Destroying Muslim heritage [updated]

  Destroying Muslim heritage [updated] Posted on   March 24, 2013   | There is a veritable industry out there producing an endless stream of “reports” about imaginary Israeli efforts to destroy, damage or defile Muslim sites, in particular the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. I have repeatedly written about   this vicious campaign   that goes back to the days of Haj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, who later gained notoriety as a Nazi collaborator. Many recent examples of this ongoing incitement have been compiled by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), and for the very latest installment, you can always turn to the website of Quds Media Center . The manufactured outrage that usually accompanies the false reports on invented Israeli transgressions against Muslim holy places stands in stark contrast to the docile silence that has allowed Saudi authorities to transform Islam’s holiest places into glitzy luxury destinations. However, by now several reports highlighting the destruction of h

The UN and HRW’s list of shame

  The UN and HRW’s list of shame Posted on   June 5, 2015 Last week, I wrote at my  JPost  blog about efforts at the UN to blacklist the IDF – together with savage terror groups like the Islamic State – as an entity that regularly harms children. The post is reproduced below, but since Human Rights Watch (HRW) is now so energetically pushing for Israel’s inclusion in this “list of shame,” I felt it is worthwhile to add this update as a reminder of the organization’s shameful bias against Israel. HRW’s persistent negative focus on Israel is well documented, and I have written about the organization’s  double standards  and the animosity against Israel that is openly displayed by HRW executive director Ken Roth. As I have noted in my previous posts, HRW always stands ready to condemn Israel as soon as the Israeli army moves to defend the country’s citizens against the attacks of terror groups. HRW would perhaps claim that its latest effort is even-handed, since it apparently also recomme

Global March to Jerusalem: denying Jewish rights and history

  Posted on   March 17, 2012 Last week, a panel devoted to the question of Jerusalem’s importance to Muslims highlighted a few politically incorrect truths: from the days of Islam’s founder Muhammad, Muslims have been “raising or lowering Jerusalem’s importance in accordance with [their] political concerns.” As a matter of fact, the city that has been holy to Jews for millennia is not mentioned even once in the Koran. But while Muhammad decided to downgrade Jerusalem’s importance for the followers of his newly established faith when his hopes to be accepted as a prophet by the Jews of what is now Saudi Arabia proved futile, Ayatollah Khomeini concluded that the chances to export his “Islamic revolution” beyond Iran would greatly benefit from efforts to rally all Muslims – whether Shiites or Sunnis – around the city that the re-established Jewish state had re-united in 1967. Khomeini lost no time, and in August 1979, shortly after taking power, he called on “Muslims all over the globe t

Expect a long ‘Arab Winter’ of discontent

  Posted on   November 22, 2011   Ever since the unexpected development of the optimistically misnamed “Arab Spring”, it has become fashionable to insist that it would be foolish to try to predict how the events that shook the Middle East over the past year would pan out. In today’s  Ha’aretz , the always insightful Moshe Arens defies the councils of caution (and political correctness) and confidently states that while the “toppling of the Arab dictators was inevitable […] just as inevitable is what is going to follow their overthrow. It looks like it is going to be [a] long Arab Winter.” As Arens’s analysis suggests, it will be a long winter of discontent because the Islamist groups that are now gaining power in the region will merely “replace secular dictatorships with Islamic ones” and the “deeply rooted shortcomings” that the UN’s Arab Human Development reports first diagnosed almost 10 years ago will continue to hamper meaningful progress in the Arab world. Back in 2002, the  Econ

Dying for an imaginary right of return

  Dying for an imaginary right of return Posted on   March 19, 2014   | Picking up on a report by the Palestinian news agency  Ma’an , blogger  Elder of Ziyon  recently found out that a Palestinian official used a meeting with diplomats to spread what can only be called a blood libel. According to the  Ma’an  report, Fatah central committee member Mohammad Ishtayyeh said in a meeting with diplomats organized by the German Heinrich Böll Foundation in Ramallah “that the Palestinian Authority had attempted to negotiate the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria, but Israel had refused […] to allow them to come to the Palestinian territories.” The report noted that some “1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict, and around 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their homes in Syria due to violence in the country.” But as  Elder of Ziyon  shows by quoting an  AP  report from January 10, 2013, Israel had “agreed to the return of those refugees to G

Imagine how bad the news would be without Obama [Updated]

  Imagine how bad the news would be without Obama [Updated] Posted on   October 1, 2012   | In a devastating commentary on the end of the US troop surge in Afghanistan, Walter Russell Mead noted sarcastically: “We should all be very glad that we have a Democratic president right now; otherwise the news would be terrible. We would be seeing a rash of horrible and depressing stories in the newspapers about strategic failure […] There would be continuous coverage of the disarray in Afghanistan: the soldier’s we’re training are shooting us, the corruption is intensifying, and the opium trade spreading. There would be story after story about how Afghanistan seems little changed after the surge, and how peace is still not at hand. These stories wouldn’t be on the back pages; they’d be perceived as major news with profound implications for America’s global position […] There would be bitter, wounding comparisons between the president and LBJ in Vietnam. If we had a conservative Republican pre

Yafa Yarkoni and the songs of Israel

  Posted on   January 2, 2012   When Yafa Yarkoni passed away this Sunday, a eulogy posted at  Ha’aretz  noted that the legendary singer “was known as the singer of Israel’s wars, [who] entertained Israeli troops beginning in 1948 and was one of Israel’s most acclaimed artists.” The  Jerusalem Post’s  eulogy noted, however, that Yafa Yarkoni “detested” being described as “the singer of the wars.” Given the fact that Yarkoni’s career spanned well over half a century, it is easy to see that she had good reason for rejecting this description with its narrow focus on just a few of her songs. Moreover, it would be wrong to imagine that her “war songs” were the type of songs usually associated with martial music. Among Yarkoni’s famous songs is Bab el Wad, and when ( ex-blogger ) Yaacov Lozowick recommended it yesterday in a tweet as “perhaps her single most important song,” I thought this was finally my chance to mention Yaacov’s wonderful series on Hebrew songs. In the first post of this s