Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jabotinsky, Netanyahu, and the American debates - by Vic Rosenthal

Jabotinsky also stressed the importance for a leader to display hadar, a difficult word to translate, but it connotes dignity, gravitas, self-respect, and maybe honesty too. My own opinion is that Netanyahu, despite his faults, is a pretty good heir to the Jabotinsky tradition, and I think he is aware of the history and the responsibility that this places on his shoulders. I watched the debate. There were no big surprises. Donald was Donald and Hillary put on a polished, empty performance. Two “leaders” without a sense of history, without responsibility to anyone but themselves. Without hadar.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
27 September '16..

When I arose at 0330 this morning to watch the American presidential debates, I couldn’t help but think about the concept of leadership – what makes a good leader and why it’s rare to find one who is also a good politician. So I was pleased to run into this very interesting article by Elliott Jager about a man who was a great leader of the Jewish people, although he was not successful as a politician and unfortunately died far too soon.

The man, of course, was Ze’ev Jabotinsky, whom generations of left-leaning politicians dismissed as a fascist and an extremist, and whom many still think of as a footnote in Zionist history that is best kept at the bottom of the page.

But Jager points out that Jabotinsky’s positions were more nuanced than many think today. As a classical liberal, he was absolutely committed to the protection of individual rights (something that the Left likes to talk about a great deal while doing the precise opposite).

This includes the rights of Arabs in the Jewish state. Jabotinsky clearly saw the distinction between civil rights, such as those enumerated in the American Bill of Rights, and national or collective rights, the most obvious example of which is the Law of Return for Jews alone. Those who insist that the Jewishness of the state is essentially undemocratic elide this distinction. Jabotinsky’s demand for a state with national rights for the Jewish people was uncompromising, but he would never have accepted discrimination against minorities within the state.

Jabotinsky would not have agreed to limitations on where any citizen could live, but he would also have rejected Arab demands to change the flag and the national anthem, which are clearly national issues. And while he lived a secular life and was opposed to any kind of religious coercion, he nevertheless respected Judaism. Jager notes that the food at his Betar youth movement camps was kosher and “Shabbat was respected.”

One of the themes that Jabotinsky returned to throughout his life was the centrality of Jewish self-sufficiency and self-defense, and the importance of military power in the survival of a state. I suspect that he would be as uncomfortable with Israel’s degree of dependence on the US as I am.

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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. 
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Is HRW's silence a statement that HRW approves of Palestinian promotion of terror?

...Is HRW's silence in the face of open use of sports to glorify terror by the PA, a statement that HRW approves of Palestinian promotion of terror? If HRW does not approve of the PA using sports to glorify terror, a clear condemnation in the report is required.

Itamar Marcus..
Palestinian Media Watch..
26 September '16..

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published a report on sports, concerning Israeli football in the disputed West Bank, and FIFA, the international football association's support thereof, claiming Israeli football matches in the West Bank are a violation of human rights. [HRW's website, Sept. 25, 2016]

However, Human Rights Watch has chosen to completely ignore the Palestinian Authority's use of sports as a vehicle to glorify and promote terror and present murderers of Israeli civilians as heroes and role models. HRW has likewise ignored the terror glorification and incitement to murder by Jibril Rajoub, who is head of the Palestinian Football Association, the Palestine Olympic Committee, and the PLO's Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.

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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. 
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Attacks On Israelis and the New Wave of Incitement On Palestinian Social Media Pages

The sharp spike in violent Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the past week triggered many responses on social media. Palestinian social media accounts featured new hashtags such as "rage for your honor" and "the return of [Intifada] operations," as well as hashtags that were launched with the start of the current Palestinian wave of violence on October 2015, such as "Al-Quds Intifada" and "the Intifada continues."


MEMRI..
Special Dispatch No.6627..
26 September '16..

As during previous spikes of violence in the past year, Facebook pages of Palestinian towns and neighborhoods posted photos and footage from the scenes of attacks, as well as graphics and messages praising the perpetrators. Facebook pages associated with Hamas also posted calls for additional attacks.

The following are examples of messages and images posted on social media over the past week:

Images From Gazan, Hamas-Affiliated Facebook Pages

The Hamas daily Al-Risala posted a cartoon on its Facebook page titled "The Intifada continues in Jerusalem and the West Bank" showing a knife as a gear stick in "drive" mode:

Facebook.com/alresalahNet, September 19, 2016. 

(Continue Reading)

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. 
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Calling Zionism colonialist? A claim both false and antisemitic - by Elder of Ziyon

...It is entirely based on the fact that Jews are returning to their homeland from which they never severed their emotional, religious or even physical ties. Zionism is anti-colonialist in that it fights against outsiders who invaded and colonized it over the centuries during the Diaspora. It is not a colonial movement, it is a national liberation movement.

Elder of Ziyon..
26 September '16..

There have been many articles about the student-designed course at UC Berkeley called “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Inquiry.”

But as far as I can tell, no one has addressed the main question: can Israel be considered colonialist?

It can't.

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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. 
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The Real Middle East Story - by Walter Russel Mead

...There is perhaps only one thing harder for the American mind to process than the fact that President Obama has been a terrible foreign policy president, and that is that Bibi Netanyahu is an extraordinarily successful Israeli Prime Minister.

Walter Russel Mead..
The American Interest..
23 September '16..







Peter Baker notices something important in his dispatch this morning: at this year’s UNGA, the Israel/Palestine issue is no longer the center of attention. From The New York Times:

They took the stage, one after the other, two aging actors in a long-running drama that has begun to lose its audience. As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders recited their lines in the grand hall of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, many in the orchestra seats recognized the script.

“Heinous crimes,” charged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. “Historic catastrophe.”

“Fanaticism,” countered Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. “Inhumanity.”

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu have been at this for so long that between them they have addressed the world body 19 times, every year cajoling, lecturing, warning and guilt-tripping the international community into seeing their side of the bloody struggle between their two peoples. Their speeches are filled with grievance and bristling with resentment, as they summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their case.

While each year finds some new twist, often nuanced, sometimes incendiary, the argument has been running long enough that the world has begun to move on. Where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once dominated the annual meeting of the United Nations, this year it has become a side show as Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas compete for attention against seemingly more urgent crises like the civil war in Syria and the threat from the Islamic State.

Baker (and presumably many of his readers) don’t go on to the next, obvious question: What does this tell us about the relative success or failure of the leaders involved? The piece presents both Netanyahu and Abbas as irrelevant. They used to command the world stage, but now nobody is interested in their interminable quarrel.

What the piece doesn’t say is that this situation is exactly what Israel wants, and is a terrible defeat for the Palestinians. Abbas is the one whose strategy depends on keeping the Palestinian issue front and center in world politics; Bibi wants the issue to fade quietly away. What we saw at the UN this week is that however much Abbas and the Palestinians’ many sympathizers might protest, events are moving in Bibi’s direction.

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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. 
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A Candid Speech from Mr. Abbas - by Elliott Abrams

A speech such as Mr. Abbas gave shows us why it has not been possible to make more progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


Elliott Abrams..
Pressure Points..
25 September '16..
Link: http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2016/09/25/a-candid-speech-from-president-abbas/

There have been many attacks on aspects of Palestinian President Abbas’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week, but it had one saving grace: candor.

Let’s take just two examples. First, Mr. Abbas said this about the Temple Mount: Israel must cease its aggression and provocations against the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque,” and Israel “continues to commit aggressions and provocations against our Christian and Muslim holy sites, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. The continuation of the Israeli aggressions against our Muslim and Christian holy sites is playing with fire.”

This accusation–as we see, repeated twice–is false, but Mr. Abbas goes beyond merely stating it and turns it into a threat of violence. What else does “playing with fire” mean?

Second, and in a way worse, is Mr. Abbas’s treatment of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his complete delegitimization of Israel. Here are some of his remarks on that:

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Israel is The Dhimmi That Got Away - by Michael Lumish

...However, until the Arabs manage to wrest back control of the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people it will remain, like all non-Muslim lands, part of Dar al Harb, "the House of War."...Nonetheless, despite chronic and unremitting Arab-Muslim theocratic animosity toward Jews, we are the only indigenous people in the history of the planet to successfully reconstitute a national home upon ancestral land after twenty centuries of diaspora and thirteen centuries of dhimmitude.

Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
24 September '16..
Link: http://israel-thrives.blogspot.co.il/2016/09/the-dhimmi-that-got-away.html






Israel is The Dhimmi That Got Away.

The fundamental basis of the never-ending Arab-Muslim aggression against the Jews of the Middle East is the Muslim religion as outlined in the Qur'an and the Hadiths.

Period. Full stop.

It is not an aggression based upon notions of social justice, as the Palestinian-Arabs, and their friends, would have you believe. In truth, Israel is a social justice Shangri-La compared to the rest of the Middle East.

The Long Arab War against the Jews of the Middle East is a religious war.

And it is within the primary sources of the Islamic faith that we find the basis of this aggression toward the loathsome Infidel, particularly toward those trouble-making Jews.

The Jewish people, however, along with a few Christians, managed to escape dhimmitude - in violation of Islamic theocratic imperatives - with the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the creation of the Jewish State of Israel after World War II.

From those days to these, the Jews of the Middle East are free and the Arabs do not like it.

When Muhammad created Islam as an imperial-supremacist religion intent on global expansion, he constituted it as the enemy of the Jewish people, the Christian people, and all other "unbelievers."

Furthermore, it is an astonishing testament to the man's will and intelligence that he damn near pulled it off. Within a mere century of The Prophet's death Muslims were already banging on Europe's door in search of conquest, slaves, and booty.

Please understand, however, that the following criticism are not pointed at Muslims as individuals, but toward the consequences of Islamic doctrine. It is Islam as a theocratic-political ideology, with far-reaching consequences for all of us, that is under scrutiny.

Again, No BBC coverage of energy sector agreements between Israel and the PA - by Hadar Sela

...Given that the topic of the chronic electricity crisis is a regular feature in BBC reporting from the Gaza Strip (and frequently inaccurately attributed to Israel), one might have expected the corporation to report this news. However, neither of those examples of cooperation between Israel and the PA has received any BBC coverage.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
25 September '16..

The topic of Israel’s withholding of tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority has cropped up time and time again in the BBC’s Middle East coverage over the years. However, the BBC has repeatedly failed to adequately inform audiences of the relevant context of the PA’s massive debt to the Israel Electric Corporation and the reasons why that debt has accumulated.

Last week an agreement was reached in an effort to try to solve the perennial problem of that PA debt to the IEC.

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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. 
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Hinde Street #antisemitism in the Methodist Church - by David Collier

...It seems odd then that these checkpoints should become the focus of your exhibition. As defenceless Christian communities are slaughtered throughout the Middle East, you choose to waste church funds on highlighting issues with a method the Jewish people have found, that protects them from a similar slaughter.

David Collier..
Across the Great Divide..
23 September '16..

I have been to your church several times this week in an effort to engage with people over the ‘you cannot pass today’ exhibition. The Church decided to use a replica of an Israeli security checkpoint to deliver a message about ‘bringing down walls’.

Last night I was also at the circle discussion, that spoke about building bridges between the communities. I always try to reach out, try to understand. My learning process doesn’t include vocally arguing my case, but rather engaging and listening to others, absorbing their message (without confrontation) and trying to build a picture of what it is I see. There are three central points I would like now to get across:

The humanitarian safari park

The exhibition came about because one of the people involved with the church, Katherine Fox, had recently returned from a three-month humanitarian mission in Bethlehem.

Katherine did not go to Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan nor Libya. The reason she did not go to these places is because it is generally too dangerous and there is no similar industry to any of these life threatening areas. Only inside Israel does this type of tourism occur. It is safe to view the humanitarian situation in Israel precisely because it does not involve the dangers that exist elsewhere. I have written on this subject before.

If you had listened to Katherine speak last night, you would hear she was instructed to propagate the information. To return from the safari park and record events as if she had been into a jungle. It is part of the process, part of the industry. You get to go, provided on your return, you hold ‘x’ number of events that perpetuate the myths and convert others to the cause.

You also only get to see what they want you to see. You are on a journey with a clearly laid out path. If for example Katherine had spent three months in Ramallah, she’d be wondering what all the fuss is about . These trips are well choreographed. Your hand is held from the time you arrive to the time you leave.

So the question then becomes, is ‘bringing down the wall’, a message of peace or one of war. Is the church assisting those who seek a peaceful solution, or inadvertently helping to perpetuate a conflict, assisting in spreading the hatred?

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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. 
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

In truth, we don't live by what the Palestinians say - by Dror Eydar

...The Palestinians routinely refer to the Jewish Temple as "imagined" and the stories of the Bible as "imaginary." The reason for their efforts is clear: If there is no historic link between the Jewish people and this land, then we are foreign invaders who took control of a country that wasn't ours. But we don't live by what the Palestinians say.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
23 September '16..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36659



1. I was asked to give a speech of about 12 minutes at the Israel American Council's upcoming national conference to young Israelis living in the U.S. about archaeology and the story of Israel.

It's a very Jewish thing, compressing thousands of years into a drop of time. There are many aspects to archaeology. Generally, it's about physically touching ancient material: structures, fragments of pottery and metal, inscriptions, graves, and more. History, particularly ancient history, is mostly silent. Very little of it is written down. Archaeology helps reconstruct the past.

For us as Jews, reconstructing the past isn't a matter for a museum to handle. We aren't sitting and watching a historic play; we're part of it. To understand this, let's think about archaeology in other fields, such as the archaeology of texts or language.

What is a word? A signifier. What happens when a word can refer to more than one thing? What happens when it's an ancient word that has existed for 3,000 years? Words like these are like the tips of icebergs -- their contemporary meaning is just the uppermost layer. If we dig, we discover older layers of meaning. We might find, in other periods, that a word meant exactly the opposite of what it does now.

Think about Hebrew. Anyone who speaks this ancient language is unconsciously getting the past to speak and awakening the immense trove of knowledge and meanings and traditions amassed within the language. In a beit midrash, a place of Jewish learning, we will discover that the verbs used are in the present tense: Rabbi Akiva "says" (not "said"), Rashi interprets, the Prophet Isaiah prophesies. For the Jew, ancient texts are not something to be abandoned on dusty shelves or put in museums -- they have always surrounded Jews, who talked and argued with them, defied them, and took joy in them. Through the use of Hebrew, they were always accessible.

Today, too, Hebrew speakers are able to read the texts that date back 2,000 years or more. If we try harder, we can also become acquainted with the Talmud. And of course the poetry of Spanish Jewry, and Jewish philosophy, biblical commentary, mystic literature, the Zohar, the hassidic and enlightenment movements, up through the literature of the rebirth of the modern Jewish people and the modern day. If we want, we can learn about the lives of Jewish communities in North Africa in the 10th century C.E. or in Renaissance Italy and more, through the system of questions and answers (the responsa) that connected the Jewish world.

I mentioned that these texts "surrounded" us, and I actually meant that they "enveloped" us as both individuals and as a people. This is a defensive wrapping that protected and preserved us in the many diasporas and which even today is supposed to protect the Jews of the world, as long as they are not in their natural home, Israel.

2. The texts, as important and moving as they are, provide a limited archaeological experience. Reading about and studying Jerusalem in the First Temple period is not like walking around the City of David. When you're standing there, you understand what the poet meant by "the mountains surround Jerusalem" (Psalms 125:2) or "dwells between his shoulders" in Moses' blessing to Benjamin (Deuteronomy 33:12) -- that the place where God resides (known in Hebrew as the "shechinah") is between the shoulders -- halfway up, not in the valley and not at the highest hilltop. That is how our forefathers distinguished between their belief and the idol worship that was "on a high and lofty mountain" and "under every spreading tree" (Isaiah 57:5-7).

Several weeks ago, archaeologists revealed how the decorative floor of the Temple looked. They discovered it after intensive work that entailed putting together fragments of stone that had been found among the rubble removed from the Temple Mount. It's supposedly just a floor, colors and stones, not very much.

But the enormous excitement expressed in the news headlines about the discovery demonstrated that the archaeological find had touched a raw nerve. Every time we encounter a remnant of our past as a people, we get a response (and perhaps, an answer) to the question of identity that we have been debating since we returned to history, and even more so since we established an independent Jewish state: Who are we? Is the State of Israel a living continuation of the ancient kingdom of Israel? Are the Jews of the 21st century continuing the people whose high priests walked on those wonderful floor tiles? In the words of literary researcher and critic Baruch Kurzweil: Are we a continuation or a revolution?