Friday, May 27, 2016

A House of Prayer for All Peoples? Open the Temple Mount (Even to Jews)!

...Instead of doing the right thing in regards the Temple Mount, which is to say democratize it, successive Israeli governments prefer to bow to the irrational demands of their tormentors. Instead of standing up for its own alleged values, Israel allows Muslim bigots to decide who may, or who may not, be allowed to pray on a bit of land within the ancient capital of the Jewish people.

MK Yehuda Glick
Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
26 May '16..

Temple Mount activist, Yehuda Glick, was elected to the Knesset and already there are concerns about World War III.

Glick got shot up and almost murdered in 2014 for the temerity to suggest that non-Muslims - even Jews - should be allowed to pray at the holiest site of the Jewish people.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Marissa Newman tells us:

Although Israel has repeatedly reassured the Palestinians and Arab states that it will not alter the status quo at the flashpoint site, Glick is confident he will find allies in the Knesset to support his cause.

And asked whether he would tone down his lobbying if asked to do so for security reasons, he said there would be “no reasoning” behind such a request and maintained: “I will continue advocating.”

I think that I am going to call the guy up and thank him for his bravery and essential human decency.

If there is one issue that genuinely pisses me off it is Israeli policy concerning the Temple Mount. How is it possible that someone like Moshe Dayan could be so naive as to think that handing over the holiest site of the Jewish people to Arabs would somehow placate them?

It did the exact opposite as should have been entirely predictable.

Instead of being grateful to the Jewish people for their generosity, the Arabs use the Temple Mount as a club and Israel allows this despite the fact that it need not do so.

They have even made it a rule that no member of the Knesset shall be allowed to go up there.

I do not know what to say. The stupidity is just breathtaking.

By preventing non-Muslims from praying on the Temple Mount Israel sends a message to the world that Jerusalem is not really a Jewish town. Maintaining the "status quo" is the same as maintaining the idea that Jerusalem actually belongs to the Arabs and, therefore, Jews are nothing more than land thieves.

This is the kind of help that Israel doesn’t need - Jonathan Tobin

...All of which proves that the good intentions of the worthy people sponsoring this “new” peace initiative are as worthless as the promises Arafat made to Rabin when the IPF first went into business. This is the kind of help that Israel doesn’t need.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 May '16..

When it comes to reinventing the wheel, some people just never tire of the exercise. That’s the only way to view a new Middle East peace initiative that its sponsors are touting as the proposal that the world has been waiting for that will finally solve the problem that has resisted every previous initiative. But in this case, the solution isn’t coming from unfriendly outsiders like the European Union, the United Nations, or even the Obama administration. It’s a group of American Jews who not only believe they are acting in the best interests of Israel but are pushing their ideas forward in cooperation with an organization of retired Israeli military and security officials as well as a Washington security think tank. Buoyed by the bad press that the current Israeli government has been getting, these people think now is just the moment to push forward a peace plan that will help prepare the way for change despite the opposition of the elected leaders of the Jewish state.

But even if we were to concede that their motives are pure, what they are doing is not only a waste of time, it is also actually counter-productive.

The group in question is the Israel Policy Forum, an organization supported and staffed by people with records of support for the Jewish state but which has been out of the news for a long time. Created at the behest of the late Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, the IPF’s original intent was to serve as a counterweight to AIPAC because the prime minister thought it was insufficiently enthusiastic about the Oslo Accords. Supported by heavyweight American Jewish donors, the group had a big initial splash, but its backers didn’t have the stomach to compete with the umbrella pro-Israel lobby. It was also soon outpaced by events as the Oslo process unraveled and was ultimately discredited in the eyes of the Israeli public by the deceit of Yasir Arafat and the horror of the Palestinian terrorism that he unleashed in the years that followed.

Since then, the IPF has been eclipsed among liberals by J Street, a group that didn’t shrink from seeking to support the Obama administration’s policy of pressure and more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel as well as backing an Iranian nuclear deal that was opposed by Israelis across the political spectrum from left to right. Indeed, for many on the Jewish left here even J Street isn’t radical enough since it still puts itself forward as a “pro-Israel” group and opposes the BDS movement that aims at waging economic war on the Jewish state even as it supports those who practice more selective boycotts. But the IPF has just gotten fresh blood in the form of faithful Obama loyalist, apologist and funder Alan Solow and other liberal big shots. Yet though this effort is aimed at a more mainstream audience, the IPF initiative is based on the same bogus notion that Israel needs to be saved from itself and forced to make concessions to the Palestinians in order to preserve it as a Jewish state.

Plunging into irrationalism, singling out Israel as world’s only violator of health rights

...With today’s vote, which robs the world health assembly of limited time and resources in order to portray Israel as the world’s only violator of health rights—when in fact Israel is the beacon of the entire region on promoting and respecting the health rights of all people—the entire EU now descends into irrationalism. By scapegoating the Jewish state for all the world’s health problems, just as medieval Europe once accused the Jews of poisoning the wells, the EU aids and abets the UN and its World Health Organization to betray the cause of humanity and the very principles upon which they were founded.

UN Watch Briefing..
Vol. 591..
25 May '16..

GENEVA, May 25 — The UK, France, Germany and other EU states voted today for a UN resolution, co-sponsored by the Arab group of states and the Palestinian delegation, that singled out Israel at the annual assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) as the only violator of “mental, physical and environmental health,” and commissioned a WHO delegation to investigate and report on “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory” and in “the occupied Syrian Golan,” and to place it on the agenda again at next year’s meeting.

By contrast, the UN assembly did not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor did it pass a resolution on any other country in the world. Out of 24 items on the meeting’s agenda, only one, Item No. 19 against Israel, focused on a specific country.

“The UN reached new heights of absurdity today,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “by enacting a resolution which accuses Israel of violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan, even as in reality Israeli hospitals continue their life-saving treatment for Syrians fleeing to the Golan from the Assad regime’s barbaric attacks.”

(Read Full Briefing)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hypocrisy, Demagoguery and the Lie of "Disproportionality" - by Fred Maroun

...By making an accusation of disproportionality without defining the meaning of the term, Bernie Sanders and Haaretz betrayed not only the Palestinians and the Israelis, but also their professions. They made false and unsubstantiated accusations while ignoring the thousands more deaths that the Palestinians are inflicting on their own people -- by training toddlers and children for war, using their own people as human shields and failing to provide shelters for them, as the Israelis do for their citizens.

Fred Maroun..
Gatestone Institute..
26 May '16..

As a fourth Gaza war looms on the horizon, we should be aware of the hypocrisy and demagoguery of past Gaza wars: because we are likely to see more of the same.

The Accusation

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a candidate in the Democratic primaries for president, claimed that Israel's response in the 2014 Gaza war was "disproportionate," and Haaretz columnist Asher Schechter agreed. Yet neither Sanders nor Haaretz provided evidence to back that claim.

Schechter made one point worth mentioning: the claim of "extremely permissive rules of engagement during the operation that aimed to protect the lives of IDF soldiers even if the cost was a greater loss of civilian lives." If true, it simply means that IDF soldiers, as all soldiers, have to make split-second decisions, and when they do so in a situation when confronted with Palestinians who appear to be terrorists, they err on the side of assuming they are terrorists in order to protect their own lives. That is not unexpected, and Israel has no obligation to do otherwise.

Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values the civilian lives of the people it is fighting. No other military force drops leaflets, telephones its adversaries and "knocks on the roof" to warn them of an imminent attack, so that civilians will have time to evacuate. Israel values the lives of Palestinian civilians, but naturally, it values the lives of its own soldiers more. Israel has repeatedly demonstrated how much it values its soldiers, for example when it freed more than one thousand Palestinian criminals. Why would anyone expect Israel to suddenly to value its soldiers less when forced to fight terrorism in Gaza?

What is disgraceful is not that Israel cares about its soldiers, most of whom have families at home -- in many cases dependent on them for their livelihood. What would morale in any military be if soldiers felt they were merely regarded as cannon-fodder, not cared about?

What is disgraceful is that the Palestinian government in Gaza cares less about the lives of its own civilians, who themselves have families, than about killing Jews.

(Continue to Full Post)

Fred Maroun, a left-leaning Arab based in Canada, has authored op-eds for New Canadian Media, among other outlets. From 1961-1984, he lived in Lebanon.

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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Israel and a Reuters bureau chief who is neither impartial nor possessed of the requisite integrity

..."Luke Baker has failed his employers at Reuters, the journalists he has served as head of the FPA, and the millions of readers around the world who rely on his work for fair and accurate news about Israel: the very country that Baker so strongly and openly disdains. Reuters deserves better, the community of professional journalists deserve better, news audiences deserve better. And yes, Israel deserves better too.

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
25 May '16..

Luke Baker, a man who openly expresses disdain and dislike for Israel is the Jerusalem bureau chief of Reuters, one of the world’s largest news services. He is also the outgoing chairperson of Israel’s Foreign Press Association (FPA).

Baker’s behavior on Twitter has given a window into his personal views, and those views are not at all impartial when it comes to Israel.

On the contrary, Baker’s tweets have been mocking, sarcastic, negative, and dismissive with regard to Israel and only with regard to Israel. Based on HonestReporting’s research, Baker has rarely, if ever, demonstrated such behavior or views toward Palestinians or toward any other party in the world.

Is this even allowed?

No.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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When Christian organizations gamble with Jewish safety in secret - by Dexter Van Zile

If these church institutions had said, “Yes, we know the Iranian regime is profoundly hostile to Jews and Israel, but we still think this deal is a risk worth taking,” then fine. But instead of promoting an honest assessment of the risks and rewards of negotiating with Iran, these church institutions, under FCNL’s leadership, made such an analysis more difficult. If Christian leaders are going to roll the dice with Jewish lives and safety, let them do so out in the open, not in secret. And if they can’t do it out in the open, then let them not do it at all.

Obama administration official
Ben Rhodes
Dexter Van Zile..
JNS.org..
22 May '16..

Earlier this month, Ben Rhodes, a national security official in the Obama administration, admitted in a New York Times profile that he used non-governmental groups to create an “echo chamber” to garner cover for the nuclear deal with Iran. Rhodes stated that his efforts to manipulate media coverage of the deal were made easier by the youth and ignorance of journalists who cover foreign policy.

The implications are appalling. The whole point of having a free (and competent) press is to give the American people the information they need to exercise oversight over their elected (and non-elected) officials. It is one of the essential tools of American self-governance.

Journalists are not the only people who were implicated as a result of Ben Rhodes’s stunning admission. Christian churches and para-church organizations were an important part of the echo chamber that Rhodes created.

Christian organizations such as the National Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Mennonite Central Committee repeated, relayed, and affirmed messages that came out of the echo chamber to their supporters. By behaving in such a manner, these institutions did harm to the civil society in which they operate and to their own reputations.

(Continue to Full Post)

Related articles:

Ben Rhodes’ Echo Chamber on Iran Had Many Supporters and A Guide to the Perplexed: Ploughshares and the Iran Deal Echo Chamber

Dexter Van Zile is a Christian media analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). His opinions are his own.


Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

About That ‘Rigorous Neutrality’?: Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate’s Nasser Abu Baker Moonlights For AFP

...Does AFP believe that a journalist who freely dispenses accusations of Israeli Nazi-like crimes and ISIS practices shares the agency’s core value of “accurate, truthful news”? Perhaps AFP officials fear were they to discontinue working with Abu Baker, the agency’s access in Ramallah and the rest of the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank would be jeopardized. After all, once the PJS decided to boycott Israeli journalists, it became very difficult for them to continue working in Palestinian controlled areas, and many simply stopped. Is AFP fearful of the same fate as their Israeli colleagues?



Nasser Abu Baker, wearing a Palestinian
Authority military uniform
(Source Facebook, Jan. 31, 2016)
Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
24 May '16..

"Objectivity is a difficult goal to achieve. The mere unavoidable organisation of facts can influence a reader’s judgement. However, this does not prevent us from pursuing our policy of rigorous neutrality. According to its remit, AFP is independent of the French government and all other economic or political interests.” So state the lofty principles enshrined in “Agence France Presse’s Values.”

How, then, does one explain the fact that Nasser Abu Baker, the chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, the leading force for the boycott of Israeli journalists and media, also writes for the influential French news agency?

(Continue to Full Article)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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An almost unanimous agreement concerning Pal Arab kleptocrats and the devastation they wreak

...Very rarely, images do emerge of the armed security men - many thousands of them, in at least eight different official organizations - who keep the PA elite safe from their disenfranchised citizens. Sure, AP reporters can and do write (mildly) about this sort of thing, as we have just seen. And from time to time they can also remind the world that the Palestinian Arabs are not only exploited but their own power circles, but can do next to nothing about it since those same power circles have no interest in allowing them to exercise their democratic right to vote in elections. It's good to see those things written and said occasionally because they are true and meaningful.

Luxury and privilege in Ramallah's so-called "diplomatic compound",
 reserved for PA insiders. The AP caption reads: "The 
gated
community of villas with well-tended flower gardens... may help 

explain why Palestinians almost universally believe there is 
corruption in the government of President Mahmoud 
Abbas. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)"
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
25 May '16..

One of the open-secrets about the seemingly-never-ending nature of violent Palestinian Arab hatred of Israel, Israelis and Jews is the sustaining role played by money and power.

That's one of the reasons we mention often how the Palestinian Arabs live in a society ruled by kleptocrats - those aggressive and powerful Abbas/Arafat regime insiders whose well-being and wealth depend on keeping the flames of hatred going and their fellow-citizens under their heels.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Associated Press syndicated a somewhat rare look at what the ordinary folk think of their Palestinian Authority overlords, and how that translates into action.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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(PMW Video) Glorifying terrorists and terror

...Official PA TV reporter: "Martyr Bashar Masalha, 22, ascended to Heaven in Jaffa on March 8 [2016] (i.e., he was shot after killing US tourist)... He returned and was embraced by the soil of his homeland as a Martyr."

Palestinian Media Watch..
24 May '16..

Terrorist murderer of US tourist glorified as “Martyr” 11 times on official PA TV



Official PA TV newsreader: "In Qalqilya, hundreds of citizens accompanied the body of Martyr Bashar Masalha [to his burial]..."

Official PA TV reporter: "After delays by Israel in the transfer of his body, Martyr Bashar Masalha’s family, from the village of Hajja, east of Qalqilya, received their son in the evening... The Martyr Bashar returned from Qalqilya to his village Hajja in a procession... His family, friends, and people of the region took it upon themselves to ensure that this [burial] would be a large national wedding (i.e., to the 72 Virgins in Paradise) befitting of Martyrs... The Martyr was accompanied to his last resting place in the cemetery for Martyrs in Hajja..."
Official Palestinian Authority TV May 21, 2016




Funeral participant: "Despite the delays by the Israeli side transferring the Martyr’s body… the PA did everything it could and applied national and political pressure to the other side so they would transfer the Martyr’s body. Despite what they (i.e., the Israelis) did, the Palestinian will prevailed and we received the Martyr’s body..."

Official PA TV reporter: "Martyr Bashar Masalha, 22, ascended to Heaven in Jaffa on March 8 [2016] (i.e., he was shot after killing US tourist)... He returned and was embraced by the soil of his homeland as a Martyr."

Bashar Masalha – 22-year-old Palestinian terrorist who carried out a stabbing attack, murdering Taylor Force, an American tourist, and injuring 11, in Tel Aviv-Jaffa on March 8, 2016. Masalha was shot and killed by Israeli police.

A Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise, in Islam.

Click here for full PMW Bulletin, Official PA media glorifies murderer of US tourist, Taylor Force

Link: http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=458&fld_id=458&doc_id=18017

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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It Would Seem, the Party’s Over for Pro-Israel Dems - by Jonathan Tobin

...It is one thing to be “pro-Israel and pro-peace” as J Street claims to be or even to assert that appeasement of Iran is in Israel’s interests. But it is quite another to have prominent Israel-bashers and BDS advocates among those in charge of declaring where the party stands on important issues. The Democrats have ceased to be a pro-Israel party and become one where Israel-haters are not only welcomed but given honor and power. If they are honest, pro-Israel Democrats must understand that they are on their way out in their old political home. Anyone who doesn’t understand that’s one of the clear outcomes of the 2016 campaign is in a state of denial.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
25 May '16..

The names of those chosen to be on the Democratic Party platform committee were announced yesterday, and the headlines were about Bernie Sanders getting his due. Sanders was able to name five of the 15 members of the committee with Hillary Clinton getting six and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz naming four. The group will have plenty to argue about as they decide just how far to the left they will tilt as Democrats prepare for the general election. But it is also painfully obvious that one of the clear points of disagreement will be about Israel and the Palestinians. Three of Sanders’ picks are outspoken opponents of Israel. While there are some clear supporters of the Jewish state among the others chosen, there are also others who are deeply critical of Israel. It is not clear that such a group can possibly arrive at a consensus and avoid a painful floor fight about how “even handed” Democrats will claim to be about the Middle East conflict, we do know one thing, any pretense of this being a pro-Israel party is now officially exploded.

The reports that the Sanders camp is planning on making demands that the platform move away from the unambiguously pro-Israel document it has put forward at past conventions were confirmed when we learned the names of the committee members his campaign selected. They include: Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim in Congress and a fierce critic of Israel though he does have good relations with Minnesota’s Jewish community; James Zogby, president of the Arab-American Institute and someone who has fought for many years to distance the Democrats from the Jewish state; and academic Cornel West, an advocate for the BDS — boycott, divest, sanction — movement that advocates for economic war on Israel in order to isolate and ultimately destroy it.

Among Clinton’s picks was Neera Tanden, head of the Center for American Progress think tank, who is not an opponent of Israel per se but a fierce critic of the Netanyahu government, even if her group did allow the prime minister to speak at one of their events.

Wasserman Schultz chose the committee chair Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland as well as Representatives Howard Berman of California, both of whom are generally considered strong friends of Israel and Jewish philanthropist Bonnie Schaefer. But she also chose Rep. Barbara Lee of Texas who joined those ganging up against Israel during the time of the 2008 conflict with Hamas. As JTA noted, the left-wing J STREET lobby has endorsed all five of the members of the House that are on this committee.

It would be wrong to prejudge what they will produce but suffice it to say with such a group no one should expect their work to say anything about Jerusalem being Israel’s capital or to note that Israel has already taken risks for peace and been repeatedly rejected.

At best, such a committee will give the country a platform plank that will be, as Sanders intends, one that puts democratic Israel on the same moral plane as the terror-supporting Fatah kleptocrats of the Palestinian Authority and the Islamists of Hamas who make no secret of their desire to eliminate the Jewish state and to commit genocide against its people. Democrats will spin it as an approach that is pro-peace and recognizes Israel’s right to exist alongside a Palestinian state, but it will almost certainly disingenuously label Israel as being as much to blame for the conflict as the terrorists seeking to destroy it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Another knife-wielding Pal Arab teenage girl, another pointless, terror-driven death - by Arnold Roth

...It's simply their culture, and a matter about which, when the subject comes up, they are proud. The rest of us, at least some of us, can't shake from our minds the thought of a society living among us and right next to us that literally weaponizes its children, hijacking their education and wiping thoughts of a better future from their young brains, replacing them with a diabolical vision of the redemptive power of martyrdom.

Dead Pal Arab children are the logical culmination of a process that 
starts in their schools and homes. Scene from the wildly successful
Pal Arab video "Birds of Paradise" [Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 May '16..

Monday afternoon and the pattern of Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks appears to be in one of its quieter phases. But it's a deceptive quiet.

On Jerusalem's northern edge, where the Arab villages of Biddu and Beit Iksa meet the security barrier, a woman approaches a security checkpoint. Police of the Mishmar Hagvul (Border Guard) watch her warily and when she pulls a knife out of some hidden recess and brandishes it at them, they are probably thinking back - fast - to the training which seeks to prepare them for attacks of this sort.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter.
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(Part II) Adjusting the Moral Compass - by Vic Rosenthal

A Palestinian terrorist who tried to murder a Jew ended up dead. It’s war. Stuff happens in war. Get over it.


Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
24 May '16..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2016/05/adjusting-the-moral-compass-part-ii/

…European universalist ethics no longer promotes the survival of cultures that espouse it in the environment that is present-day Europe. We certainly see in present-day Europe all of the above responses to this pressure: adaptation, migration and cultural failure. – Part I

This is even more true for Israel. A nation-state whose moral code is based on the idea that all men are brothers will not survive in the Middle East. It needs to operate according to more tribalistic moral principles, in which the welfare of its own culture and people are given priority over others.

What are the practical implications of such a change to our moral principles?

The case of Elor Azaria provides a starting point. Azaria shot dead an already ‘neutralized’ Palestinian terrorist. This was a violation of standing orders as expressed in the IDFs code of ethics, which explicitly forbids harming prisoners of war.

In his defense Azaria argued that he believed the terrorist may have been wearing a suicide vest. But the military prosecutor, the Defense Minister and other officials apparently did not believe him.

When he was indicted for manslaughter, there were large demonstrations in various parts of the country calling for him to be freed. I suspect that many of the participants didn’t believe him either, but nevertheless they felt strongly that he was not guilty of a crime in any event. I believe they were thinking something like this:

Here is a 19 year-old soldier whom we have entrusted with protecting us, and whose job makes him a target at all times, even when he’s waiting for a bus. We send him into combat in places like Gaza or Lebanon where our tactics of doing everything possible to avoid civilian casualties put him at great risk of becoming a casualty himself.

Palestinian terrorists have been murdering Jews on our streets at random, and this one has just stabbed and tried to murder his fellow soldier. The terrorist will receive medical treatment and be incarcerated in a safe and relatively comfortable prison with other terrorists, until he is released in exchange for a hostage or because the PLO has told the American president that freeing terrorists will lead to ‘peace’ negotiations.

Meanwhile, our soldiers will continue to be targets and have to operate among restrictions designed to protect terrorists.

Perhaps Azaria violated orders. But in a larger sense, what he did was not wrong. The position we place our soldiers in is wrong.

This is a perfect example of the tension between the concern for the ‘other’ – in this case a deadly enemy – that is built into what I called ‘European universalist morality’, and our own need to protect ourselves. There are several asymmetries here: Palestinian terrorists are not bound to obey rules protecting civilians or prisoners; indeed, they prefer soft targets when possible. When they are caught they are treated well and often released to continue their activities. They act according to a genocidal ideology in which every Jew is a target for murder, while our soldiers are required to behave like policemen and ‘detain’ a ‘suspect’ who has ‘rights’ that must be protected.

In this case, not only was the shooter, Azaria, charged with a crime, but several IDF officers at the scene were reprimanded for failing to provide prompt medical care for the wounded terrorist.

Pitting Israel’s faith in democracy against the views of its military brass - by Bret Stephens

...The idea of a military coup in today’s Israel is preposterous. But it says something about the arrogance of Mr. Bergman and his military sources that they should think of themselves as impartial guardians of the national interest—as they see it—or that they should so brazenly dismiss the ideological, religious or electoral considerations that are the stuff of democracy. It was Israel’s security establishment, led by talented former officers such as Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, that led Israelis down the bloody cul-de-sac formerly called the peace process. If their views are no longer regarded as sacrosanct, it’s a sign of Israel’s political maturity, not decline.


Bret Stephens..
Wall Street Journal..
22 May '16..

Netanyahu Against the Generals

In 2012 a former New York Times reporter named Patrick Tyler published an invidious book called “Fortress Israel,” the point of which was that the Jewish state is a modern-day Sparta whose “sabra military elite” is addicted to war.

“Six decades after its founding,” Mr. Tyler wrote, Israel “remains in thrall to an original martial impulse, the depth of which has given rise to succeeding generations of leaders who are stunted in their capacity to wield or sustain diplomacy as a rival to military strategy.” Worse, these leaders do this “reflexively and instinctively, in order to perpetuate a system of governance where national policy is dominated by the military.”

Israel’s reflexive militarists are at it again, though probably not as Mr. Tyler imagined. Last week, Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff and a member of the ruling Likud party, resigned as defense minister following ructions regarding the appropriate role of the military in political life. In his place, the prime minister intends to appoint Avigdor Lieberman, a right-wing political brawler whose military career never went higher than corporal rank.

The spat between the prime minister and Mr. Ya’alon began in late March, after an Israeli soldier named Elor Azariah shot and killed a Palestinian man who was lying wounded and motionless on the ground after trying to stab another soldier. Sgt. Azariah is now standing trial for manslaughter and faces up to 20 years in prison. Video of the killing suggests the wounded Palestinian was no threat to the soldiers when the sergeant put a bullet in his head.

The killing has been emphatically—and rightly—condemned by Israel’s military brass. But Israelis also have little sympathy for Palestinians trying to stick knives into their sons and daughters, and Messrs. Netanyahu and Lieberman have offered expressions of support for Sgt. Azariah and his family, to the applause of the Israeli right and the infuriation of senior generals. As often as not in Israel, military leaders and security officials are to the left of the public and their civilian leadership.

If that were the end of the story, you might have a morality tale about Mr. Netanyahu’s political instincts. Or you might have a story about the high ethical standards to which Israel holds itself. What you don’t have is anything resembling a mindlessly belligerent “sabra military elite” that wants to kill helpless (though not innocent) Palestinians to protect its own.

But that isn’t the end of the story. At a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day earlier this month, Yair Golan, Israel’s deputy chief of staff, compared trends in Israeli society to Germany in the 1930s. When Mr. Netanyahu rebuked him—correctly—for defaming Israel and cheapening the memory of the Holocaust, Mr. Ya’alon leapt to the general’s defense and told officers that they should feel free to speak their minds in public. Hence his ouster.

What BBC audiences aren’t told, but should be told about the UNHRC - by Hadar Sela

...information which BBC audiences obviously need to know in order to be able to put statements such as the one ... from Bryant into their correct context and its inclusion in the BBC’s profile of the UN would be a good place to start.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
24 May '16..

Readers may recall that in February 2016 the BBC’s UN correspondent Nick Bryant told listeners to BBC World Service radio that:

“The Israelis always believe that they are victimized at the UN; that they are singled out unfairly; that they are isolated…”

Bryant did not however provide BBC audiences with any relevant factual information which would enable them to understand the reality behind his portrayal of what Israelis “always believe”.

(Continue Reading)

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Will the Democratic Platform Dump Israel? - by Jonathan Tobin

...Those who say that Israel has a right to defend itself but then denounce its attempts to do so and, in effect, grant Hamas terrorists impunity to not only rain down missiles on cities but also to use civilians as human shields are undermining the Jewish state’s existence and the rights of its people.

2012 Democratic Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa
calls for a vote to amend the platform on Jerusalem being
the capital of Israel. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
23 May '16..

One of the most absurd moments of the 2012 National Democratic Convention was when officials sought to rectify an omission in the draft of the party’s official platform. The original language, as produced by the platform committee, failed to reaffirm a commitment to supporting Jerusalem being the capital of Israel, prompting a firestorm of criticism from Republicans and pro-Israel groups. But then convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa, acting under orders from the Obama campaign, which was in the middle of an election-year Jewish charm offensive, attempted to insert new language into the platform that simply said, “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel,” by a voice vote. The arena in Charlotte echoed with shouts of “no!” Villaraigosa tried three times to get the result he wanted before finally — and falsely — declaring that the ayes had it anyway.

But as foolish — and embarrassing — as that moment was for pro-Israel Democrats, what awaits them in Philadelphia this July when they gather for their next convention may be far worse. As the Washington Post reported last week, the Sanders campaign is planning to push for new language in the Democratic Platform that shifts the emphasis away from stalwart support for Israel and toward prioritizing Palestinian rights in an effort to form a more even-handed approach to the Middle East conflict. If they get their way, it will be a clarifying moment that will indicate just how far the party has drifted from its former stance as a dependable defender of the Jewish state. It may also give ammunition to Republicans trying to argue that, despite his widely inconsistent foreign policy statements and stances, Trump is the better choice for president from the perspective of friends of Israel.

That 2012 convention moment epitomized the shift within the Democratic Party whereby much of its liberal base had moved away from support for Israel. The people shouting “no” were not then or even now representative of the opinions of the majority of voters who identify as Democrats. The most recent Pew Research Center poll on American opinion about the Middle East indicated that a plurality of Democrats backed Israel over the Palestinians by a margin of 43 to 29 percent. But those convention delegates were party activists who represent the sort of rank and file left-wingers who go to conventions and provide the legwork and muscle for the Democratic Party around the country. The question facing the party now, however, is how hard the Hillary Clinton camp will fight Sanders on the issue of Israel and whether a convention where the challengers will be both numerous and itching for a chance to teach the nominee and the party establishment a lesson will be able to turn back this attempt to distance Democrats from Israel?

Sanders claims he is “100 percent pro-Israel” and claims that his support for “Palestinian rights” should not be interpreted as an attack on Israel’s right to exist. But Sanders’ approach to the conflict is actually anything but supportive of Israel. His claim that Israel’s counter-attacks against terrorists shooting rockets and using tunnels for cross-border murder and kidnapping raids were “disproportionate” illustrates just how much his stance is influenced by misleading Palestinian propaganda. Those who say that Israel has a right to defend itself but then denounce its attempts to do so and, in effect, grant Hamas terrorists impunity to not only rain down missiles on cities but also to use civilians as human shields are undermining the Jewish state’s existence and the rights of its people.