Thursday, October 30, 2014



Official PLO news agency: shooter of American born Rabbi is a martyr

Israeli forces arrested the father and brother of the martyr Hijazi

Jerusalem 10/30/2014 WAFA occupation forces arrested on Thursday morning, the father and brother of the martyr Ibrahim Moataz Hijazi (32 years) in the 
wake of the liquidation of the Revolutionary in the neighborhood of Silwan in Jerusalem.

The correspondent said that the occupation forces have arrested the father of the martyr Ibrahim and his brother Uday Hijazi after the liquidation and took them to investigate.

Six citizens wounded by rubber bullets are in three hospitals for injuries, and dozens of citizens suffered from suffocation since the occupation forces 
launched tear gas grenades towards the house and its surroundings of the martyr in violent clashes raging in the neighborhood since the announcement of his death.

The sister of the martyr Shaimaa Hijazi, said that the occupation forces and special units raided the neighborhood and surrounded the house and began 
shooting heavily after five and a half hours until he was liquidated on the roof of the house where he had been bleeding for more than two hours.

The correspondent noted that the occupation is holding the body of the martyr as transported by ambulance and that the occupation is likely to carry out an autopsy of the martyr.

Zero risks for Israel vs. zero chances for Palestinians

Zero risks for Israel vs. zero chances for Palestinians 

Op-ed: If there is no way to guarantee Israeli citizens' safety without zero achievements for Palestinians, our leaders must say it clearly and fearlessly.

Efraim Halevy

The events of the past few weeks in Judea and Samaria, and especially in Jerusalem, emphasize the political echelon's statements on the possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians.
The top consideration for guaranteeing the security of the State of Israel and its citizens is dictating more than ever a policy of "zero risk" to human life, and therefore full security control over the entire territory – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon recently presented his doctrine on the Palestinian issue, saying that he sees no other option but to leave the Israeli shekel as the official currency in Judea and Samaria in any future agreement, as the Israeli and Palestinian economies are intertwined.
According to reports, Ya'alon said that the Palestinians could enjoy a sort of municipal autonomy. This means they would not be able to enact primary legislation, and would likely only be able to institute regulations which would be valid in accordance with the primary legislation in the Knesset.
The defense minister, who is known for his integrity and earnestness, expressed the actual policy – as opposed to the government's declared policy – on the overall Palestinian issue. Guaranteeing the security of Israel's citizens requires a hermetic closure of the Palestinian entity – militarily, economically and constitutionally – in order to prevent any possibility of a future deterioration of Israel.
But a "zero risk" policy requires a "zero achievement" policy for the Palestinians. This approach was demonstrated very well at the end of Operation Protective Edge, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that Hamas had not achieved a thing – neither a seaport nor an airport for the Gaza Strip – while Israel had demanded and received an agreement that the entire restoration process of the destruction from the war in Gaza would be sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, which acts today and will hopefully continue to act in the future as a sort of municipal system as part of the sovereign State of Israel.
On this background, Israel's demand that the Gaza Strip would be demilitarized as an imperative condition for the full naturalization of the Strip is highly important. Gaza's residents are required to get accustomed to a permanent situation in which the Palestinian Authority's security units, which are manned with residents of Judea and Samaria only, will control their borders in the first stage and their streets in the second stage, ignoring the eternal animosity between the Gazans and the people of Nablus and Ramallah.
Is this the way to implement the "zero risk" perception on the Gazan front? The Palestinians translate this Israeli policy as "zero chances" for them. It's possible that they do not deserve a different approach, it's possible that they are not ready for it, it's possible that there is no option of securing Israel without a "zero chance" approach for Mahmoud Abbas and his group. If that is the case, it's time to say it clearly and fearlessly.
Adopting doubletalk, which allegedly sides with the "two state" policy while in fact undermining it, will not serve any constructive cause, and will strengthen the claims of those who doubt the government's credibility, both towards the world and towards its citizens.
When Israel sought American support for its disengagement from Gaza, Washington conditioned its support on including part of the northern Samaria in the move. The names of the places we pulled out of have been forgotten in the public discourse.
On the eve of the Jewish New Year, 450 people got up in the middle of the night and joined the students of the renewed Homesh Yeshiva for the traditional Selichot prayers. Following this event, Minister Uri Ariel said: "I will continue working for the Jewish people's return to Homesh, and as a first step in resuming continuous activity of the yeshiva and the voice of Torah in the place."
"Homesh today and Gaza tomorrow?" will ask the average Gazan, who is invited to disarm and have faith in Israel's goodwill and in the protection of the brothers in the West Bank.
Under these circumstances, there is no point in attempts to resume negotiations between those who support zero risks and those who see zero chances. It's time for Israel to decide on its vision, on the goals derived from this vision and on how it should prepare to implement them.
This discussion should be led by the state's leadership within the state. If this move is not taken, no one will take us seriously, and the Israeli public will stop believing its leaders.,2506,L-4585486,00.html

Tuesday, October 28, 2014




The Palestinian refugee issue has been dramatically misrepresented, distorting circumstances and numbers, in order to delegitimize the Jewish state.

The root cause then and now

According to the German Middle East expert, Fritz Grobba ("Men and Powers in the Orient"), the 1948 Palestinian leadership, headed by Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husseini, wanted to apply Nazi methods to massacre Jews throughout the Middle East. In 1941, the mufti drafted a proposal requesting that Germany and Italy acknowledge the Arab right to settle "the Jewish problem" in Palestine and the Arab countries in accordance with national and racial Arab interests, similar to the practice employed to solve "the Jewish problem" in Germany and Italy. On Nov. 24, 1947, Acting Chairman of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee Jamal Al-Husseini threatened: "Palestine shall be consumed with fire and blood," if the Jews get any part of it. On April 16, 1948, Jamal Husseini told the U.N. Security Council: "The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight."

On January 9, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas pledged allegiance to the Grand Mufti, who collaborated intimately with the Nazi leadership, particularly with Himmler, Hitler's most ruthless right hand man: "On the anniversary of Fatah, we renew the pledge to our fortunate martyrs. ... We pledge to continue on the path of the martyrs. ... Here we must remember the pioneers -- the grand mufti of Palestine, Haj Amin Al-Husseini."

Who is responsible?

PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas admitted that "Arab armies forced Palestinians to leave their homes" (Filastin A-Thawra, March 1976). On May 13, 2008, Al Ayyam, the second largest pro-Abbas Palestinian daily, claimed: "[In 1948] the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) told Palestinians to leave their houses and villages, and return a few days later, so the ALA can fulfill its mission."

The head of Britain's Middle East Office in Cairo, John Troutbeck, reported in June 1949: "Arab refugees speak with utmost bitterness of Egypt and other Arab states. They know who their enemies are. Their Arab brothers persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their homes." Sir Alan Cunningham, the last British high commissioner in Palestine, wrote on April 28, 1948 that the total evacuation was urged on the Haifa Arabs from higher Arab quarters. The U.S. consul-general in Haifa telegraphed on April 25, 1948 that "reportedly, Arab Higher Committee is ordering all Arabs to leave."

The secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, told the Lebanese daily Al Hoda on June 8, 1951: "In 1948, we were assured that Palestine's occupation would be a military promenade. ... Brotherly advice to Arabs in Palestine was to leave their homes temporarily." The London Economist wrote on Oct. 2, 1948: "The most potent of the factors [triggering the Arab flight] were the announcements by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit. ... It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades." Syrian Prime Minister Khaled al-Azam admitted in his 1973 memoirs that "we brought destruction upon the refugees, by calling on them to leave their homes."

According to the first U.S. ambassador to Israel, James G. McDonald ("My Mission in Israel"): "These Arabs ... fled from Palestine as the result of mass panic when the wealthy Arabs, almost to a man, began running away in Nov. 1947. ... The flight was provoked by lurid tales of Jewish sadism issued by the Mufti and his followers. ... Superstitious and uneducated, the Arab masses succumbed to the panic and fled. ... The refugees were on [Arab leaders'] hands as the result of a war, which they had begun and lost."

How many refugees? The regional context

While the actual number of the 1948/9 Palestinian refugees was 320,000, Dr. Yoel Guzansky writes that about one-third of Syria's population of 23 million have recently lost their homes, and over 2 million (and growing) have found refuge in neighboring Arab countries. In Jordan, there are 1.2 million refugees, intensifying domestic instability; 800,000 Sunni Muslims fled to Lebanon, aggravating Shiite-Sunni sectarian terrorism and constituting an existential threat; 700,000 are in Turkey, 250,000 in Iraq and 125,000 in Egypt. One million Libyans have fled their country, which has become increasingly violent and unstable since the 2011 toppling and assassination of Moammar Gadhafi. Half a millionrefugees from Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan have reached Yemen, which is burdened by a similar number of Yemenis who lost their home due to tribal, religion, ideological and geographic domestic strife.

According to the British "Survey of Palestine, Volume I" -- cited in Samuel Katz's "Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine" -- in 1947, there were 561,000 Arabs in the area that became Israel. Katz contends that at the end of the war there were 140,000 Arabs in Israel; thus, there could not have been more than 420,000 displaced Arabs. "At the end of May 1948, Faris el Khoury, Syria's representative on the U.N. Security Council, estimated their number at 250,000. ... Emil Ghoury, secretary of the Arab Higher Committee -- the leadership of the Arabs in British Mandate Palestine -- announced on Sept. 6, 1948, that by the middle of June, the number of Arabs who had fled was 200,000, and by July 17 their number had risen to 300,000. ... Count Bernadotte, the U.N. special representative in Palestine, estimated the number of Arab refugees at 360,000, including 50,000 in Israeli territory." The Chicago Tribune's E. R. Noderer reported on May 10, 1948 that "150,000 Arabs were estimated to have left the areas of Palestine assigned to the Jews in the partition plan."

Misinformation and disinformation have dominated the diplomatic discourse on the Palestinian issue, misleading Western policymakers and public opinion molders, thus radicalizing Arab expectations and demands, fueling terrorism and minimizing the prospects of peace.




Much is being made of the speech that Mahmoud Abbas made at the United Nations. A lie told often enough, said Vladimir Lenin, becomes the truth. It is ironic that the Arabs hold so much faith in this notion and it is even more ironic that much of the world is stupid or ignorant enough to believe it.

No, it's not true. No matter how many times you tell a lie - it remains a lie. A situation can change to make something into a truth. For example, I can say I am 60 years old...I'm not, but God willing, eventually I will be. So, on my 60th birthday, it isn't that the lie becomes truth, but that the situation changed.

The Soviet Union was built on a lie - and you'll note it no longer exists. Lenin's great theory never really worked - ultimately, the lie that people could live better under a totalitarian, dictatorial regime failed. Except the Arabs never learned the lesson, never got the memo and so Abbas unashamedly stands before the United Nations and lied for all he was worth.

Let me give you some examples...

Lie: Abbas spoke of the "Palestine refugees, who are the victims of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) that occurred in 1948."

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 - they were not victims; they were the aggressors. They believed, they were led to believe, that five Arab nations could "push the Jews into the sea" - their words, their promise. They failed. No catastrophe and certainly no victims on their side.

Lie: A year ago, at this same time, distinguished leaders in this hall addressed the stalled peace efforts in our region. Everyone had high hopes for a new round of final status negotiations, which had begun in early September in Washington under the direct auspices of President Barack Obama and with participation of the Quartet, and with Egyptian and Jordanian participation, to reach a peace agreement within one year. We entered those negotiations with open hearts and attentive ears and sincere intentions, and we were ready with our documents, papers and proposals. But the negotiations broke down just weeks after their launch.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and they did not come to any negotiations calling for peace - not then, not later, and not last year with "open hearts and attentive ears" and certainly, there were no "sincere intentions." They were not ready for anything. Israel released prisoners - killers - the Palestinians did nothing but threaten and whine until they accepted a unity deal with Hamas, a terrorist organization which has fired over 20,000 rockets at Israeli cities, murdered our children - including three teens this past summer. Negotiations didn't break down, they were sabotaged by the Palestinians.

Lie: But all of these sincere efforts and endeavors undertaken by international parties were repeatedly wrecked by the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and last September they chose a terrorist organization as their partner. There can be no negotiating with someone who not only refuses to recognize your right to exist, but promises at every turn to do all it can to annihilate you.

Lie: The core issue here is that the Israeli government refuses to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948. They have ignored international lawrepeatedly - as they target civilians, including children. They continue to build illegal housing at a much faster pace than any building we have done. New settlements? Not for a long time - new neighborhoods on established areas - yes, some, but not much - and nothing compared to the thousands of new apartments and buildings the Palestinians have added.

Lie: The occupying Power also continues to undertake excavations that threaten our holy places.

Truth:  The illegal excavations done by Palestinians on the Temple Mount have resulted in tremendous damage - so much so that some of the ancient walls have nearly collapsed. We have found numerous relics and evidence of a Jewish presence here in Israel dating back thousands of years has repeatedly been thrown out amidst mountains of dirt from the Temple Mount. It is they who deny our history here - claiming, among other things, that the Western Wall, the last remaining retainer wall for the Temple Mount, was nothing but the place that Mohammed parked his donkey. Many of their "holy" places were built on top of our holy places - the Temple Mount, Samuel's Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarch's, Joseph's Tomb...and on and on. Their crime, not ours. Their lies.

Lie: At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling, persisting with its war of aggression of three years ago on Gaza, which resulted in massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques, and the thousands of martyrs and wounded.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and they chose war this summer. Most of what Abbas said above is true - with the exception of one key word. We did not target Palestinian civilians by "assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling" - not once. We targeted Hamas and other terrororganizations. By contrast, the Palestinians targeted most of Israel this summer, including my home and the homes and cities of many of my friends - perhaps even 90% of them. As for the "massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals and mosques" - they ceased to be these things the minute the Palestinians turned them into arsenals. A mosque cannot be an arsenal and an arsenal cannot be a mosque, a hospital, a school. As for the "thousands of martyrs and wounded" - this is true - we targeted their terrorists, their gunmen, their fighters and if we wounded them and turned them into martyrs...good.

Omission: In 1974, our deceased leader Yasser Arafat came to this hall....stating 'Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand”.

Truth: He came with a "freedom fighter's gun"...remember that? And he started off by mentioning that - he carried an olive branch and a gun...heck of a way to make a statement that you want peace. It was a warning. At least Arafat was more honest than Abbas.

Lie:  [Palestinians]...were forced to leave their homes and their towns and villages, carrying only some of our belongings and our grief and our memories and the keys of our homes to the camps of exile and the Diaspora in the 1948 Al-Nakba, one of the worst operations of uprooting, destruction and removal of a vibrant and cohesive society that had been contributing in a pioneering and leading way in the cultural, educational and economic renaissance of the Arab Middle East.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and told the Arab population of Palestine to get out of their way...and most CHOSE to leave. What they took with them was up to them. Unlike the Jewish populations of the Arab countries - close to 900,000 of them who were truly forced from their homes - usually with nothing. Diaspora? Exile? Look how Abbas attempts to hijack the very terms Jews have used for 2,000 years. Sinister, this man is; evil in his attempt to turn a lie into truth. "A vibrant and cohesive society" - the Arabs of Palestine were a bunch of clans and nomadic tribes - there was nothing vibrant about them and certainly nothing cohesive. They lived on land owned by absentee landlords and lived simple lives with almost nothing. "Contributing in a pioneering and leading way in the cultural, educational and economic renaissance of the Arab Middle East"? Wow - he should get an academy award for that lie. Just wow.

The ONLY pioneers in the Middle East have been the Jews.  There is no Palestinian culture, no economic or educational renaissance. There isn't a single university in any Arab country (including all areas under Palestinian authority) in the list of 200 top universities in the world. By contrast, five out of six of Israeli's universities appear in the top 200.

Some facts from Wikipedia:

As of 2012, ten Nobel Prize winners have been Muslims. Half of the ten Muslim Nobel laureates were awarded the prize in the 21st century. Six of the ten winners have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, including a controversial award to Yasser Arafat. Muslims make up over 23% of the worlds population and have earned 1% of Nobel Prizes.

Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 850 individuals, of whom at least 20% were Jews or of Jewish descent, although Jews comprise less than 0.2% of the world's population, (or 1 in every 500 people). Overall, Jews have won a total of 41% of all the Nobel Prizes in economics, 28% of medicine, 26% of Physics, 19% of Chemistry, 13% of Literature and 9% of all peace awards. Jews have been recipients of all six awards.The oldest person ever to receive a Nobel Prize was Leonid Hurwicz, a Polish-American Jew who received the 2007 prize in Economics when he was 90 years old.

Omission: The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war.

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and they chose war in 1967. And when they lost...worse than even THEY or WE could have imagined, they began a path or rewriting history. THEY attacked. They lost. Jerusalem was never - not in 1947 and not in 1949, not in 1967 and not in 2014, nor in any year in between those dates, the capital, past, present, or future, of any Palestinian state. Only in their wildest dreams would they, could they, ever get Jerusalem. A few years ago, I heard a previously-Muslim woman state one of the fundamental truths, "Even if you give them Jerusalem, EVEN if you give them Jerusalem, there will be no peace." True then, true now. The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of an Israel-free Middle East. That was their goal; that is their goal. THAT is the truth.

Lie: Achieving this desired peace also requires the release of political prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons without delay.

Truth: So long as the Palestinians continue to claim that a man who butchered a three-month old child or stabbed a three year old in the heart is a "political prisoner or a detainee, there will be no peace agreement and there will be no peace.

Lie: The PLO and the Palestinian people adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism, and adhere to all agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel.

Truth:  Tell that to the family of Baruch Mizrachi, who was murdered as he drove his family to their Passover Seder; tell that to the families of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad. Tell that to thousands of families in Israel who know the bitter truth - that the Palestinians believe firmly in the use of whatever methods will get them their goals - terror, lies, death, suicide, rockets, firebombs, missiles, boulders, tractors, bullets, arson.

Lie: We adhere to the option of negotiating a lasting solution to the conflict in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy. 

Truth: The Arabs chose war in 1948 and all they have ever offered since that time was a hudna - their word for Mohammed's deceitful actions. It is allowed, even honorable in the eyes of Islam, to make an agreement with an infidel, and then break it. Mohammed agreed to ten years of peace and broke it after two. So too, would Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Palestinian Authority. Hudna is NOT peace; peace is NOT hudna.

Lie: Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation Wall, and they receive support for their resistance, which is consistent with international humanitarian law and international conventions and has the support of peace activists from Israel and around the world, reflecting an impressive, inspiring and courageous example of the strength of this defenseless people, armed only with their dreams, courage, hope and slogans in the face of bullets, tanks, tear gas and bulldozers.

Truth:  There is nothing peaceful about the Palestinian "resistance" - the only question is how violent they choose to be, how much death they succeed in accomplishing. Their people are armed with a heck of a lot more than just "dreams, courage, hope and slogans." Try 20,000 rockets fired at Israel already and more where they came from; try knives with which they slit the throat of an infant; guns used to kill fathers and turn children into orphans. Try boulders that have murdered child and adult. Try bulldozers that they have used to attack buses and cars. Yes, there were two truths in what Abbas said above - they won't stop, and they thankfully don't have tanks. They do, however, have anti-tank missiles, which they shot at a school bus and killed a 16-year old.

Lie: Our efforts are not aimed at isolating Israel or de-legitimizing it; rather we want to gain legitimacy for the cause of the people of Palestine.

Lie: We only aim to de-legitimize the settlement activities and the occupation and apartheid and the logic of ruthless force, and we believe that all the countries of the world stand with us in this regard.

Lie: I am here to say on behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization: We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peace-making..

Lie: During the last two years our national authority has implemented a program to build our State institutions. Despite the extraordinary situation and the Israeli obstacles imposed, a serious extensive project was launched that has included the implementation of plans to enhance and advance the judiciary and the apparatus for maintenance of order and security, to develop the administrative, financial, and oversight systems, to upgrade the performance of institutions, and to enhance self-reliance to reduce the need for foreign aid. With the thankful support of Arab countries and donors from friendly countries, a number of large infrastructure projects have been implemented, focused on various aspects of service, with special attention to rural and marginalized areas.

Truth:   They have squandered billions of dollars on greed, luxury homes and malls and fancy cars. They built a vast underworld of tunnels used to smuggle drugs, women, and weapons in and planned to use other tunnels to attack and murder Israelis. The cement that could have, should have been used to build schools, hospitals and homes was used to build these tunnels. THAT is the truth Abbas refuses to admit.

Omission: It is neither possible, nor practical, nor acceptable to return to conducting business as usual, as if everything is fine. It is futile to go into negotiations without clear parameters and in the absence of credibility and a specific timetable.

Truth:    As Abbas attempted to hijack terms that we have used for centuries - diaspora and exile, here too he is attempting to hijack an often-used complaint of Israel - we have no partners in peace and it is neither possible, practical or acceptable to continue negotiations with the Palestinians at this time.

Omission: I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough.

Truth:     Gee, let's ignore the Jewish people; the history written in the Bible that supposedly Islam believes is holy. God gave this land to the Israelites...that would be the Jews. If he wants to invoke history - I'm right there with him - but you can't quote Jesus and ignore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As for peace be upon Mohammed, the man wouldn't know peace if you slapped him across the face with it.

Abbas came to the United Nations to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people - that I believe and after 66 years (I have no clue where the idiot came up with the number the math, Abbas), of ongoing terrorism and war that began long before 1947 when the Arabs chose war, it is, indeed, time to say enough.

Bibi and Barack on the Rocks

Bibi and Barack on the Rocks

The White House’s resort to petty insults risks a strategic relationship.


The relationship between the Obama administration and the government of Israel is beginning to look like one of those longtime marriages you encounter all the time. Maybe you’re in one yourself. He feels, Rodney Dangerfield-like, that he gets no respect. She’d be happy to offer some—if only she could find something to respect.

The solution is a trial separation. Give this couple time apart to figure out what, if anything, still draws them together.

The latest eruption of pettiness—when marriages are in trouble, it’s always the petty things that tell—was the very public refusal of John Kerry and Joe Biden to meet with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon during his visit to Washington last week. Mr. Yaalon was quoted earlier this year saying some impolitic things about the U.S. secretary of state, including that he was “obsessive and messianic” and that “the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us alone.”

The comments were made privately but were leaked to the press. Mr. Yaalon apologized for them. His meeting with Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon last week was all smiles. Asked by the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth about the Kerry kerfuffle, he replied, “We overcame that.”

Or not.

“Despite the fact that Yaalon’s requests to meet with the senior members of the Obama administration were declined over a week ago, Washington waited until the visit ended before making the story public in order to humiliate the Israeli defense minister,” Ha’aretz reported. Mr. Yaalon is now said to be under an Obama administration “quarantine” until he performs additional penance, perhaps by recanting his hard-line views about the advisability of a nuclear deal with Iran or a peace deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The good news here is that at least there’s one kind of quarantine this administration believes in. The bad news is that it seems to give more thought to pursuing personal vendettas against allies like Israel than it does to waging effective military campaigns against enemies like ISIS.

The administration also seems to have forgotten that two can play the game. Two days after the Yaalon snub, the Israeli government announced the construction of 1,000 new housing units in so-called East Jerusalem, including 600 new units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood that was the subject of a 2010 row with Joe Biden. Happy now, Mr. Vice President?

The real problem for the administration is that the Israelis—along with all the other disappointed allies—are learning how little it pays to be on Barack Obama’s good side. Since coming to office in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, against his own inclination and over the objections of his political base, to (1) recognize a Palestinian state; (2) enforce an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze; (3) release scores of Palestinian prisoners held on murder charges; (4) embark on an ill-starred effort to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians; (5) refrain from taking overt military steps against Iran; and (6) agree to every possible cease-fire during the summer’s war with Hamas.

In exchange, Mr. Kerry publicly blamed Israel for the failure of the peace effort, the White House held up the delivery of munitions at the height of the Gaza war, and Mr. Obama is hellbent on striking whatever deal the Iranians can plausibly offer him.

Oh, and Mr. Kerry also attributes the rise of Islamic State to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Maybe if the Israelis grovel a bit more, Mr. Obama will oblige them by recognizing a Palestinian state as his parting act as president. Don’t discount the possibility.

Which brings me to the concept of a trial separation.

Last year, Mustafa Alani, a Saudi foreign policy analyst, observed of Riyadh’s evolving attitude toward Washington: “We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.” Sure enough it wasn’t long after the Saudis turned down a seat on the Security Council and threatened a fundamental re-evaluation of their ties to the U.S. that Messrs. Kerry and Obama went bowing and scraping to King Abdullah when they needed the kingdom’s help against ISIS.

At least the Saudis understand the value of showing they’re prepared to be, as someone once wrote, co-dependent no more. The administration likes to make much of the $3 billion a year it provides Israel (or, at least, U.S. defense contractors) in military aid, but that’s now less than 1% of Israeli GDP. Like some boorish husband of yore fond of boasting that he brings home the bacon, the administration thinks it’s the senior partner in the marriage.

Except this wife can now pay her own bills. And she never ate bacon to begin with.

It’s time for some time away. Israel needs to look after its own immediate interests without the incessant interventions of an overbearing partner. The administration needs to learn that it had better act like a friend if it wants to keep a friend. It isn’t as if it has many friends left.

No shortcuts to Middle East peace

No shortcuts to Middle East peace

Western pressure on Israel and praise for Palestine only delays resolution

By Gilad Erdan

The West appears to be losing patience for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Some are looking for shortcuts, including many undoubtedly well-intentioned British members of Parliament who recently called for the recognition of Palestine as a state. At the same time, many in the West are escalating their critical rhetoric against Israel, and regrettably, against Israel alone.

Perhaps this focus is understandable. Israel is rightfully seen (and sees itself) as part of the West, as the only democratic “responsible adult” in the area. The Palestinians are seen as children — guiltless and unaccountable — at once victims of and heirs to the Arab world’s tradition of political irresponsibility.

Treating the Palestinians as children, however, is the surest way to perpetuate the conflict, not end it. If there is ever to be a genuine peace between Israelis and Palestinians, both sides must make difficult compromises. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has explicitly and repeatedly embraced this basic truth and in turn has taken concrete steps to advance his and his people’s goal of a negotiated peace with the Palestinians. These steps — including an unprecedented freeze on building in West Bank settlements — have typically been met with Western demands for even greater Israeli concessions and risk-taking.

No serious demands are made of the Palestinians, because as “children,” expectations of them are low, and they are never taken to task for their misdeeds. When the Palestinian Authority (PA) signs a pact with extremists who reject Israel’s very right to exist, we are told that the Palestinian leadership is weak and seeking internal legitimacy. When PA leaders demand a “right of return” clearly incompatible with a negotiated peace, the West refuses to confront them for propagating this maximalist fantasy. When the PA officially turns terrorist killers into Palestinian national heroes, we are told not to undermine their narrative. If the West continues to treat Palestinians as children, giving them a pass on these and other issues, what motivation do they have to grow up?

Western restlessness, manifesting itself in exclusive pressure on Israel, validates the Palestinians’ puerile stubbornness. If the Palestinians have their “state” recognized by the United Nations, the United Kingdom or Sweden without having to compromise or even negotiate, what incentive do they have to make peace? Recognition of a Palestinian state outside the framework of negotiations and unilateral Palestinian steps in the international arena will not end the conflict with Israel. They will set the stage for its continuation and escalation. Rather than creating a Palestinian state, they will only generate more theatrical but empty gestures that bring the Palestinian people no closer to genuine statehood.

Western states that seek a real peace between Israelis and Palestinians must choose. They can continue to infantilize the Palestinians and prolong the conflict, or they can play a constructive role in resolving it by demanding that the Palestinians take responsibility for their behavior like grown-ups. The latter requires insisting that extremism will not be rewarded and that there is no substitute for direct negotiations on all the core issues, including settlements, borders and security.

The West should make its generous aid to and diplomatic support for the Palestinians contingent on Palestinian willingness to negotiate in good faith and to compromise, unequivocal rejection of violence and recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. These are the fundamental requirements for a secure and enduring peace. Ultimately, shortsighted diplomatic shortcuts will not bring peace.

Gilad Erdan is a member of Israel’s security Cabinet.



.....Seeks Palestinian rule over Judaism's most sacred site


The reports of stepped-up activism to ensure non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount comes as the Obama administrations continues to quietly push a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the holy site.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported on what it described as a “small but growing movement by Jewish activists” demanding the right to pray on the mount.

Currently, all non-Muslims are barred from praying at the site. While Muslims can access the Temple Mount 24-hours a day, Jews and Christians may only ascend during certain hours, and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered “sensitive” by the Waqf, the Islamic custodians of the mount.

Jews and Christians who ascend the mount during the limited hours usually do so through organized tours and only if they conform to a strict set of guidelines, which include demands that they not pray or bring any “holy objects” to the site.

Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.

The Post reported proposals for non-Muslims to pray on the mount are now being debated in Israel’s Knesset and accepted by numerous politicians within Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

As WND was first to report, the Obama administration is pressing Israel to completely relinquish the Temple Mount, while the Jewish state would retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator speaking to WND.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.

The proposed plan is part of the basis for U.S.-brokered talks pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israel has not agreed to the U.S. plan over the Temple Mount, with details still open for discussion, stated the PA negotiator.

The negotiator, who is one of the main Palestinian figures leading the Arab side of the talks, further divulged Kerry’s proposed outline for a Palestinian state as presented orally to Israel and the PA.

He said Jordan has been invited to play a key role in the discussions surrounding both the Temple Mount and Jerusalem while it will be the PA, with some Jordanian assistance, that would ultimately receive control of some of those areas.

WND was first to report in 2007 that Jordan had been quietly purchasing real estate surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem hoping to gain more control over the area accessing the holy site, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, regarding the rest of Jerusalem, Kerry’s plan is to rehash what is known as the Clinton parameters. The formula, pushed by President Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000, called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians would get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab. Most Arab sections are located in eastern Jerusalem.

WND reported the Palestinians are building illegally in Jewish-owned areas of Jerusalem, resulting in Arab majorities in some neighborhoods.

For the strategic Jordan Valley, Obama’s proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, the PA negotiator said. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the leaked plan.

When it comes to the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Israel’s main population centers, Israel is expected to evacuate about 90 percent of its Jewish communities currently located in the territory, as outlined in Kerry’s plan.

Israel would retain strategic security posts along with the West Bank’s main blocs, Maale Adumin, Ariel and Gush Etzion. In return, Obama is calling for an exchange of territory with the Palestinians in other locations inside Israel, with discussion being open for the Palestinians to possibly receive land in the Israeli Negev in the country’s south.

The PA negotiator further said Israel rejected a Palestinian request that Netanyahu agree not to place the final peace plan up for referendum in the Knesset.

Letter to Netanyahu: Who Really Owns Temple Mount?

Letter to Netanyahu: Who Really Owns Temple Mount?

I was surprised to learn that the MK Miri Regev-led Knesset Interior Committee and I, a Knesset member, were not allowed to visit the Temple Mount.

By: Moshe Feiglin

Shalom u’verachah.

I was pleased to hear in your answer to my question at the recent [Likud] faction meeting that the agreements between Jordan and the Palestinian Authority on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem issues are insignificant because the state of Israel is the exclusive sovereign power on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.

Despite that, I was surprised to learn that the MK Miri Regev-led Knesset Interior Committee and I, a Knesset member, were not allowed to visit the Temple Mount due to security considerations. Can’t the police enforce the law and allow members of Israel’s Knesset – who represent the sovereign power on the Mount – to visit there? And if the police are too lazy to do so, why don’t you, the prime minister of Israel, direct them to allow Knesset members to ascend the Mount so that we may perform our duty there as representatives of the sovereign power?

It is impossible to not think that the reason that I was personally barred from the Temple Mount, as were Knesset committee members, is because in the eyes of the wakf we represent Jewish sovereignty on the Mount. I wonder how the wakf’s threats to riot if we visit the Temple Mount actually dictate your approach to the issue. How is it that you, the prime minister of Israel, break these laws of the state of Israel: the Immunity for MKs Law, the Jerusalem Law, and the Personal Honor and Freedom Basic Law? How do you surrender, de facto, our sovereignty in the very heart of our eternal capital, Jerusalem – because of the wakf’s threats?

This apprehensiveness can raise many doubts as to the ability of your government to deal with much larger and greater powers than the wakf.

I know that you did not create the difficult situation on the Temple Mount, but continuing to bury our heads in the sands of security considerations creates a situation in which the government of Israel loses its sovereignty at the rock of our existence. If you do not clearly act to change the situation, you are liable to find yourself going down in history as the prime minister under whom Israel lost its sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

I am sure that the Israeli police and security services will know how to prevent any disturbances or to nip them in the bud if and when you direct them to do so.

Israel's Roots

 Israel's Roots


“The Jews have no claim to the land they call Israel."


A common misperception is that all the Jews were forced into the Diaspora by the Romans after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 C.E. and then, 1,800 years later, the Jews suddenly returned to Palestine demanding their country back. In reality, the Jewish people have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years.
The Jewish people base their claim to the Land of Israel on at least four premises: 1) the Jewish people settled and developed the land; 2) the international community granted political sovereignty in Palestine to the Jewish people; 3) the territory was captured in defensive wars and 4) God promised the land to the patriarch Abraham.
Even after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and the beginning of the exile, Jewish life in the Land of Israel continued and often flourished. Large communities were reestablished in Jerusalem andTiberias by the ninth century. In the 11th century, Jewish communities grew in Rafah, GazaAshkelonJaffaand Caesarea. The Crusaders massacred many Jews during the 12th century, but the community rebounded in the next two centuries as large numbers of rabbis and Jewish pilgrims immigrated to Jerusalem and the Galilee. Prominent rabbis established communities in SafedJerusalem and elsewhere during the next 300 years.
By the early 19th century—years before the birth of the modern Zionist movement—more than 10,000 Jews lived throughout what is today Israel.1 The 78 years of nation-building, beginning in 1870, culminated in thereestablishment of the Jewish State.
Israel’s international “birth certificate” was validated by the promise of the Bible; uninterrupted Jewish settlement from the time of Joshua onward; the Balfour Declaration of 1917; the League of Nations Mandate, which incorporated the Balfour Declaration; the United Nations partition resolution of 1947; Israel’s admission to the UN in 1949; the recognition of Israel by most other states; and, most of all, the society created by Israel’s people in decades of thriving, dynamic national existence.
“Nobody does Israel any service by proclaiming its ‘right to exist.' Israel’s right to exist, like that of the United States, Saudi Arabia and 152 other states, is axiomatic and unreserved. Israel’s legitimacy is not suspended in midair awaiting acknowledgement. . . .There is certainly no other state, big or small, young or old, that would consider mere recognition of its ‘right to exist’ a favor, or a negotiable concession.”


“Palestine was always an Arab country.”


The term “Palestine” is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestinato Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word Filastin is derived from this Latin name. 3
Map of British Mandate
The Hebrews entered the Land of Israel about 1300 B.C.E., living under a tribal confederation until being united under the first monarch, King Saul. The second king, David, established Jerusalem as the capital around 1000 B.C.E. David’s son, Solomon, built the Temple soon thereafter and consolidated the military, administrative and religious functions of the kingdom. The nation was divided under Solomon’s son, with the northern kingdom (Israel) lasting until 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians destroyed it, and the southern kingdom (Judah) surviving until the Babylonianconquest in 586 B.C.E. The Jewish people enjoyed brief periods of sovereignty afterward until most Jews were finally driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.
Jewish independence in the Land of Israel lasted for more than 400 years. This is much longer than Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States. 4 In fact, if not for foreign conquerors, Israel would be more than 3,000 years old today.
Palestine was never an exclusively Arab country, although Arabic gradually became the language of most of the population after the Muslim invasions of the seventh century. No independent Arab or Palestinian state ever existed in Palestine. When the distinguished Arab-American historian, Princeton University Prof. Philip Hitti, testified against partition before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, he said: “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in history, absolutely not.”5
Prior to partition, Palestinian Arabs did not view themselves as having a separate identity. When the First Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations met in Jerusalem in February 1919 to choose Palestinian representatives for the Paris Peace Conference, the following resolution was adopted:
We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria, as it has never been separated from it at any time. We are connected with it by national, religious, linguistic, natural, economic and geographical bonds. 6
In 1937, a local Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission, which ultimately suggested the partition of Palestine: “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.” 7 The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations echoed this view in a statement to the General Assembly in May 1947, which said Palestine was part of the Province of Syria and the Arabs of Palestine did not comprise a separate political entity. A few years later, Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.” 8
Palestinian Arab nationalism is largely a post-World War I phenomenon that did not become a significant political movement until after the 1967 Six-Day War.


“The Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites and were in Palestine long before the Jews.”


Palestinian claims to be related to the Canaanites are a recent phenomenon and contrary to historical evidence. The Canaanites disappeared from the face of the earth three millennia ago, and no one knows if any of their descendants survived or, if they did, who they would be.
Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia, said the Palestinians’ ancestors had only been in the area for 1,000 years. 9 Even the Palestinians themselves have acknowledged their association with the region came long after the Jews. In testimony before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, for example, they claimed a connection to Palestine of more than 1,000 years, dating back no further than the conquest of Muhammad’s followers in the 7th century.10Over the last 2,000 years, there have been massive invasions (e.g., the Crusades) that killed off most of the local people, migrations, the plague, and other manmade or natural disasters. The entire local population was replaced many times over. During the British mandate alone, more than 100,000 Arabs emigrated from neighboring countries and are today considered Palestinians.
By contrast, no serious historian questions the more than 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, or the modern Jewish people’s relation to the ancient Hebrews.


“The Balfour Declaration did not give Jews the right to a homeland in Palestine.”


In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration:
His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Mandate for Palestine included the Balfour Declaration. It specifically referred to “the historical connections of the Jewish people with Palestine” and to the moral validity of “reconstituting their National Home in that country.” The term “reconstituting” shows recognition of the fact that Palestine had been the Jews’ home. Furthermore, the British were instructed to “use their best endeavors to facilitate” Jewish immigration, to encourage settlement on the land and to “secure” the Jewish National Home. The word “Arab” does not appear in the Mandatory award. 11
The Mandate was formalized by the 52 governments at the League of Nations on July 24, 1922.


“Arabs in Palestine suffered because of Jewish settlement.”


For many centuries, Palestine was a sparsely populated, poorly cultivated and widely-neglected expanse of eroded hills, sandy deserts and malarial marshes. As late as 1880, the American consul in Jerusalem reported the area was continuing its historic decline. “The population and wealth of Palestine has not increased during the last forty years,” he said. 12
The Report of the Palestine Royal Commission quotes an account of the Maritime Plain in 1913:
The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track suitable for transport by camels and carts . . . ​no orange groves, orchards or vineyards were to be seen until one reached [the Jewish village of] Yabna [Yavne]. . . . Houses were all of mud. No windows were anywhere to be seen. . . . The ploughs used were of wood. . . . The yields were very poor. . . . The sanitary conditions in the village were horrible. Schools did not exist. . . . The western part, towards the sea, was almost a desert. . . . The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many ruins of villages were scattered over the area, as owing to the prevalence of malaria, many villages were deserted by their inhabitants. 13
Surprisingly, many people who were not sympathetic to the Zionist cause believed the Jews would improve the condition of Palestinian Arabs. For example, Dawood Barakat, editor of the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram,wrote: “It is absolutely necessary that an entente be made between the Zionists and Arabs, because the war of words can only do evil. The Zionists are necessary for the country: The money which they will bring, their knowledge and intelligence, and the industriousness which characterizes them will contribute without doubt to the regeneration of the country.” 14
Even a leading Arab nationalist believed the return of the Jews to their homeland would help resuscitate the country. According to Sherif Hussein, the guardian of the Islamic Holy Places in Arabia:
The resources of the country are still virgin soil and will be developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain a hold on him, though his ancestors had lived on it for 1000 years. At the same time we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had a gift of deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons (abna’ihi-l-asliyin), for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles (jaliya) to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually [to be] an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades and in all things connected with toil and labor.15
As Hussein foresaw, the regeneration of Palestine, and the growth of its population, came only after Jews returned in massive numbers.
“Mark Twain, who visited Palestine in 1867, described it as: “. . . a desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent mournful expanse. . . . A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route. . . . There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”16


“Zionism is racism.”


In 1975, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution slandering Zionism by equating it with racism.Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, which holds that Jews, like any other nation, are entitled to a homeland.
History has demonstrated the need to ensure Jewish security through a national homeland. Zionism recognizes that Jewishness is defined by shared origin, religion, culture and history. The realization of the Zionist dream is exemplified by nearly six million Jews, from more than 100 countries, who are Israeli citizens.
Israel’s Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to Jews, but non-Jews are also eligible to become citizens under naturalization procedures similar to those in other countries. Israel’s policy is not unique; many other countries, including Germany, Greece, Ireland and Finland have special categories of people who are entitled to citizenship.
More than one million Muslim and Christian Arabs, DruzeBaha’isCircassians and other ethnic groups also are represented in Israel’s population. The presence in Israel of thousands of Jews from Ethiopia, Yemen and India is the best refutation of the calumny against Zionism. In a series of historic airlifts, labeled Operations Moses (1984), Joshua (1985) and Solomon (1991), Israel rescued more than 20,000 members of the ancient Ethiopian Jewish community.
Zionism does not discriminate against anyone. Israel’s open and democratic character, and its scrupulous protection of the religious and political rights of Christians and Muslims, rebut the charge of exclusivity. Moreover, anyone—Jew or non-Jew, Israeli, American, or Chinese, black, white, or purple—can be a Zionist.
By contrast, the Arab states define citizenship strictly by native parentage. It is almost impossible to become a naturalized citizen in Arab states such as AlgeriaSaudi Arabia and Kuwait. Several Arab nations have laws that facilitate the naturalization of foreign Arabs, with the specific exception of PalestiniansJordan, on the other hand, instituted its own “law of return” in 1954, according citizenship to all former residents of Palestine, except for Jews.18
The 1975 UN resolution was part of the Soviet-Arab Cold War anti-Israel campaign. Almost all the former non-Arab supporters of the resolution have apologized and changed their positions. When the General Assembly voted to repeal the resolution in 1991, only some Arab and Muslim states, as well as Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam were opposed.
Writing after “Operation Moses” was revealed, William Safire noted:
“. . . For the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens.” 17


“The Zionists could have chosen another country besides Palestine.”


In the late 19th century, the rise of anti-Semitism led to a resurgence of pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe, shattering promises of equality and tolerance. This stimulated Jewish immigration to Palestine from Europe.
Simultaneously, a wave of Jews immigrated to Palestine from Yemen, Morocco, Iraq and Turkey. These Jews were unaware of Theodor -Herzl’s political Zionism or of European pogroms. They were motivated by the centuries-old dream of the “Return to Zion” and a fear of intolerance. Upon hearing that the gates of Palestine were open, they braved the hardships of travel and went to the Land of Israel.
The Zionist ideal of a return to Israel has profound religious roots. Many Jewish prayers speak of Jerusalem, Zion and the Land of Israel. The injunction not to forget Jerusalem, the site of the Temple, is a major tenet of Judaism. The Hebrew language, the Torah, laws in the Talmud, the Jewish calendar and Jewish holidaysand festivals all originated in Israel and revolve around its seasons and conditions. Jews pray toward Jerusalem and recite the words “next year in Jerusalem” every Passover. Jewish religion, culture and history make clear that it is only in the land of Israel that the Jewish commonwealth can be built.
In 1897, Jewish leaders formally organized the Zionist political movement, calling for the restoration of the Jewish national home in Palestine, where Jews could find sanctuary and self-determination, and work for the renascence of their civilization and culture.


“Herzl himself proposed Uganda as the Jewish state as an alternative to Palestine.”


Theodor Herzl sought support from the great powers for the creation of a Jewish homeland. He turned to Great Britain, and met with Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary and others. The British agreed, in principle, to permit Jewish settlement in East Africa.
At the Sixth Zionist Congress at Basle on August 26, 1903, Herzl proposed the British Uganda Program as atemporary emergency refuge for Jews in Russia in immediate danger. While Herzl made it clear that this program would not affect the ultimate aim of Zionism, a Jewish entity in the Land of Israel, the proposal aroused a storm of protest at the Congress and nearly led to a split in the Zionist movement. The Uganda Program, which never had much support, was formally rejected by the Zionist movement at the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905.


“The Arabs saw the Balfour Declaration as a betrayal of their rights.”


Emir Faisal, son of Sherif Hussein, the leader of the Arab revolt against the Turks, signed an agreement withChaim Weizmann and other Zionist leaders during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. It acknowledged the “racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people” and concluded that “the surest means of working out the consummation of their national aspirations is through the closest possible collaboration in the development of the Arab states and Palestine.” Furthermore, the agreement looked to the fulfillment of the Balfour Declaration and called for all necessary measures “ . . . ​to encourage and stimulate immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale, and as quickly as possible to settle Jewish immigrants upon the land through closer settlement and intensive cultivation of the soil.” 19
Faisal had conditioned his acceptance of the Balfour Declaration on the fulfillment of British wartime promises of independence to the Arabs. These were not kept.
Critics dismiss the Weizmann-Faisal agreement because it was never enacted; however, the fact that the leader of the Arab nationalist movement and the Zionist movement could reach an understanding is significant because it demonstrated that Jewish and Arab aspirations were not necessarily mutually exclusive.
"Our settlers do not come here as do the colonists from the Occident to have natives do their work for them; they themselves set their shoulders to the plow and they spend their strength and their blood to make the land fruitful. But it is not only for ourselves that we desire its fertility. The Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively; we desire to teach them further: together with them we want to cultivate the land—to ‘serve’ it, as the Hebrew has it. The more fertile this soil becomes, the more space there will be for us and for them. We have no desire to dispossess them: we want to live with them.”


“The Zionists were colonialist tools of Western imperialism.”


“Colonialism means living by exploiting others,” Yehoshofat Harkabi has written. “But what could be further from colonialism than the idealism of city-dwelling Jews who strive to become farmers and laborers and to live by their own work?” 21
Moreover, as British historian Paul Johnson noted, Zionists were hardly tools of imperialists given the powers’ general opposition to their cause. “Everywhere in the West, the foreign offices, defense ministries and big business were against the Zionists.” 22
Emir Faisal also saw the Zionist movement as a companion to the Arab nationalist movement, fighting against imperialism, as he explained in a letter to Harvard law professor and future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter on March 3, 1919, one day after Chaim Weizmann presented the Zionist case to the Paris conference. Faisal wrote:
The Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement. . . . We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home. . . . We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East and our two movements complete one another. The Jewish movement is nationalist and not imperialist. And there is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a real success without the other (emphasis added). 23
In the 1940s, the Jewish underground movements waged an anti--colonial war against the British. The Arabs, meanwhile, were concerned primarily with fighting the Jews rather than expelling the British imperialists.


“The British promised the Arabs independence in Palestine.”


The central figure in the Arab nationalist movement at the time of World War I was Hussein ibn ‘Ali, the Sherif of Mecca in 1908. As Sherif, Hussein was responsible for the custody of Islam’s shrines in the Hejaz and was one of the Muslims’ spiritual leaders.
In July 1915, Hussein sent a letter to Sir Henry MacMahon, the High Commissioner for Egypt, informing him of the terms for Arab participation in the war against the Turks. The letters between Hussein and MacMahon that followed outlined the areas that Britain was prepared to cede to the Arabs in exchange for their help.
The Hussein-MacMahon correspondence conspicuously fails to mention Palestine. The British argued the omission had been intentional, thereby justifying their refusal to grant the Arabs independence in Palestine after the war.24MacMahon explained:
I feel it my duty to state, and I do so definitely and emphatically, that it was not intended by me in giving this pledge to King Hussein to include Palestine in the area in which Arab independence was promised. I also had every reason to believe at the time that the fact that Palestine was not included in my pledge was well understood by King Hussein. 25

1 Dan Bahat, ed. Twenty Centuries of Jewish Life in the Holy Land, (Jerusalem: The Israel Economist, 1976), pp. 61–63.
2 New York Times, (November 18, 1981).
3 Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 1918–1929, (London: Frank Cass, 1974), p. 4.
4 Max Dimont, Jews, God and History, (NY: Signet, 1962), pp. 49–53.
5 Moshe Kohn, “The Arabs’ ‘Lie’ of the Land,” Jerusalem Post, (October 18, 1991).
6 Randall Price, Fast Facts on the Middle East Conflict, (Harvest House Publishers: 2003), p. 25.
7 Moshe Kohn, “The Arabs’ ‘Lie’ of the Land,” Jerusalem Post, (October 18, 1991).
8 Avner Yaniv, PLO, (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Study Group of Middle Eastern Affairs, August 1974), p. 5.
9 Al-Qibla, (March 23, 1918), quoted in Samuel Katz, Battleground-Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, (NY: Bantam Books, 1977), p. 126.
10 British Government, Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry, 1946, Part VI, (April 20, 1946).
11 Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 129.
12 Ben Halpern, The Idea of a Jewish State, (MA: Harvard University Press, 1969), p. 108.
13 Palestine Royal Commission Report, p. 233.
14 Neville Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I, (University of California Press: 1976), p. 8.
15 Al-Qibla, (March 23, 1918), quoted in Samuel Katz, Battleground-Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, (NY: Bantam Books, 1977), p. 126.
16 Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, (London, 1881).
17 New York Times, (January 7, 1985).
18 Jordanian Nationality Law, Article 3(2) of Law No. 6 of 1954, Official Gazette, No. 1171, January 1, 1954.
19 Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, (NY: Schocken Books, 1966), pp. 246–247; Howard Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 121.
20 From an open letter from Martin Buber to Mahatma Gandhi in 1939, accessed at
21 Yehoshofat Harkabi, Palestinians And Israel, (Jerusalem: Keter, 1974), p. 6.
22 Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, (NY: Harper & Row, 1983), p. 485.
23 Naomi Comay, Arabs Speak Frankly on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, (Printing Miracle Ltd., 2005), p. 8.
24 George Kirk, A Short History of the Middle East, (NY: Frederick Praeger Publishers, 1964), p. 314.
25 “Report of a Committee Setup to Consider Certain Correspondence Between Sir Henry McMahon and the Sharif of Mecca in 1915/1916,” U.K. Parliament, March 16, 1939.