Friday, December 19, 2014

We can’t satisfy Europe, but Israel will survive

...We can’t satisfy the PLO and this is now apparently true of the EU as well. So be it. It may be difficult, but Israel will survive. I wonder if a non-Muslim Europe will?

The EU Parliament votes yesterday that it “supports
in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and
the two-state solution, and believes these should
go hand in hand with the development of
peace talks, which should be advanced.”
Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
18 December '14..
Link: http://abuyehuda.com/2014/12/we-cant-satisfy-europe/

I admit it. I read Ha’aretz (but I don’t pay for it). How else would I know what Israel’s extreme Left is thinking? So I am used to reading that time is running out, we’d better “end the occupation” before the Europeans decide to make us a “pariah nation” and Obama forgets to veto something in the Security Council.

For example, here’s Barak Ravid today:

Netanyahu doesn’t understand Europe. His approach to the diplomatic crisis with France, Britain, Germany and others is simplistic. He believes the moves in Europe are motivated by European leaders’ eagerness to obtain the votes of the growing Muslim minority by advancing a pro-Palestinian agenda. In addition, he feels Europe’s attitude toward Israel is based on deep-seated anti-Semitic sentiments.

I had hoped Ravid would continue and explain what he thinks does motivate European anti-Zionism if not the things he mentions, but he didn’t. I suppose if asked he would talk about how “The Occupation” is immoral and building across the Green Line ‘frustrates’ the Europeans and the Obama Administration because it supposedly creates facts on the ground which prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

But assuming that the architects of colonialism and perpetrators of the Holocaust* have suddenly acquired a moral sensibility is a stretch.

The Arabs of Judea and Samaria are better off economically and more secure physically than those in neighboring countries. Objectively their biggest problem is the criminal and corrupt Palestinian Authority (PA). Surely someone motivated by moral concerns would be more interested in ending the depravity and horrific violence of Da’esh (ISIS) and Assad than in satisfying the desire of the Palestinian Arabs for statehood.

This would be the case even if the PLO’s demands were not transparently designed to create a platform to replace Israel with an Arab state, and if it weren’t 100% clear that an IDF withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would bring a base for terrorism (probably under Hamas control) within a couple of miles of Israel’s population centers and airport. This isn’t rocket science (pun intended). Do you think they don’t understand this?

Dear Amnesty International: Mrs. Arafat Has Something You Should Listen To

....Amnesty International and other well-meaning charity groups did not have to engage in “extensive research” to understand the Hamas objective. They surely must have read the analysis of Suha Arafat, the widow of Yasser Arafat reported in the Italian paper La Republicca on November 12, 2014. Unlike Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor who accused Israel of committing “genocide,” Suha accused Hamas of perpetrating “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, and denounced the group for making the Strip an Islamic state and for holding its inhabitants “hostage."

Michael Curtis..
American Thinker..
18 December '14..

What can explain the distressing ailment of tone deafness on Middle Eastern affairs suffered by Amnesty International and well-meaning Human Rights Groups and Charity Organizations?

Except for rabid anti-Semites and those zealous bigots who reject the right of the Jewish People to self-determination, every rational observer favors peace, if not mutual affection, between Israel and the Arab people, including the Palestinians. Sincere advocates of a peace proceess recognize that one-sided attacks and condemnations of the State of Israel will not lead to that desired objective.

The pursuit of that objective is not helped by a new publication, a Report by Amnesty International, issued in November 2014, that ignores or minimizes the provocative militancy of the terrorist group Hamas in its continual and persisting attacks on the State of Israel and its citizens.

The Report, ignoring the provocation of the constant rocket and missile attacks – amounting to several thousand -- by Hamas on Israel, lacks impartiality by its concentration on casualties caused by Israel in Gaza. Its very title provides the clue to its thrust and purpose: "Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Families under the Rubble: Israeli attacks on Inhabited Homes". The report focuses specifically on eight incidents during which residential family homes in Gaza were attacked by Israeli forces during the fifty-day Operation Protective Edge, July 8 to August 26, 2014. More generally, it stresses what it calls the pattern of Israeli attacks intended to level civilian homes.

No doubt mistakes were made, and have been acknowledged, by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in its firing and that in the course of the fighting in Gaza unanticipated Palestinian civilian deaths occurred. But this is a far cry from the heated rhetoric of Amnesty International’s director of Middle East Programs, Philip Luther, who referred to Israeli forces having “brazenly flouted the rules of war… displaying callous indifference to the carnage caused.” He considered that the “large scale destruction (by Israel) was carried out deliberately and with no military justification.” He held that there must be accountability for any violations of international humanitarian law that have been committed. But for Luther, the accountability is one-sided because it is the Israeli authorities, not those who first fired on Israeli citizens, that must provide answers.

The hypocrisy of Amnesty International (AI) knows no limit. AI does acknowledge in its Report that in some incidents Hamas and Palestinian armed groups used civilian buildings for storing munitions. Yet, despite what it calls “extensive research,” it claims it has no evidence the Hamas or Palestinian armed groups were using the buildings mentioned in the Report for military purposes at the time of their attack. One wonders who conducts “research” at AI. The organization ignores the reality that in September 2014 Hamas officials themselves confessed that it used residential areas from which to launch missiles. It equally ignores the clear evidence that some of the schools of UNRWA were used for military purposes.

The four ‘controversial’ words banned at Ireland’s Holocaust event

...HETI’s efforts to break the link between the commemoration of the greatest crime against the Jewish people and the Jewish state are truly shameful, and we again call on the trustees responsible to resign.


Adam Levick..
CiF Watch..
18 December '14..

Further to our post on December 15th about the Master of Ceremonies (MC) for the Holocaust Educational Trust Ireland’s (HETI) Holocaust Commemoration event being forbidden to say the word ‘Israel’ or the phrase ‘the Jewish State’, we now have the closing part of 2014 MC Yanky Fachler’s draft speech which evidently so upset HETI trustees.

It seems that (according to our sources) objections were raised over Fachler saying “And we owe it to the victims, to the survivors, and to ourselves, to prevent the memory of the Holocaust being cynically distorted and hijacked by a vicious campaign that denies the Jewish people and the Jewish state – our past and our future.”

Fachler gave in and omitted the phrase “and the Jewish State” because he did not want to cause trouble. Hence the letter – signed by HETI Chair Peter Cassells – dated October 7th to Fachler, saying that in future, MCs would not be allowed to mention ‘Israel’ or ‘the Jewish State’.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Has Hamas just been whitewashed by Europe?

...Naturally, this being Europe, neither clarity nor moral decisiveness come into the matter, as those who follow European acrobatics know too well. Bottom line: this is a political move, and will be followed by more. A work in progress, demonstrating (depressingly) again what can be expected from Europe's best and brightest.

Terrorists? Who, little us?
[Image Source: 
AP/Hatem Moussa
Gaza February 3, 2006)
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
17 December '14..










Hamas, whose constitution commits it legally to the belief that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it" is designated for good and extremely painful reasons as a terrorist organization by the following countries:

Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom all designate the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades division of Hamas a terrorist organization.

Canadian law terms Hamas a terrorist group.

Egypt bans Hamas, calling it a terrorist organization.

Japan froze the assets of nearly five hundred terrorist organizations in 2005, one of them being Hamas.

Legally, Jordan banned Hamas in 1999, but is extremely flexible in the way it carries out the ban.

The United States has Hamas on its Foreign Terrorist Organization list.

Saudi Arabia "banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 2014 and branded it a terrorist organization. While Hamas is not specifically listed, a non-official Saudi source stated that the decision also encompasses its branches in other countries, including Hamas." [source]

The European Union was on this list until this morning. The news today is filled with reports about a change of European heart on Hamas. But the dry and technical reality is more nuanced than that.

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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Turning Back the Clock to Pre-1948 is the Real Endgame

...UN rules state that cultural activities seeking a UN platform must "promote dialogue among civilizations" and "be compatible with the values, purposes and principles of the United Nations." Apparently, a direct attack on the legitimacy of the UN member state of Israel is now interpreted in UN circles as consistent with the principles of the United Nations. Maybe, so long as those principles have nothing to do with truth, equality, and justice. The silence of UN members on this abomination is deafening.


Anne Bayefsky..
Human Rights Voices..
17 December '14..

Incitement against the Jewish state is directly related to the stabbings, raping and killing of Jews inside and outside of Israel. But doing something to stop it requires confronting a very troubling fact: the global epicenter for incitement is the "human rights" leviathan, the United Nations.

From November 24, 2014 until December 5, 2014, UN human rights headquarters in Geneva mounted a public exhibit that was pure incitement. UN-driven antisemitism that takes the form of seeking to demonize, disable and ultimately destroy the Jewish state.

The exhibit was entitled: "La Nakba: Exode et Expulsion des Palestiniens en 1948" — or "The Nakba: Exodus and Expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948." The occasion was the annual UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Solidarity Day marks the adoption by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947 of the resolution that approved the partitioning of Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state.

Introductory Poster, UN Nakba Exhibit, Palais des Nations, Geneva, 2014

The partition resolution was rejected by Arab states and celebrated by the Jewish people. Thus the Arab war to deny Israel's right to exist began.

But in 2014, the UN overtly jettisoned the usual diplomatic lie that the 1967 occupation is the root cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The exhibit focused on the alleged crime of creating a Jewish state in 1948 and openly justified the rejection of the partition resolution.

The display was located in the UN's Palais des Nations just outside the home room of the UN Human Rights Council. It consisted of 13 panels in French and an accompanying catalogue with English reproductions of each item. The catalogue was distributed by UN conference services.

Reception beside the UN Nakba Exhibit, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Nov. 26, 2014


UN Nakba Exhibit, Exhibition Gallery, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Nov.-Dec. 2014


It turns out that the highly controversial exhibit has been circulating in churches and community centers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since April 2008. Sought-after hosts like the City of Dusseldorf and the city library in Freiburg have refused the exhibit, which has also been formally criticized by the Mayor of Cologne.

Europe’s Moral Bankruptcy and the Exoneration of Hamas

...And so on the same day that the European Parliament voted in favor of Palestinian statehood and Switzerland convened the signatories of the Geneva Convention to pass judgment on Israel’s activities in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, let it also be remembered that the General Court of the European Union ruled that Hamas should be removed from the union’s terror list. Europe’s moral bankruptcy has never been clearer.

Tom Wilson..
Commentary Magazine..
17 December '14..

Considering the amount of time that European Union politicians and diplomats channel into obsessing about Israel, one would assume that Europe has no problems of its own. After all, today, in addition to the European Parliament voting in favor of Palestinian statehood there have been reports that the Europeans and Palestinians have now agreed upon a joint resolution to take to the UN Security Council. But perhaps the most glaringly reprehensible decision to have come out of the EU today is the ruling by the union’s General Court that Hamas must be struck from Brussels’s terror blacklist.

The EU’s foreign ministry has reportedly asked the Israeli government not to cause a storm over this ruling and at the moment the official line from Brussels is that they will be appealing the court’s decision. And yet given that at the time of the signing of the short-lived Hamas-Fatah unity deal the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton welcomed the move, or the huge amount of funding that the EU channels into Hamas-controlled Gaza, one wonders where exactly EU officials really stand on condemning Hamas. After all, during Israel’s war with the terror group this summer, the EU was particularly vocal in its support for imposing a ceasefire that would leave Hamas in control of Gaza and grant many of Hamas’s key demands in return for more paper promises about ending the rocket fire.

The timing of this ruling also seems more than a little coincidental. Not only is there the expectation of an imminent Palestinian UN statehood bid, but it also coincides with today’s Geneva Convention conference, which among other things is expected to cover issues of international law and alleged war crimes in Gaza. Removing Hamas from the terror list at this time only gives added weight to the arguments of those looking to exonerate Gaza’s Islamist rulers while wishing to have Israel indicted as the key aggressor. And of course, Hamas and its supporters worldwide are hailing the decision as a great breakthrough and victory.

But if there is no politics at work here then it is still far from clear why this ruling came about now, or indeed at all. After all, Europe’s classification of Hamas as a terrorist organization has been good since to 2001. Apparently, the change in designation only comes after a petition to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the designation of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers as terrorists. It seems that the case of the Tamil militants has then been used to springboard this subsequent ruling on Hamas. Indeed, the court’s reasons for annulling the Council of the European Union’s 2001 decision appears incredibly feeble. The court’s grounds for suddenly ruling that the initial classification was invalid simply rests on the claim that the earlier decision was based on evidence that had come from “the press and Internet” and as such must now be deemed insufficient.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The need for Israel to submit its own resolution to the Security Council

...For what the Palestinians are trying to do is to undo UNSC Resolution 242 by getting rid of the parts they don’t like. Resolution 242 was adopted after the 1967 Six-Day war, and it is still in force. It is the relevant and binding UN decision that sets the principles for negotiated peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors. There is no reason to change it, but there is a reason the Palestinians want it repealed.

Dr. Emmanuel Navon..
i24 News..
17 December '14..

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reportedly intends to submit a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) aimed at demanding a full and unconditional Israeli withdrawal to the armistice line that separated Israel from Jordan between 1949 and 1967. Rather than lobbying the United States to veto the PLO resolution, and rather than trying to convince France to drop its own supposedly more benign draft, Israel should submit its own resolution to the UNSC.

The Israeli resolution would demand a Palestinian renunciation of the so-called “right of return” and a UN commitment to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within two years. This way, UNSC members would have to vote on two resolutions: one that demands an unconditional and total Israeli withdrawal (the PLO proposal), and one that demands an unconditional and total end to the cynical perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem (the Israeli proposal). UNSC members that claim to support the two-state solution will then have to explain why they are willing to impose one ingredient of that solution (i.e. ending Israel’s partial control of the West Bank) but not the other (i.e. ending the Palestinian claim, clearly incompatible with the two-state solution, that six million Arab “refugees” should be granted the option of becoming residents and citizens of Israel).

The PLO’s refusal to end all claims against Israel (including the claim that the descendants of the 1948 refugees should have a “right of return” to Israel) is the reason Yasser Arafat rejected the December 2000 Clinton proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 96% of the West Bank) and the reason Abbas rejected the September 2008 Olmert proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 99% of the West Bank, after land swaps). Abbas admittedly has said that he does not intend to return to his hometown of Safed, but he also insists that he can only renounce his own “right” but not that of six million “refugees.” He confirmed this two weeks ago (on 30 November) in an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Akhbar Al-Youm. “We cannot close the door to those who wish to return,” Abbas insisted.

The Israeli proposal would thus send the following message to UNSC members: if you want to impose a settlement instead of encouraging a negotiated one, then it has to go both ways. You cannot just ignore one of the main sources of the ongoing stalemate and let the Palestinians get away with a fanciful demand that is incompatible with the two-state solution.

For what the Palestinians are trying to do is to undo UNSC Resolution 242 by getting rid of the parts they don’t like. Resolution 242 was adopted after the 1967 Six-Day war, and it is still in force. It is the relevant and binding UN decision that sets the principles for negotiated peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors. There is no reason to change it, but there is a reason the Palestinians want it repealed.

Anti-semites, lone-wolves, killers of school-children, and the people who understand and appreciate them

...And as we are seeing right now over the river in Jordan, appreciating the heroic and the inspirational in the actions of a convicted and unrepentant killer (who prays for the day when she can kill again) is something even world-class journalists and Western governments have little problem supporting. Still, the case of James M. Wall and those who acquiesce in his hatefulness with their silence and passivity continues to cause damage because of how little attention and criticism it has attracted.

timeless question
Arnold/Frimet Roth..
This Ongoing War..
16 December '14..

Over at the Gatestone Institute's website, Dexter Van Zile from CAMERA takes a penetrating look at a high-profile Christian magazine that "caters to liberal (mainline) Protestants in the United States" (his words) while helping to advance a notoriously anti-semitic website.

Oh, and a major search engine is involved too.

His essay is called "The Stubborn Antisemitism of Yahoo and The Christian Century", and one of its central characters is James M. Wall. Unlike most Christian theological writers and their thinking, this Wall is someone about whom we have actual views. Strongly negative views, naturally, based on articles he has published and positions he has advocated. A sense of what we think can be gotten from a post we published here a year and a half ago: "18-Jul-13: When he lionizes child killers, is James M. Wall speaking for mainstream Christians". In honor of Dexter's new piece, following, is an excerpt.

---

...James M. Wall, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.... exemplifies, to us, a deeply disturbing trend in the world of ultra-liberal religious thought: the willingness to really, really, really understand and theologically empathize with the people who hate Jews and who do awful things to them... Anyone not already familiar with what we said about this troubling individual earlier is invited to see

3-Jul-13: Stonewalling? The Christian Century and the thundering silence


5-May-13: Self-confessed jihadist murderer: "With my media card, I was able to enter back and forth, undetected..."


23-Aug-12: Theology and sociopaths
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Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

Chanukah - The Holiday of Resistance

...The lights of the menorah embody the spirit of the Jewish people. A spirit that has outlived the atrocities of every tyrant. In the heart of the flame that has burned for a thousand years lives the soul of a people.



Daniel Greenfield..
Sultan Knish..
First Posted 08 December '12..

The first night of Chanukah marks the beginning of a holiday that for many of its celebrants has no identity, that celebrates 'celebration', with no thought to what it is celebrating. For many Americans, Chanukah appears to overlap with Christmas, but there is no similarity between the two other than the season. The more appropriate analogy is to the 4th of July overlaid with Thanksgiving, a celebration of divine aid in a military campaign against tyrannical oppression.

The overt militarism of the Chanukah story has made it an uncomfortable fit for many Jews who have found it easier to strip away its dangerous underlying message that a time comes when you must choose between the destruction of your culture and a war you can't win. In those dark days a war must be fought if the soul of the nation is to survive.

There are worse things than death and slavery, the fates waiting for the Maccabees and their allies had they failed, the fates that came anyway when the last of the Maccabees were betrayed and murdered by Caesar's Edomite minister, whose sons went on to rule over Israel as the dynasty of Herod.

Nations can survive the mass murder of their bodies, but not the death of their spirit. A nation does not die, until its soul dies, and the soul of a nation is in its culture and its faith, not in the bodies of its citizens.

Tonight that first candle, that first glimmer of flame over oil, marks the night that the Maccabee forces entered Jerusalem, driving out the enemy armies and their Jewish collaborators, and reclaiming their people's culture and religion.

The light of the flame was a powerful message sent across time, that even in the darkest hour, hope was not lost. And Divine Providence would not abandon the people. Time passed the Maccabees fell, Jerusalem was occupied and ethnically cleansed over and over again, and still the menorah burned on. A covert message that still all hope was not lost. That Israel would rise again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Zionism, The Moral Struggle by Ryan Bellerose

...I want young Jewish people to understand this simple truth. YOU ARE THE GOOD GUYS, no matter what the leftists would have you believe. The return of a displaced indigenous people is never a tragedy. The creation of the world’s first modern indigenous state is a triumph for all indigenous people. Your country is a lantern in the darkness – Lux lucis Obscurum, is latin for “ light from the darkness”; this is Israel, the Middle East’s only actual democracy, the only state in the Middle East where human rights are actually respected.

Ryan Bellerose..
Israellycool..
15 December '14..

I find myself writing about things that I think are common sense. I wrote extensively about the indigenous status of the Jewish people, and in a bemused fashion, watched as people tried to deny something that is verified not just in religious texts of every major faith, but through genetics, history, archaeology, and anthropology. I never really concerned myself with the hurt feelings of people who had bought a false narrative, or the feelings of a people who went from being the dominant group who colonised and oppressed the entire region, to being stateless refugees used as pawns by their brethren.

It’s amusing to me that something I saw as common sense, was such a groundbreaking argument and is only now coming into the mainstream.

Now I am gonna blow some more minds with my next statement. I am taking back a word that has long been misused by ignorant people. I am proud to call myself a Zionist, and every Zionist should be.

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A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. Ryan was unsure if his real name was "Go get water!" or "Go get wood!" In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football , reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

(Video) Ani Yehudi 2014 אני יהודי

In honor of Chanukah: A Music Video with MK Moshe Feiglin. Enjoy and Happy Chanukah!..

LOTL..
15 December '14..

While also being a Jewish identity clip from the campaign of Deputy Speaker of Knesset Moshe Feiglin, it also has a great deal of meaning for Melody and I, as it was first played by Lenny Solomon at our Sheva Brachot in Har Nof, in 2004. Lenny had composed it for Manhigut Yehudit, but ultimately it did not go public until a few years later when someone within Manhigut realized that this piece really was the message that needed to be conveyed. As is true today. Enjoy and please share!



Learn more about Moshe's campaign by visiting http://blog.mflikud.com/

Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook which has additional pieces of interest besides that which is posted on the blog. Also check-out This Ongoing War by Frimet and Arnold Roth. An excellent blog, very important work as well as a big vote to follow our good friend Kay Wilson on Twitter
.

How a Population Dropped to Two - Ethnic Cleansing of Jews in Turkey

...The sweet little secret in both Turkey and Europe is that anti-Semites do not need the existence of a Jewish state to attack or threaten Jews. Hatred of Jews did not start with the re-establishment of the state of Israel. The truth is that those who carried out ethnic cleansing of Jews are the last persons who should whine about the non-existent Israeli "occupation." Israelis are not occupiers in Israel. Israel is the home of the Jews; you cannot be an occupier in your own home. Israel has the legal, moral and historical right to exist as a sovereign state.

Uzay Bulut..
Gatestone Institute..
15 December '14..

The latest anti-Semitic statement in Turkey was made on November 21 by Dursun Ali Sahin, the governor of Edirne, a city in Eastern Thrace. Governor Sahin announced that because he was angry at Israel, he would turn the city's synagogue into a museum. "While those bandits [Israeli security forces] blow winds of war inside al-Aqsa and slay Muslims," he said, "we build their synagogues. I say this with a huge hatred inside me. We clean their graveyards, send their projects to boards. But the synagogue here will be registered only as a museum, and there will be no exhibitions inside it."

In response to the uproar that followed, Governor Sahin phoned the Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Ishak Haleva, to apologize and, according to the newspaper, Salom, said his statements had been misunderstood and distorted by the media.

The Director General of the General Directorate of Foundations, Adnan Ertem, then said that the synagogue would, after all, remain a house of worship.

More shocking, however, is the demographic makeup of Edirne's current population.

Before the Turkish Republic was established in 1923, the Jewish population of Edirne, for centuries a home to Jews, was 13,000, as reported in the detailed essay "The Jews of Edirne," by Rifat Bali, an independent scholar specializing in the history of Turkish Jewry. But by 1998, Edirne had three Jews left: Yasef Romano, who was born in 1938, and Rifat and Sara Miftani, a couple who owned a shop there.

Today, the current Jewish population of Edirne is two.

The Jewish presence in Edirne dates back to early Byzantine times, during the rule of Roman Emperor Theodosius I (reigned 379-395 CE). During the Ottoman Empire, Edirne -- home to many Jewish intellectuals, scientists, musicians, publishers and merchants -- was as central to Jews as Constantinople (Istanbul) and Thessaloniki.

What happened?