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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Who are the Palestinians?


Yoram Ettinger in Israel Hayom (highlights mine):


Contrary to political correctness, Palestinian Arabs have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial; no Palestinian state ever existed, no Palestinian people was ever robbed of its land and there is no basis for the Palestinian “claim of return.

Most Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Muslim migrants who came to the area between 1845 to 1947 from the Sudan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, as well as from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Bosnia, the Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan and Balochistan.
Arab migrant workers were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British Mandate (which defeated the Ottomans in 1917) for infrastructure projects: The port of Haifa, the Haifa-Qantara, Haifa-Edrei, Haifa-Nablus and Jerusalem-Jaffa railroads, military installations, roads, quarries, reclamation of wetlands, etc. Illegal Arab laborers were also attracted by the relative economic boom in British Mandate Palestine, stimulated by Jewish immigration.

According to a 1937 report by the British Peel Commission (Palestine Betrayed, Prof. Efraim Karsh, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 12), “The increase in the Arab population is most marked in urban areas, affected by Jewish development. A comparison of the census returns in 1922 and 1931 shows that, six years ago, the increase percent in Haifa was 86, in Jaffa 62, in Jerusalem 37, while in purely Arab towns such as Nablus and Hebron it was only 7, and at Gaza there was a decrease of 2 percent.”

As a result of the substantial Arab immigration between 1880 and 1947– and despite Arab emigration caused by domestic chaos and intra-Arab violence - the Arab population of Jaffa, Haifa and Ramla grew 17-, 12- and five-fold, respectively.

The conquest by Egypt's Mohammed Ali between the years of 1831 and 1840 was solidified by a flow of Egyptian migrants settling empty spaces between Gaza and Tulkarem up to the Hula Valley. They followed in the footsteps of thousands of Egyptian draft dodgers, who fled Egypt before 1831 and settled in Acre. The British traveler, H.B. Tristram, identified, in his 1865 "The Land of Israel: A journal of travels in Palestine" (p. 495), Egyptian migrants in the Beit Shean Valley, Acre, Hadera, Netanya and Jaffa.

The British Palestine Exploration Fund documented that Egyptian neighborhoods proliferated in the Jaffa area: Saknet el-Mussariya, Abu Kebir, Abu Derwish, Sumeil, Sheikh Muwanis, Salame', Fejja, etc. In 1917, the Arabs of Jaffa represented at least 25 ethnic groups, including Persians, Afghanis, Hindus and Balochis. Hundreds of Egyptian families settled in Ara’ Arara’, Kafer Qassem, Taiyiba and Qalansawa.

Many of the Arabs who fled in 1948 reunited with their families in Egypt and other neighboring countries.
"30,000-36,000 Syrian migrants (Huranis) entered Palestine during the last few months alone," reported La Syrie daily on August 12, 1934. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, the role model for Hamas' terrorism, which plagued Jews as early as in the time of British Mandate Palestine, was Syrian, as were Said el-A'az, a leader of the 1936-38 anti-Jewish pogroms and Kaukji, the commander-in-chief of the Arab mercenaries who terrorized Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Libyan migrants settled in Gedera, south of Tel Aviv. Algerian refugees (Mugrabis) escaped the French conquest of 1830 and settled in Safed (alongside Syrians and Jordanian Bedouins), Tiberias and other parts of the Galilee. Circassian refugees, fleeing Russian oppression (1878) and Muslims from Bosnia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen (1908) diversified the Arab demography west of the Jordan River.

Mark Twain wrote in Innocents Abroad (American Publishing Company, 1969): “Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, Palestine must be the prince…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.” Analyzing Mark Twain’s book, John Haynes Holmes, the pacifist Unitarian priest, cofounder of the American Civil Liberties Union and the author of "Palestine Today and Tomorrow – a Gentile’s Survey of Zionism" (McMillan, 1929) wrote: “This is the country to which the Jews have come to rebuild their ancient homeland…. On all the surface of this earth there is no home for the Jew save in the mountains and the well-springs of his ancient kingdom…. Everywhere else the Jew is in exile…. But, Palestine is his…. Scratch Palestine anywhere and you’ll find Israel…. [There exists] not a road, a spring, a mountain, a village, which does not awaken the name of some great [Jewish] king, or echo with the voice of some great [Jewish] prophet…. [The Jew] has a higher, nobler motive in Palestine than the economic…. This mission is to restore Zion; and Zion is Palestine.”

The Arab attempt to gain the moral high ground and to delegitimize the Jewish State - by employing the immoral reinvention of history and recreation of identity - was exposed by Arieh Avneri’s "The Claim of Dispossession" (Herzl Press, 1982) and Joan Peters’ "From Time Immemorial" (Harper & Row, 1986), which provide the aforementioned – and much more – data.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Holocaust Inversion: “Gaza = Auschwitz”


Martin Kramer in Mosaic Magazine:

Five years ago, during an earlier Israeli operation in Gaza, the British novelist Howard Jacobson explained why “call[ing] the Israelis Nazis and liken[ing] Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto” goes far beyond mere “criticism” of Israel:

Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial. . . . Instead of saying the Holocaust didn’t happen, the modern sophisticated denier accepts the event in all its terrible enormity, only to accuse the Jews of trying to profit from it, either in the form of moral blackmail or downright territorial theft. According to this thinking, the Jews have betrayed the Holocaust and become unworthy of it, the true heirs to their suffering being the Palestinians.

Experts call this Holocaust inversion. Based in the claim that Israel now behaves toward the Palestinians as Nazi Germany behaved toward the Jews, it originated in post-World War II Soviet propaganda, and from there spread to the Soviets’ Arab clients. It is now fully embedded in the Arab-Muslim world, where it grows and mutates in symbiosis with outright denial that the Holocaust occurred or a radical reduction of its genocidal scale, ferocity, and number of victims. Holocaust inversion has a graphic omnipresence in cartoons all over the Arab and Iranian press, where Israelis are regularly portrayed in Nazi regalia. Elsewhere in the Middle East and beyond, it has surfaced in the rhetoric of populist demagogues and the media. In Turkey’s new president and long-time prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it now has a champion in a head of state. In Europe, Holocaust inversion is busy spreading beyond its original locus of infection and finding a home among intellectuals and activists, especially on the Left.

Thankfully, the disease is still rather hard to find in America, where it festers in only a few dark places. Some of those places, regrettably, operate as institutions of higher learning, and in one of them—Columbia University—a number of professors, mainly instructors in Middle East studies, have distinguished themselves in the black art of defaming Israel as a Holocaust emulator. Only a decade ago, Columbia was compelled to investigate departmental instructors who had been accused of intimidating their students with extreme anti-Israel diatribes. Not only did the university absolve its professors, however, it even granted tenure to the one faculty member against whom its own investigators found a student’s claims to be “credible.” Encouraged by this green light, the extremists have been tunneling under Morningside Heights ever since, fortifying their positions and waiting for a signal to emerge firing.

The recent war in Gaza has supplied the signal. Columbia now boasts three American exponents of the process described by Jacobson as “habituation to a language of loathing.”

The first is Hamid Dabashi, the Hagop Kevorkian professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature.
...
Next up is Joseph Massad, associate professor of modern Arab politics and intellectual history and the man who, having compiled the clearest record of classroom intimidation at the very time he was being considered for promotion to permanent faculty status, stood at the center of the last Columbia scandal.
...
And then there is Rashid Khalidi, holder of the Edward Said chair of modern Arab studies and a professor of a somewhat higher class. 
...
Probably the cleverest of the anti-Israel lot on Morningside Heights is Nadia Abu El-Haj, associate professor of anthropology at Barnard College.
...
There is such a thing as legitimate criticism of Israel, and there is such a thing as crossing the line into demonization and, to put it plainly, Jew-baiting. The analogies spewed by Columbia’s tenured professors are of the latter kind, and are obscene. Jew-baiting covers a wider range than anti-Semitism, and Holocaust inversion is its favorite technique. Jew-baiting is the demand that Israel and its supporters explain why Gaza isn’t like a Nazi extermination camp or a starved ghetto for the doomed, or why a targeted air campaign isn’t just like the incineration of Dresden. That it should be practiced so openly by tenured professors at New York’s Ivy League home is a scandal, and a warning.

Read it all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Obama’s Irrational Animus for Israel




Speaking extensively on US relations with Jerusalem since the end of the latest round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians last April, and throughout Operation Protective Edge, a candid [former US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations Martin] Indyk said at times US President Barack Obama has become “enraged” at the Israeli government, both for its actions and for its treatment of his chief diplomat, US Secretary of State John Kerry… Gaza has had “very negative impact” on US-Israel relations, he continued. “The personal relationship between the president and the prime minister has been fraught for some time and it’s become more complicated by recent events.”
Think about this for a moment. In a neighborhood featuring Hamas, ISIS, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, just to name a few of the actors, President Obama was “enraged” at … Israel. That’s right, Israel–our stalwart ally, a lighthouse of liberty, lawfulness, and human rights in a region characterized by despotism, and a nation filled with people who long for peace and have done so much for so long to sacrifice for it (including repeatedly returning and offering to return its land in exchange for peace).
Yet Mr. Obama–a man renowned for his lack of strong feelings, his emotional equanimity, his disengagement and distance from events, who New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd refers to as “Spock” for his Vulcan-like detachment–is not just upset but “enraged” at Israel.
Add to this the fact that the conflict with Hamas in Gaza–a conflict started and escalated by Hamas, and in which Hamas used innocent Palestinians as human shields–had a very negative impact on America’s relationship with Israel. To show you just how absurd this has become, other Arab nations were siding with Israel in its conflict with Hamas. But not America under Obama. He was constantly applying pressure on Israel. Apparently if you’re a nation defending yourself and, in doing so, you wage a war with exquisite care in order to prevent civilian death, it is reason to earn the fury of Mr. Obama.
It’s clear to me, and by now it should be to others, that there is something sinister in Barack Obama’s constant anger aimed at Israel. No previous American president has carried in his heart this degree of hostility for Israel. We can only hope that no future president ever does again. It is a shameful thing to watch this ugliness and irrationality play itself out.
It's called anti-semitism and it's hardly surprising coming from somebody named Hussein. When Obama was elected for a second term I warned that lack of electoral dependence makes him extremely dangerous for Israel and for America too.

I rest my case.








Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Allah_Islam: Say Goodbye to Europe and Civilization


If you want to understand Europe's fatal blind spot for sheer evil, from Wikipedia:
Allah Islam, also known as Islam in Europe, is a documentary series about the rise of Islam by Israeli film makers Zvi Yehezkeli and David Deri. The 4-part series was first broadcast by Israel's Channel 10 in September, 2012,and looks at the effect of the rise of the Islam religion in Europe, and the growth in numbers of Muslim migrants. The filmmakers go into Muslim immigrant neighborhoods in European nations to investigate the conditions and culture. The film documents a rise in jihadism and antisemitism.
Some more evidence:
Not a very good deal, Muslims for Jews, was it? But the consequences are well deserved.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's The Jews, Stupid!


There are reports of European nations working on UN Gaza truce resolution. It is rumored to be identical to--you guessed--to what was in place before Hamas's coup against the PA, namely
Opening up Gaza’s borders and a return of the Palestinian Authority in the territory ... Security assurances for the Israelis, including ways to prevent Hamas from acquiring more arms and building more tunnels ... Measures against financing of terrorism and the lifting of the blockade on Gaza.
which, after all, proved to be such a success, producing several bouts of Hamas violence, including the current one. Bringing Abbas Back to Gaza Not a Good Idea is the understatement of the year: the PA collapsed almost instantaneously when Hamas attacked. And besides, PA is not much different than Hamas anyway: We have made a political decision to slaughter the settlements.

Evelyn Gordon in Commentary:
With the fighting in Gaza seemingly winding down, stories are starting to trickle out about Gaza residents’ unhappiness with Hamas for starting a new war every few years. The Associated Press devoted its “big story” to the topic yesterday; the Washington Post ran a similar story on August 12. Seemingly, that’s an encouraging development. But closer analysis leaves little ground for optimism.First, the criticism was primarily over tactics: People objected to Hamas launching rockets from their backyards or thought it should have accepted a cease-fire earlier. But as the Washington Post noted, there was virtually no disagreement over strategy:
“Most Palestinians, even Hamas’s biggest detractors, say they back the current war against Israel, believing it is the only way to achieve the short-term Palestinian demands of lifting the Israeli and Egyptian economic blockades of Gaza and opening the strip’s border crossings.”
In other words, Palestinians still haven’t grasped the simple fact that the blockade was imposed in response to the nonstop rocket fire on Israel from Gaza, and its primary goal is to limit Hamas’ ability to import war materiel. They have evidently forgotten that when Israel first withdrew from Gaza in mid-2005, a U.S.-brokered agreement arranged for the border crossings to open under Palestinian Authority and European supervision; only two years and thousands of rockets later, after Hamas booted the PA out of Gaza in mid-2007, did both Israel and Egypt institute stringent restrictions at the crossings. Thus instead of concluding that the best way to get Israel to end the blockade would be to stop shooting at it, Palestinians still think the best way to end the blockade is to bombard Israel with even more rockets.
Except that, as the bouts demonstrate, the blockade has not even dented Hamas ability to rearm, nor did it apparently defy Israel's illusion on Sisi's "different" Egypt that relaxing it is now safe (Smuggling between Sinai and Gaza still thriving).
Worse, both Washington and Europe seem hell-bent on proving Gazans right. One might have thought the discovery that Hamas diverted enormous quantities of imported cement – enough, as one Israeli officer noted, to build “twohospitals, 20 clinics, 20 schools, and 100 kindergartens” – into building tunnels to attack Israel would have led the West to realize that Israel’s insistence on regulating construction imports had some merit. Instead, Western leaders are pressing Israel to agree to significant concessions during the Cairo cease-fire talks. On July 27, for instance, a White House readout of a call between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu said Obama had demanded a cease-fire “that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs,” while relegating Israel’s demand for Gaza’s disarmament to an ever-elusive “lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” –
i.e., the far-distant future.
In short, the West has been pressuring Israel to show Gaza residents that Hamas’ strategy works, and that a war every few years really will force it into concessions. And Israel has begun capitulating to this pressure, having reportedly agreed to several steps to ease the blockade, though not yet to removing it totally.
Even without this, the chances of Gaza residents revolting against Hamas were slim, given the organization’s reign of terror ... But if Hamas had nothing to show for its endless wars, even cowed Gazans might someday decide they’d had enough. Instead, Hamas seems likely to return from Cairo with Israeli concessions that will force even its critics to shut up and admit that its strategy works. It’s hard to imagine a better way to ensure that the countdown to the next Israel-Hamas war will be short.
The Arab-Israeli conflict would have been resolved long ago had it not been sustained by The PostWest. Why Does President Obama Condemn ISIS But Ask Israel to Accept Hamas in Unity Government? And why does The PostWest want to add the UN--whose Palestinian Refugee Body Is Under Complete Control of Hamas, Islamic Jihad? --to the monitoring of yet another absurd truce, the very Hostile, Impotent UN that Scapegoats Israel?

Because Palestinian Jihadis kill Jews.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Deborah E. Lipstadt in NYT: Why Jews Are Worried


Deborah E. Lipstadt is professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University and the author, most recently, of “The Eichmann Trial.

ATLANTA — AN old Jewish joke goes like this: “What’s the definition of a Jewish telegram? ‘Start worrying. Details to follow.’ ”

I am often asked by fellow Jews about contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe. “Is this just like 1939? Are we on the cusp of another Holocaust?” Until now, my answer has been an unequivocal “no.” I have criticized community leaders who, either out of genuine concern or to advance their own purposes, use Holocaust analogies to describe contemporary conditions. These claims are ahistorical. They overstate what is going on now and completely understate the situation in 1939.

The differences between then and now are legion. When there is an outbreak of anti-Semitism today, officials condemn it. This is light-years away from the 1930s and 1940s, when governments were not only silent but complicit. Memory also distinguishes the present from previous events. Now, in contrast to the 1930s, we know matters can escalate. Jews today are resolute in their determination: “Never again.”

And despite all this I wonder if I am too sanguine. Last month, pro-Gaza protesters on Kurf├╝rstendamm, the legendary avenue in Berlin, chanted, “Jews, Jews, cowardly swine.” Demonstrators in Dortmund and Frankfurt chanted, “Hamas, Hamas; Jews to the gas!” And a pro-Hamas marcher in Berlin broke away from the crowd and assaulted an older man who was quietly standing on a corner holding an Israeli flag.

On the eve of Bastille Day, a group of Parisian Jews were trapped in a synagogue by pro-Palestinian rioters and had to be rescued by the police. A few weeks ago signs were posted in Rome urging a boycott of 50 Jewish-owned businesses. In central London last week, anti-Israel protesterstargeted a Sainsbury’s grocery, and the manager reflexively pulled kosher products off the shelves. (The supermarket chain later apologized.)

It would be simple to link all this outrage to events in Gaza. But this trend has been evident for a while. In March 2012, four people were killed at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France. (Last month, a Jewish community center there was firebombed.) In December 2012, Israeli officials warned Jewish men who wanted to visit synagogues in Denmark not to don their skullcaps until they were inside the building. It is increasingly common for Jewish tourists in Western Europe to avoid carrying anything that might distinguish them as such. A shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May, a month before the latest Gaza conflict began, killed four people.

I am unpersuaded by those who try to dismiss what is happening as “just rhetoric.” It is language, after all, that’s at the heart of the ubiquitous slippage from anger at Israeli military action to hatred of Jews.

Nor am I comforted by the explanation that these actions are being taken by “disgruntled Muslim youth.” (By one estimate, 95 percent of anti-Semitic actions in France are committed by youths of Arab or African descent.) Many of these Muslims were born in Europe, and many of those who weren’t are the parents of a new generation of Europeans.
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story

It’s true that this is not the anti-Semitism of the 1930s, which came from the right and was rooted in longstanding Christian views that demonized the Jews. Traditionally, Islam did not treat Jews this way. But in the past century a distinct strain of Muslim anti-Semitism has emerged. Built on a foundation of antipathy toward non-Muslims, it mixes Christian anti-Semitism — imported to the Middle East by European missionaries — and a more leftist, secular form of anti-Semitism. It is evident in political cartoons, editorials, television shows and newspaper articles.

The Hamas charter is an example. It contains references to “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious forgery created by Russian czarist police officers in 1903 and later used as Nazi propaganda. The charter accuses Jews of relying on secret societies to foment global economic and political disasters. It calls on adherents to prepare for “the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war.”

The rationales — “it’s just rhetoric,” “it’s just Muslims” — bother me almost as much as the outrages. Instead of explaining away these actions, cultural, religious and academic leaders in all the countries where these events have occurred should be shaken to the core, not just about the safety of their Jewish neighbors, but about the future of the seemingly liberal, enlightened societies they belong to. Yet when a Hamas spokesman recently stood by his statement that Jews used the blood of non-Jewish children for their matzos — one of the oldest anti-Semitic canards around — European elites were largely silent.

Seventy years after the Holocaust, many Jews in Europe no longer feel safe. Hiring an armed guard to protect people coming for weekly prayer is not the action of a secure people. In too many cities worldwide, directions to the local synagogue conclude with, “You will recognize it by the police car in front of the building.” France has seen a sharp rise in the number of Jews who have decided to emigrate (though the figures are still fairly small).

The telegram has arrived. Jews are worrying. It is time for those who value a free, democratic, open, multicultural and enlightened society to do so, too. This is not another Holocaust, but it’s bad enough.