“That Which is Distasteful To Thee Do Not Do To Another”
A 2005 expose by the Maariv newspaper of the deals to lease the two hotels, and an additional building, caused uproar among Palestinians both within and outside of the church, and led to the sacking of then-patriarch Irenaios.
Irenaios claimed that the deals had been reached and signed by his finance director, Nikolas Papadimos, without his approval and that Papadimos had misused a power of attorney issued to him to allow him to handle other affairs of the church.
This should be an issue taken up by the Jewish mainstream in Israel and in the Diaspora.
I’ve often disagreed here with Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, and the basis for much has been always about truth telling (x the Cold War 🙂 ) but here is a story about a “purchase” covertly engineered, plainly involving a questionable subaltern of the Greek Orthodox Church, and also involving an absurdly deep undervaluing of a significant critical historic Jerusalem property, plus an unseemly degree of ruthless and apparently vindictive behavior on the part of the buyers.
I’ve shared the video to the “reading page” I keep on Facebook for Back-Channels and wouldn’t have done that if the framing had been, say, “Palestinians v Jews”, but this would appear from either side to be a story about corruption, questionable dealing, and unchecked ruthlessness.
The corruption of great religious institutions seems a fact of life — have a look into the Russian Orthodox Church under Putin (the Vikings as Varangians adopted Christianity via the Greek Orthodox Church) — but for those who would lay claim to “Integrity” and “Righteousness”, a deal like this one laid out in the open presents a challenge to exactly those two assertions.
The list is bare-bones, chronological, and not comprehensive, but it represents what one will find with a quick look-see into controversy surround the sale of the lease of the Imperial Hotel.
On Facebook, frequent Time of Israel columnist Fred Maroun wrote in light of the above cited article:
“Stop the expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, and ensure full rights for Palestinians”. One may not agree with Ilan Omar on everything, but she’s right on that point. And if Israel won’t give West Bank Palestinians equal rights within the state of Israel, it should let them run their own state in which Palestinians would be citizens. The current state of limbo — no equality and no Palestinian state — is not acceptable and is not worthy of the great democracy that Israel is.
This editor’s riposte has picked up more than a dozen FB “Likes” and “Loves” since it was added to the conversation. Here it is as part of the assault on the “Middle East Conflict” itself, not on the Palestinians who have been made to suffer through 70+ years of Arab Apartheid and Soviet/Post-Soviet disinformation, manipulation, and political repression by their own corrupt and kleptocratic “leaders”.
Palestinians do run their own “territories”, which would be states if their leadership were not in the end murderous!
Omar’s ploy is to eliminate Israel as a Jewish-Majority state. She either conveniently or ignorantly forgets that Israel is 20 percent Arab Muslim enfranchised.
To this point, the Palestinian leaders have appeared to prefer lying to their people — and taking their money for themselves — to buckling down into clearly responsive and responsible governance. If ever there were a place to being building a New Palestinian Society, it would be Shuafat!
BackChannels believes history unified: when all has been truthfully reported, the parts may be found to fit all the way through. The greater public will with time dismiss lies and liars alike, and clarity and peace may emerge and prevail.
Well, for the sake of realpolitik, perhaps it is better to have walked on to the bridge than to have continued throwing mud balls from opposite banks.
More than likely, and in light of basic necessary Israeli-Palestinian cooperation (as with COGAT), interaction (growing, voluntary, social), and trade, peace will well up from beneath the headlines to essentially drown the conflict in modern Palestinian doubt, fair-mindedness, humanity, and indecision — and appreciation and love. New ideas and information may do that. The once-Soviet Era poison as installed will slowly evaporate as light works its way into and through the community.
The response to that statement by this blog’s editor follows:
That has been the power of Soviet / post-Soviet propaganda and one of the more basic features of misguidance on the Left. “Colonialism” — horrific and true enough in the age of the Grand Game — lost its legitimacy as the empires got the native boot and, with time, local political forces reestablished their claims and writs to the point, which one might suggest is about now, where the finger cannot be pointed at other than themselves. British power and European kingdoms have not gone missing, but they are not what they once were.
The Soviet engaged in two egregious behaviors throughout its tenure: it whipped resentments into small conflicts that it could then manage to its own advantage; and through the this-and-that “liberation” movements, it produced piratical dictatorships that would become centers for the promotion of ideology and the worst kinds of mischief.
For how Cuba and Venezuela turned out, I would recommend looking up both at the InSight Crime website.
The creation of Arafat and the PLO (along with the courting of Arab power) follows the Soviet / KGB template, and the fact that the movement persists with the Soviet long gone only to be replaced by an autocratic mafia-type (and mafia-associated) regime tells of a modern take on the thuggish history of mankind — but it also leaves the Palestinians trapped between a defunct political era and a more cooperative, idealistic, and higher-integrity modernity.
Why should the Palestinians now be kept from authentic critical historical scholarship?
The Soviet duped everyone.
The KGB would use the term “framing” to describe how it positioned events and persons psychologically. Indeed, the propaganda became the perception but because of its baseless qualities — and in the way of Potemkin — the Palestinians may stand up and look brave (which they do) but there’s nothing really beneath them and there won’t be until they acquire the power to pursue independent inquiry with integrity in their own right.
Regarding post-Soviet Cuba and Venezuela
With regard to Soviet / post-Soviet influence, BackChannels had the following in mind in relation to its suggestion to have a look at Cuba and Venezuela via the information window provided by InSight Crime.
BackChannels has long featured a get-you-started (got the editor started) library page titled, “Russian Section“. It’s a worth a look (but ageing right along with the editor who may wish to start over with that focus).
What if one awakes from a dream or nightmare one morning with the knowledge that much of what one has been taught to believe has turned out simply . . . not true?
The Earth has been proven round, not flat.
Does one go on as before without change in aspirations, beliefs, routines?
Or one may have a fresh look around at a world wildly different from that which one had for so long imagined on the basis of falsehoods and deliberate misguidance fashioned by the powerful and powerfully corrupt.
Presented here: a flurry of the editor’s opinion prompted through the daily round of chatyping/expressing on social media. Probably, others, including Palestinians, have had these notions on their minds for some time
A narrative through which the Palestinians have been lied too for more than 70 years is not something either Israelis or Palestinians need to or should respect. The soul of the conflict sustained by PLO / PA has to do with Palestinian intentions for Israel far more than the history of the place, but the accompanying demonizations of Jews and of Israel is not something that Israel, the west, or modern Palestinians need to accept or tolerate. Those old lies, that propaganda from another age, needs to drift into the past and, at some point, be sealed in it.
The Hamafia has before it the ultimate jihad: the struggle to change itself. Otherwise, it probably will be diminished in its ability to wage a continuous war of displacement against the Jews of Israel. Think about what Hamas has taken from the Palestinians. It has looted them; it has deflected construction and development funds to war purposes (e.g., “terror tunnels”); it has robbed Palestinian children of modern educations; and it has stolen from them their ability to express themselves politically and engage in regular and fair and free elections. Hamas occupies the Gaza Strip by force.
Regarding sentiment related to “Judea and Samaria” v “Palestinian Territories”, I would think most of moderate temperament would hold open the option of a two-state solution with semi-autonomous Palestinian statehood adjusted according to level-of-threat in relation to terrorism and genocidal will on the part of the Palestinians.
As things stand, the PLO / PA and Hamas have a functionally complex relationship with Israel, but the two are very much the Administrators of their turf. They may abuse the Palestinians all they want, and it seems neither Israel nor the west will interfere with them. However, for basic services and trade, Palestinian government cooperation with Israel seems unavoidable and, in fact, long established.
Back in 2006/7, the election results came as a surprise to Washington and to the PLO / PA.
Hamas was to more firmly establish its power on the Gaza Strip by force.
“In 2006, Hamas won a slight majority of the seats in the Palestinian Authority legislative elections. This would have put Hamas in a commanding position for both the West Bank and Gaza, but there was a problem: Hamas refused to accept previous deals that the PA had made with Israel. That lead Western powers to freeze out aid, which the PA depends on, to any Hamas-led PA. Tensions between the PLO and Hamas eventually escalated to outright war between the two factions, which ended up with Hamas governing Gaza independently from the West Bank–based PLO” — https://www.vox.com/2018/11/20/18080058/israel-palestine-hamas
Hamas brutality toward the Palestinians has been well noticed.
State of Affairs: Palestinian leaders needs must treat the Palestinian main base as captives to be kept from free and open discourse and research in relation to their own history.
For BackChannels, “The Palestinians” exist, but the idea of the “The People” may exist differently than presumed by the dictatorships and kleptocrats that have chosen to exploit as weapons “the refugees of 1948”, i.e., the many Christians and Muslims abandoned between armies as Arab forces abandoned their mission to annihilate the Jews of Israel.
Genuine peace may have something to do with shared integrity, not my-side-your-side and the wheedled detente that is ever a ceasefire, never a peace.
My argument for the Palestinian People: after 70+ years of comparative isolation associated with Arab Apartheid, the cohort defined by the Arab refugees of 1948 have indeed become a People, but they have been also deeply intellectually poisoned. The big lie as a thought left unaddressed to fester . . . to whip resentment into boiling anger: “The Jews stole your land and God wants to you to seize it back (and annihilate the Jews)”. Never mind the Turkish land registries, the land purchases that began long before WWII, the agricultural industry that drew Arab labor into its economy, or the continuous presence of Jews in Roman-named “Palestine” across millennia.
The myth: Israel was an invasion.
The truth: Israel has been an investment legitimately obtained.
The cruelties to which the Palestinians, in some radicalized part, remain subject: Hitler’s license for the harboring of genocidal ambitions now supported by Hamas, at least; Uncle Joe’s and Father (I guess) Andropov’s reliance on “Information Warfare” and political repression in the ordering of their own delusional worlds.
Today we know what happens to Palestinian dissidents.
Haven’t The Palestinians an inherent right to question their leadership — it has been a long time since the last casting of ballots for them — or to read and discuss, I don’t know, say, Benny Morris, Efraim Karsh, or to engage with Israels as each may see fit without fear?
The Soviet / post-Soviet seduced Left / Far Left — the Corbynites, the Cult BDSWaters of the world — are not for the Palestinians but for those who have enriched themselves championing their misery in service to the corruption of those who most purport to represent them.
Might Russia’s animus with the Jews go all the way back to the Viking encounter with the Khazar Kingdom that received tribute from east-west trade?
That’s possible. The Khazar, representing a Turkic Khaganate, had converted en masse to a Karaite form of Judaism and would have been regarded as Jews by those whose eastern trade they had taxed. The ever expanding-contracting-expanding range of Nordic / Russian power overtook the Kingdom has it would Kiev as well as half of Britain: the Vikings were to hold sway in what is today thought of as “The West”, or one might say the European tribes north of the Roman Empire.
Has anti-Semitic hate traveled forward from that far in the past?
That too is possible, the calendar of the Hebrews dating back 5,779 years this year.
How primary in the life of polities are fundamental beliefs and accompanying attitudes?
Would Great Britain be “British” without the anti-Semitic depictions of Shakespeare’s Shylock and Dickens’ Fagin, both far predating the encouragement of Russia’s Okhrana and later Bolshevik KGB?
Add the thought to conjecture.
Whatever history may tell the scholars, today’s hatred of the Jews, i.e., contemporary anti-Semitic ideation and obsession, seems a part of the medieval world and its views, not the modern one of integrity, reason, and study.
For The Palestinians, living as subject to the capricious and unquestionable power of Fatah (via the PLO / PA) and Hamas (thanks to its financial supporters), their dignity, freedom, and human rights will remain in the hands of their true captors, and that is the present Palestinian “leaders” who have led them into the most absurd and dark of dead ends.
There’s a great deal of material “related online” — and in the libraries — but this happened to cross my desk while the post was still a week or so new, and I though I would recommend its reading:
Skullduggery at about 27:48 (iTunes), Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman ask Rep. Rashida Tlaib (Dem., Michigan) for her views on the Middle East Conflict, which she then mixes with observations having to do with the Holocaust and her Palestinian ancestry.
There’s a kind of a calming feeling I always tell folks when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust and the fact that it was my ancestors, Palestinians, who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihoods, their human dignity, their existence in many ways had been wiped out and some people’s passport . . . I mean all of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post the Holocaust, post the tragedy and horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time, and I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right?, in many ways, but they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, right?, and it was forced on them, and so when I think about one state, I think about the fact that why couldn’t we do it in a better way?
In 1948, an Arab war intent on the annihilation of the Jews of a most recently UN chartered Israel produced what would become the refugees of that year and the related Arab Apartheid camps of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Moreover, some Arab populations that fell in with the Jews would become themselves the Christian and Arab complement of Israel among Israel’s citizens, comprising about 20 percent of modern Israel’s population.
What was to corrode Palestinian dignity and freedom were the combined effects of Stalin’s pick-up of what Hitler and the Nazis failed to hold in their defeat; the amplification of Arab anti-Semitic ideation, much appreciated by Hitler and subsequently encouraged by Stalin in the aftermath of WWII; and in the more modern decades of the 1960s and 1970s, KGB manipulation of the Palestinians en masse with direct relation to their leadership.
Representative Tlaib’s ancestors did not have to suffer the re-emergence of the Hebrews as a political power in the Land of the Hebrews.
Quite opposite and far predating WWII, Jewish agricultural capitalization and land purchases (based in the Ottoman Land Registries) produced a new regional economy and heightened the Arab populating of the space with both Arab and Jewish labor. The refusal of Arab states to accept a Jewish enclave established the initial Palestinian separation from both Arab state cultures and from amity with the Jews. The period since the Islamic Revolution in Iran (and the related sponsoring of Hezbollah and funding of Hamas) may add its impact as regards the deepening of Palestinian captivity by those who have most professed to represent them.
One of BackChannel’s conservative Israeli friends online had this to say this morning in relation to Rep. Tlaib’s comments:
Tlaib also said that Netanyahu would not be able to look her grandmother in the eye. Her grandmother lives in an Arab village called “Beit Ur al Fa’uqah,” one of two adjacent “Beit Ur” villages on adjacent hilltiops.
The irony is that the two villages are actually the Jewish town of Beit Choron. Though we have a modern Beit Choron nearby the two Arab villages are where Jews lived for roughly 3-millenia until the 17th Century CE. At that point Tlaib’s ancestors rode filthy camels across our homeland and stole the town along with the rest of HaEretz in a process that began in 634 CE. This “woman” is real big on talking about “ancestors.” Not all Jews in Israel are Ashkenazi Holocaust Survivors. Some are Baladi, Jews like myself whose families for the most part have always lived on the land. When the very first Arab INVADED in 634 CE the last pre-modern Jewish State had only fallen 20-months before.
How far forward may any go by going so far back?
Whatever the answer, there may be a greater point to be made on behalf of historic truth looked on in Arab and Jewish partnership, so that the past has its place more in history than in the future adjustment of separable but perhaps ultimately complementary separable ethnic and political cultures.
At this point in time, any modern person in possession of a computer, moderate English language skills, and Internet access — and who is not politically repressed as regards reading and speaking online — may search up historians Benny Morris and Efraim Karsh, for a start, on Palestinian real history.
It’s sad to note of political reality that more constituents in the world’s states may prefer partisan fairy tales and convenient sloganeering to the adventure that is about learning new things, but when the pain is great enough — or old enough — as it has been for Israelis and Palestinians (for more than 70 years), one may wish for scholars to rise with integrity against the lies and inventions of politically ill-informed (at best) or venal (at worst) personalities that perpetuate conflict through the many forms of fascist-totalitarian methods focused on the continuing political servitude of those defenseless, ignorant, and powerless against them.
A narrative through which the Palestinians have been lied too for more than 70 years is not something either Israelis or Palestinians need to or should respect. The soul of the conflict sustained by PLO / PA has to do with (genocidal) Palestinian intentions for Israel far more than the history of the place, and those old lies, that propaganda from another age, need to drift into the past and, at some point, be sealed in it.
What was the lie?
It has gone something like this: “The Jews stole your land and God wants you to seize it back!”
As lies may, this whopper apparently sounds true to the disinformed, ill-educated, impressionable, and simple minded, but it is not a true statement — and for that not the kind of thought intended to improve the lives of Palestinians in any meaningful dimension, financial, physical, psychological, or spiritual.
What that lie has done is simply deflect attention from marauding, mediocre, and murderous “leaders” and their sponsors who have used the same to promote worldviews — there have been two or more broad inventions (Pan-Arab Nationalism; Islamic Extremism) — certain to serve their own egos, social standing (in politically disciplined circles), and wallets.
Russia has made an art of amplifying the resentments of their marks — those who will serve them — and enraging them.
For the Palestinian main base there has been no end to subjugation by the PLO/PA and Hamas and related abuse, corruption, and neglect. For Palestinians in the Diaspora — and for the hipsters on the Far Left that endorse counterproductive and misery-sustaining efforts like the “Boycott Divestiture and Sanctions (BDS) Movement” — there hasn’t been a better time to have an independent look into any of the following:
Hamas Human Rights Abuses and Political Repression
Israeli Expansion Via Defensive Arab Wars of Annihilation
Ottoman Administration of the Land Registry of the Region
Palestinian Economic Development and Marketing and Shipping To and Through Israel
Palestinian-Serving Qualified Enterprise Zone Programs