Wednesday, December 12, 2018

From Ian:

Baby delivered prematurely after mother wounded in Ofra terror attack dies
The baby of Shira Ish-ran, delivered after his mother had been shot and critically wounded in Sunday's terror attack near Ofra, was pronounced dead on Wednesday, Shaare Zedek Medical Center announced in a statement.

The parents had met their baby son earlier Wednesday morning, the hospital said.

The baby was delivered by cesarean at 30 weeks due to the wounds Ish-ran sustained in the shooting attack at a bus stop outside Ofra. Ish-ran remains in serious condition but is said to be improving.

Amichai Ish-ran, her husband, remains in moderate condition after he was shot in the leg during the attack.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Ish-ran's mother recalled the emotional moment when she woke up asking for her.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett called the death a tragedy, writing on Facebook, "our heart is with Shira and Amichai, the heart cries out."

"It's a vile murder of terrorists that stopped being afraid of us. We have to bring back deterrence that was lost. Otherwise, a wave of murders are on the way. Not with statements. In actions."

PMW: Fatah recommits to "the armed struggle": "We won't drop the rifle"
As the anniversary of Abbas' Fatah approaches - celebrated on the day of their first attempted terror attack against Israel in 1965 - the movement is emphasizing its values to the Palestinian public.

One of those values is Fatah's devotion to "the armed struggle" against Israel and Fatah's adoration for the rifle.

In an informative post on the terrorist attack three days ago in which 7 Israelis were wounded when terrorists shot at them, Fatah chose to adorn the post with the photo above showing masked Fatah members in military uniforms with assault rifles and yellow Fatah headbands.

Fatah overtly stressed its adherence to "the armed struggle" in another post showing a photo of a procession of masked men wearing military uniforms and carrying torches and yellow Fatah flags:
"Fatah is the torch of the armed struggle."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 8, 2018]

In another post, Fatah directly stated that it won't abandon "the rifle":
"The 54th anniversary of the Intilaqa ("the Launch" of Fatah)
The revolution continues, and we will not drop the rifle."
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Dec. 7, 2018]

This announcement echoes a recent statement by Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki that was exposed by Palestinian Media Watch, in which Zaki declared that "the rifle will never fall."
The Iranian Modus Operandi
On Oct. 27, 2018, while intensive contacts were being led by Egypt and the UN to reach an arrangement between Israel and Hamas, IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus said that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) had delivered heavy barrages of dozens of rockets on Israel from Gaza while working "under guidance, instructions, and incentives from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, based in Damascus."

In other words, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards directly ordered Islamic Jihad and orchestrated the rocket fire. IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis pointed out that "Islamic Jihad did not wait to get a green light from Hamas" to fire the rockets. Its activator was Iran, which precluded the necessity for Hamas approval.

Last year, Hizbullah, together with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), formed the Golan Liberation Brigade in Syria, an umbrella organization of Shiite militias who can be activated on the Israeli-Syrian border.

In addition, in 2012, Tehran created the Shiite terrorist faction Sabireen in Gaza. Sabireen and Hizbullah have very similar logos, and the founding document of Sabireen starts with the same words Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah uses at the beginning of his speeches.

Iran has significantly strengthened its position in Gaza to the point that it is now a critical factor. Tehran's chief goal is to obstruct the broad efforts of Egypt and the UN to stabilize the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. Without Iranian interference, the situation in Gaza - indeed, in much of the Middle East - would be a great deal more promising.




Jamal Khashoggi became hot topic in the media when he disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. After days of incessant media coverage, the story suddenly dropped out of the news cycle. Recently it has made a tentative reappearance but the question is – why?

Most of us had never heard of Jamal Khashoggi until the media began discussing his disappearance. We learned that he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but did not leave it. Later it seemed that he was removed, in pieces, in the luggage of the Saudi hit team who came to get rid of him.

Western media seems to view this story as a Hollywood thriller - and that’s where the focus on facts ended and narrative began.

The most popular narrative reads like a movie synopsis:
“The revolutionary, brave journalist went to the embassy to get documentation that would enable him to live happily ever after with the woman of his dreams, only to disappear, setting off an investigation that reveals international involvement with the evil regime that led to his brutal murder. The corruption goes to the highest levels of government, including the US government.”

The players:
·         Jamal Khashoggi - ex-pat Saudi, sometime journalist
·         Mohammad Bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and his hit team
·         Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, the location of the murder
·         The media

There are also “silent players” those who are not “on stage.” They are the audience this story is designed to influence. Can you guess who they are?

The good guy:
Every Hollywood thriller has a good guy. The narrative presented by the media says that Jamal Khashoggi was the good guy - but is that true?

Even without knowing all the details, asking the most basic questions cause the narrative to begin to unravel.

Western values uphold freedom of the press so we assume the abused journalist must be the “good guy” but did the media make the same fuss for Daniel Pearl (kidnapped and murdered for being Jewish) or James Foley (kidnapped and murdered by ISIS for being American)?
Has the media focused similar amount of time on the Yazidi genocide (by ISIS)? The oppression in Iran? The slave trade in Libya?
No? Why?

Much has already been written about Khashoggi and who he really was. Anyone interested can easily find online the information about his connections to Osama Bin Laden, his membership and vocal advocacy of the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist organization that gave birth to Hamas and eventually Al Qaeda).

Personally, as someone who enjoys her western freedoms and also happens to be Jewish, I cannot categorize a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, openly and loudly advocating for Sharia and the Caliphate as the “good guy”. This is a man who belonged to a terrorist organization, an avid Islamist and a spokesperson for the destruction of our way of life. Nope. Not good.

So, does that mean Mohammad Bin Salman is the “good guy”?  Before this murder occurred, the media portrayed him as a great reformer, democratizing Saudi Arabia. This is “good” right?

The problem is that “democratizing” was also a media narrative. Salman passed reforms that loosened some restrictions on the population of Saudi Arabia however these have nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with creating a strategic balance to retain power, so that the young people in his country will not rebel. There is no actual freedom involved, just a little less oppression.

So why has the media expressed such shock over the murder of Khashoggi?
Is it some big surprise that Saudi Arabia is an oppressive regime with little (if any) regard for human rights? Mohammad Bin Salman, has disappeared members of his own (extended) family. They usually don’t die but go on extended “vacations” they can’t return from… What’s Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident, in comparison to family loyalties, particularly in a tribal society like Saudi Arabia?  

The reality is that in the Middle East (and in all dictatorial countries), disappearing political enemies is standard practice. Murder, torture and abuse is common. In the history of humankind freedom and democracy are an aberration, not the norm. 

This is also true for Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The sudden demand for justice for Khashoggi is laughable in the face of Erdoğan’s own abuse of human rights, jailing of journalists and disappearance of political adversaries.

The victim was an avid Islamist and terrorist sympathizer. The perpetrator is a dictatorial abusive regime. The country crying out in shock and outrage for what occurred on their soil has no better a track record.

None of these players are “good guys”.

The conflict between the facts and the narrative presented in the media raise disturbing questions:

·         Why did the media so enthusiastically embrace Jamal Khashoggi, a known avid terrorist sympathizer, a member of a terrorist organization himself, as an innocent journalist?
·         Why did the media first uphold Mohammad Bin Salman as some great reformer democratizing Saudi Arabia and now try to push for his removal?
·         Why is there a huge push for America to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia when the same people violently resisted sanctions on Iran?
·         Why the demand to dissolve the $110 billion dollar arms deal Trump made with the Saudis? What lies in the balance? Prosperity and jobs for more Americans and arms for the Saudis to protect themselves from Iran vs some sudden awakening that the Saudi government is not democratic and doesn’t care about human rights?

Even without knowing all the details behind these obviously contradictory positions, they raise more questions than answers. That is the point when it is time to begin asking: who benefits from this narrative? What agenda is being furthered by this type of reporting?

Israel
Recently the Khashoggi story has reentered the news-cycle, this time with a new angle. Supposedly the technology the Saudis used to track Khashoggi was created by an Israeli company. This seems to be a tacit way to imply that Israel can be blamed as an accessory to this murder. Because Israel is always to blame. Or something.

Not my circus, not my monkeys
As much as the media might imply and insinuate, this story, thank God, is not our circus, not our monkeys. This story isn’t about Israel. It’s not about Jews. It’s not about America or Europe either. This is a story about Islamism and the internal war within Islam. This is about dictators and the way things are done in places that are not free.

The problem is that what is being presented as a Hollywood screenplay, is not. Real lives are at stake as is the balance of power among nations. When Middle Eastern countries are destabilized the “circus” does not stay “over there,” the “monkeys” stop being amusing and become very dangerous to people all over the world.

WE are the silent players in this show, the audience it is designed to influence. But why? Who benefits from this narrative? What agenda is being furthered?




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  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
by Daled Amos

The conventional wisdom is that the best chance for peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs is the Two-State Solution. Failing that, there is the One-State Solution.

The problem, of course, is that decades of pursuing the Two-State Solution has produced nothing except period increases in violence.

On the other hand, it has the advantage of allowing people half a world away of being able to spout off about what is best for Israel and the Arabs without having to live in the region, having a grasp of the situation nor having to live with the consequences of their unsolicited advice.

Actually, there are ideas out there for peace that are being discussed between the people who are affected, between Israelis and Palestinians, and those solutions are not about a One-State Solution or Two-State Solution.

An Unlikely Arab Peace Activist


When he was younger, Ziad Sabateen was filled with anger and hate at Israel for what he saw as the theft of Arab land. When the First Intifada broke out in 1982, he joined in the violence.

Sabateen was arrested and ended up in an Israeli prison for 5 years.
Looking back -- that turned out to be fortuitous.

While in prison, Sabateen spoke with his fellow prisoners: doctors, engineers and other Arabs to discuss how to deal with Israel. They came to the conclusion that rather than rely on violence, it made more sense to turn to non-violence and start a dialogue with the Israelis.

They created a group called “Combatants for Peace,” made up of former soldiers on both sides. They supported the Two-State Solution and started working for equal rights.

Settlers For Peace


It was around this time that Ziad Sabateen met Rabbi Menachem Froman.

Rabbi Froman, who passed away in 2013, was a "settler" and a founding member of Gush Emunim -- a right-wing Orthodox Jewish group dedicated to the settlements and served as the chief rabbi of Tekoa in the West Bank.

He was also a peacemaker and negotiator with close ties to Palestinian Arabs leaders.

For Sabateen, meeting with Rabbi Froman and being invited to his home, helped dispel the stereotype that Religious Jews are extremists and troublemakers. He eventually became uncomfortable even with calling them "settlers" -- a pejorative term, preferring to refer to them as either neighbors or residents. With Rabbi Froman, Sabateen became among the first to promote interaction and cooperation in Judea and Samaria.

The Home


In 2014, a year after the death of Rabbi Froman, a new group was formed by Inon Dan Kehati, of which Sabateen is a member: The Home.

logo
Logo of The Home


The Home, registered as an NGO since 2015, defines itself as:
a Jewish-Israeli-Arab-Palestinian platform which is open to every community all over the Holy Land in its entirety, in order to develop and promote an inclusive discussion, inter-communal action and political progression intended to provide the residents of the land with the security, dignity and freedom which each individual deserves in their own home.
The Home is all about trust-building.

Photo
Ziad Sabateen in the middle, flanked by Inon Dan Kehati on the left
and David HaIvri, a settler and Zionist leader, on the right. Credit: Bennett Ruda


The group is a grassroots organization, working on the inside, with the people who are directly and personally affected. They see many of the problems being caused by outside interference and by the money coming from the United States and the European Union, with those living in the land paying the consequences. They point to the money going to the Palestinian Authority and disappearing and the money Iran sends to Hamas. Palestinian Arabs see the corruption.

While The Home does not want outside interference from those who are not Jewish or Palestinian and living in the land, others are welcome to support their efforts but have no say in the decisions they make.

Working Together


The Home works on joint programs that generate goodwill between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs -- programs such as Cleaning The Hate, where everyone joins together to pick up garbage in Jewish and Arab communities. It seems like a small thing, but the key is the goodwill generated by working together for a common good that focuses on the common perception of the holiness of the land. They become more accepting because of their commitment to the land.




Kehati says that of the Palestinian Arabs he has spoken to, 1,000 to 2,000, about 80% are supportive. Of the Israelis in Judea and Samaria he has spoken to, 30-40% support the work of The Home.

That is not to say that the rest are against the group per se, but they do not currently support it.

Kehati explains this as a problem of perception, that because he works with the Arabs, some see him as some kind of lefty -- which makes him suspicious in their eyes.

At this point, The Home is not even considered to be a small player among those who present other options to the One-State and Two-State Solution. They are not considered by the others as being either on the left or the right, though The Home would like to be considered both. They do not see themselves as part of the "Peace Industry," nor are they interested in sitting together singing kumbaya and eating hummus - they want real discussion among the actual people who represent their identity.

Here is a sample from 2016





Values and Goals

In concrete terms, the mission is to restore Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria and Gaza, creating a federal structure providing the Palestinian Arabs and all residents with both equal human rights and political rights. Human rights include freedom of movement, to study where you want, work where you want and live where you want, such as in the big cities. Palestinian Arabs in Bethlehem could live in Jaffa, Haifa, Acco and Jerusalem -- just as a Jew in Tel Aviv would have the choice to live in Hebron, Bethlehem and Ramallah. Political rights include the right to vote for the Knesset.

Because there are between 1.5 and 2.5 million Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria  who have no familiarity with a Democratic system of government, there would be 3 options:
Those who fulfill their duty to the State, such as serving either in the military or doing civil service, and paying taxes -- they would get both full equal rights and full political rights.
o  Those who are not willing to contribute to the State of Israel in terms of army or civil service and refuse to pay taxes do not get political rights, but do get equal rights. Similarly, the same would apply to Mea Shearim. If you don’t do your civil/political duty to the system, you don’t get political rights from the system.
o  Those who join Jihad and fight against Jewish aspirations in the Land of Israel have no place in the State and will be deported.
The idea is to create the potential to start to integrate Palestinians into Israel not as enemies but as contributing members and tie their destiny to Israel.

It is a long-term idea that has the benefit of involving the people who will be directly affected by the plan, bypassing the politicians -- both in Israel, the territories and in the West -- who do not have to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Maybe now is not the time for such a plan, but at the very least it is the start of an idea that can grow to something bigger.




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  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
It is useful to be reminded that even when there were elections for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the distant past, it did not at all make the PA into a democracy. The PA is not an independent government, but it reports to the PLO, a decidedly non-democratic organization that is ruled essentially by one person, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas' role as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is what makes him essentially a dictator.

Recently, Abbas vowed to dissolve the Palestine Legislative Council. The PLC hasn't met in years, but it is dominated by Hamas based on the results of the last election. There is nothing in Palestinian law that allows Abbas to do this, but he plans to anyway.

The prime minister of the PA, Rami Hamdallah, has no power - most people have never even heard of him. The PA rubber-stamps what the PLO - Abbas- wants it to do.

The PLO has always been a terror group. Even though it supposedly has abandoned all the parts of its charter that supported terror, it never issued a new Charter without those paragraphs. Its main component is Fatah which still explicitly supports "armed struggle" in its platform. The head of Fatah? Mahmoud Abbas, of course.

Today, Abbas has proven again that he supports terror by his Fatah group issuing congratulations to another terror group, the PFLP, on its anniversary, and stressing how both groups have been an important part of the PLO. This was reported in PA-run media.

For its part, the PFLP issued a nine-point position paper for the occasion, one of which states:

 The resistance option proved its effectiveness, as demonstrated by its forces, which supported it and defended it and exercised it in all its forms, especially the armed struggle, its ability to use it successfully in more than one arena despite all the attempts of the hostile forces to strike its foundations and dispersing its forces and popular support.
The PFLP also issued a statement of praise for the terror attack in Ofra this week, calling it a "bold heroic operation."

Both Fatah and the PFLP feature guns in the current logos on their media.




Anyone who pretends that terrorism is not official Palestinian policy is consciously deluding themselves.





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  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I had no idea I was that much of a threat to the PLO, but apparently I am.


Saeb Erekat, who may be the only person remaining at the PLOs' Negotiation Affairs Department since they have not been interested in negotiations for many years, is apparently upset at me for pointing out, repeatedly, what a liar he is.

Anyone else out there been banned by the PLO?







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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism a part of the Women’s March almost from the start
At the same time, she saw from the start that there were serious issues brewing within the organization. Harmon began to share that view. Both said in interviews that, at this point, they were each contacted by Bland, who told them she had started butting heads with the co-chairs.

At the end of December, Harmon said she received a panicked call from Bland, who she said was calling to tell her that the co-chairs were suggesting they pay themselves 2 percent of all national funds raised. Morganfield said she also heard this at the time. According to one source who spoke with Tablet and who worked in close contact with Bland and the national team, $750,000 worth of merchandise was sold within the first couple of months before the march.

In an email to Tablet last week, Bland claimed she never said anything about the co-chairs asking to take any percentage of national funds.

Questions also began to emerge about the ideological values upon which the movement was being built. On Jan. 12, the Women’s March made public their Unity Principles, which asserted: “We must create a society in which women, in particular women—in particular Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.” Numerous observers noted the absence of “Jewish” from the list of signifiers, and began questioning whether it signaled something about whether and how warmly American Jews—the vast majority of whom vote and identify as Democrats—would be welcomed in a changing left.

In an email to Tablet the Women’s March wrote:
Women’s March models intersectional leadership through our organizing work, which includes 200 women who worked on the conveners table, 500 partners, 24 women involved in developing the Unity Principles—including some of the folks who are expressing concern now. They were part of the process then, and did not express the concerns they are noting today. Women’s March is greater than our small team of national staff and leadership, and we’ve never claimed their identities equal full representation of U.S. women.

But whatever concerns were popping up were ultimately no match for the steamroller of the event’s progress. And when the day came, the reality far exceeded expectations. Estimates for the March on Washington range between half a million and a million people, giving the city’s metro system its second busiest day in history. Estimates for all the Women’s Marches that took place in cities across the country, had between 3.6 and 4.6 million people participating. In terms of attendance and publicity, the event was an enormous, iconic success. It took the swirling, latent energy of the country’s broad political opposition to Trump and turned it into a dramatic showing of strength.

It also seemed to solidify four women—Mallory, Perez, Sarsour, and Bland—as the public face of what was, in reality, an amorphous movement. Multiple sources active at the time point to the media as part of the reason for this—with television cameras more drawn to the flash of fame than the tedium of logistics. “As we got closer to the march, the press piece was one thing that ended up outside of Vanessa [Wruble]’s purview,” noted a source with direct involvement at the time.

At the end of January, according to multiple sources, there was an official debriefing at Mallory’s apartment. In attendance were Mallory, Evvie Harmon, Breanne Butler, Vanessa Wruble, Cassady Fendlay, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour. They should have been basking in the afterglow of their massive success, but—according to Harmon—the air was thick with conflict. “We sat in that room for hours,” Harmon told Tablet recently. “Tamika told us that the problem was that there were five white women in the room and only three women of color, and that she didn’t trust white women. Especially white women from the South. At that point, I kind of tuned out because I was so used to hearing this type of talk from Tamika. But then I noticed the energy in the room changed. I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her—but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’ I was raised in the South and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.” (h/t steelraptor from Saturn)
MEMRI: Article In Leading Saudi Media Outlet Al-Arabiya Criticizes Palestinian-American Activist Linda Sarsour, Claiming She Has Has 'Roots In Muslim Brotherhood'
In a December 9, 2018 article on Al-Arabiya titled "Details of calls to attack Trump by U.S. 'Muslim Sisters' allied to [Muslim] Brotherhood," by Hudah Al-Saleh, criticized Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, "with roots in Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations known as CAIR," and reviewed her activity over the years.

MEMRI has released two clips of Ms. Sarsour; in one, dated June 30, 2017, she says that ISIS is the product of a politicized foreign policy of war on our people, and in the other, dated September 8, 2018, she calls for voting against Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas in the upcoming midterm elections, questions the faith of Muslims who defend the police, and says she doesn't care "what [any] young black person did before he got shot."

Below is the article, in the original English. All subheadings and images were also in the original.[1]

"For the first time in U.S. political history, two Muslim women joined the ranks of the U.S. Congress, with Western and Arab media widely reporting on their win during the first midterm elections under U.S. President Donald Trump. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat, is the first Somali American to serve in Congress and Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib is a Palestinian American.

"However, the Democrats' battle against the Republican control of the U.S. Congress led to an alliance with Political Islamist movements in order to restore their control on government, pushing Muslim candidates and women activists of immigrant minorities onto the electoral scene.

"The common ground between Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib is that both are anti-Trump and his political team and options, especially his foreign policy starting from the sanctions on Iran to the isolation of the Muslim Brotherhood and all movements of political Islam. Those sponsoring and supporting the two Muslim women to reach the U.S. Congress adopted a tactic to infiltrate through their immigrant and Black minority communities in general, and women's groups in particular.

"One example of that is the Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour with roots in Muslim Brotherhood and a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations known as CAIR.

"Who is Linda Sarsour?

"The name of the Palestinian Linda Sarsour (38) appeared in the public scene, when Barack Obama took office in 2008 as President of the United States. Since then, Sarsour became a familiar face in the White House. 'I have been invited at least to seven meetings in the White House since April 2010,' she has been quoted [as saying].

"This culminated in [her] receiving the 'Champion of Change' award from President Obama in 2012. A social media site still carries a previous U.S. Department of State promotional tweet, published in July 2014, saying: "Share with Mrs. Linda Sarsour about Islam in America."
Warren No Longer Speaking at Immigration Conference With Controversial Women’s March Leader
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who was initially scheduled to speak at the same conference as controversial Women's March organizer and liberal activist Linda Sarsour, is no longer speaking at the conference due to a scheduling conflict.

Warren had been slated to speak at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, which began on Sunday and runs through Tuesday in Arlington, Virginia, the Washington Free Beacon recently reported. However, the senator's picture and biography have now been scrubbed from the conference website.

NIIC is the largest immigration conference in the United States and "plays a central role in the powerful, diverse and broad immigrant and refugee rights and integration field," according to its website.

"At the NIIC, the many different spokes of this field gather to develop relationships, build campaigns, amplify shared values, be inspired, build relationships, and share ideas, strategies, lessons learned and new information and innovations," the website says. "It is an important space for leaders and organizations, and strengthens collaborations and partnerships that power work at the local, regional and national level."

Warren's office did not respond to a request for comment. However, the conference's communications strategist, Susana Flores, told the Free Beacon by phone that Warren had canceled her appearance due to a "scheduling conflict." It is unclear what that conflict is.

Sarsour, a Palestinian-American, has a long history of anti-Israel rhetoric, including a speech in 2015 at a Nation Of Islam event. She has also discounted anti-Semitism, saying that "while anti-Semitism is something that impacts Jewish Americans, it's different than anti-black racism or Islamophobia because it's not systemic."

  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

In Jordan, a movie called "The Old Story" is being shot, with Amman standing in for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where the film is set.

There has already been controversy in Jordan over this film, as cars and streets were changed to look Israeli for the filming, and seeing Israeli license plates is apparently a trigger for all sorts of  terrible psychological issues for many Jordanians.

The film, produced by Netflix, is supposedly pro-Palestinian. Nearly all the people involved in production are Jordanian with a smattering of Americans.

The newest problem just came up as there was to be a scene where a Palestinian terrorist flees to a mosque after his attack. It was to be filmed at a mosque in Amman, and the  Waqf approved the filming, but residents objected - because, they claimed, some Jews were part of the production (possibly actors) and would pollute the holy site with their presence.



___________________________


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  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
UNRWA is very proud of their microfinance program, giving small loans to people who need them:

The UNRWA microfinance department provides sustainable income-generation opportunities for Palestine refugees, as well as other poor or marginalised groups who live and work near them.

It extends credit and complementary financial services to households, entrepreneurs and small-business owners. These investments create and sustain jobs, reduce poverty and empower our clients, particularly women.

But if you look at their annual report you can see that Palestinians only take a small percentage of the microfinance loans that UNRWA offers. They gave out loans to 38,595 people in 2017, but only  13,756 went to Palestinians.

In Syria, practically none of the loans go to Palestinian "refugees." Out of 11,094 loans total in Syria, a mere 288 went to Palestinians.

Who gets the rest?

According to an investigative report in the Arabic Daraj site, some of the loans have been made to elements of the Syrian intelligence services and militias active in Syria.

The wife of the Syrian president, Asma al-Assad, seems to have worked with UNRWA on the loan program. Here's a photo of her with the then-head of UNRWA Karen Abu-Zaid.



The article has interviews with former UNRWA employees who testify that the agency's loans were taken over by Syrian officials, and loans were made to those that the regime wanted to get the loans.

The investigation uncovered hundreds of applications and documentation from UNRWA.



In addition the UNRWA program covers the Gaza Strip, Jordan and the West Bank. In all of these areas, loans are granted to elements of the Ministry of Interior (Jordan and PA) or armed militias (West Bank and Gaza.) For example, In Jordan, the General Intelligence is granted loans.

In the West Bank, elements of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which are heavily hostile to UNRWA, will happily allow their terrorists to accept  UNRWA loans, according to the report.

The West is giving hundreds of millions to an agency that loans money to terrorists and allies of despots.

(h/t Varda)
____________________________________


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From Ian:

Terror victim's father seeks prayers for daughter, newborn grandson
Medical staff at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem were still battling on Tuesday to save the life of a baby delivered by cesarean section after his mother, Shira Ish-Ran, was shot in her upper body in a terrorist attack near the settlement of Ofra on Sunday.

Six other Israelis were wounded in the attack, including Ish-Ran's husband. She was 30 weeks pregnant.

As of Tuesday morning, the baby was still in very serious condition. Ish-Ran's father, Chaim Silberstein, told Israeli media on Tuesday morning that while his daughter's condition was improving, her hemoglobin levels had dropped. Silberstein said this could indicate that there was still some bleeding and hoped that it was not serious.

The hospital reported Tuesday that Ish-Ran was awake and communicating.

Silberstein said his daughter had not yet been informed of her newborn son's precarious condition.

Dr. Alon Schwartz, a senior trauma surgeon at the hospital, said Monday that the medical team was concerned that the baby had sustained neurological damage as a result of the shooting.

"The baby is in critical condition in the neonatal intensive care unit. He is on a ventilator and his blood pressure is being regulated by medication. We're still fighting for his life," Schwartz said.

Silberstein said his daughter teared up when she first saw her parents.

"We were so excited we had to leave [the room] because her heart rate spiked," he said.

A Culture Of Death Versus A Culture Of Life — In 7 Tweets
On Sunday, as Hanukkah wound to a close, Palestinian terrorists attacked Jews waiting for a bus, targeting them with a hail of bullets. A pregnant woman and the baby she was carrying were hit, among others. Here is how two cultures reacted to the murderous attack, in a story of death, life, and God's providence told in seven tweets.





International Human Rights Day
Today is International #HumanRightsDay, a day that reinforces the universal rights of people all over the globe. Yet, one group of people continue to face hatered and discrimination, everywhere around the world. The one place on earth that ensures the saftey of the Jewish people is Israel.



Of the topics that came up during the Jewish New Media Summit in Israel 2 weeks ago, one thing that was not discussed was what exactly we were doing there.

That of course was taken for granted, though not all of us necessarily had the same goals in mind.

logo
Jewish New Media Summit 2018 logo


There were approximately 150 bloggers and journalists from about 30 different countries attending. The bloggers outnumbered the journalists.

In his critical article of the event, Gary Rosenblatt -- of the Jewish Week -- asked the question, What Was The Goal Of The Jewish Media Summit In Israel: Advocacy Or Access. He also delved into the answer, with the distinction that:
there is a difference between journalists, whose mandate is to strive for facts and fairness, and bloggers, whose goal is opinionated engagement.
That is the standard answer, and generally still valid.
But there are qualifications.

Unlike in the world in general, when it comes to Israel the distinction between journalism and blogging is not necessarily iron-clad.

There is arguably no country in the world whose very existence, policies -- actually, almost every move -- are attacked as vociferously in both the old and new media as is Israel. Under the circumstances, it would be understandable for the Israeli government to see such a summit as an opportunity to strengthen its defense in the media. But as one of the attendees pointed out at the end of the summit, he bristles at the idea of being an "ambassador" for Israel -- and no wonder. An ambassador by definition defends the country he represents and is expected to never criticize it, at least not publicly. What blogger wants to be hemmed in like that?

So no, being a blogger does not mean leaving pointed and critical questions at the door and the tension resulting from such an expectation was palpable. Jenni Frazer pointed out in When journalists asked Benjamin Netanyahu whether he considered a role in Ukrainian cinema that
it is hard to expect diaspora Jewish journalists to take Israel seriously, and vice-versa, if it insists on treating them as an extension of its public relations arm, a practice long derided by communities around the world.
Yet when discussing Israel, we seem to enter a Bizarro world where journalists are the ones who are opinionated (if not outright jaundiced), while it is the bloggers defending Israel who often respond with facts, and pointing out what often appears to be a lack of fairness and balance on the part of the journalists.

Glenn Greenwald was prescient, if not a cause, of the current state of journalism, sometimes referred to as "fake news". Back in 2013, Greenwald decried how
this suffocating constraint on how reporters are permitted to express themselves produces a self-neutering form of journalism that becomes as ineffectual as it is boring...all journalism is a form of activism. Every journalistic choice necessarily embraces highly subjective assumptions — cultural, political or nationalistic — and serves the interests of one faction or another.
This may have signaled the first manifestations of "blogger-envy" by journalists, abandoning objectivity for subjectivity, though you need to keep in mind that Greenwald's own roots are in blogging -- and old habits die hard.

This touches on comments that Matti Friedman made to the group, as described by Judean Rose in her post, Framing the Narrative: Matti Friedman on the Israel Story on what encourages this bias and how it exhibits itself in the media. Friedman explained that the goal in countering this bias is educating the journalists, which sounded encouraging when he said it. But rather than addressing how to do this, he later conceded that this was nearly impossible and that the bloggers in the audience should content themselves with working towards making Israel a better place.

For myself, I did not see a tension between being informed and being persuaded. The former made be better equipped to do the latter by being better armed with facts and background material.

The fact that other bloggers had different goals and a different threshold of subjectivity was simply a function of the wide spectrum of blogs they represented.

At the very least, being at the new media summit was a source of food for thought.
And resulted in this post.



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  • Tuesday, December 11, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon


Bild.de looks at the study of antisemitism in Europe released yesterday and dives in deeper on the situation in Germany.
Frightening: In no country have so many Jews experienced anti-Semitic harassment as in Germany. 41 percent said they had had an anti-Semitic experience last year, 52 percent in the past five years - both well above the EU average (28 percent and 39 percent).

The Jews draw their lessons: 75 percent of German interviewees abstain - sometimes, often or always - from wearing Jewish symbols in public. 46 percent of Jews in Germany avoid entering certain areas. In plain English this means: There are no-go areas for Jews.

Felix Klein, anti-Semitism commissioner of the Federal Government, is shocked. "The fact that people identified as Jews do not want to enter certain areas for fear of hostility is something I find alarming," says Klein to BILD. He promises: "I will fight against this!"

Does this promise come too late? According to the survey, 38 percent of European Jews have thought about emigrating in the last five years because they no longer feel safe as Jews. Here, too, is Germany (next to France) with 44 percent is the sad leader.

But one question remains: where does anti-Semitism come from?

The results of the new EU survey contradict the police crime statistics (PKS). In 2017, the PKS recorded 1,504 anti-Semitic offenses and allocated 94 percent to the right-wing spectrum. Only five percent of the deeds were said have a Muslim motive.

The survey provides a completely different picture: 41 percent of the Jews surveyed in Germany stated that the perpetrators had a Muslim background. Other political offender groups were much less common - rightists with 20 percent and leftists with 16 percent.

"This data is a slap in the face," says historian and journalist Michael Wolffsohn to BILD. "They refute the political and media emphasis on anti-Semitism. The danger from the right exists, but it is not the greatest danger. "

Wolffsohn demands:" Those responsible must name the issue by name and finally act. The integration of Muslims is a human and political matter of course. But crimes committed by Muslims must be punished, not sugar coated for political correctness. "

For a long time there has been criticism of the assignment of anti-Semitic offenses to political motives. Anti-Semitism Commissioner Felix Klein also expressed doubts: "According to the police crime statistics only about 5 percent of the anti-Semitic offenses committed by Muslims. We must pursue this great deviation from the statements of Jews on anti-Semitic experiences! "

In this sad study, however, one number is remarkable. Despite Muslim anti-Semitism, Europe's and Germany's Jews worry about Muslims.

72 percent of European and 89 percent of German Jews said that intolerance towards Muslims has increased over the past five years. 57 percent of European and 54 percent of German Jews see this intolerance as a major social problem.

"Almost exemplary is the tolerance of the Jewish victim group, their compassion and concern for those from whom they experience the most intolerance, the Muslims," ​​says Michael Wolffsohn to BILD. And says: "That is, in cliché, downright Christian charity."



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, December 11, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Mrs. Elder's mom passed away on Saturday.

When she took ill the previous week, my wife and I were surprised that while the interfaith chapel in the large non-East Coast city hospital she was in included prayer mats and Korans and Christian Bibles - it provided nothing for Jews (besides an electric menorah.) The chapel did not include any Tehillim (Hebrew Psalms), Siddurim (Jewish prayer books,) or chumashim (Hebrew Pentateuchs).

New York area hospitals generally do provide all of these materials, either in the chapel or in special "Bikur Cholim" rooms and lockers.

In my mother in law's memory, we would like to buy these books and distribute them to any hospital that desires them throughout North America for the benefit of their Jewish patients. We are calling the project Tzivia's TiSCH.

My mother in law's Hebrew name was Tzivia. "Tisch" is an acronym for Tehillim, Siddurim and CHumashim.  It is also Yiddish for "table" or "celebration."

In phase 1 of the project, I hope to use this platform to both fundraise and to find hospitals that want to participate. If things go well I can make it more formal.

I estimate that the cost is about $200 per hospital chapel for two sets of each three volumes, so phase 1 will be able to offer these volumes to about 25 hospitals.

I plan to work with major Jewish publication companies to find the best discounts on these books so we can distribute them to more hospitals.

Please contribute to Tzivia's TiSCH on its GoFundMe page here.

If you are associated with a hospital that needs these materials, please contact me.

And if you for some reason have lots of Hebrew/English Tehillim, siddurim, or chumashim to give away for this project, please contact me as well.

Thanks!




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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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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