.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

UNRWA chief slanders Israel

From Ma'an:
The UN’s director of relief operations in Gaza told Palestinians in Gaza that they had not been defeated by the Israeli military on Sunday.

“The Palestinians were not defeated by Israeli army in its latest offensive against the Gaza Strip, and they proved to be capable of resuming their life anew despite all their hardships,” said John Ging, the director of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which serves hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Gaza.
This means that the official UNRWA position is that Israel's goal in Gaza was to defeat the "Palestinians," not to stop rockets or deter Hamas.

The only way to interpret Ging's statement is to say that he believes that this was a war whose goal was genocide, and the Israelis failed in their attempts to eradicate all Arabs from Gaza.

This is a slanderous and sickening statement. But it is not a surprising one.

Every Israeli town is a "settlement"

This cartoon from Palestine Today shows what Palestinian Arabs really consider to be "settlements."

And it is hardly limited to the West Bank.


And here is how "moderate" Firas Press looks at "settlements:"

The clear implication is that the idea of Jews living in supposedly Arab territories is inherently aggressive. The logical conclusion of that mindset is that to kill all Jews in the territories is considered "self defense."

Put the two cartoons together and you have the Arab justification for genocide against all Israelis.

Another sighting of Zionist Pigs

This Zionist Pig article from Palestine Today is notable because it doesn't merely accuse "settlers" of unleashing these wild boars on Palestinian Arab crops, but now the IDF and the Israel Nature and Natural Parks Protection Authority are part of the conspiracy!

And they have "witnesses!"
Wild pigs spread in the territory of the town of Arraba, south of Jenin in the northern West Bank, and caused serious damage to agricultural crops.

...Witnesses in the town of Arraba affirmed to the news agency that the Israeli occupation forces and the so-called Israeli Nature Protection Service brought a tanker full of pigs inside the town, under the protection and guard of military patrols of the army of occupation, and placed them on Arraba-Ya'bad street in a garbage dump near the town of Arraba.
Ya gotta love Arab witnesses.

Click to read previous Zionist Attack Zoo postings.

Hamas, PA forces battle; 6 dead

From Ma'an:
Six Palestinians were killed on Sunday morning in clashes between Palestinian Authority security services and gunmen affiliated to Hamas in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya.

According to the medics, three security officers and two Hamas fighters were killed, in addition to the owner of the building where the Hamas men had stationed themselves.
A couple of observations:

The PA police are incredibly incompetent, even after months of US-backed training, to lose three policemen in a gun battle with only a handful of Hamas terrorists.

While the PA has all but given up on controlling Gaza again, Hamas has clearly not given up on controlling the West Bank. One must look at the "unity talks" in that context.

When Ma'an talks about PA officers killing Hamas terrorists, they are "killed." When the IDF kills a single Hamas member while trying to arrest him, it is an "assassination."

In other Hamas/Fatah news, Hamas arrested a Fatah-leaning reporter in Khan Younis. These arrests have been increasing on both sides, with each side accusing the other of torture.

Together with a four-year old boy who was killed by "his father's weapon," the 2009 PalArab self-death count rises to 92.

Arab deja vu

Here is a report from AP, showing Arab displeasure at US arms supplies to Israel as well as Israel's declaration of Jerusalem as its capital.
Guess when this happened?

The report is dated September 12, 1966. Yes, the Arabs were complaining then that the US was not being fair in its policy of maintaining a balance of power between Israel and the Arabs. To them, the US should have allowed them to obliterate Israel.

Even more interesting is their statement on Jerusalem. Israel declared western Jerusalem to be its capital - and even though there are no Muslim or Christian sites of any import in the western part of Jerusalem, the Arabs still said that this was a threat to the holy sites - that they still controlled! (And that they banned all Jews from visiting!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chag Sameach!

Tonight starts the holiday of Shavuot, so I will not be blogging until, probably, Sunday.

And my blogging will be lighter than usual for the next few weeks as I have major projects both at work and at home that need to get finished.

I wish all my Jewish readers a Chag Sameach!

The 500-character challenge

I just saw yet another article in the Saudi Gazette about how important it is for other Arabs to feel sympathy for Palestinian Arabs and to boycott Israel.

The feedbacks for the article are limited to 500 characters, so as a personal challenge I wanted to craft a response that fit within those limits.

Here's my reply (not yet posted):
It is interesting that Arabs don't seem to notice the institutionalized bigotry that they have against Palestinians - namely that they do not, by law, allow Palestinians to become citizens of their countries.

It is much easier to blame Israel for all the Palestinians' problems rather than notice that Arab policies have left them stateless and miserable for 61 years.

And this bigotry is justified in the name of "unity."

Why not give the Palestinians the option to become citizens if they want?
Maybe I'll work on a 140-character tweet, next....

Terrorists getting money

Creeping Sharia noticed that Congress has just allocated billions of dollars to, shall we say, questionable "allies."

Anne Lieberman emailed many bloggers and journalists about these stealth appropriations:

I would wager that few among you know - I certainly didn't - that Congress appropriated almost a billion dollars to the Palestinians last week. And what's worse is that they specified about a third of it to go to Gaza (Gaza = HAMAS).

I thought it was illegal to fund terrorists.

These expenditures were in that Supplemental Appropriations bill where Congress didn't give Obama the money he wanted for closing Gitmo since he didn't have a specific plan (big news for a day or two). So I guess they did read this bill, some of it anyway.

It was passed in the House May 14, and the Senate passed it a week later... a week ago today, May 21 (my fellow West Virginians will note that Senators Byrd and Rockefeller didn't vote).

So when you see Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) coming to the White House today, just know that he's picking up a big fat check. Know also that he is a terrorist, Arafat's right-hand man for decades and the financier of the Munich massacre (when Palestinians murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympics in 1972). He's also a Holocaust denier and his term in office at the so-called "Palestinian Authority" ran out in January. So he has no real position and leads a country that doesn't even exist. But now I'm nit-picking. What's a billion dollars, one way or the other?
The money, much of which is above and beyond what Obama requested, includes:

•West Bank and Gaza: $665 million in bilateral economic, humanitarian, and security assistance for the West Bank and Gaza.

•Jordan: $250 million, $250 million above the request, including $100 million for economic and $150 million for security assistance.

•Egypt: $360 million, $310 million above the request, including $50 million for economic assistance, $50 million for border security, and $260 million for security assistance.

USAID goes into detail of where the money for the PA is allocated. Here's a small part:
Peace and Security ($109 million)

This supplemental request fulfills existing security assistance requirements and responds to new
opportunities in the Palestinian Territories, supporting efforts by the Deputy Envoy for Security,
LTG Dayton. The bulk of the request is to sustain and accelerate the critically important and
effective effort to train, equip, and garrison the Presidential Guard and Special Battalions of the National Security Forces to crackdown on terrorism and bolster and backstop the efforts of the Palestinian Civilian Police to maintain law and order. In addition, the request contains funds to begin developing new programs that the European Union and other donors are not supporting, but have been identified by the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, Senator Mitchell, as critical to the overall effort to create a competent and professional Palestinian Authority Security Force. Accordingly, the principal areas of focus for supplemental security assistance will be to fully develop two more National Security Force Special Battalions; train a second Presidential Guard battalion; train, equip, and support civil defense first responders; sustain and expand security and law enforcement-related specialized training; develop a border integrity capability; and augment program development and support funding to address expanded logistical, administrative, and related requirements of the program.

This supplemental request also provides law enforcement-related training and equipment to enhance border integrity along the Gaza border. This assistance is intended to help further stabilize and control this border following the Gaza conflict. Funding would be used for training in a full range of border integrity disciplines and will provide non-lethal equipment to these trained forces.
I don't understand the last paragraph at all - who exactly from the PA is controlling the Gaza border? Or is this for Egypt?

I wish I had known about this when I went to Washington last week....

Moving the red lines

Binyomin Netanyahu has, apparently accidentally, stumbled upon one of the best political weapons Israel has. And even he doesn't realize it.

When he took office, the Western press started obsessing over his non-use of the words "two state solution." The world made the assumption - despite "Ultra-Rightist Avigdor Lieberman's"' acceptance of the Roadmap - that Netanyahu was a super-hawk whose proposals for peace were smokescreens for his real desire to annex the entire Arab world and perform a genocide on all Palestinian Arabs. The pressure started to build and Netanyahu, like all recent Israeli leaders, buckled a few days ago when he tacitly seemed to accept "linkage" despite explicitly renouncing it:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to tear down settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank in return for US backing on its stance on arch-foe Iran, local media reported on Tuesday.

Netanyahu told his right-wing Likud faction on Monday that Israel would have to dismantle what it considers illegal outposts, as demanded by Washington, since the issue of Iran was more important, newspaper reports said.

"I identify the danger and that's why I am willing to take unpopular steps such as evacuating outposts. The Iranian threat is above everything," the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted Netanyahu as saying.

"There are things on which you have to compromise."

Despite the seeming waves of pressure on Israel in reaction to Bibi's "intransigence," however, there has been an undertow in the opposite direction from his perceived lack of support for a two-state solution.

His reticence to say the magic words "Palestinian state" are causing people to openly wonder whether a such a state is desirable or feasible.

Canada's National Post has always been on the right wing in the Middle East conflict, but the following article (republished in the Vancouver Sun) would have been inconceivable a few months ago:
The two-state solution illusion

...A two-state solution sounds pleasant to Western ears. It seems the proper thing for Canadian politicians to say. Certainly the media would pillory Harper and Ignatieff were they to refuse to play along. But were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse the plan tomorrow—as Barack Obama wants as precondition to helping Israel resist Iranian nuclear agression—it would be utterly meaningless. “There is no partner on the Palestinian side,” [Jerusalem Post reporter Khaled] Toameh says. Israel's West Bank settlements are no obstacle, he adds; they are a red herring: a minor issue that Jerusalem will easily handle—based on its readiness to dismantle its settlements in the past—when the moment is right. That time is not now, and is not coming soon. Because, in today's environment, whatever proposed peace agreement is backed by Abbas would only be instantly rejected by Hamas, and any deal with Hamas—were any possible—reflexively rejected by Fatah. And neither group has much validity in citizens' eyes, he reports. In fact, Toameh mischievously suggests Netanyahu might be clever to try what Obama wants and publicly back a two-state plan immediately, if only to put the Palestinians and international peace-plan backers “in a corner” by revealing to all how truly impossible implementing anything of the sort would be under the current circumstances.

The international community’s error, says Toameh, is that it seems to think statehood is something to be handed to Palestinians, like a gift. It is, he believes, an undeserved one. “I believe a state is not something we should be given, it is something we should earn,” says the West Bank-born journalist. Far from demonstrating a capability to create a functioning, responsible civil society, he says, Palestinians have only proven their willingness to tolerate chaos, mob-rule and terror. They watched as, instead of building hospitals and schools and infrastructure with the billions sent to Ramallah and Gaza, Arafat lined his own pockets, Fatah fattened its cronies, and Hamas purchased weapons. On the one hand, Palestinians have fallen again and again for rotten leadership, which in turn, do their best to suppress the emergence of more responsible alternatives. On the other, Toameh seems to suggest that the Palestinians are getting the government they deserve. “Everything is going in the wrong direction, largely because of the failure of Palestinians to hold [their] government accountable,” he says.
Bibi has moved the very parameters of the debate, and that points to incredible political power.

The Arab/Israeli conflict is, ultimately, binary. There might be 22 Arab nations, 57 Islamic nations and an entire building of diplomats in New York's East Side who love to dump on Israel, but in the end Israel does not have to go along with anything that compromises its own red lines. Unfortunately, those lines have become fuzzy, to put it mildly, and each time Israel's leaders retreat from one of them the vacuum is instantly filled with more pressure to bring the lines in ever closer.

What Bibi has inadvertently proven is that the opposite is still true. If Israel's leaders stake out an uncompromising position that pushes the lines outward, even at this late date, there will be a perceptible shift in the world's reaction, even amongst the predictable criticism.

While previous Israeli governments have effectively ceded parts of Jerusalem, Bibi is at least publicly moving that line back outward. If he doesn't yield, the net effect would be to change the very discourse from "how much of Jerusalem should Israel give away" to "should Israel give any away." Similarly, his public statements on natural growth in the settlements would also change the very terms of the debate from "Israel should return all of the West Bank" to "How much should Israel return?"

When all is said and done, the resolution to the problem is not to be found in legal or historic or religious arguments - it will be the result of negotiations. Netanyahu has the potential to strengthen Israel's negotiating position immensely, if he chooses to, by simply being strong in his convictions.

As one of the sides in this lopsided conflict against her, Israel holds some impressive cards that cost little to show. And if Israel is to learn anything from its Palestinian Arab neighbors, it is that the consequences of saying "no" often end up being rewards.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CAMERA picks up on EoZ PCHR research

From CAMERA's blog:
Elder of Ziyon blog's investigation of a list of Palestinian dead during the Israeli military operation in December and January reveals that hundreds who were reported to be civilians were in fact militants. The list of 1417 Palestinian victims was published in March by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), a Gaza-based organization. By cross-checking the names on the list with other Palestinian sources, including Hamas-affiliated web sites, Elder of Ziyon was able to compile the names of 286 militants who PCHR misidentified as civilians.

Media coverage of the Israeli operation in Gaza prominently featured the accusation that Israeli forces engaged in indiscriminate and excessive violence, in some cases intentionally targeting civilians. PCHR's reports of civilian fatalities were frequently cited to substantiate this accusation. As CAMERA pointed out as early as January 21, scrutiny of PCHR's own data cast serious doubts about its accuracy. The CAMERA analysis pointed out over 20 cases of mislabeling militants as civilians and noted that 75 percent of the fatalities were young males of combat age.

The recent analysis by Elder of Ziyon delves further into PCHR's data and debunks PCHR's assertion that most members of Hamas internal security forces (policemen) were civilians. It also reveals that a number of children (aged 17 or under) were Hamas combatants - a point initially suggested in the CAMERA analysis.

While these revelations come too late to impact coverage of the fighting, it can only be hoped that responsible journalists will be less inclined to accept without scrutiny the casualty statistics and claims made by PCHR and other groups that most of the casualties caused by Israeli military action are civilians.

The research has slowed down but it is not finished yet.

New PA minister urges boycott of Israeli goods

From Ma'an:
Newly-appointed Palestinian Minister of Social Affairs Majida Al-Masri has ordered a ministry-wide boycott of Israeli products as her first decision in her new role.

The decision says Palestinian products must have the priority, but if a certain product is unavailable, priority goes to Arab countries, then foreign equivalent. Israeli products are to be boycotted altogether.
I hope she expands her plan to the entire PA.

I don't have recent statistics but in 2000, over 92% of the PA exports went to Israel, and 73% of Palestinian Arab imports came from Israel.

If we implement her plan, what little economy the PA has would disappear altogether.

But as their citizens go through garbage to get scraps of food, at least they'll have their honor!

Thoughts on Cardozo

There are a number of articles today asking whether Benjamin Cardozo would be properly considered the first Hispanic US Supreme Court Justice.

His ancestors likely came from Portugal, although his family lived in the US for generations. And some people question whether Portuguese people are properly considered Hispanic, with some contradictory evidence whether the US legally considers them as such.

I think that there is a subconscious reason why people did not historically consider Cardozo to be Hispanic or even Portuguese: because he was Jewish. And throughout history, with rare exceptions, Jews were not popularly considered to be full members of their adopted countries.

Some of the reason is from the Jews themselves, especially the more religious ones, who would tend to be more insular and separate. But much of the reason is simply because the Jews were never accepted as equal members of most of the societies they became a part of, even after hundreds of years.

The bottom line is that, throughout history, both Jews and non-Jews considered the Jewish people to be a nation of their own. Cardozo was first and foremost a (Sephardic) Jew, by his self-definition as well as by others, and this definition of Jew had little to do with religion and a lot to do with ancestry.

Which goes to show that, not too long ago, pretty much everyone agreed that the Jews were part of their own nation. It is interesting that only recently have people, for political purposes, started to question that fact.

PalArab news roundup 5/27/09

Work accident - A Hamas member was killed on a special "jihad mission" in the the northern Gaza Strip, and apparently he managed to kill someone else along with him. Interestingly, he seems to have been killed in a tunnel that is nowhere near Egypt, meaning that it is likely that Hamas is working on more tunnels to Israel to stage terror attacks.

Tunnel collapse - Another Gaza man was killed, and another injured, when a smuggling tunnel collapsed on them in Rafah.

Hamas, Fatah tensions escalate - For the past couple of weeks, the numbers of tit-for-tat arrests of Hamas members in the West Bank and Fatah members in Gaza have accelerated.

Love doesn't conquer all - An Israeli court is hearing an appeal of a gay Palestinian Arab man to become a permanent resident of Israel, as he has an Israeli lover and believes that his life is in danger under PA control.

Syrian snakes strike back - A Syrian girl was bitten four times by a viper in a single week. Perhaps the snakes are organizing their own resistance movement against Syrian girls for the Snake Nakba.

The 2009 PalArab self death count is now at 85.

Notable links

Nakba Day letter - the story of how a Jewish family was massacred in 1929 a day after the sheikh of a neighboring town promised their safety.

Solomonia on the Jewish Nakba.

Yaakov Lozowick on a small irony of "linkage."

Arabs worry about eating donkeys and pigs

Although I cannot find the source now, Gazans earlier this month feared that the meat being served in restaurants was actually donkey meat.

And now, Egyptians are worried that the hundreds of thousands of pigs slaughtered in Egypt because of swine flu fears have made their way into Egyptian markets as well.

Both pig and donkey are not allowed to be eaten by Muslims.

So, the Arab media has been publishing handy guides on how to tell the difference between pork and beef.

In other Islamic news, some $80,000 that had been donated by Yemen to Gazans via the "Islamic Society" charity has disappeared.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Egyptian police bribed by Gaza smugglers

From Ma'an:
Four Egyptian police officers stationed in the northern Sinai were arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes from Gazan smugglers, an Egyptian security source said on Tuesday. According to the source, the four officers are first lieutenants, and they were taken to north Sinai security department in Al-Arish city for questioning.

The four, according to the source, received a sum exceeding 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($17,800) each. The source highlighted that Egyptian Minister of Interior Habib Al-Aadily ordered suspending the four officers and withdrawing their weapons.
The bribes are nothing new.

This helps explain why Egypt regularly finds caches of weapons and explosives hidden in the Sinai but never seems to find them en route to Gaza from Rafah. The Rafah police are part of the problem.

Why did this Gaza baby die?

Ma'an reports:
The number of Palestinians to die as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian siege of Gaza reached 337 when an infant succumbed to illness on Monday.

The child, 12-month-old Muhammad Rami Ibrahim Nofal, was not issued a permit for medical treatment abroad, despite his serious heart condition. He died at a Khan Younis hospital while doctors waited for the permit that never came.

In a statement, the de facto Health Ministry said it had appealed to Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah border crossing for the movement of patients seeking treatment abroad.
Here's one of the stories where you have to read between the lines. Notice that nowhere in the story does it say that Israeli authorities were even contacted to treat the boy, and that Hamas only asked Egypt for help.

Some more details on the situation from IPS:

A Referral Abroad Department (RAD), comprising Gaza-based PA officials who
liaise with the West Bank's Ramallah government, was established by Hamas officials to coordinate the transfer of patients out of Gaza.

However, on Mar. 22, Hamas dismissed RAD's PA officials and replaced them with its own employees. The dismissal was based on Hamas accusations of nepotism and political favouritism by the PA in the issuance of the exit permits. Hamas also refused to cover the travel expenses of patients as the PA had previously done.

The Egyptian authorities, under pressure from Ramallah, then refused to allow those Gazan patients with Hamas documentation to cross over into Egypt.

Following the intervention of human rights organisations and Egyptian civil
rights groups, a compromise was reached Apr. 26 allowing a number of patients to
once again leave Gaza. The compromise involved Hamas reinstating the PA
officials, and the PA agreeing to establish a non-partisan medical committee to
approve the referrals abroad. Hamas has expressed reservations about the new
committee. Some patients who managed to cross the border with Hamas
documentation were, however, turned away at Egyptian hospitals because the
hospitals demanded PA references.

Since March, Hamas has been playing games with Gazans' lives, severely limiting the number of patients who go to Israel (the number plumetted from 325 in March to 90 in April.) Similarly, the PA has been telling Egypt not to accept patients with Hamas paperwork, causing more deaths.

Here is a clear case of people dying because of Palestinian Arab actions, that the world believes is because of the Israeli "siege."

An Arab serial killer is caught in Israel

From Ha'aretz:
Police revealed on Tuesday that the Israeli-American teen Dana Bennett was murdered by a serial killer.

Adwan Yahiya Farhan, 34, of the northern Arab village Wadi Hamam, has confessed to Bennett's killing, as well as three others.

The first murder attributed to Farhan took place in 1995. He allegedly murdered an acquaintance near the Jordan estuary, possibly following a homosexual relationship with him.

Farhan also confessed to having murdered his cellmate while being under arrest at Valleys Police, also in 1995. Up until now, police believed the victim committed suicide in his cell.

Farhan was imprisoned for the first time in 1999 and served four years after being convicted of sexual offenses.

His sentence commuted, he was released in 2002. In July 2003, he brutally murdered a 20-year-old Czech tourist in the northern Tzalmon River. Less than a month later, he kidnapped and murdered Dana Bennet.

In January 2004 he was sentenced for 20 months on charges of illegal possession of arms.

In September 2005, a month after his release, he was jailed again for three and a half years after being convicted of armed robbery and fraud.

In December 2008, while in prison, he was charged of rape.
YNet adds that he apparently tried to kill his sister and that he had no motive for the killings.

A terror group, the "Freedom for Galilee Brigades," had claimed responsibility for Bennet's kidnapping (calling the waitress a "soldier") and pretended that they were holding her. They have a history of claiming terror attacks that never occurred.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Report: Mubarak's grandson was treated in Israel

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak lost his grandson last week, forcing him to cancel a trip to Washington.

The official reports said that Mohammed Mubarak was treated at a hospital in Paris, but Arab sources are now reporting that the boy was in fact treated at a hospital in Petah Tikva, and that Egypt tried to cover up that fact.

Arab eyewitnesses at the hospital reported increased security around one patient, as well as Egyptian security forces. They assumed it was a prominent patient from Egypt but put the pieces together after hearing about Mubarak's loss.

The report says that the body was transferred to Paris and then back to Egypt, and that Israel cooperated fully in secrecy in order to avoid embarrassing President Mubarak.

A spokesperson for Schneider Hospital in Petah Tikva denied the report.

Heat Wave - by The Who?

This morning I heard an awful cover of the classic Motown hit, "Heat Wave," by Martha and the Vandellas. I have no idea who made that travesty, but as I surfed YouTube I came across a version by The Who.

Even though I'm a Who fan, I assumed that it would be bad, as most 60's covers were. But it is actually a pretty good version:



It seems appropriate for the unofficial first day of summer....

The Legal Status of Jerusalem

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet that was written by Julius Stone, a hugely influential legal scholar and prolific author of standard texts in the field, along with comments added by one of his students after Stone's death:


SOVEREIGNTY IN JERUSALEM

The Partition Plan of 1947 envisaged an international Jerusalem, separated from both Israel and the then proposed Palestinian State. During the 1948 war, East Jerusalem (which includes the holy places of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the old city) came into Jordanian hands; and Jordan claimed sovereignty. In 1967, after Jordan launched an attack on West Jerusalem, the whole of Jerusalem came under Israeli rule; and Israel claimed sovereignty over a united Jerusalem. Professor Stone examines the legal principles which apply, and considers the analysis of Professor Elihu Lauterpacht, the distinguished editor of the authoritative “Oppenheim’s International Law”.

The agreements implementing the Oslo Accords provide that Jerusalem is one of the issues to be considered in the permanent status negotiations, and failure to reach agreement on the sharing of administration in Jerusalem was one of the reasons for the failure to conclude a permanent status agreement at Camp David II and at Taba in 2000. In the absence of such agreement, however, sovereignty over Jerusalem under international law remains as described by Stone.

The Effect of the Partition Plan

Elihu Lauterpacht concludes, correctly that the 1947 partition resolution had no legislative character to vest territorial rights in either Jews or Arabs. Any binding force of it would have had to arise from the principle pacta sunt servanda, that is, from the agreement of the parties concerned to the proposed plan. Such an agreement, however, was frustrated ab initio by the Arab rejection, a rejection underlined by armed invasion of Palestine by the forces of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, timed for the British withdrawal on May 14, 1948, and aimed at destroying Israel and at ending even the merely hortatory value of the plan…

The State of Israel is thus not legally derived from the partition plan, but rests (as do most other states in the world) on assertion of independence by its people and government, on the vindication of that independence by arms against assault by other states, and on the establishment of orderly government within territory under its stable control. At most, as Israel's Declaration of Independence expressed it, the General Assembly resolution was a recognition of the natural and historic right of the Jewish people in Palestine. The immediate recognition of Israel by the United States and other states was in no way predicated on its creation by the partition resolution, nor was its admission in 1949 to membership in the United Nations… As a mere resolution of the General Assembly, Resolution 181(11) lacked binding force ab initio. It would have acquired the force under the principle pacta sunt servanda if the parties at variance had accepted it. While the state of Israel did for her part express willingness to accept it, the other states concerned both rejected it and took up arms unlawfully against it. The Partition Resolution thus never became operative either in law or in fact, either as to the proposed Jerusalem corpus separatum or other territorial dispositions in Palestine.

The Corpus Separatum Concept

We venture to agree with the results of the careful examination of the corpus separatum proposal by E. Lauterpacht in his monograph Jerusalem and the Holy Places:

“(1) During the critical period of the changeover of power in Palestine from British to Israeli and Arab hands, the UN did nothing effectively to implement the idea of the internationalization of Jerusalem.

(2) In the five years 1948-1952 inclusive, the UN sought to develop the concept as a theoretical exercise in the face of a gradual realization that it was acceptable neither to Israel nor to Jordan and could never be enforced. Eventually the idea was allowed quietly to drop.

(3) In the meantime, both Israel and Jordan demonstrated that each was capable of ensuring the security of the Holy Places and maintaining access to and free worship at them - with the exception, on the part of Jordan, that the Jews were not allowed access to Jewish Holy places in the area of Jordanian control.

(4) The UN by its concern with the idea of territorial internationalization, as demonstrated from 1952 to the present date (1968) effectively acquiesced in the demise of the concept. The event of 1967 and 1968 have not led to its revival.

(5) Nonetheless there began to emerge, as long ago as 1950, the idea of functional internationalization of the Holy Places in contradistinction to the territorial internationalization of Jerusalem. This means that there should be an element of international government of the City, but only a measure of international interest in and concern with the Holy Places. This idea has been propounded by Israel and has been said to be acceptable to her. Jordan has not subscribed to it.”

Even if no notion of a corpus separatum had ever floated on the international seas, serious questions about the legal status of Jerusalem would have arisen after the 1967 War. Did it have the status of territory that came under belligerent occupation in the course of active hostilities, for which international law prescribes a detailed regime of powers granted to the occupying power or withheld it from in the interest of the ousted reversionary sovereign? Or was this status qualified in Israel's favour by virtue of the fact that the ousted power, in this case, Jordan, itself had occupied the city in the course of an unlawful aggression and therefore could not, under principle of ex iniuria non oritur ius, be regarded as an ousted reversioner? Or was Jerusalem, as we will see that a distinguished authority thought at the time, in the legal status of res nullius modo juridico? That is, was it a territory to which by reason of the copies of international instruments, and their lacunae, together with the above vice in the Jordanian title, no other state than Israel could have sovereign title? The consequence of this could be to make the legal status of Jerusalem that of subjection to Israel sovereignty.

Acquisition of Sovereignty

This analysis, based on the sovereignty vacuum, affords a common legal frame for the legal positions of both West and East Jerusalem after both the 1948-49 and the 1967 wars. In 1967, Israel's entry into Jerusalem was by way lawful self-defence, confirmed in the Security Council and General Assembly by the defeat of Soviet and Arab-sponsored resolutions demanding her withdrawal…

Lauterpacht has offered a cogent legal analysis leading to the conclusion that sovereignty over Jerusalem has already vested in Israel. His view is that when the partition proposals were immediately rejected and aborted by Arab armed aggression, those proposals could not, both because of their inherent nature and because of the terms in which they were framed, operate as an effective legal re-disposition of the sovereign title. They might (he thinks) have been transformed by agreement of the parties concerned into a consensual root of title, but this never happened. And he points out that the idea that some kind of title remained in the United Nations is quite at odds, both with the absence of any evidence of vesting, and with complete United Nations silence on this aspect of the matter from 1950 to 1967?…

In these circumstances, that writer is led to the view that there was, following the British withdrawal and the abortion of the partition proposals, a lapse or vacancy or vacuum of sovereignty. In this situation of sovereignty vacuum, he thinks, sovereignty could be forthwith acquired by any state that was in a position to assert effective and stable control without resort to unlawful means. On the merely political and commonsense level, there is also ground for greater tolerance towards Israel's position, not only because of the historic centrality of Jerusalem to Judaism for 3,000 years, but also because in modern times Jews have always exceeded Arabs in Jerusalem. In 1844 there were 7,000 Jews to 5,000 Moslems; in 1910, 47,000 Jews to 9,800 Moslems; in 1931, 51,222 Jews to 19,894 Moslems; in 1948, 100,000 Jews to 40,000 Moslems, and in 1967 200,000 Jews to 54,902 Moslems.

For those who disagree with this analysis, the question remains - who has a better legal right to Jerusalem than Israel? It cannot be Jordan (who gave up its own legal claim,) it cannot be the UN for the reasons given above and it cannot be a nonexistent Palestinian Arab state or entity which didn't even exist when Israel captured it.

(The rest of the booklet includes analyses of the legality of Israel's control of the West Bank, settlements, the Palestinian Arab "right of return," and other issues.)

"Zionist Pig" stories never get old

One more time, Ma'an shows how ridiculously biased it is:
A herd of settler-owned wild boars were released onto Palestinian farmlands in western Salfit on Monday morning, damaging crops there.

The chair of the Palestinian Agricultural Trade Union, Khalil Omran, said, "The boars broke into the fields at the Al-Najara and Al-Jaheer areas of western Salfit. They caused the destruction of wheat and barley fields and damaged fruit trees.”

“One of the attacked fields was planted with peach trees. All were broken and caused a big loss for the field’s owner, farmer Abo Ayman Oada,” Omran added.

Omran reiterated his call that something be done about the wild boars that cause losses to farmers' livelihood each year, in addition to fears over the H1N1 flu virus, which some believe is carried by pigs.
The fact that Jews in Judea and Samaria have the same problem with wild pigs does not mean that Ma'an will ever acknowledge the absurdity of religious Jews raising boars who have no use other than to terrorize poor Arabs.

PalArab news roundup 5/25

About 70 Christian gravestones were desecrated in the West Bank over the weekend in two separate cemeteries. The village, Jafna, is one of the very few remaining areas in the West Bank with a Christian majority.

The PA leadership has a new list of demands before they will even deign to negotiate with Israel: An end to all construction in "settlements" including Jerusalem, dismantling all security roadblocks, and the removal of outposts "as required in the roadmap." Of course, the roadmap has some prerequisites from the Palestinian Arab side that have to be adhered to before any settlement restrictions, a fact that the PA likes to ignore.

Reacting to criticism in the Palestinian Arab media, Hamas has denied that they are enforcing any sort of restrictions of firing Qassam rockets from the various terror groups in Gaza.

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt is essentially calling Der Spiegel a Zionist front for having the audacity of publishing results of an investigation that shows that Hezbollah was behind the assassination of Rafik al-Hariri in Lebanon. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel has published more details about the incident.

Saudi Arabia will soon require all women who appear as hosts on TV programs to wear an abaya/robe. Up until now, just covering their hair was considered OK.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some symbols are worth dying for

Let's pretend that somehow, a terrorist group manages to place a series of impossible-to-defuse remote-controlled bombs at the Mall of America. Their demands are simple - if the United States wants to save the lives of the shoppers at the mall, we must concede a tiny island to the terrorists, irrevocably. The United Nations would ensure that this island becomes part of the terrorist state, legally, under international law. 

The island just has one major feature - the Statue of Liberty.

Logically, this is a no-brainer. What good is a hunk of copper compared to hundreds of human lives? 

Yet most patriotic Americans would be loathe to submit to such a plan. Of course, we would try to do everything possible to avoid either losing Lady Liberty or human lives, but it is inconceivable that we would give up the Statue without a fight.

Symbolism might be pooh-poohed by "progressive" thinkers as meaningless primitivism, but it is important in the coherence of any group of people. The flag, the anthems and the symbols are part of what gives a people their collective identity.

For Jews, there is no more important symbol than Jerusalem. The very idea of compromising on the holy city, the singular object of nearly two thousand years of longing, is anathema. Yet the Jews aren't the people who are saying this explicitly - we have ceded the emotional attachment to Jerusalem to the Arabs.

We have recently seen some reactions to Bibi Netanyahu's statement that Jerusalem will remain undivided and under Israeli rule:
The Palestinians warn that Israel's "continued construction and appropriation of land" in east Jerusalem may be grounds for another uprising.
France accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday of prejudicing the outcome of the Middle East peace process by declaring that Jerusalem would forever be Israel's undivided capital.
"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues," a State Department spokesman said when asked to respond to Netanyahu's proclamation that Jerusalem would always remain under Israeli sovereignty.
For years, the world has stood by, mute, when Palestinian Arabs make absurd claims such as the idea that a Palestinian Arab state is impossible without Jerusalem, and their threats of violence if they don't get their way. It is far past time to take a page from their playbook.

If Netanyahu is serious, this is the time to push back. He should declare in no uncertain terms that Jerusalem is a red line, and that if anyone tries to take it away - Arabs, the UN, the EU or the US - they should expect a fight. It should be clear that Jews are willing, and eager, to die for the heart and soul of their nation.

The past decade of allowing the thought of Jerusalem being up for negotiation was an aberration and a travesty, and now is the time to repair the damage. The argument for Jerusalem is not logical and Jews should not be put in a position of defending their love of the city logically any more than anyone should have to justify love, loss, and millennia of longing. The fact is that it is simply inconceivable that any representative of Jews in any capacity can bargain away our capital. No other people gave a damn about rebuilding Jerusalem for over 1800 years.

The idea that Muslims have a significant claim on the city is historically laughable and provably recent. Their supposed ties to the city are derivative of the deep Jewish historical and religious ties; a claim based on jealousy rather than anything real.

It is well past time for Israeli politicians to start speaking in this language. If we are to learn anything from the Palestinian Arabs, it is that the world will not try to reason with people who are not open to reason.

And the Jewish ties to Jerusalem are not open to reason.

Report: Vast majority of Hamas "police" terrorists

From YNet (h/t t34zakat):
An independent research company revealed Sunday that 90% of the Palestinian "security personnel" killed in Gaza during the IDF offensive there in January were members of terror organizations.

The IDF says 709 gunmen were killed in the fighting, of which Hamas has claimed 343 were innocent police officers.

But the independent Israeli 'Orient Research Group', hired by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to investigate the identities of those killed, has released a report challenging Hamas' claim.

The report says 286 of the 343 "police officers" killed were members of terror organizations, the vast majority of them belonging to Hamas' military wings.

It also states that the official list of names provided by Hamas includes one traffic officer, who was a member of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and 27 members of various forces trained to battle Israel.

"The statement that Israel attacked innocent policemen was apparently rushed and made without an investigation by the organizations into the identities of the slain policemen," the report says, adding that the organizations did not wait until the publication of the IDF's report on the matter, "which relies on intelligence regarding the targets that were struck".

The report also refers to the claim that the first Air Force strike of the Gaza offensive hit a ceremony attended by members of a Hamas traffic police training course.

It says almost 88% of those present were terror operatives, many of them belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades. Altogether they numbered 78 of the 89 Hamas reported dead.

The report also goes into detail regarding the names published in Hamas' report. For example Mohammad al-Dasuki, said to have served as a "naval police officer", was also a member of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) and was suspected to have been involved in a terror attack against American security guards in Gaza in October 2003.

Another victim mentioned, Khamza al-Khaledi, who was listed as a "captain of police", was also active in an al-Qaeda affiliated terror organization.

"The claims against the IDF, by which it had killed 'traffic officers' and 'innocent' officers fulfilling civilian roles, are incorrect," the report says. "The vast majority of the Palestinian 'officers' were active in the military wings of Palestinian terror organizations and warriors who underwent military training."

It adds, "The enlistment of al-Qassam Brigades operatives to official security positions allows the Hamas government to pay their wages with the government budget, thus increasing Hamas' manpower and permitting the investment of private funds in other needs such as weaponry."
I can't find this group online, and would love to see the detailed report. It does dovetail with our own research, where we had already identified some 62% of Hamas policemen as being members of terror groups.

An email correspondent has sent me the legal justification for the IDF targeting the Hamas policemen, from Yoram Dinstein's "The Conduct of Hostilities under the Law of International Armed Conflict," where he writes:
Can police officers and other law enforcement agents be subsumed under the heading of armed forces (who are legitimately subject to attack)? The answer to the question depends on whether the policemen have officially incorporated into the armed forces or (despite the absence of official incorporation) have taken part in hostilities. If integrated into the armed forces, policemen - like all combatants - 'may be attacked at any time simply because they have that particular status'.
My correspondent asked Dinstein in an email
1) In the case of Hamas police would it be enough to constitute that all police could be targeted? and 2) where is the line of 'taking part in hostilities'?"
to which Dinstein replied
1. In a non-State entity the difference between police and other armed groups is hardly perceptible. This is true not only of Hamas. In the Palestinian Authority, the "police" is the army.

2. In any event, direct participation in hostilities (the alternative) includes also training prior to combat engagement.
- (email Dated: 27/01/2009)
And we have definitely seen pictures like these from Hamas "security forces":Members of the Hamas-led Government Executive security force participate in war games as some 1200 new members participate in a graduation ceremony on March 25, 2007 in Rafah, Gaza Strip. The executive Force was created by the Hamas-led Government to support the police with Gaza Strip security.

So are these people practicing "war games" considered civilians because they are supporting the police? Is there a reason why the "police" wear camouflage?

The legal basis for attacking the Hamas "police" seems to get clearer and clearer.

More proof of my bigotry

I just saw an article that included this:
Whether it’s a tsunami in southeast Asia or a volcano in Latin America, an earthquake or a flood, there are always people in Syria – and other parts of the Arab world – who swear it’s part of an international conspiracy. Perhaps the most shocking was when a university professor in Amman, Jordan, said with a straight face: “The tsunami that hit Aceh was part of an American conspiracy to get rid of poor people, because they don’t have the money to be consumers of American products.” I know too many people in the Arab world who subscribe to such logic.

Indeed, people often dismiss events unfolding before their eyes on the TV news as “part of the international Zionist conspiracy”. And the culprits don’t even have to be western. The latest conspiracy theory is that the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be working with the West on behalf of Israel. “Why else would he mention during the most vulnerable times in East-West diplomacy that Iran will defy everyone and embrace nuclear power? Or say things about the Holocaust that will be held against him?” the respected father of an Arab friend asked me.
Of course, it was written by an Arab woman who grew up in Saudi Arabia, who is also anti-Israel. It is also important because no matter how many Arabic articles I read, they don't approach the level of ignorance and bigotry that average Arabs seem to have (based on anecdotes like these.)

British Foreign Secretary: "Hamas and Hezbollah not like Al Qaeda"

The British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband, has come out with his own initiative of outreach to the Muslim world ahead of President Obama's similar public initiative, and it is a prime example of wishful thinking as a substitute for reality.

He started off with a major policy speech at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies last Thursday. The speech looks very similar to what an Obama foreign policy may look like, with serious engagement with the Muslim world even when some countries do not share Western ideas of morality:
Respect is never enough alone. It is only ever a precondition. A change in tone must lead to a change in substance. Broadening coalitions will require a more active effort to reach out, a greater effort for reconciliation with those who do not share our values or adhere to our world view, but who have more in common with us than those who preach that we are the enemy.

That is why Britain, with Embassies in 38 Muslim majority countries, maintains diplomatic engagement with countries with whom we have major disagreements on human rights, nuclear proliferation or conflict, like Iran, Sudan or Uzbekistan. In each case, we seek to influence through engagement and dialogue, and to do so on the full range of challenges we have in common: climate change; Millennium Development Goals and the economic crisis for instance.

Where it is harder to draw the line and determine who we can and should work with, is in relation to those political movements that are not in government. And conflict situations are the most difficult of all. Every case is different. In some cases our troops are at risk and we will not jeopardise their security. And the commitment to politics and violence are shifting and blurred. There are no easy cases.

...as long as those values we hold in common are respected in the course of the election, then its outcome is legitimate.

I know that at this stage many people will be leaping out of their seats to ask “what about Hamas?”

Let me address that by first reminding you that in 2000 we and many of our EU partners shunned the Austrian government not because of the way it had come to power but because of the far-right views and policies it espoused. When it comes to Hamas, no one disputes that they won the most seats. We are not claiming that their election was “illegitimate”. We are saying the failure to embrace a political process towards a two-state solution makes normal political relations impossible.

Also, elections are not the end of the matter. Democracy requires the ballot box but is not reducible to it. It also requires a thriving civil society. So, in places where power is closely guarded we must continue our efforts to promote reform from the bottom-up - training journalists and judges, or funding civil society groups working to protect women or minority rights. At the same time, we will use our influence to defend the institutions that protect freedoms and uphold justice for all and to stand up for individual rights. The accountability of power is the way to reinforce authority and legitimacy.
At first glance, this looks liberal but realistic, reflecting the difficulty of differentiating between terrorists and groups who can be partners for peace. It is a defensible position.

The problem is that Miliband granted an interview to London-based Al-Hayat over the weekend, where he shows his biases are towards accepting Hamas and Hezbollah:
British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband said that both Hizbullah and Hamas could be seen among groups that have a patriotic aim.

In an interview with the daily pan-Arab al-Hayat on Sunday Miliband said "our stance has always been up to the assassination of Lebanon's ex-premier Rafik Hariri in 2005 was to dialogue with Hizbullah MPs. However, this stopped following the Hariri assassination."

He added that the military wing of the party continues to be regarded as a terrorist organization in the United Kingdom."But we agreed to resume our dialogue with Hizbullah MPs partially because they have a cabinet minister in Lebanon and the fact that the Lebanese government is committed to the Arab peace process," Miliband said.
In the Arabic interview, Miliband says that one of the mistakes that the West has made in dealing with the Muslim world was to not distinguish between groups like Al Qaeda and groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, who have national aims. He admits that Hamas' constitution has some problematic elements but insists that this does not necessarily reflect Hamas' reality.

It is worthwhile to remind the minister that Hamas' charter is virtually indistinguishable from what Al-Qaeda says:
The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?

This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.
What this means is that Hamas holds that Andalusia, Spain is indeed Muslim land and must be reconquered by force - exactly what Al Qaeda says. Hamas holds that all Muslim nations should coalesce into a single Islamic 'Ummah - exactly what al-Qaeda says. Hamas does not distinguish between Islam as a religion or as a political movement - just like al-Qaeda. And as far as I can tell, every Islamic movement that descended from the Muslim Brotherhood, including Hezbollah, shares these exact sentiments.

If there is a philosophical difference between Al Qaeda and Hamas, I would love to see some real evidence of it, not the hopeful interpretation of Hamas' PR department's English-language statements.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

NGO claims they found depleted uranium in Gaza

A tiny NGO is claiming they have evidence that Israel used depleted uranium in Gaza - and lots more. Here's their full press release
In the Gaza Strip between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, the Israeli army conducted a ground and air offensive nicknamed « Operation Cast Lead ».

During the first few days a Norwegian doctor doing humanitarian service in the hospital at Shifa, Dr Mads Gilbert, denounced the presence of radioactive matter, possibly Depleted Uranium, in the bodies of victims. On 4 January 2009, after investigation, ACDN (Action of Citizens for the total Dismantling of Nukes) alerted the press and public opinion with a media release: "In Gaza, the genocide with Depleted Uranium has begun, using GBU-39 bombs provided by the USA".
So even from this press release we already have a good idea that the ACDN has no credibility. First of all, Dr. Mads Gilbert has said that the 9/11 attackers were justified and he is an apologist for Hamas. Secondly, the ACDN put out a press release accusing Israel of some very specific things on January 4th when they had no access to Gaza altogether and were pretty much reading Hamas propaganda as their major source. Since they called it a "genocide" that early, it is clear that they are far from objective and indeed that they have a specific agenda which is hardly fact-based.

This helps us understand the second part of the press release:
This accusation has now emerged with greater strength after several months of investigation carried out in close liaison with the people concerned and with the help of Jean-François Fechino, a consultant on diffuse pollution and an expert accredited to the UN Environment (UNEP). ACDN has just produced a 33-page report concluding that the presence of dozens of tonnes of Depleted Uranium (perhaps as much as 75 tonnes) in the soil and subsoil of Gaza is highly probable.

In April 2009, a four-person mission including Jean-François Fechino went to Gaza under the auspices of the Arab Commission for Human Rights. The samples of earth and dust that they brought back from Gaza were then analysed by a specialist laboratory, which found in them elements of Depleted Uranium (which is radioactive, carcinogenic, teratogenic), particles of Cesium (which is radioactive and carcinogenic), asbestos dust (which is carcinogenic), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs, which are fine particles which endanger health, especially the health of children, asthmatics and old people), phosphates (from oxidation of white phosphorus), tungsten (which is carcinogenic), copper, aluminium oxide (which is carcinogenic), and Thorium Oxide (ThO2, which is radioactive)...

The detailed results will soon be made public. Journalists or other persons wishing to learn more are invited to contact ACDN or visit its Website www.acdn.net.
I of course emailed them immediately to get a copy of their report. I'm anxiously awaiting their reply showing their methods of estimating that the IDF dropped 150,000 pounds of depleted uranium on Gaza - a hundred pounds per fatality. Not to mention - copper! And asbestos!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The shocking AIPAC connection to Free Gaza

I just got this email from the Free Gaza mailing list:
Dear Friends,

It is with deep regret and sadness that we have to announce a separation within the Free Gaza Movement.

Free Gaza Movement was formed in the fall of 2006 by five individuals....A year later, a non-profit called the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees (AIPAC) was created in California as a means of accepting U.S. tax-deductible donations on behalf of Free Gaza.

With volunteers from AIPAC, and others, we were responsible for the first, successful voyage to Gaza in August 2008.

For the last, several months, we attempted to negotiate an affiliate and funding agreement with AIPAC. Unfortunately, this has not been successful, and we have decided to separate. AIPAC has decided to call itself "The Free Gaza Movement." They have reserved the new URL "http://www.freegazamovement.org/" for themselves, and have set up a new email address, "friendstogaza@gmail.com," for their use. Our web address is the original "http://www.freegaza.org/," and our existing email address is "friendofgaza@gmail.com." Please make a note of these distinctions. Also, please note that we do not have a funding agreement with AIPAC. Any donations made to California since September 2008 have not and will not be sent to us in order to run boat missions out of Cyprus.
AIPAC? Does that sound like a coincidence to you?

And isn't it a shame when moonbats can't get along with each other?

What "peace" means to Egyptians

A new poll in Egypt, reported by Firas Press, explains exactly what Arabs mean when they say they want to see "peace" in the region.

The poll was titled "What are your dreams?" and was conducted by the "National Center for Social and Criminal Research in collaboration with the Center for Information and Decision Support Council of Ministers."

According to the poll, 71% of Egyptians dream of peace in the region.

The same poll found that 58% dream of the destruction of Israel.

Which means, of course, that the Arab concept of peace is what most people would call "war." But it's OK as long as the victims of the war are those undesirable Jews.

You know - Egypt's "peace partners."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The liberation of Jerusalem, 1967

Here's part of the English transcript of the radio broadcast describing the Israeli soldiers liberating the Old City. You can here the actual broadcast in Hebrew here.
Colonel Motta Gur announces on the army wireless: The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!

All forces, stop firing! This is the David Operations Room. All forces, stop firing! I repeat, all forces, stop firing! Over.

Commander eight-nine here, is this Motta (Gur) talking? Over.

[Inaudible response on the army wireless by Motta Gur.]

Uzi Narkiss: Motta, there isn’t anybody like you. You’re next to the Mosque of Omar.

Yossi Ronen: I’m driving fast through the Lion’s Gate all the way inside the Old City.

Command on the army wireless: Search the area, destroy all pockets of resistance [but don't touch anything in the houses], especially the holy places.

[Lt.- Col. Uzi Eilam blows the Shofar. Soldiers are singing ‘Jerusalem of Gold’.]

Uzi Narkiss: Tell me, where is the Western Wall? How do we get there?

Yossi Ronen: I’m walking right now down the steps towards the Western Wall. I’m not a religious man, I never have been, but this is the Western Wall and I’m touching the stones of the Western Wall.

Soldiers: [reciting the ‘Shehechianu’ blessing]: Baruch ata Hashem, elokeinu melech haolam, she-hechianu ve-kiemanu ve-hegianu la-zman ha-zeh. [Translation: Blessed art Thou L-rd G-d King of the Universe who has sustained us and kept us and has brought us to this day]

Rabbi Shlomo Goren: Baruch ata Hashem, menachem tsion u-voneh Yerushalayim. [Translation: Blessed are thou, who comforts Zion and bulids Jerusalem]

Soldiers: Amen!

[Soldiers sing ‘Hatikva’ next to the Western Wall.]

Rabbi Goren: We’re now going to recite the prayer for the fallen soldiers of this war against all of the enemies of Israel:

[Soldiers weeping]

El male rahamim, shohen ba-meromim. Hamtse menuha nahona al kanfei hashina, be-maalot kedoshim, giborim ve-tehorim, kezohar harakiya meirim u-mazhirim. Ve-nishmot halalei tsava hagana le-yisrael, she-naflu be-maaraha zot, neged oievei yisrael, ve-shnaflu al kedushat Hashem ha-am ve-ha’arets, ve-shichrur Beit Hamikdash, Har Habayit, Hakotel ha-ma’aravi veyerushalayim ir ha-elokim. Be-gan eden tehe menuhatam. Lahen ba’al ha-rahamim, yastirem beseter knafav le-olamim. Ve-yitsror be-tsror ha-hayim et nishmatam adoshem hu nahlatam, ve-yanuhu be-shalom al mishkavam [soldiers weeping loud]ve-ya’amdu le-goralam le-kets ha-yamim ve-nomar amen!

[Translation: Merciful G-d in heaven, may the heroes and the pure, be under thy Divine wings, among the holy and the pure who shine bright as the sky, and the souls of soldiers of the Israeli army who fell in this war against the enemies of Israel, who fell for their loyalty to G-d and the land of Israel, who fell for the liberation of the Temple, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Jerusalem the city of the Lord. May their place of rest be in paradise. Merciful One, O keep their souls forever alive under Thy protective wings. The Lord being their heritage, may they rest in peace, for they shalt rest and stand up for their allotted portion at the end of the days, and let us say, Amen.]

[Soldiers are weeping. Rabbi Goren sounds the shofar. Sound of gunfire in the background.]

Rabbi Goren: Le-shana HA-ZOT be-Yerushalayim ha-b’nuya, be-yerushalayim ha-atika! [Translation: This year in a rebuilt Jerusalem! In the Jerusalem of old!]

h/t Treppenwitz from 2005...

UPDATE: Video of the liberation (h/t Jack's Shack)

The pitfalls of automatically generated ads

I've been wondering why my Yahoo email account gets so many banner ads like the one pictured on the right.

After all, Yahoo and Google mail will automatically generate ads based on the content of the emails - and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what my emails included that would prompt ads for women looking for sugar daddies.

Then it hit me...my email box is filled of stuff with the word Elder in it! "Elder" must be one of the keywords that prompts this particular style of ad.

I guess I just have to get used to it...

1922 House Resolution 360 on Palestine

From Eli. E. Hertz of Myths and Facts via Jihad Watch:


The United States Congressional Record
1922 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
National Home for
THE JEWISH PEOPLE JUNE 30, 1922
HOUSE RESOLUTION 360 - UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED

"Palestine of today, the land we now know as Palestine, was peopled by the Jews from the dawn of history until the Roman era. It is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people. They were driven from it by force by the relentless Roman military machine and for centuries prevented from returning. At different periods various alien people succeeded them but the Jewish race had left an indelible impress upon the land.

Today it is a Jewish country. Every name, every landmark, every monument and every trace of whatever civilization remaining there is still Jewish. And it has ever since remained a hope, a longing, as expressed in their prayers for these nearly 2,000 years. No other people has ever claimed Palestine as their national home. No other people has ever shown an aptitude or indicated a genuine desire to make it their homeland. The land has been ruled by foreigners. Only since the beginning of the modern Zionist effort may it be said that a creative, cultural, and economic force has entered Palestine. The Jewish Nation was forced from its natural home. It did not go because it wanted to.

A perusal of Jewish history, a reading of Josephus, will convince the most skeptical that the grandest fight that was ever put up against an enemy was put up by the Jew. He never thought of leaving Palestine. But he was driven out. But did he, when driven out, give up his hope of getting back? Jewish history and Jewish literature give the answer to the question. The Jew even has a fast day devoted to the day of destruction of the Jewish homeland.

Never throughout history did they give up hope of returning there. I am told that 90 per cent of the Jews today are praying for the return of the Jewish people to its own home. The best minds among them believe in the necessity of reestablishing their Jewish land. To my mind there is something prophetic in the fact that during the ages no other nation has taken over Palestine and held it in the sense of a homeland; and there is something providential in the fact that for 1,800 years it has remained in desolation as if waiting for the return of the people."

Congressman Frank Appleby N.J.


For fascinating reading, which would not be considered at all politically correct today, check out the discussion in the Congressional Record around this resolution:

Part 1

Part 2

Today's PalArab news

What do Hamas and I have in common? Hamas is also upset about the PCHR being biased! Of course, the bias is against Hamas... "We put big question marks around their credibility and fairness."

What does Binyomin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have in common? Neither of them will agree to placing any part of Jerusalem under third-party control!

Firas Press reports that Hamas is sending a computer virus to people in the West Bank through fake emails. Not sure how they know it is Hamas, sounds like regular malicious spam.

There are increasing reports of internal divisions in Hamas, as well as pressure on them as Egypt identified some of Hamas' money sources and shut off the spigot.

A Gazan was injured by an explosion inside his house. Just another work accident....

One of those ubiquitous keys

I just saw this picture at Palestine Today:
It sure looks like a Palestinian Arab holding a deed to a house, presumably inside Israel, with the key to that house.

Now, I'm no locksmith, but if old Palestinian keys looked like that, it looks like anyone could get into anyone else's house. No grooves or teeth in the key?

And if the key is fake...what does that say about the deed?

The siege of Gaza - by Hamas

Palestine Press Agency has an interesting story this morning from Gaza.

Last Saturday, 85 women from Gaza were slated to go to Ramallah to participate in a conference from the General Union of Palestinian Women, a PLO-based organization. At the Erez crossing, Hamas stopped them and confiscated their conference materials and papers.

This is not the first time we are reading about Hamas limiting movement between Gaza and the rest of the world; they also stopped Gazans from traveling to Egypt through Rafah two months ago when Egypt opened the crossing.

Will the Free Gaza movement protest this siege of Gaza by Hamas? Will any media characterize Gaza as a prison or concentration camp - whose guards are Islamic extremists? Will human rights groups complain?

And will anyone notice that, apparently, Israel gives permission for even non-medical cases to leave Gaza and travel to the West Bank?

US media reluctant to call terrorists "Muslim"

It is a top story across many US news sites this morning:
Four men arrested for an alleged plot to bomb a New York synagogue and Jewish community center are expected to appear in federal court Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

The men also wanted to use surface-to-air missiles to fire at U.S. military planes, according to a criminal complaint filed in White Plains, New York.

James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen are accused of plotting to detonate explosives near a synagogue in the Riverdale section of Bronx, New York.

Each man had at least one alias, according to the office. Three of them are U.S. citizens and one is a Haitian, a statement from the New York governor's office said, citing the U.S. Attorney's office.

The statement said the informant met with Cromitie in June 2008 in Newburgh, New York. During that meeting, Cromitie said his parents live in Afghanistan, that he was angry over the U.S. war there and that he expressed interest in "doing something to America."

They also conducted surveillance, including photographs, of an Air National Guard base where they wanted to blow up planes, the statement said. The informant provided the men with a surface-to-air guided missile and C-4 plastic explosives, none of which could actually be used.
From stories like this one it is very hard to understand motive. At first it sounds vaguely like some sort of skinhead-type group wanting to kill Jews, but why would they also want to blow up military planes? CNN's article only gives a slight hint when it said that the ringleader's parents live in Afghanistan.

Nothing adds up...unless you look for other sources of news. The London Evening Standard puts things in perspective from the first paragraph:
Four Muslims have been arrested over a plot to shoot down US military aircraft and simultaneously blow up two synagogues in New York.
The Daily Mail even puts the dreaded "M" word in its headline:
Four Muslim extremists arrested over plot to bomb synagogue and shoot down planes
One can understand why US media would be reluctant to identify someone's religion for, say, a random murder or a robbery, but in a case like this, their religion is a critical part of understanding the story.

The Evening Standard continues, adding details about the men's aliases and statements that CNN and AP deemed irrelevant:
The alleged plotters were named today as James Cromitie (also known as Abdul Rahman), David Williams (aka Daoud and DL), Onta Williams (aka Hamza) and Laguerre Payen (aka Amin and Almondo). They are all thought to have been born in the US. Cromitie, the apparent ringleader, told an FBI informant he was upset by the war in Afghanistan, where his parents were born, and wanted to “do something to America”.

He was caught on tape complaining that the “best target [the World Trade Center] was hit already”. In the same conversation Cromitie, who has been arrested 27 times, said: “I hate those motherf***ers, those f***ing Jewish bastards ... I would like to get a synagogue.

At one stage he told the informant as they watched Jews in the street that if he had a gun he “would shoot each one in the head”. He also said that if he died a martyr he would go to paradise.

The plotters allegedly planted one fake bomb in the boot of a car outside the Riverdale Temple and two on the seat of another car outside the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx last night. The gang then planned to drive 60 miles north of New York to Newburgh to collect mobile phone detonating devices.

The next stage was to go to Stewart International Airport, also in Newburgh, where they would shoot down a military jet while simultaneously exploding the synagogue bombs. The airport is used by the New York Air National Guard and the US Air Force. But the weapons were supplied by an FBI informant and the gang's movements had been monitored since June last year.
And the Daily Mail adds:
One, of Afghan descent, was Muslim-born while the other three converted in prison, officials said, adding that some were of Arabic descent and one is of Haitian descent.
All of the relevant facts in the London papers were clearly available to the US news outlets - and they were consciously suppressed by the editors as not being an important part of the story.

The American media has spent lots of time in the effort to paint Islam as being just another religion, a highly personal aspect of people's lives that has only a tiny influence on their activities (except when the activities are wholesome and charitable.) News editors so not want to be accused of incitement and Islamophobia, so they play it safe. In this case, it is clear that their refusal to highlight the obvious makes the news suffer.

Once religion becomes part of the story, other uncomfortable questions naturally come up: why would people who choose to be Muslim also choose to bomb Jewish targets in America? Is their anti-semitism a result of their religion, or did they choose the religion because of their existing Jew-hatred? The usual implied reason, anti-Zionism (which for some reason is deemed an understandable and acceptable reason for terror attacks in other cases) does not fit into this story at all. The American press mentions a vague motive about US involvement in Afghanistan, but targeting US synagogues doesn't fit in.

These people hated Jews and America. The most relevant fact about the case is being suppressed. The all important question - motive - is therefore being ignored. And the secondary question of how to connect the dots between their religion and their motive cannot even be asked without this information.

UPDATE: The New York police commissioner, when asked about motive at a press conference a few minutes ago, said, simply, "jihad."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Zionist Occupied Government, 2009 edition

Today I took my second trip to Washington DC with Norpac, a PAC based in the New York area dedicated to strengthening the US-Israel relationship.

Over 800 people took a day off of work to advocate the importance of this relationship to our lawmakers and to request help on specific bills.

Capitol Hill was crawling with mostly religious Jews, talking to nearly every senator and member of Congress or their aides. As I mentioned last year, for today at least it really was a Zionist-occupied government.

Norpac organizes the logistics brilliantly, training hundreds of laymen with talking points and providing background information, scheduling all the appointments and arranging for followup.

My group first visited a congresswoman froma southern state. We were scheduled to meet her aide but as soon as we started talking to him she entered the room. She is strongly pro-Israel and very much against giving money that could go towards terrorism, and indeed even against the US giving money to the UN.

She spoke to us for so long that we we almost late to the next meeting, with a southwestern congressman. His voting record is spotty on issues that the pro-Israel crowd supports, but it appeared that his objections were more technical - he is a stickler for agreeing to all the amendments and riders and if he has a problem with one, he might not vote for it.

My talking point was about the concerns of funding the PA while we cannot guarantee that Hamas doesn't benefit. He asked, very reasonably, how we could ensure that the money won't be misappropriated, while still giving support to the "moderates" supposedly on our side. (This is not the place to argue with that, if the Israeli leaders support the PA we are not going to tell politicians not to.)

Our third meeting was with an aide for a Western congressman. He is also very pro-Israel and informed us that IDF pilots train in his state.

I had a little time to sightsee afterwards. I got a ticket from my local representative to visit the House gallery and watch a pretty boring session. I was a bit taken aback that the seats in the gallery have a pattern on them that include a backwards swastika. No cameras or any electronics are allowed there so I couldn't take a picture, but it was disconcerting to see. Maybe I'll call my congressperson...

Altogether, it was a very fruitful day. It is vital for our leaders to know that this issue is important to us, and it makes a big impression on them to welcome a delegation of 6 or 8 ordinary people who are passionate about Israel. There is no doubt that Norpac brings results, and I highly recommend that any New York/New Jersey area readers join the mission next year.