Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The "Saison" To Be Debated

There'll be a panel discussion on the "Saison" period during the pre-state Yishuv institutions when the dissidents, that is, the Irgun and to a lesser extent, the Lechi, were hounded by the Palmah, beaten, incarcerated in caves, interrogated and handed over to the British:

If I could attend, but I cannot, I would ask this in the Q & A session, if there'll be one:

Since the Palmah and Hagana engaged in activities no less morally "impure" than those they opposed, such as the assassination of a British officer, Thomas Bruce in October 1947 simply for breaking the fingers of Palmahniks from Birya, or murdering suspected collaborators with the British such as Mordechai Berger in March 1947 or the three in Haifa in 1940 suspected of informing on illegal arms held by the Hagana, was the Palmah morally superior or simply blindly obedient to a more powerful political, ideological and financial institution such as the "movement", or the "party" or the Histadrut?

The reason given for the justification of the "Saison" is threefold:

a.  Mapai and the Left are in charge, not the Revisionists or anyone else.  They were the bosses.

b.  the Irgun's policies were wrong from a political/diplomatic sense.

c.  the actions of the Irgun and Lechi were morally tainted, what was referred to as "purity of arms".

I think (b) and (c) were patently in error and all that's left is the amoral (a).


Shin Bet Causes The Temple Mount Problems

In Chaim Levinson's report on the interrogation of the Hamas operative, Riad Nasser, who was planning for the collapse of the PA structure in Judea and Samaria and its replacement by Hamas, we find this:

Large portions of the conversations were devoted to politics, to pass the time until Nasser began giving his interrogators the details they really wanted to hear. They spoke about Reuven Rivlin’s election as president and the situation on the Temple Mount. One Shin Bet investigator said, “The Middle East is in an unstable situation, and any terror attack or conflict on the Temple Mount could set the region ablaze.” Nasser replied, “A Jewish rabbi said that the Shin Bet is the reason for the problems between Jews and Muslims at Al-Aqsa.” 

This theme of "setting the region ablaze" or that the matter of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount is "explosive" has been the meme for denial of such rights despite the fact that many more other incidents have caused worse results.

The Shin Bet (GSS), the police and the political echelons should fulfill their obligations according to the law and strive for coexistence and human rights.  Those who break the law should be punished.

Nothing explosive there.


Monday, September 01, 2014

New Tank-Top For Poor Yeshiva Learners

That new tank-top:-

Well, they have another and I altered it:

and now all the men can wear it.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Poetry of the Other Darwish

On the Temple Mount, the Waqf rules.

The Waqf moves from Jordan to the Pal. Authority to Hamas and back.

Israel has no 'hands-on' supervision role except in extreme cases and even then, like the near-collapse of the southern wall, Jordanian and Egyptian engineers are brought in.  Hamas and ISIS flags and banners are flown, demonstrations and assemblies of a political nature are held and there are riots regularly of various degrees all intended to prevent Jews and other non-Muslims nay right to freedom of worship or respect to be displayed for a religious holy site.  No coexistence, no sharing.

[the police allowed 15 Jewish settlers and 20 intelligence officers to desecrate the Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards in the morning under their protection. The Aqsa foundation, in this regard, warned the Israeli occupation authority of its persistence in its hostile activities against the Islamic holy place and said it would continue its efforts to protect it against all Judaization plans.]

But I found an account of this year's PalFest, with this
on the esplanade of the Burj Al-Luqluq Social Center, the local poet Najwan Darwish reads from his collection Nothing More to Lose, recently published by NYRB Classics. His poem “Jerusalem (I)” [2 is here]opens:

“We stood on the Mount
to raise a sacrifice for you
and when we saw our hand rise
we knew
that we were your sacrifice”

Sorry, Najwan, but if anything or one is being sacrificed on the Temple Mount, it is the rights of Jews.  It is the young Haredi children assaulted last Passover. The shouts and venomous screams directed at Jews simply strolling along, as the Muslims attempt to interfere and block the route, acting provocatively.

And as for Darwish's literary worth, this charge from another of his poems:

I see a thread of beauty ripplinglike a river of nobilityBut soon enough I tell myself:Shut up and look awayyou Narcissus surrounded by Zionist lieswalls and checkpoints rising all around youShut up

and from another

In the thirties of the past century it occurred to the Nazis to put their victims in gas chambers. Today’s executioners are more professional:They put the gas chambers in their victims.

He can compose poetry, I'll grant but he can't navigate:

...he made it to the following night’s event in Ramallah and, after several false starts, he finally explained: He’d waited at a checkpoint for forty-odd minutes before being turned away. A soldier didn’t want to let him through, and Darwish felt he didn’t have time to wait for some higher-up to arrive and sort it out. So he drove off in search of an alternate checkpoint. But he got lost. He couldn’t find Nablus on his GPS, he couldn’t find signs pointing to the city and — perhaps even more telling — walls blocked his view of possible landmarks.  He ended up near Tel Aviv, where he got stuck in traffic, and continued driving around for a while longer before, in frustration, he gave up and went home.

By the way, there are no walls near Shchem so, unless he got lost leaving Jerusalem, he doesn't even know that lay of his own "land".

And as I am a bit digressing, this disturbed me:

Four days after Darwish and his guests read to an audience of more than 1,000 in Ramallah's Kassaba theatre, the Israeli army began its operation to root out suicide bombers. Palestinians see the invasion as collective punishment and a move to destroy the infrastructure of their embryonic state. Darwish, who had already left Ramallah to give a poetry recital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, was unable to return. He learned that the Sakakini Cultural Centre, where he edits his quarterly literary review Al-Karmel, had been ransacked and his manuscripts trampled into the floor. "They wanted to give us a message that nobody's immune - including in cultural life," says Darwish. "I took the message personally. I know they're strong and can invade and kill anyone. But they can't break or occupy my words."

To think that Israeli soldiers purposefully sought out Darwish's poetry (or even could read it) is laughable.  As the Palestinian society mostly is mobilized, even their cultural output is suspect to incite and encourage terror and the examples above illustrate well my point.

P.S.   The other Darwish.


Slithering Silverstein

In a new post, Richard Silverstein serves as a leaker spout for an article at NTG which, he claims

IDF Killed Three of Its Own Soldiers After Declaring Hannibal Directive

He quotes, in translation, this section:

"As a result of activation of the Hannibal Directive, three IDF soldiers were killed and 120 [ed., the actual number was 160] Palestinian civilians were killed from cannon fire [as a result of IDF fire that destroyed the surrounding neighborhood]."

The original Hebrew is so:

כתוצאה מהפעלת "נוהל חניבעל" נהרגו שלושת הלוחמים, וככל הנראה כ-120 אזרחים פלסטינים מירי פגזים. 

However, later down the piece, it reads:

"הכוח נתקל בחוליה כשהיה בשטח פתוח צמוד לבתים וזיהו פיר לא רחוק משם. לשם הכניסו את הנעדר...
לאחר שנפתחה לעבר הכוח אש משמעותית ממנה נפגעו ככל הנראה כלל הלוחמים
הכוחות זיהו שמדובר בחטיפה ועל פי דיווחים הפעילו "נוהל חניבעל", במסגרתו צה"ל מפעיל אש לכיוון החוטפים. 

which, in English, is

The forces [Sayeret Givati, commanded by Benaya Sarel] encountered a group of terrorists in the open, close by some houses not far from there [where the snatch took place] and identified a tunnel opening.  There was where they dragged down the missing soldier [Hadar Goldin].  After significant fire was opened at them [the IDF], from which most of the soldiers were hit, they realized that a kidnapping was occurring and, in accordance with the "Hannibal Directive", whereby the IDF shoots in the direction of the kidnappers...

Since the other two soldiers killed, Sarel and Lial Gidoni, were not kidnapped, it seems illogical that the "Hannibal" fire was responsible for their deaths.

In any case, this conclusion of Silverstein:

It’s important to note that nowhere in this report does it say that the Hamas fighters killed the three IDF soldiers who died during this skirmish (though it does say the cell may’ve fled into the tunnel with Goldin’s body).  The entire premise is that the IDF killed them as a result of the massive amount of fire it used after the Hannibal Directive was declared.  This fact has never been reported in the Israeli media.  

is wrong as (a) it does say that the soldiers were hit with Hamas fire;  and (b) he does not deal with the very apparent contradiction or, at the least, seemingly incorrect order of events in the NRG story. 

A comment there, from 'Black Canary', notes the inconsistency of another point, that Haaretz reported the story at the time differently.

In any case, when will Silverstein learn Hebrew?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where Are the Child Services?

This past week on the Temple Mount, in support of Hamas and its rockets:

Not only child services but the police.

And note the smile on the face of the woman in the background.

P.S.  In Tulkarem, the Pal. Authority confiscated Hamas flags today.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Qatar in Our Backyard

Who is a major funder of Hamas?


Hamas and its backers such as Qatar have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on tunnels and rockets with one goal in mind: killing Israelis.


In 2010, Qatar twice offered to restore trade relations with Israel and allow the reinstatement of the Israeli mission in Doha, on condition that Israel allow Qatar to send building materials and money to Gaza to help rehabilitate infrastructure, and that Israel make a public statement expressing appreciation for Qatar's role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East. Israel refused, on the grounds that Qatari supplies could be used by Hamas to build bunkers and reinforced positions from which to fire rockets at Israeli cities and towns

So, what do we make of this

A $1 billion bet on peace: Qatar funds huge Palestinian settlement in West Bank   Sunday Mar 3, 2013 

and this:

Rawabi is the first master-planned city in the heart of Palestine and truly emphasises Qatari Diar’s mission of enriching the quality of people lives. 
...Located 9 km north of Ramallah, 20 km north of Jerusalem and 25 km south of Nablus, Rawabi is being built as a modern, high-tech city with gleaming high-rise buildings, green parks and shopping areas.​​

and even more interestingly:

Qatar currently funds several large economic projects in Gaza, such as the establishment of a large hospital. It also funds the building of new infrastructure and the renovation of existing decrepit infrastructure. This includes Gaza’s crumbling sewer system, which poses a health risk to Gazans (while threatening Israel’s groundwater resources). Qatar also invested tens of millions of dollars to pave Salah al-Din Road connecting the northern Gaza Strip with the south.

Furthermore, Qatari architects, engineers and other professionals, along with some foreign experts representing Qatar, enter Gaza through the Erez Crossing with permits issued by Israel in coordination with Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economy Ministry.

Additionally, the Qataris have committed to procuring all required raw material from Israel, not only because they have no other choice, but intentionally, out of the belief that this would soften the Israeli position. The purchases are currently valued at tens of millions of dollars, and in the coming years the total investment could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars. In other words, Israeli corporations benefit from the existence of projects funded by the Qataris in the Gaza Strip.

Rawabi will overlook Israel's central section.  From there, the view --- and trajectory for rockets --- is excellent.

Think about that.

And think about this:

Israel has blocked Qatari funds, aimed at covering the cost of the salaries of former Hamas employees, from being transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA)...Qatar pledged to pay $60 million within three months to pay the salaries of the former Hamas-run government in Gaza.

So, why can't it halt the funding of Rawabi which is just as much a threat?  And surely will be.


200 Yards from Kfar Saba

Over 30 years ago, one of the explanations my associates and myself put forward, and I am sure that somewhere there is a record of this, maybe in Zot Haaretz, for maintaining the border of Israel on the Jordan River and on the Golan Heights was the concept that the border that those are the actual borders Israel shares with Iraq and Iran, and not those hundreds and more miles away.

If Israel has no military presence in those places, to act as a trip-wire, we're will be in very deep trouble.

Well, read this:

Islamist opposition fighters in Syria, including members of an Al Qaeda affiliate, took control of the Quneitra crossing point on the demarcation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, activists said on WednesdayThe move could bring Islamist forces within 200 yards of territory controlled by Israel. An activist in the area, contacted by Skype, said a coalition of Islamists, including members of the Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, opened an assault on the government-held crossing early Wednesday. The status of a United Nations force that is supposed to monitor the crossing point was unclear.

Militants with a rival and more extreme Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, have spread from Syria into parts of northern and central Iraq.

Dear fellow Israelis who believe in withdrawal, retreat and disengagement as a fundamental policy, and their liberal/prog supporters abroad, do you really feel comfortable today?

Or would you rather have these Islamists 200 yards from Kfar Saba and Jerusalem ?


Of What Worth Is A Holocaust Survivors' Ad

That "Holocaust Survivors' Ad" thing and subsequent hullabaloo?

If they are survivors, it means they didn't leave when they had the chance (and I am talking about the 1933 period on) or their parents didn't. So, either they were non-Zionist (or anti-) at the time or their political sophistication was low. Not all, of course, it wasn't easy getting out but there were many tens of thousands who did and not only due to money but to a spirit of daring but enough, and so to trust them with Israel's political, diplomatic, military future is not a wise thing.


Is Obama on Ice with ISIS?


President Obama wants to decide by the end of the week whether or not his war in Iraq against the Islamic State will expand to the group’s haven in eastern Syria. But nearly everything about the potential military campaign is still in flux, administration officials tell The Daily Beast—from the goals of the effort to the intelligence needed to carry it out...in a series of high-level meetings Tuesday—including one gathering of the Principals’ Committee, the administration's top national security officials—White House staffers and cabinet secretaries alike struggled to come up with answers to basic questions about the potential strikes. Among the unresolved issues: whether the U.S. has reliable intelligence on ISIS targets in Syria; what the objectives and limits of the strikes would be; and how the administration would defend the action legally, diplomatically, and politically.

My graphic interpretation:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hamas and the "Hunger Games"

From the plot of the Mockingjay, the third volume soon to hit our screens:

Katniss presses on alone towards President Snow's mansion, which has been surrounded by Capitol refugee children being used as human shields to protect Snow.

This quote from the book *

does not apply to Gaza.

There is no hope there as long as Hamas rules.

They sacrifice children to the tunnels.

They crowd civilians on to roofs.

They launch rockets from school yards and hospitals and even near journalists' hotels.

Forced human shields' use is a war crime.

But if the locals agree to their use as such, there is no hope.



President Snow: Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained.

Headline Winner

Last time, I found a story and headline with "West", "Bank" and "settlement" included.

Now we have something quite close:

U.S. to allow some immigrant deportees to return under settlement

with this content:

The government admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement...but it agreed to take several measures to protect migrants' rights.

I think the rights of Jews to be able to reside in Jewish communities, aka "settlements", is legal and should be protected ("The Administration of Palestine...shall facilitate Jewish immigration...and shall encourage..close settlement by Jews on the land...") and surely no less so than persons whose parents brought them illegally into the United States and who accepted a suggestion that they voluntarily agree to be deported and now, perhaps, qualify for repatriation since they were longtime California residents with relatives who are U.S. citizens.

These persons surely have less a connection to California than Jews to the Land of Israel which was guaranteed to be reconstituted as the Jewish national home due to our historic connection to that country.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yes, Media Bias Is Dangerous

Graphics are for illustrative purposes only.

Recent resources:

Matti Friedman's expose from Tablet Magazine.

(developed from this site if, however. in reverse)

Disproportionate US Reaction


"The U.S. Coast Guard fired a warning shot at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf Tuesday after the Iranian vessel pointed a machine gun at a Coast Guard boat, according to the Navy."

But they just aimed.  They didn't shoot?  So disproportionate.


The Monomoy was operating on "a routine maritime security operation" 

What U.S. coast is there in that area of the world?  To quote a friend:

Whose coast are they guarding?


Middle East Lesson From History

From this article:

In December 1971...then home secretary, Reginald Maudling, announced that the British government had managed to ensure that an “acceptable level of violence” had been achieved...The current conflagration across the Middle East brings to mind Maudling’s words once more. It seems that the wider the flames spread, the less the west seems exercised by the details.

The one exception to this is the Israel-Palestine conflict, for which there has historically been a lower threshold of tolerance for “acceptable levels of violence” than elsewhere in the Middle East. This is a phenomenon for which many explanations have been offered. Some point out that there is a double standard when it comes to criticism of Israel, especially when compared with the acts of brutal authoritarian regimes such as that in Syria...

Others have said that Israel occupies a special place in the western psyche because it has the support of the most powerful western states and because, as a democracy, it should be held to a higher standard of behaviour—hence the greater emphasis on the question of “proportionality” in the present Gaza war...

Yet there is perhaps a third explanation for the despair that has greeted the latest gut-wrenching violence in Gaza. It is that, of all the conflicts engulfing the Middle East, the one in Israel-Palestine is seen as having a solution that is both conceivable and possible to envisage for those on the outside looking in...

One fallacy that has been exposed in recent years is that the Israel-Palestine conflict was the main source of the Middle East’s wrongs and a “root cause” of international terrorism, rather than just another of its many interconnected micro-conflicts...

and this

The greatest driver of violence in the Middle East is not a revanchist challenge to existing borders but an internal combustion of some of its most important states.

The failure of the modern Arab state is not, first and foremost, a product of the inherent artificiality of the borders left by the imperialist powers a century earlier; Jordan, perhaps the most artificial state of all, is one of the few that has managed to muddle through. The pattern is clearest in Syria and Iraq. In both cases, the rot started at the centre....

In recent days, as I read the Palestine files in the National Archives for 1945-51, when the British cabinet debated how to retire from the region at the end of the Second World War, something else became apparent—that some of the deepest thinking about these questions came in inverse proportion to the will or capacity to see solutions through. In his correspondence with Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1947-48 the then foreign secretary, Ernest Bevin, said that the best the British could hope for was that their withdrawal from the region could “induce a sense of realism among Jews and Arabs”, and thereby create the conditions for peace. Attlee was unconvinced.

Oh.  The article is entitled:

History's Lesson for the Middle East: When Superpowers Leave, Stability Doesn't Follow


Ceasefire Heat

Is the ceasefire good?

Our victory; real victory?  (see this in Hebrew; or maybe Hamas humiliation?)

Well, all the analysis is post-facto from the original intentions.

The problems were at the outset, and remain so now:

how come we weren't sufficiently prepared for the terror assault tunnels?  do we have an answer?

what about the mass exodus from the Gaza Strip envelop area?

how can we, with a blockade that will be lessened, even if infinitesimally, prevent further and more sophisticated rearming?

since the experience has been similar, at least twice before, that Hamas only strengthens its capabilities, do we have smart commando operations planned?

As for Abbas over Hamas, besides the rhyme, still bad news.  Qatar & Turkey still heavily invested.  US-front needs huge shoring up.


Start Counting

As this chart displays

despite hostilities and subsequent agreements, ceasefires and other halts, the rocket fire has always continued over the past 14 years from Gaza.

Can you answer these questions:

a) when will Hamas begin firing anew?

b) how many rockets/mortars will it fire until Israel resumes active defense?

c) how long until a major Israeli counter-terror operation?

d) and how many projectiles will be launched until the next ceasefire?

and last, but not least,

e) will Binyamin Netanyahu still be Prime Minister when (c) happens?