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Ask the Rabbi
Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem. He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981.
Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History. He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes. He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.
Tishrei 29, 5768, 10/11/2007
Remember the several weeks-long fighting between Pal. refugees in Lebanon at a camp called Nahar Al-Barad? You know, the one where Lebanese troops bombed, shelled and kicked these poor refugees around while the world applauded. If you can't check here for a reminder.
Well, some are being let back into the ruins that exist - yes, nothing but ruins. You can read all about it and see some pictures here.
Lebanese officials have a great idea: they want to create a new model for these people who unfortunately continue to believe that they are going to go back to Jaffa, Isdud, Iskalan and El Quds. They want to prove that they will be better off under local Lebanese authority rather than their misguiding own leadership.
Of course, there is this myth of a "right to return" and foremost among those who insist that Israel should not act like Lebanon, that is in resettling permanently the refugees in their host countries, will be Jews and Israeli academics.
But what Lebanon is initiating is defintely a step in the right direction.
The Pals. started the violence against the Jews already in 1920. They championed ethnic cleansing at Tel Chai, Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, Beer Tuviah, Tzfat and Hebron, among many other places they attacked and killed and raped Jews. They caused 7000 Jewish refugees from Tel Aviv's southern neighborhoods in the first month of the 1947-49 war. And that's just the short version.
I think it's about time someone told them and showed them that they are not going back.
Tishrei 25, 5768, 10/7/2007
Unless a major intervention occurs, and I am not excluding that possibility, another forum arranged to denude Israel of its necessary security, its national ethos and historic homeland, not to mention a cowardly retreat from fighting terror by America and Israel instead of rewarding it, is set to take place on November 26 at Annapolis, USA.
Just before it, during Nov. 11-13, the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities of America will be held at Nashville. Two weeks before that, in Philadelphia, during Oct. 28-29, the Summit Conference of AIPAC will take place with Ehud Barak and Eli Weisel as guests. As David Bedein mentioned to me, these two platforms will well serve Israel's leadership in garnering American Jewish support for their "We are tired" program (you do recall Ehud Olmert's "We are tired" speech of two years ago to the leftist Israel Policy Forum, don't you?).
This lead up is very dangerous for Israel's supporters. The momentum that Olmert & Co. will churn up at these major appearances could well quash potential protest activity. But will there be such activity in protest?
Is anybody in touch with the local community? With Baltimore or Washington and its suburbs, closest to Annapolis? Will there be rooms to sleep over at? Food? Support groups?
If YESHA activists and others do mobilize good numbers, can they be provided with infrastructure, intelleigence, maps, etc. so that a proper protest activity, all legal, be launched?
Of course, I would truly hope that people, here in Israel and in America, are thinking along these lines; and are planning and preparing.
Tishrei 15, 5768, 9/27/2007
Many of us remember the book "O Jerusalem" which served as a sort of second "Exodus" of Leon Uris. Written by Lapiere and Collins, who authored together "Paris Is Burning", it was assumed to be a definitive history of the 1947-49 war that Israel has to fight against the Arabs. Many college students studied it despite its many shortcomings.
The book, you should know, is now a film. It'll be out shortly.
At the movie's web site, they have a timeline. I picked just one example from it to illustrate the problems.
When does the timeline start? In 70 AD - when Jerusalem is destroyed. Well, by ignoring the previous 1500 years of history, when no Arab was near here, and skipping over the Jewish connection (Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, etc.), this allows the Arabs to still claim they were here before the Jews. How? Because, they assert, they were the original Jebusites.
At a website, Jerusalemites.Org, I found this:
The Jebusite Arabs founded the City, according to current available archaeological artifacts some 5,000 years ago, during the bronze age, and named it Uru Salem – the City of Peace.
Wow, can you imagine that? Melchitzedek was not a Canaanite but an Arab. Were the Hittites also Arab?
The next date in that timeline is 636 when "Calif Omar conquers Jerusalem and the Muslim occupation begins" as they write. Okay, I'll grant them two points for using the terms "conquest" and "occupation" in an Arab context. But what happened to Bar Kochba and his revolt against the Romans in 132-135? What about the Mishna and Gemara, composed and redacted during 250-500?
What, we Jews weren't here at all?
Now, if you take this "minor" point and begin to multiply it by the many minutes of the movie, you will realize that it's not "O Jerusalem" but "Oiy, O Jerusalem!".
Tishrei 12, 5768, 9/24/2007
I thinks there's been an error in the thinking of those whose knees I hear knocking in the corridors of the JNF offices.
I have just been provided with the original Certificate of Amendment of the Certificate of Incorporation of the JNF in the USA from 1939 wherein it states quite plainly that the funds collected are:
"to be devoted to and expended in the purchase of land in Palestine and in promoting...general welfare of Jewish settlers...and to aid, encourage and promote the development of Jewish life in Palestine". (*)
Now, as far as I can recall, America was and still is a democracy. It was clear then as it should be now that Israel was to be the Jewish national homeland. If I buy a piece of real estate and bequeath it to my children as part of the family inheritance, no Arab can go to court and claim he wants to buy it and if I don't sell it to him then I am a discriminatory racist. In a further court case that Dassie Marcus of the Central Israel Fund was involved in - and it was Dassie that provided me with the documents above and more - it is clear from the court decisions that not using funds raised by the JNF for the explicit purposes for which the corporation was established is illegal and criminal.
The JNF land was similarly purchased with the same "family" intention. I do realize that there is a claim that portions of the lands currently held by the JNF were not bought with Jewish money but came into its possession by a grant of the Israel government but that still shouldn't force the JNF to cave in entirely. Perhaps a separate status for those lands could be arranged.
In any case, in the name of liberalism, Israel is approaching a threshhold it cannot afford to cross.
(*) I use the terms "settlers" and "Palestine" only in their historical context and as part of a quotation. This doesn't break my rules about my semantic practices.
Tishrei 12, 5768, 9/24/2007
UN Secretary Ban expressed remarks yesterday after the latest Quartet Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York.
Here is an excerpt:
"The Quartet expressed support for the international meeting on Israeli-Palestinian peace called for by President Bush in his July 16th statement. Principals discussed the meeting and agreed that it should be substantive and serious, providing support to the parties in their bilateral discussions and negotiations in order to move forward urgently on a successful path to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that will unite all Palestinians."
Now, in my finely-tuned ear, that statement is problematic.
First of all, it seems that even the struggle against the Zionist enemy hasn't managed, over the past 80 years and more, to unite the Arabs that prefer to refer to themselves as "Palestinians". (And please note, in this blog, there are no "Palestinians" and I shorten that to Pals.). So why should a state be successful?
In 1923, the Arabs resident in the area of the Jewish national home rejected a proposed representative council by the British and did not participate in the vote - only the Jews. Another "Parity" institution was rejected later. All territorial compromises likewise were ignored and shunned.
Secondly, it is my belief that a Pal. state will be the most serious security threat to Israel and its Jews short of an Iranian (or now Syrian) A-bomb.
Thirdly, dear Mr. Ban, can we at least mention peace once an a while in close proximity to this idea of a Pal state? Like the whole idea of this, excuse my bluntness, idiocy of a Pal. state is theoretically supposed to bring about peace?