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Friday, May 29, 2015

US ambassador to Jordan creates international incident for visiting LGBT meeting

Ammon News gives a hint as to what happened in an opinion piece:
On May 24th 2015, events took place in Amman to raise awareness of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) communities in Jordan. These events drew a crowd which consisted of many activists, members, and allies of Jordan’s LGBT community. One of the spokespeople at the events was no other than the United States ambassador to Jordan, Alice G Wells. She was subsequently reported to the public prosecutor for supporting the community.
A Jordanian lawyer was behind the complaint. He says that Wells was violating the Jordanian constitution, which says that Islam is the official religion of Jordan that the family is the basis of society. Therefore, these meetings were against Jordanian law, he says, and formal actions should be taken against Ambassador Wells for participating in an illegal meeting.

Images of Wells at the meeting were leaked to social media, causing an uproar in Jordan. The organizers of the meeting admitted that Wells attended in an unofficial capacity to show solidarity, as did several EU ambassadors.

A number of Arabic newspapers in Jordan have criticized Wells for her apparent pro-gay stance. Assabeel wonders if the Jordanian government was aware of these meetings and decided to turn a blind eye, or if Wells did it secretly.

Addustour sees this incident as part of a series of tactics that the US and Israel are using to pervert Jordanian society with unnatural and ungodly acts.

Astonishingly, even though this international incident occurred five days ago, this story has not made it to the mainstream media. CNN Arabic did cover it but apparently thought that it was not newsworthy enough for CNN outside Arab countries.

The opinion author at Ammon News has his own very interesting theories as to how to handle this issue. Instead of censuring Alice wells, he says, Jordanian officials should eliminate the scourge of homosexuality in Jordan altogether:

From a scientific point of view, I suggest that a person’s hormone levels be tested to see if an imbalance in chemicals is present should their sexuality or gender be suspected of differing from the norm in the early years of their life. Accordingly, perhaps a medical approach could be utilised in this situation to bring hormone levels into balance with the intention of settling their behaviour. Meanwhile, if this imbalance is found at a later stage in life, it should be treated likewise, and doctors should also provide information and advice on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases which are prevalent in the gay community.
Those darn hormones!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

05/28 Links Pt2: When Baghdad Burned – the June 1941 Farhud Massacre; Palestinian privilege

From Ian:

The daily effects of Palestinian privilege
Whilst the idea of ‘privilege’ is intellectually suspect for a host of reasons, it’s troubling that Jews, of all people, are often considered among “the privileged” within this paradigm. Not only has the post-Holocaust taboo against antisemitism been eroded, but Jews, who represent a fraction of 1% of the world’s population, are – in a manner evoking classic tropes – now routinely portrayed by virtue of their relative success in the West, as an elite, monied and dangerously powerful group.
Further, the idea that Jews benefit from instiutional privilege has begun to gain some traction within the mainstream left.
Maital Friedman wrote an op-ed at JTA back in January, on Martin Luther King Day, which asked Jews to be “aware of racial inequality and of the daily privileges we [Jews] enjoy that others cannot”. On April 7th, The New Republic published an article, titled ‘Does the Holocaust discount Jewish white privilege?’, which – though narrowly rejecting the idea of ‘Jewish privilege” as such – argued that even Jews whose relatives were killed in the Holocaust can now be beneficiaries of ‘white privilege’.
Though we’ve responded previously at length to the suggestion that Jews and/or Israelis enjoy unfair advantages, in monitoring media coverage of Israel year after year, we’d argue that Palestinians are – in many respects – uniquely privileged.
Here’s our list of the advantages (privileges) of waking up in the morning as a Palestinian – the daily effects of Palestinian privilege.
Muslim Scholars: Israel Is ‘Root Cause’ of All Islamic Nations’ Failures
Muslim clerics gathered in Beirut on Wednesday to kick off the Khomeinist International Union of Resistance conference, where “scholars” discussed how to stand up against the “cancerous tumor of Israel,” according to reports from Lebanese and Iranian media outlets.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem told the audience that Syria’s successes on the battlefield – with the help of Hezbollah and Iran – are “a pure success which will be followed by others, Allah willing.” When asked whether criticism of his terrorist group was legitimate, the Hezbollah leader said that such criticism only “serves the Israeli scheme,” Al Manar reported.
Qassem, as Hezbollah’s second-in-command, has regularly reminded observers that his organization’s chief goal is to seek the destruction of Israel. He has argued that Islamic law allows for Hezbollah jihadists to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.
Iran’s state-run Press TV reports that the Muslim scholars all agreed that Israel is a “root cause of economic, political and cultural problems facing Muslim nations in recent decades.”
The Muslim “academics” unanimously agreed that “confronting the Tel Aviv regime” is a “top priority of Islamic resistance movements.” The clerics promised to support “the resistance” (Hezbollah, Hamas, and other jihadist terrorist groups) in their mission to destroy Israel, according to the report. (h/t NormanF)
How UK taxpayers’ money is funding Palestinian terrorists
Therefore, I have no problem in UK aid money going to Palestinians who really need it, as anything that can give hope to Palestinians lessens the chance of them turning to violence. The problem is though, numerous reports show that is not where the aid money is going. Rather it’s lining the hands of Palestinian terrorists, whose raison d’etre is attempting to destroy everything they touch whether that’s Israeli lives, Palestinian hopes and dreams, as well as Palestinians caught in the crossfire and their ultimate goal the destruction of Israel. Supposedly the Department for International Development gives aid money to the Palestinians to help build Palestinian civil society and encourage peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s all very laudable, but perhaps before giving taxpayers’ money away like confetti, it would have been a good idea to do a cursory check on where the money’s actually going. I would have thought that to be a good idea, considering the Palestinian leadership does have a track record of embezzling money or using it to fund terrorists. Yet despite protestations to the contrary nothing of the sort has taken place. I for one object to taxpayers’ money being spent on murderers who would like to see my relatives dead for the crimes of being Jewish and Israeli.
Lest you think this is a rant based on little evidence, I’d like to share some facts with you. In the past five years the Palestinian Authority (PA) has taken £130 million in foreign aid from the Department for International Development. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) who have done studies into where the money has gone have made credible claims that Britain may have been intentionally misled by the PA, who said they had stopped controversial payments amounting to an estimated £84 million annual wage bill for around 5,500 terrorists locked up in Israel.
In fact there is little proof that this blood money has stopped. I find it gut-wrenching that among those now eligible are Abdullah Barghouti, Hassan Salameh and Jamal Abu Al-Hijja who are serving 122 life sentences between them for planning suicide bombings. The Government talks about fighting extremist terror, yet here they are indirectly rewarding them, with PMW saying that our aid money could be being used to fund the salaries and bonuses of 5,000 terrorists. I thought the UK was committed to fighting terrorism!

Another "nakba" liar

You can find anti-Israel propaganda everywhere.

From a North Dakota news site DL-Online:

There have been many chapters in the life of retired North Dakota State University physics professor Ghazi Hassoun.

“I was born in Palestine, during the British mandate, in 1935,” says Hassoun as he relaxes on a couch in the Pelican Lake summer home he shares with his Fargo-born wife, Linda. Her whose family owned the lakefront property near Cormorant village for decades before the couple bought out Linda’s family and made the home their own.

It is his journey from life as a self-professed “happy-go-lucky” youth in the then-Palestinian city of Haifa, to his family’s struggles as refugees in Lebanon, and eventually to the University of Minnesota, where he met first wife Virginia, earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, and went on to teach physics at NDSU for nearly four decades, that formed the basis of Hassoun’s first book, “Walking Out Into the Sunshine.”

“I had a story to tell,” he said. “I knew this was something that should be written down, on paper.”

Even as a young boy, “I was aware that there was a lot of conflict over whose country Palestine was,” Hassoun says.

There were the Palestinian Arabs, who wanted to reclaim their homeland from the British and assert their independence, and there were the Zionist Jews who, displaced and all but wiped out by the Holocaust during World War II, yearned to reclaim the “Holy Land” of their ancestors and resurrect the nation of Israel — though, as Hassoun pointed out, the Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe hundreds of years ago.

Nevertheless, the Zionist movement had the backing of some powerful political allies — including the United States — and by the time Hassoun was 13, in 1948, the state of Israel had been formed by splitting the territory formerly known as Palestine into two (hostile) nations.

That decision has had a profound effect on Middle Eastern politics and culture that continues to the present day — and made an indelible impression on a young Ghazi Hassoun.

Unfortunately, the home owned by Ghazi’s family fell on the wrong side of the dividing line between Israel and Palestine, and they were forced to flee to Lebanon, as refugees.

“I grew up very fast,” Hassoun says. “My family lost their homes and businesses in Palestine as a result of the conflict.”
"Jews had abandoned their Middle Eastern roots for the more modernized comforts of Europe"?

Yeah, the Crusades and pogroms and expulsions and blood libels and Holocaust were so comfortable!

Now, what were the circumstances of Hasoun's family's being "forced to flee" to Lebanon?

His book gives the answer. His father saw some Arabs who were killed in an attack at a morgue, and started having nightmares and delusions:




No one was forced out. His family panicked and chose very consciously to go, and they had time to scout out places to live in Lebanon and they even shipped some of their furniture out in a process that took weeks. No expulsions, no massacres, nothing. A reasonable choice to leave a potential battle zone on their own terms, knowing very well that their house will remain in the territory of the Jewish state - but they didn't plan on the Jewish state surviving more than a few weeks.

Moreover, the nightmares that Hasoun's father had of Jews coming to slaughter his family came from mental illness, not from anything rational. The book mentions (p. 69)  that his father kept these delusions even after leaving Palestine in Tyre, Lebanon; he would stop people on the street and tell them what the Jews were planning to do to them. The family had to place him into a psychiatric hospital where he died shortly thereafter.

This is typical of Nakba "eye-witnesses" - in the end, they witnessed nothing but their own families' often irrational decisions to leave the land they claim they love.

Unlike the Palestinian Jews, these witnesses had the option of leaving.

West will share responsibility for devastation of south Lebanon (Vic Rosenthal)



Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:


Recently we’ve been hearing — both from Hezbollah and Israel — about the massive installations the terrorist group has been building just across the Lebanese border with Israel, and what will happen when war breaks out.

Omri Ceren of The Israel Project explains:
They’ve taken their arsenal – 100,000+ rockets including Burkan rockets with half-ton warheads, ballistic missiles including Scud-Ds that can hit all of Israel, supersonic advanced anti-ship cruise missiles, anti-aircraft assets, drones and mini drones, tunnels, etc. – and embedded it across hundreds of villages and probably thousands of homes. …

The Israelis can’t afford a war of attrition with Hezbollah. The Iran-backed terror group has the ability to saturation bomb Israeli civilians with 1,500 projectiles a day, every day, for over two months. They will try to bring down Tel Aviv’s skyscrapers with ballistic missiles. They will try to fly suicide drones into Israel’s nuclear reactor. They will try to detonate Israel’s off-shore energy infrastructure. They will try to destroy Israeli military and civilian runways. And – mainly but not exclusively through their tunnels – they will try to overrun Israeli towns and drag away women and children as hostages. Israeli casualties would range in the thousands to tens of thousands.

And so the Israelis will have to mobilize massive force to shorten the duration of a future war. One of the things they’ll do is immediately is move to eliminate as much of Hezbollah’s vast arsenal as possible. Hezbollah is counting on the resulting deaths of their human shields – and they’ve guaranteed to that the body count will be significant – to turn Israel into an international pariah.
Hezbollah has adopted the most extreme form of the human shield strategy pioneered by Hamas in Gaza. The IDF will be forced to choose between killing thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Lebanese civilians and seeing its own country laid waste.

Until recently, a strategy like Hezbollah’s would have been considered ludicrous. When the RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF devastated Germany toward the end of WWII, it wasn’t even a question of collateral damage — civilians were a large part of the target. Sir Charles Portal of the RAF issued a directive in 1943 to combined British and US air forces that
Your primary object will be the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial, and economic system and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened.
But times have changed. Although I do not think that the legalities involved have changed much since then, such “morale bombing” would be considered morally indefensible by most people today. So we can expect that when the next war does start, and when Israel bombs Hezbollah installations in South Lebanon with an unavoidably great loss of civilian life, there will be outcries against Israel for its brutality. There are a few things we should keep in mind:

First, the IDF response to a Hezbollah rocket attack — and it will be a response, not a preemptive attack — will have as its objective the neutralization of rocket launchers, attack tunnels, and other military targets. Unlike the allied air raids over Germany and Japan, civilian casualties will be entirely collateral damage, not part of the objective.

This means that the requirement of proportionality found in the international law of war, that the use of force that could cause collateral damage be limited to what is necessary to achieve a military objective, will be met as long as the IDF attacks military targets rather than bombing indiscriminately, doesn’t use WMD, etc.

But even if it’s legal, isn’t it wrong to kill innocent civilians, women and children who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

There is certainly a moral evil here, but even though the immediate cause of the catastrophe will be the IDF, what Aristotle called the “final cause” — the ‘for what’ that an event occurs — is Hezbollah’s intention to deter Israel from defending herself.  The civilians who will be hurt are deliberately intermingled with military targets, just in order to act as human shields.

In a 2013 article, Ron Ben-Yishai described one way Hezbollah implemented its strategy after its 2006 war with Israel:
…the Shiite terror group launched a major social/real-estate project that bolstered its political standing: It purchased lands on the outskirts of the villages, built homes on these lands and offered them to poor Shiite families at bargain prices (to rent or buy), one the condition that at least one rocket launcher would be placed in one of the house’s rooms or in the basement, along with a number of rockets, which will be fired at predetermined targets in Israel when the order is given.
There can be no doubt of Hezbollah’s intentions, and thus no doubt of its responsibility if these families suffer. Israel’s reaction, on the other hand, is morally justified as an application of the principle of self-defense. That is, it is because of their actions that we are forced to choose between causing massive civilian casualties or suicide.

The use of human shields is not only morally reprehensible, it is illegal according to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law. Of course, the asymmetric warfare strategies used by terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, ISIS, etc. deliberately contravene international law, which gives them an advantage over nations like Israel that are bound by these principles.

This leads to the absurd consequence that the more a nation tries to behave morally and legally, the more of its advantage it gives up. Further, the more technologically advanced a nation is, the more it is expected to use its technology to protect the enemy population. Quite a change from the past, when military technology was only used to kill and terrorize.

It has also created a de facto alliance between the barbarians of Hezbollah and Hamas and sophisticated, supposedly morally conscious Western leaders.

Israel has been fighting an information war in parallel with its military conflicts. Its enemies in this non-violent but ultimately deadly struggle include not only the Arabs and Iranians, but Europe, the UN and the Obama Administration (usually through intermediates such as “human rights” NGOs). Their objective has been to promulgate the idea that the IDF deliberately targets civilians, acts disproportionately and with unnecessary brutality.

Once implanted, this false perception can be rolled out at the time of military conflict and deployed in international fora and by governments (e.g., the arms embargo applied by the US during last year’s Gaza conflict) to justify actions that limit Israel’s ability to defend herself. The EU and Mr. Obama will not launch any rockets against Israel, but they will do what they can to force her to absorb those fired by the terrorists.

It is a sign of Western moral weakness and reality inversion that instead of taking the difficult path of preventing the Hezbollah buildup after 2006, as promised, it joined the infowar against Israel. In a real sense, the West will share responsibility with the terrorists for the devastation of southern Lebanon that is sure to come.

Israel will take the actions it must to survive, despite the hypocritical cries that will be heard from those that have been building the case for the terrorists all along. And, to paraphrase Naftali Bennett, there will be no reason to apologize.

05/28 Links Pt1: PA sports: Prohibiting peace and glorifying terror; NYTs Deserves a Red Card

From Ian:

PMW: PA sports: Prohibiting peace building and glorifying terror
This week, the Palestinian Authority is asking FIFA to suspend Israel's participation in FIFA sports activities. It is ironic that the PA is making such an aggressive request, when in fact it is the PA and Fatah who routinely disrespect the basic values of international sportsmanship, and the spirit upon which Olympic sports are founded.
The Palestinian Authority's abuse of sports is a concrete example of how the PA chooses to further entrench the conflict rather than work to resolve it. The Palestinian Authority uses sports to send the message that murdering Israeli civilians is honorable and heroic, that all of Israel is "Palestine," and that peace building or "normalization" with Israel is prohibited and even criminal.
Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA Olympic Committee, has organized and is promoting the request to FIFA. He is also one of the driving forces behind this abuse of sports and continues to promote terror himself. Even the terrorists responsible for the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics in 1972 continue to be glorified by the PA and Fatah.
PMW documentation clearly shows the irony of the PA's request. If any sports association should be suspended from FIFA for fundamental violations of the spirit of sports, it is the Palestinian Authority.
International community must hold Hamas accountable, says Col. Kemp
“The laws of armed conflict require them [Hamas] to evacuate civilians if they are using an area as a military position,” explained Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, on a recent trip to Israel.
As the governing power in Gaza, Hamas is responsible for actions emanating from its territory.
“Hamas is not blamed for using human shields. [According to the laws of war] they are not allowed to coerce civilians to come to where an attack might take place or where weapons are stored,” Kemp said.
Last summer’s war exposed Hamas operating from within civilian environments, firing rockets next to buildings and mingling with the civilian population in Gaza. The rocket fired Tuesday was similarly fired from an area proximate to civilians.
Kemp, who gave testimony to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s probe into 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, asserts that it is time for Israel to work with Western governments to apply pressure on the Palestinians in regards to Gaza.
“They must not finance UN schools that demonize Israel, not finance the tunnels [Hamas builds], not finance people who bring in weapons,” he said.
Israelis Try Realism; Obama and the Palestinians Don’t Like It.
The problem with much of Israeli diplomacy during the last 20 years has not been due to a lack of effort given to promoting the peace process. Rather, Israel’s diplomats have often been so heavily invested in the notion of peace that they failed to treat the conflict as one in which both sides, and not just the Palestinians, had rights. This has been a particular problem for Likud governments, which has often handed the foreign ministry over to coalition allies or saddled with leaders like Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s former partner and now rival who was clearly unsuited to the task and wound up doing little to change the culture of the ministry.
Contrary to the criticisms of left-wing politicians quoted in the New York Times who want Netanyahu to surround himself with people who agree with Obama about the Middle East, the prime minister did well to name a sober thinker like Gold who doesn’t try to imagine the Middle East as he’d like it to be but instead sees it as it really is.
Instead of cravenly bowing to U.S. dictates, Netanyahu wants his diplomats to stand up for its country and to speak truth to an American government whose view of the region is distorted by their fantasies about both the Palestinians and their new Iranian negotiating partners. Israel must continue to thread the needle between the need to be open to the possibility of peace, however unlikely, and avoiding being sucked down the rabbit hole into talks that are set up to fail and for which it will always be blamed for the failure no matter what the Palestinians do. Rather than seeking to demonize Gold, Netanyahu’s critics should give him credit for seeking to align his country’s diplomatic corps with a strategy based in the reality of Palestinian intransigence. In the long run, truth is always a better foundation for foreign policy than fiction.

My very small part in restoring a synagogue in Kfar Hashiloach


From Arutz-7:
For the first time in 77 years, festive Jewish prayers were held on Monday in one of modern Jerusalem's oldest synagogues: The long-hidden and inaccessible Hechal Shlomo of the Yemenite village.

Dozens of people took part in the joyous festivities, which marked the full circle of Jewish settlement in eastern Jerusalem. Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) – amidst traditional Yemenite Jewish prayers, music and foods, and some Ashkenazim and Sepharadim as well – took part in the re-dedication of the synagogue. Affixing the mezuzah to the doorpost, he recited the traditional blessings, including "Blessed is He Who restores the borders of the widow."

It was back in 1885 that Yisrael Dov Frumkin founded the village, built the synagogue, and paved the way for some 65 Yemenite Jewish families to live on the slopes of the Mt. of Olives. Most of the land land had been contributed by a Zionist philanthropist known as Boaz HaBavli.

The settlement thrived, but in the 1930's, the Arab riots that engulfed the Land of Israel did not pass over the Yemenite Village. The British rulers told the Jews that they could not protect them and that they must leave, but promised to look after their property and that they could later return.

Daniel Luria of the Ateret Cohanim Association, which oversaw the modern return to the synagogue, explained what happened next: "A year later, Shlomo Ze'evi – father of the famous Rehavam (Gandi) Ze'evi – stood in this very synagogue, and was shocked and angered at the destruction that the Arabs had wrought here." There was also great bitterness at the British and their promises; the Jews were not allowed to return to their homes.

Now, years later, Ateret Cohanim and many happy Jews were able to return and celebrate another milestone in the national return of the Jewish People to their sacred homeland. This followed great efforts in re-purchasing the Jewish owned properties, resettling Jewish families in various buildings around the neighborhood, and carefully identifying each structure.

Luria emphasized very clearly: "People must understand that this neighborhood was built by Yemenite Jews 130 years ago - way before any Arabs ever lived here." He pointed to a photograph taken at the time: "This shows the Jewish houses, and the synagogue itself in which we are standing now – and nothing else around them." Now, of course, the houses are surrounded by dense Arab construction, much of it illegal.
I had a small part in bringing that photograph to light.

When researching an article about Kfar Hashiloach in 2010, I saw mention of this photograph, showing that only Jewish-owned houses were on that hillside, in a Wikipedia entry, but could not find the book that had it. I did see that five years earlier, Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret had checked the book with the photo out of his local library. I asked him if he could scan it for me, and I published it along with an article about how the world considers Arabs the native residents of an area that was built wholly by Jews.


While the current "Arab Silwan" was built on top of a Biblical-era Jewish settlement and a large number of ancient Jewish graves, this specific area was first populated in the 1880s by Yemenite Jews.

 Video report from Arutz-7:




Evil, rich Jews forced to employ subterfuge to buy ruins

Ma'an reports:
A Swedish company established in 2007 was used to cover up the sale and transfer of a West Bank church compound to settlers funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz, Israeli media reports.

Spotlight has been held on the church compound, located nearby the Palestinian refugee camp al-Arrub between Bethlehem and Hebron, for the last week due to contradicting allegations regarding the compound's ownership.

Pastor Keith Coleman, head of the church that originally owned the compound since the 1940's, told Haaretz that the compound was sold to a Swedish company called Scandinavian Seamen Holy Land Enterprises in March 2008.

While Coleman believed group was a church group based in Haifa planning to renew the use of the church, Haaretz reported that, "The Swedish group was established in Stockholm in 2007, and seems to have been used as a cover for transferring the ownership of the compound to the settlers. The group does not seem to have any offices."

After buying the property, the Swedish group registered the purchase with the Israeli Civil Administration in 2012 and received necessary approval, the report said.

Following registration with the Civil Administration, the Swedish company announced its dissolution. The group had no offices or assets except for this church compound at the time, Haaretz said.

Ownership was then passed to the nonprofit organization American Friends of the Everest Foundation. The American organization operates from occupied East Jerusalem. and its sole contributor is American millionaire Irving Moskowitz.
Isn't this awful? The good Christians who owned the building thought they were selling the land to another good Christian group, but it turned out that they were really selling it to scheming, ugly Jews!

Which is, of course, a war crime according to the Rome Statute, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Haaretz adds some pertinent details:

A young man named Emanuel was in charge of the contacts with the Palestinian workers at the site, and he presented himself as a Norwegian who wanted to renovate the church and return it to its former condition. This cover story was also told to the IDF, which knew nothing about the intended use of the site.

As a result of the publication by Haaretz, a source in the Gush Etzion Regional Council told Haaretz that the property “is owned by the Swedish church and belongs to them; it doesn’t belong to us.”

The massive reconstruction of the compound, which can house some 20 families, has been going on for the last few months to ready it for settlers to move in. There are several security guards on the site posing as workers. A new fence has been built, despite a stop-work injunction issued by the IDF’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, since no building permit for the fence has been issued. But no permit is needed for the refurbishing because the buildings, which stand at the side of Route 60, were constructed long ago, in the late 1940s.

The site contains eight buildings, including a large central structure and several smaller ones. Over the years, a Presbyterian church operated there. Twenty years ago the church was turned into a hostel, but the business venture failed and the place was abandoned and left in ruins – although a Palestinian from the Aroub camp stayed in one of the buildings.
How dare Jews buy some ruins that are being used for squatting by an Arab and intend to use them for something useful!

Everyone who cares deeply about peace and justice is spitting mad that Jews managed to buy some property in an area that is designated by the president of the Palestinian Authority to be Jew-free.

Arab media is also all over this story about how a Jewish American millionaire bought some dilapidated, abandoned buildings, obviously a grave violation of human rights law. Only Christians and Muslims are allowed to buy buildings in Palestine, not Jewish Shylocks! Everyone knows that!

True, these millionaire Jews did all of this behind the backs of the IDF, so there is no possible way that they can be considered to have violated even the skewed readings of the Geneva Conventions or the Rome Statute as it is currently written.

But everyone knows that this is not about international law. It is about justice and human rights - the human rights for people who hate Jews to not be fooled into selling Jews any real estate, even if those Jews would not object to living under Palestinian Arab rule.

It isn't as if HRW or Oxfam or Amnesty will ever issue a statement denouncing discrimination against Jews in real estate transactions in Palestine. No - these paragons of human rights support such discrimination.

Because, you know...Jews.

Jordanian MP says the conflict isn't Pal/Israeli but Arab/Zionist

One of the more phenomenal propaganda successes of recent decades was the idea that the conflict isn't between Arabs and Israelis, but between Israelis and Palestinians.

This single change of paradigm was what turned Israel from David to Goliath in the eyes of much of the world.

Do the Arabs really believe it? Of course not - they know that this paradigm is one of their biggest weapons against Israel, especially among Western nations who assume that the underdog is automatically righteous.

When Arabs are among themselves, they say something different:

On Sunday, Al Quds University hosted something called "The Islamic Jerusalem Conference." One of the sponsors for this conference with the strangely exclusionary title was none other than Mahmoud Abbas.

During the conference, Jordanian MP Al-Battoush admitted that the conflict in Palestine is not an Israeli-Palestinian conflict but a Zionist-Arab conflict.

Other speakers echoed the theme. Jordan’s Chief of Justice, Sheikh Ahmad Halil, said that that "Jordanian leadership supports Palestine and that the Palestinian cause is the cause of all Arabs."

Good to know that even they know that they are lying.

This also shows that the parallel idea that the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the root of the problems in the Middle East is equally a lie. Israel's existence is what Arabs won't accept, and their claims to want "peace" is a smokescreen for saying they want no Israel.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

05/27 Links Pt2: Some Straight Talk About the BDS; Israeli Embassy slams ‘outrageous’ Dutch textbook

From Ian:

Some Straight Talk About the BDS
A case in point is the recent article from Haaretz columnist Bradley Burston, who seems to genuinely want the BDS to come clean about its goals:
What does BDS really want from Israel?
I’m not asking for much. And I am certainly not asking out of antagonism. I’m just asking for clear goals. And straight talk.
I want to know if BDS wants to encourage two states – for example, by concentrating on supporting labeling of products from the West Bank and East Jerusalem – or if the goal is a one-state Palestine.

One state or two? That’s the essence of Burston’s question. Very reasonable.
Burston seems to answer this question a few paragraphs later when he relates comments from a pro-BDS activist in a motion to boycott SodaStream at the Park Slope Co-Op. Burston notes that SodaStream is in the process of moving its factory from an area over the Green Line to the Negev, well within Israel proper.
“SodaStream is now moving onto land stolen from Palestinian Bedouins, who are also human beings,” said Anna Baltzer, national organizer of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
Baltzer, a California-born Jewish woman who has said her grandparents narrowly escaped the Holocaust, and who was rather unfortunately described by the far-left Mondoweiss website as “The It-Girl of Anti-Zionism” continued, “We support the rights of indigenous Palestinians inside Israel, including the Bedouins. We can’t end our boycott when SodaStream is simply occupying new land of Palestinians.”

Occupying new land of the Palestinians? Inside the Negev? Sounds like some straight talk on the issue, right Mr. Burston? Doesn’t sound like it’s concentrating on product labeling, does it?
Israeli Embassy slams ‘outrageous’ Dutch textbook
Israel’s embassy in Holland condemned the appearance of anti-Israel statements in a textbook on history for high school students.
The embassy’s statement on Tuesday about the book “Geschiedeniswerkplaats,” or “History Workplace,” by the Noordhoff Uitgevers followed complaints by members of the country’s Jewish community.
About the establishment of the State of Israel, the book states that David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, declared statehood after “Jewish militias carried out murders in Arab villages, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and settled in refugee camps across the border.”
The book fails to mention Arab atrocities against pre-state Israel’s Jewish population or the invasion of several Arab armies into Israeli territory after its declaration of independence with the stated intention of destroying it.
“We are acting on the subject in several areas,” the embassy said. “We are looking into the outrageous statements to identify any factual inaccuracies and the possibility of incitement.” (h/t Bob Knot)
Israeli school bus bombing survivor reunites with nurse who saved him – 45 years later
May 22, 1970 – The School Bus Attack
Moshav Avivim and another community down the road split the school grades because neither itself had enough few children to justify a school with all grades. So the older children from the other community would come by bus to Moshav Avivim, and the bus would then bring the younger children from Moshav Avivim to the other community.
That was what happened on May 22, 1970. The older children got off the bus at Moshav Avivim, and the younger children from Moshav Avivim boarded the bus.
Shimon Biton, then six and one-half years old, boarded the bus accompanied by his father, Machluf Biton, who was the parent designated to ride the bus that day. Several of Shimon’s cousins also were on the bus. The bus clearly was a school bus, and followed the same routine every day.
A few kilometers after the bus left Moshav Avivim, it was attacked with bazooka fire from three terrorist belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, who infiltrated from Lebanon.
Shimon’s father was killed in the attack, but Shimon initially was not severely injured since he was at the back. As he ran forward to check on his father, Shimon was shot several time by one of the terrorists. (He offered to show us the wounds, but we declined.)
Medics and the army quickly descended on the scene. Here is a photo of Shimon being carried away on a stretcher, cared for by a nurse from a neighboring kibbutz. Shimon keeps the photo on his phone, and provided it to me:

Egypt opens Rafah - one way into Gaza

From Egypt's Al Ahram:
Over 560 Palestinians were able to leave Egypt for Gaza on Tuesday through the Rafah border crossing after it was opened for the first time in months, state news agency MENA reported.

A source at the crossing said that 564 Palestinians were permitted to pass through the crossing, the only gateway for Gazans to the blockaded strip.

He added that the crossing will remain open through Thursday, operating in one direction only from Egypt to Gaza.

The terminal had been closed since March.
And then they add:
Gaza, with a population of 1.5 million, has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.
Given that on the average day Israel allows some 800 people to leave Gaza and hundreds more to enter through the Erez crossing, not to mention over 500 truckloads of goods every day into Gaza, it sounds like Egypt is the country that is blockading Gaza, not Israel.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, trying hard not to upset Egypt even more than they already are with the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned Hamas, called this a "good move" but not quite good enough, calling for the crossing to be open in both directions.

Herzog: Bibi's Response To Rockets Not Halfhearted Enough (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Tel Aviv, May 27 - Opposition leader Isaac Herzog laced into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu late Tuesday, saying the premier's muted response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip was not nearly as lackluster as the situation demanded, and that as prime minister, he would demonstrate a more robustly inadequate answer to the provocation.

Several rockets launched from the Gaza Strip struck rural area of southern Israel Tuesday night, causing no casualties or damage. The Islamic Jihad organization claimed responsibility for the barrage, and experts believe the group seeks to flex its muscles in the aftermath of Iran cutting off funding to the organization, in the hope of burnishing its anti-Israel credentials and attracting popular support that translates into material support from abroad.

Iran ceased its sponsorship of Islamic Jihad this week after the organization refused to explicitly side with pro-Iranian forced in the ongoing strife in Yemen. Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, are fighting against Saudi-supported forces. Islamic Jihad attempted to stay out of the political fray by remaining neutral, lest it offend potential Saudi allies, but Iran decided to punish the group for its failure to show support for the Houthis. Herzog similarly accused Netanyahu of insufficient commitment to halfhearted deterrent measures, and promised to fight for a stronger expression of waffling.

"Bibi has once again shown why he is ill-equipped to be properly ill-equipped to lead," said Herzog. "A weak, simpering reaction is hardly convincing when it comes from a decorated Special Forces soldier with a deep voice. What this nation needs is a person who projects the manner and voice of a genuine weakling, someone who lacks confidence even in his own vocal cords - in other words, someone like me." He added that his status as the best person to offer a pathetic response to rocket attacks was only made more pronounced by his party's unexpectedly poor showing in the March parliamentary elections.

"I wish to be clear that I have no issue with Bibi not ordering an immediate military operation in response to the rockets - that is exactly what I would have waited to do, with each passing hour eroding our deterrent capabilities," he elaborated. "The issue here is that Netanyahu seems to think an actual military response might be in order, and such a position I find irresponsible. How can we retain the already-scarce goodwill of the international community if we go defending ourselves at every opportunity?"

Herzog himself became a target of fellow leftists, who accused the Labor chairman of failure to commit to the complete disarmament of the IDF. "Only by laying down our weapons can we adequately demonstrate our commitment to a peaceful solution," said Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On. "Just hink what would happen if we spent all that money on education instead of Iron Dome batteries."

05/27 Links Pt1: IMF Realism About the West Bank and Gaza; ISIS: The Borg of the Middle East

From Ian:

Michael Totten: The Borg of the Middle East
ISIS has conquered Syria’s spectacular Roman Empire city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site long known affectionately as the “bride of the desert,” and in all likelihood is gearing up to demolish it. We know this because they’ve done it before. ISIS used hammers, bulldozers, and explosives to destroy the ancient Iraqi cities of Hatra and Nimrud near Mosul, and they did it on video.
“These ruins that are behind me,” said an ISIS vandal on YouTube, “they are idols and statues that people in the past used to worship instead of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad took down idols with his bare hands when he went into Mecca. We were ordered by our prophet to take down idols and destroy them, and the companions of the prophet did this after this time, when they conquered countries.”
Muslims have ruled this part of the world for more than 1,000 years. All this time, they’ve been unbothered by the fact that Palmyra, Hatra, and Nimrud include pagan monuments, temples, statues, and inscriptions that predate Islam. Only now are these places doomed to annihilation. ISIS is more belligerently Philistine than any group that has inhabited the region for a millennium. The only modern analogue is the Taliban’s destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues at Bamiyan with anti-aircraft guns, artillery shells and dynamite in March 2001, mere months before their al-Qaida pals attacked New York City and Washington.
This attitude toward history harks back less to the seventh century than to the twentieth, when Pol Pot reset the calendar to Year Zero after the Khmer Rouge seized power in Cambodia, and when Mao Zedong’s Chinese Cultural Revolution murdered millions in the war against everything “old.”
JPost Editorial: Unhealthy resolution
WHO’s annual assembly last week condemned Israel for “violating the health rights of Syrians in the Golan.”
This is a travesty in every conceivable aspect. While the bloodbath in the region continues unabated, the international forum has found nothing else worth focusing upon but Israel. Only Israel was singled out by the WHO assembly.
This comes despite the fact that Israeli medics and hospitals provide indisputably altruistic treatment to spiraling numbers of civilians and enemy combatants from Syria, fleeing that country’s killing fields. The most cutting- edge medical care is given critically wounded victims who reach the Golan border.
But most disheartening of all is the fact that this disgraceful resolution was adopted in Geneva by a whopping majority of 104 to 4, with 6 abstentions and 65 no-shows. Israel, unjustly accused and unjustly convicted in another UN kangaroo court, was condemned even by European delegations, which purport to occupy the high moral ground – although they ought to know all about blood libel.
Gallingly, the Syrian government – which has been mass-murdering its own citizens – submitted a document that urged WHO to “intervene immediately and take effective measures to end inhuman Israeli practices that target the health of Syrian citizens.”
Elliott Abrams: IMF Realism About the West Bank and Gaza
The report then usefully compares the Palestinian situation to that in other countries that were dependent on aid—but made real progress.
Several countries with similarly high aid flows have successfully reduced aid dependency. Examples include Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda and Botswana. Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda still receive very high aid flows today, but aid ratios to government spending have fallen in all three countries in recent years. Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world at the time of its independence in 1966, when it relied on grants from Britain for development and most of its recurrent spending. Although aid provided critical resources in the early years of independence, its role declined over time, and by 2006/7 it accounted for less than 2 percent of GDP.
Why recount all of this?
In the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations the United States has sought a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the PLO, and failed to achieve this time after time. There has been a real opportunity cost from this search for a final status agreement complete with handshakes on the White House lawn and Nobel prizes. The cost has been that we focused solely on the diplomatic process and largely ignored real life as it is lived by Palestinians, and might be improved. The IMF report shows that much could be done, even within current constraints, to improve the Palestinian economy. It’s undramatic, the details are boring, and some of the analyses are technical. No prizes, no time on the evening news. But that is how Palestinian institutions will be built, and how the institutions of a state must come into existence—not at the State Department and not at the United Nations.
The IMF report is a reminder that speeches, great conferences, and dramatic donor pledges (that are never met) do not benefit the Palestinians. And of course efforts to hurt the Israeli economy through boycotts will not help but will actually harm the Palestinians as well. It is long past time to take a more serious approach, and the IMF’s report shows some ways this could be done if the genuine goal is progress rather than taking credit and casting blame.