi scholars. CiJ]. He said that it drove home the fact that the Arab and Muslim worlds “are not and never will be ready to have relationships with the Zionist body, and that this foreign body among us is not accepted, especially following its barbaric attacks on Gaza.”

Nevertheless, he still thinks it is a shrewd move to address the Israelis in their own living rooms. However, if taking part is interpreted as normalizing relations with Israel then he would not do so.

Hope and change same after all.


Israel Matzav: Saudi scholar wants to appear on Israeli television

Love of the Land: Re: Goldstoned

Re: Goldstoned


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
14 February '10

Readers of David’s post on Goldstone Commission member Desmond Travers’ ridiculous assertion — that “the number of rockets that had been fired into Israel in the month preceding” last year’s war in Gaza “was something like two” — could erroneously conclude that Travers was correct about that month; his mistake was in “blithely ignoring the thousands of rockets Israelis endured in the years leading up to the operation.” That was certainly not David’s intention, but to eliminate all doubt, here are the actual figures, as compiled by Israel’s Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center:

The war began on December 27, 2008. During 2008 as a whole, the number of rockets and mortar shells launched at Israel from Gaza was 3,278, more than double the number that landed in 2007.

More importantly, however, there was a significant escalation in November and December, 2008, after Hamas withdrew from the truce that had been in place during the previous months. Thus the number of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel totaled 125 in November and 361 in December, compared with only 11 in the four preceding months (July through October) put together. The number of mortars totaled 68 in November and 241 in December, compared with only 15 in the four preceding months put together. The number of rockets and mortars combined totaled 193 in November and 602 in December, compared with only 26 in the four preceding months put together.

Needless to say, these figures are a good deal higher than “something like two.” But the more important fact to be derived from this data is that Hamas could have avoided the war simply by continuing the truce. Instead, it opted for a major escalation in the volume of fire. And it was that escalation that finally provoked Israel into responding, after three and a half years of trying and failing to end the bombardment by methods short of war.



Love of the Land: Re: Goldstoned

Israel Matzav: Arab countries ambivalent about sanctions, don't believe they'll matter

Arab countries ambivalent about sanctions, don't believe they'll matter

The Wall Street Journal reports that Arab countries are ambivalent about sanctioning Iran, apparently because they don't believe it will work anyway.

The issue of sanctions is especially controversial, and few officials in the region say, even privately, that they believe sanctions will have any effect on Tehran's behavior.

As recently as December, Bahraini officials hosting a security conference in Manama, attended by Iranian diplomats and U.S. State Department and military officials, publicly said that they were against new sanctions on Tehran.

Still, the region could play a more discreet role in the current international debate over United Nations-backed economic measures targeting Iran, analysts say.

Martin Indyk, the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, the Washington-based think tank, says Saudi Arabia could persuade China—which is a big trading partner with Iran and so far has indicated little support for further sanctions—that a nuclear-powered Iran is bad for the stability of global oil exports and thus Beijing's oil-dependent economy.

Arab Gulf trade with China jumped to $80 billion in 2008 from just $12 billion in 2002, according to trade statistics from the Gulf countries. That outstrips the $50 billion traded between China and Iran in 2008, according to Mr. Indyk.

A Saudi official declined to comment on his government's position toward Iranian sanctions, or any effort by Riyadh to influence China's thinking on the issue.

Meanwhile, a debate has broken out among regional commentators recently about the wisdom of Gulf states remaining quiet in the face of Iran's stepped-up nuclear rhetoric.

Abdallah al-Shayji, a Bahraini political analyst, wrote in an editorial last week in the Dubai-based Gulf News that a policy of fencesitting by Gulf Arab governments towards Iran would be disastrous for the region.

"Iran has for a long time bet on the [Gulf's] lack of a coherent and well articulated, unified strategy and stance against it," he wrote. "The [Gulf] states, bilaterally and collectively, continue to pursue cordial relations with Iran, hoping that this will prevent it from menacing them. But this strategy has been found wanting and lacks strategic depth."

Left unmentioned is another role the US is hoping Saudi Arabia will play with China: Guaranteeing its oil supply in the event that sanctions are imposed on Iran.

But what's really up in the air from this article - probably because the Arab countries themselves have not decided - is what they would like to happen if Iran doesn't back down (which appears likely). They cannot be seen supporting an Israeli strike on Iran. So do they sit tight and hope Israel will do it anyway? Do they quietly encourage the Obama administration to do it? The Gulf countries are supposedly convinced (I am not) that they will be targeted by Iran before Israel will. If that is the case, they cannot be without a position on these issues.

And yes, I agree with them that at this point, sanctions are an exercise in futility, but we ought to impose them anyway.


Israel Matzav: Arab countries ambivalent about sanctions, don't believe they'll matter

Love of the Land: Where are the pressure points?

Where are the pressure points?


Ira Sharkansky
Shark Blog
12 February '10

What is amazing about the preoccupation with Israel and Palestine is the certainty with which respectable individuals preach about a problem whose complexity has been pondered for decades, and where fluidity is more prominent than stability.

Even more amazing is the focus of urging change on the one element that is stable, while failing to take account of the instability elsewhere that may run over in several directions with no end in sight.

A prominent recent example of misplaced certainty is an op-ed piece by Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Cohen has a long record of blaming Israel for the problems of the Middle East. He has called for an end to Israeli settlement in the West Bank, and expressed shame for the operation in Gaza that he described as a disastrous case of Israel slaying Palestinian children.

Now he is lamenting that President Obama must do more to honor an election pledge for "new thinking, outreach to the Muslim world, and relentless focus on Israel-Palestine. . . . The conflict gnaws at U.S. security, eats away at whatever remote possibility of a two-state solution is left, clouds Israel's future, scatters Palestinians and devours every attempt to bridge the West and Islam."

Cohen realizes that problems among Palestinians contribute their share of the frustrations, but he asserts that President Obama must work harder "to ask such tough questions in public and demand of Israel that it work in practice to share the land rather than divide and rule it."

If the two-state solution does not work, Cohen is certain that "there will be one state between the river and the sea."

The one-state solution is a common threat, typically made by the Israeli left and overseas critics who claim that they are friends of Israel, and want to reign it in before it is lost. As Cohen writes of the one state he sees as possible, "very soon there will be more Palestinian Arabs in it than Jews. What then will become of the Zionist dream?

The one-state threat illustrates the weakness in many criticisms of Israel. It is more a fantasy than anything that can be extrapolated from realities. Who would make Israel absorb into itself land and people that do not succeed in achieving statehood. The process would not reflect any natural law of politics that I recognize.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: Where are the pressure points?

A Good Heart

A Good Heart


15
פבר
2010

Question: I do not understand how Yitzchak agreed to marry a woman who he did not know, and he relied on Eliezer to act as his agent. What if it was not a good match? And I also do not understand how Rivka, without knowing Yitzchak, says: "I am going" (Bereshit 24:58). It seems like a recipe for disaster!?
Answer: It was not a recipe for disaster but a recipe of kindness. Eliezer did not choose just any woman he met but searched for a woman with a good heart, who agreed to take water from the well, a large quantity, without asking questions. It was a sign that she had a good heart. He then said to her: You have a good heart. In our house, everyone has a good heart and you fit in, come with me (Rashi). When one has a good heart, he can overcome all problems. He does not only love to receive, he loves to give. And they indeed loved one another (ibid. v. 67 and 26:8). The most important thing is a good heart. Therefore, if you
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Ta'anit Dibbur

Ta'anit Dibbur

["Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah" Mishpatim 5770 – translated by R. Blumberg]

Question: What are the laws of a Ta’anit Dibbur? [literally, “a fast from speech” – undertaking not to speak words unrelated to Torah, for a particular amount of time] Answer: This is a new practice not mentioned in the Torah, the Mishnah, the Talmud or the Rishonim [medieval Sages], but only amongst several of the Acharonim [more recent Sages]. It is therefore impossible to determine halachot about it, and everyone can do whatever he wishes. This custom was spread by Rabbi Yitzchak Alfia, author of the “Kuntres HaYechieli,” and there several practices are elaborated upon, as they are at the end of the “Ish Matzliach” edition of Tehillim, for example, completing the Book of Tehillim three times.
Yet the main thing is to be careful with one’s speech and to avoid Lashon Hara, gossip and other forbidden speech. One can talk, but one shouldn’t say forbidden things. The Vilna Gaon wrote: “Until the day of one’s death, one must chastise oneself, not by fasting and self-torture, but by restricting his mouth and his cravings. That is repentance, and that is all the fruits of the World to Come, as it says, 'For mitzvot are a candle and the Torah is light' (Mishlei 6:23), but 'reproofs of instruction are the way of life' (ibid.). This is greater than all the fasts and self-torture in the world… Scripture states (Tehillim 34:13), 'Who is the man who desires life and who loves days… It is one who guards his tongue from evil.' By such means one can atone for any sin and be saved from hell. As it says (Mishlei 21:23), 'Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue, keeps his soul from troubles,' and, 'Life and death are in the hands of the tongue' (18:21). Woe to him who kills himself for the sake of one comment. What advantage is there to the gossip?' (Alim Li-Terufah) There is therefore room for holding a Ta’anit Dibbur as an interim means of learning to distance oneself from gossip, backbiting, and insult. As in the well-known words of Rambam, in order to be cured of an evil trait, one must temporarily move to the opposite extreme (Hilchot De’ot 2:1-3).
We find the following in the Mishnah Berurah: “I saw written in one sefer that when a person wishes to conduct a voluntary fast day, better that he should undertake a fast from speech than from food, for avoiding speech will do one no harm, either to his body or to his soul, nor will it weaken him” (Orach Chaim 571, M.B. 2; and the same idea may be found in Shemirat Ha-Lashon, Sha’ar Ha-Tevunah, chapter 2).
Obviously, however, all this refers to where one thereby does no harm to his wife or his children who wish to speak with him, or to anyone else who needs him. It is more important to speak kind words than to remain silent. There’s a story of a bus driver who engaged in a verbal fast and did not want to help his passengers who were asking him where to get off.
Surely our Sages said, regarding Tehillim 58:2, “Is it true [he’omnam] that you were silent [elem] about the righteousness that you should have spoken [tzedek tedaberun], the fairness with which you should have judged the children of men?”: “What should man’s trade [omanut] be in this world? He should make himself mute [ilem]. I might think this applies even to Torah learning? It therefore says, Tzedek tedaberun”, ‘Speak righteousness’ (Chulin 89a). Thus, silence is not appropriate across the board. Rather, it is an “omanut,” an “art” or a “trade”. It involves much wisdom, skill and sensitivity to know when to be silent and when to talk. When it comes to Torah and charity, you should talk. Here is our great master Rambam: “One should remain silent often and not speak except to utter Torah wisdom or to say something that he needs to sustain his physical self. It was said of Rav, a disciple of Rabbi Yehuda the Prince, that he never throughout his life engaged in vain chatter, which is the talk of most people. Even for one’s physical needs one should not speak much. In this regard our sages commanded, ‘Whoever talks much invites sin.’ They said further, ‘I have found nothing better for the body than silence’ (Hilchot De’ot 2:4). Sometimes there is also a need to engage in kind words to one’s fellow man, to encourage him, strengthen him or gladden him. And sometimes, obviously, we do him a kindness by listening to him. The rule is this: Sefer HaKuzari calls man “the Speaker”. That is his virtue, that he can think and talk (Rashi on Bereshit 2:7). He must therefore use this supreme virtue for good, and be very responsible for every word he says.
Originally posted by Torat HaRav Aviner

Chester Chronicles - Heroic Muslim Girls and Women: Missionaries to Feminist America?

Chester Chronicles - Heroic Muslim Girls and Women: Missionaries to Feminist America?

Israel Matzav: 'Obama's credibility melting faster than the snow in Washington'

'Obama's credibility melting faster than the snow in Washington'

I would say that this is a fair assessment.

A FIFTEEN billion dollar job bill? Sanctions on the accounts of Iran's Revolutionary Guard in WESTERN banks?

You can fool some people some of the time, but the Obama Administration credibility is melting faster than the snow in Washington.

Who said it? Go here to find out.

Israel Matzav: 'Obama's credibility melting faster than the snow in Washington'

Love of the Land: Should Israel's conduct in Gaza have provoked this mad-dog fury?

Should Israel's conduct in Gaza have provoked this mad-dog fury?


Stephanie Gutmann
Telegraph.co.uk
07 February '10

(Good question, good answer. Y.)

Or is there, as the psychologists would say, “something else going on”?
Look, I love Daniel Hannan and would like him to come over and run for president of the United States in 2012 but I was disturbed by something in his recent post about the motivations for anti-Semitism. I don’t want to be confused with one of those nags who’s always ready to find some tiny ideological misstep and consign would-be friends to an enemies list. No, I think what I’m doing here is making a different point. I think Daniel and a number of intelligent, well-informed people are missing an important part of the picture about anti-Semitism in Britain, Europe or wherever and its relationship to the Gaza invasion.

Daniel wrote:

Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in Britain and (hat-tip Mark Steyn) in the rest of Europe. Many of the perpetrators are reported as having been provoked by the invasion of Gaza… [But] why should British Jews be held answerable for the actions of the Israeli government? The most bellicose critics of Israel are forever telling us that their quarrel is with Zionism, not with Jews. If so, it seems perverse in the extreme to attack those Jews who have declined to migrate to Zion.


What hangs in the air here is the notion that it is not odd to get so incensed about Israel’s conduct that you would feel moved to do something extreme, and that the odd part is blaming it on British Jews. Reasonable people would ask themselves, as Daniel put it, “why should British Jews be held answerable for the actions of the Israeli government?” and then they would not, say, throw the rock and then we could still call them reasonable people.

And I too would congratulate them for their reasonableness – for not throwing the rock is a big deal – but then I would like them to take the next step on the road to sanity. I would like them to see how the intensity of the reaction, the fact that we can even think of Israel’s conduct in Gaza as understandable provocation, is itself a symptom of the madness. In other words, no, “Israel’s rampage in Gaza” does not “provide a convenient cover story”, to paraphrase Julian Kossoff. The interesting part that so many of you are missing is that the conduct is used to provide a cover story for people who are looking for a convenient cover story.

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Should Israel's conduct in Gaza have provoked this mad-dog fury?

Israel Matzav: Does this make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

Does this make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

From Laura Rozen at Politico:

Unruffled by GOP attacks, White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan talked KSM trial, surveillance, and the U.S. alliance with Israel to a largely Muslim audience at New York University law school Saturday, Josh Gerstein reports, even breaking out some Arabic presumably from his days as CIA station chief in Riyadh:

It may not be politically correct to say so, but am I the only one who gets the creeps from reading that? (P.S. I am an NYU Law alumnus).

Israel Matzav: Does this make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

Israel Matzav: How long until Malmo is Judenrein?

How long until Malmo is Judenrein?

Here's a report from Swedish television about the rapid flight of Jews from the city of Malmo.Some of you may recall Malmo as the city in which there were violent anti-Israel demonstrations during Operation Cast Lead, and in which the Israeli tennis team had to play its Davis Cup match without an audience due to threats of violence. Unsurprisingly, Jews are fleeing the city in droves; there are only 700 left. There were 6,000 Jews in Malmo 40 years ago.

Let's go to the videotape.



You can read much, much more about this story here.

Israel Matzav: How long until Malmo is Judenrein?

Elder of Ziyon: Today's incitement

Elder of Ziyon: Today's incitement

Israel Matzav: ABC News interview with Dick Cheney

Israel Matzav: ABC News interview with Dick Cheney

Israel Matzav: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty ignore real victims to go after Israel

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty ignore real victims to go after Israel

Evelyn Gordon looks at some of the consequences of the disproportionate attention groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International pay to Israel.

The civil war in Congo, Kristof writes, has claimed almost seven million lives over the last dozen years. It has also created a whole new vocabulary to describe the other horrific abuses it has generated – such as “autocannibalism,” which is when militiamen cut flesh from living victims and force the victims to eat it, or “re-rape,” which applies to women and girls who are raped anew every time militiamen visit their town.

Yet the world rarely hears about Congo — because groups such as Amnesty and HRW have left the victims largely voiceless, preferring instead to focus on far less serious abuses in developed countries, where gathering information is easier.

Neither Amnesty nor HRW has issued a single press release or report on Congo so far this year, according to their web sites. Yet HRW found time to issue two statements criticizing Israel and 12 criticizing the U.S.; Amnesty issued 11 on Israel and 15 on the U.S. To its credit, HRW did cover Congo fairly extensively in 2009. But Amnesty’s imbalance was egregious: For all of 2009, its web site lists exactly one statement on Congo — even as the group found time and energy to issue 62 statements critical of Israel.

By any objective standard, of course, there is no comparison in the scope of the violations. Even if you accept all the Goldstone Report’s worst slanders against Israel as gospel truth, none of them remotely compares to the kind of atrocities Congo’s victims describe – such as experienced by the young woman who told Kristof that after Hutu militiamen tied up her uncle, “they cut off his hands, gouged out his eyes, cut off his feet, cut off his sex organs and left him like that.” Nor is this exceptional: such stories are routine.

Routine. And routinely ignored by the World's supposed defenders of human rights.

Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Human Rights Watch and Amnesty ignore real victims to go after Israel

Israel Matzav: The double standard

The double standard

Yaakov Kirschen calls this cartoon "Hopes and Prayers." I called it the "Double Standard" because it's clear to me - as I'm sure it is to all of you - that if Israel did something like this, we'd be 'goldstoned' (Hat Tip: Jody E)

An explanation and more are here.

Israel Matzav: The double standard

Israel Matzav: Another lie about Sarah Palin exposed

Another lie about Sarah Palin exposed

Abe Greenwald exposes another mainstream media lie about Sarah Palin.

Frank Rich, today, goes after Sarah Palin’s populism and calls it like it isn’t:

“This is about the people,” as Palin repeatedly put it last weekend while pocketing $100,000 of the Tea Partiers’ money. Incredibly enough, this message is gaining traction.

But the only thing that’s incredible — as in lacking credibility — is Rich’s claim. Palin isn’t “pocketing” anything. She’s already explained:

“I will not benefit financially from speaking at this event. My only goal is to support the grassroots activists who are fighting for responsible, limited government — and our Constitution,” she wrote. “In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause.”

According to Rich’s logic, Barack Obama “pocketed” $1.4million dollars in Nobel Prize money. After all, giving it away doesn’t count.

Read the whole thing.

What I find amazing about this is the extent of the media's obsession with Palin, who is technically a private citizen at the moment. Haven't they got anything else to write about?

Israel Matzav: Another lie about Sarah Palin exposed

Israel Matzav: When a parking lot is claimed to be a cemetery

When a parking lot is claimed to be a cemetery

I feel sorry for Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. What he doesn't tell you in this op-ed in the Los Angeles Times (probably out of fear that it would not sound particularly 'tolerant') is how he and the Center were 'jerked around' (for lack of a better term) for three years by an Israeli Supreme Court that was afraid to decide a political hot potato whose only possible fair resolution would cause the Muslims to seethe.

They don't want you to know the real facts. The museum is not being built on what can rightfully be called the Mamilla Cemetery, but on a three-acre site in the heart of West Jerusalem that, for more than half a century, served as the city's municipal car park. Each day, hundreds of people of all faiths parked in the three-level underground structure without any protest from Muslim religious or academic leaders or interest groups. Additionally, telephone and electrical cables and sewer lines were laid deep below ground in the early 1960s, again without any protest.

As the Supreme Court noted in its ruling, "for almost 50 years the compound has not been a part of the cemetery, both in the normative sense and in the practical sense, and it was used for various public purposes." It also noted: "During all those years no one raised any claim, on even one occasion, that the planning procedures violated the sanctity of the site, or that they were contrary to the law as a result of the historical and religious uniqueness of the site. . . . For decades this area was not regarded as a cemetery by the general public or by the Muslim community. . . . No one denied this position."

In fact, the entire area of the Mamilla Cemetery had long been regarded by Muslim religious leaders as mundras -- abandoned. A cemetery not in use for 37 years is considered mundras and without sanctity. That explains why in 1946 the most prominent Islamic religious figure of the day, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, presented plans to build a Muslim university on a large portion of the Mamilla Cemetery itself (a rendering of which we presented to the court). Today, the concept of mundras is widely accepted and practiced in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian territories and throughout the Arab world.

Though Judaism does not have a mundras concept, the Supreme Court noted in its decision that "despite the Jewish religious law prohibitions . . . to prevent the removal of graves or building on top of them, in practice, in cases where public needs required this, an agreed Jewish law solution has usually been found, and this allowed the building to be carried out in a way that minimized . . . the violation of the graves. . . . Jewish religious law also allows, as we have said, the removal of graves in a dignified manner. Balanced solutions of this kind were also proposed by the respondents [Simon Wiesenthal Center], and they even agreed to pay all the expenses involved in them."

Recent critics such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Americans for Peace Now and the Center for Constitutional Rights argue that the Museum of Tolerance should abide by a higher standard than the letter of the law. We do, as the above quote from the court confirms. When we first heard of protests against our plan, in January 2006, our lawyers attempted to meet with Salah but were rebuffed. Once a legal case was filed, the Supreme Court's mediator tried, but fared no better. We offered solutions to build without disturbing the bones -- also rejected. We offered to restore the neglected and virtually abandoned nearby Mamilla Cemetery -- not interested.
The court sent the case to arbitration time and time again. But you can only arbitrate when both sides are seeking a compromise - here, one side was willing to do anything to find a compromise (the Wiesenthal Center offered 'compromises' that made major changes in the museum and would have cost them a fortune), while the other side was not willing to budge at all, and sought only to kill the project (sounds like the 'peace process,' doesn't it?). When it was clear even to the court that the arbitration was going nowhere, the Wiesenthal Center had to beg the court to make a decision. And when the court finally decided, Sheikh Sallah's group (which is functionally a terror organization) pretended that the court had not decided and tried to force the Wiesenthal Center to start over again.

In the event, time and the economy severely constricted the project. Donors disappeared while the case dragged through the courts. The world-renowned architect - Frank Gehry - left the project. The economy went to pot. And the Wiesenthal Center was forced to downscale the project into a nice museum, but nowhere near the magnificent centerpiece for the rehabilitation of downtown Jerusalem that was originally planned. And all because a terror organization sought to stop a project that would benefit Jerusalemites and attract tourists to our city.

I hope they at least get to open the downscaled museum on the original site. It's a pity that they have spent so much money on lawyers' fees. A less financially capable or less committed party would have given up long ago.
Israel Matzav: When a parking lot is claimed to be a cemetery

Israel Matzav: It should be gaffetastic!

It should be gaffetastic!

Noted gaffemeister Joe Biden is due to visit Israel within a month. He will become the highest ranking administration official to visit since the Obama administration took office. Biden will attempt to convince the Israeli government to hold off on a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Of course, that's less important to the Obumbler than the 'peace talks' with the 'Palestinians.'

On Sunday, Biden told NBC's Meet the Press that the US has made 'significant progress' in addressing Iran's nuclear program. Yeah. Iran has made significant progress toward nuclear weapons and the US has made significant progress addressing them. Biden also claimed that the US has the support of everyone 'from Russia to Europe' on sanctions, and that he's sure that China will soon be on board. I'd say that he needs a geography lesson because of the 'from Russia to Europe comment, except that Europe isn't exactly on board either.

The European Parliament on Thursday strongly rejected a deal that would have allowed U.S. authorities access to European bank transfers - a vote the United States said disrupted an important source of information for anti-terror investigators.

EU lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, voted 378-196 against the deal with 31 abstentions. The parliament's president, Jerzy Buzek, said the assembly wants more safeguards for civil liberties and believes human rights has been compromised in the name of security.

While those bank transfer rules were designed to monitor money transfers by the likes of al-Qaeda, you can bet they would have monitored transfers to European countries by Iran too. But Europe said no.

What could go wrong?

Israel Matzav: It should be gaffetastic!

Israel Matzav: Russia to force military action on Iran?

Russia to force military action on Iran?

Prime Minister Netanyahu traveled to Russia on Sunday to, among other things, try to convince the Russians not to deliver S-300 anti-missile systems to Iran. The S-300 would make an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities much more complicated. But the Russians, who have seemed more flexible on sanctions lately, seem to be doing whatever they can to ensure that the sanctions won't work.

Netanyahu was expected to try to persuade Russian leaders to implement sanctions against Tehran, and to receive assurances that the Kremlin is committed to freeze its supply of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.

But Russia said Sunday that it saw no reason to stall on the sale.

"There is a signed contract (to supply S-300 missiles) which we must implement, but deliveries have not started yet," Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia's Security Council secretary, told Interfax news agency in an interview.

"This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because the talk is about deliveries of an exclusively defensive weapon," he said.

Nazarov also said a military strike on Iran would be a big mistake and that the problems linked to Iran's nuclear program must be resolved only by diplomatic means.

"Any military action against Iran will explode the situation, will have extremely negative consequnces for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran," he said.

Russia is believed to support sanctions targeting governmental bodies directly involved in Iran's nuclear program, but not those aimed at striking the country's economy as a whole.

Sanctions that only target 'governmental bodies directly involved in Iran's nuclear program' would be even more useless than Obama's sanctions that only target Iran's Revolutionary Guards. And any indication that Russia is going to deliver the S-300 to Iran would be an almost certain trigger for an Israeli strike, because an installed S-300 would make a strike much more complicated.

What could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Russia to force military action on Iran?

Israel Matzav: A different approach to civil discourse

A different approach to civil discourse

Maggie's Farm reports that Michael Oren appeared on the campus of the University of California at San Diego last week and the results were very different than what took place at the University of California at Irvine (Hat Tip: Powerline).

By contrast, Ambassador Oren appeared at the University of California campus at San Diego a few days later.

Thanks to the firm position taken by UCSD’s administration led by Chancellor Marye Ann Fox, this lecture was not a repeat of the unfortunate incident in UC Irvine on February 8th where the Israeli Ambassador’s speech was disrupted by a well-organized group of student protesters.

In sharp contrast, UCSD’s administration demonstrated resolve and determination to conduct a program in a peaceful and civilized manner and in the best traditions of the university’s commitment to freedom of speech and exchange of ideas. The presentation started with a strong statement from Peter Cowhey, Dean of the UC San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, that interruptions would not be tolerated during Ambassador Oren’s presentation and that members of the audience would have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation. The lecture proceeded smoothly…

Though the Q&A was dominated by pro-Palestinian students, “Ambassador Oren responded to each question with the knowledge of the accomplished historian that he is and with the wisdom of a true diplomat.”

The audience and the subject were treated with respect and benefited from civil discourse. University administrators or others who are willing to forfeit that freedom of speech and minimal manners themselves do not belong on campus.

You may recall that when I was at the Goldstone - Gold debate at Brandeis, students were threatened in advance that anyone who disrupted would be expelled. Here's how the one disruption was handled.

Students with signs are standing the front rows on the other side. They’re all dressed in black. I can’t see what the signs. Dore Gold addresses the interruption and says that the US fought a war seven years ago for freedom of speech and discussion.

What I didn't put in there was that the campus security went up to the protesters and told them to either sit down and shut up or they would be expelled from the university. They sat down quite quickly. At the end of the debate, most of the questions were hard questions for Goldstone.

All of which makes the title of the Maggie's Farm post quite apt: Where are the adults? It's a good question. Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: A different approach to civil discourse

Israel Matzav: Anti-corruption investigations, 'Palestinian' style

Anti-corruption investigations, 'Palestinian' style

'Palestinian' whistle blower Fahmi Shebaneh has threatened his former boss that he will expose more corruption in the 'Palestinian Authority' unless Abu Bluff appoints an independent commission of inquiry. Here's how Abu Bluff responds.

Former Palestinian General Intelligence Service chief Fahmi Shabana, who exposed the sex scandal and corruption within the high echelons of the Palestinian Authority, said to Ynet that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to suspend his office manager Rafik al-Husseini, who is implicated in the affair, is a step in the right direction.

However, he noted that the suspension and the commission of inquiry are not enough. "I expect the commission to be neutral and independent. However, one of its members, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad, is suspected of embezzeling $2 million together with his brother." Shabana added that he is awaiting the PA's response to his claims, according to which he will publish more findings on the issue.

By the way, am I the only one wondering where the 'uncorruptable' Salam Fayyad is in all this?

Israel Matzav: Anti-corruption investigations, 'Palestinian' style

Israel Matzav: Quiet cooperation on the Syrian front

Quiet cooperation on the Syrian front

There is quiet cooperation on the Syrian border between the village of Majdal Shams on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and the Syrian government. The Syrians have been providing 10% of the village's water.

Syria is supplying some 10% of the water to Druze village Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, according to a meeting between Deputy Minsister Ayoub Kara and a group of Druze residents of the Golan Heights who will soon leave for Syria for a round of meetings on the matter.

The water source is Ein al-Tuffah Spring, whose water has been reaching the village for some 25 years. The Druze delegation is slated to ask Syria to increase the water supply in order to increase output in their apple orchards. Kara said both sides have an economic interest in the deal, and it may lead to renewed peace talks.
I would not hold my breath waiting for it to lead to renewed peace talks. The Syrians regard the residents of Majdal Shams as Syrian and from their perspective they are helping Syrians whom they hope to return to the fold eventually. They would never make such a practical economic arrangement with Jooos.

Nice village, isn't it?

Israel Matzav: Quiet cooperation on the Syrian front

Israel Matzav: Israelis warned against some travel abroad

Israelis warned against some travel abroad

Israelis have been warned against traveling to certain countries abroad during the Passover holiday, particularly in countries where they might be threatened by Hezbullah terrorists who are still obsessed with avenging the death of Imad Mughniyah in Syria in 2008.

The Counterterrorism Bureau urges Israelis to avoid traveling to Arab states, including Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Jordan, and other high-risk countries like Pakistan, Cote D'Ivoire, Indonesia, Malaysia, Togo, Mali and Burkina Faso. Israelis residing in those countries are being asked to leave.

Israelis are also being advised to postpone unnecessary trips to other countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Tajikistan and Nigeria due to threats of possible attacks

Note that both Arab Muslim countries with which Israel has treaties are on the list.

Unfortunately, many Israelis won't listen. Warnings not to travel to Sinai are routine in this country, and they are routinely ignored.

What (God forbid) could go wrong?


Israel Matzav: Israelis warned against some travel abroad

Israel Matzav: Obama bows to the Muslim world again

Obama bows to the Muslim world again

President Obumbler bowed to the Muslim world again over the weekend, via video hookup to Qatar. Bad Rachel has the down and dirty (Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin). Here is the lowlight.

The United States is responsibly ending the war in Iraq; we are removing all our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of August, and we will partner with the Iraqi people on behalf of their long-term security and prosperity. In Afghanistan and beyond, we are forging partnerships to isolate violent extremists, reduce corruption and to promote good governance and development that improves lives. We remain unyielding in pursuit of a two-state solution that recognizes the rights and security of Israelis and Palestinians. And the United States will continue to stand for the human rights and dignity of people around the world.

The parallelism, excellent! We’ll pull out of Iraq, soon and responsibly (is there any other way?); also, we’ll close our eyes and click our heels together three times and wish upon a star over and over again until Israelis and Palestinians reach Peace; in return you, in Afghanistan and beyond, will become modern, woman-respecting democrats because of our forged partnerships (and a few troops? Oh, never mind them!). And, oh yeah, we’ll go on standing for human rights and dignity in . . . let’s see . . . okay, not Iran, not Burma, not China, not Honduras, not Cuba . . . but somewhere. We’ll let you know.

Entertaining, no? Read the whole thing.


Israel Matzav: Obama bows to the Muslim world again

Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad on why he doesn't need nukes

Ahmadinejad on why he doesn't need nukes

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on why he doesn't need nucular weapons.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country doe not near nuclear weapons and is capable of defending itself without them.

In an interview to Russian newspaper VIP, Ahmadinejad said there is no longer any use for nuclear weapons. "Did nuclear weapons stop the collapse of the USSR? Did nuclear weapons help the United States in Iraq or Afghanistan?" Regarding Israel, the president said that even with nuclear weapons, the Jewish state was unable to win the Second Lebanon War or succeed in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza.

Sounds like a confident little booger, doesn't he?


Israel Matzav: Ahmadinejad on why he doesn't need nukes

Love of the Land: Sanctions, shmanctions

Sanctions, shmanctions


Fresnozionism.org
14 February '10

News item:

Visiting U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen declared Sunday that Washington was committed to Israel’s security, voicing concern over the “unintended consequences” a war in the Middle East over Iran’s contentious nuclear program would bring.

“I worry a great deal about the unintended consequences of a strike,” he told reporters during a visit to Tel Aviv, referring to Iran’s threats to retaliate against Israel and U.S. sites in the Gulf. “I think the Iranians are very difficult to predict.”



Translation: he’s worried about Israel’s security so much that he really doesn’t want Israel to attack Iran. This makes little sense. Nobody is more aware than Israel of Iran’s ability to retaliate in many unpleasant ways, and so it’s very likely that it would not take that step unless there was absolutely no alternative. It would only attack if the consequences of not attacking were judged to be worse.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Sanctions, shmanctions

Love of the Land: Andrew Sullivan's 'pulverization of Gazans'

Andrew Sullivan's 'pulverization of Gazans'


Petra Marquardt-Bigman
The Warped Mirror/JPost
14 February '10

A bitter and protracted war of words has developed since Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, suggested in a recent article that some of the commentary of the popular Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan on Israel seemed to reflect "something much darker" than mere opposition to Israeli policies. Inevitably, the resulting debate in the blogosphere has once again fuelled the longstanding controversy about the question of if and when criticism of Israel can be described as anti-Semitic.

The complaint that critics of Israeli politics always risk being unfairly accused of anti-Semitism is rather common, not least because many people refuse to acknowledge that debates about the Jewish state and its policies are sometimes "heavily indebted to anti-Semitic tropes." Likewise, the glaring double standards that are routinely applied to Israel - summed up recently by Anthony Julius in a superb article in The Jewish Chronicle - are all too often ignored or denied.

Instead, it's rather popular to pretend that anti-Semitism has been frozen in time. Writing in defense of Sullivan, an Economist blogger urged:

We American Jews have simply got to stop accusing people who object to Israeli policies of being anti-Semitic, unless they're literally waving around drawings of hook-nosed bankers and arguing that Auschwitz never happened."



No doubt: if we built on this and came up with similar definitions for other cases of bigotry and racism, we would soon be able to declare that mankind is close to eradicating all such forms of prejudice. But somehow, I can't quite imagine that anyone would want to argue, for example, that accusations of racism against blacks are only justified if the perpetrator "literally" wears a Ku Klux Klan outfit and threatens a lynching...

(Read full article)

Love of the Land: Andrew Sullivan's 'pulverization of Gazans'

Love of the Land: The Voiceless Victims

The Voiceless Victims


Evelyn Gordon
Contentions/Commentary
14 February '10

In Friday’s post, I noted that due to their warped focus, Israeli human-rights organizations are increasingly leaving real victims voiceless. But the damage is incomparably greater when major international organizations do the same. To appreciate just how badly groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have betrayed those who need them most, everyone should read Nicholas Kristof’s devastating recent articles on Congo in the New York Times (see, for instance, here and here).

The civil war in Congo, Kristof writes, has claimed almost seven million lives over the last dozen years. It has also created a whole new vocabulary to describe the other horrific abuses it has generated – such as “autocannibalism,” which is when militiamen cut flesh from living victims and force the victims to eat it, or “re-rape,” which applies to women and girls who are raped anew every time militiamen visit their town.

Yet the world rarely hears about Congo — because groups such as Amnesty and HRW have left the victims largely voiceless, preferring instead to focus on far less serious abuses in developed countries, where gathering information is easier.


Video: FreeMiddleEast

Neither Amnesty nor HRW has issued a single press release or report on Congo so far this year, according to their web sites. Yet HRW found time to issue two statements criticizing Israel and 12 criticizing the U.S.; Amnesty issued 11 on Israel and 15 on the U.S. To its credit, HRW did cover Congo fairly extensively in 2009. But Amnesty’s imbalance was egregious: For all of 2009, its web site lists exactly one statement on Congo — even as the group found time and energy to issue 62 statements critical of Israel.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: The Voiceless Victims

Love of the Land: Countering Canadian Campus Media Bias Against Israel

Countering Canadian Campus Media Bias Against Israel


Mike Fegelman
Honest Reporting Canada
12 February '10

On March 1, Canadian university and college campuses will host the anti-Israel week odiously known as Israel Apartheid Week (IAW).

IAW leave Jews and pro-Israel supporters on campus feeling isolated and intimidated, all while demonizing Israel and fuelling anti-Semitic animus. As a possible precursor to these festivities, it's already been reported that two Jewish students at Toronto's York University were assaulted on February 1 during a pro-Israel activity. A matter which is now being investigated by the school's administration. In the U.S., eleven people were arrested at the University of California, Irvine on February 8, as Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, was repeatedly interrupted during his address to the school.

HonestReporting Canada will be keeping a close eye on Canadian campus media to ensure that Israel is fairly and accurately represented before and after IAW.

In our most recent communique, we alerted you to a CKUT radio program called "Under the Olive Tree," a self-described "Canada-wide Palestinian community radio show" based in Montreal at McGill University, which lent credence to bizarre claims of Israeli culpability for the notorious 2004 Iraqi prisoner abuse atrocities at Abu Ghraib.

(Read full communique)

Love of the Land: Countering Canadian Campus Media Bias Against Israel

Love of the Land: Turmoil in The IBA, Israel Broadcasting Authority

Turmoil in The IBA, Israel Broadcasting Authority


Batya Medad
Shilo Musings
15 February '10

Ironically No real surprise that contrary to Prime Minister Binyamin's talk, pledges, promises that hasbara, information, public relations for the good name of the State of Israel is one of his great priorities, it's davka his government which is planning the end of the IBA, Israel Broadcasting Authority including Israel's very professional English-language news broadcasts.

Yesterday's IBA Television newscast began with a plea by veteran editor, journalist and broadcaster Steve Leibowitz asking viewers to protest the demise of the station. This isn't the first time that Israel's foolish, short-sighted politicians have tried to close down the English news. But this time, it's more than just that. The entire broadcasting authority, including the Kol Yisrael, Voice of Israel radio is in danger.

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Turmoil in The IBA, Israel Broadcasting Authority

Love of the Land: CAMERA Responds to Galloway Coverage in Boston Paper

CAMERA Responds to Galloway Coverage in Boston Paper


Dexter Van Zile
CAMERA Media Analysis
12 February '10

George Galloway appeared in Boston on Feb. 1, 2009 to raise money for his group Viva Palestina. Boston radio personality Michael Graham covered his impending appearance during his show earlier in the day, but most of the local media ignored Galloway’s speech despite his role as an apologist for murderers and dictators in the Middle East.

Galloway spoke at the Palestinian Cultural Center for Peace in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston. Prior to its incarnation as a mosque and a Palestinian cultural center, the building was owned by a congregation of Brazilian Protestants, and before that, a congregation of the United Church of Christ.

One local newspaper, The Allston-Brighton Tab, did cover the event.

Unfortunately, the coverage left out a few important details about Galloway’s career and his group, Viva Palestina. For example, the article failed to report that an Egyptian border guard was shot dead by a Hamas terrorist during a disturbance that erupted when Galloway’s caravan reached the Egyptian-Gaza border in early January. The article merely stated that “Fifty people were injured” as a result of the disturbance.

(Read full article)

For those who are not familiar with George Galloway "Peace Activist", I've added this Youtube in order that you can become acquainted. Y.




Love of the Land: CAMERA Responds to Galloway Coverage in Boston Paper

Love of the Land: Goldstoned

Goldstoned


David Hazony
Contentions/Commentary
14 February '10

One of the big questions surrounding the Goldstone report is whether the Israeli government made a mistake by refusing to cooperate with the mission. It was, admittedly, a serious gamble: If Goldstone’s “fact-finding” commission were in any way sincere in its efforts to present a balanced view, Israel would be giving up on a real opportunity to make its case to the world; on the other hand, if the commission had already decided from the outset to blast Israel and accuse it of atrocities, then to cooperate with the commission would have been to grant it a legitimacy it might not otherwise have had.

Part of an answer came in recent weeks from the mouth of none other than Desmond Travers, a retired Irish army colonel who was one of the commission’s members (h/t, JCPA and Haaretz). In an interview with the Middle East Monitor, Travers unleashes a pile of telling quotes. First, he points out that “the number of rockets that had been fired into Israel in the month preceding their operations was something like two.” For this reason, he “reject[s]… entirely” Israel’s excuse for the whole operation, since Hamas had anyway stopped terrorizing. This statement, blithely ignoring the thousands of rockets Israelis endured in the years leading up to the operation, or the fact that Hamas continued shooting rockets at Israeli civilians despite many warnings and more limited retaliations, is infuriating to anyone who watched as Israelis in Sederot and other communities suffered repeated barrages, and should alone be enough to call Travers’s objectivity, or at least his judgment, into question.

Second, he dismisses Israel’s claims that Hamas hid its missile stockpiles in Gaza mosques as “spurious.” What about the photographs? “Unless they can give me absolute forensic proof, I do not believe the photographs.” Well, we do have to wonder: If incriminating photos of missile stockpiles do not meet the threshold of “facts” that the commission was meant to find, why the head-spinning gullibility in repeating all those accusations of Israeli war crimes, which were almost entirely based on unverified hearsay?

(Read full post)


Love of the Land: Goldstoned

Love of the Land: The U.S. Military Looks at the Middle East: Bows to the White House But Knows Its Mission, Too

The U.S. Military Looks at the Middle East: Bows to the White House But Knows Its Mission, Too


Barry Rubin
The Rubin Report
14 February '10

The Department of Defense has just released its new Quadrennial Defense Review Report for 2010. What does it say about the Middle East? Far less than you’d expect in terms of space but still some extremely important points about what might involve the United States in future wars there.

Aside from some scattered references on the need for more civilian nation-building experts, funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and energy conservation efforts (that's an area, no doubt, where money could be saved), that region takes up less than two pages, about two percent, of the 97-page report.

In comparison, about one-quarter of the four-page note from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, attached to the report, spends 25 percent on the region and sounds far more sensible.

I read this gap as suggesting that the uniformed military (which prepared the admiral's note) is concerned about Iran and terrorist groups but that the text’s main body, by the secretary of defense and designed to please the White House, puts more emphasis on climate change, green energy, and the use of the military as a community-organizing type force to make civilians in places like Afghanistan more friendly to the United States.

But there are significant points of interests in both sections. Let’s start with the report itself which basically makes three points.

(Read full article)


Love of the Land: The U.S. Military Looks at the Middle East: Bows to the White House But Knows Its Mission, Too

Elder of Ziyon: Israeli tool to remove pomegranate seeds wins award

Elder of Ziyon: Israeli tool to remove pomegranate seeds wins award

Elder of Ziyon: Score one for the anti-Valentine's Day Muslims

Elder of Ziyon: Score one for the anti-Valentine's Day Muslims

Elder of Ziyon: Two US congressmen in Gaza. Or at least one.

Elder of Ziyon: Two US congressmen in Gaza. Or at least one.

Elder of Ziyon: What did Hillary Clinton say in Qatar?

Elder of Ziyon: What did Hillary Clinton say in Qatar?

Elder of Ziyon: PA official says he was framed in sex scandal

Elder of Ziyon: PA official says he was framed in sex scandal

Arrest Me if You Dare

Arrest Me if You Dare

The London Times speculates that Tzippi Livni is mulling a trip to the UK to provoke her arrest on war crimes charges.

How long would she sit in the clinker - a day? 6 hours? Her popularity would go stratospheric (due disclosure: I voted for her), the UK leaders presiding over the war in Aghanistan in which civilians are tragically being killed would be shamed to change their silly rules, Netanyahu would be forced to praise her (hee hee), and she'd still be home before Shabbat.
Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations

A Lethal Obsession

A Lethal Obsession

Robert Wistrich is the archetype of the scholar. He speaks English with an Oxford accent, Hebrew like a Sabra, German like a yekke, and his French and Russian sound to me fully convincing. He probably speaks some additional languages, too. He has read any book or article relevant to his field, and the field is rather broad. He has written something like 20 books.

His newest book,A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad just came out last month. It's more than a thousand pages long. The other day I saw a copy, and you wouldn't wish it to fall on your toe.

In spite of the title, it apparently focuses not on the longevity of Jew hatred, but on its post-Holocaust vitality. Anyone who wishes to speak with authority on this topic, must read the book, even though it will take a bit of effort. That's how one acquires authority: by working at it.

If you'd like to know about the thesis without the major effort, here's a fine review by Jeffrey Herf. (h/t Silke)

When Hitler made his famous threat to exterminate Europe’s Jews in 1939, many Western political observers did not believe he meant what he said. It was too incredible and without precedent. No political leader before had so bluntly and publicly announced his intention to engage in mass murder. And so the disgust that greeted Hitler was mixed with disbelief. But the leaders of our own time do not have the excuse of incredulity. As much as any historian can, Robert Wistrich has documented the fact that radical anti-Semitism is in earnest, that its geographic and cultural center of gravity has shifted, and that it has again become a factor in world politics. The advocates of this disgusting doctrine have the power from which to make good on their threats.

Originally posted by Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations


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