Friday, April 20, 2018

Israel, the Land I Love - by Justin Amler

Impossible is what Israel is about, and there are few places in the world that are able to take that which can’t be done and do it anyway.

Justin Amler..
MiDA..
19 April '18..
Link: http://en.mida.org.il/2018/04/19/israel-land-love/

I want to tell you about a special place – perhaps the most unique place on earth, a place where logic is defied and miracles occur.

I want to tell you about this special land. A land of wonder. A land of amazement. A land of dreams. A land of hope. A land of love.

I want to tell you about this special country – a country that breathes with you, and cries with you, and loves with you, and fights with you – a country that is as tough as nails, yet wears its heart on its sleeve.

I want to tell you about this special state – a state forged in war, yet built by devotion and commitment and love and destiny. A state that has to spend every day fighting just to live another day.

This special place, this special land, this special country, this special state has so much meaning for so many people, and yet it’s so personal too.

It’s my Israel, a country like no other, a country that will bring you so much joy and so much pain. It will make you cry and it will make you laugh and will make you weep tears of joy and tears of sorrow.

This small patch of land has witnessed the genesis of time and each bit of dirt is not just dirt, but history itself. It is blessed with landscapes so vast and oceans so blue and sunsets that melt into the sea each night.

Each day, discoveries of long gone eras are unearthed, as the land gives up more of its secrets, and yet each day there’s always more just waiting to be discovered.

In Israel, each grain of sand is loved and battles have been fought across centuries over earth and dust and trees and water.

This is a country whose heartbeat can be felt in the air, whose breath can be felt in the wind, whose tears can be felt in the rain, whose anger can be felt in the storms, whose radiance can be felt in the summer rays beating down.

If you want inspiration, it was invented here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

They followed their hearts, feeling that it was up to their dreams to shape reality - by Nadav Shragai

...The reality at the time was harsh, almost unbearable: disease, swamps, scarce livelihood and dwindling security. But the hands of the few who believed created miracles. They followed their hearts, feeling that it was up to their dreams to shape reality, and not, God forbid, to withdraw from it. It was up to them to let their faith lead while acting wisely, to move forward with feeling and not to listen to the experts. As the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, said: "There are no experts on the future, only experts on the past."

Nadav Shragai..
Israel Hayom..
First posted 20 April '15..

I never thanked my grandfather for packing up his meager belongings and coming to Israel in 1924, not to find a place safe from persecution, but simply because he knew that the Jewish people belonged in Israel.

It was not the obvious choice then, and it is not the obvious choice now. He and his ilk were part of the minority of the last few generations who came to the historic homeland not because of persecution and pogroms, but simply because they felt committed to their Jewish genes, to the historical, religious and national baggage that ties them to this place.

Their courage was perhaps different from that of the warriors on the battlefields, but it was no less magnificent. They deserve this belated thanks. Not, God forbid, as a way to diminish those who did come here out of distress and fear. We owe them thanks for our continued existence, for my parents' generation, my own generation and that of my children, as it is doubtful that we would have survived the horrors of the Holocaust in Europe had they stayed.

They deserve our gratitude for the understanding that they instilled in us that, even before this land became a safe haven for the refugees of the pogroms and the Holocaust, it was our destination; that while we might be here today thanks to our strength, we were here before thanks to the strength of our right; that security, which is today the central subject of discussion when it comes to Israel, is meant to allow us to realize our right to live here (in security, of course).

Many years ago, a member of the British House of Lords asked then-President Chaim Weizmann why the Jews were so insistent upon Israel when there were so many other places for them to settle. Weizmann responded: "That is like my asking you why you drove 20 miles to visit your mother last Sunday when there are so many old ladies living on your street."

And indeed, the land we came to, the land in which we re-established Jewish sovereignty, is above all our motherland. Unfortunately, all we speak about nowadays is security, while the conversation about our rights remains marginalized. Security is not everything. You cannot base domestic or international legitimacy on Jerusalem, Hebron or Beersheba, while ignoring the Bible, the patriarchs and the matriarchs, the Temple Mount, the City of David and the millennia-long story of a people yearning to return to their homeland. After all, we could have had security this past century in Brooklyn, London, or maybe even Uganda.

The students of the Vilna Gaon, who moved to Israel at the beginning of the 19th century, and the Jews of Yemen who came to the transit camps at the end of that century, did not come here because it was safe. They came despite the fact that it was less safe.

The State of Israel was not established because of the Holocaust, but in spite of the Holocaust that tried to destroy us.

On Israel’s first day (15 May 1948) by Sarah Honig

Because its ragtag army stood its ground, despite the worst of odds, Israel is today accused of the crime of surviving and is portrayed as a menacing ogre for having dared to come into the world rather than surrender.

Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
First posted 27 April '12..

‘It is with great joy that I hereby close the Mandatory Police record book,” wrote an anonymous duty officer at Tel Aviv’s central precinct precisely as David Ben-Gurion recited the renascent Jewish state’s Declaration of Independence.

Just below that spontaneous hand-inscribed historic annotation, appears the first criminal entry ever in sovereign Israel’s annals. It documents the capture of a thief. He stole a book, perchance pointing to preferences peculiar to the People of the Book.

Several hours later, the first ship docked in the new state. It began its journey furtively five days earlier in Marseilles when Israel was still under British rule. Its 300 young passengers were outfitted with fake IDs, forged at the Hagana “laboratory” in France.

But the Teti would claim special distinction – it became simultaneously the last “illegal” aliya boat and the first legal one. The counterfeit visas proved superfluous. The vessel proudly hoisted the Israeli flag as the new day dawned. Because it was the Sabbath, the newcomers were issued their new country’s entry permits only at sundown.

With such seemingly ordinary bureaucratic yet emotionally charged tasks, the Jewish state adeptly began the business of self-determination. In time that would be presented to world opinion as inherently sinful. By its very brazen determination to be born, it would be asserted, Israel had displaced the Palestinians, condemning them to miserable refugee subsistence.

According to the Arab narrative, Jewish independence, in and of itself, constitutes aggressive belligerence. Incredibly, this perception sank sinister roots. It takes stronger hold abroad now than it did 64 years ago. We may speculate why. We may point to two millennia of merciless anti-Jewish hate-mongering on religious and other mundanely lucrative grounds. But whatever the motive, our legitimacy, alone among the nations, is undermined assiduously.

Expediently forgotten is the fact that never, not for a single solitary day, were Israelis allowed to savor the elation of their newfound freedom. Behind the aforementioned two matter-of-fact exemplars of sovereignty, a frightening reality festered malevolently.

Israel’s birth was legally ordained via the UN Partition Resolution of November 29, 1947. Two states – Jewish and Arab – were to be established between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. Jews cheered the patchy territorial crazy-quilt they were accorded, existentially untenable though it was, and proceeded to meet all UN prerequisites for independence. The Arabs vehemently rejected the offer of a Palestinian state and, in vituperative defiance of the UN, set out to destroy the embryonic Jewish state rather than construct one of their own.

On Israel’s first day, Arab League secretary-general Abdul-Rahman Azzam Pasha, articulated Arab priorities. Sending forth seven Arab armies to slay the newborn “Zionist entity,” he declared: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.” The Arab agenda and intentions were unmistakable. New Israel’s citizens harbored no misconceptions.

Anyone Surprised? NY Times Greets Israel’s 70th With Piece Claiming 1948 Was ‘Catastrophe’ - by Ira Stoll

...anyone waiting for the Times to correct or even to independently evaluate and assess the inaccurate claim about 1948 and Haifa will have a long wait ahead. If there is a “catastrophe” here, it has to do with the damage done to whatever remains of the Times‘ reputation for accuracy.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
18 April '18..

The New York Times is marking Israel’s 70th birthday with an op-ed piece describing the Jewish state’s creation as a “catastrophe.”

The article also offers a historically false account of events in Haifa in 1948.

The Times article, by Ayman Odeh, who leads the vestiges of Israel’s Communist Party, begins:

HAIFA, Israel — Seventy years ago, the world changed around my family. The establishment of the state of Israel represented self-determination for Jews, but a catastrophe — “nakba” in Arabic — for Palestinians. In the area around the Mediterranean city of Haifa, where my family has lived for six generations, only 2,000 Palestinians of a population of 70,000 remained. My grandparents, A’bdel-Hai and A’dla, were among them. Their neighbors were expelled and dispossessed, and never allowed to return.

Luckily, the case of Haifa just so happens to have been the topic of extensive research by the eminent historian Efraim Karsh, who published his findings in 2000 in an authoritative and meticulously documented article in Commentary headlined, “Were The Palestinians Expelled?”

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

(video) Flourishing against All Odds: Israel at 70 - by Amb. Dore Gold

Israel is celebrating 70 years of national independence, and there’s a huge irony in that number. For it was in the year 70 that the last Jewish Commonwealth was destroyed by the Roman Empire, and the Temple, the center of gravity of the Jewish people, was destroyed. The rebirth of Israel is nothing short of a miracle.

Amb. Dore Gold..
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/Institute for Contemporary Affairs..
Founded jointly with the Wechsler Family Foundation..
17 April '18..
Link: http://jcpa.org/video/israel-at-70-flourishing-against-all-odds/


It involved dedication, commitment of a national movement that began with the establishment of Zionism, which is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. That movement, through brilliant diplomacy of our forefathers, like Theodore Herzl and Chaim Weizmann, brought the energies of a people back together and allowed for the Declaration of Independence by David Ben-Gurion in 1948.



At its birth, Israel was attacked by multiple Arab armies around it, and if you look at the data, at just the very statistics of Israel’s situation, we were a country not even today with 8 million people. But our neighbors, who have been at war with us all these years, they have about 300 million. If you look at our territory, territorially Israel is a country with little or no strategic depth. For example, it takes only four minutes for a Soviet Sukhoi 24 jet fighter to cross from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, giving Israel very little early warning time. Ten thousand square miles. You could drop Israel into the Great Lakes, and you wouldn’t even hear the splash. But our Arab neighbors have 650 times the amount of territory. That gives them a distinct strategic advantage. It creates a basic asymmetry between Israel and the countries around it. Yet Israel, over the last 70 years, has managed to persevere.

EU High Representative Mogherini says Jerusalem is "our common Holy City" for Europeans and Arabs, but not for Jews - by Elder of Ziyon

...Israel doesn't even bother to protest these outrageous and false statements. It should be as energetic and angry at them as Arabs are at any public acknowledgement of Jewish ties to Jerusalem. The EU representative in Israel should be called into the Prime Minister's office to explain these statements every single time they are made.

Elder of Ziyon..
17 April '18..

"As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem."


Those were the words of EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini during the opening session of 29th Summit of the League of Arab States on Sunday.

Not only is the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is not only non-existent, but any claim the Jews have to their capital is less important than that of Europe.

(You know - the continent the Crusaders came from, killing hundreds of thousands of Jews and Muslims. )

Mogherini's outrageous statements to the Arab league didn't end there.

(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 sun sets above the hills. The siren cries out ... by Daniel Greenfield

...All go to one place, said King Solomon, all that lives is of the dust, and all returns to the dust. There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his works. And so memorial day precedes the day of independence. That we rejoice in that which those who sleep in the dust have died to protect. The skyscrapers and the orchards, the sheep ranches and the highways, the schools and the synagogues. For they who drained the swamps and built the roads, who held guard over the air and built the cities, may not have lived to see their works. But we rejoice in their works for them. And a new generation rises to watch over their dust and tend the works that they have built.


Daniel Greenfield..
Sultan Knish..
Link: http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2013/04/who-can-count-dust-of-jacob.html
First Published 14 April '13..

"Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the seed of Israel." Numbers 23:10


The sun sets above the hills. The siren cries out and on the busy highways that wend among the hills, the traffic stops, the people stop, and a moment of silence comes to a noisy country. Flags fly at half mast, the torch of remembrance is lit, memorial candles are held in shaking hands and the country's own version of the Flanders Field poppy, the Red Everlasting daisy, dubbed Blood of the Maccabees, adorns lapels. And so begins the Yom Hazikaron, Heroes Remembrance Day, the day of remembrance for fallen soldiers and victims of terror-- Israel's Memorial Day.

What is a memorial day in a country that has always known war and where remembrance means adding the toll of one year's dead and wounded to the scales of history. A country where war never ends, where the sirens may pause but never stop, where each generation grows up knowing that they will have to fight or flee. To stand watch or run away. It is not so much the past that is remembered on this day, but the present and the future. The stillness, a breath in the warm air, before setting out to climb the slopes of tomorrow.

Who can count the dust of Jacob. And yet each memorial day we count the dust. The dust that is a fraction of those who have fallen defending the land for thousands of years. Flesh wears out, blood falls to the earth where the red daisies grow, and bone turns to dust. The dust blows across the graves of soldiers and prophets, the tombs of priests hidden behind brush, the caverns where forefathers rest in sacred silence, laid to rest by their sons, who were laid to rest by their own sons, generations burying the past, standing guard over it, being driven away and returning each time.

On Memorial Day, the hands of memory are dipped in the dust raising it to the blue sky. A prayer, a whisper, a dream of peace. And the wind blows the candles out. War follows. And once again blood flows into the dust. A young lieutenant shading his eyes against the sun. An old man resting with his family on the beach. Children climbing into bed in a village beneath the hills. And more bodies are laid to rest in the dust. Until dust they become.

In this land, the Maker of Stars and Dust vowed to Abraham that his children would be as many as the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. In their darkest days, they would be as the dust. But there is mercy in the numberless count of the dust. Mercy in not being able to make a full count of the fallen. In remaining ignorant of that full measure of woe. Modern technologies permit us terrible estimates. Databanks store the names of millions, village by village and city by city. Terrible digital cemeteries of ghosts. But there is no counting the dust. And when we walk the length and breadth of the land, as the Maker told Abraham to do, it the dust that supports our feet, we stand upon the shoulders of giants. We walk in the dust of our ancestors.

Some new countries are built to escape from the past, but there is no escaping it in these ancient hills. IDF soldiers patrol over ground once contested by empires, tread over spearheads and the wheels of chariots buried deep in the earth. The Assyrians and the Babylonians came through here in all their glory. Greek and Roman soldiers and mercenaries pitted themselves against the handful of Judeans who came out of the Babylonian exile. The Ottoman and the Arab raged here, and Crusader battering rams and British Enfield rifles still echo in the quiet hills.

Here in the silence of remembrance the present is always the past and the sky hangs like a thin veil fluttering against the future. The believers cast their prayers out of their mouths against the veil. The soldiers cast their lives and their hearts. And still the future flutters on above, like the sky near enough to touch, but out of reach. Beneath it, the sky-blue flag, the stripe of the believer's shawls adorned with the interlocked star of the House of David.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

NY Times Headline Invokes John Lennon Anti-War Lyrics to Describe Hamas - by Gilead Ini

...New York Times headline writers seemed to be unaware of Hamas's firebombs, its attack tunnels, and its defining goal of destroying the Jewish state. Or perhaps they were just confused by the group's calls to tear down the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. It's not that Hamas leaders "imagine there's no countries," as John Lennon put it. It's that they imagine there's no Israel, and that it is replaced by an Islamic state for Palestinians alone.

Gilead Ini..
Camera Media Analyses..
16 April '18..

John Lennon never said he would eat the bodily organs of his enemies.

But Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar did. During a March 31 speech at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, Sinwar said Palestinians "can't give up one inch of the land of Palestine," which he reiterated includes all of Israel in Hamas's view. He told Israelis that Palestinians would find work by "shooting you at point-blank range." Rather than starve, he added, they will "eat your liver."

A week later, Sinwar proclaimed that "We will take down the border and we will tear out their hearts from their bodies."



So when, in today's newspaper, the New York Times invoked Lennon's most famous anti-war lyrics to describe Hamas's position — "Battle Weary, Hamas Gives Peaceful Protests a Chance," a headline in the newspaper's April 16 print edition declared — it was a discordant juxtaposition with the terror organization's actual policies, and its continued glorification of violence. Only a day earlier, Israel uncovered yet another of Hamas's cross-border attack tunnels.

The Times article itself was somewhat more equivocal than its print headline.

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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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Is the cheese on the “free” Palestinian protest pizza imported from Israel? - by Ira Stoll

...So while the international press, including the Times, promotes the myth of Gaza starving under an Israeli “blockade,” nongovernmental organizations simultaneously complain that Gaza is so flooded with cheap Israeli dairy products that local producers can’t afford to compete. Is the cheese on the “free” Palestinian protest pizza imported from Israel? Finding out could be a good New York Times story, but don’t expect to read about it there anytime soon.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
16 April '18..

As the pre-planned violent riots in Gaza plod on, The New York Times coverage of them is starting to show its own internal contradictions.

A recent Times editorial had recommended that Israel defend its border with “nonlethal tactics common to law enforcement, such as the use of high-powered fire hoses.”

Lo and behold, it turns out that the Israelis have been doing precisely that already. The Times news columns now report:

After protesters burned tires to obscure the soldiers’ view and rolled them toward the fence, the Israelis brought in giant industrial fans to disperse the thick black smoke and powerful water cannons to douse the fires. Soldiers have fired countless volleys of tear gas to try to push back crowds of demonstrators….nearly 1,000 [rioters] have inhaled tear gas; 300 have been hit by rubber bullets.”

Just as contradictory as the Times reporting on Israel’s use of nonlethal force has been its reporting in economic conditions in Gaza. One Times dispatch managed simultaneously to refer to Gaza’s “collapsing economy” and report as well that at one of the riot sites, “Once a day or so, a delivery arrives with free slices of pizza or cakes.”

(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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The World Shrugs at the Weak - by Judith Bergman

The international community abandons the weak – those who rely on others for survival – without so much as an afterthought and leaves them, quite literally, to die. A lesson we know all too well.

Judith Bergman..
MiDA..
16 April '18..
Link: http://en.mida.org.il/2018/04/16/world-shrugs-weak/

The angry clamoring of the UN, the EU and other international actors over Israel’s actions and policies since the Jewish nation state reappeared on the stage in 1948 has grown increasingly obsessive, approximating a kind of mass hysteria, over the years. This fixation on Israeli actions is especially noteworthy in the context of deadly conflicts playing out all around Israel’s borders.

The international actors who like to think that they are the moral conscience of the international community have mustered little more than a shrug in the direction of the horrors that have played out in Syria, for example, over the last seven years.

Those same actors have barely blinked over the torture, rape, and mass murder of Syrians and Iraqis – Yezidi, Kurd, Christian and Muslim. Most recently, this international community has shown its moral stature by largely ignoring the Turkish military onslaught on Afrin, the Kurdish enclave in the north of Syria.

The lesson – clear to even the most amateurish historian – is that the world at large accepts only one currency: Strength.

The international community abandons the weak – those who rely on others for survival – without so much as an afterthought and leaves them, quite literally, to die. Israel learned that lesson a long time ago, when the international community collectively closed its eyes to the brutal murder of six million Jews.

In the case of Israel, the international community, the majority of the mainstream media and the left’s many political and cultural organizations, all claim to be fighting for the sake of ‘peace’, even if such a concept barely translates into anything meaningful in the region.

Muslims have been killing each other, as well as non-Muslims, along sectarian lines for centuries. The entire Middle East is crisscrossed with the remains of the blood baths of internecine Muslim on Muslim war. And still the false, almost insane, idea that people who fight to death among themselves will accept the presence of a universally hated enemy – the Jews – in their midst is marketed not only as a slightly crazy, optimistic idea, but as an imperative that Israel must accept. Israel took the bait in 1993 – Oslo – and has been paying the price in blood ever since.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Amnesty criticizes Roger Waters for acting like @Amnesty - by Elder of Ziyon

...And now Amnesty is claiming that Roger Waters is only a fool with respect to Syria but still a stand-up guy with respect to supporting Palestinian terror?

Elder of Ziyon..
16 April '18..

Amnesty's Kristyan Benedict has lashed out at Roger Waters.

Not for his absurd pro-Hamas positions, but for his pro-Assad one:




The article that he refers to says:

The founder and frontman of British band Pink Floyd has echoed Russian propaganda claims that Syria's White Helmets had staged a recent chemical attack that has prompted US-led strikes against Damascus.

Roger Waters made the accusation during a concert in Barcelona on Friday after announcing that a supporter of the volunteer first responders had wanted speak to the crowd about the deadly chemical attack.

"The White Helmets are a fake organisation that exists only to create propaganda for the jihadists and terrorists," Waters said.

When it was pointed out to Benedict that Amnesty and Waters have worked together in the past, on the basis of Waters' purported human rights work as he obsesses about Israel and "Israeli" influence on world media and politics, Benedict acts surprised.

(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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Halevi and a two-state solution. Where more than the Devil is in the implementation - by Vic Rosenthal

...I believe that the Jewish state has a legal, moral and historical right to all of the Land of Israel that the Palestinians do not have (although they do have human rights and ought to have at least a limited right of self-determination). I have argued this at length elsewhere. But that’s not the point. The point is that implementing partition of the Land of Israel would risk national suicide. There’s no rush. Perhaps the best “solution” is not to look for a political agreement, but just to keep the status quo with small modifications as needed. If you must have a program, there are other options than partition for an end game. So could we stop insisting on this one?

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
16 April '18..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2018/04/the-devil-is-in-the-implementation/

Yossi Klein Halevi is a wonderful writer. I recommend his book Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation to anyone who wants to appreciate the nuances of Israel’s political tribes.

But like many wonderful Israeli writers on such subjects, his brain is stuck.

It is stuck on the horns of the dilemma Micah Goodman calls Catch-67: if Israel tries to absorb all of Judea and Samaria, it will either have to undemocratically deny the franchise to the Arab population or become an unstable binational state (or both). But on the other hand, if Israel gives up Judea and Samaria, it will have to deal with a security nightmare in which terrorists will be in easy shooting range of Israel’s most populated regions. A Gaza times ten. Neither choice is acceptable. Stuck.

So how does he get unstuck? Like many Jewish intellectuals, he sees the demographic problem as worse than the security problem, and opts for partition. In a recent Wall Street Journal article (unfortunately behind a paywall) he argues that both sides have legitimate aspirations to possess all of the land; but although partition is unjust for both, it is the only practical solution.

I strongly disagree with him about the legitimacy of Palestinian aspirations (so does Yisrael Medad, here), but that isn’t what I want to discuss in this post. I want to look at one small piece of the issue that is a show-stopper for everyone that takes a similar pro-partition line: the question of implementation.

Halevi writes,

Like a majority of Israelis—though the numbers are dropping, according to the polls—I support the principle of a two-state solution, for Israel’s sake no less than for the Palestinians. Extricating ourselves from ruling over another people is a moral, political and demographic imperative. It is the only way to save Israel in the long term as both a Jewish and a democratic state—the two essential elements of our being. Partition is the only real alternative to a Yugoslavia-like single state in which two rival peoples devour each other.

But in order to take that frightening leap of territorial contraction—pulling back to the pre-1967 borders, when Israel was barely 9 miles wide at its narrowest point—we need some indication that a Palestinian state would be a peaceful neighbor, and not one more enemy on our doorstep. The practical expression of that goodwill would be Palestinian agreement that the descendants of the refugees of 1948 return to a Palestinian state and not to Israel, where they would threaten its Jewish majority.

We know, and Halevi notes, the depth of Palestinian hatred for Israel and that “the relentless message, conveyed to a new generation by media and schools and mosques, is that the Jews are thieves, with no historical roots in this land.” We know, from our experience with Gaza and South Lebanon, how easy it is for a terrorist organization like Hamas or Hezbollah to establish itself in areas from which Israel withdraws. We know that the geography of the Land of Israel, with the commanding high ground of Judea and Samaria makes a pre-1967 sized Israel almost indefensible.

No Palestinian leadership has ever indicated that it is prepared to give up the “right of return.” Indeed, this idea – that all of the land from the river to the sea has been unfairly taken from them – is the single essential ideological principle of Palestinian identity. Any Palestinian agreement to two-state plans has always been hedged as temporary, as in the PLO’s “phased plan” or Hamas’ proposal of a temporary truce. Palestinian leaders deny that there is a Jewish people, or that it has a historical connection to the land. This implies that there is a strong possibility that the Palestinian side will not negotiate in good faith or keep its side of the bargain.

Today you will be remembered, you who returned yet again to rescue those still there

...Today, Rosh Chodesh Iyar, you will be remembered Leon, and how you and your comrades in arms who had escaped the burning ghetto, returned to rescue those still there.

LOTL..
First posted 27 April '17..

(While having posted the beginning earlier last week for Yom HaShoah, today is appropriate to complete the story)

The excerpts quoted below come from Flags over the Warsaw Ghetto: The Untold Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by Moshe Arens. The book is both an outstanding and uniquely accurate account of what transpired, a must read, and one that does justice to all who fought and fell there.

On Sunday, April 18, 1943, the day before the uprising, Walewski and Leon Rodal were in the ZZW headquarters at Muranowska 7, making last-minute preparations. Walewski, who survived the fighting in the ghetto, later recalled Rodal's words:

We will all fall here. Those in battle, weapons in hand, and those as vain victims. But it is important that the memory of our battle will be retained, that the world will know there was a battle. A tough bloody battle. And should it happen that you, of the two of us will survive...and sometime, some-place, you were to meet my comrades, please tell them what I said, tell them that not for a moment did I doubt that Hitler's Germany would be defeated, not I, nor my comrades...that we are fighting for our people and we shall die for them. That we believe a Jewish State will arise in a struggle with our enemies there in that distance land.... During that far-off period of slavery, when the Roman legions trampled almost the entire ancient world, and the whole world kneeled before them, only one small Roman province, Judea, took up arms, rose up to fight for freedom and in defense of the honor of man, against a world of injustice. And that is the reason that Judea is inscribed in the history of man as a symbol of the fight for the spirit of man....Maybe, some day, after many years, when the history of the struggle against the Nazi conquerors is written, we will also be remembered, and, who knows, we will become - like small Judea in its day, which fought mighty Rome - the symbol of man's spirit that cannot be suppressed, whose essence is the fight for freedom, for the right to live, and the right to exist.

By the end of April, with the ghetto reduced to rubble and in flames, the remaining fighters looked to relocate outside, and continue with whatever activities would be possible from there. The surviving ZZW fighters, their commander Pawel Frenkel, and his deputy Leon Rodal, reestablished themselves at at Grzybowska 11, a building outside the ghetto.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Surprise? BBC report on latest Gaza violence follows established pattern - by Hadar Sela

...As we see, the BBC continues to avoid providing its audiences with the background which would facilitate their understanding of why Israel (and the pro two-state solution international community) ‘rejects’ the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ that is the professed rationale for these weekly publicity stunts. In light of that continued failure, one can only conclude that the BBC’s intention is not to meet its remit as a supplier of “impartial news and information” but to provide amplification for that anti-Israel political campaign.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
15 April '18..

On April 13th the BBC News website published a report about the third consecutive Friday of rioting along the Israel-Gaza Strip border. Titled “Fierce clashes continue at Gaza-Israel border fence“, the article was promoted on the website’s main homepage and ‘World’ page as well as on its ‘Middle East’ page and it included the same themes – and omissions – seen in previous BBC reporting (see ‘related articles’ below) on the same story.

Although readers once again saw use of the term ‘ancestral land’, the report made no effort was made to clarify that the vast majority of the people described as refugees are in fact descendants of refugees or that the aim of the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ is in fact to eradicate the Jewish state: a goal that it is incompatible with the internationally accepted ‘two-state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Protesters want refugees to be allowed to return to ancestral land now in Israel. […]

Organisers call the rolling protests the Great March of Return.

They will culminate on 15 May, the 70th annual commemoration of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people in the war which followed Israel’s creation in 1948.”

Yet again BBC audiences saw unquestioning repetition of casualty figures provided by the “Palestinian health ministry” – but without clarification that the ministry concerned is controlled by the terror group Hamas – which is one of the organisers of the ‘Great Return March’ publicity stunt.

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To be a free Nation, in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem - by Forest Rain

...Zaïd was survived by his wife and four children and the legacy that waited for the survivors of the death marches and concentration camps to pick up and continue where he left off – creating new Jews, more powerful and alive. Jews whose hearts no longer yearned but now beat as one with the land that gave them their history, where they could create a promise of an independent future for Jewish generations to come – free in our own land, Land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Forest Rain..
Inspiration from Zion..
14 April '18..

Standing on the top of the hill, I looked out at the beautiful land stretched before me.




Suddenly I felt my body vibrating. Looking up, I saw the guardians of Israel thundering across the sky. IAF fighter jets. It was Holocaust Memorial Day and they were practicing for the Independence Day aerial show.

How suitable. How awe-inspiring.

Could those Jews, those downtrodden, dehumanized, beaten, starving and tortured Jews imagine their grandchildren cutting through the heavens, with enough might at their fingertips to make any enemy shake in their boots and grovel for mercy?

And then I remembered a story I once heard from a Holocaust survivor. He had been a small boy when his family was forced on a death march. As a grandfather, living in Israel, on every Holocaust Memorial Day he walks through the streets of Jerusalem and, at the end of his march he eats two portions of steaming hot, golden falafel. Because, he explained, on that March, his mother, desperate to distract her hungry child, told him that in Zion food grows on trees, hot, crispy golden dumplings that anyone can take, whenever they want.

Cold and starving, marching towards death, they were dreaming of Zion…

It is in her honor that this man marches, as he pleases, free in the land of Zion and eats, not one but TWO portions of golden falafel.

(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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A battle of narratives on Israel's violent Gaza border - by Arnold Roth

...It's unlikely the Hamas organizers of this campaign are going to allow it to dwindle into insignificance. Unfortunately since the tools at their disposal tend to be limited to focusing on violence and generating human losses on their side (on our side too but that's less in their control), there's no basis for breathing more easily at this point.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
14 April '18..

We're into Week 3 of the Hamas-driven violence on Israel's Gaza border. And despite some serious efforts by Al Jazeera and others to "keep it in the forefront of the Arab public agenda" [Washington Post, April 13, 2018], the signs are that those Gazan riots do

not dominate the Arab media to the extent one might have expected. The events erupted in the middle of a crowded regional political agenda. In previous Arab-Israeli crises, popular Arab media outlets would have typically broadcast wall-to-wall coverage accompanied by furious talk shows and mobilizational programming, drowning out all other issues. This time, while most Arab media did cover the Gaza protests and subsequent violence, many key outlets covered it as one issue among many. These changes are rooted in fundamental alterations in the structure of the Arab media and the underlying political conflicts that have evolved since the 2011 Arab uprisings... [Washington Post, April 13, 2018]

Official Israeli sources are said to believe there is a gradual decrease in the number of Gazans participating in the "protests". And there are signs of news media weariness - even in the Arab world - with how Palestinian Arab "victimhood" is being milked in these staged Gaza border events. Here's an illustration.

It's not usually recognized by news consumers far from the scene but those reports of Arab casualties - the dead, the wounded on the Gazan side - always emanate from the Gazan Ministry of Health. Sounds reasonable, right? And would they lie?

(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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Saturday, April 14, 2018

On Revenging Past Injuries: Holocaust Day in Israel, Naqba Day in Palestine - by Richard Landes

...Those who feel deeply moved by the first video, may be unhappy with my invidious comparison with Israel’s neighbors. Why contaminate such a beautiful sentiment with unpleasant and demeaning comments about the Palestinians. Please excuse me, but given the immense popularity of the anti-Zionist narrative, I think it important to spell out for people what they don’t seem to be able to do for themselves.

Richard Landes..
Augean Stables..
12 April '18..

There seem to be two readings of Israel’s place in the 21st Century.

On the one hand, there’s a view, not so popular, even among Jews, that Israel is a light unto the nations, an inspiration to peoples and nations everywhere, about how to surmount the most terrible odds and come out the other side with your humanity not only intact, but thriving. As Edward Alexander put it:

the creation of the State of Israel was one of the few redeeming events in a century of blood and shame, one of the greatest affirmations of the will to live ever made by a martyred people, and a uniquely hopeful sign for humanity itself.

For those who wish to taste of this latter Israel, she who rises from the depths, who bears no malice, for whom the best revenge is to move on with life, enjoy this song with which Israelis mark their remembrance of the Holocaust.



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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, April 13, 2018

Just who exactly has the right to tell Israel how to defend its borders? - by David M. Weinberg

Nobody in the world has the right to criticize Israel’s defensive actions on the Gaza border, even if Israel had used significant force against the Hamas mobs – which it didn’t. Having been so wrong in their Pollyannaish hopes for the Oslo Accords, for the Arab Spring, and for the JCPOA – and so feckless during the Holocaust – the nations of the world have no moral right to tell Israel what to do, how to conduct its politics, where to erect its security fences, how to conduct its campaigns, where draw its borders or how to defend them, or what ancestral lands to trade away, if at all, to the Palestinians.

David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
13 April '18..
Link: https://www.davidmweinberg.com/2018/04/13/defiance/

Just who exactly has the right to tell Israel how to defend its borders?

Might it be the French government, which this week condemned the IDF for employing what it called “indiscriminate fire” against Hamas terrorists who are seeking to breach the Gaza border?

This is the same French that have never known how to defend their own borders, against Nazi invasion nor against Islamist infiltration; the same French, two of whose local embassy personnel were last month arrested for smuggling dozens of weapons from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip to the West Bank.

Might it be the European Union, which this week snorted that the deaths of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border “raise serious questions about proportionate use of force” by Israel?

Proportionate?! This is the same EU that continues to intervene massively and disproportionately on behalf of the Palestinians in their struggle with Israel – through gargantuan sums of aid money that partially goes to pay terrorists and fund hostile NGOs, by building illegal settlements in Area C for Palestinian squatters, and by supporting anti-Israel resolution after resolution in international forums including coda that denies Jewish history in Jerusalem.

The EU is lecturing Israel about proportionality? Do EU governments demand proportionate response from their police SWAT forces when they hunt down homegrown terrorists and airport bombers in Paris, Brussels and Marseille?

And besides, the demand for “proportionality” in military conflict seems to be a nonsensical special law cynically applied only to Israel – as if Israel was in a sportsmanlike joust with Hamas or Hezbollah.

This is also the same EU that supported the maliciously-biased UN investigations of the IDF (Goldstone and more) after Israel was forced to war against Hamas three times over the past decade because of Hamas rocket and terrorist attacks.

Or perhaps it is the dictatorial and anti-Semitic Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has a “right” to criticize Israel? Erdogan this week once again accused Israel of war crimes.

This is the same Erdogan who has jailed tens of thousands of Turkish academics, judges, journalists, human rights activists and officers who have dared to criticize his regime; the same Erdogan who openly harbors a hard-core Hamas operational terrorist headquarters in his capital city.

The Los Angeles Times Needs to Substantiate Dubious Charge About Reduced Water Flow Into Gaza - by Tamar Sternthal

CAMERA continues to urge The Times to either substantiate or retract the claim that the Gaza Strip is facing increased restrictions on the flow of water into the territory. Meanwhile, the paper continues its email campaign promising readers accuracy, quality journalism and truth.

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Media Analysis..
12 April '18..

CAMERA has contacted The Los Angeles Times to request substantiation or correction of the dubious charge that water flow into Gaza is facing increasing restriction. In an April 6 article, Noga Tarnopolsky and Rushdi Abu Alouf claimed ("Death toll rises to 8 as Palestinians rally along Gaza-Israel border"):

For Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Europeand Israel, the rallies are an attempt to show force in the face of increasingly dire punitive measures exacted against it by the Palestinian Authority, such as severe restrictions on the flow of potable water and electricity into the strip, and what it perceives to be the apathy of the Arab leadership. (Emphasis added.)



The Palestinian Authority does not provide the Gaza Strip directly with either water or electricity. It does, however, pay Israel to provide electricity to Gaza. It has been widely reported that due to the conflict between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the PA cut off its electricity payments to Israel, and Israel has, as a result, cut back on the amount of electricity it provides the Gaza Strip.

As The Los Angeles Times itself reported in February, Hamas-PA discord has resulted in cuts in electricity: "In June, as a punitive measure against Hamas, the Palestinian Authority stopped paying Israel to supply Gaza with electricity, causing the drastic reduction in power." (See here for the corrections that CAMERA prompted on this Times story.)

For good reason though, Ann Simmons' February story does not note punitive measures affecting the flow of water into Gaza. While the Gaza Strip suffers from a severe water shortage, this is not due to any decrease in the amount of water flowing into Gaza, but rather due to a polluted aquifer and the energy shortfalls required to treat the water from subterranean Gaza, along with inadequate infrastructure.

(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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NY Times Editorial Suggests Israel Use Fire Hoses on Palestinian Protesters - by Ira Stoll

...Maybe next time around, the Times could consider editorializing with a suggestion that the Hamas terrorists equip themselves with garden hoses rather than with their standard Molotov cocktails, suicide bombs, burning tires, and rockets. Until then, the whole thing is enough to make a reader wish some editor had directed a high-powered fire hose at the computer used to draft the Times editorial, or at whatever soggy-headed individual is to blame for having typed the draft of it.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
12 April '18..

A New York Times editorial recommends that Israel use water cannon instead of live ammunition against Hamas rioters in Gaza.

The Times editorial, headlined, “Israel’s Violent Response To Nonviolent Protests,” includes this sentence: “Israel has a right to defend its border, but in the face of unarmed civilians it could do so with nonlethal tactics common to law enforcement, such as the use of high-powered fire hoses.”

There are so many serious problems with the Times editorial that it’s difficult to decide where to begin dismantling it, but the “high-powered fire hoses” suggestion is probably a good place.

Here are six reasons that is a bad idea.

(Continue to Full Column)

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Linda Sarsour’s April Fool’s Day Tweet - by Stephen M. Flatow

Sarsour spoke of her Palestinian blood, so have a look at the town from which Sarsour’s parents came, and see if we can figure out what kind of blood they passed on to their daughter.

Stephen M. Flatow..
Israel National News..
11 April '18..
Link: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/21972

“I am honored and grateful to God that he chose to let this Palestinian blood run through my veins.”

That April 1 tweet by Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour caught my eye. At first, noting the date of her tweet, I thought that Sarsour might just be kidding around. But no, it was no April Fool’s Day joke. It was just another attempt by Sarsour to make fools out of the American public.

It’s the mass Arab violence at the Gaza border that set Sarsour off on this latest tirade. “Thinking of my Palestinian sisters and others and sending them gratitude for their sacrifices,” she declared in her tweet, vicariously enjoying the thrill of watching other Arabs throw firebombs at Jews, while she tweets from her comfortable home in Brooklyn. Sarsour wrote that she is “honored” to have all that “Palestinian blood” in her veins, because it is “a blood of a courageous, determined and resilient people.”

I’m not sure what exactly is so courageous about lighting a bottle full of gasoline and hurling it the Israelis on the other side of the Gaza border fence. Trying to burn Jews to death doesn’t take courage; it takes a level of viciousness and immorality that most decent people instinctively abhor.  It’s an act of war. No wonder polls have consistently shown, for decades, that very few Americans sympathize with the Palestinian Arab cause.

Sarsour’s weird proclamation about “Palestinian blood” is part of the never-ending, but never-successful, campaign to win Americans to the Palestinian cause. She thinks that if she and her comrades can prove that the Palestinians are a separate, distinct national group, they should be given their own sovereign state. Now, she apparently believes that they have distinct blood, too.

Israel proves exceptional, once again - by Evelyn Gordon

The very existence of a Jewish state, whatever its flaws, is grounds for rejoicing.

Evelyn Gordon..
JNS.org..
11 April '18..

In January 2017, the Ipsos Mori research company published a shocking poll headlined “Six in ten around the world think their society is ‘broken.’ ” Out of 23 countries surveyed—13 Western democracies and 10 non-Western democracies, most with relatively strong economies—only in six did a majority of respondents disagree with that statement.

Moreover, almost four in 10 respondents agreed another troubling claim: “These days I feel like a stranger in my own country.” Though the proportion topped 50 percent in only two countries, it exceeded a third in all but three.

Pollsters then asked several questions designed to elaborate on those general sentiments—some exploring trust in national institutions and others exploring attitudes toward immigration. Their theory was that low trust in institutions would correlate to high levels of belief that society was broken, while negative attitudes toward immigrants would correlate to high levels of feeling like a stranger in one’s own country. And there was, in fact, some correlation, albeit not perfect. Notably, countries with both high trust in institutions and low concern about immigration had among the fewest respondents saying either that society was broken or that they felt like strangers in their own land.

And then there was the one glaring exception: Israel.

(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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Maybe, some day, after many years, ...we will also be remembered

...And should it happen that you, of the two of us should survive...and sometime, some-place, you were to meet my comrades, please tell them what I said, tell them that not for a moment did I doubt that Hitler's Germany would be defeated, not I, nor my comrades...that we are fighting for our people and shall die for them. That we believe that a Jewish State will arise in a struggle with our enemies there in that distant land...

Love of the Land..
First posted 24 April '17..


...On Sunday, April 18, 1943 (13 Nisan), the day before the uprising, Waleski and Leon Rodal were in the ZZW headquarters at Muranowska 7, making last minute preparations. Walewski, who survived the fighting in the ghetto, later recalled Rodal's words:

We will all fall here. Those in battle, weapons in hand, and those as vain victims. But it is important that the memory of our battle will be retained, that the world will know that there was a battle. A tough bloody battle. And should it happen that you, of the two of us should survive...and sometime, some-place, you were to meet my comrades, please tell them what I said, tell them that not for a moment did I doubt that Hitler's Germany would be defeated, not I, nor my comrades...that we are fighting for our people and shall die for them. That we believe that a Jewish State will arise in a struggle with our enemies there in that distant land...

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A Big Media Fail: Images of Syrian Chemical Attack Victims Linked to Israeli Air Strike - by Simon Plosker

...Ultimately, this story demonstrated just how widespread the damage can be when a wire service gets it wrong and its media clients follow suit without bothering to take responsibility. In addition, we witnessed other media outlets that lazily chose to pair images of suffering Syrian children with headlines concerning an Israeli air strike. No wonder we received complaints from around the world.

Simon Plosker..
Honest Reporting..
11 April '18..

It was a busy day for media coverage of Syria. First came the appalling chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma allegedly carried out by President Bashar Assad’s forces followed by hand wringing by the civilized members of the international community.

Then, in what was most likely an unrelated event, Israel was widely seen to be behind an air strike on a Syrian air base which killed 14 people, including a number of Iranian military advisers.

The Syrian chemical attack and the alleged Israeli air strike became part of the same story for many media outlets. Many of the headlines ran with the most recent incident – the air strike. However, in the absence of any images from the scene, some media chose to use the highly emotive images resulting from the Syrian chemical attack.

This was the resulting Associated Press report:




Unfortunately as a wire service provider to thousands of global media outlets, the headline and accompanying image spread rapidly leaving casual readers under the false impression that Israel was responsible for killing or injuring Syrian children.

(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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