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Total number of comments: 262 (since 2009-07-27 16:57:15)

Ira Glunts

Ira Glunts is a retired college librarian who lives in Madison, NY. His twitter handle is @abushalom

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  • The 'New York Times' stops being a stenographer for the Israeli army (today anyway)
    • Good post, James. I had just read this pleasantly surprising piece before seeing your review. As others have written on social media, the picture editor got to do some pushback it would seem.

  • Israeli poet apologizes for comparing Ahed Tamimi to Anne Frank
    • Thanks. Don't worry, I won't apologize. I look forward to your posts here for their insights into the Israeli insanity.

    • To Yonoosh, the Sometime Poet Fan of Ahed Tamimi

      למשורר שאהד את עאהד תמימי.

      A beautiful soul, 71-years-old, did something terrible
      When the proud people of Israel
      Cursed him again
      He gave them an apology.
      He was born into this and in his apology
      Were more than 100 years of Zionist education and acculturation.
      And when the story of this struggle is told
      You, Yehonatan Geffen
      Not blond,
      Like Ahed Tamimi who did not apologize
      For slapping Goliath,
      Will be with
      Goldstone and Gal Gadot,
      While she will be with
      Those who fought for Palestine and freedom.

      The original --

      A beautiful 17-year-old girl did something terrible
      When a proud Israeli officer
      Invaded her home again
      She gave him a slap.
      She was born into this and in this slap
      Were 50 years of occupation and humiliation.
      And when this story of struggle will be told
      You Ahed Tamimi
      Red haired,
      Like David who slapped Goliath.
      You will be right there with
      Jeanne D’Arc, Hannah Senesh and Anne Frank.

      Yehonatan Geffen from his Instagram page.
      Translated from the Hebrew by Ira @abushalom Glunts

  • 'They would charge us with the crime of being born Palestinian': a report from the latest Tamimi court hearing
  • 'I came to explore the wreck of Zionism': A report from the 2017 JVP meeting
  • Israeli gov't doesn't really want US to move embassy to Jerusalem -- Foxman
    • “it’s problematic, because it may undo some of the progress we’re all been hoping for." -- Foxman above.

      How can something hoped for be undone? Zionist speak? Hasbalogic? Hasbara culture? Or just nuanced thinking?

  • New statement calls on the movement to focus on Palestine, not divisive internal conflicts
    • Thanks Henry for posting this. I just signed the statement. I would write more but this is a very sensitive subject here and elsewhere.

      Did you get my last email?

  • Trump 'has no business being president' because he would be 'neutral' to Israel -- Clinton tells AIPAC
  • Sayed Kashua doesn't want to write in Hebrew for 'Haaretz' anymore
    • "Hebrew is (one of) Sayed Kashua’s language(s) — as a language-creator/owner and not merely a user/imitator — and of course he teaches at a department of Jewish studies. Who better? -"

      Shmuel, is there any irony here? See my comment above, second to the last paragraph. It should have read collateral "damage" instead of just collateral.

    • Phil, many thanks for the report.

      I had the pleasure of meeting Kashua about 5 years ago. He was the guest of the Syracuse University Jewish Studies Department. I found him to be a very engaging personality.

      Kashua is a truly talented novelist that deserves a wider audience. His show "Arab Labor" is probably much deeper and more clever than most people assume. In my opinion, comparisons to "All In the Family" do not do it justice. I think most of it sails over the heads of the majority of Israeli Jews who are too racist to see many of the ironies and injustices depicted.

      Speaking of ironies: Kashua teaches at the same campus which hired and dismissed Steven Salaita. Kashua, who had (and I assume still holds) an appointment from the Department of Jewish Studies at UIUC was on campus during the height of the Salaita student and faculty protests.

      As part of the Jewish Studies Department Kashua taught Hebrew to Jewish students, most of whom probably view his predicament living in Jerusalem as moving but also as unfortunately necessary collateral of the ongoing Zionist project.

      I really am positively disposed to Kashua. But how hard is it to cease writing in Hebrew for Ha'aretz? Possibly there is something involved in this that I do not understand. At any rate, I wish him all the success in the world in cutting his ties to the Hebrew daily if that is what he desires.

  • 13-year-old Palestinian girl shot dead at gate of settlement
    • Comment on the first item above. News for Jews: When a 13-year-old girl tries to kill another person, it is usually because of something horrible that that person did to them.

  • Jewish settlers carry out another 'price tag' attack on sleeping Palestinian family
    • Allison thanks for the report.

      Ben Gvir's client described above has been identified in the Israeli press as born in the U.S.

      Ben Gvir was present at the wedding/stabbing party where guests celebrated by brandishing guns and knifes, while someone repeatedly stabbed a photo of the murdered, Ali Dawabshe.

  • Israeli government is too involved in settler movement to take on Jewish extremists, says leading Palestinian legislator
    • Haggai Segal (חגי סגל) (@haggai_segal), the convicted Jewish terrorist mentioned above, has been a "respected journalist" in Israel for many years. He is currently the editor of Makor Rishon, a religious settler paper owned by Sheldon Adelson. In a fairly recent interview, he refused to repudiate his terrorist acts. Segal's crimes included permanently maiming two Palestinian mayors and blinding an Israeli who attempted to defuse a planted bomb. (The Israeli, by the way, was a Druze or Bedouin.)

      Today Segal claims that despite his right wing politics he has many friends in the "Israeli left." His twitter feed has a following of many mainstream journalists.

      His son is Amit Segal is a well-known television journalist.

  • Haneen Zoabi's power and vision (and answers to Theodore)
  • Israelis go to the polls today--and nobody knows who will win (Updated)
      This is the video of Netanyahu's racist provocative remarks today with English subtitles. The video was posted on his Facebook page. Notice the comparison between what "they" have (the buses that are transporting Arab voters to the polls) and what "we" have (the ability to call up the IDF reserves.)

      "Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls," is better translated as "Arab voters are moving in droves to the polls." The word "moving" has a military and threatening connotation. H/T to Dena Shunra for this point.

  • Remembering Bob Simon
    • Here is an example which illustrates your point, Kathleen. It is a Sixty Minute segment about the threat of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities from 2008. Simon goes into overdrive, pandering to the Israelis.

      Bob Simon lived in Israel for many years (not exactly sure how many but would guess over a decade) and was deeply embedded in Israeli elite society. He and his wife played tennis with Yitzhak Rabin and his wife. He once said that he was better known in Israel than in the U.S.

      I do not think that Simon's lifelong relationship with Israel is well known.

      In addition to the above piece, which was dangerous hasbara, Simon did a wonderfully positive piece about the Israeli refusenik group, Courage to Refuse," around 2002. So even back then he could be sympathetic to soldiers who refused to serve in the territories. Unfortunately, I could not find this segment on the Net.

      I think Bob Simon was a gifted and courageous journalist. A true master of his craft.

      He did some worthwhile and noteworthy critical stories about Israel (as detailed here) but he could also create a dangerous propaganda segment like the one on the IAF and Iran above. I hope CBS does not broadcast the IAF story in conjunction with Netanyahu's speech to Congress. ;-)

      Here is something I wrote about the IAF piece at the time.

  • Roger Cohen recites Livni talking points in 'NYT' column to blame Palestinians for peace process failure
  • Palestinian UN effort seeks to set 'terms of reference' for negotiations and promote shift away from US leadership
    • The leaked French/Palestinian proposal. There is a rumor that a vote on this is imminent, although false rumors are the rule here.

      I think Allison is correct to emphasize the importance of getting the Europeans more involved. Also this resolution, which is backed by Britain and Germany, puts them on the record as pushing back against the US and Israel who do not welcome this resolution.

      That I feel is significant, even though this resolution will not directly lead to moving anything forward. The original Palestinian resolution would also not have been able to directly change anything even if it were passed.

  • Palestinians who targeted Jerusalem synagogue have sights set on U.S. -- Israeli propaganda
    • Here is a Facebook page supporting and celebrating the Border Policeman who was arrested on suspicion of killing a Palestinian youth in Beitunia last May. It has over 25K likes. Right clicking the page in a Google browser and choosing "Translate" will give a awkward but usable translation.

  • Indian Summer: An Open Letter to Sayed Kashua on the occasion of his piece in the New Yorker
    • I enjoyed hearing your take on the Kashua/Keret letters. I read the letters in The New Yorker before reading your post and was similarly struck by the ludicrous characterization of Tira as “predominantly Arab.” This “mistake” so frequent in the US media leads one to the conclusion that many writers are just reluctant to point out the extent to which Israel is a segregated society.

      My favorite example of the refusal to acknowledge the homogeneity of many Israeli towns, neighborhoods and villages comes from a 2007 speech that then Presidential candidate Barack Obama gave at the annual AIPAC conference. Obama characterized the northern Israeli village of Fassuta, which he had visited, as consisting of “3,000 residents of different faiths and histories … all faiths and nationalities, living together with mutual respect.” The truth was that every single resident at that time was a Palestinian Melkite Catholic. Amazingly, the speech is still available here -->

      I have read two of Kashua’s books and had the pleasure of speaking with him briefly four years ago. He strikes me as an honest, highly intelligent, talented and warm person who is able to triumph with great dignity while engaged in a seemingly impossible career path. His newspaper article prior to leaving Israel was as poignant as any piece of personal journalism I have read in years.

      There is a great irony that Kashua came to Illinois via their Jewish Studies Program where he teaches some of his current courses. Even in the United States he could not flee from his difficult role as the presenter of Palestinian culture to a basically recalcitrant and uncooperative Jewish community.

      Kashua is teaching at UIUC, which is the school that fired Prof. Steven Salaita. What did he think about the student protests supporting Salaita? Was he pressured by pro Palestinian students to join them? Did his Jewish pro Israel students attempt to involve Kashua in support of the school administration? If Kashua ever writes about this, surely he will wait until he goes back to Israel. That much about American culture he surely has learned by now.

      Hatim, I look forward to reading your new book of short stories. Thanks for contributing your special perspective to this site.

  • Tablet types Rev. Shipman as elite, anti-semitic WASP
    • "MO [interviewer] I bet if you raised $5 million they would take it." [Yale would accept the money to establish a center for the study of the Nakba and Palestinian Diaspora]

      I'll take that bet!!!! My money says Yale would reject the offer because if they established the center they would face those who called for Shipman's resignation times 10.

  • US friends of Israeli army stage fundraisers with NBA teams and NY rabbi
    • Jewish exceptionalism ejected at Madison Square Garden

      In a 2009 exhibition game between Maccabi and the Knicks in NYC, the Israeli coach Pini Gershon refused to withdraw after being ejected from the game. (pun intended) An Israeli rabbi tried to get the referees to reverse their call and permit the Israeli to remain on the bench. The rabbi did not succeed and Pini finally left after a long delay.

      It was hilarious. I watched the whole thing in complete disbelief on a live stream on my computer. This video does not begin to convey the outrageousness of the scene nor does it capture the complete disbelief of the bemused American TV announcers. Here is the link ---- a short segment on the ejection starts at 1:14.

  • Abbas calls on UN Security Council to end the occupation
    • Three things missing from Abbas speech: 1)Specifying the time limit in the UNSC resolution proposal and when it would be delivered 2) The much reported decision to take Israel to the ICC 3) Hamas.

      These omissions do not inspired confidence. Despite all the pundits that say the speech indicates that Abbas will renounce US mediation and internationalize the conflict, Ha'aretz reports that pressure from the US convinced Abbas not to detail his UNSC proposal.

      Also, not mentioning Hamas indicates both bowing to US pressure and lack of commitment or faith of the unity government.

      I was actually hoping for better, but now feel that Abbas may back off both the ICC and the UNSC proposals.

      Maybe Abbas should be spending more time trying to drum up support for Gaza reconstruction, diplomacy aimed at forcing Israel to lift the siege and building the unity government.

  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • Israeli papers reported today that the security cabinet has decided on a unilateral approach to Gaza and has rejected any negotiated ceasefire. In other words, no to all demands to lift or ease the siege.

      If true, I wonder how this will go over with Obama/Kerry who have been behind the Egyptian initiative. Maybe this is the first test of the new "don't ever second guess me" Israeli policy toward the US.

      There are no details on how this new policy would work, but it is supposedly based on "deterrence." It does not sound good. But who knows, maybe they will be declaring something completely different tomorrow.

  • Israel is in a pickle
    • The Israeli daily Ha’aretz on July 17 reported these five main points as the conditions Hamas wants included in any ceasefire. I have also seen them mentioned in a Palestinian source. The paper said that these conditions would be presented to all interested parties in the meetings that took place in Cairo on that same day.

      If these in fact reflect Hamas' conditions, I think no. 2 is the key. Unfortunately, Israel and Egypt appear to be strongly opposed to this condition.

      1. Opening all the Gaza border crossings.

      2. Opening the Rafah Crossing with Egypt for 24 hours a day with international guarantees that it will remain open.

      3. Establishing a sea passageway to Gaza.

      4. Giving permits to Gaza residents to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

      5. Freeing prisoners that were part of the Shalit deal, and improving conditions for those who remain in prison.

  • NY Times profile of Gazan long distance runner reveals reality of occupation
  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • I forgot something else. BB wants to punish Abbas by stopping a West Bank company from bringing their cell phone service to Gaza.

      Isn't BB a prince?

    • Oh, I forgot the best part. The newspaper claims BB is cancelling talks as payback for Kerry's poof remark. Sweet.

    • Ma'ariv quoted an unnamed Israeli government source this morning (April 9) as saying that Netanyahu has instructed his negotiators to halt all "peace talks" with the Palestinians.

      But the "peace process" will never die, it's too good of an American business.

  • 'NYT' readers who objected to calling Abbas 'defiant' have a point, public editor rules
  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • @Chu and others,
      I do not think this is going to be decided on the basis of public opinion. I am a betting man and I will cover those 99-1 odds.

  • NY Times should apologize for publishing Palestinians 'have avowed as their goal the killing of all Jews'
  • 'NYT Book Review' owes readers an apology for printing blatant racism about Palestinians
    • That is correct Michael. Most of us will totally agree.

    • To Peter in SF (the discoverer of the source of an Almond Tree), ;-)

      I think that the inspiration of the Schimmerling quote is Naftali Bennett.

      A new idea arrived a few days ago. Jews would live and remain in their homes, but under Palestinian sovereignty. I repeat: Jews would live and remain in place but under Palestinian sovereignty. So I’ll make it simple for you: It won’t happen. It won’t happen and it can’t happen.

      Do you know why Jews cannot live under Palestinian sovereignty? Why can’t Palestinians govern Israelis? Because they will kill them. How do I know that? How do I know? Because it has already happened. January 28, 2014 speech at INSS Conference

      To All, BTW, I think an alternate response to this post is to contact the NY Times and register your objection to its publication of the Schimmerling letter. I have already done so.

  • 'NYT' music piece strikes false note on Mehta and Israeli politics
    • Let me make a couple short points in response to the comments here. Firstly, the main point of the post is that Zubin Mehta has spent a lifetime conducting the Israel Philharmonic and has assiduously avoided political debate. For a NYT article to inaccurately (egregiously so) name Mehta as an example of a conductor’s willingness to criticize and to hold Israel aloft as a model of openness to political debate is only possible because of the power of Zionists to influence the US media, especially the NYTimes. This article is not an isolated instance but a common occurrence especially at the NYTimes. Plan to see posts on other articles like the Mehta column in the future.

      The second point is a corollary to the first. That is that this type of hasbara goes under the radar even among those who are honestly critical of Israel and the lobby, although it is highly pernicious. It is one of the main hasbara messages and it is expressed in the Mehta article in a fashion that does not call attention to itself as hasbara. The message is that segments in Israeli society are making a good faith effort to correct the injustices and will be successful in the end. So it is patently unjust, this reasoning continues, for critics to “single out” Israel when it is an open society with the ingrained culture to mend its faults.

      The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra was founded as the Palestinian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1936 as an exclusively Jewish institution specifically created to exclude indigenous Palestinians. It is part of the standard Zionist historiography that these segregated Jewish institutions, such as labor unions and the educational system, were instrumental in the founding of a Jewish State. Racial segregation, which is the very essence of the orchestra, is part of the Zionist separatist policy which is one of the important elements of the Zionist campaign to evict the indigenous Palestinian population. Thus any comparison between the segregation in the IPO with discrimmination of other orchestras in Western cultures, I find to be off the mark.

      Thirdly, the introduction of Western music to the Arab world happened a long time before the Jewish settlement project. It probably started at the end of the 18th century with Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt and the cultural cross fertilization among elites, and continued in the mid-1800s, with Christian missionaries in Palestine. If the IPO wanted to integrate it would probably be more successful seeking candidates among elites rather than developing talent from the poorest segments of society. Also, they could seek Palestinians from the Western world just as they recruit Jews from the United States.

      Finally, look at yesterday’s music review of the IPO concert. The lead makes it plain that a major purpose of the tour is to promote and celebrate Israel’s image (along with the playing of HaTikvah.) Also note that the review repeats the earlier NY Times false claim that Mehta has been a critic of the Israeli government and provides a link to the article! Just a coincidence?

  • Caught in an honest moment, Kerry casts doubt on the 'peace process'
  • AIPAC reaches out to Christians with morphing Star of David
    • Thanks tree, I bet I remembered it incorrectly and it was Bush. The Biden voice over at 1:06 did not exactly sound like "infitada," but it jugged my memory and probably led to my attributing it to Biden.

      The 2002 date also validates my recollection.

    • Does anyone remember Biden talking about an "infatada?" (sic). It is part of the AIPAC spoof video (1:06).

      I cannot find a reference to it on the Net. When was it? I think it must have been before 2005. Can anyone give a link?

      I wrote something called "A Big Infatada and Refried Beans" but that is no longer on the Net.

      All leads will be greatly appreciated.

  • 'NYT' buries Amnesty International call to suspend arms to Israel in 5th paragraph, page A9
  • 'Price-tag' attacks on Palestinians are as Israeli and common as matkot on a Tel Aviv beach
    • Benedict, Your claim that I engaged in "baseless defamation" is baseless since you incorrectly quote my post. I did not state that the majority of Israelis support price tag attacks, but rather that a majority of Israelis support the message which is sent by those attacks. To reiterate, that message is:

      Arabs, you are not wanted here on land that belongs to us – the Jews.

      Secondly, as to my statement that the picture depicts Jewish Israelis playing matkot. If your name were Moshe, I would ignore this comment. But it is not, so I will tell you that Tel Aviv as Israel as a whole is a segregated society. Sometimes the segregation is de jure and other times de facto. I can assure you that the matkot players pictured are Jewish and if one is not, it is the exception that proves the rule.

      As to the degree that Israelis actually support "price tag violence" and the seriousness of the government's efforts to stop it, I will leave it to commenters like "Just" to give you a bit of insight into those topics.

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • Walid, Your comment does not explain why Israel is a participant in Eurovision. Nor does it totally explain why the European nations permitted Israel to join their association. Nor does it explain there being listed with Europe in the Olympics.

      Also, I wonder if the Arab nations would continue to boycott Israel today, if asked to let Israel join the Asia Football Association. I do not know the answer, but given the present political reality my guess is that most would.

    • Michael (Hophmi), To be called ignorant by you, I consider to be an honor. Your posting here only reinforces the points that I and most of the contributors and commenters are making. I would not dignify your comment with an answer, but I will inform you that I permitted it to be posted.

  • Free it or f--- it, Palestine comes to Los Angeles
    • I participated in my first Color War at a Workmen's Circle camp, Camp Kinder Ring in 1958. They were light on the Zionism/Israel thing back then. A look at the camp website makes me think they still are.

      Camp Kinder Ring began in 1927, and is owned and operated by The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring was founded in 1900 by Jewish immigrants determined to establish a society to provide mutual assistance and to promote Jewish community, Yiddish culture and social justice. Today The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring is an activist-based national organization which is the prominent voice for continuation of a secular Jewish heritage and is committed to advocacy for social and economic justice. This mission supports the operation of a safe, fun summer camp in a nurturing Jewish community.

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
    • George, you are correct about Sapir Sabeh being Mizrahi. And I have seen this fact mentioned in the press and in the social media as relevant to the debate. The invitation and lavish reception she received at the Knesset some claim helped the politicians that invited her build up their cred with the Mizrahi community.

  • 'One state for two people' -- Tom Friedman's crystal ball
    • Ha'aretz article on Friedman piece above leads with the fact that Friedman says Kerry's plan includes part of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. This is a surprise considering most of the leaked reports. I personally do not think Friedman is all that reliable in these kind of reports. In my view he has grown too fat and lazy, and knows few will call him on errors.

      What do you think Annie?

  • Chilean soccer team defies league, retains Palestine on jersey
  • NY Mayor tells AIPAC: 'Part of my job description is to be a defender of Israel'
  • Update: 'Blood bubbles' -- mainstream media turn on SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson
    • in occupied territory in the West Bank, a fact that enrages a politically informed, far-left segment of the liberal-yuppie demographic the product is marketed to.

      Yea. That jumped out at me. But then whom does she quote? The far-left Forward? Good point about the demographic. I agree.

      Ellen, I still think at this stage this is a net plus piece for our side. And they quoted, Phil. ;-)

  • 'Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you' -- Premier's biblical promise in Jerusalem
  • 'Scarlett letter' -- Social media pillory Johansson for representing settlement business SodaStream
  • Hany Abu-Assad's 'Omar' bags Oscar nomination for Palestine
    • Good news. Congratulations to Scott and to Scahill. I just finished his eponymous book. Did I use that word correctly?

      Here is something ironic. The writers of a Times of Israel piece seem to want to claim "Omar" as an Israeli movie.

      There’s been more than a little discussion over the fact that Abu-Assad’s film is considered Palestinian, and not Israeli. Having been filmed in Nazareth, an Israeli town, and with several Israeli Arab cast members — including Adam Bakri, who plays the title role of Omar, and Leem Lubany, who plays Nadja, his love interest — some local media outlets have consistently pointed out the movie’s Israeli roots. But it’s 100% Palestinian, Abu-Assad insists.

      And Abu Assad is a Palestinian Israeli. He does not live in Israel but grew up there and is an Israeli citizen. Still, I don't think we will be hearing to many complaints about it not being labelled Israeli.

      The actual Israeli entry, "Bethlehem," was also about a Palestinian collaborator. Does that make the nomination sweeter?
      From the same article:

      It’s a movie that’s remarkably similar in theme to “Bethlehem,” the Israeli film that was also hotly tipped to earn a nomination but was cut from the running when the list was whittled down to nine contenders in late December. Both films were acquired for US distribution by New York distributor Adopt Films.

      This from the Israeli business website, Globes. They are taking the nomination of Omar personally.

      The Palestinian film "Omar" will compete for the prize for foreign film, after it defeated the Israeli "Bethlehem," which was about the relations between the Israeli Security Services and the Palestinian population in the territories. It will compete against .... [Trans. and emphasis, mine, IG]

  • Netanyahu continues moving the goalposts - announces new settlement bloc Israel must keep in deal with Palestinians
    • RoHa, I will mention your holiness scale to any future posts on the relative importance of the competing claims to the site. ;-)

    • Pamela, Yes it truly would. My guess is that the security is tighter now than in the past. I remember there was a gang of settlers that made a serious attempt in the 80s. The chief rabbi of the IDF asked General Uzi Narkis to destroy the Dome of the Rock in 1967 when the Old City was conquered. Narkis refused and did not make the story public until the end of his life.

    • @Mondo -- Because by retaining the Arab parts of Jerusalem the Israelis are telling the Palestinians that not only that most of what the Israelis took from them and settled with Jews will remain theirs but the land which you live on and consider holy ground will remain ours if we say so.

      The reasons you request are legal, ethical and realist. The realist part is if you insist on retaining Arab Jerusalem the conflict will continue. And by the way Israel already agreed to this in previous negotiations.

    • Pamela, Another Jewish heritage claim that hasn't gotten enough opposition, in my opinion, is the claim to the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif. I mean seeing is believing. The mosques are real, they are there and have been for a long time. The temple may have been there 2000 years ago. When Arafat told Clinton at Camp David that he questioned the existence of the temple at that site, Clinton went into a snit and snapped "it was there because my minister told me it was there." And people say this is a solely secular conflict???!!

      Can you image what the world's reaction would be if the situation were reversed? What if at a temple which Jews prayed at continuously for 1400 years and consider of great importance, the Palestinians suddenly wanted sovereignty because they claimed that there was an all important Muslim holy site buried under the ground which was destroyed over a millennium ago. How far would that Muslim claim go in polite Judeo/Christian/secular society?

      And the importance of the Mount has increased markedly with the growth of the religious nationalist movement and cannot be separated from it. Religious Jews were always prohibited from going up there because they might tread on holy ground on which the temple stood. I think the head rabbis still prohibit Jews from going up to the mount. The idea of rebuilding the temple and the importance of the site is more a nationalist than religious idea.

      It should never have been part of the Israeli demands. Neither Netanyahu or Sharon or Rabin gave a shit about the mount outside its political value.

    • From what I have read Netanyahu's justification for annexing Beit El and its environs is that it is a "Jewish heritage site." Beit El is according to Jewish biblical legend the place where Jacob dreamed about the ladder to heaven. There is a rumor that Kerry bought into this, but it is only a rumor. What bullshit!!

      One thing about the ploy of "Jewish heritage sites" is that it is also being used as a reason to annex much of the Hebron area and to maintain an Israeli presence in the city of Hebron and at the Ibrahimi Mosque. The PM mentioned Hebron and Beit El as heritage sites that he wants to keep at a Likud party meeting a week or two ago, as reported in the linked article.

      Netanyahu went to Jordan today and apparently told Abdullah about wanting Beit El. There is no report on how the Jordanian King reacted. BB was in Amman to update the King on the I-P negotiations. Jordan is very concerned about having a say in any settlement agreement, especially concerning Palestinian refugee that live in the Kingdom. Also, Jordanian officials have recently expressed concern over rumors about a secret back channel between BB and Abbas which they fear will ignore Jordanian interests. The Israeli far right also has expressed the same fear and worry about its interests.

      The talk about wanting the heritage sites, the trip to Jordan, the "tonguelashing" (this is how it was described in the Hebrew press) that Ya'alon gave Kerry, the Knesset resolutions meant to block negotiations, all signal that the Kerry talks may actually lead to an agreement. Why else would there be such a fuss.

      If there is an agreement I doubt that it will be a final status deal, but it could lead to significant changes on the ground. Although Kerry and the Palestinians both say that there will be no temporary deal, it seems to me that a temporary deal is the only one possible.

      Whether that could be good for the Palestinians is an open question.

      My feeling is that the biggest obstacle to a deal is Israeli intransigence on the issue of Jerusalem. The Israelis must agree to giving the Palestinians Arab East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state and work out some solution to the Haram a Sharif/Temple Mount/Holy Basin sovereignty issue.

      And one more thing. If JStreet's main interest was getting the 2SS as they claim, they would be out there talking about assuring Palestinian claims in Jerusalem now. They told their membership that they agreed with a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. But they won't remind people of that now because JStreet is a lot more Obama, Democratic Party and "liberal Zionism" than the 2SS which they claim is there main goal.

  • Sharon's death is 'perfect time' for settler siren's new Miley Cyrus parody, ode to Gaza settlers
    • @mhughes976 I think you are correct, although I am not sure that citing the Ecclesiastes is proper evidence. I just googled the saying and it comes from a Naomi (Jerusalem of Gold) Shemer song, "For All These Things." Thanks for the correction. The mistake was mine and the phrase was correctly sourced in the article.

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