August 2010

Illusion and Reality Clash in Lebanon / Jonathan Spyer

Initially, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon probing the murder of Rafik Hariri focused on Syria. Lately, indications suggest that the main focus is now on Hizbullah.

Tension is currently rising in Lebanon, amid reports that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is to issue indictments in the coming months. The tribunal is tasked with investigating the 2005 murder of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Earlier this year, its president, Antonio Cassese, said he expected that indictments would be issued at some stage between September and December.

Acre Has Been Settled by Jews Alternately Since the 3rd Century BCE/ DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak


Jews lived in Acre continuously from the 3rd century BCE until massacred by the Byzantines in the 7th century CE. Jews returned to Acre in the 10th or 11th century, remaining there until its conquest and destruction by the Mamluk in the 13th century. Jews lived in Acre continuously from the 14th century until 1936. Jews returned to Acre since 1948.

Acre Has Been Settled by Jews Alternately Since the 3rd Century BCE / DR.Rivka Spak Lissak


THE OTTOMAN PERIOD (1516 – 1918)

At the beginning of the Ottoman period Acre was a small and poor town. The Ottomans did not continue its reconstruction. Acre’s Jewish community was small, its members engaged in trade. At the middle of the 16th century they served as middlemen between the Galilean Jews and Europe, trading with Syria and Jerusalem. In his book, The Land of Israel and Its Settlement, Yitzhak ben Zvi brings the story of the Jewish merchant, Yeshayah HaCohen, who was harassed by the governor of Acre until he was forced to leave the city.

The Privileged Slander:Why the Media Laps Up the Anti- Israel Lyong Campaign / Prof.B.Rubin

Israel is subject daily to scores of false claims and slanders that receive a remarkable amount of credibility in Western media, academic, and intellectual circles even when no proof is offered.

Palestinian groups (including the Gaza and Palestinian Authority regimes), associated local and allied foreign non-government organizations, Western radical and anti-Israel groups, and politically committed journalists are eager to act as propaganda agents making up false stories or transmitting them without serious thought or checking.

A Nuclear Free Middle East?Siddharth Ramana

As the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (NPT RevCon) progresses this month, an initiative which was raised in the 1995 RevCon is starting to receive increasing voices of support- A nuclear free Middle East. It is interesting to note that while the present RevCon is clouded by the blatant violations to the NPT by one of its signatories- Iran, the focus of attention has been shifted to a country which has not signed the treaty-Israel.

Syria Marches into Lebanon:Saudis Surrender to Inevitable, State Dept. Proclaims Victory / Prof.B.Rubin

P.J. Crowley, State Department spokesman and its answer to Pollyanna (Note 1), looks at the advance of America's enemies and gives the advice that their strategy isn't working. Ah, but it is.

Crowley responds to the following question about the joint visit of the Saudi king and President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, self-styled leader of the Resistance to American interests in the Arabic-speaking world, to Beirut.

"Do you see this as an effort, with your help, to distance Syria from Iran?"

Beware Palestinian Apartheid / Jonathan .D.Halevi

Op-ed: Palestinian leader Abbas seeks to adopt racist policy based on ethnic cleansing of Jews

The Palestinian Authority is under heavy international pressure, mostly American, aimed at facilitating the transition from proximity talks to direct negotiations with Israel.

The Peace Process so far:Israel's Cooperation with the US/ Prof.B.Rubin

In one of his out-of-control anti-Israel rants, Andrew Sullivan included in his list of alleged evils that Israel had repeatedly "defied" the United States. That point stuck in my mind and made me reflect how demonstrably untrue is that charge contrary to what people might think.

Certainly, there have been incidents of friction and disagreement--though always fairly short-lived--and at times Israel has either convinced U.S. policymakers of its position or the two sides agreed. Yet consider on all the key issues of the last twenty years how Israel did heed every major U.S. request.

Compensation for Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries / Linda Menuhlin

The new council established under the umbrella of the Ministry of Pensioners, released lately a press release about the imminent campaign of awareness for the registration of lost Jewish assets in Arab and Islamic countries.

Passionate Debates over the "Peace Process" have nothing to do with Reality /Prof.B.Rubin

There is a great deal of heat and passion about the difference between "left" and "right" views in Israel. Yet these gaps, at least during this era, are far less significant than people think. I'm going to tell an anecdote that illustrates this point even as it seems to contradict it.

Antiracism for Anti - Jewish Purposes?Reflections on the Swedish Mana Affair / Nathan David

At the beginning of 2008, a debate erupted in the Swedish media after members of the Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) had, among other things, accused the left-wing journal Mana of anti-Semitism. Mana's reaction was a categorical denial of all allegations, while suggesting it was the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt. Although a survey of the journal shows that the accusations were justified, Mana's claims that the criticism was policy-driven appealed to many of its defenders, and the support for the journal was strongest on the Left.

Israel should not be forced to Bow to UN / Anne Bayefsky

President Obama has now blackmailed the government of Israel into submitting its defense forces to the toxic oversight of the United Nations. Today U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon created, with Israel’s approval, a UN investigation of last June’s flotilla incident in which Turkish-backed extremists sought to shatter Israel’s lawful naval blockade of Hamas-run Gaza.

The False Issue of Race" in the Arab - Israeli Conflict /Prof.B.Rubin

The False Issue of "Race" in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
As the waitress whose family had come from Ethiopia put the pizza on the table at the Tel Aviv restaurant, I contemplated the ridiculous misuse of "race" as a factor in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Regardless of skin color, we belong not only to the same country by way of citizenship but also to the same nation and people in a very profound way that isn't true for countries that are merely geographical entities.

The Nakba Obsession:The Palestinian National Narrative / Sol Stern

The Nakba Obsession
The Palestinian national narrative is the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

The Destruction of the Temple Mount Antiquities / Maek Ami-El

The Holiest Site of the Jewish People / Islamic Disregard for the Heritage of Others / The Temple Mount in 1967 / Muslims Change the Status Quo / The Pit / The Debris and the Artifacts / A Plan to Bring "Holy Water" from Mecca / Public Calls to Stop the Destruction / The Southern Wall is About to Fall / What Needs to Be Done

The Holiest Site of the Jewish People

The Radical War against Liberal History / Prof.B.Rubin

The history of Western civilization, democracy, and capitalism is one of success, the greatest civilizational achievement in world history. All of its problems, shortcomings, and injustices should be discussed fully but the priority should be on explaining how the system's was able to overcome these things while other systems have done either far worse or collapsed in catastrophe.

In his little book, “England in the Nineteenth Century,” first published in 1950, the historian David Thomson wrote the following passage, discussing an 1816 report on London:

The Jewish Identity of Jerusalem in Greek and Roman Sources / Rivkah Fishman- Duker

For ancient Greek and Roman pagan authors, Jerusalem definitely was a Jewish city. This article draws on references to Jerusalem from nearly twenty different sources, dating from the third century BCE to the third century CE, which are included in the late Professor Menahem Stern's comprehensive anthology, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism. An examination of these texts indicates the unanimous agreement that Jerusalem was Jewish by virtue of the fact that its inhabitants were Jews, it was founded by Jews and the Temple, located in Jerusalem, was the center of the Jewish religion.

Poll Shows the Shocking Reality of Arab Public Opinion / Prof.B.Rubin

Can You Handle The Truth?
This is one of those stories about the Middle East that is totally amazing but not the least bit surprising. What, you ask, do I mean? From the standpoint of the way the region is portrayed in the West this information is incredible but if you understand the area it is exactly what you’d expect.

The PA Has neither Desire Nor Ability to Finalize Agreement with Israel / Colonel (res.)Moshe Elad

Don’t get your hopes up
Palestinian Authority has neither desire nor ability to finalize agreement with Israel

While the Palestinians debate whether to enter direct negotiations with Israel, we would do well to again ask the following question: Are their peace intentions genuine?

The Latest Damage to Antiquities on the Temple Mount / Nadav Shragai

In the summer of 1999, the Waqf undertook renovations on the galleries beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque, what is known as "old Al-Aqsa." They contained the "double passageway," the only passageway preserved in its entirety from the time of the Second Temple. Four domes were preserved in the double passageway with inscriptions carved into the stone, work done by Jewish artisans 2,000 years ago. The passageways became integral parts of a new mosque, Al-Aqsa al-Qadim.

UK Attitudes toward the Middle East:The British Trade Union Movement / Ronnie Fraser

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), the umbrella body for the British trade union movement, had always been opposed to any form of a boycott of Israel. Yet in 2009, the congress called for a boycott of goods and services originating in the Israeli West Bank settlements. Britain--more than any other country in the world--has promoted the Palestinian call for academic, trade union, media, medical, architectural, and cultural boycotts of Israel.

Lebanon became part of the Anti-Western Axis / Prof.B.Rubin

The Week Lebanon Became Part of the Anti-Western Axis and West Governments Didn't Notice

History will record that Lebanon was integrated into the Iran-Syria empire in early August 2010. Here are some of the stories that mark that turning point, and also show how Western willingness to make concessions and eagerness to avoid confrontation are interpreted by moderates as a signal or surrender and radicals as an invitation to advance further.

Turkish Opposition Rejects Regime Policy on Gaza Flotilla / Prof.B.Rubin

In a sign of its deepening involvement in the Iran-Syria-Hamas-Hizballah alliance, the Turkish regime is now apparently letting Iran ship arms directly through Turkey for the Hizballah forces in Lebanon. That the Ankara government is actively participating in providing aid for an anti-Western terrorist group should be a matter of concern, especially since it furthers Tehran's strategic expansion.

Looking Ahead at U.S.- Israel and the "Peace Process" Issues / Prof.B.Rubin

What will be the next developments regarding U.S.-Israel relations and the Israel-Palestinian “peace process,” and Israeli politics. It’s possible to make some good predictions, or at least to present the most likely scenarios.

What the Chinese Know about the Jews / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The economic growth and the military strengthening of China during the last decades turned it into a rising power in international relations. It economic growth raised its demand for oil from Iran and Arab countries. In light of these two developments the Jews and Israel have an interest to get to know China and find ways to strengthen their ties with her.
Dr. Shalom Salomon Wald studied the relationship between China and the Jewish people, and his study was published by the "The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute," in Jerusalem, founded by the Jewish Agency.

The Declining Situation of the Copts in Egypt / Adel Guindy

This article addresses sectarian violence and discrimination against Egypt's Coptic minority, including the January 2010 attacks in Nag Hammadi as well as other incidents during the previous years. It also points to the government's failure to acknowledge the situation and take action or responsibility. It argues that rather than protecting its citizens, the regime's first and foremost priority has been its own survival.

Why All Middle Eastern Politics Can't Be Reduced to Merely The Arab - Israel Conflict / Prof.B.Rubin

I simply cannot comprehend why so many in the West refuse to see that Arabs can be revolutionaries. It is remarkable that so many who claim to be experts don't incorporate the idea that Arabs, like other peoples, might dislike their existing societies or be motivated by ideologies claiming to be the blueprints for utopias.

After all, if Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Latin Americans think and behave this way, why aren't Arabs going to act the same?

Academics Behaving Badly / Ben - Dror Yemini

A huge stream of capital flows to Western academic institutions. It paves the way and inflames the next generation of Islamic radicals and academics who supply them with insights and justifications. This capital also greases the most important university chairs, and the prestigious Ivy League institutions. Tell me who your sponsor is, and I will tell you what your next study will say.

A Wonderful Example of Ridiculous Media Bias / Prof.B.Rubin

Ok, it is al-Jazira television but the story is nonetheless revealing. It is about the Gaza airport and how Gazans are mining it for building stones, destroying the runways in the process. The reporter, with no hint of actually reporting, seethes with anger and hatred as she blames Israel for everything, never mentioning the virtually non-stop war Hamas has conducted against Israel.

The Holocoaust in Arab Public Discourse / Mikael Tossavainen

The Holocaust in Arab Public Discourse: Historicized Politics and Politicized History

An Arab- Muslim speaks on the west and Jews

What is the Threat:Islam,Islamism, or Western Sins? Prof.B.Rubin

The current debate over the roots of Islamist revolution, clashes in the Middle East, and conflicts between forces in that region and the West involves two critical issues of interpretation:

First, is there a threat to the West from groups whose members are Muslims or does the fault arise from Western policies and shortcomings which, if altered, would make any conflict disappear?

Second, if there is a threat does it stem from Islam as religion or Islamism as political philosophy?

Hatred of the Jews as a Psychological Phenomenon in Palestinian Society / Daphne Burdman

Palestinian hatred of the Jews emanates from three principal sociohistorical sources: (1) Koranic and Hadith injunctions; (2) extremist Islamic militancy; and (3) the highly successful indoctrination and incitement of children established by the Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat. The evolution of this hatred is related to psychological processes arising from Arab childrearing practices. An authoritarian upbringing, particularly when severely punitive, is associated with personality characteristics incorporating a Manichean thought process and lack of empathy.

The West Thinks Palestinian Leaders do it a Favor by putting Conditions on Getting a State? Prof.B.Rubin

Reportedly, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has just made two itty-bitty requests (or should I say, demands?) in order to return to direct negotiations.

First, Israel must agree in advance that the Palestinian state must get roughly all the land that before 1967 was part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Second, that no matter what happens in the talks, and whether or not Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement, there will be a Palestinian state within 24 months.

Competing World Views Tear a "Peace Process" to Pieces/ Prof.B.Rubin

The U.S. announcement inviting Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) for direct talks shows quite clearly, though unintentionally, why the talks will fail.

Special Envoy George Mitchell explains:

Will an IDF Withdrawal from the West Bank mean a Safe Haven for Extremist Groups? Col.Richard Kemp

To stand any real chance of success, every insurgent or terrorist movement needs a safe haven to operate from. Israel has had more than a flavor of what it can mean to leave hostile groups in control of lands adjacent to its own borders in southern Lebanon and in Gaza. Any similar move to totally cede control to the Palestinians of the West Bank or a part of Jerusalem would carry immense risk.

Exposing How Post- Zionists Manipulate History/ Avi Beker

The Israeli New Historians have heavily influenced academic teaching about the Arab-Israeli conflict on campuses throughout the world.
The New Historians disregarded and omitted the two most critical features of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war: the religious-jihadi nature of the Arab campaign and Arab rejection of the UN partition resolution.

Iraq and the Real Middle East Conflict / Prof.B.Rubin

Aymenn Jawad is a talented young Arab writer who shows how to analyze regional politics well. His short article on Iraqi politics and how they fit into the Nationalist-Islamist, Iran-Syria-Turkey bloc versus Arab regimes' conflict really makes the issues clear. Recommended reading.

How to Fight the Campus Battle against Old and New Anti-Semitism / Manfred Gerstenfeld

Motifs, Strategies, and Methods*
The battle against old and new campus anti-Semitism is usually fought with classic methods. These include public debate, op-eds, letters to the editor, petitions, letters to university administrations or efforts to persuade them to take action, requests for the investigation of incidents, legal actions, and the mobilization of allies. These approaches alone are not adequate in the current circumstances.

I Don't See Any Palestinian State - Building Goung On / Prof.B.Rubin

I read an article on Foreign Policy blog which, like many things I see on the Middle East, convinces me of the precise opposite conclusion to what the author wants me to think. The article, by Hussein Ibish, a Palestinian activist in the United States, is entitled: "While No One's Looking, the Palestinians Are Building a State: Now it's time for the rest of the world to pitch in. "

The Obama Administration and Implications for Freedom and Democracy in the Middle East / Scott Carpenter

The Obama administration marks the return of a so-called "realist" approach and an intentional downplaying of President Bush's vision of an America that would use its power actively to advance freedom around the world. Few will lament the demise of Bush's "Freedom Agenda," which came to be seen as dangerous naivete which risked the stability of the region and with it Israel's security.

The Only Permissible Hatred? Prof.B.Rubin

The chairman of Finland's branch of Amnesty International, Frank Johansson, wrote in his blog at a Finnish newspaper that Israel is a "scum state." It makes me recall a French ambassador who used a nastier word at a dinner party a couple of years back. And I've heard from several diplomats equivalent things over the years.

What the West Should Learn from the Assault on Israel and the Jews / Manfred Gerstenfeld

On many accounts Europe - and the West at large - is facing increasingly unsolvable problems concerning matters such as security, immigration, xenophobia, international law, and civil liberties.
European states over the past decades did not understand that the threats Israel was encountering in those years were essentially precursors of the menaces they would face as well.

International Recognition of a Unilaterally Declared Palestinian State / Tal Becker

Tal Becker's study does not deal with the question of whether a Palestinian state is desirable or not. It also does not explore its impact on Israeli national security. It does, however, address the legal implications of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state for the international community.

Direct Israel - Palestinian Talks:An Important Detail / Prof.B.Rubin

There's an important detail worth noting regarding the renewal of direct talks. According to the U.S. State Department, Israel's extension of the freeze on building within West Bank Jewish settlements and across the pre-1967 borders in Jerusalem is an issue to be discussed at the negotiations. In other words, renewing the freeze is not a precondition.

Interview with Mohamed Sabaoui,Lille University, France

Here are some excerpts from an interview to Mohamed Sabaoui at the Universite de Lille, France (h/t: Barbara):

Palestinian Authority Incitement to Kill Israelis and Destroy Israel / Pfof.B.Rubin

Palestinian Authority Incitement to Kill Israelis and Destroy Israel: A Powerful Subverter of Chances for Peace

Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority (PA) through its schools, media, mosques, and officials' statements daily incites Palestinians to attack and kill Israelis. It also continues to claim Israel is illegitimate and should be wiped out, along with the belief that this will happen in the future. Naturally, this undermines any possibility that peace talks will succeed.

The Mufti of Jeruslem:Haj Amin el- Husseini and National - Socialism, by Jennie Lebel / Review by Wolfgang G.Schwanitz

The Mufti of Jerusalem:Haj-Amin el-Husseini and National-Socialism, by Jennie Lebel, translated by Paul Münch from Serbian, Belgrade: Čigoja štampa, 2007, 374 pp.
Reviewed by Wolfgang G. Schwanitz

The Palestinian Leader el Husseini Planed with Hitler "The Final Solution" of the Jews of Palestine / DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak

The Palestinian Leader el Husseini Planed with Hitler "The Final Solution" of the Jews of Palestine, 1942 – 1944/ DR.Rivka Shpak Lissak
The Palestinians keep comperinig Israel and Nazi Germany.In fact, Arabs and Muslims not only supported the Nazi ideology, many of them volunteered to serve in the Nazi army.