Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On the Ambassador Friedman Photomontage Affair

What's really wrong with this now-infamous picture and also controversial:

Well, for starters, the "Temple" superimposed on the Jerusalem scene is...

...facing the wrong direction*:

As anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the layout of the Temple Mount, the doors of the Temple faced east.

I guess that's what happens when Haredim try to be cute.

Or a computer graphic artist didn't know how to flip the building.

Or, perhaps, he thought Amb. Friedman wouldn't notice eventually.

P.S. It sure upset them.

BTW, notice that in this picture, Friedman doesn't look that smiley nor happy:


The Temple structure faced east, and you entered from the east towards the west. Facing east was unique to Judaism. Pagan temples were oriented in other directions.

The Tabernacle In The Wilderness faced east:

And those that were to pitch before the tabernacle eastward, before the tent of meeting toward the sunrising, were Moses, and Aaron and his sons, keeping the charge of the sanctuary (Numbers 3:38)

The Temple in Jerusalem, which replaced the Tabernacle also faced east, toward the Mount Of Olives:

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place--for all the priests that were present had sanctified themselves, and did not keep their courses...also the Levites stood at the east end of the altar...  (2 Chronicles 5:11-12)



This picture is now in Venice:

Architectures negotiating identities: The Israeli Pavilion

In the geopolitical context of the Holy Land, the combination of historical events, myths, and traditions has created an extraordinary concentration of holy places. Because of their supreme religious importance, many of these places have become arenas of bitter struggle between competing groups of religions and communities. The Israeli Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale focuses on this complex, fragile system of coexistence between rivals that has been established in the 19th Century: the Status Quo.
The comprehensive publication opens a contemporary discussion of the topic, focusing on five major holy sites that encapsulate the spatio-political phenomenon of the Status Quo. Illustrated with architectural plans, archive documentation, images of the sites and works by visual artists, critical essays from various disciplines investigate the role of architecture and how these agreements have regulated and transformed space.
Exhibition: 26.5.—25.11.2018, La Biennale di Venezia, 16th International Architecture Exhibition, Israeli Pavilion, Venice


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mahmoud Abbas and the Caricature

Mahmoud Abbas is hospitalized.

But he reads the daily press.

Here he is reading Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda of yesterday:

Let's take a closer look at the caricature on the back page of yesterday's newspaper:

A real close look:

We all know what type of ideological hatred produces such images.

When he dies, I surely hope no Jew will say kaddish for him.


Seems Abbas might have done that pose deliberately.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Memo to Journalists Re: Covering Gaza

If I had the power of an editor or news desk chief:

Memo to Journalists Re: Covering Gaza

1. Don't forget context. Gaza is ruled by a terrorist group, Hamas. It's leaders promote an anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic agenda and reject any compromise.

2. In the case of the Great Return March, it is 

"a form of popular resistance organized by Palestinian civilians demanding their right to return to their homeland and to break the arbitirary [sic] Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.

That actually is an invasion of another nation's territory. Moreover, the Gaza security fence is along the pre-1967 armistice line. In other words, the GRM doesn't recognize Israel's rights to a state in any territorial configuration. (see point #3)

3. Israel in 2005 disengaged from all Gaza and destroyed all its Jewish communities expelling 8,000+ Jews from their homes, livelihoods and property.

4. The conduct of those at the fence has been overwhelmingly violent including use of small arms, IED's and incendiary kites.

5. Repeated attempts have been made to destroy the fence so that it can be breached.

6.  All medical services and most of the local press are subservient to Hamas. All figures that cannot be independently certified should be noted as such to avoid outlandish claims.

7. This is the fourth major violent clash with Israel since 2005. After every Hamas campaign, it has been learned that Hamas reports and statistical data are unreliable and therefore, facts and figures should be double-checked.

8. Be on the alert for Pallywood-style staged events.

9. Avoid employing Hamas-generated semantic terms and rather use neutral language.

10. If misleading or misrepresentations are reported, seek to forcefully correct them in future reports, in print or verbally. Otherwise, you could be encouraging further violence.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Nothing New with 'Gaza is in the Headlines'

Gaza and violence and headlines is an old story.

From the Palestine Post:


Blood Vengeance Evidence

From the (edited) press release of " earliest evidence of blood vengeance" found: a cave in the Jerusalem hills 

Prof. Boaz Zissu, of the Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University, discovered a human skull and palm bones that have been dated to the 10th-11th centuries CE.
 According to the researchers, "The skull cap shows signs of two traumatic injuries that eventually healed -- evidence of previous violence experienced by the victim -- as well as a small cut-mark caused close to the time of death, and a blow by a sword that caused certain and immediate death...the skull shows a great resemblance to the local Bedouin population... the period under discussion some 1,000 years ago, the Jerusalem hills were inhabited by a Bedouin population that came from Jordan and northern Arabia.
 A text from the beginning of the 20th century tells the story of a case of revenge, during which the murderer presented his family with the skull and right hand of the victim in order to prove the carrying out of a commandment. These are precisely the parts of the body that were discovered in the present case. Since this is a person who was previously involved in violent incidents who then died from the fatal blow, the researchers say it can be concluded that the earliest evidence of blood vengeance has been discovered.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Jordan Is Upset

Jordan condemns provocative raids by Jewish extremists into Al Aqsa Mosque
Amman, May 13 (Petra) –– Jordan on Sunday denounced in the strongest terms the ongoing Israeli violations and provocations against Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the latest of which was the storming today of the holy compound by Jewish extremists under police escort.

Jewish zealots this morning broke into the holy compound in occupied Jerusalem's Old City in large numbers, began singing and raised Israeli flags, touching off clashes with Muslim worshippers and the Mosque guard. The extremists were seen prostrating themselves on the ground in contravention of regulations barring such provocations at the site.

State Minister for Media Affairs and official government spokesman Mohammed Momani said that the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv had lodged a protest with the Israeli foreign ministry, expressing the Kingdom's strong condemnation of "such irresponsible behaviour" and demanding an immediate halt to these actions.

Such rejected practices, which are perpetrated by extremist groups under the protection of Israeli police, violated the sanctity of the holy place and incensed worshipers and Muslims throughout the world, he said.

The raids into the holy compound, he added, are also in breach of Israel's obligations as the occupying power in East Jerusalem under international law and the international humanitarian law, and run against all international norms and conventions that emphasize the respect of the places of worship of all religions.

Momani stressed that maintaining calm at the Haram Al Sharif comes through the respect for the existing historical and legal status and the management of the holy shrine by the Jerusalem Waqf religious authority.

The minister said that the Israeli government is held fully responsible for the safety of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the violations by extremist groups and settlers.

He called for the immediate cessation of such provocations, preserve the historical status quo in the holy shrine and respect Jordan's role as custodian of the holy sites in East Jerusalem, which was recognised by the peace treaty between the two countries.

13/5/2018 - 04:56:09 PM


What's The Opposite of 'Upright'?

I have read this report and also this one. Not this one behind a paywall.

Its headlines?

Did Trump's Israel Envoy Support a Radical-right Kahanist Group?David Friedman headed a foundation that was quite generous to a movement whose leaders are anti-gay and support the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank
There are several points made: [see final Update below]

1.  The American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center donated 48,000 shekels — about $12,000 — to Qomemiyut in 2013.

2.  Mussa Cohen, on Friday told JTA that the group is the same group that in the 1990s was affiliated with the Kach movement.

3.  Qomemiyut is an alias for Kahane Chai

4.  “The Ambassador is not familiar with the Qomemiut Foundation, nor is he aware of any connection between those entities and American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center.”

5.  Qomemiyut translates as “sovereignty,” but also shares a root in Hebrew with the word “uprising.”

Based on what I know,

1.  The Qomemiyot that I know and knew of is not in any way connected to Kach or an alias of such. It existed as a precursor to the Ihud Leumi and Tekumah political factions. This Wikipedia article notes it was established in 2006. Here is its web site.

2.  The name is not translated as "sovereignty" nor "uprising". This is a false flag operation. The word is found in Leviticus 26:13 and translates as "with heads held high" or "upright" or "erect" or even "proudly".

Either someone is misleading or is really not that smart.

As I cannot of this writing locate a Hebrew site for this "Democratic Bloc" (it doesn't seem to be this), I am uncertain if they really exist.

I will update.



I have read now the original Haaretz Hebrew-language report.  That bit about Kahane Chai alias is simply not in there:

JTA claims this
"David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, was president of a non-profit that donated money to a far-right Jewish group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.American Friends of Bet El Yeshiva Center donated 48,000 shekels — about $12,000 — to Qomemiyut in 2013, when Friedman was president of the non-profit, according to a report by the Democratic Bloc, an Israeli NGO that tracks funding for right-wing groups.The State Department has since 1997 designated Kach as a terrorist group. The most recent State Department list, for 2016, includes “Qomemiyut Movement”, the group’s current name, as an alias for Kahane Chai, an offshoot of Kach" 
But that is not in the Hebrew story of Haaretz which mentions Kahane just so in connection with Rabbi Lior: 

ליאור, תומך עקבי בטרנספר של ערביי יהודה ושומרון, הילל את ברוך גולדשטיין כ"קדוש יותר מכל קדושי השואה" ונוהג להשתתף באזכרות לזכרו של הרב מאיר כהנא. לאחר שליאור הוזמן לחקירת המשטרה בעניין תמיכתו בספר "תורת המלך", אירגנו חברי קוממיות כנס הזדהות עמו שבו נאמו שאר רבני התנועה ובהם זלמן מלמד ודוד חי הכהן. גם השניים האחרונים מזדהים עם חלקים עיקריים ממשנתו של הרב כהנא. הכהן היה דובר מרכזי בכנס בבת ים שממנו יצאה הקריאה לא להשכיר דירות לערבים, ואילו מלמד אמר על כהנא כי "היה כולו מסירות נפש וקידוש השם".


Lior, a consistent supporter of the transfer of the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, praised Baruch Goldstein as "holiest of all holocaust martyrs" and takes part in memorial services for Rabbi Meir Kahane. After Lior was invited to the police investigation into his support for Torat HaMelech, members of Komemiyut organized a solidarity conference with him, in which the rest of the movement's rabbis, including Zalman Melamed and David Hai Hacohen, spoke. The latter two also identify with the main parts of Rabbi Kahane's teachings. Hacohen was a keynote speaker at a conference in Bat Yam, from which the call was issued not to rent apartments to Arabs, while Melamed said of Kahane that "it was all devotion and sanctification of the name."

Zalman Melamed is no supporter of Kahane or his philosophy.

This report is just one big stretch of the imagination.


Despite push-back here, Kampeas now learns the real story:

In an interview with Arutz Sheva on Sunday, Komemiyut chairman Moshe “Mussa” Cohen denied the JTA report which claimed he had confirmed his group’s ties with Qomemiut.

"It's just horrible. It doesn't make any sense,” said Cohen. “How could it be that a group that was founded after the [2005 Gaza] expulsion, in response to the expulsion, in 2005-2006, could be linked with something else that existed so long before it?"

The two movements, Cohen emphasized, had absolutely nothing in common, and blasted media outlets for claiming his group had been declared a terror organization by the US State Department, stating that the JTA article which cited him had misrepresented his statement.

"Somebody called me, speaking in Hebrew that was difficult to make out, and asked me 'is the Komemiyut of today the same as the Komemiyut that used to be’," Cohen told Arutz Sheva.

Believing the question was whether his organization had remained the same since its founding 12 years ago, Cohen replied in the affirmative. Little did he know that he would later be accused of running a group designated as a terrorist organization.

"There's nothing to connect [with Qomemiut] - we have absolutely no connection whatsoever. How could there be any connection between a group that was founded in 2005 because of the [Gaza] expulsion and a group tied to Rabbi Kahane from decades ago?"


at the JTA story, we now read:

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story said that Qomemiyut is on the U.S. State Department designated terrorist list. The State Department list includes a group by that name, but the group that received the donation says it is not the same group, noting that the current iteration was established in 2006, seven years after the State Department started including an earlier group with the same name on the list. In response to a question from JTA, the director of Qomemiyut appeared to confirm his group was the same as the older group. But in a subsequent interview with Arutz Sheva, he said he had misunderstood the question and insisted the groups were not connected.


Saturday, May 12, 2018

That's A Lot of Journalists

According to the well-placed and well-connected PCHR group report, this past Friday's count of killed and wounded amongst those who attempted either to breach and/or damage the security barrier dividing the territory of Gaza ruled by the terrorist entity Hamas and Israel's sovereign state area was but one civilian killed while 338 others were wounded.

Of course, there is no real way to confirm such figures as all medical units are either linked to Hamas or supervised by Hamas.

What is notable is the continuing sharp decline of the numbers of persons killed or wounded, something I blogged previously:

Obviously, either IDF snipers are improving their technical capabilities, or there is less smoke or the Gazans are getting more careful, the drop in the statistics of dead and wounded is quite impressive. [And] While all figures of dead and wounded must be treated with certain circumspection and even doubt, especially as regards the number of injured, and to the identity label of "journalists"...

And now, to that label "journalists".

According to yesterday's summation, 41 "journalists" were wounded and 2 killed.

Journalism in a war-zone is a particularly dangerous profession. Two weeks ago, in a suicide bomb attack, 9 were killed in Afghanistan (a 10th was shot that same day in another location).

According to the International Press Institute, in all of the last year from May 2017, 46 journalists worldwide lost their lives since last May in targeted attacks. Another source for detailed information is here. Between 1992 and the beginning of 2018, 119 journalists were killed in the severe fighting in Syria alone. Yet another source lists 115 professional journalists killed in the past 15 years.

I found no source for numbers of wounded/injured which I sought for a comparison between the events at the Gaza border and those in other hot spots around the globe.

In any case, the figure appears quite large and would indicate, given the probabilities, that either there truly are hundreds of press persons in the area, or that, given the stark reduction overall in injuries since the first Friday, indeed Israel forces are targeting the media or, that these journalists are not all journalists.


Friday, May 11, 2018


Ever notice how key terms are employed by the media to prime you to think immediately that Israel is bad, is doing something bad and that Israel's enemies are somehow just normally doing what they should (not) be doing?

Like "Jews storm the Temple Mount".

Here's another:

After the announcement of Trump regarding his decision to move the embassy, "unrest" was also prophesied.

It didn't happen.

Not that it won't but journos writing this way sometimes actually are the cause of violence.

After all, if Arabs read what's expected of them, some might just take the hint.