Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A fantastic feat of obliterating the truth and propping up the lie

...Preposterous and specious as assorted UN resolutions, documents and declarations unexceptionally tend to be, their detrimental cumulative effect is undeniable. In the very least they implant and inculcate tendentious vocabulary in the minds of the uninitiated. They accentuate and approve prejudices. They affix and appear to quasi-legitimize an agenda of hate – in galling distortion to the original vision of the UN’s mission.

Why would “peaceful worshipers” stockpile
weaponry and in a holy site at that?
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
27 September '15..

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas vowed to prevent Jews from “defiling al-Aksa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Was there no-nonsense condemnation of such incitement from the UN? Not a hint thereof.

The UN never ceases to blow our minds although the organization’s barefaced bias shouldn’t realistically surprise any reasonable Israeli. Yet somehow we compulsively continue to assume that abundant incontrovertible evidence before all eyes would finally even the skewed international scales.

Invariably however, time and again we are shown that no absurdity is too absurd for the UN.

The UN Security Council for instance managed in one outlandish statement to ignore the in-your-face aggression by Muslims on the Temple Mount while inter alia also expunging all trace of Jewish links to Judaism‘s holiest site.

It was a fantastic feat of obliterating the truth and propping up the lie.

To begin with, there was no mention of the term Temple Mount, thus in effect wiping out 3,000 years of Jewish history (to say nothing of the derivative Christian historiography). All that was mentioned was the subsequent superimposed ArabicHaram al-Sharif (Noble Compound). Repeatedly, that was the one and only appellation used for the site.

It was as if Jews were never there, have no connection to the Mount, had invented a bogus narrative about a non-existent temple and now arbitrarily seek to usurp the rights of Muslims whose sanctuary this was exclusively from time immemorial. All this subscribes to a tee to the outrageous history-defying contentions blusterously reiterated by Arabs/Muslims in general and by the Palestinians particularly.

Bay Area? Boston? DC? Help us claim back the real meaning of human rights

...we wonder again how perturbed a laundry list of American fighters for a very-narrowly defined version of human rights are when confronted with the undisguised hatred and open blood-lust of their star performer and his extended family. Their views and deeds are a matter of public record - at least, to those who pay attention. Ignoring all of this is easily done as we, more than most people, have learned over the years to our sorrow. But once you know about it, and understand how the Tamimi tour is calculated to provide a 'human rights' fig-leaf for prejudice, hatred and the killing of innocent people, what kind of person does ignoring it make you?

Why is this candid snapshot of Bassem Tamimi (left)
getting zero exposure by his well-funded roadshow
publicity machine? And whose shoulders is he hugging?
The answers are definitely worth knowing; see "
 Peace, human rights, the sheer joy of killing people
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
29 September '15..

The US roadshow arranged by Bassem Tamimi's 'activist' friends (including Amnesty International, a once-principled organization that for at least three years has been deeply invested in sanitizing the Tamimi clan's blood lust and race-based hatred of Jews) is half-way done.

It has just rolled into the San Francisco Bay area where it will be performing several times during the next few days: San Francisco, Berkeley, Stockton, Hayward, then on to Albuquerque, NM; Medford, MA; Boston; Cambridge, MA; Pittsfield, MA; South Florida; and winding up in Washington DC in the middle of October.

Since we have readers and friends in some of these places, here's a message we very much want to share with them. (Please feel free to send this post wherever you think something good and life-affirming can be achieved.)

First, despite our efforts to get the Bassem carnival's promoters to address our uncomplicated questions, they remain unanswered:

"Bassem Tamimi, tell us in simple words: are you as delighted by your cousin Ahlam Tamimi's massacre of Jewish children as she is? Have you criticized it ever, anywhere? Will you condemn it here and now?"

It's obviously far easier to ignore the grieving parents of a murdered child (which is what we, the writers of this blog, are) than to relate to our discomforting questions. And especially when that murder - a massacre, actually - was masterminded by Bassem Tamimi's cousin, the little village of Nabi Saleh's most celebrated daughter, a woman singularly proud to have killed so many Jewish children.

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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 Differing Tale of Two Church Fires

...It’s funny. One church gets burnt and the entire world erupts in outrage. Same-day coverage of the attack is everywhere. Another church located just a few miles away is torched and the media remains silent.

A fire at St. Charbel Monastery in
Bethlehem.(Gabriel Naddaf)
Dexter Van Zile..
CAMERA Snapshots..
29 September '15..

The story is a familiar one. A church is set on fire and suffers extensive damage. Officials say they are investigating. The fire is an outrage, but for some reason it hasn’t gotten much traction in the international media.

The fire in question took place on Sept. 26, 2015 at the St. Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem, a Maronite institution. (The Maronites are part of the Roman Catholic Church headquartered in Rome.)

Ma’an, a Palestinian news agency has published a very brief story on the fire, but for the most part, the fire has not gotten much coverage in Western media outlets. Israel National News reported that the Palestinian Authority has been “strangely silent” about the fire, and that the PA says the fire was an electrical fire.

It’s an important story that calls for further coverage, but aside from an article in Asia News, which indicates that the fire was the work of Islamic fundamentalists, people interested in such things will have to go to blogs or to Facebook for more information.

On his Facebook account, Father Gabriel Naddaf, an Orthodox Priest living in Israel, issued a statement in response to the fire and the PA’s silence in which he faults the PA for not condemning what he has concluded was an act of arson. “It is exactly this type of attitude by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority that encourage vandalism and terrorism against Christian sites as Palestinians extremists know that they will not be brought to justice or punished for their acts.”

By way of comparison, another church fire, this one in Israel, got an extensive amount of coverage. When the Church of the Beatitudes was set on fire in June, media outlets throughout the world covered the event.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Does Anyone Want To Really Help Refugees?

...Instead of throwing good money after bad, let’s treat the billions funneled to the P.A. as a long-term option that has, like Oslo, just expired. We’ve much more deserving recipients waiting on deck in Yarmouk, floating on dinghies in the Aegean, crowding train cars in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. True champions of progressive ideals should love everything about this plan: This is what a righteous redistribution of wealth truly looks like.

Liel Leibovitz..
Tablet Magazine..
24 September '15..

Forget the pope: The only truly important dignitary visiting New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. That’s because Abbas, unlike most of his powerful peers, may actually hold the key to world peace.

Don’t laugh. If the strong signals coming from the rais’ office are to be believed, Abbas is likely to take the stage next Wednesday and declare the Oslo Accords dead. This, to all but a handful of sentimentalists, nearly all of whom live in Tel Aviv, is a major opportunity. If Abbas truly believes the age of Oslo to be over, there’s a good argument to be made that he ought to give back every shekel his people have received in international aid for the past 21 years.

If this strikes you as ridiculous or cruel, take a moment to revisit the financial records. That is, if you can find them: In 2013, the European Court of Auditors, an independent E.U. regulatory body set up to monitor the union’s income and spending, discovered that $2.64 billion of European aid investment in the West Bank and Gaza between 2008 and 2012 alone was squandered—lost to mismanagement and corruption. Look back further, to Oslo’s early, euphoric days, and you’ll discover many more billions you just can’t find.

Where did all the money go? Recent leaked documents give two anecdotally instructive looks into the lifestyles of the Palestinian rich and famous, paid for by the kindness of strangers. In one instance, Majdi al-Khaldi, a close Abbas adviser, asked Bahrain’s foreign minister for $4 million to pay for the construction of a luxury gated community for top P.A. officials. This, al-Khaldi wrote, was necessary in order to resist nearby settlements, even though there were no settlements nearby. For Nazmi Muhanna, the general director of the Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority, the political was personal: He syphoned off nearly $10,000 to send his daughter to a fancy private school in Jordan. Still, he was better than the former leader of Fatah in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, who celebrated the nuptials of his son in Cairo earlier this summer with a modest party that cost $2 million, including an Oscar de la Renta gown inlaid with hundreds of jewels and pearls. Even if you take into account the economic hardships of a society struggling against foreign military presence in its midst, the P.A. has still received, to use a technical term for a moment, oodles of cash, several Marshall Plans’ worth, and has no schools, no roads, and no other forms of infrastructure to show for it. The cash spent on fancy homes and bejeweled designer dresses is now lost to us, but if we do our due diligence, it’s possible we’ll still find much of the foreign money piled, undisturbed, in Swiss bank accounts belonging to Abbas and company.

Vegans, terrorists and a passion for blood

...Chances are that Ariel Gold (-Vegan) will be more disturbed by the tasteless image Nariman Tamimi shared on FB than by her open display of support for an unrepentant murderer who was only too delighted to find out that her victims included eight children.

In the Tamimi playbook, vegans (and other liberal-minded
groups) play the role of useful idiots. This image 
of a Tamimi cousin with a passion for slaughtered creatures 
was posted by Mrs Bassem Tamimi on her Facebook page
here].The Tamimi clan exhibit an undisguised attachment
to slaughter.
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
28 September '15..

[Hats off to Petra Marqardt-Bigman for her ongoing close analysis of the Bassem Tamimi US tour (now underway - currently in San Francisco) and the ill-informed and frequently hateful activism of the tour's sponsors [see "13-Sep-15: A roadshow and its groupies"]. Here's her latest contribution cross-posted from Sunday's Jerusalem Post. It's called "Vegans against the occupation".]
When I first heard about “Vegans against the occupation,” I thought for a moment that this was surely a group opposing the Chinese occupation of Tibet. After all, even though Tibet’s climate makes it difficult to be a vegetarian or vegan, Buddhism has traditionally been very sensitive about the suffering of animals and is often associated with promoting vegetarian or even vegan diets.

But of course I was wrong: “Vegans against the occupation” is just another group with an intense hatred for Israel – so intense, in fact, that one of the leading members of this small group has been devoting a lot of energy to promoting the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh, who obviously couldn’t care less about veganism.

[Warning: disturbing screenshot below, showing a teenaged Tamimi family member posing mockingly with the severed head of a goat or sheep slaughtered for Eid al Adha, the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice, which often gives rise to debates about cruelty against animals.]

But Ariel Gold, aka Ariel Gold-Vegan of Ithaca, New York, hates Israel more than she hates this kind of revolting “fun”. While “Vegans against the occupation” is a tiny group that doesn’t warrant much attention, it provides an excellent example of the bottomless hypocrisy that is the hallmark of anti-Israel activism.

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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

BDS Movement: We Know Who You Are and Where You Live

...the protest of Williams was a huge embarrassment for BDS, which turned out 500 protesters rather than the 40,000 they were aiming for. But that was not for want of trying. Muhammad Desai, Coordinator of BDS-South Africa had this to say to those who have not stuck with the Woolworth’s boycott: “Those who have gone back to Woolworths, we know who you are and where you live.”

Jonathan Marks..
Commentary Magazine..
28 September '15..

South Africa, because of its experience with apartheid, is a feather in the cap of the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. If South Africans think that Israel is an apartheid state, the reasoning goes, we should take them seriously since they know a thing or two about apartheid.

But as I have written before, the boycott movement in South Africa has been particularly ugly; flirting quite openly with violence, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy theorizing.

Evelyn Gordon has written in these pages about the latest embarrassment to BDS-South Africa, a protest against a performance in Cape Town by the singer, Pharrell Williams. Williams’s sole crime is working with Woolworth’s, a retailer that is inexplicably a boycott target, even though, as Haaretz reports, it “has said it does not source produce from the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, [that] less than 0.1 percent of its food comes from Israel and that it clearly labels every product’s country of origin.” The movement against Woolworth’s in South Africa has already featured the placement of a severed pig’s head in the kosher food section of one store.

As Gordon points out, the protest of Williams was a huge embarrassment for BDS, which turned out 500 protesters rather than the 40,000 they were aiming for. But that was not for want of trying. Muhammad Desai, Coordinator of BDS-South Africa had this to say to those who have not stuck with the Woolworth’s boycott: “Those who have gone back to Woolworths, we know who you are and where you live.”

Monday, September 28, 2015

NY Times Claims Palestinian Rock Throwing Attack an “Accident”

...This was a rock throwing attack that led to the murder of an innocent Israeli. The car was not simply “hit by rocks.” Alexander Levlovich did not simply die. He was killed by Palestinian rock throwers. Levlovich’s death was not an accident. Nor, it seems, are Diaa Hadid and the New York Times’s efforts to downplay the seriousness of Palestinian rock throwing, accidental either.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
27 September '15..

Why can’t New York Times reporter Diaa Hadid bring herself to acknowledge that rocks don’t just rise up and strike Israeli vehicles without someone i.e. Palestinians, deliberately picking them up and throwing them?

Perhaps because the former Electronic Intifada writer simply doesn’t see attacks on Israeli civilians as anything but an accident.

Such was the New York Times’s recent reporting after Alexander Levlovich was killed by Palestinians who threw rocks at his car. Now, with the news that Israeli police have arrested four Palestinian youths allegedly responsible, this is how Hadid covers the story in the New York Times:

Four Palestinian youths have been detained in the death of an Israeli man who drove his vehicle into a light pole in East Jerusalem two weeks ago after it was hit by rocks, the Israeli police said Saturday.

The man, Alexander Levlovich, 64, died of his injuries after the accident on the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, on Sept. 13.

An accident?!!

There was nothing accidental about this incident. Rocks can kill. Period.

Perhaps the Palestinians responsible may claim in their defense that they never intended to kill anyone when they threw their rocks at a moving vehicle. That, however, is not for Diaa Hadid to speculate.

Palestinians throw rocks at Israelis with the intent of causing as much damage as possible. The only accidents that take place in these violent attacks are when the perpetrators miss their targets, not when they hit them.

The story of a lie that is told over and over

...The facts don’t support the hate industry, so the folks who want us dead have also developed a lie industry to provide fuel for the haters. Today I want to look at one lie of the many excreted by that industry, a lie that is told over and over and has certainly been the cause of the deaths of numerous Jews and Arabs.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
28 September '15..

The Jewish people and their state are the target of an unending, worldwide hate offensive. Our reactions differ. Some of us get angry (that’s healthy). Others ignore it. And some become convinced that where there’s smoke, there must be fire. Maybe they hate us because we’re hate-worthy?

Nope. They hate us for a lot of reasons, including religion (that’s a big one for Muslims), envy, guilt, and greed – and sometimes it’s just a family tradition. But in fact we are pretty decent, as homo sapiens goes, and so is our country.

The facts don’t support the hate industry, so the folks who want us dead have also developed a lie industry to provide fuel for the haters. Today I want to look at one lie of the many excreted by that industry, a lie that is told over and over and has certainly been the cause of the deaths of numerous Jews and Arabs.

The woman who posted this, Ariel Gold of Ithaca, NY (h/t: Petra Marquardt Bigman), is a piece of work herself, a Jew who describes her occupation on her Facebook page as “delegitimizing Zionism at [sic] Community Activist.” If she does anything else for a living, it’s not evident from her posts, which display her as a one-person demonization machine.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sometimes you've really gotta laugh. Send in the clowns

...Also, the clowns, and their fellow activists, should have realized who their partners are in their anti-Israel protests. If you’re willing to make Islamists your bedfellows, then at least have the sense not to jump into bed stark naked, with your eyes closed. ...These clowns are a sad reflection of much that is wrong in the Middle East, the astonishing ignorance, hypocrisy and more than a touch of patronization.

Liat Collins..
My Word/JPost..
25 September '15..

Sometimes you've gotta laugh. Like when they send in the clowns. These particular clowns came from Spain last week to protest Israeli policies next to what they describe as the Apartheid Wall near Jerusalem, and it is no exaggeration to say they were willing to drop everything for the cause. Wearing only red noses, these clowns posed in front of the wall hoping to attract attention. And they were successful.

Their red noses turned to red faces at the reaction.

According to a Ynet report, the Spanish activists received a virtual slap in the face (and given their state of undress, I hesitate to suggest they turn the other cheek).

The exhibitionist activists drew the ire of conservative Palestinians who slammed the group’s “disgusting” lack of respect.

Deducing from the strategically placed hands (I’ll spare you the photos), the group of eight was comprised of seven men and one woman. Apparently, they had spent the previous week performing on the streets of Bethlehem, Ramallah and east Jerusalem – presumably dressed, or their cheeky act would have been noted earlier.

According to the Ynet report, they explained their photo shoot by saying: “When you stand before this shameful fence, all of humanity is naked. The decision to be photographed as naked clowns was meant to remind us that all of humanity has lost its respect by allowing such barriers to exist.

“The 21st century is the time we need to break barriers and not build new ones. We apologize to the Palestinians whose feelings were hurt in this act. This is not an act against Islam; this is our way of denouncing the barrier.”

Just like their protest left little to the imagination, so did the talkbackers’ comments – both the Palestinians on the original post and those responding to the Ynet story.

My response was to laugh. But it was a bittersweet chuckle.

For a start, there are of course many barriers much closer to their Spanish homes. There are giant fences, for example, constructed by Spain to keep migrants out of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa.

Once Again Refuting Jewish History Deniers

...The Israeli government, then as now run by the supposedly hard line right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu, was so interested in keeping the peace that it made no effort to stop what must be considered the greatest act of archeological vandalism in history. Indeed, the Wakf’s actions must rank with the efforts of the Taliban and ISIS to destroy the vestiges of pre-Islamic cultures in areas under their control. But while the Taliban and ISIS merely wish to erase evidence of pre-Muslim religions in the region, the Wakf, supported by the Palestinian Authority, had a more specific agenda: denying Jewish history.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
25 September '15..

In recent weeks, the conflict over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has heated up.

Palestinians have grown increasingly violent in their effort to prevent Jews from entering the site of the two Biblical Temples that constitutes the holiest spot in Judaism. Though the state of Israel has left in place rules that prevent Jews from praying there, the Arab states and the United Nations regard the desire of Jews to visit the compound as an insult to Islam. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has called upon his people to resist the efforts of Israelis to “desecrate” holy places with “their stinking Jewish feet.” This effort to whip up Arab hate against the Jews, is a cynical act that has several precedents in Palestinian history that inevitably led to the shedding of Jewish blood. But while Israeli efforts to stop the uptick in terror in Jerusalem are being met with unfair criticism, the truth about the struggle over the sacred plateau is best illustrated by the news of a startling archeological discovery.

Researchers sifting through rubble from the Temple Mount that was dumped outside the walls by Muslim authorities have found an ancient stone seal that dates to the 10th and 11th centuries before the Common Era. That is the period of the reigns of the biblical Kings David and Solomon when the first temple was built on the site. While the find will, as is inevitable, will provoke the usual fierce debate among scholars over any such discovery, it nonetheless provides an important context to the political struggle over the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.

The reason why some will question the significance of the seal is that it was found among the 40 tons of dirt excavated by heavy machinery from the ground of the Temple Mount in the 1990s. That excavation was ordered by the Muslim Wakf that Israel has allowed to administer the site and its mosques since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967 and was the result of a mosque building project. Though this is one of the key historic sites in the world, the Wakf had no interest in preserving the vast treasure trove of artifacts that are contained in the 35-acre Temple Mount compound. Indeed, judging by the brutality of its methods and its decision to simply dump the contents of their excavation in the Kidron Valley outside the walled city, it appears the Wakf was as interested in trashing any possible evidence of the history of this place as they were in improving their facilities.

The Israeli government, then as now run by the supposedly hard line right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu, was so interested in keeping the peace that it made no effort to stop what must be considered the greatest act of archeological vandalism in history. Indeed, the Wakf’s actions must rank with the efforts of the Taliban and ISIS to destroy the vestiges of pre-Islamic cultures in areas under their control. But while the Taliban and ISIS merely wish to erase evidence of pre-Muslim religions in the region, the Wakf, supported by the Palestinian Authority, had a more specific agenda: denying Jewish history.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

In Destroying Antiquities, Palestinian Groups Ahead of ISIS

...In seeking to destroy Jewish history in Jerusalem and elsewhere, some Palestinian Arabs are—similar to the more widely covered actions by ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or Islamic State in the Levant—attempting to rewrite history for their political ends. Major media would do well to note that ISIS is far from original in its revisionism by demolition.

Sean Durns..
CAMERA Media Analysis..
25 September '15..

Destruction of antiquities and ancient artifacts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has received considerable news media attention. Not so for other acts meant to erase the history of pre-Islamic peoples.

A Lexis-Nexis search shows that from July to September 2015, 13 editorials and articles appeared in The Washington Post alone on the threat to and eventual destruction by ISIS of one notable ancient site: the ancient Roman city of Palmyra in Syria. Yet, ISIS is far from alone when it comes to defacing and destroying evidence of ancient, non-Islamic civilizations.

Just as the al-Qaeda breakaway and now larger terrorist movement seeks to destroy antiquities that reflect a time before Islam (in Islamic terminology the Jahiliyyah or “age of ignorance”) and the Taliban dynamited the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan in 2001, Palestinian Arabs have sought to erase evidence of the existence of the Jews on the land of Israel (eretz Yisrael) that predates any Arab or Muslim presence.

In August 2015, ISIS destroyed a fifth-century Christian monastery in the Syrian town of Qaryatain, claiming that the monastery was “worshipped without God.” The destruction received considerable media coverage, for example “Islamic State Destroys Assyrian Christian Monastery in Syria,” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 21, 2015)

In 2013, more than 200 terror attacks occurred at Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, where the Jewish matriarch Rachel is said to be buried—119 of those attacks included the use of explosives at the sacred site. Contrasted with its coverage of ISIS destructions, 2013 saw only one Washington Post three-sentence mention of attacks on Rachel's Tomb (“Palestinian inmate buried as leaders try to halt unrest,” Feb. 26, 2013). And even that was confined to the bottom of an article detailing the death of a Palestinian terrorist.
In September 2015, four Palestinian terrorists were arrested for plotting an attack on another Jewish sacred site, Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the ancient Shechem in Samaria, the northern West Bank. They planned to set off explosives at the site but were caught and arrested by Israeli security forces—despite the fact that the men lived in areas governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is bound by the 1993 Oslo accords to apprehend terrorists and prevent attacks.

Friday, September 25, 2015

In the name of human rights, silencing those discomforting voices

...Bassem Eid is not in hiding, and not in danger of going to jail, at least not in Israel. But (and we have not heard this from him), it might be some time before he willingly exposes himself again to Western (or at least South Pacific) academics or audiences with some specific sub-set of human-rights on their minds, or self-proclaimed advocates of free speech. At a certain point, a person just gets sick of the empty slogans and pines for a world where values and opinions can count on getting a certain degree of respect and exposure.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
24 September '15..

It's the day after Judaism's Yom Kippur. In some ways, it's a shame the Jewish practice of focusing energy and thoughts on wrong-doings on one long (very long) day once a year - no eating, no drinking - and sincerely repenting for them has not been adopted outside the Jewish world in the way that we Jews do.

Even those not very observant of Judaism's detailed code of conduct do this both as individuals and as a community. Does this make "us" holier than other people? No, of course not, though observant Jews do have a fairly concrete sense of the sacred and what holy means. and strive to bring it into our lives. And are we doing better now that the Day of Atonement is behind us? Only time will tell, but the day does end on a distinctly optimistic note.

We're thinking about this after reading a little-noticed report about a proud, eloquent Palestinian Arab with a passion for human rights and the courage (as we have seen from up close ourselves) to speak out in defence of the values in which he believes even when his audiences are not too sympathetic.

He has just been visiting New Zealand. And according to a seriously disturbing report we have just seen from there, Bassem Eid was treated despicably.

Some readers might be surprised to know that the sharpest of the disgraceful responses to which he was treated came from some of the very people who posture and trumpet themselves as respectful defenders of free, open speech.

(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

Israel’s democratic crisis by Caroline Glick

...Israel faces a daunting threat environment. The good news is that we have the tools to handle the threats we face. The bad news is that so long as unelected officials in and out of government are able to subvert governing authority, these tools will never be used.

Caroline Glick..
Column One/JPost..
24 September '15..

On Wednesday night Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu touched on the most critical threat to Israeli democracy. Following Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s announcement that he was canceling Brig.-Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch’s appointment as inspector-general of the police due to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s refusal to approve it in a timely manner, Netanyahu said, “Our appointments process is harsh, prolonged, harmful, and without a doubt worthy of review.”

The power to appoint is the power to govern.

Without the power to appoint public servants, governments cannot develop patronage networks.

Although patronage has developed a bad reputation, all it really amounts to is the ability to ensure that officials appointed by a government are loyal to the government and as a result can be depended on to faithfully execute the policies of the government.

When appointments are controlled by unelected forces, elected officials cannot trust that public servants will implement their policies. Indeed, it is almost a given that they won’t.

In recent weeks various unelected forces have conspired to scuttle two senior governmental appointments.

In the first case, retired far-left Foreign Ministry officials sabotaged the government’s appointment of Dani Dayan to serve as ambassador to Brazil.

Alon Liel, a former director-general of the Foreign Ministry, and former ambassadors Ilan Baruch and Eli Bar Navi met with the Brazilian ambassadors to Israel and the Palestinian Authority and petitioned the Brazilian government to reject Dayan’s appointment.

Like the government that appointed him, Dayan does not support these former officials’ goal of surrendering full control over eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria. His position made him a target for Liel and his colleagues.

In an interview with Army Radio on Monday, Liel bragged that he’s been working for years to undermine the government’s ability to determine Israel’s foreign policy. Liel explained that as he and his friends see things, since the public doesn’t agree with them, Israeli democracy is illegitimate, and it is therefore legitimate for them to subvert it.

In his words, “I don’t expect my camp to control the government. If I thought my camp could win an election I would work within the Israeli system. My ideology won’t be able to win an election for the foreseeable future.”

So far their initiative has been a raving success.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff informed Netanyahu that she opposes Dayan’s appointment. If Netanyahu and the government insist on sending him to Brazil, they risk harming Israel’s bilateral relations with that key South American country.

And if Dayan is sent to Brazil now, he will likely be treated as persona non grata from the moment he lands in Brasilia.

For all their destructive power, Liel and his associates are small potatoes when compared to the legal fraternity.

With Hirsch’s scalp hanging from his wall, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein can take pride in the fact that he has blocked the government’s appointments to Israel’s two most powerful national security posts. In 2011 he forced the government to cancel Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s appointment to serve as IDF chief of General Staff.

Back then, Weinstein forced the government to cancel Galant’s appointment by refusing to defend it before the High Court of Justice when it was challenged by an environmental group. At the time, Weinstein acknowledged that there was no legal basis for his position, but he held it all the same, due to his (legally irrelevant) “ethical” concerns.

By forcing the government to abandon Galant – and now Hirsch – Weinstein has done more than simply undermine government authority.

He has sent the clear message to Israel’s security brass that they needn’t be beholden to the lawful orders they receive from the government. His is the only opinion that matters. He is their lord and master.

Not only is this a perversion of democratic norms, it is corrupt.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The BDS Movement’s Very Bad Month by Evelyn Gordon

...The movement to Besmirch, Demonize and Slander the Jewish state is so hydra-headed and so venomous that it can often seem overwhelming. But in reality, it is big and strong enough to win only if nobody else is in the ring: As the past month’s events amply demonstrate, pushback works. Now it’s time to accelerate the pushback and put BDS where it belongs – on the defensive.

Image by © Bárbara Boyero/Demotix/Corbis
Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
24 September '15..

The one saving grace about anti-Semites is that, contrary to Barack Obama’s famous claim, they generally are irrational and, therefore, they often overreach. The anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement has been doing exactly that recently. In the past month alone, it has suffered three resounding and damaging failures.

The first, of course, was its “success” in pressuring a Spanish reggae festival to disinvite American Jewish singer Matisyahu unless he issued a statement backing a Palestinian state. Matisyahu, to his credit, didn’t merely refuse; he also made sure the world knew why he wouldn’t be appearing as scheduled. The subsequent public outcry not only made the festival hurriedly backtrack and reinstate Matisyahu in his original slot, but also exposed the truth of the BDS movement’s anti-Semitism, which it has long tried to hide. After all, Matisyahu isn’t Israeli; he was asked to issue that statement, alone of all the artists at the festival, simply because he was Jewish.

Next came last week’s decision to boycott Israel by the mighty municipality of Reykjavik (population about 120,000). Having naively expected applause for this display of moral indignation, the municipality was stunned to be met instead by an outpouring of condemnation, including from Iceland’s own prime minister, and quickly reversed course. But the damage, as Haaretz journalist Asher Schechter lamented, was already done: Reykjavik had provided further proof that the BDS movement, contrary to the widespread belief that it merely targets “the occupation,” is simply anti-Israel.

Then there’s my personal favorite, which occurred this week: the BDS protest against a Pharrell Williams concert in South Africa. When I first read about the planned protest, I couldn’t believe BDS was serious. A black American singer goes to South Africa to perform for black South Africans, and BDS wants to ruin the audience’s fun? Just because Williams’ corporate sponsor is a Jewish-owned retailer (Woolworths) that already boycotts produce from “the occupied territories”? But BDS evidently couldn’t see how bad this looked. It rashly promised some 40,000 demonstrators, “the largest protest event in South African history against any musician or artist.” And it wound up with a measly 500, as many South Africans suddenly discovered that BDS might not be their best guide to international morality.

Chillingly Emblematic Iceland by Sarah Honig

...It speaks volumes that a far-flung mini-country like Iceland would feel impelled to gang up on the Jewish state in concert with European powers – those driven by realpolitik cynicism and subliminal needs to ostensibly clean up their blood-stained history of persecution and genocide. Hate spreads to where plausibly we wouldn’t expect it to sink roots and all for the sake of basking in the supposed aura of enlightenment.

This lone windswept island – astride
the juncture-point of the Atlantic
and Arctic oceans as well as the
North American and European tectonic
 plates – is as far-removed from the Jewish
people, the Jewish state and the entire
Mideast as can be.
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
24 September '15..

The boycott which the Reykjavik municipal council declared on all Israeli products (and then clumsily backpedalled therefrom, to include only “occupied-territory” goods) was always meaningless in practical terms. But its meaning was mega-distressing on the moral plane.

Iceland is chillingly emblematic of phenomena greater than its own minuscule role in world affairs.

This lone windswept island – astride the juncture-point of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans as well as the North American and European tectonic plates – is as far-removed from the Jewish people, the Jewish state and the entire Mideast as can be.

Our Israeli travails aren’t only history-steeped but are unimaginably complex. Even savvy observers find it difficult not to generalize and oversimplify. It’s more than doubtful that the remote Icelanders have amassed any outstanding expertise in the annals and twists of our struggle for survival. Odds are they know even less about us than the average smug European.

Not only are Icelanders in all certainty clueless about our complex history, but they’re probably abysmally ignorant about our unique geography. It would be surprising if they can spot our tiny country on the map. It would be altogether ultra-astonishing if they knew that at direct proximity to our densest population centers – at the heart of our tortuous and narrow territory – Israel’s waistline is terrifyingly a mere nine-miles-wide.

Can a country be held hostage by lawyers?

...Weinstein's job is to advise the government, not to decide for it. He is not a policy-maker, and it is neither the right nor the mandate of legal advisers to meddle in such an unabashed manner. By swatting down Weinstein, the prime minister reasserted the authority of the executive branch to craft policy. He struck an important blow against those who wish to see Israel become a country whose policy-making apparatus is held hostage by lawyers. And in so doing, he not only made Israelis safer from Palestinian rock-throwing terrorists, but he bolstered our democracy too.

Michael Freund..
24 September '15..

An important constitutional drama played out this past week behind closed doors, one that may prove pivotal in safeguarding Israel's democratic system.

According to various media reports, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein brazenly sought to undermine the government's initiative to implement a firmer hand against Palestinians hurling stones and firebombs.

Fortunately for all of us, it appears that Weinstein was put in his place by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reminded him that it is the government, and not the lawyers, who make policy.

Weinstein's opposition to imposing tougher sentencing guidelines on those who hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails, as well as his hostility towards a relaxation of the rules on the use of live fire against them, is so remarkably detached from reality that it raises serious questions about his judgment.

Consider the following.

According to figures compiled by the IDF, there were 7,886 stone-throwing incidents in Judea and Samaria in 2013. In 2014, the number more than doubled, to 18,726. That averages out to 51 attacks per day, or more than two per hour, every hour, over the course of an entire year. And projections are that the number of such incidents recorded by the end of 2015 will prove even higher.

In Jerusalem, as veteran journalist Nadav Shragai reported last week, the number of stone-throwing attacks has ballooned to the point that the security forces have ceased counting them. But data indicates there have been over 5,000 such incidents in the capital just since the start of the year.

And then there are the Molotov cocktails and other homemade incendiary devices that Palestinians use to attack Israeli vehicles and even homes. From January through August of this year, nearly 300 such attacks have been recorded.

This is terrorism, pure and simple. No bullets or bombs may have been employed, but that doesn't make it any less dangerous or destructive.

A pleasant surprise? A day of violence, though not as violent as feared

...Overall, the enlarged police presence in Jerusalem, along with the closing of security checkpoints between Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem to mark Yom Kippur, have had a positive effect on keeping the violence level relatively subdued.

Hebron, moments before the shooting by
an IDF soldier of 
a woman whose knife
was detected by a security machine and 

who evidently pulled it to launch a
stabbing attack [Image Source: 
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
23 September '15..

There's nothing quite as potent as holidays to expose our neighbours' passion for the sort of lethal violence we described yesterday ["22-Sep-15: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?"]

Tonight is the night after Yom Kippur, the 25 hour day of fasting, introspection and prayer that ended here in Jerusalem about 6 hours ago, and is drawing to a close right now in North and South America. It's also the start of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha.

Here's a selective, non-chronological summary of how the day (and the evening before it) passed for those charged with keeping Israelis (of every sort) safe.

(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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What do the Palestinian Arabs actually think?

....Main takeaway (in our view): when columnists and analysts speak of the desire of Palestinian Arabs to live in peace, to get on with ordinary, quiet, constructive lives - as compelling as this thought is, the data don't support it. Anyone paying attention to the incitement pumped, generation after generation, into their communities and heads will not be surprised.

Radical extremist? Or typical middle-of-the-road 
man in the street? [Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
22 September '15..

A new made-by-Palestinian-Arabs poll of Palestinian Arab opinion offers some data-backed insights into what the people on the other side of the boundary say they feel when they are talking to their own rather than to the BBC or France24.

Some highlights about what the Palestinian Arabs say they think:

Two-thirds want Mahmoud Abbas to resign now. He is the long-serving head of Fatah, PLO and the Palestinian Authority. As for who should replace him, 32% say they want Marwan Barghouti, a convicted murderer serving a long sentence in an Israeli prison cell. 19% say Ismail Haniyeh who is a leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 8% say Rami Al Hamdallah, the current PA prime minister. Notably, the man frequently mentioned as the successor to Abbas, the perennial "chief negotiator" Saeb Erekat, scores a distant 4%.

No less than 59% of Palestinian Arabs hold the belief that Hamas won "the Gaza War", meaning last summer's Operation Protective Edge. But interestingly how they view the result depends in large measure on where they live. of the Arabs living in the Gaza Strip itself, who saw the action on their streets and through their windows, 42% say their side were the winners. But in Judea and Samaria, where the Arab experience of the fighting was via television, Twitter and preachers in the mosques, 69% of them imagine that in some sense, Hamas were victorious.

(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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Modern Left’s Moral Rot by Evelyn Gordon

...Since we can’t rate suffering, it’s completely reasonable for millions of Europeans to demonstrate against a war that killed 2,000 people in Gaza last summer but not against a war that has killed 250,000 in Syria. Since we can’t rate suffering, it’s completely reasonable for the Reykjavik municipality to decide last week that it will boycott Israel but not Syria or its Russian and Iranian enablers. Since we can’t rate suffering, it’s completely reasonable that when the EU’s top foreign policy official addressed the European parliament last week, her office’s website billed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as her top agenda item while the Syrian conflict didn’t even make the list. And on, and on.

Evelyn Gordon..
Analysis from Israel..
21 September '15..

Israeli journalist Amira Hass has finally explained a mystery that long puzzled me: how the European Union manages to reconcile its policy on the Middle East with its self-image as a champion of morality, human rights, and compassion. In one short sentence, she neatly encapsulates the moral rot at the heart of the modern multicultural left: “We don’t rate suffering.”

The great European mystery is the fact that the Syrian conflict remains far below the Palestinian-Israeli one on Europe’s foreign policy agenda, even though on both moral and practical grounds, the Syrian crisis clearly deserves precedence. Not only has it killed more than 10 times as many people in four years as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has in seven decades, but it’s currently flooding Europe with refugees and creating, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted, an even greater threat to European unity than the euro crisis. Nor can this order of priorities be excused by claiming Western helplessness in Syria: Pundits as ideologically diverse as COMMENTARY’s Max Boot and the New York TimesNicholas Kristof agree that no-fly zones could enable most Syrians to remain safely in their homeland. Enter Hass, a Haaretz columnist, red-diaper baby, and disciple of hard-left theory who is best known for her radical pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel views. Two weeks ago, she published a column that compares and contrasts the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba, a term she uses to mean everything Palestinians have suffered due to their conflict with Israel for the last 70 years. She graciously acknowledges that the two aren’t equivalent, inter alia because the Nazis perpetrated genocide while Israel has done no such thing. But then she explains why this non-equivalence doesn’t really matter:

No one has the right to compare in any way the suffering of peoples and human beings, or to quantify it, rank it, calculate it … We don’t quantify. We don’t rate suffering.

This, in a nutshell, is the moral abdication at the heart of today’s multicultural left: In its ostensibly noble desire to ensure that no suffering goes unnoticed or unattended, it has abandoned the very essence of morality – the ability to draw distinctions, which is essential to make moral choices.

A highly accessible murder weapon

...Hurling boulders at Jews' heads can no longer be considered a mischievous act. Not after Adele Biton, Asher Palmer and his baby son Yonatan, Alexander Levlovich, and the other 10 Israelis killed by the "metaphor for resistance." The sad, weakening solutions of setting up concrete barricades and donning shields and bulletproof vests cannot be the only defenses of those who are determined to be sovereign in their own country. The Zionist movement built cities and factories, schools and hospitals out of these stones. But there are people with hearts of stone who want to use them to build graves for the next victims.

Emily Amrousi..
Israel Hayom..
21 September '15..

The murder weapon aimed at me doesn't require its wielder to have a license, pass an exam, or go to a shooting range every three years. Plenty of it is lying around on the hills and slopes we drive through. It needs only a clenched fist and a simple muscle movement -- and a mother and baby can be murdered in a manner that redefines "accessible." Murder at one's fingertips.

I don't know when historians will determine that the Third Intifada has broken out. For us, the residents of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, it's been around at least since Operation Pillar of Defense nearly three years ago. At the time, my husband and I were coming back from the hospital with a new baby. While driving home, I kept turning off the car's air conditioner and covering him up so he wouldn't be cold, then worrying he didn't have enough air, uncovering him, and turning the air conditioner back on. I asked Eyal to take the turns slowly so he wouldn't get carsick. Worrying because of his jaundice, and because we needed to go back to the hospital the next day for tests. And how the other children at home would take to him. And if the motions he was making with his mouth meant that he was starting to get hungry right then, in the middle of the trip. Anat, my neighbor, was right behind us. A Molotov cocktail hit her car, right at the turn where I was afraid the baby would get nauseous.

Monday, September 21, 2015

At al-Aqsa, a sentinel moment for Islam by Dr. Qanta Ahmed

...Only then can we honor the spirit of our Creation — as a reflection of our joint Maker and as blood-siblings in faith, recognizing the holiest site of Judaism predated the birth of Islam by centuries. Anything other is mere objectification of a site which has been held holy for centuries before, and since, Islam, and to make justification of such objectification is not the work of Islam, but the mark of Islamism, an Islamism which seeks not only to eject the believing Jew from his holy worship but the believing Muslim too. Make no mistake, this is not Islam, This is Islamism. And of Islamism and its insatiable quest for cultural domination, there can be no more Sentinel sign than this.

Dr.Qanta Ahmed..
Times of Israel..
21 September '15..

For some years the gentle rhythm of the Jewish calendar has whispered in my Muslim ear. As my many Jewish friends around the world make their various observations — whether in degrees of devout orthodoxy or — in their own words – ‘culturally Jewish’ but ‘avowedly secular’, it has over the years become impossible for me to ignore the arrival of this, the holiest time of the Jewish year.

It was in South Carolina that I first attended Shabbat services. It was in New York that I first learned of Selichot. It was in Ra’anana, Israel that I first fasted on Yom Kippur. It was in Long Island that I first recited the Kaddish, as we buried my rabbi. It was in Boston that I first celebrated a Jewish marriage. In the intervening years I have grown to anticipate and enjoy the arrival of Rosh Hashanah — the Head of the Year — and the Days of Atonement which immediately follow. As I watch my friends retreat into private observations and reflections, I too reflect, and account, hoping my name might also be recorded in the Book of Life anew.

My Jewish year began with a Jewish wedding in Tel Aviv, Shabbat in Melbourne and Sydney, memorial services in Warsaw, Krakow and Auschwitz as I marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, springtime in Jerusalem joining others in combating anti-Semitism, my witnessed commitment to defend the vulnerable as I accepted an Honorary Fellowship at The Technion-Israel Institute of Science and Technology, and an East Coast summer considering my contribution to honoring Jewish memory with colleagues at the Shoah Foundation.

In between, I have practiced medicine and Islam. I have observed Ramadan, performed my salaat and, as every Muslim with means is required, spent freely in the name of my Maker. Though not a Jew, increasingly I find my Muslim life enriched by the Jewry surrounding it, my Islam informed by the mysteries of the Jewish year experienced through the Judaism vividly embodied by the diverse Jewish people who accompany me in this life.

How different my comfort with the proximity of Judaism to my Islam, a proximity which constantly deepens my attachment to my own faith as well as the faith revealed to us by Moses’. Judaism increases my understanding of Our God and expands my dimensions of Islam. How stark a difference this comfort in Jewish solidarity shown to me from the televised discomfort, the rage of Muslims rejecting Judaism at its epicenter, the self appointed Sentinels purportedly ‘guarding’ Al-Aqsa from the Jewish people, from the Keepers of God’s Covenant. How their aversion recoils, where my attraction draws me nearer. How their rejection colors hatreds violently, as my belief is calmed and soothed by Jewish love. How their repulsion of our sibling and ancestor faith, in one of mankind’s holiest places, an aversion so deep their sibling brethren are utterly unknown to them and through their unseeing eyes, they remain unknown to themselves. How detached these Muslims from the knowledge that Judaism is Islam’s predecessor, the Torah among our Divine Books, Judaism’s tablets, then texts, our Informer, its laws our commandments, its covenants, templates of our foundation, its laws our precedents, its followers, like us ViceRegents of our Maker, no less than our sacred flesh. While I have been circumnavigating the globe deep in the Jewish Diaspora, at the epicenter of Jewish spirit, at the center of Abrahamic faith, the forces between Muslims and Jews repel both peoples magnetically asunder.

As I watch the reports of upheaval at al-Aqsa, the new Jewish year has commenced with turbulence. The discovery of explosives inside the third holiest site of Islam, the IDF’s confiscation of these items to ensure the peace, the incendiary retaliation these measures triggered, sufficient to trigger an EU call for calm and firebrand Iran to demand an OIC Summit, bring me both despair and desolation, my memories of my own visits to these places newly vivid.

"Kibush Kishkush" Occupation Shmoccupation

...What is unclear to me is how Kershner could have been the Times’ Jerusalem correspondent since 2007 and never opened a book about the history of the place she is reporting from.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
20 September '15..

The Yesha Council, the voice of Israelis living beyond the Green Line, published a little pamphlet called “kibush kishkush,” which one could translate as “occupation shmoccupation” (in Hebrew, here).

The booklet refutes some of the common misconceptions about the communities in Judea and Samaria and the people that live in them. It includes statistics and historical information for Israelis who have learned everything they know about ‘settlements’ and ‘settlers’ from media and educators who have presented a picture distorted by the politics of the Left.

It points out that attempts at trading land for peace have failed and only resulted in more Arab terrorism against Jews. It expresses the belief that Judea and Samaria are historically an inseparable part of the state of Israel. It asserts that ‘Palestinians’ are just Arabs that happen to live in a particular place.

To me, it’s entirely unexceptional. I’ve made arguments for these positions over and over. But to Isabel Kershner of the NY Times, it’s cause for wonderment. In a short article published on Friday, she displays her bias and historical ignorance. She writes,

It presents the settlements, which most countries consider illegal, as a normal, integral and now inseparable part of Israel, noting that hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in 150 established communities, many founded in the 1970s and ’80s.

Like many others Kershner doesn’t distinguish between international law as it is interpreted by legal scholars, and the political and racist rejection of the state of Israel that is behind UN resolutions. The phrase “which most countries consider illegal” is boilerplate that apparently is required in all writing that mentions settlements which appears in outlets like the Times.

What remains unclear is why, nearly half a century after Israel conquered the territory from Jordan, the Yesha Council felt the need to explain the settlement enterprise in Hebrew to Israelis. …

The Palestinians, the booklet says, are “a name used to describe Arabs who live in the territories of Judea and Samaria,” the West Bank’s biblical name. The occupation, according to the booklet, is a fiction. Rather, it says, the lands in question were freed by the Israeli Army in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.

What is unclear to me is how Kershner could have been the Times’ Jerusalem correspondent since 2007 and never opened a book about the history of the place she is reporting from. If she had done so, she would not imply that somehow “the West Bank” belonged to Jordan and then was ‘conquered’ by the IDF!

The Temple Mount and the UN Encouragement of Palestinian Violence

...while this latest example of UN bias against Israel might be dismissed as meaningless, it is actually quite significant. Palestinian leaders seeking to foment a wave of religious hatred against Israel will only be encouraged by this kind of international support to step up their incitement.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
20 September '15..

With incidents of Palestinian violence growing in recent weeks, Israelis are wondering now if the Jewish New Year that is just beginning will soon bring with it a new war with Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Hamas has been hard at work in recent months digging new terror tunnels and fortifying the strip with Iranian assistance. But the decision of the Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas to try to compete with the Islamists by ramping up tensions in Jerusalem has made a renewal of last year’s fighting an even greater possibility. But rather than seek to calm these tensions, the United States has been largely silent about Abbas’s incitement as well as Iran’s role in stirring up more trouble. Just as troubling is the way the United Nations Security Council has reacted to the dispute over the Temple Mount. Last week, it issued a statement that made it clear the international community has no respect for Jewish rights in the holy city. But it also indicated that it is openly siding with Palestinians who are seeking to use this issue as a way to stir up even more hatred against Israelis and Jews. The willingness of the Obama administration to acquiesce to this disreputable stand shows its untrustworthiness as an ally as well as the dangers that lie ahead for Israel should the president seek to restart peace talks.

Any discussion about the Temple Mount must begin with an acknowledgment that Israel has sought to preserve the unsatisfactory status quo whereby the holiest spot in Judaism remains under the sole authority of a Muslim Wakf. Jews are prohibited from praying on the site, a rule enforced by Israeli police. But not even this is enough to satisfy Palestinian radicals who routinely harass non-Muslim visitors and subject Jews who dare to ascend the plateau to constant abuse. Just as bad, the mosques there have been used as staging areas for Arab violence with stones and firebombs stored there. While a minority of Jews has agitated for the right to pray there, the “hardline” Netanyahu has resolutely opposed them. But it has been forced to step in to forestall violence on the Temple Mount, which overlooks the Western Wall Plaza.

But as they have done throughout the last century, Palestinian leaders are using the Temple Mount to fuel more hatred by claiming that Jews are trying to destroy the mosques. Even supposed moderate Abbas said this week that he was seeking to prevent “filthy Jewish feet” from desecrating holy places and did so without criticism from the Obama administration that has lauded him as a force for peace. The number of incidents in which Palestinians used firebombs or stones to attack Jews, included one in which a 64-year-old Jewish man was murdered on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, is rising. Not to be outdone, the possibility of Hamas using its massive rocket arsenal to up the ante with both Israel and Abbas’s Fatah Party may bring the region to the brink of another war.

Yet faced with this crisis, the UN Security Council issued a statement that both ignored the truth about what is happening on the Temple Mount. The Security Council referred to the Temple Mount — the site of the biblical Holy Temples — upon which Muslim conquerors subsequently built mosques only by its Arabic name, the Haram al-Sharif. This is a blatant denial of both Jewish and Christian ties to the site. Nor did it mention that Palestinians who seek to deny not only Jewish rights but also Jewish history in Jerusalem solely initiated the violence there.

It ignored the question of Jewish rights and merely stated that the “Muslim worshippers at the Haram Al-Sharif must be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats, and provocations.” This is absurd since no one is threatening Muslim worshippers there with violence. To the contrary, it is the Palestinians who are threatening the Jews as well as seeking to prevent Jews from exercising their rights.