Arab Terror

Elad and Michal Salomon, Halamish, Neve Tzuf

It Came So Close: The Halamish Massacre

After a terror attack, the connections come out. Israel is a small country. You almost always have some sort of connection to the victims.

With the Salomon family of Halamish, a friend I think of as a brother informed me that the young soldier who neutralized the terrorist through the kitchen window, a hero by all accounts, was his wife’s cousin, as is the young hero’s mother.

That was a nice connection, so to speak. One to make me feel pride by association. A comfort in the midst of grave horror.

But then a friend messaged me on Facebook. She wrote:

“Varda. Friday night, after we finished our Shabbat meal, some kids came to pick up our 12-year-old son Micha on their way to the youth gathering. One of those kids was Nitzan Davidi*, the niece of Michal Salomon. The Davidi* family lives not far from us.

“Later we heard there had been a pigua, a terror attack, but there were no details yet. Not until after Shabbat, when my husband came home from the synagogue and announced, “The Davidis have a new widow and her children in their home.”

“Nitzan’s mother is the sister of Michal Salomon.

“I was sick to my stomach, hunched over with terrible stomach cramps all that night. I know it’s not about me but—it came so close. Nitzan in our home while her uncle was being slaughtered.

“I went for a walk with my husband Saturday night, the night after the slaughter, to get some fresh air. We passed the Davidi home. People were milling about. Like a house of mourning. Then I saw the double stroller. I don’t know why that stood out for me, the stroller, but I was thinking: ‘Why a double stroller? Who, in the Davidi family, needs one of THOSE.’

“Later that night I read that the Salomons had one-year-old twins. One-year-old twins! What kind of monster kills a father! Sick. Just SICK.

“The whole thing was just so very close to home. I was consumed with the thought that Nitzan was in our home at the time of the slaughter, completely unaware. Just a normal kid on a Friday night, picking up her friends for a get together.

“I kept imagining Nitzan coming home happy and tired, going to sleep, and then waking up to the phone call and the keening.”

We both contemplated that for a minute. A young girl being woken from her Shabbat sleep with the worst possible news. Her home transformed to one of deep mourning.

My friend’s experience seemed to touch me by association. The murders in Halamish, the plight of the young widow and her children were more real than ever. I began to imagine the kids hearing their father, grandfather, and aunt being slaughtered, the screams. How would they ever be normal?

It was setting in, the horror, in a new way. There was a new association now. I felt like I knew the family. I could picture the Davidi family. The house. The stroller.

On Tuesday my friend had more to tell me. She eased into it with small talk about diet, mine and hers, working her way around to the terror attack.

“Nitzan’s father, the brother in-law of Michal Salomon? We were chatting and got to talking about the massacre, of course. It’s hard to think about anything else. Yaron* said that terrorists dope themselves up with drugs before they do their thing. They have to be high to do it.”

I shrugged, “Everyone knows that.”

“Well, I didn’t,” she said.

“Anyway, Yaron described the attack to me! He said that Elad [Salomon, Michal’s husband] had the terrorist in a bear hug as the terrorist was stabbing him. Thirty times the terrorist stabbed him in the back. Then he went to work on his face.

“I managed to ask Yaron about Nitzan. ‘When did she know?’

“‘Oh, she was already in bed and sound asleep when we got the call,’ he said.”

There was a pause while my friend let that sink in for me. Observant Jews don’t use the phone on Shabbat. There is only one reason a phone rings like that. It was Michal calling, telling them what had happened.

It’s good that Nitzan was able to sleep through that night, I thought. One more night of childhood innocence before learning of the evil that had hit her aunt and uncle, HY”D, may Hashem avenge the blood of the Salomons.

I know that all Jews are related to each other multiple times. We’re a small nation that was forced to marry cousins in the Diaspora. So I knew in theory that I was related to Michal Salomon, to her husband Elad, his father and sister, and to NItzan and Yaron, too.

Now I felt it, as well.

These are the details you don’t see in the news. These are the quiet, intimate, awful details that are whispered, that almost aren’t whispered, so painful are they to speak of.

Most of us have been thinking about the brave soldier, thinking of Michal Salomon, her courage and strength in taking her children upstairs to the bedroom, locking the door, calling the police.

But now I am thinking of something else: there’s a different picture in my mind, the one that explains all that blood on the floor that we saw in the photos. I’m thinking of Elad, holding the terrorist in a bear hug with all his might, trying to keep him from hurting anyone else, taking all that pain, being stabbed thirty times in the back, and then finally, as his strength ebbs away, being stabbed repeatedly in the face, his final memory one of a knife coming much too close, so close, so many times.

And we don’t even know how it went with Elad’s father and sister.

It’s personal, you see. This massacre of a Jewish family. It hurts.

This is my family, even if I never knew them. This terrorist that came to hurt this beautiful family? He acted out of pure evil. His soul is black as tar. A monster, not a human being.

And now there is a new widow who must try to heal children who heard their father, grandfather, and aunt being slaughtered. Michal must try to make their nightmares go away while mourning the love of her life. But the nightmares will never disappear.

That is who they will always be, the Salomon children, from here on in. They and their mother: they will always be those nightmares. The massacre of Halamish.

And it all feels much too close.

*Names changed

Yahud Always Lie

WATCH: Yahud Always Lie

A German reporter presses an Arab woman, Maria Abunismeh, in order to understand the Arab objection to enhanced security measures on the Temple Mount, in the clip below. He asks: “So many people in Germany don’t really understand. They say, you know there was a terror attack, two policemen were killed by weapons that were inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. They came out, shot the policemen, and went inside. Why don’t you want these security metal gates, at the entrance?”

Her response?

“No, no. What they say it’s not true. Do you believe them? They say everything. Many stories say. But this is our Aqsa, this holy place. This is all Muslim.”

The German reporter responds, “So which part don’t you believe? That the policemen weren’t killed?” and this goes on and on, with Maria spinning her wheels weaving a nonsensical story, the German reporter trying to understand exactly what it is she believes.

The money quote? Maria, explaining that the official story about the terror attack and the need for heightened security are bogus, says, “Yahud always lie.”

Get that? Not “Israelis.” But “Jews.”

“Yahud” being Arabic for “Jews.”

But watch for yourselves. See how Maria weaves her story to an (illogical) conclusion: The dead policemen shot themselves!!!

Hat tip Aharon Epstein

 

Looking Occupation Full in the Face

Sarah Tuttle-Singer wrote a longish status about the word “occupation” yesterday. Except none of what she wrote has anything to do with occupation, the concept. Rather, she created a new definition for a word that already has a perfectly good definition as well as a well-defined legal meaning, as put forth by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

This is a predictable tactic, one favored by the left. They throw tons of ordure at the fan knowing some of it is bound to stick. And when I say ordure, I mean lies. They shoot out so much of it all at once that you cannot unpack it all without looking like a pedant. And their followers drink it in and regurgitate it back into the world like the sheeple they are, even though none of it makes any sense.

Here’s the status:

And a screenshot:

sts-occupation-screenshot

The text:

After a break-out session at #ZionismV3 at the Oshman Family JCC, where I said the “O word” — Occupation — a woman came up to me and told me she prefers the term “Disputed Territories.”

Maybe some of you do, too, and since we know words are important, I’ll explain why the word “Occupation” is important:

When I use the term “Occupation” I’m not talking about land. I’m talking about people.

Specifically, over 2 million Palestinians living in Areas A, B, and C who are the mercy of our Minister of Defense.

And what does that mean?

It means that if the IDF is ordered to raze someone’s house because their brother’s kid stabbed someone, then an entire family is homeless.

It means that the IDF can kick down their doors in the middle of the night – because maybe someone has a brother who was planning a terror attack.

It means that freedom of movement is restricted and that you can’t get from point A to point B without a check point.

It means that water can be redirected away from Palestinian villages and toward the settlements if there’s a water shortage.

It means that there are children living 30 minutes from the beach who have never seen the sea.

It means that just because things are quiet in Israel does not mean they’re well, because over the Green Line there are a lot of people who are living under the control of our government – a government they had no say in choosing.

This is occupation. And that is not in dispute.

And I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that all of us living in Israel and dealing with all the various complexities of what that means — from sleeping in bomb shelters with our babies to sipping cappuccinos on Shenken to wailing over the open grave of our friend killed in a terror attack to swimming in warm sea water at midnight — need to look this full in the face without turning away.

Definition of Occupation

For the record, let us take a look at the first sentence of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines “occupation.”

Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.

What we are speaking about here is a belligerent nation that invades another country and forcibly transfers people to the area in an effort to create facts on the ground in order to strengthen its claim to the territory.

This does not in any way shape or form describe Israel’s relationship to Judea and Samaria. For one thing, Jews lived in Judea and Samaria before there was an Arab people and before Mohammed was a gleam in his mama’s eye. Use archaeological artifacts, Josephus, or the bible. You’re still going to happen on that unassailable truth.

The Real Occupation

In fact, it was the Muslims who occupied Judea and Samaria, expelling the Jews and installing Muslims in their stead. Of course, they weren’t the only people to occupy Judea and Samaria. The territory was occupied time after time in history by the following empires: Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Crusader, Mamluk, Ottoman, and British.

But the Jews never lost hope that they would return. They prayed for rain in Israel during Israel’s rainy season. They prayed they’d have next year’s Passover Seder in Jerusalem. They said to themselves, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its cunning.”

The Quran calls the Jews, “Yahud,” meaning the people of Judea. Which is also what “Jew” means, by the way. The Quran refers to the Jews as Bani Isra’il, the sons of Israel, or Bnei Yisrael, as we say in Hebrew. The Quran makes no claim to these territories, but rather describes the ingathering of the Jewish exiles:

To Moses We did give Nine Clear Signs:

As the Children of Israel: when he came to them, Pharaoh said to him:

“O Moses! I consider thee, indeed, to have been worked upon by sorcery! Moses said,

“Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none,

But the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence:

And I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!”

So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth:

But We did drown him and all who were with him.

And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel,

“Dwell securely in the land (of promise)”:

But when the second of the warnings came to pass,

We gather you together in a mingled crowd. (2314)

surah 17:101-104 Al Isra’ (The Night Journey)

But back to the Geneva Convention and Article 49. The language is clear. It describes a forced population exchange. Nothing of the sort happened in Judea and Samaria. Jews are not alien to the land. No one forced settlers to move there. No one was living in the areas settled at the time the settlements were created. The Arabs live in the valleys, the Jews live on the hills. It’s the way it is. Look at a topographical map and know this as fact.

Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan held Judea and Samaria. Only two UN member states saw this as a legal occupation: Great Britain and Pakistan. When Israel took possession of Judea and Samaria in 1967, it was no invasion, Habibi. She was fighting off FOUR Arab armies. She was fighting for her life.

Not Occupation: Let Me Count The Ways

So, to sum up, let’s list the way Israel is not an occupier. Israel:

  • Is not an invader, but rather, was forced to fight a defensive war against four armies
  • Didn’t force people to move to Judea and Samaria, they volunteered
  • Didn’t kick Arabs out of their homes to create settlements, but built on barren hilltops
  • Didn’t transfer a non-native population into Judea and Samaria, rather the Jews are the indigenous people of the territory with their presence in Judea and Samaria actually predating the Arab people.

Now Tuttle-Singer thinks she can get around all that by prefacing her remarks with this statement:

When I use the term “Occupation” I’m not talking about land. I’m talking about people.

But that doesn’t mean anything. It’s nonsense. It’s like someone saying, “When I say ‘car’ I’m not talking about a vehicle, I’m talking about people who drive,” or, “When I say ‘butter’ I’m not talking about a dairy product but about people who dine.”

It’s a meaningless construct. And rather than explain the logic behind this assertion that even she can’t see, she mounts a soapbox and spouts several anti-Israel lies. Beginning with this:

Specifically, over 2 million Palestinians living in Areas A, B, and C who are the mercy of our Minister of Defense.

Tuttle-Singer does two things with this statement:

1) She gets in a dig at Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense,  because to her he’s über right when actually he’s no different than any other politician and waffles like the best of them when necessary. He has no compunction ordering the demolition of a Jewish home just because.

2) She lies about Area A being under Israel’s thumb. Area A has had full Palestinian Authority autonomy in Arab villages and towns since the year 2000. Arab villages and towns in Area B are also under the PA, but Israel and the PA do joint patrols here. Finally, Area C remains to be negotiated and well, that’s up to the Arabs. Israel (unfortunately, in my opinion) remains open to negotiate at any time, with no preconditions.

Really, the Arabs could have just about anything they want, if they’d just stop acting like behemoths, stop the terror, and behave like human beings.  But back to Tuttle-Singer.

It means that if the IDF is ordered to raze someone’s house because their brother’s kid stabbed someone, then an entire family is homeless.

Seriously? So teach your children not to stab people. Teach them that knives are for eating steak, and not for murdering peace activists taking bus rides—peace activists like Richard Lakin, for instance.

Don’t blame the reaction to terror, the defense. Blame the CAUSE.   Blame TERROR.

And anyway, these relatives of terrorists aren’t so homeless. They get a warning. They take their stuff out. They cry to the EU, or to their neighbors and someone builds them a newer, nicer house. Also, they get a monthly stipend for being related to someone who murdered a Jew.  And they’re lauded as heroes.

When a Jew’s home is demolished, on the other hand, he’s not allowed to rebuild, no one gives him money to buy a new home, and rather than receive a monetary reward, he’s out a couple of hundred thousand shekels with no new home on the horizon. And that’s by his JEWISH government, regarding a home that sits in Jewish indigenous territory!!

A Case Study: Israeli Demolitions

After Mohammad Nasser Tra’ayra, 17, of Bani Naim, murdered 13 year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel in her sleep, stabbing her multiple times, his parents’ home was slated for demolition as a deterrent measure against terrorism.  The IDF Spokesman’s office released this film clip of the demolition.

However, this doesn’t tell the real story.

What really happened was this: the IDF knocked down just a few walls and this only after the family received advanced warning and were able to remove their furnishings and belongings. The family also managed to carefully remove and preserve the windows and faucets for future restoration of the home.

bani-naim-1-hallel-yaffa-terrorist

Arab youth pretending sorrow for the cameras.

Looking Occupation Full in the Face

They took down just a few walls, leaving the house mostly intact, and easily restored.

bani-naim-3-hallel-yaffa-terrorist

In the inimitable words of Allen Sherman: “And they knocked a hole in the wall. That’s all. No wall.”

Contrast and compare to these before and after photos of the demolition of the home of Jewish settler, Choni Kaniel of Maale Rahavam, on May 7, 2014.

Before

Before

One day, the Israeli courts decided to redraw the blue line and rule his home illegal. The home was demolished.

After

After

But this was not a symbolic demolition as in the case of the family home of the Arab terrorist who murdered a 13 year-old girl in her sleep. It was not a show for the public.

After

After

Large machinery was brought.

jewish-home-2

The home was smashed to smithereens.

No walls were left intact.

Choni now lives in a tent on the spot where his home once stood.

jewish-home-demolition-5

Choni’s new “home.”

Choni created this meme to illustrate the disparity between the demolition of a terrorist’s family home and that of a Jewish home.

demolition-meme
Un. Fricking. Real.

Tuttle-Singer writes:

It means that the IDF can kick down their doors in the middle of the night – because maybe someone has a brother who was planning a terror attack.

Well, again. Whose fault is that? Israel remains in a permanent state of war from 1948, when it declared statehood. The Arabs refuse to end the state of war, no matter how much land we give them, no matter what we do. And they murder us. They murder young girls sleeping in their beds. They murder whole families on quiet Shabbat evenings. They murder us on buses and in the streets. They murder us wherever they find us. Wherever and whenever we fail to stop them, fail to defend ourselves. We expelled roughly 10,000 of our own people from their homes in the name of peace, and still, they hunt us down and murder us. They did it before 1948, such as in Hebron in 1929 and 1936. And they’re still doing it now.

We have every right to follow the leads that may prevent the murder of someone’s mother, someone’s sister, someone’s son. That is what war means: the war they force on us by refusing to make peace, by refusing to be peaceful, by their nonstop terror. If they won’t sign a treaty, then we damned well WILL kick down the doors of potential terrorists to stop them from doing their horrible, ugly, violent deeds.

That Tuttle-Singer sings her song of woe on behalf of the violent and against her own people betrays the blackest of souls.

She writes:

It means that freedom of movement is restricted and that you can’t get from point A to point B without a check point.

This too, is the result of constant Arab terror against the Jews since way before the British Mandate. Don’t like having your freedom of movement restricted? Don’t. Murder. Jews.

Don’t like checkpoints? Don’t. Murder. Jews.

Why is her concern for the murderers and not for their victims and potential victims? Because she hates us.

Tuttle-Singer writes:

It means that water can be redirected away from Palestinian villages and toward the settlements if there’s a water shortage.

This is just a lie. One that’s been debunked. Over and over again. A burst water pipe is not a water “redirected” and has nothing to do with any water shortage. Israel has actually increased the water supply to Arab villages and towns.

Tuttle-Singer writes:

It means that there are children living 30 minutes from the beach who have never seen the sea.

This has nothing to do with Israel, but everything to do with democratically elected terrorist Arab leaders who keep their people imprisoned in camps and refuse to make peace with Israel. Does she really want to say this has anything at all to do with Israel?? Okay, yeah. It’s Israel’s fault because Israel EXISTS.

Since Israel exists, these people remain political pawns, held in place by their democratically elected terrorist leaders. So clearly Tuttle-Singer is working toward the eradication of the Jewish State because instead of doing anything meaningful to fight against the injustice, she blames the injustice on the wrong party, and backs those responsible for the injustice, instead. And those who are responsible for the injustice have vowed not to do justice, not to let their people out of the prison camps, until Israel is Judenfrei, with the Jews in the sea, the same one Arab children apparently are so desperate to see.

Which begs the question: why is Tuttle-Singer here in Israel with her children? By her/their presence, they perpetuate the refugee status of the Arab people who remain behind barbed wire, unable to see the sea. She could actually make a difference if she’d just get on a plane and LEAVE. (I know plenty of people who’d be happy to buy her a one-way ticket back to LA.)

Tuttle-Singer writes:

It means that just because things are quiet in Israel does not mean they’re well, because over the Green Line there are a lot of people who are living under the control of our government – a government they had no say in choosing.

But things are not quiet in Israel. We are right now experiencing an uptick in terror. And if it’s not quiet, it’s because the Arabs are not quiet. So as the “new media director” of the Times of Israel, someone who works for a NEWS OUTLET, what the Hell is she talking about?

What she is trying to say (but doing a poor job of it) is that Arabs are ruled by a Jewish government but don’t get to vote for that government. But this too, is a lie.

Israelis Arabs can vote. And there are Arabs in the Knesset.

The Arabs who don’t have Israeli citizenship are welcome to apply for Israeli citizenship if they live in areas under Israeli autonomy. Once granted citizenship, they can vote in Israeli elections.

Arabs who don’t live under Israeli autonomy can vote in PA or Hamas elections, depending on where they live. And if Abbas wants to serve way past his term, and not hold new elections, that’s not on the Jews, that’s on the Arabs who voted for him.

Tuttle-Singer writes:

This is occupation. And that is not in dispute.

“This” whatever “this” means, is NOT occupation. And that is absolutely no longer in dispute, seeing as I have now unpacked and refuted her every word on the subject.

Occupation is not anything but what it actually is, and there is no Israeli occupation of Arab land. Arabs who don’t have freedom of movement, don’t have it because of Arab terror, and because they vote for terrorists to lead them: terrorists who will never negotiate peace with Israel.

Tuttle-Singer writes

And I don’t know what the solution is, but I do know that all of us living in Israel and dealing with all the various complexities of what that means — from sleeping in bomb shelters with our babies to sipping cappuccinos on Shenken to wailing over the open grave of our friend killed in a terror attack to swimming in warm sea water at midnight — need to look this full in the face without turning away.

I do know what the solution is. Everyone does. It’s simple: stop the murder machine. Stop the terror. Accept that Jews have a state on their indigenous territory. Accept that the Jews expelled their own people to give you land. Accept that Israel gives you arms (the better to shoot you with, my dear), autonomy, and citizenship. Accept that Israel offered you housing, gives you money, free electricity, tons of aid, medical care, places in the government, and on our Supreme Court.

Deal with it. Compromise! Lay down your arms, your knives, your car rammings, rocks, and firebombs. Live and love in peace. Give your children a better future.

This is not at all complex. This is what Tuttle-Singer needs to look full in the face, without turning away.

This is the solution.

And only this.

Scout

Scout’s Honor: 250,000 Scouts Follow Murderer’s Path

No sooner had I hit “publish” on my most recent blog on the response of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) regarding the Baha Alyan “leadership” training course than the promised update arrived at my inbox. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) published a clip of a short segment of the closing ceremony of this course named for the Arab terrorist who killed three men on a Jerusalem bus in October.

From the PMW website:

Text on banner with picture of terrorist Baha Alyan:
“Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association (i.e., PSA)
Preparatory studies – Jerusalem
The Committee for Developing Leadership
Aug. 24-28, 2016
Martyr Baha Alyan Course”

Chairman of the Jerusalem Scout Commission Maher Muhaisen: “We thank our brothers in the Shabab Al-Eizariya Club for letting us use their clubhouse…”

Terrorist Baha Alyan’s father, Muhammad Alyan: “The scouts are the leaders of society, they are the leaders of the people, they are the symbol of giving, they are the symbol of sacrifice. I think – no, I am certain – that Baha, while it is true that he died as a Martyr (Shahid), there are thousands of Bahas in Baha’s place. Now Baha is a soul in Heaven, but his body is in a [morgue] refrigerator…”

Baha Alyan Course instructor, Muhammad Al-Dahdar: “Baha remains among us, he remains in our hearts, and emphasizes to you that 250,000 scouts and guides in the Palestinian Scout Association are Baha. And if Allah wills it, they are following Baha’s path. In the name of the Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association and the Jerusalem District Scouts and Guides Commission, I am happy [inaudible]…”

Terrorist’s father is given a scouts’ scarf

The audience shouts: “Ya Baha, ya Alyan! You are a symbol to the Martyrs (Shahids)! We salute you in the Jerusalem scouts! Palestine! Jerusalem! Ours, ours, ours!”

Baha Alyan Course instructor, Muhammad Al-Dahdar: “You (i.e., Baha’s parents) [are the ones] who gave birth to this good and living role model for the young people of Palestine, to whom [we] tip [our] hats… thanks to what they [the youth] gave for Palestine, and because they sacrificed the most precious thing to them of all – which is life. They hated [and gave up] life for Palestine. They hated [and gave up] life because they wanted freedom and independence. I am happy to be with you at this moment in order to together commemorate our heroic Martyr, brother Baha Alyan.”

PMW identifies for us some of the men standing in front of the banner at the ceremony:

Muhammad Alyan – father of terrorist murderer Baha Alyan
Maher Muhaisen – Chairman of the Jerusalem Scout Commission
Mufid Al-Barq, Muhammad Al-Dahdar, and Sa’id Atoun – Martyr Baha Alyan Course instructors
Ahmed Mashahreh – Author of article on the course published on PSA’s website on Aug. 25, 2016, and in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Aug. 27, 2016

The ceremony included both a symbolic wedding and a symbolic funeral for the “martyr” A/K/A murderer Baha Alyan. All under the auspices of the Palestinian Scout Association, so recently inducted as a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

It is a terrible thing to watch adults exploit children, watch them tell children that terror is leadership, and listen to them heap glory on murderers. But it is simply repugnant to witness adults do all of these things under the banner of the Scout Movement.

Will the World Organization of the Scout Movement strip the Palestinian Scout Association of its membership, or will the WOSM turn a blind eye, make excuses, and effectively remain a co-sponsor of Arab terror?

The watching and waiting on this one?

It’s kind of hard to breathe right now.

WOSM: Lies, Damned Lies, and The Baha Alyan Leadership Course

WOSM, the World Organization of the Scout Movement, has been sold a pack of lies by the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA), regarding a “leadership training course” they held called  the Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course. The Palestinian Scout Movement was accepted as a full member of WOSM in April. Baha Alyan, as readers of this blog will recall, murdered peace activist and educator Richard Lakin and two other men on a Jerusalem bus in October.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) Director Itamar Marcus, gathered information about the course and sent it to the WOSM, with a letter demanding that this body cancel the PSA’s membership.

I too, contacted the WOSM, via their Facebook page demanding they disassociate themselves from a troupe that glorifies terror against my people. I received no response. Friends and readers also wrote to various entities within the WOSM. One friend, for instance, wrote to Boy Scouts of America, telling them that if they did not do something about this, he would be turning in his Eagle badge, a cherished memento from childhood.

With the help of a parent from my son’s Israeli scout troop, I discovered that the Israeli Scout Movement, Tzofim, is only patterned after the Boy Scouts, and is not actually a member of the WOSM. Delegates of Tzofim, however, are sent to the States each year to receive training from the “real” Boy Scouts. The parent who helped me gather this intel thought it curious that the Arabs have been accepted as full members of the WOSM, while Tzofim remains on the outside margins of the movement. It is not clear to either of us if this is by choice, or by default (because Jews).

PMW had an update today on the story. WOSM responded by saying the troop that held the Baha Alyan “leadership course” had nothing to do with the Palestinian Scout Association and therefore nothing to do with WOSM.

This, of course, is a lie. One that was cooked up by the Palestinian Scout Association, who, when confronted by the WOSM said, “Oh, no. That wasn’t us. That was the Jerusalem Scout Commission. They have nothing to do with the Palestinian Scout Association. They’re a branch of the Palestinian Scouts AND GUIDES Association. An entirely different horse which has nothing to do the World Organization of the Scouts Movement.”

The lie was regurgitated by the WOSM in a press release:

The website on which the original article [about the Alyan course] was published belongs to a group which calls itself ‘The Palestinian Scout and Guide Association’ which is not recognised by WOSM. This is the Arabic heading used on the website. The recognised group in Palestine is the ‘Palestinian Scout Association.’… Our recognised group has not been able to secure a domain name in Palestine and therefore does not have a website, which adds to the confusion.

Spokesperson for the WOSM, Stephen Peck, in an email to PMW’s Itamar Marcus, added:

The website of the Palestine Scout and Guide Association uses our symbols and branding to give themselves credibility and to give credibility to their views. You will understand that in the current climate, there is little we can do about that… The spokesperson for the Palestine Scout Association is Tawfeeq Salem who is the Secretary General.

This too, is a lie, told to the WOSM by representatives of the Palestinian Scout Association. As PMW states clearly on its website:

Evidence:

  1. The Palestinian scouts have only one name in Arabic: The Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association.

WOSM’s spokesperson Stephen Peck was informed by the PSA that there are two different organizations with two different names, and this is not true. The WOSM-recognized PSA’s name in Arabic is literally “Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association” – the name that WOSM was told by the Palestinian scouts is a different organization. See for example “Director of the Scouts and Guides leader Tawfeeq Salem.” [Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Feb. 29, 2016]  Tawfeeq Salem is the person WOSM recognizes as the legitimate PSA Secretary General. This name, “Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association,” appears on WOSM’s website, in official WOSM events, and in the Palestinian media.

There is only one name. There is only one organization.

I urge readers to go see the wealth of information at PMW, proving without a doubt that the Palestinian Scouts and Guides Association and the Palestinian Scouts Association are one and the same and that this troop definitely is a member of the WOSM in good standing, and under these auspices, held a “leadership training course” named for Baha Alyan, an Arab terrorist who murdered three Jews in October, one of them, the peace activist Richard Lakin.

I spoke to Itamar Marcus:

Judean Rose: What will be your next move regarding this matter? Is the WOSM paying attention to you? Are they going to take this matter seriously?

Itamar Marcus: They are taking this seriously. I am convinced they were misled and actually believed the Palestinian Scout Association. I expect that they will review this and take necessary steps. Their spokesperson has informed me that they will review this and reply to us.

***

I really hope so.

Meantime, I’m told PMW will be issuing a bombshell update on this matter later this evening (hint: think footage), so stay tuned to this space.

History, 9/11

History: Is 9/11 Doomed to Repeat?

“History is doomed to repeat itself.” The phrase was stuck in my head last night and I awoke to its refrain this morning, September 12. Which is nuts.

History may be doomed to repeat itself, but no one much thinks about September 11 on September 12.

Unless you’re someone like me, I guess.

Feeling Cleansed

If you’re someone like me, you try not to think about 9/11 on September 11. You don’t want to think about 9/11 because you don’t like having your emotions manipulated by the media. If you’re like me, you don’t want to think about 9/11 because you don’t wish to immerse yourself in a tragedy for a single day and then move on. You don’t want to feel cleansed.

For people like me, you see, 9/11 isn’t a one-day event.

People like me, well, we think about terror all the time. We have fear in our hearts. We are afraid of losing the immediacy: the sense of danger that terror can strike anyone at any time, without warning. People like us don’t believe in catch-phrases like “Never again.”

We dread being caught off-guard, caught frozen: the deer in the headlights thing.

The Scale

9/11 can happen again. Has happened again. 9/11 is Charlie Hebdo, Richard Lakin, and San Bernardino. Only the details are different and the scale. What changes is the location, the method, and the number of people directly affected.

The motive is absolutely the same.

And here is something interesting: “History is doomed to repeat itself” is not the actual quote. The actual quote is this: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana)

This means remembering that the motive behind 9/11 still exists, is still ever-present, still strong. We are not even close to eradicating radical Islamic terrorism from our world when so many of us cannot even say the phrase “radical Islamic terror.” And there is no mistaking the idea that radical Islamic terror is the force behind 9/11, its tears and fears, and the thing that threatens to repeat.

It is the day after 9/11 that we must be resolved to remain sober, sad, shocked, and in pain. September 12 is the day we must remember what bonds us as human beings and conversely, the thing that threatens to rips us apart at the seams, consuming all good, all kindness, all the things that makes us what we are.

It is precisely the day after all the media hype, after videos like this one go viral:

. . . that we must watch the videos and feel the feelings afresh, let them wash over us.

So that in remembering the past, we won’t be condemned by our forgetfulness.

Richard Lakin and the Baha Alyan Leadership Course

Richard Lakin was murdered in October. By June he was no longer in the news. That’s when I went to a wonderful conference put together by Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center.

The conference was two days of pure pleasure. It was all about politics, all about Israel, the country I love with all my heart, and how the battle for her honor is being fought in the court of public opinion as well as in the real courts, namely the International Criminal Court (ICC).

You go to something like this and you hear a lot of famous people speak. Members of Knesset like Yair Lapid, Tsipi Livni, and Naftali Bennett. You hear people like Ambassador John Bolton. And you may even get a photo of someone you thought you’d never have the privilege to see.

Ambassador John Bolton

A post shared by Varda Epstein (@epavard) on

But you come with preconceptions. You think you know the good guys from the bad guys, whom to cheer and whom to boo. You think you know right from left.

And sometimes you’re right.

When Tsipi Livni spoke, for instance, I stayed, thinking maybe I should at least hear her out, while others left before she could begin. And I had to leave in the middle of her speech in protest of the way she demonized Elor Azaria, the soldier who, like Israel, is being tried in the court of public opinion as well as before a jury of his peers (or what passes for that in Israel)* for shooting a terrorist who was already down. That boy could be my son. Anyone’s son. And I was disgusted at the suggestion that we should not support him.

Just a boy. Put in an impossible situation. A stressful situation.

It made me want to cry, just thinking about it. Still does.

And then at some point, Richard Lakin’s son spoke. Micah Lakin Avni. I steeled myself to listen to him with kindness. His father had been murdered not that long ago, the year of mourning, not yet complete.

Why did I need to steel myself? Not because it would be difficult to hear his pain, it would be of course, but I steeled myself only because I knew the family, including Richard (HY”D), himself lately murdered by Arab terrorists, leaned to the left politically.

It is very difficult to listen quietly when people talk about giving up Jewish land for peace, when one doesn’t believe this a sound or advisable idea—when one does not believe this will bring the desired result. It is very difficult to listen quietly when left-leaning people pay homage to the idea of symmetry and balance when all I see is an Arab war against the Jews. But I had no intention of not giving Micah Lakin Avni my fullest attention. He deserved to be heard, as the son of a terror victim, as a fellow Jew, as someone who had suffered pain no one should be made to suffer.

And what I found was that he was quite reasonable, Micah Lakin Avni. He was straight-talking. From start to finish. He said not one thing with which I disagreed politically or on any other level. He spoke about the disbelieving Arab nurse in ICU who cared for his father as he lingered in a coma, on the edge of death. Only one week before, her two sons had been in Richard Lakin’s home. He was their teacher, their tutor. His home had always open to them. He was kindness itself. It was impossible for her to believe that something like this could happen to him.

Richard Lakin, (HY"D)

Richard Lakin, (HY”D)

It was so sad.

But the main thrust of what Micah Lakin Avni spoke about was how social media was being used to facilitate and feed the terror pipeline. He spoke of how it felt when only a few days after his father’s murder, the Hamas Student Union aired a video reenactment of the murder on Facebook and Twitter. When Micah could barely deal with the torrent of emotions, he was confronted with something so cruel and ugly.

He called it “open-source Jihad”  and talked about how it grows itself. And he talked about how he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times called The Facebook Intifada. Precisely because he was left-leaning, and precisely because of what he had personally suffered, moreover, his op-ed went viral.

And that’s important.

It’s important any time we can get the mainstream media to hear the truth about terror, the truth about Israel and what is happening here. It is important when the mainstream media allows our voices to be heard. For soldiering on and making his voice heard, Micah Lakin Avni is only to be praised.

But even more so for what he then said at the conference I attended. He dared to say that open-source Jihad is the new Nazism. And he said that in order to deal with this new Nazism, we will have to revisit our rights. Things like freedom of speech and the presumption of innocence which is at the very core of our society.

Death to Israel

Lakin Avni did not suggest we discard this presumption, only revisit and perhaps reconsider or revise. Because when you have terrorists airing reenactments of murder on social media, you have to think hard about the effect of this on society and whether the freedom to create and share a clip like this, that incites to murder, is more valuable than peace.

(Think of Hitler’s speeches—what if they had been suppressed because of the danger? This was a danger we now know was too high a price to pay for freedom of speech.)

The frustrating thing here, for Lakin Avni, and for all of us, is that Facebook has no face. There is no address for these concerns, no address to deal with incitement on social media, this open-source Jihad. Facebook couches its “Community Standards” in words that preclude any complaint. Facebook decries “acts of violence” and not incitement to terror. The monolith says its concern must be for the safety of the people on Facebook (and not people on buses, people like Richard Lakin, for instance). There is no face to sue.

Open-Source Jihad, community standards, Facebook

Meanwhile, said Lakin Avni, incitement to terror is rampant on Arabic and Muslim pages on Facebook and Facebook simply closes its eyes to the phenomenon. Lakin Avni dares them to refute this fact: that incitement is rampant on Arabic and Muslim Facebook pages.

His dare goes unanswered. Will go unanswered. And the result of this silence is and will be bloodshed.

Well, I am now at over 1,000 words and have not yet gotten to the meat of my piece, the reason I am suddenly writing about a conference that took place over one month ago. It is this: six months ago, the World Organization of the Scout Movement accepted as a full member, the Palestinian Scout Association. And now, this very same Palestinian Scout Association is running a “leadership training course” called the Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course.

This “leadership course” which incites children to die in the act of killing Jewish Israelis is named after the murderer of peace activist Richard Lakin: Baha Alyan.

Now my son is a boy scout. He is big into Scouts. He eats, sleeps, and dreams Scouts. He tries hard to be a leader and a good example to the boys he has charge of, as a patrol leader. It is difficult to imagine the disparity between my son’s experience of being a scout, which means things like being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent, and what these Arab children are being taught in the name of “leadership.” Namely: to go out and kill the Jews.

It’s open-source Jihad writ large. It’s incitement to kill. It’s extreme xenophobia, and yes. It’s CHILD ABUSE.

The story of these boy scouts for Jihad was broken by Palestinian Media Watch with a quote from the official Palestinian Authority daily, Al-Jadida:

“Yesterday the practical studies for the [scout] deputy unit leaders (preparation for the wood badge) – Martyr (Shahid) Leader Baha Alyan Course began at the Shabab Al-Eizariya Club in the Jerusalem district (Note: Alyan was terrorist who murdered 3, Ed.). [The course] was organized by the Committee for Training and Developing Leadership of the Palestinian Scout Association, in cooperation with the scout commission in the Jerusalem district.

The training staff is composed of several members of the Committee for Training and Developing Leadership: Preparatory studies [course] leader and Jerusalem commissioner Sa’id Atoun, [scout] leader Muhammad Al-Dahdar, and [scout] leader Mufid Al-Barq.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 27, 2016]

In response, PMW’s Itamar Marcus wrote to the World Organization of the Scout Movement:

From: Palestinian Media Watch <pmw@palwatch.org>

To: worldbureau@scout.org

Date: Aug. 28, 2016

Subject: Palestinian Scout Association terror promotion

Dear World Organization of the Scout Movement,
We would like to bring to your attention that the Palestinian Scout Association (PSA), which six months ago was accepted as a full member in the World Organization of the Scout Movement, is training its scout leaders to see a cold-blooded terrorist murderer as their role model. The PSA leadership training course that started last week is named the “Martyr – Leader Baha Alyan Course,” after terrorist Alyan, who boarded a bus in Jerusalem last October and murdered three Israeli passengers on the bus: Alon Govberg (51), Haviv Haim (78) and Richard Lakin (76).

We ask that you take steps to guarantee that the distinguished World Organization of the Scout Movement will have no part in training future scout leaders to see terrorist murderers as role models, by immediately canceling the PSA’s membership. There is no greater impediment to peace than bringing up children to see murderers of innocent civilians as heroic role models. Should you allow the Palestinian Scout Association to keep its membership in the World Organization of the Scout Movement at the same time as they are presenting a murderer as a role model for future scout leaders, then your organization is effectively a co-sponsor of this terror promoting course.

We thank you and are waiting to hear what actions you have taken to distance yourselves from the terror-promoting Palestinian Scout Association.

Sincerely,

Itamar Marcus,

Director Palestinian Media Watch

I am absolutely biting my nails to hear what, if any answer, Marcus will receive.

Will the World Organization of the Scout Movement, like Facebook and Twitter before it, turn a blind eye to open-source Jihad, to the incitement of children to kill my people, as long as someone calls it “leadership training?”

Will the Scouts movement refuse to disassociate from these evil people with their extreme hatred and xenophobia?

Will Scouts become a place where I cannot in good conscience allow my son to continue to serve in a leadership role?

Will Scouts become a place where “terror” is called “leadership,” and “Jew-killing,” “resistance?”

And what will be the response of the Israeli branch of the Scout movement??

I probably need to have a talk with my son.

It is a talk I am dreading.

*UPDATE: I knew the military court was likely different than the American court system, but didn’t quite know how. Reader Shabtai wrote and explained as follows: “There is no jury at all. If there were,  [Elor Azaria] would be tried in front of 6 of his peers – other לוחמים [fighters]. Instead, he is tried in front of a panel of military judges – who depend, in a large measure on the Ramat Kal [Chief of Staff], who has already condemned Azaria, for their next promotion. Ever hear the term ‘show trial’? I think that this is a critical point, and not enough folks in blogosphere (as far as I can see) are making it.”