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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘West Bank’

The Passion of the Olive Trees*: Settlers Pelt US Diplomatic Personnel in the West Bank

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

{Originally posted on author’s website, LIBERTY UNYIELDING}

Some of the basic things America is losing with the onset of the Obama administration are sanity and common sense in our diplomatic representation abroad.

An unfortunate example of this decline occurred on Friday, when some of our own “Jerusalem consulate personnel” were reportedly attacked by Israeli “settlers” throwing stones, during a visit by the Americans to the site of an alleged “settler attack” on the olive trees of a Palestinian Arab grower in the West Bank.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said no one was hurt and the American security team had not drawn their weapons. Earlier reports had indicated that American security staff had done so; settlers were quoted saying the security personnel had drawn an M-16 and a pistol.

“We can confirm a vehicle from the Consulate General was pelted with stones and confronted by a group of armed settlers today in the West Bank, near the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya,” he said.

“Our personnel were in the area looking into reports that settlers had uprooted some 5,000 olive tree saplings in that area in recent days,” he said, adding that the visit had been cancelled after the attack.

Now, hold it right there.  We can certainly question the wisdom of roaming foreign territory, making independent inquiries into criminal allegations about property damage.  We can question what exactly gives us a charter to do that (especially without having coordinated the visit with the local authorities first.  See more here).

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Palestinian Arab woman, overcome by the pruning of olive trees.

But even before getting to that question, we have to question the wisdom of “investigating” one of these recurring, unsubstantiated allegations about settlers attacking Palestinian olive trees.  Researching the matter reveals that the “information theme” about it is a big racket.

For one thing, there is never the slightest evidence that Israeli settlers did anything to the trees.  It would take days of work to achieve the effects offered as “evidence” by the complaining Arabs:  lopped-off old-growth branches, great piles of newer-growth branches, piles of burned branches, trunks cut back to a state of near-pristine nudity.  The allegations about uprooted saplings – always “hundreds” or “thousands” of them – are not accompanied by affecting photos, as the allegations of attacks on more mature trees are.  But uprooting thousands of saplings would also take days of work. Yet Israeli settlers are never caught on camera attacking olive trees.  This is logically impossible.  It’s impossible for settler posses to raid olive groves, wreaking havoc that would take them days of dedicated work to accomplish, and never be caught in the act.
Palestinian Arabs inspect piles of olive tree prunings left by vandals in Qaryut, Oct 2013.

Palestinian Arabs inspect piles of olive tree prunings left by vandals in Qaryut, Oct 2013.

But we have more to go on than that.  It turns out that the “damage” we see in the photos of olive trees “attacked by settlers” is identical to the effects of olive-tree husbandry as practiced by olive growers around the world.

Start with this University of California manual on pruning olive trees, published in 1966.  The images alone convey the sometimes-startling visuals that go with maintaining producing olive trees.  Not everything that needs to be done looks “kind” to the tree.  Some of it looks pretty drastic, and may be done with big machines.  If you’ve ever driven along California State Highway 99 during pruning season, you’ve seen the results with your own eyes.  You could well be tempted to think, “Man, those Israeli settlers really get around.”

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(Pic#1) Normally pruned olive trees in the center. Image from a grower in Italy at http://notesfromatuscanolivegrove.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/pruning-the-olive-trees-before-and-after/

The pruning pile grows as the Italian grower takes us through the pruning process. (Notes from a Tuscan Olive Grove; see link at photo above.)

(Pic#2) The pruning pile grows as the Italian grower takes us through the pruning process. (Notes from a Tuscan Olive Grove; see link at photo above.)

 

Another Tuscan grower’s image of a pruning pile and well-pruned trees. His caption for this photo reads: “things are starting to look good.” Image from http://www.mapitout-tuscany.com/2013/03/olive-tree-pruning-in-italy-photo-guide.html

(Pic 3) Another Tuscan grower’s image of a pruning pile and well-pruned trees. His caption for this photo reads: “things are starting to look good.”

 

But it’s not all mere pruning, as we think of pruning; i.e., as a selective process that leaves the tree basically intact.  Often, olive growers are preparing their trees for top-grafting: the process of grafting new-growth cuttings onto old-growth branches.

An Italian grower cuts off limbs to prepare an olive tree for top-grafting. Image from http://www.joe-ray.com/motherland/archive/2007/03/ Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/01/04/passion-olive-trees-settlers-pelt-u-s-diplomatic-personnel-west-bank-video/#sGoOoAeTfE4tsLTX.99

An Italian grower cuts off limbs to prepare an olive tree for top-grafting.

The Italian grower makes an incision for the graft. Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/01/04/passion-olive-trees-settlers-pelt-u-s-diplomatic-personnel-west-bank-video/#sGoOoAeTfE4tsLTX.99

The Italian grower makes an incision for the graft.

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A grower demonstrates a completed top-graft on an olive tree.

This is the process that requires cutting the main branches back to a state of dramatic-looking nudity.  During preparation, the main branches receive clean perpendicular cross-cuts, right across the branch – exactly as seen in many of the images of Arab growers’ olive trees supposedly “attacked by settlers.”

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A Palestinian Arab poses with his olive tree, vandalized with remarkable precision to be ready for top-grafting

Burned piles of branches?  It’s an ordinary part of pruning.  But when the big main branches are cut off for top-grafting, the wood can go to the thriving olive-wood industry, which has a long-celebrated artisan foothold in the West Bank, but also produces numerous wood products, from flooring to kitchen implements to paper, wherever olive trees are cultivated around the Mediterranean (e.g., Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain).  A search on “olive wood industry” will verify this to your satisfaction.

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A Tuscan grower photographs his pruning fire in a series of images demonstrating the process for pruning olive trees. Image from www.mapitout-tuscany.com/2013/03/olive-tree-pruning-in-italy-photo-guide.html

Other bloggers have pointed out some of this in the last decade (see here and here, for example).  In 2012, the Blaze provided a video taken by Israeli settlers, which the settlers say shows the Arabs themselves making the cuts on their olive trees that then yielded the photos of “damage.”

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An Israeli bulldozer uproots olive trees in Beit Jala in Mar 2010.

 

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Another view of the Israeli bulldozers uprooting olive trees in Beit Jala in Mar 2010

 In terms of logic, this supposition is clearly more credible than the hypothesis that Israeli settlers can do silently and invisibly what the Israeli government has to do by deploying teams of workers to operate big machines in a noisy and detectable manner.

One final note.  As discussed in the Blaze story (as well as here, more recently), anti-Israel activists – i.e., foreign NGO workers – reportedly take part in the false-flag “attacks” on the West Bank olive trees.  These are the organizations that later spread the allegations about settler attacks.

This brings us full circle to the original story about the incident on Friday involving personnel from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.  What are our people doing, skulking around the West Bank as if the U.S. State Department is a radical-left NGO?  Beyond the stupidity of the political theater, there is the sordid possibility that some questionable damage claims are made just to get monetary compensation.  And the Obama State Department doesn’t even demand video evidence, at a minimum, before it goes off ambulance-chasing.

* The title invokes the theme “The Passion of the Toys” proposed (with sardonic intent) by blogger Slublog in August 2006.  He compared a series of emotive images posted in the mainstream media, of seemingly unaffected children’s toys lying in the rubble of sites damaged by Israel’s 2006 operation against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

 

 

Abbas Bucks Kerry and Runs to the UN to Throw Obama under the Bus

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas is ignoring hints of American sanctions and a possible defeat in the U.N. Security Council which is set to consider a resolution from Jordan on Monday, ordering Israel to sign a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority in one year.

The resolution calls on Israel to surrender within three years all of the land in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day war in 1967, and it demands a  “just” solution for millions of Arabs classified by the United Nations as “refugees,” a generation-to generation status that does not apply to any other people in the world.

Palestinian Authority chairman Abbas informed Kerry on Sunday of the decision that effectively is a slap in the face, if not a shot in the leg, to the Obama administration which has staked its reputation on negotiations between the PA and Israel while backing almost all of Abbas’ demands from Israel.

It is not certain the resolution will pass in the United Nations, which probably will vote on it later this week. If it does pass, President Barack Obama will have to decide whether to veto it or not. No matter what he decides, if he is forced to do so, it will have a dramatic effect on the Israeli elections.

That is exactly why Kerry has begged Abbas to postpone going to the United Nations at least until after the elections in mid-March, but Abbas, obviously is listening to someone else.

He sees to be hell-bent on self-destruction. He has a better chance of winning the needed two-thirds majority in the Security Council after January 1, when more pro-Arab countries take their turn as rotating members.

In its report on Abbas’ conversation with Kerry,  the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, “A well-informed official closed to Abbas spoke on condition of anonymity that Kerry exerted heavy pressure on Abbas over the phone to postpone the bid until after March elections in Israel.

“The official said that Kerry hinted there will be economic sanctions imposed on the Palestinians and that the US would veto the draft resolution in case it gains the nine Security Council votes.”

Reaction among Israeli hawks was swift and sharp. Likud minister Yuval Steinitz said that if the Security Council passes the resolution, “We will need to seriously weigh the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority.”

That would be absolutely stupid because Abbas is doing a good job all by himself to make the Palestinian Authority history.

The PA has won worldwide support vocally, but it is totally dependent on a nearly bankrupt European Union for help. The Arab countries have pledged billions and have paid pennies, and now Abbas risks sanctions from the United States.

One of his biggest political backers is Russia, whose economy is showing signs of a recession.

What or who is pushing Abbas over the cliff?

Perhaps he is afraid of a coup if he does not do something to satisfy the hard-core camp that can’t live without murdering Jews to prove their “resistance.”

Perhaps he wants to convince Hamas that he really is serious about getting rid of Israel and spitting on the United States.

Perhaps he is senile.

Perhaps he simply wants to prove that he is no different from other Arab leaders who would rather fail in an attempt to destroy Israel rather than accept it as a fact life.

‘How to Stab a Jew’ Going Viral on Palestinian Authority Social Media [video]

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The “resisters of occupation in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem” are spreading on Arab social media a frightening video demonstrating tactics on how to stab a Jew to death quickly and efficiently.

The 1-minute and 13-second video, as seen below, shows the “teacher” calmly walking up to a “victim,” stabbing him, and walking away.

One of the tactics appears to imitate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) method of beheading.

The guide to killing Jews teaches that after stabbing the victim, the knife should be twisted to maximize wounds and cause death.

The Palestinian Authority and anti-Israel Arabs in Jerusalem do not need terrorist cells when “resisters” use social media to reach hundreds of thousands of Arabs in Jerusalem as well as in Judea, Gaza and Samaria, with a single simple post.

Israel needs to find the source of whoever posted this video and arrest him or them.

All of Israel is paying a heavy price, the price of life, for a decade of conducting “negotiations” with the Palestinian Authority while it has incited an entire generation to hate Jews and then murder them.

Until the Palestinian Authority halts all incitement, and until Mahmoud Abbas starts condemning terrorists in Arabic as well as in English, and until the Obama administration understands that Israel means what it says, the government needs to stop all contact with Ramallah.

Arab stabbing attacks on Jews have increased significantly this year, and every Israeli is a potential victim when “resisters” educate every Arab to be a murderer.

IDF Helicopter Saves Palestinian Authority Baby after Heart Attack

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

An IDF helicopter evacuated a six-month-old baby to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem Saturday morning after the child suffered an apparent heart attack while on the way to Jordan for medical care.

Israeli border officials saw the baby collapse and called paramedics, who in turn sent an urgent call for a military helicopter.

Magen David medics arrived at the scene and, along with IDF doctors, resuscitated the child, but the medical staff decided he needed to be flown to a hospital immediately.

Transportation was coordinated with the IDF’s COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) unit, and the baby now is under care at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

We would like to presume that the family is appreciative of Israel’s efforts.

 

IDF Captures Palestinian Authority Terrorists Who Firebombed 11-Year-Old [video]

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Soldiers of the elite Duvdevan unit captured the Palestinian Authority terrorists who firebombed the car in which 11-year-old Ayala Shapira was riding Thursday night.

Her condition has improved slightly but she still is in critical condition. Her father, who was driving, was lightly inured when the terrorists hurled the Molotov cocktail at their car near their outpost community of El Matan, located between Maaleh Shomron and Ginot Shomron in Samaria.

The arrest of the terrorists was reported here on Friday, but gag order on details of the arrest was lifted Saturday night. The IDF, working on intelligence information provided by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), arrested two terrorists, one of them around 16 years old, shortly after the attack.

The terrorists are from the village of Azun, from where terrorists have carried out hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of rifle, rock-throwing and firebomb attacks on Jews driving on the main highway between Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv, and Jewish communities in central Samaria.

The terrorists confessed to the attempted murders of Ayala and her father.

They armed themselves with firebombs, waited on the side of the road and lit and threw the weapon when they saw the Shapira vehicle advancing.

They fled back to Azun and were arrested the same night following intense efforts by intelligence units.

‘Slight Improvement’ in Life-threatening Condition of Firebomb Victim

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Doctors at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv said Friday morning that there is a “slight improvement” in the condition of 11-year-old Ayala Shapira, who still is fighting for her life after a Palestinian Authority terrorist set on fire the car in which she and her father were riding last night.

They live in the El Matan outpost, adjacent to Maaleh Shomron, which is part of the Maaleh-Ginot-Karnei Shomron communities between Kfar Saba and Kedumim.

Her father escaped the burning vehicle with light burn wounds. Ayala suffered burns over 30-40 percent of her body, mostly in the upper parts and in the face.

Last month, Ayala’s mother Ruth was targeted in a similar Molotov cocktail attack in the same spot of last night’s attack. Her car was destroyed but she was not injured.

The girl’s father Avner told Yediot Acharonot that he saw the terrorists lighting the firebomb and throwing it.

“I shouted to my daughter to get out and she was able to do so,” he said. “We were able by the grace of God to get out of the car, but she was much more seriously wounded than I was. We hope that the hospital staff will be able to return her to her previous state.”

Ruth Shapira told the Israeli newspaper, “Ayala is a very special girl. She is an exceptionally smart child, who was on her way home from a program for youth gifted in mathematics at the Bar-Ilan University. “

Police said that Ayala almost certainly would have been dead if she had not rolled herself on the ground to extinguish the flames on her burning body.

As usual after a terrorist attack, the army sent a large number of soldiers to search for the attacker, who still is at large.

The nearby highway 55, the only direct road connecting Kfar Saba with Jewish communities in the area, has been the scene of hundreds of attempts to kill Jews with rocks, firebombs and guns. The army occasionally deploys several patrols simultaneously on the road.

And how does the pro-Palestinian Authority crowd understand the attack.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency told its English-speaking readers, who include foreign media, a blanket lie.

“Maaleh Shomron is part of a larger settlement bloc…surrounding a number of Palestinian villages on at least three sides and preventing Palestinians from freely moving in the area,” it wrote.

As usual, the opposite is true.

There are far more Arab villages than there are Jewish communities, and the only ”preventing” to moving freely comes from Palestinian Authority terrorists who constantly try to murder Jews.

 

Arabs Imitate Ancient Greeks and Vandalize Joseph’s Tomb

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

More than 1,000 Jews visiting Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) in Shechem Sunday night discovered that Palestinian Authority Arabs vandalized the holy site for the umpteenth time.

The vandals destroyed the electric system, but the Jews, under IDF protection, lit a menorah on the sixth night of Hanukkah, which commemorates the victory of the Maccabeans over the Greek conquerors who desecrated the Holy Temple nearly 2000 years ago.

Israel surrendered open access to Joseph’s Tomb in 2001 after a terrorist attack, allowing a violation of the Oslo Accords protecting the rights of all religions to visit holy sites to become an accepted principle.

Leftists and plain President Obama-Arabs read the news differently.

The “Alternative News. Org” website reported, “1,000 Israelis raided the northern West Bank area of Nablus [Shechem] Sunday night to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, located on the outskirts of the city….

“Joseph’s Tomb is located in Area A of the West Bank, under full security and administrative control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Although entry into Joseph’s Tomb requires permission and coordination with the PA, the Israeli civilians and troops entered without either.”

Every time a Jew visits the Temple Mount or Joseph’s Tomb, and soon the Dead Sea can be added to the list, it is a “raid.”

As for the report that they entered without permission, the IDF told The Jewish Press Monday morning that simply is not true. “There was coordination,” a spokeswoman said.

Alternative News also conveniently omitted the wording of the Oslo Accords that specifically reserves the rights of Jews to visit Joseph’s Tomb, among others, and requires “both sides shall respect and protect the listed below religious rights of Jews, Christians, Moslems and Samaritans.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/arabs-imitate-ancient-greeks-and-vandalize-josephs-tomb/2014/12/22/

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