Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Palestine: The Psychotic Stage by Bret Stephens

...Above all, it’s time to give hatred its due. We understand its explanatory power when it comes to American slavery, or the Holocaust. We understand it especially when it is the hatred of the powerful against the weak. Yet we fail to see it when the hatred disturbs comforting fictions about all people being basically good, or wanting the same things for their children, or being capable of empathy. Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice.

Bret Stephens..
Wall Street Journal..
12 October '15..

If you’ve been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that “violence” is killing a lot of people. As in this headline: “Palestinian Killed As Violence Continues.” Or this first paragraph: “Violence and bloodshed radiating outward from flash points in Jerusalem and the West Bank appear to be shifting gears and expanding, with Gaza increasingly drawn in.”

Read further, and you might also get a sense of who, according to Western media, is perpetrating “violence.” As in: “Two Palestinian Teenagers Shot by Israeli Police,” according to one headline. Or: “Israeli Retaliatory Strike in Gaza Kills Woman and Child, Palestinians Say,” according to another.

Such was the media’s way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults that began when Hamas killed a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.

Other Palestinian attacks include the stabbing of two elderly Israeli men and an assault with a vegetable peeler on a 14-year-old. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man ran over a 19-year-old female soldier at a bus stop, then got out of his car, stabbed her, and attacked two men and a 14-year-old girl. Several attacks have been carried out by women, including a failed suicide bombing.

Regarding the causes of this Palestinian blood fetish, Western news organizations have resorted to familiar tropes. Palestinians have despaired at the results of the peace process—never mind that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas just declared the Oslo Accords null and void. Israeli politicians want to allow Jews to pray atop the Temple Mount—never mind that Benjamin Netanyahu denies it and has barred Israeli politicians from visiting the site. There’s always the hoary “cycle of violence” formula that holds nobody and everybody accountable at one and the same time.

Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in these nuggets from a speech Mr. Abbas gave last month: “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.” And: “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”

Thoughts about rocks through the windshield

...We offer this intro to a small, barely-noticed piece of news reported late last night in Times of Israel over the anonymous byline TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF. At this point, as far as we can tell, it is published nowhere else: UN official hurt in stoning: ‘Allah will forgive them’   Mounir Kleibo, who heads the UN bureau of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian Territories, sustained serious injuries to his jaw after coming under attack by Palestinian rock throwers in East Jerusalem on Friday.

Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
13 October '15..

Robert Fisk, a writer for The Independent UK, was driving his car in a remote part of Pakistan in December 2001 when something mechanical happened and he had to stop. While pushing the broken down vehicle off the road, he became aware that

a group of 40 to 50 people gathered. "At first they were reasonably friendly but then a little kid threw a stone at me. More stones followed and then I find myself being punched and beaten in the face... ["UK journalist beaten by Afghan mob", BBC, December 9, 2001]

He wrote that thought he heard the mob shouting the word "kaffir", an Islamic/Arabic word meaning infidel, a non-adherent to the beliefs of their religious values. Much later, he recorded his feelings about what was happening in a confessional that is a classic of its kind:

They started by shaking hands. We said "Salaam aleikum" – peace be upon you – then the first pebbles flew past my face. A small boy tried to grab my bag. Then another. Then someone punched me in the back. Then young men broke my glasses, began smashing stones into my face and head. I couldn't see for the blood pouring down my forehead and swamping my eyes. And even then, I understood. I couldn't blame them for what they were doing. In fact, if I were [them], I would have done just the same to Robert Fisk. Or any other Westerner I could find. ["My beating by refugees is a symbol of the hatred and fury of this filthy war", Robert Fisk, The Independent (UK)]

In a viciously merciless critique ["The pathology of Robert Fisk"] at the time, the British/American writer and conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan tore Fisk's mea culpa to shreds, calling it

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

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our finest hours, in our darkest times by Smadar Bat Adam

...And we should know about Kenda Kesahu and his friends, who chased after the attacker in Petach Tikva, catching and holding him until security forces could arrive. After all, they could have returned home in peace, or taken cover, or fled for their lives. But they understood it was their duty to stop the attacker. Kesahu said, "I really don't know why they're calling me a hero. All I wanted was to help save my people."

Smadar Bat Adam..
Israel Hayom..
12 October '15..

The news of another horrific terror attack flickers from the television screen, and out of the darkness emerge stories of people, regular everyday people, who came face to face with a knife or bomb and took action. They fought back. They prevented a larger terrorist attack from happening. They chased, and they caught. Not that it was their job to do so, but they felt a duty. And they were resourceful. And sometimes, in those marvelous moments, all you want to see is the news anchor's stone face crack just a bit, for her to say with just a bit of pride: Look at us! Look how amazing we are! Just a good word, or two, nothing more.

Does that sound cliched? Be warned then, I'm just getting started. I still haven't said, "The people are a united front." Way before my time, Haim Hefer and Dubi Zeltzer waxed, "Long live this nation; thank heaven it is made of such people." But what does it matter, you and I will keep saying it, over and over, lest it be forgotten. And we will provide reminders that no other people living in an enlightened, developed democracy are forced to contend with these repeated waves of murder and terror, which have persisted for over a hundred years, and that the more these people are hurt the stronger they become. There is nothing else like them.

These stories need to be told. We need to hear about Liat Ohana from Kiryat Gat, who fought like a lion, with her bare hands, against an armed terrorist who broke into her apartment while fleeing from the scene of his crime; and about Daniel, who after being stabbed in the head and back turned around and shot the terrorist who was trying to kill him; and about the resourcefulness of the female soldier who was stabbed near the Azrieli Center in Tel Aviv, but still managed to slow down the attacker and prevented him from stealing her weapon by sitting on him; and about the officer who just happened to be walking nearby, who in an instant realized what was going on and shot the terrorist, preventing others from being hurt; and about Sgt. First Class Moshe Chen, a policeman, who was wounded when a female terrorist he had ordered to stop near Maaleh Adumim, on the road to Jerusalem, detonated an explosive device, but who still managed called for help and directed emergency crews to the scene. And we can only estimate the potential magnitude of the attack that was prevented after a gas canister and another bomb were found in the terrorist's car.

Why? Because they haven’t given up on trying to destroy Israel

...Most of all, they must discard a political culture of hate and an identity that remains inextricably tied with the war on Zionism. If they do those things, they will have hope. But without them, peace will remain a remote dream. But in the absence of such changes, there is no escaping the fact that the Palestinians have again embraced terror because they haven’t given up on trying to destroy Israel. That, and not the false narratives about the Temple Mount or hopelessness, is the real reason blood is again being shed on Israeli streets.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
12 October '15..

More than a week into what is increasingly looking like the start of a third intifada, Israelis are angry. The daily stabbings along with the shootings, gasoline bomb and lethal rock attacks, as well as at least one documented attempted suicide bombing, have taken the lives of several Israelis and shaken the country. They want their government to take action. Many of them would also like the world to note the fact that the supposed moderates that are supposed to be their partners for peace have been inciting the violence. Though he fears the consequences of another all-out conflict, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s lies about threats to the mosques on the Temple Mount are geared toward fomenting the kind of religious hatred that motivates individual Palestinians to seek to murder random Jews on the streets. But if Israelis are expecting a wave of sympathy because of Abbas’s talk about keeping “filthy Jewish feet” off of the Temple Mount or the murderous rampages from Palestinians that have sadly once again become daily fare again, they are bound to be disappointed.

The narrative of the second intifada was shaped by the myth that a walk on the Temple Mount enclosure by Ariel Sharon set off that violence when the truth is that it was a calculated response of Abbas’s predecessor Yasir Arafat to an Israeli offer of peace and an independent state. If the Palestinians have their way, the narrative of the third one will be that this was begun by Jews plotting to divide the Mount or to take over the mosques as Palestinian leaders have been claiming for a century whenever, like Abbas is now, in need of a way to distract their people away from their plight or their leaders’ refusal to make peace.

The Palestinians have a long way to go to convince most in the West that an Israeli government that has zealously guarded the status quo on the Mount (including a ban on Jewish prayer) is at fault here, especially when all of the provocations at the site have come from radical Muslims who harass non-Muslims that visit the site (which is the holiest in Judaism) or use the mosques as staging areas for attacks.

But even if they can’t sell that lie, Israel’s foes have what they think is a stronger argument going for them that could serve to excuse even the kind of bloodthirsty attacks that have horrified Israelis. It’s simple. The Palestinians are suffering from Israeli oppression and have no choice but to lash out. If the Israelis had offered Palestinians hope for a better life and independence, we are told, then none of this would be happening. What’s to blame for the latest round of terrorism? Blame it on settlements, they say. Blame it on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government. Blame it on the Israelis that elected him. From this perspective, even the most heinous terrorist crime is the fault of its victim and the perpetrators and those that incite and cheer them on, are innocent.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Palestinian Authority's Spellbinding Spreadsheets by Sarah Honig

...The PA’s own paperwork shows unambiguously that tens of millions of dollars are shelled out every month to imprisoned terrorists and to their relations – at a time in which Abbas moans that Ramallah can’t make ends meet. It’s the same Abbas who poses as a frustrated peace-partner but cannot bring himself to condemn the premeditated stabbings of Israelis by his own incited henchmen. The impression he deliberately imparts is that terror convicts and/or casualties were arbitrarily and unjustly martyred. The latest crop of Abbas’s homegrown killers likewise expects to be officially celebrated as idols instead of castigated as villains.

Here clearly are comprehensive
statistics that illustrate exactly
how the PA uses its resources.
Sarah Honig..
Another Tack..
11 October '15..

One of the most significant recent scoops came from Israel Radio’s Palestinian affairs correspondent, Gal Berger, who managed to lay his hands on actual Palestinian Authority spreadsheets that show precisely which convicted terrorist behind-Israeli-bars is subsidized and to what tune by the Palestinian Authority.

Normally rows and columns of financial data hardly make for a riveting read. But this case constitutes a striking exception.

Here clearly are comprehensive statistics that illustrate exactly how the PA uses its resources – including moneys handed over monthly by Israel as well as contributions the PA solicits from international donors. The analysis of the figures is singularly enlightening despite the fact that the general bottom line is hardly astonishing or unanticipated.

It has long been known that the PA rewards the perpetrators of some of the most heinous atrocities against Israeli civilians for their deeds.

Apprehended, convicted and incarcerated terrorists – including the linchpins of the ghastliest of mass-murder incidents – are paid substantial monthly stipends while they do time. Similarly compensated are their family-members on the “outside.”

Until now, however, there was no black-and-white breakdown of the specific disbursal of financial sustenance to a gamut of actual sadistic slayers and to the behind-the-scenes masterminds who conceived the homicidal tactics and dispatched their executors.

The newly uncovered evidence, moreover, shows that the PA’s largesse isn’t limited to Fatah terror orchestrators but that most of its outlays are earmarked for Hamas members convicted for some of the Second Intifada’s most gruesome carnage and now doing time in maximum-security penitentiaries. Presumably, rival organizational and political affiliations are no bar for PA generosity toward terrorists.

Besides offering incentives for bloodletting, this is part and parcel of the glorification of terror in purportedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas’s Ramallah-ruled jurisdiction. The aggrandization – indeed near-deification of mass-murderers – must be perceived as an integral component of incitement to terror by Abbas’s topmost hierarchy.

The message to routinely indoctrinated and inflamed PA youth is that slaughtering Jews is endorsed by unstinting societal sanction. The wherewithal lavished on both the killers and their kin is the tangible expression of their community’s and officialdom’s gratitude for spilling Jewish blood.

Such incontrovertible sponsorship and promotion of terrorism is hardly novel in the PA context. It was never any deeply buried secret that the prisoners’ relatives are financially underpinned by the PA, a fact that helped boost their prestige and heroic status.

Human bomb attack narrowly deflected near Jerusalem: connection to suicide is nil

Is she a suicide bomber? No, because such things are extremely rare. And (though this is only marginally relevant) she did not die. Until we know differently, it is safe to assume she meant to kill and maim via the lethal materials she carried and ignited, and that her own life and its possible end were of no interest to her. This makes her a human bomb in a long tradition of human bombing attacks closely associated with Islamist (but not only Islamist) thinking. This had nothing whatever to do with suicide.

Aftermath of this morning's
 human bomb assault
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
11 October '15..

A Palestinian Arab woman, driving a white Subaru sedan slowly and in the bus lane of a busy commuter route during the Sunday morning rush hour, exploded her car and herself at about 7:00 am today (Sunday). Her license plates were yellow, like those of Israeli vehicles though not Palestinian Arab vehicles.

The explosion injured a police officer, and is currently causing a massive tie-up on the eastern approach to Maale Adumim, about 10 kilometers east of Jerusalem, the nation's capital. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Initial indications are that the vehicle had multiple explosives on board, and that the intention of the driver was to cause some very serious pain. Sappers have found additional unexploded materiel inside.

Meanwhile she herself is en route to Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital in Ein Karem where we assume the very best medical care in the region will be applied to her burns, her other self-inflicted injuries and her recovery (this is not Syria). She is said to be 20 years old, and until now had her whole life and huge potential ahead of her. We can assume that is not how she saw things

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

Why This Matters So Much

...The people who stand behind the terror, those who incite terror, those who glorify and excuse and explain away the terror - each of them is complicit in the terror attacks that have left inconsolable mourners and devastated lives in the wake of their sickening actions. These are people, with addresses and job titles and responsibilities. They depend for their power on the consent and support of ordinary citizens, paying customers, non-governmental organizations, foreign aid, public opinion. Until terrorism is better understood, they will keep getting away with their evil.

Mourning at the Henkin couple's graves in Jerusalem [Image Source]
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
10 October '15..

There has never been and never will be a war on terror, and why this matters so much

We were not able to attend, but at the heart-breaking funeral of Naama and Eitam Henkin on Friday October 2, 2015, some powerful thoughts were shared by Dr Yagil Henkin in memory of his murdered brother and sister-in-law. The whole text is online here, and appears as a full-page paid notice on page 3 of yesterday's paper edition of Haaretz.

We think these few paragraphs extracted from Yigal Henkin's eulogy below get right at the heart of why Israel's struggle with incitement and glorification of the perpetrators is producing so few tangible results.

There's nothing new in this, but most (by far) of the news reporting we have seen since the latest outbreak of malicious savagery directed principally at ordinary, non-uniformed Israelis is superficial, un-curious as to motivations or detail, and misleading. The same can be said for most of the observations about the wave of terror attacks expressed publicly by non-Israeli political figures.

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Surprise? The Times Declares History is Bunk

...By treating lies denying the historical ties of Jews to Jerusalem as being deserving of a fair hearing, the Times is calling into question more than claims about who gets to pray on the Temple Mount. The reason why Palestinians say such things isn’t because they have a solid historical case, but because their goal is to treat Jews and Judaism as alien to the place where the Jewish history began. The stakes here are not about archeology but about the right of Israel to exist. The Times has a long history of journalism malpractice with regard to Israel and Jewish issues dating back to the Holocaust. But Gladstone’s atrocious effort to treat history as bunk is an act of intellectual dishonesty that will rank it beside the worst articles ever published by the newspaper.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
Commentary Magazine..
09 October '15..

If the cult of pretended objectivity is the orthodox faith of modern mainstream journalism, there is no greater exponent of this false faith than the New York Times. Those who edit and write for the news pages of the flagship of liberal opinion set great store by their pose of impartiality, even if their left-wing tilt on every issue is obvious to everyone, except perhaps their faithful liberal readership. Though they rarely give both sides a fair hearing in their pieces, their formula is to air the claims of the competing sides in disputes. That’s especially true of the Middle East conflict where the veneer of even-handed reporting is most evident. In the view of the Times, terrorists and their victims are often juxtaposed as just two sides of the same coin, as they did earlier this week when they noted similar casualty figures for Israelis and Palestinians but had to include the slain terrorists along with their victims in order to achieve that balance. But does treating the long war against Israel’s existence extend to proven historical facts? Judging by their piece published today about the dispute about the Temple Mount, apparently so. But in going down this road, the newspaper is doing more than playing the he said-she said game about the Middle East. By treating propaganda about there being no tie between the holy site and Jewish history, they are validating revisionist Palestinian myths whose purpose is to deny legitimacy to the Jewish state and the right of Jews to live anywhere in the country.

The title of the article says it all: “Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place.” The conceit of the piece by Rick Gladstone, one of the Times’ foreign editors, is that it is impossible to determine whether the enclosed plateau above the Western Wall is really where either of the biblical Holy Temples stood before their destruction, the first by the Babylonians and the second by the Romans. Gladstone is able to quote a tiny minority of archeologists who express such doubts and backs them up by citing the fact that there have been no archeological digs on the Temple Mount itself to verify what is underneath the mosques that were built there by subsequent Muslim conquerors.

That’s true as far as it goes. But the notion that belief that the temples were located on the Temple Mount has more what Gladstone calls “circumstantial evidence” behind it. After all, the Temple Mount is surrounded on one side by the last remnant of the Second Temple, the outer enclosure that is now known as the Western Wall. But as anyone who has visited it in recent decades knows, the Wall is more than just the old pile of stones before which Jews have prayed for 2,000 years. It consists of tunnels and other remnants of Second Temple Jerusalem that make it clear that it was only a piece of the large structure that stood at the center of Jewish life before the Roman destruction. In other words, you don’t have to be an archeological expert or a historian to know that the Temple had to exist on the Mount; you just have to have a working pair of eyes.

In order to believe the Western Wall was not part of the Temple complex, you’d have to also believe that every archeological find from the Second Temple era that has been discovered in Jerusalem over the last 200 years is a fake. Indeed, you’d have to think the whole notion of biblical Jerusalem and every bit of evidence we have about the ancient homeland of the Jewish people is just a story told by Zionists in order steal Arab land and Muslim holy sites.