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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘haaretz’

Haaretz’s Swan Song for Americans: ‘Save Israel from Its Own Extremism’

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

The left-wing in Israel is dying and is reaching out to Americans for resuscitation.

The editor of Haaretz, Israel’s bastion for the left and anti-Netanyahu to the nth degree, posted an op-ed in The Daily Beast Friday under the headline, “Can Americans Save Israel from Its Own Extremism?”

Editor Aluf Benn lamented the Netanyahu administration’s actions, such as outlawing the radical Islamic Movement organization, and bemoaned Opposition leader’s Yitzchak Herzog criticism that the Prime Minister should have done so long ago.

Explaining the desperation of Israel’s left wing, or what remains from the glory of the Oslo Accords mirage, Benn wrote:

Progressives in Israel feel powerless and contemplate leaving Israel for good. We need to get out of this melancholy spiral, stand up for peace, democracy and equality and reach out to like-minded people abroad, particularly in the United States, who worry about the direction of Israel in Netanyahu’s fourth term.

This is the same newspaper that has bitterly complained that right-wing Americans promote and often fund nationalist projects such as buying land from Arabs in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Haaretz recently announced it is explaining its presence in the United States, starting off with a conference on Sunday with the New Israel Fund, whose stated mission is to ensure “equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” and “to advance liberal democracy, including freedom of speech and minority rights, and to fight inequality, injustice, and extremism that diminish Israel.”

The NIF has been active in that field when comes to Arabs. It has been stonily silent while police held right-wing youth, without access to lawyers or freedom to worship or even light Hanukkah candles, on suspicion of involvement in the arson-murder in the Palestinian Authority village of Duma earlier this year.

NGO Monitor has reported that NIF generously funds organizations that have been “active in repeating unsupported allegations of “deliberate, systematic, and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians’; ‘war crimes and crimes against humanity’; ‘grave violations of international humanitarian law,’ and similar claims regarding the 2014 Gaza war.”

Haaaretz’s strategy is to publicly team up with the NIF to get rid of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who was the principal target of Benn’s swan song of the left on Friday.

He told Daily Beast readers:

Isolated under Netanyahu, the editors of Israel’s leading liberal newspaper are coming to New York to try to restore a sense of reason…

While Americans will go to the polls and elect their leader for the next four years, Israelis must decide whether the aggressive march toward rightwing extremism led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be embraced or rejected.

He alleged that since Netanyahu retained the office of Prime Minister after last March’s elections, he “ousted his former conservative self and reincarnated as a radical nationalist with unprecedented power.”

Benn and Haaretz still are infatuated with the “two-state” proposal and cannot accept the fact, which Benn admits, that the former center-left has moved to the right. He wrote:

Israel’s mainstream media parrots Netanyahu’s narrative: the Jewish state faces a permanent threat of annihilation, the Palestinians are the present-day Nazis, and the West is either anti-Semitic or oblivious to the fate of the Jews, just as it was during the Holocaust….

When the Cabinet outlawed the local Islamic movement, against the advice of the Security Service, Yitzhak Herzog, the opposition leader only criticized Netanyahu for not doing it earlier.

Benn seems to understand that it only is matter of time before Israel finally includes tens of thousands of Jews in Gush Etzion and Maaleh Adumim under Israeli sovereignty, with more communities to follow.

He is aghast that “emboldened right-wing politicians…call for annexing the West Bank into Israel.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967” by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

New Arab Claim on Susiya: History Begins When Arabs Settled

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Arabs have raised a new claim on “Arab Susiya,” located in the southern Hebron Hills, based on an alleged 1881 document from the time of the Ottoman Empire.

The tiny area of Susiya, as The JewishPress.com reported here last week, has become a critical case that could determine the future of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The IDF has issued orders to destroy several European Union and leftist-funded tents and structures on “Arab Susiya.” If the Palestinian Authority wins an appeal against the orders, it would pave the way for Arabs to dig up claims on every inch of land in Israel.

Israel aerial photos and academic researcher have refuted previous claims that Arabs lived on Susiya in recent years, Haaretz reported on Sunday that an Arab lawyer has dug up an Ottoman-Empire-era document in the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, that the “Jabri” family had a deed for “land near Susiya” in 1881.

Even if the claim were valid, it does not mean that Arabs can build without permits, but it would allow them to use the land for agriculture.

Haaretz noted that previous deeds from a century ago are problematic because they do not clearly define land boundaries.

The claim of a document from 1881 is strange because the Jabri family was one of the heads of the city of Hebron, 12 miles away by road. Susiya was not exactly Boardwalk on the Hebron land board; it was not even on the board at all.

The southern Hebron Hills is a barren mountain desert area. A family in Hebron would have no apparent reason to buy or lease land in Susiya.

But if the deed really is true, it exposes the Palestinian Authority as claiming that history begins only when Arabs settle land.

If Arabs wants to start digging into history before the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, then all recorded documents have to be honored.

For example, using 1881 as a starting point, there are dozens of recorded land purchases by Jews of land in such places as Gaza, Gush Etzion and the Silwan Valley in “eastern Jerusalem.”

If Arabs want to use historical land deeds as a basis for claims, and since they accept the Five Books of Moses as a prelude to the Prophet Mohammed, then there is no argument that Abraham bought the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron, King David, Jacob (Yaakov) bought Shechem (Nablus) and King David bought Jerusalem.

Islam began in the 7th century, hundreds of years after Jews settled the country.

The Palestinian Authority wants it both ways. If it can find a document that Arabs paid taxes on land or even owned it, it claims that is proof the land is theirs.

If they don’t have a deed, they claim it is their “ancient homeland.”

Their meaning of “ancient” is when Arabs first appears on the scene.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama Trying to Make US Leftist Jews “Mainstream’

Monday, July 6th, 2015

A recent meeting between National Security Council officials and the left-wing Breaking the Silence group barely made headlines but was a significant move in President Barack Obama’s agenda to justify his view that Israel is an “occupier.”

It was President Obama who succeeded in removing AIPAC as the default representative of what is called the “pro-Israel lobby” by opening the Oval Office to J Street, the left-wing group that thinks being “pro-Israel” means accommodating Hamas, expelling 600,000 Jews from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and granting statehood Palestinian Authority inside Israel’s borders.

Calling itself “pro-Israel, pro-peace,” and with generous funding from far-left billionaire George Soros, J Street’s launch in 2008 coincided with the campaign and election of President Obama.

Since then, Obama has shifted farther and farther to adopt the Palestinian Authority view of Israel as an occupier, and of Jews in settlements and even half of Jerusalem as “illegal” and “illegitimate.” Listening to leftist Jews telling him what he wants to hear has strengthened his belief that the “peace process” is the panacea for the Middle East.

Obama also has grabbed every opportunity to twist Judaism into his vision of a religion that can used to support his agenda, and he has plenty of support from Reform Jewish leaders to become a modern Korach, the Biblical figure who rebelled against Moses’ authority by claiming that the entire Jewish community is just as holy as he is.

The end of the story is that Korach and his 250 followers were swallowed up in the ground, which opened up to bury them alive, and that seems to be the same fate for President Obama’s foreign policy, especially when it comes to any place in the Middle East.

Instead of accepting reality, he is trying to hold on to an illusion. Breaking the Silence is a new pawn for President Obama to use in his chess game to check Israel, and particularly Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Senior White officials welcomed Breaking the Silence, which was formed by a disgruntled Israeli-American soldier whose agenda is the same as Obama’s. Both of them have adopted the Palestinian Authority  term  “occupation” to describe the presence of approximately 300,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria and another quarter of a million or so in half a dozen Jerusalem neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of the residents are from the United States.

Reform Jewish leaders , who call themselves rabbis, do not represent Judaism, J Street does not represent the pro-Israel lobby, and Breaking the Silence does not represent the views of more than a tiny minority of Israelis.

But President Obama is playing magician to try to show that all three groups are the Jewish establishment.

The meeting  between White House officials with Breaking the Silence was the first ever and was held only days after the anti-IDF organization staged an anti-IDF exhibition  with the sponsorship of the Swiss government.

The President shrewdly made sure the meeting would not be held in the White House, making it easier for him to get smart and drop Breaking the Silence before it costs him support from the real mainstream Jewish community that knows the Israeli Defense Forces separate Israel from annihilation.

Haaretz reported that the meeting took place “at the offices of an American nonprofit in the capital.” A good guess – and it’s only as guess – would be that those offices belonged to J Street or perhaps more likely the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, whose president Matt Duss arranged the meeting.

The group’s website states:

The Foundation for Middle East Peace was created in 1979…to promote a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through education and advocacy…. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [is] at the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict….

In 1992, in view of the growing threat of Israeli settlements to peace, the Foundation introduced the bimonthly Report on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Breaking the Silence is trying to go mainstream. Obama’s “shared values” are more with the left-wing group than they are with the real mainstream in Israel and in the United States.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

State Department Says Amb. Oren’s Criticisms of Obama ‘Absolutely Inaccurate and False’

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Not surprisingly, an op-ed written by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren (currently a member of Knesset in the Kulanu Party) in which Oren was highly critical of President Obama’s treatment of Israel, was the topic of acerbic questioning during Wednesday’s State Department Daily Press Briefing.

The op-ed appeared in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, and Oren wrote that President Barack Obama “deliberately” abandoned a 40-year core policy regarding Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria.

Oren wrote that President Obama is a “friend” of Israel but nevertheless maintained that while anyone can make a mistake, President Obama did so on purpose.

Despite the description of the exchange between ranking press corps member Matt Lee of the Associated Press and State Department Spokesman John Kirby which appeared in the extreme leftist Haaretz, Kirby did not simply reject Oren’s critical op-ed as the work of “a politician trying to sell a book.”

What Kirby did say was that neither he nor the Secretary of State had yet read Oren’s book, but that the op-ed “conveys his perspective as an advocate for his government, and now as a politician who’s promoting a book.”

However, Kirby rejected Oren’s allocation of blame, stating categorically that “the account of President Obama’s leadership in the U.S.-Israeli relationship, is absolutely inaccurate and false, and doesn’t reflect what actually happened in the past.”

Kirby also specifically stated that Secretary Kerry “knows” that Oren “had limited visibility into many of the private discussions and deliberations that he describes.”

Nonetheless, the usual boilerplate “unbreakable ties” between the U.S. and Israel, and Israel’s security being “sacrosanct” was repeated by Kirby, who also quoted Secretary Kerry, with whom he said he spoke that morning, as saying, “it’s more important that we move forward in a constructive way than dwell on these accusations, false as they may be.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Foxman Slams Israel on His Way Out the Door

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Abraham Foxman, perhaps the best known, certainly the best funded, of the American Jewish establishment “leadership,” let the veil slip as he began his long-awaited exit from his throne as the national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

It happened at an event at the 92nd Street Y (when formed in 1874 it was known as the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, it’s no longer just for men or exclusively for Jews) on June 10. The program, entitled “What’s Next for Israel? Ari Shavit in conversation with Peter Beinart, Abe Foxman and Dan Senor,” received little attention until the virulently anti-Israel website Mondoweiss reported on it the following day, which was noted by JPUpdates.

The Mondoweiss article had the catchy title: “Foxman Bashes Israel for taking US and Jewish support for granted and not coming up with a peace plan.”

Although it is impossible to know what exactly Foxman said, and how much was taken out of context in order to have Foxman appear to be in complete alignment with the views of the Mondoweiss crowd, the direct quotes are alarming no matter what the context. This appears as a direct quote:

I think we have signed up for Israel. Some—some unreservedly, others with some more reservations. I don’t think Israel understands, appreciates, values, respects this partner– this side of the partner[ship]… There needs to be a lot more sensitivity and education in Israel as to the value of this community beside sending checks or in a moment of crisis, running to Congress…

Foxman appears to believe that Israelis are insufficiently grateful for American Jewish dollars and to American Jewish fat cats.

Perhaps in his retirement, Foxman might develop a curriculum for Israelis on the art of ring-kissing, or a class on American Jewish Leadership Veneration.

Why, the nerve of those folks over in Israel, living the easy life, probably sitting out on their deck chairs, popping bon-bons and watching their fingernails grow. And then they have the nerve to start whining when a rocket or two or three hundred interrupts their sunbathing. Foxman shouldn’t bet on lots of Israelis signing up for his classes, though. Too busy dodging vehicular terrorists and whatnot.

The 75 year-old Foxman then explained to the Upper East Side crowd that he sees there is an existential threat to Israel, but he wonders whether the Israelis do. For if they did, surely they would make many changes and be…why, more like Foxman! You know, someone with the shrewdness to recognize that what Israel really needs is a dynamic new approach for peace. Because American Jewish support for Israel, according to Foxman, is atrophying without it.

Here are the direct quotes:

Do we feel an existential threat to Israel? I do. I sometimes wonder why they don’t see it as I see it and as Ari [Shavit] articulated it. But I think we see the existentialist threat much clearer than they do. They’re so close to it.

Because if they would see it, they would change so many things. Take the U.S. relationship. It’s not that great, it’s not perfect, but what keeps me up at night is the dependence of Israel on the United States. Now if you understand that reality, then you understand how serious and significant it is in your future, facing whatever threats, existential or not. And if that’s the case, where is the sechel [Yiddish for shrewdness, sense]? Where is the smartness? Where is it to understand that you need to change that relationship, you need to find ways– and it’s not happening! It’s not happening!

So I sometimes say, What they say and what they do–don’t they see what’s around them? And they talk about the danger but I don’t think they’re acting it. If we have time, what do we tell Israel to do? Some of us see the crisis. But we don’t have any magic formula. But … if they asked me, I would say, Come up with some creative dynamic approach for peace. It doesn’t mean it will happen. But that’s part of the existential disintegration of the support base.

The main attraction at the event was Ari Shavit, a journalist for the blindly leftist Haaretz, who was, as always, calling for a “settlement freeze.” Mondoweiss quoted Foxman’s response to that call as “it’s smart for us to do it, regardless of whether we think it’s right or wrong.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

De facto  Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israeli diplomats Thursday that her policy is to deliver  a message to the world that “this land is ours” because God gave it to the Jews.

Hotovely official is Deputy Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu officially has the title of Foreign Minister. In practice, he has placed his trust in her to deal with foreign diplomats.

An Orthodox woman and mother to a baby girl, Hotovely somewhat shocked several Israeli diplomats with a “Dvar Torah,” Hebrew for a short lesson from the Torah. She quoted in brief the Torah commentator Rashi, who cited the interpretation of the  first word of the Torah:

Rashi wrote:

Said Rabbi Isaac: It was not necessary to begin the Torah except from ‘This month is to you, (Exod. 12:2) which is the first commandment that the Israelites were commanded. Now for what reason did He commence with ‘In the beginning?’

Because of [the verse] ‘The strength of His works He related to His people, to give them the inheritance of the nations.’ (Psalms 111:6). For if the nations of the world should say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered by force the lands of the seven nations [of Canaan],’ they will reply, ‘The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, blessed be He; He created it (this we learn from the story of the Creation) and gave it to whomever He deemed proper When He wished, He gave it to them, and when He wished, He took it away from them and gave it to us.’

Hotovely added, “We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country,” she said. “This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologize for that.”

Her comment that no apologizes are necessary is right out of election campaign of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) and its chairman Naftali Bennett.

Hotovely also quoted Rabbi Yehuda Ashkenazi:

If Jews will convince themselves when facing the world that they are right in their ways, they will get along fine.

Haaretz reported that one diplomat said, “This the first time we have been asked to deliver a Dvar Torah to explain Israel to the world.”

It’s about time.

Her speech to the diplomats represents a radical change – a real revolution – in the Israeli government.

Hotovely, a darling of the national religious movement, has shown herself to be a brilliant politician, and she has won the full trust of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which is not easy.

One of the main reasons Netanyahu named her as Deputy Foreign Minister is because Hotovely never has lashed out at the Prime Minister like other Likud politicians.

She and Moshe Feiglin, whom Netanyahu maneuvered out of the Knesset, believe that the national religious movement is better off working through the Likud party instead of a smaller and ideologically defined faction, such as the old National Religious Party (Mafdal).

Hotovely has succeeded where Feiglin failed. He tried to go one-on-one against Netanyahu. Hotovely plays the game the way politicians are supposed to play it.

Even when the government carries out expulsions of Jews from the homes in Judea and Samaria, she politely disagrees but carries on with the attitude, “He is the Prime Minister, and I respect that,”

Netanyahu can trust Hotovely, who speaks excellent English, to represent the e the government, and she has stated that she will do so even if she personally disagrees.

Foreign media are aghast that Israel has a de facto Foreign Minister who is against the two-state illusion but Netanyahu has brilliantly made Silvan Shalom responsible for the non-existence “peace process” that Israel has to pretend is alive.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/foreign-minister-hotovely-tell-the-world-god-gave-israel-to-the-jews/2015/05/22/

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