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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler

Shavua tov u'moadim l'simcha, a good week and a happy holiday to all of you. For those wondering why I am not at my second seder, it's because here in Israel, we only have one seder.

Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Friday, April 6.
1) The real Palestinians

A few months ago Thomas Friedman wrote,
That thought came to mind last week when Newt Gingrich took the Republican competition to grovel for Jewish votes — by outloving Israel — to a new low by suggesting that the Palestinians are an “invented” people and not a real nation entitled to a state.
Friedman's outrage notwithstanding, Gingrich had a point, even if it wasn't all that significant.

Now a spokesman for Hamas said something similar.
Allah be praised, we all have Arab roots, and every Palestinian, in Gaza and throughout Palestine, can prove his Arab roots - whether from Saudi Arabia, from Yemen, or anywhere. We have blood ties. So where is your affection and mercy?
[...] Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri ["Egyptian"]. Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.
Who are the Palestinians? We have many families called Al-Masri, whose roots are Egyptian. Egyptian! They may be from Alexandria, from Cairo, from Dumietta, from the North, from Aswan, from Upper Egypt. We are Egyptians. We are Arabs. We are Muslims. We are a part of you.
See also Elder of Ziyon, My Right Word and Challah Hu Akbar.

Do you think this will upset Thomas Friedman?

2) The real Jews

A Palestinian professor has asserted that Moses was ... a Palestinian!
A Palestinian university lecturer taught during a recent Palestinian Authority TV program on religion that Moses, a Muslim, brought "the Muslims of the Children of Israel out of Egypt." He refers to the subsequent Israeli conquest of the Land of Israel as the "first Palestinian liberation... of Palestine." This conquest, he taught, was led not by Joshua, as the Bible tells, but by Saul (Talut) who is also said to have slayed Goliath.
While some of this is retelling of Islamic tradition, some of it is a distortion of even the Quran for political purposes. The Quran refers to the "Children of Israel" in their land in many chapters (e.g., Sura 5), but it never refers to them or anyone else as "Palestinians." Likewise the Quran never refers to Israel's conquest as a "Palestinian" conquest. The lecturer on PA TV, however, deviates from Islamic tradition, and calls the nation of Israel's conquest of the Land of Israel "the first Palestinian liberation through armed struggle to liberate Palestine."
See also Israel Matzav and Daled Amos.

Will the systematic attempts to deny Jewish history by the Palestinian Authority and its various institutions upset Thomas Friedman?

3) The real refugees

First MFA conference on Jewish refugees from Arab countries:
On Tuesday (April 3, 2012), the Foreign Ministry hosted a special conference headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and presented for the first time a special ministry report titled "The Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries." The conference was attended by representatives from the organizations of Jews from Arab countries and by correspondents from the Israeli and international media; and was broadcast live to all the Israeli missions abroad.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon opened the conference by recognizing the historic wrong and the perversion of justice done to the Jewish refugees from the Arab countries starting in 1948. Ayalon then appealed directly to the Arab League, on this the tenth anniversary of the Saudi Initiative, and demanded they acknowledge their historic guilt and assume responsibility for expelling the Jews from Arab countries, thereby turning them into refugees, and simultaneously acknowledge their responsibility for creating the Palestinian refugees by going to war against Israel. Ayalon emphasized, "Particularly at this juncture in time I call upon the Arab League to assume responsibility and admit it was they who caused the Jews from Arab countries to become refugees."
Ayalon stated that the issue of compensation for the Jewish refugees from Arab nations will be an integral part of any future negotiations or settlement. Financial restitution will be based on the "Clinton fund" principles of 2000, according to which the Jewish refugees would be recompensed, as would the countries that took them in, such as Israel and Jordan.
Please see JoshuaPundit.

Do you think Thomas Friedman will demand that the Arab states take responsibility for the catastrophe they caused?

4) The real Israel

In an interview discussing his new book about Israel, Barry Rubin makes an important but often neglected point:
The most important theme is one that was once central but has generally been forgotten: Israel is a remarkable success story. We should remember the difficulties it faced in transforming a land without resources, surviving so much hostility, and turning a people with many differences and no military or governmental experience into a stable and prosperous democratic nation.
Do you think Thomas Friedman will ever do more than pay lip service to this success?

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