Monday, December 31, 2018

Can the US Withdrawal from Syria Be a Blessing in Disguise? - By Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

However misconceived, President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria might have a silver lining for Israel. It forces Jerusalem to reevaluate the basic assumptions of the “peace process” with the Palestinians that has been actively and coercively led in recent decades by successive US administrations.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,051..
30 December '18..
Link: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/us-withdrawal-syria-blessing/

The Oslo process took place under unique global circumstances. The Soviet Union had just collapsed and the Cold War had come to an abrupt end with the West’s clear victory. The US became “the only remaining superpower” and the “End of History” loomed over the horizon.

Since then, far-reaching changes have taken place. Russia has reemerged as a major global force and has reassumed its great-power status through direct military interventions in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria. The US, by contrast, has substantially reduced its global involvement over the past decade and has lost its hegemonic position in the Middle East. In this respect, President Trump’s recent decision to withdraw US troops from Syria is but the continuation of the disengagement policy begun by his immediate predecessor.

It is arguable, of course, that the withdrawal casts serious doubt on the credibility of the US as a strategic ally. Yet for all its attendant flaws, this step gives Israel a chance to reconsider its longstanding belief in seemingly unshakable US backing.

For quite some time, the Jewish state has found itself in a strategic quandary. On the one hand, the more omnipotent the American image, the stronger Israel’s reputation as a major military and political player. On the other hand, the widespread belief in Washington’s ostensible ability to guarantee any Arab-Israeli peace agreement has placed Jerusalem under constant pressure to take the risks associated with withdrawal from areas vital to its national security. Thus, for example, by way of paving the way for the IDF’s total withdrawal from the West Bank as part of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the Obama administration proposed a complex security package that substituted the deployment of US forces in the Jordan Valley for Israel’s longstanding demand for defensible borders (accepted by Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967).

But to what extent can foreign military forces operating in a wholly alien environment provide an adequate substitute for the IDF in enforcing the West Bank’s demilitarization? Judging by the experience of international forces in the Middle East in recent decades, the answer is far from satisfactory.

Ultimate Israel News Coverage Fails of 2018 - by Tamar Sternthal

Journalists who fail to uphold their professional standards of practice were a fixture polluting our media landscape, skewing even the year-end record meant to capture 2018

Tamar Sternthal..
Algemeiner..
30 December '18..

The end of the year is a natural time to look back on 2018’s most defining moments, the highs and the lows, the pictures and the stories which best capture the significant developments, movements, or trends. Reuters’ “Pictures of the Year 2018” feature, released last month, is a case in point. With 100 images capturing poignant highlights including natural and environmental disasters, diplomatic breakthroughs, the tribulations of migrants and refugees, international conflicts, cultural and athletic feats, and political turning points, along with scenes of incredible beauty and untold suffering, the news agency aims to convey the human experience of 2018.

And, among these scenes of triumphs and failures, epic and mundane, Reuters unintentionally included one more: the pervasive anti-Israel media bias which plagues much of the news coverage of Israel and its relations with its neighbors.

Thus, one of the selected Reuters images was apparently intended to convey the Israeli-Palestinian clashes at the Gaza border since Hamas began the violent “March of Return” events in late March. In reality, it exemplified the flawed, caustic media coverage skewed against Israel.

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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 30, 2018

Ten NYT Journalists, Thousands of Words to Accuse Israel of ‘Possibly a War Crime’, a Demonstration of the Times at Its Worst - by Ira Stoll

...If one were to take a Timesian approach, one would write it with a question headline: “Times Pays More Attention To a Palestinian Death Than to an Israeli American One. Was It an Accident?” And then one would weasel around the issue: “the Times journalism appears to have been careless at best, and possibly a blood libel.” But I’ll reject that approach and be more direct and forthright. The New York Times “investigation,” for all its dignified trappings, is just the same old Israel-bashing you can get for free on any extreme right or extreme left Internet site or social media feed. Save yourself the time and the money and the heartburn and skip it.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner..
30 December '18..

The New York Times devoted a lot of resources to its investigative project about the death of a 20-year-old Gaza medic named Rouzan al-Najjar. The article runs at the top of the front page of the Sunday newspaper and then consumes an additional three full broadsheet pages inside. It carries the front-page bylines of five Times reporters (at least one a veteran of Al Jazeera) and also credits inside an additional five named Times journalists and a photographer.

Alas, however, rather than being a Times tour de force, a display of the newspaper at its best, the article ends up as a flop, a demonstration of the Times at its worst. The Times may use thousands of words, millions of dollars worth of highly paid journalists, and elaborate computer graphics to convey its message. But strip away the attempt at a dignified presentation, and the message is effectively the same as a sign scrawled by some ignorant far-left or far-right Israel-hater at some extremist Christmas-season rally — Jews, this libel goes, are guilty, blood-drenched killers.

(Continue to Full Column)

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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My Judaism is anti-Zionism? No, Philip Weiss. Anti-Zionism isn't your "Judaism" - it is your religion - by Elder of Zion

...Don't pretend to be Jewish any more. Accepting the truth that you are a vicious hater will set you free to attack Jews and Israel with all your spiritual might.


Elder of Ziyon..
30 December '18..

Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss writes an essay about the joys of celebrating Christmas with his Christian wife, and how proud he is of the IfNotNow members who disrupt Birthright tours, and then:

Over the years, some Christians have said to me, Stop thinking that you’re Jewish, it’s neurotic. But I’ve not been able to do that, or anyway I never tried. I don’t like the entitlement and the Israel lobby, but I believe in tribe, and at some level I clearly love my group and thank it for cultivating traits I cherish, reading and intellectual detachment. A good number of my closest friends are Jewish, and I am taking Hebrew for the first time in 50 years, so as to study what the supremacists say in Israel.

My Judaism is anti-Zionism. That’s the spiritual challenge that has propelled me and this site. My social/political identity is Jewish; and my Jewish chore is clear. Being Jewish means helping to free my group and the world of the historic trauma that generated religious nationalism and all its evils.

Needless to say, there is nothing Jewish about Phil Weiss.

His entire spiritual and religious existence is centered on hating Israel. So much so that when he finally decides to learn Hebrew it is not to connect to the rich Hebrew literature that has been the backbone of Western civilization - but to attack Jews.

(Continue to Full Post)

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 Free Gaza Team Fraud: Another case of Pallywood rearing its ugly head - by Ari Lieberman

How a girl from Deir ez-Zor, Syria was miraculously beamed into Gaza.

Ari Lieberman..
frontpagemag.com..
28 December '18..
Link: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/272369/pallywood-rears-its-ugly-head-again-ari-lieberman

Arab residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, who identify as “Palestinians,” and those who shill for them have a penchant for fabricating and staging photos and videos in an effort to advance a pernicious and false narrative depicting Palestinians as innocent victims of brutal Israeli occupiers. Photos are often photoshopped or simply lifted from other war zones with no nexus to Israel. Sometimes, videos are the product of elaborate staging events geared specifically for the cameras; where alleged dead and wounded make miraculous off-camera recoveries. Often, this tactic is employed for the express purpose of soliciting donations. This disgraceful and dishonest practice has been dubbed “Pallywood.”

Last week, I was provided with a fascinating, firsthand look into the makings of a Pallywood production. A Twitter account called Free Gaza Team inexplicably followed me on the social media platform. I took a look at the account and saw multiple graphic photos of a young girl whose arm had been sheared off. The injury appears raw, exposing bone and tissue. The account referred to the Girl as “Noor from Gaza” and provided a link to an online crowd funding site called “Social.fund.” Once at the site, the viewer is again exposed to the disturbing image as well as the following brief narrative;

“Help Noor from Gaza get an artificial limb.

Free Gaza Team visits people in Gaza to help people get their needs, some days ago, we visit Noor's family, after the mother invited us to visit them, we find this little beauty girl, but unfortunately, she is without left limb, it's due a shrapnel of Israeli rockets in the last war on Gaza, shee [Sic] needs some essential medications before the gangrene happens then we will help her to get an artificial limb, we should work together to restore her smile.

Free Gaza Team.”

Aside from the atrocious grammar and spelling, the entire storyline seemed suspicious. If the incident had indeed occurred as reported by the Free Gaza Team, it would have been plastered in the front pages of the New York Times, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera as these publications are notoriously anti-Israel.

I then proceeded to perform a Google image search and Voilà, Noor’s image magically appeared. Unfortunately, this Noor wasn’t injured by Israeli rockets. In fact, she wasn’t even from Gaza. The girl advertised by the Free Gaza Team was in fact a Syrian child from Deir ez-Zor, injured as a result of airstrikes. The images of Noor had been circulating on social media for more than a year. When I pointed this out to the Free Gaza Team, they quite predictably unfollowed and blocked me. I immediately reported the scam to the Social Fund, which responded positively to my complaint and promptly terminated Free Gaza Team’s donation drive. Having been deprived of the Social Fund platform, the fraudsters of the Free Gaza Team opened another “charity drive” for “Noor,” this time on PayPal. I have since filed a complaint with PayPal as well.

The fraud perpetrated by The Free Gaza Team represents the essence of Pallywood and is reminiscent of similar schemes perpetrated by Palestinians and their allies throughout the years. The list is too numerous to outline but here are some of the more notable ones.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

And what if the Six-Day War never took place? - by Martin Sherman

Charges of “occupation” of Palestinian land and dispossession of the Palestinians were widespread long before Israel had control of a square inch of the “West Bank.”

Martin Sherman..
JNS.org..
28 December '18..

If the “West Bank” was part of the “Hashemite Kingdom” up to 1967, how did it suddenly become the Palestinians’ long-yearned-for homeland which, up until then, they were submissively willing to cede to an alien potentate?

Not since the time of Dr. Goebels [head of the Nazi propaganda machine] has there ever been a case in which continual repetition of a lie has born such great fruits. … Of all the Palestinian lies, there is no lie greater or more crushing than that which calls for the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in the West Bank.From “Palestinian Lies” in Haaretz, 30-7-76, by former far-left Meretz Education Minister, Professor Amnon Rubinstein.

As the new elections approach, the “Palestinian problem” is once again likely to dominate much of the inter- (and intra-) party debate. In many ways, this debate is entirely superfluous. After all, a simple mental experiment will suffice to strip away the veil of mendacity shrouding the Palestinian grievances against Israel.

Imagine for a moment …

To demonstrate this, imagine for a moment that the 1967 Six-Day War, in which several Arab armies marshalled their forces with the undisguised intention to annihilate Israel, never took place. Imagine that Israel had not been compelled to launch a preemptive strike in self-defense to thwart the Arabs’ openly proclaimed aim of total genocide that resulted in it taking over Judea-Samaria (aka, the “West Bank”), which the Palestinians now contend is their long-yearned for homeland.

Then ask yourself: If that war had not occurred, where would “Palestine” be?

(Continue to Full Post)

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 28, 2018

Airbnb’s Lies Clearly Increase Its Legal Vulnerability - by Prof. Avi Bell

...It should be clear to everyone now that Airbnb has decided to respond to legal actions against and criticism of its new discriminatory policy not by withdrawing the policy but by digging in and defending the policy with a campaign of misdirection and falsehoods. The misinformation strategy is as difficult to understand as Airbnb’s decision to adopt the discriminatory policy in the first place. It is hard to see how Airbnb engenders good will or wins more business by violating the law and then lying about it. The only conceivable defense Airbnb can offer is no defense at all: its falsehoods have mostly been cleverly phrased evasions and misdirections rather than straightforward lies.

Prof. Avi Bell..
Times of Israel/Blog..
27 December '18..
Link: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/airbnbs-lies-increase-its-legal-vulnerability/

For several hours last week, it seemed that Airbnb was abandoning its newly declared policy to ban West Bank Jews from its online short term rental service. On December 17, 2018, Senior Vice President Chris Lehane met with Israeli Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, and at the conclusion of the meeting, according to Airbnb’s Israel representative, the two sides issued a joint statement that that “the new policy [against West Bank Jews] will not be implemented. Airbnb will continue the dialogue with the Israeli government on the issue.”

It didn’t last long. After several hours, a US spokesman for Airbnb claimed that the earlier December 17 statement had been “released in error,” and that Airbnb will press forward with its boycott of Jewish properties in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank. The later Airbnb statement emphasized that Chris Lehane was in Israel to help implement the discriminatory policy; as the statement put it, “Airbnb communicated that we are developing the tools needed to implement our [boycott] policy and that process includes continuing our dialogue with the Government of Israel and other stakeholders.”

This was hardly the first time Airbnb sowed confusion with its zigzagging pronouncements. From its very first announcement of its boycott on West Bank Jews on November 19, 2018, Airbnb has been reluctant to explain why it suddenly waded into the Arab-Israeli conflict with an act of illegal discrimination. Airbnb’s initial announcement claimed it was implementing a general policy regarding “listings in disputed regions,” but the only disputed region where Airbnb has decided to implement the policy is the West Bank, and the only listings it has decided to ban in the disputed West Bank are those in “Israeli settlements,” i.e., Jewish properties.

Who would've thought? Haaretz Op-Eds argue IDF soldiers are terrorists, Israeli vandals are KKK - by Hanan Amiur

Kobi Niv replied to Presspectiva, CAMERA’s Hebrew site: You apparently didn’t understand the article and I have no intention of explaining it to you. Read it again, perhaps you’ll figure it out.

Hanan Amiur..
CAMERA..
25 December '18..

Within a week, Haaretz has managed to publish two Op-Eds demonizing Israel with main arguments based on blatant lies. Namely, shortly after recent West Bank terror attacks which targeted soldiers and civilians, and which claimed the lives of soldiers and a prematurely born infant, Haaretz argues that Hamas is a legitimate guerilla organization. And after Israelis were apparently responsible for vandalizing Palestinian property, a Haaretz column maintains there’s a “flourishing of the Jewish KKK,” that is similar to the American KKK “at its height.”

In the first Op-Ed, Haaretz contributor Kobi Niv claims that the Dec. 13 terror attack in Givat Assaf, near the settlement of Ofra, in which two IDF soldiers were killed, is “a legitimate action according to any law” because the attack targeted “an occupying army” (“Shooting at soldiers of occupation is legitimate,” Dec. 21).

Kobi Niv is lying.

(Continue to Full Post)

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 27, 2018

Excellent question! Is Israel’s security barrier a terrorism deterrent or political tool? by Josh Hasten

A growing chorus of experts disputes the notion that the security barrier in Judea and Samaria has been effective in preventing terrorism, while pointing to the barrier instead being used as a political tool to divide the land.

Josh Hasten..
JNS.org..
26 December '18..

Many have pointed to Israel’s security barrier in Judea and Samaria as being one of the primary contributors to the reduction in Palestinian terrorism since the years of the Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2005. However, a growing chorus of experts disputes this notion, while pointing to the barrier instead being used as a political tool to divide the land.

A new study on Israel’s separation fence in Judea and Samaria asserts that while the yet-to-be-completed barrier was constructed under the guise of security against Palestinian suicide-bombers (only around 62 percent of the 790-kilometer route has been erected), the fence is in reality a political apparatus, which would likely become an international border between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

And that border, according to Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), who conducted the study in conjunction with the Kohelet Policy Forum, would lead to Israel’s demise.

(Continue to Full Article)

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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Truth be told, the Palestinians are contemptuous of the stupidity and naiveté of the Left - by Dr. Reuven Berko

The Palestinians are contemptuous of the stupidity and naiveté of the Left and see these as an asymmetry that holds their salvation, not to mention a weakness and an Achilles' heel via which they can strike at our people. They have grown up in a society in which the tribal code leaves no room for the weak and thinks nothing of the individual other than as a part of a stampeding herd of a collective. Indeed, in Arab society, the individual is valued only when he or she is attacked by someone from the outside, which means that the tribe's collective deterrence has been attacked and it is under threat.

Dr. Reuven Berko..
Israel Hayom..
26 December '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/understanding-local-tribal-code/

Time and time again, we hear about how ineffectual Israel's targeted killings of terrorists and demolitions of terrorists' homes are as a method of deterrence and punishment.

According to this moralistic approach, the proper response to Palestinian murderousness would be for us to imprison terrorists in comfortable conditions, give them an education and medical care, and then free them in deals amounting to blackmail or after they serve part of their sentences, since they are "the future leaders with whom we will make peace."

Those who espouse this approach think that murderers should be treated to improved finances and guilt-ridden negotiations with Israel (over the "crimes of the Nakba") and unilateral messages of peace. They prefer this over killing the killers and razing their homes, since they will just build new homes and new terrorists will spring up.

The moralists couldn't be more wrong. The Palestinians are contemptuous of the stupidity and naiveté of the Left and see these as an asymmetry that holds their salvation, not to mention a weakness and an Achilles' heel via which they can strike at our people. They have grown up in a society in which the tribal code leaves no room for the weak and thinks nothing of the individual other than as a part of a stampeding herd of a collective. Indeed, in Arab society, the individual is valued only when he or she is attacked by someone from the outside, which means that the tribe's collective deterrence has been attacked and it is under threat. In response, tribe members will take vengeance on individuals from the attacker's side.

Our volatile region – in which rape, murder, destruction and bloodshed are always the bread and butter of the Arabs who invaded the Land of Israel – has produced defense mechanisms that have led to a violent code of behavior that shaped and shapes the lives of the villages and nomadic tribes here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Aren't they the lucky ones. Dictator Mahmoud Abbas also controls the court system - by Elder of Ziyon

It is remarkable how the Western media still reports on Abbas as if he is somehow a legitimate ruler who is accountable to his people. He is just as much a despot as Syria's Assad, and he controls every single major Palestinian legislative, executive and judicial power.

Elder of Ziyon..
26 December '18..

A few days ago, Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the largely symbolic Palestinian parliament. He pretended to do it in a "legal" way, and therein lies a tale.

The PLC is dominated by Hamas, who won more seats than Fatah in the only parliamentary election ever held in the territories. While it hasn't met since 2006, it still has one meaningful function in Palestinian law: If Abbas dies, the Palestinian Basic Law says that the speaker of the PLC becomes acting prime minister, and that is a Hamas member. So Abbas has incentive to ensure that Fatah remains in control should he expire.

In October, the Fatah Revolutionary Council called on the Palestinian Central Committee to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) — the Palestinian parliament. The Fatah Revolutionary Council is dominated by Abbas supporters.

However, the PCC does not have the legal right to dissolve the PLC. And neither does Abbas.

In early December, Abbas vowed to dissolve the PLC "in a legal way." It is unclear if there is any legal way to do so under the Palestinian Basic Law.

But now Abbas has declared that the Palestinian Constitutional Court has indeed dissolved the PLC, just like he wanted.

(Continue to Full Post)

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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‘Case 4775’: The public trial of Netanyahu - Welcome to the 2019 Israeli elections - by Alex Traiman

On the date of the upcoming elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have served 4,775 days in office over his multiple terms, just behind founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion’s 4,877 days at the helm. “Case 4775” will be a public referendum on Netanyahu’s performance in one of the world's most difficult jobs.

Alex Traiman..
JNS.org..
26 December '18..

Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek to win a record-tying fifth election on April 9, which would put him in position to become the longest-serving premier in Israeli history—longer even than founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

On the date of the upcoming elections, Netanyahu will have served 4,775 days in office over his multiple terms, just behind Ben-Gurion’s 4,877 days at the helm. ‘Case 4775’ [days] will be a public referendum on Netanyahu’s performance in one of the world’s most difficult jobs.

Netanyahu’s current government, which will have served for more than four years by election day, collapsed this week over Israel’s agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas following recent violence in Gaza, the government’s inability to pass legislation to increase the number of religious soldiers serving in the military and investigations into Netanyahu’s conduct as a public servant.

The State Prosecutor and Israeli Police have recently recommended that the Netanyahu be indicted for corruption in three separate cases, named Case 1000, 2000 and 4000. The Attorney General will decide in the coming weeks or months, possibly before elections, on whether to formally issue indictments.

Those who have opposed Netanyahu have sought his removal for years by hook or by crook. As the hook has failed at the polls time and again, Netanyahu’s opponents are working tirelessly to prove that the second-longest-serving Israeli prime minister is a crook.

(Continue to Full Column)

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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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Very clever. A Guardian contributor’s artful lie on Gaza’s declining Christian population - by Adam Levick

Such holiday trickery reminds us that though events in the region may change from year to year, the British media’s annual tradition of blaming Israel for ruining ‘Christmas in Palestine’ continues, unimpeded by facts, statistics or even the most painfully obvious observations.

Adam Levick..
UK Media Watch..
25 December '18..

Donald Macintyre is a journalist with years of experience covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He’s written for the Guardian, was the former Middle East correspondent for the Independent and, as readers of this blog may know, has a penchant for obfuscating Hamas’s role in Gaza’s misery and their malevolent influence in the region.

His Dec. 23 piece in the Observer, sister site of the Guardian, titled “Faithful few: can Gaza’s Christian community survive?” focuses on the problems of Christians in Gaza during Christmas, and includes a classic example of using smoke and mirrors to cover for Hamas and advance the desired anti-Israel narrative.

Here’s one relevant passage:

But although Gazans switched rapidly to Islam after Arab victories in the seventh century, Christianity did not die out. There is archaeological evidence that what rapidly became a minority religion coexisted peacefully with the new Muslim one – as it still does today. But its shrinking has accelerated during the military turbulence of the past half-century.

In the mid-1960s, before the six-day war and Gaza’s occupation by Israel, there were about 6,000 Christians in Gaza; today there are an estimated 1,100.

Get it? According to McIntyre, Israel is presumably to blame for the flight of Gaza’s Christians. However, a look at the population stats reveals something that runs counter to this suggestion.

(Continue to Full Post)

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? Toronto IfNotNow Organizes Ceremony in Commemoration of Palestinian Terrorists - by Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

...in fact, 32 of the 35 Palestinian casualties listed (91.4%) were individuals or operatives affiliated with Palestinian armed groups and/or wished to be killed on the path of Allah

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi..
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs..
17 December '18..

IfNotNow is a relatively new Jewish organization that opposes the policies of the Israeli government, voices pro-Palestinian positions, and criticizes the Jewish establishment in North America for its “silence” over Israel’s “crimes” against the Palestinian people.

Here is IfNotNow’s official statement:

IfNotNow is a movement working to transform the North American Jewish community’s support for the occupation into a call for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.

North American Jews need to decide: Will we allow the out-of-touch establishment to continue leading us down a path of isolation and fear that is wreaking havoc on the lives of millions of Palestinians and alienating a generation of young Jews? Or will we unite to fight the occupation, build vibrant and inclusive community spaces for our generation, and forge relationships with other communities standing up for justice?

IfNotNow is bringing this crisis of conscience into full public view for our community. Through public action and imaginative ritual, we are demanding that our community take action in the struggle for mutual liberation.

Our strategy is inspired by a long legacy of social movements across North America — from the Labor Movement to the Civil Rights Movement to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter — that have used non-violent action to create urgency around moral crises and catalyze massive changes in public discourse and consciousness.

We know that those of us who believe in freedom and dignity for all are the membership, youth, volunteers, and workforce upon which our communal institutions depend. We are the generation that feels increasingly betrayed by a community that doesn’t reflect our values, and the generation that the out-of-touch establishment is desperately trying to engage.

IfNotNow is the expression of our collective power and the cultural shift necessary to build a flourishing, joyous Jewish community that actively supports the liberation of all people.

IfNotNow Toronto recently organized a ceremony in commemoration of Palestinians who were killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during the Great Return March, a weekly violent riot along the northern and eastern borders of the Gaza Strip with Israel.

Here is IfNotNow Toronto’s statement on the event:

(Continue to Full Article)

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 24, 2018

Gaza's most recent work accident: Hamas tunnel engineer used his own family as a human shield - by William A. Jacobson

...As with most of these work accidents, the most significant part is not the accident itself. It’s how and where it took place. In this case, the Hamas tunnel engineer was working underneath his own home, turning the civilian structure into a military purpose. That is something we see throughout Gaza, where Hamas hides among and underneath civilian structures, using civilians as human shields.

William A. Jacobson..
Legal Insurrection..
23 December '18..

A “work accident” is a commonly used term to refer to Palestinian terrorists who die by their own hand when explosives or explosive devices they are handling detonate prematurely, or when a tunnel they are constructing collapses.

We have covered many such incidents:

- Senior Hamas terrorist Imad al-Alami *accidentally* shoots himself in the head
- Hamas explosives chief accidentally blows himself up
- Palestinian rocket commander ‘accidentally’ blows himself up
- Hamas terrorist killed when attack tunnel collapses on him
- Gaza: Two PFLP terrorists killed when rocket they were firing exploded prematurely
- Hamas Bomb Expert Blows Himself Up
- Hamas Commander killed at Gaza border when ‘hand grenade’ exploded prematurely
- Hamas member killed in “accidental explosion during preparation and training”

Joe Truzman at his valuable weekly Ground Brief newsletter (to which you should subscribe) reports on the latest Hamas work accident:

The military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, acknowledged Friday [note – link goes to Hamas website] that one of their tunnel engineers, Ayman Zidan, had died. They were not specific about the cause of his death, only stating it was an “accident.” However, Qassam activists claimed Zidan was working on a tunnel underneath his home when it collapsed and killed him.

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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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Hamas, Abbas and Ramallah - by Nadav Shragai

With funding and direction from Iran, Hamas has raised its flag in the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah, where it hopes to kill two birds with one stone: Attack Israel and topple PA President Mahmoud Abbas. 


Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
21 December '18..
Linkhttp://www.israelhayom.com/2018/12/21/hamas-too-close-for-abbas-comfort/

Ramallah has suddenly reverted to a terrorist agenda. Hamas has raised its flag in the capital of the Palestinian Authority.

There, in that city of spacious homes, which in recent years has attracted banks and business centers and international organizations and embassies, and where accelerated development has resulted in hundreds of high-rise buildings springing up, Hamas is sticking it to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Ramallah and the villages around it, which function as the political and economic center of the PA, strongly identified with the Palestinian elite and wanted cooperation with Israel. This week, they became the site of a hunt for the terrorists who carried out the shooting attacks in Ofra and Givat Asaf. The raids, the encirclement, the capture of homes and the shots fired at protesters – all in the beating heart of the PA, which this week resumed full security coordination with Israel – are the last thing the ailing Abbas needs.

In the middle of all this, between the Jewish settlements Halamish, Nachliel and Atarot, lies the village of Kaubar, a hamlet that raises murderers. Kaubar illustrates how shaky Abbas' stature has become in the region where his own capital lies.

In October 2011, the village hosted a great celebration in honor of four local residents being released from prison in Israel as part of the Hamas-engineered prisoner exchange deal for captive soldier Gilad Schalit. The prisoners included cousins Nael and Fahri Barghouti, who had served over 30 years in prison. In 1978, they stabbed bus driver Moti Yakuel to death as he was driving Palestinian workers home to Kaubar and other local villages. The cousins were welcomed by Omar Barghouti, Nael's brother, who was also convicted for the murder but had been released as part of the 1985 Jibril Agreement, in which Israel freed over 1,150 security prisoners for three Israelis captured in the First Lebanon War.

Nael has since been imprisoned again in Israel for supposedly violating his parole. His wife, Aman, also has a rap sheet. She served time in prison for planning a terrorist attack on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, although it was never carried out. Two of Fahri's sons also served time in Israeli prisons. Eight years ago, the road that leads to Kaubar was stenciled with stars of David, so that cars could drive over them on their way into the village.

Local pride

Kaubar found itself in the headlines once again this week after it turned out that Salah Barghouti, 29, was the terrorist who had opened fired at a hitchhiking post outside the Ofra settlement in Samaria two weeks ago, wounding seven Israelis, including Shira and Amichai Ish-Ran, whose son Amiad Yisrael was delivered prematurely in an emergency cesarian section and died a few days later.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accuses Israel of pretending Jerusalem has been a Jewish city since Biblical times - by Elder of Ziyon

...This isn't being "pro-Palestinian." This is being actively antisemitic.

Elder of Ziyon..
23 December '18..

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement about supposed Israeli "Judaizing" of the city of Jerusalem.

One of the accusations is that Israeli actions in Jerusalem "give the impression to any visitor that it is a Jewish biblical city featuring continuous [Jewish] presence and Jewish heritage."

Well, yeah. Because it is. For some 3000 years. Except for some very brief time periods where Jews were specifically expelled because of their cultural and religious ties to Jerusalem, as they were ethnically cleansed from the Old City for a mere 19 years in 1948.

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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 digging of a tunnel under Israel's border is a terrorist activity by any definition - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan

Our enemies must know that while the U.S. may pull out of Syria and reduce its presence in the region, we are here to stay.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Dayan..
Israel Hayom..
21 December '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/terrorism-by-any-other-name

The fourth tunnel exposed on Israel's border with Lebanon will not be the last. The digging of these tunnels has been going on for years. The timing of the operation has nothing to do with when the tunnels were discovered and everything to do with when the officials wanted to reveal their existence to the public.

We can only hope the exposure will silence the curious criticism coming from, among some in the media, among others, over the Israel Defense Forces' use of the term "operation" to describe these efforts, whose importance was apparent with the exposure of the first terror tunnel. This is an operation that has been going on in the area for some time and involves quite a few forces, not including those on alert, including explosions and engineering work covers a wide area.

The digging of a tunnel under the border is a terrorist activity by any definition; it is tantamount to the firing of rockets over the border fence or an attempt to infiltrate the border. Terrorism must be fought on a number of fronts; diplomatic, military, economic, legal and the public conscience.

From a diplomatic perspective, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to hold not only Hezbollah but also the Lebanese government responsible. Lebanon has been playing the part of the helpless country unable to influence Hezbollah for far too long. The time has come for Beirut to understand it could pay a heavy price for this hypocrisy. Netanyahu discussed the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin and others and dispatched intelligence officials to the U.S. for a briefing ahead of a meeting of the Security Council. Tours of the area, press conferences, ambassador briefings and the like are part of the diplomatic efforts as well as efforts to influence public conscience. This does not ensure a just decision will be reached by the U.N. Security Council, it is nevertheless important to arrive at these meetings armed and ready.

As far as Israel's military efforts on the issue are concerned, exposing the threat of an attack on Israeli communities, border infiltration, the kidnapping of citizens and soldiers and thwarting that threat is important, but it is not enough. We must not deal solely with the barrel of the gun protruding into our territory, but also with the gun itself, the ammunition and the person planning to pull the trigger. The IDF has begun to seal off the entrances to the tunnels on our side of the border and detonate them along the way, a move one IDF spokesperson said would ensure they have been taken out of

Deceptive ‘Divorce’ Analogies and the Commanders for Israel’s (in)Security - by Martin Sherman

Having your disagreeable spouse separate and move off to some distant location, allowing each former partner to live their life in undisturbed peace, is one thing. It is quite another to allow a belligerent spouse to take control of a property overlooking your own—from which he/she can harass you continuously, egged on by similarly inimical neighbors in the surrounding areas.

Martin Sherman..
JNS.org..
21 December '18..


One does not have to be a military expert to easily identify the critical defects of the armistice lines that existed until June 4, 1967.Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, former commander of the Palmach strike force, 1976.

… historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory …Winston Churchill, in the House of Commons, 1938.

The Jews consider Judea and Samaria to be their historic dream. If the Jews leave those places, the Zionist idea will begin to collapse. … Then we will move forward.Abbas Zaki, PLO ambassador to Lebanon, 2009.


I used these very excerpts in an article I wrote some thirty months ago, titled “Imbecility squared,” addressing the policy proposals advanced by an organization called Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), comprising more than 200 senior Israel Defense Forces’ officers and other high-ranking officials in Israel’s intelligence and police force.

Sadly, they are as pertinent now as they were then, arguably more so.

Putting the two-state proposal on indefinite life support

Readers may recall that CIS have, in the past, called for Israel to declare that it forgoes any claims to sovereignty over territory beyond the Security Barrier; freeze all construction in Jewish communities beyond that barrier; encourage the unilateral removal of all Jewish civilian presence there; but leave the IDF in control of security throughout the entire area. Indeed, CIS envisages this IDF deployment continuing until some Palestinian peace-partner emerges—sufficiently pliant to reach an agreement to accommodate Israeli security concerns, yet sufficiently authoritative to enforce its terms on a potentially recalcitrant population.

The purported “rationale” for this policy prescription is to preserve the viability of the two-state formula for resolving the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs, something which CIS acknowledges is not feasible at the moment, as no prospective partner with the adequate pliancy-cum-authority can be identified.

Nonetheless, it believes that these proposed measures are necessary to prevent what it considers the disastrous demographic consequences entailed in Israel retaining large portions of Judea-Samaria, together with its Arab population.

While I do not want to diminish the demographic dangers annexation of Judea-Samaria, along with its Muslim inhabitants, might herald for Israel, the CIS blueprint is as pernicious as it is preposterous.

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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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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Seven Problems With The NY Times Pro-BDS Editorial - by Ira Stoll

The Times has a longstanding, persistent problem with antisemitic reader comments. If you wonder why readers who express or hold antisemitic views would be attracted to a publication like the Times as readers, look no further than today’s editorial. A publication attracts the readers it deserves.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner..
20 December '18..

The New York Times publishes a staff editorial headlined, “Curbing Speech in the Name of Helping Israel,” with the subheadline, “A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy.”

The first problem is the subheadline’s reference to “those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy.” Boycotts of Jewish products in the Land of Israel have existed since 1945, before the Jewish state even existed. The idea that this boycott is about “settlement policy” is not founded in fact, since the boycott has existed for decades regardless of whether Israel did or didn’t occupy the West Bank and regardless of whether the Israeli government in power was expanding or limiting settlement activity.

The second problem is the editorial’s framing of the matter as a threat to freedom of speech. If the Times were a consistent defender of free speech, that’d be one thing. But on issue after issue — the right of a Christian business not to cover contraception as a health benefit, the right of a wedding cake bakery not to bake a cake for a gay marriage, the right of a wealthy donor or advocacy group to spend money on political advertising — the Times has been downright dismissive of free speech concerns, and of the argument that economic choices qualify as protected free speech. In fact, when it is gays or women being discriminated against, the Times has been downright dismissive of the argument that an economic choice qualifies as protected speech. Yet when it is Israeli Jews being discriminated against by the BDS movement, the Times editorialists all of a sudden become free speech absolutists. It’s a double standard.

Nor is it the only double standard in the piece, which brings us to the third problem.

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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 21, 2018

Violent clashes at the Israel-Gaza border? When is a journalist not a reliable eyewitness? - by Tamar Sternthal

Who qualifies as a reliable witness who can shed light on murky or unsubstantiated specific events in a hotly-disputed ongoing conflict? Specifically, who qualifies as a credible witness when it comes to violent clashes at the Israel-Gaza border?

...credible witness?
Tamar Sternthal..
JNS.org..
20 December '18..

Despite the recent erosion of public confidence in the media, many readers probably consider journalists trustworthy eyewitnesses. Journalists are duty bound to rise above their personal or national interests and report events impartially.

So when a news account cites an eye witness who happens to be a journalist, that witness’s testimony carries more weight than that of the average bystander.

But what if that journalist, in his native language, and unknown to the English-reading news consumers, calls for violence against one of the parties to the conflict? What if the source praises terror attacks in which innocent worshippers were massacred during prayers?

Is that alleged eyewitness credible?

These are not hypothetical questions.

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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? New poll shows Palestinians support terror and want a new violent intifada - by Elder of Ziyon

...Other polls from different organisations have consistently shown that most Palestinians want a single Palestinian state and no Israel, either immediately or after a stage of a two state phase. It is a shame that this polling outfit does not want to ask that question, albeit for obvious reasons, because it would show how Palestinians are really not interested in real peace. But even the questions that were asked now show that conclusion. And therefore those questions will be ignored or spun by the media.

Elder of Ziyon..
19 December '18..

A new poll from the Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that Palestinians are once again supporting terror over peace.

A plurality of 44% say "armed struggle" is the most effective means of establishing a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel while 28% believe that negotiation is the most effective means and 23% think non-violent resistance is the most effective means. Three months ago, 39% said negotiation is best and only 33% said armed struggle is the way to go.

In the past, specific attacks against Israelis have gained widespread support among Palestinians, and the recent flurry of shooting attacks and their fawning coverage in Arabic media no doubt is partially responsible for this change towards supporting terror.

Similarly, in light of Palestinian refusal to join negotiations, 54% of Palestinians support a return to an armed intifada.. Three months ago, only 46% said they prefer a return to armed intifada.

In a presidential election between Abbas and Hamas leader Haniyeh, Haniyeh would win, 49% to 42%. But most would prefer to elect terrorist Marwan Barghouti, now in an Israeli prison.

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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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