1) Two articles about synagogues in New York
The New York Times reported on December 5, 2012, Queens Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Blow Up Manhattan Synagogue:
On Tuesday Mr. Ferhani told Justice Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court in Manhattan that he and Mr. Mamdouh had developed a plan to attack a synagogue with a man called Ilter, who was an undercover officer.
“I repeatedly discussed with him my anger towards Jews based on what I believed and perceived to be their mistreatment of Muslims throughout the world,” he told the judge. “I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City, warning them to stop mistreating Muslims.”
Mr. Ferhani is scheduled to be sentenced in January. Justice Obus said that he expected to impose a sentence of 10 years, less than the 14 the district attorney’s office requested on Tuesday or the 25 Mr. Ferhani would have faced if he had been convicted of all charges after a trial. The case against Mr. Mamdouh is pending, the district attorney’s office said.
The New York Times also reported on December 5, 2012 Cheering U.N. Palestine Vote, Synagogue Tests Its Members:
Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, a large synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is known for its charismatic rabbis, its energetic and highly musical worship, and its liberal stances on social causes.
But on Friday, when its rabbis and lay leaders sent out an e-mail enthusiastically supporting the vote by the United Nations to upgrade Palestine to a nonmember observer state, the statement was more than even some of its famously liberal congregants could stomach.
“The vote at the U.N. yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world,” said the e-mail, which was sent to all congregants. “This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition.”
On the same day the New York Times published two articles, one was about a terror plot against a synagogue and the other was about a synagogue that very publicly opposed the political stance of Israel. Which one was published on page A1 and which one was relegated to A29?
2) Meshal returns
Steven Erlanger of the New York Times reported Leader CelebratesFounding of HamasWith Defiant Speech. The article contained this gem:
Mr. Meshal’s harsh words reflected longstanding Hamas principles rather than new, specific threats toward Israel. But they will only reinforce Israel’s belief that Hamas is its enemy and intends to continue to use military force to reach its goals.
“[R]einforce Israel’s belief?” Who’s he kidding? Erlanger even reported that the stage included a mockup of an M-75 rocket. So it’s only “Israel’s belief” that Hamas is its enemy? I guess the M-75 was just aperfume commercial.
It’s also important to recall that the editorial opinion of the New York Times is that:
While Hamas was at the center of the agreement, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah movement is Hamas’s rival and whom the West has counted on as the moderate partner in any peace agreement, was on the sidelines. It is getting harder to see how he can muster the leadership required to unite Hamas with Fatah in the pursuit of any comprehensive long-term peace deal with Israel.
The New York Times isn’t bothered by the fact that the Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel, but that Mahmoud Abbas isn’t strong enough to enter into agreement with Hamas, which, apparently, is a prerequisite for peace! That’s why it’s important to believe that Hamas’s belligerence and hatred is only an “Israeli belief.”
Here is the Khaled Mash’al speech, in all its rabid, hate-filled, Palestine-is-ours-alone glory. Some people, even in Israel (those who say Israel should “talk to Hamas”) are in a state of shock. Give me a break. If you’ve been paying attention, or even just reading my posts, you couldn’t possibly be surprised. This is Hamas, and it doesn’t get better than this. A problem awaiting its inevitable solution.
3) 2 articles
There is so much that is assumed about the Middle East that is simply wrong. Two recent articles debunk these assumptions. One is Barry Rubin’s Israel Has No Other Alternative But the Alternative it Has is a Good One:
In 1995, Israel signed an agreement with the PLO to make peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The accord, known as the Oslo II agreement, included the following passage in Article 31:
“Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”
By essentially unilaterally declaring the existence of an Arab Palestine, the world has abrogated that agreement.
What is shocking is not just that this has happened but there has been no discussion much less hesitation by dozens of countries to destroy an agreement that they hitherto supported. Indeed, a study of the history of this agreement shows clearly that the Palestinian side prevented the accord from succeeding, most obviously by permitting and carrying out continuing terrorism and rejecting Israeli offers for a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem both in the 2000 Camp David summit and in the ensuing offer conveyed by President Bill Clinton at the end of that year.
When you read a line to the effect that “Israel has undertaken this action despite universal international condemnation,” it’s important to remember that the Palestinians have violated every term of the agreements they signed and the international community has remained silent.
Eugene Kontorovich writes in UN vote: From ‘occupation’ to border dispute:
The truly historic aspect of the acknowledgement of PA statehood is that it contradicts the repeated tropes about Israeli oppression, occupation and apartheid. Statehood is a precondition of UN membership, not a result. There are no “peoples under occupation” with GA “state” status.
Indeed, the resolution acknowledges that the Palestinians have established all the trappings of a state. Abbas’s application to the Security Council last year made clear that they already had an independent, functioning state. It has a central bank and security forces, its own (virulently anti-Semitic) media, tax system and penal system. Palestine even an Internet suffix and international telephone exchange.
It has long been functioning as a state, conducting foreign relations, making deals and acting entirely independently of, indeed contrary to, the will of Israel. This is not a Bantustan overseen by Israel, as all its recent actions prove. In the wake of the UN vote, Palestine opened a defense ministry and began discussing issuing passports. No people under occupation have all these trappings of self-determination and statehood.
When you read that Israel “occupies the territory in violation of international law,” it’s important to remember that the occupation no longer exists.
Both of these articles need to be read and shared.