Sunday, May 03, 2015

To The Attention of Peter Beinart

Seems Peter Beinart is but an echo chamber:

Lamentations of Youth: The Diaries of Gershom Scholem, 1913-1919, p. 324

And this conclusion from a new book:

The narrative pleads with the reader to resist the temptation of escapism and normalization, and rather than ignore the decline of spiritual Zionism, to look again at exilic life as an alternative to Zionism and national redemption...
...For Scholem, responsibility for the collapse of the spiritual dream lay mostly on the shoulders of the followers of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the “climbers on the iron wall” – an allusion to Jabotinsky’s article from 1923 calling on his right-wing followers to erect a figurative iron wall that would separate Jews and Arabs. Zadoff ties this critique back to a letter to his friend Werner Kraft, in which Scholem wrote: “Metaphysically, we lost in the Land of Israel the battle that Zionism won in the world.”

This last quote demonstrates Scholem’s more general understanding of Zionism. In another letter he admitted: “It does not matter anymore, how we interpret Zionism, after its face has been revealed (and now is the time of decision, we cannot disillusion ourselves any longer), even when it is turned against itself, like the face of the Gorgon.”

Of course, the 'Iron Wall' was not a matter of simple separation but of self-defense.  No one more than Jabotinsky sought coexistence, cooperation and civility with the Arab minority.

The stupidity of intellectuals.


Friday, May 01, 2015

GraphicZionism: Wrong-turn Cliffhanger


The Spoils Go to the Victor

Who won last summer's Operation Protective Edge?

Well, one indication, of many,:-

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians from the Gaza Strip headed to Jerusalem Friday to perform prayers in the Al-Aqsa mosque.  Sources at the Palestinian liaison told Ma'an that 200 Gazans above the age of 60 headed to Jerusalem via the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Sources added that after performing prayers the 200 head back to the Gaza Strip Friday afternoon.  Weekly access to the Al-Aqsa mosque by Gazans has become routine since October 2014 when some 500 Palestinians in Gaza prayed at the mosque for the first time since 2007, having been prevented by Israel from traveling to Jerusalem since that time.  The decision to allow Gazans to travel to Al-Aqsa was reached as part of the ceasefire deal between Palestinian militant groups and Israel that ended the more than 50-day war

Can Jews pray at the Temple Mount?  Can they visit the ancient Jewish synagogue in the Gaza District?

Well, what do you say about who won?


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Who Is That on the Temple Mount?

Franz Werfel.

On his trip in 1925.


Before arriving:

Still aboard the Vienna, Werfel noted in his “Egyptian Diary” that the Zionists were regrettably repeating the anachronistic mistake of nationalism: the Jews believed, Werfel wrote, that they were compelled to prove that they, too, could “do the same thing they have so despised and mocked in other nations.”

After his stay:

...The journey through Old Testament lands shocked Werfel into an intense preoccupation with his Jewish origins that went far beyond his admitted interest in Israel’s religion and history. In the months following his return from the Middle East, he spent time almost every day reading about Jewish history, customs, and rituals; he relearned Hebrew, written and spoken, and studied German translations of the books of the Old Testament and the Talmud....
-   -   -

...He took daily walks through the narrow streets of the Old City, returning over and over again to the places of worship of the world’s three monotheistic religions. He met the Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem; talked to physicians, architects, and philosophers, arguing with them about the pros and cons of Zionism; and visited numerous agricultural schools and cooperatives in the countryside surrounding Jerusalem.


From his wife's diary:

From Cairo we went to Palestine. Our train reached the border at El Cantara about midnight; it was icy cold, and a gale blew us along the platform as we got out for the strict passport and customs inspection. The Russian Jew who was to help us looked gloomy. We asked why. "Only five Jews today," he explained. "You two, and three others."  I said this meant that only four Jews had arrived - because I was a Gentile.  "Never mind," he said severely. "You're coming here with Herr Werfel, so you're Jewish." My attempt to talk him out of his chauvinism failed. 



'Staying Human', Palestine-Style

I received a report on the activities of Mazin Qumsiyeh

a Professor (director of the main clinical cytogenetics laboratory) and also Director of the "Palestine Museum of Natural History", whose mission is to

work to research, educate about, and conserve our natural world, culture and heritage and use knowledge to promote responsible human interactions with our environment

During the last seven days, the report notes, there were visits by delegations of internationals (a German group, an Italian group, a group of mixed academics, mother and grand-daughter from the US, etc), with "good talks" by Karl Sabbagh, an author who engages in "partisan debunking of Jewish claims to the land", and by Miko Peled, resident Israeli (sone of extreme left-winger Matti Peled, brother of Nurit).  It is located at Mar Andreas campus of Bethlehem University in Al-Karkafa neighborhood below the Paradise Hotel and above ARIJ (Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem). 

Here's from the report:

The lecture by Miko Peled was particularly insightful as he explained how peace is impossible with Zionists as they hold racist genocidal ideas integral the make-up of Zionism. He explained how it is not true that Oslo process failed; on the contrary it was a brilliant success that accomplished exactly what it intended to accomplish: normalize theft and ethnic cleansing and create a quisling Palestinian Authority (subcontractor to the occupation).

We are saddened to see the unfolding events in Baltimore, USA and the devastating earthquake in Nepal. It was disgusting to see the Israeli apartheid regime claim doing humanitarian aid in Nepal (also securing “Israeli” babies born to surrogate mothers). The media stunt is sick especially considering the devastating destruction Israel inflicted on the people of Gaza and still preventing humanitarian relief from 1.7 million imprisoned people in Gaza (most of them refugees ethnically cleansed by the fascist Israeli regime).

The report ends:

Of course we welcome you in Palestine anytime: join us in the struggle or to visit and learn.  Stay human )



Monday, April 27, 2015

Another Reuters Roil

Just caught this:

(Reuters- Israel invited bids on Monday to construct 77 new homes in two settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem, drawing a swift Palestinian condemnation. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said the planned projects were a violation of international law and showed Israel was not interested in peace.
Peace Now, an Israeli group that monitors and opposes settlement-building on land Palestinians seek for a state, said only tenders for 18 of the 77 units were new, and the others were reissued after previous offers were not taken up.
The Israel Lands Authority said 41 of the homes are to be built in Pisgat Ze'ev and 36 in Neve Yaakov, where 63,000 Israelis already live.  The two settlements comprise mainly apartment blocs and are defined by Israel as integral neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

Well, are they homes or apartments?  And 63,000 residents.  Does that sound like a "settlement" to you?  At least they noted Peac Now's opposition stance.

And as for Neveh Yaakov, one would presume that someone at Reuters is intelligent to review this material and add a line of history:

Neve Yaakov...was established in 1924 on a 65 dunams (0.065 km2; 0.025 sq mi) parcel of land purchased from the Arabs of Beit Hanina...Until they were abandoned in 1948, Neve Yaakov and Atarot were the only Jewish settlements north of the Old City.

The first houses were ready for occupancy in Av (summer) 1925...The village, home to 150 families, suffered from financial problems and lack of a regular water supply...the inhabitants of Neve Yaakov were attacked during the 1929 Palestine riots, and many families returned to the Old City...When the Jordanian Arab Legion advanced toward Jerusalem from the north during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Neve Yaakov and Atarot* were abandoned in the wake of advance warning that they were about to be attacked. The region was occupied by the Jordanians until 1967 until after the Six-Day War, when Israel captured the Old City and environs.

I especially note the use of "occupation" for the period of Jordanian rule. 

Cannot the media unlock itself from prejudicial concepts, do homework and question the narratives groups and people push?



In 1912, the Palestine Land Development Corporation (PLDC) purchased land in the hills north of Jerusalem from the neighbouring Arab village of Kalandia.  In 1914 the tract was settled by Zionist youth of the Second Aliyah...After the outbreak of World War I, the project was abandoned until 1922, when a group of workers returned to the area to continue reclamation and planting work. This group leased some of the land to local Arabs and acquired more tracts for settlement. The plan was to ready the land for sale to individuals and groups. When the venture proved unsuccessful, the Jewish National Fund bought 375 dunams of the best land. It was on this land that Atarot was established. 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Some" History a la the NYRB

I found this encapsulation in a book review in the far-left NY Review of Books

In 1929, when some Palestinian Arabs organized a violent opposition to Jewish settlement and killed some Jews, the British colonial government suppressed the rebellion and enforced a peaceful coexistence of Jews and Arabs. 

A.  That first "some" included thousands of Arabs across the entire country.

B.  That second "some" was 133 Jews, almost 70 of them in Hebron, brutally and violently done to death.

C.  That enforced suppression didn't last more than a few months.  And there was no peaceful coexistence.

Did you expect better editing from the NYRB?


Another Sterling Biased NYTimes Headline

Diaa Hadid of the New York Times gets the essence of the story in her first lead-in paragraph on April 25, 2015

JENIN, West Bank — Two Palestinian men were fatally shot by the Israeli police after attacking officers with knives, one at a contested shrine in the West Bank and the other at a checkpoint near East Jerusalem, a police spokeswoman said Saturday.
It could have been written also:

After attacking officers with knives in separate incidents, two male Arab residents of the West Bank were fatally shot by the Israeli police.

But what really bothers me is, of course, the headline (for which the correspondent/reporter usually is not responsible)

Israeli Police Officers Kill Two Palestinian Men

and the dateline, Jenin.

The headline has the story backwards.  The headline permits a reader to assume that, out of the blue, the evil Zionist jackbooted military personnel picked off an Arab or two, for fun.

The dateline has nothing to do with the events:

The first shooting took place at the Zayyim checkpoint on the outskirts of East Jerusalem late Friday...The second shooting occurred on Saturday near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron,..


P.S.  In this third incident no one was shot, killed or wounded but the Mayor's car got stoned:

Also on Saturday, a man wounded three Israeli police officers when he struck them with his car, Ms. Samri said. She said the incident appeared to be an intentional attack. It occurred near Mr. Abu Ghannam’s neighborhood in East Jerusalem.


Friday, April 24, 2015

More Tolkien's Jewish-Themed Content

I've mentioned the employment of Jewish themes in Tolien's work beefore and I found another:-

Some Tolkien scholars have linked the Arkenstone with an allegory of the Jewish ark of the covenant, making it the most longed for possession of a folk displaced from their spiritual homeland

(I'm watching The Hobbit on Dubai One).


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The NYTimes' Diaa Hadid and the Wicked Witches of the Waqf

CAMERA has already criticized the piece in the New York Times on the ladies who I started calling the "Wicked Witches of the Waqf" back in March 2013 (and several more times).

What Diaa Hadid does not manage to include or mention-in-passing, and which I found insulting and not only unprofessional journalism, is the violence of these women, especially, for example, against infant children last year just after Pesach, including verbal insults and threats, spitting and actually hitting.  It was filmed. This wasn't the only instance.  Here they are this morning.  They are there now every day. All she does is quote an spokesman:

Mr. Rosenfeld said, the women have progressed from chanting at Jewish visitors to chasing them;

He said, they said.

The are violating the human rights and the law in what they are doing.  They are actively interfering with this paragraph of Israel's 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.

And as I have pointed out previously, Muslims are seeking, no less than Jews, to return in Spain to places they hold holy (and suspected of threatening with terror) but they will not tolerate Jews seeking what they do. They demand heritage recognition but Jews are not equal to them. Hadad couldn't include that interesting aspect?

She also writes this:

A small group of religious Jews have for years sought to pray at the site, and more Jews have visited in the past few years, increasing tensions 

It's the fault of the Jews - not of the intolerant Muslims, who cannot even share (unless they are forced to as in Hebron), or even recognize the Jewish historical past and heritage of the site, who have no though of religious coexistence.  The Jews are bothering the Muslims, the Muslims who conquered Jerusalem and originally honored the location of the Temple and permitted Jews to visit.

But at the least, she notes an alteration of the status quo - in favor of the Muslims -

“they have changed the dynamic.”

And, for the readers with sensitive reactions, she includes this:

a woman hollered — “Settlers!” — referring to religious Jews

Prejuducial identification attitudes there.  And she does note this:

One older woman, in particular, called Jews pigs and apes.

But draws no conclusions from langauge like this to thinking on Jews to actions against Jews.


What Is He Looking At?

Instead of looking and recording all the building violations and possible damage to historical antiquities on the Temple Mount, the policeman seems to be only interested in her:-


800,000 Is A 'Lucky' Number

From story one:

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem.

From story two:

Prisoners Day is marked every year in solidarity with the more than 6,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. ‘We will not leave our prisoners in jail alone,’ rally organiser Abdullah Abu Rahma said.  ‘We will defend their right to be released, because the majority of them have been arrested illegally by Israeli forces.’  With Israel having arrested some 800,000 Palestinians in the occupied territories since 1967 – equivalent to 40 percent of the male population – almost every Palestinian family has been affected.

Either they are making things up, or they are fixated on the number 800,000 or they can't count.

P.S.  Or they can't tell the difference between humans and trees?