November 21, 2014

Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class -

Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class -

Israel's Hidden Ancient Facts: Generation 5800

Israel's Hidden Ancient Facts: Generation 5800

Generation 5800

Israel's history suggests a key to peace is a swift end to its aberrant two-state solution and the adoption of the suitable alternative. In proposing such I do not suggest one can trace a biblical lineage to non-Jewish occupiers living between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, rather a behavioral linkage to the present sorry state of Israel’s Jewish sovereignty.

Avraham’s monotheism unified his mission spiritually and practically. On arrival in the parched land God promised him and his descendants, he could clearly see there was work to do and when he encountered Noah’s son Shem or Melchizedek, he revived knowledge of his cultural descendant's.  But, he did not stay in the land, he traveled further south to Egypt where he negotiated Shem’s territorial rights with Shem’s brother, Egypt’s first pharaoh Khem/Cham or Ham. Hagar, Cham’s daughter was provided to Avraham as pharaoh’s collateral an acknowledgment of Shem’s plea. On Avraham’s return to his promised land, he struck a treaty with Cham’s descendant Avi Melech - The Father King. The two-state deal precluded Avraham banishing Avi Melech’s living relatives from Azah (Gaza), Hevron (in the West Bank) and Salem (Jerusalem).

After Yitzchak was born to Avraham and Sarah, Sarah’s patience with Hagar, pharaoh’s collateral came to an abrupt end, she kicked her and son Ishmael (to Avraham) out of her camp. While Avraham was prepared to negotiate, a political and diplomatic treaty using the land God promised, Sarah was not., she had no intention of complicating Yitzchak’s right of inheritance any further than Avraham had already done. After Sarah passed away (aged 127) during the moments Avraham offered his son as a sacrifice (Akeidat Yitzchak) at Mount Moriah, he traveled back to Hevron  where he negotiated to buy the plot at Machpela where she was buried. Then Avraham turned his attention to marrying Yitzchak, making sure his future wife came from the lineage of Sarah’s family. Yitzchak married Rivka who filled the tent of her mother in law while he played double down diplomacy, politically extending his fathers two-state covenant of peace to Avi Melech's future descendants.

Rivkah bore son’s Yaakov and Eisav and struggled hard to maintain and establish Sarah’s progeny. On Yaakov’s return from the land of Sarah’s family, where he married his wives and established his family and fortune, he first traveled back to Mount Moriah. At the site of Akeidat Yitzchak he began to execute a previous covenant he made at the same site. Before he left the Promised Land he promised - The stone which I have set as a covenant will be the House of God.” While attempting to build the House of God,  Rivkah passed away, Yaakov abruptly left the site to bury his mother in Hevron, she was 127 years old. Tragically, on the way his first love, wife, Rachel passed away during the birth of their 13th child Binyamin. Years later the family were exiled to Egypt from their home in Shechem (Nablus).

Because of Avraham and Yitzchak’s aberrant two-state covenants on the land, Yaakov’s promise and covenant is yet to be fulfilled. Two previous House of God attempts to build and maintain temples at Temple Mount, the worlds most contested real-estate failed. Finally we live in the generations that are capable of realizing Yaakov’s dream, however Jewish self inflicted struggle over Sarah’s sovereign view must be rectified. Although Avraham merited a child only because he compassionately prayed that Avi Melech have a child, Jews must not fall victim to the heady Utopian passions of Avraham and Yitzchak. Instead they must follow the doggedly, determined, materialistic visions of Sarah and Rivkah. If Abraham had simply stayed in the land, things would have been different!

The Hebrew year 5800 is 25 years ahead, this is the right time to realize Yaakov’s vision. I hold a view that the worlds most hotly contested real-estate may yet hold some surprises, that the first two temples were built in the wrong places, higher up the mountain, but the right place is on its neck. However, the focus for now is Sarah’s sovereign view, whether Jews sell out or stick to her program depends on their constant mindfulness. Jerusalem 5800 proposes and demands It become a World City, one that has been planned during the past four years by more than 40 consultants. Its more than 400 pages are built on the foundation of the Israeli and City government and the bureaucracy’s existing plans.

In the lead up to Israel's next election, the 5800 plan will inspire serious questions about a divided or united Jerusalem by which politicians will be blessed or plagued. But, building the city is part plan that cannot happen until the mental adjustment over Jewish sovereignty is made. Ask yourself whether you are ready to uphold mother Sarahs’ sovereign view and what is the modern context? A modern Jewish nation cannot condone a land that divides people and denies them reasonable representation, but two-states is still being used to divert Jews and those persuaded by aberrant covenants. Meanwhile poverty in Jerusalem is running at 37% while benefactors feed social injustices for the benefit of their brand insurgency. Economic prosperity is Israel’s most advanced anti-terror weapon, but unskilled labor supply remains low and must be accelerated. To rebuild we must be serious about the financial sustainability that ancient Jewish culture provides to industries like tourism.
Democracy is no friend of Jewish sovereignty especially if Israel extends citizenship to all non-Jews living West of the Jordan River. Therefore, it must ensure its Jewish sovereign future ultimately modifying its government structure before it provides all people resident alien status, a path to citizenship and the vote. The 70 elders that once represented the Jewish community prevailed over a hierarchy of community captains of 1000’s, 100’s, 50’s and 10’s. Israel’s national government still incorporates some equivalence to this framework found in the in elected City Rabbi’s that obtain their status through community synagogues and Mayors of cities nationwide. I believe this framework can eventually be elevated by a national referendum to establish a bicameral parliamentary equivalent, Israel’s future senate. At such time in the future a senate of elected Rabbi’s can represent Israel’s community interest by approving the law’s of the country. Once authoritative, they can also obtain the mantle to modify and converge Talmudic law to develop it consistently with Israel’s state law so that only one body of law eventually governs all citizens of the nation.

As the world around Israel implodes Jews must remain focused on Sarah’s vision, she had it right, only one owner, one land.  Through her, Rivkah and Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel, Israel's Jews remain grounded to achieve their collective destiny. Each must find a way to participate, get involved, sharpen and strengthen their views for the home stretch. One way to do that is to sign up at Jerusalem5800 on Facebook or the web.

Family Film Offers Glimpse Of 'Three Minutes In Poland' Before Holocaust : NPR

Family Film Offers Glimpse Of 'Three Minutes In Poland' Before Holocaust : NPR

carolinglick | Responding to the slaughter

carolinglick | Responding to the slaughter

Responding to the slaughter


What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it. There is no way to reason with it.

So what else is new?

The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew-hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite is finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies.

No “provocation” by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies.

No “frustration” with a “lack of progress” in the “peace process,” can motivate people to run over Jewish babies or attempt to assassinate a Jewish civil rights activist.

The reason that these terrorists have decided to kill Jews is that they take offense at the fact that in Israel, Jews are free. They take offense because all their lives they have been taught that Jews should live at their mercy, or die by their sword.

They do so because they believe, as former Jordanian MP Ya’qub Qarash said on Palestinian television last week, that Christians and Muslims should work together to forbid the presence of Jews in “Palestine” and guarantee that “not a single Jew will remain in Jerusalem.”

Our neighbors are taught that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, signed the treaty of Hudaybiyah in 628 as a ploy to buy time during which he would change the balance of power between his army and the Jews of Kuraish. And 10 years later, once his army gained the upper hand, he annihilated the Jews.

Throughout the 130-year history of modern Zionism, Islamic Jew-hatred has been restrained by two forces: the desire of many Arabs to live at peace with their Jewish neighbors; and the ability of Israeli authorities and before them, British authorities, to deter the local Arab Muslims from attacking.

The monopoly on Arab Muslim leadership has always belonged to the intolerant bigots. Support for coexistence has always been the choice of individuals.

Haj Amin el-Husseini’s first act as the founder of the Palestinian Arab identity was to translate The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and serialize them in the local press.

During the Arab jihad of 1936-1939, Husseini’s gangs of murderers killed more Arabs than the British did. He targeted those who sought peaceful coexistence with the Jews.

His successor Yasser Arafat followed his example.

During the 1988-1991 Palestinian uprising, the PLO killed more Palestinians than the IDF did. Like Husseini, Arafat targeted Palestinians who worked with Israel.

Since Israel imprudently embraced Arafat and the PLO in 1993 and permitted them to govern the Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and exert direct influence and coercive power over the Arabs of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority’s governing institutions have used all the tools at their disposal to silence those who support peaceful coexistence with Israel, and indoctrinate the general public in Islamic and racial Jew-hatred.

Much has been made of the recent spike in incitement of violence by Palestinian leaders led by Arafat’s successor Mahmoud Abbas. But the flames Abbas and his comrades are throwing would not cause such conflagrations if they hadn’t already indoctrinated their audience to desire the destruction of the Jews.

You cannot solicit murder among those who haven’t been taught that committing murder is an act of heroism.

Today Israel must take swift, effective action to stop the slaughter. The damage that has been done to the psyches of the Arabs of Jerusalem and their brethren in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, cannot be repaired in a timeline relevant to the task of preventing the next massacre.

This means that for the time being, on the tactical level, Israel’s only play is strengthening its deterrence.

Israel faces two major constraints in meeting this challenge.

First, the European Union and the Obama administration, as well as the US foreign policy elite, are obsessively committed to a policy of empowering the Palestinians against Israel.

The Spanish parliament’s decision to go ahead with its planned vote to recognize the “State of Palestine,” just hours after the massacre at the Bnei Torah Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood shows that the EU’s dedication to strengthening the Palestinians against Israel is entirely unrelated to events on the ground.

They don’t care who the Palestinians are or what they do. For their own reasons they have made supporting the Palestinians at Israel’s expense their top foreign policy priority.

Similarly, US President Barack Obama couldn’t contain his compulsion to pressure Israel even in his statement condemning the massacre. Even there, Obama called on Israelis and Palestinians equally to restrain themselves.

Obama’s unabated hostility toward Israel was brought to bear on Tuesday afternoon when the State Department restated its rejection of Jewish property rights in Jerusalem and its desire to see the homes of terrorist murderers left intact for the welfare of their terror-supporting families.

On Tuesday, Israel’s social media outlets were filled with angry rebukes of Western media outlets from CNN to MSNBC to CBS, to the BBC. All these networks, and many others, did everything in their power to explain away the synagogue slaughter as just another instance of a cycle of violence. That is, they all sought to frame the discussion in a way that would lead their viewers to the conclusion that the slaughter of praying rabbis was justified.

While appalling, the coverage was not the least surprising. The Western elite media’s devotion to their false narrative of Israeli culpability for all the problems in the region is absolute. Networks would rather wreck their professional reputations than tell the truth.

Together with the EU, the American policy elite and the Obama administration, the media place Israel’s leaders in a bind. Every step they take to defend the country and protect the rights of Jews meets with automatic and libelous condemnation.

The other impediment Israel faces in deterring anti-Jewish violence against its citizenry is its own weakness. Since the inception of the phony peace process, Israel has continuously rewarded the Palestinians for their murderous violence against its citizenry.

From Israel’s transfer of control over all the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria, to its forcible expulsion of its own people from Gaza, to its repeated releases of terrorists from prison, to its continued transfer of hundreds of millions of shekels in tax revenues to the PA, Israel has showed the Palestinians at every turn that far from being punished for murdering Jews, they will be rewarded for doing so.

Given the US and European support for the Palestinians, Israeli declarations that there will be no future releases of terrorists have no credibility. If terrorists aren’t killed on the spot, they can assume that they will eventually be released; if not in exchange for an Israeli hostage, Israel will release them in an attempt to placate the White House.

But even with these constraints on its actions, Israel can take steps to deter its hate-filled enemies from attacking.

Since the current campaign of murder is being carried out by terrorists largely acting on their own accord, the measures Israel adopts to stop the attacks should be directed primarily against individual terrorists. As for action against the PA, it needs to be credible, consistent and directed to where it will hurt Palestinian leaders the most: their wallets.

With regard to the individual terrorists, the government has made much of its intention to destroy the homes of terrorists. While it sounds good, there is limited evidence of the effectiveness of this punitive measure, which is a relic of the British Mandate.

Rather than destroy their homes, Israel should adopt the US anti-narcotics policy of asset seizure.

All assets directly or indirectly tied to terrorists, including their homes and any other structure where they planned their crimes, and all remittances to them, should be seized and transferred to their victims, to do with what they will.

If Israel hands over the homes of the synagogue butchers to the 24 orphans of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky and Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, not only will justice be served. The children’s inheritance of the homes of their fathers’ killers will send a clear and demoralizing message to other would-be killers.

Not only will their atrocities fail to remove the Jews from Israel. Every terrorist will contribute to the Zionist project by donating his home to the Jewish settlement enterprise.

Just as Israel has repeatedly buckled under US pressure to release terrorists from jail, so it has bowed to US pressure to continue to fund the PA by transferring the tax revenues it collects on goods imported to the PA.

Assuming that the government is too weak to stand up to the Americans, at a minimum it can see that the money is properly used.

To that end, the Knesset should pass a law permitting Israeli terror victims to sue the PA for actual and punitive damages in Israel courts. The sums awarded to the victims should be taken from the tax revenues Israel collects for the PA. The law should apply retroactively to all victims of Palestinian terror carried out since the establishment of the PA in May 1994.

Not only should the law permit Israeli terror victims to sue the PA. It should dictate actions the Justice Ministry must take to assist them in bringing suit.

Israel should also revoke citizenship and residency rights not only from terrorists themselves, but from those who enjoy citizenship and residency rights by dint of their relationship with the terrorists.

Wives who received Israeli residency or citizenship rights though marriage to terrorists should have their rights revoked, as should the children of the terrorists.

Since Tuesday’s massacre, aside from Abbas’s phony condemnation, the Palestinian leadership and public from Fatah to Hamas have been unanimous in their praise for the atrocity.

Today Israel is powerless to influence the hearts of our Arab neighbors. But we can influence their minds. We can deter them from attacking us.

The actions set forth above: asset seizure, revenue seizure and citizenship/residency abrogation for terrorists and their dependents are steps that Israel can take today, despite the hostile international climate.

If the government and Knesset adopt these measures, they will rectify some of the damage Israel has inflicted on itself by showing the Palestinians over two decades that they will be rewarded for their aggression.

If our leaders fail to take these or similar actions, and suffice with complaining about incitement, their condemnations of the murder of Jews will ring as hollow as those sounded by the BBC, Obama and Abbas.

November 20, 2014

Black arrest rate high in Rochester area

Black arrest rate high in Rochester area

ירושלים 1918 Jerusalem

Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East | Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project

Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise in Middle East | Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society | Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society | Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project

In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva

In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva

Op-Ed: In This Struggle, Israel Can Prevail

Israel can withstand and overcome the current wave of violence, which is just another chapter in the struggle against Arab and Islamist hatred. But to do so, there are concrete steps that Israel should take - now.

The problem:

During these difficult days of increasing terror, the most urgent question is: What can we do in order to cope optimally with the growing terrorist violence in Israel, knowing that behind the scenes there are several players who are expending intense efforts to bring about an explosion.

Leading the pack is Hamas, whose goal is to become the undisputed leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the expense of the Palestinian Authority – and, for good measure, giving Sisi something to remember.

Supporting Hamas is a coalition composed of Qatar and Turkey, with unlimited sources of funds.

The PLO, at the same time, is trying to hold on to first place and cannot allow itself to appear less extreme than Hamas, for fear it will be accused of cooperating with Israel. This is the origin of the two-faced behavior of the PA: on the one hand, it presents a cooperative face to Israel and on the other hand, it stabs Israel in the back, through incitement and education, on the street and in international forums.

Qatar bases its standing in the Arab world and the West by pouring oil on the fire, exactly as it does with Islamic State. Hypocritically, in the usual Qatari fashion, it funds Islamic state while, as part of the Western coalition, it expresses support for those who fight it.

Behind the scenes of the growing terror Israel faces stands Islamic State, the model for successful battles against the enemies of Islam: massacre the enemy, act with extreme violence and use fast vehicles that give the impression of Jihad's sweeping, advancing victory. The murderers who entered the Jerusalem Synagogue did not bring long butcher's cleavers for nothing.

The answer:

The time for politically correct euphemisms is over and the unpleasant truth must be told as it is.
First of all, Israel must say emphatically: the Palestinian Authority established on the basis of the Oslo Accords is an enemy entity, an enemy whose goal is establishing an Arab state  in place of Israel, not alongside Israel, but on its ruins. That is the reason the Oslo Accords were violated so blatantly and thoroughly by the other side, resulting in them being declared null and void..

In addition, Israel must cease funding the PA on the basis of economic agreements derived from the Oslo Accords. There is no other country that funds an enemy entity, and there is no reason for Israel to be the only country that acts in such a delusional manner.

The government of Israel must condemn those among us who were instrumental in giving us the "New Middle East", even those who once held posts of high honor.

2. Israel must announce as clearly as possible that Jerusalem is not a subject in any negotiations with anyone. It was never the capital of any entity connected to the Arab or Islamic world and was never ruled by a king, sultan, emir or caliph, so that there is no historical or legal basis for demanding that it be the capital of any state other than Israel.

3. Israel has to remind the entire world that Judea, Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem were areas occupied by Jordan for 19 years, from May 1948 until June 1967. Had the Arab world felt it was just and necessary, it could have established a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital then, without anyone in the world disputing it.  The Arabs  refrained from doing that for the 7000 days in which Jordan had control of the area and therefore have no right to demand from Israel what they did not demand from themselves.

5. Israel must immediately shut down all the PA institutions in Jerusalem and any governmental entity that is not that of the state of Israel. Sovereignty cannot be shared or compromised on, because he who compromises with regard to his sovereignty loses it.

6.The police must issue a restraining order against all Islamic Movement activists, first and foremost to Sheikh Raad Salah and his deputy Sheikh Kamal el Khatib.  After that, the possibility of issuing an order forbidding them to leave Um El Fahem and Kafr Kana should be considered.

7. Israel must immediately shut down all the Hamas TV stations broadcasting in Judea and Samaria.

8. Israel must keep the bodies of all dead terrorists who committed terror attacks. To all events, Israel must forbid their burial in Jerusalem, especially not in the vicinity of the Temple Mount, because burial in that spot is an expression of pride in the shahid and  encourages more terror.

9. Israel must announce that it is building a new neighborhood, a new settlement or at least a new building in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria in memory of every terror victim. Let the terrorists discover that terror makes the Jewish People's connection to its land stronger.

10. Israel must change the way it views Europe. This continent is gradually turning into an Islamist area, and European politicians are becoming more and more dependent on the Muslim voter.They have to take stands dictated to them by the voters in their electoral district, and these brought their visceral hatred of Jews and Israel with them from their countries of origin. I do not see this pattern changing, so that for Israel, relying on Europe is a waste of effort at best and under normal circumstances, like entering hostile territory.

11. Israelis have to internalize the fact that their neighbors do not want them in the Middle East, and that Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon as seen as "settlements" just as Eli, Shilo and Neve Daniel are.  The entire Peace industry is just froth topping the waves of the stormy waters of the Middle East. It succeeded in blinding us to the point where we did not accept the reality of the situation and it managed to neutralize the will of some of us to fight for our land and freedom, but it had no absolutely no effect on our neighbors.

12. Israel must develop a psychological mindset that prepares it for a multi-pronged struggle, because many of the countries in the world are against the existence of the state of Israel and will do anything to weaken its security, economic stability and legitimacy.

Israel must publicly condemn people, such as Martyn Indyk, who accept funding from countries like Qatar which uses its money to influence political stands vis a vis Israel.

13. Israel's justice system must internalize the fact that we are struggling for our survival. We cannot relate to enemies of the state as if they are deserving of mercy at the hands of our country's legal system. The legal system was not intended to make the state vulnerable but to base it on law and order so that it can continue to function during difficult times.

14. The people of Israel must trust in G-d and in themselves, they must be prepared to fight for their existence. This struggle is infinitely more important than what the Knesset and the media have been stressing - VAT on purchasing an apartment or any internal political struggle. Ministers and MK's must rise above narrow party considerations and begin to lead the Jewish people in its struggle to keep its land, state and liberty.

November 19, 2014

The Dome of the Rock was Built for Jews - Inside Israel - News - Arutz Sheva

The Dome of the Rock was Built for Jews - Inside Israel - News - Arutz Sheva

RABBI MEIR KAHANE talks to Sandi Freeman (CNN) 1983

Difficult Times

We are in very difficult times. It is very hard to express our feelings during the most recent events in Eretz Yisrael. But we must remain strong and trust that Hashem knows what He is doing 100%. We can not understand what is going on, the loss, the families, oy oy oy.
We must feel their pain and cry out to Hashem for His rachamim on us. Ask Hashem to please protect us around the world and especially in Eretrz Yisrael. We are in galus and waiting for Mashiach at any moment, to take us out of this DARK GALUS we are in. Here are some things to do as we are waiting bkarov to be taken HOME.

1. Increase in our chesed for each other.
2. Say Tehillim
3. Daven Harder with more kavana
4. Don't talk in Shul
5. Work on understanding ''EIN OD MILVADO'' and how we will be protected from harmful forces.
6. Answer Amen and Amen Yehi Shmei Raba with more Kavana
7. Find time for learning extra.
8. Tell Hashem ''you love Him'' at least once a day.
9. Learn Mishnayos
10. Give tzdaka
and most of all work on building a stronger relationship with Hashem our creator.
Get seforim that help you work on your emunah and bitachon.
1. Garden of Emunah-Rav Arush
2. Living with Emunah- Rav Ashear
Buy it, get it, read it, it will change your life. Or get a sefer that you know will help.
Let's not let the yetzer harah fool us into thinking Hashem is not with us or hurting with us during this galus. Becauase He is and He will never leave us. Just call out to Him in your own words tell Him how you feel and that you need His loving compassionate help.
Text/call/email 'I need chizuk' any time to get a chizuk. 347-846-8085
Let's help each other, and be
Kish eched Blev echad.

November 18, 2014

What the mainstream media wont tell you about global warming « Hot Air

What the mainstream media wont tell you about global warming « Hot Air

What the mainstream media wont tell you about global warming


Between the recent “deal” with China, reports of Obama taking climate action via executive fiat, and the debate over keystone, global warming has been over the mainstream media recently. But instead of debating whether or not the global warming hypotheses is a valid threat to the Earth, the media starts with the premise that the theory is real and anybody who contests global warming is the equivalent of people who don’t believe the holocaust actually happened, they are called deniers.
The “LA Times” refuses to print letters that disagree with global warming, CNN openly mocks them on air, the NY Times ran a cartoon suggesting climate change skeptics should be stabbed to death, and MSNBC and CBS only interview climate change believers on their programs.
The fact that the liberal skewed media refuses to look at both sides of the climate argument should be evidence enough that they realize global warming theory is flawed. But as one who likes to use facts, below are twelve facts the mainstream media isn’t telling you about climate change. They may not make one believe that global warming is a fraud, but they should at least destroy the argument that climate change is settled science.
1) Through Halloween of 2014- The Global Warming Pause has lasted 18 years and one month. Heartland Institute analyst, Peter Ferrara, notes“If you look at the record of global temperature data, you will find that the late 20th Century period of global warming actually lasted about 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that, the globe was dominated by about 30 years of global cooling, giving rise in the 1970s to media discussions of the return of the Little Ice Age (circa 1450 to 1850), or worse.” So there was thirty years of cooling followed by 20 years of warming and almost 18 years of cooling…and that’s what the global warming scare is all about.
2) Antarctic Sea Ice is at record levels and the Arctic ice cap has seen record growth.  Global sea ice area has been averaging above normal for the past two years. But to get around those facts, the global warming enthusiasts are claiming that global warming causes global cooling (really).
3) Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant it’s what you exhale and it is what “feeds” plants. Without CO2 there would not be a single blade of grass or a redwood tree, nor would there be the animal life that depends on vegetation; wheat and rice, for example, as food. Without CO2 mankind would get pretty hungry. Even worse the global warming proponents keep talking about population control because they don’t want more people around to exhale, and let’s not talk about what they say about stopping methane (no spicy foods, no cows, no fart jokes).
4) There is not ONE climate computer model that has accurately connected CO2 to climate change. In fact CO2 is at its highest levels in 13,000 years and the earth hasn’t warmed in almost 18 years. Approximately 12,750 years ago before big cars and coal plants CO2 levels were higher than today. And during some past ice ages levels were up to 20x today’s levels.
5) Even with the relatively high levels there is very little CO2 in the atmosphere. At 78% nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Oxygen is the second most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere at 21%. Water vapor is the third most abundant gas-of-life in the atmosphere; it varies up to 5%. Exhale freely because carbon dioxide is the least abundant gas in the atmosphere at 0.04%.
6) The climate models pushed by the global warming enthusiasts haven’t been right. Think about that one for a second. If you believe what people like Al Gore the polar ice caps should have melted by now (actually by last year), most coastal cities should be underwater and it should be a lot warmer by now. As my Mom always said, Man plans and God laughs. The Earth’s climate is a very complicated system and the scientists haven’t been able to account for all the components to create an accurate model.
7) You are more likely to see the tooth fairy or a unicorn than a 97% consensus of scientists believing that there is man-made global warming. The number is a convenient fraud. Investigative journalists at Popular Technology reported the 97% Study falsely classifies scientists’ papers, according to the scientists that published them.  A more extensive examination of the Cook study reported that out of the nearly 12,000 scientific papers Cook’s team evaluated, only 65 endorsed Cook’s alarmist position. That is less than 0.97%. How did they come up with 97%? Well out of all the scientists who had a definite opinion, 97% agreed there was global warming and it was the fault of mankind. And how did the Cook folks determine which scientists believed what? They didn’t ask, they read papers written by these scientists and came up with their own opinion.
8) I changed my mind…this past February, Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist, andthe co-founder of Greenpeace, the militant environmental group told members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee “
There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years.”
There are more like Moore.
9) Back to Ice Age– predictions. When I took Earth Science in college 38 years ago, the professor explained that the scientific consensus was we are heading toward an ice age.  That was just before text books were changed to discuss global warming. That was followed by calling it climate change. Now many scientists claim there is new evidence that the Earth may be heading toward an ice age (please stop crying Mr. Gore).
10) Droughts have not increased.
It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally,”
Professor Roger Pielke Jr. said in his testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
11) Polar Bears are alive and well and not dying out. In the Fall 2014 issue of RANGE Magazine Dr. Susan Crockford wrote,
“In a recent TV ad campaign, the Center for Biological Diversity said, “global warming is pushing polar bears to the absolute brink.” Results of recent research show this to be a lie – fat, healthy bears like this one from near Barrow, Alaska, are still common and many of the assumptions used by computer models to predict future disasters have turned out to be wrong.”
In case you were wondering, walruses are doing fine also.
12) No Increase In Hurricanes: A study published in the July 2012 Journal of the American Meteorological Society concluded unequivocally there is no trend of stronger or more frequent storms, asserting:
We have identified considerable inter-annual variability in the frequency of global hurricane landfalls, but within the resolution of the available data, our evidence does not support the presence of significant long-period global or individual basin linear trends for minor, major, or total hurricanes within the period(s) covered by the available quality data.
The only thing “man-made” about global warming, is the argument that we should all stop thinking because there is a scientific consensus about global warming. There are too many questions still open.

November 14, 2014

Obama Has Abandoned American Jews Rotting in Cuban Prison

CRC Calls on Obama Administration to Redouble Efforts to Free Alan Gross as Fifth Anniversary of Incarceration Approaches
 With the fifth anniversary of Alan Gross’s imprisonment in Cuba less than a month away, we are calling on the Obama administration in the strongest terms to do whatever is necessary to bring Alan home.  His situation is dire.  Time is running out.
 Alan was jailed in Cuba nearly five years ago for his work in Cuba on behalf of a U.S. government agency.  As the New York Times recently wrote “the [Obama] administration has a duty to do more to get Mr. Gross home,” Alan’s “arrest was the result of a reckless strategy in which U.S.A.I.D. has deployed private contractors to perform stealthy missions” in Cuba that its government “vehemently opposed.”
 The weight of nearly five years of imprisonment has taken a heavy toll on Alan’s physical and mental state.  His health is deteriorating.  He has lost more than 100 pounds; he is losing vision in his right eye; both his hips are failing, making it a struggle to walk; and he has lost several teeth due to his frail health.  He spends 24 hours a day in a small cell with two other prisoners.  Alan’s 92 year old mother, Evelyn Gross, died recently following a four-year fight against cancer.  Alan, who spoke with her daily before his fateful trip to Cuba, was devastated that he could not say goodbye and could not attend her funeral. 
 On his 65th birthday in May, Alan announced that he has had enough and will not “celebrate” another birthday in prison.  His wife Judy is worried that he is emotionally volatile and will do something drastic at any moment.  The head of Alan’s legal team, Scott Gilbert, has stated that Alan plans to end his life rather than face another 10 years in a Cuban prison.
 Alan has said goodbye to his family.  He is refusing visitors.  He will not meet with U.S. diplomats in Cuba, believing that his country has abandoned him.
 We echo the sentiment of 12,000 members of the U.S. Jewish community who with little fanfare or publicity joined together over the Jewish New Year and sent emails to the White House asking a simple question:  “Why is Alan Gross still in Cuba?”  As the New York Times noted, “time is of the essence.”
 It is not our place to attempt to dictate what our government should do to bring Alan home.  But we simply cannot believe that after five years, the most powerful country on earth is unable to secure the release of one of its citizens, who is languishing in a foreign prison because of a mission he undertook on behalf of our country.  With all respect, we ask the Obama administration to do whatever it takes to bring Alan home now.  Before it is too late.

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The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington (JCRC) is the public affairs and community relations arm of The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington representing over 100 Jewish organizations and synagogues throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  The JCRC focuses on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.
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Tel. 301-770-0881│
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Tel. 703-962-9230│Fax 703-323-1993
DC Office: 1775 K Street, NW Suite 320, Washington, DC 20006│Tel. 202-552-5355

It’s Not the Centrifuges —- It’s the Warhead | FrontPage Magazine

It’s Not the Centrifuges —- It’s the Warhead | FrontPage Magazine

November 10, 2014

Israel’s One-State Reality

Israel’s One-State Reality

Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the new President of Israel, is ardently opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. He is instead a proponent of Greater Israel, one Jewish state from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. He professes to be mystified that anyone should object to the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank: “It can’t be ‘occupied territory’ if the land is your own.”
Rivlin does not have the starched personality of an ideologue, however. He resembles a cheerfully overbearing Borscht Belt comedian who knows too many bad jokes to tell in a single set but is determined to try. Sitting in an office decorated with mementos of his right-wing Zionist lineage, he unleashes a cataract of anecdotes, asides, humble bromides, corny one-liners, and historical footnotes. At seventy-five, he has the florid, bulbous mug of a cartoon flatfoot, if that flatfoot were descended from Lithuanian Talmudists and six generations of Jerusalemites. Rivlin’s father, Yosef, was a scholar of Arabic literature. (He translated the Koran and “The Thousand and One Nights.”) Ruvi Rivlin’s temperament is other than scholarly. He is, in fact, given to categorical provocations. After a visit some years ago to a Reform synagogue in Westfield, New Jersey, he declared that the service was “idol worship and not Judaism.”
And yet, since Rivlin was elected President, in June, he has become Israel’s most unlikely moralist. Rivlin—not a left-wing writer from Tel Aviv, not an idealistic justice of the Supreme Court—has emerged as the most prominent critic of racist rhetoric, jingoism, fundamentalism, and sectarian violence, the highest-ranking advocate among Jewish Israelis for the civil rights of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. Last month, he told an academic conference in Jerusalem, “It is time to honestly admit that Israel is sick, and it is our duty to treat this illness.”
Around Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Rivlin made a video in which he sat next to an eleven-year-old Palestinian Israeli boy from Jaffa who had been bullied: the two held up cards to the camera calling for empathy, decency, and harmony. “We are exactly the same,” one pair read. A couple of weeks ago, Rivlin visited the Arab town of Kafr Qasim to apologize for the massacre, in 1956, of forty-eight Palestinian workers and children by Israeli border guards. No small part of the Palestinian claim is that Israel must take responsibility for the Arab suffering it has caused. Rivlin said, “I hereby swear, in my name and that of all our descendants, that we will never act against the principle of equal rights, and we will never try and force someone from our land.”
Every Israeli and Palestinian understands the context of these remarks. In recent years, anti-Arab harassment and vitriol have reached miserable levels. The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who treasures his fragile ruling coalition above all else, is more apt to manipulate the darkling mood to his political advantage than to ease it.
“I’ve been called a ‘lying little Jew’ by my critics,” Rivlin told the Knesset recently. “ ‘Damn your name, Arab agent,’ ‘Go be President in Gaza,’ ‘disgusting sycophant,’ ‘rotten filth,’ ‘lowest of the low,’ ‘traitor,’ ‘President of Hezbollah.’ These are just a few of the things that have been said to me in the wake of events I’ve attended and speeches I’ve made. I must say that I’ve been horrified by this thuggishness that has permeated the national dialogue.”
Rivlin is no political innocent. A former speaker of the Knesset—like Netanyahu, he is a member of the Likud—he was a clubhouse pol, a backslapper, a vote trader. But he was never a first-rate campaigner, and in his long career he lost more than a few elections. His distinguishing quality, according to an endorsement from the left-wing daily Haaretz, is “niceness.” Niceness has never been a common quality in the Knesset. Screaming is. So is interruption, insult, epithet, storming out, and an occasional shove or thrown glass of water. After years of intra-party quarrels with Rivlin, Netanyahu went to great lengths to crush his Presidential hopes, pushing alternatives such as Elie Wiesel, who was neither interested nor eligible, not being a citizen of Israel. This time, however, niceness paid off for Rivlin. In his bid to become President—a largely but not entirely ceremonial post that is chosen by the Knesset—he won support from Arab legislators who appreciated his courtesy, and from right-wingers like Naftali Bennett and Danny Danon, who join him in a desire to make the West Bank a part of Israel proper.
Despite Rivlin’s satisfaction at achieving a lifelong goal, his mood when we met was not untroubled. As always, he began with a long story about the Rivlin legacy—a grand patriarch’s determination, in the eighteenth century, that his family leave Lithuania for Jerusalem—but he was soon enveloped in the details of what he refers to as “the tragedy we are now living in.”
“The extremists are talking too loudly, and everyone is convinced that only he is on the right side,” Rivlin told me in one of our conversations. “It’s not just Jews against Arabs. It’s the Orthodox versus those who don’t think they can keep all six hundred and thirteen commandments of the Bible. It’s rich people versus poor people. At some point, something came over Israel so that everyone has his own ideas—and everyone else is an enemy. It’s a dialogue among deaf people and it is getting more and more serious.”
Rivlin is careful to point out enmity among Arabs as well as among Jews. Hamas, he says, is a nightmare for the people of Gaza above all. But in his speech at the Jerusalem conference he made it plain that he was talking mainly about his own tribe. He despairs of hate speech on the Internet, of politicians and prominent rabbis condoning anti-Arab violence and rhetoric. “I’m not asking if we’ve forgotten how to be Jewish,” he said, “but if we’ve forgotten how to be human.”
Israeli politicians often speak of the country’s singularity as “the sole democracy in the Middle East,” “the villa in the jungle.” They engage far less often with the challenges to democratic practice in Israel: the resurgence of hate speech; attacks by settlers on Palestinians and their property in the West Bank; the Knesset’s attempts to rein in left-wing human-rights organizations; and, most of all, the unequal status of Israeli Palestinians and the utter lack of civil rights for the Palestinians in the West Bank. A recent poll revealed that a third of Israelis think that Arab citizens of Israel—the nearly two million Arabs living in Israel proper, not the West Bank—should not have the right to vote.
The reasons for the curdled atmosphere are many: the persistence of occupation; the memory of those lost and wounded in war and terror attacks; the Palestinian leadership’s failure to embrace land-for-peace offers from Ehud Barak, in 2000, and Ehud Olmert, in 2008; the chaos in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon; the instability of a neighboring ally like Jordan; the bitter rivalries with Turkey and Qatar; the regional clash between Sunni and Shia; the threats from Hezbollah, in Lebanon, from Hamas, in Gaza, and from other, more distant groups, like ISIS, hostile to the existence of Israel; the rise of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic sentiment in Europe and its persistence in the Arab world; a growing sense of drift from the Obama Administration. All these developments have pushed the country toward a state of fearful embattlement. The old voices of the left, the “pro-peace camp,” have too few answers, too few troops. And so Netanyahu, the champion of a status quo that favors settlers and the Likud, retains his perch. His strategic vision seems to be a desire to get from Shabbat to Shabbat. He has been Prime Minister longer than any of his predecessors except David Ben-Gurion.
During the Gaza war this summer, as the death toll reached twenty-one hundred Palestinians and seventy-one Israelis, and leaders around the world expressed indignation at the scale of the Israeli response to the Gaza rockets, nearly all the rallies in the country were pro-war, shows of national solidarity with the families of the Israeli dead, with the Israel Defense Forces. Some rising young ideologues in the Likud assailed Netanyahu as indecisive, weak, unwilling to “go all the way.”
Expressing doubts about the proportionality of response, even documenting the human consequences of that response, was, in this charged atmosphere, taken as deeply suspect. The images of carnage and destruction in Gaza that were so common around the world were rare on Israeli television or in mainstream dailies like Yedioth Ahronoth, where the emphasis was on rockets, tunnels, and honoring the I.D.F. When Yonit Levi, the lead anchor of the Channel 2 evening news, delivered straightforward reports about deaths and casualties in Gaza, she was rewarded with a Facebook page on which thousands of people demanded that she be removed from the airwaves, and text messages that were so threatening the police had to get involved.
Meanwhile, right-wing groups came to workplaces in Israeli cities that were known to employ Arabs and denounced them and the owners. Palestinians in Jerusalem told me they were afraid to take public transportation, to visit markets and malls. “This has been the most dehumanizing ordeal in my experience,” Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former legal adviser for the Palestine Liberation Organization, told me. “All you hear about is the idea that Palestinians ‘don’t value human life,’ ‘they have a culture of martyrdom,’ ‘they use their children and women as human shields.’ The idea is not that Israel is doing this but that we are doing this to ourselves. ”
One morning during the war, before I went to call on Rivlin at the Presidential residence, I was reading Haaretz at Caffit, a café in the German Colony of Jerusalem. Shin Bet, the Israeli security service, was still hunting for the Hamas operatives who in June had kidnapped and killed three Israeli teen-agers—Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel. The crime had outraged the nation. Shin Bet had in custody a twenty-nine-year-old settler named Yosef Haim Ben-David, who was a suspect in the retaliatory murder of a Palestinian teen-ager named Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Police had found Abu Khdeir’s body in the Jerusalem Forest; he had been bludgeoned and burned to death. Ben-David, the owner of an eyewear shop who lived in a West Bank settlement called Geva Binyamin, told the police that he and two friends were so enraged by the murder of the three Israelis that on the day of the funeral they wanted to “harass an Arab or vandalize property or beat somebody up, nothing specific.”
Ben-David and his friends stopped at a station to fill bottles with gasoline. As he told his interrogators, “We were hot and angry, and decided we’d burn something of the Arabs’.” At first, they looked for an Arab shop to burn. “Then we talked and decided to take it up a notch,” he went on. “We said, ‘They took three of ours, let’s take one of theirs.’ And we decided to pick someone up, to kidnap him, beat him up, and throw him out.”
The friends drove to the neighborhood of Shuafat. It was after 3 A.M., but it was Ramadan, and many Arabs were out on the streets well before the morning meal. Ben-David and the others spotted a skinny sixteen-year-old boy along a main road: Abu Khdeir. He was studying at a vocational school to be an electrician. Two of the Israelis got out of the car and asked for directions to Tel Aviv. Abu Khdeir did not speak Hebrew well; they closed in on the boy, and shoved him in. One of the Israelis started to choke him. Ben-David yelled, “Finish him off!”
“He started to gurgle,” Ben-David told the police. “At some point he stopped struggling.”
They drove to the Jerusalem Forest, and then Ben-David hit Abu Khdeir repeatedly in the head with a crowbar. Finally, the men dragged him out of the car, and as Ben-David rained blows on him he shouted, “This is for Eyal, and this is for Naftali . . .” Then they poured gasoline over Abu Khdeir and set him on fire. The postmortem determined that Abu Khdeir was still alive as he burned.
The Israelis then drove to a nearby park. Ben-David confessed that they began to feel remorse. “I was in shock,” he told the interrogators. “We’re Jews, we have a heart. Afterward we talked about it and . . . each one poured his heart out and we regretted doing it. I told them . . . ‘This is not for us. We erred, we’re compassionate Jews, we’re human beings.’ Then we got depressed.”
This spirit of rage and resentment is, as Rivlin observes, no longer confined to the outer fringe. In the mid-eighties, Meir Kahane, a Brooklyn-born rabbi who led both the Jewish Defense League in the United States and the Kach Party in Israel, won a seat in the Knesset. Kahane trafficked in baldly xenophobic rhetoric, but, by 1988, Kach had been banned by the Knesset as a racist party and barred from most media outlets. Today, the mainstream right-wing party Likud has moved so much farther to the right that its old “princes,” such as Benny Begin and Dan Meridor, who had been opponents of a Palestinian state but advocates of democratic norms, were voted out of the leadership in 2012. The Party’s dominant young voices include hard-liners like Danny Danon, who, as deputy defense minister, disparaged the Gaza operation as “feeble”; another Likud legislator, Moshe Feiglin, has called himself a “proud homophobe” and has vowed to build a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount and “fulfill our purpose in this land.” Netanyahu’s principal coalition partner, Avigdor Lieberman, has demanded that Israeli Arabs take loyalty oaths. Naftali Bennett, the leader of Jewish Home, a settler-dominated party, speaks of at least a partial annexation of the West Bank.
“There’s been a sea change in Israel,” Bennett told me recently, with distinct satisfaction. “Something dramatic happened with Gaza. People realize now that the whole notion of a Palestinian state, of handing over land to another Arab entity, won’t work. Nine years ago, we pulled out of Gaza and took out all the Jews. The result is that Gaza became Hamastan, a fortress of terror. As much as we wanted to separate, terror has a way of running after you.” Bennett hopes to succeed Netanyahu as Prime Minister.
More explicitly jingoistic and racist elements now operate closer to the center of Israeli political life. Some well-known figures in the religious world speak openly in an anti-democratic rhetoric of Jewish supremacy—“strength and victimhood all melded together,” as one Israeli friend put it to me. (When a group of rabbis told their followers not to rent property to Arabs, Rivlin called the edict “another nail in the coffin of Israeli democracy.”) Yoav Eliasi, a rapper who calls himself HaTzel (the Shadow), led a group of fellow-fanatics who broke up a peace demonstration in Tel Aviv. One of the groups that accompanied the Shadow was Lehava (Flame), an association of religious extremists who see it as their mission to battle assimilation. Lehava tries to break up weddings between Muslims and Jews. Similar groups comb through Facebook looking for left-wing sentiment among Israeli Jews; when they find it, they send letters to their employers demanding that the lefties be fired.
Assaf Sharon, a young liberal activist and academic who went to a yeshiva in a religious Zionist settlement, told me that a few years ago he had helped stage a demonstration after settlers attacked Palestinians near Jerusalem. As soon as the small rally began, a group of young right-wing thugs were all over them. “We were thirty, they were seventy, and they had chains and knives and sticks,” Sharon said. “I had my nose broken. Some had limbs broken. The police were there, but there were no prosecutions. Now these same guys come to Tel Aviv, to Haifa. They are very hot-tempered, excited hooligans, and it is all anti-Arab. Their slogan is ‘A Jew Is a Blessed Soul, an Arab Is a Son of a Whore.’ ”
When Rivlin was the speaker of the Knesset, he tried time and again to quash legislation that he felt was discriminatory and anti-democratic, including a measure designed to prevent the boycotting of any Israeli institution or commercial product. “Woe betide the Jewish democratic state that turns freedom of expression into a civil offense,” he wrote in Haaretz at the time. The law “threatens to catapult us into an era in which gagging people becomes accepted legal practice.” As the speaker of parliament, he repeatedly defended the rights of Arab legislators who had been shouted down and threatened with expulsion. When one Arab member, Haneen Zoabi, was attacked in the Knesset as a “traitor” for participating in the flotilla from Turkey protesting the Israeli blockade of Gaza, Rivlin demanded that she and her allies be allowed to speak “even if what they say hurts me.”
Last year, Rivlin denounced fans of Beitar Jerusalem, the soccer team of the city’s right wing, after they held up signs reading “Beitar Forever Pure” to protest the signing of two Muslim players from Chechnya. Rivlin, a Beitar supporter, said at the time, “Imagine the outcry if groups in England or Germany said that Jews could not play for them.”
Had a Jewish left-wing critic made the sort of statements that Rivlin has, he would not wait long before being denounced as a “self-hater.” A non-Jew could expect to be branded anti-Semitic. Because of his conservative bona fides, Rivlin cannot easily be dismissed. “Rivlin may turn out to be the most influential President in Israeli history,” Avishai Margalit, a liberal philosopher and a founder of Peace Now, told me. “He is a true believer but genuinely non-racist, not merely tolerant. He has sincere respect for the Arabs, which is so rare in so many circles. Of course, as the Russian adage goes, Influence moves like the knight in chess—forward and then to the side, never in a straight line. So we’ll have to wait to see what impact Rivlin really has.”
Rivlin’s central allegiance is to the career and thought of Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, who was the patriarch of the Revisionists, the most militant and militarist stream of early Zionism. Unlike the leaders of mainstream Labor Zionism, Jabotinsky recognized the deep, irreconcilable interests of the Arab presence in Palestine. Insisting on the superiority of the Jewish claim on the land, he foresaw the inevitability of confrontation: “Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized,” he wrote in his 1923 essay “The Iron Wall.” “That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of ‘Palestine’ into the ‘Land of Israel.’ ”
This is where Ruvi Rivlin’s legacy becomes more complex. Although Jabotinsky considered himself a liberal and a democrat, his nationalism was so fierce that he occasionally betrayed an admiration for Benito Mussolini. Rivlin is no doubt sincere when he says that he would give Arabs full civil rights in a Greater Israel, but he can be viewed as the more benign face of a right-wing one-state ideology. Others on the right who talk of one state want mainly to sanctify the annexing, in some form, of occupied territory. As Margalit puts it, “The rest really believe in apartheid in the West Bank. They believe in full surveillance, full dominion, something resembling a Stasi state as in that film ‘The Lives of Others.’ ”
“A man can’t fully enjoy golf until he has a family of his own to avoid.”BUY OR LICENSE »
The one-state/two-state debate is highly fraught not least because of proximity. Too much history, too little land. This is not India and Pakistan; the map of Ireland is a veritable continent compared with Israel and the Palestinian territories. Gaza is about as close to Herzliya as Concord is to Hanover; the West Bank, as Israelis are quick to point out, is seven miles from Ben Gurion Airport. Any two-state solution with a chance of working would have to include federal arrangements not only about security but also about water, cell-phone coverage, sewage, and countless other details of a common infrastructure. Talk of a one-state solution, limited as it is, will never be serious if it is an attempt to mask annexation, expulsion, or population transfer, on one side, or the eradication of an existing nation, on the other. Israel exists; the Palestinian people exist. Neither is provisional. Within these territorial confines, two nationally distinct groups, who are divided by language, culture, and history, cannot live wholly apart or wholly together.
To most Israelis and many Palestinians, a one-state solution is no solution at all. It seems like the by-product of left-leaning desperation or right-leaning triumphalism. Even many of those who know that a two-state peace settlement is far from imminent believe that a binational state represents not a promise of democracy and coexistence but a blueprint for sectarian strife—Lebanon in the eighties, Yugoslavia in the nineties. And yet the idea has a rich history.
Many of the early Zionists either failed to recognize the Arab population in what they regarded as their future homeland or willfully ignored it. Others made a Realpolitik assessment about the urgent need for a refuge from European anti-Semitism, in the wake of the Dreyfus affair and pogroms in the Russian Empire. In effect, many of those early Zionists adopted the illusions of Mark Twain, who, when visiting Palestine in 1867, saw only “a silent, mournful expanse,” and those of the Earl of Shaftesbury, who spoke about “a land without a people for a people without a land.”
David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, and the other leaders of mainstream Zionism failed to reckon with the Arabs directly in their field of vision. One Zionist faction that did recognize the dilemma was the Revisionists, led by Jabotinsky, who was born in Odessa and had a reputation as a poet, playwright, novelist, and electrifying polemicist. “The tragedy is that there is a clash here between two truths; but the justice of our cause is greater,” he argued in 1926.
On today’s right, the one-state vision encompasses greater Jerusalem and the West Bank but discounts Gaza, not least for demographic reasons. Who wants to deal with poor, furious Gaza, to say nothing of its million-plus population? Besides, Gaza, unlike the West Bank, is not rich with Biblically resonant cities and sites.
Caroline Glick, who is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, a conservative English-language daily, and was a member of the Israeli negotiating team from 1994 to 1996, recently published “The Israeli Solution: A One State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.” Glick is not prone to equivocation. Her columns and Facebook page make her views plain: “The Death of Klinghoffer” is “anti-Semitic smut,” an “operatic pogrom.” The Obama Administration wants to “screw the Jews in Israel.” She is a voice from the part of the population that sees a peace deal as impossible and Israel as noble and friendless, destined to go it alone in a treacherous world.
“We don’t have anything to talk about with the Palestinians,” Glick told me over lunch in Jerusalem. “There was never anything to talk about. . . . We have been trying to do this since 1993. It’s lunatic, trying to pretend away reality in order to reach a deal attractive on prime-time television. In the messiest political situation ever. It’s stupid. It’s childish. I want to incorporate Judea and Samaria into Israel. I want to be done with this nonsense.”
Glick grew up in Hyde Park, Obama’s old neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. She immigrated to Israel in 1991. Like many Israelis, she finds the moralizing of foreigners oppressive. “It’s evil to concentrate on Israel,” she said. “I am not saying we are pure as the driven snow—you can’t be if you are a sovereign nation—but there is no rational way of explaining that obsession, that unswerving gaze, that desire to spend billions of dollars to stigmatize our country and leaders. There is an unhealthy obsession with Jews and power. People coming in and committing these slanders are the ones responsible for the deaths of those Palestinians. They encourage Hamas to do this.”
Like Netanyahu, Glick sees a Palestinian state as little more than a staging ground for assaults on Israel. “The border will be permeable,” she said. “Jerusalem will be divided and people will walk in the Damascus Gate and then through the Jaffa Gate and murder people. There is no way of securing the country. If you look at what’s happening in Syria and Iraq and everywhere else, people like Abbas”—Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority—“would share the fate of Qaddafi. His corrupt sons would all be shot by a firing squad, and we would have a situation where we would be facing a jihadist enclave in the middle of Israel.”
The left-wing version of a one-state, or binationalist, idea emerged at around the same time as Jabotinsky’s version, when a small collection of left-wing intellectuals, many centered at the Hebrew University, insisted that the ethical principles of Zionism demanded ethical behavior toward the Arabs. The group, called Brit Shalom (Covenant of Peace), supported the idea of shared political power in Palestine. Its members were deeply influenced by Ahad Ha’am, an early Zionist thinker and essayist who emphasized a cultural-spiritual revival in Palestine rather than a majority-Jewish state. In his travels to Palestine, Ahad Ha’am warned that if the Zionists failed to act justly toward the Arabs there would be trouble: “The natives are not just going to step aside so easily.” Decades later, Martin Buber, a philosopher and leader of Brit Shalom, warned of excessive nationalism in Zionist thought and counselled against the creation of a “tiny state of Jews, completely militarized and unsustainable.”
The idea of two states for two peoples came together in official form in 1936, when Lord Peel was charged by the British Mandate with investigating unrest between Arabs and Jews. His commission set out the initial boundaries of partition. By the time the United Nations voted in support of partition, in 1947, the binational idea, and its array of supporting factions, including Brit Shalom, had dissolved. The surrounding Arab states rejected partition and invaded the new state of Israel, which emerged victorious.
The reappearance of a one-state discussion in Israel came out of frustration over the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank following the Six-Day War and the failures to gain an agreement with the Palestinians. Meron Benvenisti, who was the deputy mayor of Jerusalem from 1971 to 1978, years when Israel kept expanding the city, spoke out against the occupation of lands won in the 1967 war and what he saw as Israel’s broader intentions. By the early eighties, he concluded that the leaders of both Labor and Likud were complicit in the ever-widening construction of settlements throughout the territories and were making it impossible to lay any groundwork for Palestinian independence. Benvenisti established an organization to study the situation in the West Bank, and, in a book of essays published in 1989 called “The Shepherd’s War,” he warned that the occupation was becoming “irreversible.” The settlers, including the most bourgeois, state-subsidized suburbanites, had coöpted the language and spirit of the kibbutzim of the early state; the settlers were the new pioneers. Benvenisti derided the term “occupied territories,” because it assumed a temporary passage of history; it promoted a comforting notion about “when peace comes.” In the meantime, he saw that the Palestinians—in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza, in Israel, in the refugee camps abroad, and in the diaspora—were thoroughly splintered in their day-to-day aspirations, their political leaderships, and their identities.
“What Israel did, through the logic of an occupier, was to divide and rule—so much so that the British would have been green with envy the way the Israelis have succeeded,” Benvenisti told me one evening in East Jerusalem. The settlements are so established, he said, that even if, magically, an Israeli and Palestinian agreement based on the 1967 borders could emerge, it would swiftly collapse. “A Palestinian state based on such a plan is going to be a collection of Bantustans,” he said, echoing the view of many leading Palestinian thinkers and politicians. “It’s not going to be viable. The irredentist urges, if they are squeezed and suffocated by Israel, will rise up again.”
Benvenisti is no less brutal about liberal Zionists. “They have these demonstrations against the ‘fascistization’ of Israel,” he said. “A Palestinian Arab listening to them crying now would laugh. They know that the two-state solution is in itself racist.”
We talked for a while about David Grossman, one of Israel’s best novelists and a leading voice against the settlements and occupation. Benvenisti shrugged. For him, Grossman’s tribe of liberal Zionists is deluded. “All your enmity and anger is directed at the settlers,” he said. “But what is your role as an Israeli in perpetuating it and benefitting from it? Grossman says that occupation is the source of all evil. This is not true. The problem is the privileged condition of the Jewish ethnic group over the others, those defined as the ‘enemies,’ the ‘terrorists.’ You divert attention, so that it is easier to define, and you restrict your anger and fight a battle that to me is irrelevant. For the Israeli left, it is important that the game [of negotiations] goes on because it soothes their consciences. They are serious people. But they are serious in trying to salvage the Zionist creed. They need to remain Zionists, and for them the definition of Zionism is a Jewish state. They insist on seeing the beginning of the conflict in 1967. They can’t cope with 1948.”
I asked Benvenisti how his vision of one state would work. “Sometimes it is enough to be a diagnostician,” he said. “When you get into prescriptions, people tend to dismiss the diagnosis.”
My conversation with Benvenisti took place on a late-summer night in the courtyard of the American Colony, a beautiful old hotel in East Jerusalem. The next morning, as if to underline the excruciating proximities of the conflict, I crossed the street and called on Sari Nusseibeh, a professor of Islamic philosophy who was the longtime president of Al-Quds University and once an adviser—a particularly moderate adviser—to Yasir Arafat. Nusseibeh comes from one of the grandest of Palestinian families. His relatives hold the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He has always been overmatched by the fiercer voices around him. Now he appeared to have come very close to giving up.
On a broiling day, we sat in his cool anteroom drinking tea with his wife and daughter. “The classical two-state solution is exhausted,” he said. “I’d like it to be working, but I don’t see it working. The wheels of history are grinding much faster than our ability to think or our ability to impose our ideas on history.”
Nusseibeh did not give in easily to defeatism. His liberalism, his alliances over the years with like-minded Israelis—a decade ago, he sketched out a peace agreement with Ami Ayalon, a former chief of Shin Bet—never made him popular in the Palestinian resistance. But, with the collapse of John Kerry’s recent attempt to forge an agreement, the Israeli and the Palestinian leaderships had proved, yet again, utterly unable to advance; Hamas, despite its weakness, had regained a place in the center of the Palestinian consciousness; and the entire region was inflamed, which was a pretext for Israel to stand pat. And so Nusseibeh has switched his focus from two states to something more limited and basic: the civil rights of Palestinian Arabs both in the occupied territories and in Israel proper.
When I mentioned that I had seen Meron Benvenisti the previous evening and that he had given up on a two-state solution more than thirty years ago, Nusseibeh replied, “In the eighties, Meron was already telling us that the settlements were developing in a way that was irreversible. We thought Meron was an Israeli agent trying to dissuade us from a Palestinian state! But then we began to see the new geography, the infrastructure of roads and roadblocks and checkpoints that was being built. It all became tangible.”
Nusseibeh was also hard on his own leadership. “In the eighties, the idea of a Palestinian state seemed beautiful,” he said. “It would be free and equal, with no occupation. Today, not as many people are enthused about it. People are disappointed by our failures—our internal failures, too. We used to think we would be the best and most democratic state in the Arab world, but now we are like the worst state in Africa. The older generation failed to translate the idea into reality.”
The instability throughout the region, meanwhile, conspires against any Israeli leap of faith. “The Arab world, the Muslim world, seems to be falling apart,” Nusseibeh said. “I grew up thinking there was something solid in the Arab world except for the Palestinian situation. Now all of these governments have failed. My generation grew up thinking that Muslims were tolerant. Now it’s scary, something totally different, a monster growing up all around you. Somehow it is less dangerous for the Palestinians here. It’s safer for people here than in the Arab world, if you take Gaza away. Under occupation, your land and your resources are taken, there are no rights, but we generally don’t live in fear.”
In the West, the one-state idea has been boosted over the years by academics such as Edward Said, Tony Judt, John Mearsheimer, and Virginia Tilley, and by activists such as Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian-American co-founder of a Web site called Electronic Intifada. In Palestine, polls differ radically, but nearly a half century of occupation and a crushing sense that a one-state reality is effectively the status quo have pushed more people to support binationalism. Ahmed Qurei, a central player in the Oslo process, is among the Palestinian politicians who have given up on a two-state solution.
One night, I went to Ramallah to call on Husam Zomlot, a high-ranking adviser in the Abbas government. Zomlot’s father was born in a village near Ashkelon and, as a toddler, fled in 1948 to Gaza. The family thought that they would be able to return home. They were among hundreds of thousands of refugees who could not. Zomlot’s father became a successful textile manufacturer, but, during the conflict in 2006 over the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, the I.D.F. bulldozed his factory. He went abroad and watched the bombing of Gaza on television. “He sits in London watching his grandchildren going through the same experience that he went through as a refugee,” Zomlot said.
When I asked Zomlot about a one-state solution, he laughed. Zomlot would love to commute from Ramallah to Haifa and teach—“and live like a human being”—but conceded that such a commute is beyond discussion, a fantasy. “There is only one government that controls this state now, and it has a plan to colonize the rest of historic Palestine,” he said. “This is not a racial dispute, it’s not sectarian like in Iraq, and it is not straightforward occupation like America in Afghanistan. It’s a displacement and a replacement exercise. This is what we live every day. On a mass scale sometimes and gradually at other times, like now, but it has never stopped since 1948.
“For the last forty-seven years, there’s been an international consensus about a two-state solution,” he went on. “So how do you throw that away? Can you? Why would I as a Palestinian want to compromise my nationality—and heritage and identity and distinctiveness—and then create a hybrid identity when I see the fate of the Palestinians in Israel? Look at their fate. Look at them in recent weeks. Sacked from workplaces. Verbally assaulted. In their own state! When the Israeli foreign minister”—Avigdor Lieberman—“comes out and says, ‘I want to get rid of these people, through transfer, or exchange,’ excuse me, do I want willingly to live under such a culture and mind-set and state? No, I don’t. There is no glimpse of hope of being an equal citizen under such an ideology. Israel has not moved to the right. It has gone to a madhouse! Why would I want to serve an Israeli flag or vote for the Knesset or serve in the Israeli Army?”
One evening, I met with Rivlin’s predecessor, Shimon Peres, who, at ninety-one, presides at a peace center named for him in Jaffa. Peres, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Oslo process, now sees his life’s work receding into impossibility. His frustration is deepened by Netanyahu’s contempt for the Palestinian leader, Abbas, and by the chilly relations between the Israelis and the Obama Administration. Peres has always been a smooth operator, selling optimism door to door in Western capitals, but he seemed to have nothing in his sample case. Still, he rejected Rivlin’s alternative. “One state is nonsense,” he told me, adding, “Czechoslovakia had a divorce and they were better off.”
The Palestinians are well aware that no Israeli government would consider a binational alternative in which they were in the majority. The history of Jews living as a minority in Arab states is not a pretty one. Edward Said, when he was asked in 2000 by a writer from Haaretz what would happen to a Jewish minority in a binational state, replied, “It worries me a great deal. The question of what is going to be the fate of the Jews is very difficult for me. I really don’t know.” What persists is the one-state reality, the status quo, and, with it, the corrosive rhetoric and behavior that has turned Ruvi Rivlin into an unexpected prophet.
Toward the end of the recent war, I went to a peace demonstration on Rabin Square, in Tel Aviv. This is where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot to death, in 1995, by Yigal Amir, a religious-nationalist fanatic. Several years after the killing, Amir told his mother, from prison, that had he not murdered Rabin “there would have been a Palestinian state for a while already, no Jewish settlements, we would have lost everything.” The demonstrators carried signs in favor of peace. David Grossman made a speech. But it was a small and listless affair.
“In the nineties, I thought our problem would be solved before South Africa’s,” Peres had told me. “There were economic sanctions, but what really brought down the Afrikaners was the sense of isolation. Suddenly, they had nowhere to go.” Peres, of course, opposes any boycott of Israel, but his concern was clear. Many Israeli friends have remarked on the élite in the country—doctors, artists, engineers, businesspeople; call it two hundred thousand people—who provide Israel with its economic and cultural vibrancy. That élite is no less patriotic than the rest, but if its members begin to see a narrowing horizon for their children, if they sense their businesses shrinking, if they sense an Israel deeply diminished in the eyes of Europe and the United States, they will head elsewhere, or their children will. Not all at once, and not everyone, but there is no denying that one cost of occupation is isolation.
In the meantime, Ruvi Rivlin is paying another kind of cost. Following his trip to Kafr Qasim, members of the resentful right have circulated on social media and various Web sites a Photoshopped picture of him wearing a red kaffiyeh. This brand of vitriol is reminiscent of the days, two decades ago, when fanatics demonstrating against the Oslo peace accords brandished pictures of Yitzhak Rabin wearing a kaffiyeh or a Nazi S.S. uniform—the sort of images that appealed to his assassin. Last week, at a service commemorating the nineteenth anniversary of Rabin’s death, Rivlin, who opposed the accords, gave a speech celebrating Rabin’s courage and leadership. Dalia Rabin-Pelossof, his daughter, and a former member of the Knesset, called on Netanyahu to condemn the harassment of Rivlin. Then she turned to Rivlin and said, “It is true you did not come from the same background, and we do not share the same political views. But we have always been members of the same sect, for whom the rules of democracy are sacred and from which we may not deviate under any circumstances.”