Monday, August 31, 2020

Surprised that Palestine has not been Arab/Moslem from time immemorial? Don't be. - by Yoram Ettinger

Contrary to Palestinian claims and myths, Palestine has not been Arab from time immemorial

Yoram Ettinger..
MiDA..
28 August '20..

Have Arabs been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial?

In 1881, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, a leading British cartographer and Dean of Westminster Abbey, reported that “in Judea it is hardly an exaggeration to say that for miles and miles there was no appearance of life or habitation” (Sinai and Palestine in Connection with Their History, New York 1895, pp. 184-186).

The Egyptian immigration

According to Arieh Avneri, a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration to Palestine (The Claim of Dispossession, 1980), during the Egyptian conquest (1831-1840), “there was a limited influx of some thousands of [Egyptian] immigrants, whom Ibrahim Pasha [the ruler of Egypt] brought in to settle the empty stretches of the country. Before them, a goodly number of Egyptians had fled Egypt, seeking to evade the military draft…. They sought sanctuary with the governor of Acre, who granted it readily.”

The French-Egyptian scholar, Muhammad Sabry [The Egyptian Empire under Mohammed Ali and the question of the Orient, 1930], confirmed that “the Governor of Acre encouraged the migration of fellaheen [peasants] from Egypt and gave them shelter…. In 1831, more than 6,000 fellaheen crossed the Egyptian border…. After he conquered Palestine, not only did Mohammed Ali [Ibrahim Pasha’s father] refrain from sending back the draft evaders to Egypt, but he sent new settlers to consolidate his rule…. The Egyptian ruler also brought the Bedouin slave-tribe, Arab ed-Damair….”

Avneri highlights (ibid.) many documents published by the British Palestine Exploration Fund. For instance:

(Continue to Full Article)

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.  

Sunday, August 30, 2020

#BDSFail - by Mitchel Bard

Failure and rationality have never been deterrents to Israel haters, however, so the antisemitic BDS campaign will endure until it is replaced by a new, but equally futile effort to delegitimize Israel. By that time, the Palestinians will be isolated and may be forced to accept that no one will save them from themselves.

Mitchell Bard..
Algemeiner..
26 August '20..

The normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates may be one of the biggest and final nails in the coffin of the antisemitic BDS movement. The truth is that the movement has been a failure from the outset, and while it continues to attract a lot of attention, it has proven to be far less successful than the Arab League boycott, which crumbled long ago.

Many people do not realize that the Arab League initiated its boycott in 1945 before Israel existed, demonstrating, like the newer boycott, it was fundamentally antisemitic rather than anti-Israel.

The original boycott had a minimal impact despite the blacklisting of hundreds of companies, including major US brands such as Ford, RCA, and Coca-Cola. It began to crumble, however, when the United States passed anti-boycott legislation in 1978, and it became toothless after Egypt signed its peace treaty with Israel.

The BDS movement is an outgrowth of the UN forum held in Durban, South Africa in 2001. The “Durban Strategy” — called for “complete and total isolation of Israel … the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, [and] the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel.”

On the diplomatic front, Israel has relations with more countries today than it did in 2001. The leader of Sudan backed recognizing Israel in a historic shift. The decision of the UAE, most importantly, broke the longstanding taboo among Gulf states against normalizing ties before the Palestinian issue was resolved.

The Palestinians themselves have rejected the boycott. Prior to the pandemic, more than 100,000 of them had jobs inside Israel — and an estimated 10,000 worked in those “obstacles to peace” settlements.

Some Palestinian leaders still give lip service to the boycott. And to the extent they’ve tried to enforce it, only the Palestinians have suffered. This has been particularly obvious as the Palestinian Authority has denied Palestinians access to health care in Israel and rejected shipments of vital medical supplies to fight the coronavirus because they were flown on UAE planes that landed in Israel.

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 28, 2020

The Palestinian Authority and its leadership cannot continue to hold the Arab world hostage - by Mendi Safadi

The Palestinian issue has become more of a campaign to collect donations from the international community than a political issue involving disputed land and a so-called occupation. Numerous Palestinian leaders and organizations have made money off of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the suffering that it has caused to both peoples. Numerous international organizations have made millions off of this conflict, while in reality doing nothing except fostering hatred.

Mendi Safadi..
Israel Hayom..
27 August '20..
Link: https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/uae-israel-peace-deal-exposes-true-face-of-palestinian-authority/

Since the establishment of the country, all Israeli governments have pursued peace with its Arab neighbors. The late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a historic peace treaty with Egypt and the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a similar peace treaty with Jordan. The State of Israel is proud of both peace agreements and has sought to replicate these agreements with other Arab states. However, over the past decade, no one has pursued peace with the greater Arab world more aggressively than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The establishment of peaceful relations with the United Arab Emirates surprised many people. However, at the same time, it revealed the true face of the Palestinian Authority. Instead of signing peace agreements, the PA encourages its citizens to attack Border Policemen in Jerusalem; glorifies the dispatching of incendiary balloons and Qassam rockets into the Israeli communities near Gaza, and systematically incites violence and terrorism.

In the same spirit, Palestinian leaders and PA media outlets have described UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed as a "traitor," "collaborator," and even a "tumor" for making peace with the State of Israel. Since 1993, the Palestinian Authority has rejected every peace offer that came their way. Simultaneously, they have actively attempted to maintain the Arab world's opposition toward Israel and have worked against other Muslim countries making peace with the Jewish state.

The Palestinian Authority and its leadership cannot continue to hold the Arab world hostage. The PA wants the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to continue and to take precedence over other things happening in the Middle East.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Fighting the narrative war: Occupation vs the ‘Abraham Accords’ - by Yishai Fleisher

Indeed, the UAE has every incentive to normalize relations with Israel—from the common danger of Iran to the interest in prosperity and progress. Hopefully, the Abraham Accords can start a cascade that will lead the Arab world out of the regressive Dark Ages of hate and into an embrace of Israel as an important member of the Semitic family and a fellow regional tribe. But it won’t be easy to let go of a thousand years of Muslim prejudice and 100 years of open war against Israel.

Yishai Fleisher..
JNS.org..
26 August '20..

One of the greatest successes of the “Abraham Accords”—the nascent diplomatic relations deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel—is just the name itself.

The name implicitly indicates that the agreement is between descendants of the children of Abraham—Arabs and Jews—and for Israel, this is a crucial identification in its quest for normalization in the Middle East.

Occupation or ancient nation?

Having lost hope of military victory, anti-Israel forces are conducting a narrative war against Israel. They seek to erase the intellectual foundations of Zionism, which assert that Israel is the ancient home of the Jewish nation, who have had two commonwealths on this same land, and to which Jews have an unbroken historical and spiritual connection.

One of the main avenues of that attack, coming out of the Palestinian camp, has been the buzzword “occupation,” which has become the default association for the Jewish state on campuses, at international organizations and in left-leaning media. The sinister term “Israeli occupation” says all that the enemies of Israel want to say: that Israel is a white colonialist interloper in the Middle East, a European holdover, a foreigner grabbing Arab lands and an abuser of the human rights of the true indigenous people—the Arabs.

The occupation narrative machine has many arms. For example, using UNESCO, the United Nations body in charge of recognizing world heritage sites, the anti-Israel crowd has asserted that integral Jewish sites like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron are actually Palestinian cities under—you guessed it—“occupation.” Any campus protest against Israel will feature the word “occupation” and most New York Times articles will throw in a jab like “Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem” etc.

Indeed, the classic Israeli narrative—that of an ancient people repatriating their land in a miraculous story of faith, tenacity and survival—has been replaced by the occupation-narrative which paints Israel as a greedy land thief and victimizer.

Forefather in faith

Political buzzwords surpass their literal meanings and signal value-laden political positions which divide between political camps. The word “occupation” is meant to convey the illegitimacy—and even the evil roots—of Israel. If you are anti-Israel, you will embrace this word and this narrative.

But what is the counter-word to “occupation”? How do you convey Israel’s deep history in the land and the Jewish people’s indigeneity to the Middle East? How do you invoke the flavor of ancient history without sounding like a Bible-thumping extremist? What word can bridge the Arab-Jewish divide?

The answer, which the new accords have found, is “Abraham.”

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 26, 2020

Actually, old terrorists do not die, they just move to Turkey - by Stephen M. Flatow

I welcomed the idea of putting Sami Al-Arian on trial. Let Americans and the world see the lengths that terror’s supporters go in order to murder civilians riding a public bus.

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
25 August '20..

Condemnation of Israel and Jews from terrorists and their supporters is not new, it just comes from different directions. One case in point is Sami Al-Arian, who was deported from the United States following a prison sentence for his guilt as a sponsor of the terrorist organization, Islamic Jihad.

Today, the Kuwaiti-born Al-Arian lives in Turkey, the only country that would accept him after his deportation, where he heads the Istanbul-based Center for Islam and Global Affairs. He’s often interviewed and quoted by Arab news outlets—most recently, about the announcement of the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

To many in the United States, Sami Al-Arian was the victim of a U.S. government conspiring with Israel to punish him for his pro-Palestinian views. To those of us who have suffered the loss of loved ones because of his support—financial and moral—of terror, he is an unrepentant murderer.

America’s attention was first called to Al-Arian in 1994 by Steven Emerson in his documentary, “Jihad in America,” where Al-Arian’s links to Islamic Jihad were outlined. But it was 1995 that would be the terror group’s defining year. It was in that year that Islamic Jihad conducted a series of deadly suicide bomb attacks in Israel, one of the victims being my 20-year-old daughter, Alisa.

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 25, 2020

With a dogma shattered, finally, embracing the Israelis on the other side - by Sara Al-Nuaimi

Our relationship with Israel is one of timeless harmony. My caring for Palestinians means urging to stop trying to destroy Israel and instead come to terms with it.

Sara Al-Nuaimi..
Guest Columnist/Israel Hayom..
24 August '20..
Link: https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/finally-embracing-the-israelis-on-the-other-side/

It has always been my dream to visit Israel, the mystical, forbidden, and imaginative place. What would it feel like to enter a synagogue, to see a candle-lit menorah, to hear the psalms, to get inspired by a new language, to allow new words and new creative emotional experiences to take place? To sing, dance the horah, and celebrate with Israelis the remarkable turn of a new millennium?

As an Emirati woman, in the past, some would react with, "Are you okay? What's wrong with you?" Perhaps the oddest response I have received was, "Are you a Shiite?" (I am Sunni.) Thinking of all the positive aspects of Israel in a way disintegrated all the false beliefs pounded into society that limited my immersive being.

When Arabs deny the Holocaust, they in some way deny my own existence that upholds an identity that wants to be everything Arab, but also everything new, expanding, global, universal. There is an elated feeling of inspired hope, of love and freedom when parts of an old traditional construct start to melt away, yet there's also a safe deep current of satisfaction in knowing that Israel's narrative is also built on traditions like our own, and there's no more the fear of having to cut cords with our past in order to look ahead.

Our relationship with Israel is one of timeless harmony. The richness in knowing that we are larger than belief is the greatest richness in life. This is what acknowledging Israel means to me. Carrying a heart free of enmity is the most meaningful thing in life. I marvel at the possibilities and the consequences. If only I can stand right in front of an Israeli bakery right now and enjoy a freshly baked bagel.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Truth be Told, Anti-Zionism isn’t Antisemitism – but it Doesn’t Matter - by Victor Rosenthal

Antisemitism, Jew-hatred, gave rise to pogroms wherever Jews were found from time immemorial, including the biggest pogrom of all, the Holocaust. Misoziony has so far failed in its grand ambition, because its target, the State of Israel, possesses the military power to prevent it. But just because it hasn’t (yet) proven its malignity in blood doesn’t mean that it is morally acceptable, any more than any other bigotry.

Victor Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
23 August '20..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2020/08/anti-zionism-isnt-antisemitism-but-it-doesnt-matter/

There has rarely been a more pointless dispute than the one over whether anti-Zionism is antisemitism. The answer is easy, and it has two parts: a) no, they are not the same, and b) it doesn’t matter.

What is anti-Zionism? The denial of the proposition that the Jewish people ought to have a state in their historic homeland, Eretz Yisrael. Right away, there is a problem: there has been a Jewish state since 1948, and its right to be there is guaranteed by international law. So it doesn’t make sense to argue this point today.

But that isn’t what they mean, they say. They maintain that what they are doing is criticism of Israel. They argue that Israel violates the human rights of Palestinian Arabs (even accusing her of genocide and apartheid), and provide remedies which usually imply the replacement of the state of the Jewish people by a state of its citizens, a “dezionized” entity of some kind, or simply an Arab state. But there’s no Jew-hatred involved, they insist.

Now as a matter of fact, very often the same people who “criticize Israel” in this way also believe that Jews control the world economy and media, profit from wars and plagues, and bleed little non-Jewish children to make matzot. In logical terms, the two classes are coextensive. But the “responsible” critics of Israel distance themselves from these people. Their position is entirely political. They hold no animus for individual Jews. Some of their best friends are Jews.

Let’s look closely at their “criticism,” and their proposed solutions. Both are very special. Natan Sharansky noted three characteristics of anti-Israel discourse, which he called the “three D’s”: Demonization, Delegitimization, and Double standard.

The demonization of Israel and the IDF needs no elaboration. Israel’s actions in self-defense are presented as aggression, atrocities are invented, false themes – the IDF “targets” children – are promoted, and no context is provided (e.g., news stories headlined “Israel strikes Gaza” to describe retaliation aimed at empty buildings following a Hamas rocket barrage against Israeli towns). There is the whole phenomenon of “Pallywood,” the comparisons to Nazi Germany, and over all the attribution of the most malign motives imaginable for every Israeli action.

Delegitimization is all-pervasive as well. Israel is excluded from UN bodies, sporting competitions, and artistic festivals. Israel is removed from maps, and its capital is not recognized. It is often argued falsely that the land of Israel was “stolen” from the Palestinian Arabs and that therefore the entire enterprise should be abolished.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Question. Is It Only in Israel Where Human Rights Activists Fight Against Human Rights? - by Sheri Oz

...Close to two million people of all religions, from Israel and around the world, visit the Cave of the Patriarchs each year. There is no other site like it in the world that is not accessible! This situation is a disgrace. And it is a serious infraction of human rights.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
21 August '20..

I wonder if it is only in Israel or concerning Israel that we find human rights activists fighting human rights. And our government does not seem to know how to deal with it. In this case, we have a supposed human rights organization fighting the human rights of the disabled, the elderly and young children to pray in the Cave of the Patriarchs; currently the prayer halls are totally inaccessible to them. In fact, Moti Ohayon and others have been seriously injured from falls while being carried up the steps in his wheelchair when all they wanted to do was pray at the site of the graves of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah, and even, it is believed, at the burial places of Adam and Eve.

The committee responsible for overseeing the project to build an accessibility elevator is dillydallying and not convening to deal with the delay. And this is after all the documents were signed by the Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Finance Minister.

What a disappointment to all who saw their ability to safely pray at the holy site just over the horizon!

Background to the Elevator Project

In an article published in November 2019, I wrote:

The request to make the site accessible to all was first submitted in 2003 by the Hebron Jewish Community Committee to the military authority. This was followed by repeated attempts by a number of organizations to raise awareness of the dire need for an elevator. When no action was taken, supposedly because of security issues and concerns of changing the status quo between the Jewish and Palestinian populations in the city, Btzalmo took up the mantle and, for the last few years, [campaigned] tirelessly by writing letters to those with the power to carry out the project and by ensuring that the media keep the topic alive.

The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee is responsible for the project. At their meeting in July 2019, committee members agreed that this was a humanitarian project of utmost importance. It was also clear that the elevator was required in order to be in compliance with international law stating that all public buildings must be accessible. Repeated requests for coordination with the Hebron municipality, which was given authority over building permits as per the 1997 Hebron Agreement signed by Netanyahu and Arafat, were ignored. (Israel had offered to make the Muslim entrance accessible at the same time as they were working on the Jewish entrance.) At the committee meeting, members wondered aloud how long they would wait for the Hebron mayor to respond before deciding to proceed without his involvement. It was hoped that the prayer halls would be accessible by Passover 2020.

Finally, in February 2020, all the documents approving the project were signed by the requisite ministers — the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister and the Finance Minister. After years of attempting to coordinate the accessibility project together with the Hebron municipality and being ignored, the only way to move forward was for Israel to expropriate the land required to build the elevator (about 4-10 square meters) and a path from the parking area up to the base of the site (about 150 meters long).

(Continue to Full Post)

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, August 21, 2020

PA World of Make-Believe: Israel supplies weapons to Palestinians to fight one another and illegal fireworks to cause injuries - by Nan Jacques Zilberdik

What does the civilian say? Journalist Omar Nazzal said that ‘the harming of the other has become a culture that is not limited just to celebrations of success at the matriculation exams, but rather prevails in all the phenomena of harassing the other on the claim that it is only [for] a day or an hour… Many who have an event, whether it is an engagement party, a release from the occupation’s prison, or success in the matriculation exams, hold these celebrations in a manner that disturbs others.’An El-Bireh Municipal Council member… said that: ‘The responsibility is on everyone. We have failed in assimilating a civil culture within us.’”

Nan Jacques Zilberdik..
Palestinian Media Watch..
18 August '20..

As the Palestinian Authority is struggling with increasing internal violence, what better way to deal with it than to blame Israel? As Palestinian Media Watch has documented this is the PA’s modus operandi whenever bad things happen.

Thus, PA Police Spokesman Col. Luay Erziqat blamed Israel for the rise in violence in Palestinian society, claiming Israel “encourage[s] violence and murder in the Palestinian society” and is “supplying” arms to Palestinian weapon dealers:

PA Police Spokesman Col. Luay Erziqat:“There are elements of the occupation (i.e., PA term for Israel) that have begun to raise their voices and have begun to spread crime and to help spread crime… We have found suspicious and funded [internet] pages, we have found ‘mouthpieces’ and elements of the occupation that encourage violence and murder in the Palestinian society. In Area C (i.e., West Bank areas under full Israeli administration according to the Oslo Accords), at the basic level, the Israeli occupation is preventing the [PA] Security Forces from acting there, and is transferring supplies to the weapon dealers. If you look for example at the southern areas like Hebron – there are weapons there, 250, 500 (rifle models –Ed.)… It is clear who is supplying these weapons, and who is transferring the supply to the dealers of these weapons.”
[Official PA TV, Directly With the Police, June 1, 2020]

In the same way, the PA blamed Israel for accidents caused when Palestinians use fireworks for celebratory occasions, for example when they receive the results of the matriculation exams. The PA’s official news agency claimed Israel deliberately supplies fireworks to Palestinians to “destroy the Palestinian society”:

“The main source of the fireworks is the settlements and the occupation, whose goal is to destroy the Palestinian society, and therefore it allows their entry into the Palestinian market, and simultaneously bans their sale in the 1948 territories (i.e., Israel) except through companies that specialize in the field of fireworks… The usage of fireworks in Palestine is one of the serious phenomena… that has contributed to turning parties and joyful occasions into sad events… and this constitutes a danger to the social well-being, and threatens the stability and the social ‘domestic peace.’”
[WAFA, official PA news agency, “Negative Social Phenomena” section, accessed July 16, 2020]

Manager of the PA’s Import Tax Administration Public Relations and Communications, Ibrahim Ayyash, supported this allegation, saying that “most of the explosives and fireworks are smuggled from the settlements… as well as fireworks that are imported from China, and the Israeli authorities turn a blind eye knowing that they are meant for Palestinian markets.” [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 13, 2020]

(Continue to Full Post)

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.  

Thursday, August 20, 2020

This is an earthquake, a call to Israel’s Arab neighbors to look to the future rather than the past - by David Suissa

After UAE deal, will liberal Zionists stand on the right side of history?

David Suissa..
Israel Hayom/Jewish Journal..
19 August '20..

The forces of darkness in the Middle East are panicking. One of the most powerful Arab countries in the world has made peace with the dreaded Zionist enemy.

For these forces of darkness, anything that challenges the demonization of the Jewish state is a disaster. In order for these regimes to survive, Israel must remain the irredeemable sinner, the evil oppressor of Palestinians, the Jewish invader who took over holy Muslim land.

This dark view of Israel has long been the mother’s milk sustaining the dictators of the region, keeping attention away from their own corruption, incompetence and oppression of their people.

Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories
Your email
The problem is that in the long run, any model based on lies and manufactured hatred is not sustainable. At some point, people wake up. People have to eat and make a living. People have to envision a better future.

This opens them up to other truths.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in making a historic deal with Israel, woke up. In fact, they woke up a while ago. The difference is that now, they’re coming out. They’re not hiding it. They’re telling the world and the people of the region: Israel is not our enemy. Israel doesn’t want to invade us. Israel has a lot to offer.

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 19, 2020

PM Netanyahu’s bold move - by Ruthie Blum

The Israeli right is wrong to see the prime minister’s deal with the UAE as a capitulation to foreign pressure. He is creating optimal conditions for the Jewish state’s road ahead.

Ruthie Blum..
JNS.org..
18 August '20..

Anyone wondering what had become of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ostensible July 1 target date to begin the process of extending sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria received an answer last Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement on Aug. 13 that Washington had brokered a peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates—and accompanying reports that the deal precluded “annexation of the West Bank”—put the question to rest.

Once it emerged that Netanyahu had been busy for the past few weeks negotiating the terms of the treaty with Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his sudden silence on sovereignty became clear. Ironically, the weekly protests outside of the Israeli premier’s official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem included the chanting of slogans and waving of banners decrying his “annexation” plans.

The cessation of these plans—derived from the “Peace to Prosperity” vision that Trump unveiled at the White House on Jan. 28—have not assuaged the anti-Netanyahu camp, however. The demonstrators in the capital and elsewhere across the country have other bones of contention to keep their Woodstock-like festivals going.

What they consider to be the prime minister’s poor handling of the current so-called “second wave” of the coronavirus crisis is one such issue. Another is his heading of the government while under indictment for corruption. Calling him “crime minister,” they scream and shout that he should resign.

Never mind that they have been complaining about his reluctance to open the economy completely while gathering in massive numbers and huddling together, many without masks, as though Health Ministry warnings and regulations don’t apply to them.

Forget about the fact that Netanyahu not only was re-elected to head the Likud Party in a democratic primary, and that his remaining at the helm is the result of democratic Knesset elections and coalition-building.

Leave aside the fact that he, like every other Israeli citizen, is innocent until proven guilty. The loud crowds urging his ouster are angry at their lot and hold him responsible for it.

It is natural for an anxiety-ridden population with an uncertain financial future and bleak present to blame its leader. People all over the world are doing just that, accusing their governments of failing to prevent COVID-19 deaths on the one hand and of killing the economy on the other.

Netanyahu, thus, is in good company. But he possesses abilities that few of his counterpart heads of state can match. The deal that he reached with the UAE is but one example among many. His engaging in political clashes while managing a low-intensity conflict against Hamas in Gaza and launching repeated mini-strikes on Iranian facilities is another.

The two are connected, and not only because the Sunni Gulf states now see in Israel a staunch ally in their mutual battle against the mullah-led Shi’ite regime in Tehran, but due to Netanyahu’s knowledge that holding off on his promised sovereignty moves would arouse the ire of many of his supporters, without gaining him any brownie points from his detractors—at least not those on either side of the Israeli spectrum.

Indeed, none of the current protesters will stay home next weekend,

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 18, 2020

A unique opportunity to improve security in the North: UNIFIL has directly or indirectly hurt Israel's defense and security interests in the area - by Prof. Eugene Kontorovich

Cancelling or cutting back the mandate will be helpful to Israel's strategic interests in the region and will illustrate the defense ethos that Israel defends itself, by itself.

Prof. Eugene Kontorovich..
Israel Hayom..
17 August '20..
Link: https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/unifil-an-opportunity-for-change/

On Oct. 7, 2000, an IDF patrol vehicle was attacked by a powerful bomb near Mount Dov. Hezbollah operatives crossed the border fence and abducted soldiers Adi Avitan, Omar Souad, and Benny Avraham. The attack was carried out with the help of a distraction from protesters on the border near Moshav Zerit, and mortar fire on IDF positions. An investigation of the incident discovered that surprisingly, Indian UNIFIL soldiers who were on duty at nearby outposts had filmed the events in real time and even opted not to report it to the IDF. The footage was discovered eight months after the incident. In addition, the UN troops also filmed the transfer of the kidnapped IDF soldiers some 16 hours later, and again, did not hand the footage over to Israel in time for it to take action.

There are other instances in which the UN temporary peacekeeping force – UNIFIL – has directly or indirectly hurt Israel's defense and security interests in the area and limited the IDF's ability to respond. The main claim voiced in the defense establishment at the time was that the forces had no real power and were too small to carry out their mandate of restoring peace and security and helping restore control to the South Lebanese Army.

But in 2006, after the Second Lebanon War was over, that idea crashed on the rocks of reality. The UN Security Council resolved to increase UNIFIL forces nearly fivefold, to 10,900 personnel, and expanded both its enforcement mandate and budget. Nevertheless, the increased forces failed in both motivation and efficacy when it came to taking action against violations on the Lebanese side of the "Blue Line." Since then, Hezbollah has dug attack tunnels under the border into Israel under the very noses of the UN troops, with the hope of carrying out a mega-terror attack against communities in northern Israel.

In biased reports to the UN Security Council and by its very presence in the region, UNIFIL "whitewashes" violations by Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, allowing them to act freely. If another war in the north takes place, UNIFIL's presence will likely hamper the IDF's ability to maneuver in south Lebanon, and serve as a de facto human shield for Hezbollah.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Will we spend decades regretting the day when the chance for sovereignty was at hand – and we said no? - by R. Uri Pilichowski

Meanwhile Palestinians laughed at the settlers, with one PA official saying, “The settlers’ opposition to the plan is doing our work for us.”

R. Uri Pilichowski..
TOI Blogs..
16 August '20..

As a settler in Judea and Samaria, I’m supposed to tow the line that any plan that mentions a Palestinian State is to be rejected. A Palestinian State was called for in President Trump’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan and settlers were put in a quandary. The plan called for Israel extending sovereignty to 30% of Judea and Samaria yet the plan also called for a Palestinian state.

A few miles from my house, well within smelling distance, construction has begun on a waste-to-energy incinerator. These incinerators are notorious for their bad smells, environmental destruction, and air pollution. Israel’s new Environmental Protection Minister, Gila Gamliel, has halted construction on three of these plants, but has allowed the one near our town to continue. The difference between the three that she stopped and the one near our town is the green line. The three that were stopped are within Israel’s green line, and ours is over it, in Judea and Samaria (The West Bank). Since Israeli sovereignty hasn’t been extended to our area, the air polluting incinerator is going forward. It will severely affect our quality of life. This is just one of many examples of how Israelis who reside in Judea and Samaria, settlers, live different lives than Israelis within the green line.

For fifty two years, the sovereignty movement, led by Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar, advocated for extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria. Like many settlers, with images of uprooted settlements like Yamit, Gush Katif and Homesh engraved in our hearts and minds, I thought extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria was a dream. I was satisfied with settlements being allowed to grow.

When President Trump announced his plan, and included in it the promise of American support for extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, I was shocked. Like many skeptics, I read the plan looking for the catch. When it called for a Palestinian state I was initially disappointed but when I read the conditions for American support for the plan, I quickly came to two realizations. First, there was no way the Palestinians could or would meet these requirements, and second, any reasonable reading of the plan should recognize the dream come true of sovereignty and the impossibility of a Palestinian state coming to fruition.

Settler leaders like Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi recognized the benefits of the plan immediately, writing, “It is now our responsibility to embrace the Trump program – and apply Israeli law according to its framework throughout Judea and Samaria.”

Unfortunately other settler leaders objected and publicly criticized the plan. They lobbied Prime Minister Netanyahu to reject the plan, even at the cost of sovereignty. Objections ranged from the plan not calling for sovereignty on all of Judea and Samaria to a comprehensive map not having been released, unfounded worries about certain settlements being left alone in danger, and chief among them, the plan’s call for a Palestinian state.

(Continue to Full Post)

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. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Incredible Israel-UAE deal upends the ‘rules’ about peace-making in Middle East - by Michael Oren

For more than half of a century, the paradigm of Middle East peace-making has proven highly resistant to change. Yet even the fiercest advocates of that belief-system must recognize the seismic shift that will take place once the UAE-Israel treaty is signed. Some will no doubt insist on adhering to disproven assumptions. Those who care about peace will abandon them.

Michael Oren..
TOI Blog..
14 August '20..

The impending peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is more than just a stunning diplomatic breakthrough. It represents a fundamental shift in the paradigm of peace-making.

For more than 50 years, that paradigm has been based on seemingly unassailable assumptions. The first of these was that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the core dispute in the Middle East. Resolve it, and peace would reign throughout the region. The premise was largely dispelled by the Arab Spring of 2011 and the subsequent civil wars in Syria, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen. Still, a large body of decision-makers, especially from Europe and the United States, continued to regard a solution to Israel-Palestine as the panacea for many, if not most, of the Middle East’s ills. Then-secretary of state John Kerry’s intense shuttle diplomacy, which paralleled the massacre of half a million Syrians in 2012-14, proceeded precisely on this assumption.

The next assumption was that core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was settlement-building in Judea/Samaria, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Freeze it and the dispute would be easily mediated. This, theory, too, collapsed in the face of facts. Israel withdrew from Gaza, uprooting 21 settlements, in 2005, and then froze settlements for much of 2009-10. The conflict nevertheless continued and even worsened, but that did not prevent foreign policymakers from persisting in the belief that peace is incompatible with settlements.

And, in addition to ceasing construction in the territories, Israel was expected to give virtually all of them up. This was the third assumption — that peace with the Arab world could only be purchased with Israeli concessions of land. This belief is as old as Israel itself. The first Anglo-American peace plans — Alpha and Gamma — were predicated on Israeli concessions in the Negev and elsewhere. After 1967, the principle applied to areas captured by Israel in the Six Day War and, after the return of Sinai to Egypt in 1982, to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The same secretary of state Kerry repeatedly warned Israel that failure to forfeit those areas would result in its total international isolation.

Yet another assumption held that “everyone knows what the final agreement looks like.” With minor modifications and territorial swaps, this meant that a Palestinian state would be created along the pre-1967 lines with a capital in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians would give up the so-called right of return for Palestinian refugees, agree to end the conflict with Israel and to cease all further claims, and to accept the formula of “two states for two peoples.” Israel, in turn, would remove dozens of settlements, redivide its capital, and outsource West Bank security either to the Palestinians or some international source. Of all the assumptions, this was the most divorced from reality. Not a single aspect of it was achievable. In fact, no one knew what final agreement looked like.

(Continue to Full Post)

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the United States and a member of Knesset, is the author of Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide(Random House, 2015).

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, August 14, 2020

Full Throttle: Inside the Struggle Between Israel and Hezbollah - by Dr. Shimon Shapira

The struggle between Hezbollah and Israel is currently at full throttle. Hezbollah, with Iran’s help, is working to build long-range capabilities that will allow it to strike precise targets in the Israeli home front. Israel is resolved to prevent Hezbollah from gaining that capability.

Dr. Shimon Shapira..
Tablet..
11 August '20..

At the basis of the struggle between Israel and Hezbollah stands Iran, which views Lebanon as part of the territory of the Islamic Republic. The Islamic empire seeks to establish itself among the Shiite populations of the region while denying any importance to the national component, instead granting these populations collective expression in the form of movements, parties, and organizations whose task is to challenge the nation-states in which they operate and to shape them by building a fighting Islamic society that is exclusively loyal to the leader of Iran.

Lebanon was the Islamic empire’s first target. Over the past decade it has fallen like a ripe fruit into Iran’s hands. Through Hezbollah, Iran has taken control of the institutions of the Lebanese state and turned it into a failed state whose stability has collapsed amid severe economic and political corruption that threatens its demise.

The Hezbollah movement was founded in the summer of 1982 by Iran, which intended it to be the spearhead of the states exporting the Islamic Revolution to the Arab and Islamic world. The Shiite movement Amal, which was founded in 1975 by the Iranian Imam Musa Sadr and his Iranian assistant, Dr. Mostafa Chamran, was not prepared to replace its loyalty to the Lebanese state with loyalty to Islamic Iran. Musa Sadr was murdered in Libya in August 1978 with the encouragement of associates of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It was decided in Tehran to set up a new Islamic movement that would lead the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon according to the revolutionary precepts of the Islamic Republic.

Khomeini assigned the mission of establishing the new movement to his longtime associate Ali Akbar Mohtashemi Pur. Considered an expert on the Levant, he arrived in August 1981 to serve as Iran’s ambassador in Damascus. One of the first tasks of the new Iranian ambassador was to invite for a meeting the Shiite clerics who recognized the Wali al-Faqih (the Rule of the Jurisprudent) principle and played key roles in the life of the Shiite community in Baalbek. Those who came to Damascus included Subhi Tofaili, who was the imam of the Imam Ali Mosque and eventually the first secretary-general of Hezbollah (1989-1991); Abbas Musawi, who was head of the hawza named after Imam Almantazer—the most important madrassa in Lebanon, to which the Lebanese students came who were expelled from Iraq with the Baath Party’s rise to power—and served as Hezbollah’s second secretary-general (1991-1992); and Mohammed Yazbek, who was the senior instructor at the madrassa. This was a seminal meeting in which the Iranian ambassador told the Lebanese clerics of Iran’s intention to establish a new Shiite Islamic movement, one that would unite all the pro-Iranian Lebanese elements who until then had operated independently and without any joint coordination with Tehran.

Khomeini appointed Ali Khamenei, who was then president of Iran, as his liaison to the new movement in Lebanon, thereby indicating the great importance he assigned to the undertaking there. This meeting laid the cornerstone for the establishment of Hezbollah.

The command staff of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Lebanon was in charge of building the new movement’s organizational and military framework. Their first act was to remove the white flags that the residents of Baalbek and its vicinity had hung on their houses to signal surrender to the Israeli forces that invaded Lebanon in 1982 to force out the PLO, and to replace them with red flags of jihad and war.

(Continue to Full Article)

Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira is a senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and author of Hezbollah: Between Iran and Lebanon. He served as the Military Secretary to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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, August 12, 2020

Once again Israel’s High Court hits a new low - by Ruthie Blum

...the Supreme Court is not supposed to base its rulings on the political bias of its judges. Sadly, however, many of these consider it not only their job to overturn government moves that they oppose, but their moral imperative to do so. Justice for the likes of Ben-Yigal and every other Israeli who daily risks his/her life for the country doesn’t seem to come into the equation.

Ruthie Blum..
JNS.org..
11 August '20..

The ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice against the home demolition of Palestinian terrorist Nizmi Abu Bakr is the latest example of judicial overreach based on political bias. Abu Bakr confessed to and was indicted on charges of murdering 21-year-old Israel Defense Forces’ Staff Sgt. Amit Ben-Yigal on May 12.

Ben-Yigal, a member of the Golani Reconnaissance Battalion, was one of the soldiers involved in a raid on the Palestinian Authority-controlled village of Yabad in Samaria to apprehend four suspected terrorists. After completing their mission at around 4:30 a.m. on May 12, the troops began to exit the village on foot.

At this point, approximately one dozen residents of the area began pummeling them with bricks and cinder blocks from surrounding rooftops. Abu Bakr targeted Ben-Yigal, making sure to hit him at an angle from which his protective helmet would be of no use.

The 49-year-old terrorist’s aim at the young Israeli’s head was impeccable. Though Ben-Yigal was administered first aid on the scene, he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.

He was the first IDF soldier to be killed in action in 2020, and was promoted, posthumously, to the rank of Sgt. First Class. He was killed a mere month before the end of his military service.

Hundreds of mourners attended his funeral some 14 hours later, weeping as his distraught divorced parents eulogized their son separately.

Calling him “mommy’s hero,” his mother, Nava Revivo, wept bitterly as she bid him farewell.

“My eldest child, beloved child,” she wailed. “Your sisters can’t comprehend what’s happening. We will keep your ember burning, your happiness, your love.”

His father, Baruch, who has no other children, bemoaned having given his son permission to serve in a combat unit—something that the IDF demands from parents of only children and from those who already lost sons or daughters to war or other tragedies.

“I signed [the permission slip] with this hand,” his father cried. “You told me, ‘Dad, don’t deny me this.’ I signed it and you celebrated as if you’d just won the lottery. You were supposed to bury me, not the other way around. God in heaven, give me a reason to wake up tomorrow morning.”

When the Shin Bet revealed that Abu Bakr had been arrested for and confessed to killing Ben-Yigal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that was ordering the IDF to demolish the terrorist’s home.

Enter left-wing NGO HaMoked, which promptly filed a petition on behalf of Abu-Bakr’s family against the home demolition.

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 11, 2020

A Few Lessons for Israel to Learn From Lebanon - by Prof. Hillel Frisch

The Middle East, aside from the realization of the prophetic Jewish return to its homeland and the creation of a vibrant democracy for all its citizens, is not a place for miracles. Israel, alas, remains the exception that proves the rule—and that will continue only as long as it remains strong and is guided by worst-case scenarios like that being played out in Lebanon today.

Prof. Hillel Frisch..
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,687..
11 August '20..
Link: https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/lebanons-lessons-israel/

How many Lebanons are there?

This has been a question ever since the French Mandate in 1920. It was repeatedly raised after Lebanon’s independence in 1943, and came to the fore once again after last week’s explosion at Beirut’s port.

The question did not arise in the first hours after the explosion, as the Lebanese people weighed and grieved the terrible extent of their losses. It emerged in full force a little bit later, during the visit of French president Emmanuel Macron—the first, and indeed only, head of state ever to visit the beleaguered country.

In the Christian area of Beirut, which suffered the brunt of the explosion, Macron was greeted by chants in French: “Macron save us!” and “You are our only hope!” Few Lebanese Shiites and only a few more Lebanese Sunnis know French, and many members of both sects—even those who chafe under the Hezbollah-dominated government—don’t identify with those sentiments.

Even less do they identify with one of the most frequently viewed scenes of Macron’s visit—his warm embrace of a young Lebanese woman during his tour of the area. Most Lebanese Shiite and Sunni women, like their fellow womenfolk in the Muslim world, do not embrace men except for close family, and even then they do so only rarely, whatever the circumstances. This rule is not bent even for illustrious foreign leaders.

No Arab politician—not even a member of the local Communist party, which is fiercely committed to gender equality—would ever dare to do anything more than shake a woman’s hand, and even then he would only do so reluctantly. Arguably the most popular leader in recent Arab history, the “progressive” and nationalist Gamal Abdel Nasser, never appeared in public with his wife, a cue picked up on by the present Egyptian president. Sisi’s wife rarely appears with her husband in public, and when she does, she wears a religious scarf on her head and a dress that conforms strictly to Islamic law. Sisi has appeared with her in public for the sole purpose of driving home the point that he is as good—or even better—a Muslim than members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he ruthlessly suppresses.

The same can be said of Sisi’s nemesis, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. When he makes public appearances with his wife, she is always garbed in appropriate Islamic dress and the couple always maintains a respectable distance. This was true even before coronavirus.

Macron’s visit and behavior bring into relief once again that both politically and culturally, after 77 years of independence, the state of Lebanon is fractured. There is a Lebanon that is part of the Muslim Arab hinterland and plays by its rules, which—no matter what Western liberals might hope—change at a snail’s pace if they change at all. There is also a Christian, mostly Maronite beachhead on the Mediterranean that is linked to France.

This was true in 1958, when “progressive” Nasser, the darling of the Western left, activated Sunni politicians and movements to subvert a Christian-dominated, western-centered Lebanon. Ten years later, as Nasser’s bright aura dimmed after his 1967 defeat, he did the same thing, only using PLO factions to achieve the same ends.

Even more germane is the lesson culled from the beginnings of the Lebanese civil war in 1975. It began when the Shiite and Sunni proletariat joined together to protest on behalf of better labor conditions. Western liberals thought that that solidarity was the stirring of a new non-sectarian Lebanon. The bitter 15-year war that ensued between warlords, sects, and their external allies demonstrated how wrong they were.

Yet once again, a flurry of headlines, features, tweets, and Instagram posts are focusing on the demonstrations in Beirut in the hope that they represent the beginning of a new, unified Lebanon.

Though the liberals’ focus might be on the loving French president and the promise of a Lebanese clone of France emerging on the Mediterranean, there is another picture in the background. The trained eye saw that after the massive explosion on the wharf, bearded goons in matching T-shirts appeared on motorcycles to inspect the scene—and the many soldiers from the Lebanese army who were in the area dared not chase them away. The goons were members of the Hezbollah militia, and it was understood by all parties that they would decimate the protesters if the army did not keep them in check. Hezbollah will gun down any attempt to create a Lebanon that is truly a state of all its citizens. Macron may come and go, but the Hezbollah goons are here to stay.

The moral of the story for Israel? There are many. We can start with the so-called solutions proposed to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

Surprise? Another Anti-Israel Lie Pushed by Palestinian Activist - by Dexter Van Zile

The result is that the entire premise of the article — which accuses the United States of denying human rights activists access to satellite images they can use to document alleged Israeli misdeeds against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — is destroyed. They’ve had access to the images since 2012.

Dexter Van Zile..
Algemeiner..
06 August '20..

When people say or write things, they should try to avoid contradicting themselves on a factual or logical basis. This is the essence of the “Liar’s Paradox.”

This lesson was lost on the folks at Foreign Policy (FP), who published a piece by Palestinian activist Zena Agha titled “Israel Can’t Hide Evidence of Its Occupation Anymore.” The piece, which appeared on FP’s website on August 3, 2020, contradicts itself in a pretty obvious way.

The gist of the article is that a US law passed by Congress in 1996 has made it impossible for human rights activists to get high-definition satellite images of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, making them unable to document Israeli actions in those areas.

The article then reports breathlessly that this law was recently amended, giving human rights activists the information they need to document the evil acts against the Palestinians.

But when read closely, the article (a) reveals that the law only applied to US companies, and that (b) high-definition images of Israel and the Gaza Strip and West Bank have been available on the global market for most of the past decade, rendering the law in question meaningless.

The result is that the entire premise of the article — which accuses the United States of denying human rights activists access to satellite images they can use to document alleged Israeli misdeeds against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — is destroyed.

They’ve had access to the images since 2012.

Here’s the background:

(Continue to Full Column)

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, August 10, 2020

What are the chances that the Beirut explosion was not intended for Israel? - by Alex Traiman

While Israel and the rest of the international community have been offering humanitarian aid to Lebanon in the wake of one of the largest explosions since the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blew in 1986, the greatest aid to the people of Lebanon would be the complete disarmament and expulsion of Hezbollah.

Alex Traiman..
JNS.org..
09 August '20..

Many of Israel’s modern military accomplishments have defied all odds and logic. Surprise victories in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Six-Day War in 1967 and Yom Kippur War in 1973 will forever stand among Israel’s most miraculous and unlikely historical achievements.

This past week, while smoke and debris covers Beirut, Israel may have averted a disaster.

When a massive stockpile of weapons-grade ammonium nitrate exploded in the Beirut port on Aug. 4, it was without a doubt a tragedy of horrific proportions. At least 150 innocent civilians were killed and thousands more wounded. The damage to the city of Beirut, and to Lebanon’s main seaport, will take years to repair.

Yet for Israel, there is one major consolation: The stockpile of ammonium nitrate and the collateral damage it caused may well have been earmarked for Israel.

(Continue to Full Column)

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. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Thirty years of being part of a meta-historic, grand drama of Jewish national renewal and redemption - by David M. Weinberg

Despite the mixed balance sheet of changes that have taken place in this country’s society and politics over the past 30 years since I moved to Israel, it is a privilege to be part of a meta-historic, grand drama of Jewish national renewal and redemption.

David M. Weinberg..
A Citadel Defending Zion..
07 August '20..
Link: https://davidmweinberg.com/2020/08/07/aliyah-a-30-year-retrospective/

Israel has changed quite a bit since my wife and I moved here 30 years ago yesterday, exactly.

(It was four days after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Little did we know what we were flying into. Remember the safe rooms and gas masks of the First Gulf War?)

When we moved here 30 years ago, television ads were for drinking milk and eating oranges; not for 40” flat TV screens and “Survivor.” You could not get a regular telephone line for years, even if the prime minister intervened on your behalf. Today, every 16-year-old has two iPhones running on 4G internet, with TikTok and Instagram and a dozen other communication and entertainment apps.

Back then, all cars were white, and air conditioning was an uncommon luxury. The country’s wadis were filled with sand, not silicone. It was illegal to hold foreign currency, even for most businesses. Anatoly Sharansky was a Prisoner of Zion and Shimon Peres was on the right wing of the Labor Party. English was the country’s second language, not Russian.

When I moved here, serving your country was a privilege; living here was its own reward. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started. Israelis who moved to America were yordim (embarrassing dropouts) – even if they went to play basketball or star in the movies.

Passover and Succot vacations were for hiking the streams, mountains, and flower fields of the Galilee. Not for shop-till-you-drop excursions in airconditioned Azrieli mega-malls or for flights out to the casinos of Greece. We danced hora, not trance.

Back then, our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. ‘Grass’ was mowed, ‘coke’ was a soft drink, and ‘pot’ was something your mother cooked in. Most youngsters had both a mother and a father – of two different sexes. The Bible Quiz was the highlight of Independence Day television. The big festival in the spring was the May Day march, not the Pride Parade.

Non-kosher restaurants were rare. Shabbat was truly a day of reflective rest, down-time for every Israeli. The Bible was a best-seller, not When and How the Jewish People Was Invented by a post-Zionist Tel Aviv University professor, or Sapiens by a fiercely atheist Hebrew University professor. The Western Wall was where Jews went to pray, not protest.

Meretz meant the strength to work hard. Shas was the six orders of the Mishna. Lapid was a torch you held high with pride at state ceremonies. Burg and Barak were the names of veteran, thoughtful and erudite leaders. Oslo was a wonderful, far-away place where you could get away from Middle East politics. Zoom was something you did with a race car.

The Law of Return brought Jews to Israel. The Chief Rabbinate sought to build bridges for religion with secular Israelis. The Supreme Court dealt with legal issues and left it to you and me and the Knesset to decide what is “reasonable.”

Even the intellectuals were unabashedly patriotic. Zionism was considered the country’s heroic and defining ideology, not a chauvinist and politically incorrect prejudice. Settlement was not a dirty word. Nobody would dare use the epithet “apartheid” to refer to anything other than institutionalized racist segregation in South Africa.

Jerusalem was the first choice for Israeli school trips; a unifying symbol. It was the eternal, undivided capital of Israel – without question or debate. Withdrawal was a financial term (something you did with money at the bank), and disengagement meant breaking someone’s lovesick heart.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Surprise? The Washington Post’s Opinion Page Slanders Israel, Again - by Sean Durns

The Washington Post is not living up to its own guidelines and standards. Its opinion pages—meant to be a place for honest debate—are increasingly a forum for falsehoods—and worse.

Sean Durns..
TOI Blog..
06 August '20..

“Facts,” Mark Twain once observed, “are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” When it comes to the Israel-Islamist conflict, the Washington Post’s global opinion page ignores the facts. And the newspaper consistently treats its own standards and ethics as pliable.

A July 31, 2020 op-ed entitled “The 2020 Democratic platform betrays Palestinians and again gives Israel a pass” offers a case in point. Writers Huwaida Arraf, Zeina Ashrawi Hutchison, and Sam Hindi, all delegates for the Democratic National Convention (DNC), use the Post to slander the Jewish state. They write that “as Palestinian-Americans and delegates to the Democratic National Convention, we are deeply dismayed that the language on Israel-Palestine once again ignores reality and basic Palestinian rights.” Yet, their argument rests on lies and omissions, all of which the Post could have—and should have—fact checked.

The delegates claim that “Israeli settlements are Jewish-only colonies built on stolen Palestinian land” in the “West Bank.” This is false. In fact, no sovereign Palestinian Arab state has ever existed. Indeed, as The Wall Street Journal noted in a May 16, 2020 correction that was prompted by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA): “Under the Oslo accords, sovereignty over the West Bank is disputed, pending a final peace settlement.”

And the Jewish claim to the land is based on both history and international law.

Arabs are from Arabia and Jews are from their “historic homeland,” Judea and Samaria — or, as it has sometimes been called for the last half century, the “West Bank.” The term “Palestine” comes from the word “Palaestina” which the Roman conquerors coined after expelling many, but not all, Jews from Judea in the second century AD. Arabs, including the forebears of today’s Palestinians, didn’t arrive in the land until the Islamic conquests of the seventh century. By contrast, Jews are indigenous to the land and have maintained a continual presence that goes back thousands of years.

Contrary to what the writers claim, Jewish communities in the West Bank do not “violate international law.” In fact, the opposite is true.

(Continue to Full Column)

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.