Monday, March 31, 2014

New York Times, Who Exactly is Demonizing?

Will the Times be publishing a story going into tremendous detail about the trials and tribulations of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children left behind by those, old and young, murdered by Palestinian terrorists? Are articles dedicated to the humanization of these Israeli victims off-bounds to Times journalists, lest they themselves become complicit in Israeli "demonizing" of Palestinian murderers?

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Snapshots..
31 March '14..

The New York Times coverage today of released Palestinian prisoners embodies all that is wrong with Times coverage of Israel and the Palestinians ("Remaking a Life, After Years in an Israeli Prison,").

About Muqdad Salah, released seven months ago after serving 24 years for the murder of 72-year-old Holocaust survivor Israel Tenenbaum, Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren writes:

Demonized as terrorists by Israelis and lionized as freedom fighters by Palestinians, prisoners like Mr. Salah have become a flash point in the troubled peace talks . . . (Emphasis added.)

Rudoren has constructed a very neat symmetry in which two sides possess their diametrically opposed perceptions, valid or not, of the Palestinian who murdered a 72-year-old security guard.

Yes, Palestinians do lionize murderers of innocent civilians like Salah and others as "freedom fighters." But when Israelis regard the murderer of an elderly man for nationalistic reasons as a "terrorist," is this "demonization"? Or is it just calling it like it is?

Who Would've Thought? Palestinians Condemned for Visiting Nazi Death Camps

..."We have politicized everything except for the embezzlement of public funds. Is it okay steal millions of dollars from the people but not okay to have an academic study mission?" — Reader, Al Quds.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
31 March '14..

A visit by Palestinian students to Nazi death camps has stirred controversy among Palestinians, with some condemning it as a form of "normalization" with Israel.

Some 30 Palestinian students from Al-Quds University and Bir Zeit University in the West Bank arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau last week to learn about the Holocaust.

The visit is being led by Mohammed Dajani, professor of American Studies at Al-Quds University, who also heads the Wasatia movement of moderate Islam.

The visit to the Nazi camps has angered some Palestinians, prompting Al-Quds University to distance itself from the tour. The university and its outgoing president, Sari Nusseibeh, had often been criticized for promoting "normalization" with Israel.

In a statement, Al-Quds University announced that it had nothing to do with the Auschwitz-Birkenau visit.

The university said that this was a private visit by Professor Dajani and the students. "They do not represent the university," the statement said. "Professor Dajani is on leave and was not entrusted by the university [to arrange the visit]."

Al-Quds University went on to emphasize that it remains committed to a 2009 decision by its administration to cut off all ties with Israeli universities.

The Palestinian students travelled to the Nazi death camps as part of a joint program on "Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution" with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and Ben-Gurion University in the Negev.

As soon as "anti-normalization" activists learned about the visit, they launched a scathing attack on the professor and students on social media.

"I don't understand how the [Palestinian] students accept normalization [with Israel]," wrote a Palestinian journalist from Ramallah on his Facebook page. "This professor is the king of kings of normalization."

The leading Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, which reported about the controversial visit, triggered a debate among readers about the effectiveness of such tours.

The paper later had to delete some reader responses that accused the professor of treason and collaboration.

(Video) Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army?

...Al Jazeera "“Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army which tries, through great efforts, to avoid shelling areas populated by civilians in Lebanon and Palestine? Didn’t Hezbollah take shelter in areas populated by civilians because it knows that Israeli air force doesn’t bomb those areas?

31 March '14..

Posted in Honest Reporting's Israel Daily News Stream 30 March '14:

In an astonishing Al Jazeera Arabic video (via Tom Gross), news presenter Faisal Al-Qaseem says the Israeli (and French) armies have a better record at avoiding civilian casualties than Syria and Hezbollah.

Why don’t they learn from the Israeli army which tries, through great efforts, to avoid shelling areas populated by civilians in Lebanon and Palestine? Didn’t Hezbollah take shelter in areas populated by civilians because it knows that Israeli air force doesn’t bomb those areas? Why doesn’t the Syrian army respect premises of universities, schools or inhabited neighborhoods? Why does it shell even the areas of its supporters?”

The highly recommended Israel Daily News Stream of Honest Reporting is sent out once a day with any number of interesting short pieces and links. An excellent way to keep on top of what is being reported in the media, a free subscription which can be found by visiting their site at

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 which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out! 

Boycotters, Israel and Violating International Law

...It genuinely believes that it does not work with organizations that use or promote terror. But by supplying financial aid and other material support to the two Palestinian organizations that have clear links to terrorist organizations, Oxfam is misguided in this belief. It may now be open to criminal charges for violations of international law for supporters, if indirectly, terrorist groups. It may also be more careful in labeling settlements as “illegal.”

Dr. Michael Curtis..
American Thinker..
30 March '14..

The world is now aware of the bias and bigotry of Oxfam International in objecting to Scarlett Johansson’s decision to become a spokesperson for the Israeli company SodaStream because of the company’s factory in an Israeli settlement town. Oxfam considers Israeli settlements illegal and thus in violation of international law. In addition to its support of a boycott of trade with Israeli settlements, Oxfam has not adhered to a policy of neutrality in the Middle East. It has issued statements calling on Israel to end its supposed restrictions – i.e., checkpoints and roadblocks – on free movement of people and goods in the West Bank.

An important question now is whether Oxfam International can claim to come to the Middle East table with its moral righteousness intact. Certainly its declared neutrality in the conflict between Israel and Palestinians can be challenged by knowledge of the activity of some of its affiliates. One example of partisan activity is that the Dutch-branch Oxfam Novib and Oxfam GB are reported to have given $500,000 to the Coalition of Women for Peace, which is a fervent advocate of boycott of Israel.

The world may now be aware, through a report of the Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) that Oxfam is itself indirectly involved with terrorist groups that have been declared illegal according to both international law and the laws of the U.S., the U.K., the European Union, and Canada. As a result, Oxfam, which has deceived itself in believing that it is taking a moral position to boycott trade with Israel, may be liable to criminal and civil prosecution.

The problem for Oxfam relates to its involvement with two Palestinian organizations that have had, and probably still have, close connections with the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Oxfam has provided financial and other assistance to those two bodies – the Union of Agricultural Workers Committees (UAWC) in Gaza and the Union of Health Workers Committees (UHWC).

The UHWC, founded in 1985, provides medical services to poor Palestinians. The UAWC, founded in 1986, deals with land ownership and agricultural issues in the areas disputed between Israel and the Palestinians.

No doubt these two groups do render some useful service to Palestinians. The problem is that they admit they were founded and are staffed to a considerable degree by members of the PFLP, though they now deny any present connection. Though the degree of interaction between the organizations and the PFLP is not altogether clear, at least publicly, the connections through people are evident.

Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, who died in 2008, was a member of the Central Council of the PFLP, a so-called “national warrior” (AKA “terrorist”), and was also co-founder and the general director of UHWC. Bashir al Kheiri (Bashir Khairy), who for a number of years was chairman of the Board of Directors of UAWC, was also the head of the PFLP’s political bureau in Ramallah. He was involved in the Supersol supermarket bombing in Jerusalem on February 21, 1969. Jamil Ismail is the vice president of UAWC and is a member of PFLP and the head of its political office in Gaza. A number of other directors of UAWC, including its treasurer, are known to be members of PFLP.

The role of the PFLP in international terrorism is very familiar. Founded in 1967 by George Habash, it defined itself as a Marxist-Leninist and Arab nationalist organization. Its activities for 45 years have been negative, opposing any negotiated settlement with Israel and engaging in spectacular terrorist acts. These have included aircraft-hijacking, suicide-bombings, and assassination.

Walking Around Free, Enjoying Life and the Chances of Peace

...He’s now the picture of a successful Palestinian, but he’s got a couple of problems. One is that the no-show salary of $1,800 a month he’s collecting from the PA (which gave him $100,000 at his release) isn’t enough to live the life of ease he craves. The other is that his travel is restricted. And oh, yes: some Israelis are really mad about the fact that a terrorist with blood on his hands like Salah is walking around free and enjoying life.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
30 March '14..

The New York Times did a valuable public service today by profiling the life of Muqdad Salah. But the story, which demonstrated how unlikely peace between Israelis and the Palestinians is, wasn’t intended as an indictment of Palestinian society. Salah, 47, is, as the Times reported, doing his best to make up for lost time. You see, he lost 20 years of his life to a prison sentence in an Israeli jail from which he was liberated last year. To help ease his transition back to society, the resident of Burqa in the West Bank got a generous settlement from the Palestinian Authority, an honorary rank of brigadier general in the PA military, and praise from his neighbors and fellow Palestinians. In the seven months since he got out, he has married a much younger woman, remodeled a family home, and bought a business. He’s now the picture of a successful Palestinian, but he’s got a couple of problems. One is that the no-show salary of $1,800 a month he’s collecting from the PA (which gave him $100,000 at his release) isn’t enough to live the life of ease he craves. The other is that his travel is restricted. And oh, yes: some Israelis are really mad about the fact that a terrorist with blood on his hands like Salah is walking around free and enjoying life.

Although his profile would seem to be similar to the stories of those Americans who were wrongly convicted of murder but who are then released many years later because the courts have discovered that they are actually innocent, Salah wasn’t sprung from jail because of new DNA evidence or a witness who has recanted their testimony. There’s no doubt that it was he who took an iron bar and struck a 72-year-old Holocaust survivor over the head and murdered him in cold blood in 1993. The only change in the story is that while Salah claimed at his trial that he killed Israel Tenenbaum while he was sleeping, now he boasts that he had a grudge against the aged hotel security guard and killed him while he was awake.

Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren does a good job of amassing a lot of interesting detail about Salah’s life after prison and the way he and the dozens of other Palestinian terrorists who were released last year as part of the price Israel paid to get PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to return to peace negotiations. But she gives away the game when she attempts to strike a note of Olympian objectivity about the story when she notes that they have been “demonized as terrorists by Israelis and lionized as freedom fighters by Palestinians” but are just ordinary guys looking to “build apartments or start businesses, searching for wives and struggling to start families.” The problem here is not that these ordinary people are caught in the middle of a national struggle in which both sides distort the meaning of their actions. To the contrary, that most Palestinians consider a guy who brutally killed an elderly Jew is a hero worthy of a public subsidy (actually paid for by the PA’s foreign donors) tells us all we need to know about the chances for peace.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Release Barghouti? Immoral and Counter-Productive But Very Beilinesqe

...In his book "Touching Peace" Beilin explains that the Yom Kippur War shattered his faith in Israel’s leaders. But with the passing of time and with the tragic outcome of his political theories, Beilin has come to incarnate, and even to surpass, the hubris and dogmatism of leaders he rightfully criticized as a youngster.

Dr. Emmanuel Navon..
i24 News..
26 March '14..

Israel's controversial scheduled release of convicted Palestinian murderers has become more controversial, still, because of the demand by Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to release Marwan Barghouti. During the negotiations about Gilead Shalit’s release, Prime Minister Netanyahu firmly rejected the demand to release Barghouti. Former Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin, by contrast, called for Barghouti’s release in October 2011, and again this week in his i24news column.

By Yossi Beilin’s own admission, Barghouti is no Dalai Lama, no Gandhi, and indeed no Nelson Mandela. Beilin does not go into details of his understatement. Barghouti was the leader of the military wing of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, which carried out thousands of deadly attacks (including suicide bombings) against Israeli civilians. These deadly attacks included the murder of a Greek Orthodox monk on June 12, 2001; the murder of six Israelis during a bar-mitzvah celebration on January 7, 2002; the murder of three Israelis in a shooting spree at a Tel Aviv restaurant on March 5, 2002. Barghouti was also directly responsible for operating the terrorist cell of Raed Karmi in Tulkarem, which carried out many deadly terrorist attacks.

Three days before Yossi Beilin published his above op-ed, Alan Bauer, the victim of a terrorist attack masterminded by Barghouti, sent the following letter to President Obama: “Tomorrow will mark 12 years since our oldest son, then seven years old, and I were wounded in a suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem. Yehonathan had the head of a screw pass fully through his right brain, while I had two screws pass through my left arm. The role of Marwan Barghouti in this attack was revealed in indictments against the heads of the Fatah terror cell behind the attack … We cannot re-wind the clock and make the injuries and suffering disappear; the one thing we can do is to pursue justice and to do everything in our power to prevent terrorists from striking again.”

Beilin advocates Barghouti’s release because he believes that Barghouti is one of the rare Palestinian leaders who can “sell his people on a peace agreement with Israel.” Beilin does not even bother to address the moral issue of pardoning a murder for the sake of reaching a hypothetical peace agreement. Neither does he provide any evidence that Barghouti would be able and willing to “sell his people on a peace agreement with Israel.”

Where Did the “American Framework” for Israel-Palestinian Peace Go?

...So Abbas said no to all and returned to the West Bank a hero. “I am a hero. I said no to Obama,” he said at a carefully scripted rally back in Ramallah in which he called the American proposals “immature.” Perhaps, but only in the very short term, and in a very narrow sphere of influence.

Shoshana Bryen..
American Thinker..
30 March '14..

Check your newspaper, Twitter feed, or CNN. You will find the Malaysian airplane, Ukraine, the mudslide in Washington State, and in Washington, D.C. the terrible story of a missing 8-year-old girl. There is the occasional story about the Syrian civil war, the Central African Republic, or the declining U.S. defense budget. You are unlikely to learn much about the meeting between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and President Obama, or about the current state of Secretary of State Kerry’s “American Framework” for Israel-Palestinian peace.

The reason is that Secretary Kerry and the president have managed to alienate both sides at the same time, so they don’t want to talk about it. This takes some doing, so it is worth considering how they managed.

From Israel’s side, requirements for a peace deal with the Palestinians include a few points:

  - End of conflict; end of claims
  - The promises of U.N. Resolution 242
  - Israel’s capital in Jerusalem

End of Conflict; End of Claims is shorthand for “This is the last time we will have a negotiation over land, recognition, refugees or anything else. Whatever we give here and whatever you get here is the last thing.” It includes, inter alia, accepting the language of U.N. Resolution 181, which calls for the establishment of a Jewish State and an Arab State in Palestine. The Arab states voted against Res. 181 in 1947, and Israel has been waiting 67 years for them to correct the vote. This is part of why Israel wants the Arabs to accept Israel as the “Jewish State” – because the U.N. called it that.

So when Kerry says it’s counterproductive to insist, he is denying Israel’s requirement for legitimacy and the promise of “respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area." If that language sounds familiar, it is because it comes straight from U.N. Resolution 242.

The State Department spokesperson said it was unnecessary for the U.S. to insist, because “[t]he American position is clear[:] Israel is a Jewish state[.] … [W]e do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.”

So, if the U.S. does it, the Arabs don’t have to. That eviscerates the other important protection given to Israel by the U.N. (one of the few times a resolution worked in Israel’s favor).

Watching Kerry’s Credibility Crash As Abbas’s Intransigence Increases

...As Kerry’s credibility crashes – Abbas’s intransigence in refusing to recognize Israel as the Jewish State increases – a certain recipe for diplomatic disaster.

David Singer..
30 March '14..

US Secretary of State John Kerry has seen his reputation and prestige shredded to tatters over the past few weeks.

On 13 March Kerry told members of the House Foreign Relations committee that:

1.) international law has already declared Israel a Jewish state, and2.) Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence on a public declaration of Israel’s Jewish character from the PLO was “a mistake” in the diplomatic process.

Kerry also told a Senate panel:

“‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40—30 mentions of ‘Jewish state’. In addition, chairman Arafat in 1988 and again in 2004 confirmed that he agreed it would be a Jewish state. And there are any other number of mentions.”

PLO Chairman and President of the State of Palestine – Mahmoud Abbas – was unimpressed with Kerry’s knowledge of international law.

On 16 March the New York Times reported:

“.. Mr. Abbas, speaking before a meeting in the Oval Office, made clear that he was no closer to uttering the words that are a litmus test for the Israelis: that he recognizes Israel as a Jewish state.

“Since 1988, we have recognized international legitimacy resolutions” on Israel, Mr. Abbas said as Mr. Obama looked on, a hand on his chin. “And in 1993, we recognized the State of Israel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that the Palestinians go further and recognize Israel as a nation-state for the Jewish people in order to get a peace deal. Mr. Abbas has flatly refused, and his comments on Monday suggested he had gone as far as he would.”

On 19 March Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York – Peter Beinart – provided this advice to Abbas:

“I have a suggestion for Mahmoud Abbas. The next time Benjamin Netanyahu demands that you recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” tell him that you’ll agree on one condition. The Israeli cabinet must first agree on what “Jewish state” means. That should get you off the hook for a good long while.

Israel has never been able to define the term “Jewish state.”

The good Professor was obviously unaware that the term “Jewish State” had been defined for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in evidence given by David Ben-Gurion on 7 July 1947:

Can you imagine? Arabs No Longer Take Obama Administration Seriously

...The extension of the peace talks means only one thing: that Abbas will be able to use the new time given to him to try to extract further concessions from the U.S. and Israel, while all the time bearing in mind that Obama and Kerry are willing to do almost anything to avoid a situation where they are forced to admit that their efforts and initiatives in the Middle East have failed.

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
28 March '14..

The communiqué issued by Arab heads of state at the end of their summit in Kuwait this week shows that the Arab countries do not hold the Obama Administration in high regard or even take it seriously. The Arab leaders also proved once again that they do not care much about their own people, including the Palestinians.

The Arab leaders, at the end of their two-day meeting, announced their "total rejection of the call to consider Israel a Jewish state." This announcement came despite pressure from the Obama Administration on the Arab leaders to refrain from rejecting the demand.

A top Arab diplomat was quoted as saying that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry contacted Arab leaders on the eve of their 25th summit in Kuwait to "warn" them against rejecting Israel as a Jewish state.

Kerry, according to the diplomat, asked the Arab leaders completely to ignore the issue of Israel's Jewishness and not to make any positive or negative reference to it in their final statement.

Kerry did not want the Arab heads of state to repeat the same "mistake" that the Arab League foreign ministers made on March 9, when they too issued a statement declaring their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The Arab leaders, however, decided to ignore Kerry's warning and went on to endorse Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas's refusal.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Every murderer needs to pay the entire price

..."On the other side, they are greeted as shahids, as heroes, and they encourage more terrorism. Their release doesn't advance peace, and it doesn't advance the negotiations. It only advances more conflict and attacks on us."

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
28 March '14..

Sabria Tureq was just 21 when she was murdered. She loved sports. She lifted weights. She had even won the State Cup in women's boxing and was considered an Olympic medal hopeful.

In October 1989, Tureq was sitting in a kiosk in Jaffa when she suddenly heard her friend, Orly Hakim, scream from a nearby apartment. Sabria did not hesitate. She ran toward the darkened apartment and lit a match. The two killers, however, brothers from the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, were quicker. They hit her with a hammer and strangled her.

It was one of the most gruesome, horrific acts of murder ever witnessed in the country's history. Mohammed Halabi, a Shin Bet agent, and his brother, Hamas devotee Mahmoud Halabi, strangled four other women and two men in that apartment in Jaffa.

For years, investigators were convinced this was a criminally motivated act. After a years-ong legal battle, however, Tureq's family -- with the help of attorney Esther Bar Tziyon -- convinced the courts that Mahmoud Halabi persuaded his brother Mohammed, the Shin Bet collaborator, to murder Israelis -- both Jewish and Arab -- as a test of loyalty to Hamas.

Killing Israelis was a way to absolve Mohammed from the "sin" of working for the Shin Bet. The names of Tureq, Hakim, and the other victims were belatedly added to the names of the memorial on Jerusalem's Mount Herzl in honor of victims of terrorist attacks.

Tureq's mother, Gonai Tureq, makes a pilgrimage to Mount Herzl every year on Memorial Day to honor her daughter's memory. Tureq herself was buried in the Muslim cemetery in Jaffa.

Now Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is demanding that the two murderous brothers be released. The Tureq family, which has been through the wars and experienced its fair share of trials and tribulations, refuses to keep silent. They have a unique perspective, as bereaved Israeli Arabs who fell victim to Palestinian terrorism. In their world, "we oppose the release of killers because they are killers."

Do Gonai Tureq and her brother, Orhan, fear that Israel will follow through on the fourth release of Palestinian prisoners convicted of acts of terrorism?

"Every murderer needs to pay the entire price, and it doesn't matter if he's Israeli Arab, Jewish, Russian, or Sudanese," Orhan said. "Freeing killers with blood on their hands is a horrible mistake. My mother, who is not a healthy woman, has been crying for hours on end ever since she was told that the killers are on the list submitted by Abu Mazen [Abbas]. They are killing Sabria all over again.

"People might be surprised that we are speaking this way, but this has nothing whatsoever to do with our ethnic origin. Indeed, we are Arab Muslims, but a killer is a killer, whether the victim is Jewish or Muslim. The person's nationality shouldn't matter to anyone. These killers took the life of my Israeli Arab sister, and the other killers took the lives of Jewish Israelis, children and others."

Orhan says he knows "what jail is like."

"After the murder of my sister, I got into trouble," he said. "I sinned. I got mixed up in crime. I was in jail for quite a few years. I paid my full debt to society. The release of such despicable murderers from prison is an affront to the living, and it's an affront to the dead.

"Israeli civilians -- be they Jews or Arabs -- who murder other Israeli civilians -- be they Jews or Arabs -- must remain in prison. Why release them before they serve their sentence? And why is it Abu Mazen's business?"

Whether or not the fourth prisoner release is implemented, one thing is clear -- it is different from the other three. First, Abbas is demanding that this batch of prisoners includes 14 Israeli Arabs who are serving life sentences for committing acts of terrorism.

By sheer symbolic coincidence, 14 Israeli Arabs have been indicted over the course of the past two years on terrorism-related charges. In previous years, the number was much higher, particularly during the Second Intifada and the period immediately afterward. Between 2001 and 2004, authorities uncovered 104 terrorist plots being hatched by a combined total of 200 Israeli citizens of Arab origin. These individuals were complicit in terrorist attacks which claimed the lives of 136 Israelis.

Friday, March 28, 2014

European double-talk on the funding of Palestinian Arab terrorism...again.

...Is it only Europe? Of course not. The US government has very little about which to be proud when it comes to bowing low to the Palestinian Arab passion for lionizing convicted murderers of Jews and placing them on pedestals.

Palestinian children: In a meaningful
sense, the European and
American return on investment 
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
28 March '14..

Over at the update service ("operated by Parliamentary News Services, Press Gallery, House of Commons") they posted the following exchange today to their subscribers, one of whom (H/T Michael H.) kindly forwarded it along to us.

E-001778/2014 | Monday, 3 March 2014Question for written answer to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)Rule 117: Michał Tomasz Kamiński (ECR)VP/HR — Salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons

It is a well-known fact that the Palestinian Authority proudly owns up to illegally spending over 6% of its budget — donated by, among others, the EU, where funding terrorism is against the law — on salaries for terrorists in Israeli prisons and pensions for the families of suicide bombers. The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister, Issa Qarake, has admitted on television that the salaries are directly proportional to the terrorists’ sentences and the number of Jews they have killed.
1. What information can the EEAS provide concerning this case?2. What is the Commission’s strategy to stop EU funds being used to pay salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons? As the last known case of paying money for killing Jews was in Nazi Germany, will the EU High Representative condemn this practice?

Answer given by Mr Füle on behalf of the Commission

The EU is aware that the Palestinian Authority has a system of allowances in place for Palestinian prisoners, their families and ex-detainees. This scheme is not and has never been financed by the EU. All the funds the EU allocates to the Palestinian Authority for salaries, pensions and social allocations, are subject to rigorous ex ante and ex post verification procedures, notably including a specific check against a recognised data base of individuals listed as having a connection with terrorism of any sort. Any name which is signalled by the check is automatically deleted from the list of beneficiaries. The Commission would also refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E-14320/2013

Anyone who has reviewed the tragic history of EC double-talk around the subject of money - generously but ignorantly provided by unwitting European taxpayers via their representatives in Brussels - handed over to the Palestinian Arabs, knows that it is rich in language like what's on display here. Don't blame us; we didn't do anything wrong; we have rigorous ex ante and ex post verification procedures.

This sand-in-your-eyes resort to self-parodying language is calculated to do just what it achieves: to conceal far more than it reveals.

Some might be interested to know that we wrote about this in the Wall Street Journal Europe as far back as September 2003: see "Blood, Money and Education" [here]. The issue was by no means new or unknown even then.


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 which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Check-it out! 

Faulty Premises and European Boycotts of West Bank Products

...Why these double standards and what do they tell us about the morality -- or lack thereof -- of the people who hold them? As Thomas Friedman once wrote "Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest."

Timon Dias..
Gatestone Institute..
28 March '14..

In a world ablaze, European governments and companies still see fit to boycott Israeli companies and products from the so called West Bank. The boycotting parties claim to base their actions on the fact that the West Bank is occupied territory and that the Israeli presence in the West Bank is the one true obstacle to durable peace.

It is apparently unbeknownst to them that both premises are entirely false.

In the West, the so-called "Green Line" is usually referred to when the "peace process" is being evaluated. Someone usually states that Israel should retreat behind this Green Line in order to maintain legitimacy and legality. The Green Line is allegedly synonymous with "the Borders of 1967." This is a highly misleading semantic trick. By asserting the Green Line as the borders of 1967, the case is made to sound as if this is the border from whence the Israelis started an aggressive expansion. The truth is the opposite. The Green Line is in reality the armistice line of 1949: the border where the Arab war of extermination was halted and where the Israelis finally prevented the attempted genocide of their people.

The term "occupied territories," even if not correct, is enough to nonplus the average Israel supporter and send left-wing and Muslim front groups into a twist. It is probably worthwhile to examine the legal accuracy of the term "occupied" as it is applied to the West Bank.

First, it is important to realize that the West Bank had no legally recognized sovereign prior to 1948. After the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948, which then counted a scarce 660,920 Jewish inhabitants, Israel, literally on the day of its birth, was immediately faced with a war of extermination launched by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, complemented by Saudi Arabian forces fighting under Egyptian command and a Yemeni contingent.

During this effort to obliterate the nascent state, Jordanian forces took control of the area that had, from biblical times, been known as Judea and Samaria. The Jordanians, in 1950, changed this name to the "West Bank" [of the Jordan River], apparently in an attempt to semantically strengthen their case of "occupation" by making the territory sound as if it were a legitimate part of their East Bank. The move also appears to be an attempt to delegitimize Israel's claim to the area by de-Judaizing its name[1] -- a strategy first adopted by Roman emperor Hadrian, when he changed the country's name from Judea to Palestine, after a nomadic maritime people, the Philistines, who had been in constant armed conflict with the Jews.

Some are more equal than others by Sarah Honig

...It’s the distinct duty of Israeli leaders to make sure that the most vital existential interests of this country, as they identify them, aren’t compromised. Israelis too are entitled to hold views and to express them.

Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
28 March '14..

Speaking the truth can be a dangerous undertaking. It can expose the speaker to all sort of chastisement. This isn’t only so in any given country’s domestic affairs but very much so in relations between states.

Ours, after all, is a globalized reality. This fact can induce and intensify inordinate hubris in some leaders with pretensions to hold sway over more than their own specified domain. White House occupant and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barak Obama, for instance, often conducts himself as if the American electorate and the Nobel committee had put him in charge of the whole earth.

Had Obama been an unqualified success, his conceit may be suffered but his isn’t and he doesn’t like to hear that he isn’t.

Despite his resplendent liberal credentials, Obama’s concept of liberty is a tad constricted. Everyone – everywhere on the face of this planet and beyond – is perfectly free to go into raptures over him but it’s a whole different opera when not-so-flattering opinions are sounded.

Obama, his appointed sidekicks and salaried mouthpieces resent criticism. Plain and simple.

Quite clearly, the US president and secretary of state don’t subscribe to George Orwell’s ever-relevant observation that “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

*Therefore, woe to the Quixotic sorts – both on America’s home turf and abroad – who insist on telling Obama and crew precisely what they’re loath to hear. Woe all the more to the recidivists who persist in upsetting the Obama administration’s omniscient ones.

Very obviously Israel’s defense minister Moshe Ya’alon is among the least stomached recidivists, even if he speaks his mind at closed meetings or in private conversations.

Ya’alon must come to grips with the fact that freedom of speech isn’t universally countenanced in our Obamaesque existence. Someone can be counted upon to leak or record uncomplimentary evaluations of the dear leader and then woe to him who dared tell it like he sees it.

The only way to avoid Obama’s self-righteous censure is to obsequiously shut up. Not to do so is imprudent in the extreme.

Nonetheless, Ya’alon keeps breaching the gag order that has been imposed on Israeli statesmen by Obama’s eminently ultra-liberal administration. Its honchos detest unfavorable analyses, which amounts to not wanting them voiced – not even behind closed doors.

UN blasts Israel, UN Watch calls out hypocrisy of Russia, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey

UN Watch..
27 March '14..

Russia, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey attacked Israel at the U.N. Human Rights Council. UN Watch's Hillel Neuer lifted a mirror to expose their hypocrisy. March 24, 2014, Geneva.


UN Watch is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter. Learn more at

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Surprise! New Special Rapporteur, Same as the Old Special Rapporteur

...What was it that got Christina Cerna disqualified? Well, going by the letters that the Arab League sent to the UNHRC’s president it would seem that what counted against Cerna was that she had no previous record of condemning Israel. Without a resume peppered with pro-Palestinian statements she just couldn’t be considered up to the job. Chinkin, on the other hand, has an impressive record of anti-Israel statements to recommend her.

Christine Chinkin
Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
27 March '14..

Having 9/11 truther Richard Falk retire from his position as “United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories” might have been cause for celebration if it hadn’t been almost inevitable that Falk would simply be replaced by someone no less off the wall. That is what has now happened. Under pressure from the Arab League, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s president Remigiusz Hencze has rejected the candidacy of Georgetown Law lecturer Christina Cerna despite the fact that Cerna had the unanimous endorsement of the UNHRC’s five-member vetting committee. Although initial reports from diplomats suggested that the decision had been made to have Indonesia’s former UN envoy Makarim Wibisono as a replacement for Falk, it now emerges that the position will likely go to the equally dubious Christine Chinkin, one of the authors of the infamous Goldstone report.

What was it that got Christina Cerna disqualified? Well, going by the letters that the Arab League sent to the UNHRC’s president it would seem that what counted against Cerna was that she had no previous record of condemning Israel. Without a resume peppered with pro-Palestinian statements she just couldn’t be considered up to the job. Chinkin, on the other hand, has an impressive record of anti-Israel statements to recommend her.

Falk was always going to be a tough act to follow. This is the man who has accused the Jewish state of “slouching toward nothing less than a Palestinian Holocaust.” Yet, the monitoring group UN Watch has complied a rogues gallery of some of the other candidates. Many had their money on Falk’s friend and close associate Phyllis Bennis who assisted Falk in compiling a number of his reports, some of which were so pro-Hamas that the Palestinian Authority actually blocked Falk from presenting one of them.

The Old Three No's - The New Three No's

...Notice, of course, that two of three of Abbas's "No's" are identical to the "No's" issued by the Arab League in Khartoum in 1967. No peace and no recognition. The third "no" is a little different. Abbas is willing to sit across a table from Jews if it means the release of murderers and if he can blame his own intransigence on the Israelis for the purpose of undermining support for both the Jewish people and the Jewish State.

Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
27 March '14..

In 1967, meeting shortly after the 6 Day War in Khartoum, Sudan, the Arab League issued its famous "Three No's." When it came to the Jews of the Middle East there would be no peace, no recognition, and no negotiations. This is hardly surprising given the fact that for thirteen hundred years, from the time of Muhammad until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Jews were a second and third class non-citizenry living under the submission of Islam. Naturally the Arab League refused peace, recognition, and negotiations, because to do otherwise would be to recognize that Jews have rights to autonomy within their own homeland, a notion that directly contradicts al-Sharia.

Nothing much has changed in recent decades. As we read in the Times of Israel:

Abbas rejected Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel.

How exciting!

These are the New Three No's!

Notice, of course, that two of three of Abbas's "No's" are identical to the "No's" issued by the Arab League in Khartoum in 1967. No peace and no recognition.

The third "no" is a little different. Abbas is willing to sit across a table from Jews if it means the release of murderers and if he can blame his own intransigence on the Israelis for the purpose of undermining support for both the Jewish people and the Jewish State. So, he is willing to negotiate in the sense that some of his people show up some of the time to speak mainly with Americans and others, rather than the hideous Jews.

Abbas's third "No" is his insistence on a Palestinian-Arab "right of return" for the purpose of undermining Israel's very reason to be.

But it's not as if we did not see this coming:

Surprised That an Antisemitic Joke at CATC Peacemaking Conference Gets a Laugh?

...It was an inappropriate joke for Isaac to tell at a peacemaking conference, especially after he himself condemned the antisemitic words his fellow Palestinians have used to describe Jews. “Many [Palestinians] call Jews by names that I am ashamed to utter and sometimes it comes from religious people I call preachers of hate.”

The audience at Christ at the Checkpoint,
held in Bethlehem during the second
week of March 2014, responds to a
joke about Jews and money told by
Palestinian Christian Munther Isaac.
Dexter Van Zile..
CAMERA Snapshots..
26 March '14..

Munther Isaac is a clever and well-educated man who did a very stupid thing at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference that took place in Bethlehem a couple of weeks ago.

He told an antisemitic joke that, sickeningly enough, elicited laughter from Evangelical Protestants in attendance at the conference. The joke is easy to follow for people who know their New Testament.

What is most astonishing is that Munther’s joke, and the audience’s response, is all there for people to see on video here. (The joke is told at about 17 minutes and 20 seconds into the video.)

Here’s the set up.

Isaac, a Palestinian Christian and CATC conference organizer who is about to receive his Ph.D. from the Oxford Center for Mission Studies, spoke on the night of Thursday, March 13, 2014, the second to last day of the conference. The scripture he was using in his talk was the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), which tells the story of a man being robbed and left for dead by the side of the road.

According to the parable, two religious men a priest and a Levite (Jews) walk passed him ignoring his plight. Finally, a man (known as the Good Samaritan), stops and helps him. Isaac then says the following:

By the way, the two religious people, why did they not stop? This question was asked to a Sunday school boy and the boy answered, “Well because he had no money left.”

The implication is that if the man suffering by the side of the road, the priest and the Levite, both Jews, would have stopped to help the man if he had ... money. A slight smirk can be seen on Isaac’s face before the camera cuts to the audience to show many (but not all) of them laughing.

Isaac elicits more laughter when he jokes that the reason why the two religious men did not stop was that they were on their way to a Christian conference.

Nice try, Munther, but the whole premise of the joke is based on the association of Jews with greed and money.

Is Israel’s Legitimacy Being Destroyed Through the Peace Process?

...Sorek suggests that asserting to the world Israel’s legal rights in the West Bank is the only viable option left. Once Israel establishes that it has the land by right, only then can it effectively confront Arab rejectionism, which negotiations and land withdrawals actually spur on. It would seem that if Israel cannot tolerate the status quo then it must either unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank or otherwise annex it. But it’s quite possible that further withdrawals might actually damage Israel’s legitimacy more than annexation would.

Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
26 March '14..

In the world of hasbara–Israel advocacy–it is commonly suggested that the best way to make Israel’s case is by emphasizing that Israel wants peace: pointing to Israel’s willingness to negotiate, its withdrawals from territory, its evacuation of settlements, its prisoner releases, the settlement freezes, the moves to help establish and strengthen the Palestinian Authority. It’s true that Israel has done all of these things, but how is Israel’s standing in the world doing? Have peace talks and the surrender of territory done anything to placate those who only ever respond to these moves by calling for still more Israeli concessions? The hard truth is that today, in many circles, Israel’s legitimacy is in a worse place than it’s ever been. Israel negotiates and concedes, yet the movement to boycott and demonize Israel has only grown increasingly strident.

Israel has been locked down in the latest round of negotiations for months now. To make these talks happen Israel was first compelled to consent to the release of 104 convicted Palestinian terrorists. In the past Israel has been forced to freeze Jewish communities in the West Bank and even projects in Jerusalem. In both cases these concessions were to no avail. President Obama and Secretary Kerry regularly threaten Israel that should this current round of allegedly last-chance negotiations fail, Israel will be cast asunder to meet its fate in a cold world of boycotts and diplomatic isolation. Concessions and goodwill from Israel are rarely cause for praise from Western allies, they have simply come to be expected.

The boycott threat that Obama and Kerry try to use to panic Israel into doing whatever they instruct is really a case in point. Israel doesn’t await a wave of calls for boycotts if these talks fail; it faces them now. If anything, while this past round of Israeli concessions and negotiations have dragged on, the call for the boycott of Israel has only become louder. Across Europe and on American campuses, the campaign for boycotts is becoming frenetic. Oxfam’s attack on Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream made the headlines but there have been many cases that didn’t. In Europe a Dutch pension fund and several Scandinavian banks have already divested from Israel, while on both sides of the Atlantic the student campaign for boycotts has become particularly ugly. As Jonathan Tobin wrote about yesterday, the BDS campaign has even come to propagate racist hate speech. During a boycott vote only last night at King’s College, London, Jewish students were first hectored and reduced to tears, then mocked and taunted by BDS students.

At the very least, the fact that all of this goes on while Israel is in negotiations to try and end its presence in the West Bank should convince us that this has nothing to do with the “occupation.” Omar Barghouti, one of the leading founders of BDS, has been unequivocal in saying that the creation of two states would not end calls for boycotts. Yet if it is true that none of this is about creating a Palestinian state but rather opposing a Jewish one, then where does this leave notions about land for peace? Indeed, it would seem that on this point the boycotters are consistent with the Palestinians’ own refusal to let go of the desire to end Israel, even if it prevents them from getting a state themselves.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When well-meaning people care about the facts but journalists don't

...Anyone reading that would never know Islamic Jihad shoots rockets indiscriminately at Israeli towns (a bona fide war crime); they’d think Gazan terrorists, just like Israelis, carefully aim their fire to avoid civilian casualties. They’d also never know that this indiscriminate rocket fire causes so few casualties only because, as a new study shows, massive civil defense measures–even playground equipment in the border town of Sderot is designed to double as bomb shelters–have reduced Israeli fatalities by a whopping 86 percent.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
26 March '14..

As Jonathan Tobin noted yesterday, facts are irrelevant to the diehard anti-Israel crowd; nothing will change their views. But since they remain a minority (at least in America), I’m far more worried about the many well-meaning people who do care about the facts, but never hear them, because the journalists they rely on for information can’t be bothered to get their facts straight.

Take, for instance, a New York Times report earlier this month about Islamic Jihad’s barrage of more than 60 rockets at southern Israel and Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes. The online version says, unexceptionably, that “the only reported injury was to an Israeli woman who fell while running for cover.” But the print version of the Times’s international edition–which reaches some 242,000 people–added a shocking comment: The lack of casualties, it asserted, is “a sign that each side wanted to make a forceful showing without risking further escalation.”

Anyone reading that would never know Islamic Jihad shoots rockets indiscriminately at Israeli towns (a bona fide war crime); they’d think Gazan terrorists, just like Israelis, carefully aim their fire to avoid civilian casualties. They’d also never know that this indiscriminate rocket fire causes so few casualties only because, as a new study shows, massive civil defense measures–even playground equipment in the border town of Sderot is designed to double as bomb shelters–have reduced Israeli fatalities by a whopping 86 percent. And because people don’t know all this, they are easily persuaded that Israel’s responses to the rocket fire, from airstrikes to the naval blockade of Gaza, are “excessive.”

Or take a Reuters report on Lebanon this month, which asserted as fact that “Israeli forces still hold at least three pockets of occupied territory which are claimed by Lebanon.” This isn’t a quote from a Lebanese official; it’s the Reuters reporter.

Anyone reading that would never know Israel withdrew from every inch of Lebanon in 2000; that this withdrawal was unanimously certified as complete by the UN Security Council; and that only afterward did Hezbollah, backed by its Lebanese puppet government, suddenly lay claim to additional territory to justify its continued war on Israel. They’d think Israel indeed continues to “occupy” Lebanese territory. And anyone who believes this is easily persuaded that Hezbollah is a legitimate political player that seeks only to regain “occupied Lebanese territory,” rather than a viciously anti-Semitic terrorist organization whose goal is Israel’s eradication, and which any civilized country ought to shun.

Introducing Saeb Erekat’s Amazing and Wonderous Palestinian Fairy Tale

...Happily, it is also true that possession is nine-tenths of the law, and today’s Israel is capable of defending itself, as long as it can stay unified — despite some of its intellectuals who appear to have accepted the narrative of their own deadly enemies.

Palestinian negotiator and teller
of tall tales Saeb Erekat
26 March '14..

I am the proud son of the Canaanites who were there 5,500 years before Joshua bin Nun burned down the town of Jericho. — Saeb Erekat, Palestinian negotiator

On the contrary, former Israeli Ambassador to Canada Alan Baker notes:

According to genealogical research of the Bedouin families in Israel, the Erekat family belongs to the extensive Huweitat clan, which originated in the area between the Liya valley, near Taif, in the vicinity of Mecca in the northern Hejaz region, close to the town of Hekl in the Sarawat Mountains, 350 km. from the Jordanian border, and northern Aqaba. Bedouin genealogical literature claims that the Huweitat clan is a Sharifi clan allied with their cousins the Hashemites. The Huweitat clan settled not only in Israel but also in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Sinai Peninsula by Ras Seeder.

A branch of this clan settled in geographic Palestine in several waves of immigration that started some 200 years ago, ending during the period of the Arab Revolt and First World War. Apparently, the family to which Erekat belongs settled in Abu Dis near Jerusalem during the last of these waves, which occurred in the early twentieth century, after the Jewish immigration to the area.
Amb. Baker also quotes Dr. Shaul Bartal of the Middle Eastern Studies department of Bar-Ilan University:

The Palestinians are not the farmers who have lived in Palestine for generations, but rather immigrants who only arrived recently. It was only toward the latter stages of the nineteenth century that the country began to blossom thanks to the emergence of a new presence – Zionism – and the amazing results. In 1878, the population of the country numbered 141,000 Muslims who lived here permanently, with at least 25 percent of them considered to be newly arrived immigrants who came mostly from Egypt.

Various studies done over a span of years by Moshe Brawer, Gideon Kressel, and other scholars clearly show that most Arab families who settled in the villages along the coastal plain and the area that would later become the State of Israel originated from Sudan, Libya, Egypt, and Jordan….Other studies show that the waves of immigrants came here in droves from Arab countries during the period of the British Mandate.

Why do I bother (and why did Baker, whose well-documented paper should be read in full)? Not, I think, because being indigenous is of such overriding importance in determining ‘who owns the land’. After all, ‘indigenous’ is a highly relative concept. Yes, the Jews are more indigenous to Judea than the ‘Palestinians’, but probably the descendents of the ancient Philistines (also, incidentally, not the contemporary ‘Palestinians’) have more roots than the Jews in what is today Tel Aviv.

Not One to Let Facts Get in the Way of Blaming Israel

...It’s illogical, but if you enter a discussion of this topic believing Israel has no right to exist in the first place, it’s easy to see why you would think there’s nothing wrong with Palestinian intransigence. The problem is not so much Judis’s specious arguments as the pretense that he actually cares about who is to blame for preventing an outcome—a two-state solution—that he disdains.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 March '14..

The facts are no obstacle for those who are determined to stick to their narrative about Israel not wanting peace. With Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process on the brink of failure, the New Republic’s John Judis has trotted out the familiar themes about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu being the one to blame. Judis goes on at length about Netanyahu’s perfidy but toward the end of the piece, he is forced to let drop an important nugget of information. When asked by Kerry to keep negotiating on the basis of the framework he has crafted to try and give both sides something to work with, Abbas said no. As Judis writes:

Kerry proposed that the two sides agree to the framework with reservations—a tactic that had doomed the Quartet’s framework proposal—but Abbas was not ready to agree to the proposal even with reservations.

Let’s get this straight. Kerry has been lionized by the left for attempting to revive the talks in spite of the fact that the division among the Palestinians (Hamas in Gaza and Abbas’s Fatah in the West Bank) made it unlikely that Abbas could or would say yes to peace terms that he had turned down in 2008 and that his predecessor Yasir Arafat had rejected in 2000 and 2001. But when the secretary put forward a framework that was hardly to Netanyahu’s liking because of its reliance on the 1967 borders, he said yes and Abbas said no even with the proviso that an acceptance would not commit the Palestinian Authority to its terms. And yet even though Abbas’s decision makes a fourth historic no to peace terms from the Palestinians in the last 15 years, Judis still thinks the collapse of the talks is Israel’s fault.

How is that possible? Judis doesn’t even bother defending this preposterous proposition directly since his work is so lazy that he writes as if all his readers will naturally assume that nothing that actually happened leading up to Abbas’s no must as a matter of course be Israel’s fault. But the flimsy case he does build against Israel tells us more about his own well-documented prejudices about the key issue that led to Abbas’s decision—recognition of Israel as a Jewish state—than it does about Netanyahu.

"Against the 'narrative' - the real story of Israel" by Fiamma Nirenstein

...Despite all the names artificially placed on it, this land has been called Israel for more than 2000 years. It is the Land of the Jewish people, and until this is recognized and assimilated by everyone, even Palestinian schoolchildren, there is no future for peace.

Fiamma Nirenstein..
24 March '14..

Among the many marvels contained in the Bible, there is one that leaves the reader breathless: the historical truth, unerringly reporting what really happened so long ago. For example, the two books of Samuel and the two books of Kings are high-quality history, among the greatest works of all antiquity, says Paul Johnson in his book "A History of the Jews”. They incorporate material from actual archives, such as the canons of Egyptian pharaohs, or the limmus, the eponymous lists of the Assyrians, enabling us to pinpoint precise dates and locations. Thus we know for certain that Saul was killed around 1005 BC, that David reigned until 966 BC, and that Solomon died in 926 or 925 BC.

These are just a few examples of how the national history of the Jews has been recorded, place by place, date by date, from its beginnings. Even the physical descriptions of places are precise, and contain markers that erase any doubt regarding the Jewish presence – in Jerusalem especially, from well before David's conquest – but also in Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gath, as well as Dan, Bethel, Bethlehem, Hebron, and many other places named in the texts, and verified in modern times by frequently obstructed archaeological work. Jerusalem and its Temple are described with precision. Exact descriptions of the Second Temple can be found in a great deal of Jewish literature, Christian literature (we can almost see the child Jesus at the Temple even today, on the steps climbed by all Jewish pilgrims, and by the shops where he preached to the merchants), as well as Roman (Tacitus, Flavius Josephus, etc.) and Muslim literature. And as everyone knows, an irrefutable and tragic picture of the Jews being driven from their temple, carrying the Menorah on their shoulders, is carved on the Arch of Titus.

But the memory of the Jewish presence has been constantly renewed over the centuries, because in reality the Jews, hunted and persecuted, never abandoned their places of origin, neither in the traditions maintained throughout the diaspora with prayers and rites, nor in their everyday lives. The Jewish people never really left their capital, as the historical records show, bearing constant witness to their passion. Reverend James Parkes, an authority on the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, writes: “Their authentic certificates of title have been written in the memory of the heroic resistance of those who maintained the Jewish presence on Earth down the centuries and through all the times of hardship.” As early as the 4th century, forty Jewish communities can be identified from Negev to Jordan. The highest aspiration was to live in Jerusalem, which the Romans had stolen from the Jews. The Empress Eudocia granted the Jews permission to once again pray in the vestiges of the Temple. In 614, the Jews fought alongside the Persians against the Byzantine powers, and in the 7th century, Arabs entering Jerusalem bore witness to a strong Jewish presence, as did the Crusaders of the 11th century. Little by little, over the centuries, visitors to the Holy Land always told of the community of Jews who lived in the ruins of their temple. In the 19th century, all of Palestine was sparsely and infrequently occupied, while Jerusalem already had a Jewish majority.

The Jews never left, but the memory of their presence was obscured, especially in Jerusalem. The capital in particular was transformed by Arafat into a place where the historical reality was denied and forgotten, despite the proof that can be found even in Muslim books referring to the Al'Aqsa Mosque, and recalling, with the pride of conquerors, that it and the famous Dome of the Rock were constructed on the remains of the Second Temple built by Herod – Beit al-Maqdis built on top of Beit ha-Miqdash, as the Temple Mount is explained in tourist brochures.

An Apparently Befuddled Jimmy Carter, History and the Jewish State

...Both President Clinton and President George W. Bush have encountered the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state put forward by the administrations of three Israeli prime ministers prior to Netanyahu.

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Snapshots..
25 March '14..

Former President Jimmy Carter is apparently confused about the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. And the historical record seems to elude him as well. The Associated Press reports on an interview with President Carter:

Various Israeli politicians have been declaring the “two-state” solution of a separate Palestinian and Israeli nations dead, and many are demanding that the Palestinians and Arabs formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state in order to discuss the Palestinian issue.

“I don’t see how the Palestinians or the Arab world can accept that premise, that Israel is an exclusively Jewish state,” Carter said.

“This has never been put forward in any of the negotiations in which I was involved as president, or any president, before (Benjamin) Netanyahu became prime minister this time. And now it has been put into the forefront of consideration,” he added.

About a fourth of Israel’s people are Arab or other non-Jewish citizens.

“Israel can claim ‘We are a Jewish state.’ I don’t think the Arab countries will contradict that Jewish statement. But to force the Arab people to say that all the Arab people that they have in Israel have to be Jews, I think that’s going too far,” Carter said.

Both President Clinton and President George W. Bush have encountered the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state put forward by the administrations of three Israeli prime ministers prior to Netanyahu.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An organization that can contribute to peace in the Middle East?

Arab League rejects Israel as Jewish state. So, who is the Arab League?

Eli E. Hertz..
25 March '14..

It is illuminating to examine the record of the League of Arab States since the founding of the League in 1945, which is hardly a model for peaceful settlement of disputes in the spirit of the United Nations.

Prior to the establishment of the Jewish state, the League took the following steps:

- In December 1945, the Arab League launched a boycott of 'Zionist goods' that continues to this day.
- In June 1946, it established the Higher Arab Committee to "coordinate efforts with regard to Palestine," a radical body that led and coordinated attempts to wipe Israel off the map.
- In December 1946, it rejected the first proposed Palestine partition plans, reaffirming "that Palestine is a part of the Arab motherland."
- In October 1947, prior to the vote on Resolution 181 - the "Partition Plan" - it reasserted the necessity for military preparations along Arab borders to "defending Palestine."
- In February 1948, it approved "a plan for political, military, and economic measures to be taken in response to the Palestine crisis."
- In October 1948, it rejected the UN "Partition Plan" for Palestine adopted by the General Assembly in Resolution 181.

On May 15 1948, as the regular forces of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and contingents from Saudi Arabia and Yemen invaded Israel to 'restore law and order,' the Arab League issued a lengthy document entitled "Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine." In it, the Arab states drew attention to:

"The injustice implied in this solution [affecting] the right of the people of Palestine to immediate independence ... declared the Arabs' rejection of [Resolution 181]" which the League said "would not be possible to carry it out by peaceful means, and that its forcible imposition would constitute a threat to peace and security in this area" and claimed that the "security and order in Palestine have become disrupted" due to the "aggressive intentions, and the imperialistic designs of the Zionists" and "the Governments of the Arab States, as members of the Arab League, a regional organization ... view the events taking place in Palestine as a threat to peace and security in the area as a whole. ... Therefore, as security in Palestine is a sacred trust in the hands of the Arab States, and in order to put an end to this state of affairs ... the Governments of the Arab States have found themselves compelled to intervene in Palestine."

The Secretary-General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, was less diplomatic and far more candid. With no patience for polite or veiled language, on the same day Israel declared its independence on May 14 1948, at a Cairo press conference reported the next day in The New York Times, Pasha repeated the Arabs' "intervention to restore law and order" revealing:

"This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades." The League of Arab States continued to oppose peace after Israel's 1948 War of Independence:

Peace Treaty or Not, Palestinians Dream of Destroying Israel

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry may be able to force Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, under threats and pressure, to sign a "framework agreement" with Israel. But as this week's rally of hatred in the Gaza Strip shows, even after the signing of a Palestinian-Israeli "peace" treaty, a large number of Palestinians will not abandon there dream of destroying Israel..... "Jihad in Palestine is not terrorism. Jihad in Palestine is a sacred duty." — Yusef Rizka, representative of Hamas

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
25 March '14..

A mass rally held in the Gaza Strip on March 23 showed that Hamas continues to enjoy popular support among Palestinians. Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets to attend the rally commemorating the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

Hamas officials claim that nearly one million Palestinians attended the rally in the center of Gaza City.

This means that Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, remains as strong as ever in the Gaza Strip, despite Egypt's undeclared war against the Palestinian Islamist movement.

The Egyptian war has indeed hurt Hamas, especially in wake of the destruction of hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Hamas's popularity among Palestinians, however, as shown by the mass rally, evidently remains unaffected.

Addressing the crowd, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh admitted that the Egyptian war has harmed his movement. "Hamas is going through difficult times," he said. "We are also facing harsh challenges."

Haniyeh added that despite Egyptian security measures against his movement and the Gaza Strip, Hamas was not in a state of panic.

At the rally, defiant Hamas leaders repeated threats to pursue terror attacks against Israel. One Hamas official, Fathi Hammad, even expressed optimism that his movement and other Palestinian terror groups would be able to destroy the "Zionist entity in a few years."

Hamas seems to be hoping, however, that the rally will send a message not only to Israel, but also to the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. The message that Hamas is seeking to relay to Egypt is that, despite the ongoing Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip, the movement is not showing any sign of weakness.