Good News Friday – Shabbat Hagadol edition

It’s the last Shabbat before Pesach (Passover), known as Shabbat Hagadol – the Great Shabbat. My mind isn’t really into any of my usual Good News Friday stuff at the moment, having been to a funeral earlier today (of my brother’s father-in-law), and added to that the rapid approach of Pesach with all its attending preparations.

On the other hand it is still Friday after all, and Shabbat is still upon us in a few hours, when we must not mourn and when we must not work (thank goodness for that!).  So here a couple of lovely videos to put us into the Pesach mood and bring a smile to our faces before Shabbat.

This is a great video of that old favorite, Let My People Go, with some fabulous graphics (h/t Simcha S.).


And here, from the ancient to the utterly modern, the Technion proves that its geeks are not only brilliant at hi-techy stuff, (last year they created a Rube-Goldbergesque Passover machine which you can watch at that link)  but they can dance too!:-)

Watch the Technion’s ultra-modern interactive breakdance version of the Hagaddah story. (the oldies amongst us might want to turn down the speakers a tad…):

The Hagaddah is never going to look the same again!😀

Kol hakavod, well done to the excellent creativity of Nina Paley at the first video, and to all the clever minds and techno-geeks at the Technion for giving us something to smile about this Shabbat with their very original video.

May the coming week bring only good news and joy towards the upcoming Pesach festival.

Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom!

Posted in Culture, Arts & Sports, Family, Israel news, Judaism | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Speaking truth to power: Hillel Neuer at the UNHRC; a Saudi TV host criticises Islam

I was going to title this post “Into the Lion’s Den”, since the stars of both videos are taking on very controversial, if not downright dangerous, positions.

First, here is Hillel Neuer, from the amazing UN Watch organization, in his own words on his work at the Human Rights Council:

In this new documentary film, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tells his personal story and feelings about being at the UN and speaking out. “When I walk into the Human Rights Council, I feel the glares of hatred, of enmity directed at me. I see it in in their eyes, and it’s from dictatorships, it’s from Arab states, it’s from others — sometimes even from some democracies.”

Watch this clip. My admiration for him has just gone up by another 100%.

This next video, via MEMRI TV, gives us a glimmer of hope that something is moving in the Arab world as the TV host Nadine Al-Budair slams the religion and the leaders of Islam for producing and supporting terrorism. I admit to being astonished, in a very pleasant way, both at the unveiled mode of dress of the TV host, but more importantly at her very outspoken words. It is hard to believe that the Saudi authorities allowed this broadcast to go ahead, and that Nadine Al-Budair has not been thrown into jail. I really hope she stays safe and can continue her amazing work in promoting modernity and tolerance in a very regressive and intolerant region.

Perhaps Hillel Neuer should make contact with Nadine Al-Budair and invite her to address the UN Human Rights Council. Maybe she can change their minds where others, notably Neuer himself, have not managed to do so.

Posted in Lawfare and Delegitimization, Mideast news, support Israel, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The occupation that isn’t

Mention the word “occupation” in polite society and the immediate association is Israel’s liberation Judea and Samaria from the illegal occupation of the Arabs, aka the “Israeli illegal occupation of the West Bank”.  This meme is so ingrained that even we fervent Israel-supporters have become inured to the term, if only as a form of short-hand.

But this acceptance is illegitimate in essence and undermines our very own argument that Judea and Samaria were always Jewish territory. As I said above, and as I have asserted frequently on this blog, the only occupation that took place in that region was by Jordan which invaded in 1948, attacking the nascent Jewish State of Israel, and other Arabs who fictitiously claim a thousand-year long habitation of the place, when this could not be further from the truth.  The illegal occupation by Jordan was recognized by only two states: Britain and Pakistan. This should give one some idea of the legality of that occupation.  Furthermore, that Arab occupation lasted a mere 19 years!

See the map below, dating back to 1791 !  in which Judea and Samaria are noted under their original name, and there is no mention of the “ancient” fiction of the “West Bank”.

An old 1791 French map Israel of Israel, labeled JUDEA and SAMARIA.

Which brings us to the Jewish claim to the territories. It is a mystery why, when so little international legitimacy was given to the Arab occupation of Judea and Samaria, such recognition is withheld from Israel too. This is all the more egregious when one considers the millennia-long Jewish connection to Judea (the very word “Jew” is rooted in the word “Judea”), and the mere 19-year Arab occupation.

Answering this question, Andreas Fagerbakke, a Norwegian pro-Israel blogger, has written an excellent concise piece in the Times of Israel which explains in a nutshell the history of the region and the terminology of the “Jewish Occupation of Judea“:

Judea and Samaria is a term you don’t often hear on the news, at least not outside of Israel. We usually hear about “the West Bank”. But where does this term come from? The name of the area was Judea and Samaria from biblical times until 1950, when Jordan occupied the area, renaming it “the West Bank”. So the name was changed during Jordan’s illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria during a period of nineteen years (1948–1967).

One has to wonder why the international community decided to use the term West Bank even after the area was liberated. And the fact that all Jews were forced out of Judea and Samaria during Jordan’s illegal occupation is something you rarely hear in the media or anywhere else. I guess people want to maintain the false image of Jews in Judea and Samaria as “foreign occupiers”? Well, they are not foreign occupiers. Jews lived in the so called “West Bank” for ages…. That’s until all of them were either killed or forced out of the area after Jordan’s occupation started in 1948.

Jews returned to Judea and Samaria after the area was liberated by Israel in 1967, but strangely enough they were referred to as illegal settlers by the international community and they still are to this day. So let me get this straight… A Jew can live in London, Paris, Moscow or New York, but not in Judea? To say that a Jew living in Judea (Judea is actually the origin of the term “Jew”) is an illegal settler is beyond absurd. Judea and Samaria is the cradle of Jewish history, religion and culture.

Then some would say that Judea and Samaria is “Palestinian land” and therefore Israel shouldn’t build Jewish settlements there. When did this area officially become “Palestinian”? In fact, let’s not only focus on the so called West Bank, but the entire geographical area once known as Palestine. One of the biggest lies out there is that this land belonged to the “Palestinian people” before 1948, and that Israel “stole” large parts of Palestine from the Palestinians through its re-establishment. First of all there has never been a Palestinian state, and “Palestine” did not belong to the Palestinians before 1948. It was ruled by Britain from 1917 to 1948, and before this the area was part of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years.

Well said Mr. Fagerbakke! Read the rest at the link.

The good news is that the Israeli government is slowly waking up to the realization that not only are Judea and Samaria Israeli territory by historical, judicial and moral right, but if we do not assert those rights, someone will come to take them away.  The Levy Report, written by Judge Edmond Levy, was commissioned by the Netanyahu government in 2012 to investigate the legalities of Israel’s retaining and building in the territories (aka “settlements”), found that Israel has every right to keep Judea and Samaria and to build there. However Netanyahu never implemented the report’s recommendations, as Legal Grounds reports:

When the prime minister was presented with the 90-page Report, which includes legal arguments, he declared, according to one impeccable source, “This is just what we need!”  But then contents of the Report were leaked, and the prime minister began to understand the political opposition it might face.  He tabled the Report, which has never even been brought before the Ministerial Committee on Settlements for discussion.  The full text in Hebrew was briefly on the prime minister’s website, but was removed.  

The fact that he has to contend with fierce domestic opposition to these recommendations is both outrageous and a sad reflection on the defeatism of the Israeli Left.

What was so scary to the Left in the Levy Report? The website “We Have Legal Grounds” is dedicated to the implementation of the Levy Report, and gives a short synopsis of its findings here:

It: Provides basic legal conclusions. Because of both historical and legal factors, the decades-long presence of Israel in Judea and Samaria is not “belligerent occupation.” Israel’s situation is unique (sui generis) and Israel has the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria. The accusations currently being leveled by the international community against Israel as a violator of “international law” because of plans to build in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria are countered by the Levy Report conclusions. Offers a number of important recommendations, consistent with the conclu­sions, regarding adjustments in Israeli policies and practices in Judea and Samaria.

These recommendations would clarify the rights of Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria, who currently find themselves at a serious disadvantage when conducting land transactions in Judea and Samaria: It cannot be overemphasized: The Israeli legal system default in Judea and Samaria favors Arabs claims in land transactions.

An even shorter synopsis, from Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights, reads as follows:

The Report debunks the myth of “occupation”; it rejects the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention which is always misguidedly invoked by those who oppose the “settlements”; and it brings forward the historic events and legal documents which support Israel’s Legal Rights in Judea and Samaria.

It is therefore most gratifying to learn that the Israeli government is now quietly implementing the Levy Report‘s recommendations on the ground:

The Levy Report on the legality of West Bank settlement construction, though never officially adopted by the Israeli government, is being informally implemented, a newly released document published by a left-wing organization claims.

According to the Hebrew news site nrg, the contents of the document – released by Yesh Din (“there is law”), an Israeli NGO that provides free legal assistance to Palestinians – was confirmed by right-wing sources in the know. These sources said that the Netanyahu government, through Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, has in effect adopted the findings of the “Report on the Legal Status of Building in Judea and Samaria,” prepared by the late Israeli Supreme Court justice, Edmund Levy, and published in July 2012.

According to nrg, Ya’alon’s office is refusing to comment on the Yesh Din document, authored by Ziv Stahl and attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zacharia, whose petitions to the High Court led to the evacuation some years ago of the Givat Ha’ulpana and Amona outposts.

Their document, says nrg, highlights changes that have taken place in court rulings, which its authors claim indicate the government has been putting Levy’s recommendations into practice without officially acknowledging doing so. Their assertion is that, unlike in the past, the government has begun siding with the settlers in most petitions against them, and that it has made clear to judges that it would prefer to find a way of authorizing the settlements in question, rather than demolishing them.

One example cited by nrg from the document was the recent petition submitted against Mitzpe Dani, an outpost in the Binyamin region. The petitioners demanded that the demolition orders issued by the Civil Administration (the Israeli governing body in the West Bank) be implemented – on the grounds that the outpost did not have an approved construction plan. But the state declared it was moving ahead with a general plan for government-owned land in the area, and as part of that plan, Mitzpe Dani would become a neighborhood within the communal settlement of Ma’ale Michmash.

I think it is brilliant that this report is emanating davka from the extreme Left. I am taking great delight in their discomfort after all the trouble that they have caused Israel through their anti-democratic, traitorous NGOs like Breaking the Silence and B’tselem. It’s about time the shoe was on the other foot, that the Israeli government began siding with its own citizens and not with the enemy. More importantly, it is vital that it came to the realization that the world is never going to accept Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria if the Israeli government itself is in two minds about it, and produces rulings that militate against Israeli building in those areas while permitting illegal Palestinian and European construction.

The fact that this news comes from the Left reminds me of the old Jewish joke of two old Jewish men on a train in Nazi Europe; one is reading a Jewish newspaper and the other is reading Der Stuermer. The first gentlemen is shocked at his friend reading such an antisemitic paper! “How can you read such a rag?!” he asks. His friend answers, “If you read the Jewish paper, the news is terrible. They are killing us and murdering us and there is nowhere to turn to. But if you read Der Stuermer you find that the Jews really rule the world, we control all the banks, and we’re killing off the anti-semites in droves. I much prefer reading such news!”.

I just hope that the Yesh Din report is a lot more reliable than the false news of Jewish power in the joke.

Posted in indigenous rights, Lawfare and Delegitimization, support Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why is this man sitting in the Knesset?

For all that we complain about the perfidy of the British, we have a lot to learn from them when it comes to tolerating antisemitism in the ranks of their politicians. In the wake of the scandal of antisemitism in the Labour Party, several MPs have been suspended or even expelled from the party. Of course there is still a long way to go, with outright antisemites like “Jihad Jenny” Tonge still retaining her peerage and sitting in the House of Lords.

CORRECTION: Brian Goldfarb in the comments corrects my point above, and says that Labour party members were suspended, not actual MPs.

But who are we to complain about the British when we have a person sitting in the Knesset right here in our capital city of Jerusalem who appears to deny his own connection to Israel?

MK Zouheir Bahloul of the Zionist Union Party (how ironic), caused an outrage last week when he asserted that the Palestinian who stabbed a soldier, and who was then killed by that soldier, is not a terrorist:

Speaking to Army Radio, Bahloul made the distinction between those who attack civilians and those who attack soldiers.

“I agree the stabber is a murderer, but he is not a terrorist. My problem is when this word becomes too inclusive and turns every Palestinian into a terrorist,” he said.

Rebukes also came from Bahloul’s own party. Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog said he “clarified to MK Bahloul that I reject and strongly condemn his statements and that the Zionist Union’s position stipulates that a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist. It does not matter if he sets out to kill Arabs or Jews.”

Of course all the politicians on both sides of the aisle jumped on their respective bandwagons to condemn each other, but condemnation for Bahloul’s statement came from both end of the spectrum.

MKs Bahloul and Dichter at Acre cultural event

However, instead of backing down or apologizing, Bahloul doubled down on his assertion:

During a cultural event in the northern city of Acre, Israeli-Arab MK Bahloul said Israeli soldiers were “a symbol of the occupation” for Palestinians and asked why Jewish groups fighting British soldiers during the Mandate area could be considered as fighting for their freedom while Palestinians could not.

“What can a Palestinian, suffocating under the yoke of occupation for 49 years, do in order regain his freedom? The soldiers are, for him, a symbol of the occupation. Before 1948 there was the British Mandate here. Etzel, Lehi and the other Jewish organizations went out to the street to fight British soldiers and build your state, which is an amazing state. Why are the Palestinians not allowed to do so?” the MK, a former sports broadcaster and journalist, asked.

Comparing Israel to the British occupation is outrageous. No one offered the Jews a state at the time. Or rather, the state had been offered at the time of the Balfour Declaration, and then withdrawn and reneged upon by the same perfidious British as I mentioned at the beginning. The gates of Israel were closed precisely at the time when they were needed to remain open the most – during the years preceding and during the Holocaust.

Now that we have our independent state, Israel has been offering peace, withdrawals and concessions for nearly 25 years, and while peace was achieved with Egypt and Jordan, the Palestinians have been dishonest negotiators at best.

I would suggest to Bahloul that instead of terrorism, the Palestinians lay down their arms and start to negotiate in honesty and integrity with the Israelis. He would be amazed what could be achieved. Of course, educating the Palestinian public to accept Israel as a Jewish country, and cease the incessant brainwashing and incitement of the next generation to hate, despise and murder Jews, is a vital prerequisite for any progress in peace talks.

Likud MK Avi Dichter, who was Bahloul’s guest at the Saturday cultural event, said Bahloul’s comments on the stabber not being a terrorist legitimize terrorism. “You wouldn’t dare say such a thing if you were a member of the Egyptian parliament or in Ramallah,” charged Dichter, sitting on stage alongside Bahloul. It was “dangerous” to clam that an attack, say, “in which a soldier is slashed in the central station in Afula when he is waiting to board a bus, is not a terror attack,” said Dichter.

Bahloul took his statements overboard when he appeared to deny his own connection to Israel:

Dichter said that he was surprised to hear a fellow Knesset member describe Israel as “your country.” Bahloul again shot back: “This is the Jews’ country and not the Arabs’ country.”

This is a strange and worrying statement. Yes, Israel is the Jewish State, but since there is a 20% Arab population at the very least, and since Arabs are counted amongst the top tiers of the political echelons (see Bahloul himself as an example), in the judicial system, in the IDF, in academia, medicine, the arts, in education … the list goes on … how can Bahloul make such a claim in all honesty?

And if that is how he feels, what on earth is he doing in the Knesset, the very seat of Jewish power and sovereignty?

Moreover, how is the Zionist Union party tolerating a member with such a divisive attitude, who seems to refute the Jewish and Zionist character of Israel?

Posted in Israel news, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Good News Friday

The weeks are rolling around faster than ever, and tonight, besides being Shabbat, we also mark Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the 1st of the month of Nissan, the “month of Spring” in which Pesach (Passover) falls.

It is therefore fitting to note, as the first item in this week’s Good News Friday installment, a fascinating item in the Times of Israel (via Reality) about a satellite image showing the Red Sea as … well, red!

A newly released satellite image of Egypt’s Nile river shows the river colored deep red, bringing to mind the biblical first plague in which the waters of the great river turned to blood.

But, this time at least, it is not the wrath of god that is responsible for the river’s crimson hue: The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-3A satellite, which took the picture, uses a radiometer to measure infrared energy.

The red Red Sea

The heat radiated by vegetation around the river is therefore responsible for the red color.

The satellite, launched in February, is designed to monitor environmental changes. It is the third of more than a dozen “eyes in the sky” that make up the Copernicus program, which the ESA describes as the most sophisticated Earth observation system ever launched.

I’m glad for all of us (Egyptians included) that the red of the Red Sea does not signify blood, but it is a fascinating trick of technology and nature all the same. And perfect timing for Pesach!

Still on the theme of Pesach, when the Bet Hamikdash, the Temple, played such a big part in the rituals, what perfect timing for the Antiquities Authority to announce the discovery of Second Temple era tools in Magdala, aka Migdal, in the Galilee. Here is the Jerusalem Post report with accompanying photos from Arutz Sheva:

The excavation of a 2,000-yearold Jewish settlement and synagogue from the Second Temple period in Magdala, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, recently revealed rare and well-preserved antiquities, including a bronze incense shovel and jug.

First Century Synagogue at Magdala

The dig, overseen by the Israel Antiquities Authority prior to the construction of a building there, took place in an area considered to be the crossroads of Jewish and Christian history for its historical and religious significance for both Jews and Christians.

Magdala was once a large Jewish settlement in the early Roman period. Its Greek name, “Taricheae,” means “place where fish are salted,” possibly alluding to the main source of income of the city’s inhabitants two millennia ago.

“It is mentioned in Jewish sources and, at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, it served as Josephus’s main military base in his war against the Romans in the Galilee,” the IAA said in a statement.

Moreover, evidence of Magdala’s existence is also found in historical Christian sources where Christian tradition states it was the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, the Apostle of the apostles of Jesus.

The mahta is believed to have been a sacred implement, much like the rest of the items that were utilized in the Temple, where it was mainly used for transferring embers from place to place, the IAA said.

The incense shovel, Mahta

Indeed, incense shovels frequently appear in Jewish art as one of the religious articles associated with the Temple, and they have been depicted on mosaic floors of synagogues alongside the menora, lulav and etrog.

Dina Avshalom-Gorni, the chief archeologist on behalf of the IAA, said the incense shovel that was found is one of only 10 others that are known in the country from the Second Temple period.

“From early research in the world, it was thought that the incense shovel was only used for ritual purposes; care for the embers and incense that were burnt in ritual ceremonies,” she said. “Over the years, after incense shovels were also discovered in a non-cult context, [it was determined that] apparently they were also used as tools for daily tasks.”

The jug discovered in Magdala

Avshalom-Gorni said the bronze incense shovel and jug were exposed lying next to each other on the floor in one of the rooms of a storehouse located adjacent to the dock of the large Jewish settlement.

During the dig at Magdala, Jewish ritual baths (mikvaot), streets, a marketplace and industrial facilities – as well as a synagogue, whose walls were decorated with colored plaster, along with mosaic floors along the pavement – were also revealed.

In the middle of the synagogue’s main hall, a stone was uncovered, well-known as the Magdala Stone, depicting the Second Temple of Jerusalem, within a carved seven-branched menora on one of its sides.

The Magdala Stone

The synagogue, the IAA said, dates back to the early first century CE, Second Temple Period, and Jesus’s Public Ministry around the Galilee. It is now one of the seven oldest synagogues from this period uncovered in the country.

Watch the video about these fascinating discoveries:

What a fantastic discovery! Besides the pure historical importance of this find, once again, Israel’s archeological discoveries go to prove, as if we really needed to prove it any more, the unbroken link between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

Kol hakavod to all the archeologists and volunteer diggers who took part in this amazing project.

Moving back to the modern day, here is how Israel takes lemons and makes lemonade: In this latest intifada, the number of stabbing incidents has risen exponentially, with all the dangers involved. But now,  Israeli students have developed a new chest-tube insertion device that can save the lives of stabbing victims 15 times faster than before.

Israelis are known to be extremely resourceful and creative, overcoming challenges with remarkable ingenuity.

A collapsed lung has become a common medical challenge over the past several months as a result of the current wave of Palestinian terror, where knife attacks are the most common form of violence.

Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem developed a new chest-tube insertion device that dramatically shortens the time needed to save stabbing victims’ lives.

Watch this video and learn about this amazing Israeli medical innovation!

Once again, a huge kol hakavod to Hebrew U’s brilliant students and teachers who never fail to find more and better ways to save human lives.

On a related subject, Israeli and American researchers have discovered a blood test for early screening of Alzheimer’s:

In order to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, medical professionals must conduct a long series of tests to assess a patient’s memory impairment, cognitive skills, functional abilities, and behavioral changes. The process also includes costly brain imagining scans and, in some cases, invasive cerebral spinal fluid tests to rule out other diseases.

Now, a new discovery by a team of Israeli and American researchers seeks to effectively screen and diagnose Alzheimer’s using a blood test. The new study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, proposes a new biomarker for cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s disease: The activity-dependent neuro-protective protein (ADNP), whose levels can be easily monitored in routine blood tests. The study also found that higher ADNP levels tested in the blood correlate with higher IQ in healthy older adults. The researchers now plan to move forward into clinical trials in order to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments.

The research was led by Tel Aviv University‘s Prof. Illana Gozes, and spearheaded by Dr. Gad Marshall, Dr. Aaron Schultz, and Prof. Reisa Sperling of Harvard University, along with Prof. Judith Aharon-Peretz of Rambam Medical Center and the Technion Institute of Technology.

“Early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients”

“This study has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests, and it is known that early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer’s patients,” Gozes said in a statement. “We are now planning to take these preliminary findings forward into clinical trials — to create a pre-Alzheimer’s test that will help to tailor potential preventative treatments.”

Alzheimer’s is such a terrible disease that anything that can lead to early diagnosis and eventually a cure is to be blessed. Kol hakavod to all the doctors and researchers involved in this vital subject, and may they – and we – enjoy the fruits of their success.

And to conclude this week’s post, since Israel’s hi-tech and medical advances are such a mainstay of my Good News Friday posts, here is a video (via Chaim) which illustrates how tiny Israel – which until a few short years ago was hardly more than a struggling Third World country dependent on foreign aid – now punches so far above its weight that it is often the first to offer humanitarian aid in disaster areas around the world.

Watch this video: Superman’s got nothing on Israel! – and be proud of our glorious little country!

And with this I wish you all Shabbat shalom and Chodesh tov!

Posted in Culture, Arts & Sports, History, Israel news, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Palestinian teacher of the year teaches non-violence while married to a terrorist

My headline might read as a feel-good story, of a reformed terrorist family who now teach peace, non-violence and tolerance. However the story is not quite like that at all.

The husband of a Palestinian teacher who won “teacher of the year” award for teaching non-violence is in fact a terrorist who helped kill six Israelis! And yet the teacher will still get to keep her award:

A Palestinian teacher who won a $1 million prize for teaching nonviolence will keep her award even though her husband participated in a terror attack that killed six Israelis.

Hanan al-Hroub

Hanan al-Hroub received the UK-based Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai earlier this month for a curriculum she called “No to Violence.”

Her husband, Omar, served 10 years in an Israeli prison after being convicted as an accomplice in a deadly 1980 bombing attack in Hebron in which the victims were walking home from Friday night Sabbath prayers, The Associated Press reported. Omar al-Hroub was a chemist who provided chemicals needed for making the bombs, the AP reported.

“The judging process examines the qualities and achievements of the candidates themselves only,” the Varkey Foundation said in a statement, according to the AP.

So the judges didn’t judge whether a person teaching “non-violence” is in any way related to a mass-murderer? I find that very hard to believe.

An article in the Qatari newspaper al-Araby al-Jadid called Omar al-Hroub a “freedom fighter … who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories.”

Qadura Faris, the director of a Palestinian prisoners’ association, told the AP that Omar Al-Hroub accepted the 1993 Oslo Accords, served as a deputy Cabinet minister in the Palestinian Authority and supports a two-state solution with Israel.

Sure, a two-state solution: one for us and another one for us.

He said Omar Al-Hroub remains a senior Palestinian official who is close to President Mahmoud Abbas and “believes in his peaceful approach”.

I don’t think “peaceful approach” means what you think it means.

Al-Hroub, who teaches at the Samiha Khalil High School in al-Bireh, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, said she developed her nonviolent method after her children witnessed her husband being shot by Israeli soldiers during the second intifada.

Wow. I wonder why her poor innocent husband was being shot at by Israeli troops? Maybe because he was involved in killing six Israeli civilians at the time?

Meir Indor, chairman of the Almagor Terror Victims Association, an Israeli advocacy group, said he didn’t blame the teacher for her husband’s actions, but that she nonetheless should not have received the prize. It made “a mockery of those murdered by her husband,” Indor said.

Meir Indor is too kind. She may not be to blame for her husband’s actions, but she certainly excuses them if she describes how he was shot at without explaining the circumstances. Does she teach her young pupils that Israeli civilians are off-limits? Even if they are “settlers”?  I would love to see her in action and read her curriculum before I give her the benefit of the doubt.

The 6 victims of the 1980 Hebron massacre

Israellycool puts the focus where it should be, on the victims of this “peaceful” teacher’s murderer husband:

Here is how then Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Yehuda Blum described the attack in his letter dated 4 May 1980 to Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim (emphasis added):

I wish to draw your attention to a particularly brutal and vicious terrorist attack perpetrated by the criminal PLO in the city of Hebron on Friday, 2 May 1980, which resulted in the deaths of 6 persons and the injury of 16 others, among them women and children; 2 of the injured remain in critical condition.

This outrage was aimed against a group of Jewish worshippers, mostly students at religious seminaries who were returning from their Friday eve devotions at the Tomb of the Hebrew Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah) in Hebron on foot, in accordance with Jewish religious law regarding Sabbath.

Not only was Hanan al-Hroub’s husband a terrorist who murdered Jews, he was a terrorist taking orders and money directly from Fatah, the PLO and Mahmoud Abbas’s predecessor, Yasser Arafat! What’s more, the world’s best teacher has her husband’s “operation” listed as a mark of pride. She doesn’t try to dress it up as a mistake of his past or pretend that he rejected violence while in prison as many other terrorists now claim. Her bio has a direct line between his murderous attack and her decision to marry him.

UK Media Watch challenges the Guardian to change its feel-good story to acknowledge the murderous history of Hroub’s husband Omar:

In light of this new information, which significantly compromises Sherwood’s narrative of an innocent Palestinian family overcoming Israeli violence and oppression, the Guardian should consider either publishing a new story noting the terror background of Omar, or amending the original article to take these details into account.

I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were them. I don’t expect anyone in the international media or NGOs to admit that “non-violence” has a different meaning to Palestinians and their supporters than it does to us Israelis and our supporters.

Posted in Academia, Terrorism | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments