Sunday, November 23, 2014

The heresy of disagreeing with the two-state solution

...If the EU is so concerned about the future of the “two-state solution,” why does it not also put pressure on the Palestinians to abandon the fantasy of the so-called right of return? Why does it not demand of the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it stop teaching its children that Jaffa and Haifa are occupied territories that must be liberated? Why does it not ask PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas why no Jew shall be allowed in the Palestinian state and why the mere presence of a Jew on the Temple Mount constitutes a “desecration?”

Dr. Emmanuel Navon..
i24 News..
20 November '14..

The claim by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz earlier this week that the European Union (EU) is considering sanctions against Israel was subsequently denied by the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs Federica Mogherini. Following this official denial, Prof. Gerald Steinberg from Bar-Ilan University accused correspondents Barak Ravid of Haaretz and Raphael Ahren of The Times of Israel of spin journalism. According to both journalists, an unpublished internal EU document calls for imposing sanctions on Israel for supposedly jeopardizing the “two-state solution.” Sanctions would include the recalling of European ambassadors and cutting ties with Israeli officials who oppose the “two-state solution.”

This goes to show that the “two-state solution” has become a religious dogma, because expressing a differing opinion is now punishable. Advocating the return of the West Bank to Jordan or its full annexation by Israel (with the granting of Israeli citizenship to all its residents), for example, does not constitute a legitimate opinion but a punishable offense. Incidentally, Israel’s president himself would be declared persona non grata for his endorsement of the “one-state solution.”

The “two-state solution” has become a theological dogma not only because differing opinions are now considered blasphemy, but also because facts are not allowed to get in the way. When Galileo Galilei uttered to the Inquisition “eppur si muove” (and yet, it moves) he meant that, notwithstanding the Catholic dogma, the Earth does revolve and facts cannot be denied. Today, the official European dogma is that Israel is responsible for the failure of the “two-state solution.” Yet facts cannot be denied – neither in astronomy nor in history.

The facts are that all the proposals meant to divide the former British Mandate between a Jewish state and an Arab state were accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs. Those proposals include the 1937 Peel Commission plan, the 1947 UN partition plan, the July 2000 Barak offer, the December 2000 Clinton Parameters, and the September 2008 Olmert offer. Arafat rejected the Clinton Parameters and Abbas rejected the Olmert offer because of the so-called right of return. The ultimate obstacle to the two-state solution is Palestinian refusal to compromise on the right of return.

Israeli settlements represent two percent of the West Bank territory. In both the Barak and Olmert proposals, most Israeli settlements would have been dismantled. Those settlements are neither the source of the conflict (the conflict existed before the settlements), nor an obstacle to its resolution. Israel proved twice in the past its readiness to uproot settlements: when it signed a peace agreement with Egypt in 1979, and when it pulled out from the Gaza strip in 2005. Besides, if there is a true peace agreement and a two-state solution, why can’t there be a Jewish minority in the Palestinian state, the same way that there is an Arab minority in Israel?

What children and youths are good for

...Universal Children's Day took place just two days ago, on November 20. The annual event might have been the perfect opportunity to shine a bright light on the programming, the brain-washing, the hate-focused preaching, the terror-friendly education that are all indispensable ingredients in the process of producing terrorist youths. But of course they were not.

The children are always innocent.
But what of the people who educate
and equip them?
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
22 November '14..

We posted here some weeks back ["07-Nov-14: In reporting terror, what the perpetrators and their victims are called is part of the war"] about the practice in some parts of the media to use descriptive words like "youth" and "man" in highly subjective ways. A pedestrian mowed down by a murder-minded Arab in Jerusalem is called a "17-year-old man"; the victim was, of course, an Israeli. Meanwhile, a "20-year-old youth" attacked police; he is, of course, a Palestinian Arab. There are other instances of this tendentious form of news reporting in that post. They lead us to say (as we did) that

those of us deeply irritated by the way news editors often spin an entire report via the judicious choice of specific words can't help suspecting there might be a little something on display here about agenda-driven reporting and editing.

(Continue)

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 as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jodi Rudoren, Journalism and the Key Fallacy That Explains Media Ignorance

...The ignorance of reporters about the subjects they cover is an ongoing problem, and it’s especially egregious when the subject turns to religion. Yet often when reporters take their base of knowledge of a subject and arrogantly assume it’s all they’ll ever need to know, they at least know something–anything, even basic information–about the issue. That’s not the case with Rudoren. Her mistakes include those that are disproved by merely looking at a map, for instance. Somewhere along the line, liberal reporters and editors decided that the greater the depth and breadth of criticism of their work, the better they assumed it to be. This attitude has produced the work of Jodi Rudoren as its inevitable consequence. And it’s how, seemingly against all odds, coverage of Israel is still getting worse. The hope is that Rudoren represents the media hitting bottom, but I fear we’re not there yet.

Seth Mandel..
Commentary Magazine..
21 November '14..

When I began my career as a young reporter straight out of college, it became immediately clear to me how much I didn’t know. That realization almost certainly saved my career because it taught me a lesson I later heard best expressed by Brit Hume: “Fairness is not an attitude. Fairness is a skill.” My editors took journalistic ethics seriously, and the reporters at our company took notice. When reporters in our newsroom got criticism over accusations of bias, they gave them appropriate consideration. They never would have worn them as a badge of honor. They never would have acted as unethically and unprofessionally, in other words, as Jodi Rudoren.

The New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief has established a record of not just inaccurate reporting but the kind of mistakes that should never get through layers of editors and fact checkers. This week on Twitter I criticized Rudoren’s latest batch of advocacy journalism for its many mistakes and also for how easily those mistakes could be prevented by going through the normal reporting process. Rudoren has responded to the Washington Examiner, and her reaction is quite telling. It boils down to: nothing will change, because she refuses to know what she doesn’t know.

The Examiner tried to reach out to me for comment, the request never came through, and so the article went up without it. It’s worth responding now, especially since Rudoren’s comments are so revealing and are themselves a thorough indictment of mainstream journalistic ethics. Here is the crux of her response to the Examiner:

“Broadly speaking, most of the criticism of our coverage, and it is immense, is not rooted in the values of mainstream journalism, but is done from the prism of advocacy. Frequently, these critics ignore the stories or parts of stories that don’t fit with their pre-determined conclusion of our bias (and we have pretty much equal accusations of biases on both sides),” New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren told the Washington Examiner.

“They often try to subject stories or sentences to some kind of scoring system — good for Israel, bad for Israel — which is problematic because the stories, and the subjects, are much more complex and nuanced than that,” Rudoren added.

It’s impossible to notice that Rudoren’s comments prove the criticism of her to be completely correct. And she is making it clear she refuses to learn more, because she regards that learning process itself as a concession to her critics. Out of sheer pride, Rudoren will remain uninformed.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Steps Israel can take to deter its hate-filled enemies from attacking

...Much has been made of the recent spike in incitement of violence by Palestinian leaders led by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas. But the flames Abbas and his comrades are throwing would not cause such conflagrations if they hadn’t already indoctrinated their audience to desire the destruction of the Jews. You cannot solicit murder among those who haven’t been taught that committing murder is an act of heroism.


Caroline Glick..
carolineglick.com..
21 November '14..

What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it. There is no way to reason with it.

So what else is new?

The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew-hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite is finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies.

No “provocation” by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies.

No “frustration” with a “lack of progress” in the “peace process,” can motivate people to run over Jewish babies or attempt to assassinate a Jewish civil rights activist.

The reason that these terrorists have decided to kill Jews is that they take offense at the fact that in Israel, Jews are free. They take offense because all their lives they have been taught that Jews should live at their mercy, or die by their sword.

They do so because they believe, as former Jordanian MP Ya’qub Qarash said on Palestinian television last week, that Christians and Muslims should work together to forbid the presence of Jews in “Palestine” and guarantee that “not a single Jew will remain in Jerusalem.”

Our neighbors are taught that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, signed the treaty of Hudaybiyah in 628 as a ploy to buy time during which he would change the balance of power between his army and the Jews of Kuraish. And 10 years later, once his army gained the upper hand, he annihilated the Jews.

Throughout the 130-year history of modern Zionism, Islamic Jew-hatred has been restrained by two forces: the desire of many Arabs to live at peace with their Jewish neighbors; and the ability of Israeli authorities and before them, British authorities, to deter the local Arab Muslims from attacking.

The monopoly on Arab Muslim leadership has always belonged to the intolerant bigots. Support for coexistence has always been the choice of individuals.

Haj Amin el-Husseini’s first act as the founder of the Palestinian Arab identity was to translate The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and serialize them in the local press.

During the Arab jihad of 1936-1939, Husseini’s gangs of murderers killed more Arabs than the British did. He targeted those who sought peaceful coexistence with the Jews.

His successor Yasser Arafat followed his example.

During the 1988-1991 Palestinian uprising, the PLO killed more Palestinians than the IDF did. Like Husseini, Arafat targeted Palestinians who worked with Israel.

Since Israel imprudently embraced Arafat and the PLO in 1993 and permitted them to govern the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and exert direct influence and coercive power over the Arabs of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority’s governing institutions have used all the tools at their disposal to silence those who support peaceful coexistence with Israel, and indoctrinate the general public in Islamic and racial Jew-hatred.

Much has been made of the recent spike in incitement of violence by Palestinian leaders led by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas. But the flames Abbas and his comrades are throwing would not cause such conflagrations if they hadn’t already indoctrinated their audience to desire the destruction of the Jews.

You cannot solicit murder among those who haven’t been taught that committing murder is an act of heroism.

Why the Har Nof terrorist attack is different but also the same

...A handful of liberal thinkers and writers have spoken out about what the Har Nof killings really do represent. But there is certainly not enough exposure or fury, given the way it throws a light on the nature of the true nature of the passions in this part of the world. (And it has to be said that by far the largest part of the analysis and coverage is from within Israel and the Jewish world.) Then again, given how the facts undermine some of the shibboleths of the media, that's not so surprising.

Har Nof's Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue is housed
in this building on Agassi Street Jerusalem [Image Source
Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
21 November '14..

It's become an easy cop-out for the mainstream media to blame Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks on a handful of background grievances that any "reasonable" person would see as understandable even if a tad unfortunate.

But the savagery in the Har Nof prayer chapel attack is different. It exposes the empty falseness of the motivations used in media reports in the past to casually fig-leaf the terrorists and to convey "understanding" of their lethal ways.

One by one, the usual factors fall away:

The massacre in the Har Nof Bnei Torah synagogue had nothing to do with bogus grievances about Haram al-Sharif because Jews of the kind targeted in Har Nof don't subscribe to the view that Jews ought to be visiting the holy Temple Mount, a legitimate controversy within Jewish law.

Nothing to do with occupation: Har Nof is well behind any frontiers or the 1949 ceasefire lines (those lines now misleadingly called the 1967 borders)

Nothing to do with settlements: No Arab ever made his home where Har Nof stands. We watched it being built in the eighties, carved out of barren hillside and rocks.

(Continue)

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 as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail by Dr. Mordechai Kedar

...Israel can withstand and overcome the current wave of violence, which is just another chapter in the struggle against Arab and Islamist hatred. But to do so, there are concrete steps that Israel should take - now.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar..
israelnationalnews.com..
20 November '14..





The problem:

During these difficult days of increasing terror, the most urgent question is: What can we do in order to cope optimally with the growing terrorist violence in Israel, knowing that behind the scenes there are several players who are expending intense efforts to bring about an explosion.

Leading the pack is Hamas, whose goal is to become the undisputed leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the expense of the Palestinian Authority – and, for good measure, giving Sisi something to remember.

Supporting Hamas is a coalition composed of Qatar and Turkey, with unlimited sources of funds.

The PLO, at the same time, is trying to hold on to first place and cannot allow itself to appear less extreme than Hamas, for fear it will be accused of cooperating with Israel. This is the origin of the two-faced behavior of the PA: on the one hand, it presents a cooperative face to Israel and on the other hand, it stabs Israel in the back, through incitement and education, on the street and in international forums.

Qatar bases its standing in the Arab world and the West by pouring oil on the fire, exactly as it does with Islamic State. Hypocritically, in the usual Qatari fashion, it funds Islamic state while, as part of the Western coalition, it expresses support for those who fight it.

Behind the scenes of the growing terror Israel faces stands Islamic State, the model for successful battles against the enemies of Islam: massacre the enemy, act with extreme violence and use fast vehicles that give the impression of Jihad's sweeping, advancing victory. The murderers who entered the Jerusalem Synagogue did not bring long butcher's cleavers for nothing.

The answer:

The time for politically correct euphemisms is over and the unpleasant truth must be told as it is.

1. First of all, Israel must say emphatically: the Palestinian Authority established on the basis of the Oslo Accords is an enemy entity, an enemy whose goal is establishing an Arab state in place of Israel, not alongside Israel, but on its ruins. That is the reason the Oslo Accords were violated so blatantly and thoroughly by the other side, resulting in them being declared null and void..

In addition, Israel must cease funding the PA on the basis of economic agreements derived from the Oslo Accords. There is no other country that funds an enemy entity, and there is no reason for Israel to be the only country that acts in such a delusional manner.

The government of Israel must condemn those among us who were instrumental in giving us the "New Middle East", even those who once held posts of high honor.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Where peace overtures are tantamount to harbingers of death and destruction

...Predictably, the announcement of any peace parley unavoidably brings with it heightened danger. This is an irrefutable reality which no obfuscating words can conceal – not even if they come from the present White House resident, who insinuates that Israel’s existential interests somehow negate harmony in the Arab/Islamic sphere. The upshot is that PA head-honcho Abbas needn’t necessarily issue explicit orders for an orchestrated intifada as Arafat had fourteen years ago. It’s quite sufficient for Abbas to shift his war against Israel to international forums amid much fanfare and bluster.

Twin inspirations: Abbas inflames
his volatile masses in eerily
the same idiom as Arafat
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
20 November '14..

It’s a perplexing fact of our life: anything that remotely and vaguely resembles peace in Israel’s neighborhood is serially shattered once peace negotiations are kick-started. This is how it has invariably been – all the more emphatically so since the advent of Oslo.

According to this unique pattern, unequalled anywhere else, peace overtures are tantamount to harbingers of death and destruction.

Then, once the violence of peace somehow subsides, we briefly luxuriate in the lull of an impasse – the closest we ever get to calm.

But these rare respites inevitably rub do-gooder meddlers the wrong way both in the US and in the EU. With obsessive peevishness they begrudge us our breather. They summon summits, draw road maps, determine deadlines, weave tapestries, formulate fantasies and in short terminate the temporary time-outs.

It’s an inexorable rhythm. After each round of jibber-jabbering about peace comes the carnage.

Sometimes the weapons of choice are rockets from Gaza. Sometimes they comprise rocks, axes, knives, Molotov cocktails, vehicles, guns and suicide bombs from Mahmoud Abbas’s Ramallah realm.

On occasion, if the mayhem lasts long enough, we call it an intifada. There are those among us who already opine that we are now in the preliminary throes of the third intifada. Others shudder to use such terminology.

In truth, it almost doesn’t matter whether the accumulation of apparent acts of Arab terror in recent weeks signals the start of a new intifada, whether the violence was plotted by an unseen mastermind or whether it’s nothing but a meaningless random accrual of unrelated “lone-wolf” felonies.

What matters is that the combination of the Palestinian Authority’s negotiation-stymieing with an implicit terrorist threat isn’t something which – by the light of our past experience and objective observation – can be reasonably ignored.

Whenever the PA appears to engage in talks, a latent but omnipresent intimidation fills the air. In itself, this serves to issue a potent threat to Israel that outright hostilities remain a viable option should Israel not cave in to Ramallah’s demands at the negotiating table, where the PA’s own representatives consistently show zero predisposition to any hint of compromise.

This underlying threat is later implemented in full force – after the PA scuttles yet another bargaining session –for whatever pretext.

Recent history has taught us – with alarming regularity – that the launching of any round of haggling with the PA inevitably brings with it bloodshed. Prattle about peace in our region is consistently accentuated by slaughter. The quest for coexistence is accompanied by casualties.

The Lethality of Airbrushing Jews from Jerusalem

...If the State Department and other Western diplomats are intent on mollifying the Arab street by pressuring Israel to divide Jerusalem as a peace offering to the Palestinians, it may well be setting into motion the exact opposite result—a jihadist, apocalyptic movement invigorated by the misguided diplomacy of the West that, once more, asks Israel to sacrifice its security and nationhood so that Islamists can realize their own imperial and theological ambitions at the Jewish state’s expense.


Richard Cravatts..
Times of Israel..
19 November '14..

As an example of what the insightful commentator Melanie Phillips referred to as a “dialogue of the demented” in her book The World Turned Upside Down, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is continuing a long tradition of attempting to de-Judaize Jerusalem by expressing his mendacious notion that, as he put it, “Jerusalem has a special flavor and taste not only in our hearts, but also in the hearts of all Arabs and Muslims and Christians,” and “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Palestinian state and without it there will be no state.” The same scholar of history who wrote a doctoral dissertation that questioned the extent and truthfulness of the Holocaust was now making his own historical claim that there had never been a Jewish presence and history in the world’s holiest city.

In recent weeks, Abbas has been at it again, adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem, in general, and to the Temple Mount, specifically. In an October PA TV broadcast, Abbas made the breathtakingly absurd claim that Jews not only had no historic claim to the Temple Mount, but they also should never even be allowed to have their presence known at that location. “The settlers have arrived . . . ,” he said. “This is our Sanctuary, our Al-Aqsa and our Church [of the Holy Sepulchre]. They have no right to enter it . . . [or] right to defile it. We must prevent them . . . .”

Only in an alternate, Orwellian universe could only one group of people on earth—Jews—be enjoined from praying on the single site most holy to their faith, and, moreover, be told that their presence there is not only provocative but is repugnant and befouls the very ground on which those of another faith—Muslims—have staked a triumphalist religious claim and now wish gather and pray.

This attempt to airbrush out a Jewish presence from Jerusalem—in fact, all of historic Palestine—is not a new message for Abbas, of course. In 2000 he expressed similar contempt for the idea that a Jewish temple had ever existed on the Temple Mount and that, even if it had existed, the offenses committed by Israel against the Palestinians negated any claim Jews might have enjoyed, absent their perfidy. “Anyone who wants to forget the past [i.e., the Israelis] cannot come and claim that the [Jewish] temple is situated beneath the Haram,” Abbas absurdly asserted in an article in Kul Al-Arab, an Israeli Arabic-language weekly newspaper. “ . . . But even if it is so, we do not accept it, because it is not logical for someone who wants a practical peace.”

Judging by the October 30th statement by U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, forgetting the past is something in which the John Kerry’s office is also complicit. “We’re extremely concerned by escalating tensions across Jerusalem and particularly surrounding the Haram al-Sharif, Temple Mount,” Psaki said, pointedly, and dangerously, referring to the Temple Mount by its Arab name first and thereby fortifying, and seeming to lend equal weight to, the Palestinian’s spurious claim to spiritual and territorial rights to the site, and to the wider area described now as East Jerusalem.

“It is actually critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric and preserve the status quo,” she added, suggesting that Jews not be allowed to pray on the Mount and that the status quo prohibiting Jews from praying on the site be ordered to continue so as to not incite Muslim sensibilities.

But in characterizing East Jerusalem —or any part of Jerusalem, for that matter —as territory that Israel “occupies” but over which it enjoys no sovereignty, Abbas (and U.S. State Department, too) is misreading, once again, the content and purpose of 1967’s U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 that suggested an Israeli withdrawal “from territories [not all territories]” it acquired in the Six-Day War. Critics of Israeli policy who either willfully misread or deliberately obscure the resolution’s purpose say that the Jewish State is in violation of 242 by continuing to occupy the West Bank and Jerusalem, including what is spuriously now referred to as “Arab” East Jerusalem. But the drafters of Resolution 242 were very precise in creating the statute’s language, and they never considered Jerusalem to have been occupied by Israel after the Six-Day War. Former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Arthur Goldberg, one of the resolution’s authors, made this very clear when he wrote some years later that “Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate[.] . . . At no time in [my] many speeches [before the U.N.] did I refer to East Jerusalem as occupied territory.”

Along with their unwavering and various demands, including a “right of return” of all refugees and sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the Palestinians now insist that Jerusalem must be divided to give them a capital in its Eastern portion as the location of their new state. That view is troubling because it reveals a pattern in which Arabs endow Jerusalem with intense significance to serve purposes of political expediency. In fact, observed scholar of Islam and Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes, “[a]n historical survey shows that the stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding it, inevitably rises for Muslims when Jerusalem has political significance. Conversely, when the utility of Jerusalem expires, so does its status and the passions about it.” When Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank and purged Jerusalem of its Jews from 1949 to 1967, for example, Jerusalem’s stature declined. But Israel’s recapture of the territory in 1967 changed the political landscape, including an Arab desire for Jerusalem, suggesting to Dr. Pipes that “the Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else.”

Past time to dismantle the Palestinian terrorist entity once and for all

...Ever since it was established in 1994, the PA has been a poisonous thorn in Israel's side. Rather than bringing peace to the region, it has incessantly promoted violence and bloodshed. The PA long ago outlived any usefulness that some may have hoped it would serve. It should be demolished forthwith and Israel should assert full control over the area. Will there be a heavy price to pay diplomatically? Certainly. And will it be difficult to implement? Absolutely. But a government's primary responsibility is to protect its people and ward off threats to their security and well-being. And the Palestinian Authority has shown once again that it is truly such a threat.

Michael Freund..
Pundicity/JPost..
19 November '14..

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, two Palestinian Arabs entered the Kehillat Yaakov yeshiva and synagogue complex in Jerusalem and proceeded to slaughter Jewish men at prayer.

Armed with guns, knives and a meat cleaver, our "partners in peace" shot, slashed and stabbed their victims, leaving pools of blood and horror in their wake, before being eliminated by the police.

It is difficult to conceive of a more despicable deed.

This act of Palestinian brutality was so heinous that even Israelis hardened by decades of terror responded with disbelief. Indeed, anyone still thinking of giving the Palestinians a state should take a long, hard look at the disturbing photos of the synagogue slaughter that are circulating online.

In one such picture, a Jewish man lies dead on the synagogue floor, wrapped in his tallit and tefillin and surrounded by blood stains, evoking scenes reminiscent of the days when the Cossacks massacred our people. It is a startling and distressing testimony to the savagery of our foes, to the bestial depths of inhumanity to which the Palestinians are willing to descend in their war against the Jewish state.

After all, what kind of human being wakes up in the morning, grabs a few weapons, and then walks into a house of prayer intent on maiming and murdering innocent people? Guns were not sufficient for these savages. They employed axes and knives, which are far more intimate and bloody weapons, the kind that require physical contact with the victim rather than the less personal act of pulling a trigger.

If it is possible for a person to strip away the Divine image with which he was created, then the Palestinian terrorists who perpetrated this attack have surely succeeded in doing so.

Make no mistake: this was a pogrom, a premeditated orgy of violence that was fuelled by incitement coming from the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. For weeks, Abbas has been trying to ignite a religious war, instigating Palestinians to "defend" al-Aksa Mosque and use "any means" at their disposal. He repeatedly harped on the religious symbol of the Temple Mount, attempting to stir up primal passions and ancient hatreds.

Bahraini Moral Clarity versus the ‘Al-Aqsa in Danger’ Myth

...Thus while figures as diverse as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and former British minister Sayeeda Warsi have implicitly justified the synagogue killing, and thereby encouraged more such crimes, by trying to paint it as morally equivalent to Jews visiting the Temple Mount the Bahraini foreign minister is trying to quench the flames by stating unequivocally that there’s never any excuse for killing worshippers at a house of prayer. For nobody understands the dangerous consequences of doing so better than Muslims elsewhere in the Middle East, who, unlike their Israeli-protected Palestinian brethren, have all too frequently been the victims of such killings.

Evelyn Gordon..
Commentary Magazine..
19 November '14..

The most surprising response to yesterday’s deadly attack on worshippers at a Jerusalem synagogue came from the Bahraini foreign minister. “It is forbidden to react to the crimes of the Israeli occupation against our brothers in Palestine by killing innocents in a house of prayer,” Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa reportedly wrote on his Arabic-language Twitter feed. “Those who will pay the price for the crime of killing innocents in a Jewish synagogue and for welcoming the crime are the Palestinian people.”

For a senior Arab official to publicly condemn the killing of Jews by Muslims at all–much less with such moral clarity, devoid of any attempt to create a false equivalence to Israeli “crimes–is so unusual that it cries out for explanation. And the most likely explanation lies in the violence that has swept the Middle East in recent years. In a world where Muslim innocents are being killed in houses of prayer on a regular basis by fellow Muslims, mosques in Israel and the West Bank–including Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque–remain among the safest places in the Mideast for Muslims to pray. And the Arab world’s pragmatic axis, of which Bahrain is part, has no interest in seeing that change.

In August, for instance, Shi’ite gunmen opened fire in a Sunni mosque in Iraq, killing at least 73 people. In October, a suicide bomber killed at least 18 people at a Shi’ite mosque in Iraq. Those are just two of the dozens of deadly mosque attacks in recent years that have killed thousands of Muslims in numerous countries, including Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, and Nigeria. Almost all the perpetrators were fellow Muslims–usually Shi’ites or Sunnis attacking each other’s institutions.

By contrast, Israel and the West Bank are safe havens. True, there have been some vandalistic attacks on mosques–though far fewer than in, say, Holland. But there hasn’t been a lethal attack on a mosque in two decades. Indeed, for all the Palestinians’ efforts to libel Jewish visits to the Temple Mount as “attacks” on Al-Aqsa, anyone who’s been paying attention realizes that mosques elsewhere in the Muslim world have been suffering far worse fates than innocuous Jewish visitors.

Granted, both the Palestinians themselves and many Westerners are too fixated on the Palestinian cause to care; recent Jewish visits to the Mount have generated far more uproar in the West than lethal mosque attacks elsewhere ever have. But the pragmatic Arab states, as I’ve written before, are quite aware that Israel is the least of their problems, and they’d rather it stay that way.