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If – and it’s a big “if” –the Likud governing coalition was really looking to put a dent or two in the virtually limitless power of Israel’s “High Court of Justice” (a.k.a the “Supreme Court”), it may have found its hammer in former computer engineer turned Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whose well-earned reputation for meaning what she says and alchemizing political intent into facts on the ground should have the High Court’s 15 justices paying fresh attention to their rear view mirrors.
Locking horns with the High Court, however, despite its two decades of tinkering with the democratic separation of powers under the rubric of everything in the affairs of state being “justiciable,” is probably the last thing this coalition with its tissue-thin 51-69 Knesset majority had any mind to do. Indeed, wary of Shaked’s “agenda-driven behavior,” as TV talk-show interviewer Oded Ben-Ami recently described it, and her unshrinking Land of Israel perspective, (“settlement building will be one of the basic guidelines of this government,” she’s declared), Prime Minister Netanyahu stopped just short of the barricades in opposing her “Jewish Home” (Bayit Yehudi) party’s insistence on her appointment to head the Justice Ministry. Having lost that battle to Jewish Home and its eight critical electoral mandates, Netanyahu made a lusty but vain effort to deny Shaked a seat on the powerful Judicial Appointments Committee and the chairmanship of the Knesset Law Committee.
It isn’t as though the prime minister and a supporting cast that includes, inter alia, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and President Reuven Rivlin have any illusions about the High Court’s damaging imposition on Israel’s democratic processes, political. economic and strategic. Rather it is the right wing’s long-standing inferiority complex in the face of those 15 black robes. “It works best of all,” one observer noted, “against moderately right wing politicians eager to impress the media with their sophistication.”
Jews Against Themselves
The inimitable Edward Alexander has done it again—produced a book of essays, Jews Against Themselves, as devastating as it is witty and erudite. That Alexander writes so beautifully makes the painful nature of his subject—the large number of Jews who have turned against Israel– bearable.
Alexander notes: “There will always be readers who express astonishment that there are Jews who question the Jewish right to live as a natural right, or hate Israel and are ashamed to have a state. Surely they are as rare as singing mice or card-playing pigs. Alas, no.”
Says Alexander: “I have not attempted a systematic taxonomy of all the species of Jews arrayed under the genus ‘enemies of Israel,’ a monumental task that would require an encyclopedia to include the following: Jewish progressives against Israel; Jewish queers against Israel; Haredim against Israel; Holocaust survivors against Israel; children of Holocaust survivors against Israel; Jewish Voice for Peace; grandchildren of Holocaust survivors against Israel; survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto against Israel; J Street; Jewish postmodernists against Israel; Jewish Berkeley professors against Israel; post-Zionists against Israel; Jewish members of MESA (Middle East Studies Association) against Israel; Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBIG, also called, seasonally, London’s Jewish Christmas carolers against Israel); and so on and on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.”
Even if you have read one or more of these essays when they first appeared (in places like The Weekly Standard, Commentary, Algemeiner), reading them together is far more powerful. For example, this is from an essay in the book not previously published: “How many adult Jews in 1948 could have imagined that the Holocaust would cast its specter of blood and shame over the Jews well into the next century, that its lesson would be not ‘Never again,’ but—for the victims—‘It happened once, it can happen again’ and—for the perpetrators—‘We did it once we can do it again.’”
The book is published by Transaction and available on Amazon.
Editor’s note: The irony here is overwhelming. Negotiations aimed at ending Iran’s nuclear threat—especially to Israel, which it repeatedly promises to annihilate—have resulted in an agreement in which the U.S. and other signatories promise to protect Iran’s nuclear program against Israel. While the agreement does not specify Israel as the country from which Iran is to be protected, clearly it is Israel the agreement has in mind.
The United States and other world powers will help to teach Iran how to thwart and detect threats to its nuclear program, according to the parameters of a deal reached Tuesday to rein in Iran’s contested nuclear program.
Under the terms of a deal that provides Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran and global powers will cooperate to help teach Iran how to manage its nuclear infrastructure, which will largely remain intact under the deal.
Senior Iranian officials, including the country’s president, celebrated the deal as a victory for the country. Iran’s state-controlled media quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that the deal will “remove all sanctions while maintaining [Tehran’s] nuclear program and nuclear progress.”
The Jewish Revolt Bruce Hoffman, Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 Reviewed by: David Isaac
Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.
Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.
It was Lehi that began the terror war against the British in 1940. Its members were completely isolated at first, perceived by the Yishuv—a term for Palestine’s Jewish community—as a criminal gang. Lehi was led by Avraham (Yair) Stern, whom Hoffman describes as a man “of grandiose dreams and half-baked plans,” an outstanding classics student at Hebrew University, and a poet. The title of Hoffman’s book comes from a poem written by Stern, which would become Lehi’s anthem. Stern was killed by the British in 1941, and the group’s remaining members killed or captured. The group was revived in 1943 under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir, decades later to become Israel’s prime minister.
In 1944, when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated, the Irgun, too, declared a revolt. Its new leader was Menachem Begin, who had led the Jewish nationalist youth group Betar in Poland. Hoffman considers Begin a first-class strategic thinker who recognized that he could not defeat Britain militarily and so decided “systemically [to] undermine its authority,” believing that if the Irgun could destroy the government’s prestige “the removal of its rule would follow automatically.” Through the Irgun’s violent actions, he made Palestine a center of world attention, a “glass house” as he described it, where every British misstep was broadcast to the world.
Tennessee is to Muslim refugees as New York is to Muslim hijacked planes. Chattanooga, the site of the latest Muslim terror attack against America, is a “preferred community” for resettlement along with Knoxville and Nashville.
Nashville was designated a “Gateway City” for Iraqis. Hundreds of Somali Muslims were dumped in Shelbyville and the Murfreesboro Mega-Mosque became national news because of its terror ties.
Over the last decade, middle Tennessee’s Muslim population tripled. The rise of Islam in Tennessee as Muslims from terror zones like Iraq and Somalia flooded its towns and cities brought hate and violence.
In Memphis, Imam Yasir Qadhi was caught on tape calling Jews and Christians filthy and declaring that Muslims can take their lives and property. Last year the FBI warned of an ISIS threat in Memphis.
This year it was Chattanooga’s turn.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the son of a Palestinian man and a Kuwaiti woman living in the United States, killed five marines. One of his targets, a recruiting center, was a gun-free zone. Those inside had no way to defend themselves. Their government had welcomed in the enemy and left them unarmed and helpless against his Jihad.
Obama refused to use the word “Terrorism.” Hillary Clinton claimed that the attack was “senseless violence.” But there was nothing senseless about it. It was an act of war, one of many, in a conflict that stretches back to the founding of the United States of America.
There is a very old and rare book called Palestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata, written by Hadriani Relandi, a mapmaker and scholar from Utrecht, and published in 1714. It documents Redlandi’s trip to Palestine in 1695/96. On his travels he surveyed around 2,500 places that were mentioned in the Tanakh and/or Mishnah, and he carried out a census of the people who resided in such places. He made some very interesting discoveries. For a start, he discovered that not a single settlement in Palestine had a name that was of Arabic origin. Instead the names derived from Hebrew, Roman and Greek languages.
Another interesting discovery was the conspicuous absence of a sizeable Muslim population. Instead, he found that most of the inhabitants of Palestine were Jews, along with some Christians and a few Bedouins. Nazareth was home to less than a thousand Christians, while Jerusalem held 5,000 people, mostly Jews. Gaza was home to around 250 Jews and about the same number of Christians. The only exception was Nablus where around 120 Muslims lived, along with a handful of Samaritans, whose ancestors belonged to the northern tribes of Israel.
Intrigued by the findings in Relandi’s books, I looked at other first-hand sources, such as travelogues, governmental reports and censuses. I wasn’t sure I would find anything. But there is a surprising quantity of census data, reports and anecdotal evidence. And all the evidence suggests that the majority of non-Jewish (i.e. Arab Muslims and Christians) immigration to Palestine began in the mid or late 1800s.
Arrest Benjamin Netanyahu and any other “suspected” Israeli war criminals wherever and whenever you can get your hands on them. That is the shocking bottom line of a scandalous report released from the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The report emanates from a board of inquiry the Council created in the midst of the 2014 Gaza war. In legalese, the call to arrest Israelis either for trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC), or before any court in any country that the U.N. labels “fair,” reads like this:
The board “calls upon the international community … to support actively the work of the International Criminal Court in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territory; to exercise universal jurisdiction to try international crimes in national courts; and to comply with extradition requests pertaining to suspects of such crimes to countries where they would face a fair trial.”
To be fair, the U.N. report says this could apply to both parties. In other words, the democratic state of Israel, with a moral and legal obligation to defend its citizens, and the Palestinian attackers bent on genocide are moral equals. Throughout the 183-page tome, the U.N. council “experts” play the old “cycle of violence” trick, otherwise known as “it all started when you hit me back.”
An infamous photo from the Third Reich shows eminent Jewish lawyer Michael Siegel, beaten and bloodied after going to police headquarters on behalf of a Jewish client who had been sent to Dachau, forced to walk through the streets of Munich with a sign around his neck saying: “I am a Jew, but I will never again complain to the police.”
Here is a short quiz …and you may not know the answers so I will provide them.
1.What is the population of The Netherlands?
It is 16.8 Million
2. Who is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands?
Bet you did not know it is Mark “no nickname” Rutte.
3. Who is the Dutch Ambassador to the United States?
Tell the truth. Did you know that his name is Rudolf Bekiink?
Israel, in contrast. is half the size of Holland and any American who watches or reads news knows the name “Bibi” and has seen Israel’s diplomats quoted and interviewed, because Israel fascinates both its admirers and its enemies. Diplomats from Israel present their credentials to the State Department but, unlike other ambassadors and consuls, their job is to serve, in large part, as emissaries to the Court of Jewish Opinion and Philanthropy.
Sometimes history creates special moments for Israeli diplomats. The late Abba Eban, who served as Israel’s first Ambassador to the United Nations, and subsequently as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States from 1949 until 1959 mesmerized Americans with his erudition, his wit, and his elegant, inspiring rhetoric in support of Israel. Alas, once returned to Israel he caved to the siren call of the left.