Wednesday, December 02, 2020

From Ian:

Gil Troy: Obama’s memoir: The anatomy of Iran-appeasers and bash-Israel-firsters
Feeling guilty about America’s past dishonors, Obama believed he could engage Iran’s mullahs honorably. And uncomfortable with the West’s disproportionate power globally, he decided that “given the asymmetry in power between Israel and the Palestinians... it was reasonable to ask” Israel, “the stronger party, to take a bigger first step in the direction of peace.”

Ideologically, in pressuring Israel while engaging Iran, Obama overcompensated for America’s previous “sins.” That’s why he sanitizes the Palestinian turn from negotiation toward terrorism in 2000 by describing a mutual “lure of violence,” while underplaying how the terrorism Palestinians initiated betrayed and traumatized Israelis. Instead, he decides ”Israeli attitudes toward peace talks had hardened, in part because peace no longer seemed so crucial to ensuring the country’s safety and prosperity.” This obsession with Israel’s economic and military power blinds him to Israelis’ feelings of vulnerability and Palestinian culpability.

Personalities played a part, too. Obama writes that Bibi Netanyahu’s “vision of himself as the chief defender of the Jewish people against calamity allowed him to justify almost anything that would keep him in power.” In our new book, Never Alone, Natan Sharansky agrees that Netanyahu “believes his staying in office keeps Israel alive, an equation that only grows more significant the longer he stays in power.” Sharansky, however, writes with admiration, tinged with occasional frustrations; Obama exudes contempt.

Obama believes his position is equitable, idealistic – and resents the criticism he received, especially from AIPAC. But his European-style obsession with power dynamics and America’s lack of exceptionalism made him too indulgent of the sins of dictators and terrorists like the Iranians and the Palestinians, and too harsh regarding the missteps of liberal democrats like the Israelis.

President-elect Joe Biden and his new team should correct Obama’s mistakes, not repeat them. Look peripherally, not just bilaterally. It’s not just about borders or nukes: Palestinian leaders must stop terrorizing Palestinians and Israelis; Iranians must stop terrorizing the world. Rather than bashing friends like Israel and coddling enemies like the Iranians and the Palestinians, restore the true moral order to the universe: Support your friends, your fellow liberal-democrats, and confront our enemies.

The End of Arab Nationalism
When last summer the Trump administration brokered the Abraham Accords—a peace agreement between Israel and the two Gulf states of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates—much commentary focused on their immediate causes, particularly the signatories’ shared fear of Iran. Reports of a recent face-to-face meeting in Saudi Arabia between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will only reaffirm that explanation.

Yet the historic character of the accords lies elsewhere. The accords recognize the Jewish and Arab people’s common ancestry in the region, accepting that Jews as a people and their faith are indigenous to the Middle East and have a legitimate right to be there. This affirmation discards two central tenets of Arab nationalism: the inherent rejection of a Jewish state as an alien, colonialist presence in the region and the idea that Arab-Israeli peace must defer to Palestinian grievances. The affirmation thus marks the end of Arab nationalism. Henceforth, the Arab countries that join the accords signal that they intend to pursue their national interest and seek alliances with the Jewish state, each on their own terms and without the need of a pan-Arab strategy.

Proximate causes, to be sure, matter. After all, it was President Jimmy Carter’s misguided foreign policy in the Middle East—alongside Israeli intelligence’s tipping off of Egypt’s president, Anwar Sadat, of a Libyan assassination plot against him—that propitiated Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem in November 1977. His trip set off direct bilateral peace talks that would culminate in the 1978 Camp David Accords and the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty. But those events simply flicked a switch. Peace ensued not only because strategic interests suddenly aligned, but because worldviews turned upside down.

The same can be said of the Abraham Accords. Common cause against an ascendant Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and radical Islam have driven Gulf countries closer to Israel. So has the desire to leverage full peace against Israel’s avowed intention to annex portions of the West Bank earlier this year. And no doubt, the election of Joe Biden as the next U.S. president raises the possibility that the United States will rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, a move both Arab countries and Israel firmly oppose. Both enthusiasts and detractors of the accords have mostly focused on these catalysts of historical change rather than recognize that a paradigm shift has emerged as a result of long-term trends.
Vic Rosenthal's weekly column

You hear about it, but you don’t really believe it.

What is happening in American universities to Jewish students, and particularly those who support Israel even to a small degree, is appalling, and it hasn’t diminished as courses have moved online during the pandemic. Misoziony, “new antisemitism,” and plain old Jew-hatred that doesn’t even try to disguise itself have become part of the everyday experience of Jewish students in a way that would have been unimaginable for me or for my children when we were students. Read Blake Flayton’s article at the link above. You can say that it’s just a collection of anecdotes, but they are characteristic of the atmosphere at most universities.

One of the more distressing aspects of it is that it is not just coming from other students, but often from faculty and administrators. The adult authority that is expected to protect students goes missing when the victims are Jewish. Administrators that are exquisitely sensitive to reports of microaggressions against “people of color” or sex/gender minorities, often act as though Jewish students do not deserve protection, because after all they are the most privileged of the privileged. In the event that they are not properly anti-Israel – they don’t even have to identify as Zionists – they are vilified and discriminated against in multiple ways for supporting a “racist apartheid state” that can only be repaired by allowing its enemies to overrun it. Those staff members that do sympathize with Jewish concerns or Israel are often afraid that they will be targeted if they don’t stay quiet (see herehereherehere, etc.)

Campuses are pervaded by a postmodern ideology, which permits free speech only for those that support it, and a postcolonial one that institutionalizes racist attitudes against “whites,” by which they mean (somewhat incoherently) anyone that does not belong to one of a variable collection of “oppressed” groups. Jews, despite a history of millennia of pogroms, expulsions, and genocides, are never included.

Unfortunately, the postmodern/postcolonial ideology (“wokeism”) is not limited to the universities anymore. The so-called “cancel culture” that pervades progressive media is derived from postmodern ideas like truth being a social construct while feelings are a priori valid. The willingness of both the Left and the Right to simply invent “facts” – because the irrefutable “truth” of their narrative overrides any possible falsification by reality – comes from the same place. The ideology has spread to k-12 education, too. And, surprisingly, even the corporate world is becoming suffused with it, as shown by the obsession with various forms of sensitivity training and “anti-racism education.”

This is not surprising, because the woke penetration in the universities has been going on for at least two decades, and graduates now work for the biggest corporations, media, law firms, ad agencies, local and national government, and public and private education. One misses the 19th century robber barons who were interested primarily in money, and didn’t have social objectives like the management of Google or Twitter.

Elements in the black community also seem to find wokeism congenial, because the idea that they are a colonized population makes it possible to argue that all the problems that they face in the larger American society are due to the structural racism inherent in it. That implies that they are owed something in addition to equality of opportunity, because of what was taken from their ancestors by slavery and continues to be taken from them by institutional racism. Unfortunately, the anti-Jewish aspects of woke culture fit in with the historical antisemitic bias of the black community, which was introduced by the Nation of Islam as early as the 1930s, and today is represented by Louis Farrakhan. The racial disturbances and controversies of the 1960s (like the New York teachers’ strike) sharpened the differences between blacks and Jews in urban areas.

Other groups in American society, such as the non-Evangelical Protestant Churches have also adopted a great deal of the woke ideology. Evangelicals, with their belief in absolute biblical truth, and traditional Catholics and Orthodox Jews who also reject the idea of the relativity of truth, have rejected it.

The woke generation adopts various causes that they believe oppose injustice. They are somewhat arbitrary in their choices: although they devote a lot of attention to racism against black people in the US, they almost entirely ignore the phenomenon of black slavery in Muslim countries, which seems to primarily interest conservatives. Of course one of the most prominent causes – far more prominent than is justified by the number of “victims” of oppression and the degree to which they are oppressed – is the Palestinian one.

I would argue that the Palestinian cause, which might better be called “the anti-Jewish sovereignty movement,” actually favors injustice, as its pretense of promoting Palestinian self-determination is easily shown to be a smokescreen for ending Jewish autonomy. Such things as the violence of the Palestinian side compared to the defensive actions of the Jewish side; the vicious racism and religious prejudice of the Palestinians; their poor treatment of women and LGBT people; economic inequality; cruelty to animals; neglect of the environment; oppressive, undemocratic government; and other characteristics that are normally anathema to the woke are completely acceptable when the perpetrators are Palestinian.

One reason for the popularity of their cause is the large number of Arab and Palestinian students in American universities. Google “scholarships for Palestinian students in the USA” and you get a surprising number of results. There are numerous organizations (including the US State Department) that offer them, and some like the FMEP and AMIDEAST, which would be expected to seek out political activists. Many of these students are activists, and they tend to be highly focused on their goals. Many lead chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine and similar groups.

Since the 1970s, Arab countries pumped millions into American universities to establish departments and endow chairs of Middle East Studies – by which they meant Arab/Muslim studies – which often became centers for political activism.

Devotees of the Palestinian cause are found throughout American society, among the woke population as well as more traditional liberal segments. The degree of misinformation that these people have absorbed can be stunning. Recently, liberal/progressive icon Barack Obama published a book in which he presented a short discussion of the Israeli-Arab conflict and its history. It was remarkable for the number of falsehoods and biased statements it contained, clearly aimed to justify aggression against Israel and to damage the legitimacy of the Jewish state. Did he honestly believe this tissue of lies for the eight years that he was President of the US? Or did he simply write them into his book to justify his anti-Israel policies and to influence his successors? I’m not sure it matters.

American Jews are in a difficult position today. The traditional violent Jew-hatred that was mostly expressed by uneducated people is still there, and social media has given it a new life, resulting in several murderous incidents. At the same time, the misoziony of the overeducated class, which is trickling down to the average American, often spills over into antisemitism. Jews in urban areas (that’s most of them) also have to face hostility from many of their black neighbors as well.

Finally, Israelis need to realize that the pendulum of public opinion in the US, especially among the decision-making class, is swinging against the Jewish state. The Arab and Iranian strategy of introducing money and activists into Western universities has been hugely effective in changing the national perception of Israel for the worse. The change took some years, but with the help of other social and political trends, is now rapidly accelerating.

We had a brief respite with the Trump Administration, which strongly opposed wokeism and also was truly pro-Israel in a way that few previous ones were. But that was an anomaly. In the past, an anti-Israel president had to contend with a generally pro-Israel public, and a Congress that reflected that view.

The future will be different.

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  • Wednesday, December 02, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
Even though the Ayat restaurant in Brooklyn has only been open a few weeks, the New York Times rushed to give it a raving review:

A new restaurant showed up in October on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, announcing its arrival right in the sidewalk, where a tracery of Arabic script meaning “end the occupation” and a peace sign are imprinted in concrete. Above the street wall — a grid of windows that slides open in good weather — the restaurant’s mission is written in swooshes of red, green and black spray paint: “Shawarma. Falafel. Palestinian Street Food.”

Ayat is all that and more. 
The reviewer thinks that the V hand symbol is a peace sign, as if the Palestinians are hippies from the '60s. No, it means "victory for Palestine."

For example, it is the profile logo of this account run by a BDS group, which is certainly not interested in peace. 

Since it means "victory," guess who is the loser?

The photo of the restaurant in the article show a mural painted on the wall. It depicts a crying Palestinian woman, evil looking Israeli soldiers holding Palestinians prisoner at gunpoint, the Dome of the Rock, and the words "Down with the Occupation."

Can you imagine a restaurant with a theme of Jewish suffering? A mural of an auto-da-fé here, a pogrom there, the burning of the Talmud, some smokestacks? 

But this restaurant is more proof that Palestinians wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Jews that they could blame for their suffering. It is a sickness to even consider that this is an appropriate mural for people to go out and enjoy their meal.

Unless the customer base is Bay Ridge woke people who think it is trendy to support a Palestinian restaurant whose very walls scream hate.

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From Ian:

Knesset advances motion to disband, moving toward 4th elections in 2 years
The Knesset on Wednesday passed a bill to dissolve, setting the stage for the fourth round of national elections in two years as Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his Blue and White party broke from the coalition and voted in favor of the measure.

The bill passed with 61 MKs voting in favor and 54 against.

Gantz’s support for the opposition bill will likely spell the end of his ill-fated power-sharing partnership with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, some six months after agreeing to join a unity government in order to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The measure must still go through committee and pass three more readings in the Knesset before new elections are called, likely for sometime in the spring or summer.

“The dissolution of the Knesset is not a victory, it’s the first step toward a different government, which will deal with the coronavirus and the economy and won’t cause Israelis to hate each other,” Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, who proposed the measure, tweeted after the bill was passed.

Coalition whip Miki Zohar, a Likud party ally of Netanyahu’s, accused Blue and White and the opposition of again “dragging” Israelis to the ballot box.

“The only thing in common between the factions that make up the opposition and Blue and White is their ambition to harm Netanyahu’s tenure,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is a sad moment for the Israeli people.”

Gantz on Tuesday night announced he would support the measure, accusing Netanyahu of committing an “economic terror attack” by refusing to allow the 2020 and 2021 budgets to move forward.

If the Knesset dissolution bill isn’t ultimately approved, the government has until December 23 to pass a 2020 budget or the government will fall and elections will automatically be scheduled for March 23, 2021.

Israel Aims To Make Iran's Nuclear Program a Risky Venture
Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, was even more explicit. In a 2018 interview with Israeli television channel Kan, the former premier suggested that the Iranian scientist represented a target of opportunity for Israel's clandestine service. "I know Fakhrizadeh well. He doesn't know how well I know him. If I met him in the streets, most likely I would recognize him," Olmert remarked. "He does not have immunity, he did not have immunity and I don't think he will have immunity." Israel now appears to have made good on Olmert's warning.

Yet Friday's killing has another facet, as well: It reflects what amounts to a significant shift in strategy on the part of the Jewish state. For years, speculation has abounded that Israel might ultimately decide to act unilaterally against Iran's nuclear program, which represents the gravest external threat to its security. The possibility of an Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear sites is still very much on the table today, but it is an option hamstrung by a harsh reality: It is simply not possible to bomb knowledge.

Over the past two decades, Iran has amassed a formidable cadre of experts, scientists and engineers to power its atomic effort. In turn, the Iranian regime has taken great comfort in the idea that these specialists, spread over the length and breadth of its national nuclear endeavor, provide a guarantee of sorts that any military strike would turn out to be, at best, a temporary setback to the regime's path to the bomb.

Changing that calculus has naturally become a growing priority for Jerusalem. Over the past decade, no fewer than five high-level Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in a variety of very public ways. The assassination of Fakhrizadeh is just the latest part of this pattern.

Whether this campaign has any lasting effect on Iran's nuclear trajectory remains to be seen. The larger message it is trying to convey, however, is crystal clear. Israel is putting Iran's nuclear scientists on notice that their chosen vocation could turn out to be downright hazardous to their health, and that they would be prudent to seek other employment.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs Warn Biden: Do Not Embolden Hezbollah
The message they [nationals of Lebanon] are sending to a new US administration is: The Lebanese people are hoping that you will help them get rid of Hezbollah. Cozying up to Iran would further embolden Hezbollah and allow it to destroy Lebanon by turning it into an Iranian-controlled colony.

"The Lebanese people... are being held hostage today by a militia that is financed by Iran, whose weapons are coming from Iran, and even whose leader, Hassan Nasrallah, is stating clearly and publicly that he takes orders from Iran." — Samy Gemayel, leader of the Christian Kataeb Party, November 23, 2020.

"Hezbollah is the only party in Lebanon that has 20,000 soldiers on the ground.... it can do a lot to make our democracy totally fictive. Today, we are being treated as hostages, and therefore the international community must help us." — Samy Gemayel.

Rabi's expressed hope that Biden would refuse to follow the policies of former President Barack Obama toward Iran. "This mistake needs to be corrected," Rabi wrote, referring to Obama's policy of appeasement toward Iran. "Correcting it can only be done by adopting a policy different from the Obama policy."

The Lebanese and Arab warnings about a possible return to the nuclear deal with Iran and the resulting empowerment of Hezbollah need to be taken seriously by the new US administration. The Lebanese and Arabs are trying to tell Biden what they and the Trump administration have known for the past few years, namely, that Iran and its proxies -- such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis -- are poised to wreak havoc in the Middle East.
  • Wednesday, December 02, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
In October, JTA reported:

Germany has pledged to include Israel in Europe’s deal for a future vaccine against the coronavirus, in keeping with Germany’s “special relationship” with Israel as a response to the Holocaust.

According to Hebrew-language media on Monday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Health Minister Jens Spahn made the commitment to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Israel’s Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff in conversations on October 11.
Yesterday, over six weeks later, Turkey's state-owned TRTWorld decided to publish the story - with a twist:

The Palestinian territory of Gaza, however, may not be so lucky. The virus in Israeli blockaded land which is also densely populated has reached a “catastrophic stage.”

Gaza was already suffering from a shortage of medical equipment after more than a decade of a deadly Israeli siege leaving hospitals without vital equipment needed to cope with a pandemic.

Pleas by Palestinian doctors in Gaza that the health system could collapse, have largely gone unheard and the Berlin-Tel Aviv deal only underscores that which makes no mention of Palestinians.

There have been no commitments made by Germany towards the Palestinians who are currently under an Israeli occupation which has its own historical reasons that can be closely linked to Germany’s actions.
This is simply state-sponsored slander in a news article. Israel does not bar medical equipment from Gaza. It also hints at the "Palestinians are the real victims of the Holocaust" meme that Israel haters like to say.

TRTWorld deliberately chose to exclude the widely-reported story that Israel has committed to provide millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Palestinians and in every deal Israel signs with pharmaceutical companies, they are including Palestinians in their purchases.

In other words, when Israel gets vaccines, Palestinians get vaccines. 

The reverse is not true. Palestinians will also get vaccines from the United Nations and international aid organizations.

Of course, this story got promoted by IfNotNow. Liars have to stick together.

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  • Wednesday, December 02, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
On Sunday, Rashida Tlaib (and Linda Sarsour) retweeted the statement "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" used by Israel haters calling on the destruction of Israel.

When Jews got upset, she took down the retweet.

Peter Beinart, now a New York Times op-ed writer, defended Tlaib's original post - twice. 

His arguments are so disingenuous and filled with so many falsehoods that they need to be seen to be believed.

Beinart started off with this tweet:

Beinart's first sentence that Tlaib wants a single state were Jews live in equality with Palestinians is based on her carefully vetted campaign conversation with The Detroit Jewish News where she claims that al lshe cares about is human rights and that it is Israeli racist policies that force her to this position; she visited Israel in 1995 and was impressed that Jews and Arabs lived together in peace but she says that is no longer true.

This is gaslighting.

Even before she was sworn in to Congress she posed with the map that had a Post-It note in her office that indicated she wants to replace Israel with Palestine. If she wants a state with equal rights, why can it not be called Israel? (updated, h/t Israellycool)

More importantly, Tlaib explicitly supports the "right to return," whose only purpose is to destroy the Jewish state and force Jews to live under Arab majority rule. Her talk about "equality" only applies to a situation where Arabs control what "equality" means, which can be seen in the Palestinian constitution: 

Article 1
Palestine is part of the larger Arab world, and the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation. Arab unity is an objective that the Palestinian people shall work to achieve.

Article 4
1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect for the sanctity of all other divine religions shall be maintained.
2. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be a principal source of legislation. 
3. Arabic shall be the official language.
This doesn't leave much room for Jews except as a tolerated minority. That is the "equality" Tlaib wants to see.

Beinart's second sentence is one of his go-to themes, where he pretends that Palestinians who live in Area A and Gaza - with their own flag, Olympic team, prime minister, president, court system, police, citizenship laws, passports, trade, zoning laws, cities that Jews couldn't live in if they tried, UN membership - are really living in Israel where they are denied citizenship. By his logic, Canadians live in the same state as citizens of the US since their economy is dominated by another country. It is a laughable lie but one that Beinart loves to repeat.

Beinart then doubled down on his defense of Tlaib's bigotry with an equal display of knowing lies and breathtaking ignorance:

Beinart starts off as a wise man: "I get it! But they are all wrong!"

It isn't "some" that have used the statement "From the river to the sea" to espouse the replacement of a Jewish state with an Arab state - it is everyone! There are no counterexamples. The idea that the boundaries of an Arab/Islamic Palestinian state is the exact borders drawn by Westerners to create the British Mandate is in the founding charters of the PLO and Hamas. (Although the 1964 PLO Charter contradicted itself  by specifically excluding the areas controlled by Jordan and Egypt, because only Jewish control is anathema to the freedom-loving Palestinians.) 

Beinart then mentions that Hamas charter. It doesn't use that specific phrase once. 

Beyond that, by using the phrase "1st Hamas charter" Beinart is pretending that it has been superseded. He's either lying or ignorant about a topic he pretends to know cold.  Hamas never replaced the charter in 2017; it issued a new political document but was explicit - in Arabic - that the original genocidal Hamas charter is still in place. 

Why would Beinart want to downplay Hamas' evil? Because it blunts his message of Israel as an unparalleled violator of all that is holy and good - a position he shares with Rashida Tlaib.

But to point out that Tlaib tacitly supports BDS and explicitly supports the completely nonexistent "right to return" - which are both intended to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian, not binational, state - is a "smear." 

Beinart has no intellectual honesty. These two tweets prove that. 

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  • Wednesday, December 02, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
A 14 year old convicted of stabbing two Israelis

What makes NGOs completely make up lies?

The New Israel Fund writes, "Between 2017-2019, five thousand children aged 12-18 from the West Bank and East Jerusalem were arrested by the Israeli military and tried in military courts, including dozens of children under the age of 13."

No source is given.

The number is absurd. It would mean that Israel averages between 4 and 5 arrests of children every day, which would be about 32 every week for that three year period.

According to the UN's OCHA-OPT, looking at a random sample of their biweekly Protection of Civilians reports, there are far fewer children arrested - 8 in this two week period, 13 in this biweekly period, and usually none mentioned. 

But NIF goes beyond that, claiming not only that they are arrested but that they are tried in military courts.

A favorite statistic from many NIF grantees comes from a Haaretz article in 2011 that said that Israel has a 99.74% conviction rate in military courts in the West Bank.

If NIF's and Haaretz' numbers are correct, there would be thousands of children in prison!  However, there are only a couple of hundred, nearly all of them males over 16. 

Even other anti-Israel NGOs, like Defense for Children International, says that Israel arrests between 500 and 700 children a year - far less than NIF's claim of over 1300 a year, and they do not even pretend to say that every one of those get tried. (They also do not say the source of that statistic. UNICEF in 2013 gave a similar figure, but it admitted it was a guess based on speaking with lawyers in the courts who defend the children.)

The NIF statistic is made up from whole cloth. And these are the people who fund lots of other left-wing groups critical of Israel like Breaking the Silence and Yesh Din.

I suppose that NIF doesn't request the truth from the groups it funds, either.

(h/t Tomer Ilan)

UPDATE: Tomer found a HaMoked report where roughly 3000 Palestinian kids were detained in 2018-2019, but there is a big difference between "detained" by police and "arrested and tried." 

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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

From Ian:

Stop whitewashing FDR's abandonment of the Jews
Franklin D. Roosevelt is widely remembered as a strong leader who boldly led America out of the Great Depression and to the brink of victory in World War II. Yet when it comes to the Holocaust, some defenders of FDR's record want us to believe he was not responsible for keeping Jewish refugees out of America—as if that was all the handiwork of the State Department, which supposedly ran U.S. immigration policy and foreign policy independently of the president’s wishes.

Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

Prof. Daniel Greene, speaking recently at the University of Oklahoma, continued to perpetuate the implausible notion that President Roosevelt was too hapless to make his own foreign policy. Remarkably, Greene spoke for nearly an hour about America’s response to Nazism and the Holocaust, yet barely mentioned the president.

This tendentious approach is consistent with the theme of the controversial exhibit on “Americans and the Holocaust” at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for which Greene was senior curator. The exhibit has been criticized by many scholars for downplaying President Roosevelt’s abandonment of European Jewry.

Greene told his Oklahoma audience that the reason so few German Jews were admitted to the U.S. in the 1930s was because of “bureaucratic walls put in place by the State Department” —as if the White House had no occupant.

What actually happened is that the State Department implemented Roosevelt’s policy of restricting immigration far below what the existing law allowed. The annual quota of German immigrants—about 26,000—was filled only once in FDR’s twelve years in office; in most of those years, it was less than 25% filled.

There are letters from the president himself at the time in which he acknowledged and defended the fact that visas were, as he put it, “considerably under-issued.” There are documents showing that State Department officials briefed the president on their efforts to keep refugees out.
The Battle Over Antisemitism
Attacking the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism

Those who attack the IHRA definition of antisemitism are those who discriminate against Jews, practicing antisemitism, as defined by the IHRA. They are primarily proponents of the BDS movement. Among the bill’s fiercest adversaries are leaders and members of a BDS organization inaptly called “Jewish Voice for Peace” (JVP), who try to put a “Jewish” seal of approval on antisemitism, misrepresenting their own antisemitic campaigns and rhetoric as human rights activism and valid criticism of Israel. The group actively agitates against the use of the IHRA definition of antisemitism and attacks the anti-BDS legislation introduced in Senate and Congress, as well as other efforts to raise awareness of antisemitism. They write op-eds and circulate petitions that falsely claim the bills are “intended to codify criticism of Israel as antisemitic” and to “make dissent about Israel illegal” when, in fact, neither the definition of antisemitism nor the bills proposing its use would outlaw criticism or dissent about Israel. On the contrary: The definition includes language specifying that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

JVP leads the charge that the widely-accepted IHRA definition of antisemitism is undemocratic. The group substitutes its own alternate definition that restricts age-old hatred against Jews to Christian theology-based or Nazi white supremacist-based racial theories alone. This disingenuous propaganda is aimed at those who are unacquainted with antisemitism or with the proposed legislation against it, as it sounds an alarm against any practical attempt to hold people accountable for anti-Semitic racism and persecution of others. JVP demands that: It is vital that Jewish organizations across the globe stand united against harmful definitions of antisemitism and together for human rights and the freedom to protest. We at JVP are proud to have initiated this historic effort.

In November 2017, Former Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson joined Linda Sarsour—a vitriolic, anti-Israel, BDS activist who has been accused of outright antisemitism—on a panel that redefined antisemitism to exclude the panelists’ own activities.

Former Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson (2nd to right) joining Linda Sarsour (right) in panel that redefined antisemitism.

On December 15, 2020, several BDS and anti-Israel organizations are convening a panel made up of those who seek the demise of the Jewish state, in order to redefine antisemitism. The panelists include Rashida Tlaib—a U.S. congress member accused of using antisemitic tropes of dual loyalty, spreading anti-Jewish blood libels, singling out politicians for criticism because of their Jewish identity, and having close ties to a Holocaust denying, conspiracy theorist and terror-supporting anti-Zionist activists; Barbara Ransby — a university professor in History, African American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies who is prominent player in the BDS movement, supporting violent anti-Israel terrorists and using her platform to spread false and vicious anti-Israel propaganda; Marc Lamont Hill— BDS proponent and one-time CNN journalist who advocates the elimination of a Jewish state, justifies anti-Israel terrorism, and is associated with the notoriously antisemitic Louis Farrakhan. The single Jew on the antisemitism panel is Peter Beinart — an “as a Jew” Jew who has made a career of vilifying the Jewish state and advocating its abolition.

Canary Mission: Anti-Semites Lead Farcical Panel Discussion on Anti-Semitism
If you were assembling a panel of experts to teach the world how to dismantle anti-Semitism, who would you choose? Perhaps a well-known journalist who deals with Jewish issues like Bari Weiss or a dynamic young activist like Hen Mazzig, or perhaps you would contact one of the myriad of great organizations tackling anti-Semitism.

Well, Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow and friends have done the opposite. They have put together a team of anti-Israel pundits, anti-Semites and terror supporters; and asked them to lead the discussion on dismantling anti-Semitism.

The farcical panel titled "Dismantling Antisemitism, Winning Justice" is set to take place on December 15th.

LET'S GET TO KNOW THE “QUALIFICATIONS” OF THESE PANELISTS: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is widely known for her anti-Israel activism and support of the BDS movement, for which she was barred from entering Israel in 2019. She has claimed that Palestinians saved Holocaust survivors and compared boycotting Israel to boycotting Nazi Germany.

Peter Beinart, the ONLY Jew on the panel, has called the Jewish state a “cancer” and lamented the Jews' “unfortunate Zionist obsession” with Jewish statehood. He has referred to Israeli society as “racist” and has implied that Israeli and American Jews are Nazis in relation to the Palestinians.

Marc Lamont Hill was fired from his position at CNN in November 2018 for using language associated with the destruction of Israel. He has also promoted anti-Semitism, fundraised for a convicted terrorist and glorified anti-Israel violence. Read more in his NEW Canary Mission Profile.

Barbara Ransby is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a long-time supporter and friend of terrorist Rasmea Odeh; she has also demonized Israel and promoted violent anti-Israel protests. Read more in her UPDATED Canary Mission Profile.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of JStreet, on Sunday condemned the assassination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Ben-Ami took his cue from the EU, which took its cue from Tehran. One can understand why Tehran would condemn the assassination of the man considered to be the father of Iran’s nuclear program, someone considered “irreplaceable” in the mullahs’ quest to get the bomb. Iran wants the bomb, and the elimination of Fakhrizadeh is a setback. Big time. The condemnations coming out of Brussels and from Ben-Ami, on the other hand, can be explained only by the famous quote from Winston Churchill:

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

It makes sense that JStreet would want to appease Iran by condemning the elimination of Fakhrizadeh, a man with deep knowledge of the Iranian nuclear program. A nuclear Iran threatens the free world, not least of all the United States. Go to any protest, or even to the Iranian parliament after Soleimani was killed, and you will hear the chants of, "Marg bar Āmrikā," (Death to America).

JStreet’s Ben-Ami hopes that in agreeing with his wannabe murderers, they will consent to eat him last.

Perhaps more to the point, JStreet is an anti-Israel organization pretending to engage in Israel advocacy. JStreet actually shares the aim of the Iranian nuclear program: the elimination of the Jewish State—witness the organization's covert support for BDS. It is believed that Israel is behind the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, though the Jewish State has neither confirmed nor denied a role in the targeted killing of the scientist. Israel has a good motive for taking out Fakhrizadeh and that is that while a nuclear Iran may be the greatest existential threat to the free world—which unfortunately includes Jeremy Ben-Ami among its inhabitants—Israel is Iran’s closest target, and the elimination of the Jewish State a primary goal for Khameini.

Ben-Ami, knowing that Israel is first on the menu, hopes that in condemning the actions of the Jewish State, he will be last on the list of tasty items to be consumed by the crocodile named Iran. That is why Ben-Ami was pleased to be included on the guest list of Jewish leaders invited to Obama’s table to discuss how Israel might be pressured to give away more indigenous Jewish land to the Arabs. Obama is the main architect of that ultimate appeasement of Iran: the JCPOA (which Iran never signed). It is Obama who sent the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, pallets of untraceable cash.

It is only natural that Ben-Ami would wish to be a starring ingredient in the dessert course, to ally himself with Obama. Ben-Ami, like Obama, wants to be eaten last. Alas, the only way for these men to fulfill this aim is to make themselves relevant until the end. They hope that if they appear to share the goal of the crocodile, and even assist in procuring food for the beast, the beast might save them for another day, when there is nothing tastier to eat.

The problem is that the crocodile is a bully, and the problem with appeasing a bully is that the bully always comes back for more. Which means that the bullied are never free, even as they delude themselves that the opposite is true, that they are saved. Being last to be eaten, on the other hand, by definition means that one is eventually eaten. Which is how the game ends.

And the game always ends unless you stand up to the crocodile, to cut off its sustenance for good. That is the only way to do away with the crocodile, once and for all. Which Israel knew. Which is why Fakhrizadeh had to go.

It only makes sense. It’s the only real way to game the system, to not get eaten, last or otherwise.

Anyone who understands this, anyone with a modicum of sechel or common sense, therefore did not vote for Joe Biden. Biden, predictably, intends to revive the JCPOA, because he too, hopes to be eaten last, as do those who voted for him. The Biden voters either hope to be last to be eaten by the Iranian crocodile, or else they are oblivious to the danger in the swamp. They are oblivious because the media dangles progressive sugar plums before their eyes, the shiny and exciting causes they prefer to embrace above life itself: BLM, Antifa, illegal immigrants, and above all, a supreme hatred of the Orange Man.

The people who voted for Biden (and Obama before him), can’t see the crocodile lurking, waiting to pounce on those with no clue of the danger waiting for them in the wings. The crocodile, meanwhile, watches on as its early prey, the Biden voters, spew their hatred of anyone who thinks differently from them: the people who won’t get with the plan. The Biden voters don’t know that all along, the plan has been out of their hands and even unknown to them, the people to be eaten first.

The people who voted for Biden, knowing he would probably reinstitute the JCPOA, are like so much unwitting chum. They have no idea how delicious they are, as an appetizer, or even a main course. Ben-Ami, meanwhile, awaits his turn on the platter with bated breath—perhaps garnished with edible gold—as the crocodile opens its yawning cavern of a mouth, never to be sated or satisfied.

Always wanting more.

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  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

Middle East Monitor reported:
The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza announced on Thursday that it will be importing [sic] Palestinian olive oil for the first time from the besieged enclave, to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Speaking to the press, the ministry's Spokesman Adham Al-Basyouni disclosed: "44 tones of olive oil were exported to Arab countries after achieving self-sufficiency for the first time."

He stated that his ministry exerted efforts to export the surplus of Gaza's olive oil as part of its support for farmers.

 Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Palestinian businessman Hamdi al-Jerjawi said that "990 olive oil tins [15 tons] were exported to Saudi Arabia and 600 olive oil tins [9 tons] were exported to the United Arab Emirates."
This is the first time Gaza exported olive oil to Saudi Arabia and the UAE - right when Israel is cementing ties with those same Gulf countries.

Normally, Gaza produce for export outside the West Bank requires Israeli approval. The PA exports some West Bank produce straight to Jordan but I am not aware of them exporting Gaza goods.

Which means that although Arab and Turkish media are loathe to admit it, Israel almost certainly facilitated this export to help Gaza farmers. 

This is not the sort of thing that the media wants to report.

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From Ian:

Jonathan Tobin: Will Biden get the message he was just sent on Iran?
The Iranian regime has already repeatedly demonstrated that its goals are incompatible with those of Western fools, either in the United States or Europe, who think that diplomacy can somehow accommodate its ambitions. Iran’s use of terror, its nuclear ambitions are, like its ruthless and brutal suppression of dissent at home, integral to the identity of the Islamist government. Efforts to appease them like the nuclear pact are unsatisfactory and temporary solutions to a problem that requires a more realistic long-term approach.

It’s equally true that Iran’s leaders have also shown that, despite their bluster, the talk about waging war on Israel or the West is more of a bluff than a credible threat. While that could theoretically change, the talk of so-called experts on Iran about a conflict between “hardliners” and Tehran liberals is, like so much of the analysis of the Soviet Union a generation ago, utterly bogus.

That means that the problem facing Biden is not how to undo Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal or to make a new Middle East where Israel and the Gulf states are working in unison to accept a return of Iran appeasement. Rather, it’s how long it will take his new foreign-policy team to understand that the Obama vision for a housetrained Iran that would do business with the West was never realistic and, even with the support of Europe, Russia and China, can’t be revived. If they’re serious about crafting an Iran policy that is anything more than an Obama nostalgia tour, they must acknowledge that the nuclear deal—whose sunset clauses ensured that Iran would eventually get a bomb and which ignored its terrorism and missile building—must be scrapped sooner or later.

The information about Iran’s nuclear problem that Israel published two years ago—showing they never really stopped working for a weapon, along with every act of terrorism and illegal missile-building they commit—contradicts the Obama-Biden hopes for curtailing, let alone ending the threat from the regime.

Former Secretary of State and future Biden climate change tsar John Kerry may have advised Iran to simply wait until a Democratic administration replaced Trump to resume good relations with the West. But even if Tehran is cheered by Trump’s defeat, they aren’t going to conform to Biden’s will any more than they did to Obama’s. Their violent and aggressive goals remain unchanged, and nothing short of the kind of economic isolation that Trump was seeking to impose will force them to change their behavior, if, indeed, even that would suffice.

As important as the transition to a new administration in Washington is, it changes nothing about Iran or its intentions or the responsibility of those who rightly understand the nature of the threat to act. As they showed with the assassination and with its strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, Israel won’t simply sit back and let Iran have its way. The only question about Biden’s policy is whether he will join that fight as Trump did, or if he will stand on the sidelines as the Jewish state continues to do the West’s dirty work.
Eli Lake: On the Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel Gets a Vote
In this sense, it’s mistaken to view Israel’s likely strike against Fakhrizadeh through the lens of its effect on President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of re-entering the Iran nuclear deal and negotiating a stronger follow-on agreement. Israel has already proved it has extraordinary intelligence capabilities inside Iran. But the opportunity to take out a high-value target such as Fakhrizadeh does not come along often. It’s more likely that the opportunity presented itself and Israel pounced.

More important, Israel has showed in the last three years that it is willing to use its intelligence capabilities to stymie Iran’s nuclear program. Israel killed some nuclear scientists inside Iran during negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Back then, most observers believed that Israel’s only chance to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure was an overt action, such as a missile strike, drone attack or bombing run. The explosions at Iranian sites over the summer suggest Israel can accomplish much of this task through intelligence operations.

The upshot is that any future deal with Iran will have to address Israel’s security needs. That is not what happened five years ago. The tensions of the nuclear deal became so dramatic that in 2015, Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress to make the case against the deal Obama was negotiating. Netanyahu was willing to risk Israel’s most important alliance to oppose a deal that he believed imperiled his country’s future. So it’s highly unlikely that Israel would be willing to end its activities in Iran so the U.S. can rejoin that same deeply flawed nuclear agreement.

Israel may agree not to launch any strikes for a time, such as the first few months of the Biden administration. But it won’t give up the capability to strike inside Iran unless Iran agrees to abandon the aspects of its nuclear program suitable for building bombs. If Biden is smart, he will use this dynamic to his advantage as he tests Iran’s willingness to negotiate.

Israel’s sabotage and assassinations have not destroyed Iran’s nuclear program. But they have set it back. As the architect of that program, Fakhrizadeh will be hard to replace. What will be even harder for the regime, however, is persuading its other scientists that they will be safe if they continue the quest for a nuclear weapon.
Melanie Phillips: The warped reaction to the Fakhrizadeh assassination
Iran declared war against the west decades ago, and has committed numerous attacks and sponsored repeated acts of murderous terrorism against America, coalition forces in Iraq, Israel and diaspora Jews. Yet the western establishment, which has perversely refused to defend its interests against such attacks, continues to behave as if Iran is not responsible and that only a western military response would be an act of war.

Progressives say the regime will be contained by reaching out to it in negotiation. Once again, this is an example of the west’s ineffable arrogance in assuming that its own value-system is shared by the rest of the world. To the Iranian regime, attempts to negotiate are a sign of weakness and thus an incentive to further aggression. When the west extends its hand in conciliation, the regime views it as an opportunity to chop it off.

No-one in their right mind could be sanguine about the prospect of an all-out war with Iran. Equally, no-one in their right mind should be sanguine about enabling it to produce a nuclear bomb.

The assassination of Fakhrizadeh, along with all the other measures Israel and its allies have taken against the regime, shows how asymmetric warfare (or warfare by terrorists or rogue states outside the rules of war) need not mean that the bad guys always win. All it needs is the moral will to defend the free world against this novel form of aggressive warfare through novel ways of waging a just war.

Israel and the Trump administration possess that moral will. Obama and his retreads, along with the craven Europeans, do not.
  • Tuesday, December 01, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA sends out emails about its dire financial straits, saying that there is no money left for its services.

But there is one simple way it can alleviate its problems: shut down the UNRWA school system in Jordan.

There is no reason whatsoever for the UN and UNRWA's donor countries to support a separate school system altogether. But in Jordan, it is completely unnecessary.

Nearly all Palestinian "refugees" in Jordan are citizens of Jordan. They can all attend Jordanian state schools, whose curriculum UNRWA uses. 

Already about one third of Palestinian "refugee" citizens of Jordan send their children to Jordanian public schools. Jordan does not ban them from its schools. In fact, Jordan also gives schooling to non-citizen refugees from Syria, so even the Palestinians who aren't citizens should be able to attend Jordanian schools.

Maintaining two parallel school systems is inefficient and wasteful. Jordan can take over the existing UNRWA school buildings and hire UNRWA teachers. The donors who fund UNRWA could divert some of their money for a few years to Jordan's education ministry until the transition is complete.

UNRWA in Jordan uses the Jordanian curriculum and schoolbooks, so there is no disruption there.

Most importantly, it is the state's responsibility to educate its young people, and Jordan shouldn't outsource this task to the international community.

How much would this save? Education is roughly half of UNRWA's billion dollar budget, and Jordan has some two million "Palestine refugees." Almost certainly cutting this wholly unnecessary program would save $100 million a year, or about 10% of UNRWA's budget - without impacting the lives of the children who would still attend the same schools with the same teachers using the same textbooks.

UNRWA tries to position itself as being crucial. In this one case alone, it is clear that it isn't, and it is just trying to get as much money from the international community while keeping Palestinians separate from the main population of the country they are citizens of.  It encourages Jordanians to consider Palestinians as not real Jordanians and to treat them as if they are only temporarily there, which makes it easier to take away other rights from them - something Jordan has done many times before.

You know....apartheid.

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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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