Combating BDS

For a long time now, I have seen arguments within the Jewish community about how to deal with BDS.

Should we ignore them and hope that others will see the light?

Should we “get in their faces”?

Should we use their tactics against them?

Lately, these arguments seem to be coming to a head. A recent article “On Israel Apartheid Week, some pro-Israel students find silence is best response” By Uriel Heilman prompted me to join a discussion on Facebook about strategy and tactics.

While some, indeed believe that protests just draw attention to BDS and that any attention is favorable (similar to the old thought that “any media attention is good”, I disagree.

Frankly, I’m amazed at Jewish leaders who counsel ignoring BDS events like the so-called “Apartheid Week”.

Had the black community simply kept their heads down, there would have been no civil rights movement. Martin Luther King and other civil rights movement leaders brought about change by shining the light of day on extreme and pervasive racism, and the country has changed radically as a result. Today, there is not a single person in this country who doesn’t understand that negative comments or stereotypes about people of color are unacceptable, and doesn’t know that such comments will draw a rain of criticism down on them.

Jews and supporters of Israel are in a similar situation today with respect to BDS and bashing of Israel. There are basic, actual facts about Israel that have been distorted, hidden, or forgotten, while at the same time, a vast network of Israel-haters has sprung up, ready, willing, and eager to take any opportunity to portray Israel negatively, even in the face of a plethora of available, objective evidence that contradicts their claims. They have managed to tarnish Israel’s reputation around the globe, and today, on college campuses in particular, they are succeeding in turning those who should be supporters of Israel – young, smart, progressive, liberal, humanitarian students – into haters of Israel by using false narratives that pull at the heartstrings of these students.

The only way to beat BDS is to shine a very bright light on it. We need to expose their lies for what they are, at every possible opportunity. We need to expose their tight connections with Hamas, Hezbollah, and whatever highly objectionable organizations finance and support the BDS movement. We need to expose their funding and support mechanisms, and we need to create a strong awareness of, and disgust for these organizations, which are based on the desire to destroy Israel, kill Jews worldwide, and promote a version of Islam that should be anathema to any thinking, rational person in the Western world, in particular students concerned with human rights, LBQT rights, women’s rights, free speech, etc. etc. etc.

We need to prevent them from “disrupting” pro-Israel events, and we need to be proactive and aggressive about getting the truth in front of people, with incontrovertible proofs that our claims are true, and proofs that the claims of the BDS movement are based on complete and utter lies.

What this means is that there need to be protests (non-violent) with massive turnout of Israel supporters, displays countering BDS assertions whenever and wherever the BDS movement is showing their anti-semitic faces, there need to be positive articles about Israel in the mainstream media, billboards highlighting Israeli contributions to the world and even to the Palestinians, and most of all, there needs to be engagement on campuses to the point of “getting in their faces” and exposing their lies, every single day.

It means being organized and passionate, bringing pro-Israel and anti-antisemitism resolutions to student government, over and over again, if necessary. It means condemning BDS, anti-semitism,  and discrimination against Jewish students in school newspapers, on social media, and in campus demonstrations. It means demanding that Jews on campus receive protections guaranteed to all students.  And, it means demanding action from college administrations and security (and police, if applicable) when BDS “disrupts” meetings, classes, and lectures, violating both the first amendment rights of pro-Israel groups and campus and public laws. Find legal methods of making their “disruptions” painful and costly. And, it is crucial to make sure there is adequate security at events to quickly and effectively remove these jerks when they initiate their “disruptions”. Letting them strut, parade, and disrupt only makes them stronger and more confident that “The Jews” will just sit back and take it, since that’s what we’ve done for centuries.

While Jews are not as rich, and don’t have as much influence as the BDS movement would have people believe, there ARE any number of wealthy, influential Jews who should be solicited for support of these initiatives by donations, public statements, threats to end funding of universities that are “hostile” to Israel and Jewish students, and frankly, the state of Israel should be on the hook for supporting this – they have a lot to lose and it frequently appears as if they are unaware of the extent of BDS outside Israel.

Sitting back and hoping it will all just go away is insane. It won’t. We need to stand up and fight this insane movement before it poisons all the future leaders of this country and others.

Response to “Israel turns off power to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the dead of winter” by Annie Robbins of Mondoweiss

I ran across this article this morning, and after reading it, thought it needed comment. While there are many similar articles out there, this one has any number of falsehoods, inaccuracies, and lies and caught my eye. Maybe it was the pretty picture at the top of the article…

The article can be found here:  http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/hundreds-thousands-palestinians/

Go ahead, read it, I’ll wait.

OK. Got it?

Let’s go point by point. This may take a while.

  1. Re-read the first paragraph. That’s quite a first paragraph. Israel has withheld $240 Million in tax revenues to the PA as punishment for joining the ICC. I wonder if the fact that the PA owes the Israeli electric company (IEC) over $500 million and refuses to pay for their electricity has anything to do with it?

    The electricity was turned off for a whopping 45 minutes. Wow! That’s a serious hardship for the people essentially stealing electricity, especially as Robbins has highlighted that “BLIZZARDS SWEEP ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST”. “Blizzards”?  I had to laugh. They got a little bit of snow, but “blizzard”?  Not so much. But, ok, let Robbins have her hyperbole, it makes for better copy.  Here’s a link describing winter weather in Ramallah:  http://www.whatstheweatherlike.org/palestinian-territories/ramallah.htm  As you can see, they sometimes get a little snow, but it’s usually gone with 24 hours, just like Jerusalem. “Blizzards”, LMAO.

    Bottom line, though, is the IEC cut off the juice for 45 minutes to two cities as a warning that they need to get paid.

  2. I REALLY liked Robbins’ comment that “The irony here, of withholding the months of  tax revenue while demanding payment of a debt, on top of occupation policy preventing Palestinians from being self sufficient, is not lost on anyone.”
  3. Clearly, Robbins believes that the IEC has no right to expect payment for services contracted by and rendered to the PA, for which the PA has promised payment. She makes it seem as if it’s SO unfair to expect the PA to live up to a contract they signed, because the “occupation” prevents them from being self-sufficient. This, in spite of the many billions of dollars the PA gets in aid money and their “self-sufficience” in Area A of the West Bank where 90% or so of Palestinians live and are governed 100% by the PA.

    As I understand what she’s saying, she fully believes it’s Israel’s obligation to pay the PA’s electric bill. Really?

  4. Further in the article, Robbins repeats the same, tired lie that “Israel opened dams near the border of Gaza”, causing massive flooding in the Gaza strip. And, she calls this a “punitive measure”.

    There’s only one problem – there ARE NO DAMS. NONE.  If Robbins ever reads this, I would challenge her to name the dams that were opened. Show us where they are on a map. Show a picture of them. Of course, she can’t, since they don’t exist, as has been proven over and over and over again last year when this stupid claim was floated.

    Gaza is flooding because they have inadequate drainage systems, exacerbated by war damage. It has nothing to do with dams.

  5. Then, the kicker. Her very last line is “Remember last year when Israel caged Palestinian children in outdoor holding pens during freezing winter storms? ” She provides a link to another of her “articles” claiming this, with statements that it’s “widely known” that Israel tortures children.

    Sigh. What a load of horse manure.

    Yet another possibly well-meaning person sucked into believing everything bad about Israel and nothing bad about the PA, who thinks it’s her duty to inform the world that Israel is the most evil empire the world has ever seen.

    She claims to be a “human rights activist”, but frankly, I don’t think she would know a human right if it bit her…..

    Bottom line – this article is full of outright inaccuracies (I’m being kind) and worse. Robbins should get out of her ceramics studio and go see for herself. While I understand the use of hyperbole, her exaggerations are unconscionable, as words create images, and her images are pure, unadulterated crap.

Commentary on “The Political Nature of Today’s Middle East Studies” by Andrew C. McCarthy

A friend sent me an article by Andrew McCarthy. I found it quite interesting and, to me, relevant.
 
For those who may not know, my first bachelor’s degree (I have two, plus two master’s degrees) was in Near Eastern Studies, and was earned at the University of Michigan. The NE Studies department at UM was, at the time (I really have no idea about today) quite prestigious, respected, and well-known.
 
As part of the degree program, I learned Hebrew, Arabic, and studied Islamic history, Islamic/Arab and Israeli literature, and much more. My major concentration was in Hebrew, and my minor in Arabic.
 
I had professors from all over the world – British, American, Arab, Israeli, and others. Some clearly had their own biases, but generally, the curriculum was focused on a relatively even-handed, objective view of history, even when taught by those who exhibited bias outside of class. It was important to deal in actual FACT. The interpretation of the impact of those facts and events might change, depending on who the professor was, and what his views were, but the facts didn’t change.
 
We studied actual documents of the Near (Middle) East, and in fact, I still have some of the books we used. They document very clearly the treaties, wars, aggressions, coups, controls of territories, etc. up through about 1976 (I graduated in 1977, so my school texts stopped then).
 
What bothers me immensely today is that many universities have abandoned an objective teaching of history, and have greatly politicized it. Much of this is due, I believe, to both the immense “donations” to Middle East Studies departments by rich Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, who have caused these departments to develop quite obvious “slants” or biases in favor of the views of their benefactors, and, the gradual “infiltration” of extremely partisan faculty sponsored by these donors.
 
It was a very slick way to guarantee that only one side of things would be presented. In some ways, it’s very similar to how things are done in politics, Hillary Clinton’s and Jimmy Carter’s protestations that they owe nothing to people who gave them millions of dollars notwithstanding.
 
When I see or hear what passes today for “history”, it makes me sick to my stomach, as much of it is diametrically opposed to actual facts that are readily available and accessible in any good university library. The deliberate distortion of history is astonishing and horrendous, as it presents current events in the Middle East as occurring in a vacuum, or worse, denies absolutely provable historical facts with “garbage” evidence – usually nothing substantive at all. This should be unacceptable to ANY scholar or historian, but instead, we have students eagerly absorbing absolute falsehood presented as absolute truth by professors with tremendous, partisan agendas in place.
 
While one can certainly argue causation of events, including the impacts of various historical events, what we see today is distortion of the actual facts. This is unforgivable.
 
Some of what I see presented as “fact” is, to me, the equivalent of professors teaching that the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor didn’t really happen – it was an imperialist plot hatched up by the Russians and Germans to blame the Japanese and drag the USA into the war. Really, it was just mines and IED’s placed onto ships. Never mind the newsreel footage, eyewitness accounts, and vast body of evidence, just believe me because I’m the professor (nod nod, wink wink).
 
Based on what I’ve seen and read in recent years, I have to concur wholeheartedly with Andrew McCarthy’s article (reproduced below).
 
John Poris
 
The text of the original article, with attribution, is below:
 
 
Campus Watch Research

A

National Review Online
August 10, 2015
15
[NRO title: “Modern Middle East Studies vs. Scholarship”]
Andrew McCarthy
It would be a mistake to say Middle East Studies have been corrupted. For the program’s very purpose has been to serve as a corrupting agent. Specifically, it puts the essence of study — the objective pursuit of knowledge — in disrepute.
Here, of course, I am referring to the modern incarnation of Middle East Studies: an amalgam of leftist and Islamist political dogma that masquerades as an academic discipline. By contrast, the actual study of Middle Eastern history, like the intimately related study of Islamic civilization, is a venerable and vital pursuit — and is still pursued as such by, to take the best example, ASMEA, the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa. Alas, in our hyper-politicized society, the traditional notion of study seems quaint: a vestige of a bygone time when the designations “Orientalist” and “Islamist” referred to subject-matter expertise, not political activism, much less radicalism.
Yet, for Edward Said, the seminal figure in modern Middle East Studies, the object of the game was to slander knowledge itself. Joshua Muravchik nailed it in a 2013 profile of the renowned academic. Said’s animating theory held that “knowledge” was the key that enabled the West to dominate Orientals: The point of pursuing knowledge about “the languages, culture, history, and sociology of societies of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent,” Said elaborated, was to gain more control over the “subject races” by making “their management easy and profitable.” With real study caricatured as the engine of colonial exploitation, the way was paved for a competing construction of “study” — political agitation to empower the have-nots in the struggle against the haves.
Said was a fitting pioneer for such a fraud. To begin with, he was a professor not of Middle East Studies but of comparative literature. Moreover, the personal history he touted to paper over his want of credentials was sheer fiction: Far from what he purported to be (a Palestinian victim exiled by Jews from his Jerusalem home at age twelve), Said was actually a child of privilege, raised in Cairo and educated in top British and American schools. His Palestinian tie of note was membership in the PLO’s governing council. Like Rashid Khalidi — his protégé, who was later awarded the chair in Modern Arab Studies that Columbia University named in Said’s honor — Said was a reliable apologist of Yassir Arafat, the indefatigable terrorist who infused Palestinian identity with a Soviet-backed Arab nationalism.
To thrive in an Islamic culture, it was not only useful but necessary for Palestinian militancy to accommodate the Islamist sense of divine injunction to wage jihad. From its roots, then, modern Middle East Studies is a political movement aligning leftism and Islamism under the guise of an academic discipline. It is not an objective quest for learning guided by a rich corpus of history and culture; it is a project to impose its pieties as incontestable truth — and to discredit dispassionate analysis in order to achieve that end.
The embrace of Islamism usefully advances this project because Islamist ideology similarly stigmatizes the pursuit of knowledge. Where the leftist frames the West’s reverence for reason as imperialism, the Islamist attacks it on theological grounds.
Sharia, they maintain, is the complete and perfect societal framework and legal code, the path to human life lived in conformity with Allah’s design. Thus, what the West calls “reason” or “the objective pursuit of knowledge” is merely a rationalization for supplanting Allah’s design with the corrupting preferences of Western civilization.
We see how this teaching plays out in practice. Muslim countries that supplement sharia with other legislation add the caveat that no man-made law may contradict Islamic principles. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation — a group of Islamic governments that form a large bloc in the United Nations — even found it necessary in 1990 to promulgate a Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, because Islamists could not accept the Universal Declaration of Human Rights spearheaded by non-Muslim governments after World War II.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamist organization, refers to this enterprise as “the Islamicization of knowledge,” the weaving of historical events and cultural developments into Islamist narratives that confirm sharia-supremacist tenets. The “Islamicization of knowledge” is the express and unapologetic mandate of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Virginia-based think tank established by the Brotherhood in 1981.
There are two pertinent observations to be made about the IIIT. First, it has provided an enthusiastic endorsement of Reliance of the Traveller, the English translation of Umdat al-Salik, a classic Arabic sharia manual. The publisher found this seal of approval sufficiently significant to be included in the manual’s preface, along with an endorsement from scholars at the ancient al-Azhar University in Cairo.
The manual is an eye-opener. In addition to detailing sharia’s gruesome hudud penalties (e.g., scourging and death for such offenses as extramarital or homosexual relations), it provides instruction on Islam’s brutally enforced proscriptions against blasphemy and apostasy. These are salient to our consideration: They include prohibitions not only against renunciation and ridicule of Islam but even against objectively true statements that contradict sharia, promote other belief systems, or might otherwise sow discord in the Islamic community.
Obviously, the animating purpose of these principles is to discourage severely the robust exchange of ideas, and even more the scholarly examination of Islamic doctrine and culture. The Islamicization of knowledge is possible only if the objective pursuit of knowledge is not permitted to compete.
That brings us to the second noteworthy observation about the IIIT: It has longstanding ties to the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). Several of these were traced by Cinnamon Stillwell in a 2014 American Thinker essay.
This alliance, the sponsorship by the IIIT of Middle East Studies programs throughout North America, the collaborations between the IIIT and MESA scholars — these are easy to understand. Modern Middle East Studies is a counter-scholarship enterprise that subverts truth to the ends of leftist and Islamist politics. To be clear, it is not an alternative interpretation of reality competing in the marketplace of ideas; it is an anti-Western program that is oblivious to reality and seeks to shut down the marketplace.
We do ourselves and the search for truth great harm by indulging the fiction that anti-American power politics is credible American scholarship.
— Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, thanks the Middle East Forum for its sponsorship of this column.

Never Again….

The phrase “Never Again” has very strong emotional force for most Jews.

What we are seeing around the world now is reminiscent of what we saw in Germany (and other European nations) in the period following WWI. Of course, Jews have seen waves of anti-semitism for many centuries, although the phrase “Never Again” refers to the holocaust.

For those of us with strong senses of history and long memories, it is far from being an idle or empty phrase.

Today, it is FAR too acceptable to spread vicious rumors about “The Jews” – They control all the banks. It’s the Rothschilds. They drink Christian blood (that’s always a funny one, since Jewish law mandates elimination of ALL blood from food prior to eating it), they have a conspiracy to control the world, they are oppressing the poor, poor Palestinians and have stolen “their” land, etc. etc. etc.

These canards would be funny, were they not so widespread, along with acts of violence against Jews.

Today, we are seeing the beginnings of an exodus of Jews from Europe. These are people who have said “enough!” and are not willing to wait around while Muslim “migrants” overrun Europe, bringing with them virulent Jew-hatred and violence against Jews.

Enough. Never Again! Am Israel Chai!

Just How Sorry Should We Feel For “The Palestinians”?

Note: This is a LONG post. Feel free to share….

In recent times, we have all been bombarded with innumerable accounts of the barbarity, ferocity, savage, cruel, racist, and “apartheid” nature of Israel’s “occupation” of “Palestinian” lands. We see claims that Israel is “Judaizing” Jerusalem, plotting to take over the “Haram Al Sharif” (aka “The Temple Mount”), that they are going to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and deny Muslims the right to pray where they want, and much worse. We hear that the checkpoints in the West Bank are SO disturbing to the Palestinians that it is now acceptable, even “heroic”, to walk up to civilian strangers in the street and stab them to death.

That so many accept these claims at face value, in the face of a tremendous, longstanding, clearly true body of evidence is astounding, but no less astounding is the fact that so many otherwise intelligent people deny evidence and simply “pile on”, ostensibly in the name of “human rights”, while completely ignoring every major human rights disaster in the world, calling only Israel to account.

So, a few thoughts and clarifications for those who are inadequately educated, or simply want to believe the worst about Israel.

  1. Israel is the modern name of an ancient, Jewish kingdom that existed in the area of modern-day Israel, the “West Bank” (aka Judea and Samaria). The ONLY nations that have EVER existed in this specific geography were Jewish nations. There is no evidence of any other nation existing there. Ever. There were many conquests of this land, with migrations of Arabs, Romans, Greeks, and others sweeping across the area, but no nation other than those of the Jews.
  2. Jerusalem, which President Abbas and others of the Palestinian Authority claim is being “Judaized” has always been the center of Judaism. Always. Jews have prayed every single day for thousands of years to never forget Jerusalem, to return to Jerusalem, and to eventually rebuild the temples that were destroyed there.

    While clearly, there have always been non-Jewish residents of Jerusalem, it has always been a Jewish city.

    The Old City of Jerusalem is divided, still today, into four quarters – Muslim, Christian, Armenian, and, yes, Jewish. The Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, which falls within what the useful idiots and Palestinians now call “East Jerusalem”, had over 19,000 Jews living there in the early 20th The Jewish inhabitants of the Jewish Quarter were thrown out of their homes in 1948 when Jordan conquered half of Jerusalem, just as were all Jewish residents of the rest of Jerusalem, including what is now euphemistically (and erroneously) called East Jerusalem.

    When Israel conquered the “other” half of Jerusalem in 1967, they annexed it and allowed the owners and residents to return to their pre-1948 homes.

    Today, we are told that these people, who were forced out of their homes for a whopping 19 years, are “settlers” usurping the lands and properties of “The Palestinians”.

    There is only one problem with this narrative. It’s not true. Much of the land around Jerusalem was barren land, uninhabited and unused. Jews purchased most of what they now have from the actual, legal owners.

    One can argue that the Arab owners should not have sold the land, that fellahin (peasants) were living on the land as sharecroppers or renting homes, but the bottom line, just as in any country with laws about land ownership, is that land purchases are legal.

 

  1. The world continually refers to the division between Israel and the West Bank (and “East Jerusalem”) as “The 1967 Border”. In fact, it is not now, nor has it ever been a “border”. The demarcation line was delineated in 1949 at the conclusion of Israel’s war of independence, and was created based on the battle lines at the time of the cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Arab nations that attacked it in 1948. It is known as either “The Green Line” or “The 1949 Armistice Lines”. In ALL the armistice documents between the parties and at the United Nations, these lines are acknowledged as NOT being a “border”, and very clearly, especially on the part of the Arabs, demand that they NEVER be considered a border. Yet, today, the world continually calls these “borders”. They are not.
  2. Israel is called an “Apartheid” state. By any stretch of the imagination, this is so far from the truth as to represent absurdity.

    Within Israel, ALL citizens have equal rights under the law, with the exception that non-Jewish citizens are not required to perform military service. That exemption is not based on racism, but on a sensibility that many may feel divided in their loyalties and be unwilling to serve a Jewish state.

    It does NOT mean that discrimination does not exist in Israel. It does, just like it does in every country in the world. Where people exist among “others”, discrimination, racism, and fear of those who are different exists.

    But, in Israel, these fears are addressed by laws that guarantee equal rights for all. These rights have been upheld time after time after time by Israel’s courts, including the Supreme Court. ANY citizen has the right to live anywhere, to go to any public school, to serve in the military, become a politician, or enjoy any of the rights and responsibilities of other citizens. There is constant improvement in the lot of minorities, which not only include Arabs, but Jews from Ethiopia and others, as well. It is not perfect, but the country, as a whole, strives for unity and is, certainly, better than most “melting pots” around the world in terms of acceptance and integration of minorities.

    In the “Occupied Territories”, life is a bit different. The West Bank is divided into three areas – Area A, Area B, and Area C.  This was agreed upon by the Arabs and the Israelis in the Oslo II Accords in 1995, and was intended to be temporary pending “peace” negotiations between the parties.

    Area A and Area B were created to contain the vast majority of Arabs living in the West Bank. It comprises about 40% of the land of the West Bank, and the vast majority of the Arab population living in the West Bank. Almost all these Arabs are governed in EVERY way by the Palestinian Authority, NOT by Israel. Israel’s only authority in these areas is military/security related. Israeli forces enter these areas only in pursuit of those either planning attacks, or who have carried out attacks against Israel. The laws in these areas are Arab/Palestinian, not Israeli, and the government was elected by the Arabs living there.

    It is important to note that the Palestinian Authority has declared that NO JEWS are allowed in these areas.

    Area C is the rest of the land, most of which was NOT occupied by Arab inhabitants, although there are about 3000 Arabs living in this area (as of 2013), vs. 2.8 million Arabs living in Areas A and B. For comparison, there are about 350,000 Jews living in Area C as of 2013.

  3. The historical connection of Jews to many of the places within “The West Bank” is so well documented as to be irrefutable, in spite of the claims of the Arabs. A quick glance through an old testament will give you a flavor of the history of the Jews in this area.

    The city of Hebron (the name comes from the Hebrew word “Chaver”, or “friend”), for example, which now has a small enclave of Jews living there, is the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world. King David reigned there 1000 years before the Romans conquered it, and the tombs of the Jewish “patriarchs”, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and “matriarchs”, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all there. There was a continuous Jewish presence there until 1929, when the Arab residents killed 67 Jews and drove the rest out, until 1967, when some Jews returned. For more details, see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/hebron.html.

    What is ironic about Jewish “settlement” in the “West Bank” is that some areas, such as Gush Emunim, were Jewish-owned land and villages, settlements, etc. in the 1920’s and ‘30’s, interrupted only by Arab neighbors forcing the owners, who had purchased the land, off it, only to return after 1967. The Jewish owners of Gush Emunim had clear title to the land, having purchased it under the real estate laws established by the Ottomans and continued by the British. They bought the land from the owners, with clear title going back hundreds of years. Yet, today, they are called “settlers”, and somehow, we’re supposed to believe that they stole the land from someone.

  4. The Palestinians, who, as a separate “nationality”, never existed before the mid-1960’s, claim that Israel stole “their” land. Unfortunately for them, it was never “their” land in a nationalistic sense.

    While many Arabs living in the area were landowners, the land in which the state of Israel was founded in 1948 was purchased from the legal landowners. In some cases, this resulted in the eviction of Arab tenants on the land when the new owners took possession, in the same way that new owners have taken possession of their property for as long as civilization has recorded land and property sales. Someone buys a property, decides that they no longer want to rent to the tenant, and the tenant is forced to move. This is the norm in every country in the world, and has been for many, many centuries.

    In recent times, the land in question was controlled by the Ottomans from around 1299 until the British acquired control of it in 1918 at the conclusion of WWI. Before that, it has been controlled by a laundry list of peoples, most of whom are no longer in existence. These include the Canaanites, Amorites, Ancient Egyptians, Moabites, Ammonites, Tjeker, Philistines (who are NOT the ancestors of the Palestinians), Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, there have been Jewish/Israelite kingdoms, as well, which are the ONLY recorded instances of nations existing there.

    When Jordan attacked Israel in 1967 and was beaten by Israel, Israel acquired the West Bank. Unfortunately for the Arabs (or perhaps, fortunately, since they are so much better off under Israel than they were under Jordan that the comparison is ridiculous), even though Israel offered to give it (or part of “it”) “back” in exchange for peace, Jordan refused, and Israel has been “stuck” with it ever since.

    Israel cannot simply withdraw from it, as that would leave a vacuum. The area would not survive very long without Israeli support, water, electricity, and all the other services that Israel provides. Nor, apparently, can Israel negotiate successfully with the Arabs. They’ve tried, even offering 97% of the land (with some land swaps), only to be completely rebuffed.

    The world forgets that initially, there were NO checkpoints, no special roads for Israelis (NOT for Jews only, but for all Israeli citizens, of whom 20% are Arab). The checkpoints came into existence only after the rate of Arab terror became unbearable and Israel limited travel from place to place. There is no doubt that checkpoints are burdensome, but they are not tantamount to “genocide”, which the Arabs continually claim, nor are they “racist” or “apartheid”. They are quite simply there for security purposes. Had the Arabs negotiated in good faith and reached an agreement, those checkpoints would have disappeared overnight.

  5. Current Issues. So, where are we today?

    I started with the title “Just how sorry should we feel for the “Palestinians”?”.

    We have a “community” of Arabs calling themselves Palestinians. That’s ok, they are entitled to call themselves anything they like. They are perfectly entitled to have nationalistic aspirations and to want to have their own country, just like many people around the world. Certainly, “Americans” are not a homogeneous entity, nor are all Americans from America. Many, like many of the “Palestinian” Arabs, came from other places.

    The bigger question is “To what are ‘the Palestinians’ entitled?”

    My answer is “nothing”.

    Israel and the world do not owe the Palestinians a state, roads, an economy, water, ports, railroads, schools, hospitals, or anything else. In light of the Palestinians’ desire for a country of their own, the world has recognized that desire, as has Israel, and both have agreed that the Palestinians are welcome to have their own country.

    That, however, does NOT give the Palestinians specific land rights, rights to holy places, rights to displace people who have bought the land on which they live, or to conduct temper tantrums in the form of terror campaigns to get what they claim they want.

    Of course, what they REALLY want is quite clear. They want the state of Israel to disappear, to be replaced by a state of “Palestine”, in which Jews will not live, or, will be relegated to the status of “Dhimmi”, or second-class citizens with limited rights.

    The Palestinians have had many opportunities to erect a state, and have had ample assistance from the rest of the world, including Israel. They have walked away from EVERY effort to negotiate security, borders and “settlements”, and have made ever-increasing demands for preconditions to even talk to Israel, all, apparently, in the hopes that the “useful idiots” and anti-semites of the world will make their case for them.

    If they REALLY wanted a state, they could have had it at almost any time since 1948, by simply negotiating in good faith and compromising, as Israel has shown over and over again that it is willing to do, on some of their demands.

    No matter how much the Palestinians demand a “right of return” for all descendants of “refugees”, it simply is not going to happen, since that would effectively end the status of Israel as the Jewish homeland. No Israeli government is ever going to agree with that, nor will 99% of Israelis.

    It is highly unlikely that Israel will agree to evacuate major settlement “blocs” near Jerusalem, particularly those in strategically important areas and/or that were Jewish-owned before 1949, although it IS likely that Israel would be willing to “gerrymander” the border to include some of the Arab towns currently within its borders in exchange for these “settlements”.

    All the protests in the world will not change that fact.

The bottom line is that I DON’T feel sorry for the Palestinians. They have made their bed and continue to make and lie in it, daily. If they renounce the use of violence and sit down at the table, they could have a state tomorrow. The issue of the “settlements” being an impediment to negotiation is beyond ridiculous. That “issue” would be clearly settled within the discussion on borders.

So, why should I feel sorry for the Palestinians? They clearly have exactly what they want.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Doesn’t a “Jew Free” Temple Mount Bother You?

To my many “liberal” friends who are pro-Palestinian, embrace the cause of human rights, disdain and condemn human rights abuses, wherever they may occur, and consider themselves “humanitarians”, yet condemn Israel alone among all the nations of the world, I have a question for you.

Why is it that the condemnation of the Arab and Muslim world of Jews who would like to pray on the temple mount, known to Muslims as “the Noble Sanctuary”, or “Haram al Sharif”, doesn’t bother you?

We are not talking about Jews wanting to kick Muslim worshipers out of this area or prevent them from praying, attending mosque services, or in any way taking away their rights.

We are simply talking about people who wish to pray.

Why is that a threat? How is it a threat? What is the problem with multiple faiths praying in the same location, which happens to be holy to more than one faith?

How do you reconcile your love of “human rights”, freedom to worship as one pleases, freedom of speech, etc., with the denial of the right to pray somewhere simply because one is a Jew?

In the same vein, if you support the establishment (or recognition) of a Palestinian state, while condemning Israel for its “occupation”, how do you reconcile the many, many, many iterations of statements by Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, and by many other Palestinian luminaries, that their state will not allow any Jews in it?

On the one hand, you decry alleged “apartheid” by the Jewish state, even though a full 20% of its population is not Jewish and has full voting rights and all other rights of citizenship, including representation in the Knesset (parliament), but you applaud wildly the foundation of another Muslim state called Palestine in which its leaders continually decree that not one Jew will be allowed to live there.

Why is that OK? Is that not racism of the first order?

If you support the Palestinians’ desire for a state, that is fine. But, how can you support outright discrimination and racism at the same time? Doesn’t that make you the least bit uncomfortable?

If not, why not?

It should.

Reflections on my birthday, which is today, and on 9/11.

Today, I am 61. It seems old, yet, at the same time, young. I don’t feel 61, and most people probably will tell you I don’t “act my age”. I’m much more immature than others half my age, lol.

I am, though, old enough to remember a good bit of modern history, from a first-hand, or near enough, perspective, and find myself mourning the current trend of denying objective, historical events, even when said events are beyond well-documented. I mourn objectivity and a rush to believe complete and utter bullshit, and mourn having to watch people propagate the most outrageous crap as “truth”.

Examples of this abound.

Just today, I saw several posts on my timeline trumpeting that the 9/11 attacks were fake, that they were a Jewish conspiracy, a US government conspiracy, an Israeli conspiracy, and other, similar claims. To say that I’m astounded would be an understatement. No one who watched those towers falling, whether on tv or in person, should have any doubt what actually happened that day. Nor should there be any doubt, whatsoever, about who was responsible, and it wasn’t the Jews, the Israelis, the government, or anyone other than Al Quaida and their myriad supporters around the world, including, sadly, many people in countries we consider allies, and, especially, the Iranian regime. I also am astounded at the number of people who deny that the holocaust existed, or who believe that somehow, Israel “stole” the land and country of the Palestinians, when even a cursory examination of history books would reveal that such a state never existed, and much of the Arab population that existed in what is now Israel in 1948 consisted of fairly recent immigrants to the area from other Arab states. But, who cares about historical accuracy when it’s easier to just hate the Jews, and shout “Palestine will be free, from the River to the Sea”, as if that promotes a 2 state solution rather than genocide against the Jews of Israel.

Watching the reactions, live, of people around the Muslim world dancing in the streets, passing out candy, and celebrating the deaths of almost 3,000 Americans on 9/11/2001, made me question the sanity of the world, and the passing years since then have made me question it even more.

Today, we find ourselves on the brink of a “deal” with that same Iranian regime, which hasn’t softened an iota in their goals for us. Those goals include extermination of Israel, forcible conversion of all “infidels” to their version of Islam, and essentially, subjugation and hegemony of the world, starting with the Middle East.

Sadly, our “leaders” have forgotten 9/11, and have turned this “deal” from a question of right vs. wrong, our way of life vs. theirs, into a political freak show designed to demonstrate loyalty to party, rather than loyalty to our country and its citizens, and, to our allies in the Middle East who will be inordinately threatened by the implementation of this deal.

There is a war between “Radical Islam” and the West. Wishing won’t make it go away. Appeasement won’t make it go away. Isolationism won’t make it go away. Paying off the Iranians won’t make it go away.

We have substituted morality and the strength and courage of our convictions for political expediency, and fans of the president and his party have eagerly lapped it up like mother’s milk.

This is a dark day in our history. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. Our obstinate refusal to pay attention to the lessons of history are making it more and more likely that the next war, instead of being short and against a weaker opponent, will be against a powerhouse of the Middle East, well-armed, with nuclear weapons and a willingness to use them, and with a fanatical hatred of our way of life.

The focus on partisanship that rages in our government today, and the president’s obscene focus on his “legacy” as a “peacemaker”, will, I’m afraid, ultimately condemn us to a very long, costly, nasty, and horrendous war that could have been avoided, or at least minimized. There is no escaping this conflict – it is growing in intensity every day, throughout the Middle East, spilling over into Europe, now awash in Muslim immigrants, “no-go zones” in Muslim neighborhoods, protests around the world demanding the destruction of Israel and annihilation of the Jews, and denouncing the US, always. And, what do we do? Give them more money. Ignore what is right in front of our face. Pretend that giving the beast small bites will prevent it from trying to eat us when it grows too large to be sustained by small bites anymore.

Shame on us and shame on our lawmakers for ignoring history, and shame on us for letting it happen. Our not so distant ancestors, who fought wars in the name of freedom, must be rolling over in their graves, watching us throw away the freedoms for which they paid so dearly in blood.

All in all, 9/11 is a hell of a birthday.