Friday, March 16, 2018

From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: Understanding Israel’s Love Affair With Trump
Bipartisanship was the watchword at last week’s AIPAC conference, but it’s no secret that pro-Israel Democrats have trouble swallowing Israelis’ enthusiasm for President Donald Trump, whose approval rating in Israel hit 67 percent even before he decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They can understand Israel’s joy over that decision. But they can’t understand its seeming disregard of Trump actions that harm Israel, like abandoning Syria to Iran and Russia or divulging classified Israeli intelligence to Russia’s president.

The explanation is simple, but unfortunately, Democrats won’t like it: Barack Obama set the bar for US-Israeli relations so low that there’s literally no Israel-related issue on which Trump has been worse than his predecessor. And there are many on which he’s been not just modestly better, but spectacularly so.

In Trump’s negative column, Syria is “Exhibit A.” Anyone who has heard Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lately knows that Iran’s growing presence there is a top security concern. Moreover, thanks to Russia’s presence in Syria, Israel can’t handle this problem alone; Russia is way out of its weight class. Consequently, it needs America’s help, which hasn’t always been so forthcoming.

Nevertheless, it’s not Trump who abandoned Syria to Iran and Russia; that was Obama’s decision. When Syria’s civil war first began, America could have prevented Tehran and Moscow from moving in at relatively low cost. But by the time Trump took office, both were well-entrenched; ousting them now would be far more difficult and costly.

Granted, there are still things America could do — and Israelis wish America would do them. But thanks to Obama’s choices, low-cost solutions no longer exist. In this situation, many US presidents would have opted for inaction. Certainly, Trump’s Democratic rival would have; as Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was party to his decisions. So despite their dismay about the current situation, Israelis can’t blame Trump for this.
A New Entebbe Movie, Hijacked by Bad Ideas
The answer, to all but high-minded screenwriters intent on making serious movies about moral conundrums, is not too complicated: as long as there are bad guys with guns trying to kill us. In 7 Days, however, the bad guys aren’t that bad—they’re German intellectuals, which means that, periodically, they must put aside their AK-47s and debate the dialectical nature of history.

The villain-as-grad-student paradigm isn’t inherently terrible, nor is it historically inaccurate. Wilfried Böse and Brigitte Kuhlmann, the plane’s two German kidnappers, were, by many survivors’ accounts, prone to lengthy conversations about justice and virtue and other abstractions, and there is something about the airless, dusty African terminal, with ultimatums afoot and the clock ticking down, that could’ve made for a fine piece of existential, almost abstract, theater. One can imagine an Entebbe film that, secure in the knowledge that we all know the action-packed fairy tale by now, would abandon the explosions and the gunfire for two hours of tense dialogue, a sort of Twelve Angry Men between hostages and their tormentors.

And, at times, that appears to be just the movie the actors portraying Böse and Kuhlmann—Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike—have in mind. When Kuhlmann telephones a lover back home in Germany and wearily recounts the hijacking, she seems eager to escape not just Uganda but the film itself, both of which deprive her of a role that much transcends a few angry shouts and nervous convulsions.

You can hardly blame her. Like much of Hollywood these days, 7 Days believes that a movie’s primary responsibility is to make progressive statements, not unfettered art. The message is the medium, and the message is best delivered in bursts of political speechifying. Sadly for the bien pensants, however, we unwashed masses go to the movies to be entertained, not educated, which leaves the film in a bind. Disinterested in the true depths of terror, and disdainful of the sheer kineticism of a good action sequence, it opts for something in between. The film’s climactic scene, for example, the raid on the terminal, is shot in infuriating slow-motion and cross-cut with a modern dance performance, forcing you to embrace its sophomoric war-as-metaphor theme one last, frustrating time. Whereas Chuck Norris, the hero of a previous Entebbe-inspired magnum opus, once blasted baddies with his rocket-launching dirt bike, lithe ballerinas now throw themselves on a bare stage. Catharsis is not permitted. Neither is fun.
Col Richard Kemp: Aussie Diary
He died in 1900, but my great grandfather, Archibald Richardson, outback explorer and early Rockhampton pioneer, is even today spoken of with respect in central Queensland. To me though he is a grave disappointment. I’ve been bragging about being descended from a criminal transported to the Australian colonies. But I learn from the Rockhampton Historical Society that Richardson made the journey of his own volition, destroying any street cred I had down under.

Shortly after I arrive in Sydney news breaks that Israeli intelligence foiled an Islamic terror plot to blow up a passenger plane flying out of here last year. I know of many other times Israeli intelligence has saved the lives of Australians – as well as Brits, Americans and Europeans – in our cities and on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The Israelis are not alone in their impressive track record against jihadists. The ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence system enables seamless cooperation between Australian, New Zealand, British, US and Canadian services. Asio and Asis, like their MI5 and MI6 counterparts in the UK, have prevented many more terrorist plots than have succeeded.

In TV and radio studios I’m asked the question: what do we do about Islamic State returners? My answer is the one I give in Britain: ban them. They chose to join an orgy of mass murder, torture and rape in the Middle East; let the ones we cannot kill with airstrikes rot there rather than return and threaten people here. To snowflakes who complain this breaches their human rights, I reply that no sane government would allow the rights of these savages to take priority over those of their innocent Australian victims.

Europe could learn a thing or two from Australia about putting a stop to the mass illegal immigration that jihadist groups use as a cover to infiltrate terrorists into our countries. But Australia’s successful strategy is too politically incorrect for the lily-livered European politicians who prefer to appease would-be attackers and their sympathisers. One of the main architects of that strategy is General Jim Molan, the distinguished soldier who was also chief of operations for the coalition in Iraq. I catch up with him in Canberra the week he takes his seat in the Senate.

From Ian:

The New Palestinian Jihad to Obliterate Israel
Finally, the document exposes the Palestinian terror group's plan for "real peace" in the Middle East. This "real peace," according to the jihadi group, can be achieved by eliminating Israel after "liberating Palestine, from the river to the sea, and after the original owners of the land return to their homes."

This genocidal "peace" plan appears to be shared by other Palestinian terror groups, such as Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and even certain parts of Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction.

The peace they seek is one that would result in the total destruction of Israel and the expulsion of all Jews from the Middle East. As the remarks of Abbas and PIJ show, Palestinians see Israel only as an alien body that was imposed upon Arabs and Muslims by imperialist Westerners, and not as people who have lived on that land for more than 3,000 years.

The PIJ document, which serves as the group's "national charter," is a valuable text. Every word in the document reflects the true sentiments on the Arab and Islamic street, especially with regards to recognizing Jews' rights and history.

This is a document that is currently being taught in Islamic Jihad training bases, and schools and mosques. It is a document that will help raise another generation of Palestinians on the glorification of terrorism and anti-Semitism.

This is a document that deserves to be placed on the desks of all those Westerners who continue to tell us that peace is possible and that Israel just needs to make more concessions to achieve that goal.
MEMRI: Palestinian Authority President 'Abbas Meets With Released Prisoner Who Was Accomplice In Murder Of Israeli
On March 14, 2018, in the presidential office in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud 'Abbas met with Rajaei Haddad, a terrorist from East Jerusalem released from prison after serving a 20-year term for his 1998 conviction of complicity in the murder of an Israeli in Jerusalem's Old City. 'Abbas congratulated Haddad, noting that "the prisoners' issue holds a special place in the priorities of the Palestinian leadership, that works to free all the prisoners from the occupation's prisons."

Also at the meeting were Palestinian Presidency Secretary-General Al-Tayeb 'Abd Al-Rahim, PLO Executive Committee member Saleh Rafat, and Amjad Abu Asab, head of the committee of families of prisoners from East Jerusalem. 'Adnan Ghaith, head of Fatah Revolutionary Council's Jerusalem Committee, said: "The Fatah movement will remain faithful to our people's rights, and will support the steadfastness of the prisoners and their families, who for the sake of the homeland have sacrificed what is most precious to them."
Front page of official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, featuring 'Abbas-Haddad meeting (Source:, March 15, 2018)

It should be noted that this is not the first time that 'Abbas has met with released prisoners. He has also met with terrorists who have themselves carried out attacks, and with families of "martyrs" killed in carrying out such attacks.
Haley: Vote With U.S. at U.N. or We'll Cut Your Aid
"U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is proposing a sweeping reassessment of U.S. foreign assistance with a view to punishing dozens of poor countries that vote against U.S. policies at the U.N., according to a confidential internal memo drafted by her staff...

'It is the opinion of the U.S. mission to the U.N. that all U.S. foreign assistance should be reevaluated to ensure that taxpayers dollars are spent to advance U.S. interests, not to fund foreign legacy programs that provide little or no return on investment,' according to the 53-page memo, which was reviewed by Foreign Policy...

The paper proposes subjecting to review nearly 40 countries that received a total of $100 million in U.S. assistance in 2016, but that vote against the United States 54 percent of the time...

Some conservatives have long bridled at the fact that countries that receive U.S. aid routinely vote against the United States in the U.N. General Assembly. 'I've been of the view that votes in the United Nations should cost people, cost countries that vote against us,' John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and rumored next national security advisor, recently told Fox News...

Haley, who has frequently sought Bolton's counsel on U.N. matters, agrees. 'For decades, the U.S. has been by far the world's single-largest provider of foreign assistance,' her staff writes in the memo. 'Numerous countries have taken advantage of this assistance while routinely opposing us in the U.N.'..."

  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Anna Karolina Kłys is a Polish journalist and author. She wrote this scathing piece for a Polish audience.

It’s difficult to find words. The first words that come to mind are too angry, too radical. But perhaps it’s time to use different words, perhaps just now you have to hit hard with words, not hide behind soft phrases like “it’s unbelievable”, “it’s terrible”, “how is it possible”?

If so many people dared to say and write cruel, untrue sentences about people who were humiliated, maltreated, and murdered, about millions of mothers, sons, grandmothers, and fathers whose bones were burned and what was left was ground into dust in order to erase any trace of their lives--perhaps it is time now, after all, to speak not with a quiet, cool voice but to shout: SHUT UP!

Every word is like a bullet, like a blade which cuts deeper and deeper into an aching body.

That you don’t know about something, that propaganda and a quiet, soothing murmur of cognitive dissonance allow you to forget about all inconvenient information coming from the past is no justification for lies. No justification for insulting people who were once killed physically and are now to be killed for good and all – to be erased from history.

Many people have worked hard to wipe memory clean--to make the conscience white and fragrant so it will not reek of envy, betrayal, cruelty, and greed.

“Everybody knows” that before the war Jews in Poland were stealing from farmers, students, workers; that they made matzos out of Christian children’s blood; that they studied law and medicine; that they were Communists; that they owned factories in which they exploited Christian workers; that they welcomed the Red Army in 1920, collaborated with Germans, deserted from the army, were Zionists, wanted to assimilate and blend into the society of True Poles, that they ate white challah and rolls while Polish peasants ate swedes with water; they had simply all the retail trade in their hands, they bought Poles out of their ancestral Polish soil, they didn’t want to work hard, they were living in their exclusive groups, they wormed their way into the education and culture in order to defile and distort the Polish language, they didn’t learn the Polish language, there were plenty of them, actually they didn’t exist.

“Everybody knows” that during the war (and the occupation) Jews were in the Warsaw Ghetto, where thousands of Righteous Poles, risking their own lives and the lives of their families, delivered weapons and food in one direction and in the other led out hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of children and adults who were subsequently hidden. They were also hiding little bags with secret contents which Jews entrusted to them, and after the war somebody came for these bags and this somebody never shared the contents of the bag, indeed, often didn’t even say “thank you”! Some people know that there was also a ghetto in Łódź. But there it was a different story: there Jews had their own state, they worked for the Germans. You could say that they served the Germans.

“Everybody knows” that Jews are cowards. They let themselves be killed. They meekly went to be massacred. They themselves put themselves into the trains, they themselves betrayed themselves, they themselves murdered and burned themselves in the ovens. They had their own special police force that beat them and drove them to Umschlagplatz, the departure point for the cattle cars to take them to the death camps.

“Everybody knows” that thanks to True Poles (across the board from the right to the left) an uprising could break out in the Warsaw Ghetto, but it didn’t succeed, so it’s not worth mentioning. But without the True Poles it would never have happened at all. But whether it is good or bad they don’t know so they don’t talk about it, just in case.

Everything that was left after the Jews were gone was taken by Germans. Fur coats, diamonds, gold teeth. Factories. Carpets. Sewing machines.

“Everybody knows” also that from the pre-war underworld of thieves and pimps a few less honourable people indulged in blackmail and extortion in Warsaw. Not so in the provinces, because in the provinces – and this really everybody knows – “my grandmother helped the Jews”. Every grandmother, uncle, or grandfather’s cousin “delivered food”, “felt so sorry”, “kept her in the cellar, gave her a loaf of bread, and she gave him a wedding ring as a souvenir”.

And “everybody knows” that Jews were ungrateful; that they were Communist partisans; that they killed Polish National partisans. Though this last bit of knowledge may (as yet) not be known to everybody.

Recently everybody could learn that in Jewish ghettos life was merry, there were coffee houses and affluence, while on the Aryan (Polish) side there was poverty, the underground army, and fear.

Moreover, “everybody knows” that there was a camp. Auschwitz. A concentration camp. Some people know that there was also a death camp. Probably Auschwitz as well. And Irena Sendler. I almost forgot.

And now the period after the war – here not only “everybody knows” but they are direct witnesses of the fact that in the Communist Security Services there were only Jews, in the Communist Party there were only Jews, Stalinists were only Jews, prosecutors and torturing investigators were only Jews, Jews drove each other out in 1968 and thanks to that, the more cunning among them left for abroad and the poor Polish Christians  had to stay here and continue to suffer, not in Sweden, not in the U.S., but here in Poland. In Kielce Russians disguised as Jews incited Christians, but actually it is not known who killed a certain number of Jews. And all this was after the war – secret services and Russians. And then to Sweden.

And everybody knows that. This is what they hear, this is what they talk about. In this version there are no missing pieces, everything tallies and gives a feeling of national pride, of historic justice. It doesn’t offend, it doesn’t demand thought, it feeds cognitive dissonance with tasty morsels. 

There is, however, some information that is not known to everybody. Somebody knows, though. And so: “it is known” that before the war there were Ghetto_benches. It’s not known exactly what it was, it wasn’t especially onerous, you had to sit separately? This is known, more or less. There is also known here and there (recently a bit more), that even if somebody was an anti-Semite before the war (not without reason! and such attitudes were present in the whole Europe, generally Jews were not liked, for sure!) later he or she had a change of heart and became Righteous, saving Jews.

Here and there it is known that there was a tragedy in Jedwabne. That Germans forced Polish Christians to participate passively in a horrible murder. Who knows, maybe these Christians suffered even more because first they were persecuted by Judeo-Communists, then by Germans and then by Judeo-Communists again, who organized trials, ruined people’s lives, and created bad blood among the townspeople. How to live in such a town when everybody repeats these lies?

And, finally, there is memory. There are people, newspapers, photos, documents, memoirs, reminiscences. In them, there is a different story. There is a story nobody wants to know.

People who left Poland legally before 1939 remembered poverty. Beatings. Humiliation. They remembered bombs in shops and in synagogues. They remembered stones hurled through the air, broken glass on the sidewalks of Mińsk, Częstochowa, Bielsko, Przytyk. They remembered caricatures and poems; they remembered “scientific reports” in which there were  descriptions of Jews as lice and vermin (and who were also dirty and spread lice and vermin); they remembered remarks about huge noses, and they remembered talk that they should just go away, disappear. They remembered that they were afraid when they were walking on the streets, that beatings happened  not only at the universities but also in high schools and in elementary schools. That every day there was an article in the newspapers about another “incident”. That there were funerals of children, women, and  men who died “because they were Jews”. So what should they tell their children? That all this didn’t happen? That everything was wonderful? So they were either silent or they talked about fear and about hatred. And they were telling the truth.

This other side, this forgotten part, encompassed everyday life—work, holidays, births, weddings—but also hunger, broken arms and noses, and smashed skulls.

A Poland that was not built by people of different nationalities is a Poland that does not exist. You cannot rip out from the encyclopaedia of Polish literature pages about poets and writers who had a Jewish mother or grandmother – because only a thin brochure would be left. You cannot cross out “Jewish” scientists because we would be left with kerosene lamps only (oh no, sorry, wait, this can be done after all– because Jewish scientists don’t count when we list Polish Nobel Prize laureates). You cannot go through Polish cities and towns and not to see who built the houses, office buildings, universities, and libraries.

It’s difficult to acknowledge that the Jews live in enclaves because for hundreds of years they were not allowed to live where they wanted, they were forbidden to live and work in the centers of cities and such places. When it comes to the birth rate, it’s not true that “Jews swamped Poland”, because according to official statistics for the third quarter of 1936 the birth rate according to religion was: Roman Catholics 12 per 1000; Greek-Catholics 11.5 per 1000; Orthodox 10.8 per 1000; Jews 9.9 per 1000. The claim that Jews monopolized Polish trade and craft is, according to statistics, not true, however it is true that people of Jewish nationality couldn’t work in any governmental office, couldn’t be chimney sweeps, streetcar drivers, or even janitors in any office. According to statistics for the year 1938 Jews in Poland were owners of 20,000 farms. Some 100,000 Jews worked in agriculture; 8,500 of their farms were smaller than 5 acres;, 6,500 were  from 5 to 12 acres; 800 were up to 124 acres; and 700 were above 124 acres.

In 1937 during the debate over the budget of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Professor Schorr, a senator, said: “Jews are not a foreign population in Poland. We – Jews – have been bound with this country for a thousand years”.

He reminded his audience that countless Jewish small shops and market stalls, tailor’s shops, cobbler’s and locksmith’s shops were not the result of Jewish preference, inclination, or ability but of the historic contingency, rules, and restrictions which before the Partition of Poland and during it determined which particular occupations Jews were allowed to work in. He talked about the problems of the economic crisis in the nineteenth century and the lack of understanding by the Polish nobility of the need for economic development. Jews were called every name under the sun when they tried to convince townsmen and the nobility of the need to create commerce, industry, a bank system, and railways:

“Jews do not want to work hard on the land, they prefer light work”; “Jews, by enticing our noble families into trade, industry, etc. are contributing to the disintegration of the most beautiful traditions of nobility”; “Not profits, percentages, dividends, bills of exchange, or shares are the ideals of a nobleman” – he quoted opinions from the 1850s and 1860s. And he quoted from the work of the economist Surowiecki O upadku miast w Polsce [“On the decline of towns in Poland”]:

“After the country was destroyed by various sad events, after the collapse of towns and the dispersal of their inhabitants, after the disappearance of capital and ready money, there was no way for crafts and trade to remain in Poland. With the exception of a few towns, Poland owes the rescue of trade and crafts to Jews. (...) Whoever looks at Jews without prejudice has to admit that their abilities and entrepreneurship have been until now the extraordinary source which enriched Poland, but if the Jewish nation is useful to our country through its craftmanship, incomparably more useful is it by its trade”.

Senator Schorr listed the names of those Jews who were building Poland’s economy. First Leopold Kronenberg, the creator of agricultural credit, of the Trade Bank, of the Credit Society in Warsaw, the  Industrialists’ Bank, of the Warsaw Insurance Society, of the Mutual Credit Society, of the Warsaw Society of Sugar Factories, of the Society of Coal Mines. He was the builder of the Wilno and Wisła railways, the reformer of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and the founder of the first College of Commerce in Warsaw.

Further: Poznański, Silberstein, Rozenblatt, Osser, Jarosiński, Barciński, Kon, Ettingon – Senator Schorr recalled the contribution of these Jewish citizens to the development of Łódź. Finally, he quoted another Polish economist, Stanisław Szczepanowski:

"Living in a world of constant delusions and fears because of the lack of adequate economic education, we made these Jews in front of us into scapegoats for all our failures and our own deep incompetence, and we barely sense the existence of the reasons for our decline, which are deep and more difficult to remove.”

And you can’t burn all the testimonies of people who were locked into ghettos from the autumn of 1939 (and there were 1100 ghettos in Eastern Europe, most of them on Polish soil), dying of hunger, barefoot, rounded up for heavy work like slaves.  With their bare hands they built roads, cleared ruins, and paved streets and squares with the tombstones of their loved ones. And you can’t shout down the fact that it was Polish Christians who could catch the slight accent, somehow changed word order, or a grammatical error. It wasn’t a German Wehrmacht soldier from Leipzig or Munich. And it was neighbours who knew who lived where. It was they who pointed out and torched hiding places. It was they: firemen, navy-blue uniformed collaborationist policemen, and good-natured neighbours. For many, many thousands of these good-natured Christians, Jews became a source of income. He who had “his own Jew” could, for a time at least, count on money, jewellery, tools, and clothing. Later, when there were no more goods, both sides went their own ways. And the ones who escaped with their lives were incredibly lucky. Most often, though, they were not lucky. 

If they were not killed by their host, they died from hunger, cold, or an accidental meeting with an “un-righteous”. What else do people not know? That the stupid Germans didn’t like to share goods with anybody so they established a death penalty for trade with Jews? For giving them food and shelter? Or that Germans sentenced a mother and her son to death for hiding Jews; they were True Poles who had killed the whole Jewish family they were hiding (including a child), when the Jewish money ran out? What more don’t you know?

That The Painted Bird is not a fantasy? That a woman who survived execution and crawled out from under a pile of bodies— the body of her little daughter among them – escaped naked to the forest, and Polish farmers gave her a gynaecological search because they hoped she had hidden money and a wedding ring?

What more don’t you know?

That those who survived in the USSR (in tragic conditions), upon returning to Poland AFTER THE WAR, were taken to formerly German Lower Silesia, as they couldn’t return home to Polish villages because they might be killed there?

What more don’t you know? That AFTER THE WAR people were building – just as in the times of German occupation – courtyards, walls, and troughs for animals out of Jewish tombstones?

You don’t know what happened to mass graves, to places where tens and hundreds of people were buried when they “liquidated” ghettos? You don’t know that on the site of a death camp in Chełmno on the Ner, where no fewer than 160,000 people were gassed to death in trucks, 5,000 children from the Łódź ghetto among them, AFTER THE WAR there was a market for farmers? In a place where thousands upon thousands of people suffered unimaginable torment there were piles of – so necessary to farmers – fertilizer and coal.

You may not know that the “Jewish goods” – the plates, shoes, chairs, and typewriters— didn’t burn the hands of True Poles, that they didn’t go AFTER THE WAR to any Jewish organization and did not return this “inheritance”, mumbling something about how sorry they were?!

It’s not possible to hide behind those who were human beings to the very end—behind those who were more righteous than greedy. Behind this tiny handful of Righteous Among Nations. There were TOO FEW of them then to help the greater number of their brothers and sisters and too few now to hide the stupid and evil un-righteous.

It’s perhaps too extreme to suggest reading a list of the “senior cadre of security apparatus 1945-1953”?  Who is named there, and where, and for how long? And why is it so incredibly important to know whether they were Jewish or not??

Go and clean your conscience, but use very strong bleach. Maybe it will burn a hole through which you will see faces of True Poles, twisted in a stupid, cruel smile, faces of nice women who said: “Go away, I can’t help”? And be careful in front of mirrors. Because there you will see your own faces.

And what will everybody know then?

Translated by Małgorzata Koraszewska and Sarah Lawson

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  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

From National News Agency (Lebanon):

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gebran Bassil, participated in the extraordinary ministerial meeting held in Rome to preserve dignity, share responsibility and mobilize collective action for UNRWA.

Bassil delivered a statement at the meeting in which he said "we have received the people of Palestine in accordance with our humanitarian principles, as we receive the Syrians now, on a temporary basis to stop the killing and secure their return. UNRWA was established to provide their humanitarian needs until the return, and it turned out that killing continues and the goal is to integrate refugees in preparation for the 'big transfer'."

"I will not re-describe what the establishment of the State of Israel has inflicted upon the region and humanity from ravages, wars and Jewish extremism that is still feeding Islamic extremism and Christian oppression.
Wait...what? Jews are responsible for Islamic extremism and Christian oppression?
"Most recently, the President of a great power decided to grant Jerusalem to Israel forgetting that Jerusalem is ours. (...) Lebanon, which has received 500 thousand Palestinian refugees for 70 years, and 1.5 million Syrians for 7 years, is not here to beg for money, but to demand the legitimate right of people to return to their homeland, and a minimum of assistance to the country itself until that happens, so as to avoid further poverty," Bassil said.

The Minister called upon UNRWA to "remove from their registration lists every Palestinian who is outside the Lebanese territory or has obtained the nationality of another country, in order to alleviate the organization’s financial burdens, on the one hand, and contribute to reducing the number of refugees in Lebanon, on the other hand, without tampering with the right of return, which is sacred.

“If we approach the situation the way the international community is approaching it on the subject of displaced Syrians, we would then call upon the international community itself to organize a campaign of voluntary return of Palestinian refugees, since all the elements for a safe and dignified return are available in the Palestinian case. Double-standard policies are no longer accepted. We must return to the humane conscience to solve the problem of UNRWA and Palestinian refugees."
He is not calling for Palestinians in Lebanon to become citizens of the PA, but for the international community to pressure Israel to accept them.

Because, you know, we must punish the Jews who have introduced Islamic terror and Christian persecution to the world.

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  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
UN Security Council Resolution 1701 to end the 2006 Lebanon war calls for "full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state."

Yesterday, EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini sort of admitted that this has never happened as she said in a speech:

We, the European Union, have always been on the side of Lebanon and the Lebanese security forces. Since 2006, the EU has invested more than 85 million euros across the entire security sector.

Our Member States are contributing to UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) with thousands of troops – and let me thank in particular Italy for their commitment and for hosting today's conference.

We now want to support the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces to the South of Lebanon, in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The European Union is ready to work with the rest of the international community, and with the Lebanese institutions, towards the full implementation of the Resolution. In particular, we very much support the deployment of a Lebanese “model regiment” in the area, as a step towards a stronger and more stable Lebanon.

Today we commit an additional 50 million euros to support Lebanon's security until 2020.
What is this "model regiment"?

Last year
, Lebanon came up with the idea of a "model regiment" as a token force in Hezbollah's territory to pretend that there is actually a Lebanese Army presence there.

UNIFIL has conducted consultations with the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces on the possibility of establishing what the Lebanese Armed Forces now refers to as a “model Lebanese Armed Forces regiment” to cooperate closely with UNIFIL, in particular along the Blue Line. The Government has reconfirmed its commitment to increasing the presence of the Lebanese Armed Forces in the UNIFIL area of operations, including through such a regiment.
Almost certainly Hezbollah is happily going along with this charade of a tiny token Lebanese force so the EU can pour more money into Lebanon, pretending that this force is a first step at taking Hezbollah's weapons away.

(h/t Irene)

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  • Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA's "Amman New Camp" in Jordan, whose residents are Jordanian citizens, paid for by you

From the European Commission:
Today the European Union has made available €82 million for the 2018 operating budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini said: "Millions of people – men, women and children – depend on UNRWA for vital services: education, healthcare and social services, humanitarian assistance and employment. Supporting UNRWA is a humanitarian and political duty. It is in our collective interest of building peace and security in the Middle East and for the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution. I have shared this message of urgency with our partners participating in today's meeting in Rome, dedicated to UNRWA's funding crisis. As the Agency faces difficult times, we are – and we will continue to be – strong, consistent and reliable supporters of its work".

In 2016 and 2017, the EU and its Member States together provided €424 million and €391 million respectively to UNRWA, making the European Union by far the largest and most reliable donor to the Agency. Today's €82 million support is allocated as a part of the EU's regular annual contribution for 2018, and has been made available through a sped-up procedure.

The €82 million in funding was announced today during a meeting between High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl in the margins of the extraordinary UNRWA Ministerial Conference in Rome. The Conference focussed on solving the acute funding crisis the Agency is facing and on moving forward necessary Agency reforms.
Here's an idea for those who really, really care about helping Palestinians: Drastically cut UNRWA services to Jordan.

About 40% of UNRWA's "Palestine refugees" live in Jordan, over 2 million people. The vast majority of them have been Jordanian citizens for nearly 70 years!

For 70 years, the world has funded a  housing, medical and educational system for millions of Jordanian citizens that is completely separate and parallel to the existing Jordanian system. They are not refugees by any conceivable definition. The only reason that they are treated differently from any other Jordanian is because some of their ancestors happened to live a few miles away in 1947.

There is no moral, legal or historic reason why these Jordanian citizens need to have their housing, education and medical needs filled by the UN instead of the country that they are citizens of. Nowhere else in the world are people who are full citizens of the country they live in given unending "refugee" aid.

Hundreds of thousands of Jordanian citizens live in camps. Why?

The EU disingenuously has said for years that UNRWA "provides a political space for the efforts to conclude a peace deal and the creation of the future Palestinian state."

Hundreds of million of euros are spent to maintain an apartheid system between two different classes of Jordanian citizens. And not one person who attended this conference in Rome has a problem with that, instead insisting that UNRWA's services and its bizarre definition of "refugee" is sacred.

About 40% of UNRWA's budget can be cut today by noting that citizens of Jordan are not, by definition, refugees.

The only political purpose to providing Jordanian citizens with "refugee" status is to use them as cannon fodder to help destroy Israel. The EU and the rest of the world have a message to two million Jordanian citizens:  They are not "real" Jordanians after generations of living there and that they should really move to Israel in order to destroy the Jewish state.

That is not exactly a formula for peace.

European citizens should be outraged that so much of their money is being worse that wasted: it is being used to perpetuate an apartheid system in Jordan and to prolong a "refugee" crisis.

If you care about peace and equal rights, shame Jordan into mainstreaming its own citizens into its own social service programs, and pay Jordan to integrate UNRWA facilities and employees into a single, unified Jordanian system.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Democrats Join Farrakhan and British Labour Party in Antisemitic Sewer
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has asked DNC Chairman Tom Perez to address his party’s ties to Farrakhan “America’s leading anti-Semite.” To date, Perez has remained mum.

Then there is Obama’s consigliere, Valerie Jarrett. In an appearance on NBC’s The View, Jarrett tried to defend Mallory for her association with Farrakhan. Jarrett compared Mallory’s association with Farrakahn to her association with Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers, whom Jarrett met with during her tenure at the White House.

Which brings us back to Britain’s Labour party.

Like Corbyn, the Democrats have responded to the exposure of their close ties to the most powerful antisemite in the United States by deflecting the issue. They have drawn moral equivalences between Farrakhan and the government of Israel, and between Farrakhan and leading conservatives.

They have also embraced him as a “great man” who cannot be dismissed or rejected simply because he seeks the annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel, views the American Jewish community as his “enemy,” thinks the Holocaust was justified, and regards Hitler as a “very great man.”

Until he took over Labour, Corbyn was considered a fringe figure in the Labour party. Likewise, until recently, the Congressional Black Caucus was viewed as being on the leftist margins of the party. But as the forces of the far left have risen to positions of prominence in the party, the CBC has become a major player.

Ellison is not a fringe Democrat. He nearly won the election for DNC chair. His constituency is so large and committed that Perez made him Vice Chairman immediately after he was elected.

Collier’s damning report strengthens the growing sense that Britain’s Labour Party has already gone over the brink. Antisemitism is a central and undeniable rationale for its policies. As for the Democratic Party, it is still possible that the party’s rank-and-file will reject their leadership’s embrace of antisemitism through Farrakhan.

But with each passing day, it is becoming more difficult to imagine that happening.
Ben Shapiro: Not All Anti-Semitism Is Created Equal
That’s the rub, here, naturally. A good number of leftist Jews are leftists first and Jews second; their religious identity runs second to their political identity. And the Women’s March is a deeply leftist institution — its leadership routinely pushes abortion-on-demand, government-paid child care and so-called anti-discrimination laws that target religious institutions. Jews who find this sort of agenda primary are willing to let a little bit of anti-Semitism slide, much in the way that Jews who preferred President Donald Trump were willing to wink at Steve Bannon.

Even more disappointing is the willingness of leftist Jews to let Jewish ethnicity slide into the background in favor of the intersectional coalition building. Intersectionality suggests that we can determine the value of viewpoints by looking at the “interlocking” group identities of the person speaking — so, for example, a Black lesbian has different experiences and, to the left’s point, more valuable experiences than a white straight man. Jewish ethnic identity, therefore, should play some role in the intersectional coalition of the left, which is dedicated to the proposition that America is a brutal place to those of minority status.

But there’s one problem: In the intersectional hierarchy of identity politics, Jews rank relatively low. That’s because Jews are on average financially successful and educationally overachieving. And this means that Jews slandered by the likes of Louis Farrakhan or his Women’s March allies must take a back seat on the intersectional bus. Anti-Semitism matters less coming from minority victim groups than it does from others, apparently.

This has been the case for years. Last year, the self-titled Dyke March in Chicago banned rainbow flags with Jewish stars because they supposedly “made people feel unsafe” — pro-Palestinian groups were unhappy with the juxtaposition of gay rights and a flag that looked somewhat Israeli. The march was billed as an “anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grass-roots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience.” Tolerance was not extended, however, to gay Jews flying their flag.

Anti-Semitism is unacceptable in any guise. During the last election cycle, I spoke out repeatedly about anti-Semitism in the alt-right, and blasted the Trump campaign for failing to properly disassociate from the alt-right. Trump, thankfully, has disassociated from the alt-right publicly. The fact that so much of the left is willing to embrace the Women’s March leadership rather than calling them to account is a true shandah.
Doulgas Murray: The High Price of Denial
Instead, newspapers like the New York Times have tended in recent years towards the same denialism as Angela Merkel about the problems which mass immigration from the developing world is causing in Europe. They have tended to praise the "courage" of suspending normal border controls while covering over or ignoring the terrible consequences of importing millions of people whose identities are unknown. And of course, like Mayor Hidalgo in Paris, they have tended to shoot the messengers more than report the news, dismissing any such stories as "fake news", "alt-right" or "far right" propaganda.

Just last year, when Donald Trump famously mentioned "what happened last night in Sweden", the mainstream media knew what he was referring to. They knew that he was loosely referencing a report that he had seen on Fox news the night before about the increasingly bad situation in that country. The media, however, chose not to address that problem. Instead they chose -- in the main -- to laugh at the President and ridicule the idea that there were any troubles in the Scandinavian paradise.

Back then the New York Times headlined that President Trump's comments were "baffling", while much of the rest of the media simply pretended that Sweden was a land of infinite peace and Ikea which had been sorely slandered by the President.

The surprise that within days of each other, both Chancellor Merkel and the New York Times have become willing to admit facts which they and their apologists have long pretended to be imaginary could be progress of a kind. It may not, however, be a cause for optimism. Rather than being a demonstration that things are getting better, that they are now admitting what is visible to the eyes of ordinary Europeans may be an admission that things have got so bad -- and are so well-known -- that even the Gray Lady and Mutti Merkel are no longer able to ignore them. If so, one thought must surely follow: imagine what might have been solved if the denials had never even begun?

Of the four speakers in my Jerusalem symposium "Donald Trump: Good for the Jews?" last Sunday, Brian of London was (once again) by far the most supportive of Donald Trump, as well as the most entertaining. Because of questions from the audience he took up far more time than everyone else.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Thursday, March 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

The conflict over drafting Haredim has given birth to a coalition crisis that may yet bring about new elections. A good account of the political twists and turns can be found here, if you really want to know the details. But what about the whole question of the IDF, the draft and its place in Israeli society?

The situation of the Haredim is a highly visible part of the problem. In 1947 Ben-Gurion made a deal with the Agudat Yisrael party, which represented the more observant elements of Orthodox Judaism in the pre-state yishuv, which established a “status quo” for matters of religion and state. In return, party leaders agreed not to oppose the declaration of the state.

The agreement was very general and Ben-Gurion promised that details would be worked out in the constitution for the state that was supposed to be written in the next few months. Needless to say, no constitution was written, and the uneasy status quo developed informally over the years. In 1948, during the War of Independence, Ben-Gurion agreed to exempt some 400 exceptional yeshiva students from the draft, as long as Torah study was their sole occupation (the torah umanuto arrangement). As time passed – and as the religious parties often held the balance of power in coalition governments – the arrangement expanded, until tens of thousands of Haredi young men were exempted (61,000 in 2010, the latest figure I could find).

The Supreme Court found the current situation unconstitutional in 1998, and the legislative and judicial wrangling has continued until today. Recent attempts to draft Haredim against their will gave rise to massive, sometimes violent, demonstrations. The latest proposed draft law, a compromise that is supposed to end the current crisis, has been described as saying“Haredim will enlist in the IDF, unless they don’t feel like enlisting in the IDF.”

One can understand why secular and national-religious people who are asked to give up three years of their lives plus the possibility of a month of reserve duty every year until they are 40, object to the free ride given to the Haredim, many of whom are by no stretch of the imagination “scholars.” For their part, the Haredim claim that the accommodations made by the army for their religious lifestyle are insufficient, and they view the draft as antisemitic persecution.

Some Haredi men are choosing to be drafted, but they are few and their communities treat them badly. The solution, however, can’t be to try to coerce them by threats of jail time, because they will find other ways to escape from service and will certainly contribute nothing until they do.

Over the years, geopolitical and technological changes have resulted in a reduction of the period of regular service, a lowering of the age at which one is released from reserve duty, and a reduction in the amount of reserve duty. When I served in the 1980s, I was called for six weeks every year with no exception; two weeks of training and four weeks of duty. Today, most men and virtually all women are not called in any given year and the number of days they serve when they are called is smaller.

Especially during periods of mass immigration, army service has served to integrate new arrivals into Israeli language and culture, exposing young soldiers to elements of the population that they might not otherwise meet, and serving as an object lesson in the costs of defending the nation. Universal service guarantees a degree of military literacy which makes it possible for Israelis to understand security-related issues, and vote more intelligently on them. Compare this to the US, where many citizens don’t even know anyone who serves in the nation’s professional army. And in opposition to criticism that calls Israel a “militaristic” nation, the first-hand knowledge of war that most Israelis have make it the opposite, a profoundly peace-loving nation.

But there are some downsides to universal conscription, and as time goes by they are becoming more serious. Not every draftee belongs in the military or can be of use to it, and the IDF has to spend a great deal of time and money finding something useful for them to do, warehousing them, or getting rid of them. One can only imagine the difficulties of integrating tens of thousands of unhappy Haredim who can’t eat the kosher food provided by the army and who can’t interact with women as in secular or even non-Haredi Orthodox society, assuming that it were possible to draft them.

Because the number of recruits is so large compared with the needs of the IDF, the length of regular service has been reduced to 32 months for men and two years for women. This means that resources have to be expended on training of new recruits for jobs that they will only be qualified to do for a few months.

Many observers have said that Israel would be better off with a fully volunteer, professional army. The money that would be saved by reduced training of new recruits could be spent on better equipment and good pay for soldiers who would do their jobs for long enough that their expensive training would be justified. It’s argued that modern warfare requires more highly trained specialists and fewer “grunts” who can be given a rifle and pointed in the general direction of the enemy.

One objection to this is that Israel can’t afford a large enough standing army to protect it in the event of an emergency. In the past, virtually the entire able-bodied male population could be called up to fight. But if conscripts were replaced with a professional army, then there would no longer be a pool of trained reservists who – as happened in 1973 – could join their units at a moment’s notice, ready to fight.

On the other hand, with the reduction in training of reservists in recent years, the mass emergency call-up may already be a thing of the past. And perhaps those who believe that in present-day conditions it will not be needed are right.

Moshe Feiglin, a right-wing religious politician who is nevertheless a strong libertarian, makes this suggestion:

The solution is simple: Israel must stop funding tens of thousands of soldiers who are not really needed and do nothing but make more work and expense for the system. Everybody should be drafted for a brief training period of one or two months. The IDF will choose the cream of the crop, who will remain in the army of their own free will for a long period of time. Those soldiers will get the best training and will receive excellent salaries.

The universal training period will at least produce some familiarity with military life, terminology and capabilities, even if it will not produce a supply of “grunts” to be called up in an emergency.

Any changes in this area would have to be made very slowly and thoughtfully. Today, army service is connected with almost every aspect of everyday life in Israel. Unlike the US, students usually defer their studies until they finish their service, and therefore take them more seriously. Employers hire people that they knew during their service, or who served in particular units. Young people often meet their future spouse during their time in the army. The first thing someone asks about a man who wants to work for them or marry their daughter is “what did he do in the army?” (No, they do not ask that about women – yet).

Paradoxically, some of the best things in Israeli life come from the years of compulsory servitude dictated by universal conscription. But the IDF is already moving in the direction of professionalization. The combination of increasing population size and the evolution in the nature of warfare make it unavoidable. Perhaps the revolt of the Haredim will speed up the process.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

PMW: Murderers are needed, says Fatah, glorifying killer of 10
Murderer of 10 is "heroic prisoner" "We are proud of you... our people needs men like you"
In letter from prison, murderer called for "resistance" - A Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror

A branch of Abbas' Fatah Movement has announced that the Palestinian people needs murderers. In a post on Facebook glorifying murderer Thaer Hammad who killed 10 Israelis in 2002, Fatah in Bethlehem stated that the people "needs men like you":
"Heroic prisoner Thaer Hammad, we are proud of you. Allah willing you will soon be among us, our people needs men like you."
[Facebook page of the Fatah Movement - Bethlehem Branch, March 2, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch exposed a video by Fatah, which visually presented murderer Hammad as a successful agent on a military mission. The video glorified the murder of the 10 Israelis as "one of the most famous operations."

Thaer Hammad is serving 11 life sentences for murdering 3 Israeli civilians and 7 soldiers by shooting them with a sniper rifle from a hilltop in Wadi Al-Haramiya between Ramallah and Nablus on March 3, 2002.

In a letter he sent from prison, murderer Hammad called for a return of the "resistance" - a Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror attacks against Israelis:

"Hammad demanded to resume and revive the spirit of the revolutionary movement, from which the Fatah Movement arose, and the idea of resistance, given that it is the ideal way to protect our cause and our existence in the shadow of the great challenges and dangers that surround us." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 7, 2018]

In another Fatah post, terrorist Hammad was praised as a "prince" and "the sniper from Wadi Al-Haramiya":
Dr. Martin Sherman: Gaza - let their people go!
The crisis in Gaza is not one that funding can solve.

The recent spate of reports warning of the looming humanitarian crisis in Gaza shows the magnitude of the failed attempt to give Palestinian Arabs self rule over a quarter of a century.

The US has given over 5 billion dollars to the Gazans in aid, making them one of the countries which receives the most foreign aid funding per capita in the world.

Three major US priorities of interest have not been met. They are:
1. Promoting the mitigation of terrorism towards Israel
2. Self government, stability and prosperity that might make Gazans more amenable to peace with Israel.
3. Meeting humanitarian needs.

None of these priorities have been achieved. The Gazans are governed by a corrupt and uncaring leadership.

The entire civilian infrastructure is on the verge of collapse,with perennial power outages, failing sanitation services, untreated sewage, polluted water, all due to a dysfunctional government - and all of this has nothing to do with Israel.

What is Gaza manufacturing? Missiles. What is it constructing? Terror tunnels.

Quo Vadis, Palestinians?
Palestinian Arabs are constantly urged by their leaders to engage in rage. Indeed, Abbas walked out of the UNSC meeting, not bothering to hear Ambassador Haley’s speech. As the clock ticks with time seemingly not on their side, changing political landscapes in the USA and Europe, frustration by traditional Arab allies nervously watching Iran and with UNRWA being reassessed and seen as part of the problem, Palestinians can only be dismayed as their lives seem to be going nowhere.

The less charitable might say they are going down. Unfortunately rage, greed, misappropriation of international aid and ongoing victimization are not policies, let alone providing a promising future for talented Palestinian Arabs dreaming of a prosperous and peaceful life.

While experts consider various solutions to the Palestinian Arab problem, ranging from a 2-state solution, land swaps, a single state, a Jordan solution, a Gaza- Sinai solution, population transfer with compensation, and other variants,- none of which have satisfied the PA - Chile is an example of what could be possible.

Chile reportedly has the largest Palestinian Arab community outside the Middle East, estimated at 500,000 in a total population of nearly 18 million dwarfing the Jewish community of 25,000. Palestinian Arabs therefore are a much higher proportion of Chile’s population than Jews anywhere in Europe. In France, there are also about 500,000 Jews, but in a population of almost 67 million.

In addition to the despairing educated PA millennials in Judea/Samaria, all but forgotten Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon and Syria have been impoverished and massacred. On the other hand, Palestinian Arabs in Chile continue to enjoy significant success, by any standards.

Palestinian Arabs arrived in Chile in the second half of the nineteenth century, mostly poor and illiterate, having embarked on ships from Haifa, Beirut and Alexandria. This occurred during Turkish Ottoman rule, long before Israel’s establishment in 1948.

One of the issues of the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the refugee problem resulting from those Arabs who left the land during the 1948 War - how many left due to the encouragement of promises from the Arab world, how many out of fear of the chaos of war and how many from other reasons is a question for another time.

Today there is a symbol used to represent this refugee problem: a key.

Art by a teenage Bethlehem artist, entitled Resolution 194,
a UN resolution. The keys symbolize those kept as mementos
by Palestinians who left their homes in 1948

It is a poignant symbol - but apparently, Arabs have been known to hold onto their keys before.

In 2005, Spain passed a law granting the right of citizenship to Sephardic Jews who were descendants of the Jews who in 1492 were given a choice of either converting or going into exile. Two years later, descendants of Muslims who had been expelled from Spain in the seventeenth century asked for the same treatment. Mansur Escudero, the head of Spain's Islamic Board, representing Spanish Muslims explained at the time:
"It would be more of an emotional, moral gesture, a recognition of an historic injustice," he told Reuters, adding that some "Andalusian" families still preserved keys to houses they left behind four centuries ago. [emphasis added, p. 143]
But as it turns out, Arabs are not the only ones to hold onto their keys to remember home.

Nor are they the first - not by a long shot.

While reading Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem - A Biography, I came across this last week about the Bar Kochba rebellion:
The Jews retreated to the caves of Judaea, which is why Simon [Bar Kochba]'s letters and their poignant belongings have been found there. These refugees and warriors carried keys to their abandoned houses, the consolation of those doomed never to return. [emphasis added]
In fact, it appears Jews who were forced out of Spain did the same thing.

According to The Routledge Book of Contemporary Jewish Cultures:
The exhibit on display at a small Jewish museum in Bejar [Spain], near Hervas, concludes with a wooden trunk full of keys. According to legend, when the Jews were expelled from their homes, they retained their keys in exile and across generations, occasionally returning to try them in their doors. A placard by the trunk explains that the keys "symbolize the memory of the homes which the Jews had to abandon...It may be that some of these keys had traveled with them to their new place of refuge. Even if this is not actually the case, this chest gives us a reason to imagine this."
While writing this post, I found that I am not the first to notice that holding onto keys goes back as far as the Bar Kochba rebellion. In an anonymous guest post on Israellycool, The Curious Case Of The Key, someone writes
I remembered reading a book by Yigal Yadin by the name of �Bar-Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the Legendary Hero of the Last Jewish Revolt Against Imperial Rome,� an interesting book about the discovery of the Cave of Letters and how the artifacts inside shed light on the revolt. One of the items found in the cave was this:

Source: Israel Museum.
Sebag Montefiore gives this book by Yigal Yadin as his source.

For Jews, keys have been no less a symbol of the desire to return home - in our case our indigenous, ancestral home where we have been living for over 3,000 years.

We have returned home.
And we are home to stay.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Thursday, March 15, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

Before 1948, anyone wanting to visit the Western Wall had to go through a slum-area neighborhood. It was a narrow area where the authorities didn't allow anyone to bring in chairs or tables or temporary partitions. Muslims were known to use the area as a shortcut and to lead animals through the narrow passageway.

Today, the Kotel haKatan - the "small wall" - looks a great deal like the more famous, bigger Kotel looked in the 1920s.

HaKotel HaKatan is north of the other Kotel, and it is positioned closer to the site of the Holy of Holies. It should be where people pray when they visit Jerusalem

Just like then, Jews aren't allowed to bring in tables or chairs. Just like then, if you blow a shofar at the smaller Kotel you can get arrested.

And when I visited on Friday, I saw that just like then, Muslims will use it as a shortcut to get where they were going. They looked curiously at me, since I was the only Jew at this site that is holier than the Kotel.

As I recall, the far wall of the area was not open the last time I was there. But now there is an opening to a set of narrow stairs that is apparently a path to another alley.

So Muslims are now routinely walking through this site, making it difficult to concentrate. Not exactly like herding cattle through the area but still disruptive.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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