Saturday, June 30, 2018

No 'in and out' solution - by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

Both the Gaza and Iran events show us that life is much more complicated than it is portrayed in simplistic headlines.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror..
Israel Hayom..
29 June '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/no-in-and-out-solution/

Iran is seeing anti-government protests because of the grim economic situation there, which wasn't good even before the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and has been getting worse ever since then. Still, the demonstrations are far from being a real threat to the regime, which has seen darker days and much bigger protests than these. Headlines about the events tend to exaggerate as hope is filtered into analysis.

Meanwhile, on our own border, incendiary kites from Gaza continue to burn up our fields as the farmers watch, helpless. The IDF still has no good way of combatting the ongoing airborne terrorism. Some argue that this means Israel is losing its sovereignty and power of deterrence.

The truth is that while the kite and balloon attacks are unpleasant, it might be better to assess Israel's sovereignty by the Friday on which no Gazan was allowed to breach the border but some 60 Palestinians were killed trying to do so, and over 2,000 were wounded in the clashes? It might also be better to judge our sovereignty by the lack of any response from Hamas to the events of that Friday, which marked the end of its aspiration to march a million Palestinians into Israel.

Remember, Israel has dealt with much bigger threats than the kites. If we evaluate these fires calmly and rationally, we will understand that they are only a minor achievement for Hamas and no real threat to the country. They don't cause loss of life (although there are no guarantees) and even the economic damage is small.

It's tough to see – it's unpleasant that the other side is hitting us with such primitive weapons but we must also understand that it's all our enemies have left. Burning a few thousand acres of fields is almost nothing compared to what they had expected to do through these demonstrations.

Friday, June 29, 2018

What Prince William Didn't See During His Red-Carpet Reception in Ramallah - by Bassam Tawil

It seems that Abbas and Israel have different views on how terrorism should be combated. Abbas seems to think that paying salaries to convicted terrorists and their families is a good first step in that direction.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
28 June '18..

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shared some interesting news with England's Prince William during a meeting in Ramallah on June 27. He informed the royal visitor that the Palestinians are "serious about reaching peace with Israel." Abbas also said that the Palestinians were "committed to combating terrorism."

What makes this news interesting is that as Abbas was speaking to Prince William in his Ramallah headquarters, known as the Mukata, the Palestinian government issued a statement praising Palestinian terrorists imprisoned by Israel. The Ramallah-based government also vowed to continue paying salaries to Palestinians convicted of murdering and injuring Jews, defying Israeli and American demands to stop the payments.

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The end of every balloon - by Jerome Marcus

...The event’s name is taken from a popular children’s book published in 1974, written in Hebrew, called A Tale of Five Balloons. It teaches, among other things, about loss. The story ends with the balloon popping, and the child learning that this is what happens to every balloon. Halevai. If only.

Jerome Marcus..
JNS.org..
27 June '18..

A peculiarly Israeli approach to national defense was on display recently at a high school in Shaar HaNegev, “Gate of the Desert.” There, as described in an article in the Hebrew-language online daily Globus, 350 Israelis showed up for a Hackathon dubbed “What Happens to Every Balloon.”

The event announcement called for volunteers to try to develop solutions for
the latest “war” effort emanating from the Gaza Strip. Balloons, filled with helium stolen from Gaza hospitals, are equipped with bombs, grenades and other flammable materials, and then sent flying into the air, which the Arabs hope will carry the kites north and east to the Jewish communities nearby, to the fields where many in these communities farm. Focused entirely on civilian targets—and so a clear violation of the law of war—the tactic hasn’t yet caused any Jewish deaths. But it has destroyed many thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and a nature reserve, as well as caused the deaths of many animals.

More volunteers signed up than the site could accommodate, and registration for the event had to be closed. The Israelis who came—kippah-decked and bare-headed, men and women, and mostly young—were divided into groups with three different goals: identifying the threat; destroying the threat; and minimizing the damage. Among these three groups, a total of 20 teams were created. Each had a mentor, chosen from among experts in lasers, radar, optics, photography, fire-fighting and other fields.

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Day Tripping in Samaria and Talking With Settlers - by Sheri Oz

..."You do not get to judge whether or not I have a right to live in my land. I do not really care what you think about that and I am not going to try to persuade you of anything. But if you want to know what my experience is, I am happy to discuss this with you.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
28 June '18..

What would you expect to see on a tour of Samaria? What do you expect settlers to be like?

A Very Little Bit of Background

Samaria is the ancient name of the region based upon the name of what was once a capital city of the northern Kingdom of Israel. The Hebrew name is The Shomron. After the Jordanian occupation of the region west of the Jordan River in 1948, it was subsumed under the name, The West Bank. Internationally, and sadly, in Israel as well, that is the name most often used for the region, while with time, more and more Israelis are calling it Judea and Samaria or Yehuda v-Shomron.

In the 1967 war, Israel won back control over Judea and Samaria (J&S), but ceded some of that control when it signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO, an agreement that lead to the creation of the Palestinian Authority. There is a war of sorts going on now concerning the future of these disputed territories, unquestionably recognized by most Jews as the heart of our Jewish Homeland (even if many say “so what!”). What is questioned by leftist Jews within Israel is whether or not it is wise to hold onto these lands as opposed to giving them up in a negotiated peace treaty with the Arabs who live there and allowing it to become another Arab-Muslim state. Leftists outside of Israel, Jewish or not, seem to see us as colonialists with no legitimate ties to the land as an indigenous nation.

Purpose of the Samaria Trip

Recently, I went on two organized trips to Samaria. One trip was with David Haivri (organized by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and the Shomron Council) and the other with David Hermelin (organized by The Center for Public Diplomacy and Israeli Hasbara). Both trips had the same overall goal: to show people the reality on the ground in Samaria and let them reach their own conclusions.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

As expected, BBC R4 ‘Today’ listeners sold short by Knell’s portrayal of Jerusalem - by Hadar Sela

...While it is standard BBC practice to avoid informing audiences of the history and status of Jerusalem before June 1967 – including the internationally unrecognised 19 year-long Jordanian occupation of parts of the city – obviously that practice does not contribute to meeting the BBC’s public purpose obligation to provide its funding public with “accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world”.


Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
27 June '18..

The BBC’s domestic coverage of the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority controlled territories continued on June 26th with no fewer than three items aired on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today‘ programme.

In addition to reports from the corporation’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond and during the news bulletin, listeners also heard a report by the BBC Jerusalem bureau’s Yolande Knell.

During that report Knell – like Jeremy Bowen in the previous day’s programme – brought up the topic of the objection of an Israeli minister to the wording of the itinerary put out by the Royal Household.

Knell: “On his solo trip the prince will watch Jewish and Arab Israeli children playing football. But political differences here aren’t always so easy to overcome. Israeli politicians are criticising his schedule for presenting Jerusalem’s Old City as part of the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Obviously if the BBC’s domestic audiences are to understand the reason for the objection to that description of the Old City of Jerusalem as ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ they would need to be told of the inclusion of Jerusalem in the territory assigned by the League of Nations to the creation of a Jewish homeland. They would also need to be informed of the belligerent British-backed Jordanian invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing of Jews who had lived in Jerusalem for generations from districts including the Old City in 1948, together with the destruction of synagogues and cemeteries, as well as the fact that the 1949 Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan specifically stated that the ceasefire lines were not borders.

However in typical BBC style, Yolande Knell erased all the history prior to June 1967 from her simplistic account:

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The Obvious Link: What School Shootings and Palestinian Terror Have in Common - by Evelyn Gordon

...As the Times put it, “The role of the media in turning school gunmen into household names and perpetuating ‘the infamous legacy they desire’ can be shown to have inspired additional attacks.” This conclusion would come as no surprise to Israelis because Israeli researchers had long ago reached a similar conclusion about the role of societal attention in motivating Palestinian terror.

Evelyn Gordon..
Analysis from Israel..
28 June '18..
Link: http://evelyncgordon.com/what-school-shootings-and-palestinian-terror-have-in-common/

Last Thursday, Palestinian Media Watch revealed that the Palestinian Culture Ministry proclaimed a National Reading Day in honor of Baha Alyan, a terrorist who murdered three civilians on a Jerusalem bus in 2015. This was just the latest of hundreds of similar examples of the Palestinian Authority’s glorification of terrorists, a practice the international community has been dismissing as unimportant for a quarter century now. Thus, it might be useful for Americans to look at the issue through the prism of a more familiar problem: school shootings. Because, as investigations into the shooters’ motivations reveal, those shootings have quite a lot in common with Palestinian terror.

As the New York Times reported last month, school shootings seem to have become “contagious.” Each new shooter is inspired by his predecessors, and especially by the media attention they receive. In a cellphone video made prior to February’s deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, for instance, the gunman declared, “I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018 … It’s going to be a big event. When you see me on the news, you’ll all know who I am.”

Similarly, after another gunman killed two people on live television in 2015, one 26-year-old man wrote on his blog, “I have noticed that so many people like him are all alone and unknown, yet when they spill a little blood, the whole world knows who they are … Seems the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight.” A few months later, that man murdered nine people in a shooting spree at an Oregon community college.

Investigators have consequently concluded that alienated or mentally disturbed young men see such shootings as a way “to get the attention of a society that they believe bullies, ignores or misunderstands them,” the Times reported. And media attention plays a major role in this, according to researchers at Western New Mexico University. As the Times put it, “The role of the media in turning school gunmen into household names and perpetuating ‘the infamous legacy they desire’ can be shown to have inspired additional attacks.”

This conclusion would come as no surprise to Israelis because Israeli researchers had long ago reached a similar conclusion about the role of societal attention in motivating Palestinian terror. During the height of the second intifada (2000-05), Dr. Anat Berko interviewed numerous failed suicide bombers–people who were caught before they could blow themselves up. She found that, for young men, a key driver of such attacks was the knowledge that they would be lionized by their own society (women were more likely to be motivated by a desire to escape miserable personal circumstances). As she put it in a 2014 interview, “The suicide bomber does not act out of suffering or inferior economic status, but rather out of a desire to win social recognition.”

Real Coexistence: The Israeli Hospital Experience - by Varda Meyers Epstein

It’s just the way it is. And so I look around me in the hospital and murmur quietly to my husband, “Apartheid,” and he laughs.

Varda Meyers Epstein..
Judean Rose/Elder of Ziyon..
27 June '18..

If you want to experience the real Israel, go to the hospital. It’s where you’ll meet all kinds of Israelis, and hear all kinds of Hebrew. But you’ll also hear lots and lots of Arabic, and see and interact with lots of Arab people.

Now it’s easy to stay in an Anglo bubble in Israel. You do it by living in neighborhoods that are mostly inhabited by those from English-speaking countries. Lots of people do it, including this writer. It makes it so much easier to be with people who have the same Western mindset. Living in the bubble also translates to local stores that cater to you and carry the products you remember from the Old Country. Things like Ocean Spray cranberry sauce and real maple syrup. If you like those sorts of things.

Live here long enough, however, and you’ll God forbid be forced to seek medical care. That means stepping outside that comfortable bubble and getting along with others. And since Israel is a melting pot, “others” means people from Russia, Ethiopia, Argentina, Morocco, Yemen, France, and so many other countries.

Not everyone speaks the universal language of English, of course, and not everyone speaks Hebrew, if it comes right down to it. As a result, just about everyone speaks sign language. Not the official kind of sign language for the deaf community, but the kind of sign language people resort to in the desperation of needing to be understood where there is no common language.

The real shock for the uninitiated, however, is that Israeli hospitals are full of Arabs. I can’t give you the breakdown for the percent of Arabs treated in Israeli hospitals. According to Elder of Ziyon, however, over 100,000 Palestinian Authority Arabs were treated in Israeli hospitals in 2015. The non-Israeli patient load at Safra Children’s Hospital of Tel HaShomer Sheba’s pediatric oncology ward is at times 75% of the total ward population, while Ichilov Hospital’s pediatric oncology ward patients are 90% non-Israeli, meaning the patients are largely foreigners and PA residents.

All this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

It Seems for The Washington Post, Jewish Blood Isn’t Cheap — It’s Just Not Worth the Ink - by Sean Durns

...Thwarted terror plots, including suicide bombings and the planned assassination of a country’s leaders, are certainly newsworthy, but apparently not if the country is Israel and the newspaper is The Washington Post.

Sean Durns..
Algemeiner..
25 June '18..

“If it bleeds, it leads” is an old adage describing the media’s tendency to prioritize stories involving violence. But this is not the case, it seems, if it’s Israelis who are doing the bleeding. And not if you’re The Washington Post covering the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Beginning in late March 2018, Hamas undertook a nearly two-month-long operation dubbed the “Great Return March,” in which the Gaza-based terror group sent its operatives — many of them armed — to breach Israel’s sovereign border. In an attempt to create civilian casualties, terrorists were interspersed among unarmed civilians and tires were burned and mirrors used to obscure the vision of IDF snipers seeking to target Hamas terrorists.

Nonetheless, the Israeli targeting was largely successful. Of the 124 Gazans killed during the event, “more than 80%” were “terrorist operatives or affiliated with terrorist organizations,” according to a June 12, 2018 analysis by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Hamas itself not only admitted that many of those killed were its operatives, but also conceded that they were “deceiving the public” by claiming that the March was one of “peaceful” resistance.

Media coverage of the Hamas-led operation, however, was uniformly awful — as CAMERA has documented. And The Washington Post was among the worst.

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Combating the Left’s ‘Alternative’ Israel Brainwashing - by Ardie Geldman

...The Boston College visit seemed designed to overwhelm the students with powerful affective experiences and poignant imagery that lent credence only to the Palestinian narrative. It appeared to be a stratagem whose purpose was to win over the students’ emotions. In this respect, it was similar to other “alternative” tours whose covert objective is to capture people’s passions. Such tours target the heart, not the mind.

Ardie Geldman..
Commentary Magazine..
18 June '18..

Excluding drive-time traffic, a car ride from the southern end of Jerusalem to the West Bank community of Efrat takes about 15 minutes. One travels along Israel’s Route 60 on the segment known as the “Tunnels Road” because its construction necessitated the first two tunnels in Israel to be cut through mountainside. The road was opened in 1996 to let commuters bypass the Arab towns of Bethlehem and Beit Jala, but mostly to avoid the Deheisha refugee camp. Cars driving on this road displaying yellow Israeli license plates had often been the targets of rocks and occasionally Molotov cocktails and gunfire.

Efrat’s first homeowners moved into the suburban hilltop community in April 1983. Starting with 50 families, some 250 souls, Efrat has since developed into a full-fledged, independent municipality whose current populace is about 12,000. Its master plan, approved by an Israeli Labor government during the mid-1970s, foresees a total population of 30,000. Efrat boasts a number of highly rated schools, a large and active community center, a well-used multilingual public library, sports fields and playgrounds, shopping centers, a soon-to-be completed shopping mall with underground parking, a plethora of medical clinics, and numerous synagogues (to date all Orthodox)—in short, pretty much every type of institution or facility that makes a town a town.

The view from Efrat is pastoral, even biblical. Local Arab shepherds daily guide their flocks of sheep and goats across the abutting highways and past adjoining vineyards. Some of these vines were planted only in the early 1980s by residents of nearby El Khadar on empty unclaimed fields in a failed effort to thwart the first stages of Efrat’s construction. In late spring and summer, the green vineyards carpet the valleys that form the floor below the surrounding southern Judean hills. Along some of these hilltops lie the homes of Efrat, with their distinctive burnt-orange tiled roofs.

Another thing about Efrat. Its proximity to Jerusalem and several Palestinian Authority towns has facilitated its becoming a popular destination for politically themed visits, part of a larger industry known as alternative tourism. This refers to visits by foreigners, often self-described “social-justice warriors,” touring conflict areas in different parts of the world. They come to observe circumstances on the ground, to meet the actors, and to learn about the local history. Some arrive with more activist agendas.

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Jared Kushner’s dangerously naive belief about the Palestinians’ “ability to love” - by Stephen M. Flatow

There’s a certain contempt that’s implicit in presuming to enlighten other people as to what they should care about and what is in their best interests.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
26 June '18..

We don’t yet know the details of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that presidential adviser Jared Kushner is preparing. But we do know how Kushner perceives the Palestinian Arabs. And he’s got them all wrong.

The White House has released an official transcript of Kushner’s June 24 interview with the Palestinian Arab newspaper Al Quds. It shows that Kushner subscribes to the oldest myth of the conflict—that average Palestinians are really just like us.

Here’s how he put it: “I believe that Palestinian people are less invested in the politicians’ talking points than they are in seeing how a deal will give them and their future generations new opportunities, more and better paying jobs and prospects for a better life.”

It’s often hard for Americans to grasp the fact that the values and concerns of the Palestinian Arabs are, in fact, radically different from those of America, Israel and the West. Average Palestinian Arabs really do want to destroy Israel. They really do hate Jews. The political culture of their society is not the same as the democratic political culture of the United States or Israel. Better-paying jobs are not their highest goal.

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Stephen M. Flatow, a vice president of the Religious Zionists of America, is an attorney in New Jersey and the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.

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, June 26, 2018

BBC News website makes use of selective history in royal visit article - by Hadar Sela

...Once again the BBC has passed up the opportunity to provide its funding public with an accurate and impartial account of the role played by their country in the history of the region currently being visited by a member of their royal family.

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

An article titled “Prince William makes historic visit to Middle East” that appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘UK’ and ‘Middle East pages on June 24th includes an insert of analysis from the BBC’s royal correspondent Jonny Dymond and a link to an article by the same journalist.

The title of that linked article – “Prince William set to ‘wander among bones of Empire’” – and the heading given to the insert – ‘The prince wanders among the bones of Empire’ – both steer readers towards a misleading view of the history of the places Prince William is visiting. The article opens:

“The Duke of Cambridge is embarking upon an historic tour of the Middle East – visiting both Israel and the Palestinian territories – in a trip in which ironies and sensitivities will abound.”

The caption to the photograph at the head of the article reads:

“The itinerary is scrupulously balanced between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories”

Neither what is today Israel, Jordan or the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority were part of the British Empire system of colonies, protectorates and dominions: rather they were territory administered by Britain on behalf of the League of Nations.

Bateman’s account of history, however, makes no mention of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

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Media and the Gaza baby blood libel: Equal narratives; unequal treatment - by Simon Plosker

For the media, acknowledging the baby blood libel would be an admission that they have willingly reported the false narrative of a terrorist organization, something most journalists are understandably reluctant to do.

Simon Plosker..
Blog/Times of Israel..
25 June '18..
Link: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/gaza-baby-libel-equal-narratives-unequal-treatment/

How is it that Hamas’ credibility is treated as equal to that of the IDF and Israeli authorities? Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard journalists complain about the way in which Israel has dealt with their needs in relation to the weeks of violence at the Gaza border. I’ve also heard the argument from at least one journalist that both Hamas and Israel have equal and competing narratives that should be reported equally.

One major difference between the two sides is that one actively lies.

The death of Palestinian eight-month old Leila al-Ghandour on May 14, reportedly as a result of Israeli tear gas, made global headlines. Doubts were raised at the time over the cause of death and Hamas eventually took the baby off its list of casualties of the Gaza border violence. Still, headlines such as the Daily Express’ “Mother’s agony as baby dies in Gaza gas horror” and “Drones drop deadly cannisters” contributed to the libel of Israel as a brutal baby killer.

Despite this framing of the incident, the media cannot be blamed for covering the story. They can, however, be held responsible for taking Hamas claims at face value, not only in this case but more widely.

Reports now suggest that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar paid baby Leila’s parents NIS 8,000 ($2,200) to tell the media that the infant had died due to tear gas inhalation at the Gaza protests. This information comes from a relative of the family arrested and questioned over terror activities at the Gaza border who told Israeli authorities that the baby had died of a fatal blood condition that runs in the family.

Perhaps the media might be skeptical of any information of this nature given that it was apparently obtained from a Palestinian held in Israeli custody. Nonetheless, surely those same media outlets that reported the baby’s death in such a damning manner even while questions remained, have a duty to report this latest development? After all, how can the media not give equal coverage to what they would claim to be equal and competing narratives?

But, aside from a few reports, this new revelation simply didn’t register on most of the international media’s radars. A blood libel, like most of the blood libels leveled at Israel over the years, has essentially become part of the accepted narrative even if it is subsequently proven to be fake news.

Hamas knows it can get away with it.

Another Case Where NY Times’ Israel Coverage Is Literally Worse Than Al Jazeera’s - by Ira Stoll

I can see both sides of the case for moving the Bedouin village or for leaving it in place. The New York Times, for comparison’s sake, has had no problem kicking legal homeowners and businesses out of the way to support private construction projects in Connecticut and in New York City, including for its own headquarters tower. No matter one’s view of the underlying merits of the case, though, it shouldn’t be too much to ask for the Times to do better than Al Jazeera when it comes to accurately reporting on the number of people involved and refraining from casting personal aspersions on the Israeli judges.

Ira Stoll..
Algemeiner.com..
25 June '18..

How bad is The New York Times’ coverage of Israel?

In the case of at least one story (actually, that now makes it at least two stories, if you count this one I wrote about last year), it’s literally worse than Al Jazeera.

A Bedouin village called Khan al-Ahmar was the subject of articles in The New York Times and on AlJazeera.com, the website of the satellite network geared to an Arab audience and controlled by the al-Thani family that rules the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar. The comparison is illuminating.

The Al Jazeera article reports that the community numbers 180 individuals. The Times article includes no count of the population of the village. The Times does however, include a photo cutline reporting that “For decades, Israel has wanted to clear a large section of the West Bank of several thousand Bedouins to make room for Jewish settlements.” The Times article also uses similar language in its third paragraph: “For decades, Israel has wanted to clear a large section of the West Bank of several thousand Bedouins.” That Times language gives readers the false and inaccurate impression that the population of this village is much larger than it actually is.

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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, June 25, 2018

The Palestinian problem with the plan is that it's an obstacle to their plan to eliminate Israel - by Bassam Tawil

The two Palestinian parties, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, may disagree on everything -- except the elimination of Israel. The only peace plan acceptable to current Palestinian leaders would be one that facilitated their mission of pursuing jihad against Israel to obliterate it.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
24 June '18..

The Palestinians have never laid eyes on US President Donald Trump's plan for peace in the Middle East. The Palestinians know nothing about the plan, which still has not been made public.

That fact, however, has not stopped them from categorically rejecting the yet-to-be-announced plan -- a stance the Palestinians repeated this week as US Middle East envoys Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt visited Israel and a number of Arab countries to discuss the plan.

The Trump plan has not even been finalized and, as such, has not officially been presented to any of the parties to the Israeli-Arab conflict. Kushner and Greenblatt have been working on the plan for several months; their current tour of the region comes in the context of Jordan and Egypt.

It is only the Palestinians who are boycotting the US administration. In the past six months, the Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership has refused to have any dealings with the US administration -- except, of course, when it comes to receiving financial aid from the US. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior associates in Ramallah have not only refused to meet with any official from the US administration, they have also been waging a smear campaign of hate and incitement against President Trump and top US administration representatives and officials.

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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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'Mowing the Grass' in Gaza (v.2018) - by Prof. Efraim Inbar

With new kite-arson fires raging daily, thousands of acres of farmland destroyed and no end in sight to Gazan attacks on the surrounding area, it may benefit all of us to take a look at some of underlying ideas that allow this to continue. Last week we reposted the 2014 version of "Mowing the Grass" by Prof. Inbar and Dr. Shamir (here) and it is certainly worthwhile to take a 2nd look at it to consider whether this concept has seen success or has run its course.

Prof. Efraim Inbar..
Israel Hayom..
24 June '18..
Linkhttps://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com/2018/06/revisiting-mowing-grass-in-gaza-by-prof.html

The strong desire to end the terror from Gaza, once and for all, is understandable but unrealistic. Beyond the border is a large population that hates the Jews and carried out terror attacks against Israel in the past even when Israel ruled Gaza. In addition, conquering the Strip would constitute a complex military operation that may well involve much bloodletting. Afterward, it would be Israel's responsibility to take care of Gaza's residents, which is inadvisable. Similarly, putting an end to the Hamas rulership would not end the popularity of Hamas among the Palestinians and would not serve Israeli interests. Hamas rule actually weakens the peace-rejectionist Palestinian national movement. The rift between Gaza and the West Bank proves that the Palestinian national movement is not capable of establishing a state and does not constitute a partner for peace.

The Hamas organization is aware of Israel's strategic logic and is not worried that Israel will engineer a large-scale war to end its rule over Gaza. As a result, when it runs low on cash (as happened in 2014 and recently this year), Hamas raises the bar of violence against Israel in the hopes that Israel and the international community will be convinced to send financial assistance to the Strip. Some of the money will go straight into the organization's treasury and the rest will be used to buy political silence on Gaza's streets. In order not to appear as caving into the terror organization's blackmail, the money transfer is euphemistically called "humanitarian assistance."

It is a well-known fact based on numerous studies in many countries that there is no direct connection between standard of living (poverty) and terrorist activity. For example, the Palestinian wave of terror that began in 2000 took place when the standard of living of the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Strip was higher than ever before. Similarly, Hamas chooses to use terror against Israel not because of the low standard of living of Gaza's residents but due to their extremist ideology that advocates the elimination of the Jewish state. The timing of terrorist activities is influenced also by the political and economic circumstances faced by Hamas.

Delegitimizing BDS is far from mission impossible - by Evelyn Gordon

Sometimes, fire must be fought with fire; only by making BDS a pariah can we keep it from turning Israel into one. Fortunately, this is an eminently achievable goal.

Evelyn Gordon..
JNS.org..
21 June '18..

The BDS movement hasn’t had much luck targeting Israel’s economy or even its cultural life: Despite some high-profile cancelations, there were 140 performances by international artists last year, up from 22 in 2010.

Yet these failures are secondary to the movement’s main goal, which is to delegitimize Israel and turn it into a pariah state by insisting that Israel—alone of all the world’s countries—is uniquely deserving of boycotts, divestment and sanctions. And in that, BDS has been more successful, particularly on American college campuses.

The only way to fight this is to turn the tables—to make BDS itself a pariah with which no decent person would associate. That’s precisely why the numerous state laws against anti-Israel boycotts are so important.

Nevertheless, many Americans who oppose BDS object to trying to ostracize the movement, arguing that doing so essentially emulates and thereby legitimizes its tactics. As a free-speech advocate, I’m sympathetic to this argument. The problem with it, however, is that it effectively legitimizes the movement’s underlying message instead.

After all, even in America, some views are so unacceptable that no respectable organization would give them a platform. By not putting BDS in this category, we’re effectively saying its message—that Israel is fundamentally morally illegitimate—isn’t beyond the pale; it’s a legitimate position over which reasonable people can disagree. And that makes it easy for BDS to grow because it enables even groups that don’t care about this issue to feel comfortable embracing the movement for tactical reasons (i.e., to gain its support for their own pet causes).

Moreover, as several recent examples show, delegitimizing BDS is far from mission impossible.

(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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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Revisiting the Death of Abu Thuraya: What Really Happened? - by Tal Raphael

This incident extends beyond the personal case of Abu Thuraya. It demonstrates a propagandist mechanism of staging the injuring and killing of a person who eagerly anticipates his martyrdom and views it positively as his contribution to a campaign against the Jewish state.

Tal Raphael..
CAMERA.org..
22 June '18..

On Dec. 15, 2017, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a double amputee, was killed near the Gaza Strip border’s border with Israel during violent clashes with Israeli forces. Palestinians claimed that he was killed by an IDF sniper, but CAMERA’s new in-depth examination raises many questions about the version of events released by Palestinian news sources.

CAMERA previously examined other aspects of the Abu Thuraya story, prompting numerous media corrections regarding both the unclear circumstances of his death and how he lost his legs. (Archival video located by the Associated Press revealed that the latter occurred in the course of his participation in clashes against Israeli forces, and not during an Israeli airstrike, as his family had claimed.)

Presspectiva, CAMERA’s Hebrew department, highlighted videos filmed shortly before Abu Thuraya joined the riots at the fence in which he declares his desire to die “as a martyr.” Also pointed out was the absence of any photos of Abu Thuraya’s injury right after he was shot, despite the abundance of images released of the incident.

In March, the IDF published the findings of its investigation, which concluded that soldiers had halted their fire at least one hour before the time the Palestinians claim he was shot.

Presspectiva has since then found more discrepancies in the information provided by Palestinian news sources, raising additional questions about Abu Thuyara’s death.

(Continue to Full Story)

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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Fools on the Ground: Examining the World Council of Churches in Israel and Its EAPPI ...by Dexter Van Zile

In the heart of Jerusalem's Old City, France is providing diplomatic cover for undercover anti-Israel activists. Infiltrating the Jewish State under the auspices of the World Council of Churches' EAPPI program, 'Ecumenical Accompaniers' are helping a terrorist movement to demonize Israel.

Dexter Van Zile..
Jerusalem Jornal..
17 June '18..
Link: http://jerusalemjournal.net/news-and-views/fools-on-the-ground-the-world-council-of-churches-in-israel-and-its-eappi-by-dexter-van-zile

These days, France is not a particularly good place to be a Jew. The country that gave us the Dreyfus Trial in 1894 and the round up of Jews at the VĂ©lodrome d'Hiver in 1942 has been the scene of some terrible acts of violence against Jews in the 21st Century. In 2006, the world witnessed the murder of Ilan Halimi, the Toulouse and Montaban killings in 2012, and anti-Jewish riots in 2014. In 2015, the world witnessed the Hypercacher massacre and in 2017 the murder of Sarah Halimi. All this violence bespeaks of a breakdown in French society, a breakdown that is causing many Jews to leave the country and immigrate to Israel.

Who can blame them? In 2016, the Catholic News Agency reported, “Jews only comprise one percent of France’s population, but over half of the reported hate crimes in France were anti-Semitic in 2014.”

Once French-born Jews make it to Israel, France’s fecklessness follows them. In particular, France provides diplomatic cover to anti-Israel activists affiliated with the World Council of Churches (WCC), an ecumenical Christian institution with a sad history of being soft on Communism and more recently, jihadism, going so far as to obstruct efforts to address antisemitism at the UN’s anti-racism conference in Durban in 2001.

In particular, the French government provides diplomatic cover to the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine/Israel (EAPPI) in the compound of St. Anne’s Church located in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. The property was given to France by the Ottoman Empire to the French government in 1856 in gratitude for assistance given during the Crimean War. The church is managed by The Missionaries of Africa, sometimes called “The White Fathers,” a Catholic missionary organization established in 1868 with the goal of converting Arabs to Christianity.

Behind a stone wall and a sign telling people to keep out is a parking lot and a group of office buildings that houses the EAPPI and another WCC-supported institution, the Jerusalem Interchurch Center (JICC). By virtue of its presence in the St. Anne’s compound, EAPPI enjoys diplomatic refuge from Israeli law enforcement. Because the church is the property of the French state, Israeli police cannot enter into the property without permission from the French government. To underscore French sovereignty over the site, a French flag flies over the property.

Lessons not yet learned (by some) concerning Gaza - by Jonathan S. Tobin

...The ongoing nightmare along the border with Gaza is just a taste of what would happen if Israel withdrew from the West Bank. Those hoping to revive land-for-peace scenarios need to take this into account as they blithely advise Israelis to ignore the lessons of the withdrawal from Gaza. 

Jonathan S. Tobin..
JNS.org..
21 June '18..

In the view of many Israeli security experts, the results of the 2014 Gaza war were decisive. “Operation Protective Edge”—the counterattack against Hamas terror by the Israel Defense Forces—left the Islamist group in control of Gaza and with its military capabilities still intact. Still, the impact of the devastating Israeli strikes seemed to have taught Hamas a lesson.

But the recent marches of “return” that have created mayhem and casualties, as well as fires being set by kites and incendiary devices flown over the border, seem to have changed all that. With Hamas firing its first extended missile barrages at Israel since 2014, the question is whether the lesson that was thought to have been taught then still applies. Just as important is whether that uncertainty will impact Israel’s willingness to take more risks with regard to the West Bank.

“Protective Edge” was thought to be a game-changer. Whereas previous Israeli efforts in 2008 (“Operation Cast Lead”) and 2012 (“Operation Pillar of Defense”) had only created temporary quiet before Hamas resumed bombarding Israeli villages, towns and cities with rockets, the 2014 war had, in the view of the IDF high command, established deterrence. The terror group seemed to have come to the conclusion that the cost of provoking another all-out Israeli attack was too high. Rather than risk the sort of suffering that another war would bring to Gaza, as well as lose its military arsenal again, Hamas stopped firing missiles into Israel. It also did its best to stop other terror groups, such as Islamic Jihad, from breaking the de facto truce.

That by no means correlated into Hamas starting to beat its spears into plowshares. The billions that poured into Gaza after 2014 were used to rebuild Hamas’s military infrastructure, not the homes of its people. Aid money was also diverted to expanding the network of tunnels that would-be terrorists built under the border that separated Gaza and Israel, with which they had achieved some initial tactical surprise that summer. Before long, Hamas was armed and ready for another round of fire.

(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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Friday, June 22, 2018

England’s royal ‘settlers’ understanding of Jerusalem - by Stephen M. Flatow

It’s easy to see why the Palestinian Authority would have been offended by Prince Charles’ visit to his relatives’ graves in 2016—and why they will be unhappy if Prince William wants to do likewise.

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

The staff of Great Britain’s Prince William has set off a controversy by listing Jerusalem under “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in the itinerary for his upcoming visit to the region. The irony is that two of the prince’s own relatives chose to be buried in that same territory—and surely would have scoffed at the idea that the “Palestinians” are the territory’s rightful owners.

William’s great-grandmother, Princess Alice, and her aunt, the Grand Duchess Elisabeth, are both buried in a small Christian cemetery on the Mount of Olives near the largest Jewish cemetery in the world. The Mount of Olives is in a part of the city that the Palestinian Authority calls “Arab East Jerusalem.”

The P.A. says that area should be the “capital of Palestine.” As such, according to the P.A., Zionists—whether Jews or Christians—have no right to be there. They’re “illegal settlers.”

Here are some facts. The cemetery where the two royals are buried belongs to the Church of Mary Magdalene, a Russian Orthodox Church and convent that was built at the foot of the Mount of Olives in 1886 by Czar Alexander II. It is located directly across the Kidron Valley from the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

Princess Alice, who lived in Greece during World War II, hid a Jewish family from the Nazis and was posthumously honored by Yad Vashem as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. Alice, who passed away in 1969, left instructions to be buried at Mary Magdalene cemetery. Her remains were transferred there in 1988.

Prince Charles, the grandson of Princess Alice (and heir to the throne of England) visited the graves of his grandmother, and her aunt, when he attended the funeral of Shimon Peres in 2016. But his visit to the Mount of Olives was undertaken secretly, without the knowledge of the public or news media, apparently for fear of offending the P.A.

It’s easy to see why the P.A. would have been offended by Prince Charles’ visit to his relatives’ graves—and why they will be unhappy if Prince William wants to do likewise.

(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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Achieving Moral Clarity in Gaza - by Charles Krauthammer OBM

In memory of Charles Krauthammer, brilliant thinker, defender of Israel, who passed away yesterday, Thursday, 21 June. This was first posted 17 July '14.

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.


Charles Krauthammer OBM..
Washington Post..
17 July '14..

Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

“Here’s the difference between us,” explains the Israeli prime minister. “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel-Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent “cycle of violence.” This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows the proudly self-declared raison d’etre of Hamas: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza.

And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that, simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank as well and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

This is not ancient history. This was nine years ago.

If the Palestinians ever wish to seek a better life - by Bassam Tawil

...The streets of Ramallah and Gaza City showcase, yet again, that the Palestinians' true tragedy over the past five decades has been failed and corrupt leadership -- one that keeps dragging them from one disaster to another; one that never offers them any hope; one that has been radicalizing and brainwashing its people; one that steals large portions of the financial aid provided by the international community, and one that has brought them nothing but dictatorship and repression.

Bassam Tawil..
Gatestone Institute..
21 June '18..

In the past two weeks, Palestinians received yet another reminder that they are living under undemocratic regimes that have less than no respect for public freedoms.

The regimes of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip never miss an opportunity to remind their people of the dire consequences that await anyone who speaks out against the leaders. The two Palestinian regimes have been forcing it down the throats of their people for many years.

Still, some Palestinians seem surprised each time the PA or Hamas send their police officers to break up (or, more precisely, to break bones in) a demonstration in Ramallah or the Gaza Strip.

(Continue to Full Post)

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

It is both possible and necessary to make clear that Hamas leaders have a lot to lose - by Yair Farjoun

We can't simply dismiss this with, "Oh well, the fires can't annihilate us, can they?"

Yair Farjoun..
Israel Hayom..
21 June '18..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/hamas-needs-to-know-it-has-a-lot-to-lose/

"Humans are the trees of the field; a man seeks to grow upwards like a tree, and it also burns, like a field," so wrote Natan Zach in his famous poem.

These days, the words of Zach carry an extra meaning in light of the ongoing attacks by means of incendiary kites along the Gaza border.

The fields along the Gaza border would normally be yellow at this time of year. But this summer, all one's eyes can see is the color of black soot created by the fires.

When fires are used as terrorism, when Hamas terrorists publicly state that they want to destroy Israel, we cannot just accept this with resignation. We can't simply dismiss this with, "Oh well, the fires can't annihilate us, can they?"

I treat the threat the fires pose with total seriousness. Fires start outside the field and gradually destroy everything in their path. They underscore the fact that Gaza's terrorism has the potential to spread uncontrollably.