Sunday, September 7, 2014

When burning Jews isn’t news

When burning Jews isn’t news

By Stephen M. Flatow/

On Aug. 30, Palestinian terrorists set a Jewish man on fire in Jerusalem, and on Sept. 1, other Palestinian terrorists tried to set an entire bus full of Israeli Jews on fire.

Yet I couldnt find any mention of these horrific attacks in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or any other major American news outlet. Why is it that news about burning Jews is not considered fit to print?

The first of the firebomb attacks took place in Jerusalems City of David neighborhood. A Molotov cocktaila flaming bottle of gasoline which explodes upon contactwas hurled through the window of a historic 19th-century house known as Beit Meyuhas. One of the residents, a 45-year-old man, was struck by the firebomb and set on fire. He suffered first and second-degree burns to his face and head. Second-degree burns often result in permanent scarring and require skin grafting.

Burning one Jew is not enough to satisfy the appetite of Palestinian terrorists. On Sept. 1, two firebombs were thrown at an Israeli bus traveling on Route 505, between the towns of Migdalim and Kfar Tapuach. The attackers goal was to set the entire bus on fire and burn all of its passengers alive. They almost succeeded. The flaming bombs exploded as they crashed through the front windshield of the bus. Flying glass slashed the driver. It was only by a miracle that he was able to stop the bus without crashingand that the flames did not spread through the entire vehicle.

Palestinian terrorists sometimes use rocks instead of firebombs. Stoning is, after all, a time-honored method of execution in that part of the world. Recently, they certainly have been trying to do just that.

On Aug. 20, Palestinian rock-throwers attacked an Israeli automobile traveling near the Yitzhar junction. An 11-month-old baby was wounded. Medics on the scene were quoted as saying that it was a miracle she survived, since the rock that hit her was the size of a fist.

Three days later, Yedaya Sharchaton, his wife Hadassah, and 1-year-old daughter Nitzan were driving in the Gush Etzion region. Arab rocks smashed through the front windshield, causing Yedaya to lose control of the car. It flipped over. All three family members were injured; Yedaya suffered internal bleeding.  It turns out that my family was on the same road as the Sharchatons just a few days before as we headed to celebrate my granddaughters bat mitzvah by serving hot dogs to Israeli soldiers at a base in the Hebron hills.

On Aug. 29, a mob of Palestinians emerging from prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalems Temple Mount threw rocks at Israeli police officers. It would be interesting to know if anything in the sermons they had just heard encouraged them to try to murder Jews. Two of the rock-throwers were arrested; they were minors. One wonders what they are learning in school about the idea of stoning Jews to death.

The next day, Palestinian rock-throwers targeted Israeli policemen in another section of Jerusalem. Three of the officers were injured. Their names were not mentioned by the Israeli media. Nor were the extent of their injuries. Did one of them lose an eye? Was one of them permanently disfigured? Three more anonymous, forgotten victims of Arab terror.

On Sept. 1, the rock-throwers chose the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev. Spotting an Israeli bus coming down Uzi Narkis Street, from Pisgat Zeev to the adjoining Arab neighborhood of Shuafat, the would-be killers attacked. The rocks smashed the windows, one striking and injuring a 3-year-old girl. The Magen David Adom paramedics who rushed to the scene to provide emergency treatment knew that the difference between life and death for that little girl was just bad aim.

So once again, they are burning and stoning Jews. Yet the New York Times and the others are not interested. Why? Because it doesnt fit their preferred narrative.

Most of the editors and reporters in the mainstream media subscribe to a narrative of the Israeli-Arab conflict in which the Israelis are the aggressors, and the Palestinians are the victims. That narrative supports the political outcome that most editors and reporters personally endorse: an Israeli retreat to the 1967 lines, a division of Jerusalem, the rise of a Palestinian state.

But when you report about Palestinians burning and stoning Israelis, that changes everything. Americansfrom the average person in the street to Members of Congressregard such behavior as barbaric. They naturally conclude that giving a state to such violent extremists is crazy. Telling the truth about Palestinian behavior makes it harder to mobilize pressure on Israel to give in. Thats why in the editorial offices of the New York Times and so many other newspapers, news about burning Jews isnt fit to print. Sadly, its that simple.

Mr. Flatow, a New Jersey attorney, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Algemeiner, via Mosaic, Jewish Survivors and Their Progeny Against Israel

The phenomenon of Jews speaking out against other Jews and the State of Israel is not new.  1,600 years ago the sages who composed the parts of the "shemoneh esrei," the 18 benedictions said three times a day by Jews at prayer, added a prayer inveighing God to act against, in my prayer book, "traducers."

That word blew my little mind as a 12-year old because I didn't have enough sense to look it up in the dictionary or the context in which the prayer was added to seek protection from them.  Loosely translated, a traducer is a heretic.  But, when added to the prayer book it was designed to protect the Jews from those would inform the Roman authorities of the Jews' secret prayer services.  In essence, they were rats who wished for the destruction of the then-existing Jewish community.

Edward Alexander's column in the Algemeiner reissued by Mosaic points out
The Jewish enemies of Israel, if they are sufficiently profligate in the expenditure of claptrap, often come to the aid of her defenders.
In this case, the enemies of those Jews claiming to be
“Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors” and also “friends of survivors,” “friend of many survivors,” “cousins of survivors,” “cousins of victims of Nazis in Ukraine,” “the great niece of an uncle who shot himself,” “spouse of hidden child,” and “relative of victims”  
have taken out full page newspaper ads to protest Israel's war against Hamas and to equate Israel with the Nazis.  Lovely.

Jews?  Maybe, maybe not.  As quoted by Alexander, the question has been answered by
the Hebrew novelist Yosef Haim Brenner when he said that “A Jew is someone with Jewish grandchildren.”
Read the full article in Mosaic here.

What do you think?

Stephen M. Flatow

Monday, July 28, 2014

Libya and the US Embassy

US closes embassy in Libya

Thanks for the sage advice John Kerry

American policy towards Libya has led to the closing of the US embassy in that tattered country.
The most recent article from The New York Times can be found here. 
Secretary of State as Liberty from Dry Bones

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rockets from Gaza due to lack of salaries? I think not

Just when you think someone would properly hold Hamas accountable for its rocket fire into Israel along comes Nathan Thrall in The New York Times who blames the war on Israel because Hamas has not been able to pay salaries.

He writes,
AS Hamas fires rockets at Israeli cities and Israel follows up its extensive airstrikes with a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, the most immediate cause of this latest war has been ignored: Israel and much of the international community placed a prohibitive set of obstacles in the way of the Palestinian “national consensus” government that was formed in early June.
And what is one of those obstacles?
Israel immediately sought to undermine the reconciliation agreement by preventing Hamas leaders and Gaza residents from obtaining the two most essential benefits of the deal: the payment of salaries to 43,000 civil servants who worked for the Hamas government and continue to administer Gaza under the new one…

This, my friends, is just another instance of the West’s patronizing of Palestinian terrorists.  In other words, the Palestinians cannot help but be violent when a crisis (of their own doing) erupts.

I was able to have a letter in response to this column printed in The Times.

It reads
Re “How the West Chose War in Gaza” (Op-Ed, July 18): I disagree with Nathan Thrall that the absence of pay to civil servants is the reason for war in Gaza. War has broken out because Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. A look at the Hamas charter and listening to the spoken words of Hamas leadership would convince all but the most jaundiced of that.
Hamas made a choice when it took over Gaza. Instead of building an economy and housing for Gazans by using the many tons of concrete and other building materials that were allowed into Gaza, it used them to build tunnels to smuggle weaponry from Egypt and to cross under the border of Israel for future attacks against its citizens, as demonstrated this week.
It’s not the West’s failure that brought about war, but Hamas’s refusal to live peaceably side by side with Israel.


The above link will bring you to the full column.  My letter can be found on line here.   
Well, that’s what I think.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

With the Oslo dream shattered, Israel must do the creative thinking

Every now and then, the editors of Israel's Haaretz newspaper get it right.

An op-ed by Shlomo Avineri, whom many would call a member of Israel's left wing society, succinctly addresses the bottom line of the Palestinian's position regarding Israel.  He writes

Oslo’s sponsors saw the conflict as one between two national movements and believed – as did I – that direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO could find a solution to the territorial and strategic issues that were the cornerstones of the dispute. It wasn’t easy to convince Israelis, even those in the Labor Party, that the other side was a national movement – one that admittedly had terrorist facets but was fundamentally entitled, just like the Zionist movement, to exercise national self-determination.
We were wrong.
The Palestinians don’t think this is a conflict between two national movements. From their perspective, this is a conflict between a single national movement – the Palestinian one – and a colonialist, imperialist entity that is destined to vanish from the world. Therefore, the analogy that appears in Palestinian textbooks is Algeria: not the West Bank as Algeria, but all of Israel as Algeria. And the Israelis will disappear one way or another, just as the French settlers in Algeria did.

Well, that's all good, but his column then veers towards the bogeyman of Israel's politics--the settlements.  He has a proposal for his left wing colleagues, pay people to leave the West Bank, but he then fails to address his own realization that the Palestinians want all of Israel.

Nice try Mr. Aveneri

Read the full column here.