Thursday, October 27, 2016

Do you have a story that makes your heart soar? A book or a movie that evokes a visceral reaction, no matter how many times you revisit it? Those are the stories that resonate on a very deep level, if you will, stories that speak to the soul.

I have loved Tolkien’s Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings since I was a child. I’m not sure how old I was the first time I read the books. To me it seems like the stories have always been with me and, in a way, that is true.

It is a bit strange that a little girl loved such dark books, full of battles and scary scenes – not the stereotypical girly stories. I was swept away by the saga, charmed by the hobbits and enchanted by the elves. Interestingly the scenes that made my heart soar (and still do) are not nice or magical ones. In fact, they are rather terrible but, at the same time, beautiful.

As an American girl who lacked for nothing, why did I value the fortitude of the dwarves? In the books they are not depicted as particularly nice or charming but their strength and fierce loyalty appealed to me. The rich emotional tapestry of the dwarves made them seem somehow very familiar: these hard-working people, fine craftsmen who loved beautiful things and knew how to create them, people who could endure great hardships, were willing to endure in order to regain the home they had lost and never stopped dreaming about.

I didn’t know that Tolkien created the dwarves as a reflection of the Jewish people, longing to return to Zion.

I cried when Thorin was killed. It was right that the Arkenstone be returned to him and gut wrenching that he did not live to enjoy the achievement of regaining the homeland of his people and the Arkenstone at their core. Was Tolkien imagining the Ark that was once in the center of the very real mountain in the heart of Jerusalem?

The battle cry of the dwarves of the Iron Hills, rushing in to save their fellow dwarves, their brothers, one moment before they were overwhelmed by their enemies, has always made my heart soar. For the American girl my reaction makes little sense. As a grown up Israeli I understand it much better. The dwarves roared “Moria!” as they dove in to the Battle of the Five Armies. They were reminding each other of the terrible battle where so many of their relatives had been slaughtered, that had driven them further from their homeland, from safety but from which, as a people, they had survived.

How very Jewish. Hardships endured and survived made them stronger, gave them the courage to face the new, seemingly hopeless battle ahead.

Could it be that the stories that make your heart soar that are the ones that you understand with your soul before it is possible to understand them with the mind? That is my experience.

In Tolkien’s words, his stories are not an allegory of the times in which he lived but rather are “applicable.”  Allegories, he felt, are an imposition of the author on the reader. He preferred stories that the reader was free to apply, as the reader desired. As a child my ability to apply his stories to anything outside the pages was very limited. Now I know better. I can recognize more elements because I am living them.

The Hobbit ends with a conversation between Bilbo and Gandalf: “Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!” said Bilbo. “Of course!” said Gandalf. “And why should not they prove true? Surely you don’t disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
When this was written Tolkien couldn’t have imagined living to see the prophecies come true but somehow he knew that many would tend to disbelieve because they “had a hand in bringing them about.” I see this very often in the attitude of many (including far too many Israelis) towards Israel. It is up to us to recognize that all our “adventures and escapes were not managed by mere luck.”
In The Lord of the Rings the dwarves play a lesser role than they do in The Hobbit and yet they are still important.
Of all the scenes in the trilogy, it was always the death of Boromir that moved me the most. Again, this is rather strange when considering myself reading this as a little girl. Today the scene still moves me to tears.
Boromir sacrifices himself to protect those smaller and weaker than himself. By loving others more than he loves his own life he redeems the mistakes he had made due to hubris and desire for power. Love leads him to the most powerful and honorable act of his life. 
This scene has deeper meaning when you can name the names of real people who made the same choice Boromir made. With little effort I can tell you a number of such stories, the events that occurred and the heroes who loved others more than they loved themselves.
The tears I cried for Boromir are the same tears I often find rolling down my face watching the evening news. Israel is full of stories of honor, sacrifice, love. Ours are not the legends of a classic fairytale, a figment of an author’s imagination or something that happened “Once upon a time.”  Our stories are real and they are happening now.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are stories that have inspired so many people around the world. Many of those who look deeper in to the stories discover the thread of Christian principles and ideals. Few seem to notice that the author was actually inspired by Zion. He wrote of the people exiled regaining their homeland. The re-establishment of their home brought prosperity to the men and elves living next to them, made the land green again. Everyone benefitted. Even when Tolkien’s focus was no longer on the story of the dwarves their presence remained key. The ability to bridge the mistrust between elves and dwarves is what helped the once and future King to return to his throne. 
Tolkien’s stories are not an allegory but they are highly applicable. His fantasy can be found in Israeli reality. His writings contain inspiration for all who are willing to recognize it and, more importantly, apply it.

Now doesn’t that make your heart soar?

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  • Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

From The Telegraph, by Lord Trimble and Robert Quick:

Citizens across the continent are asking legitimate questions over their safety as well as how to sustain our societies’ liberal and democratic values in the face of this brutal menace [of Islamist terror.].  To prevail, we must be united, realistic about the deadly threat we confront, and tactically astute in how we mitigate and eventually defeat its modus operandi of indiscriminate, maximum casualty attacks.

We must also cooperate closely with those who share our values and can help us build our capabilities.  One country fits this bill better than most - no democratic nation has endured Islamist terrorism to the extent that Israel has.

Given the slanders against Israel - which emanate not least from the same Islamist propagandists residing here in the United Kingdom who hate the West and this country also - it is perhaps surprising to some that we found Israel to be a beacon of hope in this fight on a recent fact-finding visit.

Joined by political and law enforcement leaders from other democratic nations, including counterparts from the FBI, Australian National Police and other international forces, our aim was to examine Israel’s counter-terrorism strategies more closely and draw lessons for how our own countries can confront the escalating terror threat.

Terrorism against innocent civilians has been a constant feature of Israel’s experience, even prior to its statehood. During previous waves of terrorism, Israeli civilians were blown to pieces in public buses and shopping centres on a daily basis.  More recently, Israel had been facing a wave of multiple daily small-scale attacks utilising knifes, axes or other readily available implements, as well as car-rammings.  As such, it has learnt from bitter experience and become extraordinarily resilient, coping with stresses until recently unimaginable to European policymakers, while flourishing as an economically successful democratic nation.

Four preliminary findings from our forthcoming comprehensive report are worth noting:

First, Israel’s intelligence prowess is not only a major factor in its successful fight against Islamist terror, but as an ally to the UK and other democracies it has and will continue to save lives here in Europe.  Britain is better placed than some of our European allies, enjoying outstanding intelligence capabilities already, but resources are still stretched.

 Intelligence must remain a priority for investment.  Furthermore, Israel’s governance of the interagency process, so crucial to success, appears to offer a model with strong political and judicial oversight relevant to other democracies.

This leads to the second point, about the legal governance of the fight against Islamist terror.  In seeking to improve and consolidate its relevant legislation, our democracy has already resolved to emulate Israel to an extent in bringing more legally mandated judicial oversight to intelligence activity that cannot be conducted on the basis of open evidence.  Judicial oversight, free from political interference and with full access to all relevant information, is an essential part of mitigating the problems that democracies now face in conducting a defence against an enemy that ruthlessly exploits the very freedoms our generous political and social systems afford our citizens.

Third, resilience remains crucial.  Here too Britain is already well placed, both a thought leader on relevant concepts as well as enjoying a healthy industrial base.  Yet once we are past the hardening of soft targets - bollards at the entrance to train stations - we must ask searching questions over whether we are sufficiently protected.  As such, the recent formation of special armed squads intended to deal with a Mumbai or Paris-style roving attack in London is a step in the right direction.

However, we were struck at Israel's concept of expecting anyone in the vicinity of an incident, whether soldier, policeman, security guard, or even an armed civilian, to move immediately to its location and do what necessary without waiting for orders from above.  This approach, in particular where it comes to the private security sector, where Israel sets rigorous training standards, has the benefit of allowing limited security resources to cover a very wide area.

However, resilience above all means the ability to overcome and return to normality. We were impressed with stipulations in Israeli emergency response - truly road tested in the most horrific manner - that focus on both achieving this in the immediate vicinity of an attack within a few mere hours, and ensuring that no other part of national civic life is unnecessarily affected. Contrast this with several major European cities having been in complete lockdown over the summer.

Finally, the realities of the internet age have resulted in a shared challenge in this fight. We welcome Israel’s Public Security Minister’s recent visit to London to seek closer ties to combat Islamist incitement online.  The evidence is incontrovertible that social media provided the medium to fuel both the rise of Islamic State as well as the recent terror wave against Israel.

The social media superpowers, websites we enjoy using every day, simply cannot continue to ignore their responsibilities in this regard.  Confronting this threat requires a delicate balancing act to protect freedom of expression, but this cannot be an excuse for inaction when these platforms are used in a manner that ultimately leads to the deaths of innocent civilians.

Israel is on the frontline of the West’s confrontation with Islamist terrorism and a crucial ally. One thing is clear:  its expertise will help save European lives and act as a welcome guide in navigating the difficult moral, legal and tactical terrain ahead.  Britain’s spirit in previous conflicts bodes well for this great country matching Israel in resolve to overcome the murderous hatred we now face.

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  • Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Yesterday, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of an ancient papyrus that mentions Jerusalem:
A rare and important find was exposed in an enforcement operation initiated by the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery: a document written on papyrus and dating to the time of the First Temple (seventh century BCE) in which the name of the city of Jerusalem is clearly indicated. This is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing.

Two lines of ancient Hebrew script were preserved on the document that is made of papyrus (paper produced from the pith of the papyrus plant [Cyperus papyrus]). A paleographic examination of the letters and a C14 analysis determined that the artifact should be dated to the seventh century BCE – to the end of the First Temple period. Most of the letters are clearly legible, and the proposed reading of the text appears as follows:

[מא]מת. המלך. מנערתה. נבלים. יין. ירשלמה.
[me-a]mat. ha-melekh. me-Na?artah. nevelim. yi’in. Yerushalima.
From the king’s maidservant, from Na?arat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem

This is a rare and original shipping document from the time of the First Temple, indicating the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem, the capital city of the kingdom at this time. The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment (the king’s maidservant), the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched (Na?arat), the contents of the vessels (wine), their number or amount (jars) and their destination (Jerusalem). Na?artah, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Na?arat that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: “And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Na?arat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan”.

According to Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, “The document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah. It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the seventh century BCE. According to the Bible, the kings Menashe, Amon, or Josiah ruled in Jerusalem at this time; however, it is not possible to know for certain which of the kings of Jerusalem was the recipient of the shipment of wine”.

Israel Prize laureate and biblical scholar Prof. (Emeritus) Shmuel Ahituv attests to the scientific importance of the document, “It’s not just that this papyrus is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing; it is the fact that to date no other documents written on papyrus dating to the First Temple period have been discovered in Israel, except one from Wadi Murabba?at.  Also outstanding in the document is the unusual status of a woman in the administration of the Kingdom of Judah in the seventh century BCE”.

A Palestinian "expert" claims that the artifact is fake.

Speaking to Al-Ain, Dr. Jamal Amr, the head of the manuscripts and heritage department at Al-Aqsa Mosque said that the announcement by the Israelis is "ridiculous" and is part of a series of faked archaeological findings that Israelis have always done, calling them a "Jewish ISIS."

He said, "They are a terrorist group, the Jewish Daesh organization, publicizing corrupt merchandise that has not convinced the world that voted in favor of the facts and the heavenly books that attest to this place as being for Muslims only."

Amr mocked the size of the Israeli manuscript, saying that the Jews claim that the temple was a shrine on an area of ​​144 dunams which used where large quantities of cedar and gold, all of which disappeared without a trace, and yet this 11 cm papyrus survived.

Amr says that that this is not the first time that the Jews faked archaeology, mentioning a previous find of a scepter of King David* that was found to be fake.

Amr believes that this papyrus was quickly faked as a reaction to the UNESCO saying that the Temple Mount was only Muslim.

Which makes perfect sense when you live in a society where lies and truth are interchangeable and where facts can and should be ignored when they violate one's beliefs.

Previously, Dr. Amr had claimed that Israel is dissolving the foundations of the Temple Mount with chemicals.

UPDATE: PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, although more circumspect in his language, seems to agree with Jamal Amr, in his press release following the UNESCO vote:
Through an orchestrated campaign, Israel has been using archeological claims and distortion of facts as a way to legitimize the annexation of Occupied East Jerusalem.

*I could not find anything about a scepter supposedly from King David, but there is a famous scepter head from the First Temple period where experts disagree on the authenticity of its inscription. Biblical Archaeological Review maintains that it is authentic based on the experts it has interviewed and that indeed it is likely to have been used in the First Temple. (Others claim it was from a different, pagan temple.)

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  • Thursday, October 27, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
I saw at least five articles in Arabic media showing "Rabbis dancing in Ibrahimi mosque":


This is of course the celebration of Simchat Torah in the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

A much better video is here:

The Arabic articles say:

Jews held a noisy celebration inside the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in the West Bank in Palestine, where they danced to the tunes of loud songs.
The video clip caused a fuss on social networking sites, where the wrath of social media members were condemning these despicable acts inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, which included angry words against the Israeli entity, in addition to the criticism of the Arab rulers and Muslim countries who do not act for the Liberation of Palestine, and to allow this abusive business inside the house of Allah.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Middle East Monitor:
Activists from the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign are urging a group of international chefs to cancel their participation in an Israeli culinary show they say is a “whitewash exercise”.
BDS campaigners will be conducting a twitterstorm today, calling on chefs to pull out of the event using the hashtag #ApartheidRoundTables.
Next month, head chefs of 13 famous restaurants from cities around the world “will spend a week cooking in Tel Aviv as part of a PR initiative to bring international prestige to Israel’s culinary scene.”
According to campaigners, “the Round Tables culinary show is sponsored by Israeli government ministries, the Tel Aviv Municipality and businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements.”

The American Express Round Tables event in Tel Aviv started last year, and it was so successful (it sold out ahead of time) that it was decided to make it an annual event.

Welcome to Round Tables by American Express, an international culinary festival, which brings together the world’s best restaurants and chefs. The festival is back in November, and it’s going big:

13 of the most acclaimed restaurants in the world send their chefs to Tel Aviv for an entire week, where they will take over the kitchens of the city’s top restaurants.

Each hosting restaurant will serve a winning tasting menu, featuring the signature dishes of the guest restaurant, seasoned with a pinch of local flavors and ingredients inspired by the Israeli chef.

The result: a one-of-a-kind culinary show.

Among the restaurants and star chefs who will arrive this year – from New York, Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen, Lisbon, New Delhi, Lima, Bangkok and more – are 5 restaurants ranked in the prestigious and influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (actually listing 100 restaurants) and 4 Michelin stared restaurants. 
The hosting restaurants in Israel – those who took on the challenge of learning and performing – are some of the leading in Israel: Taizu, Jaffa Tel Aviv, Thai House, Coffee Bar, Hotel Montefiore, The Norman, Popina, Nithan Thai, Pastel, Chloelys, The Blue Rooster, Quattro, and for those who want kosher – the wonderfully social Liliyot.

In other words, the BDSers already lost. The preparations have been going on for months, the best chefs of the world are vying to go to Tel Aviv, and it is already a smash success.

By the way, this ad for the festival was awarded one of the Best Food Ads of the Month by Ad Forum:

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From Ian:

David Horovitz: Palestinian campaign vs Balfour shows hostility undimmed after 100 years
Hidden away at the British Library — available for viewing only by special permission — is the original Balfour Declaration, foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour’s short but oh-so-resonant century-old letter of British government intent to revive Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land. Also preserved, in an elegant folders kept under lock and key, is an earlier draft of the Declaration, a version that was circulated to various officials for their responses and possible amendments before the final text was issued on November 2, 1917.
Even after deciding on the legitimacy of the Zionist cause — and assessing its potential advantage to British interests — the Brits, as the various drafts of the Declaration make plain, recognized the spectacular sensitivities and potential repercussions of the decision to “view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
From the get-go, the British sought to square the circle — to restore Jewish statehood in the only place on earth where the Jewish people had ever been sovereign, but to do so while preserving the rights of the other communities living in the Holy Land. That effort to realize Jewish sovereign rights while also legitimizing the claims of the Arab peoples here was maintained when Britain ended its mandate and the UN in 1947 recommended partition — a revived Jewish state alongside a first-ever Palestinian state.
The Arab world opposed the Balfour Declaration from day one, opposed the UN partition plan, and sought to destroy the State of Israel in 1948. And on Monday, even though the Palestine Liberation Organization ostensibly came to terms with pre-1967 Israel when Yasser Arafat entered the ill-fated Oslo process with Yitzhak Rabin a quarter-century ago, a senior member of that same PLO proclaimed the Balfour Declaration to be a criminal “colonialist project” and formally launched what he promised will be a year-long campaign designed “to remind the world and particularly Britain that they should face their historic responsibility and to atone for the big crime Britain committed against the Palestinian people.”
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki welcomes United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Muqataa, the PA headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on June 28, 2016. (FLASH90)
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki welcomes United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to the Muqataa, the PA headquarters, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on June 28, 2016. (FLASH90)
A few months ago, the Palestinian Authority revealed it was also preparing a lawsuit against the British government over the Balfour Declaration, with the PA’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki holding London responsible for all “Israeli crimes” committed since the end of the British mandate. It was Britain that had committed the original sin of paving the way for Israel’s establishment, because the Balfour Declaration, said Malki, “gave people who don’t belong there something that wasn’t theirs.”
Beware of antisemitism’s ‘third rail’
In an address before the EU parliament last month, Conference of European Rabbis president Pinchas Goldschmidt said that European Jews feel like they are standing in the middle of a railroad track with trains bearing down on them from both directions.
One train is “radical Islam and Islamic terrorism,” he said; the other is “the antisemitism of old Europe, the extreme Right.” Both “are existential threats” for European Jews, he warned. “Both trains have to be halted before it’s too late.”
Rabbi Goldschmidt’s analogy aptly summates why European Jews feel sufficiently threatened to be emigrating in record numbers. The vast majority of rampant anti-Jewish violence on the continent is committed by Muslims, and most of the rest is perpetrated by individuals (and sometimes groups) that can be broadly characterized as right-wing. Anti-Jewish violence in the United States, which “rose dramatically last year” according to the Anti-Defamation League, displays a similar breakdown.
But there is third train on an adjoining rail, advancing more slowly. This one isn’t producing physical assaults on Jews, or even (in most cases) explicit expressions of antipathy to Jews. However, it is fueling a different kind of Jewish emigration, made all the more disturbing by the fact that it elicits far less public attention and outrage.
Militant anti-Zionism first emerged in force in the West in the late 1960s, fueled by the growing popularity of far-left ideologies, hostility to allies of America, and Israel’s sweeping military victory in 1967.
UK: Labour Party Still Shooting Itself in Both Anti-Semitic, Far-Left Feet
The Palestinian "resistance" is not a struggle to create a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel.No group or leader within the "resistance" movement has ever considered that their goal. Their position is summed up in the slogan chanted by many students and pro-Palestinian groups, "Palestine will be free, From the river [Jordan] to the [Mediterranean] sea".
It is not, in fact, illegal in the slightest for the Jews to be in a country in which they have continuously lived for 3000 years. The only title to the land the Palestinians seem to have is that under the Ottoman empire, the land had been subject to Muslim governance; and if one applies Islamic law, rather than common law, any land that has once been under Muslim control must stay that way forever -- including of course "el-Andalus," all of southern Spain and Portugal.
Seamus Milne added that Palestinians in Gaza have the right to "defend themselves" and claimed: "It isn't terrorism to fight back. The terrorism is the killing of citizens by Israel on an industrial scale." No, the terrorism is the tens of thousands of rockets and missiles fired from Gaza into Israel for more than a decade.
Given that Gaza had long been unoccupied by anyone at that date and that Israel had never killed "citizens" on an industrial scale, we can see something at play totally at odds with reason, fact, and political knowledge. That something is creeping out from beneath an unpleasant rock, and that it has a deep connection with anti-Semitism, if it is not anti-Semitism in its purest modern form.

It would be kind of a shock to see someone kneeling on a tallis, butt in the air, crying "Allahu Akbar," anywhere at all. It would, however, be a special kind of shock indeed to see this take place in Israel. And yet, that is just what happened in Israel's Ben Gurion Airport synagogue. In fact, not only did it happen, but it happened on the eve of a Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah!

A group of Turkish tourists passing through decided to duck in and use the synagogue at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport as a mosque. Not having a prayer rug handy, they grabbed a Tallit (also called Tallis) and spread it on the floor to use as a prayer rug. Watch it here:

It's not cool to desecrate a religious symbol in your host country. And it would be pretty difficult for these tourists not to notice that um, they were in a synagogue, being that it was decorated with all sorts of Jewish symbols and Hebrew books, Torahs, and signs. Not to mention location, location, location. Which in this case was Israel the, you know, Jewish State?

Nope. No chance this could have been a mosque.

But bravo to the Times of Israel for characterizing this desecration of a Jewish house of worship and sacred item as a "mistake" (could have been worse, they could have called it "resourceful").


Now, I wonder what would happen if I draped a prayer shawl around my neck and said the Shema at the Kaaba?

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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Bassem TamimiPerhaps the most persistent argument in defense of the wall that keeps us Palestinians imprisoned is that it prevents attacks on Israelis. But that contention could not be more ridiculous, because if the Zionists would simply dismantle the barrier and let us kill them, maybe we might stop killing them.

It follows a simple line of reasoning: Palestinian violence aimed at Israelis prompted the construction of a barrier more or less along the 1949 Israel-Jordan armistice line to keep out suicide bombers and other Palestinian heroes, which of course prompted an outcry from us and our supporters around the world about a "land grab" and further justification for Palestinian violence. It only makes sense that when someone tries to stop you from killing them, the sole adjustment you can make is to try harder, because they have no right to stop you. That is, if you're Palestinian. So once the barrier is gone, our pretext for deadly violence is gone, which means we will be free to kill Jews.

The Zionist-controlled media will never present it that way, of course. They're too busy trying to inject nuance into a story that is nothing less than Good vs. Evil. We Palestinians, on the side of Good, are allowed to engage in whatever behavior advances our cause, because Good. Sometimes you have to massacre a few million Jews to serve your cause. It's that stupid wall that prevents us from exercising that God-given right. Once it is gone, of course, we will demonstrate our peace-loving nature, and answer the gesture with an appropriate display of carnage. In the interest of peace.

But our efforts to bring down the Apartheid Wall have yet to bear tangible fruit, and we need the assistance of the international community to remove the proximate cause of our murderous rage. Only a concerted global effort can apply the necessary pressure to the Zionists to get them to take down the barrier and restore our freedom of movement, which we will celebrate by sending our youngsters onto Israeli buses to detonate explosives packed with nails and shrapnel. What else could freedom of movement be for, if not engaging in the manifestation of one's very identity?

So please, if you live in a democratic country, let your representatives know the importance of taking down Israel's separation barrier, for the sake of peace and thousands of dead Jews. Remember, this is the ultimate battle of Good and Evil.

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From Ian:

Oldest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem found on rare papyrus from 7th century BCE
A rare, ancient papyrus dating to the First Temple Period — 2,700 years ago — has been found to bear the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew.
The fragile text, believed plundered from a cave in the Judean Desert cave, was apparently acquired by a private individual several years ago. Radiocarbon dating has determined it is from the 7th century BCE, making it one of just three extant Hebrew papyri from that period, and predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by centuries.
The slip of papyrus, which was formally unveiled by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday, measures 11 centimeters by 2.5 centimeters (4.3 inches by 1 inch). Its two lines of jagged black paleo-Hebrew script appear to have been a dispatch note recording the delivery of two wineskins “to Jerusalem,” the Judean Kingdom’s capital city. The full text of the inscription reads: “From the female servant of the king, from Naharata (place near Jericho) two wineskins to Jerusalem.”
The fact that the note was written on papyrus, rather than cheaper clay ostraca, suggests the consignment of wineskins may have been sent to a person of high status.
Speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem with IAA officials on Wednesday, Israel Prize-winning Biblical scholar Shmuel Ahituv said the mention of a “female servant of the king” sending the wineskins to “Yerushalem,” indicated that it was sent by a prominent woman to the capital.

UNESCO resolution is a 'disgrace to intelligent people,' says Temple Mount archeologist
On the eve of UNESCO’s Wednesday vote in Paris to ratify a resolution denying Jewish ties to Judaism’s holiest site, Temple Mount Sifting Project co-founder and archeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay dismissed the ballot as an affront to science and history.
The resolution, which refers to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of Al-Haram Al-Sharif – ostensibly eliminating its connection to Judaism and Christianity – is expected to be approved by the committee comprised of 21 member states at its 40th session.
“I’m an archeologist, not a politician,” Barkay said Tuesday at a press conference arranged by Media Central at the project’s headquarters in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim National Park.
“I cherish all civilizations of Jerusalem, without exception... Jesus and the Temple Mount are referred to in the New Testament over 20 times. Jesus went there prior to his crucifixion and overturned a table from money-changers and prophesied about the Temple Mount. So he who tries to jeopardize the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount actually undermines Christianity, because it is based on Jesus and his connection to the Temple Mount.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: Ancient Palestinians Tired Of Zionist Time-Travelers Planting Jewish Evidence (satire)
Palestinian farmers of the tenth century Before the Common Era have grown weary of Zionist conspirators from the distant future appearing and planting evidence of ancient Jewish civilization, local representatives reported today.
Idyllic, pastoral Palestine has long known conquest and occupation, with rule shifting from one foreign ruler to another over the centuries, but the simple, peace-loving indigenous Palestinians have clung to the land. Lately, however, strange people from a different time and place have come from nowhere to build structures, bury artifacts, and falsify the history of Palestine.
“They call themselves ‘Zionists’ whatever that means,” observed Abdul Hassan, who speaks Arabic which the Zionists have made you think would appear in Palestine only many centuries later. “When I asked one of them what they were dong on my family’s land, he laughed and said in time, no one would ever believe it was ever my land – that he and his associates were from the future, and were making sure someone called the ‘Jews’ were recognized as the indigenous inhabitants. It was all very weird.”
“But then it happened again, and neighbors began talking about the same thing happening to them,” continued Hassan. “Pretty soon the whole countryside was awash in these tales of people who came from a different time, set on altering something called ‘history.’ I don’t even know what that is. All I know is they get in the way of my farming and herding with increasing frequency lately, and I’ve got a family to feed here.”

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
An important story from France24:

In China, only five religions are officially recognised by the state and Judaism is not one of them. The eastern city of Kaifeng is home to a tiny Jewish community that dates back a thousand years. But in recent months, local authorities have erased all traces of their existence and heritage. The Kaifeng Jews are forced to practice their religion in secret and some have even left the country.
The Forward reported last month:
Police have shut down the only Jewish learning center in Kaifeng, helmed by the Israeli activist group Shavei Israel, say activists. A well that community members identify as their historic mikveh, for ritual Jewish bathing, was reportedly blocked. Foreign Jewish tour groups are said to have been barred from entering the city. And community members are allegedly being monitored and questioned.
You can read about the history of this community here.

(h/t Yoel)

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  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Haaretz reports:
A record number of Jews visited the Temple Mount during this year’s three-week fall holiday season, from October 3 to October 25, and overall the number of Jewish visitors to the Jerusalem site in 2016 is expected to set a record.

During the week of Sukkot alone, more than 1,600 Jews visited the Temple Mount compound for religious purposes after undergoing ritual immersion. During the entire holiday period, over 3,000 Jews visited.

The Temple Mount was relatively quiet over the holiday period, which led the police to be more flexible about allowing Jewish worshippers into the compound. For example, in contrast to last year, the police allowed larger groups to enter and permitted more than one group of worshippers to be in the compound simultaneously. On October 18 there were more than 400 religious Jews on the Mount at the same time.

Jewish visitors also reported a certain relaxation of the restrictions on prayer and religious rituals in the compound. For example, police did not interrupt anyone who was praying quietly on their own, and in a number of instances Jews were even allowed to enter the compound carrying the four species central to the observance of Sukkot.
Arab sites have picked up on this and they are very upset.

The president of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, said that the Israeli government is trying to change the facts on the ground slowly, and he criticized these "excesses," claiming that Israeli police are emptying the compound of Muslims to give room for "settlers" to "storm" the site.

Far, far more Muslims visit the Temple Mount on any given Friday than the total number of Jews who are expected to visit even on this record-breaking year (probably 12-13 thousand.)

Meanwhile, the director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar Kiswani, said these "intrusions represent a nightmare for us and for the mosque and patrons."

If I am understanding this op-ed correctly, a Jordanian writer is complaining that Arabs in Jerusalem aren't violently fighting Jews who try to assert historic rights to Judaism's holiest spot, asking why they are leaving the battle for the Al Aqsa Mosque to Jordan alone, and warning that it will be destroyed soon if they don't do anything about it.

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  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon

Saeb Erekat published an op-ed in the Washington Post where careful readers can see what the Palestinian Arab leadership really wants.

[M]illions of Palestinians [are] not allowed to return to live in their homeland because they are not Jewish.
If they are Palestinians, and if the PLO wants to accept a two-state solution with and Arab Palestine and Israel living side by side as they claim, then their homeland is the Palestinian Arab state, not Israel. Israel isn't stopping anyone of Palestinian ancestry from moving to areas under PA control.

When Erekat is saying that Israel is their homeland, he is admitting than the PLO doesn't really take the two state solution seriously, and that "Palestine" is only a stage to destroy Israel altogether. The PLO doesn't want Palestinians to move to their own state, but to Israel - to destroy it demographically.

What other proud national entity explicitly demands that its people move elsewhere?

The irony is that this op-ed is meant to prove the opposite - that Israel is the party that is against the two-state solution, not "Palestine." Erekat's words, however, show the truth.

Erekat's deceptions don't end there, of course:

He writes both that "Next June will mark 50 years since the Israeli military occupation began in 1967" and that "the Palestinians...have continuously suffered from Israeli settlements and its associated regime for more than half a century,"  Which is it - 49 years or more than 50?

This is not a typo - Erekat is saying that all of Israel is illegitimate, not just the "occupation."

Erekat claims that the Palestinians "embrace the two-state solution" but in fact that is not the end game, as even his own words prove.

Much more about the op-ed at the Tayara Herzl site.

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