Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jordan, the Temple Mount and the Jews

The Temple Mount is still in the news (“Jordan Outraged Over Temple Mount Debate”,, February 26, 2014). Now, Israel is to be attacked just for talking about the Temple Mount.

As you may remember, Jordan signed a Peace Treaty with Israel in 1994. One of the agreements associated with that Treaty was a joint commitment to assure freedom of access to and freedom of worship at all Jerusalem holy sites. That assurance included Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.

As a part of the Treaty, Israel agreed to give to Jordan the custodianship of the Temple Mount. That meant that Jordan became responsible for monitoring and implementing Treaty requirements affecting the Temple Mount. In other words, Jordan agreed that it was responsible to make sure that Jews and Muslims would have free access to the Mount. That Treaty also meant that Jordan, as Temple Mount custodian, was responsible to make sure that Jews would have the freedom to worship on the Temple Mount.

That was the agreement.

Since then, Jews have been restricted from ascending to the Temple Mount. Jews have been arrested for praying on the Mount. Jews are subject to arrest if the move their lips on the Mount. They will be arrested if they bow on the Mount.

Jordan signed that Treaty. They are responsible to uphold its terms and conditions. Restricting freedom of access and denying freedom of worship are violations of that Treaty.

As a result, Israel has had no recourse but to reconsider having agreed to Jordan’s role in administering the Temple Mount which, you may also remember, came under Israel’s control during the 1967 Six-Day War. This week, Israel’s Knesset began a discussion of how to resolve these violations of that Treaty.

The Temple Mount is in Jewish hands. But Jordan, through its custodianship, has taken control of it. Israel is fed up with Jordan’s behaviour—and its violations.

But as other Arabs have since 1948, Jordan spits at Israel—and at the United Nations, which has always (since 1947) insisted that freedom of access and freedom of worship be given to all religions at all of Israel’s holy sites. Jordan absolutely refuses to allow Jews any freedom of religion in every arena it controls. That includes the Temple Mount.

That’s what this issue is about: Jordanian refusal to allow freedom of access and freedom of worship. This issue is clearly about how Jordan has violated a Peace treaty with Israel.

But when Israel, frustrated by Jordan’s brazen bullying, took a first step this week to stop that behaviour, Arabs reacted with anger. No Arab agreed that Jordan had acted in bad faith. Instead, they attacked Israel. For example, Jordan’s Prime Minister warned that “If Israel wants to violate the peace treaty in this issue,” then the entire Treaty will be ‘put on the table’ (“Jordan PM warns Israel over Temple Mount authority”, Times of Israel, February 27, 2014).

Just so you understand what’s going on here, Jordan’s Prime Minister is not angry because Israel took an anti-Jordan action. He is angry because Israel is talking.

Jordan warns Israel. Why? Because Israel is, in the words of one report, “waging the Temple Mount debate” (, ibid). Notice that ‘war’ word, ‘waging’. It suggests that Arabs see Israel’s talk as war-against-the-Arab.

Israel is not talking about war. Israel does not violate a Treaty by discussing Jordan’s violation of that Treaty. Again, the Temple Mount is in Jewish hands. Jews have the right to behave like the owners they are. They granted a custodianship of that property to Jordan—but with terms and conditions. The Jordanians violate those terms and conditions.

The owner of that property has the right to rescind that custodianship.

The Jordanians created this problem by violating their own Treaty. Their anger is outrageous. That anger suggests that they got caught with their proverbial hand in the proverbial cookie jar—and are too arrogant to ‘fess up.’

Their anger is nonsense. They are hypocrites. They violate a Treaty, then threaten Israel when Israel wants to stop those violations.

We would never have come to this moment if Jordan had fulfilled its Treaty obligations. Actually, we would never have come to this point if Israel had refused to give Jordan that custodianship in the first place.

Perhaps the Temple Mount is in the news to remind us that we, as Jews, have a responsibility we have shirked. After all, we keep saying that the Temple Mount is our holiest site. Maybe it’s time we start acting like it is.


Amnesty International perverts morality

Updated: March 2, 2014

Amnesty International (AI) is supposed to be a respectable Human Rights Organization. But when it comes to Israel, its respectability evaporates. With Israel, its work is closer to libel than objective analysis.

AI accuses Israel of gross moral misconduct. But as it stands on its moral soap box to demonize Israel, it ignores the immorality of Israel’s opponent.

That’s a double standard. Double standards always create the same result: one side gets a free pass; the other side gets demonized.

Human Rights are about morality. They promote a single universal moral code. A double standard is, by definition, not singular.  

The most recent example of AI’s double standard is a new Report, “Trigger-happy Israeli army and police use reckless force in the West Bank”, dated, February 27, 2014. It accuses Israel of shooting ‘Palestinians’ during what it suggests are ‘peaceful assembly’.

The Report is not accurate. It misrepresents facts. It distorts ‘Palestinian’ behaviour. It underestimates what is ‘dangerous’. It uses inflammatory language.  It perverts morality.

It does all of this because Human Rights law has been ‘refined’. As a consequence of that ‘refinement’, it becomes immoral for a sovereign state to defend itself against 15 year-old stone-throwers.

According to AI, Israel’s army will almost always have to yield to stone-throwers—because of Human Rights requirements. That means that if the Arabs want to drive Israel out of the Middle East, all they need do is send 13-15 year olds to throw stones at Jews. When security forces show up to stop them, Israeli hands will be tied.

You see, according to AI, Human Rights law is clear: security forces have no right to use force to stop stone-throwers.

This is how Human Rights work against Israel: security forces can harm stone-throwers only when stones become an ‘imminent risk to life’. However, stones are never an ‘imminent risk to life’.

Then, security forces are never allowed to attack ‘peaceful assemblies.’ ‘Palestinian’ stone-throwers are a ‘peaceful assembly’.

Checkmate, Israel. Your hands are tied. You lose.

AI lays out this argument indirectly. It’s an inference—but it is clear. Its Report criticizes Israeli ‘trigger-happy’ behaviour towards ‘Palestinians’ and concludes that Israel must absolutely respect the right of ‘Palestinians’ to peacefully assemble’. The inference is that ‘peaceful assembly’ is what ‘Palestinians’ were doing when Israeli soldiers fired at them.

In Israel, that is rarely—if ever—the case.

Human Rights law attempts to bring morality to the international arena. But that arena is messy. Sometimes, one side doesn’t believe in Human Rights. Nevertheless, Rights advocates attempt to establish a universal moral code to apply to everyone.

Moral codes are always noble. Even Judaism promotes a Universal moral code.

The difference is, Jewish law does not allow for applying that code only to one party in a dispute. That, Jewish law says, perverts morality.

Look up ‘Human Rights’. The concept is related to ‘moral principles’ and the desire for a ‘moral doctrine’. The problem is, when one participant in a fight rejects human rights and its underlying morality, human rights law still demands that the other participant must remain moral.

This requirement creates an impossibility. For example, a moral, rules-following Olympic wrestler will never win a match if his opponent breaks the rules with impunity--and punches him repeatedly in the face.

In an uneven ‘morality’ match, the human rights advantage goes to the immoral opponent.

Allowing that to happen is immoral. Requiring that it occur is a perversion of morality.

Despite AI’s accusations, Israel works hard to maintain an ethical stance in its war against an unethical opponent. We know that opponent is unethical because he (and the stone-thrower) targets civilians, uses human shields and bases his behaviour (and stone-throwing) on hate—and on the desire to destroy the Jewish state.

Human rights advocates who demonize Israel forget that hate and destruction are not a part of morality. They are never part of ‘human rights.’ They are the enemies of morality and human rights.

Look at Arab cultures. They do not support Human Rights. They reject Western—and Jewish—morality. Instead, they promote hate of--and racist attitudes towards—Jews. Neither of these is moral or humane.

Human Rights activists—including AI—ignore this underlying immorality and inhumanity. They prefer to hold Israel to the highest moral standard. They prefer to give stone throwers a ‘moral holiday’.

According to the way Human Rights law is written, those Arab boys throwing stones can destroy whatever they please. They are, by definition, ‘peaceful’.

That’s a perversion of the word, ‘peaceful’.

Stone-throwers against Israel do not seek Western-style freedom. They do not seek Western or Jewish morality.  They seek destruction. They are motivated by hate.

Human Rights advocates like AI overlook that hate. They ignore that desire to destroy.

But, by protecting these boys, AI supports hate and destruction. It protects those who would destroy all that is moral. It perverts morality.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Who owns the Temple Mount?

Updated February 27, 2014

 When the United Nations passed UN Resolution 181 (November, 1947), it intended to divide British Palestine into three entities: (1) a Jewish State; (2) an Arab State; and (3) a separate Jerusalem under UN control.

The plan for Jerusalem was to keep all the city’s Holy sites intact. The UN wanted to make sure that each of the three major religions which held Jerusalem to be Holy—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—would have free access to and freedom of worship at all Holy sites. They made rules to ban discrimination.

The Arabs did not like any of the UN’s ideas for Jerusalem or a Jewish State. They rejected every idea. They attacked the Jews.

Within a year, Israel was a sovereign state. The war was over. But Arab Jordan had captured the Old City of Jerusalem. They had captured the Temple Mount. They would keep it.

Muslims destroyed almost every Jewish synagogue they found. They blocked Jews from the Western Wall. They blocked Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount. They declared that the Temple Mount was theirs: no Jews allowed.

The UN idea of freedom of worship ended. In the Arab Jerusalem, there would be no freedom for Jews.

There would also be no Jews. All Jews living in the captured Old City were exiled.

In 1967, Israel fought another war against the Arab. During that war, Israeli troops re-captured the Old City—and the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount was in Jewish hands. Jews could now pray there. Jews could now have free access to their religion’s holiest site.

Israel celebrated. Then it did a strange thing. It handed over the administration of the Mount to the Waqf, the Muslim religious leadership of Jerusalem. From that moment on, Jews have been restricted from and discriminated against on the Temple Mount.

Since 1967-9, Israel has had laws to protect the freedom of religion for all faiths in Israel. Israel is proud of its record of protecting access to holy sites.

Israel gives freedom of religion to all religions in Jerusalem—except Judaism. Jews in Jerusalem do not have free access to the Temple Mount. They do not have the freedom to worship at the Mount.

Israeli police have told MK (Member of Knesset) Moshe Feiglin that restrictions against Jews come from the Waqf. The Israeli police simply enforce those restrictions.

The Waqf does not want Jews on the Temple Mount. He claims that the Temple Mount is Islamic, not Jewish.

Increasingly, Jews have tried to ascend to the Temple Mount. As Judaism experiences a religious revival, the Mount has become a focal point of Jewish interest.

Visiting non-Jews can ascend the Mount without trouble from police. Only Jews are restricted. 

 Israeli police operate on the assumption that the Waqf owns the Mount. That is not correct. Israel has that control.

That’s why MK Feiglin has brought the issue of Israeli anti-Jewish discrimination at the Temple Mount to the Knesset. He wants to make sure that all understand that Israel owns the Mount. He wants to make sure that Jews at the Mount are no longer discriminated against.

The Arab world is incensed. Hamas calls for an urgent Arab meeting to discuss the ‘repeated Israeli attacks and aggressions’ against Al Aqsa (the Muslim name for the Temple Mount).  Hezbollah decried the "increasing Zionist attacks against the Al-Aqsa Mosque [the Temple Mount area]” (Ynet, “Knesset holds volatile discussion on Temple Mount sovereignty”, February 25, 2014).

The Arab League announced it will hold an emergency session to discuss ‘recent Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque’ (“Arab League to Discuss 'Israeli Attacks' on Al-Aqsa,” Arutz Sheva, February 26, 2014). The Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador to Egypt declared that this policy of allowing Jews to go to the Temple Mount proves that Israel ‘does not want peace but continues to violate international laws’ (ibid).

These accusations are all false. First of all, there have been no Jewish attacks on the Temple Mount. Arabs have been attacking Jews there.

Second, the offense which so outrages Arabs is the very presence of a Jew on the Mount. That presence is the ‘attack’ to which they refer. The Arab’s language, however, misrepresents what happens on the Mount. That language distorts—and makes it appear that Jews are aggressors on the Mount when in fact they are the victims there.

Third, the UN has, since 1947, expressed its desire to see freedom of access and worship at the Mount. Israel has consistently protected that right for Muslims. Muslims have consistently violated that right by discriminating against Jews.

Fourth, Jewish interest in praying on the Mount is not a violation of international law. Instead, it is a right promised to Jews by a 1994 Treaty between Jordan and Israel. Look it up. The Treaty is called, The ‘Treaty of Peace Between The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan And The State of Israel’, dated October 26, 1994. The promise of freedom of access and worship to all religions in Jerusalem is found in Article Nine.

Despite that Treaty, the Arab acts as if he owns the Mount. He does whatever he wants. He discriminates against Jews.

Then he accuses Israel. He libels Israel. He demonizes Israel.

Right now, he does all of this with impunity. Right now, he exercises what is called, ‘incidents of ownership’ over the Temple Mount.

‘Incidents of ownership’ means you are in control. Right now, the Arab appears to control the Temple Mount.

 He says he owns it. He acts like he owns it.

Does he?

This question should never even be asked. The Temple Mount is Jewish. It is in Jewish hands. It belongs to the Jewish people.

There are Jews in Israel who support the Arab. These Jews do not want to see Jewish Israel control the Temple Mount. If we are silent, they could succeed.

What would the G-d of Israel think of that?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Temple Mount, Arab rage, sovereignty and Peace Treaties

Later today, February 25, 2014, the Israel Knesset is scheduled to discuss the question of Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount. This will be, it is said, a first. It will be the first time the Knesset has taken a serious look at the Temple Mount since June, 1967, when Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers took the Mount from Arab control during fighting in the 1967 Six-Day War (“Riots on the Temple Mount Injure Two Police Officers”, Arutz Sheva, February 25, 2014).

The issue has come to the Knesset because Jews are regularly blocked by both Israeli police and the Arab Waqf, which is the Muslim Administrator of the Mount. Jews may ascend to the Mount only when police allow. Police often prohibit Jews from going up to the Mount because of Waqf demand.

The way things stand right now, if Jews ascend the Mount, they are not allowed to pray. If they are caught praying, they will be arrested. If they appear to be praying, they will be arrested. If they stand in one spot and move their lips, they will be arrested. If they bring to the Mount items deemed ‘religious’ (by the police and/or the Waqf), they will be arrested.

Earlier this year, Police confiscated dried fruit from children on the Mount. Police said the fruit was ‘religious’ (“Police Ban Dried Fruit on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, January 16, 2014).

Police have warned Jewish children: do not bow while on the Mount. You will be arrested. On one tour to the Mount, children who bowed were warned by Police. The Police then threatened to arrest the children’s tour guide (“Police Warn Jewish Children for Bowing on Temple Mount”, Arutz Sheva, July 9. 2013).

Muslims do not want Jews on the Mount (“Islamic Movement Leader: Temple Mount for Muslims Only”, Arutz Sheva, December 8, 2013). They say the Mount is holy—and Jews taint that holiness. The holy Mount, they say, is for the holy Muslim only.

Muslims ascend to the holy Temple Mount whenever they want. They pray there. But they also play soccer. They play ball. They picnic (“Has the Temple Mount become a Theme Park?”, Arutz Sheva, July 9, 2013). The only time police restrict their Mount movement is when Arabs appear ready to riot.

Tensions have been running high for more than a year. On several occasions, Muslims on the Mount have physically assaulted Jews. They have physically blocked Jews from getting into the Mount area.

Police have almost always sided with the Muslims. Even when a Member of Knesset (MK) has attempted to ascend, s/he has often been stopped. MKs have a certain immunity. But not for the Mount.

Last year, matters came to a head when a newly elected MK,  Moshe Feiglin, attempted to ascend. He was turned back by police.

Feiglin had been ascending to the Mount regularly as a private citizen for years. He has been stopped many times, but always allowed to go forward. Then, April, 2013, he was informed by police that he was banned from the Mount. Now, some ten months later, he is finally approved to ascend.

Tonight, he joins the Knesset in discussions to take full sovereignty of the Temple Mount—so that Jews going there will no longer be discriminated against. This morning, Arabs rioted on the Mount (“Riots on the Temple Mount Injure Two Police Officers”, Arutz Sheva, February 25, 2104). That riot was no coincidence. Muslims know how to frighten Israel’s Left. They need to motivate that Left to stop those Knesset discussions. Arab riots always motivate the Jewish Left.

None of this should be happening. The issue of Jewish worship at the Temple Mount has been settled since 1994. Israel’s Prime Minister should phone King Hussein of Jordan, explain the problem, and have the King order the Waqf to permit Jews to worship at the Temple Mount. Period.

The King should comply with that request. He shouldn’t have to be asked to do that. As soon as he hears the nature of the problem, he should volunteer to pull the Waqf (whom he officially oversees) ‘back into line’.

King Hussein should do that because he signed a Treaty with Israel in 1994. In that Treaty, both Israel and Jordan (who has oversight responsibility for the Mount area) agreed to assure that there would be freedom of access and freedom of worship to all Holy sites in Israel to all religions.

If the Waqf does not understand ‘free access and free worship to all religions’, the King should use his troops to explain it to him. The King committed himself to a promise. Why doesn’t Israel call him on that promise?

It does not matter that the King could renege. It doesn’t matter because Israel should tell US Secretary of State John Kerry that it has excellent relations with the good Jordan King; Israel likes him. But if the wonderful King will not or (because of political pressure) cannot abide by a Treaty with Israel, Israel could not possibly trust someone (Mahmoud Abbas) who is not so friendly.

Israel should tell Mr Kerry that the key to peace is the Temple Mount.

‘Palestinian’ moral perversion

Morality is about right and wrong. It teaches us how to live with dignity. It is the standard which defines us.

But when it comes to Jews, morality changes. It stops being a guide. It gets perverted. It becomes propaganda.

As German Chancellor Angella Merkel arrives in Israel for an official visit, ‘Palestinians’ do not welcome her. They attack her. They attack her morality (“Germany's immoral stance toward the Palestinians”, The Palestinian Information Center, February 24, 2014).

One hallmark of morality-as-propaganda is the absence of truth. You cannot claim to be moral if you lie, exaggerate, distort or misrepresent. But you do all of these things when you create propaganda.

The current ‘moral’ attack on Merkel is riddled with untruths, exaggerations and distortions. For example, it censures Merkel for ‘currying up’ to a psychopath. The ‘psychopath’ is Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Moral people do not call others ‘psychopath’. If they do use that label, they are careful to be truthful about so vile an accusation.  They cite evidence.

This ‘Palestinian’ attack cites no evidence. It just labels, libels and accuses.

It accuses Merkel of immorality. In the process, it libels Israel; it claims Merkel brazenly embraces “Israel's most rabidly criminal policies against the helpless Palestinians, the indirect but ultimate victims of German Nazism.”

This accusation exaggerates. What is a ‘rabid’ national policy?  What is a rabidly criminal national policy?

This accusation misrepresents. ‘Palestinians are not ‘helpless’. They control Gaza. They control all the Palestinian Authority territories.

This accusation distorts history. ‘Palestinians’ are not the ultimate victims of German Nazism. ‘Palestinians’ have no connection to German Nazism.

Morality does not distort history. Morality does not exaggerate. Morality rejects such behaviours as immoral.

But morality-as-propaganda relies on lies. It depends upon distortion and exaggeration.

‘Palestinians’ not only focus on lies, misrepresentation and distortion. They embrace them. They embrace propaganda. They embrace the immoral.

Distortion, demonization, dehumanization and exaggeration are ‘Palestinian’ hallmarks. For example, this current attack on Chancellor Merkel claims she debases herself by meeting with Israel’s cabinet because “the Israeli cabinet includes some of the most racist of all racists under the sun since Adam and Eve.”

Invoking Adam and Eve is not a moral argument. It’s an exaggeration. Its purpose is to demonize the Israeli cabinet.

Demonization is not morality. It is related instead to dehumanization, racism and hate-speech. None of these behaviours is moral. All are immoral. All are tools of ‘Palestinian’ propaganda.

All are used by ‘Palestinians’ to support their ‘moral’ case against Israel. For example, this current attack against Merkel refers to ‘Jewish Nazism’ and criticizes Germany for being “absolutely malicious and wrong to atone for one holocaust by enabling Israel to commit another holocaust against the peoples of the Middle East.”

No proof is offered that Jews are Nazis. No evidence is showcased to show how Israel’s behaviour replicates the Nazi Holocaust in the Middle East.

Such analysis isn’t necessary. Accuracy and truth are not the point here. The point here is to demonize the Jew.

Morality does not demonize. It rejects such behaviour as immoral.

The ‘Palestinian’ moral cause also uses dehumanization. For example, in this Merkel attack, the claim appears that, “Nothing, absolutely nothing would shut the barking mouths of rabid Zionist Jews.”

When you suggest that Jews are ‘rabid barking dogs’ (the essential message of this sentence), you dehumanize. That’s not truth. It’s not morality. It’s hate.

When you study the use of demonization and dehumanization in propaganda, you discover that this type of language has a purpose. It is almost always used by a nation or a group to incite its population to war--and to prepare that population for war by reducing the inhibition to kill: it is far easier to kill a rabid barking dog than a human being.

This kind of language does not suggest morality. It is, by definition, immoral.

As an English-reader, you may be familiar with an old Anglo saying: you can put lipstick on a pig; but it’s still a pig.

The same is true for the ‘Palestinian’ moral cause. ‘Palestinians’ and their enablers wrap themselves in morality. They won’t stop talking about their ‘moral cause’.

Their morality, like lipstick on that pig, is intended to beautify something ugly. But distortion, exaggeration, lying, demonization and dehumanization are never moral. They are always immoral. They are always ugly.

The only result you get when you claim morality but behave immorally is to debase morality. You pervert morality.  You become ugly in the eyes of G-d.  

When you demonize Jews, you become that ugly. When you dehumanize Jews, you climb into bed with perversion.

When you climb into bed with an anti-Jewish perversion, be careful. The G-d of Israel watches you.



Monday, February 24, 2014

Mr Netanyahu: forget Israel’s Left; remember Ben Gurion

Whenever Arabs in the Palestinian Authority (PA) accuse Israel of ‘killing the peace process’, Leftist politicians in Israel recoil in fear. For example, MK Amram Mitzna (Hatnua) has warned that if negotiations with the PA fail, Israel will be in  trouble. Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Leftist Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) has repeatedly expressed her fear that Israel cannot allow these talks to fail because Israel’s legitimacy is under attack. Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) says he will work to ensure that any peace plan US Secretary of State John Kerry presents will be accepted by Israel—no matter what that plan says (“Herzog: Opposition Will Vote With Govt. On PA Deal”, Arutz Sheva, January 6, 2014).

Now, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) wants 25% of Judea-Samaria Jews—perhaps 100,000  people—to be transferred for peace. He acknowledges that it would be painful to evict these Jews in order to create a Palestinian state. But the evictions, he says, must be done. If we don’t evict, “The negotiations with the Palestinians will fail, and the crisis with the Americans will deepen.” The result, he fears, could be a third intifada.

The Leftist mantra is simple: peace now or perish.

Leftist peace is built upon the belief that Judea-Samaria is Arab land. Leftists believe the Arab narrative that Jews are European usurpers who have come to colonize the Arab. Leftists believe whatever the Arab says against Israel.

Israel’s Left believes that Israel must give to the Arab what the Arab wants. Otherwise, it argues, Israel will collapse.

This week (starting today, February 24, 2014), German chancellor Angela Merkel and nearly her entire Cabinet arrive in Israel for talks and business sessions—and Israel’s Left fears the pressure German leaders will put on Israel. As these talks unfold, we will see Israel’s Left urge Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu to ‘make the tough decision’ and surrender land for ‘peace’.

It’s what the Arab wants. It’s what Germany wants (“German FM calls on Israel to make tough decisions”, Times of Israel, February 24, 2014). It’s what Israel’s Left wants.

But is this what Israel’s Prime Minister should do?

As Germany’s leaders arrive with their call to surrender land for peace, Israel’s Prime Minister should forget about surrendering. He should forget Israel’s Left. Instead, he should remember Israel’s first Prime Minister, David ben Gurion.

According to an essay by Yoram Ettinger in LPH Magazine (“Ben Gurion’s Legacy,” January 4, 2014), Ben Gurion faced threats startlingly similar to those we face today—and his decisions in the face of those threats are instructive indeed.

Citing the book, My Mission in Israel, 1948-1951, by James McDonald (Simon and Schuster, 1951), Ettinger writes that in May, 1949, the US Ambassador to Israel (McDonald) delivered a scolding message to Ben Gurion. US President Harry Truman was not happy. Israel was behaving badly. Israel had annexed West Jerusalem. It had refused to absorb Arab refugees. It was aggressively soliciting a massive Jewish ingathering.

Israel’s behaviour was dangerous to peace, McDonald suggested. Israel was disregarding UN Resolutions passed in 1948 and 1949. Israel was refusing to offer the Arabs tangible refugee concessions.

Israel could lose America’s ‘friendship’ if it continued with such intransigence.

Sound familiar? This is exactly how Israel’s Left speaks today.

But Ben Gurion did not respond to this threat the way today’s Leftists respond—with fear. He told Truman that his (Truman’s) message was unrealistic. The US position, Ben Gurion said, ignored the fact that the original UN partition plan was no longer applicable because Arab aggression had destroyed it.

Ben Gurion then declared, ‘we will not commit suicide.’

When two UN Resolutions threatened sanctions for ‘occupying the Negev’—Resolutions supported by the US—Ben Gurion was not compliant. He did not react the way today’s Leftists react.

He was not afraid. He was defiant. He said, Israel had been attacked by six Arab countries. Israel reserves the right of self-defense. What Israel has won on the battlefield, he was quoted as saying, it would not yield at the UN.

Mr Netanyahu, forget Israel’s Left. Remember Ben Gurion.

Earlier, before Israel had declared its independence, Ben Gurion had received another threat, this time from US General George Marshall—World War Two super-hero and now Secretary of State to the post WWII Truman. Marshall had been adamantly against any US recognition of Israel. According to Ettinger, Marshall had sent Ben Gurion ‘a brutal ultimatum’: Israel was not to declare its independence. Israel must accept a UN Trusteeship. If Israel declared independence, America would join Britain in an arms embargo against Israel (which it did)—even as Britain supplied arms to the Arabs. Marshall threatened that if an Israeli declaration of independence triggered war, the US would not provide any assistance to Israel. Israel would be doomed.

Today, Israel’s Left fears that if Israel does not comply with EU, US and PA demands, it is doomed. But the doom of 1949 was starkly different: Arabs had well-equipped armies. These armies were both British-trained and, often, British-led. Israel had virtually nothing. It lacked guns, ammunition and training. An embargo and a US refusal to help would be devastating.

Nevertheless, Ben Gurion did not submit to Marshall’s demands. He did not believe he had to yield because ‘he had no other choice’.

Today, Leftist Tzipi Livni does not remember Ben Gurion. Today, Livni says Israel has no other choice put to yield to Arab demands.

Ben Gurion was not Tzipi Livni. He told Marshall that, much as Israel desired friendship with the US, there were limits beyond which he could not go. He told the US that the US would be gravely mistaken if it assumed that threats or UN sanctions could force Israel to yield on issues it considered vital to independence and security.

Mr Netanyahu, forget Israel’s Left. Remember David Ben Gurion.

Ettinger reminds us in his essay that, in 1949, Israel was a small, struggling country, with 650,000 Jews, a one billion USD GDP and a very slim military force. Today, Israel is a very different nation. It has 6,000,000 Jews, a 260 USD billion GDP and one of the world’s finest military forces.

Today, we face threats similar to those Ben Gurion faced. But Leftists quake in their boots when other nations express exasperation with and hate towards Israel for not surrendering to Arab demands. Leftists forget Ben Gurion.

Mr Netanyahu, forget the Leftists. Remember Ben Gurion.



Sunday, February 23, 2014

World War Three

World War Three is not like other World Wars. It is not about political tyranny (WW II). It’s not about going into battle because you have made alliances that you will honour (WWI). World War Three is about G-d.

Adolf Hitler telegraphed his desires for conquest and domination through his book, Mein Kampf. His thesis was simple. The two main evils in the world were Communism and Judaism.   The destiny of the German people would be built, essentially, upon the ashes of Russia and Jews.

Hitler had more nuance than that, but that was his basic vision. That was the vision he brought to life through the ‘Final Solution’ for Jews and the invasion of Soviet Russia.

The Muslim telegraphs his own desires for conquest, domination and destiny. He does this through an organization called, the Muslim Brotherhood.

The vision of the Muslim Brotherhood is to make Islam the sole reference point for life. It is a religious organization. It aims to transform all society and nation-states into a world-wide Islamic Caliphate.

It calls itself a movement that aims to influence others. Its language on its English Home Page is circumspect. It claims that it does not have a world-wide central headquarters.  It works simply by creating small cells that work independently to spread the ideology of the Brotherhood.

It’s a simple description. But its ideology is aggressive.

The Brotherhood’s ideology is to install Sharia (Islamic law) to control social, political and national life. Its first focus is the world of Islam—to unite that world under Sharia, as interpreted by the Brotherhood. But you are its other focus—its ultimate goal.

The Brotherhood believes in an Islamic Religious Manifest Destiny. That means that Islam is to spread. It is to come to you.

The Muslim Brotherhood, however, is anti-West. It is anti-Jew.

We see how the Brotherhood views the West from its base in America, where it has established a beach-head. In America, the Brotherhood describes its work as “a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house…so that it [Western civilization] is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions” ('An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,'  Mohammed Akram, senior Hamas member and member of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America, 1981).

The Russians agree with this self-description, though they use different language. The Russians call the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. They say the Brotherhood has “an aim of destruction of non-Islamic governments and the establishment of the worldwide Islamic government by the reconstruction of the "Great Islamic Caliphate" (Russian Supreme Court ruling, 2003, Wikipedia).

You get the picture. When the Muslim Brotherhood sets up shop in your country, you won’t be in that picture—unless you convert to Islam.

In the Middle East, Hamas represents the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood. They tell you that is their Charter.

The Hamas goal is not peace with Israel. Their goal, they tell you in their Charter, is war against the Jew. Their Jihad is not ‘internal religious struggle’ (as some Islam apologists would have you believe); their Jihad is war. That war is to kill Jews for Islam.

Read their Charter. It’s all there. Their anti-Semitism is not only explicit. It’s ugly. In today’s socio-political climate of ‘tolerance for all’, it’s shocking.

The PLO (Fatah) Charter is different—but not any better. The PLO (Fatah) is the ‘secular’ half of the war against Jews. This Charter is more nuanced about its goals. It doesn’t so much talk about ‘Jews’ as it refers to removing ‘the Zionist entity’ from ‘Palestine’. It talks of peace. But their peace is a specific kind of peace: it is the peace that comes only after the Jew has been removed from the land.

The PLO (Fatah) goals may have been secularized. But the end it seeks is perfectly aligned with Hamas’ Muslim Brotherhood goal: to eliminate Jews and Jewish presence from the land.

The Muslim Brotherhood aims to conquer the world. It aims to create a world-wide Islamic Caliphate.

It is imperialistic. It is religious. It is tyrannical, brutal colonialism wrapped in a religious caftan.

Its goals are, in other words, a declaration of religious war against the West and the Jew.

As Hitler began a war to conquer and dominate, so too does the Muslim Brotherhood. As Hitler saw a Manifest Destiny for the German Aryan, so too does the Brotherhood see a Religious Manifest Destiny for the Muslim.

Both will kill to complete their conquest. Both would dominate with an iron fist.

Israel is on the front-line of that war. We see it almost every day. But don’t worry. You won't be left out.

The Muslim Brotherhood will bring World War Three to you, too.


Friday, February 21, 2014

The ‘Palestinians’--not Israel--sabotage peace talks

On July 29, 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that a new round of peace talks would begin between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). To help him, Kerry appointed an American diplomat, Ambassador Martin Indyk.

At his appointment, Indyk spoke of his hopes for the talks. He spoke of US President Obama’s vision of “two states living side-by-side in peace and security”.

That’s the American goals for these talks. It’s a noble vision. It’s a noble goal. But it’s not achievable.

Today (February 21, 2014), PLO/Fatah Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi showed why that’s the case. During a meeting in Ramallah with the Jewish-American organization J Street, Ashrawi spoke of the talks—and her remarks were revealing.

She did not speak of two states. She didn’t talk about living side-by-side with Israel. She did not speak of security.  

Instead, she demonized Israel (“PLO's Ashrawi: Israel is Sabotaging Peace Efforts”, Arutz Sheva). She accused Israel of sabotaging peace. She accused Israel of stealing ‘Palestinian’ land. She accused Israel of stealing ‘Palestinian’ resources.

These are not the words of a peace partner. They are not words of compromise. They are words that demonize an enemy.

 Kerry and his team have been toiling for almost seven months. They work to reach a settlement. They travel between Jerusalem and Ramallah. They try to meet the needs of both the Israelis and the PA.

But Ashrawi’s remarks suggest that Kerry has made little progress. She appears interested only in attacking Israel.

J Street leaders went to talk ‘peace’ with Ashrawi. She didn’t do that. She did not talk about negotiations or points of agreement. She accused and demanded.    

The PA is not a bona fide peace partner. They have nothing ‘peaceful’ to say. Ashrawi proved that.

Kerry has been toiling in vain. Ashrawi’s accusations are not helpful. Her accusations obstruct progress. How can anyone (including the Leftist J Street) ‘talk peace’ with the PLO when the only thing they bring to the table are accusations?

One definition of ‘sabotage’ is ‘to deliberately obstruct, especially for political advantage’. This is what the PA is doing. They obstruct in order to achieve political advantage. 

The PA does not want peace with Israel. It wants to replace Israel. That’s why the Fatah (PLO) logo shows a map of Palestine in place of Israel. Its goal is not ‘two states’. Its goal is ‘one state’--a Muslim ‘Palestine’.

Read the PLO Charter. Read the Hamas Charter.

Peace could thwart the no-Israel goal described in those Charters. Peace could hurt.

Right now, the world supports the ‘Palestinian cause’. But the world wants peace. It believes that, once ‘Palestine’ is born, the Arab-Israel war would end. This is what Abbas promised in his September 2011 United Nations speech. It is what the world believes.

But the PA doesn’t want to end that war with an Israel beside it. It wants Israel gone. If it continues its war after peace, the world may no longer be supportive. The world might say, ‘we gave you what you wanted. From this point, you’re on your own.’

The PA cannot fight Israel alone. That would be suicide.   

If the PA goal is to destroy Israel, it needs international help. Peace today doesn’t make a lot of sense. It would leave Israel intact. What makes sense is to use these talks to provoke world-wide censure of Israel.

When J Street went to talk about peace with Ashrawi, she didn’t talk about coexistence or two states. She attacked her enemy and demanded that 100 per cent of ‘Palestinian’ demands be met.

Her goal is not peace. Her goal is to use accusation and uncompromising demands to obstruct that peace.

The PA is not looking for statehood from these talks. They are looking for political advantage in their larger war against the Jewish state. They want the talks to fail because they believe that the result of that failure will be a South Africa-style isolation, sanctions and boycott against Israel.

That’s the advantage they want—to increase international pressure against Israel, to strangle Israel the way South Africa has been strangled. Kerry has already said that if these talks fail, only Israel will suffer. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has already said that the drive for statehood is not about self-determination; It’s about expanding the war against Israel to the political and legal arenas.

The PA sees the failure of ‘peace’ as the lever with which to isolate Israel ‘on steroids’. That isolation will energize its war against the Jewish state.

Ashrawi insists upon accusing Israel. Accusations against your ‘peace partner’ do not lead to peace. Accusations obstruct peace. That obstruction meets the definition of ‘sabotage’.

That means just one thing. ‘Palestinians’ sabotage the talks, not Israel.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

If Lapid punishes Haredi, Israel will get robbed

The subtitle of this essay is, ‘Measure-for-Measure’

Yair Lapid, the Head of Israel’s Yesh Atid political party, is also Israel’s Finance Minister. Since beginning his term as Israel’s premier ‘bean counter’ (March 2013), he has proclaimed his dedication to sound fiscal planning. He will control Israel’s expenses.  He will punish welfare cheats. He will reduce Israel’s budget deficit. 

He will save Israel.

He starts his path to Glory with those welfare cheats. He has found thousands of them.

In Israel, the accepted way of life for youth is to graduate high school and do army or National Service before getting on with life. Your service-to-country opens doors, benefits, education opportunities and jobs. It is how you live as a young Israeli.

Haredi (the ultra-orthodox) do not live this way. For religious reasons, most Haredi men do not enlist into the IDF (Israel Defense Force) or do National Service (which is similar to America's VISTA volunteer program).

Haredi study Torah. They dedicate their lives to Torah. They work in ‘Torah study’. They do not work in secular environments.

But they receive government money. Their Yeshivot (schools) receive State funding to teach them Torah. Their families receive benefits for living needs.

That enrages some Israelis. These Israelis do not support Torah study. Many do not even like Torah. They work at ‘normal’ jobs. They pay high taxes. They believe that Haredi men are ‘welfare cheats’. They want the Haredi to forget the Torah (the core of our religion) and go to work.

These Israelis speak harshly of Haredi. Because Haredi choose not to serve or work in the traditional way (and yet receive government assistance), some Israelis call them ‘parasites’.

To financial and accounting experts, there is too much unemployment among Haredi. There is too little income tax paid by Haredi. There are too many benefits paid to Haredi.

But the real challenge in Israel is not how to punish Haredi for being ‘parasites’. It’s how to help Haredi meld their ‘work’ in Torah with traditional work, and how to bring Haredi youth into army/National Service in a way that does not contradict their beliefs.

Several recommendations have been made. Some Haredi programs have begun. Progress has been made. But it is a slow progress.

It’s too slow for those who call Haredi ‘parasites’.

Enter Israel’s newest hero, Yair Lapid. He has a plan. He will use the issue of National/army service to wean the Haredi from public welfare.

He will use that issue as a sledge hammer. He will use that hammer against the Haredi.

He will use the Haredi to save Israel.

His plan is simple. He will cut off government funds to Yeshivot (religious schools) where service-avoiding Haredi youth attend. He will curtail support payments to families of Haredi who avoid serving. He will seek a prison sentence for every Haredi youth who refuses to serve.

Nobody talks about cutting funds to Universities where a growing number of secular ‘draft-dodgers’ attend. No one talks about support payment cut-off or prison terms for secular youth who defy Service.

But they talk about these things for the Haredi. Lapid has listened to that talk. He has found a solution for that talk.  

There’s just one problem. Lapid’s plan won’t work. It doesn't save money. It costs money.  

Think about it. Lapid’s plan is based on coercing Haredi youth into the army. That starts with arresting Haredi ‘draft dodgers’ (you go to prison or the army; you choose).

It costs money to find which Haredi youth to arrest. It costs more money to arrest and process them through the justice system.

Then it costs money to drive them to prison. It costs money to run the prisons. It costs money to repair and maintain the prisons. It costs money to pay court, police, transportation and prison workers.

It will cost money to handle the legal work Haredi lawyers will create by appeals and complaints. It will cost money to deal with Haredi protests around Israel—to pay for police, court, transportation and detention costs generated by Haredi protest arrests.

By the time you add it all up—including State and employer contributions to employee health and pension benefits—the cost-per-Haredi inmate far exceeds the money saved from ending Haredi benefit payments.

This isn’t chump change we’re talking about. Lapid thinks he can save Israel several million NIS. But his plan will cost Israel tens of millions to arrest, process, house and maintain his Haredi prisoners.

Yesterday (February 19, 2014), the Knesset committee  tasked with preparing a new draft law (to address the Haredi-army issue)approved criminal sanctions for Hareidim who evade army service.  But because this is Israel, that committee vote is not the end of the matter. There will be a re-vote. That re-vote will be 'later.'

Lapid, Israel's new hero, wants these criminal sanctions for Haredi. He has threatened to bring down the government (by bolting the coalition) if he does not get his criminalization. He is now more than half-way to his goal.

If he succeeds, he could be a man of firsts in Israel. He could become the first man in Israel to turn Haredi youth into convicts who, because of their convictions, may not be able to find work—and who will therefore have to receive government benefits for their living needs—for the rest of their lives.

He could also become the first Israeli official to pick Israel’s pocket. He might indeed punish the Haredi. But, as you have just seen, he could also get Israel robbed by that punishment.

Perhaps that’s why the subtitle here is, ‘Measure-for-Measure.’





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Israel, history, freedom and truth

Jews do not think in terms of days or years. We think in terms of millennia. We do that because we were not born yesterday (like the ‘Palestinians’). We were ‘born’ in the Sinai desert more than 3,300 years ago. We understand the desert. We understand the land upon which we live. We understand millennia.

For more than 1,000 years, we lived on our own land. We were free. We had power. Then we sinned. We were expelled because of those sins.

We walked into exiled. Only a remnant remained behind—caretakers, waiting for our return.

For 2,000 years, those caretakers waited. For those 2,000 years, we became a people without a State. We wandered as exiles. We could not determine our own fate.

Then, in 1948, the world changed. We created a new Jewish State—and a new Jewish fate.

In 1948, our hearts were reborn. The clock of eternal exile seemed to stop.

We no longer wandered. We no longer trembled before the powerful. We danced to a tune we called freedom.

Suddenly, Jews could determine their own fate. Once again, we were a people with our own State. Once again, we had sovereignty over the land.

Now, almost 66 years later, we become again as we had once been. We no longer control our own fate. We no longer determine our future. We no longer dance to that tune we called ‘freedom’.

For 2,000 years, we suffered exile and persecution. For 2,000 years, we trembled at the power others had over us. For 2,000 years, we felt caught between those who hated us and those who refused to help us. Now, 66 years after Independence, we learn that Independence is not freedom. Independence is not power.

Once again, we seem powerless. We tremble at the power others have over us. Once again, our fate will, it seems, be determined by others. Once again, we are caught between those who hate us and those who refuse to stand by us.

In 1948, we danced with joy. We thought we were free. Today, we continue to say we are free. But we talk like Jews trapped in a ghetto.

We are as we were--isolated and assaulted. We are still persecuted. We are still the demonized ‘Jew’.

Listen, Israel: listen to the world. We are not free. Listen to what the United Nations says about us. Listen to what the Europeans say about us. Listen to what the world of Islam says about us.

We are not free.

Once again, we are harassed, pressured and persecuted.

Israel Apartheid Week is coming. We will be criminalized.

We will be demonized. We have reason to be afraid.

What happened? How did our freedom disappear?

It did not disappear. We were never free. We just thought we were free.

We were fooled. Now, we play the fool. We say we are free. But we tremble with fear.

We tremble because we are trapped by our enemies. We are also trapped by the false dream of a false freedom.

Our enemies want to destroy us. We believe we can ignore their threats.

We cannot ignore their threats. If we do that, we will never be free. We can only be free if we accept the truth.

The road to freedom begins with truth—the world is content to see Israel demonized. The world is content to see Israel handed over to Muslims. The world is content to see Israel disappear.

That’s the truth. Once we accept that truth, we can begin the journey to freedom. We can begin to defend ourselves.

If we live a lie and believe we can be like everyone else and be loved by everyone else, we will never be free. We will be defeated. Jewish Israel will disappear.

That is the truth.




Richard Falk, the world’s greatest Jew-hater

Richard Falk is in the news again today. He is the United Nations’ ‘Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967’. He is a man with a mission. His mission is to demonize Israel.

He returns to the news just as Israel Apartheid Week prepares to open its month-long Israel-is-apartheid extravaganza, beginning next week. Perhaps Falk wants to be first to attack the hated Israeli. Perhaps he simply likes the words, Israel-is-apartheid. Perhaps he just hates Jews.

He has been ‘The UN Special Rapporteur for six years. His anti-Israel portfolio is extensive. An academician by training, his attacks against Israel have been uniquely un-collegial. They have been excessive. They have been beyond reason.  

He repulses Jews. He repulses pro-Israel advocates. He has even repulsed anti-Israel ‘Palestinians’.

That’s hard to do. But Falk is an expert. His expertise is demonization. He may be the world’s greatest Jew-hater today.

To understand such a label, consider the following: in June, 2011, this master of demonization posted a cartoon on his personal blog which, he said, was anti-American. But that description did not explain the anti-Israel and anti-Jew content of the cartoon.

The cartoon showed the Statue of Lady Justice carrying a sword. She (‘Justice’) was blindfolded.  She had a dog beside her. She had the dog on a leash. The dog wore an Israel flag as a ‘doggie’ coat. It was angrily crunching on ‘Palestinian’ bones. The dog was simultaneously crushing Arab bones in its mouth--and urinating on Justice. The dog wore a kippa—the head-cap worn by religious Jews. The dog appeared to be grinning. It was destroying Arab bones and soiling Justice.

The message was clear. Jews in Israel ‘consumed’ Arabs. Israeli Jews had no regard for Justice.

It’s unclear why Falk should call this cartoon anti-American.  Lady Justice is not a purely American icon. There was no item in the picture identified with America. The only items identified were marked as Jewish—the flag and the kippa.

When Falk was heavily criticized for posting something so blatantly ugly, he denied the viciousness of the cartoon. He denied it was anti-Semitic. Finally, under intense pressure, he took it down. (“Timeline: Richard Falk's Anti-Semitic Cartoon, Denial, and Non-Apology Apology”,, July 7, 2011).

Almost eighteen months later, Falk was asked to resign from his position at Human Rights Watch (HRW) (“Human Rights Watch Expels Anti-Semitic Official Richard Falk”,, December 19, 2012). The NGO UN Watch had campaigned hard against Falk being at HRW. They had argued that such an anti-Semite at HRW undermined HRW’s founding principles (“Human Rights Watch Should Remove Anti-Semitic U.N. Official Richard Falk from Its Board,”, December 17, 2012). HRW agreed. They fired Falk.

UN Watch has long argued that Falk is an extreme anti-Semite. They reference his support of Hamas, which is an identified terrorist organization whose stated goal is to destroy Israel. UN Watch told HRW that Falk has been condemned for spreading anti-Semitism and 9/11 conspiracies by British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (ibid).

Falk has said that Jews run Washington (JewishPress, above). He has regularly accused Israel of plotting a ‘holocaust’ against ‘Palestinians’ (ibid). He calls Israel, ‘genocidal’ (“Israel is ‘genocidal,’ says UN’s Richard Falk in TV interview,” Times of Israel, December 17, 2013). He has berated Israel for demanding that Palestinians renounce violence (ibid).

 He has said that Israel treats ‘Palestinians’ the way German Nazis treated Jews (“Israel deports American academic”, The Guardian, December 15, 2008). He has endorsed a book that praised Adolf Hitler. This book, The Wandering Who?, by Gilad Atzmon, is so vile that 20 anti-Zionist activists condemned it as racist and anti-Semitic. Anti-Israel Palestinians condemned it for the same reason.

The book was so ugly that Tony Greenstein, a founding member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a member of “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods”, tried in vain to convince Falk to pull his endorsement of the book (see “UN’s Richard Falk meeting anti-Semite in London, condemned by Palestinian activists for racism”,, December 25, 2013). He failed to convince Falk to recant.

Now, Richard Falk will retire from his UN position. He will present his last ‘report’ to the UN later in March. The contents of that report have been released (“UN's Falk Accuses Israel of Inhuman Acts”, Arutz Sheva, February 19, 2014). He accuses Israel of apartheid and inhuman acts against the Arab.

The report is pure Richard Falk. It is, in other words, pure anti-Israel propaganda.

Of course, the UN will not call this final Falk attack an anti-Semitic screed. The UN won’t call it anti-Israel. They won’t call it demonizing.

They’ll call it an official report. Richard Falk will no doubt retire with a smile on his face.