Steven Plaut

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Since we are all in suspense about just what Netanyahu and his gang of
appeasers managed to get in quid pro quo for the worst act of dishonor
in modern Jewish history, the agreement to release 104 mass murderers
of Jews, we now have the answer.

In exchange for this latest appeasement, the terrorists from the
"Palestinian Authority," and Abu Mazen himself as its chief Holocaust
Denying terrorist chief, have demanded that once the "Palestinians"
have been granted their own state, it must be judenrein. Not a single
Jew is to permitted to live there or enter there. See for yourself

Abbas wants 'not a single Israeli' in Palestine

As talks resume in Washington Palestinian president says 'In a final
resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli -
civilian or soldier - on our lands'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his vision on Monday for
the final status of Israeli-Palestinian relations ahead of peace talks
that have resumed in Washington for the first time in nearly three

Abbas said that no Israeli settlers or border forces could remain in a
future Palestinian state and that Palestinians deem illegal all Jewish
settlement building within the land occupied in the 1967 Middle East

The forceful statements appeared to challenge mediator US Secretary of
State John Kerry's hopes that the terms of the talks, scheduled to
begin Monday night over dinner, be kept secret.

"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single
Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands," Abbas said in a
briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists.

Israel has previously said it wants to maintain a military presence in
the West Bank at the border with Jordan to prevent any influx of
weapons that could be used against it.

But Abbas said he stood by understandings he said he reached with
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, predecessor to more right-wing
leader Benjamin Netanyahu, that NATO forces could deploy there "as a
security guarantee to us and them."

The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a two-state
solution in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new
Palestinian state created in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, lands
occupied by the Israelis since a 1967 war.

On the future of Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the status of
Jerusalem - among the most contentious issues facing the two sides -
Abbas signaled no softening of his stance.

"We've already made all the necessary concessions," he said.

"East Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Palestine ... if there
were and must be some kind of small exchange (of land) equal in size
and value, we are ready to discuss this - no more, no less," he said.

Before agreeing to return to talks last week, Palestinian officials
were adamant that negotiations should have three main prerequisites:
the release of veteran Arab prisoners in Israeli jails, a full
settlement freeze and an acknowledgment of the 1967 lines as the basis
for future borders.

Israel has publicly granted only one of those demands when its Cabinet
on Sunday voted by a slim margin to approve the phased release of 104
Arab prisoners.


So to sum things up, in exchange for self-debasement and appeasement,
Israel bought a proclamation of total apartheid from the
"Palestinians." Where no dogs or Jews would be tolerated in the
"Palestinian state." Let us note that Netanyahu's people did not
respond to the proclamation by Adolf Mazen with a demand that no Arabs
remain behind as residents of Israel after the "Palestinian state" has
been erected.

2. You will be happy to hear that Anat Matar, a faculty member in
the department of philosophy at Tel; Aviv University, insists that
Netanyahu has not gone far enough in releasing mass murderers of
Israelis. Writing in Haaretz today (Hebrew only, at Wanna guess
why they are not running it in English?

Little Anat has long led the Israeli movement demanding international
BDS sanctions against Israel. Her offspring Haggai is a big honcho in
the violent anti-Israel anarchist gang and in the group organizing
mutiny among Israeli soldiers, and has spent time in prison. Momma
Anat runs a small (one-person) organization called the Israeli
Committee for Palestinian Prisoners. I suspect she has a tee shirt
that reads in Arabic, "Come Murder a Jew for Peace and Mommy."

In her Op Ed in Haaretz today, Momma Anat proclaims that the
imprisoned Palestinian murderers are seen by the Palestinians (and of
course also by her) as legitimate warriors against occupation, no more
guilty of anything than Israeli soldiers when they use weapons to
prevent a new Shoah.

So since the Matars regard terrorist murderers of Jewish civilians to
be benign soldiers in the struggle against occupation, let us hope and
pray that the very next targets in their campaign against illegal
occupation will be the Matar clan itself. SInce the probability that
the terrorists Bibi wants released will resume murder immediately upon
release is 105%, we may not have long to wait.

Meanwhile, if you would like to let the heads of Tel Aviv University
know what you think of this terrorist teaching at the school, write to

Tel Aviv University:
President, Professor Joseph Klafter
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
Tel: 972-3-6408254 972-3-6408254
Fax: 972-3-6406466
Rector: Prof. Aron Shai
Tel Aviv University
P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv 69978
American Friends Offices of Tel Aviv University:
Other "Friends of" Groups:

Monday, July 29, 2013



The Legion of Disgrace and Dishonor:  The following are the members of the Israeli cabinet who voted in favor of the Get out of Jail Free plan of Benjamin Netanyahu to allow murderers of Jews to go free and resume their murders of Jews:


Voted in favor: Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Minister for Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz, Internal Security Minister Itzhak Aharonovitch, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver (Likud- Beiteinu), Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Health Minister Yael German, Science and Technology Minister Ya'akov Peri, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz (Hatnua).  


Note how this list includes people who had been widely considered earlier to be people of principle, including Rabbi Piron, Moshe Ya'alon, and Gideon Sa'ar.  I regret to inform you that such erstwhile judgments have now been proven false.


The Legion of Double-Talk:  The following cabinet ministers abstained on this vote:


Minister Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom abstained.

Refusing to oppose a national disgrace is hardly a badge of principle and honor.


The Legion of Honor:  These are the cabinet ministers who opposed the proposal and so should be regarded as people of principle deserving of future support:


Voted against: Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Likud-Beiteinu), Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Senior Citizen Minister Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi).

Not a single member of the Likud or Yesh Atid resigned his or her Knesset seat in protest at this disgrace.  This includes Moshe Feiglin.


Sunday, July 28, 2013




Ofrah Moses was pregnant when she was murdered along with her son and her fetus.  The murderer was Mohammed A'del Daud, who threw a petrol bomb at their car in 1987.  He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.  The Israeli Left is cheering Netanyahu on!  The road to peace depends on Jews acquiescing in being defined and treated as sub-humans, whose lives have no worth.


Rachel Weiss was burned to death together with her three small children in 1988 when the bus she was riding in was attacked by petrol bombs.  The murderer was Mahmoud Abu-Charbeesh.   He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


In 1985 Meir ben Yair and Michal Cohen were sitting in their car in a forest near Beit Shemesh when they were murdered by Mustafa Ganimat, together with his two terrorist friends.  He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


Leah Almakeis and Yosef Eliyahu were murdered while hiking in a forest on Mt. Gilboa.  Their murderer was Othman bni Chasin.  He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


Isa Abd Rabo murdered Ravital Sri and Ron Levi near the Chrimison monastery, stabbing them to death.  He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


One  of Israel's leading historians, Professor Menachem Stern, was murdered in 1989, stabbed to death by Mahmoud Isa Muammar in the Valley of the Cross in Jerusalem.  The terrorist also murdered three other people.   He is about to be set free by Benjamin Netanyahu in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


 The above are just a few of the murderers of men, women and children that Benjamin Netanyahu is about to set free in order to prove to the world the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.


Netanyahu is setting these murderers free as "payment" for the PLO to go through the motions of participating in make-pretend "negotiations," and as a sop for John Kerry.   Netanyahu is "paying" for the Kodak moment in the currency of mass murderers, all so the PLO will sit down with some Israeli representatives and demand that Israel be annihilated by means of the "Palestinian Right of Return," this after Israel "returns" to its pre-1967 Auschwitz borders and offers the PLO swaths of pre-1967 Israeli lands.  Netanyahu will be setting free 104 murderers as the purchase price for this show.


Some suppose that Netanyahu is doing this in order to obtain some other concessions.  From the Americans, from the Eurotrash, or from the Arabs.   Netanyahu is afraid to put the proposal for wholesale release of mass murderers up for a ballot referendum because he knows it would be overwhelmingly defeated.  


Let me say that if the price for an everlasting peace with the "Palestinians" were indeed the wholesale release of these murderers, then I would choose not to release them.   I prefer a thousand years of warfare to a situation in which the Israeli government proclaims that the Jews are Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.   If the price for American materiel is the release of these mass murderers, then I prefer to forego the materiel.  If the price for a strategic understanding with the EU and Turkey needed to rein in Iran is the wholesale release of these mass murderers, then I choose to forego the strategic understanding.


Israel was created for the simple purpose of proclaiming to the world that the Jews are NOT Untermenschen whose lives are worthless and whose murder does not count.   Those who threaten Jewish lives will be exterminated.  That is why Israel exists.  This is the raison d'etre of the state.   When Netanyahu abandons this, he undermines the purpose and legitimacy of the country.   Someone who refuses to accept this axiom as the fundamental basis for the existence of the state is unworthy of holding office in Israel.


Even the Labor Party Mensheviks always refused to adopt such a policy of national self-abasement.  The United States does not release terrorist mass murderers of Americans.  That is because the United States considers the lives of Americans to have value.  Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends on the Israeli Left want those who murder Jews to be proclaimed great heroes.  To serve as role models.  To demonstrate that murder of Jews is ethical and admirable.

There can be no more convincing argument in favor of implementing capital punishment for terrorists than this circus of the absurd that Netanyahu is now orchestrating.

2.  Correction.  There was a glitch in the posting on Friday about Rabbi Kook and his role in the war of Independence.  The original Chief Rabbi Kook died in the 1930s.  The Rabbi Kook involved in digging trenches during the war and urging yeshiva students to participate in the fighting was his son, a different Rabbi Kook.  The letter misused by cynical and dishonest Chareidi forces to oppose yeshiva students serving in the military was indeed that of Rabbi Kook the father, and they were denounced for this by Rabbi Kook the son. 
Also the correct name for the Haifa ex-Chief Rabbi is Shear Yeshuv Cohen and not Hacohen.  He was badly wounded in the battle to try to save the Jewish Quarter in the old city of Jerusalem in 1948, was captured by the Jordanian army, sent to Amman, and later released.  He claims he was the last Jew to be transported out of the Jewish Quarter (in an ambulance) at the end of the battle.

Friday, July 26, 2013


A Fast Thought Before Shabbat



On Strength


    One of the stranger customs in synagogues is the bestowing of wishes to be strong upon those who are called to the Torah.  In Ashkenazi synagogues, anyone receiving such an aliya is greeted with "Yasher (Yiyasher) Koach," meaning roughly May your Strength be Kept Up.  In Sephardic synagogues, the more common greeting is "Chazak U'baruch," meaning May you be Strong and Blessed.   But what does strength have to do with it?  I mean, I can see bestowing a wish of strength on the fellows who are holding the scrolls, since they are quite heavy.  But the ordinary person getting an aliya is not doing any serious lifting or carrying.  So why does he need a wish for strength?


   The explanation is that in Judaism the highest pursuit for a person is to study so diligently that he exhausts himself.  Therefore, wishing someone strength is an indirect compliment to that person, congratulating him for driving himself to exhaustion in his studies and wishing him to continue to do so, to the point where he is in need of outside wishes that strength be conferred upon him.


    Rabbi Shlomo Goren is the famous rabbi who blew the shofar on the Temple Mount when it was liberated by the IDF in the Six Day War and before the pusillanimous politicians turned out over to the Moslem Waqf for control and administration.  In one of his books, Rabbi Goren describes an incident involving the great Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook, the founder of the modern Religious Zionist movement and of the Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem, and Chief Rabbi of "Palestine" from 1921 onwards.


   When Rabbi Kook was a young man, he went off for a month of rest and rehabilitation in a health spa in Lithuania.  He was sitting under trees one day studying a volume of Talmud.  An older Rabbi passed by him, snatched his Talmud away from him and screamed at him "Thief!"   Why are you calling me that, he asked, from whom did I steal?


     The older Rabbi explained.  I can see from your appearance that you are a young rabbi.  And the fact that you are here must mean that your community felt you had exhausted yourself in studying Torah to the point that you are now in need of rest and recovery.  Therefore, if you are spending your time here studying Talmud, you are misusing your community's resources.  You are exhausting yourself and you are betraying your own community, which sent you here to rest and not to exhaust yourself, and therefore you are failing your own community and undeserving of the salary you are receiving from them.


     Years later, in a very different incident involving the same Rabbi Kook, one can see all of the elements of the corruption and moral decrepitude of the politicized governmental Rabbinic hierarchy in Israel today, the very same one that just selected two Ultra-Orthodox Chareidim as chief rabbis over alternative candidates who were modern-Orthodox, meaning men who live in the 21st century as opposed to the 16th century.


    In the middle of the 1948-9 Israeli War of Independence, there was some debate among the Orthodox as to whether yeshiva students should leave their studies and participate in the war, especially in defense of the Jewish Quarter inside the old city of Jerusalem.  The very same Rabbi Kook was unambiguously in favor of all yeshiva students halting their studies and participating in the fighting.  Although very old at the time, the Rabbi himself was seen digging trenches and participating in the war effort.  But according to a recent biography of Shear Yishuv Hacohen, a later Chief Rabbi of Haifa, a malicious letter was suddenly distributed among all the Orthodox communities of Jerusalem.  It was a letter signed by the very same Rabbi Kook urging rabbinic students NOT to serve in the military and NOT to participate in fighting.  (Shear Yishuv ignored it, joined the battle, and was taken prisoner by the Jordanians.) The letter was being distributed by those Chareidi groups opposed to Jerusalem's yeshiva students joining in the war effort.


    As it turned out, the letter in question was indeed written by the same Rabbi Kook, but it was written in World War I and was addressed to yeshiva students studying in the UK who were refugees from Poland and Lithuania.  At the time Rabbi Kook was of the opinion that they should continue their studies and not enlist for the fighting in World War I.  The same Rabbi held the diametrically opposite position regarding participation in Israel's own war of liberation.  But his earlier letter was hijacked and distorted and misused for cynical political purposes by dishonest "Orthodox" functionaries advancing their own agenda.  Somewhat like the politicized Chareidi functionaries in Israeli politics today, hijacking and distorting and misrepresenting Judaism.      


A Call to Arms – Boycott the Boycotters!

Posted By Steven Plaut On July 26, 2013


The Israeli Far Left has long been promoting an international boycott of all Jews and Jewish settlements located outside Israel's pre-1967 "Green Line," meaning the Jews living in what the Left calls "occupied Palestinian territory."   The mischief of the Left has caused serious damages to numerous Israeli enterprises and business.  Just one such example is the Ahava cosmetics company, one of the most recent targets of the Left because its headquarters are located outside the "Green Line."   Ariel University in Samaria has been the target of the most venomous attacks by the Far Left both in Israel and abroad, who are demanding  total international boycott of it.  Israeli Arab enterprises and entrepreneurs that operate in the West Bank are not targeted by these discriminating bigots.

In recent days the European Union has announced that it too will be implementing a broad boycott against all commercial interests of Jews located in Judea and Samaria, the so-called "West Bank," possibly including Jewish "settlers" who are simply people living in the suburbs of Jerusalem.  Indeed most "settlers" in the "West Bank" live in Jerusalem suburbs.  There can be no doubt that this new economic assault against Israel in the form of the EU boycott was itself largely motivated by the lobbying activities of the Israeli Left.  These people and their many picayune foreign-financed NGOs have long urged others, including anti-Israel groups and governments abroad, to join in the boycott against "settlers."  The radical Left has been unable to persuade the Israeli electorate that all settlers must be vanquished from their homes and all settlements eradicated, so they prefer to achieve their agenda anti-democratically, by means of recruiting foreign hostile international pressures and sanctions against Israel.

While members of the Israeli Non-Left have long been at wit's end about what sort of appropriate response there should be to these boycott campaigns by the radical Israeli Left, there is in fact a perfect response to them, one that has been staring us all in the face for years.  The very best response by Jewish patriots and friends of Israel to the boycott campaign by the radical Left is to boycott the boycotters.  Sure, most of the boycotters do not themselves have any commercial interests that can be boycotted in any serious "Boycott the Boycotters" campaign.  But there are exceptions.  And the most effective, most promising, and most morally-unambiguous response to the Leftist boycott of "settlements" must be the call for an international boycott of the Arledan company.

Why the Arledan company?  Because it is largely owned by the founder of Peace Now, Tzali Reshef.  He is a leading proponent of boycotting Israeli settlers and settlements.  Moreover, the company does business not only in Israel but also in the US and Europe and so would be particularly vulnerable to a Boycott the Boycotters campaign that carried over into these continents.

Tzali Reshef is one of the most radical, most anti-democratic, and most vocal promoters of international efforts to boycott settlers and settlements.  Most delicious of all is the fact that his own company can be harmed simply by letting the Bash-Israel lobby know that it is involved in construction outside Israel's "Green Line" pre-1967 borders in Jerusalem suburbs.  [Ironically, Arledan has already been targeted by anti-Israel activist groups for participating in this construction.]  Reshef's own malevolent political activities would then bite him in his own pocketbook!  Reshef can be made to pay a price for his Boycott-Settlers initiatives simply by passing on information to the Anti-Israel lobby that his own company deserves to be boycotted by them.  What irony it would be should Reshef be penalized by sanctions against his own company coming from BOTH the Zionist-patriot camp and from the Destroy-Israel movement!!

The 60 year old Tzali or Tsali (short for Betzalel) Reshef was one of the original founders of "Peace Now."  He sat in the Israeli parliament briefly.  He is a lawyer by training, frequently files leftist politicized "petitions" to the courts to advance the Left's agenda, and has been involved in the filing of anti-democratic SLAPP harassment lawfare suits in Israel designed to suppress the freedom of speech of critics of the Far Left.  Reshef is also the CEO of and a major stockholder in Arledan.  In 2004 Yediot Ahronot reported that he was making 1.4 million shekels a year.  This rose to two million shekels by 2009.  Not a bad windfall for a socialist!  Reshef and Peace Now have been trying to create a broad socialist party in Israel, but we were unable to find any evidence on the web of his using his enormous Arledan wealth to alleviate poverty and redistribute (his own) wealth in order to build equality in wealth distribution.

Before becoming CEO in 2004 he was chairman of the board of directors at Areldan.  Other major investors in the company include Tzali's father, brother and sister.  In 2010 Tzali Reshef was involved in a conflict that became the focus of media interest when a number of large investors in Arledan (investors who were NOT Reshef family members) opposed the compensation package Reshef was paying himself.  Israel's Securities and Exchange Commission claimed his package was approved illegally.

Arledan is a public company whose shares trade on the Tel Aviv stock exchange, but the Reshef family are the major shareholders.  Arledan is a major real estate holding company in Israel.  It is a classical ownership "pyramid" of the sort that political parties and public figures in recent years have been demanding be reformed and reined in.  Finance Minister Yair Lapid could tackle Arledan as his very first foray against pyramid structures (he was elected on a platform of fighting against them).  The Arledan "parent" holding company owns other holding companies, including Arledan Luxembourg and Arledanamerica, which in turn own other companies.  In 2008 (the last year for which it posts its accounts on its web site), Arledan lost 24 million shekels.  According to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, it also had a (small) loss in 2011, although made profits in between.  It held 600 million shekels in assets, with a net worth of 240 million NIS (about $67 million).  Among Arledan's other holdings is a 90% ownership in the Keter book publishing house.  It also owns about half of Telsys, a company that imports and markets computer components.

Reshef tried but failed to enter the Knesset on the Labor Party ticket in 1996.  He became a Knesset member from the Labor Party in 2002, and used his time in the Knesset to demand an "end to occupation."  Later he joined far-leftist semi-Marxist Meretz and ran unsuccessfully on its party slate.  He is on the "Board of Sponsors" of the anti-Israel Far-Leftist "Palestine-Israel Journal."   He also admits that he is a manipulator.

Peace Now has long led the campaign for boycotts of Israeli settlers and settlements.  Reshef himself is cited on the Peace Now web site as endorsing the boycott.  According to the site, Tzali Reshef stated: "Peace Now calls and will call upon the public to boycott the goods of the settlements.  It is our duty to say, 'no further, you've [referring to the pro settlement bloc in the Knesset] crossed the line.'  PN also immediately set up a Facebook page headed 'Prosecute Me! I Boycott the Settlements,' and within two days over 6000 people had joined it."  Reshef has also called for division of Jerusalem.

Moreover, when a bill was submitted to parliament to penalize those who boycott Israel and/or settlements, Reshef denounced the initiative as anti-democratic and illegal.  He also called for violating the law if it passes, a curious position for an officer of the court.  He insists there is a natural right to boycott anyone one chooses.  Well, I say that we apply his principles and call for a world boycott of his Arledan company as our natural right!

So, comrades, we need your help!  Spread the world!  Let everyone you know hear about the need to Boycott the Boycotters.  Drop an email to Tzali at and let him know why you are boycotting his company.  Email addresses of other company officers are here.  Spread the word in the US, Israel and everywhere.  Get a Boycott Arledan bumper sticker.

The moral response to the Boycott Settlements movement must be to boycott the boycotters!   Make them pay a price!

Sauce for the lemming is now sauce for the gander!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

In his weekend interview, Barack Obama took time off from praising Helen Thomas and choking from emotion he proclaimed that "Trayvon Martin could have been me," by which he meant that he himself could have been a Trayvon Martin.  I am not sure whether he meant by this that he could have smashed a nice half-Hispanic Neighborhood Watch bloke's head into the concrete.
But I think it is most newsworthy that Obama did NOT say that George Zimmerman could have been he.   Why?  Well, you see, Barack Obama never served in any armed services or police force or even in a semi-police neighborhood watch squad.  He was too busy community organizing.
Unlike George ZImmerman.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


   Judeana Jones and the Fifth Question

By Steven Plaut


     The following is not a political story.  It is, in my opinion, one of the most intriguing scoops in recent Jewish history.  What I am about to relate to you is based almost entirely on the story with the title "Judeana Jones" that appears in the Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon from July 19, 2013.   Nothing I am about to relate is my own original work or research.  I am simply summarizing for you in English the gist of the story and I think you will agree with me that it just might top the drama of the saga of Two-Gun Cohen (see ).


     The story is about two collectors and researchers of ancient Jewish print books, who stumbled upon the existence of what may be one of the richest and oldest collections of ancient Jewish hand-written manuscripts.  These had been preserved in a cave in Afghanistan.  The documents were in a "Geniza" or storage/disposal area that once served a Jewish community in Afghanistan.  The better-known Geniza of Cairo has long served as one of the richest sources of original materials on ancient Judaic practice and writing.  Only a tiny number of materials have been obtained from the Afghan Geniza and the little that has been appears to be priceless and downright incredible.


      Moshe Rosenfeld is a collector and dealer in ancient Jewish books living in Jerusalem, the Judeana Jones of our story.  He is an expert on, and has published a small encyclopedia about, all the books in print that use the Hebrew alphabet.  I emphasize the alphabet because his archive is not limited to books in the Hebrew language.  Over the centuries other hybrid languages developed, where a non-Jewish language would be transcribed and written in Hebrew letters by Jews living in the countries where it was spoken.  The best known is of course Yiddish, which is largely a dialect of German mixed with some Hebrew words and written in Hebrew letters.  [Many people do not know that there are/were OTHER Yiddish-like languages based on other languages besides German.  There was a Judeo-Persian written in Hebrew letters, a Judeo-Tatar, a Judeo-Provincial language based on the Provence dialect in France, a Judeo-Venetian, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), and others.  Some of these are still spoken; my father-in-law grew up in a house where Ladino was spoken.] 


     Rosenfeld's partner in his enterprise is an elderly soft-spoken scholar named Isaiah Winograd.  In the spring of 1988 Rosenfeld was giving a lecture in Petach Tikva about ancient Jewish manuscripts.  At its end, a member of the audience approached him and showed him a yellowing photograph of a parchment document.   He told Rosenfeld that he was a Jewish diamond merchant based in Dallas, Texas.  A week earlier an "Arab" from Afghanistan (he probably meant a Muslim) had approached him and showed him photographs of a number of old documents, some torn or damaged, and had asked the diamond merchant if he was interested in buying them.  The man wanted Rosenfeld to indicate whether they looked genuine and had any commercial value.   He said he was about to return to Texas after Passover and wanted to know if this was something worth pursuing.


   The Texan further explained that the Afghan he had met had told him that a large collection of such documents and scraps had been discovered in an old burial cave in the northeastern province of Afghanistan.  It sounded like a Geniza somewhat similar to the famous one discovered in Cairo.  Centuries ago, Afghanistan was under the rule of Persian emperors and had a significant Jewish population, although today there are supposedly only two Jews left in the country.


   Anyway, in 1998, the year this begins, Afghanistan was in large part but not in whole under the rule of the Taliban.  But it was well before the 9-11 attacks and the Taliban was not yet the target for Western anti-terror fury.  The northeastern section of Afghanistan, that close to the border with Tajikistan, was controlled by a non-Taliban tribe.


    When showed the photo of the fragment, Rosenfeld knew at once that it was a genuine ancient Jewish manuscript, and the story surrounding it convinced him that the collection of documents was genuine and of incredible value, not just from a Jewish historic point of view but also from a commercial one.  He considered going to Afghanistan itself but was told by those who know that this would be suicide. 


   The Texan returned home and the Afghan he had spoken to connected him with the head chief of the Khakimi tribe, which controls the section of Afghanistan where the cave and its documents were reported to be.  The Israelis began to negotiate a rendezvous some place in Europe for purposes of purchasing the documents from the cave.  Plans were interrupted when a major earthquake hit Afghanistan a few days later.  But as a result the Khakimis were even more desperate for cash and seemed more forthcoming.   They offered a suitcase full of the documents in exchange for a plane loaded with grain and other foods.    


    Rosenfeld recruited a private-sector security agency run by two Israeli ex-intelligence officers.  They uncovered more information and found a contact person from the Khakimi tribe, who said he could get the documents to the Tajik border with an armed escort.  But the tribe's price had changed.  Now they wanted a plane full of weapons, and everyone understood that the Americans and much of the rest of the world would never tolerate such an idea.  Nevertheless, Rosenfeld and his team went to Tajikistan and attempted to make contacts from there with the tribe.  But in 1999 the president of Tajikistan was assassinated and other violence was breaking out there.  The original Afghan who had approached the diamond merchant showed up again in Texas, and new plans were made to rendezvous with him, but the FBI suspected he might be a terrorist and warned the Rosenfeld people off.


    By early 2001communications and negotiations were being conducted with the Khakimis for a new rendezvous in Europe to sell them.  A meeting finally took place in the summer in a London hotel.  The Afghans had brought with them some "sample" documents.  When the Israelis saw one in particular they could not contain their excitement, and the Afghans, being shrewd hagglers, sensed it and upped the ante.  And when I tell you what they saw, you will understand their inability to restrain themselves.  Besides that document, the Afghans also showed them an ancient Jewish prayerbook, which the Israelis photographed.  It is one of the oldest ever discovered.


     The bazaar haggling continued and they agreed to meet a few weeks later to complete the transaction.   Before they could do so, bin Laden and his terrorists attacked the United States and the Taliban became the enemy of the civilized world.  Is this starting to sound like a Spielberg production?   Contacts ended.  Only a small number of the documents had been seen and photographed.


     What became of the rest is not known.  On the one hand, the Taliban are Islamofascist fanatics and are all too willing to obliterate anything attesting to ancient Jewish life and culture.  On the other hand, they must have figured out that the documents have commercial value.  Recently an Iranian Jewish merchant in the UK is said to have purchased one of the Afghan manuscripts for $400,000.  


     The story of the Afghan Geniza was kept secret and was revealed to only a small number of people.  In December 2011, Ehud Yaari, an Israeli television commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, broadcast a story about the existence of the Afghan Geniza, but got many of the details wrong.  Only in the past few weeks have Rosenfeld and his people decided to go public and reveal their attempts to get the documents and tell what they know about the story.    


      Ah, but I left you hanging a few paragraphs back.  What was that incredible document that was seen by the Israelis in the London hotel over which they were unable to contain their excitement?


     It was what appears to be the oldest Passover Haggadah ever discovered.  And what gave it away was the Fifth Question.




     As you of course know, Passover Seders begin with the asking of the Four Questions.  The basis for this tradition goes all the way back to the Mishna itself, which was redacted in the early second century.  What most people do not know is that in the Mishna, the "questions" for the Seder are actually the FIVE Questions.  The fifth question, as related in the Pesachim tractate of the Talmud, page 116A, is this:  "On all other nights we eat meat roasted, stewed or boiled, but on this night, roast only."  This refers to the Passover sacrifice, a roasting of meat, as it was conducted in the Temple services.   At the time of the Talmud and for a while afterwards, this fifth question was still included in the Seder.  At the time of the "Gaon" Scholars in Babylonia, an era that began in 589, it was ruled that it is inappropriate to ask this fifth question because it is prohibited to conduct such a Passover sacrifice outside of the Temple and the Temple has been destroyed.  So the question was dropped.  Maimonides and others also later endorsed the dropping of it.




    That means it is so old, at the latest from the ninth century, that it was written BEFORE word of the rulings by the Gaon scholars against inclusion of the question had reached the Jewish community in remote Afghanistan.





Finally, as a side note not really related to any of the above, let me say that I personally do not like the Indiana Jones movie series and wish that Steven Spielberg would try to make some movies for grownups (besides Schindler's List).  I do hand it to Spielberg that he managed to create a figure of such epic excitement by splicing together two of the most boring things on the planet.  Lots of people consider archeology the most boring discipline one can learn in a university (although I suppose the above saga shows how wrong they can be, and - in any case - as an economist who am I to speak?), and everyone agrees that Indiana is the most boring state in the United States.  But the splicing produced Indiana Jones, from which we now have Judeana Jones! 





2.  Anti-Semitic Atheist Zealots:



'Exclusionary Religious Symbol': Atheist Group Battles Planned Holocaust Memorial's Inclusion of the Star of David

Jul. 18, 2013 9:00pm Billy Hallowell

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist-activist non-profit, is known for going after perceived violations of the separation of church and state. This in mind, the organization has a new target: a Holocaust memorial.

The group is combating the inclusion of a Star of David in a proposed statehouse monument that is being planned in Ohio. Its leaders' opposition to the religious symbol is rooted in the belief that it would violate the separation of church and state.

The FFRF holds that the inclusion of the star, which is associated with Judaism, would be problematic, although non-theist leaders said they have no problem with including a Holocaust museum at the capitol.

Atheists first noted their opposition in a June 14 letter that was sent to Richard Finan, chair of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

"Permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol…would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds," Don Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-presidents — and husband and wife — wrote in the letter (read it here).

A press release published on the organization's website notes that architect Daniel Libeskind purposefully included the star, while other designs that almost made the cut did not have any religious sentiment included; the group noted that it was possible to select an entirely non-religious option. Despite Libeskind's contention that "one cannot separate the Holocaust from the star," the FFRF firmly disagreed.

"The monument could resemble numerous powerful war memorials across the U.S. which do not use any sectarian images, including the national World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial," the letter continued. "Each is secular in nature and without religious reference, which offends no one and is respected by all."

The organization contends that non-Jewish groups, including homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, the disabled and others are left out by the inclusion of the star. In the end, though, the board approved the design on Thursday, despite the FFRF's intense opposition.

Interestingly, the FFRF claims that Finan, a former state senator in Ohio, ended up expressing doubt over the star's inclusion in the design after he received the letter. Following the monument's approval, the politician allegedly stepped down from the board.


3.  As you probably heard, Helen Thomas, the anti-Semitic White House correspondent before whom no mirror was safe, just got herself recycled.  I did not catch what the cause of death was, but I suspect Dorothy's house dropped down on her from the cyclone.

Friday, July 19, 2013

  The "Palestinians" are demanding that any new round of "negotiations" must adopt the 1967 "borders" as their starting point and any talks can then discuss possible minor modifications.  The US is pressuring Israel to agree.
   Israel should agree that all negotiations indeed begin from the 1967 boundaries as their basis and starting point, but the 1967 boundaries must be those of Jun 11, 1967, not June 4, 1967, that is, the starting point must be the ceasefire lines at the END of the Six Day War.  Then Israel might consider proposals for minor adjustments and modifictaions if the quid pro quo is appropriate.
   See how easy that was?






The Letter Netanyahu Should Send to the EU

Posted By Steven Plaut On July 19, 2013


Editor's note: The letter below was formulated on behalf of the Israeli Prime Minister by Steven Plaut:

Dear Leaders and Commissioners of the European Union:

As Prime Minister of Israel I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts with the world about how Israel should solve the Middle East conflict, namely by agreeing to "return" the "occupied Palestinian" lands to the "Palestinians."

Always willing to be of public service, I have composed a small list of minor preconditions that must be met in order for Israel to agree to return to the "Palestinians" the "occupied territories" that are "theirs." These are really just minor corrections in your own plan.  After all, why should Israel be the first and the only country to "return" lands to the original inhabitants from which they "seized" these lands in "occupation"?

So here goes:

It goes without saying that the Americans and Canadians must lead the way and show Israel the light by returning all lands that they seized from the Indians and the Mexicans to their original owners.  The Anglo-Saxons, meaning the English, will be invited to return the British isles 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, they will be asked to move back to their Norwegian and Swedish homeland, 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 indigenous 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 surrender all their lands, starting with Corsica, to their rightful owners. The Turks will go back to Mongolia and leave Anatolia altogether.  The Germans will go back to Gotland.  The Italians will return the boot to the Etruscans and Greeks.

That leaves the Arabs and Iranians.  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 Arab 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 to their legal and rightful owners – the Jews.

While we are fixing world problems, let us also return all of Iran to its rightful owners.  I of course mean the Mongolians.

True, Iran was conquered or liberated from the Persians by the Mongols militarily starting in 1219. Iran then became a legitimate part of the Mongol homeland. Tamerlane, who was part Mongol, also ran the place.  All in all, the Mongol liberation of Persia lasted for two and a half centuries, not much different from the length of the period of Arab rule of "Palestine," after which Iran was "lost" to Turkic tribes.  I guess that means the Turks also have a legitimate claim to a homeland there.

Now if the fact that some Arab armies once conquered the Land of Israel is thought to confer upon them rights of sovereignty and even statehood, why should not the Mongol conquest of Iran do the same? After all, Iran was once a Mongol state, as recently as 550 years ago, whereas the last time the Land of Israel was an Arab Palestinian state was, well, never.

Not only should Mongol rule be restored to Iran as the only legitimate rulers of the place, but these days the Mongols make far better neighbors than do the ayatollahs. The Mongols have no nuclear plans and have never met with the anti-Semitic pagans from the Neturei Karta.  The Mongols would surely put the Persian Gulf petroleum to better use than do the Holocaust Deniers in Iran these days, like developing yak milk production capacities.

So, I say, end these illegal occupations once and for all and return these lands to their rightful owners!

And right after all this, Israel will be happy to implement your proposals in full.

Thanks you for hearing me out.

Sincerely yours,

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel


2.  Lots of people are complaining about the decision by Rolling Stone Magazine to run a photo of the Boston Islamist bomber on its cover.  Rolling Stone is of course the drugs-and-rock-and-roll magazine that I consider to be a gentile Tikkun.  You may recall that Michael Lerner, the publisher of Tikkun, got his rabbinic ordination from Rolling Stone Magazine.


In any case, among the loudest complainers about the cover of Rolling Stone have been some other magazines and newspapers that have run cover celebrations of Yassir Arafat, Abu Mazen, Turkey's Erdogan, and other terrorists.



3.  You probably have heard about the story that the US media are buzzing about.  It seems that a man in Houston was arrested for cruelty towards animals after he had sex with a horse twice.  See this:


   Now when you read it I am sure that you immediately have exactly the same thought they I had when I read the story.  And that is that it is now only a question of time until the Reconstructionist movement decides to ordain the man in question as a rabbi.



4.  Jesse Bojangles Jackson finds some apartheid:



5.  Well the forces of darkness in the US failed in their attempt to perpetrate a reverse OJ in the Zimmerman trial.  In the OJ trial, OJ was "acquitted" in order to show whitey.  In the Zimmerman case, the attempt was to convict Zimmerman in order to show whitey.   It did not work.


All in all I prefer a hoodie to a kaffiya.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

We have been commenting on the hysterical reaction by the Israeli Left, the Israeli media, and the political establishment to the series of acts of graffiti and other vandalisms apparently the "work" of a handful of Jewish teenagers calling themselves "Price Tag."
Nevertheless, there is one set of Price Tag vandalisms about which the chattering classes in Israel and abroad have expressed no shock and denunciation at all.  Not a single Op-Ed denouncing it.  Not a single politician speaking out or calling for defining the perps as a terrorist organization.  Not a single inquiry from the EU.  Not a single petition of social science professors denouncing it: 
Arab 'Price Tag' Met with Silence

'Jews Out' graffiti fails to win demonstration of support from Peres.
Maayana Miskin

Residents of northern Israel were disturbed this week to find that around 20 bus stops had been sprayed with anti-Jewish slogans.

"The Negev is for Arabs alone – get the Jews out and the Zionists out," graffiti on one bus stop in Carmiel said. On another it said, "The Negev is in danger. It belongs to Bedouins and we won't give it up."

The graffiti followed the Knesset's decision to pass a law regarding Bedouin settlement in the Negev. Arab MKs vehemently opposed the plan, which will legalize many pirate Bedouin settlements in the region, due to the fact that it will require some of those who have no proof of ownership of their land to move to alternate land provided by the government.

The Arab MKs view this as a forced population transfer.

Samaria Residents' Council head Benny Katzover said the Arab MKs' bitter criticism in Knesset was directly linked to the anti-Jewish graffiti. "This is a direct continuation of the Arab MKs' incitement… There is no doubt that the Arab MKs are adding fuel to the fire and causing violent acts like this," he said.

Council director-general Keizler Sagi wondered why the Arab "price tag" had gone widely ignored by the media and by Israeli leaders, just two weeks after similar graffiti in the Arab Israeli town of Abu Ghosh earned condemnation from a variety of political figures, including President Shimon Peres.

"I call for the President, Mr. Shimon Peres, to visit Carmiel and tell the residents there that what was done at their bus stops was a disgrace, and to ask the police to catch whoever wrote this hateful graffiti, as he did in Abu Ghosh," Sagi said.