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8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - The Sharon They Loved,... · 0 replies · +1 points

One further little observation: David, you tell us that "Arafat and his guerillas" pulled out of the camps. "Querilla" (sic: guerrilla) forces fight foreign troops. Terrorists target general civilian populations not by accident but by intent. You are eager to call the Phalange a "terrorist group" but also eager to term the PLO a "guerilla" group, as if it was not at the time the world's leading terrorist organization and that it had been so for decades, and had practiced terrorism not only against Jews worldwide, but also against Jordanian civilians, Lebanese Christians, and various others. Very interesting choice of terminology to fuel your righteousness, David.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - The Sharon They Loved,... · 0 replies · +1 points

Error and distortion upon error and distortion, David. 1: The Phalange was not based on Nazism, and far from being genocidally antisemitic was the chief ally of the Jewish state in Lebanon; one chief reason Bashir Gemayel was assassinated as soon as he became President was because he promised that he would make formal peace with Israel as soon as possible; talks were already being held on it. 2: The claim that there were no PLO terrorist types in the camps is false, just as everything Arafat ever promised or agreed to were falsifications -- in this Arafat was always reliable. In fact there were many fighting men in the camps, which is precisely why the camps had to be pacified. The entry of the Phalange into the camps brought lots of gunfire from the "defenders." That is just a matter of fact, and in turn this is why the claims of the pro-Palestinian advocates about the slaughter of innocents is itself not so innocent. 3: Sharon did not want to conduct the Lebanon campaign as solely an Israeli operation putting Israeli lives on the line, especially in door-to-door fighting in refugee camps. Israeli lives were not cheaply expended, for him. And there would be Israeli deaths, he knew. There were definitely militants in the camps, hiding behind women and children and using them as shields, as usual. Furthermore he well knew what sort of press coverage that would get, and the torrents of blame that the Western media would promulgate against Israel, due to their antisemitism. And the Phalange leaders were in fact his allies, and were ready and willing to do their part, giving assurances of responsible restraint. 4: Sharon was not "found personally responsible by the Israeli government for the brutal murders of over 1000 civilians." That is simply false, David. He was not responsible for those deaths, but only "indirectly responsible" because he did not quickly intervene in stopping the Phalange, the Kahan Commission ruled. The ones responsible were the Phalange allies. And as I already pointed out, the sounds of gunfire were explicable at the time as due to still continuing fire-fights with militants, exaggerated as a one-sided slaughter of the innocents as usual by propagandists, whose long-standing extreme bias disqualified them as witnesses. 5: It is interesting how rubbery the figures on the casualties still are; this fact raises all sorts of questions concerning the honesty of the basic arguments even now. Some put the dead at just over 800, others speak as you do here very vaguely of "over 1000 civilians" and yet others rage at over 3,000 dead. But we are not talking about some unknown population: these were "refugee" camps whose members were listed by official authorities, and whose dead can therefore be determined with precision. They still have not been specified, which suggests that a very large percentage do not exist at all. They are like, for example, the 3,000 killed in Jenin in 2001, reduced to 500, then found by the UN to be 53. Standard PLO fare.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - The Sharon They Loved,... · 3 replies · 0 points

What you will find, David, if you do the research rightly recommended by sydellr is that, 1, the Phalange was not a terrorist organization and was not so listed by Western countries, unlike the PLO -- it was in effect the chief military force supporting the elected government of Lebanon at the time, which was a Christian-led government; 2, that as background to the actual attacks by the Phalange, the PLO caused the devastating civil war in Lebanon during the 70s, and focussed on constant terrorist attacks on the Christians -- importing there the attempted coup, and the open violence and civil breakdown they had been thrown out of Jordan for in 1971 (they even attempted an assassination of King Hussein); 3, the Phalange action was in direct response to the Palestinian involvement in, and public rejoicings in, the terrorist assassination of the leader of the Phalange, and newly elected President of Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel, just the week previous. The Phalange were key Christian allies of Israel in the Lebanon campaign, and Sharon rightly gave them some autonomy in their own spheres, as indeed he had to do. You will also find, David, that the official findings on Sharon's role exonerated him from any direct involvement in or knowledge of the Phalange plans or actions, but only accused him of indirect responsibility, of the sort that most governments would not find legally actionable (only Israel drew from the Holocaust its own stress on "indirect" culpability), since the official investigators felt that he should have acted more swiftly in investigating and suppressing his allies' actions. What the truth was about those actions during those first days, in the confused situation at the time, was not at all so clear-cut as pro-Palestinian advocates claimed, be it noted: their Western media acolytes were very unreliable in this matter, and Time Magazine, wilfully pro-Palestinian as usual, eventually lost a court case brought by Sharon for defamation. Neither is it true that Sharon was a supporter of the apartheid regime of South Africa. Indeed, the accusations generally directed to Israel about that ignore that Israel had less to do with South Africa substantively and economically than did the Arab Middle Eastern states, or indeed European states themselves, so that objections to Israel rest on the usual antisemitic double standards and selective "morality," and also that Israel had put a lot of effort into very warm and intensive ties with a wide number of African states, extending aid in a variety of fields ranging from cultural exchanges, essential health services and agricultural innovations to military goods, which the Arab states sought feverishly to block. As a embattled state, Israel needed all the friends she could get. Phoney outrage about South African ties ignore all of that.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - The Sharon They Loved,... · 1 reply · +3 points

Hazony does not speak for Diaspora Jews as he claims, and the many he does not speak for would cringe from such a spokesperson. Most diaspora Jews around the world, and also in the U.S., who care about Israel and Jewish survival support the democratically elected present leadership of Israel, very strongly in fact. They too have seen what the Palestinians do, consistently and constantly, not what they say in English for propaganda purposes but what they endorse in Arabic and act out in reality. So they agree with the vast majority of Israeli Jews about the threats facing them, and admire their steadfastness and decency under constant pressures from wolfish enemies. They do not support the Palestinian propaganda lines so agreeable to the ideological left (and replicated by JStreet). It is that large, committed and caring sector of American Jewry alone, not coincidentally, that the AIPAC, ZOA, and other such groups quite rightly speak for and are answerable to, not the Jews who care far less about Israel than for their own assimilated cozy and self-serving situation.

But I do not want to be too hard on Hazony. Unlike so many others from his side of the fence, he has come to understand something of Israel's reality in regard to its enemies: Hazony can learn from experience. As he writes at the end of his article, Sharon was dedicated to Israel's survival and principles, and tried to live with integrity in an extremely difficult and complex environment created by Israel's criminal foes; he was generally amazingly successful in this, even heroic. "In this, he captured an important part of what Israel is really about. And what too many of us, living at a comfortable distance, still can’t handle."

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - The Sharon They Loved,... · 7 replies · +6 points

Quite right, Sharon was not a Mandela, since the latter was the leader of a terrorist organization who did time in jail for it, even if he later urged reconciliation (people nowadays have a very short memory when it comes to Mandela), nor was he associated with a militant anti-Western Communist Party-linked group whose other leaders (including his own wife) tied opponents up and burnt them to death with car tires around their neck. No, Sharon was certainly not a man like Mandela who admired Muammar Qaddafi, a terrorism sponsor, and lauded Yasser Arafat, the world's leading terrorist for an entire generation, ignoring or justifying all the very many crimes against humanity of both men as mere "resistance" to Western powers. It is nice that Mandela did not destroy post-apartheid South Africa with vengeance-seeking; that is certainly a credit to the man. But equating the two men would taint Sharon, who was far superior.

The "us" of whom David Hazony speaks, those diaspora Jews who "hated" Sharon, along with Netanyahu etc., are only the actually rather few blindly leftist types who would insist that Israel commit suicide to suit their own dreamland fantasies, such as, to take just one example, that the Palestinians actually want peace with a Jewish state rather than as they often have said and implemented, the annihilation of Israel, immediately (as Hamas urged just recently) or in stages (as PLO spokespeople for Abbas have said just this past week). The whole story of Sharon, Netanyahu, and for that matter Rabin and the utterly discredited and failed Peace Now movement in Israel, is incomprehensible on that premise. It presumes, too, that, as Obama has put it, the leftist ideologues here know better what is in Israel's interests than Israeli Jewry's democratically elected and overwhelmingly supported own leaders.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Boundaries Blur Betwee... · 0 replies · +5 points

Note also John Michael's claim that Jews have "no atonement for sin" since the Temple was destroyed (2,000 years ago!). Such a person cannot have ever been a practicing Jew, nor even read the Jewish prayer book. To John Michael, I suggest you read the traditional Jewish daily prayers (especially the "Amidah" recited at least three times daily not counting repeats when there is a minyan), and also read up on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. Have a look at the prayers for these holy days, too. God is according to Judaism truly merciful, and is always ready to forgive the repentant, so Temple rituals are not required.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Boundaries Blur Betwee... · 1 reply · +5 points

The crucial difference between the Jewish view of the Messiah and the Christian one is that the Christians say the Messiah is Yeshua, by which they mean God the Saviour (although they usually fudge this little point when trying to convert Jews, pretending they only are referring to Jesus the man, not Christ their Saviour God). This God the Saviour is different from HaShem who is revealed in the Torah, say Christians, since no one who prays "just" to the Creator, the God of Sinai, no matter how spiritual or worthy their lives, will be saved; only those who believe in the dying-and-rising God the Saviour who was first revealed in the Christian Scriptures. So we have to do with a practical polytheism, even without discussing the cult to the Virgin Mary and the Saints, and the deification of Satan too as an evil god independent of the Trinity. Chabad has nothing even remotely comparable.

By the way, if Jesus were the messiah, he would have to be of the line of David, but if he was God Incarnate born of the Virgin Mary, he could not be of Joseph's lineage so it makes no difference what that ancestral lineage was (two quite different ones are presented in different gospels, proving that that pagans ignorant of Judaism made them up). There is no full adoption in Jewish law.

The Torah itself utterly rejects any worship of human beings as divine. There were for example no Pharoahs in Jewish history, no divine kings despite all the pagan "divine kings" around them down through the ages. No Jew is allowed to worship a human being as if he/she was God. That, quite simply, is idolatry. Even to image such an identification is expressly forbidden in the Second Commandment. As our tradition teaches, Moshe's burial place was left unspecified to prevent any cult growing up around him, and, amazingly enough, his name is practically absent from the Passover seder narrative of the Exodus, impossible though that might seem to be considering his central role in the Exodus: only God's commanding presence is stressed.

As a "messiah," however, Jesus was a failed one. The millenium did not come, and that is the crucial criterion defining a messiah in the Jewish scriptures. Riding white asses into Jerusalem does not hold a candle to that. Jesus was not even unique in his time: there were at least 20 different would-be but failed messiahs during that century, as we find when we collate the references in the Gospels and Josephus.

At best, the Chabad Rebbe was a mashiach-in-waiting, but he never got the final election by HaShem, just as Jesus never did. The Babylonian Talmudic Tractate Sanhedrin suggests that every generation has its messiah-in-waiting, but it is up to that generation to be worthy of it.

Those who think, with Paul, that belief in Jesus replaces the commandments effectively deify him instead of the God of Sinai, and certainly disagree with Jesus himself. He after all insisted emphatically that Sinaitic and later Rabbinic law must be observed down to every "jot and tittle" (Matt. 5:18-19, editorially modified though it be with implied caveats; also see Matt. 19:17, where Jesus explicitly states he is not God and says instead that the commandments per se provide the path to sanctification and "life," and Matt: 23:2-3, which says that "the scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you" -- which means that according to Jesus himself the Mosaic Torah and mitzvot, centered on the love of HaShem alone as God, are the final measures of truth and devotion, and the cult to Christ is apotasy).

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Demography: Jews Now M... · 1 reply · +1 points

As usual, Bin, next to nothing in your comments or in their interpretation of factual matters are true. Not even your inflated statistics are borne out by Israeli figures, far more reliable than the Hamas/Fatah figures. Even the Hamas Minister of Defense largely supported Israel's figures, actually bragging in November 2010 that some 700 of the dead were Hamas/Islamic Jihad militants, which indicates that more than half of the dead were fighters. The percentage of combatants to civilians, in this urban warfare in which the Palestinian fighters used human shields all the time, is just about the lowest in the history of urban warfare, as Col. Richard Kemp, former Commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and also commander of troops in Northern Ireland and the Iraq War, stated to a UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the 2009 Gaza conflict. The foaming at the mouth about racism in Israel or in my comments is equally wide of the mark. I wrote about mainstream cultural values, which (as I also wrote) can be changed by the Palestinians by removing hate-incitement from their schoolbooks, pulpit sermons, political statements, etc.). This is not a matter of race but culture, a truly violent and hateful culture.

Mahmoud Abbas, in his book "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism" (originally written as his doctoral dissertation at Moscow University, called the Holocaust a "Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed." He denied that there were any gas chambers, and insisted that the number of Jews may have been "only a few hundred thousand." He claimed that the Holocaust was actually a secret Zionist-Nazi conspiracy. Speaking in Gaza on January 4, this year, Mr. Abbas praised Haji Amin al-Husayni as one of several "heroes and martyrs." Upon the recent release of imprisoned terrorists by Israel Abbas welcomed them, saying they were not terrorists at all but Palestinian heroes, soldiers of honour, for killing Jewish men, women and children in horrific ways.

This conversation is at an end, Bin. I have better things to do. You are clearly not even the Jewish person you have presented yourself as being, nor do you live in Israel. Goodbye.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Demography: Jews Now M... · 3 replies · +1 points

Let me see, Bin, first you accuse me of a kind of Holocaust denial because I refuse to deny the solidly established and recognized Nazi connection to mainstream Palestinian leadership's antisemitic demonizations and practices, over the whole of the past two generations and right up to the present, which have made Palestinian-Israeli peace prospects so very dim. Then, you add the blood-libel charge. Anything else?

As I have written twice already in responses to your posts, it is no coincidence that the Hamas Charter, currently guiding Hamas beliefs and actions, echoes Nazi propaganda and attitudes throughout (read it!), and that Mahmoud Abbas wrote his doctoral dissertation supporting Holocaust Denial and steadfastly refuses to accept the legitimacy of Jewish long established residence, roots, and autonomy in the Jewish Holy Land. Nor that Yasser Arafat, Abbas's own mentor and predecessor, was the eager disciple of his uncle Haji Amin el-Husayni, taking over leadership of the "Palestinian cause" from him and believing all his uncle's hideously false libels about Jews, Zionism and Israel. That means that both Hamas and Fatah, the Muslim jihadi and the authoritarian racist-secularist wings of the Palestinian leadership, were directly influenced by Nazism, deriving from it some of their present glorification of murdering Jews, propaganda claims (for example, using the Big Lie technique of denying that there are any Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem or elsewhere in the Holy Land), ethnic cleansing demands for their own proposed "State of Palestine" and even at times explicitly genocidal goals.

This does not mean that every single Palestinian person accepts all these teachings, adding them to prevalent traditional Muslim or Christian antisemitic stereotypes. But about 98% of them, as a matter of fact, like similar numbers in other Middle Eastern countries, have been influenced by them, according to Pew opinion polls, and up to 70% of Palestinians, in P.A. poll after poll over the years, support terrorist attempts at mass murder of civilians, thinking it entirely heroic and legitimate. That is why I wrote that there must be a fundamental change in the education system (including the training of teachers, the choice of school texts, etc.), in the religious preaching from mosques, and in political discourse, ending the glorification of terrorism and antisemitic mythologies, before there can be any hope at all of peaceful relations between Israel and Palestinians. Hate incitement must stop. It is the most important issue preventing peace.

It is nice that Ahmed Tibi accepts the facticity of the Holocaust. It would be better if he absolutely condemned terrorist mass murders and mass murderers of Jews, instead of justifying them, and if he even accepted the full legitimacy of the Jewish State of Israel, in which, due to the incredible tolerance and patience of Israelis and the strength and depth of the Israeli democratic system, he is a Knesset member. However, his views are irrelevant to the points I have made, one way or another.

8 years ago @ Jewish Daily Forward - Demography: Jews Now M... · 5 replies · +1 points

Novick is known to be a tendentious, unreliable scholar. I am afraid that this is a really excellent example. He is alone in his assertions. For one thing, one would gather from the quote you give that accounts documenting the Nazi and genocidal activities of the Grand Mufti are only written by Jews. That is not so. And the suggestion that Jewish scholarship as such, especially that that can be seen as supportive of Israel or the Jewish people, is highly dubious is itself an antisemitic suggestion severely staining Novick and the quality of all his claims. His belittling version of the Mufti's activities, influence and following do not accord with the truth. The sources I cited relating to the Grand Mufti draw their accounts from verbatim radio broadcast transcripts, photographs, accounts by other Nazis in their biographies and court testimonies, and of course contemporary news reports. They also reproduce American, British, and German governmental archival sources (research into the newly available Nazi archival records entirely supporting previous accounts been published in the last few years by German scholars -- I should add to the references to Mallmann, Cupper, and Kuentzel at least one more out of the several others, Klaus Gensicke, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Nazis: The Berlin Years [2011], trans. from the German by Alexander Fraser Gunn). No responsible scholar can justly challenge such very full and multi-sided documentation and authoritative sources. The Mufti really did do all the things mentioned above.

The attempt by Novick to smear the scholarly accuracy even of the Ency. of the Holocaust because it does not suit his own anti-Zionism, is a further blatant evidence of his own extreme partisanship. The Ency. of the Holocaust is not a shoddy work put out by some ideological nut; it is a massive publication whose articles have been written by the leading historians of the Holocaust of this generation, and Novick's insults do not cancel its testimony out. The length of any article, in any case, is neither here nor there, and cannot be used to dismiss what is written in the article.

As mentioned, the documentation of all I wrote above has long been in the public domain and is confirmed from many sides as the bibliographic list I presented demonstrates. To deny it is tantamount to the very Holocaust denial you say you repudiate.

I believe the truthfulness, or lack of it, of your argument is well shown by the claim you or Novick (it is not entirely clear from your comment) make(s) regarding Bernard Lewis, and therefore probably also regarding Raphael Medoff. For I happen to have Lewis's book Semites and Anti-Semites (1986), in which Chap. 6 deals with "The Nazis and the Palestine Question" (pp. 140-163). He discusses the Mufti at length, and entirely supports the summary I have given above (naturally without reference to Nazi archives, but really that is not necessary to confirm the overall account). He does not at all "discount the Haj Amin story" but firmly supports it. Your or Novick's claim about him is a lie.