Monday, December 11, 2017

Arikat of the Press Room

There is, in the State Department press room, a representative of the Palestinian media.

Said Arikat.

The Washington Bureau Chief for the Jerusalem-based Palestinian newspaper al-Quds.  And he lectures at an university.  And he was Former UN Spokesman, Iraq.

His job seems mainly to be pushing an agenda.

Last Thursday, he was at it again at the briefing by Under-Secretary of State David Sauterfield, but his first attempt to grab the narrative went awry:

QUESTION: So on --
MS NAUERT: Hold on, hold on.
QUESTION: On the issue of East Jerusalem --
MS NAUERT: Excuse me, Said.
QUESTION: On being from East Jerusalem --
MS NAUERT: Excuse me, Said. I’ll just call on the questions, okay, since he doesn’t know anybody. Elise, go right ahead.
Eventually, he got his chance:

QUESTION: My name is Said Arikat. I just want to follow up on East Jerusalem because it is really – it’s not clear at all. Not in my mind. So what happens to the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem? Do they now become automatically Israeli citizens, would have full rights, and so on? What happens to 300,000 Palestinians?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Said, the President’s proclamation yesterday, his decision, have no impact on those issues. He is recognizing a practical reality. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. And all of the other aspects – boundaries of sovereignty – we’re not taking a position. It’s for the sides to resolve.

QUESTION: So if you’ll just bear with me for a second. So why not say West Jerusalem? I mean, the Russians have done that. It did not cause any problem and so on. Or why don’t you say that this part, East Jerusalem, as been negotiated as you yourself have been involved for so many years, this portion is designated to become the capital of the Palestinian state?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: Said, the President’s decision speaks for itself. There are many words that are in his statement, in his remarks; there are words that aren’t. We recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. He didn’t go beyond that, and I’m not going to go beyond that.

And then was shut down:
QUESTION: Can you – can you share with us --

MS NAUERT: We need to move on (inaudible).

QUESTION: -- just one last thing?

MS NAUERT: Said, (inaudible).

QUESTION: Could you share with us, sir --

MS NAUERT: Said, (inaudible).

QUESTION: -- one national security interest of the United States that this recognition has served? Can you identify one national security interest of the United States that this recognition has identified?

AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President is committed to advancing a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. In his view upon reflection, this step, he believes, assists in that process. Full stop.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Eight Points on Jerusalem

Let's be concise:

1. No other people or nation has ever considered Jerusalem their capital city except the Jews.

2. The city is Jewish-connected for over 3000 years. In ancient history, all the foreign nations recognized that.

3. That Jewish connection is historical, religious, cultural and legal. There is a Biblical commandment to make a pilgrimage to the city.

4. The city was never divided - except under an illegal Jordanian occupation (which no one really complained about, oddly) and then for but 19 years. An "Arab East Jerusalem" is a fiction.

5. Despite a loss of political independence, Jews always either lived in the city whenever possible despite decrees banning such a presence or at least visited it.

6. By 1860, the city's majority population was Jewish.

7. Every facet of Jewish life, every central event is connected to Jerusalem, from weddings to Passover seders.

8. Even the infamous internationalization plan in the Partition recommendation of 1947 stipulated that after ten years, a referendum would take place so that the city's populace could decide to belong to the Arab or the Jewish state.


Friday, December 08, 2017

The State Department's Jerusalem - Then and Now

Remember this from June 8, 2015?

MR RATHKE: Not in the habit of doing victory dances. Go ahead, Matt.
QUESTION: Well, just – can you remind us all what city – or what the United States regards as the capital of Israel?
MR RATHKE: Well, since I think – to come to the – maybe the nub of the issue, since Israel’s founding, administrations of both parties have maintained a consistent policy of recognizing no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem. So we remain committed to this longstanding policy, and this decision today helps ensure that our position on the neutrality of Jerusalem remains – it remains clear.
QUESTION: That applies to both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem?
MR RATHKE: Again, no change to our policy to announce.
QUESTION: Well, but I mean the contested part of Jerusalem is just the east part. Not even the Palestinians claim the west part.
MR RATHKE: Again, Matt, I’ve got no change to our policy to announce.

What a difference. From yesterday's briefing:

MS NAUERT: Oh, I’m sorry. Matt, you can go ahead.QUESTION: I’ve got what are going to sound like a couple softballs, but they were questions that your predecessors and Heather’s predecessors weren’t able to answer very easily. So just bear with me. They’re two very brief ones.What is the capital of Israel?AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President announced yesterday, issued a proclamation declaring the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.QUESTION: So the answer to the question is Jerusalem, correct?AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: That’s exactly right.QUESTION: What country is Jerusalem in?AMBASSADOR SATTERFIELD: The President recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel.


The Waqf Getting Ramped-Up

This is the letter the Waqf issued on December 3 after Jews identified as Temple Mount activists ascended the raised platform area, which hundreds of tourists do daily.

Here they are:

Translation via Google:

A statement issued by the Council of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs, Islamic Supreme Council and the Palestinian Fatwa House and the Jerusalem endowment circle

Threat and a dangerous escalation in the Al-Aqsa Mosque

This morning, Sunday, 3/12/2017, a group of Jewish extremists stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, accompanied by a large number of Israeli police officers who accompanied them and changed the course of the traditional extremists in the squares of Al-Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount, And in the wake of the American incentive to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the Umayyad embassy. Ownership of Jerusalem.

In light of this, we emphasize the following:

[1] Despite the position of Jerusalemites and the Palestinian and Islamic rejection of these intrusions, and despite the religious fatwas of Israel that prevent them from storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the fatwas prevent them from ascending to the Dome of the Rock, but they crossed all red lines and want to change the historical and legal reality in the Al- Holy Mosque.

[2] The attempt to impose a new reality by force and bullying, and an attempt to weaken the role of Islamic Waqfs and guards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is completely unacceptable and the occupation authorities bear the consequences of this if they continue this approach.

[3] From the heart of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, we call upon all living conscience to stop this systematic Israeli propaganda against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which targets people and stone in Al-Aqsa Mosque to protect it and protect it from ever increasing dangers.

* And God prevailed over his command, but most people do not know *

Islamic Endowments Department Islamic Dar Al Ifta Islamic Supreme Council Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites
Al-Quds Al-Sharif in the first 15 of 2439 AH
Corresponding to 03/12/2017


Chaim Weizmann's Dalliances

In response to something I read in the Jerusalem Post Weekend Magazine, I sent in a letter on November 10th.

So far, it has not appeared so up it goes here:

Baron Leslie Turnberg is worried lest, as a result of the article on his book, "Beyond the Balfour Declaration" (Nov. 4), people would assume that Chaim Weizmann carried on dalliances while he was married. But he needn't, for he did, it would appear.

Commenting on Weizmann's letter sent to his wife Vera on February 11, 1925, the editor notes that "All was not well in his marital relations...the feelings separating the Weizmanns intensified and they ceased living a normal family life together".  He adds that Weizmann adopted a nomadic life-style at various London locations and European spas.  There was a "crisis" and Weizmann attempted vigorously to "rebuild the family relationship".  Vera had become suspicious of his friendship with other women and removed herself and children from his company.  Additional later letters reiterated his pleas to regain the former home situation.

Yisrael Medad

The comments on the letters:


Monday, December 04, 2017

Anti-Semitism Of Things, Of Men and Of Identity

As Margaret McGlynn writes in her The Royal Prerogative and the Learning of the Inns of Court on page 222 in a chapter on 'the Fallacies of Realpolitik':

I've mentioned that categorization previously.  The text of the two chapters published in his The Jewish War front is here.  The definitions again:

There are two distinct forces at work within the general phenomenon called Antisemitism:  the one is a subjective repulsion, strong enough and permanent enough to become anything from a hobby to a religion; the other is an objective state of things which tends to ostracize the Jew almost independently of whether his neighbours like or dislike him. We shall call the first category "the Antisemitism of Men' and the second "the Antisemitism of Things'.

He railed against Germany:

There and not elsewhere was the discovery made, and the principle proclaimed, that the objection to the Jew is not religious but racial, and he must therefore be persecuted even if baptized. There and not elsewhere was antisemitism sublimated to the rank of a scientific philosophy.

and also postulated that there are facts and objective truths which lead others to adopt anti-Semitic posturing for:

in some countries the decisive factor is not the antisemitism of men but the antisemitism of things...[we need] realize that the fundamental curse of Jewish existence in the central zone of distress is due to something infinitely deeper than policies or ideologies or propagandas, whether anti or pro...

He further explains that

there are certain inevitable aspects in the normal social evolution of Eastern Europe (the words "inevitable" and "normal" should be emphasized) which are inherently, objectively, and organically fatal to the Jews' existence. 

...human anti-semitism is an active enmity, a constant urge to harm the hated race, to humiliate them, to see them squirming and writhing beneath one's feet...even at its strongest only a leading minority manifest it in its greedily acute stage; the majority just follow suit and mildly enjoy the fun. Being thus of a somewhat elastic nature, the "Antisemitism of Men" can sometimes be fought with a measure of success;

I wish to add a third category:

The Anti-Semitism of Identity 

It is one rooted in jealousy, in a feeling a self-cognizant deficiency, an overwhelming emotion that one can never match the challenge of confronting a rival, a counterpart, a competitor.

The hatred there grows is nourished by realization that one's identity is not as one supposed, imagined or believed in. One assumes he is a Palestinian when his identity was as a Southern Syrian into the 1920s. One assumes there was no Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah but always a mosque built by Abraham Ibrahim.  One assumes Muhammed flew on a winged creature, tethered it to a wall (which was not the Western Wall of Herod's Second Temple) and stepped on the a rock (which was not the Foundation Stone of Aravna's threshing floor upon which the Altar was built) all in Jerusalem when he really never was in Jerusalem.  "Palestinian Arabs" are either Canaanits, Jebusites or, in the words of Saeb Erekat, Natufians.

The frustration growing out of the realization that these lies, myths and calumnies they have propogated for decades are simply not truly altering the ability of Zionism to continue and build up and strengthen the Jewish state in the historic Jewish homeland they resort to a new tactic of "protecting free speech" as, for example, expressed in a letter to the Guardian in October protesting what the signees termed Professor Moshe Machover's insistence that anti-Zionism and support for Palestinian rights are not antisemitic which read in part

“Misusing the term antisemitism for pro-Israel political purposes deprives it of its charge and its critical role in naming those who hate Jews because they are Jews. Real antisemitism is obscured by this self-serving redefinition of the term.

They see themselves as  combating attempts to "suppress solidarity with Palestine by conflating criticism of Israel and Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry".

Another formulation of this redefinition so as to permit themselves to hate Jews for being Jews while not being tainted with a charge of anti-Semitism is here describing the remarks of a professor at UMass, Sut Jhally, who said he

believes that the...discussion [over Palestine] is often halted through accusations of anti-Semitism and racism toward those who are critical of Israeli policy, specifically right-wing Israeli policy...[this is] a very, very effective silencing mechanism


it silences those accused for the fear of being deemed a racist or anti-Semite...[it] manipulates the oppressive, violent and fearful history of Jewish people and distracts from what the state of Israel, not Jews, what the state of Israel is doing to the Palestinians.

At the notorious New School panel, a discussion of a new book from Jewish Voice for Peace 'On Antisemitism: Solidarity and the Struggle for Justice' co-sponsored by the New School Creative Publishing & Critical Journalism program with moderator Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now!, Leo Ferguson, Lina Morales, Linda Sarsour and Rebecca Vilkomerson, and which elicited an official institution responsethere was this:

Panelist Lina Morales, a member of the Jews of Color and Mizrahi/Sephardi Caucus of JFREJ, called Zionism “a mistake” that “has led us down a dangerous and horrible road,” while Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of the pro-BDS Jewish Voice for Peace, described the Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “apartheid.”

Lying and misrepresenting is a basis of anti-Semitism since the object is to create a false picture so that someone can more comfortably and confidently hate Jews. As an audience member noted, the panel avoided the 

ideological purity tests on the left...the idea that if you’re Jewish you have to affirmatively prove your anti-Zionist bona fides before you’re let into any leftist space regardless of the causes

Denying to Jews the right to promote a nationalism, Zionism, one that is based on a 3000-year history, culture, religion and literature, that had received international legal support in 1919, 1920, 1920 and 1947 and that is evident by archaeological findings and external non-Jewish sources is an anti-Semitism of identity denial while promoting another identity paradigm that is unequal in all spheres to Zionism.

Attempting, and too often violently, to supplant one identity over another, as the Arab Palestine movement seeks to do, and which is underscored deeply by unadulterated anti-Semitism, with support from anti-Semites as in the case of the British Labour Party and anti-Zionists, is an evil and those espousing that track know full well what they are doing.

This is the new face of the oldest hatred.


To the Term "East Jerusalem"

In the latest report - Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2017 The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - relating to "Palestine", point 54 on page 12 reads:

In June 1967, an international armed conflict (the Six-Day War) broke out between Israel and neighbouring states, as a result of which Israel acquired control over a number of territories including the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Immediately after the end of the Six-Day War, Israel established a military administration in the West Bank, and adopted laws and orders effectively extending Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration over East Jerusalem

Did an entity called "east Jerusalem" exist? 

A fairly simple question, no?

Here are two maps from before 1967 and after 1948.

The first is a Russian one from 1949:

The second is a British one from 1957 but with a 1960 update*:

The British map actually includes Neve Ya'aqov, a destroyed and ethnically-cleansed Jewish moshav, overrun in the 1948 war.

Both note "Jerusalem" but not an "East Jerusalem" nor a "West Jerusalem".

I presume those terms were diplomatic ones, not geographical ones.


A lawyer commented to me that in para 56 there is a reference to “the city of Jerusalem” as a single entity.

So I rechecked and found that there are an additional 12 (!) times that "East Jerusalem", including one section entitled "West Bank and East Jerusalem", is included in the report.  And that one time was using language from both Camp David and Oslo.



Sunday, December 03, 2017

Actually, There Are More Than Five

Ariel Rubinstein in his Economic Fable:

Begin often explained his decisions in terms of carrying out duties and honoring rights: ”We must all make an effort to… We have to… But we are also obliged…” He would start by saying ”We must make sure that…” and ask ”What should we have done?” In a meeting with President Carter on 19 July 1977, Begin reached new heights of rhetoric:

Mr. President, in your country there are many cities with biblical names. You have eleven places with the name Hebron; five with the name Shiloh and seven with the name Bethlehem. Can you imagine a governor in one of these states prohibiting Jews from living in these cities? The Israeli government also cannot prohibit Jews from living in Hebron, Bethlehem or Beit El. It is our duty to…



You asked, so, according to Wikipedia:

Shiloh, DeKalb County, Alabama, a town
Shiloh, Marengo County, Alabama, an unincorporated community
Shiloh, Arkansas (disambiguation)
Shiloh, Florida, a former village
Shiloh, Harris County, Georgia, a city
Shiloh, Illinois, a village
Shiloh, Indiana, an unincorporated town
Shiloh, Kentucky, an unincorporated community
Shiloh, Mississippi, a ghost town
Shiloh, New Jersey, a borough
Shiloh, Montgomery County, Ohio, a census-designated place
Shiloh, Richland County, Ohio, a village
Shiloh, York County, Pennsylvania, a census-designated place
Shiloh, Sumter County, South Carolina, a census-designated place
Shiloh, Tennessee (disambiguation)
Shiloh, Texas (disambiguation)
Shiloh, Virginia (disambiguation)
Shiloh, West Virginia (disambiguation)
Shiloh Creek, a stream in Kansas and Missouri
Shiloh Historic District, Springdale, Arkansas


Made, Sort Of, Front Cover of Matzav HaRauch

Matzav HaRuach in covering the Jerusalem Legal Conference of last week has me on the cover:

Can't see me?



Friday, December 01, 2017

Use of Quotations Marks

Dov Lieber tweeted this news alert on the group of 13 year old Jewish children, actually, some, siblings, much younger, accompanied by two adults who were attacked by scores of Arabs while hiking:

Queried why he employed quotation marks, he replied

At the time it wasn't clear who was there. Army said hikers. Simple.

I'm confused and even dumbfounded.

Of all the words, he chose to bracket in scare quotes, why hikers?

He could have selected shot, or throwing rocks, responded or even dead.

Scare quotes, as The Atlantic clarified for those who didn't know, are used

to make clear that [the word bracketed] is not just a term of discussion, but a term of contention: Do not, the floating commas make clear, take this at face value...framed facts themselves as matters of debate, to do a lot of heavy lifting—not just as indications of words that are spoken, but as indications of words that are doubted. 

And the article continues so

Scare quotes (also known, even more colorfully, as “shudder quotes” and “sneer quotes”) precisely the opposite of what quotation marks are supposed to do: They signal irony, and uncertainty. They suggest words that don’t quite mean what they claim to. “Question,” they say. “Doubt,” they dare... “a writer’s assault on his or her own words.” They signal—really, they celebrate—epistemic uncertainty. They take common ground and suggest that it might, but only just “might,” be made of quicksand.

Maybe some day, all "journalists" will have their names bracketed in scare quotes?