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Bev Goldman

12 top reads for Shabbos Project weekend




Week Ending 22 October 2014


1. The Parliament of Palestine

Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 19 October 2014

The vote this week by the British Parliament to recognize a Palestinian state is being treated as a non-event by diplomats in both Jerusalem and London. Though the margin of 274 to 12 was lopsided in favour of recognition, more than half the Parliament either abstained or didn’t show up. The nonbinding resolution will have no effect on Britain’s longstanding policy of recognizing a Palestinian state only in the context of an agreed two-state solution.


2. Israel ignoring ‘tectonic change’ in public opinion

Uri Avnery, SCOOP Independent News, 19 October 2014

For years now, Israel has been appearing in world media mainly as a country that occupies the Palestinian lands. Press photos of Israelis almost always show heavily armed and armoured soldiers confronting protesting Palestinians, often children. Few of these pictures have had an immediate dramatic impact, but the cumulative, incremental effect should not have been underestimated.  A truly alert diplomatic service would have alerted its government long ago. But our foreign service is thoroughly demoralised. Headed by Avigdor Lieberman, a brutal heavyweight bully considered by many of his colleagues around the world as a semi-fascist, the diplomatic corps is terrorised. They prefer to keep quiet.  An ordinary decent person, whether in Stockholm or Seattle or Singapore, cannot be exposed to such a steady stream of horrible images without being affected – first unconsciously, then consciously. The picture of “The Israeli” in the mind’s eye changes slowly, almost imperceptibly. The brave pioneer standing up to the savages around him mutates into an ugly bully terrorising a helpless population.


3. It’s time to probe the Gaza tunnel fiasco

Editorial, Haaretz, 19 October 2014

An investigative report in Haaretz by Amos Harel and Gili Cohen shows the extent to which the army and the government neglected to deal with the tunnel threat. Despite a special report on the subject prepared by Military Intelligence for the prime minister in 2013, despite the exposure of the tunnels in the media, among others by GOC Southern Command, despite warnings from various quarters, including the geologist and intelligence officer Yossi Langotsky – Israel took no real action to protect itself from the threat of the tunnels and to destroy them.


4. ISIS Recruitment – Kerry faults Israel

Cristina Lin, The Times of Israel, 17 October 2014

Secretary of State Kerry again called for resumption of Israel-Palestinian peace talks and linked it to the cause for ISIS recruitment. He claimed, “There wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation.”  This, however, is perplexing, because ISIS is recruiting Asian jihadists in droves, and Asians for the most part do not care much about the Middle East Peace talks.


5. The Shia-Sunni war reaches Lebanon

Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, 17 October 2014

There are increasing indications that the sectarian war raging in Iraq and Syria is now moving irrevocably into Lebanon.  The Shi’ite group is currently seeking to shore up its legitimacy by reminding its constituents, and other Lebanese citizens, of the role that gains it the most domestic sympathy – resistance against Israel. It is likely the strike at Mount Dov last week was part of this effort.  It is also, in its propaganda, somewhat oddly trying to assert that Israel and the Sunni jihadis of the Nusra Front and Islamic State are allies.


6. The Gaza Aid Conference was kind of a charade.  Here’s why

Laura Dean, Global Post, 16 October 2014

This conference, like others of its kind, was largely a charade. It’s clear that some creative accounting is giving the impression of a job well done.  Much of the $5.4 billion was not actually earmarked for Gaza reconstruction. Many countries included in their contributions money they had already allotted to Palestine, including the West Bank, since the beginning of the year under normal aid programming.  Only $2.4 billion-$2.7 billion is going to Gaza reconstruction. It remains unclear how much of that is new and how much is money already spent.


7. Perfidious Albion reverts to type

Melanie Philips, Jerusalem Post, 16 October 2014

In a spectacular display of ignorance, moral illiteracy and malice, Britain’s House of Commons this week unwittingly resurrected the spectre of its own historical perfidy towards the Jewish people.  By 274 votes to 12, MPs voted to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.”  Most MPs didn’t turn up for the vote at all. In the Middle East, it will make no difference on the ground.


8. Is Israel ostracized?  No!

Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom, 15 October 2014

The elitist media outlets in Israel, Western Europe and the U.S. are wrong! Israel is increasingly appreciated and embraced — not ostracized — by the global community.  The swelling Israel-Britain trade balance highlights Israel’s special capabilities in the global market, generating cutting-edge technological and scientific developments which have given rise to unique medical, health care, agricultural, software and defense technologies and products.


9. Not a penny to Gaza

David Shalom, Arutz Sheva, 15 October 2014

Gazans and their Hamas leaders started this war, they voted in Hamas, attacked Israel, chose violence and Jihad and it is for this reason that they should pay.


10. Thousands of Christians voice support for Israel in Jerusalem

Renee Ghert-Zand, The Times of Israel, 15 October 2014

“We must rise to action in the defence of Israel! We must vote, demonstrate and lift our voices in the press!” American preacher Dr Robert Stearns urged 5,000 Christian pilgrims from 80 different countries filling the seats of Jerusalem’s new Pais Arena on Tuesday evening for a spectacular show celebrating their declaredly unshakable bond with Israel.


11. Berlin’s Palestinian mayoral candidate is proud of city’s Jewish revival

Micki Weinberg, The Times of Israel, 14 October 2014

West Bank-born Raed Saleh says Holocaust education should start earlier for first-generation Germans who need to learn ‘the positive and negative aspects of German history’


12. Taking Responsibility

Editorial, Jerusalem Post, 12 October 2014

A scenario in which a concerted international effort leads to peace and prosperity for Palestinians is not completely unimaginable. But success depends on a radical change in their mindset. Only when Palestinians take responsibility for their actions and stop playing the victim will there be hope for a brighter future.

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