Israel in the News Jan/Feb 2008
Arab-Israeli VIP Disses Israel
ARUTZ-7—The Jewish state’s first Arab minister, Raleb Majadle, has declared that Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount is nonexistent and that he will always give his allegiance to Islam over Israel. The minister spoke from the Knesset podium in his official capacity as minister of science, culture, and sport.
The comment came in reply to a question regarding the Muslim Waqf’s unsupervised digging and use of heavy machinery on the Temple Mount.
Asked pointedly, “Does Israeli law apply on the Temple Mount or does it not?” Majadle answered, “In my opinion, certainly not.”
When reminded he speaks for the entire government, Majadle replied, “I will say my opinion. Before I am a government minister I am first and foremost a person and a citizen and a Muslim….Therefore, I say clearly al-Aqsa, al-Haram al-Sharif [as Muslims call the Temple Mount] cannot be under the authority of Israeli law.”
When reminded he had sworn allegiance to the State of Israel and its laws, Majadle declared, “I hereby inform you, esteemed MK [Aryeh] Eldad, that I may be a minister for one, two, or 10 years; but I was born a Muslim, and a Muslim I shall die. I respect Israeli law, but if there is a contradiction between the law and my deep faith as a Muslim, I announce that I will know what to choose.”
Eldad immediately wrote to the prime minister demanding Majadle be fired. In addition, he asked the attorney general to open a police investigation against him on suspicion of breach of trust.
Hamas Army Coming Soon
ARUTZ-7—Hamas in Gaza is two to three years away from becoming a real army and reaching the same capabilities of Hezbollah, according to Defense Ministry sources.
Hamas has amassed weapons in underground bunkers that were dug below bushes and houses, leaving them undetected from the air. It also has built an underground network of tunnels for smuggling weapons and transporting terrorists.
“They dig holes in the roads, place powerful explosive devices inside and cover them with asphalt, so that it’s impossible to detect them,” said the IDF Logistics Branch. The IDF said Hamas terrorists are using new skills they acquired at Hezbollah and Iranian advanced training camps.
U.S. Fed Info to Hezbollah
ARUTZ-7—U.S. authorities have discovered that an FBI agent and CIA analyst leaked classified information to the Hezbollah terrorist organization via American Hezbollah sympathizers. Two of her family members had even attended a Hezbollah fundraiser.
According to CBS News, the female agent, Nada Nadim Prouty, pleaded guilty “to charges involving her disclosure of information” to parties sympathetic to Hezbollah, who then passed it to the Iranian-backed group.
The woman is of Lebanese background and became a U.S. citizen through marriage. CBS says the marriage was faked in order to obtain citizenship. In 2003 she searched computerized FBI files on an investigation involving Hezbollah, though unauthorized to do so.
There is not enough evidence against her to charge her with espionage. But it remains to be seen what sentence will be handed down and how it will compare with the life sentence Jonathan Pollard is now serving after his conviction of one count of passing information to a friendly U.S. ally. The prosecution is reportedly seeking just 16 years in prison in Prouty’s case.
Israeli-Arabs Attack Student on Campus
ARUTZ-7—Thousands of Israeli-Arab university students commemorated the third anniversary of terrorist Yassar Arafat’s death by demanding national rights as a “minority in Israel.” And an Arab student attacked a Jewish student in a riot on the Hebrew University campus.
Arabs gathered at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, and the University of the Negev in Be’er Sheva. They said they wish to show the Israeli public that the Arabs holding Israeli citizenship are in fact Arab-Palestinians.
To counter the demonstrations, the Im Tirtzu (If You Will It) organization called on all Zionist students and supporters to arrive at the campuses and “strengthen the Zionist voices.”
An Arab student attacked Eddie Freiman, chairman of Im Tirtzu, as Freiman sat at a booth with two other activists. “While I was unfurling the Israeli flag above it,…dozens of Arab students started streaming towards the booth opposite us, all wearing shining black and red kaffiyehs and some with PLO-flag shirts. There were about 50-60 of them, and they gathered in a large circle, jumping and yelling insults towards us.
“Soon, I began to feel real fear; the numbers of the Arabs started growing, and the entire northwest area of the Forum was full of the students yelling and cursing at us. As they started to come towards us and knock us down, I walked forward with my hands out, requesting that they move away from our booth. In one quick moment, one of the rioters jumped on me and punched me in my shoulder, missing my head, and then pushed me backwards. Some of the mob pushed him away from me, but others cursed and threatened me.
“I couldn’t believe that I was being attacked on the campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for having an Israeli flag and playing Hebrew music.”
Columbia University Does It Again
As if Columbia University’s flap over hosting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September were not enough, its women’s division—Barnard College—has now awarded tenure to an anthropology professor whose book denies the existence of ancient Israel and claims the Jewish people fabricated archaeological data to cover up their colonization of Palestinian land.
Nadia Abu el-Haj was born in America in 1962 and earned a doctorate at Duke University. She claims to be of Palestinian descent. Her book, Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society, published in 2001 by the University of Chicago Press, has been overwhelmingly criticized as shoddy scholarship in both anthropology and archaeology.
Yet it has won kudos around the world and is being heralded as a groundbreaking work. In fact, the Middle East Studies Association chose it “as one of the year’s two best books in English about the Middle East,” reported The New York Times.
Before Barnard granted tenure, Candace de Russy, a writer and trustee of the State University of New York, criticized Columbia in FrontPageMag.com:
The particular theory that el-Haj puts forward is that the “ancient Israelite origins” of the Jews is a “pure political fabrication”—a machination she proceeds to blame on “Israeli archaeologists” who were called upon to “produce…evidence of ancient Israelite and Jewish presence in the land of Israel, thereby supplying the very foundation, embodied in empirical form, of the modern nation’s origin myth.” Deplorably, in the rarified air of Morningside Heights, some Columbia faculty appear to celebrate this sort of “liberation” of scholarship from any necessity to encounter verifiable facts.
Clearly, she wrote, “The artifacts that archaeologists have discovered in the ground in the Middle East are plain enough,” and credible archaeologists all know Israelite society predates modern Palestinian claims. Aren Maeir, the archaeologist heading the dig at Gath of the Philistines, deems el-Haj’s book “ludicrous,” de Russy wrote.
“El-Haj’s goal is transparent,” she added. “According to her political convictions, the Jewish State was born in sin. It is guilty, she claims, of ‘Jewish settler-colonial nation state-building.’ If, however, the Jews can trace a continuous heritage back to a series of ancient Hebrew kingdoms, Israel cannot be delegitimized by calling it a colonial settler state.”
So el-Haj “demonizes” and slanders Israeli archaeologists to promote her political views. Wrote de Russy: “If Barnard had simply insisted on hiring faculty who—whatever their political opinions—employ evidence to support the ideas they publish, it would not now have to explain why the college is considering granting tenure to a professor who regards the extensively documented history of the Israelite and Judean kingdoms as a mere politically motivated invention.”