Monday, November 30, 2015

Haaretz Watch - Week of November 29

Sunday –   Newspaper's TV critic bemoans Channel 10's expose of ties between the Palestinian Balad Party— the platform of Knesset members Basel Ghattas, Jamal Zahalka, and Hanin Zoabi – and Hezbollah.

Implying that the party, which openly declares it wants to replace the one Jewish state in the world with a 24th Arab country, is being tarred and feathered because it is strident.

The head of the party, the man who still pulls the strings and funnels Islamist money from abroad is Azmi Bishara. He fled when his role as a foreign agent was exposed. He lives in Qatar.

Monday -  There's a good piece that commemorates today's anniversary of the anti-Jewish riots in the Arab world, including the WWII-era pogrom in Iraq. 

All this obviously well before the 1948 establishment of Israel.

But there is also an article in which a parallel is drawn between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Both, writes Zvi Barel, are insincere in their apologies, both refuse to pay compensation (he means for the Mavi Marmara ) and both refuse to put the guilty responsible on trial. 

You don't have to be an admirer of our Napoleonic-leaning premier to find such an association revolting.
Look for my December 14th cover story in The Jerusalem Report
Have Reform Jews given up on Israel? 
You may be surprised to learn that...well, let me keep you in suspense.
Tuesday - Last night Channel 2 led with a report that there was a very big story involving the police and Shin Bet but they couldn't tell us what it was about due to a court order.

This morning Haaretz heds with same report but adds that what they can't tell us involves Jewish terrorism.

In his column Moshe Arens argues that the best way to help Palestinian Arabs is not by granting them work permits to labor within the Green Line but to develop and expand industrial zones in Judea/Samaria where they can earn Israeli-like salaries and benefits. Of course the EU is against this approach and is undermining West Bank economy in the hope of pushing Israel back to the 1949 Armistice Lines. The real victims of EU policy are the Palestinians who suffer from high unemployment and low pay in the WB. Naturally, the Palestinian Authority and UN could help them but easing the situation would indirectly benefit Israel so they'd rather see the Pals suffer.

Pals in Gaza are complaining that Gazans aren't getting enough visas to enter Israel for free medical treatment. No these complaints aren't directed at Hamas for creating a state of war but at Israel for not ignoring the state of war.

Finally, Haaretz reports that now that they've been paid more money by EU, Turkey limiting some illegal migrants from entering Greece.    
Nothing outstandingly outrageous today in section one today.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Is There a Future for The American Jewish Diaspora?

Dear Readers,

I have a piece in The Jerusalem Report  dated Nov. 16 entitled Is the Diaspora dying?
While the piece is behind the magazine's paywall -- do contact me if you'd like a preview.

Shabbat shalom


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Netanyahu - Mufti Kerfuffle: Ask Yourself Why Doves are Enraged

Here is what you need to know about Amin Husseini.

He was born in 1895 and died in 1974. He was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the British Mandate authorities.

And, he is infamous in Jewish history as a collaborator with the Nazis.

He was a proponent of militant violence against Jews and against any Arabs who were willing to make peace with the Zionist enterprise. 

When WWII broke out he made his headquarters in Iraq and tried to establish a pro-Nazi regime there. When that didn't work out, he moved to Italy (an Axis power) and then to Germany.

He openly supported the Final Solution – this is not in doubt.

He helped the Nazis set up Bosnian-Muslim Waffen-SS battalions. He lobbied the Nazis to bomb Tel Aviv and to extend the net of the Holocaust to Sephardi Jews in Arab lands. 

He vehemently opposed any tactical deals ("trucks for Jews," etc) that would have even temporarily spared Jewish lives.

After the war he was welcomed and given refuge by Nasser in Egypt.

Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech at the World Zionist  Congress in Jerusalem yesterday (Oct. 20) garnered criticism for supposedly misstating the Mufti's role in the Shoah.

Here's what the PM said:

"...And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution.

"He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews.

And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, "If you expel them, they'll all come here." "So what should I do with them?" he asked. He said, "Burn them."


Now, the point of the reference to the Mufti is that he was among the first to claim that the Jews wanted to destroy al-Aksa mosque.

Netanyahu did not say that the Mufti convinced Hitler to annihilate the Jews. 

It is simply true that as the destruction of European Jewry evolved from 1933 until 1945 the Nazis tried different approaches to solving the "Jewish problem."

 And yes, there was a stage when in parallel to killing Jews haphazardly (clubbing, shooting, etc) and well before the industrial destruction had been perfected, the Nazis did consider expulsion.

According to Joseph Schechtman's The Mufti and the Fuehrer, the mufti began his outreach to the Nazis on July 21, 1937 via the German cousul in Jerusalem.

Keep in mind that at the time, the Nazis still had hopes to keep Britain out of any war so didn't want to rock the boat in British-controlled Palestine.

Nonetheless, the mufti sent an agent to Berlin to lobby the Nazis.

In fact, Adolph Eichmann was dispatched to Palestine to study the situation in response to the Mufti's lobbying efforts.  He was also in contact with Husseini.

Actually, there is some evidence that already in 1936, the Nazis were helping the Arabs in Palestine.

Obviously, there is much more to be said about the Mufti and the Nazis.

But what matters in 2015 is this:

(1) The claim that the Jews want to change the status quo on the Temple Mount dates back at least to the Mufti's days.

(2) The fierce criticism by dovish Jewish journalists, pundits, and politicians (and of course the foreign media and the Arabs) of Netanyahu is intended to undermine his not-so-subtle implication that Arab intentions then and now are much the same.

That is the crux of the issue.

If you believe the conflict is about boundaries and settlements then you want to play down the extraordinary consistency of Arab intentions. 

Why? Because it is almost too painful to imagine that the Palestinian Arabs today really want what the Palestinian Arabs of 1933 or 1929 wanted.

So if you think that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah are not disciples of the mufti's values then you need to be offended by Netanyahu's efforts to link the Nazis to the Palestinian cause. Of course, you also need to keep your eyes tightly closed.

Dept of Correction. I mistakenly wrote Netanyahu's speech was at the World Jewish Congress when I meant the World Zionist Congress.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Morning Wrap: Israelis are so anticipating arrival of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (just kidding)

I'll start with the good news.

1.     It seems it is possible to report on events in Jerusalem with fairness. I just watched the Monday night edition of the PBS Newshour with a report by Martin Seemungal that struck me as balanced. Yes, Palestinian Arabs (leaders and man-on-the-street) are allowed to tell fibs – but the viewer is allowed to come to their own conclusion.

2.     The east Jerusalem wall. There is no wall. Just three large cement blocks placed hig·gle·dy-pig·gle·dy to keep Jabel Mukaber Arabs from effortlessly hurling firebombs into the backyards of their Jewish neighbors in east Talpiot. Just about everyone with an agenda lied on this story wrong.

3.     Have jet will travel. Disregarding the damage to the environment, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be landing shortly in Israel for meetings with Premier Netanyahu and PLO leader Abbas. 

     Since the UN and Ban are reflexively hostile to Israel this is one of those events that you kind of want to be behind you even before it begins. I don't blame Ban. He knows arithmetic. There is one Jewish state and ...something like 57 Muslim states. Israel has a couple of allies  (one less after the Canadian elections yesterday) and the Arabs and Muslim have friends galore. 
     Ban made a video to pave the way for his "surprise" trip in which he insinuated that the Palestinian Arabs should get back to aggressive civil disobedience (you know, given their legitimate frustration) but to abjure knifing and shooting Jews. It doesn't play well. You don't want Jews looking like victims, do you? Presumably, Ban will tell the Pals no beheadings as requested by ISIS. 
     Rock-throwing? Oh, why not? Let off a little steam. Just try not to kill the driver when shattering her windshield.  
     He will also recite the mantra that were there the illusion of momentum of a "peace process" the "cycle of violence" could be broken. 
     Don't let the door slam you in the ass on the way out, Mr. Ban.

4.      Now for the "Which European Country is Most Hostile to Israel Contest?"
France maybe?  They are pushing a Security Council resolution calling for a multi-national force on the Temple Mount. You know, like the one that is doing such a grand job keeping Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon. Besides Israel, Jordan and the Obama administration are opposed.
     Ah, but maybe Sweden? Sweden's tripped over itself to recognize Palestine. Now, besides funding a slew of anti-Israel NGO's in the West Bank, allowing anti-Israel diatribes on local Arabic radio, I hear that Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced plans to stop serving Israel – supposedly because the route is unprofitable and because of instability in the region. But me suspects it is yet one more instance of trying to force Israel back to the 1949 Armistice Lines by embracing the old Arab boycott strategy in stages.
Well, I am retaliating but not buying a 2016 Volvo! Take that.

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