The institution that wants to shut down free speech in Israel is the Center for Jewish Pluralism. How "funny" is that? Pluralism is great, as long as you agree with me.
26 December 2002
So much for free speech. Arutz 7, a pirate radio show, is now required to show the government that it is not biased toward the right wing in Israel. What kind of nonsense is that?
Has anybody checked out Ha'aretz lately? There's a left wing paper for you. Have they been told that they have to prove that they are unbiased?
It's like telling Rush Limbaugh that he needs to be unbiased. Or telling any left wing commentator the same. They don't have the right to broadcast their opinions.
What about talking about the issues and policies that the government is planning and carrying out? Do the people have to follow the government blindly over the edge? They are not allowed to discuss what are some of the more important matters that will directly involve them- that may cost them their lives?!
It's obvious that the government feels pressured. As a result they made free speech in Israel a joke. Not a funny one at that either. I'm not laughing.
23 December 2002
22 December 2002
Finally we have someone with half a brain in their head. An Arab sees exactly what will happen when we hand away half of Jerusalem on a silver platter. Why is it an Arab who can see what will happen and not a Jew?
Zuheir Hamdan, one of the mukhtars of the Sur Baher neighborhood, in Jerusalem can see clearly that whatever the Palestinians have touched has been destroyed. Handing over Jerusalem will let all the terrorists in and the death toll will rise even higher, G-d help us.
May the Jews get a clue...quickly.
21 December 2002
The Labor Party has officially gone off the edge. Their platform is now -- divide Jerusalem, and civil marriages. They also want public transportation to run on Shabbat, but they'll keep shops closed. Why bother with one and not the other? The Labor Party has finally lost it.
What is the point of living in Israel? What's the point of being Jewish in Israel? If they want to be Jewish without the restrictions, let them move to Los Angeles with the rest of the Israelis that have left the country. Don't bother the Jews that want to be there. I'd even start a collection to help them move out. Let's be more American than the Americans. Why bother being Jewish in a Jewish land? Go to America.
To top it all off, Labor will continue to talk to the Arabs without making them stop the terror attacks with the conclusion being that the Arabs will get Judea and Samaria within a year - if not sooner- if the Israelis and the Arabs can make a peace agreement. Ben-Eliezer, the last Labor chairman before Mitzna, even said -- what's the point of the Arabs making a peace agreement if they already know they'll be getting the land at the end of the year anyway? Duh?!
Who needs peace agreements anyway, when all we have to do is roll over and die? May as well start packing, Los Angeles here we come.
09 December 2002
This coming week, some of us will be celebrating what should be a National holiday. We will be rejoicing by doing the same things we do every day. We will be celebrating by writing letters to our Congressional representative or to the President, by praying to whatever Power we believe in, or by going target-shooting and hunting. The holiday that encompasses all these is Bill of Rights Day.
Last year, the Michigan House of Representatives passed Resolution 264 proclaiming December 15th as Bill of Rights Day. These amendments were ratified 210 years earlier on December 15, 1791, and this year will commemorate 211 years that the Bill of Rights has been on the books.
As United States citizens, we have the obligation to remember that the Constitution would not have been ratified if the Bill of Rights were not guaranteed. The unfortunate truth is, most Americans have no idea what the Bill of Rights includes.
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. They list the most basic rights of the people living in this country. Some include: the freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, protection against unreasonable searches and testifying against oneself, as well as eliminating cruel and unusual punishment. The two most important amendments are the last two, those that are directed not at specific rights, but to guard individuals against any future encroachment by the government.
Since the early Americans founding the United States had just broken away from Great Britain where they had limited freedoms, they were afraid of a strong central government. They assumed that breaking the government into three different, and sometimes competing, parts, would create a self-checking system. While some, federalists were happy with this compromise, others, such as the anti-federalists, felts that a three-pronged government was simply not enough to guarantee the freedoms of the ordinary citizen. This is where the Bill of Rights came in.
While America is not perfect, and there is quite a bit that needs work, we must realize that the basic framework is solid. Instead of people complaining that there are too many problems, and relying on others to fix it, we should look at the fundamentals. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights show us what can be done and where we can move ahead as a country. Whether you are a Socialist or a Libertarian, a Liberal or a Conservative, a Democrat or Republican, there is a place for all of your philosophies.
Other countries around the world do not have many of these freedoms. Slavery still exists in the world. So does torture. Limitations on free speech still exists in the world, and how you practice your religion is still limited and made illegal in parts of this planet.
While people living in this country have difference in views on the United States and its future, we all have the right to disagree and discuss our views without worrying that we are breaking the law. This is our entitlement.
On this upcoming holiday, please remember how lucky we are compared to the rest of the world. Don’t take for granted what our forefathers fought and died for, and that we live everyday.
Hey, maybe you’ll even break out the barbeque.
07 December 2002
We Jews have tried to be nice. We have tried not to offend anyone. We have tried to be politically correct and talk around the real issues. We discuss two state solutions. We discuss replacing Yasser Arafat with someone we can “talk” to. We discuss achieving normalized relations with our Arab neighbors.
Enough is enough.
During an Arab student rally here on Detroit's Wayne State University’s campus we heard the chant “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” There is no compromise in that chant. There is no attempt not to offend anyone. There is a claim being made to the Land of Israel. They are claiming an “historic Arab Palestine” while negating the Jewish connection to the Land.
Let us deal with “historic Arab Palestine”. When did it historically exist? Where were its borders? Who were its leaders? What kind of culture did those ‘ancient’ Palestinians have? What kind of political system did they have? This “historic Arab Palestine” never existed.
“Palestine” is the slave name given to our Land by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 CE to destroy the Jewish connection to the Land. Both Jews and Arabs were “Palestinians” during the British Mandate period of 1917-1948. Today’s “Palestinians” are a politically expedient creation by the Arabs as another tool to destroy Israel. Nothing more. We owe nothing to them.
Self-respect demands the Jewish claim, the only real right that we have to the Land of Israel and the current State. The Land of Israel was given to us 4,000 years ago by G-d before there were Muslims, before there were Christians, and before there were “Palestinians”.
Who is man to decide what belongs to G-d and His Jewish People? What power does the United Nations have to decide that the Jewish State should or should not exist? Resolutions condemning Zionism as racism. Resolutions that demand that Israel compensate the same Arabs who attempted, and failed, to destroy her 54 years ago. Resolutions that we give away the Holy Land that we won in defensive wars. A United Nations that is filled with nations that are united in their hatred toward the Jewish People and the modern miracle of the State of Israel.
Enough is enough.
Two thousand years ago the Jewish People said enough was enough. No more compromise. Those were the Maccabees. They made their statement to the World. “Who is with G-d, is with me.” This is Jewish Pride. This is a Pride in the Torah. This is a Pride in being the Jewish People. This is a Pride in having a Jewish Land run by Jews.
The time for politics is over. The time for discussion has passed. The Arabs have made their claim to all of the Land between the river and the sea. During the height of the “peace process” in 2000, 25,000 Arab children were being trained, in a summer camp, to ambush, kidnap and murder Jews. When the Arabs were given Schem (Nablus), they destroyed the Tomb of Joseph, and rebuilt it as a mosque. The Arabs have made their statement. They have taken what is ours and rebuilt it in their own image.
Stop using the slave names forced on us. Judea, Samaria and Gaza, not the “West Bank” and the “occupied territories”.
Jerusalem is a Jewish city. Chevron (Hebron) is a Jewish city. Tzfat (Safed) is a Jewish city. Schem (Nablus) is a Jewish city. Tveria (Tiberias) is a Jewish city. These cities belong to the Jewish People.
The Land of Israel belongs to the Jews without any apologies. It was given to us by G-d. Enough said.
02 December 2002
Since writing the last article about how Arabs are using their children to wage war against the Jews in Israel, I have done more research into this unacceptable state of affairs. This Culture of Violence is more deeply imbeded than I had first believed.
The Palestinian Broadcast Corporation, which includes both television and radio, was created in the early years of the peace process. One would think that this would be a great opportunity for the Arabs to use the media to talk about peace and reconciliation. However this was not the case. Instead, the PBC became the mouthpiece for inciting violence and inviting children to join the war against the Jews even though the use of children in an armed conflict is strictly forbidden by the international community. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and recent UN Security Council Resolution 1261 specifically described the use of children as soldiers as a “violation of international law.”
In January 2002 on Palestinian Authority television, in an interview with Yasser Arafat when asked what message he’d like to send to the Palestinian children answered, “...The child who is grasping the stone, facing the tank; is it not the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a Shahid [dies for Allah]? We are proud of them.”
Arafat in another televised appearance (8/18/02) speaking to an auditorium full of children said, “One of you, a boy or a girl, shall raise the [Palestinian] flag over the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and its churches...Onward together to Jerusalem!” The children responded, cheering and chanting, “Millions of Shahids marching to Jerusalem!”
This is not recent development. Four years earlier, on February 8, 1998, The Children’s Club, a childrens television show similar to Sesame Street, a ten year old girl declared that she wanted to “turn into a suicide warrior” in Jerusalem. On July 2, 1998, The Children’s Club showed an episode with young boys chanting, “We are ready with our guns; revolution until victory; revolution until victory.” On the same show an 8 year old boy announced to the audience of children, “I come here to say that we will throw them to the quiet sea...We will settle our claims with stones and bullets.”
One Palestinian broadcast in 2001 that got reported on NBC with Martin Fletcher was a “commercial” for child martyrdom. In reenactments, Palestinian children were shown putting down their toys and picking up rocks to follow the paths of the martyrs. In the commercial, paradise after death is shown as an inviting, green, sunlit meadow where friends meet and play.
The Palestinian Authority sends different messages to the world and to their own people. The PA “banned journalists from photographing Palestinian children carrying weapons...saying that the pictures harm the Palestinian cause.” At the same time they are preventing the world from seeing what’s going on in the Culture of Violence, PA television interviewed a boy in his home and placed a Kalatchnikov automatic rifle over his shoulder (AP, The Jerusalem Post 8/26/02).
The parents also help to start the children in this unacceptable Culture of Violence. They are proud of their young terrorists. In the London Times, one mother said, “I am happy that he [her 13 year old son] has been martyred. I will sacrifice all my sons and daughters (12 in all)...(10/19/00)” Another mother bragged that she had bore her son to fight the Jews. Her husband bragged that he was the one who had trained his son militarily.
Some parents try to go against this Culture of Violence and keep their children safe. However, Hafez Bargutti, the editor in chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA) official daily newspaper, Al Hayyat Al Jedida, wrote an editorial condemning parents who forbid their children from joining the riots (10/27/00).
The PA has also threatened Christian Arab parents in the Bethlehem area “because no Christian blood has been spilled, only Moslem blood” and because “Moslems have donated their children to the cause, but Christians haven’t.” These Christian parents have been told that the families of “martyrs” will get food first. As a result of protecting their children, they may starve.
When the international media challenged Palestinian Legislative Councilwoman Hanan Ashrawi about the use of children during the conflict, she reacted, “They’re telling us we have no feelings for our children. We’re not human beings, we’re not parents, we’re not mothers and fathers.”
After looking at all the evidence, we have to wonder.
25 November 2002
I started writing this article last week on Wednesday night when I heard about the latest bus bombing in Jerusalem, Israel. One of the first reports was that there were school children on the bus and that they were a good number of the dead. The results I found out Thursday morning. 11 dead. Four of those dead were teenagers on their way to school. A mother and son, sharing the bus ride before having to part ways. A grandmother and grandson, together in the morning rush.
Thursday morning during rush hour, an Arab decided that it was a good morning to blow up Jews.
The Arabs are fond of saying ‘they do not have problems with Jews, they have a problem with Zionism’. I will say this: I have no problems with Arabs, I have a problem with their Culture of Violence.
The use of children to wage war against the Jews is unacceptable. Children should not be used as weapons of war, or as targets of war. Children are sacred, and should be kept out of harms way. However, the Culture of Violence uses children as a political tool, to use the number of children dead in their public relations.
The Palestinian Authority ran summer camps to give young children military training. The New York Times reported that 25,000 children were trained in the summer 2000 how to use firearms, Molotov cocktails, how to kidnap and ambush Jews (New York Times, Aug. 2, 2000).
Death is glorified. A Palestinian Authority TV program clip, obviously aiming for younger viewers, features a boy killed in Gaza, arriving in heaven where there are beaches, waterfalls, and a Ferris wheel. He is saying, “I am not waving goodbye, I am waving to tell you to follow in my footsteps.” The music plays in the background, “How pleasant is the smell of martyrs, how pleasant the smell of land, the land enriched by the blood, the blood pouring out of a fresh body.”
This is unacceptable.
The Religious system also supports the use of children for violence. The Palestinian Authority appointed Mufti Ikrimi Sabri (religious leader) of Jerusalem said, “I feel the martyr is lucky because the angels usher him to his wedding in heaven...The younger the martyr, the greater and the more I respect him” (Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, Oct. 28, 2000).
Arab children are reminded time and time again that their deaths should be the goal of their lives. Children collect and trade necklace-pendants with the pictures of homicide bombers. Munir Jabal, head of the Balata teachers union said, “These children are convinced that martyrdom is a holy thing, something worthy of the ultimate respect. They worship these pictures. I think it will lead them in the future to go out and do the same thing.”
This is unacceptable.
The parents of these children are also involved in the Culture of Violence. The Palestinian Authority pays the family $2000 per child killed, and $300 per child wounded. Saudi Arabia has pledged 250 million dollars as an advance on its billion dollar fund supporting homicide bombers families. The Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group loyal to Saddam Hussein, also donates to the Culture of Violence. $500 for a wound, $1000 for disability, $10,000 to the family of each “martyr”, and $25,000 to the family of a homicide bomber. This is money not going to a proper education, but a reward for using children as violent terrorists. (HonestReporting.com)
Children are special gifts. They should be protected from war and must not to be used as targets or as terrorists. This is unacceptable. The Culture of Violence must end.
17 November 2002
Since the terms “terrorist” and “freedom fighter” have a tendency to be used interchangeably these days, I think that it is time to clear up the confusion. One man’s terrorist is not another man’s freedom fighter.
Let’s begin by defining our terms. The term “freedom fighter” is a relatively new term. The root of the word is “freedom”. These are people who are looking for freedom from a government that is oppressing them, or looking to secure basic rights under that government. Since their point is political, they will attack military targets of that government. And finally, these targets would not include civilians since obviously they are not military targets.
We see from this that there are two main criteria to fulfill if you want to be a freedom fighter. The first is that you have a political objective. The second is that your targets are limited to military instillations and personnel.
Next is the definition of a “terrorist”. The root of the word is “terror”. What is terror? Terror is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “an organized system of intimidation”. These people may have political or religious underpinnings but the focus of a terrorist is the intimidation of the civilian population. The main difference between a “terrorist” and a “freedom fighter” is that a terrorist does not hesitate to attack and murder civilians.
There are some excellent examples of terrorism in recent times. In the attack on the Twin Towers in New York last September 3,000 civilians were murdered. This was not an attack by freedom fighters, because the two criteria that define a freedom fighter were not fulfilled. First, the hijackers were not looking for freedom from an oppressive government and second, they attacked a civilian population. The hijackers were terrorists looking to intimidate the American civilian population.
Another example of terrorism is the nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia in mid-October of this year. 200 civilians were murdered and many more injured when terrorists set off bombs destroying the club. This was not an attack on an oppressive government or an attack on military personnel. This was an attack on tourists and vacationers who had decided to go out for a night of dancing and partying. This attack is an act of terrorism.
Let’s bring terrorism down to a more individual level. Last week in Israel on November 10th, a terrorist walked into Kibbutz Metzer, a kibbutz known for it’s friendly relations with it’s Arab neighbors. As a result of these friendly relations, there was no security fence. Revital Ochayon had just put her two little boys to bed, Matan 5, Noam 4, when a terrorist came into her home and murdered all three. That night at the kibbutz Tirza Damari was murdered by the same terrorist as she took a late night walk with a friend. This was not an attack on military personnel. This was attack on small children. These attacks are acts of terrorism.
On Friday night, walking home from Sabbath evening prayers in the holy city of Hebron, Jewish worshipers being escorted by the Israeli military were attacked and murdered. This not being enough, the security and medical team sent to help were also ambushed and murdered. The result of this massacre: 11 Jews, civilian and military and one Bedouin Israeli soldier murdered. This was not an attack on a military instillation or personnel. This was an attack on worshipers on their way home after services. These attacks are also acts of terrorism.
It is clearly seen what are acts of terrorism and what are acts of freedom fighters. The attack on the Twin Towers is an act of terrorism. The attack on the Bali nightclub is an act of terrorism. The attack on the kibbutz, murdering little children and their parent is an act of terrorism. The murder of a woman out for a walk is an act of terrorism. The attack on worshipers coming back from prayer services is an act of terrorism.
It must be clear that there are no excuses for terrorism. The confusion between a “freedom fighter” and a “terrorist” must end. Do not become apologists for murderers. One man’s terrorist is not another man’s freedom fighter.
11 November 2002
As reported by the news, the Palestinians are hard up for money and it’s Israel’s fault. However, as I’m apt to say - do the research. There has been Billions of dollars that have been donated to the Palestinian cause. Billions with a big “B”. The question is, where did all the money go?
The beginning of the money trail began in 1991, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was still considered a terrorist organization (unlike today where they are a peace loving group). The Bank of England had shut down the Pakistani Bank of Credit and Commerce International on July 5, 1991, and found that the PLO had at least 10 Billion dollars stashed away.
Britain’s National Crime Intelligence Service concluded in 1993 that the PLO was the “richest of all terrorist organizations”. They estimated the PLO’s worth at 8-10 Billion dollars with an annual income of 1.5-2 Billion from “extortion, payoffs, illegal arms dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, etc.”
After the Oslo Accords in 1993, where Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians were supposed to make peace with the Jews, he asked the world for donations and got even more money.
In 1996, the Palestinians had some serious suspicions about Arafat and his top advisors (the mansions in Gaza tipped them off), and decided to create a commission to investigate. They found that almost 40% of the Palestinian Authority’s (of which Arafat is head) 800 million dollar annual budget, disappeared through mismanagement and corruption. The Palestinian Authority's comptroller wrote, "The overall picture is one of a Mafia-style government, where the main point of being in public office is to get rich quick." This annual budget is dependent on the foreign aid of the European Union and Arab countries.
In 2001, at least 45 million dollars a month was given directly to Arafat - coming mostly from Iraq and Saudi Arabia (a good friend of the United States). This money was not given to help the people, but to fund the PLO’s terrorist organizations of the Islamic Jihad and the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Currently, donations are up to 55 million dollars monthly.
The German newspaper Die Zeit discovered that at least 4.1 Billion Euros have been donated by the European Union to the Palestinian Authority since 1993, and since June 2001, 10 million Euros have gone directly to Arafat. A Kuwaiti newspaper recently published documents that showed that Arafat deposited 5.1 million dollars into his own personal account in Cairo, Egypt. The newspaper also reported that this was the same money that was supposed to go to the Palestinian people. The United States also donates to the Palestinians to the tune of 75 million dollars annually. All of this even when there is clear evidence that the money has gone to fund terrorism. Evidence with Arafat’s signature signed on the bottom, paying for explosives and supporting the suicide bombers families.
Now we see where the money has gone. It hasn’t gone into building an economic infrastructure. It hasn’t gone into building roads. It hasn’t gone into building homes. It hasn’t gone into building a democracy.
The money has gone straight into Arafat and his buddies’ pockets. It has gone into teaching children to hate. It has gone into creating and supporting terrorist organizations and networks. It has gone into creating a corrupt, destructive, dictatorial terrorist regime. (www.middleeastfacts.com, www.freeman.org)
This is where the money has gone.
05 November 2002
As we’ve seen over the last few weeks there have been demonstrations on campus dealing with the Arab-Jewish conflict. While these demonstrations are indeed entertaining, I want everyone to do their own research. We are inundated with information, from the television, to the radio, to the internet. We have sources at our fingertips, and we don’t take the effort to learn and find things out for ourselves. We believe what we are told.
We don’t ask why things happen the way they happen. We don’t look into the history of a problem to deal with the ramifications of today. We are lazy.
There are many topics that pro-Arab demonstrators never deal with. One of these topics is the how Arabs that are interested in peace with the Jews are treated by their Arab brothers.
As of mid-July 2002, the casualty rate is given as 1,500 Arabs killed, while only 550 Jews have been killed. While these numbers seem one sided, we need to break down them down. The number of Arabs killed does not make a distinction between civilian and armed combatants, or even who they were killed by.
A new study compiled by the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (http://www.ict.org.il/researchreport/researchreport.htm) broke down these numbers into smaller categories such as age, gender, and whether or not they were combatants. The study showed that a majority of Palestinian Arab deaths were combatants, Jewish deaths were 80% civilian.
An interesting fact to notice is that between September 30, 2000 and May 30, 2002, thirty-four Palestinian females have been killed out of 1,293 Arab deaths - 2.63% In contrast, 146 Israeli females have been killed out of 501 Israeli deaths - 29% (www.bridgesforpeace.com). This is due to the targeting of Israeli civilians by Arab terrorists versus the accidental killing of Arab civilians by the Israeli Army. If the Israeli Army were focused on killing civilians, the female casualty rate would be much higher.
The most important part of the study that needs to be focused on are the 185 Arabs killed by their own brothers. This is one out of eight Arabs killed in this current conflict. During the first Intifada in the late 1980s, about 800 Palestinians were killed by other Palestinians as “suspected collaborators”, one-third of the total death toll.
These Arab “suspected collaborators” are executed in several different ways. Sometimes they are executed after a Palestinian Authority “trial” in which they went without access to lawyers and without the right to appeal, after being horribly tortured (Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org) Sometimes these “collaborators” were murdered in a prison raid, or sometimes murdered in the street and hung by their heels in the city square (www.HonestReporting.com).
While Israel keeps getting accused of killing Arabs indiscriminately, we can see that numbers do no justice to the people involved in the Arab-Jewish conflict. There is no love lost between Arabs. Palestinians are tortured and killed by their own brothers.
We live in a country where we have an overwhelming amount of information available to us. We don’t need to be swayed by who yells the loudest or who puts more blood on the pavement to attract our attention. We need honesty, not just slogans. It may be easier to root for the underdog, but it may not be the right thing. Check it out for yourself. Do the research.
28 October 2002
Thank goodness winter is coming. It will now be easier for us, the women on campus to keep our own self-respect.
What we wear is who we are. We don’t have to like it, but it’s true. Business people wear suits, bank tellers wear business clothes, baggers at the supermarket wear aprons that have the name of the supermarket on it, and some of the women on campus dress like prostitutes.
What the question really comes down to is, who are you dressing to impress? If you wake up in the morning with no thought to what you are wearing and you put on the most comfortable jeans and sweatshirt, then this article is not for you. For the other 95% of women on campus, pay attention.
Most women wear clothing to attract the opposite sex. So who is it that you want to attract and will exhibiting your body get you the man you want? What do want the guy sitting next to you in class to notice first? Your chest, almost covered by a nonexistent shirt, or the great insightful question you just asked the professor?
“Wait a minute”, you yell. “I should be able to wear whatever I want and he should still respect me for my mind.”
As a woman, I would agree with you. You should be able to wear whatever you want. But let us deal with Reality. Are guys dating you because you look like an easy target or are they interested in a real relationship? What image are you projecting?
Are we women so insecure with ourselves that we are dependent on a man to give us an identity? What happens when you “get” a man? Are you going to be able to keep him? What will you give up in order to keep him?
We all know the answer to that one. But what about “love”? You fell in “love” with him. How long does that “love” last - until he finds someone else. Is this a real relationship, or is this sex? How much do you know about him? You both like the same movies? That’s real deep. It’s definitely something on which to base a lifetime relationship.
Let’s go back to the idea of clothing. Clothes are the objects that tell the rest of the world who you are. What kind of a person you are. Wearing clothing that doesn’t show off every curve of your body, leaving nothing to the imagination, is a good thing. It shows that there is more to you than your body. You are more than just your body. Hopefully. If you’re showing off your body, it may be that there is nothing else to show off, no mind to go along with it.
When you go outside in the rain, and you have something that shouldn’t get wet, like a book or a camera, you cover it with something. Not because that object is bad, but because you want to protect it.
The same concept applies. The body is not a bad thing. It is a valuable thing that needs to be protected and not used at anyone’s discretion or as a means to an end. The more valuable something is, the more protection it should be given. This does not include dressing like the Taliban women under a veil, where they were unable to participate as a full member of society. This is unnecessary and cruel.
We are not objects. Our bodies should not become objects. If we want a real relationship with a man, we must show them that we are more than how much skin we show. Show them that you have some self-respect. Otherwise, there’s no difference between us and a prostitute.
21 October 2002
What is the definition of an Historian? An Historian is someone who researches history and writes about it. The key word here is “researches”. This Historian checks his facts, double checks, and triple checks what he finds in order to be as accurate as possible.
When I was completing my history degree here at Wayne State, I had a professor who made it very clear that you needed at least three independent sources to prove that an event actually occurred. If it couldn’t be verified, it may never have happened.
But wait, there’s a new breed of historians. They call themselves the “new historians”. They find “new” information and tell us all about it. Sounds great! Learn something new every day. Unfortunately, there’s a problem. These “new” historians are notorious for making up facts and using these “new” facts in order to support their political views.
I understand that people and governments use history to support their political views all the time. This isn’t the problem. The problem is when historical “facts” are really embellishments or worse, complete and utter fabrications.
On campus last week we had a “new historian” by the name of Ilan Pappe. Pappe not only had a political agenda, but made up the facts to go with it. Who is Ilan Pappe? He’s a political science professor at Haifa University in Israel. He came to enlighten us about the “fact” that when Israel was created in 1948, there was a systematic attempt to uproot the “native” Arab population living there and destroy their homes.
What made Professor Pappe more believable was that as a Jewish Israeli, he was able to muster his courage and go against accepted documented history with his “facts”.
I have absolutely no interest whether he’s Jewish or Israeli or Greek or Chinese. His nationality gives him no more credibility than any other credential he might be able to create. The truth is, he made up historical “facts” in order to fit his political agenda.
One of Professor Pappe’s students Theodore Katz, wrote his Masters thesis on the accusation that the Alexandroni Brigade massacred 200 unarmed Arabs in the village of Tantura in May 1948. This Masters thesis earned him a 97% by Professor Pappe and a libel suit by the Alexandroni Brigade veterans in January 2000.
During the libel trial it only took two days for Katz to retract his statements. “After checking and re-checking the evidence, it is clear to me now, beyond a doubt, that there is no basis whatsoever to the allegation that the Alexandroni Brigade, or any other fighting unit of the Jewish forces, committed the killing of people in Tantura after the village surrendered.” Within a day, Katz tried to take back his statement, and continue the trial, but the judges refused. The Haifa University also found that Katz had falsified testimony “gravely and severely” in 14 different places in his thesis.
What is important to note is that Katz’s thesis advisor, Professor Pappe determined that Katz’s conclusions were correct even if the facts were not. His decision shows us that historical accuracy is not that important to Professor Pappe. Why bother with real research when you can make up your own?
The Alexandroni Brigade is trying to have Katz’s Masters thesis revoked but is having a hard time because Pappe is fighting for him. The question is, if Pappe is willing to support a thesis which is full of lies and embellishments, why should he be believed at all? What is the point of doing historical research, when according to Pappe, it isn’t necessary to be truthful or accurate?
Professor Pappe, while being brought in as an “expert” in the Middle East is no more than an expert liar.
11 October 2002
Supposedly we know that the only way to have peace in the Middle East is to get rid of the State of Israel. It is because Israel exists that there is no stability in the region. Let’s give everyone what they want, a Middle East without Israel. No doubt, stability will improve.
Of course human rights are very important in the Middle East region. We know that Arab countries are “dedicated” to protecting those rights. In addition to protecting those important rights, it is well known that the Arab countries are “committed” to a terrorist-free world.
Let’s begin with the United States friends in the region. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. As we know, peace and freedom loving dictatorships.
Egypt. The United States next best friend. While Egypt is officially a social democracy, President Hosni Mubarak was reelected for a fourth 6 year term in September 1999. It’s really amazing to see democracy in action.
According to the U.S. State Department Report on Human Right Practices 2001, the Egyptian “Government's record remained poor with respect to freedom of expression and its continued referral of citizens to trial in military or State Security Emergency courts... The [Egyptian] President and the entrenched NDP [National Democratic Party] dominate the political scene to such an extent that citizens do not have a meaningful ability to change their Government.” It is good to know that Egyptian citizens have a real right of representation in their government.
It is also good to note that the Egyptian police departments are taking their jobs seriously. They are allowed to arrest and hold suspects without charges or lawyers. Abuse, torture and killing of suspects is rampant in the police departments.
Let us move away from such a freedom loving society which the United States supports with 1.3 billion dollars annually. But there’s no need to worry, it’s a stable Middle East.
Let’s take a look at the Kingdom of Jordan, a constitutional monarchy. While the word “constitutional” is in the title “constitutional monarchy”, there are, of course, limits. According to the State Department,
“Citizens may participate in the political system through their elected representatives in Parliament; however, the King has discretionary authority to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister, Cabinet, and upper house of Parliament, to dissolve Parliament, and to establish public policy.” I’m always happy to hear about democracy flourishing in that part of the world. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it’s the ties they have to the fun dictatorships of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan, that give the King of Jordan such funny ideas about how democracy works.
As in Egypt, we see that the Jordanian police are up to snuff with arbitrary arrests and holding without charges. There is also torture and abuse of suspects. It’s good to know they’re not spending their energy focusing on the al-Qaeda terrorist cells based there. There’s no need to be worried, it’s a stable Middle East.
Moving right along to Saudia Arabia, another good friend of ours. It’s definitely not a democracy. But who needs democracy anyway when Crown Prince Abdullah’s in charge?
According to the State Department the Saudi “...Government prohibits or restricts freedom of speech, the press, assembly, association, religion, and movement.” Picky, picky. Who needs those rights anyway? “Other continuing problems included discrimination and violence against women, discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities, and strict limitations on worker rights.” Then again, maybe we’re focusing too much on human rights.
What about the Saudi dedication to stopping terrorism? Hey, what kind of a question is that? Do we not trust our Saudi friends?
They’ve certainly given us what to work with. The Saudi kingship has yet to close any known terrorist bank accounts. According to Saudi intelligence, 25,000 Saudis have trained in military camps, mostly in Afghanistan since 1979. More recently, of the 300 terrorists taken prisoner in Afghanistan by the United States, 100 of them are Saudi citizens.
As can be seen, we have good friends in the freedom loving countries of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We’ve seen that these countries are totally against terrorism and are doing everything in their power to ensure the safety of the world around them. I’m sure that even though we haven’t discussed the countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and the other seventeen Arab countries of the Middle East, that they too would do everything to protect the human rights of their citizens and the security of the world. You were worried about stability in the Middle East? I can’t imagine why.
25 September 2002
* The Israeli- ‘Palestinian’ dispute centers around the land being claimed by two peoples. The Jewish People call it Eretz Yisroel, or the Land of Israel. The Arabs call themselves ‘Palestinians’ and their land ‘Palestine’. Both peoples claim that their histories go back thousands of years and that their claim is the true one.
* Although the Arabs claim an age-old “Palestine”, it never existed until the Romans defeated the Jews in 135 CE. Rome renamed Israel in an attempt to eradicate its Jewish identification. Renowned Arab historian Dr. Philip Hitti states, “There is no such thing in history as Palestine, absolutely not.”
* The Arabs claim the biblical Philistines as ancestors. But the Philistines were not even Arabs. They were a warlike Greek people from the Aegean islands who in the 12th Century BCE conquered part of the coast of Canaan.
Did the Arabs or any other people ever create a nation on the soil that was Israel?
For the 1900 years that the Jews were exiled, the land was never a national homeland of anyone, Arab or otherwise. Specifically, beginning in 634 CE and during the four centuries when the Arabs ruled it, Israel was never settled.
What is the “Palestine Mandate”?
The “Palestine Mandate” was the piece of land that included both present day countries of Israel and Jordan that was given to the British to administer after the Ottoman Empire lost the First World War. In exchange for wartime assistance the British had made promises to both the Jews and the Hussein family. Both were promised land. In order to try and keep both promises, the British sliced the Palestine Mandate into two parts. In 1922, 80% of the Palestine Mandate became Jordan, east of the Jordan River. All Jews living east of the Jordan River were expelled. This was in direct violation of the League of Nations Mandate to Britain.
In 1922 west Palestine became the only Palestine on the world map. When Israel was founded in 1948, the United Nations demanded that west Palestine be divided again, ‘forgetting’ the original division of land.
What does the Arab Leadership Know?
Arab leaders know that East ‘Palestine’ became Jordan. In 1948, King Abdullah said, “Palestine and Jordan are one.” Farouk Kadoumi, head of the PLO Political Department said, “Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people.” Except for King Hussein and his Bedouin tribesmen, the remaining 80% of Jordan’s population are Arabs from the Palestine mandated area. King Hussein’s wife is “Palestinian”. In 1981, Hussein himself declared, “The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.” Therefore, the Arab leadership knows that there is no basis for Arabs now living in the State of Israel to demand the creation of a second Palestinian state.
23 June 2002
When I went to hear Michael Tarazi, the Legal Advisor of the Palestine Liberation Organization, I was hoping to hear some deep insightful thoughts about the Middle East situation but all I got was a rewrite of history.
Untruth by Michael Tarazi. A valid question posed by one of the audience members asked about the boundries of “Historical Palestine.” The audience member mentioned that “Historical Palestine” according to the Palestine Mandate, the area under British control after World War I, included both what are now the countries of Israel and Jordan. Mr. Tarazi was quick to respond. How “nice” of an Israeli to tell him (Mr. Tarazi) what his homeland borders are.
How cute of Mr. Tarazi, but not dealing with the issue at hand. If the Palestinians were truely concerned about peace, knowing that Jordan is also the country of Palestine would help. Also knowing that 80% of Jordans citizens are also Palestinians would help. Why not a two state solution? Israel would be a Jewish State. Jordan would be a Palestinian State. But no, the Palestinians only deal with the reality in their collective head. Only Israel is Palestine.
Let’s deal with another piece of neglected history. Who owned the “occupied territory” of the West Bank prior to the 1967 War in which Israel won that territory. Jordan did. If the Palestinians are concerned about only the West Bank and not wanted to destroy the Jews wholesale and push them into the Mediterranean Sea, then why did they go to war in 1967? They had control of the entire West Bank.
The Palestinians argue that it’s the creation of Israel as a State that is a problem for them. They have no problem with Jews themselves. So let’s go way back - before the “occupation”, before even the creation of the Jewish State. Throughout the years 1936-1939 there were hundreds of Jews murdered by their Arab neighbors. Let’s go even further back to the 1929 massacre of 29 Jewish Yeshiva students in Hebron. What happened there? There was no State. There was no “occupation.”
The simple fact is that the Palestinian People are not interested in the facts of History. It doesn’t fit their reality. The reality they are interested in is a reality in which Jews don’t exist.