Archive for March 2008

Parallels between the Partition of India and the Partition of Palestine

March 31, 2008

On Jan. 31, 1948, the St. Paul Pioneer Press printed two editorials across from each other.  On the left, an editorial called “India’s New Crisis,” began – “The assassination of Gandhi greatly increases the danger of large-scale violence in India and of actual war between the Hindu dominion of India and Moslem Pakistan.”

Across from this editorial, Max Harrelson writes in an editorial entitled “Jerusalem Headache” – “One of the major headaches of the United Nations in implementing the plan to partition Palestine will be the government of Jerusalem, long a chief trouble spot in the Holy Land.”

The history of the partition of India has numerous parallels to the partition of Palestine:

1. Both countries were under British rule.
2. In both cases the partition boundaries were drawn rather randomly.
3. Partition caused war.  In the case of Palestine, the Israeli War of Independence, and in the case of India, religious rioting which killed millions and forced many out of their homes.
4. The boundaries of both Israel and India are still under dispute.  Israel continues to be in conflict with the Arabs over the entire Land of Israel, while India and Pakistan hotly contest ownership of Kashmir.

Click here to learn about the partitions of Ireland, Germany, Korea, India, Vietnam and Cyprus.


Temple Mount Sifting Project

March 31, 2008

A short video about the Temple Mount sifting project is available at SourceFlix. It follows the volunteers step-by-step as they search through the rubble for artifacts from the First and Second Temples.

Thanks to Todd Bolen for the heads-up.

Click here for pictures of the model of the Temple Mount and the Second Temple in Herod’s time.

Hurva Synagogue Restoration

March 30, 2008

The Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem was destroyed twice. In 1721, it was destroyed by Arab creditors angry at the Jewish residents’ unpaid debts. It was rebuilt in 1864 and destroyed again by the Jordanian army in 1948. The Hurva Synagogue served as the main synagogue of Jerusalem and many historical events took place there, such as prayers upon the coronation of George V (1910) and the handing over of the flag of the Jewish Brigade (1917).

After the Six Day War, Israel began to plan the restoration of the synagogue, but work only began in 2005. The restoration will be as close to the original as possible, taking into account modern conveniences. The dome has already been completed and the entire building is set to be finished in time for next year’s High Holy Days.

More on this story at the Jerusalem Post.

History of Zionism Slideshow

March 30, 2008

This slideshow is from the Kumah blog.   I came across it at the Narrative and Ontology blog.

Israeli Air Force

March 27, 2008

The first Israeli attack from the air occurred on this date – Mar. 27, 1948.  The New York Herald Tribune reported:

JERUSALEM, March 27.-Jewish planes went into action today for the first time in the Palestine fighting when Arabs attacked a Jewish convoy of thirty-four trucks near Bethlehem. Four planes were engaged. Sixty survivors of the convoy force of ninety were reported tonight to be surrounded by Arab riflemen in a stone house near by.

The Jews were under heavy attack. The British Army abandoned rescue efforts until daylight, and the government feared there was little chance for their survival.

The fight followed Arab interception this afternoon of the convoy, which was en route back to Jerusalem after delivering supplies to the isolated Kfar Etzion colonies in the hills of Hebron.

Haganah said some of the trucks found safety in Kfar Etzion while Jews in the other left their vehicles and fought two miles along the road to reach the house on foot. Until darkness fell, the Haganah planes supported them, dropping the first aerial bombs used by Jews or Arabs in Palestine.

When is Anti-Zionism Also Anti-Semitism?

March 27, 2008

Clearly, Jews and Israelis cannot expect that the policies of the Israeli government will never be debated or criticized.  Legitimate criticisms are part of the democratic process and are protected in the U.S. by the First Amendment.  So when scholars and organizations talk about anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, what do they mean?

Kenneth L. Marcus of Baruch College defines it this way:

To the extent that there might be any question, the distinguishing features of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism are rapidly becoming conventional: employment of “classic anti-Semitic stereotypes,” use of double standards, “drawing comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany,” and “holding Jews collectively responsible for Israeli actions” regardless of actual complicity.

The rest of this interesting article, entitled “Higher Education, Harassment, and First Amendment Opportunism,” can be downloaded as a PDF from Social Science Research Network.

The Man of the Two Wives

March 26, 2008

A political cartoon published in the Arab newspaper Falastin on July 25, 1936, likened the British to a man who is married to two wives and therefore has no peace at home.  Note how the Jewish woman is presented as the antithesis of Arab perceptions of femininity.