The Façade is Failing

Beyond the Cusp

The Arab Islamic supremacist offensive using the Palestinian Arab population ruled out of Gaza City and Ramallah is faltering and sputtering towards its ending. There is spiraling violence which is whipped up periodically often using the Temple Mount and Jerusalem and the apparent Judaizing it might face should Israel decides to actually carry through with the Zionist demands for building the Third Temple. The Third Temple need not transplant or replace anything already sitting upon the Temple Mount as room exists for quite a large and expansive building to be added. There need not be any destructive efforts and instead a sharing of the holy expanse which is holy to three religions without any one religion attempting dominance over the other two (see images below). The pretense that the Jews have no claim or history to the Temple Mount and that the structures found there were all built by Islamic…

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Is Tolerance a One-Way Street?

The 7th of this month marked two years to the day since two gunmen walked into the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and murdered twelve people. This period also therefore marks the second anniversary of the period of about an hour during which much of the free world proclaimed itself to be “Charlie” and attempted, by walking through the street, standing for moments of silence or re-tweeting the hashtag “Je Suis Charlie” to show the whole world that freedom cannot be suppressed and that the pen is mightier than the Kalashnikov.

So two years on is a good time to take stock of the situation. How did that go? Did all those “Je Suis” statements amount to anything more than a blip on the Twitter-sphere? Anyone trying to answer such a question might start by looking at the condition of the journal everyone was so concerned about. How has it fared in the two years since most of its senior editorial staff were gunned down by the blasphemy police?

Not well, if a test of the magazine’s wellbeing is whether it would be willing to repeat the “crime” for which it was attacked. Six months after the slaughter, in July 2015, the new editor of the publication, Laurent Sourisseau, announced that Charlie Hebdo would no longer publish depictions of the Prophet of Islam. Charlie Hebdo had, he said, “done its job” and “defended the right to caricature.” It had published more Muhammad cartoons in the issue immediately after the mass murder at their offices and since. But, he said, they did not need to keep on doing so. Few people could have berated him and his colleagues for such a decision. When just about every other magazine in the free world fails to uphold the values of free speech and the right to caricature and offend, who could expect a group of cartoonists and writers who have already paid such a high price to keep holding the line of such freedoms single-handed?

Now, at the second anniversary of the atrocity, one of the magazine’s most prominent figures, Zineb El Rhazoui, has announced that she is leaving the magazine. El Rhazoui, who has been described as “the most protected woman in France” because of the security detail she receives from the French state, has announced that Charlie Hebdo has gone “soft” on Islamic radicalism. She told Agence France-Presse that “Charlie Hebdo died on [7 January 2015].” The magazine had previously had a “capacity to carry the torch of irreverence and absolute liberty” she said. “Freedom at any cost is what I loved about Charlie Hebdo, where I worked through great adversity.’

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Crying “Wolf” over Israeli Settlements

In a familiar fable ascribed to Aesop, a shepherd boy finds fun in making all the villagers run out in alarm by crying “Wolf!” After this happens several times, the villagers ignore him, so when a wolf really appears, it can devour the sheep undisturbed.

A similar result was the consequence of the international attitude to the settlements that Israeli governments created in the so-called “West Bank” after the Six Day War of 1967. Foreign ministries around the world would always brand any Israeli plan to add a few more houses to some settlement “a violation of international law,” but Israel quietly ignored such statements and their authors did nothing more about them.

Reporting on such cases, the BBC routinely remarked that “settlements are illegal under international law although Israel disputes this.” This kowtow to the principle of accuracy in reporting is indeed officially prescribed among the BBC’s “Key Terms” for reporting on “Israel and the Palestinians.” Wikipedia, too, uses a similar formula in its articles on settlements. Other media either followed the BBC’s example or simply omitted the “although.”

In fact, as an earlier article explained, almost all of Israel’s settlement activity has not been illegal. Israel’s Supreme Court has been vigilant in forbidding any violations. Decades ago, Menachem Begin made it his policy to fulfil the decisions of the Supreme Court to the letter. Subsequent Israeli governments have done the same, although sometimes more grudgingly than he ever countenanced. It is only in the last few weeks that real reason arose for crying wolf, also on Israel’s own behalf, but the cry was disregarded as usual. Now the wolf has arrived.

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Do Pro-Palestinian groups care about Palestinians or just hate Jews?

MYTH:

Palestinian groups actually care about Palestinians, and are not just anti-Semitic.

FACT

People of good will on all sides of the political spectrum recognize the difficulties Palestinians experience living under Israeli rule, and many would like to see the establishment of a Palestinian state coexisting beside Israel.

Numerous proponents of Palestinian rights, however, are selective in their concern for the Palestinian people. The anti-Semitic BDS campaign advocates, along with many other sympathizers who cry crocodile tears for the Palestinians on campus and in the media, only care about Palestinian-Jewish interactions.

One longstanding example is the complete lack of interest in the treatment of Palestinians in refugee camps in Arab states. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have languished in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria for decades. They remain in camps for one reason: the Arab states refuse to resettle them or grant them citizenship.

Ironically, at a time when Arab refugees are being welcomed around the world (albeit sometimes reluctantly by Western societies), Palestinian refugees remain unwanted in lands where they share the same language, religion and culture.

Why have Palestinians been treated so callously by their fellow Arabs?

One historical reason is that the Arab states wanted to keep the refugee issue on the agenda to embarrass Israel and induce international pressure on Israel to allow them to immigrate. The Arab hope was to flood Israel with hostile Palestinians who could act as a fifth-column weakening Israel from within. As the refugee population swelled to a population now exceeding five million, thanks to the absurd criteria of the UN Refugee Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Arabs expected the Jewish population to be exceeded by that of the Palestinians, effectively changing Israel into a Palestinian state.

For decades, the Arab goal was to destroy Israel and the Palestinians were used as pawns. That motivation has subsided in recent years after Egypt and Jordan signed peace treaties with Israel, and other Arab states began to recognize they share strategic interests with Israel.

Still, the Arab states would prefer to be rid of the Palestinians because they are held in low esteem (despised in some places), threaten local economies and are distrusted. You never hear advocates for the Palestinians complain, however, about the virtual incarceration of Palestinians in camps by Arab leaders.

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