בס“דTorah, Typography & Technology
קול של גלות מברלין__________
He is a jewish graphic designer from Berlin, Germany. You can reach him at mandelbrot (at) googlemail dot com.
Abu Mazen, Bush, Sharon at Red Sea Summit, 2003
How can we return the held territories?
There is nobody to return them to.
Golda Meir, 1969
I myself used to be a firm believer in the TSS Enterprise (Note: TSS stands for Two State Solution). No wonder – a secular european kid, born into the world of leftism and peace-above-all. But: The times they are a-changing.
When I now hear heads-of-state like Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel talk of a plan to create two states in Israel, it’s seems like they believe this is the best idea they came up with. Israel and Palestine – Two peoples, two states – fair enough. But this is not about solving some backyard issues, where each only ones its rightful share. Arab leaders have declared over and over again that their goal is “all of occupied Palestine”. Mahmud Abbas, the new peace-bringing angel has never denounced being a Holocaust revisionist. PLO is not a nice little Arab peace party. They are a terror organization (e.g. declared by the United States Congress in 2004). Yes there’s an “armed wing” and other, more social “wings” of the PLO. So do separatist groups like the Basque ETA – but they don’t have this in their Charta:
Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.
Article 3: The Palestinian Arab people possess the legal right to their homeland and have the right to determine their destiny after achieving the liberation of their country in accordance with their wishes and entirely of their own accord and will.
Article 4: The Palestinian identity is a genuine, essential, and inherent characteristic; it is transmitted from parents to children. The Zionist occupation and the dispersal of the Palestinian Arab people, through the disasters which befell them, do not make them lose their Palestinian identity and their membership in the Palestinian community, nor do they negate them.
Let me explain: While Arab leaders in the territories have been acting in spite of this Charta, it remains in place until a formal constitution is declared. There have been attempts in creating such a piece of paper, but in fact it’s nothing more than a mere draft.
Let me further explain: I do still believe that some sort of arrangement must be met. To say it with a famous line of Golda Meir: “Peace will come when the Arabs start to love their children more than they hate us.” But until then, make no mistake – the two state solution will mean Al Naqba for the Jewish state.
Is Two-State inevitable? UN, EU and Obama all chant that song. But that doesn’t surprise anyone. The sad truth is, that most Jews believe it too.
Here’s some thought by a fellow blogger From the old Olivetti:
“The two state solution assumes that Israel will have defensible borders even without natural frontiers other than the unnatural security fence separating the West Bank from Israel to prevent dissatisfied jihadists or other fanatics from crossing it and blowing up (insert here the name of a civilian meeting place—a bus, a sidewalk café, a synagogue) after making a touching farewell tape. This is a normally one-way street. Yes we hang our heads in shame when we remember Baruch Goldstein, but his slaughter of the innocents was by a lone murderer. People who cross the Green Line and blow up pizzerias are mentored, trained, equipped and filmed before they go. They become heroes (and occasionally heroines).”
Paul Cezanne: Still Life with Pomegranates and Pears
What on earth is Tu Bishvat? Next monday (February 9), we’ll celebrate this minor festival, which is also called “The New Year for Trees”: [Source: JAFI]
“The festival of the fifteenth of Shvat is not mentioned in the Tanach. The Mishna discusses the issue: when should the New Year for Trees be observed? From this, we understand that the assignment is not the establishment of the festival but the determination of the correct agricultural calendar for fruit trees. There was a disagreement between the schools of Shamai and Hillel [two major judicial schools of thought in the time of the Mishna] as to the correct date for the New Year for Trees. The school of Shamai maintained that the first day of the month of Shvat was suitable, whereas the disciples of Hillel calculated that the fifteenth of Shvat was more suitable. Custom follows the school of Hillel.
Obviously, the disagreement was not based on any inability to decide upon the festival or select an date on which to plant trees. The New Year for Trees was necessary in order to be able to implement the precept of tithing fruit. The Torah commands every Jew to take yearly tithes from the fruit of his trees and give it to the priests and Levites dedicated to the Temple services, as well as to the poor. It is forbidden to calculate the tithe from one year using produce of another year. Therefore, it became imperative to determine the date of the New Year for Trees.
Our sages, who were well versed in agriculture, reached the conclusion that the fifteenth of the month of Shvat is the marginal date when the rains fro mthe previous year cease to irrigate the trees and they are benefitting from the new rains. From this grew the legend that on that day a heavenly court judges the trees and pronounces sentence, much the same as for humans on Rosh Hashanah [the first of Tishrei], when man’s fate is decided.
Tu B’Shvat is the festival which most visibly demonstrates the Jewish people’s link to Eretz Israel. It is the festival when everyone experiences their love to the land and for the commandments which relate to the land. It is the festival of agriculture and nature’s renewal; the festival of love for trees which reaches back to our distant roots as a people in the land of Israel.
This festival was born in the country of Israel, where its main customs and traditions developed. When the country was conquered and the Jewish people went into exile, they took with them their customs, inclduing the festival of Tu B’Shvat. Taking it with them, they symbolically carried with them throughout their wanderings Eretz Israel itself and the memory of its fruits and trees.
Every year, as this date arrived, Jewish houses set their festive table with the fruits for which the land of Israel was legendary - raisins [grapes] and nuts, figs and dates, olives, pomegranates, and the grains constituting the “seven species” of the land. Together with these fruits which illuminated the dark corners of exile, light from the skies of Israel would enter each home.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, leaves the session ‘Gaza: The Case for Middle East Peace’ at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2009. (Picture Courtesy of the World Economic Forum)
I was checking several Israeli news outlets. Besides new Qassam strikes [It’s a ceasefire alright] out of Gaza and internal affairs, the talk was about Turkish-Israeli relations. I must say I haven’t followed them closely up till Operation Cast Lead, where a lot of Israel-hate came from Turkish voices as well, both in Turkey itself, but also some from out of the German diaspora. When I visited Turkey, I remember seeing advertisements at the Riviera targeting Israeli visitors. But that’s probably over by now:
“[PM Erdogan] accused Israel of ‘perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction,’ adding that ‘Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents.’ There have been boycotts from the Israeli consumer in the past, but never on this level. The anger is both deep and palpable. Across the country, travel agents report, Israelis are voting with their feet and avoiding travel to Turkey. Wholesalers report a 70 percent drop in flight bookings, and reservations to the resorts have all but disappeared.” (Jerusalem Post Online, Feb 1, 2009)
In a different article, also on Jpost.com, Erdogan speaks out for Hamas, which is just to remind you, a known terror organization, recognized as such by the US and EU members. All the while Mashaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader is in Teheran talking to Khameini and Ahmadinedjad [Yimach Shemo] as we speak. Erdogan claims that:
“Hamas is a political party, not an ‘arm of Iran,” […] ”If the whole world had given them the chance of becoming a political player maybe they would not be in a situation like this after the elections that they won.” […] “Erdogan went on to say that the ‘political will of the Palestinian people’ had been ignored by the world, in that the international community fails to ‘respect’ Hamas’s legitimacy.” […] “‘Palestine today is an open-air prison,’ he said.”
An “open prison” – “open” for arm shipments, “prison” for civilians not in line with Hamas.
SPIEGEL writes on the issue:
“There is hardly a leader in the Muslim world, apart from the Iranian president, who has spoken out so harshly on this issue. And while Turkey has never seen so many people out on the streets in support of the Palestinians, now suddenly demonstrators cross the Arab world are also carrying images of Erdogan. It is likely that the popularity of the “Hero of Gaza,” as some Turkish newspapers are describing Erdogan, will now grow after his Davos appearance. His supporters greeted him as the “Hero of Davos” and the “Conquerer of Davos” on his return to the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. So many people had gathered here during the night to welcome back Erdogan and his wife Emine that the traffic around the airport ground to a halt. The Islamic newspaper Vakit described Erdogan’s fit of rage as an “Ottoman slap in the face for Israel,” but even the moderate Yeni Safak was describing the event as “historic.” The Takvim newspaper was happy that “Davos is over,” while the CNN Türk network passed on the good wishes of the Palestinian ambassador in Ankara.”
Calling Erdogan the “Conqueror of Davos” reveals a rhetoric of aggression which gives right to those that speak loudest and not to those that speak truth. Let us remember that he felt it necessary to remind Shimon Peres of the comandment not to kill. It was one of our guys who brought down those tablets, right? Did he think Peres was a war-monger? I find his so-called speech utterly disrespectful. And speaking in Davos of killing innocents when the Turkish army itself isn’t all that innocent in that respect. Who’s he to blame Peres? And not one word about the Qassams?
If you have friends like Erdogan, you don’t need enemies.
I hope that Erdogan finds a decent way to excuse him. So that Turkey and Israel can become real partners. For peace, prosperity, and against terror.