Israel Resource Center
Haifa Refinery Riots

Introduction

Immediately following the announcement of the partition plan, violence erupted sporadically throughout Palestine. This began as disorganized riots by Arabs in Jerusalem on December 1, and escalated into terrorist attacks by both sides, and systematic attempts by Palestinians to blockade Jerusalem. Below is one account of a major incident in Haifa, at the close of 1947.

Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Nazis and the Holocaust: The Origins, Nature and Aftereffects of Collaboration

In the fall of 2015, when the Palestinian Authority claimed that the State of Israel posed threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, public attention in Israel turned again to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, a collaborator with Nazi Germany and the leader of Palestinian nationalism before and immediately after World War II. Some historians and, briefly, Israel’s Prime Minister also attributed to Husseini a significant decision-making role in the Holocaust in Europe. The following essay draws on scholarship on Holocaust decision-making in order to demonstrate that Husseini did not have an impact on Hitler’s decisions to murder the Jews of Europe. Rather his historical importance may be found in the texts of his speeches and essays of the 1930s and 1940s. They offer abundant evidence of his impact on Nazi Germany’s Arabic language propaganda aimed at North Africa and the Middle East during World War II and the Holocaust. Before, during and after his presence in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, Husseini played a central role in shaping the political tradition of Islamism by offering an interpretation of the religion of Islam as intrinsically anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist and in connecting that version to the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories of modern European history.

Mizrahi Nation

Long shut out of the country’s story, Middle Eastern Jews now make up half of Israel’s population, influencing its culture in surprising ways. Who are they?

Originally posted on mosaicmagazine.com

The story of Israel, as most people know it, is well trod—perhaps even tiresome by now. It begins with anti-Semitism in Europe and passes through Theodor Herzl, the Zionist pioneers, the kibbutz, socialism, the Holocaust, and the 1948 War of Independence. In the early decades of the return to Zion and the new state, the image of the Israeli was of a blond pioneer tilling the fields shirtless, or of an audience listening to Haydn in one of the new concert halls. Israel might have been located, for historical reasons, in the Middle East, but the new country was an outpost of Europe. Its story was a story about Europe.

Submission To The United Nations Independent Commission Of Inquiry On The 2014 Gaza Conflict

21st February 2015
BY Colonel Richard Kemp CBE
Geneva, 20 February 2015

I was a Colonel in the British Infantry. Much of my 29 years’ military service was spent countering terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Macedonia. I was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. I fought in the 1990-91 Gulf War and commanded British troops in Bosnia with the UN Protection Force and in Cyprus with the UN Force.

From 2002 – 2005 I was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office working on intelligence relating to international and domestic terrorism. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were among the extremist groups that I monitored and assessed in this role, and I had access to all secret intelligence available to the UK on these and other Palestinian extremist groups.

The Middle East: Battle Lines Are Drawn

In the last decade, the Middle East has been living through a political convulsion of historic proportions.
Regimes that once appeared immovable have been destroyed or have receded. New forces have risen up and are making war over the ruins.

The result of the effective eclipse in recent years of the states of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon has been the emergence of a large and chaotic conflict in the contiguous area once covered by those states. The failure to develop coherent state-loyal national identities in the areas in question has meant that once central authority disappears, a political-military competition based on forces assembled according to ethnic and sectarian identity emerges. A sectarian conflict is as a result now raging between the Iraq-Iran border and the Mediterranean. This dynamic of conflict has now extended to Yemen.

In this maelstrom, the Iranians and their clients have emerged as the single most formidable alliance. It appears that Iran intends to replace the US as the hegemonic power in the Persian Gulf region. The Sunni Arab states of the Gulf are worried by this and are seeking to resist the Iranian advance. The result is growing instability.

What are the reasons behind Iranian success? What are the particular advantages enjoyed by the Iranians and their proxies in this contest? What explains the belated but determined Saudi-led Sunni reaction to the Iranians’ advances? And what are the likely implications of the achievement of a nuclear deal and the imminent lifting of sanctions on Iran on Iranian actions in the region?

The Chaos of a Perfect Storm

The Middle East is in the midst of a stormy period of upheaval. The process began in Iran, after the revolution there gave birth to a Shi’ite dynamic that even now influences the entire region. This dynamic brought together radical Islamic forces that had smoldered under the surface since the collapse of the last caliphate, the Ottoman Empire. Radical Islam, in its several different forms, views Islamic governance as the solution to the ills of the region and to the weakness of the Muslims in the world, and as a preferred alternative to the modern world order of nation states. When the British and the French divided up the region a hundred years ago – according to their needs – they created artificial states, some of which have now ceased to exist, and some of which are facing collapse. Various forces that seemed to have disappeared, as a result of repression by the dictatorial regimes ruling the region’s states, have resurfaced. In many areas, one’s family, tribe, ethnic community, and religion have once more become the chief loci of identity and power, eclipsing the state.

Major General (Ret.) Yaakov Amidror is the Ann and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, and a senior fellow at JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy. He has served as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, head of the National Security Council, commander of the IDF Military Colleges, and head of the research division of the IDF Intelligence Corps.

Purim

Purim is celebrated on the Jewish Calendar Date: 14th of Adar (15th of Adar for cities in the land of Israel that were walled during the First Temple period).

In the years 539-332 BCE the First Persian or Achaemenid Persian Empire ruled from the border of India to Egypt and Turkey. When the Babylonians expelled many of the Jews from the land of Israel in 586 BCE, they dispersed throughout the area ruled by the Babylonian Empire.

According to the Biblical Book of Esther, a senior Persian minister named Haman conspired against the Jews in the 5th-4thcentury BCE. He gained the approval of the Persian Achashverosh Commonly identified as Artaxerxes II, who ruled from 405 to 358 BCE.

It should be noted that there are many scholars who question whether the Book of Esther is meant to be read as an accurate historical account.

To wipe out the Jews and loot their wealth for the kingdom’s treasury. Haman cast a lot or pur to decide which month the deed would be carried out. The lot fell on the month of Adar.

A Jewish Persian Judge named Mordechai and a Jewish Persian queen named Esther intrigued against Haman’s plans and eventually succeeded in causing the King to execute Haman and his family. This seminal event resulted in the Jews gaining the right to organize and defend themselves against those who wished to destroy them. The Jews did so and killed many of their enemies. Thus for the Jews, the month of Adar was a month where the threat of destruction was replaced with salvation.

The Myth of Israel as a Colonialist Entity

An Instrument of Political Warfare to Delegitimize the Jewish State

While modern Israel was born in the aftermath of the British Mandate for Palestine, which called for a Jewish national home, its roots preceded the arrival of the British to the Middle East. In that sense Britain was not Israel’s mother-country, like France was for Algeria. Indeed, the Jews were already re-establishing their presence independently in their land well before the British and French dismantled the Ottoman Empire.

As time went on, it became clear that the British Empire was not the handmaiden of Israel’s re-birth, but rather its main obstacle. The accusation that Israel has colonialist roots because of its connection to the British Mandate is ironic, since most of the Arab states owe their origins to the entry and domination of the European powers.

Bringing Light to the Holy Land: Israel’s Electrical System

Like every other nation, Israel is a country that is always growing – demographically, technologically and economically. As a result, Israel has an ever-growing need for a reliable and efficient supply of electrical energy.

Fuels

As a country with few natural resources, Israel imports most of its fuel for electrical energy. Currently, Israel’s main fuel supplies are coal and natural gas. Egypt provides most of Israel’s natural gas through a pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, while Israel buys most of its coal on the open market from countries such as Australia and the United States.

Due to the high cost of foreign imports, Israel made many efforts to reduce its dependence on imported sources of fuel for electricity. For decades, Israel unsuccessfully attempted to discover oil or other fossil fuels within its borders. However, recent exploration efforts off the northern coast of Israel led to the discovery of a large pool of natural gas in a site called Tamar. Furthermore, Israel recently cooperated with Cyprus assisting with their undersea natural gas exploration.

War & Peace – Talk Delivered by Nobel Laureate, Robert Aumann

The talk was presented at SIGNAL’s China-Israel Symposium Sept. 9, 2011

Thus begins the Advanced Information announcement of the 2005 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, awarded for Game Theory Analysis of Conflict and Cooperation. So it is appropriate to devote this lecture to one of the most pressing and profound issues that confront humanity: that of War and Peace.

Robert Aumann at SIGNAL's Symposium

Robert Aumann at SIGNAL’s Symposium

I would like to suggest that we should perhaps change direction in our efforts to bring about world peace. Up to now all the effort has been put into resolving specific conflicts: India–Pakistan, North–South Ireland, various African wars, Balkan wars, Russia–Chechnya, Israel–Arab, etc., etc. I’d like to suggest that we should shift emphasis and study war in general.

Let me make a comparison. There are two approaches to cancer. One is clinical. You have, say, breast cancer. What should you do? Surgery? Radiation? Chemotherapy? Which chemotherapy? How much radiation? Do you cut out the lymph nodes? The answers are based on clinical tests, simply on what works best. You treat each case on its own, using your best information. And your aim is to cure the disease, or to ameliorate it, in the specific patient before you.

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