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Friday, October 31, 2008

The richest Jew in Damascus, 1816

James Silk Buckingham wrote a diary of his travels in the early part of the nineteenth century, called "Travels Among the Arab Tribes Inhabiting the Countries East of Syria and Palestine."

He mentions the richest Jew in Damascus, Mallim Yusef, who was a very important member of the Damascus branch of the Ottoman government, "directing all the financial operations" there.

Buckingham then describes a visit to the "kihyah bey," or local prime minister, temporarily taking the duties of the late Governor of Damascus after the latter's untimely death returning from the Haj in Mecca:
[We] found the venerable Turk seated in a small but richly furnished apartment, guarded and attended by at least fifty handsome officers, all armed with sabres and dirks, and all superbly dressed. We were desired to seat ourselves on the sofa beside these chiefs, before whom stood in groups an equal number of armed attendants, and were treated with great respect and attention.

The rich Jew, Mallim Yusef, who conducted us to the presence of the kihyah bey, seated himself with the greatest possible humility on the floor beneath us, at the feet of his superiors who occupied the sofa, first kneeling, and then sitting back while kneeling, on the heels and soles of his feet, with these and his hands completely covered, in an attitude and with an air of the most abject and unqualified humiliation. Mr. Bankes was dressed as a Turkish effendi, or private and unmilitary person : I still continued to wear the less showy garments of the Christian merchant, with which I had replaced my Bedouin garb. The rich Jew was dressed in the most costly garments, including Cashmere shawls, Russian furs, Indian silks, and English broad-cloth : all, however, being of dark colours, since none but the orthodox Mohammedans are allowed to wear either green, red, yellow, azure, or white, in any of their garments, which are therefore, however costly in material, almost restricted to dark browns, blacks, and blues. Among the party was also a Moslem dervish, with a patchwork and party-coloured bonnet of a sugar loaf shape, and his body scarcely half covered with rags and tattered garments ; his naked limbs obtruding themselves most offensively, and his general appearance being indecent and disgusting.

It was impossible not to be struck forcibly with the different modes of reception and treatment adopted towards us, more particularly as contrasted with our real and apparent conditions. The Jew, who was by far the wealthiest and the most powerful of all present, who lived in the most splendid house in Damascus, and fed from his table more than a hundred poor families every day, who literally managed the great machine of government, and had influence enough, both here and at Constantinople, to procure the removal of the present bey from his post if he desired it, was obliged to kneel in the presence of those who could not have carried on the affairs of government without his aid, while the dervish, contemptible alike for his ignorance and arrogant assumption of superiority, was admitted to the seat of honour, and, with ourselves, who were of a faith as far removed from their own as the Jew's, was served with coffee, sherbet, and perfumes, and treated by the attendants with all the marks of submission and respect.
Here we have the very definition of dhimmitude: a Jew could reach great political heights and wield enormous power in the Muslim world, yet must always act with deference and abject humiliation to even the lowest Muslim he meets. We see that in 1816 Damascus, Muslim servants were considered higher in the social milieu than the richest Jew in the city.

UPDATE: I made a mistake in my last paragraph that Kashmiri Nomad takes me to task for; see here.

19 weeks in a row

For the nineteenth consecutive week, more Palestinian Arabs were violently killed by their own actions than by the evil IDF.

The score this week was 4-1. That one from this week, described by the PCHR only as an "elderly Palestinian man," happened to be firing at the IDF at the time with his rifle.

Since the beginning of August the score is 80-7.

We are now closing in on the 2006-7 streak of 23 weeks in a row of Palestinian Arabs managing to outkill each other versus the genocidal IDF.

How not to dismantle a bomb

From Ma'an:
A Hamas police officer was killed and several other Palestinians were wounded on Thursday when an explosive device detonated in a police station in Gaza City.

A spokesperson for the movement, Islam Shahwan, said the device had been discovered earlier in the day within the Hamas controlled territory and taken to a police station to be dismantled.

While experts took apart the bomb, it exploded, causing several secondary blasts, as well, Shahwan said.
I'm no expert, but if one was going to try to transport a bomb somewhere to be dismantled, wouldn't an open field be better than a place filled with weapons?

YNet adds:
Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Elghseen later said that the man, a police officer and an engineer, died "as a martyr".
Which makes this good news all around.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count is now at 207.

Egypt finds 8 missiles in the Sinai meant for Gaza

From Ma'an Arabic:
Egyptian police said Tuesday they discovered a cache of weapons in the northern Sinai Desert.

An Egyptian security official said police found the 8 surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles in an underground bunker in the northern Sinai Desert.

The police sources said that the missiles were on their way to the Gaza Strip.
JPost confirms this story.

There have been many recent stories about the smuggling tunnels run by Hamas in Gaza, yet none of these articles ever mention weapons smuggling any more. They only speak about fuel, toys, and livestock that are being brought through Rafah. It seems as if Hamas' stamp of approval on the "consumer goods" tunnels has made it easier to hide the more discreet weapons-smuggling operations that are still going full-blast.

This discovery of missiles being smuggled indicates that, if anything, Hamas' weapons-smuggling activities are accelerating.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arab world screwing their own people

Nothing demonstrates the hypocrisy of the Arab world more than the fate of some 2300 miserable refugees from Iraq who are stuck on the Syria/Iraq border. From the UNHCR:

AL TANF, Iraq-Syria Border, October 30 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has rushed assistance to hundreds of ... refugees stuck in camps on the Iraq-Syria border after heavy rain and flooding caused chaos and misery.

Rainstorms on Tuesday night left tents inundated with water and sewage, possessions soaked and electricity supplies cut at Al Tanf, a settlement housing almost 800 people in the narrow no man's land between Iraq and Syria. The small mosque was damaged by fire, but there were no human casualties

"This is the closest to hell I can imagine," said Mutassem Hayatla, a UNHCR field officer who stayed in the camp during the downpour. "With no electricity, the camp was full of the sound of crying, terrified children. We did our best, but it was a blessing when the night was over."

Nine-year-old Aya said she was terrified. "The lights were all off, there was water everywhere. My mother was crying. She is pregnant and the baby will come soon. Please get us out before my brother is born. I am scared he will die if we have to live here after she delivers."

The situation was even worse in Al Waleed, a nearby camp hosting more than 1,400 refugees just inside Iraq, where more than 100 families were left homeless after their tents were destroyed in the storm. UNHCR was rushing supplies on Wednesday to both sites, but it was taking longer to get to Al Waleed due to security considerations.

Some of the refugees have lived at Al Tanf for three years, barred from entering any of the countries neighbouring Iraq. "We cannot go forwards, nor back. We have a road on one side that threatens our children's lives daily, a high wall on the other; in front and behind we have two impenetrable borders," explained Abu Ziyad, a member of the Al Tanf refugee committee.

"Our only hope is resettlement. For the sake of our children, our wives, our elderly, we beg you, please get us out of here," he pleaded.

The Arab world has 325 million people and 5 million square miles. Why can't they find room for these poor people?

Because, even though they had been in Iraq for decades, they are considered "Palestinians."

And Arab countries will do anything possible to avoid resettling Palestinian Arabs in their countries. The reason they say is because it would fracture Palestinian unity, but the real reason is because they would rather use them as cannon fodder in the fight against Israel's existence than to treat them as if they have any human rights.

Some countries have taken in some of these Iraqis of Palestinian descent: Iceland, Brazil, Chile, Canada. But save for a PR-based offer from the Sudan, no Arab country has offered to let them in, even as refugees.

Syria has (very reluctantly) taken in 1.2 million Iraqi refugees, but they refuse to allow these 2300 to come in.

Because their great-grandparents lived in Palestine.

The brotherhood of the Arab peoples is something to behold.

Random thoughts and open thread

I just saw a pretty nifty Israeli invention for sale - called Vazu. It is, believe it or not, a foldable vase.

Check out Martin Kramer vs. Martin Peretz on Obama and Khalidi.

You can forget about trying to change my mind for the election - I already voted (I'm going on a business trip next week and wouldn't have been able to vote on Election Day.)

Trivia question: How many World Series has Philadelphia won? Answer: 7! (The Philadelphia Athletics won 5 times.)

Talk amongst yourselves about politics, sports and household furnishings.

Check out Ami Isseroff's review of Benny Morris' "1948"

Possibly the best reference site for the history of Israel and Zionism on the web is Ami Isseroff's zionism-israel.com , and its sister site MidEast Web. Without a doubt, Isseroff is the most knowledgeable blogger on Israel's history, and his websites are truly encyclopedic (although not as well organized as they should be.)

For a stellar example, see Isseroff's review of the new Benny Morris book, 1948: A History of the First Arab Israeli War. And check out his links.

PA admits it supports terror against Israel

Daniel Pipes notices how the PA argued to dismiss a lawsuit in US courts against the organization for terror acts that killed over 30 people:
The lawsuit, Sokolow v The Palestine Liberation Organization, brought by the intrepid David Strachman, alleges that the PLO carried out two machine-gun and five bombing attacks in the Jerusalem area between January 2001 and February 2004. The plaintiffs allege, in the words of U.S. District Judge George Daniels, that the PLO did so "intending to terrorize, intimidate, and coerce the civilian population of Israel into acquiescing to defendants' political goals and demands, and to influence the policy of the United States and Israeli governments in favor of accepting defendants' political goals and demands." The attacks killed 33 and wounded many more, some of them U.S. citizens; the victims and their families are seeking up to US$3 billion in damages from the PLO.

To this, the PLO, represented in part by none other than the appalling Ramsey Clark (who in a distant age, 1967-69, was attorney general of the United States), replied that the attacks were acts of war rather than terrorism. As Daniels summarizes the PLO argument: "defendants argue that subject matter jurisdiction is lacking because this action is premised on acts of war, which is barred under the ATA [Antiterrorism Act of 1991], and further is based on conduct which does not meet the statutory definition of ‘international terrorism'."

This response is noteworthy for two reasons: (1) Fifteen years after Oslo supposedly ended the state of war, four years after Mahmoud Abbas took over and supposedly improved on Arafat's abysmal record, the PLO publicly maintains it remains at war with Israel. (2) The PLO argues, even in the context of an American law court, that blatant, cruel, inhumane, and atrocious acts of murder constitute legitimate acts of warfare.

The court record seems to go a little even beyond this.

Firstly, the lawsuit is against both the PLO and the PA, so the defendants represent both entities. One cannot argue even facetiously that the PA is somehow not claiming to be at war with Israel, but only the PLO is.

Secondly, since the ATA does not apply to sovereign states, the PLO claimed that Palestine is a state for the purposes of this lawsuit:
An ATA action may not be maintained against a foreign state or the agencies, officers and employees thereof, acting within their official capacity or under color of legal authority....While the PLO and PA argue their sovereignty, they do not claim individual statehood status.Their assertion of immunity derives from the claimed sovereignty of the State of Palestine. Defendants claim that they are essential agencies of Palestine, performing core governmental functions and, as such, are entitled to immunity.
The Palestinian Authority is claiming in legal documents that bombing cafeterias, bus stops, buses and busy downtown streets in Jerusalem are "core governmental functions" as part of their war with Israel.

"Blind shiekh" depressed, whining in prison hospital

A truly saddening story from Palestine Today, quoting the website of the terror group Jemaah Islamiyah: (autotranslated and cleaned up a little)
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Emir of Jemaah Islamiyah, jailed in a prison in America 16 years ago, told his wife in a telephone conversation, "I am in great distress, my health has deteriorated too, and I need the prayers of all the righteous brothers, I do not feel access to prayers , and I feel they do not du'aa (call out to God) remind me so."

According to the official website of the group, the Rahman said to his wife: "The U.S. authorities that the supervisor of the prison did not respond to any request of mine, no matter how simple..."

According to the official website of the group that is based out of Egypt,Dr. Abdul Rahman is in poor health, and that this is the first time he used the term "I'm in great distress" in 16 years in U.S. prisons. During this time he contracted a number of diseases including cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dr Omar Abdul Rahman confirmed that he has been mistreated in U.S. prisons, where he is in isolation from other prisoners and in solitary confinement.
Rahman was of course the ideological center of the plot to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993 and he was convicted of planning terror attacks.

Just for some background, Rahman is in a medical center that is a part of a prison, not in the prison itself, which would explain his "isolation." As far as mistreatment in prison, he is on the record as complaining that he didn't like the tea he was being served, threatening that if he doesn't get Tetley or Lipton tea he will stop taking insulin - or eat M&Ms.

Yes, he certainly sounds oppressed!

More of our tax money going to Gaza

Once again, Hamas maintains control over Gaza with no financial responsibility, which is happily taken care of by our tax dollars via the PA. From Ma'an:
The Palestinian Authority (PA) will pay compensation to civilians affected by the recent flooding there, according to a statement received by Ma’an on Thursday.

The governor of the central Gaza Strip said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had followed up with him on damage caused by the storms.

Governor Abdallah Abu Samahdanah noted that “the government will take all required measures to ease the suffering of civilians harmed by this disaster.”

In case it isn't clear, here's how it works:
Our tax money goes to the government, whether it is US, European or Japanese.

These governments now pay billions to the Palestinian Authority.

60% of the PA budget goes to Gaza, a territory that they lost in the violent Hamas coup and that now gets twice the money that the West Bank gets on a per-capita basis.

Hamas gets to control the police, the courts, the schools and the hospitals in Gaza, without having to worry about paying salaries or maintaining infrastructure or bailing out victims of flooding - normal functions of a government. Our tax dollars take care of all that stuff. So Hamas can spend its money (from taxing smuggled goods and from Iran) on weapons, on tunnels and on building a Hezbollah-like bunker network for terrorists and rockets.

Vapor stories

Even though the Palestinian Arab press will wildly exaggerate and completely mislead with their stories, usually there is some real event that happened that caused them to light up their imaginations.

Sometimes, though, I cannot find that real event.

Two recent cases, in which the first one sounds somewhat realistic and the second one a bit less so:

Yesterday, Firas Press wrote an article - which they said came from Yediot Aharonot - saying that Hamas was found to have been using Facebook as an intelligence tool, as IDF soldiers would inadvertantly be placing classified information and photos on their Facebook pages.

YNet did have two recent Facebook stories: one that the Defense Ministry warned against exactly this type of occurrence last April, and one where the IDF would use Facebook to find girls who claimed religious exemptions from the army doing decidedly non-religious activities.

It is possible that Hamas read the April article and decided to create a Facebook intelligence function, but I can't find any article saying that.

The second example is from today's PalArab newspapers where they claim that "Jewish extremists" went into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, tried to attack monks and smashed wooden crosses in adjacent shops. (Palestine Press Agency helpfully illustrated the story with a picture of a bearded Jew praying, captioned "Jewish extremist.")

I can't find this story anywhere.

I did find that a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a synagogue in Lod and another one in Acre within the past few days.

Maybe they just mixed those stories up.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Free Gaza isn't free for their passengers!

The Free Gaza freaks are so far in debt, they apparently charged their idiot passengers about $1000 each for this latest trip!

Look at this graphic on their site (they apparently had a typo which I correct):
The FGMers have so far spent $740,000 and have raised $325,000 - but $300,000 came from "donations" and $25,000 from "passenger fees".

There was no mention of "passenger fees" on their website when I previously looked at their bizarre thermometer graphic.

Since their latest trip to Gaza, where they were greeted by their Hamas terrorist pals and a tiny crowd, included 27 people, it appears that they are so broke that they are charging their "humanitarian" passengers about $1000 to get their publicity.

Comparing their numbers, they've spent $190,000 since September - and only raised $75,000, even including their passenger fees. And this was after the massive amount of publicity they received from their first trip.

What will they try next? Clearly their leftist pals aren't willing to pony up the bucks for them to continue these public relations stunts, and nobody is buying the boats they are trying to sell (for quite inflated prices.)

Mazel Tov Phillies!

It's been a long 28 years!

The "scholarship" of Al Quds University

Al Quds University has on its website, in English, a "history" of Jerusalem aimed at erasing Jews. Quotes (after a section that claims that Biblical history is filled with lies):
The key to clarifying the history of Jerusalem and Palestine lies in distinguishing between literary tradition and recorded history, between imagined memory and material evidence. It is equally important that an effort be made to establish a history based on people and their continuity rather than a history based on which political power or religious ideology was present in the land and then left it.

Palestine was conquered in times past by ancient Egyptians, Hittites, Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Muslim Arabs, Mamlukes, Ottomans, the British, the Zionists. [Note who is missing - EoZ].These are recorded conquests (not literary legends), whose facts and remains are documented. Meanwhile, another development was the evolution of monotheistic faiths that followed the "pagan" religions. It is crucial to keep these two developments as distinct as possible, for the sake of not confusing issues and identities. The people of Palestine may have become more mixed with each consecutive conquest, or may have changed religions, but essentially (especially in villages) the population remained constant-and is now still Palestinian, though many villagers were tragically dislocated in the 1948 Nakba.

The "temple" issue dominates the politics about Jerusalem today. An assumption is made that the present Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa compound is the same location of the "Temple Mount" or "Mount Moriah." But as Ernest L. Martin has demonstrated (working strictly within biblical scholarship), the Al-Aqsa compound cannot possibly be in the same place as the first or second temple. [Martin was a meteorologist and member of a religious cult that got some traction on this theory a couple of decades ago. - EoZ.]Further, what is called the "first temple," associated with the legendary Solomon, was in fact a pre-monotheistic place where many gods were worshipped. As scholars like Herbert Niehr document, the "first temple" was dominated by Syro-Phoenician traits and appealed to pagan worshippers living in the area. Various "pagan" sites existed until after Constantine converted to Christianity in the early 4th century. At that time, Constantine's mother Helena determined many biblical sites, most coinciding with pagan temple locations.

The Wailing or "Western" Wall is a focus of Jewish veneration. It is a site associated with a past memory, as Moshe Dayan once noted. The Wailing Wall is assumed to be what remains of Herod's Temple. But that Herod was a Jew is debated by some and rejected by others (he came from tribes east of the Jordan and had a Hellenistic cultural background). Judaism was different from how some see it today; like Christianity and Islam, it should not be confused with "ethnicity."

Further, the Wailing or "Western" Wall is a most likely candidate for being the wall of a fortress built for Roman legions (as Ernest Martin reports, citing other scholarship). Even if we assume that Herod built a "second temple," the building was reportedly destroyed in the 1st century AD. The Romans, then the Byzantine Christians, had prevented people of the Jewish faith from living in the city for hundreds of years. At other times, the two then-contending religious groups had exchanged expulsions and massacres, particularly before and during the Persian invasion of 614 AD. The hundreds of skulls at the Monastery of Mar Saba are said to be evidence of those massacres. One wonders then, under such circumstances, how the traces of any temple in Jerusalem could possibly have been preserved.

The Dome of the Rock is a focus of veneration for hundreds of millions of Muslim worshippers. It is also a visible and impressive work of architecture, around which much lore has developed. It was built in times of recorded history, on previously unoccupied ground, though the spot probably had ancient associations impossible to trace today.
This is only another small example of how Palestinian Arabs like to erase the eternal Jewish connection to the Land of Israel from history, often relying on outright lies as well as discredited "scholarship."

Of course, Al-Quds University is not only interested in erasing Jews from history; it is also supportive of terror attacks against them today. For example, it designated a week in honor of the Hamas innovator of suicide terrorism, Yahya Ayyash, "the engineer." Hamas and Fatah regularly schedule commemorations for terrorists there.

And an official university calendar included this graphic on every page, symbolizing the destruction of Israel by the Islamic sword.

Nevertheless, the US government seems to consider Al Quds University as a distinguished place. The US Consulate in Jerusalem often has programs in conjunction with Al-Quds, and is instrumental in fostering ties between US colleges and Al Quds. USAID has given Al-Quds millions of dollars.

But as far as I can find, only one US senator ever visited Al-Quds University:
Date: 15 / 01 / 2006 Time: 11:20
Ma'an Ramallah – US Democratic Senator Barak Obama, accompanied by US Consul Jacob Walles, visited the American Studies Center at Al Quds University in Abu Dis on Saturday.

The two officials were received by the head of the Center, Professor Mohammad Ad Dajiani, along with other University faculty and students.

Obama expressed his happiness at the visit and admired the academic services provided by the Center. He stressed the importance of such programs in order to create mutual understanding between the American and Palestinian people.

Professor Dajiani welcomed Obama and thanked him for accepting the University's invitation. He spoke about the importance of visits by US officials in order to develop the Masters program offered by the center.

Obama delivered a lecture on US policy and politics. Following the presentation, there was a brief debate and discussion.

Rafah cemetery collapses into smuggling tunnels

From Firas Press and Palestine Today (Arabic):
Heavy rain washed away the Azaaarbp cemetery on the Egyptian-Palestinian border town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip today, because of the existence of tunnels beneath the cemetery.

Witnesses said a large number of modern and ancient tombs were destroyed by torrential rains and plunged into a the tunnels beneath the cemetery.

A large number of houses were submerged in rainwater in all southern provinces.

Interestingly, a columnist at Palestine Press Agency quoted a poll saying that 65% of Gazans were against the smuggling tunnels, saying that the tunnels onlt served a small part of Gaza society.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Free Gaza freaks are seasick!

I signed up to be on Free Gaza's mailing list so I get the latest news quickly. And their dispatches sometimes contain real gems.

From Greta Berlin, of the FGM Media Team:
It's 2:30 am, and Osama has just gone to get some sleep for a couple of hours. He and I wait in Cyprus for news from the Dignity and watch the small blip of the SPOT checker as it moves slowly toward Gaza and a possible forceful intervention from the well-armed Israeli navy somewhere are oung 6:00 am. The rumblings out of Jerusalem are fierce. They will not let us come into Gaza, because we didn't behave the last time. What that means only the minds of neurotic military men can sort through, and I am reminded of the movie, Dr. Strangelove, only this confrontation will be real, pitting nonviolent human rights watchers against the 4th largest military in the world.

The people on board are now Osama's and my friends, most of them having been to Cyprus twice in an attempt to get on board. We talked to David S about a half hour ago, and 80% of them are sea-sick, some seriously. Even with the new boat, one that rides better and is more stable, the people are still sick. Twenty-seven of them are crowded onto that boat, because they care enough about the human rights of an occupied people being slowly strangled to death by Israeli military might to take the risk.
If the doctors on the boat can't handle seasickness in a couple of dozen people, exactly how much help can they give to 1.5 million during their attempted photo-op?

And why am I not surprised that one of their leaders is named Osama?

Clearly Greta is tired, because she let slip something she surely didn't mean to:
Israel is panicked that the Palestinians will do the same thing that they did in the late 40s and that is get on boats and come home.
It took me a second, but then I realized what she was saying: she was comparing Palestinian Arabs to the Jews who had to "illegally" immigrate to Palestine to save their lives from the Nazis!

Which means that she must consider the Palestinian Arabs' host countries to be as oppressive as Nazi Germany, I guess.

But notice her word choice: even this rabid anti-Zionist admits that the Jewish refugees of the 1940s were not European colonialists, but they were members of a nation coming home!

I doubt that this dispatch will make it onto their website before they realize that they just justified Zionism as a national restoration movement.

An early Jewish settlement in Palestine (1882)

Famed, eccentric British explorer and writer Laurence Oliphant journeyed to Palestine in the early 1880s. In this excerpt from his book "Haifa; or, Life in modern Palestine," this is a somewhat humorous and illuminating account of the founding of a new unnamed Jewish agricultural settlement in 1882, probably Zichron Yaakov. (h/t anonymous commenter)
About sixteen miles to the south of the projecting point of Carmel, upon which the celebrated monastery is perched above the sea, there lies a tract of land which has suddenly acquired an interest owing to the fact of its having been purchased by the Central Jewish Colonization Society of Roumania, with a view of placing upon it emigrants of the Hebrew persuasion who have been compelled to quit the country of their adoption in consequence of the legal disabilities to which they are subjected in it, and who have determined upon making a bona fide attempt to change the habits of their lives and engage in agricultural pursuits. I was invited by the local agent in charge of this enterprise to accompany him on a visit to the new property, whither he was bound with a view of making arrangements for housing and placing upon it the first settlers. Traversing the northern portion of the fertile plain of Sharon, which extends from Jaffa to Carmel, we enter by a gorge into the lower spurs of the Carmel range, which is distant at this point about three miles from the seacoast, and, winding up a steep path, find ourselves upon a fertile plateau about four hundred feet above the level of the sea. Here over a thousand acres of pasture and arable land have been purchased, on which a small hamlet of half a dozen native houses and a storehouse belonging to the late proprietor compose the existing accommodation. This hamlet is at present occupied by the fellahin wlio worked the land for its former owner, and it is proposed to retain their services as laborers and co-partners in the cultivation of the soil until the new-comers shall have become sufficiently indoctrinated in the art of agriculture to be able to do for themselves.

The experiment of associating Jews and Moslem fellahin in field labor will be an interesting one to watch, and the preliminary discussions on the subject were more picturesque than satisfactory. The meeting took place in the storehouse, where Jews and Arabs squatted promiscuously amid the heaps of grain, and chaffered over the terms of their mutual co-partnership. It would be difficult to imagine anything more utterly incongruous than the spectacle thus presented —the stalwart fellahin, with their wild, shaggy, black beards, the brass hilts of their pistols projecting from their waistbands, their tasselled kufeihahs drawn tightly over their heads and girdled with coarse black cords, their loose, flowing abbas, and sturdy bare legs and feet; and the ringleted, effeminate-looking Jews, in caftans reaching almost to their ankles, as oily as their red or sandy locks, or the expression of their countenances — the former inured to hard labor on the burning hillsides of Palestine, the latter fresh from the Ghetto of some Roumanian town, unaccustomed to any other description of exercise than that of their wits, but already quite convinced that they knew more about agriculture than the people of the country, full of suspicion of all advice tendered to them, and animated by a pleasing self-confidence which I fear the first practical experience will rudely belie. In strange contrast with these Roumanian Jews was the Arab Jew who acted as interpreter—a stout, handsome man, in Oriental garb, as unlike his European coreligionists as the fellahin themselves. My friend and myself, in the ordinary costume of the British or American tourist, completed the party.

The discussion was protracted beyond midnight—the native peasants screaming in Arabic, the Roumanian Israelites endeavoring to outtalk them in German jargon, the interpreter vainly trying to make himself heard, everybody at cross-purposes because no one was patient enough to listen till another had finished, or modest enough to wish to hear anybody speak but himself. Tired out, I curled myself on an Arab coverlet, which seemed principally stuffed with fleas, but sought repose in vain. At last a final rupture was arrived at, and the fellahin left us, quivering with indignation at the terms proposed by the new-comers. Sleep brought better counsel to both sides, and an arrangement was finally arrived at next morning which I am afraid has only to be put into operation to fail signally. There is nothing more simple than farming in co-operation with the fellahin of Palestine if you go the right way to work about it, and nothing more hopeless if attempted upon a system to which they are unaccustomed. Probably, after a considerable loss of time, money, and especially of temper, a more practical modus operandi will be arrived at. I am bound to say that I did not discover any aversion on the part of the Moslem fellahin to the proprietorship by Israelites of their land, on religious grounds. The only difficulty lay in the division of labor and of profit, where the owners of the land were entirely ignorant of agriculture, and therefore dependent on the co-operation of the peasants, on terms to be decided between them.

Jihadis love their kiddie pr0n

I had missed this story from a couple of weeks ago, from the Times of London:
Paedophilia and terrorism seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. We think of men who prey on children, and those who are a step away, collecting child po-rnography over the internet, as depraved isolated individuals wallowing in their own obsessions.

By contrast, despite the destruction of innocent lives that they crave, the popular view is that terrorists are driven by some external, if distorted, ideology that they at least see as a noble cause. The illegal child porn images found on the computers of a number of extremists give the lie to this simple division.

It is probably sensible for the police to take stock before assuming there is an inevitable link between terrorism, especially the jihadi variety, and child pornography. But it is possible that an extreme interpretation of Islam that regards male sexual urges as so uncontrollable that all women have to cover themselves from head to toe generates in some men a confusion about their sexuality and appropriate sexual partners. An interest in child pornography may be one consequence.

In 2005 anti-terror police were monitoring Abdul Khalisadar, a Muslim preacher. They were astonished to find that his DNA came up on the national database for an unsolved rape in Whitechapel. His computer contained enough extreme child pornography for him to be charged with possession of this illegal material, but he was never convicted of terror offences.

Another religiously observant youth who was caught up in British anti-terror surveillance in 2006 was also found to have serious child po-rnography on his computer.

In Spain Abdelkader Ayachine, a man in his forties who is thought to be a leader of a terrorist cell, is awaiting trial accused of having thousands of extreme child po-rnography images. These files were on the same computers as videos of Osama bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalist ideologues extolling jihad.

Just as anti-terror police have found that their investigations have led them to collectors of child po-rnography, so also have child protection officers found that their investigations have led them to people preparing to carry out terrorist acts. This overlap is seen as of such significance that Scotland Yard has considered whether child protection officers should be alerted to the possibilities of terrorists being among their suspects.
This story, also at the Times, gives more details.

More proof that immorality breeds immorality, even if the practitioners like to clothe it in religious terms.

Free Gaza's lie of the day

Today, the Free Gaza leftards and terrorist-huggers gave out another of their endless supply of press releases where they lie about their goals:
We are returning to Gaza for exactly the same reasons we came in August: to deliver medical supplies, meet with civil society organizations, volunteer in hospitals, and visit Palestinians who have requested our presence.
But their mission statement gives the real reason they came:
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine's right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.
Not a single word about acually helping Gazans in their mission statement!

The goals of the FGM have nothing to do with helping Gazans, and their bringing small amounts of medical supplies and a few doctors is a show - to try to embarrass Israel and score brownie points in the international media. As we have seen, the terror-supporting FGM freaks have proven that helping Gazans is the last thing on their minds.

Egypt's siege of Gaza

Last week, CAMERA released a backgrounder aimed at the many media outlets that refer exclusively to an "Israeli siege" of Gaza without acknowledging that Egypt also chooses to severely restrict people and goods from entering Gaza.

A case in point can be seen in this story which has been ignored by the Western press.

Ma'an wrote last week:
A European group is organizing the largest-ever parliamentary visit to the Gaza Strip next month, aimed at breaking the ongoing Israeli siege.

The European Campaign to Lift the Siege of Gaza announced its preparations on Thursday, saying it intends to send legislators from all over the world to Gaza in November.

Several Arab and foreign parliamentarians expressed their wish to participate in the visit aiming at breaking the siege of the Gaza Strip, organizers said in a statement.

Leaders from Rights for All, a Swiss-based organization in Geneva, said that "parliamentarians from Algeria, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan and other Arab countries will join the international parliamentarian delegation."

The head of the European Campaign said that the group will also include leaders from various other countries, namely the United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and Scotland, as well as Asia and Latin America.

Concerning the arrangements for entering the Gaza Strip, Al Gharbi said that “negotiations are ongoing with the Egyptian side."

He added that the movement has high hopes for Egypt to open the Rafah crossing to enable the delegation to enter Gaza and "see the human and medical situation" there.
In an ironic twist that has gone completely unnoticed by the mainstream media, Egypt denied this delegation from crossing Rafah:
The "European Campaign to Lift the Siege on Gaza" condemned the decision of the Egyptian authorities to refuse to allow the group, which includes scores of Arab and foreign deputies, from entering the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing dividing Egypt and the Gaza Strip early next month.

The head of the delegation said in a press statement: "We strongly condemn the surprise decision refusing to enter the Gaza Strip from Egypt, although the objective of the visit was humanitarian."
Yes, a group of self-declared "humanitarians" who say that their objective it to stop the "Israeli siege" is stopped from entering - by Egypt.

The irony doesn't end there. The "Free Gaza" movement, which is set to sail their patched-up boat today from Cyprus to Gaza, got British MP Jeremy Corbyn to submit an absurdly anti-Israel motion to the British House of Commons (received via email):
This House applauds the excellent work of the Free Gaza Movement in highlighting the fact that Israel is imposing collective punishment on the 1.5 million people of Gaza, in contravention of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention; acknowledges the considerable amount of pressure applied by the Israeli government on a previous (FG) voyage last August; wishes the latest boat travelling from the port of Cyprus to Gaza carrying both a large group of concerned human rights workers and, including among them Palestinian MP - Dr Mustafa Barghouti, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner - Mairead Maguire, as well as medical practitioners and supplies, a safe voyage with no outside interference, and calls upon her majesty's government to take action to ensure that the massive economic, political and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza is brought to an end as a matter of urgency.
So the "Free Gaza" movement gets massive amounts of publicity and claims that Israel interfered with their non-humanitarian, PR-fueled voyage last August - when Israel allowed the boats through unimpeded - but when a much more prominent group actually does get stopped from entering Gaza by Egypt, the world media is utterly silent.

Monday, October 27, 2008

LG Electronics markets Quran TV set

The line between religion and commerce is nonexistent when it comes to Islam. Korea-based LG has released a TV with built-in Quran:
Keen to read the Quran on your TV set in the comfort of your home or bookmark your favourite phrases from the Holy Quran at the flick of your TV remote? You can now, with LG's latest Quran-enabled Time Machine TV.

Fresh from the success of its Qiblah mobile phone, digital leader LG Electronics has announced the Middle East-wide availability of the only TV in the world with built-in Quran, to honour the Holy Month of Ramadan.

LG's latest Time Machine plasma/LCD TV allows viewers to listen to the Quran, search and bookmark passages - all on the TV screen. The Holy Quran incorporated into the plasma/LCD TV includes all of the 114 suras, allowing users to search for specific sura or verse and bookmark up to 10 favourites with record and stop button on the remote control.

The innovative TV also allows viewers to listen to the Quran, an excellent feature for allowing several people to study and understand the scriptures together. A multilingual interface allows viewers to navigate and read the text in Arabic and Farsi. At the top of the screen is a status bar that displays the name of the sura, verse numbers and the time of day.

"The built-in Quran TV will provide believers in Allah and his Prophet (PBUH) a new and rewarding way to experience the Holy Scriptures during the most sacred time of the year," said Mr. H.S. Paik, President of LG Electronics Gulf FZE. "As a brand that respects Muslims, LG is committed to ensuring that we offer solutions that meet local needs, and the built-in Quran TV comes as a part of this effort."

The latest innovation follows the unprecedented success of LG's Qiblah mobile handset, which notched up impressive sales especially in the GCC. The Qiblah Phone (LG-F7100) indicates the direction users should face in order to pray toward Mecca, even if they are in the desert with few reference points. Users simply input their location and the phone, which works in 500 cities worldwide, automatically points the way.
As was with Nokia, this is a case where a multinational company is endorsing a single religion.

If the Muslim market would demand that Nokia or LG boycott Israel, what are the chances they would resist? They've already shown that they bend over backwards to uniquely accommodate Muslims.

The peaceful Palestinian Arabs, 1834

I just saw this account of a Muslim riot against Jews in 1834 in Safed in a book called Eōthen by Alexander William Kinglake published in 1846:
At length I drew
near to the city of Safet. It sits as proud as a fortress upon the
summit of a craggy height ; yet because of its minarets, and stately
trees, the place looks happy and beautiful. It is one of the holy
cities of the Talmud, and according to this authority, the Messiah
will reign there for forty years before he takes possession of Sion.
The sanctity and historical importance thus attributed to the city
by anticipation render it a favourite place of retirement for Israelites,
of whom it contains, they say, about four thousand, a number
nearly balancing that of the Mahometan inhabitants. I knew
by my experience of Tabarieh that a "holy city" was sure to have
a population of vermin somewhat proportionate to the number of
its Israelites, and I therefore caused my tent to be pitched upon
a green spot of ground at a respectful distance from the walls of
the town.

When it had become quite dark (for there was no moon that
night,) I was informed that several Jews had secretly come from
the city, in the hope of obtaining some assistance from me in
circumstances of imminent danger...These men informed me that
the Jews of the place, who were
exceedingly wealthy, had lived peaceably in their retirement until
the insurrection which took place in 1834, but about the beginning
of that year a highly religious Mussulman called Mahommed
Damoor, went forth into the market-place, crying with aloud
voice, and prophesying, that on the fifteenth of the following June
the true Believers would rise up in just wrath against the Jews,
and despoil them of their gold, and their silver, and their jewels.
The earnestness of the prophet produced some impression at the
time, but all went on as usual, until at last the fifteenth of June
arrived. When that day dawned, the whole Mussulman population
of the place assembled in the streets, that they might see
the result of the prophecy.

Suddenly Mahommed Damoor rushed
furious into the crowd, and the fierce shout of the prophet soon
ensured the fulfilment of his prophecy. Some of the Jews fled,
and some remained, but they who fled, and they who remained,
alike and unresistingly left their property to the hands of the
spoilers. The most odious of all outrages , that of searching the
women for the base purpose of discovering such things as gold,
and silver concealed about their persons, was perpetrated without
shame. The poor Jews were so stricken with terror, that they
submitted to their fate, even where resistance would have been
easy. In several instances a young Mussulman boy, not more
than ten or twelve years of age, walked straight into the house of
a Jew, and stripped him of his property before his face, and in
the presence of his whole family.* When the insurrection was
put down, some of the Mussulmans (most probably those who
had got no spoil wherewith they might buy immunity), were punished,
but the greater part of them escaped; none of the booty
was restored, and the pecuniary redress which the Pasha had undertaken
to enforce for them, had been hitherto so carefully delayed,
that the hope of ever obtaining it had grown very faint.

And later, we see that the author harbored a little empathy for Jews himself - but only a little:
Mohammed Damoor had again gone forth into the market place, and lifted up
his voice, and prophesied a second spoliation of the Israelites.
This was grave matter; the words of such a practical man as
Mohammed Damoor were not to be despised. I fear I must have
smiled visibly, for I was greatly amused, and even, I think,
gratified at the account of this second prophecy. Nevertheless,
my heart warmed towards the poor oppressed Israelites, and I
was flattered, too, in the point of my national vanity at the notion
of the far-reaching link, by which a Jew in Syria, who had been
born on the rock of Gibraltar, was able to claim me as his fellow-
countryman. If I hesitated at all between the "improprietry" of
interfering in a matter which was no business of mine , and the "
infernal shame" of refusing my aid at such a conjecture, I soon
came to a very ungentlemanly decision — namely, that I would
be guilty of the "impropriety," and not of the "infernal shame."
It seemed to me that the immediate arrest of Mohammed Damoor
was the one thing needful to the safety of the Jews, and I felt
confident, (for reasons which I have already mentioned in speaking
of the Nablous affair) that I should be able to obtain this
result by making a formal application to the Governor. I told my
applicants that 1 would take this step on the following morning;
they were very grateful, and were for a moment much pleased at
the prospect of safely which might thus be opened to them, but
the deliberation of a minute entirely altered their views, and filled
them with new terror; they declared that any attempt, or pretended
attempt on the part of the Governor to arrest Mohammed
Damoor would certainly produce an immediate movement of the
whole Mussulman population, and a consequent massacre and
robbery of the Israelites. My visitors went out, and remained I
know not how long consulting with their brethren, but all at last
agreed that their present perilous, and painful position was better
than a certain, and immediate attack, and that if Mohammed
Damoor was seized, their second estate would be worse than their
first. I myself did not think that this would be the case, but I
could not of course force my aid upon the people against their
will, and moreover the day fixed for the fulfilment of this second
prophecy was not very close at hand ; a little delay, therefore, in
providing against the impending danger, would not necessarily
be fatal. The men now confessed that although they had come
with so much mystery, and, as they thought, at so great a risk
to ask my assistance, they were unable to suggest any mode in
which I could aid them, except, indeed, by mentioning their
grievances to the Consul-general at Damascus. This I promised
to do, and this I did.

My visitors were very thankful to me for the readiness which I
had shown to intermeddle in their affairs, and the grateful wives
of the principalJews sent to me many compliments, with choice
wines, and elaborate sweetmeats.

The course of my travels soon drew me so far from Safet, that
I never heard how the dreadful day passed off which had been
fixed for the accomplishment of the second prophecy. If the predicted
spoliation was prevented, poor Mohammed Damoor must
have been forced, I suppose, to say that he had prophesied in a
metaphorical sense. This would be a sad falling off from the
brilliant and substantial success of the first experiment.
How peacefully they lived together when the Jews were dhimmis!

By the way, I have a YouTube channel

Not that I've worked so hard on setting it up, but if you are interested, you can find it here. Some original material and some repackaging of things on Israeli websites that required Internet Explorer.

(This can be considered an open thread.)

Another heartless IDF restriction

Firas Press reports that the IDF decided to suspend deliveries of clothing to Gaza for a while.

It says that no official reason was given. What could possibly possess the Israelis to deprive Gazans of clothing?

Then we find out the reason: according to other sources, the IDF has discovered IDF uniforms being smuggled into Gaza in the clothing shipments, to be used by terrorists!

Israeli radiation blamed for birth defects. Who needs evidence?

From the ever-humorous Ma'an Palestinian Arab "news" agency:
Concern over earlier reports of increased rates of physical birth-defects and stillborn deliveries are heightened in the southern Gaza Strip after Director of Social Health Department in the de facto Health Ministry Salah Rantisi announced that he found an additional foetus with physical mutations in an ultrasound.

Rumors have been circulating that the defects are the result of nuclear materials dumped from the Israeli nuclear facility near Dimona.

In recent weeks the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority announced the beginning of a field survey to measure the effects of nuclear radiation, possibly emanating from Israeli military facilities, in the eastern Gaza Strip.

For their part, environment authorities in the Gaza Strip said in a statement on Monday that no radiation has been found in the air in Khuza’a. However, they suggested that radiation could be found in the earth or in water resources.

The statement explained that a technical team examined the area and found no radiation. The team encompassed experts from the power authorities, natural resources authorities and the Islamic University of Gaza.
Of course, in the Palestinian Arab psyche, if any kid is found with a birth defect it must be the fault of Zionists. Evidence really isn't necessary, because it is so blindingly obvious that Zionists are behind every natural problem.

For those who are interested, here is a map of the Negev:

The diabolical Zionists have managed to find a way for their radioactive materials to pass over Beersheba and countless other Jewish communities without causing any harm, and they only target pregnant Arab women in Gaza!

Perhaps because the Jews smear lamb's blood over their doors....

Hamas' top priority: releasing murderers of Jewish civilians

As Hamas continues to slowly grow in respectability in the West, it is instructive to see exactly who Hamas is demanding to be released from Israeli jails in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Ma'an quotes Israel's Channel Two as saying that the list includes some of the most heinous terrorists responsible for scores of deaths of civilians. Hamas' heroes are in direct proportion to the number of Jews they killed.

At the top of the list is the person responsible for what may have been intended to be the first suicide attack on Jews in Israel. In 1989, a Gazan traveling on bus 405 from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem grabbed the wheel of the driver and forced the bus to tumble down a cliff, killing 14. The terrorist survived and remains in jail.

Others that Hamas wants released were responsible for the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, where 29 were killed including 20 over the age of 70.

Most of the others on the list likewise were responsible for murdering Israeli civilians, including stabbings and shootings.

These are Hamas' heroes. These are the people they idolize, whom they hold up as role models to their children.

And their priorities in prisoners aren't, say, mothers in Israeli jails, or those who attacked soldiers. No, they mostly want the release of cold-blooded murderers.

Casual anti-semitism in Yemen Times

Incongruously placed at the top of an article about the Arab nations' place in the world comes these two paragraphs in the Yemen Times:
The whole world is currently undergoing an unprecedented financial crisis that reminds the elderly of what happened in 1929, which was also known as “Year of Economic Recession”. According to economic and political analysts, the economic recession of 1929 was caused by the Zionist Rochield [sic - Rothschild] family that originated from Germany with the intention to control stock markets and hit them whenever it wants.

Other Zionist families did the same thing with intention of achieving specific objectives that are clearly states in the books of “Invisible World Governments” or “Stones on the Chessboard”.
I could find no reference to either of these books anywhere.

However, anti-semites such as Father Coughlin have had no problem blaming the Great Depression on Jews since 1929.

Note also the replacement of "Jews" with "Zionists" that is almost subconscious among the Arab media as they reflexively use the Z-word to mean "Jewish," no more and no less.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The evil Zionists tried to get rid of good Palestinian malaria!

The hatred that so-called progressive intellectuals have of Israel and Zionism truly knows no bounds. A good example can be seen in this review of a book called "Healing the Land and the Nation: Malaria and the Zionist Project in Palestine, 1920-1947" by Sondra M. Sufian.

It is hard to know how much bias is from the author and how much from the reviewer, but the thesis of the book is, as the article states:
The Zionists imported European and U.S. medical technologies and foreign capital to restore the land to what was in their eyes its original state, with little concern for those who had long made their living from it. The Zionist settlers had no sense of the national rights of the Palestinian Arabs, who they believed had no real attachment to the land. Like European settlers elsewhere, the Zionists considered the indigenous population primitive and backward. The land was a swampy wasteland inhabited by an unproductive people. In this, the Zionists were merely drawing upon racial views of non-European, indigenous populations then prevalent among colonialists. As Sufian points out, Zionists, like other Europeans, saw malaria not as an environmental problem, but one caused by the neglectful, indifferent, and lazy lifestyles of the natives, whose watering holes and leaky irrigation ditches were ideal places for mosquitoes to breed. The Zionists' goal was to drain the swamps and pools of water to eradicate the disease, thereby expanding the land available for settlement and agricultural production. As the author notes, in many parts of world European settlers made this connection between disease eradication, immigration, and settlement. When the Zionists drained the swamps they also reduced the pasture land long used by Bedouins and other Arab agriculturalists for grazing their livestock. Despite stiff resistance, land formerly held collectively by Palestinian Arabs became private land owned by Zionist settlers.
Get it? By working to eradicate a deadly disease, the Zionists exhibited unbelievable selfishness and displacement! How dare they try to improve the land that they were buying at hugely inflated prices! How dare they try to improve the health of the natives - this is the very definition of self-absorption!

An interesting contradiction then comes up:
Sufian also illuminates other contentious aspects of the malaria eradication process. For example, she documents Arab participation in and contributions to such efforts, contradicting the Jewish Agency's claims that the great majority of the eradication schemes were carried out solely at that organization's expense. Much of this is illustrated through the work of Dr. Tawfiq Canaan, a Palestinian Arab and prominent physician before and during the Mandate era, who lectured about malaria in German and English to scientific audiences. In a report to the Mandatory authorities, he stated that Palestinian Arabs had done their share of the eradication work. They had carried out swamp drainage projects and worked as laborers in government malaria control measures.
Apparently, when Arabs drained the swamps it was because they were forward-thinking and modern, but when Jews drained the swamps it was because they were colonialist pigs hell-bent on turning mosquito-infested cesspools of disease into productive farmland. Arab swamp draining improved the lives of the natives, Zionist swamp draining destroyed them.

Clear as day!

You can file this in the same category of recent quasi-scholarly drivel that claims that the lack of Arabs raped by IDF soldiers indicates the Jews' barbarity or that Israeli archaeologists are unprofessional hacks who only work to advance the evil Zionist enterprise.

UPDATE: Commenter Womble points to a great blog post by Imshin that takes a quite different tack on the "colonialism" of draining swamps and fighting a horrendous disease.

Free Gaza freaks set to sail again

Last we looked, the Free Gaza leftards were trying desperately to find a new boat, willing to sell their old boats to anyone strange enough to want them.

Apparently, their please were less than successful, as their press release from a couple of days ago stated:
On October 28, 2008, the Free Gaza Movement will set sail again for Gaza. On board will be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, five physicians, a member of the Israeli Knesset, and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The boat will again carry 26 passengers and crew to the port of Gaza.

"We've spent the past month making sure that our boat is better and stronger, because the weather is getting more severe. Since we promised the people of Gaza we would return, we wanted to make sure we would return safely", said Derek Graham, first mate on board the boat.
The patched boat, now seemingly renamed"Waves of Hope," is supposed to arrive in Gaza on Thursday.

The freakazoids are trying to rectify a problem they had last time. In their first journey, they wanted to show that Gaza should be "free" so they sailed directly there without officially informing Israel. But now they realized that a great part of their narrative depends on the idea that Gaza is "occupied" by Israel, so this time they sent a letter to the Israeli government telling them of their peaceful intentions.

Apparently, Lauren Booth has decided not to visit this time. It seems that she ate enough Gaza food the first time she was there.

Ancient Palestine, according to Palestinian Arabs

The Democratic Front for the History of Palestine, a Marxist group that is part of the PLO, has a history of Palestine on its website that is says came from the Palestinian National Information Center, a part of the Palestinian Authority.

It is a bizarre mix of purposeful pseudo-scholarly lies and Quranic fantasy.

It is almost certain that this is the "history" taught in Palestinian Arab universities.

Here are some relevant parts:
First: Palestine Denomination
Long ago Palestine was known “Canaan Land” as mentioned in the reports of military leaders at king (Marry). It was obviously mentioned on the spire of (Adreemi) king of ALALAKH (Tel Al Atshana) in the middle of the fifth century.

The origin of the word “Palestine” as in Assyrian records of the Assyrian king (Addizary The Third) about (800) B.C. was (Filastia). As he mentioned on his spire that in the fifth year of his regime, his forces subdued (Palasto) and forced the population to pay the tribute.
Almost certainly they are referring to Philistines, who lived in southern Canaan in roughly what is now Gaza, although I could not find this specific reference anywhere. Absolutely no one considers Palestinian Arabs to be descendents of Philistines, but (as we shall see) the Palestinian Arabs are anxious to pretend so, when it is convenient. (The Philistines were not Semitic.)
The denomination formulation (Palestine) was focused at Herodotus on Aramite bases. Sometimes it was known as a place called on the southern part of Syria or (Palestinian Syria) near Finithia to the borders of Egypt.

The Roman historians used this appellation, like A gather chides STRABO and DIODORU.
The name Palestine was called, in the Roman age on all the holy lands and became an official term since Hadrian time.
The truth, as Wikipedia says, is that "The term was first officially used to describe all the Land of Palestine Roman domination of the Hebrew nation. The Romans changed the region's name from Judaea in order to historically disconnect the Jews from their land as punishment for their rebellion against Roman imperialism.[1] Jerusalem was also re-named to Aelia Capitolina, but this name change did not succeed."
The use of this name was extensively spread in the Christian Church and it was mentioned in the reports of the Christian pilgrims. But in the Islamic time, Palestine was a part of Great Syria.
This is a rare admission that Muslims never considered Palestine to be anything other than a part of Southern Syria.
Semites :
Owing to remnants discoveries in Egypt and Iraq, the Semites were obviously the most ancient peoples known in Palestine. Since the fourth thousand B.C. they have been living on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

As for religious part, the Semites-in origin- were the descendant tribes of Sam, the eldest son of Noah, peace be upon him. The original ancient population of Palestine were all Arabs, as they immigrated from Arab peninsula due to the drought. So they lived in their new homeland (Cana’an) for more than two thousand years before the appearance of Moses, the prophet, with his followers, on the scene.
This is known as the Winckler-Caetani theory, and it is by no means universally held, but it is convenient for the purposes of this "history."

Incidentally, Caetani wrote a massive critique of Islam which I don't think the Palestinian Arabs would be teaching in their schools any time soon.

Anyway, the rest of this "history" changes at will the idea that the Philistines or Canaanites are the forebears of today's Palestinian Arabs, whichever is convenient:
Cana’anites were famous in agriculture and industry and excelled in mining as well as in the industry of pottery, glass, textiles, clothes and architecture. Music, and literature were at the top of the Cana’an civilization, as no other sematic peoples were interested in arts and music as the Cana’anites. They derived much of their musical elements from various peoples from the ancient far east because the rites of Cana’anite worship were musically based. Therefore their musical instruments and tones spread throughout the Mediterranean areas.

Nobody can argue that Art and Literature are the symbols of civilization, so it is not strange-through the Israeli writings- to find out the strenuous efforts the Israelis have been exerting to allege they were the founders of the original civilization and the chanters, choristers and singers. They were actually delusive, but the great trusted historians, like (Bristed), in his description of the flourishing Cana’anite cities, which the Hebrews entered, that there were cities with comfortable luxurious houses, and industries, trade, writing, temples and the civilization, which were soon imitated by the primitive herdsmen Hebrews.
In fact, "The urban development of Canaan lagged considerably behind that of Egypt and Mesopotamia and even that of Syria."
They left their tents and imitated them in building houses. Furthermore, they took off the leathers, they wore in the desert, and instead, they put on the colored woolen clothes. After a period of time, one couldn’t differentiate between Cana’anites and Hebrews in appearance, though, since five thousand years (the start of written history) Palestine, until the British Mandate in 1920, knew only three languages; the Cana’anite firstly, the Aramite secondly, (the language the Christ spoke) and the Arabic thirdly.
Notice that this "history" easily refers to ancient Hebrews but purposefully ignores ancient Hebrew!
1200-550 B.C (Mameluke Age “Iron Age”):
At that time, Palestinians considered themselves as legal successors to the Egyptian Authority on Palestine so, they dominated most parts of Palestine. They were often called the population of the Palestinian coast because they founded a number of main cities, as; Gaza, Askalan, Asdod, Akeer, Tal Al Safi and others.
Here again they are calling Philistines "Palestinians," as they do here:
The Judges Age lasted for a century and a half. During this period twelve Judges, ruled country and the last one, was Samue’l. The Israelis agreed to enthrone Sha’al Ben Qays”- according to the Samuel’s advice- to be their king in order to unify their tribes, but he was killed in war with the Palestinians. David succeeded him in (1010) B.C. then Solomon followed in (971-931B.C). Contrary to his father, his period was a time of peace, not war. He was prudent and active in trade.

When king Solomon died, the exorbitant taxes he had imposed, because of the high luxury living he was known during his time were unbearable. By his death, the descendents of Israeli tribe exterminated when the Assyrians defeated them in (724 B.C) . At the time of (Nobukaz Nass’ar) the kaldans replaced the Assyrians and ruled Palestine.
Nowhere in this entire "history" is the Kingdom of Judah mentioned!

The entire purpose of this "history" is to fabricate an ancient "Palestinian" civilization and to erase any vestiges of Jewish life in the area that was not mentioned in the Quran.

There is plenty more in this seemingly official "history" going up to modern times, so this is only a small indication of the indoctrination that occurs in Palestinian Arab schools.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PalArab news roundup

Three Gazans were killed in yet another smuggling tunnel collapse in Rafah.

Fatah plans to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Yasir Arafat's death in Gaza. Not sure yet what Hamas thinks about it.

A "former" Al Aqsa Brigades terrorist was shot multiple times in Nablus.

Supreme Palestinian Judge Sheikh Tayseer At-Tamimi and two other members of the "Islamic Christian Front" gave a long list of grievances about how badly Arabs in Jerusalem are treated - things like inadequate schools and declining house sales in East Jerusalem. Simultaneously, Tamimi gave a fatwa forbidding Jerusalem Arabs from voting in the upcoming municipal elections. This way, they can complain all they want and not have to take any responsibility for it, whuch is pretty much their entire raison d'etre.

A teachers' union in Gaza accuses the PA of firing 300 Gaza teachers for security reasons.

Yesterday, French officials said that a letter was delivered to Gilad Shalit from his parents. Today, Hamas refuses to confirm or deny that they delivered the letter.

Press reports
that the Muslim Brotherhood would recognize Israel within the 1948 borders were called "nonsense" by that organization.

The 2008 PalArab self-death count climbs to 205.

UPDATE: On Monday a 32-year old Palarab was found murdered in the West Bank. 206.

Friday, October 24, 2008

18 weeks in a row

For the eighteenth consecutive week, Palestinian Arabs managed to die violently by their own actions in higher numbers than those that were killed by Israel.

According to PCHR, one Palestinian Arab was killed by the IDF this week, from Thursday to Wednesday.

In that same time period, three Palestinian Arabs were violently killed - one "training accident", one murder, and one smuggling tunnel electrocution.

The score since the beginning of September is 47-6.

Whiplash-inducing headline of the day

From the ever-humorous Palestinian Arab Ma'an website:

Israeli peace activists throw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers in Ni'lin


Newspeak is alive and well!

Today's Sharia News

Iranian authorities have confirmed that they will continue to apply the death penalty to minors.
Deputy prosecutor general Hossein Zebhi told a newspaper that under Sharia law only a murder victim's family could commute a death sentence.

He had suggested last week that judges were being told to stop imposing the death penalty on young offenders.

Iran has been widely condemned for being one of the few remaining nations to execute offenders aged under 18.

Amnesty International says at least six youths have been executed in Iran this year alone.

Mr Zebhi was quoted by the daily Etemad-e Melli newspaper as saying: "The principle of retribution... is not up to the government, rather it is up to the private plaintiff."

"Only if the next of kin give their consent can there be a reduction in the punishment," he added.

Critics say Iran's practice of handing down the death penalty to juvenile offenders - those aged under 18 at the time of the crime - is explicitly banned by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Tehran is a signatory.

Many convicted juvenile offenders have been on death row for years, as negotiations continue over whether victims' families will accept blood money - cash to avoid execution.


In Saudi Arabia, foreigners who work there are playing Russian roulette as to whether they will be found guilty of a crime that has the death penalty.

On Oct. 14, Amnesty International issued its latest warning on Saudi Arabia where "poor foreign workers are literally paying with their lives when accused of capital crimes".

"The death penalty is not only applied unfairly and in a secretive manner, it is discriminatory and used against those who are least able to access their rights. It is little more than a macabre lottery whose consequences, for many, are lethal," Amnesty said.

Three days earlier, three Sri Lankans were sentenced by a Saudi court to public execution for allegedly killing a Yemeni national. Eight others, including two Sri Lankan women allegedly working for the Yemeni as prostitutes, were also sentenced to jail terms and floggings for being linked to the same crime.

All have the right of appeal -- if they can raise the tens of thousands of dollars needed to hire a local law firm to take on their cases.

The average rate of executions in Saudi Arabia is currently two a week. Last year, Saudi Arabia executed more than 143 people, a highly disproportionate number of whom were foreigners.

Pardons for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are rare, one for every 30 executions. Saudi citizens are eight times more likely to get one, according to Amnesty.


Malaysia's religious authorities just banned women from wearing men's clothing as well as lesbianism:
According to the chairman of the National Fatwa Council, Abdul Shukor Husin, many young women admire the way men dress and behave, which is a denial of their femininity and a violation of human nature.

"It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear," he complained, adding, "(Masculine behaviour) becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender, that is woman and woman."

"In view of this," Dr Abdul explained, "the National Fatwa Council which met today have decided and taken the stand that such acts are forbidden and banned."


Don't worry, though - these cases represent only a tiny minority of Muslims. I'm sure the vast majority will be putting political and religious pressure on their co-religionists real soon now

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Phillies, Obama and Israel

I became a Phillies fan when the Philadelphia Phillies were pretty much the worst team in baseball.

In 1972, the Phillies ended up in last place in their division. Their lineup consisted of forgettable players who I was enamored with, like Roger Freed and Denny Doyle in the starting lineup.

The Phillies' ugly 59-97 record is most remarkable because a full 27 of those wins were due to a single pitcher, Steve Carlton, who racked up an amazing 27-10 record that season with an inept team. If it wasn't for Carlton, this team may have indeed been the worst ever. (And I remember being incensed after the 1971 season when the Phillies traded my favorite pitcher, Rick Wise, to St. Louis for Carlton, now recognized as one of the most lopsided trades in history.)

It is easy to be a Phillies fan today, as they are leading the World Series. It was much harder to be a fan in the early 1970s.

It is likewise easy in today's political environment to be considered "pro-Israel." Forgetting the infamous "Israel lobby," any US politician can easily claim to be pro-Israel. This is because positions that would have been considered anti-Israel only a few years ago have morphed into Israeli policy under the Kadima banner.

The idea that a Palestinian Arab state would somehow automatically bring peace, the idea that Israel is the only party that needs to make permanent concessions, the idea that the Saudi "peace plan" is seriously worth considering, the idea that Israel must give up the strategic Golan Heights on the one border that has been the most peaceful since 1973, the idea that abandoning the Shebaa Farms will magically make Hezbollah love Israel, the idea of talking with Syria, the idea of dividing Jerusalem, the idea of willingly giving up almost all major Jewish shrines - all considered patently ridiculous by mainstream Israeli politicians of all persuasions in relatively recent times - are now considered sacrosanct. The ideas of Israel's loony left have been co-opted as mainstream by a government that has no mandate, no support, and utter disregard for the wishes of ordinary Israelis.

If the Government of Israel holds these positions, how can they be considered anti-Israeli?

Israel's government has adopted the worldview of the European Left that "occupation" is the primary evil in the region and that surrendering land will inevitably bring peace. Giving Gaza to Hamas brought unprecedented (albeit temporary) levels of support from Europe - and unprecedented numbers of rockets to Sderot. Israel's reclaiming of victim status boosted its popularity among those who feel that strength is inherently immoral.

In such an environment, it is easy to claim to be pro-Israel while advocating positions that would seriously erode Israel's security and virtually eliminate Jewish sovereignty over her own holiest sites.

But as in baseball, the true test of friendship is how one acts when the other party is not so popular.

Every poll for the past couple of years shows that Likud, not Kadima, would win a general election. And Likud is not considered a "winner" in the eyes of the world. On the contrary, the word "Likud" conjures up adjectives that the media has hammered into the world's consciousness - adjectives like "hard-line," "intransigent," and "hawkish." To be pro-Likud, according to conventional wisdom, is to be against peace.

The question isn't which candidate for president supports the Israeli policies that are designed to appeal to world public opinion. It is which candidate would support the Israeli policies that a democratic Israel would support.

The answer to this question is certainly not Barack Obama.

Obama started his political career as highly supportive of an "even-handed" policy between a democratic, peace-thirsty state and people who to this day overwhelmingly support terror attacks. His friendships with radical Palestinian Arab intellectuals are well documented. Only when Obama considered running for national office did his public positions tilt towards Israel. As the co-founder of Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah says:
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"
In an unguarded moment, Obama stated what he felt about the Likud in February:
This is where I get to be honest and I hope I’m not out of school here. I think there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt a unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel and that can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel. If we cannot have a honest dialogue about how do we achieve these goals, then we’re not going to make progress. And frankly some of the commentary that I’ve seen which suggests guilt by association or the notion that unless we are never ever going to ask any difficult questions about how we move peace forward or secure Israel that is non military or non belligerent or doesn’t talk about just crushing the opposition that that somehow is being soft or anti-Israel, I think we’re going to have problems moving forward.
In this quote, Obama betrays his opinion that the Likud - the party that orchestrated the peace treaty with Egypt - is purely militaristic and warmongering.

How would he act towards a Likud government, a very real possibility? His statement indicates that his "pro-Israel" posture is one that conveniently follows the liberal ideas that the only obstacle to peace is Israeli reticence to give back more and more land.

Yes, it is easy to say that you are pro-Israel when the Israeli government has been acting out of the same fear of terrorism as the EU, but how will he act when an Israeli government returns to power that is willing to fight terrorism, despite the criticism of the media and liberals? When Obama reportedly said that "the Israelis must be crazy not to accept" the Saudi "peace plan" that would turn Israel back into a nine-mile wide strip of land, where Ben Gurion Airport and Tel Aviv would be in Qassam rocket range, perhaps it may be considered "pro-Israel" in context of the reprehensible policies of Kadima, but is it pro-Israel according to the majority of Israel's citizens?

I have no problem with people rooting for the Phillies today who have hated them in the past, but I would not call those people "friends of the Phillies." They would just be considered opportunists, not friends. And that is how Barack Obama appears when it comes to Israel.