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.
Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology | HonestReporting.
Why does the New China News Agency employ a Palestinian journalist who injects his personal biases into his reporting on Israeli issues. Could it be, perhaps, that Xinhua can’t tell the difference? Or does it even care?
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.
No More Tax Funds from Israel to PA
Israel National News
Israel will be withholding tax funds destined for the Palestinian Authority following the UN vote last week. The PA’s status as a de facto “sovereign state” not only calls into question the legal basis of returning those tax funds, it calls into question the entire legal nature of the relationship between Israel and the PA. To wit:
It [the UN declaration] also circumvented the mandate for final status negotiations with Israel as required by the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords signed by the PA and Israel in the 1990s. By abrogating that agreement, there now exists a legal question as to whether or not the entire document is null and void – including the Paris Protocols, the section delineating economic agreements between Israel and the PA.
Somebody in the PA either didn’t think this through, or didn’t care. Perhaps because they believe this is the beginning of the end for Israel. It is nothing of the kind, of course, but this wouldn’t be the first time the Palestinians have miscalculated badly, would it?
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.
“The World According to Carter”
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.
CDR Salamander: Maureen & the Subconscious Anti-Semite.
I try to stay out of politics on this blog. I spend enough time covering Chinese government and U.S. politics elsewhere that I try to leave this blog for musings on what it means to be Jewish.
But when one of the most prominent columnists in The New York Times, which has a history as a paper of record in the United States, begins to slide into rhetorical country that belies a subtle anti-Semitism, I have to raise the Chinese wall a bit.
I often find myself disagreeing with Maureen Dowd, but she has always been one of those voices I treasure because they she expresses herself so well. It was a disappointment, then, when naval blogger CDR Salamander caught Dowd apparently revealing an un-pretty bit of prejudice. The good CDR does an excellent job at explaining where the problem lies with Ms. Dowd’s rhetoric, especially when she appears to side with Israel’s enemies.
I respect Ms. Dowd for her opinions. I can only believe she must see the danger in overt Jew-baiting. I sincerely hope her rhetorical choices were meant as link-bait, and were not signs of a soul tainted with hatred of either Israel or Judaism.