Wednesday, April 29, 2009
4/29/2009 11:04:00 AM
1. Well, Obama, Hillary, the Left, and now suddenly even Bibi Netanyahu
demand that Israel agree to a "two-state solution." They of course assume
that some sort of arrangement involving two states actually could serve as
a solution, as opposed to a plan for the annihilation of Israel in stages.
But hey, I am always up for a challenge. So here is my own proposal for
a workable two-state solution!
The Jews keep their state, and the Arabs give up 21 of their 22 states,
leaving them with one state, an dthen we would have a two-state SOLUTION!
2. 61 things I like best about Israel - for Israel's 61st birthday
1. Israel is the only country in the world where people can read the Bible
and understand it.
2. Israel is the only country in the world where, if someone calls you a
"dirty Jew", it means you need a bath (old Efraim Kishon quip, but still
3. Israel is the only country in the world where formal dress means a new
clean T-shirt, sandals and jeans.
4. Israel is the only country in the world where one need not check the
ingredients on the products in the supermarket to avoid ending up with
things containing pork.
5. Israel is a country where the same drivers who cuss you and flip you
the bird will immediately pull over and offer you all forms of help if you
look like you need it.
6. Israel is the only country in the world with Avihu Medina, Zohar Argov
and Daklon (godfathers of "Oriental Music").
7. Israel is the only country in the world with bus drivers and taxi
drivers who read Spinoza and Maimonides.
8. Israel is the only country in the world where you dare not gossip about
other people on the bus in Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Lithuanian,
Hungarian, Polish or Romanian, lest others on the bus understand what you
9. Israel is the only country in the world with northern European
standards of living and southern European weather. It is the only place on
earth with an Israeli spring, the most glorious time of year on the
10. Israel is the only country in the world where no one cares what rules
say when an important goal can be achieved by bending them.
11. Israel is the only country in the world where a pisher like me can
once in a while get invited to give a talk at the parliament, or can get
in to speak to a cabinet minister.
12. Israel is the only country in the world where reservists are bossed
around and commanded by officers, male and female, younger than their own
13. Israel is the only country in the world with Eli Yatzpan (comedian).
14. Israel is the only country in the world where "small talk" consists of
loud, angry debate over politics and religion.
15. Israel is the only country in the world with Jerusalem, even if
Israeli leftists would like to turn it over to the barbarians.
16. Israel is the only country in the world where the coffee is already so
good that Starbucks went bankrupt trying to break into the local market.
17. Israel is the only country in the world where the mothers learn their
mother tongue from their children (old Efraim Kishon quip, but still
18. Israel is the only country in the world where the people understand
19. Israel is the only country in the world where the news is broadcast
over the loudspeakers on buses, where people listen to news updates every
half hour, or whose people are capable of locating Bosnia and Macedonia on
a map of the world.
20. Israel is one of the few places in the world where the sun sets into
the Mediterranean Sea.
21. Israel is the only country in the world where, when people say the
"modern later era", they are referring to the time of Jesus.
22. Israel is the only country in the world whose soldiers eat three
sets of salads a day, none of which contain any lettuce (which is not
really a food), and where olives ARE a food and even a main course in a
meal, rather than something one tosses into a martini.
23. Israel is the only country in the world where one is unlikely to be
able to dig a cellar without hitting ancient archeological artifacts.
24. Israel is the only country in the world where the leading writers in
the country take buses.
25. Israel is the only country in the world where the graffiti is in
26. Israel is the only country in the world where the "black folks"
walking around all wear yarmulkes.
27. Israel is the only country in the world that has a National Book Week,
during which almost everyone attends a book fair and buys books.
28. Israel is the only country in the world where the ultra-Orthodox Jews
beat up the police and not the other way around.
29. Israel is the only country in the world where inviting someone "out
for a drink" means drinking cola or coffee or tea.
30. Israel is the only country in the world where people who want to go up
in an elevator push the down button because they think this makes the
elevator come down to get them.
31. Israel is the only country in the world with white almond blossoms in
January, purple "Judas Tree" blossoms in March, and crocus flowers in
32. Israel is the only country in the world where bank robbers kiss the
mezuzah as they leave with their loot.
33. Israel is the only country in the world with "Eretz Yisrael music".
34. Israel is one of the few countries in the world that truly likes and
admires the United States.
35. Israel is the only country in the world that introduces applications
of high-tech gadgets and devices, such as printers in banks that print out
your statement on demand, years ahead of the United States and decades
ahead of Europe.
36. Israel is the only country in the world that has the weather and
landscape of California without the earthquakes.
37. Israel is the only country in the world where everyone on a flight
gets to know one another before the plane lands. In many cases, they also
get to know the pilot and all about his health or marital problems.
38. Israel is the only country in the world where no one has a foreign
accent because everyone has a foreign accent.
39. Israel is the only country in the world where people cuss using dirty
words in Russian or Arabic because Hebrew has never developed them.
40. Israel is the only country in the world where patients visiting
physicians end up giving the doctor advice.
41. Israel is the only country in the world where everyone strikes up
conversations while waiting in lines.
42. Israel is the only country in the world where people choose which
books to read and which plays to see based on what they plan to discuss
with their friends in Friday evening "salon" get-togethers.
43. Israel is the only country in the world where hot water is an event
and not a condition ("in" joke; you have to live in Israel to figure it
45. Israel is the only country in the world where people call an attache
case a "James Bond" and the "@" sign is called a "strudel".
47. The obsession with sunflower seeds.
48. The kumzitz on the beach.
49. The people who eat watermelon with salt or with salty cheese. The
wagons with horses that still sell watermelons on the streets, screaming
"watermelon on the knife", whatever that means.
50. Israel is the only country in the world where kids read Harry Potter
51. Hyssop (za'atar).
52. Memorial Day in Israel is actually a day for remembering and not for
buying pool furniture at the mall.
53. Really, really good bread!
54. Israel is the only country in the world where there is the most
mysterious and mystical calm ambience in the streets on Yom Kippur, which
cannot be explained unless you have experienced it.
55. In Israel, kids can really sleep in a succah because it will not rain
56. Israel is the only country in the world where making a call to God is
a local call (old quip, still good).
57. Where you here Hebrew songs set to bazouki and Ood music.
58. Zohar Argov (yes, I know I already mentioned him, but he deserves a
59. Sunsets in Jerusalem
60. Where people read English, write Hebrew, and joke in Yiddish
61. A Story:
A few years back, I took the kids to the Haifa beach promenade during
Passover, where they had French fries. While sitting there, some Russian
Jews who had not been in the country very long came and sat down. They
ordered some salads, and asked the Arab waiter to bring it to them with
Matzos because they did not want to eat Chometz during Passover. Then
they asked the Arab to also bring them beers. The Arab stood and
explained to them that it was not only bread that is Chometz but actually
beer is also considered chometz and so is also prohibited for consumption
by Jews during Passover. The Russians thanked him for explaining that to
them. I was reminded about the section in Pirkei Avot where it says one
must feel beholden and gratitutude to anyone who teaches one Torah or even
a single Hebrew letter. These Russian Jews were beholden to their Arab
waiter for teaching them Torah.
Only in Israel!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
4/22/2009 05:23:00 PM
1. Nuremberg Rally in Geneva:
* OPINION EUROPE
* APRIL 22, 2009
The U.N.'s Anti-Antiracism Conference
Geneva shows that the best hope for restoring human rights is to deny these
corrupt events the veneer of legitimacy.
GERALD M. STEINBERG From today's Wall
Street Journal Europe
GENEVA -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tirade Monday to the United Nations'
"antiracism" conference should not have surprised anyone. The Iranian
president denounced Israel, or the "Zionist entity" as he calls it, which,
according to his version of history, was created by Europe and the U.S. on
the "pretext of Jewish suffering" in World War II. He spoke of a world-wide
Zionist conspiracy, referring to Israelis as "those racist perpetrators of
European delegates walk out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday in Geneva.
Many people walked out, including those European diplomats whose governments
had ignored the warning signs and chosen to participate in this conference.
They were cheered by Jewish NGO members and students who had come to ensure
that this conference would not take the anti-Semitic path of the 2001 Durban
In a packed unofficial session on anti-Semitism the next day, Holocaust
survivor and memorializer Elie Wiesel demanded an apology from the U.N. for
even inviting Mr. Ahmadinejad, who has long been infamous for his Holocaust
denial and calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz spoke of the Iran-Hamas link and
attacks against Israel in the Arab world and by the left in the West. And
ex-gulag resident Natan Sharansky condemned the Orwellian spectacle of an
antiracism conference run by some of the world's worst human-rights
violators, an absurdity that reminded him of Soviet show trials.
Consider that Libya and Iran were the leading organizers of this conference
and thus responsible for drafting declarations that single out Israel among
the nations for condemnation -- the modern form of anti-Semitism.
After Mr. Ahmadinejad's address, the conference got down to business: The
Syrian, Qatari and Palestinian representatives spoke of Israel's "racism,"
though the status of minorities and women in their own jurisdictions was
off-limits, of course. Other Arab speakers focused on what they consider to
be the worst form of racism: insults to Islam and the prophet Muhammad.
Muslim countries have long been pushing for international laws to
criminalize such "insults." Draft declarations of the Geneva conference
called for limits to freedom of speech with respect to religion, i.e. Islam.
Little wonder then that 10 democratic countries -- first Canada, followed by
Israel, the United States, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands,
Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic -- chose to stay away from this
The Geneva conference has so far not seen the type of anti-Semitic excesses
as witnessed in Durban, where Jews were physically attacked and Hitler's
"Mein Kampf" was handed out.
But the radical agendas of many powerful NGOs is at display at numerous
"side events." A London-based group called "Islamic Human Rights Commission"
brought three Hasidic Jews to hold signs proclaiming "Zionism is racism."
The organization "North-South 21," which is closely linked to the Libyan
regime, organized a session on "Occupation and Discrimination," featuring
Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. attorney general and now left-wing activist who
accuses Israel of "genocide." Radical pro-Palestinian groups such as Badil
and Ittajah held an "Israel Review Conference," which discussed how to press
war-crime charges against Israelis in Western courts and cut off Western
arms sales to the Jewish state. Unlike in 2001, the more prominent NGOs such
as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International did not take part at these
sessions, even though they are playing a central role in international
campaigns to delegitimize Israel.
Once again, the obsessive focus on the Jewish state meant that the real
problems of racism and genocide were largely ignored at this U.N.
conference. Only outside the official U.N. antiracism conference, at
well-attended "counterconferences" organized by NGOs such as U.N. Watch, did
the real victims of racism and mass murder get the attention they deserved.
Only at those counterconferences could one witness moving presentations by
victims of Iranian oppression, survivors of the Rwandan genocide and the
continuing slaughter in Darfur. And on Monday night, when Jews marked
Holocaust Memorial Day, a large gathering stood quietly honoring the victims
while the language of human rights was being abused in the U.N. building.
Human Rights Watch, which played an active role in the 2001 fiasco, had
tried hard to pressure the Obama administration to abandon core moral
principles and participate in the review conference. President Obama
rejected this advice, and in a tacit rebuke to the NGO lobby explained that
the foundations of the Durban process are fundamentally incompatible with
universal human-rights norms. A new structure is necessary if these values
are to be given serious attention.
At the same time, though, President Obama has sought to placate the NGO
lobby by agreeing to rejoin the failed U.N. Human Rights Council. The main
lesson from this week's events is that the best hope for restoring human
rights is to deny such corrupt organizations the veneer of legitimacy.
Mr. Steinberg is executive director of NGO Monitor and chair of the
Political Science Department at Bar Ilan University.
2. You will be forgiven if you were not paying attention to the recent
assault on "religious coercion" by the Israeli leftist secularist
establishment and defenders of enlightenment.
The controversy began when the Haifa National Science Museum decided to put
on display the so-called "Human Body World" exhibit, which is making the
rounds all over the world. The exhibit contains "educational" displays
produced with actual body parts of dead humans. (See
ibit.htm ). It is controversial wherever it goes.
It was even more controversial when the Haifa Science Museum wanted to put
it up. After the announcement of the planned exhibit, a wave of protests
responded (see http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3690258,00.html) .
The problem is that under Jewish law or halakha, it is considered a human
rights abuse and violation of the dignity of mankind to display human body
parts rather than bury them. The body contains sanctity, while at the same
time body parts also contain and conduct "tum'a" or ritual impurity. (There
are fascinating rabbinical analyses of this seeming contradiction.) Note -
these body parts are not being used for a redeeming activity like training
surgeons to save lived, but rather to pander to voyeurism.
The planners of the exhibit took glee in defying and exhibiting their
contempt for the religious people in Israel making the protests. It did not
matter that numerous secularists also expressed revulsion. Indeed, even
when Christian and Moslem religious groups joined the Jewish Orthodox in
opposing the exhibit, the organizers dug in their heels. That is a bit
surprising because, while secularists in Israel often regard the Orthodox
with contempt, they are hyper-cautious about offending the religious
sensitivities of Arabs.
As for the "educational" value of using actual human body parts, any
educational benefit could be achieved just as easily via photos of body
parts or plastic imitations. The inclusion of actual body parts made the
exhibit about as educational as a Snuff film, and one that appeals mainly to
the basest voyeurism. 30 million people world wide have seen the exhibit,
although I suspect a larger number have seen Snuff films.
So while the Snuff exhibit is still on display in Haifa, and after its
initiators lectured Israel for months about how unenlightened are those
Orthodox who opposed the use of body parts in "art," yesterday a judge in
France issued an injunction ordering the closing of a parallel exhibit in
France called "One Body: The Universe Within," on grounds that it is
offensive and repulsive. Curiously, no leftist secularists in Israel
denounced the French judge for being a medieval clericalist unenlightened
chareidi Orthodox troglodyte!
3. Eureka! I have discovered a place where a Palestinian state can be
Scientists discover a nearly Earth-sized planet
4. Jerusalem Post editorial on the Eurotrash:
5. The moderateness of the moderate PLO:
6. Iranians adopting rhetoric of the Left:
7.. Thoughts on Yom Hashoa:
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
4/21/2009 01:31:00 PM
Subject: Holocaust Revisionism at Haaretz
The most blatantly anti-Semitic writer at Haaretz, Gideon Levy, wrote on 9/5/2003:
Is there any basis for comparison, however slight, between the rise of the Nazis in Germany and the state of affairs in Israel today? Should we compare? Is it allowable? Is only the Israeli right entitled to use Nazism to set up such historical analogies as Saddam-Hitler, Arafat-Hitler, Udi Adiv's parents-Adolf Eichmann's parents, even Marwan Barghouti-Hitler, or can we do so, too, to the extent that the analogy fits?...
Thus comparing Germany of the 1920s and early `30s to Israel at the start of the third millennium is not only permissible but imperative - for gaining an insight into how barbarous regimes develop, grasping the differences (and there are many profound ones), and discerning the similarities, which ought to worry us.
In this country, we don't execute people for their opinions. We don't even fire them for that reason. There is no ideology supportive of genocide, and even transfer is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Israelis. But we do arrest people without trial. We do throw people who have not been accused of anything into mass detention centers, if not concentration camps. We do keep people locked up in their cities and villages, if not ghettos. We do discriminate between Arabs and Jews in every sphere. We do build roads that only Jews can use and are guilty of violating the most basic human rights - in the territories but also west of them. So why shouldn't we compare? How can we not?
(posted just in time for Yom Ha-Shoah)
Monday, April 20, 2009
4/20/2009 12:03:00 PM
(see web page for links and references)
Lies about the "USS Liberty"
%Date%by from "Back to Sanity" - Arutz 7 Analysts(IsraelNN.com)
middle of the Six Day War in 1967, an American naval vessel that had
wandered into the war zone was mistakenly attacked by Israeli military
planes. Israel apologized for the attack and paid compensation to the
Ever since, the attack on the USS Liberty has become a rallying cry for
Neo-Nazis and anti-Semites from around the world. They claim that the
attack was part of some nefarious Jewish cabal, whose purpose is never
clear. The great irony is that the case of the USS Liberty is used as a
bludgeon to bash Israel for an accidental friendly fire attack on American
forces by many of the very same groups that applaud Bin Laden and cheer
intentional Islamofascist terror attacks on Americans.
While numerous serious journalists have long put the story to rest, the
best debunking of all of the conspiracist "theories" about the attack was
that of Michael Oren in Azure in 2000. His arguments are too long to be
reproduced here, and his piece should be read in full by anyone who wants
to know the truth. Here is just one segment:
'The incident began with the ill-conceived decision to send the Liberty to
the crisis-torn Middle East, a mere half-mile beyond Egyptian waters, in
an area not used by commercial shipping and which Nasser had declared
off-limits to neutral vessels. The Americans did not accede to Chief of
Staff Rabin.s request for the identification of all U.S. ships in the area
or Ambassador Harman.s request for a strategic liaison between Israel and
the Sixth Fleet. The Liberty.s dispatchers, meanwhile, overrode naval
orders to keep the ship in Spain, and then failed to inform the U.S.
attach. in Tel Aviv of its presence near the war zone. These mistakes were
compounded by the navy.s communications system, which delayed by as much
as two days orders to the Liberty to withdraw 100 miles from the coast.52
Even after it was hit, the Americans had difficulty locating the Liberty,
the JCS placing it at .60-100 miles north of Egypt.. If neither Castle,
nor CINCEUR, nor even the President of the United States could know where
the Liberty was, it seems unreasonable to expect that the Israelis, in the
thick of battle, should have been able to locate it.
'The Israelis, too, committed their own share of fateful errors, as the
Yerushalmi report points out: The erroneous reports of bombardment at
El-Arish, the failure to replace the Liberty.s marker on the board after
it had been cleared, the over-eagerness of naval commanders, and worst of
all, Ensign Yifrah.s miscalculation of the ship.s speed.. All of these
elements combined to create a tragic .friendly fire. incident of the kind
that claimed the lives of at least fifty Israeli soldiers in the Six Day
War, and caused 5,373 American casualties in Vietnam in 1967 alone.'
Nevertheless, anti-Semites of all stripes continue to use the 42 year old
incident as a weapon against Israel. Even Neo-Stalinist Noam Chomsky, who
adores Islamic terrorism, uses the Liberty incident to bash Israel. So do
the Stalinist anti-Semites at the leftwing pro-jihad Counterpunch web
But curiously, these people have now been joined by Barry Chamish, the UFO
"researcher" and inventor of the fictional "theory" about how Shimon Peres
and the SHABAK were the real murderers of Yitzhak Rabin. Chamish has a
long history of collaboration with Holocaust Denier organizations and web
sites, and he is now proliferating a "theory" of the USS Liberty attack
invented by Neo-Nazi organizations.
Here are some of Chamish's new "discoveries," taken from a Chamish web
site. Chamish invents a claim that it was American President Johnson who
ordered Israel to sink the ship:
'The issue of the Liberty has deeply poisoned the American relationship
with Israel. It is a far greater thorn than Israelis understand because,
in fact, Israel did try to kill every sailor on board The Liberty....
Admiral McCain was not covering for Israel, he was protecting Pres. Lyndon
Johnson, who ordered Israel to attack the Liberty....Cutting to the chase,
it wasn't Israel's idea. Israel still did the killing, and muffed the
attack with an amateurish show of its military prowess, but it wasn't the
leader of the hit squad. That's far better than being left in the lurch as
the mafia's don....
"Of course Johnson gave the order. But he received his orders from higher
up." "So the attack on The Liberty wasn't an Israeli decision?" I asked.
"It was an American action forced on Israel," he answered....
We have the reason Moshe Dayan turned into Israel's top traitor of his
day. As Chief-0f-Staff of the IDF, Dayan HAD to have given the order for
his Air Force to sink the Liberty. Johnson may have given the actual
command, the American navy did nothing to rescue the stricken ship, but
Dayan had the blood of 37 American sailors on his hands and if he didn't
play major league ball, he and Israel would be turned into friendless
lepers.... There were endless debts to be paid, and America offered Israel
$3.2 billion in annual aid to keep its mouth shut. But Israel bore the
existential brunt of Dayan sinking close to the entire Egyptian navy, but
accidentally keeping afloat one American ship too many."
Chamish has a long track record of inventing "theories" and "news" and
nameless "witnesses." I used to think that his claim that Simon
Wiesenthal was in fact a secret Nazi agent was just about the silliest
thing he could invent. But his new fabrications about the USS Liberty may
even make THAT look pale in comparison.
More on conspiracism:
Saturday, April 18, 2009
4/18/2009 10:56:00 PM
Down goes another "academic" Anti-Semite, out come the Leftist
Complaints about the "Zionist Bogeyman"
An Ottawa anti-Semite professor gets himself fired due to gross
insubordination and the Left blames the Jews and the "Lobby" once again!
Yes, he was an anti-Semitic crackpot at the University of Ottawa who
regularly invited Holocaust Denier Michel Chossudovsky to lecture to his
classes (see http://www.jewishtribune.ca/tribune/jt-050825-05.html ). So
now he blames dem Joos, of course, for his getting fired.
Denis Rancourt was fired recently from the University of Ottawa in
physics. He describes himself as an "anarchist." He would rant at
length in his classes against the "Zionist Lobby" and against capitalism
and against the United States. He had long turned his courses into
exercises in one-sided indoctrination and politicization.
He was removed from teaching this past December and officially fired a few
days ago. He first got into legal trouble when he refused to allow a
student mother to attend his course, and he was accused of age
discrimination. Then the immediate cause of his firing was that he
granted every single student in his course an A+ with no basis.
Then the Leftist Lobby to preserve the jobs of leftist pseudo-academics
and propagandists kicked in. One third of Rancourt's fellow professors at
the university had signed a petition demanding that he be fired. So
naturally, the Left insists the Jewish cabal and the Elders of Zion are
In fact, Rancourt's anti-Semitism had nothing to do with his getting
fired. He got fired because he refused to do his job and to carry out his
duties as a professor, displaying gross insubordination and defiance of
university rules about grades.
Here is a typical Rancourt rant from one of his classes
(http://www.yayacanada.com/rancourt_lecture_11-10-06.html ) . notice how
he cheers terrorism and denounces the United States as the real terrorist.
This is NOT a speech from some soap box but rather what he says IN CLASS!
Rancourt is also in the so-called "911 Truth" cult of conspiracy nuts who
claim that the 9-11 attacks were an "inside job" of the US or the Joos
). So is Barry Chamish, but no one would consider offering Chamish an
Naturally, Rancourt has been hailed as a martyr by Neo-Nazi Norman
Finkelstein, Neve Gordon's guru, who was fired for being a pseudo-academic
fraud by DePaul University two years ago
(http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/shocking-and-outrageous/#ref-3 ). He
also blamed the Zionist bogeyman. Finkelstein had never published a
single bona fide academic journal article.
But the REAL story here is that a courageous university took a
principled decision and fired a crackpot bigot and pseudo-academic.
DePaul did the same with Finkelstein. A growing number of universities
around the world are cracking down on the pseudo-academic propagandists
the Left adores and that is what has the Left soiling itself in outrage.
Unfortunately, Israeli universities like Ben Gurion University, which are
crawling with pseudo-academic hate propagandists, are too cowardly and too
lacking in integrity to take similar action against THEIR quacks and
Friday, April 17, 2009
4/17/2009 11:51:00 AM
1. One of the groups smeared by BGU leftist and Tikkun columnist David
Newman in the Jerusalem Post a few days ago was the Scholars for Peace in
the Middle East. SPME is a pro-Israel advocacy group, hardly associated
with the "Right." Indeed for years I have criticized its directors for
failure to confront the anti-Semitic Left more vigorously and for their
delusion that such people may be "persuaded" and convinced. In any case,
now it turns out that David Newman's tantrum against SPME and nasty
outburst in the Jerusalem Post was actually caused by the refusal of SPME
to sponsor an all-expenses-paid speaking tour for Newman, as he was
demanding from them a while back. For details and the SPME rebuttal, go
Meanwhile, Campus Watch has issued a devastating rebuttal of Newman's rant
2. Tel Aviv University's notion of academic freedom is back in the
headlines. We have barely caught our breath after Stalinism Day at Tel
Aviv University, in which the campus was converted into a communist Gulag
for a day for purposes of Stalinist indoctrination, and the president of
Tel Aviv University, Prof. Zvi Galil, defended it all publicly as a bona
fide exercise in academic research. Sure, it was, and might as well have
been held in North Korea!
Then there was the attempt by the tenured Left on the faculty at TAU to
block the appointment to the law school of an Israeli woman army colonel
because she believes Israel has the right to defend itself.
Well, now Tel Aviv University has accepted Omar Barghouti as a PhD student
in "philosophy." Barghouti identifies himself as a "Palestinian,"
despite the fact that he was born in Qatar and grew up in Egypt.
(Reminds us of Edward Said the Egyptian pretending to be Palestinian.)
Barghouti is an Arab cheerleader for terrorism who runs one of the larger
groups promoting an international boycott of Israel, the so-called
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel,
PACBI (www.PACBI.org). He already got his MA from Tel Aviv University in
"ethics." That is correct, Tel Aviv University evidently considers
Palestinian anti-Semitism and terrorism "ethical." He is also a militant
supporter of Israel's extermination under what the anti-Semitic Left these
days calls the "one-state solution." His group has made headlines for
demanding that Israeli universities themselves be targeted for boycott
So here we have the spectacle of Tel Aviv University treating this
pogromchik as a scholar and accepting him for PhD studies. He is on
record as claiming that Israel is conducting genocide against Arabs (see
http://www.counterpunch.org/barghouti01212008.html ). Anyone who thinks
Tel Aviv University has retained any academic standards at all will now
have to think again.
Naomi Ragen has done an expose of Omar Barghouti here:
Omar refuses to answer questions about his family connections to
arch-terrorist and mass murderer Marwan Barghouti.
This is the most idiotic idea to emerge from an Israeli institute of
higher learning since the Open University accepted Samir Kuntar, the baby
murderer released from Israeli prison to buy back corpses of IDF soldiers
murdered by the Hezbollah, as a student.
A petition is being collected that demands that TAU expel their resident
doctoral student of terrorism. Go here:
To tell the heads of Terrorism Aviv University what you think of their
admission of Barghouti, contact
President, Professor Zvi Galil
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Fax: 972-3-6422379 and 972-3-642-2752
Rector: Prof. Dany Leviatan
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
American Friends Offices of Tel Aviv University:
Other "Friends of" Groups: http://www.tau.ac.il/friends-eng.html
3. Pat Buchanan and the Nazis:
4. Egypt has announced that Israel's new Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman is not welcome on Egyptian soil. In other words, while a party
to the peace treaty with Israel that granted Egypt all of Sinai, Egypt
thinks it has the right to bar entrance for Israelis who hold opinions of
which it disapproves. And the Israeli Left and their amen chorus is
applauding Egypt for this.
Well, since the Left likes the idea so much, I say, "If you can't beat em,
join em." Let's have Israel expel leftists and bar entrance to the
country for leftists who favor Israel's annihilation, who favor the
"Palestinian Right of Return," who support communism, who support
terrorism, and who support Omar Barghouti!
Can someone get such a petition started?
5. More of the Left's First Amendment in Academia:
Thursday, April 16, 2009
4/16/2009 11:24:00 AM
You will be happy to hear that two pro-terror Israelis, a Jew and an Arab,
will be staging an opera in Belgium that celebrates Palestinian suicide
mass murder of Jews.
This is not a spoof.
The opera in question is based on the classic Samson and Delilah opera by
Camille Saint-Saens, except that in this case Samson will be dressed as a
Palestinian when he commits suicide in order to mass murder the
Philistines, who in the opera are ... (you guessed it) ... the Israelis.
This celebration of suicide bombing and genocidal mass murder is to be
staged by one Omri Nizsan with his Arab sidekick from the Galilee Amir
Nizar Zoabi (probably a Bedouin, based on his name). The Jewish victims
of the Philistines will be dressed as Gazan Arabs and identified as such.
Samson is to be represented as the first "shaheed" or mass murderer
through suicide terrorism. The producers claim it is all to be a protest
against "occupations," including in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
The "opera" is to be staged at the Flemish Opera House in Antwerpen, just
steps away from the city's large Jewish community. The location is ideal
in case any in the audience decide to apply the ideas being communicated
in the show and go out to murder a lot of local Jews. The Flemish Opera
House is now directed by a self-hating leftist anti-Israel Jew (born in
Zurich) named Aviel Cahn. His qualifications for running an opera are
that he graduated from law school. (For more, see this :
Evidently an Israeli flag is to be burned in the show.
You may want to ask Mister Cahn why he is not staging an opera celebrating
the rape of Belgium by the Kaiser in World War I, in which Belgium is
shown as Chamor son of Shechem, while Germany is Dina. That should amuse
the Belgiums even before the fat lady sings.
To tell the press officer of the opera what you think, contact
press officer Vik Leyten at the phone number +32 3 202 10 07 or by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Fax 32 (0)3 231 07 85
You can see a list of the Opera's commercial sponsors here
(http://www.vlaamseopera.be/en/about_sponsors.orb ) . you might want to
ask them to stop supporting genocide at the Antwerpen opera.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
4/14/2009 05:47:00 PM
Subject: A Passover Tale of Two Beggars
A Tale of Two Beggars
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Tuesday, April 14 2009
Once upon a time, somewhere in the steppes of Eastern Europe, in the Pale
that contained many a Jewish village, there roamed two beggars. One of the
hobos was a Jew, the other a gentile.
The two transients were friends and far too lazy to hold any job or do any
real work. So they wondered carefree, aimlessly and uselessly from village
to village, begging for food, sometimes collecting discarded things to sell,
here and there stealing some eggs or fruits off farm trees. It was a hard
life and they often found themselves on the brink of starvation.
One day, as the two were looking for someone from whom they could shnorr
some food, they came upon a shtetl whose residents were all buzzing about,
hurrying, scouring pots and pans, cleaning their homes and cooking.
The Jewish beggar suddenly realized it was but a few hours before Passover
was to begin.
"We have extraordinary good luck today," he said to his comrade. "Tonight
begins Passover, a Jewish holiday. Indeed, it is in many ways the happiest
holiday of the year, with mountains of food and drink. So here is my plan.
Let us come into the village just before evening. We will stand in the back
of the synagogue. We will tell them that you and I are both Jewish
wanderers, far from home, traveling to do some trading and seek our
fortunes. And the local Jews will invite us to the most wonderful banquet of
Just as the Jewish beggar had predicted, the plan went off like clockwork.
The locals competed with one another to see who would have the honor of
hosting one of the beggars at his own Passover Seder. After the evening
prayers, the Jewish beggar went off to feast with one family, while his
gentile friend, pretending to be Jewish, went off to dine and celebrate with
The gentile beggar's mouth was already watering with the thought of the
wonderful delicacies he was about to devour. His belly was grumbling with
anticipation. But things were not going the way he had expected.
His hosts ushered him into a chair at a large table set with candles and
many empty dishes.
In the center of the table he saw nothing but some pathetic hard-boiled
eggs, a few leaves, and a single small shank bone of meat.
"This is for the entire assembly?" he thought. Then, instead of pouncing on
the food, his host poured everyone a single tiny cup of wine.
Things just got worse. The hosts finished drinking their wine and offered
everyone at the table a few small leaves to nibble. Not even enough to
satisfy a rabbit! And they even insisted he dip these into an awful salty
solution, which only made him more thirsty and desperate to drink some real
grog. Then, to celebrate this "meal," they broke into song and laughter,
which went on for a whole hour.
When he was expecting them to serve dessert, they handed him instead a piece
of bread, but one unlike anything he had ever seen before. It was dry,
evidently having been left out in the sun for a week, and barely resembled
real bread. It was hard and it crackled when he chewed on it. Moreover, it
was served plain, with no oil or molasses or fat.
"This is the feast my friend promised me?" the beggar said to himself. "This
is the mountain of food these Jews eat to celebrate their happiest holiday?"
And just imagine his horror at what came next. Each of the people at the
table was given the most bitter and disgusting glob of horseradish,
something he would never ordinarily eat even if he were famished. They even
blessed God when they swallowed that horrid-smelling and evil-tasting slop!
Convinced the "meal" was over, the beggar excused himself, saying he was
needed elsewhere with great urgency, and left his hosts with an apology. In
a rage, he wandered the streets of the village, looking for his Jewish
friend and intending to thrash him and scream at him for his empty promise
of a full stomach and a glorious meal.
Four hours later, he finally found his Jewish friend. The Jewish beggar was
wandering through the alleys, shirt buttons popping, belly overfull, picking
at his teeth and belching his pleasure. His gentile friend was so weak with
hunger that he was unable even to pummel his friend. The Jewish beggar
examined his starving comrade with surprise.
"Some feast you promised me!" grumbled the non-Jewish beggar. And then he
told the Jewish beggar what had happened, how his hosts had offered him a
thimble of wine, less than a handful of pathetic leaves in brine, a stale
piece of bread of some sort with nothing on it, and some horrid bitter glob.
"At that point I decided enough is enough," he explained, "and I got up and
The Jewish beggar could not control his laughter. "You do not understand,"
he said. "Those were simply the earliest preliminaries of the feast. You
snatched hunger from out of the horn of plenty! Had you stuck things out for
just a few more minutes, you would have been served the most sumptuous feast
of your life, a meal for kings, food that would have sufficed you for a
whole week of wanderings. But, you see, you abandoned hope only a few
moments too soon. Because you were impatient, you spoiled everything."
* * *
The story of the two beggars is neither a fairy tale nor for children. The
gentile beggar in the story, the one who spoiled everything because of his
own ignorance and impatience, is the state of Israel.
Like the beggar who did not understand where he was or what was going on,
the state of Israel was on the verge of entering the most wonderful,
prosperous and liberated period of its existence in the early 1990s.
Had it listened to the Jewish beggar, all would have been well. Had it found
patience and stamina to stick things out for just a little longer, it would
have achieved its deepest desires and fulfilled its strongest yearnings.
By 1990, the first Palestinian intifada had been put down, suppressed by
force of Israeli arms. The dimensions of Palestinian violence were dropping
each month. It would likely have ended altogether had Israel used even more
vigorous force against it.
In fact, Israelis who felt Israel should use greater force to end the
violence outnumbered by perhaps four to one those saying less force should
be used. It was a landslide consensus. Israelis were in no mood to appease
In 1990, Palestinian terrorists were so desperate for weapons that they were
reduced to concocting zip guns out of household materials and Molotov
cocktails far more likely to scorch the throwers than any targets.
The best the terrorists could do in most cases was toss rocks at Israeli
troops in the Gaza Strip or in parts of the West Bank, a phenomenon
unpleasant but not life-threatening, and one that certainly posed no
existential threat to the survival of the state. Many sections of the West
Bank were fairly tranquil, including Bethlehem and Jericho. Jews could walk
or ride in security in many parts of the "occupied territories," as they
could in all of Israel.
The leaders of the Palestinian terrorists were off in distant Tunis, with a
few others in Damascus, places from which they could do little more than
pout and bluster. The world - or at least the United States - had made its
peace with the Israeli position that the PLO was not an acceptable partner
in any Arab-Israeli peace talks. The most the Palestinians could hope for
was a limited autonomy, with no role whatsoever for the PLO.
The number of Israelis who took seriously the notion that the Palestinians
deserved their own state was relatively small. Israelis were willing to
treat them as the Palestinian branch of the Arab people, entitled perhaps to
control their own lives and conduct their own local affairs - but only on
the condition that they would eschew further violence. This was also, in
essence, the formula backed by the United States.
The Israeli economy in the early 1990s was booming, riding the crest of the
high-tech revolution. The country was flooded with immigrants from the
nations that had comprised the Soviet empire. The standard of living in
Israel had reached the levels of the middle tier of Western European
While many Israeli Arabs voted for anti-Zionist parties to show their
solidarity with Israel's enemies, many others did not and voted for Zionist
parties while maintaining cordial relations with Jews.
Into this relative tranquility burst the Oslo "peace process," led by the
ignorant beggar who did not understand that the greatest of feasts was nigh.
Oslo was based on the proposition that economic interests and consumerism
had replaced military power as the determinants of international relations
in the post-modern world - that armies are obsolete, as is patriotism; that
appeasement of fascist terrorists is the surest path to true peace; that
Israeli self-abasement is the highest form of Jewish nationalism; that
cowardice is the highest form of valor; that the best way to end war is to
pretend it doesn't exist.
It sought to reduce tensions with the Palestinian Arabs, who had just been
defeated in their intifada, by importing the PLO leadership from Tunis and
Damascus into the "occupied territories" and then allowing it to build up an
army in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, bankrolled and armed by
Like the beggar who snatched starvation from the jaws of plentitude, the
Israeli government of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres succeeded in snatching
defeat from the jaws of victory.
Peres and Rabin became convinced that the most promising path to a full and
permanent peace with all of Israel's neighbors lay in Israeli capitulation
to Arab demands and appeasement of the planet's worst Islamofascist
They took to lecturing the country on how the utopian state of affairs they
envisioned had not yet come about because Israelis were not strongly enough
desirous of it.
The Oslo era was defined by a massive assault on Israeli pride, morale and
confidence by its own leaders and intellectual elites. Israeli academics
wrote books and articles castigating the country for its shortcomings, both
real and imagined.
"New historians" and "post-Zionists" zealously set about the task of
rewriting history texts and school curricula to debunk what they regarded as
pernicious Israeli propaganda, promoting instead the Arab "narrative,"
beginning with the Original Sin of Israel's founding.
The Israeli media, heavily leftist on nearly every level, bludgeoned the
country on a daily basis, promoting the Palestinian position in editorials,
op-ed columns and even ostensibly objective news stories.
This self-flagellation produced a situation in which each and every atrocity
committed by Arabs was greeted with calls from the Israeli chattering
classes for further concessions and appeasements by Israel. Some, including
tenured extremists at the universities, went so far as to justify and
celebrate Arab acts of terror as necessary to force Israelis to come to
their senses and make peace on terms favored by the extremists.
The Left promoted insubordination and mutiny by Israeli soldiers, with not a
few leftists endorsing boycotts of Israel by overseas anti-Semites. The
Israeli press adopted the practice of overseas Israel-bashers in referring
to Palestinian terrorists and suicide bombers as "activists" and
In return for its endless goodwill gestures and masochistic eagerness to
placate its enemies and world opinion, Israel got a campaign of Nazi-like
hatred led by the Palestinian Authority, down to and including virulent
Holocaust denial accompanied by Holocaust justification (never mind the
* * *
For 16 years now, Israel's elites have been living in a make-believe world
in which Jews are to blame for nearly everything and Arabs are merely
expressing "frustration" at being "mistreated" for so many years by Jews.
And the psychological war mounted by Israel's elites against national pride,
dignity and self-respect - indeed against national existence - has been
accompanied by a set of diplomatic policies expressing little more than
self-loathing - policies that in effect allow no act of Arab violence to go
The Oslo and post-Oslo eras will be known in history as the period when it
became evident that a great many Israelis - and nearly all the Israeli elite
- had lost the will to survive as a nation.
After centuries during which Jews maintained the most militant
self-assurance even while being mistreated, despised and humiliated, here
were the Israelis - possessing one of the great armies of the world and a
record of achievement on a variety of fronts that put far older, larger and
wealthier countries to shame - abandoning all pride and promoting
self-humiliation and self-destruction.
An Israel no more than two generations removed from the Holocaust was
willing to hold "peace talks" with people who denied there ever was a
Holocaust and who insist that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make
The nation that had fought against enormous odds and won spectacular
battlefield victories was acquiescing in a "peace process" that involved
unilateral gestures from Israel in exchange for Arabs continuing to make war
against the Jews.
Israel's leaders chose to behave like the foolish beggar in the story who
had no idea of what was going on, who let his hunger get the best of him,
and who stormed out of the house in irritation, just before the delights of
the feast were to begin in earnest.
Because of frustration that Palestinian guttersnipes were tossing rocks at
Israeli troops, Israel swapped the stone-throwers for suicide bombers
exterminating hundreds of Jewish children and other civilians in Jerusalem
And while the events of the past decade and a half have taken the shine off
the visions offered by Rabin and Peres and all the others who brought us the
Oslo disaster, make no mistake: the foolish beggar is still with us.
But where is the Jewish beggar - the one who understood the rituals of the
Seder and knew his heritage, the one who had the wisdom to wait patiently
and achieve the delightfully bloated belly of satisfaction and prosperity?
I search, but cannot find him anywhere. Can you tell me where he's gone?
4/14/2009 04:32:00 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Yet another Enemy of Freedom of Speech and Democracy at Ben Gurion
To right, David Newman, enemy of freedom of speech
David Newman, a geographer sitting in the department of political science
at Ben Gurion University, has an anti-democratic raving attack on freedom
of speech in the Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2009, entitled, "Bashing the
Academic Left." Newman is a leftist who once served as chairman of the
deprtment of political science at Ben Gurion University and is largely
personal responsible for turning it into a monolithic anti-Israel
propaganda agency in which not a single Zionist non-leftist teaches. He
used to be a regular columnist for the Jerusalem Post, but was evidently
not considered up to snuff by the editors.
That does not stop Newman from attacking on the pages of the Jerusalem
Post critics of seditious leftist anti-Israel propagandists pretending to
be academics. Newman dismisses critics of anti-Israel critics as
"McCarthyists," as people who should be stripped of their right to
exercise THEIR freedom of speech, prevented from criticizing anti-Israel
extremists. Newman specifically attacks Dr. Daniel Pipes of
Campus-Watch.org, Prof. Gerald Steinberg of NGO-Monitor, and Israeli
academic watchdog groups (such as isracampus.org.il), for the "crime" of
exposing anti-Israel fanatics serving on Israeli campus faculties. In most
cases, these watchdogs simply cite the malicious hate propaganda produced
by these fanatics in their own words. But in the eyes of the neo-fascist
McCarthyist Left, critics of the Left are not entitled to freedom of
To Left, freedom of speech in David Newman's "correct leftist thinking
only" department of political science at Ben Gurion University.
Or to sum up Newman's own McCarthyist notion of democracy, it is "freedom
of speech for those who agree with me but none for anyone else."
Here is my letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post concerning Newman's
April 14, 09
Letters to the Editor
David Newman of Ben Gurion University displays in "Bashing the Academic
Left" (Post, April 14) a highly selective notion of democracy and freedom
of speech. Newman favors the exercise of freedom of expression by those
who practice anti-Israel sedition in the guise of academic work, but not
for those who criticize such people. He demands freedom of speech for
Israel's "academic" enemies, but not for critics of those critics. Those
who dare to criticize anti-Israel and anti-Semitic "academic"
propagandists, including watchdog agencies like Isracampus.org.il and NGO
Monitor, are "McCarthyists," themselves not entitled to the right of
freedom of expression in Newman's learned opinion. Never mind that
universities all over the world are now cracking down on and firing
pseudo-academics whose records consist entirely of extremist political
Newman's letter is also notable in what he intentionally ignores. He
forgets to mention that there is not a single non-leftist in Newman's own
department (political science) at Ben Gurion University, nor that the one
pro-Israel dissident who had been there was fired for incorrect thinking.
While claiming disingenuously that only 2 or 3 Israeli "academics" support
the boycott of Israel, he neglects to mention that his own department
chairman, Neve Gordon, is one of many scores of such pro-boycott
anti-Israel extremists on campus faculties in Israel. Gordon, who was
recruited by Newman and is his long-time sidekick, is on record as
favoring Israel's annihilation and insists that Israel is a fascist
apartheid terror regime. Gordon is currently a bash-Israel columnist for
the Holocaust-Denying Tehran Times and for the pro-terror Aljazeera.com.
Newman in fact supported Gordon's failed anti-democratic attempt to
recruit the Israeli court to suppress freedom of speech for critics of the
seditious far Left.
If academic hiring and promotion were as quality-based and ideologically
neutral as Newman feigns in his letter, why are there so many
pseudo-academics in the Israeli university system who have built entire
"academic" careers on turning out anti-Israel hate propaganda and
misrepresenting it as scholarship? Some of these sit in the very same
department as Professor David Newman. Why are there entire university
departments in Israel in which no Zionist may set foot?
Prof. Steven Plaut
University of Haifa
Sunday, April 12, 2009
4/12/2009 11:16:00 PM
An Open Letter from President Shimon Peres to President Barack Obama
Relayed to the world by Steven Plaut
Dear Mr. President,
I am shocked, Mister President, truly shocked. After all the hope you
have inspired for a new America, after your denunciation of American
arrogance, after your pledge to solve problems with the world's terrorists
through talking, here you go and order the American Navy SEALS to violate
the human rights of the Somalian pirates without so much as reading them
their Miranda rights!
Have you lost your senses? Why could you not have learned from the
lessons offered to you by Israel in its successful strategy to get Gilad
Shavit released from captivity! After all, we have worked quietly and
peacefully for more than three years to obtain Shavit's freedom. Why
could you not have been content to do the same with Captain Phillips?
What happened to your promise to deal with all forms of activism in the
world being perpetrated by misunderstood militants through civilized
Mister President Minister, I have a great amount of experience in dealing
successfully with terrorism and violence, and this is why I wish to
explain to you why your actions were unjustified and simply unforgivable.
The first thing you must realize is that one can only make peace with
one's enemies. With one's friends there is no need to make peace. There is
no military solution to the problems of terrorism, and this is why you
should have sought a diplomatic solution to the holding of Captain Richard
Phillips. "No Justice, No Peace," as they say. You must now invite the
leaders of this Somalian protest organization responsible for the
hijacking of the ship and the holding of Captain Phillips to the White
House. You must learn to feel their pain and understand their needs.
But most importantly, you must end the illegal occupation of territory
that does not belong to you! First, you must withdraw from Guam and
Hawaii and remove all the illegal Anglo-Saxon settlers there. But that
is just a beginning. Large sections of the United States, including the
Southwest, are illegally occupied territories. Some even have a Hispanic
The solution is to create two states for two peoples inside Illinois
itself. One will be for the Americans and the other for the Somali
Then there is the matter of the status of Washington, DC. It has a
sizeable Somali minority, many of whom drive taxis. Your selfish
insistence that the District of Columbia remain American is racist and
insensitive. You must end the apartheid regime inside America and turn
Washington into the shared capital of two states.
Then you must pay compensation to the families of the Somali pirates
mercilessly killed in cold blood by your Navy SEALS. You must grant them
survivor benefits from the American social security administration and
lands inside Yellowstone Park. This is not even the first time that you
Americans violated the civil rights of pirates. Your crimes go all the
way back to Thomas Jefferson and his imperialist attacks on the Barbary
coast pirates. The aggressors were led by that racist warmonger
Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, Jr., who attacked pirate ships in Tripoli for
no better reason than that they had hijacked the USS Philadelphia. Did
you not learn anything from that early bout of American imperialist
You must offer the pirates Internet web services and five-star tourist
hotels in exchange for their promising to abandon violence. After all,
that is how we turned Yasser Arafat into a peace partner. You see,
military force serves no role any more in the post-modern universe. It is
passe. It is archaic. Today, consumer interests dominate the world, and
the Somali activists of the earth will surely wish to make peace in
exchange for some profits from participating in global trade.
The attacks on the American ship by the Somali pirates came because you
have been insufficiently sensitive to the needs of the Other. You should
have negotiated with them even while the ship was under attack.
Conditioning negotiations on an end to violence is a no-win situation. It
will simply prolong the bloodshed! You must put your own house in order,
eliminate inequality and injustice inside Chicago, and then the militants
will no longer target you.
The key is to build a New Middle Africa, one in which everyone is so busy
with the important matters of developing tourism, infrastructure
investments and high-technology that they will have no time to pursue
Begin by declaring a unilateral ceasefire! Mister President, blessed is
the peacemaker. Remember Martin Luther King! Go meet with the legitimate
representatives of the Somali pirates. The entire world will support you
and congratulate you if you respond to the attack on the American ship by
disarming the United States and opening serious dialogue with the pirate
All we are saying is give peace a chance. Yitzhak Rabin would have
approved. Yes, chaver, what you need is shalom, salaam, peace. You will
be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in recognition. Do not allow yourself to
be drawn down into the gutter of retaliation. Violence never achieves
anything. History has no lessons. History is the dead past.
Follow my example! Provide the Somali pirate organization with
anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles so that they can battle against the
true radicals and extremists. And they will do so with no ACLU or Supreme
Court to restrain them!
Demonstrate your humanity by paying pensions to any widows and orphans of
the militants killed by the Navy SEALS.
Mister President, my own peace policies have eliminated war, bloodshed and
terror from the Middle East. We now have only peace partners. If you
follow in my footsteps, you can achieve the same lofty goals.
Shimon Peres, Peacemaker-at-Large
4/12/2009 11:19:00 AM
Subject: My Passover with the KGB (1978)
My Passover with the KGB (1978)
By Steven Plaut
We thought we had lost the KGB agent who had been tailing our every
movement since we arrived in Kharkov. We tried pathetic Hollywood tricks,
walking quickly through some back alleys, ducking through stores whose
shelves were invariably bare, doubling back, and cutting through urban
parks. Finally we hopped into a taxi when it was the last moment at which
we could still make it in time to the illegal Passover Seder.
We were pretty sure we had lost our tail. We were wrong. Later it
turned out he had noted down the number of the taxi into which we had
hopped, passing it on to his superiors, leading to the harassments and our
The year was 1978. It was long before perestroika and glasnost. The
place - deep inside Soviet Ukraine. Kharkov is a large ugly Stalinist
industrial eyesore, today with about 1.4 million people. It was largely
destroyed in World War II, changing hands back and forth between Nazis and
the Red Army six separate times. Before the war it had been larger than
Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. Its Jews suffered the same fate as those
of Kiev, although the killing field in Kharkov (called Drobitsky Yar) is not
as well known as is Babi Yar in Kiev.
My "mission" to the Ukraine in 1978 was being shared with my buddy
David Mallach, today a prominent leader in the Jewish community of New
Jersey. We had grown up together in Philadelphia Habonim, had both lived in
Israel and were both fluent in Hebrew. In those days, no one with an
Israeli passport could enter the Soviet Union. The gates of Jewish
emigration from the Soviet fortress were just starting to crack open. There
was interest in finding Jews like David and myself who had already lived in
Israel and could speak intelligently about daily life and conditions there
to interested Jews in the Soviet Union. Soviet Jews knew little about such
things, due to the totalitarian controls still in effect.
I agreed to go even though it was just days before I was due to give my
PhD defense at Princeton. I sounded out my thesis supervisor. He was the
son of the great gentleman who had originally set up AIPAC, the pro-Israel
lobbying group. He did not oppose my going on the trip but demanded that I
contact him at once should I be arrested there.
The main avenue for communication with Soviet Jews in those days was
through the "refuseniks," Jews who had applied for permission to leave the
Soviet Union but were turned down for one reason or another. Since they
were generally also fired from their jobs and stigmatized for having made
the application, they had little to lose from being contacted by us.
We began our trip in Kiev, meeting with local refuseniks and their
families. They had promised to pass on word to the Kharkov family where we
expected to celebrate Passover that we would be coming to them for the
Seder. Curiously, the police left us alone in Kiev. We were expecting
worse because we had been nabbed at the airport when we entered the country
with about 40 pounds of illegal books in Russian about Judaism and Israel
hidden in our overcoats. The KGB sequestered the books but eventually let
us pass through customs. They knew we were up to no good but figured
correctly we were basically harmless.
Later we also spent some time in Moscow. The temperatures there were
below freezing. A meeting was arranged at the home of one of the
refuseniks. When we arrived, the place was packed. Some of those present
had known Natan (Anatoly) Sharansky personally before his arrest and
imprisonment by the KGB in the gulag.
When they heard I was an economist, they wanted to spend the evening
asking questions about economic conditions in Israel. Only one thing, said
the host. You will have to give the entire talk in Hebrew. At the time
there were numerous underground "ulpanim" or Hebrew classes operating in
Moscow. Everyone in the apartment spoke basic Hebrew and the host would
assist the rest with anything that was not clear. It was the first time in
my life I was to give an economics lecture in Hebrew.
At one point I tossed into the discussion a few words in Arabic as a
pathetic attempt to show off (I had just finished a year's course at
Princeton). The host answered me in flowing fluent Arabic, which
effectively put an end to my pretensions.
But back to the evening of Passover in Kharkov. The taxi took us to a
ramshackle but endlessly long apartment block, with leaking faucets
everywhere and broken lighting fixtures in the yard. Aging "civil
guardsmen" with red armbands and rifles patrolled the yards between
apartment blocks with bored indifference. After the war, Kharkov had been
rebuilt as a planned Stalinist industrial town, containing some of the
ugliest architecture on the planet.
The two of us were in holiday mood, dressed in our best. We knocked on
the door of the apartment to discover that our "hosts" were not expecting us
at all. The Kiev people must have been unable to get word through to them.
Soviet phones worked only on occasion back then and were often bugged. Not
only were our hosts unaware of our planned visit, but they did not even know
that this evening was the start of Passover.
The Soviet regime at the time was hostile to Jews but had a bizarre
attitude towards Judaism. Passover matzos were freely available throughout
the country, I guess as a sort of public relations pretense that religion
and pluralism were being tolerated in the "workers' paradise." But no other
symbols, objects, or expressions of Judaism were. Prayer books were
strictly prohibited and no traditional Passover Haggada booklets were
Our rather surprised hosts were a married couple with two young
daughters. The father had been fired from his job as a metallurgical
technician when he had applied to leave the Ukraine. He spoke a passable
English, studied as part of his training. Tonight is Passover, we
explained. We would like to make a Passover Seder with you.
But we have nothing ready, they explained, except for matzos. That's
fine, we said, we will figure out the rest as we go along.
They had plenty of matzos. As for the other Passover traditions, we
decided that borscht would serve as the sour herbs of the Seder. Vegetables
were almost impossible to get in communist Kharkov, so we decided to "dip"
in memory of the parting of the Red Sea with cabbage chunks. But without
any Haggada, how could we carry out the main commandment of Passover, the
telling of the story of the Exodus from slavery in Egypt to freedom?
By improvisation, we decided. By ad lib. David and I took terms
trying to tell the story from memory as well as we could, interrupting one
another to try to get the details correct. The father translated our words
for the girls into Ukrainian. We taught them the songs of the Seder and
sang together. We feasted on cabbage and borscht. The parents barely held
What will you do if the police figure out what you are up to, the
father asked. Oh they know already, David said, because of the airport
incident. How will you handle them if they interrogate you, he asked?
Using the Jewish secret weapon, I said, something called "chutzpah." What
is that, he asked. We had to look up the word "insolence" in his
English-Russian dictionary before he understood what we meant.
It was taken for granted that all rooms in the Kharkov hotels had
microphones and possibly cameras, so we were careful never to speak
unguardedly there. The next morning we were informed that our presence was
required in a special room in the hotel. We entered to find a senior KGB
officer with the Intourist guide serving as his interpreter. Having
considered the possibility that we would face interrogation at some point,
we had earlier decided that the best manner to adopt in such a case was one
of spoiled arrogant Americans talking down their noses to the Soviet
officials. We figured the worst thing they could do to us was expel us back
to the US.
The KGB officer glared and yelled at us, demanding to know what we were
doing in Kharkov and why we had gone to visit that family the evening
before. Our taxi driver had obviously been tracked and interrogated by him,
tipped off by the tail. We went to wish them a happy holiday, we replied.
We have a religious holiday today.
We consistently addressed the KGB officer as "young man," even though he
was 20 years older than we were. In the middle of a particularly
belligerent set of questioning, I asked the KGB officer to make us some cups
of tea with one sugar each please. Later I repeatedly asked the interpreter
if the officer was new at his job (which he translated dutifully for the
officer). I also told him to ask the officer what his salary was.
The KGB officer was obviously used to locals cowering and groveling
before him. He was outraged at our impudence but was also clueless as to
how to deal with it.
All in all, we were interrogated by the Kharkov KGB officer in a nasty
manner twice, but otherwise left to tour the ugly town. We were followed
everywhere we went by the KGB tail. Hollywood spooks notwithstanding, the
tail was clumsy and made no effort at all to hide his presence. Possibly
this was intentional, to warn off people like us from getting into mischief.
It was a few days later, on the Sabbath of Passover week. It was also
Lenin's birthday. The hotel manager told us that the custom on Lenin's
birthday was for all staff at the hotel to donate a full day's labor to the
state without getting paid and so honor Lenin's legacy. He asked if we
wanted to get into the spirit of things and join in. No way, we said, and
that is for two reasons. First, we explained, today was the Sabbath and we
don't work on Saturday. Second, we are running-dog selfish capitalists and
do not work unless we get paid or at least get stock options with a dental
plan. The manager had trouble hiding his chuckle.
What can we do this evening, we asked. What is there to do in Kharkov
on a wild Saturday night? Our guide considered the matter. You could go to
the opera, he said. Kharkov has a massive Opera House, like most Soviet
cities, and that night a special political opera was playing about the life
of Lenin, in honor of his birthday. Can you get us tickets for it, we
asked? Well, it is sold out but there are a few specially saved for
tourists. Hey, Italian opera we can see anywhere, said David, but an opera
about Lenin - that is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Only thing though -
the opera is in Russian, said the guide. All the better, we answered, that
way we will be able to enjoy the music without concern for the plot and
content of the arias.
In the evening we arrived at the opera house 15 minutes before the show
was scheduled to begin. We got ourselves into the mood and cushioned our
stomachs by downing quite a bit of the vodka in the hotel before we left,
vodka being one of the only consumer goods available in those days in the
Soviet Union. But something seemed wrong. The opera house was empty.
Maybe we got the time or the day wrong?
We quickly figured out what the problem was. The workers in various
local factories had been coerced into buying tickets for the show until it
was sold out, but they could not actually be forced to come to attend it.
None of them did. So when we entered the huge empty opera auditorium, no
one at all was there except we two Americans and our KGB tail. Well, almost
no one. Up in the balcony was a young couple who had no doubt figured they
would have the whole warm building for themselves for an evening of groping
in the dark, now terribly disappointed to see us violating their privacy.
But the show had to go on. It was state diktat. The curtain rose and
a large opera company came out onto the stage, with a full orchestra in the
pit. The problem was that the singers and players ALSO knew the auditorium
was empty, yet had to do the performance anyway. So they did so with
obvious indifference and resignation. In the middle of one scene, several
of them started bickering on the stage about where some props should be
Neither of us understood a word of Russian, yet the plot was not too
subtle to follow. It is the Russian civil war, in which the bulk of
Ukrainians actually were supporting the anti-bolshevik "whites." On stage
the "white" soldiers are evil people who come to the village and whip the
farmers. Eventually the "reds" come and rescue the farmers from the
"whites." They are led by a singing Lenin himself, with his characteristic
haircut. A farmer kneels as if to treat Lenin as a king, but Lenin
magnanimously raises him to his feet and embraces him.
The vodka was kicking in by this time, and after each song the two
Americans in the audience were responding with thunderous applause and
confederate yee-haws. When my side was aching too much from laughter we
left, a few arias before the finale. The couple up in the balcony breathed
a sigh of relief.
Out on the street in the cold, our heads stopped spinning. We went to
the central square near the opera house, in the very middle of which was the
obligatory giant statue of Lenin. With our KGB tail watching us in
disbelief, we stood before the statue and sang at the top of our lungs,
"Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday Comrade Lenin." In English and
We were the only people in the entire city actually turning Lenin's
birthday into a street party.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
4/08/2009 10:41:00 AM
Sorry to bother you in the middle of Chometz cleaning, but there is an
urgent matter. If you cannot spare a few minutes for this before
Passover, please help out during Chol Hamoed:
Ben Gurion University "Academic" Serving as Accomplice for Tehran
Neve Gordon is the anti-Semitic lecturer in political science, the
democracy hater who suppresses freedom of speech of his students, who
attempted to suppress my own freedom of speech when I pointed out that he
is a groupie of Holocaust Denier Norman Finkelstein (and he failed), the
pseudo-academic who built a career at Ben Gurion University mainly by
turning out anti-Israel hate propaganda, the columnist for anti-Semitic
media from the Neo-Nazi Counterpunch magazine to Aljazeera.com (for report
). Gordon's "academic record" strongly resembles that of his guru Norman
Finkelstein. Gordon is so openly anti-Semitic that his materials are
published by Neo-Nazi and Holocaust Denial web sites (see
That same Neve Gordon has a new job - bashing Israel as a columnist for
the Tehran Times. Yes, Gordon is openly the accomplice of the Holocaust
Denying mullahs of Iran threatening Israel with nuclear annihilation.
See his latest exercising in anti-Semitism here:
Gordon now has the distinction of being one of the only people born Jewish
on the planet openly collaborating with the Holocaust Deniers of Tehran
(in good company with the Neturei Karta mentals). Gordon currently serves
as the head of the department of political science at Ben Gurion
University. The university's president, Prof. Rivka Carmi, has repeatedly
endorsed and celebrated Gordon's anti-Israel hate propaganda as "serious
and distinguished research into human rights."
Please take a few minutes and tell the heads of Ben Gurion University what
you think of this:
Rivka Carmi, President
P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel,
Prof. Jimmy Weinblatt, Rector
P.O. Box 653, Beer-Sheva, 84105, Israel
Other officers listed here: http://cmsprod.bgu.ac.il/Eng/Units/management/
University "Friends of" Offices outside Israel are listed here:
Please also file a complaint with
Minister of Education
The Honorable Gideon Sa'ar
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Cc: Shalomit Amichai, Director General of the Ministry -
Additional Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Council for Higher Education in Israel
(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and
Prof. Shlomo Grossman
Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman
Council for Higher Education
P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
4/07/2009 06:29:00 PM
1. Who Stole the Holy Land?
By Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, December 09, 2004
So let us see if we have this straight. The anti-Zionists claim that the
Jews have no right to the land of Israel because before Israel was
re-created in 1948, it had been almost 1900 years since the last time that
the Jews exercised sovereignty over the Land of Israel. And the
anti-Zionists claim that it is absurd to argue that anyone still has
rights to land that was last governed with sovereignty 1900 years ago.
And on what basis do they argue that the Arabs have some legitimate claim
to these same lands? On the basis of the claim that the Arabs last
exercised sovereignty over that land 1000 years ago.
You all with me? 1900 year-old-claims are inadmissible. Thousand-year-old
claims trump them and are indisputable.
Now let us emphasize that even the thousand-year-old Arab claim is not the
same thing as a claim on behalf of Palestinian Arabs. After all, the last
time that Palestinian Arabs held sovereignty over the lands of "Palestine"
was ... never. There has never been a Palestinian Arab state in Palestine.
It is true that Arabs once exercised sovereignty over parts or all of
historic Palestine. There were small Arab kingdoms in the south of
"Palestine" already in late Biblical days, and they were important
military and political allies of the Jews, who exercised sovereignty back
then in the Land of Israel. After the rise of Islam, historic "Palestine"
was indeed part of a larger Arab kingdom or caliphate. But that ended in
1071, when Palestine came under the rule of the Suljuk Turks. That was the
last time Palestine had an Arab ruler. After that, it was always ruled by
a long series of Ottomans, Mamluks, other Turks, Crusaders, British, and -
briefly - French. And in any case, why does the fact that Palestine once
belonged to a larger Arab empire make it any more "Arab" than the fact
that it also was once part of larger Roman, Greek, Persian, Turkish, or
British empires? Now it is true that historic Palestine probably once had
a population majority who were Arabs, but today it has a population
majority who are Jews. So if population majorities are what determine
legitimacy of sovereignty, Israel is at least as legitimate as any other
So why exactly do the anti-Zionists claim that a thousand-year old claim
by Arabs who were never ruled by Palestinian Arabs has legitimacy, while a
1900-year claim by Jews to the land should be rejected as absurd, even
though the United Nations granted Israel sovereignty in 1947? The
anti-Zionists say it is because the thousand-year-old Arab claim is more
recent than the older Jewish claim. But if national claims to lands
become more legitimate when they are more recent, then surely the most
legitimate of all is that of the Jews of Israel to the lands of Israel,
because it is the most recent!
The other claim by the anti-Zionists is that Jews have no rights to the
lands of Israel (historic Palestine) because they moved there from some
other places. Now never mind that there was actually always a Jewish
minority living in the lands of Israel even when it was under the
sovereignty of Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks or British. Does
the fact that Jews moved to the land of Israel from other places
disqualify them from exercising sovereignty there? The claim would be
absurd enough even if we were to ignore that fact that most "Palestinian
Arabs" also moved to Palestine from neighboring countries, starting in the
late nineteenth century. But more generally, does the fact that a people
moves from one locality to another deprive it of its claims to legitimate
sovereignty in its new abode? Does this fact necessitate the conclusion
that they need to pack up and leave, as the anti-Zionists insist?
If it does, then it goes without saying that the Americans and Canadians
must lead the way and show the Israelis the light, by returning all lands
that they seized from the Indians and the Mexicans to their original
owners and going back to whence they came. For that matter, the Mexicans
of Spanish ancestry also need to leave. The Anglo-Saxons, meaning the
English, will be invited to turn the British isles over to their rightful
original Celtic and Druid owners, while they return to their own ancestral
Saxon homeland in northern Germany and Denmark. The Danes of course will
be asked to move aside, in fact to move back to their Norwegian and
Swedish homelands, to make room for the returning Anglo-Saxons.
But that is just a beginning. The Spanish will be called upon to leave the
Iberian peninsula that they wrongfully occupy, and return it to the
Celtiberians. Similarly the Portuguese occupiers will leave their lands
and return them to the Lusitanians. The Magyars will go back where they
came from and leave Hungary to its true owners. The Australians and New
Zealanders obviously will have to end their occupations of lands that do
not belong to them. The Thais will leave Thailand. The Bulgarians will
return to their Volga homeland and abandon occupied Bulgaria. Anyone
speaking Spanish will be expected to end his or her forced occupation of
Latin America. It goes without saying that the French will lose almost all
their lands to their rightful owners. The Turks will go back to Mongolia
and leave Anatolia altogether, returning it to the Greeks. The Germans
will go back to Gotland. The Italians will return the boot to the
Etruscans and Greeks.
Ah, but that leaves the Arabs. First, all of northern Africa, from
Mauritania to Egypt and Sudan, will have to be immediately abandoned by
the illegal Arab occupiers and squatters, and returned to their lawful
original Berber, Punic, Greek, and Vandal owners. Occupied Syria and
Lebanon must be released at once from the cruel occupation of the Arabs
imperialist aggressors. Iraq must be returned to the Assyrians and
Chaldeans. Southern Arabia must be returned to the Abyssinians. The Arabs
may retain control of the central portion of the Arabian peninsula as
their homeland. But not the oil fields.
Oh, and the Palestinian infiltrators, usurpers and squatters will of
course have to return the lands they are illegally and wrongfully
occupying, turning them over to their legal and rightful owners, which
would of course be the Jews!
And right after all this, Israel will be happy to implement the Road Map
. 2. OPINION
. APRIL 6, 2009, 10:38 P.M. ET
Anti-Semitism and the Economic Crisis
Many people still blame Jews for capitalism's faults.
By IRA STOLL
Walking down the street in my solidly upper-middle-class New York City
neighborhood the other day was a neatly dressed man angrily cursing into
his cell phone about "Jew Wall Street bankers."
I was headed in the opposite direction and didn't stop to interview him
about his particular grievances, but the brief encounter crystallized for
me a foreboding that the financial crisis may trigger a new outbreak of
It is a fear that is being articulated ever more widely. President Bill
Clinton's secretary of labor, Robert Reich, frets on his blog, "History
shows how effective demagogic ravings can be when a public is stressed
economically." He warns that Jews, along with gays and blacks, could
become victims of populist rage.
In the New York Jewish Week newspaper, a column by Rabbi Ronald Price of
the Union for Traditional Judaism begins, "In the 1930s, as Germany's
economy collapsed, the finger was pointed at the Jews and the Nazis
ascended to power. The famous Dreyfus Affair, in which a Jew was falsely
accused of treason in France, followed on the heels of economic turmoil."
At this juncture, the trepidation may yet seem like paranoia, or special
pleading akin to the old joke about the newspaper headline, "World Ends in
Nuclear Attack: Poor, Minorities Hardest Hit." Everyone is feeling the
brunt of the recession; why worry about the Jews in particular? After all,
Jews today have two refuges: Israel and America, a land where Jews have
attained remarkable power and prosperity and have a constitutionally
protected right to exercise their religion freely. In that case, why worry
about potential danger to the Jews at all?
One answer is that the historical precedents are exceedingly grim. The
causes of the First Crusade, in which thousands of Jews were murdered, are
still being debated, but some historians link it to famine and a poor
harvest in 1095. As for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the
foremost historian of its causes, Benzion Netanyahu (the father of
Israel's new prime minister), writes of the desire of the persecutors "to
get rid of their debts by getting rid of their creditors." More generally,
he writes, "it is an iron-clad rule in the history of group relations: the
majority's toleration of every minority lessens with the worsening of the
Lest this seem overly crude economic determinism, consider that the Jews
have been victims not only of unrest prompted by economic distress but of
attempts to remedy such economic distress with socialism. Take it from
Friedrich Hayek, the late Nobel Prize winning Austrian economist. In "The
Road to Serfdom," Hayek wrote, "In Germany and Austria the Jew had come to
be regarded as the representative of Capitalism." Thus, the response in
those countries, National Socialism, was an attack on both capitalism and
There are ample indicators of current anti-Semitic attitudes. A poll
conducted recently in Europe by the Anti-Defamation League found 74% of
Spaniards believe Jews "have too much power in international financial
markets," while 67% of Hungarians believe Jews "have too much power in the
business world." Here in America, the Web site of National Journal is
hosting an "expert blog" by former CIA official Michael Scheuer, now a
professor at Georgetown, complaining of a "fifth column of pro-Israel U.S.
citizens" who are "unquestionably enemies of America's republican
experiment." And over at Yahoo! Finance, the message board discussing
Goldman Sachs is rife with comments about "Jew pigs" and the "Zionist
So will the Jews come under attack? The existence of the Jewish state
guarantees refuge for Jews around the world, but it carries with it its
own risks. Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said that if the Jews
"all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them
world-wide." It's a comment all the more chilling as Nasrallah's Iranian
sponsors are on the brink of making a nuclear bomb.
As for the idea that Jewish professional, political, and economic success
in America is a guarantee of security, that, too, has its risks. As Yuri
Sleskine recounted in his book "The Jewish Century," in 1900 Vienna more
than half of the lawyers, doctors and professional journalists were
Jewish, as were 70% of the members of the stock exchange. In Germany,
after World War I but before the Nazis came to power, Jews served as
finance minister and as foreign minister. Such achievements have a way of
It may yet be that the Jews escape the current economic crisis having only
lost fortunes. But if not, there will have been no lack of warning about
the threat. When Jews gather Wednesday night for the Passover Seder, we
will recite the words from the Hagadah, the book that relays the Israelite
exodus from slavery in Egypt: "In every generation they rise up against us
to destroy us." This year, they will resonate all the more ominously.
Mr. Stoll is the author of "Samuel Adams: A Life" (Free Press, 2008).
3. Army reservists petition Attorney General to Prosecute "Haaretz" for
treason and defamation:
4. Pro-Palestinian means anti-Semitic, says Moslem:
5. J Street Treason: http://www.jewishpress.com/pageroute.do/38777
6. The Nazification of Oliphant:
7. The Face of Palestinian 'Resistance'
Jonathan Tobin -
While the world was harrumphing yesterday because Israel.s new foreign
minister affirmed the obvious futility of the Annapolis peace conference,
an axe-wielding Palestinian terrorist slaughtered a 13-year-old Jewish boy
and wounded another.
This disgusting crime took place at the town of Bat Ayin, a Jewish
settlement a few miles southwest of Jerusalem. This means that in much of
the world, the attack will be considered an understandable reaction on the
part of a Palestinian humiliated by the sight of Jews living in that part
of the country. That.s the way all such murders have been treated by the
international press. Jews who live over the .green line. are considered
provocateurs at best, and deserving of retaliatory Arab violence at worst.
But though I don.t doubt the murdered child, whose name was Shlomo Nativ,
will be simply called a .settler. in most accounts, it isn.t likely that
we will hear much about the history of the area where he lived.
You see, Bat Ayin is part of the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements. Far from
being built after the 1967 war and thus, wrongly considered a violation of
international law, Gush Etzion was settled by Jews prior to 1948. In 1948,
the Gush Etzion bloc was attacked by Arab gangs and after a long siege,
overwhelmed by the attackers who were aided by Jordan.s Arab Legion. Most
of the Jewish inhabitants were massacred. After this territory was retaken
by Israel in June 1967, some of the survivors of the 1948 attack returned
to the area and began the work of restoring Jewish life to this part of
historic Biblical Judea.
Just to confirm how normal and legitimate their town is the people of Bat
Ayin have chosen not to build a fence around their homes because they
believe it would be a sign of insecurity.
Objections to Gush Etzion cannot be about expropriation or .illegal.
settlements. The problem that Gush Etzion presents to the Arab and Islamic
world is that the people who live there are Jews.
In recent years we have heard much about the suffering of Arabs living in
the West Bank who have to put up with the inconvenience of Israeli Army
roadblocks and a security fence, both of which are the direct result of a
campaign of terrorism aimed at Israelis. What we don.t hear much about is
the constant harassment and attacks visited upon Jews who live in the West
Bank. A lot of people don.t think the idea of maintaining Jewish
communities over the .green line. is wise. But what the .resistance. to
the Jewish presence in the territories amounts to is not a protest against
specific measures or even a dispute about land. As the attack on Bat Ayin
confirms yet again, the hatred and violence directed against the settlers
is a measure of the Palestinian antipathy for Jews, pure and simple.