That’s not Judaism; that’s terrorism.

No ifs. No buts. It was terrorism.

It was terrorism when Yishai Shlissel attacked the Jerusalem Gay Parade.

It was terrorism when person or persons unknown – but probably Jewish extremists – firebombed the Dawabsha home in the Palestinian village of Duma, killing a baby, and badly injuring other family members.

I condemn the perpetrators.

I condemn those who excuse their actions.

I condemn those who incite, encourage, or support them.

I condemn the rabbis who do not condemn the perpetrators.

Two separate horror stories, but one common thread: we have an issue in Israel with religious extremism and Jewish terrorism, and we need to deal with it – forcefully, firmly, and fully. And with the same focus, ferocity, and dedication as we deal with other extremism and terrorism. Or else there will, I regret to say, be more of the same.


Corbyn is coming. Will he bring his friends?

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to be the new leader of the UK Labour Party is going much better for him than most pundits and commentators expected.

This Guardian article says:

Corbyn’s campaign for the Labour leadership is gathering a momentum even he did not anticipate at the outset.

Earlier in the week, Guido Fawkes‘ quoted a leaked internal poll that put Corbyn  “well out in front” with a massive 22 point lead.

He might win.


As the registration system for the right to vote in the election is somewhat open to abuse, it’s no surprise there have been calls for Tory activists to join up and vote for Mr C. There are even suggestions this has been done by significant numbers of people. (We may never know the truth.)  The Tory view is that Corbyn as Labour leader condemns them to longer in the political wilderness. I’m not so sure they are right.

Allied to this possibly false spirited wave of support is, on the face of it, the clear political ground between Corbyn and the other candidates. The others are seen (rightly or wrongly) as New Labour. Corbyn is seen, all on his own, as “Old Labour” – the party of Benn, and traditional socialists before Tony Blair came along and made the party electable. So Corbyn can claim to be the alternative candidate; the happening, honorable bearer of the real socialism torch. And that’s an appeal that is bound to be given a sympathetic hearing by political activists. Not voters, but activists.

In the circumstances, this largely overlooked post – The Diplomat of Islington North – is worth reading and noting. In it, David Paxton writes:

Corbyn has repeatedly praised members of Hamas. They kill gays, deny the holocaust and speak of starting a fresh one. He calls them a force for social justice.

He praised the leadership in Venezuela while the oil-rich country was being run into bankruptcy and the freedom of the press was being eroded.

Corbyn asserts that despite the wishes of the Falklands islanders, expressed through the ballot box, and despite a fascist junta invading them causing British servicemen to fight and die, the islands should be owned by Argentina.

Paxton can do that, because he makes a better job than many of looking what Corbyn has said and done. Essentially, Corbyn’s attempts to explain away his “friends” reference is seen as nonsense. Corbyn is an extremist, and Paxton’s conclusions about the man are not pleasant.

The material in that post would be useful to any journalist who wanted to more rigorously interview the candidate. However, the prospects of that are low. Instead, it seems likely there will be more media presentation of the two sided, polarized view that makes the man attractive to the activists: Old Labour v New Labour. Whether that converts into success for him, and failure for his party, remains to be seen. But, it is telling (and somewhat frightening) that someone with such views is still even in serious contention. Who will rescue the Labour Party?


Alice was never in Wonderland…

…and she has no claim to Wonderland, except that of an occupier by force.

Yes, you guessed it; we are back in the wacky world of conspiracy theories, and alternative history, so cherished in this part of the world. If it’s not Zionist attack pigs, or phantom olive tree bulldozers (on Shabbat!), it’s putting a perverse spin on history. That’s how we suffer such rubbish as Jesus the Palestinian, and the fables of how the Jews lived a life of pleasure, leisure, and safety under Muslim rule.

The most recent phenomena, clearly driven by official Palestinian policy, is to deny Jewish connections to Israel. Every such connection. There never was a Temple, they say. There never was a Jewish nation, they say. And on and on it goes. The Romans must be turning in their grave, frustrated at seeing their imperial efforts ignored. Real historians must be seething with anger, while keeping their heads below the parapet, just in case. And there seems no change on the horizon. The Tisha B’Av broadcast by Joint (Arab) List MK Masud Ganaim repeated the claim that Jews have no historical connection to the Temple Mount. (See the report, here.) Given the spectacularly over the top (alleged) reaction by Palestinian youth (aka hooligans and thugs) to some extremist individual insulting the prophet Mohammed, I wonder what the proportionate Jewish response to Ganaim would have (or should have) been.

This embedded position over the Temple Mount is, of course, our fault. When Israel retook  the rest of Jerusalem in 1967, it should have taken control of all the religious sites. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it left the Waqf in charge of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. I have a suspicion that such weakness may have at least been partly responsible for encouraging the dreadful revisionist historical approach of the Palestinians to deny a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. In short, we are still paying the price for a colossal error made in 1967. Who believes that there is any politician who will grasp the nettle, and re-establish Israeli control?


Nowhere to be seen

In this review of Tuvia Tenenbom‘s Catch the Jew, it says:

This myth-shattering book became an instant bestseller in Israel last year, yet, Germany aside, it has largely been ignored in American and European media outlets and by the reigning Middle East punditocracy. Ostensibly, Tenenbom’s book is disdained because the author lacks the academic or journalistic credentials to be taken seriously as a commentator on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

It’s an explanation. But it doesn’t stand up to examination.

For example, search long and hard at the BBC or the Guardian websites and you will not find a review or mention of Catch the Jew. But you will find Shlomo Sand, and Ilan Pappe, to name but two who conform to the BBC and Guardian view of the world.

  • Shlomo Sand. Perfectly described by the Elder of Ziyon as “the academic with no background in history who wrote an absurdly ridiculous book The Invention of the Jewish People to much acclaim by anti-semites.”
  • Ilan Pappe. Benny Morris,a  real historian, could not restrain himself: “At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world’s sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest. In truth, he probably merits a place somewhere between the two….”

Shlomo and Ilan and their output are welcome at the BBC and the Guardian. Tuvia Tenenbom, it appears, is not.

Now why might that be?


Typo of the day

The Times of Israel is covering the apparent negotiations for the Israelis held in Gaza:


The body of the report starts off like this:

Thee Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has been engaged in talks with Israel over the return of two Israeli civilians believed to be held in the Gaza Strip, Avraham Mengistu and a young Bedouin man whose name was not cleared for publication, senior Palestinian sources said.

So far, so good.

Next is this:

The sources confirmed Hamas’s recent statement to the effect that Mengistu, who crossed the border in September, is in Hamas captivity but is nevertheless safe and sound. The organization’s new stance on Mengistu contrasts with its previous version, according to which the Israeli man had crossed into Egypt via a tunnel. Hamas officials, however, refused to comment on the matter during a conversation with The Times of Israel.

So, Mengistu:

“is in Hamas captivity but is nevertheless safe and sound.”


Given that the last reports were to the effect that Hamas was (allegedly) not holding the poor fellow, it’s presumably supposed to be:

Mengistu “is not in Hamas captivity but is nevertheless safe and sound.”

However, the typo is an ironical reminder of the inhumane regime that is Hamas.

You can click on the image to go to the article. Of course, the typo may be fixed by the time you get there.


Peace in our time?

Since I am an avowed David Horovitz fan, you may not be surprised to know that I am siding with his analysis about the deal with Iran:

16 reasons nuke deal is an Iranian victory and a Western catastrophe

Has Iran agreed to ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections, an end to R&D on faster centrifuges, and the dismantling of its key nuclear sites? No, no, and no

He continues:

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday unsurprisingly hailed the nuclear agreement struck with US-led world powers, and derided the “failed” efforts of the “warmongering Zionists.” His delight, Iran’s delight, is readily understandable.

The agreement legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program, allows it to retain core nuclear facilities, permits it to continue research in areas that will dramatically speed its breakout to the bomb should it choose to flout the deal, but also enables it to wait out those restrictions and proceed to become a nuclear threshold state with full international legitimacy. Here’s how.

And if you click here, you will see how.

The only point I would add, is that in addition to other non-nuclear issues that were not even discussed – which Mr H lists – there is the question of USA prisoners in Iran. Like Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, and detainees Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati. And let’s not forget the mysterious case of Robert Levinson, a USA citizen who disappeared in Iran some eight years ago. I don’t think we’ll be taking any lectures from the Obama administration about dealing with our enemies, that’s for sure.


BDS’ useful idiots at Haaretz

It’s not my headline, but it looks right to me. It’s from Ynet, and it headlines a piece that begins like this:

Op-ed: Omar Barghouti, one of the leaders of the BDS movement, said in an interview recently that he wants Jews to live in peace under Arab democracy. He ignores a long and bloody history of persecution of Jews in Arab countries – and, surprisingly, there are some Israelis who buy that nonsense.

This week Le Monde published an interview with Omar Barghouti, one of the leaders of BDS. His argument, in essence, was that there is no problem with the Jews living as a minority under Arab rule in the exemplary state he aims to create.

After all, the Jews, he explained, “did not suffer in Arab countries. There were no pogroms. There was no persecution. And in general, the Jews thrive as minorities in Europe and the United States.” So what’s the problem? Please live as a minority under Arab democracy, which is known for its protection of minorities, especially if they are Jews.

Mr Barghhouti is lying. The writer of the piece was more restrained:

The man suffers from double blindness – both to the past and to the present. It’s doubtful whether there is a Jewish community under Muslim rule that did not suffer from persecution, with or without any relation to Zionism. The list is long. And the leader of the British Mandate-era Arab Higher Committee, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was actually a well-known fan of Jews. That’s why he apparently led the pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad in 1941, the “Farhud”, and from there traveled to Berlin in order to turn more Muslims into Nazis. He also wrote about his plans to destroy all of the Arab countries’ Jews.

Read it all, especially if you want to see how endemic the problem is at Haaretz. They are, indeed, the enemy.


Now playing at the Theater of the Absurd

The latest UN farce, a UNESCO play called ‘Let’s make up stuff about Jerusalem, and then we’ll bash Israel.’ As reported in the Jerusalem Post:

Israel slammed the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Tuesday for adopting a “completely one-sided resolution” on the Old City of Jerusalem that “deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital.”

Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold issued a statement saying that not only does the resolution gloss over any Jewish connection to Jerusalem, it also fails to acknowledge Christianity’s ties to Jerusalem and refers to the Temple Mount area only as a “Muslim holy site of worship.”


“As the historical heritage sites of this area are being systematically destroyed by jihadist forces, such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best,” he said. “The resolution is full of distortions and is totally disconnected from reality on the ground,” he concluded.

In short, it’s lies. But, hey, what’s new?


Balak, Bilaam, and CNN

The following quote from Rabbi Berel Wein‘s Shabbat Shalom Parsha Booklet (3), about the Torah portion we read in shul last Shabbat, seems well timed:

Poor Balak and Bilaam. If they would have lived in our generation they would have undoubtedly received great and favorable media coverage, interviews on CNN and invitations to speak at the Hebrew University to tell their side of the story.

The part about the speaking donkey would certainly have made for great feature articles where it would be pointed out that Bilaam is not to be blamed for beating his animal – rather it is all the fault of that conquering, occupying, bullying angel that inserted himself into the picture.

Yet, no matter what the revisionist historians will say, Balak and Bilaam remain the guilty villains in Jewish tradition and minds. There was no justification to demonize and curse an entire people who intended to do you no harm. Bilaam is a non-governmental, allegedly not-for-profit, one man organization, proclaiming great ideals while at the same time condoning enslavement and murder of thousands. And, in spite of his protestations of idealism and even-handedness, he is for hire.


Lost in flight

I’m connected to the web, browsing away, when this advert appears slap bang in the middle of the Globes (English language version of their) home page:


The definition of a total waste.

(I’m not quite sure why it thinks my native language is German, but whatever the language, there will not be many Emirates flights sold to Israeli browsers of the internet.)