Archive for Judea & Samaria

Other Pogroms You Might Have Missed

Move along. Nothing to see here:

A severe, unpublicized security incident in Bet El, just north of Jerusalem, back in August led the town’s Security Chiefs, in cooperation with the IDF, to rethink defense arrangements.

The incident began when ten Jewish youth hiked in the Wadi, a nature canyon near the town security fence, and were assaulted by 20 Arabs chanting anti-Semitic slogans. Another 20 Arabs appeared and ascended the hills on the sides of the Wadi and began hurling softball-sized rocks.

“It was the most life-threatening situation I have witnessed,” said Yisrael D., watching from his apartment window overlooking the Wadi. “The youth were trapped and threatened by stones coming from all directions,” he said.

An approaching IDF jeep which just happened to be nearby sent the Arabs fleeing.

Boy, it almost seems like Arabs stone Jews on a regular basis, From pre-schoolers to teens to moms. “Seems”, I said. We’d hear more about it if it were actually true.

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We Get Results

Sound like anyone you know?

In response to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ threat to unilaterally seek UN Security Council approval for statehood, Likud MK Danny Danon urged the government to annex the Jewish settlements of Judea and Samaria.

“A unilateral step should be met with a unilateral step,” Danon said. “Every unilateral declaration by Abu Mazen needs to be answered by the application of sovereignty over the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.”

Okay, it sounds like Moshe Feiglin. And Naftali Bennett. And Caroline Glick. And more than a few others. But it also sounds like us because we print their opinions all the time. Build, baby, build, and annex, baby, annex.

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A Thousand Acres Here, a Thousand Acres There, It Adds Up to… Not Much

A parallel point to Aggie’s post below about Obama’s rage.

Over what?

Israel designated a thousand acres of the Judea and Samaria (the West Bank, for those who deny Israel’s history and sovereignty) as “state land”, with the ultimate goal of housing its burgeoning population.

How big is a thousand acres, anyway? My first comparison was to New York’s Central Park, which is only 843 acres. That makes 1,000 acres sound big. But when you look at Central Park in context, not so much:

And I love Central Park!

Then I wondered how big a thousand acres is in Judea and Samaria. One thousand acres is about 1.5 square miles. Judea and Samaria is about 2,200 square miles, only 20% of which is populated. That makes Israel’s declaration of 1.5 square miles of “disputed” territory (as even the UN designates it) as state land a “seizure” of 0.085% of all unoccupied land.

For this he feels rage?

Then I wondered if transfers of 1,000 acres are rare occurrences. But I happened to find one pretty easily:

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a NAPA WINERY on over 1000 acres on three contiguous parcels. This historical winery property includes 100 acres of vineyard, additional plantable acreage, a 23,000+ sq. ft. winery building with tasting room, barrel storage room (cooled) huge tank farm and all equipment. The winery overlooks a 12+ acre lake which compliments this incredible Napa setting. Steps from the winery is a 16,000 sq. ft. cave. The property also includes many houses, a barn and other outbuildings. RARE OFFERING

It’ll cost ya most of $20 million, but it’s pretty nice. As compared to what Israel is “seizing”:

No offense, but that’s not exactly Eden. You could have it, I’d say.

Again, for this Obama feels “rage”? What is his problem? (Where do we start?)

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Best News in Weeks

I can’t say I was happy Israel ended its wholly justified war against Hamass, but I understood.

This, however, makes me happy:

A government spokesperson announced Sunday morning that following instructions issued by the political echelon after Operation Brother’s Keeper, 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of Judea and Samaria land will be declared state land, opening the possibility of further construction in the region.

By declaring the area state land, the Knesset would enable the construction and expansion of Jewish communities in the region, although the process may take long years to complete.

Judea and Samaria is reportedly over 90% unpopulated, leading many to argue that the development of Israel’s biblical heartland would solve the housing crisis plaguing the Jewish state.

Nearly a thousand acres of land doesn’t even begin to cover the value of three (teenage) human lives. But it’s a start.

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Israel’s “Partners in Peace”

Remember, in the twisted mind of the international community—including our government—Fatah are the good guys.

Eww:

Jibril Rajoub, Head of the PA Sports Authority and Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee announced that Fatah has made a “political decision” to support slaughtering Jews who live in settlements:

“OK, brother, here is the occupation, am I stopping you from slaughtering a settlement? No one is stopping anyone… Our political decision is resistance in the occupied territories in order to bring an end to the occupation [using] all forms of resistance.”

The Fatah movement, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is seen by many in the West as a peaceful alternative to Hamas for a future peace agreement. Palestinian Media Watch’s book Deception documents that the PA presents different messages to the world in English than in Arabic to its people.

Partners? Hardly:

“I’m telling everyone: Fatah has decided that our relations with the Israelis are relations between enemies. There is no kind of coordination between the Israelis and us.

On that I agree with the Deputy Secretary. They are enemies and should be treated as such—until they tender their unconditional surrender. Then and only then will it be time for “peace.” What’s been happening over the past decade (two—three—six) is just a slow bloodletting. Seen thusly, the “peace process” is just another pogrom.

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Here Comes the Neighborhood!

Suddenly, I’m loving this Hamass-Fatah “unity” government!

The Israeli government on Thursday ordered officials to move forward with plans for another 1,800 settler homes, just hours after issuing tenders for 1,500 housing units, an official said.

“The political echelon has ordered the Civil Administration to advance 1,800 new (housing) units,” the Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to a Defense Ministry unit responsible for all West Bank planning issues.

The order relates to construction in 10 settlements across the West Bank, all of which are at different stages of the planning process.

Israeli media reports said the plans had been frozen by the government some three months ago.

The announcement came just hours after Israel’s Housing Ministry published tenders for the construction of more than 1,500 new homes, 400 of them in East Jerusalem and the rest in the West Bank.

Judea and Samaria, you mean.

“It is time for the American administration to take serious steps against what the government of Israel is doing,” Nimr Hammad, an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, told AFP.

The PLO pledged to appeal the Israeli measure with the UN Security Council.

“The executive committee of the PLO views this latest escalation with the utmost of seriousness,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior PLO official, said in an English-language statement.

The executive committee “will counter it by addressing both the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly as the proper way of curbing this grave violation and ensuring accountability,” she added.

Instead of the UN, send in the Welcome Wagon.


“Bread, that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. And wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”

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Good News, Bad News

First, the bad news for the Arab occupiers of the West Bank: there’s growing talk of Israel annexing some or all of Judea and Samaria.

Oh wait, my bad—that’s the good news! [Hat tip: reader Jeanette]

According to a study by Professor Sammy Smooha of the University of Haifa, 63.5% of Israeli Arabs consider Israel to be a good place to live. The study, titled “The Index of Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel,” draws on 700 face-to-face interviews with a national representative sample of Israeli Arabs and 700 phone interviews with Israeli Jews. It has been conducted annually since 2003.

The Tower reports that, not only did nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs say Israel is a good place to live in 2013, this is an increase from 2012’s figure of 58.5%.

And that is not the only number that is up. The percentage of Israeli Arabs who accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state rose to 52.8% from 47.4% the year before. That is a majority.

Further, the number of Israeli-Arabs who accept their identity as such without identifying as Palestinians increased from 32.5% in 2012 to 42.5% in 2013. That is a nearly 33% jump.

While the Israeli press in Hebrew and English has reported this news, no mainstream news outlets have deemed it worthy of coverage.

The fact that Israeli Arabs like Israel is an important element for news consumers to understand, yet it does not fit with the narrative promoted by the majority of the mainstream media so they don’t cover it. In fact, when there is just about anything positive to say about Israel… Where’s the coverage?

I don’t think you’d get 63.5% of American liberals saying they like to live here. So that nearly two-thirds of Israeli Arabs say they like being Israelis is a big deal.

And, yes, a story worthy of coverage.

My only question, then, is, why do these happy and satisfied Arabs elect such miserable schmucks to the Knesset? Maybe the rest of them are okay, but Tibi and Zoabi are complete a-holes.

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How to Make “Never Again” Never Again

Like a lot of people, I am disposed to liking Pope Francis. And if he wants peace for the Middle East, who am I to argue? It’s just that…well, have a look:

It is an image that will define Pope Francis’s first official visit to the Holy Land. Head bowed in prayer, the leader of the Catholic church pressed his palm against the graffiti-covered concrete of Israel’s imposing “separation wall”, a Palestinian girl holding a flag by his side. It was, as his aides conceded later, a silent statement against a symbol of division and conflict.

Another angle:

I take it, the graffito in its entirety reads “Apartheid Wall”. And I hope the Pope’s body language translates as “oy vey”.

You see, what some see as a “symbol of division and conflict”, smarter people see as a saver of countless lives.

Okay, maybe not countless—it looks to me to have saved about a thousand over the past decade—but as the saying goes, an anti-terrorist wall that has saved a single life has saved the world entire.

So, I prefer to read the Pope’s heartfelt prayer as a paean of gratitude to the Israelis who built it and for the souls of the Arabs who otherwise would have massacred the innocents. With G-d, it’s usually a win-win.

Visiting the memorial dedicated to victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, Francis prayed before a crypt with ashes of victims and laid a wreath of yellow and white flowers in the “Hall of Remembrance.”

And then one by one, he kissed the hands of a half-dozen Holocaust survivors in a sign of humility and honor as he heard their stories and of loved ones killed by the Nazis during World War II.

“Never again, Lord, never again!” Francis said. “Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man — created in your own image and likeness — was capable of doing.”

He repeated that phrase writing in the memorial’s guest book, adding: “With shame for the fact that man made himself the owner of evil; with shame that man made himself into God and sacrificed his brothers. Never again!! Never again!! Francis. 5.26.2014.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Your Holiness.

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And She’s Smart, Too!

She had me at Lost in Translation, but the girl has hidden depths (the mind reels!)

American Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson believes anti-Semitism is to blame for much of the fire she drew earlier this year over her endorsement of Israeli company SodaStream, which operates a factory in the West Bank.

“There’s a lot of anti-Semitism out there,” Johansson told Vanity Fair, in an interview for the cover of their May edition.

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at its plant in the Ma’aleh Adumim insdutrial zone. It says the factory offers a model of peaceful cooperation, but Israel’s settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.

There’s a lot of anti-Semitism in international law, Scar. (She loves it when I call her that. Especially when I follow up with “Say hello to my lil frien’!”)

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What You Learn Watching CNN

Not much, and if you blink you’ll miss it:

Economics Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett took his message to the international media last night, in an interview with CNN.

Dismissing suggestions that Israel was responsible for the collapse of peace talks by building homes in Jerusalem, Bennett pointed out that the talks had already ground to a halt after PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to even recognize Israel’s existence as the nation-state of the Jewish people, while simultaneously demanding Israeli recognition of a “Palestinian homeland.”

“The reality… is that the era of these negotiations is over – it’s time for plan B… a new approach,” he said. “The approach that we’ve been applying for 20 years now clearly has reached its end.”

Bennett rejected out of hand calls for Israel to freeze construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as part of proposals to eventually partition the city between the Jewish state and a future “Palestinian state”.

“Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for just about 3,000 years, and just like I would never suggest to freeze building in London, where you’re sitting” Israel should not be expected to “freeze our own building in our own state”, he said.

Responding to his interviewer’s claim that “there has been Palestinian life in Jerusalem for thousands of years,” he retorted: “You’re talking about a Palestinian presence? Has there ever been a Palestinian state? Show me what its flag was, show me what its anthem was, show me who its leader is – show me anything that mentions the word ‘Palestinians’ more than 65 or 80 years ago.

“There has never been ‘Palestinian state’ – that’s one of the big lies that they’ve managed to press forward. The reality is that it’s been the Jewish land for 3,000 years, it’s still our land.”

Readers may have noticed I’ve dropped the affectation “palestinian” from the site almost entirely, preferring the more accurate term “Arab”—sometimes “Palestinian Arab”. Bloodthirstan aside, I don’t write about fictonal places.

That’s why I write about Israel:

Naftali Bennett has drafted a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night, demanding that Israel establish full sovereignty over “settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria.

“It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era,” he stated. “For years now we have been slamming our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations – and not surprisingly the wall is not broken.”

“It is time for a new way of thinking,” he continued. “I ask you to hold a hearing as soon as possible on an alternative plan (Plan B) to start a process of applying Israeli sovereignty over those areas in Judea and Samaria which are controlled by Israel – Gush Ariel, Gush Etzion, Beit El, Ma’aleh Adumim and more.”

Bennett pointed out that those areas – including Gush Etzion, the Ariel and Bet El ‘blocs’ and Maale Adumim, among others – contain a large Jewish majority.

“In these areas live about 400 thousand Israelis – and only tens of thousands of individual Palestinians,” he noted. “These areas are widely thought to be agreed upon in national consensus and have security significance, historical significance, and value ??for the State of Israel.

“The process will be similar to Israel establishing sovereignty over Jerusalem during the Eshkol government and the Golan Heights during the Begin government,” he noted.

And maybe even sovereignty over—dare I say it—the Temple Mount?

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Breaking News From 1917

John Kerry:

US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to overcome the controversy surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by changing the definition to “the national homeland of the Jews”, the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper reported Saturday morning.

Lord Balfour:

His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

That’s why they call him “Cutting-Edge Kerry”.

Of course, things have changed in the intervening 97 years. A war here, a pogrom there—oh yeah, the Holocaust—and somehow a “national homeland for the Jews”, as lofty as it once sounded, now sounds less secure than a “Jewish state”. Especially when it is arrived at as a compromise to avoid inflaming hostile, rejectionist Arab opinion.

My opinion, the Jews have had enough of “homelands” like the Warsaw Ghetto. They need—and have—a state. The only debate is how much of Judea and Samaria should be in it? (All.)

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Their Kind

Where’d you say you come from again?

The US State Department is denying visas to senior members of Israeli security forces whose work is connected to Israeli rule in the West Bank, Channel 10 reported Tuesday night, citing “pro-Israel sources” on Capitol Hill.

The effort to identify officers and commanders from the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad, and other organizations stems from a fear that these individuals may have played a part in violating Palestinians’ human rights.

The US administration did not confirm the report, but did say last week that Israel’s discrimination against visiting Arab Americans is the primary reason it is not eligible for a program allowing Israeli tourists in to the United States without visas.

“The Department of Homeland Security and State remain concerned with the unequal treatment that Palestinian Americans and other Americans of Middle Eastern origin experience at Israel’s border and checkpoints, and reciprocity is the most basic condition of the Visa Waiver Program,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said March 21 in her daily briefing with reporters.

The Tsarnaev boys are welcome, but you Joos can just git. (I’m hearing Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.)

Israel says its rate of refusal of entry for Arab Americans is not disproportionate and notes that under the Oslo agreements with the Palestinians, foreigners of Palestinian descent undergo a different entry protocol.

Doesn’t seem unreasonable under the circumstances.

Psaki’s remarks came after several weeks in which a number of lawmakers, led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have criticized US consular services for their rate of refusal of young Israelis.

In addition to Schumer, other lawmakers who have pressed the State Department to explain the spike in the rate of refusal include Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Obama-Kerry State Department may bitch-slap Israel with one hand, but it offers flowers with another:

The United States has proposed freeing Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in a trade-off deal in which Israel would agree to proceed with the next round of prisoner releases, including Israeli Arab prisoners, and the Palestinian Authority would agreed to extend the current peace talks, Israel’s Army Radio reported Wednesday.

It said the offer had been conveyed to Israel and the PA, but there was no official confirmation. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted telling journalists accompanying Secretary of State John Kerry to a meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday morning that there were currently no plans to release Pollard, who is serving a life sentence.

In exchange for Pollard, Israel would agree to release 26 prisoners, among them around 20 Arab Israelis, and the Palestinians would agree to continue talks until the end of 2014, according to Army Radio.

Israel has strong feelings about Pollard, which is understandable, but he is not an Israeli citizen. Israel must consider the security of its own citizens first, as unfair as his treatment may be. We sure as hell know we can’t trust the State Department.

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