Thursday, May 21, 2015

The True Legal Facts On THE GREEN LINE Near Jerusalem and WHY

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                          

THE GREEN LINE is not a permanent boundary.  It never was and never was intended to become one.

Israel was declared a state on May 14, 1948 when the British  mandate ended after 30 years. Israel announced its statehood and about 5 minutes later was attacked by all her Arab neighbors.  Attacks on the Jews had started before on November 29, 1947.  The Arabs had become violent when they heard the United Nation's resolution on Palestine, and this lasted until the signing of the Armistice Agreements in 1949.  This Arab-Israeli conflict was called Israel's War of Independence.
What had started as a civil war between the Arab and Jewish communities in the Land had been started by the Arabs who refused to accept the resolution from the UN.  From the beginning of April 1948, units of Arab irregulars crossed into the country from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt to reinforce local Arabs in their attacks on the Jewish neighborhoods.  The Arabs were attempting to block the main roads, too.

On May 14, 1948, Israel was invaded by the regular armies of Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and there was even a Saudi-Arabian contingent.  They had come up from the south.  The next day, Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, proclaimed in Cairo:  "This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and Crusades."  

Where were the forces of Israel standing and where were the Arabs standing after the War of Independence in 1948?  
This is important.  Israel's pre-1967 borders reflect this fact.  Professor Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE wrote the International Law "Justice" and said that the 1949 armistice demarcation lines are not permanent borders. This judge has: 
1.  served on the International Court of Justice since January 15, 1981.  
2. He was Vice-President of the Court from 1994 to 1997 and 
3. President from 1997 to 2000.  
4.  He is the former Deputy Legal Adviser of the US Dept. of State. 
5.  He was the Burling Professor of International Law at the School of Advanced International Studies  of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington.  

His opinions quoted are not from his position as a judge of the International Court of Justice.  

He said that the armistice demarcation lines of 1949   are not permanent borders.  The agreements in 1949 preserved the territorial claims  of all parties and didn't purport to make definite boundaries between them. 
Esau, father of Arabs, and twin brother, Isaac, father of Jews.

The UN Security Resolution 54 of July 15, 1948 called upon the Arabs to accept a truce and stop their aggression.

Israel had indicated they accepted in principle a prolonging of the truce and that the States members of the Arab League had rejected the many appeals of the UN Mediator and of the Security Council's resolution 53 written on July 7, 1948 for the prolongation of the truce in Palestine.

Israel sees that there is consequently a renewal of hostilities in Palestine shown in the UN Security Council Resolution 54 in 1948.  

The demarcation line that emerged in the aftermath of the war was drawn up under the auspices of the UN mediator, Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche.  That new boundary reflected the ceasefire lines of 1949 and was labeled, THE GREEN LINE.   A green pencil was used to draw the map of the armistice borders, thus the name.  

This 1949 so-called GREEN LINE didn't set out to "demarcate the Palestinian state."  THE GREEN LINE referred to demarcation lines separating Israelis from Arab forces at the conclusion of the 1948 War of Independence.  The armistice lines were NEVER intended to set permanent borders.  

One must remember their history.  JUDEA AND SAMARIA, CALLED THE WEST BANK BY JORDAN, was occupied by Jordan until 1967.  Because Jordan had attacked Israel and Israel had won the fight-Israel won Judea and Samaria.  It was originally supposed to be a part of the Jewish Homeland, and only because Jordan's King Abdullah I had stolen it and made it part of his kingdom-with the okay from England, of course, did it not become part of Israel in the first place in the final talks.  

The Armistice Agreement says clearly in Article V:

1. The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate settlement of the Palestine question.

Remember, the UN offered the Arabs their own Palestine before 1948 when they divided the land and the Arabs refused it on the grounds that they wanted all of the land; their half and the Jews' half.  The Jewish contingent had accepted the land promised minus 80% of it which had gone to King Abdullah.  They figured something was better than nothing.  

As of 1973, modern Israel has never known permanent boundaries.  Until 1967, its boundaries consisted of temporary armistice lines, agreed upon in 1949.  Since 1967's 6 Day War, and pending a peace settlement, cease-fire lines demarcate the area under Israeli control.  The cease-fire lines are 842 km (523 miles) long compared with the armistice lines which were 951 km (570 miles ) long.  Most of the urban regions of Israel are less than 2 hours away from the  nearest cease-fire lines.  Before 1967, the armistice lines bisected Jerusalem and were 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv.  

Originally, THE GREEN LINE was a term used to define Israel's borders with Jordan from the 1948 Independence War until the 1967 Six Day War.  That's when they first used the green marker negotiating an armistice in 1949 to show a border between the 2 countries.  

Today, THE GREEN LINE is used to show the pre -1967 border with Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, though East Jerusalem is now united with the rest of the city and is Israel's capital.  During the past 20 years of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, THE GREEN LINE  had become the generally accepted land marker used in land for peace negotiations.  

The Palestinians have a population of about 2.5 million over THE GREEN LINE and believe that all areas over the green line should be part of their future state.  

Israel maintains that the old 1949 GREEN LINE borders are indefensible.  At its narrowest point from the Mediterranean coast to the demarcation line, Israel is only about 9 miles wide.  It has also proposed land swaps of small areas of Israeli territory within the THE GREEN LINE in exchange for incorporating into Israel similar areas over THE GREEN LINE with large Israeli populations.  Israel has repeatedly offered as much as 95% of Judea and Samaria for a Palestinian state in exchange for peace and did that at Camp David in 2000.  It was refused.
United Fatah and Hamas Terrorists creating Palestine

In 1980 I moved to Israel to teach English as a 2nd language.  On May 31, 1980, before I got there, the 4th Fatah Organization Convention from Damascus, Syria stated that " The Fatah movement-...aim is the liberation of Palestine in its entirety, and the extermination of the Zionist entity economically, politically, militarily, culturally and idealistically.  They are just a little bit nicer than the religious leader in Qatar, Qaradawi, who threatens to kill Jews with his bare hands.  

Israel has also reportedly offered Palestinian leadership the option of establishing the capital of a future state in East Jerusalem, a move that is considered controversial by many Israelis, but that offer is now moot.  The Palestinians had their chance, and have not changed since 1948.  The Pope just recognized Palestine.  They'll now have no need to recognize Israel, will they !  

The Arabs refuse to recognize Israel as a state, and Obama refuses to back off from demanding a 2 state solution.  I have the feeling he expects Israel to back down on all points, even expecting recognition from the Palestinians, whether they are Fatah or Hamas.   It's like expecting North Korea to make nice with South Korea.    Neither party is anxious for another get-together.    Their political and religious positions will not allow them to do so.  Many times Fatah and Hamas have united and broken apart.  It is Hamas who has the charter of their goal to destroy Israel and kill Jews.  Fatah is in agreement with them but just isn't as overtly active in practice.  They are more insidious about it.  

The EU and Obama, following at their heels, is again pounding the table to come to a peace agreement.  Israel has already celebrated their 67th birthday and are living their lives, planning and building on land that they feel is theirs since no peace agreement has been reached, even though they've offered the Palestinians, who had lost the many wars of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, etc, etc, everything except the moon.

We've come to the position where Israel can manage even when under attack.  For 67 years they've been coping.  Their people have turned into warriors defending their land.  They're believing in the future and building  because they have small children.  They are continuing their study of their laws, something that gives them security.  It would be nice to have peace with the Palestinians.  They've become extremely creative and lead the world in start-up businesses, 2nd to the USA.  I believe the Arabs really need it more than the Israelis at this point.  They need to alter their culture of death and hate into something much better. Recognizing Israel's rights and wanting peace would be their turn-around.   They have brains but are not using them, and their people are not benefiting from their leadership at all.  They're led into fighting and are losing their lives faster.  

All this points out why Israel feels they have the right to build in land they won in 1967's war that they did not start.  Obama keeps saying they must go back to the 1967 lines.  Why?  To be destroyed?  General Obama can lead his own people, but this is not the decision of our Israeli Generals.  This would be suicide.  
Syrian missiles to be used against Israel

Today, Israel is facing missiles from Lebanon and Syria and a possible A bomb in the near future from Iran.  This little gutsy state is determined to live and must do so.  6 million Jews who live there and the 1.7 Israeli Palestinians' lives depend on this state.  What would happen to the 6 million Jews of the USA and the 2 million scattered among the rest of the nations think would happen to them if Israel is destroyed?  When Israel won the 67 war, Israelis were the heroes of the day.  If they lost, all Jews everywhere would be attacked with anti-Semitic ferocity.  It would be Nazi Germany all over again.  Today there are more anti-Semitic attacks on Jews everywhere because the world leaders are caving into the constant demands of the Palestinians and the anti-Semitism from their brothers.  Our world leaders are not leading, they are following.  All it would take is some strong leadership in Israel's favor, not in her destruction.  

In 1947, the Arabs rejected the UN partition plan which would have created a Palestinian state.  

From 1948 to 1967, Judea and Samaria and Gaza were ruled by Arabs.  No thought was given to forming their own state.  It is ironic that the Arabs demand that Israel do for a Judea and Samaria and Gaza  what they were unwilling to do when they occupied the area.  

Up to this president, Obama,  the US had opposed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.  Their position had been that it is not the answer.  President Bush had said that:
   "In all likelihood, such a state would become a radical nation dominated by the PLO or Islamic extremists such as Hamas.  The strong support for Iraq shown by residents of the territories during the Gulf War is but one recent example of the sort of radicalism that would likely envelop  such a country. "

   "The greatest danger, however, would be that a Palestinian state could serve as a forward base in a future war for Arab nations that have refused to make peace with Israel.  "In Israeli hands, Judea and Samaria represents a tremendous defensive asset whose possession by Israel deters Arab foes from even considering attack along an "eastern front."  This is a report by the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.  "Today, and Arab coalition attacking from east of the Jordan "would face very difficult fighting conditions" because if would be fighting uphill from the lowest point on the face of the earth:  the Dead Sea and the Rift Valley that runs below it."  The mountain ranges in Judea and Samaria constitute "Israel's main line of defense against Arab armies from the east.  "
Reference: Facts About Israel, Division of Information, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem
Myths and Facts-by Mitchell G. bard, Joel Himelfarb, 1992

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Anakim, The Giants of Canaan

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

According to biblical tradition, there were giants living in Canaan long before it was conquered by Joshua and the Israelites.  They were called the Anakim, which today just means in Hebrew: giants.  

They lived in Canaan's mountainous area of Judah.  Also, they were found in the southern coastal zone. These giants  lived in the south,  near Hebron (Gen. 23:2; Josh. 15:13). According to Gen. 14:5-6 they lived in the land of Edom (around Mt. Seir, south of the Dead Sea bordering on the Red Sea at Elath and Ezion Geber, descendants of Esau, and were hunters). 

They also lived in  Moab (country in southern Transjordan bounded by the river Heshbon in the north and the river Zered in the south, the Jordan and Dead Sea to the West and the Syrian Desert on the east.  They were kinfolk to the Israelites, descendants of Lot.  They had settled in their land which had been captured from the Rephaim in the days of Abraham.  Rephaim were an ancient people living in Transjordania in the time of Abraham.  Some of the settled near Jerusalem in the Valley of Rephaim.  

The Israelites seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the giants (Gen 6:4),  they were a semi-legendary race in the antediluvian era  who sprung from the union of the "sons of G-d" and the "daughters of man." as myths may have taught before Judaism.   This took place before the FLOOD.  "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days--Actually, it referred to  the rulers of the day--and also afterward when  the sons of the rulers (princes and judges) would consort with the daughters of man (of the general populace) , who would bear to them.  They were the mighty who, from old, were men of devastation."   

 ( Numbers 13:33) of the antediluvian age. The Land through which we have passed, to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants!  All the people that we saw in it were huge!  There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of the giant from among the Nephilim;  we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes!" 
Joshua expelling them from the land
Joshua finally expelled them from the land, excepting a remnant that found a refuge in the cities of GazaGath, and Ashdod (Josh 11:22.)  Young David fought a Philistine giant Goliath  with his slingshot and killed him, saving his people.  
 The Anakim  are said to have come from 3 clans;  Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, which are Aramaic names of 3 sons.  They were thought to come from a branch of the Rephaim.   The city of Debir, previously called Kiriath-Sepher, was their city.  "Debir has not been discovered with certainty in modern times; but about three miles to the west of Hebron is a deep and secluded valley called the Wady Nunkur , enclosed on the north by hills, of which one bears a name certainly suggestive of Debir--Dewir-ban."  "Judging from the names, it appears to have been some sacred place among the Canaanites, and a repository of their records." 

There are 2 biblical traditions about the Anakim.
  1.  Debir was captured by Joshua, found in Josh. 10:38-39).  He killed almost everyone.  (Josh 15: 13)  

  2. Debir was taken by Othniel, son of Kenaz. (Josh. 15:17). 

 Caleb drove out the 3 sons of Anak from there, Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the offspring of the Anak.  He went from there to the people of Debir.  The former name of Debir was Kiriath-sefer.  Caleb said, "Whoever conquers Kiriath-sefer, I shall give him my daughter, Achsah as a wife."  Othniel, son of Kenaz, brother of Caleb, conquered it and won himself a wife.  Caleb and Othniel were half brothers through their mother.  Kenaz was the father of Othniel and the stepfather of Caleb.  .  
Khirbet Rabud today
Debir is included in the list of priestly Levitical cities, and this is found in Josh. 21:15. Today it is commonly identified with Khirbet Rabudsouthwest of Hebron.   "Debir has been identified with the modern Edh-Dhaheriyeh, i.e., "the well on the ridge", to the south of Hebron.  "There seems to be several places identified as the site of Debir.  

Og, king of Bashan, was described as being extremely tall.  He was supposed to be the last of the Rephaim (Deut. 3:11). He was an Amorite king of the land of Rephaim in Bashan and Gilead.  He had attempted to interrupt the march of the Israelites but was defeated.  The land of Og was a strongly fortified territory throughout the Middle and late Bronze Ages.   Later giants were Goliath who was 6 cubits and a span tall (I Sam. 17) and  Ishbi-benob was another one 

(II Sam : 21:16). The Philistines again made war with Israel.  David and his servants went down and fought with the Philistines, and David became faint.  Ishbi-benob-who was one of the children of the giant, and whose spear weighed 300 copper weights and who was girded with a new sword-declared that he would strike down David.  Abishai, son of Zeruiah, came to his aid and he struck the Philistine, killing him."  It was customary for a warrior to kill someone on his first day in battle, in order to become fully initiated into the army.  Ishbi-benob chose the exhausted David as his victim.  The giants   (2 Samuel 21:15-22 ) were descendants of the Anakim.

II Sam: 21:19) There was another war with the Philistines in Gob, and Elhanan, son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down the brother of Goliath of Gath, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's beam. This giant's name was Lahmi.  

 There was another war in Gath.  There was a man of huge dimensions,  whose fingers and toes were 6 each, 24 in number.  He, too, was born to the giant.  He ridiculed Israel, and Jonathan, the son of David's brother, Shimea, struck him down.  

These 4 were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.  

A cubit was the length from the fingertips to the elbow, about 45.72 centimeters or 1 1/2 feet.  A span is 22.86 cm.  Goliath was  9 feet 9 inches tall.  
How tall is tall for a giant?  The tallest known was in  the USA.   There lived a man that was 8'11".  He was Robert Wadlow and was born in 1918 and died 22 years later in 1940.  That's the tallest recorded so far.
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen 6'3" and Isla Fisher 5'3"
A man who is 6'3" tall is a nice tall man these days.  If people are deprived of the right nutrients, they tend to not achieve their full potential height.  The 12 spies that Joshua sent to look into Canaan must have been pretty short, for they reported back that it was populated by giants, for they must have seen the people of the 3 clans.  (Judges 1:10) (Numbers 13:22) and (Numbers 13:33) (Gen. 6:4).

Today Israel's  average height of males at age 20 is 5'8.9" or 175.0cm.
The shortest people today are the Asians, and Indonesia holds the shortest of them at 5'3.6" or 161.5cm.
China's average is 5'6.3" or 168.3cm
Yao Ming, China's 7'6" center for China's basketball team is a giant compared to Nate Robinson 's 5'9" behind him.  Yao is an exception.  Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980 in Shanghai, China) is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played for the Houston Rocketsof the National Basketball Association (NBA).  Yao is the only child of 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) Yao Zhiyuan and 6 ft 3 in (1.90 m) Fang Fengdi, both of whom were former professional basketball players. At 11 pounds (5.0 kg), Yao weighed more than twice as much as the average Chinese newborn.  He weighed 310 lbs or 141 kg. when he played basketball.  
The tallest people today are the Scandinavians.
Netherlands is the tallest country at 5'11" or 181.0cm.
Iceland is 5'10.8" or 179.8cm
Norway is 5;10.7 or 179.7cm
Sweden is 5'10.6" or 179.3cm
Denmark is 5'10.4" or 178.8cm

Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia  large map of ancient Israel
Tanach, the Stone Edition of ArtScroll series of Mesorah Heritage Foundation

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Palestine and Britain's Mishandling of Mandate

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                                
The Brits, led by General Allenby,  occupied Jerusalem in December 1917 during World War I.

After World War I, the Middle East, an Ottoman Empire possession, went to the winners of the war.  Britain was given the mandate for Palestine which was to last for 30 years.  They were to police the land and help the Jews create their Jewish Homeland, as Palestine was to go to the Jews.  Jews  had lost their land, Judea and Israel to the Romans in 70 CE  and had been homeless for 2,000 years.  They had been suffering from anti-Semitism wherever they went, so this had been legally arranged.

The Brits, in order to carry out this mandate, chose High Commissioners to govern Palestine.  They were Chief executive officials.  The first man to be appointed was a Jew, Sir Herbert Samuel (1870-1963) whose time ran from 1920 to 1925.  This appointment evoked great hopes among the Jews, especially as he was known to be a supporter of Zionism.  Samuels was the first Jew to be a member of a British cabinet and did so by 1909.  He had held office in the Liberal government from 1905 to 1916.  After being a High Commisioner in Palestine, he was in the national government from 1931 to 1932.  His memorandum to the Cabinet in 1914 influenced the Balfour Declaration.  He became the leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Commons from 1931 to 1935 and in the House of Lords from 1944 to 1955.

His initial task was complicated by the delay in confirming the Mandate and by Arab violence.  He suspended Jewish immigration, the very thing he was to allow and help to happen.  Why?  Arab violence had started in 1921.  Why did they riot?
One of the first things Samuel did, obviously to get in tight with the Arabs who probably scared him, was to appoint Haj Mohammed Amin el-Husseini (1893-1974) as the Grand Mufi of Jerusalem and if that wasn't enough, also the head of the Supreme Moslem Council in 1921.  Husseini therefore had the title of Sherif of Jerusalem and The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.  Samuel showed Husseini much benevolence.  Was it because he came from a long standing Jerusalemite Arab family that had traced their genealogy back to the grandson of Mohammad?    Why did he do this when he knew that in 30 years it was all to become a Jewish state?
Emir Feisal (1883 Mecca, Saudi Arabia-1933 Switzerland)third son of Hussein bin Ali, the Grand Sharif of Mecca, later King of Syria in 1920, then King of Iraq from 1921-1933, member of Hashemite Kingdom like today's King of Jordan, a descendant from Mohammad
Husseini was in direct opposition and competition with Emir Feisal, who was THE spokesman for all the Arabs.  He was for the Jews' return and had high hopes that they would be able to improve his people just by living there and showing them more modern ideas and ways.                                                                                                                                                                        
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann, Emir Feisal 
Emir Faisal's delegation at Versailles, during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919
Feisal had had meetings with Chaim Weizmann (1874 Belarus-1952 Israel).  Chaim had helped the English to win the war with his invention that made ammunition far better than the enemy had, and so was being rewarded for this by being heard.  It was all agreed upon.  All except the stone in the mix; Husseini,  who didn't want to give up his position as a very important man in Jerusalem and was afraid this would happen once more Jews moved there  and become a Jewish city once again.  He instigated riots in 1921.

This may have brought about the White Paper in June 1922. which followed a statement by Winston Churchill who was the present day secretary for the colonies.  It stated that the aim of the Balfour Declaration was to establish a Jewish National Home, but not Jewish domination.  He said that the Jews were there by right and not on sufferance.  It also made Jewish immigration into Palestine dependent on absorptive  capacity.  As a direct result of the White Paper, Transjordan was affected.   It detached Transjordan from Palestine and came as a large disappointment to the Jews.  The Balfour Declaration had included the area of  Transjordan.

The Balfour Declaration was part of the legal complexities that Jews had been wading through in order to be able to go back to their original land of Israel and Judea legally.  It was an official statement issued on November 2, 1917 at the end of World War I by the British secretary, Arthur James BALFOUR.  It had declared that the British government favored the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and would use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that NOTHING shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country (thinking of the Jews of England who would not like to be rooted up from their homes and shipped off to this home.) such as Samuel.  Actually, this was setting up an unrealistic but idealistic Garden of Eden where Arabs would step aside for returning Jews.

This Declaration came about after LONG negotiations initiated by Chaim Weizmann, Nahum Sokolow and others shortly after the outbreak of World War I, with the support of Herbert Samuel, Chief Rabbi J.H. Hertz, the Haham Moses Gaster, and others.  There was much discussion on the formula of the Declaration and its timing.  Balfour visited the USA in Spring of 1917 and met with President Wilson who supported the efforts of the American Zionists who were headed by Louis Brandeis which expedited the final decision of the British government.

We had Jews at that time who were afraid of it happening and were against the idea.  They were the presidents of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of the Anglo-Jewish Association.  DL Alexander and CG Montefiore issued a statement that the Zionist aspirations were calculated to endanger the Jewish position in all countries.  All countries meant the Western of USA and England, evidently, for pogroms and anti-Semitism were going great in France and Russia.  All this rebuttal made Britain even more cautious, so they didn't accept the wording from the Zionists that said:
1. To recognize Palestine as "the national home of the Jewish people"
2. For providing a "Jewish National Colonizing Corporation" for the resettlement and economic development of the country.

The Declaration, after having finally been approved by the British cabinet, was sent to Lord Walter Rothchild who was asked to convey it to the Zionist Federation.  It was approved by other Allied governments and incorporated in the Mandate in 1922.

Samuel did a few helpful things such as erecting the structure of the new Palestine, creating a solid governmental machinery and turning a chaotic country into an organized state, good for England but not for the future of the Jews.  The foundations of the Jewish National Home were  firmly laid down during his term of office.

Lord Plumer was the 2nd High Commissioner from 1925 to 1928.  He, on the other hand, refused to restrict Jewish immigration and displayed much administrative energy.  Under his rule, Palestine citizenship provisos were laid down.  A water supply for Jerusalem was installed.  Public works schemes were inaugurated to meet the threat of unemployment.

Sir John Chancellor was the 3rd High Commissioner from 1928 to 1931.  1929 was a year of much rioting and deaths of Jews, instigated again by the Grand Mufti.  Chancellor condemned the 1929 Arab massacres in outspoken terms.  They had happened when he was away on leave, but later was inclined to temporize.

Sir Arthur Wauchope was the 4th High Commissioner from 1931 to 1937.  He was sympathetic to Jewish aspirations while being scrupulously fair to the Arabs.   I note that Nazis were gaining power in Germany at this time, and by 1937, things were terrible for Jews living there.  They were trying to emigrate from Germany and many wanted to come to Palestine and found it difficult to get in there or to the USA.  During Wauchope's period of office, the stream of immigrants rapidly increased, naturally.

This led to Arab restiveness which he tried to pacify by promising a Legislative Council.  He failed to quell the Arab revolt of 1936, again led by the Grand Mufti and this led to the end of his position.  In 1936, Husseini was chairman of the Arab Supreme Council so  had organized the Palestine disturbances for which he was sentenced to exile in 1937.  He fled to Lebanon.
Grand Mufti meeting with Hitler in Germany-November 1941
Sir Harold MacMichael (1882-1969)  was the 5th High Commissioner from 1938 to 1944. He was 56 when he took the post.  These were the war years.  He was the man in office during the war who refused to admit Jewish refugees from Europe.  This made him very unpopular with the Jewish population.  He was blamed for sending at least 768 Jewish refugees aboard MV Struma to their deaths. It was an "illegal" immigrant ship which left Romania in 1941 for Palestine and reached Istanbul, Turkey but were turned back.  It was MacMichael who had refused them entry into Palestine. The boat floundered in the Black Sea with the loss of all on board.  Seven unsuccessful attempts, mainly by Lehi (Stern Gang/Stern Group) , were undertaken to assassinate him during his sojourn in Palestine. In the last, both he and his wife narrowly escaped death in an ambush Lehi mounted on 8 August 1944 on the eve of his replacement as High Commissioner.

Viscount Gort was the 6th High Commissioner from 1944 to 1945.  He was sympathetic for the Jews, but was unable to make a fundamental change in the British government's policy.

Sir Alan Cunningham was the 7th and last High Commissioner from 1945 to 1948.  On May 14, he and his soldiers left.  He governed the country throughout the eventful happenings which culminated in the British withdrawal from Palestine.  By 1946, the population of Jerusalem reached 165,000 of whom 100,000 were Jews.  The city expanded and the Hebrew University was erected on Mt. Scopus.  This was a period of Jewish resistance to the  British Mandatory government.  The UN partition resolution of November 29, 1947 provided for the creation of an independent area of Jerusalem under the UN administration.  Arab outbreaks which were exactly like warfare were between the Haganah and the Arabs who had developed into the Arab Legion of Transjordan  seemed to put an end to this international scheme.  During that time, the Jewish quarter in the Old City had to be evacuated and was destroyed.  The rest of Jerusalem fell into Jewish hands.  The Arab Legion was shelling and starving the Jews in trying to get them  to surrender, but that was foiled by the fortitude of the Jews and by the opening of the Burma Road which restored the connection between Jewish Jerusalem and the coast.

Husseini, the Grand Mufti,  participated in Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup in Iraq during World War II before he went to Europe, where he assisted Hitler and was largely responsible for the liquidation of the Jews in the Moslem areas of Bosnia.  In 1946 he escaped to Egypt.  Now we see Gaza was also affected by him.  After 1948, he set up a Palestine Government in Gaza, but it was short-lived.  Later, he set one up in Cairo, Egypt.  All this power was given to him by Samuel.  Evidently Samuel didn't vet him.

Ressource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Israeli Democratic Law: Facing Issues Unlike Any Other Country

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

Israel, though the only Jewish state in the world, is a pluralistic society.  The native Jewish population has been here since 70 CE's destruction of Jerusalem by Rome and before.  They've been joined by other Jews throughout the ages since then.  In the 1880s, large groups of Ashkenazi Jews immigrated, escaping pogroms in eastern Europe.  All the while, others have entered who came with 15 religions.  When Jews truly needed this place set aside for Jewish refuge, they couldn't get in.  The British held the mandate and during the the pre-Holocaust days, were allowing Muslims but not Jews to enter.  This helped to cause 6 million Jews to die horrible deaths by the Nazi hands in the Holocaust.
Jews arriving in Palestine by ships from Europe
80% of Israel's Jewish population are of different ethnicities and races.  Many have emigrated from the Middle East and are Mizrachim and Sephardim.
Ethiopian boy newly arrived from Gondar, Ethiopia
Some came from Ethiopia. Their story is that the Queen of Sheba and her train of attendees came to visit King Solomon (961-920 BCE) and she left pregnant with Solomon's child, which started the Jewish Ethiopians. I was living in Safed of the northern Galilee in 1981 and was there to see them come to our city to their new apartments, which were across the street from mine.  They came wearing nothing but white sheets and were barefoot.  It wasn't long till they had done enough artwork to put on an art show.  They were entering a society that was almost 50% westernized.
Ethiopian Jew in IDF
 Today they are having problems of fitting in, much like the same problems facing the Black society in the USA in Ferguson and Baltimore.  I'm sorry to see that.  The army is the place where such discrepancies in people are usually smoothed over, making them a unified group. A few days ago a policeman struck an Ethiopian IDF soldier and a riot occurred.     "There are about 135,000 Ethiopians in Israel, almost all Jews. Many were first brought to Israel from Ethiopia in a series of airlifts, dubbed Operations Moses (1984) and Solomon (1991), designed to bring the Ethiopian Jewish community back to what they saw as their ancestral home."  
Some Maasais from Africa are found to be Jewish with DNA as proof.  Some living in Africa are Christians.  From what I have seen, they are doing well in Israel and are in the army and are educated.  "They had maintained that their ancestors were slaves in the land of the Nile and escaped through a parted sea, pursued by a vicious ruler. Long before arrival of missionaries, Merker stated, the Masai knew the tales of Adam and Eve, and of Noah and the Great Flood, though under different names."  One of my Israeli friends on facebook is an Ethiopian lawyer, studying to be a rabbi, and IDF soldier.  I am very proud of him.  He's a leader of his people.  Other Christians among the Maasais in Africa are very supportive of Israel.  

Other Jews have returned from India, Russia, the USA, England and other European countries.  I saw a stunningly beautiful Indian Jewish lady one day.  I hope Queen Esther of Persia had been that beautiful.  One of my favorite models that visited my class in Israel was from Morocco and came outfitted in traditional Moroccan clothing.  I never saw anything so gorgeous in my life!
Natan Sharansky of Russia
Refugees from Arab and Muslim Middle Eastern an North African countries and their descendants make up a little over half the Jewish population.  Russians weren't allowed to practice any religion in Russia.  My Hebrew teacher, Sarah, was the one writing to a famous Russian in prison and teaching him Hebrew. He was Natan Sharansky.  I hope he remembers her.   Today he's in the Knesset.

 Many are returning claiming to be among the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel.  This wonderful return to Israel has been prophecized in the Bible/Tanakh.  It was in 722 and 721 BCE that the Assyrians had attacked Israel and had taken away the best of its citizens, and here are many now returning, almost 3,000 years later. More Jews were captured and taken away by the Babylonians from 597 to 586 BCE, but most were able to return and rebuild the Temple which they called the 2nd Temple.   Right now the population of Israel is 6 million Jews and 1.7 million Arabs and others.  8.7 million over about 8,000 square miles of Israel.
Arab Christian
  Israel's non-Jewish minority forms 20% of the population and is made up of Arab Muslims, Arab Christians and non-Arab Christians, Druze, Bedouins, Circassians, Asians and others.  All these people have come with their own language and must learn Hebrew, so there are schools set up all over that are free.  Signs are all in Hebrew, Arabic and English. The Palestinian Arabs, whether Muslim or Christian, speak the Palestinian dialect of Arabic.  Most all are bilingual now, some trilingual with English added besides their Arabic and Hebrew.  Most Arabs are Sunni Muslims.  Israel had in 2013, 20.7% of the population or 1,658,000.  Many have family ties to Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and Gaza besides some refugees living in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.   Negev Bedouins and Druze tend to identify more as Israelis than other Arab citizens of Israel.

Therefore, there is freedom of religion in Israel.  Jews have suffered during their total existence for being different from other people in their beliefs in just one G-d.  Their state will not be guilty of such an attitude.  Besides Judaism, practiced by the majority since 6 million Jews are citizens of Israel, there is Islam and other religions, 15 that are recognized.
  The Ba'hai and Druze faiths, offshoots of Islam are recognized. The Baha'is are a  religious group that was persecuted in Muslim countries.  They have built their world center in Haifa, Israel.
Druze Commander of Herev Battalion in Israel
 There is the Chaldaic and many other Christian denominations, and others.  Each religious community may freely exercise their faith and observe their own holy days and weekly day of rest.  They even administer their own internal affairs.  Israel protects the holy sites of all religions.

As we see Christians being persecuted in Muslim countries, Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where their population is thriving instead of disappearing.  Between 1948 at the birth of Israel and 1998, the Christians had a growth from 34,000 to 130,000 in these 50 years, growing fourfold.

Since 1967s Six Day War, Israel won and gained the territories of Gaza, East Jerusalem,  Judea and Samaria.  Palestinian Arabs living there are not Israeli citizens. Israel has since pulled out of Gaza completely.   Arabs had been living in these places when Jordan held the land illegally from 1948 to 1968, but it was in the contract to belong to Israel. Most of the Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, have refused Israeli citizenship even though the land they were living on was at first occupied and then later annexed by Israel.  They have not wanted to recognize Israel's claim to sovereignty, so they have become permanent residents instead.  they have the right to apply for citizenship, are entitled to municipal services, and have municipal voting rights.

However, the Palestinian Arabs have ready access to petition Israel's highest courts.  The court judges by the merits of a case and it frequently decides in favor of the Palestinians.  An example of this is when Palestinians petitioned that the security fence by re-routed around Beit Sourik on June 30, 2004 and around Alfei Menashe on September 15, 2005.

Petitioners, including Palestinians, can gain rapid access to Israel's highest court.  This is unusual in other countries.  In April 2002 during the fiercest fighting of that current conflict, the high court was receiving and ruling on petitions almost daily.  This fact was noted in the New York Times on May 5, 2003.

Unlike many other countries, Israel enjoys the freedom of assembly, speech, press and dissent, just like the USA.  It's a democratic country that is set up more like Great Britain with its Knesset.  Israel is known for its freewheeling, self-critical, often blistering debates where differing opinions are aired widely and loudly.  This is a copy of the debating that went on between students in Yeshivas in biblical discussions and continued when students became rabbis.  Law is in our blood.

An example is that the Israeli-Arab Knesset members on occasion have strongly criticized the Jewish State, even from the floor of the Knesset.  Only hate speech and incitement to violence are illegal.  Israel has 9 Hebrew daily newspapers; several dailies in Russian, Arabic, French and English.  They have over 1,000 periodicals;  multiple radio and TV stations and easy access to the foreign press.  As for Civil Rights, their progressive laws protect the rights of all minorities.

Every Israeli citizen has the right to vote; both men and women.  The non-Jewish minority was specifically granted the right to vote in the Declaration of Independence.  Election Day is a national holiday.  Voter turnout is regularly higher than in the USA, often reaching above 80% turnout.

"The sole legal distinction between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel is that the latter are not required to serve in the Israeli army. This was to spare Arab citizens the need to take up arms against their brethren. Nevertheless, many Arabs have volunteered for military duty and the Druze and Circassian communities are subject to the draft."

"Some economic and social gaps between Israeli Jews and Arabs result from the latter not serving in the military. Veterans qualify for many benefits and jobs not available to non-veterans. Moreover, the army aids in the socialization process. On the other hand, Arabs do have an advantage obtaining some jobs during the years Israelis are in the military. In addition, industries like construction and trucking have come to be dominated by Israeli Arabs.  Arabs are also underrepresented in higher education and most industries.Israeli Jews and Arabs have surprisingly little contact with each other. Arab prefer to live in their Arab villages.  They prefer to attend Arab schools.  Most young people study at different elementary and secondary schools and may not come into contact with one another until college; and by then, many preconceived opinions have been formed. This lack of interaction exacerbates tensions between the two communities.

Some have complained that Israel has "too much democracy" because it is a multiparty, not a 2 party system.  Though Likud  (right) and Labor (left) have traditionally been the largest parties, there are many that promote a broad range of opinions, including Communist, religious, Arab and secular views.  Israel's new centrist Kadima party won the 2006 elections with 29 of 120 seats.
Benjamin Netanyahu in his 4th term as Prime Minister, Sabra born in Israel
Israelis vote for a party, not for an individual like the USA does.  Each party elects its own list of Knesset candidates. Knesset seats are then allotted according to the % of the popular vote that the party received.  For example, if a party wins 5 seats, the first 5 candidates on its list will become MEMBERS OF THE KNESSET (MK).

A party needs only 2% of the vote to win a seat, the lowest %age of any other multi-party democracy, which makes for Israel's  boisterous and sometimes confusing political system.  As many as 19 different parties have been in the Knesset at one time.  Certainly this method allows everyone to be heard, or at least has a greater chance.  Even the smallest parties have a voice because one party never gets a Knesset majority, and the governing group has to form coalitions to function.

Netanyahu  in his 4th and last term, is using up all the given time to form his government today.  He's from Likud and has just had to take in a religious party to make up the government.  Midnight was his goal and "he was scrambling to form a coalition with the slimmest possible majority in Parliament. 
Ayelet Shaked of a new Religious Zionist Political Party, Jewish Home

 He yielded to Jewish Home’s demand for the Justice Ministry, lawmaker Ayelet Shaked, a woman, which the party could use to weaken the Supreme Court, emphasize Israel’s Jewishness and restrict leftist advocacy groups.  “Any major changes, economic or foreign policy, are not going to take place — it’s a government that will be based on an ongoing balancing act and pleasing the members without aggravating the other members too much,” Mr. Plesner said. “Either it will expand or it will collapse. It’s not going to have a big promise, nor longevity.”  "The Jewish Home (Hebrewהַבַּיִת הַיְהוּדִיHaBayit HaYehudi) is a religious Zionist political party in Israeformed as the successor party to the National Religious Party."As part of its 2013 coalition agreement, the Jewish Home has the right to veto any laws that change the fragile status quo on religious issues. In December 2013, the party vetoed a Yesh Atid–proposed bill that sought to give gay fathers equal tax benefits, saying it would have far-reaching implications on marriage laws. Currently, mothers receive more benefits than do fathers under the law, and thus couples composed of two men are ineligible for certain tax breaks.  The latest news is that Ayelet Shaked, 39 years old with only 2 years in politics, is set to become the justice minister.  Netanyahu will keep the foreign minister's job open in hopes of wooing Herzog.  "Shaked will also have a seat in the key decision-making security cabinet, by virtue of being justice minister."  "Shaked's appointment is considered a major political coup and could potentially pave the way for an historic change in Israeli politics. The judicial system in Israel is considered to be the strongest governmental bastion of the leftist founding elites, and its “activism” has hampered attempts by the Right to effectively rule Israel for decades. "

Update: 3pm, 3:44pm: Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu had officially reached an agreement 2 hours before the deadline, and the Bayit Yehudi party will be joining the coalition, giving Netanyahu the 61 seats he needed before midnight tonight to form his coalition government.
Bennett will be the Education Minister, as well as Deputy Minister of Defense. Uri Ariel will be the Agriculture Minister with control over the Settlement Division.

The coalition agreements that Likud has already signed with Kulanu, Shas and another religious party, United Torah Judaism, call for repealing laws passed by the last government to expand the military draft of ultra-Orthodox men and to ease the conversion process to Judaism. Each party in the coalition would have veto power over the nationality bill, and members would not be bound to support efforts to limit the Supreme Court’s ability to invalidate Parliamentary actions."

Jews arrived with the right to settle in Palestine through many legal documents and the historical fact that it had been their original home.  Today the Arabs are finding it difficult to be a part of a Jewish society that the rest of their Arab neighbors are trying to destroy.  So are the Israelis.  So problems have developed, something no other country has ever had to face.  America solved their problem by placing Indians on reservations.  Israel is trying to integrate the Palestinians that were on their land when they arrived in mass.   

"Israel's hardline foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, a long-time advocate of transferring large groups of Palestinian citizens of Israel to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) , recently published an updated programme for his Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) party.
The platform's "peace programme" will encourage Arab citizens to move to the West Bank by offering them "economic incentives". Lieberman's programme states that Arab citizens "who feel that they are part of the Palestinian people" should be encouraged to move "with economic incentives" in order "to resolve this issue of duality and divided loyalties from which they are suffering".
So besides all the external problems this Knesset has to face of nations attacking them and Iran wanting to drop an A bomb on them, they have these internal problems of a country with 20% Arabs who think in these terms that Salah Mohsin, media coordinator fo Adalah, shared:  "Palestinians in Israel face official discrimination in every area of life. The law enshrines Jewish superiority within the state. The only practical aspect of the new bill is that it makes it constitutional, but it is not expected to change the reality very much."   
What you see as Jewish superiority, Salah, is because Israel was created as the one refuge in the world for Jews under anti-Semitism.  One Jewish state amid about 50 Muslim majority countries in the world    Don't be so resentful!  They've been under the gun suffering from that for the past 2,000 years.  They have returned home and have only found they're being attacked for being there as well.  First it was being attacked by the Palestinians of the PLO who grew into Fatah, and then Hamas who have attacked at every chance, not to mention nations who attacked in force beginning in 1948, then 1956, 1967, 1973 and on and on, sniping when terrorist groups felt like it.  These Jews have 8,000 square miles to live in.  Palestinians have many of the compadres in other lands that they can choose to live in if they want.  They are free to leave if so desired.  You will find, though, that they have a better life and more freedoms in Israel than they will find in any other Muslim country.  

Israel 101, produced by StandWithUs, special edition for CUFI, page 39

. It's Final: Ayelet Shaked Will Be the Next Justice Minister

by Ido Ben Porat, Gil Ronen