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ABC Mini-Encyclopedia

TakeAPen's ABC Mini Encyclopedia for Israel & the Middle East

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"Cycle of Violence"
This blurry euphemism exonerates the perpetrators of violence by not naming them and by equating them with the victims. Blame is cast on an anonymous, non-human force. It should be noted that this language is often reserved for cases in which Israelis are victims of Palestinian violence. In contrast, when Palestinians get killed in a shooting incident, the language tends to be direct, such as: “Israelis killed two Palestinians.”
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1. Israel A to Z - 60 first references to Israel
This “Israel 60, A to Z’ glossary serves as first reference to 60 frequently discussed issues about Israel in the Middle East, for the public and for the non-professional writer – like the writer of a Letter to an Editor. Its reader can see in one minute the essence of a subject, perhaps also an eye-opener to non-conventional wisdom - in place of politically correct clichés we read and hear far too often through mass media. Read More
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A View from the Eye of the Storm
Talk Delivered by Haim Harari at a meeting of the International Advisory Board of a large multi-national corporation, April, 2004
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Activists
This term is often used to describe Palestinians engaging in violent acts such as shooting, rock-throwing or launching mortars. Read More
Agriculture and Water in Israel
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Al Aqsa Intifada
This terminology echoes the Palestinian contention that violence beginning in September 2000 was a spontaneous response to Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount and that the Muslim shrine was threatened, neither of which was true. Even some Palestinian officials acknowledge that the violence was neither spontaneous nor a response to Sharon’s trip to the Temple Mount.
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Antisemitism - or legitimate criticism of Israel?
No one will deny the historical existence of anti-Jewish hatred and persecution, but few want to believe that it is still prevalent in the modern, post-Holocaust world.
Criticism of Israel, harsh as it can get, may be a legitimate difference of views. However, the establishment of the state of Israel, a Jewish state, has seen also the development of new, disguised anti-Semitism (meaning, in this case, being anti the Jewish people) which takes the form of discriminating and demonizing political criticism of Israel. Where are the limits?

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Apartheid - or Co-existence - in Israel?
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Arab and Israeli Territories
The size of the Arab and Israeli territories held today by the Arabs and by Israel is not the only issue, but an issue which can not be overlooked. The land mass of the Arab states today is 5,414,000 square miles (14,000,000 km2) as compared with 8,290 sqmi (21550 km2) for pre-1967 Israel and 2,130sqmi for Judea, Samaria and Gaza (total 10,420 square miles or 27000 km2).
This is an Arab - Israeli area ratio of 540 to one. So can anybody seriously believe that what the Arabs and Palestinians want is exactly that 2,130 sqmi, or 0.4 promil, addition to their vast territories and then they want to be sincere good neighbors to Israel?
(data from "A Place Among the Nations" by B. Netanyahu)
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Arab East Jerusalem
This term is demographically and historically misleading. Demographically, the eastern part of the city is about evenly divided between Arabs and Jews. The entire Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount (where the Jewish First and Second Temples once stood) and the Western Wall, is within eastern Jerusalem. Statistical data from many sources, only some of them Jewish, confirm that there were many Jewish residents, institutions and holy sites throughout Jerusalem, including the eastern portion, until 1948 when Jordan gained control of that part of the city. Jordan killed or expelled all the Jewish residents there, and, in an effort to erase evidence of centuries of Jewish presence, destroyed all 58 synagogues. Also in eastern Jerusalem are Hebrew University (built in 1925), the Jewish National and University Library (built in 1930), and Hadassah Hospital (built in 1938). Read More
Arafat
Arafat Always Goes Too Far
From: The Wall Street Journal - Europe - Tuesday, July 10
In the '70s, the PLO ran riot in Jordan and Lebanon.
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Assassination
To the editor of Financial Times
Dear Madame/Sir,

In the July 27/28 "World news digest" you refer to the (defensive) killing of a captain of the Hamas terrorist organization as "assassination".
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Ceasefire
( in Arabic: Ceasefire with non-muslims = "Hudna" ) Read More
Checkpoints
Are Checkpoints a humiliation to Palestinians? Are they vital to prevent lethal attacks? The Letter to the Editor below tells the essentials about checkpoints... Read More
Children in the Middle East
What we all wish, particularly for the children in the Middle East on all sides, is peace, peace to come as soon as possible.
Instead of this, unfortunately, there are still armed conflicts, in which children are the most defenseless suffering party – and for Palestinian children it is even more so...
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Chosen people – Israel as ‘God’s Chosen People’?
If you thought that being the "Chosen People" means privileges, think again. You might want to read this... Read More
Christians in the Holy Land
Christian Arabs throughout the Palestinian territories have been subjected to human rights abuses, carried out by Muslims, with little protection from the Palestinian police or courts. Christians, like Jews, are considered to be "dhimmis," or second-class citizens under Islam and not the legal equals of Muslims. Unfortunately, some Christian Arabs blame Israel in public for their problems, out of fear for their safety and for their lives at the hands of their Muslim Palestinian "brothers". Read More
Christmas Eve in Betlehem
If someone thought the entire Christian community in Israel was upset that Arafat could not make it to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve during the last years, guess again. Yet this was the impression that you might get from the media, IF you do not take a deeper look. What the Christians themselves say?
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Co-existence – or Apartheid in Israel?
”Co-existence”, peaceful and even friendly co-habitation of different ethnic, religious and other groups, would be the ideal status; unfortunately rarely - if ever, anywhere - fully achieved. There are not many countries... Read More
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Demolition of Houses
House demolitions are frequently attacked by pro-Palestinians as illegal acts against civilians. What is the truth?
The latest IDF (May 2004) push into Rajah is intended to wipe out terrorists nests, to destroy their bomb, chemical, explosives and missile factories, and to find and demolish their tunnels for smuggling war materiel into Gaza. The only way to ensure that the terrorists do not use these houses as safe havens, bases, tunnel exits, hideouts, sniper and ambush sites is to take them down. The way to ensure that these safe houses continue to be used for terrorist purposes is to leave them standing. In defense of the Jewish State, Israel has only one choice: demolition. Read More
Disputed Territories
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE DISPUTED TERRITORIES

What is the REAL international legal status of Yehuda and Shomron? Is or is not Israel's occupation of the West Bank illegal by international law !?
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East Jerusalem
’East Jerusalem’ is a geographic term. To use it demographically and historically, as if it is an Arab part of the city, is misleading. Demographically, the eastern part of the city is about evenly divided between Arabs and Jews. The entire Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount (where the Jewish First and Second Temples once stood) the Western or Wailing Wall and he remnants of King David’s City, are all within eastern Jerusalem. Read More
Egypt and Israel
The connection between Egypt and Israel is the most ancient “international relationship” of Israel. Almost 4000 years ago Israel was not yet the name of a nation but the joint name of 12 Hebrew tribes; those of the 12 sons of Jacob - or Yaakov - who was called also ‘Israel’ since his struggle with an angel in his dream. The Bible tells us that after years of drought Yaakov and his sons go to Egypt, where the Nile can feed all the hungry in the region. In fact they stay there for 400 years and multiply to a large nation whom Moses leads out of Egypt, to their promised land the Canaan, in one of humankind’s best known story, the Exodus. Read More
Ethics of the Media
The Society of Professional Journalists' Standards for Ethics require, among other things, that good journalism make a clear distinction between news and views. When the views of the writers and/or the editors of the paper are presented as if news - it is bad journalism. These standards also require that headlines do not misrepresent the content of the article or oversimplify the case out of context. Read More
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Fateh - Fatah
Some important articles form the Fateh Constitution:
Article (12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence
Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

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GAZA - Gaza and International Law *
Since Israel withdrew its last soldier and citizen from Gaza in August 2005, Palestinians have de facto autonomy there. However... Read More
Guerrillas
A guerilla is a member of a small group of fighters who attacks an official army. Those who target civilians, such as mothers and their small children driving on their way home or to school, are not “guerillas.” See also, “Activists, Palestinian.” Read More
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Human Rights Activists
Human Rights Activists" is one of the few honorable titles what people and organizations can and recently do grant to themselves without any control. Therefore, while respecting the title and all the good intentions behind, we'd better watch out more what the different self-declared human right activists (HRA) do, and not less, what they do NOT do, before we give them the credit due to the noble title.
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Intifada
Intifada,meaning Uprising. We know it was not a popular uprising but a terror-wave well-prepared by Arafat and his Palestinian Authority, in co-operation with terror organizations. "Intifada" is actually an Arab-Palestinia propaganda term for their wave of terror, see the PMW report PA: Hiding Terror behind Popular Uprising documenting increased Palestinian incitement directed at the general population, as part of the Palestinian Authority's attempt have its terror war against Israel be perceived as a popular uprising. See also Al Aqsa Intifada
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Iraq war crimes
A mass grave being excavated in a north Iraqi village has yielded evidence that Iraqi forces executed women and children under Saddam Hussein.
U.S.-led investigators have located nine trenches in Hatra containing hundreds of bodies believed to be Kurds killed during the repression of the 1980s.
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ISM or International Solidarity Movement
International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is an organization active in the West bank and Gaza, the group under whose auspices Tom Hurndall was in Rafah lin April 2003. The organization is self-appointed "peace organization", other than a piece by Toby Harnden in the Telegraph, regularly referred to in the UK as a peaceful human rights organization. This could not be any further from the truth.
The ISM is an absolutely one-sided supporter of the Palestinian and Arab inspirations and actions in the Middle East, frequently also of their illegal activities, in certain cases even of their terror activities, both ideologically (see below) and physically, like hiding terrorists and weapons. Read More
Israel in the Middle East
The entire Middle East, from Pakistan to Morocco, is predominantly Arab and Moslem. Israel, in spite of what you might read or hear in the world media, is not the central issue here. The root of the trouble is that most of this region is dysfunctional....

Professor Haim Harari, a theoretical physicist, was born in Jerusalem in 1940 into a family that had lived in the region for five generations. A former President of Israel’s leading scientific institution, the Weizmann Institute. In 2004 he gave a most insightful speech entitled "A View from the Eye of the Storm", which caused worldwide sensation. This backgrounder is abridged from his landmark speech. Read More
Israeli Settlements and International Law
The Historical Context Read More
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Jenin
What is the truth about the famous and infamous Jenin battle? After 18 months of armed intifada, in the month of March 2002 alone Palestinian terror targeted and killed 120 civilians in Israel, mostly in the form of homicidal suicide bombings; in cafes, restaurants, religious dinners, school yards and buses. Israel knew the base of this terror campaign: in the already autonomous Palestinian-administered city, Jenin. In April the IDF (‘Tzahal’) entered Jenin, and in a pinpoint operation eliminated the nest of 45 known Palestinian terrorists. Israel lost 24 of its fighters in this battle, because it started hand-to-hand fight instead of easier airborne attacks; to minimize civilian casualties. Read More
Jerusalem
Jerusalem is the capital and largest city of Israel, with a population of 732,000 residents, covering an area of over 125 square km. It is located in the Judean Mountains halfway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern end of the Dead Sea.



King David (1004 to 970 BCE) united the Jewish nation and chose Jerusalem's site to build the administrative capital of the whole nation (btwn cca 990 to 970 BCE) http://jeru.huji.ac.il/eb31l.htm , in place of the previously unimportant town of the small people of Jebusites. The name ‘Jerusalem' - in Hebrew ‘Yerushalayim' - means ‘He shall demonstrate completeness'. David initiated and King Solomon built The Temple, the house of worship of Judaism, the first monotheistic faith of mankind. Since then Jews have lived in Jerusalem as a majority continuously for three millennia.



The (second) destruction of The Temple came In 71 A.D. at the hand of the Romans (Titus) who seized and destroyed Jerusalem, the Temple, the Jewish revolt for religious freedom and the thousand years old Jewish statehood; renamed Judea as ‘Palestina' and expelled and dispersed most of the Jewish people across the vast Roman Empire. However, Jerusalem has remained, for 3000 years, the centre of Jewish life, alive in the hearts of Jews as the focal point of Jewish nationhood also in exile. Three times a day, for thousands of years, Jews have prayed 'To Jerusalem Thy city, shall we return with joy'



Today the 3000 years old Jerusalem is a vibrant thriving modern city, seat of Israel's government, Parliament (Knesset) and High Court; with universities, wonderful museums, antiquities, modern and ancient buildings, freedom of movement and worship, world class hospitals open to all. Truly ‘A CITY OF GOLD' - as a very popular song quotes a prophet.
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Jewish refugees - from Arab countries to Israel
In the years of 1949 to 1952 about 850,000 Jews fled their Arab countries and 700,000 of them arrived to Israel, about the same number as the Palestinian Arabs who fled Israel. We don’t hear too much about these Jews, as if the issue of Refugees after the establishment of Israel should mean Palestinian refugees only Read More
Jihad
Jihad is frequently translated as the "Holy War" for Islam. The most spectacular Jihad in history was when relatively small Mohammedan Arab tribes from the Arab peninsula swept over half the known world in the 7th century AD, from North Africa to Central and South-East Asia, and spread their Muslim faith and rule by the sword. This was achieved by extremely well organized total warfare and by totalitarian administrations which followed the conquests. Read More
Journalistic Code of Ethics
To International Herald Tribune Read More
Journalistic Standards
The Society of Professional Journalists' standards for ethics require, among other things, that good journalism make a clear distinction between news and views. When the views of the writers and/or the editors of the paper are presented as if news - it is bad journalism.
These standards also require that headlines do not misrepresent the content of the article or oversimplify the case out of context.
Read a relevant Reader's letter , making this point
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Manipulation of the truth by Media
As we all know "news" is a very special commodity. In order to get news, something has to change, to occur, preferably something spectacular. That is why reporters are always looking for action and if by chance the action is minor, it is not hard for a good reporter to make a good story from it anyway. From here to manipulating the news is only a small, but critical step.
The following picture shows how "spontaneous" the "popular uprising" is and how reporters always "happen to be there".
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Massacres
Many are the lies spread by the Arab media and enthusiastically repeated by western media about so called massacres that Israel would have perpetrated. One of the major false accusations of massacre was that of Jenin, in April 2002. Here is a sample of a letter sent to a newspaper:
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Money and Terror
Anyone trying to understand the long-term success of Yasser Arafat and his thugocracy running the Palestinian Arab terror organizations, has to understand the money trail. Read More
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NUCLEAR Weapons in the Middle East
Question: Everybody, friends and foes alike, believe Israel has nuclear weapons. Why, then, just Iran is not entitled to have them?
At first sight the question seems rational, but the real question is: Who threatens to destroy whom?
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Occupied Territories
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
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Palestinian Crimes against Humanity
Amnesty International condemns Palestinian attacks as crimes against humanity
July 11, 2002
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Palestinian or Arab Land/Territories:
These terms are often misused, erroneously applied to all of the West Bank and Gaza. Appropriate use of this phrase is to indicate those parts of the West Bank and Gaza which are currently ruled by the Palestinian Authority. In contrast, it should not be used to describe portions of the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli control, as these lands are disputed. To prejudge their rightful ownership is partisan and violates a news reporter’s obligation to be impartial. See also “Occupied Territories.” Read More
Peace
Peace is Israel's dream, the dream of all Israelis and actually of all Jews, having suffered so much for want of it, praying for peace traditionally three times every day. Read More
Peace Activists - so called
To the editor of Time Magazine,

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Refugees, Palestinian and Jewish Refugees
The Palestinian refugee problem has not been settled, and after 65 years their number is a great many times larger than it was in 1948, all still on the payroll of the UN (UNRWA).
On he other hand, JEWISH REFUGEES NEVER SAW JUSTICE, not even international recognition, says US POLITICIAN:
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Right of Return
Professor Amnon RUBINSTEIN, the famous and widely respected legal authority, popular parliamentary leader of the liberal left for past decades answers the doubts about the right of return.
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Settler Woman/Baby/Bus/Home/Body
The term “settler” as an adjective to modify a child, woman or school bus that has come under Palestinian attack dehumanizes the victim. In light of the dehumanization of the residents of the settlements by some Arab groups and others, to label an innocent victim as, for example, a “settler baby” tends to legitimize the attack. Some media have reported, for example, that a “settler bus” has come under attack, not mentioning that the bus–actually a school bus–was carrying nine- and 10-year-olds. Read More
Suicide bombing, suicide bombers
Are they self-sacrificing heros? Are they murderer monsters? Are they murderers but also the victims of their senders? One thing for sure, they are not like the 'kamikaze's: the Japanese kamikazes who directed their torpedos into enemy ships in World War II were soldiers fighting against soldiers.
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Targeted Killings
Sample Letter on Israel's Targeted Killings
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Territories
Letter to Ha'aretz newspaper on the Territories and International Law: Read More
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UN - The United Nations
The UN organization was founded after WWII, following the idea of F. D. Roosevelt, with the purpose of promoting peaceful international co-operation and keeping in bay aggression and war.
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Violence - Cycle of Violence
Decent people condemn senseless violence and it is often claimed that Israel and the Palestinians are involved in an endless ‘cycle of violence’. This blurry euphemism doesn’t name the perpetrators of violence or the victims, and... Read More
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West Bank
The West Bank of the river Jordan comprises the areas of Yehuda and Samaria, part of the disputed areas.
For legal aspects of the disputed areas look here.
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Yehuda and Samaria
INTERNATIONAL LAW AND THE DISPUTED TERRITORIES Read More
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ZIONISM – Ancient and Modern
The old equivalent of Zionism, the longing of Jews to return to Zion - Jerusalem - as a free people, started 2500 years ago when the Babylonians conquered Israel and took the Jews to slavery in Babylonia. Modern Zionism led to the establishment of the State of Israel. Read More

A View from the Eye of the Storm

A recommended excellent background reading about Israel and the Middle East

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