Former House Speaker, GOP presidential front-runner and history buff Newt Gingrich reiterated his support for Israel this week, saying the Palestinians are an “invented” people carrying out an unjust war against the Jewish state.
“I believe that the Jewish people have a right to have a state,” Gingrich said when asked by The Jewish Channel’s Steven Weiss if he considers himself to be a Zionist. “And I believe the commitments that were made at the time — remember, there was no Palestinian state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think we’ve had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community.”
“They had a chance to go to many places, and for a variety of political reasons they have sustained this war against Israel now since the 1940s, and I think it’s tragic,” Gingrich continued.
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Mobilized by calls on Facebook, thousands of Arab protesters marched on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday in an unprecedented wave of demonstrations, sparking clashes that left at least 15 people dead in an annual Palestinian mourning ritual marking the anniversary of Israel’s birth.
In a surprising turn of events, hundreds of Palestinians and supporters poured across the Syrian frontier and staged riots, drawing Israeli accusations that Damascus, and its ally Iran, orchestrated the unrest to shift attention from an uprising back home. It was a rare incursion from the usually tightly controlled Syrian side and could upset the delicate balance between the two longtime foes.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who heads to Washington at the end of the week, said he ordered the military to act with “maximum restraint” but vowed a tough response to further provocations.
“Nobody should be mistaken. We are determined to defend our borders and sovereignty,” he declared in a brief address broadcast live on Israeli TV stations.
The violence showed Israel the extent of Arab anger over the Palestinian issue, beyond the residents of the West Bank and Gaza, and came at a critical time for U.S. Mideast policy.
President Barack Obama’s envoy to the region, George Mitchell, resigned Friday after more than two years of fruitless efforts. The U.S. president may now have to retool the administration’s approach to peacemaking. Obama is expected to deliver a Mideast policy speech in the coming week.
Deadly clashes also took place along Israel’s nearby northern border with Lebanon, as well as in the Gaza Strip on Israel’s southern flank. The Israeli military said 13 soldiers were wounded, none seriously.
Sunday’s unrest — which came after activists used Facebook and other websites to mobilize Palestinians and their supporters in neighboring countries to march on the border with Israel — marked the first time the protests that have swept the Arab world in recent months have been directed at Israel.
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Palestinian police shouting “Allahu akbar” opened fire on Jews praying at Joseph’s Tomb Sunday, killing one and wounding four. The worshippers were attacked as they were exiting the prayer site by PA policemen, who according to the IDF “were fully aware that the men they fired on were Israeli worshipers who were unarmed and posed no threat…” The murder was followed by Palestinians rioting and burning tires at Joseph’s Tomb
The attack is far from an aberration; it is an expectation of the religious intolerance Jewish worshippers have received and can expect if Palestinians gain their demands for control of Judaism’s holiest sites.
The incident is not the first Arab violence at Joseph’s Tomb. Under the Oslo Agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) was committed to protecting it and other holy sites, Jewish and Christian, and to ensure access by all. On October 7th, 2000, Palestinians mobs overran the site, killed a soldier, and ransacked the place, burning Jewish prayer books, and reducing the sacred site to a smoldering heap of rubble. An Associated Press dispatch reported, “the dome of the tomb was painted green and bulldozers were seen clearing the surrounding area,” as the Palestinian Arabs sought to transform the biblical resting place of Joseph into a Muslim conquest.
The Arab strategy is to claim that each and every Jewish Holy place is rightfully a Muslim site. (The western media usually acquiesce to this revision of history.) Once they seize control and deny Jews access, Arabs desecrate and destroy the very places they had recently deemed “holy.” After Jordanians captured the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem in 1949, the local Arab population began a systematic desecration and looting of Jewish sites. Fifty-seven ancient synagogues were ransacked and defaced and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. This condition continued until Jordan lost control of Jerusalem in June 1967.
Last October, Palestinians won their appeal to UNESCO to convert two of Judaism’s holiest places, Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs, to mosques. These sites, which for 3,800 years have been the focal point of Jewish history, have no religious significance to the Palestinians. Their only value to Palestinians is to destroy them and thus deny their existence and the long Jewish connection to the land.
The issue is not one of sovereignty or borders. It is not one of geography or politics. It is one of religious genocide and designed to erase a people and a religion from the face of the Earth. For those so accustomed to Muslim “outrage” at any demonstration of Jewish heritage, today’s murder might be explained away by permits and Arab sensibilities: however, to understand it is necessary to reverse roles for a moment. Arabs, Christians, Hindus, Ba’hais are allowed to worship when and how they please in Israel. Imagine if Muslims were attacked by Israeli police as they approached the Dome of the Rock for Friday worship and if afterwards, mobs threw burning tires on the prayer rugs and shattered every holy object. The ensuing riots would make the reaction to a Danish cartoon seem a picnic. Why are religious humiliation and intolerance against Islam condemned when they pass as normal against Judaism?
The gravest danger is if Palestinians prevail at the UN this September and receive a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State with the 1967 borders. Then all of Judaism’s holy sites would fall victim to Arab control. This Passover’s Palestinian shooting of Jews praying at Joseph’s Tomb foreshadows the devastation to all Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem and the demise of Jewish religious freedom in the Jewish homeland.
Leo Rennert adds:
During the Passover holiday, Palestinian police fired at a group of Jewish worshipers who had just prayed at Joseph’s Tomb in a West Bank area under complete control of the Palestinian Authority. One worshiper was killed; several others were wounded. A short while later, fires were set outside Joseph’s Tomb.
The media promptly fell in line with the PA’s alibi, blaming the victims. Their visit to the ancient tomb was not authorized; it had not been coordinated in advance with the Israeli army and Palestinian officials. Proper escorts for visits are arranged twice a month. But in this case, Jews “sneaked” into Joseph’s Tomb, as the Washington Post put it. The New York Times called it more delicately a “surreptitious visit.”
However, what neither the Times nor the Post bothered to ask is why Jews should be restricted at all from praying at Joseph’s Tomb. After all, Israel puts no such obstacles in the way of Christian pilgrims praying at Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or Muslims praying in Al-Aqsa Mosque atop Temple Mount. Why shouldn’t observant Jews enjoy similar full access to their sacred sites? Where is it written that Jews should settle for less than people of other faiths?
The fatal incident involving Joseph’s tomb was by no means an isolated one. Since Palestinians gained autonomy in the West Bank under the Oslo Agreements, Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem became a shooting gallery for Palestinians intent on barring Jewish worshippers. An ancient synagogue in Jericho was desecrated. And, at the start of the second intifada, Joseph’s Tomb itself sustained massive damage from Palestinian attacks on the site.
Yet, under the 1996 Oslo Interim Agreements, Palestinians solemnly pledged that Jewish worshipers would have “free, unimpeded and secure access” to all sacred Jewish sites under Palestinian control. Tell that to Ben-Yosef Livnat, 25, a father of four, who was killed for reciting prayers at Joseph’s Tomb. What happened to his right to unimpeded and secure access?
By repeatedly and blatantly violating this so-called peace agreement, Palestinians have shot themselves in the foot — big-time. Because there is no more important test of their readiness for statehood than their respect for the sacred roots of Jews in their ancient homeland — or lack of same.
In recent years, Israel removed scores of roadblocks and checkpoints to facilitate Palestinian movement in the West Bank, along with other confidence-building measures. But there has been no Palestinian reciprocity. Just the opposite. PA officials have signaled that they’re intent on removing all Jews — and vestiges of Jewish life — once they attain sovereignty.
Palestinian leaders could have shown some smarts by responding with confidence-building measures of their own — by making it much easier, for example, for Jews to pray at Joseph’s Tomb. Just imagine the impact on Israeli public opinion if the PA unilaterally had put in actual practice “free, unimpeded and secure access” to this sacred site. In other words, if Palestinians actually demonstrated that a peace agreement is more than a disposable piece of paper.
But instead, as Abba Eban famously noted, Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
By Steven Simpson
It is a common belief that the “Arab-Israeli conflict” is a conflict of two peoples fighting over the same piece of land and is therefore one of nationalism. Rarely, if ever, do we hear or read of the religious component to this conflict.
However, if anything, the conflict is more of a “Muslim-Jewish” one than an “Arab-Israeli” one. In other words, the conflict is based on religion — Islam vs. Judaism — cloaked in Arab nationalism vs. Zionism. The fact of the matter is that in every Arab-Israeli war, from 1948 to the present, cries of “jihad,” “Allahu Akbar,” and the bloodcurdling scream of “Idbah al- Yahud” (slaughter the Jews) have resonated amongst even the most secular of Arab leaders, be it Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s or the supposedly “secular” PLO of the 1960s to the present. Indeed, the question must be asked: If this is really a conflict of different nationalisms and not Islamic supremacism, then why is it that virtually no non-Arab Muslim states have full (if any) relations with Israel?
There is a common Arabic slogan that is chanted in the Middle East: “Khaybar, Khaybar! Oh Jews, remember. The armies of Muhammad are returning!” It would be most interesting to know how many people have ever heard what — or more precisely, where — Khaybar is, and what the Arabs mean by such a slogan. A short history of the Jews of Arabia is needed in order to explain this, and why Islam remains so inflexible in its hostile attitude towards Jews and Israel.
Until the founder of Islam, Muhammad ibn Abdallah, proclaimed himself “Messenger of Allah” in the 7th century, Jews and Arabs lived together peacefully in the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, the Jews — and Judaism — were respected to such an extent that an Arab king converted to Judaism in the 5th century. His name was Dhu Nuwas, and he ruled over the Himyar (present day Yemen) area of the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, it is most likely that the city of Medina (the second-holiest city in Islam) — then called Yathrib — was originally founded by Jews. In any event, at the time of Muhammad’s “calling,” three important Jewish tribes existed in Arabia: Banu Qurayza, Banu Nadir, and Banu Qaynuqa.
Muhammad was very keen on having the Jews accept him as a prophet to the extent that he charged his followers not to eat pig and to pray in the direction of Jerusalem. However, the Jews apparently were not very keen on Muhammad, his proclamation of himself as a prophet, or his poor knowledge of the Torah (Hebrew Bible). Numerous verbal altercations are recorded in the Qur’an and various Hadiths about these conflicts between the Jewish tribes and Muhammad.
Eventually, the verbal conflicts turned into physical conflicts, and when the Jews outwardly rejected Muhammad as the “final seal of the prophets,” he turned on them with a vengeance. The atrocities that were committed against these tribes are too numerous to cite in a single article, but two tribes, the Qaynuqa and Nadir, were expelled from their villages by Muhammad. It appears that the Qaynuqa left Arabia around 624 A.D. The refugees of the Nadir settled in the village of Khaybar.
In 628 A.D., Muhammad turned on the last Jewish tribe, the Qurayza, claiming that they were in league with Muhammad’s Arab pagan enemies and had “betrayed” him. Muhammad and his army besieged the Qurayza, and after a siege of over three weeks, the Qurayza surrendered. While many Arabs pleaded with Muhammad to let the Qurayza leave unmolested, Muhammad had other plans. Unlike expelling the Qaynuqa and Nadir, Muhammad exterminated the Qurayza, with an estimated 600 to 900 Jewish men being beheaded in one day. The women and children were sold into slavery, and Muhammad took one of the widows, Rayhana, as a “concubine.”
In 629 A.D., Muhammad led a campaign against the surviving Jews of Nadir, now living in Khaybar. The battle was again bloody and barbaric, and the survivors of the massacre were either expelled or allowed to remain as “second-class citizens.” Eventually, upon the ascension of Omar as caliph, most Jews were expelled from Arabia around the year 640 A.D.
This brings us, then, to the question of why modern-day Muslims still boast of the slaughter of the Jewish tribes and the Battle of Khaybar. The answer lies in what the Qur’an — and later on, the various Hadiths — says about the Jews. The Qur’an is replete with verses that can be described only as virulently anti-Semitic. The amount of Surahs is too numerous to cite, but a few will suffice: Surah 2:75 (Jews distorted the Torah); 2:91 (Jews are prophet-killers), 4:47 (Jews have distorted the Bible and have incurred condemnation from Allah for breaking the Sabbath), 5:60 (Jews are cursed, and turned into monkeys and pigs), and 5:82 (Jews and pagans are the strongest in enmity to the Muslims and Allah). And of course, there is the genocidal Hadith from Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:177, which would make Adolph Hitler proud. “The Day of Judgment will not have come until you fight with the Jews, and the stones and the trees behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!”‘ Thus, the Arab Muslims had their own “final solution” in store for the Jews already in the 7th century.
The fact that Muslims still point to these (and many other) hateful verses in the Qur’an and Hadith should give Jews — not just Israelis — pause to consider if there can ever be true peace between Muslims and Jews, let alone between Muslims and Israel. When the armies of Islam occupied the area of Byzantine “Palestine” in the 7th century, the land became part of “Dar al-Islam” (House of Islam). Until that area is returned to Islam, (i.e., Israel’s extermination), she remains part of “Dar al harb” (House of War). It now becomes clear that this is a conflict of religious ideology and not a conflict over a piece of “real estate.”
Finally, one must ask the question: Aside from non-Arab Turkey, whose relations with Israel are presently teetering on the verge of collapse, why is it that no other non-Arab Muslim country in the Middle East has ever had full relations (if any at all) with Israel, such as faraway countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan? Indeed, why would Persian Iran — conquered by the Arabs — have such a deep hatred for Jews and Israel, whereas a non-Muslim country such as India does not feel such enmity? The answer is painfully clear: The contempt in which the Qur’an and other Islamic writings hold Jews does not exist in the scriptures of the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and other Eastern religions. Therefore, people that come from non-Muslim states do not have this inherent hatred towards Jews, and by extension, towards Israel. But when a people — or peoples — is raised with a scripture that regards another people and religion as immoral and less than human, then it is axiomatic why such hatred and disdain exists on the part of Muslims for Jews and Israel.
Islam — as currently interpreted and practiced — cannot accept a Jewish state of any size in its midst. Unless Muslims come to terms with their holy writings vis-à-vis Jews, Judaism, and Israel and go through some sort of “reformation,” it will be unlikely that true peace will ever come to the Middle East. In the meantime, unless Islam reforms, Israel should accept the fact that the Muslims will never accept Israel as a permanent fact in the Middle East.
(CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is “not kosher” — meaning she is not fit to serve on the court — according to more than 850 Orthodox members of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. That’s the term the rabbis used about Kagan in a press release issued Thursday, saying “Elena Kagan is not kosher. She is not fit to sit on this Court — or any court.”
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the alliance, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that “a great deal has been made about the fact that she would be the second Jewish woman on the court, and we want to signal to people across the country that we take no pride in this.”
Levin said most people are happy when “one of their own” is nominated to such a high position. But, he added, “We feel that Elena Kagan turns traditional Judaism on its head – from a concept of a nation of priests and holy people, she is turning it into, ‘Let’s homosexualize every segment of society. And by the way, partial-birth babies have no right to be delivered.’”
In a statement issued Thursday, the rabbinical alliance called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to refuse to confirm Kagan to succeed the outgoing Justice John Paul Stevens.
“It is clear from Ms. Kagan’s record on issues such as abortion-on-demand, partial-birth-abortion, the radical homosexual and lesbian agenda, the “supremacy” of the anti-family panoply over religious liberties of biblical adherents, et. al., that she will function as a flame-throwing radical, hastening society’s already steep decline into Sodom and Gomorrah,” the rabbis said in the statement.
Levin told CNSNews.com that his fellow rabbis – and hundreds of thousands of Orthodox and traditional Jews – are puzzled at the president’s choice of Kagan.
“What exactly was Obama thinking, President Obama thinking, when he nominated Kagan? Because eventually, down the road, someone — or some group — is going to ‘take the hit’ for the crazy decisions that Kagan is bound to make. So we would have much preferred if President Obama had given this ‘distinction’ to another minority group, instead of singling out the Jews.”
Barring a rebuff from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Levin told CNSNews.com that the rabbis want someone in the Senate to launch a filibuster to stop Kagan’s nomination from coming to a vote.
‘We’re waiting for the more courageous, decent senators – whether it’s a (Sen.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or a (Sen.) Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) or a (Sen.) Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) – we’re looking for them to stand up and filibuster this embarrassing endangerment of a nomination,” Levin said.
Confirmation hearings for Kagan begin Monday at the Senate Judiciary Committee. Neither Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) nor Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) — both members of the committee, known Kagan supporters and top Jewish members of the Senate — responded to calls for comment on this story.
A Muslim student’s shocking support for a second Holocaust has prompted a petition drive to have the chancellor condemn the hate speech.
by Aaron Elias
David Horowitz: “I am a Jew. The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. … For it or against it?”
Jumanah Albahri: “For it.”
On May 10, 2010, Jumanah Albahri, an ex-officer of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD), admitted during an event put on by Young Americans for Freedom and featuring David Horowitz as a speaker, that she supported a second Holocaust. During the exchange, Albahri also refused to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization. This chilling exchange has by now made headlines around the country.
Albahri’s blatant support for genocide has sparked a backlash, prompting students to try and get the UC chancellors to condemn her remarks as inflammatory hate speech. The movement has taken the form of a petition directed at UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. (The petition originated in a Facebook group named “Condemn UCSD MSA’s ex-Officer for Supporting 2nd Holocaust.”
Begun on May 13, the group has, in the course of a few days, swelled to nearly 600 members. It provides updates on the situation, including the press releases and statements released by the UCSD MSA, Chancellor Fox, and Albahri herself. Most importantly, of course, it provides a link to the petition asking Chancellor Fox (and potentially the other UC chancellors) to directly condemn Albahri’s pro-Holocaust statement.
On May 15, in a half-hearted damage control scramble, the UCSD MSA released a statement denouncing “all groups or organizations, whether state or non-state actors, who target civilians or target a civilian population to impose collective punishment.” The statement is very vague and non-committal, and does not even mention the incident or the people that elicited it. It then goes into an anti-Israel diatribe and a quote from Malcom X that is totally irrelevant to the situation in question. It is, for all intents and purposes, utterly meaningless.
Albahri, on May 16, released a statement via a new blog she set up titled “For Truth, For Justice, For Peace.” In her statement, Albahri attacks Horowitz as a “seasoned polemicist” who avoided her initial (and irrelevant) question and accuses him of turning the conversation around on her, which, of course, is something one must expect when leaping into these types of discussions. Albahri writes:
Towards the end of the exchange, I became emotional. I could no longer hear Mr. Horowitz speaking and so did not even hear his injection of Hezbollah’s credo of “rounding up” Jews in his last tangent. I could no longer contain my anger at being implicitly and improperly labeled a terrorist, an anti-Semite, and a proponent of genocide. The answer I was coerced into giving grossly misrepresented my beliefs and ideologies.
My answer, “for it,” in the context in which it was said does NOT mean “for” genocide. I was referring to his initial question that asked me for my position on Hamas, a topic that for his own political reasons he was relentless in pursuing. “For it” was not a legitimization of Hezbollah’s or anyone else’s credo for that matter that Jews should be exterminated. In fact, Mr. Horowitz’s intent was to entrap me with his barrage of questions so that he could avoid answering my question, and construe any answer that I would provide as anti-Semitic, genocidal hate speech in order to further his political agenda.
As everyone might have expected, and is sadly typical of the anti-Israel party, Albahri attempted to contort the situation in order to victimize herself. She seeks to turn the matter of supporting genocide into a complicated and multifaceted topic, when in reality it is one of the rare aspects of life that is black and white; you are either for or against it. There is no middle ground.
The claim that Horowitz emotionally abused Albahri is being trumpeted by the so-called “pro-Palestinians,” who have so far only defended and excused Albahri instead of condemning her flagrant support for genocide. And if that’s not enough, Albahri goes on to admit her own ignorance about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as expose her own hypocrisy about her support for Hamas:
In addition, Mr. Horowitz asked me to condemn Hamas as a genocidal organization; which to my limited knowledge on the subject, is another unsupported claim made by Mr. Horowitz.
My opinion of Hamas is not as simple as condemn or condone, “for it” or “against it.” I firmly believe that the killing of civilians … is one of the highest crimes in the eyes of God and is morally reprehensible and abhorrent. But I condone Hamas in its ambition to liberate the Palestinian people.
Albahri admits to her own “limited knowledge” while at the same time refuting the claim that Hamas is a genocidal organization. Any simpleton who has ever taken the time to read the Hamas charter or simply research the organization will find numerous statements within the charter blatantly propagating the extermination of Jews everywhere. Clearly, Albahri has yet to perform sufficient research on the conflict to be considered anything in the way of an informed participant. This begs a couple questions: Why did she think herself capable of standing up to David Horowitz, someone with much more experience and knowledge on the subject? Was it Albahri’s way of playing into the rebel stereotype, of standing up to authority despite her lack of credibility of which she is clearly unaware?
As for Albahri’s support of Hamas, she explicitly condemns the murder of innocent civilians and even alludes (barely) to the idea that Hamas is guilty of this. In her own words, killing civilians “is one of the highest crimes of God.” Wouldn’t it then follow that an organization that engages in criminal activity is, by logical extension, a criminal organization? One cannot say the mafia is not a criminal organization when it is plainly guilty of murder and theft. Likewise, Albahri, by her own logic, cannot say that Hamas is not a criminal organization when they engage in what she describes as “one of the highest crimes of God.” But I suppose such logical fallacies matter very little to her.
Albahri, for all her apparent passion for the Palestinian cause, is blind to her own hypocrisy and ignorance. This is true of most bandwagon Muslim radicals and anti-Israelis. While I doubt the sincerity of Albahri’s “apology,” the sincerity of her pro-genocide comment does not matter. Propagation of genocide has absolutely no place in our society, much less in our schools.
This is not acceptable, and it will be stopped. Please sign the petition to UCSD Chancellor Fox today.
Aaron Elias is a student at University of California Irvine. He writes for the campus’ New University newspaper and blogs at The Wayward Infidel.