Palestinian Husseini family loses Shepherd Hotel court fight or shall I say they didn’t steal it

April 3, 2012

(MFS Other) Palestinian Husseini family loses Shepherd Hotel court fight. (JPost). The High Court of Justice ruled Monday that a prominent Palestinian family could not claim ownership of a landmark and now derelict building in east Jerusalem – paving the way for a Jewish settlement project. The Husseini family said the Shepherd Hotel, now partially demolished, is a symbol of the Palestinian rights to their land and to east Jerusalem, and criticized the court ruling.
The Shepherd Hotel was built in the 1930s and served as the home of Jerusalem grand mufti Haj Amin Husseini, who fought the British and Zionists. It was declared “absentee property” by Israel after it was captured and annexed to east Jerusalem in 1967. The title was transferred to an Israeli firm, which sold it in 1985 to Irving Moskowitz, a Florida businessman and patron of Jewish settlers. In 2009, the Jerusalem city hall approved a project to replace the building with a block of 20 apartments. Israeli officials said Washington had voiced its opposition to the plan to Israel’s ambassador in the United States. “This property, which is legitimately ours, represents the Palestinians’ rights to their land and to Jerusalem,” Mona Husseini, heir to the property and Husseini’s granddaughter, said on Monday. In dismissing the family’s case, the court said too much time had passed since Israeli authorities had transferred the property to private developers for a legal challenge to be brought, a lawyer for the petitioners said. The family said it had been unaware at the time that the site had been sold off.”The court clearly sided with the other party, and this proves that the Israeli courts have never been fair to Palestinians,” said Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian Authority-appointed mayor of Jerusalem and a member of the extended family. The family said, however, they would continue to seek legal action “against the odds.”Read the full story here.

I don’t get it either. The place was vacant… right? and like usual they wanted it after the Jews did something with it.


Palestine Betrayed

March 17, 2011

When it comes to the birth of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian narrative has become the most widely repeated version of events: After World War I, Jews began immigrating to areas within Britain’s Mandate of Palestine with the Zionist dream of building a Jewish state. Jewish immigration dramatically increased at the end of World War II as a result of collective European guilt in the aftermath of the Holocaust. The Jews eventually established Israel as their illegal state after evicting the Arab population and plundering the Palestinian people and their homeland with the help of colonialist Europe. Israel’s independence is known in Arabic as the Nakba—the great catastrophe—and it created the Palestinian refugee problem, the biggest obstacle to solving the conflict today.

Enter Efraim Karsh, head of Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London, and his latest book,Palestine Betrayed. A preeminent historian on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Karsh sets out “to reclaim the historical truth” behind Israel’s creation. In doing so, he tests such Palestinian narratives and the conclusions of the “new historians”—revisionists such as Avi Shlaim, Ilan Pappe, and the early Benny Morris who in the 1980s rose to challenge the established narrative of Israel’s birth.
Karsh sets the record straight by drawing on Western, United Nations, Israeli, and Soviet documents declassified over the last decade, providing the correct context often missing in the selective focus of the “new historians” and altogether absent in the Palestinian narrative. His detailed examination of the historical records reveals that Israel’s establishment was not the main cause of the Palestinian refugee problem and the hardships that the population has faced thereafter. Instead, it was the result of actions taken by the Palestinian Arabs and their leaders.
Anger instigated by Arab leaders is the foremost recurring theme in Palestine Betrayed, and Karsh holds the mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin Husseini, responsible for the deterioration of neighborly relations between the Arabs and Jews during the Mandate period, and for the eventual “collapse and dispersion of Palestinian Arab society.”
Hajj Amin, known for his pan-Arab ambitions, “viewed the Palestinians not as a distinct people deserving statehood but as an integral part of a single Arab nation”—with himself as leader, and clean of Jews. To this end, Hajj Amin, an admirer and supporter of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany, launched a campaign to demolish the Jewish national revival by enraging his constituents with all the anti-Jewish rhetoric he could find, from verses in the Quran to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
But the Mufti was not alone in his aspirations to control Palestine at the expense of its inhabitants. It was Transjordanian King Abdullah’s “imperial ambitions” that eventually forced the newly formed Arab states to invade the day-old Israel in 1948 “not to save the Palestinian Arabs but to prevent the annexation of Palestine, in whole or in part, to Transjordan.” Karsh astutely points out that the Arab invasion following Israel’s independence “was more of a scramble for Palestine than an attempt to secure Palestinian national rights.”
However, instead of consolidating Arab rule over Palestine, “The 1948 war resulted in the total disintegration of Palestinian Arab society.” By the end of the Mandate in May 1948, some 340,000 Arabs had fled Palestine; by January 1949, that number swelled to 600,000—a direct result of Arab leaders’ coercion and invasion.
Indeed, the Mufti and heads of surrounding Arab countries were largely responsible for the flight of the Palestinian Arabs—a highly controversial point that Karsh proves remarkably well with a substantial body of sourced material and quotations from key British, Jewish, and Arab eyewitnesses. While there were instances in which Jewish forces expelled Arab villagers in the heat of battle, in most cases, Arab leaders and their armed militias forcefully drove the Palestinian Arabs from their homes, at first to use the houses as military bases and then to prevent them from becoming citizens of a prospective Jewish state. Many others fled of their own free will as the wartime security situation deteriorated.
At the heart of Palestine Betrayed, Karsh argues that the Palestinian people were—and still are—betrayed by their very own leaders who promised to act with their best interests in mind but instead acted on personal ambitions. Never relinquishing their dreams of a pan-Arab empire under their homage, each leader refused to establish peaceful relations with the Jews, condemning the Palestinian people to decades of war and statelessness.
“Had the Mufti chosen to lead his people to peace and reconciliation with their Jewish neighbors,” Karsh writes, “the Palestinians would have had their independent state” in accordance with the 1947 UN Partition Plan for Palestine, which the Jews accepted and Palestine’s Arab leaders did not.
The same applied to Yassir Arafat in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when he chose to pocket international aid and create terrorist networks rather than infrastructure necessary for an independent state. The same now applies to Mahmoud Abbas who refuses to accept Israel’s ‘Jewishness’ in a peace agreement but insists that Israel fully implement the right of return, “the Palestinian and Arab euphemism for Israel’s destruction.”
Palestine Betrayed is an extraordinarily well-documented account of the events leading up to Israel’s creation. It is the antidote to revisionist historians whose narrative casts the Palestinians as passive players in the conflict with no responsibility for their actions. The contexts of war and inter-Arab rivalry are the key components to understanding how events played out. At the same time, Karsh’s work demonstrates that Palestinian mythology continues to hinder all attempts at solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Indeed, the notion that Israel is solely responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee encourages Palestinian leaders and society to cling to the erroneous belief that Israel will welcome each refugee into the state as part of a peace deal. And as long as this remains a Palestinian redline, there is no hope for ending the conflict. http://www.jewishpolicycenter.org/2081/palestine-betrayed
Efraim Karsh
Yale University Press, 2010. 336 pp.  $32.50
Reviewed by Samara Greenberg
National Security Policy Proceedings
via docstalk.blogspot.com
Posted via email
from noahdavidsimon’s posterous


Jimmy Carter and Rosie O’Donnell Defend Helen Thomas

February 26, 2011




I’m sure if the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini would do the same…

I suppose that none of us should be surprised that former President Jimmy Carter reached out to Helen Thomas after she put her foot deep in her mouth last May.

According to a column in the Feb. 24 edition of the Falls Church News-Press by Nicholas F. Benton, the editor-in-chief of the publication, the paper’s newest columnist Helen Thomas had a surprise waiting for her after an extraordinary interview she gave to HLN’s Joy Behar last week. That was flowers from Rosie O’Donnell, who had been on the record for defending Thomas in the past.
However, as Benton noted, at the time of the Thomas’s infamous remarks, there were very few willing to defend her other than O’Donnell and the 39th President of the United States, Jimmy Carter.
“[Rosie] O’Donnell sent Thomas, now age 90, flowers in sympathy for the highly upsetting incident and, along with President Jimmy Carter, was one of only a handful of her longtime colleagues and friends to reach out to her,” Benton wrote.
Alana Goodman, the assistant online editor for Commentary magazine, followed up with Benton on that claim. She noted in a post that Benton told her that Thomas told him that Carter reached out to her after the comments.

random image via athensboy.wordpress.com

“Benton told me over the phone that Thomas told him about Carter’s outreach herself, though she didn’t give him details about what the former president said to her,” Goodman wrote. “‘The context was in the context of what transpired,’ said Benton, referring to Thomas’s unceremonious retirement from Hearst.”

Birds of a feather stick together.

Jerusalem 1948


UCLA’s having Palestine Awareness Week.

February 18, 2011

I just saw a Facebook page advertising UCLA’s “Palestine Awareness Week” next week.
I deeply believe in awareness for Palestine, so here is my small contribution to the cause:

  • Are you aware that Palestine was never a country?
  • Are you aware that the word Palestine is Roman, not Arabic?
  • Are you aware that Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab nation?
  • Are you aware that before 1920, the area known as Palestine included much or all of what is now Jordan?
  • Are you aware that practically every written history of the Palestinian Arabs starts after Jews started returning to the area in the late 1800s?
  • Are you aware that practically no Arabs called themselves “Palestinian” before 1964?
  • Are you aware that the first Palestinian Arab leader, Haj Amin al Husseini, originally wanted a “Greater Syria” to include Palestine and only changed his mind in the 1920s?
  • Are you aware that this same Husseini instigated murderous rampages against the Jews of Palestine – including Jewish communities that had been there for centuries?
  • Are you aware that this same Husseini colluded with Hitler to perform genocide on all Jews during World War II?
  • Are you aware the Palestinian Arabs have never accepted any peace plan that included a Jewish state?
  • Are you aware that modern terrorism was created by Palestinian Arabs?
  • Are you aware that Palestinian Arabs never demanded their own West Bank or Gaza state when they were under Jordanian and Egyptian control?
  • Are you aware that Yasir Arafat embezzled as much as $3 billion from his people, yet he is still regarded as a hero and no Palestinian Arab leader is trying to find his stolen money?
  • Are you aware that the constitution of Palestine states that Sharia law would be the main source of legislation?
  • Are you aware that Mahmoud Abbas bankrolled the 1972 Olympic massacre of Israeli athletes, and that he praised the ringleader of that attack as recently as 2010?
  • Are you aware that Mahmoud Abbas’ college thesis denied the Holocaust?
  • Are you aware that Hamas does not want a Palestinian Arab state but instead a pan-Islamic caliphate that spans the world?
  • Are you aware that the Palestinian Authority still officially states that there was no Jewish Temple in Jerusalem?
  • Are you aware that the PLO wants to build a state with no Jews in it?
  • Are you aware that the elected Hamas government has laws discriminating against women?
  • Are you aware that Yasir Arafat was born in Egypt, but Ariel Sharon was born in Palestine?
  • Are you aware that the biggest heroes to ordinary Palestinian Arabs are terrorists like Dalal Mughrabi and Samir Kuntar?
  • Are you aware that the original 1964 PLO charter specifically excluded the West Bank and Gaza from the land they wanted, and their only desire was to destroy Israel within the Green Line?
  • Are you aware that not a single refugee camp has been dismantled in the territories governed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas?
  • Are you aware that even after signing the Oslo Accords, Yasir Arafat publicly said that a Palestinian state is simply a stage on the way to destroying Israel altogether?
Just a small public service for Palestine Awareness Week. 

Wikileaks: Saudi oil reserves overstated by 40%?

February 9, 2011
Aerial View of Oil Refinery
WikiLeaks cables suggest the amount of oil that can be retrieved has been overestimated. Photograph: George Steinmetz/Corbis via guardian.co.uk 

Saudi oil refinery. Cables released by Wikileaks report that Saudi oil reserves may be overstated by as much as 40%.

The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show.
The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.
The revelation comes as the oil price has soared in recent weeks to more than $100 a barrel on global demand and tensions in the Middle East. Many analysts expect that the Saudis and their Opec cartel partners would pump more oil if rising prices threatened to choke off demand.
However, Sadad al-Husseini, a geologist and former head of exploration at the Saudi oil monopoly Aramco, met the US consul general in Riyadh in November 2007 and told the US diplomat that Aramco’s 12.5m barrel-a-day capacity needed to keep a lid on prices could not be reached.
According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as “peak oil”.
Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.
One cable said: “According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. First, it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described, and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco and energy optimists would like to portray.”
It went on: “In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves.
“Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco’s reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached … a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output.”
The US consul then told Washington: “While al-Husseini fundamentally contradicts the Aramco company line, he is no doomsday theorist. His pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered.”

if you like plastic and petroleum jelly then drill here and drill now


The Origin Of The Dispute

November 13, 2010


Aug, 1929: British troops march through Jerusalem after Mufti Haj Amin Al-Husayni incited Arab riots to kill Jews.

The Arab Refugee Illusion

November 12, 2010

Arab ‘refugees’ in camp in Gaza. The control in the Gaza Strip was until 1967 in the hands of Egypt. The Egyptian authorities maintained a strict separation between “refugees” and the ordinary population of the area. Martha Gellhorn wrote in 1961 (when Gaza was in the hands of Egypt): the Gaza Strip, “is not a hell-hole, not a visible disaster. It is worse. It is a jail.” (Atlantic Monthly, October 1961)

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In 1947, there were approximately one million Arabs in the whole of western Palestine. (British figures, certainly inflated, put the number at 1,200,000; independent calculations claim 800-900,000). Of these, the total number actually living in that part of Palestine which became Israel was, according to the British figure, 561,000. Not all of them left. After the end of hostilities in 1949, there were 140,000 Arabs in Israel. The total number of Arabs who left could not mathematically have been more than some 420,000.
At the time, before the policy of inflation had been conceived, these were the commonly stated proportions of the problem. At the end of May 1948, Faris el Khoury, the Syrian representative on the UN Security Council, estimated their number at 250,000.
The even more authoritative Emil Ghoury (who twelve years later talked of two million) announced on September 6, 1948, that by the middle of June, at the time of the first trace, the number of Arabs who had Red was 200,000. “By the time the second truce began (July 17),” he said, “their number had risen to 300,000.” Count Bernadotte, the UN Special Representative in Palestine, reporting on September 16, 1948, informed the United Nations that he estimated the number of Arab refugees at 360,000, including 50,000 in Israeli territory (UN Document A/1648). After July 1948, there was a fourth exodus of some 50,000 Arabs from Galilee and from the Negev.
The inflation may at first have been accidental. The United Nations at once provided the refugees with food, clothes, shelter, and medical attention. There was no system of identification; any Arab could register as a refugee and receive free aid. Immediately a large number of needy Arabs from various Arab countries flocked to the refugee camps, were registered, and thenceforth received their rations.
Already by December 1948, when their total could not yet have reached the maximum of 425,000, the Director of the United Nations Disaster Relief Organization, Sir Rafael Cilento, reported that he was feeding 750,000 refugees. Seven months later, the official figure had increased to a round million in the report of W. de St. Aubin, the United Nations Director of Field Operations.
The inflation of the numbers was helped not only by the understandable readiness of needy and greedy people to take advantage of free upkeep. The International Committee of the Red Cross pressed the United Nations Relief headquarters to recognize as refugees any destitute Arab in Palestine and to let him have refugee facilities in his own home.
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“The refugees were confident that their absence would not last long, and that they would return within a week or two. Their leaders had promised them that the Arab armies would crush the ‘Zionist gangs’ very quickly and that there was no need for panic or fear of a long exile.” [Sada at Tanub, August 16, 1948]

The exodus was indeed common knowledge. The London weekly Economist reported on October 2, 1948:

“Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit….It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades.”

And the Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station from Cyprus stated on April 3, 1949:

“It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem.”

Even in retrospect, in an effort to describe the deliberateness of the flight, the leading Arab propagandist of the day, Edward Atiyah (then Secretary of the Arab League Office in London), reaffirmed the facts:

“This wholesale exodus was due partly to the belief of the Arabs, encouraged by the boasting of an unrealistic Arab press and the irresponsible utterances of some of the Arab leaders that it could be only a matter of some weeks before the Jews were defeated by the armies of the Arab States and the Palestinian Arabs enabled to re-enter and retake possession of their country.”

Kenneth Bilby, one of the Americans who covered Palestine for several weeks during the war of 1948, wrote soon afterwards on his experience and observations:

The Arab exodus, initially at least, was encouraged by many Arab leaders, such as Haj Amin el Husseini, the exiled pro-Nazi Mufti of Jerusalem, and by the Arab Higher Committee for Palestine. They viewed the first wave of Arab setbacks as merely transitory. Let the Palestine Arabs flee into neighboring countries. It would serve to arouse the other Arab peoples to greater effort, and when the Arab invasion struck, the Palestinians could return to their homes and be compensated with the property of Jews driven into the sea. [New Star in the Near East (New York, 1950), pp. 30-31]

After the war, the Palestine Arab leaders did try to help people –including their own– to forget that it was they who had called for the exodus in the early spring of 1948. They now blamed the leaders of the invading Arab states themselves. These had added their voices to the exodus call, enough not until some weeks after the Palestine Arab fighter Committee had taken a stand. The war was not yet over when Emil Ghoury, Secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, the official leadership of the Palestinian Arabs, stated in an interview with a Beirut newspaper:

I do not want to impugn anybody but only to help the refugees. The fact that there are these refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab States in opposing Partition and the Jewish State. The Arab States agreed upon this policy unanimously and they must share in the solution of the problem, [Daily Telegraph, September 6, 19481]

In retrospect, the Jordanian newspaper Falastin wrote on February 19, 1949:

The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies.
The Secretary General of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, assured the Arab peoples that the occupation of Palestine and of Tel Aviv would be as simple as a military promenade…He pointed out that they were already on the frontiers and that all the millions the Jews had spent on land and economic development would be easy booty, for it would be a simple matter to throw Jews into the Mediterranean…Brotherly advice was given to the Arabs of Palestine to leave their land, homes, and property and to stay temporarily in neighboring fraternal states, lest the guns of the invading Arab armies mow them down.

As late as 1952, the charge had the official stamp of the Arab Higher Committee. In a memorandum to the Arab League states, the Committee wrote:

Some of the Arab leaders and their ministers in Arab capitals…declared that they welcomed the immigration of Palestinian Arabs into the Arab countries until they saved Palestine. Many of the Palestinian Arabs were misled by their declarations… It was natural for those Palestinian Arabs who felt impelled to leave their country to take refuge in Arab lands…and to stay in such adjacent places in order to maintain contact with their country so that to return to it would be easy when, according to the promises of many of those responsible in the Arab countries (promises which were given wastefully), the time was ripe. Many were of the opinion that such an opportunity would come in the hours between sunset and sunrise.

Most pointed of all was the comment of one of the refugees:

“The Arab governments told us: Get out so that we can get in. So we got out, but they did not get in.”

When the onslaught of the local Arabs had been in progress for over four months, and a month before the planned invasion by the seven Arab states, about half the population still remained in the area mapped out by the United Nations as the Jewish state. Now began the fantastic phase of the exodus. A large part of the population panicked. Suddenly the countryside was filled with rumors and alleged reports of Jewish “atrocities.”
A highly colored report of a battle near Jerusalem became the driving theme. At the village of Dir Yassin, one of the bases of the Arab forces maintaining pressure on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, an assault by the “dissident” Irgun Zvai Leumi and the FFI (Stern Group) had continued for eight hours before the village was finally captured, and then only with the help of a Palmach armored car, which arrived on the scene unexpectedly. The element of surprise having been lost, the Arab soldiers could turn every house in the village into a fortress. Jewish casualties amounted to one third of the attacking force (40 out of 120). The Arabs, barricading themselves in the houses, had omitted to evacuate women and children, many of whom were thus lolled during the attack.
The Arab leaders seized on the opportunity to tell an utterly fantastic story of a “massacre,” which was disseminated throughout the world by all the arms of British propaganda. The accepted “orthodox” version to this day, it has served enemies of Israel and anti-Semites faithfully.
The effect of the story was immediate and electric. The British officer who had done most in the years before 1948 to build up the Transjordanian Army, General Glubb Pasha, wrote in the London Daily Mail on August 12, 1948:

“The Arab civilians panicked and fled ignominiously. Villages were frequently abandoned before they were threatened by the progress of war.” And the refugee from Dir Yassin, Yunes Ahmed Assad, has soberly recorded that “The Arab exodus from other villages was not caused by the actual battle, but by the exaggerated description spread by Arab leaders to incite them to fight the Jews” (Al Urdun, April 9, 1953).