Fallen IDF soldiers in Operation Protective Edge | The Times of Israel To date, thirty-two soldiers have fallen in the effort to expunge terrorists from the Gaza strip. Here’s another way to think about it: this is the same proportion of the Israeli population as it would be of the US population if over 1,200 American soldiers were killed in a conflict.

Rabbi Menachem Creditor is Done Apologizing for Israel

I’m Done Apologizing for Israel”
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

The Huffington Post
21 July 2o14

Rabbit Menachem Creditor and I are at variances about a lot of political issues, but he and I stand together on this one. I, too, am done apologizing for Israel. I too, am done trying to apologetically explain Jewish morality, or for my Jewish existence, and for all the same reasons.

I ask the enraged critics of Israel’s defensive responses to Hamas: Would you have us not respond to this monstrosity? Do you think it’s not worth losing the PR battle to retain our humanity and save as many lives as possible? What country would stand by when thousands of terrorist missiles assault its citizens? I, a Jew, have lost 20 of my sons in the last three days, because I will not lose my humanity and stage a careless ground war in Gaza that would cause mass casualties.

Please read his post.

Mohammad Zoabi: A Brave Arab Israeli. May G-d keep and protect this brave young man from any and all harm. I am humbled by his courage, and I am heartened by his love for his fellow man. Is this young soul not the definition of a chassid umot ha-olam, a person who is pious among the nations?

UCLA and the Anti-Israel Pledge

UCLA Responds to Shocking Anti-Israel Pledge for Student Gov’t Candidates
Sharona Schwartz

TheBlaze.com
May 14, 2014

A pro-Palestinian student organization at UCLA tried to push through two measures designed to disqualify from voting in student government students who had taken trips to Israel sponsored by the HADL, the Hasbara Fellowships, and AIPAC.

Student votes largely defeated the measures, which was good. What discouraged me was that the school administration did not see fit to even make a statement, choosing instead to remain silent and leave the issue for the students to resolve.

I agree that the administration should not waste its time involving itself in the trivia of student government: they have a university to run, and student government on principle is an educational exercise wherein students absorb the rights – and the responsibilities – of life in a pluralistic society.

Yet when student government wanders into the field of intolerance and activities that undermine the principle of fair and equal treatment, the university is bound to make a statement.

It is easy to say “hey, the administration was right. They held back, let the students take care of things, and it all died down.” Fair enough.

Yet had the outcome gone a different way, had students in fact squeezed candidates out because of their viewpoints or their possible viewpoints, the university’s post-facto intervention would have looked unprincipled. Professor Jacobsen at Cornell framed it correctly: the university administration, as the highest authority, should have established the principle of fair and equal treatment, and made clear that it reserved the right to step in if those principles were violated. That would have made clear that student government operates within limits set by the university, and that failing to observe those limits would have consequences.

The administration at UCLA is cowed by political correctness, and as such weakens its role as the ultimate arbiter of the rules of the university playing field. It is the opposite mistake of the one made by UCLA and other institutions in the 1960s, which was to be too paternalistic. The correct course lies somewhere twixt “the heavy hand” and “the absent hand.”

Kerry Threatens the Wrong People

John Kerry Threatens Israel With Boycotts if Talks Fail.

While I am sure the Secretary of State is having a difficult time understanding why Israel’s government is taking such a hard line, he would do well to take a more balanced line. Implicit in the price for peace is a unified government that speaks for all factions of the Palestinian people, and that affirms for the world Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Sadly, the Palestinians are not masters of their own fates. They are beholden to leaders elsewhere in the world who seek to see Israel wiped off the map, and every Jew in the country either dead or in headlong flight, and to them, the lives of a few million Palestinians is a small price to pay.

If the Palestinians could be truly independent, an independent state would come to them naturally.

Perhaps Kerry should be using what is left of American power and prestige in the region to make that happen. But he won’t, because it is easier (and more fashionable) to beat up on Israel.

Loving Israel ≠ Loving Bi Bi

It bears noting that there is a difference between supporting Israel’s right to exist as a viable state, and supporting everything that the government of Israel does without criticism.

I have issues with many of Israel’s policies and actions, but I hope and work for a better way. At the same time, I will not engage in a discussion with someone who either questions Israel’s right to exist or who supports those who do.

Israel has the responsibility to bear criticism for its actions, but it has the right to expect from all of us explicit recognition of the nation’s right to exist.

It’s A Bad Day to be Indigenous

There can be honest disagreement and debate about Israel’s policies in the territories, settlements, and borders. But by extending their argument to all of pre-1967 Israel as well as by smearing the Jews as colonists in their own country, the Native American studies group forfeits its credibility. Rather than being seen as the cutting edge of enlightened opinion, their support for BDS should mark them as a pack of incorrigible haters who should be treated with the same disdain and isolation that they would like to dish out to Israelis.

via Indigenous? Native American Studies and Big Lies About Israel « Commentary Magazine.

Agreed.

Haters gonna hate, even about things on which they appear singularly unqualified to pass .judgment.

I can only wonder how many Native Americans feel the same way as the Indigenous Ivory Tower?

Queen Elizabeth Knighted an Anti-Israel Officer

King Abdullah of Jordan (1882–1951) with John ...
King Abdullah of Jordan (1882–1951) with John Bagot Glubb (1897–1986), the British commander of the Arab Legion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading through the 1948 account of Israeli forces battling the Arab Legion at Latrun, I was slightly peeved to find out that the Legion, widely considered the most potent force among the forces attacking Israel, was led by British officers, notably John Bagot Glubb (“Glubb Pasha.”) Not only was Glubb not censured for his actions against the UN mandate, which caused the British no small embarrassment internationally and was technically a violation of his British commission, he was allowed to continue his service leading the legion against Israel for eight years.

Worse, at the end of that time, when he lost his commission in a political struggle in Amman, Glubb went home to be created a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.

After reading Anshel Pfeffer’s balanced 2012 Haaretz article, it is hard to see Elizabeth II or the Windsor family as anti-Semites, with the notable exception of the Queen’s uncle. The family’s opinion on Israel, however, is somewhat less clear. George VI had Lord Halifax advise Hitler that German Jews would not be permitted into Palestine as the tide of the Holocaust rose, and the Queen has in her six decades on the throne never visited Israel.

Knighting Glubb in 1956 may well have been the act of a young monarch acceding to the requests of Arabists in government or on her staff at the time. That record has never been clarified, though, and it compels British Jews and many of us in America and the Commonwealth to wonder whether succeeding generations of Windsors will continue to draw a line between Jews and Israel, or whether a different approach is in the offing.

Stanford Professor thinks Obama’s Israel Trip is a mistake

English: President Barack Obama talks with Isr...
English: President Barack Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call from the Oval Office, Monday, June 8, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack Obama’s Israel trip: Benjamin Netanyahu will learn that he can insult the president and fail to advance the peace process and still land a presidential visit from the White House. – Slate Magazine.

The author makes some fair points, and I have never been a huge cheerleader for either Mr. Netanyahu or Mr. Obama.

Nonetheless, Ms. Zacharia overlooks an important political truth. I suspect Obama is not going to Israel to praise Bibi, but to give heart to the growing and increasingly viable moderate middle in Israeli politics.

The government just formed in Jerusalem is perhaps one of the most interesting, intelligent, and hopeful administrations that Israel has seen in a decade or more. It finds itself less under the sway of nationalist fundamentalists and more under those who seek practical, intelligent ways forward.

Israel cannot slam the door on peace, nor can it continue to hive off large chunks of its real estate without concessions in return. The new administration collectively gets that. If Obama does not step in to show support now, he is by lack of action giving aid and comfort to extremists on both ends of the spectrum and on both sides of the Jewish-Arab divide.

It is disappointing that a former Jersualem bureau chief of the Washington Post completely misses this point.

I’m Boycotting Musicians Who Boycott Israel

Via Aish.com, a disturbing revelation prior to the world’s festive season: Stevie Wonder cancels a commitment to appear at a benefit for wounded IDF soldiers and the widows and orphans of those killed in the line of duty. Apparently, Mr. Wonder doesn’t think this humanitarian enough.

Unfortunately, Wonder is not alone. Fortunately, his misguided thinking is not shared universally in the music business.

One group called Creative Community for Peace says that although we “may not all share the same politics, we do agree that unfairly singling out Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, will not further peace.”

Yet musicians such as Elvis Costello, the Pixies, Jon Bon Jovi and Carlos Santana have all cravenly cancelled tour stops in Israel.

Appearing in Tel Aviv, pop icon Elton John took a swipe at the cowards: “Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.”

via Stevie Wonder Scorns the IDF.

I’m pulling all music from these musicians out of my collection and locking them away. I’m also done buying their music.

Until they have a change of heart, that is.

Carter and Israel

“The World According to Carter”
Alan Dershowitz

The New York Sun
November 22, 2006

As we take stock of the events of the past month in the Mideast, it is worth remembering that even intelligent, well-meaning American statesmen are taken in by a Palestinian party line that ignores or alters facts in support of its own version of history. Jimmy Carter has done much good in his life, but his despicable revisionism about Israel has threatened to overshadow his contributions.

Dershowitz suggests that Carter is outright anti-Israel. I am not yet ready to make such an assertion. Nonetheless, this article reminds us why Carter and those who follow his line of thinking deserve no credibility in the debate over the future of the region.

 

One Step Closer to Being Pushed Into The Sea

“Palestinians Still Embrace Spirit of 1947”
Jonathan Tobin
Commentary Magazine

Jon Tobin and I don’t agree on everything, but even if you are the furthest thing from a neocon, you need to read this op/ed from yesterday.

The quote that everyone should have emblazoned on their consciousness is this one:

The main truth about this conflict has always been guided by one fact: neither the Palestinians nor their backers were willing then to acknowledge the rights of the Jews. It is only now after decades of intransigence that the Arabs say they want a state. But the common thread from 1947 to today’s debate is the willingness of much of the world to delegitimize Jewish rights and to bypass negotiations.

Even to a moderate like me who has never hesitated to lambaste Israel’s leadership (especially Bibi’s Likud) for the continuing idiocy around the settlements issue, it is becoming painfully clear that the Palestinian goals have never changed. A two-state solution increasingly appears to be a stepping-stone toward a single-state solution. For if it were not, the Palestinian Authority would have recognized Israel’s right to exist long ago.

The painful truth is that successive waves of Palestinian leaders – starting from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1926 to Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah, et al – have talked themselves into a corner. Even if they wanted to recognize Israel, their legitimacy among their people now depends on their dedication to pushing the Jews into the sea.

That is sad. Because that makes this conflict less about a land agreement and more existential for both sides. And an existential conflict can never lead to peace.

Egyptian authorities reportedly seize 1.7 million documents proving Jewish ownership of assets in Cairo

Egyptian authorities reportedly seize 1.7 million documents proving Jewish ownership of assets in Cairo | The Times of Israel.

Nice. Between this and the Egyptian President’s trip to support Gaza, how long until Egypt abrogates the Camp David accords.

Sharing is a Two-Way Street

Is Israel’s left justified in suspecting that the diaspora leaders’ efforts to strengthen Jewish identity are coloured by the country’s rightist-religious Zeitgeist? If so, they will always exclude Jewish liberals. Worse, they will shore up an aggressive pro-Israel loyalism that denies the only feasible future for a Jewish, democratic Israel: sharing the land with a Palestinian state. Israel needs to recover its pragmatic Zionism. It cannot afford a governing ethos infused by a religious fundamentalism concerned chiefly with settlement, conquest and conflict.

via Looking ahead: A Jewish spring? | The Economist.

I’d feel a lot better about sharing the land with a Palestinian state if I could be sure that the Palestinians weren’t just going to use the two-state solution as a stepping stone to shoving us into the Mediterranean.

Please Don’t Tell Me the NYT Possesses No Editorial Bias

The paper: NY Times. The dateline: Tel Aviv. The byline? Ethan Bronner — who looks at the Hamas weapons stockpile. I’m disappointed his lede starts out saying the conflict began when Israel assassinated Ahmad Jabari. Was the rocket fire leading up to it just chopped liver to Bronner?

via Live Blogging Israel’s Media War 11/18/2012 | HonestReporting.

And there is no media bias in the mainstream media against Israel? Or have the standards of journalism at the Gray Lady sunk so low that the facts no longer matter?

I’d say it’s a tossup.

A Little History

August 15, 2005. The residents of the Israeli ...
August 15, 2005. The residents of the Israeli community Neve Dekalim are forcibly evacuated from their homes in Gaza. The evacuation of Neve Dekalim was part of the Gaza Disengagement, which occurred during the summer of 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disengagement – August 2005.

How Israel peacefully and unilaterally gave up the administration of Gaza, despite domestic opposition, in the fervent hope that it would be enough to begin a final peace process.

I had a talk with a friend the other day who was in the IDF at the time. He grew emotional explaining how it broke his heart to drag fellow Israelis out of Gaza in August 2005, but he did it because it was his duty, and because he hoped (like all of us) that it would mean progress toward peace.

It didn’t, and this should ever be an illustration that words like “hope” and “good faith” are increasingly hollow when dealing with the leaders of the PA and Hamas.

Supporting Smarts Everywhere

“Israel to host ‘genius camp’ for aspiring scientists”
Size Doesn’t Matter
August 16, 2012

Israel will be bringing together 250 top young scientists from around Asia at the Asian Science Camp at the end of August.

Great to see Israel building these kinds of relationships, but more important it is great to see that somebody is doing all they can to prevent science in Asia from devolving into nationalist silos.

Jerusalem

“Don’t you see?
It’s not the land
Or the sea
Not a country
But a dwelling place
For His majesty.”

Matisyahu, “Jerusalem”

Facing

“Tactics aside, Israel has shortchanged itself in the Strategic Communications department for 30 years, and it’s coming home to roost.”

David Wolf

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