Friday, August 31, 2012

The truth about the International Solidarity Movement

The International Solidarity Movement likes to present itself as a champion of non-violence and peaceful resistance, but in fact it takes pride in serving as a human shield for terrorists. It's a shame that even Israel's media have fallen for this ruse – just like Rachel Corrie did.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
31 August '12..

The family of Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an army bulldozer during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Gaza in 2003, filed a civil suit against the State of Israel for their daughter's death. This week, the Haifa District Court ruled that the state was not to blame.

“Corrie could have moved away from the danger easily, but she chose to endanger herself ... The purpose of the bulldozer’s work was saving lives," wrote Judge Oded Gershon. "The incident occurred at the height of an armed conflict between Israel and terrorist groups. The bulldozers were being used to prevent explosives from being planted on the road; they did not damage Palestinian homes in the area.”

Unlike the collaborators whose knee-jerk response was to describe Corrie as a peace activist and mention only the innocent-sounding name of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) without elaborating, here are some facts of the case, most of which can be found on the NGO Monitor’s excellent website.

The ISM portrays itself as advocating non-violence, human rights, respect for international law and United Nations resolutions, and as striving for a “just peace.” But study of its documents and the statements made by its high-ranking officials shows that the organization’s ideology is in fact anti-Israel and anti-Zionist, and has adopted the Palestinians’ most radical demands. Not only does the ISM negate the policies of Israeli governments (which amounts to “Israeli apartheid in Palestine” as it calls it), but also Israel’s very existence as the Jewish homeland. Statements by ISM officials emphasize implementing the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to Israel, rejection of the Oslo Accords, and never even mention the two-state solution. However, the ISM keeps its positions vague so that it can appeal to the largest common denominator of human rights and peace activists, including Jews – most of whom, surprisingly enough, do not deny Israel’s right to exist, but merely oppose its policies.

In its internal documents, the ISM seemingly justified the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel, even at the height of the suicide terrorist attacks. Its activists gave refuge to a jihadi operative who had been involved in suicide bombings, shooting attacks and planting explosives.

They interfered with the Israel Defense Forces’ preventative operations (such as the incident in which Corrie was killed); at one point obstructing the bombing of an explosives laboratory that produced bombs used in suicide attacks.

The ISM’s activities include participation in Palestinian demonstrations and acts of protest; stationing activists as human shields to protect wanted terrorists; deploying its activists near IDF checkpoints and throughout Judea and Samaria; providing financial, logistical and moral assistance to Palestinians, including terrorists and their families; interfering with the demolition or sealing of the homes of terrorists who have carried out suicide attacks that have claimed many victims; and holding marches along the security fence and from Jenin to Jerusalem.

Migron, the legal system, and the threat to Israeli democracy.

Caroline Glick..
31 August '12..

By Tuesday, 50 Israeli families will have been tossed out of their homes in their village of Migron, which is set for destruction.

They will not be dispossessed because they unlawfully squatted on someone else's property.

The residents of Migron will be tossed from their homes - on the order of the Supreme Court - because Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and his associates believe they are above the law. And due to this opinion, Weinstein and his associates refuse to recognize the sovereign authority of Israel's government or to act in accordance with its lawful decisions.

The media have alternatively presented the story of Migron's imminent destruction as a story about a power struggle between so-called settlers and the IDF, whose forces will be called upon to eject them from their homes; or as a struggle between the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu; or as a struggle between the radical leftists from Peace Now and its fellow foreign government-financed NGOs, and the residents of Judea and Samaria.

These portrayals are reasonable on the narrow level of day to day developments in the story of Migron's struggle. But on a more fundamental level, the story of Migron and its pending destruction is the story of the power struggle between Israel's unelected, radical legal fraternity represented by the attorney-general, the State Prosecution he directs and the Supreme Court on the one hand, and Israel's elected governments - from the Right and from the Left - on the other.

Migron is the latest casualty of this struggle. The legal fraternity's bid to wrest sovereign power of governance from Israel's elected leadership threatens our democracy. In its continuous assault on governing authority, the legal fraternity renders it difficult if not, as a practical matter, impossible, for the government - any government - to govern.

It is important at the outset to recognize that there is a world of difference between the rule of law and the rule of lawyers. The fate of Migron, which was sealed on Wednesday with the decision of the Supreme Court, sitting as the High Court of Justice, to remove all 50 families from their homes, is a legal atrocity.

Israel - Liberty, Identity, Meaning

Moshe Feiglin..
30 August '12..

Translated from the NRG website..

If it wants to survive and thrive, Israel must base itself upon three key concepts:

· Identity

· Meaning

· Liberty

Identity means asking ourselves who we are. Jews? Israelis? Just partners in a large insurance firm called the State of Israel? What is our shared narrative? Do we have a shared founding ethos? What is the significance of the fact that we are a Jewish State? Do we even have a common identity? Is it right to search for it and to attempt to shape it?

For some, it is enough that we all speak Hebrew. For others, that is not even the beginning of a common identity. As I see it, there is no such thing as a Jewish State without a clear and solid Jewish identity; not a religious identity, but a cultural identity.

I oppose religious legislation and prefer to allow our Jewish cultural common denominator to develop freely. There is no Israeli law that requires new parents to circumcise their child according to Jewish law, but the vast majority of Israelis do so, nevertheless. It follows that we do not need other religious legislation, either. Ultimately, it is the community that must decide on its religious character – not the state. If the community chooses, it will have privately owned public transportation within its parameters on Shabbat. If it does not want it, the buses will not run. If the community chooses to open businesses on Shabbat, they will open. If not, they will remain closed. I trust the Jews, over 80% of who are deeply connected and committed to their Jewish identity. I also know that coercion will boomerang. In short, I would like to emphasize and empower our Jewish identity by removing the fear and coercion, allowing the true will of the public to emerge as the guiding force behind our Jewish national identity.

Multi-rocket attack and Israeli kids return to fortress high school

31 August '12..

First a quick look at this morning's latest from This Ongoing War:

Multi-rocket attack on southern Israel at 6 this morning

A number of Gazan rockets were fired in the western Negev region of southern Israel around 6 this morning (Friday) after the Tzeva Adom incoming missile warning system sounded throughout the area. Initial reports say a residence in the beleagured city of Sderot took a direct hit [source], while another Gazan rocket crashed an exploded in open fields on the edge of Sderot. The home struck this morning has been hit before; the owner is interviewed in Haaretz.

The Islamist Hamas regime that controls Gaza has waged open rocket warfare - directed explicitly at Israeli civilians - for several years. The tally of terrorist rockets (which we track via the Challah Hu Akbar counter on the right of this page) is astonishing to anyone not aware of the frequency of the attacks. So is the apathy of the international organs who look on in silence.

And of course the natural consequence of this is the following from the AP (The Australian News):

Israeli kids return to fortress high school

FOR the first time in years, the children of the Israeli town of Sderot can study in peace.

Living under a constant threat of rocket fire from militants in the nearby Gaza Strip, their schooldays were often interrupted by mad dashes to bomb shelters. But yesterday, they started the school year safe from attack in a new, fortified, rocket-proof school building.

The $US27.5 million ($26.5m) structure features concrete walls, reinforced windows and a unique architectural plan all designed specifically to absorb and deflect rocket fire. Notices on the walls of the "Shaar Hanegev" High School remind the 1200 students of their new reality: in case of a warning siren, it reads, stay put.

Rachel Corrie and Evergreen State - A Tragic Education

Shrine to St. Rachel Corrie at an Olympia art studio
30 August '12..

I recently wrote about the tragedy of Rachel Corrie (it’s always tragic when a young person dies, more so when she dies for a mistaken cause, and even more when she is cynically brainwashed by a group like ISM which is directly connected to terrorist groups).

Rachel was a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, when she proposed an independent study project for her senior year to establish a sister-city relationship between Olympia and Rafah, a town that lies directly on the border between the Gaza strip and Egypt, a nexus of conflict between the IDF and terrorists smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Evergreen is a paradigm of the progressive cause-based model of education, where you can get what author Howard Jacobson (The Finkler Question) called a “modular degree.” For example, the home page for the “Gender and Sexuality: History, Culture and Politics” program includes this bemusing note:

Enrollment is open to any Evergreen student with sophomore through senior standing. It is likely that many students will have a sexual or gender identity, but this is not a prerequisite for enrollment. If you have such an identity, switching it out at any time is also perfectly fine.

Hmmm… everyone that I know has a “sexual of gender identity,” although they don’t “switch it out” too often (not that there would be anything wrong with that).

Among the many courses in gender and ethnic studies, activism, etc., I did not find anything like a course in Western Civilization. The closest to one in American History was “The Formation of the North American State,” described thus:

This program will examine the movement of the North American colonies in their separation from Britain to the emergence of the United States through the election of 1800. It will investigate the conflict; the social, racial and class divisions; and the distinctly different visions of the proper social, economic and political system that should predominate in the new nation. Much conflict surrounded the separation of the settler colonies from Britain, including a transatlantic revolutionary movement, development of slave-based plantations and the birth of capitalism. Capitalism was not a foregone conclusion. …

I just bet it wasn’t.

Rachel didn’t get her sister-city project off the ground, although it is presently being pursued in her name. What she did do on arrival was join up with several ISM activists (Olympia and Evergreen have provided a disproportionate number of members to the ISM) for a training session, then traveled to Gaza, where she did her (unfortunately effective) best to throw herself against the machine of Occupation.

Arlene Kushner - From Israel: Not Pretty

Arlene Kushner..
30 August '12..

Really ugly, if truth be told. That's the situation in Migron. The High Court released its decision yesterday:

The residents -- all of them, including the 17 who re-purchased the land on which their homes are sitting -- must be evacuated by next Tuesday. By September 11, all buildings must be razed except for those on the plot of land that had been re-purchased.

Once again, if I am a bit vague on details it's not a reflection of insufficient effort on my part to secure information, so much as a function of garbled reports. This is in particular with regard to those 17 families. The court acknowledged that they did make the purchase legally, but chose anyway to deny them the right to live on that land that they own. This apparently has something to do with this ownership not complying with the original plans for that area -- which sounds terribly like legal double talk to me.

In fact there seems some internal contradiction in the ruling with regard to whether the homes of those 17 families will be razed.

See Michael Freund in "Tyranny Begins in Migron," on the rights of these people:


This ruling is an outrage of considerable proportions. There are three aspects to it.

One has to do with the automatic assumption that the land on which the community was built is "Palestinian" land just because Peace Now came to court with an Arab making claims, even though the ownership by this Arab or his family has never been legally documented.

Two has to do with the re-purchase of some part of that land. Even though the legality of that purchase was documented and acknowledged as legitimate by the court, it still denied the owners the right to reside on their land.

How close to hell is Gaza? Depends whom you want to believe

Image from "Hungry in Gaza, More and More"
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 August '12..

Gaza will no longer be “liveable” by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the United Nations’ most comprehensive report on the Palestinian enclave said on Monday.

That opening sentence is a direct and vebatim quote from a Reuters syndicated report issued two days ago. You can see it in a large number of places on the Web; here's one from Gulf News, an Arab newspaper that gave it considerable prominence.

Many, many news channels are focused on its grim and pessimistic message - one that plays well with the energetically marketed image of Gaza as "the world's largest prison", a "big concentration camp", "stressed, desperate and in poverty". Characterizations like those go hand-in-glove with the shameless apologetics of Hamas and the terrorism-friendly ideologues with whom it travels.

The paragraphs below, by contrast, come from an article written by an unusually authoritative expert on the subject, an Arab. The chances that it will appear in the Gulf News or Reuters or other news channels of global significance are next to none. The writer is Khaled Abu Toameh. We have frequently reprinted here things he has published over the past six years.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gaza’s ‘Inviable’ Future? UN Blames Israel

Joseph Klein..
30 August '12..

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) held a conference on August 27th entitled “Will the Gaza Strip be Viable in 2020?” The conclusion, predictably, was that the Israeli government was fully responsible for the difficult human living conditions in the Gaza Strip and that the Gaza population will face a real disaster on all levels by 2020 if the Israeli “siege” were not immediately ended.

In attendance at the Israel-bashing conference were the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Maxwell Gaylard, Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza Robert Turner, and UNICEF Special Representative in the Palestinian Territory, Jean Gough.

Gaylard said that the Gaza population is expected to expand by a half million, reaching 2.1 million in 2020, while access to water and electricity, education and health resources will get worse over the same period, unless major remedial action is taken immediately.

“Despite their best efforts the Palestinians in Gaza still need help,” Gaylard said. “They are under blockade. They are under occupation and they need our help both politically and practically on the ground.”

Best efforts? Gaylard may not have noticed, but Gaza is not under Israeli occupation today. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and Hamas has controlled Gaza for the last five years after its forcible ejection of its Fatah rivals. Gaylard neglected to point out the reason for what remains of the Israeli blockade. Hamas and other Islamist terrorist groups have used Gaza to launch thousands of rockets, missiles and mortars into Israel during the years of Hamas control - 542 this year alone to date. Indeed, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired seven rockets into Israel in the past few days. Two of them narrowly missed a school just as the new Israeli school year got underway.

Despite the Palestinian terrorists’ continuing onslaught of unprovoked attacks, Israel has relaxed its defensive blockade at great risk to the security of its citizens. Building materials and many goods are regularly imported into the Gaza Strip without Israeli interference. Tons of agricultural products are exported without Israeli interference. And Israel is helping the Gaza economy by supplying six times as many megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip as Egypt does.

Tyranny begins in Migron

Why the inconsistency? Doesn’t the rule of law apply equally to Jews and to Arabs? Apparently not.

Michael Freund..
30 August '12..

On Tuesday, a fateful hearing took place at the Supreme Court to determine the destiny of the Jewish community of Migron.

The complicated history of the site, and the legal wrangling surrounding it over the past six years, have left many people wondering where right begins and wrong ends. But regardless of one’s political views, there is something about the case that should send a shudder down the spine of every Israeli who values liberty.

Standing before the justices, Osnat Mandel of the State Attorney’s Office said that Migron in its entirety should be evacuated within a few days. Mandel made no distinction between the land that was recently purchased by Migron’s residents, on which 17 families live, and the rest of the community’s territory, where 33 other families reside and the ownership is in dispute.

In other words, the state is willfully choosing to ignore the legal purchase of land by its citizens and is prepared to expel them from their homes. Needless to say, this is nothing less than an outrage.

The state is trampling upon one of the fundamental underpinnings of any Western-style democracy: private property rights.

The land in question was purchased in a legal transaction from its Palestinian owners at a reported cost of $1 million. Migron’s residents presented documents to support their claim and even videotaped the acquisition as proof that it had been carried out. This development undermines the basis for the expulsion order against the 17 families in question, but that doesn’t seem to have stopped Mandel from insisting that they be removed anyway.

From one 'Prisoner of Zion' to another.

Barbara Sofer..
The Human Spirit/JPost..
30 August '12..

In this season of taking stock, of counting our blessings and regretting our faults, we recognize with profound appreciation that we live at a time when the Jewish communities of the world are free.

When I speak to student groups about one of the great dramas of my lifetime – the exodus of the Jews of Russia and how, to use Natan Sharansky’s words, “housewives and students” defeated the powerful Soviet Union, I might as well be telling them a Hanukka story. They don’t know who Sharansky is, and the term “Prisoner of Zion” has little meaning.

That’s not a criticism. What molded our lives doesn’t have to mold theirs.

In more recent times, we have directed our efforts to finding and freeing individual Jews, mostly soldiers of the IDF who are missing in action: Ron Arad, Zvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Guy Hever, Zachary Baumel. I wonder if I am the only one who, for so many years, included Gilad ben Aviva (Schalit) in the entreaties of my daily prayers? And who sees that he occasionally still finds his way in, before I remind myself that he was freed last October?

Where does Yehonatan ben Malka fit in our private and community prayers?

He’s not incarcerated in an underground cell in Gaza or in a Communist prison. Yehonatan ben Malka is an Israeli citizen whose exact location we know. Prisoner number 09185016. Butner Federal Correction Complex in Granville County, North Carolina. Jonathan Pollard.

I was eight years old, walking from public school to Hebrew school in Colchester, Connecticut, stopping at Fanny Miller’s candy store for fireballs and chocolate-covered raisins, already taking part in the great debate with my Jewish friends. “What would you do if America and Israel went to war against each other?” we asked each other.

The subject of loyalty was deeply embedded into our consciousness as American Jews. Somehow you knew that your Irish and Polish and Italian classmates weren’t having a parallel debate. In a sense we were hyper-patriots. We couldn’t take freedom and security of America for granted like the Daughters of American Revolution in town.

At the same time, the values of liberty and justice resonated with both our Americanism and Judaism. In the rare circumstances I heard the names Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, the only Americans to be executed for spying in the Cold War (in 1953), the subject was quickly hushed up.

By the time I was 12, I’d read one of the early Holocaust accounts: Judith Sternberg Newman’s biography In the Hell of Auschwitz. Newman’s relatives lived in Colchester. On one hand, I felt even luckier that my grandparents had left Eastern Europe for the United States. On the other hand, the need to protect the Jewish people was imperative.

Grave errors had been made in America towards the Jewish people. Although I felt unhampered by my Jewish identity to attend any university, a generation earlier talented Jews faced admission quotas and certain branches of the armed forces were known to be difficult for Jews to enter. The US, with its wide-open spaces and supposed immigrant culture, didn’t take on an organized rescue policy for Jewish victims of Nazi Germany until 1944.

At Any Cost? The Argument Against Prisoner Exchanges (Pt. 1)

Aidan Fishman..
The Times of Israel..
30 August '12..

Almost a year has passed since abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was finally released by his Hamas captors, in exchange for 1,027 convicted criminals in Israeli jails, mostly Palestinian in origin. Yesterday, readers of The Times of Israel were reminded of Shalit’s first birthday in freedom since 2005; soon, we will surely be bombarded with news of his first High Holy Days at home in many years.

And then, on October 18th, the day for which we have all been waiting: the anniversary of Gilad’s return. Thousands of Israelis and Jews worldwide remained glued to their TV sets on that day, as the emaciated soldier embraced Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Kerem Shalom crossing, after enduring an exploitative interview for Egyptian television.

Many cried tears of unadulterated joy on that day. But for me, there was nothing but tears of anguish and betrayal. I was sure then, and remain convinced now, that the prisoner exchange that freed Gilad Shalit was morally repugnant and pragmatically inept, and represented one of the most severe failures of leadership in Israeli history.

Now that the emotions have largely subsided, I will use the rest of this article to engage in a point-by-point refutation of the conventional case in favour of the deal. Next week, I will illustrate the serious harm that it has inflicted upon Israeli legitimacy, peacemaking efforts and strategic deterrence, while also responding to any criticism stemming from this piece.

For starters, let me make one thing clear: We can not condemn the actions of the Shalit family, who waged a tireless and ultimately successful public campaign to earn their son’s release. Any parent would have done the same, and no pundit or commentator can ever understand the pain that they must have experienced on a daily basis as long as Gilad sat caged like a dog in Gaza.

However, by the same token, we must appreciate the bitterness and rage of the relatives of other terror victims, whose murderers were prematurely released as part of the exchange. How cruel it must be, to the see the person who brutally butchered your loved one returned to their family in Jericho or Hebron or Gaza, fêted with song and dance and candies, while the innocent victim stays buried in the earth! So deep was their pain, that some relatives mounted a futile attempt to block the prisoner swap via the Supreme Court of Israel. Clearly, the joy and relief that the prisoner exchange brought to the Shalit family is no justification for the operation, as it also inflicted unconscionable suffering upon other victims of Palestinian terror.

Even Hamas has More Moral Sense than the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Evelyn Gordon..
29 August '12..

If I were UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, or any of the 120 countries that sent delegates to the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Iran this week, I’d be more than a little embarrassed to discover that Hamas, a terrorist organization that thinks nothing of slaughtering innocent men, women and children in buses, restaurants and hotels, actually has a more developed sense of morality than I do.

While Hamas was invited to attend the NAM summit by Iran, it ultimately declined. This decision followed a public threat by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that if Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh went, he would stay home. But senior Hamas officials say  the desire to prevent an open rift with Abbas was only a secondary consideration. Their number-one reason for staying home was that they didn’t want to be seen as supporting Iran at a time when Iran is openly supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s slaughter of his own people by supplying him with arms and even troops.

Clearly, no such qualms troubled Ban or any of the other high-profile delegates, most of whom are very senior officials of their own countries. By attending the summit, they sent the clearest possible message: Assad is free to continue slaughtering his people (the death toll has already topped 19,000, with no end in sight). And Iran is free to continue helping him do so without suffering any consequences whatsoever: It will still be treated as an honored and valued member of the international community.

Life in the "Impoverished" Gaza Strip. How many millionaires ?

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
30 August '12..

The world often thinks of the Gaza Strip, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, as one of the poorest places on earth, where people live in misery and squalor.

But according to an investigative report published in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, there are at least 600 millionaires living in the Gaza Strip. The newspaper report also refutes the claim that the Gaza Strip has been facing a humanitarian crisis because of an Israeli blockade.

Mohammed Dahlan, the former Palestinian Authority security commander of the Gaza Strip, further said last week that Hamas was the only party that was laying siege to the Gaza Strip; that it is Hamas, and not Israel or Egypt, that is strangling and punishing the people there.

The Palestinian millionaires, according to the report, have made their wealth thanks to the hundreds of underground tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Informed Palestinian sources revealed that every day, in addition to weapons, thousands of tons of fuel, medicine, various types of merchandise, vehicles, electrical appliances, drugs, medicine and cigarettes are smuggled into the Gaza Strip through more than 400 tunnels. A former Sudanese government official who visited the Gaza Strip lately was quoted as saying that he found basic goods that were not available in Sudan. Almost all the tunnels are controlled by the Hamas government, which has established a special commission to oversee the smuggling business, which makes the Hamas government the biggest benefactor of the smuggling industry.

Palestinians estimate that 25% of the Hamas government's budget comes from taxes imposed on the owners of the underground tunnels.

The Jewish People's Struggle for Universal Human Rights

Isi Leibler..
Candidly Speaking From Jerusalem..
30 August '12..

One of the conundrums associated with the enduring nature of global anti-Semitism which has soared exponentially in recent years, is why, having made such disproportionate contributions towards all levels of civilization and left major imprints on science, ethics, medicine, culture and the arts, we Jews continue to act as a magnet for such virulent hatred.

Equally bizarre is the failure of formerly oppressed groups and nations to reciprocate or even acknowledge the extraordinary Jewish contributions in support of their struggles towards overcoming persecution, discrimination, abuse of human rights and achieving independence.

This is typified by the fact that whereas there is no American group comparable to the Jews who sacrificed so much to help African-Americans to overcome racial discrimination and their struggle for civil rights, ironically, today they are amongst the foremost US racial or ethnic groups promoting anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism. The recent loathsome outburst by the African-American writer Alice Walker who sought to prohibit her novel – relating to racism – from being translated into Hebrew, typifies this. Walker’s demonization of Israel even extended to accusing Israel of practicing “racism” in a more extreme manner than was the case in apartheid South Africa. This is all the more perverse because aside from being the only free and democratic society in the region, the Jewish State probably also comprises the greatest mélange of racial groups in the world committed to equality.

The same criticism would apply to the current South African government which is today bitterly anti-Israeli despite the fact that individual South African Jews were at the vanguard of the struggle against apartheid, many having been forced to leave the country during apartheid regime.

Yet, even Archbishop Tutu, whose anti-Israeli outbursts have now morphed into vulgar populist anti-Jewish diatribes, concedes that “in our struggle against apartheid, the greatest supporters were the Jewish people… They almost instinctively had to be on the side of the disenfranchised, of the voiceless ones”. But in the same breath he paved the way for his government’s recent anti-Israeli initiatives by calling for divestment from Israel which “has oppressed more than the apartheid ideologues could ever dream about in South Africa” and descends into primitive anti-Semitism referring to Jews as “a peculiar people” who “once oppressed and killed” are now “empowered”, and “refuse to listen and disobey God.”

The politics of hypocrisy and Judith Butler

Petra Marquadt-Bigman..
The Warped Mirror..
30 August '12..

German prize award committees seem to have a weak spot for outspoken Jewish critics of Israel: writer and activist Uri Avnery has accumulated multiple German awards over the years, and the staunchly pro-Palestinian attorney and activist Felicia Langer was awarded Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit, First class, in 2009. Now it is the turn of Judith Butler, an American philosopher and professor in the Rhetoric and Comparative Literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley, who will receive the prestigious Theodor Adorno Prize on September 11 in Frankfurt.

To be sure, the Adorno Prize is awarded to “acknowledge outstanding performances in the fields of philosophy, music, theatre and film” – which is to say that it is Butler’s academic work, and not her political activism that are being honored with the prize. However, it is obviously Butler’s academic fame and her status as the “reigning queen” of Queer Studies that make her activism very valuable to her political allies in the BDS-movement that targets Israel. Critics who argue that it is therefore disingenuous to pretend that Butler’s contribution to philosophy can be honored irrespective of her political activism obviously have a point.

There are indeed several problematic political implications of honoring Butler with the Adorno Prize. First and foremost, it has to be noted that, while we cannot know how Adorno would feel about Israel now, we do know that he was very concerned about the antisemitic and anti-Zionist tendencies that became acceptable and even fashionable on the left in the 1960s. At the beginning of the Six-Day-War in 1967, Adorno expressed great alarm about the danger Israel faced and explicitly stated that he hoped that Israel would prove militarily superior to the Arabs. Shortly before his death in 1969, he worried that the open hostility to Israel displayed by the student movement might indicate fascist tendencies. [See: Stephan Grigat, Befreite Gesellschaft und Israel: Zum Verhältnis von Kritischer Theorie und Israel; a shorter version is: Kritische Theorie und Israel: Adorno, Horkheimer und Marcuse über den Zionismus]

The Rocket Fire That Never Ends

Gilad Skolnick..
The Times of Israel..
29 August '12..

I was fresh out of boot camp when a fellow soldier stared straight into my eyes, perhaps trying to assess my sanity, and asked why I would make a choice to live in a nation threatened with annihilation. I had chosen to return to Israel, leaving the calm America I had lived in since I was six. Israel was relatively quiet, but the tension in the air caught me by surprise. Israeli television tries to make light of such fears, with the popular news satire show “Eretz Nehederet” (“A Wonderful Country”), showing Israeli survivors of a nuclear holocaust trying to find something to watch on television, but this looming fear is very real and present in Israel.

It was now my turn to serve in the Israeli military, the third generation of my family to do so. My grandfather had to drop out of high school to defend his homeland, Israel, from invading Arab armies whose leaders were publicly promising the country’s annihilation. My mother grew up in northern Israel where she was often awakened in the dead of the night with a warning of mere seconds to run to the nearest bomb shelter. She spent many sleepless nights huddled with others in a cold underground shelter, as the Syrian regime pounded her community with rockets. At 18 she was on the front line, in a guard tower, protecting Israeli villages from attack.

My grandmother, now an octogenarian, can no longer run to the nearest shelter, so when she leaves her house to buy groceries and Palestinian rockets target her city of Ashdod, she hopes for the best. At home at least she has a bomb shelter, as is the law for all new construction. Works great unless you ever need to use the bathroom. My village of Kissufim, where I spent the first years of my life, is routinely hit by indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian controlled areas, striking homes, kindergartens and my former preschool.

The World of EU “logic”

Ilya Meyer..
14 August '12..

The EU’s Mideast Policy:

Land that at some stage in history made up the Kingdom of Israel is not part of Israel.

Land that even in recent history did not belong to Arabs is not part of Israel.

Land that never in history belonged to Arabs is also not part of Israel.

You’ve got to hand it to the Brussels pen-pushers – they need to show they are doing something - anything – to earn their massive (taxpayer-funded) monthly salaries.


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Diplomatic Tsunami? Palestinians Face Their Own.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
29 August '12.

It seems like it’s been more than just 12 months since the pro-Israel community was in uproar about an imminent “diplomatic tsunami” that we were told would swamp the Jewish state. The “tsunami” was the Palestinian Authority’s plan to get the United Nations to grant it independence without first having to make peace with Israel. The assumption among foreign policy “realists” and the Jewish left was that the Palestinians would carry the international community with them and force Israel’s government to make even more concessions to avoid total isolation. But the “tsunami” that Ehud Barak feared never came to pass. If anything, what followed that fall was a diplomatic disaster for the Palestinians that illustrated that they were the ones who were isolated.

Though the PA vowed last year they would be back at the UN for another round of this fight, yesterday they signaled they would not bother. Though PA leader Mahmoud Abbas will address the UN again in September and mention the issue, the Palestinians won’t try to get it passed in either the Security Council or even the General Assembly, where everyone assumes they have an automatic majority. This concession shows just how thoroughly Israel’s supposedly incompetent government defeated them in 2011. But it may also signify a belief on their part that they would do better to keep quiet until President Obama is safely re-elected rather than cause trouble that would only worsen their situation during the fall campaign.

The “tsunami” failed not just because President Obama kept his word about threatening to veto a Palestinian attempt to get the Security Council to give them full member status. The U.S. wound up not even having to exercise that veto because the Palestinians couldn’t even get other, erstwhile sympathetic nations, to vote for them. Even the automatic Palestinian majority in the General Assembly was wary of wasting time and effort on this lost cause. The world knew the PA was a corrupt and bankrupt organization incapable of exercising sovereignty even if it was handed to them on a silver platter. For all of the anti-Zionist propaganda that is routinely aired at the UN, most member states, even those most hostile to Israel, understand that the Palestinians are only interested in perpetuating the conflict, not genuinely seeking a two state solution. Nor were they interested in picking a fight with the U.S. Congress, which was sure to vote to cut off funds to the world body if the Palestinians got their way.

Ship to Gaza - From Sweden with hatred

Ilya Meyer..
The Times of Israel..
27 August '12

GOTHENBURG, Sweden – The Estelle is a Swedish boat sailing to the coast of Gaza, part of the mostly publicly-funded “Ship to Gaza” propaganda project.

On Saturday, August 18, a dangerous and unusual demonstration took place simultaneously in Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city: people walked the streets wearing kippot.

And this Sunday, September 2, there will be parallel gatherings in support of Israel, democracy and truth in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden’s second-largest city. What’s the connection?

Everything. Ship to Gaza claims to want an end to the “humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” Its fanatical, virulently anti-Israel collaborators from Sweden refuse to comment on or even acknowledge the fact that Gaza is being marketed by Hamas itself as a luxury destination for Arab tourists on account of its 5-star hotels, lavish shopping malls, Olympic-standard swimming pools, acclaimed restaurants and wonderful beaches (albeit patrolled by Hamas to enforce modest Islamic dress code – but only for female bathers). Truth is an inconvenient obstacle to propaganda. Indeed, the Red Cross unequivocally stated over a year ago that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Red Cross statement is supported by Palestinian strongman Mohammed Dahlan, who says Gaza is “not lacking anything” – and he should know better than a group of well-funded conspiracy theorists living in far-off Stockholm.

Besieging the truth

In defiance of truth, logic and fact, the Ship to Gaza crew nevertheless set sail from Sweden to support the Hamas regime and break what they term Israel’s “siege” of Gaza. Of course, the “siege” of the Hamas-run terrorist enclave is not total: Israel transits all Gaza’s legal imports of food, medicine, building materials, fuel and so on, and admits increasing numbers of Gaza inhabitants for hospital treatment in Israel – facts that Sweden’s “Ship to Gaza” crew conveniently ignore.

Demonstrating Israel’s Priorities - The Paralympics

Evelyn Gordon..
29 August '12..

It’s no secret that Israel isn’t an Olympics power: It came away from the London Games without a single medal, and since its inception, it has won only one gold and seven medals overall (making it one of very few countries with more Nobel Prizes than Olympics medals). What is less well known is that Israel does much better in the Paralympics, which begin today: There, it has won more than 300 medals overall, 113 of them gold.

First and foremost, of course, that’s a testament to Israel’s cutting-edge medical care, developed in response to the grim necessity of having to treat far too many victims of war and terror. But it’s also a testament to Israel’s priorities: Whereas athletes competing in the regular Olympics often struggle financially, since state funding for most forms of sport is minimal, Paralympics athletes benefit from a network of state-supported rehabilitation centers where sports is part of the program for those who want it. It’s not that Israel wouldn’t love having more Olympics medals; the country went wild when Gal Fridman won his gold in 2004. It’s just that caring for its wounded veterans and victims of terror takes precedence–as it should.

Nor is it Israelis alone who benefit from the country’s medical expertise. Israel has a variety of programs that offer medical help to people worldwide–not only its well-known emergency medical missions to disaster areas, but also ongoing programs like Save a Child’s Heart, which provides heart surgery to children from throughout the developing world year-round, as well as training for medical personnel from these countries. Israeli cardiologists donate their time for this purpose, and an Israeli hospital donates the space; fundraising covers other expenses, like plane tickets for patients from Africa.

Dear Craig and Cindy Corrie (Parents of Rachel)

Portrait of their daughter from the Original Terrorist
28 August '12..

An Israeli court has ruled (an English summary of the decision is here) that the death of Rachel Corrie in 2003 was accidental. Some of the critical points made by the judge are the following:

 - The incident happened in a place that was a “site of daily warfare,” which civilians were forbidden to enter.
 - While supposedly a nonviolent organization, “[The ISM] exploits the dialogue regarding human rights and morality to blur the severity of its actions, which are, in fact, expressed through violence.”
 - The bulldozer was “leveling the ground and clearing it of brush in order to expose hiding places used by terrorists, who would sneak out from these areas and place explosive devices with the intent of harming IDF soldiers,” and not destroying Palestinian homes.
 - The IDF tried to distance the activists from the bulldozer, warning them, exploding stun grenades and firing warning shots, but they did not comply.
 - Corrie was not visible to the driver (see here and here).

Here is the judge’s description of the actual event that caused her death:

When the decedent saw the pile of dirt moving towards her, she did not move, as any reasonable person would have. She began to climb the pile of dirt. Therefore, both because the pile of dirt continued to move as a result of the pushing of the bulldozer, and because the dirt was loose, the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt and fell.

At this stage, the decedent’s legs were buried in the pile of dirt, and when her colleagues saw from where they stood that the decedent was trapped in the pile of dirt, they ran towards the bulldozer and gestured towards its operator and yelled at him to stop. By the time the bulldozer’s operator and his commander noticed the decedent’s colleagues and stopped the bulldozer, a significant portion of the decedent’s body was already covered in dirt.

The decedent’s entire body was not covered in dirt. In fact, when the bulldozer backed up, the decedent’s body was seen to free itself from the pile of dirt and the decedent was still alive.

The decedent was evacuated to the hospital [in Gaza] and after 20 minutes, her death was declared.

Dear Craig and Cindy Corrie,

As a parent, I can’t imagine an experience that could compare with the loss of a child. I know that if it happened to me I would be desolated. I thought about the possibility constantly during the period of the Second Intifada, when my son volunteered to serve in a special counter-terror unit and traveled around Israel on a daily basis to try to intercept terrorists — many of them sent by the same Hamas organization that your daughter defended — on their way to kill Israelis.

Some of these succeeded despite the efforts of my son and his comrades, and hundreds of Israelis, many of them children with parents like you and me, were burned to death, penetrated by nails and ball bearings, or had their lungs destroyed by blast.

Up Close - Hearing the Other Side

Simon Plosker..
Times of Israel..
29 August '12..

While my day job in pro-Israel advocacy ensures my exposure to all manner of positive messages about Israel, I also try to get a more rounded and sometimes critical picture of events.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a day trip to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem courtesy of a left-wing organization whose name I will not divulge. The first part of the day was a visit to the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, some 15 minutes north-east of Modi’in, over the Green Line.

The village is the site of weekly protests by Palestinians, left-wing Israeli and international activists aimed at the nearby Jewish settlement of Halamish. In particular, the ownership of a water source in the area appears to be the flashpoint for the residents of Nabi Saleh.

Our small group arrived at the home of Bassam Tamimi, the leader of the village’s so-called “Popular Struggle Coordination Committee”. Perhaps it is a positive sign of change in our region that, where once I would have found it a discomfiting experience to be in the center of a Palestinian village, I no longer felt that my personal security was in immediate jeopardy.

Indeed, I could have no complaints about the hospitality that our group was shown, sitting with Tamimi and his family members. But more on that later.

I was more than prepared to listen to the issues facing Nabi Saleh’s residents and I do sympathize with the military restrictions on Palestinian freedoms, although I believe they are a direct result of the Palestinian terror threat. That’s not to say, however, that Palestinian complaints can be automatically dismissed.

I fully expected to hear things that would make me uncomfortable and even sympathetic towards the Palestinian plight, especially in the absence of any competing viewpoint; the psychological damage to the village’s children as a result of IDF arrests of their parents; kids unable to get permits to cross into Israel; the mere 11 hours a week of water from the taps.

As our Palestinian hosts explained their adherence to “non-violent protest”, how could one not feel sympathy towards them?

But the mood started to change as our questions moved away from the more immediate concerns and on to deeper political and ideological issues.

Lebanon Warned, Lebanon's Responsibility.

Ruthie Blum..
Israel Hayom..
28 August '12..

If what was reported in Haaretz yesterday is true, then I would like to commend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. I am not referring here to the brouhaha surrounding his investment portfolio, but rather his alleged warning to the Lebanese government that it had better watch its step, or else.

On the investment portfolio, a scandal erupted when it emerged that Netanyahu had requested to shift some of his holdings. Though he did this through all the appropriate legal channels — and was given approval from the State Comptroller’s Office — opposition politicians seized upon the “incident” and were outraged. Ostensibly, they object to the fact that a person who is preparing for war in the near future shouldn’t be rushing to protect his stocks and bonds as a result of his assumption that the market is going to fluctuate.

Immediately, comparisons to former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz began to fly faster than the Hamas rockets that have been landing on southern Israel in honor of the start of the school year. Halutz shamed himself badly when the first thing he did after two Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah terrorists in August 2006 — the event that sparked the Second Lebanon War — was to phone his broker to sell his stock portfolio.

This is why Netanyahu withdrew his request to move his money around at this particular time. Too bad he didn’t anticipate the carryings on. He should have known it was going to ensue, especially now, with the whole country up in arms (no pun intended) over Iran.

But we have to give him credit where it’s due — and it’s due him big-time on an issue that he has not discussed publicly. Indeed, even his office has declined to comment on it this week.

Apparently, Netanyahu sent a message to the Lebanese government — via a “Western diplomat” — to the effect that Israel will not tolerate Hezbollah attacks against its citizens, even if it means full-scale retaliation that includes the bombing of much of the country’s infrastructure.

This is a huge deal.

During the Second Lebanon War, then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert kept insisting that Israel had no problem with Lebanon, and that its only enemy was Hezbollah.

"We have no quarrel with you," he assured the Lebanese people. "We look forward to a time when we will live together in quiet and cooperation … and hopefully in peace."

That distinction cost Israel many lives — and enabled Hezbollah to rebuild its network of terrorists and massive arsenals decimated by the war. It was a distinction that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, backed by his patrons in Tehran, has always counted on in confrontations with Israel. Indeed, it is what all terrorists rely on in their battle against the West. They know that Western democracies fear inflicting “collateral damage” more than they fear defeat. It is thus that Islamists situate themselves among innocent civilians, constructing munitions factories under kindergartens and placing key operatives in apartment buildings populated by regular people.

The secular beatification of Rachel Corrie ...

Sums up everything that is wrong with modern solidarity with Palestine ..

Brendan O'Neill..
The Telegraph..
28 August '12..

A court in Israel has ruled that the death of Rachel Corrie, a Palestinian solidarity activist who was crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Rafah in 2003, was accidental rather than being caused by the negligence of the Israeli army. The ruling will not please Corrie’s supporters. Over the past decade they have elevated her to saintly status, turning her into a paragon of virtue who wanted merely to “protect Palestinians” from Israel’s raging war machine. They have long depicted her death as a simple case of “murder” by the marauding forces of the Israeli state, which apparently is not only happy to kill uppity Palestinians but also virtuous white Americans who want only to “help Palestinians”. This secular beatification of Corrie, who has effectively been turned into St Rachel of the Put-Upon Palestinians, captures everything that is wrong with modern-day solidarity with Palestine.

Corrie’s cheerleaders – which includes actor Alan Rickman, who turned her writings into a hit play – seem unaware of how much their sanctification of Corrie echoes the old crusading Christian desire to save foreigners from wickedness. Corrie is treated as a uniquely good Westerner whose sole motivation was to “save” Palestinians, especially Palestinian children, from what Corrie herself described as Israel’s attempt to “erase” them. So one writer praises Corrie’s purity of soul, the fact that she eschewed “having a good time experimenting with drugs, booze and sex”, and even turned her back on her “Ivy League University”, in the name of travelling thousands of miles and “giving her life to save Palestinian homes and families”. Here, Corrie is turned into a kind of Christ-like figure, rejecting the shallow joys of Western privilege in favour of venturing into the desert to “give her life” for others.

NYT - A Tale of Two Columns

28 August '12..

On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, The New York Times ran an editorial, "Iran’s Nuclear Quest," that begins, "Iran appears to have installed a few hundred more centrifuges at its deep underground site known as Fordow, thus enhancing its ability to produce uranium enriched to 20 percent, a purity that can be converted relatively quickly to bomb-grade fuel."

Though noting, "Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are clearly dangerous to Israel and the region," editors quote one official as saying Iran's nuclear enrichment, in violation of numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, is "not a game-changer."

So who is singled out for the lion's share of scorn from The Times? You guessed it -- Israel:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rachel Corrie - Peace Activist? Not At All.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
28 August '12..

The verdict handed down today by a Haifa court in the lawsuit filed by the parents of Rachel Corrie will be denounced by Israel-bashers everywhere, and taken as confirmation of their dim view of the country’s justice system. For them, Corrie, a 23-year-old member of the International Solidarity Movement who was killed in 2003, is a martyr to the cause of peace and freedom for the Palestinians. They continue to believe Corrie was deliberately run over by an Israeli bulldozer knocking down the homes of innocent Arabs. But, as the court rightly pointed out, the truth is that though her death was regrettable, it was an accident caused by her own rash behavior.

The structures that she was attempting to protect by lying down in front of a bulldozer were fronts for tunnels along the border between Egypt and Gaza through which munitions and explosives intended to kill innocent Israelis were being smuggled. Even more to the point, the idea that Corrie was in Gaza to promote peace is a myth. The purpose of the International Solidarity Movement’s activities in Gaza was to shield Hamas and Fatah terrorists and to prevent the Israel Defense Forces from carrying out measures intended to stop the flow of arms and terrorist activity. If Corrie’s parents, who have pursued efforts to hold the state of Israel responsible for her death, should sue anyone it is the group that led the foolish American to Gaza and deliberately placed her in harm’s way.

Mask in Hand - Am I More Israeli Now?

Marni Mandel..
Times of Israel..
27 August '12..

In the steaming heat, I walked outside of a semi-abandoned recreation center in North Tel Aviv carrying a gas mask box that, quite frankly, I could turn into a cutting-edge retro-looking new totebag…and this is what I thought…

Am I more Israeli now?

Last week I received an email from my father imploring me to get a gas mask. He was “serious.” And, while I’m normally not one to take external opinions about the security situation here too seriously, I commenced my search – because it seemed to coincide with articles in both the English and Hebrew versions of the newspapers that I read on the internet that day.

My search began with a question on Facebook, where my friend Benji Lovitt pointed me in the direction of a phone number. For a mere 25 shekels, a mask could be delivered to my front door – how convenient! Almost like Chinese food in NYC! This seemed too good to pass up. And so, in an atypically patient moment, I called and stayed on hold for almost an hour waiting for someone to come on the line and take my order.

The operator told me that they would be happy to deliver my gas mask – on September 5th, as they were backlogged in orders. If I didn’t want to wait, I could go to their pick up station in North Tel Aviv from 12 p.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Thursday. It seemed that if I was going to the trouble of calling for a gas mask, the least I could do is get one sooner than 3 weeks away.

The 100 "Pro-Palestinians"

Hisham Jarallah..
Gatestone Institute..
28 August '12..

Some 100 "pro-Palestinian" activists from different countries arrived in Jordan during the past few days on another anti-Israel mission.

The activists did not come to Jordan to:

 - Visit or help thousands of Syrian and Palestinian refugees who are being held in miserable conditions along the Jordan-Syria border.
 - Hear information about the daily massacres in neighboring Syria. Had they wanted, the "pro-Palestinians" could have interviewed dozens of Syrians and Palestinians who fled the violence and bloodshed in Syria and heard horrific stories about how both the Syrian army and the "revolutionaries" have been slaughtering innocent civilians, including women and children.
 - Protest against the kingdom's official policy of discrimination against Palestinians -- an issue that has drawn sharp condemnations not only from Palestinians, but also from some Jordanians.
 - Demonstrate against the government's recent decision to impose severe restrictions on media outlets.
 - Hear about the harsh conditions of Palestinians living in a number of refugee camps in Jordan.
 - Protest against the Jordanian government's decision to revoke the Jordanian citizenship of tens of thousands of Palestinians.
 - Hear how thousands of Palestinians have been expelled from Iraq and other Arab countries in recent years.
 - Promote the rights of women under Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
 - Protest against the Palestinian Authority's crackdown on journalists and bloggers.

They did not come to Jordan because they were planning to visit Lebanon and see for themselves how Palestinians are subjected to apartheid regulations that prevent them from working in many professions.

Instead, the activists spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a mission whose only purpose is to provoke Israel, and not help Palestinians.

The illegal “building intifada” being waged by the Palestinian Authority

In this case, suddenly it seems it’s OK if Israel’s Supreme Court rulings are ignored.

Ari Briggs..
Op-Ed Contributor/JPost..
27 August '12..

The illegal “building intifada” being waged by the Palestinian Authority on state lands in Area C of Judea and Samaria, (the West Bank), has become the latest battleground for the radical Left in conjunction with foreign-funded Israeli so called human rights NGO’s such as B’tselem and Bimkom.

This unlawful land theft is being carried out with the full support of the EU, foreign aid organizations and the UN.

Under the Oslo Accords, Israel was allocated full administrative and security control over Area C. Allocation of final sovereignty in Area C was to be determined in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap of 2002.

Instead, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad has sought to unilaterally extend the PA’s control over undeveloped state lands within Area C in an attempt to pre-empt the outcome of any such negotiations, or in the more likely scenario, do away with the need for them completely.

Fayyad made his intentions very clear in an interview in the Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat on September 1, 2009: “Many think that zone ‘C’ areas have become disputed territories rather than occupied territories in the public consciousness. We assert that these are Palestinian National Authority territories where the state will be established.”

To achieve this objective, the construction of thousands of illegal Arab structures has gathered pace all over Area C as the PA pursues this policy of encouraging illegal land grabs, illegal outposts and building on state lands.

Ma'aleh Levona - Ax attack foiled this morning

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
28 August '12..

An ax-wielding Palestinian Arab terrorist attacked and injured an Israeli Jew in the Samarian/Shomron community of Maaleh Levona this morning (Tuesday) [source]. The attack occurred at the community's entry gate. The injured victim was treated on the spot for light to moderate chest wounds in chest and then evacuated him the Sha'are Zedek Medical Center hospital in Jerusalem. Some ninety families make their home in Maaleh Levona, which was founded in 1982.

Security personnel serving the Binyamin region of Samaria, along with service personnel from the IDF, pursued the attacker and came under a hail of rocks thrown by local Arabs. Nevertheless they succeeded in tracking him down and apprehending him.

Searches are underway now to see if other potential attackers are hiding in the vicinity which is close to a religious high school for girls - just the kind of 'quality target' that attracts the sort of people who attack unsuspecting civilians with an ax. The area has known previous attacks of a sadly similar nature. We described one two years ago: see "9-Jul-10: One small life-changing event illustrates 4 things to know about how terrorism works".


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The Death of Rachel Corrie and the Culpability of the International Solidarity Movement

NGO Monitor..
27 August '12..

***Haifa court rules against Rachel Corrie family in suit***
Judge Gershon invokes "combatant activities" exception, says US activist who was killed by IDF bulldozer in Gaza could have avoided dangerous situation;  Click here

JERUSALEM - In anticipation of the expected verdict on Tuesday, August 28 in the civil court case brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, Jerusalem based NGO Monitor released the following statement:

“Rachel Corrie’s death was a tragedy, but it could have been prevented. Leaders of the ISM movement have repeatedly made statements in support of violence,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor.

The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” The ISM has a long record of encouraging activists to take “direct action,” even if that means putting them in harm’s way, often in direct confrontations with the Israel Defense Forces. Rachel Corrie’s actions as an ISM activist were very much part of this strategy of dangerous confrontation.

In 2002, ISM co-founders Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf stated, “The Palestinian resistance must take on a variety of characteristics, both non-violent and violent...Yes, people will get killed and injured,” but these deaths are “no less noble than carrying out a suicide operation. And we are certain that if these men were killed during such an action, they would be considered shaheed Allah.”

Israel, the Two-State Solution and Confronting the Unpleasant Truth
27 August '12..

Sometimes the truth is more than just ‘inconvenient’. Sometimes it is downright unpleasant, even ugly. But nevertheless, it is what is and we need to deal with what is, not what we would like it to be.

Martin Sherman sees the unpleasant truth and, unlike so many others, draws the logical conclusions. He has written a series of articles in the Jerusalem Post in which he has exposed the sheer insanity of the Left’s two-state solution (TSS), as well as the failure of the Right to propose real alternatives.

Now Sherman has taken up the challenge to provide a practical alternative. In his most recent article — which I urge you to read in its entirety, since I can’t do justice to it with a few snippets — he writes,

To survive as the permanent nation-state of the Jewish people Israel must address two fundamental imperatives:

• The geographic imperative
• The demographic imperative

It is self-evident that if either of these is inadequately addressed, Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people will be gravely jeopardized, eventually becoming unsustainable.

The mainstream discourse invariably – and deceptively – presents Israel’s only choice as being between accepting the TSS – which would make Israel untenable geographically, or the OSS (one-state solution) – which would make it untenable demographically.

Neither comprises an acceptable policy-paradigm for anyone whose point of departure is the continued existence of Israel as the permanent nation-state of the Jews.

This, as we will see, compels us to the inexorable conclusion that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there can – and eventually will – prevail either exclusive Jewish or exclusive Arab sovereignty…

On Australian Funding of the PFLP - Turning up the Heat

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner..
Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center..
27 August '12..

Last February Shurat HaDin revealed that the large NGO World Vision, which distributes massive amounts of Australian government aid to Gaza, has been funding a Palestinian terrorist organization's charitable front. AusAid, the Australian government's entity in charge of supervising the country's foreign aid grants, initially suspended funding to the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC), alleged by us to be an instrument for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is a designated terrorist organization in Australia and the providing of any material support to it is illegal.

After suspending funding for a month, however, AusAid, on behalf of Australia's Foreign Ministry, declared it had thoroughly investigated the matter and found no reason why it shouldn't reinstate its support for the PFLP group. AusAid, while announcing this resumption of funding, proclaimed that it decided to reinstate its support to the UAWC because it was a registered charity in Israel! We were shocked by this explanation, as we had already searched and could not find that the UAWC was listed in Israel's registry of charities. Moreover, there was overwhelming proof that there was a connection between the UAWC and PFLP. The PFLP's website stated that it established the UAWC, with the latter agreeing that the terrorist group could utilize its Gaza buildings for training. In addition, several of UAWC's executive directors are known terrorists, including its director, Bashir al Khieri, who had served time in an Israeli prison for PFLP activities. This past week, the UAWC even put out press releases complaining that Israel's security services recently raided their offices in Jericho and arrested staff members for their involvement in terrorism.

All of this is going on while AusAid continues to publicly maintain that the UAWC is not the PFLP. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, defending AusAid, gave public assurances that no Australian taxpayer funds were being provided to the Palestinian terrorist group. After our investigation, it was conclusively determined that a tremendous fraud was being perpetrated by World Vision and AusAid against the Australian public. Above all, the organization they claim is registered in Israel is not the UAWC but a different charity with a similar sounding name - the Committee of Agricultural Works (CAW). CAW and the UAWC, which AusAid believes is one and the same, have very similar names but were founded ten years apart, all while having a totally different board of directors. One is indeed registered in Israel and the other is indeed an instrument of the PFLP.

From Israel - The Handle on Sinai

Arlene Kushner..
27 August '12..

I had hoped -- deeply hoped -- to be able to turn my attention to matters other than the situation in the Sinai. But the news there has loomed so large and seemed so ominous, that it merits on-going attention. And so, once again, I begin with this subject.

This time, however, I believe I will be able to provide a bit more clarity about what's happening.

The news has been utterly confounding and filled with contradictions: Tanks have been brought in by the Egyptians to combat the jihadists with the permission of Israel; Israel did not give permission. The Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi called Israeli Defense Minister Barak and the two came to an understanding; there was no such phone call.

And, most recently: An Egyptian general came into the Sinai to negotiate with the jihadists and the efforts to take out the terrorists is over; Egyptians say they are continuing their efforts against the terrorists.


The information I have now secured is from a most reliable source -- an Arabic-speaking and very savvy Israeli academic with multiple connections. He is in no way an apologist for the Egyptians. This is what he explained:

The jihadist terrorists are hiding in caves in the mountains (I have written about this) and thus tanks are worthless against them. What is needed are infantry combat units and helicopters to bring them up to the mountain tops.


The tanks were brought in as a PR ploy, to show the Egyptian people the army is tough and doesn't need to abide by Israeli demands. The intent here, however, is not to set up a situation that leads to war with Israel -- my source does not anticipate that Egypt will go to war with Israel, either in the short range, or even the "medium range" future. Rather, says my source, the Egyptian government is attempting to counter or deflate the demands of those who call for breaking the peace treaty with Israel.

One might argue that bringing in the tanks has broken the treaty. And technically, this would be the case if Israel had not approved the move. But the intent here apparently was not to break it in all its parameters but, quite the contrary, to enable it to be saved. The bravado was for internal consumption.

At the end of the day, will the tanks remain? This I cannot say. Might the situation shift so that the tanks would be drawn upon in a limited military action? I have no crystal ball and so can not definitively rule this out. But what I can report is that a source I consider highly reliable has told me that it is not the intention of the Egyptian government to break the peace treaty and move towards war with Israel.