Sunday, September 25, 2016

Again, No BBC coverage of energy sector agreements between Israel and the PA - by Hadar Sela

...Given that the topic of the chronic electricity crisis is a regular feature in BBC reporting from the Gaza Strip (and frequently inaccurately attributed to Israel), one might have expected the corporation to report this news. However, neither of those examples of cooperation between Israel and the PA has received any BBC coverage.

Hadar Sela..
BBC Watch..
25 September '16..

The topic of Israel’s withholding of tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority has cropped up time and time again in the BBC’s Middle East coverage over the years. However, the BBC has repeatedly failed to adequately inform audiences of the relevant context of the PA’s massive debt to the Israel Electric Corporation and the reasons why that debt has accumulated.

Last week an agreement was reached in an effort to try to solve the perennial problem of that PA debt to the IEC.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Hinde Street #antisemitism in the Methodist Church - by David Collier

...It seems odd then that these checkpoints should become the focus of your exhibition. As defenceless Christian communities are slaughtered throughout the Middle East, you choose to waste church funds on highlighting issues with a method the Jewish people have found, that protects them from a similar slaughter.

David Collier..
Across the Great Divide..
23 September '16..

I have been to your church several times this week in an effort to engage with people over the ‘you cannot pass today’ exhibition. The Church decided to use a replica of an Israeli security checkpoint to deliver a message about ‘bringing down walls’.

Last night I was also at the circle discussion, that spoke about building bridges between the communities. I always try to reach out, try to understand. My learning process doesn’t include vocally arguing my case, but rather engaging and listening to others, absorbing their message (without confrontation) and trying to build a picture of what it is I see. There are three central points I would like now to get across:

The humanitarian safari park

The exhibition came about because one of the people involved with the church, Katherine Fox, had recently returned from a three-month humanitarian mission in Bethlehem.

Katherine did not go to Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan nor Libya. The reason she did not go to these places is because it is generally too dangerous and there is no similar industry to any of these life threatening areas. Only inside Israel does this type of tourism occur. It is safe to view the humanitarian situation in Israel precisely because it does not involve the dangers that exist elsewhere. I have written on this subject before.

If you had listened to Katherine speak last night, you would hear she was instructed to propagate the information. To return from the safari park and record events as if she had been into a jungle. It is part of the process, part of the industry. You get to go, provided on your return, you hold ‘x’ number of events that perpetuate the myths and convert others to the cause.

You also only get to see what they want you to see. You are on a journey with a clearly laid out path. If for example Katherine had spent three months in Ramallah, she’d be wondering what all the fuss is about . These trips are well choreographed. Your hand is held from the time you arrive to the time you leave.

So the question then becomes, is ‘bringing down the wall’, a message of peace or one of war. Is the church assisting those who seek a peaceful solution, or inadvertently helping to perpetuate a conflict, assisting in spreading the hatred?

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Saturday, September 24, 2016

In truth, we don't live by what the Palestinians say - by Dror Eydar

...The Palestinians routinely refer to the Jewish Temple as "imagined" and the stories of the Bible as "imaginary." The reason for their efforts is clear: If there is no historic link between the Jewish people and this land, then we are foreign invaders who took control of a country that wasn't ours. But we don't live by what the Palestinians say.

Dror Eydar..
Israel Hayom..
23 September '16..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=36659



1. I was asked to give a speech of about 12 minutes at the Israel American Council's upcoming national conference to young Israelis living in the U.S. about archaeology and the story of Israel.

It's a very Jewish thing, compressing thousands of years into a drop of time. There are many aspects to archaeology. Generally, it's about physically touching ancient material: structures, fragments of pottery and metal, inscriptions, graves, and more. History, particularly ancient history, is mostly silent. Very little of it is written down. Archaeology helps reconstruct the past.

For us as Jews, reconstructing the past isn't a matter for a museum to handle. We aren't sitting and watching a historic play; we're part of it. To understand this, let's think about archaeology in other fields, such as the archaeology of texts or language.

What is a word? A signifier. What happens when a word can refer to more than one thing? What happens when it's an ancient word that has existed for 3,000 years? Words like these are like the tips of icebergs -- their contemporary meaning is just the uppermost layer. If we dig, we discover older layers of meaning. We might find, in other periods, that a word meant exactly the opposite of what it does now.

Think about Hebrew. Anyone who speaks this ancient language is unconsciously getting the past to speak and awakening the immense trove of knowledge and meanings and traditions amassed within the language. In a beit midrash, a place of Jewish learning, we will discover that the verbs used are in the present tense: Rabbi Akiva "says" (not "said"), Rashi interprets, the Prophet Isaiah prophesies. For the Jew, ancient texts are not something to be abandoned on dusty shelves or put in museums -- they have always surrounded Jews, who talked and argued with them, defied them, and took joy in them. Through the use of Hebrew, they were always accessible.

Today, too, Hebrew speakers are able to read the texts that date back 2,000 years or more. If we try harder, we can also become acquainted with the Talmud. And of course the poetry of Spanish Jewry, and Jewish philosophy, biblical commentary, mystic literature, the Zohar, the hassidic and enlightenment movements, up through the literature of the rebirth of the modern Jewish people and the modern day. If we want, we can learn about the lives of Jewish communities in North Africa in the 10th century C.E. or in Renaissance Italy and more, through the system of questions and answers (the responsa) that connected the Jewish world.

I mentioned that these texts "surrounded" us, and I actually meant that they "enveloped" us as both individuals and as a people. This is a defensive wrapping that protected and preserved us in the many diasporas and which even today is supposed to protect the Jews of the world, as long as they are not in their natural home, Israel.

2. The texts, as important and moving as they are, provide a limited archaeological experience. Reading about and studying Jerusalem in the First Temple period is not like walking around the City of David. When you're standing there, you understand what the poet meant by "the mountains surround Jerusalem" (Psalms 125:2) or "dwells between his shoulders" in Moses' blessing to Benjamin (Deuteronomy 33:12) -- that the place where God resides (known in Hebrew as the "shechinah") is between the shoulders -- halfway up, not in the valley and not at the highest hilltop. That is how our forefathers distinguished between their belief and the idol worship that was "on a high and lofty mountain" and "under every spreading tree" (Isaiah 57:5-7).

Several weeks ago, archaeologists revealed how the decorative floor of the Temple looked. They discovered it after intensive work that entailed putting together fragments of stone that had been found among the rubble removed from the Temple Mount. It's supposedly just a floor, colors and stones, not very much.

But the enormous excitement expressed in the news headlines about the discovery demonstrated that the archaeological find had touched a raw nerve. Every time we encounter a remnant of our past as a people, we get a response (and perhaps, an answer) to the question of identity that we have been debating since we returned to history, and even more so since we established an independent Jewish state: Who are we? Is the State of Israel a living continuation of the ancient kingdom of Israel? Are the Jews of the 21st century continuing the people whose high priests walked on those wonderful floor tiles? In the words of literary researcher and critic Baruch Kurzweil: Are we a continuation or a revolution?

Friday, September 23, 2016

And the Reason the Herald Scotland Supports a Violent “Human Rights Worker” is...

...In this case, Israel denied entry to a woman who starts riots, attacks soldiers, and puts the lives of Israeli civilians in danger. Apparently, this is this is what passes for a “human rights worker,” at the Herald Scotland. At least when talking about Israel. The only real question is, why has Israel allowed Pacetta to return so many times in the past?

Daniel Pomerantz..
Honest Reporting..
22 September '16..

The Herald Scotland broke with journalistic ethics, and general reality, when it published an article claiming that “human rights worker” Margaret Pacetta was detained by Israeli authorities at the airport.


Except that Pacetta is not a human rights worker.

Margaret Pacetta is active in an organization called “Glasgow Palestinian Human Rights Campaign,” through which she provokes riots, engages in violence against IDF soldiers, and directly endangers the lives of Israeli civilians.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Why Abbas Won’t Accept Bibi’s Invitation - by Jonathan Tobin

...if Abbas were truly searching for a path to peace and independence for his people, the smartest thing he could do would be to say yes to the prime minister’s invitation. The fact that we all know he’d never even consider doing it tells us all we need to know about Palestinian intentions.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
22 September '16..
Link: https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/why-abbas-wont-accept-bibis-offer/

During his address to the United Nations General Assembly that seemed largely a challenge to the organization’s legitimacy—he described its organs as s a “moral farce,” a “disgrace,” a “joke” and a “circus”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slipped in a clever invitation. He asked Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to come to Jerusalem to address the Israeli people at the Knesset. Abbas’s answer to the offer so far has been silence. But since he has repeatedly rejected every past invitation for a one-on-one meeting with the Israeli in recent years—just as he has repeatedly rejected Israeli offers of peace and statehood—there is little likelihood that the answer will be different this time.

If Abbas were serious about peace, going to Jerusalem in that manner would completely change the dynamic of both the stalled peace process and Israeli public opinion about the conflict no matter what the Palestinian said in his remarks. The spectacle of Abbas at the Knesset would undermine the arguments of the majority of Israelis who agree with the prime minister that the Palestinians don’t want peace. It would create what would likely be intolerable pressure on Netanyahu to give in to more of the PA’s demands on territory and other issues. If the generous terms of peace previously offered by Israel were really inadequate, such a stunt is the best and perhaps the only way for the Palestinians to do better.

So rather than just toss this aside as a meaningless gesture, as Netanyahu’s critics are doing, it’s worth asking why Abbas won’t even consider doing something that is so obviously in the interests of his people? The answer is painfully obvious. He can’t do it because his objective isn’t really a two-state solution that would end the conflict forever.

Going to the Knesset wouldn’t just revive echoes of Anwar Sadat’s dramatic 1977 gesture that led to peace between Israel and Egypt. More than anything either he or his predecessor Yasir Arafat has done, it would signal that the century-long Palestinian war on Zionism is over. Speaking there would mean that the Palestinians are acknowledging the legitimacy of the Jewish state and that the only obstacles to peace are details about borders and guarantees against future violence.

Abbas: Palestinians who murder Israelis must not be arrested - no reaction?

...Comment from the White House? No. Nor from the State Department. Not a peep from the various Jewish organizations ostensibly so keen for peace. Nor any significant follow up by the journalists covering the event. Shame on all of them.

Dr. Aaron Lerner..
IMRA Weekly Commentary..
23 September '16..
Link: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=71490



Incredible.

Let's read this short excerpt from Mahmoud Abbas' UNGA address:

"We remain committed to the agreements reached with Israel since 1993. However, Israel must ...cease the arrest of our people, and must release the thousands of our prisoners and detainees..."
Mahmoud Abbas UN General Assembly September 22, 2016

That's right.

Mahmoud Abbas stated that if a Palestinian goes out tonight and slaughters 20 Jewish babies in a hospital that Israel must not arrest the Palestinian.

Sure, Abbas may put out a press release opposing violence. But he is clear that Israel must not arrest Palestinian murderers.

And the reaction?

A deafening silence.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unreal. Abbas now claims that Israel has been illegally occupying land since 1948!

...Abbas is turning history on its head and lying as easily as he breathes. As usual, no reporter is calling him on this unbelievable display of gall and lying.

Elder of Ziyon..
22 September '16..

I'm reading the (Arabic) statement that Mahmoud Abbas gave to the UN, and it is filled with the usual lies.

But he added a new one, which is breathtaking in its chutzpah.

Abbas claims that Israel violated the UNGA resolution 181 that called for a partition of British Mandate Palestine.

The partition resolution was accepted by the Zionist leadership and rejected by the Arabs, who immediately started murdering Jewish civilians within hours of the vote.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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What Exactly is Obama’s “Palestinian Land”?

...International law – and human rights law – clearly allow Jews to live throughout EGL/the West Bank. The Oslo Accords signed between the parties specifically state that Israel controls all of Area C until such time as the parties negotiate the transfer of more lands. The concept that Jews living in houses that they have every legal and moral right to live in, is somehow connected to Obama’s belief of a “permanent occupation of Palestinian land” is false, misleading and arguably anti-Semitic on every level.

FirstOneThrough..
Israel Analysis..
21 September '16..

On September 20, 2016, US President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. His passing comment on Palestinian Arab-Israel conflict underscored why peace did not advance, and his relationship with Israel worsened over his term.

Obama’s UN remarks covered a lot of activities during his eight years in office, including the Iranian nuclear deal; opening relations with Cuba; and tackling climate change. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict very briefly, but the remark was telling:

“…surely, Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better as leaders in tamping down, rather than encouraging, a notion of identity that leads us to diminish others.”

“Palestinian land.” What exactly is Palestinian land, according to the parties themselves? According to the United States? According to Obama?

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https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Question. Is Berkeley's course on Palestine the end of history? - by Ben Cohen

...What we are looking at here is nothing less than the indoctrination of students using, with perfect irony, the First Amendment as cover. If we carry on like this, we'll end up with what Francis Fukuyama famously called "the end of history;" just not in the way that he meant it.

The campus of the U of C, Berkeley.
Credit: Getty Images.
Ben Cohen..
JNS.org..
21 September '16..

In his forthcoming book "The New Philistines," the Wall Street Journal correspondent Sohrab Ahmari devotes a few paragraphs to a symposium on art and identity convened by the radical magazine, Artforum. "Indeed, there was never any real disagreement among the participants, and this was typical," he writes. "These are discussions among in-the-know artists, academics and critics, who all agree about nearly everything: everyone knows that ‘neoliberalism’ is something bad; that liberal democracy is merely a more subtle form of tyranny; that Western societies are racist and sexist by design."

Ahmari's insights into radical groupthink in the art world could equally apply to other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, like literature, international relations and history. The fact that this trend exists is hardly news; the tendency of university teachers to discourage their students from engaging with conflicting or competing views by imposing a mixture of dogma, so-called "trigger warnings," and intellectual bullying has long been established. But the situation is getting worse.

Case-in-point: "Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis," now on offer from the University of California, Berkeley. An activists' seminar masquerading as a unit of academic study, the course was pulled last week after university authorities determined that it didn't comply with required teaching standards. This week, it was promptly reinstated following the intervention of a group called "Palestine Legal" on behalf of the course teacher, Paul Hadweh.

Interestingly, the web page advertising the course specifies that it's open to all students and that "no prior knowledge is necessary." Judging by the themes examined in course facilitator Paul Hadweh's course, along with the set textual readings, he might just as well have said "prior knowledge unwelcome." In this course, students are expected to behave like blank pages upon which an uncontested, single truth is engraved – and anyone who says otherwise must, by definition, be a racist, a colonial sympathizer, or a Zionist.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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Casting Palestinian Attackers as Victims at the LA Times - by Tamar Sternthal

...Further muddling the basic question of who were the attackers and who were the targets, the Times correspondent does not note that all six Palestinians killed, along with the Jordanian, were the perpetrators of the aforementioned knifing and ramming attacks.

Tamar Sternthal..
CAMERA Snapshots..
21 September '16..

In his report today on recent Palestinian violence, The Los Angeles Times' Joshua Mitnick obscures the fact that all of the Palestinians killed in the last few days, along with the majority of those killed in the last year, were attackers ("Israeli military says teenager killed after trying to stab soldier").

He writes:

Since Friday, Israeli security forces have reported at least nine knifing and car ramming attacks on targets in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Some six Palestinians and a Jordanian citizen have been killed in the violence, and several Israelis have been injured, including a 38-year-old border policewoman stabbed Monday morning outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

In this passage, Mitnick fails to make clear who were the perpetrators (Palestinians) of the knifing and ramming attacks and who were the targets (Israelis),

Further muddling the basic question of who were the attackers and who were the targets, the Times correspondent does not note that all six Palestinians killed, along with the Jordanian, were the perpetrators of the aforementioned knifing and ramming attacks. In at least a couple of the incidents (involving the Jordanian and an attack Saturday in Hebron) there is video evidence substantiating the Israeli information that the Palestinian fatalities were assailants. The Jordanian was responsible for the attack Monday in which the 38-year-old border policewoman was gravely injured, and her colleague was moderately injured. But Mitnick does not say so. Readers are left to their own to draw the conclusion that the six Palestinians and Jordanian carried out the stabbings and car rammings -- or not.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work. 
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