20 thoughts on “Latest Lunacies from the Only Democracy in the Middle East – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Gilad Erdan, the Minister of Environmental Protection (another hasbara invention ?) is the guy who back in 2010 wanted to stop the construction of Rawabi, the only new Palestinian town in the West Bank since ’67 because of ‘environmental concerns’.
    In the meantime, settlers regularly dump their sewage directly onto Palestinian agricultural land and burn hundreds of olive trees without being bothered by the Israeli autorities who rather give them a helping hand.

    Erdan has another good plan: to cut the power supply to Gaza this summer:

    Oh, and Erdan was the guy who interrupted Azmi Bishara during a speech, shouting “Why don’t you go back to Syria”. Azmi Bishara answered: “And you, why don’t you go fuck yourself”. Well, the exchange was in Hebrew, and my Hebrew isn’t good enough to perceive the subtilities….but I think Bishara handled the insult pretty well. Guess who was evicted from the meeting.
    Afterwards Erdan commented “These [Arab MK] have gotten out of control”. He’s right: after all, Arabs are only allowed in the Knesset to show the world that Israel is The Only Democracy…

  2. I think Arnon Soffer was the same dude who thought of the “security fence” or “wall” currently around the West Bank firstly in 1999, and who suggested it to Sharon who in turn called it “the Bantustan plan”. It was called that because Soffer suggested that the wall and settlements be used to split the West Bank in three parts; north, south and Jericho isolated on it’s own.

    But yeah, interesting article. I only thought that Maimonides’ book “A guide to the perplexed” was in Judaeo-Arabic…

  3. This dosen’t seem quite right

    “They did so because the books had been printed in Lebanon, one of the few places in the Middle East that prints Arabic books.”

    1. Books are printed in many Arab countries.
      Nearly all of which scrutinize everything and censor anything remotely contentious. (Not always to “protect the regime”, more often it’s just to steer clear of the least form of controversy). This book wouldn’t have been printed in Saudia Arabia.

      Even if the Lebanese government were so disposed, they’d have trouble actually implementing a censorship regime on a country they only partially control. If Lebanon is the enemy, it’s because she is less repressive than Syria or Egypt.

      The article isn’t quite right, as you say, but it probably is true that this particular book wouldn’t have got printed anywhere except Lebanon. It’s not a profit-maker, either, so that must have constrained the list of firms willing to print it up at a price the author could afford.

      Time for an Arabic Smashwords?

  4. I understand that publishers in Lebanon have fewest restrictions and it is the main center of printing translations into Arabic. So many Arabic books are printed only in Lebanon and embargo on Lebanese books has serious impact on Arab speakers under Israeli control.

    “Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna, said that the “Kuzari” is a holy and pure book, and it contains the basics of the Jewish faith.”

    As the book trade of Lebanon is most free in ME, Israel is one of very few countries where books can be banned simply because of the place where they were printed. USA is surely banning Cuban books. By the way, there were number of votes in UN opposing embargo on Cuba, and quite a few had only three countries against: USA, Marianas and Israel. Three champions of liberty, perhaps saving the whole world from the wrath of the Lord.

    This is one of the lies of pro-Israel propaganda: Lebanon is a democratic country, with peculiarities, to be sure, but hard to tell if it is more peculiar than Israel. Another lie (repeated by Amb. Oren) is that Israel is the only country in ME where the number of Christian is increasing. The truth is that this is the only country in ME that makes detailed statistics.

    1. I really like that: “Three champions of liberty…”! The usual vote: 164 for, 3 or 4 opposed depending on the very tricky iffy vote from the Marshall Islands!

      These Israelis are lunatics: The ghetto called “Israel” will now string a fence across the mediterranean (figuratively, I’m sure!). Security is the basis of messianic Zionism and now, apparently, the basis of science, as well. With sea levels rising, small wonder the WB is settled by Jews. It is just too much.

      (BTW — I will try to report my impressions of the Stand With US show at UCSD this evening.)

  5. “There are those among anti-Zionists who like to argue that contemporary Jews don’t trace a direct lineage back to ancient Israel, but rather to the Khazars”

    Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People
    By Harry Ostrer
    Oxford University Press, 288 Pages, $24.95
    In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. Considering that the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews based on their supposed racial distinctiveness, such a conclusion might be a cause for concern. But Ostrer sees it as central to Jewish identity.

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/155742/jews-are-a-race-genes-reveal/?p=all#ixzz1uztNfQlC

    1. You reacted in just the way hasbarists would, with an immediate grasping for any evidence that supports Jewish genetic homogeneity & an ancient tie to the land of Israel. All this interests me very little & it’s more harmful than otherwise to any reasonable, pragmatic approach to Israel’s future in the region. While Israel and Jews have always prided themselves on being different than their neighbors. While such “uniqueness” has its benefits, in the future such separation & alienation will do much more harm than good I’m afraid.

    2. The article in Forward was also published in Haaretz, and according to the author, Jon Entine, Harry Ostrer insists that the “biological basis of Jewishness” cannot be ignored.

      Bruce Wolman had an article last week where he used the article about the ‘proven Jewish genius’ – ironically – to explain the ‘genius’ of the Israeli judicial system.

      But what’s important: the commenter Rusty Pipes linked to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Jewish Genius and other Mythical Traits” that comes to a totally different conclusion about Ostrer’s work, that is “After studying actual Jewish genes, Harry Ostrer is dubious of a strong DNA-connection”.
      I confess right away: I have not read Ostrer, and I’m sure neither has Liron, but it might be that Entine/Forward/Haaretz have an agenda to push here.

      A commenter elsewhere about the same article:
      “According to Norton Mezvinsky, Judaism had its start in the Persian Empire of Cyrus – 537 BC. Is that why Bibi is so hot to get Iran ? He considers Iran the “Promised Land” of the genetically identifiable Jewish people.

      Once again, it never stops amazing me how much right-winged Zionists and Nazism have in common when it comes to racialist discourse.

  6. http://www.jogg.info/11/coffman.htm

    According to Ellen Levy-Coffman, Ashkenazi Cohens have in large majority common features of Y-chromosome that can be traced to ancient Palestine, while Ashkenazi Levites have a quite different dominant type of Y-chromosome that is actually rare in Middle East and most frequent in some tribes of Siberia, thus they could be descendants of Khazars. Also, another Y-chromosome type is frequent among Ashkenazi and is quite Siberian. This would attribute 20% of paternal ancestry of Ashkenazi to Khazars.

    She also explains that on the eve of demographic expansion of Ashkenazi, ca. 1200-1300 CE, there were about 25000 of them, so a group of 5000 Khazarian Jews could alter the genetic composition.

    Of those that descend from ME, it seems that a non-negligible group descends from Philistines, i.e. a non-Semitic population related to Greece and Turkey.

  7. Israel has been planting trees (which absorb carbon) for many years.

    Meantime, hundreds of migrants are entering Israel illegally monthly.
    What should Israel do about these illegals (while she shrinks her carbon fingerprint)?

    1. Planting trees isn’t what I had in mind. What I had in mind was developing scientific solutions that will ease the burden of climate change.

      Israel, like all western countries, has a problem with migrants. If it wants to stop the problem it needs to join together with other wealthy nations to change economic conditions in the places from which the migrants originate. You can’t solve your problems with walls or dykes.

    2. Why am I not moved by Israel’s problem with “illegals?” First, perhaps, because Israel has always found ways of dealing with those it doesn’t want or like much. In this regard, maybe instead of demolishing Palestinian homes, the homes can be turned over to the African migrants. Maybe? Secondly, from my point of view, most Israelis occupy land belonging to others and they are arguably “illegals” also.

      And then there is always the wall — just build it higher and higher. Better to have a nice high wall, with control towers like a prison wall, a prison to either keep all the Israelis in, or keep all the goyim out…the psychology of it is perhaps a little troubled.

      I know all about the planting of trees in Israel. My generation of American Jews grew up dutifully donating money to plant trees in Israel. When I grew up, I discovered that the planting programs had political as well as ecological goals. I tell you I was shocked, truly shocked, to find that some trees covered up the traces of Palestinian life.

    3. Yeah, Israel has particularly planted trees on top of destroyed Palestinian villages to hide their presence.
      Here’s a the example of Imwas (the biblical Emmaus) which was conquered in 1967:
      Imwas in 1958:
      Then please click on ‘next’ and see the following pictures from 1968, 1978, and 1988. That’s what Israeli tree-planting is about. Areas of the village are now covered by the famous Canada Park, financed by Canadian Jews.
      “Which absorb carbon”
      Yeah, that’s surely the reason ! No, it first of all is absorbing Palestinian water. Because in their obsession to hide Palestine and turn Israel into a Western country, they imported trees from Europe, not at all adapted to the Middle East, to recreate the Schwartwald and other forest from ‘back home’.
      Ilan Pappe has mentioned somewhere how as a kid his parents took him picknicking in a forest that reminded them of their native Germany.
      And when the imported pine trees on the Mount Carmel went on fire, ruins of Arab villages became visible.
      Tryng to paint Israel as a ecological paradise – while it’s a major ecological disaster, stealing water from the whole region – is simply a joke.

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