RICK RICHMAN:The Jewish State and the Story the Palestinians Hold Dear


In her “Memo from Jerusalem” in theNew York Times, Jodi Rudoren asserts that “in recent weeks,” Benjamin Netanyahu has “catapulted to the fore” an issue “even more intractable than old ones like security and settlements: a demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” She reported it is now a “core issue” in the current negotiations and that “critics” say Netanyahu raised it as a poison pill:

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has repeatedly said that the Palestinians will never agree to it, most recently in a letter to President Obama last month. The Palestinians … contend that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would disenfranchise its 1.6 million Arab citizens, undercut the right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees and, most important, require a psychological rewriting of the story they hold dear about their longtime presence in the land.

The issue, however, was not recently “catapulted to the fore” by Netanyahu; it is an issue that long pre-dates him; and it goes to the heart of whether the “peace process” is about peace. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, picking up the story with the internal 2007 Palestinian memorandum entitled “Strategy and Talking Points for Responding to the Precondition of Recognizing Israel as a ‘Jewish State’,” leaked in the “Palestine Papers.” The memo contained the following instruction for Palestinian negotiators:

We recommend that the Palestinian negotiators maintain their position not to recognize or otherwise characterize the state of Israel as “Jewish”. Any recognition of Israel within a treaty or agreement should be limited to recognizing it as a sovereign state. It should not recognize Israel as a “Jewish state”, “state for the Jewish people”, “homeland for the Jewish people” or any similar characterization.

The reasons in the memo did not include “the story [the Palestinians] hold dear about their longtime presence in the land.” Rather, the memo warned that “[r]ecognizing the Jewish state implies recognition of a Jewish people and recognition of its right to self-determination.” The Palestinians did not want to recognize a Jewish people, a Jewish state, a Jewish homeland, Jewish self-determination, or any Jewish demographic considerations.



Evgeny Kissin, the 42-year-old prodigy pianist, rarely gives interviews • But there is a subject that compelled him to talk to the media — Israel, and the manner in which it is treated in the Western world • Last month, Kissin became an Israeli citizen.

Evgeny Kissin rarely gives interviews. The 42-year-old prodigy pianist, who was born and raised in Moscow and currently lives in London, prefers to express himself only while he’s sitting up against his favorite instrument. With one touch of the key, he produces a full, rich note, illuminating every chord in his own special interpretation.

Nonetheless, there is a subject that did compel Kissin to agree to talk to the media. It’s a topic that burns in his bones — Israel, and the manner in which it is treated by the western world.

Dissatisfied with mere statements, Kissin also took action. Last month, he was granted his request to become an Israeli citizen during a special event in Jerusalem. His blue Interior Ministry-issued identiy card and his Israeli passport were awarded to him by Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver. Also in attendance was Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, whom Kissin initially turned to in hopes of becoming an Israeli citizen.

“I’m a Jew, Israel is a Jewish state, and for quite a long time I have felt that even though I live here, Israel is the only country in the world that I can identify with completely,” he wrote to Sharansky in a letter. “If I as a human being and an artist represent something in this world, it is my people, the Jewish people, so Israel is the only country on the face of this earth that I would want to represent in my art and my public activities, irrespective of where I live.”



The lies they tell at St.James’s Church, Piccadilly, London

Yasser Arafat defied the Christian tradition in Bethlehem, which had been respected and upheld under Israeli authority, by appointing a Muslim governor and engineered a Muslim takeover of the city council. He then put his stamp on this town by converting the Greek Orthodox monastery, next to the Church of the Nativity, into his official Bethlehem residence.

At great risk to his life, Pastor Naim Khoury, of the Bethlehem Baptists Church, exposed the developing threats to Christians within the territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority. “People are always telling Christians to convert to Islam.”

His ministry is based on love and non-violence. He is also a strong advocate for Zionism based on God’s land covenant with Israel through Abraham.
Because of his views, his church has been bombed fourteen times, and he has been shot three times. He has been threatened by the Palestinian Authority to close the doors of his church which they consider as “illegitimate.”

This brave Christian priest needs and deserves the active support of church leaders worldwide. Instead, they boycott him and pick on Israel for their wrath, ignoring the human rights crimes of the Palestinian leadership whom they openly support. How twisted is that?

Elias Freij, the Christian mayor of Bethlehem at the time of the Oslo Accords in 1993, warned Israeli Prime Minister, Yizhak Rabin, to maintain control over his town. “Bethlehem will become a town of churches devoid of Christians if you transfer control to the Palestinian Authority.”

Israel caved in to international pressure, handed over Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority and, for the middle class Christian residents, their lives became threatened, and the mayor’s warning became the current Christian nightmare.


Future historians are likely to point to the current government as inflicting the most devastating blow to the spirit of, and the belief in, the Zionist enterprise.

True leadership is tested on the ability to uphold decisions, hard as they may be. We were not elected to lead the State of Israel in order to make easy decisions.
– Binyamin Netanyahu, December 30 Politics in Israel is indeed stranger than fiction. It certainly is more grotesque and macabre than most literary plots of deceit and betrayal.

Beyond belief

The spectacle unfolding before our eyes over the past several weeks in Israel’s theater of the politically absurd defies belief. We see an elected government supported by a ruling parliamentary coalition composed almost entirely of incumbent legislators, who built their political careers on opposing precisely the policy that they now seem powerless to prevent, and, in some cases, are even complicit in promoting.

So once again, a situation is emerging in which we have an Israeli government, whether willingly or unwillingly, embracing – or at least facilitating – the very policy its electoral constituency expected it to prevent.

Prime Minister Netanyahu achieved political prominence largely because of his fierce, and well-argued, opposition to Yitzhak Rabin’s adoption of the Oslo Accords. Yet, inexplicably, after all his criticism has been vindicated, he has embraced a policy even more concessionary than that he excoriated Rabin for.

Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon has been a fierce critic of the two-state-idea, articulating positions totally at odds with the policy proposals being discussed under the current Kerry initiative, whose underlying rationale is that Israel’s frontiers should be based on the indefensible pre-1967 lines. True, Ya’alon has recently come out with strong statements opposing the essential rationale of the ongoing negotiations. However, he has been unable to halt the continued erosion of Israeli positions, much less change the focus of the negotiations to anything remotely resembling the ideas he expounded – correctly – as vital to Israel’s minimal security requirements.


What started out as a sad story about the tragic death of a young diplomat may turn out to be a warning not to young diplomats, but to countries which host them.

On Wednesday, Jan. 1, an explosion went off in the home of Jamal al-Jamal, the Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic. Al-Jamal was severely injured by the blast. He received lethal wounds to his abdomen, head and chest, and died within hours at a local hospital. Jamal’s residence was located in the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Prague. Those facts are not in dispute.

But how Jamal was killed remains a question. The initial story was that he must have triggered a safety device meant to destroy classified documents if an unauthorized person opened the safe. In fact, if you check the stories in the mainstream media reports about Jamal’s death, you would be confident that Jamal mistakenly triggered a safety device on on old safe.

But there were conflicting reports about the safe Jamal had just opened when the blast occurred.

Leader of French Jewish Group Has a Plan for Countering Anti-Semitism: Downplaying Zionism :Nidra Poller (What Gaul)

Amid rising anxiety, CRIF President Roger Cukierman tells journalists his group shouldn’t be seen as an annex to the Israeli embassy


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In mid-December, France’s President François Hollande held a reception at the Elysée palace in honor of the 70th anniversary of the CRIF, as the umbrella organization of French Jews is known. Hollande, whose delivery is often wooden and halting, was unusually at ease with his guests and made sure to note in his remarks that he was celebrating “by extension, all the Jews in France.”

The abiding impression of President Hollande’s substantial address [1]—close to 20 minutes—was that the république of diversity could not ask for a better element than the Jews. At a time when thorny issues of immigration and integration of the growing Muslim population threaten to disturb the peace in France, Hollande expressed appreciation for a community that is both an integral part of the history of France—the CRIF, he noted, was created in 1943, during the Nazi occupation, alongside the Conseil National de la Résistance—and, by virtue of the tens of thousands of North African Jews who arrived in France in the 1960s, a model of integration. Hollande also renewed his public promises to combat the rising tide of anti-Semitism that plagues Jews in France today, and he spoke about his November state visit to Israel, describing the country as a refuge. “Your attachment to Israel is normal,” he said. “You don’t have to apologize for it.”

And yet that appears to be what the president of the CRIF, Roger Cukierman, is doing. At a private luncheon with a handful of journalists one week before the anniversary celebration, Cukierman—a banker—outlined a “new look” for the organization, which he previously headed for two terms, starting in 2001. During the six-year hiatus between the end of his last term, in 2007, and his re-election this past spring, he said [2], the CRIF has come to be seen “an annex to the Israeli embassy … an association of right-wing fascists notorious for their unconditional support of the Israeli government.” That image, he went on, “does not correspond to reality.”



The reporting on China’s commemoration of the 120th birthday of Mao Zedong all seemed to come from the same angle. Festivities were “understated” (Associated Press). Events were “scaled back” (Reuters). The following headline, which ran on the Fox News website over the AP story, is typical: “China marks Mao’s 120th birthday with low-key celebrations.” The story opens: “China’s leaders bowed three times before a statue of Mao Zedong on the 120th anniversary of his birth Thursday in carefully controlled celebrations that also sought to uphold the market-style reforms that he would have opposed.”

Forget for now the “market-style reforms.” Only three times? How “muted”! That, by the way, was the word CNN used to describe the occasion.

But there’s something wrong with this media picture. Imagine if, on Adolf Hitler’s upcoming 125th birthday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel were to bow three times in front of the Nazi mass-murderer’s statue. Would journalists convey how “ambivalent” (Voice of America’s word for post-Mao China) post-Hitler Germany was about Hitler these days? Hardly. They would most likely write in unconcealed horror over the twisted but enduring appeal of Nazism. Why are we not equally repelled when Chinese leaders bow in front of a statue of a communist mass-murderer? (I examine this double standard at length in my book, American Betrayal.)

The New York Times and CNBC ran headlines wishing “Happy Birthday, Chairman Mao,” but, again, don’t expect similar felicitations on Hitler’s birthday. It’s communists who always get a pass – or a yawn. “Communist Party feeling uneasy about Mao ahead of his birthday celebrations,” the Washington Post reported. With my imaginary Merkel example in mind, the paper’s update would read: “Nazi Party feeling uneasy about Hitler ahead of his 125th birthday.” Somehow, though, it’s hard to imagine news editors being so blasé.

Then again, there is no Nazi Party today, and Hitler is a universal symbol of evil. Why? In defeat, Nazi Party leader Hitler and his slaughters were exposed, judged and condemned. Nothing of the kind has ever happened to communism, and in China, of course, Mao’s Communist Party won the war. Despite Red China’s successful entry in recent decades into the world market, it remains a totalitarian dictatorship, ruled by the same Communist Party that Mao led and seized power with in 1949.


There are all sorts of awards coming up…Tonys, Oscars, and myriad awards for journalists- APME, SPJ, Data Journalism and so on.

In Greek mythology Apate was the spirit of deceit, guile and deception. Her counterpart was Dolos the god of trickery, craftiness and treachery.

So how about the Apate and Dolos awards?

Both the Apate and the Dolos should be awarded to The New York Times for all the disinformation they saw fit to print in 2013. The Dolos should be awarded by Thomas Friedman and the Apate, a little statue of Helen Thomas should be awarded by Christiane Amanpour.

The Strange Moral Calculus of John Kerry Posted By P. David Hornik


On Wednesday the Israeli daily Maariv reported (summarized in English here) that the Israeli defense establishment

totally reject[s] the American proposal for security arrangements in the Jordan Valley…. The American proposal presented to Israel was based on a limited Israeli presence at the border crossings along the Jordan River for a limited number of years, together with the massive use of technological means such as satellites and drones that would replace the army’s presence on the ground.

The position of the security services, as agreed upon recently by the Defense Minister, is that no replacement for the IDF will protect Israel’s security interests, and that even the most advanced technological means do not offer a serious alternative.

Thursday found Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel for the tenth time since taking office last February. His mission was described as “pushing for the sides to agree on guidelines for what the final deal would look like.”

Meanwhile it was reported again that the Palestinian side—including Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and all his negotiators and officials—totally rejects any compromise, even a diluted, temporary Israeli military presence, in the Jordan Valley, calling it “Palestinian” even though it has never been under Palestinian rule and has been an Israeli territory since 1967.

Considering that other “core issues” like Jerusalem, “refugees,” and the borders of a putative Palestinian state are no less difficult, it is, as usual, perplexing to see Kerry continuing to invest American resources and prestige in pursuit of “guidelines” for a “final deal.”

But the show has to go on, and on Tuesday a third batch of twenty-six convicted Palestinian terrorist murders were freed; the release of four such groups was, after all, Abbas’s condition for entering the talks at all.

As Elliott Abrams noted in a perceptive blog post:

the prisoner releases are not CBMs [confidence-building measures]; they are CDMs, confidence-destroying measures. With some American pressure, Prime Minister Netanyahu has released a third tranche of long-serving security prisoners—murderers, to be exact.

The first thing this does is diminish confidence in the United States. After all, we never do this; we never release murderers or terrorists from our prisons for political reasons. That we expect Israel to do so teaches Israelis that we will ask Israel to take risks we would not take, and do not fully understand the security situation they face.



The Supreme Court of Iceland has ordered a halt to road construction because of the environmental impact on the elves. Most of the modern world no longer believes in elves, fairies or gnomes; but environmentalists still do.

Members of the environmentalist terrorist group Earth Liberation Front refer to themselves as “elves” and to their acts of sabotage and vandalism as “elving” or “pixieing.” Environmentalist eco-pagans divided themselves into “fairies” and “trolls” with the fairies sticking to non-violence while the trolls were more apt to get physical.

The Dragon Environmental Network, which in its own words “links environmental action with magical practice,” is one of the more successful environmental neo-pagan activist groups. DEN boasts of using “eco-magic” to stop progress and “channel positive energy.” The basic principles of their environmental activism include “honoring the fair folk”; better known as the fairies.

Trolls, fairies, goblins and elves are easy enough to laugh off and those who believe in them can be dismissed as irrational; but the fairy hunters fool more people when they slip out of their tunics and pointed ears and slip on their white lab coats and parkas.

The “Australasian Antarctic Expedition” set off to another cold place not in search of elves, but in search of melting ice. Unlike the original expedition it knew exactly what it wanted to find. One of the purposes of the expedition was to “determine the extent to which human activity and pollution has directly impacted on this remote region of Antarctica.”