Shorts: banditry, Hamas, AP shenanigans

Another kind of  war of attrition

Friday I wrote about the construction — rather destruction — that’s taken place over the past decades on the Temple Mount, and is going on right now.

In answering a reader’s email, I realized something important: this and many other incidents are part of a pattern which represents a theme of the Israeli-Arab conflict that doesn’t get much attention.

It’s this: the Arabs haven’t been able to roll back time before 1948 by war or diplomacy — although they continue to try — so they are doing it piecemeal, by simply taking what they want. Here are some examples to add to the de facto loss of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount:

It’s ironic that so much emphasis is placed on construction within existing Jewish towns and neighborhoods across the Green Line as creating ‘facts on the ground’, when Palestinian Arabs in and out of Israel are creating ‘facts’ every day, just by committing crimes.

And concerning the Temple Mount and the Old City:

How can we let these places slip away, not only because of their importance to Jewish culture — not just ‘religious’ Jewish culture — but because of the blood that was paid for them in 1967?

Israelis enter the Old City by the Lions Gate, 1967 (illustration: Judah Rosenthal)

Israelis enter the Old City by the Lions Gate, 1967 (illustration: Judah Rosenthal)

If Americans Knew department

Just to make sure that everyone understands who Israel is dealing with in Gaza, here are some recent remarks from Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders:

Al Qassam website (Gaza) — Senior leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahar says Jews were kicked out by France, Britain, Russia and Germany “because they betrayed, stole and corrupted these countries.”

The Jews will soon be expelled from Palestine that same way they were kicked out by France, Britain, Belgium, Russia and Germany, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar said over the weekend…

Meanwhile, Ramadan Shallah, leader of Islamic Jihad, called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to step down for abandoning the armed struggle against Israel. Shallah was speaking in Damascus on the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of his group.

“The negotiations [with Israel] have ended and there’s no alternative to jihad and resistance,” Shallah said. “The present leadership of the Palestinian Authority is not authorized to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians. If Mahmoud Abbas can’t adopt the option of Yasser Arafat resistance, we recommend another option which is more honorable: to quit and sit at home.”

The Islamic Jihad leader said that “Palestine is all ours and we won’t give up one inch of it. We won’t participate in or accept any settlement that limits our rights only to the 1967 borders.”

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the Hamas covenant here.


The AP plays fast and loose

This morning, an AP dispatch written by Diaa Haddad appeared in my local newspaper, the Fresno Bee. Here is how it began:

JERUSALEM – A string of Israeli governments has helped cement the Jewish presence in Arab areas of Jerusalem by selling or leasing property to settler groups at bargain prices, court documents released Sunday show. [from Google cache]

When I searched Google for it, I found that had been replaced with an entirely different story, one about Israeli plans to build new homes in East Jerusalem.  The original was still present in Google’s cache, where it will probably be available for a week or so.

The same item appeared in the Jerusalem Post, where the first paragraph read as follows:

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government sold or leased property in the pre-1967 Jordanian-controlled Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem to Israeli settlers at exceptionally low prices, helping them cement a Jewish presence there, court documents published in English on Sunday show.

I don’t know if the AP revised the item or the Post did, although I suspect the latter. This is because the areas in question had Jewish residents before 1948, when they were driven out by force when the Jordanian Army ethnically cleansed the areas they occupied.

Guess what? Nothing’s changed since 1948, except that this time Israel is expected to kick the Jews out. The story continues,

…if borders are agreed on, a small number of Israelis in a few dozen buildings on the Palestinian side would not likely scuttle implementation of a peace accord. Israel removed 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 when it withdrew.

It is naturally assumed that Jews (not ‘Israelis’) will have to move if they live on the ‘Palestinian’ side. Of course Israel would never dream of expelling Arabs living on the Israeli side — can you imagine the outcry from the UN, the EU, the Obama Administration, Ha’aretz, etc. if such were suggested?

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One Response to “Shorts: banditry, Hamas, AP shenanigans”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    The land- theft and illegal building by Arabs is a problem no Israeli government has ever truly contended with. I suspect one reason is that there is just so much of it. Another I suspect is the lack of backing it would recieve from the Israeli Supreme Court.
    In any case there is a totally distorted picture of the ‘land situation’ in Israel both within the Green Line and beyond it presented in the media.