The artist is young, only 21, which means she does not yet have much experience of life. Her stage name is „Lorde“ which indicates her interest in nobility and royal families. One of her first hits was actually called „Royals“. It succeeded in staying among the top places in the US charts. Fans and critics are enthusiastic. In Israel it is the same. The concert here during her world tour is planned to take place on June 5, 2018. Advance ticket sales are going fast.
But then, two women, Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab, both New-Zealanders like her, decide to send her an open letter. Justine Sachs is Jewish, Nadina Abu-Shanab Palestinian. Both are among the founders of Dajenu New Zealand Jews against occupation.
In their letter they leave out none of the stereotyped accusations always being aired by Israel’s enemies. And they are ultimately successful: Lorde yields to the boycott and cancels the concert.
How can a Jew act against his own country Israel and against Judaism? How does one become a self-hating Jew? We Jews have two typical characteristics: the well-known Jewish humor and the pain with which we sometimes celebrate life. This wish for pain is fed by Thanatos, who calls for self-destruction. Many people may have had their life saved in times of war with the help of Thanatosis, the reflex of faking death. But it also expresses the eternal cycle of pain and guilt. A Jew who loves his country will suffer criticism while expressing some himself. A Jew who does not know such love, erects a level of suffering resulting from existing deficiencies for which he feels guilty if he does not fight against them. He becomes a self-hating Jew, who only feels well when he is actively acting against other Jews. The means of choice are of no importance to him.
The BDS movement has been a menace to Israel for many years. Their objective is to isolate Israel from the aspects of economy, politics and culture. Over time, BDS also started acting globally against Jewish firms, institutions and people. In some sectors the demands for boycott have succeeded: consumer goods for export must indicate exactly where they were manufactured and packed. Some of the products from Judea and Samaria were taken off the shelves of supermarket chains. Scientists cancel their participation in conferences, artists cancel their concerts, Israel has been taken out of travel agents‘ offers. Regrettably, the list is never-ending. BDS has never helped the Palestinians themselves, it is only acting against Israel and Jews.
BDS is supported among others by the following Jewish NGOs: New Israel Fund (NIF), JStreet, JCall, Jews for Peace, JVJP.CH. They all slander and demonize the Jewish State of Israel and Judaism.
Until now this state of affairs had to be suffered most reluctantly. Now, however, there is a law in Israel, permitting to sue anyone calling for boycott, if it can be proven that their call was successful. Shurat HaDin has taken the case of three young women who had bought tickets for the concert and are feeling duped. The price paid was not refunded, and they also feel emotionally damaged.
The claim was submitted in Jerusalem on January 31, the amount claimed is $ 13,000.00. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat HaDin is awaiting the trial with much interest. This will be a first, insofar as the law will be tested in practice for the first time. The cause-effect relation between the call for boycott and the measurable damage has become clearly apparent for the first time, in this case.
Is the very intelligent Lorde conscious of the fact that the country in which she is living used to belong to the Maori and only passed into British sovereignty under rather unclear circumstances?
Critique of a movie by Andrea Mocellin and Thomas Muggenthaler – ARD January 29, 2018, 23:50 (The film is in German, but self explaining)
The movie that was intentionally conceived without a uniform story-line, follows freight train number 94803 on its way across the Protectorate of Bohemia. Leitmeritz, the start of the death trip, was the biggest satellite camp of the Concentration Camp Flossenbürg, which was liberated as early as April 23, 1945. Thanks to the extensive original material and through interviews with survivors, as well as low-key film additions, the movie really is a very special and valuable contemporary document.
Jörg Skriebeleit, manager of the Flossenbürg Memorial (Bavaria) reports: „Over 15 years ago, we discovered photographs showing a long train and concentration camp inmates, as well as civilians helping the prisoners. We did not know what those photos represented. Later we pursued our research and discovered additional material, where the city of Roztoky appears several times, as well as places such as Kralupy or Olbramovice. It took us quite some time before we understood that those photographs were all of one and the same event: a death train coming from Leitmeritz, the biggest satellite camp of KZ Flossenbürg, going south, in the direction of Mauthausen (Austria)*
It is a long train, with 77 (!) open coal wagons. Among the prisoners, rumor has it that they „were to be used as a live wall in the battle against the liberators“, remembers a contemporary witness. 4000 people are pressed into the wagons. The Nazis‘ cynicism again knows no compassion in view of the prisoners‘ sufferings: „At the end of the train there are empty wagons, if you are cramped you can change“. Those who believe the announcement and say they want to change are shot on the spot. The guards are young SS-henchmen from the SS-Signal School from Leitmeritz, who, despite the fact that the end of the war is closer than ever, want to prove themselves and fully enjoy their fanaticism.
The route taken by the train is along the last remaining corridor between the Allies and the Red Army. While the Red Army is marching in the direction of Berlin and the Americans are also veering off to the north, this corridor is the last region remaining where both Wehrmacht and the SS can act almost without restrictions.
Whenever the train leaves a station, the Czechs advise the next station that a prisoner train is making its way south. Immediately upon reaching the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the prisoners are unexpectedly given food. They don’t know yet that something fundamental has changed for them. On April 29, the train reaches the first station, Kralupy, and remains there.
Many people are standing at the station: Czechs ask the guards to let the prisoners get off the train; people ask for water. Many are afraid of being shot if they leave the train, but their thirst is more pressing. Hesitantly, they get off the train. At first, nothing happens, the SS-henchmen do not know how to cope with the situation.
But then shots are fired. 13 people die.
In the evening, the train reaches Roztoky, a town close to Prague. A crowd of people is awaiting the train at the station demanding that the SS allow them to help the people. A young photographer is recording the events at the risk of his life. Among others, it is thanks to the pictures he took that the courageous acts of the Czechs are now slowly becoming known. A man owning a camera secretly films the scene. Those are the only pictures that were not taken in liberated concentration camps, but documented the horror with the SS being present.
The station master delays the train’s continued journey, thereby gaining valuable hours. He has asked people in the area to prepare food and bring it to the station. The people in the movie are emaciated, fighting for the food offered, the first nourishing meal they have received for weeks. Among the courageous helpers there are also children. They are all risking their lives. They remember to this day how the SS-henchmen were frantically running in all directions, swinging at the prisoners and aiming their weapons at them. The ticket hall has changed its function to a field kitchen, where the town’s women are tirelessly preparing soup with the little left over to them by the end of the war.
And they are bringing more things to the station: clothes. They succeed in smuggling around 300 prisoners into the waiting hall, where they change and flee with their saviors, no longer easily identified as prisoners. They are being hidden in the town. The poorhouse becomes an emergency sickbay for about 80 people who are treated by the population until they are well. There is no medicine, there are no dressings, everything is improvised. Not all survive.
The train’s next stop is the loading station Prague-Bubny. Here, Caritas sisters and Czech physicians are waiting. But the Germans are alarmed because of the Czechs‘ rescue activity. The Gestapo demands that the gathering be disbanded, but nobody listens. The station head sabotages the locomotive so that it can no longer be driven. Now the Czechs actively free the prisoners, lay them down on biers, cover them, and leave the station with them as „dead“. They are able to flee on the tramway. Hundreds of them are hidden in homes in Prague, a total of about 1000 people are freed.
Berlin has been occupied by the Red Army, but the train must go on.
Near an SS training ground, the train stops at a siding, where it remains for the next six days. The situation escalates again, when a group of SS henchmen arrives at the train. They immediately start shooting, again there are 27 dead, victims of the Nazi henchmen’s purely arbitrary act.
On May 7, one day before the capitulation of the Nazi Regime, the train goes on, but now without any known destination. Mauthausen, the actual destination of this odyssey, has meanwhile been liberated as well. The prisoners are very nervous, are they all going to be murdered so that they do not fall into the Allies‘ hands?
On May 8, the Czechs decide to definitely stop the train. With the help of Russian soldiers they take away the guards‘ weapons. The prisoners‘ martyrdom comes to an end.
At the end of the movie, Jörge Skriebeleit speaks again: „This was no action by Czechs against the Germans they hated. It was an act of pure humaneness, such as did not occur in the German Reich in this way, or at least cannot be proven to have occurred elsewhere, even so shortly before the end of the war“.
The film can be downloaded from the ARD Mediatheque until the end of January 2019.
Bronislav Huberman was born on December 19, 1882 in Czestochowa (Poland) and died on December 16, 1947 in Corsier-sur-Vevey (Switzerland).
At an early age, his parents became aware of his extraordinary musical talent. He started his first violin lessons at the age of six, and first appeared in public half a year later. At the age of only ten, he completed his musical education in Berlin.
On January 29, 1896, Huberman met Johannes Brahms in Vienna during a concert and impressed him very much with his interpretation of his piano concerto. Huberman complained that while he was playing, the public had applauded spontaneously. Brahms appeased him: „You simply should not have played so beautifully!“
Many concert tours in Europe followed, firmly establishing his renown as one of the „most important violinists of the 20th century“.
After a concert in Vienna, the „Neue Freie Presse“ wrote on November 10, 1928: „Bronislav Huberman played Schubert. For a moment, the pompous blaring of the official ceremony fanfare was silenced. What remained was the magically enchanting sound of the violin, a beating heart – and Schubert“.
Throughout his life, Huberman considered himself homo politicus. For him, music was a tool and an expression of the struggle for a better world. At an early age he had the vision of a united Europe and of a Jewish state in Palestine.
When Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, Huberman rapidly perceived what horrible times were awaiting Europe’s Jews. In April 1933 the „Law for the restoration of professional public service“ was applied. The section dealing with „Arians“ stated that all non-Arian public servants were to retire immediately. For the first time since 1871, there were again special laws for the Jewish population with the sole objective being to eliminate Jews from society as soon and as completely as possible. At first, there were still exceptions, which accorded the concerned parties some delay – as instigated by General von Hindenburg. Soon however, even combat veterans, their widows and children, as well as Jews who had filled their positions even before August 1, 1914, lost their protection.
Without dire necessity, only because of eager obedience, organizations and volunteer fire brigades joined the interdiction of Jewish members. Schools and universities followed, as well as professional associations for surgeons, lawyers and notaries. Until 1938, doctors were permitted to take care of their Jewish patients as „therapists“. Until that time lawyers were also allowed to have a certain number of Jewish clients, but had to use the professional appellation „consultant“. Artists with positions on national stages were also included in the working interdiction. They were only allowed to perform before a Jewish audience.
In May 1933, Huberman, together with Arthur Schnabel, Paul Hindemith and Pablo Casals, took part in the Johannes Brahms Festival in Vienna. The concert is held in the Grosses Musikvereinsaal, where the annual New Year Concert of the Vienna Musicians Organization was recorded.
In June 1933, Huberman received an invitation from Wilhelm Furtwängler, who had just become „First Kapellmeister“ of the Berlin State Opera, to perform with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Huberman reacted with a letter that drew a great deal of attention, in which he warned of the catastrophe looming in Nazi Germany. Furtwängler’s role during that period is questionable. Still, Huberman writes: „Dear friend, please first accept my admiration and thanks for the courage, the resolution, the tenacity and the sense of responsibility, with which you started your endeavors in April for protecting the concert stage from the menacing destruction by racist cleansing“.
When the interdiction law came into effect, Furtwängler had taken a stand for leaving several Jewish colleagues in the orchestra. Whether he was an anti-Semite after all, or whether he acted only because of a desire for pure artistic survival cannot be proved beyond doubt. On the one hand, for a long time he would not let the big boss, Hermann Göring, who was Prime Minister at the time, intimidate him, while on the other hand he collaborated in the implementation of the Reich’s Public Servants Law. However, in a letter to Goebbels dated April 11, 1933, he expressed criticism: „In the end, I only acknowledge one separation line: the line separating good art from bad art“.
Goebbels replied: „Only art drawing from the very nationhood can ultimately be good art that is meaningful to the nation it was created for […] Art has to be good, but it must at the same time be responsible, masterful, down-to-earth and militant“. It was thanks to Furtwängler that the „Arian paragraph“ did not apply at first to Jewish members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The Nazi bosses knew they could not simply dispense with such a popular and renowned artist, and in 1944 they included him in their „List of divinely gifted artists“. This list included 1041 artists who were considered important by the Nazis and were exempted from general military service. Furtwängler even appears on the list of „Irreplaceable Artists“ personally compiled by Hitler.
The fact that in 1936 he declined the possibility of working in New York as Toscanini’s successor brought him much criticism until he died. The Americans imposed a professional employment interdiction on him in 1945, since he was considered to have been „Hitler’s pet maestro“ in the words of Erika Mann. Jewish colleagues who had emigrated held it against him that he had consorted with the Nazis until the very end.
It is incredible that it was musicians such as Paul Hindemith, Yehudi Menuhin and Szymon Goldberg, as well as his Jewish secretary Berta Geissmar, who stood up for him in the denazification proceeding and his trial, which led to him being cleared in 1947.
While Furtwängler continued to go from success to success, Huberman understood that the exclusion of Jewish musicians from the music scene represented a great opportunity for something new. In 1929, Huberman had visited Palestine for the first time, falling in love with the country. During his second visit, even before the Nazis came to power in Germany, he already had the vision that he would bring the best musicians to Palestine so as to present the public there with first class musical offerings. In his mind, the „Palestine Symphony Orchestra“ grew into a wonderful sound box.
From 1934, Huberman found celebrity supporter. Arturo Toscanini, Albert Einstein and Chaim Weizman. During a concert tour in the USA, he played in 42 concerts to earn the money necessary to implement his project. He completed his professional obligations in Berlin and Vienna and returned to Palestine. There he soon learned that founding the orchestra would grant a new perspective to many unemployed Jews. Huberman saved around 1,000 people from being killed by Nazi henchmen. They found a new home in Palestine. A short time before, Albert Einstein had shown himself to be a great violinist during a charity gala in New York. together with Harriet Cohen, the refugee pianist, began collecting money in order to enable scientists stuck in Berlin to leave Germany.
At a soirée in 1936, he collected money for artists who were also hoping to be able to leave Berlin. Shortly afterwards, Arturo Toscanini declined employment in the USA and declared he would conduct the first concerts of the new orchestra.
The orchestra was comprised of 73 members: 19 Poles, 16 Germans, 10 Austrians, 4 Hungarians and 4 Netherlanders. 20 members were local musicians who joined the orchestra. On December 26, 1936, the musicians appeared for the first time. Their success was overwhelming.
Huberman was no longer alive to experience their biggest success. Immediately after the proclamation of the Jewish State of Israel, his musicians played „Hatikva“, the national anthem of the new state, for the first time. Ben Gurion, who at first had doubts about the orchestra’s success, gave it its new name, under which it has now become world famous: the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
No, the question is not who invented the famous Ricola® Herb Candy – the answer to that question is clearly „the Swiss“.
In the wake of the latest excavations near Jaljulia, Amanda Borschel of the Times of Israel asked whether this may have been the first manufacturing site of „Swiss army pocket knives“.
Starting in 1890, the first pocket folding knives were manufactured for the Swiss army, the first series still originating from the German knife manufacturing town of Solingen. In 1891, the Swiss manufacturer of surgical instruments Karl Elsener took over the production, giving the company his mother’s name – Victoria. Later, when stainless steel started to be used for their production, he added the abbreviation „Inox“ to the name. This was the birth of the worldwide most well-known pocket knife. From the smallest manageable knife with only one blade, up to true giants, such is the variety of choice. „The Giant“, which may not really be of much use in everyday life, was manufactured in 2006 and was soon included in the Guinness Book of records. The 87 instruments manufactured up to this day with their 141 different functions were united into a single knife. The monster’s price amounted to US$ 1,000.
Driving along the Itzhak Rabin Highway, 170 km from Yokneam in the Carmel Mountain range to Beer Sheba which borders on the Negev Desert, means crossing a variety of regions. During the first few kilometers the horizon is defined by the four chimney stacks of the Hadera Power Station. The distance to the Mediterranean is only a few kilometers away.
This is the narrowest part of Israel. The landscape to the west of the highway is characterized mainly by fruit plantations, mostly bananas.
To the east lie the hills of Samaria, which – until the country was unified by King David – had been the Kingdom of Israel. Here you find many Arab villages, their skyline characterized by golden and green minarets.
This is also where part of the actual „wall“ passes through. Behind the wall lies Qalqilya, a town of about 50,000 inhabitants. Why did Israel secure the border with a true wall at this of all places? Under the Oslo Agreement, Qalqilya belongs to Zone A and is thereby exclusively under Palestinian administration. However, since during the Al Aqsa-Intifada (2000 to 2005) numerous terrorists came from this region, who were mostly trained by Hamas in Gaza, the security of Israeli territories was no longer be assured. In order to make access to Israel more difficult, the IDF decided on the one hand to temporarily take over control over the region. At the same time the construction of the wall was started. It has 3.5 kilometers length here. Qalqilya may be the town whose citizens have to pay the highest price for crimes committed by the few. Since 2003, the town can only be reached through two checkpoints. They no longer profit from the formerly money-spinning agriculture, most fields having become victims of the border installation or being situated on the far side of the highway, which was once accessible through a tunnel. Is it their own fault? I do not want to be all that cynical. But here we can feel what consequences an enduring virulent danger to Israel’s security has brought. Since the wall, the acts of terrorism have clearly been reduced. The thousands of drivers using the highway every day can feel protected against stones and Molotov cocktails that once used to be thrown regularly. What is the solution? Regretfully, there is none in sight. „Simply stop the terror“, is the universal remedy regularly suggested in Israel. But how long would the violence-free period have to be, which may be considered the basis for a „confidence building measure“? One year? Ten years? Anyway, it would be a beginning. The city of Mühlheim on the Ruhr is a twin city of Kfar Saba, the Israeli neighboring town. With Qalqilya, the Westphalians are at a preliminary stage – the town friendship.
Near the border to what was once the Kingdom of Judea, several kilometers to the south of the Kfar Saba Jaljulia line, lies an Arab town of about 10,000 inhabitants. Excavations made in 2010 showed that there has been a settlement there since the Mameluke period.
The Torah mentions five settlements bearing the name of „Gilgal“ (though with different orthography). The name may originate from the „stone heap as witness of memory“ that was piled up by Jacob and his father in law Laban (Gen 31;48 – 54). Laban called it „Yegar Sahaduat“ in Aramaic, whereas Jacob named it „Gal-Ed“. In the course of time, the Roman name of the settlement derived from it „Galgulis“.
On the present location of Jaljulia there is proof that since Byzantine times there was a settlement called Gilgulye. The name Jaljulia probably originates from this Byzantine appellation.
Earlier excavations unearthed findings from the Iron Age, as well as some mosaics. In the Levant, the Iron Age is dated between 1200 to 500 BCE.
Long before the Israelites, who left traces all over, conquered the land, the region was certainly not unpopulated. The witnesses to such settlement are hidden under layers of earth of varying thickness. Whenever a major construction project is planned in Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority first intervenes. No construction project may start before they subject the whole area to strict investigations.
One of those new projects concerns the area between highway 531 and the freeway. New bridges, as well as access and exit systems are planned to help reduce the ever-growing traffic.
From the Arab town of Jaljulia, highway 531 leads to the west in direction of the densely populated high-tech region surrounding the seashore city of Herzliya. An improvement of the traffic flow is urgently needed.
The picture shows a dry river course. Whereas during and after the rainy period, the Quana River still carries big quantities of water, 500,000 years ago it was probably very much more. The source of the river is in the Judean Hills and it flows into the Yarkon river which reaches the Mediterranean to the north of Tel Aviv.
Our forefathers found all they needed for living here. Quantities of drinking water and food. Herds of animals to hunt as well as flint stone pieces brought by the water.
Our African forefathers were probably those who wandered from the region to the south of the Sahara in eastern and northern direction. The oldest finds are from the early Ice Age, which stretched between 1.9 million to 700,000 years BCE. When the first skeleton fragments were found on Java in 1891, it was at first thought that a new species of apes had been discovered. Only the discovery of a complete thigh bone made it possible to understand that this was an intermediate form between apes and humans, characterized by walking upright. The scientific appellation „homo erectus“ was introduced in 1950.
Our biological ancestor now bore a name.
In Europe, the Neanderthal developed from „homo erectus“. Both groups may have met during their wanderings. In the course of evolution, the Neanderthal lost the battle for ongoing development.
In Europe, Asia and East Africa, homo erectus began his triumphal march. In the course of decades, with ever more sophisticated scientific techniques, a more comprehensive picture was achieved. What was particularly enlightening was the finding of the almost complete skeleton of the „Turkana boy“ in Africa in 1984. Our ancestor reached a maximum height of 1.80 m and had a sturdy body. His brain volume was 650 – 1250 cm3, while the child’s growth phase during which the brain is growing was much shorter than it is today. By the age of 1, the toddler had 80% of the brain volume of grown-ups. In „homo sapiens“ the brain volume is 1100 – 1800cm3 and the 1 year old child reaches about 50% of that volume.
The teeth that were found showed a mixed nutrition.
The Jaljulia excavations prove that our ancestor was not the clumsy inexperienced hunter, as was assumed for years. Massive findings of hunting utensils made of flint stone go to show that not only did the hunters succeed in processing the stone in a way that, with its sharp edges and its pillared point, it was able to kill animals and cut them. More complex instruments were found. The stones were processed on one side in such a way that they could be attached to a wooden stick.
Our ancestors were nomads. They knew the best locations for ensuring survival in the course of the year. Israel was one of those places.
The world presently includes 193 entities which fulfill the three preconditions for being considered a „State“ by the UN. Disposition of a nation, a defined territory and a functional state authority.
The representatives of those 193 States comprise the UN General Assembly, an organization in which the biggest political ignoramuses every day pat each other on the back at the highest level, confirming to each other how essential their activity is. Both the General Assembly and its adjunct and ancillary bodies compose resolutions about the justifications of which they are deeply persuaded, but which have no legal force.
There are two exceptions – the Order of the Knights of Malta and the ICRC. From the point of view of international law, both are considered to be sovereign non-state subjects of international law, and are therefore adjunct to the UN as non-state organizations.
Moreover, there are two states with the status of permanent observer. They have the same rights as any full member, but have no voting rights. Those are the Holy See representing the Vatican, and for the last few years – Palestine, as well. Palestine has no nation, no state authority. The last attempt of many by Hamas and PLO/PA to establish a durable cooperation and so maybe achieve a common government someday, failed on Friday, December 22nd, 2017. And it most certainly has no defined territory.
There are additional territories that for various reasons have not yet succeeded in being recognized by the UN. Those include the Republic of Abkhazia, the Republic of China (de facto Taiwan), the Kosovo Republic, the South Ossetia Republic, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (de facto – Cypriot Territory occupied by Turkey), the Democratic Arab Republic (de facto – a region in Western Sahara occupied by Morocco) and the Cook Islands.
The number of Islamic states in the UN is illustrated in the chart below, where according to the „One state, one vote“ principle, they have a majority, even if some of them are mini states or even micro states.
In 2017, the USA paid 22%, Japan 9.7%, the People’s Republic of China 7.9% and Germany 6.4%. All the other states were each charged less than 5% of the total budget of US$2,776,529, 900.
And now the main bearer of the costs is fed up. The US American Ambassador Nikki Haley stated on behalf of her boss that, „The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known. We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,“ Haley said.
„This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable UN – is a big step in the right direction. While we are pleased with the results of this year’s budget negotiations, you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the UN’s efficiency while protecting our interests,“ she added.
Why is the US so angry? Why did President Trump react so strongly? Does he refer to the old verse from the Bible (Matthew 11,22 ff): „Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters“?
He has at least warned all the member states of the UN General Assembly, advising them that payments to them would be stopped at the earliest effective occasion if they oppose his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
By means of the still unconfirmed resolution, which at this stage exists only as a draft, the US, or its representative, President Donald Trump, is to be prevailed upon to reverse his resolution.
The result of the vote was embarrassing. 128 voted for the resolution, i.e. against President Donald Trump and against Israel, 9 states voted against it, 35 abstained and 21 did not participate in the vote.
Among the states that voted against the US and Israel, we find nearly the EU as a whole, but also neutral Switzerland, which has proven consistently to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli. Only the EU member states Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary abstained the vote.
President Donald Trump is also consistent. He has no need for small political games. For him there is only pro or con. He does not have a family looking forward to future presidencies. No Kennedys, no Bushes. He is lucky to be able to be just himself.
Maybe he will be the first president who will really be good for Israel and for peace in the Middle East.
His success seems to prove he is right:
One day after the vote in the UN, the Czech Republic declared its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but left open its intention of moving the Embassy to Jerusalem. Rumania and Guatemala have already announced that they would move their Embassy. Negotiations with additional states are presently taking place.
In 2012, a skinny little girl wearing a T-shirt with the inscription „I love U“ caused a worldwide sensation.
Ahed Tamimi, at that time the youngest and most media-effective member of the infamous Tamimi Clan, attempted to provoke soldiers of the IDF during a „Friday demonstration“. The so-called human rights organization B’tselem had equipped a great number of women from Nibi Salih with cameras, including Ahed’s mother, so as enable them to film any incident that could show Israel as the evildoer. B’tselem provided cameras to many other Palestinians in Judea and Samaria. They are being paid with our tax money and by their biggest sponsor – the New Israel Fund.
In 2012, Ahed was invited to have breakfast with Turkish President Erdogan, and was awarded the „Handala Courage Award“ afterwards. In Turkey she has since been considered a heroine. At the time she wanted to become a lawyer, so as to „help the Palestinian people“.
Over a week ago she again lived up to her reputation when she attempted to provoke IDF soldiers, this time together with her cousin, and was again filmed by her mother. The two soldiers, however, remained as impassive as their orders required, despite the fact that she slapped one of them, even kicking him in the belly afterwards.
But this time the game did not end well for her, her cousin and her mother. They were all arrested. The mother and the cousin were soon freed again, but Ahed still remains in custody. She did not look quite as happy and self-assured as usual during her interrogation. But still, she is well, she says, smiling hesitantly.
Does she still want to become a martyr – her latest career plan?
But even if she has to spend some time in the military prison, for years now she has had a successor: her younger sister Janna Jihad Ayyad appeared before the cameras for the first time at the early age of five (!), shrilly reciting her hate-imbued slogans in the direction of the soldiers. At the time she was still wearing a sweet light blue children’s dress, later the more practical jeans and shirt. She calls herself a „journalist“.
Janna Tamimi is ready. Her elder sister will soon be 17, and is therefore no longer at an age when she can remain credible as the innocent activist for her homeland, driven by the purest motives.
President Abbas expressed his congratulations to the whole family by phone, declaring his pride in the important role the whole Tamimi Clan are playing in the resistance against the occupation troops.
One of their aunts played a decisive role in the Sbarro terror attack (2001), which resulted in 15 dead and over 130 injured victims. She served a portion of her sentence in an Israeli prison, but was liberated as part of the Shalit exchange, and has since been living in Jordan. Nariman Tamimi, Ahed’s mother, justified this terrorist attack. Her husband Bassem feels that using children, women and old people as protective human shields is perfectly okay when perpetrating terrorist operations against Israeli and Jewish civilians.
This again clearly goes to show what a „good and trustworthy“ partner is Dr. Mahmud Abbas, the President of the PA. Whoever praises a family of terrorists in the fight against Israel that much, will never be interested in making peace.
The Near East was shaken in the aftermath of Pres. Trump’s announcement to accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As of today, the UN Security Council is meeting over this announcement, media are talking about a decision. A resolution is expected for tomorrow, December 18th.
The reactions are various, the usual condemnations in the media, a call for boycott and a third intifada with violence and murder. The PA, well known for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity alienated his most important partner, the USA. But also the Europeans couldn’t leave it to give Israel a political side-blow.
Major General Amos Yadlin served till his retirement as fighter pilot in the IAF. From 2002 till 2006 he was Military Attaché in the USA. From 2006 till 2010 he was the head of the Military Intelligence Directorate.
Yadlin advocates the idea, if peace negotiations with the Palestinians fail to produce an agreement, to unilaterally withdraw from 85% of Judaea and Samaria, maintaining the Jordan Valley and the main settlement blocks. And to keep a strip of land to protect Ben Gurion Airport.
In January 2015, he joined the “Zionist Union” list for the election to the Knesset
Trump was unimpressed by the threats from Ramallah, Amman and Ankara. The refusal to give in to threats, blackmail and uncompromising stances—along with the message that the Palestinians have no veto right—is a very important precedent for the continuation of the diplomatic process. It’s time to stop the irrational policy of trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Twenty-five years of sticking to the same paradigm have led to a deadlock. Trump’s move has the potential of turning the tables and encouraging creative thinking outside the familiar parameters.
It’s important to stress that the announcement did not change the acceptable framework for negotiations (two states subject to the parties’ agreement, the core issues would be determined in negotiations, no change in the status quo), but the US policy opened a window for new ideas and for challenging the principle of “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”
Israel should leverage this positive move and examine its own working hypotheses vis-à-vis the Palestinians. The Israeli government has a rare strategic opportunity to shape the agreement with the Palestinians according to more convenient parameters than the ones the Obama administration tried to impose.
On the conscious level, the “Jewish Jerusalem” narrative presented by Trump touched the exposed nerves of the Palestinians, who are having trouble accepting the Jewish historical affiliation with Jerusalem. They have enjoyed UNESCO’s resolutions on Jerusalem and failed to understand that in the diplomatic arena (which they have favored in recent years), both sides have maneuvering options.
On the practical level, the speech demonstrates to the Palestinians, contrary to what they may believe, that time is not on their side. An ongoing serial postponement of any compromise would only help Israel achieve its goals at their expense.
Only about a year ago, the situation was completely different. In the final months of its term, the Obama administration used UN Security Council Resolution 2334, http://www.un.org/webcast/pdfs/SRES2334-2016.pdf which gave the Palestinians a feeling that the parameters most important to them would be determined before the negotiations. As a result, they were in no rush to enter the talks. The discourse raised by then-US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments, that Israel would be lost without an agreement, was even more damaging. It served as a significant incentive for the Palestinians to insist on parameters that Israel could not accept. Resolution 2334 actually had the opposite effect of what was expected by its initiators.
The new US policy under Trump’s leadership could reverse a lot of the damage caused by UN Resolution 2334. On the practical level, the president’s speech demonstrates that unlike the Obama administration’s perception, an ongoing Palestinian refusal to reach an agreement or a compromise at this time would be interpreted as another missed opportunity by the Palestinians, while Israel keeps growing stronger militarily, economically and diplomatically.
The Palestinian leadership’s apparent response is an adoption of the strategy favoring one state over two states and a refusal to accept the US as a neutral mediator. This is a Palestinian illusion which has no basis in reality in light of an Israeli-American cooperation like the recent move.
Israel shouldn’t miss out on the change in the peace process paradigm offered by Trump. In light of its rehabilitated relationship with the administration and president in Washington, Israel should seize the opportunity and advance one of the core issues most vital to its national security. The Sunni world, led by Saudi Arabia, sees the Iranian hegemony and nuclear aspirations, the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood as the main threats to its existence, which it why it would be a natural partner in a comprehensive regional peace process under an updated paradigm.
Above all, solving the Palestinian issue is a top Israeli priority, which would allow the State of Israel to shape its borders and character. Settling for the status quo and drawing satisfaction from blaming the Palestinians for the statemate in the peace process would be an eternal source of trouble for Israel. We have a rare strategic opportunity which should be seized.