Sunday, December 31, 2017

The difference between Israelis and 'Palestinians'

(Last update: January 1, 2018)

  (This essay is politically incorrect. It doesn't attempt to achieve a moral equivalence. It simply tells a truth)  

Since the end of the first week of December, 2017, Arab Muslims who call themselves 'Palestinian' have been rioting against Israel. They riot because in early December, 2017 the US recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish capital of the Jewish  Israel. These Arab Muslims riot because they believe Israel has no sovereign rights over Jerusalem.

'Palestinians' rage for Western cameras. They seethe with rage because they've been taught that only 'Palestinians' have rights in Jerusalem. Only 'Palestinians', they claim, have the right to 'be recognized'.

They say only the 'Palestinian'  has the right to exist. Only the 'Palestinian' has legitimacy. Only the 'Palestinian' has the right to live on the land "between the River and the Sea".

They claim as theirs everything that exists in Israel. They rage because they own next to nothing in Israel.  

That's why they burn tires in their own neighborhoods. That's why they throw stones  and firebombs.  

Palestinian demonstrator hurls stones toward Israeli troops during clashes at a protest near the West Bank city of Nablus
from:  "Thousands of Palestinians take part in anti-Trump  protests", reuters, December 29, 2017)

Israelis don't 'rage'. They don't plug up their neighborhood streets with burning tires. They don't litter their own streets with rocks. They don't march in the street and call for murder. 

'Palestinians' make videos that extol the virtues of killing Jews. Israelis make videos that extol the virtue of helping people.  

The two videos below illustrates this point. The first video comes from an Israeli. It's called, "Innovation Africa: Bringing Israeli innovations to African villages", youtube , May 4, 2017. It's 3:14 in length.

The second video comes from a 'Palestinian' social organization. It's very different from the Israeli video.

Take a look at this Israeli video. It is not something you'll see posted by any individual 'Palestinian', social organization or 'Palestinian' company:  

In the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians aren't taught to innovate. They aren't taught to solve problems. They aren't taught to care about humanity's welfare.

They're taught to hate. They're taught to riot. They're taught to attack Jews.

Are they taught anything else?

Take a look now at  the second video. It comes to you courtesy of Palestinian Media WatchPlease note two points: (1), the length of the video is short--1:04--but the sound only begins at app 0:14;  and (2), you'll need to stop the video at 0:57, to learn what the term, 'so what' means (to see the time, you'll need to expand the screen to 'full screen ' by clicking on the 'box' at the bottom right of the video): 

                       from: Itamar Marcus, Nan Jaques Zilberdik, "Little girl demonstrates art of stabbing [Jews]", palwatch, November 15, 2015  

Jewish organizations do not post such videos. Jews also don't post suggestive images such as the one directly below, posted on a 'Palestinian' Facebook page (ibid):

                               Pictured: Jew with skullcap about to be stabbed by a knife-wielding 'Palestinian'.

When a 'Palestinian' posts a picture like this, he's celebrated. If a Jew tried to post such a picture, he'd be arrested.

'Palestinian' culture is different from Israeli culture. It's a   difference that marks the irreconcilable gap between barbarism and civilization.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Today is December 28, 2017. It is the Tenth of Tevet

Today is the tenth day of the Hebrew month, Tevet. Observant Jews around the world fast on this day to remember that on this very day some 2,400 years ago, a Babylonian army surrounded our Jewish capital, Jerusalem (2 Kings, 25:1-2). That army set up a siege around our capital (ibid), which at that time was the home of our Holy Jewish Temple. 

That army came to Jerusalem to destroy that Jewish Temple. Essentially, it came to erase what was Jewish about Jerusalem.

This ancient act of aggression against the Jewish people has been described many times in many writings by many people. Perhaps one of the more famous non-Jewish renderings of this event is an alliterative late 14th century poem called,“The Siege of Jerusalem”. It is part of what is known as 'Medieval Chivalric literature' ((Michael Livingston (ed), Siege of Jerusalem:  an Introduction, Medieval Institute Publications, Kalamazo, Michigan,  2004, reviewed in, no date, retrieved December 28, 2017).     

Some non-Jews have described this non-Jewish poem as "rank antisemitism" (ibid). They say this Christian rendering of this siege/destruction appears to reveal a "horrible delight in the suffering of the Jews" (ibid). It suggests an intolerance towards Jews (ibid).

By contrast, religious Jews don't see this siege/destruction as horrific antisemitism--though, of course, that's exactly what it was. Instead, observant Jews see these events as a Divine punishment for Jewish sins--which, of course, is exactly what it is. 

Observant Jews accept this day as a time of reckoning (Rabbi Noah Weinberg, "The tenth of Tevet: siege of Jerusalem", aish, December 30, 2000). We see it as a day to fast, say special prayers and recall how our Covenant with our G-d requires of us a serious commitment. We see this as a day to note that our relationship with G-d is, in fact, a commitment with very serious consequences for those who rebel. 

This year, we fast over this ancient, antisemitic act of intolerance and aggression against the Jewish people at exactly the moment when modern man--who has educated himself to be both tolerant and humane--nevertheless commits again an ancient intolerance. Only days ago, the United Nations denounced the United States for the horrific 'sin' of recognizing Jerusalem as--the capital of the Jewish State.

 Such a denouncement is rank antisemitism. It means that the Jewish Israel has been chosen as the only nation in the world forbidden by international consensus from choosing its own capital city--and forbidden indeed to have any other nation acknowledge Jerusalem as its Jewish capital city. Soon after the UN rejected a US declaration that Jerusalem was Israel's capital (because, the UN said, such a declaration 'changed the status of Jerusalem'), the anti-Israel Iran changed the status of Jerusalem by declaring it to be the capital of a fictitious state called, 'Palestine'  (Iranian Parliament recognizes Jerusalem as 'capital of Palestine'", jerusalempost, December 27, 2017). True to its antisemitic form, the UN had reacted with revulsion to the US' pro-Israel declaration about Jerusalem--but was silent about the Iranian anti-Israel declaration. 

Such behavior reeks of an ancient hatred that modern man--so humane and tolerant--has failed to erase. It's a hate that 
carves out only one group for censure. 

This hate did not end 2,400 years ago with that Babylonian attack against the Jewish Jerusalem. It didn’t end in the late 1300's when the antisemitic "Siege of Jerusalem" was penned (above). 

This hate did not end in 1945 when the Nazi 1,000-year Reich was destroyed after only 13 years. It didn't end in November, 1947, when the newly-born United Nations voted to establish the 'Jewish State', a state which then named itself 'Israel' less than 6 months later. 

It still exists. You see it at the UN (this is just a (very) partial list):

-Isabel Kershner, "As UN ignores Jewish ties to Holy site, Israel produces ancient evidence", newyorktimes, October 26, 2016; 

-Tovah Lazaroff, "151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem", jerusalempost, December 1, 2017;

-Ralph Ahren, "UN defies Trump, rejects Trump recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital by 128-9", timesofisrael, December 21, 2017; 

In its brazenness, the UN empowers an ancient hate. It declares by consensus that Judaism's holiest site on earth is not Jewish, but Muslim (Samuel Osborne, "Temple  Mount: Jerusalem's most holy site has nothing to do with Judaism, UNESCO rules", independent, October 14, 2016; Tom O'Conner, "Jerusalem Holy site Muslim, not Jewish...", internationalbusinesstimes, October 15, 2016).    . 

This ancient, inhumane hatred towards a Jewish Jerusalem is so stunning that the UN last year was not content to deny Jerusalem's Jewish connection on just one occasion, in an October, 2016 vote; it had to vote a second time in December, 2016 to confirm its revulsion for Jews in a Jewish Jerusalem (Geoffrey Grider, "United Nations votes for resolution that will erase all Jewish ties to Jerusalem and Temple Mount", nowtheendbegins, December 2, 2016). 

On this tenth of Tevet, observant Jews around the world fast. We mourn our Temple's destruction. In a lesser manner, we repent ("Asarah B'Tevet (Tevet 10: Jerusalem under siege", chabad, no date, retrieved December 28, 2017). We look to correct what needs to be corrected (Weinberg, ibid).

On this tenth day of Tevet, Jews seek to improve. In a manner of speaking, we seek a spiritual cleansing. 

What does the UN seek?  We know exactly what it seeks: to complete what ancient hate failed to complete.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

An insider's look at the Arab-Israel conflict

The essay below is an excerpt from a transcript of remarks by journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. Toameh covers the Arab-Israel conflict. He's an Arab-Muslim Israeli citizen. He lives in Jerusalem. He spoke last month at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's 2017 Restoration Weekend in Palm Beach, Florida.

Source information appears in my comment below. I have done minor editing.

Khaled Abu Toameh: ...I want to point to two major obstacles [to peace between Palestinians and Jews, and] both relate to the Palestinians.  Obstacle No. 1 is the absence of education for peace with Israel, which I'm sorry to tell you…never really existed…Obstacle No. 2 [is] the absence of leadership on the Palestinian side that is authorized to sign an agreement with Israel.  

These are the two major reasons …[we have not moved] forward with any peace process and why we are unlikely to move forward with any peace process in the near future.

Let's start with Reason No. 2, the absence of leadership on the Palestinian side….In the last 30‑plus years that I've been traveling back and forth to Ramallah and Gaza, I haven't been able to find one Palestinian leader who has the courage to stand up and tell his people in Arabic, not in English, in Arabic something along the lines of "Oh, my people, listen, it's time for compromise, it's time for painful concessions, we are not going to get from the Jews 100 percent but we might get 95, 94, 93 percent." ...

We saw what happened with Yasser Arafat after Camp David…I remember when he came back to Ramallah, we were sitting there as journalists in his office and one of my colleagues asked him, "Oh, Mr. President, what happened? Why did Camp David fail?" And Arafat's response was:  "Oh, Camp David failed for two reasons.  First of all, the Jews did not give me 100 percent.  Secondly, he added, the Jews wanted me to end the conflict after I get what I get and who am I, Yasser Arafat, to end the conflict.  I'm not authorized to give up the right of return.  I am not authorized to make any concessions in Jerusalem on behalf of 1.5 billion Muslims. Because if I make such concessions, I will end up [dead] drinking tea up there [in heaven] with Anwar Sadat."  Now, translation, I don't want to go down in history as another Arab traitor who made concessions to the Jews...

Look at…Mahmoud Abbas.  He's actually in the same situation, if not worse.  Like Yasser Arafat, he too does not have a mandate to negotiate, let alone sign, an agreement with Israel, and how do we know that?  I mean the man is now in his 12th or 13th year of his 4‑year term in office, which makes it very problematic and dangerous for Israel and I'll tell you why.  We can laugh at it but if I were Israel, I wouldn't laugh.  Israel can't today sign a peace agreement with Abu Mazen and give him land.  In the future, Palestinians will come to you and say, "Sorry, Israel, you had signed a peace agreement with a president who did not have legitimacy, who was not a rightful leader, so can we please start all over again?" Then it will be too late for Israel… 

Israel will find itself in a situation where the peace agreement you signed with President Abu Mazen is not even worth the paper it's written on and that's why I keep advising my Israeli Jewish friends…if you want to give land, that's fine, but at least give it to someone who can retain control over it…

Now, in the case of President Abbas, he, No. 1, does not have a mandate, as we said and No. 2, he doesn't even have the power to implement an agreement on the ground.  The man barely controls Ramallah.  He has no control over Palestinians living in Lebanon and Jordan and Syria or East Jerusalem.  The man cannot go to Gaza, so where is he supposed to implement a peace agreement if he signs it with Israel? …

If I were…Mr. Netanyahu, I would...offer President Mahmoud Abbas 99.5 percent of whatever President Abbas is asking for.  We all know what the answer is going to be…I can even publish it without phoning President Abbas's office.  The answer will be one big "no" for two reasons.  First of all, simply because it's not 100 percent and in the Arab world, we want to hear from Israel 100 percent and if Israel can give us 120 percent, that would even be better and if Israel can disappear, that would be the best; and No. 2, President Abbas knows that he cannot come back to his people with anything less than what President Abbas promised his people, which is 100 percent and that's why we keep revolving in this vicious cycle.  

Palestinian leaders are making false promises to their people.  They're promising their people things that they cannot fulfill.  In other words, they're lying to their people. …

Palestinian leaders are…doing something much more dangerous than that [lying].  They are…telling their people that anyone who makes concessions to the Jews is a traitor and an infidel and should be beheaded and hanged and thrown from the 13th floor and 14th floor and burned alive and so on and so on.  They are sending these messages to their people through the mosques, through the media and through the rhetoric, and this, my friends, brings me to Obstacle No. 1… which I inaccurately described as the absence of education for peace with Israel.  I'm being very polite and diplomatic by calling it the absence of education for peace with Israel because it's much worse than that.  We're talking about a massive campaign to delegitimize Israel and dehumanize Jews.  It is a campaign that has been around for a long time but you don't hear about it most of the time because we in the media, in mainstream media, we don't report about it.  It is a campaign that has made it impossible and even dangerous for any Arab to stand up and say, "I want peace with Israel." 

…I spend a lot of time in Ramallah and Bethlehem... Can I go out to Ramallah and stand there…in a public forum like this and tell a group of Palestinians, "Oh, listen, I think it's time for us to consider a 2 percent concession to the Jews and maybe we should recognize Israel's right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people and maybe it's time for us to renounce violence and consider some kind of a compromise."  If I do that, and if I'm lucky, I will only be shot in the leg while I'm running away…

On the Arab Muslim Palestinian side, not only have we not prepared our people for peace with Israel, we're doing the exact opposite.  If you want to make peace with Israel, you don't wake up every morning and tell your people, "Oh, listen, the Jews have no historical, religious, emotional attachment to the land," and if you want to make peace with Israel, you don't wake up every 3 hours and tell your people, "Oh, the Jews are desecrating with their filthy feet our holy sites and there is no such thing as 3,000 or 4,000 years of Jewish history, it's all fabricated," and if you want to make peace with Israel, you don't promote boycotts and divestment and sanctions against Israel, and you don't promote conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the media and the Congress and the Senate and the economy and the White House…With all these messages, can anyone in this room please tell me how can you move forward with any peace process? 


My comment:

Mr Toameh is an Arab Muslim. He can do what you and I cannot. He can go to Ramallah. He can talk to important people in Arabic. 

He understands the difference between truth and lies.  He knows one cannot build a successful future upon lies and hate.

You should read the entire essay. I have printed here only about 1/3 of it. I have cut out the other 2/3's.

Yes, the original is long. But it‘s a good read.

The original is “Khaled Abu Toameh on the life of a pro-Israeli Arab-Muslim”, frontpagemag, December 20, 2017.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Hamas and Israel's Left: a marriage of soulmates?

Leftist Jews believe in Israel's future. But that future isn't based on Judaism, Zionism or Jewish history. It's based instead on "a liberal interpretation of the Jewish prophetic tradition" (Joel Beinin, "The Left, the Jews and the defenders of Israel", merip, August, 2012). 

The traditional Jewish prophetic vision is profoundly religious and Zionist. It states that Israel can survive only by a belief in G-d, and by protecting the land G-d gave to the Jewish people. The Leftist-liberal interpretation of this tradition is profoundly anti-Zionist and anti-religious. It believes that Israel can enjoy a successful future only after it has become more 'democratic', less religious and more accepting of Arabs who want to destroy Israel (suggested by, Haviv Rettig Gur, "The end of Israeli democracy?" timesofisrael,  April 4, 2016). 

 Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel and replace it with an Islamic 'Palestine', understands Israel's Left. Hamas knows that the very best gift it could get to achieve its anti-Israel goals is to see Israel become more 'democratic', less 'Jewish' and more accepting of the Hamas Charter.  

Today, Hamas has something in common with Israel's Leftists--a dislike of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hamas loves to see Israeli Jews protesting against Netanyahu. They'd love to see Netanyahu taken down.

The Left in Israel is working hard to do just that. It hasn't ousted Netanyahu through the ballot box. So it uses charges of scandal, allegations of corruption and anti-Netanyahu  protests. 

Hamas loves these protests (Mordechai Sones, "Hamas expresses support for left-wing demonstrations in Tel Aviv", arutzsheva, December 24, 2017). In supporting these Israeli anti-Netanyahu demonstrations, Hamas refers to Netanyahu as a 'war criminal' (ibid). Hamas advocates for the arrest of the Prime Minister ("Hamas tweet support for left-wing demonstrations", arutzshevanewsbrief, December 24, 2017).

Funny thing about Hamas' call to arrest Netanyahu: it's exactly what these Leftist demonstrations call for. Leftist protesters  say Netanyahu is corrupt beyond imagination --and they demand Israel's Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, stop hiding the PM and arrest the man immediately--or, short of that, bring formal charges against the PM (Raoul Wootliff, "Thousands  protest in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu over graft probes", timesofisrael, December 16, 2017).  

Corruption probes and allegations of criminality against a sitting Prime Minister have been used before in Israel to drive out a Prime Minister (Caroline Glick, "Israel's learning disabled Right", frontpagemag, December 22, 2017). From Glick's point of view, this year's protests remind her too much of past political-media campaigns that succeeded in ousting Rightist coalitions and then succeeded in getting Leftist coalitions elected. Glick argues that, in the end, those successful anti-Right campaigns didn't help Israel at all; in the end, the newly-elected Leftists caused great harm to Israel's security (ibid). 

These 2017 protests want the same end--to replace Netanyahu with a Leftist government (see Glick, ibid). But in this past weekend's Tel Aviv protest, the calls against Netanyahu went beyond ousting him from office. This time, a protester carried a mock guillotine (Orli Harari, "Guillotine and BDS at leftist protest in Tel Aviv", arutzsheva, December 24, 2017). This time, BDS made an appearance alongside the Leftists (ibid).

For some, the guillotine and the inclusion of BDS weren't symbols of a protest-for-a-better-democracy. They were symbols for destroying Israel (BDS) and for inciting to murder the Prime Minister (the guillotine) (ibid).

These two symbolic suggestions (to destroy Israel/murder the PM) fit right in with Hamas. As symbols, they are entirely consistent with the aims and goals of the let's-destroy-Israel-now Hamas. 

Israel's Left says all it wants is to see Israel survive. But these very pro-Hamas/destroy Israel symbols seem a curious way for Jews to argue for Israel's survival. 

Hamas wants to destroy Israel. These Israeli Leftist protests appear to mimic Hamas.

Do these hostile symbols at Leftist protests signal that Israel's Left is ready to support Hamas? 

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What's wrong with the 'Palestinian' case against Israel

There’s something wrong with the 'Palestinian' argument that there is no peace in the Arab-Israel conflict because of Israel. That argument says there can be peace only when Israel takes one certain action (see below). Until Israel takes that specific action (see below), the argument says, the Palestinian Authority (PA) can never sign for peace.

This is a clear statement. It contains no ambiguity. What's wrong is, that 'one certain action' keeps changing.

Some people like to support causes. They like consistency. They get worried when their favorite cause keeps changing its tune.

This is exactly what's happening with the 'Palestinian Cause'. Before 2010, the 'Palestinian Cause' said the number one obstacle to peace in the Arab-Israel conflict was Israel's refusal to grant to 'Palestinian Refugees' the right to return to their 'homes' ("The core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict", reliefweb, November 23, 2007). There were indeed other issues. But until around 2010, the 'refugee' issue was the Number One problem 'Palestinians' wanted addressed to achieve 'peace'.

Then, around 2010, the 'Palestinian' core issue for peace changed. Yes, refugees were still an issue. But this was no longer the core issue. At some point near or during 2010, the core issue that kept peace from breaking out between Arab and Jew had changed--to borders and 'settlements' ("Middle East peace talks: key issues between Israel and Palestinians", telegraph, September 14, 2010).

Specifically, the PA demanded that, for peace to occur, Israel had to withdraw from all land it had won during its 1967 war with surrounding Arab states. Israel also had to dismantle all Jewish settlements built on that land (ibid). Refugees were no longer the 'core' issue.

By the time US Secretary of State John Kerry began his marathon peace negotiations during 2013-14, the 'goal-posts' changed yet again. The new "most important" core issue was now 'borders/territory' (Harriet Sherwood, "Israel-Palestinian peace talks: the key issues", guardian, January 30, 2014). 'Refugees' fell from the number three spot in 2010 (telegraph, ibid) to the number four spot (ibid).

A year later, the core issue became 'the occupation' (Marwan Barghouti, "There will be no peace until Israel’s occupation of Palestine ends", guardian, October 11, 2015). Refugees as an issue was relegated to a list of "issues" (ibid).

Now, 2017, the key issue for PA peace with Israel has changed again. The key issue now--the deal-breaker--was Jerusalem (David Rosenberg, "Trump gave Jerusalem to Israel - no peace until we get it back'", arutzsheva, December 13, 2017). When stating this demand--all of Jerusalem or no peace--Abbas didn't mention 'refugees' at all.

Hamas follows Abbas ("Hamas: West Jerusalem also belongs to Palestine", arutzsheva, December 19, 2017). So far as Hamas is now concerned, Jerusalem is the proverbial 'red line' (ibid). There will be no end of bloodshed, Hamas suggests, until both East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem are the capital of 'Palestine' (ibid). Hamas doesn't mention 'refugees' (ibid).

What's going on here? What's the core issue for peace? More important, why does that core issue keep changing?

While each of the 'core issues' (above) differs one from the other, they all share two common denominators. Each places the blame for 'no peace' squarely on Israel's shoulders. Each demonizes Israel.

This brings us to the real PA  'core issue'--to blame and to demonize the Jewish state so as to convince the UN it must un-list Israel as a state and declare an Arab-Muslim 'Palestine' in Israel's place.

It's come down to this: Israel must be destroyed because the entire Middle East suffers because of Israel. The bloodshed in Syria's civil war is Israel's fault. The Jew-hate of Iran is Israel's fault. The lack of water in the PA territories is Israel's fault. The collapse of Gaza's infrastructure is Israel's fault. PA unemployment is Israel's fault. Arab wife-beating in PA homes is Israel's fault. Hamas's wars against Israel are Israel’s fault.

Many in the world support such condemnation. But there may be winds of change. 

Some have begun to tire of Abbas and his hate-Israel agenda. Abbas may no longer have the backing he's become accustomed to. 

India, once a staunch supporter of all things 'Palestinian', has now refused to toe-the-line of 'support the Palestinian Cause' (Vijeta Uniyal, "India’s Stance on Jerusalem Angers Arab Regimes", legalinsurrection, December 19, 2017). India has refused to criticize US President Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (ibid). India has refused to condemn Trump for this recognition (ibid).

Arab leaders backpedal from Abbas. They have refused to parrot Abbas' line of condemning Trump for his Jerusalem declaration ("Palestinians get really upset when Arab leaders don't fall into line", elderofzyion, December 15, 2017). Are they growing tired of the Abbas hate-Israel obsession?

There's something wrong with the 'Palestinian' argument against Israel. It's beginning to wear thin. It's beginning to lose its appeal.

Has the Palestinian Cause finally run its course? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Political cartoons from Israel: December 17-19, 2017

Around the world, everyone seems to be telling Israel how bad life is over here in Israel. They say that because they're only seeing what they want to see, even if it's fake: Arabs rioting against Jews, Israelis 'being cruel to innocent' Arabs, and US President Donald Trump destroying peace with his announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But they're all wrong.

No one, especially in the media, seems to have asked Israel how we feel we're doing in the face of all the 'rioting'. Most of the world's media doesn't seem to realize that most of the rioting isn't in the Jewish Jerusalem, the epicenter of the anti-Trump uproar. The rioting isn't even in most other Jewish cities in Israel.

Mostly, the rioting is in Arab-inhabited areas. Mostly, it's Arabs throwing stones at Israeli soldiers somewhere away from Jewish-populated areas. Mostly, it's orchestrated fake news, organized  more for the anti-Israel pictures that will get snapped than for any diplomatic effort to oppose Trump. 

No one, most especially in the world media, understands much about how such rioting unfolds here. Certainly, few in the world's media understand how Israelis view this tumult. 

No one is interested. They're too busy filming Arabs rioting in--or a stone's throw away from--Arab enclaves.

Take a look at two political cartoons from Israel regarding how our Arab enemies are behaving. The implied opinion embedded in these cartoons may be different from what you see in your own mainstream media:

from, Diroug, arutzsheva, no date, retrieved  December 19, 2017


from: Shlomo Cohen, israelhayom, December 19, 2017

Altogether, Israel isn't particularly impressed by how our Arab enemies are handling the US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel. Arab leaders claim that Trump--and/or the Israelis--stole Jerusalem. But that's nonsense. All Trump did was acknowledge what everyone already knows but is too afraid to say: Israel's main state government is housed in Jerusalem. All diplomacy is done in Jerusalem. All governing is done from Jerusalem--just like in any other capital city all over the planet.

Our local Arab leaders can't stand to hear that. They claim Jerusalem for themselves. They even lie about Jerusalem's connection to Jews to make their case.

When Trump tells the truth about Jerusalem, these Arab leaders react in a manner that is at once unprofessional and childish. Their efforts make them look silly. 

If you're trying to understand why 'Palestinian' leaders don't already have a state, these cartoons pretty much tell you why. These leaders are so focused on Jew-hate, they have no clue how clueless they are about professional diplomacy, statecraft and the basic elements of nation-building. 

These Arab leaders have failed to learn the first and most obvious lesson in nation-building: you will never build any kind of survivable nation on promises to destroy someone else's nation.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

You expect Abbas to make peace with sons of pigs?

Here's a piece of fakery (it's called 'satire') that might actually contain a truth about Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. It's a truth Western, civilized readers might not understand: Abbas might not want peace.

Why? Here's the satire that suggests an answer. The 'speaker' of this essay is, supposedly, Abbas himself:

Title: "I Could Establish A Palestinian State, But Then What Would I Do? Govern?" 

All those well-meaning diplomats and politicians urging Palestinians to make peace with Israel, or at least sit down to negotiations, miss one crucial point: without perpetuation of the conflict, I feel purposeless. Once a Palestinian state is established at peace with Israel, what would I and my supporters do? Govern? You have got to be kidding.

Governing is for the little people. I represent a movement, a glorious phenomenon led by none other than the legendary Raïs Yasser Arafat, whose name and image I invoke all the time in the hopes of some of his legitimacy and gravitas rubbing off on me by association, and I cannot be bothered with such minutiae as administration. Such menial tasks are UNRWA’s job, not the role of a person in the august position of he who embodies Palestinian nationalist aspirations. …

As Chavez, Ghaddafi, and Mao showed, it can be messy to govern and maintain a “revolution” at the same time. I’m just not interested in it. What kind of glory is there in signing bills into law? But leading a movement against occupation of [a] homeland that just happens to match borders drawn up by Britain and France in 1916 even though we claim Palestine has existed for millennia? Well, look at all the pilgrims who come to pay tribute to Arafat. That’s what I want for myself. Not going to get that by agreeing to a final-status arrangement. It’s a non-starter.

The fact that we stand no chance of destroying Israel makes it all the more reason to continue the fight to do so. If we were to engage in an epic struggle that had some likelihood of success, we might have to consider what would happen when that success arrived. Thankfully, Israel has never been stronger and we Palestinians have never been weaker, so those worries remain irrelevant. I can focus my energies on fighting, slandering, terrorizing, and inciting murder, which is what I’ve always wanted to do anyway.

I do harbor some regrets about my decisions since taking over from our beloved Raïs. I never should have held elections, for one thing. No one would ask about my being in the thirteenth year of my four-year presidential term if I had simply taken over as dictator. The nomenclature and trappings of democratic institutions, as empty and cronyism-ruled as they are, create governance expectations that I would just as soon avoid. There’s no romance, no Arafat-like defiant heroism in them.

So it’s not about what Israel offers or doesn’t offer, or about whether the US is an honest broker. Let’s face it: the Jews succeeded in creating a functioning state in 1948 because they had worked hard for a long time before that to establish and develop institutions of state. If you think we’re going to take our cues from those descendants of apes and pigs, you’re delusional.

 (from: "I Could Establish A Palestinian State, But Then What Would I Do? Govern?",
preoccuppiedterritory, December 15, 2017).

Please note: there appears to be no public evidence that Mahmoud Abbas has ever referred to Jews as 'sons of apes and pigs'. However, he is the head of Fatah. His Fatah controls Palestinian Authority TV and official PA news media. 

While Abbas himself may have not referred to Jews in these terms, his PA TV and various Fatah spokesmen have ("Fatah spokesman: Jews are sons of apes and pigs", PA antisemitism, video, palwatch, statement taken from Official 
Palestinian Authority Official TV, November 1, 2015).

In  a dictatorial Arab culture, do you really believe that so many officials and official outlets would speak this way about Jews without the leader's consent? Put another way, with so many PA officials referring to Jews in this way, the satire's last point might be correct: if you think the PA is going to take any cues from people the PA leadership refers to as descendants of apes and pigs, you're delusional.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Chanukah 2017-- and the Israeli donut

(Last updated: December 15, 2017)

Israelis love donuts. We know that because the 8 million people of Israel consume 24 million donuts a year (Dr. Yvette Alt Miller, “8 Interesting Facts about Donuts”, aish, December 13, 2017). When you walk the streets of Jerusalem at Chanukah-time, you might easily conclude that most of those 24 million donuts are probably eaten at Chanukah.

On Chanukah in Israel, the Israeli 'donut' is everywhere. It appears at the shuk, in bakery shops, supermarkets and Malls. It appears in multiple colors, flavors and arrangements. 

On Chanukah, a virtual army of donuts lines up to march through Israel:

Image result for pictures of sufganiot in israel
from: "Israeli Health Minister declares--out!", timesofisrael, December 12, 2016

from: Jacob Richman, machatjrcoil/hotsites/chanukah-photos, retrieved December 14, 2017 

from: Jacob Richman, ibid

from: Jacob Richman , ibid

from: Jacob Richman, ibid

from: Jacob Richman, ibid

Image result for pictures of sufganiot in israel
from: the 5 best places for sufganiots in Israel, yeahthatskosher, November 9, 2015

from: City Mouse Online, "The 8 best Hanukah sufganiot in Israel", harretz, November 24, 2013

from: haaretz, ibid

from: haaretz, ibid

from: haaretz, ibid

from: haaretz, ibid

from: haaretz, ibid

קונדיטוריית שמו_סופגניות ערמונים_חנוכה 2015_צילום- דניאל לילה (7) (Custom) (Custom)
from: Karen Brown, "The sweet stuff", timeoutisrael, December 3, 2017

Photo: Sarit Geffen
Photo by Sarit Geffen , in "Where to get some of the best Chanukah donuts [in Israel]", ynetnews, December 12, 2015.

Roladin Hanukkah doughnuts (Photo: Ronen Mangan)
Photo by: Ronen Mangan, ynetnews, ibid

Yes, the Israeli 'donut' is not a cookie-cutter item. For Israelis, if you can imagine it, you can do it with a donut. 

Well, almost.

What's an Israeli 'donut'? Let's start first with a history of the donut. Then, you'll learn about the Israeli 'donut'.

This history lesson  comes from Dr. Yvette Alt Miller, “8 Interesting Facts about Donuts”, aish, December 13, 2017:

Donuts, or sufganiyot in Hebrew, are a quintessential part of Hanukkah in Israel and much of the Jewish world.  Fried in oil, they recall the miracle of oil that burned for eight days.

Here are eight interesting facts about donuts:

Ancient Origins

Fried dough - the precursors to today’s donuts - was enjoyed in ancient times throughout Greece and Rome.  Strips of dough were fried, often in olive oil, and then sprinkled or spread with ingredients to add flavor… 

Bringing Donuts to Europe

Fried dough was popular throughout the Middle East during the Medieval period.  These donuts differed from ancient pastries in that they were made with yeast, much like modern doughnuts are today.  Because too much sugar kills yeast, these doughnuts weren’t terribly sweet, and it was popular to drench them in sugar syrup once they were cooked.

These Middle Eastern delicacies gradually spread into Europe, in part spread by Jewish merchants and cooks.  To this day, many Sephardi Jews prepare “Bimuelos” for Hanukkah: delicious yeast doughnuts which are first fried and then drenched in a sugar syrup, which often flavored with lemon, rose water or orange-blossom water.  Some Egyptian Jewish communities call these sticky types of sweets “zalabia”; in Iraqi Jewish communities they are sometimes called “zengoula”.

The first recipe for a jam-filled donut was published in Germany in 1485.  At the time, many donuts were filled with savory fillings such as fish or mushrooms, but it seems that sweet doughnuts were becoming popular too.  “Gefullte Krapfen” is a recipe for a dollop of jam placed between two rounds of yeast bread and deep fried in lard.

Making Donuts Kosher

Jewish cooks in Europe made one key change [to the donut]: instead of frying donuts in lard, they substituted other fats, including schmaltz and goose fat.  In Poland, Jews called their variation ponchiks, and soon adopted them as a Hanukkah specialty.

Coffee and a Donut

In the 1700s and 1800s, Europeans began eating donuts as an accompaniment to a new drink that was sweeping Europe: coffee.  Jews were highly instrumental in spreading the taste for coffee throughout Europe.  The first coffee houses in Europe, opened in 1632, in Livorno, Italy, were opened by Jews.  England’s first coffee house was opened in Oxford in 1650 by a Jewish immigrant from Lebanon called “Jacob the Jew”. 

Jews owned many coffee houses in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, and in many cases offered pastries - including doughnuts - to go with the new beverage.  As coffee gained in popularity, so did donuts: the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee in the morning or for an afternoon snack.

Donuts for Everyone

Donuts were introduced to the New World by Dutch settlers and were a popular home-made treat.  During World War I, both the Red Cross and Salvation Army gave American servicemen donuts as a tasty treat; after the war, thousands of servicemen returned home with a greater taste for donuts than ever before. 

Adolph Levitt was a Jewish refugee from Russian pogroms who moved to New York and opened a store in Harlem, in which he made donuts.  In 1920, he devised an automated donut making machine, allowing cooks to produce hundreds of high-quality donuts a day.  In 1925, Mr. Levitt produced a donuts mix that bakers could use with his machines, guaranteeing consistent quality.

The demand for donuts exploded.  Mass produced doughnuts, made using Mr. Levitt’s machines, were called “the food hit of the Century of Progress” at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair….  More and more, specialist donut making companies produced America’s donuts, and sold the cakes to restaurants, bakeries and cafeterias.  By the 1950s, Adolf Levitt’s company, the Doughnut Corporation of America, was selling over $25 million worth of donut making equipment each year, and donuts were America’s favorite pastry.

Franchising Donuts

In the mid-20th Century, William Rosenberg, a Jewish son of immigrants who was living in Dorchester, Massachusetts, operated a corporate catering business.  He noticed that coffee and donuts alone accounted for nearly half of his business, and quit to focus on donuts and coffee full time.  He opened a donut shop in 1948, and introduced an innovative new gimmick: offering 52 varieties of donuts, enough for customers to sample a new donuts type each week of the year.

Within a few years, Rosenberg began franchising other donut shops, and he soon changed the name of his chain from the original name, “Open Kettle” to something more catchy: “Dunkin’ Donuts”.  By the time Rosenberg died in 2002, Dunkin’ Donuts had over 5,000 outlets, including 40 under kosher supervision, in 40 countries around the world.  Dunkin’ Donuts’ success had also spawned a number of imitators, ensuring that the craze for doughnuts continued to grow.

Millions of Donuts

Always popular, donuts have become even more sought after in recent years.  In the United States, it’s estimated that consumers spend over half a billion dollars on the round confections annually.  In the US, convenience stores alone sold 391 million donuts in 2014.  Canadians might consume the most donuts in the world: they have more donut shops per capita than any other country.  Britain is in the midst of a donuts moment: the Daily Telegraph called donuts Britain’s new favorite treat in 2017.

Israeli Donuts: Sufganiyot

In Israel, plump, jam or custard-filled sufganiyot, as donuts are known in Hebrew, are enjoyed each year at Hanukkah.  One recent survey found that 80% of Israelis eat at least one donut during the eight-day festival.

Sufganiyot derive their name from a spongy dough that’s mentioned in the Talmud: sofgani.  These Israeli confections aren’t doughnut shaped at all: instead of having a hole in the middle (which helps create a more evenly cooked doughnut), sufganiyot are baked round, then injected with a filling after cooking.  About 70% of sufganiyot are stuffed with jam, but Israeli bakers experiment with other fillings, such as caramel, espresso cream, chocolate, halva - even fillings flavored like the popular Israeli peanut snack Bamba.

Each year Israelis consume about 24 million sufganiyot.  The Israeli Defense Force alone buys about half a million sufganiyot for the troops.  In recent years, sufganiyot have become popular outside of Israel, as a tasty addition to the Hanukkah holiday table.  


In our Israel household, we hold a 'Sufganiot Festival' each Chanukah. It's informal. It's unofficial. But it gives us reason to scarf down as many suganiot as we like.

We just love our sufganiot.

When people ask me if I eat sufganiot, I reply that I do eat them, but only if they're made by my wife. When they ask me why, I reply, her recipe comes directly from Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden. 

Ahhh, such taste!

Happy Chanukah!