Friday, September 30, 2016

As Peres is remembered, some keep looking backwards as others face the future

...Sadly, in ways that remind thoughtful observers of how tightly they continue to hold to backward-facing conceptions even as booming, sparkling Israel along with most of the world is busy trying to build a better future and resolve a generations-long conflict.


Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
30 September '16..

It's a gorgeous Friday morning here in Jerusalem. The air is still, the sun is bright, the cloudless sky is a luminescent blue.

But residents of the city, like us, know to expect chaos and it's already noticeable how light the road traffic is in our part of town. Many of the capital's major thoroughfares are already closed by the police and others, including the main highway from Tel Aviv, will be shut down for long intervals during the day.

Foreign delegations from dozens of countries are either already here or making their way to the national cemetery on Mount Herzl at this hour for this morning's state funeral of Shimon Peres, former president, major figure on the Israeli stage for the entire seven decades of Israel's renewed existence, and global statesman.

How are our neighbours dealing with this?

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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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Aleppo, Gaza and Double Standards - by Simon Plosker

...Unfortunately for the 250,000 residents of Aleppo, the city is not being attacked by the IDF. There are no leaflets being dropped warning civilians to evacuate areas in the line of fire. There is no “roof knocking” — where non-explosive devices are dropped on the roofs of targeted buildings to give civilians time to flee. And judging by the number of civilian casualties and the extent of the destruction in Syria, there is very little to no concern for the well-being of innocent civilians.

IDF paratroopers in Gaza during Operation
Protective Edge. Photo: Wikipedia.
Simon Plosker..
Algemeiner.com..
29 September '16..

Make no mistake, the carnage taking place in Aleppo right now is a disgrace to the international community.

The Syrian government and Russian-backed forces are reportedly using chemical weapons, barrel bombs and increasingly powerful explosives to target innocent men, women and children. While rebel fighters have undoubtedly embedded themselves in the city in fortified positions, it appears that the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the conflict.

While there has been some condemnation from the UN, where are the protests on the streets of European capitals and where is the media frenzy about this disgrace?

Had Israel been involved, or had the IDF aimed one solitary munition at Aleppo, I think the response would be much different.

The international community’s condemnation of the Assad regime and Putin’s Russia is nothing compared to the vitriol leveled against Israel for its far more restrained (and completely justified) 2014 operation against Hamas in Gaza.

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Simon Plosker is Managing Editor of HonestReporting (www.honestreporting.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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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Someone who had the privilege of helping to found the community of Ofra

...To understand the spirit of the times, we must remember that prominent members of the Ma'arach party (later the Labor party) were also members of the Movement for Greater Israel. And to a certain degree, in those years Peres was farther to the right than Rabin. From the outset, he came to visit and planted trees, and Defense Ministry officials even ordered ladders for the Kfir fighter jets from Ofra's welding workshop, to provide employment for the people living there. Moreover, when Peres turned 80, at his behest a BBC crew came to Ofra to document his part in the community's foundation.

Pinchas Wallerstein..
Israel Hayom..
29 September '16..
Link: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=17317

With the passing of Shimon Peres, I feel the need to reminisce about him, specifically in relation to the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria (without, of course, minimizing the extremely harmful role he played in advancing the "Oslo Accords"), as someone who had the privilege of helping to found the community of Ofra.

I will always remember that Ofra was established as a Defense Ministry "labor base." We received that title because a small group of us, led by the late Hanan Porat, called the construction contractor who at that time was building the army base on Mount Hazor, and pressured him to subcontract the base's fencing. As it was, every day for six months, the "labor platoon" would make the drive from Jerusalem to Mount Hazor. During that time, we would gaze longingly at an abandoned Jordanian army base (today Ofra) as a good place to establish a community. On April 20, 1975, we decided that upon finishing the fencing job, instead of returning to Jerusalem, we would simply stay in Ofra.

During that entire time, of course, then-Defense Minister Shimon Peres' office and Gush Emunim representatives were in contact. Indeed, that night the army received the order not to evict us. It is hard today to appreciate the immense significance of that decision. Before Ofra was founded, there was no Jewish civilian presence between Afula and Jerusalem.

Then, half a year later in Sebastia, Peres struck a deal between Gush Emunim and the Israeli government, which allowed 30 families to settle and establish Kedumim. There are those who say Peres made the deal to undermine then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, but I believe this is not the case. It is true, meanwhile, that as a young community leader I requested a meeting with Rabin in the hope that he would recognize us as a legal settlement, but his bureau chief, Eli Mizrahi, told me: "You are Peres' baby; there is nothing for you to find here."

The phony threat of a "Palestinian majority" - by Stephen M. Flatow

...All of which brings us to today. The "occupation" is long over. The "separation" that the S. Daniel Abraham Center is now demanding was already implemented 21 years ago. The "demographic time bomb" was defused. Israel is still both Jewish and democratic. Now you can see why the advocates of Palestinian statehood feel so frustrated. They've run out of cogent arguments. All they can do now is try to wind the clock back to the days before Oslo, so that they can portray Israel as an occupier. That is nothing less than a callous, cynical attempt to manipulate the public. 

Stephen M. Flatow..
JNS.org..
28 September '16..

A group advocating Palestinian statehood took out a full-page ad in The New York Times last week to warn that there will be "a Palestinian majority" in Israel in less than a decade unless such a state is created. A reader of the ad might think he had fallen into a time warp and ended up sometime prior to the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords.

The ad, sponsored by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, was headlined "Separation Between Israelis and Palestinians is Essential." It featured what it called a "population breakdown from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River" - a frightening chart that showed the current Jewish population and that of projected estimates; in 2015, 52 percent Jewish; in 2020, 49 percent Jewish and in 2030, 44 percent Jewish.

Those statistics are not merely ignorant; they constitute deliberate deception.

(Continue Reading)

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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Surprise? BBC report on EU Hamas terror designation gives incomplete picture - by Hadar Sela

...Remarkably, in an article all about Hamas’ terror designation in the EU, the BBC did not find it necessary to provide readers with factual information concerning Hamas’ long history of terror attacks against Israeli civilians, including the thousands of missile attacks which brought about those tepidly portrayed “three conflicts”.

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

Back in December 2014 the BBC News website produced a report which was misleadingly headlined “EU court takes Hamas off terrorist organisations list”. The following month the Council of the European Union decided to appeal the court decision that was the subject of that article but the BBC News website did not cover that chapter of the story.

An article appearing on the website’s Europe page (though not on its Middle East page) on September 22nd under the title “EU advised to drop Hamas and Tamil Tigers from terror list” opened with a summary of the story so far.
“The EU may have to remove Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and the Sri Lankan separatist Tamil Tigers from its list of terrorist organisations, a top European Court adviser has said.

The Court ruled in 2014 they should be taken off the list on technical grounds, not as a reassessment of their classification as a terrorist group.

The Council of the EU, which represents all 28 governments, launched an appeal.

Now the European Court adviser has recommended the appeal be rejected.

The opinion of the adviser, known as the Advocate General, is not final but is generally followed when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) delivers its judgement.”

As was the case in the December 2014 report, the article goes on to amplify the Hamas narrative of ‘resistance’ and to provide incomplete information concerning the countries which proscribe Hamas as a terror organisation.

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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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Choosing which Peres to remember - by Michael Freund

...Human beings are complex creatures, full of incongruities, and Peres was no exception. So while I disagreed with his vision over the past 25 years, and believe it to have been decidedly misguided, the Shimon Peres I prefer to remember in light of his death is the one who demonstrated just how much one person can accomplish over the course of a lifetime. There will be plenty of time and opportunities for future historians and analysts to assess the totality of the individual, his accomplishments and failings.

Michael Freund..
Fundamentally Freund/JPost..
28 September '16..
Link: http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Fundamentally-Freund-Choosing-which-Peres-to-remember-468933

The demise this week of former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, who served as one of the last living links with the heroic generation that founded this country, is a milestone event, the kind of moment in a nation’s life that cannot but evoke collective and personal introspection.

In death, as in life, Peres remains an intriguing conundrum. Few historical figures have left such an indelible and undeniable mark on the nation they helped to forge and lead, leaving behind a complicated legacy that stirs up a broad range of sentiments among differing sectors of the population.

For those of us on the Right, in particular, Peres’ career encompassed a complex array of actions, prompting many to wonder how best to remember the man and his legacy.

Consider the following: As defense minister in 1974, Peres played a key role in the revival of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.

Despite opposition from prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Peres pushed for and granted the approval for the establishment of Ofra, north of Ramallah, which is now a thriving community of more than 3,000 Jews.

There is a well-known photo of Peres planting a tree at the site, and it is said that the sapling remains in place until today.

And yet, barely two decades later, in 1993, Peres served as one of the architects of the Oslo process, which ultimately sought to undermine the very same Jewish presence in the territories that he had previously championed.

The Jewish presence in the holy city of Hebron also owes a debt of gratitude to Peres.

In an interview last year with the Israeli news site Walla, Hebron Jewish community spokesman Noam Arnon told a remarkable story about a meeting with Peres that took place toward the end of 1975, when he was part of a delegation of Jews headed by Rabbi Moshe Levinger who went to see the defense minister.

At the time, the Jewish community of Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron, was already in existence, but no Jews yet resided in the heart of the ancient city itself.

Speaking with Peres, Rabbi Levinger raised the subject of the Avraham Avinu synagogue, which was built in 1540 in Hebron’s Jewish Quarter but had stood empty after the 1929 Arab massacre of Hebron’s Jews. When Jordan seized control over the area in 1948, they turned the site of the synagogue into a goat and donkey pen.

According to Arnon’s account, when Rabbi Levinger began to explain the sanctity of the site and its importance, Peres cut him off and said, “Do you think I am a goy and that I don’t know what a synagogue is?” Shortly thereafter, Peres granted permission to rehabilitate and refurbish the synagogue, thereby laying the groundwork for the ultimate reestablishment of Hebron’s Jewish community.

“Not that there weren’t further struggles over the matter,” Arnon recalled, “but the greatest and most important breakthrough was the meeting with Peres.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

When a News Organization Covers-Up For the Violent “Gandhi of Palestine”

...Years of violence against soldiers, violence against civilians, destruction of personal property, insulting, spitting, and instigating riots. This is the “Palestinian Gandhi.” This is the “Palestinian Martin Luther King.” This is what Vice News calls “journalism.”

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

A highly misleading article from the online publication “Vice News” begins with the headline, “A Famous Palestinian Activist Could Be Sent to Israel Prison for His Years of Nonviolent Protest.”

Journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon says that Issa Amro is called the “Palestinian Gandhi,” and quotes an interviewee who compares him to Martin Luther King, Jr.

But what Vice won’t tell you is that Amro is actually not “non-violent” at all. In fact, he is quite violent.

According to the charges, Amro was actually arrested for his years of violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians, and for actively harming and degrading human beings in ways that Gandhi and Dr. King, in their time, found utterly deplorable.

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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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New York Times falsely blames Israel for second intifada in Peres obituary (Update)

...This is another example where reporters simply regurgitate myths as conventional wisdom - myths that they helped create with their own agendas, including in this case to minimize the deadly attacks in Israel during the Oslo process to "give peace a chance" as well as accepting without checking the Palestinian narrative that Ariel Sharon's pre-planned and approved visit sparked the violence.

Elder of Ziyon..
28 September '16..







Here's how the New York Times describes the beginning of the second intifada in its obituary for Shimon Peres:

Mr. Peres, Mr. Rabin and Arafat were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

But the era of good feelings did not last. It was shattered in 2000 after a visit by the opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the sacred plaza in Jerusalem known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The next day, the Israeli police fired on stone-throwing protesters, inaugurating a new round of violence that became known as the second intifada.

There are two major problems with this description.

One is that the years after Oslo were filled with terror attacks against Israelis. In fact, 279 Israelis were killed in the five years following the Oslo accords, more than in the 15 years beforehand - including the entire first intifada. That time period saw some of the worst suicide bombings, particularly on buses, that Israel had ever seen.

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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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When coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict favors propaganda over professional journalism

...These inconvenient facts not reported by the Independent, regarding both the terror-affiliation of the ‘media outlets’ and the reinstatement of the Facebook accounts, of course undermine the desired narrative of the article.

Adam Levick..
UK Media Watch..
27 September '16..

Omissions are arguably more damaging than outright errors in skewing news reports in a particular political direction.

Whereas outright errors of fact can often be easily spotted and challenged, the mere absence of information vital to accurately contextualize a story is not always as easy to catch, and even harder to correct. Such omissions – most of which just so happen to reinforce the desired media narrative on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – greatly impact news consumers’ understanding of Israel and the wider region.

A report published at the Independent yesterday (Facebook ‘blocks’ accounts of seven Palestinian journalists, Sept. 26) falls into this category.

First, a brief note on the photo Indy editors chose for the tweet and the full article. The ‘menacing’ Israeli soldier and the pleading Palestinian women may be evocative, but (as you’ll see) it has little to do with the story.

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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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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Unfortunately, New NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Follows Old Pattern In Coverage of UN Speeches

...Whether wiping out actual distinctions in speeches, or imposing particular opinions when characterizing the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, recent reporting by the new Jerusalem bureau chief has left those hoping for a more evenhanded approach by the New York Times continuing to wait for an improvement.


Gilead Ini..
CAMERA Media Analyses..
26 September '16..

The New York Times would have you think there was a neat symmetry between two recent speeches by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, both of whom spoke at last week's opening of the UN General Assembly.

In his article on the speeches by the Middle East rivals, Times Jerusalem bureau chief Peter Baker evoked a split screen, with Netanyahu on one side and Abbas on the other, saying the same things and going through the same motions. The New York Times reporter began:

They took the stage, one after the other, two aging actors in a long-running drama that has begun to lose its audience. As the Israeli and Palestinian leaders recited their lines in the grand hall of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, many in the orchestra seats recognized the script.

"Heinous crimes," charged Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. "Historic catastrophe."

"Fanaticism," countered Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister. "Inhumanity."

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Netanyahu have been at this for so long that between them they have addressed the world body 19 times, every year cajoling, lecturing, warning and guilt-tripping the international community into seeing their side of the bloody struggle between their two peoples. Their speeches are filled with grievance and bristling with resentment, as they summon the ghosts of history from hundreds and even thousands of years ago to make their case.

It was all very balanced, calibrated to allow for Baker's tidy (or some might say lazy) narrative technique of equating parallel speeches.

Were the Two Speeches Equivalent?

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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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Jabotinsky, Netanyahu, and the American debates - by Vic Rosenthal

Jabotinsky also stressed the importance for a leader to display hadar, a difficult word to translate, but it connotes dignity, gravitas, self-respect, and maybe honesty too. My own opinion is that Netanyahu, despite his faults, is a pretty good heir to the Jabotinsky tradition, and I think he is aware of the history and the responsibility that this places on his shoulders. I watched the debate. There were no big surprises. Donald was Donald and Hillary put on a polished, empty performance. Two “leaders” without a sense of history, without responsibility to anyone but themselves. Without hadar.

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
27 September '16..

When I arose at 0330 this morning to watch the American presidential debates, I couldn’t help but think about the concept of leadership – what makes a good leader and why it’s rare to find one who is also a good politician. So I was pleased to run into this very interesting article by Elliott Jager about a man who was a great leader of the Jewish people, although he was not successful as a politician and unfortunately died far too soon.

The man, of course, was Ze’ev Jabotinsky, whom generations of left-leaning politicians dismissed as a fascist and an extremist, and whom many still think of as a footnote in Zionist history that is best kept at the bottom of the page.

But Jager points out that Jabotinsky’s positions were more nuanced than many think today. As a classical liberal, he was absolutely committed to the protection of individual rights (something that the Left likes to talk about a great deal while doing the precise opposite).

This includes the rights of Arabs in the Jewish state. Jabotinsky clearly saw the distinction between civil rights, such as those enumerated in the American Bill of Rights, and national or collective rights, the most obvious example of which is the Law of Return for Jews alone. Those who insist that the Jewishness of the state is essentially undemocratic elide this distinction. Jabotinsky’s demand for a state with national rights for the Jewish people was uncompromising, but he would never have accepted discrimination against minorities within the state.

Jabotinsky would not have agreed to limitations on where any citizen could live, but he would also have rejected Arab demands to change the flag and the national anthem, which are clearly national issues. And while he lived a secular life and was opposed to any kind of religious coercion, he nevertheless respected Judaism. Jager notes that the food at his Betar youth movement camps was kosher and “Shabbat was respected.”

One of the themes that Jabotinsky returned to throughout his life was the centrality of Jewish self-sufficiency and self-defense, and the importance of military power in the survival of a state. I suspect that he would be as uncomfortable with Israel’s degree of dependence on the US as I am.

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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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Is HRW's silence a statement that HRW approves of Palestinian promotion of terror?

...Is HRW's silence in the face of open use of sports to glorify terror by the PA, a statement that HRW approves of Palestinian promotion of terror? If HRW does not approve of the PA using sports to glorify terror, a clear condemnation in the report is required.

Itamar Marcus..
Palestinian Media Watch..
26 September '16..

Human Rights Watch (HRW) recently published a report on sports, concerning Israeli football in the disputed West Bank, and FIFA, the international football association's support thereof, claiming Israeli football matches in the West Bank are a violation of human rights. [HRW's website, Sept. 25, 2016]

However, Human Rights Watch has chosen to completely ignore the Palestinian Authority's use of sports as a vehicle to glorify and promote terror and present murderers of Israeli civilians as heroes and role models. HRW has likewise ignored the terror glorification and incitement to murder by Jibril Rajoub, who is head of the Palestinian Football Association, the Palestine Olympic Committee, and the PLO's Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs.

(Continue Reading)

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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