Points to Ponder Number 47 16th October, 2016
It is ages since I last wrote mainly because I have been feeling rather like Don Quixote ineffectively confronting windmills, but without his perseverance. However the latest windmill has roused me from my inertia – the incomprehensible UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) resolution proclaiming that there is “No Jewish Link to the Temple Mount”.
This malevolent resolution ignores the testimonies of written historical sources and the evidence of archaeological excavations. It is one which everyone with even a minimal sense of what is right and what is wrong should confront at every opportunity.
To quote the 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” And on the same note: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
Every little bit counts –letters to your local press and political representatives; postings in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; discussions in class, work, at your place of worship or at social gatherings with friends.
Our silence may well hasten a resolution of this learned body proclaiming “Galileo was wrong. The Earth and planets do not revolve around the Sun.”
It has already decided that, contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures, King Solomon never built a Temple in Jerusalem and the Babylonians never destroyed it and exiled the Jews to “the rivers of Babylon” in the sixth century BCE.
It has already decided that, contrary to the Cyrus Cylinder and Ezra, the Persian King Cyrus did not give the Jews permission to return to their land and rebuild their Temple.
It has already decided that, contrary to the Dead Sea Scrolls, there was never a Dead Sea sect whose members refused go to the Temple in Jerusalem because sacrifices were not being offered according to their interpretation of the Law.
It has already decided that, contrary to the testimonies of the Gospels in the New Testament, the infant Jesus was not brought to the Temple in Jerusalem by his parents; did not go up to Jerusalem every year at Passover; did not sit among the teachers in the Temple courtyard (Luke 2:21 ff); never went to Jerusalem with his disciples (Mark 10:32 ff); did not drive out the money changers from the Temple Mount and declare “my house shall be a house of prayer” (Luke 19:43); did not walk through the alleys of Jerusalem, the via Dolorosa, carrying the cross on which he would be crucified. In a nut shell, he never existed.
It has already decided that, contrary to first century Roman chronicles, the Roman Emperor Titus did not destroy Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple there-in.
It has already decided that, contrary to second century Roman chronicles, the Roman Emperor Hadrian did not build a pagan temple dedicated to Jupiter in Jerusalem on the site of the razed Jewish Temple; did not change the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina and did not rename the Roman province Judaea Syria Palaestina.
No doubt soon it will pass a resolution confirming the Palestinian claim that Jesus was a Palestinian, despite the fact that there is obviously no mention of the non-existent Palestine in the New Testament.
If you have read this far and before you shrug and delete I would like to leave you with a few words of wisdom from people far wiser than me.
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” Elie Wiesel
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Desmond Tutu
“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” Dante Alighieri
The passing of this resolution is a moral crisis.
Points to Ponder 46 3rd May, 2016
As I have written, the purpose of Points to Ponder is to bring to my readers attention articles and video clips which may have been overlooked by the more popular media outlets. It is not meant to convey my personal opinions. That I have done in letters to the editor which were published in the Jerusalem Post (latest one today) and even in an occasional op-ed. Not so this time. This ptp is very much an op-ed. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 45 26th March, 2016
Rarely do my readers get an opportunity to see video clips from the Arab speaking media even if the broadcast is your own country.
This Shabbat Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to visit a synagogue to mark international Holocaust Remembrance Day. In view of Ban Ki-moon’s anti-Israel stance, this visit is rather hypocritical. Continue reading
Herbert Pagani was born In Libya in 1944. Although he spent his childhood and adolescence between Italy, Germany and France he died in the USA in 1988. As an accomplished painter, sculptor, musician and singer he was known both as Italian and as French.
This remarkable speech, broadcast on French TV, was his reaction, as a Jew, to the 1975 UN resolution, which was revoked in 1991, equating Zionism to racism. The point to ponder is that nothing has changed in over forty years. Continue reading
I ended my last ptp questioning the Palestinians desire for peace with Israel.
Here then are some highlights from the poll conducted in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Ramallah by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip between 10 and 12 December 2015. Continue reading
The current Palestinian acts of violence are described as a normal outcome of the Israeli occupation and the frustration caused by the economic situation facing the population. Continue reading
Points to Ponder No 40 14th December, 2015
Often, we read that a Moslem who commits murder and suicide bombings, especially but not only against Jews/Israelis, in the name of Allah will be recognized as a shahid (martyr) and will be rewarded with 72 virgins. We shrug our shoulders and say “who can possibly believe that?” Continue reading
Points to Ponder No 37 28th October, 2015
So often people, Jews and non-Jews alike ponder: “What is a Jew? Who Is a Jew?” Eitan Chitayat, creator of viral video #IMTHATJEW gives the most encompassing answer I have ever encountered. Take just five minutes to see and hear his definition. I too am that Jew. Continue reading
It is common knowledge that there is no censorship in the Western and Democratic world. In fact one of the early signs that democracy is in danger is when a government curtails freedom of the media, of the press.
But there is another form of censorship, subtle but insidious. Continue reading
Points to Ponder No 36 23nd October, 2015
The executive members of UNESCO have decided that the Tombs of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs (Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Rebekah and Jacob and Leah) in Hebron and that of the Matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem are Moslem Holy Sites.
They ignored the Jewish connection including the recorded purchase of the burial site by Abraham as it appears in Genesis 23. Whatever dating one gives for the Torah, this deed of sale predates the advent of Mohammed and Islam by more than a millennium. They ignored the fact that the Josephus Flavius recorded that the site as it is today was built by King Herod two thousand years ago, six hundred years before the advent of Mohammed and Islam. Continue reading
Points to Ponder No 35 20th October, 2015
In the face of the lies, rumors and propaganda against Israel disseminated by the Palestinian leadership and endorsed, validated and corroborated by the international media one cannot but ask when does a lie become the truth; when does a rumor become a fact; when does propaganda become actuality? How long does it take till people believe the lies they tell?
Points to Ponder No 34 17thth October, 2015
Is the media coverage of the current violence in Israel and on the West Bank non-stop and repetitively exaggerated in order to avoid reporting what is occurring elsewhere in the world? Continue reading
Points to Ponder No 33 15.10.2015
Point to Ponder: How can one get a better understanding of Islam in these days of political correctness? Continue reading
Points to Ponder: No 32 9th October, 2015
Is the latest “wave of violence” in Israel and the West Bank because of Israeli non-adherence to the “status quo” on the Temple Mount as some would have us believe? Absolutely not! Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 31 23rd February, 2015
Is it possible that Jews are so hated because they are unique? Unique in that despite all that has befallen them over three and a half thousand years of expulsion, persecution and genocide, the Jewish people have persevered and are returning from the four corners of the earth to the land of their forefathers, reading from the same Torah, practicing the same religion and speaking the same almost forgotten language? Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 30 17th February, 2015
Who is a terrorist? What is terrorism? Ostensibly the answer should be quite straightforward. If terror is “extreme fear” (Oxford dictionary) a terrorist is one who uses terror as a modus operandi and terrorism is the ideology he invokes. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 29 17th January, 2015
I believe there is a bias against and a double-standard in everything connected to Israel throughout the world, fueled by the often spurious media. The events in France last week have highlighted that anti-Israel anti-Semitic double-standard bias. Continue reading
Number 28 4th January, 2015
Is it because I am getting older that the years seem to pass by so fast? It seems like only yesterday that we stumbled on the giant step which took us from the twentieth century to the twenty first! Yet, with all that changes, some things seem to never change.
For years many have had the feeling that Israel is being held to a double standard in particular when defending herself against threats of annihilation from her neighbours and acts of terrorism from within. Proportionality is a word which is constant bandied about. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 27 22ndh December, 2014
Further to my letter in the Jerusalem Post today, UNRWA (UN Relief and Welfare Agency) is the organisation which handles Palestinian refugees who left Palestine in 1948 and their descendants while UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) takes care of all other refugees world-wide. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 24 8th November, 2014
Which status quo on the Temple Mount?
This letter was addressed to the editor of the Jerusalem Post and most of it was printed on 4th November, 2014 Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 23 4th November, 2014
Did you know that the Christian population of the ME, which was 20% at the beginning of the twentieth century, is now less that 4%?
Point to Ponder: Why have the heart-rending words of Father Gabriel Naddaf to the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council been totally ignored by the international media? Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 22 29th October, 2014
Points to Ponder: Children as human shields and cannon fodder; militant Islam incitement to violence and Bibi – chicken shit. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 21 19th October, 2014
Writing Points to Ponder has become more and more difficult for me. Not because there is insufficient material. Just the opposite. I am overwhelmed by and fearful of the ever growing anti-Semitic anti-Israel vitriol, not only in the Muslim world but in what are supposed to be enlightened and democratic countries. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 19 28th September, 2014
How many times have you heard, or been told, that the Jews/Zionists control the world – the media, finances, governments, Hollywood? To support this theory “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is cited despite the fact that this is known to be a Russian forgery of the early twentieth century.
Have you ever paused for a moment to ponder how fourteen million Jews, 0.02% of the world population, could achieve this? Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 18 22nd September, 2014
As the eve of the 24th September marks the beginning of the year 5775 for Jews all over the world I would like to take this opportunity to wish my Jewish readers a happy, healthy and peaceful new year.
One of the problems with which we, the Jewish people, grapple is that of the epidemic more commonly known as anti-Semitism. Very simply put, when Jews are demonized, delegitimized or examined under microscope of double standards, that is anti-Semitism. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 17
We have been told so many times that Islam is a religion of peace and that the various fundamentalist organisations are aberrations that we believe this canard. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 16 10.9.2014
Following the last ptp where we countered two canards, we now tackle the third as we ponder: is Israel’s “occupation” of Judah and Samaria, the West Bank, indeed illegal thereby making the “settlements” illegal, or is this too a canard so oft repeated that we believe it without checking it? Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 15
“Israel is the only country in the world occupying another country”. How many times have you heard that accusation against Israel when the rights of the Palestinians to their independent country in the West Bank, Judah and Samaria, are being discussed? So many times and by so many seemingly authoritative people that it has to be true. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 14 4th September, 2014
How is it that the UN, EU, most of the media and virtually all liberal activists refuse to acknowledge that Hamas used UNRWA schools and hospitals as safe houses from which to fire rockets on the civilian population of Israel and used their children as human shields while Egyptian writer Magdi Khalil does recognize this. Continue reading
Points to Ponder No. 12
The Middle East is in turmoil and unless one really studies the players and events in the various conflicts it all becomes a blur. Although Sunni Moslems are killing Shia Moslems certain factions ally with Shia Moslems to kill other Sunni Moslems. Some Moslems are members of the Moslem Brotherhood, which wants to establish Sharia law wherever Moslems live. Others have joined IS, also known as ISIS. Re-establishing the Caliphate, stretching from the Arabian Peninsula to Spain, is the battle cry as they slaughter Syrians and Iraqis alike. Continue reading
Points to Ponder Number 13 26th August, 2014
Most of my readers and certainly all those who have toured with me realize that I am a bit of a history buff, as do those who have read my book “A Historical Tour of the Holy Land”, which briefly mentions the Empires of old. I have to admit though that I could not cover five thousand years in 90 seconds. Enjoy. Continue reading
For the material in this edition of Points to Ponder I have to thank my readers from all over the world. Continue reading
The media showers us with pictures of Palestinian children to arouse our sympathies but is very careful not to show those which will make us ponder about what we see. Continue reading
Events seem to be moving so fast that it virtually impossible to keep on top of things. A brokered ceasefire, to which Israel agrees, is immediately broken by Hamas. Then another, ostensibly for humanitarian reason but it too is broken. And now Hamas is not only firing rockets, they are attempting to infiltrate through their tunnels. People throughout Israel prefer to be close to shelters as the rockets are deliberately aimed at the civilian population so no one is really enjoying the summer vacation. Continue reading
Once again Israel is fighting a war on two very different fronts.
On the one hand men, women and children in cities, towns and villages from the north to the south are being indiscriminately bombarded with rockets, missiles and heaven knows what else, mainly but not only, from the Gaza Strip.
After a long break, Points to Ponder is back bringing you, the thoughtful and discerning reader, food for thought, food for thought and not political polemics, by presenting articles and TV clips you might not have seen in your local media.
I hope you will find them illuminating. Continue reading
The Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John relate the events in the life of Jesus ending with his crucifiction, resurrection and ascent to heaven. There is reference to Judaea, Samaria, the Galilee and the Golan. Nowhere is there any mention of ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ simply because they did not exist then.
Points to Ponder: Ari Shavit writes for Haaretz, Israel’s “newspaper for the thinking man”, which is also considered by many to be some what left of center. Ari’s latest book gives the history of Israel from a strictly Palestinian view point so the following article is particularly interesting.
Follow the link and enjoy it..
Points to Ponder: One sure way to ascertain if the Palestinians and the Israelis really want to reach a peace agreement is to check what they are teaching their children. Follow the link and see what the Palestinians are teaching theirs on the official PA TV programs Continue reading
Points to Ponder: If one reads and listens to the general media only, then there can be no doublt that the lack of progress in the Israel-Palestinian talks is solely because of Israeli intransigency. Follow the link and see what PA leaders really think of peace with Israel. Continue reading
Points to Ponder: With the realisation that schools in Bimingham have been inflitrated by a ‘Trojan Horse’ which has been able to replace school staff, including headmasters and mistresses, with with supporters of radical Islam and Sharia law in the UK, the British education Department is now investigating complaints from other schools. Follow the link and see how widespread this ‘silent war’ really is.
The Ultimate Response to BDS
Point to Ponder: How paradoxical it is that while there are so many attempts by Moslems, by some Christians, by anti-Zionists and others to rewrite history and remove all Israeli/Jewish connections to Jerusalem and this land, it was thanks to the illegal Moslem excavation on the Temple Mount that the half shekel coins used as tax for the Temple were discovered.
Point to Ponder: Again and again the BBC shows itself to be not only to be biased against Israel but also guilty of shoddy reporting. Omissions and half-truths are among the special talents of the BBC and its reporters.
The history of Madaba pre-dates the arrival of the Arab invaders which came from the Arabian peninsula in the 7th century, supplanted the local population and intrduced, by force, a new religion. Continue reading
Point to Ponder: We are seeing history being rewritten and we remain silent. According to their own testimony over the decades up until the late 1960’s the Palestinians were never a nation or a people. Now, together with other anti Jewish and anti Israel groups the have embarked on a two-prong falsification of historical facts.
Watch her : Downplaying the Holocaust — Sulzberger & NY Times: Anna Blech at TEDxHunterCCS
Are you tired of reading about the Middle East because it seems to be so confusing? This very brief letter, published in the Financial Times, simplifies everything in a few sentences.