Sunday, December 09, 2018

  • Sunday, December 09, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

PMW: Fatah "sends love" to Martyr bomb maker
Shadia Abu Ghazaleh was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization, building bombs and participating in terror attacks against Israel. While she was preparing a bomb for an attack in Tel Aviv in 1968, it accidentally detonated and killed her.

Abbas' Fatah Movement sent Abu Ghazaleh the movement's "love" and called her a "heroine." Marking the 50th anniversary of her death, Fatah stated that she is among those who "guide our path," and honored her for being an "uncompromising and merciful young woman, who sacrificed herself for her great family":

Fatah's posted text: "Shadia took part in a bombing operation of an Israeli bus, and also took part in and even led a number of military operations. However, fate desired that when our heroine was at her home preparing a bomb to detonate on the occupation in Tal Al-Rabia (i.e., Tel Aviv, see note below) it blew up in her hands and she died as a Martyr (Shahida)...
Today we send all of our love to Shadia - who would repeat: 'If I fall, take my place, my comrade in the struggle' ... She and those like her guide our path... who sacrificed herself for her great family at the expense of the childhood dreams that were within her, in order to tell us: 'Continue.'"
[Official Fatah Facebook page, Nov. 29, 2018]

In honoring the terrorist bomb maker, Fatah is following the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education, who thinks so highly of Abu Ghazaleh that it has named 2 schools after her.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that young girls who studied in one of the schools named after Abu Ghazaleh viewed her as their role model:

  • Sunday, December 09, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

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  • Sunday, December 09, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Hamas-oriented Palestine Times website has a photo essay on the rally in celebration of the 31dt anniversary of Hamas.

The photos show a very small rally - but with lots of children.

In the past, Hamas rallies would attract thousands. Not sure if this was misrepresented here or if it shows a real lessening of Hamas influence in Gaza.

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  • Sunday, December 09, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
This piece of Palestinian street theater is being shared on social media as if it is really a video of IDF soldiers running in fear of a flag.

IDF soldiers, of course, don't look like this (look at their footwear, for example)

This is reminiscent of a photo that went viral in 2012 supposedly showing an IDF soldier stepping on a Palestinian girl. In reality it was also street theater, done in Bahrain,

The idea of the cowardly Jew is one of the more consistent pieces of antisemitism in Arabic media.

(h/t Petra)


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Saturday, December 08, 2018

From Ian:

Elliott Abrams: UNIFIL and the Hezbollah Tunnels
UNIFIL is not supposed to be merely a means of communication, or the Security Council would have bought cell phones instead of paying for a military force. Moreover, there are no "appropriate authorities" in Lebanon or Hezbollah would never have been able to dig its tunnels.

The tunnels are hardly the only brazen Hezbollah violation of the Security Council resolutions undertaken right under UNIFIL's nose. Consider this: Hezbollah is blocking roads in southern Lebanon to smooth the path of missile it is moving into the area, according to a report in the newspaper Israel Hayom. Then there is the village of Gila, just north of the Israeli border, where there is a Hezbollah headquarters and according to the Israelis about 20 warehouses with weapons, combat positions, lookout positions, dozens of underground positions. All this was built in an area supposedly patrolled by UNIFIL.

What is to be done? As I wrote in a previous post about UNIFIL and its new commander,
Del Col should test the limits. That will make Hezbollah angry, but if Hezbollah isn’t vexed by UNIFIL's presence then we are all wasting a lot of money--$500 million a year is the UNIFIL budget—and effort supporting that organization and making believe that it is enforcing resolution 1701.

This is a test of UNIFIL and its new commander. "Communicating" to "appropriate authorities" is a euphemism for doing nothing at all. Hezbollah is preparing for war. UNIFIL is supposed to get in its way. If it cannot hinder Hezbollah's war preparations in any way and is even ignorant of them, UNIFIL is a waste of time and money.

In rain and mud, IDF exposes another tunnel from Lebanon into Israel
The Israeli military on Saturday located an additional cross-border attack tunnel from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory that it says was dug into the Hezbollah attack tunnel — the second it has fully exposed and the third it has identified since the start of its operation to find and destroy such underground passages.

This fresh tunnel, whose location has been kept secret for security reasons, has been fitted with explosives in order to ensure that it cannot be used by the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah, army spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters.

According to the spokesman, excavation of the tunnel was being conducted until recently.

“It’s a fresh tunnel,” he said.

The military did not offer additional details regarding the size of the tunnel.

Conricus said Saturday’s tunnel, as with the others identified by Israel until now, was “not yet operational and does not yet pose an imminent threat to the surrounding Israeli communities.”
IDF fires toward 3 suspected Hezbollah fighters who approach border
Israeli soldiers on Saturday opened fire at three suspected Hezbollah fighters on the Israeli-Lebanese border, the army said.

A military spokeswoman said the incident took place close to Yiftah, south of Metula, a town near which a tunnel from Lebanon was found.

The military said the three men attempted to approach an “area of technological work” in an enclave north of the security fence, as the IDF continues Operation Northern Shield to destroy Hezbollah attack tunnels dug under the border.

The army said it believed the three attempted to use the cover of stormy weather to approach the Israeli forces. Troops fired towards the three “in accordance with the standard operating procedures” and they fled the scene. “Work in the area continues as usual,” it said.

Lebanon’s official NNA news agency said Israeli forces fired shots in the air east of the village of Mays Al-Jabal after they were surprised because of heavy fog by a routine Lebanese army patrol.
Israel using ‘passive seismic’ technology to expose Hezbollah’s attack tunnels
The Israeli army on Friday revealed that it has been using “passive seismic” technology to locate the attack tunnels Hezbollah has been digging under the border into Israel.

The IDF this week launched an ongoing operation to locate and destroy the tunnels, and has so far announced that two have been identified. On Tuesday, it released footage from inside the first of the two, with alleged Hezbollah members still inside, and on Thursday asked UNIFIL, the UN force in Lebanon, to deal with the second.

The IDF’s Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot announced Tuesday that Israel has “in its possession” Hezbollah’s tunnel plans. Military sources have said Israel believes several other cross-border tunnels have yet to be exposed.

An officer in the IDF’s Engineering Corps, Col. Ziv Nimni, told Israel’s Hadashot TV news Friday that the IDF, aware for years of Hezbollah’s tunnel ambitions, utilizes “passive seismic technology” throughout the northern border area in order to locate the tunnels.

The technology enables the IDF to identify where tunnel drilling is taking place — not only in limited, specific areas, but throughout the Israel-Lebanon border area, he said.

The sensors in the ground relay information to sensors at the border fence, as well as to receptors in patrol vehicles along the border, Nimni added.

He said locating and dealing with the tunnels “could take weeks or longer,” but that the IDF was operating as quickly as possible.

  • Saturday, December 08, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

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Friday, December 07, 2018

From Ian:

The ‘Hyper-Whitening’ of the Jews
At the Forward, Ari Feldman reflects on whether or not recent attacks against Jews in Brooklyn are the result of anti-Semitism. The article is gaining a bit of attention because of its nonsensical premise and because of a few choice quotes. He cites a local salesman as saying, “It’s less of an anti-Semitic thing than they needed a target to respond to this word: gentrification.” And he quotes someone named Mark Winston Griffith from the Black Movement Center, who says that may be the result black people’s seeing Judaism as “a form of almost hyper-whiteness.”

To reject these explanations as preposterous and offensive is, of course, righteous. But to do that alone is to miss something critical. Considering these claims at face value is important. Not because they have merit, but because they show precisely how anti-Semitism works and what it is.

The Jew is hated as whatever the anti-Semite holds responsible for his own misfortune. If you’re a capitalist, the Jew is a Communist; if you’re a Communist, the Jew is a capitalist. If you’re a pacifist, the Jew is a warmonger. If you’re a warrior, the Jew is a coward. Depending on your circumstance, the Jew can be grimy or snobbish, rootless or nationalist, invader or separatist. And if 100 years ago, American bigots saw Jews as Asiatic cross-breeds, today bigots see them as “hyper-white.” If you want to know what a culture considers most problematic, look at its brand of anti-Semitism. When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists.

No one explained it better than Ruth Wisse in the 2010 issue of COMMENTARY:
Anti-Semitism works through the strategy of the pointing finger. Through political prestidigitation, the accuser draws attention away from his own sins—in the case of Arab leaders, the systematic oppression and immiseration of their own people—by pointing to the Jews, whose demonically inflated image and luridly portrayed wickedness make them a plausible explanation for whatever ails his regime. The pointing finger keeps negative attention focused on the Jews—or Israelis—and the latter, as often as not, obligingly fall into the trap by accepting responsibility for a situation they cannot control. In politics as before the law, whoever points the finger is the plaintiff, and whoever stands in the dock is the defendant. Unless they were to file a countersuit, simply answering to the charge of which they stood accused placed the Jews under the constant obligation of defending their innocence.
America’s Jewish left endorses anti-Jewish discrimination
In the view of these five groups, every inch of Judea and Samaria is “Palestinian land,” and any Jew who lives there is an “usurper” who deserves to be boycotted, treated as a pariah, and eventually driven out.

Obviously if Jewish leftwing groups choose to support anti-Jewish discrimination—by boycotting only Jewish settlements and not Arab ones—that is their right according the U.S. Constitution. And if these groups want to advocate that every inch of Judea and Samaria is “usurped Palestinian land,” that, too, is their right.

But that does not mean the organized American Jewish community has to treat such racist positions as legitimate.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization overwhelmingly rejected J Street’s application for membership several years ago. That was a wise move. Jewish umbrella groups that have relationships with the New Israel Fund and the other members of the Gang of Five should reconsider whether they want to maintain those relationships.

Partners for Progressive Israel (PPI), for example, is a member of the American Zionist Movement. It’s fair to ask whether PPI’s support for discrimination against Israeli Jews is consistent with the AZM’s declared mission is “ to strengthen the connection of American Jews with Israel; develop their appreciation of the centrality of Israel to Jewish life worldwide; deepen their understanding of Israeli society and the challenges it faces; encourage travel, long-term visits and Aliyah to Israel; and to facilitate dialogue, debate and collective action to further Zionism in the United States and abroad.”

Is advocating discrimination against Jews in Judea-Samaria consistent with the AZM’s mission statement?
Gerald Steinberg: Human Rights Day nothing to celebrate
International Human Rights Day – commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Conventions on December 10, 1948 – is marked every year in the United Nations and by other organizations claiming to carry out its noble principles. But in stark contrast to the self-congratulation and high-sounding rhetoric that characterize these events, the reality makes a particularly desolate picture.

If anything, this day is a timely reminder of the failures of the institutions that were created after the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust to protect and defend human rights. Indeed, 2018 was another dismal year, and there is little to celebrate. The massive government bureaucracies and millions provided to groups such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International did nothing to prevent the carnage in Syria that destroyed millions of lives. And the triumph of the Assad-Russia-Iran-Hezbollah coalition offers no hope for the future. In Venezuela, the tyranny of oppression and repression continues, and hopes that after the death of Hugo Chavez the situation would improve have been dashed.

Ignoring most of the victims around the world, the agenda of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva continues to be controlled by some of the worst violators, including Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia (a major offender long before the murder of Jamal Khashoggi), Egypt and China. The member-states and UN officials they appoint routinely exploit the rhetoric of international law to deflect attention from their own behavior, and obsessively target Israel. Syrian and Iranian diplomats take the floor to make poisonous accusations against Israel, while their governments make genocidal threats that turn the 1948 declaration into a mockery.

This year, the council voted to again conduct a pseudo-investigation of Israel, this time over the claims of excessive force and war crimes during the Hamas-orchestrated violent “Grand Return March” incidents along the Gaza border with Israel. Like the infamous (and eventually discredited) Goldstone Report published in 2009, the one-sided results of this version were decided before the commission members were named. For these reasons and more, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley declared “the Human Rights Council is the United Nations’ greatest failure.” After all efforts to enact reforms were rejected, the US suspended its membership, further diminishing the council’s legitimacy.

  • Friday, December 07, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon

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From Ian:

U.S. Fears Iran Planning ‘Massive Regional War’ in Middle East
The Trump administration disclosed that Iran is behind the construction of several underground tunnels leading into Israel that Hezbollah militants and other terror forces have been using to conduct attacks, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon and communicated fears that Tehran is preparing to lead a "massive regional war."

The public identification of Iran isn't likely to surprise international observers, but signals aggressive moves by the Trump administration to tie Iran to the rise of terrorism not just in Israel, but across the Middle East, where Iranian-backed militants continue to strike U.S. interests and allies.

The Obama administration, in contrast to Trump, was careful to avoid singling out Iran as the chief force for terrorism against Israel and U.S. allies in the region in hopes of appeasing the hardline regime as it sought to ink the landmark nuclear pact that Trump abandoned earlier this year.

Senior U.S. officials familiar with Israel's discovery of these new tunnels—a tactic long used by Hezbollah and Hamas to conduct cross-border raids against Israeli civilians and military personnel—say they mark a massive escalation by Iran's terror proxies.

The Israeli military conducted operations to destroy the tunnels earlier this week, shortly after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a one-on-one meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels.

The timing of Israel's military operations signal a deep coordination with the Trump administration, which told the Free Beacon the United States will stand side-by-side with the Jewish state as it works to thwart Iran's terror enterprise.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said the tunnels show Iran used money from sanctions lifted under the Obama administration for military purposes.

"Senator Cruz has been tracking the Israeli campaign against these attack tunnels closely, and every day brings new disturbing revelations," said a spokesperson for Cruz. "It's now clear that Iran used its windfall from the Obama Iran nuclear deal to arm Hezbollah for an all-out war against Israel, and that the United States must do more to undo the damage of that deal. Sen. Cruz has also been unequivocal that our Israeli allies have an absolute right to defend themselves, especially against threats and violations of their sovereignty like these attack tunnels."

The joke of Palestinian ‘democracy’
In a recent Conflict Zone interview, acclaimed journalist Tim Sebastian grilled veteran Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat. While Erekat may not remember the interview as his finest hour, it could—and should have—been much worse had Sebastian pointed out a number of ludicrous statements that Erekat made.

During the interview, Erekat argued that the Palestinian Authority is “a true democracy,” that Mahmoud Abbas “won 62 percent of the vote” in the 2005 elections for head of the P.A., and that “Hamas carried out a coup d’état in Gaza” in 2007.

Closer examination of these claims shows their inherent contradictions.

While Abbas did indeed win 62 percent of the 2005 vote to be elected head of the P.A. (i.e., the Palestinian President), Erekat “forgot” that according to P.A. law, the chairman of the P.A. is elected to a four-year term. Since Abbas is about to start his 14th year of that four-year term, it is irrelevant to point to the level of Abbas’s support in order to substantiate the claim that the P.A. is a “true democracy.”

When examining Erekat’s claim about the Hamas “coup d’état” in the Gaza Strip, Erekat again “forgot” that Hamas won 74 seats of the 132 seat Palestinian Legislative Council in the last P.A. general elections held 13 years ago. Hamas therefore formed the legitimate P.A. government. As a result of immense international pressure threatening to cut off a vast amount of aid to the P.A., it was Abbas who deposed the democratically elected Hamas terrorist organization.

Accordingly, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas’s so-called “technocrat government” in the summer of 2007, Hamas was simply reasserting the mandate that it had been granted by the Palestinian population in democratic elections—control which had temporarily been usurped by Abbas.
Exclusive: My year in the Palestinian Authority territories
“My first book appeared in 2000 and discussed Israel’s internal conflicts regarding the state’s identity. The Dutch title translates into English as 'A People that Dwells Alone.' I published my next book in 2007 which deals with the divisions between Christians in Israel. The title translates as 'Holy Quarrels'.”

Els van Diggele was born in 1967 in the Dutch village of Warmond. After her history studies at Leiden University she followed a postdoctoral journalism course at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University.

“I wanted to complete a trilogy by writing about the Palestinian Arabs. I resided in the Palestinian Authority region, carefully looking for people who would dare to tell the truth. Otherwise I would only hear: ‘Everything is fine. The Israeli occupation is the problem.’

“My first insight occurred when a Palestinian Arab asked me: ‘Do you write about our occupation? We are occupied by our leaders. The Palestinian occupation starts in our family with our father and uncles. Afterwards we are occupied by our boss and our leaders. The individual does not exist.’ He added: ‘That is our greatest real problem and explains our society’s stagnation.’

“I lived for a year in the Palestinian Authority territories. I did not register as a journalist with the authorities. I was not hindered by the authorities in any way, though there have been people who suspected me of being a spy.

“In Gaza I also did not encounter any hindrance. Interviewing there was even easier than in the 'West Bank.' In Gaza people are also fearful and society is very hierarchical. Yet the people were more open, perhaps because they are poorer and more desperate. It became clear to me that there is no historical unity between the 'West Bank' and the Gaza Strip. It is as if living in different worlds.

  • Friday, December 07, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
I'm not going to fisk the entire op-ed by Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times today claiming that anti-Zionism isn't a form of antisemitism, and concentrate on a single pivotal sentence:

Certainly, some criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, but it’s entirely possible to oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot. 

If you are against Jewish self-determination, it means either than you are singling out the Jewish people as the only people on earth who do not have that right, or you deny that there are a Jewish people. Both positions are equally antisemitic, because both of them single out Jews as being different and less worthy than any other people.

Contra to fans of Shlomo Sands, the Jewish people have been considered a people and a nation since Biblical times. Chronicles 1 17:21-22:

כא  וּמִי כְּעַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל, גּוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ:  אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ הָאֱלֹ-הִים לִפְדּוֹת לוֹ עָם, לָשׂוּם לְךָ שֵׁם גְּדֻלּוֹת וְנֹרָאוֹת--לְגָרֵשׁ מִפְּנֵי עַמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר-פָּדִיתָ מִמִּצְרַיִם, גּוֹיִם.21 And who is like Thy people Israel, a nation one in the earth, whom God went to redeem unto Himself for a people, to make Thee a name by great and tremendous things, in driving out nations from before Thy people, whom Thou didst redeem out of Egypt.
כב  וַתִּתֵּן אֶת-עַמְּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְךָ, לְעָם--עַד-עוֹלָם; וְאַתָּה יְה-וָה, הָיִיתָ לָהֶם לֵאלֹ-הִים.22 For Thy people Israel didst Thou make Thine own people for ever; and Thou, LORD, becamest their God.

The Jewish people have considered themselves both a people and a nation since before this was written, and a glance at how 19th century newspapers would refer to Jews often as "Israelites" or "Hebrews" shows that this was the opinion of the Western world as well before Israel was reborn.

Whether or not Israel can represent all Jews who do not want to be represented is not the issue. The fact is that Israel is the only nation that calls itself a Jewish state, and to deny that is to deny the right of self-determination of the majority of Jews who support Israel's right to exist and its unique status as a refuge for Jews who are oppressed.

It is not "weaponized whataboutism," as Goldberg says, to point out that only the one Jewish state is subjected to the demand that it be dismantled. Any sane observer knows that a binational state replacing Israel would become yet another Arab thugocracy in short order - one that would have no equal rights for Jews, for gays, for women. The willful blindness to that certainty from the supposedly woke progressive crowd shows that their motivation is not equal rights, but the demolition of Jewish rights.

It is also not "weaponized whataboutism" to point out that not only is Israel singled out for being targeted for destruction on moral grounds, butat the same time Israel is more moral and liberal than nearly every nation on Earth, especially any nation that faces the hostility that Israel does from its neighbors. Israel is more tolerant of minorities than most European nations. Israel has spent more time and energy to minimize civilian casualties at war than any nation in history.  Criticizing Israel isn't antisemitism, claiming that it has no right to exist based on its actions is. Only Israel is compared with some ideal than no nation has ever reached, and to claim it is illegitimate based on criteria that no other state on the planet is subjected to is indeed proof that the agenda has nothing to do with morality.

There is no escaping the fact that Israel is singled out not because it is a staunch ally of the US, as Goldberg implies - it is singled out because it is the Jewish state.

There is no other word for this than antisemitism.

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  • Friday, December 07, 2018
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israeli diplomat David Roet described what happened at the UN yesterday in a series of tweets:

On any given day at the UN- 85 yes, 57 against and 33 abstentions means the resolution was accepted. It seems that when it comes to condemning terror group Hamas you “tilt the floor” by using a rarely used rule of procedure to change the  rules and ask for a 2/3rd majority, Rule 83.
The vote to bend the rules exclusively in order to mute a large majority against Hamas passed by 1 vote (73-72 with. 26 abstentions). Not 1 person on UNGA floor was not aware that voting for the 2/3 rule or abstaining might mean that a terror organization wouldn’t be condemned.
 In my 4 years at UN I witnessed numerous cases of extreme politicization and hypocrisy but rarely a similar case where rules of procedures are so clearly bent in order to prevent condemnation of a terror group.
Here is results on the procedural vote to require a 2/3 majority to condemn Hamas (green means require a 2/3 majority) and then the results on the actual vote to condemn Hamas (green means condemn Hamas.)

Any state that voted "yes" on both resolutions is hypocritical - signaling to the US that it pretends to care about terror, while signaling to the Palestinians that it really wants to ensure that their new best buddies Hamas doesn't get condemned.

Those hypocritical states?

If my eyeballing these two charts is correct, they are: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Guatemala, and Japan.

On the positive side, here is a list of countries that are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) who abstained instead of voting against the Hamas resolution (I'm not counting countries that were absent:)

Afghanistan, Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Gambon, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Uganda.

Most of them are African nations, indicating that Israeli outreach to Africa is starting to pay diplomatic dividends - these African nations, although they abstained, value their relationship with Israel enough to not automatically follow the herd.

Albania is the only member of the OIC that both voted against the 2/3 majority rule and voted to condemn Hamas.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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