Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Fifteen: A Purim meditation - by Arnold Roth

...Those of us raised in the shadow of the Holocaust, and who have experienced the tragedy of a child's death by hatred, struggle to understand the nature of the Divine role in our lives as individuals and as a people. There are times, according to Jewish wisdom, when you need to know that G-d's hand is at work even when the evidence is difficult to see, even when there are more questions than answers.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
27 February '18..

Purim, for those not so familiar with the intricacies of the age-old Jewish calendar, works in a slightly unexpected way.

Throughout the world, Jewish communities will begin marking it this coming Wednesday night, February 28, 2018. That evening and then again the following morning, Thursday, observant Jews will gather to hear the reading of the Book of Esther.

In Jerusalem where we live, we do the same - but exactly 24 hours later. The day is called Shushan Purim. (Shushan in the Purim narrative is where the Persian royal palace was located.)

The first of the two readings of Esther in Israel's capital takes place Thursday night (March 1, 2018). The second will be the following morning, Friday (March 2), during Shacharit, the daily morning prayers.

Then a little later in the day on Friday, Jerusalem's Jews - but not the Jews of almost every other community around the world - will celebrate what Purim stands for by means of a festive meal and appropriate beverages. Being the eve of the Sabbath, the intensity and scope of both the meal and the beverages will be reduced in recognition of Shabbat's nearness and its own special events, particularly the Friday night meal.

At exactly this time of year, but thirteen years ago, Arnold Roth was given an opportunity to publish a reflection about how Purim, with its family-focused joy and celebration of good triumphing over evil, feels to a family like ours that has lost a loved child to an act of hatred-based terrorist murder.

The result was a short essay published on the aish.com website (and then republished in this blog four years ago) on March 19, 2005. The themes which the article touches remain on our minds, so here is a replay.

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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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Western European Governments and the Racism of Human Rights Organizations They Fund - by Judith Bergman

“Human Rights” organizations funded by Western European governments to fight for the human rights of Arabs, disregard violations of those very rights, when the violators are the PA.

Judith Bergman..
MiDA..
27 February '18..
Link: http://en.mida.org.il/2018/02/27/racism-human-rights-organizations/

The numerous foreign funded “human rights” organizations who operate in Israel do not actually care about human rights. In fact, recent events have shown that they do not seem to care about human beings as such, either. Instead, they are what most Israelis have always suspected them of being, namely political actors, who have organized themselves cleverly in benign sounding “rights” organizations in order to better pursue their nefarious agendas of destroying the state of Israel through “Lawfare“.

Last summer, the Jerusalem District Court determined that the Palestinian Authority (PA) was responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of dozens of suspected Arab “collaborators” within Israel, several of them with Israeli citizenship, between 1995 and 2002. The court proceedings unveiled grueling testimonies of Arabs who had been subjected to the most heinous torture in the cellars of the PA’s detention centers.

The PA naturally denied all allegations, but the presiding judge ruled that the accumulation of evidence made it clear that the PA was guilty of severe torture, as well as murder. The torture included the so-called shabah position — widely used in PA prisons — in which the victim is hung from the ceiling for several hours and beaten all over his body.

According to the verdict, the torture also included electric shocks, the pouring of boiling plastic on the body, tearing out nails and breaking teeth, sterilization, sleep deprivation, food and drink deprivation, sexual assault and the rape of family members. The PA also asked doctors to worsen the conditions of the prisoners, such as injecting urine into the prisoners’ blood veins.

The verdict concluded that the PA is responsible for the torture and therefore liable for damages to the victims, whose lives it ruined. However, in order to realize the compensation, the victims need to provide medical evaluations of their conditions by medical experts, which is a very costly procedure.

According to a report by Israel Hayom, attorneys Barak Kedem and Aryeh Arbus turned to 15 human rights organizations to obtain their assistance in paying for the costly evaluations. “These are broken people in their bodies and souls, who…cannot afford to pay professional opinions, which cost thousands of shekels for every opinion,” the attorneys wrote in their plea to the 15 organizations.

Among the 15 organizations were Adalah, Amnesty International, B’Tselem, the New Israel Fund, Rabbis for Human Rights, Yesh Din, Physicians for Human Rights and the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. Only the last two offered assistance, whereas the rest either ignored the plea or responded negatively.

Adalah said that the organization “only helps the Palestinians who are suing the State of Israel”. Amnesty International said that “the organization does not have the professional tools to address the needs” of the victims, whereas Yesh Din expressed “feelings of anger and pain,” but explained that they could not help because they “represent victims of violations when they are harmed by Israeli authorities or Israeli citizens.”

Iran creates festival to countdown Israel's destruction within 25 years - by Elder of Ziyon

...2400 anti-Israel NGOs? That's more than one NGO for every 3000 Israeli Jews. I'm curious if Iran is counting Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, B'Tselem and Oxfam in their count of anti-Israel NGOs.

Elder of Ziyon..
27 February '18..

Iran today announced the Israel Hourglass Festival, a planned annual gathering and contest to countdown to Israel's destruction within 25 years, as Ayatollah Khamenei has predicted.

The festival’s press conference was held on Tuesday in Tehran, during which the main agenda and objectives of the festival were explained by the organizers.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Secretary-General of the International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada and an international advisor to Iran’s Parliament Speaker, told the press conference that the “Hourglass Festival” is a symbol of the imminent collapse of the Zionist regime of Israel, as predicted by the Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

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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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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

More Gaza news that you won't find elsewhere because ... - by Elder of Ziyon

...But the only Gaza news that wire services will report is the news that includes the word "Israel."

Elder of Ziyon..
27 February '18..

The 16-day old strike by hospital janitorial staff that has closed at least one hospital in Gaza has been suspended as the workers are negotiating with the Palestinian Authority to pay them. But if the negotiations don't work out over the next two weeks, they will strike again.

Meanwhile, all government employees, including at schools, went on strike today to protest their own non-payment of salaries and benefits. All government institutions in Gaza are shut down today.

And so are public schools.

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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 embassy will move . . . and the world won’t end - by Jonathan S. Tobin

...The world held off on recognizing western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in part because of the expectation that a peace treaty was inevitable, and because others were simply waiting for the next war to result in the extinction of the Jewish state. Nothing changed after Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War that united the city. Some continued to wait for a peace the Arab world pledged not to make, while others still clung to the fantasy.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
JNS.org..
26 February '18..

Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal after all.

Instead of waiting until 2019 or 2020, the U.S. embassy to Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May. On Friday, the Trump administration said the ceremony converting a Jerusalem consulate into the embassy would coincide with Israel’s 70th birthday celebrations.

The current U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, which will be relocated to Jerusalem in May. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Unlike Trump’s initial announcement recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital, the reaction to this latest one turned out to be substantially low-key. The Arab world and Muslim populations didn’t take to the streets to protest or commit mayhem. Countries that were already critical of Israel and of Trump’s stand issued pro forma statements. The Palestinian Authority protested the idea of the United States celebrating a date they regard as the anniversary of their Nakba (“disaster”), but that’s as far as it went.

All of which ought to alert the peddlers of conventional wisdom about the conflict that this isn’t the only thing they’ve been wrong about. They’ve been telling us for decades that the actions currently being taken by Trump would wind up setting the world on fire. But there’s more to the lesson that the embassy saga teaches, other than Jerusalem not being as big a deal to the Islamic world as we’ve been told.

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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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BBC News again making claims about Israeli involvement in Syria’s war - by Hadar Sela

...This is far from the first time that the BBC has promoted the erroneous notion that Israel is involved in the Syrian civil war: it has been doing so since 2013. The corporation’s journalists appear to be incapable of understanding that Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons bound for Hizballah or Israeli responses to cross-border fire from Syria do not make Israel a ‘player’ in the Syrian civil war but are in fact related to the Iranian and Hizballah aggression against Israel that long predates that conflict.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
26 February '18..

On February 22nd an article by the BBC’s Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher appeared in the ‘features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page under the title “Syria conflict: Will powers end up in direct war?“.

Although the article is tagged ‘Syrian civil war’ – a conflict in which Israel is not involved – readers find the following statement:

“To the south, Israel has sat out most of the conflict, loath to be drawn in – to the disastrous extent that it was during the 16 years of the civil war in Syria’s neighbour, Lebanon. It has mostly limited itself to targeted attacks on alleged Iranian bases and suspected Hezbollah arms supplies.” [emphasis added]

Apparently the BBC’s Arab affairs editor would have his readers believe that Israel carries out strikes on the strength of allegations and suspicion. Notably, Usher’s claim of Israeli involvement in the Lebanese civil war omits all mention of the frequent attacks against Israel launched by the PLO from Lebanese territory – attacks which sparked Operation Litani in 1978 (three years after the civil war began) and Operation Peace for Galilee in 1982.

Later on Usher tells readers that as the Syrian civil war progressed:

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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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Monday, February 26, 2018

Palestinians: Actually, Israel is One Big Settlement - by Bassam Tawil

...What is really bothering the Palestinians is that Israel, with Jews, exists, period. The Palestinians want all of Jerusalem. They want all of "Palestine." They want Israel removed from the planet. It is time to listen carefully to what the Palestinians are saying -- in Arabic -- to understand that the conflict is not about Jerusalem and not about settlements.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
26 February '18..

No doubt Ismail Radwan is a terrorist, but, unlike other Palestinian leaders and spokesmen, he is at least an honest one.

At a time when most Palestinian leaders are telling the world that settlements are the real "obstacle" to peace, Radwan, a senior Hamas official, last week made it clear that the conflict with Israel is not about Jews living in a settlement in the West Bank. The truth is that the Palestinians see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted from the Middle East.

The Palestinians do not differentiate between a Jew living in a settlement on the outskirts of Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and a Jew living in the cities of Haifa, and Tel Aviv and Eilat. All the Jews, they say, are "occupiers" and "settlers" who need to "go back to where they came from."

For the Palestinians, the real "occupation" began with the establishment of Israel 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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J-Street's Jeremy Ben-Ami goes off into complete fantasyland - by Elder of Ziyon

...There is no daylight between the official Palestinian position stated to the world and J-Street. It is not pro-Israel in any sense. And people who believe that all peoples have the right to self determination but not Jews, which seems to be J-Street's position, are antisemitic.

Elder of Ziyon..
25 February '18..

In a new mailing from J-Street, Jeremy Ben Ami waxes poetic over Mahmoud Abbas' "peace plan" of giving up nothing and demanding everything be handed to him on a silver platter:

Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made an important speech to the UN Security Council.

Abbas laid out explicit support for the two-state solution and put forward a serious proposal for how to get there.

Of course, if Ben Ami had been paying attention, Abbas was not showing the slightest willingness to make any hard decisions for peace - as he and his predecessor have adamantly refused to do so for over twenty years.

But then Ben-Ami goes into complete fantasyland:

So it’s stunning when you realize that, today, of the three, the Palestinians are the only party willing to publicly endorse the goal of two states for two peoples.

This is a breathtaking lie.

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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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More BBC promotion of PA messaging on US embassy - by Hadar Sela

...As has been the case ever since it began covering this story in late 2016, the BBC not only did not question Palestinian objections to the relocation of the US embassy to an area of Jerusalem to which the BBC repeatedly tells its audiences – including in this article – the PA does not lay claim, but provided them with uncritical amplification.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
25 February '18..

The US State Department’s February 23rd announcement concerning the opening of an interim embassy in Jerusalem this coming May was the topic of an article published on the BBC News website’s Middle East page that same evening under the headline “US to open new embassy in Jerusalem in May“.

The two initial versions of the article inaccurately suggested to BBC audiences that Tel Aviv could be seen as the capital of Israel.

“Donald Trump said in December that the US would recognise Jerusalem – not Tel Aviv – as Israel’s capital, infuriating Palestinians.”

And:

“Donald Trump’s decision last year that the US would recognise Jerusalem – not Tel Aviv – as Israel’s capital infuriated Palestinians.”

In the final version of the report – amended the following day – that statement was replaced by the following:

“Donald Trump’s decision in December to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy from Tel Aviv, where all other embassies are located, infuriated Palestinians.

The declaration broke with decades of US neutrality on the issue and put it out of step with the rest of the international community.”

In fact, the US Congress of course voted to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital over two decades ago.

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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, February 25, 2018

Slap-happy comedian Sarah Silverman: Whose side are you on? - by Stephen M. Flatow

“Jews have to stand up even when—especially when—the wrongdoing is by Jews/the Israeli government,” Silverman pompously declared. She didn’t bother to explain what it was that was “wrong” about the Israeli authorities arresting someone who assaulted a soldier.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
21 February '18..

Stop the presses! A vulgar American Jewish comedian has praised a Palestinian teenage girl who assaulted an Israeli soldier. Put it on the front page!

The comedian, Sarah Silverman, recently sent out a tweet demanding that Israel release Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teenager who staged a video in which she repeatedly slapped a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. Tamimi tried, but failed, to provoke the soldier to respond in a way that would make useful propaganda.

“Jews have to stand up even when—especially when—the wrongdoing is by Jews/the Israeli government,” Silverman pompously declared. She didn’t bother to explain what it was that was “wrong” about the Israeli authorities arresting someone who assaulted a soldier. In Silverman’s little bubble, everyone “knows” that it’s wrong to arrest a photogenic Palestinian teenager.

I’m never impressed when I hear an actress or entertainer comment on political issues. It’s like me having a say on recent advances in dentistry.

But I’m old-fashioned, I guess. Because in today’s culture, celebrities in the entertainment industry are treated with reverence. Their opinions, on issues that they know nothing about, carry weight.

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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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Question. Do Arabs Back Israel in a Clash with Iran? - by Evelyn Gordon

As for all the self-proclaimed realists who remain fixated on Israel despite the change in Arab attitudes that has destroyed their main argument, perhaps it’s time to drop the “realist” label. The more accurate term for people who see Jews as the root of all evil under any and all circumstances is “anti-Semite.”

AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi
Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
21 February '18..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/israel/arabs-back-israel-clash-iran/

After issuing a rare rebuke of Iran’s repeated calls for Israel’s destruction on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov added that Moscow also opposes “attempts to view any regional problem through the prism of fighting Iran.” Unfortunately for him, that’s precisely the way most of the Middle East does view many regional problems, as revealed by a stunning informal poll which an Al Jazeera talk show host conducted among his tens of thousands of Arabic-language Twitter followers on February 10. Asked which side they supported in a recent Israeli-Iranian clash in Syria, fully 56 percent–12,800 people–said they backed Israel.

Needless to say, this is not because the respondents love Israel. But it’s a stunning measure of just how much they hate Iran and its Syrian protégé, the Assad regime. As one Syrian wrote, “no Syrian in his right mind” would support Israel in most situations, “but you will find millions of Syrians queuing up with the blue devils”–his charming term for Israel–“against the fascist sectarian regime that has surpassed all the monsters on earth in killing Syrians.”

What makes the results even more noteworthy is that the poll was conducted by the host of a show on Al Jazeera, a Qatari-owned station that still views Israel as public enemy number one. Unlike Saudi Arabia, whose government openly loathes Iran and whose media outlets routinely echo this view, Qatar maintains close relations with Iran. Indeed, these close relations are one of the main reasons why Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states severed ties with Qatar last year. In other words, this wasn’t a case of respondents telling a pollster what they thought he wanted to hear; Al Jazeera’s coverage would have encouraged them to label Israel a greater evil than Iran. Yet a decisive majority nevertheless backed Jerusalem against Tehran.

That most Arab governments now consider Iran a greater enemy than Israel isn’t news; their behind-the-scenes cooperation with Israel against Tehran has become an open secret. Indeed, if you read Reuters’ interview from the Munich Security Conference on Sunday with the names blacked out, you could easily think the interviewee was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. The four steps Al-Jubeir deemed crucial–reining in Iran’s ballistic missile program, reining in its support for terror, canceling the sunset provision in its 2015 nuclear deal, and altering the deal to allow inspections of undeclared and military sites–are the same steps Netanyahu advocates at every opportunity.

The Palestinian Authority is not a Sacred Cow - by Judith Bergman

A generation of Arabs have been raised on an unadulterated diet of hatred of Israel. It’s time Israel made it clear that this is unacceptable and not the way to make peace.

Judith Bergman..
MiDA..
22 February '18..
Link: http://en.mida.org.il/2018/02/22/pa-not-sacred-cow/

It has become a platitude repeated ad nauseam by former Israeli security officials, that the PA must not be weakened, because this might imperil Israel.

The reasoning is that even though the PA is bad, at least they cooperate — to a greater or lesser degree — with their Israeli counterparts, whereas Israel does not know what radical monster would take over after a collapsed PA.

This past Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill that would deduct the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) salaries to convicted terrorists and their families from the tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the PA.

Israel transfers millions of dollars each year to the PA in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. If passed by the Knesset, the proposed legislation would enable Israel to either deduct the funds from the revenues or “freeze” the payments.

“Soon, this theater of the absurd will come to an end, and the salaries of the terrorists that we will withhold from [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas will be used to prevent terrorism and compensate victims,” said Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman about the proposed bill.

Predictably, parts of the Israeli security establishment were opposed to the proposed legislation, fearing that it could weaken the PA. Similar fears have been expressed by a group calling itself Commanders for Israel’s Security, which reportedly represents hundreds of retired Israeli military officials, regarding the US Taylor Force Act.

The Taylor Force Act, which thus far has passed the US House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would end US funding of the PA, unless the PA stops paying its salaries to terrorists and their families.

However, Commanders for Israel’s Security have voiced concerns that the Taylor Force Act would “undermine PA stability; expand the circle of frustration and hostility; erode the security coordination” and deny the PA funding for “vital economic projects”. All this, say the retired military personnel, would “compromise Israeli security”.

Since when is stuffing your own pockets and using the rest to pay terrorists a “vital economic project”? One might argue, however, that the PA has done exactly that – created a monster that ceaselessly incites the murder of Israelis and the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Are we playing charades? Or dealing a bad hand in the form of so-called peace - by Jonathan S. Tobin

The Trump administration’s new Middle East peace plan will be dead on arrival. Should they try anyway?

Jonathan S. Tobin..
JNS.org..
22 February '18..

On a day when many of those interested in the Middle East were mulling over new corruption charges leveled at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than the latest bloviating in New York, the U.N. Security Council meeting devoted to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians didn’t achieve a thing.

The session was nonetheless useful in one sense. If the U.S. delegation is serious about making good on its promise to put forward a new Middle East peace plan, then surely they recognized the gap between reality and what passes for serious discussion at the council. It’s simply too great to be overcome, even if the scheme being devised by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and his team is as clever as they’d like us to think.

The real question about the U.S. plan is not whether or not it will work. It’s why are Kushner and envoy Jason Greenblatt even trying?

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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, February 23, 2018

Cape Town May Dry Up Because of an Aversion to Israel - by Seth M. Siegel

...If the South Africans are snubbing the Israelis out of solidarity with the Palestinians, they might want to consider this: The Palestinian Authority has worked with Israel on a range of water projects since 1995. Israel offers training for Palestinians in wastewater management, infrastructure and security. Israel also provides the Palestinian Authority with more than half the water for domestic consumption by Palestinians in the West Bank. And it pipes more than 2.5 billion gallons of water into Hamas-controlled Gaza each year. Why does South Africa feel compelled to be so anti-Israel? The question has no rational answer.

Seth M. Siegel
Wall St. Journal..
21 February '18..
Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/cape-town-may-dry-up-because-of-an-aversion-to-israel-1519254816

Cape Town, South Africa, has designated July 9 “Day Zero.” That’s when water taps throughout the city are expected to go dry, marking the culmination of a three-year drought. South African officials aren’t responsible for the lack of rain, but inept management and a devotion to anti-Israel ideology needlessly made the situation worse.

Even before Israel declared statehood in 1948, its leaders focused on water security as closely as they did military preparedness. Mostly desert, Israel would need adequate water to thrive. In the decades since, the country has developed an apolitical, technocratic form of water governance.

Conservation is taught from kindergarten. Market pricing of water encourages everyone to waste nothing. Sensitive prices have driven innovation. Israelis helped create desalination, drip irrigation and the specialized reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. Although Israel is in the fifth year of a drought, today its citizens can reliably count on abundant water.

Cape Town is another story. Its reservoirs began receding more than two years ago. This problem turned into a crisis because of subsidy-distorted water pricing, inefficient irrigation, and a lack of desalination facilities and a long-term plan. In 2016 officials from Israel’s Foreign Ministry recognized the problem and alerted national, provincial and local governments in South Africa. Israel has trained water technicians in more than 100 countries, and it offered to bring in desalination experts to help South Africa.

South African officials ignored or rebuffed the no-strings Israeli proposal. It would be admirable if South Africa’s rejection came from a can-do attitude, in a statement of national self-sufficiency. But it appears to have been for ideological reasons that South African officials wanted no help from Jerusalem.

The leadership of South Africa’s dominant political party, the African National Congress, aligns itself with the Palestinian cause. Although the two countries have diplomatic ties, South Africa under the ANC has refused to develop warm relations with Israel. This antagonism goes back to the 1960s, when current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lived in Moscow with exiled ANC leaders, and Yasser Arafat often visited. Students and leaders of the two movements were supported by the Soviet Union, and they shared revolutionary aspirations.

A Defense Treaty between the United States and Israel? Just Say No - by Dr. Martin Kramer

Israel’s independence has indeed eroded, and it must work to regain its freedom of maneuver. A defense treaty is the last thing it should want.

Martin Kramer..
Mosaic Magazine..
22 February '18..

Charles Freilich has produced an astute and savvy analysis of the forces driving the U.S.-Israel relationship. It’s no surprise: all who know him regard him as one of the most thoughtful (and critical) students of Israeli decision-making, and his writing is a model of care and restraint.

But the reader encountering Freilich for the first time is bound to be confused, because his major operative conclusion seems at odds with his analysis. After explaining at length how it would best serve Israel to be less dependent on the United States, he then proposes that it strive to conclude a formal defense treaty with that same United States. Having noted that the stature of the United States in the Middle East “is at its nadir,” he urges Israel to “cement” its understandings with the waning superpower. What gives?

The explicit rationale offered by Freilich is that such a treaty would be valuable to Israel in deterring Iran. Indeed, he writes, it “might prove to be the only partially effective response to a nuclear Iran.” If that were the case, such a treaty would be an existential necessity. But I find it improbable that Freilich really believes this, because in many other op-eds and interviews he’s asserted the opposite: that Israel is perfectly capable of independently deterring Iran, were that country to cross the nuclear threshold. “Israel’s own deterrence should suffice,” he has written. If so, a defense treaty with the United States would add no value to Israeli deterrence of Iran, and so would be totally unnecessary.

Then there are threats that fall short of the nuclear. But Israel, as Freilich knows, is capable of dealing with these threats on its own, and when its estimate of such threats differs from Washington’s, it presently has the leeway to chart its own course of action. Even Freilich is reluctant to sacrifice this freedom, however infrequently Israel exercises it. That’s why he writes that “a treaty could be crafted that would explicitly not apply to cases of low- to medium-level threats and hostilities.”

So if a treaty isn’t necessary to deter high-level threats, and wouldn’t apply to medium- and low-level threats, just what would it add? I could profess to be puzzled, but I’m not. That’s because I’m an avid reader of everything Freilich writes, so I hope he won’t object if I put his Mosaic essay in a broader context.

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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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Honest Reporting Visits Palestinian President Abbas at the UN - by Daniel Pomerantz

At the UN Palestinian President Abbas said he wants a peaceful two state solution. But last month he told the Palestinian people the exact opposite: saying of Israel, "This is our country." And what did the media say about this contradiction? Nothing.

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
22 Febuary '18..
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=168&v=s0jxzC9YEog





If you agree this is important, sign up for our newsletter at www.honestreporting.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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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hamas controlled Gaza has been an unhappy place for a long time - by Clifford D. May

...Less than a decade after Israel's founding, Golda Meir, who would go onto to become Israel's fourth prime minister, was famously quoted as saying: "Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." Hamas' parental affections have not evolved. As for the immiserated people of Gaza, perhaps they lack the courage to challenge Hamas. That would be the hopeful explanation.

Clifford D. May..
Israel Hayom..
22 May '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/hopeless-in-gaza/

The Gaza Strip has been an unhappy place for a long time, and the situation is now reportedly growing desperate. Jobs are scarce, electricity is intermittent, drinking water is unsafe, and raw sewage released into the Mediterranean Sea is washing up on Gaza's white beaches.

How did this happen? A brief history: Ruled by the Ottomans for centuries, then by the British for decades, the territory was taken over by Egypt in 1948. The Israelis seized it in 1967 in the defensive war in which Israel also took the West Bank from Jordan. In 2005, the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, thinking that might pave the way to a resolution of their conflict with the Palestinians. Instead, the two dominant Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, went to war with one another. After two years, Hamas emerged on top.

A front-page article in The New York Times this month gives voice to Gaza's suffering masses. Accompanying photos, artfully composed, show a woman begging, shopkeepers behind bars for not paying their debts, and patients in a hospital looking grim.

Jerusalem bureau chief David M. Halbfinger concludes that Hamas has "few options." He adds: "The one it has resorted to three times – going to war with Israel, in hopes of generating international sympathy and relief in the aftermath – suddenly seems least attractive."

Did you get that? The New York Times sees nothing alarming, certainly nothing to criticize, about Palestinians contemplating "going to war" against Israelis to improve their economic situation. Would the newspaper take the same attitude toward any other peoples anywhere else in the world?

Also notice what was not mentioned: that Hamas might contemplate giving up its goal of destroying Israel; that it might, as the saying goes, "give peace a chance!" Not only did that option not occur to Halbfinger, it also apparently didn't cross the minds of other "Gaza experts" to whom he turned. Nathan Thrall, an analyst for International Crisis Group, tells him simply: "Hamas itself has few ways to alleviate the crisis."

Just for grins, imagine this: Hamas stops spending hundreds of millions of dollars (mostly drawn from foreign aid) building missiles to fire at Israeli cities, and digging tunnels to infiltrate terrorists into Israeli villages where they are to spray bullets at men, women and children, and drag others, as hostages, into the holes leading back to Gaza.

True to form, another BBC makeover on a speech by Mahmoud Abbas - by Hadar Sela

...In short, the BBC’s presentation of Abbas’ remarks is once again framed in a manner that excludes from audience view anything which may undermine or conflict with the narrative of a peace-seeking Palestinian Authority that the corporation long since elected to promote.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
22 February '18..

On February 20th the BBC News website published a report titled “Palestinian head Abbas calls for international peace summit” on its Middle East page. The BBC’s account of Abbas’ long speech at the UN Security Council on the same day is as follows:

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for an international peace conference to tackle the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In a rare address to the UN Security Council, he said the situation was “no longer bearable” for Palestinians. […]

Mr Abbas told the Security Council that “to solve the Palestine question… it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism”.

He blamed the deadlock in the peace process on the US declaration on Jerusalem, which he said violated international law, and on what he called Israel’s “illegal activities” in the occupied territories.

“We call for the convening of an international peace conference by mid-2018 based on international law and the relevant UN resolutions,” he said.”

As has been the case on previous occasions, the BBC’s account did not include the parts of Abbas’ speech that do not fit its chosen narrative. BBC audiences therefore remain unaware of the fact that, as he has done in the past, Abbas alleged in this – for him – relatively restrained address that the Palestinians:

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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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Question. Will UK media ignore Abbas’s howler at the UN that Palestinians ‘foster a culture of peace’? - by Adam Levick

...If foreign journalists covering the region held Palestinian leaders to the same level of critical scrutiny that they consistently hold Israeli leaders to, the ten seconds of film highlighted in this post would cause a media storm – with reports and commentaries informing readers that Abbas’s UN claim, that Palestinians “are committed to fostering a culture of peace and a rejection of violence“, is simply the opposite of the truth.

Adam Levick..
UK Media Watch..
21 February '18..

Followers of this blog are familiar with the UK media’s pattern of obfuscating, distorting or completely ignoring speeches by Mahmoud Abbas which incite violence, deny Jewish history and advance antisemitic accusations and tropes.

So, we are relatively confident that no major British media outlet will so much as take note, yet alone call out, an astonishing lie told by Abbas while addressing the UN Security Council yesterday. Though Abbas once again repeated his faux history, alleging that Palestinians are “descendants of the Canaanites that lived in the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago”, that actually isn’t, believe it or not, the most ludicrous claim in the speech.

This is:



Evidence showing Palestinian leaders, including Abbas himself, and government institutions praising, inciting and incentivizing terror, and promoting a culture which glorifies violence, is well-documented and ubiquitous.

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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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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

News industry activism, its jaundiced outcomes and the Tamimis - by Arnold Roth

...We're not totally unrealistic. Few people have the intensity of concern that we do about Malki's life and murder. There might be close to zero interest among the Australian news-consuming public. The pursuit of justice, never a quick process, continues to keep us focused and active, but has always gotten less media attention than we would have wanted.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
21 February '18..

We've been busy the last few days responding to social media comments - some supportive, some critical, a lot of it disgustingly hateful - about Ahed Tamimi, a close relative and unabashed admirer of our child's murderer Ahlam Tamimi ["Ahed Tamimi and Her Family Aren't the Palestinian Saints You Want Them to Be", Haaretz].

Our Twitter account [here] has had orders of magnitude more traffic in the past week than we have seen before.

Yesterday, we saw that Sophie McNeill [background], whom we have never met and with whom we never had any conversation or email, had filed her own report on the Ahed phenomenon for Australia's ABC News. The ABC's site calls Sophie McNeill "a video-journalist based in the Middle East for the ABC". It doesn't mention that she's based in Jerusalem (or so we have been told) which is where we live.

Given the loaded nature of the issues in the ongoing Tamimi saga, it's a shabby and tendentious job of reporting and analyzing news.

Honest Reporting yesterday highlighted an outrageous problem with it - unprofessional recklessness or perhaps something much worse - that ought to have generated a fire-storm of controversy in the Australian media. But hasn't.

Here's how it starts:

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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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Dear Sarah Silverman: Do you really support a family that glorifies terrorism and educates their kids to do the same? - by Petra Marquardt-Bigman

...Whether it’s murdering and maiming families having lunch at a Jerusalem pizzeria, or butchering a sleeping 13-year-old girl in her bedroom, or the deadly drive-by shooting of a rabbi, the Tamimis will always freely express their admiration and support for the terrorist perpetrators and their horrendous acts — while Amnesty will cynically claim that the Tamimi family has “bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation” for years. Dear Sarah Silverman — are you really willing to support this cynical whitewashing of a family that glorifies terrorism and educates their kids to do the same?

Petra Marquardt-Bigman..
Algemeiner.com
20 February '18..

Dear Sarah Silverman — it seems that you have been taken in by Amnesty International’s cynical campaign for Ahed Tamimi. A few days ago, you linked to Amnesty’s “urgent” demand to “release Palestinian teen activist Ahed Tamimi,” and told your more than 12 million followers on Twitter: “Jews have to stand up EVEN when — especially when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government.”

To make matters worse, you then re-tweeted a reply that invoked the Holocaust: “Amen! My grandparents did not survive the atrocities of the holocaust for me to be silent about injustice.”

Perhaps you don’t know much about the Tamimis, and believe Amnesty’s mendacious claim that Ahed Tamimi is just a “17-year-old Palestinian activist” who deserves to be called the “Rosa Parks of Palestine” — because “she and her family have bravely stood up against the Israeli occupation” for years.

Well, Amnesty is lying about the Tamimis. As Amnesty knows full well, Ahed’s family has emphasized in media interviews for years, that they hope to instigate a “third intifada” that would end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. And for years, Ahed’s family has demonstrated their support for terrorism, and their ardent Jew-hatred.

While I have documented all this in great detail, it’s worthwhile adding a few updates that illustrate just how brazen the Tamimis are in their open support for terrorism — even when they know full well that the media spotlight is on them.

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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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Israel is the Ultimate Anti-Imperialist State - by Daniel Krygier

European imperialism in the Middle East was preceded by Islamist imperialism. The Jewish state is the only indigenous fragment that survived the onslaught of Islamic imperialism

Mount Moriah, location of Jewish
Temple. Occupied by Islam
Daniel Krygier..
MiDA..
20 February '18..
Link: http://en.mida.org.il/2018/02/20/israel-ultimate-anti-imperialist-state/

In his recent anti-Semitic rant, PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas repeated the lie that Israel is a “colonial project”. This is part and parcel of a long Muslim Arab tradition to wipe out the Middle East’s indigenous pre-Islamic civilizations.

Imagine if mainstream voices in the 21st century demanded that all non-German Europeans ”integrate into proper Europe” by embracing German culture, language, identity and the Lutheran religion. In a post-Second World War Europe, it would be rightly considered unacceptable supremacist racism. By contrast, many “liberal” Jew-haters demand that Israel “integrates into the proper Middle East” in the name of “peace” by letting itself be swallowed up by the surrounding Muslim Arab world.

In an era of Western post-colonial guilt, the Middle East is often presented as a hapless victim of former European imperialism. This myth was successfully promoted by the late Arabist Edward Said and his influential propaganda book “Orientalism”, which was enthusiastically embraced by numerous Middle East departments at Western university campuses.

It is a frequently ignored fact that former European imperialism in the Middle East was preceded by Islamist imperialism. In his book Islamic Imperialism: A history, professor Efraim Karsh, documents the long and violent history of Islamic imperialism. At its height, Islamist imperialism carved out a giant Muslim empire stretching from Spain in the West to India in the East. This once mighty empire eventually fragmented and the last Muslim empire collapsed with the end of Ottoman rule in 1917.

However, Islamist imperialism largely succeeded in wiping out pre-Islamic indigenous civilizations by imposing Islam and Arabic as the new norm across the Middle East and North Africa. The Jews were one of the few indigenous nations that managed to survive Islamic imperialism and maintain a separate identity and culture.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Gaza Health Crisis: WHO’s to Blame? - by Daniel Pomerantz

...The safety and health of Gaza residents matters, and when agenda driven NGOs divert attention away from the real causes of health problems, they become complicit in perpetuating those problems: by delaying or denying real solutions. The media worsen the problem by failing to hold the relevant organizations to account, through even the most basic fact checking.

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
19 February '18..

Fifty four Palestinians died in Gaza while awaiting a medical travel permit from Israel.

This is according to a joint statement issued last week by several NGOs (non-governmental organizations): Human Rights Watch (HRW), Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI), that slams Israel for a 54% decrease in medical travel permits to residents of Gaza.

Except on closer examination, it appears that in most cases relevant to this 54% decrease, Israel didn’t deny the permits: the Palestinian Authority did.

Joint statement

The joint statement statement purports to be based on a report by the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO).

The NGOs (including the WHO) placed blame primarily on Israel, as in the following statement from HRW:

Israeli authorities approved permits for medical appointments for only 54 percent of those who applied in 2017, the lowest rate since the World Health Organization (WHO) began collecting figures in 2008. WHO reported that 54 Palestinians, 46 of whom had cancer, died in 2017 following denial or delay of their permits.

Yet what the statement leaves out is that the WHO numbers are actually related to permit denials by the Palestinian government.

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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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But even weirder is that Fatah was proud of this protest - by Elder of Ziyon

...As best as I can tell, any protest that appears to be against Hamas is worth publicizing - even if the entire reason the protesters aren't getting paid is because the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority refuses to. At any rate, Fatah is supporting protesting those giving their own people millions. It is a special kind of sickness.

Elder of Ziyon..
19 February '18..

The Hamas/Fatah infighting reached a new bizarre level on Monday.

Qatari Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani sent $9 million worth of medicines, medical supplies, foodstuffs and fuel for the operation of hospital generators in the Gaza Strip. Qatari ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi held a press conference to announce the grant.

What could be wrong with that?

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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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How to Bash Israel In A Linguistics Paper Without Being Noam Chomsky - by Sheri Oz

...When I looked up to see how the term language and displacement was being used in the linguistics literature, I discovered that it referred to a stage before the extinction of a language. In other words, it referred to the common process by which younger generations are raised in languages different from the native tongue of their parents, leading to the disappearance of the latter. They are usually talking about indigenous languages, such as First Nations in Canada. Alive and well in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, I do not think Palestinian Arabic is in any danger of extinction. Do you?

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
19 February '18..

What can I say! It looks like every topic of scholastic endeavour can be used to vilify Israel. Who cares if the work makes sense? The main thing is to make Israel look bad.

How can you make something normal into something pathological? Easy. Watch!

The paper is called “The Changing of Arabic Terminology in Times of War and Displacement,” and it was presented at the Western Conference on Linguistics, 2017. I have no idea how it got accepted for presentation, nor how the student’s co-author faculty member was not humiliated to have her name on it.

In the introduction, we read:

The specific goal of this paper is to show the impact of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the way this family speaks Arabic today in America.

This family being:

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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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