Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Jewish only roads" Is it so hard to correct an error?

CAMERA Media Analysis..
29 June '12..

Yishai Goldflam, editor-in-chief of Presspectiva, CAMERA's Hebrew Web site, published an Op-Ed column in Ha'aretz, faulting that paper and other Israeli media for spreading the falsehood that Israel maintains "Jewish-only" roads in the West Bank. This is significant, especially since the fiction of "Jewish-only" roads features prominently in "Israel apartheid" mythology and is frequently cited by anti-Israel and pro-BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) agitators.

Yishai Goldflam

Do there exist roads in Judea and Samaria that are designated for "Jews only"? Are Christians and Muslims really prohibited from traveling on roads across the Green Line? This charge, which is often voiced in these parts, including in this newspaper, provokes condemnation of Israel's alleged racism-- and is simply untrue. There appears to be a terminology confusion that produces a factual error that harms legitimate discussion and criticism of Israeli actions.

Here are the facts: the state did, indeed, impose restrictions on certain roads in Judea and Samaria several years ago and did not allow Palestinians to travel on them, especially after the eruption of the second intifada. But most of the restrictions were already removed in 2009. Today, most West Bank roads are open to the majority of the Palestinian population. And even at the time those roads were restricted for Israeli use, they were never restricted to Israeli Jews alone. The roads were open to all Israeli citizens -- Muslims, Christians, Druze and Circassians. There was never a religious or ethnic-based separation on the roads of Judea and Samaria.

Actually this fact is crystal clear to anyone who has ever been to the area. Only someone who has never traveled in territory over the Green Line could possibly believe the claim that there exist roads for only Jews. Today, one can see license plates of Palestinians from Jenin to Hebron, on bypass roads that were allegedly built for Jews only, for example, the Qalqilya bypass, the southern Nablus bypass, and the Ramallah bypass roads, as well as on main roads like Route 505 leading to Ariel -- a road that was labeled at least twice in this paper "an apartheid road for Jews only."

IAF: A lone soldier gets his wings

Tracy Frydberg..
The Times of Israel..
29 June '12..

After three years of intense physical and mental training, constant high-stakes challenges and numerous eliminations, the newly ranked Lieutenant “G” will receive his wings today and become an official pilot in the Israeli Air Force.

Lieutenant G, who could not reveal his full identity, is no ordinary pilot. Though the young officer lived in Israel until age six, he grew up and was educated in Canada and then Australia.

While the graduating pilot was brought up in a Zionist household that was part of a Jewish community, “a Jewish community that loves Israel is different from a Jewish community that’s in Israel,” he said. Upon turning 18, the lieutenant made the decision to return to Israel as a lone soldier, an individual from abroad who chooses to come and serve in the Israeli army.

It was his strong Jewish and Zionist identity that compelled Lieutenant G to not only serve in the army, but to choose the additionally strenuous and elite Israeli Air Force, a 12-year commitment.

“I believe that Zionism is coming to Israel and living here. As much as donations help, my vision of Zionism is based on living and ‘working the land,’” he explained.

“When I came to Israel, I wanted to be in the best unit and give as much as I could because I have a lot to give to the army. Being a pilot in the Air Force is a job that will allow me to contribute the most to the nation’s security.”

(Video) Latma unplugged

Caroline Glick..
29 June '12..

As I mentioned last Friday, my team and I at Latma, the Hebrew-language media satire website I run, decided to take some time off from our flagship television-on-Internet satirical newscast The Tribal Update. We're using our time now to develop and try out new concepts, actors, production techniques and basically let 'er rip. This week we came up with several sketches. We're only on the beginning of this process, and the nice thing about it is that we can end it whenever we want and go back to our regular framework, but I think we'll go on for a few more weeks.
Below is some of what we were working on this week. I'd love your thoughts on what we've done.


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Friday, June 29, 2012

(Video) Dear Tagger: Who Am I When You See Me?

26 June '12..

This excellent short film is participating in a competition entitled "What Is Zionism Today?". Take a look, and a 2nd look, as judgments are formed, labels given, the door closed but a brief moment later with a change of scene, a new truth emerges, and for the better.

Please vote for us
How to vote: Enter the link above.
On the resulting page you can see the video. Below which there is a blue button with the "like" sign. Click on the button, and your vote will be recorded!
Thank you!

Thanks to Rabbi Tzvi Ron for help with translation from Hebrew!!

Updates throughout the day at 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.

The Temple Mount: Second Temple-era mikveh discovered under Al-Aqsa mosque

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
29 June '12..

In 1927, an earthquake struck Jerusalem, killing 130 people, wounding 450 and destroying or heavily damaging about 300 buildings, including Al-Aqsa mosque. The Muslim waqf, led by Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, began restoring the mosque. Robert Hamilton, the director of the antiquities department during the Mandatory period in pre-state Israel, spotted an opportunity in the midst of disaster.

Hamilton took advantage of this unexpected window of opportunity to reach an agreement with the waqf that would allow archaeological investigation on the Temple Mount, for the first time ever, in the area where the mosque had collapsed. Hamilton documented the reconstruction work done by the waqf, photographed, sketched, excavated, analyzed and wrote about a series of findings, some of them surprising.

But this unprecedented cooperation between the British archaeologist and the Muslim clerics was not without a price. In the book that Hamilton later published, he makes no mention of any findings that the Muslims would have found inconvenient. It was no coincidence that these findings came from two historical periods that preceded the Muslim period in Jerusalem: the Second Temple era and the Byzantine era. These findings were hidden deep in the Mandatory archives department (which today is part of the Antiquities Authority archives in the Rockefeller Museum). These days they are finally coming to light.

Eighty years later, Hamilton’s hidden findings are providing support for similar findings unearthed by two Israeli archaeologists, Dr. Gabi Barkai and Zachi Dvira. For the past seven years, Barkai and Dvira have been working on a unique project: sifting tons of earth that the waqf removed from the Temple Mount in the dead of night about 13 years ago. This earth is filled with tiny archaeological findings.

Some important background: In 1999, during preparations to install the gates of Al-Marwani mosque in Solomon’s Stables at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount, the Muslims brought in bulldozers and dug a pit deep and wide. This scandal, which has already been described in the most condemnatory terms possible, led recently to a comprehensive report by the State Comptroller’s Office — a report that is, unfortunately, classified. Still, some good has come from the bad.

Clueless in Jerusalem? Meet the New York Times

Henry Kopel..
The Commentator..
29 June '12..

Among the dogmas that hold sway in foreign policy salons despite abundant evidence to the contrary, few seem more resilient than belief in the peaceful intentions of the so-called “moderate” Palestinian Authority.

Why do such counterfactual beliefs persist? One reason is because people who are presumed to know the facts and who have a prominent platform keep repeating such beliefs. This phenomenon was on full display in last Sunday’s New York Times, in an op-ed by Nathan Thrall captioned “The Third Intifada Is Inevitable.”

Datelined from Jerusalem and describing the author as “a Middle East analyst at the International Crisis Group,” the article exuded factual expertise. Equally impressive was the article’s opening sentence, quoting from a “private meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his security advisers.”

But for all the author’s expertise and inside access, the article was highly misleading – less by what was said, than by what was not said. Much of the pertinent factual context was simply omitted. Yet as a representative sample of “peaceful Palestinian Authority” dogma, analysis of the article’s errors can be very illuminating.

The central points of Mr. Thrall’s article were a prediction and a judgment. He predicted that growing Palestinian rage will soon result in a major outbreak of Palestinian violence against Israel; and he judged Israel guilty for causing the Palestinians’ rage.

In essence, Mr. Thrall’s analysis rested on three factual claims:

Glick - About those Jews...

Caroline Glick..
29 June '12..

So it works out that Iran's vice president really hates Jews. In fact, he hates Jews so much that even The New York Times reported it. On Tuesday, the Times published an account of Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi's speech before a UN forum on fighting drug addiction in Tehran.

Rahimi claimed that Jews control the illegal drug trade. We sell drugs, he said, in order to fulfill what he said is a Talmudic writ to "destroy everyone who opposes the Jews."

He said that our conspiracy is obvious since, he claimed, there are no Jewish drug addicts.

He went so far as to promise to pay anyone who can find a Jewish drug addict.

As he put it, "The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict. They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade."

Oops, sorry, he doesn't hate Jews. He hates Zionists.

Some of his best friends are Jews.

At least that is what the Times would have us believe. As reporter Thomas Erdbrink put it, "'Zionists' is Iran's ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel."

Rennert - Palestinians undermine Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
28 June '12..

The 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has become a front-and-center issue in Israel's new relations with a Muslim Brotherhood government in Cairo.

As Washington Post correspondent Joel Greenberg writes in the June 28 edition, the ascendancy of President-Elect Mohammed Morsi has raised new questions about the future of the 1978 Camp David accords and the 1979 peace treaty -- major foreign-policy achievements of the Carter administration ("Egyptian-Israeli ties face new challenges with Islamist's election" page A9)

"Perceptions are rife in both countries that the other side has failed to honor key elements of the deal," Greenberg writes.

Given this situation, it's instructive to examine the nature of the respective complaints, which Greenberg enumerates, and their validity, which Greenberg fails to address.

UNESCO and a Judean hilltop known as Betar/Battir

An interesting contest is being waged over a Judean hilltop known as Betar or Battir.

From Diana Muir Appelbaum..
29 June '12..

This hilltop village with a system of stone-walled hillside terraces has been nominated by the Palestinian Authority for recognition as a World Heritage Site, and has won the Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes, awarded by UNESCO.

Is the Mercouri prize political? It is interesting that this is a biennial prize, first awarded in 1999 to Elishia’s Spring, Jericho (Palestine) and that the 2011 award to Battir marks the first time the price has been given twice to a the same country.

The World Heritage site nomination caught the attention of a number of commentators since the village is best known under the older, Hebrew version of the name: Betar. Betar was the military headquarters of the Bar Kochba Revolt, a Jewish revolt against Roman rule in 135 CE, and it was that revolt’s last stronghold. When Betar fell, the defenders and their leader, Shimon Bar Kochba, were killed. The event is commemorated by the villagers who call the ancient defensive tower “Khirbet el-Yahud”, “the Jewish ruin”.

Medad/Pollak - Media Doublespeak

Yisrael Medad/Eli Pollak..
Media Comment/JPost..
28 June '12..

Walter Lippman noted in his 1922 book Public Opinion that the media helps its consumers understand the links between news events and why they could be critical. In 1963, Bernard Cohen famously observed that the press “may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.”

Cohen viewed writers, editors and publishers as drawing maps for their consumers, and the danger was in getting lost. Drs. McCombs and Shaw added the agenda-setting concept – the more frequently an item is repeated and the more prominent the coverage it receives, the more important audiences will regard the issue to be regardless of its true value.

There is another important concept, especially prominent in Israel’s media; the use of language. Society is influenced not only by the language used by the media, but more so by the language it isn’t “authorized” to use.

For example, on June 17, Ynet carried the headline, “Youngsters [na’arim in the Hebrew] ignited a blaze, 14 soldiers injured at an Army base.”

Are these “youngsters” kids? Or perhaps teenagers, or even young men? Could they be Jewish? If so, were they haredim, or crocheted- skullcap wearers, or secular? Or maybe they were Christian? Journalistic ethics dictates that ethnic labeling is to be avoided, and Ynet justifiably did not use an ethnic headline.

On the other hand, the story continues, we learn from the firefighting unit’s spokesperson that between June 1 and June 16, 284 fires had been deliberately set in periphery neighborhoods such as Har Homa, Arnona and Armon HaNatziv.

What could be behind these torchings? Is it pyromaniacs or anti-state elements? Why does Ynet does not find it necessary to consider the possible motivations for such crimes? Did the Ynet reporter ignore his investigative training and simply not ask the spokesman? Or perhaps the perpetrators are not “price tag” activists, so that it would be embarrassing to actually disclose what really motivates such acts? Or did he ask the question and his editor spiked that portion? Why exclude the possibility of a nationalist-inspired crime? And now we have experienced fires set near Lifta and Motza near Jerusalem.

Kushner - From Israel: Not Just Wishful Thinking

Arlene Kushner..
28 June '12..

Perhaps my need to report some news that is potentially positive is kicking in. Today the state of the world still seems grim, but a tad less so.

The last residents -- 18 families -- of the houses in Ulpana slated for expulsion were moved out today.

With this, we have been mindful that one of the next issues to be faced is that of Migron, where there is also a Court-ordered expulsion, to be carried out before August 1.

But according to information acquired by Israel Hayom: in an effort to prevent that expulsion, an American Jewish philanthropist -- whose name has not been revealed -- has bought land constituting more than 80% of Migron from the Arabs who claimed ownership.

Credit: IndyNews


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Minister Davies, the UN did not demarcate Israel’s borders in 1948.

28 June '12..

While Emmanuel Navon has been otherwise occupied for the last few months, today he has returned in full force with a new post "Hopeless or Infinite?" on his For the Sake of Zion blog. A hearty welcome back and now to the issue at hand.

Last month, South Africa’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies declared that he intended to issue an official notice “to require traders in South Africa not to incorrectly label products that originate from the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as products of Israel.” Davies added that Pretoria recognizes the State of Israel “only within the borders demarcated by the United Nations (UN) in 1948.”

The UN did not demarcate Israel’s borders in 1948. On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved the recommendation of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to divide the British Mandate on Palestine between an Arab state and a Jewish state (Resolution 181). This vote constituted a mere recommendation since General Assembly resolutions are not binding in international law. Thus, the idea that the UN “created” the state of Israel with Resolution 181 is mistaken (the General Assembly can approve the admission of new states to the UN, but it cannot create states). This resolution became moot as soon as it was passed since the Arab states flatly rejected it.

If At First You Don't Succeed... The Message From Ramallah

Jonathan Schantzer..
Foreign Policy..
27 June '12..

The Palestinians may appeal to the United Nations for statehood. Again.

That was the message out of Ramallah on Sunday, June 24, when Fatah, the dominant Palestinian faction in the West Bank, concluded a meeting of its congress.

If you listened closely, you might have heard a collective head slap halfway around the world at Foggy Bottom. The U.S. State Department fought hard last year to derail this very process at the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting in Manhattan. The Palestinians delivered their request, but failed to garner enough support in the Security Council, thanks to heavy U.S. and Canadian lobbying. U.S. diplomats then prevailed upon the Palestinians to shelve their application for nonmember observer status, which would have granted them some of the rights afforded to sovereign states, including the ability to sue the Israelis for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The Palestinians backed down last year. This year, they may not take no for an answer.

Although deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak once single-handedly reined in Palestinian adventurism and prodded Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table, his successor, Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi, may not follow suit. To put it mildly, encouraging diplomacy with the Israelis has never been part of the Brotherhood's platform.

'Yitzhak Shavit Sha’ar Hanegev School' dedicates fortified campus

Sharon Udasin..
Environment & Technology/
28 June '12..

High school students who have learned to deal regularly with rockets from Gaza landing nearby will open the school year this September with a brand new, fortified campus.

The school, officially named Yitzhak Shavit Sha’ar Hanegev School, was dedicated on Tuesday night in the presence of Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, school principal Aharale Rotstein and regional council head Alon Schuster.

Dozens of rockets have exploded on the former, 50-year-old Sha’ar Hanegev School campus to this day.

Planning began for a new, protected school – to serve the region’s 1,200 high school students – following both a High Court and government decision four years ago, according to the council. Construction of the sprawling, six-hectare campus began two years ago.

“I think that building a new school in Sha’ar Hanegev is progress in a fundamentally important issue,” Schuster told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. “There is no need to explain why education and in our case the safety of the kids is so crucial for every human being.

The school provides us with security and provides a opportunity to give a much better structure – physical and pedagogical – for education in our area.”

(Video) Hamas Minister Fathi Hammad, "From this place, I bring you glad tidings ...

28 June '12..

The video below is from footage of a Gaza police academy graduation ceremony, in which Hamas Minister of the Interior and of National Security Fathi Hammad delivered an address. The footage aired on Al-Aqsa TV on June 13, 2012.

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by 

Adam Kredo at The Washington Free Beacon sums it up quite adequately with the following:

A retrial for Migron - Meeting the values of a democratic state and the values of a Jewish state

Dr. Aviad Hacohen..
Israel Hayom..
28 June '12..

The finality of a ruling is a cornerstone of the legal system; once a final ruling is handed down, there can be no further debate. This is how the legal system avoids endless appeals and the uncertainty that accompanies them.

But there is an exception to every rule, and this rule has exceptions in various legal fields. Though these cases are rare, it is possible, and wise, to enact these exceptions to the finality rule, especially when it is the only way to serve justice.

For example, in a criminal proceeding, when new evidence that could exonerate the defendant is revealed after the final ruling is made, it would be right to hold a retrial and reduce the sentence or even to acquit the accused. The same is true for alimony rulings, when a significant change in the circumstances justifies an adjustment of alimony payments.

If such exceptions occur in district courts, they should certainly occur in the High Court of Justice. As its name suggests, the High Court of Justice does not only rely on legal considerations but also feeds on the laws of integrity and justice. There are unusual cases when justice requires overturning even final verdicts.

If the news reports are true and Jews have legally purchased the land on which the outpost of Migron is situated, from willing sellers and for the full cost, then the verdict ordering the outposts' evacuation must be reconsidered. In light of the new circumstances, there is room to make an exception and reopen the case before the High Court of Justice in order to reach a more just verdict, especially considering that Migron's residents bought their homes in good faith and with real money.

Vice-Premier Moshe Ya'alon - Strategic Thinker and Leader

Isi Leibler..
Candidly Speaking From Jerusalem..
28 June '12..

A recent interview by journalist Ari Shavit with former IDF Chief of Staff, now Vice Premier, Moshe Ya’alon, provides a fascinating insight into the thinking of one of Israel’s most sophisticated political leaders and covers the crucial challenges facing the nation. It deserves to be widely read.

Ironically, the extensive interview was published in the weekend magazine of Ha’aretz, the Israeli daily notorious for promoting the very delusional views which Ya’alon’s interview devastatingly demolishes (link).

Coincidentally, precisely seven years ago, I devoted a column to Ya’alon, describing him as one of the most adroit strategic thinkers to have headed the IDF. He was then accused of being disgruntled and embittered after his premature termination as Chief of Staff by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in response to his fierce opposition to the withdrawal from Gaza – for which he was subsequently totally vindicated.

Yaalon was retired in the wake of his successful military response to terror which demonstrated that, contrary to the mantras invoked by the bleeding heart leftists, resolute military action can significantly neutralize terrorism. He was also proactive when he instituted dual track initiatives of targeted assassinations and construction of the security fence, the combination of which effectively brought an end to the Second Intifada.

In my earlier column, I expressed frustration and anger that, in a country facing existential threats from its neighbors, a retiring Chief of Staff’s explicit warnings of disastrous repercussions arising from the policies of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had been totally ignored by the Government and Opposition. Regrettably, his predictions were subsequently basically realized.

Surprise! Reuters Incorrect “Correction”

Yarden Frankl..
Honest Reporting/Backspin..
27 June '12..

When I checked my e-mail this morning, I was pleased to see that Reuters responded to one of our readers who contacted them about the issue raised in yesterday’s video – namely that the headline of their article accused Israel of breaking a truce with Hamas by responding to a rocket attack.

It does not take expert anaylsis to understand that if Hamas is launching rockets at Israel, there really is no truce that Israel could break with a response.

So as I said, I was pleased that one of our readers had pointed out their error and assumed that they had fixed the mistake — no doubt caused by hasty editing rather than a purposeful attempt to malign Israel.

But then this is Reuters. And when I read the new headline, it wasn’t much better.

Here is the original headline:

and here is the correction:

And the article leads with:

(Reuters) – Israel launched two air strikes in Gaza on Friday, killing two Palestinian militants and wounding five other people as rockets fired from the enclave slammed into its southern region, threatening to unravel an Egyptian-brokered truce.

The rocket attacks — according to Reuters own reporting — took place a few hours before the Israeli air strikes. They did not happen simultenously. Israel did not launch strikes “as” the “rockets fired” (notice, Reuters did not write “Palestinians fired rockets,” “Hamas fired rockets,” or even “militants fired rockets.” But that’s another issue.)

Nothing “shook” the truce. Palestinian terrorists fired rockets at Israeli civilian areas. Hours later, Israel attacked (from the air, lest anyone think that the word “raid” implies that Israel entered Gaza on the ground) terrorists preparing to launch more rockets.

Would it be asking too much for Reuters on their correction to get the story right?

You can comment on the revised Reuters article here.


Updates throughout the day at 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.

Giving a green light to attempt genocide
27 June '12..

News item:

TEHRAN — Iran’s vice president delivered a baldly anti-Semitic speech on Tuesday at an international antidrug conference here, saying that the Talmud, a central text of Judaism, was responsible for the spread of illegal drugs around the world…

Mr. Rahimi, second in line to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”

The “Zionists” are in firm control of the illegal drug trade, Mr. Rahimi said, asking foreign dignitaries to research his claims. “Zionists” is Iran’s ideological term for Jews who support the state of Israel.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will pay for anybody who can research and find one single Zionist who is an addict,” Mr. Rahmini said. “They do not exist. This is the proof of their involvement in drugs trade.” …

Mr. Rahimi … told stories of gynecologists’ killing black babies on the orders of the Zionists and claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews, adding that mysteriously, no Jews died in that uprising.

He also said the Talmud teaches Jews to think that they are a superior race. “They think God has created the world so that all other nations can serve them,” he said. Halfway through his speech, Mr. Rahimi said there was a difference between Jews who “honestly follow the prophet Moses” and the Zionists, who are “the main elements of the international drugs trade.”

This kind of rant serves several purposes. On the most basic level, a great majority of the world’s Muslims probably believe him (although I doubt that the same could be said for Iranians). Belief that Jews are essentially evil in multiple ways leads to dehumanization, stage 3 in Stanton’s 8 stages of genocide.

CAMERA - Another Double Standard for Israel on Refugees. Where's the Coverage?

27 June '12..

There are an estimated 45,000-60,000 people currently living in Israel illegally. Some of them would be considered refugees by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):

The 1951 Refugee Convention establishing UNHCR spells out that a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."

Many others would not be considered refugees, but instead migrants:

Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom.

Only refugees have protected status under international law and the preferred outcome for them is to be repatriated. According to the UNHCR Handbook for Repatriation and Reintegration Activities, "The UN General Assembly (GA) has repeatedly affirmed UNHCR’s function of promoting/facilitating the voluntary repatriation of refugees."

Rennert - Israel evacuates a settlement, gets whacked by NY Times anyway

Leo Rennert..
American Thinker..
27 June '12..

This week saw a generally peaceful evacuation of 30 Jewish families, settlers from a Beit El neighborhood in the West Bank -- a move ordered by Israel's Supreme Court which found that five buildings were on Palestinian land. For the affected settlers, it was a wrenching experience, but with urgings from their rabbi to comply peacefully, they packed up and moved to new housing elsewhere in Beit El.

One would think that such compliance with a lawful court order on a highly politically sensitive issue might be depicted as Israel going the extra mile to advance the peace process -- but not by the New York Times. In fact, in its June 27 edition, the Times runs a purported news article by Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren that manages to use this event to indict Israel as driving another nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. ("Settlers Begin Mandatory Evacuation of a West Bank Outpost" page A10).

In Rudoren's view, Israel -- and only Israel -- stands in the way of a peace deal with the Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas is automatically forgiven for refusing to resume negotiations.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kushner - From Israel: It Hurts

Arlene Kushner..
27 June '12..

Yesterday, the first 15 families living in the five Ulpana houses slated for evacuation, by order of the High Court, moved out to their temporary homes ("caravillas" -- a misnomer, I think) on the grounds of a former army base.

They went quietly but with deep sadness -- knowing in their hearts that an injustice was being done to them. I carry that same knowledge in my heart.

I dealt with this issue of the injustice in some detail in a recent posting that can be accessed here: .


And yet, I believe they acted properly in deciding to go quietly. No active protest -- as was seen at Migron -- would have prevented this evacuation. What it would have done is to pit Jew against Jew -- providing ugly fodder for the international press.

Their fighting would have convinced no one who did not already understand the rightness of their position, nor would it have reversed the situation. Rather, it would have provided "evidence," for those quick to assert this, of the inherent violence of "settlers." And it would have traumatized the children.

“We don’t believe in clashing with security personnel,” resident Michal Kramer told Israel Radio yesterday.

The pain of these residents and their sense of having been wronged has been made clear in public statements they have released. Yesterday, one resident told YNet:

"This is a personal moment of grief, I'm in mourning. Our hearts are broken, but we will hold our heads up high. No one will break our spirit."


Whether the "victories" that have been negotiated, such as the building of 300 houses on that army base in Beit El, actually materialize will in large part depend upon the sincerity and determination of the prime minister.

Roth - The terror attack in Ma'ale Adumim, and the role car license plates play

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 June '12..

Ma'ale Adumim, a modern city of 39,000 people in the Jerusalem suburbs, is about 7 kilometers east of where we are writing this. The name is mentioned in the Bible's Book of Joshua; it marked the border between the Israelite tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the Book of Luke in the New Testament, it's where the Good Samaritan parable is set. Currently there's a shortage of good Samaritans in the area.

On December 17, 2011, one of the security guards manning the checkpoint at the community's entrance was stabbed by an unknown assailant who spoke Arabic [report]. A 21 year-old suspect by the name of Hanaishe, a resident of the village of Qabatiya, was arrested two months later and [according to Ynet's account] admitted to the stabbing, ascribing nationalistic reasons to no one's surprise.

This afternoon (Wednesday), there was a similar stabbing in more or less the same place, with a different outcome. A Palestinian Arab who lives in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, drove a Mitsubishi which, according to an initial report was owned by an east Jerusalem resident, came into Ma'ale Adumim and attempted to run over a police officer. Unsuccessful in this, he rammed the borrowed vehicle into a police squad car. What follows next is according to the reported testimony of Superintendent Uri Yoran, commander of the Ma'ale Adumim police station.

Tobin - More UN Anti-Semitism From Iran

Jonathan S. Tobin..
27 June '12..

Iran’s apologists and others seeking to head off the effort to stop Iran from attaining nuclear weapons have been doing their best to portray the Islamic Republic as a reasonable nation run by rational persons. The goal of these arguments is to assure the world that the ayatollahs and their minions can be trusted to keep their word if the West negotiates a deal that would allow the Iranians to keep a peaceful nuclear program. Others go so far as to assert that a nuclear Iran would not be a threat to the West or Israel because its leaders are neither suicidal nor really bent on Israel’s actual destruction. But the problem with the Iranians is that their ideology of hatred is so deeply embedded in their political culture that they can’t help but undermine the efforts of those seeking to polish their image even when the world is watching.

That’s what happened yesterday when the United Nations convened an international anti-drug conference in Tehran. At the event, Iran’s vice president greeted the delegates by telling them the key to understanding the plague of the illegal drug trade was, you guessed it, the Jews and Judaism. Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi said the Talmud, a sacred text of Judaism, was responsible for the spread of drugs because it instructs its adherents to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.” As the New York Times reported from the conclave, European diplomats who came to make nice with the Iranians were “shocked.” But even this display was not enough to convince the West to connect the dots between this open display of hate and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

CAMERA - The New York Times and the Heritage Fit to Print

27 June '12..

Leave it to the New York Times to cover the "heritage" of the West Bank village of Bittar, named after the ancient Jewish site of Beitar, while ignoring its historical significance in Judaism.

Today's International Herald Tribune headline for the article is "Defending the soil, and heritage," but let's be clear -- the IHT/NYT interest in Battir/Beitar's heritage is highly selective. The article begins:

In this scenic Palestinian village in the West Bank hills near Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem, a week is said to last eight days, not seven. That is because Battir’s eight extended families take daily turns watering their crops from the natural springs that feed their ancient agricultural terraces, a practice they say has worked for centuries.

The water flows through a Roman-era irrigation system down into a deep valley where a railway track — a section of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway built in Ottoman times — roughly marks the 1949 armistice line between the West Bank and Israel. The area is dotted with tombs and ruins upon ruins of bygone civilizations.

The Times sees fits to discuss the Palestinian history of Bittar, and to identify the Roman presence, but the Jewish presence is relegated to the unnamed "bygone civilizations." Blogger Yisrael Medad provides this information about Beitar's Jewish significance:

A Candid Moment with Journalist Chemi Shalev

David Bedein..
Israel Resource Review..
26 June '12..

At the annual American Jewish Press Association (AJPA) Conference, held last week in Philadelphia, a newsworthy session was held with Chemi Shalev, the newly appointed US correspondent for the English language edition of Haaretz.

Working with foreign journalists in Jerusalem for the past 25 years, the significance of Haaretz reaches beyond its scope as a daily newspaper in Israel.

The Haaretz English edition, sold in Israel together with the International Herald Tribune, is the paper of record for reporters who cover complexities of Middle East issues.

Therefore, the opportunity for AJPA to hear Shalev's insights into the Middle East reporting policies was significant.

After hearing Shalev's insightful analysis of current Israeli politics and the current state of Israeli-Arab negotiations, our news agency posed a question to Shalev:

 Why does Haaretz not report what the Palestinian Authority communicates to their people in their language, on the PBC TV, the PBC radio, Palestinian Authority newspapers and the Palestinian Authority schools?

Bryen - The Incredible Shrinking US-Israel Security Cooperation

Shoshana Bryen..
Gatestone Institute..
27 June '12..

In light of increased sensitivity to intelligence leaks, it seemed innocuous – or even admirable – when the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) asked the Senate to remove a few words from the US-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act: the "sense of the Senate" part of the bill included the sentence, "Expand already close intelligence cooperation, including satellite intelligence, with the Government of Israel;" ODNI wanted the words "including satellite intelligence" to go.

An ODNI spokesman said it was "simply a matter of clarifying the intelligence aspects of the bill and being sensitive to the level of specificity of the language…nothing nefarious here, just more clear language."

Yeah, right.

This is just the latest example of the Obama Administration making clear that it does not want to be seen as Israel's partner in regional affairs – several of them predicated on Turkish desires. Despite Israel's status as a Major Non-NATO ally, a NATO "partner" country, and a member of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue, Turkey is increasingly insistent that Israel be isolated and cut out. This surrender to Turkey -- which Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for years been aggressively making ever more fundamentalist -- coincides nicely with the Administration's increasingly open courtship of Turkey's Islamist-leaning and virulently anti-Israel Prime Minister and what appears to be the desire of the Administration to enhance security relations in the Arab-Muslim world as it dials back visible cooperation with Israel.

This is no small matter. Israel's security is threatened -- above all by the refusal of the Arab States to accept that it is a legitimate, permanent part of the region in which it lives. For the U.S. or Turkey -- formerly a partner in regional security – to distance themselves from Israeli security is to raise hopes among enemies that they will ultimately be able to threaten Israel without fear of a U.S. or NATO-allied response.

From the Creators of "The One Thousand and One Nights

27 June '12..

The ever-watchful Yisrael Medad with the latest from the creators of "The One Thousand and One Nights"

Going Under by Yisrael Medad



They're not racist. Not anti-Semitic. They just fabricate.

A Zionist plan to establish a Jewish museum under al-Aqsa mosque

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) issued a statement on Tuesday revealing that the occupation authorities had recently ratified a budget of four million shekels (more than one million dollars) to establish a Jewish center.

The center will be built under the name “audio-visual Museum”, at the entrance of Wadi Hilweh neighborhood, a few meters from the south of Al Aqsa Mosque. [a. it's much more than a "few meters". b. it is outside the walled enclosure. - YM] The foundation added that the site on which the center will be set up is a historic water well and a cavity of seven meters under the ground. The museum will be connected to the tunnels’ network dug by the occupation underground in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinian refugees: How many are there?

Elder of Ziyon..
The Times of Israel..
26 June '12..

From the PA’s official WAFA news agency:

RAMALLAH, June 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Number of refugees registered in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) totaled 5.1 million in 2012, according to a statistical review on the current status of the Palestinian refugees published Wednesday and prepared by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the eve of the International Day of Refugees.

UNRWA’s statistics this year say that there are 5,115,755 registered “persons,” but only 4,797,723 “refugees.” As a footnote states:

Recent digitisation of UNRWA’s registration records enables us to present more detailed beneficiary statistics. Other registered persons include those eligible to receive services.

Which means that UNRWA is providing services to 318,032 people that even UNRWA does not consider refugees.

But this is hardly the worst mis-characterization of the word “refugees” when applied to Palestinian Arabs who fled in 1948.

View From The Judean Hills: Gush Etzion’s peaceful brewster

Josh Hasten..
26 June '12..

Nestled away and nearly completely hidden deep inside the Gush Etzion forest, 52-year-old Susan Levin spends her days inside a 50-meter building measuring and mixing, boiling and bottling.

With her hair always covered and her long skirt nearly hitting the floor, one might assume Levin is perhaps busy cooking up some matzo ball soup in bulk, maybe as a caterer for weddings or Bar-Mitzvahs.

In actuality Levin, who made aliya from the US six years ago, and was looking for a change in career, is the one and only female “settler” brewster in all of Judea and Samaria and is the co-owner of the Lone Tree Brewery, a boutique beer manufacturing plant which produces eight kinds of high-quality suds with an average output totaling 800-bottles per month.

Levin says that she is “proud and, even more so, privileged to be able to call Gush Etzion her home,” for its rich Jewish history, and is grateful to be producing “a completely natural and healthy product” that has been a staple of nearly every civilization throughout history.

Ulpana: A legal and judicial travesty.

Moshe Dann..
Israel Opinion/Ynet..
26 June '12..

In 2011, the State Prosecutor’s Office asked the High Court to remove a few buildings in Beit El which it said had been built illegally on “private Palestinian land.” The Court accepted this request and ordered the buildings removed by July 1, 2012.

No court, however, heard evidence or adjudicated the question of landownership in Beit El.

Despite ample evidence of serious flaws in the judicial process, High Court judges, having made its decision, rejected further appeals for reconsideration - and there is no way to appeal their decision.

Such cases in which Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have been destroyed and are threatened with destruction have exposed a widespread systematic corruption within Israel’s judicial system - the State Prosecutor, the Attorney General, the Civil Administration, the Military Advocate General (the IDF’s legal arm) and the High Court of Justice. In order to prevent settlement expansion, these state institutions use their power arbitrarily and without due process.

This corruption represents the greatest threat to Israeli society and its so-called democratic system because it undermines the fundamental rule of law. Here’s how it works.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mandel - Why Putin Accepted Israel Invitation

Seth Mandel..
26 June '12..

Earlier this month, after the announcement of Vladimir Putin’s planned trip to Israel, Jonathan wrote that the visit made a point about Israel’s legitimacy among the nations of the world. It may be surprising—or at the very least ironic—that an authoritarian leader struggling with his own crisis of legitimacy back home could confer any legitimacy on a free, democratic country like Israel. But it was true, and confirmed this week when Putin finally made that trip. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Labor MKs expressed outrage on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not make time during his short visit to Israel to meet with their party chairwoman, opposition leader Shelly Yachimovich….

“It is outrageous that he did not meet with her,” a Labor MK said. “It presents a message that there is a lack of legitimacy for her job if leaders ignore her when they come here. It harms Israeli democracy.”

I don’t think many would agree that it harms Israeli democracy—nor could Putin possibly care less about anyone’s democracy. But the legitimacy argument is one that has followed, taunted, tempted, and usually disappointed Israel throughout her modern existence as a state. There is a reason it is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations—whether or not the Palestinians will recognize Israel, and whether the Arab states will normalize relations with Israel. Those Arab states are generally no better than Putin when it comes to their support for rogue regimes and terrorist groups (and in some cases are actual rogue regimes themselves).

But removing Israel’s isolation on the world stage is an essential goal both for Israel and for the international community, which quite often asks Israel to do its dirty work, like taking care of budding nuclear reactors, or to accept Jewish, Arab, and African refugees that others won’t.

(Video) Reuters Again? It All Started When Israel Fired Back

Yarden Frankl of Honest Reporting keeps us updated with the latest from Reuters.

26 June '12..

Last time it was Reuters failure in choice of pictures that accompany news articles. This time Reuters headline claims that Israel broke the cease-fire while in reality Israel was responding to rocket fire. If this bothers you, let them know. Click on "Contact Reuters" to make your voice heard.

Click here to also watch HR presentation 'Defending Israel Against Claims of Excessive Force".


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Eydar - The perils of the peace industry and one man's foolishness

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
26 June '12..

For quite some time, former Foreign Ministry director general Alon Liel has called for peace with Syria with his one-man organization. This organization is part of the peace industry that has sprung up alongside the familiar industry of lies. A quick look at Syria now indicates how firm Liel's grasp on reality is.

Now his bizarre political stance is also emerging: The same man who headed the Foreign Ministry and served as an Israeli ambassador to South Africa is now encouraging a boycott on products made in "occupied Palestinian territory" because "settlements are a violation of international law." He even hinted that Israel was an apartheid state — where of all places? In a South African newspaper. That's great! The peace industry wants to undermine Israel's industry.

Liel has an original take on why the peace process is dying — it is not because of the terror and the suicide attacks, but rather because Israel's desire for peace was "myopic." He wrote that "this hope belittled the sense of outrage Arabs felt about what they considered a foreign intrusion." Oh, now we understand why rockets are being fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Whew, I feel better. Silly me, I thought that the myopia stemmed from Israel's irresponsible policy of bringing Palestinian terror gangs into the land west of the Jordan River, and hoping that they would ensure our safety. This stupid mistake was wrapped in media euphoria and international support until it blew up in our faces. The Palestinians proved time and time again that they are not interested in peace, because it would force them to recognize the Jews' right to a part of the historical Land of Israel, and that is not acceptable to the Arabs.

Bedein - Alinksy’s ideas can help Israel, too

David Bedein..
Op-Ed Contributor/JPost..
25 June '12..

As a student of the community organizer Saul Alinsky (at the Free University of Madison, Wisconsin, 1969) who later earned a Master’s degree in community organization social work – which was dedicated to Alinsky’s memory – it is important to respond to Caroline Glick’s piece of June 10, 2012, in which she denounced “Jewish Alinskyites.”

Alinsky has been mistakenly labeled a communist ideologue. Alinsky was no communist.

The Catholic Church actually hired Alinsky to break up communist cells, in the US, Western Europe and in Latin America. This is documented in The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky, published in 1984 by Paulist Press, a Vatican affiliate.

Caroline does not understand that Alinsky’s method of using creative tactics to universalize, humanize and empower a cause can be used by all sides – especially in Israel.

One of Alinsky’s principles was that if and when you represent a small minority, you must align your cause with other minorities also affected. Alinsky posited that this tactic will never be understood by your adversary who cannot cope with diverse groups who unite to make the same demand.

Roth - This morning's rocket attack on southern Israel caused damage to property. But property is not what they sought to hit.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
26 June '12..

The intense rocket fire on southern Israel of last week has passed. The more normal situation of a rocket here, a rocket there, prevails once again as it has for most of the past decade.

The way we see it, there is no reason for any self-respecting government to put up with this sort of Russian Roulette. But it's clear that this viewpoint is not widely shared outside of Israel, as evidenced by the zero level of media reporting on the indiscriminate rocket fire engaged in by the terror gangs of the Gaza Strip under Hamas leadership.

Another rocket, evidently a Qassam, exploded in southern Israel in the early hours of this morning [report]. It crashed into the grounds of an agricultural community - a kibbutz - whose name and exact location are not being publicized for reasons of the residents' security. In the past hour, someone from the kibbutz made a video of the damage done to a chicken coop and posted it on YouTube. Dead chickens don't, and should not, evoke the horror and passions that dead human beings, dead children, do. But from the standpoint of the rocket-rich Palestinian Arab terrorists of Gaza, it's the same. They hurl the rockets into the air in the general direction of Israel, and they pray to their deity that he should guide the explosive head to where it can do his will in the most effective way.

A strong statement, a clear statement, but ...

26 June '12..

Those who follow news posts from the IDF at should surely be familiar with this closing statement, seen whenever there has been a response to an attack emanating from Gaza:

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will respond with determination to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel. The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip. (My emphasis)

A strong statement, a clear statement, but ...

MK Shai Hermesh in his editorial "Target Hamas' leadership" in the June 24th Israel Hayom, addresses whether this is or is not,  more than mere words and why:

Reality vs. fantasy: The need to develop a consistent and reality-based policy.
25 June '12..

I spent the weekend in the Sierra at 8500 feet. No Internet, not even cell service. When I returned, I found that the army had allowed Mohammad Morsi to be elected president of Egypt. Although the struggle for control isn’t over, I think that barring a violent confrontation (which the generals don’t appear to want), what we can expect is a gradual consolidation of power into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.This doesn't mean that war with Israel is imminent or inevitable, but it does mean that it will be impossible to depend on Egyptian security forces to prevent — or even to not abet — terrorism on the southern border. It also means that the position of Hamas, the Palestinian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, will be greatly strengthened.

This is just one of the recent developments that have increased pressure on Israel. The emergence of Turkey as a hostile power, the determination of Iran in pursuit of nuclear weapons and the West’s tepid response, the ascendance of Hizballah in Lebanon, the threat from Syria’s non-conventional arsenal, the weakness of the non-hostile (we can’t quite use the adjective ‘friendly’) regime in Jordan, the unprecedented anti-Israel atmosphere in much of Europe — all of these combine to make Israel’s security situation as dangerous as it has been at any time since 1948.

As I wrote last week, the lever that Israel’s enemies depend on, our own Sudeten Germans, are the Palestinian Arabs. At this historical moment, as external threats mount, so does the force applied to this lever. It is absolutely necessary to develop a consistent and reality-based policy towards the Arabs of the territories (and also the so-called ‘Palestinian citizens of Israel’, as well as the Arabs who are permanent residents of Jerusalem but choose not to be citizens). But we continue to be bombarded with fantasies that have nothing to do with the world in which we live.

D'Antonio - Wake-up call from Gaza

Credit: Zoom 77: Shikmim School in Sderot
that was hit by a kassam rocket on Saturday'
Maayan D'Antonio..
Sderot Media Center..
25 June '12..

Dawn breaks on the city of Sderot; it's a Shabbat, the day of rest. But as they say, there's no rest for the wicked. Some found that it would be fun to play "alarm clock" with the people of Sderot.

It's six o'clock AM when “Tseva Adom” alarm echoes across the city. Getting out of bed is an afterthought for most. Yet the head does not quite stay on the pillow when a sound, as loud as a clap of thunder, rips through the air. It is a clear day: the rockets have landed inside the city's limits (bull's eye).

The ripples of the hit cause car alarms to go off across the city, the window panes to shake in their frames, and people to run to the safe-rooms. That is, unless your skin has grown thick and your brain slow to react to something so common; after all, it is only six AM. So we cover our heads and turn to the other side, hoping to go back to sleep, denying this all the while.