Wednesday, November 22, 2017

There's Also A Christian Status Quo

For the record:

Statement on Jerusalem and Status Quo
By WCC Executive Committee, Amman, Jordan, 22 November 2017

The Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches, meeting in Amman, Jordan, on 17-23 November 2017, has heard of the ongoing struggle of the churches of the Holy Land, and particularly of Jerusalem, for the future of their communities and witness in this region.

In particular, the Executive Committee has heard with concern from the heads of the churches in Jerusalem of the ways in which church institutions and properties in Jerusalem are threatened as a result of a combination of contracts of disputed legality, the efforts of radical settler groups, and policies of the Government of Israel.

...Initiatives that threaten the delicate historic set of relationships, rights and obligations encompassed in the ‘Status Quo’ arrangements risk further destabilization of the situation in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. The Executive Committee calls on the Government of Israel to stop and refrain from any such initiatives that may upset this important foundation for inter-communal relations in the city and region.


Fania Badash

In researching some material, I came across a name I was unfamiliar with.

Fania Badash.

Her picture:

According to what I found here, she was born in 1902 in Grodna, now Belaurus.  Her parents were Hillel and Zeledka Staneitzky. She had grade-school education.

In 1922, she immigrated to Eretz-Yisrael and worked in Karkur, near Hadera (today Karkur is part of Pardes-Chana). In 1925, she married Moshe Badash, son to one of the founding families.  A year later their daughter Chana was born.

On November 11, 1929, while on her way back from Hadera to Karkur in the wagon driven by Yeshayahu Levitt after grinding her wheat, the two were attacked by Arabs from the village of Cherkes [Khirbat al-Sarkas] formerly located south at what is now the junction of Highway 65 and Road 650 near Gan Shmuel.

Fania jumped from the wagon and attempted to escape.  Levitt, despite slashed on the arm with a sword, fled towards Hadera and called for assistance.

Fania was caught by five attackers who shot her and then stabbed her to death.

The news item, with a slight typo as the second line should properly be after the fourth, in the Palestine Bulletin of November 14, 1929:

According to Davar of November 13, the time of the attack was around 5:30 and the attackers were from a Bedouin encampment near the village. The paper noted that Fania had been "shechted".

The day before on November 10, Dr. Albert Avraham Ticho had been set upon and severely wounded by Arabs wielding knives in Jerusalem.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Background to 1921 Churchill Partition

Winston Churchill created Transjordan out of the territory that was to be included in the Mandate for Palestine. I blogged about that herehere, and here and also here.

What needs to be added is Churchill's frame of mind at that time and shortly thereafter.

And here on page 65 that is described so:

Churchill almost lost for us the Mandate.

And was nasty:

But there was this:


Unconsolable About the Consulate.

First of all, Caroline Glick mentions me, as "exhaustive", in her most recent piece on the US Jerusalem Consulate and writes

while the PLO missions are pushing the BDS agenda in the US, the US consulate in Jerusalem is implementing it on the ground in Israel.

So, let's check up on their non-consular activities (passports, visas, birth certificates, social security, etc.) which provide the extras: programs, donations for projects, student grnats and stipends and trips to the States, visiting delegations, exhibitions, et. al).

Under the auspices of the Consulate, on October 30, 20 Palestinian youth, including 12 YES Alumni - West Bank came together at the Amideast- West Bank office in Ramallah for a full day of training called, “The Idea of Belonging.”  Ms. Stephanie Fox, the Middle East Director for One Solution Global, trained the participants to explore the ideas and feelings of belonging. 

I wonder what they belong to.

Remember that story of conserving Solomon's Pools which the Consulate-General originally promoted as part of "treasured antiquities" of "Palestinian heritage"?  There's a follow-up about a revival of West Bank reservoirs.  We now read that Consul Donald Blome said:

“We share the hope that this site can be a source of pride, hope and discovery for people of every culture, religion and background. Places of this sort of antiquity should stir and inspire all of us to come together and celebrate their beauty” 

The project is defined so:

Restoring the pools could help area Palestinian communities flourish. Economic empowerment of Palestinians is a pillar of U.S. support

The funds, one million dollars, "are designated to make emergency repairs, protect the canals between the pools and create safe walking paths for visitors" as the "project hopes to revitalize the pools and turn them into a West Bank tourist site."

Efrat is quite close. Wouldn't a joint-project further coexistence and peace?  Or is it always to be almost equal but quite separate out here?

The Consulate is also supporting three Palestinian entrepreneurs to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India. The Summit "empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level". 

And did you know that the Consulate has an office that helps Palestinian companies do business with American companies? Recently, four Palestinian businessmen went to Dallas to attend the ASIS International annual trade show featuring all sorts of security products like X-Rays, alarms, smoke detectors, and more.

I could go on. For now, I won't. 

Let me be clear. I have no opposition to improving the lives, economic circumstances, social experiences and skills of my Arab neighbors. That is laudable and I would hope that Israel's Civil Administration is doing the same, if not with an American budget at its disposal.

But the United States State Department's policy of excluding Jewish residents in the same geographic region from participating and benefiting by not allowing them to join in these very same programs, which, being non-political, would integrate and adjust the two populations and thereby construct a foundation for peace based on mutual recognition, appreciation and respect, is a major error. 

I have making this point to by now almost two dozen political officers at the Consulate who maintain contact with we "settlers". Some wryly agree but point to those "in charge". 

I am unconsolable over this. Peace could have been so much closer. 

What a consular failure. 


Monday, November 20, 2017

Professor Erekat, Where'd "Israel" Go?

I read this in an Al-Jazeera piece entitled, "Why there can never be a two-state solution" the US-based Journal of Palestine Studies, lawyer and Georgetown University professor Noura Erekat wrote that Israel has used Resolution 242 to justify the seizure of Palestinian land."When Israel declared its establishment in May 1948, it denied that Arab Palestinians had a similar right to statehood as the Jews because the Arab countries had rejected the Partition Plan," Erekat wrote, referencing UN Resolution 181.

The professor 

further claims there that

Israel has used UN Security Council Resolution 242 to retroactively legitimate [its] colonial takings

There are two ways to counter her arguments besides discounting her use of "colonial".

There is the easy way which is to point to the website of Jadaliyya where Ms. Erekat serves as co-editor. I signed up to receive its newsletter but I had to note I reside in "palestine" (yes, with a small P) which is not a country nor a state but a region.


Well, Israel isn't listed:

Not nice. 

And she complains about Israel, which is a real state?  I hope I'm updated.

The second way, as she lectures in law, is to be a bit more serious.

In rejecting UNGA 181, the Arabs rejected the establishment of an Arab state in Palestine.  They also declared war against the nascent state of Israel and hostilities began on November 30.  In doing so, the violated UN resolutions.  What did they expect would result from all this?  That they would win even if they lost?

As for Israel's Declaration of Independence, it reads it a relevant section:

WE EXTEND our hand to all neighbouring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighbourliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land. The State of Israel is prepared to do its share in a common effort for the advancement of the entire Middle East.

As for 242, it does not mention a "Palestinian people" nor a "state of Palestine".  Not all territories needed to be evacuated. The only related problem needing  solution is "the refugee" one.  And there were Jewish refugees, too.

Poor George Mason University (where she teaches).


Amira Hass: BDS Promoter in Ramallah

Here are extracts from a piece by Haaretz's Amira Hass, who resides in Ramallah, that illustrate the total nonsensible nature of the columnist/reporters there and their agenda-driven "journalism".

another thing I wonder about: Why must Palestinian men show their manhood by driving fast with their blinding bright headlights on, right in the middle of a narrow road, and not move aside for an oncoming vehicle? It’s clear. They know that the oncoming driver will move to the shoulder at the last minute praying that he or she won’t end up down in the wadi. The occupation is clearly to blame. Israel plans, built and builds separate roads in the West Bank so the Palestinians will be diverted from the wide roads (that gobble up private and public land), and Gush Etzion will be a neighborhood of Jerusalem on the south and Beit-El on the north. All the drivers – especially taxi drivers – have to make up for lost time and the length of the road by speeding, and to hell with fatal accidents. But why in God’s name in the middle of the road, and why blind the oncoming traffic at night?

Why the hell are some of my neighbors...too lazy to walk a few dozen meters up or down the street and throw their garbage in the bins that the municipality empties every dawn? Instead, they befoul the still open ground between the buildings...Too many people, here in the Palestinian enclave, treat the street, the roadsides, the area around the springs that the settlers haven’t yet stolen and the open fields as their private garbage can...I’ve read and heard theories, especially about the Palestinian alienation from the public sphere because of Israel’s domination (in 1948 and 1967 areas). But, as the owner of my neighborhood grocery store put it regarding the garbage bags rolling around in the street: “Not everything is because of the occupation.”

How is it that a young woman – a member of the Military Police or a security company – is stationed at a checkpoint and her line of cars is always longer than the nearby line, where a young man is stationed? The young women do everything intentionally more slowly. The most politically incorrect thing to say is that when the young woman checking the cars is of Ethiopian origin, the line gets even longer...The soldiers and security people stationed at the checkpoints must develop skills in the realm of racial doctrine and a canine sense of smell to distinguish between a Jew and an Arab...But leave it to the young women at the checkpoints. They’ll check the accent, slowly open the trunk or send the car for a check for explosives, stare with hostility at the occupants, all the while chewing gum with their mouths open, talking on their cellphone and giggling.

And the best one:

Why in blazes do the fine stores in Ramallah (I haven’t checked other cities) sell products from the settlement of Tekoa? I brought this up with a salesman. I said: “The settlement of Tekoa is stealing water and land from the neighboring villages.” He answered: “The Palestinians steal too, and I have customers who ask for these products.”...And how is it that the BDS and local anti-normalization activists, who are so good at scaring the municipality of Ramallah such that it cancels the screening of a Lebanese film, skip over the mushrooms from Tekoa? How is it that the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry, which from time to time comes to the markets and confiscates products from the settlements, misses these prestige stores? Because their customers are from the elite classes?


Sunday, November 19, 2017

How Important is a Signed Peace Agreement?

Another Peace Index Poll is out and...

What is most important for ensuring Israel’s future? 

The interviewees were asked to choose, from a list of six issues- improving the education system, reducing the tensions between the different sectors of Israeli society, developing the economy, strengthening the IDF, enhancing the bond between the leadership and the people, and signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians- what they saw as the first and second most important issues. It should be noted that the issues were read in alternating order so as not to create a bias of the interviewees in one direction or another. Among the Jewish interviewees, the highest rate put reducing the tensions in Israeli society in first place (26.5%), followed by improving the education system (22.6%). At the bottom of the ladder were signing a peace agreement with the Palestinians (11.5%) and enhancing the bond between the leaders and the people (6%). When we combined the first and the second place, the top rankings among the Jewish interviewees were reversed: first came improving the education system and then came overcoming the rifts in the society. The bottom level, however, remained the same...

So, don't believe Israelis prefer a two state solution as we are informed every Monday and Thursday.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Harvard Does (In) the Temple Mount (UPDATED)

As we learn from here, the Julis-Rabinowitz Program  on Jewish and Israeli Law at Harvard Law School, founded out of a recognition that the benefactor's parents and relatives "made sure that the rich heritage of Judaism, including its values and history, and the importance of Israel, both to the Jewish People and the world, were consistent parts of our spiritual and intellectual growth" and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University will be holding an international academic conference on the topic of the "Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif: Conflict, Culture, Law" during November 28-29, 2017.

The Prince himself possibly won't attend as he is under arrest on suspicion of corruption crimes in his native Saudi Arabia.

[UPDATE: He may be hanging upside-down at this moment]

The aim of the conference is

to explore several specific, interlocking aspects of the dynamic struggle to conceptualize, govern, and control the site...through analysis of its complex history, the evolving religious beliefs and practices that are attached to it, and the intricate legal frameworks in which it is enmeshed...the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is an important lynchpin in a struggle of global importance, one that merits close attention and engagement by people everywhere. 

Leading scholars of history, religion, culture, and international law to approach these questions from a range of directions.

(By the way,  a conference titled “Marking the Sacred: ​The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem” took place at Providence College on June 5-7, 2017 and involved about thirty scholars who discussed the archaeology and significance of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives.  Hmm. This one seems to have been much more academic and professional and less political.)(UPDATE: And another lecture on the subject in North Carolina's Wake Forest University on November 27 entitled: "Temple Mount or Haram al Sharif? Myth, Meaning, And Manipulation, An examination of ancient texts and current rhetoric".  And there was a three-day conference at Providence College in June, "Marking the Sacred: ​The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem".)

Sounds almost wonderful. An academic conference, Jewish-Muslim cooperation and a high profile platform. Even "Temple Mount" precedes "Haram al-Sharif".

Almost wonderful, though. Almost but not quite.

Let's see the range of speakers.

Noah Feldman, Opening Remarks

Joseph Patrich, “From Restoration to Destruction: 600 years of the Second Jewish Temple”

Beatrice St. Laurent, “Unity in Diversity: Inclusiveness and Globalization in Early Islamic Jerusalem Reflected in the Dome of the Rock and the Haram al-Sharif (638-680)”

Suleiman Mourad, “Al-Haram al-Sharif of Jerusalem in the Muslim Historical Consciousness”

Moshe Halbertal, “Sovereignty and the Sacred: Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif”

Robert O. Smith, “Christian Zionism, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and the Contemporary Theopolitics of Jerusalem”

David Cook, “The Haram al-Sharif and Topographical Eschatology”

Jodi Magness, “Why is Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Sacred?”

Jonathan Rubin, “From Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock to Templum Domini and Palatium Salomonis: The Temple Mount in the Frankish Period”

Sarina Chen, “To Challenge and to Obey: The Double Role of Israeli Women in Temple Mount Activist Groups”

Ali Abu Al-Awar, “Al-Aqsa Murabitat’s Accomplishments in the Political and Gender Levels”

David Landes and Assaf Harel, “Freedom of Worship: The Use of Human Rights Discourse by Jewish Temple Mount Activists”

Wasfi Kialani, “The Hashemite King’s Role and Status at Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, 1917-2017”

Nadia Abu El-Haj, “What Would a Shared Archeology Look Like?”

Yitzhak Reiter, “The Dynamics of Status Quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif”

Omar M. Dajani, “’Touching the Holy’: How Palestinians Negotiated Jerusalem”

Maymanah Farhat, “The Dome of the Rock in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Arab Art”

Heather Coffey, “Sustaining Vectors of Sacrality in Images of the Prophet’s Ascension (Mi‘raj)”

Pamela Berger, “The Dome of the Rock as Image of the Temple of Solomon”

Maya Balakirsky Katz, “Scaling the Divide: Architectural Scale Models of the Jerusalem Temple”

That's a list for an academic Jewish self-destruct death wish.  And the program deals with law.  No one to discuss the law?  The Law for the Protection of the Holy Places (Whosoever does anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years)?  Article 9 of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty (Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship)?

Let's start with Nadia Abu-al Haj. As even the NYTimes reported at the time

In her book...Dr. Abu El-Haj says Israeli archaeologists searched for an ancient Jewish presence to help build the case for a Jewish state. In their quest, she writes, they sometimes used bulldozers, destroying remains of other cultures, including those of Arabs.She concludes her book by saying the ransacking by thousands of Palestinians in 2000 of Joseph’s tomb, a Jewish holy site in the West Bank, “needs to be understood in relation to a colonial-national history” of Israel and the symbolic resonance of artifacts.

The book, to take an extreme example, has been described as

a specious work as it aims to perpetuate under the guise of 'scholarship" the noxious lies perpetrated by Palestinain apologists, such as herself and others

Professor Jacob Lassner's review contained this

This is a book about the politicization of the academy. Her very title is revealing. One would expect a book on archeology to be titled Facts in the Ground, but her title is Facts on the Ground...her focus is less the "archeological practice" she stakes out in the subtitle and more the political uses of archeology, that is "territorial fashioning."


Abu el-Haj's reading of Israeli academic culture and its relationship to the politics of statehood politicizes the work of Israel's scholarly establishment in a way that can be misleading. Even when granting certain Israeli archeologists their academic integrity, she tends to describe their findings as bent by the state for its own political purposes. This is inaccurate... In the end, Abu el-Haj misrepresents the Israeli passion for archeology.

Earlier this year, we learned that

Abu El-Haj is a supporter of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions and was among the leaders in the effort to push forward a resolution in the American Anthropological Association endorsing it (the resolution was narrowly rejected by the membership)

and as prominent investigative reporter Rachel Frommer has informed us, internal emails of a parallel group revealed that

The leadership of the American Studies Association (ASA) was "covertly pack[ed]" with professors known to be in favor of an academic boycott of Israel as part of a surreptitious effort to push the professional academic organization to adopt such a position

Not very academic that. 

Then there are David Landes and Assaf Harel.  Landes I personally heard at a Limmud Conference in England and was not impressed by his scholarship and certainly not by his political bent.  Harel definitely is a scholar.  He has written in the in-house journal of the radical leftist Van Leer Institute of a 

 persisting but altered centrality of messianism within the settlement project

and also that 

Alon Shvut offers one example of a successful amalgamation of messianism and Zionism

One need not be sympathetic to a subject one lectures on. One also need not be unsympathetic.

Omar Dajani  served as legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team in peace talks with Israel. In that capacity, he participated in negotiations of borders, security, and economic issues, including summits at Camp David and Taba.

Maya Balakirsky Katz has been published what seems an interesting book and her article is "Avi Yonah’s Model of Second Temple Jerusalem and the Development of Israeli Visual Culture". However, she does write on the model's use in a "public messianic campaign of Brooklyn-based Chabad Hasidim" as "contentious".

Sarina Chen's doctorate was published as a book, "Speedily in Our Days: The Temple Activists and The National Religious Society in Israel (Hebrew)" but almost a decade after it was completed.  It is woefully out-of-date as it does not deal with the major trend shift that has occurred in the past four-five years.

Yitzhak Reiter is an excellent choice, if he decides to confront unabashedly the Islamic campaigns he has studied that deny Jewish history and incite, based on falsehoods, to kill Jews. He is not at all pro-Temple Mount.

Jodi Magness wrote that letter correcting a NYTimes' error regarding the Temple Mount and is an outstanding archaeologist.

Joseph Patrich's findings are that the rock on which the Dome of the Rock is built is outside the confines of the Temple and he was at pains to stress "that his research on the location of the sanctuary on the Temple Mount is purely academic, and should not be dealt with in a political context."

Moshe Halbertal, a participant at solidarity protests on behalf of Sheikh Jarrah, thinks that Judaism has moved beyond the Temple Mount, a sort of orthodox Reform position. In a forum last year, he put forth the question, “Will the State of Israel survive the religion of Israel?”

Ali Abu Al-Awar, of whom I know nothing, is talking on the accomplishments of Al-Aqsa's Murabitat. The banned Murabitat is a proscribed organization, funded by the Islamic Movement-North, which for three years engaged in violence, both verbal and physical, including spitting at, pushing, bansheeing and endangering the safety of young children (and were suspected of planting glass shards on the pathways taken by religiously-observant Jews who walk them barefooted.  He may be reiterating the research of Salwa Alenat.  Four years ago I termed them the Wicked Witches of the Waqf.

Suleiman Mourad at least does not deny the Temple Mount's Biblical roots.

Robert O. Smith asserted that this summer's post-murder of three Israeli policemen confrontation at the Temple Mount was a "nonviolent movement" of "mass Palestinian nonviolent resistance" despite the multiple rock-throwing incidents at the site, not to mention various terrorist murders.  My reading of his thinking, that there was a "validation of religion as an effective component of resistance to state domination again changes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" was one of his pure excitement. Whether it was one of spiritual ecstasy is still, er, up in the air.  And he adds that "As much as Israel factors religious claims into its models of governance and security, it does so from a distinctively ethnocentric perspective". Does Islam do that as well? Or does it not?

That's enough, I think, to illustrate the conference's "balance".

No Nadav Shragai. No Dr. Shmuel Berkowitz, author of two books on the subject, The War of the Holy Places and How Fearful is This Place . Nor Dr. Moti Inbari.  No experts who might be even empathetic.  Maybe they couldn't come? Were they approached?

I, for what it is worth, am disappointed.  I was sure the staff at the Center could have organized a better conference. Why they didn't, I do not know.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Childish Congresswoman

If you have read this:

A Minnesota congresswoman has introduced a bill that seeks to prevent the United States from funding Israel’s military detention of Palestinian children.
The legislation introduced Tuesday by Rep. Betty McCollum, a Democrat, has at least nine co-sponsors. It would require the secretary of state to certify annually that U.S. assistance to Israel has not been used in the previous year to militarily detain, interrogate or abuse Palestinian children.
“The purpose of this act is to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinian children and to ensure that United States taxpayer funds shall not be used to support the military detention of Palestinian children,” the bill reads.
you are probably upset.

You may be upset because you know that "children" includes youngsters up to age 18 who are educated by the Palestinian Authority to riot, maim and even kill as terrorists in the tradition that has been inculcated in Arab kids since, at least, 1920 in the region because they have been taught to view Zionism as evil and Jews as has been recounted by using the terms:

wlad al-mayit’ [children of death],  “wlad al-mot” [children of death, a variant of wlad al-mayit]

and you may think, has the Congresswoman done anything to support programs to limit funding to the Palestinian Authority to halt its incitement actions like naming schools after terrorists, etc.?

You may be upset knowing that among the endorsers of this move are the Churches for Middle East Peace and Jewish Voices for Peace who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel as well as Defense for Children International - Palestine, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Mennonite Central Committee, Presbyterian Church (USA), the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR).

You may be upset knowing that Israel, under the circumstances does its best to assure the safety of children (and I have been involved when I did reserve duty in dealing with youngsters who need to be detained or questioned) and that there will always be, unfortunately, a small percentage of problems.

You can review these publications:

to be better aware of the reality.

You can review material at Palestinian Media Watch.

You can write or fax* the Congresswoman.  Tweet to her. Reach out on Facebook.

Just don't let her think she is correct in her actions.


2256 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6631
Fax: (202) 225-1968


661 LaSalle Street, Suite 110
St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: (651) 224-9191

Fax: (651) 224-3056


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

How Bad Was Ms. Hotovely?

Melanie Phillips did not take kindly to Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely listening to her being interviewed on the BBC (starts at 1:31:00):

The interview with Tzipi Hotovely was a car crash. In the face of Robinson’s unleashed aggression Hotovely simply didn’t have a clue. The encounter illustrated yet again that the Israelis have zero understanding of the big lie behind everything British Israel-bashers hurl at Israel – that its behaviour is fundamentally unconscionable because the Jews displaced the indigenous inhabitants and rightful inheritors of the land.

As a result, Hotovely missed the point every time and thus failed to counter Robinson’s allegations with core facts that the listening and uninformed British public badly needed to hear. When Robinson falsely claimed again that the Balfour declaration’s undertaking to protect Arab rights was “unfinished business”, Hotovely replied that Israel’s Arabs did have rights. She was talking, however, about civil and religious rights, totally failing to grasp that Robinson was talking about political rights – which were never in the declaration.

Then Robinson started accusing Israel of denying those Balfour rights to the Arabs living under Israeli “occupation”. Hotovely should have replied that these Arabs were not Israel citizens and therefore not entitled to the rights afforded to Israel’s citizens, including Israeli Arabs. Instead she resorted to the knee-jerk and irrelevant political point about the Jews’ own claim to Judea and Samaria. Even when Robinson further compounded his own error by stating falsely that the Balfour declaration had said “nothing should be done which prejudices the rights of the Palestinian people”, she failed to say it had said nothing of the sort because there was no identifiable “Palestinian” Arab people at that time. Instead she spluttered, correctly but irerelevantly (sic), about the Palestinians’ refusal to coexist with Israel.

She was, in short, beyond hopeless, reflecting the profound and enduring failure of Israeli diplomacy even to understand the world in which it has to manoeuvre.

I listened to the segment.

Hotovely does mention international recognition. And she properly links that as an act which was connected to thousands of years of Jewish history, which appears in the Balfour Declaration and incorporated in the League of Nations decision to award to Great Britain the Mandate over Palestine.

She makes a general, non-religious, statement that it is natural to have a homeland.

She emphasizes that the Arabs-called-Palestinians themselves refused the opportunities for their own self-determination achievement although the intricacy in this is indeed dangerous for it is murky. 

And she stresses that there is no Arab recognition of any Jewish national identity.

All these do not justify much of what Melanie writes.

True, there is a method to dealing with what the host was doing including shutting her off, moving on to another subject while dropping an aside on the previous subject which she was not properly allowed to respond to although I think at twice she stopped him in his tracks and replied.

Yes, she did fail to adequately clarify what I have been writing for years that the quite intentional and consistent over the years non-mention of "Arabs" as a specific "community" in all the documents and rather preferring multiple communities existing at the time without specific "political" rights all indicate that primary and sole political, national sovereignty was to be awarded to the Jewish people.

Yes, she did address the issue of second-class citizens but did not make the distinction properly that the Arab population of Judea and Samaria has its own government agency, the Palestinian Authority.  That there are no elections or civil liberties or other rights is their fault, not Israel's.

One last point on the issue of law:  the international legal authorization and approval of a Jewish national home in Palestine was predicated on, we must recognize, the religious and cultural history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel as acknowledged by the leaders of the powers at the time.  In other words, it is a circle and inter-connnected.   Melanie and Tzipi go together.

Room for improvement, surely.  Hopeless, though?  Not so much.


Allow Them A State

I caught a letter from a Richmond, Virginia - "Palestinians and Jews deserve a homeland" - which reads, in part:

Editor, Times-Dispatch:   In his letter, “It’s time to pass anti-BDS legistlation,” Rabbi Dovid Asher makes a case for Virginia to enact legislation outlawing BDS: boycott, divestment, or sanctions against products made in Israel...
The U.S. government and its citizens have remained staunch supporters of Israel’s right to exist ever since its formation in 1947. However, ongoing economic support of Netanyahu’s government has been called into question as it continues to defy calls by the international community to cease illegal West Bank settlements, endangering hopes for a Palestinian homeland...I support Israel’s right to exist; that does not make me anti-Islamic. Likewise, supporting a homeland for the Palestinians does not make me anti-Semitic; neither does objecting to a renegade Israeli government that defies U.N. mandates by continuing to promote Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
The Palestinian is as much my brother as the Jew. Only if each is allowed a secure and acceptable homeland will there be any chance of peace in the Middle East. If governments, including our own, fail to act in this regard, we as citizens have every right, affirmed as free speech by the Supreme Court, to make our displeasure known by peacefully boycotting Israeli products. The best way for the rabbi to fight anti-Semitism is to work for a Palestinian homeland.

I left this comment:

To David Elliot's letter:
He writes of "allowed a secure and acceptable homeland"
The Arabs of Palestine who viewed themselves actually as Southern Syrians rejected a "homeland" in the 1920s preferring a demand to be reunited with Syria.In 1922, two-thirds of historic Palestine became an Arab state, Jordan.In 1937, a Partition of Western Palestine was proposed which was rejected by the Arabs residing in the territory.In 1947, again they rejected a state.In 1967, Israel as willing to surrender up all territories except for Jerusalem. They rejected that, too.In 1977, an autonomy plan was proposed by Israel. It was 2000-01, 97% yielding of territory proposed. Rejected.In 2008, Olmert "gives Abbas 98%". Rejected.In 2009, Netanyahu suspends all construction. Arabs refuse to negotiate.
Maybe something is wrong with those Arabs? And with Elliot?


Perhaps Yesha's Great Political Victory

Labor Party Leader Avi Gabbay criticized the Israeli left on Monday, saying that they have forgotten their Jewish values.

"In 1997, Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] said that 'the left has forgotten what it means to be Jewish.' Do you know what the left did in response? Forgot [how] to be Jews..People feel that I am closer to Jewish values. We are Jews. We live in a Jewish state. I also think that one of the problems of Labor Party members is that [they] distanced themselves from it," Gabbay said.

Some, Gabbay said, say that the Israeli left if "only liberal," saying that this view is wrong. "We are Jews and we need to speak about our Jewish values. It all began with our Torah, our halakha [Jewish religious laws], and our shared heritage. It all begins there," he said.

About a month ago, Gabbay said he will not sit with Arab-majority Joint List in Knesset, even in order to form a coalition. "I won't sit with the Joint Arab list in the same government. Period. Just so it's clear." He continued, "you see their behavior. I don't see a single thing that brings us together or connects us or that would allow us to sit together in the same government." 

A few days after these comments, Gabbay was asked in an interview on Channel 2 whether the settlements of Ofra and Eli will be evacuated. Gabbay said, "If we reach a peace agreement, it's possible to find solutions that don't require evacuation."