Saturday, July 16, 2011

Only 73% of Palestinians Want Jews Annihilated (as Per Islam's Canonical Hadith)

Andrew G. Bostom

Data have just been released from a survey completed this week which confirm the implacable, murderous irredentism of Israel's Palestinian Muslim "peace partners."

American pollster Stanley Greenberg performed what is described as an "intensive, face-to-face survey in Arabic of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Here are the salient, pathognomonic findings:

First, a mere 73% of the Palestinians surveyed agree with the annihilationist dictates of this canonical hadith (the words and deeds of Islam's prophet Muhammad which have a weight often equal to the Koran), quoted in the Hamas Covenant.

As characterized in the hadith, Muslim eschatology -- end of times theology -- highlights the Jews' supreme hostility to Islam. Jews are described as adherents of the Dajjâl -- the Muslim equivalent of the Anti-Christ -- or according to another tradition, the Dajjâl is himself Jewish. At his appearance, other traditions maintain that the Dajjâl will be accompanied by 70,000 Jews from Isfahan, or Jerusalem, wrapped in their robes, and armed with polished sabers, their heads covered with a sort of veil. When the Dajjâl is defeated, his Jewish companions will be slaughtered -- everything will deliver them up except for the so-called gharkad tree, as per the canonical hadith (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985) included in the 1988 Hamas Covenant (in article 7). The hadith-- which ¾ of those surveyed agree should be acted upon -- is cited in the Covenant as a sacralized, obligatory call for a Muslim genocide of the Jews: ...the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to realize the promise of Allah, no matter how long it takes. The Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him, says: "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,' except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews." (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985)

Second, 80% agreed with the quoted sentiments expressed article 15 of the Hamas Covenant (subtitled, "Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is a Personal Duty") which elucidates classical jihadist theory -- including jihad martyrdom (i.e., homicide bombing) operations -- as well as its practical modern application to the destruction of Israel by jihad, and the need to recruit the entire global Muslim community, or "umma" in this quintessential Islamic cause:

The day the enemies conquer some part of the Muslim land, jihad becomes a personal duty of every Muslim. In the face of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, it is necessary to raise the banner of jihad. This requires the propagation of Islamic consciousness among the masses, locally [in Palestine], in the Arab world and in the Islamic world. It is necessary to instill the spirit of jihad in the nation, engage the enemies and join the ranks of the jihad fighters. The indoctrination campaign must involve ulama, educators, teachers and information and media experts, as well as all intellectuals, especially the young people and the sheikhs of Islamic movements...

It is necessary to establish in the minds of all the Muslim generations that the Palestinian issue is a religious issue, and that it must be dealt with as such, for [Palestine] contains Islamic holy places, [namely] the Al-Aqsa mosque, which is inseparably connected, for as long as heaven and earth shall endure, to the holy mosque of Mecca through the Prophet's nocturnal journey [from the mosque of Mecca to the Al-Aqsa mosque] and through his ascension to heaven thence. "Being stationed on the frontier for the sake of Allah for one day is better than this [entire] world and everything in it; and the place taken up in paradise by the [horseman's] whip of any one of you [jihad fighters] is better than this [entire] world and everything in it. Every evening [operation] and morning [operation] performed by Muslims for the sake of Allah is better than this [entire] world and everything in it." (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi and Ibn Maja). "By the name of Him who holds Muhammad's soul in His hand, I wish to launch an attack for the sake of Allah and be killed and attack again and be killed and attack again and be killed." (Recorded in the Hadith collections of Bukhari and Muslim)

Third, 72% backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem.

Fourth, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage

Fifth, 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.

Even the findings which delusive "peace processors" obsess over contained no silver linings. When respondents were queried about President Barack Obama's statement that "there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people,", only 34% said they accepted that idea, while 61% rejected it. And 66% admitted that the Palestinians' real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state, i.e., destroy Israel as a Jewish State.

Page Printed from: at July 16, 2011 - 08:25:56 AM CDT

Sometimes the Bear Gets You

Daniel Greenfield

Belgium's Burqa Ban kicks off on July 23rd. July 4th would have been nice, but you can't expect the Belgians to observe an American holiday. Australia might be next.

The Pastafarians of Australia have been making their voices heard. They are still only a minority, but their souffle is rising.

Of course the warnings are coming that there will be violence. Islamic leaders call a Burqa Ban "Un-Australian". Because what's more Australian than a Burqa, except maybe Mexican food or drowning witches.

However Assisting Shift in Multicultural Australia director Janine Evans, who is a Muslim, said it was too simplistic to say that burqas did not fit into Australian society.

"To say it doesn't fit with our way of life and culture shuts the door to (Muslim) women becoming active members of society," she said. But doesn't the Burqa do that? How can women who cover their faces become active members of society?

This is a point that I made in my Front Page article, 5 Reasons To Ban the Burqa

Countries where the Burqa is in wide use, have low rates of female civic participation. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to vote. In parts of Pakistan, women are not allowed to vote as well. In Afghanistan women were shunted into female only polling stations, or forced to vote by proxy through a male family member.

There are four other reasons in the article and you may be interested to hear them.

Will turning Australia into another Afghanistan be "Australian"? Let's take another look at the Burqa Capital of the World.

a staggering 87 percent of Afghan women are illiterate and the average life expectancy for women is just 44 years,

...all part of the Burqa package.

A young woman protester who looked to be about 20 years old used her bright blue headscarf to wave the rotting smell away from my face...

She turned to me, dropped her scarf to her shoulders and said, “This smell it is like Afghan man, yes.”

Or like Islam. But we can't question Islam. The propaganda bus rolls on and we're supposed to get on board.

Recently I began researching PBS's long roll of Islamic documentaries and I found some very interesting things about one documentary specifically, and the people behind those documentaries. It's written up in my article "Prince of Lies"

Could a racist mass murderer of Africans become PBS's way to sell Islam to African-Americans? With "Prince Among Slaves" the answer was yes. "Prince Among Slaves" used the story of a Muslim Moorish prince sold into slavery to promote Islam as the source of black culture, right down to the Blues coming from the Koran.

There was just one problem with the Prince.

A contemporary fundraising letter on his behalf read, “But Prince states explicitly, and with an air of pride, that not a drop of Negro blood runs in his veins. He places the Negro on a scale of being infinitely below the Moor.”

Yes he was kind of a racist and not terribly fond of black people. Also he had a history of murdering them.

In Rahman’s own account, he describes going to war against an African tribe and razing their towns. After the natives fought back, Rahman boasts that he proclaimed, “I will not run for an African.”

There's plenty more details in Prince of Lies, including the story of the converts behind the documentaries.

My final article for the week, "How Four Influential Socialist Anti-Semites Shaped the Left" looks at the impact that the bigotry of Karl Marx, H.G. Wells and the man who coined the word "Socialism" had on the modern left today.

Even as the Nazi Holocaust had begun, H.G. Wells wrote in The New World Order (1940);

“The hostile reaction to the cult of the Chosen People is spreading about the entire world to-day… there has never been such a world-wide—I will not use the word anti-Semitism because of the Arab—I will say anti-Judaism… it is becoming world-wide and simultaneous… Until they are prepared to assimilate and abandon the Chosen People idea altogether, their troubles are bound to intensify.”

Speaking of Socialists, the Communicator in Chief is giving off his barrage of news conferences like a drunk on a bender. Pity he has all the negotiating skills of a Bobby Fischer, and none of his chess playing abilities.

Obama's only tactic is to throw a tantrum and then wait for the media to carry his water. And the media does carry his water, but it can only carry it so far, before it gets bored and finds a socialite or a serial killer to report on.

And let's face it, the media isn't what it used to be. Not when Forbes and MSNBC are pushing the biggest Palin scandal ever, "GymShirtGate".

This scandal is almost as grave as the time Bachmann didn't properly name John Wayne's birth place, and the time Herman Cain couldn't remember what the atomic weight of Zinc was.

To be fair the media has never had much luck pushing Palin scandals. Troopergate expected you to care if Palin had gotten a cop who tasered his disabled son fired. It's almost a pity that scandal didn't go national. But then the left probably had a moment of sanity and realized this would go over as well as accusing her of unethically feeding the homeless or illegally rescuing stray dogs.

But the left's target du jour is Cantor, who suddenly is going from obscure to the top of the Enemies List. Isn't it about time that New York Times reporters started going through his trash like suit wearing racoons and moving next door to his family.

If not Obama can always bring back his supporter who was arrested for threatening to kill Cantor and his family.

NPR is already in the game with an article that's only slightly better than just shouting, "Jew, Jew, Jew".

In 2004, the political publication Roll Call provided details of a Cantor fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during which mostly Jewish donors contributed about $500,000 to the congressman's leadership committee, ERICPAC.

Clearly this is very relevant to his current role in the negotiations seven years later. In other news, I hear that Cantor fella is Jewish and all about the money. And now for another piece on tolerance... from NPR.

Fun fact, almost every comment on the piece below it had to be removed. Another episode of the tolerant left. William Jacobson says, "We Are All Bibi Netanyahu Now"

Meanwhile the left has gotten into a tizzy over Israel's so-called anti-boycott law. A civil law, not a criminal law, that allows those who lose money to file suit. That's not the version of the story you'll hear from the media of course. Or from the ADL.

Elihu Stone has a comprehensive takedown of the hype and myths surrounding this and Samurai Mohel has a ruder take on it. But if the ADL and the JTA and other groups so worried about free speech in Israel want an issue to tackle... here's one. But the international left supports the local left suppressing freedom of speech. It only gets angry when its activism is impeded in some way.

Netanyahu is staking out a position firmly on the side of Meh, opposing most of the Knesset's efforts to expose the corruption of the left.

In the roundup, Right Side News needs help and is running its fundraiser to keep the site operational, donate or subscribe to its newsletter if you can. Anti-Jihadist Pulp Ark is looking to get out of Indonesia and needs some help too.

Via Religion of Peace, Hillary Clinton hopes Islam and the West can agree on tolerance. I give better odds on them coming to an agreement on forcing all women to wear hefty bags as a sign of respect for Muslim men.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she's hopeful that a religious tolerance agreement between the West and Islamic countries will end efforts to criminalize blasphemy that threaten freedom of expression.

Clinton said Friday in Turkey that an initiative by the U.S., the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference will promote religious freedom without compromising free speech.

Muslim countries are not interested in religious freedom. Islam doesn't do freedom of religion. It was built on depriving entire civilizations of their freedom of religion.

"President Obama defied a sluggish economy to collect a whopping $86 million for his re-election campaign and the Democratic Party in the past 3 months... .... Obama campaign manager ... called the early effort a "monumental achievement."

Those aren't donations. They're investments by the thieves who hope that a second term will let them and their friends finish robbing the country blind.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Glenn Beck warns against ‘vaporization of Israel’


In interview with 'Post' former-Fox News broadcaster promises Jerusalem mega-event in August will be bipartisan, not an anti-Obama rally.

The “vaporization of Israel” and the end of the Western way of life as we know it could be on the horizon, American broadcaster Glenn Beck warned in an interview with The Jerusalem Post in the capital’s David Citadel Hotel on Wednesday.

Beck came to Israel to prepare for “Restoring Courage,” his Jerusalem mega-event set for late next month. He also addressed the Knesset’s Diaspora Affairs Committee, toured Gush Etzion and Sderot, and met with hi-tech entrepreneurs and Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon. “[Christian Israel supporters] see tragedy coming down the pike unless we take a stand,” Beck said. “Many of us were asleep for a long time. There are Americans who still say it will never happen, and everything will work out because we are America. But I know Americans outside of Washington who know that’s not necessarily true – not unless you change that behavior. We are waking up to what could be on the horizon: and what could be on the horizon is the vaporization of Israel and the end of the Western way of life as we know it,” he continued.

Beck said the way to prevent such a tragedy was to stand together, be righteous and decent and protect one another. To that end, he is organizing three separate events in Jerusalem under the Restoring Courage banner.

One will be for American- Christians and will be viewed in hundreds of churches in the US.

Beck said the event is intended to “get the Christian community in America to wake up and start standing up [for Israel].”

Another event will be more political, featuring Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman, Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Herman Cain, and at least two other candidates whom Beck declined to reveal.

He said the event would be attended by more than 30 American national political figures, 70 international politicians and citizen delegations from 100 countries around the world, including Bahrain.

At Beck’s request, Americans will be getting together to watch the event, bringing Jews and Christians together.

More than 700 viewing parties have already been organized.

“If it’s just an event, we failed,” he said. “It’s a launch of a movement of decent, like-minded, freedom-loving peaceful people who know the answer won’t come from Washington or Copenhagen. It’s not going to come from our political leaders, but from the people. It’s a freedom movement, something the Tel Aviv hi-tech people and the most Orthodox in Jerusalem would understand and come together for.”

Beck vowed that the event would be bipartisan and would not develop into a rally against US president Barack Obama. Even though he is one of Obama’s fiercest critics, Beck makes a point of not criticizing the American administration when he’s abroad.

“Now that we’re a global community, this answer doesn’t seem to make sense because a lot of people here in Israel watch my program, but I don’t talk about the policies of my country outside my country,” he said.

“If you want to know my opinion of the policies of the president, you can go to YouTube and see what I said in New York, and will continue to say in New York. There won’t be politics in this event. There will be values, virtues and principles.”

The world leader whom will more likely be a central focus of speeches at the event will be Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Much like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Beck does not shy away from using Holocaust terminology when warning about Iran’s nuclearization.

Beck, who visited Auschwitz on his way to Israel for a documentary on Righteous Gentiles, says the world must learn from history.

“I was on the radio four years ago saying we’re passing all the exits,” he said.

“Soon it’s a cliff. You’ve got to turn the car around. Someone needs to find a solution. Come what may, will we be brave enough? I told Netanyahu when Bush was president, the Americans won’t do it. No one else is going to do it. Those [Iranian] people will build trains again [for the Jews]. [Ahmadinejad] said the Jews will burn in the fires of the Islamic fury. I think that’s pretty clear.”

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Israeli terror victims suing Bank of China for Hamas ties


Israel Law Center claims bank "aided, abetted terror" by providing wire transfers for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

A judge in the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled Friday that a lawsuit filed by a group of 84 Israeli terror victims against the Bank of China can proceed.

The plaintiffs, who include family members of victims of terrorist bombings and rocket attacks carried out by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas in 2006 and 2007, are claiming that the Bank of China facilitated the attacks by providing wire transfer services to both terror groups. The group lawsuit, known as the “Almaliakh action” after Emil Almaliakh, an Eilat resident killed in a suicide bombing in 2007, has been filed with the assistance of the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) and New York attorney Robert Tolchin.

Attorney Nitsana Darshan- Leitner of the Israel Law Center told The Jerusalem Post that Friday’s ruling is a “huge precedent” for Israeli victims of terror.

“Usually, US citizens have the right to file lawsuits in the US courts against terror organizations and organizations that sponsor terror,” said Leitner.

“In this suit, we made use of old laws that allow non-US citizens to also sue [in the US courts] in the case of terrorism.”

The US has designated both Islamic Jihad and Hamas as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” since 1997 and as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” since 2001. As such, both groups are subject to strict economic sanctions intended to prevent them from conducting banking activities which help them finance their attacks.

Those named in the lawsuit claim that the Bank of China aided and abetted Hamas and Islamic Jihad since 2003 by providing wire transfer services to operatives of the two groups via a bank account in China.

They allege that Hamas operatives received money to the account from Hamas’s headquarters in Syria and then transferred it to Gaza.

Between that date and January 2007, the Bank of China carried out dozens of wire transfers for the two terror organizations, totaling several million dollars.

Most of the transfers, which were initiated by the two organizations’ leaderships including in Iran and Syria, were made to a single account in Guangzhou, China, belonging to Said al-Shurafa, whom the plaintiffs claim is a senior operative and agent of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

According to information provided by the plaintiffs, Shurafa then transferred the funds from his account to the Islamic Jihad and Hamas coffers in the West Bank and Gaza “for the purpose of planning, preparing for and executing terrorist attacks.” The plaintiffs additionally claim that when officials of the counterterrorism division of the Prime Minister’s Office warned the Bank of China in April 2005 that the funds were being used to finance terror attacks, and asked that they prevent further transfers, the Bank of China ignored the request.

“The Bank of China responded that Hamas is not considered a terrorist organization in China,” added Darshan-Leitner.

The plaintiffs also claim that the Bank of China should have known the funds were being used illegally even before the Israeli government warning, because the transfers were made in cash, mostly in the range of $100,000, and withdrawn immediately.

The plaintiffs are suing the Bank of China because they claim that the bank’s assistance with the wire transfers is the proximate cause of their injuries.

According to Darshan-Leitner, the Bank of China argued aggressively in court for the immediate dismissal of the lawsuit.

Among the bank’s claims for dismissal was that the case should be tried in China, not the US.

However, Friday’s ruling overturned an attempt by the Bank of China to dismiss the suit, paving the way for the case to proceed to the discovery and trial stage.

In her report, Judge Barbara R. Kapnick of the New York District Supreme Court wrote that to dismiss the action in favor of it being tried in a Chinese court would “only increase the hardship” of the plaintiffs.

The next step for the Israeli plaintiffs will be to demand detailed information from the Bank of China.

“The Bank of China will now have to provide us with details of all bank transactions, basically everything that went through the accounts,” noted Darshan-Leitner.

She says that the Israel Law Center is confident that the plaintiffs can win the lawsuit.

“We have all the evidence that the money came from Syria and was transferred to Hamas,” she noted. “We will be able to convince the jury that the Bank of China aided and abetted terrorist organizations, that they were negligent and that they will have to compensate the victims.”

If the case is successful, Darshan- Leitner believes it will lead to similar suits from other Israeli victims of terror.

“It will open the door for other Israelis to file lawsuits in the US,” she concluded.

The next hearing in the case is set to be heard in the New York District Supreme Court on September 14.
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Arab League to seek full UN membership for Palestinians


Move is in addition to seeking recognition of Palestinian state with e. Jerusalem as its capital, draft statement says; no timeline for approaching UN indicated after Arab League meeting.

RAMALLAH - The Arab League will ask the United Nations to upgrade the Palestinians to full member status, a draft statement from a league meeting in Qatar said on Thursday.

"It was decided to go to the United Nations to request the recognition of the state of Palestine with east Jerusalem as its capital and to move ahead and request a full membership," said the communique, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. The statement did not provide a timeline, indicating the application would be made in time for the UN assembly in September. A Palestinian delegate said the Arab League had appointed a committee to determine dates.

Full member status would require approval in the Security Council, where the United States had said it would veto any such resolution.

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The Palestinians, who currently hold UN "observer" status, had previously pledged to seek UN endorsement in September for their claim of sovereignty in the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The move has gained momentum with the lack of progress in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The Arab League formally backed this plan in May.

But in the face of opposition in Jerusalem and a number of world powers who say only negotiations can solve the conflict, the Palestinians had previously signaled they might opt for a more limited upgrade to "non-member state" status, which requires only General Assembly approval.

Officials in Jerusalem had no immediate comment on Thursday's Arab League decision.

Palestinian analyst Talal Okal said the Arab League and Palestinians are aware of the obstacles they face, including a US veto, but have chosen to push forward because, with peace talks frozen, they see no other diplomatic solution.

"The Arab consensus means that there is disappointment over the American position, that the negotiations have reached a dead end and that we have entered a stage of political battle," Okal said.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Preferred Option: Israeli Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria

Yoel Meltzer

Nearly every time I suggest to someone that Israel needs to declare complete sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, I am bombarded with doubts and accusations - "Are you crazy, it can't be done!" "What will the world say?", "America will not allow us", "We'll be boycotted and perhaps attacked", "We'll lose the Jewish majority in Israel", etc, etc.

Although it's true that it's a complicated issue, my initial response to the valid concerns is to temporarily change the subject. Thus, rather than addressing each point I bring up the feasibility of the current two-state solution since as they say, "the best defense is a good offense". The conversation usually goes something like this: "After nearly twenty years of trying to reach an accord with the Arabs via all the various forms of more or less the same Oslo approach, a period that witnessed numerous Israeli "good-will gestures" as well as endless Palestinian terrorist attacks, do you honestly believe that further Israeli concessions and another Israeli retreat will actually lead to peace?" The answer is nearly always "no".

My next question is "If removing soldiers from Lebanon brought missiles to Haifa and dismantling Jewish communities in Gaza brought missiles to Beersheva, do you believe the Palestinians will act any differently if they are given a state of their own in Judea and Samaria?" Once again, the answer is nearly always "no".

My final question is "Do you believe that an Arab state in Judea and Samaria will pose a threat to the very existence of the remaining State of Israel?" Not surprisingly the answer is nearly always "yes".

At this point I usually stop the conversation to provide my "opponent" with a few moments to reflect on what was just said and to slowly digest the meaning of our brief discussion. Nearly always, these few sentences help to make it abundantly clear to my former detractor that a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria might very well lead to the eventual destruction of the State of Israel.

With this issue clarified I return to the original subject of declaring Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. I place everything on the table and openly admit to my former scoffer and now attentive listener that it is in fact a very complicated subject with many problems and issues that need to be worked out. I don't pretend for a second that it will be simple.

However, when it is clarified that we're talking about a choice between possible destruction and national suicide on the one hand or having to deal with intricate issues and difficult problems on the other hand, not surprisingly the latter suddenly becomes the preferred option.

After twenty years of Israel paying a heavy price for its failed attempts at reconciliation with the Arabs despite all its good intentions, the writing is on the wall: Israel simply cannot afford to continue going down the same path of retreat and withdrawal since eventually there will be nowhere left to run.

Yoel Meltzer is a freelance writer living in Jerusalem. His personal blog is

Page Printed from: at July 13, 2011 - 06:58:26 AM CDT

The Economic Case for Supporting Israel


America's enemies understand deeply and intuitively that no U.S. goals or resources in the Middle East are remotely as important as Israel. Why don't we?

Israel cruised through the recent global slump with scarcely a down quarter and no deficit or stimulus package. It is steadily increasing its global supremacy, behind only the U.S., in an array of leading-edge technologies. It is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments. During a period of water crises around the globe, Israel is incontestably the world leader in water recycling and desalinization. During an epoch when all the world's cities, from Seoul to New York, face a threat of terrorist rockets, Israel's newly battle-tested "Iron Dome" provides a unique answer based on original inventions in microchips that radically reduce the weight and cost of the interceptors.

Israel is also making major advances in longer-range missile defense, robotic warfare, and unmanned aerial vehicles that can stay aloft for days. In the face of a global campaign to boycott its goods, and an ever-ascendant shekel, it raised its exports 19.9% in 2010's fourth quarter and 27.3% in the first quarter of 2011.

Israelis supply Intel with many of its advanced microprocessors, from the Pentium and Sandbridge, to the Atom and Centrino. Israeli companies endow Cisco with new core router designs and real-time programmable network processors for its next-generation systems. They supply Apple with robust miniaturized solid state memory systems for its iPhones, iPods and iPads, and Microsoft with critical user interface designs for the OS7 product line and the Kinect gaming motion-sensor interface, the fastest rising consumer electronic product in history.

Vital to the U.S. economy and military capabilities, tiny Israel's unparalleled achievements in industry and intellect have conjured up the familiar anti-Semitic frenzies among all the economically and morally failed societies of the socialist and Islamist Third World, from Iran to Venezuela. They all imagine that by delegitimizing, demoralizing, defeating or even destroying Israel, they could take a major step toward bringing down the entire capitalist West.

To most sophisticated Westerners, the jihadist focus on Israel seems bizarre and counterproductive. But on the centrality of Israel the jihadists have it right.

U.S. policy is crippled by a preoccupation with the claimed grievances of the Palestinians and their supposed right to a state of their own in the West Bank and Gaza. But the Palestinian land could not have supported one-tenth as many Palestinians as it does today without the heroic works of reclamation and agricultural development by Jewish settlers beginning in the 1880s, when Arabs in Palestine numbered a few hundred thousand.

Actions have consequences. When the Palestinian Liberation Organization launched two murderous Intifadas within a little over a decade, responded to withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza by launching thousands of rockets on Israeli towns, spurned every sacrificial offer of "Land for Peace" from Oslo through Camp David, and reversed the huge economic gains fostered in the Palestinian territories between 1967 and 1990, the die was cast.

It's time to move on.

For the U.S., moving on means a sober recognition that Israel is not too large but too small. It boasts a booming economy still absorbing overseas investment and a substantial net inflow of immigrants. Yet it is cramped in a space the size of New Jersey, hemmed in by enemies on three sides, with 60,000 Hezbollah and Hamas rockets at the ready, and Iran lurking with nuclear ambitions and genocidal intent over the horizon.

Clearly, Israel needs every acre it now controls. Still, despite its huge technological advances, its survival continues to rely on peremptory policing of the West Bank, on an ever-advancing shield of antimissile technology, and on the unswerving commitment of the U.S.

But this is no one-way street. At a time of acute recession, debt overhang, suicidal energy policy and venture capitalists who hope to sustain the U.S. economy and defense with Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, U.S. defense and prosperity increasingly depend on the ever-growing economic and technological power of Israel.

If we stand together we can deter or defeat any foe. Failure, however, will doom the U.S. and its allies to a long war against ascendant jihadist barbarians, with demographics and nuclear weapons on their side, and no assurance of victory. We need Israel as much as it needs us.

Mr. Gilder is a founder of the Discovery Institute and author of "The Israel Test" (Richard Vigilante Books, 2009).

"Making Progress"

Arlene Kushner

For some time now I've been observing a slow move to the right -- to a nationalist position that defends our legitimate rights -- within the Israeli populace and within the Knesset. A bill that passed in the Knesset last night, after vigorous and lengthy debate, is evidence that this is so:

The "Boycott Bill" passed with 47 in favor and 38 opposed. This in spite of the fact that Ehud Barak's Independence party chose not to participate and that many members of Shas were attending a wedding. National Union, which is not part of the coalition, voted with it. Prime Minister Netanyahu did not participate in the vote (and declined to say why), but did not move to block the bill. Knesset speak Ruby Rivlin (Likud) supported it by bringing it into the plenum.

The hero of the day is Coalition Chair Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), who sponsored and actively promoted the bill.


The new law permits citizens of Israel to bring civil suits against persons and organizations that call for boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutions or regions under Israeli control. It also prevents the government from doing business with companies that initiate or comply with boycotts.

"This bill defends the State of Israel," said Elkins. "We have no right to ask our allies to do the same, if an Israeli citizen can do as he wishes.

"The law says that if you harm me [with a boycott], I have the right to ask for damages, and if you boycott the State of Israel, don't ask for benefits."


The bill was actually weakened when the clause that would have made boycotts a criminal offense was removed.

As it stands, it should -- in my opinion -- have been such a no-brainer (duhh!) as to have passed close to unanimously. Not unanimously, of course, as the Arab and far-left parties would not support this. But why did Barak's party, which is part of the coalition, refuse to support it? "because of fundamental problems the bill has in relation to freedom of speech."

Freedom of speech? A boycott? Said MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), "I will fight for my political rival's right to express his opinion with a boycott." Give me a break! Plesner maintained that this bill may be unconstitutional.

MK Yariv Levin (Likud) responded that Plesner was seeking a way to "sabotage the legislative process and sabotage the will of the majority." He pointed out, with regard to the charge that the bill may be unconstitutional, that Israel doesn't have a constitution. (There are Basic Laws.) The question of it being "unconstitutional" would be brought to the courts -- and would thus be an attempt to use the courts to subvert a Knesset vote.


Bulletin: We knew it was coming, but it certainly didn't take long: The very leftist Gush Shalom has just filed a petition with the High Court regarding this law.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will defend it. Apparently before the bill was brought before the Knesset, the Ministry of Justice made adjustments in its wording to help ensure its legality. I will not belabor the finer points here now.

This will be a long drawn out procedure and represents a most serious issue here in Israel -- the possibility of a left-leaning court over-riding legislation passed by a centrist-rightist majority within the Knesset.

MK Levin, now thoroughly enraged, says, "The High Court has no authority to disqualify laws. This whole procedure is an anti-democratic step initiated by a minority that has failed the true public test – the test of elections."


Israel is now headed toward a confrontation with Lebanon (Hezbollah) with regard to the maritime border between the two countries.

Because they are technically at war, a maritime border has never been agreed upon between Israel and Lebanon. A maritime border had been agreed upon between Israel and Cyprus last year, and in 2007 Lebanon concluded an agreement with Cyprus. Now Lebanon has submitted to the UN a line to the south of what Lebanon itself had agreed upon with Cyprus, and that additionally contradicts what Israel and Cyprus had agreed upon.

Israel is currently moving to submit to the UN a map indicating the demarcation of its northern maritime border with Lebanon. Action is necessary because according to maritime law, if one country makes a claim and it is not countered, that silence is considered acquiescence.

Israel's goal is to establish a boundary according to international maritime law; Israel's proposed line was drawn up with the help of international legal experts.

Israel has made it clear that her rights will be defended. Lebanon has made similar declarations.


What's at stake here, of course, is access to areas that may contain lucrative gas fields. The major finds, the Leviathan and Tamar, are well south of the disputed area, but there may be other fields as yet undiscovered.

Back in January, Netanyahu anticipated the possibility that Israel's off shore gas fields would become a "strategic objective that Israel's enemies will try to undermine."

But there is another potential issue as well: Hezbollah needs to maintain an issue that can be used to justify conflict with Israel.

In a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs briefing on the issue, Jaques Neria has written:

"Hezbollah already boasts an amphibious warfare unit trained in underwater sabotage and coastal infiltration. Its ability to target shipping -- and possibly offshore oil and gas platforms -- was exposed in the war with Israel in 2006..."

It is almost a certainty that Lebanon would be held responsible for Hezbollah actions, as Hezbollah is part of the government at present.


For the record, Haaretz came out with a report, which I'm seeing cited elsewhere now, that Obama supported the Lebanese position on maritime borders. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Lieberman, and Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon have all explicitly stated that this is not the case.

This is Caroline Glick's version of matters, in "The Path to the next Lebanon war":

"...guided by its appeasement ideology, the Obama administration has refused to take sides. It urged Israel to submit its counter-claim to the UN – where it can bully Israel into accepting arbitration of the dispute by the inherently anti-Israel UN.

"More generally, by refusing to take sides, the US is in fact siding with its enemy Iran and Iran’s proxy Hezbollah against its ally Israel.

"According to media reports, the Obama administration claims that by acting in this manner, it is seeking to prevent a flare-up of hostilities. That is, the administration believes that if it shows Hezbollah its good will by treating Israel’s honest claim as equal to Lebanon/Hezbollah/Iran’s false claim, it will appease the latter into not waging a war of aggression against the former."

Once again, and ever more, it is essential for our government to stand strong, most especially in the face of Obama's appeasement.


OK. Let me turn here to the subject of Glenn Beck -- conservative American political commentator, and radio host, whose rise to fame came via his Fox News show, cancelled last month. I was present yesterday when Beck addressed the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, chaired by MK Danny Danon (Likud).

In many quarters on the right, Beck is considered the best thing to have happened to Israel since falafel. Unquestionably, in a media climate that oozes anti-Israel bias, Beck's whole-hearted -- and, he says, unconditional -- support for Israel is greatly welcome. He should be treated by us with the utmost in hospitality and cordiality.

I would suggest, however, that a level-headed approach to what he says is in order, and that adulation is not.

By way of example: Beck made an allusion yesterday to having been inspired by Ruth in the Bible. And shortly thereafter material came into my in-box with the subject line regarding Beck: "Your God is my God," which were Ruth's words. But Ruth is considered the quintessential convert. When she said it, she meant it literally. Beck, on the other hand, is Mormon, and last I heard he's not converting. Nor am I suggesting he should. What I am suggesting is that enthusiasm for what he says be just slightly tempered.


Beck delivered a good message yesterday. In brief, he said that in fighting for Israel we must "think out of the box," by simply telling the truth. This is not what the media do -- the media tell people what they want to hear, or what they think they're supposed to be saying (or, I will add, what suits their political agenda). We need to stop playing that game.

What is more, he says, it's possible to move past the traditional media sources today via the Internet -- going directly to the people.

All of this resonates most positively with me, as my readers will understand.


In the course of speaking, however, he mentioned that when he sees people on the street here, he doesn't notice if they're Israeli or Palestinian. Actually, he doesn't know many Palestinians or Israelis, but it doesn't matter, because people are people and they're the same everywhere. It's the leaders who foment trouble -- the Arab leaders who seek to destroy Israel (and he's straight on that score!). But the people, they just want to live their lives, and raise their children.

And that, my friends, is where he lost me. That's a left wing, politically correct position. And it's a very erroneous one. All people are most assuredly not the same.

Either Beck said this because he "doesn't get it," as one journalist wrote. Or, as others have suggested, he was simply trying to be "non-political" in his stance. But if this is the case, then he's failing to take his own advice about telling the truth.


Various members of the Knesset who sit on the Committee had their opportunity to speak. MK Arieh Eldad (National Union) was the only one to take on what Beck said regarding all people being the same. Eldad, who served as a physician and burn specialist before turning to politics, told two stories. I share one, in which he was particularly involved. Many of us have heard it before, but it makes the point beautifully.

Some years ago, a woman in Gaza was badly burned by her own family for some infraction that compromised the family honor. She was brought to Soroka hospital and there Jewish doctors saved her life -- without thought to the fact that she was an Arab. She returned to Gaza, but had to come back to the hospital every so often for follow-up. Having been back and forth several times, she assumed she could move past the security check easily. But she was stopped, and was found to be wearing a belt with explosives. She was intent on going into the hospital and blowing up the very doctors who had saved her life. Why? Her family told her that this is how she could redeem herself and the family honor. She'd be dead, but she'd be "forgiven."

All people are not the same.


Beck's other message, which is welcome, is that Israel is not alone.

By way of proving this, he's coming back to Israel on August 24, leading a mission called "Restoring Courage." The event is scheduled to be held at the Davidson Center -- an archeological site at the south wall of the Temple Mount. He's bringing people from the left and from the right who represent a host of countries. Political figures will be coming -- including presidential candidates.

Additionally, there will be 700 remote-viewing centers set up, so people can see what's happening in Jerusalem. People will be encouraged to reach out to each other and join together to watch.


Well, it looks as if the "peace process," which has been sustained for some time on life support equipment, may be taking its last gasp. The Quartet has met but was unable to come up with a plan to bring the parties back to the table. Are we surprised?

The members of the Quartet themselves were so at odds as to how to proceed that they could not come up with a statement at the end of their meeting. Needless to say, these differences merely reflect the huge differences between the positions of the PLO and Israel.

See more:


At long last, an article that tells you what I, having consulted with legal authorities, have been telling you for some time now:

Writing in Haaretz, Yonaton Touval says:
"...amid growing confusion over how the international community should respond to the Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition, it is high time to dispel some basic misconceptions about September.

"...the UN will not vote on recognition of a Palestinian state. The reason is simple: It can't. According to international law, only states can recognize other states. The UN, by contrast, is an international organization and is therefore not mandated to grant official recognition to states."

Touval explains precisely how confused the situation is, and then advises:

"The international community should do its utmost to spare the Palestinians an awkward (and potentially explosive ) letdown at the UN this September."

The entire article is well worth a read:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time is on whose side?


Immediate return to the negotiating table is in the Palestinians’ interest.

The secular Palestinian national movement is at a crossroad. Since 2000, it has rejected three proposals of territorial compromise, thinking that a better offer will be forthcoming. The Palestinians believe time is on their side; that demographic trends, western strategic considerations, and the collective economic power of the Arab world will force Israel to yield to their demands. Recent developments prove the folly of these assumptions. Talk of the Arab birthrate has fueled the adage that Israel cannot hold on to the territories and remain a Jewish and democratic state. We have been told since the 1970s that Arabs would constitute a majority between the sea and the Jordan River by 2000, 2010, and so on. These predictions rested on the Orientalist assumption that Arabs would not undergo the transformation that took place in other societies, in which the birthrate and family size declined following modernization and urbanization. Recent demographic studies contradict the demographic timebomb thesis. Arab birth rates are declining sharply, whereas Jewish ones are on the rise. Moreover, the withdrawal from Gaza means that if Israel established sovereignty over the entire West Bank and enfranchised all its residents, Arabs would constitute only about 30 percent of the newly formed body politic; hardly the demographic juggernaut envisioned by the Palestinians and their supporters.

THE PALESTINIANS believe that the popularity of their cause in the Arab street will translate into international support and pressure on Israel by nations seeking to win friends in the Arab world. And, for a while, it worked. The EU and the Obama administration tried to force Israel’s hand.

But the current Israeli government, backed by strong public support, successfully resisted the pressure for unilateral concessions.

At the same time, popular uprisings in Arab countries, which were initially embraced in the West, have thrown those nations into chaos. It is now clearer than ever that Israel is the only reliable western ally in the region. This reality has dawned even on Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has traded his theatrical anti-Israeli diatribes for low-key negotiations and symbolic gestures of friendship, like the recent visit by cadets of the Turkish army to Israel. Palestinian intransigence, not Israel, has turned out to be the strategic liability.

Finally, the Palestinians believe that economic coercion will bring Israel to its knees. From the 1945 Arab League boycott of “Jewish products and manufactured goods,” through the oil embargoes of the 1970s, to the modern BDS (Boycott Divest Sanction) movement, Palestinians and their allies see Israel as a resource-poor, vulnerable state that can be browbeaten into making suicidal concessions. Israel, meanwhile, has prospered, and its economy has proven to be surprisingly resilient, even during the current global downturn. Moreover, recent discoveries of large deposits of natural gas off its coast will shortly turn it into a significant energy exporter. Surely, Europeans would prefer getting at least some of their gas from reliable modern Israel rather than continue their current total dependence on Putin’s Russia.

The Palestinians and their allies refuse to face these realities. They eschew negotiations for symbolic gestures that do little to bring them closer to self-determination.

While they add more days of defeat to their nationalist calendar and celebrate greater numbers of meaningless UN resolutions, Zionists continue to establish facts on the ground. The Palestinians, I hope, will recognize the folly of their strategy and return to the negotiating table.

The longer they wait, the less they’ll get.

The writer is a history professor at Fordham University and a playwright. Habima is producing his play, Peace Warriors, in its forthcoming season.

What role for the media in the fight against anti-Semitism?

EJU News

The numerous (social) media platforms provide new means to spread anti-Semitism and with it, also new means to fight the phenomenon.

The European Jewish Press Second Conference on Jewish media in Europe, which took place on June 20 in Brussels, has gathered many key figures and specialists from the media, government officials, leaders of Jewish organizations, EJU representatives, EU institutions and NGOs who exchanged views on this crucial issue for the future of Jews in Europe. The conference was opened by Hannah Rosenthal, the US Special Envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. The media has a strong influence on people’s way of thoughts, explained Rosenthal. "Today everyone has access to the media, over three quarter American adults use the internet, over 570 million people are using Facebook and television is still the strongest means of communication. People follow bloggers and twitters that incite to anti-Semitism," she stressed.

The social media, she said, is just one new means of anti-Semitism with the increase in traditional anti-Semitism. More and more leading figures deny the Holocaust. She also cited other forms of anti-Semitism, such as Holocaust glorification, Holocaust revisionism, nationalism, hatred of the collective Jews and certain forms of criticism of the State of Israel.

She pointed out that there must be some sort of an "obsession" with the state of Israel, mentioning that Israel was condemned 444 times in the United Nations as opposed to 5 condemnations against Sudan and 8 against North Korea.

Rosenthal believes that in order to fight hatred we need to reach out and encourage non Jews to condemn anti-Semitism incidents and vice versa.

To encourage such action, she uses herself the social media and has started a virtual campaign on Facebook and Twitter. This campaign calls on young people to volunteer one hour and serve a community different than their own. Over 10,000 hours have already been pledge.

But Julien Klener, President of the Jewish Consistoire in Belgium, considers speaking with people about tolerance as rather "naïve." Calling himself a "pessimistic", he said that the Jewish communities and organizations have tried to fight anti-Semitism but without success.

"Countries can preserve Jewish cemeteries and restore synagogues but the Jews are no longer there to use it,” he stressed.

Mia Doornaert, an adviser to Belgium’s Prime Minister and a former journalist , explained that preaching for dialogue between people with different ideologies is "useless." "If we want to try to fight hatred, we must be careful about language, we should not use terms such as Islamophobia as people have the right to be anti religion but not against people."

Shimon Samuels, director for international relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Paris, advocated the creation of a charter against anti-Semitism in the media, especially to fight the new forms of the phenomenon.

"Why do the Jews stand today alone," was the question raised by Haim Musicant, director general of CRIF, the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in France.

He explained that today in France only the Jews protest against anti-Semitism in demonstrations. Despite the fact that there are many anti-Semitic incidents, the French media report few of them.

"The French law against anti-Semitism is very efficient and he Jewish media is very important in the fight against anti-Semitism, but it needs the assistance of non Jewish organizations to stand with them," he said, noting also that Jews in France are more and more identified with the Israelis and Jews are said to be responsible for what Israel is doing.

As an Israeli journalist, Boaz Bismuth, foreign affairs editor of Israel Hayom newspaper, insisted that hatred speech against Jews is easy as it is linked to hatred against Israel, the Jewish state. "Unfortunately, today journalism is about being in the fashion not about honesty," he deplored. "Journalists don’t let facts ruin their story."

"The only way to change this is to report with them and try to influence from within the news outlets," said Sarah Ehrlich, a former freelance BBC correspondent in Israel.

"We will never win the battle against anti-Semitism, said Nicolas Zomersztajn, chief editor of Regards, a Jewish magazine in Brussels. For him, the Jewish press should not only deal with anti-Semitism but with the other many aspects of Jewish life as well.

During this conference EJU representatives discussed with colleagues possible ways of co-operation with European Jewish media and organizations.

The use of media and Jewish organizations

As today young people learn more from blogs than from newspapers, Maurice Sosnowski, President of CCOJB, the Jewish Community in Belgium, believes that it’s very important to monitor the media and stop incitement to anti-Semitism.

Mark Gardner, director of communication at the London’s Community Security Trust, sees a media confusion with anti-Semitism. If you change the word Jew with Black, "people see something racist." "The problem is that people associate anti-Semitism with the Holocaust which is a part of history long gone and therefore anti-Semitism is history as well."

The media, says Gardner, need to educate about anti-Semitism while keeping the balance not to scare the Jews to express themselves.

The CST publishes once a year a report on anti-Semitism which received strong media coverage, if there is an increase in anti-Semitism.

A German member of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, who heads the EU-US Committee, fears that regardless of the values and numerous laws, people still need to fight for their religious rights and combat anti-Semitism. "With Jews Europe has special responsibility due to its dark history," he said.

Other speakers at the conference included Israel’s ambassador to the EU, Ran Curiel, William Echikson, spokesperson for Google Europe and Henri Nickels, program manager research at the Vienna-based European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Vienna (FRA) which provides expertise to EU institutions and member states on fundamental rights.

The agency conducts research on anti-Semitism, collects data, analyze it and highlight where initiatives can be taken to combat anti-Semitism.

At the end of the conference, Yossi Lempkowicz, director and chief editor of European Jewish Press, announced the creation of an European Association of Jewish Journalists under EJP umbrella. Its members would share content, ideas and cooperate with non-Jewish media outlets and other professional associations.

EJU expresses sincere gratitude to all organizers and people who made this conference possible.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Population trends in Jerusalem, first installment

yaacov lozowick

I’ve been looking into the matter of how many people live in Jerusalem and what it all might mean. It turns out to be a complex but (to my mind) fascinating subject, with various interesting implications. Here’s the first installment of a draft chapter; the second will come soon.

Demography of Contemporary Jerusalem: First Partial Draft

At the end of 2009 there were 773,000 people living in Jerusalem. 64.3% were Jews and 35.7% were Arabs (source: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Online Statistical Yearbook, 2011,here: table III/1).

Any recounting of Jerusalem’s story will inevitably be confounded by conflicting narratives and opposing political needs. Prior to the 20th century, even the relatively dry matter of demography is murky. Archeological remains indicate that the city destroyed by the Romans was larger than it ever was again until the early 20th Century. But who lived in town a century or three into the Muslim reign? Mostly Muslims? Mostly Christians? Who knows? How many people lived there in the 15th century? In the 18th? The European ability to build large churches in the 19th century without displacing anyone testifies to the tiny population of the day; there are essentially no spare inches to build on within the walls today. Sometime in the 19th century the Jews became a majority, but was this in 1837? 1895? In between? There is no universally accepted answer. In 1922 the British made the first-ever systematic census. They found 62,500 residents, of whom 54.3% were Jews and 45.7% Arabs. In 1946, the last year with reliable data before the war of 1947-48, there were 164,400 people, 60.3% of whom were Jews and 39.7% Arabs. The populace had more than tripled in a quarter of a century. Some of this was the result of immigration, some the attraction of the seat of government. The British were the first ever rulers of the city who needed administrative definitions to determine the perimeters of the town. Previously it had always been obvious: either city had physical walls, or it had natural edges. With the advent of motorized travel it became necessary to determine if a settlement on a nearby hill was part of town (Jewish Talpiot, say, or Arab Sheikh Badr), or if it was out of town and not to be counted in the demographic jostling (Jewish Bayit Vagan or Arab Malcha). In other words, the British numbers of 1922 were objectively clear; the British numbers of 1946 reflected administrative manipulation. After 1967 such manipulation would become a crucial part of the story.

The war of 1948 was bad for Jerusalem, not only because of the hostile border through it. Battered by siege and war during the hostilities, and surrounded by hostile territory on three sides and with no religious or tourist value after the war, as many as 30,000 of the city’s 100,000 Jews left, many for the Tel Aviv metropolis. (source: Maya Choshen in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, eds, Forty Years in Jerusalem 1967-2007, Hebrew, page 17. Online version here)[1]. The situation in the Jordanian East was even worse. Many Arabs had lived in what was now the Israeli part of town, and almost all had left or been ejected. (About 1,300 remained). The Jordanian occupiers purposefully discriminated against Jerusalem in favor of Amman, and its population stagnated (source: Rubinstein in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, ibid, p. 471-73).[2] After 1950 the Israelis invested considerably in their half, but the Jordanians mostly didn’t, except in symbolic matters such as restoring the golden dome on Omar’s Mosque.

After the Six Day War Israel controlled the entire city. There were 197,700 Jews there –and how many Arabs? In what had already been Israeli territory there were a few thousand. Since Israel intended to annex the eastern part of the city it had to define new city limits [this story will be told elsewhere]; within these new lines there were now 68,600 Arabs. Most of them lived in some 30 villages north, east and south of town, and had heretofore not regarded themselves as living in Jerusalem.

From the summer of 1967 Israel’s policy was to preserve a demographic ratio of 3-1 between Jerusalem’s Jews and its Arabs. This has failed, and by 2020 the ratio may be approaching 3-2 (source: Della Pergolla in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, ibid, page 43ff).[3] The story of these developments offer many insights into the reality of life in Jerusalem under Israeli rule, and the different dynamics that inform them.

Birthrates: In the chart below[4] the tan line represents the Arab birthrate (per 1,000 people), and the Jewish one is in lilac. The Jewish birthrate has remained remarkably stable, although the groups giving birth have changed. The large families of Mizrachi Jews are a thing of the past, while the Haredi birthrate has risen. The Arab birthrate fell steeply in the first 20 years of Israeli rule, then rose during the 1st Intifada, in what may have been a communal political decision.

In 2007-8 the gap between the birthrates narrowed further[5] (online source here).

Mortality rates[6] (deaths per 1000).

In 1967 there was a high rate of infant mortality among the Arabs of East Jerusalem, which has been decreasing ever since because of their exposure to Israeli medicine; this exposure has also reduced the mortality rates among the adult Arab population, to the extent that it is now lower even than amongst the population of all Israel’s Arab citizens: there are more hospitals in urban Jerusalem than in some rural Arab areas in the Galilee and the Negev. The mortality rate among Jerusalem’s Jews is also trending ever lower, but because the median age of Jews in Jerusalem is higher than of Arabs, the mortality rate among Jews is also higher.

A higher Arab birthrate and a lower mortality rate, both the direct result of the improvement of living under Israeli rule, go quite a way towards explaining why the Arab population is growing faster than the Jewish one. The next factors, however, are more interesting.

[1] Maya Choshen, “Trends of Change in Jerusalem’s population”, in Ora Achimeir & Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov, eds, Forty Years in Jerusalem, 1967-2007 (Hebrew), Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Jerusalem, 2008, page 17.

[2] Danny Rubenstein, “Unification of the City and Unanswered Questions” (Hebrew) in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, ibid, pp.471-ff.

[3] Sergio Della Pergolla, “Demography, Planning and Policy, 2000-2020”, in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, ibid, p43ff.

[4] Choshen in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, p.13.

[5] Maya Choshen, Michal Korach, Jerusalem: “Facts and Trends, 2009/2010″, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Jerusalem, 2010, p.14.

[6] Choshen in Achimeir & Bar-Siman-Tov, ibid, p15

Unprofessional Professor

My Right Word

In the New York Review of Books, that bastion of liberal progressivism and intellectualized book reviews, David Shulman - the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an activist in Ta’ayush and someone I've noted previously - starts off his piece on Jerusalem, Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem, with that smug phrase "everyone knows" when actually, no one really does. Here:

One of the oddities of life in Jerusalem is that everyone knows where the future border will run between the Palestinian East and the Israeli West—despite the tiresome insistence of the Israeli government that the city will never again be divided. For example, north of the Old City the line will correspond more or less to what is now called Road Number One, a four-lane road that runs roughly north to south until it reaches the Walls of the Old City, where it turns sharply west just before the Damascus Gate. I drive this road several times a week on the way up to my office at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, and the dividing line between Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods couldn’t be more clear. On the left side of the road, heading north, are the ultra-orthodox neighborhoods Me’a Shearim and Beit Yisra’el; across the street, on the right side of the road, is the well-known Palestinian neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah and the principal Palestinian shopping street, Salah ed-Din.

As anyone can tell you, Shulman's borders are ridiculous. If Road Number One becomes a border, which it won't, no more Hebrew University or Hadassah Hospital.

Commenting on the ugly shouts by a few dozen hooligans, he concludes:

...sadly, it looks very much as if the current wave of racist hysteria is only gaining strength in Israel. Moreover, as is usually the case with modern nationalism, the political center and the more moderate right show no signs of attempting to hold back the tide [that is a lie]. Indeed, a number of members of the government, which is in any case dominated by settler parties, regularly contribute to the inflammatory rhetoric. What’s left of the old Israeli left is fragmented, diminished, and politically ineffectual.

He even assumes that

Something quite new is under way in Palestine...

And even purports that:

A Mediterranean variant of Gandhian-style mass protest has by now taken root among Palestinian communities in several parts of the West Bank: Ma’asara, Nabi Saleh, Dir Kadis, Na’alin, and Bil’in, to mention only a few. There is by now a clear awareness among many that non-violent resistance is far more likely to be effective against the Israeli occupation than violence; and these days the humane principles of Gandhi and Martin Luther King are frequently and clearly articulated in Arabic by grass-roots Palestinian leaders.


Non-violent resistance is also the official policy of the Palestinian government in Ramallah.

But backtracks quickly:

No one would claim that all Palestinian factions have renounced violence, but spokesmen for the government in Ramallah have argued, with some justice, that the recent Fatah-Hamas rapprochement reflects a recognition by Hamas that they have failed and that the non-violent strategy of the moderates is working.

And sums up:

Here, then, is the other future for Jerusalem, the alternative to the settlers’ program. On one side, we have a violent, mystically charged racism with its vision of brute domination of one people by another, and of an endgame of perpetual disenfranchisement and dispossession. On the other side, we have the prospect of a free Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem, the end of the Occupation, and the realistic hope of an agreement based on compromise and mutuality, an agreement whose details are by now common knowledge and broadly acceptable to a majority on both sides of the Green Line (it is one of the paradoxes of Israeli politics that Israelis consistently elect governments far to the right of their own positions, while polls continue to show that about two-thirds of Israelis support an agreement along the lines everyone knows are feasible). You’d think it would be an easy choice.

You'd think a professor was more intelligent and more ethical in his political commentary. At least more professional.

America's Floating Jews

James Lewis

There's a German word used by European Jews after the Holocaust, called "Luftmensch." It means something like "space cadet." I never quite got it 'til now. But if you look at the paintings of Marc Chagall you see the little village people from the Shtetls of Eastern Europe and Russia, floating in midair.

Why good artists do what they do, and why it moves their audiences' hearts is anybody's guess, and I don't claim to know the answer. Marc Chagall's people are dead, of course. They are the traditional Jews who lived the way they have done for centuries, until that booted Nazi war machine decided to crush them. Maybe they are floating angels, or maybe they are the people Chagall saw as a child. Maybe they are his magical effort to bring them back. One thing we know medically is that people who suffer very great traumas are often "dissociated" --- which means a lot of different things. It could mean what we experience in hypnosis when one hand rises up at the hypnotist's command, and we have a sense that our hand is no longer in our own control. It seems to be happening to us, in a mysterious way. About a quarter of the normal population -- that's you and me, folks -- are highly hypnotizable. So it could happen to, oh, about 75 million Americans out of a population of 300 million plus.

It's the best explanation of Obama voters I can imagine. Two years ago liberals were caught up in some strange, self-absorbed dream under the 24/7 onslaught of the industrialized mob media. Many people don't have a way of resisting media propaganda. They just go into a dream, like the Beatles in the Lucy song. They are natural mob followers.

Dissociative states are a dime a dozen. They happen all the time. It can happen after a minor car accident, or after the loss of a loved one. If you can turn off the pain of a dental drill by listening to your favorite songs, you're doing it.

But when a whole population is deeply traumatized by war or disaster, or just by psychotic propaganda line like North Koreans are getting every hour of the waking day, millions of people become much more severely dissociated. They may feel as if they are floating in an unreal reality. Sometimes they lose a grounded sense of self. Sometimes they flip the aggressor with victims, like the Stockholm Syndrome. Sometimes they get severe personality disorders.

My guess is that Chagall's floating Shetl paintings reflect his own sense of unreality after the Holocaust. Children need to know where they are and who they are. They figure it out from Mom and Dad and the other kids. They take their comfort blanket along. Toddlers take in their own neighborhoods in amazing detail, more than adults ever do. Adults just take that boring stop sign on the corner for granted. For your toddler it's the first stop sign in human history, and it's a thing of wonder and beauty. It marks the neighborhood as their own.

Take away those cardinal points of the human compass, and we float. That's what happens in total wars and genocides. It is what we have allowed to happen in our inner cities, where gang warfare rules the streets. Liberal mayors have gotten elected for decades by demagoguing away the violence, despair, and drug plagues in their own inner cities, and paying off people locked into those places to vote Democrat -- because liberalism makes their lives so much better, you see.

Then every now and then, somebody comes along and tells the truth to a whole group of dreamers, and it's an amazing thing. I think Hermann Cain has a good chance of being that person in the next election. I know Governor Palin and Rep. Michelle Bachmann are waker-uppers to millions of tuned-out Americans. That's why those candidates might have a huge impact, not just in normal politics, but as a healing experience for America. They are what Obama could only wish to be, because Obama always exploits sucker fantasies. He never wakes people up, just tells them to go back to sleep and Uncle Guvt will take care of everything.

A Gallup Poll this week claims that 60% of American Jews "approve of the job Obama is doing."

Now remember, this is a couple of months after Obama told Mubarak to resign, in the biggest, most brutal act of in-your-face imperialism any American president has performed since the Stalin years. This was not private advice to an old friend. This was a brutal, shaming, public attack on an ally who had kept the peace between Egypt and Israel for 30 years.

And nobody in America got what Obama was doing. Except maybe a few conservatives and foreign policy nerds.

After Obama brutally kicked away the biggest pillar of Arab stability from Morocco to Bahrain, naturally all those other rickety regimes started to totter. They are still doing it, and nobody knows if the Muslim Brothers will end up brutalizing the people of Egypt, like Khomeini and his nuke-happy cult of thugs have done for the last 30 years in Iran. Turkey is already under the control of a Moo Bro group. Radicalism is on the goose-stepping march all over the Middle East, and very few people seem to get it. Are they waiting for that Iranian nuke to explode before they panic? Or are they so fantasy-prone, so hypnotized, so PC-whipped that they will never get it?

Enter Prof. Ruth Wisse, truth-teller. The Jerusalem Post has an article on Prof. Wisse, who miraculously survives at Harvard University, hardly the sanest place on earth by any means. Harvard is full of Luftmenschen, the ghostly denizens of never-neverland. (They are the ones who are convinced that normal Americans are idiots.)

Prof. Wisse has some words about the "peace flotilla" that was organized by Obama's good buds Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin at Code Pink, holding hands with Hamas and the Turkish Moos. She calls it the "Kill the Jews Flotilla." By gum. A ray of sunshine penetrates the media fog.

Dr. Wisse also says:

The purpose of the flotilla is to discredit the Israeli attempt to protect itself and to give Hamas a free hand amassing weapons to use against Israeli civilians. It should be called what it is: a 'kill-the-Jews flotilla. If it is called by its proper name, then it will be recognized for what it is.

Which is pretty obvious if you look at the facts, and manage to ignore the wall-to-wall lies streamed to you, courtesy of the NYT and the WAPO.

Wisse points out another obvious fact, that Israel is the "fighting front line of what we used to call Western civilization, of the democratic free world. The main force of anti-Semitism today is coming from the Arab and Muslim communities and leaders. They are the ones who are using this most actively, spreading it through the world in whatever form possible for their own political purposes" world in whatever form possible for their own political purposes."

... As long as the Arab world uses Israel as a convenient excuse for not looking inward, for not undergoing its own reformation, for not undertaking its own improvements, those countries cannot improve.

This is not a war between two entities over a piece of land, as it's sometimes cast, and it's not a normal war in terms of two parties who are actually clashing against one another with competing interests. This is a completely unilateral assault - and a very lop-sided assault. I don't think there has ever been as lop-sided a war in human history as the war currently being waged - meaning the last 60-odd years by the Arab world against Israel.

People think it's pessimistic to expect the Arab world to change for the better[.] ... They would think that it is more optimistic to hold Israel responsible. We all think that it's easy to persuade the Jews of anything."

Which brings me back to those slack-jawed, dope smoking, mind-addled fellow Americans, not only the Jews, but especially the Jews (and Christians) because they should know better.

It's obvious that they are either

(a) helpless victims of Leftist indoctrination

(b) too cowardly and gutless to protest their Messiah, The One, Barack Obamajad the Savior.

(c) ignorant of their own history and values

(d) or -- I hope -- they just lied to the Gallup pollsters.

But I don't think so.

I think that for decades, Americans, including Jews, have put up with third rate demagogues instead of leaders. That is true at the national political level, it is true in the liberal Churches -- which are all betraying their own histories, every single one -- and it is true among American Jews. If Herman Cain gets his say, that new conviction might even spread among American blacks, liberalism's biggest victims.

Marc Chagall was right. The question is if his Luftmensch metaphor applies to contemporary Jews and liberal Christians, as well as the victims of a previous generation of totalitarian aggressors. Those people are no longer with us, and a certain Ahmadinejad in Iran will not let a day go by without threatening the 7 million Jews in Israel with another Holocaust.

Obama pretends that Ahmadinejad doesn't exist. All of his brainless followers imitate his every move, like Michael Jackson moondancers. But this isn't a conga line. This is serious.

Leadership can make a big difference, and the kind of leaders we need today are Abraham Lincoln, Golda Meir, Winston Churchill, David Ben Gurion. We need truth tellers, not phonies.

Fire all the others, say I.

This is not a time for pushovers and cowards.

Page Printed from: at July 10, 2011 - 10:47:22 PM CDT

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Say ‘yes’ to patriotic law

Op-ed: Yoaz Hendel says bill that calls for punishing settlement boycotters the right move

Yoaz Hendel
Published: 07.10.11 Israel Opinion

Is there really a need to explain why the State of Israel is supposed to object to those who call for a boycott against it? Is there a need to explain why a democracy must not support or subsidize bodies that call for a domestic boycott?

As opposed to the professional doomsday visionaries in the State of Israel, I’m a great believer in our democracy. While some inherent problems and failures exist, the basis is firm. And this is where the whole argument lies. Those who believe in the system also believe that it can be maintained and improved when bugs are discovered. Those who only see great abysses and slippery slopes hold on to the old ways even when they’re problematic. The bill against imposing boycotts that will be brought before the Knesset this week partly contends with a unique absurd in the democratic realm: Bodies and institutions that receive financial support from the State of Israel, while at the same time work independently in a bid to boycott it.

As opposed to the claims of objectors to the bill, there is no political dispute in this story. There are no partial boycotts with geographical boundaries, green lines and parties. There is only a decision by a sovereign state, and on the other end a handful of people who wish to work against it via provocative boycotts.

Fascism and McCarthyism?

Those who claim that resorting to boycotts and protests is legitimate in a democratic state are correct. However, the democratic legitimacy does not entitle such acts to be funded by taxpayers’ money.

As of late there is a feeling that our democracy is not allowed to work against those who smear the State of Israel; that is, a small group that crowned itself as the champions of democracy and freedom of expression responds crudely – and at times dramatically – every time questions are raised or a patriotic amendment to the law is proposed.

Those who listen to the objectors may wrongly think that a democracy is only expected to encourage those who oppose it and call for boycotting or annihilating it. And what about a law in favor of the State? Heaven forbid; a threat to our existence. The code words are fascism and McCarthyism. Yet every time someone dares argue that the emperor has no clothes, we hear the tired clichés and slogans - and all in the name of democracy.

One can object to patriotic bills, yet when it comes from the same people, on a regular basis, you should ask yourself: Where is the silencing here?

The never-ending claims scandal

Isi Leibler
July 10, 2011

This week the Conference on Material Claims against Germany (Claims Conference) is convening its annual board meeting in New York.

The agenda has already been circulated. Yet most of the 60 well-intentioned directors, whose principal involvement with the conference involves attending annual meetings, will have difficulty comprehending the complex and confusing data presented to them. As they have for over 40 years, the majority are likely to continue acting as a rubber stamp, automatically endorsing resolutions and allocations recommended by the small innermanagement clique. t is evident that the burning issues raised last year remain unresolved, and in many cases were not even seriously considered. Directors are thus unlikely to gain further insight into who was responsible for the lack of oversight that facilitated the greatest fraud ever inflicted on a Jewish charitable organization.

The theft, first disclosed in February 2010 as a $350,000 swindle, had risen by July to $7 million. In November, the amount had escalated to $42.5m. A few weeks ago, we were blithely informed that the sum was about $50m. and likely to rise even higher.

How could such a scam proceed unimpeded for over 15 years in the head office of the Claims Conference, literally under the noses of the chief executives, with six key staff members, including a manager, being the alleged perpetrators? In any enterprise - private or public - after such a scandal, one would expect resignations or at least some acceptance of responsibility.

The Claims Conference, a nonprofit charity, employs highly paid, purportedly top "professional" executives. The CEO receives a salary commensurate with the head of the International Monetary Fund. Despite ignoring repeated warnings that a single part-time internal comptroller was absurdly insufficient for an organization handling billions of dollars, no one is now willing to accept responsibility.

After the theft was discovered, the chief executive even had the gall to praise management for its "efficient" response, insisting that there had been no deviation from standard operating procedures. In a statement officially circulated to the board, one director even boasted that "the Claims Conference is well-led, well-governed, well-staffed and manages its restitution funds in a manner consistent with best practice and probity."

Directors will no doubt be informed of the commendable steps undertaken following the much-heralded K2 Global Consulting company's recommendations to implement greater safeguards and ensure that such an outrage is not replicated.

However, K2 is not qualified to undertake an audit or review. In the wake of such a scandal, it is surely mandatory for directors to demand a fully independent forensic audit to guarantee that there are no additional areas in which lack of oversight could enable the plundering of public funds - for example, allocations of funds, alleged conflicts of interest, the recovery and sale of German properties, and other issues. However, the management adamantly rejected such a review.

THE REALITY is that a handful of people - basically an old boys' club - operates the Claims Conference like a personal fiefdom. The excessive centralization of control and lack of checks and balances is highlighted by the fact that Chairman Julius Berman (who has occupied the position for a decade) also appointed himself chairman of key committees such as the all-powerful Allocations Committee, the US Allocations Advisory Committee, and even its Israeli counterpart. That the chairman, an American resident, appoints himself to head the Israeli Advisory Allocations Committee says it all.

YET THERE are glimmers of hope that some organizations represented on the board are becoming more conscious of their fiduciary duties and assertive in exercising their rights.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews commissioned an independent review (the Gruder Report) to consider complaints from Holocaust victims' heirs that the Claims Conference lacked "transparency and accountability," and had behaved unethically in the sale of German properties. The report, released in December 2010, was highly critical of the Claims Conference's moral conduct, demonstrating reprehensible efforts to prevent heirs from recovering property stolen from their families.

As there was no response to the recommendations demanding greater transparency, the British directors are likely to raise the issue at the meeting.

In February, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry - the umbrella body of the Jewish community, which includes the highest proportion of post-war Holocaust survivors other than Israel - requested that the Claims Conference management institute a comprehensive independent review of the way the organization is being administered. The resolution called for "a recognized independent expert or experts to undertake a review" of "strategic risk and governance issues" in order to retain public confidence. The Claims Conference management denied the request that the resolution be immediately distributed to board members, and it was buried as one of the last items on the upcoming conference agenda.

Survivor groups are treated disrespectfully. The majority of the Israeli survivor organizations in fact, temporarily boycotted meetings of a newly constituted group to review the allocations process, when they were not even consulted about the committee's composition.

Their US counterpart on the board, the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, submitted a memorandum on the same subject, demanding that it be circulated to board members.

Their submission was dismissed as "chutzpa" by Berman, who refused to circulate this and other requests. Such behavior exemplifies the shameful contempt directed at those expressing dissent over any aspect of management.

It is astonishing that since the last annual meeting, there has been no public outcry, and the management continues to deny any responsibility for the $50m. fraud.

The onus surely rests with organizations represented on the board to rectify this and ensure that substantive reforms are instituted to achieve genuine transparency and accountability.

A genuinely independent forensic audit reviewing all aspects of the organization should be immediately undertaken to ensure that there are no additional ‘black holes' requiring attention. Those responsible for the failure of oversight regarding the financial scandal should retire or be retired. Term limits for senior elected officers must be introduced. Berman should do the honorable thing and step down as chairman.

Potential conflicts of interest for directors whose organizations obtain funding should also be reviewed.

Most importantly, intensified efforts must be undertaken to ease the desperate plight of the remaining ailing survivors. Despite the commendable agreement by the Germans to substantially increase support for those requiring home services, it is an indictment on us all that many elderly Jewish survivors still have insufficient resources to pay for food, fuel and basic medical expenses.

Millions of dollars are spent on numerous, for the most part deserving projects, like hospitals and Israeli infrastructure, which do not directly benefit survivors. Surely, under the current appalling circumstances, justice and dignity demand that funding for these activities be suspended and diverted exclusively to survivors.

To quote from the Gruder Report, we must demand that the Claims Conference act "ethically and with the highest possible standards of integrity, transparency and sensitivity." If there is the slightest doubt as to whether those standards are being upheld, board members and the organizations they represent have a legal fiduciary obligation to act.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

The long view in Israel against the 1967 line

Dore Gold

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent statement that Israel can't defend itself with borders drawn along pre-1967 lines has been questioned in certain foreign policy circles. These critics have noted that Israel successfully fought two wars, in 1956 and in 1967, while based within those borders. And they have claimed that borders don't matter as much in modern warfare. But Netanyahu is right. The idea that the 1967 line isn't defensible has actually been around for decades. Indeed, the architects of Israel's national security doctrine reached that conclusion soon after the Six-Day War. The main strategic problem that Israel faced at that time was the enormous asymmetry between its small standing army, which needed to be reinforced with a timely reserve mobilization, and the large standing armies of its neighbors, which could form coalitions in times of tension and exploit Israel's narrow geography with overwhelming numbers. True, Israel won in 1967, but the war also pointed out the country's many vulnerabilities.

In the years following the war, the main advocate for creating new boundaries to replace the fragile lines from before 1967 was Yigal Allon, then Israel's deputy prime minister. Allon had considerable military experience, having commanded the Palmach, the elite strike units of the Jewish forces, in the 1948 war that created Israel.

In 1976, while serving as foreign minister, Allon wrote an article for Foreign Affairs outlining the strategic logic for his position. He pointed out that the 1967 line was an armistice line from Israel's war of independence and never intended as a final political boundary. Allon quoted the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 1967, Arthur Goldberg, who said that the 1967 line was neither secure nor recognized. Given this background, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, backed by both the United States and Britain, only called for "withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict" — but not from "all the territories." The resolution also didn't specify strict adherence to the pre-1967 line, advocating only that "secure and recognized" boundaries be established.

Under the Allon plan, Israel would include much of the Jordan Valley within its border. This area is not within the pre-1967 line, but it is essential to Israel's defense. Because it rises from an area that was roughly 1,200 feet below sea level up a steep incline to mountaintops that are 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level, it serves as a formidable line of defense that would enable a small Israeli force to hold off much large conventional armies, giving Israel time to mobilize its reserves. Control of the Jordan Valley also allowed Israel to prevent the smuggling of the same kind of weaponry to the West Bank that has been entering the Gaza Strip: rockets, antiaircraft missiles and tons of explosives for terrorist attacks.

Today, it might be argued that after the demise of Saddam Hussein, Israel no longer has to worry about Iraqi expeditionary forces racing across Jordanian territory. Yet Israeli planning for the future cannot be based on a snapshot of reality in 2011. No one can guarantee what the orientation of Iraq will be five years from now: a budding pro-Western democracy or a heavily armed Iranian satellite subverting the security of its neighbors. The Saudis, it should be noted, are not taking any chances and are constructing a security fence along the border with Iraq.

Israeli vulnerability has regional implications. Should it become clear that the great Jordan Valley barrier that protected Israel for more than 40 years is no longer in Israeli hands, then the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will become an increasingly attractive forward position for jihadi groups seeking to link up with Hamas to wage war against Israel. In 2007, when Al Qaeda activity in Iraq was at its height, the organization sought to build up a forward position in Irbid, Jordan, to recruit West Bank Palestinians. This effort was scuttled. But if Israel is back on the 1967 line, then the whole dynamic of regional security will change and the internal pressures on Jordan will undoubtedly increase.

Yitzhak Rabin, who promoted the Oslo agreements in 1993, understood better than anyone Israel's strategic dilemmas in the years that followed. In October 1995, one month before he was assassinated, he addressed the Knesset and asked it to ratify the Oslo II interim agreement, which he had just signed at the White House in the presence of President Clinton. In his speech, he laid out how he saw the future borders of Israel. He made clear that Israel would not withdraw to the 1967 line. He insisted on keeping Jerusalem united. And finally, like his mentor Yigal Allon, Rabin stressed that Israel would hold on to the Jordan Valley "in the widest sense of that term."

It is always possible to find Israelis who will say the 1967 line is just fine. But Israel's greatest strategic minds since the Six-Day War have disagreed. They overwhelmingly have concluded that Israel can safeguard its future only if it retains defensible borders, which means redrawing the 1967 line to include parts of the West Bank crucial to the country's survival.

Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, is president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.