Wednesday, February 26, 2020

From Ian:

Matti Friedman: Israel’s Rihanna Is Arab and Jewish
In 2017, fresh off a gig opening for Radiohead in the U.S., the pop star sang at Israel’s official Independence Day celebration, an unusual gig for an Arab artist. The invitation came from the Likud culture minister, Miri Regev, a sharp-tongued hard-liner whose family roots are in North Africa, like those of many Likud voters. Ms. Regev has said that Arabic music “has something to offer Israeli culture.”

If you can understand why it makes sense for that statement to come from a right-wing politician and not from the left, you understand something tricky and important about Israel. The Israelis who are closest to the Arab world — the Jews whose families are native to that world — tend to lean to the political right, in part because they were treated with disdain by the left, and in part because Arab Muslim societies marginalized them, expelled them, seized their property and then, after 1948, subjected their new state to wars and a siege that has gone on for more than 70 years.

Israel’s founders always wanted the country to be European, and its Middle Eastern side was long kept in the cultural basement. This was reflected in the status of mizrahi music as a fringe scene scorned by critics and trafficked on bootleg cassettes. But in the past decade or two, Israel’s old elite, which was rooted in Eastern Europe and inspired by the socialist ideal of the kibbutz, has aged out of relevance, and the country’s repressed Middle Eastern soul has surged into the vacuum.

This helps explain why Israeli politics and culture — and pop music — are increasingly discordant for Westerners. There’s a renewed interest in the Jewish sages and religious poetry that flourished in the Islamic world, for example, like the liturgical form known as piyyut, which now shows up not just in college courses but on Top 40 radio. Even an Israeli supermarket aisle is confusing for a shopper expecting what a North American would consider Jewish food: the shelves are heavy on couscous, eggplants and the rest of the pantry of the Levant. There’s more and more about Israel that’s easier to grasp if you’re a Muslim from Beirut than if you’re a Jewish New Yorker. This is a key trend in the country right now, and Nasrin’s riding it.

Yaron Ilan, an influential mizrahi radio host, sees a generational change. People around his age, 50, still call the music mizrahi or Mediterranean. “They still think of the Mediterranean sound as something different from Israeli music,” and that has changed among younger listeners, he said. To them, what Nasrin is singing is Israeli music — and she’s doing it not in small clubs in south Tel Aviv but in the Menorah Arena, the biggest indoor venue in the city.

If Nasrin is representative of the hybrid culture emerging here, there’s one part of her biography that’s truly unique: her decision not just to sing in Hebrew but also to actually embrace Judaism. (h/t Zvi)
A President Sanders will be anti-Israel? Jewish group has an answer
The Republican Jewish Coalition continued its attacks on the Democratic frontrunner, independent Senator Bernie Sanders, warning that voting for him would be "insane" because of his views on Israel.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, which has been one of Israel's strongest defenders in American politics and strongly endorsed President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East earlier this month, called the video "Bernie Sanders – Insane," just days after it warned that his emergence as the clear favorite following the Nevada caucuses was a highly worrisome development.

"How bad would Bernie Sanders be for Israel?" the video asks, as dramatic music is played in the background and Sanders waves to the crowd.

The video then goes on to list Sanders's many controversial remarks, including his reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as racist. The video ends with, "Voting for Bernie Sanders would be insane."

Sanders: I'd consider moving embassy back to Tel Aviv
Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday that, if elected president, he would consider moving the US embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem.

"The answer is it's something we would take into consideration," said Sanders at a Democratic primary presidential debate in South Carolina, when asked to comment on concern among American Jews that he’s not supportive enough of Israel. He then proceeded to once again criticize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"But here's the point, I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that right now sadly, tragically in Israel through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country," he added.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg also weighed in on the issue and said, “You can’t move the embassy back.” Instead, he said, “The answer is to obviously split it up.”

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said moving the embassy is not a decision for the US to make and added, “We should let the parties determine the capitals themselves.”

US President Donald Trump relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, months after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – a decision which angered the Palestinian Authority (PA).

My grandson's second birthday party had to be canceled due to rocket fire. I had arranged to attend the festivities and had set the alarm clock to meet my ride at approximately dawn o’clock. But when I rolled out of bed in the near darkness, I had two messages. One from my ride, and one from my daughter in-law, both telling me that it just wasn’t happening today. Maybe tomorrow.
I’d known the night before that it might not happen. Because when the rockets fly thick and fast, school is canceled, and no one can work. The party was to be held in my grandson’s daycare center. But there was no daycare that day. Or the next.
When the rockets are seeking out Jewish bodies to destroy, Jewish children don’t get to have birthday parties. They stay instead in their safe rooms and shelters, frightened and shaking as they hear the sirens and the booms.  “Every red alert makes me shake in my hands and legs. Every boom terrifies me,” said one little girl in Sderot.
I can confirm that the same is true of all of the children of Southern Israel, including my grandchildren who live in the city of Netivot. I watched my granddaughter’s face crumble when she heard an ambulance go by during dinner in our Sukkah in Efrat, this past fall. S. literally dissolved into tears, though she had been in a fine mood until that moment. We understood: she'd thought it was a red alert, a rocket siren.
With well-practiced hands, my son and daughter in-law put my granddaughter to bed. The stress of the moment had wiped her out. “This is what it means to grow up in Netivot,” said my daughter in-law.

It was as if, S., my granddaughter, had lost herself, lost something essential, when that ambulance siren sounded. She was no longer in control of herself or her story. Sirens meant rockets, and they were bigger than she, and unpredictable, ruling over all. 
Including my grandson’s birthday party, which, by the time this piece is published, will still not have occurred. The rockets have stopped, but it's hard living in between the rockets, rearranging and reshuffling life. It’s hard to make space for what already should have been.
Every time there is rocket fire, I feel distress for my grandchildren, for the fear I know they experience. The spotty sleep, the running to shelter, and of course, the anticipated celebrations canceled. Trying not to go stir-crazy in a single, small room, the entire family just works to conserve energy, to catch some rest as the rockets fly, the sirens blare, and the booms sound, telling you just how close it was this time. (Sometimes much too close for comfort.)
In the South, it’s not just the rockets, of course. There are the balloons, which aren’t toys to play with, but something sent by people who want to kill you, because you are a Jewish child. How do you come to grips with something like that?
How does a child come to grips with people who shoot things at you, bringing on a whole set of scary events: sirens, booms, running into safe rooms or shelters or stairwells in the middle of the candlelit peace of a Sabbath meal, or the happiness of a birthday party, or in the case of my grandson, a canceled party, the canceling of happiness and what should have been a happy time, which is now instead, a scary time that makes you shake.

My two-year-old grandson just wants to be a two-year-old. He shouldn’t have to deal with these awful terrorists who think that Jewish children--people like my little grandson G.--aren’t really human, but some kind of pestilence or vermin. That this being the case, little Jews can be targeted at will and no one will care how they feel, or whether they feel at all.

And maybe no one does.

Because the list of people who don’t care about my grandson is long. It includes not only Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) (which claims responsibility for the most recent attacks), but also Jeremy Ben Ami, Linda Sarsour, Peter Beinart, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Bernie Sanders and anyone who votes Democrat in the next election come November.

Not that Trump can solve this problem any better than Israel’s own leaders. But better Trump than any Dem, because Trump sees Israel as an ally to work with and assist, whereas, the Dems see Israel as an abuser and occupier. They see Israel as needing to be brought into line, and punished through the withholding of their money and approbation.

Dems prefer to support the Arabs, whom they see as oppressed, because they are brown and poor and have no state of their own, never mind the attacks, the rockets and the balloons targeting Jews and Jewish children. Because if the Arabs are poor, brown, and oppressed, and have no state of their own, how can they possibly be expected to behave?

This is the immature paternalistic vision of the Arab people which crowds out every other perspective, so that we don’t see the canceled birthday parties, the Jewish children shaking with fear, the exploding miscarriage rate in Southern Israel, or the rampant PTSD destroying families and careers. The media doesn’t care to write about this even one little bit, and if they do, they are sure that it’s Israel that started it all, that it is Israel’s own fault.

I am powerless to do anything about this, as powerless as the children of Southern Israel to stop the sirens and the booms that send them into safe rooms and destroy what should have been a day of song and cake and presents. A day when turning two should have been the main event. I don’t know a right way to explain this to children.

I only know that it is wrong.
Sometimes I wonder why my son and his small family, of all the places in the world, chose to live in Southern Israel, knowing what it would be like, the sirens, the booms, the running for shelter. But I already know the answer: If Jews will not live in Southern Israel, the enemy will take it over, and the rockets will come closer to the center of the country.

Which means that the Jews of Southern Israel are heroes and patriots. On the other hand, there is seemingly no solution to their problem.
Neither Gantz nor Bibi can stop the rockets or the balloons.
That ship sailed with Disengagement.
There is no way to roll it back. Nor can Israel carpet bomb the innocent or even not-so-innocent civilians of Gaza. Because the world won’t stand for it, or because Israel isn’t brave enough or stupid enough to do so. We don’t want to do it. But truly, there is no other way to stop the rockets, to stop the balloons, to stop the shaking limbs of the children who live under this reign of terror, while just trying to have a normal life.
My grandchildren are lucky. Their parents have a car. They got in the car and drove to Jerusalem to get a break from it all, the sirens, the booms, the crowded safe room. They visited the aquarium, had pizza, and played Grandma’s piano in Efrat. Then they went home, not knowing how long they will have until the next time the rockets fall, sending them into a limbo where life is put on hold and children shake, not knowing who among them will live and who will die.

G. leaving Grandma's house to go home to Netivot.

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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

From JForum (France):

The Tunisian Jewish community could be stripped of part of its heritage. The State intends to lay hands on the largest Jewish cemetery in the Maghreb, the Borgel, and a Jewish NGO is mobilized from Paris to save this place which honors the tombs of major rabbis.

The Tunisian government wants to resuscitate a controversial plan, under study for a few years, to confiscate the Borgel Jewish cemetery which has been there since 1893, whose land value amounts to 35 million euros.

The resurgence of this measure is causing anxiety among many Tunisian Jews, all remembering the forced expropriation of the old Jewish cemetery in Tunis (known as "Passage") in 1958 and anti-Semitic violence including the desecration of the Great Synagogue in June 1967.

The land, which remains to this day the property of the Jewish community of Tunis, could be expropriated at any time without any urban planning program justifying  it. The Government wishes to use this vast land which partly hinders the expansion of the city of Tunis.

It was not an anti-Semitic idea, but rather an operation intended to sell this land to local or foreign property developers. However, this project comes at a time of strong anti-Israeli sentiment in Tunisia.

This Jewish cemetery contains more than 22,000 tombs bearing the names of famous personalities, including those of several chief rabbis. Tombs of the Hakhamim (wise men or "saints") would be affected by this expropriation measure. Some 183 Rabbis rest at the Borgel.
Many of the graves there were transferred from another Jewish cemetery in 1958 when the government took over that cemetery.

The Borgel has not been maintained well despite the efforts of the Muslim caretaker.

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From Ian:

Israeli Historian Benny Morris: The Palestinians Don't Want to Share the Country with the Jews
In the wake of the failed Camp David and Oslo Accord, and following the brutality of the second intifada, Morris has grown pessimistic about the prospects for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and his views have taken a rightward turn. Citing the belief that Palestinians will never support a two-state solution, he has called himself a “Cosmic Pessimist.”

J. spoke with Morris ahead of his upcoming book tour to the Bay Area. His latest book, his first on a subject other than Israel, Palestine or Zionism, is titled “The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities.” Co-authored with Dror Ze’evi, it tells the history of atrocities, including the Armenian genocide, by the Ottoman regime from 1894 to 1924.

Did you support his strike against Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military leader?
Yeah, sure, no problem killing Soleimani. Soleimani was a killer, a man who organized killings, and a soldier in a war. And soldiers in a war are open to being killed. That’s what war is about.

What is your view on the Iran nuclear deal?
I think the Americans should have held out. The Americans had all the cards. The Iranians were better negotiators and the Americans should have held out for a much better deal.

But the deal was signed. It was a mistake, but it helped, maybe, slow down the Iranian nuclear project. I fear that withdrawing from the deal may lead to a quickening of the Iranian nuclear project, which will again confront Israel with a choice: either attacking the Iranian nuclear facilities, or the Americans attacking the nuclear facilities, or just allowing the Iranians to develop a nuclear weapon, as America has allowed North Korea to do. Once they have nuclear weapons, just like North Korea, they will become invulnerable. That’s the problem. And then they will do what they like in the Middle East.

With the Trump peace plan, it seemed like the administration was trying to strong-arm the Palestinians in some way. What did you make of the proposal?
Well, the Palestinians can’t agree to it. Look, I don’t think the Palestinian leadership, and Palestinians, basically, in their hearts, I don’t think they want to share Palestine with the Jews. That’s the basic thing. So it doesn’t really matter what plan they’re offered. Trump’s plan, Clinton’s plan in 2000. They say no. They don’t want to divide the country with the Jews. This is the basic thing.

If you don’t accept what I’m saying, and believe that they are willing to reach some sort of two-state deal, then this is a two-state deal they can’t accept, because it doesn’t really offer them a state. So even at minimum, what he’s offering is a long shot. But as I say, it doesn’t really matter that much because I don’t think they’ll agree to a two-state solution of any sort.
Ben-Dror Yemini: How did Western media become Gaza's useful idiot?
Israel granted work permits to Gaza Palestinians, expanded the fishing zone, and allowed the cash to flow from Qatar - all to no avail. The rocket fire from Gaza continues.

Defeating Islamic terror is considered legitimate anywhere else in the world, but what the U.S. and NATO can do, Israel cannot - even when fighting a jihadist group that controls Gaza.

Jerusalem simply cannot ignore international pressure. As soon as images depicting the aftermath of Israeli raids appear on media outlets, demands for a cessation of hostilities begin.

The West is ignorant of the true face of Hamas. It is an anti-Semitic organization that calls for the destruction of Jews; its official media outlet teaches children about the need to kill Jews.

Meanwhile, its religious leaders call for Rome to be captured in the interest of Islamic hegemony, much as the Islamic State ideology prescribed.
The Palestinians Need to Accept the Reality of Jerusalem and Israel
Israel isn’t going anywhere, and Jerusalem will always be its capital. Period.

Every head of state that visits Israel meets the prime minister in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, and has always done so. And while most of these world leaders won’t acknowledge as much publicly, Jerusalem has been the recognized capital of Israel for 3,000 years, since the time of King David. Nor is there one scrap of archaeological evidence to suggest otherwise.

During American presidential campaigns, candidates always acknowledge that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but until President Trump broke that mold in 2017, they had never acted on that conviction upon winning the White House.

Trump’s decision to finally fulfill the promise of his predecessors to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was, as he himself stated, merely a recog

  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

In May, the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and IRmep will be holding an all-star Israel-bashing seminar at the National Press Club in Washington.

Speakers include Haaretz' Gideon Levy, Columbia University's Joseph Massad, "The Israel Lobby"'s Stephen Walt, and washed up 1970s rock star Roger Waters.

Those who attend have to adhere to some interesting rules:

Only the official videographer and accredited members of the news media will be allowed to record this event. Attendees are allowed to take still photos without using a flash. ...
No public dissemination of third-party information in conjunction with or during the event is permitted without the express prior written permission of the organizers 30 days in advance of the conference. Individuals or organizations that violate or have in the past violated these conference or National Press Club rules or who disrupt orderly proceedings may have their conference credentials and/or tickets revoked and may not be permitted to participate in future events.
The first rule seems to be designed to ensure that if anyone says anything embarrassing - crossing the mythical line from "anti-Israel" to antisemitism, for example - there will be no evidence. The organizers must approve any news media in attendance, so you can be sure that "Zionist" media will not attend.

It took me a while to figure out what the second highlighted rule even means. I'm fairly sure it allows the organizers to kick out anyone they want if they send a single tweet during the conference.

The anti-Israel crowd is deathly afraid that one of their speakers will say something that will  make them look bad and they want to control the news. In addition, these rules are meant to discourage any Zionists from attending the event.

These rules are what one would expect to see in a third world country, not the National Press Club.

The only other place I could find the same wording of "No public dissemination of third-party information..." was from a similar anti-Israel and antisemitic conference from 2014, the "National Summit to Reassess the U.S.—Israel 'Special Relationship,'" also sponsored by IRmep.

Pro-Israel conferences like AIPAC live-stream the entire show. They have nothing to hide.

Clearly WRMEA and IRmep do have something to hide from the public.

(h/t Paul R)

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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Here is a new video from Islamic Jihad meant to introduce a new rocket, but it is really to celebrate the terror group's "accomplishments:"

Sprinkled throughout the video, and especially around the 2:00 mark, it proudly shows terror attacks - bus bombs, stabbings and car rammings of Jews, scenes of Jews injured in hospitals and Jewish funerals.

Islamic Jihad - funded by Iran - isn't saying that kiling Jewish civilians is a regretful but necessary component of the conflict. They are saying that attacking Jews is central to their mission and they are proud that they target identifiable Jews.

Yet this is not the worst part. Islamic Jihad is a terror group and you cannot expect any hint of morality from them.

The worst part is that this is part of the larger Palestinian culture. Islamic Jihad is hardly marginal - they are quite visible in Gaza and used to participate in student elections in the West Bank as well. Their media is popular. Their rallies attract tens of thousands.

Yet there is complete silence from the larger Palestinian community for Islamic Jihad's glorification of terror, their explicit antisemitism, their love of violence evident in this video.

Western liberals never tire of saying that most Palestinians are peaceful. Certainly the number that personally engage in terror is quite small. But the silence in the face of terrorists and terrorism being celebrated in their midst, in their media and websites, literally every day, cannot be interpreted as anything but the Palestinian public condoning and supporting the most disgusting and violent acts.

There are never any op-eds against Islamic Jihad-type terrorism or antisemitism. Not from Fatah, nor from the independent media.

Even the Western funders of the PA don't insist that part of their money go towards the active combatting of terror glorification. Instead they support nebulous and vague educational"peace" initiatives where platitudes are taught but nothing negative is said against terror and antisemitism. The reason is as depressing as it is obvious - the EU knows that Palestinian culture will not tolerate any dissent from the support of terror that is shown and taught to them from birth.

The PA and Fatah are only considered "moderate" because they aren't as explicit in their support of terror as Islamic Jihad and Hamas are. But they do absolutely nothing to stop the culture that celebrates murder of Jewish civilians, and in Arabic they often engage in the same type of incitement themselves.

There is something seriously wrong with the logic that people who condone or support terrorism against Jews have the right to their own state where such hate can be multiplied.

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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Omar Hassan in Euronews writes:

Whatever one thinks of President Trump’s so-called Middle East “Deal of the Century” unveiled last month, it is clearly not a workable plan for peace in the short-term. Rather than a top-down solution crafted in Washington DC (a strategy that has failed for three decades), the world should focus on “quick wins” to reinvigorate the Palestinian economy from the bottom up, and increase startup programmes, business ties and social integration between Israelis and Palestinians.

...Pro-Palestinian activists might wonder how I can dare to focus on issues such as incomes and livelihoods when the “real issue” is justice for the Palestinian people. But an economic life, including one that brings them closer to their neighbours, is a precursor to any political settlement.

Whatever one’s views on the emotive issues in Trump’s plan, such as the right to return and the capital of the proposed Palestinian state, the day-to-day reality for ordinary Palestinians must still be addressed. It’s easy to dream of a Palestinian state. It is much harder to work to create living conditions that would make that state worth living in.

But the real benefit of focusing on economic development for Palestinians isn’t just in providing hope to a disenfranchised society, giving their youth something to live for, and providing a counter-narrative to the extremists who are happy for them to have no alternative to stone throwing.

If Palestinian entrepreneurship (which is recognised and admired across the region) can be harnessed, the social divisions between Arabs and Israelis will start to dissolve. As long as the two communities cannot live and work together side by side, the conflict will remain intractable, which is why Palestinians should be given greater access to Israel’s successful tech industry and start up scene.
The weird thing is that Hassan must not have read the Trump "Peace to Prosperity" plan, because the bulk of that plan gives specific ways to build up the Palestinian economy.

Hassan sounds almost exactly like Bibi Netanyahu back in 2008:

Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu told the closing plenary of the United Jewish Communities General Assembly Wednesday that the peace process needs to focus on economic issues and not political disagreements.

Instead of talking about contentious issues such as the status of Jerusalem, the first step to a lasting peace needs to be the fostering of the Palestinians' economic situation, he said.

"Right now, the peace talks are based only one thing, only on peace talks," he said. "It makes no sense at this point to talk about the most contractible issue. It's Jerusalem or bust, or right of return or bust. That has led to failure and is likely to lead to failure again."

Netanyahu used much of his 40-minute speech to delineate his own plan for the future of the peace process, which he said will be based on areas that are already agreed on.

"We must weave an economic peace alongside a political process," Netanyahu said. "That means that we have to strengthen the moderate parts of the Palestinian economy by handing rapid growth in those area, rapid economic growth that gives a stake for peace for the ordinary Palestinians."
Maybe Hassan knows very well that his ideas came from Bibi and Kushner and Greenblatt. But he knows that if he admits it, no one will take him seriously. So perhap he is saying that "economic peace" is the opposite of the Trump plan - in order to get more Palestinians to support it.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Sanitizing Soros through guilt by association
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America's political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama "personally asked" the FBI to investigate someone "on behalf" of Obama's "close ally," billionaire financier George Soros.

He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending US President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.

Dershowitz, a confirmed liberal, drew the ire of the left by joining Trump's impeachment defense team – not because he's a Trump fan, but because he cares about upholding the rule of law and the US constitution, which he believes (with good evidence) are being trashed in the anti-Trump witch-hunt.

Now, though, Dershowitz has crossed yet another line. For to criticize Soros, the principal funder of treasured activist causes, means automatically turning into a bogeyman of the left.

Predictably, therefore, Dershowitz has been painted as a wild conspiracy theorist. Other critics of Soros, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, find themselves labeled anti-Semites.

J’Accuse! Our Dreyfus and Theirs
Two months after its shellacking in the United Kingdom’s general elections, the Labour Party continues to remind British voters of why they chose the “anyone-but-Jeremy-Corbyn” option.

Last week, it was the turn of John McDonnell — Corbyn’s main lieutenant and a stalwart of the party’s far-left — to plumb the depths of illogical, offensive, and plain ignorant political rhetoric. Speaking immediately after a visit to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in the grim surroundings of south London’s Belmarsh prison, McDonnell produced an unforgettable soundbite. Just not in the way he intended.

“I think this is one of the most important and significant political trials of this generation, in fact longer,” said McDonnell, referring to the possibility that Assange will be extradited to the United States to face 18 charges related to national security violations, of which 17 are covered by the Espionage Act.

Warming to his subject, McDonnell then ventured, “I think it’s the Dreyfus case of our age.”

Perhaps McDonnell believed that this comparison would send journalists scurrying onto Google for a quick refresher course on “Dreyfus,” and that he would consequently be congratulated for having offered such a thoughtful, historically resonant observation. No such luck.

Diligently performing their duties as representatives of the Jewish community, organizations including the Community Security Trust and the Holocaust Educational Trust swiftly countered McDonnell’s claim. Whatever Assange might be, they said, he is no Dreyfus.

This, by the way, is not a slight towards Assange. Even if you temporarily forget McDonnell’s breathtaking gall in appropriating one of the seminal episodes of modern antisemitism to make his point that Assange is facing a show trial, on a purely empirical level, the comparison with Dreyfus is hopeless.
U.S. Criticizes French Failure to Try Jewish Woman's Killer
The U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism implicitly criticized the decision in France not to try a man who killed his Jewish neighbor.

Elan Carr referenced the decision on the killer of Sarah Halimi during a conference Monday on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Association in Paris.

In December, a judge decided not to try Kobili Traore of killing Halimi in 2017 while shouting about Allah. The judge cited psychiatric evaluations saying Traore’s consumption of marijuana before the incident led to a “delirious episode” that made him not legally responsible for his actions. But the judge also said that Traore, who is in his 30s, killed Halimi because he is an anti-Semite.

The ruling provoked outrage by French Jews. Last month, President Emmanuel Macron said that “there is a need for a trial” for Traore.

“You don’t dismiss hate crime charges for issues like the consumption of marijuana,” Carr said, referencing his credentials as a former prosecutor in Los Angeles. “It doesn’t explain away hate crimes that need to be prosecuted to the utmost severity of the law.”

The conference, titled “Jews in Europe: United for a Better Future,” was held at the European Center for Judaism, a $17 million community center opened in October.

Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association, said the building and growing engagement with Judaism by many European Jews is making him “hopeful of the future of Jews here” despite the challenges.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
As I was researching the broadcast announcements in Palestinian Arab schools I came across this one from 2017 that has a "Did you know?" section about how important Palestinians have been in history.

2- Did you know that the Palestinian emperor of Rome was the one who ordered the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem due to their lack of politeness and their hatred against Christianity and Christians at that time?
Palestinians are trying to take credit for expelling Jews from Jerusalem - for the crime of being "impolite!"

In reality, the emperor who expelled the Jews from Jerusalem in 136 CE was Hadrian, born in Italy.

3- Did you know that the first historian in the world is Syoss Cassiros, who is Palestinian and whose book Pleistino is still preserved in the Louvre Museum ..

They appear to be referring to Simonides of Ceos (who was a poet, not a historian) and possibly his book now known as the Palatine Anthology of which part of it is in Paris. Simonides was born in Greece, not "Palestine."

The first historian is generally agreed to be Herodotus.

This seems to be the quality of a Palestinian education.

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From Ian:

Avi Issacharoff: Despite attempt to change rules with Syria strikes, Israel’s Gaza policy failing
The latest round of violence between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group has not yet ended, but already there are a few things that stand out as different from previous rounds.

Syria commanders no longer immune
Israel may have chosen to strike various targets in the Gaza Strip, including rocket-launching cells, but the main response was far away, on the Syrian front, where many PIJ targets near Damascus were hit.

This is a surprising step, designed to make PIJ decision-makers think twice and thrice before attempting another attack. The military and the government are trying to set up a new equation by which escalation with Israel will hurt not only Gaza but also PIJ leaders in Syria, who have thus far enjoyed a degree of immunity from Israeli strikes.

This may not be the first time Israel attacked PIJ targets in Syria, but this time it is a direct reaction to rockets launched at Israel.

PIJ is doing quite a bit to lead to this escalation. The violence began Sunday early morning with the attempt to place a bomb next to the border fence and continued after the terrorist was killed and his body was dragged back to Israel by a military bulldozer. After a brief lull, the violence renewed Monday afternoon.

Even by its own standard, PIJ went overboard with its response, considering it all started with a cell trying to lay an explosive device. Having launched dozens of rockets into the night and on Monday, it is clear the organization seeks to drag the whole of Gaza into war — despite this being one of the better periods the Strip has experienced recently in terms of Israeli concessions.

Rocket attacks target Israeli south despite reported ceasefire
Terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired rockets at the city of Sderot and nearby communities on Monday night, some 20 minutes after a ceasefire was reportedly due to go into effect at 10 p.m.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the attack. Residents of the area reported seeing multiple Iron Dome interceptor missiles fired into the sky.

Over the course of Sunday and Monday, some 90 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip — most of them by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group — and approximately 90 percent of those heading toward populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome system, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

In response to the attacks, the Israeli military launched multiple rounds of retaliatory air raids against Islamic Jihad bases in the Gaza Strip, as well as one airstrike on a squad it said was preparing to launch rockets, injuring four.

Just before the ceasefire was meant to begin, terrorists in the Strip also fired a number of rockets at the Eshkol region of southern Israel. One rocket struck inside a community in the region, causing no injuries, but light damage to a nearby building, which was hit by shrapnel.

In light of the ongoing attacks from Gaza, the military ordered schools to remain canceled Tuesday in Gaza periphery communities, including the city of Ashkelon, representing some 55,000 students.
‘I Shake in My Hands and Legs’: Child From Israel’s South Describes Rocket Trauma
A child from Israel’s south recounted on Monday the traumatic fear and terror she was facing as rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded the region once again, saying the air raid sirens made her “shake in my hands and legs.”

Dozens of rockets have been fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza into southern Israel over the past two days. While there have been no casualties thus far, the psychological and economic impact is severe.

Schools were closed in the Gaza border area on Monday, as were main highways and train lines.

Those businesses still open had almost no customers, as residents stayed in their homes close to bomb shelters and fortified rooms.

The IDF has undertaken retaliatory attacks against Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which it blamed for the rocket fire, in Gaza and Syria.

Roni, an eight-year-old second grader from the border city of Sderot, which has absorbed thousands of rocket strikes over the past two decades, was in a store with her grandmother buying a Purim costume when the warning sirens sounded.

“When I was with grandma in the store, a red alert caught us,” she told Israeli news site N12. “Immediately we got under the table that was in the store. I was under stress.”

“Every red alert makes me shake in my hands and legs. Every boom terrifies me,” she said.

“My big sister has a bat mitzvah soon and I hope there won’t be another red alert,” Roni added.

“At school they try to give us tools to deal with the fear with the help of games, and I hope that when I’m grown up I can be a dancer without sirens in the background,” she said.

  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
A revealing tweet from Ilhan Omar:

She is saying that critics are bigots against Muslims or black people or immigrants.

This is essentially her inoculation against criticism. It isn't about her words or ideology or her own bigotry - she is immune from attack because she can play the racism card.

So Omar, and the people in her circles which increasingly resembles the entire American Left, refuse to engage on the issues - her antisemitic statements, her offensive positions, her links to pro-terror organizations, her pretense of being feminist while refusing to admit misogyny in Islam, her paying a large salary to her lover and other corruption that is being revealed - and instead deflect criticism by labeling her opponents racist.

It is probable that this tweet was meant to be a response to the release this week of a book by Benjamin Weingarten about Omar and the threat that she represents.

The last thing she wants is for people to read it. For Omar, it is much better to imply that anyone who reads the book is vile.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Today is the first day of the Islamic month of Rajab.

Like in many places worldwide, Palestinian schools have various announcements meant to be broadcast over school public address systems for various occasions. Sometimes these broadcasts include current events, prayers and the like.

Watania, a Gaza-based news organization, published a script yesterday of what was to be broadcast this morning in Palestinian schools on the occasion of the new lunar month. I don't think this is an official mandate, rather a suggestion of how to make Rajab relevant to students. No doubt some schools do broadcast what is suggested.

The suggested broadcast for today is antisemitic.

It includes this fervent prayer: "Oh Allah we ask that this year be a year of good and peace and that you cleanse the Holy Land from the spiteful Jews, for they are no match for You. Oh Jews, we have a great Lord;  take revenge on them, oh Vanquisher/Subduer, oh Allah, oh Allah, oh Allah."

I found some other transcripts of Palestinian school radio broadcasts sprinkled throughout the Internet and antisemitism is not unusual. For example, this one says Jews could only hold onto Israel because of Muslim negligence:
I do not fear the power of the Jews, but I fear the Muslims ’failing. The Jews did not take what they took with their power, but with our neglect, it is the negligence of the strong that strengthens the weak.
Or this one:
The Jews are fools because they occupied a state whose people are  untiring.
Every Palestinian is born a mujahid.
Palestinians learn their Jew-hatred from somewhere, and schools are one of those places.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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