David Ha'ivri Services


Relaunching talks between Israel and the PLO chief Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas)

Many questions arise as these negotiations begin. What is the real goal of the “Two State Solution”? What does Abbas mean when he repeatedly declares,

“no Israelis will live in the future Palestinian state”? Why is Israel releasing 104 terrorist prisoners convicted of murdering Israeli citizens? Why is the Obama administration pushing Israel to concede to the PLO, and how does that relate to its impotency in the face of the extreme suffering and human rights violations in other Middle East countries?

Obviously, Israel exists in a reality totally unique in the world, in regard to the continuing threats both outside and inside its borders. Within its tiny geographical domain, it is the world’s only Jewish state, founded after a two thousand year exile, during which the Jewish people wandered from one land of persecution to another. In short, the countries of the world collectively had a very bad record on showing kind hospitality to the countryless Jews.

Some one hundred and fifty years ago, modern Zionism brought Jews together to devise a practical plan to establish an independent Jewish country. Thoughts of planting the new state in lands other than the historical homeland were considered by some, but quickly recognized as unviable. The unprecedented gathering of an exiled and dispersed nation could only take place if they were allowed to gather in the ancient homeland to which they dreamed and prayed to return.

At the time, Egypt was the only country in the region independent of the Ottoman Empire. The remaining lands of what are now considered the Middle East and North Africa were all administered by the Turks and were not divided by the borders nor represented by the countries we know today.

The impression that Israel is occupying “Palestinian” lands is incorrect. A Palestinian country did not exist in these lands, prior to its coming under Israel’s control. As a result of the 1967 Six Day War, Israel did capture Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea – not from Palestine, but rather, from Jordan. It is true that the PLO was established in Jerusalem in 1964, some three years before Israel’s defensive acquisition of these lands in 1967. Obviously, the agenda of the PLO was not to free lands from Israel which it did not even possess. Its mission then, as now, is to replace Israel on all of its land from the river to the sea. This is not a deeply concealed secret. It is taught in PLO and UNRWA schools and is proudly presented on maps and official emblems of the PLO and its branches.

The mission of the PLO is and always has been denial of the right of the Jewish people to their own county in their historical homeland. PLO spokespeople and negotiators are always very clear not to utter the words “Israel” and “Jewish State” together as one identity because they refuse to accept that it has any valid claim whatsoever. If you pay attention to the PLO narrative, you will notice that the Two State concept includes a Palestinian state with no Jews, alongside a binational state for all of its residents, regardless of their nationality. The Jewish state does not exist in the PLO concept.

Readers should take note that a Two State Solution was already implemented by the British in 1946, when they divided the area of the mandate and allocated two thirds of it to establish the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as a gift to the son of their Bedouin friend from Mecca. A second Two State Solution was set into motion in 2005, when the Israeli government removed all Israeli communities and interests from the Gaza region. Unfortunately for the PLO functionaries, the people of Gaza elected the Islamic Hamas in their place as government, and the PLO was thrown out right after the Jews.

And now on the table again for the third time, we have the Two State Solution. As Abbas states very clearly, his vision is to have no Israelis in the future Palestinian state. He means Jews! As a precondition of taking part in any discussions, he demanded that over a hundred convicted terrorist murderers be freed from Israeli prisons. Is there a statement that could better express the cheapening of the blood of Jews than that of letting their murderers walk free?

Next, he says that no Israelis will be allowed to live in the country he wishes to establish. This doesn’t sound very peaceful. Today there are about 750,000 Israelis who live in the areas that Abbas would like to see as his future state. That is between 25 – 30% of the total population, depending on how you count. East of the 1967 Green Line, in the area that Abbas sees as a future binational state, 20% of the population are Arabs. Why should the envisioned “peace-loving Palestinian state” be closed to Jews? Why would the suggestion of expelling 750,000 people from their homes be considered a legitimate narrative in international discourse?

But the truth is that it is unfeasible. The number of Jewish residents in Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea has passed critical mass. The state of Israel was founded in 1948, with a total Jewish population of 600,000, and it survived the combined efforts of seven Arab armies to wipe it off the map. Today the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria (or “the West Bank,” if you like) is greater than the entire population of Israel on the day of its modern founding. The Jewish communities (or “settlements,” if you like) are permanent fixtures in the scenery here, with million dollar homes, shopping centers, schools, playgrounds and a full-fledged university. These are not things that can be packed away on moving trucks.

Abbas knows that he is stuck with us; the time has come for him to figure out how to live with us.




“Israel continues to resemble quick-silver, that strange, liquid metal,
whose restless globules run in all directions without mingling with
anything they touch, but reunite in large masses as soon as they
meet again.”

– Pierre Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, French economist. 1843 – 1916 AD


“The resourcefulness of the modern Jews, both in mind and soul, is extraordinary.
(…) The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest
race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the
worst conditions (in fact better than under favorable ones) by means of virtues
of some sort – which one would like nowadays to label as vices – owing above all to
a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before modern idea. (…) It is
certain that the Jew, if he desired – or if they were driven to it, as the antisemites
seem to wish – could now have the ascendancy, nay, literally the supremacy, over
Europe; that they are not working or planning for that end is equally sure.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher. 1844 – 1900 AD


“Zionism has succeeded in bringing back into the fold many men and women,
both here and in Europe, who otherwise would have been lost to Judaism. It
has given them a new interest in the synagogue and everything Jewish, and
put before them an ideal worthy of their love and sacrifice (…) Zionism is the
declaration of Jewish independence from all kinds of slavery, whether material
or spiritual.”

– Solomon Schechter, Moldavian-Jewish rabbi. 1847 – 1915 AD


“Here we start with a pure race of unusual intellectual vigor and power, the Jews,
long thrown by circumstances into an environment which has brought out many of
their faculties in a very high degree. They are the oldest civilized race now remaining
on earth; they are artistic, musical, literary, exceptionally philosophic, and hereditarily

– Grant Allen, Canadian author and novelist. 1848 – 1899 AD


“If Zionism can be developed into a working scheme, the benefit it would
bring to the Jewish people – especially perhaps to that section of it which
most deserves our pity – would be great and lasting. It is not merely that
large numbers of them would thus find a refuge from religious and social
persecution; but that they would bear corporate responsibilities, and enjoy
corporate opportunities of a kind which, from the nature of the case, they
can never possess as citizens of any non-Jewish state.”

– Arthur James Balfour, 49th British Prime Minister. 1848 – 1930 AD


“Zionism is a new word for a very old thing, so far as it merely expresses the
longing of the Jewish people for Zion. Since the destruction of the Second
Temple by Titus, since the dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, this
ancient people has not ceased to long fervently for a return to the lost land
of their fathers nor to entertain for it a determined hope.”

– Max Nordau, Austrian-Jewish physician, author and Zionist. 1849 – 1923 AD


“As the Ghetto melts away under the disintegrating forces of modernity, a new
cement must be created to hold together whatever is individual in the Jew.
Nationality is the rationale and Zionism the saving policy of modern Judaism.”
Max Heller, rabbi of New Orleans. 1850 – 1929 AD


“You are a people without a land; there is a land without a people. Be united.
Fulfill the dreams of your old poets and patriarchs. Go back, go back to the
land of Abraham.”

– John Lawson Stoddard, American writer, hymn writer and lecturer. 1850 – 1931 AD


“The Hebrew language is the only glue which holds together our scattered bones.
It also holds together the rings in the chain of time. It binds us to those who built
pyramids, to those who shed their blood on the ramparts of Jerusalem, and to those
who, at the burning stakes, cried Shema Yisrael!”

– Yitskhok Leybush Peretz, Polish-Jewish author.  1852 – 1915 AD

Is Abbas the last Palestinian Authority president? by Mudar Zahran

After Israel’s most recent military operation in Gaza, which ended with a cease-fire, Hamas has been claiming victory and enjoying popularity with the Palestinians, which comes as a setback for Hamas’s rivals; Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction.

With Hamas popularity on the rise, Abbas was left with one desperate option to boost his image: pressing his quest for UN recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

Still, Abbas has other problems in his own house; there is friction within Abbas’s Fatah, as Abbas’s rival, Muhammad Dahlan, is still very influential and has a huge following.

Dahlan was a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee and the chief of the Palestinian Preventive Security Service. For years, he served as the main Palestinian counterterrorism coordination figure with Israel.

Abbas’s Fatah managed to expel Dahlan in June 2011 following allegations by Abbas that Dahlan had murdered Arafat using poison.

Dahlan lives in exile now, but he has the money and the followers to disrupt Abbas nonetheless, if not necessarily to topple him. It is not unlikely that rivalry between Abbas and Dahlan would evolve into further friction between their followers should Abbas exhibit further signs of weakness or step down.

In addition, the Arab Spring has drawn attention from the Palestinian cause as a whole and from Abbas as the poster child for the Arab-Israeli conflict; the media now has Syria, Egypt and other hot-spots to cover over Abbas’s heart-felt speeches, or his meetings with world leaders.

As a result, Palestinians in the West Bank are no longer seeing Abbas in the international media, or mingling with world leaders, and are therefore focusing more on their miserable living conditions, which, as revealed by a recent poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 70 percent of them believe are due to PA corruption.

Last October, prominent Israeli political scholar and Arabist Mordechai Kedar told a crowd in London that “the biggest victim of the Arab Spring is the Palestinian cause, as the world’s media is no longer occupied with it” – and with the fading significance of the Palestinian cause goes Abbas’s own significance.

Adding to Abbas’s woes is that the Palestinians in the West Bank do not seem to be too enthusiastic about his quest to gain UN recognition for Palestine as an independent state.

While Abbas’s UN stunt succeeded – Palestine is now an observer state in the UN – its very success could cause Abbas’s disappearance from the political scene, because the Oslo peace agreement requires the Palestinians to not unilaterally seek international recognition as a state, and therefore Abbas’s stunt gives Israel the full legal right to end Oslo altogether.

BUT SAY he does disappear, due to a “Palestinian Spring,” a coup by his rivals or even retirement – the man is 77 after all – would the PA survive? First of all, the PA is not favored within its own jurisdiction, as confirmed by the above-mentioned poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. In 2005, renowned scholar Daniel Pipes reported Palestinians under the PA were already saying that “Israel’s hell was better than Arafat’s paradise,” and considering that Arafat had much more credit with the Palestinians than does Abbas, one can only imagine how Palestinians would view a PA without even Abbas.

In fact, a 2011 poll conducted by Pechter Middle East Polls in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations, when asked if they preferred to become a citizen of Palestine, with all of the rights and privileges of other citizens of Palestine, or a citizen of Israel, only 30 percent chose Palestinian citizenship.”

True, Abbas’s second in command, Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, has a reputation for transparency and decency, but since Abbas appointed him in June 2007, the Palestinian Legislative Council has not confirmed his appointment. It is therefore, unlikely he would be able to secure the presidency.

With no heir apparent for Abbas, who could secure public support and control the various military factions? With the PA’s reputation for corruption and the disapproval of it among the Palestinian public, it is possible that the PA’s future will be in jeopardy if Abbas steps down, quits, or retires.

While there are a few who argue that the West Bank should be handed to the Hashemite regime in Jordan, King Abdullah faces his own domestic challenges. Despite the media’s low coverage of unrest in Jordan, there is an on-going, relentless public call to topple the Hashemite regime. Those hoping the Jordanian regime could play a future role in the West Bank ignore the possibility that the Hashemite regime itself might not exist in the near future.

It is about time those concerned with peace and regional stability start considering contingency plans for a West Bank without Abbas, and possibly even without the Palestinian Authority. There is much to consider, and not necessarily as much time.

Confusing The World With the Facts on “Palestine” by Eli Hertz

The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.

The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish revolts against Rome at that time.

In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years, What had been renamed Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.

Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”

The term ‘Palestinian’ as a noun was usurped and co-opted by the Arabs in the 1960s as a tactic initiated by Yasser Arafat to brand Jews as intruders on someone else’s turf. He mendaciously presented Arab residents of Israel and the “Territories” as indigenous inhabitants since time immemorial. This fabrication of peoplehood allowed Palestinian Arabs to gain parity with the Jewish people as a nation deserving of an independent state.

Historically, Before the Arabs Fabricated the Palestinian People as an Exclusively Arab Phenomenon, No Such Group Existed

Countless official British Mandate-vintage documents speak of ‘the Jews’ and ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine – not ‘Jews and Palestinians.’

Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name ‘Israel’ was chosen for the newly-established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence.

Some examples include*:

• The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called the Palestine Post until 1948.

• Bank Leumi L’Israel was called the “Anglo-Palestine Bank, a Jewish Company.”

• The Jewish Agency – an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929 – was called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.

• The house organ of American Zionism in the 1930s was called New Palestine.

• Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was called the “Palestine Symphony Orchestra, composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.”

• The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fundraising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.

Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the ‘Big Lie’ of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites.

Based on that myth, they can claim to have been ‘victimized’ twice by the Jews: In the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and by the Israelis in modern times – a total fabrication.

Archaeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.

Contradictions abound, Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also co-opt Jesus and ignore his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.

There Has Never Been a Sovereign Arab State in Palestine

The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations who never established a Palestinian state. It also is expressed in the utterances and loyalties of so-called Palestinians.

Only twice in Jerusalem’s history has it served as a national capital. The first time was as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First and Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents.

The second time is in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.

The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs rings hollow, for the Arabs in neighboring lands, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized as a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its Arab inhabitants part of the great ‘Arab nation,’ historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria.

The Arabs never established a Palestinian Arab state when the UN offered a partition plan in 1947 to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (they did not term it a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian Arab state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when area of Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) was under Jordanian control and Gaza was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinian Arabs clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

Well before the 1967 decision to create a new Arab people called ‘Palestinians,’ when the word ‘Palestinian’ was associated with Jewish endeavors, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, testified in 1937 before a British investigative body – the Peel Commission – saying: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries, part of Syria.”

What Are We Negotiating? By Michael Wolfowicz

Recently, as many as 100,000 readers were delighted to receive their copy of the second issue of the new ‘Sovereignty’ political journal.  This publication was started by Nadia Matar’s Women in Green movement and was made available in both Hebrew and English.  The need for such a publication, and the important void which it has filled was long overdue.

For decades the right has left the war of ideas to the left and instead has focussed on changing facts on the ground.  In light of the most recent push—led by US Sec. of State Kerry—to give up our heartland for the creation of another Arab state, the time has most definitely come to dispel the rhetoric that has plagued and infected the Israeli discourse for decades.

Even Bibi has apparently bought in to the left’s traditional arguments.  Israel basically has two options, according to the now broadly accepted premise:  Carry out a ‘two state solution’ in the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ state and in turn maintain Israel’s Jewish and Democratic character.  Fail to do this and end up with a bi-national state in which either the Jewish or Democratic features will ultimately have to be sacrificed.

What Sovereignty has done, and is doing, is highlighting the fact that Israel need not be constrained to such a choose-one-or-the-other’ fate.  It has thus far presented a number of different ideas that could be alternatives to the ‘two state solution’.  Arguably the most right-wing alternative is Annexation of Judea & Samaria, and then coming up with solutions about how to maintain the desired characters of the state following that step.  This idea denies that Israel must give citizenship to all 1-2 million Arab residents following annexation (something that is not outrageous by any means).

Does Israel really need an alternative?  Does Israel need to formally annex the territories?  I believe that after the nationalist camp has advertised the fact that alternatives do in fact exist, it will eventually need to band together around one single plan in order to succeed against those who would eagerly give up our land, our rights, and our sovereignty.  There is that word again, ‘sovereignty’, and this is the idea—as is the name of the political journal—around which the right can and should be rallied.

The state of Israel, created in 1948, can trace its foundation back to a single and regularly overlooked document, the San Remo document of 1920.  This document describes the outline of the ‘Land of Israel’, (or ‘Jewish National Home’) an important term when dealing with subsequent documents relating to Israel, the State of Israel, and Israeli law.  The ‘Land of Israel’ was never changed in international law after San Remo, only facts on the ground changed, the most important of which was the creation of Trans-Jordan (Jordan), which cut off some 70% of the ‘Land of Israel’ (together with modern day Israel constituting the British Mandate for Palestine).

In 1948, following the War of Independence, Ben Gurion used an interesting law in order to formerly incorporate—not ‘annex’—territories held by the Israeli forces that fell outside of the 1947 partition plan lines.  This included places such as Beer Sheva, where the world today doesn’t dare question Israel’s sovereignty.

Unfortunately and erroneously, on June 27, 1967, Section 11B of the Law and Administration Ordinance was enacted.  Disregarding the 1967 victory, and till today, the law states that:

“Any law applying to the whole of the State of Israel shall be deemed to apply to the whole of the area including both the area of the State of Israel and any part of Palestine which the Minister of Defence has defined by proclamation as being held by the Defence Army of Israel”

Since Judea and Samaria were part of the British Mandate for Palestine, they are also part of the Jewish National Home as defined at San Remo, and since the IDF had declared its hold over the area by proclamation, both in 1967 and until this day by way of action, the law of the State ought to have been applied to it – and could have been applied to it, but wasn’t.

According to the late legal expert Howard Grief, Israel thus

“failed at the appropriate moment to utilize the leading precedent established in his [sic Meir Shamgar] own country when, during the War of Independence, additional areas of the Land of Israel were recovered by the IDF, that were thenceforth subject to the law of the State. The above facts and precedent were simply ignored or never even thought of”.

If the precedent law would have been followed, or if it were to be followed, then another Israeli law would make the act of annexation at this juncture unnecessary.

Israel’s Basic Law-Israel Lands reads:

The ownership of Israel lands, being the lands in Israel of the State, the Development Authority, or the KKL, shall not be transferred either by sale or in any other manner.

It is unlikely that in 1967 the Eshkol government, acting on the advice of its top legal authority Meir Shamgar, could have foreseen the predicament we face today.  While it is undoubtedly important and overdue to express counters to the ‘Two-state solution’, Israel’s right must rally around a single idea if they wish to see that form of national suicide defeated.  And that idea is sovereignty, the rights enshrined at San Remo and later supported by Israel’s own laws.

Could it be that based on this rendition it is actually illegal vis-à-vis Israeli law for anyone to try and transfer any parts of the Jewish National Home to any other entity?  Have all governments since 1967 that have negotiated parts of the Jewish National Home been acting in contravention to Israeli law?

After all, what is actually being negotiated at the moment?  Our sovereignty.

In the late 1970’s, former Indonesian FM Malik said in reference to demands on the Philippines for Mindanao sovereignty; ‘no sovereign state worthy of the title could agree to such a thing’. ”

*(Note:I must credit the great work of the late Howard Grief, ZT”L for his excellent research on the legalities of Israel’s borders).

Inappropriate Use of the Fourth Geneva Convention by Eli Hertz

Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War Does Not Effect Jewish Rights to the Land of Israel


The language of Article 49 was crafted in the wake of World War II and the Nazi occupation – an occupation that led to a war of aggression in which Nazi Germany attacked its neighbors with impunity, committing a host of atrocities against civilian populations, including deportation and displacement of local populations in occupied Europe. Millions were sent to forced labor camps and those of particular ethnic origin, most notably the Jews, were sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. The drafters of Article 49 were concerned with preventing future genocide against humanity. Critics and enemies of Israel, including members of the UN and organs such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have come to use the Geneva Convention as a weapon against Israel, even when statements by authoritative analysts, scholars and drafters of the document contradict everything said by those who distort history for politically motivated reasons.

It is common knowledge that from its birth, Israel follows customarily international humanitarian law without being told or forced to do so by outside authorities.

“Occupied Territory”

The term “occupied territory,” which appears in the Fourth Geneva Convention, originated as a result of the Nazi occupation of Europe. Though it has become common parlance to describe the West Bank and Gaza as “occupied territories,” there is no legal basis for using this term in connection to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, categorically rejected the use of the term “occupied territory” to describe the territories controlled by Israel on the following counts:

(1) Article 49 relates to the invasion of sovereign states and is inapplicable because the West Bank did not and does not belong to any other state.

(2) The drafting history of Article 49 [Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War] – that is, preventing “genocidal objectives” must be taken into account. Those conditions do not exist in Israel’s case.

(3) Settlement of Jews in the West Bank is voluntary and does not displace local inhabitants. Moreover, Stone asserted: that “no serious dilution (much less extinction) of native populations” [exists]; rather “a dramatic improvement in the economic situation of the [local Palestinian] inhabitants since 1967 [has occurred].”

Deportation and Forced Transfer

Arab opposition to Jewish settlements is based on the last paragraph of Article 49. The “Occupying Power” may not “Deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

One can hardly believe this baseless ICJ assertion that Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East used “deportation” and “forced transfer” of its own population into “occupied territories.”

Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention

Article 2 of the Fourth Geneva Convention applies only to conflicts that “arise between two or more high Contracting Parties,” which is not the case at hand, as Israel is the only High Contracting Party (or state) in this conflict, and Jordan never was. Thus, the Fourth Geneva Convention is inapplicable!

Professor Stone touches on the applicability of Article 49 of the Geneva Convention, writing on the subject in 1980:

“That because of the ex iniuria principle [unjust acts cannot create law], Jordan never had nor now has any legal title in the West Bank, nor does any other state even claim such title. Article 49 seems thus simply not applicable. Even if it were, it may be added that the facts of recent voluntary settlements seem not to be caught by the intent of Article 49 which is rather directed at the forced transfer of the belligerent’s inhabitants to the occupied territory, or the displacement of the local inhabitants, for other than security reasons.

Support to Stone’s assertion can be found in Sir Professor Elihu Lauterpacht’s writing in 1968:

“Thus Jordan’s occupation of the Old City-and indeed of the whole of the area west of the Jordan river-entirely lacked legal justification; and being defective in this way could not form any basis for Jordan validly to fill the sovereignty vacuum in the Old City [and whole of the area west of the Jordan River].”

Professor Eugene Rostow, past Dean of Yale Law School, U.S. under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and a key draftee of UN Security Council Resolution 242, concluded that the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable to Israel’s legal position and notes:

“The opposition to Jewish settlements in the West Bank also relied on a legal argument – that such settlements violated the Fourth Geneva Convention forbidding the occupying power from transferring its own citizens into the occupied territories. How that Convention could apply to Jews who already had a legal right, protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, to live in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, was never explained.” It seems that the International Court of Justice never explained it either.

Article 80

Article 80 of the United Nations Charter specifically created in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, recognizes the continued validity of the rights granted to all states or peoples, or already existing international instruments including those adopted by the League of Nations, such as the “Mandate for Palestine.” Jews legal rights of settlements survived the British withdrawal in 1948.

The International Court of Justice [ICJ], Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [ICC), and the Fourth Geneva Convention lack the authority to affect ownership of the Territories of Judea and Samaria known also as the West Bank.

The Ever-Elusive Peace by Yonina Pritzker By Jonina Pritzker

As pressure to reach a peace agreement mounts, strong voices urge Israel to relinquish land that has borne the name and history of the Jewish people for four millennia. The sources of conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbors are obscured by fabricated terms such as “occupation” and “apartheid,” and even by valid considerations such as “strategic depth” and “secure borders.” Security is indeed critical to Israel, as it is for any nation, but it does not begin to convey the deep connection the Jewish people have to the Land of Israel, where they have lived continuously since ancient times, nor does it adequately represent the undeniable rights the Jewish people have to that land.

Chaim Weizman, the first President of Israel, was once asked, “Why don’t you just accept the offer to establish a Jewish State in Uganda?” He answered, “That’s like me asking why you drove 50 miles to see your mother when there are so many other nice old ladies so much closer to your home.”

The Land of Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people. By any criteria, whether by the Biblical Mandate, the historical connection, or through international law, the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and it is unjust to demand that the Jewish people relinquish their homeland.

The Jewish nation lived and worshipped as a free and sovereign nation in the Land of Israel, from the time Joshua re-entered the land with the Israelites, until the Babylonians destroyed the holy Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE.  Seventy years later, the Jews rebuilt this Temple, which then stood for centuries until the Romans destroyed it in the year 70 CE.The Temple Mount in the holy city of Jerusalem remains the holiest place within Judaism, and unto this day, every Jew turns towards the Temple Mount to pray.

Throughout the centuries, many conquerors tried to incorporate the Land of Israel into their own empires: the Babylonian empire, Persian and Greco-Assyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab Caliphates, Turkish, Crusader, Ayyubid, Mameluke, and Ottoman.

But despite these attempts, Israel remained the country of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem has served as the capital of only one nation: the Jewish nation.

Through every banishment and forced exile, the Jewish people continually looked to their ancient homeland, prayed to return to their land, included the mention of Israel and Jerusalem in daily prayers, and imbued each life-cycle gathering and festival celebration with the yearning for Shivat Tzion, for a return to the land of their ancestors.

Wherever a Jew was, his heart was always in Jerusalem. When he sat by the waters of Babylon, he wept as he remembered Zion. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning. May my tongue cleave to its palate… if I put not Jerusalem above my highest joy (Psalm 137). From Spain in the 12th century, Yehuda HaLevi cried “Libi B’Mizrach, Va’Ani b’sof ha’Ma’arav;” “My heart is in the east, though I am at the ends of the west.”

In the modern era, in the aftermath of World War I, the Principal Allied Powers, who were invested with the international authority to supervise the breakup of the former Ottoman Empire, met in San Remo, Italy, to discuss the borders of the new countries to be formed in the region, from the many peoples that had been part of the Ottoman Empire.

The San Remo Conference produced a series of mandates. Jan Christiaan Smuts introduced the Mandates System whereby a developed country would tutor and guide a not-yet-developed country down the path to statehood. Great Britain was tasked with supervising the Mandate for Palestine and the Mandate for Mesopotamia, while France was responsible for the Mandate for Syria. Ultimately, not only Israel, but Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan were all established out of what had been provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

There in San Remo, Italy, in April of 1920, this international forum passed the San Remo Resolution, and thereby, acknowledged the ancient and historic connection between the Land of Israel and the Jewish people, and declared their goal to “reconstitute the ancient Jewish state within its historic borders.”

For the Jewish homeland, they allocated all the land that is between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, as well as, the land that currently comprises the country of Jordan, along with the Golan Heights, and Gaza. They allocated these regions of the former Ottoman Empire for the Jewish homeland in recognition of the fact that these were the areas where the Jewish people lived, where the history of the Jewish nation took place, and where the prophets of Israel delivered their message.

Hebron was the first capital of Israel, burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs of Israel; Bethlehem is the city where the Matriarch Rachel is buried, where Ruth gave birth to the line of the Davidic monarchy; Shechem was the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel; Shiloh, the city of Priests, housed the holy Tabernacle before it was brought to Jerusalem. We read of Joshua in Jericho, Amos in Tekoa, Jeremiah in Anatot, and Jacob in Beit El. These regions of Shomron (Samaria) and Yehuda (Judea) constitute the Jewish spiritual heartland which is steeped in Jewish history dating back to Biblical times.

The San Remo Resolution and the Mandate for Palestine, as well as the Franco-British Boundary Convention of 1920, established international law which affirmed the Jewish right to settle the entire area that was designated as the Mandate for Palestine, just as San Remo and the Mandates System, which was enshrined in the Covenant of the League of Nations, affirmed the Arabs of their right to settle their respective countries. In fact, the Mandate for Palestine was synonymous with a Jewish National Home, as this was the land that was identified specifically for the Jewish people to reestablish an independent, sovereign state.

This exact linkage between the Jewish National Home and the newly developed Mandate for Palestine was further highlighted by the Arab rejection of the notion of “Palestine,” as Arab leader Abd al-Mahdi said in 1937 before the Peel Commission:

“There is no such land. Palestine is a term invented by the Zionists.”

These sentiments are echoed by P.L.O. founder Ahmed Shukari, in 1956, who, as the Arab League’s ambassador at the UN said, “such a creature as Palestine does not exist at all.”

This rejection continued in the 1977 interview with PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, recorded in the Dutch newspaper Trouw. There he said,

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity…Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism for tactical reasons.”

Hafez al-Assa of Syria concurred when, in 1987, he said, “A country named ‘Palestine’ has never existed.”

The word “mandate” means trust. As stated in Article 6 of the Mandate, the British were tasked with assuring the “close settlement of the Jews on the land.” This was in keeping with a unanimous vote of the League of Nations which wanted to restore the Jewish people to their native land, thereby correcting the historical injustice of forced exile. The British, charged with this responsibility to serve as steward and trustee to bring forth a Jewish National Homeland, affirmed the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, stating unequivocally that the Jewish nation was in this land “as of right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed, and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection.”

The British, nonetheless, went on to violate their obligations under these binding acts of international law by giving 77% of the lands allocated exclusively for the Jewish homeland, to create the Arab country of Jordan, or Transjordan, as it was initially called. The British gave away these areas that were steeped in Jewish history, areas where the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Menasheh had made their homes, thereby leaving only the land that was between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River for the Jewish National Homeland. The Jewish right to settle anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea remains enshrined in international law to this day.

Additional attempts to wrest the Jewish homeland away from the Jewish people have continued throughout the decades since San Remo. And we are seeing the current rendition today, as once again, pressure is being brought to bear on the Jewish nation to forfeit its legacy in order to appease those who reject her right to exist.

The Peel Commission advanced another such attempt. In 1937, it proposed a partition of the 23% of remaining Mandate land, after the British withheld 77% of the Mandate to create Transjordan. The Arabs rejected the proposal of the Peel Commission, just as they would reject every proposal that included a Jewish state within any borders. Instead, the Arab Bludan Conference, in September of 1937, proposed a boycott of “all Jewish goods and activities,” a tactic often used to criminalize the Jewish presence in the region. It is a tactic that is being utilized against the State of Israel again today.

The Partition Plan was yet another attempt to wrest away from the Jewish people additional portions of the Jewish homeland. Ironically, this November 29, 1947, vote of the General Assembly of the United Nations on Resolution 181 which, similar to the Peel Commission, tried to partition the remaining 23% of the land allocated for the Jewish homeland, has often, erroneously been viewed as the legal basis for the modern State of Israel. In fact, this Partition Resolution, which reserved for the Jewish State only 17% of the original Mandate, in illegal abrogation of Jewish rights to this land, was true to its name: it was yet one more attempt to subdivide the Land of Israel in order to appease those who have repeatedly rejected the right to sovereignty and self-determination for the Jewish people in their ancestral homeland.

The San Remo Conference along with various treaties following World War I succeeded in establishing independent countries sought by the Arab nationalists: the country of Iraq gained full independence in 1932, the country of Lebanon was established in 1943, and the country of Syria attained their independence in 1946. Nonetheless, when the modern State of Israel similarly exercised its sovereign right and formally declared statehood in 1948, the Arab armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq immediately attacked the nascent state. Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League announced: “It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history…”

Then, in 1949, when the Armistice Demarcation Lines were drawn, this line, which is commonly called “The Green Line,” and which many today attempt to reinvent and claim as borders – namely, so called “’67 borders” – was rejected vehemently by Syria, Jordan, and Egypt as delineating any type of border. The Armistice agreement with Egypt stated,

“The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary…”

The Armistice agreement with Jordan included the following statement:

“The provisions of this article shall not be interpreted as prejudicing, in any sense, an ultimate political settlement between the Parties to this Agreement. The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in Articles v and vi of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

And Syria was adamant that there be no misunderstanding, stating,

“It is emphasized that the following arrangements for the Armistice Demarcation Line between the Israeli and Syrian armed forces and for the Demilitarized Zone are not to be interpreted as having any relation whatsoever to ultimate territorial arrangements affecting the two Parties to this Agreement.”

These agreements were emphatic in ensuring that the Armistice line would not be considered a formal boundary, once again, rejecting a Jewish state within any borders.

Whether by further subdivision of the land, or through boycotts to criminalize the Jewish State, these tactics stem from the ongoing and absolute rejection of the Jewish people’s right to sovereignty and self-determination in their ancestral homeland. And while much attention is focused on the years of 1948 and 1967 as the lynchpins for strife in the region, in fact, attempts to rid the land of the Jewish people, as well as, violent attacks on Jews, were as clear before these dates as they were after these dates.

There was the Hebron massacre of 1929, when Arabs slaughtered their Jewish neighbors who had resided in Hebron for, literally, thousands of years. There was no “Green Line” at this time; there was no modern State of Israel at this time.

In 1938, in Tiberius, terrorists went from house to house killing parents and children. Again, there was no “Green Line,” no Jewish State.

In 1954, in Scorpion’s Pass (Maale Akrabim), 11 men and women were murdered as their omnibus travelling from Eilat to Beersheba was attacked. This was long before the 6 Day War of 1967.

In 1956, in Shafrir, terrorists fired on a synagogue full of children and teenagers.

In 1972, Israeli Olympic athletes were killed in Munich, Germany.

In 1974, schoolchildren on a field trip from Tzfat were executed in Ma’alot in northern Israel:

(Israeli General) Gur said later that he could see the girl students being shot one by one. Israeli officers said that they found ten girls dead, each with a bullet in the neck. Time’s David Halevy was among the first to enter. “Gray smoke enveloped the school,” he reported…I raced up to the second floor. A group of dead kids were lying in a corner. Their bodies were clustered in grotesque positions — as if they had died trying to protect one another. One girl was lying on her back, her eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Her body was cut in half at the waist. Most of the injured seemed to be girls. That was the shocking thing. They were beautiful girls with ugly wounds on their faces. Their clothes had been shredded, and there were open wounds on their breasts and legs. The movement of stretchers seemed endless.” The carnage, once the shooting ended, included 17 teen-agers dead and 70 wounded. (Time Magazine; Monday, May. 27, 1974).

Year after year, there have been terrorist incidents, too numerous to mention here.

The message has been consistent: it is the absolute rejection of the right of the Jewish people

to security, to self-determination, and to peace.

The right of the Jewish people to live in their historic homeland of Israel was rejected before 1948, and after the reestablishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948; before 1967, and after 1967, when, besieged by hostile Arab armies, Israel recovered those lands that had been internationally mandated and guaranteed to the Jewish people at San Remo; and this basic right is still being denied today.

In fact, after the war in 1967, Israel attempted to make peace with her neighbors. But, similar to every previous rejection of a Jewish state within any borders, the Arabs rejected Israel’s desire to negotiate peace, and instead, issued the “The Three No’s” of Khartoum, namely, no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israelandno negotiations with Israel. This resolution prompted Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban to declare, “This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender.”

Had the neighboring countries and peoples ever offered Israel any kind of reciprocity, any acknowledgement of the rights of the Jewish nation to a sovereign state in her ancestral homeland; any recognition that the Jews, like the Arabs, were entitled to self–determination in their own homeland carved out of the vanquished Ottoman Empire; had they welcomed, or at least, tolerated, the Jewish people’s right to their sliver of the Middle East, the right to one Jewish state amidst 21 Arab states – there would be peace.

It is unjust that the same international law that upholds the rights of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq was abrogated regarding the Jewish National Homeland, and is repeatedly violated in each new attempt to separate the Jewish people from the Land of Israel. It is unjust that Jews do not have free access to the lands allocated and guaranteed to the Jewish people, lands where our tribes lived on the eastern banks of the Jordan River. It is unjust to demand that the Jewish people relinquish any more of their homeland. It is the legacy of our ancestors and the heritage of our children.

Legally, spiritually, and historically, the Jewish people have always had the sovereign right to the Land of Israel, despite the dogmatic march that tries to conceal that fact and demand that they relinquish it. It is unconscionable that good and fair-minded people would bring such pressure to bear on a sovereign nation whose only desire is to live in her ancestral homeland in peace.

Holding On to Our Homeland: No You Cannot Tell My People By Howard Teich

An interesting thing happened when I watched the movie, Mandela: Long Road to Freedom.  I listened, and learned, and applied his thinking to Judea and Samaria. His concern was apartheid and that the powerful people in South Africa were directing the destiny of his people, and he asked the right question, “Am I to allow that powerful person to tell my people where to be!”

Well, I say the same thing, “Are we to allow the world powers to tell the Jewish people that they cannot live in their Biblical homeland, Judea and Samaria, and take away our rights to control our own destiny there?  I say no on every level.

Let’s really take a look.  The Israel of today is a small sliver of land; one country carved out of the wide expanse of the former Ottoman Empire, with the Arabs being given the overwhelming bulk of the land for their numerous countries and kingdoms, including a country for the Palestinian people, Jordan.  With the League of Nations unanimously declaring in 1920, “whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine, and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country,” and with the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres, the League of Nations, the U.N.”s declaration of statehood, and so many wars and treaties later, the issue of Israel’s right to all the land that it now has reclaimed must be a closed issue.

As Churchill voiced it, the Jewish people returning to its land in Palestine are “further development of an existing community,” and he added that it should be known that the Jewish people “are in Palestine as of right.”

Fact:  The Arabs refuse to recognize the right of the Jewish people to have even one state of their own, notwithstanding the reality of Israel as a leading country in the world.  The Arabs want to destroy Israel, and the Jewish community wants it to continue to exist.  That is the essence of the continuing problem.  Israel has shrunk its land in the name of peace, sacrificing its rightful land – land it reclaimed in wars brought against it by the Arabs with the directed intention of destroyingIsrael, or as they term it, throwing Israel and the Jewish people back into the Sea.

Fact:  With 700,000 Jewish people now living in Judea and Samaria, including post-1967 Jerusalem, the Jewish homeland is now being reconstituted in its ancient homeland after 2,000 years.  Hebron, Beit-El, Shiloh, Shechem, and Bethlehem are all Jewish centers of great significance in our biblical history, and each continuing to thrive with Jewish people living on the land.  Dani Dayan, chief foreign envoy of The Yesha Council, put it succinctly, “The Jewish communities of Judea andSamaria are not only legal but are impeccably legitimate. Shiloh in Samaria and Hebron in Judea are the cradles of Jewish civilization, and as such the centers of the Jewish sovereignty, preceding even Jerusalem. These are the sites in which the ancient Jewish Tabernacle stood and where the founding fathers and mothers of the Jewish people were buried, where King David set up his first capital and where Jews have lived from time immemorial.”

Now, let’s take a realistic look at what will happen if this land would be handed over to the Palestinian Arabs as part of a supposed peace plan.  First, all Jews would be forced to leave, be forced to march out of their sacred land and remove remnants of their current civilization there.  In fact, if the withdrawals for peace with Egypt in the Sinai, and with the Palestinians in  Gaza are a guide, not only will every Jewish person, house, synagogue, greenhouse and flower have to be removed, even every Jew who was buried there will have to have their graves moved out.  Yes, all of that was required when Israel left Yamit and Sharm El Sheik in the Sinai, and Gush Katif in Gaza,.  We will never forget, and we cannot ever have that happen.  Never again!

This is not just an Israeli issue.  It affects all Jewish people, in Israel and in Diaspora, for after withdrawal the worldwide Jewish community can expect to never visit its sacred places again, as we would not be allowed back on the land.  And, there may not be another opportunity for future generations, as one could reasonably expect that the Palestinian Arabs, with control in their hands, will attempt to destroy each and every Jewish site in Judea and Samaria, to essentially eliminate all remnants of a Jewish civilization on that land.  That’s their way of insuring an end to a Jewish future there, by destroying a Jewish past.

Well, world, that’s not who we are.  As a Jewish people, we will not stand by and let that happen.  Jewish survival has always been based on forging ahead.  Going back to the time of Moses, the Jewish people were not willing to remain as slaves, and a leader emerged to take us out.  Whenever we have faith, and believe in a guiding hand, we forge ahead.

When Moses was told to lead his people into the Promised Land, Canaan, the Jewish people knew they would face battles from people who did not want them to live there. Yet they had faith, and were victorious.  In the multiple wars in Israel, with odds against the Jewish people, Israel won each time.  Notwithstanding the Holocaust where the Europeans destroyed six million of our own, the Jewish people forged ahead when they may have collapsed, and now live in a golden age in our history, in Israel, in America, and throughout the Diaspora.

We have seen Jewish land and property taken away previously in Europe and in the Arab countries.  So, is this a surprise?  Not really.  We have seen the removal of Jews from their territory previously in Europe and in the Arab countries.  So, is this a surprise?  Not really.  We have seen worse previously from Europe and the Arab countries, threatening our very existence, so if they press for policies today that once again, though more subtly, threaten the very existence of Israel and the vibrancy of a Jewish civilization in Judea and Samaria, we should not be really surprised.

A great Jewish Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, in the early 1900s took a tough stand when the British controlled the lands  that were to be divided into the countries of the modern Middle East.  He rightly stated that what comprised Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Israel was always Jewish land, and that any Arab claims on the land would simply be attempts to steal the land.  So, it is time today for the Jews to surprise the world, and to say, in his words, “no, you cannot steal our land”.

Let’s be clear about the land in question.  Israel has every right to each and every inch of that land, by historical and legal right.  It is outrageous that the world today should declare once again its position that Jews have no place in their ancestral homeland, and should essentially say, “get out.”

Israel was attacked in 1967 and 1973, defended itself, and in the process was able to reclaim land that was wrongfully taken from it:  Judea, Samaria and part ofJerusalem.  Jordan controlled that land for years, although only two countries in the world had recognized their claim to it.  In 1988. 10 years after Israel made a great sacrifice for peace by giving back nearly 50 percent of its land, Sinai, to Egypt, and in the midst of the first intifada by Arafat, the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies issued a landmark report, “Israel’s Options for Peace”.  Six options were given after much study, with a seventh recommendation forming the basis for the two-state solution.

The Jaffee Center Report called for defensible borders for Israel, and security arrangements, never calling for the return of all the land.  It was the expectation thatIsrael would retain control of the Jordan Valley, and that Jews would remain in Judea and Samaria after the Palestinian state was established side-by-side withIsrael.  There would be demilitarization of the land, early warning and air-defense systems, a significant transition period for testing before any sovereignty was given up, and peace treaties in the works with other Arab countries..  It was never intended, nor even contemplated, that Jews would entirely leave the land as part of the peace, for that’s no peace at all.

Today, from the history of negotiations and current statements in the media, thinking exists that Israel should return to the 1967 land status, trade parts of its land if it wants to remain in any part of Judea and Samaria, force all Jews to remove themselves and their communities of generations, as well as IDF forces and outposts, even early-warning stations, and then have on the table discussion of the status of Jerusalem, and have the Temple Mount remain off-limit to Jews.  And of course, there’s the issue of refugees.

This is insanity at best, and relative suicide at worst.  Changes since 1988 include the total withdrawal from Gush-Katif; the establishment of a Hamas-led Gaza with no Israeli controls; a Hezbullah power-center in Lebanon; turmoil and danger in Syria;  Egypt continuing in a revolutionary swirl; and an enemy in Iran with its stated policy of eradicating Israel, and thousands upon thousands of missiles targeted for Israel, with the future potential of nuclear and chemical warheads.

So, when powerful people in the world see fit to cast their design on the future of the Jewish people, we have to say to them, “No, you cannot tell my people to give up our ancestral homeland that Israel reclaimed in wars defending their land, and that is my history and my legacy, and now guards the security perimeters required potentially for Israel’s future existence.”    Whether the recent policy decisions on Iran prove right or wrong, we’ll see in the future.  What is now more eminently clear is that the case for remaining in Judea and Samaria became much stronger.

Forge ahead, the world Jewish community must, for this is the historic land of the entire Jewish community.  So, we say to Israel, which is our front-line there, build communities today, and continue to rediscover our ancient communities lost for thousands of years.  That must be the plan.  I have called for annexation of Judea and Samaria for years, and once again call on the Knesset and Prime Minister to make that choice.  Do it in 2014, for Israel and for all the Jewish people in Diaspora.

The Palestinian Arabs can choose to remain in Judea and Samaria, a choice the Jewish people would not have if that land ever became a Palestinian state.  The fact is that Jews and Arabs live together on that land today, and their economy is doing well, and the fact is they are living mostly at peace and mostly well.  Yes, there are limitations today, and in a new situation of peace without leadership impediments, the future can be bright for all peoples on that land.  So, forge ahead, Israel, and we will be with you.

Once again citing the words of Nelson Mandela from the four walls of his cell, as taken from President Obama’s eulogy, “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll;  I am the master of my fate,  I am the captain of my soul!”

No, world, you cannot tell my People what to do with our land.  The Jewish people’s  history and future are in Judea and Samaria.  It is time to take a stand for our claim, our right and our legacy, and it is time to do so now.

Published in the Long Island Jewish World/ Manhattan Sentinel, January 10-16. 2014

I Remember Moshe Tamam by Lenny Goldberg

The murderers of Moshe Tamam were released along with 26 other murderers this week.

Moshe Tamam was an IDF soldier who was kidnapped and murdered on the night of August 6,1984 by Arabs from Baka al-Gharbiya while on his way to the townof Havatzelet Hasharon.

His name is forever etched in my memory since the days Rabbi Meir Kahane, H”yd constantly used his gruesome murder as an example of the Arab terror which he predicted would only escalate. For us, the murder of Moshe Tamam was a symbol, the tip of the iceberg of what awaited us if we didn’t deal decisively with the Islamist Arab enemy.

These were the pre-Intifada days, and the problem of Arab terror was barely known. Sure, there were the murders of Danny Katz, Shaltiel Akiva, and other terrorist attacks, but they were too few and far between to make anybody notice. Rabbi Kahane was trying to get people to notice: “I’m sure nobody in this room even knows who Moshe Tamam is”, the rabbi would say. “But it is because of Moshe Tamam that I will become Prime Minister of Israel.”

Well, not only did Rabbi Kahane not become Prime Minister (he was banned from the Knesset in 1988 and murdered in 1990), but the murderers of Moshe Tamam have been set free. Nothing can epitomize more than this how low the state of Israel has sunk.

Rabbi Kahane had been at the trial of Moshe Tamam, and would recount the details of the murder quite graphically, in order to wake us from our slumber. Moshe’s body was mutilated and hacked to pieces. You will not hear such details from the Israeli media – it would make the release of the murderers even more unsavory.

These Arab terrorists didn’t just murder, but savagely tortured their victims. But let’s not get into the details. Let’s call them “terrorists”, or “prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands” and hope that the Israeli public doesn’t remember too much. After all, it was a long time ago.

But I remember. I remember the name of Moshe Tamam and what happened to him. He symbolized what the future holds in store for us if we don’t get our act together. The release of his murderers (who receive money and a hero’s welcome), however, symbolizes much more. It means that the rulers of Israel have chosen madness and we stand before tragedy as those Islamist knives come closer.

Mudar Zahran indicted by Jordanian court

AMMAN, Jordan, Dec. 31 (UPI) — A Palestinian writer and academic says a Jordanian court indicted him in absentia, accusing him of damaging the country’s image and inciting hatred.

“The court has indicted me for the crime of inciting hatred and attacking Jordan’s image and the image of its one nation,” Mudar Zahran told the Jerusalem Post Monday night. If found guilty, Zahran could face three years in prison.

Zahran said the indictment also accuses him of writing for Israeli newspapers.

“The only Israeli newspaper I write for is the Jerusalem Post,” he said.

Zahran, who resides in Britain where he was granted political asylum, has publicly described Jordan as an apartheid regime that resembles the system of racial segregation that existed in South Africa from 1948 until 1994.

Kirk Sowell, the principal of Uticensis Risk Services, based in Amman, told the Post Jordanian law allows even peaceful activism to be prosecuted.

“Zahran is being prosecuted for openly attacking the king, which is illegal here, but there are a number of individuals being prosecuted right now,” Sowell said.

In an article published by Israel Today Dec.11, Zahran accused Muslim authorities of neglecting Temple Mount, site of the al-Aqsa mosque. After visiting the site, he wrote the Islamic Wakf, in charge of maintaining Islam’s third-holiest site, receives $280,000 in donations each month but does not use the money for renovations, maintenance, or caring for the poor and needy.

“It seems we Arabs and Muslims … are harming al-Aqsa, not Israel or the Jews,” he wrote.

Washington’s arm twisting campaign

We have already lost count of the number of times that US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited Israel over the past few months. Is it ten or eleven times? Israeli patriots resent the intensive American pressure coming from the Obama administration to force Israel into yet another agreement with the PLO. Twenty years into the failed Oslo Accords, the dreamy ideologues still refuse to face the facts and acknowledge that this course for “peace” was built entirely on false assumptions.

The PLO leadership makes no effort to hide the fact that they refuse to recognize any right of the Jewish people to a state of their own. Actually, they don’t even acknowledge the Jews as a people at all, but rather as a religion that does not require a state – and surely not on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, in any case.

Kerry’s stated goal for this shuttle diplomacy is to see a final agreement between Israel and the PLO within months, but calling his conduct “diplomacy” is questionable; it is really more like an arm twisting campaign.

“The US’ careless policies in other MENA situations over the past two years should raise major concerns”The question that all local players should be asking is: “On what basis does the US administration flash around their ‘wisdom’ on how things should be done in this region?” If you examine the seemingly endless list of American fiascoes in MENA, Bengazi, Egypt and Syria, not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan, you will notice that US policy hasn’t recently provided any positive accomplishments to point to or uphold as winning concepts to copy.

America’s strongest argument is “Well, we have a lot of money to flash around…” But is that still really the case? With the USA now in debt 17 trillion dollars to China and still counting, maybe the time has come for MENA countries to start to face east and ignore the obnoxious pressure from the western countries that can hardly pay their own bills.

Secretary Kerry’s arrogance and unconcern for the people who live here has been exposed in new dimensions, as reported by Maariv’s Shalom Yerushalmi. He shares his personal experience of being one of hundreds of Jerusalem drivers forced to wait in their cars at police roadblocks set up in Jerusalem to provide clear passage for Kerry on his return from Ramallah to Jerusalem in the first hours of the worst snow storm to hit this region in the past one hundred and fifty years.

Ultimately, the heavy snow locked many cars on the highway and made it impossible for the city’s limited snow plows to access and clear the roads. These cars lay stuck in the middle of the road until after the snow storm on Sunday, four days later. Drivers had no choice but to abandon their cars and attempt to reach their homes by other means.

Kerry’s insistence on coming here uninvited again and again, with no regard for the discomfort that this causes to the local population is a microcosm of the current US administration’s disregard for the well-being of our local population. In addition, the US’ careless policies in other MENA situations over the past two years should raise major concerns for our regional leaders, whom the Americans are trying to push around.

Published on YourMiddleEast.com

Who Is Destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque? by Mudar Zahran

In a recent visit to Jerusalem, where I visited and prayed at Al-Aqsa, it occurred to me that perhaps we, the Arabs and Muslims, are the ones causing harm to Al-Aqsa, and not, as we claim, the Jews.

“You see these scaffoldings? They [the officials] put them up to claim maintenance work is being done in order to beg donors for money. These scaffoldings have been here for years with nothing done….The sheikh here just takes photos of them to show to donors. Look at the donation boxes here; they collect an average of one million shekels ($284,000) per month. We have no idea where that money goes…The poor and the needy never see any of it.” — Members of the Muslim security staff of Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, was built on the Temple Mount — which is the holiest site in Judaism, where the Temple that was destroyed nearly 2000 years ago stood.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque has been one of the items at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Almost every known Arab political organization has vowed “to liberate Al-Aqsa from the Jews.” In a recent visit to Jerusalem, where I visited and prayed at Al-Aqsa, it occurred to me that perhaps we, the Arabs and Muslims, are the ones causing harm to Al-Aqsa, and not, as we claim, the Jews.

In 1948, when the Jordanian government occupied Judea and Samaria, the Al-Aqsa Mosque was placed under the Jordanian Waqf Ministry, which oversees Islamic sites. In 1967, when Israel won the Six-Day-War and regained control over Jerusalem, it did not take control of Al-Aqsa. Instead, Israel transferred control of the mosque to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf [trust], an independent religious body to oversee the Islamic holy sites there.

The Hashemite regime in Jordan continued to pay the salaries of the managers and the staff members of Al-Aqsa, in accord with what Jordan’s King Hussein described in 1988 as a religious duty he had inherited as the alleged descendent of the prophet Muhammad.

Israel’s responsibility has been limited to providing security and, when necessary, conducting patrols and searches. In addition, the Israeli security forces conduct a strict policy of refusing to allow non-Muslims — including Israeli Jews — into Al-Aqsa except for tourism purposes and only at certain hours of the day.

Upon entering the silver-domed mosque, one can quickly notice how neglected the mosque is, and badly in need of maintenance, with dirty walls, dust-covered ceilings and worn-out chairs, including the one on which the Imam sits. Fire equipment, tossed randomly in a heap in a corner, looks as if it has not been touched in a long time.

When they were asked about the shocking condition of the mosque, its staff members, although audio-recorded, spoke on the condition of anonymity:

“The officials themselves and the staff members are the reasons,” one of the Mosque’s Muslim security staff said. “This chaos and indifference rolls down from the senior officials here who enjoy huge salaries compared to the average staff member.”

He pointed at scaffolding stretching to the Mosque’s dome, “You see these scaffoldings? They [the officials] put them up to claim maintenance work is being done in order to beg donors for money. These scaffoldings have been there for years with nothing done… The sheikh here just takes photos of them to show to donors. ”

He points to two large donations boxes at the center of the mosque. “Look at the donation boxes here; they collect an average of one million shekels ($284,000) per month. We have no clue where that money goes…The poor and the needy never get any of it.”

At the center of Al-Aqsa, two glass cupboards exhibit tear gas shells used by the Israeli police during riots of the first Palestinian Intifada, which began in 1987. “We’ve had these since the first Intifada,” an Arab security guard said. “The managers here use these to make visitors sympathize and give donations, they are beggars’ tools, that is what they are.”

At the mosque’s washrooms where worshipers get cleansed according to Islamic precepts, graffiti on the wall states: “Sheikh Azzam Al-Khateeb has destroyed Al-Aqsa.” Al-Khateeb is the mosque’s general manager, who handles all financial and administrative affairs.

The custodians of the washrooms did not allow photos taken of the graffiti. Nonetheless, an elderly man beckoned and said: “They are slackers, we just have slackers in this place … This mess you see here is our responsibility; the wrongdoers are from us…among us… We cannot properly pray here, they [the staff] are bad people.”

When asked to name names, he refused, but said, “The wrongdoers are from our own folks, son. We are the ones who have destroyed Al-Aqsa… I have worked with the Jordanians, with the Jews, and the Palestinians, I have seen them all, and I know what is really happening.”

Another of Al-Aqsa’s custodians said: “There are no more Muslims left in the world who care for Al-Aqsa…. The money comes from Jordan not to the poor people, but just to be handed to those running it. They are all thieves. Al-Aqsa is like a plate of food that all dogs are attacking for a bite…. All of those inside the Waqf are thieves…. They all blame each other while actually they are working together. You should see the trash that mounts up here during Ramadan [when people come to visit]; the officials are not committed to their responsibility at all. All the donations and aid money paid for Al-Aqsa by Arab states do not filter here; we do not see any of it here. Jordan provides the money for salaries here, but it provides zero accountability for the staff handling the money.”

Another staff member joins the discussion: “Jordan and all Arab countries that give money to Al-Aqsa must be collecting much more donations than what they actually give out, otherwise, trust me, they wouldn’t be giving anything at all. Look at the washrooms, the government of Turkey provided $2 million dollars to fix and expand those, and then Al-Aqsa’s administration collected $2 million more in donations [for the project]…still, nothing was ever fixed or built.”

When a group of staff members having lunch was asked why Al-Aqsa was in such a poor state, one of them answered: “You should ask Azzam Al-Khatib [Al-Aqsa’s manager]; ask him why Al-Aqsa is dirty and full of flies. All Arab countries donate money for Al-Aqsa; ask Azzam Al-Khatib where does that money go?!” Another man said: “We do not even have proper loudspeakers for the worshipers to hear the Imam. Would those Jews do that to us if Al-Aqsa were under their management?”

A staff member at the nearby Dome of the Rock, where the Quran states that Prophet Muhammad ascended to the sky and met God, said: “The staff here is careless, they play a role in all of this bad state of affairs.” He added, “This is all the fault of the Jews; they are to blame for all of this.”

When asked how the Jews were responsible for the dirty walls, the worn out furniture, and the neglected facilities, he did not answer.

At the Al-Aqsa Mosque manager’s office, located within the mosque, there were no executive staff members with whom to meet. I was told no one was there.

Repeated calls to Al-Aqsa’s designated office at the Palestinian Authority Waqf Ministry, to request a comment, were never answered, not a single time.

As a practicing Muslim, I was sad to hear that those managing Al-Aqsa were more concerned with donations and their personal welfare rather than with the mosque itself.

Which prompts the question: Is Al-Aqsa is an Islamically sacred site, or is it a tool to collect donations by trying to elicit global Islamic sympathy — just a goose that lays golden eggs for its managers?

It seems that it is we Arabs and Muslims who are harming Al-Aqsa, not Israel or the Jews.

Al-Hiwar TV: Islamists’ Loudspeaker in Europe by Mudar Zahran

Al-Hiwar is not “just” your friendly neighborhood Arab TV station. As its founder, Azzam Al-Tamimi, states, “We must refrain from violating these [Western] laws because this might… ban us from the air…At the end of the day; you want to convey a message.” Oh? And what message is that?

The British communications regulator and watchdog organization, Ofcom, recently fined an Islamic TV £105,000 ($158,000) for airing a speech that condoned murder as a punishment for blasphemy.

In its explanation of the fine, Ofcom said the TV channel, DM Digital, had aired a speech by an Islamic scholar who made remarks “likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder.”

DM Digital, however, is not the only Islamic TV station in the UK “likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or lead to disorder.”

When mentioning Islamic stations in the UK, Al-Hiwar TV, based in London, is usually the first to come to mind. Established in 2006 by Azzam Al-Tamimi, author of the book Hamas from Within, Al-Hiwar has been described by the website Crehi Plethi as the Muslim Brotherhood’s “main medium.”

Although the Muslim Brotherhood denies any connection to Al-Hiwar, according to journalist Elizabeth Blade, the Muslim Brotherhood does in fact run it.

Al-Hiwar’s founder and manager, Azzam Al-Tamimi, has been described by the journalist Patrick Poole, as a “well-known international Muslim Brotherhood operative and Hamas insider.”

Al-Tamimi has expressed his willingness to become a suicide bomber “if he had the opportunity.”. He is also a member of the Muslim Association of Britain [MAB], which had been described by British parliament member, Louise Ellman, as “a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—an extremist fundamentalist organisation founded in Egypt in 1928, and the spiritual ideologue of all Islamic terror organizations.”

A former Al-Hiwar staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity , confirmed that MAB operates an office inside Al-Hiwar TV, with Muhammad Sawalaha, who has been described as a “Hamas operative”, serving as MAB’s liaison officer.

The Muslim Brotherhood, despite having officially renounced violence, has been known for inciting often-violent political and social instability; it also openly claims responsibility for the installation of Hamas, a terrorist organization committed by its charter to the destruction of Israel.

Ofcom, in 2009, found Al-Hiwar in breach of British broadcasting regulations after the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader, Rachid al-Ghannouchi, used the channel to praise Hamas’s military operations and “the use of bombs.” In explaining its decision, Ofcom said Al-Hiwar’s fault was to be guilty of “not challenging” Al-Ghnnouchi’s statement. Al-Ghannouchi nonetheless remained a regular guest on Al-Hiwar TV, delivering his messages to millions of viewers.

In an interview with Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV in Gaza, Al-Tamimi confirmed that his focus was “conveying the message” while keeping within the regulations to remain on the air: “There are those who lie in wait for the Arabic TV Channels …they seek loopholes in order to stop you from broadcasting, therefore my advice to my brothers in Al-Aqsa TV and other Arab channels is that as long as we are broadcasting on satellites we do not own, these satellites are owned by the West, we must refrain from violating these laws because this might be a platform to ban us from the air ….At the end of the day you want to convey a message…” Oh? And what message is that?

Al-Hiwar TV has also led a campaign against the United Arab Emirates [UAE] for their crackdown on Islamic fundamentalists and Muslim Brotherhood operatives on their soil. Al-Hiwar has continued its targeting of the UAE, by running a live show entitled, “Is the UAE Responsible for What is Happening in Egypt?”, in which Al-Hiwar’s anchor claimed, “If the UAE is involved [in Egypt’s events] I will declare this publicly: the UAE has a hand in exploding the situation in Egypt.”

Such messages succeed in making the UAE a target for the wrath of Islamists and Muslim fundamentalists, and could easily lead to disorder on UAE soil.

The larger problem here is one of freedom of speech, and how it can easily be subverted to spread messages of hate and even death threats. Yasser Arafat used to say, “I don’t have to tell you what to do. You know what to do.” A Muslim who decided to flee the Middle East has been receiving anonymous phone calls saying, “We know where your children go to school and what time the school lets out.” The words themselves are innocent, but there is no question about what is meant. So at the end of the day, if “you want to convey a message,” the question then becomes: “How do you skirt the rules to convey it?”

Al-Hiwar, not “just” your friendly neighborhood TV station, is privately funded. Two of its former staff, who spoke to this author on the condition of anonymity, claimed Al-Hiwar’s annual budget exceeded £3 Million ($4.82 million). Nonetheless, Al-Hiwar does not seem to publicly disclose where the funding comes from. The question then arises, in public communications, as with a public utility: if something is broadcasted to the public, should not the public have a right to know who is backing it?

For the sake of peaceful Muslim countries such as the UAE, and in the interests of maintaining airwaves free of hate and intimidation, Ofcom might do well to look at Al-Hiwar — and the UK might look at its foreign influences laws — a bit harder.

Is the British Establishment Legitimizing Apartheid? by Mudar Zahran

Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid: veiled women would keep looking at unveiled women as different or even immoral, while Muslim men would look at veiled women as dehumanized creatures to be isolated from the world by the veil. The government would not only limit the ability of British Muslims wishing to integrate into civil society, but worse, it would officially reinforce the view that women wearing a veil are indeed inferior.

Is the British establishment giving in to a harmful aspect of Islamic fundamentalism? On 16 September, a British judge said a Muslim defendant could wear the veil for all parts of her trial, expect when giving evidence to the jury. According to the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, the judge’s decision made “legal history” .

The judge also said the defendant did not have to testify in open court with her face uncovered. Instead, she may choose to give evidence via live video link or behind a screen shielding her from the wider courtroom, with only the judge, jurors and her counsel able to see her face. He also ordered that there be no artist’s sketch of the defendant while her face is uncovered.

In addition, Judge Murphy’s decision was at odds with a previous ruling; in March last year a judge at the same court told a woman wearing a niqab that she could not sit as a juror for an attempted murder trial.

The judge’s decisions came after the defendant — a Muslim convert — claimed it was against her beliefs to allow any man other than her husband to see her face — even though she only started wearing the veil last May.

Jack Straw, British Parliament member and former Home Secretary wrote an article in which he confirmed: “I also spoke to a national group of distinguished Islamic scholars and learnt that the injunction to wear the veil did not come directly from the Prophet Mohammed but was based upon a much later interpretation of the message of the Koran.”

What Mr. Straw said is right. Not only that, but Islamic Sharia law bans women from wearing the niqab in Mecca during worshiping rituals. A hadith (teachings of Muhammad) says: “a woman in Mecca is not allowed to wear a niqab nor gloves. This text was confirmed by Islamic scholars as Saheeh [exact] by renowned Islamic Scholar Al-Albani [Al-Sahih Al-Jami’i, number 7445].

Women who want to wear niqab in British courtrooms and schools, then, comfortably ignore the fact that they are not allowed to do so in Mecca?

On 11 September; Birmingham Metropolitan College was forced to drop its campus ban on the niqab, a rule since 2005. This reversal came after an anonymous prospective student complained to her local paper; she said she was being discriminated against by the college because of the ban on the niqab. Nonetheless, the college had to drop the ban after Islamists in the UK launched an online petition attracting 9,000 signatures for protests against the college,

The ban had originally been in place for security reasons, to make sure “students were always ‘easily identifiable.'” The ban also included hoodies and hats, and therefore did not target either Muslims or the veil in particular.

Since security concerns over the niqab can be justified, as several attacks have been carried out by criminals wearing a niqab, the college therefore compromised the security of its staff and students in to appease Islamist fundamentalists.

In February of 2013, a 20 year old Victoria’s Secret’s worker was scarred for life and nearly blinded when a niqab-wearing attacker threw acid in her face as she walked home from work. Her attacker has not been identified yet because he or she was wearing a niqab.

Further, on 5 May 2010, two men wearing niqabs threatened guards outside a British bank and ran off with a box full of cash.

In addition to security concerns, tolerating the niqab in the British legal and educational systems would raise more legal dilemmas, for example: Will niqab-wearing women want their faces not shown in their passports’ photos and driving licenses?

The Conservative Party’s backbencher in the British parliament, Dr. Sarah Wollaston, said the veils were “deeply offensive,” were “making women invisible” and called for the niqab to be banned in schools and colleges. She said: “It would be a perverse distortion of freedom if we knowingly allowed the restriction of communication in the very schools and colleges which should be equipping girls with skills for the modern world. We must not abandon our cultural belief that women should fully and equally participate in society.”

As a practicing Muslim, I fully agree with Dr. Wollaston.

The niqab does not seem to have any foundations in Islamic texts; it rather seems to have come from fundamentalist Islamism, which looks down on women both in its religious texts and its unequal justice regarding women its application of Sharia law.

Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems, therefore, not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid, in which veiled women would keep looking at unveiled British women as different or even immoral, while British Muslim men would look at women as dehumanized creatures to be isolated from the world by the veil.

Such a fundamentalist view — if legitimized by the British establishment — would not only seriously limit the ability of British Muslims to integrate into British civil society, but worse, worse, it would reinforce even more emphatically an official view to British women wearing the veil that they are indeed inferior. In officially hardening this view that a woman’s worth is lower than that of a man — in men’s eyes, in society’s eyes, and in the eyes of these girls and women themselves — the British government would be committing a horrendous injustice.

As a Muslim living in the UK, I believe British Muslims have not been successful in integrating into the British society; if the niqab were to be allowed officially at schools and courts, British Muslims would fail to integrate even further.

The UK must not give in to fundamentalists who tamper with the British way of life and thereby make it even harder for moderate Muslims who do want to belong and integrate.

While freedom of religious practice is held dearly by British laws, and should be, the British legal and educational systems must not be compromised by Islamist ideology, which is deemed extreme and oppressive by so many Muslims.

Where Are Israel’s Loyal Arabs?

Israel’s government has approved early elections, to be held a year ahead of time. The main reason for this decision is the tricky, party-based political system, which has left the country with no option for an agreed budget for 2013. It strikes me as ironic that while we are embroiled in concerns about Iran, the stalemate peace process, and unstable neighbors, Israeli leaders have decided that this is a fitting time to take a break from it all and hold a very expensive early election campaign.

In the midst of all this, I’d like to focus in on a special community within the Israeli society, and explore how the time might be right for a dramatic change as they utilize this election to express a growing change in their attitude towards participation in the state.

Israel’s Arab citizens represent about 20% of Israel’s population. They have full democratic rights, although for the most part, are exempt from the military service that is mandatory for most of the Jewish population. Members of the Arab community have held high positions in Israel’s courts and other public arenas, and many have even been members of government. 

In the current outgoing Knesset (Israeli Parliament), there are seventeen elected Arab members. One, Ayoob Kara, is an outspoken Zionist from the Druze community. Five are members of mainstream Israeli parties, and are not commonly heard from. Ten represent four independent Arab parties.

These visible Arab representatives are known to manipulate their positions by focusing on the conflict, siding with the Palestinian cause, or posing as rabblerousers to expose the alleged poor conditions of Israel’s Arab minorities, in comparison to the Jewish community. 

Some Arab representatives have taken their political immunity overboard by openly engaging and even supporting Israel’s enemies. While serving as elected officials to Knesset and being paid by the state of Israel to help govern, MK Achmid TIbi served as a top advisor to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat; MK Asmi Bashara was suspected of spying for Hizbollah and defected when he was found out; and MK Hanin Zuabi took part in Turkish HNN flotilla to Gaza, and was on deck as its activists physically attacked Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship. 

These faces, along with radical Islamic leader Reid Salah, are the ones that Israeli Jews are exposed to in the news media. Through them and their actions, Arab Israelis are seen as a fifth column who would dance on their roofs if Iran were to bomb Tel Aviv. While elected to provide a voice for the Arab Israeli community, in effect, these same representatives are deepening the gulf between their constituents and the general Israeli society. They themselves generate much animosity, and that is their main strategy to maintain their positions as paid leaders of their community. 

Some Israeli Arabs are now openly saying that they are fed up with being used and abused by demagogic opportunists. They are not happy with their representatives caring for the political agenda of the Palestinians at the expense of their own community’s needs. They have had enough of public activities that cause other Israelis to view them as a threat. 

Prominent Israeli Muslims have told me that when they visit Mecca, they only need to glance at the garments of those around them who have come from Arab countries to realize how much higher the standard of living is for Israeli Arabs, in comparison.

The Arab Spring uprising in MENA could also be a factor in the Israeli Arabs’ realization that they are actually lucky to be citizens of the Jewish state. More and more, Israeli Arabs are coming forward and openly expressing their wish to be part of the Israeli society, giving their part while retaining their own Muslim or Christian Arab culture and heritage. 

Recently, Israel National News told the story of Mona Abdo, a Christian Arab woman who proudly serves as a commander in Israel’s army, while The Times of Israel told of Boshra Khalaila, an Arab woman from the north of Israel who travels around the world to tell people that she feels lucky to be an Israeli. 

Will this coming election in Israel provide a platform for Zionist Arabs to come forth and represent their community in Knesset in a positive light? I hope so.

Get David's Newsletter
We respect your privacy.