Friday, July 31, 2015

Sovereignty is not something gained by force -- it requires compromise and endless patience.

...In the last 48 years, no Israeli government has imposed full sovereignty over the parts of the homeland that we have conquered. I am not afraid of puritanical language. We reconquered the land that was originally ours, the land that had waited for us for years. We did not take this land away from any foreign entity that had sovereignty over it, and therefore our claim to it is entirely justified -- historically, legally, internationally and religiously. But the fact is that for decades Israel has avoided imposing full sovereignty over the entire scope of the land.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
31 July '15..

Two buildings in the settlement of Beit El that were demolished under order of the High Court of Justice this week have brought a small group of Jewish pioneers to the point of frustration, prompting them to insult IDF soldiers and harshly criticize the legal system and the government. Before we go any further, I must say that the remarks made by MK Moti Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) on Wednesday (saying the High Court should be bulldozed) were not legitimate criticism, but rather an embarrassment to his party and to the pioneering settlement enterprise that he purports to represent. Having said that, I will say this: Dear brothers and sisters, the current government is as right-wing as a government in Israel will get. It is legitimate to criticize, even harshly, and it is okay to protest, but anyone who is incapable of playing by the rules of democracy needs to step out of the game and let others carry the settlement enterprise on their shoulders.

It was only 10 years ago that entire communities were destroyed by order of the Israeli government. Has our spirit been broken? Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook used to say that during times like these, nerves of steel are in order. Do not fall into the trap of impatience and frustration and avoid throwing away all the good that we already have. Look for what we have rather than yielding to the fatalist tendency to see only what is absent. The demolition of two buildings is no reason for all this drama. Where is the common sense? This is a classic recipe for "cry wolf" syndrome: When something truly devastating happens, the general public will not be receptive, having had its fill of empty, wasted drama.

The Jewish people are returning home. I say "returning" because this is a years-long process -- hundreds of years in the making and with hundreds of years left to go. The people who look at the diplomatic, social and political picture as a string of specific failures or successes are looking at reality through minimizing, petty eyes, and obviously no government could possibly live up to their expectations.


It is fascinating to see the mirror image of last week's Peace Now conference in some of the reactions to the events in Beit El. In both cases the "rule of radicalization" was in play -- with individuals turning to the radical end of the spectrum when things don't go their way in a kind of puritanical way, as if to say "at least my conscience is clear." It is legitimate to want more, but it takes some degree of maturity and responsibility to understand that you can't always have everything. Sometimes it is best to be content with what you have, out of respect for the independent passing of time that is not always congruous with our own inner timing.

What does it mean to be puritanical? It means a lack of maturity and failure to understand that by nature, political, diplomatic and social processes require compromise. If we aspire to absorb large social groups, in the millions of people, we have to strike a middle ground that will accommodate the widest possible range of people.

In the last 48 years, no Israeli government has imposed full sovereignty over the parts of the homeland that we have conquered. I am not afraid of puritanical language. We reconquered the land that was originally ours, the land that had waited for us for years. We did not take this land away from any foreign entity that had sovereignty over it, and therefore our claim to it is entirely justified -- historically, legally, internationally and religiously. But the fact is that for decades Israel has avoided imposing full sovereignty over the entire scope of the land.

On the other hand, we are settling the land, acre by acre, family by family, home by home -- using the good old Zionist method. Most of us have plenty of patience. What doesn't get done in this generation will be done in the next, God willing. In the meantime, the important thing is to make sure the Zionist foundations are strong.

Those who today revive the humanistic ardor of interwar Poland

...Rather than a boycott, the EU moves constitute the provision of indispensable consumer information – exactly as in prewar Poland. It’s chillingly the same sham. The Polish government didn’t officially send thugs to Jewish shops just as organized Europe sends no thugs to supermarkets at its official behest to spy out made-in-Israel produce, toss it to the floor and trash it to the accompaniment of sonorous expletives. Endek thugs did attack Jewish merchants but the government’s hands were clean. Today’s BDS thugs in some of the most civilized European urban centers attack emporiums selling any made-in-Israel wares (regardless from which side of the Green Line) but such hooliganism cannot be directly tied to the Brussels bureaucracy.

Jewish storefronts in prewar Krakow: the
mandatory name-sign decree was hardly innocuous.
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
30 July '15..

Poland made history on Monday morning, April 19, 1937. It taught the world how to implement a boycott without actually admitting that it’s doing anything of the sort.

Headliners of today’s European Union have learned the lesson well, even if few of the EU’s sanctimonious sermonizers can likely cite the source and inspiration for their very unoriginal charade.

The Polish non-boycott was no mean feat on the eve of WWII, when dark clouds of impending doom already gathered over the heads of European Jewry. Given the bestial goings-on and the brutish anti-Jewish boycotts next-door in the Third Reich, Poland appeared positively refined by comparison – the soul of sophistication.

The Poles never sank as low as the crude and vulgar Germans. They didn’t adopt the practice of daubing storefronts with giant Jude inscriptions, smashing windows or sending out storm troopers to form scary picket lines, carry offensive signs in the formidable Teutonic tradition and warn off the super-race away from subhuman Jewish shopkeepers.

Instead, Poland’s Minister of Industry and Commence Antoni Roman issued an edict that looked impeccably non-discriminatory. It ordered that all business signs boldly display the proprietor’s name, directly above any other incidental scrap information such as what was sold at the premises. Precise rules were stipulated regarding the size of the letters required.

What could possibly be wrong with that?

The measure applied to everyone throughout the republic. Surely nothing could be more equitable. No single community or grouping was targeted. Technically this was not an anti-Judaic decree. Quite the reverse: here was an exemplary act of public service born of the public-spirited conviction that the public was entitled to know the identity of each vendor everywhere.

No way could the Polish government be blamed for the fact that Jews – estimated (depending on the location) at between one-tenth to one-eighth of the population – on the whole had surnames that instantly betrayed their ethnic extraction.

Poland was already endemically anti-Semitic. From the early 1920s it had tolerated an unofficial numerus clausus geared to drastically reduce the number of Jewish students. It had also introduced innovations like the “Ghetto bench” – special seats in university lecture halls earmarked for despised and humiliated Jewish students. This started at the Lvov Polytechnic Institute on December 8, 1935 and quickly spread countrywide as the academic must-follow fad.

When human rights advocacy appears indistinguishable from rationalizing the crimes of terrorists

...In the meantime, the family of Lt. Goldin still awaits the return of his body from Hamas that may be holding his remains in order to exact another gruesome exchange for live killers. If Amnesty wants to live up to its claim of advocacy for human rights, it might want to get involved in that issue. More to the point, the group and its financial backers need to understand that by conducting such attacks on Israel, it cannot pretend that is rationalizing the actions of one side in the conflict. In this case, their version of human rights advocacy appears to be indistinguishable from rationalizing the crimes of terrorists and seeking to hamstring the efforts of those seeking to stop them.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
30 July '15..

Yesterday, Amnesty International issued its latest broadside at the State of Israel. The group’s report, titled “Black Friday: Carnage in Rafah” dutifully reported at length by the New York Times, seeks to portray an incident from last summer’s war in Gaza as an example of particularly awful Israeli war crimes involving shelling of civilian areas and egregious loss of life. But, as with most such accusations, the closer you look at the charge the more it becomes clear that the point of the exercise isn’t merely a supposed quest for justice for dead Palestinians. While this must be seen in the context of a campaign to prepare war crimes charges against the Israel Defense Forces before the International Criminal Court that was recently joined by the Palestinian Authority, the effort has a broader purpose than merely beginning a human rights prosecution before that body. By expending a great deal of its limited resources on this one incident, Amnesty is seeking to make a much broader political point: delegitimizing Israeli self-defense under virtually any circumstances.

The incident that generated the reported took place on August 1, 2014. On that morning, a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was put into effect that sought to end the war that had begun a month earlier. The conflict started when a Hamas terror cell kidnaped and murdered three Israeli teenagers and then escalated when the group began firing rockets at Israeli cities and towns. Several thousand of these missiles would be launched at Israel before the war ended. In addition to that, Hamas attempted to employ tunnels it had dug underneath the border with Israel to conduct more such kidnap/murder raids. Though the Israelis tried at first to halt the attacks with air power, when that didn’t work, ground forces were required to stop the terrorists. Though the August 1st cease-fire — like the one that later finally did end the shooting — left Hamas in place and in possession of its rocket arsenal, Israel agreed to it.

But only an hour after the fighting was supposed to stop, a Hamas terror squad ambushed a group of Israeli soldiers in the city of Rafah along the border with Israel. Two were killed and the body of one, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, was dragged into the tunnel from which his attackers had emerged. That set off a desperate search and counter-attack aimed at recovering him and/or his body. That directive, known by the code name, “Hannibal” aims to use maximum force to prevent terrorists from escaping with a hostage. The order is always controversial because some interpret it as encouraging Israeli forces to even endanger the life of the captured soldier rather than standing down and subjecting both the individual and his country to a protracted hostage negotiation that inevitably involves the release of a disproportionate number of terrorist murderers.

In this case, Amnesty accuses Israel of using artillery fire in such a way as to conduct “disproportionate or otherwise indiscriminate attacks” on civilian areas with no regard for the lives of innocents who might be killed in the barrage. According to Amnesty and its Palestinian sources, the Israelis fired 1,000 shells and 40 bombs on the area where the Hamas assault took place resulting in 135 Palestinian deaths.

But while the loss of life during this battle was regrettable, the focus of the Amnesty report is remarkably skewed.

After all, the one war crime that we can be sure that took place was the attack on Goldin and his squad. It was a deliberate violation of a cease-fire that might have been a godsend for ordinary Palestinians, but which didn’t serve the purposes of Hamas. Having bled Gaza white for weeks, the leaders of the terrorist group were not yet satisfied with the toll of casualties among their own people. Hamas places its missile launchers and terror squads among civilians in order to deliberately expose them to Israeli fire. While there are plenty of fortified shelters in the strip for Hamas fighters and their massive arsenal, there are few for civilians. In Hamas-run Gaza, the shelters are for the bombs, not the people.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Surprise! More misleading BBC reporting on Tisha B’Av Temple Mount rioting

...Johnston’s messaging is of course symptomatic of the BBC’s general approach to this issue. After the rioting on July 26th, Hamas issued calls for one of its ubiquitous ‘days of rage’ this coming Friday (July 31st). BBC audiences have of course been told nothing about that by the media organization supposedly committed to building “a global understanding of international issues”.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
30 July '15..

In addition to the written report (since slightly, but not significantly, amended) about the rioting on Temple Mount on July 26th which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page and was discussed here, BBC television news audiences saw two filmed reports on the same topic.

Both reports also appeared on the BBC News website. The earlier one – by Mariko Oi – is titled “Palestinians and Israeli police clash at al-Aqsa mosque” and, like the written report, its synopsis misleads audiences on cause and effect, erasing the premeditated nature of the violence.

“Palestinian youths have clashed with Israeli police who have entered the al-Aqsa mosque complex in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians are understood to have barricaded themselves into the mosque on Saturday.

Israeli media said the Palestinians had intended to disrupt visits to the area known to Jews as the Temple Mount.”

The filmed footage in that report does not show the rioting on Temple Mount at all. Nevertheless, Oi’s commentary is as follows:

“Palestinian youths have clashed with Israeli police at the Al Aqsa complex in East Jerusalem – one of Islam’s holiest sites. The Palestinians occupied the mosque on Saturday and Israeli police said they were planning to disrupt visits to the area which is also sacred to Jews, who call it Temple Mount. When police moved into the mosque they were hit by a barrage of stones. They then forced the Palestinians to back into the mosque and away from the area visited by Israelis.”

Once again this report fails to make any mention of the fact that a high volume of visitors to the Western Wall and Temple Mount was expected on that day due to the fast of Tisha B’Av. Like the written report, this one too leads audiences to believe that violence came as a result of the arrival of the police at the Al Aqsa mosque rather than the other way round.

Later on in the day, viewers of BBC television news programmes saw a second filmed report on the same subject – this time from Alan Johnston. Despite being headlined “Fighting flares at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque“, that film too includes no footage of the actual rioting on Temple Mount.

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Again. How Amnesty lies and twists the truth

...Amnesty chooses to anthropomorphize the IDF as a vindictive person, not as an organization with multiple layers of checks and balances - and there is plenty of documentation that shows every step that goes into IDF decision making that contradicts Amnesty's blanket statements. The organization is beneath contempt.

Elder of Ziyon..
29 July '15..

Right after I posted my last article on Amnesty's latest report based on its executive summary, the actual Amnesty report about the fighting in Rafah last year was released. It took me about two minutes to identify the first lie.

An engineer corps soldier who took part in the incursion told Breaking the Silence that his orders were “to make a big boom before the ceasefire”, without being given any specific targets

The Breaking the Silence quote shows that this soldier was not in Rafah to begin with! He was talking about a completely different battle in northern Gaza.

And even his testimony shows the exact opposite of Amnesty's thesis of a bloodthirsty, vengeful IDF:

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

The Sacrificing of the U.S.-Israel Alliance for Iran Deal

...Despite the attempt to portray Netanyahu’s interventions in the debate about Iran as a partisan move or an insult to Obama, keeping silent would not have advanced Israel’s interests or made more U.S. surrenders to Iran less likely. At this point, Israel has no choice but to remind U.S. lawmakers of the terrible blow to American credibility and regional stability from the Iran deal. It is the White House that has turned the Iranian nuclear threat — which was once the subject of a bipartisan consensus — into a choice between loyalty to the Democratic Party and its leader and friendship for Israel.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
29 July '15..

It’s the perfect metaphor for American foreign policy these days. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to the Middle East next week to discuss the Iran deal with various American allies, but he’s leaving out one important stop: Israel. According to Israel Army Radio, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the snub by saying, “He really has no reason to come here.” Unfortunately, the prime minister is right. Though the trip is just one of many that Kerry has made, it is a telling symbol for the approach of the Obama administration on the most important issue facing both countries: the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama and Kerry kept Israel out of the loop during the negotiations and ignored its vital interests when signing off on Iran’s demands. Combined with the rhetoric coming out of both men that seeks to isolate and threaten Israel, Kerry’s pointed omission of the Jewish state on his tour is just one more indication that they seek to expand what is already a serious rift between the two countries. Though friends of Israel are rightly focused on persuading Congress to vote down a terrible Iran deal, they must also ponder the long-term impact of the administration campaign against the Jewish state.

Throughout the six and a half years as well as during the course of the negotiations with Iran, President Obama has maintained that he is a steadfast friend of Israel and will always look out for its security. If he criticized or sought to pressure its government it was, he has told us, only for its own good or because, as he noted in his recent speech to a Washington, D.C. synagogue, he wanted to help return Israel to a mythical past when it had the affection of Western liberals.

At this point, that pretense of friendship is wearing very thin. Secretary Kerry can quote a few stray retired Israeli security experts who endorse the Iran deal, but these largely disgruntled figures with political axes to grind against Netanyahu don’t speak for an Israel whose political leadership from right to left has united against the Iran deal. But the problem here goes deeper than even the profound differences over a pact that grants Iran’s nuclear program Western approval along with the end of sanctions and a vast cash bonus. The crisis in the alliance also transcends the personal disputes between Obama and Netanyahu.

The fact that the United States refused to give Israel all the details on the Iran deal that were part of its confidential appendices even after it was concluded also speaks not merely to the lack of trust between the two governments but also to the desire of the administration to cover up the extent of its effort to appease Tehran. Though it asserted there were no side deals with Iran, the appendices and the failure to make them available to Congress or the public compromise that claim. Even now, European diplomats visiting Israel are still refusing to divulge the contents of these documents to their hosts, making it difficult, if not impossible, to fully gauge the problem facing the Jewish state. All the Israelis do know at this point is that the U.S. has agreed to protect the Iranian program against further efforts to sabotage it. Along with the cooperation that now exists in Iraq and Syria between Washington and Tehran, it now appears that Israel is just one more American ally in the region and not the most influential one. Under the circumstances, Netanyahu’s bitter reflection about Kerry having no reason to come to the country may be unfortunate but it is also accurate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

When a Washington Official and the Washington Post Fabricate Israeli Praise for the Iran Deal

On Twitter, John Kerry's senior adviser Marie Harf shared Washington Post headline that exaggerated and even fabricated Israeli praise for the Iran deal. Both the administration and the newspaper owe readers a correction.

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
27 July '15..

A senior advisor to John Kerry misled her boss and thousands of others last week regarding purported Israeli support for the Iran agreement.

Marie Harf, Kerry's Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications, on Thursday approvingly shared on Twitter a distorted Washington Post headline claiming Israeli security experts believe the nuclear deal is "good":

.@JohnKerry now: How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they’re talking about: 

Harf's tweet, which was sent to the US Secretary of State as well as to Harf's forty thousand Twitter followers, quotes the Washington Post headline, "How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they're talking about," and includes a link to the article by the newspaper's foreign affairs blogger Ishaan Tharoor.

We briefly mentioned Tharoor's article and called for a correction in a piece last week, but in light of the administration's use of the distorted headline, it is worth a closer look.

The Post's headline promises a discussion of Israelis who feel the deal is "good" for their country. And the article goes on to name four prominent Israeli security experts. The message for readers, then, is that even if Israel's government and the largest opposition party are united against the deal — an inconvenient reality for the deal's advocates in the American government and the media, who normally can find allies among Israeli politicians who are so often at each other's throats — at least those in the know understand how truly good the agreement is.

Except it isn't true. Let's look at the security experts named in the piece:

Tharoor first mentions Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and links to a Daily Beast piece entitled "Ex-Intel Chief: Iran Deal Good for Israel."

Unfortunately for Tharoor (and for Daily Beast commentator Jonathan Alter), Ayalon, who begrudgingly supports the deal because it is "the best plan currently on the table" and because he believes there are no available alternatives, nonetheless has said in no uncertain terms, "I think the deal is bad. It's not good."

Built not on trust but on... verification

...It's not an agreement. It's not signed. And Iran sees it as not binding on Iran. Makes a thinking person wonder how the mainstream news media work, and what's really on the minds of the many - politicians and citizens alike - who think this is all worth getting solidly behind.

The notion that the deal is based on verification gets a response from
 political leaders
in Vienna, July 14, 2015 [Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
29 July '15..

Allow us, in these confusing times, to draw some attention to three quite revealing recent quotes about the Iran Nuclear Enablement Deal, the one the US president has called a deal not built on trust, but on verification.

The first, from John Kerry's US State Department, lays out why Iran is one of four (Cuba, Syria, Sudan are the others) US-designated state sponsors of terrorism. The unsigned (keep reading - we explain this below) JCPOA with Iran, by far the largest of those state sponsors of terror, gradually nullifies the sanctions that come with that distinguished title, and gives Iran access to vast cash resources, frozen for some years, that are going to be used for... well, no one can really say.

But if - just for argument's sake - any of it is going to give even more teeth to the extremely hostile messaging issuing forth from authoritative Iranian sources [like this "22-Jul-15: Now that peace is on the way, what to make of blood-curdling Iranian incitement like this?"; and like this "27-Jul-15: Even more peace from Iran's highest-level military force"], this could become very bad, very quickly.

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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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

Real Class. Blaming Failure of a Grossly Defective Deal on Israel?!

...No wonder the administration is throwing a fit, louder and more overtly anti-Israel with each passing day. The president and his advisers desperately want to divert attention from their own grossly defective deal — and blame Israel if it fails. Nothing could be more revealing of the deal’s weakness and the Obama administration’s hostility to Israel than the manner in which it is defending the deal.

Jennifer Rubin..
Right Idea/Washington Post..
27 July '15..

As we learn more about the Iran deal — the side agreements, the lifting of the arms and missile embargoes, the loophole-ridden inspections regime — the more apparent it is that only people so enamored of their own work, so gullible to embrace the Iranians’ soothing words and so desperate for glory could have negotiated this deal. Rather than acknowledge the criticisms on the merits, the administration sinks lower and lower, casting aspersions on critics. When Secretary of State John Kerry announces that the world will blame Israel if the deal fails, we have left the realm of dignified debate. When he warns Israel not to act militarily in its own defense, he suggests that the United States won’t back up the Jewish state. (“That’d be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary.”)

In addition, as the conservative Free Beacon reported at the end of last week, Kerry now insinuates that the deal will fail not because it is a rotten one but because Israel manipulated lawmakers:

“I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed,” Kerry said.

Michael Oren, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel who recently released a memoir, quickly condemned Kerry’s remarks in a statement. . . . “If American legislators reject the nuclear deal, they will do so exclusively on the basis of U.S. interests,” Oren said in the statement. “The threat of the Secretary of State who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal.”

One senior official at a prominent pro-Israel organization in Washington, D.C. expressed alarm at Kerry’s comments, which appeared to intimate that Israel has the ability to control U.S. officials. “We’re into the first week of congressional debate over the Iran deal and the president, the secretary of state, and their allies are already smearing shadowy moneyed lobbies and scapegoating Israel,” said the source. “What are they going to save for week two?”

Kerry does not “fear” Israel would be blamed; he is threatening to blame Israel if U.S. lawmakers decide that the deal is not in the interests of the United States. Not only is he inciting anti-Israel fervor, but he also is repeating another canard, namely that Israel controls Congress. In doing all this, the administration echoes ancient tropes against the Jews and not-so-ancient ones against an Israeli government that won’t meekly assent to its death.

The administration sounds more unhinged with each passing day, no doubt because it is not convincing Democrats to stand with the White House in defense of a rotten deal. In particular, many lawmakers who insisted on disclosure of the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program are learning it won’t be in the deal. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When A Hunchbacked Warthog Makes Growling Sounds at Israel

...Whenever the Obama administration starts making noises about Israeli "isolation" or the likelihood of Israel becoming a heinous "apartheid" state unless it does what it is told, these are veiled threats exploiting historically-based Jewish fears. It is a way for non-Jews with an agenda, like John Kerry, to use Jewish apprehensions, given our history, as a weapon against us. When people like Kerry claim that Israel is becoming, or already is, an "apartheid state" what they are saying is that like apartheid South Africa, it must be dismantled in favor of something else. In this case the "something else" is a 23rd Arab-Muslim Koranically-based dictatorship.

Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
27 July '15..

Adiv Sterman, writing in the Times of Israel, tells us:

As part of the Obama administration’s current campaign to push the Iranian deal signed July 14 in Vienna, Kerry told an audience at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday that should Congress vote against the agreement, “our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated, and more blamed.
The statement was promptly rejected by the former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, now a member of the centrist Kulanu party.

“If American legislators reject the nuclear deal, they will do so exclusively on the basis of US interests. The threat of the secretary of state who, in the past, warned that Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid state, cannot deter us from fulfilling our national duty to oppose this dangerous deal,” Oren said in a statement.

"our friends in Israel"?

John Kerry has friends in Israel? This is rather difficult to imagine, actually, but I suppose that there must be one or two people in Israel who do not actively despise Barack Obama and John Kerry.

This administration is about as popular as a hunchbacked warthog with herpes in Israel... and that goes at least as much for the Arabs as the Jews, because both understand that in allowing Iranian nuclear weaponry it is enabling the potential holocaust of both people. It must also be remembered that Sunnis and Shias distrust one another almost as much as they distrust and despise Jews.

This is not the first time, by the way, that Kerry has made these kinds of veiled threats and the "isolation" of Israel is an ongoing theme with the Obama administration. Israel is constantly admonished by the U.S. administration in terms that I interpret as follows:

You guys better do as you are told or something bad could happen.

We are your best friends and we would not want to see you get hurt, so you better listen.

You will allow the murderers of Jews out of Israeli prisons.

Your leadership will apologize before the international community to those who seek you harm by supporting efforts to break the blockade of Gaza and, thus, allow-in weaponry against you.

You will not let your people build housing for themselves on the parts of your land where we disapprove of your presence.

We will arm your Iranian enemies with the world's most dangerous weapons and you will be quiet.

We will also flood the Iranian economy with one hundred and fifty billion dollars which they can use to bolster genocidally anti-Semitic organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, but you will remain quiet.

When Arabs shoot rockets at your people you will sustain the suffering of your children without response because to do otherwise would constitute an act of aggression and a war crime.

One of the memorable catch-phrases of the Obama administration is this notion of "leading from behind." This is a very real thing and Obama has perfected it in terms of Israel. In order to lead "from behind" one needs both the authority of position and the enthusiasm of those one is behind leading. Obama knows very well that both the EU and the UN are hungry for more sanctions and harassment of the lone, sole Jewish state. All Obama needs to do is remark about how displeased he is with the Jews Israelis in order to send a message throughout Europe that it is open season and to give the BDS movement a shot in the arm.

At the same time, however - given Israel's economic, technical, and diplomatic relationships all around the world - Kerry's forebodings of "isolation" seem more like an attempt to play on Jewish fears more than anything else. The Jewish people in the Middle East are a people under siege. European Jewry is under siege, as well, because of the deterioration of Enlightenment values throughout that continent.

Statements Concerning "Israel’s Security Establishment" and the Iran Deal

So anyone citing Goldberg's piece, or J Street's advocacy, to suggest Israel's security establishment supports the agreement as a "good deal" should be corrected. (A good place start? The Washington Post should correct its highly misleading headline, "How the Iran deal is good for Israel, according to Israelis who know what they're talking about," under which Amos Yadlin is listed as one of those "Israelis who know what they're talking about." Yes, the same Yadlin who referred to the deal as "not good," "problematic," and even "bad.")

Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
23 July '15..

July 24 update appended below.

An opinion piece published in the Forward carries a headline that might lead readers to believe that a consensus of senior Israeli security experts views the recently signed Iran nuclear deal as a good deal.

The piece, by Forward editor J.J. Goldberg, is titled "Israel Security Establishment Breaks With Bibi on Iran Deal," and cites a long and impressive list of members of Israel's security establishment.

But the title and thesis of the piece is worded in a way that might confuse readers looking to gauge Israeli support for the deal. The security establishment "breaks with Bibi," says the title. Support for Netanyahu's "war against the Iran nuclear agreement" has been cracked, says the first paragraph. Generals and spymasters are "questioning" Netanyahu. But none of this quite means these security officials believe the agreement is "good."

"Good" is what J Street calls the Iran deal. The lobbying organization, which focuses on holding Israel responsible for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, is engaged in an all-out campaign to convince American Jews that the deal is good for everyone involved: America, Israel, and the world. It has gone so far as attacking AIPAC, the mainstream pro-Israel lobbying organization, for claiming (in J Street's words) that "the deal does not ensure ‘anytime, anywhere' short-notice inspections," even though Secretary of State John Kerry openly admits that it does not.

So when J Street posted to Twitter a link to Goldberg's piece, it surely hoped to convince its followers that "the establishment," too, believes the agreement is good.

Goldberg's piece, headline notwithstanding, admits otherwise, and it's worth drawing attention to the views of some of the officials named in the piece before it unhelpfully gets passed around as a list of experts who support the deal. Some of the Israeli security experts cited, Goldberg notes, believe only the deal is not "as bad" as Netanyahu describes it. And some straightforwardly say the deal is "bad," he admits. Here's one example of the latter, in Goldberg's words:

Concerning the Iran Menace: An Israeli's Open Letter to Congress

...Iran continues to use cruel, inhumane or degrading punishment, including flogging, hanging, stoning and amputation. It executes juveniles, and uses capital punishment for crimes that do not meet the standards of international law. As of January 2014, more than 300 members of religious minorities were in detention: 136 Baha’is, 90 Sunni Muslims, 50 Christians, 19 Dervish Muslims; four Yarasan, two Zoroastrians, and six from other groups. History has shown that regimes which zealously persecute their own people also have a tendency, when given the chance, to try and do the same if not worse toward other countries. The total removal of sanctions against Iran will benefit the six powers interests and economy but not at the cost of my existence.

Daphne Anson..
27 July '15..

Jean Vercors, an oleh from France who's no stranger to this blog, kindly sent this to me a few days ago. My sincere apologies to him for my tardiness in posting it.

Open letter to members of congress – Jean Vercors

Iran and six world powers including your country have concluded an agreement that will lift sanctions on Iran, in a historic mistake designed to encourage more terror in the Middle East and in the world.

The West has become willfully blind to Iran’s terror machine and signed a nuclear accord that will endanger world peace while the Iranian president marched with huge crowds behind him holding signs reading “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” Hezbollah Lauds Nuclear Deal as US surrender.

For two decades and for the duration of the negotiations, Iran has cheated and swindled the international system, spreading uninhibited terror, directly and indirectly (Hamas, Hezbollah) and is now rewarded.

Iran that commits gross and systematic violations of Human Rights is not only given immunity, but is actually rewarded with the lifting of sanctions.

A senior Iranian military official has threatened to unleash a firestorm of 80,000 missiles on Israel and warned that “Iran will flatten Tel Aviv and Haifa. »

Iran has raised the specter of “wiping Israel out of existence,” since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power in the country in 1979.

Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” in a 2005 speech. More recently, in late March 2015, General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of Iran’s Basij militia – a volunteer paramilitary organization under the command of the IRGC – said that, “wiping Israel off the map is not up for negotiation.”

Iran also actively finances and militarily backs proxy terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah that are ideologically opposed to Israel’s existence. A Hezbollah suicide bombing killed 241 Marines in October 1983.

The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) allows Iran to retain much of its nuclear infrastructure, and grants it the right to enrich uranium on its own soil. But the deal also requires Iran to cap and partially roll back that infrastructure for ten to fifteen years, and grants the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, managed access to monitor that program with intrusive inspections.

In exchange, the governments of Britain, France, Russia, China, the US and Germany have agreed to lift all UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran— once Iran abides by a set of nuclear-related commitments.

Your Excellency, my country Israel was not bound by the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, it is a "historic mistake", and Israel is ready to defend itself.

The deal negotiated would not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons that could be used to target a country.

Your country among the six powers that negotiated the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States have chosen to collaborate with a tyranic regime.

This fraudulent, tyrannical dynasty has now agreed to dispatch some of its subordinates to negotiate with world powers with the aim of reaching a settlement over its disastrous nuclear program that has brought nothing but misery and calamity to the Iranian people.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Surprise? Iran: Challenging Our Missile Program Means Crossing a Red Line

...The rockets, drones and missiles will be a major part of Iran’s growing assistance to its proxy terror organizations and other clients in the Middle East. Iran wants to recast the region in its own image while continuing the process, already in full swing, of ejecting the United States from it. The rockets and missiles are likely to strike U.S. allies in the region (the Houthis are already firing rockets at Saudi territory) and, in the future, the more Iran’s confidence grows, to limit U.S. freedom of movement in the Persian Gulf and in the area of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait while exacting a high price for the U.S. in any military conflict with Iran. The United States has in fact made peace with Iran’s transformation into a regional power, without calculating the dangerous long-term implications for itself and for its allies in the region.

Cartoon: Iran’s missiles will never be negotiable
Source: (IRGC-affiliated) Tasnim News Agency
(The scrap Obama is holding): “The Iranian missile file”
Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall..
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs..
27 July '15..

Following the UN Security Council’s endorsement of the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian military and political spokesmen clarified Iran’s uncompromising position on the continued development of its ballistic missile program and emphasized that any attempt to challenge the program means crossing a red line. Security Council Resolution 2231 leaves in place for eight years the embargo on selling missile technology to Iran and for five years the embargo on selling heavy weapons to it.

Defense Minister: We Will Not Permit Access to Military Facilities

Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehghan again affirmed, reiterating Iran’s position throughout the nuclear talks with the world powers, that issues involving Iran’s missile program are not up for discussion and Iran is determined to keep developing all of its missile programs. As for attempts to clarify Iran’s past activity regarding “possible military dimensions” of its nuclear program, Dehghan again underlined that Iran will definitely not grant anyone access to its security and military secrets and facilities.1

Concerning the statements about Iran by U.S. spokesmen after the deal was signed, Dehghan said:

The U.S. officials make boastful remarks and imagine that they can impose anything on the Iranian nation because they lack a proper knowledge of the Iranian nation…the time has come now for the Americans to realize that they are not the world’s super power and no one recognizes them as such any longer.2
Source: Fars News (Iran)
Written on the Apron : “statement”

The IRGC Commander: The Crossing of Red Lines

Upon the Security Council’s endorsement of the nuclear deal, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Ali Jafari, said that several provisions of the resolution constitute the crossing of red lines that Iran set, particularly on the issue of the preservation and development of its military capabilities, and that Iran will never accept this.3 The adviser to the Supreme Leader’s Representative at the IRGC, Yadollah Javani, likewise asserted that Iran’s ability to defend itself, and particularly its missile capabilities, have constituted a red line throughout the negotiations and Iran will not cross it in any way. Javani claimed that the United States and its partners have been trying to use the nuclear talks to weaken Iran and undercut its ability to defend itself.4 The deputy commander of the IRGC for political affairs, Brig. Gen. Rasoul Sanayee Ra’ad, reiterated that “Iran’s military capabilities, including access to ballistic missiles, are no bargaining chip or agenda.”5

The Foreign Ministry: The Agreement Does Not Address the Missile Program

After the adoption of Resolution 2231, the Iranian Foreign Ministry hastened to make clear that:

Iran will continue to enhance its defense capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity against any potential acts of aggression as well as the threat of terrorism in the region. Iran’s military capabilities, including development of its ballistic missiles, are solely meant for defense as they have not been designed to carry nuclear warheads, and those capabilities are outside the scope of the UN resolution and its annexes.6

What lies behind the newest dose of Palestinian Arab "refugee" fury at UNRWA?

...Finally, here (for the second time this month) is a shout-out to to UNRWA's indefatigable "Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications", Christopher Gunness, to straighten us out and indicate a more UNRWA-friendly way of looking at this. We know he's busy, so let it be clear that no one is holding their breaths. What UNRWA stands for is perfectly clear to anyone who looks.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
26 July '15..

With all the goodwill that normal people concerned about misery in other people's lives can muster up, there is something more than faintly absurd about pretty much everything in this report.

Gazans, Jordanians stage protests against UNRWA decision to cut services to Palestinian population | Jerusalem Post | Khaled Abu Toameh | July 26, 2015

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Jordan on Sunday staged protests against the decision of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to cut its services to the Palestinian population. The protesters claim that UNRWA has cut its health and educational services to tens of thousands of Palestinians.

In the Gaza Strip, where nearly half of the Palestinians rely on UNRWA services, scores of protesters gathered outside the agency’s offices, chanting slogans against the latest decision. Many Palestinians suspect that UNRWA’s scaling-down of its services is part of a “conspiracy” to eliminate the refugee problem. The protest was organized by representatives of various Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, who urged UNRWA to reconsider its decision to decrease its services to Palestinians.

(Read Full Post)

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. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter

Contrived Palestinian National Identity, Jim Crow and Jews

...Many would suggest that, contrived or not, "Palestinian" as an ethnic or national designation now exists and that as a matter of general human decency, if not liberal ideology, it must be acknowledged. And, of course, the world has acknowledged the "Palestinians" as a distinct people with a history and with rights. What I fail to understand, however, is just why it is that Jewish people are under any moral or ethical obligation to acknowledge a people who only recently came into existence as a people for the purpose of undermining, and eventually destroying, Jewish national autonomy?

Michael Lumish..
Israel Thrives..
26 July '15..

The western-left today thinks that the Jews are oppressive to Muslims in the Middle East. They believe that Jewish Israelis are brutalizing and ethnically-cleansing the innocent "indigenous" population.

In previous decades the so-called "Palestinian narrative" has taken hold of the western imagination. Within that narrative, vicious and militaristic Jews marched out of Europe and violently displaced the native population in the early-middle of the twentieth-century. Jews pushed "Palestinians" out of their native land where, as "Palestinians," they had been living for many thousand of years. Mahmoud Abbas even laughably claimed that the "Palestinians" have a 9,000 year history on that land. He said, "Oh, Netanyahu, you are incidental in history; we are the people of history. We are the owners of history."

If the "Palestinians" are the "owners of history" it must be a secret history that they keep entirely to themselves. I have never heard of a people with a secret history before! The "Palestinians" have lived on that land for 9,000 years and, yet, somehow, history seems to have passed them by. It is a profound mystery. There are no records of a "Palestinian" state on that land. There are no records of the great "Palestinian" artists or leaders or scientists that thrived in the Land of Palestine for all those thousands of years. Yet the foundation of Arab and western-left hostility toward the Jewish Israelis is the idea that they violently displaced the native population. Jews, we are to understand, are illegally "Occupying" - with the Big O - Judea, a land that belongs to Palestinian-Arabs, not Jews.

There is always a charge against the Jews among westerners in every generation.

Every generation they tell us just why Jewish kids deserve a good beating. In previous generations, of course, we were either guilty of killing Jesus or of giving the world Jesus and are, therefore, responsible for the failings of Christianity. We were sometimes thought of as the heinous agents of greedy capitalism or the heinous agents of totalitarian socialism. And, needless to say, in the early part of the twentieth-century, we were the wrong "race." We were considered inherently, essentially, bad people.

In this generation, however, the charge is that we are mean to Arabs.

There are around six million Jews in Israel and something between three hundred and four hundred million Arab-Muslims surrounding them in the Middle East. For reasons having to do with theocratic bigotry, Muslims in that part of the world traditionally despise the Jews and often teach their children to throw stones at us. Throwing stones at Jews in Israel is not a manifestation, as is often claimed, of righteous push-back against the "Occupation," but is a time-honored tradition within Arab culture, grounded in the rankest form of bigotry and persecution of the despised "other."

It was Caliph Omar Abd al-Azziz, who reigned between 717 and 720 CE, who codified the rules of dhimmi status, sometimes referred to as the Pact of Omar or Covenant of Omar, but which I like to think of as Jim Crow for Jews. The first and foremost rule was the paying of jizya tax and acceptance of the conditions of ahl al-dhimma. In Martin Gilbert's In Ishmael's House, we read:

Some Important Things the Media Won’t Bother Telling You About Israel

...Neither Israel nor its supporters can change the media coverage. But liberal Jews who care about Israel can and must try to educate their fellows about the distorted image this coverage conveys. Because criticizing Israel for its minority of extremists while never even acknowledging the majority’s efforts to fight them isn’t “tough love”; it’s sheer dishonesty.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
26 July '15..

If you’ve ever wondered why so many overseas Jews view democratic Israel as irredeemably racist, consider the following story: Knesset member Robert Ilatov justifiably made headlines last Thursday by declaring that Arabs who refuse to sing the national anthem, “Hatikva,” shouldn’t be appointed as judges. But several prominent English-language Israeli news sites didn’t even bother mentioning the swift, uncompromising rejection of his view by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked; you won’t, for instance, find a word of her response in Haaretz’s report, while the left-wing +972 website dismissed it as a “weak protestation” by omitting all the most significant parts of her statement.

Shaked’s response matters not only because of her position, but because she herself is no bleeding-heart liberal; she’s second-in-command of the religious Zionist Jewish Home party, the right flank of what the media routinely term a “hardline” government. And that’s precisely the point: While extremists always get headlines, the mainstream rejection of their views is ignored – even when that rejection is so sweeping that it encompasses the leadership of the most right-wing party in the governing center-right coalition.

Granted, Ilatov’s views can’t be dismissed as an insignificant; the opposition back-bencher made his statement right after the Knesset chose him as one of the Judicial Appointments Committee’s nine members. But surely the contrary views of the other eight members – and especially Shaked, the panel’s chairwoman – should be considered no less significant when assessing Israel’s character.

Shaked, in her response, endorsed the compromise employed by Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran during his own swearing-in ceremony: Arab judges should stand for the anthem, because state officials must respect the state’s symbols, but they shouldn’t be required to sing along if they can’t identify with lyrics that, after all, are about the Jewish yearning for Zion. “A judge needs to stand during the national anthem, but I won’t be looking to see if he is mouthing the words to Hatikva or not,” she said.

She also endorsed the importance of maintaining the judiciary’s professionalism: “A judge needs to be selected first and foremost according to skills and criteria,” she stressed. Finally, she underscored the importance of having Arab judges in the system: “The fact that we have Arab judges is an admirable thing in a country where 20 percent of the population are minorities.”

In other words, the second-in-command of one of Israel’s most right-wing parties, who also happens to be the justice minister, said exactly what she should have said regarding Arab sensitivities, Arab representation in state institutions and judicial professionalism. But liberals who get their news from Haaretz or +972 will never know it; reading those reports, a well-meaning liberal would legitimately conclude that anti-Arab extremists are running around Israel unopposed.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Surprise? BBC News twists Tisha B’Av Temple Mount incident with ‘last-first’ reporting

...As we see, the BBC’s report focuses on the entry of policemen into the Al Aqsa Mosque. The issue of Palestinians intending to use violence to prevent Jews from exercising their religious rights is not apparently a topic about which the BBC considers its audiences need to know more.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
26 July '15..

On the morning of July 26th – the day of the fast of Tisha B’Av – Israeli security forces had to deal with an incident at Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“Dozens of masked Palestinian protesters hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails and firecrackers at police officers on the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem’s Old City Sunday morning, before being pushed back into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by security forces who were rushed to the area.

According to police, the protesters had stockpiled homemade explosives, firecrackers and wooden boards inside the mosque, with the intention of attacking thousands of Jewish worshipers gathered nearby for prayers at the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av, a fast and day of mourning that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples.”

The portrayal of that incident provided to visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page creates a markedly different impression. The report’s headline – “Al-Aqsa mosque: Israeli police enter Jerusalem holy site” – erases any mention of what preceded the security forces’ brief entry into the mosque in typical BBC ‘last-first reporting’ style.AAM 26 7 BBC art

The opening paragraphs of the article even imply that the violence on the part of the Palestinians was a reaction to the police’s entry into the mosque.

(Read Full Post)

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Stones, rocks, blocks and boulders all kill

...Stoning attacks claimed many more lives over the years and they are ongoing and rampant....Evidently, none of this perturbs Arab MKs who stridently incite against the state that bankrolls them and guarantees their rights to subvert it. They’d do well, however, to recall that sometimes stones injure and kill Israeli Arabs too – when they’re mistaken for Jews.

JPost Editorial..
25 July '15..

Since last Monday, hurling stones at passing vehicles is deemed by law to constitute a terrorist act that could get perpetrators long prison stretches.

This follows Knesset ratification of more stringent sentencing guidelines for attacks on civilian traffic. This legislation allows the prosecution to demand a 10-year term without having to prove intent to harm.

In the event that such intent is proven, sentences can be doubled to 20 years.

The law – passed by a majority of 69 (including many opposition MKs) to 17 (mostly from the Joint (Arab) List) – amends legislation in which sentence-severity hinged on proof of intent. This resulted in attackers frequently getting off with slaps on the wrist or altogether scot-free.

The ensuing legal anomaly led MK Tzipi Livni – when she served as justice minister in the previous government – to push for clearer legislation. Livni formulated the amendment that only now passed its final parliamentary hurdles – under the aegis of Livni’s successor, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Shaked declared: “Leniency toward terrorists stops today. A stone-thrower is a terrorist and only appropriate punishment can serve as deterrence.”