Monday, December 18, 2017

Protecting Hezbollah's Drug Trafficking: The Iran Deal's additional costs that neither the Israeli PM nor American public knew.

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah's billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House's desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

Josh Meyer..
Politico.com..
December '17..






PART I
A GLOBAL THREAT EMERGES
How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

They followed cocaine shipments, tracked a river of dirty cash, and traced what they believed to be the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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The Parents Circle Claim Trump’s Jerusalem Speech Shutting Us Up - by Sheri Oz

...It is just coincidental, therefore, that Bennett got around to banning the Parents Circle project from conducting their sessions in Israeli schools at this time. But associating the ban with anti-Trump rhetoric makes for such a powerful fundraising campaign that the organization could not pass up the opportunity when it presented itself. Only makes sense for a co-existence pro-peace group that sells the “Palestinian narrative” as the only show in town, right?

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
15 December '17..

A supposed co-existence pro-peace organization is illogically blaming President Trump’s Jerusalem speech, the long overdue recognition of Jerusalem as the historical and contemporary capital of Israel, as the reason for cancelled programming in Israel.


Screenshot of announcement of supposed impact of Trump’s Jerusalem speech on the Parents Circle programming.

First let me tell you a bit about the Parents Circle and then I will tell you why this claim is absolute nonsense.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Surprise? NY Times: Western Wall Should Be Used As ‘Leverage’ - by Simon Plosker

...If the New York Times believes that Israeli control over the Western Wall is up for debate or is afraid of upsetting the Muslim world over Jewish holy sites, then its editorial board really has no moral compass.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
17 December '17..

The New York Times is perfectly entitled to muse over whether US President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a good idea.

The NYTimes editorial on the subject goes further however.




Since when was the Western Wall “another piece of leverage” to be conceded?

Newsflash New York Times: The Western Wall won’t “eventually be declared part of Israel.” It’s already part of Israel and is the holiest site that Jews can pray. It doesn’t only abut “some of Islam’s most sacred sites.” Whether the NY Times likes it or not, the Western Wall happens to abut the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site.

It’s not only the White House that expects the Western Wall to be part of Israel. Is there really anyone apart from the worst extremists who believes that the Western Wall won’t remain under Israeli control whether there is an agreement or not?

This isn’t “taking Israel’s side on an explosive issue” – it’s reiterating one of the few consensus issues that exists in any so-called peace process.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

One ex-State Department official’s obsession with creating ‘Palestine’ - by Stephen M. Flatow

...Despite the ongoing Palestinian terrorism against Israel, despite the non-stop PA incitement to murder, despite the PA corruption and totalitarianism that prove it cannot run a civilized state—Makovsky and Indyk devoted themselves to trying to become the godfathers of “Palestine.”

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
15 December '17..

“Creating a full-blown Palestinian state in virtually all the West Bank…would be a reward to the suicide bombers who have terrorized Israel…It would invite more terrorism…It would send the terrible message that terrorism pays.”

That’s what journalist-turned-State Department “peace processor” David Makovsky once wrote. Yet today, the very same Makovsky is campaigning for the creation of a full-blown Palestinian state in virtually all of that region and the mass expulsion of 100,000 Jews from their homes.

What gives?

Makovsky’s declaration opposing a Palestinian state appeared on the op-ed page of the Los Angeles Times on June 14, 2002. The problem with demanding a Palestinian state, Makovsky wrote, was that it ignored the behavior of the Palestinian leadership—“the terrorism, smuggling, lying, corruption and mismanagement” of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

He ridiculed Palestinian statehood advocates for saying, in effect, “let’s wipe the slate clean and give the Palestinians everything [they are demanding]—a virtual return to the 1967 borders.” Doing that would “reward” terrorists and thereby “invite more terrorism,” Makovsky wrote. And, of course, he was right.

In the years since then, the PA has continued its terrorism, smuggling, lying, corruption and mismanagement. In fact, the PA’s track record is even worse now, because at the time Makovsky was writing, it had been doing those things for only eight years. Now the PA has a 23-year record of terrorism and corruption.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Friday night Arab-on-Israeli Gazan rocket crashes into Gazan home - by Arnold Roth

...It's worth pointing out again that yet another Arab-on-Israeli rocket attack resulting in damage (and perhaps worse) to Palestinian Arabs in Gaza - what we call Fell Shorts - has gone entirely unreported in the non-Israeli media.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
16 December '17..

More Arab-on-Israel rocket attacks this past Friday night (we were busy with the Jewish Sabbath) from the rocket-infested, Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Ynet ["Rocket fired from Gaza hits home in Gaza", December 15, 2017] reports

A rocket fired from Gaza into Israel Friday hit a residential building in Beit Hanoun in the strip and caused it considerable damage, according to the Arabic-language Facebook page of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. "Once again, the terrorist organizations launch rockets at the residents of Gaza themselves," the post said. This is the second time in a week that a rocket fired by Palestinians hits a building in the northeast Gaza city. In the previous incident, a public school classroom was completely demolished.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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#InternationalHumanRights? Who Really Cares About Palestinian Human Rights? - by Rena Young

...What unifies all of these social media “efforts” is the highly questionable benefit to actual Palestinians. In the Israeli context, though, this might be the point. For many NGOs, besmirching Israel’s name is the goal, not improving the universal human rights for Palestinians and Israelis. The disconnect between real human rights work that seeks to protect all people, and hollow social media advocacy campaigns, is stark.

Rena Young..
Algemeiner.com..
15 December '17..

During the past decade, social media has emerged as a primary tool for activists hoping to drive change on a wide variety of topics. But although savvy social media use can help raise awareness for a given issue, more often than not, even viral messages are largely empty gestures.

As opposed to generating real change, social media is often merely a tool for “slacktivism” — internet actions that require little involvement beyond a click of the mouse, or the writing an ephemeral but clever tweet. This creates a sense of doing something positive and being part of a mass movement, but in practice, very little is accomplished — beyond feel-good moments for the participants.

December 10 marked the annual international “Human Rights Day,” which is supposedly an opportunity to take stock of the state of human rights. It’s also an opportunity to consider the role of “slacktivism” in campaigns to promote these universal values. After all, you were likely bombarded on Facebook and Twitter to “like,” “share” and “retweet” human rights-related hashtags.

The Arab-Israeli conflict, with dozens upon dozens of well-financed human rights NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and UN agencies, is rife with illustrative examples.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Friday, December 15, 2017

Hamas: 30 Facts For 30 Years - by Daniel Pomerantz

Hamas is not interested in peace or compromise with Israel – the facts speak for themselves.


Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
14 December '17..






On December 14, 2017, Hamas commemorates its 30th anniversary.

But what is Hamas really commemorating? Here are 30 facts to remind you:

1. Hamas takes its name from an acronym that means “Islamic Resistance Movement” in Arabic.

2. Hamas refuses to recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist as an independent, sovereign nation, and is totally opposed to any agreement or arrangement that would recognize its right to exist. At the beginning of its 1988 charter there is a quotation attributed to Hassan Al-Bana, the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder, that “Israel will arise and continue to exist until Islam wipes it out, as it wiped out what went before.” (Contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)

3. Hamas is committed to jihad. Its charter stresses the importance of jihad (holy war) as the main means for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to achieve its goals: An uncompromising jihad must be waged against Israel. Jihad is the personal duty of every Muslim. (Again, contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)

4. Hamas is an anti-Semitic organization. According to its charter, the Jewish people have only negative traits and are presented as planning to take over the world. The charter uses myths taken from classical European and Islamic-based anti-Semitism. (Again, contrary to some misleading news stories, Hamas’s 2017 “Political Document” does not replace the 1988 charter.)

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Once again, the Palestinians are disappointed with their Arab brothers - by Khaled Abu Toameh

...The Palestinians have placed themselves on a collision course not only with the US, but also with the Arab world. The question now is: How will the Arab regimes respond to this latest charge of fratricide leveled against them by their Palestinian brothers?

Khaled Abu Toameh..
Gatestone Institute..
14 December '17..

Once again, the Palestinians are disappointed with their Arab brothers.

A declaration of war on the US, in the Palestinians' view, would have been the appropriate response to US President Donald Trump's December 6 announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

For the Palestinians, the anti-US demonstrations that took place in some Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq and Lebanon were a welcome development.

But the protests have evidently failed to satisfy the appetite of the Palestinians, who were banking on the Arab heads of state and governments to take more drastic measures against the US.

The Palestinians are not expecting the Arab and Islamic armies to march on the White House or bomb New York and Los Angeles.

All they have gotten so far from the Arab and Islamic leaders and governments are demonstrations on the streets and statements of condemnations. Moreover, it does not look as if the Palestinians should be expecting more from their Arab and Muslim brothers.

The sense of let-down on the Palestinians' part is large: the streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are rising with chants labeling the Arab and Muslim leaders and regimes as "traitors" and "puppets" in the hands of Israel and the US.

Almost every Palestinian protester interviewed in the past few days about the Trump announcement spoke also of the "weakness" and "cowardice" of the Arab and Islamic heads of state.

Welcome to the Palestinian mindset, where an Arab leader who talks about peace with Israel is a traitor, while an Arab leader who talks about destroying Israel or launching rockets at it, like Saddam Hussein, is a "hero."

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Mahmoud Abbas insults and threatens the US - but takes hundreds of millions of US dollars - by Elder of Ziyon

...Abbas acts like a bully because he thinks he has the Islamic world and much of Europe behind him. Let's see what happens when the US actually forces him to take some responsibility for his actions.

Elder of Ziyon..
14 December '17..

Mahmoud Abbas, in his speech to the OIC, consistently insulted the United States and acted as if he is in a position to bully the US.

Abbas said "the United States has chosen to lose its eligibility as an intermediary and to have no role in the political (peace) process."

"In all our conferences and decisions, we have agreed that Jerusalem is a red line, and now we must translate all this into actions that force the United States to retreat from this crime and prevent other countries from taking similar steps.," Abbas said.

He added, "When the United States announced the closure of the PLO headquarters in Washington, we announced that we would not deal with the US consul. America must feel that any decision it takes is not easy and we can and will force it to pay the price."

Like a two-bit thug, Abbas then repeated his go-to threat: "If the State of Palestine does not have its capital in Jerusalem on the borders of June 4, 1967, there will be no peace in the region, the territories or the world, and they must choose [which it is going to be.]

What's wrong with this picture?

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Understanding what happened after Wednesday night's Gazan rocket attack on Israel - by Arnold Roth

...CNN has an interesting way of looking at this. Gaza, which everyone knows views Israel as its sworn enemy and which is busily attacking Israelis with rockets and tunnels at this moment, is shut off "from the rest of the world" by Israel closing its border this morning. Oh, "save for its small Egyptian border" which is "generally closed". The word agitprop was invented for silliness of this CNN sort.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
14 December '17..

Haaretz says (rather blandly) three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel yesterday (Wednesday):

Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one fell into an open area as alarm sirens sounded in southern Israeli districts and cities including Sderot. Magen David Adom emergency responders said that a 30-year-old man wounded his leg while running for cover, and two others were being treated for shock. The rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening is returning the residents of the Gaza border region back to a state of tension they haven’t experienced since Operation Protective Edge over three years ago. No less [sic] than 15 rockets have been fired into Israeli territory since U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and although the Israel Defense Forces has been showing restraint, it will have a hard time holding back for much longer.

Others say there were four, not three, and the difference points to something significant:

On Wednesday night, four rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, a third struck an open field and the fourth fell short of the border and hit a school in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials... [Times of Israel, today]

So that's five Arab-on-Israeli attack rockets intercepted in mid-air and brought down by the amazing, life-saving, defensive Iron Dome system so far this week.

As far as we know, neither Haaretz nor any non-Israeli news source has drawn attention to how yet-another Fell Short rocket dispatched on its murderous path towards Israel failed to cross the border and fell onto the heads of hapless Gazan Palestinian Arabs.

This time it struck a school according to Israeli assessments:

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Palestinian Arab Students: Because Of The “Israeli Occupation” - by Sheri Oz

I have the feeling that truly empowering young people and making them partners, as they say happened in Algeria, actually scares the pants off the authors as well as the leaderships in authoritarian regimes all around the world, in general and in our neighbourhood, in particular. Better, then, to blame the Israeli “Occupation”. Oh, we are such a wonderfully useful scapegoat.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
13 December '17..

Another Wizard of Oz in academia. Egyptian scholars have written an interesting study but not for the reasons they think. Their article seems to damn the “Israeli Occupation” but it does not, really.

If anyone actually read the substance of the article itself, and that includes the reviewers who recommended it for publication, then they would have seen that it says something entirely different. And, as for the Egyptians who wrote it, admitting that would not be comfortable for the authors because it may reflect badly on their own country.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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A belief that any lie is permissible in the service of the sacred goal of denying Israeli rights in Jerusalem - by Evelyn Gordon

...Jerusalem isn’t unique in this regard; mainstream media outlets have also deemed the truth dispensable in the service of other ideological goals. And then they have the gall to wonder why so many people, confronted with such obvious lies from the people they trusted to tell them the truth, now put more faith in “alternative facts” than they do in mainstream media and politicians.

Evelyn Gordon..
Analysis from Israel..
14 December '17..
Link: http://evelyncgordon.com/the-mainstream-medias-misdirection-on-jerusalem/

Mainstream media outlets like to complain about “fake news” emanating from sources other than themselves, but the mainstream media itself has taken fake news to new heights in its recent coverage of Jerusalem. Leading media outlets have asserted, inter alia, that Jews never cared about Jerusalem until a few decades ago, that Jews didn’t live in East Jerusalem before 1967, and that Jordan protected freedom of worship in the city.

Exhibit A is the New York Times’ mind-boggling backgrounder on Jerusalem, which “informs” readers that Jews didn’t really care about the city until “hard-line religious nationalism” came into vogue a few decades ago. To produce this flat-out lie, the reporters omit crucial facts, downplay those they can’t omit and rely heavily on Arabs–who have made a fetish of denying Jewish links to Jerusalem for decades–to tell their readers what Jews think (though, naturally, they also found some Jews to echo these claims). Thus, for instance, they paraphrase historian Issam Nasser as saying, “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem,” while Prof. Rashid Khalidi asserts that post-1967, “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously.”

To support this idea, the reporters omit almost any fact that might contradict it. Readers are never told, for instance, that Israel’s founding fathers–the ones who ostensibly had little interest in Jerusalem–fought some of the bloodiest battles of the War of Independence in an effort to save the city from its Arab besiegers.They even took the extraordinary step, after repeated failures to open the road to Jerusalem militarily, of building an entirely new road through very difficult terrain to relieve the siege.

Readers also aren’t told that Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, repeatedly stressed Jerusalem’s importance, declaring it “the heart of the State of Israel,” which “Israelis will give their lives” to keep, because for Israel, “there has always been and always will be one capital only.” And they’re certainly never told that the devotion to Jerusalem Khalidi deems of such recent vintage actually dates back 3,000 years, to the First Temple, and that throughout two millennia of exile, Jews prayed facing Jerusalem and begged God to restore them to their holy city.

But on the rare occasions when the reporters can’t omit an inconvenient fact, they shout, like the Wizard of Oz, “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” Thus, the Times’ reporters do concede the pesky fact that Israel’s founding fathers–those same people who ostensibly didn’t care about Jerusalem–relocated Israel’s capital to the city the moment it was safe to do so, a few months after the war ended, and even codified this decision in legislation. But the information is hidden in a parenthetical aside: Jerusalem’s “western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital, under an Israeli law passed in 1950).”

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Arise, go up to Zion - by Nadav Shragai

...In recent years, a miracle of sorts has taken place: A handful of passionate activists have managed to reignite the Israeli interest in the area. This has led to the Israel Police lifting some of the restrictions placed on Jewish presence on the site. Although we cannot hear the shofar being blown there, as the famous verse in "Jerusalem of Gold" says, and there is no menorah, the Jews are finally exercising their sovereignty by visiting the site – the only thing Dayan agreed to preserve. By the end of 2017, the number of Jews who will have visited the compound is expected to number 25,000.

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
11 December '17..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/arise-go-up-to-zion/

The 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev 2,181 years ago was both a sad day and a happy one on the Temple Mount. The events that day, which ultimately became the foundation for the holiday we call Hanukkah, began with humiliation and insult but were followed by great jubilation and high spirits.

The books of the Maccabees tell us how the Hasmoneans, having arrived in a liberated Jerusalem, tore their clothes and wept as they saw the desolate and desecrated Temple. But they also tell us about the "harps, lutes and cymbals" (1 Maccabees 4:52) that were used to celebrate the relighting of the menorah.

Fifty years ago, the same day also brought two diametrically opposed feelings: joy and sadness. While Israel had recently liberated the ruins of the Temple, the prevailing spirit on the Temple Mount was dictated by then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. Under his instructions, the Israeli flag had been taken down from the mountain, and the Israeli visitors were told they were to limit their worship to the site below, the Western Wall.

Dayan effectively gave control of the compound to the Muslims, preventing the Jews from praying there. He wrongly assumed that by doing this he could take out the religious component of the conflict. The decision had the support of rabbis, who said it was forbidden for Jews to enter the area for prayer. They were too focused on their halachic interpretation to seize the moment. For all their talk, they forgot that having virtual Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount without actually exercising it is just make-believe. They had decided to relegate our role to that of the famous superhero who can see but cannot be seen.

This alliance of state and religion survived for three decades and had the effect of suppressing the bond between the Jews and holy compound. It also created the impression that the Western Wall, which is also holy, is a suitable alternative that could serve as a stand-in for the original. As a result, the Muslims got the false impression that the Jews who went to the Temple Mount were just "visitors," like all other tourists.

Simply put, UNESCO does not consider Jewish culture and heritage worthy of protection - by Sean Durns

...By contrast, when Palestinians have been caught—including on camera—desecrating religious holy sites like Rachel’s Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb and the Church of the Nativity, UNESCO is often silent despite its stated goal to protect culturally significant sites. In 2013, for example, more than 200 terror attacks occurred at Rachel’s Tomb, where the Jewish matriarch Rachel is believed to be buried; 119 of those attacks included the use of explosives at the sacred site.

Sean Durns..
JNS.org..
12 December '17..

In October, the U.S. State Department notified the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that America would be withdrawing from the U.N. body. The U.S. cited the need for fundamental reform, mounting arrears and “continuing anti-Israel bias” at the organization. But the problem is much deeper: UNESCO denies Israel’s very right to exist, a fact that its defenders would do well to acknowledge if they’re serious about reforming the agency.

In recent commentaries in The Hill and elsewhere, some have obfuscated UNESCO’s efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Commentators such as Dan Wagner, a special adviser to the UNESCO director-general, have minimized the organization’s troubling agenda, stating, “When it comes to Israel and some other hot-button political issues, the majority of UNESCO member nations and the U.S. have sometimes found themselves on opposite sides.”

The reason? “Because UNESCO—as the U.S. insisted at its founding—is a fully democratic body that gives each member nation a single vote,” according to Wagner, “the majority truly does rule.” Yet this omits that the majority of UNESCO member nations have engaged in, or passively enabled, efforts to single out Israel. That it was done via “majority rule” hardly makes it any better, as the history of anti-Semitism regrettably illustrates.

UNESCO claims that it aims to “contribute to the building of peace,” and lists “fostering cultural diversity” and “intercultural dialogue” as some of its top objectives. But as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and others have documented, UNESCO has engaged in political warfare against Israel, seeking to delegitimize the Jewish state and erase the Jewish people’s historical connection to their ancestral homeland.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Europe's War Against the Jewish State - by Caroline Glick

...During his meeting Sunday with Netanyahu, Macron rejected those suggestions. And that makes sense. Because even if he wanted to supplant the Americans, there is no chance he would succeed. Israel will never permit the Europeans to mediate anything. Their war against Israel internationally and inside of Israel itself has achieved one clear result. The Europeans have convinced Israelis not to trust them, not to admire them, and not to consider them friends.

Caroline Glick..
Our World/Opinion/JPost..
12 December '17..
Link: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Our-worldEuropes-war-against-the-Jewish-state-517771

Europe is the epicenter of the political war against Israel. Europe fights Israel on the streets of Europe. Europe fights Israel in the corridors of power in Brussels, other Western European capitals and the UN. Europe fights Israel in Israel itself.

Europe’s war against Israel is a passive-aggressive campaign fought and denied simultaneously. But in recent years, the mask has fallen over and over again.

In the days that have passed since US President Donald Trump’s dramatic announcement that the US recognizes that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and is beginning to take concrete steps to move its embassy to the city, Europe’s war against Israel has again become impossible to deny or ignore. Europe’s response to Trump’s announcement has been extreme, violent and more outspoken than the response of the Arab world.

The EU-funded Palestinian Authority reacted to Trump’s move by exhorting its subjects to riot and attack Israelis.

Sunday, Yassin Abu el-Qura heeded his call. Qura stabbed Asher Elmalich in the heart and critically wounded him. Elmalich was a security guard at Jerusalem’s central bus station.

According to Channel 2, Qura is a member of a prominent family of Fatah members with close ties to the PA and its EU- and US-funded and trained security forces. His father is the commander of one of the security forces in Salfit, in Samaria. Two of his brothers are also PA security officers.

Around the same time Qura was stabbing Elmalich, the British government announced it was providing the PA with 20 million pounds in supplemental budgetary funding.

Qura’s attack was notable because it took place against the backdrop of lackluster attendance at PA-organized protests. As former US Middle East mediator Aaron David Miller tweeted on Sunday, the low attendance at these demonstrations, like the low attendance at anti-US and anti-Israel demonstrations in the Arab world is an “indication of how much the region has changed [in recent years] and the loss of centrality of [the] Palestinian issue. [The] Palestinian street is exhausted; the Arab street has disappeared.”

But while the Arab street was indifferent to Trump’s declaration, the European street went berserk. Thousands of protesters assembled in London and Paris, in Berlin and Stockholm. They burned Israeli flags and called for the annihilation of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

That age-old Palestinian craft that goes all the way back to 1922 - when the British imported Armenian families - by Elder of Ziyon

...So there is no "Palestinian" tradition of decorative ceramics. It is an Armenian tradition. And the Arabs were not the ones to import the Armenians to renovate the Dome of the Rock - the British colonialists were!

Elder of Ziyon..
12 December '17..

One of the examples given of Palestinian crafts is the creation of hand-made ceramic tiles.

If you look at Shop Palestine, you can see the description of the handmade ceramics they sell. But something about it is interesting:

Fakhoury Pottery and Karakashian Pottery in Hebron and Jerusalem respectively supply our beautiful handpainted ceramics. The Fakhoury’s come from a long line of potters and, in fact, the name Fakhoury even means “potter” in Arabic. Their shop is located in the old city of Hebron where Israeli soldiers and settlers routinely physically and verbally harass Palestinians. Despite the difficulties, the family is determined to keep their store open and their craft alive. The Karakashian studio in Jerusalem continues the family tradition that began in 1922 when Megerditch Karakashian came to Jerusalem to help renovate the Dome of the Rock.

You can read a bit more detail about the history of this craft from the webpage of Armenian Ceramics in Jerusalem, whose Balian family were the original partners of the Karakashians mentioned above

The Balian Family of Jerusalem has been producing exclusive hand painted ceramic tiles and pottery since 1922.
This makes us one of the oldest-if not the oldest- business in existence in Jerusalem.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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What the War Over Jerusalem is Actually About - by Sultan Knish

...Moving the embassy to Jerusalem will do much more for America than it will for Israel. The Israelis already know where their capital is. We need to remember where we left our freedom. Islamic terrorists win when they terrorize us into being too afraid to do the right thing.

Daniel Greenfield..
Sultan Knish..
11 December '17..

Hamas has announced that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has opened the “gates of hell.” Its Muslim Brotherhood parent has declared America an “enemy state.”

The Arab League boss warned that the Jerusalem move “will fuel extremism and result in violence.” The Jordanian Foreign Minister claimed that it would “trigger anger” and “fuel tension.”

“Moderate” Muslim leaders excel at threatening violence on behalf of the “extremists”.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) warned that recognizing Jerusalem will trigger an Islamic summit and be considered a "blatant attack on the Arab and Islamic nations."

The last time the OIC was this mad, someone drew Mohammed. And wasn’t stoned to death for it.

According to the Saudi ambassador, it will “heighten tensions”. The Deputy Prime Minister of Islamist Turkey called it a “major catastrophe”. And the leader of the largest Muslim country in Europe, France's Emmanuel Macron "expressed concern" that America will “unilaterally recognize Jerusalem."

PLO leaders and minions meanwhile made it quite clear that now the dead peace process is truly dead.

The Palestinian Authority’s boss warned that recognizing Jerusalem will “destroy the peace process”. The PLO’s envoy in D.C. threatened that it would be the “final lethal blow” and “the kiss of death to the two-state solution”. A top PA advisor claimed it “will end any chance of a peace process.”

A day later, the peace process is still as alive and as dead as it ever was.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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The‘P is for Palestine’ author managed to get one thing right - by Stephen M. Flatow

...Why does the character of Palestinian Arab identity matter? Because the fight for Israel’s survival is not just a military conflict. It’s also a war of ideas. Understanding the legitimacy of Jewish nationalism, and the falseness of Palestinian nationalism, is vital. We must understand why our side is right—and why their side is wrong. So, thank you, Golbarg Bashi, for helping to remind us of the true nature of Palestinian nationalism.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
11 December '17..

The “P is for Palestine” children’s book that is causing so much controversy presents anti-Israel propaganda and deeply disturbing justifications for “intifada” violence. But it also contains one very important truth.

Golbarg Bashi, the Iranian-born author, decided to use the device of an alphabet book to indoctrinate children with anti-Israel messages. The most incendiary part, which has been at the center of much of the public debate about the book, declares, “I is for Intifada, Arabic for rising up for what is right, if you are a kid or grownup!”

The accompanying illustration shows a father and child, wearing keffiyahs, standing near barbed wire (symbol of “Israeli oppression”) and flashing the V-for-victory sign. Victory over Israel, that is.

Not surprisingly, many Jews are troubled by Bashi’s attempt to justify and glorify the waves of Palestinian “intifada” violence, in which more than 1,300 Israeli Jews were murdered.

Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch of Manhattan’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a leading critic of the book, correctly described it as “the glorification of the Palestinian intifada—a cruel, murderous, and terroristic campaign that purposely targeted innocent Israelis, including children, in restaurants, buses, hospitals, schools and shopping malls…The intifada was not ‘a rising up for what is right.’ It was a mass descent into immorality.”

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Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey. He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995. He may be reached at smflatow@gmail.com.


Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Monday, December 11, 2017

Palestinian Authority orders schools not to meet with pro-peace Bahrainis - by Elder of Ziyon

...This is how Palestinians treat fellow Arabs who make it clear that that they simply want peace. This is about as clear an indication as you can find as to which side actually wants peace and which side wants to use the word "peace" as a synonym for never ending conflict.

Elder of Ziyon..
11 December '17..

From Times of Israel:

A delegation of religious figures from the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain arrived in Israel this week “in order to send a message of peace,” in an extremely rare instance of representatives from an Arab country without diplomatic relations visiting the Jewish state.

The trip seemed to signal a further warming of ties between Israel and Bahrain, which a report earlier this year said are on a path to normalizing diplomatic relations.

The delegation, which is made up of 24 members of the “This is Bahrain” group — which on its website heralds a commitment to a vision of “religious freedom and peaceful co-existence where we all live together in harmony in the spirit of mutual respect and love” — is in Israel for a four-day visit meant to send a message of religious tolerance and coexistence.

“The king sent us with a message of peace to the whole world,” a Shiite cleric on the trip told Hadashot TV news, which aired a report on Saturday about the group.

That's a big story in itself.

But just as big is that the Palestinian Authority is so anti-peace that they are arranging protests against the Bahrainis.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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A World That Throws Hissy Fits Over Jerusalem - by Judith Bergman

...That is what it apparently takes to get Muslims in the West to demonstrate. Not the rape and sexual enslavement of thousands of Yazidi children and women by Muslims fighting for ISIS in Syria and Iraq, while their husbands and fathers were tortured and murdered; Not the torture, murder and general oppression of Christians in the Middle East; Not even the murder of their own Muslim brethren in the Middle East or elsewhere. No, none of these affects them.

Judith Bergman..
MIDA.org.il..
10 December '17..

President Donald Trump’s acknowledgment of the reality of the status of Jerusalem – namely that it is the capital of Israel and has been such for 3,000 years – shone a light of truth on more than just the realities of the region.

It also dramatically illuminated the true colors of much of the world community, whose members reacted to the speech with hysterical hissy fits unworthy of preschoolers. It was especially revealing of the member states of the European Union that never cease to babble on about ‘human rights’, yet always stop short of including the rights of the Jewish people.

The speech naturally became an excuse for the adherents of the ‘religion of peace’ to show just how peaceful they really are. Muslims across Europe turned out to demonstrate against the acknowledgment of a contemporary and historical fact. Interestingly enough, this was less so in Israel, to the great disappointment of the international media, which outnumbered the actual Arab rioters.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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NY Times Finally Shows Some Improvement in Anti-Israel Bias - by Ira Stoll

...Against those six articles — more than one a day — the Times deemed fit to print only two on the other side of the issue. One was by Bret Stephens, and the other was by Shmuel Rosner. They were both fine, but pro-Israel Times readers have a right to wonder — where are the other four pieces in favor of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital that the newspaper would have to print to achieve even a 50-50 balance on the issue? Without them, the newspaper looks as if it’s trying to serve an audience that denies Israel’s capital, and as if it is using Stephens and Rosner to cloak its anti-Israel coverage with a veneer of respectability. I suppose six to two is modestly better than the seven to two tilt on the Iran deal, at least until or unless the Times chooses to publish one more anti-Israel piece on Jerusalem in addition to the six it already has published. Some improvement.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
10 December '17..

The New York Times is gradually improving.

That’s the happiest face to put on the slight improvement in how the newspaper’s editorial and op-ed page greeted President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, compared with how it treated Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal.

Back in October, the Times published seven editorial or opinion pieces in favor of Trump keeping the deal, and just two opposing it, a tally that I described at the time as “lopsided,” and an “unprecedented Times onslaught of cheerleading for the Iran nuclear deal.”

It sure looks like the Times took that criticism to heart and has made a real effort to provide more balanced coverage. This time around, on the Jerusalem decision, the Times also published two articles representing what might be called a pro-Israel perspective. And instead of seven articles on the other side, the Times has published (at least as of this writing), a mere six.

Got that? Instead of seven anti-Israel op-eds or editorials for each two pro-Israel pieces published, the Times has slightly ratcheted back its bias, so that there’s only a six to two ratio of disparity.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Breaking News: Jerusalem Not on Fire! - by Bassam Tawil

...Newsflash for the journalists: There's nothing new on the Palestinian street. Palestinian threats of violence and walking out of any "peace process" is old, old news. Jerusalem is not on fire. Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel's right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.
                                                     
Bassam Tawill..
Gatestone Institute..
10 December '17..

The Palestinians declared a three-day-long "rage" spree over US President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump's announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump's announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover "the big story."

The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

Some of these reporters, including those working for American networks, have been flown in from their working posts in London, Paris, Cairo and New York to cover what many of them are already calling the "New Palestinian Intifada." But is it really a new intifada, or is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the swarm of Palestinian and foreign reporters?

In the past few days, we have seen wild exaggeration in the media as to what is really happening in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. What is evident, however, is that the number of journalists and photographers covering the protests in the city has thus far exceeded the number of Palestinian protesters.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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Abbas has “rejected violence” since 2005? The facts tell a different story - by Adam Levick

...Bottom line: The Economist’s claim that the Palestinian President has “rejected violence” since 2005 fails to pass even the most minimum critical scrutiny.

Adam Levick..
UK Media Watch..
07 December '17..

The Economist weighed in on the US president’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital with a Dec. 7th article titled “Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital makes peace less likely”. The piece reinforced the media’s gloom and doom narrative over the the implications for the peace process following US recognition, suggesting that Palestinians may now feel they have ‘no alternative’ than to engage in violence.

This leaves the Palestinians isolated, a sentiment palpable on the streets of East Jerusalem this week. They feel abandoned not only by America but by the Arab world and even by their own senior leaders. Jawad Siam, a local leader in Silwan, an Arab neighbourhood of Jerusalem, has harsh words for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. “Abbas is always saying there is still a chance for diplomacy and now Trump is making Abbas very small in front of his people.” Ever since his election in 2005, Mr Abbas has rejected violence and called upon his people to pursue statehood through diplomacy. Now the calls from within the Palestinian national movement for a return to intifada, ie, a violent uprising, are growing.

The claim that Abbas has “rejected violence” for the past 12 years mirrors a popular but completely erroneous media theme about the Palestinian movement since the death of Yasser Arafat – one repeated recently by former Secretary of State John Kerry.

However, the facts tell a different story.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. 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. 
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