Sunday, May 31, 2020

Scaremongering and bullying about sovereignty - by David M. Weinberg

The sky will not fall in if Israeli law is applied to settlements and security zones. This is not to say that Israel should apply sovereignty now to parts of Judea and Samaria, or that Israel won’t be penalized somewhat by the international community for doing so. Only that Israel should make its decision based on core security and national interests, and not be bullied by inflated intimidations.

Cartoon: Roni Gordon, Israel Hayom
David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
28 May '20..

Remember the dark days of 2014, when Israel’s foreign relations supposedly were “crashing”; when the international diplomatic noose purportedly was tightening around Israel’s neck?

That was because of the looming Western boycott of Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was everywhere and overwhelming, we were told. Every day, almost every hour, Israel’s then-chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, wailed about Israel’s impending isolation.

According to Livni, Israel was about to be hit with unprecedented diplomatic, economic, and academic chill, with severe repercussions for business and prosperity. Unless, of course, Israel snapped quickly to Livni’s tune of withdrawal from the West Bank and conceded a state to the Palestinians.

Then-finance minister Yair Lapid chimed in too with a shabbily concocted report that confirmed Livni’s premonitions. The pocketbook of every Israeli was going to be hit hard, Lapid warned, by Western boycott, divestment and sanctions activity, unless Israel scurried to then-US Secretary of State John Kerry’s camp and hurried to cut a deal with the Palestinians.

In fact, the “threat” of a global boycott against Israel was so obsessively talked about those days that you might have thought it a greater threat than the growth of Iranian forces on Israel’s borders.

It turned out that this was manifest nonsense. The menace of BDS was deliberately overstated and wildly overestimated. It was largely an artificial threat manufactured by the Israeli Left and magnified a thousand times over by media repetition.

No wonder that Kerry and other Western leaders took to sternly cautioning Israel about the consequences of a breakdown in Palestinian negotiations. Kerry was merely echoing what he heard from Livni and Lapid, who deliberately prophesied unsubstantiated doom and gloom in an attempt to scare the Israeli public into retreat and withdrawal.

Unfortunately, this has been the modus operandi of the Israeli Left for some years now: Create a bogeyman with which to frighten the Israeli public into adopting a fatalistic narrative.

Time and time again, this trick has been tried. In 2013, former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert warned of a “diplomatic tsunami” that would befall Israel if the Palestinians went ahead and got their “statehood” approved by the United Nations General Assembly. In panic, they urged Israel to make radical diplomatic concessions to prevent the disaster.

Well, the Palestinians got their vote and their upgraded status, yet the sky did not fall in on Israel.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

As Expected, Reuter's Annual Arabic Press Release on Behalf of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics - by CAMERA Arabic

For Reuters, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics' annual Nakba Day reports present a opportunity to serve as a Palestinian Authority mouthpiece, amplifying the message of eternal Palestinian victimhood with coverage that suspends journalistic considerations.

CAMERA Arabic..
27 May '20..

Continuing a longstanding tradition, Reuters Arabic’s coverage this month of the annual “conditions of the Palestinian people” report released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reads more like a press release for the Palestinian agency than a news report by an independent international news agency.

The Palestinian Authority’s PCBS publishes its report every year in anticipation of Nakba Day on May 15, the date that Palestinians mark as the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding.

But the annual affair is of dubious newsworthiness. Indeed, the journalistic value of Reuters’ consistent coverage of the annual PCBS report, year after year, is highly questionable at best (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013). Only two figures in Reuters’ 2020 coverage – those concerning the total population of Palestinians and the current number of “Palestinian refugees” – concern 2019. PCBS’s announcement also includes two 2018 figures, which Reuters had not previously reported last year. The rest of the material, which constitutes the overwhelming bulk of the report, concerns 1948 events and their aftermath. Reuters’ West Bank reporters have been covering the PCBS reports every single year since 2013 in much the same way, primarily rehashing the exact same material, in much the same language, concerning events from decades ago, and including minimal material on current data.

For instance, on a consistent basis, Reuters’ yearly article about the PCBS publication alleges, by directly quoting the unchallenged PCBS claim, that “the uprooting of 800,000 Palestinians” was carried out “from their villages and cities, out of 1.4 million Palestinians who, in 1948, resided across historical Palestine in 1300 Palestinian villages and towns.” Nearly identical quote and figures appear in Reuters’ 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016 and 2015 reports.

Recycled over many years are also the claims that “The process of this [ethnic] cleansing was accompanied with the Zionist gangs perpetrating more than 70 massacres against the Palestinians, creating more than 15,000 martyrs,”

(Continue to Full Post)

Updates throughout the day at 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.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Truth be told, applying sovereignty is not easy, but Israel is used to that - by Rabbi Dov Fischer

Sovereignty won't be simple. Nothing of monumental historical consequence is. Only one more month to go.

Rabbi Dov Fischer..
Israel Hayom..
25 May '20..

Though it decidedly will not be "annexation," when Israel extends sovereignty over segments of the Jewish heartland from the Jordan Valley to the other Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, the world is going to get angry.

But that is what it means to be a Jewish country. When Zionist visionary Zeev Jabotinsky was promoting declaring independence, many in the world Zionist leadership feared doing so on his time scale. The British would be angry. The Arabs would be angry. The New York Times, even then, would be angry. American Jewish leadership were divided. Yet, eventually, on the Fifth Day of Iyar 5708 the deed was done. Sure enough, they all actually did get angry. At latest glimpse, Israel still is alive, now in its 72nd year of extraordinary life. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib still are angry.

It was the same after 1967 when Israel unified Jerusalem and then waited for world recognition. It still has never come. Most of the world has preferred to choose Israel's capital for her and maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. In America, it became a game. To embarrass Republican presidents, Democrat congresses would press to move the embassy to Jerusalem. When Democrats took the White House, the Republicans in Congress became the lovers of Zion. Both sides always included a negating caveat that empowered the President to kill any embassy move by declaring the time not right. So it never happened because, otherwise, everyone would get angry.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Israel’s Flight Under Fire from South Lebanon 20 Years On - by Prof. Efraim Karsh and Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

Israel’s May 2000 rushed evacuation of its security zone in south Lebanon and the desertion of its longstanding local allies there tarnished the Jewish State’s deterrent posture and helped spark a string of large-scale armed confrontations with Hezbollah (2006), the PLO (the so-called “al-Aqsa Intifada”), and Hamas (2008/9, 2012, 2014). The withdrawal transformed south Lebanon into an ineradicable terror entity that can harass northern Israel at will and expedited Hezbollah’s evolvement into a formidable military power armed with 150,000 rockets and missiles capable of reaching anywhere in Israel. It also dented the IDF’s fighting ethos and operational competence, as illustrated by its lukewarm performance during the Second Lebanon War (2006) and Operation Protective Edge (2014).

Prof. Efraim Karsh and Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,577..
22 May '20..

In the dead of night on May 24, 2000, 18 years after invading Lebanon with the expressed goal of removing the longstanding terrorist threat to its northern towns and villages, Israel hurriedly vacated its self-proclaimed security zone in south Lebanon and redeployed on the other side of the border. With PM Ehud Barak authorizing the operation a day earlier to avoid its disruption by the Hezbollah terror organization, which had long harassed the Israeli forces in Lebanon, the evacuation was executed without a single casualty.

Yet the humiliation attending the IDF’s flight under Hezbollah fire, leaving behind heavy weapons and military equipment (some of which were promptly bombed by the Israeli air force to deny them to Hezbollah), as well as its abandonment of the South Lebanon Army (SLA), which had aided its counterterrorist operations for years and which collapsed upon the withdrawal with many of its fighters and their families seeking asylum in Israel, was not lost on outside observers. A prominent leftwing Israeli journalist, by no means hostile to the withdrawal, even compared “the scent of humiliation [that] permeated the air” to that attending the “last helicopter on the [US] embassy roof in Vietnam.”

Shattered deterrence

Keenly aware of these disturbing images, Barak quickly extolled the flight as a glowing success that in one fell swoop ended Israel’s “18-year Lebanese tragedy” and neutralized Hezbollah’s terrorist threat to the Galilee. “To fight against terrorism is like fighting mosquitoes,” he told Time Magazine:

You can chase them one by one, but it’s not very cost-effective. The more profound approach is to drain the swamp. So we are draining the swamp [by leaving Lebanon] … Once we are within Israel, defending ourselves from within our borders, the Lebanese government and the Syrian government are responsible to make sure that no one will dare hit Israeli civilians or armed forces within Israel. Any violation of this might become an act of war, and it will be treated accordingly. I don’t recommend to anyone to try us once we are inside Israel.

This buoyant prognosis couldn’t be further from the truth. Far from draining Hezbollah’s “terrorist marsh,” the withdrawal served to expand it to gargantuan proportions. Hezbollah exploited the demise of Israel’s security zone to transform south Lebanon into an ineradicable military stronghold crisscrossed with fortified defenses, both above ground and in a complex underground tunnel system, designed to serve as a springboard for terror attacks on Israeli territory, to shelter Hezbollah’s burgeoning rocket and missile arsenal (which quickly doubled after the withdrawal from 7,000 to 14,000), and to exact a high cost from attacking forces in the event of a general conflagration. Hence the IDF’s inconclusive ground operations in the Second Lebanon War (July 12-August 14, 2006), which hardly ventured more than a few miles from the border during the 34 days of fighting—in stark contrast to the 1982 invasion, which swiftly swept across this area and reached Beirut within five days. And hence the war’s relatively high human toll: 164 fatalities, or 70% of those killed in the security zone during the 15 years preceding the 2000 withdrawal.

Nor did Barak’s warning against any attempt “to try us once we are inside Israel” (or, for that matter, FM David Levy’s threat that “Lebanon will burn” in the event of terror attacks from its territory) make an impression on Hezbollah. With Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah famously deriding Israel as “weaker than a spider web,” the organization launched repeated attacks on targets in northern Israel at a rate of half-a-dozen per year. These began as early as October 7, 2000—a mere four months after the withdrawal—with the abduction of three IDF soldiers on a border patrol (who, it later transpired, were killed in the attack), culminating in the July 12, 2006 abduction of two more soldiers (who, too, were killed in the process) and the killing of another three in a cross-border raid that triggered the Second Lebanon War. During that war, Hezbollah fired some 4,000 rockets and missiles on Israeli towns and villages—the largest attack on the Jewish State’s population centers since the 1948 War of Independence—killing 45 civilians, inflicting massive destruction and economic damage, and driving thousands of Israelis to flee their homes to the southern parts of the country.

While the Israeli architects of the war, which was censured by an official commission of enquiry as “a great and grave blunder,” sought to portray it as a shining success that led to a prolonged period of calm, the conflagration did not deter Hezbollah from sporadic attacks on Israeli targets in subsequent years or from substantially expanding its military buildup in flagrant violation of Security Council Resolution 1701, which had ended the war. This included the expansion of its already substantial rocket/missile holdings to a monstrous 150,000-strong arsenal and the deployment of thousands of well-armed and battle-hardened fighters in south Lebanon on a constant state of alert to invade Israel en masse, either directly or via offensive underground tunnels penetrating Israeli territory (some of which were destroyed by the IDF in 2019).

Even the postwar relative lull has had less to do with the Lebanon War’s deterrent effect (though Nasrallah later admitted he would have foregone the soldiers’ abduction had he known it would lead to full-scale war) than with Hezbollah’s decade-long immersion in the Syrian civil war and the reluctance of its Iranian patron to unleash its protégé’s full might absent a direct Israeli attack on its nuclear weapons installations. Had PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak’s purported intention to launch such an attack in 2010-11 not been nipped in the bud by their security establishment and the Obama administration, an all-out Hezbollah-Israel war would likely have ensued. As it is, such a conflagration remains a distinct possibility, with Hezbollah’s security threat via both its rocket/missile arsenal, which can hit any part of the Jewish State, and ability to invade Israel and occupy Israeli localities infinitely greater than it was in May 2000.

Sparking the Palestinian war of terror

Defending his Lebanon decision 20 years later, Barak argued that the withdrawal improved Israel’s military position vis-à-vis the Palestinians since the IDF’s continued presence in Lebanon would have seriously constrained its ability to launch Operation Defensive Shield (April 2002), which curbed the Palestinian war of terror (euphemized as “the al-Aqsa Intifada”) that had begun a year-and-a-half earlier.

As with his claim that the Lebanon flight neutralized Hezbollah’s terrorist threat, this assertion is not only false but the inverse of the truth: had the humiliating Lebanon flight not occurred, the “al-Aqsa Intifada” might not have ensued in the first place, at least not on its unprecedented massive scale.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Mahmoud Abbas's empty, worn-out threats - by Caroline Glick

The Palestinian president's hollow rhetoric is hardly a reason to bury the government's plan to apply Israeli law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and to the Jordan Valley.

Caroline Glick..
Israel Hayom..
24 May '20..

Tuesday evening, Palestinian Authority and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced that the PA is renouncing the peace deals it signed with Israel along with its agreements with the United States. According to several left-leaning Israeli television commentators and retired generals, his speech was an earthquake. It was a calamity of epic proportions. Most importantly, it was a reason to bury the government's plan to apply Israeli law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and to the Jordan Valley.

But the truth is not at all what they claim. This isn't an earthquake. It isn't even a hiccup. It isn't a calamity. It just a tired, recycled, empty threat.

Abbas had no problem remembering his lines Tuesday night because he's given the same speech, word for word a half dozen times, (aside from the throwaway sentence blasting President Donald Trump's peace plan and Israel's sovereignty plan). The first time Abbas gave it was in September 2015 in his address to the UN General Assembly.

As was the case Tuesday night, so every other time Abbas gave this speech, shortly after he walked offstage, Israeli leftists said the sky is falling. But then the truth started filtering in.

After the first news cycle passed, Abbas's lackeys clarified that he didn't mean it. There is no plan to make his declaration operative. He's just trying to send a message – that is, a threat – to Israel and America.

The same state of affairs prevailed following Tuesday's "I'm ditching the peace deals" speech. After the Israeli media and the leftist former generals wailed and sounded dire warnings about what will befall the country if the government doesn't abandon all of its plans, the Palestinians made clear that this week too, he didn't mean it. Abbas's advisers and lackeys said it was simply his way of "warning" Israel and America. For their part, local leaders and militia chiefs shrugged their shoulders and said they heard about the speech from the Israeli media.

Set aside for a moment the fact that Abbas's speech this week was a complete joke. And consider what would actually happen if he implemented his declaration and officially abrogated all the agreements he and his predecessor Yassir Arafat signed with Israel since 1993.

The fact is that nothing would change at all.

Since 1994, when they began governing the Palestinian areas in Judea and Samaria and Gaza by force of the agreements they signed with Israel, the Palestinians have systematically and continuously breached every single substantive commitment they made to Israel. Most notably, the Palestinians agreed to fight terror. Instead, for the past 27 years the Palestinian Authority under both Arafat and Abbas has incited, financed, and directed terrorism against Israel.

In every sphere of authority, Israel transferred the Palestinian Authority has used its powers – military and civilian – not to govern Palestinians and advance the cause of peace, but to wage a multidimensional war against the Jewish state and its citizens. From diplomacy to planning and zoning, from sewage treatment to education and religious affairs, the PA has continuously breached every article and annex in the agreements it signed with Israel in order to harm the Jewish State and its citizens.

So again, if Abbas actually carries through on his tired threat and cancels the agreements, it won't make a bit of difference to anyone. Those deals have all been long been dead in the water.

One of Abbas's lines that always terrifies Israeli leftists is his threat to cut off security cooperation between Palestinian security forces and Israeli security forces. The Israeli Left's Pavlovian response to that is to say that if that happens, rivers of blood will flow and anyone who doesn't immediately give in to all of Abbas's demands, they say, will have the blood of Israeli soldiers and civilians on their hands.

Setting aside the moral obscenity at the base their practice of blaming their political opponents for the Palestinians' aggression, the leftists' claim is substantively wrong on two counts. First, as former defense minister Moshe Yaalon has said repeatedly over the years, the Palestinians don't protect Israelis. The IDF protects Israelis. The Palestinians benefit far more from their security coordination with the IDF than the IDF benefits from its security coordination with them.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Islamic Human Rights Commission Al Quds 2020 – terrorists, extremists, antisemites and violence - by David Collier

How can the government justify giving them an audience of 10,000s? Given the evidence of extremism and support for terrorism – we can clearly demand that this toxic group are not allowed to walk through London’s streets any more.

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
23 May '20..

The IHRC Al Quds Day 2020 was like no other. If you doubt that the BDS movement supports violence, seeks to destroy Israel and wants to rid the Middle East of Jews, then you should sit through the whole toxic 150 minutes of this online event like I did.

Each year, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) are given permission to hold a radical Islamist event calling for the destruction of Israel as they wave their flags through the streets of London. They play a game in which they wave their extremism in our faces and laugh at the foolishness of those that permit them to recruit on our streets.

It is a pro-Hezbollah, radical Islamist event, that until the terrorist organisation was proscribed in the UK, would regularly see the flag of Hezbollah proudly on display.

Al Quds 2020 was different because it was online. There were no police to monitor their words. Instead the IHRC were allowed to invite whomever they liked and freely speak their mind. Before any British Government official ever gives these terrorist supporters another chance to walk through London – they should be forced to watch this event.

IHRC 2020 – Not just the usual suspects

Because of the importance of some of the content, I am not going to write up every speaker – but rather focus on those I believe need special attention. However, given some of what occurred it is important to remember the names of all those who participated.

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Updates throughout the day at 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.  

Friday, May 22, 2020

When Peace Treaties are Leveraged as Extortion - by Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen

The problem with Israel's "cold peace" with its neighbors isn't the lack of symmetry in the treaties, but rather that Jordan and Egypt are using the agreements to deter Israel from acting in its own best interest.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Gershon Hacohen..
Israel Hayom..
20 May '20..

In Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi's swearing-in speeches, they both declared their loyalty to the path of peace.

"I am committed to doing everything possible to promote diplomatic solutions and making peace," Gantz stated, while Ashkenazi said, "President Trump's peace plan is a historic opportunity … it will be promoted, responsibly and in coordination with the US, while keeping peace agreements in place."

If it weren't for the unusual political context, in light of the dispute over Israel applying sovereignty to Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley, the discussion about peace agreements would be nothing more than a standard message. But given warnings from King Abdullah of Jordan and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas against Israel's planned moves, and given the internal debate in Israel about the issue, their words take on a special meaning, a king of commitment to making Israeli steps toward sovereignty conditional upon regional consent.

No one disagrees that peace is worthy goal. The picture becomes more complicated when we look at the ways in which the peace between Israel and its neighbors has been implemented. A dynamic has developed in which their behavior toward Israel is often reminiscent of demanding protection money to be left alone. The Hashemite Kingdom plays an important and welcome role in keeping the peace along the Israeli-Jordanian border, but when experts on Israeli-Jordanian relations recommend that because of that, Israel refrain from taking action on behalf of its own interests in the Jordan Valley, and warn about the risk of losing the peace deal, we are getting close to extortion.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Welcome to the Abbas comedy show and ongoing Palestinian tragedy - by Jonathan S. Tobin

The tragedy of the Palestinians is that they could have had peace and an independent state if their leaders been willing to give up the illusion that Israel could one day be eliminated. Instead, they have chosen corruption, fantasies about the end of Israel and more comedic relief from Abbas. It’s a poor bargain, but until Palestinians decide they want something better from their leaders, it’s all they’ll ever have.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
20 May '20..

If you think you’ve seen this movie before, you’re right.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has declared that he is abrogating all agreements with Israel so many times it’s a wonder that he could do so again with a straight face. Indeed, he started making these threats as soon as he succeeded PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and has never really stopped during the course of the 15 years of his four-year term as leader of the P.A.

The latest occasion for his usual theatrics is the possibility that Israel might extend sovereignty into parts of the West Bank, as envisioned by the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan. Abbas didn’t merely reject the Trump scheme, as he did several other even more generous Mideast plans in the past. He refused even to negotiate with the Trump administration.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to take advantage of Trump’s promise that Israel could move on the Jewish settlements there if the Palestinians didn’t join in the talks. So Abbas is attempting to blackmail the world into forcing Israel to back down by threatening to blow up the Middle East—or create enough chaos in the West Bank and elsewhere to make Netanyahu think twice about making good on his campaign promises.

Or at least that’s what he wants the world to believe he’s doing.

Surely, not even the most clueless and credulous observers of the Palestinians—and by that, I refer to the so-called “experts” about the Middle East in the foreign-policy establishment and the mainstream press—could possibly fall for his act.

That’s not just because Abbas has tried this gambit many times before. It’s because even in the same statement in which he made his threat to implode the P.A.—thereby forcing Israel to directly administer the West Bank and to end all security cooperation with the Israelis—he included a caveat basically saying “never mind.”

Even in the same breath that the Palestinians threaten to blow up the region again, Abbas’s mouthpieces conceded that the cooperation would continue. So would the kleptocratic rule of the West Bank on the part of Abbas’s Fatah Party that passes for government in the realm of the P.A.

Why then does he even bother to repeat this tired routine?

(Continue to Full Column)

Updates throughout the day at 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.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

San Remo +100: The National Home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel

The boldest of ideas envisaged in San Remo, to establish a national home for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, was the one which measured up to the historical expectations and proved to be a success.

MK Zvi Hauser..
19 May '20..

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the San Remo Conference. The international meeting was held by the Allied Supreme Council in the Italian Riviera in the aftermath of World War I, and determined the fate of the Middle East regions held under the control of the Ottoman Empire during the previous four centuries. Following the principles laid down by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, the representatives of the Allied powers concluded that occupied territories were to be administered in the form of “Mandates.” By this new legal instrument sovereign control was transferred temporarily to an Allied power, in order to support the forthcoming independence of those territories.

Most of the territories in the Middle East were proposed for the independence of Arab populations. Thus a “Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon” was assigned to France, and Mandatory power was entrusted to the United Kingdom for the emancipation of the people of Iraq. Nonetheless a small territory in the Middle East was assigned to the United Kingdom as part of a third Mandate, which proved to be the most challenging: the Mandate over “Eretz Israel.”

The Allied powers adopted a courageous resolution with far-reaching implications, overturning a condition that was nearly 2,000 years old. They determined that the Land of Israel would be temporarily entrusted to a British administration for a specific purpose—the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, and especially for the millions of Jews dispersed in the Diaspora. For the first time, there was international recognition for Jewish self-determination in the Jewish people’s ancestral homeland.

(Read Full Column)

MK Zvi Hauser is the chairman of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee.

Updates throughout the day at 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.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Combatting the Jewish state’s ‘BDS-from-within’ phenomenon - by Matan Peleg

Nine professors from Tel Aviv University, eight from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, three from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and two additional “geniuses”—one from the Weizmann Institute of Science and another from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design—all came together in order to teach Germans that BDS is not really anti-Semitic. And not merely teach them, but try to get the government-appointed commissioner against anti-Semitism ousted because his opinion differs from theirs. Mazal tov! Israeli academia’s thought police has turned itself into Interpol..

Germany’s “anti-Semitism czar” Felix Klein. 
Matan Peleg..
17 May '20..

Several weeks ago, Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, made headlines for canceling the participation of prominent intellectual Professor Achille Mbembe at the popular Ruhrtriennale arts and music festival.

Mbembe, originally from Cameroon, is a star among Israel-haters around the world. He is not only a supporter of the BDS movement, but maintains that Israel is an apartheid state that is worse than the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

Once the pro-Israel Free Democratic Party caught wind of Mbembe’s appearance at the festival, its members penned a letter to the director of the festival asserting that hosting Mbembe violates law of North Rhine-Westphalia—where the event was set to take place—whose parliament passed legislation barring public funds from supporting BDS.

The letter reached Klein, who decided to ban Mbembe from participating in the festival, which was ultimately canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

Only that wasn’t the end of the story.

(Continue to Full Post)

Matan Peleg is the CEO of Im Tirtzu, Israel’s largest grassroots Zionist movement.

Updates throughout the day at 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. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Israeli sovereignty, not appeasement is the key to lasting peace - by Caroline Glick

...It makes sense that policymakers who have built their careers on the delusion that peace will be achieved by blaming Israel for Palestinian bigotry, terrorism and aggression and forcing Israel to surrender to its enemies oppose President Trump’s peace plan. But those who care about Israel and seek true peace between it and its neighbors should support both the Trump peace plan and Israel’s intention to begin implementing the plan by applying its laws—and, through them, its sovereignty to its communities in Judea and Samaria and to the Jordan Valley.

Caroline Glick..
17 May '20..

In the coming months, Israel is expected to apply its civilian law and administration to the 30 percent of Judea and Samaria (or the “West Bank”) that President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled peace plan anticipates remaining with Israel after a final peace agreement.

One might expect that Israel’s plan would be hailed for advancing peace and the equal rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike. But the more common response of many so-called experts has been to distort the facts and preemptively condemn Israel.

The distortions begin with the very words used to describe Israeli plans. Across platforms, “experts” fret over what they call “Israeli annexation.”

As I explained in my 2014 book The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East, Israel cannot “annex” any part of Judea and Samaria. Annexation is an act under which a state imposes its sovereignty over another state’s territory.

The state of Israel has sovereign rights to Judea and Samaria by force of its declaration of independence issued 72 years ago, on May 14, 1948. With its declaration of independence, together with Britain’s surrender of the Mandate it had been granted by the League of Nations to reconstitute the ancient Jewish national home, Israel became the one and only state that acquired sovereignty over all the Mandate’s territory.

When Israel applies its civilian law, it will be exercising sovereign rights that it has held for decades.

The second problem with the discourse surrounding Israel’s plan to apply its laws to these areas is that it ignores both why doing so is important for Israel and why President Trump included Israeli sovereignty in his peace plan in the first place.

From Israel’s perspective, the plan is important because it will significantly improve the rule of law and the civil rights of residents of the areas. For the past 26 years, Israel has shared governance of the “West Bank” with an autonomous Palestinian Authority. Israel has governed its portion of the territory under military administration. Nearly half a million Israelis and more than 100,000 Palestinians reside in cities, towns and villages in Judea and Samaria governed by the Israel Defense Forces.

Israel’s civilian legal code is far more liberal than the military laws that currently apply to the areas. The civil rights of area residents—Jews and Arabs alike—will be far better protected under Israeli law than they have been under Israeli military administrative law.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will benefit from the move because soldiers and officers will not be responsible for issues like directing traffic and providing building permits for everything from parking lots to kindergartens to neighborhoods.

The IDF is a fighting organization. The more narrowly it is able to focus on defending the country, the better off it—and Israel as a whole—will be.

As for the Trump peace plan I detailed in my book the long-standing delusion that served as the basis for decades of failed peace processes between Israel and the Palestinians. That delusion holds that Israel is to blame for the Palestinian war against it and that to win peace, Israel has to appease the Palestinians by surrendering land.

The truth is precisely the opposite. Since 1937, Israel has consistently agreed to share its land with the Palestinians and the Palestinians have consistently refused peace. Since 2000, Israel has made three separate offers of peace that involved Israel surrendering nearly all of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians and repartitioning Jerusalem. The Palestinians rejected all of Israel’s offers. In 2000, the Palestinians initiated a terror war against Israel in response to Israel’s peace offers at Camp David and at Taba. Two thousand Israelis were murdered in that war. And the Palestinians responded to Israel’s 2008 peace offer by escalating their political war against the Jewish state.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Introducing 'Nakba' – a Twitter tale of 7 million distortions - by David Collier

Massacres that never happened, villages that were no more than a couple of tents, Arab civilians who were actually armed militia, a mighty Zionist force that was in reality a tiny and scared Jewish population and a plan of ethnic cleansing that simply did not exist. Mix all these up together and you can present your very own Nakba tale. A fable that has lasted 72 years and has resulted in European governments enticing and actually funding the welfare of Arabs who seek to kill Jews.

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
15 May '20..

Today on Twitter is Nakba Day. It is commemorated on 15th May, the day following Israel’s independence. As bad as the distortion and ignorance surrounding the conflict may be on any normal day, the nakba anniversary always takes it to a whole new level of insane.

The true story behind the Nakba is a simple one. The UN partitioned the land between a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Arabs refused to accept it. Civil conflict broke out and this turned into a regional war. The Arab side lost and paid a price for their aggression. Rather than accept this, they have spent the last 72 years making it continually worse for themselves.

On social media – we are presented with a completely different tale. An insidious, antisemitic demonisation of Jews and a total distortion of history. As I am battling away today, I thought I would provide a few examples.

Nakba as a Jewish virus

These online campaigns are organised and sometimes state driven. As early as last night #covid48 started trending:

Covid is of course another name of the current Coronavirus. 1948 is the birthdate of Israel. This Twitter trend is in tune with some of the oldest and most deadly antisemitic tropes. Over the past 24 hours, there have been 100,000s of tweets calling Jews a virus. It is difficult to believe Twitter would accommodate a global racist trend such as this against any other minority group. Antisemitism is and has always been more socially accepted than other forms of hate. ‘Jews as virus’ trending in the UK. How sickening.

Nakba number lies

One of the key reasons I know anti-Zionism is just the latest version of antisemitism, is because of the ignorance behind it all. The tale they weave is not a perspective of an historical fact nor a slight bias in favour of their own side. It is a total fictional narrative. A place where the enemy is so demonised, so over-stated and the story so ridiculous – that they are discussion the devil or the bogey man – not actual historical events.

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Friday, May 15, 2020

The next Israeli government owes this to IDF fighters, their families, and the citizens of Israel - by Meir Indor

Here is the price list for stone-throwing: three to seven months. If injured by stone-throwing, the "populist" terrorist will get between one year to 18 months, if the injuries aren't permanent. Get it? The murderer of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion fighter could have been caught after an earlier stone-throwing – that didn't cause damage – and would have gotten a slap on the wrist which sends a negative message: try again until you succeed.

Meir Indor..
Israel Hayom..
14 May '20..

The stone-throwers' point of ambush was located between the high school and the local hospital. None of the Palestinian teachers or nurses and doctors at the time intervened. Quite the opposite, they watched in equanimity the youngsters surrounding the small car with two Jews, smashing the windows with sticks and heavy rocks, and attacking the Jews. Inside the car I was sitting with my wife, who was terrified from the sight of her husband bleeding from a heavy rock that hit his head. (This was already the third head injury from terror, so the concern was even greater.) The dilemma was whether to get out of the car and try and escape until my wife spotted an opening in the traffic jam to the emergency room.

This event didn't take place in a remote village, but rather in a busy area – the Mount of Olives, where my parents are buried. It showed the unbearable ease in which Jews are attacked on roads as part of what is called "stone terrorism". What causes this unbearable ease in which stone-throwing happens on a daily basis? It is a forgiving attitude, that can be seen in the sugarcoated term "populist terror," which we on the Israeli side have also adopted. Including both the legal system, and the security/police system.

And that's how stone throwers, who just left a school belonging to the Ministry of Education, after an intelligence effort was implemented to catch them after they were involved in yet another stoning ambush, are released because a judge did not allow more than 48 hours of interrogation. And that's how the youngsters learn that attacking Jews, citizens, and fighters, can continue. The interrogation officer said he had to let one of the parents be present during the questioning since he was a minor, who told him to stay silent. And even if they had confessed and gone to trial, the punishment would have been in accordance.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

New York Times Social Media Post: Israeli Soldier Killed by “Rock” - by Emanuel Miller

One headline, one lead paragraph, one social media post has limited impact, but enough of them in a row begin to form the public understanding of the situation as a whole. In this case the message many readers will receive is that Israel is a violent actor, and when Israeli soldiers die it is because of magical rocks that were thrown by… nobody.

Emanuel Miller..
Honest Reporting..
12 May '20..

Mere days after the New York Times published a piece about life-saving efforts in the fight against COVID-19 by Israeli army experts which opened by saying that “The Israeli Defense Ministry’s research-and-development arm is best known for pioneering cutting-edge ways to kill people and blow things up,” the Times has botched another lead and social media post.

Despite coming under intense scrutiny, the journalist in question, David Halbfinger, described the killing of an Israeli soldier this morning as follows:

“A 21-year-old Israeli soldier was killed early Tuesday when he was struck in the head by a heavy rock as his unit was completing a nighttime arrest mission in a Palestinian village near Jenin, in the northern West Bank, the army said.”

The sentence was copied in full by The Times’ social media staff, who used it as the text to accompany social media posts on Twitter and Facebook, further amplifying the effect.

Journalists have a responsibility to accurately, fairly report events. Reporters have a duty to share all the facts. Rocks don’t hit people by themselves, just as car don’t drive into people of their own volition.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Why? A possible top 10 reasons Israel has (so far) survived coronavirus - by Alex Traiman

In its short history, the State of Israel has managed to not only survive, but even thrive, despite existential threats. And while Israel has not been immune from many extremely painful losses, the Jewish State has generally had the good fortune to emerge victorious, often beyond rationale, when the stakes are highest.

Alex Traiman..
12 May '20..

Israelis are now once again taking to the streets in large numbers. Automotive traffic has resumed full force, schools are opening, stores and gyms are reopened, and even indoor markets and malls are now opening for business. Some restrictions limiting the number of individuals within closed spaces are in place, and face masks are required by law.

That said, many Israelis are quickly ditching the masks, or wearing them around their chins or below their exposed noses, as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to decline. Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced that all coronavirus restrictions are likely to be removed by the middle of June, provided the numbers of new cases remains low.

Death tolls in Israel have been among the lowest in the world per capita and are comparatively lower than other First World nations with similar numbers of reported cases. Since the virus first hit Israel in March, 254 Israelis have died. Most of those who succumbed to the virus lived in nursing homes. Others were elderly and had pre-existing health conditions. The number of previously healthy individuals who died from corona measures at most a few dozen.

Each and every loss of life causes tremendous pain to the entire nation. Yet somewhat shockingly, a recent health ministry report revealed that 12 percent fewer Israelis died during March 2020 than March 2019. The two months of coronavirus outbreak in Israel have literally been the safest two months to live in Israel in the last several years.

These numbers represent a dramatic contrast to many of the communities around the world where Jews live in large numbers, including in Paris, London, New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Miami.

Below is a countdown presenting some reasons why Israel may have fared better than other countries during the outbreak (so far), and why Israelis are likely to continue to get back to normal over the coming weeks, while other countries deal with coronavirus’s harsh aftermath.

(Continue to Full Column)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

UNRWA and Palestinian refugees – it is time to tell the truth - by David Collier

There will be no solving this conflict until this farce is removed from the Middle East. The evidence is everywhere. It is why they are not building homes in Gaza or Ramallah. Why those living in PA areas are also called refugees. It is all nonsensical UNLESS you see this for what it is. The Palestinian refugee was born into a paradigm of no to normalisation – and they cannot exist outside of it. If we are to move forward and find any accommodation between the Jews of Jerusalem and the Arabs of Ramallah, we have to end these lies.

David Collier..
Beyond the Great Divide..
11 May '20..

In May 2016 I spoke at a panel event on the possibility of a two state solution. My talk focused on the key issue of the entire conflict – the reason the ‘Palestinian refugee’ situation can never end. At the time I called for the ridiculous definition of a Palestinian refugee to be thrown into the dustbin of history and for UNRWA to be scrapped alongside it. A newly published book by Adi Shwartz and Einat Wilf called ‘the War of Return‘ lays out the case far better than I ever did. This piece isn’t a review of the book as much as support for the truth that is written inside. I rarely agree with a book as much as I did with the ‘War of Return‘. If you want to see all the evidence that supports these arguments, I really suggest reading it.

The truth is not right wing

Adi Schwartz used to work for Ha’aretz. Einat Wilf was a member of parliament for the Labour Party. The two authors were both long time members of the Israeli left. For many, what occurred between 1993 and 2008 would fundamentally challenge long-held beliefs. Between the Labour Party’s victory in the 1992 election and its 2009 electoral disaster – the entire peace camp of Israel collapsed. Israelis experienced first-hand something that could not be denied – the paradigm of the Oslo peace process was built on falsehoods.

Israelis were forced through this awakening, as the fake doves of Oslo turned into the bombs of the second intifada. Far removed from the blood flowing down Israeli streets, western politicians – and even large community organisations in the Jewish diaspora – still hold on to the Oslo process. It creates a divide that makes it seem as if Israel has shifted to the right. It has not – it has just stopped believing the lies.

Denying Israel’s right to exist

The truth of this conflict is, and has always been, about a denial of Israel’s right to exist. Before 1967, that was an obvious statement to make. Since 1967, a false narrative spread, suggesting that the Palestinians (as a body, not as individuals) are willing to make peace with the Jewish state.

The Right of Return is a call for the end of Jewish self-determination, the destruction of Israel, and the Palestinians openly say that they will *never* give it up. Everything people in the west, including Jews in the diaspora, choose to hear beyond that message is delusional. Adherence to the idea of a negotiated settlement becomes an act of faith built without any supporting evidence.

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Monday, May 11, 2020

Israel continues to suffer from the virus of hate even as it saves Arab lives - by Melanie Phillips

The hope that such medical equipment and know-how—and maybe even the development of a vaccine—will transmute anti-Israel hostility into friendship may be stretching optimism too far.

Melanie Phillips..
07 May '20..

While countries around the world struggle to get on top of the COVID-19 crisis, Israel’s achievement so far has been remarkable.

Its mortality rate from the virus has been vastly smaller, in proportion to its population, than the rate in countries such as Britain, Sweden or the United States. That’s largely because it tackled the virus with the kind of bold, strategic approach with which it defends itself against its physical foes.

This week, with new cases reduced to a few dozen, it started to lift a wide range of restrictions on public activity. Many are fearful, however, that the country’s exit from lockdown is too fast and incoherent, and may send the infection rate soaring again out of control.

That said, Israel’s defense against this invisible enemy has also highlighted something positive that previously wasn’t fully appreciated.

Thousands of Israeli Arab health-care professionals have been putting their own lives on the line by treating virus patients alongside their Jewish colleagues.

There could scarcely have been a more graphic demonstration of equality and indispensability, and it will have been noticed by Israel’s Jews and Arabs alike. It vividly illustrated the prominence of Israeli Arabs in the country’s health system, in which they make up 17 percent of its doctors, 24 percent of its nurses and 48 percent of its pharmacists.

This may have profound political consequences in a society where the status of Israeli Arabs, who form some 20 percent of the population, is a sensitive source of mutual suspicion, exaggeration and denial.

Israel’s stellar experience so far with the coronavirus may have a global impact, too. Earlier this week, the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged a donation of $60 million at an international conference raising funds to fight the virus around the world.

Boasting of Israel’s cutting-edge expertise in science, research and innovation, he declared: “We hope to work with other countries to leverage our unique capabilities to find solutions for the benefit of all.”

In making this pitch, Netanyahu was also attempting to “leverage” Israel’s record in fighting the virus in order to diminish global hostility to Israel.

There can be little doubt that even relatively unfriendly countries will be greedily eyeing Israel’s achievements. This week, its defense ministry announced that the Israel Institute for Biological Research had completed a groundbreaking scientific development in identifying an antibody that neutralizes COVID-19.

Whether or not this turns out to be a global life-saver, few can doubt that Israel is in the forefront of the world’s scientific effort to develop a vaccine, antidotes and tests to combat the virus.


(Continue to Full Column)

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

Making it clear that their fantasies about destroying Israel altogether, is never going to happen - by Jonathan S. Tobin

Anything that signals to the Palestinians that it’s time for them to give up their fantasies of destroying the Jewish state and acknowledging its “victory” is a good idea. Rather than a “self-indulgence that will bolster the Palestinian cause,” the move on the settlements will make it clear to the Palestinians that time is not on their side. Extending Israeli law into the settlements with the support of the United States tells Palestinians that their dreams of a return to the 1967 lines, like their fantasies about destroying Israel altogether, is never going to happen.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
08 May '20..

Just how far can Israel go to assert its rights over disputed territory without doing genuine harm to its vital interests? That’s a debate that has divided Israelis since June 1967 when in the course of a defensive war it came into possession of the lands of what the Kingdom of Jordan called the West Bank, and Jewish tradition calls Judea and Samaria.

The arguments about whether Israel should have created Jewish communities in both the West Bank and the parts of Jerusalem that were illegally occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967 are now moot. The Jewish state’s enemies don’t recognize the historical, religious and legal arguments that Israel rightly points to as allowing Jews to settle in the heart of its ancient homeland. But the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected such offers, including those that would have given them an independent state provided that they were willing to end their century-long war on Zionism. Had they accepted any one of them over the course of the last 20 years, discussion about the settlements would not even be on the table.

So in the absence of a Palestinian desire to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, no matter where its borders are drawn, Israel has three choices.

It can repeat Ariel Sharon’s 2005 disastrous experiment in Gaza, where he withdrew every soldier, settler and settlement, and pull back as an unsympathetic international community demands to the 1967 lines and let the Palestinians create whatever kind of lethal terrorist state they wanted in the West Bank and reap the bloody consequences of such folly.

The second option is to accept the status quo and wait, as Israel has been for the last 50 years, for the Palestinians to come to their senses and negotiate an end to the conflict. That’s the policy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has followed until now as he tried to manage a conflict that cannot be solved, though doing so hasn’t won him applause from his country’s critics.

The third option is for Israel to annex some, most or even all of the settlements by applying Israeli law in the territories as laid out in the Trump administration’s peace plan unveiled earlier this year.

For supporters of the settlements, the need to act now—while the most pro-Israel administration in history is still in office—is imperative. If Israel waits, a possible change in power in Washington next January will end a historical opportunity to put facts on the ground that, like every other achievement in Zionist history, will endure whether the Jewish state’s foes like it or not.

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Friday, May 8, 2020

The absolute moral imperative to bring Malki Roth’s murderer to justice - by Joseph Frager

The mastermind of the Sbarro bombing has been living it up in Jordan, celebrating her part in the slaughter of the 15-year-old American-Israeli and many other innocents.

Joseph Frager..
06 May '20..

On Aug. 9, 2001, 15-year-old Israeli-American Malki Roth was among the 15 Israelis and tourists slaughtered in a suicide bombing at the Sbarro Restaurant in Jerusalem.

The mastermind behind the horrific terrorist attack, which left another 130 innocent people wounded—including a U.S. citizen who to this day remains in a vegetative state—was Jordanian national Ahlam Ahmad al-Tamimi. Tamimi admitted that she had selected the popular pizza place as a target because it was a known favorite for families. She also expressed her “delight” that so many children were killed.

Tamimi—whose conviction by an Israeli court led to 16 life sentences plus 250 years—was released from prison in 2011 as part of the deal with Hamas to release captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Since her release, Tamimi, now 39, has been living freely in Jordan, even hosting a TV show for five years. She portrays herself as a heroine who “holds a medal of honor” for her “life imprisonment in Zion’s prisons.”

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