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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘connection’

Arab Susya and its Specious Historic Connection

Friday, September 9th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Behind the News website}

In land disputes with Israel, Arabs often claim “historic rights” often repeating the mantra that their grandfathers had lived on a given tract of land “for centuries”

In that context, a new controversy has erupted over whether or not the Israel civil administration, which administers the Judea region of the west bank, will indeed demolish the Arab hamlet of Susya.

As the debate has grown more heated, Israeli groups that advocate for Arab territorial rights have distributed their version of a history of Arab Susya, as a reason to justify the inherent Arab right to settle in Susya, since they have no permit or authorization whatsoever from the Israel Civil Administration.

Indeed, on June 25, 2012, The Rabbis for Human Rights issued a statement about the historic claims of the Arabs of Susya:

“The village of Palestinian Susya has existed for centuries, long before the establishment of the [Jewish] settlement of Susya in 1983.  There are documentary evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to 1830, and it is also marked on British mandatory maps from 1917”

Since the claim made by the advocates of Arab Susya focus attention only on that “historic claim”, it might be appropriate to ascertain what the Ottoman and British records would attest to that claim.

A check with the researcher and Jerusalem Post journalist Dr. Seth J. Frantzman, co-author of “Bedouin Settlement in Late Ottoman and British Mandatory Palestine: Influence on the Cultural and Environmental Landscape, 1870-1948 was made in order to ascertain what the Ottoman and British records show about Susya.

Dr. Frantzman, who has been careful throughout his career not to identify himself with any political faction in Israel, carried out his PhD research at the Hebrew University, using Israel State Archives and in the map archives of the Hebrew U and National library as well as at the aerial photo archive of the Hebrew University’s Geography department on the foundation, expansion and development of Arab villages in the 19th and early 20th century, tracing how some villages expanded and gave birth to “daughter villages”

What can be said, based on the maps, is that there is no evidence of a permanent settlement prior to 1948.

Mandate-Map-1948 Frantzman-1024x409-1

There is no village recognized by the mandate, no records of such a village, no records of people inhabiting the site year-round.

The title of Dr. Frantzman’s PHD was ‘The Arab settlement of Late Ottoman and Mandatory Palestine: Village formation and settlement fixation, 1871-1948’

Dr. Frantzman notes that, in his research, he did not come
across any village, hamlet or settlement at Susya.

He did identify several other villages that were founded in the 1940s, which Professor David Grossman of the Department of Geography at Bar Ilan University has also written about.

For example, the village Rahiya, near Yatta, was founded in the late 19th century or early 20th century.
Yet there is no evidence, however, from records examined he Ottoman Empire period or British mandate period, of any village or settlement ever existing at Susya.

There are five documents attached:

As can be seen from the Palestine Exploration Fund, which carried out a thorough and widely respect survey of the country from 1871-77 did not show any village or settlement in the area of Susya.

Instead they noted only the ruins of ancient Susya.

Their map and memoirs both indicate only a ruin.

Had there been a village it would have been indicated the say Samu was on the map.

Later maps from Mandate, from 1942 and 1948, show no village in the area of Susya, but once again show villages at Samu and Yatta.

An aerial photo from 1945 does not even show a village or even tents at the site.

In short, the conclusion of Dr. Frantzman’s study is that there was no settlement at Susya, no village and no houses from the 19th century through 1948.

While Susya’s advocates write in various publications claim to have lived in a “village” at the site since the 1830s, there is no record of any such “village”.

Dr. Frantzman noted that “It is surprising that so little was constructed from the period 1830-1948.”


Photos from today show construction that is likely much more modern

Dr. Frantzman observed “The allegation that the villagers were prevented from building or “built illegally” in Area C, begs the question, didn’t they build anything before Area C was created in the 1990s?  Where are the old houses from 1830,from 1920, 1940, 1960, and 1970?  Was not the settlement in fact a
seasonal settlement of tents and non-permanent dwellings?”

These are the questions that should be raised.

More evidence in the way of photos from the 1960s and after would surely shed light on this.
A reporter asked advocates of Arab Susya if they could provide any documentation which would support the claim that “The village of Palestinian Susya has existed for centuries, long before the establishment of the [Jewish] settlement of Susya in 1983.  There are documentary evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to 1830, and it is also marked on British
mandatory maps from 1917”

No one could provide any such evidence.

In other words, the issue at hand today revolves around whether the Israel Civil Administration is legally mandated to demolish homes that were built without authorization and without any permit.

Over the past few years, the Israel Civil Administration has destroyed hundreds of Jewish homes because they were built without a permit recognized by the Israel Civil Administration, despite historic claims of Jews to the land where they had made their home.


And who can forget the Oct. 27, 2004 decision of the government of Israel to revoke permits for settlement in Gush Katif and four Jewish communities in Northern Samaria, which resulted in the demolition of all 21 Jewish communities in Gush Katif and all four Northern Samarian communities.

In other words, the precedent for Susya’s demolition has been established by the stringent way in which the Israel Civil Administration has applied the letter of the law to Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Meanwhile, the record shows that Susya’s historic claims to their property to be specious.

David Bedein

Beyond The Matrix – The U.S.-Turkish Connection [audio]

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Ira and Rod are joined by national security expert Jerry Gordon to discuss the supposed coup that took place recently in Turkey, and how this impacts the United States. Not only are there nuclear bombs sitting in Incirlik Air Base, which could potentially be compromised, but the Islamic Gulenist movement has opened over 160 charter schools in the United States right under our noses.

Beyond The Matrix 16Aug – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Iwo Jima – The Jewish Connection

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Battle of Iwo Jima, the American invasion during World War II of a desolate volcanic island and one of the greatest battles of the Pacific campaign, was also one of the bloodiest in U.S. Marine history.

Beginning on February 19, 1945, 70,000 Marines fought an unknown number of deeply embedded Japanese defenders for five weeks; troops battling for the high ground atop Mount Suribachi, an extinct volcano on the island, sustained over 25,000 losses; in fact, fully one-third of all Marines killed during World War II died fighting at Iwo Jima.

The defeat of the Japanese there provided an important foundation for our ultimate victory over Japan, and the battle became a symbol of the great sacrifices made by our fighting forces during the war.

According to the late Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, the first Jewish Marine Corps chaplain assigned to the Fifth Marine Division at Iwo Jima, there were at least 150 Jewish dead and more than 400 Jews among the wounded.

In one particularly sad case, Gittelsohn tried getting a special Red Cross message to a Jewish Marine that his wife had given birth –but when he finally located him, he discovered the new father had just been killed in battle.

The raising of the American flag atop Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945 became the subject of what is widely considered the most iconic battle photograph of all time when Associated Press photographer Joseph Rosenthal took the once-in-a-lifetime shot for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The American people embraced the photo as a compelling victory symbol. Wire services flashed it around the world, countless magazines ran it on its covers, and it was central to the monumentally successful 1945 War Bond drive that raised $26.3 billion.

Shown on this page is Rosenthal’s electrifying image of the flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi, which he has signed, adding “AP photographer, Iwo Jima, February 1945.”

Rosenthal was born in 1911 to Russian-Jewish immigrants in Washington, D.C., but converted to Catholicism as a young man. His career in photojournalism began in San Francisco, where he was chief photographer and manager for Times Wide World Photos before it was taken over by the Associated Press. After – ironically – being rejected by both the U.S. Army and Navy as a photographer because of impaired eyesight, he joined the AP and followed the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater of Operations as a kind of “embedded journalist.”

By 1945 he had already distinguished himself photographing military battles. Even before Iwo Jima there were few military men who had seen as much wartime action as Rosenthal: he was in a North Atlantic convoy of Liberty Ships under attack by German U-boats; in London during the Blitz; in the jungles of New Guinea with General MacArthur’s army; on several wartime ships in the South Pacific; in the cockpits with Navy pilots attacking Japanese controlled territory in the Philippines; and in the initial wave of beach landings while under fire in Guam, Peleliu, and Angaur.

On February 23, 1945, Rosenthal was making his daily trek to Iwo Jima on a Marine landing craft when he heard that a flag was being raised atop Mt. Suribachi, for which Marines had been battling since their initial landing on the island. About halfway up the mountain he met four descending Marines who advised him that the flag had already been raised at the summit. He nevertheless continued his ascent. It turned out the first flag had indeed been raised at 10:37 a.m. but shortly thereafter, for reasons still clouded in controversy, Marine commanders decided to replace it with a larger flag.

Saul Jay Singer

Bennett Plans to Bolster Jewish Identity, Connection to Israel, via New Education Program

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

During Monday’s meeting of the Knesset Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett presented a program to strengthen Jewish identity across the Diaspora and foster closer ties between Jews overseas and the State of Israel.

The new initiative, which is being promoted jointly by the Education and Diaspora ministries, will fund Jewish studies programs, Hebrew ulpans, and classes in Israel studies for school aged children around the world.

During the meeting, Bennett said the plan was to begin with a pilot program, focusing on dozens of elementary- and high-schools in Latin America and Europe, as well as the appointment of a planning committee to establish criteria for school programs to train teachers, and assist administrators in Jewish schools.

The committee will also operate a support network to connect educators in the Diaspora with their counterparts in Israel.

Diaspora Committee Chairman Avraham Neguise (Likud) called to strengthen Jewish identity among Jewish teenagers overseas, because, he said, they are feeling less and less connected to Judaism and the State of Israel.

Bennett responded that “Israel is responsible to protect and strengthen Jewish identity and affinity for Israel among each and every Jew everywhere in the world.”

“Jewish schools [serve] as important community centers, where the next generation is educated, and as a meeting place where Jewish identity is formed in wider circles. The State of Israel must aid educators to continue and expand educational programs bringing together the many parts of the Jewish people,” Bennett reiterated.

Bennett further said that his office was monitoring anti-Semitic activity and is accompanying Jewish communities abroad that are dealing with the phenomenon. His office is also following efforts in foreign countries to curb anti-Semitism through legislation.

Diaspora Affairs Ministry Director-General Dvir Kahane presented the ministry’s activities to strengthen Jewish identity across the Diaspora. The ministry spends tens of millions of dollars on such activities, which are also aimed at sharply increasing the number of Jewish university students who come to study in Israel, as well as assisting Jewish schools, mainly in Europe and South America.

One feature of the new campaign is to have Jews from abroad video themselves as they talk about their Jewish lives and their connection to Israel. Sample videos have already been posted on the Diaspora Affairs Ministry site.

According to Yogev Karasenty, the Diaspora Affairs Ministry’s Director for Combating Anti-Semitism, most anti-Semitism is fueled by Muslims who were born in Europe. “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” – the anti-Semitic, fabricated text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination, is very popular in Egypt, he told the committee.


UNESCO: Jews Have No Connection to the Temple Mount

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

The executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday denied Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

Meeting in Paris, the organization ignored the Jewish connection to Jerusalem sites in a resolution that passed with 33 votes in favor, six against, and 17 abstained, and referenced only the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount). The Western Wall area was referenced as the Al-Buraq Plaza. Last year UNESCO refused to reclassify the Wall as a Muslim site.

France, Spain, Sweden, Russia and Slovenia were among the non-Arab nations who supported the resolution. Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States objected.

The resolution accused Israel of planting “fake Jewish graves” in eastern Jerusalem. This claim is especially enraging, since the old Jewish cemetery on Mount Olives was desecrated by the Jordanians before 1967, with its tombstones being used to pave roads.

Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama released a statement in response saying, “Even if UNESCO passes dozens of resolutions, and decides to continue passing thousands more, Jerusalem will always remain as part of the capital of Israel and the Jewish people.” Shama added, “As you continue on this path of incitement, lies and terror you will be sending UNESCO down a path towards irrelevance.”


The Pita That Revived Terror

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

First Published on Sept. 25, 2012

“And all the nations will see that the Name of God is called upon you, and they will fear you” (Deuteronomy 28:10).

During the First Lebanon War, the IDF forced the PLO terrorists all the way to the Beirut port and then to Tunisia. The PLO, which had lost its stronghold in Lebanon, was shattered. Salach Taamri, the most senior and admired terrorist captured by the IDF, was imprisoned in the Ansar detention camp. He was a broken man.

Later, Taamri was interviewed by journalist Aharon Barnea for the book he would write about him, To be Captive. In Barnea’s book, Taamri describes the situation of the terror organization prior to Pesach, 28 years ago. “I concluded,” said Taamri, “that we had no chance to overpower Israel’s financial and military prowess, and that we should make do with the crumbs that they would throw us and fold up all our flags.”

Taamri, an intellectual and patriot, willingly cooperated with his captors. The other prisoners understood from their admired commander that the end had come and that the war was lost. And then, Taamri continued, a surprising event took place that turned everything upside down.

“My hands were holding the cold bars and I was looking from inside my dark jail cell toward the hall where an Israeli guard was walking. I saw him from far. He was walking slowly, holding something in his hand that he would constantly bring close to his mouth. He would bring it close and then distance it. When he was close to my cell, I called to him. I saw that he was eating a pita. He would bite, chew, bite and chew.

“You are a Jew,” I said to him. “Why are you eating chametz on Pesach? Don’t you know that it is forbidden for a Jew to eat chametz on this holiday?”

“I am not committed to the things that happened to my people during the exodus from Egypt 2,000 years ago. I have no connection to it,” said the Jewish prison guard.

Taamri continued: “I sat on the mattress in my cell and said to myself, ‘A nation of people who do not have a connection with their past; who are willing to publicly desecrate the laws of their faith, is a nation that has cut off the roots from its land. We will be able to achieve our goals.’ On that night, my approach completely changed. I couldn’t fall asleep. In all those hours of darkness, I replayed that scene with the Jewish prison guard.

“The next morning I gathered the Palestinian leadership in the prison, all those who knew my opinion over the years. I told them about my experience and the conclusions that I reached. I clarified to everyone that from that morning, we were embarking on a new course: a war for everything. Not for a small percentage and not for crumbs that they would throw us. For opposing us was a nation that lacked the connection to its roots, a nation not interested in its past. Thus, its motivation was necessarily void of any will to struggle and fight.”

Since then, Taamri says that he has told his story to tens of thousands of people and has convinced all of them that the approach must be changed to this: the Palestinians must struggle without compromise.

Taamri was elected to the Palestinian parliament and indeed convinced his friends, breathing new spirit into the war against Israel. The damage done by that pita eaten by the Israeli soldier on Pesach cannot be exaggerated.

Moshe Feiglin

Permutations & Combinations

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Originally published at Chabad.org.

By Elisha Greenbaum

Some people just don’t appreciate gematria.

In our synagogue I try to find something to say during the pauses in the Torah reading every Shabbat. We’re fairly eclectic in our tastes, and you might find us flitting between an ethical teaching, a play on words, a chassidic interpretation, or a piece of numerology during the break between one reading to the next.

Many of our regulars question my occasional use of gematria or other types of numerology.

Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. Aleph = 1, bet = 2, etc., and adding up the letters gives you the unique numerical value, or gematria, of each word and phrase. Comparing and contrasting the relative value of different words and phrases often affords surprising insight into the text and allows us to correlate seemingly unconnected Torah topics.

I admit it does sometimes seem somewhat random. One congregant of mine frequently observes, often after I’ve just introduced a particularly obscure piece of numerology, that you can read whatever you wish into numbers, and if you try hard enough you could probably find a tenuous connection between most topics.

He’s right, in a way. These methods are described as parparaot la-chochmah, the condiments of wisdom. They’re not the main meal of Judaism, just the seasoning that gives Judaism its taste. Torah is Godly and infinite, and all wisdom is contained within her words. You’d never decide a law on the basis of gematria; but, used properly, they can help give a new and deeper appreciation and understanding of the text.

Take one of the most famous examples of word and number play in the Torah. As Jacob leaves his father-in-law’s house on his journey back to Israel, he sends a message to his brother, Esau. Im Lavan garti, I have lived with Laban.

Rashi pointed out that the gematria of garti is 613, which is also the number of commandments in the Torah, and thus interprets Jacob’s message to be saying, “Throughout the years that I lived with the evil Laban, I kept the 613 commandments.”

But would my friend be convinced? So the word garti equals 613; it’s surely not the only word in the Torah with that value. Where do you get mitzvahs from “I have dwelled”? Why would Rashi assume that Jacob is doing more than just describing his living arrangements for the last 20 years, and is rather making a metaphysical point about his commitment to the commandments?

Gematria is more than random wordplay. Legitimate tools of Torah interpretation treat the text as a living document: an interplay of content and context, with each letter, word and phrase redolent with meaning. In our example, the correlation between garti and mitzvah observance is deeper than just adding up the letters; rather, the context leads to the conclusion.

The word garti, from the root ger, “stranger” or “convert,” is unusual. Had Jacob just wished to say “I lived with Laban,” there are other, seemingly more appropriate verbs that he could have used. Garti has connotations of “I was a stranger”; I was different, I never fit in with the wicked people because I lived and acted differently than they. Jacob was saying, “The whole time I was away from home, I stayed true to the lessons that I learned in my parents’ home.”

It was in this context that the rabbis observed that there is also numeric support for this supposition. “I was able to keep the 613 mitzvot, even in Lavan’s house, because I remained a stranger to their way of life.”

Wherever a Jew is, no matter how far from home he may have traveled, he can always maintain his connection to the words and letters of Torah by appreciating the value of each letter and word of Godliness and seeking out the underlying purpose of each phrase and phase of life.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/permutations-combinations/2013/11/13/

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