Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Bashan Liberation Organization (BLO)
in the southern Syrian town of Daraa (spelled some other ways as
well). As you know, the riots there began when Asad's stormtroopers
opened fire on teenagers who were engaged in writing graffiti on
walls. After they were murdered, their clans and families took to the
streets and attacked the stormtroopers. From there the violence
spread elsewhere in Syria.
But what about that town, Daraa? It turns out that Daraa has some
In the Book of Numbers in the Bible there is a detailed description of
how Moses and the Israelite tribes were challenged by two Canaanite
Kings east of the Jordan river and how the good guys defeated the
Canaanites in bloody battle. The stronger of the two pagan kings was
Og the King of the Bashan. His capital was a city in Bashan (the area
that encompasses southern Syria and northern Jordan) named Edrei or
Edrey. That city was taken by the Israelites and then held and
populated by them even after the 12 tribes (or to be more precise the
9 and a half tribes) settled on the west bank of the Jordan river.
The tribes of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Menasha then returned
to the Bashan and the city of Edrei. They fortified the town and made
it their home.
Edrei is Daraa. Its name changed, but it is the very same city
conquered by Moses and the tribes, before Joshua took over command.
And it belongs to the Jews.
Maybe Israel is not laying claims to it. Maybe it never will. Even
so, it is still ours. We have a rightful claim to it, far more
legitimate than Bashar Asad has. Our rights are documented in the
Bible itself. These are rights OLDER than our claims to Jerusalem
And under the circumstances transpiring this week, I can imagine there
could be quite a few residents of Daraa who would be happy to have
Israel exercise its legitimate sovereignty over Daraa!!
Bashan Liberation Organization (BLO), anyone?
Bashin' Bashar in Bashan???
2. The Creative "Logic" of David Newman, BGU Dean of Social Sciences
The South African Boycott of Ben Gurion University is all the fault of
BGU's Own Donors and Zionist students from Im Tirtzu!
Meanwhile Ben-Gurion University will continue to develop. Its 20,000
students and almost 1,000 teaching and research faculty will continue
to push the frontiers of science. Its politically aware (meaning
leftist -- Isracampus) faculty will continue to take part in the
vibrant debate about the nature of Israeli society. The boycotters,
whether they be anti-Israel activists such as UJ, or the
anti-democracy activists of Im Tirtzu and the right-wing donors, will
become forgotten footnotes of history, remembered only for their
attempt to manipulate science for their own narrow aims. A plague on
both of their discriminatory houses.
3. Please pass on to all those fighting the "Israel Apartheid Week"
4. Four Cheers for the "Nakba Law":
• 5. From the Wall Street Journal OPINION EUROPE
• MARCH 29, 2011
Israel and the Occupation Myth
The hatred and violence that killed five members of the Fogel family
existed before the Jewish state did.
By DANNY AYALON
The recent murder of a family of five in Itamar shocked Israelis to
their core. A terrorist broke into the Fogels' home before stabbing
and garroting to death the two parents, Udi and Ruth, and their
children Yoav, 11 years old, Elad, 4, and almost decapitating Hadas,
who was only three months old.
There has since been very little outcry from the international
community. Many nations who are so used to condemning the building of
apartment units beyond the Green Line remained silent on this sadistic
murder. Meanwhile, the few international correspondents to have
covered the massacre have placed it in the context of ongoing
settlement-building and Israel's so-called "occupation."
However, regardless of one's views on which people have greater title
to Judea and Samaria, or the West Bank, it is a historically
inaccurate distortion to claim that the occupation that breeds this
type of violence. If this mantra were true, then it must be the case
that before the occupation there was no violence. This defies the
In 1929, the Jewish community of Hebron—which stretches back
millennia, long before the creation of Islam and the Arab conquest and
subsequent occupation of the area—was brutally attacked. The Jews who
had been living peacefully with their Muslim neighbors were set upon
in a bloody rampage, inspired by Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin
al-Husseini, who later became notorious as Hitler's genocidal acolyte
during the Holocaust. In two days, 67 Jews were hacked or bludgeoned
to death. Jewish infants were beheaded and Jewish women were
disemboweled. Limbs were hacked off the dead as well as those who
managed to survive.
On visiting the scene shortly after the massacre, Britain's High
Commissioner for Palestine John Chancellor wrote to his son "I do not
think that history records many worse horrors in the last few hundred
This and other similar pogroms happened, not only before the
"occupation" of Judea and Samaria, but even two decades before the
state of Israel was reestablished. From 1948 to 1967, Judea and
Samaria were illegally occupied by Jordan, which renamed the area the
West Bank, in reference to the East Bank of the Kingdom of Jordan that
fell beyond the Jordan River. Not one Israeli was allowed into this
area, yet nor did Israel know one day of peace in that time, during
which it saw brutal attacks launched from the West Bank against
Further evidence against the mantra that the occupation breeds
violence can be culled from Palestinian sources. Take Hamas's founding
charter, for instance, which does not mention occupation or
settlements. What is does contain are calls for the complete
destruction of Israel, down to its last inch, such as: "Israel will
exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just
as it obliterated others before it." The charter goes even further,
aspiring to a point in time when there will be no Jews left anywhere
in the world.
Meanwhile, the Palestine Liberation Organization, currently headed by
President Mahmoud Abbas, notes in its founding charter that "this
organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West
Bank," while still calling for a "liberation of its homeland." This
was written in 1964, fully three years before Israel conquered the
West Bank during the Six Day War.
It's safe to say that the violence and terror visited upon Israelis
has little connection to "occupation" or settlements. This myth has no
historical foundation, but is easy to proclaim for those who have
little understanding of the conflict.
Yet these fatuous canards only make our conflict harder to solve. The
recent massacre in Itamar highlighted the Palestinian Authority's
ongoing incitement to violence through its media, mosques and
educational system. At this point, the basic parameters of the peace
process need an overhaul. If our aim is to reach a peaceful
resolution, then merely ending the "occupation" would far from
guarantee that, as history has shown.
Israel was assured in the past by the international community that if
it just retreated from Gaza and Lebanon, peace would flourish and
violence would come to an end. In both cases, this hope proved deadly
wrong, and millions of Israelis have been subjected to incessant
attacks from these territories since the retreat.
This is not about "occupation" or territory; it is about meaningful
coexistence. Only when the root ideological causes of our conflict are
solved can Israelis and Palestinians make the painful concessions
necessary for peace.
Mr. Ayalon is the deputy foreign minister of Israel.
6. (from the Wall St Journal) Norway to Jews: You're Not Welcome Here
Anti-Semitism doesn't even mask itself as anti-Zionism.
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
I recently completed a tour of Norwegian universities, where I spoke
about international law as applied to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. But the tour nearly never happened.
Its sponsor, a Norwegian pro-Israel group, offered to have me lecture
without any charge to the three major universities. Norwegian
universities generally jump at any opportunity to invite lecturers
from elsewhere. When my Harvard colleague Stephen Walt, co-author of
"The Israel Lobby," came to Norway, he was immediately invited to
present a lecture at the Norwegian University of Science and
Technology in Trondheim. Likewise with Ilan Pappe, a demonizer of
Israel who teaches at Oxford.
My hosts expected, therefore, that their offer to have me present a
different academic perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
would be eagerly accepted. I have written half a dozen books on the
subject presenting a centrist view in support of the two-state
solution. But the universities refused.
The dean of the law faculty at Bergen University said he would be
"honored" to have me present a lecture "on the O.J. Simpson case," as
long as I was willing to promise not to mention Israel. An
administrator at the Trondheim school said that Israel was too
The University of Oslo simply said "no" without offering an excuse.
That led one journalist to wonder whether the Norwegian universities
believe that I am "not entirely house-trained."
Only once before have I been prevented from lecturing at universities
in a country. The other country was Apartheid South Africa.
Despite the faculties' refusals to invite me, I delivered three
lectures to packed auditoriums at the invitation of student groups. I
received sustained applause both before and after the talks.
It was then that I realized why all this happened. At all of the
Norwegian universities, there have been efforts to enact academic and
cultural boycotts of Jewish Israeli academics. This boycott is
directed against Israel's "occupation" of Palestinian land—but the
occupation that the boycott supporters have in mind is not of the West
Bank but rather of Israel itself. Here is the first line of their
petition: "Since 1948 the state of Israel has occupied Palestinian
land . . ."
The administrations of the universities have refused to go along with
this form of collective punishment of all Israeli academics, so the
formal demand for a boycott failed. But in practice it exists. Jewish
pro-Israel speakers are subject to a de facto boycott.
The first boycott signatory was Trond Adresen, a professor at
Trondheim. About Jews, he has written: "There is something immensely
self-satisfied and self-centered at the tribal mentality that is so
prevalent among Jews. . . . [They] as a whole, are characterized by
this mentality. . . . It is no less legitimate to say such a thing
about Jews in 2008-2009 than it was to make the same point about the
Germans around 1938."
This line of talk—directed at Jews, not Israel—is apparently
acceptable among many in Norway's elite. Consider former Prime
Minister Kare Willock's reaction to President Obama's selection of
Rahm Emanuel as his first chief of staff: "It does not look too
promising, he has chosen a chief of staff who is Jewish." Mr. Willock
didn't know anything about Mr. Emanuel's views—he based his criticism
on the sole fact that Mr. Emanuel is a Jew. Perhaps unsurprisingly,
fewer than 1,000 Jews live in Norway today.
The country's foreign minister recently wrote an article justifying
his contacts with Hamas. He said that the essential philosophy of
Norway is "dialogue." That dialogue, it turns out, is one-sided. Hamas
and its supporters are invited into the dialogue, but supporters of
Israel are excluded by an implicit, yet very real, boycott against
Mr. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard. His latest novel is "The
Trials of Zion" (Grand Central Publishing, 2010).