The link between Israel’s forest fires and the ‘muezzin bill’

Israel/Palestine
on 71 Comments

Israeli legislation ostensibly intended to tackle noise pollution from Muslim houses of worship has, paradoxically, served chiefly to provoke a cacophony of indignation across much of the Middle East.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps.

But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. The bill’s environmental rationale is bogus, they note. Moti Yogev, a settler leader who drafted the bill, originally wanted the loudspeaker ban to curb the broadcasting of sermons supposedly full of “incitement” against Israel.

And last week, after the Jewish ultra-Orthodox lobby began to fear the bill might also apply to sirens welcoming in the Sabbath, the government hurriedly introduced an exemption for synagogues.

The “muezzin bill” does not arrive in a politically neutral context. The extremist wing of the settler movement championing it has been vandalizing and torching mosques in Israel and the occupied territories for years.

The new bill follows hot on the heels of a government-sponsored expulsion law that allows Jewish legislators to oust from the parliament the Palestinian minority’s representatives if they voice unpopular views.

Palestinian leaders in Israel are rarely invited on TV, unless it is to defend themselves against accusations of treasonous behavior.

And this month a branch of a major restaurant chain in the northern city of Haifa, where many Palestinian citizens live, banned staff from speaking Arabic to avoid Jewish customers’ suspicions that they were being covertly derided.

Incrementally, Israel’s Palestinian minority has found itself squeezed out of the public sphere. The “muezzin bill” is just the latest step in making them inaudible as well as invisible.

Notably, Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian Christian legislator from the Galilee, denounced the bill too. Churches in Nazareth, Jerusalem, and Haifa, he vowed, would broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer if mosques were muzzled.

For Ghattas and others, the bill is as much an assault on the community’s beleaguered Palestinian identity as it is on its Muslim character. Netanyahu, on the other hand, has dismissed criticism by comparing the proposed restrictions to measures adopted in countries like France and Switzerland. What is good for Europe, he argues, is good for Israel.

Except Israel, it hardly needs pointing out, is not in Europe. And its Palestinians are the native population, not immigrants.

Haneen Zoabi, another lawmaker, observed that the legislation was not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.

That point was illustrated inadvertently over the weekend by dozens of fires that ravaged pine forests and neighboring homes across Israel, fuelled by high winds and months of drought.

Some posting on social media relished the fires as God’s punishment for the “muezzin bill”.

With almost as little evidence, Netanyahu accused Palestinians of setting “terrorist” fires to burn down the Israeli state. The Israeli prime minister needs to distract attention from his failure to heed warnings six years ago, when similar blazes struck, that Israel’s densely packed forests pose a fire hazard.

If it turns out that some of the fires were set on purpose, Netanyahu will have no interest in explaining why.

Many of the forests were planted decades ago by Israel to conceal the destruction of hundreds of Palestinian villages, after 80 percent of the Palestinian population – some 750,000 – were expelled outside Israel’s new borders in 1948. Today they live in refugee camps, including in the West Bank and Gaza.

According to Israeli scholars, the country’s European founders turned the pine tree into a “weapon of war”, using it to erase any trace of the Palestinians. The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe calls this policy “memoricide”.

Olive trees and other native species like carob, pomegranate and citrus were also uprooted in favor of the pine. Importing the landscape of Europe was a way to ensure Jewish immigrants would not feel homesick.

Today, for many Israeli Jews, only the muezzin threatens this contrived idyll. His intermittent call to prayer emanates from the dozens of Palestinian communities that survived 1948’s mass expulsions and were not replaced with pine trees.

Like an unwelcome ghost, the sound now haunts neighboring Jewish towns.

The “muezzin bill” aims to eradicate the aural remnants of Palestine as completely as Israel’s forests obliterated its visible parts – and reassure Israelis that they live in Europe rather than the Middle East.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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71 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    November 29, 2016, 11:05 am

    Importing a landscape from Europe? Importing non-native species (invasive species) deliberately may not have been intended (as such) but that was the effect. In a dry climate some trees burn quicker than others. Israel was foolish to choose matchsticks to grow everywhere, whether to beautify Israel or to hide evidence of the previous Palestinian presence. In a dry climate now made drier by GWCC.

    • DaBakr
      November 29, 2016, 12:40 pm

      Try the Aleppo Pine as your so-called “invasive species” . This pine has been growing in the Galilee long before the modern state of Israel.

      • ToivoS
        November 30, 2016, 9:13 pm

        Why do you call it aleppo pine while in Israel it is called jerusalem pine? The variety planted by the JNF was native to the Western Mediterranean though it belongs to the same species group as the Aleppo Pine which naturally occurs in NE Syria. This pine was most certainly not native to most of the regions of Israel where it was planted.

    • Jackdaw
      November 30, 2016, 1:46 pm

      No. The British Mandate’s Forestry Department began forestation using Aleppo Pine. These trees were chosen because they grow fast and fasting growing trees enrich and fix the topsoil faster. What the British Mandate and the Jewish National Fund could not count on was the building of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt and the microclimate changes that resulted from the decrease in Nile River flow into the sea.

      Babelmont. If you don’t know what your talking about, than don’t.

      • MHughes976
        November 30, 2016, 3:58 pm

        Y. Bar-Maor, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, the Botanic Version, is interesting on the symbolism of these matters.

      • talknic
        November 30, 2016, 8:18 pm

        @ Jackdaw November 30, 2016, 1:46 pm

        “The British Mandate’s Forestry Department began forestation using Aleppo Pine”

        Uh huh. Aleppo (Jerusalem) pine trees … rarely comprise more than 30 percent of seedlings at a given site. In some reserves they were not planted at all.

        “What the British Mandate and the Jewish National Fund could not count on was the building of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt and the microclimate changes that resulted from the decrease in Nile River flow into the sea.”

        Sources please

      • ToivoS
        November 30, 2016, 9:18 pm

        Correction: the British mandate government approved the planting beginning in the 1930s, the project was initiated and carried out by the local kibbutzes. If you recall these were the settlements that were the precursor to the state of Israel.

      • Jackdaw
        December 1, 2016, 12:12 am

        @talknic

        http://www.israelweather.co.il/english/page3.asp?topic_id=82&topic2_id=108&page_id=113

        Re: Aleppo Pine, your cite is spurious. Aleppo pine was the most common conifer use in forestation. Non-conifer Eucalyptus was frequently planted as well.

      • Mooser
        December 1, 2016, 4:53 pm

        “Non-conifer Eucalyptus was frequently planted as well.”

        And, how did that Eucalyptus planting work out?

      • RoHa
        December 1, 2016, 9:19 pm

        “And, how did that Eucalyptus planting work out?”

        Eucalyptus trees give out oil which forms a highly inflammable vapour. This can turn a small fire into a major bushfire in a very short time. And the oil in the trees sometimes explodes in the bushfires, as well. (You didn’t think Australian trees would be harmless, did you?)

        On the plus side, Israel was able to invent the Koala.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 1, 2016, 9:54 pm

        i witnessed a eucalyptus tree explode in australia once and start a fire. it was at the myalls lakes national park. we were rowing in a boat and saw it just explode near the bank so we rowed over to it and watched it burn for awhile. my australian friends said this was not unusual.

      • straightline
        December 1, 2016, 10:34 pm

        Eucalypts commit genocide! They are good at spreading fires through their oil and their shedding bark – burning bark is carried by the wind, increasing the speed of the fire front. Moreover, eucalypts typically survive a bushfire – unless they explode – where other trees do not. It is wonderful to see the eucalypts sprouting green shoots from their blackened trunks after a large bushfire. These factors are thought to be part of the reason for their dominance among Southern Australian megaflora. And ancient aboriginal farming methods using fires are thought to have been part of this process.

        As Californians know to their cost, planting eucalypt forests is not a great idea in the long term.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 2, 2016, 3:58 am

        where i live in california we don’t encourage eucalyptus growing into forests. they were generally planted in very long rows sometimes dividing plots of land, usually bordering roads, but more often for wind barriers. they get huge, ours are very big trees.

        here’s a good story http://calnorthern.net/the-eucalyptus-of-northern-california/

        Living in Oakland in the early nineteen hundreds, the wealthy author Jack London wanted to get even richer. He learned of a tree from Australia, one that grew rapidly in climates similar to the Bay Area’s and produced wood of exceptional quality. London procured a large number of eucalyptus seeds and planted a massive plot of them in the Oakland Hills.

        Harvest time came, and London cut down a small chunk of his plot to determine the quality of the wood. It quickly became apparent the wood was trash—it split, it bent, it dried out, ultimately proving itself substandard for any use other than cheap firewood. He apparently planted the wrong species of eucalyptus, and his crop was useless.

        In disgust, London let the grove stand rather than waste the money to cut the rest down. And soon, with no help from anyone, the invasive eucalyptus forest began to grow. South around the Bay into San Mateo, north towards the delta into Contra Costa, eventually making it all the way to Marin; like a plague from down under, the virus spread. In this manner, London unwittingly produced the region we know today—one covered with an entirely non-native tree.

        According to my father, this was how eucalyptus came to Northern California, and I believed him completely.

        it’s not entirely true tho, we are not “covered with an entirely non-native tree.” we have many other trees including gorgeous redwood forests here, and they are native and magical. and as far as i know they do not explode into flames.

        but our non native eucalyptus trees are sometimes a hot local topic. see this photo for an example of how they line the road. http://www.petaluma360.com/csp/mediapool/sites/PressDemocrat/News/story.csp?cid=2190352&sid=555&fid=181

        “This isn’t Russia,” he said. “They can’t tell me to cut down my trees.”

        County officials insist they want to work with property owners toward an equitable solution. But in the rural area, where Ernie’s Tin Bar is the de facto city hall and suspicion of government runs deep, many aren’t buying it.

        “The county is blackmailing them (property owners) to tear down the trees at their expense,” said Jim Kriegsman, who lives on a 140-acre horse farm and started a petition drive to save the trees.

        The dispute resonates widely. What happens to the iconic stand of eucalyptus trees between Stage Gulch Road and the Blackpoint Cutoff could be a harbinger of how the county deals with these antiseptic-scented mammoths lining highways across the region.

        Of these, the Lakeville grove is perhaps the most famous, gracing postcards for wineries and forming a natural tunnel for motorists. Some see beauty in the “blue gums,” which were planted in 1905 on the Foster Ranch, once part of the giant Tolay Ranch that was acquired by the county as open space.

        They were an addition to the huge trees, planted in 1860, that mark the site of the vanished port of Lakeville on the Petaluma River.

        Others, however, view the trees as unsightly invaders, brought from Australia and growing into veritable death traps. In 2005, a limb fell on a car on Lakeville Highway, injuring the driver. In 2002, a 30-footer from the “Gum Grove” near Infineon Raceway at Sears Point fell and killed a motorist.

        County officials, recognizing the passions attached to the Lakeville trees, promised last year to proceed slowly with any plans to cut them down.

        Supervisor Mike Kerns, whose district encompasses this territory, stated flatly that the trees would not be clear-cut.

        “We could remove the trees over a period of years and not all at once,” he said in a June 2007 interview……

        btw, jack london may have lived in oakland in early nineteen hundreds, but his book valley of the moon is set in sonoma county’s valley of the moon where the jack london state park is. right up the road from the area of the second article i linked to. california has a love/hate relationship w/our eucalyptus. and that 2008 article? of course the eucalypus are still standing between Stage Gulch Road and the Blackpoint Cutoff. ;)

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2016, 11:23 am

        “Eucalyptus trees give out oil which forms a highly inflammable vapour.”

        And Eucalyptus trees get pretty big! There’s lots of good lumber in a Eucalyptus tree!

      • Annie Robbins
        December 2, 2016, 11:47 am

        really? i didn’t think it made good lumber. no one builds with it around here.

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2016, 11:54 am

        ” i didn’t think it made good lumber. no one builds with it around here”

        “Jackdaw” recommended it as a triumph of reforestation for the “The British Mandate’s Forestry Department”

        I’ve heard it’ll spit nails right out of the board.

      • straightline
        December 2, 2016, 4:28 pm

        Fascinating about Jack London, Annie. I wonder if his eucalypt experience precipitated his story “The One Thousand Dozen”?

        Some eucalypts are good for woodworking – I have a beautiful table made of redgum. JL picked the wrong species.

        Falling branches – yes – common problem here.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 2, 2016, 5:10 pm

        o i forgot about that straighline, i did see some outrageously fabulous furniture made out of eucalyptus when i was in australia. deep in the woods there was a showroom and workshop. i will never forget it, or the eucalyptus i saw around margaret river area, i think a little south of there perhaps. huge! the only place i have ever been in the world (and i have traveled a lot) that reminded me of where i come from in northern california (stunningly beautiful) was western coast of australia from cape naturaliste (similar to pt reyes) down to margaret river — the varying landscape from wine groves to the same kind of wild beaches and the smell of eucalysus on the drive south to bolinas. but it may have been on the drive from bunbury to denmark that we stopped at that furniture place deep in the woods.

        yes, he picked the wrong species. interesting, it was right around the time he wrote the one thousand dozen (1903), funny i never made that connection. he didn’t purchase his ranch in glen ellen (1000 acres in valley of the moon) for 2 more years — the same year the article mentions “blue gums,” were planted on the Foster Ranch. glen ellen is one of the most heavenly places i ever lived. again, reminding me of the wine country around margaret river.

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2016, 8:17 pm

        Maybe the You-clipped-us should be the Trump Admin’s. official tree.

  2. Annie Robbins
    November 29, 2016, 12:23 pm

    i just heard the news from a friend: “Jewish resident of Beersheba don’t want to hear bus-stop announcements in Arabic (only in addition to Hebrew, of course) on the local Dan buses. Arabic audio promptly removed. Arabic is supposed to be an official language in Israel. Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from Beersheba in 1948, and many Palestinians Bedouins visit the city.”

    hebrew:

    http://www.mako.co.il/news-israel/local-q4_2016/article-5edde8a26c0b851004.htm?partner=rss&utm_source=link4u&utm_medium=News&utm_campaign=link4u_News&Partner=link4u_News&rdr=1

    settlers ears are offended by arabic so silence it.

    • Mooser
      November 29, 2016, 12:51 pm

      “i just heard the news from a friend: “Jewish resident of Beersheba don’t want to hear bus-stop announcements in Arabic (only in addition to Hebrew, of course) on the local Dan buses.”

      Yes, “Jon s” told me it disturbs the Beersheba Head-Kickers soccer team practice.

  3. DaBakr
    November 29, 2016, 12:24 pm

    So many lies. The loudspeakers targeted by the bill are bigger then the wall of sound at a metal concert. The pine trees are native Syrian pines, hardly an import from Europe. Nobody is trying to ban the calls, just lower the volume. More hysteria from the left as usual. The wunderkind latuff shows two small loudspeakers at the top of a pole. Take a look at what kind of loudspeaker setups are really blasting out these calls 5x a day. Would like to tie Mr. Cook up at the base of one of the main mosques speaker set ups for a few days and see if he still as any wits left at all let alone hearing.

    • amigo
      November 29, 2016, 1:03 pm

      This is an appropriate time to revisit this MW article by Illan Pappe.

      http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/ethnic-cleansing-israeli/

    • MHughes976
      November 29, 2016, 1:08 pm

      The Times of Israel reports that Yair Lapid considers that the purpose of the bill is ‘to insult Muslims’. He thinks that the problem could have been addressed by enforcing existing law on noise, which it seems might embarrass synagogues and churches. The Aleppo pine is native to the whole Med basin, or most of it – and apparently has great post-fire resilience – but its real concentrations lie further West. So there was a certain determined alteration of the balance of nature in making them as extensive as they now seem to be. That’s not without symbolic effect.

      • DaBakr
        November 29, 2016, 7:50 pm

        @hg

        lapid is correct in the same way americans could most likely curb much of their problem with gun control if they simply enforced existing state and federal statutes. same with this bill. most israelis are not interested in silencing any religious calls-including the 5x a day muezzin . however-if sensible people (not very abundant here) actually took a look at the type of loudspeaker systems the bill is targeting with the bill-as I said earlier-they look like stage setups for a massive outdoor heavy metal concert and have little to do with the ‘charm’ of living in a land where the call to prayer has been a fixture for centuries. of course mw commenters claim its zionists who ‘politicize’ this issue but we can just imagine if e.g. the jews in iran or , oh yeah, there arent any more jews in the middle east any more, demanded the sound be toned down in their neighborhoods during sleeping hours or during shabbat. exactly. sovereignty. its a bitch for jew-hating anti-zionists.

      • eljay
        November 30, 2016, 8:40 am

        If someone is breaking a noise by-law, enforce the by-law. There’s no need for special legislation that primarily targets one group.

        I’ve been using Google to try to find details (in English) of the “muezzin bill”. Can anyone provide a link? Thanks. :-)

        — Edit —
        From what I can gather, the bill would require mosques not to use a PA system for the pre-dawn call to prayer, and to limit the decibel level for the remainder of the calls to prayer. But it wouldn’t ban the use of PA systems. This seems fair to me.

      • eljay
        November 30, 2016, 8:52 am

        Addendum: It’s not clear whether the bill will limit the dB level of the “Sabbath siren”. If it does not, why not?

      • Talkback
        November 30, 2016, 9:23 am

        DaBakr: “sovereignty. its a bitch for jew-hating anti-zionists.”

        You mean the kind of sovereignty which was established only through war and expulsion by a minority of Nonjew hating Zionist bitches?

      • echinococcus
        November 30, 2016, 10:02 am

        Sure, Eljay. It’s simply a matter of noise ordinance. Modified to give a pass to the Sabbath sirens, but pass that.

        After all, the noise is plainly obnoxious; as PM Netanyahoo said, it would not be tolerated by noise ordinances in France or Switzerland, so that should be a universal norm. Noise is noise anywhere in the atmosphere, no?

        Where do these Ayrabs think they are, anyway? Did we sacrifice so much to deport them and pack the place to end up hearing the loud reminder that they are still there? Who do they think they are, owners of the country?

        So the right thing to do is a noise ordinance in the hope to mobilize every single Palestinian against the invader again, including the many thousand of them who would be happier than anyone to get rid of both calls and prayers. Then start repressing them, pretexting the riots, and do a serious mowing inside the green line, too. Break their backs for a while.

        Simple application of noise ordinances. Prefiguring a total-equality state packed with armed and Zionist invaders who believe they won the place “back”, strictly equal to disarmed, wronged owners of the place, who continue thinking that they are the owners.

      • eljay
        November 30, 2016, 3:22 pm

        || echinococcus: Sure, Eljay. It’s simply a matter of noise ordinance. … ||

        It should be a matter of noise ordinance.

        || … Modified to give a pass to the Sabbath sirens … ||

        It shouldn’t be modified to give a pass to the Sabbath sirens.

        A plastic hammer in a rubber room. I really hope you don’t hurt yourself…

      • echinococcus
        November 30, 2016, 7:07 pm

        How do you explain to a totally clueless person that it is a matter of national dignity, that noise ordinances are a pretext, that atheists and Zoroastrians and Yezidis and Christians have already reacted to the imposition, that people who have cursed the ezan from the day it was on loudspeaker have already pledged to defend it, that the churches have promised to start blasting the ezan if the mosques are prevented…

        So, as long as the Yahoo includes the synagogue sirens in his ordinance, the sleep of Zionist invaders being sacrosanct, should he continue to pretend he is in Switzerland and try to provoke the Palestinians into one more bloodletting –this time within the 67 lines? Do you realize what you are saying?

      • eljay
        November 30, 2016, 7:48 pm

        || echinococcus @ November 30, 2016, 7:07 pm ||

        Stop hitting yourself with that hammer.

      • talknic
        November 30, 2016, 8:47 pm

        @ DaBakr
        “sovereignty. its a bitch for jew-hating anti-zionists”

        It’s a bitch for vile Zionist colonizers and their ignorant and/or stupid supporters
        http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/decad169.asp

        so much so they have to constantly lie about it https://www.google.com.au/search?q=%22Israel+has+never+defined+its+borders%22+-talknic

    • John O
      November 29, 2016, 1:09 pm

      Links, photos, decibel readings (including distance from speakers, as I’m sure you know that sound volume is subject to the inverse square law), please

    • talknic
      November 29, 2016, 1:32 pm

      @ DaBakr November 29, 2016, 12:24 pm

      “So many lies”

      Yes. Look here’s one now

      ” The loudspeakers targeted by the bill are bigger then the wall of sound at a metal concert. “

      And another
      The wunderkind latuff shows two small loudspeakers at the top of a pole “

      It’s a Mosque minaret and the speakers Latuff has drawn are disproportionately bigger than anything a minaret of that size could possibly support

      “Take a look at what kind of loudspeaker setups are really blasting out these calls 5x a day.”

      You forgot to show us. Go ahead …. I’ll wait

      • MHughes976
        November 29, 2016, 1:56 pm

        Latuff also shows Netanyahu as a gigantic figure, tall as a tower, and the Palestinian figure as seized by rage but helpless.

      • Mooser
        November 29, 2016, 3:12 pm

        Wait a minute, could that be where he got the idea…? Well, praise Allah if it was.

      • DaBakr
        November 29, 2016, 8:07 pm

        @t

        i could show you all day and it wouldnt change a wooden mind like yours. saudi arabia apparently limits the call from its mosques to what it can broadcast from its internal speakers. try 8-10 air-raid sirens surrounding many of the minarets. one of the great perks of sovereignty is the ability to make bills that protect both the health and quality of home life for all parties concerned.

      • talknic
        November 29, 2016, 9:07 pm

        @ DaBakr November 29, 2016, 12:40 pm

        “Try the Aleppo Pine as your so-called “invasive species””

        If you say so.

        Try Brutia and Stone pine http://www.jta.org/2011/01/11/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/after-fire-what-types-of-trees-are-best-suited-for-israel

        “This pine has been growing in the Galilee long before the modern state of Israel”

        Not in closely planted plantations/forests and definitely not with large swathes being planted and aging at the same rate along with other imported and similarly highly inflammable species

      • talknic
        November 29, 2016, 9:09 pm

        @ DaBakr November 29, 2016, 8:07 pm

        “i could show you all day “

        You haven’t shown anything

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2016, 3:33 pm

        I’m hearing some very annoying noise. It’s like a constant, resentful mutter.

    • Marnie
      November 30, 2016, 12:39 am

      This proposed ban is just another attempt to erase the palestinian people. Some loudspeakers may be louder than others so why not deal with the ‘loudspeaker setups are erally blasting out these calls 5x a day’?

      Because the ‘noise’ isn’t really the issue, it’s the people behind the ‘noise’. Silencing their freedom to speak the 2nd official language of the zionist state, is abominable. This is the latest attempt. When and if this bill is passed, i’m pretty sure churches will be hit next although that makes for a huge PR problem doesn’t it? And the sabbath sirens will stay of course, and the sirens on so-called holy days and yom hashoah, yom hatsmaut, etc., those sirens will stay. Anyone who doesn’t know, when these sirens blast at 10 a.m., israelis (at least 80%) stop in their tracks, be they walking, running or driving. It is some crazy ass pagan worship but that’s how they roll.

    • Jackdaw
      November 30, 2016, 1:49 pm

      Mr Cook lives in Nazereth and hears the loudspeakers every day.
      He must not mind, or he wouldn’t have written this piece. Otherwise he’d be a hypocrite.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 30, 2016, 6:04 pm

        I love the sound of the muezzin cos it means shisha is close and so is aseer farawleh and people who say hamdulillah

  4. W.Jones
    November 29, 2016, 12:26 pm

    How many cities have the Muezzin call as loud in Israel?

    Probably not Tel Aviv.
    But Nazareth, Jaffa, Jerusalem?

    • DaBakr
      November 29, 2016, 8:11 pm

      there are SO many all over that are overly loud. they hold none of the charm a skilled muezzin possesses with breath control and the ability to cast a long and beautiful sound. then the speakers helped to overcome city noise pollution. fine. then the speaker wars started and thats what you have. contests by mosques to see how loud and how far they can project with the aid of technology. it makes me laugh to think about how long left wing bleeding heart NYC liberals would tolerate such noise. lol. they can’t even deal with car alarms.

  5. Ossinev
    November 30, 2016, 7:12 am

    @DeBakr
    Can you please ask your best buddies in the IAF to stop all those listen up you smelly natives just reminding you we are the one`s in charge 24/7 F16 and helicopter flights over Gaza and the West Bank. The noise is deafening and there doesn`t appear to be any local noise pollution ordinances covering them.

  6. Maghlawatan
    November 30, 2016, 9:46 am

    Now the question of insurance for property damaged in the fires comes up. If the fires were terrorist then people are entitled to compensation from the Jewish state.
    But it is a […]state and tight about money.
    So the police have to get involved
    And the police have no evidence of arson.

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756012
    “The police and firefighters are denying the tax authority’s claims. They insist there is no certainty that political or nationalist motives were to blame for any of these fires.”

    Police say some of the cases are still under investigation. “We cannot compete with the remarks of politicians talking about compensation,” a police source said.

    This is when the paranoia of Zionism meets the culture of money.

    Israel is such a clusterfuck

    • MaxNarr
      November 30, 2016, 2:26 pm

      “But it is a Jewish state and tight about money.” I would like to report this antisemitic comment.

      • amigo
        November 30, 2016, 3:15 pm

        ““But it is a Jewish state and tight about money.” I would like to report this antisemitic comment. ” Maxnurd

        I agree , Maghlawatan is completely out of line.Referring to Israel as “The Jewish state ” is completely unacceptable.Totally outrageous.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 30, 2016, 3:21 pm

        duly noted and the offending part removed. however, compensating “terrorist” victims on only one side of the conflict is ethnic based discrimination. states are generally tight about money, and how could a state compensate everyone from a forest fire? don’t they have fire insurance over there?

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2016, 3:38 pm

        “I would like to report this antisemitic comment.”

        To who? The comment has been moderated, and there it is. Will you be reporting it to Trump’s Department of Anti-Semitics?

        Where did you get this idea that crying “Antisemitism” will let slip the dogs of law, or something? Never could figure that out.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 30, 2016, 4:12 pm

        There is no money in the kitty because it was all paid to the settlers.

        There is no money for firefighting planes because Hebron Jews needed it.
        There is no money for shoah survivors because Beit El got there first.

        One of the key things about the Jewish state is there is no such concept as citizenship.
        You are a schmuck. And you had better be thankful.

      • Mooser
        December 2, 2016, 1:34 pm

        “There is no money in the kitty because it was all paid to the settlers.”

        7.5 million in the west bank! That’ll eat up a lot of money.

  7. Mivasair
    November 30, 2016, 11:16 am

    The awareness that JNF forests are planted to hide the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages is central to A.B. Yehoshua’s 1962 story מול היערות. This highly acclaimed work pivots on the Israeli fear that Palestinians will burn down the forests to reveal what they conceal. No one conversant with Israeli literature can honestly deny that this has been in the Israeli mindset for generations.
    Readers of Hebrew can check http://www.masa.co.il/article/239

    • Annie Robbins
      November 30, 2016, 11:43 am

      Mivasair, from the google translate it says

      But it’s impossible to trust him completely because he still has covert or overt interest to burn the forest,. Therefore, set about keeping, and it cannot prevent fire (maybe he’s the one who started at all), nor the appearance of the Arab village of delete underneath the foliage.

      fascinating paranoid mindset.

      • Maghlawatan
        November 30, 2016, 4:17 pm

        I would love to learn Hebrew just to study that paranoid mindset.
        But it will have to wait.

        In the meantime there is enough material smuggled outside by the few Mensches

        Assassinations are considered achievements that can be marketed to the public.

        Describing himself as “on the right” politically, Osher has little patience for leftists, who he says “got on my nerves” during the war, and explains: “Soldiers were getting killed, and they allow themselves to talk about war crimes.”

        She still hasn’t given it much thought, but says she “supposes” she will join the army when the time comes. As for whether the war has changed her political views, she says: “I don’t really think much about politics. All I could think about this summer was that I just wanted this to be over because all the sirens were really stressing me out.”

        .” For the past few years, she’s been struggling with the question of whether to join the IDF because she considers herself a pacifist. “The war this summer made my dilemma even stronger,” she acknowledges.

        “It’s the little things, like if I go out with my friends in the evening to get a bite to eat, you can’t avoid the signs all over the place showing you where the nearest bomb shelter is,” she says. “And even if you try to escape for 10 minutes and go on Facebook or turn on the TV, it’s always there.”

        Eden grew up in a family with a left-wing orientation, and that’s where she defines herself as well on the political spectrum. Asked if the war has changed her views, she responds: “It has made them stronger actually. I believe that people in Gaza are suffering more than I am, and it’s not necessarily all their fault. It’s more the fault of Hamas. I want them to live in peace with us.

        92 percent of Israeli Jews said Operation Protective Edge was justified, according to a poll published Tuesday by The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) and Tel Aviv University.

        Yaacov Lozowick is the state archivist of Israel. A scholar who moved to Israel from Europe, he is a true believer in the necessity of Jewish nationalism. Scott Roth and I once met him in West Jerusalem and had a polite conversation that became adversarial when it was continued on email subsequently.
        Yaacov has an active twitter account in which he trumpets Israel; and on August 4 he tweeted:
        Lesson of this war: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children. Just like every warring nation in history.

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/apr/05/tony-judt-right-questions/ “Judt’s Zionist teachers…would have said: “Even if the gentiles like you and treat you as one of their own, you will not like yourself. Indeed you will like yourself even less for just that reason.” As a result, you turn to a paranoid kind of Jewishness, living vicariously, as it were, with the ghosts of Nazi mass murder and the specters of Arab terror”

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2016, 9:06 pm

        “Yaacov has an active twitter account in which he trumpets Israel; and on August 4 he tweeted: Lesson of this war: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children. Just like every warring nation in history.”

        When you are talking about a tightly organized centralized nation of 2 billion people, all unified around the same national demands, such unfortunate sentiments become normalized.

    • Raphael
      November 30, 2016, 12:54 pm

      Mivasair

      Are there any books in Hebrew discussing the wars between 1967 and 1973, and Cuba? If there are… if you know of conspiracy theory types of books… that would be better. Or, are most Israeli books about the wars, mostly, about Egypt Syria Iraq Jordan Algeria Morocco Saudi Arabia?

      Does Israeli literature in Hebrew have a James Bond type of Israeli?

      • Mooser
        November 30, 2016, 3:46 pm

        Isn’t your desperation to divert just a little too apparent, “Rafael”?

        And the book you are looking for is “Our Hitskop in Havana”..

  8. mcohen.
    November 30, 2016, 5:45 pm

    why lie about the fires.they were deliberately lit.fire with fire

    • Maghlawatan
      November 30, 2016, 6:06 pm

      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756012

      The police and firefighters are denying the tax authority’s claims. They insist there is no certainty that political or nationalist motives were to blame for any of these fires.

      Police say some of the cases are still under investigation. “We cannot compete with the remarks of politicians talking about compensation,” a police source said.

      It’s all in your head, habibi

    • talknic
      November 30, 2016, 7:16 pm

      “they were deliberately lit”

      Evidence? Nil

    • Mooser
      November 30, 2016, 9:19 pm

      “why lie about the fires.they were deliberately lit.fire with fire”

      So the Israeli government should pay compensation?

  9. Kay24
    December 1, 2016, 6:32 am

    This campaign to halt the call to prayer seems to be part of a bigger picture when it comes to anti Muslim rhetoric in many parts of the world. In Buddhist majority nations like Myanmar and Sri Lanka, the same false claims are used to attack the Muslims, apart from the complaints of loud calls to prayer, they whip up anger by claiming the Muslims are taking over these nations, that they are marrying Buddhist women for conversion, and that the process of halal food should stop. Someone wrote the same vicious plan to be used in many nation, and it seems Netanyahu is following some of those instruction. It is all meant to torment the Muslims.

    • Maghlawatan
      December 1, 2016, 9:31 am

      A lot of Israeli legal moves are based on the assumption that Zionism is forever. Only stupid is forever

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