Thursday, March 26, 2015

Walking down J-Street (part 4)

The final report from Messy57 ((parts 12, 3)

On the last day of the conference, I started out with a panel on “What’s Next for the Palestinians Leadership?” Which sounded like a very interesting one, especially since I really didn’t know very much about it. Who is running the Palestinian Authority besides Abbas, and what are they going to do when the old man dies?

The answer was clear as mud. The didn’t really talk about who the major politicians or factions were, but they did mention that there were free local elections in ’12, (so much for Palestinians not being able to vote) except for, naturally, Gaza, and that the “Palestinian State” that was sitting in the UN General Assembly was NOT the Palestinian Authority, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
These are important facts that aren’t known to many people. There is also a move afoot by some groups to permit political parties to exist. That would be nice. But they didn’t really say much beyond that. I should have gone to the “Rise of anti-Semitism in Europe” panel.

But the really big show was the morning plenum, and that was the one where Obama’s Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough, would be giving a major speech. Everyone wanted to see that, as did I, and I was thrilled to hear they were letting the press early….only to discover that they gave us seats in the back and the side with a lousy view of the preceedings….

The opening speaker (not counting the introduction by some committee member) was Stav Shaffir, who is still the youngest member of the Knesset and the most popular member of the Zionist Union. She repeated her CV, how she spent a couple of terms in the Army, then tried to find a decent job while living in a crappy Tel Aviv apartment and starting what was the equivalent of the “Occupy Movement” in 2011 before becoming a professional politician in ’13. She then went on saying that Israel was a great country and would be far better if Bibi was no longer there. The youth in the audience loved her, as did I. (we had had a conversation the previous day)

Then…something happened that shocked the living daylights out of me.

They announced that there would be a televised message from the President of Israel. I hadn’t expected that. Considering that Reuven Rivlin is a dyed-in-the-wool Likudnik, and considering how J-street and Likud aren’t exactly lovey-dovey with each other, I hadn’t even considered he would do that. But there he was on the big screen (which I could see), giving a platitudinous greeting and wishing everyone in the audience well. A majority was enthusiastic, but some weren’t, I wasn’t surprised more weren’t.

Then came Denis McDonough, the second most powerful person in Washington. “…an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end!” Mr. McDonough thundered, “Israel cannot maintain military control of another people indefinitely,”

That got a standing ovation. It was easy to see why.

It was something EVERYONE can agree with. Not even Bennett thinks the present state of affairs is something that most Israelis want to maintain indefinitely. Everyone at the conference was unified on the basic concept of the Two-state solution, but nobody agreed on the details.

The panel discussion afterwards led by Ethan Bronner wasn’t at all edifying, although someone mentioned Abbas’ threat to dissolve the PA because they’re running out of money. That was it.

There was going to be a gala, the press was told they would be provided pizza and seats in the back for James Baker’s speech, but that meant I’d miss my flight.

I almost did, but that’s another story….

03/26 Links Pt2: PA TV: Goal is "to boycott Israeli products and fight the Jews, kill them"

From Ian:

Brainwashed in Berlin
At a book opening in Jerusalem to promote his recently translated Catch the Jew, Tuvia Tenenbom spoke about how he came to write his book and his experiences as “Toby the German,” a best-selling German journalist.
Not revealing that he was Jewish, he was able to meet pro-Palestinian advocates, like Haaretz’s Gideon Levy and Arik Asherman, head of Rabbis for Human Rights, as well as NGOs like B’Tselem and Peace Now, where he uncovered the real story: a huge, foreign-funded propaganda machine to demonize Israel.
As “Toby” he also became friendly with Jabril Rajoub, the top Palestinian leader in the Hebron area. Had Arafat been alive, “Toby” would no doubt have met with the top terrorist himself.
Tenenbom spoke about rampant anti-Semitism throughout German society, editors who refused to publish what he had discovered in textbooks and on the street, and what he concluded was an attempt to camouflage “anti-Semitism” by substituting “anti-Israel.”
That explained, he said, why European governments, churches and institutions so generously funded anti-Israel NGOs.
Peter Beinart’s Israeli Democracy Problem
Last week after Israeli voters once again rejected the candidates and the policies that he believes would be best for them, writer Peter Beinart had a temper tantrum. Instead of accepting the verdict of the democratic process as did the leaders of Israel’s loyal opposition, Beinart wrote in Haaretz that American Jews must begin a campaign aimed at invalidating the votes of Israelis and to begin a “pressure process” that would force them to bow to his demands that they make unilateral concessions to the Palestinians that the overwhelming majority of the citizens of the Jewish state believe are, at best, misguided. I wrote here that this rant showed Beinart’s contempt for the democratic process, and that the premises of his argument–that Israel had not taken “risks for peace,” that “the election was not fought in the shadow of terror,” and that the Obama administration had not exerted pressure on Israel–were not so much mistaken as blatantly false. In response he wrote yesterday in Haaretz to assert that I was mistaken about the obligation to respect democratic elections as well as to claim that I was a hypocrite because I had not supported efforts to prop up Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government. But his response not only fails to address the substance of my criticism; it is as disingenuous as his original argument.
Beinart does not trouble himself to account for his staggeringly mendacious claims about Israel’s past attempts to negotiate peace or his comments about the threat from terrorism. Beinart shoves three Israeli offers of statehood to the Palestinians by non-Likud governments from 2000 to 2008 that they rejected, as well as their stonewalling during the talks last year, down the memory hole. With his no “shadow of terror” remark, he does the same for last year’s war with Hamas in which thousands of Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli cities and the fact that any Israeli schoolchild knows that the only thing preventing another campaign of suicide bombing is the West Bank security barrier, not forbearance by Hamas or Fatah killers. As for the last six years of President Obama’s sniping at Israel’s government, that is also too insignificant a detail for Beinart to notice. (h/t NormanF)
PMW: Boy on PA TV: Goal is "to boycott Israeli products and fight the Jews, kill them"
PA TV reporter: "Instilling the culture of boycotting occupation products in the hearts of children ‎and adolescents was the goal that led the [PA] Ministry of Education to place this issue at the center of ‎all school activities throughout the homeland... Through creative activities, [students] expressed ‎different views about support for national products and resistance through boycott.‎"
Boy participating in the theater contest at a school in Hebron: "I came to rehearse the play in order to boycott Israeli products and fight the Jews, kill them, and ‎defeat them. The goal is to boycott Israeli products.‎" ‎[Official PA TV, March 22 and 25, 2015]‎

Obama's contempt offensive (Vic Rosenthal)

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column:

Under Mr. Obama, friends are enemies, denial is wisdom, capitulation is victory — Bret Stephens, paraphrasing George Orwell, Wall St. Journal

Since the election victory of PM Benjamin Netanyahu, the Obama Administration has mounted an unprecedented assault on the PM and the state of Israel in the arena of American public opinion. While other presidents have taken steps to pressure Israel into acting in accordance with their wishes, never has one tried to sabotage the majority support that Israel has historically received from ordinary Americans — until Barack Obama.

The president’s approach has been direct and brutal. He has insulted and tried to diminish Netanyahu at every turn. He misrepresented what he said about a Palestinian state — the phrase ‘lied about’ wouldn’t be inappropriate — and refused to accept a clarification, making it clear that he considers the PM insincere. His surrogates and compliant media called the PM a racist, a “chickenshit” and a coward, said that he “spat in the president’s face,” and accused Israel of spying on the US (which Israeli officials deny). The president has reportedly been “enraged” and “furious” at Netanyahu, apparently the only foreign leader that has this effect.

The Jewish Left in the US is, as always, firmly behind Obama, but some of the centrists are beginning to become aware that something at the White House is not, er, kosher. Abraham Foxman of the ADL, normally a pro-administration voice, said,

As someone who was critical of several steps by [Netanyahu] during the campaign leading up to his re-election, I am even more troubled by statements now coming out of the White House.

And Rabbi William Gerson, head of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly — which strongly criticized Netanyahu’s election eve remarks about Arab voters — noted,

The prime minister has quickly made significant steps to repair the tensions that developed in the heat of Israel’s election. The time is due, if not overdue, for the US administration to do the same.

I don’t expect that it will. This smells like much more than a fit of pique provoked by Netanyahu’s congressional appearance and his election rhetoric (speaking of rhetoric, compare Iran’s “death to America” chants). Obama has been trying to distance the US from Israel from the day that he came into office, and Netanyahu’s interference in Obama’s plan to align the US with Iran against Israel and the Sunni Arabs has only amplified his desire.

Obama seems to have made a considered decision to turn US policy on its head in the Middle East, abandoning traditional allies and making new ones. The most generous explanation is that the president thinks that an Iranian empire can be a stabilizing force, a bulwark against Islamic extremism. He seems to believe that if Iran is allowed to crush its Sunni enemies, take control of the region’s oil reserves, obtain nuclear capability (and by the way destroy Israel), then the region will be in good hands, and the US can safely withdraw to concentrate on domestic issues.

Somehow he fails to see (or pretends not to) that Iran’s jihad is no less aggressive than that of the Islamic State, only with a slightly different ideological underpinning. Once they have digested the Middle East, the mullahs have made it clear that they will turn to Europe and ultimately the US.

Regardless of Obama’s motives, there is no way that this policy can be good for Israel, and Americans understand this. Popular support for Israel in the US, always reflected in Congress, is thus a stumbling block that he wants to eliminate.

Will his party pay a political price for it? I don’t think so. He seems to have adopted a slogan similar to James Baker’s famous “F— the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway,” replacing ‘Jews’ with ‘Zionists’. Obama’s Jewish supporters in J Street and the Union for Reform Judaism will stick with him, while they claim that his actions are for Israel’s own good. Actual Zionists, of both the Jewish and Christian variety, are more likely to already be Republicans, so the electoral effect will be minimal.

The anti-Israel PR from the administration meshes well with the pervasive campus anti-Zionist movement led by Students for Justice in Palestine and similar organizations (conspiracy theorists are invited to think of the role played by Obama friend Ali Abunimah). With so much of the media in the pocket of the administration along with the institutions that educate the youth, it is hard to believe that the traditional support for Israel will continue for much longer (unless, of course, there is a major change in the American political landscape, something I don’t expect).

Anti-Israel attitudes have a way of slopping over into anti-Jewish ones. Expect the next few years to be difficult ones for American Jews.

White House caving to Iran in negotiations, again (UPDATE: And again)

From the WSJ:
Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.

In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country.

...Iran’s refusal to implement the IAEA work plan threatens to undermine the prospects for this comprehensive agreement, say diplomats involved in the talks. The ability of the IAEA and global powers to verify whether Iran is abiding by any future deal to prevent it from racing to develop a nuclear weapon depends, in part, on an understanding of its past work, according to these officials.

The West has accused Iran of conducting weapons-related tests at military sites near Tehran, and having secret government offices dedicated to this work. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Iran had a dedicated nuclear weapons program, which they believe largely ended in 2003.

As a result, the U.S. and its negotiating partners are seeking to get Iran’s upfront approval to implement a scaled-back version of the IAEA’s 2013 agreement with Iran to a 12-step work plan to resolve questions related to possible weaponization work. Mr. Amano said Iran has addressed only one of the 12 areas.

The new plan would seek access to some of Iran’s sites and documents believed tied to past weaponization work, known in diplomatic parlance as “possible military dimensions,” or PMD.

Under the new plan, Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.
So what's the big deal?

Omri Ceren, press director for The Israel Project, explains it (via email):
PMD disclosure is about baselining all of Iran's nuclear activities - not just its known civilian parts - as a prerequisite for verifying that those activities have been halted under a nuclear deal. Iran has uranium mines; some are civilian and some are military. It has centrifuges; some are operated by civilians and some by IRGC personnel. It has uranium stockpiles; some are maintained by civilians and some by the military. There's no way for future inspectors to verify that Iran has shuttered its mines, stopped its centrifuges, and shipped off its stockpile - for instance - unless the IAEA knows where all the mines and stockpiles are.

No PMDs means no verification.

The idea of punting on some PMDs until after some sanctions have been lifted - which is what the WSJ says the P5+1 is now contemplating - is not a new one. Anti-prolif expert David Albright, founder and president of Institute for Science and International Security, tersely beat it down in front of Congress last November:
If Iran is able to successfully evade addressing the IAEA’s concerns now, when biting sanctions are in place, why would it address them later when these sanctions are lifted, regardless of anything it may pledge today?

The New York Times showed the specific 12 charges against Iran, of which it has ignored 11:

UPDATE: And more, from AP:

The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.

The trade-off would allow Iran to run several hundred of the devices at its Fordo facility, although the Iranians would not be allowed to do work that could lead to an atomic bomb and the site would be subject to international inspections, according to Western officials familiar with details of negotiations now underway. In return, Iran would be required to scale back the number of centrifuges it runs at its Natanz facility and accept other restrictions on nuclear-related work.
Ceren notes:
The policy implications of this concession more or less write themselves. Allowing the Iranians to enrich at Fordow means they could kick out inspectors at any time and have a fully-functioning enrichment facility hardened against military intervention. Since sanctions will be unraveled by design at the beginning of a deal, that means the West would have literally zero options to stop a breakout. The administration's early pushback is that the breakout time will still be a year, so they could in theory reimpose sanctions, but it takes more than a year for sanctions to take an economic toll. So: zero options to stop a breakout.

03/26 Links Pt1: Poll 68% of Palestinians support rocket fire against Israel; Children's Army of Hamas

From Ian:

Documentary Exposes Hamas Indoctrination, Training of Child Soldiers
Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad confirmed that Hamas brainwashes Palestinian society to glorify terrorist attacks, admitting that the terrorist group seeks to “enforce a militant culture in Palestinian society.”
The indoctrination campaign appears to be extremely effective, as the documentary features numerous passionate camp participants espousing their commitment to engage in violent conflict targeting Israelis and Jews.
“The armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine, not negotiations,” a teen boy at the training camp explained.
CNEPR is an institute focused on investigative research that provides insights into the Arab-Israeli conflict and the plight of Palestinians in UNRWA-administered refugee camps. The film is meant to clearly demonstrate Hamas’ continued persistence for violent struggle against the Jewish State in an effort to deter the EU from removing Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations.
The youth terrorist training camp featured in the documentary has become a common facet of Hamas rule in Gaza, training thousands of teenage boys to handle Kalashnikov rifles and explosives.
Hamas historically glorifies terrorists systematically and encourages future attacks by indoctrinating Palestinian youth to adopt violent jihad and engage in suicide bombings. In the past, Hamas has featured a back-to-school program called “The Gifted” featuring a child narrator declaring: “we’ll wear the battle-vest of self sacrifice and follow the path of the Shahids (martyrs).”
Children's Army of Hamas - short

Amb. Prosor adresses the Security Council debate on Children in armed conflicts
Amb. Prosor at the Security Council: “I speak before this Council today as the Permanent Representative of the State of Israel, but also as a father and grandfather. Like other Israeli parents, I want to see the day when our children can grow up without hearing the wail of a red alert siren or the boom of rockets overhead. We want our children to enjoy a life free from terrorism - but that day has not yet come. Terrorists have robbed our children of their dreams, their childhood, and their futures. Across the Middle East, terrorists and extremists are poisoning the minds of the next generation, teaching them to hate, vilify, and dehumanize Israelis and Jews. We have lost an entire generation to incitement. Enough is enough.”

SUPERcuts: Matt Lee Doesn't Suffer the State Department

UN OCHA again proves it doesn't care about the truth

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  has released its 2014 report on the "occupied Palestinian territories." And it proves yet again why the UN cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

During last summer's Gaza war, OCHA continously released figures of how many were killed, broken down by civilian and militant. Yet the entire time they always stressed that they were only using preliminary figures, and that they will continue to investigate.

Apparently, that investigation only went in the direction of identifying more civilians, not to reclassify civilians as terrorists when new evidence was revealed.

In September, OCHA-OPT claimed 1,489 civilians killed. The new report says flatly that 1,492 civilians were killed.

This is even though since the war, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups have released the details of scores of people who had been initially identified as civilian as beng "mujahid martyrs" for their groups. These were all exhaustively documented by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, whose findings so far show about half of those killed were terrorists.

The UN is quite aware of the work of the Meir Amit Center. They chose to ignore the evidence.

There is no indication that the UN has bothered to check the facts uncovered by the Meir Amit Center ( or the many I have documented) to revise their figures. No NGO that the UN relies on, namely B'Tselem or PCHR or Al Mezan, has to my knowledge refuted a single one of the Meir Amit Center's proofs showing that their claims of civilian victims were often wrong. 

The UN's statistics are treated as authoritative by many other organizations and the media, so this is a big deal. In this report, for the first time, the UN is not saying that its numbers are preliminary or still being investigated - it is stating them as fact. These "facts" will be parroted countless times by people who don't know better or who do not want to believe otherwise. It is basic malfeasance on the part of the UN to buttress its false claim that Israel indiscriminately fires at civilians.

Of course, the UN doesn't mention any of the fatalities of Gazans at the hands of Hamas rockets that fell short during the year - even though the report is supposedly about humanitarian issues. It buries a tiny mention of Hamas killing alleged collaborators.

This report proves that if Israel can't be blamed, then the victims become a lot less important.

New Amnesty report minimizes Hamas war crimes - and bashes Israel

As happens after every Gaza war, Amnesty International released a single report about Hamas among its multiple anti-Israel reports to maintain the pretense of objectivity.

But even in this report, which admits that Hamas engaged in war crimes for firing rockets both at Israel and at its own citizens, proves its anti-Israel - and pro-Hamas - bias.

Even though the report unquestioningly states that Hamas shooting indiscriminate rockets at civilian areas are war crimes, it also accuses Israel of war crimes multiple times.

It has an entire section blaming Israel for not adequately providing shelters for hundreds of illegal Bedouin communities in the Negev. As the press release states:

The briefing also highlights the Israeli authorities’ failure to adequately protect civilians in vulnerable communities during the conflict, particularly Bedouin villages in Israel’s Negev/Naqab region, many of which are not officially recognized by the Israeli government. Ouda Jumi’an al-Waj was killed by a rocket that struck the Bedouin village of Qasr al-Sir near the Israeli city of Dimona on 19 July.

Most Bedouin villages are classified as non-residential “open areas” by the Israeli authorities, so the Iron Dome system to intercept rockets does not operate there and there are no bomb shelters. More than 100,000 people live in Bedouin villages in southern Israel.

“Civilians living in Bedouin villages during the conflict were left vulnerable and exposed, one manifestation of the discrimination they face on a daily basis. The Israeli authorities must ensure everyone is given equal protection,” said Philip Luther.
Iron Dome does not protect tiny villages, Arab or Jewish. The priority of providing bomb shelters for the illegal villages has been debated in Israeli courts considering that there are not unlimited resources available. If there were unlimited resources, of course shelters should be provided to every citizen, but to blame Israel for not protecting residents who purposefully set up illegal communities would be like blaming New York for not providing "Occupy Wall Street" protesters with adequate water and electricity.

Then the report goes on to slam Israel's Prawer plan that would allow the Bedouin to live in recognized communities with adequate infrastructure, schools and of course bomb shelters. The plan was halted a while ago. Even though there is no relevance of that to the Amnesty report, Amnesty cannot resist condemning Israel.

Amnesty also bends over backwards to minimize Hamas war crimes.

For example, it is highly biased in terms of which statistics it chooses to use:
According to UN data, Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel between 8 July and 26 August 2014. 20 At least 243 of these projectiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system, while at least 31 fell short and landed within the Gaza Strip.

The footnote states:
UNDSS, cited in OCHA, Humanitarian Bulletin, June-August 2014, p. 19, http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_the_humanitarian_monitor_2014_10_03_english.pdf (accessed 15 March 2015). Other sources give much higher figures for the number of rockets and mortars intercepted by Iron Dome. See, for example, YNet, “Operation Protective Edge in numbers”, 27 August 2014, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4564678,00.html (accessed 15 March 2015), which reports that over 735 rockets and mortars were intercepted.
It doesn't bother to quote Israeli sources which would be in a position far better than the UN to count both rockets intercepted by Iron Dome and, becaue Iron Dome keeps track of every Gaza rocket launch, they would know how many rockets fell short in Gaza.

In fact, there were over 250 documented cases of Hamas rockets falling short in Gaza, causing unknown amounts of damage, injury and death. Amnesty, which is aware of the figure (since it references Israel's report on Hamas war crimes in other places) cannot be bothered to accurately state the amount of harm Hamas did to its own residents.

In another case, Amnesty claims that Hamas cannot be accused of using human shields, by making up its own unique definition of human shields:
Several of these actions which have been discussed above, such as storing munitions in civilian buildings or launching attacks from the vicinity of civilian buildings, violate the obligation to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians from the effects of attacks. But they do not necessarily amount to the specific violation of using “human shields” under international humanitarian law, which entails “using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations.” The practices most commonly condemned as such have involved actually moving civilians to military objectives in order to shield those objectives from attack. According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), “the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.”

Amnesty International has not been able to verify specific statements which the Israeli authorities have cited as made by Hamas officials during the hostilities encouraging civilians in Gaza to ignore IDF warnings to evacuate.128 However, the reported statements were directed to civilians in general or in large geographic areas; for example, Ministry of Interior spokesperson Iyad al-Buzm’s call on people “in all parts of the Strip to ignore the warnings… as these are part of a psychological warfare”. Public statements referring to entire areas do not amount to directing specific civilians to remain in their homes in order to render fighters, munitions or military equipment in specific locations immune from Israeli attacks. Thus, while potentially of concern, such statements would not constitute the use of “human shields”.
Amnesty, like HRW, are using the most restrictive definition of human shields possible - one that is not even accurate. Nowhere does the ICRC make a distinction between large populations and small ones or the definition of who is a human shields.

Moreover, there were other more specific reports of human shielding that Amnesty ignored. There were reports of Hamas actually firing at civilians who tried to leave their homes. There were multiple documented cases of terrorists working from within the houses of Gaza families making them all human shields. And IDF soldiers witnessed specific cases of Hamas terrorists literally dragging children with them in battle.

Furthermore, there are many,many Hamas war crimes that Amnesty is ignoring. As with HRW, they seize on Hamas rockets and don't bother to check the other war crimes and violations of international law by Hamas.

This report is simply an attempt by Amnesty to shield themselves from accusations of anti-Israel bias. And even so, given the known facts about the war, this report is highly biased against Israel - and for Hamas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

American Library Association partners with UAE book fair that doesn't like Jews

From the American Library Association:

What fun!

Only a couple of problems.

One is this:

The Shar­jah Inter­na­tional Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emi­rates, which report­edly attracted 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors from across the region, fea­tured sev­eral infa­mous anti-Semitic books...

The mis­sion of the fair, accord­ing to orga­niz­ers, is “to cul­ti­vate the love for lit­er­a­ture among peo­ple by enrich­ing their expe­ri­ence of the writ­ten word.”

The anti-Semitic books for sale at the fair were listed along­side main­stream books in var­i­ous cat­e­gories. For exam­ple, The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion was listed in the “Polit­i­cal Sci­ence” cat­e­gory. Among the other anti-Semitic books fea­tured at the fair were:

  • Blood for The Pie of Zion (The Jew­ish Dis­trict) by Najib Al Gailany. This novel tells a story of a Chris­t­ian priest from Dam­as­cus who was abducted by the Jews in order to use his blood for Jew­ish rit­u­als. The story details how Jews danced and celebrated while Rab­bis drain the blood of the elderly catholic priest. The book was listed in the “Nov­els” cat­e­gory and sold for 15 AED, or approx­i­mately $4.
  • The Jews and the Secret Move­ments in the Cru­sades by Baha Al-Amir. The book, which sug­gests that the Jews played a role in the Cru­sades, includes an intro­duc­tion in which the author claims that “God the almighty declares in his state­ment to the peo­ple that all wars were started by Jews.” The book was listed in the “Inter­na­tional Affairs” cat­e­gory and sold for 50 AED (approx­i­mately $14).
  • Human Sac­ri­fices and Tal­mu­dic Slaugh­ter­ing by Jews and Pagans by Fathi Muham­mad Zughbi. The book was listed in the “Faith” cat­e­gory and sold for 83 AED (approx­i­mately $23).
  • Mein Kampf by Adolf Hilter. This book was listed in the “Gen­eral knowl­edge” cat­e­gory and sold for 20 AED (approx­i­mately $5).

The fair pro­vided sev­eral grants and awards in var­i­ous fields of lit­er­a­ture. In the past, it report­edly gave a grant to Gilad Atz­mon to trans­late his anti-Semitic book “The Wan­der­ing Who,” into Ara­bic.
The other problem is that if you try to register for the fair, in the list of countries you can be from there is one that is missing. Take a wild guess.

So the ALA is now explicitly partnering with an event that activley promotes anti-semitism and discriminates against Israelis,

In the past, when principled organizations and prominent personalities told the UAE that they would not participate in activities that excluded Israelis or Jews, the UAE was anxious to drop the ban and do whatever they needed to do in order to not be embarrassed.

Clearly the American Library Association has no such principles.

(h/t Shawarma News)

03/25 Links Pt2: Anti-Semitism in Europe akin to 1930s; Tuvia Tenenborm: Ramallah’s Most Wanted

From Ian:

Ron Lauder: Anti-Semitism in Europe akin to 1930s
A prominent Jewish figure urged the United States on Tuesday to beware of surging anti-Semitism in Europe and warned that seven decades after World War II Jews on the continent are having to look over their shoulders once more.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) president Ronald Lauder told a congressional committee in Washington that the United States could not sit by quietly, with events such as the recent attack in France underlining the growing threat.
“Once again, like the 1930s, European Jews live in fear,” said Lauder, a billionaire businessman who inherited a fortune from his mother Estee Lauder’s cosmetics empire.
“The United States can and must speak loudly and clearly to condemn this evil for what it is –- the radical Islamic hatred of Jews.”
“To defeat this new flame of radical Islamic terror and survive… the United States must lead,” stressed Lauder, whose mother was Jewish and in whose faith he was raised.
Tuvia Tenenborm: Jew, Undercover German Journalist, Ramallah’s Most Wanted
While visiting Israel in March to speak at Hebrew University’s conference marking 50 years of German-Israeli diplomatic relations, Tuvia Tenenbom, author of Catch the Jew! (Gefen Publishing), stayed clear of Ramallah. But Jibril Rajoub—the former head of the Palestinian Authority’s Preventative Security Force—had welcomed him as a VIP when Tenenbom arrived as “Tobi the German journalist.”
Tuvia is now a wanted man.
“I hurt [Rajoub’s] honor because he believed that I’m German,” Tenenbom told JNS.org at the seaside Fitzroy Lounge in Tel Aviv, his bright red glasses adding the intellectual flair to his self-described “fat and jolly” countenance, and a pack of cigarettes—a character in his recently published book—within close reach. “He did not for a second suspect me of being a Jew. It’s not nice for his self-respect.”
Rajoub and Tenenbom are featured embracing on the cover of the Hebrew version of the book. Rajoub, who once sat in Israeli jails for terrorism, bonded with “Tobi” as Rajoub presented himself as a proud Palestinian patriot, an expert on Zionism, and a fiery Israel-basher who deplores the Jewish homeland as “racist, fascist, and expansionist.” Now, fully aware of Tenenbom’s identity, Rajoub still invited him to attend a dubious media event in Ramallah.
“I’ll get in a car accident,” Tenenbom said, fearing a trap.
This is Tenenbom’s first interview with an American Jewish publication. Most have not yet caught up with “Catch the Jew!”—arguably because Tenenbom’s story of his “undercover” foray into the disputed Palestinian territories breaks rank with politically correct, mainstream media-compliant analysis of Mideast politics. At the same time, Tenenbom’s approach employs the secular, irreverent sassiness that is typical of the left.
Assange: Argentine Prosecutor Investigating Iran 'Should Have Been Disciplined'
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has decided to jump into the fray of the Alberto Nisman murder mystery, telling an Argentine news outlet that the high-ranking prosecutor– found dead hours before he was scheduled to accuse the Argentine president of aiding Hezbollah– should have been “disciplined” for cooperating in his investigations with the United States.
“Nisman made himself very dependent on the United States to receive intelligence reports,” Assange alleges in an interview with Argentina’s Página 12. Nisman had been working for years on finding the culprits responsible for the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), the deadliest attack in that nation’s history, leaving 85 dead and dozens of others wounded. The nearly 300-page report he was to present the Argentine Congress on January 19, the day after his death, suggests that Iranian terrorists associated with the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah were responsible for the attack, and that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner negotiated with Iran to help keep the suspects hidden from Interpol. No suspects have been arrested in relation to the bombing in 21 years.
Assange argues that the real problem in the AMIA case is not the links Nisman offered to prove existed between the Fernández de Kirchner administration and Hezbollah, but that Nisman’s intelligence may have been aided by American operatives. According to Assange, Jaime Stiuso, one of Nisman’s main intelligence sources in writing the report, received much of his intelligence from “the United States and Israel.”

Hamas newspaper asks if Jews really control the world economy. Guess the answer!.

Al Resalah, a Hamas newspaper, starts an article with an encouraging note:

Many Arabs and Muslims around the world are talking about how the Jews control the world economy and policies in major countries, Is this the actual reality from the evidence, or just conspiracy theories to justify the defeat of the Arabs and Muslims in the current situation nowadays?

The question is, Do the Jews control the world economy? What is the nature of this control?
Given that this is the photo accompanying the article, you know what the answer will be.

It starts off by saying that the Rothschilds are worth a trillion dollars, but some people say they are worth $500 trillion, more than seven times the value of the every other person and nation combined.

We go on to read that the family was not only behind JFK's assassination, but also Abraham Lincoln's.

They somehow manage to avoid being mentioned as the richest people in Forbes list, however. This may have to do with the fact that Jews own all the media worldwide. This is how Jews control everyone's minds. They even mention Wolf Blitzer.

Then comes a list of high tech and consumer products companies that Jews  own or control or influence.

Too bad they cannot reach the obvious conclusion:  that Jews also control Al Resalah, and Hamas altogether. Which Fatah has stated more than once, since every Arab habitually accuses his enemies of being Jewish. So at some point ISIS, Syria, Jordan, Hamas, Fatah, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even Iran have been accused of being Zionist and/or Jewish by their enemies.

Anyway, the cute innovation that Hamas used in this article was to preface it with a pretense of skepticism and objectivity, which makes the conspiracy theories sound more legitimate. Kudos!

Walking down J-Street (part 3)

Another report from Messy57 (parts 1, 2)

"One thing you must understand is that when you support the BDS movement, you actually are helping Netanyahu, because Netanyahu is playing on that fear, that almost every Israeli Jewish citizen is feeling, that there is a possibility that the world will just turn against us,"— Stav Shaffir, ZU member of the Knesset.

That was a primary theme of the J-Street convention. I heard this over and over again. The vast majority of the attendees weren’t anti-Israel, they were anti-Bibi, and that was the general consensus: Israel good, Bibi bad. Another consensus was the necessity of a two state solution. What wasn’t agreed to is what shape of the borders for the two (three?) states are going to be.

The first session I attended the first morning was on “Israel as a neighbor”, which was presented by the New Israel fund. The speakers all were in favor of land swaps to keep most of the settlements intact. , it was the same with the main “plenary session”, called “The Choices Ahead, ” which had seven members of the Knesset (by my count, nearly a fifth of the entire Israeli parliamentary opposition was there) talking, and they all were very “hawkish” on security and lamented they didn’t get that message across.

Nobody was in favor of the green line as a permanent border. Not even the Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who specifically stated that Israel needed secure borders. However, no speaker that I heard, and I missed quite a few panels so I can’t be certain about this, came out in favor of the Hamas plan or going back to Folk Bernadotte’s “1935 borders.”

What everyone did come out against a ONE state solution that the Arabs and the BDS crowd (and Bennett) are in favor of. Nobody came out in favor of a binational state of Palestine from the river to the sea (although Noam Sheizaf, the guy from +972, came close.)

The panels that I was most interested were the Arab-centric ones. The panel entitled “Gaza: The Human and Political Costs of Deprivation and Disunity” is a case in point. Yes, the situation in Gaza is horrific, and yes, most of the people on the panel blamed Israel (Howard Sulka, who ran an NGO there, gave the case why HAMAS started the last war but came to the conclusion that “we can’t be sure”), but nobody had a nice word to say about Hamas’ government of the area. Even Maha Mehanna, who is Gazan and has to go back, didn’t say anything good about them (She explained that Hamas was elected because the Fatah regime was so corrupt).

However, they did explain how they had to go through diplomatic hoops because Hamas is a terrorist organization that may not be talked to. The holes in the narrative were amazing to behold.

I attended the Iran panel, which was both fascinating and unedifying to the mx, before going to the next plenum: “Does Liberal Zionism Have a Future?”

This is an excellent question, DOES IT?

The panel, led by Peter Beinart, wasn’t very optimistic, and they rightly blamed Netanyahu, Leiberman and Bennet. Which brings everyone back to which two-state solution is the best one? That particular question wasn’t actually addressed, what WAS, was the status quo, which everyone considers untenable.

The villains were fingered as not just Bibi, Bennett et al, but the Republicans as well, who are working to alienate Liberals/Progressives from the entire Zionist project and declare the 69 percent of the Jewish vote that voted for Obama “self-hating Jews” and guilty of treason. Some of the issues were clearly articulated but not all.

Wet Winter Threatens J-Street's Supply Of Straw Men (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Tel Aviv, March 25 - The relatively heavy precipitation of the last several months in Israel has severely reduced the availability of dried grain stalks, the defining component of the straw men used by J-Street and its ideological allies in political rhetoric. If the trend continues, say experts, J-Street and its ilk will be forced to devote greater resources to the procurement of straw from alternative sources, necessitating cuts in other areas of activity.

J-Street has long relied on Israeli straw for the production of its arguments, which involve constructing an extreme or distorted version of an opponent's position, then demonstrating the weaknesses, errors, or absurdity, outright immorality of the straw man position, as if one has thus thoroughly undermined the opponent's argument.

For example, J-Street and its allies on the Israeli Left frequently resort to the contention that the Israeli Right as a whole refuses to accept a two-state solution, when in fact such rejection is the province only of the extreme fringe of the right wing. Painting the Right as irredeemably extreme serves J-Street as a classic straw man argument, using large quantities of the agricultural by-product.
Israel's climate has fluctuated over the last several decades, but the overall trend has been toward shrinking precipitation during the rainy season. That has contributed to plentiful stocks of straw - but this winter proved wetter than usual, cutting seasonal production of straw and forcing the producers of straw man arguments into fierce competition for the resource.

While some straw is available internationally, political and logistical constraints make most sources unavailable to J-Street. The organization's self-description as "pro-Israel," however disingenuous, discourages potential sellers in the Middle East from engaging openly with it, all but forcing J-Street to look for sourcing in the US, where shipping increases the cost.

Further exacerbating the shortage is the White House increasing its use of straw for the same purposes. The Obama administration has invested in the production of vast quantities of straw men for use in rhetoric about Iran, Binyamin Netanyahu, Republican leaders, and global antisemitism. While American domestic straw production is far greater than that of Israel, the sheer quantity of the material consumed by the White House and State Department in the last six years has driven up the price for other potential customers.

One option available to J-Street and its allies is to share the same straw men, but doing so would look amateurish, a fatal flaw in an organization aiming to portray itself as an indispensable, well-connected player on the international stage. Another possibility involves reducing certain non-essential activities to free up the necessary resources, such as explicit opposition to the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement. Jettisoning that opposition would not substantially alter the organization's ethos, says Middle East analyst N. T. Semitt.

"It's actually just a waste of time for J-Street to pretend it opposes BDS," she said. "Maybe one day they'll wake up and realize they're similarly encumbered by the notion of being 'pro-Israel' as well."