Monday, 29 March 2010

Leshana Haba B'-What? B'Yerushalayim!!

What do anti-Zionist Jews say on Pesach when all the rest of the Jews say "Leshana haba b'Yerushalayim" - "next year in Jerusalem"?

Because by Jerusalem we mean all of Jerusalem. Pesach must be such a hard time for anti-Zionist Jews, having to celebrate G-d's saving us from slavery in Egypt, and eventually taking us to Israel.

I am determined that when I say "leshana haba" this year at the Seder, next year it will be true.

Chag Sameach!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Israel replaces brick in Wailing Wall. World decries “disproportionate land-theft”

Israel today replaced a crumbling brick in the Old City’s Wailing Wall with a new one, to the outrage of the international community.
In a press conference, US president Barack Obama condemned the act, calling it “despicable and disproportionate land theft”. Over in London, Foreign Secretary David Miliband took his dummy out of his mouth to say “yeah!”, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown added, “this situation in Australasia is intolerable. We call upon Peru to immediately withdraw it's cranes and cement from Finland”.
Israel is often provoking the international community by building things in it’s country, such as a long rail track that stretches right across the land from one end to the other, upon which trains run. The track means that people, including those with Jewish blood and who might even be religious Jews, have access to many parts of the country. Israel and Obama are already in dispute over Israel’s refusal to name the system “Palestine Rail”.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has also threatened to allow people, including Muslims and Jews to plant Kosher trees in the land, and sell the produce to not only Palestinians, but other Jews as well.
Similarly, he has declared that buildings on the brink of collapse will be reinforced, even if Jews live in them, using methods he would not elaborate on - but that analysts suspect may possibly involve the controversial use of bricks and builders.
The world of Jewish-controlled media and politics has called on Obama to halt the manufacture of Kosher cakes in the US, unless Israel stops occupying itself through building schools, hospitals, houses, and other places that may be of benefit to, or prolong the existence of, a Jew. 
"It is for the Jews' own good that Israel stops acting as though it is a thing that exists", they said in a statement. "This will help the Jews gradually die out so that their suffering will end."
Obama has yet to respond to the proposal.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

James Hider's Bias In The Times

James Hider, the Times' favourite Israel-hater, had a poor and biased article published on Monday with obvious omissions of facts and context.

The IDF, acting in self-defence killed two Palestinians on Sunday, who had attacked them with a pitchfork, and were also armed with a syringe and glass bottle filled with stones. The Times says that "the unrest was prompted by Palestinian anger at restrictions on access to farmland which is close to an Israeli settlement", as though the only natural reaction to settlements is to try to stab an Israeli with a pitchfork.

Hider uses EoZ's favourite phrase "protests erupted" (the media uses passive phrasing when referring to Palestinian violence); and quotes Ghassan Khatib, an aide to Salam Fayyad the Palestinian Prime Minister, as saying: “We look at this as part of the Israeli escalation. It could have been treated in a completely different way. But the Israelis have been escalating..."

So Hider quotes a Palestinian on Israel's behaviour, but chooses not to mention Hamas' threats of a new intifada.

He talks about the Palestinians that Israel killed, but doens't mention all the injuries and damage caused by the rockets and boulders that Palestinians have been attacking with. Injuries and damage caused to Israelis, even if the intention is to kill, is just not newsworthy compared to some houses being controversially built in Jerusalem.

Here's what Hider and the Times missed:

Today (because it's safe to say it won't be in the Times tommorrow), two Israelis were wounded when Arabs threw rocks at them in their car. One was treated on the spot, the other had to be evacuated to hospital. This incident occured near where a checkpoint was removed in June, under pressure from the US. There has been a rise in rock and fire-bomb attacks in the area, since the checkpoint was removed.
Also today, a rocket fired from Gaza landed on Israeli farmland.

Yesterday, two rockets launched by Palestinians landed in an open area in Sderot, and one mistakenly in Gaza.

On Sunday, several Israeli vehicles were damaged in separate rock-attacks. Also on Sunday, a rocket launched landed south of Ashkelon, no damage.

On Saturday, at least four rockets were launched from Gaza, one landing close to a kibbutz in the South, and sirens going off in several areas from Sderot to Ashkelon.

On Friday, five rockets had been fired in the last 24 hours, with one landing in the Western Negev, and another in the Gaza strip. A man also had his windshield smashed and 18-month old daughter injured in a rock attack in the Old City in Jerusalem.

On Thursday, several Israeli vehicles were damaged in separate rock-attacks at different locations, and a woman and man were injured in two other attacks. A Thai worker on a kibbutz was killed by a rocket in one of five rockets launched into Israel in two days.

On Wednesday a bus was stoned and a rocket was fired landing near Sderot and causing two people to go into shock, one of them a girl.

On Tuesday three buses were stoned, an Israeli woman was injured in a rock-attack and had to be treated in hospital, and two mortar shells missed their target and landed in Palestinian territory.

And on the Saturday before that, Palestinians attacked IDF soldiers with a firebomb and rocks, and in a separate incident that day, a Palestinian was caught at a checkpoint in possession of three knives.

Those incidents are not "resistance"; there was no provocation: the building of houses does not merit an innocent civilian to be injured or killed by rockets or boulders. But perhaps that is the case to James Hider of the Times.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Times' Idea Of "Context"

The Times sometimes likes to give a bit of "context" to the situation in Israel, as this makes it seem more informed and reliable. People can read their little information boxes and think they know all about the history of the conflict.

According to the Times' history lesson, after the 1979 Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt, the Egyptian prime minister was assassinated, and two years later, out of nowhere "Israel launched a massive invasion of Lebanon".

If the Times is going to give some context, maybe it would be better if they didn't portray Israel as the war-mongers everyone believes it to be, and instead give the whole picture, such as the assassination attempt on the Israeli ambassador to London. The war was not a success, but it wasn't without purpose:  "The operation was meant to destroy militant infrastructure on the Lebanese-Israeli border, which had been used by terrorists to attack IDF forces, as well as the Israeli communities abject to the border." The story of Israel's life.

After the 1993 Oslo Accords, and Yitzchak Rabin's assassination, the Times says "the two sides plunged into fresh violence with the 'al-Aqsa intifada' in 2000". But fails to mention that in five years after Oslo, but before that intifada, 279 Israeli civilians had been murdered in 92 Palestinian terror attacks. Or that the "trigger" for the intifada was Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, with the Palestinian Authority issuing a call "to all Palestinians to come and defend the al-Aksa mosque." (Just like they tried again a few months ago, by spreading rumours that the Jews were going to attack the mosque.)

At least with the 2002 Road Map, the Times identifies the part Hamas played in "plunging the region back into conflict", but with the first two scenarios, readers who didn't know any better would be seriously misled.

A couple of days before that article, the Times published an op-ed by Malcolm Rifkind where he demonstrates typical ignorance of the conflict by saying that unless the Palestinians get "a viable, truly independent Palestinian state with something like the pre-1967 boundaries... there can be no stability in the Middle East nor true security for Israel".

As demonstrated with the disengagement from Gaza, giving up land to the Palestinians' full control is not an option, as it will inevitably be used for terrorism. Netanyahu outlined a just proposal for 2-states that would give the Palestinians land but not an army, ensuring Israelis' safety. 

However Rifkind dismisses what he calls a "nominal autonomy" as similar to apartheid South Africa, and says that Israel needs a "peaceful, democratic... government with a genuine commitment to the two-state solution. Would this require a miracle? Perhaps. But are not miracles more likely in the Holy Land than anywhere else?

The only miracle we need is for the Palestinians to put their weapons down. Call me cynical, but I don't see that happening, even in the Holy Land. Especially in the Holy Land. Israel and the Jews' very existence is the miracle, considering what we're faced with.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Israeli Soldiers Charged

Two IDF soldiers have been charged with allegedly forcing a nine year old Palestinian boy to open some bags they suspected might contain explosives, during 2009's Operation Cast Lead.

It might be a surprise that I, Proud Zionist, am reporting this breach of the IDF rule against using human shields, but the reason's in this very sentence. The IDF has a strict code of morality and if soldiers break these rules they will be punished accordingly. I am supportive of Israel and the IDF, and I will state with confidence that in general, the IDF is the most moral army in the world.

That's why when a one-off incident like this occurs, it should be acknowledged - as just that, a one-off incident, where the soldiers involved will be dealt with accordingly - in this case tried and possibly serving a jail sentence of up to three years.

Cast Lead was justified, and I believe that the IDF in general conducted itself in a manner superior to how any other army would have under those circumstances. The IDF went out of its way to protect Palestinian civilians, but in an army of thousands there are bound to be isolated incidents of rule-breaking and inappropriate conduct. The fact that the IDF does not hide these incidents reflects on how seriously it takes it's own morality.

My problem is that the media worldwide will undoubtedly pounce on this incident and twist it to indicate that "Goldstone is right" and that "Israel committed war crimes in Gaza". But it wasn't Israel or the IDF, it was just two idiot soldiers.

And whilst the media gets busy reporting that, they most likely won't be reporting this - that a rocket launched today struck a storage facility on a kibbutz, just a short distance from residential buildings. Or this - that an Israeli woman was injured when Palestinians threw "stones" at her car. Palestinians throw "stones" every day at Israelis in their cars, and sometimes out of them. I want to be clear: these are not "stones"; they're boulders.

Ahmadinejad's latest psychotic ranting and threats to Israel and the Jewish people probably also won't be reported in the mainstream media.

Because anti-Israel bias dictates that Israel only ever be portrayed as the aggressor, never the victim.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Financial Times: Delegitimate, Lawless, Rogue Israel

In the space of about a week, the Financial Times published three op-eds on Israel, two of them related to the Dubai assassination.

On 23rd February, Henry Siegman wrote about how Israel is apparently delegitimising itself. He claims that the Middle East peace process has undergone two transformations: the settlements in the West Bank, and Obama’s forceful stand on the issue together with Netanyahu’s subsequent rejection of his demands.  According to Siegman, “The disappearance of the two-state solution is triggering a third transformation, which is turning Israel from a democracy into an apartheid state.”

Why apartheid? Because, he says, “A democracy reserved for privileged citizens while all others are denied individual and national rights and kept behind checkpoints, barbed wire fences and separation walls manned by Israel’s military, is not democracy.” He claims that as long as Israel doesn’t withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, it’s legitimacy is challenged. 

Siegman predictably places all the blame on Israel and makes no reference to the Palestinians’ rejections of peace proposals, nor to the consequences of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza - in a word, Hamas - let alone to the countless terrorist attacks that have been prevented as a result of the security fence and checkpoints, or even the thousands of terror attacks that were carried out over the years, the shootings, stabbings, suicide bombs and rockets.

Siegmen also uses the classic method of displacement where he refers to “Anti-Semitic opponents of Israel” – by which he distances himself from this label whilst at the same time blaming Israel for antisemitism. I also blame Israel for antisemitism, but in a different way: I think Israel’s actions are often used as an excuse for antisemitism that is already there, hiding under the surface waiting for a trigger. (That is not to say that criticism of Israel is antisemitic – but comparing Israel to Nazis is, as is calling it apartheid.)

Two days after that article was published, there was one by David Gardner (and this one I could only find on Norman Finkelstein’s website). Gardner lists failings of Mossad as though they happen all the time, and tries to make out that Mossad operations only ever backfire on Israel. But the main point he makes is that Mossad assassinations “encourage the perception that it [Israel] is a rogue state”.

A week after the first article, and finally a voice of reason is heard in the FT. Andrew Roberts, a British historian states that countries’ use of “targeted assassination... in no way weakens their legitimacy”.

On Siegman’s reference to apartheid, Roberts says 
As for the ‘separation walls’ and checkpoints that one sees in Israel, the 99 per cent drop in the number of suicide bombings since their erection justifies the policy. There is simply no parallel between apartheid South Africa – where the white minority wielded power over the black majority – and the occupied territories, taken by Israel only after it was invaded by its neighbours… If Arab Israelis were deprived of civil and franchise rights, that would justify such hyperbole, but of course they have the same rights as every Jewish Israeli.”
And on Gardner’s point, Roberts observes that the Dubai assassination is no different from the targeted killings of Taliban leaders carried out by Nato, or by the assassinations that have taken place in many countries including Britain, France and Russia without the legitimacy of those states being called into question, or their being described as ‘rogue’”.

That kind of language is only reserved for Israel”, even though the French and Russian victims posed no danger to citizens, whereas Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was proven to be directly involved in killings of Israelis, and organising the shipment of weapons from Iran to Gaza.

The FT’s chosen headline on this article is also notable – “Israel is no more rogue than America” - the implication being that America and Israel are both rogue countries, just not one more than the other – when actually the article is not saying this at all, but that in fact that neither are rogue states, not even close.

Robin Shepherd writes on the FT readers’ reaction to the article.