Sunday, January 31, 2016

Let’s play the ‘blame Israel game’ with the NY Times - by Stephen M. Flatow

...Yes, she was killed by Israelis — after she pulled out a knife and was about to stab Israelis to death in nearby Hebron. Here Erlanger offers Times readers a first glimpse of that “Palestinian anger”: Miss Ersheid’s cousin, 22-year-old Raed Jaradat, “wrote an angry post on Facebook about her death: ‘Imagine if this were your sister!’ ” Well, no, I can’t imagine that — in fact most normal people can’t imagine that because our sisters don’t try to stab people to death.

Stephen M. Flatow..
Times of Israel..
31 January '16..

Following The New York Times’s tortured search for the reasons behind the “anger” that causes Palestinian violence is like watching an episode of “Finding Bigfoot.” Tantalizing hints, frustrating glimpses — but the solution to the mystery always seems to be just out of reach.

No matter how hard the Times tries, it can never quite find the elusive answer to the question of why Palestinians keep murdering Jews.

But just like those intrepid Bigfoot hunters, the Times won’t give up the search. It could be a reality show: “Finding Palestinian Anger.” But it might grow tiresome pretty soon because of its utter predictability: every possible answer the Times comes up with involves pointing an accusing finger at Israel.

The latest offering: a huge January 20 article, occupying almost an entire page, headlined “Anger in a Palestinian Town feeds a Cycle of Violence.” Correspondent Steven Erlanger believes he has uncovered an explosive clue: no less than 12 of the “young Palestinians killed over three months” all came from the same town, Sa’ir.

Erlanger offers details about the deaths of five of those twelve.

One was Dania Ersheid, age 17. Yes, she was killed by Israelis — after she pulled out a knife and was about to stab Israelis to death in nearby Hebron. Here Erlanger offers Times readers a first glimpse of that “Palestinian anger”: Miss Ersheid’s cousin, 22-year-old Raed Jaradat, “wrote an angry post on Facebook about her death: ‘Imagine if this were your sister!’ ”
Well, no, I can’t imagine that — in fact most normal people can’t imagine that because our sisters don’t try to stab people to death. But Raed was so “angry” about Israelis shooting back at his knife-wielding cousin that he decided to follow in her footsteps: he went to a nearby Israeli security checkpoint, “where he stabbed and seriously wounded a soldier before being shot to death himself.”

“Hours later” — Erlanger implies a connection between Raed’s death and what he is about to describe — another cousin of Raed’s, 19-year-old Iyad Jaradat, “was killed at an angry demonstration at Beit Anoun, hit in the head by a rubber-coated steel bullet.”

What Erlanger calls an “angry demonstration” is a euphemism for a mob of Arabs hurling deadly firebombs and bricks at any Jew within range.

So far, then, we have three Palestinians who were killed trying to commit murder, two of them acting out of “anger” that Israelis had defended themselves instead of allowing themselves to be murdered. The chutzpah of those Jews!

The Wacky World of Rawabi, Where Providing Water Is a Crime - by Evelyn Gordon

...Thus, as long as many Palestinians view ostracizing Israel as higher priority than providing their own people with basic necessities such as electricity and running water, the West’s dream of a Palestinian state will remain a pipe dream. You can’t build a state for people who would rather tear down the neighboring one than build up their own.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
29 January '16..

How do you build a state for people who don’t want it built? That’s the obvious question that emerges from the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Rawabi, the first new Palestinian city. It’s a flagship project that international diplomats routinely laud as a model of Palestinian state-building, but it has won no such praise from fellow Palestinians. Instead, the very people it was meant to benefit are now accusing Rawabi’s founder of collaboration with the enemy for having committed such horrendous crimes – this is not a joke – as providing residents with electricity and running water.

Rawabi was founded with the goal of providing decent, affordable housing for middle-class Palestinians – theoretically a goal that should be welcomed by the Palestinian Authority and its residents, who routinely complain to the international community about how wretched their situation is. From the start, however, the PA did its best to undermine the project; despite repeated promises of support, it refused to provide even the basic infrastructure that most governments routinely provide to new residential developments. Thus as JTA reported last week, Rawabi’s water and sewage system, streets, schools and medical clinic were all financed, like the houses themselves, by entrepreneur Bashar Masri and the Qatari government.

The PA even tried to prevent Rawabi from obtaining running water, by refusing, for five long years, to convene the joint Israeli-Palestinian water committee that’s supposed to approve all new water projects. Rawabi got its water only when Israel finally lost patience and approved its connection to water mains unilaterally.

Despite this obstructionism, Masri persisted, and Rawabi finally opened its doors to new residents in August. But since then, only a trickle of people have moved in, even though Masri claims Rawabi has lower prices and better amenities than nearby Ramallah. Of the 637 apartments that are ready (out of a planned total of over 6,000), only 140 have been occupied, he told JTA.

Partly, this is due to the security situation, Masri said: The wave of Palestinian stabbing attacks against Israelis that began in October has caused an economic downturn in the PA, so people are reluctant to take out loans to buy an apartment.

But as JTA noted, another deterrent is the collaboration accusations being hurled at Masri and Rawabi by fellow Palestinians:

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee has accused Masri of “normalization with Israel that helps it whitewash its ongoing occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people.” Wasel Abu Yousef, a senior Palestinian official, told Al-Monitor that “all Palestinian factions” should be boycotting Israel, “including Rawabi.” 

To be clear, Masri isn’t being accused of cooperating with the settlements; in fact, he demanded that every company involved in building Rawabi sign a contract promising not to use any settlement products. What he stands accused of is working with Israeli officials to obtain staples that most other Palestinians also get from Israel, like electricity, water and cement. As Masri pointed out, “Eighty-five percent of the cement in all of Palestine — in all of the West Bank and Gaza — is coming from Israel. In the West Bank, all of our electricity is from Israel.”

But according to the “anti-normalization” activists, it’s better for Palestinians to do without new houses, electricity and running water than to commit the crime of talking with an Israeli.

'Trading in children's blood' - by Nadav Shragai

...Kadman, like most of us, is horrified by the growing trend of child terrorists. He has reached out to Palestinian Authority officials, used all his contacts to reach out and convey a simple message: "War is not a game and children are not toys." But he soon learned that he has no Palestinian counterpart.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
29 January '16..

Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, head of the Israel National Council for the Child, has been searching for his Palestinian counterpart for months, to no avail.

Kadman, like most of us, is horrified by the growing trend of child terrorists. He has reached out to Palestinian Authority officials, used all his contacts to reach out and convey a simple message: "War is not a game and children are not toys."

But he soon learned that he has no Palestinian counterpart.

Kadman's interest in the current violence has been triggered by the fact that time after time it turned out that the perpetrators were children, blinded by hatred and incitement. Palestinian children, it seems, no longer believe the "norm" of throwing rocks and firebombs at Israel security forces is enough, and have graduated to full-fledged terrorism, taking an active part in the wave of stabbing attacks.

Some of them, in their early teens, have been shot dead by Israeli troops. The media usually conceals the identities of the soldiers or police who neutralize these young assailants, over concerns for their safety.

In one case, an unidentified soldier allowed the media a glimpse into the experience of having to kill a teen terrorist. The incident took place at the A'zaim checkpoint, east of Jerusalem, several weeks ago, when a 16-year-old Palestinian brandishing a large butcher's knife stormed the post. He refused to stop or back away, leaving the soldier no choice but to shoot him dead.

"Everyone praised me for my vigilance and professionalism. At that moment I felt good about myself, like a hero … but when I got back to the base, I lay down on my bunk and just started crying," the soldier said. "I felt terrible. … Yes, he was a terrorist, and yes, he tried to hurt us, but he was a 16-year-old kid. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't stop crying. My actions were just, but I still feel guilty. I took a life. I killed a kid, who just happened to decide to become a terrorist."

While the soldier's feelings are understandable, the Palestinian, like many of his friends, did not set out to be a terrorist by chance. When official or semi-official Palestinian Facebook pages post pictures of Palestinian babies and children holding knives between their teeth, when young children wear mock RPG launchers and explosive belts as part of a Fatah procession in Bethlehem, or when parents name their baby girl "Knife of Jerusalem," there is little wonder children decide to become terrorists.

According to the Israel-based nongovernmental organization Palestinian Media Watch, the "Intifada Youth Coalition of Jerusalem" recently uploaded a video to its Facebook page depicting an adult asking a little girl if she had anything to say to young Palestinians in the West Bank. Demonstrating the motion, the girl replies, "Stab them, stab, stab." Another video, posted by a Palestinian singer and actor, shows him declaring, "I stab Zionists. ... I exact revenge because I'm a Muslim Palestinian."

Many of the children's shows that air on an endless loop on Palestinian television convey specific messages to their young audience both covertly and overtly, preaching the right of return to all of Israel and lauding "shahids" ("martyrs").

It is particularly difficult to watch televised classes in which stern Palestinian teachers instill murderous theories in their young students' minds. One of them shows a Palestinian teacher in Nablus telling her students that the Palestinians "have sacrificed prisoners and shahids," then asking, "Who has a shahid in his family?" When several children raise their hands, she asks, "Why did they sacrifice their lives?" and quickly answers, "To free Al-Aqsa mosque. To free Haifa. For an Arab Palestine from the river to the sea!" She repeats the last sentence over and over, and the children echo her obediently.

Pragmatic morals

Still, there seems to be something new in the internal Palestinian discourse, cracks in the endless incitement and hatred toward Israel. Alongside the continued encouragement of children and youth to pursue a path of terrorism, martyrdom and jihad, Palestinian intellectuals and journalists are -- for the first time -- leveling harsh criticism against terrorist attacks in general, and particularly against the child-terrorist trend.

The first to indicate this change were the researchers at the Middle East Media Research Institute, who say this criticism is driven by "pragmatic morals." Some critics believe the timing is wrong, others fear Palestinian terrorism will become synonymous with Islamic State-led global terrorism, while others still say the Palestinians must "remain humane" and refrain from "trading in the blood of children."

The most outspoken critic to date is Hafez al-Barghouti, formerly editor in chief of the Palestinian daily of Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda and a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council. Contrary to Fatah's position, which encourages children to participate in acts of terror, Barghouti says that "even the Prophet Muhammad forbade including children in battle," and demands that the Palestinian leadership "keep children away from riots and flashpoints. Let them have their childhood. As difficult as it may be, it is better than having no childhood, being injured, imprisoned or a shahid."

Barghouti implores his fellow Fatah members and the Palestinian media to "stop lauding children who carry out stabbing attacks. Don't take pride in their actions. Blood is not a game. Anyone who praises a boy for brandishing a knife or a girl for wielding scissors should look at them as if they were his own children. Would he throw his own son into this furnace?"

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Surprised? The U.S. Spies While Hamas Digs

...If Israelis are sometimes confused about whether the administration means it well, they cannot be blamed. It’s a cruel world where friends spy on each other. But the willingness of the U.S. to look the other way about terrorists planning mayhem takes the cognitive dissonance of this situation to a new and altogether more troubling level.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
29 January '16..

This week President Barack Obama reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security with the sort of ringing rhetoric that might have soothed the concerns of even his most strident critics. It was possible to point out a gap between the reality of American actions on the Palestinians and Iran and the president’s words. But, as I noted yesterday, there’s no denying that the administration has continued the security alliance with the Jewish state even if President Obama’s main goal in the relationship continues to be the establishment of more daylight between the positions of the two nations. But even as some pundits were touting the president’s appearance at an Israeli embassy event as a sign of a rapprochement between Washington and Jerusalem, we must now figure into the equation the news that the U.S. has been operating an extensive electronic spy operation against the Israelis for 18 years.

The revelations, which are part of the Edward Snowden leaks of classified data, were apparently published by his journalistic collaborator Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept as well as Der Spiegel. The anti-Israel hacking dates back to the Clinton administration and was a joint operation of U.S. and British intelligence that was conducted from a base in Cyprus that is used by the U.K. forces. Though the operation could be used against any number of nations in the Middle East, its primary focus was clearly the state of Israel and resulted in the U.S. being able to track the transmissions of Israeli aircraft and view videos and any commissions between planes, drones, and Israeli commanders. The point of the endeavor was apparently to keep tabs on any possible Israeli moves against Iran as well as to merely give U.S. spooks and their political masters the ability to know just about everything that Israel is doing in its efforts to defend the country from Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist bases.

It is being described in the Israeli press as the worst disaster in the history of Israeli intelligence, and it’s hard to argue with that. The point is, if the U.S. and the Brits have been able to crack Israeli encryption systems then not only must Jerusalem worry about what use its friends are making of this data, it must also worry about whether they will keep it secret. Just as scary is the prospect that enemies have also been able to snoop on Israeli military communications.

What conclusions should we draw from this?

Time to bring home the Subbotnik Jews of Ukraine and Russia - by Michael Freund

...Through stubborn dedication and determination, the Subbotnik Jews have somehow managed to keep the flame of Jewish life alive despite everything they have endured. Israel should now bring home the remaining Subbotnik Jews of Russia and the Ukraine to ensure that heroic blaze is never extinguished.

Michael Freund..
27 January '16..

Last week, amid subfreezing temperatures in a Ukrainian city founded by Cossacks, I saw living proof that the Jewish spark can truly burn brightly even under the most unlikely circumstances.

Indeed, while the snow in Krivoi Rog may be kneedeep, blocking roads and turning thoroughfares into slippery escapades, that doesn't seem to deter the small local community of Subbotnik Jews from faithfully trudging to their modest synagogue, where they continue to turn their hearts and their hopes toward Zion.

Rivka, a young member of the community, is a student of architecture at the local university who has taught herself to speak Hebrew. When I asked her how she envisions her future, she said, "I want to live in Israel so that with God's help I can have a Jewish wedding and educate my children in the spirit of Torah. This is very important to me."

Andrei, who is 19, told me that his dream is to serve in the IDF.

"I believe that doing so is a mitzva and that defending the Land of Israel is something sacred," he said.

The 200-year-old saga of the Subbotnik Jews is one laced with tragedy and persecution, but characterized by tenacity and resolve, and it is time for Israel to reward their fidelity and bring these precious people home.

The Subbotniks' origins trace back to southern Russia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when Judaizing sects arose for reasons that various scholars have struggled to explain. According to Czarist archives and Russian church documents of the time, the movement spread rapidly and grew to number in the tens of thousands.

While remaining Christians, many adherents took on some Jewish practices, such as observing the "Subbot," or Sabbath, on Saturdays, leading them to be referred to as "Subbotniks."

Among them, however, was a small group which left behind the Russian Orthodox faith and underwent conversion to Judaism.

They referred to themselves as the "Gerim," using the Hebrew word for converts, and began to practice Judaism openly, which in Czarist Russia was no small feat.

These Subbotnik Jews observed Jewish law, married Russian Ashkenazi Jews in the city of Voronezh, and some sent their children to learn in yeshivot in Lithuania and the Ukraine.

Their embrace of Judaism did not go unnoticed, and the Russian regime wasted little time in trying to destroy the movement.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Amira Hass, BDS and the rebirth of the ‘Elders of Zion’ at the University of Kent

...The enemy of BDS is the entire state of Israel. But to state this out loud is to invite criticism, to expose the antisemitic underbelly of the entire boycott movement, so it is best to try to hide this goal. Here was Amira Hass in public admitting she is actively promoting BDS, actively petitioning foreign governments and winking and nodding at other activists, showing them the way to avoid the antisemitic label.

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
29 January '16..

Yesterday, 28/01/2016, I was at the University of Kent to hear a talk by Amira Hass titled ‘Israel and the Palestinians: Colonialism and Prospects for Justice. The event itself was a collaboration between The Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at Kent University and the Palestine Centre at SOAS, University of London. One of these universities, SOAS, is already a notorious hotbed for extremism, the other, Kent, seems to be desperately trying to catch-up.

Dr Bashir Abu-Manneh is the head of the centre for Postcolonial studies at Kent, like other academics of his type, it can be seen from his own activity that he has long lost sight of what academia and critical thinking is about. This event, following one just the evening before attempting to create BDS activists on campus, is simply a sign of a deteriorating environment.

Amira Hass is an Israeli columnist at the Haaretz newspaper. For the last 20 years she has lived in the Palestinian areas, originally in Gaza, but more recently moving to Ramallah in the West Bank. Amira is an example of one of those Israelis nobody should have heard of. Standing for politics that receive no support in Israel, Amira’s opinions reflect none but a handful of oddballs. Every nation has people like Hass hidden in the shadows. What makes her ‘special’, what makes her a marketable commodity, are hundreds of millions of people outside of Israel that simply want Israel gone. The audience of Amira Hass are not peacemakers, but warmongers.

There were around 200 people in the hall to hear her talk. Perhaps 60 of them students from the university. The rest, activists from the local Palestinian support groups. The talk itself was relatively predictable and in 45 minutes, she did not mention Arab violence once. The intifada’s, both of which apparently were ‘benign’, were mentioned in name twice but never detailed. Rather, the violence, all of it, was Jewish.

In usual fashion, events in Israel were taken out of context, exaggerated, misrepresented, and as one would expect from an activist who long ago forgot how to actually ‘report’ a news item, important details were either deliberately sidestepped or completely forgotten. Sleight of hand in her description of events with the Bedouin of the Negev, allowed Hass to suggest that it didn’t matter which side of the 1967 border was being discussed, the end result for an Arab is always the same. Gross distortion of a deliberately sinister kind, and an unforgiveable misrepresentation of the simple fact that Arab Israelis are *factually* living as equal citizens in a liberal democracy.

At events like this I always feel sorry for the uniformed in the audience. They are vulnerable to a propaganda exercise that is designed to spread lies and hatred. Although that, I suppose, is the sole purpose of the talk in the first place. I also resent the idea that a university in the UK can give a platform to such distortion without feeling the need to provide an alternative voice.

Exactly Who is Out of Touch on Israel? - by Jonathan Tobin

...The answer to lies is truth, not compromise. The Jewish people have a right to their own state in their ancient homeland, and there is nothing analogous between the predicament of American blacks during the Jim Crow era and that of Palestinians who are merely frustrated in their efforts to eradicate the one Jewish state on the planet. Those that haven’t the courage to denounce those who make such analogies should either pipe down or get out of the way.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
28 January '16..

One of the standard arguments from Israel’s American critics is that the Jewish state’s advocates are out of touch with American public opinion. In so far as that concerns the liberal supporters of President Obama that make up the majority of American Jewry, there is some truth to the assertion. There’s even more truth to the charge that American Jewish groups that consider it their duty to mobilize support for Israel have trouble connecting with young Jews on college campuses where such views are neither “cool” nor in synch with the fashionable leftism of contemporary academia. That’s why those who oppose the policies of Israel’s government and believe it must be pressured to make more concessions to the Palestinians view Israel advocacy with such disdain. But the question we should be asking about this debate is not so much whether friends of Israel are out of touch with the forces in the culture that view it negatively but whether those that oppose its policies are out of touch the reality of the Middle East. To no small degree, future of the U.S.-Israel relationship hangs on the answer to that query.

The latest to sound the theme of alienation from Israel is New York Times columnist Roger Cohen, who writes that “Israel’s image issue” runs deeper than differences about the best way to sell Israel to Americans. He chimes in to support U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro’s ill-timed rant asserting moral equivalency between isolated instances of Jewish violence and a mass campaign of terrorism on the part of the Palestinians. According to Cohen, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is the problem. He thinks growing numbers of Jews are “distancing themselves from Israeli policies seen as unjust, unlawful, immoral or self-defeating.” More than that, he says that the ability of the Black Lives Matter movement to focus “minds on issues of oppression and injustice” facilitates analogies between the cause of civil rights and the Palestinians.

Such facile and misleading analogies are the core of the problem and the answer for Israel’s detractors is that it must get out of the West Bank and give the Palestinians a state. That, in a nutshell, is the sum total of the liberal critique of Israel. Such thinking has the advantage of simplicity and being in touch with left-wing prejudices. And if the views of a Black Lives Matter movement that does far more to exacerbate lingering racial divisions than heal them is your moral compass, then it all makes sense.

But if that was all that there was to the problem of creating peace in the Middle East, it would have been solved long ago. The trouble here is that those who help shape the debate about the Middle East on campuses or the fashionable left in this country aren’t so much out of touch with the facts on the ground in Israel and the West Bank as they are completely uninterested in them.

Hope is not a strategy. Building new communities and neighborhood is. - by Caroline Glick

...We get it. The Obama administration and the EU aren’t attacking Israel because we did something wrong. They’re attacking us because they want to hurt us. That is their goal. Recognizing this sorry truth, the public elected the Likud and its coalition partners to defend our interests and our rights. Hope is not a strategy. Building new communities and neighborhoods, expanding the writ of Israeli law and curtailing the activities of subversive foreign agents is a strategy. And a good one.

Caroline Glick..
Column One/JPost..
28 January '16..

Our government is playing games with itself. And losing.

On Wednesday Chaim Levinson reported in Haaretz that for the first time in nearly two years, last week the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria approved new building plans for a small number of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Levinson also reported that last month Jerusalem’s municipal planning and building commission gave final approval to plans to build nearly 900 housing units in the southern neighborhood of Gilo. Initial approval was granted back in 2012.

But in the intervening three years, the commission refused to allow them to go forward.

From the report, we learn that the government’s critics in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria who claimed that it was barring Jewish building were right all along. Despite the government’s denials, the fact is that for at least the last year and a half, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers maintained an undeclared freeze on construction for Israeli Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

During this period, Jews have only been permitted to build in these areas either on the basis of plans that had received final approval before the unofficial freeze took effect, or in cases where refusal to approve building would have involved admitting that a freeze was in effect. So, for instance, in areas where the rights of Jews to their property in Judea and Samaria have been challenged before the Supreme Court by EU-financed Israeli NGOs like Yesh Din, the government has defended those rights and so given permission for Jews to exercise their property rights.

The government opted to enact this unofficial building freeze, and so trample the civil rights of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, in the hopes of convincing the Obama administration to protect Israel from Palestinian efforts to pass anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Security Council.

It might have been possible to justify the government’s behavior – or at least to understand it – if it had brought about the hoped for benefits.

If President Barack Obama had responded to Netanyahu’s radical concession by burying the hatchet and supporting Israel at the UN and on the international stage more generally, then perhaps the move would have been worth it.

But that didn’t happen. Over the past 18 months, the administration – backed by much of the Israeli Left – has escalated its anti-Israel policies and rhetoric. Even as the government curtailed the property rights of Israeli Jews in the hopes of appeasing him, Obama along with Secretary of State John Kerry has led the charge in wrongly blaming Israel for the absence of peace with the Palestinians.

Obama and Kerry have engaged in acts of deliberate libel by falsely accusing Israel of institutional racism against the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Drawn in the blood of Jewish and Israeli victims of murderous terrorist attacks

...There are red lines, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that these red lines are drawn in the blood of Jewish and Israeli victims of murderous terrorist attacks and that of innocent bystanders who sadly get caught in these acts. These attacks have been ongoing for more than 100 years as the Arab residents of "Palestine" rise up against the very existence of Jews in general, not to mention the existence of a Jewish state here in Israel.

Smadar Bat Adam..
Israel Hayom..
28 January '16..

The public outcry surrounding a recent bill stipulating "loyalty" to the state as a criterion for funding of artistic projects has raised a number of crucial questions. What is art? Must the state fund any type of art under the principle of freedom of expression? Even if the art in question unduly maligns Israel?

These questions over the essence of art remind me of an event that took place in January, 2004. While the Stockholm International Forum 2004 -- Preventing Genocide: Threats and Responsibilities was underway, a controversial art installation went on display at the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. The installation, titled "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," featured a pristine, white photograph of female suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat floating on a pool of blood while Bach's cantata "Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut" (my heart swims in blood) played in the background.

A little over a year before the event, on Oct. 4, 2003, 29-year-old Jaradat, an attorney, blew herself up in a Haifa restaurant, killing 21 people including four Israeli Arab restaurant employees. Dozens were left wounded.

The art installation, created by Israeli-born composer and musician Dror Feiler, and his Swedish wife, artist Gunilla Skold-Feiler, appeared to suggest that Jaradat was the victim and that terror victims were the aggressors. In my purely unprofessional view (and I do not pretend to know the answer to the question, "What is art?"), this installation was psychotic. When it comes to support and funding, I don't have an iota of doubt that an installation like this, and others that represent the interests of Israel's enemies or distort Israel's image, cannot be funded under any circumstances by the State of Israel.

There are red lines, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that these red lines are drawn in the blood of Jewish and Israeli victims of murderous terrorist attacks and that of innocent bystanders who sadly get caught in these acts. These attacks have been ongoing for more than 100 years as the Arab residents of "Palestine" rise up against the very existence of Jews in general, not to mention the existence of a Jewish state here in Israel.

Question. Is It ‘Human Nature’ to Kill Jews? - by Jonathan S. Tobin

...On the eve of the day that the international community uses to commemorate the Holocaust, there is something profoundly disturbing about the way Ban and the rest of the world body chose to rationalize the irrational hate that drives the Palestinians to kill Jews. The UN’s treatment of Israel is proof that the indifference to anti-Semitism that allowed the Holocaust to happen is yet with us. If this is “human nature,” it is proof that the vile hate that led the mass slaughter of European Jewry seven decades ago is still alive and well.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
27 January '16..

On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council met to discuss “The Situation in the Middle East.” The situation in question wasn’t a war in Syria that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives or the rise of ISIS. Instead of tackling the difficult problem of how to end that civil war, which has drawn in forces from around the region and created millions of refugees, the UN preferred to devote its time and energy to a more familiar and, therefore, safer topic: Israel’s continued presence in the West Bank. What followed was a dreary and all too familiar debate in which Israeli settlement policies were slammed and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rationalized Palestinian terror by declaring, “it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as an incubator of hate and extremism.”

Ban’s comments provoked a furious and justified response from Israel. But what is remarkable about a debate that focused almost exclusively on the Israeli presence in the West Bank and gave short shrift to the current Palestinian terror campaign known as the “stabbing intifada,” is that so much of what was said about the policies of the Jewish state were uttered as if the history of the 22 years of efforts to end the conflict had never occurred.

It is a fact that the troubles of the Palestinians are considered uniquely important and worthy of more attention than the greater sufferings of other peoples at the UN. But the corollary to the world body’s obsession with the alleged crimes of Israel is that terrorism committed by the Palestinians is also treated differently.

The question of the disposition of the West Bank is a thorny one and the wisdom of continued building of Jewish homes in the territories is one that has long divided Israelis. Even if we were to set aside the fact that Jews can assert a legal right to live in what is the heart of their ancient homeland that is guaranteed by the League of Nations Mandate, which served as the foundation for international law on the subject, the assumptions behind Ban’s comments are fallacious.

When Ban speaks of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation, he ignores the fact that Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinian Authority statehood and withdrawal from almost all of the West Bank. If the goal of the Palestinians were truly statehood, they would have jumped on the deals put on the table in 2000, 2001, and 2008, all of which would have granted them sovereignty over this territory as well as a share of Jerusalem. Even the Netanyahu government, which is widely derided as intransigent by its critics, offered to withdraw from much of the West Bank and accepted a two-state solution. But Palestinian leaders have never been willing to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn. That’s why all discussion of Palestinian “frustration” is deeply misleading.

Whatever one may think should be the ultimate disposition of the West Bank, the Palestinian refusal to negotiate peace has made it obvious that the widespread belief that the settlements are the obstacles to peace is absurd. Moreover, Israel has already demonstrated what happens when it does what the international community wants and uproots settlements and hands territory to the Palestinians. The withdrawal of every single settler and solider from Gaza in 2005 led to the establishment of a Hamas-run terrorist enclave which effectively functions as an independent Palestinians state in all but name.

Moreover, the recent upsurge in Palestinian wasn’t the “natural” reaction to Palestinian frustration about the failure to bring about a two-state solution that the majority of them continue to oppose. The spark was the lies told by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of the Palestinian leadership about alleged Israeli plans to harm the mosques on the Temple Mount. The driving force since then has been the same spirit of rejectionism that has animated the Palestinian national movement since its inception. Palestinian public opinion continues to view the Jewish presence in any part of the country as unacceptable. Whether Jews are sitting in a café in Tel Aviv or in a West Bank settlement, Palestinians think they deserve death.

The return of the BBC’s political narrative on Israeli construction - by Hadar Sela

...But of course the BBC has amply displayed over time that it has absolutely no intention of providing its audiences with impartial reporting, context, relevant background or alternative views concerning the topic of Israeli construction in locations in which – according to its adopted narrative – Jews should not reside. Instead, it continues to blinker them by limiting the information provided to that which bolsters one politically motivated narrative alone.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
28 January '16..

Visitors to the BBC News website’s Middle East page on the morning of January 27th found two reports – one written and one filmed – ostensibly about the Israeli prime minister’s response to remarks made by the UN Secretary General the previous day.UNSG remarks Bryant filmed

The filmed report (made for BBC television news programmes) appears under the title “Netanyahu: ‘United Nations encouraging terrorism’” and it opens with the BBC’s Nick Bryant telling viewers that:

“It’s Israel’s settlement building that’s particularly angered the UN Secretary General and the government’s latest decision to approve plans for over 150 new homes in the West Bank: moves that most of the international community regards as illegal or illegitimate.”

Viewers would therefore quite reasonably conclude that there has been an official announcement from the Israeli authorities concerning “plans for over 150 new homes” but that is not in fact the case.

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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.

Cavalier Attitudes, Terrorism and Blood Money - Sarah N. Stern

...I would like to ask President Obama or Secretary Kerry to spend an hour or two with Arnold Roth, or with the families of the other Americans who have lost loved ones at the hands of Iranian-backed Palestinian terrorists, and then to discuss the possibility that some of this money will end up in the hands of terrorists. And I wonder if their tone would then be quite so dismissive. When the pursuit of a personal legacy becomes the driving force of a foreign policy, to the extent that one can be so cavalier about the fact that some of this money will go to fuel terrorism, we, as a nation, have lost an important part of our moral fiber.

Sarah N. Stern..
American Thinker..
27 January '16..

Last Thursday, at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "I think that some of it (the money from the Iranian nuclear deal), will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists”, adding, "You know, to some degree, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented. But I can tell you this, right now, we are not seeing the early delivery of funds going to that kind of endeavor at this point in time."

Now that the money has already been released, Kerry casually acknowledges an inevitability that we, who have been in opposition of the Iranian nuclear deal, have been arguing all along.

Last May, White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked by a reporter whether or not when the sanctions are dismissed, there will be an increase in Iran’s destabilizing operations in the region and funding of Hezb’allah and other groups, he responded, “I think, most importantly it’s the hope of the Iranian people that the influx of resources will be devoted to meeting the needs of the population there.”

This is yet another example of the triumph of “hope” in Obama’s foreign policy over “realism”. We have all known that since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Iran has chosen to use most of its GNP for guns and not butter.

Those of us who were against the deal, were not simply opposed to it because Iran will legally be allowed to have access to nuclear weapons in a mere 10 years -- and that is assuming that they will not cheat. (One might do well to ask: What is ten years in the life of a nation?) It was because we knew that an enormous cash influx will go to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, which will be used to further carry out more dastardly acts against civilians. We knew it would go to further destabilize the region with its proxy wars, and would only contribute to a feeling of growing triumphalism and empowerment against its Sunni Arab rivals, what it regards as “the minor Satan”, Israel, and “the great Satan”, the United States.

In 2012, when Iran was under its most stringent sanctions, the Islamic Republic contributed $2 billion to Hezb'allah alone, and about $6 billion to the forces of Bashir Assad in Syria. How could anyone with a brain is his head not conceive of the possibility that Iran will use some of this money to carry out further acts of terrorism and to use it to foment more instability and chaos in the most explosive region of the world, and beyond.

The cavalier tone the Secretary had injected into his Davos comment further enrages anyone who appreciates the menacing nature of the Iranian regime. It has long been known that Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that billions of Iranian rials have found their way to the coffers of Hamas, Hizb’allah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Sa’na, Yemen, the forces around Bashir Assad in Syria, and fueling the threatening flames of the fourteen-century internecine fissure between Shia and Sunni Islam that portends to further destabilize the entire region, as each side is vowing for Islamic hegemony.

Since “Implementation Day”, January 16th, Iran has access to the SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication banking system, which now enables Iran to easily move money around to its various terrorist proxies. As a result of the sanctions, SWIFT had disconnected 15 Iranian banks from this global financial network, but as of “Implementation Day” Iran now has access to over 10,800 financial institutions worldwide.

It gives little comfort to know that Secretary of State Kerry says that the opponents of the deal inflated the amount that Iran will now have access to, that after “settling their debts” the more accurate sum will not be the $100 to $150 billion dollars, but “would more likely be about 55 billion dollars”.

Yes. A mere $55 billion, and that is assuming you buy into the secretary’s generous calculations on Iran’s behalf.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Six examples of Israel derangement syndrome that envelops the far left - by David Bernstein

(#6 of 6) Many Black Lives Matters groups, through a combination of infiltration by pro-Palestinian activists and acceptance of the mumbo-jumbo idiocies of “intersectionality,” have been persuaded to make hostility to Israel a part of their platform. The fact that Israel is the only nation, ever, to airlift tens of thousands of poor black Africans into its country from a war zone and give them immediate, full citizenship doesn’t give these groups pause. Black lives may matter, but hostility to Israel matters more, apparently.

David Bernstein..
The Volokh Conspiracy/Washington Post..
26 January '16..

Consider the following incidents described below that have reached my inbox or social media accounts over the past two weeks or so:

1. In the wake of a controversy over whether French Jews should wear kippot (male religious headcoverings) in public after the stabbing of an observant, kippah-wearing Jew in Marseille, Rony Brauman, a “human rights activist” and former president of Doctors Without Borders, stated that wearing a kippah signifies support not just for Israel but also for Israel’s policies. This is not only wildly inaccurate, but Brauman also implied that because the kippah signifies such support, kippah-wearers are an understandable target.

2. Anti-Israel sentiment at that most progressive of colleges, Oberlin, is bleeding into anti-Semitism (or maybe anti-Israel sentiment is simply providing a cover for latent anti-Semitism). Professor William Jacobson has the details here, but even if you don’t read the whole post, read the end of it, where he quotes a lengthy Facebook post from a recent alumna about anti-Semitic incidents she experienced or witnessed as a left-wing, but pro-Israel Jewish student there. I won’t endorse the claim that every one of these incidents was anti-Semitic, as such, but, assuming they are all true, they paint a very disturbing picture. I was particularly struck by her claim that multiple times she heard Oberlin students dismiss the Holocaust as “white on white violence.” How narrowminded, historically unaware and just plain oblivious to any experiences outside the modern American context can one be to dismissively describe the Holocaust that way? Multicultural education apparently doesn’t include understanding historical events in context, nor even having empathy for the experiences of victims of racism who don’t fit politically correct American paradigms of such victims. Or maybe it’s just about the Jews, who can’t be seen as victims so long as Israel exists. Or both. [Update: I just noticed that the Post covered the controversy at Oberlin today. If you are interested in what’s going on at Oberlin, you really must read the Facebook post noted above; it strongly suggests that problems at Oberlin complained of by Jewish students go well beyond mere controversy over Israeli policy.]

3. An Israeli leftist activist, Ezra Nawi of the anti-occupation group Ta’ayush, aided by an activist with the “human rights” group B’tselem, was caught trying to entrap someone into selling land on the West Bank to a Jewish buyer. Nawi was quoted as follows: ” ‘Straight away I give their [land-sellers’] pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,’ Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. ‘The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.’ ” B’tselem responded primarily with agitprop, by attacking the messenger and making excuses for the miscreants (link is in Hebrew).

Holocaust Memorial Day - Reality, invention, memory and media - by Arnold Roth

All the worthy memorials and monuments and anniversary events are helpless in the face of reportorial incompetence, massive ignorance, malevolence and fabrication. The deliberate rewriting of history absolutely matters. So does forgetting the victims and their suffering and the lives they built afterwards.

Image Source
Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 January '16..

We're fans of the columns penned by the journalist and commentator Evelyn Gordon. This paragraph comes from one of her latest:

..[F]or anyone who’s still confused about the difference between a real siege and a fictitious one, here are two simple tests: First, in real sieges, people die of starvation, because the besieger stops food from entering; in fake ones, the “besieger” sends in 2,500 tons of food and medicine per day even during the worst of the fighting. Second, real sieges get swept under the carpet by the UN; only the fake ones merit massive UN publicity. And if you think I’m joking, just compare the actual cases of Madaya and Gaza... So next time you hear people talking about the “siege of Gaza,” remember Madaya. And then tell them to stop wasting their breath on fake sieges when people are dying in real ones. ["How to Spot a Fake Siege", January 25, 2016]

Being reminded of the difference between reality and ideologically-driven spin is especially relevant today, January 27. That's the date on which, annually, Holocaust Memorial Day is observed - at least in those places where it's remembered at all.

What's remembered, what's forgotten and what's willfully twisted and distorted is, of course, part of the reason the commemoration exists. How effectively is a matter worth thinking about.

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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.

Israeli Women Being Murdered by Terrorists. Where's the Coverage?

CAMERA has noted that leading U.S. newspapers downplay and ignore the multiple recent stabbings of Israeli women. Sadly, that pattern continues. Where’s the coverage?

Sarit Catz..
CAMERA Snapshots..
26 January '16..

While most of the mainstream media has been preoccupied covering the horserace in the presidential primaries, precious little attention has been paid to a series of violent attacks on Israeli women by knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists. Twenty-three year-old Shlomit Krigman is the most recent victim to succumb to her wounds. She was buried a week shy of her 24th birthday.

Ms. Krigman and another woman, Adina Cohen, were stabbed by two attackers outside a market in Beit Horon, near Jerusalem. The murderers also tried to bomb the market but the devices failed to explode. The carnage could have been much greater had a quick-thinking store clerk not used a grocery cart to keep the terrorists from entering the market. The killers were eventually shot by a Druze security guard.

Watch security video of the attack in this report:

Virtually only the Israeli, Jewish, and some specialty media like CBN, above, reported on this event.

The Seemingly Never-Ending "Last Chance for Peace" Fantasy - Jonathan S. Tobin

...this doesn’t mean nothing can be done to halt the bloodshed. Those that claim to be friends of Israel or the Palestinians and lovers of peace can do something. They can advocate for an end to the sort of incitement to murder that is routine in the Palestinian media controlled by Abbas and by the PA and its leadership. They can also stop pretending Abbas is a “last chance” and, finally, start holding him accountable for torpedoing peace. Until the remaining last-ditch members of the peace camp in the press and the foreign policy establishment start doing those two things, we shouldn’t take their advocacy for more pressure on Israel or the two-state solution seriously.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
26 January '16..

This week, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is at it again. He’s threatening to break his agreements with Israel. Following a stunt at Davos where he pretended to want to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu (even though he has dodged actually possibilities for meetings with him), Abbas is playing the negotiations card again while saying that if Israel doesn’t release “prisoners” — i.e. convicted terrorists with blood on their hands — he will dissolve the PA and send the West Bank into an abyss of even greater chaos than currently exists. But unlike in the past, when such stunts mobilized Israeli leftists to protest the government and would motivate the Obama administration to issue statements pressuring Jerusalem to start making concessions, his latest antics aren’t generating much interest in either country. But nonetheless, there are still a few stray voices being raised on the left decrying what is seen as another missed opportunity. In what is a familiar argument that has been repeated endlessly since Abbas succeeded Yasir Arafat, we are told that the aging Palestinian represents the “last chance for peace.” But while Abbas’s eventual successor may be worse for both the Palestinians and Israelis than he is, the notion that he ever represented a chance for peace is a myth.

Considering how often Abbas has threatened to resign in the past, any talk about that happening must be taken with a truckload of salt. Nevertheless, the discussion about his replacement is not entirely theoretical. That’s not just because he will turn 81 in March. Dissatisfaction, if not outright disgust, over his misrule of the West Bank is almost universal among Palestinians, including many on his Fatah Party’s huge payroll. The PA is a kleptocracy that has stunted any chance for economic development in the West Bank as well as the chances for peace by repeated refusals of Israeli offers of statehood. Moreover, the odds are that the person or persons that ultimately succeed Abbas are likely to be even more hostile to Israel and willing to embrace violence than he has been.

That’s why the refrain about Abbas being the “last chance” still has some resonance among the dwindling believers in the peace process. But the assumption that Abbas has any intention of making peace no matter what the Israelis do is unfounded. As I wrote last week, the announcement that Isaac Herzog, the head of Israel’s Zionist Union/Labor opposition party, believes a two-state solution isn’t possible right now is a damning indictment of the “last chance” theory.

Abbas benefited from the comparison with Arafat, an unreconstructed terrorist that never learned how to pretend to embrace peace. Though his policies never diverged from Arafat’s vision of an unending war against Zionism, Abbas wore a suit. More to the point, he knew how to talk the talk of peace when in the presence of Western and Israeli journalists and audiences. Abbas could be convincing at times and peace advocates would often walk away from encounters with the PA leaders raving over his realism and commitment to a two-state solution that would the conflict. But Abbas sang a different tune when speaking in Arabic to his own people.

Moreover, Abbas’s actions always spoke louder than his words. This is not only the man who was Arafat’s able assistant throughout his terrorist career. Abbas is also the man who still boasts of rejecting an offer of statehood from Ehud Olmert that would have given the Palestinians sovereignty over almost all of the West Bank, Gaza and a share of Jerusalem in 2008. It was Abbas that refused to negotiate even after Netanyahu froze settlement building in 2010. When talks were restarted in 2013, he never negotiated seriously and then blew them up by making a pact with Hamas.

He is also the man that presided over official PA media that has been a font of incitement to hatred of Israelis and Jews throughout his despotic reign in Ramallah.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Surprise! Palestinian expert on PA TV: Knife attacks are not terror

Presenting the Palestinian attacks as having targeted only Israeli so-called “settlers” and ‎soldiers is incorrect. Stabbing attacks have been carried out all over Israel against ‎civilians, including children, women, and the elderly.

26 January '16..

Palestinian expert on Israeli affairs, Shaker Shabat: “What puts Israel in an ‎embarrassing situation now, and what prevents it from dealing with the intifada, is that ‎it is individuals of a somewhat peaceful character [who carry it out]. A knife is not ‎considered a firearm and [stabbing] is not classified as an act of terror. Israel is in a ‎crisis because the one who confronts the Israeli army and the settlers is the ‎Palestinian civilian, with a knife, or even with his exposed body, or with a screwdriver ‎or scissors.”‎
‎[Official PA TV, Jan. 9, 2016]‎

Presenting the Palestinian attacks as having targeted only Israeli so-called “settlers” and ‎soldiers is incorrect. Stabbing attacks have been carried out all over Israel against ‎civilians, including children, women, and the elderly.‎


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.

Bashing Israel’s pro-democracy efforts - by Anat Berko

...Adding to the hypocrisy: The European Union has recently decided to label Israeli products that come from Judea and Samaria so consumers can make informed decisions about the political implications of the origin of those products. If such disclosure is important for choosing products in the grocery store, it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t be much more important for those trying to influence another country’s political process.

Anat Berko..
NY Post/Opinion..
24 January '16..

If you believe Israel’s relentless critics in the media and now in the State Department, Israeli democracy is on death’s door.

The irony is, this accusation comes in response to Israel’s efforts to actually preserve and strengthen democracy from the forces that seek to weaken it.

The fuss is about Israel’s proposed law requiring transparency from political organizations in our country funded by foreign governments.

My country can’t ignore the protests, especially since US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has publicly joined them, after voicing his objections to Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s justice minister and the force behind this proposal. Shaked has also been defending the policy to European governments, which provide the lion’s share of funds to these groups.

Shapiro thinks this law would erode democracy in Israel. He’s not alone in this hyperbole: Major American newspapers have published editorials on it, even making the absurd comparison between Israel and Putin’s Russia.

So let’s set the record straight, for Ambassador Shapiro and the American public. Here are the facts about the proposed law:

It doesn’t prohibit any activity whatsoever. Even entities funded entirely by foreign governments will still be free to do and say whatever they want in Israel.

But — and this is crucial — the groups that claim to be nongovernmental but are actually instruments of foreign governments will be acknowledged as such.

The bill does one thing and one thing only: When more than half of an entity’s funding comes from foreign governments, it must disclose that fact and the amount of funding from those governments. That’s it.

It’s similar to several statutes in the United States. Both the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and more recent laws adopted by Congress impose special disclosure requirements on individuals and organizations funded by foreign governments. There’s a simple reason for such requirements. Without them, organizations held out as NGOs — that is supposed to mean nongovernmental organizations — operate as stealth diplomats funded by foreign governments without saying so.

This lets them do what diplomats do — press other countries for actions and policies they favor — without any of the consequences, trade-offs and publicity that proper diplomacy entails. In the intelligence world, entities that do these things are called “agents of influence.” Every country tries to identify such groups.

Stab women at neighborhood grocery store; instantly become figures of emulation - by Arnold Roth

...It's reported that they posted on Facebook in the hours before the murderous attack that they were "going to hunt porcupines". One of the thugs was immediately claimed as "son, martyr, hero" by Fatah, the terrorist band headed by PA president Mahmoud Abbas. Their photos, part of the process of elevating armed thuggery to something higher and worthy of emulation, already began popping up across the Arabic media in the hours after the terrorism.

Beit Horon [Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
26 January '16..

If you drive from Jerusalem towards Ben Gurion airport and the coast, you generally choose one of two alternative routes. One is Route 1, the main highway now under massive reconstruction of the first ten kilometers that wend their way up and down the hills around the capital. The other is Route 443 that passes Givat Ze'ev and then Beit Horon.

Yesterday, in the small Beit Horon community (population: about 1,300, and a long Jewish history) that abuts the busy commuter route, a pair of Palestinian Arab men with terror on their minds made their way unhindered into the heart of the neighborhood - evidently via a breach in its periphery fence or by climbing over - towards the makolet, the local grocery store. This is the fourth attack in a week in which Arabs have brought their terror right inside Israeli communities; the others were in Tekoa, Otniel and Anatot/Almon.

They stopped briefly to place several home-made explosive devices just outside the shop. Just before or after that, they evidently spotted two women, one walking along the sidewalk, a second one in the nearby car park, and stabbed them both brutally.

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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 U.S. State Department’s anti-Palestinian racism - by Stephen M. Flatow

...They may champion the Palestinian cause, but they do not love Palestinians. In fact, they don’t even like them very much. Rather, they’re scared of them. They’re afraid of Palestinian terrorists hijacking their airplanes, or machine-gunning their children’s school buses, or pressuring Arab regimes to cut off oil shipments to the U.S. That’s why Pickering and other State Department types try to bully Israel into allowing the creation of a Palestinian state — in the desperate hope that doing so will get the Palestinians to leave us alone. And, incredibly, they have the gall to accuse Israel of being “racist” for not going along.

Stephen M. Flatow..
Times of Israel..
25 January '16..

The US State Department has been so pro-Palestinian for so long that it might seem startling to suggest that there is a current of anti-Palestinian racism at Foggy Bottom. But just consider:

The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published an article on Jan. 21 suggesting that the US carried out the 9/11 attacks in order to have a pretext for causing “creative anarchy” in the Arab world.

The article, by regular columnist Dr. Osama Al-Fara, claimed that there are “many questions” about 9/11 “that place the US in the defendant’s seat, as was exposed later in a series of facts and reports.” As part of a secret plot to “distance Arab states from each other,” the US “created an imaginary enemy called ‘terror’” and “supervised” the emergence of Islamic State, Al-Fara claimed.

Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch, we know that the official PA news media frequently publish such screeds. But if you ask anybody in the State Department about these kinds of Palestinian conspiracy theories, they will invariably say that we should not take it seriously, because “that’s just how the Palestinians talk” or “yes, that’s what Palestinians believe, it’s no big deal.”

Such rationalizations of Palestinian extremism can only be described as “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” (a phrase coined by former presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson. They’re saying that the Palestinians are inherently incapable of being rational and reasonable. If that’s not racism, what is?

We recently had fresh and blatant evidence that such attitudes are rife in the State Department. In the latest batch of Hillary Clinton’s emails, there was a remarkable policy proposal from Thomas Pickering to the then-secretary of state.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Spotting the fake siege when people are dying in real ones - by Evelyn Gordon

...So next time you hear people talking about the “siege of Gaza,” remember Madaya. And then tell them to stop wasting their breath on fake sieges when people are dying in real ones.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
25 January '16..

I can’t help noticing that the “siege of Gaza” has largely disappeared from the headlines. I’d like to think it’s because, having finally seen what a real siege looks like in Syria, many well-meaning folks who used to decry the “siege” of Gaza have realized that Gaza was never actually besieged at all. But for anyone who’s still confused about the difference between a real siege and a fictitious one, here are two simple tests: First, in real sieges, people die of starvation, because the besieger stops food from entering; in fake ones, the “besieger” sends in 2,500 tons of food and medicine per day even during the worst of the fighting. Second, real sieges get swept under the carpet by the UN; only the fake ones merit massive UN publicity. And if you think I’m joking, just compare the actual cases of Madaya and Gaza.

In the Syrian town of Madaya, which is besieged by the Assad regime’s forces, people were reduced to living on grass because no other food was available. Rice, a staple that costs $1.25 per kilogram in other war-ravaged Syrian towns, was so scarce in Madaya that it sold for 200 times that price – an astounding $256 per kilogram, according to a report by Roy Gutman in Foreign Policy. Women were so hungry their breast milk dried up, leaving them unable to feed their babies. At least 32 people have starved to death so far, and hundreds more are at risk of starvation. One man told Gutman everyone in his family had lost 45 pounds – and they are the lucky ones; they’re still alive.

In Gaza, in contrast, even when the “siege” was regularly making headlines, there were never any reports of people dying of hunger, living off grass or unable to feed their babies. That’s because in contrast to Syrian forces, which prevented food and other humanitarian goods from entering Madaya, Israel allowed thousands of tons of such goods into Gaza every day. Even during the 50-day war with Hamas in summer 2014, while Hamas was regularly firing rockets at the only border crossing between Israel and Gaza, Israel managed to get 122,757 tons of food, medicine and fuel into Gaza through that crossing; in normal times, the volume is much higher. Indeed, Gaza’s life expectancy exceeds the global median, surpassing that in 114 countries worldwide. In places that are really besieged, life expectancy tends to be low.
It’s true that Israel maintains a naval blockade to prevent arms smuggling, and it also restricts dual-use imports to Gaza. Cement, for instance, is in short supply there, because Hamas has a nasty habit of using it to build cross-border attack tunnels rather than schools and hospitals for its people. According to Israel Defense Forces estimates, the tunnels uncovered during the 2014 war contained enough cement to build 2,580 homes, 180 schools or 570 medical clinics; today, Hamas is working hard to rebuild those tunnels. Thus Israel allows cement into Gaza only if a reputable international partner takes responsibility for ensuring it is used for civilian rather than military purposes. But import restrictions are not, and never were, remotely comparable to a siege.

If your only source of information is the UN, however, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking Gaza’s situation was much worse than that of Madaya – because the UN deliberately concealed Madaya’s situation, despite having known for months that the town was starving.

Where Exactly Does All That Aid for Palestinians Go? - By Tzipi Hotovely

...It is difficult to come away from these facts without realizing the deep connection between the huge amounts of foreign aid being spent, the bizarre international tolerance for patently unacceptable conduct by the Palestinians and the lack of progress toward peace on the ground.

Tzipi Hotovely..
Wall Street Journal/Opinion..
24 January '16..

One often-cited key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is economic development. To that end, there seems to be broad agreement about the importance of extending development aid to help the Palestinians build the physical and social infrastructure that will enable the emergence of a sustainable, prosperous society. But few have seriously questioned how much money is sent and how it is used.

Such assistance will only promote peace if it is spent to foster tolerance and coexistence. If it is used to strengthen intransigence it does more harm than good—and the more aid that comes in, the worse the outcome. This is exactly what has been transpiring over the past few decades. Large amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians are spent to support terrorists and deepen hostility.

For years the most senior figures in the Palestinian Authority have supported, condoned and glorified terror. “Every drop of blood that has been spilled in Jerusalem,” President Mahmoud Abbas said last September on Palestinian television, “is holy blood as long as it was for Allah.” Countless Palestinian officials and state-run television have repeatedly hailed the murder of Jews.

This support for terrorism doesn’t end with hate speech. The Palestinian regime in Ramallah pays monthly stipends of between $400 and $3,500 to terrorists and their families, the latter of which is more than five times the average monthly salary of a Palestinian worker.

According to data from its budgetary reports, compiled in June 2014 by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the PA’s annual budget for supporting Palestinian terrorists was then roughly $75 million. That amounted to some 16% of the foreign donations the PA received annually. Overall in 2012 foreign aid made up about a quarter of the PA’s $3.1 billion budget. More recent figures are inaccessible since the Palestinian Authority is no longer transparent about the stipend transfers.

That the PLO can’t be fixed is a given, therefore... - by Vic Rosenthal

...The PLO and its creature the PA has proven to be a failure – a failure as a peace partner, and a failure as a governing authority for the Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria. Israel could root out and destroy this cancer by removing the PLO from power, disarming its militias, and going back to its pre-Oslo position that it would only negotiate with non-terrorist entities. This might end up with Israel in full control of the territories again, something that many Israelis see as a burden they are loathe to undertake. But in the long term there is no alternative.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
24 January '16..

It has been revealed that a secret deal kept Switzerland free of PLO terrorism:

According to the author, Swiss journalist Marcel Gyr, Switzerland was in turmoil after a spate of Palestinian terror attacks, including the February 1970 bombing of a Swissair flight from Zurich to Tel Aviv, which killed all on board shortly after takeoff. Gyr recounts that in the wake of the attacks in 1969 and 1970, then-foreign minister Pierre Graber contacted the PLO clandestinely and without informing his fellow ministers, the BBC reported Friday. …

Graber, through a Swiss member of parliament, purportedly reached an agreement with the PLO to free those charged for [a deadly 1969 attack on an El Al plane in Zurich] in return the release of the hostages in Jordan. Furthermore, he agreed that Switzerland would “quietly shelve” the investigation into bombing of the Swissair plane, and make a diplomatic push for international recognition of the PLO.

The Swiss MP, Jean Ziegler, now 81, confirmed that he had been the go-between and said “This might be absolutely shocking, but the reward was that there were no more attacks.”

Shocking? No, it was standard operating procedure. Take Italy for example:

…former Italian President Francesco Cossiga revealed that the government of Italy agreed to allow Arab terrorist groups freedom of movement in the country in exchange for immunity from attacks in Italy. Cossiga wrote that the government of the late Prime Minister Aldo Moro reached a “secret non-belligerence pact between the Italian state and Palestinian resistance [sic] organizations, including terrorist groups,” in the 1970s. According to the former president, it was Moro himself who designed the terms of the agreement with the foreign Arab terrorists. Ironically, Moro later met his death at the hands of homegrown Italian terrorists, the Red Brigades, in 1978.

Even Germany, with its “special relationship” to Israel, sold its soul. Matt Rees, in his book Cain’s Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East (p. 100) explained,

Arafat put Zakaria Baloush in charge of European operations and contacts. He built a fine relationship with Italian antiterrorist intelligence. His biggest coup, however, was a secret mission to West Germany. Through Libyan intelligence, West Germany asked the PLO for a deal. In 1980 Zakaria went to West Germany with a delegation of PLO officials. They agreed not to carry out any attacks on West German territory. In return they were allowed to operate in West Germany and exchange information with the West Germans.

Today European governments and the European Union provide a hefty part of the cost of running the PLO-based Palestinian Authority, spend millions of Euros financing illegal Arab construction in Area C – the part of Judea/Samaria that according to the Oslo Accords is under full Israeli control – and of course provide tens of millions to Israeli left-wing NGOs which act as a fifth column inside Israel. These NGOs, which have been called “wholly-owned subsidiaries” of the EU and European governments, provide raw material for anti-Israel UN resolutions, ‘lawfare’ against Israeli leaders and IDF soldiers, and provoke violent confrontations to try to destabilize the country. There is no doubt that this anti-state movement would barely exist were it not for European subsides.

The hypocrisy of claiming to oppose terrorism while giving its greatest perpetrators a free pass is obvious. It is no less hypocritical to oppose Israeli construction in disputed areas while paying for illegal Arab building there, and to require products of Judea/Samaria to have special labels while products of countless other “occupied” and disputed territories in the world need not be labeled.