Michael Lumish: “Occupy” is an Unusual Word
It is not a very nice word, either.
In terms of the never-ending Arab and Muslim violence against the Jews of the Middle East the word “occupy” has ominous connotations.
It implies the brutal military occupation of those heinous Jews upon another people’s land.
The word “occupy” also, of course, has benign connotations when used in other contexts. For example, no one would have any problem, – other than Jihadis – with the fact that I am occupying my chair in my office.
The truth, however, is that Israel occupies Israel like France occupies France or the Czech Republic occupies the Czech Republic. There is nothing remotely illegal or illegitimate, to use Obama’s term, about Jews living and building in the land Jewish people have lived in for over 3,500 years.
The Land of Israel is where Jews come from and to argue otherwise is to suggest that the Jews are, or should be, a forever wandering people.
The very word “Israel” means, along with the Jewish State, the Jewish people. Israel is the Jewish nation. So to argue that Israel is illegally occupying Israel is to argue that the Jews should have no home. And Israel includes that part of Israel that the Jordanians dubbed “West Bank” in order to rob the Jewish people of our posterity within our own homeland.
This is to say that the foundation of the conflict is an irrational and Koranically-based hatred toward the Jewish people, without whom Islam would never have emerged to begin with. Without Israel, which is to say without the Jewish people, there never would have been a Koran or the emergence of imperial Islam.
FROM RECENT defeats, it appears that efforts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to undermine Israel’s legitimacy may have fallen on hard times. But appearances can be deceptive, and we – supporters of Israel as the secure, democratic nation-state of the Jewish people – cannot afford complacency.
IT IS true that BDS recently experienced a string of setbacks in the United States. These include an executive order from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibiting his state from doing business with companies that boycott Israel, rejection by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) of a boycott resolution directed at all Israeli academic institutions, and the United Methodist Church’s repudiation of divestment and move to withdraw from the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” a pro-BDS coalition.
To understand the real threat posed by the BDS movement, however, we need to look at the forest and not just the trees. There have been and will continue to be both short-term “wins” and “losses.” The BDS movement’s long-term strategic objective is to erode the perception that Israel embodies those values underpinning its special alliance with the United States – democracy, human rights, equality under law and peace. In other words, their underlying aim is to turn Israel into a pariah state, viewed similarly to the apartheid South African regime.
While the BDS movement is very far from achieving its malicious agenda, we cannot ignore some worrisome trends. According to a Pew Research Center poll released in May 2016, overall American public support for Israel remains high. At the same time, liberal Democrats expressed greater sympathy for the Palestinians over Israel by a 40 percent to 33 percent margin. Millennials expressed greater sympathy for Israel, but even among them there has been a steady increase of sympathy for the Palestinians, from 9 percent in 2006, to 20 percent in July 2014, and 27 percent in this latest poll.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is staring down the barrel of economic warfare with financial assaults on BDS, replicating in many ways the sanctions architecture imposed on Iran to compel a change in its behavior over its illicit nuclear weapons program.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s now-famous anti-BDS comment from last month – “It’s very simple: If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you” – harks back to the strategy targeting European companies conducting business with Iran’s regime.
European banks and firms faced being frozen out of the lucrative US market if they continued trade relations with Tehran.
Cuomo’s executive order to punish companies which have state business who are engaged in BDS is part and parcel of a broader campaign unfolding in US state governments to turn BDS into a pariah movement. Robust anti-BDS legislation in Illinois coupled with State Sen. Mark Kirk’s call for an investigation into German BDS bank accounts has played a critical role in disrupting BDS funding.
Arab Christians must come to understand that Israel represents their “last hope” to be saved from annihilation by jihadists in the region, a Middle Eastern Christian columnist wrote Thursday in an op-ed published by the online news magazine The Federalist.
According to Luma Simms — who grew up in Ba’athist Iraq — Middle Eastern Christians must overcome widespread anti-Jewish indoctrination that is rampant in Arab lands.
“Anyone who claims that the Arab world — Muslim and Christian — is not pathologically antisemitic is delusional. This is the elephant in the room in the Arab Christian subculture; the secret sin no one wants to bring to the light,” she wrote.
It is this “secret sin” — which Simms calls “a blight upon the people of my heritage” — that prevents Arab Christians from reaching out to Israel for help as they suffer at the hands of radical Islamic jihadists.
Antisemitism has deep roots in the Middle East, Simms wrote, recorded as far back as the biblical Book of Esther outlining the genocidal plans of Persian vizier Haman against the Jewish nation. Islamic rulers adopted the idea of Jews as the “scapegoat” for their problems and this antisemitism “trickl[ed] down to minority groups living in Islamic dominated lands.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu has just concluded a tour of four African countries in what the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has qualified as a “historic” visit.
Among the countries included in the tour was Uganda, where, as part of the festivities celebrating 40 years since the Israeli rescue mission at Entebbe, Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, gave a speech.
The speech made repeated references to Israel and Palestine and was met with dismay, bewilderment and downright criticism by a variety of observers, including the Israeli delegation.
Le Monde classified the speech as “absurd” and wrote that it peddled in “strange comparisons.” CCTV thought that Museveni “repeatedly confused Israel and Palestine”. ThisIsAfrica called the speech “awkward.” Times of Israel remarked that Museveni’s words do “not seem related to Palestine, but instead to Israel” and went on to call them a “mistake.”. Arutz Sheva called the speech “bonkers.”
The supposed “mistake” was in turn attributed to Museveni’s old age or qualified as an insult to PM Netanyahu.
Museveni’s speech made numerous and consistent references to a unitary mass of land he called the Holy Land / Israel / Palestine.
But while Museveni refers – perhaps confusingly – to one land by two interchangeable names, he is crystal clear in referring to the people who inhabit this land as “the Jews” and “the Arabs” and does not mention, even once, a people called the “Palestinians.”
In doing so, Museveni removes, in one stroke, both the false claim to distinct peoplehood of Arabs who live in Israel / Palestine as the artificially constructed notion of the “Palestinians” and of the Islamic origins of the conflict, seeming to imply it is a fratricide conflict over land rather than a religious one.
A retired Saudi general visited Israel this week, heading a delegation of academics and businessmen seeking to encourage discussion of the Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative.
According to a report in the Haaretz daily, the delegation led by Dr. Anwar Eshki met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and several Knesset members from the opposition.
Such a visit by former general Eshki, who was once a top adviser to the Saudi government, is an extremely rare occurrence. “While this wasn’t an official visit, it was a highly unusual one, as Eshki couldn’t have traveled to Israel without approval from the Saudi government,” the newspaper report said.
The meetings with Gold and Mordechai reportedlty did not take place at official Israeli government facilities but at the King David Hotel.
A deadly shooting rampage in Munich, Germany – which police say has left at least ten people dead – was perpetrated near the Munich Olympic stadium where Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.
Police say a lone gunmen on Friday evening attacked a busy shopping mall, spraying bullets as people fled in horror for safety from what police said was a terrorist attack.
Police said ten people had been killed and that the attacker had taken his own life. They told the public to get off the streets as the city – Germany’s third biggest – went into lock down, with transport halted and highways sealed off.
Friday’s attack took place a week after a 17-year-old asylum-seeker wounded passengers on a German train in an axe rampage. Bavarian police shot dead the teenager after he wounded four people from Hong Kong on the train and injured a local resident while fleeing.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but supporters of Islamic State celebrated the “likely terror attack” conducted in Munich, Germany Friday evening in what police believe was orchestrated by a lone gunman.
“Thank God, may God bring prosperity to our Islamic State men,” read one tweet.
“The Islamic state is expanding in Europe,” read another.
Police said at least ten people were killed when a gunman on Friday evening attacked a busy shopping mall, spraying bullets as people fled in horror for safety from what police said was a terrorist attack. Police added that they believe the attacker had taken his own life in the aftermath of the assault.
Friday’s attack took place a week after a 17-year-old asylum-seeker wounded passengers on a German train in an axe rampage. Bavarian police shot dead the teenager after he wounded four people from Hong Kong on the train and injured a local resident while fleeing.
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told Bild newspaper’s Friday edition before the mall attack that there was “no reason to panic but it’s clear that Germany remains a possible target”.
As news reports of a gun massacre in Munich crossed the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, the President of the United States was cracking jokes.
Barack Obama delivered a brief update to reporters at the White House about the still-unfolding shooting rampage that left the German city on lockdown.
Eight are confirmed dead, and 10 injured.
The president was speaking to law enforcement agents at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House.
But as cameras rolled on the somber moment, Obama grinned and chuckled – and drew laughs from his audience – about his elder daughter Malia leaving the nest and heading for college.
Democrats are touting Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton’s new running mate, as a pro-Israel voice in Congress. The left-wing Forward ran a tribute exulting: “5 Reasons Tim Kaine Will Be the Jewiest Vice President Pick for Hillary Clinton.”
Yet Kaine joined anti-Israel radicals in Congress in boycotting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in March 2015 — the last plea of a beleaguered nation against an agreement that Iran is already violating with ballistic missile tests.
At the time, Kaine dismissed Netanyahu’s speech as purely an attempt to influence the upcoming Israel elections — on which the speech had virtually no effect — and complained that Republicans were trying to make support for Israel a partisan issue.
Bloomberg News at the time predicted that Kaine’s decision to boycott the speech “could resonate for years,” describing it as a sop to the party’s left-wing base.
Notably, Kaine is supported by J Street, the George Soros-funded radical left-wing organization widely regarded as anti-Israel for its opposition to every attempt by Israel to defend itself against terror.
When Israel needed to be defended from an Iran deal that the Obama administration had no intent of enforcing, and that the ayatollahs had no intent of keeping, Tim Kaine joined a walkout, putting politics above principle and sound foreign policy.
In a recent e-mail sent to several Democratic party staff, a top Democratic National Committee (DNC) official suggested that the party should raise questions about Sanders’ “Jewish heritage” in key primary states.
“It might ma[ke] no difference, but for [Kentucky] and [West Virginia] can we get someone to ask his belief[?]” DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall wrote in an e-mail to several other party officials on May 5, 2016. “Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist.”
“This could make several [percentage] points difference,” Marshall continued. “My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
The very next day, the Sanders publicly accused the DNC of “trying to tip the party convention in Hillary Clinton’s favor.” In December of 2015, the party cut off the Sanders campaign’s access to its own voter data.
Marshall’s e-mail was part of a large trove of DNC messages released by Wikileaks on Friday. The revelation of his suggested attacks on Sanders’ only poured fuel on the fire of accusations that the DNC was anything but neutral during the party’s primary between Sanders, a sitting senator from Vermont and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Jewish and pro-Israel groups in Britain called for the expulsion of a controversial British peer on Friday, following her remarks yesterday blaming Israel for the global rise of terrorism.
In an address to the House of Lords, Baroness Jenny Tonge said, “The treatment of the Palestinians by Israel is a major cause of the rise of extreme Islamism and Daesh [ISIS].”
According to Tonge, Israel is “creating a generation of terrorists who will have a justified grudge against Israel and the countries who support her.”
“I’ve heard it said these actions [terrorism] are caused by incitement, by the Palestinians themselves…I question that,” she said, adding that Israeli soldiers are “wimps” for defending themselves against what she called “children throwing stones and sticks or carrying scissors.”
Tonge’s comments prompted outcry from prominent Jewish groups in Britain, who called for her immediate dismissal.
Marie van der Zyl, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said in a statement, “Another House of Lords debate and another outrageous speech from Baroness Tonge on the Middle East. It is time for Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron to expel her once and for all from the party.”
Jonathan Sacerdoti, director of communications at the Campaign Against Anitsemitism, said, “By suggesting there would be Palestinian ‘terrorists with a justified grudge’ against Israel she is effectively justifying the terrorism that is aimed at Jewish people in Israel and around the world by Hamas and other terrorist organisations.”
“We cannot expect her to apologize, as she means it, and has a long history of antisemitism which has seen her forced to resign from the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat Party. It is now time for her to be expelled from the Liberal Democrat Party entirely, and from the House of Lords.”
Almost 400 miles away from Cleveland, sweltering in a Washington, DC heat wave, thousands of potential voters stood on their feet, opening their arms in testimony, waving American and Israeli flags and vowing that for Zion’s sake, their voices would be anything but silent.
Christians United for Israel’s annual summit was booked years in advance of the announcement that the Republican Party would hold its nominating convention in Cleveland the same week, but the powerful grassroots-based organization sees itself as playing a central role in the drama that continues to unfold in the 2016 elections cycle – and beyond.
The organization sprung to its feet in advance of the Republican convention, when the platform committee sat down to draft party doctrine for the coming election. CUFI sought to restore language describing Jerusalem as “undivided” – asserting support for Israel’s claims over all of the city, on either side of the Green Line.
“Our 501c4 [lobbying organization] was instrumental in having the word ‘undivided’ added to the Republican platform,” says Pastor John Hagee, the organization’s founder and spiritual mentor. “It was extracted previously and we as an organization want to see Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish people undivided today, tomorrow and forever.”
Pastor John Hagee of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), right, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2010. (Courtesy)
Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa has a tendency to ignite controversy. He once advocated building a wall along the US-Mexico border with an electrical wire, saying it would “be a discouragement” for illegal immigrants to cross over, and added, “We do that with livestock all the time.” More recently, King caused a social media uproar by questioning the contributions of non-white “subgroups” to Western civilization on an MSNBC panel Monday with Chris Hayes.
After Esquire’s Charlie Pierce speculated that the Republican National Convention may feature “the last time that old white people will command the Republican Party’s attention” and said the convention hall is “wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people,” King responded with exasperation.
“This ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie,” he said. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
Amid the backlash that immediately ensued, King did not backtrack from his remarks but rather attempted to clarify and defend them. In an interview with The Times of Israel Tuesday, King argued that he was responding to Pierce’s insinuation that a “subgroup of white people” would no longer have influence within the party, which he found “offensive.”
A Guardian report by Peter Beaumont about new Israeli legislation to allow for the ouster of MKs accused of racial incitement, or supporting terror, included the following background information:
Pressure to pass the law had been mounting following anger when three MPs – Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas – met the families of several Palestinians killed during a recent surge in street attacks on Israelis. The MPs said they were attending a meeting about the repatriation of the Palestinians’ bodies to their families.
This vague language obscures the fact that the Arab MKs in question (Basel Ghattas, Jamal Zahalka and Hanin Zuabi) met relatives of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces after carrying out deadly (i.e., “successful”) attacks.
Specifically, they met last February with the father of Bahaa Alyan, one of the terrorists who carried out the Oct. 13 attack on an Egged bus in the East Talpiot neighborhood of Jerusalem. The shooting and stabbing of passengers resulted in the death of Haviv Haim, Alon Govberg and Richard Lakin.
Additionally, the MK’s didn’t merely “meet” with the families of Palestinian terrorists. As Palestinian Media Watch reported, they ‘honored’ the terrorists themselves with a moment of silence, and referred to them as martyrs.
Back in February, when the MK’s visit with families of terrorists was first revealed, we noted that the Guardian similarly misled on the nature of the terrorists’ crimes and the degree of sympathy for the terrorists shown by Arab MKs.
The article made no effort to provide readers with the relevant context of impeachment laws in other democracies such as the United States and some EU member countries. It failed to provide readers with information concerning the type of actions to which the new law would presumably apply such as an MK’s participation in a flotilla in support of Hamas organised by a group proscribed under Israeli law.
As was the case at the time, the report gave a whitewashed portrayal of an event which took place earlier in the year.
“In February, three of the 18 Israeli Arab MPs caused outrage and were suspended from parliamentary activity for several months by an ethics committee after they met the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on Israelis.”
Clearly this article did not provide uninformed readers with a comprehensive view of the legislation itself or the types of activities to which it may apply. However, there is one specific take away message which it obviously tried very hard to get across to BBC audiences.
“The EU warned Israel’s parliament earlier this month that it risked undermining democracy”
“But critics said it was anti-democratic…”
“… the Knesset had risked undermining democracy and freedom of speech…”
“It harms the very building blocks of democracy…”
Reports of the death of Israeli democracy are of course greatly exaggerated – but notably, such reports frequently come from the media organisation supposedly committed to accurate and impartial reporting
The Islamic State terror group claimed a deadly attack Saturday on a huge protest in Kabul attended by thousands of minority Shiite Hazaras, an IS-linked news agency said.
At least 80 people were killed and over 230 were wounded in the attack on the protest, a official with the Public Health Ministry said.
“Two fighters of the Islamic State detonated their explosive belts in a gathering of Shiites in… Kabul, Afghanistan,” the Amaq news agency said.
The protesters were demanding that a major regional electric power line be routed through their impoverished home province of Bamiyan, one of the most deprived areas of Afghanistan with a large Hazara population.
The sandals of Afghan protesters seen at the scene of a suicide attack that targeted crowds of minority Shiite Hazaras during a demonstration at the Deh Mazang Circle in Kabul on July 23, 2016.
A group of British youths aroused the ire of Edmonton residents this week, by playing the wildly popular “Pokemon Go” game at a Jewish graveyard, Jewish News reported.
Local historian Stanley Kaye told the newspaper that a number of boys and girls were “taking selfies” at the Federation Cemetery on Monday. Kaye approached the group and asked them not to step on the graves, out of respect.
“They told me they were looking for the Pokemon,” he said. “Apparently there was a mistake in the coordinates. The location was supposed to be the golf club nearby. The caretaker said he’s had to ask several groups to leave for the same reason. I went online to try to correct the coordinates, but I’m not sure that it will work.”
The West has been fed this constant diet of slanted reporting where Israel is the aggressor, and every Palestinian an innocent victim.
If a Palestinian young man attacks without provocation and is killed, the world’s headlines invariably read “Israeli soldier guns down Palestinian teenager”.
This is the same media that will not tell you an attack was carried out by a Muslim; by someone who “chanted something” before shooting into the crowd. And the lone gunman was then killed.
The media as it exists now is the enemy of truth. Media globalisation and shared news feeds mean that the same story is carried worldwide; that a consistently slanted view of the world is fed to everyone in New Zealand via every paper, even in the regional ones.
There is little effort, if any, from editorial staff to address the imbalance they are importing from tainted overseas news sources. Sadly, it also has infected our own media to the point of being staunch defenders of a point of view, rather than reporting on world events as they occur.
….we only need to look at Europe to see what happens when virulently antisemitic rhetoric, which has become prevalent in some parts of society, turns to violence: four French Jews murdered while going about their shopping before Shabbat; in Toulouse school children and their father and teacher murdered at the school gates; in Copenhagen a Jewish man murdered trying to protect Jews in a synagogue celebrating a Bat Mitzvah. Jews are leaving Europe for Israel in large numbers. Many European cities are once again not safe for Jews.
How long will they be safe in New Zealand?
When the late Austro-Hungarian aristocrat Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi attended church on Good Friday, his father would famously cause a scene, storming out when the liturgy came to the anti-Semitic exhortation “Let us also pray for the faithless Jews.”
Such protest was unusual in 19th-century Austria-Hungary, where anti-Semitism and other forms of racism were de rigueur. But the old count — a personal friend of Zionist legend Theodor Herzl — abhorred such biases in part because his wife, Richard’s mother, was Japanese.
Brought up in a multiculturalist home, Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi made the fight against anti-Semitism a cornerstone of the Pan-Europa movement he founded in 1926. It was a major precursor of the European Union, which has evolved into a quasi-federal entity of 28 states with its own executive arm — the European Commission — parliament and judiciary.
Little wonder, then, that prominent Jews such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud endorsed the nobleman’s pan-European vision from its inception. They saw it as an antidote to the nationalism and racist hate that culminated in World War II and the Holocaust.
Determined to prevent the recurrence of such traumatic events, postwar European societies became open to adopting the revolutionary pan-European model of government.
THERE ARE many versions of the tale of the bombing, but the most accurate is likely that which appears on the Irgun website, which also tells something of the hotel’s history.
The hotel was built by the wealthy and influential Moseri family of Cairo and Alexandria, which set up a shareholding company to finance construction. Wealthy Egyptian businessmen and affluent Jews from around the world were among the shareholders. The luxurious, seven-story building with 200 rooms opened to the public in 1931. In 1938, the southern wing was requisitioned by the Mandatory government and used to house its secretariat, as well as its military command.
The British built a communications center in the basement and, for security reasons, added a side entrance linking the building to an army camp south of the hotel. Less than a third of the rooms were reserved for civilian use.
In 1945, the Hagana, Irgun and Stern Group joined in an alliance known as the United Resistance Movement established by the Jewish Agency. It lasted for some 10 months, until August 1946. The alliance coordinated acts of sabotage and attacks against the British authorities.
On Saturday, June 29, 1946, the British launched Operation Agatha, a massive operation in which soldiers and police searched for arms and incriminating documents, and made arrests in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and several dozen settlements. The Jewish Agency was also raided.
Altogether, some 2,700 people were arrested, including Moshe Sharett, who would later become foreign minister and prime minister. The official purpose of the raid and arrests was to end the state of anarchy existing in Palestine.
Soon afterward, Begin received a letter from Hagana chief Moshe Sneh, with instructions to blow up the King David.
A U.S. officer who helped liberate 2,500 Jews during the Holocaust has died at the age of 99.
On April 7, 1945, Lt. Frank Winchester Towers, who was the division liaison officer of Regiment 743 of the 30th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army during World War II, approached (with his regiment’s tanks) a stopped train in which there were 2,500 Jewish prisoners bound for the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The Nazis stopped the train because they were ordered to destroy it and drown the passengers in the Elbe river.
When the U.S. regiment approached, the passengers shouted, “We’re Jews!” Towers helped his regiment rescue the prisoners by mobilizing ambulances and other vehicles, and helped the freed prisoners get to an American-run field hospital.
“I feel pride and joy to know I had a small part in their release,” Towers told Yedioth Ahronoth in 2010. “They rose from the ashes like the phoenix.…It warms my heart,” said Towers, who also took part in the invasion of Normandy and helped liberate Jews from a labor camp near Magdeburg.
Another reminder that while we have history, the other side has “narrative”.
May 14 1948, Israel’s Independence day, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle
The Chronicle documents the coordinated attacks on the nascent state by 5 of her neighbors
On Israel’s independence day, Syrian forces were reported across the northern border (map at right arrow No. 1) The Jewish army conceded loss of Kefar Tzion (2) Egyptian Trops were ordered to invade from the South. Other Arab armies of Lebanon, Iraq and TransJordan were reported ready for action
High Muslim Call for “Holy War”
The Arabs considered this a “Holy War”. Sheikh Mohamed Mamoun El-Shennawy, rector of Al Azhar University and chief of the Moslem Theological institute announced “The Hour for Jihad has struck”.adding “This is a holy war for the sake of Allah. He who dies for God will live forever at the side of the Lord”
S.F.Zionists to celebrate on Monday
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