Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Restaurant Now Has Partitions

At times, when events are held at the center during the day, a situation in which visitors can, literally, "look into the plates" of the celebrants is being corrected. The restaurant is experimenting with partitions:

The Education Ministry Event at the Center

From the fourth floor looking down:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LA Times Links Mumbai Attack to King David Hotel Blast

The LA Times found an opportunity to smack around Israel regarding the Mumbai attacks on hotels:

Hotels have always been prime targets for soldiers and terrorists, and you could fill an entire guidebook with the list of lodgings that have been bombed or shot at by combatants looking to spill blood and get attention.

Here are some of the more notable hotel episodes of the last seven decades:

— The King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed in June, 1946. More than 90 people were killed, most or all of them British officials using the building as a headquarter. The British controlled Jerusalem at the time, and the bombers were Zionists, commanded by Menachem Begin (who was to become Israel’s leader decades later).

These comments were left there:

Mike Jefferson Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 5:38 pm
I find it ironic that the LA Slimes would lead off with the Irgun bombing of the King David. A few salient points are in order. First the King David Hotel was primarily a military target as it was the HQ of the occupying British troops. Second, the British received a phone call from the Irgun urging them to evacuate in advance of the bombing - the British chose not to. All of the other terror incidents you mention were perpetrated against innocent civilians.

Also, I find it interesting that the paper chose to ignore the many high profile bombings perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists including the Passover massacre in Netanya.

Seth Levy Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 7:33 pm
Why did you mention it was Zionists responsible for the King David Hotel, the IRA responsible for the Hotel Europa and Grand Hotel, and so on but omitted any responsible parties that were Muslim such as in Islamabad or Taba? Why did you forget the many hotel attacks in Israel that the Palestinians committed such as the recent Netanya Hotel attack in 2002 that killed 30? Will I ever see a response to this? Probably not but hopefully (if you publish it at all) someone will see it and recognize your bias towards appeasing radical Muslims.

Yisrael Medad Says:
November 29th, 2008 at 10:51 pm
One more comment on the King David Hotel attack: only the southern wing was targeted which was wholly British, having been taken over from the owners in stages, beginning already in 1938. The Army Headquarters were located there as were the offices of the Mandate Government Secreteriat. See Thurston Clarke’s book, “In Blood and Fire”.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our New Traffic Circle

At the junction of Nahon, David Remez, Emeq Refaim and King David Streets:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Haaretz "Interprets" Menachem Begin

...Netanyahu will try to sell Obama a step-by-step and slow arrangement - but before that, Netanyahu will try to attract voters from Kadima based on his anticipated success in his convincing Obama of the same in the future.

First of all, Iran. Next Syria, and only in third and last place come the Palestinians. Even with the two tasks that entail an Israeli withdrawal - as opposed to the elimination of the Iranian threat, which is an Israeli demand - there would be an internal division into intermediate steps of prolonged cease-fire or armistice in return for partial evacuation of occupied territories. The Arab sides would not be asked to give up everything - a full peace; nor would Israel be required to provide it all either - a full evacuation.

If the formula sounds familiar, that is because it has already been tried - and failed. In the mid-1970s, during the Nixon and Ford administrations, Henry Kissinger and Yitzhak Rabin preferred to advance the peace negotiations step by step, one side at a time. Every Arab country was dealt with separately, the PLO was an untouchable abomination, and each stage was a small and hesitant jump. There was no single, daring - or possibly foolish - leap.

Jimmy Carter, then as today a Democrat entering office following eight years of Republican rule, threw out the method and strived for a regional agreement at a multi-lateral summit, and speeeded up Anwar Sadat on his journey to Jerusalem. Menachem Begin, an earlier version of Netanyahu, dropped his political platform out of fears of a confrontation with Carter. Netanyahu will be forced to decide which Begin he really is: the father or the son.


Henry Siegman in the Arab Media

In a recent interview following his resignation as prime minister, Ehud Olmert shocked Israelis by endorsing views associated with Israel's political hard left. Among other startling declarations, he said that the reason Israel was able to reach a peace agreement with Egypt - as opposed, for example, to its futile efforts to achieve a peace accord with Arafat or with Syria's two Assad's - was not Sadat's dramatic visit to Jerusalem. The real reason is that well before Sadat's visit, Israel's celebrated chief of staff and foreign minister, Moshe Dayan, at a secret meeting with Sadat's envoy in Morocco, delivered the following message from Prime Minister Menachem Begin: First, Israel is prepared to return every last inch of Egyptian territory under Israeli occupation. Second, now let us negotiate. That is something Israel has refused to say to the Palestinians and to the Syrians and that is why all previous negotiations have gotten nowhere.


A Journalist Recalls

From someone who claims to have interviewed Menachem Begin:-

Irgun participated in the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which killed ninety one. We know that Irgun was a terrorist organization because it said so, endorsing “political violence and terrorism” as “legitimate tools.” Even the New York Times said Irgun was terrorist.

The chief of Irgun was Menachem Begin, whom I interviewed for the Mike Wallace show before he became Prime Minister, in the CafĂ© de la Paix at the St. Moritz Hotel in New York, where he seemed out of place. Begin’s “five o’clock shadow” made Joe McCarthy’s – which the Communists loved to scare children with – look like a baby’s bottom.

I asked Begin to describe the core of his policy should he become Prime Minister. “We are going to march,” he replied. At the time, I was considerably more stupid than I am now. “March where?” I asked. “Everywhere!” he replied. “We are going to march everywhere to the boundaries of ‘Eretz Israel.’” Zionist authorities debate the exact meaning of the term, but it would certainly include a huge chunk of the Middle East.

And this reads like claptrap.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Begin - A"Lion of Judea"

Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky, the executive director of The Jerusalem Summit, published an op-ed in Ynet, The Lion King and Zionism, and mentioned Menachem Begin.

An excerpt:

Just like in the famous musical, ‘lions’ of the Israeli Left usurped the throne
Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky

Attending matinees with children can be highly educational. Take The Lion King that we went to see the other day...I realized that this was not about African lions; this was about the lions of Judea – the People of Israel.

Indeed, there used to be plenty of Lion Kings at the dawn of Zionism: majestic Herzl, roaring Jabotinsky, thick-maned Ben Gurion, noble Begin, and sharp-clawed Shamir. They were not the best of friends among themselves, but their fierce roar and their spiritual stride kept away the jackals and let the cubs – the revived nation of Israel – grow up in safety as they evolved into real lions of Judah on their legitimate pride territory. Yet the kings had relatives, too – brothers who were mangy in their souls, lagging in charisma, yet skilled in intrigue.

The plotters won the support of the jackals - eternal neighbors and enemies of the Jewish pride. Jackals were numerous, mean, cruel, and incapable of building a prosperous life for themselves. But at the critical moment when the Lions of Judah needed help, their tirelessly intriguing Jewish brothers pushed the spirit and the leaders of their own people under the hooves of the madding crowd called “world public opinion.” The lions of the Left climbed the throne and proclaimed “the new era when lions and jackals will live side by side on the Judea pride’s territory.” This bold lie met with the howling approval from the TV rocks and trees of the jungle, beginning with the White House lawn.

Not only did the lions of the Left usurp the throne and bring their jackal lackeys into the heartland of the pride, they also neutralized the rightful heir to the throne – the young Israelis. They inculcated the young cubs with a guilt complex – allegedly the lions “occupied” their own territory – and so the cubs went to hang out abroad, from India to California. Accompanied by hamsters and wild boars, they hummed their own version of the stage musical’s hit song Hakuna Matata glorifying living in the present and taking it easy; they shrugged off their duty and heritage and went on a diet of spiders, worms, and grass.

...The fairy tale has a happy ending: the young lion comes back, chases away the jackals, marries the rebellious ginger lioness and in short order produces an heir. The new king did not bother to taint his claws with his intriguer uncle’s blood; the traitor was eaten by his former jackal friends...

I don’t have the slightest doubt that life will imitate art and the revived Zionist tale will have the same ending, including the end of the Left at the hands of the Arabs. The question is: how many more bones have to fall on the ground of Judah's pride before the king's cub will wake up from the Oslo's Hakuna Matata? And who will play the funny old monkey? If no one claims that part, we - the columnists - should keep showing the cub the magic puddle of Jordan River repeating: Chazak ve Amatz, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Almighty has sworn to their fathers to give them…"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Somehow, Menachem Begin Gets Involved in the Obama Election

Daniel Finkelstein in the London Times, in his column:

...The election of Mr Obama is a rebuke too, to the Eta Basque separatists who put bombs in shopping centres, to the IRA with their pub bombs, to the Baader-Meinhof gang with their abductions and killings. It is a rebuke to the Irgun terrorists whose terrible crime was to blow up the King David Hotel and to the murders and missiles of Hamas and Fatah. It is a rebuke to all those who abandon law and peace in favour of the gun.

And it is an affirmation that sometimes it is the moderates who are the boldest, the slow route that is the quickest, and the man who refuses to raise up his arms who is the most courageous.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ignorance and Antisemitism

An example of some of the ignorance, misrepresenations and downright antisemtisim out there on the Internet is this:-

Irgun, the army of his [Rahm Emanuel] father, is short for Irgun Zvai Leumi, which supposedly means something like "National Military Organization" in Hebrew. As a matter of fact, the Irgun was simply a terrorist Zionist group that operated in Palestine from 1931 to 1948. They killed innocent Palestinians and British soldiers and blew up buildings.

After 1948 they became part of the new Israeli government and did the same thing. In September 2001 they put their skills to work in New York City and Washington to kick start the "war on terror" - a conflict long promoted by their chief architect, Bibi Netanyahu, son of the former secretary of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

The Irgun even has a website with pictures of the buildings they blew up before they demolished the World Trade Center with Thermite and high explosives:

In Israel, the Irgun is referred to as Etzel, an acronym of the group's Hebrew initials. The Irgun was considered a terrorist organization by the British authorities as well as by mainstream Zionist and Jewish organizations, such as the Jewish Agency, the Haganah and the Histadrut. (It just has not made it onto the U.S. State Department's list of terrorist organizations – even after blowing up the World Trade Center. Some people are slow to learn.)

Bible Studies and...Cholent

Found in a review article on a new cookbook:-

...Sherry Ansky cooks and tells stories like she does in her cooking column for Ma'ariv's weekend magazine. She tells stories well, with feeling, a bit of humor and lots of cook's tricks to give the recipes an extra fillip.

Her new book, "Hamin," published by Keter Publishing House this month, is a distillation of this combination: a whole book about the traditional winter dish, also known as cholent in Yiddish. Nearly all the recipes are accompanied by stories, memories and literary quotes. Who knew that a dish of beans and maybe meat could be so poetic?

...Sherry Ansky, 51, is the daughter of Bible scholar Professor Haim Gvaryahu, and was married to actor and broadcaster Alex Ansky, the father of her children Michal and Hillel. She has spent the last 16 years living with photographer Alex Levac, an Israel Prize laureate and Haaretz contributor...

...She tells about her father's correspondence with Menachem Begin about the Bible,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ehud Olmert on Menachem Begin

...Our goal should be, for the first time, to designate a final and exact borderline between us and the Palestinians so that the entire world, the United States, the UN, and Europe can say, "These are the borders of the State of Israel, we recognize them, and we will anchor them with formal resolutions in the major international bodies. These are the recognized borders of Israel and these are the recognized borders of the State of Palestine."

...Who seriously thinks that if we sit on another hilltop, on another hundred meters, this will make a difference for Israel's basic security?

...Is the absence of a resolution between us and the Palestinians the result of Israel's intransigence? No. Let there be no doubt in this matter. I regret to say that the Palestinians lack the necessary courage, power, inner strength, will, and enthusiasm. If we don't reach a solution, I'm in no way prepared to lay the blame on Israel. The blame rests first and foremost with the other side.

I would like to learn from my own mistakes. I hadn't seen this before and I'm not trying to justify myself. Exactly thirty years ago, when Menachem Begin returned from Camp David, I spoke out against [the agreement he made there] and I voted against it. I confess; I'm not trying to hide or obscure that.

What was Menachem Begin's genius?... He started from the end. He began by saying, "I am ready to pull out of the entire Sinai—now, let us negotiate."

...When I look back to the prime ministers who preceded me, Arik Sharon, Bibi Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Yitzhak Rabin, of blessed memory, I can say that each made a step in the right direction but that at a certain point in time, at a particular juncture at which a decision was necessary, the decision did not come....


Bernard Lewis on the Peace With Egypt

Recently, it was my pleasure to talk with Professor Lewis [who] told me something about Sadat. I will paraphrase, but pretty faithfully, I think:

“Sadat did not decide to make peace with Israel because he suddenly converted to Zionism. His reason was quite different. He was aware that Egypt was becoming a Soviet colony. I saw that myself, on frequent visits to Egypt. The Soviet presence was palpable — more obtrusive than the British presence, and I’m old enough to remember that. The Soviets were taking over, there were places where no Arab was able to set foot.

“I remember talking with a shopkeeper in Upper Egypt. He said there were no tourists coming anymore, which was, of course, very bad for business. ‘But you have plenty of Russians,’ I said, whereupon he spat into the gutter and replied, ‘They won’t buy a package of cigarettes, and they won’t give you a cigarette.’

“Anyway, the Russians were taking over, and Sadat saw that. He realized that, on the worst estimate of Israel’s intentions, and on the most generous estimate of Israel’s power, they were less dangerous than the Soviets. And the Israelis were not going to take over Egypt, that was clear. That was why Sadat decided to make peace. Fortunately, he found someone on the other side who would respond.

“We are moving to a similar situation now. Many Arabs have concluded, ‘Israel is not our main danger, our main problem.’ If you look at the Hezbollah war, in 2006, Arabs silently hoped that Israel would finish the job, and were very disappointed when they failed to do so. That continues now. Obviously, they don’t come out strongly in support of Israel — they wouldn’t do that. But there is, shall we say, a readiness to accommodate which did not exist in the past.”

Some time ago, Professor Lewis was paid an extraordinary compliment. One of his books was published in Arabic translation (unauthorized). It was published by the Muslim Brotherhood. At the same time, the book was published in Hebrew by the Israeli defense ministry — and, as Professor Lewis says, that is an interesting pairing: the Muslim Brothers and the Israeli defense ministry.

In his preface to the Arabic version, the translator said, “I don’t know who this author is, but one thing about him is clear: He is either a candid friend or an honorable enemy, and in either case is one who has disdained to falsify the truth.”

An extraordinary compliment indeed.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Karpf is Wrong

Anne Karpf from the UK utilized an op-ed of hers in The Guardian, based on an essay in A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity to lambast Menachem Begin in connection with an attack on the term "islamofacism":

It is, perhaps, understandable that Israel invoked the spectre of a Holocaust in the Middle East in the aftermath of the liberation of the concentration camps; but Israeli historians have documented the ways in which, as the country became the dominant military power in the region, successive Israeli prime ministers deployed it as an ideological tool, even as the state demonstrated indifference to real Holocaust survivors in its midst.

No one collapsed the differences between the Nazi genocide and the Middle East conflict more unashamedly than Menachem Begin who, at the height of his country's bombardment of Beirut, sent a telegram to Ronald Reagan declaring that he felt as though he was facing Berlin where Hitler and his henchmen were hiding in a bunker. To which the novelist Amos Oz responded tartly: "Mr Begin, Hitler died 37 years ago ... Again and again ... you reveal to the public eye a strange urge to resuscitate Hitler in order to kill him every day anew in the guise of terrorists."

Of course, what Ms. Karpf is negligent about is what were the historical facts and what was the context.

For example, she seeks to whitewash the Mufti, Arafat's hero, by writing:

But the biggest weapon wielded by those intent on confusing Arabs or Muslims with Nazis is the person of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian leader known as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. In a new book, Icons of Evil, two American academics rehash the charges against the Mufti - that he received funding from the Nazis, met Hitler, sat out much of the war in Berlin, and helped establish a Muslim-Balkan unit in the Waffen-SS. In their inflation of the importance of the Mufti (an inflation deliberately encouraged in Israel by the 1961 Eichmann trial), what such accounts fail to provide is evidence that the Mufti gained any power over Nazi policy. Conversely, plenty of evidence shows he lost almost all his influence over Palestinian Arabs in the period.

There was no inflation here. The Mufti was directly responsible for the deaths of Jews; for broadcasting Nazi propaganda across the Middle East; for promoting violence against Jews while seeking Nazi aid as early as 1933; and by bequeathing Nazi antisemitic parameters to the national struggle of the Arabs of WEretz-Yisrael for decades.

The Mufti tried hard but his failure at causing more deaths and damage should not be used as a mitigating factor.

Menachem Begin viewed, correctly, that Arafat had inherited the Mufti's identification with racial antisemitic hatred of the Jew as a Jew and therefore, it is not the Holocaust that Begin was promoting as a symbol but the very real physical deaths that Arafat was promoting at the time. Oz's remarks about 37 years having passed in connection with Hitler are totally irrelevant.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A 'Letter to the Editor' in the Salt Lake City Tribune

Begin no terrorist

William Hewitt compares the former terrorist that Barack Obama purportedly “pals around” with to the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who he says led a Jewish “terror” group (“Reagan's pal,” Forum, Oct. 25).

Begin fought a war of liberation against a British regime that shut the gates of the Jewish national home to Jews fleeing Hitler and his concentration camps. The Irgun's military operations were always forewarned. The attack on the King David Hotel that Hewitt mentions was directed against the building's southern wing, which was entirely a British headquarters and not a tourist center, as implied.

In that sense, Begin should be compared to George Washington, not to a former Weather Underground activist.

Yisrael Medad
Information Director
Menachem Begin Heritage Center
Jerusalem, Israel

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Letter on Begin In Wall Street Journal


Gary Pilcher's letter "Ayers Issue: Is There Atonement Without Repentance?" (Oct. 21), in which he defends forgiving Bill Ayers by comparing him to Menachem Begin is pernicious. First, there is the difference in context. Mr. Begin was fighting to establish a country against vicious enemies -- brutally anti- Semitic Arabs and slightly anti-Semitic British. The British had reneged completely on the Balfour/Churchill promise to establish a Jewish homeland once the British gave up control of the Palestinian Mandate.

Mr. Begin did not take part in the massacre of Arabs at Deir Yassen (neither did regular soldiers of the Haganah or Irgun who condemned what they saw had happened). Also, the bombing of the King David Hotel was not meant to kill: It was established by both the British and Israelis that at least 30 minutes warning had been given to evacuate.

If Mr. Pilcher wants a Jew to compare with Bill Ayers may I suggest Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995. Like Bill Ayers, he remains unrepentant, though he has been in prison for 12 years.

D. O'Neill
New York

And the Pilcher letter:

Mr. Frank reminds me of the redemption of many famous persons whose activities earlier in life have been labeled "terrorist" (or "treasonous," as the British viewed our Founding Fathers during our Revolution).

One prominent example is Menachem Begin, prime minister of Israel and previously, from 1943-1948, the commander of the Irgun which, under his leadership, blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91; killed over 100 persons in the Deir Yassin village massacre; and attacked the British in countless other incidents. Irgun was twice described by the New York Times as a terrorist organization in 1947, and was condemned by the World Zionist Congress and others.

Thirty years later, in 1978, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Anwar Sadat. The prominent Likud Party, which Mr. Begin led, traces its roots to the Irgun.

Gary Pilcher
Canfield, Ohio

P.S. Actually, it seems there's a trend on this theme for here's an earlier letter we found in the Salt Lake City Tribune:

Reagan's pal
Public Forum Letter
Salt Lake Tribune

Much has been said about Barack Obama's alleged "palling around" with former terrorists. But the same could be said about the late President Ronald Reagan - in the White House, no less!

On Sept. 9, 1981, a tuxedo-clad president and Mrs. Reagan hosted a White House state dinner for then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Who was Begin? In former days, he was a leader of the Jewish terror group the Irgun. Under Begin, this group conducted a campaign of extortion, kidnapping and bombings, including the attack on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem that killed 91 people. No less a personage than David Ben-Gurion denounced the Irgun and Begin as an "enemy of the Jewish people." No doubt, time had changed the heart of Begin, who was later able to forge a peace treaty with Egypt and made a major contribution toward a peaceful Middle East.

The Republican attempt to distort Obama's record leaves the party open to similar charges, which reminds us that no one's hands are clean in this respect.

William E. Hewitt Jr.
Salt Lake City